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Saturday, 13 July 2013

Abu Dhabi conglomerate Al Jaber on track with $4.5bn deal for creditors - The National

"Al Jaber Group, the Abu Dhabi conglomerate with interests in construction, engineering and marine services, is set to announce a deal with creditors to complete a US$4.5 billion financial restructuring that has taken nearly three years to negotiate.

Bankers involved in the talks with about 20 creditors, speaking on condition of anonymity because the negotiations were private, said a deal to reschedule debts was "materially" complete, and an announcement could be expected "shortly".

Al Jaber is one of the biggest industrial groupings in the UAE, employing more than 50,000 people. It got into financial trouble in 2010 when it was unable to meet some repayment terms on loans."

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GLG Delays Sibanthracite IPO as Investors Shun Mining Stocks - Bloomberg

"A GLG Partners unit delayed an initial public offering of Russian coal miner Sibanthracite Plc, citing market weakness and a lack of interest in mining stocks.
The company had insufficient investor demand on the last day of the sale, said three people with knowledge of the process. GLG Emerging Markets Growth Fund may consider selling its stake in Sibanthracite off the market, one of the people said, asking not to be named as the details aren’t yet public.
The fund, a unit of the U.K.’s GLG, had attempted to sell a 25 percent stake in the supplier of high-grade anthracite coal at $7 to $9.50 per depositary receipt in London. Investors have recoiled from mining stocks as prices for coal and other commodities tumble amid weakening demand."

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Kohinoor Foods to sell 20% stake in Dubai subsidiary | Business Standard

"Kohinoor Foods (KFL), one of India’s largest basmati rice and ready to eat foodstuff producers, plans to sell 20% stake at Rs 160 each in its Dubai subsidiary Rich Rice Raisers Factory LLC (RRR) to Al Dahra, an Abu Dhabi based agri specific company.

It was not immediately known as to home much share KFL was owning in RRR. Repeated efforts to reach Gurnam Arora, Joint managing director of KFL, did not elicit any response. KFL did not divulge the use of sale proceeds in a statement to the Bombay Stock Exchange on Friday.

RRR was established as a joint venture company in 2000 in Dubai to augment its marketing strengths in the middle-east region. Sunny General Trading (SGT) was holding 75% stake in RRR. KFL aimed to leverage Sunny’s strong distribution network for food products in UAE. SGT is a food importer and retailer in the Middle East."

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UAE markets’ performance |

"After last week’s strong performance in both UAE markets the near-term outlook is pointing higher. This is supported by an upside breakout in oil a couple of weeks ago, along with renewed strength in global equity markets, such as in the US, Germany, the UK and Hong Kong.
Dubai Last week the Dubai Financial Market General Index (DFMGI) gained 127.49 or 5.63 per cent to close at 2,391.63. Strength was widespread with 23 advancing issues and only six declining, while volume was just slightly lower than the prior week.
Given last week’s powerful advance, along with the Abu Dhabi market exceeding prior highs, it looks like the recent 12.7 per cent correction in the DFMGI may be over. A daily close above the recent peak of 2,500.56 is now needed to confirm the sustainability of last week’s rally and will signal a continuation of the 18-month uptrend. The index would then be targeting the 2,712 price area, followed by a potential monthly resistance zone from approximately 2,870 to 3,049."

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Saudi Arabia May Dump German Deal, Buy American Tanks Instead

"Don't look now, but General Dynamics (NYSE: GD  ) may be about to win another multimillion-dollar weapons contract.

That's the upshot of a new report out of, which itself cites a report in Germany's Handelsblatt newspaper warning that Saudi Arabia is about to cancel a deal to pay Germany $6.5 billion to acquire 270 new Leopard main battle tanks. According to, the Saudis are considering giving the contract to General Dynamics, and buying that company's Abrams main battle tanks, instead.

