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Thursday, 30 April 2015

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets mixed despite strong oil; Egypt extends rebound | News by Country | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets mixed despite strong oil; Egypt extends rebound | News by Country | Reuters:



"Gulf stock markets were narrowly mixed on Thursday after some companies reported mediocre first-quarter earnings, offsetting the positive impact of higher oil prices. Egypt rebounded further on hopes that new tax rules would be amended. 




Oil's recovery this month, which looks likely to be the strongest since a sell-off that began last June, has boosted the sentiment of Middle East fund managers who are on balance once again moderately bullish on Gulf equities, according to a monthly Reuters survey published on Thursday.



The main Saudi index edged up 0.2 percent to 9,834 points and petrochemicals giant Saudi Basic Industries (SABIC), which is poised to benefit from oil's recovery, was the main support, climbing 1.8 percent."



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UPDATE 2-MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi Arabia, Egypt extend gains | Reuters

UPDATE 2-MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi Arabia, Egypt extend gains | Reuters:



"Strong oil prices supported Saudi Arabia's bourse in early trade on Thursday, while Egypt's market extended its rebound on hopes for a compromise on taxation of capital gains and dividends.



The main Saudi index edged up 0.6 percent to 9,872 points and petrochemicals giant Saudi Basic Industries (SABIC), which is poised to benefit from oil's recovery, was the main support, climbing 2.0 percent. 




Brent oil rose to a five-month high of $66.72 per barrel on Wednesday and traded above $66 on Thursday after the first crude stock drawdown in five months at the U.S. Cushing, Oklahoma hub suggested an oil glut might be starting to ease."



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Dubai developer Nakheel doubles first-quarter profit to Dh1.35bn | The National

Dubai developer Nakheel doubles first-quarter profit to Dh1.35bn | The National:



"Nakheel’s first-quarter profit more than doubled to Dh1.35 billion, the company reported yesterday.



The developer, owned by the Dubai government, said that net profit for the first three months of the year rose more than 114 per cent from the Dh629 million reported during the same period the previous year.



Despite a slowdown in the Dubai housing market, Nakheel attributed the profit growth to “a strong performance by the development business, with ongoing handovers of properties to customers”."



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Saudi oil policy not expected to be affected by leadership shuffle | The National

Saudi oil policy not expected to be affected by leadership shuffle | The National:



"A reshuffle of the leadership in Saudi Arabia and at its state-run energy firm is unlikely to change the oil policy of the world’s biggest crude exporter, analysts said yesterday.



King Salman, who became ruler in January following the death of King Abdullah, yesterday appointed the interior minister Mohammed bin Nayef as the new crown prince, replacing the king’s half brother Prince Muqrin and gave Adel Fakeih, the labour minister, the economy and planning portfolio.



King Salman also announced the appointment of the Saudi Aramco chief executive and president Khalid Al Falih as the country’s health minister. He also replaced the veteran oil minister Ali Al Naimi as Aramco’s chairman."



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Gulf economies’ growth forecasts cut as oil stays low | GulfNews.com

Gulf economies’ growth forecasts cut as oil stays low | GulfNews.com:



"The outlook for most of the Gulf Arab economies has dimmed for this year and next as oil prices have remained relatively low, according to a Reuters poll published on Wednesday that showed economists cutting their forecasts.



This year’s growth forecast for the United Arab Emirates, which is less reliant on oil because of Dubai’s diverse economy, has been cut to 3.4 per cent from 3.8 per cent, and next year’s to 3.7 per cent from 3.9 per cent.



Qatar is expected to be by far the best-performing of the six Gulf Cooperation Council economies, as the world’s top natural gas exporter steps up a vast infrastructure building programme. Qatari GDP is projected to grow 6.7 per cent this year and 6.4 per cent next year."



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UPDATE 1-MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf mostly flat after some Q1 results disappoint | Reuters

UPDATE 1-MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf mostly flat after some Q1 results disappoint | Reuters:



"Most Gulf stock markets were flat in early trade on Thursday after some companies in the region reported poor first-quarter earnings, offsetting the positive impact of high oil prices.



Dubai's index rose initially but then struggled with major technical resistance at its 200-day average of 4,250 points and was nearly flat by 0655 GMT.



However, Emaar Malls Group (EMG), a unit of Dubai's biggest listed developer Emaar Properties, climbed 1.0 percent after reporting a 32 percent rise in first-quarter net profit on Wednesday."



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Are emerging markets stocks cheap? - FT.com

Are emerging markets stocks cheap? - FT.com:



"Are emerging market (EM) stocks cheap by historical standards? The valuation gap between developed market (DM) and EM equities might suggest so.



The chart below shows that the valuation premium for DM stocks over EM peers is at its highest since June 30 2004, according to data from Unigestion, an investment management company. It measured valuations using price-to-book ratios, which are calculated by dividing a stock’s price by the latest quarter’s book value per share.



“The emerging markets are underperforming,” said Bruno Taillardat, executive director at Unigestion. “What we are seeing is that there is a discount in EM valuations right now. It is such a big gap, we think it will converge.”

"



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What the Saudi shake-up means - YouTube

What the Saudi shake-up means - YouTube: ""



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Down with the dollar - YouTube

Down with the dollar - YouTube: ""



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Five Reasons an Oil Shock Is Coming - Bloomberg Business

Five Reasons an Oil Shock Is Coming - Bloomberg Business: ""




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Russian Debt-Sale Success Shows Investors Bracing for Rate Cuts - Bloomberg Business

Russian Debt-Sale Success Shows Investors Bracing for Rate Cuts - Bloomberg Business:



"Russia sold all the bonds offered at a debt auction for a fourth straight week, signaling investors are seeking to lock in higher yields as they brace for further reductions in central bank borrowing costs.



The Finance Ministry received bids amounting to three times the 20 billion rubles ($389 million) of floating-coupon notes tendered on Wednesday. That’s the most Russia has raised from the sale of floaters since reintroducing the instrument in January to try to drum up demand for local debt. Government bonds gained for the first time in four days, while the ruble strengthened, extending the biggest monthly rally since 1993.



The coupon paid on Russian floaters is based on interbank market rates for the previous six months, which should amount to around 15 percent by July, according to Dmitry Dudkin, head of fixed income research at UralSib Capital. The Bank of Russia, which raised its key rate by 650 basis points in December to 17 percent, has since brought borrowing costs down to 14 percent -- with another point cut projected on Thursday."



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The Oil Slump is Emptying the Stores and Streets of Dubai - Bloomberg Business

The Oil Slump is Emptying the Stores and Streets of Dubai - Bloomberg Business:



"The historic Dubai marketplace that calls itself the City of Gold is glittering less these days.



Under streets and alleys covered by roofs to protect window shoppers from the intense desert sun, more than 300 stores peddle everything from ingots to Bedouin jewelry. The Dubai Gold Souk had become one of the largest such marketplaces, offering tax-free precious metal, as Persian Gulf oil wealth ballooned in the past few decades.



Now, with the plunge in crude throttling economies across the Middle East, gold buyers are harder to find. Demand for the metal is slowing in the region and Dubai has seen a drop-off in some visitors. Shopkeepers say sales are declining because tourists from Saudi Arabia and Russia have less cash to spend. Sellers offer discounts for gold that two years ago fetched a premium."



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Wednesday, 29 April 2015

MIDEAST STOCKS-Royal reshuffle boosts Saudi; Egypt rebounds on tax compromise hopes | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Royal reshuffle boosts Saudi; Egypt rebounds on tax compromise hopes | Reuters:



"Saudi Arabia's stock market led gains in the Gulf on Wednesday after King Salman carried out major reshuffles in the line of succession and his cabinet. Egypt's bourse rebounded on hopes for good news about taxes.



The main Saudi index climbed 1.0 percent to 9,812 points. The benchmark rose above major technical resistance in the 9,572-9,745 point area, where the 200-day average roughly coincides with the March peak.



