Mena News

 

  Euro-Area economy contracted in 2nd quarter on Italy, Spain
Aug , 15 , 2012  
  The euro-area economy contracted in the second quarter after the worsening debt crisis and tougher budget cuts forced at least five nations into recessions. Gross domestic product in the 17-nation currency bloc fell 0.2 percent from the first quarter, when it stagnated, the European Union’s statistics office said. That’s in line with the median forecast of 35 economists in a Bloomberg News survey. From the year-earlier quarter, GDP dropped 0.4 percent.
 

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  UK inflation rate rises in July
Aug , 15 , 2012  
  Prices in the UK rose by 2.6% in July, official figures have shown. The annual inflation rate as measured by the Consumer Prices Index had stood at 2.4% in June, the Office for National Statistics said. The rate of inflation, which indicates how fast prices have risen in the past 12 months, was higher due to rises in air fares and housing costs. The Retail Prices Index, which includes housing costs, rose to 3.2% from 2.8% in June.
 

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  Dubai trade licenses rise 17% in Q2
Aug , 15 , 2012  
  The total number of trade licenses issued in Dubai during the second quarter of 2012 reached 4,499, a 17 percent increase on the same period last year. More licenses were issued by the Dubai Department of Economic Department in the commercial, professional, tourism and industrial categories. The tourism sector accounted for the largest increase (51 percent) in business licenses during the April-June period.
 

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  Arabtec consortium secures finance for airport terminal contract
Aug , 15 , 2012  
  Arabtec Holding said its consortium that includes Turkey's TAV Construction and Greece's Consolidated Contractors International Company, has secured the majority of bank financing for the AED10.8bn (USD2.94bn) Abu Dhabi mid-field terminal contract won in June.
 

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  Qatar annual inflation at 2.2% in July vs. 1.6% in June on transport costs
Aug , 15 , 2012  
  Annual consumer prices in Qatar rose 2.2% in July, up from 1.6% in the month earlier, underpinned by an increase in transport and communication costs, official data showed. On an annual basis, all categories in the consumer price index rose apart from rents, fuel and energy, which fell 3.9%, according to new data from the Qatar Statistics Authority. Transport and communication costs increased 3.7% on the year.
 

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  Merger not ruled out - Jazeera Airways chief
Aug , 15 , 2012  
  The chairman of Kuwaiti low-cost carrier Jazeera Airways has called on the government to push ahead with privatization of troubled flag carrier Kuwait Airways and has not ruled out a merger between the two airlines. At the same time, the government is considering moving forward with plans to privatize the indebted airline and, while interest has reportedly been muted, Marwan Boodai, group chairman of rival Jazeera Airways said the process should speeded up and would be met positively by the market.
 

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  Saudi Arabia approves USD16.5bn Mecca transport revamp
Aug , 15 , 2012  
  Saudi Arabia has approved a SAR62bn (USD16.5bn) plan to modernize the transport system in its holy city of Mecca, including building a bus network and metro system, state news agency said. Four metro lines of a total length of 182 km (114 miles) will be built across the city, with 88 stations, SPA reported.
 

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  U.S. Stocks Advance as Retail Sales Beat Forecasts
Aug , 14 , 2012  
  U.S. stocks advanced, sending the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index to its seventh gain in eight days, amid retail sales that rose more than forecast and better-than- estimated economic data in Germany and France. Estee Lauder Cos. gained 9.6 percent after quarterly profit beat analysts’ projections. Home Depot Inc. (HD) increased 4 percent after reporting second-quarter earnings that topped analysts’ estimates and raising its forecast for this year. JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) rallied 0.8 percent, pacing gains in financial stocks, which advanced 0.4 percent as a group. The S&P 500 climbed 0.2 percent to 1,406.58 at 2:09 p.m. in New York. The benchmark gauge for U.S. stocks pared gains after earlier rising as much as 0.4 percent. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 20.76 points, or 0.2 percent, to 13,190.19. Trading in S&P 500 companies was 16 percent below the 30-day average at this time of day. “The consumer is still alive and well,” James Dunigan, who helps oversee $110 billion as chief investment officer in Philadelphia for PNC Wealth Management, said in a telephone interview. “The headlines around continued struggles in the euro zone have dissipated and if you have some evidence Germany is growing faster than thought and France is growing, then it’s all good news for the markets.” U.S. retail sales climbed more than forecast in July as consumer spending rebounded at department stores, auto dealers and electronics outlets, easing some concern the biggest part of the economy was foundering. The 0.8 percent advance, the first gain in four months, followed a 0.7 percent drop in June that was weaker than first reported, Commerce Department figures showed. Economists projected a 0.3 percent rise, according to the median forecast in a Bloomberg survey.
 

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  Kuwait's Global Investment House plans USD433mn debt for equity swap
Aug , 13 , 2012  
  Global Investment House will seek shareholders approval for a debt-for-equity swap which if approved will see creditors own 70 percent of the company. Under the proposal, to be put to shareholders at a September 2 meeting, Global will offer KWD122.2mn (USD432.9m) of new shares to creditors.
 

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  Gulf Finance House swings to 2Q12 profit on higher fees
Aug , 13 , 2012  
  Gulf Finance House said it swung to a net profit in the second quarter due to income it earned from management fees and as it restructured some of its debt. The company's second-quarter net profit amounted to USD4.7mn compared with a loss of USD11.2mn in the year before period. In the past six months, GFH had received approval from its Islamic bond holders to restructure its outstanding debt worth USD110mn. It also restructured USD45mn of another Islamic facility. Both debts will mature in 2018 and provide a two-year grace period for the repayment of the principal amounts.
 

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