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                 Oman Economy – Morning Edition
DOMESTIC NEWS
Omantel AGM to discuss 100% cash dividend
The Annual Ordinary General Assembly Meeting of Oman Telecommunications Company (Omantel) will be
held today, March 30, at 5 pm at Grand Hyatt Muscat. The Annual General Meeting will discuss several
items on the agenda including approving the Directors’ report for the year ended December 31, 2008. It will
study and approve the company’s Corporate Governance Report, and also discuss the Auditors Report and
approve the Balance Sheet & Profit and Loss account for the financial year ended December 31, 2008.
A key point for discussion is a proposal to distribute cash dividends of 100 per cent of the paid up capital
(100 baiza per share) and approve the Board’s proposal authorising the distribution of interim cash dividends,
subject to a call for an AGM to approve the same. Yesterday, Omantel announced the resignation of Dr
Mohammed bin Ali al Wohaibi as CEO. The announcement came in a notification to the Muscat Securities
Market (MSM).
http://www.omanobserver.com/Daily/Business/Business2.htm

Bank Dhofar holds AGM
Bank Dhofar held its Annual General Meeting at the Crowne Plaza Muscat yesterday under the auspices of
Abdul Hafidh Salim al Aujaili, Chairman. The shareholders approved the reports of the Board of Directors,
the report on Corporate Governance and the Auditor's Report and financial statements of the Bank for the
financial year ended December 31, 2008. The shareholders also approved a cash dividend of 15.5 per cent on
the paid-up capital of the bank (15.5 baizas per share) and bonus shares of 4.5 per cent of the paid-up capital
(0.045 bonus shares per share).
Accordingly the share capital of the bank will increase from 707,738,306 shares to 739,586,530 shares. The
chairman announced that the bank continued to have solid growth during 2008 despite the global slowdown.
The key profitability indicators achieved significant growth in 2008 as net interest income grew from RO
30.36 million to RO 39.90 million. Non-interest income such as fees and commissions, foreign exchange
profit, investment income and other income grew by 19 per cent. The net profit of the year 2008 grew by 4
per cent to reach RO 23.69 million from RO 22.79 million achieved in 2007.
The earnings per share (EPS) in the end of 2008 was RO 0.044. Abdul Hafidh Salim al Aujaili, Chairman,
Bank Dhofar stated: "The bank's financial results are a reflection of the hard work brought forth by the
management and staff. We are confident that they will continue to drive forward the same results this year, as
we move toward implementing the next phase of our corporate strategy."
http://www.omanobserver.com/Daily/Local/Local13.htm

Renaissance posts RO26m profit
Renaissance Services has announced that its profit rose 51 per cent to RO26.2 million in 2008, as compared
to RO17.3 million in 2007.
Samir J. Fancy, company chairman, who announced this in his report at the annual general meeting (AGM)
on Sunday, said the company achieved record results for the eighth consecutive year.
The profit includes capital gains of RO4.8 million from the disinvestment of the group’s former technology
business, Fancy said, adding that the fluctuation in oil prices had not made much of an impact on the
company’s performance.
The AGM also approved a cash dividend of 10 per cent and stock dividend of 15 per cent.
Revenue rose to RO234.3 million in 2008 from RO199.2 million in the corresponding period of 2007, an
increase of 17.6 per cent.
Improved margins have resulted in higher earnings per share (EPS) for the company, which rose to RO0.103
in 2008 as compared to RO0.071 in 2007.
Over 2007-08, the company made investments of RO183.2 million to modernise and enlarge its offshore
support vessels (OSV) fleet and ensure the company’s growth in 2009, said Fancy.
He said an initiative was underway in the company’s marine and engineering division to merge OSV
companies into a single group, to be called Topaz Marine.
The fleet strength will surpass 100 this year, he added.
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The engineering businesses in oil and gas fabrication and ship repair are also being merged into Topaz
Engineering, which will result in a leaner and more efficient structure, Fancy said.
A question and answer session with the management was held after the AGM, at which Stephen R. Thomas,
CEO, and other officials, addressed queries.
http://www.omantribune.com/index.php?page=news&id=45280&heading=Business


