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Monday, 19 January 2015

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf soft as oil slips; poor results weigh on Saudi | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf soft as oil slips; poor results weigh on Saudi | Reuters:



"Most Gulf equity markets pulled back on Monday as oil prices slipped again and negative fourth-quarter earnings weighed on Saudi Arabia's bourse.



Brent crude fell back below $50 a barrel on concern that the global economic outlook was darkening and after Iraq announced record oil production.



Saudi Arabia's main index slid 0.6 percent as petrochemicals giant Saudi Basic Industries fell 1.9 percent and Savola Group, the kingdom's biggest food maker, dropped 2.3 percent."



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Iran Sees ‘No Threat’ from Oil at $25 If Prices Keep Tumbling - Bloomberg

Iran Sees ‘No Threat’ from Oil at $25 If Prices Keep Tumbling - Bloomberg:



"OPEC has no immediate plan to cut its output target for crude, and Iran is strong enough to withstand a deeper slump in prices even if the country must sell at $25 a barrel, Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said.



“If the oil prices drop to $25 a barrel, there will yet again be no threat posed to Iran’s oil industry,” Zanganeh told reporters yesterday at a conference in Tehran, according to the state-run Fars news agency.



Brent crude traded below $50 yesterday in London. Oil has fallen about 30 percent since the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries decided on Nov. 27 to keep its ceiling unchanged at 30 million barrels a day. Iran isn’t seeking for OPEC to hold an emergency meeting, Zanganeh said. The group’s next scheduled meeting is for June 5."



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Iran Sees OPEC Sticking by Oil-Output Decision Amid Price Slump - Bloomberg

Iran Sees OPEC Sticking by Oil-Output Decision Amid Price Slump - Bloomberg:



"OPEC has no immediate plan to cut its output target amid the collapse in oil prices, and Iran isn’t calling for the group to hold an emergency meeting, Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said.



Iran is instead consulting with its fellow OPEC members to respond to the price slump, Zanganeh told reporters today at a conference in Tehran, without providing more details. Brent crude has tumbled 31 percent since the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries decided on Nov. 27 to keep its production ceiling unchanged at 30 million barrels a day.



“As yet, no decision has been made to adopt a lower production ceiling,” he said. Upheaval in oil markets is the result of politics and decisions by producer countries, Zanganeh said, declining to be more specific."



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UPDATE 1-MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets rise as oil gains | Reuters

UPDATE 1-MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets rise as oil gains | Reuters:



"Most Gulf stock markets edged up in early trade on Monday as Brent crude pared losses to break back above $50 per barrel.



Dubai's index added 1.2 percent, with Dubai Islamic Bank's (DIB) 2.8 percent gain the main support.



Two other Dubai lenders, Emirates NBD and Mashreq , reported strong quarterly results on Sunday and investors may be betting that DIB will follow suit."



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Moscow Exchange reports booming securities, FX trade despite economic downturn - EmergingMarkets.me

Moscow Exchange reports booming securities, FX trade despite economic downturn - EmergingMarkets.me:



"Moscow Exchange has reported vast increases in securities and foreign exchange (FX) trade for 2014 despite Russia’s steady movement towards recession that year. 




The bourse’s derivatives and FX markets showed the best performance, the exchange said in a statement in comparing statistics for December 2014 with those for December 2013.



The derivatives market recorded a turnover increase of 137% to 8.5 trillion rubles ($130bn at today’s exchange rate) from 3.6 trillion rubles ($55bn)."



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Petrochemicals squeezed in the short term | The National

Petrochemicals squeezed in the short term | The National:



"The petrochemicals sector has been squeezed in the past few months, even while the longer-term prospects for the industry in the region look positive.



Companies such as Sabic are being hit by a combination of lower oil prices as well as lower demand and thus tighter margins.



Sabic has long-term contracts for its feedstocks from Saudi Aramco. So the decline in oil prices will not have affected its cost base. But as the naphtha-linked sales of its end products decline, it will take time to adjust and recover margins, analysts say."



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Dubai real estate market stabilising | GulfNews.com

Dubai real estate market stabilising | GulfNews.com:



"Dubai’s real estate market appears to be stabilizing with the cost of renting and buying apartments registering zero increases in the last part of 2014, a new report suggests.



Property analysts expect the market to remain subdued in the next 12 months, as more residential units are scheduled to open their doors to new tenants.



The latest report by Jones Lang Lasalle (JLL), which uses data collated by REIDIN.com, stated that the average rents and property sale prices remained “relatively flat” in the second half of 2014. There were also “marginal declines” in rates over the last quarter."



