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Thursday, 27 July 2017

Foreign Bank Deposits in Qatar Fall Most Since 2015 on Spat - Bloomberg

Foreign Bank Deposits in Qatar Fall Most Since 2015 on Spat - Bloomberg:

"Foreign deposits at Qatar’s banks fell the most in almost two years last month as customers withdrew funds following a diplomatic row with four Arab nations led by Saudi Arabia.

Non-resident deposits with the 18 lenders in the world’s biggest liquefied natural gas exporting nation dropped 7.6 percent to 170.6 billion riyals ($47 billion) in June from a month earlier, according to data posted on the Qatar Central Bank’s website on Wednesday. The decline is the biggest since November 2015, the data show. Overall deposits climbed 1.1 percent in June helped by a jump in domestic funds.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut ties with Qatar on June 5, accusing it of supporting extremist groups. Qatar denies the charge and says the move was an attempt by Saudi Arabia to impose its will on smaller nations in the Gulf. Qatar Investment Authority, the country’s sovereign wealth fund, has placed billions of dollars in deposits in local banks since then to shore up liquidity and soften the blow, people familiar with the development said last month.

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Opec’s purple patch does not mean the oil battle is won

Opec’s purple patch does not mean the oil battle is won:

"Is Opec using the summer to finally get its act together? After promising earlier this year to do “whatever it takes” to rebalance the oil market, Saudi Arabia, Opec’s de facto leader, said this week it would cut oil exports in August to 6.6m barrels a day, the lowest level in six years, and down 1m barrels a day from the same month in 2016. It was followed in quick succession by the UAE saying it would trim oil allocations to customers by 10 per cent in September, a significant move given the country has dragged its feet in reducing output in line with Opec’s deal to curb supplies."



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Oil and the battle for Norway’s soul

Oil and the battle for Norway’s soul:

"As his fishing boat bobs its way out of the port, Leif Karlsen points to the house where he was born 63 years ago. He lets out nearly two kilometres’ worth of line while we watch the majestic, jagged peaks that dominate this part of the Arctic Circle framing the sea. Then he gestures towards another dwelling. “My grandmother lives there; she is 103.”

Karlsen has fished the waters off Norway’s Lofoten Islands since he was 15. The spectacular archipelago — widely prized as the crown jewel in a country with abundant natural treasure — is known for a bounteous population of Arctic cod, which has formed the basis of its economy for almost a millennium. 

It is a bright June day and outside the Arctic cod season, so Karlsen is here to catch halibut. The haul is expected to be slight — “I will be satisfied with one,” he says in his strong, lilting Lofoten dialect over the chug of the motor."



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Riyadh airport sale a challenge for privatization policy, and for Goldman Sachs | Arab News

Riyadh airport sale a challenge for privatization policy, and for Goldman Sachs | Arab News:

"They are tricky things to sell, airports. With high infrastructure costs, and major consumer interface and national strategic considerations to take into account, they tick many of the boxes marked “avoid” in modern investment strategy. So this week’s news that Saudi Arabia has hired investment bank Goldman Sachs to handle the sale of a stake in Riyadh’s King Khaled International Airport will represent a rigorous test of how the Kingdom intends to manage the huge privatization program — worth some $300 billion, including the estimated $100 billion Saudi Aramco initial public offering (IPO) — which is at the heart of the Vision 2030 reforms. News reports about the hiring of Goldman — later confirmed by the Saudi aviation authorities — did not specify what kind of sale would be involved. Would it be a sale to public equity investors via an IPO? A sale to private equity firms? Or a sale to a trade partner, like an existing airport operator?"



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UPDATE 1-Etisalat's Q2 net profit falls 15 pct as impairments weigh

UPDATE 1-Etisalat's Q2 net profit falls 15 pct as impairments weigh:

"United Arab Emirates-based telecoms operator Etisalat posted a 14.7 percent drop in second quarter net profit attributable to shareholders as impairments rose, its full financial report showed on Thursday.

The country’s largest telecoms operator issued a statement on Wednesday to say its net profit rose 6 percent, but it did not provide a breakdown of its net profit attributable to shareholders, a measure closely watched by investors.

On that basis, net profit was 1.97 billion UAE dirham ($536.40 million) in the second quarter compared with 2.31 billion dirhams in the prior-year period, a bourse filing showed."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Region moves little, earnings pull down Qatar

MIDEAST STOCKS-Region moves little, earnings pull down Qatar:

"Most Gulf stock markets barely moved in early trade on Thursday, largely ignoring a strong rise in global equities, while Qatar's stock index was pulled lower by weak corporate earnings.

The Qatari index fell 0.6 percent as Qatar First Bank dropped 2.8 percent to 7.56 riyals, though it came well off an intra-day low of 7.21 riyals.

The bank reported a first-half net loss of 76.7 million riyals ($21.1 million) versus a profit of 16.8 million riyals a year ago. In the first quarter of this year, it made a net loss of 9.6 million riyals."



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