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Sunday, 31 May 2015

MIDEAST STOCKS-Qatar rebounds as World Cup fears ease; other markets weak | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Qatar rebounds as World Cup fears ease; other markets weak | Reuters:



"Qatar's stock market rebounded on Sunday after dropping at the end of last week on MSCI index adjustments and news of arrests and criminal probes at world soccer body FIFA. Other markets in the Middle East were mostly negative.



The Qatari World Cup organising committee defended its successful 2022 World Cup bid on Friday and FIFA President Sepp Blatter secured re-election for a fifth term, partially easing concern that Doha might conceivably lose the tournament hosting rights.



Qatar's stock index, which had lost 4.1 percent in respone to the FIFA news last week, climbed 1.2 percent on Sunday. Petrochemicals giant Industries Qatar jumped 2.3 percent, also supported by oil's 5 percent surge on Friday."



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UPDATE 2-MIDEAST STOCKS-Egypt extends losses, Saudi Arabia flat | Reuters

UPDATE 2-MIDEAST STOCKS-Egypt extends losses, Saudi Arabia flat | Reuters:



"Egypt's bourse extended losses on Sunday in a broad decline, while Saudi Arabia's stock market moved very little.



The Cairo index fell 1.2 percent as most stocks traded lower, continuing a decline which began last week as Egypt's weighting in MSCI's emerging markets index was reduced with Telecom Egypt's exclusion from the benchmark.



Also, Egypt started rationing gas supplies to a number of industrial consumers, such as steelmaker Ezz Steel, last week as a rise of temperatures across the country led to an increase in power consumption."



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Nicola Sturgeon: EU membership 'vital for jobs' - BBC News

Nicola Sturgeon: EU membership 'vital for jobs' - BBC News:



"Membership of the EU is vital to Scottish jobs and the economy, Nicola Sturgeon is due to tell an audience in Brussels later this week.



The first minister will state the Scottish government's commitment to Europe.



She will reiterate her call for a "double lock" on membership to prevent Scotland being forced out of the EU against its will in the referendum."



'via Blog this'

India is the jewel in the emerging market crown - FT.com

India is the jewel in the emerging market crown - FT.com:



"One year on from the election of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India is attracting unprecedented levels of support from emerging market fund managers.



Even though India’s stock market has struggled to maintain the momentum that followed the election in May last year, emerging market managers are running their largest overweight position to Indian equities relative to the MSCI emerging markets benchmark since records began in 1995.



“No market in EM has ever been liked more than India in the history of investor positioning post 1995,” says Markus Rosgen, an equity strategist at Citi, the bank."



'via Blog this'

Kiev rejects debt restructuring deal - FT.com

Kiev rejects debt restructuring deal - FT.com:



"Ukraine has rejected a debt restructuring deal put forward by international creditors as the two sides struggle to break through a negotiation stalemate.



A group of investors representing just under $9bn of Ukrainian bonds, including Franklin Templeton, Ukraine’s largest creditor, this month suggested a plan to reduce the country’s debt burden by $15.8bn over the next four years — a figure that exceeds the $15.3bn targeted by the government.



An insider said the restructuring would involve bundling Ukraine’s outstanding international debt into one or two bonds and extending the repayment date by up to 10 years."



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Saudi Arabia and its Challenges | tks @TheGulfblog

Saudi Arabia and its Challenges | The Gulf blog:



"In 2010 at a conference in Riyadh, an academic presented a cogent case as to why the fiscal picture for Saudi Arabia was, in the medium and long term, looking grim. His figures were correct, and his conclusions were not hyperbolic, but sensibly grounded in the facts. Nevertheless, the Saudi participants around the table, ranging from ministers to CEOs to academics to the state’s leading journalists, greeted the presentation with a weary shrug. Their point was that they had seen just such cogent presentations every five years for decades and yet the sky never did quite manage to fall in.



It would be, therefore, really quite a significant call to suggest that on this occasion, as opposed to the countless previous assertions, Saudi Arabia is actually facing some kind of a crisis. Yet, it appears that the state may well be entering just such a concerning phase.



At the core of this thesis are three interlinked factors that are facing quite unprecedented change and these changes look set to – at the very least – vastly complicate the already Gordian difficulties facing the Kingdom."



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Adia gets new head of US, internal equities department | GulfNews.com

Adia gets new head of US, internal equities department | GulfNews.com:



"The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (Adia) said on Wednesday that it has appointed John Pandtle to the newly created position of head of the US in its internal equities department, effective immediately.



Based in Abu Dhabi, Pandtle will lead a team of portfolio managers and be responsible for developing strategy and overseeing the management of US focused investment portfolios within the internal equities department. He will report to Greg Eckersley, Global Head of Internal Equities, the company said. 




With over 20 years of equity research and asset management experience, Pandtle joins Adia from Eagle Asset Management in St Petersburg, Florida, where he has worked since 2009 as a portfolio manager with responsibility for constructing and managing portfolios, and producing research, in the financials, materials, and utilities sectors."



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Exclusive: Six powers agree way to restore U.N. sanctions in push for Iran deal - sources | Reuters

Exclusive: Six powers agree way to restore U.N. sanctions in push for Iran deal - sources | Reuters:



"Six world powers have agreed on a way to restore U.N. sanctions on Iran if the country breaks the terms of a future nuclear deal, clearing a major obstacle to an accord ahead of a June 30 deadline, Western officials told Reuters.



The new understanding on a U.N. sanctions “snapback” among the six powers - the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China - brings them closer to a possible deal with Iran, though other hurdles remain, including ensuring United Nations access to Iranian military sites.



The six powers and Iran struck an interim agreement on April 2 ahead of a possible final deal that would aim to block an Iranian path to a nuclear bomb in exchange for lifting sanctions. But the timing of sanctions relief, access and verification of compliance and a mechanism for restoring sanctions if Iran broke its commitments were among the most difficult topics left for further negotiations."



'via Blog this'

UPDATE 1-MIDEAST STOCKS-Qatar rebounds after sell-off over FIFA | Reuters

UPDATE 1-MIDEAST STOCKS-Qatar rebounds after sell-off over FIFA | Reuters:



"Qatar's bourse rose in early trade on Sunday after dropping at the end of last week on news of arrests and criminal probes at world soccer body FIFA.



The country's World Cup organising committee defended its successful 2022 World Cup bid on Friday and FIFA President Sepp Blatter secured re-election for a fifth term, partially easing concern that Doha might conceivably lose the tournament hosting rights, depending on how the investigations developed. 




Qatar's stock index climbed 0.7 percent as most stocks rose. Petrochemicals giant Industries Qatar jumped 2.1 percent, also supported by oil's 5 percent surge on Friday."



'via Blog this'

Saturday, 30 May 2015

Pullback continues in UAE markets | GulfNews.com

Pullback continues in UAE markets | GulfNews.com:



"Last week the Dubai Financial Market General Index (DFMGI) dropped by 118.1 or 2.87 per cent to end at 4,000.50. Volume fell to an eight week low, the fourth consecutive week of lower volume. The majority of listings participated in the weakness, with 28 declining and only eight advancing.



The low for the week was 3,986.35, a six-week low, but not by much. The previous weekly low was 3,996.72, essentially where the DFMGI closed for the week.



Overall, the DFMGI continues to hover within a support zone and has not pulled back by much from the 4,253.28 peak reached four weeks ago. As of last week’s low the index had declined by 6.3 per cent. There has been plenty of opportunity for the index to weaken further by now, but buying strength is being maintained and holding up the index, at least so far."



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Friday, 29 May 2015

Dubai hotel room rates register biggest decline in over four years | The National

Dubai hotel room rates register biggest decline in over four years | The National:



"Dubai hotels are braced for a long hot summer after room rates fell by almost 13 per cent last month – the biggest decline in more than four years.



The industry is being hit by a double whammy of weakening occupancy and tumbling food and beverage sales as the city’s increasing supply of restaurants tempt guests away from hotel dining.



Egypt’s rebounding tourism sector is also attracting more tourists from the euro zone, where their purchasing power is stronger."



'via Blog this'

Opec predicts global oil glut to continue for two more years | The National

Opec predicts global oil glut to continue for two more years | The National:



"The global oil glut could persist for another two years, says a draft report from the Opec producer group.



The paper comes ahead of the group’s meeting in Vienna next week.



