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Sunday, 2 February 2014

MIDEAST STOCKS-Giant construction deal lifts Abu Dhabi, Saudi banks rally on | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Giant construction deal lifts Abu Dhabi, Saudi banks rally on | Reuters:



"* Abu Dhabi cement makers rally on prospects of stronger demand



* Dana Gas, Union National Bank fall after earnings

* Arabtec surges but Emaar sell-off drags down Dubai

* Saudi banks continue to gain after Riyad's capital boost



* Egypt rises as govt says $4 bln stimulus package imminent



By Olzhas Auyezov

DUBAI, Feb 2 (Reuters) - A $6.1 billion contract awarded by Abu Dhabi state fund Aabar to Dubai's Arabtec helped fuel a cement sector rally in Abu Dhabi but failed to offset profit-taking on Dubai's bourse on Sunday, while banks lifted Saudi Arabia's market.



Confirming a Reuters report on Saturday, Arabtec said on Sunday that it would build 37 towers for Aabar, which is its biggest shareholder, and become Aabar's contractor of choice for projects around the world worth $20 billion.



Arabtec's stock rose 2.8 percent and another Dubai-based builder, Drake and Scull, gained 2.0 percent. But a 1.4 percent drop by heavyweight property developer Emaar dragged Dubai's main market index down 0.4 percent."



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UAE's Dana Gas says Q4 net profit up by 12% - Energy - ArabianBusiness.com

UAE's Dana Gas says Q4 net profit up by 12% - Energy - ArabianBusiness.com:



"Dana Gas made a net profit of AED128 million ($34.9 million) in the fourth quarter of 2013, up 12 percent from a year earlier, the UAE energy company said on Sunday.



Net profit for the full year fell 6 percent to AED571 million, due in part to rising royalty payments to the Egyptian government and lower sales of liquid petroleum gas (LPG) in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.



Dana Gas said in its preliminary results statement that it had not received any significant payments from Kurdistan since July 2013 and was pushing for payments to resume as soon as possible."



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French business delegation to Iran aims for early bird advantage - FT.com

French business delegation to Iran aims for early bird advantage - FT.com:



"A delegation of more than 100 French companies is set to visit Tehran on Monday in the biggest demonstration of western business interest in Iran for more than a decade.



The three-day visit, which includes top French companies such as oil major Total, engineer Alstom, telecoms group Orange and carmaker Renault, has raised hopes in Iran that an interim deal on its nuclear programme could lead to a return of foreign investment halted by sanctions imposed in retaliation for Tehran’s perceived bid to acquire nuclear weapons."



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Venture Capital: Strike while Iran is hot (E26)

Iran: Part of $4.2 billion cut off by sanctions now in Tehran's hands - CNN.com

Iran: Part of $4.2 billion cut off by sanctions now in Tehran's hands - CNN.com:



"Iran has received the first part of its $4.2 billion in oil funds that had been frozen overseas due to sanctions, the country's state-run Press TV reported.



In November, Iran and six world powers reached an interim deal under which Iran agreed to limit its nuclear program in exchange for an easing of economic sanctions.



The six world powers, called the P5+1, include the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council -- the United States, Britain, China, Russia and France -- as well as Germany



According to the semi-official Iranian Students News Agency, the first installment amounts to $550 million.



CNN was trying to reach representatives of the P5+1 countries for confirmation Sunday."



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Bahrain's Investcorp H1 net profit surges 53 pct | Reuters

Bahrain's Investcorp H1 net profit surges 53 pct | Reuters:



"Bahrain-based alternative investment manager Investcorp said on Sunday that profit for the first half of its fiscal year rose 53 percent, mainly because of strong performances at its core businesses.



Investcorp, which previously took public luxury brands Gucci and Tiffany & Co, made a net profit of $60.1 million in the six months to December, compared with $39.2 million a year earlier, the company said in a statement."



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$100 billion investment in infrastructure a ‘quantum leap’ for Abu Dhabi | The National

$100 billion investment in infrastructure a ‘quantum leap’ for Abu Dhabi | The National:



"ABU DHABI // A US$100 billion raft of housing, schools, transport and other projects will transform Abu Dhabi into an integrated, cosmopolitan global city.





