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Qatar FY budget won’t expand much: Minister Revenues sufficient to cover budget DOHA: Qatar’s state budget for next fiscal year will be roughly the same size as the current year’s budget, finance and economy minister Youssef Kamal said yesterday. “It will be the same size as the prevailing budget, maybe a little increase,” he told reporters. Previously, an economic adviser to the country’s Amir had said last month that budget spending for the 2012/13 fiscal year, which starts on April 1, would be much higher than in the current year. Kamal did not explain the contradictory statements or give details. Last week, Qatar’s state news agency, citing a decision by the cabinet, reported that the deadline for releasing the state budget for the coming fiscal year would be pushed back to the end of May because of changes to the government’s accounting system and the way it prepares budgets. The annual budget is usually

AirAsia X to call off New Zealand service KUALA LUMPUR: The long-haul arm of budget carrier AirAsia said yesterday it would axe flights to New Zealand, its latest move to shed unprofitable routes and refocus on the group’s core Asian market. Malaysia-based AirAsia X, which will cut its four-weekly flights to Christchurch, has already announced plans to cease service to London, Paris and Delhi this month, after scrapping flights to Mumbai in January. AirAsia X CEO Azran Osman-Rani said in a statement that jet fuel prices had risen more than 30 percent since Christchurch routes began in April 2011. “The high cost of fuel has compromised our ability to offer our renowned low fares,” he said. The move was part of the carrier’s drive to consolidate operations on its “core markets” of “Australia, China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea and Iran”, he said. Former record industry executive Tony Fernandes plucked ailing AirAsia from its deathbed in 2001 and quickly turned it into one of the aviation sector’s biggest successes. Fernandes established a successful template for AirAsia that included flying into secondary airports in major cities, with their lower landing costs. Its network spread quickly in Southeast Asia and Fernandes in 2007 launched AirAsia X to serve long-haul routes to China, India and eventually Europe. But the group’s recent pull-back from the longer routes has indicated they were bleeding money. AirAsia X will now focus on medium-haul flights within Asia, while main carrier AirAsia continues with routes up to four hours’ flight from its Kuala Lumpur hub. AirAsia said last month its 2011 profits were halved to $186 million, citing rising fuel costs. The AirAsia group now currently serve about 80 cities in more than 20 countries. — AFP

announced by April 1. In its 2011/12 budget, the world’s top liquefied natural gas exporter originally planned spending worth 139.9 billion riyals ($38.4 billion) and a surplus of 22.5 billion riyals, or 4.9 percent of gross domestic product. Partly in response to political unrest elsewhere in the Middle East, Qatar hiked basic salaries and social benefits for the state’s civilian employees by 60 percent last September, while military staff received 50-120 percent rises. The International Monetary Fund estimated such extra social spending would add $1.6 billion to expenditure in 2011/12. Kamal said government revenues were quite sufficient to cover its budget, but that would not preclude debt issues by the government this calendar year. “Last year we were on the market-we issued some bonds internationally and locally. Revenue for the state exceeds the budget but that doesn’t mean we don’t have a plan to be on

the market once or twice a year,” he said. “We want to create a yield and give a benchmark to other institutions. Government issuance last year helped create a benchmark for QNB (Qatar National Bank) and Doha Bank.” In January last year, the government sold 50 billion riyals worth of domestic bonds; it issued $5 billion of bonds internationally last November. Kamal reiterated previous statements by government officials that inflation was expected to be between 3 and 3.5 percent this calendar year. The government is not concerned about controlling inflation, partly because debt issues can be used to limit inflationary pressure, he said. Economists believe last year’s domestic issues of domestic government bonds and Treasury bills were intended partly to limit inflation by draining excess funds from the banking system. — Reuters

