Blog Modern

Qatar Holding cashes Barclays warrants worth $1.2 billion

Qatar Holding, an investment arm of the wealthy Gulf state, said Monday it has cashed its remaining holding of Barclays warrants, in a deal that has led to a $1.2 billion share sale in the British bank.   The warrants, which convert into shares, were sold to Deutsche Bank AG and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. The sovereign wealth fund said it has "monetised its remaining holding of 379 million units of Barclays Plc warrants as part of its active portfolio management," according to a statement. "QH's investment in Barclays ordinary shares is unaffected by this transaction," remaining the largest single investor with an "unchanged 6.65 percent" stake, it said.   The fund bought the warrants, which give investors the right to buy shares at an agreed price in the future, in 2008, when it acquired a large stake as part of a cash injection package for the bank to survive the credit crunch. "We remain a supportive strategic investor in Barclays, and maintain our confidence in the long term prospects for the business," said Qatar Holding chief executive officer Ahmad al-Sayed in the statement. The statement also said that Barclays welcomed the "message of confidence."   "Barclays welcomes Qatar Holding's message of confidence in its long term prospects and continues to appreciate the consistent support it has received since Qatar Holding became its largest shareholder," said Barclays chief executive officer Antony Jenkins. "Qatar Holding have exercised their warrants into stock -- long-term option contracts -- in Barclays, which they got their hands on at the height of the banking crisis, and offloaded the stock," said TJ Markets analyst Manoj Ladwa. "They still remain holders of their core position and seem to be taking a significant profit out of the trade," he said.   In 2009, Qatar Holding exercised warrants to buy 379.22 million ordinary shares at 197 pence from Barclays and sold them on the stock market. The news then sent Barclays shares tumbling.   Source

Qatar to invest $200bn in infrastructure sector

The size of Qatar’s infrastructure investment is projected to exceed an estimated $200bn over the next ten years. The country has already decided to invest $140bn in the sector during the coming five years, H E Yousuf Hussein Kamal, Minister of Economy and Finance said here yesterday.     Delivering the opening address at the four-day Mena Investment Management Forum (MIMF) here, the minister said, with announcement of multi-billion development projects, Qatar has emerged as the global leader in the infrastructure investment. “The investment in the infrastructure projects is a major source of Qatar’s economic diversification. The upcoming rail and metro projects, New Doha International airports and the Lusail City projects offer wide range of funding opportunities for the investors.”  With Qatar Investment Authority and its subsidiaries looking forward to forming well-picked portfolio of assets, the country is looking beyond domestic investments.   Qatar’s proposed development projects offer great opportunities for the potential investors and local banks. There is enough scope for the fund managers to tap various portfolios. The upcoming projects will not only benefit Qatar but would act as a great impetus to the growth agenda of neighbouring countries.  The world of investments is fast changing. It is increasingly becoming a becoming a two-way investments, he said. The Minister noted Qatar’s leading economic indicators are as strong as any developed economies. The country’s economy has been growing double digit over the past several years. Driven by huge increase in the prices of hydrocarbon, Qatar’s nominal GDP has grown to a high 36.3 percent, he said.   To support the growth in the dynamic private sector, Qatar has got one of the best legal and regulatory environments in place. The country’s tax system and institutional framework are ideal and conducive for the strong growth of the financial sector. With its strong economic fundamentals and highest standard of transparency, Qatar offers great confidence to investors. A competitive tax structure and a legal system based on English common law are integral part of Qatar’s financial sector.   The international best practices being pursued by the Qatar Financial Centre has attracted many international companies that sought to get a base in the region, Yousuf Hussein said. The regulatory authorities have taken series of steps to reform the financial market to help boost liquidity and determine a fair market price. Qatar has amended laws to encourage trade settlements and attract investments to Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs).   Source 

Qatar’s non-oil sector maintains performance, expands by 8.5% in Q2

Driven by the industry and services sectors, Qatar’s non-oil sector maintained its performance and expanded by about 8.5% in the second quarter of the year, Samba Financial Group has said in a report. Construction activity has continued to revive with the sector growing by 10% in the second quarter, Samba said. The construction sector is expected to remain a strong driver of the economy as infrastructure investment picks up. However, Samba estimates a lower growth in Qatar’s oil and gas sector with maintenance on older oil fields adversely affecting oil production. Second quarter growth in the sector is reported at just 0.8%, due to which Samba revised down its overall real GDP projection for 2012 to 5% with further adjustments to its 2013-14 forecast.   According to Samba, inflation is picking up in Qatar. A steady month-on- month increase in the heavily weighted rental component in the consumer price index since June has led to a sharp pick up in the overall inflation rate to 2.6% year-on-year in September. “This is a significant turn around and is thought to reflect increased real estate demand from an expanding work force coming to Qatar to help implement its national development plan involving large infrastructure investments and increased economic diversification. “With non-oil and gas economic activity picking up speed, inflationary pressures are likely to be sustained next year and we maintain our 4% forecast,” Samba said. Source 

