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Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Iraqi gas and oil not easy business for Shell - Hurriyet Daily News

Shell, Europe’s biggest oil and gas company, is likely to face long delays in bringing a $17 billion gas deal with Iraq into operation as it tackles infrastructure, export constraints and sufficient access to gas from oilfields run by industry rivals.

Iraq’s state-run South Gas, or SGC, in July, in what was hailed as a breakthrough, initialled a final draft agreement with Royal Dutch Shell and Japan’s Mitsubishi for a deal to capture associated gas flared at three major southern oilfields.

Iraq is unlikely to shelve the deal now after talks have advanced, but Shell must navigate opposition from other oil companies and Iraqi officials, who wanted the joint venture to go through a public tender like other oil contracts. The deal still requires the approval of the Iraqi cabinet.

IMF: Saudi Arabia Has “Weathered the Global Slowdown Well” | Arabianomics

The near-term outlook for the Saudi economy is favorable, a new report released by the IMF today said.

The IMF today noted that “over the last few decades, Saudi Arabia has achieved substantial gains in social development indicators which are now close to G-20 averages.”

Perhaps the most noteworthy praise of the Saudi economy came for the oversight of its financial sector.

Half of ‘Safest Banks’ In Middle East Hosted by Saudi | Arabianomics

According to this report in Arab News, half of the safest banks in the Middle East are hosted by Saudi Arabia, a study by Global Finance Magazine found.

The survey by Global Finance Magazine, in its 20th year, named the 50 safest banks worldwide, finding that of the 10 hosted in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia had five.

Arab News:

“The top ten world’s safest banks 2011 in the Middle East list includes National Bank of Abu Dhabi at the top ladder followed by the National Bank of Kuwait, Qatar National Bank, Samba Financial Group (Saudi Arabia), National Commercial Bank (Saudi Arabia), tie for ranking number six between Al-Rajhi Bank (Saudi Arabia), Riyad Bank (Saudi Arabia), Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Kuwait Finance House and Saudi British Bank (Saudi Arabia).”

Regional leaders forced to confront harsh truths -

Public opinion across the Arab world may be cheering on the Libyan rebels in their showdown with Colonel Muammer Gaddafi, but official Arab reaction has been largely muted.

It was only on Monday, after the rebels entered Tripoli, that the Arab League voiced its “full solidarity” with the efforts of the Libyan national transitional council. The league is to hold an emergency session on Thursday to discuss readmitting Libya under the leadership of the NTC, according to Egypt’s Mena news agency.

The spectacle of a third Arab leader being overthrown by his people in less than a year is unlikely to appeal to rulers in a region where presidents expect to be in power for life and some plan to pass down the office to their sons.

MENA stock markets close - August 23, 2011

ExchangeStatus IndexChange
TASI (Saudi Stock Market)
DFM (Dubai Financial Market)
ADX (Abudhabi Securities Exchange)
KSE (Kuwait Stock Exchange)
BSE (Bahrain Stock Exchange)
MSM (Muscat Securities Market)
QE (Qatar Exchange)
LSE (Beirut Stock Exchange)
EGX 30 (Egypt Exchange)
ASE (Amman Stock Exchange)
TUNINDEX (Tunisia Stock Exchange)
CB (Casablanca Stock Exchange)
PSE (Palestine Securities Exchange)

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf mkts end mixed in muted trade; banks lift Qatar | News by Country | Reuters

Investors stuck to the sidelines on Tuesday amid thin trade across most regional bourses, as the global economy and uncertainty over Libya continued to drive sentiment ahead of an extended religious holiday starting next week for many.

Banks attracted buyers on Qatar's bourse for a second-day on Tuesday. Doha Bank gained 1.2 percent and Commercial Bank of Qatar rose 1.9 percent, helping lift the index 0.4 percent.

"We can look at it (Qatar) as a more resilient market as there is interest at these levels," said a Doha-based trader who asked not to be identified due to company policy.

Nakheel to issue sukuk this week - Emirates 24/7

Nakheel properties intends to issue the much-delayed Dh4.8 billion sukuk (Islamic bonds) to creditors this week as part of a five-year restructuring plan to be launched on Wednesday, its chairman said in remarks published on Tuesday.

Ali Rashid Lootah said the company would launch the $13-billion (Dh48billion) restructuring programme after succeeding in securing approval by all creditors.

“Nakheel will launch the restructuring plan tomorrow (Wednesday)…it will then issue Dh4.8 billion sukuk within one or two days after the start of that plan,” Lootah told the Sharjah-based Arabic language daily 'Al Khaleej'.

Qatar 2010/11 budget surplus shrinks to 2.9 pct/GDP, Qatar Economy - Maktoob News

Qatar's government budget surplus shrank to 13.5 billion riyals ($3.7 billion), or 2.9 percent of economic output, in the 2010/11 fiscal year, the OPEC member's central bank report showed on Tuesday.

The Gulf Arab country's budget surplus stood at 54.1 billion riyals, or 15.2 percent of gross domestic product in 2009/10. Expenditures jumped 24 percent to 142.4 billion riyals in the fiscal year, which ended in March 2011, while revenue decreased by 8 percent to 155.9 billion riyals, the report showed.

Persian Gulf Stocks: Industries Qatar and Qatar Islamic Bank - Bloomberg

Qatar’s QE Index (DSM) rose for the first time in four days, gaining 0.4 percent to 8,124.12 at the 1:15 p.m. close in Doha. Abu Dhabi’s ADX General Index (ADSMI) gained 0.3 percent while Dubai’s DFM General Index (DFMGI) fell 0.4 percent.

Libya's chance to make a clean break with its own solution - The National

With the war against the 41 years of Muammar Qaddafi's capricious and tyrannical rule approaches its end. Now is the time to ensure that Libya's vast oil resources are never again the tool for oppressing its people.

The first priority for the economy is to restore oil production. War damage to facilities needs to be assessed, minefields cleared, and blocked pipelines restored. Oil exports are crucial for funding the transitional government and getting the economy back on its feet.

Most analysts are pessimistic, suggesting three to four years to return to pre-war levels of 1.6 million barrels per day (bpd). Yet if reasonable security can be restored, repair could be faster: Kuwait's oil output recovered from Saddam Hussein's far more devastating scorched earth policy within two years.

Oil Rises a Second Day on U.S. Fuel Demand, Libya Crude Production Outlook - Bloomberg

Oil advanced for a second day in New York as investors bet U.S. fuel demand may rebound and a recovery in Libyan crude output will take longer than expected.

Futures climbed as much as 0.7 percent before a government report tomorrow that may show U.S. gasoline inventories shrank last week while crude stockpiles rose. Prices also gained after a manufacturing guage improved in China, the world’s biggest energy user. London-traded Brent rebounded, after dropping as much as 3.2 percent yesterday as Libyan rebels entered Tripoli.

“The market got a little ahead of itself in terms of thinking that the Libyan conflict might be all over in a week,” said David Lennox, a resource analyst at Fat Prophets in Sydney, who predicts New York crude will average $115 a barrel this year. “For WTI, it still obviously has a focus on what’s happening in the U.S. in terms of petroleum demand.”