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Monday, 13 January 2014

Etihad in early stages of Alitalia takeover talks - Your Middle East

Etihad in early stages of Alitalia takeover talks - Your Middle East:

"Takeover talks between Emirati carrier Etihad Airways and debt-laden Italian airline Alitalia are still at an early stage, Etihad's chief James Hogan said on Monday.

"It's early days. We are working through the process," Hogan told a news conference hosted by Etihad's German partner Air Berlin.

It was "very premature" to discuss the size of any shareholding to be bought by Etihad, he continued, adding that he had "no plan to make any announcement at the end of this month."

Last month, Etihad confirmed to AFP that it was in talks with Alitalia."

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MIDEAST STOCKS-UAE surges; Qatar in longest winning streak in 3 yrs | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-UAE surges; Qatar in longest winning streak in 3 yrs | Reuters:

"* Dubai's Shuaa up 4 pct after swings to 2013 profit

* Qatar above 11,000 points for first time in 5 years

* Riyad Bank continues surge on Q4 earnings

* But Q4 miss knocks back Banque Saudi Fransi

* Oman's Galfar down in heavy trade on corruption verdict

By Nadia Saleem and Raya Atallah

DUBAI, Jan 13 (Reuters) - United Arab Emirates stock markets surged on Monday because of optimism towards fourth-quarter earnings, while Qatar booked its longest winning streak in over three years as it rose above 11,000 points for the first time since 2008.

Property shares led gains in Dubai, pushing the main index up 1.3 percent to a new five-year high. Union Properties surged 9.6 percent.

Shares in Shuaa Capital climbed 4.0 percent after the investment bank swung to a profit in the fourth quarter of 2013 and for the full year. It made a full-year net profit of 2.8 million dirhams ($769,000), compared to a loss of 59 million dirhams in 2012."

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BBC News - Gulf states divided over Iran sanctions

BBC News - Gulf states divided over Iran sanctions:

"Dubai wants sanctions on Iran lifted. This is hardly surprising given that nearly half a million Iranians live in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and that Dubai already benefits from a flourishing trade with its neighbour across the Gulf.

In a BBC interview aired on Monday, the ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, said that with Iran as a neighbour, everyone would benefit if a deal with the US resulted in sanctions being lifted.

"You see, Iran is our neighbour and we don't want any problem and they didn't have any problem," said the sheikh."

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UPDATE 1-UAE sees keen interest for largest oilfields on revised terms -minister | Reuters

UPDATE 1-UAE sees keen interest for largest oilfields on revised terms -minister | Reuters:

"ADCO fields producing 1.6 mln bpd, aim to produce 1.8 mln in 2 years -minister

* Abu Dhabi mulling bringing in big Asian buyers into ADCO concession

* Ruwais refinery expansion to be completed by end-2014

By Nidhi Verma

NEW DELHI, Jan 13 (Reuters) - Abu Dhabi has received strong interest from international firms for participating in its largest oilfields, the UAE oil minister said, as it weighs continuing previous partnerships with Western oil giants or letting big Asian buyers take stakes.

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) took full control of the biggest oilfields in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) when its decades-old venture with four of the world's largest oil companies ended on January 11.

Under the concession arrangement, ADNOC held a 60 percent controlling stake in the Abu Dhabi Company for Onshore Oil Operations (ADCO) oilfields, while ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell, Total and BP, each held 9.5 percent stakes."

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The Peninsula Qatar - Qatar Stock Exchange up 0.89pc

The Peninsula Qatar - Qatar Stock Exchange up 0.89pc:

"Qatar Exchange pursued its upswing trend on Monday adding 97.50 points 0.89 percent to advance to 11,019.86 points from 10,922.36 on Sunday.

The volume of the shares traded up to 17,438,223 from 6,908,319 on Sunday and the value of shares increased to QR826,032,608.58 from QR349,347,173.60 Sunday.

Among the top gainers were Qatar National Bank which was up 1.30 percent to QR179.00, Doha Bank gained 1.76 percent to QR63.60, Masraf al Rayan added 3.11 percent to QR34.80 and Gulf International up by 2.08 percent to QR68.80.

The Banking and Financial sector index was added 1.25 points while Consumer Goods and Services sector index up 0.01 points.

