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Wednesday, 24 December 2014

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets rise ahead of Saudi budget | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets rise ahead of Saudi budget | Reuters:



"Gulf stock markets resumed rising on Wednesday ahead of the release of Saudi Arabia's 2015 state budget, which is expected to be announced on Thursday and show the government keeping spending at high levels despite the plunge of oil prices.



Regional bourses collapsed in early December because of fears that reduced oil export revenues would prompt Gulf governments to scale back economic development projects, hurting corporate profits.



But it has become clear in the past week that sharp cut-backs are unlikely, with the possible exception of the two smallest and fiscally weakest countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council, Bahrain and Oman."



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UPDATE 2-MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi stocks resume rise before budget; SABB rockets on bonus shares | Reuters

UPDATE 2-MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi stocks resume rise before budget; SABB rockets on bonus shares | Reuters:



"Saudi Arabian stocks resumed rising ahead of the announcement of the kingdom's 2015 state budget, which is now expected to be released on Thursday and to show the government maintaining spending at high levels despite the plunge of oil prices.



The main Saudi index rose 1.0 percent to 8,629 points in early trade on Wednesday, nearing technical resistance around 8,700 points, where its downtrend line from September comes in.



The rise was broad-based; property developer Dar Al Arkan , the most heavily traded stock, climbed 1.0 percent, while the biggest bank, National Commercial Bank, gained 1.1 percent."



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Markets in for a stormier 2015 - YouTube

Markets in for a stormier 2015 - YouTube: ""



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‘No plans' for taxes in the UAE next year | GulfNews.com

‘No plans' for taxes in the UAE next year | GulfNews.com:



"The UAE’s Ministry of Finance on Tuesday ruled out any plans to impose any taxes next year as a result of falling oil prices.



“Our economy is robust ... our 2015 budget is balanced ... we don’t have any deficit and there are no plans for imposing any taxes next year as a result of the falling oil prices,” Obaid Humaid Al Tayer, Minister of State for Financial Affairs, told Gulf News yesterday.



Al Tayer spoke following the Federal National Council’s passing of the federal budget for 2015. The estimated budget is Dh49.1 billion, an increase of Dh2.9 billion (6.3 per cent) from last year."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets' rebound stalls after oil pulls back | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets' rebound stalls after oil pulls back | Reuters:



"Most Gulf stock markets fell on Tuesday, ending a rally of several days, after the Brent oil price pulled back to near $60 a barrel, dampening sentiment among retail investors.



The bourses have been closely correlated to oil over the last several months because of concern that lower oil export revenues could cause Gulf governments to cut back spending, particularly in the countries with relatively weak state finances, Bahrain and Oman.



Major spending cuts look unlikely in big economies such as Saudi Arabia. The kingdom's Al-Madina newspaper, quoting unnamed sources, reported that the 2015 Saudi budget - set to be announced this week - was expected to rise marginally from the 2014 plan to a record 860 billion riyals ($229 billion), with the government using its huge fiscal reserves to cover a deficit."



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Russia-Tied Structured Note Buyers See Profits in Volatile Ruble - Bloomberg

Russia-Tied Structured Note Buyers See Profits in Volatile Ruble - Bloomberg:



"Buying securities tied to anything Russian looks increasingly risky. The ruble crashed to a record low on Dec. 16. The price of oil, a main export, has plunged. The cost to buy credit swaps to protect against a Russian debt default has jumped 250 basis points this year to 413 basis points.



Santiago Braje, head of emerging markets credit trading at ING Groep NV in London, agreed to talk about what all that means for credit-linked note investors, who have bought $1.01 billion of securities linked to the country or one of its companies in 2014. ING has sold $427.5 million of notes tied to Russian entities this year, the most of any bank, Bloomberg data show.



Q: Who’s been buying these notes? What’s the appeal? A: Demand for the CLNs in rubles tends to be from local markets, primarily from institutional investors. There is also interest and demand from private banks globally. Those tend to be more in hard currency."



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Dubai’s Silent Fur Market Signals Winter Without Russians - Bloomberg

Dubai’s Silent Fur Market Signals Winter Without Russians - Bloomberg:



"Russian-speaking clerks sit idle in the dozens of shops that line Dubai’s Deira fur market, waiting for someone to come in and look at the racks stuffed with mink, sable and ermine coats. This was supposed to be the busiest time of the year.



“We knew the storm was coming, but we didn’t realize how strong it would be,” said George, a shopkeeper who says sales have dropped by about 70 percent this year. The store hasn’t sold any coats at the top price of $100,000 after several were bought in 2013, he said, asking that his last name not be used to avoid helping his competitors.



The Russians aren’t coming and that means pain for the retail, tourism and real estate markets that underpin Dubai’s foreigner-driven economy. Russia’s economic turmoil means Dubai is losing one of its biggest sources of customers at a time when events such as the falling oil price and mortgage-lending restrictions are already putting pressure on those markets."



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