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Sunday, 11 May 2014

Kuwait signs $12 billion LNG supply deal with Shell - The Economic Times

Kuwait signs $12 billion LNG supply deal with Shell - The Economic Times:



"Kuwait's state oil group said it signed a six-year liquefied natural gas (LNG) supply deal with Royal Dutch Shell on Sunday, worth an estimated $12 billion, as the major oil exporter seeks to meet energy demands for the hot summer months. 





The deal between Kuwait Petroleum Corp (KPC) and Shell was reported last month in a Kuwaiti newspaper but with no financial details.



KPC also plans to sign a $3 billion deal LNG supply deal with BP on Monday, said Nasser al-Mudaf, head of KPC's international marketing division.



He did not provide the volume of the super-cooled gas that would be supplied by the companies. A Shell spokesman said he could not comment on details of commercial agreements. "



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Dubai drops on retail profit-taking; Qatar at new high | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Dubai drops on retail profit-taking; Qatar at new high | Reuters:



"Dubai's bourse posted its biggest daily loss in a month on Sunday as retail investors booked profits, while Qatar's benchmark hit a new all-time closing high, buoyed in part by the imminent upgrade of the Gulf state to emerging market status. 




Dubai's index dropped 3.1 percent and Emaar Properties and Emirates NBD were the main drags, down 1.9 and 3.2 percent, respectively.



But smaller names displayed more volatility. Arabtec fell 9.2 percent, Deyaar dropped 6.8 percent and Air Arabia was down 6.3 percent. 




"We have some profit-taking in the market by retail investors... and I think institutional investors are not really present," said Sebastien Henin, head of asset management at The National Investor."



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Russia Sanctions Throw Up Hurdles for Bond Investors | News | The Moscow Times

Russia Sanctions Throw Up Hurdles for Bond Investors | News | The Moscow Times:



"Confusion over the legal implications of sanctions on Russia and worries about further, harsher restrictions from the West are making investors cautious about owning bonds issued by Russian companies.



Two rounds of U.S. sanctions on Russian individuals and companies, in March and April, have not directly affected any companies which issue publicly traded debt. EU sanctions are regarded as even lighter.



Sanctions imposed so far on individuals such as Igor Sechin, chief executive of Rosneft, do not directly target the company, because Sechin does not own a controlling stake in the firm.



But worries about how the sanctions might be implemented have triggered a selloff in the debt of Rosneft as well as that of Novatek and Russian Railways, where sanctioned individuals hold noncontrolling stakes."



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Dubai Shares Slump Most Since March Before MSCI; Abu Dhabi Drops - Bloomberg

Dubai Shares Slump Most Since March Before MSCI; Abu Dhabi Drops - Bloomberg:



"Dubai’s benchmark index fell the most in two months as investors sold shares before MSCI Inc. names constituents of its emerging markets index this week. Abu Dhabi’s measure also retreated.



The DFM General Index (DFMGI) tumbled 3.1 percent, the steepest drop since March 12, to 5,138.86 at the close in Dubai. Arabtec Holding (ARTC), the biggest listed builder in the United Arab Emirates, lost the most in more than a year as it was cut to hold from buy at Naeem Holding. Union Properties PJSC (UPP) fell 6.8 percent, the steepest retreat since August. Abu Dhabi’s ADX General Index declined 1.1 percent, while Qatar’s QE Index rose 0.3 percent.



MSCI, whose indexes are tracked by investors managing about $8 trillion in assets, will on May 14 announce the companies and weightings of its emerging markets gauge. The upgrade for stock markets in the U.A.E. and Qatar will take effect from June. Dubai’s benchmark surged 53 percent this year, making it the best-performing gauge among more than 90 tracked by Bloomberg. It gained 4.4 percent last week."



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Russian Demand for Dollars Soars Amid Ukraine Crisis | News | The Moscow Times

Russian Demand for Dollars Soars Amid Ukraine Crisis | News | The Moscow Times:



"Consumers' desire for dollars and euros soared in March this year amid Russia's annexation of Crimea and escalating political and economic tensions with the West. 




Demand for foreign cash grew almost 1.5 times from February to March, reaching $14.3 billion, the highest level since January 2009, according to a report published by the Central Bank. This number incorporates purchases of foreign currency in authorized banks, currency conversions and cash taken out of foreign currency accounts.



The report associates this spike in demand with "the continuing depreciation of the ruble against the primary global currencies and uncertain expectations as to its further movement.""



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Qatar banks to remain highly profitable in 2014 | GulfNews.com

Qatar banks to remain highly profitable in 2014 | GulfNews.com:



"The profitability of Qatari banks will likely remain strong over the next 12 months, largely driven by the favourable operating environment and given the solid economic growth forecast for the country over the next few years, according to rating agency Standard & Poor’s.



“High interest margins, although contracting; briskly increasing business volumes mainly on the back of the government’s investments and banks’ generally low-cost bases are the main factors fuelling this performance,” said S&P credit analyst Mohammad Damak.



