King’s proposal to drive Arab economic growth

Updated 30 January 2013
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King’s proposal to drive Arab economic growth

JEDDAH: Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah’s initiatives at Riyadh Economic Summit will create new economic entities and projects worth $ 30 billion in the Arab world, a senior banker said yesterday.
During the Jan. 21-22 conference that was held in the Saudi capital, King Abdullah urged Arab leaders to increase the capitals of Arab joint companies and funds by 50 percent to speed up Arab economic recovery.
The proposal, which was to channel an additional $ 10 billion to Arab economies in new funds, was endorsed by the summit. The move has been welcomed by Arab businessmen, saying it would have a big impact on increasing inter-Arab trade and investment.
“The king’s proposal will create economic entities and projects valued at $ 30 billion in vital development sectors and create more jobs for young Arabs,” said Adnan Yousuf, chairman of the Beirut-based Union of Arab Banks.
Yousuf estimated the total assets of Arab banks at $ 3.1 trillion, adding that 25 percent of their liquid money remains unused. “These bank assets account for 90 percent of the Arab economy,” Al-Eqtisadiah Arabic daily quoted him as saying. Lack of investment opportunities in vital economic sectors in Arab countries was the reason for these funds to remain idle.
He described the Riyadh economic summit as different from previous Arab summits, saying the previous ones focused on political issues without taking any major decisions to speed up economic integration.
Abdullah Al-Mubti, chairman of the Council of Saudi Chambers’ board of directors, said the readiness expressed King Abdullah to pay Saudi Arabia’s share in the increased capital funds reflected Riyadh’s pioneering role in taking Arab economies to greater growth.
Al-Mubti underscored the summit’s decision to endorse the newly amended investment agreement, saying it would encourage Arab businessmen to invest in their countries. The inter-Arab investment agreement would allow a free flow of investment and capital between states. The agreement stipulates that the member states undertake to protect Arab investors in their territories.


UAE property developers’ earnings give Gulf markets a boost

Updated 17 February 2019
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UAE property developers’ earnings give Gulf markets a boost

  • Real estate sector gets confidence boost
  • DAMAC gains despite 87 pct drop in Q4 net profits

DUBAI: Most stock markets in the Middle East closed higher on Sunday, reflecting a rally in global stock markets on Friday, and were also boosted by better-than-expected company results, particularly in real estate.

The Abu Dhabi index gained 0.7 percent and the Dubai index 0.6 percent, as two of the largest property developers in the United Arab Emirates posted positive fourth-quarter financial results last week that beat market expectations.

“The market is starting to rebuild confidence in earnings as a driver for sentiment,” said Arqaam Capital in a research note. “Sentiment on the UAE was very weak in 2018, specifically for real estate, on concerns over oversupply risk, pricing pressure that is leading to extended payment plans, and a rental yield compression that is continuing to fall,” Arqaam said.

“But Q4 numbers provided evidence that a few developers have emerged as winners (Emaar Co’s, Aldar) out of market consolidation.” Emaar Properties, Dubai’s largest listed developer, reported a 27 percent rise in fourth-quarter profit.

The stock rose 2 percent on Sunday. DAMAC Properties closed up 0.8 percent, despite having reported a nearly 60 percent fall in full-year profit and an 87 percent drop in fourth-quarter net profits.

In Abu Dhabi, Aldar Properties gained 3.6 percent. Last week, the developer reported a rise in fourth-quarter earnings and higher dividends for 2018. In other sectors, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank rose 0.5 percent after saying it had no merger and acquisition plans. This was in response to a Bloomberg report last week which said the bank was considering such options.

The Saudi index closed 0.4 percent down, in contrast to the rest of the region’s markets. Arab National Bank reported an increase in full- year net profit to 3.13 billion riyals ($834.62 million) from 3.03 billion riyals one year earlier.

The stock remained unchanged and this failed to give support to the banking sector. Alinma Bank < 1150.SE> and Al Rajhi Banking & Investment Corp. lost 0.3 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively.

In Egypt, where the main index gained 1.4 percent, Orascom Investment Holding, up 3.2 percent, was among the stocks attracting the highest trading volume. Shares in the company jumped last week after its chairman, Egyptian billionaire businessman Naguib Sawiris, said he saw possible investment opportunities in North Korea if a summit between its leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump later this month was successful.

SAUDI The index lost 0.4 pct to 8,592 points ARABIA DUBAI The index rose 0.6 pct to 2,550 points ABU DHABI The index rose 0.7 pct to 5,070 points QATAR The index gained 0.7 pct to 10,011 points EGYPT The index rose 1.4 pct to 15,199 points KUWAIT The index gainedd 0.1 pct to 5,427 points OMAN The index was down 0.8 pct at 4,077 points BAHRAIN

The index went up 0.6 pct to 1,381 points ($1 = 3.7502 riyals)