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Monday, 30 November 2015

VPS Healthcare drops out of running for Al Noor Hospitals | The National

VPS Healthcare drops out of running for Al Noor Hospitals | The National:

"VPS Healthcare said that it did not intend to make an offer for Al Noor Hospitals, clearing the way for South Africa’s Mediclinic International to buy the Abu Dhabi-based company.

The private healthcare company VPS, which is also based in the UAE, said it believed a deal would not be in its best interest.

VPS had a December 8 deadline to announce a firm intention to make an offer for Al Noor under UK takeover rules."



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Opec must agree to production cuts or oil prices will fall further | The National

Opec must agree to production cuts or oil prices will fall further | The National:

"Opec meets on Friday in Vienna to discuss a glutted oil market, but there seems little prospect for reaching an agreement to stabilise oil prices.

Commercial inventories in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development have now breached the record 3 billion barrel mark, supply is about 1 million barrels per day above worldwide demand at a time when inventories are normally drawn, and further Iranian volumes will add fuel to the fire next year when trade sanctions are lifted. Libya could also add 440,000 bpd if two fields come back on stream this month.

Opec producers are competitively discounting to increase market share and the Opec Reference Price (ORP) is actually now only $38-$39 per barrel. Usually the ORP lies between Brent and WTI, but aggressive pricing by Opec countries has reversed the ORP-WTI differential and driven the Opec basket of crudes well below WTI, which closed last week at $41.74 per barrel."



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Oman’s revenues from oil dropped by 45.5% | GulfNews.com

Oman’s revenues from oil dropped by 45.5% | GulfNews.com:

"Oman’s revenues from oil for the first nine months of 2015 dropped 45.5 per cent when compared to the same period last year.

Oil revenue at the end of September stood at 4.2 billion rials, compared to 7.8 billion rials in the nine months of 2014, according to the National Centre for Statistics and Information.

Total revenues were estimated at 6.7 billion rials for the period, a decline 35.9 per cent. Customs taxes were down 1.9 per cent and corporate income tax dropped 2.6 per cent."



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Pre-MSCI Surge Bolsters Expensive Tag for Abu Dhabi's Best Stock - Bloomberg Business

Pre-MSCI Surge Bolsters Expensive Tag for Abu Dhabi's Best Stock - Bloomberg Business:

"Emirates Telecommunications Group Co. surged to a 10-year high, adding to investor concern it’s overvalued as it prepares to join MSCI Inc.’s emerging-markets index.
Shares of Etisalat, as it’s known, jumped 10 percent on Monday, their last trading day before MSCI inclusion, extending the gain this year to 66 percent, the most in Abu Dhabi. The valuation premium Etisalat commands over the MSCI’s developing-nation gauge based on future earnings climbed to the highest in about nine years.

At three multiples higher than the forward P/E ration for MSCI EM Index's, Etisalat is trading at the biggest premium in more than nine years.
Investors piled into Etisalat after the United Arab Emirates opened its biggest telecommunications operator to foreign ownership in September, a step that also put the shares on course for inclusion in MSCI’s gauge. As a result, the company bucked a stock selloff across the region sparked by a plunge in the price of oil, the source of most government revenue in the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-MSCI, economy worries sink Qatar; Egypt down on FX fears | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-MSCI, economy worries sink Qatar; Egypt down on FX fears | Reuters:

"Qatar's stock market fell sharply on Monday as funds flowed out because of changes to MSCI's emerging market index and concern about the impact of low energy prices on the economy. Other Gulf markets fared much better, but Egypt's sank on currency fears.

Qatar's main index tumbled 4.4 percent, its biggest daily drop since August, to a two-year low of 10,091 points in the heaviest trading volume for six months.

Index compiler MSCI was due to add overseas-listed Chinese companies to its emerging market index after the close on Monday; EFG Hermes calculated in mid-November that by diluting Qatar's weighting in the index, this would suck $92 million from the Qatari market."



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EM recovery gathers pace in 2016 - FT.com

EM recovery gathers pace in 2016 - FT.com:

"Few dispute that 2015 has been a dismal year for emerging markets. GDP growth has fallen for a sixth consecutive year as the once dynamic economies that generated the lion’s share of global prosperity for more than a decade stumbled upon harder times.
The question, therefore, of how the developing world will fare in 2016 is crucial. Unusually, there is some fairly positive news. Most economists’ forecasts envisage either a slight recovery in average emerging market (EM) GDP growth, or at least a stabilisation at around 2015 levels.
“EM finds its feet”, ran the title of a Goldman Sachs outlook report for next year. “After six years of sequentially declining EM growth, our economists expect a pick up . . .[with] robust growth rates in Mexico and central and eastern Europe — specifically Poland and Hungary — and a more mixed picture in Asia,” the report added."



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Climate talks, migrant deal, Amazon's delivery drone | FirstFT - YouTube

Climate talks, migrant deal, Amazon's delivery drone | FirstFT - YouTube: ""



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Egypt slips amid FX uncertainty, Saudi soft | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Egypt slips amid FX uncertainty, Saudi soft | Reuters:

"Egypt's stock index dropped 0.9 percent in early Monday trade as uncertainty over the country's foreign exchange policy persisted, while the Saudi market edged down.

Egyptian stocks had risen 0.8 percent on Sunday as Tarek Amer, a well-regarded former commercial banker, took over the post of central bank governor. Investors hope he can resolve Egypt's foreign exchange shortage and smoothly manage the devaluation which many think is inevitable.

But there was no indication after Amer met with his officials on Sunday of what strategy the central bank will adopt, leaving traders guessing. Weak Asian stock markets on Monday also dampened sentiment in Egypt."



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Saudi Arabia: The wake-up call - FT.com

Saudi Arabia: The wake-up call - FT.com:

"Inside the sprawling royal court in Riyadh, a team of technocrats is putting the final touches to plans for a drastic overhaul of the Saudi Arabian economy. Backed by an army of highly paid western consultants, the royal aides have identified billions of dollars of waste and government largesse that the desert kingdom can no longer afford.
Ten months after acceding to the throne, King Salman bin Abdulaziz, 79, faces the daunting challenge of managing a new era in Saudi Arabia. The world’s largest oil producer and longstanding US ally has adopted a policy that protects its market share rather than the price, which has more than halved since June 2014. But while the effect has been cushioned by $640bn in foreign-exchange reserves, the age of $100-a-barrel oil has receded and budget surpluses have been replaced by yawning deficits.
“The collapse in oil prices is a wake-up call,” says an official in Riyadh. “We’ve had a long history of bad practices because of our overreliance on oil.”"



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Oil trades below $42 in Asia ahead of Opec meet | GulfNews.com

Oil trades below $42 in Asia ahead of Opec meet | GulfNews.com:

"Oil prices traded below $42 in Asia Monday ahead of an Opec meeting and the release of data on China's important manufacturing sector later in the week.

The market will be watching whether members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, which meets on December 4, slash currently high output levels and ease a crude supply glut that has depressed prices for more than a year.

Analysts said traders will also tune in to two key speeches by US Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen this week for signs on the timing of a hike in US interest rates."



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Mideast funds a bit more positive on stocks, bearish on bonds-survey | Reuters

Mideast funds a bit more positive on stocks, bearish on bonds-survey | Reuters:

"Middle East fund managers have become slightly more positive on regional equities after valuations fell, and more bearish on bonds because of a looming U.S. interest rate hike, a monthly Reuters survey shows.

The survey of 14 leading fund managers, conducted over the past week, found 29 percent expecting to raise their regional equity allocations in the next three months, and 21 percent expecting to cut them.

That was a shift from last month's survey, when 21 percent anticipated reducing their regional equity allocations and 7 percent expected to raise them."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets mixed, focus on MSCI changes | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets mixed, focus on MSCI changes | Reuters:

"Gulf stock markets were mixed in quiet early trade on Monday with activity focusing on changes in MSCI index constituents that will take effect at the end of the day.

Abu Dhabi's index edged up 0.2 percent as Etisalat , which will join MSCI's emerging market index, rose 1.3 percent; it was the most heavily traded stock. Investors have largely factored in the MSCI changes, but some passive funds tend to move only on the last day before changes.

