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Friday, October 30, 2009

Moroccan economy grew 5.4% in 2009 2Q, HCP

Moroccan economy grew 5.4% in 2009 2Q, HCP
Rabat - The Moroccan economy posted a growth rate of 5.4% in the second quarter of 2009, compared to 6.3% during the same period a year before, the High Planning Commission (HCP) said.

According to figures published by the HCP, the growth is due to the increase of both the agricultural value added volume (+27.8%) and the non-agricultural Gross Domestic Product (+2.1%).

The growth rate of the mining and energy sectors fell short of that registered a year earlier (-9.9% against +3.6%), while processing industries dropped (-0.3% against +4.2%).

Services increased by 3.5% instead of 5.3% in the first quarter of 2008, said the HCP, adding that the GDP rose by 4.9%.

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Kuwait's Zain acquires 31% stake in Morocco's Wana

زين الكويتيّة تستحوذ على حصّة 31% من "وَنا" المغربيّة - 15Mar09 (0:43)
كشفَت مجموعة زين عن استحواذها لحصّة 31% من شركة "وَنا" المغربيّة مقابل 324 مليون دولار.
Kuwait's Zain acquires 31% stake in Morocco's Wana - 15Mar09 (0:43)
Zain Group reveals its acquisition to 31% stake in Morocco's Wana for $324 million.

New Moroccan-manufactured car marketed in Egypt as of 2010

Cairo - Morocco's Minister of Foreign Trade, Abdellatif Maazouz, announced, Tuesday in Cairo, that the new Moroccan-Manufactured car "Dacia Sandero" will be exported to Egypt as of 2010.

The export of this car is part of the Agadir Free-Trade Agreement, concluded between Rabat, Cairo, Amman and Tunisia, Maazouz said following the inauguration of a showroom to present Logan cars in Cairo.

He said another model of Logan will be marketed in the Egyptian market to meet need for an estimated 200,000 cars annually, which will reach one million in 2020.

For his part, Advisor to President of "Renault Euromed" and President of the automobile Federation, Larbi Belarbi, said Morocco plans to develop a regional automobile platform by developing the Renault-owned Moroccan car company "SOMACA" as well as the new Tangiers' industrial complex.

He said exports of Logan cars to Egypt increased to 600 up from 200 per month. "There is a constant growing pace, due notably to marketing and advertising strategies as well as the product quality which has been welcomed by the Egyptians, as it met the need of the domestic market."

Belarbi said he "is quite optimistic about the future of exports of Logan in Egypt," adding that the group plans to be among the pioneers of this market.

He also highlighted the importance of the Agadir free-trade agreement for Logan export to Egypt, considered an ever-growing market.

Logan cars were introduced into the Moroccan market in 2006 and have become one of the leading brands in the low-cost car market.

Morocco's phosphate company to form joint venture with US Jacobs Engineering

Morocco's phosphate company to form joint venture with US Jacobs Engineering
Casablanca - Morocco's state-owned phosphate company Office Cherifien Des Phosphates (OCP) and American Construction services company Jacobs Engineering Group Inc, announced on Wednesday in Pasadena (California) that they intend to form an engineering joint venture.

During the initial phase, the joint venture will provide programme, project management, and engineering services for projects based on the OCP's $5 billion investment programme in Morocco, OCP said in a statement.

The same source said the joint venture will advance Jacobs expansion plans in the fertilizer industry and in the region.

The joint venture is also expected to provide services to OCP and other companies in their phosphate engineering business activities worldwide.

The two parties also intend to expand the capabilities of the joint venture to include infrastructure engineering services to keep up with the growing West African infrastructure market.

The new company will employ Jacobs engineering systems and tools and will be staffed by OCP and Jacobs, as well as local hires. It is also expected to operate before the end of 2009 and to employ over 200 people within a 12-month period.

OCP Group CEO, Mostafa Terrab, welcomed this collaboration, saying it represents an important milestone for OCP in implementing its immediate and medium-term investment objectives.

He underlined that the joint venture will promote the expertise of both companies in providing engineering and related services on phosphate projects outside Morocco as well as infrastructure projects in West Africa.

For his part, Jacobs Chairman, Noel Watson, said the joint venture is a unique opportunity to support OCP's business goals and enhance the two companies' expertise in the field of fertilizers.

OCP Group, headquartered in Casablanca, is a worldwide leader in the phosphate rock and derivatives industry, while Jacobs is one of the world's largest and most diverse providers of technical, professional, and construction services.

Arab Advisors Group President talks about Morocco Telecom sector

مدير عام مجموعة المرشدون العرب يتحدّث عن سوق الإتصالات المغربي: الجزء الثاني - 23May09 (2:16)
يقول مدير عام مجموعة المرشدون العرب جواد عبّاسي أنّ السوق المغربي للإتصالات هائل ذو نموّ إقتصادي جيّد، عدد مستخدمين كبير و ذو عوائد جيّدة.
Arab Advisors Group President talks about Morocco Telecom sector: Part II - 23May09 (2:16)
Jawad Abbassi, Arab Advisors Group President says that Morocco Telecom market is huge with a great economic growth, large number of mobile subscribers and excellent revenues.

