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Dubai eyes longer maturity in $4.1b bonds

Dubai: Dubai said a second set of bonds that it plans to sell from a Dh15 billion ($4.09 billion) borrowing programme will have longer maturities than the first as the emirate seeks to finance infrastructure projects. Dubai this week sold its first bonds, raising Dh6.5 billion to finance projects, including airports and an urban railway system. “It will set another benchmark… with a maturity of seven or 10 years,” Sami Al Qamzi, director general of Dubai’s Department of Finance, said of the planned second sale. He declined to give details. “We believe the dirham market is more liquid regionally and we want to create a bond market,” he said. The emirate sold Dh2.5 billion of five-year fixed-rate securities, paying a coupon of 4.25 per cent, and Dh4 billion of five-year floating-rate bonds with a coupon of 50 basis points more than the three-month Emirates Interbank Offered Rate. Dubai plans to spend about Dh52.5 billion during the next five years on roads, bridges and a metro network as the city’s population surges, Roads & Transport Authority (RTA) Chairman Mattar Al Tayer said last month. The emirate said last year it planned to seek a credit rating to ease the cost of borrowing outside the region. Al Qamzi said the rating exercise was on hold as the emirate was considering its programme. Dubai, a Gulf tourism and trading hub, is targeting economic growth of 11 per cent per year to 2015. Emirates NBD and Standard Chartered are helping Dubai arrange the bond sales. Source: Reuters

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CEO of Dubai property developer Deyaar detained

Dubai: Zack Shahin, the former CEO of the Dubai-based and publicly listed Deyaar Development, was arrested almost three weeks ago for allegedly embezzling more than Dh100 million, Gulf News has learnt. Dubai Attorney General Essam Eisa Al Humaidan confirmed to Gulf News on Thursday the detention of the US citizen Shahin, who was denied bail on Tuesday almost three weeks following his arrest. “The Appeal Court denied him bail on April 15 after the Court of First Instance approved bail. But we appealed against the bail order. He has been detained for almost three weeks.” Deyaar Development Chairman Nasser Al Shaikh issued a statement confirming that “an investigation is being conducted for certain questionable measures taken by previous CEO Zack Shahin.” He added: “In the interest of the company and its shareholders, the matter has been referred to the Public Prosecutor. Investigation “The company is fully cooperating and providing the necessary support in facilitating this investigation,” he said. However, it is unclear why the company had failed to notify the market of the developments and kept shareholders in the dark for as long as three weeks. Confidentiality The company should also have notified the stock market as soon as its CEO was forced to resign last month. Deyaar on March 29 announced a restructuring of the board – at about the same time that Shahin appears to have been detained. No charges have been pressed against Shahin yet, the Attorney General said. Assistant chief prosecutor Khaled Al Zarouni is in charge of the case. Sources close to the case told Gulf News that the money involved is believed to be Dh120 million. But officials declined to disclose any details. “We have only one file concerning the suspect whose questioning over alleged embezzlement charges continues. We will wait to conclude the investigations and finalise the financial reports to see if he should be charged or not,” Al Humaidan told Gulf News. He refused to give specific details, maintaining the investigation’s confidentiality. Gulf News learnt that Shahin has denied his alleged embezzlement charges and is maintaining his innocence. Meanwhile, Deyaar’s share value on the Dubai Financial Market declined 0.85 per cent to Dh2.33 on the news. Source: Agencies

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UAE stocks post gains for second straight session

Abu Dhabi: UAE stocks continued their winning streak for the second consecutive session, with more than Dh2.72 billion worth of shares traded. The Emirates Securities general index advanced 0.65 per cent, after marg-inal gains recorded in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, where some of the blue chips ended the session in the red. In Dubai, the general index advanced 0.78 per cent to 5,515.74 on relatively heavy trading where Dh1.49 billion worth of transactions were executed. The Dubai Financial Market (DFM) was the heaviest traded stock, advancing 2.12 per cent to Dh5.29. Emaar Properties, however, fell 0.46 per cent to Dh11.10. The real estate developer announced a decline in its first quarter revenue. Deyaar Development, the real estate arm of Dubai Islamic Bank, retreated as well 1.26 per cent to Dh2.35. The gainers list included Tamweel which advanced 1.92 per cent to Dh7.46 and Arabtec which gained 3.24 per cent to close at Dh14.35. The general index of the Abu Dhabi Securities Market (ADSM) advanced 0.51 per cent to 4,877.67 with Dh1.23 billion worth of shares traded. The rally in the real estate and energy sectors resumed with Aldar Properties up 1.39 per cent to Dh10.95, closing to the Dh11 mark. Dana Gas rose 2.45 per cent to Dh2.08. The National Bank of Abu Dhabi dropped 0.73 per cent to Dh20.30, while etisalat stood unchanged at Dh21.90. Overall, the Emirates Securities general index inched closer to its value on December 31, 2007, recording only 0.37 per cent worth of losses since the beginning of the year, while the market capitalisation exceeded the Dh834 billion level. Other markets Qatar’s benchmark index ended up for a 12th straight session, led by Industries Qatar and Qatar Gas Transport, which each finished 5.44 per cent and 4.17 per cent higher. The index advanced 1.25 per cent to 111,151.10. Saudi Arabia’s main index closed higher, boosted by first-quarter earnings of banks, including Samba Financial Group and SABB. The index gained 1.13 per cent to 9,630.37 as Samba jumped 7.89 per cent and SABB 7.03 per cent. Oman’s main index closed above 11,000 for the first time, driven by Oman National Investment and Omantel, which jumped 9.1 per cent and 1.5 per cent respectively. The index rose 0.68 per cent to 11,034.53. In Kuwait, Zain and Kuwait Finance House ended up 1.06 per cent and 1.32 per cent respectively. The benchmark index advanced 0.36 per cent to 14,741.00 points. Bahrain’s benchmark index rose for a second day , advancing 0.7 per cent to 2,843.01. By Ahmed A. Elewa, Senior Reporter Source: Giulfnews.com