In a draft report of Opec’s long-term strategy, the 12-member organisation does not foresee a cut in North American shale production for two years, Reuters reported."



'via Blog this'

IMF loan could be back on the table for Egypt | The National

IMF loan could be back on the table for Egypt | The National:



"Egypt’s on-off talks with the IMF may be back on again, as investors say IMF loans offer a stronger platform for reviving the economy than the Arabian Gulf money keeping it afloat.



Even with signs of a recovery in tourism and investment, the gap between Egypt’s foreign currency receipts and needs may reach US$15 billion a year by 2017, said Jason Tuvey, a London-based analyst at Capital Economics. Support from GCC countries is “keeping strains in its balance of payments contained”, but it’s “not a long-term solution”, he said.



In the political upheaval that followed the revolt of 2011 and the army takeover two years later, as investors fled and currency reserves plunged, Egypt turned to the GCC. First Qatar and later Saudi Arabia and the UAE obliged, with more than $40bn in grants, loans and investment to prop up sympathetic governments. Meanwhile, repeated talks with the IMF broke off short of a loan accord."



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Saudi British Bank sells 1.5b-riyal capital-boosting sukuk | GulfNews.com

Saudi British Bank sells 1.5b-riyal capital-boosting sukuk | GulfNews.com:



"Saudi British Bank (SABB) has completed a private placement of 10-year, 1.5 billion riyal ($400 million) subordinated Tier 2 sukuk callable in five years, it said in a bourse statement on Thursday.



The announcement confirmed a report by Reuters earlier this month.



The sukuk carries a semi-annual profit of 6 months Sibor (Saudi Interbank Offered Rate) plus 1.30 per cent."



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British prime minister’s EU balancing act - YouTube

British prime minister’s EU balancing act - YouTube: ""



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Thursday, 28 May 2015

MIDEAST STOCKS-Qatar falls further on FIFA probe, MSCI profit-taking | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Qatar falls further on FIFA probe, MSCI profit-taking | Reuters:



"Qatar's bourse fell sharply on Thursday, driven by news of criminal investigations against FIFA soccer officials as well as by profit-taking after an upgrade of some stocks by index compiler MSCI. Most other Gulf markets were also soft.



The Doha index slid 2.7 percent, its biggest daily drop in five months, to 11,902 points, a five-week low, taking its losses to 4.1 percent since the announcement on Wednesday of high-profile arrests and corruption probes at world soccer's governing body.



It is unclear if Qatar's right to host the 2022 World Cup could eventually be revoked because of the investigations; Doha has denied any wrongdoing in its successful bid for the Cup."



'via Blog this'

Ukraine takes ‘odious’ path to default - FT.com

Ukraine takes ‘odious’ path to default - FT.com:



"Ukraine’s decision last week to grant its government the power to stop foreign debt payments marks a distinct shift in tone for the wartorn and recession-battered country.



As negotiations between Kiev and its creditors stall and full-blown bankruptcy nears, the rhetoric of government communiques is shifting from conciliation to accusation.



Spot the difference in sentiment. In March a presentation to investors noted that “a collaborative process is paramount . . . Ukraine is committed to undertake consultations with its creditors”. By May the government declared it “has the right . . . not to return loans borrowed by [a] kleptocratic regime”."



'via Blog this'

Bahrain’s Mumtalakat sovereign wealth fund targets foreign acquisitions to fuel expansion | The National

Bahrain’s Mumtalakat sovereign wealth fund targets foreign acquisitions to fuel expansion | The National:



"Bahrain’s sovereign wealth fund is targeting more acquisitions this year as it seeks to double its assets in the next five years.



Mumtalakat, which posted net profit growth of 11 per cent last year to 91.6 million Bahraini dinars (Dh892.5m), plans to grow its assets, which reached US$7.2 billion at the end of June.



Profit rose despite a 64.6 per cent increase in impairments at 34.4m dinars, the wealth fund said. Revenue grew 11 per cent to 1.2bn dinars."



'via Blog this'

Foreign investors set sights on UAE | GulfNews.com

Foreign investors set sights on UAE | GulfNews.com:



"Foreign institutional investors on the UAE bourses have made a beeline ever since the UAE index was upgraded to emerging market from a frontier one.



Net investment flow from foreign investors during 2014 reached Dh4 billion, when UAE markets were upgraded to emerging market status by the MSCI, the global index provider. This compares with Dh1.7 billion worth of net investment in 2013. 




Foreign institutional investors on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange more than doubled to 791 in September 2014 over the previous year, and analysts feel that this has resulted in the bourse getting more stable money."



'via Blog this'

Etihad Airways posts $73m profit for 2014 | GulfNews.com

Etihad Airways posts $73m profit for 2014 | GulfNews.com:



"Etihad Airways reported on Thursday a 52.1 percent increase in profit for the financial year ending December 31, 2014 that it said was largely driven by its airline’s strategy of investing in other carriers.



The airline made $73 million in 2014 compared to $48 million a year ago. Revenue was $7.6 billion, up 26.7 per cent compared to the $6 billion in revenues for 2013, according to an emailed statement.



“A key driver of Etihad Airways’ growth in 2014 was its partnership strategy, based on wide-ranging codeshares and its unique approach of minority equity investments in strategically important airlines,” the airline said."



'via Blog this'

Saudi Arabia: outta gas

Saudi Arabia: outta gas:



"Saudi Arabia has a problem. It burns as much as 1m barrels of oil per day, just to generate electricity. That is more than 15 per cent of its oil exports. It has little choice — it needs to meet the electricity demand of its growing economy. So far it has not found enough alternative sources of energy to offset this of its own main export.



Natural gas has been Saudi Arabia’s chosen energy source for power generation. The country produces slightly more gas than it consumes at almost four trillion cubic feet per year. Although it appears to already have a huge supply, worth 77 years of consumption, much of this gas can only be produced together with the oil that the country has in reserve. Only increasing oil production excessively would enable the extraction of this associated gas. But that is not an option for a so-called global swing producer of crude. So it will need to look elsewhere to meet its future consumption needs.



The country’s natural gas shortage has not come for lack of effort. Saudi Arabia, through its national oil company Aramco, has long searched for more natural gas resources to help expand its supply. With power demand growing at around seven per cent annually according to Aramco, it has increased its exploration efforts. The Baker Hughes gas rig count for Saudi Arabia has doubled to a near record 45 over the past two years."



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Inside America's largest asset manager - YouTube

Inside America's largest asset manager - YouTube: ""



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The Tanker Market Is Sending a Big Warning to Oil Bulls - Bloomberg Business

The Tanker Market Is Sending a Big Warning to Oil Bulls - Bloomberg Business:



"Four months into oil’s rebound from a six-year low, the tanker market is sending a clear signal that the rally is under threat.



A sudden surge in demand for supertankers drove benchmark charter rates 57 percent higher in the two weeks through May 20. OPEC will have almost half a billion barrels of oil in transit to buyers at the start of June, the most this year, while analysts say about 20 million barrels is being stored on ships in another indication the glut has yet to dissipate.



The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries is pumping the most oil in more than two years, determined to defend market share rather than prices. A record cut to the number of active U.S. drilling rigs and billions of dollars of spending reductions by companies since last year’s price plunge has yet to translate into a slump in barrels produced. The world is producing about 1.9 million barrels a day more crude than it needs, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc."



'via Blog this'

Russian gas industry looks east to strengthen position - BBC News

Russian gas industry looks east to strengthen position - BBC News:



"Just two years ago, Gazprom spent a reported $1bn on its 20th birthday celebrations, with Sting and the Bolshoi ballet entertaining President Putin and company executives in a lavish gala dinner hosted at the Kremlin.



And there was much to celebrate. Russia was the undisputed king of gas - the world's biggest producer with the biggest reserves and the biggest exports.



But the party has since fallen rather flat."



'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Qatar slides on FIFA probe, arrests; oil weighs on Gulf | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Qatar slides on FIFA probe, arrests; oil weighs on Gulf | Reuters:



"Qatar's bourse fell sharply on Wednesday after the United States and Switzerland launched criminal probes against FIFA officials, while other Gulf stock markets were weak as oil prices failed to recover from Tuesday's drop.



Swiss authorities opened criminal proceedings against individuals on suspicion of mismanagement and money laundering related to the award of rights to host the 2018 and 2022 soccer World Cups, which went to Russia and Qatar respectively. 




