Monday, September 25, 2017

GULF NOTES, the week ending 17 October 2009

October 27 2009

Boston Consulting Group issued a report stating the Middle East and Africa suffered “one of the highest drops” in wealth last year: $2 billion, or 6.2% of last year’s total. Another report predicted the UAE’s economic recovery would be the slowest among the Gulf community. Dubai said it would need to raise the second $10 billion tranche to keep its government-related companies afloat. A Standard & Poor’s official noted a major portion of the debt relief has covered not debt obligations but outstanding (consultant) contracts. Rothschild’s and AlixPartner’s rescue plan for Dubai World will see an $800 million savings over three years with the contraction of the company’s work force by 12,000. Bahrain’s official unemployment rate was put at 4.1%. Kuwait’s hotel revenues have fallen 18.3% since last year, while Dubai’s schools reported no marked decrease in attendance in the new school year — what many were expecting to reveal Dubai’s crisis-generated exodus.

A sovereign wealth fund observer measured the assets of the top ten funds (including Abu Dhabi, Kuwait, and Qatar) at $2.2 trillion, half of which are placed in international securities. A Gulf Arab $2 billion fund was set up to secure food supplies from developing nations. Saudi-based Islamic Development bank said it had $1 billion in capital for Islamic development “mega-investments.” A Muslim economist on the announcement: “Most Islamic banks are very small and are not able to finance major projects. So we are very much in need of such mega-investment banks to meet market requirements.” Qatar Holding took control of enough shares in London’s Canary Wharf development project to become the project’s major shareholder. Saudi developer Dar al Arkan announced a $2 billion development project in Jeddah. A regional trade paper credited Saudi Arabia for half of the GCC’s $162 billion in development projects. Saudi government officials estimated the kingdom would lose an annual $16 billion if the proposed replacement to the Kyoto Protocol is approved. Expressing concern for Saudi Arabia’s water and electricity consumption, a Jeddah-based water industry expert: “Saudi Arabia will need aid in another 50 years if we continue on this path. We don’t want to be another African country looking for aid.”

Already having secured a $412 million contract to build the first phase of Dubai’s tram system, France-based Alstom began talks on a 5-year maintenance contract for the not-yet-existing $809 million tram system. Consultants Booz & Co. advised Dubai to put another 7,600 additional taxis on the road as part of its research into “every aspect of the taxi industry.” Price tags for a GCC railway ranged from $10 to $60 billion in various articles this week. Baghdad officials shortlisted eight companies to construct the city’s metro. Ras Al Khaimah said it had invested in $120 million worth of infrastructure improvements as it prepares to host the America’s Cup.

Business 24/7 October 14, 2009 / Arab News October 15, 2009 / Wall Street Journal, October 11, 2009 / The National, October 11, 2009 / The National October 17, 2009 / Gulf Daily News October 12, 2009 / Kuwait News October 14, 2009; Financial Times October 14, 2009 / Business 24/7 October 15, 2009 / The Peninsula October 12, 2009 / Arab News October 12, 2009 / Gulf News October 12, 2009 / Zawya October 11, 2009 / Construction Week October 14, 2009 / Kuwait Times October 14, 2009 / Wall Street Journal, October 13, 2009/ Kuwait Times October 13, 2009 / The National October 11, 2009 / The National October 14, 2009; Gulf news October 13, 2009 / Construction Week October 17, 2009 / Arabian Business October 17, 2009. 

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