Blue chips Saudi Basic Industries and National Commercial Bank were the main supports, surging 4.7 percent each."



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UPDATE 2-MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi Arabia rises after royal reshuffle | Reuters

UPDATE 2-MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi Arabia rises after royal reshuffle | Reuters:



"Saudi Arabia's stock market rose in early trade on Wednesday after King Salman carried out major reshuffles in the line of succession and his cabinet.



The main Saudi index climbed 0.8 percent to 9,790 points as most stocks rose. The move lifted the benchmark above major technical resistance in the 9,572-9,745 point area, where the 200-day average roughly coincides with the March peak. 




Heavyweight petrochemicals firm Saudi Basic Industries jumped 2.3 percent and was the main support."



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Tougher mortgage rules spark plunge in Riyadh property sales | GulfNews.com

Tougher mortgage rules spark plunge in Riyadh property sales | GulfNews.com:



"Residential property sales in Saudi Arabia’s capital Riyadh have plunged since the kingdom introduced tougher mortgage rules last November, research from JLL shows, and the consultancy predicted the restrictions would spur further countrywide declines.



Buyers can now borrow a maximum 70 per cent of a property’s sale price; previously, there were no sector-wide limits. The curbs were announced in 2013 and implemented in November 2014 after the introduction of laws to facilitate mortgage lending.



The restrictions aim to prevent a bubble forming in residential real estate of the kind seen in Dubai several years ago. Authorities want to encourage home ownership and prevent ordinary Saudis from being priced out of the housing market."



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Selling greenbacks ahead of the Fed - YouTube

Selling greenbacks ahead of the Fed - YouTube: ""



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Inside the oil price - YouTube

Inside the oil price - YouTube: ""



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Etisalat Raises $400 Million From First Bond Sales Since June - Bloomberg Business

Etisalat Raises $400 Million From First Bond Sales Since June - Bloomberg Business:



"Emirates Telecommunications Corp. raised $400 million by selling bonds as it returned to the market for the first time since its debut offering in June, two people with knowledge of the matter said.



The United Arab Emirates phone operator sold the securities as part of its 2.375 percent June 2019 notes that raised $500 million last year, said the people asking not to be identified because the information hasn’t been made public. The issue will be priced to yield 72.5 basis points, or 0.725 percentage points, over the interpolated midswap rate, the people said. The rate narrowed from an initial guidance of about 80 basis points, they said.



The June 2019 notes of the company, also known as Etisalat, traded at a spread of 66.4 basis points yesterday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The Abu Dhabi-based company sold the bonds under its $7 billion global medium-term note program. It issued $4.3 billion of debt in June."



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Roubini: The New Normal for Oil Is Around $70 Per Barrel - Bloomberg Business

Roubini: The New Normal for Oil Is Around $70 Per Barrel - Bloomberg Business:




'via Blog this'

Dubai’s Arqaam Hires Rothschild to Explore Financing for Growth - Bloomberg Business

Dubai’s Arqaam Hires Rothschild to Explore Financing for Growth - Bloomberg Business:



"Arqaam Capital Ltd., the Dubai-based investment bank focused on emerging markets, hired Rothschild to explore financing options as it seeks to expand into Saudi Arabia and Africa.



“Given our aggressive expansion plans, we thought it prudent to hire a firm like Rothschild to carry out a strategic review to assess all possible financing options,” Chief Executive Officer Riad Meliti said in an interview in Dubai. “It could be an IPO, a strategic investor or a bond issue.”



The bank, present in five countries in the Middle East and Africa, has about $150 million in cash and may need extra financing for acquisitions, according to Meliti, who said that Arqaam is pursuing a number of “inorganic opportunities.”"



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Saudi Arabia's king announces new heirs to throne - BBC News

Saudi Arabia's king announces new heirs to throne - BBC News:



"Saudi Arabia's new king has announced a major cabinet reshuffle that puts in place a new generation to succeed him as head of the kingdom.



King Salman has appointed his nephew, Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, as crown prince.



The king's son, Mohammed bin Salman, believed to be in his early 30s, has been made deputy crown prince."



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Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Ethiopia — open for business - YouTube

Ethiopia — open for business - YouTube: ""



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China & India battle for investors attention - YouTube

China & India battle for investors attention - YouTube: ""



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Legal reforms mooted for GCC family businesses | GulfNews.com

Legal reforms mooted for GCC family businesses | GulfNews.com:



"An estimated $1 trillion (Dh3.67 trillion) in assets will be transferred to the next generation of family-owned companies over the next decade in the Middle East. The smooth generational transition of businesses requires a clear set of laws according to Family Business Network (FBN GCC), a GCC focused non-profit organisation.



FBN on Monday issued a white paper on the legal structures available to available to family businesses in the GCC for succession planning and a set of new recommendations on the need to strengthen the legal framework in the GCC.



“We have realised that without a well-planned and resilient legal structure for a family business, the pursuit of continuity by focusing on good governance, professionalisation and next generation can be futile,” said Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair, Chairman of the Family Business Network GCC."



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Du reports flat profit in first quarter | GulfNews.com

Du reports flat profit in first quarter | GulfNews.com:



"Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company PJSC (du) on Tuesday reported a flat profit of Dh487.1 million after royalty fees for the first quarter of the year.



But the telecom operator’s profit before royalty stood at Dh925 million, a 6.9 per cent rise during the same period last year.



Revenues amounted to Dh3.05 billion, a 3.2 per cent increase compared to Dh2.96 billion registered in the first quarter of last year."



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Kerry says Iran, world powers closer than ever to historic nuclear deal | Reuters

Kerry says Iran, world powers closer than ever to historic nuclear deal | Reuters:



"The United States and five other major powers are closer than ever to a deal with Iran that would end a 12-year-old standoff over Tehran's nuclear program, though more tough negotiations lie ahead, Secretary of State John Kerry said on Monday.




Kerry spoke at the United Nations on the opening day of a month-long conference taking stock of the 1970 nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and ahead of a meeting in New York with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, their first face-to-face encounter since recent marathon talks in Lausanne, Switzerland.



Zarif and Kerry met later on Monday at the Iranian U.N. ambassador's residence across from Central Park and discussed efforts to secure a final agreement between Iran and the six powers by a June 30 deadline."



'via Blog this'

Abu Dhabi Taps Japan’s Inpex to Join $22 Billion Oil Project - Bloomberg Business

Abu Dhabi Taps Japan’s Inpex to Join $22 Billion Oil Project - Bloomberg Business:



"Inpex Corp. of Japan is joining Total SA to develop the main onshore oil deposits in the United Arab Emirates as Abu Dhabi picks new partners for a $22 billion effort to pump crude from its largest fields.



Japan’s state-backed energy explorer will take a 5 percent stake in the fields, Yoichi Miyazawa, the trade minister, said at a news conference in Tokyo Monday. The concession will give Japan access to crude from the deposits for 40 years, starting Jan. 1, 2015, Inpex and the emirate’s government-owned oil producer said in an e-mailed statement.



“It makes sense for Abu Dhabi to name an Asian partner since more of their demand is coming from there,” said Robin Mills, a Dubai-based analyst at Manaar Energy Consulting. “Inpex brings quite a lot technically, and they operate major projects.” A Chinese company could be one of the next bidders awarded a stake, he said."



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U.A.E. Tech Startup IMENA Seeking $100 Million in Stake Sale - Bloomberg Business

U.A.E. Tech Startup IMENA Seeking $100 Million in Stake Sale - Bloomberg Business:



"United Arab Emirates-based Internet business iMENA Holdings will raise $100 million through a stake sale in May and plans to sell shares to the public in 2017, according to founder and managing director Khaldoon Tabaza.



The company, whose classified ad websites have been used to sell a $1.9 million camel in Saudi Arabia and personal effects of deposed Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi, is raising funds for expansion in North Africa, Tabaza said from Dubai. The fundraising involves the sale of a “significant minority stake” in iMENA to international investors, he said.



