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Monday, 20 May 2013

Three Qatari state firms plan overseas energy investment | GulfNews.com

"A trio of state-controlled Qatari entities are setting up a new shareholding company that will look to invest some of the gas-rich country’s financial firepower in overseas energy infrastructure, a statement on the Doha bourse said on Monday.
Qatar Electricity and Water Company, a majority state-owned utility, said it will sign a partnership agreement with Qatar Petroleum International and the country’s sovereign fund Qatar Holding to set up a new shareholding company to invest outside its domestic market.
It is seeking investments “in the fields of power generation, water desalination and treatment, heating and cooling systems, provision of fuel as well as fuel loading and unloading equipment,” according to the statement."

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UAE companies law talks back on the agenda - The National

"Stalled discussions about the revised companies law will resume next week, the UAE Minister of Economy Sultan Al Mansourisaid yesterday as the ministry aims to push through one of "the most critical laws" for the economy.

But decisions about raising foreign ownership limits, a much-anticipated clause that was stripped out of the original companies law, remained "open", he said.

"The companies law is one of the most important, critical for us," he told reporters in Dubai yesterday. "It was discussed thoroughly in February of this year during four meetings with the Federal National Council and we have completed 380 articles. We are going back on the 28th [of May] to fine-tune one or two articles and that will also be moving.""

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Construction disputes in Middle East drag on - The National

"Legal disputes between construction companies in the Middle East are the longest in the world as the region continues to struggle to deal with the fallout from soured mega projects.

According to the building consultant EC Harris, a backlog of disputes from schemes stalled during the downturn and a lack of qualified arbitrators and expert witnesses in the region meant last year that legal disputes took an average of 14.6 months to settle.

This compared with an average of six months in mainland Europe, 11.9 months in the United States, and 12.9 months in the United Kingdom. Only disputes in Asia came close in length to the Middle East at an average 14.3 months."

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Qatar snaps up stakes in key lenders - FT.com

"Qatar is launching another multi-billion dollar push into the banking sector, buying fresh stakes in Russia’s VTB and Germany’s Deutsche Bank.
The Qatar Investment Authority, the principal fund responsible for allocating the gas-rich emirate’s vast wealth, is poised this week to invest up to $1bn as part of a $3.2bn capital raising by VTB, Russia’s second-biggest bank, according to people close to the transaction.
The move comes only three weeks after Deutsche Bank raised €2.9bn from investors as it shored up its capital ratios."

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Lawyer dies after heart attack during trial involving Thaksin Shinawatra money in Dubai court | GulfNews.com

"An Egyptian advocate collapsed in Dubai’s highest court on Monday after suffering a cardiac arrest while defending an Emirati lawyer accused of corruption and fraud.
The Emirati lawyer, K.K., is to spend three years in jail after Dubai Cassation Court convicted him of embezzling £60 million (Dh348 million) from Thailand’s ex-prime minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, over a £150 million deal to buy England’s premier league Manchester City Football Club.
Fifteen minutes into his closing argument before presiding judge Mohammad Nabeel Riyadh, Ali Obaid suffered a sudden cardiac arrest before falling to his knees, hitting a wooden stand and collapsing to the floor unconscious."

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Abu Dhabi's IPIC to use $4 bln pipeline payment to repay debt | Reuters

"Abu Dhabi's International Petroleum Investment Co (IPIC) expects to receive $4 billion in cash for a crude pipeline it built in the Gulf state, enabling it to repay some upcoming debt maturities, it said in an investor call on Monday.

The state-owned company built a crude oil pipeline from Habshan in the west of the United Arab Emirates to its eastern port of Fujairah to bypass the narrow shipping route in the Gulf which Iran has threatened to block as western sanctions on its oil exports tighten.

IPIC undertook the pipeline project and Abu Dhabi National Oil Co's (ADNOC) onshore unit ADCO will be the operator. IPIC is in talks with Abu Dhabi's department of finance and the Supreme Petroleum Council (SPC) on the reimbursement for the spending on the pipeline, senior executives said in the call."