National Bank of Abu Dhabi, which had tumbled 6.0 percent on Sunday, sank a further 2.2 percent. Traders said there was no fresh negative news about the bank but thin turnover, and a lack of buying support, was magnifying the impact of sell orders."



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OPEC Rivals Become Unwitting Allies in Push for Oil-Market Share - Bloomberg Business

OPEC Rivals Become Unwitting Allies in Push for Oil-Market Share - Bloomberg Business:

"Almost by accident, OPEC adversaries Saudi Arabia and Iran are about to work as a team.
When the Saudi kingdom decided last year that OPEC should keep pumping to counter a surge in U.S. shale oil, Iran spearheaded resistance to the idea, saying output cuts were needed to buoy prices. Still a critic, Iran is nonetheless poised to amplify the strategy as it ramps up crude exports with the end of sanctions.
“Iran’s return is effectively the Saudi policy on steroids,” said Mike Wittner, head of oil-market research at Societe Generale SA in New York. “The policy is that low-cost Middle East crude should be gaining market share, and that it’s shale and other expensive non-OPEC supply that should be cut. So to use the Saudis’ own logic, as far as Iranian production goes -- bring it on.”"



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Sunday, 29 November 2015

The Russia-Iran-Turkey energy triangle – old enemies locked in a power embrace | The National

The Russia-Iran-Turkey energy triangle – old enemies locked in a power embrace | The National:

"Tabnak, an Iranian news site, stated that “Russians are unreliable partners” in an article published in October. The website is close to the former Revolutionary Guards commander Mohsen Rezaei.

Iran and Russia may be confronting Turkish-backed groups in Syria’s civil war, with Turkey’s downing of a Russian jet last Tuesday the latest twist. But the three countries are locked in an embrace over energy, while Tehran and Moscow eye each other suspiciously over oil, gas and historical rivalries.

Turkish-Russian relations have deteriorated sharply over the aircraft incident. Vladimir Putin claimed: “We have long been recording the movement of a large amount of oil and petroleum products to Turkey from ISIL-occupied territories”, and said that the plane’s shooting down was to protect the smugglers."



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Budget deficit for UAE to be less than expected this year | The National

Budget deficit for UAE to be less than expected this year | The National:

"The UAE is set to undershoot its budget deficit projections this year, on the back of higher-than-forecast revenues and spending cuts.

The country ran a fiscal deficit of Dh21 billion in the first half of the year – meaning that it is on course to undershoot Government projections of a Dh124 billion deficit through this year.

At the current rate of spending, the UAE will run a full-year deficit of about 2.1 per cent of GDP this year."



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Gulf states unwilling to tighten oil taps alone: analysts | GulfNews.com

Gulf states unwilling to tighten oil taps alone: analysts | GulfNews.com:

"Saudi-led Gulf Opec members will reject pressure to shoulder the cost of cutting oil production alone despite warnings that prices risk sliding further, officials and analysts say.

Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the UAE and Qatar, which pump more than half of Opec’s 32 million barrels of daily output, want a solid commitment from all other producers, especially non-Opec member Russia, to agree to production cuts across the board.

“Gulf states will not undertake a unilateral output cut. They need strong cooperation from other producers, mainly Russia, to cut,” Kuwaiti oil analyst Kamel Al Harami told AFP."



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Best Abu Dhabi Stock Rally Sputters as Etisalat Readies for MSCI - Bloomberg Business

Best Abu Dhabi Stock Rally Sputters as Etisalat Readies for MSCI - Bloomberg Business:

"Abu Dhabi’s best-performing stock in 2015 is showing signs of fatigue, just as it prepares to join MSCI Inc.’s emerging-market index.
Emirates Telecommunications Group Co. has declined for four days, its longest losing streak since Aug. 11, paring its advance this year to 51 percent. The shares had climbed to the highest valuation in about eight years based on future earnings -- now they’re trading below their 50-day moving average for the first time in more than two months."



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The $30 Oil Cliff Threatening Russia's Economy - Bloomberg Business

The $30 Oil Cliff Threatening Russia's Economy - Bloomberg Business:

"For Russia, $30 is the number to watch.
Crude prices at that level will push the economy to depths that would threaten the nation’s financial system, according to 63 percent of respondents in a Bloomberg survey. Lower prices for the fuel are next year’s biggest risk for Russia, which is unprepared to ride out another shock on the oil market, most economists said. Other dangers for 2016 include geopolitics, strains in the banking industry and the ruble, according to the poll of 27 analysts.
“If oil prices fall lower and stay at that low level for longer, risks of fiscal and financial destabilization increase significantly,” Sergey Narkevich, an analyst at PAO Promsvyazbank in Moscow, said by e-mail."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Egypt rises as new c.bank chief arrives; Gulf sluggish | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Egypt rises as new c.bank chief arrives; Gulf sluggish | Reuters:

"Egypt's stock market rose on Sunday as a new central bank governor took office, increasing hopes that the country's foreign exchange crisis can be resolved, while bourses in the Gulf were mostly sluggish.

Tarek Amer, a well-regarded former commercial banker, was to head the first meeting of the Egyptian central bank's new board on Sunday.

Many people expect him to work with the government to try to end a foreign currency shortage by regulating imports and supporting exports, which could benefit many listed firms. He is expected to be more generous in allowing the private sector to obtain foreign exchange."



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Middle East Stocks Decline; Dana Gas Soars on $2 Billion Award - Bloomberg Business

Middle East Stocks Decline; Dana Gas Soars on $2 Billion Award - Bloomberg Business:

"Stocks in Abu Dhabi led most Middle East markets lower, even as Dana Gas PJSC, an energy explorer based in the United Arab Emirates, soared after winning a court order over unpaid debts. Shares in Saudi Arabia and Egypt rose.
Dana advanced 15 percent, the most in almost a year, to 0.47 dirham at the close in the emirate, saying an international arbiter ordered the Kurdish government to pay the company and its partners about $2 billion for unpaid invoices. It was the most heavily traded stock on Abu Dhabi’s ADX General Index, accounting for about 50 percent of the volume. The gauge declined 1.1 percent to the lowest level since Nov. 16. Egypt’s EGX 30 Index gained 0.8 percent as of 1:56 p.m. in Cairo and Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index rose 0.1 percent."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Egypt rises as new central bank chief arrives; Saudi firm | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Egypt rises as new central bank chief arrives; Saudi firm | Reuters:

"Egypt's stock market rose early on Sunday as a new central bank governor took office, increasing hopes that the country's foreign exchange crisis can be resolved, while the Saudi market was firm.

Tarek Amer, a well-regarded former commercial banker, was to head the first meeting of the central bank's new board on Sunday.

Many people expect him to work with the government to try to end the foreign currency shortage by regulating imports and supporting exports, which could benefit many listed firms. He is expected to be more generous in allowing the private sector to obtain foreign exchange."



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Emirates NBD to maintain retail, wealth management momentum | GulfNews.com

Emirates NBD to maintain retail, wealth management momentum | GulfNews.com:

"Emirates NBD expects to sustain double-digit growth in its retail and wealth management business for the full year, Suvo Sarkar, senior executive vice-president & group head of Retail Banking and Wealth Management, told Gulf News in an interview.

The bank reported a 10 per cent growth in retail loans and 15 per cent growth in fee incomes in the first nine months of the year.

“We expect to continue double-digit growth in all our loan products — personal loans, auto loans and mortgage loans,” Sarkar said. “We are also reaping the benefits of digitisation and innovation. Nearly 10 per cent of our new loans are now booked via online and mobile banking.”"



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Saudi Arabia puts its might behind gas discoveries | GulfNews.com

Saudi Arabia puts its might behind gas discoveries | GulfNews.com:

"The hard push towards raising natural gas production in Saudi Arabia is relentless. Around the middle of November, Aramco signed contracts worth $5 billion (Dh18.3 billion) for the expansion of its domestic gas processing and distribution facilities.

The contracts cover the expansion and upgrading of the national Master Gas System (MGS), which was initiated in 1975 to transmit gas to major consumers in Saudi Arabia, including in the west of the country.

