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Sunday, 29 September 2013

Bahrain's Arcapita eyes new investments after first Gulf Chapter 11 | Reuters

Bahrain's Arcapita eyes new investments after first Gulf Chapter 11 | Reuters:

"* New Arcapita entity eyes new deals after Chap. 11 - CEO

* Firm split in two after restructuring - one holds existing assets

* Other to manage asset sale process, complete new deals

* Targeting health, edu, logistics sectors; assets yielding 8 pct

* Brand still carries credibility with investors

* First Gulf firm to use Chap. 11 process

By David French

DUBAI, Sept 29 (Reuters) - Bahrain-based Arcapita is aiming to build a new asset management firm with a debut local deal in the logistics, education or healthcare sector as the company recovers from the first Chapter 11 bankruptcy process undertaken by a Gulf Arab entity.

The Islamic investment firm emerged from Chapter 11 on Sept. 17 after seeking court protection in March 2012 under hedge fund pressure ahead of the repayment of a $1.1 billion Islamic loan.

Under the court-approved restructuring plan, Arcapita is to be split into two entities: one which will hold the existing company assets as they are sold down to pay creditors, with a second in charge of the process' management."

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Etisalat talks for Maroc Telecom stake extended - Your Middle East

Etisalat talks for Maroc Telecom stake extended - Your Middle East:

"UAE's telecom giant Etisalat said on Sunday that the period for its binding offer and exclusive talks to buy Vivendi's 53 percent stake in Maroc Telecom has been extended tol October 31.

The Abu Dhabi-based telecom giant on July 22 made a binding offer to buy Vivendi's stake in the Moroccan operator, valuing each of Maroc Telecom's shares at 92.6 dirhams ($11.2).

The offer put the value of Vivendi's stake at 3.9 billion euros ($5.27 billion), according to Etisalat, and granted it a period of exclusivity for the acquisition until September 25.

Vivendi said in July that if approved, the sale to the Emirates Telecommunications Corp would bring in a total 4.2 billion euros ($5.67 billion) in cash, including 310 million euros dividends for 2012."

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UPDATE 1-Qatar GDP growth slows marginally to 6.0 pct in Q2 | Reuters

UPDATE 1-Qatar GDP growth slows marginally to 6.0 pct in Q2 | Reuters:

"Qatar's real growth in gross domestic product slowed slightly to 6.0 percent year-on-year in the second quarter of 2013 from 6.2 percent in the first, dampened by a drop in global oil prices, data showed on Sunday.

GDP rose 0.6 percent from the first quarter, according to the Ministry of Planning and Statistics.

Output of the mining and quarrying sector, which includes oil and gas production and accounts for more than 40 percent of GDP, rose only 1.0 percent from a year earlier.

Most other areas expanded much faster, with the financial and real estate sector growing 15.4 percent and the construction sector growing 11.4 percent as Qatar pushed forward billions of dollars worth of infrastructure projects."

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MIDEAST STOCKS-Dubai surges to 5-year high on heavy buying; Gulf mixed | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Dubai surges to 5-year high on heavy buying; Gulf mixed | Reuters:

"* Highest Dubai turnover since spike on June 3

* Retail investors bet on small-caps

* Rise in land transaction fee doesn't hurt property stocks

* Saudi large-caps sold before Q3 earnings

* Egypt fails to confirm break of technical resistance

By Nadia Saleem

DUBAI, Sept 29 (Reuters) - Dubai's shares rose to their highest level in almost five years in heavy trading on Sunday as retail investors bet on small-caps ahead of third-quarter earnings, while other regional markets were mixed.

Dubai's benchmark advanced 1.2 percent to 2,771 points, its highest finish since November 2008, taking year-to-date gains to 70.8 percent. Turnover surged to 1.3 billion dirhams ($354 million), the biggest daily value since a spike on June 3.

"We have a lot of catalysts - real estate is doing well, the Expo 2020 decision is coming up and later, people will start gearing up for the MSCI upgrade," said Amer Khan, fund manager at Shuaa Asset Management. "Political risk has dissipated and the outlook is positive.""

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Finance Ministry Plans Domestic Borrowing of $6.2Bln | Business | The Moscow Times

Finance Ministry Plans Domestic Borrowing of $6.2Bln | Business | The Moscow Times:

"The Finance Ministry may borrow 200 billion rubles ($6.19 billion) less than initially planned from domestic debt markets this year, broadly in line with current market expectations, the ministry said Friday.

Demand for local-currency emerging market debt has been subdued recently due to expectations of tighter monetary policy from the U.S. Federal Reserve.

Russia missed its third-quarter funding target for treasury bonds, placing about 177 billion rubles ($5.52 billion) out of the 270 billion rubles planned between July to September. It has placed 529 billion rubles in treasury bonds so far this year out of the 753 billion rubles on offer.

But with one of the lowest debt burdens among major world economies it is under little pressure to ensure it meets its initial target for domestic borrowing this year of 1.2 trillion rubles.

"There is a risk of not borrowing [200 billion rubles]. We have a chance to borrow, but at a high yield. That is why we would prefer to use oil revenues, rather than raising rates on the market," Finance Minister Anton Siluanov told journalists.