North Africa Holding, Rocco Forte Collection announce new projects

KUWAIT: North Africa Holding CompanyNorth Africa Holding Company
North Africa Holding Company
Kuwait | Financial Services
News | Profile | Officers
, part of Kuwaiti-based KIPCO Group, hosted a press conference yesterday at Burgan Tower in Kuwait City to introduce their latest project being developed at Marrakech, Morocco. The Marrakech project was part of their three luxurious hotels under construction in collaboration with 'Rocco Forte Collection', a European company dedicated to developing luxurious hotels in the world.

The three projects are due in 2010 and 2011 in Jeddah, Marrakech and Abu Dhabi. The event was attended by Sir Rocco Forte, Chairman and Chief Executive of 'The Rocco Forte Collection' Hotels, and Emad Al-Saleh, CEO of North Africa Holding CompanyNorth Africa Holding Company
North Africa Holding Company
Kuwait | Financial Services
News | Profile | Officers

The two companies have announced their latest project being developed in collaboration, which showcased exclusive development of Assoufid resort in Marrakech. The construction of new five-star 90-all suite room hotels, golf and spa resort started in May 2009 and due to be completed by 2011. The projects also include construction of 80 luxury villas on a spacious one hectare land, now available for purchase. First phase of the project will be ready by the end of 2010.

Al-Saleh said that his company is very proud to be partnering with 'The Rocco Forte Collection'. "The Assoufid development is the result of market demand for discreetly luxurious year-round destination built and managed to the highest standard and we are very pleased to be part of it," he said. Al-Saleh noted that the two companies are able to offer villa owners a high level of luxury, comfort and security just minutes away from one of the world's most exciting and vibrant cities.

North Africa Holding CompanyNorth Africa Holding Company
North Africa Holding Company
Kuwait | Financial Services
News | Profile | Officers
is part of KIPCO Group established in 2006 with the aim of focusing investment in North Africa from Egypt to Morocco. The company was established with a capital base of KD50 million. "We have the current investment in Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco and Egypt. In May 2009, in collaboration with Rocco Forte, we launched the project in Marrakech and we look forward to brighter, productive and fruitful business investment in Morocco," Al-Saleh said.

Speaking on how the Rocco Forte Collection was created, Sir Rocco Forte acknowledged that his company started from a mere dream in 1996. "My company is relatively young. We set this up 12 years ago, and my idea is to create European luxury styles of hotels and spa. There is no company in a luxury hotel that covers major cities around Europe and so we developed 30 hotels. We developed a very strong brand Rocco Forte Collection from then onwards," he said.

Forte lauded his company's relentless expansion especially in the Middle East. He took pride in his company being appointed by an Egyptian General Company for Tourism to restore their historic Shepherd's Hotel in Cairo. He also mentioned that the new and luxurious 281-bedroom hotel due to open in 2010 in the UAE and an impending property opening in 2011 in Jeddah Saudi Arabia. "Middle Eastern people are very important and close to us since many of our customers are coming from this part of the world," he said.

On the idea behind the features and highlight of his hotel collections, Forte noted, "I want to create an atmosphere which is very intimate and welcoming. My idea of a hotel should touch the culture and heritage of the country we are in. I believe that hotel should reflect the nature and culture of the country. Our hotels carry the very strong design themes thanks to my sister. Our hotels carry the most personalized services which is dear to our guests and customers," he said.

The Rocco Forte Collection include Hotel de Russie-Rome, Hotel Savoy in Florence France, The Balmoral, Edinburgh, The Lowry Hotel-Manchester, Hotel Astoria-Saint Petersburg, Hotel Amigo-Brussels, Brown's Hotel in London, Villa Kennedy-Frankfurt, Hotel de Rome-Berlin, Le Richmond-Geneva, The Charles Hotel-Munich, The Augustine-Prague, Vendura Golf & Spa Resort in Sicily.

By Ben Garcia

Morocco, Libya ink new accords

Morocco and Libya signed several co-operation agreements at the conclusion of the 8th session of the Moroccan-Libyan High Joint Commission on Friday (October 23rd) in Rabat MAP reported.

The civil protection, tourism, air transport, customs, education, industrial zones, investment and other accords were concluded by Moroccan Prime Minister Abbas El Fassi and his Libyan counterpart, Al Baghdadi Ali al Mahmoudi.

© 2009

Kuwait Gulf Hldg To Launch Morocco Villa Proj Soon -Report

Kuwait Gulf Hldg To Launch Morocco Villa Proj Soon -Report. Monday, Oct 26, 2009. BEIRUT (Zawya Dow Jones)--Kuwait's Gulf Holding ...

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Ericsson wins managed services deal with du in United Arab Emirates

29 October 2009
Dubai 29 October 2009: EricssonEricsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) and United Arab Emirates-based operator dudu, have signed a three-year managed services agreement which will enable dudu to continue develop operational efficiency of nationwide GSM/WCDMA network operations.

The partnership provides dudu with a long-term sustainable operating model, reducing its operational expenses and enabling the operator to focus further on providing attractive new services to its subscribers. The network operations agreement also guarantees the performance and quality of du’s multi-vendor network.

Hatem Bamatraf, Senior Vice President, Network Development, dudu, says, “We are committed to continuously develop and use our network at the optimum level. Our partnership with EricssonEricsson is a positive step in realization of this objective. With Ericsson’s experience in managed services, we can bring new mobile telecommunications services to the UAE market more efficiently than ever.”

Valter D'Avino, Vice President and Head of Managed Services, EricssonEricsson, says that the deal confirms EricssonEricsson's position as the industry leader in managed services and underscores a shift toward managed services in the region.

