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Wednesday, 22 April 2015

MIDEAST STOCKS-Middle East markets edge up as Yemen air strikes end | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Middle East markets edge up as Yemen air strikes end | Reuters:



"Most major stock markets in the Middle East rose modestly on Wednesday after Saudi Arabia and its allies in the region decided to end a campaign of air strikes against Yemen's Houthi rebels.



Riyadh announced late on Tuesday that it was ending a month-long offensive against the Houthis, who seized large areas of Yemen, and said it would back a political solution to bring peace to its war-ravaged neighbour.



The Yemen fighting was never a big concern for financial markets, which believed the Gulf states could prevent the conflict from spreading beyond Yemen's borders; bond yields and credit default swaps barely moved in response to the violence."



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E.U. Charges Russian Energy Giant Gazprom With Abusing Its Dominance - NYTimes.com

E.U. Charges Russian Energy Giant Gazprom With Abusing Its Dominance - NYTimes.com:



"European antitrust regulators on Wednesday charged the Russian energy giant Gazprom with abusing its dominance in natural gas markets, a move amounting to a direct challenge to the authorities in Moscow.



Russia supplies about one-third of the European Union’s natural gas.



The move is a frontal challenge to President Vladimir V. Putin’s economic and geopolitical strategy by potentially limiting Russia’s ability to set prices favoring some customers and penalizing others. Gazprom has previously warned Brussels that it has the “status of a strategic organization” in Russia, a reminder that it is controlled by the Kremlin, which earns significant sums from the company."



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UPDATE 2-MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi Arabia rises after ending Yemen air strikes | Reuters

UPDATE 2-MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi Arabia rises after ending Yemen air strikes | Reuters:



"Saudi Arabia's stock market rose in early trade on Wednesday after the Riyadh government said it had ended a campaign of air strikes against Yemen's Houthi rebels. Egypt's market remained soft.



Gulf markets lost a few percent each after the military intervention began last month, and investors now see its completion as a positive factor.



Saudi Arabia's index edged up 0.4 percent to 9,598 points as most stocks in the kingdom climbed. Telecommunications operator Zain Saudi's jumped 3.1 percent after announcing its first-quarter loss had narrowed to 257 million riyals ($68.5 million) from 318 million riyals a year earlier."



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Emirates NBD first quarter profit rises 60 per cent, beats estimates | The National

Emirates NBD first quarter profit rises 60 per cent, beats estimates | The National:



"Emirates NBD (ENBD), Dubai’s largest lender, posted a 60 per cent rise in first-quarter net profit on Wednesday, beating analysts’ forecasts.



The lender, 55.6-per cent owned by state fund Investment Corporation of Dubai, made a net profit of Dh1.67 billion in the three months to March 31, a statement from the bank said. This is up from Dh1.04bn in the same period of 2014.



Four analysts polled by Reuters on average forecast Emirates NBD would make a fourth-quarter net profit of Dh1.46bn."



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Al Gosaibis make offer to end long legal battle | The National

Al Gosaibis make offer to end long legal battle | The National:



"The Al Gosaibi family of Saudi Arabia has offered a peace deal to Maan Al Sanea, their bitter enemy for the past six years, if negotiations can be entered to end the Middle East’s longest running corporate “frozen conflict”.



“I’d be happy to negotiate a settlement and drop outstanding litigation against Maan and Saad Group [Mr Al Sanea’s company],” Simon Charlton, the chief executive of the family partnership Ahmad Hamad Al Gosaibi and Brothers (Ahab), said last night. “The cost of the continuing actions is becoming counterproductive, and it could take another six years of legal action. If I have to do that, I will but maybe the time has come to negotiate a settlement in this whole affair.”



In May 2009 Ahab defaulted on its debts, sparking the marathon battle with creditors. The Al Gosaibis blamed Mr Al Sanea, a financier who married into their family, and accused him of theft, fraud and forgery, sparking legal actions across three continents. At one stage, it was suggested up to US$20 billion was owed to creditors of either Ahab or Saad Group."



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Time for Gulf entities to initiate own merger plays | GulfNews.com

Time for Gulf entities to initiate own merger plays | GulfNews.com:



"A wave of ground breaking mergers is again sweeping through the developed world and which would have significant repercussions on global economic developments.