IMENA, whose early investors include Abu Dhabi government controlled telecom operator Etisalat, is among companies seeking to benefit from the high penetration of smartphones and Internet usage in the Middle East. Dubai-based online retailer Souq.com is seeking $300 million in a fundraising that would value the company at more than $1 billion, people with knowledge of the matter said earlier this month."



'via Blog this'

Monday, 27 April 2015

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi, Dubai pull back after rallies; Egypt nears 2015 low | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi, Dubai pull back after rallies; Egypt nears 2015 low | Reuters:



"Gulf stock markets were mixed on Monday as strong oil prices supported investor sentiment but Saudi Arabia and Dubai pulled back slightly from 2015 highs hit in the previous session. Egypt remained depressed by tax and foreign currency concerns.



Brent crude slipped less than 1 percent to around $65 per barrel while Gulf stock markets were open on Monday as the U.S. dollar strengthened. But signs that U.S. shale oil output may have started to fall put a floor under prices.



The main Saudi stock index slipped 0.2 percent to 9,711 points and Saudi Telecom was the main drag, dropping 2.1 percent as its shares stopped carrying a quarterly dividend."



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Gulf states feeling the pinch as oil prices remain low - FT.com

Gulf states feeling the pinch as oil prices remain low - FT.com:



"Gulf states are beginning to feel the pinch from the slump in crude prices.



The region’s governments, cushioned by large financial buffers, have been telling financial markets for months that there will be little change in their investment behaviour despite crude prices almost halving since the summer.



Gulf officials have also sought to reassure citizens that this period of low oil prices will be temporary, and reaffirmed their commitments to maintain core spending directed towards improving social conditions."



'via Blog this'

UPDATE 2-MIDEAST STOCKS-Markets in Saudi Arabia, Egypt slip | News by Country | Reuters

UPDATE 2-MIDEAST STOCKS-Markets in Saudi Arabia, Egypt slip | News by Country | Reuters:



"Saudi Arabia's stock market edged down in early trade on Monday as Brent oil slipped below $65 per barrel and heavyweight Saudi Telecom went ex-dividend. Egypt's market was also soft.



Brent crude slid 0.6 percent to $64.88 per barrel by 0920 GMT, after Saudi Arabia's deputy oil minister said the oil market was "excellent" and the kingdom was keen to maintain its market share.



The main Saudi stock index slipped 0.3 percent to 9,700 points and Saudi Telecom was the main drag, dropping 2.1 percent as its shares stopped carrying a quarterly dividend."



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Dubai’s DP World posts 4.4 per cent rise in Q1 gross container volumes | The National

Dubai’s DP World posts 4.4 per cent rise in Q1 gross container volumes | The National:



"Dubai’s DP World, one of the world’s biggest port operators, reported on Monday a 4.4 per cent rise in gross container volumes on a like-for-like basis in the first quarter of 2015.



Gross volumes totalled 15 million 20-foot equivalent units (TEU) in the opening three months of 2015, the company said in a bourse filing, driven by performance in Europe, Asia and the UAE - where year on year growth was 7.7 per cent.



The firm added that business conditions in Australia were mixed in the quarter, while new capacity at its Nhava Sheva operations in India, due to come on line during the first half of 2015, would help ease the constraints which weighed on performance there."



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A swelling crisis of epic proportions | GulfNews.com

A swelling crisis of epic proportions | GulfNews.com:



"Youth unemployment has assumed alarming proportions in Arab countries and with untold consequences. The worrying development has repercussions for the Gulf economies too.



Arab nations look up to the Gulf to provide job opportunities and economic assistance for them. This is a challenge by itself and reflects the rising unemployment among locals in half of the six Gulf states.



Frustrations about the socioeconomic challenges — notably youth unemployment — contributed to the Arab Spring wakening, starting with Tunisia in late 2010 and then sweeping Egypt from January 2011. The uprising had its genesis in sociopolitical reforms but spread over socioeconomic challenges."



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Saudi valuations not too cheap at current levels | GulfNews.com

Saudi valuations not too cheap at current levels | GulfNews.com:



"Valuations of companies in Saudi Arabia, which is slated to open up for foreign investors in June, are not too cheap, and that could trigger a more prudent and cautious approach from investors, a top official at Emirates Investment Bank, a leading asset manager, told Gulf News.



The Capital Markets Authority (CMA) is planning to allow in foreign investors from June 15, a move closely watched by the global fraternity, as the world’s biggest exporter of petroleum gives access to own shares of Saudi Basic Industries and National Commercial Bank.



The Saudi Tadawul index has been the best performer in the region, with gains of more than 18 per cent so far this year, compared to Dubai index, which gained 13 per cent."



'via Blog this'

Iran’s Opening Beckons Peugeot to BAT as Western Brands Entice - Bloomberg Business

Iran’s Opening Beckons Peugeot to BAT as Western Brands Entice - Bloomberg Business:



"The end to Iran’s international isolation is attracting more than just energy firms.



Carmakers, aircraft and tobacco producers also make the list of companies that analysts from Natixis Securities SAS to Jefferies LLC say may invest in the nation if the April 2 agreement with world powers results in an end to penalties over its nuclear program.



While Total SA, BP Plc, Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Exxon Mobil Corp. all have assets and expertise that could be of use to Iran, holder of the world’s largest gas reserves and fourth-biggest oil reserves, there’s more to the $370 billion economy than hydrocarbons."



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Sunday, 26 April 2015

MIDEAST STOCKS-Oil buoys Gulf markets; Dubai, Saudi hit 2015 highs | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Oil buoys Gulf markets; Dubai, Saudi hit 2015 highs | Reuters:



"Most major Gulf stock markets, led by Dubai, rose on Sunday after the Brent oil price hit a 4-1/2-month high, while the bourse of energy importer Egypt closed in the red.



Brent crude climbed to $65.80 a barrel on Friday because of continued fighting in Yemen and, although U.S. crude fell on concerns about another upcoming stock build, both benchmarks posted weekly gains.



The main Saudi equities index gained 1.2 percent on Sunday to a 5-1/2-month closing high of 9,725 points as petrochemicals giant Saudi Basic Industries (SABIC), which would benefit from stronger oil, was the main support, jumping 3.5 percent."



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UPDATE 2-MIDEAST STOCKS-Strong oil supports Saudi Arabia; Egypt slips | Reuters

UPDATE 2-MIDEAST STOCKS-Strong oil supports Saudi Arabia; Egypt slips | Reuters:



"Saudi Arabia's stock market rose in early trade on Sunday, supported by stronger oil prices, while Egypt's bourse edged down.



Brent crude hit a 4-1/2-month high of $65.80 on Friday because of continued fighting in Yemen and, although U.S. crude fell on concerns about another upcoming stock build, both benchmarks posted weekly gains.



The main Saudi equities index added 0.6 percent on Sunday morning and petrochemicals giant Saudi Basic Industries (SABIC), which is poised to benefit from stronger oil, was the main support, rising 1.9 percent."



'via Blog this'

Dubai Stocks Lead Mideast Gains After U.S. Record, Oil Advance - Bloomberg Business

Dubai Stocks Lead Mideast Gains After U.S. Record, Oil Advance - Bloomberg Business:



"Dubai stocks climbed, tracking a record close in U.S equities, after the price of Brent crude rose to the highest since December. Abu Dhabi shares also increased.



Dubai’s DFM General Index added 2.1 percent to close at 4,172.14, the highest since Dec. 1. Gulf Navigation Holding, a shipping company specializing in oil and chemicals, was Dubai’s biggest percentage gainer, advancing the most in more than four months. Abu Dhabi’s ADX General Index increased 0.8 percent, the most since April 2.



The Nasdaq Composite Index jumped to a record on Friday after Google Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. rallied on results. The gauge has almost quadrupled since global equity markets bottomed in March 2009. Brent crude gained last week on concern the crisis in Yemen, which lies on one side of the Bab el-Mandeb strait, the fourth-busiest global oil trading chokepoint according to the Energy Information Administration, may disrupt supply."