Meanwhile six high-ranking soccer officials, including two vice-presidents of world governing body FIFA, were arrested by Swiss police and detained pending extradition to the United States."



'via Blog this'

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Short Qatar stocks, long paper shredders | FT Alphaville

Short Qatar stocks, long paper shredders | FT Alphaville:



"And so to the US Department of Justice’s indictment on Wednesday of nine Fifa officials, alleging a RICO conspiracy, wire fraud, money laundering, etc…



The indictment alleges that, between 1991 and the present, the defendants and their co-conspirators corrupted the enterprise by engaging in various criminal activities, including fraud, bribery and money laundering. Two generations of soccer officials abused their positions of trust for personal gain, frequently through an alliance with unscrupulous sports marketing executives who shut out competitors and kept highly lucrative contracts for themselves through the systematic payment of bribes and kickbacks. All told, the soccer officials are charged with conspiring to solicit and receive well over $150 million in bribes and kickbacks in exchange for their official support of the sports marketing executives who agreed to make the unlawful payments. 
Most of the schemes alleged in the indictment relate to the solicitation and receipt of bribes and kickbacks by soccer officials from sports marketing executives in connection with the commercialization of the media and marketing rights associated with various soccer matches and tournaments…"


'via Blog this'

UPDATE 3-MIDEAST STOCKS-Qatar drops on FIFA World Cup probe, arrests | Reuters

UPDATE 3-MIDEAST STOCKS-Qatar drops on FIFA World Cup probe, arrests | Reuters:



"Qatar's stock market fell sharply on Wednesday after Swiss authorities opened criminal proceedings against individuals on suspicion of mismanagement and money laundering related to the award of rights to host the 2018 and 2022 soccer World Cups.



Switzerland's Office of the Attorney General said it suspected that irregularities occurred in the allocation of the FIFA World Cups of 2018 and 2022, which were awarded to Russia and Qatar respectively.



Separately, six high-ranking soccer officials, including two vice-presidents of world governing body FIFA, were arrested by Swiss police on Wednesday and detained pending extradition to the United States."



'via Blog this'

Martin Sorrell on brand value - YouTube

Martin Sorrell on brand value - YouTube: ""



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi Arabia flat, Egypt inches down - Yahoo Maktoob News

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi Arabia flat, Egypt inches down - Yahoo Maktoob News:



"Stock markets in Saudi Arabia and Egypt moved very little in early trade on Wednesday, lacking strong catalysts.



Brent crude has risen 1.1 percent to $64.42 per barrel on Wednesday but has yet to recover fully from Tuesday's drop of more than 2 percent.



The main Saudi stock index has fluctuated near the previous day's close. Leading retail lender Al Rajhi Bank slipped 0.9 percent to 66.75 riyals after Al Jazira Capital cut its target price for the stock to 61.50 riyals from 63.90 riyals, citing two straight year-on-year declines in quarterly profit and a slowdown in lending activity."



'via Blog this'

Saudi regulator to increase allocation for institutional investors in IPOs | The National

Saudi regulator to increase allocation for institutional investors in IPOs | The National:



"Saudi Arabia’s Capital Markets Authority plans to increase the proportion of shares offered via initial public offerings allocated to institutional investors to help reduce market volatility.



The move comes as Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul stock exchange prepares for the direct entry of foreign investors for the first time.



The CMA said that the move to increase institutional investor involvement in IPOs would be a boost for the Arabian Gulf’s biggest stock market."



'via Blog this'

Rosneft considers exiting JV with Crescent in Sharjah | The National

Rosneft considers exiting JV with Crescent in Sharjah | The National:



"Russia’s Rosneft may exit its joint operations in Sharjah with the UAE’s Crescent Petroleum, after its two-well gas exploration programme proved unsuccessful.



The Russian energy producer issued a statement to The National that said the joint development, with two exploration wells drilled between 2011 and 2014, did not show any commercial hydrocarbon reserves. “As a result, Rosneft is considering the possibility of exiting the project,” it said.



Rosneft GDRs were down yesterday to US$4.861 in afternoon London trading, a slight dip from $4.987 at the close of Friday. Alpha Bank’s analyst covering Russia, Alexander Kornilov, said that Rosneft’s decision follows the same logic that is driving major global oil companies to cut capital expenditure (capex) amid lower oil prices."



'via Blog this'

UAE’s wealthy look to park more in real estate | GulfNews.com

UAE’s wealthy look to park more in real estate | GulfNews.com:



"For the local property market and those outside, there are good tidings - 40 per cent high networth investors in the UAE could be looking to widen their exposure to this asset class, according to a survey carried out by the consultancy Knight Frank.



More important for the UAE’s own property market, a third of these investments are likely to be made locally.



In fact, as per the survey, an average 35 per cent of UAE based investors’ investment portfolios were allocated to real estate interests."



'via Blog this'

DAE sells aircraft maintenance company StandardAero | GulfNews.com

DAE sells aircraft maintenance company StandardAero | GulfNews.com:



"Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE), the majority Dubai government owned aircraft leasing and maintenance company, said on Wednesday it is selling its aircraft maintenance repair and overhaul company StandardAero to an affiliate of private equity firm Veritas Capital.



The value of the deal was not disclosed, however, DAE said it will use the capital from the sale to “aggressively acquire aircraft assets to expand its aircraft leasing portfolio,” according to an emailed statement.



After selling US-based StandardAero, DAE will now “refocus “its efforts on building a world class aerospace footprint anchored in Dubai.” DAE’s current net book value is $3.7 billion (Dh13.6 billion)."



'via Blog this'

Airbus Looks Beyond Big Gulf Three to Spur Mideast Growth - Bloomberg Business

Airbus Looks Beyond Big Gulf Three to Spur Mideast Growth - Bloomberg Business:



"Airbus Group NV is looking beyond the big three Gulf airlines to capture growth in the Middle East and North Africa as it predicts other carriers will account for about two-thirds of total sales in the region by 2032.



With a “bonanza” of orders in recent years from Emirates, Qatar Airways Ltd. and Etihad Airways PJSC unlikely to be repeated anytime soon, Airbus is targeting smaller airlines from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia or Morocco, said Habib Fekih, president of Airbus Group Middle East.



“The big three can maybe grab 30 to 35 percent of the forecast fleet demand, but the rest has to go somewhere else,” Fekih said in a telephone interview. “I don’t see an airline ordering hundreds of aircraft every year.”"



'via Blog this'

Ireland to sell Aer Lingus stake to IAG - BBC News

Ireland to sell Aer Lingus stake to IAG - BBC News:



"The Irish government has agreed to sell its 25% stake in Aer Lingus to IAG, the owner of British Airways.



The board of the Irish airline is also recommending IAG's €1.36bn (£961m) takeover offer for Aer Lingus.



While the Irish government is now supporting the takeover offer, the other big shareholder in Aer Lingus, Ryanair, is yet to make a decision."



'via Blog this'

MidEast Shares Mostly Gain, Saudi Stocks Rise As Saudi Arabian Mining Jumps - NASDAQ.com

MidEast Shares Mostly Gain, Saudi Stocks Rise As Saudi Arabian Mining Jumps - NASDAQ.com:



"Middle East stocks mostly rose, with Saudi Arabia rising on the heels of a rally in Saudi Arabian Mining after Al Rajhi Capital raised its price target on the shares to 52.00 riyals from 41.00 riyals, citing its growing output and an improving business outlook.



Also, Almarai's board approved a capital investment plan for 2016-2020 which will reach 21 billion riyals ($5.6 billion). The company said it wanted to double consolidated sales in the period and expand its activities in farming, manufacturing, distribution and logistics, according to Reuters.



In other company news around the region, a company executive at Marka said it expected to turn profitable in 2016, even though the firm had earlier targeted profitability in Q415. Marka also said it completed its first international investment: a 65% acquisition in Icons, a football memorabilia company, for 15.3 million dirhams ($4.2 million)."



'via Blog this'

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

UPDATE 2-MIDEAST STOCKS-Almarai, Ma'aden lift Saudi; Egypt slips | Reuters

UPDATE 2-MIDEAST STOCKS-Almarai, Ma'aden lift Saudi; Egypt slips | Reuters:



"Saudi Arabia's stock market rose in early trade on Tuesday, supported by industrial blue chips, while Egypt's bourse slipped as index compiler MSCI prepared to reduce the country's weighting in its emerging markets index.



