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Wednesday, 22 November 2017

UAE banks top GCC peers with $720bln in assets | ZAWYA MENA Edition

UAE banks top GCC peers with $720bln in assets | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"The asset value of 48 banks operating in the UAE amounted to around Dh2.3 trillion (US$720 billion) by the end of September, according to UAE Central Bank statistics. This proves that the UAE banking system's solvency profile is not only the best among the GCC States only but also across the entire region, reported Emirates news agency Wam, citing estimates by leading international financial organisations. The Saudi Banking system came second with an asset value of $609 billion by the end of Q3 - $2 billion less than its June equivalent of $611 billion. The net asset value hit $209 billion in Kuwait, and $189 billion in Bahrain."



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Dubai theme parks a real rollercoaster for investors | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Dubai theme parks a real rollercoaster for investors | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"DXB Entertainments has experienced a tough 12 months since opening the doors to the first phase of Dubai Parks and Resorts last year. The full scale of the challenge it faces was laid clear last week as it reported its third quarter results to September 30. In initial financial projections released in December last year, DXB Entertainments was forecasting full-year revenue of almost 2.447 billion UAE dirhams ($666.2 million) for 2017, based on 6.7 million park visitors and revenue spend of 304 UAE dirhams per head. Although it still has one quarter to go, the firm would require rollercoaster-level proportions to hit these targets."



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Qatar row moves to WTO litigation phase, dismaying many

Qatar row moves to WTO litigation phase, dismaying many:

"Qatar took the final step on Wednesday to start litigation at the World Trade Organization in its row with the United Arab Emirates, but no other WTO members spoke up in support of the move, which many trade experts see as a dangerous precedent.

The UAE was one of four countries - along with Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt - that cut ties with Qatar, a major gas supplier and site of the biggest U.S. military base in the Middle East, on June 5. They accused Qatar of financing militant groups in Syria and allying with Iran, their regional foe.

Qatar denied the allegations and opened WTO dispute proceedings against the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. It pressed its case against the UAE alone, and last month it asked the WTO to set up an adjudication panel [nL8N1MN6EE]."



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Saudi Graft Suspects Are Starting to Make Payments for Freedom - Bloomberg

Saudi Graft Suspects Are Starting to Make Payments for Freedom - Bloomberg:

"Saudi suspects being held as part of the kingdom’s crackdown on alleged corruption are starting to make payments to settle cases in exchange for freedom, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Some businessmen and officials being detained at the Ritz-Carlton are signing agreements with authorities to transfer a portion of their assets to avoid trial, the people said, asking not to be identified because the discussions are private. Some detainees have started to transfer funds from personal accounts to government-controlled accounts, the people said.

The payments, less than a month since the detentions, show the speed at which Saudi Arabia wants to settle the corruption probe that involved the sudden arrests of royals and billionaires such as Prince Alwaleed bin Talal this month. The purge -- while welcomed by some in Saudi Arabia -- has also stirred political uncertainty in the kingdom at a time when Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is seeking to attract international investment."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Region up as oil gains, Emaar Development slumps on debut

MIDEAST STOCKS-Region up as oil gains, Emaar Development slumps on debut:

"Gulf stock markets mostly rebounded from several days of weakness on Wednesday, encouraged by strong oil prices, though Emaar Development sank on its debut after Dubai’s first big initial public offering since 2014.

Emaar Development, the local property development unit of Emaar Properties, closed at 5.77 dirhams, down from its IPO price of 6.03 dirhams, which represented its net asset value according to an estimate by consultants JLL.

The weak debut underlined two factors weighing heavily on Dubai. Its real estate market has been slumping for over two years as low oil prices cause governments around the region to cut spending and impose new taxes, slowing economic growth."



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UAE's Bank of Sharjah and Invest Bank in merger talks- sources | ZAWYA MENA Edition

UAE's Bank of Sharjah and Invest Bank in merger talks- sources | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Bank of Sharjah and Invest Bank are in merger talks that could create an institution with about 50.6 billion dirhams ($13.8 billion) of assets, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters. In the latest latest sign of consolidation in the United Arab Emirates' crowded banking industry, the two lenders have held on-and-off discussions over a potential merger since last year, the sources said. One of the sources added that the tie-up between two of the UAE's smallest banks was being driven by authorities in the emirate of Sharjah, where the lenders are based. "



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Lebanon tension spurs questions over Middle East currency pegs

Lebanon tension spurs questions over Middle East currency pegs:

"The rumbling crisis in Lebanon has raised questions about the country’s currency peg — the bedrock of its relative financial and economic stability — and prompted a sterner examination of other fixed foreign exchange regimes across the region. The Lebanese pound came under pressure this month with the shock resignation of Saad al-Hariri, the prime minister, on a visit to Riyadh. Behind his departure, many observers concluded, was the escalating rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran. Such tensions have fuelled the war in Yemen and were behind the blockade imposed on Qatar, one of the six members of the Gulf Cooperation Council, by Saudi Arabia and the rest of the GCC. If fractures in the GCC deepen, say analysts, the resiliency of their currency pegs will be questioned."



