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Sunday, 9 February 2014

Kuwait $40,000-a-Head Surplus Makes Austerity a Hard Sell - Bloomberg

Kuwait $40,000-a-Head Surplus Makes Austerity a Hard Sell - Bloomberg:



"Kuwait’s budget surplus adds up to almost $40,000 per citizen, one reason it’s hard to convince people like Nouf Mohammed that the government should spend less on services and subsidies for her. 




Mohammed, a 36-year-old accountant, says she’s been waiting 12 years to get the state-provided house she’s entitled to, and finds education and health care so inadequate that the government should focus on improving them instead of saving more. “There’s no development, our money is wasted in a disorganized way,” she said. 




Kuwait is stepping up efforts to persuade the public that it can’t afford to maintain one of the world’s most generous welfare systems. A committee set up to examine public finances advised the government to use social media to warn of a “terrifying future” if spending isn’t trimmed."



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Deutsche Bank to hand over documents in Dubai inquiry - FT.com

Deutsche Bank to hand over documents in Dubai inquiry - FT.com:



"Deutsche Bank has agreed to hand over documents related to a Dubai investigation into suspected violations of anti-money laundering and due-diligence procedures after being taken to court by the regulator of the emirate’s financial free zone.



Germany’s largest bank agreed at the Dubai International Financial Centre Courts to the regulator’s request for the disclosure of information on clients of its private wealth management division.



The Dubai Financial Services Authority launched the proceedings last October to force Deutsche Bank to comply with its probe."



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The week ahead: Star treatment - YouTube

The week ahead: Star treatment - YouTube: ""



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Dubai stocks jump to five-year high but still selling at a 47% discount to Q1 2006 « ArabianMoney

Dubai stocks jump to five-year high but still selling at a 47% discount to Q1 2006 « ArabianMoney:



"Dubai stocks are the fastest rising in the world in 2014 and today the main index broke through the 4,000 mark for the first time in five years. There has been no end to the momentum that pushed the Dubai Financial Market General Index up 113 per cent last year. It is up a heart-stopping 18 per cent so far this year.



However, the DFMGI is still well short of its 8,569 high in the first quarter of 2006. From that level the index lost 82 per cent of its value before finally bottoming out as recently as early 2012. After jumping 20 per cent in 2012, the index rallied second only in the world to Venezuela last year and was number one in dollar terms."



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FINANCE - S&P’s outlook cut for Turkey to have ‘limited’ impact on market

FINANCE - S&P’s outlook cut for Turkey to have ‘limited’ impact on market:



"Standards & Poor’s decision to cut its outlook on Turkey’s ratings to negative from stable is expected to have a limited impact on Turkish markets, analysts say.



Standard & Poor’s revised the economic outlook of the country on the late hours of Feb. 7, saying that it saw risks of a hard economic landing and that the country’s policy environment was becoming less predictable.



A corruption investigation shaking the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with sharp falls in the lira currency have raised concerns about stability in the run-up to elections this year."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets benefit from improved global backdrop | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets benefit from improved global backdrop | Reuters:



"* UAE markets surge as all regional bourses gain



* Dubai, Abu Dhabi boosted by property boom, strong earnings



* Arabtec climbs after announcing diversification plans



* Qatar attracts dividend-hunters



* Saudi Arabia slowed by crackdown on illegal labour



By Olzhas Auyezov

DUBAI, Feb 9 (Reuters) - A favourable global backdrop lifted all major stock markets in the Middle East on Sunday while strong earnings and positive newsflow from the property sector put bourses in the United Arab Emirates ahead of the pack.



Abu Dhabi's index surged 2.2 percent and Dubai's measure was up 1.1 percent, both aided by property and related sectors as well as small-cap stocks which are popular among retail investors.



"Part of it obviously was due to a good lead from the international markets," said Amer Khan, fund manager at Shuaa Asset Management. Global equity markets surged on Friday as investors set aside any fear of economic softness after a weak U.S. jobs report."



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Behind the figures: Why Oman's economy is set to thrive both now and in the future | Al Bawaba

Behind the figures: Why Oman's economy is set to thrive both now and in the future | Al Bawaba:



"There are numerous indicators that suggest, and rightly so, that the Omani economy is doing just fine. This is evidenced by the posting of a satisfactory surplus in 2013 and the absence of a serious public debt problem. 




Other notable developments entail the clinching of an open skies agreement with the US. New statistics from official sources point to a budgetary surplus in excess of $1 billion (Dh3.67 billion) for fiscal 2013. The welcome development is attributed to a growth in revenues and a marked decline in expenditures. This is in comparison to a shortfall of $209 million posted in 2012.



Turning to the 2014 budget, revenues and expenditures are projected at $30.4 billon and $35.1 billion, which would lead to a deficit of $4.7 billion. Certainly, the assumed deficit is substantial by virtue of representing around 6 per cent of the country’s $78 billion GDP."



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Qatar Dec bank loan growth 11.8 pct, lowest since May 2011 | Reuters

Qatar Dec bank loan growth 11.8 pct, lowest since May 2011 | Reuters:



"Money supply (M2) growth in Qatar rose to
19.6 percent year-on-year in December from 15.6 percent in
November, central bank data showed on Sunday.



 But growth in total bank credit slowed to 11.8 percent, the
slowest rate since May 2011, from 12.3 percent. "



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Arabtec Taps U.A.E. Investment, Advisory Demand With New Units - Bloomberg

Arabtec Taps U.A.E. Investment, Advisory Demand With New Units - Bloomberg:



"Arabtec Holding (ARTC), the largest listed construction contractor in the United Arab Emirates, is forming units that will enable the company to offer financial advisory services and help it invest across industries.



