AME Info, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, finance and economy briefs
Nov 27, 2012 (Menafn - AME Info - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --ENERGY SHARES FAIL TO LIFT ABU DHABI EXCHANGE: The ADX General Index closed 0.12 percent lower at 2,643.44 points as market heavyweight Etisalat ended flat, while Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank dived 2.27 percent. Developers closed mixed. Aldar and Sorouh, which are on the way to seal a long time-expected merger, both gained 0.81 percent, while RAK Properties plummeted 2.56 percent. Oil and gas companies Taqa and Dana Gas advanced 1.56 percent and 2.56 percent, respectively, as oil prices remained high, with WTI rising 0.16 percent to around 88 in late Tuesday trading.
BANKING STOCKS PUSH BAHRAIN BOURSE UP : The Manama-based Bahrain All-Share Index surged 0.71 percent Tuesday to close at 1,048.32 points. Ahli United Bank surged 3.74 percent to reach 0.55. Inovest jumped 5.71 percent, finishing at 0.185.
LACKLUSTER QATARI BOURSE SHEDS 0.34 percent: The QE Index closed at 8,400.72 points amid very low trading volumes. A third of Doha-listed shares closed unchanged. Unlike listed lenders in Dubai, most Qatari banks did not benefit from news that EU and IMF agreed to cut Greece's debt by EUR40bn (51.91bn). Qatar National Bank and Doha Bank lost 0.70 percent and 2.70 percent, respectively. Al Ahli Bank bucked the trend by gaining over 5.5 percent to hit QR57.
EMAAR, FINANCIALS STABILISE DUBAI MARKET: The Dubai stock exchange added 0.15 percent to reach 1,591.46 points Tuesday as Emaar Properties (up 0.81 percent at Dhs3.73) still enjoyed tailwinds from new investors' optimism on Mohamed Bin Rashid City. The "city within Dubai" which UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohamed Bin Rashid AL-Maktoum ordered to build last Saturday is designed to host 35m visitors per year. On Monday, the Duber ruler approved the primary planning for the fun park with an estimated cost of Dhs10bn. Ajmanbank and Shuaa Capital gained 3.85 percent and 3.52 percent, respectively, on news that the EU and the IMF agreed to cut Greece's debt by EUR40bn (51.91bn). Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing (MEP)-specialist Drake and Scull International or DSI fell 1.11 percent. Earlier in the day, DSI said it secured two MEP contracts for a Dhs55m hotel apartment project and a Dhs40m district cooling project in Qatar in addition to a Dhs54m residential tower project in India.
TAX RATES IN EGYPT LOWER THAN GLOBAL AVERAGE: REPORT: According to a report by the World Bank and its private sector arm, International Financial Corp (IFC), Egypt's average total tax rate is well below the world average, Ahram has reported. The country's total tax rate is 42.6 percent divided into income, profit and labour taxes, while the global average reached almost 44.7 percent, the report said. Egypt tax revenue is an average of 14.1 percent of total GDP, with an expected total of EGP232bn to be collected in 2012, according to the finance ministry's general budget report for the year 2012/13. This rate is considered low compared to global tax revenues.
DUBAI GROUP REDUCES STAFF COUNT: Dubai Group, part of Dubai Holding, has reduced by half its staff of about 30 people, as part of cost-cutting measures in its 10bn restructuring, Reuters has reported, citing unnamed sources. "We can confirm that a number of staff have been made redundant as part of the constant cost review process, this will not impact the management of our investment portfolio," a Dubai Group spokesman said. Among those to leave the firm is chief investment officer Trevor Regan, who joined the company in December 2011, one of the sources said. The company has been in negotiations with creditor banks, which are owed 6bn of the total, since missing interest payments on two loan facilities in 2010. The remaining 4bn is owed to shareholders and classified as internal lending.
IMF WARNS MORSI DECLARATION COULD STALL LOAN TO EGYPT: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said the instability following Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi's 'Constitutional Declaration' could delay a 4.8bn loan from the fund, Ahram has reported. The declaration said all presidential declarations, laws and decrees could not be appealed or blocked. The development could bring into question the stability of state institutions and raise doubts that could delay the loan, a senior IMF official, who requested anonymity, told the daily. Last week, the IMF said it had reached a staff-level agreement with Egypt regarding the loan.
KSA TO SET UP A FUND TO MANAGE BUDGET SURPLUSES: The Saudi Shoura Council has approved a proposal to set up a sovereign National Reserve Fund (NRF) under the supervision of the Supreme Economic Council, Arab News has reported. The proposed fund will be used for the investment of surplus amounts from annual budgets for the betterment of future generations and offset possible budget deficits, said council member, Yousuf Al-Maimani. "The government will also be able to make use of this fund whenever there is a fall in oil prices," he said.
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