Abu Dhabi tries merger to end property mess DUBAI: Abu Dhabi is trying a new tack in its property bailouts. To end the misery at Aldar, the emirate’s top state backed developer, the government has initiated a merger with smaller rival Sorouh. Aldar has already sucked up $10 billion in emergency funds, equivalent to the amount funneled to Dubai at the height of its debt crisis. Creating a single developer could make sense, depending on the terms of the deal. But in any case Abu Dhabi, which also owns 20 percent of Sorouh, will have to work hard to protect its majority independent shareholders. Two successive lifelines have left Aldar 49 percent owned by state-investment vehicle Mubadala, which is eager to ease the developer off its books. Putting it together with Sorouh would reduce Mubadala’s stake and create a developer with $15 billion worth of assets. The hope is clearly that the new enlarged company will be better run than Aldar. Furthermore, both companies would stop competing for the same projects, most of them government contracts. Yet uncertainty over the structure and terms of the deal makes shareholder enthusiasm for a government-blessed merger at least premature. Based on Sunday’s closing price, a share swap would result in a 60/40 split of the new company in favor of Aldar. But a split of 44/56 in favor of Sorouh, which is more conservatively-run than its rival, might be more appropriate based on 12-month fair value estimates from EFG-Hermes. A merger will also ease Aldar’s short-term financing position and give it a broader asset backing for its debt. The enlarged balance sheet would have had net debt worth 108 percent of equity at the end of 2011, compared to Aldar’s current net debt worth around 200 percent. Aldar expects its net debt would fall to

around one sixth of its current level by 2015, once the full impact of the government bailouts has kicked in. But the deal wouldn’t be enough to fix Abu Dhabi’s ailing property market, where prices continue to fall amid fresh supply. To achieve that, Abu Dhabi would need to extend the merger to include other smaller developers. In the meantime, the majority owners of Sorouh, who won’t really have the option of opposing a merger, don’t have much to grasp in the way of protection. But given that foreigners account for around 12 percent of the register, Abu Dhabi has a serious incentive to not run rough-shod over independent shareholders. Abu Dhabi’s Aldar Properties said on March 11 that it was in talks to merge with local-rival Sorouh Real Estate in a state-backed deal. A merger of the No 1 and 2 developers in the emirate will create one of the largest property firms in the region by assets with more than 54 billion dirhams ($15 billion). The companies said a special team will study a merger and provide recommendations to the senior management of both companies within the next three months. In 2009, debt-laden Dubai Holding was in talks to merge four local real estate companies including Emaar Properties, Dubai Properties, Sama Dubai and Tatweer. The merger wasn’t completed after studies by the board of Emaar Properties questioned the economic feasibility of a tie-up. Last year, Dubai lender Emirates NBD took over smaller troubled rival Dubai Bank under orders from Dubai’s ruler. Shares in Aldar and Sorouh rose 10 percent yesterday, following the announcement. Aldar is 49 percent owned by state-owned investment vehicle Mubadala. Sorouh is around 20 percent owned by government entities. — Reuters

MUMBAI: An Indian passenger enquires at the Kingfisher Airlines booking counter in the domestic terminal in Mumbai. India’s beleaguered Kingfisher Airlines yesterday cancelled more flights after staff went on unofficial strike over unpaid wages, dealing another blow to the carrier. — AFP

Troubled Kingfisher scraps more flights MUMBAI: India’s beleaguered Kingfisher Airlines cancelled dozens of flights yesterday, including at least one international route, after staff went on unofficial strike over unpaid wages. Kingfisher said that its schedule was also affected after the company was suspended last week by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) from a global payments system. The airline issued a statement blaming “employee agitation on delayed salaries” and the IATA suspension for the cancellations, which it said would hit about 20 percent of its already reduced service. It did not say how many flights were affected during the day, but a Mumbai airport spokesman said 11 flights from Mumbai had been cancelled. Several other airports including New Delhi were also hit yesterday and at least one international flight, a 7:00 pm service from Delhi to Dubai, was among the flights scrapped. Kingfisher, which has never turned a profit and has sunk deeper into debt since its launch in 2005, has often run a reduced flight schedule in recent weeks amid growing fears for its survival. The carrier, controlled by Indian liquor baron Vijay Mallya, owes suppliers, lenders and staff millions of dollars.