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Friday, 24 April 2015

Nasdaq's road to nowhere - YouTube

Nasdaq's road to nowhere - YouTube: ""



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On the road with David Cameron: Fighting for his political life - YouTube

On the road with David Cameron: Fighting for his political life - YouTube: ""



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Election 2015 live: HSBC threat to leave UK shows danger of Tory re-election, says Labour | Politics | The Guardian

Election 2015 live: HSBC threat to leave UK shows danger of Tory re-election, says Labour | Politics | The Guardian:



"HSBC, Britain’s biggest bank, has issued a stark warning about the economic risk of the UK pulling out of the European Union as it revealed it was considering moving its headquarters out of London.



The surprise announcement of a “strategic review” into where the bank should base its operations will stun politicians on the general election campaign trail.



HSBC listed the economic uncertainty created by the risk of the UK going alone - a blow to the Conservatives which have pledged to hold an in out referendum on the EU."



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Qatar adds Claridge's to hotel stable in deal with Barclay brothers - FT.com

Qatar adds Claridge's to hotel stable in deal with Barclay brothers - FT.com:



"Qatar has added to its collection of luxury London hotels after buying Claridge's, The Berkeley and the Connaught from Sir David and Sir Frederick Barclay, whose exit from the businesses comes after four years of legal wrangles.



Richard Faber, a spokesman for the Barclay brothers, said an agreement had been reached to “ensure an end to any litigation” over the ownership of the hotels and that the business “has been a very successful investment for us”.



The selling price was not disclosed but there were rumours at the beginning of March that the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority had offered £1.6bn, valuing the hotels at £3m per room. One source close to the deal on Thursday said that figure “might be a bit toppy”."



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Saudi market set for major boost from foreign investors | The National

Saudi market set for major boost from foreign investors | The National:



"The opening of the US$500 billion-plus Saudi stock market to foreign investors will help to boost inflows, improve corporate governance and reduce volatility, according to a Saudi official and analysts.



The regulator, the Capital Markets Authority (CMA), plans to publish the final rules for foreign investment in Saudi equities on May 4.



The rules will come into effect on June 1, and qualified foreign investors (QFIs) will be able to buy and sell blue-chip stocks from June 15."



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Abu Dhabi index falls over 1.5% with Dubai | GulfNews.com

Abu Dhabi index falls over 1.5% with Dubai | GulfNews.com:



"Abu Dhabi index fell more than 1.5 per cent on Thursday on profit-taking along with Dubai index as investors resorted to profit-taking.



The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index ended 1.58 per cent lower at 4,631.75, after hitting a low of 4,626.23. Shares worth Dh296 million were traded on the exchange.



“There was profit-taking activity after we saw resistance being built up post high turnover trading,” said Marwan Shurrab, fund manager and head of trading at Vision Investments & Holdings, adding “the main focus on Thursday was on banking sector.”"



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Low oil prices take toll on Oman, Saudi and UAE projects | GulfNews.com

Low oil prices take toll on Oman, Saudi and UAE projects | GulfNews.com:



"The value of projects awarded across the GCC increased 9.9 per cent quarter on quarter in the first three months of 2015 with the growth coming mostly from Qatar and Kuwait, according to data published by Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB).



The value of GCC projects awarded rose to the highest level in the first quarter of 2015 seen since the second quarter of 2014. But the increase was limited to Qatar and Kuwait posting 287 per cent and 72 per cent increase in project awards, respectively.



“All other GCC countries saw quarterly falls in the value of projects awarded, with Oman (-43.3 per cent) and the UAE (-35.6 per cent) seeing the largest drops, to below their two-year averages in both cases. The impact of the lower oil price was also seen, with a number of projects placed on hold or cancelled, including chemical (Qatar) and hydrocarbon (Saudi Arabia) projects,” said Monica Malik, Chief Economist of ADCB."



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Saudi Arabia’s Solution to Global Oil Glut: Pump Even More Crude - Bloomberg Business

Saudi Arabia’s Solution to Global Oil Glut: Pump Even More Crude - Bloomberg Business:



"Saudi Arabia has a response to the global surplus of oil: Raise output to near-record levels and then pump even more.



The world’s biggest oil exporter, having abandoned last year its role of keeping global markets in balance, now has incentive to maximize output and undermine rival producers by using its reserve capacity, according to Citigroup Inc. and UBS AG. Just meeting its own domestic demand this summer will require a lot more fuel, others estimate.



The increase -- a snub to fellow OPEC members calling on the kingdom to cut production -- will heighten tensions when the organization meets in June. Oil plunged to a six-year low near $45 a barrel in January, six weeks after the Saudis overcame opposition within the group to keep up output despite surging U.S. shale supplies."



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StanChart Said to Consider Sale of Oman Retail Banking Business - Bloomberg Business

StanChart Said to Consider Sale of Oman Retail Banking Business - Bloomberg Business:



"Standard Chartered Plc is seeking to sell its retail banking business in Oman and has shelved a plan to close its Islamic retail business in the Gulf nation of Bahrain, according to three people with knowledge of the matter.



The British bank, which earns most of its profit in Asia, will retain its corporate and institutional clients in Oman, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information isn’t public. The sale in Oman, where it has three branches and employs about 100 people, may be offered to local banks, according to one of the people.



London-based Standard Chartered is scaling back after two years of falling profit amid slower economic growth in Asia. A 35 percent drop in shares in the last two years has led to a shakeup in top management, with chairman John Peace, CEO Peter Sands, Asia head Jaspal Bindra and Viswanathan Shankar, head of Europe, Middle East, Africa and Americas, all set to leave."



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Oil Set for 6th Weekly Gain as Airstrikes Shift Focus From Glut - Bloomberg Business

Oil Set for 6th Weekly Gain as Airstrikes Shift Focus From Glut - Bloomberg Business:



"Oil headed for a sixth weekly advance as renewed speculation that Middle East shipments may be disrupted amid Saudi-led airstrikes in Yemen shifted focus from the expanding U.S. glut.



Futures were little changed in New York and are up 3.2 percent this week. Raids by a coalition of mostly Sunni Muslim nations against Shiite rebels marked an escalation of the civil war in Yemen, a country near major oil fields and adjacent to key shipping routes. While U.S. crude stockpiles are at an 85-year high, data on Wednesday showed the nation’s output slid for a second week amid a drop in drilling activity.



Oil is rebounding from a six-year low in March amid speculation the drilling slowdown and improved fuel demand will help drain a market’s oversupply. Vitol Group, the world’s biggest independent oil trader, said this week that crude prices won’t fall below $50 a barrel for sustained periods."



'via Blog this'

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Low oil prices offer opportunities - YouTube

Low oil prices offer opportunities - YouTube: ""



'via Blog this'

Petrobras faces challenges after results - YouTube

Petrobras faces challenges after results - YouTube: ""



'via Blog this'

Deutsche Bank in record $2.5bn fine over interest rate manipulation - BBC News

Deutsche Bank in record $2.5bn fine over interest rate manipulation - BBC News:



"Deutsche Bank has been fined $2.5bn (£1.66bn) by US and UK regulators for trying to manipulate interest rates.



The German bank has been fined $2.1bn by US regulators, and £227m by the UK's Financial Conduct Authority.



The fine relates to manipulation of the Libor and Euribor inter-bank rates."



'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf mixed; Emaar, FGB weigh on UAE markets | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf mixed; Emaar, FGB weigh on UAE markets | Reuters:



"Gulf stock markets were narrowly mixed on Thursday while Egypt extended its recovery after a fresh cash injection from the oil-rich Gulf states.



Brent crude oil rose above $63 a barrel on Thursday as Saudi-led air strikes in Yemen continued despite an earlier announcement by Riyadh that the campaign was ending. Geopolitical tensions are a modest negative for many retail investors in the Gulf, but stronger oil is widely seen as positive.



Saudi Arabia's stock index edged up 0.4 percent thanks to petrochemicals. Saudi International Petrochemical Co (Sipchem) surged 4.8 percent and was the main support. The firm said this week that it had finished testing a new plastics plant owned by an affiliate.."