Leading Qatari banks rated by S&P financially outperformed their rated GCC peers last year. Qatar’s extremely supportive operating environment is the main factor behind the firm results of these banks, which represent two-thirds of the banking system’s total assets."



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UAE’s banking sector returns to a strong growth trajectory, says IIF | GulfNews.com

UAE’s banking sector returns to a strong growth trajectory, says IIF | GulfNews.com:



"The first quarter data from the leading UAE banks indicate that the banking system in the country has turned around with strong rebound in profitability; decline in non-performing loans (NPLs) and asset growth, Garbis Iradian, Deputy Director of Institute of International Finance (IIF), told Gulf News in an interview.



IIF, the Washington based global association of financial institutions, recently said the soundness indicators of the UAE banking system have further improved this year with strong improvement in capitalisation levels, increase in profitability and further easing of liquidity situation. The 2013 full-year results showed the UAE banks showed an average year-on-year increase of 14 per cent in net profits while the first quarter profits of banks show a strong improvement in profitability.



“The largest eight banks, which account for more than 80 per of the total assets of the banking system have recorded impressive growth in the first quarter of 2014 with profits increasing by 21 per cent on average, year-on-year,” said Iradian."



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The Peninsula Qatar - Qatari bourse plans two exchange-traded funds

The Peninsula Qatar - Qatari bourse plans two exchange-traded funds:



"The Qatari bourse is working to launch two exchange-traded funds (ETFs) over the next six months. One of the ETFs will be based on government fixed income risk from an Asian borrower and the second product is likely to be an ETF based on a representative Qatar-country index.



This was disclosed by the CEO of Qatar Exchange (QE), Rashid Al Mansoori, at roadshows in London and New York recently to enhance investor relations between Qatari listed companies and international investment institutions.



QE, in collaboration with QNB Financial Services and Bank of America Merrill Lynch, yesterday concluded a week’s roadshows that were held in London and New York to enhance investor relations between international investment institutions and Qatari listed companies. The forthcoming inclusion of Qatar in the MSCI Emerging Market Index provided a unique opportunity for Qatar to showcase its market-leading listed companies at a time when the profile of Qatar was set to be raised further, a press statement said yesterday.  "



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Standard & Poor’s warns on RAK rating as it questions population data | The National

Standard & Poor’s warns on RAK rating as it questions population data | The National:



"Standard & Poor’s says it might downgrade its rating for Ras Al Khaimah and has questioned population data provided by the emirate’s government.



S&P said that there was a one-in-three chance that it would downgrade RAK’s A/A-1 rating over the next two years after the emirate published official figures suggesting that its population had increased by nearly 50 per cent in three years. 




S&P is downgrading the emirate’s bond rating outlook from stable to negative."



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Confidence rebound for Egypt as Dubai bank plans IPO | The National

Confidence rebound for Egypt as Dubai bank plans IPO | The National:



"In a vote of confidence for Egypt’s economy, one of Dubai’s biggest investment banks plans to take part in the country’s first initial public offering since the fall of Hosni Mubarak in 2011.



The move by Al Mal Capital comes as a slew of Egyptian companies – along with the government – plan to raise capital through the equity markets after Egypt’s EGX 30 Index rose more than 20 per cent this year.



Even Egypt’s government is turning to the country’s bourse to fund infrastructure projects and public-sector companies."



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UAE enters a world changed since Egypt’s MSCI nod | The National

UAE enters a world changed since Egypt’s MSCI nod | The National:



"Seif Fikry was the head of institutional sales and trading at Egypt’s largest investment bank, EFG-Hermes, when the country’s shares were incorporated into MSCI’s Emerging Markets Index in May of 2001.



“We didn’t have the same amount of passive investors or exchange-traded funds as we do today,” Mr Fikry said. “We had more of managed funds, where the manager had the call to go underweight, overweight or exclude the whole index from his portfolio.”



But even then, the liquidity from passive investors – tracker funds and ETFs – into emerging markets was nowhere near today’s US$1 trillion, according to EPFR Global, a Boston-based fund tracker."



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Russia Banks Should Be Targets in Sanctions, Boehner Says - Bloomberg #EuroMaidan

Russia Banks Should Be Targets in Sanctions, Boehner Says - Bloomberg:



"Russian banks should bear some economic penalties for Vladimir Putin’s government and President Barack Obama needs to push harder to get a tougher response from European nations, House Speaker John Boehner said.



“You go after their banks,” Boehner said on Fox News Channel’s “Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo” in an interview airing today. “I’m concerned that we’ve not pushed the Europeans hard enough to take a firmer line against the Russians. And our allies in the region are scared to death.”



While U.S. officials have discussed targeting sectors of the Russian economy, such as energy and finance, they have so far only sanctioned 45 individuals and 19 entities, including SMP Bank and Bank Rossiya. The European Union is preparing to punish Russian companies that expropriated assets in Crimea, and may approve a list early next week, EU officials said."



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