AME Info, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, finance and economy briefs [AME Info, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates]
(AME Info (Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Dec. 18--NASDAQ DUBAI PRIMARY LISTINGS RETREAT: The FTSE NASDAQ Dubai UAE 20 Index closed flat at 1774.19 Tuesday. DP World, globally the third largest maritime port operator, fell 0.44 percent to $11.35. The Middle East's largest interior designer Depa Limited plummeted 2.51 percent to $0.35.
KUWAIT MARKET INDEX KNOCKS AT 6,000 POINTS. : The KSE Market Index gained the third day straight Tuesday, closing half a percentage point higher at 5,985.44 points. The gauge improved its year-to-date performance from negative to plus 2.95 percent since the parliamentary elections were held on Dec. 1. Earlier in the day, AFP has reported that Kuwait's provisional budget surplus has surged 43 percent to KD14.7bn ($52.2bn) in the first seven months of the fiscal year, boosted by oil income. The figure compares with a KD7.3bn ($26bn) deficit projected in the budget for 2012-2013, which began on April 1. The surplus stood at $36.5bn in the same period last fiscal year. In the 2011-2012 fiscal year that ended on March 31, the Gulf country posted a record budget surplus of $47bn on the back of an all-time high income of $107.5bn. Oil income makes up about 95 percent of public revenues.
BAHRAIN BOURSE RESUMES TRADING, ADVANCES SLIGHTLY: Following the closure of the stock market on the occasion of Bahrain's National Day, the Bahrain All-Share Index gained 0.24 percent to reach 1,048.73. Islamic financial institution Ithmaar Bank posted the largest advance, closing 6.25 percent higher at $0.17. National Bank of Bahrain or NBB declined 0.95 percent to BD0.52.
ETISALAT RECOVERS FROM ROYALTY SHOCK : The Abu Dhabi euqity market measure ADX General Index closed unchanged at 2,611 Tuesday, as gains in the banking sector and losses in the real estate segment neutralised the gauge's direction. Market bellwether Emirates Telecommunications Corp., better known as Etisalat, advanced 0.22 percent to reach Dhs9.06. The share constantly regained ground in recent days after it dived 11 percent hitting Dhs8.80 last week when the UAE ministry of finance revised royalty rates for Etisalat and its Dubai-based rival Du until the year 2016. Aldar Properties and Sorouh Real Estate fell 0.78 percent and 0.80 percent, respectively. Both developers are on the way to seal a merger they announced in March this year.
DUBAI BOURSE QUARRELS WITH 1,600-RESISTANCE LEVEL: An early advance towards 1,600 was baffled during lunch time when the DFMGI fell back and eventually ended down 0.13 percent at 1,589.48 Tuesday. Emaar, as the most liquid share, declined 0.80 percent to Dhs3.68. Islamic home financing company Tamweel, which is owned 57.33 percent by Dubai Islamic Bank, jumped 3.51 percent to reach Dhs1.18. As the festive season approaches, trading volumes were on the retreat. Some 100m shares were traded, valued at Dhs115m.
HIGH OIL INCOME BOOSTS KUWAIT BUDGET SURPLUS: Kuwait's provisional budget surplus has surged 43 percent to KD14.7bn ($52.2bn) in the first seven months of the fiscal year, boosted by oil income, AFP has reported. The figure compares with a KD7.3bn ($26bn) deficit projected in the budget for 2012-2013, which began on April 1. The surplus stood at $36.5bn in the same period last fiscal year. In the 2011-2012 fiscal year that ended on March 31, the Gulf country posted a record budget surplus of $47bn on the back of an all-time high income of $107.5bn. Oil income makes up about 95 percent of public revenues.
LEBANESE SMES' BORROWING DROPPED 15.5 percent IN 2012: Kafalat Corp, a private Lebanese firm offering collaterals on business loans, has said subsidised loans extended to small-and medium-size (SME) companies dropped 15.5 percent year-on-year in the first 11 months of 2012, The Daily Star has reported. The average loan size, however, increased to $134,786 in 2012 from $128,553, during the same period. The number of loan guarantees stood at 953 in the first eleven months of 2012 compared to 1,182 in the same period last year. Total value of loans fell from $151.9m in the first 11 months of 2011 to $128.5m during the same period in 2012.
DALLAH HEALTHCARE DELIVERS STRONG LISTING DEBUT IN RIYADH: The Saudi Arabian Tadawul All-Share Index gained the fifth session straight Monday, closing up 0.30 percent at 6,870.98, the highest level since Nov. 11. Shares of Dallah Healthcare Holding Co. were traded for the first time. Dallah closed at SR57.50, or 51.31 percent above the opening price. The offering prices stood at SR38 whilst the offered amount reached SR539.6m as 14.2m shares had been offered. Riyadh-based Dallah Health is engaged in the operation, management and maintenance of facilities and health centers, in addition to wholesale and retail trade in medical and surgical tools and equipments, artificial limbs, as well as equipment for the disabled and hospitals, according to the firm's website. Market bellwether share SABIC added 0.27 percent, finishing at SR92.50. Amana Insurance lost the most, closing off 10 percent at SR171.25.
