• AME Info, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Business Briefs Column
    AME InfoBy AME Info, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

    Jan. 15–DFM UP SHARPLY, ADSM HAS SLIGHT GAIN: The Dubai Financial Market rose sharply today, Tuesday, gaining 182.18 points, or 2.98 percent, to finish on 6,291. National Industries Group was the day’s big gainer, up 14.71 percent. Meanwhile, the Abu Dhabi Securities Market had a slight gain, up 37.61 points, or .77 percent, to finish on 4,930. Bank of Sharjah Convertible Bonds was the index’s big gainer, up 10 percent.

    GULF BOND SALES TO HIT $50BN: A new report by Moody’s Investor Services said sales of conventional and Islamic bonds in Gulf Arab countries may more than double to $50bn, reported Reuters. Governments and companies in the GCC sold $23.7bn of bonds last year, 62 percent more than in 2006. Sales in 2008 will be spurred by infrastructure projects and acquisitions, the report said.

    REGIONAL PRIVATE EQUITY MARKET TO GROW: The Middle East private equity industry will continue to witness substantial growth in 2008 due to privatisation and re-engineering of family businesses, according to Faisal Juma Belhoul, founder and managing partner of Ithmar Capital. Speaking at the Middle East Private Equity 2008 conference, he added that revenues from record energy prices have driven liquidity levels to over $1.5tr, regional GDP growth is expected to continue to rise and economic restructuring is gathering pace.

    US INCREASES AID TO JORDAN: The US plans to substantially increase its aid to Jordan in 2008 to support the kingdom’s economic and political stability, reported Reuters. The grants for fiscal year 2008 will total $663.5m — $363.5m in economic support and $300m in foreign military financing. The total represents a 48 percent increase over fiscal year 2007.

    ABU DHABI RECEIVES ‘AA’ RATING: The emirate of Abu Dhabi has received a ‘AA’ credit rating and a ‘stable’ outlook from Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services, which cited the government’s very strong asset position and the emirate’s high level of stability and wealth underpinned by its rich resource endowment, reported Khaleej Times. The ratings are constrained primarily by the geopolitical risks facing all sovereigns in the region.

    DRAKE & SCULL TO LAUNCH IPO ON DFM: UAE-based Drake & Scull International, an end-to-end service provider in the field of electrical and mechanical engineering, plans to sell 55 percent of its shares in an initial public offering on the Dubai Financial Market as early as the first quarter, reported Bloomberg. The company, which received regulator approval from the UAE capital market authority, will offer 20 million shares.

    DOW JONES MSM INDEX LAUNCHED: Dow Jones Indexes and Muscat Securities Market, the stock exchange in Oman, have launched the Dow Jones MSM Index. The index is a total-market index that measures the performance of all companies listed on the Muscat Securities Market. The index currently includes 66 stocks.

    DUBAI SHUTDOWN COULD COST $117M: Dubai’s economy may have suffered a loss of more than Dh432m ($117M) as a result of the shutdown caused by US President George W. Bush’s visit, reported Gulf News. Public and private sector activity in the emirate was severely curtailed as the city’s major roads were blocked to allow unhindered movement for the US leader and his entourage.


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