Royal Bank of Scotland Group's Chief Executive Officer Stephen Hester is looking to attract sovereign wealth funds in the Middle East ahead of the government's sale of the UK bank, the Sunday Times reported.
Hester met with investment funds in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Qatar and Kuwait during a tour of the Gulf last week, according to the newspaper. The bank's CEO wants the government to sell a part of its shareholding worth between £5 billion (Dh30.15 billion) and £10 billion early next year, the newspaper said, citing people close to the lender it didn't identify. Hester said during his visit to Abu Dhabi that he would be disappointed if the sale of the government stake didn't start in 2012.
Emirates Steel record
Emirates Steel yesterday announced that the electric arc furnace (EAF) of the Phase 1 Steel Making Plant (SMP) had set a new daily world record.The 150-ton EAF exceeded the design capacity for a furnace of its size, setting the new record of 34 heats from the EAF producing 5,197 tons of liquid steel, converted into 4,993.8 tons of billets through the Continuous Casting Machine (CCM). According to Engineer Saeed Ghumran Al Romaithi, Emirates Steel's Senior Vice President of Operations, the SMP design capacity has been exceeded in a short period of time since start-up, reaching a Tap-To-Tap time of 42.2 minutes and power-on time of 36 minutes. "For such a young plant the massive effort, strong teamwork and total commitment to reach this tough target in such a short period of time cannot be underestimated; only admired, by any observer, be a layman, or himself a steel making expert," said Al Romaithi.
UBS officer leaves
Ali Khan, UBS AG's head of equity sales in the Middle East and North Africa region, left the Swiss bank, three people with knowledge of the matter said. Khan, who joined UBS in October from Dubai-based Arqaam Capital Ltd., left the bank about two weeks ago, said one of the people, who declined to be identified because the matter hasn't been made public yet. Khan couldn't be reached for comment. UBS said no one in its Dubai office was available to comment.
Rabigh Refining and Petrochemical Co., or Petro Rabigh, will carry out maintenance on its refining and chemical production units this month and in July, likely impacting second and early third-quarter sales, the company said yesterday. Work will take place on the crude distillation unit from June 7, on the ethane cracker in late June and the high olefins cracking unit in mid-July, Petro Rabigh said in a statement posted on the Saudi bourse website.
"The financial impact...will be a decrease in the sales of the second quarter and a decrease in the polypropylene sales during the first two weeks of the third quarter," the statement said. Petro Rabigh has a production capacity of 18.4 million metric tons a year of refined petroleum products, 2.4 million tons a year of petrochemical products and 400,000 barrels a day of crude oil.
Al Khaliji Bank
Qatar's Al Khaliji Commercial Bank and the International Bank of Qatar said yesterday that the proposed merger between the two lenders will not proceed following the collapse of discussions. "The proposed merger of the two banks will not proceed," the banks said in a joint statement on the Qatar Exchange website. "As a result, the existing governing, operational and financial structures in place at the banks will remain unchanged." Al Khaliji, Qatar's sixth-largest bank by market value, said the decision to end merger talks "will not affect its performance going forward".
Saudi Pharmaceutical Industries and Medical Appliances Corp. or Spimaco, on Saturday said that its local affiliate CAD Middle East Pharmaceutical Industries has signed an agreement to get a loan of 143 million Saudi riyals (Dh140 million) from the state-run Saudi Industrial Development Fund. CAD, which is 25 per cent owned by Spimaco, will use the loan to partly finance a project for the manufacture of active raw materials used in the pharmaceutical industry, Spimaco said.