Gulf investors post big gains in Indian markets (Gulf Business Capsule)

April 23rd, 2008 - 7:46 pm ICT by admin  


Dubai, April 23 (IANS) Gulf investors made substantial gains in the Indian capital markets from both debt and equity funds last year, an international fund-tracking firm has said in a report. Funds registered for sale in the Gulf region recorded an average gain of 19.26 percent in 2007, with equity funds from India emerging as the second best performing category after those from China, the Gulf News cited a report by the international fund-tracking firm Lipper as stating.

Indian funds grabbed as many as 19 positions among the 20 top performers among Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)-registered reports, according to the report.

These included six funds from the Reliance Mutual Fund stable, four schemes each of UTI Mutual Fund and Birla Sun Life, three DSP-Merrill Lynch schemes and two HDFC Mutual Fund schemes.

“There is huge potential for Gulf investments on the Indian capital market ,” K.V. Shamsuddin, director of Barjeel Geojit Securities, told the newspaper.

Among the Indian funds, the rupee-dominated bond funds were the best performers in the bond category with about 20 percent return while equity funds gave an average return of 71.08 percent, against the overall average of 26.40 for all the equity funds.

“Apart from the NRI investments, all other investments are routed through dollar-denominated funds. If the leading Indian fund houses can aggressively market these funds, the volume of investments from the region would be much larger,” he was quoted as saying.

In all, there are nine dollar-denominated Indian funds available in the Gulf markets.

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Saudi Arabia to invest $119 billion in energy projects

Saudi Arabia is expected to invest $119 billion in energy infrastructure projects from 2007 to 2009, according to a new study.

Investments in the refining sector will grow by a staggering 2,189 percent within the same period compared to figures from 2004 to 2006, the Arab News reported citing a study by SAS, a firm that specialises in business intelligence and analytical software and services.

As burgeoning energy requirements continue to mirror the current pace of economic development across the region, national oil companies including upstream, midstream and downstream operations in the Middle East are facing challenges such as ageing infrastructure and equipment, lack of efficiency in refinery processes and shortage in skilled manpower.

“Energy requirements across the globe are growing at a very fast rate, and it is critical for companies to address challenges that arise within the entire production process to meet the growing demands,” Peter Venn, SAS’s business development director for oil and gas in the Middle East and Africa, was quoted as saying.

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Emirates plans to have over 450 aircraft by 2020

The UAE’s national carrier Emirates plans to have more than 450 aircraft in its fleet by 2020, according to chief executive and chairman of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority Shaikh Ahmad Bin Saeed Al Maktoum.

“Emirates has been doubling its size every three or four years since it started. I think we will continue with that kind of growth,” Shaikh Ahmad said at the World Travel and Tourism Council Summit here.

According to a report in the Gulf News, Emirates aims to increase its fleet size from 115 now to 200 aircraft by 2012 to support its widening route network and increase service frequencies.

It is scheduled to take delivery of 22 planes this year. At present the airline has 243 aircraft on order with a total estimated value of $60 billion.

Emirates executive vice-chairman Maurice Flanagan told the newspaper that the airline could even have 600 aircraft by 2020 but would settle for 450 because the airport here would not be able to support an expansion of that size.

Dubai International Airport, the airline’s hub, is likely to handle 40 million passengers this year, 16.5 percent more than the number in 2007, according to Flanagan.

The existing airport is being expanded at a cost of 15 billion dirhams ($4 billion) and the second concourse and a third terminal is expected to be ready in the next three months.

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