“Managed services have become a key to the success of operators in the Middle East, as well as in the wider industry,” D’Avino says. “With EricssonEricsson running network operations, dudu can devote even more attention to providing its customers with the latest mobile services with excellent network quality.”

- Ends -

GE Oil & Gas to Provide Qatargas with Integrity Management Services to Enhance LNG Pipeline Monitoring and Safety

UAE, Dubai; October 29, 2009: GE Oil & Gas’ PII Pipeline Solutions business has been awarded a multi-million U.S. dollar, six-year contract to supply Qatargas Operating Company Limited (Qatargas)Qatargas Operating Company Limited (Qatargas)Qatar Gas Operating Company
Qatar | Oil and Gas
News | Profile | Officers
with advanced pipeline integrity management services to enhance the monitoring and maintenance of the company’s liquid natural gas (LNG) network.

Based in Ras Laffan City in the State of Qatar, QatargasQatargas has nine prominent shareholders – Qatar Petroleum, ExxonMobil, Total, Mitsui, Marubeni, ConocoPhillips, Shell, Idemitsu and Cosmo Oil.

Under the agreement GE Oil & Gas will build and deploy a custom pipeline integrity management system (PIMS) to drive Qatargas’ overall integrity management processes. As part of this work, GEGE will provide QatargasQatargas with the associated integrity management (IM) elements, including manuals and procedures covering in-line inspection (ILI), software automation and engineering assessments.

“QatargasQatargas operates world-class LNG facilities in Qatar, and our goal is to be the world’s premier LNG company,” said Sheikh Ahmed Al Thani, Chief Operating Officer, Engineering & Ventures, QatargasQatargas. “A critical success factor in achieving that goal is the continued assurance of availability and safe operation of our pipeline networks used to transport gas and condensate from our offshore production sites to our onshore treatment facilities.”

While QatargasQatargas already has a strong pipeline integrity management program in place, the company continually works to adopt industry best practices, including the implementation of GE’s comprehensive PIMS program, Qatargas’ Sheikh Ahmed Al Thani said.

Much of GE’s advance work will be performed by GE Oil & Gas’ pipeline technology centers for excellence in Cramlington, U.K. (for pipeline integrity management and integrity engineering services as well as in-line (ILI) inspection tool preparation) and in Mission, Kansas (for software management), while a dedicated project and account management team will be established in Qatar to help ensure the successful implementation of the projects for QatargasQatargas.

“We are excited to have the opportunity to continue our long-term relationship with QatargasQatargas, which has an outstanding record of achievement in the area of pipeline integrity and maintenance,” said John Bucci, General Manager of GE Oil & Gas’ PII Pipeline Solutions, noting that the business has provided inspection services to QatargasQatargas since 1998.

While the earlier inspections covered two LNG pipelines, the new integrity management contract will cover additional offshore product lines that will rely significantly on PII Pipeline Solutions’ extensive ‘wet gas’ experience.

Separate to the pipeline services contract, GE Oil & Gas’ global services business previously signed an 18-year customer service agreement to support Qatargas’ operations.

GE Oil & Gas has a successful record of supporting a number of major pipeline integrity management initiatives in Qatar, Egypt and other Middle Eastern countries.

- Ends -

About GE Oil & Gas
GE Oil & Gas ( is a world leader in advanced technology equipment and services for all segments of the oil and gas industry, from drilling and production, LNG, pipelines and storage to industrial power generation, refining and petrochemicals. We also provide pipeline integrity solutions, including inspection and data management. As part of our 'Innovation Now' customer focus and commitment, GE Oil & Gas leverages technological innovation from other GEGE businesses, such as aviation and healthcare, to continuously improve oil and gas industry performance and productivity. GE Oil & Gas employs more than 12,000 people worldwide and operates in over 100 countries.

About GE
GEGE is a diversified global infrastructure, finance and media company that is built to meet essential world needs. From energy, water, transportation and heal to access to money and information, GEGE serves customers in more than 100 countries and employs more than 300,000 people worldwide. For more information, visit the company’s Web site at http:/// GEGE is Imagination at Work.

For more information, contact:
Hiba Al Hafidh / Roisin Lillis
ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller
Tel: +9714 334 4550

Roisin Lillis
ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller
Tel: +9714 334 4550

© Press Release 2009

Dubai - United Arab Emirates - UAE in portuguese

Showing you a little bit more of Dubai - a wonderful city located at United Arab Emirates - UAE. - Emirados Árabes Unidos (in portuguese)

Tags: Dubai United Arab Emirates Emirados Árabes Unidos Viagem Fly Oriente country city faster grow up arabian UAE EAU

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Emaar Properties records revenue of AED 5,429 million (US$ 1,478 million) in first nine months of 2009

Dubai, UAE; October 22, 2009: Emaar PropertiesEmaar PropertiesEmaar Properties
Emaar Group

PJSC, the Dubai-based global property developer, has recorded revenues of AED 5,429 million (US$ 1,478 million) in the first nine months of 2009, led by its strategy of strengthening customer-oriented initiatives to support property purchases and a commitment to project delivery. Net operating profits for the same period stood at AED 1,401 million (US$ 381 million).