The main Saudi index edged up 0.5 percent as dairy firm Almarai rose 1.9 percent after its board approved a capital investment plan for 2016-2020 which will reach 21 billion riyals ($5.6 billion).



The firm said it wanted to double consolidated sales in the period and expand its activities in farming, manufacturing, distribution and logistics."



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How hedge funds make money - YouTube

How hedge funds make money - YouTube: ""



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Private equity made simple - YouTube

Private equity made simple - YouTube: ""



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Returns beyond government bonds? - YouTube

Returns beyond government bonds? - YouTube: ""



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Emirates Global Aluminium to spend $5bn boosting capacity | The National

Emirates Global Aluminium to spend $5bn boosting capacity | The National:



"State-owned Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA) is spending US$5.2 billion to boost capacity at its smelter in Dubai and build an alumina refinery in Abu Dhabi, a company executive said yesterday.



EGA, the world’s fifth-largest aluminium producer, was formed last year with the merger of Abu Dhabi’s Emirates Aluminium (Emal) and Dubai Aluminium (Dubal).



EGA is adding about 40,000 tonnes per annum to the 1 million tonnes per annum smelter at Dubal due for start-up in 2017 and it is building a 2.2 million tonnes per annum alumina refinery in Al Taweelah in Abu Dhabi set for start-up in the first quarter of 2018, said Mohammad Abdulrahman, EGA’s vice president, Emal Phase II and major projects."



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The National Investor annual net profit slumps 70% | GulfNews.com

The National Investor annual net profit slumps 70% | GulfNews.com:



"The National Investor said on Monday its net profits for the year to March 2015 slumped 70 per cent.



Net profit for the year to March 2015 fell to Dh23 million from Dh80.4 million in the year before period, it said in a statement posted on Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange.



Fees and service income, however, rose to Dh123 million in the last fiscal year from around Dh95 million."



'via Blog this'

Brent Crude Trades Near $65 on Middle East Violence, OPEC Supply - Bloomberg Business

Brent Crude Trades Near $65 on Middle East Violence, OPEC Supply - Bloomberg Business:



"Oil traded near $65 a barrel as investors weighed flaring Middle East violence against signs that OPEC’s production policy will keep the global market amply supplied.



Futures slid as much as 0.7 percent in London after rising 0.2 percent Monday. Iraq’s prime minister pledged a swift takeover of the city of Ramadi from Islamic State militants, while in Saudi Arabia, King Salman vowed to punish those responsible for a suicide attack on Shiite worshipers. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will probably maintain its output quota at a June 5 meeting, a Bloomberg survey shows.



Oil’s recovery from a six-year low in January is stalling this month amid speculation a global glut will persist. OPEC, which pumps 40 percent of the world’s crude, is seen sticking with its strategy of favoring market share over supporting prices, while U.S. supply remains near a record."



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Iran Increases Its Fuel Prices by 40% in a Bid to Boost Revenue - Bloomberg Business

Iran Increases Its Fuel Prices by 40% in a Bid to Boost Revenue - Bloomberg Business:



"Iran has raised fuel prices by 40 percent and scrapped an eight-year-old rationing program for private motorists as President Hassan Rouhani’s government seeks to shore up public finances.



Gas stations will sell regular fuel for 10,000 rials (36 U.S. cents), a liter, said Naser Sajadi, head of national Iranian Oil Products Distribution Co., according to Iranian state television. Under the plan that’s being discontinued, monthly consumption of up to 60 liters was at 7,000 rials a liter. The change will come into effect on Tuesday, Sajadi said.



Iran, an OPEC member, is scaling back a subsidy program that, along with international sanctions over the country’s nuclear program, has squeezed public finances. The decision to raise fuel prices will bring in about $1.8 billion in revenue in the Iranian year ending March 2016, said Saeed Laylaz, an economist and former adviser to ex-President Mohammad Khatami, downplaying its effect on inflation."



'via Blog this'

Monday, 25 May 2015

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets little moved but Saudi's Ma'aden surges; Egypt slips | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets little moved but Saudi's Ma'aden surges; Egypt slips | Reuters:



"Gulf stock markets were narrowly mixed on Monday as oil prices moved very little and bourses were shut for public holidays in the United States and much of Europe.



Brent oil inched up early on Monday on strong Asian and U.S. demand but then slipped towards $65 a barrel as the U.S. dollar strengthened.



Saudi Arabia's index inched down 0.1 percent and National Industrialization Co (Tasnee) was the main drag, dropping 2.3 percent after its chief executive told Saudi Arabia's Al-Riyadh newspaper that its petrochemicals business faced increased competition from Chinese producers while the titanium business suffered from lower prices."



'via Blog this'

UPDATE 2-MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi Arabia edges up on Ma'aden; Egypt slips | Reuters

UPDATE 2-MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi Arabia edges up on Ma'aden; Egypt slips | Reuters:



"Saudi Arabian Mining Co (Ma'aden) lifted the kingdom's bourse in early trade on Monday, while Egypt's market slipped after a rally but stayed well above a technical support level.



The main Saudi index inched up 0.3 percent as Ma'aden jumped 3.4 percent to 45.30 riyals after Al Rajhi Capital raised the stock's target price to 52.00 riyals from 41.00 riyals, citing its growing output and an improving business outlook.



Ma'aden said this month that its massive smelter run jointly with U.S. group Alcoa, which had experienced several technical glitches on start-up, would produce above its initial capacity target this year."



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India's manufacturing future - YouTube

India's manufacturing future - YouTube: ""



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Where next? - YouTube

Where next? - YouTube: ""



'via Blog this'

Kuwait’s Global Beats Restructuring Plan on Mideast Buyout Boom - Bloomberg Business

Kuwait’s Global Beats Restructuring Plan on Mideast Buyout Boom - Bloomberg Business:



"Surging buyout activity in the Middle East is helping Global Investment House get ahead of plans to repay creditors after the Kuwaiti financial company restructured $1.7 billion of debt twice in the past five years.



The company generated $122 million from asset sales between July 2013 and the end of last year, exceeding a target of $35 million in its agreement with creditors, Ibrahim Saad, chairman of Global, said in an interview in Dubai. This year, asset sales also continue to be ahead of target, Saad said, declining to provide further details.



Global delisted its shares and created a so-called bad bank owned by creditors including Standard Chartered Plc, Deutsche Bank AG and Gulf Bank KSC as part of its second revamp agreement in 2013. The remaining part of the business, in which creditors were given a 70 percent stake, was left debt-free and given the mandate for the sale of assets from the bad bank and return the cash to creditors."



'via Blog this'

Saudi Politics Blamed as Market Asks Where Did All the Sukuk Go? - Bloomberg Business

Saudi Politics Blamed as Market Asks Where Did All the Sukuk Go? - Bloomberg Business:



"When King Salman started Saudi Arabia’s biggest political shakeup in at least a decade, the fate of sukuk sales was probably the last thing on his mind.



Saudi companies have yet to market a single security in 2015, making it the country’s quietest start for Islamic sales in nine years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. King Salman has reorganized his cabinet, removed princes from government roles, merged ministries and realigned succession since ascending to the throne in January.



“You’re not going to commit to large-scale spending unless you’re confident the government’s policies will continue,” Emad Mostaque, who travels regularly to Saudi Arabia as a strategist at emerging markets consultancy company Ecstrat Ltd. in London, said by e-mail on May 22. “You had a complete overhaul of the political process, realignment of ministries. There have been a lot of changes. You need some stability before you start looking at sukuk-type issuance.”"



'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets dip, tracking oil; Egypt extends gains | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets dip, tracking oil; Egypt extends gains | Reuters:



"Most Gulf stock markets slipped on Sunday after oil prices fell, while Egyptian equities extended gains following the delay of an unpopular capital gains tax. 




Brent oil fell $1.17, or 1.8 percent, to $65.37 a barrel on Friday, declining 2.1 percent on the week as a rallying dollar and profit-taking ahead of a long U.S. holiday weekend cut short a two-day rally.



Petrochemicals giant Saudi Basic Industries, whose profits are sensitive to oil prices, dropped 2.5 percent and was the main drag on Saudi Arabia's index which lost 0.4 percent."