REGIONAL NEWS

Gulf Mkts Seen Mixed Ahead Of 1Q
Gulf markets are seen mixed Monday as investors price in first quarter earnings expectations after a tough
second half last year amid the global economic meltdown.
"If the oil price stabilizes above $50 per barrel and starts to move higher, there could be a rerating of stocks in
the entire region which could happen faster than many market observers expect," said a trader.
U.A.E.: Dubai stocks ended +1% at 1604.71 Sunday. The benchmark index finished on a bright note with
property companies like Deyaar, Union Properties leading the charge.
"We tend to believe that there will likely be more legs to the recent rally. Moreover, we expect the up
trendline to lend support to the index in case of further retracement," said a technical analyst at Shuaa Capital.
Abu Dhabi's leading index of shares ended +0.5% at 2545.65 Sunday.
Recently listed Green Crescent Insurance raced up 4.6% Sunday.
Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, or ADCB, ended flat at AED1.68 Sunday after saying it will seek shareholder
approval to convert the Ministry of Finance's 'liquidity support loans' in Tier-2 Capital.
SAUDI ARABIA: The Gulf's largest market ended -0.5% at 4728.55 Sunday as the market's recent rally
cooled a touch.
The Tadawul had stacked on about 17% over the past 2 weeks.
"This increases the probability of witnessing a short term minor retracement," said Shuaa Capital analysts.
Market heavyweight SABIC slipped 1.9% Sunday.
KUWAIT: The Gulf's second largest market ended -0.2% at 6739.70 Sunday, giving up early gains.
Investors are pricing in the Kuwait government's economic-stimulus bill that was approved Thursday, a
Kuwait-based fund manager said.
"The atmosphere of fear that has permeated the region has started to dissipate recently as positive government
measures and the absence of further corporate defaults have highlighted the advantages of running on huge
surpluses and operating with low levels of leverage," said one trader.
The government of Kuwait needs to increase spending and launch development projects as part of a
comprehensive plan to stimulate the country's economy, the chairman of National Bank of Kuwait said
Sunday.
Officials at the Kuwaiti bourse said they were convinced that local investment companies submitting their
financial results to the central bank before the end of March should be exempt from the suspension penalty,
Kuwait-based Al Watan daily reported Monday.
QATAR: Doha shares ended -3.3% at 5098.51 Sunday.
The benchmark index finished deep in negative territory as the banking sector came under pressure.
Doha Bank ended -5%, while Commercial Bank of Qatar lost 6.2% Sunday.
Investors are nervy ahead of the 1Q reporting season, an analyst said.
"It is always difficult to gauge what the retail market is pricing in, but two areas in which there could be
positive surprises would be in Qatari bank results following the government purchase of their listed equity
books," he added.
BAHRAIN: The benchmark index fell 0.3% to 1590.92 at close Sunday. United Gulf Industries Corp. was the
top loser.
OMAN: The Muscat market closed 1.2% lower at 4722.95 Sunday, undermined by service sector stocks.
Oman Telecommunications Co., or OmanTel, chief executive officer Mohammed bin Ali Al Wohaibi
resigned, the company said Sunday in a statement on the Muscat bourse website. Its shares fell 0.8% Sunday.
EGYPT: The benchmark index closed 2% higher at 4332.56 Sunday. Orascom Construction rose 3.1% to
EGP146.
SYRIA: Damascus Securities Exchange, or DSE, trade sessions take place on Mondays and Thursdays.
NEWS FROM AROUND THE GULF: The U.A.E.'s economy will likely contract by 1.7% this year and its
population will fall by 5.5% in 2009, driven by Dubai, which will likely see its population slip by 17%, EFG
Hermes said.