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UAE stocks gain marginally

Abu Dhabi: UAE’s markets advanced marginally on Tuesday, maintaining the tight range of less than one per cent and gaining only Dh4.5 billion in market capitalisation. The Emirates Securities general index advanced 0.55 per cent to 5,955.70, sustaining a one per cent level of losses since the beginning of the year, one of the best rates among emerging markets so far. The value of traded shares remained in the vicinity of Dh1 billion, a relatively low average, given the ongoing first quarter financial disclosures. In Dubai, the general index advanced 0.92 per cent, reflecting the recovery of most of the leading shares from the losses recorded earlier in the week. The real estate sector was responsible for most of the gains, with Emaar Properties, the country’s leading listed developer, advancing 1.36 per cent to Dh11.15, followed by Deyaar Development which gained 2.6 per cent to close at Dh2.38. Emirates Integrated Tele-communications (du) and Dubai Investments were also among the best performers, advancing by four and two per cent to Dh5.93 and Dh4.16 respectively. The general index of Abu Dhabi Securities Margin ended the session on positive ground as well, recovering by 0.22 per cent to 4,853.11, on account of the relatively strong gains recorded by etisalat, the country’s leading telecommunications services provider which stood 1.15 per cent higher by the close at Dh21.95. Nevertheless, the 0.72 per cent of losses recorded by the National Bank of Abu Dhabi diminished the total market gains, given that the real estate developers and energy companies reported a mixed performance. Aldar Properties remained unchanged at Dh10.80, while Sorouh Real Estate retreated 0.42 per cent to Dh9.45. Meanwhile, Abu Dhabi National Energy’s (Taqa) gains of 0.63, lifting the price up to Dh3.18, were offset by the losses of 0.97 per cent recorded by Dana Gas, which stood at Dh2.04 by the close. Gulf markets Elsewhere in the region, the Oman index closed higher for the fourth successive session, adding 0.02 per cent to 10,960.46 after hitting a record high of 11,011.29 during the day. Oman Cement and Bank Dhofar led the gains, rising 4.01 per cent and 1.36 per cent respectively. Saudi Arabia’s main index ended lower for the first time in seven trading days, led by declines in banking stocks. Bank fell 2.03 per cent and Al Jazira Bank dropped 3.14 per cent after its first-quarter profit declined 49 per cent on a dive in income from stock market activity. In Qatar, the main index rose 3.22 per cent to 11,013.02, its biggest one-day jump since February 4 after hitting a year high during trading. Industries Qatar surged 9.35 per cent after it posted record profit in the first quarter. – With inputs from Reuters

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Dubai plans dirham bonds to access Gulf debt markets

Dubai: The Dubai government will access the debt capital markets through a dirham-denominated issue under its recently established Dh15 billion medium-term note (MTN) programme. The objective of the issuance is to fund the local infrastructure needs of the government and simultaneously contribute to the development of the domestic bond market. Sami Al Gamzi, director general of the Dubai government’s finance department, said that Emirates NBD and Standard Chartered Bank are the arrangers of the MTN programme, and the joint lead managers and book-runners in respect of the inaugural issue under the programme. The roadshows for the transaction have been conducted in Dubai and Bahrain. The issue pricing and size will be determined through a book-building process, subject to market conditions. Application has been made to list the dirham bonds on the Dubai Financial Market. Source: WAM

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UAE forex reserves jump most in 18 years

Dubai: The UAE’s foreign exchange reserves surged 50 per cent to $75 billion in November, data showed yesterday, shedding new light on central bank concern that month about the dirham currency’s dollar peg. The data for November, the latest available, showed reserves growing at their fastest pace in at least 18 years, increasing inflation pressures that probably took the rate of price growth in the country into double digits last year. UAE Central Bank Governor Sultan Nasser Al Suwaidi said in November the state was under pressure to drop its peg to the declining dollar and might consider linking to a basket instead. However, on Wednesday, the government accepted a committee’s recommendation to keep the peg at the current rate. “The November [reserves] numbers do not bode well for the UAE’s inflation outlook,” said Caroline Grady, economist at Deutsche Bank in London. “Via the money multiplier, the sharp increase in the money base could well feed through into broad money and inflation.” Reserves jumped from $50.4 billion in October, the biggest rise since data going back to 1990, according to the data provided by a central bank treasury official who did not want to be identified. Inflation in the UAE rose to a 19-year high of 9.3 per cent in 2006 and probably accelerated to 10.9 per cent last year, according to National Bank of Abu Dhabi. Source: Reuters