Third quarter (July to September) 2009 revenue reached AED 1,948 million (US$ 530 million), comparable to second quarter revenue of AED 1,940 million (US$ 528 million). Net operating profit for the same period reached AED 655 million (US$ 178 million), an increase of 48 percent as compared to the second quarter operating profit of AED 442 million (US$ 120 million). Third quarter net operating profit has also increased by 53 percent as compared to profit in same period in 2008 of AED 428 million (US$ 117 million).

The increase in profitability is due to the higher margin relating to Alma townhomes in Arabian Ranches handed over during the third quarter. The townhomes were handed over ahead of its scheduled delivery demonstrating EmaarEmaarEmaar Properties
Emaar Group
UAE | Real Estate

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Oil prices pull back after hitting 80 dollars

LONDON, Oct 21, 2009 (AFP) - Crude oil prices fell on Wednesday as investors took profits after a recent rally sent the market above 80 dollars for the first time in one year, analysts said.

Traders meanwhile awaited the latest weekly snapshot of crude inventory levels in the United States, which is the world's biggest energy consuming nation.

New York's main contract, light sweet crude for December delivery, fell 1.04 dollars to 78.08 dollars a barrel.

The November contract, which had expired Tuesday, briefly touched 80.05 dollars -- the highest level for New York crude since October 14, 2008.

Elsewhere on Wednesday, Brent North Sea crude for December delivery was off 84 cents at 76.40 dollars a barrel.

"We are still around 79 bucks so the pull back can hardly be said to be dramatic -- and might have more to do with the fact that we hit a nice round number at 80 dollars," said analyst Simon Denham at Capital Spreads.

A weak dollar and an upbeat mood about the global economic recovery are driving the recent surge in crude prices, according to oil market watchers.

Later Wednesday, at 1430 GMT, the US government's Department of Energy will publish its report on crude oil inventories for the week ending October 16.

Traders will also absorb the latest results from US banking groups Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo, as well as the US Federal Reserve's Beige Book, which is based on reports from the Fed's 12 districts and used for its policy making.

Despite topping 80 dollars, oil prices finished Tuesday in negative territory after downbeat data from the ailing US property sector.

US housing starts grew in September but the pace was softer than anticipated while permits for construction fell sharply, government data showed.

"Worse-than-expected housing sector data brought to an end the latest rally in prices," wrote analysts at the John Hall Associates energy consultancy in a note to clients.

"Data from the US Commerce Department revealed a less-than-expected increase in the number of housing starts and building permits."

OPEC is meanwhile ready to invest funds to aid the production of oil amid a recovery in energy demand and rising prices for crude, the cartel's chief Abdalla Salem El-Badri had said on Tuesday.

El-Badri, speaking at a London energy conference, also argued that 60-70 dollar oil would not be enough to allow adequate investment levels by OPEC, which pumps 40 percent of the world's oil.

© Copyright AFP 2009.

Maybach 62S in Dubai

Maybach 62S in Dubai

DUBAI The fastest growing city in the world

An overview of Dubai's megaprojects including the Palm Islands, Burj Dubai (world's tallest building), Dubailand (world's largest theme park), Business Bay and much more!
An overview of Dubai's megaprojects including the Palm Islands, Burj Dubai (world's tallest building), Dubailand (world's largest theme park...all » An overview of Dubai's megaprojects including the Palm Islands, Burj Dubai (world's tallest building), Dubailand (world's largest theme park), Business Bay and much more!«

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Emaar Morocco makes substantial progress on Aldea homes in Tinja

Tangier, Morocco; October 20, 2009: Emaar Morocco, the country-subsidiary of Emaar PropertiesEmaar PropertiesEmaar Properties
Emaar Group

PJSC, is making impressive progress on the Tinja master-planned community, particularly with Aldea villas and townhomes.

Foundation work has been completed and super-structure is progressing. The waterfront homes are supported by advanced infrastructure and roads, and water lines and other amenities are being laid out. Hand over to customers will be done as planned in 2010.

Emaar Morocco is currently developing this residential neighbourhood of 184 townhomes and 110 villas as part of the first phase of Tinja, an integrated community which was launched for sale to strong customer response. In addition, construction is progressing for model homes in EmaarEmaarEmaar Properties
Emaar Group

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Gold spikes to record above 1,070 dollars

LONDON, Oct 14, 2009 (AFP) - The price of gold leapt to a record peak above 1,070 dollars per ounce here on Wednesday as the dollar slid in value against the European single currency.

On the London Bullion Market, gold struck 1,070.80 dollars an ounce, which was the highest level in history.

The latest peak was forged as the euro surged above 1.49 dollars for the first time since August 2008.

In recent days and weeks, gold has enjoyed a record-breaking run as the tumbling dollar has stimulated demand.

A fading US dollar makes the precious metal cheaper for investors holding other currencies. Gold is used in jewellery, dentistry and electronics.


© Copyright AFP 2009.

UAE recovery to take longer than other Gulf states

KUWAIT CITY, Oct 14, 2009 (AFP) - Economic recovery in the United Arab Emirates is expected to be slower than in other Gulf states due to high debt levels and its struggling real estate market, a Kuwaiti bank said on Wednesday.

Forecasting the UAE to record its first budget deficit in five years, the National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) said the Emirati economy is expected to contract by 4.6 percent this year before rebounding by 3.6 percent in 2010.

"The presence of high debt levels, weak bank lending, lower company profits and struggling real estate markets will continue to weigh on the economy for at least another year," Kuwait's largest bank said in a special report.

