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Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Citigroup Said to Win Approval to Trade Saudi Arabian Stocks - Bloomberg Business

Citigroup Said to Win Approval to Trade Saudi Arabian Stocks - Bloomberg Business:

"Citigroup Inc. has won approval to trade Saudi Arabian equities, its first banking license since exiting the country in 2004, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.
The U.S. bank has already started directly investing in companies listed on the Saudi Stock Exchange after receiving the Qualified Foreign Investment license from the Capital Market Authority, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private. Citigroup joins banks including HSBC Holdings Plc and asset manager Ashmore Group in obtaining the license after the Arab world’s biggest stock market opened to direct foreign investment in June.
The license marks a breakthrough for the U.S. bank in the Middle East’s largest economy after it sold a 20 percent stake in Samba Financial Group more than a decade ago. The U.S. bank said at the time its strategy was to invest in countries where it could have majority control of banks it ran. The closure ended an almost 50 year presence in the kingdom and was called a “mistake” in 2007 by Mohammed al-Shroogi, the bank’s then managing director for the Middle East. Samba is now the third largest bank in Saudi Arabia by assets and profits, according to data compiled by Bloomberg."



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How the banks ignored the lessons of the crash | Joris Luyendijk | Business | The Guardian

How the banks ignored the lessons of the crash | Joris Luyendijk | Business | The Guardian:

"Ask people where they were on 9/11, and most have a memory to share. Ask where they were when Lehman Brothers collapsed, and many will struggle even to remember the correct year. The 158-year-old Wall Street bank filed for bankruptcy on 15 September 2008. As the news broke, insiders experienced an atmosphere of unprecedented panic. One former investment banker recalled: “I thought: so this is what the threat of war must feel like. I remember looking out of the window and seeing the buses drive by. People everywhere going through a normal working day – or so they thought. I realised: they have no idea. I called my father from the office to tell him to transfer all his savings to a safer bank. Going home that day, I was genuinely terrified.”

A veteran at a small credit rating agency who spent his whole career in the City of London told me with genuine emotion: “It was terrifying. Absolutely terrifying. We came so close to a global meltdown.” He had been on holiday in the week Lehman went bust. “I remember opening up the paper every day and going: ‘Oh my God.’ I was on my BlackBerry following events. Confusion, embarrassment, incredulity ... I went through the whole gamut of human emotions. At some point my wife threatened to throw my BlackBerry in the lake if I didn’t stop reading on my phone. I couldn’t stop.”

Other financial workers in the City, who were at their desks after Lehman defaulted, described colleagues sitting frozen before their screens, paralysed – unable to act even when there was easy money to be made. Things were looking so bad, they said, that some got on the phone to their families: “Get as much money from the ATM as you can.” “Rush to the supermarket to hoard food.” “Buy gold.” “Get everything ready to evacuate the kids to the country.” As they recalled those days, there was often a note of shame in their voices, as if they felt humiliated by the memory of their vulnerability. Even some of the most macho traders became visibly uncomfortable. One said to me in a grim voice: “That was scary, mate. I mean, not film scary. Really scary.”"



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Markets rise on better global backdrop but turnover thin | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Markets rise on better global backdrop but turnover thin | Reuters:

"Middle East stock markets rose on
Wednesday after oil prices and the global market environment
improved, but modest trading volumes showed investors were not
prepared to bet on an extended rally.

Brent crude was just above $48 a barrel, slightly
higher than its levels during Gulf hours on Tuesday, and this
helped Saudi Arabia's stock index climb 0.9 percent on
the back of petrochemicals, which are sensitive to oil prices.

Saudi Basic Industries rose 1.3 percent and oil
shipper Bahri jumped 8.1 percent."



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FirstFT – Equities gloom, climate change - YouTube

FirstFT – Equities gloom, climate change - YouTube: ""



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi Arabia stabilises, Egypt edges up | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi Arabia stabilises, Egypt edges up | Reuters:

"Saudi Arabia's stock market stabilised on Wednesday, supported by firmer petrochemical shares after oil prices stopped falling, while Egypt's bourse edged up in response to an improved global market environment.

The Saudi stock index was up 0.2 percent in modest turnover after 45 minutes of trade with Saudi Basic Industries adding 0.3 percent.