'via Blog this'

UPDATE 2-MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi consolidates below chart barrier, Egypt continues rebound | Reuters

UPDATE 2-MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi consolidates below chart barrier, Egypt continues rebound | Reuters:



"Saudi Arabia's stock market consolidated below technical resistance early on Thursday while Egypt continued a rebound after a bout of heavy profit-taking. 




The Saudi index was 0.1 percent lower at 9,561 points. Earlier this week it failed to break cleanly above resistance in the 9,572-9,745 point area, where the 200-day average roughly coincides with the March peak.



Most stocks were narrowly mixed. Among the active gainers, Al Rajhi Company for Cooperative Insurance climbed a further 4.1 percent after earlier this week reporting a 47 percent jump from a year earlier in first-quarter net profit, aided by strong growth in net contributions and lower policy acquisition costs."



'via Blog this'

Where now for HSBC? - YouTube

Where now for HSBC? - YouTube: ""



'via Blog this'

Explainer — the 2010 flash crash - YouTube

Explainer — the 2010 flash crash - YouTube: ""



'via Blog this'

China's new normal in the car market - YouTube

China's new normal in the car market - YouTube: ""



'via Blog this'

China's Xi says backs fair, balanced agreement on Iran | Reuters

China's Xi says backs fair, balanced agreement on Iran | Reuters:



"Chinese President Xi Jinping told Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Thursday that China would push for a "fair and balanced" nuclear agreement, a day after talks resumed between Iran and the European Union.



Xi's remarks, issued on the sidelines of the Asian-African summit in Indonesia, reiterate China's stance that "mutually beneficial" talks should be used to resolve the decade-long dispute.



"China is willing to continue to maintain communication with all parties concerned, including Iran, to continue to play a constructive role in the negotiations and push for a fair, balanced, mutually beneficial and win-win comprehensive agreement as soon as possible," Xi was quoted as telling Rouhani, according to a statement on the government website."



'via Blog this'

Why time may be up for the jumbo jet - BBC News

Why time may be up for the jumbo jet - BBC News:






'via Blog this'

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

MIDEAST STOCKS-Middle East markets edge up as Yemen air strikes end | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Middle East markets edge up as Yemen air strikes end | Reuters:



"Most major stock markets in the Middle East rose modestly on Wednesday after Saudi Arabia and its allies in the region decided to end a campaign of air strikes against Yemen's Houthi rebels.



Riyadh announced late on Tuesday that it was ending a month-long offensive against the Houthis, who seized large areas of Yemen, and said it would back a political solution to bring peace to its war-ravaged neighbour.



The Yemen fighting was never a big concern for financial markets, which believed the Gulf states could prevent the conflict from spreading beyond Yemen's borders; bond yields and credit default swaps barely moved in response to the violence."



'via Blog this'

E.U. Charges Russian Energy Giant Gazprom With Abusing Its Dominance - NYTimes.com

E.U. Charges Russian Energy Giant Gazprom With Abusing Its Dominance - NYTimes.com:



"European antitrust regulators on Wednesday charged the Russian energy giant Gazprom with abusing its dominance in natural gas markets, a move amounting to a direct challenge to the authorities in Moscow.



Russia supplies about one-third of the European Union’s natural gas.



The move is a frontal challenge to President Vladimir V. Putin’s economic and geopolitical strategy by potentially limiting Russia’s ability to set prices favoring some customers and penalizing others. Gazprom has previously warned Brussels that it has the “status of a strategic organization” in Russia, a reminder that it is controlled by the Kremlin, which earns significant sums from the company."



'via Blog this'

UPDATE 2-MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi Arabia rises after ending Yemen air strikes | Reuters

UPDATE 2-MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi Arabia rises after ending Yemen air strikes | Reuters:



"Saudi Arabia's stock market rose in early trade on Wednesday after the Riyadh government said it had ended a campaign of air strikes against Yemen's Houthi rebels. Egypt's market remained soft.



Gulf markets lost a few percent each after the military intervention began last month, and investors now see its completion as a positive factor.



Saudi Arabia's index edged up 0.4 percent to 9,598 points as most stocks in the kingdom climbed. Telecommunications operator Zain Saudi's jumped 3.1 percent after announcing its first-quarter loss had narrowed to 257 million riyals ($68.5 million) from 318 million riyals a year earlier."



'via Blog this'

Emirates NBD first quarter profit rises 60 per cent, beats estimates | The National

Emirates NBD first quarter profit rises 60 per cent, beats estimates | The National:



"Emirates NBD (ENBD), Dubai’s largest lender, posted a 60 per cent rise in first-quarter net profit on Wednesday, beating analysts’ forecasts.



The lender, 55.6-per cent owned by state fund Investment Corporation of Dubai, made a net profit of Dh1.67 billion in the three months to March 31, a statement from the bank said. This is up from Dh1.04bn in the same period of 2014.



Four analysts polled by Reuters on average forecast Emirates NBD would make a fourth-quarter net profit of Dh1.46bn."



'via Blog this'

Al Gosaibis make offer to end long legal battle | The National

Al Gosaibis make offer to end long legal battle | The National:



"The Al Gosaibi family of Saudi Arabia has offered a peace deal to Maan Al Sanea, their bitter enemy for the past six years, if negotiations can be entered to end the Middle East’s longest running corporate “frozen conflict”.



“I’d be happy to negotiate a settlement and drop outstanding litigation against Maan and Saad Group [Mr Al Sanea’s company],” Simon Charlton, the chief executive of the family partnership Ahmad Hamad Al Gosaibi and Brothers (Ahab), said last night. “The cost of the continuing actions is becoming counterproductive, and it could take another six years of legal action. If I have to do that, I will but maybe the time has come to negotiate a settlement in this whole affair.”



In May 2009 Ahab defaulted on its debts, sparking the marathon battle with creditors. The Al Gosaibis blamed Mr Al Sanea, a financier who married into their family, and accused him of theft, fraud and forgery, sparking legal actions across three continents. At one stage, it was suggested up to US$20 billion was owed to creditors of either Ahab or Saad Group."



'via Blog this'

Time for Gulf entities to initiate own merger plays | GulfNews.com

Time for Gulf entities to initiate own merger plays | GulfNews.com:



"A wave of ground breaking mergers is again sweeping through the developed world and which would have significant repercussions on global economic developments.



Within a week’s time frame, Shell, the energy giant, announced its acquisition of British Gas in a deal worth $50 billion (Dh184 billion), which came just three days after Finland’s Nokia confirmed plans to buy rival Alcatel-Lucent, the French telecom company, for $15 billion.



Last month, Kraft and Heinz announced a merger that will make the $28 billion unified entity the third largest food company in the US and the fifth largest in the world. The total size of mergers and acquisitions amounted to $3.34 trillion last year, up 5 per cent compared to 2013."



'via Blog this'

Abu Dhabi to invest over $25b in offshore oilfields: Adnoc official | GulfNews.com

Abu Dhabi to invest over $25b in offshore oilfields: Adnoc official | GulfNews.com:



"Abu Dhabi plans to invest over $25 billion (Dh91.9 billion) in the next five years on boosting its oil production capacity from offshore fields, a senior official of Abu Dhabi National Oil Co (Adnoc) said on Tuesday.



The plan is part of the UAE’s strategy of increasing its crude oil output potential to 3.5 million barrels per day by 2017-18. The UAE’s actual current production is around 2.8 million bpd.



“We want to build capacity from production and from number of wells and infrastructure. Our current plan as ADNOC (is to reach) 3.5 million bpd and to sustain it,” Qasem al-Kayoumi, manager of ADNOC’s offshore division of the exploration and production directorate, told reporters."