This has followed a contract worth $6.5 billion, also made in November, for the Fadhili gas processing plant (including sulphur recovery units). This will treat 2 billion cubic feet (bcf) a day of sour gas from the newly developed free gas offshore field of Hasbah in addition to 0.5 bcf from the onshore Khursaniyah oilfield."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets move little though Dana soars on Kurdistan news | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets move little though Dana soars on Kurdistan news | Reuters:

"Gulf bourses moved little in sluggish trade early on Sunday, weighed down by a lack of positive economic and corporate news, though Abu Dhabi's Dana Gas soared after saying it won a major court judgement in its dispute with Iraqi Kurdistan.

Dana jumped its 15 percent daily limit after saying a tribunal of the London Court of International Arbitration had directed the Kurdish regional government to pay $1.98 billion to a consortium including Dana within 28 days. There was no immediate comment from the Kurdish government.

Elsewhere, there was little incentive to buy stocks; Brent oil slipped back below $45 a barrel at the end of last week while global equity markets were soft."



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Oil's Big Players Line Up for $30 Billion of Projects in Iran - Bloomberg Business

Oil's Big Players Line Up for $30 Billion of Projects in Iran - Bloomberg Business:

"Total SA, Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Lukoil PJSC are among international companies that have selected oil and natural gas deposits to develop in Iran as the holder of the world’s fourth-largest crude reserves presents $30 billion worth of projects to investors.
Total is one of the companies that have been in the forefront of discussions and Eni SpA is also looking to invest, Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said. Shell, Total and Lukoil all specified fields they would be interested in developing in Iran, Ali Kardor, deputy director of investment and financing at National Iranian Oil Co. said in an interview in Tehran. “Many companies are interested. Europeans are interested, Asian companies are interested,” Zanganeh told reporters at a conference in Tehran on Saturday. “Total is interested, Eni is interested.”"



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Saturday, 28 November 2015

Italy hopes to utilise historic Iran ties with trade mission - FT.com

Italy hopes to utilise historic Iran ties with trade mission - FT.com:

"Italy is poised to send a large trade delegation to Iran at a time when heightened anti-US rhetoric in the Islamic Republic is raising doubts about post-sanctions opportunities for US businesses — potentially opening doors in the $400bn economy for Tehran’s historic European partners.
Some 300 delegates from five sectors — medical, green energy, automobiles, construction and manufacturing equipment — are scheduled to arrive in Tehran on Saturday for a three-day visit to meet senior officials and business figures, Riccardo Monti, president of the Italian Trade Commission, said.
Representatives from Danieli, the steel group, energy company Enel, agricultural machinery maker CNH Industrial, Telecom Italia and several banks would be among the delegates, Mr Monti said."



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Friday, 27 November 2015

Saudi money supply, loan data show economy slowing | Reuters

Saudi money supply, loan data show economy slowing | Reuters:

"Saudi Arabian money supply and bank lending figures show the economy of the world's biggest oil exporter has started to slow as low global energy prices force the government to clamp down on spending.

M3 money supply grew just 3.9 percent from a year earlier in October, the slowest expansion since November 2010, when Saudi Arabia was emerging from the global financial crisis, according to central bank data released late on Thursday. Annual growth in September 2015 was 8.5 percent.

Growth in narrower measures of money supply, M1 and M2, also slowed sharply to multi-year lows. Growth in bank lending to the private sector fell to 5.0 percent, again the lowest rate since November 2010, from 7.1 percent."



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HSBC whistleblower jailed for five years over biggest leak in banking history | News | The Guardian

HSBC whistleblower jailed for five years over biggest leak in banking history | News | The Guardian:

"The whistleblower who exposed wrongdoing at HSBC’s Swiss private bank has been sentenced to five years in prison by a Swiss court.

Hervé Falciani, a former IT worker, was convicted in his absence for the biggest leak in banking history. He is currently living in France, where he sought refuge from Swiss justice, and did not attend the trial.

The leak of secret bank account details formed the basis of revelations – by the Guardian, the BBC, Le Monde and other media outlets – which showed that HSBC’s Swiss banking arm turned a blind eye to illegal activities of arms dealers and helped wealthy people evade taxes."



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Are bankers' bonuses worthwhile? | FT Comment - YouTube

Are bankers' bonuses worthwhile? | FT Comment - YouTube: ""



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Egypt's central bank savior faces tricky balancing act | Reuters

Egypt's central bank savior faces tricky balancing act | Reuters:

"From bankers to carmakers, Egypt's business community will breathe easier when Tarek Amer takes charge at the central bank on Friday, with hopes high he will revamp a monetary policy that has undermined investment and growth.

Announced last month, the leadership change unleashed anger against outgoing governor Hisham Ramez, who capped dollar deposits at $50,000 a month, starving businesses of hard currency and paralyzing trade as he sought to defend the country's pound.

Amer, the well regarded former head of commercial lender National Bank of Egypt (NBE), has already been working hard behind the scenes to inject fresh funds into a sclerotic financial system, and he is widely expected to lift the cap."



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Buyout Firm General Atlantic Seeks Mideast Deals Amid Oil Slump - Bloomberg Business

Buyout Firm General Atlantic Seeks Mideast Deals Amid Oil Slump - Bloomberg Business:

"General Atlantic LLC, a New York private equity firm that’s invested in Facebook Inc. and Uber Technologies Inc., plans further acquisitions in the Middle East after completing its first deal and may open an office in the region, Chief Executive Officer Bill Ford said.
The buyout firm, with more than half of its portfolio outside the U.S., is interested in family businesses and entrepreneurial companies in the technology industry, he said in an interview. General Atlantic typically invests as much as $2.5 billion a year globally in as many as 12 deals, he said. The company said Wednesday it partnered with Warburg Pincus, another U.S. private equity firm, to buy a 49 percent stake in Dubai-based payment-processor Network International for an undisclosed amount from Abraaj Group .
U.S. private equity investors are increasingly targeting the Middle East, where the slump in oil prices has depressed asset values and demographic and economic trends offer the potential for long-term growth. TPG Capital Management LP partnered with Abraaj Group to buy a stake in Saudi fast-food chain Kudu in April, while Leon Black’s Apollo is also interested in deals in the region, people with knowledge of the matter said in September."



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Biggest Oil Buyers Pick Themselves as Winners From OPEC Meeting - Bloomberg Business

Biggest Oil Buyers Pick Themselves as Winners From OPEC Meeting - Bloomberg Business:

"Oil buyers in Asia are sure of one thing as OPEC prepares to meet: They’ll emerge as winners from the group’s rift over production.
Members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will gather Dec. 4 in Vienna, where Iran has said it will announce plans to boost production by 500,000 barrels a day. That may further lift the 12-member group’s output, which has exceeded its target for 17 months. The increase in volumes would exacerbate a global glut and benefit the biggest oil-consuming region’s refiners, which are seeking cheaper sources of crude.
OPEC is forecast to stick with its strategy of defending market share by maintaining output and driving down higher-cost production elsewhere, according to analysts and traders surveyed by Bloomberg . That’ll leave members including Saudi Arabia free to continue pumping even amid calls from Iran to make room for its extra supply after international sanctions over its nuclear program are lifted."



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Thursday, 26 November 2015

MIDEAST STOCKS-Corporate news boosts Egypt, Gulf mixed | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Corporate news boosts Egypt, Gulf mixed | Reuters:

"Positive corporate news boosted Egypt's stock market on Thursday while Gulf bourses were mixed in modest volumes because of a lack of fresh incentives.

Egypt's index rose 0.6 percent to 6,428 points, bouncing further from technical support on its November low of 6,302 points.

Financial firm Pioneers Holding gained 3.0 percent after reporting its consolidated nine-month net profit after taxes and minority interests almost doubled; non-consolidated profit rose 11 percent."



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Petrobras arrest, Syria accused | FirstFT - YouTube

Petrobras arrest, Syria accused | FirstFT - YouTube: ""



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Oil eases on glut, production outlook | Reuters

Oil eases on glut, production outlook | Reuters:

"Oil fell on Thursday as fears of escalating violence causing supply disruption in the Middle East faded and focus returned to a persistent market glut and increased global output.

Brent was down 46 cents to $45.71 a barrel at 0859 GMT.

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures were down 21 cents at $42.83 per barrel after the U.S. crude rose to $43.30 earlier the session.

