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Monday, 3 June 2013

Household debt | The Economist

"In the years leading up to the financial crisis, household debt soared in most rich countries. There were a couple of notable exceptions: Germany and Japan, neither of which experienced a housing boom that caused debt to accumulate. The ratio of debt to disposable income rose by an average of 30 percentage points, to 130%, in OECD countries between pre-boom 2000 and pre-crisis 2007. Since then debt levels have fallen in America, Britain and Germany, but they have continued to rise in countries such as France, Italy and the Netherlands, where property prices are still declining. In 2012 household debt in the Netherlands was a whopping 285% of disposable income.

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Kaloti drives Dubai’s rising share of precious metals refining - FT.com

"For Munir Alkaloti, it all started with the Abu Dhabi oil rush in the early 1960s. As the world’s leading oil companies descended on the Gulf emirate, their waste became another man’s treasure.
Mr Alkaloti, newly arrived from Jordan and with a mind for business, started to clear the yards for those oil majors – feasting on an abundance of scrap metal. The rule was simple, if the magnet in his pocket did not attract it, then it was worth money."

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UAE creates $15 billion aluminium firm in state merger | Reuters

"The United Arab Emirates is merging its two flagship state aluminum firms to create the world's fifth largest aluminum company with an enterprise value of $15 billion.

The merger will improve efficiency and help the emirate's aluminum industry better compete with rivals in the region. UAE has been planning the move for three years.

The new entity, Emirates Global Aluminium, will be jointly held by Dubai Aluminium (Dubal) and Emirates Aluminium (Emal). Dubal is owned by the Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD,) while Emal is a joint venture between Abu Dhabi state sovereign fund Mubadala and ICD."

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London's new-build residential housing pays dividends for Middle East investors - Business Intelligence Middle East - bi-me.com - News, analysis, reports

"Cluttons, the real estate specialist which has enjoyed a dedicated Middle Eastern presence since 1976, is pleased to announce the release of an independent new research paper, “One size does not fit all: diverse opportunities in London’s rental market.”

The paper highlights the popularity of new-build housing stock in London amongst international investors and the potential for high returns. Cluttons notes that much of this international investment appetite comes from the Asia Pacific and GCC regions, whose buyers are additionally incentivised by favourable currency exchange rates.

The research, undertaken on behalf of Cluttons, notes that new-build housing stock offers a strategic opportunity for international residential investors. These new properties are efficient, often have lower management costs and can be tailored to match distinctive renter profiles, which have been identified by the research. New-build rental accommodation can also achieve a rental premium due to location and quality, making it attractive to highly skilled workers, who are increasingly attracted to the British capital."

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MIDEAST STOCKS-Kuwait drops most in 7 months; regional mkts mixed | Reuters

"Kuwait's bourse suffered its largest one-day drop in seven months on Sunday in a profit-taking move analysts said was long overdue, while UAE markets extended their bullish run and other regional exchanges were mixed.

Kuwait's index lost 3 percent, down for a third session since Tuesday's 53-month peak and its biggest daily decline since October 2012.

"It was panic selling today rather than structured profit-taking but, nevertheless, it's a long overdue corrective move," said Fouad Darwish, head of brokerage at Global Investment House."

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U.A.E., Qatar Potential Candidates for MSCI Upgrade, HSBC Says - Bloomberg

"The United Arab Emirates and Qatar could be upgraded to emerging-market status at MSCI Inc. (MSCI) this month after both nations improved market accessibility, HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA) said in a report.
Morocco could be reclassified to frontier market from emerging market because of “diminished liquidity,” HSBC said. The U.A.E. and Qatar have improved their delivery-versus-payment systems and now include the buyer-cash-compensation procedure, where the buying investor is paid in cash if a security is unavailable for delivery on settlement day, the report said.
“An upgrade will potentially result in access to a larger pool of investments,” HSBC analysts Vijay Sumon and Joaquim de Lima wrote in a research report dated May 31. The move could see more than $430 million flowing into Qatar and about $370 million into the U.A.E., they said."

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Related Cos., Abu Dhabi firm and West Palm developer are three... | www.mypalmbeachpost.com

"The three entities who wanted their names to remain confidential as they negotiate with West Palm Beach for the city-owned site once designated for the Digital Domain Institute are the Related Cos. of New York, developer Michael McCloskey and HUB Holdings of Abu Dabhi, multiple sources have told The Palm Beach Post.
Potential uses for the site appear to include another digital venture as well as medical, educational or finanacial services, although the sources either were often vague about such details or provided none.

The three entities last month used a state law that allows individuals or companies to seek confidentiality when negotiating with a local government’s economic development agency for economic incentives either to relocate or expand their business in Florida."

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Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank repays government funds in full - Alarabiya.net English | Front Page

"Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) has repaid the remaining 2.6 billion dirhams ($713.3 million) of a Dh6.6bn loan facility it received from the government in the wake of the global financial crisis, the bank said in a statement on Sunday.

ADCB, the United Arab Emirates’ third-largest lender by market value, had repaid Dh4bn of the loan in March 2013.

The United Arab Emirates Ministry of Finance injected Dh70bn into the banks to shore up balance sheets after the collapse of Lehman Brothers in September 2008 triggered a crisis in the global financial system."

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Bahrain budget deficit widens to $601m in 2012, below plan - Alarabiya.net English | Front Page

"Bahrain’s budget deficit widened sevenfold in 2012 to 227 million dinars ($601m), but stayed well below an initial plan as the country reined in spending increases and revenue grew, data showed.
The 2012 deficit was much lower than the 1.33 billion dinars initially foreseen and is equivalent to 2 percent of gross domestic product, up from 0.3 percent in 2011, according to a Reuters calculation based on the official figures.
Government expenditure in the small non-OPEC oil exporter grew 14 percent to 3.26bn dinars, but that was below the 3.85bn planned, the finance ministry data showed."

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Dubai stocks jump 2.7% as Nakheel sells 350 Jumeriah Park villas in five hours « ArabianMoney

"Fresh evidence of a summer boom in Dubai real estate and stocks came yesterday with a 2.7 per cent surge in the Dubai Financial Market to a new high for the year and long queues to buy 350 villas in Jumeirah Park villas which sold out in five hours.

Readers of the ArabianMoney investment newsletter (subscribe here) will recall Jumeirah Park was our top tip for real estate investment over a year ago. Villa prices have surged by up to 50 per cent since then, the best price advance in any location in Dubai."

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Guest post: marketing for Ramadan | beyondbrics

"It’s less than six weeks until Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting, and the busiest marketing time in the Muslim world. So any brand worth its salt should be paying attention to their relationship with Muslim consumers.

In majority-Muslim nations, this is the month when advertisers spend the lion’s share of their marketing budget. But brands are increasingly waking up to the opportunity to engage with minority Muslim populations too, after all consumption rises during Ramadan right across the world’s Muslim communities.

During the recession advertising spend fell and then flatlined during the Arab spring, due to uncertainty over consumer confidence. But recently, there appears to be an upturn."

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