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AME Info, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, finance and economy briefs [AME Info, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates]
[November 13, 2012]

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) Nov. 13--FINANCIALS PUSH KUWAIT MARKET INDEX HIGHER: The KSE Market Index extended its week-long gaining streak and closed half a percentage point higher to reach 5,815.80 points Tuesday. While the country's largest lender National Bank of Kuwait ended even, Islamic banks Burgana and Kuwait Finance House gained slightly, as well as Kuwait International Bank. Thanks to its recent gains shortly before the parliamentary elections in December, the KSE Market Index broke even today on year-to-date basis. Since January 1, the gauge advanced by 0.03 percent.

QATAR EXCHANGE FALLS THE THIRD SESSION STRAIGHT ON WEAKER FINANCIALS, INDUSTRIALS: The QE Index ended Tuesday trading 0.60 percent lower at 8,445.61 points. Industries Qatar fell 1.20 percent, while only two banking shares added value. Real estate giant United Development Company or UDC bucked the trend by gaining 0.60 percent. Earlierin the day, the bourse said a Chinese delegation headed by Mr. Jiang Yang, Vice Chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) and Mr. Yang Maijun, Chairman of the Board of the Shanghai Futures Exchange, visited Qatar Exchange Tuesday. They met Mr. Rashid Bin Ali Al-Mansoori, CEO of Qatar Exchange, and several department directors of bourse. Mr. Yang emphasized on the importance of strengthening the bilateral relation to consolidate the capital markets, especially in light of the high growth achieved by both countries and the desire to attract foreign investments.

RAK CERAMICS WITH MIXED 9M,Q3 RESULTS: In line with the general sluggish sentiment in Asia and the Middlea East, the Abu Dhabi market ADX fell 0.41 percent to close at 2,694.81 points. Shares lost across the board, with real estate stocks declining in particular. Ras al-Khaima (RAK) Ceramic Co. ended even at Dhs1.18. Earlier in the day, the world's largest ceramics producer said its third quarter profit was Dhs28m, down from Dhs42.2m in Q3 2011, whilst the nine-month profit in 2012 increased to Dhs193.12m, up from Dhs181.82m in the same period last year.

DUBAI MARKET STRUGGLES WITH 1,620-LEVEL: The DFM General Index lost 0.70 percent and closed at 1,614.85 Tuesday as Asian markets were heading again lower on Japan's recession worries. DFM heavyweights Emaar Properties (down 0.55 percent), Arabtec Construction (off 1.23 percent) and Dubai Islamic Bank (1.49 percent lower) ended in the red. Sharjah-based Air Arabia, the Middle East's largest budget carrier, jumped 2.60 percent as the airline benefitted from its 126 percent profit jump in the third quarter it reported Monday.

GLOBAL TRADE TO MAKE 'MODEST RECOVERY' IN 2013: HSBC: HSBC has said global trade will stage a modest recovery in 2013, with businesses more confident than some politicians that slow economic growth will not spawn protectionism, Reuters has reported. Trade is expected to grow about 5 percent next year, picking up to a range of 6-7 percent in 2014-2016, driven by ever-closer commercial links between emerging markets, the lender said. The forecast echoes that of the World Trade Organisation, which expects growth of 4.5 percent, up from just 2.5 percent this year.

QATAR TRANSFERS THIRD TRANCHE OF $2BN DEPOSIT TO EGYPT: Egyptian finance minister Momtaz El-Said has said the Central Bank of Egypt has received the third tranche, worth $500m, of a promised $2bn deposit from Qatar, Mena has reported. Bolstered by the Qatari deposit, Egypt's foreign currency reserves have risen by $441m in October to $15.484bn, up from $15.043bn at the end of September.

MIDEAST REPAYMENT FEARS FUELLED BY GLOBAL UNCERTAINTY: Tim Reid, HSBC's regional head of commercial banking has said the use by Middle Eastern companies of financial instruments that offset the risk of non-payment by foreign trade partners is expected to increase, as uncertainty over the global economy grows, Reuters has reported. In Saudi Arabia, 42 percent of exporters believe there will be an increase in buyers failing to settle trade transactions in coming months, with 30 percent of importers expecting more suppliers to fail to deliver goods, the lender said. Meanwhile, 53 percent of Egyptian businesses surveyed for the report cited payment defaults and 42 percent mentioned supplier failures as barriers to future trade growth. "I think this is a reflection of the economic situation out there, and the desire to find mitigants to make sure people can continue to take advantage of the growth in trade flows and ensure they are protected against payment risk," said Reid.

