Aug 312013

GCC companies are increasingly engaging legal experts in preparation to go public, the MENA head of prominent law firm DLA Piper told Arabian Business.

The number of initial public offerings (IPOs) has fallen significantly since the 2008-09 debt crisis, with numerous planned listings being indefinitely postponed or cancelled and few new ones emerging.

Only five companies listed on GCC stock exchanges during the first half of this year, raising a mere $385m, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

But analysts have suggested the market is becoming more attractive for businesses that had put off planned IPOs as well as new considerations.

“We’re doing a lot of capital markets work in specific countries, predominantly in Kuwait where there’s a lot of activity following the [new] capital markets authority law,” DLA Piper Middle East partner Abdul Aziz Abdullah Al Yaqout said.

“I personally predict we’re going to be seeing more capital markets activity across the region in the next few years, specifically looking at IPOs in the region, but also IPOs … outside of the region; we’re seeing more and more of that.

“[Assisting with IPOs] is something we’re going to be looking at capitalising on.”

Al Yaqout said GCC companies were eyeing stock markets overseas such as London, Singapore, Johannesburg and, to a lesser extent, New York.

Abu Dhabi based Al Noor Hospitals Group listed 33 percent of its equity on the premium segment of the London Stock Exchange (LSE) earlier this year, raising $342m – nearly equal to the total of all funds raised in the GCC during the first half.

LSE senior executive Richard Webster-Smith told Arabian Business in March he expected “a couple” of Gulf companies to launch on the bourse this year.

“There’s confidence returning in a number of sectors, be that property, tourism, leisure, and general market confidence returning globally is leading to a number of other opportunities for us for listings from the region,” he said.

Europe’s IPO markets have been far more successful than those in the Gulf so far this year, with $11.1bn raised in the first six months, according to PwC.

CEO of financial services firm Daman Investments, Shehab Gargash, has previously criticised UAE market regulations for restricting the number of new listings.

“I think it’s a little too restrictive today. I frankly think smaller companies should have access to primary markets; they don’t have that much access,” Gargash said in July.

“Less profitable companies should have access as long as you do proper declarations.

“I think also the ability to value should be more flexible than it is today. The laws governing IPOs today are a little too rigid and thus tend to limit how many companies are really groomed and beautified to go to market.”

KPMG partner Abdul Wahab said the intense scrutiny and corporate structure associated with going public also turned off more than half of all UAE family businesses that began preparing for a public float.

Dubai markets have not had a major public listing since Drake Scull International in 2008.

In December, Al Habtoor Group, owned by one of the wealthiest UAE families, postponed its planned $1.6bn listing, in what would have been one of the largest IPOs in the UAE’s recent history.

Aug 312013

WHITE ROSES: To those who have helped in the search for Tom Augustyniak, who disappeared with barely a trace April 24 when he went for a walk along the rail trail in the Glen Rock area and never came back. This is horrible and painful situation for his family. Call police at 235-3944 if you have information about his whereabouts.

THORNS: To news that private lobbyists are pulling in public pensions. According to recent Associated Press report, the practice is common nationally. In our state, employees of the Pennsylvania School Boards Association are eligible for public pensions. That’s inappropriate. Actually, offering state pensions in an age when most private-sector employees (read: taxpayers) are lucky to get 401(k) plans is inappropriate. The state – and lobby groups – should move future employees to such defined contribution retirement plans.

ROSES: To MT Bank for donating $3,500 to the Friends of Camp Security to help with the purchase of that historically significant property. The Friends still need to raise about $250,000 to secure the site of a Revolutionary War POW camp. Visit to donate.

ROSES: To the organizers of YorkFest for another outstanding event this year, boosting York’s arts community and bringing people downtown.

ROSES: To Steam Into History for recently selling its 10,000th ticket to ride on the reproduction of a Civil War-era train.

ROSES: To Ruth Markel for celebrating her 107th birthday. A relative of the Manor Care South resident recently sent a letter to the editor wondering if she is the oldest York countian. Do you know anyone who is older?

