You Can’t Get Me I’m Part Of The Union

aus-portTwo events have reaffirmed the buoyancy and confidence in Dubai’s resurgence: last week’s Cityscape unveiling of 27 projects, totalling US$ 10.9 billion, and Emaar Malls Group’s recent successful IPO. With the institutional side of the sale being 30 times oversubscribed and retail 20 times, it is no surprise that the share price was set at US$ 0.79 – the high end of expectations, valuing the new entity at US$ 10.3 billion. The 2 billion shares on offer equated to 15.4% of the market valuation of the company.

Following this success, it looks increasingly likely that Emaar’s hospitality division will be the next in line for a listing on the Dubai bourse.

Emaar announced that it had sold 72 units in The Address Residence Sky View project with prices of over US$ 1,090 per sq ft. On completion, the 50 storey, 230 mt twin tower building will house 532 luxury apartments and a 180-room business hotel.

R Hotels has been awarded the management of a new 192-bedroom hotel in Jumeirah – their fifth in Dubai. The Ajman-based hospitality company expects to welcome its first guests in Q2 2015.

Teyban is now open for interested parties wanting to buy into their JBR development, Sparkle Towers – one with 29 floors and the other 14. The luxury resort style towers will house a myriad of Swarovski crystal ornaments and will target the top end of the market.

Nakheel have awarded their US$ 41 million Palm Jumeirah Boardwalk project – including two 100 mt piers – to Overseas AST Company. Construction of the 11 km long, and 6 mt wide, piers will start in Q4 and be completed by mid-2016.

It is expected that over the next six years, heading into Expo 2020, Dubai will build a further 60k hotel rooms, of which over half will be in the mid-price range. The plan for the emirate is to increase the inventory to 150k to meet the expected demand then. To encourage development in this segment, Dubai Municipality have waived certain fees for developing such buildings.

Over the same six year period, the emirate is planning to spend US$ 8.2 billion on infrastructure projects, including a 15 km extension to the Metro’s Red Line.

A deal has been struck between Dubai World and its biggest creditors relating to an extension of its repayment timetable on its huge US$ 25 billion debt.

Target & Jima Construction Co has won a US$ 33 million contract, from Nakheel,for phase 2 infrastructure work in Al Furjan. The Dubai-based contractor will install 16 km of new roads and prepare almost 500 new villa plots, ready for building.

Six months after announcing a US$ 40 billion deal to build one million houses for the Egyptian army, Arabtec has announced that it has nearly completed the planning and design stage. The first phase is due to be finalised within three years and the whole project slated for completion by 2020. Arabtec has reiterated that it will be able to raise the required finance.

The Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) has forecast that there will be a 47.0% increase, to 250, in the number of private schools in Dubai over the next six years, as student numbers expand from an estimated 243k to almost 400k.

Depa has won two new contracts, totalling US$ 39 million. The troubled Dubai-based fit out company won tenders for work on the 412-room Novotel World Trade Centre and the 345-key Emerald Palace Kempinski Hotel, Palm Jumeirah.

The Chinese Real Estate Development has announced that it will start work on The Royal Gardens project, located in MBR City – District 11. The development – the first in the emirate by a Chinese company – will include 878 villas and townhouses. It is expected that completion will be well before the 2020 Expo.

Dubai Development Co, partly government owned, along with the Al Mulla and Al Owais families, may well be sold. Formed in 1975, and listed on the DFM, the shareholders have agreed to consider any offers for the company since there are no further projects on hand.

According to Forbes, Micky Jagtiani, head of the Landmark Group, is the richest Dubai-based Indian, with an estimated US$ 5.2 billion to his name. The next two on the ranking were Lulu’s Yusuffali MA (US$ 2.3 billion) and GEMS Sunny Varkey (US$ 1.8 billion).

Another sign of the rude health of the local bourses was the announcement by Amanat Holdings that it will be looking at a listing on the DFM. The healthcare and education group is planning to divest 55% of the company by selling 1,375 billion US$ 0.27 shares to raise US$ 375 million. The current 37 investors have already paid for their 45% of the new listed company.