Reached for comment Friday, General Dynamics Land Systems Communications VP Pete Keating called any Saudi plans to make future tank purchases with GD "speculation." He did allow, however, that the company has favored GD's tanks in the past, having contracted to upgrade 200 to 300 M1A1 and M1A2 Abrams tanks to the M1A2S Saudi version of the tank. Keating noted that about 30% of the tanks under this contract have been delivered so far."

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Quick resolution to the financial mess necessary |

It is generally accepted that the Eurozone needs a banking union with a single regulator if it is to avoid another financial crisis.
Part of the difficulty of dealing with the present sovereign debt debacle in the European Union is the painful, opaque entanglement of financial institutions from different member states. A banking union will provide transparency about how vulnerable financial institutions are across the Eurozone and how they should be wrapped up, if necessary.
While Germany has emerged as the paymaster of the Eurozone — funding the bailout of Greece and Portugal, for example — much of this is in its own self-interest. German financial institutions are among those who lent money to these now over-burdened countries. For now, Germany, not unreasonably, wants to maintain as much influence as possible over the use of the funds it is contributing to the Eurozone bailouts. The European Commission, however, wants responsibility dealing with bad banks to lie with it. This is a clash about political power as much as it is about financial policies. The German government is not likely to relent much as it is facing elections in October. After that, however, both sides must move towards a quick resolution.
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Emirates to expand presence in Eastern Europe |

"Emirates Airlines has unveiled new expansion plans for Eastern Europe with the launch of daily services to Kyiv Boryspil International Airport in Kiev from January 16th, 2014, marking its first route to the Ukraine.
Offering a daily operation with an Airbus A340-500, the new flight will provide convenient global connections, via Dubai, to the country’s population of 45 million, further enhancing the nation’s burgeoning economy.
With a booming agricultural sector, the Ukraine is currently the world’s largest exporter of sunflower oil and a major global producer of grain and sugar."

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Turkey Stocks Cheapest in Year While Profit Growth Outpaces - Bloomberg

"Turkish stocks, the best in the world last year, are now the cheapest in 12 months as political protests and capital flight curb investor appetite for equities.
The Borsa Istanbul-100 Index (XU100), which had lost 22 percent into a bear market from a record on May 22, traded yesterday at 9.2 times the next year’s estimated earnings, near the lowest since July 2012. That compares with 9.9 times for the MSCI Emerging Markets Index and 14 for the Standard & Poor’s 500. While shares fall, profits are estimated to climb 5 percent in the next 12 months, compared with a 7 percent drop for the MSCI EM EMEA Index, according to data compiled by Bloomberg."

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Times of Oman | News :: Oman Air, regional airlines cut fares to lure travellers

"Many airlines operating across the Gulf have slashed return fares to several destinations in Europe, Asia and the Middle East during the Holy month of Ramadan to lure travellers during the lean travel season.

Leading the way is the national carrier Oman Air which is offering 50 per cent discounts on economy class and 25 per cent discounts on business class for passengers travelling between July 7 and August 7, 2013. Oman Air is also offering special fares for Ramadan retreat Khareef in Salalah starting from OMR129 per person. The 'Ramadan Retreat' packages include return flights, accommodations in five star hotels for two nights, airport transfers, taxes, suhoor or buffet breakfasts, and even free Iftar dinners at Hilton and Marriott hotels.

Qatar Airways has also launched special fares during Ramadan. Passengers can save up to 15 per cent on economy and business class fares if they opt to travel between July 9 and July 31, 2013. "

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Oil and Gas Law Key to Resolving Issues Between Baghdad, Erbil - Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East

A Kurdish peshmerga soldier watches over as fuel trucks head through Haj Umran border crossing to Iran, in northeastern Iraq, July 20, 2010. Despite a pledge by Iraqi Kurdistan to crack down on the flow of fuel being smuggled to Iran, the only real impediment truck drivers say they face are long lines that force them to wait for days to cross. (photo by REUTERS/Azad Lashkari)