ROSES: To Sgt. Jeff Lander on his safe return to Seven Valleys after serving in Kuwait with the Pennsylvania Army National Guard 55th Brigade. He was recently reunited with his family and said he looks forward to the mundane things of home life – such as changing diapers. Roses also to other soldiers from York County who recently returned from overseas duty.

ROSES: To Bill Davidson, great-grandson of Harley-Davidson’s co-founder, for a neat event this week, picking up a new Street Glide Special at the York plant and setting off for Milwaukee and the company’s 110th anniversary celebration. That’s a nice morale boost for local workers and a good way to tie York to the anniversary. It’s also a tie to company history: Harley co-founder Walter Davidson would often choose a bike off the line and take it for a cross-country ride.

ROSES: To BAE Systems for winning a nearly $150 million contract with the U.S. Army for work on 49 M88A2 Hercules recovery vehicles and three sets of spare parts. That’s good news for the local employer and its area suppliers.

ROSES: To everyone who participated in the Leading the Give initiative of FaithNet outside Sovereign Bank Stadium to provide food for needy families. What a great example of our community’s caring and generosity. Cheers to York Mayor Kim Bracey for taking the lead on this effort.

ROSES: To York’s Central Market for being at the, well, center of the local celebration of Produce Month in Pennsylvania. An event this week featured Mayor Kim Bracey and state Rep. Kevin Schreiber. The market is a great source of healthful produce in a city that has few full-service markets offering such fare.

THORNS: To news that, after just one year, many school districts quit the new federal lunch program that promoted healthier foods. Officials said students simply wouldn’t eat the healthful foods, leading to waste. That’s unfortunate – and no one wants to see food (and the dollars it represents) go to waste. But giving up after just one year seems shortsighted. It takes time to change eating habits in Obese Nation. Haven’t school officials ever heard of the stupid parenting trick of making a child sit at the table until she or he finishes her broccoli? (Kidding!)


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crimes1KUWAIT: An Asian was arrested with the possession of 5.5kg of marijuana, said security sources. Narcotic detectives had been tipped off concerning the suspect’s activity and on raiding his house, he resisted arrest and tried to flee before the force controlled him. Searching his room, detectives found various packages of marijuana that collectively weighed five-and-a-half kilos.

Drug duo held
A GCC national and a bedoon were recently arrested with the possession of 27 psychotropic pills, two pieces of hashish and a bag of marijuana, said security sources. Case papers indicate that a routine checkpoint stopped the suspects’ car and found out that one of them did not hold any identity card. On searching him, policemen found the drugs and accordingly searched his friend and the car to find some more drugs. A case was filed and the suspects were referred to relevant authorities.

Senior citizens
Two senior citizens ( 71 and 69) were arrested with the possession of drugs, said security sources noting that a police patrol had suspected the suspects’ vehicle and stopped before they almost let them leave when they realized they were elderly. However, a police officer decided to check the identity cards of  both men and found out they were wanted for drug-related cases. On searching them, police officers found the drugs. A case was filed and the suspects were referred to relevant authorities.

Confused duo
A 27-year-old citizen and a 23-year-old Egyptian were arrested in Salmiya with the possession of 17 psychotropic pills, 51 bars of hashish, a large bulk of the same stuff and a bottle of home-made liquor, said security sources. Case papers indicate that on checking the suspects’ ID, they seemed so confused. The two suspects were found wanted for drug-related cases. On searching their car, the drugs were found and they were referred to relevant authorities.

Citizen held
A citizen with a criminal record, who had just concluded a time in prison, was recently arrested in Saad Al-Abdullah for swindling used car buyers at the second hand vehicles market( Haraj) where he repeatedly offered to sell a luxurious German-made car and once he collected down payments, he drove off with the money. Case papers said that three citizens reported with the same complaint and provide the police with the suspect’s vehicle license plate number.  However, on arresting the owner, he denied all charges and the victims said it was another person who drove the vehicle. The suspect turned out to be the owner’s brother who had just done time in jail.