Measured growth

The transport sector in Qatar has had mixed results so far this year, in part a reflection of its exposure to the global economy. However, the three leading transport firms listed on the bourse continued to post strong earnings leading into the last quarter of the year. In late October, most of the companies listed on the Qatar Exchange posted their results for the first three quarters of the year, with almost one-third of the 41 traded firms recording a drop in net profits and the majority seeing their profits come in between just under 1% and 9%. While profits have edged up in the sector, they are not keeping pace with the broader economy, which is forecast to expand by around 6% this year. The share value of the three leading companies reflected the somewhat mixed results, with the sector index rising 1.69% in the third quarter but falling 9.04% in the year leading to September 2012.   Despite the transport index as a whole not performing to expectations, two of the three firms listed in the category did quite well, with both Qatar Navigation (Milaha) and Gulf Warehousing Company (GWC) seeing profit levels increase far above the index average. It was only a fall in profits by Qatar Gas Transport Company (Nakilat), a liquid natural gas (LNG) shipping firm, which drew the index’s results down. The star turn for Qatar’s listed transport firms was GWC, which saw a 31% increase in profits for the first nine months of the year, mainly due to strong direct earnings coming form its local operations. Offsetting revenue of $98.7m – an increase of 21% over the same period in 2011 – the logistics, transport and storage firm saw costs rise by 17% to $69.3m, leaving a gross profit of $29.3m and a net profit of $16.6m.   Milaha also posted positive returns, with its net profit of $177m representing a 9% improvement on the first nine months of 2011. In its statement announcing the results, the company said the net profits of its maritime and logistics operations had strengthened over the first three quarters of 2012, compared to the same period in 2011, driven by port operations and container transport activities.   However, Milaha said continued weakness in product tanker rates resulted in lower net profit for the gas and petrochemicals segment relative to last year, a reflection of a slowdown in the international economy and a decrease in demand for energy and petroleum-based products. According to Sheikh Ali Bin Jassim Al Thani, the chairman and managing director of Milaha, “While general weakness in the global maritime sector, combined with volatility, continues to have a negative impact, our strong position in the local and regional supply chain has helped offset this weakness to a large extent,” he said on October 26.   Milaha was not the only Qatari transport firm to be subject to the volatility of global conditions, with Nakilat seeing its third-quarter profits fall by 25.5% to $49.9m from $67.6m for the same period in 2011. The largest shipper of LNG in the world, Nakilat saw demand for gas ease as the global economy cooled and was also affected by the high costs of fuel, which has prompted the company to consider a $1bn project that would convert up to 45 of its largest tankers to burn gas, rather than oil. However, Nakilat is expecting higher profits when the global economy improves. The company is also looking to the increase in business that will come from Japan’s planned phasing out of nuclear power, which will result in higher demand for LNG from one of the world’s largest economies.   Closer to home, both Milaha and GWC can expect Qatar’s own economy to fuel their growth, which will be sustained by the government’s medium-term infrastructure investments and preparations for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. These major projects will require massive amounts of materials and equipment to be shipped, imported and then moved domestically, which will help fill the transport sector’s order books and boost overall performance.   Source

Qatar to remain fastest growing GCC economy

Qatar will remain the fastest growing of all GCC sovereigns in 2013, driven by the government's huge capital investment programme. The growth is set to boost as the fiscal stimulus would be triggered by a combination of healthy rates of bank lending and buoyant consumer and business confidence, Fitch Ratings forecast yesterday. In its first quarterly "GCC Sovereign Credit Overview", however, the ratings agency noted economic growth in the GCC will slow in 2013 due to a moderation in oil production growth, but high oil prices will provide a supportive backdrop for another year of solid non-oil growth. Many governments in the region will continue to use high oil revenues to stimulate their economies. In the non-rating action commentary on Qatar, the Fitch noted gas output hitting capacity has caused headline economic growth to slow to mid-single digits. Qatar's high government capital spending on major multi-year projects continues to stimulate the non-hydrocarbon sector.   "Qatar is playing increasingly prominent global role through Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) investments and foreign policy. The country's domestic debt market is being developed, but funding of substantial infrastructure spend is driving up external debts .... Inflationary pressures outside the real estate sector is building up...", GCC economies will remain heavily influenced by global oil markets. With conditions tight, low global spare capacity and little new output coming on-stream, Fitch expects Brent crude to average around $100 per barrel in 2013 despite the weak outlook for demand. As most GCC exporters aside from Saudi Arabia are operating at close to capacity, there is little scope to raise output after the hikes over 2011 and 2012.   Fitch does not view the higher government spending that helped growth bounce in H1, 12 in Bahrain is sustainable and instead political uncertainty will continue to cloud the outlook. A worsening political climate could hit economic performance in Kuwait. Although there is little fiscal impulse in the UAE, the non-oil economy will pick-up owing to a renewed influx of businesses and residents. For all GCC sovereigns apart from Bahrain, fiscal and current account surpluses are anticipated, further strengthening sovereign balance sheets and external positions. Fitch expects the benign global inflationary environment to be sufficient to offset most domestically-driven price pressures and keep inflation in the region relatively subdued.   The main economic risks to the outlook for the region are external. The US fiscal cliff poses the largest short-term risk. A slowdown in China and an intensification of the eurozone crisis would also hurt the region. In addition, the GCC remains vulnerable to swings in oil prices. Given the fiscal policy space in most of the GCC, Fitch anticipates that these risks should be manageable in 2013. The principal political risks are the possibility of conflict between Israel and Iran and an escalation of the unrest in Syria.   In Fitch's view the key challenges facing the region are economic diversification, rising breakeven oil prices, unemployment and accountability. Although some steps are being taken to tackle these issues, it will take some years for any successes of a magnitude necessary to impact positively on the ratings to occur.  Source