SAUDI CMA ALLOWS RIGHTS TRADE ON TADAWUL: Saudi Arabia's market regulator has decided to allow subscription rights for share offers to be listed and traded on the Saudi stock market, as it modernises the market in preparation to permit the entry of foreign investors, Reuters has reported. "This framework aims to add further protection and flexibility to those investors that do not have the intention to subscribe to their entitlements," the Capital Market Authority said. The kingdom has been making preparations to open its stock market to direct investment by foreign institutions, but has not yet announced a date for the reform, apparently because it is concerned about the possibility of destabilising the market.

SABIC AND SHELL TO EXPAND PARTNERSHIP : Declining oil prices weighed on the Saudi equity index Tasi, closing Monday trading off 0.80 percent at 6,829.53 points. Oil (WTI) fell 0.60 percent as investors were hit by surprise on Japan's shrinking GDP, indicating the world's third largest economy might fall into a recession. In Riyadh, market bellwether SABIC, the world's first petrochems firm, closed half a percentage point lower at SR89.75. Earlier in the day, SABIC said it will expand its partnership with Royal Dutch Shell through their Saudi Arabia Petrochemical Company (SADAF) 50/50 joint venture. "SABIC and Shell will jointly conduct the necessary studies on the SMPO (Styrene Monomer/Propylene Oxide) and polyols projects before taking a final investment decision," the firm said in a statement to the Tadawul bourse. SABIC and Shell have also agreed to build on their strong long-term relationship to explore international petrochemical opportunities beyond SADAF and Saudi Arabia, SABIC added.

AIR ARABIA FLIES HIGH ON QUARTERLY RESULTS : Shares of Sharjah-based Air Arabia advanced 1.17 percent to reach Dhs0.692 Monday. After the closing of the Dubai market DFM, Air Arabia said that in the third quarter it generated a net profit of Dhs226m, up 126 percent year-on-year. The GCC's largest budget carrier added it registered a 14 percent increase in passenger traffic to 1.4m in Q3. Since January 1 2012, Air Arabia shares gained 21.4 percent in value, while the Dubai market index DFMGI soared by 20.16 percent.

VODAFONE QATAR GAINS, REPORTS RISING CUSTOMER BASE: The Doha-based Qatar Exchange Index declined 0.40 percent to 8,494.34 points Monday. Shares of the country's second telecom provider Vodafone Qatar ended up 0.11 percent to reach QR9.00. Earlier in the day, the company said the number of its customer grew by 7 percent over the last quarter to reach 936,300 subsribers as of 30 September 2012. Year-to-date, Vodafone Qatar shares gained roughly 20 percent in value, while the QE Index lost 3.17 percent.

ABU DHABI'S WAHA CAPITAL ADVANCES ON SLIGHTLY HIGHER THIRD QUARTER PROFIT : The ADX General Index added the most in the GCC Monday, closing 1.32 percent higher at 2,705.93 points mainly on gains in the financial sector. Shares of leasing, aviation and maritime financing specalist Waha Capital surged 1.75 percent to reach Dhs0.58. Earlier in the day, Waha said the net profit for the third quarter was Dhs27.5m, up from Dhs26.6m in the same period last year. Since its 2012-peak it reached in April, the Waha Capital share lost 20 percent in value. The firm said among its key investments New York-listed Aercap Holdings was "well positioned for growth", having arranged debt financing of $210m in the third quarter, bringing total capital raising this year to $860m.

DUBAI MARKET DARES TO REBOUND: Despite week input from Asia, where Japan's declining GDP points to a new recession in the world's third largest economy, the Dubai equity market index DFMGI gained Monday 0.75 percent to hit a three-week hihg at 1,626.22 points. On Sunday, the IMF said Dubai was the leading place in the GCC for foreign direct investments thanks to the emirate's successful diversification of its economy. Emaar Properties added 0.30 percent to reach Dhs3.66. Real estate maintenance and power and water specialist Drake and Scull International fell 0.63 percent, after its CEO Khaldoun Tabari said Sunday the GCC construction was "down" and that a lack of funding and tricky collection of payments were weighing on the sector, Tabari told Gulf Business Daily. Regarding the DFMGI, EFG Hermes said "On the short-term, we expect the level of 1630 to hold any rise for the index. On the medium-term, and until the break of 1655 with a decent volume, we expect a sideway between 1540 and 1640 point." EGYPT MULLS AUSTERITY MEASURES TO CUT BUDGET DEFICIT: The Egyptian government has proposed tax changes and reducing energy subsidies to cut a budget deficit running at about 11 percent of gross domestic product, Reuters has reported. The austerity steps are part of an economic programme drawn up in part to help convince the International Monetary Fund that the country is serious about economic reform. Finance minister Mumtaz al-Said said Egypt could save EGP35bn ($5.7bn) a year with planned energy subsidy reforms.

