Tuesday, March 17, 2009

More Real Estate, Blue City and Bank Muscat

Busy as all hell this week. But at least the bottom seems to be near for global equities.

Bank Muscat was strongly tipped as due for a bit of a bounce on rumours that preceded the official announcement they will take profit on the bank investment in India (although one might have expected it's book value to already be in shareprice...). The market seems to be correct vs the tipsters however, as the shares resumed their slump back toward the recent record lows. After loosing close to 80% of their value (in rial/US$) the Government is probably establishing a floor around 0.500 rial. (Hope your savings plan wasn't too heavy on BKMB shares Muscati!)

But something's going on, even if its not reflected yet in the price - look at that turnover! Gee, I wonder if there has been a little bit of insider trading going on? Or perhaps an attempted 'pump & dump'?


News of immanent meltdown everywhere is tapering off, but its still good to be here in Muscat and to be sheltered from that massive storm that's raging in most other parts of the world.

Even Dubai is perking up and trying lamely to reinvigorate it's old swagger, having picked up a nice loan from big brother Abu Dhabi. Dubai is now reminding everyone it actually has a real, core, value generating economy as an entrépot trading port, etc. Well, maybe so, but I won't be rushing to buy real estate chaps just yet.

Meanwhile Muscat small and medium scale real estate construction is ticking along nicely, but the news has gone rather quiet from the big developments. Rumour has it that HM himself gave Sh. Maktoum a call and asked (very politely I'm sure) what the *%^&*^% is going on with Dubai Holdings and their stalled Yeti project, and that he'd perhaps better 'use it or loose it'. Anybody want to buy a really cheap breakwater and some damp sand?

Blue City's BCC1 CEO Mr Richard Russell is allegedly getting a bit paranoid too, sending letters a while back to various contractors and staff reminding them about their contractual duty to secrecy, and that they'd better not be leaking info to the press and blogs (I guess he means info like wild and crazy stories of sales to the Abu Dhabi Pension Fund, or the state of renegotiations with twitchy bondholders).

I'd reproduce the letter... but... if I was RR I'd have put little hidden variations in the text to uniquely ID each one. ;-)

More news soon. Work crises have been fortunately averted through personal intervention, so having earned my money for a while will try and be a bit more 'bloguctive' this week, inshallah.

[Unless thwarted by Essa's so-far unsuccessful Global Zionist conspiracy to occupy peaceful upstanding Sudan and take its 'vast resources' by arresting their genocidally accused Field Marshall President. Vs China's successful conspiracy to get a strategic holding in blood-soaked Sudan.

More on that tomorrow. Was this YOUR day in the office? Or perhaps YOU work at the Times of Oman?



  1. Quit with the rumors of the calls to Sheikh Mohammed. Real estate in the Sultanate is alive and rosy.

    I'm waiting for the Eastern European countries to start defaulting on their loans. How would foreclosures work on an international scale? Does Ukraine start flying Swiss flags and speaking Schweiss?

  2. Nice one boxster, I suppose if you say it enough times it must be true, but tell it to the staff that the major contractors have laid off and see if they believe it!

  3. It's just as well Issa puts his photo up there otherwise we'd think it was written by a 5 year old.

  4. Wonder why I too have received that message. My lips are always sealed…
    More secrecy around Blue City, that’s exactly what the project needs. The only information provided to the outside world should be the crap coming from RR himself…
    Best part of it all is that it is in fact RR (with his BCC1 senior management team) who has been active on the blogs. But now telling others they are not allowed to do this… what a hypocrisy! American, right?

  5. Dubai presented a model of this project,which has many apartments and fulfill facilities need living.
    Dubai Real Estate

  6. This Issa is fantastic. What an article! Not a word about the actual situation there or about the accusations against Al Bashir. Minor issues of course.

  7. It just proves it's not a real newspaper and just his personal mouthpiece.

    No one, not even the ill informed or most inflexible of mind could possibly belive that.

    Yet again I read that Oman road safet record has got worse, yes another bad year and nothing from Issa on this subject. Maybe they should replace his photo with one of an Ostrich!!!

  8. Ahhhhh Blue City and 'Stakeholder', I do miss him. He's nearly as amusing as that big girls blouse 'Mr T'.

  9. Hey Dragon-
    I thought since this is, or was, Traffic Week, we would get some blog on (the extreme lack of) road safety in Oman. DA mentioned this in his comment. The traffic fatality record is getting worse! And I do agree with DA's suggestion- but only if the Ostrich picture of ole Shk Issa has its head in the ground and its ass sticking out.