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Burj Dubai is world’s tallest man-made structure

Dubai: Burj Dubai has surpassed the United States’ KVLY-TV mast in North Dakota to become the world’s tallest man-made structure. Burj Dubai is now 629 metres high while KVLY-TV, which held the record for the world’s tallest supported structure since 1963, has a height of 628.8 metres. Burj Dubai is already the world’s tallest building, and at 160 storeys, is taller than Taipei 101 (508 metres) in Taiwan and CN Tower (553.33 metres) in Canada. Burj Dubai is billed to meet all four criteria listed by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), which classifies the world’s tallest structures. CTBUH measures the height of buildings to the structural top, the highest occupied floor, the top of the roof and the tip of the spire, pinnacle, antenna, mast or flagpole. The KVLY-TV mast in Blanchard, North Dakota, is a television transmitting mast, which was completed in 1963. Source: Agencies

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Bahrain says Abu Dhabi race will not cut F1 boon

Dubai: A Formula One race in Abu Dhabi from 2009 won’t undercut the $548 million Bahrain generates from hosting a Grand Prix, the head of Bahrain’s Economic Development Board said. “We view this as a complement and not competition,” chief executive officer Shaikh Mohammed Bin Eisa Al Kalifa said. “It brings the eyes of the world to the region two times a year and therefore generates interest and exposure.” Abu Dhabi was added to Formula One’s 2009 calendar last year and, according to a recent report, Qatar wants to host a Grand Prix once it upgrades its Losail circuit. The economic benefit of the Bahrain race last year surged 46 per cent from 2006, Dubai-based Godo Research and Marketing said in a report last month. Source: Bloomberg

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UAE seeks to boost trade ties with Egypt

Cairo: Mohammad Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian president, yesterday received Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Presidential Affairs. The meeting was attended from the Egyptian side by Rashid Mohammad Rashid, minister of trade and industry and from the UAE side, by Mohammad Bin Dha’en Al Hamili, Minister of Energy and Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy. Shaikh Mansour conveyed to the Egyptian President greetings from President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and his best wishes for the progress and prosperity of the Egyptian people. During the talks, Shaikh Mansour reiterated UAE’ s keenness in strengthening bilateral ties with Egypt, especially in the fields of economy, investment, tourism and culture. The two also discussed the bilateral relations between the UAE and Egypt and ways to enhance them. Shaikh Mansour also met Ahmad Nazif, the Prime Minister of Egypt. The two discussed bilateral relations and cooperation on the investment and trade levels, as well as encouraging the private sector to set up investment projects, in the interest of the two countries. Shaikh Mansour and the accompanying delegation arrived in Egypt yesterday morning and was received by Rashid Mohammad Rashid and the UAE’ s ambassador in Cairo. Source :WAM

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Dubai stocks suffer biggest one-day fall in two month

Dubai: Arabian Gulf shares fell on concern that a possible recession in the US will deter investments in the region and as investors await first-quarter results. Dubai’s main index dropped almost three per cent, posting its sharpest one-day decline in two months, to 5,248.88 led by Emaar Properties and Dubai Financial Market Co (DFM). Abu Dhabi’s main benchmark declined 1.34 per cent to 4,602.56. Saudi Arabia’s Index slid for a third day as shareholders boosted cash reserves to fund their subscription to Inmaa Bank’s 10.1 billion riyal initial public offering, the kingdom’s largest in five years. Sorouh Real Estate Co closed at its lowest in two months after founding members were cleared to sell their shares in the company. Dubai Investments PJSC declined for a fifth day as the company started a joint venture. Saudi Basic Industries Corp slid for a third day. Main losers Emaar and DFM shed 3.56 per cent and 6.64 per cent, respectively. In Abu Dhabi, Emirates Telecommunications Corp (etisalat) and Sorouh Real Estate lost 1.43 per cent and 5.46 per cent, respectively. “We are not seeing a lot of fresh capital being injected into the market,” said Blair Look, head of asset management at Al Mal Securities, in a telephone interview from Dubai. Dubai Financial Market PJSC said foreign investors bought Dh2.095 billion of shares last week, almost as much as the 2.007 billion they sold. Sorouh retreated 5.5 per cent to Dh8.14, its lowest close since January 31. Dubai Investments fell 3.7 per cent to Dh5, bringing the five-day slump to 11 per cent. Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index retreated 1.3 per cent, bringing the three-day fall to 4.8 per cent. The Muscat Securities Market 30 Index retreated 0.9 per cent, falling for a seventh day. The Kuwait Stock Exchange Index lost less than 0.1 per cent. The Bahrain All Share Index added 0.5 per cent, snapping four days of declines, while Qatar’s Doha Securities Market Index was unchanged. Source: Bloomberg