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Monday, 18 May 2015

MIDEAST STOCKS-Egypt surges as capital gains tax delayed; Gulf mixed | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Egypt surges as capital gains tax delayed; Gulf mixed | Reuters:



"Egypt's bourse posted its biggest daily gain in 22 months on Monday after the government said it had put on hold a new tax on capital gains from stock market operations. Markets in the Gulf were narrowly mixed as a truce in Yemen expired. 




The Cairo index surged 6.5 percent to 8,798 points, with all stocks positive. At least a dozen names, including blue chips Talaat Moustafa Group and EFG Hermes, surged their daily 10 percent limits, indicating the rally could continue in the next session.



The government froze plans for a 10 percent tax on capital gains for two years, reversing a central component of its economic reform agenda that investors had criticised. It kept in place a 10 percent dividend tax."



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UPDATE 1-MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets mixed, Qatar MSCI picks pull back | Reuters

UPDATE 1-MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets mixed, Qatar MSCI picks pull back | Reuters:



"Gulf stock markets were narrowly mixed in early trade on Monday after the Saudi-led coalition resumed air raids against Yemen's Houthis and global equities slipped on concern about economic growth in the United States.



Brent crude oil rose above $67 per barrel on Monday on supply worries following fighting in Iraq and Yemen, but signs of strengthening U.S. production have capped gains.



Meanwhile, Asian shares slipped on Monday after soft data raised doubts over whether the U.S. economy has been growing despite U.S. share prices standing at historic highs."



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India steps up economic reform programme - YouTube

India steps up economic reform programme - YouTube: ""



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New Al Gosaibi debt deal offer 25 per cent higher than previous | The National

New Al Gosaibi debt deal offer 25 per cent higher than previous | The National:



"The heavily indebted Al Gosaibi family of Saudi Arabia is pledging nearly all of its equity and property assets to creditors under the terms of a new offer in an attempt to settle a six-year dispute with international and regional banks.



New terms - to be put to creditors at a meeting in Dubai on June 2 - will increase the amount the family will guarantee to creditors to around 28 cents in the dollar on the total of US$6.4 billion (Dh23.5bn) of claims against it by around 90 banks and financial institutions, an increase of 25 per cent over its previous offer.



The new deal has already been agreed by a steering committee of five creditors, representing around 60 per cent of the overall debt. The final level of settlement with creditors could rise to as much as 50 cents if a string of legal actions are resolved satisfactorily."



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With opening of Saudi markets, AlKhair Capital launches IPO fund | GulfNews.com

With opening of Saudi markets, AlKhair Capital launches IPO fund | GulfNews.com:



"With an eye on the opening of Saudi markets for foreigners, AlKhair Capital said on Sunday it has launched an IPOs fund.



The fund will invests its assets mainly in primary markets, along with investing in recently-listed companies. These need to have been listed for less than three years in the secondary markets of KSA, the GCC and Mena regions.



“The fund is designed to achieve long-term capital growth, as well as achieving a performance that exceeds the guiding index performance,” Khalid Al Mulhim, Chief Executive Officer of AlKhair Capital said in a statement."



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UAE banks on sound footing but risks could rise | GulfNews.com

UAE banks on sound footing but risks could rise | GulfNews.com:



"The overall health of the banking sector in the UAE is expected to remain sound because of their strong initial financing positions and the resilience of the economy in the face of the sharp decline in oil prices, according to the Institute of International Finance (IIF), a Washington based association of global financial institutions.



The strong profitability of the banks during the last two years and the balance sheet strength built over the past six years through rigorous provisioning for bad debts is expected to keep the banks strong against any potential weakening of asset prices that could result in a jump in non-performing loans (NPAs).



UAE banks posted double-digit growth in net profits last year and maintain healthy capital adequacy ratios and high provisions on bad loans. Although NPLs declined significantly from 8.1 per cent of total loans in 2013 following a reclassification of Dubai World the ratio still remains high at about 6 per cent."



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Oil prices rise on Middle East fighting; OPEC output in focus | Reuters

Oil prices rise on Middle East fighting; OPEC output in focus | Reuters:



"Oil prices rose on Monday following fighting in Iraq and Yemen, but Iranian comments that OPEC was unlikely to cut output as well as signs of strengthening U.S. production capped gains.



Front-month Brent futures LCOc1 were up 1 percent, or 65 cents, at $67.46 a barrel by 11.54 a.m. ET. U.S. crude CLc1 rose 79 cents to $60.48.



Prices were supported by concerns that conflict in Iraq and Yemen could disrupt supplies after Islamic State militants said they had taken control of the Iraqi city of Ramadi in a big blow to the government."



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Iran-Saudi Rivalry’s Next Round Has Stock-Buyers’ Cash as Prize - Bloomberg Business

Iran-Saudi Rivalry’s Next Round Has Stock-Buyers’ Cash as Prize - Bloomberg Business:



"One of the Middle East’s most intractable rivalries looks set to extend to equity markets.



As Saudi Arabia, the oil behemoth that is among the region’s largest Sunni nations, opens its stocks to international investors, Iran is close to a deal with foreign powers that would end more than 10 years of sanctions on the Shiite country, paving the way for an influx of overseas cash.



The following outlines key market, economic and political considerations for investors interested in exploring Saudi Arabian and Iranian stocks:"



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Olayan Sisters Surface Among Wealthiest Women in Saudi Arabia - Bloomberg Business

Olayan Sisters Surface Among Wealthiest Women in Saudi Arabia - Bloomberg Business:



"In her Saudi Arabia homeland, Lubna Olayan can’t drive, show her hair in public or leave the country without her husband’s permission. She can, however, run one of the nation’s biggest conglomerates.



A former analyst at J.P. Morgan, Olayan oversees the Middle East operations of Olayan Group, a diversified company founded by her father in 1947. With 15,000 employees and 50 affiliated companies, the Athens-based business is active in almost every sector of the Saudi economy including oilfield services, steel and fast food.



She’s one of a small number of women “in the elite gulf business scene that turn out to be the brightest and particularly suited, so chosen by their fathers to run the business,” said David Butter, a Middle East business analyst and fellow at Chatham House in London."



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