'via Blog this'

Iraq Oil Output Growth Seen Slow by BP, Lukoil on Low Prices - Bloomberg Business

Iraq Oil Output Growth Seen Slow by BP, Lukoil on Low Prices - Bloomberg Business:



"Growth in Iraq’s oil production capacity may slow as lower crude prices hurt the ability of OPEC’s number two producer to pay international oil companies for work there, officials from BP Plc and OAO Lukoil said.



Lukoil sees a “significant reduction” in the growth rate of Iraqi output capacity in 2016 and 2017 due to the decline in crude price, Gati Al-Jebouri, senior vice president at Lukoil Overseas, said in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday. BP’s ability to meet its production targets depends on the government approving the company’s proposed investment plans, said Michael Townshend, the company’s regional president for the Middle East.



The slump in global crude prices over the past year has cut the Iraqi government’s income even as it battles Islamic extremists that have seized parts of the country. That risks sidetracking Iraq’s efforts, after decades of conflict and sanctions that choked investment, to boost crude production with the help of international companies."



'via Blog this'

LNG Takes Off in Gas-Rich Mideast as Conflict Thwarts Pipelines - Bloomberg Business

LNG Takes Off in Gas-Rich Mideast as Conflict Thwarts Pipelines - Bloomberg Business:



"Pipelines are a cheaper way to deliver natural gas than tanker ships. They’re also easier to blow up.



That’s one reason countries in North Africa and the Middle East are going full steam ahead on sea transport. They also want diversity of supply. The volume of cargoes carrying liquefied natural gas climbed 31 percent in 2014 as Middle East nations increased imports at the fastest pace in four years.



The fuel -- natural gas chilled to a liquid for transport - - is in demand as electricity usage surges for growing populations and industries. The Middle East and North Africa will spend $120 billion on gas-fired power plants by 2035, more than either China or the 28 member states of the European Union, according to the International Energy Agency. Strife between nations such as Morocco and Algeria have made pipelines pawns in political power plays as well as increasingly attractive targets for sabotage."



'via Blog this'

BNY Mellon Started Saudi Arabia Stock Picking on Market Opening - Bloomberg Business

BNY Mellon Started Saudi Arabia Stock Picking on Market Opening - Bloomberg Business:



"Bank of New York Mellon Corp., the world’s biggest custody bank and among the 10 largest investment managers, said it’s started picking Saudi Arabian equities to invest in ahead of the market opening in June.



The bank’s wealth management arm plans to start buying shares as soon as the $554 billion stock exchange is opened to direct foreign investment on June 15, Chief Investment Officer Leo Grohowski told reporters in Dubai on Wednesday.



“We are already doing bottom-up analysis of Saudi equities and have got our sights on several individual companies,” he said. “Portfolio managers all around the world are looking forward to this.”"



'via Blog this'

Oil trader Vitol sees growing demand in India - YouTube

Oil trader Vitol sees growing demand in India - YouTube: ""



'via Blog this'

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi Arabia slips on Mobily, property stocks lift Dubai | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi Arabia slips on Mobily, property stocks lift Dubai | Reuters:



"Saudi Arabia's stock market pulled back further on Tuesday after telecommunications operator Mobily posted a surprise first-quarter loss, while Kuwait fell on news of potential tax reform. Other Gulf markets were positive.



The main Saudi index slipped 0.3 percent to 9,559 points as Mobily was the main drag, tumbling 6.8 percent.



The firm, whose scandal over the restatement of its 2014 earnings led to the departure of its chief executive earlier this year, missed analysts' forecasts widely as it swung to a 199 million riyal ($53.1 million) net loss in the first quarter of 2015."



'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Mobily weighs on Saudi, Egypt edges up - Yahoo Maktoob News

MIDEAST STOCKS-Mobily weighs on Saudi, Egypt edges up - Yahoo Maktoob News:



"Saudi Arabia's stock market fell in early trade on Tuesday after telecommunications operator Mobily posted a first-quarter loss, while Egypt's bourse started recovering.



The main Saudi index fell 0.6 percent and Mobily was the main drag, tumbling 8.0 percent.



The firm, whose earnings restatement scandal led to the departure of its chief executive earlier this year, missed analysts' forecasts widely as it swung to a 199 million riyal ($53.1 million) net loss in the first quarter."



'via Blog this'

Qataris pledge to expand Canary Wharf - Business News - Business - The Independent

Qataris pledge to expand Canary Wharf - Business News - Business - The Independent:



"The £2.6bn takeover of Canary Wharf formally went through yesterday, with its new owners, the US property giant Brookfield and Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund, promising it a bright future.



Ric Clark, the chief executive of Brookfield, said: “Canary Wharf remains one of the most treasured property estates in the world. We look forward to working with Qatar Investment Authority and the Canary Wharf Group management team to advance the substantial development pipeline, and to realise the full potential of the site for our tenants, stakeholders and the people of London.”



Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed al-Thani, the chief executive of QIA, said the new owners would pursue “further expansion through the creation of a sustainable, mixed development comprising offices, homes as well as retail and leisure space”."



'via Blog this'

Dubai's Noor bank sets price thoughts for $500 mln 5-yr debut dollar sukuk | Reuters

Dubai's Noor bank sets price thoughts for $500 mln 5-yr debut dollar sukuk | Reuters:



"Dubai's Noor Bank is marketing a $500 million, five-year debut U.S. dollar sukuk issue, which could price as early as Tuesday, a document from lead arrangers showed.



Initial price thoughts were set in the 140 basis points area over midswaps for the sukuk, which have an agency-based structure known as wakala.



The bank, which counts state funds Investment Corporation of Dubai and Dubai Holding among its owners, has appointed Standard Chartered as global coordinator and Al Hilal Bank, Citigroup, Dubai Islamic Bank, Emirates NBD, Qinvest, and Sharjah Islamic Bank as joint lead managers."



'via Blog this'

Shanghai's unburst bubble - YouTube

Shanghai's unburst bubble - YouTube: ""



'via Blog this'

Al Gosaibi family strikes deal with creditors to settle $6bn debt | The National

Al Gosaibi family strikes deal with creditors to settle $6bn debt | The National:



"The embattled Al Gosaibi family of Saudi Arabia has reached a deal with its leading creditors to settle its long-running dispute over $6bn worth of debts.



The deal was signed between representatives of the family partnership, Ahmad Hamad Al Gosaibi & Brothers, and a steering committee of some of its bank creditors, in London late last week. 




It is a big step forward towards solving a six-year standoff between Al Gosaibi and its creditors, which has been likened to a corporate “frozen war”. But big Saudi banks still have to be persuaded to join in any overall settlement."



'via Blog this'

Dubai World pays $2.92 billion in debt makeover deal, sources say | GulfNews.com

Dubai World pays $2.92 billion in debt makeover deal, sources say | GulfNews.com:



"Dubai World, the state-owned company that roiled global markets in 2009 with a plan to freeze debt payments, paid $2.92 billion to creditors under a deal reached in February, two people with knowledge of the matter said.



The payments were made late last month, said the people, asking not to be identified because the information isn’t public. Under the new agreement, which altered the original deal of March 2011, Dubai World pledged early payment of loans due in September, according to a company statement in February.



Dubai World, whose assets include ports operator DP World Ltd. and shipyard Drydocks World LLC, was one of many companies in the emirate that delayed debt payments after credit markets froze and asset prices slumped during the global financial crisis. It reached a deal with about 80 creditors in March 2011 to restructure $14.7 billion of debt, agreeing to repay $4.4 billion in September 2015 and $10.3 billion in 2018."



'via Blog this'

HSBC ‘banned from taking on new assets at Saudi unit’ | GulfNews.com

HSBC ‘banned from taking on new assets at Saudi unit’ | GulfNews.com:



"HSBC Holdings Plc is blocked from taking on new funds at its Saudi Arabian asset management business after the regulator found that it breached local regulations, according to five people with knowledge of the matter.



The order from the country’s Capital Market Authority was made late last year and affects HSBC Saudi Arabia Ltd.’s $7 billion asset management arm, the people said, asking not to be identified as the notice wasn’t made public. HSBC Saudi Arabia must overhaul compliance procedures before the regulator will consider reversing the ban, according to two of the people.



