Mena News

 

  Dubai's Emaar signs USD500mn Turkey real estate loan
Dec , 20 , 2012  
  Emaar Properties signed a USD500mn loan to finance its project in Turkey, as a gradual recovery in Dubai's battered property market helps the developer revisit stalled developments and international growth plans. The loan facility, which runs for seven years, was provided by a consortium of banks, including Emirates NBD, HSBC and Standard Chartered, Emaar said in a statement. The Turkish development, called Emaar Square, will host residential and commercial real estate as well as Turkey's largest shopping mall, the statement added.
 

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  Banque Saudi Fransi privately places SAR1.9bn sukuk
Dec , 20 , 2012  
  Banque Saudi Fransi, or BSF, said it has privately placed a SAR1.9bn (USD506mn) subordinated Islamic bond, or sukuk, that will help the lender fund its expansion plans. The sukuk, which will also support the bank's capital base, has a seven-year maturity but can be redeemed by BSF after the end of the fifth year, and is priced at 110 basis points over 3-month SIBOR, the lender, an affiliate of France's Credit Agricole, said in a statement posted on the Saudi bourse. The remaining part of the SAR2.5bn issue will be launched at a later date subject to the banks requirements, it added.
 

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  Telco Zain Saudi extends USD2.4bn loan for 6th time
Dec , 20 , 2012  
  Zain Saudi extended the maturity of a SAR9bn (USD2.40bn) Islamic loan for another six weeks, the sixth time the loss-making telecom operator has deferred payment. The company has agreed with lending banks to put back the maturity of the murabaha facility originally due in July 2011, until Jan. 30. The firm said the purpose of this extension was to allow it and its lenders the opportunity to finalize a new long-term financing agreement to replace the existing one. It cited the same reason when it previously extended the loan on November 28.
 

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  Kuwait in USD500mn settlement to drop airline case against Iraq
Dec , 20 , 2012  
  Kuwait's state-run airline has dropped legal cases against Iraqi Airways in return for compensation of USD500mn, Kuwait's official news agency said, solving a standoff over Gulf War-era debts. KUNA reported the agreement in an SMS alert, giving no further details.
 

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  Stocks jump on 'cliff' hope
Dec , 19 , 2012  
  Stocks lifted by hopes of fiscal-cliff deal White House spokesman: ‘We’re close’ to a budget deal. NEW YORK — U.S. stocks extended gains into a second session Tuesday, rising on signs of progress on Capitol Hill in reaching an accord to avoid steep spending cuts and tax increases next year. “We’re seeing negotiations continue. Eventually they will come up with a deal, as I don’t think the sides are that far apart,” said David Kelly, chief market strategist at J.P. Morgan Funds. Equities have risen on increased odds that the uncertainty presented by the so-called fiscal cliff would soon end, taking one of the risks to the economic forecast off the table, Kelly said. “Politicians can argue about the minutiae of exactly which spending gets cut and which taxes go up, which is important, but the biggest tax being levied on the American people right now is the uncertainty tax, and President Obama and House Republicans now have the opportunity to lower it considerably,” Kelly said. Stocks rose to session highs after House Republicans held a news conference to say they would continue to negotiate while working on an alternative plan that would include tax hikes for Americans making more than $1 million a year. See: Republicans ready ‘Plan B’ tax bill in cliff talks. Tallying another triple-digit rise, its first such two-day streak since July, the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA +0.87% finished at 13,350.96, up 115.57 points, or 0.9%. The S&P 500 Index SPX +1.15% gained 16.43 points, or 1.2%, to 1,446.79, with technology and energy leading gains among its 10 industry sectors.“In my humble opinion, there would have to be a ‘grand bargain’ for the S&P to take out 1,474 resistance. Kicking the can down the road on many issues would make the market ripe for a ‘sell on the news’ day if we are near the 1,474 high on the S&P,” emailed Elliot Spar, market strategist at Stifel Nicolaus. The Nasdaq Composite Index COMP +1.46% gained 43.93 points, or 1.5%, to 3,054.53. For every stock that declined almost three gained on the New York Stock Exchange, where 821 million shares traded. Composite volume topped 4.1 billion. Hopes for a budget deal were lifted after President Barack Obama reportedly cut his tax-revenue demand to start tax-rate hikes at $400,000 in income instead of $250,000. See: Where Obama and Boehner have backed down in fiscal-cliff talks.Wall Street continued its trend of bypassing economic reports to fixate on the fiscal cliff. “Between the horrible tragedy in Connecticut last week and Christmas coming up next week, people don’t have a lot of time for economic numbers,” said Kelly, who added that whatever attention remains “is being soaked up by this fiscal-cliff debate.” Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc. DKS +1.69% has suspended sales of modern sporting rifles around the country after 26 people, mostly children, were shot to death at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., four days ago. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index in December rose to the highest level in more than six years. See: Home-builder confidence highest since 2006. The housing data are significant, since the majority of spending is done by homeowners, creating a wealth effect, according to Randy Frederick, managing director of trading and derivatives with the Schwab Center for Financial Research. “They may not have new cash in their pocket, but they feel wealthier,” said Frederick. “The economy is more solid than anyone realizes, and housing is part of why the market has held up so well despite the fact we don’t have the fiscal cliff resolved yet.”
 