    Today, I was driving on a carriageway roundabout when suddenly from a side street a kid on a mini-scooter, with his white dishdasha flapping in the breeze, pulled right in front of me. (Before the Omani commenters sharpen their pens, a white dishdasha is not the correct dress for any type of motor bike anywhere in the world). Fortunately, I was not going fast. The ROP gives me a ticket for a dirty truck, yet these scooters can drive on the streets with no license or registration at all. This is a flagrant disregard for the traffic laws, and if I see it, I am sure the ROP does.

    If only the our traffic fatalities were a zionist conspiracy to depopulate Oman, then it would get some words from ole Shk Issa, but hey, maybe it is! Abd

  10. Sorry to disappoint you, UD, but I don't own a single share in BM or any other company for that matter. It was more by circumstance than choice, but I'm the better for it. In typical Omani stock market fashion, investors are so negative that even the news that the bank has a cash cushion which can cover a write off of its entire investment in Pakistan, and the losses in the investment portfolio, plus any big loan loss provisions in the year wasn't good enough to make them buy the share.

    BTW, have you checked the Salam Yiti website recently? It's been suspended because they haven't paid their hosting fees!!

  11. Abdullah

    You can say whatever you want about road safety. It is a defenseless case.

  12. UD,

    People in this part of the world have all reasons to believe that a conspiracy is behind Sudan president arrest warrant. We have all seen the blood and havoc that your elected governments have done in Iraq for "suspecting WMD" and we question how come no arrest warrants were issued?? Can you please answer for me so I can believe in the monkey ramblings you type.

  13. What happened in Iraq is indeed not good. Think most of us can agee on that. But comparing the likes of Al Bashir with the 'average' elected western government... that's pure stupidity and ignorance.

  14. Remember, the USA is not a signatory to the International Criminal Court whereas Oman is, so it's a bit difficult to blame the west.. (or maybe Oman is part of the conspiracy)

  15. Greed will destroy this country. You bet. They don't deserve the wealth. If this country does still exist after 50 years, it will be under the control of the Indians. The only ones who really work. Well, more or less.

    Plus, I am sorry to say, it is not easy to find bright Omanis... to put it mildly.

  16. Al-Amry
    Yes you are right, especially after my speech saying I only worry about things I can change. But it is just a waste of life, I must keep charging the windmill.

    You got your head in the sand- along with ole Shk Essa. There are plenty of 'bright' Omans around. If all you want to do is start a 'flame-war' on this blog, go over to Fark and have at it. You will fit in with the other basement dwellers over there.

  17. Abd,

    I think these boys in their scooters are really Zionists dressing as Omani's because Omanis wouldn't do that and as it's not an ex-pat it's obvious it must be a Zionist here to spy on this beautiful peaceful country!It is the Zionisist who are causing the road traffic accidents because all Omani's pass first time (even those who don't get in a vehicle) Well...thats how it will be reported in the Times!

  18. Another Zionist plot at the ICC???

    In 2002 Israel submitted a letter to the United Nations declaring that it did not intend to ratify the treaty, using identical wording as the United States.

    It's obvious that the US and Israel only pretended not to sign up to the ICC, thus allowing them to control it secretly.

  19. ...."using identical wording"...do you honestly belive that if that was the case it wouldn't be exposed? Whatever the wording they, like many countries agree and dissagree on world events.

    I'm no fan of the US but it does stick in gut that many Muslim countries such as Sudan, Pakisatn and others get millions of $ in aid and the ignorant backward b@stards complain.

    Pull the plug on all aid and watch them go back to the stone ages.

  20. DA,

    Don’t think too high of yourself as an American!
    Any statistics about US aid to Sudan with references?

    Your donations are peanuts and usually loans and not grants.
    "humanitarian aid" you may refer to are for south Sudan and after Iraq despicable I don’t trust that your intentions are humanitarian in the first place.
    Did you know that south Sudan has oil reserves? Pingo!

  21. I'm not an American. Iam against the Iraq war and all interfernce by the 'West' in other countries.

    I stand by withdrawing all aid to countries who are not friendly and have no intention of peaceful relations will ALL countries.

  22. I lived in Sudan when Al Bashir lead a military coup.

    You know what they were showing on TV for months after that? How great the Sudanese military was: they'd have soldiers catch bunnies and chickens, tear their heads off, drink the blood and eat the flesh, raw... I'm still traumatized.