Within a week’s time frame, Shell, the energy giant, announced its acquisition of British Gas in a deal worth $50 billion (Dh184 billion), which came just three days after Finland’s Nokia confirmed plans to buy rival Alcatel-Lucent, the French telecom company, for $15 billion.



Last month, Kraft and Heinz announced a merger that will make the $28 billion unified entity the third largest food company in the US and the fifth largest in the world. The total size of mergers and acquisitions amounted to $3.34 trillion last year, up 5 per cent compared to 2013."



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Abu Dhabi to invest over $25b in offshore oilfields: Adnoc official | GulfNews.com

Abu Dhabi to invest over $25b in offshore oilfields: Adnoc official | GulfNews.com:



"Abu Dhabi plans to invest over $25 billion (Dh91.9 billion) in the next five years on boosting its oil production capacity from offshore fields, a senior official of Abu Dhabi National Oil Co (Adnoc) said on Tuesday.



The plan is part of the UAE’s strategy of increasing its crude oil output potential to 3.5 million barrels per day by 2017-18. The UAE’s actual current production is around 2.8 million bpd.



“We want to build capacity from production and from number of wells and infrastructure. Our current plan as ADNOC (is to reach) 3.5 million bpd and to sustain it,” Qasem al-Kayoumi, manager of ADNOC’s offshore division of the exploration and production directorate, told reporters."



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Iraq Oil Output Growth Seen Slow by BP, Lukoil on Low Prices - Bloomberg Business

Iraq Oil Output Growth Seen Slow by BP, Lukoil on Low Prices - Bloomberg Business:



"Growth in Iraq’s oil production capacity may slow as lower crude prices hurt the ability of OPEC’s number two producer to pay international oil companies for work there, officials from BP Plc and OAO Lukoil said.



Lukoil sees a “significant reduction” in the growth rate of Iraqi output capacity in 2016 and 2017 due to the decline in crude price, Gati Al-Jebouri, senior vice president at Lukoil Overseas, said in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday. BP’s ability to meet its production targets depends on the government approving the company’s proposed investment plans, said Michael Townshend, the company’s regional president for the Middle East.



The slump in global crude prices over the past year has cut the Iraqi government’s income even as it battles Islamic extremists that have seized parts of the country. That risks sidetracking Iraq’s efforts, after decades of conflict and sanctions that choked investment, to boost crude production with the help of international companies."



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LNG Takes Off in Gas-Rich Mideast as Conflict Thwarts Pipelines - Bloomberg Business

LNG Takes Off in Gas-Rich Mideast as Conflict Thwarts Pipelines - Bloomberg Business:



"Pipelines are a cheaper way to deliver natural gas than tanker ships. They’re also easier to blow up.



That’s one reason countries in North Africa and the Middle East are going full steam ahead on sea transport. They also want diversity of supply. The volume of cargoes carrying liquefied natural gas climbed 31 percent in 2014 as Middle East nations increased imports at the fastest pace in four years.



The fuel -- natural gas chilled to a liquid for transport - - is in demand as electricity usage surges for growing populations and industries. The Middle East and North Africa will spend $120 billion on gas-fired power plants by 2035, more than either China or the 28 member states of the European Union, according to the International Energy Agency. Strife between nations such as Morocco and Algeria have made pipelines pawns in political power plays as well as increasingly attractive targets for sabotage."



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BNY Mellon Started Saudi Arabia Stock Picking on Market Opening - Bloomberg Business

BNY Mellon Started Saudi Arabia Stock Picking on Market Opening - Bloomberg Business:



"Bank of New York Mellon Corp., the world’s biggest custody bank and among the 10 largest investment managers, said it’s started picking Saudi Arabian equities to invest in ahead of the market opening in June.



The bank’s wealth management arm plans to start buying shares as soon as the $554 billion stock exchange is opened to direct foreign investment on June 15, Chief Investment Officer Leo Grohowski told reporters in Dubai on Wednesday.



“We are already doing bottom-up analysis of Saudi equities and have got our sights on several individual companies,” he said. “Portfolio managers all around the world are looking forward to this.”"



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Oil trader Vitol sees growing demand in India - YouTube

Oil trader Vitol sees growing demand in India - YouTube: ""



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