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Sunday, 17 August 2014

MIDEAST STOCKS-Markets look lacklustre; EFG Hermes Q2 could boost Egypt | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Markets look lacklustre; EFG Hermes Q2 could boost Egypt | Reuters:



"Most Middle East bourses look likely to be quiet on Sunday, with little company-specific news to trade on and an end-of-week wobble on international markets offering little incentive for regional investors to bid up stocks.



Egypt's benchmark may buck the hesitant trend, however - Cairo hit a new six-year peak on Thursday and bullish earnings from investment bank EFG Hermes should bolster sentiment.



EFG made a net profit of 188 million Egyptian pounds ($26.3 million) in the second quarter of 2014, up from a loss of 80 million pounds in the year-earlier period."



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S&P puts Kuwait credit rating at AA/A-1+ | Economy | Saudi Gazette

S&P puts Kuwait credit rating at AA/A-1+ | Economy | Saudi Gazette:



"Standard and Poor's on Friday affirmed its "AA/A-1+" long- and short-term foreign and local currency sovereign credit ratings on Kuwait with "a stable outlook." The rating agency said Kuwait has a rich oil and gas endowment, which has made it wealthy and enabled it to build strong external and fiscal balance sheet positions. Kuwait accumulated these through large oil and gas resources and by managing its wealth in what we (S&P) consider to be a prudent manner, according to a report by the agency. 
 



The ratings are constrained by the geopolitical tensions in the region, as well as Kuwait's unpredictable and undiversified economy.
 



The general government budget has shown a surplus of at least 10 per cent of GDP for the past decade, said the report. "We estimate that – including our estimate of the government's income from vast investments – the Kuwaiti government will have a surplus of about 30 percent of GDP for the budget year ending March 31, 2015."



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As Saudi bourse opens, foreigners face clash of investment cultures | GulfNews.com

As Saudi bourse opens, foreigners face clash of investment cultures | GulfNews.com:



"Seventy-year-old Saudi Arabian stock speculator Mohammad Al Otaibi says he lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in the crash of 2006, but he’s back trading again as the Arab world’s biggest bourse prepares to open to direct foreign investment.



The activities of Otaibi and many thousands like him mean there will be a clash of investment cultures when international institutions enter the $580 billion (Dh2.1 trillion) Saudi market early next year, under a plan announced by the regulator last month.



Sitting on a sofa in a trading room at Saudi financial firm Falcom in Riyadh, Otaibi shuns shares in the country’s heavyweight petrochemical firms and banks, believing they’re not volatile enough to offer quick profits."



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Any trade deal with the EU should be equitable | GulfNews.com

Any trade deal with the EU should be equitable | GulfNews.com:



"The member-states of the Gulf Cooperation Council ought to find a way to clinch an equitable trade deal with the EU and thus streamline the current imbalance in volumes. Available stats suggest that the GCC enjoys trade surpluses with key regions and trading partners across the board, but with the clear exception of the EU.



The IMF projects current account surpluses for all the GCC states for this year and the next on the back of the steady oil prices. (Oil accounts for three-quarters of the exports from the GCC. And what’s more, prices keep hovering around $100 a barrel ever since the post-subprime induced market crisis of 2008.



This phenomenon contributes to ensuring sustained surpluses in the external accounts, with the trade surplus running consistently at above the $400 billion level annually in recent years."



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Sanctions Pain Prompts Eastern EU States to Shout Enough - Bloomberg

Sanctions Pain Prompts Eastern EU States to Shout Enough - Bloomberg:



"Hungary joined Slovakia in calling on the European Union to reverse its sanctions on Russia, saying that the restrictions are harming the 28-nation bloc.



Prime Minister Viktor Orban said that he’s “doing everything” to push for a change to the EU’s sanctions regime, and called for a summit with Russia to discuss long-term cooperation and the conflict in Ukraine that prompted the tit-for-tat punitive measures.



“Western sanctions, which automatically trigger a Russian response, cause greater harm to us than to the Russians,” Orban said today on Hungarian MR1 radio. “In politics, we call this shooting oneself in the foot.”"



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