Qatar: Building for the future

The Qatari construction sector is seeing renewed demand, stimulated by major projects linked to the FIFA 2022 World Cup. The building of stadiums and other projects should provide new opportunities for companies in the industry, which has seen increased competition and higher costs in recent years. Winning the right to host the World Cup has helped accelerate the country’s long-term infrastructure development programme, which includes a metro and light rail system, railways linking to a regional network, and improvements to the road system. It has also added momentum to the ongoing expansion of Qatar’s hotel capacity. Construction on stadiums for the World Cup, for example, will commence in 2013, following a deal signed by the Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee and several major institutions, including developer Qatari Diar, Ashgal (the public works authority) and Qatar Rail, local press reported in mid-October. During the World Cup, 12 stadiums will be used; nine will be new and three existing grounds will be expanded. The full schedule for the construction work has yet to be announced, and will be confirmed after consultation with FIFA, the international football association. Development of five of the stadiums is currently under planning or tender, with announcements on the other projects expected soon. There is also an increasing focus on ensuring that the buildings and utilities to be used during the World Cup are environmentally friendly. In October, the local press reported that the Qatar Green Building Council (QGBC) had created a group to work on ensuring that existing and planned hotels meet green standards, including reducing carbon dioxide emissions and increasing waste recycling.   With the environment high on the national agenda, offering green construction options gives developers and contractors an edge in a very competitive market, according to Yousef Al Horr, the founder and chairman of the Gulf Organisation of Research and Development. “In order to stay attractive, developers are more inclined to adopt sustainable practices,” he told OBG. “The awareness of the public has grown significantly in recent years, whereas three years ago developers really did not pay much attention to sustainable and green building practices, as demand was high. Now the dynamics are different, and there is an oversupply in some areas.” Green or otherwise, the authorities’ moves to push on with World Cup-linked projects should come as a fillip to the construction sector, which has seen activity fall from the highs of the past decade, largely due to the international economic crisis, and a degree of oversupply in some sectors.   The strong growth of the sector in past years has also drawn in a range of international players, as well as encouraged the growth of domestic firms, many of which have varying experience in handling large projects. Some of these operators compete largely on cost and have led to contract prices being kept down. Meanwhile, demand for construction materials, coming up against supply bottlenecks and rising international commodity costs, have led to input prices rising. An October report by MEED, a business intelligence firm, suggested that Qatar has the Gulf’s highest costs for construction materials. The third-quarter report states that construction materials cost on average 12% more than in the UAE and 4.5% more than in Saudi Arabia. For example, the average cost of rebar steel is 32% higher in Qatar than in the UAE, while concrete is 26.8% higher. MEED cited the strong pull effect of World Cup construction as the main reason for the higher prices.   The squeeze on contractors’ profits that has resulted made for hard going in the slower years of 2009-10, and continues to have an effect, but the hope now is that progress on long-term projects – and possibly the shaking out of competitors with lower capacity – will provide new room for construction firms to grow. Meanwhile, demand has also picked up in the private sector. On October 23, the local press reported that Arabtec, the major contractor on the Al Waab City development, would be re-launching construction on the project by November 1, with the first units due to be completed by July 2013. Al Waab is one of Qatar’s biggest private real estate developments, with more than 200 luxury villas.   Private demand is expected to further accelerate over the next two years, as excess property capacity is taken up and the economy continues to grow. Over the medium-to-long term, a healthy balance of big-ticket government projects and private sector development should help provide opportunities for contractors, thus easing the pressure felt in recent years. Source 

Hello world!

Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!

Hello world!

Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!

Factor that affect performance

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.

Read More

Modern Mountain Home Design

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.

Read More

    About

    This is the deafult sidebar, add some widgets to change it.