Economics Editor, Europe, Middle East and Africa
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Apr 15, 2014

Hong Kong to issue sukuk of up to $1 billion after summer

DUBAI (Reuters) – Hong Kong’s government plans to issue as much as US$1 billion worth of Islamic bonds later this year, a spokesperson for its central bank said, suggesting the territory’s debut sukuk issue might be larger than initially expected.

Lawmakers in Hong Kong passed a bill last month that will allow the AAA-rated government to issue sukuk for the first time. A report by the territory’s Legislative Council indicated the size would be around $500 million.

Apr 9, 2014

Dubai’s Marka eyes fashion, retail growth across Gulf

DUBAI (Reuters) – The company planning the first initial share offering on Dubai’s main stock market for five years says it will spend the proceeds on opening more than 100 fashion stores, restaurants and cafes across the Gulf Arab region over the next five years.

Marka, created by prominent businessmen in the United Arab Emirates, will offer for sale 55 percent of its capital or 275 million shares at 1 dirham ($0.27) each, in a 12-day sale beginning Sunday.

Apr 2, 2014

Dubai to challenge London with Islamic financing platform

DUBAI, April 2 (Reuters) – Dubai will compete with London
for a share of Islamic banks’ liquidity management business by
offering a new platform for murabaha trading.

Many Islamic banks around the world manage their short-term
funds with murabaha, in which one bank acquires merchandise and
another agrees to buy it at a mark-up. Traditionally, banks from
the Gulf and as far afield as southeast Asia use commodities
traded on the London Metal Exchange (LME) as their merchandise.

Mar 20, 2014

Exclusive: GrowthGate Capital plans Dubai IPO for logistics firm

DUBAI (Reuters) – Buyout firm GrowthGate Capital plans to take freight-forwarding company Able Logistics Group public in Dubai around the end of this year, a senior GrowthGate executive told Reuters, in a sign of growing strength in the region’s equity markets.

“We aim to make it this year or early next year,” Haythem Macki, a partner at GrowthGate, said. “The market is ready for it – there’s a lot of liquidity now.”

Mar 20, 2014

GrowthGate Capital plans Dubai IPO for logistics firm

DUBAI, March 20 (Reuters) – Buyout firm GrowthGate Capital
plans to take freight-forwarding company Able Logistics Group
public in Dubai around the end of this year, a senior GrowthGate
executive told Reuters, in a sign of growing strength in the
region’s equity markets.

“We aim to make it this year or early next year,” Haythem
Macki, a partner at GrowthGate, said. “The market is ready for
it – there’s a lot of liquidity now.”

Mar 16, 2014

Dubai considers rule change to lure more domiciled funds

DUBAI, March 16 (Reuters) – Dubai is considering regulatory
reforms to persuade more funds to base themselves in its
financial centre, though industry experts believe that other
parts of its investment environment may also need to change for
the emirate to compete globally.

The proposed rules would create a new class of funds in the
Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) in an effort to
attract asset managers, such as hedge funds and private equity
funds, serving the richest and most risk-tolerant investors.

Mar 15, 2014

Dubai’s Emaar plans $2.5 bln listing of shopping mall unit

DUBAI, March 15 (Reuters) – Dubai’s Emaar Properties said it
would sell up to 25 percent of its shopping mall and retailing
unit in a public offer expected to raise 8 to 9 billion dirhams
($2.18-$2.45 billion), making it one of the region’s largest
equity offers since 2008.

The proceeds “will be primarily distributed as dividend” to
Emaar shareholders, Dubai’s biggest listed real estate developer
said in a statement on Saturday, without giving a timetable for
the offer. The shares to be sold will come from the unit’s
current equity.

Mar 10, 2014

Huge housing deal may signal Gulf investment push into Egypt

DUBAI/CAIRO, March 10 (Reuters) – A $40 billion deal for
Dubai firm Arabtec to build one million homes in Egypt may mark
the start of politically-inspired Gulf investment in the
country’s creaking infrastructure, from housing to transport,
power generation and agriculture.

Egypt’s economy is recovering only slowly from the turmoil
that followed its 2011 revolution. Its government lacks the cash
to build infrastructure, while political and business risks are
still far too high for most companies to invest in projects.

Mar 5, 2014

Gulf’s rift over Qatar may slow investment, reforms

DUBAI (Reuters) – A diplomatic split between Qatar and its wealthy Gulf neighbors may disrupt billions of dollars of investment in the region and slow efforts to make economies more efficient through trade and transport reforms.

Qatar’s vast natural gas wealth means the tiny country, with a population of about 2.1 million, could probably continue operating indefinitely despite the displeasure of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

Feb 23, 2014

Iran’s non-oil exports recovering under Rouhani, business says

DUBAI, Feb 23 (Reuters) – Iran’s non-oil exports are
starting to feel the benefits of easing international tensions
under new President Hassan Rouhani, Iranian businessmen at one
of the world’s biggest food industry shows say.

Organisers of the annual Gulfood fair in Dubai said 46
Iranian exporters have stands at this week’s event, roughly
double last year’s number – a sign of Iran’s partial return to
the global trading system since Rouhani took office in August.

    • About Andrew

      "Based in London, I manage economics and emerging markets coverage in the EMEA region and reporting on emerging markets in the area. Before moving to EMEA in early 2009 I spent almost 20 years in Asia as a journalist, based in Hong Kong, Taipei, Tokyo, Singapore and Shanghai."
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