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Monday, 20 April 2015

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

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



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



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



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



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

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



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



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



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



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

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



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



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



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



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

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



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




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



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



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

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



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



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



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



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

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



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



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



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



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

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



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



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



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



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IMF chief on growth and Greece - YouTube

IMF chief on growth and Greece - YouTube: ""



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