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Sunday, 23 August 2015

Iran says an OPEC emergency meeting may stop oil price slide: Shana | Reuters

Iran says an OPEC emergency meeting may stop oil price slide: Shana | Reuters:



"Iran's Oil Minister, Bijan Zanganeh, said on Sunday that holding an emergency OPEC meeting may be "effective" in stabilizing the oil price, Iran's oil ministry news agency Shana reported.



Algeria said earlier this month that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries could hold an emergency meeting to discuss the drop in oil prices but other OPEC delegates said no meeting was planned.



"Iran endorses an emergency OPEC meeting and would not disagree with it," Zanganeh told reporters in Tehran, according to Shana."



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Arabian Gulf markets lose $58 billion as weak oil and global equity rout spark sell-off | The National

Arabian Gulf markets lose $58 billion as weak oil and global equity rout spark sell-off | The National:



"Billions of dirhams were wiped off the value of Dubai shares yesterday, as stock markets across the Arabian Gulf lost US$58 billion on a day of calamitous trading.




The sharp sell-offs came in the wake of sliding oil prices and a global equity rout on Friday, spurred by fears of a slowdown in China’s economic expansion, a key engine of global growth.



Dubai’s stock market led losses in the Middle East yesterday. The Dubai Financial Market General Index fell as much as 7.2 per cent on the day, before closing down 6.9 per cent at 3,451.48, its lowest level since the end of March."



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Mood sours among Saudi businessmen as oil slides | GulfNews.com

Mood sours among Saudi businessmen as oil slides | GulfNews.com:



"Saudi Arabian entrepreneur Essam Al-Zamel has overcome many obstacles to found a string of technology companies in the past decade, but he thinks sliding oil prices will be hard to handle.



“A black economic cloud is covering the skies of Saudi Arabia,” Zamel tweeted last week, warning that prices might not recover for five or 10 years.



Oil’s drop to six-year lows, less than half mid-2014 levels, is beginning to sour the business mood in the world’s top oil exporting nation."



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Property buyers turn scarce in Dubai | GulfNews.com

Property buyers turn scarce in Dubai | GulfNews.com:



"Prospective buyers are seemingly in no hurry to pick up property in Dubai — this disinterest is pushing prices even further into soft territory. Based on estimates by the consultancy ValuStrat, apartment prices in Business Bay saw a drop of 6 per cent in the second quarter of the year compared to what they were in the first three months.



Other clusters that saw drops during this period were International, Sports City and Discovery Gardens, all three by an average 4 per cent. Across the 26 locations tracked by ValuStrat, Dubai apartment and villa markets recorded declines by 2.5 per cent and 2.1 per cent quarter-on-quarter respectively. The median value for an apartment in Dubai is now Dh1,324 a square foot, while for villas it is Dh1,368 a square foot.



If the current level of declines were to continue through the rest of the year, that might be a prompt for undecided investors to finally get into the market. As things stand now, the pricing dynamic is very much in the buyers’ favour, with sellers expected to become even more generous with payment terms and incentives to buoy demand."



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Israel turns to Kurds for three-quarters of its oil supplies - FT.com

Israel turns to Kurds for three-quarters of its oil supplies - FT.com:



"Israel has imported as much as three-quarters of its oil from Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdish north in recent months, providing a vital source of funds to the cash-strapped region as it fights militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isis).



The sales are a sign of Iraqi Kurdistan’s growing assertiveness and the further fraying of ties between Erbil and Baghdad, which has long harboured fears that the Kurds’ ultimate objective is full-scale independence from Iraq.



The imports highlight the significant inroads that oil from Iraqi Kurdistan is making into world markets, with Italy, France and Greece also emerging as big buyers. It is a trade conducted through secretive pre-pay deals brokered by some of the world’s largest oil trading companies, including Vitol and Trafigura."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Plunge on oil price drop, Fitch cut to Saudi outlook | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Plunge on oil price drop, Fitch cut to Saudi outlook | Reuters:



"Major Middle Eastern stock markets
plunged in relentless selling on Sunday because of sliding oil
prices, a decision by Fitch Ratings to cut its outlook for Saudi
Arabia's debt, and Friday's sharp losses on Wall Street.



Dubai suffered its biggest one-day fall since last December,
with its main index tumbling 7.0 percent to 3,451
points, its lowest close since March 30. The index finished just
off the intra-day low and close to major technical support on
the March low of 3,233 points.



Saudi Arabia's benchmark lost 6.9 percent to 7,463
points, nearing support on its December low of 7,226 points.
That brought its losses so far this month to 18 percent - a drop
which has erased some $75 billion of market value."



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Swiss launch criminal inquiry related to Malaysia’s 1MDB - FT.com

Swiss launch criminal inquiry related to Malaysia’s 1MDB - FT.com:



"Attempts by Najib Razak, Malaysia’s embattled prime minister, to contain a financial scandal have taken a knock after Swiss authorities said they had opened criminal proceedings related to the state development fund at the centre of the affair.



Switzerland’s Office of the Attorney-general said its case involved “suspected corruption of public foreign officials, dishonest management of public interests and money laundering”.



Its confirmation of proceedings involving 1Malaysia Development Berhad, or 1MDB, which has $11bn in debt, marks the potential internationalisation of a case that has so far received mainly domestic scrutiny. The fund, established in 2009 by Malaysia’s finance ministry, is supervised by an advisory board chaired by the prime minister."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Weak oil, Saudi credit outlook cut to weigh on markets | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Weak oil, Saudi credit outlook cut to weigh on markets | Reuters:



"Further weakness in oil prices and the decision by Fitch Ratings to cut its outlook for Saudi Arabia's debt look set to weigh on Middle East stock markets on Sunday.



U.S. oil traded below $40 a barrel on Friday for the first time since the 2009 financial crisis, while Brent crude ended 2.5 percent lower at $45.46 a barrel. With no clear indication of where oil will bottom out, sentiment among Gulf equity investors is likely to stay fragile.



Meanwhile, Fitch lowered its outlook for Saudi Arabia to "negative" from "stable"; Standard & Poor's took this action in February while the third major rating agency, Moody's, has not so far done so."



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