AME Info, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, finance and economy briefs
Dec 20, 2012 (Menafn - AME Info - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --QTEL SOARS ON ASIACELL'S LISTING PLANS IN BAGHDAD: The Doha-based QE 20 Index ended the week on a solid note, closing up 0.42 percent at 8,442.51 Thursday. Qatar Telecom or Qtel advanced 1.76 percent to finish at QR103.90. Earlier in the day, ") Qtel said it subsidiary Asiacell confirmed its intention to proceed with its intention to list shares on the Iraq Stock Exchange ISX as part of the terms of its license. Qtel owns 53.9 percent of Asiacell. Rabee Securities, Iraq's largest independent brokerage, is acting as sole distributor and selling agent and Melak Iraq, an Iraqi Financial Advisory Firm, is sole adviser to the company in respect of the Offer.
DEVELOPERS FUEL ABU DHABI EXCHANGE ADVANCE: The ADX General Index ended Thursday a quarter percentage point higher at 2,619.65. While bellwether shares Emirates Telecommunications Corporation or Etisalat lost 0.11 percent, developers Eshraq (up 2.44 percent), Aldar and Soruoh (gaining 0.80 percent) lifted the gauge.
DP WORLD COULD BECOME TOP 2012 PERFORMER: The FTSE NASDAQ Dubai UAE 20 Index closed up 1.14 percent at 1805.27 Thursday. The index tracks 20 liquid stocks listed on DFM, the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange ADX and NASDAQ Dubai. "The gauge has been designed as a hedging and investment mechanism for GCC and international investors", according to the exchange. Shares of Dubai Pots (DP) World jumped 3.90 percent to hit 12.00. The share was priced at 9.70 on Jan. 1. Earlier in the week, DP World said that its flagship Jebel Ali Port has achieved a new milestone, handling more than 500,000 vehicles in less than 12 months. "This translates into almost one vehicle imported, exported or re-exported every minute of the day, 24x7." Shares of interior design firm Depa Limited dived 5.71 percent, finishing at 0.33.
DUBAI MARKET RISES TO 1,600, EMIRATES NBD UP ON EGYPT DEAL : The Dubai equity index DFMGI gained 0.62 percent amid higher turnover than yesterday, closing at 1,601.39 Thursday. Some 149m shares worth Dhs176m changed hands. Emaar Properties edged up by 0.54 percent to close at Dhs3.72 after the developer said yesterday it secured a 500m financing facility to build Emaar Square in Turkey, a mixed-used luxury district near Istanbul. The UAE's largest lender by assets Emirates NBD added 0.72 percent, ending at Dhs2.85. ENBD said earlier in the day, it purchased the Egyptian branch from French lender BNP Paribas for 500m. The deal is subject to regulatory approval in Egypt and in the UAE. Shuaa Capital, briefly fell below Dhs0.50 but eventually finished at Dhs0.503, down 1.76 percent. The UAE's oldest investment bank said in an e-mailed statement that Portugal's Urbanos Group, the majority shareholder of Groundforce Portugal, has appointed Shuaa as Middle East financial advisor. Groundforce Portugal is Portugal's main airport cargo and passenger handling services provider with a 65 percent market share. The firm plans to establish and expand a presence in the Middle East.
TADAWUL MARKET ENDS WEEK ON A HIGH NOTE: The Saudi Arabian Tadawul All-Share Index closed Wednesday trading 0.44 percent higher at 6,888.59, as insurers led the market's rise to a 5-week high. SABIC stood flat at SR92.25 after the Saudi bellwether gained 3.64 percent since Dec. 1. Saudi Enaya Cooperative Insurance Company fell one percent to SR49.50. Earlier in the day, Saudi Enaya said that CEO Gianin Zogg has resigned from his current position as effective Dec. 18. His resignation was accepted without prejudice and was handed in for personal reasons. The board of directors and the nomination and remuneration committee has appointed Sulaiman Mahmoud Hilal as the Interim CEO. "Later on Saudi Enaya will make an announcement once we have all approvals from regulation regarding the Interim CEO." Since July this year, Saudi Enaya has been trading sideways around SR50. The Tadawul bourse remains closed Thursday and will resume trading Saturday. All other GCC exchanges are open for trading from Sunday to Thursday.
UAE ANNOUNCES PUBLIC, PRIVATE SECTOR'S NEW YEAR HOLIDAY: The UAE government has announced federal ministries and entities will remain closed on January 1, 2013, to mark the New Year, Wam has reported. Employees in private sector institutions and companies will also get a one-day paid holiday on January 1, 2013, minister of labour Saqr Ghobash Saeed Ghobash said in a circular. Work will resume on January 2, 2013, the circular said.
UAE APPROVES NEXT YEAR'S DRAFT BUDGET: The UAE Federal National Council (FNC) has passed a draft 2013 budget of Dhs44.6bn, Gulf News has reported. The 2013 draft budget is 7.6 percent higher than the UAE federal budget of Dhs41.4bn announced in 2011. It is part of a three-year government financial plan with total spending of Dhs133bn in order to implement the country's strategic plans. The federal budget accounts for only around 11 percent of overall fiscal spending in the UAE, with mainly Abu Dhabi and six other individual emirates making up the rest.
