Mena News

 

  UAE government working on bill for debut sovereign bond
Nov , 13 , 2012  
  The United Arab Emirates government is still working on a public debt law that would pave the way for a debut federal sovereign bond. A federal debt offering from the UAE has been mooted for the past few years but only bond issues from individual members of the seven-state federation have come to the market so far. "We are still working with the Prime Minister's office and the Council of Ministers," Younis Al-Khouri, undersecretary and director general at the federal finance ministry, told Reuters. "We have not dealt with such an important law lately. It required a lot of thoroughness and a lot of reviews to have a solid law," he said.
 

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  SABIC eyes U.S. investments on back of shale gas boom
Nov , 13 , 2012  
  Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) is considering investments in the United States to capitalize on the shale gas boom there, its chief executive officer told Reuters. "We have to participate in the shale gas business and we have to participate in other sources that can be also competitive," Mohamed Al-Mady said. When asked how SABIC would participate, he said: "We can look for investment, we can look for joint ventures." Mady also said SABIC sees a slowdown in the growth of petrochemicals in the short term in its home market and must look overseas for growth.
 

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  Gulf Investment Corp picks banks for bond issue
Nov , 13 , 2012  
  Gulf Investment Corp , a financial institution owned by the six nations of the Gulf Cooperation Council, has picked four banks to arrange investor meetings ahead of a potential bond sale. The company mandated BNP Paribas, Citigroup, National Bank of Abu Dhabi and Standard Chartered to arrange roadshows which will begin in the United Arab Emirates on November 18 and take in Singapore and London in the subsequent two days, the arrangers said.
 

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  Emirates NBD aims to boost FY13 retail revenue by 15%
Nov , 08 , 2012  
  .Emirates NBD aims to increase retail revenue by as much as 15% next year and has board approval to hire 200 staff to expand the business, according to Bloomberg. Suvo Sarkar, Emirates NBD’s head of retail banking, said in an interview in Dubai yesterday that revenue will be driven mainly by the bank’s small and medium-sized company business as well as growth in personal banking products like credit cards and wealth management as Dubai’s economy rebounds. The lender will also add relationship managers in its small and medium enterprise business and sales staff, he said. “Retail is a key growth sector for the bank. You will see us being more aggressive on small and medium enterprise lending in the future than we have been in the past,” Sarkar added. Emirates NBD also aims to increase retail customer deposits by 20 % next after a 14 % rise in September from a year ago to AED 86.1 billion, according to Sarkar. Banks in the U.A.E., the second-biggest Arab economy, are seeking to increase their retail businesses, including auto, personal and home loans after the global credit crisis pushed large companies to cut back on borrowing. Emirates NBD’s revenue from retail banking made up 43 % of the total in the third-quarter and grew 15 % in the nine months through September to AED 3.28 billion ($893 million), according to its results. Sarkar stated: “Whether it is the SME business, the affluent segment, personal banking, all of those are growing at double-digit rates. Retail spending has grown 23 % this year on our credit cards and loss rates on them are at historical lows which is a sign of confidence in the economy.” “Our biggest challenge is getting service quality to our customers and our single biggest effort in the last six month and for the next 18 months will be to fix service,” Sarkar said.
 

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  Aldar's Q3 profit up 43% to AED 205.7 mln
Nov , 08 , 2012  
  Aldar Properties PJSC ("the Company"), Abu Dhabi's leading property development, investment and management company, today announced strong financial results for the third quarter of 2012 with revenue for the period of AED 1,604.5million (Q3 2011: AED 3,132.9 million) and net profit of AED 205.7 million up 43% from AED 144.0 million during the same period last year. Revenues weredriven mainlyby the delivery and handover of 132 residential units, and 25 land plots at Al Raha Beach. The Company continues to have strong on-going revenue and cash flow visibility with AED 12.0 billion cash still to be received, and AED 2.6 billion of revenue still to be recognised fromland sales at Al Raha Beach, following the three main asset sale agreements signed with the Government of Abu Dhabi between 2009 and 2011. Recurring revenues from investment properties and operating businesses were up 8% to AED 306.0million in the third quarter (Q3 2011: AED 282.9million) and broke through the AED 1.0 billion mark over the first nine months of the year. These were driven by increased occupancy year-on-year from the office portfolio, notably HQ, and maturing retail operations, in particular Gardens Plaza and IKEA. We are delighted to announce that outline heads of terms have been agreed through a joint venture with Etihad Airways to purchase the 17,700sqm Al Noor building at Al Raha Beach, which is to be leased on a long-term basis to Etihad Airways. Aldar has ample working capital and liquidity to deliver on its business plan. At the end of the period, free cash balances were AED 888.2million, in addition to available and undrawn liquidity of AED 3.2billion through revolving credit facility agreed earlier in the year. The Company’s on-going programme of debt reduction followed a normal schedule of repayments during the quarter with AED 63.4 million repaid. A further AED 309.4 million will be retired on schedule in Q4. Aldar’s total borrowings stood at AED 14,429.3 million compared to AED 18,295.5 million as of 31 December 2011. As a result of the recent detailed valuation exercise relating to the potential merger with Sorouh Real Estate PJSC, the Company has updated the valuation of certain of its assets to reflect current conditions. The Company has therefore elected to write down the value of its assets by a net amount of AED 737.1 million reflecting principally impairments to its hotel assets that are partially offset by fair value gains on Yas Mall. As a further result of the valuation exercise, the Company has written back AED 431.5 million of excess accruals and recoverable costs, which had been written off in previous periods. ALI EID ALMHEIRI, CHAIRMAN OF ALDAR PROPERTIES COMMENTED: “We are pleased to see that Aldar’s communities are starting to thrive as more customers occupy our developments. We are proud of our contribution to Abu Dhabi’s ongoing growth and that our established delivery record continues to produce stable cashflows and profits for our shareholders. We have moved from strength to strength – both financially and operationally – and remain well positioned to execute our business plan and confirm our position as Abu Dhabi’s premier developer.”
 

