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Sunday, 4 January 2015

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets soft after oil slips | News by Country | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets soft after oil slips | News by Country | Reuters:



"Most Gulf stock markets fell on Sunday after Brent crude oil closed down nearly a dollar a barrel at $56.42 on Friday and many investors remained absent from the markets for extended holiday breaks.



Although markets have become less prone to panic sell-offs since Saudi Arabia announced late last month a 2015 state budget which maintains spending at a high level, many buyers may choose to stay on the sidelines until oil prices find a floor. 




Saudi Arabia's main equities index edged down 0.6 percent with most sectors in the red. The kingdom's market is heavily weighted towards petrochemical producers, whose profits may be hurt if oil's weakness is prolonged."



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Iran Economy Can’t Grow While Nation Isolated, Rouhani Says - Bloomberg

Iran Economy Can’t Grow While Nation Isolated, Rouhani Says - Bloomberg:



"Iran “cannot have sustainable growth in isolation,” President Hassan Rouhani, whose government seeks to have international sanctions against the nation lifted, said in the Iranian capital today.



“Gone are the days when it was said if foreign investors come to Iran its independence will suffer,” Rouhani said in an address opening a Tehran conference on sustainable growth and job creation, local media reported. Opening up “doesn’t mean letting go of the nation’s ideals and principles,” he said, according to the state-run Fars news agency.



Rouhani took office after eight years of rule by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during which United Nations, European Union and U.S. sanctions over the country’s nuclear program drove it deeper into political and economic isolation. Ahmadinejad said the technological and financial restrictions would help Iran become more self-sufficient."



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Dubai Shares Lead Gulf Declines as Oil Rout Extends Into 2015 - Bloomberg

Dubai Shares Lead Gulf Declines as Oil Rout Extends Into 2015 - Bloomberg:



"Dubai and Abu Dhabi stocks fell on speculation sliding oil prices will curb revenue for a region that accounts for about a third of the world’s crude reserves. 




Dubai’s DFM General Index (DFMGI) dropped 2.3 percent to close at 3,689.06, its lowest in more than two weeks, as markets reopened after the end-of-year holidays. Emirates NBD PJSC (EMIRATES) and Dubai Islamic Bank PJSC (DIB) led Dubai’s drop. The ADX General Index (ADSMI) in Abu Dhabi, home to about 6 percent of the world’s proven oil reserves, lost 1.7 percent while Qatar’s gauge declined 0.5 percent. Saudi Arabian stocks fell 0.6 percent in Riyadh.



Brent crude prices slipped 1.6 percent to $56.42 a barrel on Jan. 2, after falling 48 percent last year, the most since the financial crisis. Abu Dhabi, the richest of the seven sheikhdom’s that make up the United Arab Emirates, relies on oil revenue to fund both the federal and its own budgets. While Dubai’s government revenue isn’t oil based, it has received bailouts from Abu Dhabi, including about $20 billion in 2009 when it teetered on the edge of default."



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Dubai shares drop on first trading day of 2015 as oil slips | The National

Dubai shares drop on first trading day of 2015 as oil slips | The National:



"Dubai’s stocks fell on the first trading day this year as Brent crude slipped to the lowest since May 2009. Abu Dhabi’s shares also retreated.



Dubai’s DFM General Index was down 2 per cent, the most since December 30, to 3,698.60 at 11.52am local time. Emirates NBD led the decline with an 8.3 per cent drop, the steepest since December 24. The ADX General Index in Abu Dhabi, home to about 6 per cent of the world’s proven oil reserves, lost 0.7 per cent. 




Brent crude prices slipped 1.6 per cent to $56.42 a barrel on January 2, after falling 48 per cent last year, the most since the financial crisis. Abu Dhabi relies on oil revenue to fund both the federal and its own budgets. While Dubai’s government revenue isn’t oil based, it has received bailouts from Abu Dhabi, including about $20 billion in 2009 when it teetered on the edge of default."



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Dubai avoids deficit in Dh41 billion budget for 2015 | The National

Dubai avoids deficit in Dh41 billion budget for 2015 | The National:



"The government of Dubai has unveiled a 2015 public expenditure plan for growth and jobs in a deficit-free budget that hits levels not seen since the global financial crisis.



The budget was approved by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai. It will lead to the creation of 2,530 jobs for citizens in the emirate. “The human being is the wealth of the nation,” Sheikh Mohammed said.



At Dh41 billion, up 9 per cent from last year, the budget will see the biggest public expenditure since 2009. It aims to continue to stimulate economic growth, while “strict financial policies” are expected to produce an operating surplus of Dh3.6bn."



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A far-reaching EU-GCC trade deal remains elusive | GulfNews.com

A far-reaching EU-GCC trade deal remains elusive | GulfNews.com:



"Countries that do not share the same views on climate control or preserving natural resources should concentrate on what each can do best and trade the results of their specialisations.



Integrating with one another via a customs union, a projected common market and an envisaged — yet stalled — monetary union is a pointer that the member-states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) recognise as economic shifts and geopolitical realignments.



With the world’s immense hydrocarbon reserves depleting, the post-oil development strategies of the GCC are geared to accomplishing diversification, acquiring competitiveness in oil and non-oil reliant industries, and guaranteeing food security at affordable prices."



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Dubai’s Arabtec Said in Talks With Adviser on Takeovers - Bloomberg

Dubai’s Arabtec Said in Talks With Adviser on Takeovers - Bloomberg:



"Arabtec Holding Co. (ARTC), the largest publicly traded construction company in the United Arab Emirates, is seeking advice from PwC to identify potential acquisition targets, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.



PwC hasn’t yet been formally mandated by Arabtec, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private. Arabtec also approached banks to discuss potential financing for a takeover, a third person said.



Arabtec’s ambition to become one of the world’s top construction companies was thrown into doubt after Chief Executive Officer Hasan Ismaik resigned in June with other managers spearheading the plans. Ismaik had sought to expand into areas including oil and gas, infrastructure and power, and said the company also planned an acquisition in Europe."



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