Interpreting Middle East Economic News and Analyzing Market Trends

Archive for May, 2013

NASDAQ Dubai looks to focus on sukuk and bond trading as equity trading never materialized


Launched in 2005 as the Dubai International Financial Exchange (DIFX) and rebranded in 2008, NASDAQ Dubai has struggled to get equity listings.  Of the seven equities listed today only one, DP World, trades with any significant volume.


Where the exhcange seems to have found a niche is in sukuk and bond trading. The exchange currently lists 12 sukuk issues and 5 bond issues.  Sukuk, of course, have gained a lot of attention lately and NASDAQ Dubai is aiming to capitalize on this.


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Dubai hotel offers gold-plated iPads to guests: Is this a sign of a market top?



Dubai’s Burj Al-Arab hotel, the self-proclaimed 7-star hotel is dishing out 24-carat gold plated iPads to guests.  Why?  Because it can.


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Abu Dhabi starts building second nuclear reactor

Tomorrow Abu Dhabi, the largest of the seven Emirates and make up the United Arab Emirates, will start construction on the second nuclear power plant.  Construction of the first nuclear plant began last July and will not be operational until 2017.


The push towards nuclear power is yet another sign of the growing interest among Middle East oil exporters to find ways to save their oil for export rather than burn it locally.  Power demand is growing rapidly in these countries, mainly due to the huge government subsidies, making power use spike up while the cost to the consumer remains dirt cheap.


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Oman uses solar technology to extract oil

Photo: Glass Point Solar

For the first time in the Middle East solar technology is being used to extract oil.  Forget about emissions and greenhouses gasses, the main purpose for this is to get more net energy.  Traditionally, fossil fuels use fossil fuels in its production, hence, leaving less fuel to sell on the market.  This is net energy.  As we mentioned in our earlier post here, the trend has been a decline in net energy over the past two decades.  This has been the leading cause of higher oil prices.  It is also the main reason for launch of the ‘shale revolution,’ which ironically will only accelerate the drop in net energy as shale is energy intensive.


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IMF getting nervous on Dubai property market

Rendering of yet-to-be-built Burj Vista development, which sold out within hours of being offered to the public. Source: Construction Week Online

Dubai’s property market seems to have done a 180 degree turn since the beginning of this year.  Prices are up, demand is brisk and new off-plan developments are selling like hot falafel again (see photo above).  Also see our earlier post on this crazy phenomenon.  Whatever is causing this is making the IMF nervous…


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