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  Facebook unveils enhanced location feature
Dec , 19 , 2012  
  Facebook unveils enhanced location feature Yelp shares hit as some see Facebook Nearby as potential threat. AN FRANCISCO — Facebook Inc. on Monday said it has upgraded its Nearby feature, which allows users to tag posts with locations. The announcement prompted speculation on Twitter, sparked in part by a TechCrunch blog post on the new feature, that Facebook FB +3.59% Nearby could be a threat to Yelp Inc. YELP -4.60% , the online business review site. Shares of Yelp shed 2.7% to close at $18.93. Facebook was down a fraction, ending at $26.75. The upgraded version would also give a user’s friends information on nearby locations, such as restaurants and stores, including the user’s ratings and recommendations.“In addition to discovering new places to visit, you can share what you think by rating or recommending places to your friends,” a Facebook company blog post said. “Your own suggestions become more personalized the more you and your friends rate, recommend, and check into places.” Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter said “it was inevitable that Facebook tried this,” telling MarketWatch that the enhanced location feature “ultimately, it will be competition.” But Facebook, he added, is “starting from a base of zero,” noting that Yelp “has a pretty deep set of reviews on restaurants etc.”
 

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  Oracle seen posting higher profit and sales
Dec , 19 , 2012  
  Oracle seen posting higher profit and sales Focus to be on hardware business, cloud push . SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — Oracle Corp. will report quarterly results on Tuesday with analysts anticipating modest gains in profit and revenue, and also looking for signs that the business-software giant’s bid to expand into hardware is paying off. Oracle ORCL +1.73% is also seen facing pressure from a shift in the marketplace, where companies are increasingly turning to new sales models and ways of accessing computing capacity — a trend generally referred to as cloud computing.Fiscal second-quarter results from Oracle are scheduled for release after the market closes on Tuesday. Analysts polled by FactSet on average expect a profit of 61 cents a share on revenue of $9.01 billion. In the year-earlier period, the company reported a profit of 54 cents a share on revenue of $8.81 billion. Redwood City, Calif.-based Oracle reported strong software growth last fiscal quarter along with sluggish hardware sales, a source of worry for analysts. JMP Securities analyst Patrick Walravens wrote in a note Monday that the company’s “hardware business in the U.S. may have again been light, and we continue to hear about high sales turnover, driven in part by frustration that sales quotas in some regions have become ‘astronomically high.’” But Walravens also wrote: “On the positive side, we found pockets of strength within Oracle’s database business in the U.S., at least one region … where applications may have been better than expected.” Pacific Crest Securities analyst Brendan Barnicle also wrote last week that Oracle apparently saw the return of “big deals” in the quarter, saying “we heard about more large deals than we have in the recent past. Nevertheless, it is likely that macro uncertainty made it difficult to close all the deals.”The shift to cloud-based business models and the growing market for more sophisticated data-processing systems, a trend called big data, also have been areas of concern in terms of Oracle. The company has been facing stiffer competition from the likes of Salesforce.com Inc. CRM +1.18% and Workday Inc. WDAY +4.81% in the market for business-software applications over the Web — a trend known as software as a service. In a note last week, Citigroup analyst Walter Pritchard wrote that Oracle shares “continued to be dragged down by concerns around negative implications of evolving database landscape and also concerns over SaaS competition in apps.” Oracle shares have shed more than 2% in the last three months, although they are up 26% since the beginning of the year
 

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  RIM shares slip on downgrade ahead of earnings
Dec , 19 , 2012  
  SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- Shares of Research In Motion Ltd. RIMM -1.47% fell more than 1.4% to $13.73 by early Tuesday afternoon. Earlier in the day, the stock was downgraded to a sector perform, or hold, rating by Toronto-based National Bank. Analyst Kris Thompson noted the sharp rise in RIM's shares -- which have nearly doubled over the last three months -- and wrote that "it's a good time to take some profit ahead of the quarter; we expect a lower entry point is coming." The analyst added further that short interest on the stock is at an all-time high, with questions about RIM's ability to sustain its subscriber base and cash levels ahead of the launch of BlackBerry 10 early nect year. "We still like the product-cycle investment thesis but would wait for the quarter,
 

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  This time, Samsung beats Apple
Dec , 19 , 2012  
  <> The latest ruling in the ongoing legal wrangle between Apple Inc. AAPL -0.06% and Samsung Electronics Co. KR:005930 0.80% SSNLF 0.00% , in which U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh denied Apple’s request to halt sales of various Samsung products, is a “major strategic win” for the South Korean firm, according to Bernstein Research analysts. Judge Koh had earlier this week rejected Apple’s request for injunctions against Samsung products in the U.S. Following the order, Samsung dropped its attempts to seek a ban on sales of Apple devices in Europe. We may not have yet heard the last word in this case, given that appeals may be forthcoming from either side. But for now, neither firm will have to pull its respective products in the U.S. or Europe. “Even though the case will now move to the appeals court, this development definitely reinforces our long-held belief that worst-case litigation risks are overdone for Samsung,” Bernstein analysts led by Mark Newman wrote in the report. “We expect Apple to ask for an injunction again on appeal, but this [latest order] clearly creates a strong precedent for Samsung and goes against many expectations, considering the number of patents that Samsung was found guilty of infringing. What is more, the appeal process will take many months,” they said. The analysts were referring to developments in August, when a jury found Samsung infringed on various Apple patents and awarded the iPhone maker more than $1 billion in damages.
 

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  Brent near USD109 on hopes of US budget crisis resolution
Dec , 19 , 2012  
  Brent futures held steady near USD109 a barrel on early Wednesday, December 19, tracking a rally in most other risk assets on expectations a budget crisis in the United States will be resolved, saving the world's top oil consumer from slipping into recession.
 

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