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Sunday, 31 July 2016

Value of legal cases lodged at DIFC soars to Dh3.44 billion in the first half | The National

Value of legal cases lodged at DIFC soars to Dh3.44 billion in the first half | The National:

"The value of legal cases coming before the DIFC Courts ballooned in the first half of the year as more and more businesses turned to Dubai’s English-language commercial court in an attempt to force their creditors to pay up.

Legal cases worth Dh3.44 billion were handled by DIFC Courts in the first six months of 2016, according to official figures released yesterday, 48 per cent more than the Dh2.33bn of cases handled during the same period a year earlier.


DIFC said that the biggest increase in its workload came from a huge growth in the number of enforcement cases in which DIFC judges can force parties to pay up once an award has been made against them."



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Saudi Arabia construction market has dropped 80 per cent, says Al Khodari chief | The National

Saudi Arabia construction market has dropped 80 per cent, says Al Khodari chief | The National:

"The chief executive of Saudi Arabia’s only publicly traded builder has estimated that the construction market in the kingdom has shrunk by as much as 80 per cent.

Fawwaz Al Khodari, the head of Al Khodari & Sons, also revealed the contractor has avoided bidding on some government projects because of payment delay concerns.

"The construction market has slowed down immensely," he said. "While we do not have definite numbers as statistics are sometimes contradicting, from the client base that we have been working with in the past, we believe, and are confident when we say, that construction has slowed down by at least 80 per cent," he said."



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Turkey says to back away from EU migrant deal if no visa-free travel | Reuters

Turkey says to back away from EU migrant deal if no visa-free travel | Reuters:

"Turkey would have to back out of its agreement with the European Union to stem the flow of migrants into the bloc if the EU does not deliver visa-free travel for Turks, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has said.

Visa-free access to the EU - the main reward for Ankara's collaboration in choking off an influx of migrants into Europe - has been subject to delays due to a dispute over Turkish anti-terrorism legislation and Ankara's crackdown after a failed coup.

Cavusoglu told Germany's daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung the agreement on stemming the refugee flow had worked because of "very serious measures" taken by Ankara."



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UAE telco du extends earnings slump as Q2 net profit dips 11.3 pct | Reuters

UAE telco du extends earnings slump as Q2 net profit dips 11.3 pct | Reuters:

"Du, the United Arab Emirates' No.2 telecom operator, extended its earnings slump as it reported an 11.3 percent fall in its second-quarter net profit on Sunday.

The firm, which ended rival Etisalat's domestic monopoly in 2007, had reported declining profits in the preceding six quarters, according to Reuters data.

Du made a net profit of 445.4 million dirhams ($121.3 million) in the three months to June 30, down from 502.0 million dirhams in the year-earlier period."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf bourses slip on weak oil, Egypt ends five-day rise | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf bourses slip on weak oil, Egypt ends five-day rise | Reuters:

"Stock markets in the Gulf fell on Sunday, weighed down by weak oil prices and lacklustre second-quarter corporate results over the last few weeks, while Egypt's main index pulled back on profit-taking after a strong run.

Riyadh's stock index declined 0.5 percent to a fresh 16-week closing low of 6,302 points as the petrochemical sector dropped 0.9 percent. The September Brent oil contract settled at $42.46 a barrel on Friday, down 0.6 percent on the day and 14.5 percent lower on the month.

Some major companies which reported weak earnings last week continued their downtrend with major food group Savola sinking 5.0 percent to 34.20 riyals, its lowest close since Jan. 24. On Thursday the company reported a 43.2 percent drop in second-quarter net profit and trimmed its dividend."



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Emaar Properties first half net profit rises 12% | GulfNews.com

Emaar Properties first half net profit rises 12% | GulfNews.com:

"Emaar Properties said on Sunday its net profit for the first half of 2016 rose 12 per cent to be at Dh2.475 billion as revenues grew.

Revenues for the six months to June also rose 11 per cent to be at Dh7.2 billion, the company said in a statement to the Dubai Financial Market.

Property sales in Dubai jumped 45 per cent at Dh8.854 billion in the first half, in than same period in 2015, highlighting strong investor demand."



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Aramex founder sells entire stake to Boson Ventures | GulfNews.com

Aramex founder sells entire stake to Boson Ventures | GulfNews.com:

"Fadi Ghandour, the founder of Dubai-listed logistics firm Aramex, has sold all of his holdings in Levant Logistics Holdings to Boson Ventures Corporation, a firm in the Cayman Islands that provides seed funding, according to a statement on the Dubai Financial Market on Sunday.

