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UAE [IntelliNews - Weekly Reports]
[December 21, 2012]

UAE [IntelliNews - Weekly Reports]

(IntelliNews - Weekly Reports Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) UAEUAE central bank eyes 18.9% lower profit in 2013.

The board of directors of the UAE's central bank adopted the bank's budget for the fiscal year 2013, envisaging a total profit of AED 3bn (USD 816.8mn), down by 18.9% y/y, the central bank said in a statement. The bank revenues are expected to reach AED 3.886bn next year, while expenses were forecast at AED 886mn. The board also decided to postpone its Liquidity Regulation until further consensus is reached on the types of financial instruments accepted as liquidity tools and their limits, as well as implementation date and submitting reports.

UAE's annual inflation eases to 0.51% in Nov 2012.

The UAE's annual inflation eased to 0.51% in November 2012 from 0.54% in October 2012, WAM news agency reported citing data from the national bureau of statistics (NBS). On a monthly basis, the consumer price index (CPI) edged down by 0.05% in November after declining by 0.08% m/m in October. The monthly change was mainly based on a 15.94% m/m increase in the prices of beverages and tobacco, as well as higher prices of textiles and footwear (+0.52%), transportation (+0.06%) and housing (+0.02%). Meanwhile, food and soft drink prices declined by 0.87% m/m in November. Overall, increases in monthly consumer prices were witnessed in Dubai (+0.05%), Ajman (+0.16%), and Fujairah (+0.08%). Meanwhile, prices decreased in the emirates of Abu Dhabi (-0.10%), Sharjah (-0.15%), Umm Al Quwain (-0.47%) and Ras al Khaimah (-0.07% m/m).

UAE's trade volume up 11.1% y/y in H1 2012.

The UAE's trade volume, which includes non-oil foreign trade and trade of free zones, recorded a 11.1% y/y growth in H1 2012 to AED 718.4bn (USD 195.6mn), the Federal Customs Authority (FCA) said in a statement on its website. Imports accounted for AED 449.4bn of the country's total trade, followed by exports and re-exports of AED 85.8bn and AED 183.2bn, respectively. Earlier, the FCA reported that the total value of UAE non-oil foreign trade, which is the key contributor to the state's general trade volume, rose by 10.5% y/y to AED 499bn as non-oil imports increased by 12% y/y to AED 321.4bn, while non-oil exports surged by 40% y/y to AED 77bn. Meanwhile, non-oil re-exports stood at AED 100.5bn. Furthermore, free-zone trade in the UAE during H1 2012 increased by 21% y/y to AED 219.5bn supported by a 19% y/y jump in free-zone imports of AED 128bn, as well as by a 74% y/y hike in free-zone exports AED 8.7bn and 21% y/y higher re-exports of AED 82.8bn. The UAE main partners with respect to free-zone trade were the Asia-Pacific countries, contributing 44% of the total free-zone trade in the period. The MENA countries followed accounting for 26% of the total free zones trade, ahead of the European Union with a 18% share. Besides, the total volume of free-zone trade with the GCC countries reached AED 29.4bn, with Saudi Arabia topping the list of main GCC partners and generating AED 18.2bn in free-zone trade in the first six months. Kuwait followed with a 17% share, ahead of Qatar (11%), Oman (6%) and Bahrain (5%.) The UAE's general imports in H1 were mainly in the form of electronic devices (AED 17.9bn), followed by petroleum oils and oils from bituminous minerals (AED 12bn), data processing machinery (AED 9.8bn), gold (AED 7.7bn) and cars (AED 4.5bn). The main export products were petroleum oils and oils from bituminous minerals (AED 1.5bn), while electronic devices topped the re-exports list generating AED 19.4bn in the first six months of 2012.

Abu Dhabi's annual inflation flat at 0.8% in Nov 2012.

Abu Dhabi's annual inflation in November 2012 stayed at the October's level of 0.8%, the SCAD statistics centre said. The highest annual increase of 14.5% was recorded in the prices of hotels and restaurants, followed by a 4% y/y rise in clothing and footwear prices and a 11.7% climb in prices of alcoholic beverages and tobacco. Also, prices of furniture and household equipment in the emirate of Abu Dhabi rose by 1.7% y/y, while prices of housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels declined by 1.3% y/y in November. On a monthly basis, the consumer price index (CPI) edged down by 0.1% in November after a 0.1% m/m rise in October.

Emirates NBD to buy BNP Paribas Egypt for USD 500mn.

Emirates NBD, Dubai's largest lender, has signed a definitive agreement to buy the entire 95.2% stake in BNP Paribas Egypt from its parent French BNP Paribas, the UAE-based bank said in a statement. Emirates NBD will simultaneously offer to acquire the remaining 4.8% stake in BNP Paribas Egypt from its minority shareholders at the same price. The UAE bank is to offer USD 500mn for 100% stake in BNP Paribas Egypt, which represents a multiple of 1.6-times the book value as of September 2012. The transaction is expected to close in Q1 2013 subject to regulatory approvals in Egypt and the UAE. BNP Paribas Egypt has 200,000 retail and 3000 corporate clients through its network of 69 branches.

UAE's du signs USD 100mn loan deal to fund capital investment.

Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (du) has signed a USD 100mn loan deal with the Dubai branch of Singapore-based DBS Bank to fund capital investments, du said in a statement on the Dubai Finance Market website. Specifically, du plans to finance the acquisition of equipment from Huawei to enhance network performance and operations in HSPA+, LTE and Advanced LTE to improve the experience for its customers and provide the best possible service. Since the rollout of its services in 2007, the 80% state-owned du has been steadily gaining market share from its only rival, state-owned Etisalat Telecom, which is listed on Abu Dhabi Stock Exchange.

Etihad Cargo reports 21.2% y/y jump in revenues in Nov 2012.

Etihad Cargo, a division of the UAE's national carrier Etihad Airways, reported a 21.2% y/y rise in revenues to USD 65.8mn in November 2012 helped by a 18.2% y/y increase in cargo shipments to 32,633 tons, Etihad said in a statement. The improvement came on the back of strong sales out of Southern China and solid growth out of Europe and South East Asia. The company has recently inaugurated a twice-weekly freighter operation from Houston, USA to Abu Dhabi using a Boeing 747-8 freighter. To date, Etihad Cargo has carried more than 110,000 tons of freight to and from the USA.

Emirates Air gets tentative nod for strategic alliance with Air Qantas.

Emirates Airlines has received a tentative approval from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) for forming a strategic alliance with the Australian airline Qantas, Khaleej Times reported. Expected in April 2013, the partnership is to lead to a better coordination of ticket prices and schedules, reduced competition and improved products and services. The two airlines had proposed a 10-year alliance, but the Australian watchdog only approved the partnership for five years, subject to its final determination and regulatory approval in the UAE. Through this alliance, the Australian carrier aims to improve its loss-making international service by shifting its operational base from Singapore to Dubai. In its turn, Emirates Airlines would be able to reduce its costs and add capacity in Australia without hitting a limit on international flight rights.

(c) 2012 Emerging Markets Direct Media Holdings LLC Provided by an company

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