"

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Oman extends social insurance to self-employed citizens | GulfNews.com

Oman extends social insurance to self-employed citizens | GulfNews.com:

"Oman has extended social insurance coverage for all self-employed Omanis with a new Royal Decree on social insurance coverage.
Giving details of the measure, Shaikh Abdullah Bin Nasser Al Bakri, Minister of Manpower and Chairman of the Public Authority for Social Insurance (PASI) Board, said that the insurance coverage provided by the system isn’t confined to a specific segment of private business owner, but includes all types of self-employmed citizens such as lawyers, doctors, engineers, accountants, auditors, fishermen and the like.
He said that the PASI was continuously striving to extend the umbrella of social insurance and has gone a long way in providing social insurance for self-employed Omanis by devising legislation and mechanisms that ensure the application of the system to the target segments."

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Dubai's Al-Futtaim inks deal for Oman's biggest mall - Retail - ArabianBusiness.com

Dubai's Al-Futtaim inks deal for Oman's biggest mall - Retail - ArabianBusiness.com:

"Dubai-based Al-Futtaim said on Sunday it has signed an agreement with officials in Oman to build the country's largest retail mall.
Oman Tourism Development Company (Omran) and the Omani National Investment Funds Company SAOC (NIFCO) have signed a memorandum of understanding with Al-Futtaim for the development and management of the project in Muscat.
The mall will be located next to the proposed Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre and will be home to the first IKEA store in Muscat and other renowned global brands such as Marks & Spencer and Toys R Us, a statement said.
It added that the mall will also feature an entertainment and food court complex."

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Abu Dhabi's Al Hilal Bank eyes benchmark dollar sukuk this week | Reuters

Abu Dhabi's Al Hilal Bank eyes benchmark dollar sukuk this week | Reuters:

"Abu Dhabi government-owned Al Hilal Bank plans to issue a five-year benchmark-sized Islamic bond offering this week, a document from lead managers said on Sunday, in what would be the lender's debut debt sale.

Initial price thoughts on the dollar-denominated offering have been set at 190 basis points over midswaps, the document said. Benchmark-size is traditionally understood to mean at least $500 million.

Al Hilal, fully-owned by state fund Abu Dhabi Investment Council, is due to conclude meetings with fixed-income investors on Monday in London.

Citigroup, HSBC, National Bank of Abu Dhabi and Standard Chartered are arranging the roadshows, along with Al Hilal itself.

The unlisted bank expects net profit growth of over 40 percent this year, its chief executive said earlier in September."

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Oman looks beyond Iran sanctions for gas lifeline | Reuters

Oman looks beyond Iran sanctions for gas lifeline | Reuters:

"* Oman laying political foundations for future gas imports

* Sanctions, price disagreement, technical challenges big hurdles

* Iran liquefied natural gas exports from Oman unlikely

By Daniel Fineren

DUBAI, Sept 29 (Reuters) - If Iranian President Hassan Rouhani's dream of reaching a deal with world powers on Tehran's nuclear program in six months comes true, Oman, an important intermediary in the dispute, could be a big winner.

There have been too many false dawns in Iran's decade-old standoff with the West over Tehran's nuclear programme to bank on Rouhani's call in New York last week for a deal within 3-6 months.

But in the weeks leading up to Rouhani's first foreign trip since he became president in August, Omani officials have been visiting Tehran in a bid to buy Iranian gas in the hope that some day sanctions on Iran will be lifted and Oman can finally get the supplies it desperately needs over the Strait of Hormuz."

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Oman's Bank Dhofar CEO resigns amid merger talks | Reuters

Oman's Bank Dhofar CEO resigns amid merger talks | Reuters:

"Bank Dhofar, the Omani lender planning to merge with smaller peer Bank Sohar, said on Sunday that its chief executive Anthony Mahoney had resigned for personal reasons.

Bank Dhofar has appointed Abdul Omar Al-Ojaili as its acting chief executive, the lender said in a bourse statement. Mahoney's resignation was effective Sept. 26, it said.

In July, Bank Dhofar said it had approached Bank Sohar with a view to merging the two entities and creating Oman's second-largest bank. The new entity would have total assets worth 4.1 billion rials ($10.7 billion), according to quarterly financial statements, and a market capitalisation of around $1.8 billion.

While banking consolidation in a number of Gulf countries has long been called for, little has happened as major shareholders, often powerful local families, are reluctant to cede control unless they are offered high valuations."

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Oman may issue sovereign, Islamic bonds in 2014 -c.bank | Reuters

Oman may issue sovereign, Islamic bonds in 2014 -c.bank | Reuters:

"Oman's government may issue an international sovereign bond and an Islamic bond next year, its central bank chief Hamood Sangour al-Zadjali said on Sunday.

He said it was still too early to provide details on the size of the bonds. His comments were in line with previous remarks by government officials; the country faces increasing pressure on its state finances because of rising expenditure, which is expected to prompt it to return to the international debt market for the first time since 1997.