The industrial sector was gained 0.73 points while insurance sector rose 1.17 points. (QNA)"

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MIDEAST DEBT-Dubai deal may be imminent, bankers say | Reuters

MIDEAST DEBT-Dubai deal may be imminent, bankers say | Reuters:

"* Talk of possible deal mounts since World Expo announcement

* Expo will require billions of dollars of financing

* Emerging market environment has turned positive

* Outstanding Dubai bonds performing well

* Size of debt pile likely to limit scope of issuance

By Abhinav Ramnarayan

LONDON, Jan 13 (IFR) - Rumours of a bond issue by Dubai are gathering pace as debt capital markets bankers covering the Middle East say a deal may be imminent.

The emirate was one of the first issuers from the Gulf in 2013 with a dual tranche 10-year sukuk and 30-year conventional note, and may be one of the early issuers this year as well, bankers told IFR.

"The noise around Dubai has been growing of late. There have been rumours ever since the World Expo announcement, but we're hearing a lot more since the turn of the year," one emerging markets syndicate banker said, referring to the announcement in late November that Dubai would host the world's fair in 2020."

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UPDATE 1-Qatar c.bank to sell 24 bln riyals in bonds, sukuk | Reuters

UPDATE 1-Qatar c.bank to sell 24 bln riyals in bonds, sukuk | Reuters:

"Qatar's central bank plans to issue on Thursday conventional and Islamic government bonds worth a combined 24 billion riyals ($6.6 billion), it said on Monday, a much larger amount than it has offered in past quarterly debt auctions.

This week's local currency debt will be sold in three- and five-year tranches. The conventional bonds will be worth 13 billion riyals, while the rest of the issuance will be in the form of sukuk, the central bank said on its website.

The large issue is designed to replace part of an even bigger issue of 50 billion riyals worth of three-year government bonds that were issued in January 2011, as part of the central bank's efforts to manage loose money market liquidity.

Last March, the central bank launched quarterly bond sales worth a total of 4 billion riyals, allocated directly to banks."

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Kuwait says oil market balance takes precedence over price issue - The Economic Times

Kuwait says oil market balance takes precedence over price issue - The Economic Times:

"Balance in global oil markets takes precedence over the crude price, Kuwait's new oil minister said on Sunday.

Asked whether 100 dollars a barrel was a good price for oil, Ali al-Omair told reporters at a reception: "The issue of balance comes before the issue of price."

Omair, who was appointed last week, said OPEC member Kuwait targets 3.5 million barrels per day capacity by 2015."

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Oman aims to keep oil output steady over two to three years - Minister | Reuters

Oman aims to keep oil output steady over two to three years - Minister | Reuters:

"Oman aims to produce oil at current levels around 950,000 barrels per day (bpd) for the next two to three years as the Gulf nation implements techniques to arrest an output decline, its oil and gas minister said on Sunday.

Oman's oil and condensate production averaged 930,000 bpd in 2013, Mohammed bin Hamad Al Rumhy said.

"Improved oil recovery and enhanced oil recovery (techniques) we are doing to sustain production at current levels. Our priority is to sustain the production," Rumhy told reporters at the Petrotech energy conference in New Delhi on Sunday."

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Cargill buys 5% of Ukrlandfarming for $200 mln - media

Cargill buys 5% of Ukrlandfarming for $200 mln - media:

"The world's largest raw materials trader, Cargill, has acquired a 5% stake in Ukrlandfarming, Ukraine's largest agricultural holding in terms of land bank, for $200 million, the Financial Times edition has written.

"The acquisition of 5% of Ukrlandfarming intensifies Cargill's presence on the agricultural market, one of the most promising in the world," reads the report.

Given the amount of the transaction, the newspaper reads, the total cost of Ukrlandfarming's land bank, the eighth largest land bank in the world, was estimated at $4 billion.

According to Financial Times, Cargill confirmed its five-percent stake in the holding, while noting that it has no intention to manage the business of the latter."

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The Arab World: Trying Times Ahead - Analysis Eurasia Review

The Arab World: Trying Times Ahead - Analysis Eurasia Review:

"Though the spotlight on West Asia is understandably focused currently on the unquestionably exciting prospect of a welcome and desirable reconciliation between the United States and Iran, which is more than likely to happen, contemporary ground realities and trends in large sections of the Arab World increasingly suggest that Islamic extremism, personified by Al Qaeda and its affiliates in West Asia, is potentially an even greater destabilizing factor than the standoff vis-à-vis Iran had been."