The action by the CMA, as the Saudi Arabian regulator is known, relates to local rules and isn’t connected to other investigations, two of the people said. HSBC has been under scrutiny by regulators around the globe and paid a $1.9 billion settlement in 2012 to end US probes into money laundering. The bank paid $618 million in fines last year after an investigation into the rigging of foreign-exchange benchmarks."



'via Blog this'

Emerging market ETFs: solving the liquidity problem or storing it up? - FT.com

Emerging market ETFs: solving the liquidity problem or storing it up? - FT.com:



"Anyone looking for financial bubbles at risk of bursting will be watching the rise of hard currency emerging market corporate bonds. Ten years ago, the asset class hardly existed. Today, at an estimated $2tn, it is bigger than the $1.6tn market in US high yield corporate bonds, familiar to investors for decades.



Investors have been drawn by high yields, offered even by investment-grade EM corporate issuers. But with high returns come high risks, and not only those related to repayment. EM corporate bonds are often dangerously illiquid, making them hard to get rid of in a crisis and meaning their prices can change rapidly when the mood of the market turns.



Last week, Robert Grossman and colleagues at Fitch Ratings published a report comparing 100 of the largest US high yielding corporate bonds with 100 of the largest non-investment grade EM hard currency corporate bonds. They found that, between June 30, 2014 and March 31 this year, 55 per cent of the US HY bonds traded on more than 95 per cent of trading days, while this was true of just 18 per cent of the EM bonds. Conversely, while 41 per cent of the EM bonds traded on less than half the trading days, this was true of just 1 per cent of the US HY bonds."



'via Blog this'

Russia’s Lukoil eyes return to Iran once sanctions are lifted - FT.com

Russia’s Lukoil eyes return to Iran once sanctions are lifted - FT.com:



"The head of Lukoil said on Monday that the Russian energy group wanted to return to Iran as soon as sanctions on Tehran are lifted, the latest foreign company to signal interest in developing the country’s oil and gas after a nuclear deal with the west.



Vagit Alekperov, Lukoil president, told reporters at the IHS CERAWeek energy conference in Houston that the group’s office in Iran, recently reopened, was studying geological data so it could take advantage of any opportunities should international sanctions be eased.



He said: “We hope that sanctions will be lifted in the medium term, in the near term, and that we will be able to come back to Iran and come back to the field we were working on.”"



'via Blog this'

Four takeaways from IMF meetings - YouTube

Four takeaways from IMF meetings - YouTube: ""



'via Blog this'

UK election uncertainty weighs on markets - YouTube

UK election uncertainty weighs on markets - YouTube: ""



'via Blog this'

Iran wants OPEC to pave way for its extra oil production when sanctions lifted | Reuters

Iran wants OPEC to pave way for its extra oil production when sanctions lifted | Reuters:



"Members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) should prepare for extra Iranian crude production when Western sanctions on Tehran are lifted, Iran's oil minister was quoted on Tuesday by state news agency IRNA as saying.



"We expect the members of OPEC to pave the ground for (an) increase of Iran's oil production that will reach global markets when sanctions are lifted," Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said during a meeting with his Venezuelan counterpart Asdrubal Chavez in Tehran, the agency reported. 




Iran, once OPEC's second-largest producer after Saudi Arabia, hopes to boost crude exports by as much as 1 million barrels per day (bpd) if Tehran and six major powers finalize a nuclear agreement by a June 30 deadline."



'via Blog this'

Abu Dhabi Says Still in Talks With Companies on Oil Concessions - Bloomberg Business

Abu Dhabi Says Still in Talks With Companies on Oil Concessions - Bloomberg Business:



"Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. is still in talks with international companies about concessions at the emirate’s largest fields and hasn’t set a deadline for deciding on the awards, Director General Abdullah Nasser al Suwaidi said.



Total SA is the only company to be awarded a stake in Adnoc’s new venture so far. The Paris-based company agreed to pay a $2.2 billion signing bonus for a 10 percent share in the onshore concession, two people with knowledge of the situation said in February.



Other companies “know what we have asked, and they bid,” al Suwaidi told reporters Monday at the Middle East Petroleum & Gas Conference in Abu Dhabi. “There’s no timeline,” he said. “Whoever meets our conditions will be considered.”"



'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi Arabia slips, other Gulf markets rise | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi Arabia slips, other Gulf markets rise | Reuters:



"Saudi Arabia's bourse pulled back slightly on Monday after several companies reported poor first-quarter earnings; other Gulf markets were positive, although disappointing earnings slowed Qatar's advance.



The main Saudi index edged down 0.3 percent to 9,589 points, having surged 4.0 percent in the previous session on news that the market regulator would allow foreigners to buy local stocks directly from June 15.



Petrochemicals and titanium producer National Industrialization Co (Tasnee) tumbled 5.4 percent after the firm said it had swung to a first-quarter net loss, which it blamed on lower sales prices and adverse moves in foreign exchange hedging contracts at a subsidiary."



'via Blog this'

Monday, 20 April 2015

US investors feted in Iran despite sanctions uncertainty - FT.com

US investors feted in Iran despite sanctions uncertainty - FT.com:



"They came as American “tourists” and were startled to receive hugs and even free gifts by people on the streets and in the bazaars of Iran.



But unlike most tour groups, this one comprised entrepreneurs, consultants and investors from the US who had travelled to explore the business opportunities available in Iran if international sanctions over the nuclear programme are lifted.



On Thursday, the group gathered at Prive, an upmarket French restaurant in north Tehran, to hear western-educated Iranian entrepreneurs give slick presentations about how a new, investor-friendly Iran was emerging. It was the first time since the 1979 Islamic Revolution that US businesspeople had held a public meeting in the country."



'via Blog this'

UPDATE 2-MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi rally pauses, Egypt extends losses | News by Country | Reuters

UPDATE 2-MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi rally pauses, Egypt extends losses | News by Country | Reuters:



"Saudi Arabia's bourse moved little in early trade on Monday after local companies reported a mixed set of first-quarter earnings, while Egypt's market extended losses.



The main Saudi index was nearly flat at 9,625 points, having surged 4.0 percent in the previous session on news that the market regulator would allow foreigners to buy local stocks directly from June 15.



Petrochemicals and titanium producer National Industrialization Co (Tasnee) dropped 4.4 percent after the firm said it had swung to a first-quarter net loss, which it blamed on lower sales prices and adverse moves in foreign exchange hedging contracts at a subsidiary."



'via Blog this'

Gulf Finance House to delist Global Depository Receipt from London Stock Exchange | GulfNews.com

Gulf Finance House to delist Global Depository Receipt from London Stock Exchange | GulfNews.com:



"Gulf Finance House said on Sunday it has decided to terminate its Global Depository Receipt (GDR) Programme and has initiated the procedures to delist the GDR from the London Stock Exchange (LSE).



“After careful deliberations and given that there has been virtually no activity in the Bank’s GDR on the LSE, GFH’s Board of Directors has decided that terminating the programme is in the best interests of the Bank,” it said in a statement.



GFH will continue to remain listed on the Bahrain Bourse, Dubai Financial Markets (DFM) and Kuwait Stock Exchanges."



'via Blog this'

NMC Healthcare says no plans to dual list on ADX | GulfNews.com

NMC Healthcare says no plans to dual list on ADX | GulfNews.com:



"NMC Healthcare, an Abu Dhabi-based hospital chain, said it was not looking to dual list on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) following news late last year that some of the Abu Dhabi-based companies listed in London may dual list. 




In an interview with Gulf News, Prasanth Manghat, deputy chief executive officer of NMC, confirmed that the company was never in talks to dual list on ADX.



“At this point in time, we are not at all looking to list in the UAE market. We have not discussed that. We’re not saying that we will never list in ADX, but at this point, we have not discussed it,” he said."