It and other petrochemical stocks had sagged on Tuesday because of weak oil prices, but on Wednesday, oil was slightly above where it was on Tuesday afternoon in the Gulf, with Brent crude just above $48 a barrel."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf edges up in thin trade after global environment improves | Energy & Oil | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf edges up in thin trade after global environment improves | Energy & Oil | Reuters:

"Gulf stock markets edged up in early trade on Wednesday after the global market environment improved, but modest trading volumes indicated investors were not prepared to bet on an extended rally.

Regional stocks sank on Tuesday because of weak oil prices and a sell-off across emerging markets, especially in commodity-related shares.

But on Wednesday, oil was roughly where it was on Tuesday afternoon in the Gulf, with Brent crude just below $48 a barrel, while MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 1.9 percent."



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Fraud Office in secret battle over Barclays evidence - FT.com

Fraud Office in secret battle over Barclays evidence - FT.com:

"A judge must decide whether evidence vital to a criminal investigation and held by Barclays can be accessed by the Serious Fraud Office in a secret court hearing that can only now be reported.
In a high-stakes legal battle, the SFO has applied to a crown court to decide whether evidence must be turned over as part of the agency’s criminal probe into Barclays’ £5.8bn emergency cash call at the height of the financial crisis."



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Investors tread carefully on ending of Iran sanctions - FT.com

Investors tread carefully on ending of Iran sanctions - FT.com:

"The deal reached earlier this year over the Iranian nuclear programme still has one big step to go before Iran can be plugged back into the global economy. Even so, foreign investors are already getting set for the moment when sanctions are lifted and business can be resumed.

Under the deal, all energy, economic and financial sanctions imposed by the US and EU, with most applied by the UN, will be lifted on “implementation day”, when Iran has demonstrated it has complied with limits on its nuclear operations designed to prevent it from building a bomb."



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Testing the bottom | Authers' Note - YouTube

Testing the bottom | Authers' Note - YouTube: ""



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Oil, security and IPOs loom large in Dubai Financial Market US roadshow | The National

Oil, security and IPOs loom large in Dubai Financial Market US roadshow | The National:

"In a couple of weeks, a top-level delegation from Dubai Financial Market, accompanied by the cream of the emirate’s listed companies, will touch down at John F Kennedy International Airport in New York to begin two days of intensive meetings with American investors.

The “investment roadshow” has been a regular fixture since its launch in 2007 in London. It gives an opportunity for the Dubai market and Dubai corporates to get up close and personal with the biggest institutional investors in the world.

Formal presentations by the DFM authorities, led by Essa Kazim, the chairman, and the big hitters such as Emaar Properties, Emirates NBD and DP World (the latter is listed on Nasdaq Dubai, but shares a common trading platform with DFM companies) are followed by a whirlwind of one-to-one meetings that is virtually financial “speed dating”. It’s a gruelling schedule."



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Fiscal adjustments unlikely to fill growing budget gap of GCC governments | GulfNews.com

Fiscal adjustments unlikely to fill growing budget gap of GCC governments | GulfNews.com:

"The impact of fiscal policy responses by Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) sovereigns to lower oil prices are likely to be small compared to the loss of revenues over 2015 and 2016, according to Fitch Ratings.

Some policy responses deployed by other oil exporting-sovereigns are harder to enact, or carry greater risks for GCC sovereigns. For example, the rating agency do not expect any change to exchange rate pegs in the region to ease fiscal adjustments. Pegs are key nominal anchors against inflation, are backed by huge reserves and receive strong political commitment, and the private sector has no experience of exchange rate volatility.

Low oil prices are having a negative impact on the GCC sovereign ratings; this is primarily because the low oil prices are causing a deterioration in their fiscal positions and in the external position."



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Mideast funds heavily favour UAE equities in region -survey | Reuters

Mideast funds heavily favour UAE equities in region -survey | Reuters:

"Middle East fund managers favour United Arab Emirates stock markets over other bourses by a large margin as the region struggles with low oil prices and an unstable global environment, a monthly Reuters survey shows.

Gulf stock markets are in a difficult period as cheap oil slashes the state revenues of energy exporting countries and begins to tighten liquidity in banking systems.

But the survey of 15 leading investment firms, conducted over the past 10 days, shows them still prepared to put new money into UAE stocks. Some said the start of the reporting season for third-quarter corporate earnings in late October could be the trigger for such allocations."



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