“All these mega projects will contribute in making a quantum leap in the infrastructure of Abu Dhabi,” Fahad Al Raqbani, director general of Abu Dhabi Council for Economic Development, said in a new report.



“These projects will emphasis the economic competitiveness of the emirate, empower the role of the private sector and sustain the local economy’s growth in a manner that will lead to accomplishing the objectives of the economic vision 2030.”"



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Dubai’s Mashreq in settlement talks with ING over investment ‘trickery’ | The National

Dubai’s Mashreq in settlement talks with ING over investment ‘trickery’ | The National:



"Dubai’s Mashreq has agreed to settlement discussions in a lawsuit that it brought against ING Group in a New York court.



Court documents indicate that the US district judge Lorna Schofield last month referred the suit, launched by Mashreq in April, to a settlement court in New York, after a request from both parties made in December to go down the alternative dispute resolution track.



It is unclear which side initiated settlement discussions, or whether such discussions will prove successful."



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UAE markets give conflicting signals | GulfNews.com

UAE markets give conflicting signals | GulfNews.com:



"The Dubai Financial Market General Index (DFMGI) fell 48.64 or 1.27 per cent last week to close at 3,770.38, while market breadth was bearish with 29 declining issues and only five advancing. Volume was weak — the lowest level in eight weeks.



The near-term uptrend on a weekly basis remains in place (now heading into its twelfth week) as there is a series of higher highs and higher lows during that period. Earlier in the week the index slipped as selling pressure increased, but by the end of the week the DFMGI managed to close in the top half of the weekly range.



In other words, despite ending the week lower, the bulls have been able to hold the market up, even managing to take the index to a new high for the trend on Wednesday, before closing below it. Also, the relatively low volume on a down week is not indicative of sustainable selling pressure."



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Banking on traditional money motors in the Gulf | GulfNews.com

Banking on traditional money motors in the Gulf | GulfNews.com:



"Even in normal times, it is because banks have a special place in any economy that their business is discussed not so much in terms of how they may perform as entities and a sector to invest in, but more as to whether and how they help deliver economic growth.



After all, they perform the role of intermediaries for the rest of the economy, all the non-financial sectors, particularly between households and corporates, between savings and investment, and between short-term deposits and longer-term employment of that funding.



Of course, this key function of matching lending and borrowing has been muddied to the point of grotesque distortion in some parts of the industry around the world, with the breaching of the division between traditional interpretations of banking on the one hand and, to some extent, speculative trading on the other. That blurring has only been mutated further by the unwelcome ability of banks of a certain size to ‘privatise profits, socialise losses’ because they are too systemically important to allow to fail."



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Most Read on Bloomberg in January: El-Erian’s Exit, Stocks Fall - Bloomberg

Most Read on Bloomberg in January: El-Erian’s Exit, Stocks Fall - Bloomberg:



"The following list (click above) comprises the most-read Bloomberg News reports during January.



Lists are based on monthly statistics through Jan. 31."



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Arabtec Wins Aabar’s $6.1 Billion Contract for U.A.E. Towers - Bloomberg

Arabtec Wins Aabar’s $6.1 Billion Contract for U.A.E. Towers - Bloomberg:



"Arabtec Holding Co. (ARTC) has won a 22.44 billion dirham ($6.1 billion) contract from Aabar Properties to build 37 towers in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, it said in a statement today.



The deal includes the construction of hotels and residential buildings, the company said in a statement to the Dubai stock exchange. Aabar plans to award Arabtec $20 billion of deals in countries including the U.S., Egypt, Morocco and Serbia, according to Arabtec’s statement, citing Aabar Chairman Khadem Al Qubaisi. Aabar Properties is a unit of Aabar Investments PJSC.



Contractors and property companies are benefiting from a resurgence in the United Arab Emirates’ real estate market, where prices more than halved at the peak of financial crisis in 2008. Prices for mid-range apartments rose 43 percent in 2013, after climbing 18 percent in 2012, according to Cluttons LLC data on Bloomberg."



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