A day earlier oil recorded a sixth consecutive gain after a smaller-than-expected U.S. inventory build and a fall in U.S. oil rig counts. Investors also trimmed short positions ahead of the Thanksgiving break in the United States."



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General Atlantic, Warburg Acquire Stake in Network International - Bloomberg Business

General Atlantic, Warburg Acquire Stake in Network International - Bloomberg Business:

"General Atlantic LLC and Warburg Pincus LLC, two U.S. private equity firms, acquired a 49 percent stake in United Arab Emirates-based payments processing company Network International LLC.
Emirates NBD, which established Network International in 1994, will continue to hold a 51 percent stake, according to a statement from Network. No further details were given.
The Abraaj Group, which agreed to acquire a stake in Network International in 2010, had earlier sought an initial public offering for the business, people familiar with the matter said in June. Network International serves more than 70 banks and financial institutions in Middle East and North Africa and more than 17,000 individual merchants, according to Abraaj’s website. The deal is the first for General Atlantic in the Middle East."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi, Egyptian markets edge up | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi, Egyptian markets edge up | Reuters:

"The Saudi Arabian and Egyptian stock markets were firm in early trade on Thursday but trading in Riyadh focused on second-tier stocks, suggesting many local and foreign institutional investors were staying away.

The Saudi stock index edged up 0.3 percent as Jazan Development, an agriculture and real estate firm, added 5.7 percent.

Egypt's index rose 0.4 percent as financial firm Pioneers Holding gained 4.1 percent after reporting an 11 percent rise in nine-month net profit."



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Israel’s Leviathan agrees $10bn deal to export gas to Egypt - FT.com

Israel’s Leviathan agrees $10bn deal to export gas to Egypt - FT.com:

"Partners in Israel’s Leviathan offshore gasfield have reached a preliminary agreement to export gas to Egypt’s domestic market over 10-15 years, setting up a deal worth an estimated $10bn over the period.
News of a memorandum of understanding between Leviathan and Egyptian group Dolphinus lifted Israeli energy stocks on Wednesday, after a period in which their prices had been depressed by regulatory uncertainty and concerns over competition from a newly discovered “supergiant” offshore gasfield."



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European stocks underperform | Authers' Note - YouTube

European stocks underperform | Authers' Note - YouTube: ""



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets mixed in opening minutes | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets mixed in opening minutes | Reuters:

"Gulf stock markets were mixed in the opening minutes of trade on Thursday amid a lack of fresh corporate news to spur buying.

Dubai's index slipped 0.5 percent as real estate shares weakened, with Emaar Properties down 0.8 percent.

A report by industry consultants Cluttons on Wednesday said residential property prices in Dubai had declined for five successive quarters and were likely to fall a further 3-5 percent over the next 12 months."



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Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Gulf oil producers must continue to pull together | GulfNews.com

Gulf oil producers must continue to pull together | GulfNews.com:

"Rapidly evolving and influential developments in the global oil markets gave an aura of extreme importance to the annual energy conference organised by the Emirates Centre for Strategic Studies and Research this week. Held in Abu Dhabi, it discussed an important issue related to the GCC oil in the world energy markets in terms of continuity and change.

Those are two quite expressive words — continuity and change. Since it is known that marketing GCC oil is facing stiff competition from more than one energy provider, especially in the current circumstances when the market is saturated and there is a surplus of 2.5 million barrels per day. This has prompted some producers, including Iran and Iraq, to offer steep discounts to increase their share of exports to the Asian market, which is the most important destination for marketing Gulf oil. Also, the increase in the US shale oil production constitutes another challenge for oil prices, which have lost more than 55 per cent of their value in less than one-and-a-half years.

In parallel, the global economic slowdown, even for some major oil consumers such as China, India and Brazil and the European Union countries, puts new further pressure on oil prices and leading to escalated competition and the offering of ever more discounts to get a higher proportion of orders from importing countries."



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Osborne surprises with tax increases | FT Comment - YouTube

Osborne surprises with tax increases | FT Comment - YouTube: ""



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U.S. Oil Producers Prove Resilient Through Efficiency - Bloomberg Business

U.S. Oil Producers Prove Resilient Through Efficiency - Bloomberg Business:

"Daniel Yergin, vice chairman at IHS, talks with Erik Schatzker about how oil prices factor into U.S. oil producers' ability to maintain production levels amid declining rig counts and looks ahead to oil prices through 2016. He speaks on "Bloomberg Markets." (Source: Bloomberg)"



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Middle East Is Focused on Iran, Here's Why - Bloomberg Business

Middle East Is Focused on Iran, Here's Why - Bloomberg Business:

"IHS Vice Chairman Daniel Yergin discusses the Middle East's focus on Iran and his outlook for oil. He speaks on "Bloomberg Markets.""



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MIDEAST STOCKS-CIB helps Egypt rebound; Saudi market flat | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-CIB helps Egypt rebound; Saudi market flat | Reuters:

"A bounce in shares of Commercial International Bank (CIB) helped Egypt's stock market rebound from near technical support on Wednesday, while most Gulf markets were little changed.

CIB, a traditional favourite of foreign investors, had tumbled 22 percent over the past three weeks ago, hit by concern that Egypt might soon devalue its currency because of the blow to tourism revenues from last month's apparent bombing of a Russian passenger jet over the Sinai Peninsula.

Devaluation worries have not gone away, but some investors bought back into CIB at Wednesday's lows. The stock climbed 3 percent to 42.57 Egyptian pounds, helping Cairo's main share index gain 1.1 percent to 6,391 points. It has minor chart support at last week's low of 6,302 points."



'via Blog this'

Russian pilot ‘rescued’, Adele breaks sales record | FirstFT - YouTube

Russian pilot ‘rescued’, Adele breaks sales record | FirstFT - YouTube: ""



'via Blog this'

Abu Dhabi's TAQA files for sale of U.S. wind power asset | Reuters

Abu Dhabi's TAQA files for sale of U.S. wind power asset | Reuters:

"Abu Dhabi National Energy Co has filed with U.S. energy regulators to sell its stake in the Lakefield wind power plant in the U.S. state of Minnesota, a spokesperson for the company said on Wednesday.

The filing asks for authorisation of the sale by the end of this year, so that the deal could be completed in the first quarter of next year. TAQA declined to give details of the planned sale or say who the buyer would be.

TAQA, majority-owned by the government of Abu Dhabi, bought a 50 percent stake in the 205.5 megawatt project from a subsidiary of France's EDF in early 2013."



'via Blog this'

Oil advances further on Mideast tension | GulfNews.com

Oil advances further on Mideast tension | GulfNews.com:

"Crude oil futures extended gains on Wednesday after prices hit two-week highs in the previous session as tension mounted in the Middle East following Turkey's downing of a Russian warplane.

Brent extended its gains by 14 cents to $46.26 a barrel by 0443 GMT, reversing an earlier fall on profit-taking.

The benchmark had settled up $1.29 at $46.12 on Tuesday, after hitting its highest since Nov. 11 at $46.50."



'via Blog this'

Saudi builder Binladin to cut about 15,000 jobs: sources | Reuters

Saudi builder Binladin to cut about 15,000 jobs: sources | Reuters:

"Construction company Saudi Binladin Group plans to cut about 15,000 staff, people with knowledge of the matter told Reuters, in a sign of the pressure on the industry as the Saudi government trims spending in response to low oil prices.

The possible layoffs at Binladin, one of Saudi Arabia's biggest firms and among the Middle East's largest builders, would represent a small fraction of the group's total workforce, which is around 200,000, according to its LinkedIn page.

But the planned cut-backs are an example of the choices which companies are having to make as Saudi Arabia's economic boom loses steam."



'via Blog this'

Global Group Wins $7.5 Billion Bid for Aussie Power Assets - Bloomberg Business

Global Group Wins $7.5 Billion Bid for Aussie Power Assets - Bloomberg Business:

"Investors from Canada and the Middle East are part of a group that agreed to pay about A$10.3 billion ($7.5 billion) for an electricity network in Australia’s most-populous state, beating rival offers from companies including State Grid Corp. of China.
The successful bidders for TransGrid, the New South Wales state transmission business, are Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, Kuwait Investment Authority, Hastings Funds Management Ltd. and Spark Infrastructure Group, the government said on Wednesday.
Foreign acquisitions of Australian companies have almost doubled this year and competition for ports, power grids and desalination plants is intensifying as bidders are drawn to the country’s relative stability and almost quarter-century of economic growth. The deal is part of state Premier Mike Baird’s plan to raise A$20 billion for new railways, roads, schools and hospitals and comes at a time when foreign ownership of Australian infrastructure is in the spotlight."



