Israeli Airlines Begin Strike

Occupied Jerusalem, April 21 (BNA) – Israeli three main airline carriers El Al, Arkia and Israir began a strike on Sunday morning by grounding their fleets in protest of the government’s decision to table approval of an Open Skies agreement with the …

United Development Company Announces Q1 2013 Results

Doha-April-21(BNA) United Development Company (UDC), one of Qatar’s leading and most recognized public shareholding companies, today announced another strong performance in the first three months of 2013.
Net profit for the first three months stood at QR229 million, compared to net profit in the first quarter of 2012 of QR196.8 million, an increase of 16%. The net profit attributable to owners of the company stood at QR 209 million, with earnings per share reaching QR 0.62 for the first quarter of 2013, compared to QR 0.41 in the same period of 2012, a healthy increase of 51% from Q1 2012 figures. Q1 gross profit was reported at QR 277 million, compared to QR 236 million for the same period last year.

“I am pleased with our revenue performance as we continue to invest in our capabilities and grow our ranks with the aim of enhancing our market position while we pursue our long-term strategic initiatives,” H.E. Sheikh Ahmed Bin Nasser Bin Faleh Nasser Al-Thani, who is serving the first of a three-year appointment as Chairman of the Board of UDC, said. He added that UDC is fortunate to be operating in a highly visionary and rapidly developing country and that this backdrop presents multiple opportunities for continuing the company’s sound financial performance.

According to United Development Company’s Chief Executive Officer Ebrahim Al-Sulaiti, the results exhibited in the first quarter of 2013 reflect the steady performance of United Development Company.

He highlighted several notable achievements for UDC this period, including:

– Improved real estate sales and leasing figures.
– The opening of new retail outlets as well as popular restaurant chains in The Pearl-Qatar, with more dining and retail outlets expected to open throughout 2013.
– The improving performances of some of UDC’s major partner companies and subsidiaries due to companies’ restructuring.

“Given this encouraging trend, UDC will continue to deliver strong results across the group, posting profit levels that are in line with the board’s expectations and demonstrating the company’s ability to perform in a very competitive marketplace,” Al-Sulaiti noted.

United Development Company is one of Qatar’s leading shareholding companies. During the past few years, UDC has established successful strategic partnerships with major international companies operating in different fields. UDC’s target areas of interest include: infrastructure and utilities, real estate, hydrocarbon and energy, urban development, environmental-related businesses, hospitality and leisure, fashion, information technology, business and marketing services.


BNA 1731 GMT 2013/04/21

(BCCI) participates in the Eighth Conference of International Chambers of Commerce held in Doha

Manama, April 21st (BNA) –Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) participates in the Eighth Conference of the International Chambers of Commerce held in the Capital City, Doha and the accompanying exhibition from Monday April 22 to 25. BCCI will be represented by First Deputy Chairman of the Chamber, Ibrahim Mohammed Ali Zainal, the members of the Board of Directors, Kazim Isa Al-Saeed, Afnan Rashid Al-Zayani, and Ibrahim Abd Ali Al-Diaisi.
The Chamber highlighted that the international conference is considered the only means for the Chairmen of the Chambers of Commerce to exchange experiences, the best practices, sharing ideas, and develop relations to address the current problems facing the business sector and affect their societies. It also pointed out that the event is organized by the International Chamber of Commerce, and World Chambers Federation (WCF) and hosted by Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The Chamber pointed out that the international conference is held for the first time in the Middle East and includes 2000 representatives from the international business companies in more than 125 countries around the world.

A large space and a global platform will be allocated at the conference to communicate, establish trade relations, and display the services of the institutions before decision-makers from other chambers and private sector institutions.

The Chamber also highlighted that the event will gather many of the chairmen of chambers, their executive directors, and members of the business society, and is considered a unique opportunity to activate between representatives of more than 125 countries.

The Chairman of Promotion, Exhibitions and Conferences Committee, Kazim Al Saeed said that the number of Bahraini participants in the exhibition accompanying the conference has reached 10 exhibitors, explaining that the participating Bahraini Chamber and companies will be present within the distinctive private wing, which was built on an area of 54 square meters.

Kazim Al Saeed also said that this participation will increase and reinforce the Bahraini presence in the regional and international events and forums, expressing his aspiration that such participation will enhance the attraction of industrial and trade investments by the important countries.