'via Blog this'

Mashreq’s first quarter net profit up 13.2 per cent to Dh651 million | GulfNews.com

Mashreq’s first quarter net profit up 13.2 per cent to Dh651 million | GulfNews.com:



"Mashreq on Sunday reported Dh651 million net profit for the first quarter of 2015, up 13.2 per cent compared to the same quarter last year.



Total operating income for the quarter was up 8 per cent to Dh1.49 billion compared to Dh1.38 billion in the first quarter of 2014. Net interest income at Dh804 million was up by 17.2 per cent compared to a year earlier. On quarter on quarter basis, net interest income fell by 1.3 per cent as compared to Dh814 million in the fourth quarter of 2014.



“Our results reflect the continued stability of the UAE economy in the face of the disruption in the oil market. The banking industry and Mashreq in particular has displayed a remarkable immunity to the resultant economic turmoil in the region,” said Mashreq’s CEO, Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair."



'via Blog this'

China Readies for Islamic Finance With a Little Help From Gulf - Bloomberg Business

China Readies for Islamic Finance With a Little Help From Gulf - Bloomberg Business:



"The most populous country in the world may be poised to get serious about Islamic finance, and banks in the Gulf Cooperation Council are taking note.



Qatar International Islamic Bank QSC and QNB Capital LLC last week signed an agreement with China-based Southwest Securities Co. to develop Shariah-compliant finance products in the country. Seven months after Hong Kong sold its debut sukuk, China is exploring Islamic finance for projects from hospitals to metro stations, according to London-based Dome Advisory Ltd., which is working with a government-owned fund in Shanghai to finance five projects.



“The Hong Kong sukuk has given more confidence to the Chinese market,” Sheikh Bilal Khan, a Shariah scholar and director of Dome, said by phone on April 16. “Having seen Hong Kong and the U.K. do this, and the fact Islamic finance is growing at a fast rate, in the next three to five years China will be a big player. It’s unavoidable.”"



'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Oil may support Gulf markets, earnings mixed | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Oil may support Gulf markets, earnings mixed | Reuters:



"Strong oil may support Gulf stock markets on Monday, although some of the latest earnings reports have been weak, especially in Qatar, and Saudi Arabia may be vulnerable to profit-taking after surging in the previous session.



Brent oil rose 1 percent to just above $64 a barrel in Asian trade on Monday, extending last week's gains as a drop in the number of U.S. rigs drilling for crude pointed to lower supply later in the year, while China's latest monetary stimulus measure also underpinned the market.



Saudi Arabia's index rose 4.0 percent on Sunday, its biggest gain this year, to 9,620 points on news that the market regulator will allow foreigners to buy local stocks directly from June 15. The index stood above the 200-day average, now at 9,572 points."



'via Blog this'

IMF chief on growth and Greece - YouTube

IMF chief on growth and Greece - YouTube: ""



'via Blog this'

Sunday, 19 April 2015

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi Arabia surges ahead of market opening to foreigners | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi Arabia surges ahead of market opening to foreigners | Reuters:



"Saudi Arabia's bourse surged on Sunday after the kingdom's securities regulator said it would open the market to direct foreign investment from June 15, while many other markets in the Middle East were weak.



The main Saudi index rose 4.0 percent, its biggest gain this year, to 9,620 points on its highest volume in 11 months. It broke minor technical resistance at the late March high of 9,377 points and stood above the 200-day average, now at 9,572 points.



It has not stayed above the average on a sustained basis since last November; a clean break above it would be longer-term bullish technically."



'via Blog this'

Dubai poised to act as bridgehead for Iranian investment - FT.com

Dubai poised to act as bridgehead for Iranian investment - FT.com:



"When a Dubai-based financier tried to entice a US food manufacturer to set up a joint venture to produce and distribute products in Iran several months ago, the company stonewalled.



But when news broke last month that the nuclear powers had reached a framework agreement with Tehran on its nuclear programme, the producer of household name products immediately got back in touch.



“They were straight back to me, asking for proposals as soon as possible,” the financier said."



'via Blog this'

Sale of U.S. Arms Fuels the Wars of Arab States - NYTimes.com

Sale of U.S. Arms Fuels the Wars of Arab States - NYTimes.com:



"To wage war in Yemen, Saudi Arabia is using F-15 fighter jets bought from Boeing. Pilots from the United Arab Emirates are flying Lockheed Martin’s F-16 to bomb both Yemen and Syria. Soon, the Emirates are expected to complete a deal with General Atomics for a fleet of Predator drones to run spying missions in their neighborhood.



As the Middle East descends into proxy wars, sectarian conflicts and battles against terrorist networks, countries in the region that have stockpiled American military hardware are now actually using it and wanting more. The result is a boom for American defense contractors looking for foreign business in an era of shrinking Pentagon budgets — but also the prospect of a dangerous new arms race in a region where the map of alliances has been sharply redrawn.



Last week, defense industry officials told Congress that they were expecting within days a request from Arab allies fighting the Islamic State — Saudi Arabia, the Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Jordan and Egypt — to buy thousands of American-made missiles, bombs and other weapons, replenishing an arsenal that has been depleted over the past year."



'via Blog this'

UPDATE 2-MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi Arabia jumps before market opens to foreigners | Reuters

UPDATE 2-MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi Arabia jumps before market opens to foreigners | Reuters:



"Saudi Arabia's bourse surged in early trade on Sunday after the regulator said it would open the bourse to direct foreign investment from June 15.



The main index rose 3.9 percent to 9,614 points, breaking minor technical resistance at the late March high of 9,377 points and standing above the 200-day average, now at 9,572 points. It has not stayed above the average on a sustained basis since last November.



The kingdom announced last July that it would permit direct foreign purchases of shares in the first half of 2015, as a way to expose companies to market discipline, diversify the economy beyond oil and create jobs."



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Sabic profit down 39% on lower oil price | The National

Sabic profit down 39% on lower oil price | The National:



"Saudi Basic Industries Corp (Sabic), one of the world’s largest petrochemicals groups, reported a 39 percent drop in first-quarter net income on Sunday that was not as large a fall as analysts had forecast.



Sabic made a net profit of 3.93 billion riyals (Dh3.84bn) in the three months ending March 31, down from 6.44bn riyals in the year-earlier period, the company said in a bourse statement.



This was above the average forecast of seven analysts polled by Reuters, who had predicted that Sabic would make a quarterly profit of 3.50bn riyals."



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IMF downgrades UAE growth forecast, says Gulf governments must cut spending | The National

IMF downgrades UAE growth forecast, says Gulf governments must cut spending | The National:



"The IMF has called on Arabian Gulf governments to cut total public spending in response to lower oil prices, as it again downgraded its growth forecast for the UAE.



GCC members must “moderate the pace of spending in the medium term” to “save resources for future generation” and achieve a sustainable fiscal situation, Masood Ahmed, the IMF’s chief economist for the Middle East, said in Washington on Friday.



This is the first time since last year’s oil price fall that the IMF has called on GCC members to reduce total planned expenditures."



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Sizing up what Iran could bring to the oil table | GulfNews.com

Sizing up what Iran could bring to the oil table | GulfNews.com:



"Iran contains some of the largest and most attractive petroleum resources in the world, so any easing of sanctions could have a major impact on oil and gas markets in the second half of the decade. Iran’s possible re-emergence as a major exporter would force a reordering of the world oil market both because of the country’s location on the cost-curve and the quality of its oil.



Iran’s proved oil reserves of 160 billion barrels, almost 10 per cent of the world total, rank it fourth after Venezuela (300 billion barrels), Saudi Arabia (265 billion barrels) and Canada (175 billion barrels), according to BP. The country also has the world’s largest proved gas reserves of almost 34 trillion cubic metres (18 per cent of the global total), putting it ahead of Russia (17 per cent) and Qatar (13 per cent).



Iran’s petroleum resources are contained in large, conventional reservoirs with excellent geological properties that make them highly productive at a relatively low cost. Oil has been produced in Iran in commercial quantities since 1908, making it one of the world’s oldest producers."



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