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  Sorouh's net profit jumps 55% to AED 129 mln in Q3
Nov , 08 , 2012  
  Sorouh Real Estate, the Abu Dhabi-based real estate developer (ADX: SOROUH), today announced its third quarter results for the period ended 30 September 2012. Sorouh continued its strong performance in Q3. Net profit was up 55% year-on-year, reflecting continued strengthening of sustainable recurring income streams from Sorouh’s National Housing projects, investment portfolio and the release of contingencies and provisions. Revenues from National Housing projects increased significantly quarter on quarter to AED 607million from AED 68 million in 2011, a nine fold increase. A further 10 units at Sun and Sky (including 4 commercial units) and 2 villas at Golf Gardens were handed over, resulting in AED 94million of revenues. The leasing portfolio generated AED51m of revenue, 19% up on last year. Sun and Sky is now at 95%occupancy, and Al Murjan at 90%. Interest continues for bulk leases from corporate clients, and we are confident of reaching our goal of half a billion Dirhams of recurring revenues by the end of 2014. Other income increased mainly through the release of AED 40m of contingency provisions for Sun and Sky, which are no longer required now that the towers are complete and have been operational for over 12 months. Our financial position is robust, with cash collections of approximately AED 1.6 billion up until the end of the third quarter, AED774 million of cash on the balance sheet and low gearing of 38%. Net asset value per share is AED 2.51 (Q3 2011: AED 2.43) Abubaker Seddiq Al Khouri, Managing Director, Sorouh, commented: “Profit growth has continued during this quarter driven primarily by our by National Housing developments. The quality of the business’s overall earningscontinues to mature as we build more sustainable revenues and a stronger investment portfolio. “During the next quarter, we expect to make further progress on National Housing developments and move closer to the completion of the Gate Towers, which we will begin to handover early in 2013. Sorouh has a strong balance sheet and remains well positioned to deliver its development portfolio in the coming years.”
 

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  UK September industrial output falls sharply, dents recovery hopes
Nov , 07 , 2012  
  British industrial output fell more than expected in September, data showed, reinforcing fears that Britain's recovery will struggle to gather pace towards the end of the year. Manufacturing output rose by 0.1 percent in September on the month after a downwardly revised drop of 1.2 percent in August, the Office for National Statistics said. Economists had predicted a monthly 0.3 percent rise.
 

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  Brent slips below USD111 on U.S. election uncertainty
Nov , 07 , 2012  
  Brent futures slipped below USD111 per barrel on early Wednesday, November 07, as investors waited for more clarity on the outcome of the United States presidential elections, while the weakness in the global economy and oil demand also hurt sentiment.
 

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  Euro-zone economy's decline deepens in October –PMIs
Nov , 07 , 2012  
  The Euro-zone economy's decline steepened going into the fourth quarter, as companies across the region endured their toughest month in October since June 2009, business surveys showed. Markit's Euro-zone Composite PMI fell in October to 45.7 from 46.1 in September, down slightly from a preliminary reading of 45.8 two weeks ago and marking its ninth consecutive month below the 50 mark dividing growth from contraction.
 

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  Credit Suisse in asset management venture with Qatar
Nov , 07 , 2012  
  Credit Suisse and Qatar sovereign wealth fund have set up an asset management joint venture as the gas-rich Gulf state looks to beef up its financial centre and the Swiss bank seeks to tap strong growth in the region. The venture, called Aventicum Capital Management, builds on the close ties between the two businesses. Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund is Credit Suisse’s second-largest shareholder with a 6.2 percent stake, according to Thomson Reuters data. The venture will focus on investments in the fast-growing emerging and frontier markets of the Middle East and Turkey as well as operate an international business, Credit Suisse said.
 

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