'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-CIB helps Egypt rebound; Saudi market flat | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-CIB helps Egypt rebound; Saudi market flat | Reuters:

"A bounce in shares of Commercial International Bank (CIB) helped Egypt's stock market rebound from near technical support early on Wednesday, while Saudi Arabia's market was flat.

CIB, a traditional favourite of foreign investors, is down 22 percent from its level three weeks ago, hit by concern that Egypt might soon devalue its currency. Tourism revenues there are sagging in the wake of last month's apparent bombing of a Russian pasenger jet over the Sinai.

However, the stock climbed 1.2 percent to 41.85 Egyptian pounds in the first hour of trade on Wednesday, helping the Egyptian stock index gain 0.5 percent to 6,354 points. It has minor chart support on last week's low of 6,302 points."



'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets narrowly mixed in early trade | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets narrowly mixed in early trade | Reuters:

"Gulf stock markets were mixed in narrow ranges during early trade on Wednesday, with buyers reluctant to commit in the absence of positive corporate news and because of geopolitical tension after Turkey's downing of a Russian warplane on Tuesday.

The Dubai index edged down 0.2 percent as builder Arabtec, the most heavily traded stock, rebounded 0.9 percent after sinking 4.3 percent on Tuesday. Real estate firms were soft with Emaar down 0.5 percent.

Abu Dhabi edged up 0.1 percent although Abu Dhabi National Energy jumped 10 percent to 0.44 dirham in unusually heavy trade. The company posted a big third-quarter loss and its shares have been trending down this year because of low oil prices, but in recent days they have bounced from a record low of 0.36 dirham."



'via Blog this'

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

New normal may be here to stay for Gulf economies | The National

New normal may be here to stay for Gulf economies | The National:

"In 2009, at the height of the global financial crisis, The Economist published an article on the local version of that accelerating drama, soon after Dubai World had announced plans for a “standstill” on some of its debt ­repayments.

In marked contrast to some of the hysterical headlines from the western press, the headline was “Standing still, but still ­standing”.

It was not written by Simon Williams, then the Dubai-based chief Middle East economist for HSBC, who had left The Economist a few years earlier, but could well have been. His work for the bank in the dark days of 2009-10, when there was a serious threat to the financial well-being of heavily indebted Dubai, was characterised by a readiness to tell the story like it was, negatives and all, but from a fundamental position as a believer in the basic economic story of the Emirates."



'via Blog this'

RPT/MIDEAST DEBT-Gulf banks rush to loan market to cope with liquidity squeeze | Reuters

RPT/MIDEAST DEBT-Gulf banks rush to loan market to cope with liquidity squeeze | Reuters:

"Gulf banks are rushing to raise money via the loan market by the end of the year in a flurry of activity attributed to a liquidity squeeze caused by lower oil prices, banking sources aware of the matter said on Monday.

At least nine institutions, including from Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Kuwait, are said to be speaking to other banks about raising cash for between one and three years, with processes at various stages.

"It's gone crazy," said one of the sources, who heads loan syndications at one bank in the region. "It's not surprising with all the pressure on liquidity but I can't remember a market like this.""



'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi rises, most markets fall on Turkey-Russia tensions | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi rises, most markets fall on Turkey-Russia tensions | Reuters:

"Buying in some blue-chips lifted Saudi Arabia's stock market on Tuesday but most Middle Eastern markets fell in thin trade because of a lack of positive corporate news and Turkey's shooting down of a Russian warplane.

The Saudi stock index ended 0.7 percent higher at 7,202 points. Oil shipper Bahri climbed 2.8 percent and petrochemical producer Saudi Basic Industries gained 0.6 percent.

Real estate developer Dar Al Arkan, which had dropped 2.3 percent on Monday after the cabinet announced plans for a tax on undeveloped land, closed flat on Tuesday."



'via Blog this'

Pfizer deal, Turkey downs Russian jet | FirstFT - YouTube

Pfizer deal, Turkey downs Russian jet | FirstFT - YouTube: ""



'via Blog this'

Markets 2015 - all's well that ends well? | Authers' Note - YouTube

Markets 2015 - all's well that ends well? | Authers' Note - YouTube: ""



'via Blog this'

Saudi Cabinet Approves 2.5% Annual Tax on Undeveloped Urban Land - Bloomberg Business

Saudi Cabinet Approves 2.5% Annual Tax on Undeveloped Urban Land - Bloomberg Business:

"Saudi Arabia’s cabinet approved a landmark tax on undeveloped urban land to encourage the development of empty real estate and address a housing shortage.
The regulation mandates an annual tax of 2.5 percent "on all empty land dedicated for residential or commercial-residential use inside the urban boundaries," according to a cabinet statement published on the official Saudi Press Agency Monday. The tax will be applied gradually "and with the necessary controls to ensure the fair application of the fine and prohibit evading payment," it said.
The law, approved last week by the Shoura Council, an advisory body, is an attempt to address a shortage of housing by taxing so-called "white land," or urban plots that lie empty because their owners have no incentive to build on them. Pushing owners to build or sell the land may enable the government to avoid expensive construction in the desert as it seeks to address a shortage estimated at 1.5 million affordable homes."



'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Bahri boosts Saudi Arabia, Egypt stays weak | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Bahri boosts Saudi Arabia, Egypt stays weak | Reuters:

"Oil shipper Bahri boosted Saudi Arabia's stock market early on Tuesday while Egypt's market remained weak.

The Saudi stock index added 0.9 percent as Bahri climbed 1.6 percent in unusually heavy trade. The company, which reported a 501 percent leap in third-quarter net profit last month, released details of its earnings late on Monday.

Petrochemical producer Saudi Basic Industries rose 1.4 percent and real estate developer Dar Al Arkan, which had dropped 2.3 percent on Monday after the cabinet announced plans for a tax on undeveloped land, rebounded 1.6 percent."



'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf mixed in thin trade, Arabtec flat | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf mixed in thin trade, Arabtec flat | Reuters:

"Gulf stock markets were mixed in thin trade early on Tuesday as a management change at Dubai builder Arabtec failed to boost the stock.

Arabtec, Dubai's most heavily traded stock, rose as much as 2.6 percent in the opening minutes after the company, confirming a Reuters story published late on Monday, said its board had accepted the resignation of acting chief executive Mohamed al-Fahim and replaced him with board member Saeed al-Mehairbi.

But the stock soon came off its highs and was flat after an hour of trade. Arabtec, which posted a big third-quarter loss, did not give a reason for the change."



'via Blog this'

Monday, 23 November 2015

Moody’s outlook for Saudi Arabian banks held at ‘stable’ | The National

Moody’s outlook for Saudi Arabian banks held at ‘stable’ | The National:

"Moody’s on Monday maintained its “stable” outlook for Saudi Arabian banks despite oil prices declining by more than half in the past 18 months.

That is because the rating agency is forecasting that government spending will help to mitigate the declining price of oil. And while non-performing loans at banks in the kingdom, the world’s biggest oil exporter, may increase, overall Moody’s is forecasting that the banks will continue to generate strong profits.

“The stable outlook reflects our expectation that the banks will remain resilient over the next 12 to 18 months, despite the economic slowdown driven by low oil prices,” analysts led by Olivier Panis, senior credit officer at Moody’s in Dubai, wrote."



'via Blog this'

Russia’s warmer trade ties with Tehran risk alienating Gulf nations | The National

Russia’s warmer trade ties with Tehran risk alienating Gulf nations | The National:

"Iran and Russia can relate to being on the wrong end of international sanctions. Now the pair are exploiting their economic isolation by strengthening commercial ties.

The Russian president Vladimir Putin travelled to Iran yesterday as his country pursues more than US$21 billion in exports including a potential order for the Sukhoi passenger jet.