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Turkey-Azerbaijan: ties that bind | beyondbrics

"The Azeri dialect of Turkish may sound strange to Turkish ears but it is perfectly intelligible and the increasing economic and political cooperation between the two states represents as much a common culture as the geographical imperative that makes Turkey the perfect export route for Azerbaijan’s sizeable reserves of oil and gas reserves.

The latest example of Turkish-Azeri cooperation came with the signing Monday of a $3.4bn EPC contract between Azeri state oil company Socar and its Turkish partner Turcas and a consortium led by Spain’s Tecnicas Reunidas for the construction of a 10m tonnes/yr refinery at Aliaga on Turkey’s Aegean coast.

Owned 81.5 per cent by Socar and 18.5 per cent by Turcas, the STAR refinery is being constructed on a site adjacent to Turkey’s former state petrochemical firm Petkim which is now owned by Socar and is slated to start producing by autumn 2017."

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BUSINESS NEWS ROUNDUP: Qatar Fund, Egypt Oil, Dar Al Arkan - Middle East Real Time - WSJ

"The following is a selection of the top Middle East business news stories on Monday May 20.

QATAR FUND A trio of state-controlled Qatari entities are setting up a new shareholding company that will look to invest some of the gas-rich country’s financial firepower in overseas energy infrastructure, a statement on the Doha bourse said on Monday.

Qatar Electricity and Water Co., a majority state-owned utility, said it will sign a partnership agreement with Qatar Petroleum International and the country’s sovereign fund Qatar Holding to set up a new shareholding company to invest outside its domestic market.

It is seeking investments “in the fields of power generation, water desalination and treatment, heating and cooling systems, provision of fuel as well as fuel loading and unloading equipment,” according to the statement."

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Europe's failure on debt restructuring



Stocks to Soccer Add Up for Qatar Needing Funds Back Home - Bloomberg

"After paying for stakes in European companies, landmarks in London, uprisings in the Middle East and a soccer title in France, Qatar may be getting ready to go home.
The $60 billion-a-year spree by the world’s richest country, dominated by holdings in companies such as British bank Barclays Plc (BARC) and German carmaker Volkswagen AG, is set to slow as energy revenue dips because of a drop in prices and stalling production. Qatar meanwhile plans to spend $200 billion on projects including roads, air-conditioned stadiums and a metro line before hosting the 2022 soccer World Cup."

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Dar Al Arkan Falls Most Since January on Dividend: Riyadh Mover - Bloomberg

"Dar Al Arkan Real Estate Development Co. (ALARKAN) declined the most in more than four months after the board of the Saudi developer recommended not to distribute a dividend for last year.
The shares fell 4.7 percent, the most since January 8, to 9.1 riyals at 12:39 p.m. in Riyadh, making it the biggest decliner on the benchmark Tadawul All Share Index. About 56.7 million Dar Al Arkan shares traded, or 2.9 times the three-month daily average. The stock had gained 14 percent in the previous two trading days. The Tadawul index gained 0.3 percent.
“Retail investors will not like” the lack of a dividend, said Tariq Qaqish, head of asset management at Dubai-based Al Mal Capital PSC. Given the gains in the previous two days “we should expect profit taking.”"

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Iran’s carpet weavers return to the loom - FT.com

"Many Persian carpet weavers who had abandoned the profession in recent years because the business was no longer profitable have been setting up looms again as a surge in demand and a plunge in the value of the Iranian currency, the rial, has led to an increase in the prices of the handmade carpets.
A 60 per cent surge in the prices fuelled hope that the key industry, which employs 1m Iranians, might be on the way to recovery, experts say. Moreover, Iranians, who have been converting their rials into hard currencies and gold coins over the past year on fears of losing the value of their savings, are also buying more carpets as a hedge against inflation."

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El Sewedy shows how Egyptian companies can beat the odds - FT.com

"For decades, one Egyptian company slowly built up its brand and bucked the odds, exporting its products across the world and growing while contemporaries languished.
Now El Sewedy Electrometer, a maker of sophisticated consumer and commercial electrical power metering technologies, is about to undertake its biggest challenge yet: making a play for the US market after successfully establishing itself in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America.
“The US market is huge and they are taking the smart metering as a policy and a strategy,” says Khaled Fouad Homssi, chief executive."