                   PO Box 2010, PC 112, Ruwi, Sultanate of Oman Tel: +968 24 76 2 399 Fax: +968 24 79 39 53
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Dubai World Sunday welcomed a last-minute $200 million payment by MGM Mirage (MGM) for the
CityCenter project in Las Vegas as a "sign of good faith", but warned it was a temporary solution to the
liquidity problems the casino operator is facing.
Dubai-based developer Nakheel Sunday said it has merged some business units and restructured some
resources amid the continuing downturn in the emirate's real estate industry.
Most Mideast and North African countries saw their Consumer Confidence Index, or CCI, dip in February,
with Saudi Arabia slipping the least and confidence in Kuwait the bleakest, according to a recent survey by
marketing research firm YouGov PLC (YOU.LN) and Bayt.com.
WORLD MARKETS: Global investors are still taking profit from the recent run up in stocks as a risky
earnings season approaches. European markets are seen starting lower, with government debt unsettled. The
euro and spot gold are little changed, while oil is well lower.
FOREX: The euro is off its initial lows Monday, even as concerns remained about the euro-zone economy.
Some of the initial euro weakness may have been due to a weekend report by The Times, which cited
billionaire investor George Soros as saying the U.K. may need billions of pounds in aid from the International
Monetary Fund.
GOLD: Spot gold is down 30 cents at $922.80 as, as a pause in currency moves caps prices. Darren
Heathcote, head of trading at Investec, said the market needs ongoing buying by exchange-traded funds to
offset currency pressure and waning risk aversion.
OIL: Oil prices are lower Monday as global stocks fell following a recent run up.
New York's main futures contract, light sweet crude for delivery in May, slid $1.13 to $51.25 a barrel.
Brent North Sea crude for May delivery shed 92 cents to $51.06.
"The market is probably a little concerned about the short-term performance of the equity markets," said
Mark Pervan, senior commodities analyst of ANZ bank in Melbourne.
He added that equity markets were acting as a "proxy market" for oil, and a decline in U.S. stocks after recent
strong gains pulled crude prices down.
http://www.zawya.com/story.cfm/sidZW20090330000033/Gulf%20Markets%20Seen%20Mixed%20Ahead
%20Of%201Q

Qatar Telecom to give QR10 per share dividend
The shareholders of Qatar Telecom (Qtel) yesterday approved the recommendation of the Board of Directors
to issue a total cash dividend of QR10 per share, representing 100 percent of the share face value.
Addressing the annual general meeting (AGM), Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Saud Al Thani, Qtel's
Chairman, outlined the strong progress achieved through the company's growth strategy in 2008, and
provided an overview of plans for the coming period.
"Results from our more mature markets, principally Qatar and Kuwait, have helped us to report The Qtel
Group's highest ever annual net profit in 2008, despite pressures on the wider global economy, validating the
resilience of our growth strategy. We remain confident that our strategy of growth in high potential markets,
combined with developing operations in more mature markets, will prove pivotal for our long-term success."
Given the substantial growth witnessed in recent years -- which now sees the company present in 17 markets
-- Qtel will continue to exploit cost efficiencies, savings and synergies across the enlarged group. Significant
benefits have already been achieved, particularly in purchasing, financing and customer-facing areas, and
more are expected in the future.
The Qtel Group's increasing expansion has driven positive returns for 2008. In total, 73 percent of group
revenue now comes from outside of Qatar, with Qatar, Indonesia, Kuwait, Iraq and Algeria representing the
Group's five largest markets by revenue, contributing 27, 21, 15, 14 and 9 percent respectively.
This rapid development -- for a company which only provided telecommunication services only in Qatar, in
2005 - reflects the impressive ambition and prudent management of The Qtel Group. Consolidated group
revenue increased 93 percent in 2008 to QR20.3bn, nearly doubling 2007 revenue of QR10.5bn.
At the end of 2008, consolidated Group EBITDA stood at QR9.8bn, while net profit attributable to
shareholders also increased during 2008, closing the year 36 percent higher than in 2007 to stand at QR2.3bn.
Confirming its guidance for the year ahead, at a Group level Qtel expects revenue to increase in 2009 in the
range of 20 to 22 percent year-on-year, EBITDA to increase in 2009 in the range of 18 to 20 percent year on
year. Net Profit Attributable to Shareholders to increase in 2009 in the range of 9 to11 percent year on year.
Given the customer demand for ongoing network expansion and improvement particularly in high growth
markets such as Iraq, Palestine, Oman, Algeria and Indonesia the group expects to allocate between QR6.5bn
and QR7.3bn in 2009 for capital expenditure.
http://www.zawya.com/story.cfm/sidZAWYA20090330030501/Qatar%20Telecom%20To%20Give%20QR1
0%20Per%20Share%20Dividend
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                                                                                      Oman Economy – Morning Edition
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India to buy $20m of Emaar-MGF flats – paper
India's government will buy up to Rs1bn ($20m) worth of flats from real estate firm Emaar MGF Land, the
Business Standard newspaper reported on Sunday, citing a senior ministry official.
Emaar MGF, a joint venture between Dubai's Emaar Properties and India's MGF Developments Ltd is
developing the Commonwealth Games village project to be held in 2010 in New Delhi, and planned to use
proceeds from selling these flats to finance the construction, the paper said.
M. Ramchandran, secretary at the Ministry of Urban Development, has asked the Delhi Development
Authority to examine the possibility of allowing it to buy flats to provide liquidity support to the firm, the
paper reported.
The amount is a third of what the real-estate firm initially sought, and a committee set up by the ministry is
analysing the actual price of the flats, the paper said, citing Ramchandran.
http://www.arabianbusiness.com/550947-india-to-buy-20m-of-emaar-mgf-flats---paper

