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Dec 17, 2014

Nigeria telecom operators bemoan multiple taxation

DUBAI, Dec 17 (Reuters) – Nigeria’s telecommunications
operators face multiple taxes and fees at local, state and
federal level, two of the country’s mobile operators told
Reuters, with service disruptions related to tax claims costing
the sector millions of dollars annually.

Mobile phone penetration nearly tripled between 2007 and
2012 and hit 96 percent at 2013-end.

Dec 16, 2014

Dubai property price rises slow, 2015 outlook stable -CBRE

DUBAI, Dec 16 (Reuters) – Increases in Dubai property prices
slowed in the second half of 2014 and valuations will be steady
next year as a glut of new units are released, consultants CBRE
said on Tuesday.

The real estate sector in Dubai, one of seven emirates in
the United Arab Emirates, has been among the most volatile
globally over the past decade as it turned from boom to bust to
boom again. Prices rebounded from early 2012, soaring from June
that year to the end of 2013.

Dec 15, 2014

Abu Dhabi’s Aldar to cut debt by over a third within two yrs -CFO

DUBAI, Dec 15 (Reuters) – Abu Dhabi’s Aldar Properties
will cut its debts by more than a third over the next
two years, its chief financial officer said on Monday, extending
a trend that has already led to credit agencies upgrading their
ratings on the company.

Aldar, 34 percent-owned by Abu Dhabi government fund
Mubadala Development Co, had 9.6 billion dirhams ($2.6 billion)
of debt as of Sept. 30 – down from 13.8 billion at the end of
2013 and set to fall to 6 billion over the next two years.

Dec 15, 2014

Bahraini telco Viva eyes data growth as per-user call income falls

DUBAI, Dec 15 (Reuters) – Viva Bahrain, the kingdom’s No.3
mobile operator by subscribers, is betting on rising data
revenue to offset falling per-user call income, its chief
executive told Reuters.

Wholly owned by Saudi Telecom Co (STC), Viva
launched operations in March 2010. It competes with former
monopoly Bahrain Telecommunications Co (Batelco) and
Zain Bahrain, a unit of Kuwait’s Zain, as
well as about 10 Internet service providers.

Dec 14, 2014

Bekele sets sights on Marathon gold in Rio

DUBAI (Reuters) – Kenenisa Bekele, world record holder over 5,000 and 10,000 meters, is aiming for Marathon gold at the 2016 Olympics, although the Ethiopian on Sunday said he could yet switch back to a shorter distance at the Rio de Janeiro games.

He may not be a household name like compatriot Haile Gebrselassie or Britain’s Mo Farah, but the softly spoken Bekele is one of athletics’ true greats, with three Olympic golds and more than a dozen world titles to his name.

Dec 10, 2014

Dubai Parks tumbles on bourse debut as oil sours the mood

DUBAI, Dec 10 (Reuters) – Shares in Dubai Parks and Resorts
(DPR) tumbled on their bourse debut on Wednesday,
demonstrating how plunging oil prices and a glut of cash calls
have for now exhausted retail investor demand in Dubai’s
volatile bourse.

Retail investors dominate trading on the Dubai Financial
Market and they powered the market’s spectacular recovery from
its 2008-2010 crash. The main index more than tripled
in the 18 months to May 2014, sparking a flurry of initial
public offers this year after a freeze of about five years.

Dec 9, 2014

Dubai developer revives port city project with $183 mln tower

DUBAI, Dec 9 (Reuters) – Omniyat Group began work on a
48-storey tower in Dubai Maritime City on Tuesday, the first
residential building under construction at the long-delayed
project as developers bet the emirate’s renewed property boom is
sustainable.

Dubai rents had risen for 10 straight quarters before
falling 1 percent in the third quarter, property consultants
CBRE reported in September, and prices are now back up around
their 2008 peaks.

Dec 4, 2014

UAE arrests woman over murder of U.S. teacher, says planted bomb

ABU DHABI (Reuters) – Police in the United Arab Emirates have arrested a local woman on suspicion of stabbing to death an American teacher in a toilet at an Abu Dhabi shopping mall.

Colonel Rashid Borshid of the Abu Dhabi police told a news conference on Thursday that the suspect also placed a makeshift bomb outside the front door of an apartment of an American doctor living in the UAE less than two hours after Monday’s killing. The bomb was dismantled and no one was hurt.

Dec 2, 2014

Zain Saudi says rejects Mobily’s $586 million claim

DUBAI (Reuters) РSaudi Arabia’s second-biggest telecom operator Mobily said on Tuesday it was seeking arbitration to obtain 2.2 billion riyals ($586.28 million) owed it by Zain Saudi, a claim its smaller rival subsequently said was unfounded.

A dispute has arisen between the two companies over the application of a 2008 contract under which Mobily would provide services including domestic roaming and site sharing to Zain Saudi, which began commercial operations that year.

Dec 2, 2014

Petrochemical stocks lift Saudi; mkts mixed

DUBAI, Dec 2 (Reuters) – Petrochemicals stocks led gains on
Saudi Arabia’s bourse on Tuesday after an overnight
rebound in oil prices encouraged the kingdom’s investors to buy
back beaten-down stocks, while other Middle East markets were
mixed.

Saudi Basic Industries (SABIC), the Gulf’s largest
listed company and one of the world’s biggest petrochemicals
producers, rose 0.9 percent.