Iraqi Kurdistan Region Natural Resources Minister Ashti Hawrami said that the shares of oil companies operating in the region have exceeded $3.5 billion. He stressed the importance of the oil and gas law's enactment, and estimated that oil reserves in the three Kurdish governorates are at more than 45 billion barrels.
In an interview with Al-Hayat, Hawrami said that the negotiations with Baghdad will be in accordance with the law, which determines the Kurdistan region’s financial share of federal revenues. “The provincial government informed Baghdad at the beginning of this year that the investing companies requested more than $3.5 billion [in shares], and they are constitutionally entitled to this,” he said.  
He denied Baghdad’s accusations that the region is exporting crude oil without coordinating with Baghdad, adding, “This is taking place under an agreement with Baghdad to export our production, on the condition that 50% of proceeds is deducted to pay companies’ dues, while the other 50% is kept by the state treasury. However, all the proceeds were seized.”

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Emir Signals Change by Replacing HBJ As Head of Qatar Investment Authority - Al-Monitor

"The decision to replace Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim as head of the Qatar Investment Authority, the emirate's sovereign wealth fund has drawn attention for a number of reasons. Hamad had for years been the architect of Qatar's investment policy, an assignment handed to him by former emir Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani.
While the appointment of Ahmad al-Sayed as the new head of the fund was quick and decisive in terms of timing and implications, it was measured and careful in its content, given that Sayed had served as the chief executive officer of Qatar Holding, the sovereign fund's investment arm. Sayed is well known to banks and financial institutions, and the country's production partners knew him to be a close collaborator of Sheikh Hamad and a member of his work team. His new appointment is an additional indication of the continuity within Qatar's political and financial institutions and a message of reassurance to production partners, confirming that the transfer of power to a younger generation is moving ahead by leaps and bounds, but also quietly and firmly, spreading the seeds of change and modernization."

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Winter chill hits airline seat sharing pact with Abu Dhabi | Business Standard

"Air carriers wanting to increase capacity between India and Abu Dhabi will have to wait until next year. For, the civil aviation ministry cannot offer the additional 11,000 seats promised in the new bilateral agreement in the winter schedule (starting October 1).

The delay could impact the plans of two airlines — Jet Airways, which had asked for an additional 42,000 seats, and Etihad, which also wants to fly more capacity into India. But this would come as a relief to others, including domestic carriers connecting India and West Asia, which were fearing a drop in prices if the capacity was increased.

A senior official at the ministry said, “We were to invite airlines to submit their flights plans for West Asian destinations after the agreement was signed with Abu Dhabi in April this year. Based on the individual airlines’ business plans, seat entitlements were to be granted. The re-drafted cabinet note now will be sent in the next one or two weeks. It does not look likely that the redistribution of seats can take place in the upcoming winter schedule.”"

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Saudi Gazette - SBG completes SR1b sukuk sale

"Saudi Binladin Group (SBG), one of the largest construction firms in the Kingdom, has completed a SR1 billion ($266.7 million) Islamic bond sale, two bankers familiar with the matter said.

The transaction, structured as a sukuk al-murabaha, has a one-year lifespan and pays a profit rate of 2.5 percent, the sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

A murabaha is a Shariah-compliant cost-plus-profit arrangement. Binladin Group was not immediately available for comment."

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Saudi Gazette - Bank AlJazira’s net profit rises 29% in Q2

"Bank AlJazira posted a 29 percent increase in net profit in the second quarter of 2013 at SR167 million, compared with SR129 million net profit for the same quarter in last year, the bank said in a statement Thursday. The net increased by 16 percent when compared to the previous quarter results of SR144 million.

The total operating income during the second quarter was SR448 million, compared with SR409 million for the same quarter in the previous year, reflecting an increase of 10 percent.

Net special commission income during the second quarter was SR302 million, compared with SR241 million for the same quarter in the previous year, reflecting an increase of 25 percent."

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