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Kuwait's Kharafi group wins $930 million from Libya - media | Reuters

"Libya will have to pay Kuwait's Kharafi group $930 million (611 million pounds) in damages for former leader Muammar Gaddafi's cancelling of the construction of a vacation resort, Kuwaiti newspapers reported on Monday.

M. A. Kharafi and Sons, a company owned by one of Gulf state's biggest merchant families, won the award in arbitration proceedings via the Arab League, al-Rai newspaper said, without giving its source.

Officials at Kharafi, which owns National Industries Group (NIND.KW) (NIG), National Investments Co. (NINV.KW), Al Mal Investment Co. (MALK.KW) and a stake in telecoms (ZAIN.KW), were not immediately available for comment on the report, which was also in al-Qabas and al-Jarida newspapers."

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Morocco gets ready for sukuk | beyondbrics

"Morocco is finalising a new securitisation law that will allow the state and companies to issue sukuk, the Islamic equivalent of bonds. Preparations for a corporate and a sovereign sukuk are already underway, according to Islamic finance experts.

Sukuk are Islamic financial certificates that represent ownership of tangible assets (as opposed to ownership of debt). Global sukuk issuance increased by 64 per cent last year to reach $138bn, according to rating agency Standard & Poor’s.

Only a few African countries such as Sudan and the Gambia have issued sovereign sukuk, according to S&P, but several have started considering the financial instruments, including South Africa, Egypt and Tunisia."

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Saudi Arabia to import near record high diesel this summer

"Saudi Arabia will import near record high diesel volumes this summer, as it gears up to beat the sweltering heat and meet rising travel needs during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, trade sources said.

State oil giant Saudi Aramco will import up to 8.9 million barrels of diesel in June, up from an estimated 6.7 to 7.5 million barrels in May, according to the sources, who expect at least the same volume or higher to be booked for July.

Top oil exporter Saudi Arabia shipped in record diesel volumes of 8.99 million barrels in July, 2011, up from 8.13 million in June that year, government data published from 2002 through the Joint Organisations Data Initiative showed."

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Qatar growth seen at 5-6% in next few years: report

"Qatar is expected to maintain an annual economic growth 5-6% in the next few years mainly supported by its non-hydrocarbon sector and fiscal deficit is not expected before 2017-18, according to global banking giant Barclays.

“With gas production and exports operating at full capacity, keeping hydrocarbon growth mute, planned increases in public spending in FY13/14 should keep non hydrocarbon activity buoyant, maintaining annual GDP (gross domestic product) growth in the 5-6% range in the next few years, in our view,” Barclays said.

Forecasting that non-oil activity is expected to remain dominating growth drivers, Barclays expects the sector to grow 10% and 9% year-on-year (y-o-y) in 2013 and 2014, respectively, and remain in that range until 2017-18, driven by anticipated increases in public spending in line with Qatar’s revised National Development Strategy (NDS)."

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Aussie given 10 years in Dubai jail as colleague acquitted

"One Australian executive has been sentenced to 10 years' jail in Dubai but his junior colleague acquitted in a spectacular climax to their four-year battle against property fraud charges.

In a verdict on Monday, described as a travesty of justice by Matt Joyce's supporters, the Ruler's Court rejected his defence against claims that he received $6 million in a plot to swindle an Australian developer, Sunland, out of more than $12 million in a Dubai land sale.

But the court found that Marcus Lee, Joyce's colleague at the government-owned Dubai Waterfront, received no money – and that the land deal he helped to prepare was approved by Joyce and other superiors at Nakheel, a Dubai government-owned master developer."

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The return of irrational exuberance to global stock markets with Dubai as front-runner? « ArabianMoney

"It is barely two-and-a-half years ago that ArabianMoney editor and publisher Peter Cooper addressed a lunchtime meeting of the Australian Business Council in Dubai with a bold recommendation to ‘buy and hold’ local stocks. The speech went down like a lead balloon and ABC actually stopped holding lunches for two years. It was that bad!

Not the speech, of course, the sentiment in the Dubai Financial Market at that time. Indeed, one attendee at the lunch came up and explained that he could not disagree more with this analysis as he had just shut down his Dubai brokerage company Mac Capital"

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