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Qatar considers more UK energy investment - Telegraph

Qatar considers more UK energy investment - Telegraph:

"
Mohammed bin Saleh al Sada has opened door for UK firms to bid for more work in oil-rich sheikhdom  Photo: AFP
Qatar is considering making further energy investments in the UK and has opened the door for British companies to bid for billions of dollars of work in the oil-rich sheikhdom, the nation’s energy minister has told The Daily Telegraph.
The Gulf state already accounts for 20pc of Britain’s gas supplies and is keen to maintain its status as Britain’s biggest supplier of liquefied natural gas (LNG), which arrives on giant tankers at the South Hook terminal near Milford Haven.
“The UK is an important customer of Qatar’s LNG and we expect it to remain as such, particularly in light of the large investment we have made,” said Mohammed bin Saleh al Sada in an interview. “Qatar Petroleum International is always interested in the wholesale selling and transportation of LNG to the UK, and that is Qatar’s strength as a major LNG producer.”"

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Saudi Gazette - Saudi bank credit to rise further as construction boom continues

Saudi Gazette - Saudi bank credit to rise further as construction boom continues:

"Saudi bank credit for construction activities, which rebounded in 2010, will continue to grow into 2014, the National Commercial Bank said in its report on “Government and Private Financing Accelerate the Execution of Infrastructure Projects”. 

The report noted that the amount of money being invested into infrastructure projects will encourage commercial banks to increase their lending to construction contractors. With many mega-projects in the pipeline, bank lending will play a critical role in the growth of the sector.

The financing landscape is witnessing the use of financing alternatives besides traditional bank lending. The emergence of sukuk and PPPs have given both, government and private entities, the ability to diversify their financial exposure, while still hedging against project risk. These financing alternatives also give government entities, like SEC, the option to redirect available funds to transmission and distribution (T&D), while reallocating expenditures from capital expenses to operational expenses. This helps avoiding mismatches between medium-term financing and long life public-private projects. "

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BBC News - End Iran sanctions, Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed tells BBC

BBC News - End Iran sanctions, Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed tells BBC:

"The ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, has called on the international community to lift its sanctions against Iran.

''Iran is our neighbour and we don't want any problem,'' said Sheikh Mohammed, who rarely gives interviews.

But with the United Arab Emirates hosting Expo 2020, and signs that it is rebounding from the world financial crisis, he has been speaking exclusively to the BBC's Jon Sopel in Dubai."

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▶ Capex comeback - YouTube

▶ Capex comeback - YouTube:

"After a long slump, capital expenditure in the UK is no longer a no no. Chief financial officers are more confident of taking risk and planning expansion. Ian Stewart, chief economist with Deloitte, analyses the implications of this with John Authers


"

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Engineering and manufacturing to lead UAE job market momentum | The National

Engineering and manufacturing to lead UAE job market momentum | The National:

"Momentum in the UAE’s job market will build in 2014, led by growth in the labour-intensive engineering and manufacturing sectors, according to Sanjay Modi, the managing director for the Middle East at Monster.com, one of the world’s leading job search websites.

“I don’t expect a big jump [in vacancies … more like] stable single-digit growth,” said Mr Modi.

Finance, health care, property and hospitality will all benefit, as a growing economy creates ­demand for labour. Employment growth in oil and gas will not be “as robust”, said Mr Modi, while developments in the IT and telecoms sectors “are leading to huge consolidations”.

On the other hand, technological developments during the next year will “fuel manpower growth”, he said."

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Double digit air freight growth for Middle East carriers | GulfNews.com

Double digit air freight growth for Middle East carriers | GulfNews.com:

"Middle Eastern carriers reported the largest increase in air cargo growth in November 2013 when compared to the same month in the previous year, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Exceeding the global average of 6.1 per cent the Middle Eastern carriers reported a 16.5 per cent jump in air freight, measured in freight tonne kilometres (FTK).
IATA stated that improvements in advanced economies, including Europe, are proving beneficial to the Middle Eastern carriers, who are also benefiting from “solid economic and trade growth” in the Gulf.
“The trend is likely to continue with indicators showing record high export orders in the UAE, which bodes well for continued growth in the region’s trade volumes,” IATA stated."

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GCC consulting market to outperform global markets in 2014 | GulfNews.com

GCC consulting market to outperform global markets in 2014 | GulfNews.com:

The UAE and other countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) are poised to become the world’s fastest growing consulting markets this year, a new study found.
The latest findings published in a report from Source Information Services said the region’s consulting business grew to $1.9 billion last year, up by 20 per cent, the biggest gain among the major global markets.
The main hotspots in the GCC are the UAE, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, offering attractive conditions that are ideal for consulting firms to thrive.
“The GCC is a market in which clients everywhere are trying to do a lot, very quickly, with very few people, and those are conditions in which consulting markets thrive,” said Edward Haigh, director of Source and author of the report.
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