ATM machine
Three juveniles failed to break an ATM machine in Jahra when an alarm went off scaring them away, said security sources noting that the attempt was reported by a security guard. A case was filed and a search is on for the suspects.
A non-Kuwaiti was seriously injured when his Kuwaiti citizen’s vehicle collided into a  barricade   at Al-Salmi border exit, said security source. Case papers indicate that a passport officer asked the two men to wait while he checked on their IDs on their way to Saudi Arabia. Knowing that they were wanted and that they’d be arrested, the two men drove off to be chased by a patrol before they collided into the barricade. The non-Kuwaiti was seriously injured and was taken to an ICU while the citizen is still at large.

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Back in West Chester, Andrew Clauhs is a member of the Chester County Sheriff’s Department, which he has been employed with since 2008. He said he always wanted to join the army but it didn’t make sense with college. Upon entering the sheriff’s department, he shared his goal of entering the National Guard with the department, which was supportive of his decision.

While in Kuwait, Clauhs’ squadron worked with Task Force Sabre, which was responsible for all security throughout Kuwait. His troop secured the major seaport of deportation and embarkation, and was responsible for the security of all equipment coming from Iraq and the war Afghanistan.

Once the busses reached the armory, Clauhs said seeing his family was amazing, especially his daughter who grew so much during his time away.

Catherine Clauhs said she scanned the first bus and couldn’t find him, only to turn around and see him standing behind her.

“I just ran into his arms,” Catherine said. “I can’t believe I was finally hugging him. Words can’t describe that joy to finally put your arms around him.”

Now back at their home in the borough, Catherine and Andrew said they are taking as much time as possible to reconnect with family.

On Friday, the family planned a trip to Dutch Wonderland amusement park, and the family will throw a party Sunday.


KUWAIT, Aug 25 (KUNA) — Kuwait is keen on developing ties with Canada especially within the commercial domain, Minister of Commerce and Industry Anas Al-Saleh said here Sunday.
After his meeting with Canadian Minister of International Trade, Edward Fast, Al-Saleh said that Kuwait was eager to learn from the Canadian expertise within the fields technology and energy.
He said that Kuwait would always welcome any investment opportunities from Canada, adding that new amendments to laws connected with foreign investments and companies would attract business from abroad.
Earlier, Minister Fast said that the main goal of his visit was to deepen ties at the commercial, industrial, and investment levels.
He indicated that there were many opportunities for Canadian firms in key areas in Kuwait where there is robust Canadian expertise, including oil-field equipment and services, healthcare and education services, telecommunications equipment, aviation and military equipment.
Canada-Kuwait merchandise trade was valued at USD 117.1 million in 2012, he said, also noting that Canada and Kuwait signed a foreign investment promotion and protection agreement (FIPA) in September 2011. (end) smr.gta KUNA 251727 Aug 13NNNN


Etihad Airways, the national airline of the UAE has extended BusinessConnect, its loyalty programme for businesses, to 11 new markets including Bahrain, Belarus, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Nepal, the Netherlands, Oman, the Philippines, Qatar and Thailand. The mileage earning programme is targeted at the Small to Medium-Sized Enterprise (SME) sector, as per a release.

As part of the Etihad Guest loyalty programme, registered BusinessConnect customers will be able to earn Etihad Guest Miles every time one of their employees takes a flight. Etihad Guest Miles can be earned on all Etihad Airways tickets booked on, through Etihad Contact Centres, or by appointed travel agents.

There are also no blackout periods when redeeming miles against upgrades, free flights, or the thousands of products from the Etihad Guest Reward Shop. The points can even be converted to cash via PointsPay to spend at 30 million outlets worldwide, added the release.

Peter Baumgartner, Chief Commercial Officer, Etihad Airways, said, “BusinessConnect is the smartest and most rewarding loyalty scheme for SMEs. It’s a fantastic way for companies to optimise their travel spend, whilst adding convenience and value to the business and corporate travel experience.  In short, it makes business sense all round.â€�

Aug 312013

Kuwait … UK: Quit Lebanon

BEIRUT, Aug 30, (Agencies): Kuwait embassy in Lebanon, in the midst of security uncertainity and consequent harassment, urged citizens to leave the country as soon as possible and has provided a plane that would leave Beirut Friday evening “for those wishing to leave.” The embassy, in a statement, made the appeal after some parties adopted “unofficial” security measures “outside the framework of the State” which resulted in harassment of citizens and diplomats in Lebanon.