A Russian trade delegation led by the trade minister Denis Manturov is due to visit Iran on December 15. It is expected to include several units of Rostec, the sprawling military conglomerate controlled by Sergey Chemezov, a long-time ally of the Russian president."



'via Blog this'

Standard Chartered slashes 100 jobs in UAE | GulfNews.com

Standard Chartered slashes 100 jobs in UAE | GulfNews.com:

"Standard Chartered sources on Monday said that the bank has cut 100 jobs from its operations in the UAE as part of a global restructuring strategy.
 
As part of the global management overhaul the bank expects further 15,000 gross headcount reductions across the group by 2018.
 
“Within this we have already substantially completed senior staff exits (25 per cent or about 1000 roles. Some will be through attrition. Recognise transition period could be difficult, we are taking the action as quickly and as fairly as possible,” said Wasim Ben Khadra, senior regional manager for external communications at Standard Chartered."



'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf slips on weak oil, Orascom Telecom drags down Egypt | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf slips on weak oil, Orascom Telecom drags down Egypt | Reuters:

"Gulf stock markets mostly fell on Monday because of weak oil prices, while a slide of shares in Orascom Telecom Media dragged down Egypt's bourse.

Brent crude oil tumbled more than 2 percent at one stage in Asian trade to below $44 a barrel, though it later recovered above that mark. The Saudi stock index, which had surged 2.1 percent on Sunday, fell back 0.4 percent.

Top petrochemical producer Saudi Basic Industries added 0.9 percent. But many banks fell with Al Rajhi losing 1.9 percent."



'via Blog this'

Dragon Oil looks to back $10bn gas link - FT.com

Dragon Oil looks to back $10bn gas link - FT.com:

"Dubai-owned Dragon Oil is in talks to invest in a $10bn pipeline to deliver natural gas from Turkmenistan to India, a potential boost to the project after several western oil companies failed to secure a role.
The Tapi project has been delayed for years amid numerous challenges — including building a pipeline across war-torn Afghanistan — but is gathering pace as Turkmenistan, facing a plunge in revenues because of the oil price fall, seeks new customers for its natural gas.
Construction will begin next month, Turkmen officials told an oil and gas conference in the capital, Ashgabat, last week."



'via Blog this'

FirstFT - Brussels lockdown, Trump attack - YouTube

FirstFT - Brussels lockdown, Trump attack - YouTube: ""



'via Blog this'

Saudi Arabia Edges Out Russia in China Oil Sales as OPEC Digs In - Bloomberg Business

Saudi Arabia Edges Out Russia in China Oil Sales as OPEC Digs In - Bloomberg Business:

"Saudi Arabia reclaimed its position from Russia as the largest crude supplier to China as OPEC members extended their global fight for market share.
The world’s biggest oil exporter sold 3.99 million metric tons to China in October, 0.8 percent more than in September, data from the Beijing-based General Administration of Customs showed on Monday. Angola, another member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, also surpassed Russia in shipping crude to the Asian nation.

"



'via Blog this'

Oil Slides as Venezuela Sees Mid-$20 Crude If OPEC Doesn't Act - Bloomberg Business

Oil Slides as Venezuela Sees Mid-$20 Crude If OPEC Doesn't Act - Bloomberg Business:

"Oil fell amid a broader commodity rout while Venezuela predicted prices may tumble to the mid-$20s a barrel unless OPEC tackles the global surplus.
West Texas Intermediate futures for January fell as much as 3.3 percent, sliding with industrial metals such as copper, which dropped to the lowest since 2009. Venezuela is urging the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to adopt an “equilibrium price” that covers the cost of new investment in production capacity, Oil Minister Eulogio Del Pino said Sunday.
Oil has slumped about 46 percent over the past year amid speculation a global glut will persist as OPEC continues to pump above its collective quota. The 12-member group meets Dec. 4 in Vienna to discuss the production ceiling as Iran signals its intention to boost output by 1 million barrels a day within five to six months of economic sanctions being removed."



'via Blog this'

Oil tumbles as strong dollar, oversupply weigh on investors | Reuters

Oil tumbles as strong dollar, oversupply weigh on investors | Reuters:

"Oil prices fell on Monday, dented by the rise in the U.S. dollar to seven-month highs, and analysts see more losses triggered by the mismatch between global supply and demand.

The fall was part of a wider decline in commodities that has also been stoked by worries over faltering demand from China, with prices for base metals such as copper and nickel tumbling. However, speculators have turned increasingly negative on crude.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 fell $1.26 a barrel to $40.64 a barrel by 0418 ET. The contract broke below $40 on Friday for the first time since August."



'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi slips on weak oil; Egypt drops on corporate news | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi slips on weak oil; Egypt drops on corporate news | Reuters:

"Saudi Arabia's stock market slipped early on Monday because of weak oil prices, while Egypt's bourse also fell on negative corporate news.

Brent crude oil dropped 2.1 percent in Asian trade to below $44 a barrel. The Saudi stock index, which had surged 2.1 percent on Sunday, fell back 0.4 percent in the first 90 minutes of trade.

Real estate developer Dar Al Arkan dropped 0.8 percent. Banks fell with Al Rajhi losing 1.5 percent."



'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets edge down on weak oil prices | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets edge down on weak oil prices | Reuters:

"Major Gulf stock markets edged down in early trade on Monday in response to weak oil prices and a lack of fresh, positive corporate news.

Dubai's index slipped 0.4 percent as real estate and construction firms dropped, with Union Properties losing 1.7 percent. The euro hit a seven-month low against the United Arab Emirates dirham on Monday - negative news for foreign investment in the UAE property market.

Abu Dhabi edged down 0.1 percent as Aldar Properties fell 0.9 percent. However Dana Gas was again the most heavily traded Abu Dhabi stock, rising 2.3 percent after jumping 4.9 percent on Sunday, when it said a British High Court, ruling in a longstanding payment dispute, had ordered the Kurdish regional government to pay Dana's consortium $100 million within 14 days."



'via Blog this'

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Iran oil minister says does not expect OPEC policy change at Dec. 4 meet | Reuters

Iran oil minister says does not expect OPEC policy change at Dec. 4 meet | Reuters:

"Iran's oil minister said on Saturday he did not expect OPEC to change its output policy when it meets next month, and had told the exporting group of its own plans to boost production, for which it did not need permission.

"To increase Iran's oil production in the global market after the lifting of sanctions, we don't need permission from OPEC (the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) or any other organisation," Iran's oil minister, Bijan Zanganeh was quoted as saying by IRNA on the sidelines of the meeting of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) in Tehran.

Asked if he expected OPEC to maintain its strategy at the meeting on Dec. 4, he said: "I don't expect to receive any new agreement.""



'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi bounces further from chart support; Egypt edges up | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi bounces further from chart support; Egypt edges up | Reuters:

"Saudi Arabia's stock market bounced further from a technical support level on Sunday but other Gulf bourses were little changed. Egypt's market edged up.

The Saudi stock index has been rebounding in the last few days from support at November's two-year low of 6,828 points. On Sunday it added 2.1 percent to 7,179 points, rising above resistance on the November high of 7,161 points.

A second straight daily close above that resistance would confirm a clean break, triggering a minor double bottom formed by the November lows and pointing up to 7,461 points."



'via Blog this'

UK court orders Kurdish government to pay Dana Gas $100 million in 14 days | The National

UK court orders Kurdish government to pay Dana Gas $100 million in 14 days | The National:

"International courts have ruled that the Kurdistan regional government in Iraq has 14 days to pay US$100 million to Sharjah-based Dana Gas and its consortia partners.

The High Court of England has upheld the ruling of the London Court of International Arbitration ordering the KRG to pay Dana Gas and its partners, Crescent Petroleum and Pearl Petroleum, outstanding arrears for the development of hydrocarbon assets.

The group is exploring and developing the Khor Mor and Chemchemal gas fields. The supplies from these assets were to provide domestic electric power to plants near Erbil and Suleymania."



'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi bounces further from chart support; Egypt edges up | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi bounces further from chart support; Egypt edges up | Reuters:

"Saudi Arabia's stock market bounced further from a technical support level early on Sunday, while Egypt's bourse edged up.

The Saudi stock index has been rebounding in recent days from support at November's two-year low of 6,828 points. In the opening minutes of trade on Sunday it added 1.7 percent to 7,152 points, nearing resistance on the November high of 7,161 points.