IRAN'S INFLATION RATE UP 1.4 percent: Iran's central bank has said the country's rate of inflation rose by 1.4 percent in the Iranian calendar month of Shahrivar (from August 22 to September 21) to 24.9 percent, Mehr news has reported. The Islamic Republic's inflation rate has been rising since the beginning of the current year, reaching 21.8 percent in the first Iranian calendar month of Farvardin (from March 20 to April 19, 2012), the apex lender said.

ARAB SPRING ECONOMIES TO RECOVER GRADUALLY NEXT YEAR: IMF: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said most economies hit by the Arab Spring uprisings are expected to recover slowly in 2013, grappling with high inflation and rising unemployment due to poor global conditions, Reuters has reported. A partial return of political stability could allow somewhat faster growth in the combined output of Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Libya, Tunisia and Yemen during 2013, the IMF said. But weak demand in Europe and other regions will weigh on the Arab Spring states, it said. "Growth is expected to remain below long-term trends, and unemployment is expected to increase owing to continued anaemic external demand, high food and fuel commodity prices, regional tensions and policy uncertainty." QATARI SHARES FALL ACROSS THE BOARD: The QE 20 Index closed Sunday trading half a percentage point lower at 8,528.19, as all banks with the exception of Al Ahli Bank (unchanged) ended in the red. Since January 1, the gauge lost 2.80 percent. representing the third lowest year-to-date performance in the GCC. The IMF said earlier in the day that Qatar's real GDP growth will decline in 2013 for the second year straight. Growth will decline next year to 4.9 percent, down from 6.3 percent in 2012 as gas prices were on the decline, said the IMF.

REDUCED SAUDI ARABIAN GROWTH PROSPECTS DRAG TADAWUL BOURSE DOWN: The Saudi Stock Exchange's benchmark index Tasi fell by half a percentage point Sunday and closed trading at 6,884.29 points. Earlier in the day, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said the kingdom's real GDP growth would slow down to 4.2 percent in 2013 from an estimated 6 percent in 2012. The IMF warned MENA oil exporters' combined current acccunt surpluses which reached $400bn this year could decline significantly if oil-rich nations would not reduce spending. "Increasing expenditure on wages and salaries in the GCC rose dramatically in recent years," said Masoud Ahmed, the IMF director for the Middle East and Central Asia on Sunday in Dubai.

BAHRAIN BOURSE BUOYANT ON BANK GAINS: The Bahrain All-Share Index gained 0.40 percent Sunday, finishing at 1,072.87 points. Islamic bank Gulf Finance House surged 4 percent, while its rival Al Baraka Banking Group surged 3.11 percent. Earlier in the day, Al Baraka said its that it has achieved a net income of $183m in the first nine months of 2012, an increase of 10 percent on the net income achieved in the first nine months of 2011. "Similarly, statement of financial positions witnessed good increases," the bank added. Total assets increased by 7 percent, investments and financing portfolio by 13 percent, deposits by 7 percent and total equity by 7 percent as at the end of September 2012 as compared with the end of December 2011, Al Baraka said in a statement to the Manama-based exchange in its home market Bahrain and to the NASDAQ Dubai.

KUWAIT BOURSE BUCKS REGIONAL DOWNTREND FOR THE THIRD CONSECUTIVE TRADING DAY: The KSE Market Index rose 0.22 percent Sunday, to hit 5,785.05. Kuwait's ruleing Emir last week he would use all possible measures to avoid further violent protests by the country's opposititon. The Kuwaiti parliament was dissolved and new elections are scheduled to take place on December 1. The country's largest Islamic bank Kuwait Finance House added 1.31 percent to reach KD0.770. Gulf Investment House advanced 6.41 percent to hit KD0.0415.

___ (c)2012 AME Info (Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates) Visit AME Info (Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates) at Distributed by MCT Information Services

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