Qatar Islamic Bank to Raise $200 Million European Sukuk Fund
Qatar Islamic Bank SAQ, the Gulf state’s biggest lender complying with Muslim banking rules, is seeking to
raise $200 million for a Europe-based fund that will invest in Islamic bonds, known as sukuk.
The EFH Global Sukuk Plus Fund will be operated by QIB’s European Finance House Ltd. unit in London,
and managed by Aleksandar Devic, a former Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. credit analyst.
“There has been a growing amount of interest in Islamic finance and sukuk as a direct result of the problems
of the conventional banking system,” said Mark Watts, head of asset management at European Finance
House. “When capital markets start to free up, we expect sukuk issuance to take off with a vengeance.”
Islamic financial institutions have been more resilient to the global financial crisis than their conventional
counterparts because direct investment in subprime assets and their derivatives is banned under Shariah law,
according to a report by Moody’s Investors Service last month. Sukuk funds are typically backed by assets or
cash flow to avoid the prohibited practice of paying interest.
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601104&sid=aSk3ksG_rPN0&refer=mideast


INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Oil price falls below $52 on gloomy demand outlook
Oil fell near 2 percent to below $52 a barrel on Monday, extending the previous session's losses, as a bleak
near-term energy demand outlook prompted investors to take profit on oil's recent rally.
Analysts said a recent strengthening of the U.S. dollar, which posted its largest one-day again against the euro
in more than two months on Friday, also added downward pressure on oil prices.
US oil for May delivery fell 97 cents to $51.41 a barrel by 5am UAE time, after having earlier fallen by
$1.26. The contract fell $1.96 to settle at $52.38 a barrel on Friday, pulling back from Thursday's four-month
high.
London Brent crude fell 90 cents to $51.08.
Oil is up 14.8 percent since the start of the month and is looking for its biggest monthly gains since October
2007, thanks to rallying stock markets and tightening oil supplies as the Organisation of the Petroleum
Exporting Countries (OPEC) curbs exports.
"The overall demand outlook, at least in the short term, continues to look quite bleak. The rally seen in last
two weeks might perhaps have ran its course," said Toby Hassall, head of research at Commodities Warrants
Australia.
"The fundamentals really don't suggest that oil prices should continue to go upwards. I think we are likely to
see more price correction this week."
Industrial output from Japan, world's No. 3 energy consumer, fell by a more-than-expected 9.4 percent in
February as weak demand weighed on an economy mired in its worst recession since World War Two, but
factories forecast a small rise in production in coming months.
Comments from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) which said on
Sunday that unemployment is set to reach double digits in many developing and advanced countries also cast
a pall over oil prices.
Still, analysts said hopes that the US economy had finally turned a corner was offering some underlying
support for oil prices, keeping it above the psychologically important $50-levels.
President Barack Obama said in an interview published on Sunday that he saw "glimmers of stabilisation" in
some areas of the US economy, including pockets of the domestic housing market.
US crude oil had hit its highest level so far in 2009 on Thursday at $54.66 a barrel on expectations that efforts
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                                                                          Oman Economy – Morning Edition
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by the US government to tackle bad debts and reflate the economy would help boost oil demand.
But prices fell on Friday as the US stock market succumbed to profit taking and banks hinted that March had
been a tougher month than the previous two.
http://www.arabianbusiness.com/551003-oil-price-falls-below-52-on-gloomy-demand-outlook


Obama denies bailout funds for automakers
The White House says neither GM nor Chrysler submitted acceptable plans to receive more bailout money,
setting the stage for a crisis in Detroit and putting in motion what could be the final two months of two
American auto giants.