"After being one of the region's most vibrant economies over the past five years, the UAE may now be set to endure a period of relatively slow growth compared to some of its GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) neighbours," it said.

"Spending growth is likely to be much reduced this year ... and combined with a drop in oil revenues, the government could record its first budget deficit in five years," NBK added.

Dubai, part of the seven-member UAE, has been hard hit by the global economic downturn due to its high exposure to the global credit markets to finance massive construction projects, many of which have now been delayed.

Abu Dhabi, the largest and richest emirate, was also hit by the crisis due to the sharp fall in oil revenues and reported huge losses in its sovereign wealth fund holdings overseas.

Nominal Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will drop to 213 billion dollars this year from 254 billion dollars in 2008, a contraction of 16.4 percent. It is however forecast to grow to 225 billion dollars in 2010, NBK said.

The main engine of the recovery next year will come from the oil sector, which is expected to grow by five percent in real terms in 2010 after shrinking nine percent this year.

Non-oil sector is forecast to contract one percent in real terms this year and to be followed by a moderate growth of 2.5 percent in 2010.

Bank lending is likely to remain weak next year, while oversupply will remain in some parts of the real estate sector, indicating that "property prices are unlikely to bounce back any time soon," NBK said.

The absence of access to short-term financing will continue to create problems for refinancing operations and could force changes to entire business models at some firms, it said.


© Copyright AFP 2009.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Oil market caught in bull-bear fight over economy: IEA

By Hugh Dent

PARIS, Oct 09, 2009 (AFP) - Oil demand is firming but the global market is still weak, riven by doubts over how a groggy recovery from the global crisis will affect energy consumption next year, the IEA said on Friday.

Describing the "bulls versus bears" battle in the oil market, it insisted: "There is considerable uncertainty as to the world's short-term economic outlook."

Pointing to an oil price of about 75 dollars a barrel next year, from about 71 dollars now, the International Energy Agency warned that immediate oil demand was "in the doldrums".

However, the rate at which demand was shrinking was "clearly falling" and demand in the fourth quarter would probably show an increase over 12 months.

Despite the turnaround from depressed levels, oil demand in 2010, even after the expected "rebound" "will still remain below 2008 levels," said the IEA's monthly report.

The agency revised upwards its estimate for global oil demand this year by a moderate amount of 200,000 barrels per day and for next year by 350,000 barrels per day.

The upgrading reflected revised growth forecasts in a recent report by the International Monetary Fund and also strengthening data from Asia and the Americas.

The IEA now expects global oil demand to average 84.6 million barrels per day this year, meaning annual contraction of 1.7 million barrels per day, equivalent to a fall of 1.9 percent from consumption last year.

Demand was expected to rise to 86.1 million barrels per day in 2010, an annual increase of 1.4 mbd, marking a turnaround to an annual increase of 1.7 percent.

Global oil supply in September rose by 310,000 barrels per day to 84.9 mbd, because output from non-OPEC countries rose while production from OPEC countries remained constrained, even though it was running above target quota levels.

In addition, there was "further evidence of fuel substitution and efficiency improvements," the IEA said.

It warned that "given continuing uncertainties about the path of economic recovery" there was a downward risk which could bite deeply into the latest demand estimates, cutting them by 100,000 barrels per day in the second half of this year and 600,000 bpd next year.

"The crucial role of China in shaping future oil markets," was a fundamental factor.

The IEA said that although it had revised up its outlook, "prompt oil demand remains in the doldrums."

It explained: "Global demand was still down by 1.6 percent year-on-year in July, versus minus 2.3 percent as previously estimated, and by 1.7 percent in August.

"More significantly, demand among the world's twelve largest oil consumers which collectively account for about 70 percent of the world total, is still contracting by two percent on a yearly basis; the modest demand surge in June appears to have been short lived.

"Gasoil (diesel) demand, in particular, remains very weak, trailing by about four percent below last year's levels on a quarterly basis."

The contraction for oil demand overall this year "will be significant" and "despite the expected 2010 rebound, oil demand next year will still remain below 2008 levels."

In this light, the IEA said, the absolute level of oil demand, rather than relative change, "is more instructive when outlining market fundamentals."


© Copyright AFP 2009.

Emaar Properties Takes top Place in First Gulf Webranking Survey

DUBAI, UAE, 08 October 2009/PRNewswire/ -- Real estate giant EMAAREMAAR takes top slot in on-line consultancy Hallvarsson & Halvarsson's (H&H) inaugural "GCC Webranking" survey. Abu Dhabi National Energy CompanyAbu Dhabi National Energy CompanyAbu Dhabi National Energy Company
UAE | Power and Utilities
Quote | Chart | News | Profile
Last: 1.710 AED 0.00 0%

» Disclosures
» Research

» Financials
» Chart Data

came second with ZAINZAIN third. Bahrain is the GCC country with the highest average score in the region, closely followed by the United Arab Emirates.

For the first time H&H Webranking has included the GCC in its annual survey of corporate websites. Eighty-five listed companies, measured by market capitalization, in five GCC countries were ranked. Sites were assessed according to 140 criteria, derived from H&H's annual survey of business journalists, analysts and investors to identify what information and functionality they value most highly from a listed company's corporate website.

