Wednesday, August 23, 2017

GULF NOTES, the week ending 28 November 2009

November 30 2009

Dubai’s population grew 1.9% in Q2 2009. The total value of apartment and villa sales in Dubai in October rose by more than 50 percent compared to the previous month. Media coverage of UAE property companies had been more positive in Q3 2009 than in Q3 2008. Dubai-based equity firm Abraaj Capital found 2010 to be a “significant investing year” in Middle Eastern commercial properties.

Dr. Omar bin Sulaiman was removed as head of the Dubai International Financial Center and three high-profile members of the Investment Corporation of Dubai were removed from their seats but continue in their other roles: Mohammed al Gergawi, head of Dubai Holding; Sultan bin Sulayem, head of Dubai World; and Mohammed Alabbar, chairman of Emaar Properties. The government of Dubai raised another $5 billion as part of the second tranche of its $20 billion bond program, securing the funding from two Abu Dhabi banks. Strapped with $59 billion in debt, Dubai World hired a Deloitte executive as its Chief Restructuring Officer and asked its providers of financing, including those for its subsidiary Nakheel, to accept a six-month “standstill.” The Dubai government’s decision not to support Nakheel with its raised fund caused aftershocks in international financial markets. Reuters: “That goodwill is now lost. All of Dubai’s entities will be tarnished.” Dubai now has debts nine times higher than its 2008 revenues. The Dutch government says it could lose “hundreds of millions” of euros from export credit guarantees issued for Dutch companies associated with Dubai. The Financial Times: “Dubai’s action looks like either a serious misjudgment or, more likely, a breathtaking cock-up.” The cost of insuring Dubai’s debt increased 35% and the price of Nakheel’s Islamic bonds dropped more than 18% following Dubai World’s announcement. Saudi Arabia’s leading English-language newspaper: “In the future, global investors will need to differentiate between those Gulf economies that are debt-burdened and those whose leverage levels are incredibly low by global standards.” According to an unnamed source, Abu Dhabi will “pick and choose” which aspects of Dubai’s debt-ridden economy it will assist.

Abu Dhabi put plans on hold for major housing developments. A CEO from Abu Dhabi-based developer Aldar: “[Abu Dhabi] will let the rope out on development in a measured way.” Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala investment company announced plans for the UAE’s largest stadium and a $1 billion investment in a new campus for Abu Dhabi’s Zayed University.

Total amount of money British construction companies are owed in unpaid bills for UAE clients: $331.58 million. The UAE Ministry of Labor announced it would prosecute employers who defaulted on salary payments. Emaar, Dubai-based developer and property management company, has started locking residents out of their apartments if “community fees” are not paid.

Kuwait’s government said political gridlock will not deter turning “Kuwait into a financial and commercial center by 2025.” A local report predicted Kuwait’s property trade to drop by 40% this year.

GCC non-oil growth is expected to be 3% this year. OPEC oil producers could lose $4 trillion, depending on the result of global warming talks in Copenhagen.

Qatar announced its candidacy for hosting the 2022 World Cup finals, promising “new heat-confounding technologies.” Qatar looked forward to achieving 25% growth in 2010 — the world’s highest prediction — and said it would propose a central bank for the GCC as an impetus for greater regional unity.

A report placed the UAE as the largest investor in Iraq, with investments exceeding $37 billion. Abu Dhabi-based developer Bloom Properties was pursuing an $18 billion development in Karbala. Dubai-based Limitless (a subsidiary of Dubai World) said it was still pursuing development opportunities in India, despite having pulled out of a $12 billion project in Bangalore. The World Bank predicted global remittance flows to decline by 6.1%.

Bahrain Bay said it would invest $5 billion in the kingdom’s Economic Vision 2030. Deutsche Bahn signed a $24.8 billion deal to build the railway linking Qatar and Bahrain and high-speed rails connecting to Doha’ airport. Bahrain approved a $47.7 million budget for a national housing renovation campaign. Residents from three “forgotten” Bahraini villages planned daily demonstration to urge including the villages’ names on the national map.

A new water storage project would provide an additional six million cubic meters of water to Jeddah and Meccah. Following Wednesday’s floods which left 44 people dead, Jeddah residents began to express their growing anger about the state of the city’s infrastructure. Dubai’s parks department announced a plan to make the city’s parking lots green: “The type of grass to be used will not be the normal one that you see around and the technique used in irrigation will be different from that in the normal grass areas. We will make sure that the cars and the public will not get wet.”

Arabian Business November 23, 2009 / Arabian Business November 25, 2009 / Business 24/7 November 23, 2009 / Zawya November 22, 2009 / Financial Times November 22, 2009 / Khaleej Times November 25, 2009 / The National November 25, 2009; Khaleej Times November 25, 2009 / Reuters November 26, 2009 / Arab News November 28, 2009 / www.dutchnews.nl / Gulf News November 28, 2009 / Financial Times November 26, 2009 / The National November 25, 2009 /Arab News November 28, 2009 / Reuters, November 28, 2009 / Arabian Business November 25, 2009 / The National November 25, 2009 / Maktoob Business November 24, 2009 / Construction Week November 22, 2009 / Khaleej Times November 26, 2009 / Kuwait Times November 22, 2009/ Kuwait Times November 22, 2009 / Arab News November 22, 2009 / Khaleej Times November 24, 2009 /Maktoob Business November 24, 2009 / Business 24/7 November 25, 2009 / Maktoob Business November 24, 2009 / Arabian Business November 24, 2009 / Business 24/7 November 22, 2009 / Gulf News November 22, 2009 / Business Intelligence Middle East November 23, 2009 / Arabian Business November 23, 2009 / Gulf Daily News November 22, 2009 / Arab News November 22, 2009 / Arab News November 28, 2009 / Khaleej Times November 24, 2009.

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