MIDEAST DAYBOOK: Dubai World Unit Sued; Abu Dhabi, IPIC Bonds
Two Singapore units of Drydocks World LLC, the ship repair unit of state-owned Dubai World, which is attempting to restructure $24.9 billion of debt, were sued in Singapore’s High Court for not paying suppliers.
Muammar Qaddafi’s forces carried out air and artillery strikes on oil facilities midway along Libya’s coastline as fighting flared across a desert area that is now the east-west dividing line in the nation’s civil war.
Egypt plans to sell 5.5 billion Egyptian pounds ($931 million) of treasury bills, the first auction after the military council swore in the government of Prime Minister Essam Sharaf.
WHAT TO WATCH: * Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal embarked on a plan to invest more than 500 million riyals ($133 million) in Saudi stocks after political unrest in the Middle East pushed down equity prices. * Dubai World, the state-owned holding company seeking to alter terms on $24.9 billion of debt, will sign an agreement to restructure its debt within a week, Chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum said. * International Petroleum Investment Co., an investment company owned by Abu Dhabi, is selling $4.4 billion of bonds in euros and pounds as Brent crude rose on concern Libya’s turmoil will spread to other oil-producing nations. * Egyptian inflation and interest rate decision. * Mubadala Development Co., an Abu Dhabi government-owned investor, has offered to buy a stake in state-owned Dubai Aluminium Co. to create a new holding company, Gulf News reported, citing Dubai’s deputy ruler. * The International Monetary Fund said economic growth in Qatar this year will likely reach 20 percent, after 16 percent growth last year. * U.A.E. Central Bank meeting with banks on Islamic finance operations in Abu Dhabi. * Saudi Arabian authorities have listened to the demands of Shiite Muslims in the Eastern Province and believe that dialogue, not protests, is the best way to solve problems, Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal said. * Activists in the United Arab Emirates are circulating an online petition demanding that members of the 40-member Federal National Council, an advisory body to the government, be elected. * Emirates, Dubai’s government-owned airline, dropped plans to sell bonds to finance expansions, President Tim Clark said. * Syria plans to sell 1 billion Syrian pounds ($21.4 million) of one-year notes at an auction March 14, according to the central bank.
MARKETS: * Dow Jones Industrial Average fell less than 0.1 percent. * Crude oil futures for April delivery rose 0.3 percent to $104.66 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 7:40 a.m. in Dubai. * Gold for April delivery fell less than 0.1 percent to $1,429.9 an ounce. * Dubai Financial Market General Index advanced 2.2 percent, QE Index rose 2 percent; Kuwait Stock Exchange Index and ADX General Index climbed 1.3 percent each, Bahrain All Share Index gained 1.2 percent, and Muscat Securities Market rose 0.2 percent. Tunis Stock Exchange’s Tunidex gained 0.1 percent, while and Morocco Casablanca Stock Exchange Index rose less than 0.1 percent. * Saudi Arabia’s market is closed for the weekend.
EQUITY MOVERS: * Kingdom Holding (KINGDOM AB) is still in talks with Zain on the Kuwaiti company’s stake in Zain Saudi unit, Kingdom Holding Chairman Prince Alwaleed bin Talal was cited as saying by Reuters. * Emaar Properties PJSC (EMAAR) , builder of the world’s tallest skyscraper in Dubai, had its price estimate cut at Credit Suisse Group AG, citing “potential delivery delays in international projects.”
FINANCIAL RESULTS AND MEETINS * Kuwait Cement Co. (KCEM) , the Gulf state’s biggest publicly traded cement maker by market value, posted an increase in full-year profit to 13.36 million dinars ($48 million) from 12.8 million a year ago. * Gulf Finance House (GFH BI) board meeting. * Orascom Development Holding AG (ODHN) said it postponed the announcement dates of its 2010 full-year and first-quarter 2011 financial results as well as its annual general meeting, citing the political events in Egypt and a delay in the audit process at units in the country.
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