IRAQ TO RECEIVE 900M FROM WORLD BANK: The World Bank has pledged 900m to Iraq over the next four years to help it create jobs, build stronger institutions and improve social inclusion, Reuters has reported. Iraq's government developed the strategy with the World Bank, the private sector, and other stakeholders to focus especially on better management of Iraq's vast oil wealth and improve its investment climate. "Iraq is opening a new chapter in its long and deep history," Ferid Belhaj, the World Bank's director for Iraq, Syria, Iran, Lebanon and Jordan, said about the country's strategy with the World Bank.
MOODY'S SAYS IMF LOAN DELAY MAY HURT EGYPT'S CREDIT RATING: Moody's Investor Services has said Egypt's request to postpone a long-awaited IMF loan due to recent political unrest could lead to a downgrade in the country's credit rating, Ahram has reported. The credit rating agency said the IMF loan was vital because it would boost investor confidence, raise foreign investment and reduce the budget deficit. The report also hinted that the recent stabilisation of the country's external balance of payments and government finances is weakening as a direct consequence of the current political faceoff.
KUWAITI MPS DRAFT BILL TO RELIEVE INDEBTED CITIZENS: Three Kuwaiti lawmakers have submitted draft bills this week in a push for a government bailout of households that have accumulated billions of dollars of debt, Bloomberg has reported. "We're looking for a solution to help solve this issue and we're open to suggestions," Nawaf Al-Fuzaie, one of the MPs, told the news service. Previous attempts at passing such a law have failed. In 2010, the government refused to endorse a bill that would have cost the state about 23bn to buy personal loans and write off accumulated interest. Al-Fuzaie said his bill, which would apply to Kuwaitis with loans of KD70,000 (249,000) or less, will help companies and the economy. Finance minister Mustafa Al-Shimali was quoted by a local daily that the government has no intention of supporting such proposals.
KUWAIT BOURSE'S ADVANCE HALTED JUST BEFORE 6,000 POINTS: A three-day gaining streak came to an end Wednesday as the KSE Market Index finished flat at 5,986.87 points. Several attempts by the gauge to knock out the resistance level at 6,000 failed this year. National Bank of Kuwait or NBK advanced 1.03 percent to close at KD0.980. Since July 17, shares of the country's largest lender have been trading in a range between KD0950 and KD1.
OIL PRICE REBOUND LIFTS TAQA SHARES: The Abu Dhabi-market index ADX General added 0.06 percent to close at 2,612.80 points Wednesday. Abu Dhabi National Energy Co., better known as Taqa, gained the most, surging 3.03 percent to hit Dhs1.36. Oil prices of the type Dubai Mercantile Exchange (DME) Oman Crude advanced 0.62 percent, finishing at 106.21 after S&P upgraded the rating of Greece from 'SD' (selective defualt) to 'B-' (non-Investment grade, vulnerable) with a stable outlook. Progress in U. S. budget talks in averting the so-called fiscal cliff also lifted the price of the black gold and consequently Taqa.
QATAR MARKET RESUMES TRADING, CRACKS 8,400-RESISTANCE: Following Qatar's National Day, the Doha-based market resumed trading Wednesday, closing 0.67 percent higher at 8,407.10 points. Heavyweight shares Industries Qatar and Qatar National Bank gained 1.10 percent and 0.10 percent, respectively. Year-to-date, the QE 20 Index fell by 4.17 percent as Qatar's real GDP growth fell to 9 percent in 2012 from 12.9 percent last year according to the IMF as a bulk of investments in the gas industry were finalised in 2011 and gas production is currently at its maximum. Regarding the outlook for 2013, the IMF expects another 9 percent growth of the country's real GDP.
DUBAI MARKET BENEFITS SLIGHTLY FROM GREECE'S UPGRADE: The DFM General Index added 0.13 percent, closing at 1,591.57 Wednesday. Like U. S. and Asian markets, the gauge received tailwinds from Standard and Poor's move to upgrade Greece's sovereign credit rating by six notches, from 'selective default' to 'B-', acknowledging the Euro zone's efforts to keep Hellas in the 17-member states currency union. Some progress in talks between the Obama administration and the GOP to avoid the "fiscal cliff" also lifted markets worldwide. In Dubai, Emaar edged up by 0.54 percent to reach Dhs3.70. At the NASDAQ Dubai, DP World soared 1.76 percent to hit 11.55. Some 92.6m shares were traded, valued at Dhs104.2m.
AL HABTOOR DELAYS IPO PLANS: Dubai-based conglomerate Al Habtoor Group has deferred plans for an initial public offering next year that could have raised up to 1.6bn, Bloomberg has reported. "After a thorough evaluation I have decided to postpone the IPO," chairman Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor said. "It is a moral issue not taking the group public at this time. I will continue to focus on best practice and growing the company in a sustainable way." An independent valuation of the group business by accounting firm Grant Thornton showed a value of 6.06bn, excluding several foreign interests, substantially higher than previously estimated, Al Habtoor Group said.
OMAN'S AL MADINA TO SET UP 50M SME FUND: A joint venture between Oman-based Al Madina Financial and Investment Services and Malaysia's ACA Amanie has announced plan to set up a 50m Shari'ah-compliant small and medium enterprise (SME) fund, as part of a major initiative to develop the market for Islamic finance, Times of Oman has reported. The fund will provide seed capital for small and medium sized firms in Oman, which use Korean technology. The fund is expected to be operational in the first quarter of next year. "It is a kind of a government-to-government fund. The objective of this fund is to promote Korean technology (in other countries)," Khalid Ali Saif Al Yahmadi, chief investment officer of Al Madina Investment.
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