Mallya told The Week magazine published on Monday that the airline needed $200-250 million immediately to secure its future, and he pushed for foreign ownership restrictions to be lifted in the aviation sector. “Additional equity can and must be part of the plan,” Mallya said. “That is why I have been requesting the government to reconsider its ban on foreign airlines investing.” “I have never asked the government for a rupee... (but) the airports are government-owned. The fuel supplier is government-owned. The banks are government-owned. It’s in their hands,” he said. Mallya pointed to high fuel prices, taxes and the plunging rupee as being responsible for the current crisis-not bad management. Kingfisher’s bank accounts have been frozen by Indian authorities due to non-payment of taxes, and at least 60 pilots have already left the airline to work with rivals according to the Press Trust of India news agency. The airline’s net loss widened sharply to 4.44 billion rupees ($88 million) in the three months to December from a loss of 2.54 billion rupees a year earlier, while its debt totals at least $1.3 billion. — AFP

Doroo’ Holding formed with KD1.360m capital KUWAIT: Kuwait Gazette announced yesterday establishment of Doroo’ Holding Company, with a capital of KD 1.360 million. It was incepted as a Kuwaiti closed shareholding company with a capital of KD 1.360 million, distributed over 13.608 million shares, each valued at 100 fils, the gazette said in its latest edition. The company owns shares in Kuwaiti or foreign shareholding companies, besides stocks or stakes in Kuwaiti or foreign limit-

ed liability companies, takes part in establishment of these two types of companies and management and lending and acting as guarantor for others with no less than 20 percent participation of the holding company in the borrowing company. The company owns industrial property rights of patents, industrial trademarks, royalties or any other related rights, or hires them for other companies for use in Kuwait and abroad. — KUNA

EXCHANGE RATES Commercial Bank of Kuwait US Dollar/KD GB Pound/KD Euro Swiss francs Canadian Dollar Australian DLR Indian rupees Sri Lanka Rupee UAE dirhams Bahraini dinars Jordanian dinar Saudi riyals Omani riyals Philippine peso Egyptian pounds

.2740000 .4340000 .3620000 .3000000 .2780000 .2920000 .0040000 .0020000 .0754850 .7354290 .3830000 .0710000 .7209560 .0040000 .0430000

CUSTOMER TRANSFER RATES US Dollar/KD .2773000 GB Pound/KD .4347370 Euro .3637760 Swiss francs .3017410 Canadian dollars .2797900 Danish Kroner .0489420 Swedish Kroner .0407930 Australian dlr .2932170 Hong Kong dlr .0357440 Singapore dlr .2210620 Japanese yen .0033640 Indian Rs/KD .0000000 Sri Lanka rupee .0000000 Pakistan rupee .0000000 Bangladesh taka .0000000 UAE dirhams .0755280 Bahraini dinars .7358370 Jordanian dinar .0000000 Saudi Riyal/KD .0739660 Omani riyals .7205400 Philippine Peso .0000000

Al-Muzaini Exchange Co. ASIAN COUNTRIES

Japanese Yen Indian Rupees Pakistani Rupees Srilankan Rupees Nepali Rupees Singapore Dollar Hongkong Dollar Bangladesh Taka Philippine Peso Thai Baht Irani Riyal - Transfer Irani Riyal - Cash

3.598 5.667 3.154 2.436 3.341 213.250 35.672 3.580 6.336 8.873 0.271 0.273

.2810000 .4440000 .3700000 .3110000 .2850000 .3030000 .0070000 .0035000 .0762440 .7428200 .4010000 .0760000 .7282020 .0072000 .0500000 .2809000 .4403810 .3684990 .3056580 .2834220 .0495770 .0413220 .2970240 .0362080 .2239320 .0034080 .0056800 .0023260 .0031090 .0034510 .0765080 .7453890 .3973130 .0749270 .7298950 .0066530

Saudi Riyal Qatari Riyal Omani Riyal Bahraini Dinar UAE Dirham

GCC COUNTRIES 74.150 76.402 722.230 738.540 75.715

Pakistani rupees Philippine peso Qatari riyal Saudi riyal Singapore dollar South Africa Sri Lankan rupees Sterling pound Swedish krona Swiss franc Syrian pound Thai bhat Tunisian dollar UAE dirham U.S. dollars Yemeni Riyal

ARAB COUNTRIES Egyptian Pound - Cash 47.500 Egyptian Pound - Transfer 46.282 Yemen Riyal/for 1000 1.272 Tunisian Dinar 189.860 Jordanian Dinar 392.670 Lebanese Lira/for 1000 1.865 Syrian Lier 6.003 Morocco Dirham 33.814 EUROPEAN & AMERICAN COUNTRIES US Dollar Transfer 277.950 Euro 370.650 Sterling Pound 431.930 Canadian dollar 268.420 Turkish lire 153.940 Swiss Franc 300.620 Australian dollar 277.000 US Dollar Buying 277.750 GOLD 315.500 159.000 81.500