MUSCAT MARKET CONTINUES TO TRADE SIDEWAYS: The Omani MSM30-Index closed 0.15 percent higher at 5,644.59 Monday, as the gauge was mainly lifted by financials. Since Dec. 6, the market measure has been trading in a range between 5,625 to 5,650. Bank Sohar (up 1.80 percent) and Bank Dhofar (3 percent higher) were among the most liquid shares. Islamic financial institution Bank Nizwa failed to join the upswing, falling by 0.94 percent. Oman is expected to introduce an Islamic finance regulatory framework in Q1 2013. The Sultanate of Oman legalized Islamic finance in May 2011 as the last GCC state.
MASRAF AL-RAYAN DIPS AS DEADLINE FOR IBB TAKEOVER NEARS : A day ahead of Qatar's National Day, the QE 20 Index closed Monday trading 0.18 percent higher at 8,350.74. While Commercial Bank of Qatar (up 0.85 percent) and Qatar Islamic Bank or QIB (0.80 percent higher) supported the gauge, Islamic bank Masraf Al-Rayan declined 0.20 percent to QR26. Earlier in the day, Islamic Bank of Britain (IBB), majority-owned by Qatar International Islamic Bank, has said a deadline for a Qatari bank to decide on a proposed takeover offer had been extended to January, Reuters has reported. The UK's only Shari'ah-compliant retail lender has been in discussions since June with Qatari lender Masraf Al Rayan to sell a controlling stake in the British bank. A deadline for Masraf to announce a firm intention to make an offer for IBB lapsed on December 10 and has now been extended to January 7. Masraf Al-Rayan also plans to expand within the GCC, a person familiar with the matter told AMEinfo.com. The Qatar Exchange will remain closed Tuesday, Dec. 18, on the occasion of the country's National Day. Trading will resume Wednesday.
LACKLUSTER ABU DHABI MARKET SEES BLUE CHIPS ENDING EVEN: The ADX General Index slipped 0.12 percent to 2,610.94 Monday. The 5 most liquid shares Aldar Properties, telecom giant Etisalat, developer Eshraq, Sorouh Real Estate and First Gulf Bank closed unchanged amid a lack of catalysts. Abu Dhabi National Energy Co., better known as Taqa, fell 2.90 percent, finishing at Dhs1.35.
OIL PRICES AND A WORLD RECORD LIFT DUBAI BOURSE: The DFM General Index advanced one percent to close at 1,591.54 Monday, with Emaar (up 1.64 percent), Ajman Bank (gaining 4.17 percent) and telecom company Du (0.60 percent higher) being the most liquid shares. A rebound in DME Oman crude oil (up 0.705 percent at $105.69) raised the investors' mood as well as news that Dubai's new 354.7m high JW Marriott Marquis Hotel has been recognized as the world's tallest hotel by Guinness World Records. The 5-star twin tower hotel decrowns the 333-meters tall Rotana Rose Rayhaan, which was opened in Jan. 201 and is also located at Dubai's main arterial road Sheikh Zayed Road. Shares of Islamic insurance firm Takaful Emarat dived 3.10 percent to Dhs0.595. Some 95m shares were traded, valued at Dhs116.6m.
GLOBAL ECONOMY TO SEE RECOVERY SIGNS IN H2 2013: REPORT: According to a report by BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research, global economic growth is to start recovering in the second half of 2013, pushing the S&P 500 Index to a new all-time high of 1600. However, a cloud of uncertainty is likely to overhang the markets through a painful and protracted resolution of the US fiscal cliff, said the report. "This time last year, the risks to global growth were to the downside as the European debt crisis, China hard landing fears and the US fiscal cliff clouded the economic outlook," said Michael Hartnett, chief investment strategist at BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research. "For 2013, we expect the resolution of fiscal policy issues, another year of accommodative central bank actions and improving corporate profits to skew the macro and market risks to the upside."
SAUDI SHOURA COUNCIL URGES MINISTRY TO REVIEW EXPAT LABOUR FEE: Saudi Arabia's Shoura Council has urged the labour ministry to reconsider its new levy on expatriate workers, Arab News has reported. The annual fees of SR 2,400 would lead to a sharp rise in consumer prices and impose an additional burden on citizens, council members said. "The council's Management and Human Resources Committee (MHRC) is currently working on finding a way for the ministry officials to reconsider their decision on the expatriate levy," council member Ibrahim Al-Suleiman said. The MHRC has not been convinced of the ministry's motive or justification to take the decision, especially when it will create a harmful impact on citizens and traders, even if indirectly, he said.
