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Thursday, 16 May 2013

Qatar no IMF stand-in as Egypt default risk jumps

"Egypt’s credit default swaps are signalling that a $3bn lifeline from Qatar isn’t enough to assuage concern the North African country will struggle to meet its obligations without International Monetary Fund aid.

Five-year contracts for the most-populous Arab nation climbed 47 basis points this month to 630, the highest level in a month, yesterday, according to data provider CMA. That compares with an average gain of seven basis points to 263 for contracts of Middle East peers.

Talks with the IMF, now in a third year, have yet to come to fruition as concern over Egypt’s ability to meet its financing needs led Standard & Poor’s to cut the country’s rating to CCC+, the lowest globally apart from Cyprus."

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Qatar Buys 40% Stake in Milan’s Porta Nuova Business District - Bloomberg

"Qatar Holding LLC, a unit of the Persian Gulf emirate’s sovereign-wealth fund, agreed to buy a 40 percent stake in Milan’s newly built Porta Nuova business district to expand its Italian real estate holdings.
Qatar Holding signed a strategic partnership with Hines Italia SGR, the project’s developer, and agreed to purchase the stake through a subscription of newly issued shares, the companies said in an e-mailed statement today. While the purchase price wasn’t disclosed, they said the project is valued at about 2 billion euros ($2.6 billion).
Qatar Holding’s investment “further diversifies its global portfolio in general, and increases its participation in the Italian real estate market in particular,” the companies said. “The landmark project is expected to have a transformative impact for Milan and create value for all stakeholders.”"

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Energy bonanza in the Levant basin

[snap] Turkey gets second investment grade | beyondbrics

"Moody’s on Thursday raised Turkey’s government bond rating by one notch from Ba1 to Baa3, making it the second rating agency to award the country with an investment grade.

Fitch gave Turkey investment grade last November while Standard & Poor’s lifted its rating from BB to BB+, or one step short of investment grade, in March.

Here’s the press release from Moody’s:"

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Bank of Sharjah Surges on Bets Shares Are Cheap: Abu Dhabi Mover - Bloomberg

"Bank of Sharjah gained the most in almost four months on investor bets the emirate’s largest bank is cheap compared with peers.
The stock soared 9.4 percent, the most since Jan. 27, to close at 1.75 dirhams as 2.2 million shares traded, or 4.6 times the three-month daily average. Abu Dhabi’s benchmark index rose less than 0.1 percent, rising for an 11th day. The bank, which has a 12-month dividend yield of 5.7 compared with 4.7 for Abu Dhabi’s banking index, last month reported a 23 percent jump in first-quarter profit.
United Arab Emirates lenders are advancing as they benefit from an economic recovery, with Abu Dhabi’s government restarting stalled projects and Dubai restructuring its debt. Shares of Emirates NBD PJSC (EMIRATES), the country’s second-biggest bank, have more than doubled this year, while those of Dubai Islamic Bank climbed 58 percent in the period."

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MIDEAST STOCKS-Kuwait resumes rally; Gulf mkts mixed | Reuters

"Kuwait's bourse resumed a rally in heavy trading on Thursday as upbeat expectations of an improving economy outweighed renewed political woes, while other regional markets were mixed.

Kuwait's benchmark climbed 1.1 percent, its fifth gain in six sessions. The index, up 33.2 percent year-to-date, has been buoyed by a turnaround in sentiment as a calmer political backdrop lifted sentiment and company earnings improved.

Buyers returned after Wednesday's 0.6 percent decline on the index. Some members of Kuwait's cabinet offered to resign earlier this week but there was little reaction from investors; some are expecting a minor reshuffle of members."

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UAE committed to peace, stability and security in the region: Gargash - Khaleej Times

"On the opening of the third and concluding day of the 2013 WCO IT Conference and Exhibition, hosted by Dubai Customs under the patronage of His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice- President, Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, Dr. Anwar Mohammed Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, has reiterated that the global event represents a good opportunity for coordination and cooperation between customs and border authorities around the world to facilitate trade and ensure the protection of economies and societies

Gargash praised the WCO and Dubai Customs’ logistical and organizational success, recognising Dubai Customs as a critical agent in the facilitation of trade, investment and the economic renaissance experienced by the country. He extolled Dubai’s ability to achieve a balance between promoting and protecting the business environment on one hand, and instituting efficient operational procedures on the other, adding that the UAE is proud of its successes on the international level."

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IMF says Bahrain's growing debt may be unsustainable by 2018 - Business Intelligence Middle East - - News, analysis, reports

"Bahrain must urgently cut spending or risk unsustainable public debt as its fiscal deficit widens and oil prices decline, according to the International Monetary Fund.

The smallest Gulf crude producer needs “gradual fiscal consolidation” equal to 7.7% of economic output over the next six budget years to contain its government debt at 40% of gross domestic product, the Washington-based fund said in report released late yesterday.

It also recommended that Bahrain pare its fiscal stimulus to 0.9 percentage points of non-oil GDP from 2.1 percentage points, it said."