Levant Logistics Holdings owns 144.9 million shares in Aramex or 9.9 per cent of Aramex shares.

The deal comes days after Jaona Investment bought a stake in Aramex for Dh437.6 million and about a week after Ghandour reportedly sold his 9.9 per cent stake to a group of Gulf investors including Emaar Properties chairman Mohammad Alabbar."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf soft on oil, Q2 results | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf soft on oil, Q2 results | Reuters:

"Stock markets in the Gulf were soft in early trade on Sunday, weighed down by weak oil prices and a lacklustre set of second-quarter corporate results.

Riyadh's stock index lost 0.2 percent after 40 minutes of trade as the petrochemical sector dropped 0.4 percent. The September Brent oil contract settled at $42.46 a barrel on Friday, down 0.6 percent on the day and 14.5 percent lower on the month.

Emaar the Economic City, builder of the King Abdullah Economic City in Jeddah, dropped 2.9 percent. The company reported a 58 percent jump in second-quarter net profit to 79 million riyals ($21.1 million), but it attributed the rise mainly to cancellation of a rental contract and to changes in infrastructure cost estimates for industrial land."



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India says to bring back workers facing 'food crisis' in Saudi | Reuters

India says to bring back workers facing 'food crisis' in Saudi | Reuters:

"India said on Sunday it will send a government minister to Saudi Arabia to try to bring back more than 10,000 Indian workers who are facing a "food crisis" because they are unable to afford meals after being laid off from their jobs.

Low oil prices have forced the Saudi government to slash spending since last year, putting heavy pressure on the finances of local construction firms which rely on state contracts.

As a result, some companies have been struggling to pay foreign workers and have laid off tens of thousands, leaving many with no money for food let alone for tickets home."



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Be aware before you sign on the dotted line | The National

Be aware before you sign on the dotted line | The National:

"I got an email this week from someone who described her 20- something year-old self as a diligent but naive investor. She did what most people don’t do. She took out policies with four different providers – you know the like, so many of you have been emailing me with their names. She was the poster girl for responsible living, it seems. Except she was lied to and 10 years later is biding her time until the policies mature, in order to start afresh as she put it.


Her email included often asked questions, such as: do I know of a financial adviser who can be trusted, and what redress is there in the UAE for being missold, or in her case, deceived? It’s one of many with identical queries.

Others who got in touch were in the throes of taking out policies, and were scared that they could be ruining their financial well-being instead of enhancing it."



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Any upturn in oil prices to set off UAE project boom | GulfNews.com

Any upturn in oil prices to set off UAE project boom | GulfNews.com:

"An upturn in oil prices along with higher trading volumes with Iran could set off a recovery for the UAE in the near term. Added to this, sustained public and private sector activity in Dubai ahead of Expo 2020 should keep the momentum going, says the latest outlook on the UAE economy from Meed.

All of these should be enough to generate and sustain a $629 billion (Dh2.3 trillion) project pipeline.

The Meed report says that about $155 billion worth of major projects were under execution in the UAE by mid-2016."



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Home handovers drop further in Dubai | GulfNews.com

Home handovers drop further in Dubai | GulfNews.com:

"With each passing quarter, the number of homes that is to be delivered in Dubai this year is getting whittled down further. In its latest estimates — at the end of the second quarter — the consultancy ValuStrat reckons only 16,326 units are to be delivered during the year.

This is “half of the estimate” quoted the quarter before, a clear sign that Dubai’s developers will need to see a lot more happening on the ground — in terms of sales transactions — to get going on project deliveries. So much so, nearly 8 per cent of existing projects in Dubai will take a further two to three years to get past the completion, ValuStrat states.

And another “17 per cent have been delayed 18 months to 2 years,” it adds. If these delays do prove to be the case, it will mean two things — one, no one need worry of a glut heading in the run up to the Expo 2020 event and, two, the pressure in the residential rental space is not going to ease up in the way it did in the sales market."



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Chinese Banks With Global Dreams Eye Middle East Mega Bonds - Bloomberg

Chinese Banks With Global Dreams Eye Middle East Mega Bonds - Bloomberg:

"Bank of China Ltd. is heading down the old Silk Road marketing new goods: Debut bonds from Saudi Arabia to Kazakhstan.
In its biggest-ever foray outside Asia, the state-controlled lender is said to have landed three mandates to co-manage emerging-market Eurobonds, including the Saudi government’s international sale. China’s fourth-largest lender is one of nine underwriters hired by the kingdom, which people familiar with the plan said is seeking at least $10 billion to fill holes in its budget."



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