Business & Management

Ratings on Bahrain lowered on worsening political situation; watch negative remains


Standard & Poor's Ratings Services  it has lowered its long- and short-term local and foreign currency sovereign credit ratings on the Kingdom of Bahrain to 'BBB/A-3' from 'A-/A-2'.

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Companies still not fully embracing risk management policies


A recent survey showed that companies in the Middle East remain reluctant to fully implement sufficient risk management policies despite the negative effects the global economic crisis had on corporate companies that did not have proper risk strategies in place.

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Aggreko posts record profits


Aggreko reported record profits for 2010 but stated that unrest in the Middle East region added significant uncertainty to its outlook for 2011.

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Masdar scraps plan to manufacture solar panels


Masdar, the Abu Dhabi government's clean energy company, has scrapped plans to manufacture solar panels in the UAE because of a lack of domestic demand.

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Octal set for expansion


Octal, a global pet packaging company, has secured a US$296mn senior term loan from a group of six Middle Eastern banks for the second phase of its expansion this year.

The Oman-based manufacturer opened a 400,000 m/t PET resins and sheet packaging facility in the southeast port city of Salalah in early 2009. The second phase of the complex, which will be commissioned from June 2012, will add an additional 527,000 m/t of production.

The company is aiming to achieve US$1.5bn in annual sales by 2012. The six banks which took part in the new round of funding are Bank Muscat, Bank Dhofar, National Bank of Oman, Bank Sohar, Ahli Bank and Qatar National Bank.

Existing shareholders Muscat Overseas and Oman & Emirates Investment Holding Company have also agreed a junior debt facility of US$15mn.

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