Mena News

 

  Wall Street ends flat but Apple notches another high
Aug , 28 , 2012  
  Shares of Apple hit another record on Monday to keep the Nasdaq index afloat in the lowest trading volume of the year, with investors looking ahead to a key speech by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on Friday. Apple Inc (AAPL.O) hit an all-time high of $680.87 during the day after the iPad maker won a $1 billion judgment in a patent lawsuit against Samsung Electronics (005930.KS). The Korean company said it would contest the verdict. Apple, the world's most valuable company, ended up 1.9 percent at $676.68. The verdict on Friday jolted shares of Google Inc (GOOG.O), as the case could change the dynamics of the mobile device market. Companies using Google's Android system may have to consider design changes. Google shares declined 1.4 percent to $669.22. Beyond the notable moves of those tech giants, investors mostly cooled their heels before Bernanke's remarks to central bankers at Jackson Hole, Wyoming, on Friday. Data showed volume was 4.46 billion shares traded on the New York Stock Exchange, the Nasdaq and the Amex. The year-to-date average is about 6.6 billion. Expectations are for Fed action of some kind next month, but Bernanke is likely to keep markets guessing about the timing of another round of bond purchases. "The big upswing in the equity market that we've seen is based on the belief the Fed is going to do something and that Bernanke is going to say sooner rather than later that he's willing to commit to further easing," said Subodh Kumar, chief investment strategist at Subodh Kumar & Associates in Toronto. "But I don't think he's got the policy support within the Fed to do that, so the markets are set for some more correction here." The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI was down 33.30 points, or 0.25 percent, at 13,124.67. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index .SPX was down 0.69 points, or 0.05 percent, at 1,410.44. The Nasdaq Composite Index .IXIC was up 3.40 points, or 0.11 percent, at 3,073.19. Stocks have rallied in recent weeks on growing expectations for a third round of quantitative easing from the Fed, as well as possible action from the European Central Bank. News from Jackson Hole could determine whether the rally that took the S&P index to four-year highs will be sustained. The S&P 500 has been unable to stay above the April high of 1,422.38, which is seen as a key resistance point, the index finds support at the 1,400 level. Investors will be faced with other potentially market-moving events in the next few weeks. The European Central Bank will meet on September 6 and is expected to take some action to support the region's sputtering economy and tackle the debt crisis. Germany's constitutional court is expected to rule on the legality of the euro zone bailout fund on September 12. The Dow was led down by shares of IBM Corp (IBM.N), which agreed to buy Kenexa Corp (KNXA.N) for $1.3 billion. IBM shares were off 1.1 percent at $195.69. Shares of Kenexa were up 41.4 percent at $45.79. In other deal news, car rental firm Hertz Global Holdings (HTZ.N) said it would buy smaller rival Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group (DTG.N) for about $2.3 billion, ending years of an on-off takeover battle. Shares of Hertz climbed 8.1 percent to $14.21 while Dollar Thrifty gained 7.5 percent to $87.08. Hudson City Bancorp Inc's (HCBK.O) stock jumped 15.7 percent to $7.45 after the company agreed to be acquired by M&T Bank Corp (MTB.N) for $3.7 billion in cash and stock. M&T shares advanced 4.6 percent to $89.82.
 

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  Merkel reins in Greek exit talk in Euro’s decisive phase
Aug , 27 , 2012  
  Chancellor Angela Merkel told officials in her coalition calling for a Greek exit from the euro to “weigh their words,” as she signaled a renewed determination to keep the single currency intact. Merkel told, the Greek government under Prime Minister Antonis Samaras is undertaking “serious efforts” to reduce its debt, and reiterated Germany’s desire to stand by the country where the crisis originated.
 

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  Jordan's Arab Bank appoints new chairman
Aug , 27 , 2012  
  The board of Arab Bank, Jordan's largest lender, has elected Sabih al-Masri to take over at the helm of the bank after the resignation of Abdel Hamid Shoman this month in a dispute over the chairman's power. Masri pledged to help Arab Bank, which has a USD45.6bn balance sheet spread across 30 countries and five continents, maintain the steady growth it has shown in recent years.
 

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  Saudi signs USD1.06bn deals for health projects
Aug , 27 , 2012  
  Saudi Arabia signed contracts for SAR4bn (USD1.06bn) worth of healthcare projects to be built across the Gulf kingdom. Health minister Dr Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Rabiah signed off the contracts for the projects which will include a specialist hospital in Jazan and a maternity and pediatric hospital in Jeddah. The deals also include the implementation of the first phase of Prince Mohammed bin Abdulaziz Medical City in Northern Region, the establishment of Miqat Hospital in Madinah and Jomoum Hospital in Makkah.
 

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  STC Group undergoes management restructuring
Aug , 27 , 2012  
  Saudi Telecom Company (STC) Group has announced a number of changes within its management structure, involving senior executive positions. The Group announced that it has accepted the resignation of Ghassan Hasbani from his role as Group CEO - International Operations due to the near end of his contractual period while he will continue with the group till Oct. 1, 2012, and has asked Krishnan Ravi Kumar, to take over his role starting Sept.1, 2012.
 

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  Kuwait's NIG seeks lawsuit against US giant
Aug , 27 , 2012  
  A Kuwaiti investment firm NIG, is alleging that private equity giant Carlyle Group LP sold it a fixed income fund in 2006 without the necessary license, and is seeking approval for its lawsuit against the U.S. firm to be heard in Kuwait rather than the United States. NIG, invested USD25m in Carlyle Capital Corp (CCC), a fixed income fund launched by Carlyle in 2006. The fund, collapsed during the credit crisis in 2008 after defaulting on about USD16.6bn in debt.
 

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  Britain’s second quarter GDP growth revised to 0.5 percent
Aug , 26 , 2012  
  Britain’s recession is not as deep as previously thought, according to revised second-quarter data. British gross domestic product (GDP) shrank 0.5 percent between April and June compared with the first quarter, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said in a statement.. Investors shrugged off the news, which tallied with market expectations and marked a modest upgrade from the prior estimate of a 0.7-percent contraction.
 

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  Greece may need total EUR17.9bn of cuts
Aug , 26 , 2012  
  Greece may have to find a total of EUR17.9bn (USD22.4bn) in spending cuts over the next two years, Real News said, citing an unidentified senior Finance Ministry official . Three billion Euros in cuts will be needed to fill revenue gaps for this year, while another EUR1bn in reductions will be needed to cover state-owned companies that are unable to repay state-guaranteed loans to creditors, the Athens-based newspaper said. Those four billion Euros are in addition to the EUR11.7bn in cuts to be identified in early September, and EUR2.2bn of reductions to compensate for projected decreases in tax revenue and social security contributions, the newspaper said.
 

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  Qatar Investment Authority raises Xstrata stake to 12.135 percent
Aug , 26 , 2012  
  Qatar Investment Authority , owner of Qatar Holding LLC, said it bought 2.88mn shares in diversified mining group Xstrata PLC at GBP9.2987, lifting its total holding including options to 364.4mn shares, or 12.135 percent.
 

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  Egypt's Finance Ministry: Qatar deposits USD500mn at Central Bank
Aug , 26 , 2012  
  Qatar has deposited USD500mn at the Egyptian central bank, the first tranche of a USD2bn loan pledge, Egypt's Ministry of Finance. The oil and natural gas-rich Arabian Gulf state told Egypt's finance ministry that it will deposit the remainder of the loan in September. The announcement comes just a day after Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi requested a USD4.8bn loan from the International Monetary Fund during a visit by the Fund's head, Christine Lagarde.
 

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