BNA 1450 GMT 2013/04/21

Chairman of (BCCI) lauds HM the King’s Visit to Thailand and its Great Economic Impacts

Manama, April 21st (BNA) –Chairman of Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI), Dr. Essam Abdullah Fakhroo expressed his pride with the great positive impacts which resulted from His Majesty King Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa’s visit to Kingdom of Thailand. He said that these results would have positive effects on reinforcing the bilateral cooperation in all sectors and increasing the economic and trade exchange, in addition to providing opportunity to the private sector in the two countries to participate in joint projects.
Dr. Fakhroo also expressed his optimism that the results of this visit will achieve quantum leap in the trade and investment courses in particular. He said that this visit resulted in signing three great qualitative projects that would lead to setting up more trade partnerships between the two friendly countries, in addition to attracting the high added value Asian investments for the local market.

Dr. Essam Fakhroo said “We will do our best as a Bahraini private sector to activate the results of the visit to establish a solid ground to alleviate the economic relations between the two countries, particularly in projects like food security, transformational industries and energy.”

Chairman of (BCCI) called on benefiting actively from the economic agreements that were signed between the two countries, including the establishment of Bahraini-Thai Trade Center company which its headquarters will be in Bahrain, that will play a great role in developing the bilateral cooperation in the areas of food and agricultural security.

Dr. Fakhroo also said that the economic agreements between the two sides will play an important role in increasing the health, treatment, tourism, and building materials areas, in addition to the agreements signed between Thai-Bahraini Trade Center and Saha Farms Corporation, which its headquarters will be in Thailand to invest in the field of poultry. The third agreement is between Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry and The Gem and Jewelry Institute of Thailand, in the areas of gold and jewelry trade.

Dr. Essam pointed out that these agreements will provide facilities to the businessmen in the two countries to enter the markets of Bahrain and Thailand without any restrictions or obstacles, which will lead to the growth of economic relations and opening the way for strategic corporations.

Dr. Essam also lauded the wise leadership in reinforcing the areas of economic growth, and creating great opportunities for the private sector in Bahrain for industrial, trade and services investment. He also highlighted the leadership of HM the King for the Kingdom’s delegation to Thailand, who has visions, wise political and economic experience, and strong rooted relations with the Thai leadership which had a direct impact on the success of the visit.

Dr. Essam Fakhroo concluded his statement by expressing in his name and on behalf of (BCCI) and the Private sector in Bahrain, their deep thanks and appreciation for the wise leadership represented in HM King Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa, the Prime Minister HRH Prince Khalifa Bin Salman Al Khalifa, and the Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Premier, Prince Salman Bin Hamad Al Khalifa.


BNA 1346 GMT 2013/04/21

Mumtalakat Wins Sovereign Wealth Fund Award

Manama: April 22 –(BNA)– Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company B.S.C. (c) (“Mumtalakat”), the investment arm of the Kingdom of Bahrain, was presented with the first Foreign Sovereign Wealth Fund award by RAM Rating Services Berhad (“RAM Ratings”) during the 2013 annual RAM League Awards in Kuala Lumpur. RAM Ratings has been hosting the annual League Awards for the past decade, recognizing institutions which have demonstrated accomplishment and leadership in the Malaysian debt capital market.

In July 2012, Mumtalakat established its MYR 3 billion (approximately US$1 billion) equivalent sukuk murabahah program in Malaysia. The sukuk program has a tenure of 20 years and allows Mumtalakat to issue from time to time one or more series of sukuk murabahah to Malaysian institutional investors. In the fourth quarter of 2012, Mumtalakat successfully issued a 5-year MYR 300 million sukuk murabahah under the program and utilized the proceeds to repay a portion of its existing credit facility.

Commenting on the award, Mr. Mahmood Hashim Al Kooheji, Chief Executive Officer of Mumtalakat said: “This award, the recent AA2 long-term rating by RAM, and our successful sukuk issuance, all serve to validate and reaffirm the strength of our business strategy and the confidence that the global investment community has in Mumtalakat and Bahrain.”

He added, “We have had an extremely positive experience in Malaysia. Bahrain and Malaysia have a close relationship and share many complementary aspirations, including leadership roles in Islamic finance. We look forward to exploring future opportunities to broaden the commercial activity between Bahrain and Malaysia. For those looking to invest in Bahrain and the GCC, we believe Mumtalakat is the partner of choice as we are committed to operating with the financial discipline of the private sector while at the same time adhering to the highest standards of transparency and corporate governance.”

In 2012, Mumtalakat engaged RAM Ratings, one of South East Asia’s most experienced rating agencies, to assess and assign local Malaysian credit ratings to Mumtalakat and its sukuk program. RAM Ratings ultimately assigned Mumtalakat and the sukuk program a rating of AA2, which represents a strong investment grade credit rating profile. (IY) — Source: