(AME Info (Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) April 09--QATARI BANK SHARES FALL AS BANK DEPOSIT GROWTH SLOWS IN 2012: The Doha-based QE 20 Index fell 0.25 percent Monday, ending at 8,756.64 points. Year-to-date the gauge is also with minus 0.25 percent in the red. No lender, expect International Islamic Ban added valued. According to the GCC Quarterly, published today by Dubai-based bank Emirates NBD, bank deposits in Qatar declined 1.6 percent month-on-month in February, but were still 5.4 percent higher than February 2011. "The main driver appears to have been a 6.7 percent m-o-m decline in public sector deposits, as private sector deposits rose 0.9 percent m-o-m in February," the report said. Qatar National Bank dipped 0.44 percent, while Al Ahli Bank fell 1.44 percent. Vodafone Qatar soared 6.77 percent, ending as a top gainer.
BAHRAIN TELECOM CONTINUES TO OUTPERFORM MANAMA MARKET: The Bahrain All Share Index ended 0.32 percent lower at 1,139.40 points. Financials in particular dragged the gauge down. Islamic bank Ithmaar (down 5.26 percent), Salam Bank (off 2.04 percent) and Ahli United Bank (1.64 percent lower) posted the largest declines. Bahrain Telecom or Batelco was the only gaining stock (up 2.27 percent).
ETISALAT SHARES FALL TO TWO-AND-A-HALF MONTH LOW: The Abu Dhabi stock market index ADXGI ended off 0.45 percent Monday, at 2,546.54 points. After rising in lockstep on Saunday, Aldar and Sorouh fell in lockstep today. Both developers, which have entered merger talks ast month, declined 1.68 percent and closed at Dhs1.16. The UAE's first telecom provider Etisalat slipped 0.34 percent to Dhs8.70. A whopping 11 shares closed flat, while five gained and 15 declined. Around 43m shares were traded, valued at Dhs60.4m.
RESILIENT DUBAI MARKET SAVES 1,650-LEVEL DESPITE HEADWINDS: The Dubai Financial Market (DFM) traded nervously Monday amid weak input from Saudi Arabia and Asia, but avoided a meltdown amid low trading turnover as Europe remained closed due to Easter holidays. The DFMGI ended 0.66 percent lower at 1,657.59 points. Emaar slipped 0.92 percent, but Arabtec Construction (up 1.82 percent) and Union Properties (3.37 percent higher) cushioned the fickle market. Positive remarks by Emirates NBD (off 1.05 percent) Chief Economist Tim Fox supported the gauge. "The easing in global risk aversion in recent weeks has benefitted Dubai," Fox said in his GCC Quarterly published Monday. "The emirate's 5-year Credit Default Swaps (CDS) has declined 110 basis points year-to-date and is currently at the lowest level since early August 2011. Dubai based issuers have taken advantage of the improved market conditions and issued $2.5bn worth of debt in Q1 2012, more than double the $1.1bn issued in Q1 2011." ENBD's Fox concluded: "Given the high refinancing requirements of Dubai Government Related Entities (GREs) this year, the strong start to the year in terms of debt issuance is encouraging and reduces some of the re-financing risk facing the emirate in 2012." Some 193m shares were traded, valued at Dhs255.4m.
LEBANON NOT UNDER PRESSURE FROM REGULATORY BODIES, SAYS SALAMEH: Riad Salameh, the governor of the Lebanese central bank, has denied the country was under pressure from regulatory bodies over financial sanctions on Syria, but admitted that Lebanese banks with stakes in its neighbour have been affected by the crisis, The Daily Star has reported. "[Lebanon] is not under pressure because we are in contact with everyone," Salameh told Al-Arabiya TV channel. "We have a good relationship with the regulatory authority which is in Lebanon's interest and at the same time [such a relationship] has created a calm atmosphere for both sides," he added.
EGYPT'S EFG-HERMES 2011 PROFIT FALLS 63 percent: Egyptian investment bank, EFG-Hermes has posted a 63 percent fall in 2011 net profit, as the economic fallout from uprisings across the Middle East pushed down brokerage, investment banking and asset management revenue, Reuters has reported. Net income before minority interests was EGP307.7m ($51m), down from EGP826.2m in 2010. Consolidated operating revenue fell 31 percent as investment bank revenue tumbled 65 percent. Assets under management grew 2.2 percent from the third quarter after three quarters of declines, the firm said.