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UPDATE 1-Dubai bank ENBD plans bond sale to boost capital | Reuters

"Emirates NBD (ENBD), Dubai's biggest lender, plans to tap global debt markets for its first capital-boosting bond issue, as Gulf banks take advantage of tight pricing and high investor demand to shore up capital ratios.

ENBD, which has already raised Tier 2, or supplementary capital, this year, has hired six banks, including its own investment banking unit, to arrange a Tier 1 bond issue, lead managers arranging the deal said on Thursday.

Tier 1 capital is a lender's core capital as defined under the Basel banking industry rules, and a key measure of its financial strength. Gulf banks will need to comply with tighter Basel III global standards for core capital, which will be introduced gradually over coming years."

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Two Saudi princes lose battle to keep business dispute secret -

"Two Saudi princes have failed in a legal challenge to keep details of a business dispute secret.
The Court of Appeal in London on Thursday dismissed a challenge by Prince Mishal al Saud, a former defence minister, and his son who are embroiled in litigation with businessman Faisal Almhairat over British company Fi Call and two offshore shareholders, one of which is linked to the younger prince."

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Forbes ranks TAQA top UAE energy company, second in Arab World - Business Intelligence Middle East - - News, analysis, reports

"TAQA, the global energy company based in Abu Dhabi, was ranked 2nd out of energy companies ranked as part of Forbes Middle East magazine’s Top 500 Companies in the Arab World. TAQA was the highest ranking energy company in the UAE.

The award was presented to TAQA’s Executive Officer and Head of Energy Solutions division, Dr Saif Al Sayari by UAE Minister for Culture, Youth & Community Development, H.E. Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan during the ’s Top 500 Companies in the Arab World awards ceremony in Abu Dhabi Tuesday.

Dr Saif Al Sayari, TAQA’s Executive Officer and Head of Energy Solutions division, said: “We are honoured to receive this prestigious award from Forbes which is one of the best known business media brands in the world. I would like to share this recognition with our teams providing energy for growth  around the world.”"

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MURAT YETKİN - Iraq energy blues with the United States

"Up until two days before Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan’s departure for the U.S. to meet with President Barack Obama on May 16, it was not 100 percent clear whether Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yıldız would be in the official delegation for the visit. Again, up until two days before the departure from Ankara to Washington DC, it was not 100 percent clear whether Yıldız would attend an oil and gas conference to be held on May 30 in Arbil, where the headquarters of the Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq is."

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Dubai best performing stock market in the world up 40% this year « ArabianMoney

"The Dubai Financial Market is the world’s best performing stock market and has gained 40 per cent this year to date. Next up are Nairobi, Kuwait and Nigeria. The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange is up 33 per cent.

It’s a spectacular recovery for Dubai. Only four years ago the local economy was in a deep recession and property prices had crashed by 60 per cent. Dubai seemed sunk with $115 billion in debt."

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US sanctions Al Hilal Exchange over Iran trades - The National

The US government yesterday targeted a UAE exchange house and a trading company for allegedly helping Iran attempt to circumvent global economic sanctions.

Al Hilal Exchange and Al Fida International General Trading were sanctioned by the US treasury department for "providing financial services to previously designated Iranian banks", the department said in a statement.

The action comes one week after Al Hilal Exchange, based in Dubai, had its licence revoked by the UAE Central Bank for committing anti-money laundering and regulatory violations.

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Saudi current account surplus rises to 149.8 billion riyals |

Saudi Arabia’s current account surplus rose to 149.8 billion riyals (Dh146.7 billion) in the fourth quarter of 2012 from 140.7 billion in the previous three months, central bank estimates showed.
That puts the 2012 surplus at 617.9 billion riyals, or 22.7 percent of the OPEC member’s gross domestic product, according to a Reuters calculation based on the official data, down from the 669.2 billion previously announced.

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Qatar Airways CEO: No interest in Bankia stake in IAG - Reuters

NEW YORK May 15 (Reuters) - Qatar Airways has no interest in buying a 12 percent stake in British Airways parent International Airlines Group from Spanish bank Bankia, the chief executive of Qatar Air said on Wednesday. In an interview, Akbar Al Baker ...

Kuwait court ruling may threaten economic recovery | Reuters

A ruling by Kuwait's top court next month could end a period of relative political stability, jeopardizing government plans to push ahead with long-delayed economic projects.

One of the world's richest countries per capita, Kuwait has struggled for years to get big infrastructure projects off the ground because of bureaucratic red tape and political turmoil. A parliamentary election in December was the fifth in six years.

The election seemed to be a turning point, however, since an opposition boycott of the poll meant members of parliament seen as more willing to cooperate with the government were elected.

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Brazilian oil: still drawing punters | beyondbrics

Brazil’s oil industry has not been the source of much good news recently but this week might just go down as one of its best yet.

On Monday, the country’s state-run giant Petrobras managed to raise $11bn in the biggest emerging markets bond issue ever. Then on Tuesday the country pulled in a record R$2.8bn ($1.4bn) in its first auction of licences for oil exploration blocks in five years.

The auction, which attracted oil majors such as BP and Total, also marked the return of Exxon to the country in a partnership with Brazilian billionaire Eike Batista.

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