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2015 could prove to be a milestone year for Saudi’s equity markets | GulfNews.com

2015 could prove to be a milestone year for Saudi’s equity markets | GulfNews.com:



"Saudi Arabia along with other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) markets could witness a flush of liquidity from foreign investors after the biggest economy in the region opens its $500 billion stock exchange later in the year.



Saudi Arabia, which contributes to 50 per cent of the GDP of Middle East and North Africa (Mena) and 50 per cent of market capitalisation of the region, is keen on removing impediments for foreign investors in one of the world’s most-restricted major stock exchanges as it pursues a $130 billion spending plan to boost non-energy industries. The opening up of stock market could boost inflows of up to $40 billion, industry participants say.



This move would come even as the world’s biggest exporter of oil budgeted a deficit of 145 billion Saudi riyals due to falling crude oil prices."



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Swiss Upending Polish Mortgages Unnerves Bank Bondholders - Bloomberg

Swiss Upending Polish Mortgages Unnerves Bank Bondholders - Bloomberg:



"Among the victims of last week’s shock surge in the Swiss franc are bond investors in Polish banks, which hold $35 billion in mortgages denominated in the currency.



Yields on Eurobonds for lenders including PKO Bank Polski SA and MBank SA jumped to five- and nine-month highs after the Swiss National Bank unexpectedly ditched its currency cap. The move sent the zloty tumbling against the franc on concern more Poles will fall behind on repaying franc-denominated home loans. 




JPMorgan Chase & Co. said the nation’s banks may need to make additional provisions for non-performing mortgages in the currency, whose value is equivalent to 6.7 percent of gross domestic product, data compiled by Bloomberg show. While the zloty plunged 20 percent against the franc following the SNB action, Polish lenders have adequate capital to withstand a drop of more than twice that, the financial markets regulator said last week, citing results of October stress tests."



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Saudi Arabia’s Fakeeh Hospital May Sell 30 Percent Stake in IPO - Bloomberg

Saudi Arabia’s Fakeeh Hospital May Sell 30 Percent Stake in IPO - Bloomberg:



"Dr. Soliman Fakeeh Hospital, owner of one of Saudi Arabia’s largest private hospitals, may sell a 30 percent stake through an initial public offering after the kingdom opens its bourse to foreign investors.



“We’re applying corporate governance standards and we are ready to go for listing whenever we feel the market conditions are appropriate,” Mazen Fakeeh, president and chairman of the group, said in an interview in Dubai yesterday. The hospital would probably sell shares “within the next three years,” he said.



The company, which opened its first hospital in the kingdom in 1978, plans to spend 1 billion dirhams ($272 million) building a 300-bed hospital and a research-focused university in Dubai. The Silicon Oasis-based project will be the company’s first expansion outside its home market. It will be followed by construction of a diabetes care center in Dubai in about two years, Fakeeh said."



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Ferrari Theme Park Developer to Settle Debt This Month - Bloomberg

Ferrari Theme Park Developer to Settle Debt This Month - Bloomberg:



"Aldar Properties PJSC, which built the world’s biggest indoor theme park in Abu Dhabi, will repay the remaining 1 billion dirhams ($272 million) of a 4 billion-dirham loan before the end of this month as it cuts debt.



Abu Dhabi’s largest real estate company will use scheduled cash payments from the government after selling assets to settle the loan, Aldar said in an e-mailed response to questions. The company repaid 3 billion dirhams last year.



Aldar, which won back its investment-grade rating from Moody’s in November, has been repaying loans and extending maturities on others. The company has 9.6 billion dirhams in gross debt and plans to cut that to 6 billion dirhams within a year, Chief Financial Officer Greg Fewer said Nov. 13."



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Mashreqbank CEO Confirms Interest in Citigroup Egypt Unit - Bloomberg

Mashreqbank CEO Confirms Interest in Citigroup Egypt Unit - Bloomberg:



"Mashreqbank PSC (MASQ), the Dubai-based lender, is interested in buying Citigroup Inc. (C)’s Egyptian consumer banking unit, Chief Executive Officer Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair said.



The company is one of several lenders already in talks with the U.S. bank and a sale could be completed by mid-2015, Al Ghurair told reporters yesterday in Dubai. The bank and rival Emirates NBD PJSC (EMIRATES) are among lenders that submitted offers during the first round of bidding for the business, four people with knowledge of the matter told Bloomberg last week.



Citigroup, based in New York, is exiting its consumer banking business in 11 countries to focus on markets where it has the greatest scale and growth potential. The bank has said it expects to complete most of those sales this year."



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