President Barack Obama and his top advisers have determined that neither company is viable and that
taxpayers will not spend untold billions more to keep the pair of automakers open forever. In a last-ditch
effort, the administration gave each company a brief deadline to try one last time to convince Washington it is
worth saving, said senior administration officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to more bluntly
discuss the decision.
Obama was set to make the announcement at 11 a.m. Monday in the White House’s foyer.
In an interview with CBS’ “Face the Nation” broadcast Sunday, Obama said the companies must do more to
receive additional financial aid from the government.
“We think we can have a successful U.S. auto industry. But it’s got to be one that’s realistically designed to
weather this storm and to emerge — at the other end — much more lean, mean and competitive than it
currently is,” Obama said.
Frustrated administration officials said Chrysler cannot function as an independent company under its current
plan. They have given Chrysler a 30-day window to complete a proposed partnership with Italian automaker
Fiat SpA, and will offer up to $6 billion to the companies if they can negotiate a deal before time runs out.
If a Chrysler-Fiat union cannot be completed, Washington plans to walk away, leave Chrysler destined for a
complete sell-off. No other money is available.
For GM, the administration offered 60 days of operating money to restructure. A frantic top-to-bottom effort
began Sunday after CEO Rick Wagoner resigned under pressure from the White House.
Fritz Henderson, GM’s president and chief operating officer, became the new CEO, a Treasury Department
source said. Board member Kent Kresa, the former chairman and CEO of defense contractor Northrop
Grumman Corp., will be interim chairman of the GM board.
One official said a majority of the GM board was expected to step down.
Obama advisers saw public outrage come to an ugly head in recent weeks, as populist anger escalated over
bonuses paid to American International Group executives. They realized Americans are frustrated with the
economy and its business leaders; they also said they would not invest one dollar more than was necessary to
keep the companies alive and would walk away if it looked impossible.
Officials said GM had not made good on promises made in exchange for $13.4 billion in government loans,
although there are no plans to call in those loans.
Administration officials still believe GM’s chances are good, given its global brand and its research potential.
Officials say they are confident GM can put together a plan that will keep production lines moving in the
coming years. They planned to send a team to Detroit to help with that restructuring.
Chrysler, meanwhile, has survived on $4 billion in federal aid during this economic downturn and the worst
decline in auto sales in 27 years.
In progress reports filed with the government in February, GM asked for $16.6 billion more and Chrysler
wanted $5 billion more. The White House balked and instead started a countdown clock.
Administration officials acknowledged the short turnaround time was harsh; one described it as a nanosecond
in a business cycle.
Two people familiar with the plan said officials will demand further sacrifices from the automakers and
bankruptcy would still be possible if the automakers failed to restructure. Those officials spoke on condition
of anonymity because they were not authorized to make details public.
Administration officials said they hoped large-scale bankruptcy could be avoided, especially if it might be
stretched over many years. Any efforts to use the bankruptcy courts would have to be targeted and aggressive
and must not prolong a restructuring process, they said.
GM and Chrysler, which employ about 140,000 workers in the U.S., face a Tuesday deadline to submit
completed restructuring plans, but neither company is expected to finish its work.
GM owes roughly $28 billion to bondholders. Chrysler owes about $7 billion in first- and second-term debt,
mainly to banks. GM owes about $20 billion to its retiree health care trust, while Chrysler owes $10.6 billion.
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An exasperated administration official noted that the companies had not done enough to reduce debt; in some
cases, it actually increased during this restructuring and review process.
In February, GM said it intended to cut 47,000 jobs around the globe, or almost 20 percent of its work force,
close hundreds of dealerships and focus on four core brands — Chevrolet, Cadillac, GMC and Buick.
In an effort to bolster consumer confidence, Obama planned to announce government backing of warranties
for GM and Chrysler vehicles. An administration official said there is no price tag yet associated with that
promise.
Aides note that Obama inherited the auto mess from his predecessor, President George W. Bush.
Under the terms of a loan agreement reached during the last administration, GM and Chrysler are pushing the
United Auto Workers to accept shares of stock in exchange for half of the payments into a union-run trust
fund for retiree health care. They also want labor costs from the union to be competitive with Japanese
automakers with U.S. operations.
Little progress has been made between the companies and the union.
http://www.khaleejtimes.com/biz/inside.asp?xfile=/data/internationalbusiness/2009/March/internationalbusiness_March185.xml&section
=internationalbusiness