It warned that citizens who wanted to say “will do that on their own responsibility due to the sensitivity of the situation.” The embassy noted that those parties were ignoring international laws, and have stopped and questioned a Kuwaiti diplomat at “one of the unofficial security checkpoint in an indecent manner, in violation of his diplomatic immunity or international relations or even the brotherly relations between the two countries.” The embassy said similar incidents happened with some embassies, therefore it was important that citizens leave the country for their own safety. Earlier Friday, official news agency reported that the Saudi Embassy submitted a complaint on Friday to the Foreign Ministry over Hezbollah’s security measures, which had the party’s elements checking one of the Embassy’s cars.

The Saudi Embassy regarded that act as a violation of the Vienna convention, which governs diplomatic relations. Hezbollah has boosted security measures in Beirut’s southern suburbs after a bombing that took place in the district of Al-Ruwais, killing at least 25 individuals and wounding tens of others. Meanwhile, Britain warned its citizens Friday against all but essential travel to Lebanon due to a “heightened risk of anti-Western sentiment” linked to the possibility of military action against Syria. The Foreign Office changed its travel advice following last week’s attacks in the northern port city of Tripoli. Last Friday, bombings outside two Sunni mosques in Tripoli killed more than 40 people — the deadliest attack in Lebanon since its 1975-1990 civil war. “We have today changed our travel advice to Lebanon to advise against all but essential travel.

This is based on the recent upsurge in violence in Lebanon and regional tensions,” a Foreign Office spokesman said. “There may be a heightened risk of anti-Western sentiment in certain countries linked to the possibility of military action in Syria. “We advise UK nationals to be vigilant, to avoid any protests or demonstrations and to keep up to date with developments.” He urged British nationals to consider leaving “if their presence in Lebanon is not essential”. “We continue to advise against all travel to the Lebanese city of Tripoli, Palestinian refugee camps, the eastern Bekaa valley and southern suburbs of Beirut.” Britons are advised against all travel within 5 kms (3 miles) of the Syrian border.

Coming a week after a deadly blast that hit the Beirut bastion of Shiite movement Hezbollah, the Tripoli bombings risk further stoking tensions between supporters and foes of the Syrian government. “There is a high threat from terrorism. Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places frequented by foreigners like hotels and restaurants,” the Foreign Office said. The change of travel advice came after British lawmakers voted Thursday against military action in Syria in a stunning defeat for Prime Minister David Cameron.


Kuwaiti loses over KD1000 in domestics office fraud Ticketing company office swindles man, woman

KUWAIT CITY, Aug 30: A Kuwaiti man, whose identity has not been disclosed, has filed a complaint with the Nugra Police Station accusing a maid recruiting office of fraud, reports Al-Anba daily. The citizen in his complaint to the police said he hired a Filipino maid because she spoke good English. He added, he paid the office the money agreed between both parties and when the maid refused to work for him, the office refused to refund the money. He claims he lost KD 1,253. A case of betrayal of trust has been filed against the office and the maid.

Travel firm blamed: A Kuwaiti citizen has accused a travel company of cheating him by not making necessary hotel arrangements in a country he had visited even though he paid them KD 1,372 for both ticket and hotel stay, reports Al-Seyassah daily. According to sources, the citizen lodged a complaint at Hawally Police Station on Thursday against the travel company, explaining to securitymen that he had paid KD 1,372 for ticket and hotel stay in a foreign country through the company. However, when he went to the hotel, he was surprised to find there were no reservations made under his name. When he called the travel office in Hawally, the employees were unable to give him a proper reason for not booking him a room at the hotel. Meanwhile, an Egyptian woman lodged a complaint against the same travel office, informing securitymen that she had bought a flight ticket to Cairo for KD 135 from the office. However, when she went to Kuwait International Airport, she was shocked to discover there was no reservation in her name on the flight. Securitymen have summoned the in-charge officer of the travel office to the police station for investigations and necessary legal action.

© 2012 United Arab Emirates News Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha