Summit Notebook

Exclusive outtakes from industry leaders

No bonds for Arabtec; not for now anyway

MIDEAST-SUMMIT/ARABTEC Just to be clear, Arabtec is not considering a convertible bond issue.

The builder has no need for funds and has adequate access to capital if needed. But nonetheless its chief financial officer Ziad Makhzoumi is watching the region’s increasing capital raising activities with interest.

“I don’t think we need any funding whatsoever… As a CFO I have to look at all the options all the time,” he told the Reuters Middle East Investment Summit in Dubai on Monday.

Convertible bonds are an attractive way to raise funds for listed companies, he said, highlighting Emaar Properties’ recent issuance plans.

Earlier this month, Emaar, the builder of the world’s tallest tower in Dubai, outlined plans for a $500 million convertible bond issue.

Is investor confidence returning to the Middle East?

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES/A recovery in the Middle East and the prospects for investment are on the agenda at the Reuters Middle East and Investment Summit, taking place in Dubai, Riyadh, Cairo, Kuwait, Beirut, Bagdad, Abu Dhabi and London.

In the wake of Dubai’s debt crisis, which rocked financial markets globally and dented confidence in the region, top executives and officials will discuss whether the investment climate in the region is improving and confidence returning. 2011 will be a year of more restructurings, but the region’s capital needs will lead to a surge in debt issues and even a possible revival of the IPO market.

Awaiting the alternative energy sukuk: Innovation vs conservatism

MANAMA, Feb 18 (Reuters) – Dubai’s debt fiasco and real estate bubble bust pushes investors to look out for alternative assets underlying Islamic finance products – could renewable energy provide a way-out?

Predominantly, Islamic finance and investment products have been backed by infrastructure or commodities assets. But executives at the 2010 Reuters Islamic Banking and Finance Summit said product diversification was needed to cut the over-reliance on real estate in the Gulf.

Islamic Banking & Finance to attract new attention in 2010

Islamic banking is one of the world’s fastest growing financial sectors, according to industry estimates. It has attracted more attention in the aftermath of the global financial crisis as investors are increasingly looking for alternative, ethical ways of investing. This has also intensified a debate within the industry on whether it should move further away from conventional banking, designing products based more directly on Islamic principles.

Global issuance of Islamic bonds, or sukuk, is expected to fall this year from 2009 levels, a recent Reuters poll showed, as the Dubai debt crisis and an expected rise in borrowing costs weigh on market sentiment. In the Gulf Arab region, a funding crunch at Bahrain-based Islamic investment house Gulf Finance House shows that the financial crisis is far from over in the region and that the industry urgently needs to develop new products and business lines to generate revenues.

from MediaFile:

Islamic Banking & Finance set to attract more attention in 2010

Islamic banking is one of the world's fastest growing financial sectors, according to industry estimates. It has attracted more attention in the aftermath of the global financial crisis as investors are increasingly looking for alternative, ethical ways of investing. This has also intensified a debate within the industry on whether it should move further away from conventional banking, designing products based more directly on Islamic principles. Global issuance of Islamic bonds, or sukuk, is expected to fall this year from 2009 levels, a recent Reuters poll showed, as the Dubai debt crisis and an expected rise in borrowing costs weigh on market sentiment. In the Gulf Arab region, a funding crunch at Bahrain-based Islamic investment house Gulf Finance House shows that the financial crisis is far from over in the region and that the industry urgently needs to develop new products and business lines to generate revenues. CEOs and other top names will discuss these and other topics in a series of closed on-the-record interviews at the Reuters Islamic Banking and Finance Summit, to be held in Dubai, Manama, Kuala Lumpur, London, Geneva and Jakarta on February 15-18, 2010.

Dubai returns to fixed income sphere

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Dubai returns to the fixed-income sphere for the first time in more than a year after raising about $2 billion from dirham and dollar-denominated Islamic bonds.

Confidence in the emirate had run aground earlier this year as investors bet on Dubai’s state-linked entities not being able refinance debt. So far, this year it has met all its obligations and with the fresh issue booking about $6.5 billion from regional and international investors, Dubai’s doomsday scenario appears to be vanishing. 

from Chris Wickham:

Climate change is off the agenda in Dubai

The headline in the Gulf News English language daily reads 'UAE tops world on per capita carbon footprint'.

For a place so reliably bathed in sunlight, the Dubai property explosion seems to have generated enough construction noise to drown out the environmental debate raging elsewhere in the world.

from Raissa Kasolowsky:

Dubai is super enough, thanks

Dubai has sufficient superlatives – record-setting landmarks unique in their size, cost or concept -- to last it for the next decade – so enough already, says Deyaar CEO Markus Giebel.

“I endorse having the tallest building in the world, the first seven-star hotel in the world, the palm,” he says. “What I don’t endorse are attempts to now outdo these superlatives…they are going to last us the next 10 to 15 years.”

Green shoots and short attention spans

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Coming out of one of the darkest recessions, have we learned the lesson at all? Or are we going to repeat the mistakes of the past again?

 

 

Khuram Maqsood, managing director of boutique corporate financing advisory firm Emirates Capital, thinks we may well repeat them.

from John Irish:

Mid-East business leaders to discuss economic recovery

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Starting Monday, Reuters is inviting  business leaders from various sectors in Dubai, Riyadh and Cairo to discuss key challenges facing them in the aftermath of the global financial crisis and the lessons they have learnt.

Is the downturn over or are we set for a double-dip? Will buyers flock back to Dubai's property bonanza or will they stay away for the foreseeable future? Will the oil-reliant economies of the Gulf manage to diversify as they had hoped at the start of the boom in 2002 or will they continue to rest on their barrels of crude? Read this for a preview.

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