Having fallen 0.9% the previous week, the Dubai bourse opened Sunday on 5054 points to close 0.23% down on Thursday, at 5042.  So far this year, the market has jumped 49.6% from its 01 January opening of 3370. Bellwether stocks, Emaar and Arabtec closed on US$ 3.04 and US$ 1.22 respectively. In Q3, the market recovered from its 22.1% Q2 loss to jump 28.0% from 3943 to 5049. Emaar Malls Group had its first day trading on Thursday and rose from its opening price of US$ 0.79 to close 12.1% up on US$ 0.89.

The noose is tightening around the necks of six international banks as the UK regulator is set to levy record fines for their alleged rigging of the forex market, which turns over an estimated US$ 5.3 trillion daily. UBS, RBS, HSBC, Barclays, Citigroup and JP Morgan Chase hope to coordinate a settlement with the FCA by the end of the year. Any such settlement – that could reach US$ 3 billion – does not preclude possible criminal charges on individuals.

The IMF issued a stark warning that the large net foreign liabilities of some nations make them more susceptible, in times of economic turmoil. The debt of some countries has not stopped expanding, even after the GFC, and that the global imbalance could be a recipe for economic disaster.  For example, Spain and Italy have seen their net foreign liabilities, to annual output, jump from 70% to 103% and 24% to 36% respectively.

Finance Minister, Michel Sapin confirmed that, yet again, France will be unable to reduce its budget deficit to below 3% of GDP – the EU’s threshold – until 2017. The country is beset by a myriad of problems including almost non-existent growth, high unemployment and a reluctance to curb public spending, by at least US$ 63 billion.

Europe may have won the Ryder Cup this week, but it is the US that is leading the economic race as it is well on the growth trail when compared to the other side of The Pond, where the eurozone is heading to a potentially damaging recession. Whilst the US was not afraid to increase public spending, there seems to be a regional reluctance for the eurozone bloc to do likewise. As it slides deeper into an economic mire and worrying deflation, the economic outlook has been further hit by the marked slowdown in China and the two major CLOBAL geo-political issues – Ukraine and IS.

Africa, the world’s second most populous continent, was on Dubai’s radar this week as HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum sat in on the Africa Global Business Forum held in the emirate. The city is a natural link between Africa and Asia and Dubai government entities have not been slow to forge relationships. DP World intimated that it may develop a port in Senegal. Meanwhile Emirates signed a 10-year agreement with TAAG Angola Airlines to provide management support and supply other related services. Having recently spent US$ 300 million for a 1.4% holding in the Nigerian conglomerate, Dangote Cement, Investment Corporation of Dubai is looking at further business opportunities with the group.

It is estimated by Dubai Chamber of Commerce that Gulf companies and development agencies have invested over US$ 30 billion in infrastructure since 2004, of which 65% was targeted for North Africa.

Ireland has been accused, by no less than the European Commission, of giving illegal government aid to Apple which employs 4k in that country. With an already low corporation tax rate of 12.5%, it seems that because of nefarious accounting practices, the American giant pays an effective 2% rate. People are becoming fed up with such companies flaunting a system that allows them, for example, to declare their UK revenue at US$160 million (despite having 37 stores) and pay 11% tax. No wonder it pays dividends for entities to report high profits in a low tax jurisdiction and low profits in a high tax authority. The fact that the USA  could be losing upwards of US$ 90 billion a year because of transfer pricing, or advance pricing arrangements, may result in some drastic action being taken by governments around the world.

It seems that DP World and the Maritime Union of Australia have differing views, resulting in work stoppages at Sydney and Melbourne, with a possibility of extending to other ports. Both parties have been in discussions since January but still cannot agree on a new enterprise bargaining arrangement, as well as a 4% pay rise. It remains to be seen what happens and whether, in Australia, it is true That You Can’t Get Me I’m Part Of The Union.

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