SAUDI ARABIAN TADAWUL MARKET DROPS BY 1.84 percent: The Tadawul All Share Index (Tasi) ended 1.84 percent lower at 7,717.72 points Sunday, amid ongoing negative sentiment triggered by weak U. S. payroll figures from last Friday. Market bellwether Sabic dived like the market index 1.85 percent to close at SR106. Saudi Arabian Cooperative Insurance Company or SAICO gained the most, closing 9.90 percent higher at SR48.90. The market in Riyadh also struggles with domestic issues. According to the DIFC Economic Weekly, the SABB HSBC Saudi Arabia Purchasing Managers Index fell to a three-month low of 58.73 in Mar (Feb: 59.62), with new orders at 66.8 the slowest since Decemeber.
DP WORLD DIVES TWO PERCENT AT NASDAQ DUBAI: The FTSE NASDAQ Dubai UAE 20 Index closed at 1714.39 Sunday, down 0.58 percent from the previous close. Shares of global maritime port operator DP World were the only securities traded, ending off 1.99 percent at $11.30 amid rising uncertainty over the world economic outlook for 2012.
QATAR EXCHANGE DECLINES THE FOURTH TRADING SESSION STRAIGHT: Doha-listed shares lost across the board, pulling the QE 20 Index down half a percent to 8,778.27 points. "Qatar's economy expanded 14 percent in inflation-adjusted terms last year, a slower pace than many analysts had expected," said Kuwait's Global Investment House earlier today. Like the index, market bellwether Industries Qatar fell half a percent. General Insurance bucked the trend, finishing two percent higher.
MERGER CANDIDATES ALDAR PROPERTIES, SOROUH REAL ESTATE RISE IN LOCKSTEP AGAIN: The Abu Dhabi market gauge ADXGI dipped insignificantly and closed at 2,558.14 points Sunday. Real estate heavyweights Aldar and Sorouh closed both 1.71 percent higher at Dhs1.18 and Dhs1.17, respectively. The two developers said in mid-March they seek the blessing from the Abu Dhabi government for a possible merger. Abu Dhabi National Energy Co. known as Taqa, advanced 1.50 percent to hit a nine-month high at Dhs1.35. Earlier in the day, Taqa announced it has signed a joint venture agreement with Mass Global Investments Co. Limited. Under the agreement, Taqa will acquire half of a 1,000 Megawatt gas-fired Independent Power Producer (IPP) near Sulaymaniyah in the Kurdish region in the north of Iraq. Eleven shares advanced, seven declined and 12 closed unchanged. Around 86m stocks were traded, valued at Dhs97.5m.
LACKLUSTER DUBAI BOURSE DECLINES ONE PERCENT: The Dubai Financial Market (DFM) General Index ended one percent lower at 1,668.62 points Sunday, following sluggish markets from the U. S. and Saudi Arabia. Five shares closed flat, among them market bellwether Emaar Properties, Drake and Scull International and DFM (the only listed Arab bourse). Commercial Bank of Dubai or CBD bucked the trend, closing 3.57 percent higher at Dhs2.90. Four stocks advanced and 20 declined. Some 239m stocks were traded, valued at Dhs315.7m.
SAUDI ARABIA TO PROVIDE VOCATIONAL TRAINING FOR ONE MILLION YOUNG PEOPLE: The Technical and Vocational Training Corp (TVTC) has unveiled plans to train around one million young men and women for the country's labour market, Saudi Gazette has reported. Graduates will work in the private and public sectors in fields such as commerce, industry and agriculture. The scheme, which targets those who did not complete their secondary and undergraduate studies, will reduce the number of Hafiz beneficiaries by 50 percent, especially after the private sector increases Saudization to 10 percent by 2013.
LEBANON AT RISK OF MASS LAYOFFS, SAYS CHAMBER OF COMMERCE: The head of Lebanon's Beirut Chamber of Commerce has said the country's economy needs to grow by 4-5 percent in 2012 to avoid falling into a vicious cycle of mass layoffs and stagnation, The Daily Star has reported. "Our major aim now is to preserve existing jobs [rather than] the economy's ability to create new jobs," Mohammad Choukeir said, arguing that this has become increasingly difficult because of a recent wage increase, as well as the soaring cost of fuel. "It might not be a big issue for the top 10 percent of companies who are doing well, but we have been getting endless complaints from businesses who struggle to afford the raise," he said.
KUWAIT TO SEE 4.5 percent GDP GROWTH IN 2012, SAYS IMF: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said Kuwait's real GDP is forecast to grow by 4.5 percent on further increase in oil production and increased government spending, Saudi Gazette has reported. The Gulf country's real GDP in 2011 is seen to have grown by 5.7 percent, the IMF said. According to the central bank data, Kuwait's nominal GDP in 2010 grew by 17 percent to reach KD35.6bn, compared with a decline of 23 percent during the previous year. The growth was primarily driven by a 22 percent jump in oil revenue as average Kuwait Export Crude oil (KEC) prices shot up by 26 percent to $76.3 per barrel amid recovery in international markets.
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