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Wednesday, 29 May 2013

IFA receives buyout offer from Kuwait’s KSCC | Transport & Tourism | BDlive

"JSE-listed IFA Hotels & Resorts on Wednesday said it had received a firm intention from Kuwait-based IFA Hotels & Resorts KSCC to acquire the issued ordinary shares in the capital of IFA Hotels & Resorts it did not already own.

IFA Hotels and Resorts, based on the north coast of KwaZulu-Natal, is a subsidiary of IFA Hotels & Resorts KSCC — which holds 85% of its shares. The acquisition would result in the delisting of IFA Hotels & Resorts from the main board of the JSE.

“The intention is to convert IFA to a private company, subject to the provisions of the Companies Act, subsequent to the implementation of the delisting,” the company said. The offer would be implemented through a scheme of arrangement between IFA Hotels & Resorts and shareholders."

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Dilapidation, decay and despair in Iran’s economic heartland - FT.com

"The remote industrial complex of Lia boasts one of the larger concentrations of factories in Iran’s northwest – not that you would know it if you visited on a working day.
While Lia is home to hundreds of small businesses and thousands of workers, traffic is slow and there are few workers on the streets. It is a sign, businessmen say, of how much domestic industry has suffered in recent years, hit hard not just by international sanctions but by the populist policies of Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad, the out­going president."

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FACTBOX - Developments in women's rights in Saudi Arabia

Women walk past an empty coffee shop during summer, with temperatures rising above 42 degrees Celsius (108 degrees Fahrenheit) in Riyadh July 12, 2007. REUTERS/Ali Jarekji
"Saudi Arabia, which is considered one of the most conservative countries in the world, especially in regards to women’s rights, has in recent months taken some steps to grant its women more freedoms.

 Here is a look at the latest developments in women’s rights in the kingdom.

   * POLITICS- In February, King Abdullah swore in the country's first female members of the Shura Council, an appointed body that advises on new laws, in a move that has riled conservative clerics in the Islamic monarchy."

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Saudi Arabia: Spending power - FT.com

Cash flows: shopaholics are one of the more visible signs of a boom
"Women in traditional black abayas huddle at an entrance to the Granada Centre in north Riyadh; not even torrential rain can deter them from the “shopping extravaganza” promised within.
It is shutters-up time on a midweek evening and the crowd is swelling, eager to sample the mall’s myriad consumer goods stores, including seven lingerie shops and 22 jewellery and watch outlets.
“If you go out after 8.30 now, you see these hordes,” marvels one long-time Saudi resident of a ritual repeated nightly across the country’s desert capital. “It’s amazing what’s happening. They buy everything.”"

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MIDEAST STOCKS-Bluechips lift Qatar to new 28-mth high; most Gulf mkts up | Reuters

"Qatar's bluechips helped lift the bourse to a new 28-month high on Wednesday, while most other Gulf markets also gained.

Doha's index climbed 1 percent to its highest close since January 2011. The market is up 9.6 percent in 2013, underperforming other regional bourses.

"Qatar has been lagging the region and a catch up play is in order," said Ahmed Shehada, head of trading at Qatar National Bank Financial Services."

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Best OPEC Discipline Since 2011 No Proof for $100 Oil - Bloomberg

"OPEC’s best adherence to its production ceiling in 18 months is failing to buoy the outlook for crude oil prices, raising pressure on the group to pare supplies amid burgeoning U.S. output.
While all but one of 20 analysts in a Bloomberg survey predict the 12-member organization will maintain its target of 30 million barrels a day at its May 31 meeting in Vienna, most say OPEC needs to conform better with the limit to keep supply from overwhelming demand. Societe Generale SA says the necessary reduction could be “substantial.” The Centre for Global Energy Studies says prices may tumble without output curbs."

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The Decline of the Middle Class - @Qantara.de

"More than two years have passed since the start of the so-called "Arab Spring" in Tunisia. What began as a fight for social justice became an ideological tug-of-war between Islamists and secular forces. But while the elite engage in theoretical debate, the economic crisis deepens. Katharina Pfannkuch reports

It's the same story once every four weeks: when the middle of the month rolls around, there is virtually nothing left of Kais' income. "I don't lead a posh life; I rarely eat out," says Kais, an electronic engineer, "I just go out for a beer with my friends once a week." Kais spends his money on everyday things such as food, rent, and electricity. The 29-year-old Tunisian studied in Germany and is one of the country's many highly qualified young people who fought with hope and enthusiasm for a new Tunisia two years ago."

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Overtime in the UAE: how it works - Business Intelligence Middle East - bi-me.com - News, analysis, reports

"The nature of many jobs often requires an employee to work over time. Whether or not an employee will be entitled to overtime (as well as the applicable rate) under Federal Law No 8 of 1980 on the Regulation of Labour Relations (as amended) (UAE Labour Law) is often an intricate issue, and depends on the role of the employee, the time the overtime is completed and the working time system the company has in place.

Normal working hours
Under the UAE Labour Law, an employee's normal working day should not exceed 8 hours. An employer is also able to request an employee to perform up to 2 hours of additional work which will be treated as overtime. In return for working the additional 2 hours, the employee is entitled to overtime pay equivalent to the wage paid during ordinary working hours plus an additional amount of not less than 25% of the total remuneration (i.e. basic salary plus allowances) for the overtime period."

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End of service gratuity in the UAE: a recap - Business Intelligence Middle East - bi-me.com - News, analysis, reports

"End of service gratuity (Gratuity) is a key benefit for non-national employees working in each of the GCC countries.