'via Blog this'

Sunday, 24 May 2015

UPDATE 2-MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi slips after oil price drop, bomb attack; Egypt up | Reuters

UPDATE 2-MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi slips after oil price drop, bomb attack; Egypt up | Reuters:



"Saudi Arabia's stock market fell in early trade on Sunday after oil prices fell and Islamic State militants carried out their first attack in the kingdom, while Egypt's bourse extended gains after rising above key technical resistance.



Brent oil fell $1.17, or 1.8 percent, to $65.37 a barrel on Friday, declining 2.1 percent on the week as a rallying dollar and profit-taking ahead of a long U.S. holiday weekend cut short a two-day rally.



Petrochemicals giant Saudi Basic Industries, whose profits are sensitive to oil prices, dropped 2.7 percent and was the main drag on Saudi Arabia's index which lost 0.7 percent."



'via Blog this'

Saudi Oil Supply Outpaces Rivals in Grab for Record China Demand - Bloomberg Business

Saudi Oil Supply Outpaces Rivals in Grab for Record China Demand - Bloomberg Business:



"Saudi Arabia expanded its share of China’s oil market last month, outpacing rival producers as they compete to meet record demand from the world’s biggest energy consumer.



China’s imports from the Middle East producer jumped 37 percent from a year earlier to the highest level since July 2013, according to customs data. The world’s biggest crude exporter was the No. 1 supplier to the Asian nation, accounting for 17.4 percent of its overseas purchases, up from 15.1 percent in March. The next three largest sellers -- Russia, Iran and Angola -- lost market share.



Record imports by China are contributing to a recovery in benchmark oil from a six-year low amid speculation the purchases will help shrink the global supply glut that drove crude’s collapse in 2014. Saudi Arabia has led OPEC’s policy of maintaining production to defend its market share and force U.S. shale drillers to curb the highest American output in more than three decades."



'via Blog this'

Wealthy Gulf investors should focus on Mena infrastructure, WEF’s Gordon Brown says | The National

Wealthy Gulf investors should focus on Mena infrastructure, WEF’s Gordon Brown says | The National:



"Gordon Brown, the former UK prime minister and current head of the World Economic Forum’s infrastructure initiative, urged wealthy Arabian Gulf states and individuals to invest in much-needed infrastructure projects in the poorer parts of the Middle East.



There is a huge spending deficit on infrastructure in the region compared to other parts of the world, Mr Brown noted.



According to a World Bank report, the Middle East and North Africa taken together invests only about 5 per cent of its collective GDP in infrastructure, compared to 15 per cent for China and 10 per cent on average globally."



'via Blog this'

Iraq oil revenue deal with Kurdish Regional Government expected soon | The National

Iraq oil revenue deal with Kurdish Regional Government expected soon | The National:



"A comprehensive deal over how Iraq’s oil output and revenue is managed – a crucial step to make progress on the political front – should be settled in a matter of weeks, according to Iraq’s deputy prime minister in charge of energy.



“We need a few weeks to work on it in council, then we will send it to the parliament for a vote,” said Baha Al Araji, Iraq’s deputy prime minister, on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum on the Middle East and North Africa gathering in Jordan. “We have three problems to solve, but they are not technical – they’re political with Kurdistan. In a few weeks a draft will be ready.”



The main dispute centres around the details of how the Kurdish Regional Government handles its exports and how the central government in Baghdad distributes money back to the KRG. There was a deal in place in December, in which the KRG committed to handing over 550,000 barrels of oil per day from areas under its control to Iraq’s state oil marketing organisation."



'via Blog this'

Mystery of the missing millions of barrels of oil | GulfNews.com

Mystery of the missing millions of barrels of oil | GulfNews.com:



"Oil-market watchers are struggling to reconcile the large estimated oversupply in the market with the much smaller build-up of reported inventories and narrowing contango in futures prices.



Some blame the barrel counters who compile official statistics on supply, demand and stocks. But the truth is that information on the world oil market is incomplete and it is easy for hundreds of millions of barrels of oil to disappear from the supply chain without being counted.



According to the three main statistical agencies, the global market has been oversupplied by between 1.5 million and 2.5 million barrels per day (bpd) since the start of the year. Stockpiles should have increased by between 200 million and 350 million barrels, according to the International Energy Agency, Opec and the US Energy Information Administration."



'via Blog this'

UPDATE 1-MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets mixed after oil prices retreat | News by Country | Reuters

UPDATE 1-MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets mixed after oil prices retreat | News by Country | Reuters:



"Gulf stock markets were mixed in early trade on Sunday after oil prices fell and corporate news provided few positive catalysts.



Brent oil settled down $1.17, or 1.8 percent, at $65.37 a barrel on Friday, falling 2.1 percent on the week as a rallying dollar and profit-taking ahead of a long U.S. holiday weekend cut short a two-day rally.



Dubai's index dropped 0.7 percent as most stocks declined. Developer DAMAC and builder Arabtec , the most traded stocks, were down 1.3 and 3.3 percent respectively."



'via Blog this'

Saudi Arabia on fossil fuel cuts - YouTube

Saudi Arabia on fossil fuel cuts - YouTube: ""



'via Blog this'

Beware bond tantrums ahead - YouTube

Beware bond tantrums ahead - YouTube: ""



'via Blog this'

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Why putting bank bosses behind bars is still nigh on impossible | Business | The Guardian

Why putting bank bosses behind bars is still nigh on impossible | Business | The Guardian:



"US attorney general Loretta Lynch declared last week that five major banks had engaged in “brazenly illegal behaviour” on a “near-daily basis” in rigging foreign exchange markets. But no sooner had she imposed record £2.6bn fines on the banks and extracted guilty pleas from four of them – including Royal Bank of Scotland and Barclays – than she was facing questions about why no charges were brought against individuals.



This is a familiar refrain ever since the 2008 banking crisis led to multibillion-pound bailouts. Some bankers have ended up behind bars: Iceland currently has four former bank bosses in jail, while in the US a few junior bankers have been convicted. Ireland convicted two former executives of Anglo Irish Bank, but did not jail them.



However, to many, the list seems short when compared with the $235bn of fines that Reuters calculates have been imposed on 20 major banks in the past seven years for market rigging, sanctions busting, money laundering and mis-selling mortgage bonds in the runup to the 2008 crisis."



'via Blog this'

Friday, 22 May 2015

Amlak to resume trading after almost seven years | The National

Amlak to resume trading after almost seven years | The National:



"Amlak Finance, the UAE mortgage lender that was almost scuppered by the financial crisis of 2008, will start trading again on the Dubai Financial Market on June 2.



The resumption of trade marks the end of the company’s long restructuring journey. The Sharia-compliant home lender was among the biggest casualties of the collapse in Dubai house prices six years ago.



The shares were last traded on November 20, 2008, at Dh1.02 each. “The board’s decision for the readmission of our shares on the DFM will mark the last step for us in the restructuring process and resumption of trading,” said Arif Alharmi, the chief executive of Amlak Finance."



'via Blog this'

Dutch restrictions unlikely to hurt Emirates, Etihad | GulfNews.com

Dutch restrictions unlikely to hurt Emirates, Etihad | GulfNews.com:



"A move by the Dutch government to block the Gulfs three largest airline from adding more flights to Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport is unlikely to have a major impact on the carriers.



“If restrictions are placed on further access it may be an irritation to the Gulf carriers but they have many other opportunities, which they can exploit,” said John Strickland, Director of London-based JLS Consulting, by email.



Dutch newspaper, Financieele Dagblad, reported earlier this week the government will not allow Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways to launch any new flights to Amsterdam."



'via Blog this'

OPEC Refuses to Yield in Battle for Oil-Market Share - Bloomberg Business

OPEC Refuses to Yield in Battle for Oil-Market Share - Bloomberg Business:



"OPEC will stick with the strategy of favoring market share over prices when it meets next month because rival producers are already starting to buckle.



All but one of the 34 analysts and traders surveyed by Bloomberg said the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will maintain its daily production target of 30 million barrels when it meets in Vienna on June 5.



Saudi Arabia, the biggest of OPEC’s 12 members, shaped the strategy at the last meeting in November, arguing that the usual response of cutting output to boost prices would not address the threat from shale and other higher-cost suppliers. Prices rose 46 percent since mid-January as producers cut spending plans and the number of active U.S. drilling rigs fell by the most ever."