"The number of listed companies in the Gulf has increased over the past few years and the region is becoming increasingly interesting for international investors. This is why we have included the GCC in our annual Webranking survey. Any company looking to compete on an equal footing for international investor attention needs to utilise high quality online communication," said Staffan Lindgren, Executive Partner of H&H. "EMAAREMAAR wins the 2009 H&H Webranking in the Gulf as they present themselves on-line through a website that best fulfils the requirements for a corporate website's target audiences. In particular, EMAAREMAAR's website has a well developed Investor Relations section offering information that is in demand by the capital market, such as presentations, financial figures and a lot of share-related information."

Rank Company Score

2 Abu Dhabi National Energy CompanyAbu Dhabi National Energy CompanyAbu Dhabi National Energy Company
UAE | Power and Utilities
Quote | Chart | News | Profile
Last: 1.710 AED 0.00 0%

» Disclosures
» Research

» Financials
» Chart Data

4 Sorouh Real EstateSorouh Real Estate 33
5 Hikma PharmaceuticalsHikma PharmaceuticalsHikma Pharmaceuticals
Overseas | Health Care
Quote | Chart | News | Profile
Last: 0.00 %

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» Research

» Financials
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7 Al Khalij Commercial BankAl Khalij Commercial Bank (Al KhalijiAl Khaliji) 28.75
8 Qatar TelecomQatar Telecom 28
9= DP WorldDP World 26.5
9= Gulf Finance HouseGulf Finance House 26.5

The rankings show that some Gulf region companies are using the online medium for financial disclosure reasonably effectively. However, the spread of results within the region ranges from 0 to 34.25 points. This indicates that the level of website performance differs substantially, with some companies performing poorly.

The Gulf average is below the European average, 18.5 compared to 50.3 (average of 700 European companies in H&H Webranking 2008).

Bahrain is the highest average scoring country in the region, although there is no significant difference between the five countries covered by this survey. Average ratings were as follows:

Rank Country Average score

1 Bahrain 20.55
2 United Arab Emirates 19.82
3 Qatar 18.38
4 Saudi Arabia 17.51
5 Kuwait 16.03

Areas with greatest room for improvement are "Financial Information", "Corporate Governance" and "Financial Calendar" -all areas increasingly important for the international capital markets.

Commenting on the results of the survey, Nicholas Lunt, Gulf Region MD of H&H's sister company, M: Communications, added: "It's important to place these results in the context of the wider region and to understand that local and south Asian investors are a critical audience for listed companies in the GCC. Most GCC listed companies are head and shoulders above their regional peers when it comes to Investor Relations (IR) and PR. It's important to weld together methodologies that are appropriate for their core target audiences with the best elements of international best practice. For example the way Aldar Properties uses video and photography on its website is an excellent example of a company presenting a human yet dynamic face to its stakeholders, something that I know is particularly valued in the Gulf Region".

For more information on the GCC Webranking survey and report contact:

Nicholas Lunt, M: Communications - Gulf: +971-55-2700216

Source: M Communications (London) Ltd

© Press Release 2009

Wall Street dips as Bernanke injects note of caution

NEW YORK, Oct 09, 2009 (AFP) - Stocks swung lower Friday on Wall Street as comments from Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke hinting at a potential hike in rates prompted traders to lock in some gains of the past few sessions.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 20.48 points (0.21 percent) to 9,766.39 as the market pulled back from a series of gains this week.

The Nasdaq composite shed 5.87 points (0.28 percent) to 2,118.06 and the broad-market Standard & Poor's 500 index retreated 2.19 points (0.21 percent) to 1,063.29.

The market was digesting comments from Bernanke late Thursday that rates may be lifted from the level of near zero when the US economic outlook has "improved sufficiently."

"There is nothing monumental about the chairman's statement," said Patrick O'Hare at, who added that the market paused to reflect on the impact of higher rates on the US dollar and commodities.

Because a weak dollar and rising commodities has been pushing stocks up, the latest comments prompted caution.

"Mr. Bernanke threw the dollar a bone with the remark and the uptick in the greenback is expected to weigh a bit on commodity-sensitive areas," O'Hare said.


© Copyright AFP 2009.

Moroccan Attijariwafa Bank's H1 net rises 13.1 Percent

Moroccan Attijariwafa Bank's H1 net rises 13.1 Percent -->Casablanca - Morocco's private banking group Attijariwafa Bank said its first-half net for year 2009 increased 13.1 percent.

Morocco to treble trade with Germany by 2015, Minister says

Cologne (Germany) (MAP)- Morocco can treble trade with Germany by 2015, said on Thursday Minister of Foreign trade, Abdellatif Maazouz.
Speaking at the opening of Morocco's food industry expo, held in Cologne, the minister said that trade between Morocco and Germany represents 7pc of trade exchanges between the North African kingdom and the European Union.
Saying that Moroccan products have started to conquer the German market, the minister pointed out at progress made by Morocco in several industrial fields, notably food industry.
He also said that the North African country has became an important destination for investors interested in car industry, aeronautics and electronics.
Organized by Moroccan Centre for Export Promotion (CMPE), the exhibition aims at boosting Morocco's presence in ANUGA International Fair, which will take place in Cologne on Oct 10-14.