Both Federal Law No 8 of 1980 on the Regulation of Labour Relations (as amended) (UAE Labour Law) and DIFC Law No 4 of 2005 (as amended by DIFC Law No. 3 of 2012) (DIFC Employment Law) set out a formula for calculating Gratuity and contain specific provisions providing for reduction of the entitlement in certain circumstances.

However, how to calculate Gratuity and what rate of accrual should be adopted is often not clear cut. Here, we examine some of the more intricate factors."

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S&P Raises Saudi Arabia Outlook to Positive - Bloomberg

"Saudi Arabia’s credit rating outlook was raised to “positive” from “stable” by Standard & Poor’s because of an improved outlook for growth in the Arab world’s biggest economy.
Saudi Arabia’s AA- rating, the fourth-highest investment grade, may be raised in the next 24 months if economic growth “remains strong,” the rating company said in a statement. It was the first change in the country’s outlook by S&P since 2007.
“Growth fundamentals are strengthening in Saudi Arabia,” the rating company said in a statement. “The economy has expanded strongly and steadily.”"

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Deyaar Gains Most in 3 Weeks on $46 Million Sales: Dubai Mover - Bloomberg

"Deyaar Development PJSC (DEYAAR) headed for the biggest gain in three weeks after the Dubai-based builder of residential and commercial property sold real estate valued at 170 million dirhams ($46 million).
The shares climbed 3.4 percent, set for the biggest advance since May 9, to 42.4 fils at 1:36 p.m. in Dubai. The stock was the second-most active on Dubai’s benchmark index, after Arabtec Holding Co. (ARTC), with about 113 million shares traded, or four times the three-month daily average. Arabtec, a construction company, jumped 7.2 percent and Dubai’s benchmark DFM General Index (DFMGI) rose 0.8 percent.
Dubai, home to the world’s tallest tower, is embarking on new developments including a district that includes the world’s biggest shopping mall and a complex of five theme parks. The emirate’s real-estate market is rebounding after property prices plunged at the onset of the global credit crisis in 2008. The recovery helped Deyaar more than double profit in the first quarter. The company reported a 2.9 billion-dirham loss in 2010."

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Dubai Firms Target Arab Spring Economies on Spending - Bloomberg

"Abraaj Group, the Dubai-based private equity firm with $7.5 billion in assets, is among Gulf investors targeting acquisitions in North Africa as a surging population boosts demand for products from health care to food and banking.
Abraaj plans to raise as much as $250 million for a second North Africa fund after fully investing its first, Ahmed Badreldin, the firm’s head of the Middle East and North Africa, said in an interview. Majid Al Futtaim Holding LLC, a Dubai-based owner and operator of malls and hypermarkets, is buying the Metro supermarket chain in Egypt and is also building a mall outside Cairo, Chief Executive Officer Iyad Malas said."

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Investors making more on real estate and stocks in Dubai than anywhere else in the world « ArabianMoney

"Dubai is a city that likes to be the biggest and best and indeed the Guiness Book of Records has opened an office here. And currently investors are making more on real estate and stocks in Dubai than anywhere else in the world, as the only independent investment newsletter for the region published by ArabianMoney reveals this month (subscribe here).

ArabianMoney editor and publisher Peter Cooper goes onto the floor of the Dubai Financial Market in the latest issue to swap stories with veteran broker Mohammed Ali Yasin, managing director of the National Bank of Abu Dhabi’s brokerage arm Abu Dhabi Financial Services."

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SEDCO Capital Global Funds (SCGF) offers the latest innovations by applying, for the first time, an ESG filter on its Shariah-compliant investment funds - Zawya

" SEDCO Capital Global Funds (SCGF), the Luxembourg based asset manager and leading provider of Shariah compliant investment solutions, today announces the first ever Shariah-compliant funds managed according to environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles.

The SEDCO Capital US Equities Fundamental Indexing® Fund and SEDCO Capital Global Higher Dividend Yield Fund are screened for compliance with international conventions and guidelines on environment, human rights and business ethics such as UN Global Compact, OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, ILO Core LaborConventions, Environmental Conventions and Weapons-related Conventions. Non-compliance is dealt with through a process of engagement and exclusion. The funds will also incorporate proxy voting according to best corporate governance standards in its ESG programme."

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Saudi Arabia’s Naimi Says Crude Oil Market in Best Situation (2) - Businessweek

"Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest crude exporter, is content with current conditions in the oil market, the kingdom’s petroleum minister said three days before OPEC members meet to assess the group’s output policy.

“This is the best environment for the market,” Ali al-Naimi told reporters today in Vienna when asked about the balance of supply and demand. “Demand is great,” al-Naimi said as he arrived at his hotel.

The 12-member Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will review its collective production target on May 31 at the group’s headquarters in the Austrian capital. OPEC, which supplies about 40 percent of the world’s oil, kept its official output ceiling unchanged at 30 million barrels a day the last time it met, in December."

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Qatar BoP swings to $16bn surplus in 2012: QNB

"Qatar’s overall balance of payments have swung to a $16bn surplus in 2012 from a $14bn deficit in 2011, which reflects changes in the country’s international reserves, the Qatar National Bank (QNB) said in a report.

The 2011 deficit was mainly due to large capital outflows for investment abroad and occurred despite the rapid expansion in exports revenue, which had almost doubled since 2008 driven by higher hydrocarbon prices and increased production of gas and related products.

“We expect the overall surplus to shrink slightly in 2013- 14, mainly owing to slightly lower hydrocarbon prices resulting in a lower current-account surplus,” QNB said in its Qatar Economic Insight 2013."

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