"The planned sovereign bond is still in discussions. We could issue next year," Zadjali told Reuters on the sidelines of a meeting of Arab central bank governors in Abu Dhabi.

Meanwhile, Oman aims to develop its fledgling Islamic finance industry, and a debut issue of sukuk by the government would be a major step towards that."

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Tenant fined for offering tuition in her home | GulfNews.com

Tenant fined for offering tuition in her home | GulfNews.com:

"Residents planning to offer any commercial activities including private tuition for students in their homes should think twice as they could face a fine.
Several property developers have confirmed that tenants living in their buildings are not allowed to carry out any commercial transactions, whether be offering tuition or babysitting, as it breaches their tenancy contract.
In a recent incident, Gulf News learned a tenant living in Muhaisnah, Bur Dubai area, was fined Dh800 by the property developer after a company representative visited the flat and discovered that she was offering classes to more than 10 students.
As a repercussion, tenants who used to babysit for their neighbours have flatly refused to do so in fear of also being slapped with a fine."

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Fake Plastic Souks: We Is Own Your House

Fake Plastic Souks: We Is Own Your House:

"
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
"Umm, excuse me? What do you think you're doing?"
"I'm grilling smoked mackerel using a portable barbecue in your living room. I would have thought that's obvious."
"I can see what you're actually doing, I suppose what I meant was why are you doing it in my property? Get out!"
"Well, it's not actually your property."
"Yes it is, I bought it from you. Dare to dream, live to love, born to breathe. Remember?  A sophisticated lifestyle bathed in the warmth of family freedom. All mine. Off plan. Freehold. "
"We don't use the F word anymore. It's nmkl pjkl ftmch. And if you read today's Gulf News, you'll see that Dubai Municipality has confirmed that developers are regarded as the owners of the buildings.""

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Stampede to complete Dubai property deals before transfer fees double | The National

Stampede to complete Dubai property deals before transfer fees double | The National:

"Property brokers are predicting a rush to seal deals this week before transfer fees double in Dubai next Sunday.

The Dubai Land Department’s new policy, which is targeting the property flipping that can sometimes inflate real estate bubbles, is putting pressure on agents to close sales ahead of schedule. Sunday is the first day the regulator will be open since it announced the fee rise on Thursday.

Other deals that rely on mortgages, which require extra time, are in danger of falling through as buyers and sellers bicker over who pays the extra fee – an extra Dh50,000 for a Dh2.5 million Dubai apartment or Dh120,000 for a Dh6 million villa.

“If people have signed the MoUs and they are not under mortgage, everybody will be rushing to finalise this week,” said Ghada Ghannam, a senior residential agent at Better Homes. “This was a shock for everyone.”"

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IMG Group seeks builders for Dubai’s Mall of Arabia | The National

IMG Group seeks builders for Dubai’s Mall of Arabia | The National:

"
The constructed frame for City of Arabia located near Global Village.
 Razan Alzayani / The National

The developer behind a US$1 billion Dubailand theme park due to open next year is preparing to seek builders for the long-awaited Mall of Arabia.

Tenders for the planned mall are set to go out next year as Ilyas and Mustafa Galadari (IMG) Group expects to open Dubai’s first theme park complex within its City of Arabia development by the middle of 2014.

The IMG Worlds of Adventure theme park will comprise the first phase of the mixed-use project City of Arabia project located on Emirates Road. The mall is part of the second phase. The overall development will also include a 12-screen cinema."

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Dubai gets its confidence back on the property front – and risk returns | The National

Dubai gets its confidence back on the property front – and risk returns | The National:

"Confidence is back in the UAE economy. With it, risk-taking on the property market is gradually coming back too – on the part of both banks and consumers.

As the Dubai authorities move to curb a second speculative bubble by doubling property transfer fees, many end-user investors are still confident that the property rebound is gaining traction.

Despite having seen the effects of the property crash that followed the last boom, buyers are hoping that recent rises in real estate values could signal a resumption of the 2006-07 property bull market, said Jean-Luc Desbois, the managing director of Home Matters, a mortgage consultancy.

Many recent mortgage buyers have been “people that missed the boom and felt they missed an opportunity,” Mr Desbois said. “People have thought ‘I don’t want to miss this opportunity’, and there’s a lot of people like that.”"

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Ukraine lobby sees sharp fall in 2014 winter wheat area - The Western Producer

Ukraine lobby sees sharp fall in 2014 winter wheat area - The Western Producer:

"Heavy rain across Ukraine, which has already slowed winter grain sowing, may slash the area under winter grains sown for 2014 to about 7.4 million acres from 20 million as originally expected, Ukrainian grain lobby UAC said on Friday.

Leonid Kozachenko, president of the Ukrainian Agrarian Confederation, told reporters that fields were too wet for seeding machines and the optimum time for sowing had passed.

Kozachenko amended the estimate he initially gave on Friday, saying that the total grain area, sowing for 2014, was likely to include six million acres of winter wheat. That is compared with the government plan of sowing about 17 million acres of winter wheat this year.

Earlier he said he expected the area under winter wheat to fall by around five million acres."

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