'via Blog this'

Kingdom built on oil foresees fossil fuel phase-out this century - FT.com

Kingdom built on oil foresees fossil fuel phase-out this century - FT.com:



"Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest crude exporter, could phase out the use of fossil fuels by the middle of this century, Ali al-Naimi, the kingdom’s oil minister, said on Thursday.



The statement represents a stunning admission by a nation whose wealth, power and outsize influence in the world are predicated on its vast reserves of crude oil.



Mr Naimi, whose comments on oil supply routinely move markets, told a conference in Paris on business and climate change: “In Saudi Arabia, we recognise that eventually, one of these days, we are not going to need fossil fuels. I don’t know when, in 2040, 2050 or thereafter.”"



'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets edge up as oil rises; Egypt resumes rally | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets edge up as oil rises; Egypt resumes rally | Reuters:



"Most major Gulf stock markets edged up on Thursday, supported by positive corporate news, while Egypt's bourse resumed a broad rally that had been sparked by the delay of an unpopular capital gains tax.



Brent oil rose towards $66 a barrel on Thursday, advancing for a second day and supported by expectations that a global supply glut is starting to ease and by fighting in Iraq.



The U.S. government's supply report on Wednesday showed crude inventories declined for a third week. Stockpiles had been at record levels due to excess supply, raising concern that storage capacity was getting tight."



'via Blog this'

Thursday, 21 May 2015

IPO activity expected to pick up in the UAE and Saudi Arabia after slow start | The National

IPO activity expected to pick up in the UAE and Saudi Arabia after slow start | The National:



"Upcoming initial public offerings in Saudi Arabia and the UAE are expected to make up for a disappointing first quarter in the region.



“The outlook for the remainder of the year is expected to improve with set IPOs and several announcements by issuers mainly on the Saudi and the UAE stock exchanges,” said Steve Drake, the head of the consultancy PwC’s capital markets and accounting advisory team in the Middle East.



“UAE regulators have initiated significant developments recently, with Nasdaq Dubai’s collaboration agreement with EGX [the Egyptian Exchange] and the new UAE Commercial Companies Law expected to further encourage listings.”"



'via Blog this'

Topaz first-quarter profit plunges 88% | The National

Topaz first-quarter profit plunges 88% | The National:



"The Dubai-based oilfield services company Topaz Energy and Marine said its net profit fell 88 per cent in the first quarter as its clients cut spending because of a drop in oil prices and rising costs.



The company’s net profit came in at US$1.1 million compared with $9.2m in the same period a year ago. Revenue for the period was $85.2m, down 4.7 per cent from $89.4m in the same period last year.



On a geographic basis, revenue from the Mena region fell 12.4 per cent, and 10.6 per cent in Africa. It did, however, rise 3.9 per cent in the Caspian region."



'via Blog this'

Saudi regulator cancels Arabian Contracting float | GulfNews.com

Saudi regulator cancels Arabian Contracting float | GulfNews.com:



"Saudi Arabia’s stock market regulator said on Wednesday it had cancelled approval for a flotation by Arabian Contracting Services Co at the advertising firm’s request.



The Capital Market Authority said the company had discovered “new material information” which was not disclosed in its draft prospectus, and which needed to be assessed for its impact on operations and financial performance. It did not elaborate.



Last week, approval was issued for the sale of a 30 per cent stake in Arabian Contracting, with the offer set to run between June 10 and 16."



'via Blog this'

UPDATE 1-MIDEAST STOCKS-Dubai's Emaar rises as unit Amlak says to resume trade | News by Country | Reuters

UPDATE 1-MIDEAST STOCKS-Dubai's Emaar rises as unit Amlak says to resume trade | News by Country | Reuters:



"Dubai's Emaar Properties lifted the emirate's bourse in early trade on Thursday after Amlak Finance, in which it has a large stake, said trading in its shares would resume next month. Other Gulf markets also edged up.



Dubai's index added 0.5 percent as Emaar rose 0.7 percent after Islamic mortgage provider Amlak, whose shares have been suspended since November 2008, said it would resume trading on Dubai's main bourse on June 2.



Emaar has a 45 percent stake in Amlak, according to Thomson Reuters data."



'via Blog this'

Is this the last of the bank fines? - YouTube

Is this the last of the bank fines? - YouTube: ""



'via Blog this'

Bond Drought Is Not a Problem as Dubai Islamic Returns to Market - Bloomberg Business

Bond Drought Is Not a Problem as Dubai Islamic Returns to Market - Bloomberg Business:



"The worst start to a year since 2011 for Gulf sukuk sales isn’t deterring the United Arab Emirates’ oldest Shariah-compliant bank from tapping the market for the second time in four months.



Dubai Islamic Bank PJSC’s $1 billion perpetual notes sold in January are the Gulf Cooperation Council’s best performing Shariah-compliant bonds in 2015, returning investors triple the average gain through May 20. A fresh issue from the lender, which starts meeting investors on Thursday, would cement its status as the top borrower in the region after sales plunged 63 percent from a year ago.



“Dubai Islamic has been ahead of the field in terms of raising capital at a competitive funding cost,” Sanyalaksna Manibhandu, the head of research at NBAD Securities LLC, the brokerage of the country’s biggest bank, said by phone from Abu Dhabi on Wednesday. The bank expanded faster “than other lenders in the U.A.E. in 2014 and will likely do so again in 2015. All of that requires capital,” he said."



'via Blog this'

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

American’s Parker Says U.S. Rejected Early Freeze on Gulf Rivals - Bloomberg Business

American’s Parker Says U.S. Rejected Early Freeze on Gulf Rivals - Bloomberg Business:



"Federal regulators declined to freeze expansion in the U.S. by three Persian Gulf carriers while reviewing whether they’re unfairly subsidized, American Airlines’ chief executive officer Doug Parker said



U.S. officials turned down the request by American Airlines Group Inc., Delta Air Lines Inc. and United Continental Holdings Inc. because they don’t want to take any action while the review is still going on, Parker said in an interview at Bloomberg’s New York headquarters Tuesday. “They are doing their due diligence,” he said.



The U.S. trio has complained that Emirates, Qatar Airways Ltd. and Etihad Airways PJSC have received more than $40 billion in government support, providing an unfair competitive advantage. The U.S. airlines say the gulf carriers are adding as many flights as possible while regulators decide whether to seek talks over the issue."



'via Blog this'

Standard Chartered Tumult in Middle East as Exits Quicken - Bloomberg Business

Standard Chartered Tumult in Middle East as Exits Quicken - Bloomberg Business:



"Nowhere, perhaps, is the turmoil at Standard Chartered Plc more evident than in the Middle East, as an exodus of top managers and exits from regional businesses threaten to undermine the bank’s top five position in debt capital markets.



While Viswanathan Shankar, Dubai-based chief executive officer for Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the Americas, is the highest profile departure to date, others are rapidly following. Afaq Khan, global head of Islamic banking, Mohsin Ali Nathani, CEO for the United Arab Emirates and Hassan Jarrar, CEO for Bahrain, are all leaving or will do so, according to people with knowledge of the matter who asked not to be identified.



The departures coincide with a push by local banks to muscle in on the bank’s traditional strength as an arranger of syndicated loans and bond deals in the Gulf. National Bank of Abu Dhabi has risen six positions since the end of 2013 to second on bond transactions this year, the spot Standard Chartered held at the end of 2013, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The London-based bank is in fifth place this year. Emirates NBD, the largest Dubai bank, is another local lender also climbing the rankings, advancing to sixth so far this year, compared with ninth in 2013."



'via Blog this'

Banks hit by record fine for rigging forex markets | Business | The Guardian

Banks hit by record fine for rigging forex markets | Business | The Guardian:



"The reputation of the banking industry took another hammering on Wednesday as the fines imposed on major banks – including Barclays and bailed-out Royal Bank of Scotland – for rigging foreign exchange markets topped £6.3bn.



The US Department of Justice accused the industry of “breathtaking flagrancy” as, along with other regulators on both sides of the Atlantic, it imposed a record $5.7bn (£3.7bn) of punishments on six banks. The new fines followed£2.6bn of penalties announced in November for manipulation of the £3.5tn a day currency markets.