20 Gram 10 Gram 5 Gram



Australian dollar Bahraini dinar Bangladeshi taka Canadian dollar Cyprus pound Czek koruna Danish krone Deutsche Mark Egyptian pound Euro Cash Hongkong dollar Indian rupees Indonesia Iranian tuman Iraqi dinar Japanese yen Jordanian dinar Lebanese pound Malaysian ringgit Morocco dirham Nepalese Rupees New Zealand dollar Nigeria Norwegian krone Omani Riyal

298.700 743.060 3.640 285.000 548.800 46.600 50.200 167.800 47.600 369.700 36.710 5.810 0.032 0.160 0.243 3.490 396.690 0.189 94.330 45.400 4.300 232.000 1.810 50.000 725.750


296.200 743.060 3.411 283.500

223.000 46.302 368.200 36.580 5.590 0.032

10 Tola


305.400 3.700 9.320 75.080 279.400

Sterling Pound Japanese Yen Bangladesh Taka Indian Rupee Sri Lankan Rupee Nepali Rupee Pakistani Rupee UAE Dirhams Bahraini Dinar Egyptian Pound Jordanian Dinar Omani Riyal Qatari Riyal Saudi Riyal

Sterling Pound US Dollar

TRAVELLER’S CHEQUE 439.400 279.400

Dollarco Exchange Co. Ltd US Dollar Canadian Dollar Sterling Pound Euro Swiss Frank Bahrain Dinar UAE Dirhams Qatari Riyals Saudi Riyals Jordanian Dinar Egyptian Pound Sri Lankan Rupees Indian Rupees Pakistani Rupees Bangladesh Taka Philippines Pesso Cyprus pound Japanese Yen Thai Bhat Syrian Pound Nepalese Rupees Malaysian Ringgit

441.00 3.46 3.409 5.591 2.300 3.507 3.076 75.98 742.79 46.30 397.28 725.75 77.00 74.56

443.50 3.70 3.550 5.765 2.625 4.250 3.180 76.45 741.75 47.49 395.00 728.00 77.25 74.80

Kuwait Bahrain Intl Exchange Co. Currency

395.910 0.188 94.330 3.510 230.600

3.083 6.560 76.860 74.600 222.990 39.480 2.290 439.400

GOLD 1,790.820

Rate for Transfer

Bahrain Exchange Company

3.130 6.810 77.290 74.600 222.990 39.480 2.662 441.400 42.000 306.900 3.700 9.490 198.263 76.180 279.800 1.360

Selling Rate

277.750 283.990 442.665 368.570 305.435 738.165 75.870 76.515 74.295 392.380 46.222 2.286 5.633 3.069 3.398 6.533 683.765 4.405 9.195 5.870 3.640 92.240

Rate per 1000 (Tran)

US Dollar Pak Rupees Indian Rupees Sri Lankan Rupees Bangladesh Taka Philippines Peso UAE Dirhams Saudi Riyals Bahraini Dinars Egyptian Pounds Pound Sterling Indonesian Rupiah Yemeni Riyal Euro Canadian Dollars Nepali rupee

279.300 3.078 5.605 2.305 3.415 6.590 76.145 74.635 742.500 46.275 444.100 3.190 1.550 371.500 287.200 3.510

Al Mulla Exchange Currency

UAE Exchange Center WLL Currency

Transfer Rate (Per 1000)

Australian Dollar Canadian Dollar Swiss Franc Euro

299.70 283.62 306.23 369.60

298.00 283.00 308.00 371.00

US Dollar Euro Pound Sterling Canadian Dollar Japanese Yen Indian Rupee Egyptian Pound Sri Lankan Rupee Bangladesh Taka Philippines Peso Pakistan Rupee Bahraini Dinar UAE Dirham Saudi Riyal *Rates are subject to change

Transfer Rate (Per 1000)

278.450 369.300 440.700 281.000 3.475 5.530 46.173 2.287 3.410 6.480 3.067 741.600 75.800 74.350

13 Mar 2012  

Kuwait Times

13 Mar 2012  

Kuwait Times