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A 13 June cabinet meeting, chaired by King Salman, finally approved the Undeveloped Land Fees Regulation, a tax on undeveloped urban land, popularly known as ‘white land’. The 2.5% tax on the value of undeveloped land designated for residential or commercial use will be applied in stages to owners of plots bigger than 5,000m2. The Ministry of Housing will collect the levy and fine owners who don’t pay the tax. The long-awaited tax, intended to ease the severe shortage of housing by encouraging landowners to develop their assets, has been expected for some weeks.

Saudi Arabia
Issue 848 - 27 February 2009

Dubai, feeling down but not out

Subscriber

Central Bank of the UAE’s initial $10bn investment in Dubai’s $20bn five-year refinancing package confirms that Abu Dhabi has no intention of cutting adrift the commercial emirate; the senior emirate will gain from maintaining stability in the federation

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
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The International Monetary Fund has issued a relatively detailed Article IV report on the UAE for the first time in several years. It starts by outlining 2009’s “significant slowdown in growth and strains in the banking system as a result of the global financial crisis, the decline in oil prices, and the continuing fallout from the bursting of the Dubai property bubble”.

United Arab Emirates (UAE) | Iraq
Issue 870 - 29 January 2010

IMF facility comes into view

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In the run up to announcing that Sanaa would negotiate a new agreement, the International Monetary Fund, on 8 January announced the conclusion of its 2009 Article IV Consultation with Yemen

Yemen
Issue 856 - 27 June 2009

The sukuk list

Subscriber

List detailing sukuk transactions in 2009

Kuwait | Saudi Arabia | Bahrain | United Arab Emirates (UAE) | Qatar | Lebanon
Issue 1031 - 09 February 2017

UAE: Sharjah credit rating cut by S&P

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Standard & Poor’s has cut Sharjah’s long-term credit rating from A to BBB+, citing its rising debt burden and under-performing economy. A combination of higher government spending and a delay in introducing revenue-raising measures has weakened the emirate’s fiscal position. Gross public debt is around 13.4% of GDP and is expected to rise to 18.9% during 2017-20. More than half the debt is in foreign currencies. S&P said “the government’s balance sheet has been able to absorb numerous pressures over recent years, but this has resulted in a material increase in government debt”.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
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Aabar invests in European subsidiary of AIG, Mubadala posts Dh11.8bn loss for 2008, Brunei investment fund, German automotive industry attracts Qatar,

United Arab Emirates (UAE) | Oman | Qatar
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Damascus-based International Bank for Trade and Finance has mobilised a bank guarantee worth E64m to underwrite part of the 700MW expansion of the Deir Ali power plant in southern Damascus by the state Public Establishment for Electricity Generation and Transmission (PEEGT).

Syria
Subscriber

With conventional bank funding drying up, sovereign and corporate issuers are tapping the Islamic bond market to fund expansion. Bahrain has just launched an issue that was eight times over-subscribed. But in the longer term, the sukuk industry’s credibility will depend on improving market transparency

Bahrain
Issue 1087 - 06 September 2019

Bahrain: Al-Rumaihi further rises

Free

The board of Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Companyhas appointed Khalid Al-Rumaihi as chief executive of the sovereign wealth fund.Al-Rumaihi has been a board member and headed Mumtalakat’s investment strategy since 2015. He is also chief executive of the influential Economic Development Board (EDB), and chairman of Bahrain Real Estate Investment (Edamah) and Bahrain Development Bank. He sits on the boards of National Bank of Bahrain, Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority and National Oil & Gas Authority (Noga).

Bahrain
Issue 876 - 07 May 2010

The First Investor launch

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The First Investor (TFI) has said it will launch two $500m funds aimed at investing in Brazilian and Russian real estate. According to the UK’s The Financial Times, TFI will partner Gazprombank to launch a fund that will mostly focus on Moscow.

Qatar
Issue 908 - 16 September 2011

Najran sees fruits of investment

Subscriber

Saudi officials, including General Authority of Civil Aviation president Faisal Al-Sugair and Najran governor Prince Mishaal Bin Abdullah Bin Abdelaziz, have visited the new SR400m ($106.6m) Najran regional airport where Saudi Arabian Airlines will shift its operations on 18 September.

Saudi Arabia
Issue 867 - 04 December 2009

Local exposure to Dubai entities

Subscriber

The extent of local banks' exposure to Dubai World remains unclear - and evaluating lenders' exposure is difficult since secondary market trades can reduce or increase an original lender's exposure, while new lenders can enter the market.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Issue 927 - 05 July 2012

Qatar looks to invest $5bn in China

Subscriber

Qatar has applied for a licence to invest $5bn in China. On a visit to Beijing, Qatar’s minister of energy and industry Mohammed Bin Saleh Al-Sada said Qatar planned to invest part of the revenues from transferring gas to China into Chinese shares. Qatar exports around 5m tonnes of liquified natural gas (LNG) to China each year.

Qatar
Subscriber

The Abu Dhabi government-owned International Petroleum Investment Company (Ipic) has offered to acquire from France’s Total the entire share capital it does not already own in Spain’s Compañía Española de Petróleos (Cepsa).

United Arab Emirates (UAE)