Barclays was fined £1.5bn by five regulators, including a record £284m by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority. The FCA will hand its fine to the chancellor, George Osborne. Yet Barclays’ stock market value rose by £1.5bn as a result of a 3% rise in its share price amid relief the fine was not even larger. RBS’s shares also rose 1.8%. The increases came even though the regulators said there could be more fines to come."



'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Oil weighs on Saudi petchems; Egypt pulls back after rally | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Oil weighs on Saudi petchems; Egypt pulls back after rally | Reuters:



"Gulf stock markets were mixed on Wednesday as oil prices failed to recover the previous day's losses, while Egypt's bourse pulled back following a broad rally prompted by a decision to delay the unpopular capital gains tax.



Brent oil fell over 3 percent on Tuesday to a one-month low of $63.95 per barrel on a U.S. dollar rally and concern about a building glut, which Goldman Sachs said would lead to a return to 2015 lows.



It rose 1.5 percent on Wednesday after strong Japanese economic growth surprised markets, but remained below $65."



'via Blog this'

UPDATE 2-MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi Arabia slips, Egypt pulls back after rally | Reuters

UPDATE 2-MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi Arabia slips, Egypt pulls back after rally | Reuters:



"Saudi Arabia's stock market edged down in early trade on Wednesday after oil prices dropped, while Egypt's bourse pulled back following a broad rally prompted by a move to delay the unpopular capital gains tax.



Brent oil fell over 3 percent on Tuesday to a one-month low of $63.95 per barrel on a U.S. dollar rally and concern about a building glut, which Goldman Sachs said would lead to a return to 2015 lows.



It has risen 1.2 percent on Wednesday after strong Japanese economic growth surprised markets, but remains below $65."



'via Blog this'

Drill deeper than oil for Saudi prosperity - FT.com

Drill deeper than oil for Saudi prosperity - FT.com:



"When your income is cut in half, it helps to have a few dollars on hand, but even then you will have to make changes. So it is in Saudi Arabia, whose main export — oil — fetches two-fifths less than it did a year ago. The choices now being made stand to alter the face of the kingdom.



The Saudis have amassed an enviable war chest since the last oil price slump ended at the turn of the century, recording a budget surplus in all but two of the years since 2001. Government debt has fallen from about 100 per cent of gross domestic product to almost nothing. Foreign exchange reserves are enough to satisfy import appetite for close to three years.



Still, something has to give. Saudi Arabia will register its first double-digit budget deficit this year. With the oil price seemingly stuck at $60-odd a barrel, businesses are watching for clues to what the government might do next."



'via Blog this'

Russia: economy in tatters, or business as usual? | beyondbrics

Russia: economy in tatters, or business as usual? | beyondbrics:



"Much has been said over the last six months about the collapse of the Russian economy as a result of sanctions and the falling oil price, on top of other negative factors such as bureaucracy and corruption, high inflation, inefficiencies in production, ageing infrastructure, a failure to innovate and diversify and capital flight. A slew of economic data point to a deep recession, and US President Barack Obama describes Russia’s economy as being in tatters. No one seems to be denying the long-term negative impact on the economy; even the government expects two tough years ahead, a prediction regarded as hopelessly optimistic by many economists.



However, anecdotally at least, it doesn’t feel like a financial meltdown here in Russia.



There are no Venezuela-style food queues, or queues for foreign hard currency. Shopping centres in Moscow are buzzing with people buying western imported goods, supermarkets remain fully stocked (although the steak is now Argentinian and not Australian), new caf├ęs and other outlets are popping up everywhere and the usual temporary wooden terraces are being constructed on pavements outside restaurants to catch the summer tourist trade (these tourists being mostly Russians from other parts of the country, as has always been the case). Roads are still gridlocked, public transport still packed and the airports are overrun with Russian sun-seekers flying off to Florida, Rome, Turkey and Thailand, along with those travelling to other cities in Russia to reunite with relatives and loved ones."



'via Blog this'

UPDATE 1-MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets edge up, Emaar rises ahead of Egypt unit's IPO | Reuters

UPDATE 1-MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets edge up, Emaar rises ahead of Egypt unit's IPO | Reuters:



"Gulf stock markets edged up in early trade on Wednesday and Emaar Properties supported Dubai's bourse after announcing its intention to float its Egyptian subsidiary.



Emaar rose 0.9 percent after saying it would float a 13 percent stake in the subsidiary and use some of share sale proceeds to fund new developments in Egypt and grow its land bank in the country.



Dubai's index climbed 0.7 percent as most other stocks were also positive."



'via Blog this'

EU membership is in UK's national interest - CBI - BBC News

EU membership is in UK's national interest - CBI - BBC News:



"Businesses should "speak out early" in favour of remaining in a reformed European Union, the president of the Confederation of British Industry says.



Sir Mike Rake will argue at the group's annual dinner that firms "must be crystal clear that membership is in our national interest".



There are "no credible alternatives" to EU membership, Sir Mike will say."



'via Blog this'

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Emirates NBD, Abraaj Said to Weigh IPO of Payments Unit - Bloomberg Business

Emirates NBD, Abraaj Said to Weigh IPO of Payments Unit - Bloomberg Business:



"Emirates NBD PJSC, Dubai’s largest lender, and buyout firm Abraaj Group are considering an initial public offering of credit-card processing unit Network International LLC, according to three people with knowledge of the matter.



The business, one of the largest payment processing firms in the Middle East and North Africa, would be valued at more than $1 billion in an IPO, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private. The share sale would take place in the fourth quarter or in early 2016, the people said, with the two firms yet to appoint financial advisers.



Abraaj bought 49 percent of Network International from Emirates NBD for about 2 billion dirhams ($545 million) in late 2010. The unit serves about 70 banks and financial institutions in the Middle East and Africa and more than 17,000 individual merchants, according to information on Abraaj’s website. The company also manages one of the region’s most extensive ATM networks. Emirates NBD retains a 51 percent stake."



'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Egypt rises further on tax delay; weaker oil leaves Gulf mixed | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Egypt rises further on tax delay; weaker oil leaves Gulf mixed | Reuters:



"Egypt's bourse extended its rally on Tuesday after the government put on hold a capital gains tax, while Gulf markets were mixed as oil prices softened.



The Cairo index rose 0.9 percent to 8,878 points, a seven-week high, after surging 6.5 percent in the previous session.



The government on Monday froze plans for a 10 percent tax on capital gains for two years, reversing a central component of its economic reform agenda that investors had criticised. It kept in place a 10 percent dividend tax."



'via Blog this'

Vladimir Potanin: Russia's Richest Man Says Sanctions Are Waning - Bloomberg Business

Vladimir Potanin: Russia's Richest Man Says Sanctions Are Waning - Bloomberg Business:



"Russia’s richest man said international investors are coming back to the country and the impact of sanctions has peaked.



“Now it’s getting clear that the situation is more politically stable or predictable,” Vladimir Potanin, who heads Russia’s biggest miner, OAO GMK Norilsk Nickel, said in an interview with Bloomberg Television on Monday. “Nobody wants more sanctions. I think we reached a stable level in terms of tensions.”



Europe and the U.S. imposed sanctions on Russia’s energy and finance industries and dozens of prominent individuals last year after the nation annexed Crimea from Ukraine. The ruble lost almost half its value as the central bank burned through currency reserves in an attempt to slow the collapse."



'via Blog this'

UPDATE 1-MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets move little, lacking catalysts | Reuters

UPDATE 1-MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets move little, lacking catalysts | Reuters:



"Most Gulf stock markets moved little in early trade on Tuesday in the absence of fresh catalysts and against a mixed global background.



Brent oil prices have dropped in Asian trade on Tuesday on signs of weakness at the world's top energy consumer China, but U.S. crude futures have edged up on rising demand ahead of the summer driving season.



Asian shares have risen after both the Dow Jones industrial average and the S&P 500 in the United States closed at record highs."



'via Blog this'

Saudi conglomerate improves deal for creditors - FT.com

Saudi conglomerate improves deal for creditors - FT.com:



"The Saudi conglomerate at the centre of one of the region’s largest corporate collapses has proposed a more generous repayment offer for creditors on debts of SR24bn ($6.4bn).



Ahmad Hamad Algosaibi & Brothers has agreed the enhanced proposal with leading creditors, including Standard Chartered and BNP Paribas. It said it planned to present the potential deal to broader creditors at a meeting in Dubai on June 2.