New projects in Jeddah worth $1b unveiled

09 October 2009JEDDAH - New investments into the Jeddah 2nd Industrial City in Saudi Arabia are expected to total $1 billion (SR4 billion), it was announced on Thursday.The Saudi Industrial Property Authority's (Modon)Saudi Industrial Property Authority's (Modon)
Saudi Industrial Property Authority
Saudi Arabia Governmental Institutions
News Profile Officers decided to allocate 1.7 million m2 of land to industrial projects to be built in the area.Dr Tawfig Bin Fawzan Alrabiah, director general of ModonModon, signed land allocation decisions for 163 factories, each expecting to cost between $266,000 and $1 million. ModonModon is working to develop Jeddah 2nd Industrial City along with a range of projects costing up to $532 million upon completed. The latest project includes a district cooling service, which will provide the industrial city with approximately 100,000 tons of cooling services and produce an electric energy amounting to 80MW. A steam network will also be made for the first time in the industrial cities. These services will help reduce costs to factories and provide a unique and distinct service that helps to save energy, preserve the environment and increase productivity.Major infrastructure projects are planned to be completed in the city within two years.Alrabiah emphasized that the industrial lands are available in many of the existing industrial cities, which are under development at incentive rates, whether domestic or foreign investments and in different industrial, commercial, residential and service sectors. Other projects are the establishment of an integrated network of roads, sidewalks, parking, guidance boards, farming and landscaping, potable water networks, sewage networks, and a range of treatment plants for treating and pumping sewage water, irrigation water tanks, agriculture irrigation networks and drainage networks, rainwater collection channels, sub power plants, distribution network of electric power, street lighting systems, communication systems and information technology systems. Major infrastructure projects are planned to be completed within two years.Industrial cities are spread in the various regions of Saudi Arabia (Riyadh 1&2, Jeddah 1&2, Dammam 1&2, Makkah, Qassim, Al-Ahsa, Madinah, Asir, Al-Jouf, Tabuk, Hail, Najran, Al-Kharj, Jizan, Arar). Development projects have been launched to develop new cities in Sudair , Zulfi, Al-Taif.ModonModon had taken into account in the designing of the development of the project using the best standards and technical specifications that help facilitate the operations of the factories and goods transport movement within the industrial city.Jeddah 2nd. Industrial City is one of the major projects of the Kingdom with an area of eight million square meters. It is characterized by its location where it is located 35 km south of Jeddah city on Jeddah - Leeth - Jizan Highway.ModonModon has set up 18 industrial cities in various regions of the Kingdom with a total area of approximately 237 million squares in Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam, Makkah, Qassim, Ahsa, Madinah, Assir, Al Jouf, Tabuk, Hail, Najran, Al-Kharj, Jazan, and Ar'ar. The investment in these cities exceeds SR200 billion and more than 300 thousand workers are employed in these areas. - SGModonModon is also responsible to create ideal environment for developing and upgrading Technology zones in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.Jeddah 2nd Industrial City is one of the major projects of the Kingdom with an area of eight million m2. Meanwhile, Kingdom Holding Co Chairman Prince Alwaleed bin Talal has topped Arabian Business Magazine's 50 Richest Saudis List for 2009. - SGThe magazine described Alwaleed as "the world's richest Arab and the Middle East's most high-profile businessman."The prince is known for exploring new and potential business opportunities and ventures in synchronization with the direction and fluctuations of the economic climate.
© The Saudi Gazette 2009

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Construction costs fall steeply in Qatar

08 October 2009
DOHA: Construction costs have come down almost 25 to 40 percent since early last year when the industry was booming.
Reliable sources in the building industry say the cost of construction being quoted in tenders has now slid to around QR4,000 per square meters for high quality construction.
The rates until late last year before the onset of the global recession hit the real estate sector were between QR5,000 and QR6,000 per square meters for high-quality building projects.
The rates apply to both government and private projects. As for projects that do not focus so much on quality, the rates could be much lower, say sources.
"AS we know, there has been a slowdown in the industry as compared to last year and it is clearly reflected in the rates contractors have now been quoting in bids for private as well as state projects," said a source in the building industry.
At least 60 percent of a project's costs go towards buying building materials, while the remaining 40 percent is spent on hiring labour, among other things. It also includes the contractor's margins.
The sector has now begun showing some recovery. The demolitions being carried out in some areas of Doha (a reference to Al Musherib area) might refuel construction boom as they would eventually pave the way for new constructions to begin, sources said.
"This (demolitions) is a way to bring buoyancy back to the building industry as new projects are launched on razed sites," said a source.
Asked how the increased steel prices were going to affect the construction sector, he said the hike had not actually made much difference since the demand for basic building materials such as cement and steel remain much subdued as compared to last year during the peak of the boom.
"Since not many new projects are being launched now, the increased rates of steel, or even cement for that matter, do not mean much as the demand remains lower," said another source.
According to him, people in the industry are, however, surprised by the steel price hike because of the demand being low. "I think the move has to do with the global trend. Steel prices have lately being going up in the international market, having plummeted late last year," said the source.
But locally, the prices of steel might have been raised because of the removal of government subsidy.
The development (removal of subsidy) is a welcome sign because it at least signals that the local construction industry is limping back to normalcy with the worst phase being over.
By Mohammed Saeed
© The Peninsula 2009

