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Sunday, 29 May 2016

Former Deyaar real estate boss jailed for Dh56m theft and fraud | The National

Former Deyaar real estate boss jailed for Dh56m theft and fraud | The National:

"The former chief executive of a large real estate development company and three others were each sentenced to 15 years in prison on Sunday for theft and fraud valued at more than Dh56 million in relation to a land deal in 2007.

Zack Shahin, the former boss of Deyaar who was present in court, and the others, who were sentenced in their absence, were found guilty by Dubai Criminal Court, which fined them Dh56m and ordered them to pay back the same amount to the Dubai property company.

The American businessman, 56, and eight other men including three former Deyaar executives, denied deceiving the company into paying an inflated price for a plot of land in Houston, Texas, on November 4 2007, and embezzling Dh56.3m from the deal."



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Saudi Arabia’s foreign assets fall to lowest level in four years | The National

Saudi Arabia’s foreign assets fall to lowest level in four years | The National:

"Saudi Arabia’s net foreign assets fell for a 15th month in April, as the kingdom announced its “vision" for a post-oil future.

The Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency said on Sunday net foreign assets declined 1.1 per cent to US$572 billion, the lowest level in four years. The slump in crude prices has forced the government to sell bonds and draw on its currency reserves, still among the world’s largest. Net foreign assets fell by $115bn last year, when the kingdom ran a budget deficit of nearly $100bn.

The fiscal crunch has pushed Saudi Arabia to look beyond oil, consider new taxes and plan an initial public offering of state energy major Saudi Aramco. The Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman sketched out the planned changes dubbed Saudi Vision 2030 on April 25.

"



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Bahrain’s got some serious catching up to do | GulfNews.com

Bahrain’s got some serious catching up to do | GulfNews.com:

"Bahraini authorities should not miss the chance to turn existing economic challenges into opportunities. The fact that Bahrain suffers from the worst credit ratings among Gulf countries says a great deal about the tasks ahead.

Sadly, major credit ratings agencies have one thing in common — namely in assigning adverse marks for Bahrain. In February, S&P cut Bahrain’s ratings by two notches to BB. Worse, the agency removed its investment grade status, the sole case within the Gulf.

And Moody’s downgraded Bahrain’s sovereign ratings from Ba1 to Ba2."



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GCC investors urged to think short-term | GulfNews.com

GCC investors urged to think short-term | GulfNews.com:

"Fund managers are playing safe ahead of Brexit vote, along with meetings of US Federal Reserve and Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) members.

Despite oil prices breaching the keenly watched $50 (Dh183) per barrel mark, Emirates Investment Bank (EIB) has trimmed its positions in the UAE and Saudi equities amid the anxiousness and is placing bets on short-term hedging strategies, which offers low yields as it expects volatility to spike up amid the upcoming events.

“We have been de-risking. We have trimmed our positions in the UAE and Saudi in line with our equity exposure globally. We won’t have any strategic positions between now and August,” said Nadi Bargouti, Managing Director of Asset Management at Emirates Investment Bank, adding, “Investors should get into defensive firms, reduce exposure to risky assets as much as you can.”"



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DP World’s $1.2 billion sukuk to be listed on Nasdaq Dubai | GulfNews.com

DP World’s $1.2 billion sukuk to be listed on Nasdaq Dubai | GulfNews.com:

"DP World said on Sunday the company has raised $1.2 billion (Dh4.4 billion) in a new 7-year sukuk and will be listed on Nasdaq Dubai.

More and more companies in the UAE and Gulf Cooperation Council along with the governments are taking full advantage of market conditions as US Federal Reserve prepares for a rate hike amid an economic recovery.

“As a leading enabler of global trade, we have taken advantage of attractive market conditions to successfully execute the first tender offer in the region and issue a new sukuk to drive our ongoing growth strategy,” Sultan Ahmad Bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, DP World said in a statement. The money raised from the new sukuk sale will fund the tender offer along with general corporate purposes."



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Abu Dhabi gov't may act to address property glut - official | Reuters

Abu Dhabi gov't may act to address property glut - official | Reuters:

"Abu Dhabi's property market is over-supplied and the government may take steps to address the imbalance, a senior official said on Sunday.

Prices in the UAE capital's residential sector were flat last year, after rising about 25 percent a year in 2013 and 2014, as affordability levels became stretched and the government cut spending following the slump in oil prices.

First-quarter residential prices were little changed and property consultants CBRE last month described buying appetite and overall sentiment as weak. Rival firm JLL warned prices could come under downward pressure if transaction volumes remain low."



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Citigroup Says Saudi Arabia Is Best Emerging Market for Deals - Bloomberg

Citigroup Says Saudi Arabia Is Best Emerging Market for Deals - Bloomberg:

"Saudi Arabia’s planned privatizations, including a share sale in the world’s biggest oil company, represent the biggest investment banking opportunity in emerging markets, according to Citigroup Inc.
Implementation of the kingdom’s plans to restructure the economy -- known as Vision 2030 -- "could translate into a fantastic wallet for the investment banks," Omar Iqtidar, Citigroup’s head of investment banking in the Middle East, said in an interview in Dubai. "We are seeing momentum picking up, with skeptics increasingly converted into believers of the restructuring," he said.
Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is overseeing an unprecedented shakeup of the biggest Arab economy as the country seeks to reduce its reliance on oil after a plunge in prices that started in 2014. The country plans an initial public offering of Saudi Arabian Oil Co., which the prince said may value the company at more than $2 trillion."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Scrapped Americana sale weighs on Kuwait; other bourses mixed | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Scrapped Americana sale weighs on Kuwait; other bourses mixed | Reuters:

"Shares in Kuwaiti companies linked with the al-Kharafi family tumbled on Sunday after the multi-billion-dollar sale of another Kharafi-controlled business was scrapped, while other markets were mixed in thin trade.

Investment company Adeptio had agreed in February to buy 69 percent of Kuwait Food Co (Americana) from Al Khair for Stocks and Real Estate, which is run by the wealthy Kharafi merchant family. But Al Khair announced on Sunday that the sale had been scrapped.

Americana's shares were suspended, but other Kharafi-linked stocks plunged."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Kuwaiti Kharafi-linked stocks slip on Americana sale collapse | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Kuwaiti Kharafi-linked stocks slip on Americana sale collapse | Reuters:

"Shares in Kuwaiti companies linked with the al-Kharafi family tumbled on Sunday after the multibillion-dollar sale of another Kharafi-controlled business was scrapped.

Investment company Adeptio had agreed in February to buy 69 percent of Kuwait Food Co (Americana) from Al Khair for Stocks and Real Estate, which is run by the wealthy Kharafi merchant family, but Al Khair announced on Sunday that the plans have been scrapped.

Americana's shares were suspended ahead of the market open and have yet to resume trading, but other Kharafi-linked stocks plunged."



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UPDATE 2-Kuwait's fast-food group Americana scraps sale to consortium | Reuters

UPDATE 2-Kuwait's fast-food group Americana scraps sale to consortium | Reuters:

"Kuwait's al-Kharafi family has scrapped a sale of a majority stake in Kuwait Food Co (Americana) to a Gulf-based consortium, a company controlled by the family said on Sunday, ending months of talks over the multibillion-dollar deal.

Americana, which owns the Middle East franchises for fast food chains KFC and Pizza Hut and also produces branded consumer foods, has been up for sale since early 2014.

Investment firm Adeptio, which is led by prominent Dubai businessman Mohamed Alabbar, in February agreed to buy 69 percent of Americana from Al Khair for Stocks and Real Estate, which is controlled by the Kharafis, a wealthy merchant family."



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