The board approved the setting up of five subsidiaries at its Feb. 6 meeting, the company said in a statement. The units will focus on investments in infrastructure, real estate, trains, airports, power, water, and energy within and outside the U.A.E. Arabtec Capital will be established in Dubai International Financial Centre to provide financial and public offering services. 




Contracting firms are benefiting from a resurgence in the U.A.E.’s real-estate market. Prices for mid-range apartments in Dubai rose 43 percent in 2013, according to Cluttons LLC data on Bloomberg, after values more than halved following the global financial crisis in 2008. Full-year profit at Arabtec, which helped build the tallest tower in the world, will more than double to 313 million dirhams ($85 million) in 2013, according to the mean estimate of 11 analysts on Bloomberg."



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Iran Official Says Oil Contracts to Be Revised - NYTimes.com

Iran Official Says Oil Contracts to Be Revised - NYTimes.com:



"Iran's Petroleum Minister says it plans to introduce by June a new generation of oil contracts that are more attractive to investors.



Mahdi Hosseini, head of the contract revision committee in the ministry, told reporters Sunday that sanctions imposed on Iran over its nuclear activities drove the revisions.



He said the new contracts are designed for the "post-sanction era," but did not provide details.



So far Iran has allowed oil companies to work on its fields under contracts known as "buybacks." Hosseini said many companies complained about their costs under this scheme."



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Dubai Index Breaks 4,000 Barrier on Global Jump; Abu Dhabi Gains - Bloomberg

Dubai Index Breaks 4,000 Barrier on Global Jump; Abu Dhabi Gains - Bloomberg:



"Dubai’s benchmark index, the world’s best-performing measure this year, breached the 4,000 level for the first time in five years, tracking a rebound in global equity markets. Abu Dhabi’s gauge advanced.



The DFM General Index gained 2.4 percent to 4,027.42, the highest since October 2008, at 12:13 p.m. in Dubai. Emaar Properties PJSC, the builder with the biggest weighting on the benchmark, extended a three-day winning streak. Arabtec Holding advanced to the highest since August 2008. ADX General Index (ADSMI) climbed 2 percent.



“The Dubai index reaching the 4,000 level is important,” Montasser Khelifi, a senior manager at Quantum Investment Bank Ltd. in Dubai, said by phone. “It’s a psychological barrier and since we have broken through, we will continue to see the uptrend in the market.”

"



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Deutsche Bank ordered to hand over client info to Dubai regulator - Banking & Finance - ArabianBusiness.com

Deutsche Bank ordered to hand over client info to Dubai regulator - Banking & Finance - ArabianBusiness.com:



"A Dubai court has ordered the local unit of Deutsche Bank to hand over documents relating to its wealth management clients after the German lender was successfully sued by the regulator of the emirate’s financial free zone.



The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), which regulates the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), began probing Deutsche Bank’s asset management division in December 2012 over potential breaches of due diligence and assessing clients for money laundering risks.



When Deutsche Bank declined to hand over details regarding 120 clients in Switzerland, citing Swiss financial privacy laws, the DFSA in October 2013 claimed an injunction through the DIFC Courts.



In a statement issued on Sunday, the DIFC Courts declared that Deutsche Bank was in material non-compliance with the DFSA’s requirement to produce information and documents."



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Dubai business keen to get trade with Iran back on even keel | The National

Dubai business keen to get trade with Iran back on even keel | The National:



"Dubai business leaders’ appetite for trade with Iran remains undimmed despite the Dh40 billion estimated impact of sanctions, said Hisham Al Shirawi, vice chairman of Dubai’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry. 




“The interests of our members have never relaxed when dealing with Iran,” said Mr Al Shirawi.



“What will determine the relationship with Iran is simple supply and demand. As long as the relationship persists, there will be trade.”



Hamad Buamim, the director general of the Dubai chamber, said: “We have always had strong economic relations and ties [with Iran], and geographically we are very close.”"



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Jury still out on Gulf’s diversification trial | GulfNews.com

Jury still out on Gulf’s diversification trial | GulfNews.com:



"For those following international markets and economies at present, two critical pressure points have presented themselves.



One is that financial markets are not sure how far ahead they are of the economic recovery they have assumed. Has that elastic relationship been stretched too much; if not in bonds then in equities?



The other is the confusion surrounding the rate of that recovery right now, particularly regarding the data out of the US and China, which have been distinctly mixed.



It is therefore an especially nervous time for traders. Yet, for the Gulf economies also, testing times may lie ahead."



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Lukoil in Talks With Iran on Post-Sanctions Return, Mehr Says - Bloomberg

Lukoil in Talks With Iran on Post-Sanctions Return, Mehr Says - Bloomberg:



"OAO Lukoil (LKOH), Russia’s second-biggest oil producer, is in talks with Iran’s Oil Ministry about returning to the Islamic Republic to develop assets, Moscow’s envoy to Tehran said, according to Iran’s Mehr News Agency.



Russian Ambassador Levan Dzhagaryan said Lukoil was ready to resume work in Iran’s oil and gas sector after economic sanctions are removed, state-run Mehr reported today. Moscow-based Lukoil abandoned its work in Iran in March 2010, citing pressure from U.S.-imposed economic sanctions. 




Some of the U.S.- and EU-imposed restrictions on Iran, designed to target the country’s disputed nuclear program, were lifted two weeks ago under a Nov. 24 interim pact between Tehran and six world powers. Iranian officials have since held meetings with executives from several European oil majors, notably at the World Economic Forum in Davos and a December meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries in Vienna."



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