With Brent oil still below $45 a barrel and a lack of positive corporate news, an extended rally by the Saudi market looks unlikely to many fund managers. But some local retail investors appear willing to buy on dips near current levels."



'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets edge up; short-term technicals positive | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets edge up; short-term technicals positive | Reuters:

"Most Gulf stock markets edged up in early trade on Sunday, supported by positive short-term technical factors, though modest turnover suggested a major uptrend was not underway.

Dubai's index added 0.5 percent to 3,289 points. It triggered a minor double bottom formed by the November lows on Thursday; the target of that pattern is 3,327 points.

Nine of the 10 most heavily traded Dubai stocks rose, with builder Arabtec, the most active stock, up 1.7 percent."



'via Blog this'

Saturday, 21 November 2015

S&P cuts Oman’s credit rating over oil price fall | The National

S&P cuts Oman’s credit rating over oil price fall | The National:

"S&P has lowered its long-term outlook for Oman, pointing to further economic pressure from the slide in oil prices.

The credit rating agency downgraded the country’s long-term foreign and local currency sovereign credit ratings to BBB plus from A minus.

“The negative outlook reflects our view that the government’s fiscal and external positions could deteriorate beyond our current expectations over the next two years,” said S&P."



'via Blog this'

Changes to keep debtors out of jail | The National

Changes to keep debtors out of jail | The National:

"Mediation is to be introduced to reduce the number of people sent to prison and time served in civil cases over debts or bounced cheques.

Debtors in civil cases will have ready access to a judge without having to wait for a hearing, which also means fewer cases clogging up the courts. And those few who are eventually jailed over debts will not serve a day longer than their sentence.

“All they are required to do is to send in a request and a judge will meet them regardless of the date of their hearing,” said one judge, who asked not to be identified."



'via Blog this'

Short-term bottoms look to be put in for UAE markets | GulfNews.com

Short-term bottoms look to be put in for UAE markets | GulfNews.com:

"The Dubai Financial Market General Index (DFMGI) ended flat last week, rising only 8.02 or 0.25 per cent to close at 3,273.30, almost the high for the week. This was the first week of positive performance, although small, in six weeks. There were 13 advancing issues and 21 declining, while volume improved to an 11-week high.

Earlier in the week the DFMGI was down as much as 4.2 per cent for the week at the low of 3,127.96, and 26.5 per cent lower than the 2015 peak of 4,253.38. The index then managed to reverse the declines to close positive for the week, and on higher volume. This is a positive development and indicates that a low has probably been put in for now, at least short-term.

Declines from here should see support step in anywhere down to last week’s low. If oil starts to strengthen at the same time, this will help a rally, however, there is no clear sign of that yet, and it is not necessary for the DFMGI continue higher. Of course, a drop below last week’s low puts this potentially bullish reversal scenario at risk of failure."



'via Blog this'

Unemployment major factor in Middle East plight | GulfNews.com

Unemployment major factor in Middle East plight | GulfNews.com:

"The Arab region is plagued by a lack of job opportunities, knowledge and real notions of democracy, Shaikh Mohammad Sabah Al Salem Al Sabah, a member of the UN high-level advisory committee, has said.

Delivering a lecture that focused on challenges facing Arab youth and held as part of the 14th Middle East business conference at a British University on Friday, Shaikh Mohammad, a former foreign minister in Kuwait, said that according to figures from the World Bank, around 54 per cent of youth in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) were unemployed. The picture becomes gloomier with the fact that three out of four women in the region were also unemployed, he added.

Shaikh Mohammad stressed that Arab governments were now forced to create 100 million jobs until 2020 in order to meet the alarming unemployment numbers."



'via Blog this'

Dh300b projects in UAE to spur knowledge economy | GulfNews.com

Dh300b projects in UAE to spur knowledge economy | GulfNews.com:

"In a major step towards turning the UAE into a knowledge-based economy, President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan has announced the adoption of the Science, Technology and Innovation’s Higher Policy, which includes 100 national initiatives in the educational sector, health, energy, transportation, space and water.

The plan foresees an investment of over Dh300 billion and includes new national policies in legislation, investment, technology, education and finance. Its goal is to build a vibrant knowledge-based economy in the UAE.

“The UAE is working towards establishing a solid future for the coming generations, away from the fluctuation of energy prices and markets,” commented Shaikh Khalifa."



'via Blog this'

Are tech bubble 2.0 fears unfounded? | Analysis Review - YouTube

Are tech bubble 2.0 fears unfounded? | Analysis Review - YouTube: ""



'via Blog this'

Why is oil price so weak? | FT Markets - YouTube

Why is oil price so weak? | FT Markets - YouTube: ""



'via Blog this'

Saudi Arabian petchems company Sabic eyes up acquisitions in 2016 | The National

Saudi Arabian petchems company Sabic eyes up acquisitions in 2016 | The National:

"One of the world’s largest petrochemical manufacturers, Saudi Basic Industries Corporation, or Sabic, will make “at least one acquisition” next year, according to its chief executive.

Yousef Al Benyan, acting vice chairman and chief executive of the Riyadh-based company, said on Thursday that Sabic was planning to announce the potential additions to its core market early in 2016.

“I can tell you that [we are evaluating] between two to four companies in North America and China,” he said on the sidelines of the GPCA petrochemicals conference in Dubai, declining to expand on the types of companies being looked at."



'via Blog this'

UAE’s banks should be engaging with the real world | GulfNews.com

UAE’s banks should be engaging with the real world | GulfNews.com:

"When the current panic in the SME (small and medium enterprise) market dies down, when banks begin to recover somewhat from the shocks created by a tidal wave of “skips”, the worst I have seen in 22 years here, they will, hopefully, put on their thinking caps to analyse what went wrong and how it could have been avoided.

It is quite clear that a mini sub-prime crisis has been created as a result of profligate lending to undeserving clients over the past five years. If indiscriminately throwing money at sub-prime clients caused the global crisis, both corporate and individual, then exactly the same has happened in the UAE.

The same causes shine through — ambitious growth targets, post global crisis exuberance, focus on assets to drive revenues, bonuses based on revenue rather than its quality, easy lending and tolerance of inefficiencies. Yes, plenty to think about."



'via Blog this'

GE Oil and Gas eyes opportunities in Iran as it prepares to open up | GulfNews.com

GE Oil and Gas eyes opportunities in Iran as it prepares to open up | GulfNews.com:

"GE Oil & Gas sees opportunities in Iran as the country gets ready to welcome global companies after reaching a historical nuclear deal with six major world powers in July this year.

“We have been in Iran previously before the sanctions and as the sanctions get lifted, we will go back in and will provide assistance,” Lorenzo Simonelli, President & CEO of GE Oil & Gas told Gulf News in an exclusive interview.

“I see the potential from an infrastructure perspective as the sanctions get lifted. We already have some installed base-related to knowing the field and also having prior equipment there but we’ve got to wait for Iran to open up and sanctions are lifted,” he added."



'via Blog this'

Russia Plays Down Threat of Low-Priced Saudi Oil Sales to Europe - Bloomberg Business

Russia Plays Down Threat of Low-Priced Saudi Oil Sales to Europe - Bloomberg Business:

"
Russian officials said Saudi Arabia won’t be able to maintain the discounted crude prices offered to refiners in Eastern Europe as the nation toned down its criticism of oil shipments from the biggest OPEC producer.
Saudi Arabia has priced its oil at a six-year low for Europe after starting to ship crude to traditional Russian markets such as Poland.
The discounted crude “is a temporary situation and it won’t work for a long period,” Nikolay Tokarev, chief executive officer of Russia’s state-run oil pipeline operator, Transneft OJSC, said in an interview on Friday."



'via Blog this'

Thursday, 19 November 2015

GCC equity valuations look attractive | GulfNews.com

GCC equity valuations look attractive | GulfNews.com:

"GCC equity markets are looking increasingly attractive after the broad-based sell off since the summer and these markets represent a buying opportunity, particularly with appealing stock valuations and stronger earnings momentum, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

“There are broad-based buying opportunities, but stock selection is becoming the key. We retain our bias for markets with robust macro, attractive valuations, consistent earnings delivery and/or superior earnings growth. These factors make the UAE our most preferred Mena [Middle East and North Africa] market and Kuwait as our preferred GCC Frontier market,” said Hootan Yazhari, Head of Mena & Frontier Markets Equity Research.

