Mena News

 

  US consumer spending posts biggest rise in five months
Sep , 02 , 2012  
  US consumer spending got off to a fairly firm start in the third quarter, rising by the most in five months and offering hope economic growth could pick up this quarter. The Commerce Department said consumer spending increased 0.4 percent after a flat reading in June. Last month’s rise in consumption, which accounts for 70 percent of US economic activity, was in line with economists’ expectations.
 

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  QNB in talks to buy SocGen unit in Egypt
Sep , 02 , 2012  
  Qatar National Bank (QNBS) is in talks to buy a majority stake in Societe Generale SA (GLE)’s Egyptian unit as it seeks to expand overseas to boost profit. Negotiations to buy the Paris-based company’s 77.2 percent stake in National Societe Generale Bank SAE (NSGB) are at an early stage, Cairo-based NSGB, Egypt’s second-largest publicly traded bank. The holding currently has a value of about EGP10.8bn (USD1.77bn), based on NSGB’s 14 billion-pound market capitalization.
 

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  Qatar National Bank increases stake in Abu Dhabi's CBI to 39.9%
Sep , 02 , 2012  
  Qatar National Bank, the second-largest bank in the Arab Gulf by market capitalization, has increased its stake in Abu Dhabi-based Commercial Bank International, or CBI, to 39.9% from 16.5%. Qatar National Bank increased its holding after receiving approval from the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates, CBI said in a statement on the Abu Dhabi bourse website Thursday. QNB is half-owned by the Qatar Investment Authority, the country's main sovereign wealth fund. CBI is one of Abu Dhabi's smaller banks, and is mostly privately held.
 

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  Dubai's Depa posts 1H net loss of AED110mn as contractual issues weigh
Sep , 02 , 2012  
  Dubai-based interior contracting firm Depa swung to a first half net loss of AED110mn (USD30mn) as the termination of a contract related to work on the Doha International Airport weighed on earnings. Whilst specific contract issues have impacted these results; longer term, severe price competition and a reduction in client budgets as a result of the continuing global economic slow-down will have a direct impact on our margins and profits in 2012 and 2013.
 

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  Khalifa port begins operation
Sep , 02 , 2012  
  Abu Dhabi on Saturday conducted commercial testing operations at a multi-billion dollar port facility. The official launch of Khalifa Port, however, will be by the end of this year, Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Ports Company (ADPC), said. The Khalifa Port facility and the industrial area, which have so far cost USD7.1bn to build, seeks to diversify the emirate’s oil-based economy under the Abu Dhabi Vision 2030 and could intensify competition for the region’s shipping traffic.
 

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  Saudis ask Aramco to cut aircraft fuel prices
Sep , 02 , 2012  
  Saudi regulators asked Saudi Arabian Oil Co. to lower jet-fuel prices for airlines operating in the kingdom, al-Eqtisadiah reported, citing the vice president of the General Authority for Civil Aviation. The prices are higher than some neighboring countries charge airlines, Faisal al-Sugair told. Fuel costs are causing losses for many carriers and forcing them to refuel in other countries before flying to Saudi Arabia.
 

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  Brent crude edges down toward USD112, storm impact limited
Aug , 30 , 2012  
  Brent crude fell towards USD112 a barrel on early Thursday after oil facilities in the Gulf of Mexico were largely spared storm damage, but maintenance at North Sea fields and a possible strike in Norway’s oil sector curbed losses.
 

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  Energy prices push up German inflation
Aug , 30 , 2012  
  Inflation in Germany accelerated to 2.0 percent in August due to higher energy prices, preliminary data showed, posing a dilemma for the European Central Bank as it weighs an interest rate cut to help struggling southern states. The annual figure came in well above the consensus forecast in a Reuters poll of 31 economists for inflation of 1.8 percent in August, up from 1.7 percent last month.
 

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  US GDP rose 1.7 percent in second quarter of 2012
Aug , 30 , 2012  
  U.S. gross domestic product expanded 1.7 percent in the second quarter over the previous quarter, up from an original reading of 1.5 percent, reflecting higher consumer spending and fewer imports. The data matched the median estimate of economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires. On the other hand, pending home sales for July increased 2.4 percent in July after declining 1.4 percent in June. The rise exceeded the 1 percent gain expected by analysts and pushed the number of pending home sales to the highest level since April 2010.
 

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  China's top bank eyes Kuwait, Saudi entry
Aug , 30 , 2012  
  Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, or ICBC, said it has applied for licenses in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia as China's largest lender eyes further expansion in the oil-rich Gulf region. The Chinese lender's Middle Eastern business posted a first-half pre-tax profit of USD36mn, up from USD14mn in the same period in 2011. The bank cites an increase in foreign exchange transactions and trade finance volumes as among the reasons for the profit increase. ICBC in the Middle East already has offices in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Qatar.
 

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