SABIC HITS 3-MONTH HIGH ON SOLID SAUDI OUTLOOK: The Tadawul All-Share Index consolidated above 6,800 Sunday by gaining 0.54 percent to reach 6,851.16, as market bellwether SABIC closed at SR92.25, up 0.54 percent. Earlier in the day, Arab News said Saudi Arabia's real estate market was estimated at more than SR1 trillion and that it was growing at the rate of six percent annually. "It contributes 9.5 percent to the non-oil GDP", said the report. Consequently, developers joined the year-end rally. Arriyadh Development Co. jumped 5.60 percent to hit SR21.70. Emaar The Economic City, a subsidiary of Dubai's Emaar and developer of a multi-billion city at the Red Sea coast north of Jeddah, advanced three percent to close at SR8.50. Advanced Petrochemical Co. added 0.78 percent, finishing at SR25.80. Earlier in the day, the firm said its board of directors has decided in their meeting on Sunday, Dec. 16, to recommend to the company's general assembly meeting to distribute SR163.9m cash dividends which equals to SR1 dividend per share for the second half of year 2012. The IMF expects growth of Saudi Arabia's real GDP to reach 6 percent in 2012 and 4.2 percent for 2013. The solid economic outlook also lifts price levels in KSA. Jadwa Research in Riyadh said Monday, core inflation in the kingdom trended up to 2.2 percent in November this year compared with 1.8 percent in October.
KUWAIT MARKET EDGES UP AS NEW PARLIAMENT HELDS 1ST POST-ELECTORAL SESSION: The KSE Market Index rose 0.12 percent to close at 5,937.56 Sunday, mostly driven by shares form the "second row" as market heavyweights like National Bank of Kuwait or telecom company Zain closed unchanged. Securities House posted the second largest advance, ending up 7.81 percent, finishing at KD0.069. Earlier in the day, members of the newly elected National Assembly held their first session of the 14th legislative term. MP Ali Al-Rashed, a Kuwaiti lawyer and veteran in the Majlis, was elected the parliament's speaker.
QATARI SHARES END MIXED : The QE 20 Index added 0.05 percent Sunday to reach 8,335. 48. Market heavyweight Industries Qatar (up 0.33 percent) and Commercial Bank of Qatar, the country's second lender, helped the gauge to stay afloat. Shares of real estate firm United Development Company or UDC, the builder of the man-made The Pearl Qatar island north of Doha, declined by 0.24 percent to QR16.85. On Dec. 13, UDC said it decided to dissolve the branch of Pragmatech For Technology established in Lebanon. Pragmatech is a wholly owned subsidiary of UDC. Incorporated in 2009, it provides information technology services and products in the MENA region. The Qatar Exchange will be closed on Tuesday, Dec. 18, on the occasion of Qatar's National Day. The bourse will resume trading Wednesday, Dec. 19.
BANKS TOP, DEVELOPERS FLOP AT ABU DHABI BOURSE: The ADX Global Index ADXGI added 0.10 percent Sunday, finishing at 2,614.11 points. Market heavyweight and telecom giant Etisalat was the most liquied share and fell 0.22 percent to Dhs9.06 but advanced at First Gulf Bank (up 1.85 percent at Dhs11) and National Bank of Abu Dhabi (1.50 percent higher at Dhs10.25) kept the market index in the green. Merging developers Aldar Properties and Sorouh Real Estate declined in lockstep (as they did frequently this year), closing 0.80 percent lower at Dhs1.27 and Dhs1.24, respectively. Like at the Dubai market, total volumes and and total value almost equalled as 63m shares valued at Dhs62.3m changed hands.
DUBAI INVESTORS "CALL IT A YEAR": The Dubai Financial Market continued to lose buying power on the last meters of the 2012-track as the lead index DFMGI fell Sunday the fifth session straight, closing off 0.52 percent at 1,576.23. Emaar dived 1.88 percent to Dhs3.65. The UAE's second Telecom operator Du slipped 0.87 percent to Dhs3.42. Earlier in the day, Du said it secured a $100m loan form Singopre's DSB bank in order to upgrade its network performance with the hekp of new ICT hardware from China's Huawei Technologies. Some 125m shares were traded, valued at Dhs122.2m. Since Jan. 1, the DFM gained 16 percent in value, representing the best year-to-date performance in the GCC, but the gauge's recent setbacks diminish chances for a year-end rally.
ABU DHABI INFLATION ROSE 1.2 percent THIS YEAR: The Statistics Centre Abu Dhabi (SCAD) has said that average consumer prices in the emirate rose 0.8 percent in November, compared with the same month a year earlier, Gulf News has reported. The consumer price index (CPI) in November stood at 123.6 points, up from 122.6 points in November 2011. During the first 11 months of 2012, the average consumer prices rose by 1.2 percent, compared with the same period in 2011, the SCAD said. "Restaurants and hotels group accounted for 50.4 percent of the increase. The second highest contributor to the overall increase in the CPI over the first 11 months of 2012 was the food and non-alcoholic beverages group," the report said.
(c)2012 AME Info (Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates)
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