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Iran to explore Qatar capital market - The Peninsula Qatar

Iran to explore Qatar capital market - The Peninsula Qatar:

"Iran’s stock exchange is seeking opportunities to tap Qatar’s capital market. A top official of Iran Fara Bourse (IFB) disclosed on Monday that the bourse is looking for dual listing of selected fixed income products on QSE. Some of the companies listed on IFB are also exploring opportunities for dual listings. Iran Fara Bourse, also known as Farabourse, is an over-the-counter market for securities and other fixed income products in Tehran, Iran, which operates under official supervision of Securities and Exchange Organisation (SEO). As of now, two bourses are operating in Iran. With over 300 listed companies and an estimated $170bn market cap, Tehran Stock Exchange is Iran’s largest stock exchange. IFB is mainly a market for financial ‎instruments including equities, sukuk, certificate of deposit (CD), Housing Mortgage ‎Right (HMR), Exchange Traded Fund (ETF), Exchange Traded Project Fund (ETPF) and ‎Intellectual Property (IP).‎"



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Emaar Development shares drop sharply on first day  - The National

Emaar Development shares drop sharply on first day  - The National:

"Shares in Emaar Development, which this month raised Dh4.8 billion in Dubai's third largest IPO ever, traded sharply lower in their opening morning on the Dubai stock exchange, the first significant share debut on the stock market since late 2014. The real-estate development arm of Emaar Properties saw it shares fall over seven per cent at the open on Wednesday, before recovering ground to trade around 3.5 per cent lower after an hour. Emaar Development last week priced its sale of 800 million shares – representing a 20 per cent stake in the company - at Dh6.03 per share, raising Dh4.8 billion in the largest IPO at the lower end of the original pricing guidance of Dh5.7-6.9 per share announced in early November, which was subsequently revised to Dh6.03-6.70 per share."



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UAE central bank: request on Saudi accounts was just information-gathering

UAE central bank: request on Saudi accounts was just information-gathering:

"A request by the United Arab Emirates central bank for local banks and finance companies to provide details of the accounts of 19 Saudi Arabian citizens was just an information-gathering exercise, the central bank governor told reporters on Wednesday.

The request earlier this month followed a sweeping corruption investigation in Saudi Arabia that involved the detention of dozens of businessmen and officials.

Asked about the request, Mubarak Rashed al-Mansouri said it was “just information-gathering, nothing more”. Commercial bankers have expressed concern that it could be a prelude to freezing the accounts. "



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Dubai-based lender Mashreq in Qatar for long haul -CEO

Dubai-based lender Mashreq in Qatar for long haul -CEO:

"Dubai-based bank Mashreq is in Qatar for the long haul, chief executive Abdulaziz al-Ghurair told reporters on Wednesday. He was speaking as a regional political dispute rages on between Qatar on the one hand and the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt. Diplomatic and transport links between the UAE and Qatar have been cut, and many UAE portfolio investors and depositors have pulled their money out of Doha. Mashreq was the first UAE lender to open an office in Qatar under its previous name, Bank of Oman. "



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Qatar's Ooredoo Is Said to Plan Rival Bid for Turk Telekom Owner - Bloomberg

Qatar's Ooredoo Is Said to Plan Rival Bid for Turk Telekom Owner - Bloomberg:

"Qatari phone carrier Ooredoo QSC decided to bid for the insolvent owner of Turkey’s biggest telecommunications company to rival an offer from Saudi Telecom Co., three people with knowledge of the matter said. Ooredoo will seek to acquire Ojer Telekomunikasyon AS, or Otas, a special purpose vehicle that owns 55 percent of Turk Telekomunikasyon AS, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private. The Saudi proposal remains on the table, they said. A purchase by Ooredoo would extend the Doha-based company’s record of expanding to serve about 150 million customers from Algeria to Myanmar, largely through acquisitions. The plan by Saudi Telecom, which owns 35 percent of Otas’s parent, Oger Telecom, involves buying the company via a $750 million cash injection and committing to restructure a further $4 billion of debt."



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MSCI may use offshore FX rates for Qatar stocks as sanctions hurt riyal access | ZAWYA MENA Edition

MSCI may use offshore FX rates for Qatar stocks as sanctions hurt riyal access | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"International equity index compiler MSCI may shift to using offshore foreign exchange rates to value Qatar's equities market because sanctions against Doha have made it more difficult for foreign investors to obtain riyal onshore, MSCI said. If it goes ahead, the shift could lead to changes in the weighting of Qatari stocks in MSCI's emerging market index, which is used as a benchmark by funds managing around $1.6 trillion of assets. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut diplomatic and transport ties with Qatar in June. As a result many Gulf and other foreign banks reduced their business with Qatari banks, distorting the foreign exchange market, where onshore and offshore rates have diverged. "



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Most of Gulf firm though Emaar Development slides on listing | ZAWYA MENA Edition

MIDEAST STOCKS-Most of Gulf firm though Emaar Development slides on listing | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Most major Gulf stock markets edged up in early trade on Wednesday, including Dubai, although Emaar Development dropped as it began trading after Dubai's first big initial public offer of shares since 2014.

Emaar Development, the local property development unit of Emaar Properties, was at 5.85 dirhams after 80 minutes, down from its IPO price of 6.03 dirhams; 209 million shares traded, compared to 800 million sold in the IPO. The stock opened at 5.61 dirhams.

The weak debut underlined two factors weighing heavily on Dubai. Its real estate market has been slumping for over two years as low oil prices cause governments around the region to cut spending and impose new taxes, slowing economic growth.
"



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