G-20 Targets Hedge Funds as Leaders Near Consensus (Update1)

Leaders of advanced and emerging economies are closing ranks behind plans for tougher rules on financial
markets to prevent another collapse like the one that wiped out much of Wall Street.
A global approach to regulation has been gaining momentum ahead of the Group of 20 summit April 2 in
London. U.S. President Barack Obama, U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown and their G-20 counterparts aim
to merge their national blueprints for strengthened regulation into a united front to rein in hedge funds,
derivatives trading, executive pay and excessive risk- taking by financial firms.
“There is reason for optimism that progress toward stronger global regulation has begun,” says Daniel Price,
who was President George W. Bush’s G-20 negotiator and is now senior partner for global issues at Sidley
Austin LLP in Washington. “We’re beginning to see the outlines of a convergence.”
Agreement on a shared regulatory agenda would provide the G-20 summit with a measure of success even as
leaders remain at odds over trade policy, fiscal stimulus and the status of the dollar. A joint regulatory
approach is crucial to prevent investors from seeking out markets with the most permissive rules, setting off a
race to the bottom as countries vie to attract capital.
The call for greater regulation unites China, possessor of the most vibrant economy in the developing world,
and the U.S., possessor of the world’s largest economy. China’s central bank governor, Zhou Xiaochuan,
challenged the West to fix flaws in financial supervision on March 26, the same day U.S. Treasury Secretary
Timothy Geithner outlined a broad initiative designed to do just that.
International Framework
“Having the U.S. and Chinese on board makes it a whole lot more likely” that an international framework
will eventually emerge, says Harvard University’s Kenneth Rogoff, former chief economist of the
International Monetary Fund.
Rogoff says that “it seems virtually certain that four to five years from now, the world will have either a
global financial regulator or, more likely, a treaty on global financial regulation with a secretariat, akin to the
World Trade Organization.” Still, he adds, “nothing is going to happen quickly.”
John Taylor, a former U.S. Treasury official and now at Stanford University, says the process is “going to be
drawn out” as lawmakers in individual countries wrangle over rewriting the rules. That will give financial
firms the opportunity to seek changes that dilute new restrictions, says Richard Portes, a professor at the
London Business School.
‘Lobbying Ferociously’
“Banks are lobbying ferociously against anything that will undermine their businesses and pay,” he says.
When G-20 leaders last met in November, with the Bush administration in its final months, the U.S. resisted
European suggestions for a single global regulator and government oversight of hedge funds. Now, proposals
from the Obama administration are giving the push for a global regulatory overhaul a second wind.
“We must ensure that global standards for financial regulation are consistent with the high standards we will
be implementing in the United States,” Geithner told Congress March 26.
Calling for “new rules of the game,” Geithner plans to bring hedge funds, private-equity firms and derivatives
markets under federal supervision for the first time. A new systemic- risk regulator would have power to
force companies to increase their capital or cut their borrowing, and authorities would be able to seize them if
they came unstuck.
‘More Effective Role’
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                                                                              Oman Economy – Morning Edition
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Geithner suggests empowering the Financial Stability Forum, a group of international market regulators, to
“play a more effective role” alongside the IMF and the World Bank in promoting and monitoring new
international regulations.
“There now appears to be common interest in pushing for a global systemic regulator,” says Stephen Roach,
chairman of Morgan Stanley Asia in Hong Kong. “It won’t be easy, however, for Europe and the U.S. to
come to a consensus on who that new regulator should be and what type of enforcement mechanism can be
used to empower any such body.”
The U.S., which has long expected other nations to follow its lead on regulations, may now have to yield to
more cooperation, says former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker.
“The U.S. is no longer in a position to dictate that the world does it according to the way we’ve done it,”
Volcker, head of Obama’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board, told a March 6 conference at New York
University.
Zhou’s Advice
China’s Zhou underscored that point in an article published by the People’s Bank of China March 26 that
criticized western economic policies and recommended regulators be allowed to “act boldly and
expeditiously without having to go through a lengthy or even painful approval process.”
“China has to be listened to,” says Glenn Maguire, chief Asia-Pacific economist at Societe Generale SA in
Hong Kong. “What they are trying to do is exert maximum influence on the design of the new global
financial architecture.”
A new collaborative strategy was evident in a working paper released on March 27 by the Canadian
government on behalf of the G-20, which comprises 19 developed and emerging economies plus the
European Union and represents 85 percent of the world economy.
The working paper recommended that leaders agree to regulate hedge funds and other nonbanking pools of
capital that pose “systemic” risks and strengthen rules requiring financial institutions to build up capital
cushions.
“We have reason to believe that there will be a fair degree of consensus,” Canadian Prime Minister Stephen
Harper said in an interview with Bloomberg News.
First Rules
The EU will propose its first rules for the $1.4 trillion hedge-fund industry next month, while the U.K. is also
considering stepping up oversight.
After financial firms raced to raise more than $1 trillion of capital to cover losses, governments want
“institutions to take less risk and build up buffers in good times,” says Marco Annunziata, chief economist at
UniCredit MIB in London. The U.K.’s financial-market regulator cites Spain as a model after its lenders,
including Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA, avoided the need for government recapitalization.
In addition, central banks and regulators are signed up to a revamp of the so-called Basel II bank-capital
standards after a 2003 rewrite was never fully applied in the U.S., leaving European banks to compete under
different rules.
G-20 countries are also spurring accounting-standard setters to speed up the work of narrowing differences so
investors can compare financial statements around the world.
Policy Differences
Any agreement at the G-20 would hand leaders a way of papering over other policy differences. European
governments have resisted a U.S. push for more stimulus spending. The World Bank says most G-20
members have taken actions that restrict trade, even after pledging to avoid protectionism.
A fresh split emerged last week as China proposed the creation of a new international reserve currency, only
to run into immediate U.S. opposition.
On regulation, at least, “there’s definitely a unified framework forming now,” says Jim O’Neill, chief
economist at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. in London. “Whether it works will only be known when the next
crisis hits.”
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601104&sid=aPa3d0C4ewdo&refer=mideast




