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Thursday, 23 May 2013

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf mkts fall as global sell-off spooks investors - Yahoo! News Maktoob

"Most Gulf markets fell on Thursday as a sell-off on international bourses spurred regional investors to cash in gains from an early-year rally.
World markets suffered from the twin setbacks of a surprise drop in Chinese factory activity in May and U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's comments signalling the bank may trim its bond purchases at one of its next policy meetings.
Oil fell below $102 a barrel as the market worried about weak demand going forward."

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Shuaa Rises to Highest in a Year as Arqaam Says Buy: Dubai Mover - Bloomberg

"Shuaa Capital PSC (SHUAA) advanced to the highest in more than a year after the investment bank controlled by Dubai’s ruler was raised to buy at Arqaam Capital Ltd.
The shares climbed 3.4 percent to 0.76 dirham, the highest close since May 8, 2012. About 5.7 million shares traded, or almost four times the three-month daily average. Shuaa was the second-biggest mover after Commercial Bank of Dubai on the emirate’s benchmark DFM General Index (DFMGI) in percentage terms. The measure lost 0.8 percent.
Shuaa, which reported a narrower first-quarter loss, said in October it plans to boost lending to small- and medium-sized businesses and high-net-worth individuals. The company completed a restructuring program to reduce non-core assets, cut jobs and generate recurring revenue. Shuaa has reported annual losses since 2008 as the global financial crisis led to a drop in volumes on local stock markets."

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Majid Al Futtaim proposed subordinated perpetual notes assigned 'BB+' issue rating - Business Intelligence Middle East - bi-me.com - News, analysis, reports

"Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said today that it had assigned its 'BB+' issue rating to the proposed, optionally deferrable, and deeply subordinated hybrid capital securities to be issued by Dubai-based retail property company Majid Al Futtaim Holding LLC (MAF Holding; BBB/Stable/A-2) through MAF Global Securities Ltd. and unconditionally and irrevocably guaranteed on a joint and several basis by MAF Holding and Majid Al Futtaim Properties LLC. The instruments are perpetual.

We understand that the transaction currency is U.S. dollars and the volume of the hybrid capital securities is subject to market conditions, but will not exceed 15% of the MAF group's capitalization.

We consider the proposed hybrid capital securities to have "intermediate" equity content until their first call dates, which are not expected to be before 2018, because they meet our hybrid capital criteria in terms of their subordination, permanence, and optional deferability during this period."

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BBC News - Building boom aims to stem Saudi housing crisis - Click for video

"Saudi Arabia's construction industry is booming, but while smart Dubai-style units are springing up in big cities, the country is still facing a growing housing crisis.

The government is investing $67bn in a scheme to build nearly 500,000 new homes in the coming years, but will this be enough to meet demand?

Katy Watson reports."

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UAE's non-oil producing private sector output levels and rate of job creation rise, reveals HSBC UAE PMI survey - Business Intelligence Middle East - bi-me.com - News, analysis, reports

"According to the HSBC United Arab Emirates PMI™, the UAE's non-oil producing private sector companies reported a further increase in output levels in April. While new orders continued to rise sharply, the rate of increase eased to the slowest in a year. Meanwhile, employment levels rose at the fastest pace in two years.

The seasonally adjusted HSBC United Arab Emirates PMI™ - a composite indicator designed to provide a single-figure snapshot of the performance of the non-oil private sector - posted 54.0 in April, down slightly from 54.3 in March, and pointed to a further improvement of operating conditions in the UAE. While April data marked the forty-fourth successive improvement, the latest reading was the lowest in five survey periods.

Output levels in the UAE's non-oil producing private sector rose further during the latest survey period. Increased incoming new business and improving market conditions were cited by panellists as having contributed to the latest rise."

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Fake Plastic Souks: The Cost Of Being An Expat ht @alexandermcnabb

"First things first: I'm not complaining. We've lived here a long time because we like it here. I won't bore you with all our 'reasons to be cheerful' but suffice to say they are legion.

But there's a report in today's Gulf News, which talks about how 60% of young Emiratis surveyed are apprehensive but not frightened of the UAE's overwhelmingly expat demographic - 85% of the overall population here is expat - it's higher in Dubai, which is 90% expat.

That's nothing new. The UAE population has been numerically dominated by its expat workforce since the year dot."

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Qatar Petroleum Buys Congo Stake as Investment at Home Declines - Bloomberg

"Qatar Petroleum International agreed to purchase a stake in Total SA’s (FP) Congo operations, its first investment in an overseas offshore oil field, amid a slowdown in energy spending at home.
The foreign investment arm of Qatar Petroleum, the state-run energy company, will participate in a 15 percent capital increase for the Republic of Congo unit, Total and Qatar Petroleum International, or QPI, said in a joint e-mailed statement. QPI will contribute to Total’s investment in Congo, specifically the Moho North project, the companies said today.
Qatar is acquiring oil and gas reserves abroad amid a halt to development of the country’s North Field, the world’s largest gas reservoir. The Congo agreement came one month after QPI and Centrica Plc (CNA) agreed to buy natural gas fields in Canada from Suncor Energy Inc. (SU) for C$1 billion ($965 million)."

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Qatar Central Bank Still Backs Riyal-Dollar Peg, Governor Says - Bloomberg

"Qatar’s central bank governor said his country hasn’t changed its support for pegging the riyal to the U.S. dollar after Reuters reported that the bank’s director of research urged a more flexible exchange rate.
“He is not reflecting the central bank,” Governor Abdullah Saud Al Thani said in a phone interview, referring to the remarks by research director Khalid Alkhater.
A “more flexible exchange rate” than the dollar peg would be better for managing inflation risks over the next 10 years, Alkhater said in prepared remarks for a conference, according to a Reuters story carried by the Gulf Times."

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Financial litigators of the world, unite | FT Alphaville

"Now here’s a sign of the times…

The Network aims to promote collaboration in international financial matters to help facilitate cost-effective resolution of disputes and avoidance of duplicative and inconsistent adjudication of the same matters in different jurisdictions, thus increasing the likelihood of resolving financial disputes in a way that all market participants will find to be substantively and procedurally fair…
As its first order of business, the International Network issued a declaration calling for the need to improve the legal security of financial markets, introduce best practices and promote collaboration of regulators – measures the founding members believe are needed to effectively promote their clients’ interests.

This would be the International Financial Litigation Network, “a group seeking to facilitate effective cross-border representation for clients in global financial disputes,” founded in a Sixth Avenue conference room on Wednesday. They (wisely) decided not to call themselves the International Network for Financial Litigation in the end. But it is about fighting complex, global fraud."

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