UAE real estate market dynamics get greener

08 October 2009Closing message at Cityscape Green Day Conference urges developers to 'LEED' by example - private sector 'lagging behind' needs 100% mindset change
Sustainable construction standards should no longer be seen as a choice but the norm, delegates heard during the afternoon session of the first Green Day to be ever held at Cityscape Dubai, which concluded today (Thursday 8 October 2009)
Habiba Al Marashi, Chairperson, Emirates Environmental Group and Board Member, UN Global Compact, said a 100% mindset change was necessary to reduce carbon emissions and encourage best practices industry wide.
"It's not just political will, leadership should be taken by the private sector which is one of the sectors lagging behind," she said.
But Saeed Alabbar, Mechanical Engineer, Halcrow International, recognised a mindset has taken place in the UAE market. "It was all develop-to-sell in the boom, the end user was so far removed that we all thought the customer was the developer. Thankfully, that paradigm has shifted, and we're seeing a develop-to-manage mentality and sustainability is coming more to the forefront."
"Apart from tougher regulatory standards, enlightened property owners will be key as well," said Chris Speller, Group Director, Cityscape.
"For many property owners it is as much about managing running or operating costs as reducing their carbon emissions, but there is a sound business case for sustainability. During the boom, developers had no financial incentive to go green. However due to changing market dynamics, developers now need a competitive edge. Adopting a sustainable design not only reduces carbon emissions, it can lower maintenance and utility costs as well as increase the lifecycle of the building and therefore present a better return on investment for the building owner," added Speller.
Dr. Mohammed Dulaimi, Professor, The British University in Dubai, said enlightened companies saw environmental sustainability as a trigger for innovation. "Investing in a building now will enhance your competitiveness."
Richard Smith, Technical Director for Atkins and Group Chairman of Carbon Critical Buildings, said he is seeing increased interest locally in concentrated solar power and that, despite the region's high carbon footprint, potentially the UAE is a very sustainable place in future.
The earlier session discussed which rating system is best for the Middle East - LEED, Estidama or BREEAM Gulf. As befits its east-meets-west geography, the region is one of the few globally to have such a cross-section of standards.
"They are all good products and formulated on the same principles but the devil is in the detail and we have inconsistency which needs to be cleared up," said Smith.
For full details of Cityscape Dubai 2009 and its events, please visit:
About CityscapeCityscape, organised by IIR Middle East which is part of Informa plc, encompasses a series of exhibitions and conferences that take place in Dubai and Abu Dhabi; Asia; Saudi Arabia; USA; Latin America; and India.
Media contactNathalie ViseleShamal Marketing CommunicationsDubai Media City, United Arab EmiratesTel: +971 4 365 2711Cell: +971 50 457 6525Email:
© Press Release 2009

V-shaped economic upturn expected in Dubai next year

Emirates Business 24-7, 08 October 2009As economic recovery gains steam, a top official of Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI)Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) expects to see a V-shaped recovery in the UAE next year."Our research indicates that the UAE will see a robust growth in 2010. The decline in the country's GDP will be limited and we expect a V-shaped recovery next year," said Hamad Buamim, Director-General of Dubai ChamberDubai Chamber."[The] impact on Dubai was not as severe as it was expected to be," he said, adding that "long-term outlook has improved considerably and expectations of liquidity and access to financing also look better."His view is shared by leading analysts in the country."On current trends, it looks as though we are on a V-track recovery in terms of national income. A low baseline effect will also flatter annual growth figures from the fourth quarter onwards," Dr Giyas Gokkent, Chief Economist of National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD), told Emirates Business.Talking about the W-shaped recovery, he said: "W is the possible double dip in economic activity that may occur once one-off stimulus/policy measures end. Policymakers are displaying a strong preference to err on the side of growth."Early reversal in the policy course appears unlikely for the time being. It would have been easier to have greater conviction on a V-shaped recovery if the crisis had been country specific," said Gokkent.Worldwide, many experts are claiming that the worst is far from over. Most recently, Michael Geoghegan, Chief Executive of HSBC, said he fears a second downturn and is cautious about growing too fast.The UAE, which is linked to global happenings, will reflect what happens on the broader scenario but could be more buoyant."The UAE is interlinked to the rest of the world through a number of channels. One link is oil. The United States accounts for 25 per cent of global oil consumption, while roughly 30 per cent of UAE nominal GDP is based on hydrocarbon activity."Another link is exchange rates. A potentially stronger dollar would translate to a stronger dirham versus major currencies and could be detrimental to non-oil economic activity."A third link is interest rates. The fixed exchange rate of dirham vis-à-vis the dollar means that under normal circumstances interest rates in the UAE mirror those prevailing in the dollar markets."
By Shuchita Kapur
© Emirates Business 24/7 2009

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Dubai eyes the jewel of the past to bring back the lustre of pearls

Dubai is known for its oil riches and spectacular architecture, but it craves a return to its old glory, and the origin of its prosperity as the major producer of natural pearls.

In the past, pearl divers could hold their breath for two minutes and dive into the warm waters of the Gulf for the aquatic gems. The lucrative trade was based on these “amphibious” men. Many died and many got rich. It was a time when a pearl was more expensive than gold – a time when the Gulf was the world's pearl trade epicenter with $4 million revenue a year at the start of the 20th century.

In the 1930s that industry was turned upside down overnight, leaving the country desperate, when cultured (technologically altered) pearls were introduced by the Japanese, meaning they were no longer rare. In the 1960s, the oil boom returned the Gulf people's interest to the sea, despite the value of natural pearls having fallen by 90%. But nowadays, while the pearl market is packed with cultured pearls from the Far East and West, natural pearls have returned to their throne, and an ambitious Dubai is attempting to revive the 3000-year-old pearl trade with an eye on the multibillion dollar natural and cultured pearl market.

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