                   PO Box 2010, PC 112, Ruwi, Sultanate of Oman Tel: +968 24 76 2 399 Fax: +968 24 79 39 53
                              Web site http://www.oabinvest.com e-mail:research@oabinvest.com
                                                                                                              7
                                                                                                                      Oman Economy – Morning Edition
Issue-59                                                                                                                          30/3/2009


                                           Oman Arab Bank-Investment Management Group

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This report has been prepared and issued by the IMG- Oman Arab Bank SAOC on the basis of publicly available information, internal
data, and other sources considered reliable. While the utmost care has been taken to ensure that the facts stated are accurate and the
opinions given are reasonable, neither Oman Arab Bank SAOC nor any of its employees shall be in any way responsible for the
contents. This report is not to be construed as an offer to buy or sell the securities referred to in the report




Disclaimer
This report has been prepared and issued by the IMG-Oman Arab Bank SAOC on the basis of publicly
available information. While the utmost care has been taken to ensure that the facts stated are accurate,
neither Oman Arab Bank SAOC nor any of its employees shall be in any way responsible for the contents.




                            PO Box 2010, PC 112, Ruwi, Sultanate of Oman Tel: +968 24 76 2 399 Fax: +968 24 79 39 53
                                       Web site http://www.oabinvest.com e-mail:research@oabinvest.com
                                                                                                                                                               8

				
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