    The ICC has nothing to do with the US, or Russia or China or India for that matter.

    Sudan has oil reserves. Unfortunately those reserves are in the areas in the south where indigenous non-arabs live. Thus the government-led military operations in the South, under the premise of rebellion suppression, were aimed at securing the oil exploration sites.

    Coincidentally, China is the main oil developer in Sudan. They have time and again threatened to use their power of veto in the UN Security Council to defend Khartoum. Russia is the main weapons supplier.

    Bottom line: we're observing how the limited natural resources are being divided by the energy-hungry empires.

    Here, Oman and the Middle East are an American colony. There is relative stability, peace, standards of living are alright. We at least pretend to care about human rights.

    Sudan right now is a Chinese colony, conducting genocide against its own people to earn the oil buck, while most of the country is in supreme poverty.

    Either way, Sudan will be a colony. Get over it.

  23. Al Amry:

    Sorry to disappoint, but our governments are not elected. They're selected (There's a link at the bottom of the article to the actual transcripts from the hearings).

    So yeah, we the common yankee folk, get fuqed as well...

  24. It is depressing to see how no where in Oman can you find even a small trace of self-criticism. It is so easy to blame the Zionists for whatever is wrong in the Arab world! Not to speak of the lack of a Reformation within Islam.

    Acquaintance with greedy and corrupt Omanis makes you wish this country were a true colony of the West. Or of Israel. Instead of the second rate British protectorate which it actually is.

    After all, there must be something in the genes.. slave-trading? It is never mentioned in the pseudo-official histories of Oman. But this is what this country was: a bunch of slave-trading tribes. It shows if you deal with them.

  25. I think Al Bashir should become the mayor of Blue City. He could probably bring in some fresh and much needed investments from China and Russia. That would keep the evil western countries out of the picture. He could then arrange Blue City municipality elections/selections using American voting equipment and stay on till the end of times. He would obviously make sure nobody would say a word about it. If somebody would, his soldiers would kill his/her goats, rip their heads of and eat the flesh raw. Essa would of course become the head of propaganda and blame the zionists for everything that would possibly go wrong. All happy then?

  26. Yes, that would be a good solution. Additionally, Bashir is black, so that would also be a good pretext to show to the rest of the ignorant world our absolute lack of racism. Except that mmm oh, well, it is better to be white (or look like one) in order to be considered as a member of the ruling classes.

    And that would also prove our solidarity with all the arab causes, like Palestine.

    Oh my!, we have fought so hard, shoulder to shoulder with the Syrians, Egyptias, Jordanians et al. against the Israelis.. come on, how can you doubt our pan-Arab solidarity?

  27. And ohh I forgot, what about bringing in Iranian investments instead of the Chinese or Russian ones?

    Remember, the Iranians have no military intentions with their nuclear programme.

    And of course, they would never invade us, and if they did, we would never apply for help from the evil West.

  28. And all would be riding camels again, as they did only a few years ago. That should take care of the road-safety issue...

  29. Looks like the Friday night whining Anony-mice are at it again. Abd

  30. As regular visitor of this blog, it seems to me that some of the key repeating points of criticism when it comes to Oman are:
    - censorship and poor journalism
    - lack of self-critisism; blaming of 'others' (the west, Israel, etc.)
    - work-ethics (or the lack of it)
    - lack of traffic-safety
    I wonder how the 'average' Omani really feels about these issues, as there is clearly serious issues here that do have a real impact on Oman in general.

  31. And it would be soooo nice for tourism, Omanis riding camels. Oil is nothing compared to the income this peace-loving people will get from Western tourists. For sure. During the summer season, mainly. Hotels in Oman are so fantastic...

    Tourists would be enraptured also watching young Omanis playing football on the beach. This is something the Omanis are really good at: showing off their football abilities in front of evil Western tourists. So, if you plan to enjoy the beaches in Oman, be ready for that, too.

    Camels and football on the beach are really good for tourism. Seriously.

    As regards work-ethics: what about being obliged to hire Omanis, just to comply with the law, but they never turn up, so you must also hire non-Omanis to get the job done? This is really good for foreign investment too.

  32. thank you for sharing this article. Its become a fact that Muscat has all good potentials and advantages that made it deserve to obtain a high rank between the most developed countries. Real estate expanding Business is the most to push Muscat towards the right way and this will be reflected on the economic growth.


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