The sharp correction across frontier markets since the summer has also yielded strong opportunities across many other markets, including Saudi Arabia. In this context, Yazhari said stock selection (rather than market selection) is becoming more crucial and advocate a focus on quality and mispriced opportunities."



'via Blog this'

Dubai Holding estimates 2015 net profit at Dh5.5b | GulfNews.com

Dubai Holding estimates 2015 net profit at Dh5.5b | GulfNews.com:

"Dubai Holding said on Thursday it estimates 2015 net profit at Dh5.5 billion with a total assets of Dh130 billion, even as it expects the UAE economy to maintain its stability despite the global economic turmoil with a 5 per cent growth this year.

The investment company’s successes have been largely due to its resilience and diversity. The group with total assets exceeding Dh130 billion, follows a long-term strategy that is closely aligned with Dubai’s overall outlook and strategy, it said in a statement on Thursday.

Dubai Holding also affirmed that the company is committed to fulfilling its financial obligations, the last of which is a £500 million (Dh2.78 billion) loan that matures by January 2017."



'via Blog this'

Soft landing projected for the UAE amid declining revenues | GulfNews.com

Soft landing projected for the UAE amid declining revenues | GulfNews.com:

"A decline in oil prices for more than 17 months have resulted in a sharp contraction in government revenues across the GCC, with many countries facing the prospect of economic slowdown and rising fiscal deficits, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

But the degree of impact varies from country to country, the bank added. In the region, the UAE is better positioned to deal with the current situation as it holds substantial reserves and the economy is relatively more diversified than its GCC peers, said Jean-Michel Saliba, Mena (Middle East and North Africa) economist, Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

“In our view, the UAE economy is likely to soft land this year. The near-term direct impact of lower oil prices on UAE is more muted than for GCC peers. However, the indirect impact through lower regional and domestic liquidity, real estate, external sector and indebtedness would be more pronounced if oil prices remain low for long,” said Saliba."



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Dubai's Limitless debt deal held up by minority creditors | Reuters

Dubai's Limitless debt deal held up by minority creditors | Reuters:

"A minority of creditors are resisting attempts by Dubai government-owned property developer Limitless to seal a restructuring on around 1.9 billion dirhams ($517 million) in bank debt, three banking sources said.

The company needs complete creditor approval in order to push through any deal, with the absence of an agreement raising uncertainty about its future prospects at a time of weakness in the United Arab Emirates' property market.

In June, the company said it had won the approval of almost 90 percent of banks to a repayment plan involving 1.9 billion dirhams of bank debt. In return, Limitless is asking its 18 creditor banks to agree to extend the term of its debt by two years to December 2018."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi'S Ma'aden helps lift index after loan, most mkts rise | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi'S Ma'aden helps lift index after loan, most mkts rise | Reuters:

"Saudi Arabian Mining Co (Ma'aden) jumped to a three-month high on Thursday after the company secured a major loan, while most Middle East shares firmed as a steady oil price encouraged bargain hunters.

Ma'aden shares were up 5.5 percent after local, regional and international banks committed to a 11.5 billion riyal ($3.1 billion) loan for its phosphate business, replacing existing debt on more favourable terms.

Riyadh's Tadawul index rose 1.2 percent in its third session of gains in the four days since it hit a two-year low on Sunday."



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Brunei struggling to wean itself off oil - FT.com

Brunei struggling to wean itself off oil - FT.com:

"Brunei has narrowly escaped a second recession in two years but its recovery will be slow and erratic. The oil-dependent sultanate — one of the few countries in the world with an absolute ruler — is struggling to diversify its economy. Its neighbour Malaysia — itself badly hurt by collapsing oil prices — is unlikely to be much help.
The energy sector supplies about 60 per cent of Brunei’s economic output and led the country into a prolonged recession in 2013 and 2014, making it the only Asean economy to contract during the period."



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Dollar strength destroying global growth | FT Markets - YouTube

Dollar strength destroying global growth | FT Markets - YouTube: ""



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UPDATE 1-MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets rise, Egypt buoyed by World Bank loan promise | Reuters

UPDATE 1-MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets rise, Egypt buoyed by World Bank loan promise | Reuters:

"Middle East stockmarkets firmed on Thursday, with Saudi Arabian Mining Co (Ma'aden) rising on news of a major loan and Egyptian shares climbing on the prospect of Cairo receiving $1 billion from the World Bank.

Ma'aden were up 3.9 percent by 0943 GMT after local, regional and international banks committed to a 11.5 billion riyal ($3.1 billion) loan for its phosphate business, replacing existing debt on more favourable terms.

Riyadh's Tadawul index rose 1.1 percent to 7,032.70 points, heading for a third session of gains in the four days since it hit a two-year low on Sunday."



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Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Let market stabilise oil price, not low-cost producers, says Minister of Energy | The National

Let market stabilise oil price, not low-cost producers, says Minister of Energy | The National:

"Producers of low-cost oil, such as many Opec members, should not play the role of swing producers and instead allow the market to stabilise itself, the UAE’s Minister of Energy said yesterday.

“Low oil producers should be at the base,” said Suhail Al Mazrouei. “It was a mistake in the past that they were a swing producer. The fact we have more competition in the market means we need to do something to correct that behaviour. That correction was the decision that the members of Opec took, which is we will be base producers because that is to the benefit of the customers and that’s to the benefit of the sustainability of the market.”

Opec, which pumps about 40 per cent of the world’s oil, made a historic decision in November last year to not cut its output to protect its market share rather than prop up prices."



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Oil Trades Near Two-Month Low After U.S. Crude Supplies Increase - Bloomberg Business

Oil Trades Near Two-Month Low After U.S. Crude Supplies Increase - Bloomberg Business:

"Oil was little changed in New York after falling below $40 a barrel for the first time since August as producers’ output swelled global inventories to a record.
U.S. crude stockpiles climbed to 487.3 million barrels last week, the highest for this time of year since 1930, government data show. Oil inventories have expanded to almost 3 billion barrels because of growing output in OPEC and elsewhere, the International Energy Agency said in a report on Friday.
Crude has dropped by almost half in the past year as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries pumped above its collective quota and Russian output rose to a post-Soviet high, outpacing demand growth. Iran is pushing to regain oil sales lost to sanctions after agreeing in July to accept limits on its nuclear work in return for market access."



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Dubai stocks back in red, snap two-day gaining streak | GulfNews.com

Dubai stocks back in red, snap two-day gaining streak | GulfNews.com:

"Dubai stocks again ended in the negative zone, snapping a two day gaining streak amid mixed performance by blue chips and other mid-caps. Saudi’s Tadawul index, however, bucked the weak regional trend on higher oil.

The Dubai Financial Market General Index closed 0.28 per cent lower at 3,180.77.

“The index may hit a level of 3,069 during this quarter. The index may fall below 3,000 levels in the first quarter of next year,” said Osama Al Ashri, member of British organisation, Society of Technical Analysts."



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Dubai's Shaibani Says Property Slump Helps Competitive Position - Bloomberg Business

Dubai's Shaibani Says Property Slump Helps Competitive Position - Bloomberg Business:

"Falling property prices in Dubai will help keep the emirate competitive as a business hub for the Middle East and Africa region, according to Mohammed Al Shaibani, chief executive officer of Investment Corp. of Dubai and a top government official.
The oversupply of properties will take some time to be digested by the market, said Al Shaibani, who is also director general of the Dubai Ruler’s Court. The outlook for real estate prices is more positive over the longer term as the emirate prepares to host the World Expo in 2020 and develops a new business cluster around the Al-Maktoum International airport, he said. The 140-square kilometer area around the airport, known as Dubai South, will feature residential, commercial and leisure areas.
“Real estate has its own mind, you cannot engineer it,” Al Shaibani said. “You try your best to manage supply and demand but so far nobody has managed to master this, no matter how much you plan. There is some oversupply that will take time to be absorbed. It’s important we give value for money as in the bigger picture we have to stay competitive.”"



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