The proposal is another step towards resolving the six-year saga of the Gulf’s most complicated restructuring, which has encompassed litigation across several jurisdictions amid allegations and denials of fraud."



'via Blog this'

Reviving Turkey's economy - YouTube

Reviving Turkey's economy - YouTube: ""



'via Blog this'

Reform-minded Ukraine merits debt reduction - YouTube

Reform-minded Ukraine merits debt reduction - YouTube: ""



'via Blog this'

Oil price plunge leads to project cuts - YouTube

Oil price plunge leads to project cuts - YouTube: ""



'via Blog this'

Oil down as firmer dollar, ample supplies offset Mideast turmoil | Reuters

Oil down as firmer dollar, ample supplies offset Mideast turmoil | Reuters:



"Oil slipped on Monday as a rallying dollar and concerns of growing oversupply weighed on the market after Saudi Arabia reported its highest crude exports in nearly a decade.



Crude oil futures erased early gains of more than $1 a barrel on worries of turmoil in the Middle East after a major advance by Islamic State militants in Iraq and renewed air strikes by a Saudi-led coalition against Houthi militia in Yemen.



The dollar rose more than 1 percent against a basket of major currencies .DXY, its most in three weeks. The 19-commodity, crude oil-dominated Thomson Reuters/Core Commodity CRB Index .TRJCRBTR fell 0.3 percent as the stronger dollar made raw materials denominated in the currency less affordable to holders of the euro and other denomination."



'via Blog this'

Monday, 18 May 2015

MIDEAST STOCKS-Egypt surges as capital gains tax delayed; Gulf mixed | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Egypt surges as capital gains tax delayed; Gulf mixed | Reuters:



"Egypt's bourse posted its biggest daily gain in 22 months on Monday after the government said it had put on hold a new tax on capital gains from stock market operations. Markets in the Gulf were narrowly mixed as a truce in Yemen expired. 




The Cairo index surged 6.5 percent to 8,798 points, with all stocks positive. At least a dozen names, including blue chips Talaat Moustafa Group and EFG Hermes, surged their daily 10 percent limits, indicating the rally could continue in the next session.



The government froze plans for a 10 percent tax on capital gains for two years, reversing a central component of its economic reform agenda that investors had criticised. It kept in place a 10 percent dividend tax."



'via Blog this'

UPDATE 1-MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets mixed, Qatar MSCI picks pull back | Reuters

UPDATE 1-MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets mixed, Qatar MSCI picks pull back | Reuters:



"Gulf stock markets were narrowly mixed in early trade on Monday after the Saudi-led coalition resumed air raids against Yemen's Houthis and global equities slipped on concern about economic growth in the United States.



Brent crude oil rose above $67 per barrel on Monday on supply worries following fighting in Iraq and Yemen, but signs of strengthening U.S. production have capped gains.



Meanwhile, Asian shares slipped on Monday after soft data raised doubts over whether the U.S. economy has been growing despite U.S. share prices standing at historic highs."



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India steps up economic reform programme - YouTube

India steps up economic reform programme - YouTube: ""



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New Al Gosaibi debt deal offer 25 per cent higher than previous | The National

New Al Gosaibi debt deal offer 25 per cent higher than previous | The National:



"The heavily indebted Al Gosaibi family of Saudi Arabia is pledging nearly all of its equity and property assets to creditors under the terms of a new offer in an attempt to settle a six-year dispute with international and regional banks.



New terms - to be put to creditors at a meeting in Dubai on June 2 - will increase the amount the family will guarantee to creditors to around 28 cents in the dollar on the total of US$6.4 billion (Dh23.5bn) of claims against it by around 90 banks and financial institutions, an increase of 25 per cent over its previous offer.



The new deal has already been agreed by a steering committee of five creditors, representing around 60 per cent of the overall debt. The final level of settlement with creditors could rise to as much as 50 cents if a string of legal actions are resolved satisfactorily."



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With opening of Saudi markets, AlKhair Capital launches IPO fund | GulfNews.com

With opening of Saudi markets, AlKhair Capital launches IPO fund | GulfNews.com:



"With an eye on the opening of Saudi markets for foreigners, AlKhair Capital said on Sunday it has launched an IPOs fund.



The fund will invests its assets mainly in primary markets, along with investing in recently-listed companies. These need to have been listed for less than three years in the secondary markets of KSA, the GCC and Mena regions.



“The fund is designed to achieve long-term capital growth, as well as achieving a performance that exceeds the guiding index performance,” Khalid Al Mulhim, Chief Executive Officer of AlKhair Capital said in a statement."



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UAE banks on sound footing but risks could rise | GulfNews.com

UAE banks on sound footing but risks could rise | GulfNews.com:



"The overall health of the banking sector in the UAE is expected to remain sound because of their strong initial financing positions and the resilience of the economy in the face of the sharp decline in oil prices, according to the Institute of International Finance (IIF), a Washington based association of global financial institutions.



The strong profitability of the banks during the last two years and the balance sheet strength built over the past six years through rigorous provisioning for bad debts is expected to keep the banks strong against any potential weakening of asset prices that could result in a jump in non-performing loans (NPAs).



UAE banks posted double-digit growth in net profits last year and maintain healthy capital adequacy ratios and high provisions on bad loans. Although NPLs declined significantly from 8.1 per cent of total loans in 2013 following a reclassification of Dubai World the ratio still remains high at about 6 per cent."



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Oil prices rise on Middle East fighting; OPEC output in focus | Reuters

Oil prices rise on Middle East fighting; OPEC output in focus | Reuters:



"Oil prices rose on Monday following fighting in Iraq and Yemen, but Iranian comments that OPEC was unlikely to cut output as well as signs of strengthening U.S. production capped gains.



Front-month Brent futures LCOc1 were up 1 percent, or 65 cents, at $67.46 a barrel by 11.54 a.m. ET. U.S. crude CLc1 rose 79 cents to $60.48.



Prices were supported by concerns that conflict in Iraq and Yemen could disrupt supplies after Islamic State militants said they had taken control of the Iraqi city of Ramadi in a big blow to the government."



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Iran-Saudi Rivalry’s Next Round Has Stock-Buyers’ Cash as Prize - Bloomberg Business

Iran-Saudi Rivalry’s Next Round Has Stock-Buyers’ Cash as Prize - Bloomberg Business:



"One of the Middle East’s most intractable rivalries looks set to extend to equity markets.



As Saudi Arabia, the oil behemoth that is among the region’s largest Sunni nations, opens its stocks to international investors, Iran is close to a deal with foreign powers that would end more than 10 years of sanctions on the Shiite country, paving the way for an influx of overseas cash.



The following outlines key market, economic and political considerations for investors interested in exploring Saudi Arabian and Iranian stocks:"



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Olayan Sisters Surface Among Wealthiest Women in Saudi Arabia - Bloomberg Business

Olayan Sisters Surface Among Wealthiest Women in Saudi Arabia - Bloomberg Business:



"In her Saudi Arabia homeland, Lubna Olayan can’t drive, show her hair in public or leave the country without her husband’s permission. She can, however, run one of the nation’s biggest conglomerates.



A former analyst at J.P. Morgan, Olayan oversees the Middle East operations of Olayan Group, a diversified company founded by her father in 1947. With 15,000 employees and 50 affiliated companies, the Athens-based business is active in almost every sector of the Saudi economy including oilfield services, steel and fast food.



She’s one of a small number of women “in the elite gulf business scene that turn out to be the brightest and particularly suited, so chosen by their fathers to run the business,” said David Butter, a Middle East business analyst and fellow at Chatham House in London."



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Sunday, 17 May 2015

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf mixed, Egypt falls further on MSCI index fears | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf mixed, Egypt falls further on MSCI index fears | Reuters:



"Gulf stock markets were mixed on Sunday after oil prices diverged while it remained unclear whether the truce in Yemen would be extended. Egypt's market extended losses on speculation that it might eventually lose emerging market status.



Brent crude edged up on Friday but U.S. oil fell as traders and investors debated whether oil's rally over the past month and a half should continue amid stubbornly high supplies.



In Yemen, a five-day humanitarian truce agreed last week was to end in the early hours of Monday, and no new agreements had been announced to extend it by the time stock markets closed on Sunday."



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