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Monday, 5 October 2015

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi rises on firmer oil, Egypt stagnates | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi rises on firmer oil, Egypt stagnates | Reuters:

"Saudi Arabia's stock market edged up in early trade on Monday after global oil prices firmed, while Egypt's bourse was sluggish after a corporate survey showed growth in business activity slowed last month.

Brent oil was up 1.2 percent at $48.70 a barrel in Asian trade and this helped to boost the Saudi stock index by 0.7 percent, with petrochemical blue chip Saudi Basic Industries gaining 1.0 percent. Oil shipper Bahri also added 1.0 percent.

Property developer Dar Al Arkan continued to rise, gaining 1.5 percent, after Sunday's news that the government plans to convert a state-owned housing fund into a bank, the latest measure to spur housing construction."



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India moves to resolve long-running tax disputes - FT.com

India moves to resolve long-running tax disputes - FT.com:

"India plans to end long-running tax disputes with global companies including Cairn Energy and Vodafone in an effort to shed a reputation for unfairly targeting foreign investors.
A series of protracted tax rows has dented India’s standing as an investment destination in recent years, in turn undermining attempts by Narendra Modi, the prime minister, to attract fresh capital from abroad."



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Emerging market turmoil flashes warning lights for global economy - FT.com

Emerging market turmoil flashes warning lights for global economy - FT.com:

"Emerging economies risk “leading the world economy into a slump”, with lower growth and a rout in financial markets, according to the latest Brookings Institution-Financial Times tracking index.
Released ahead of the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank in Lima, Peru, the index paints a much more pessimistic outlook than the fund is likely to predict later this week.
According to Eswar Prasad of Brookings, weak economic data across most poorer economies has created “a dangerous combination of divergent growth patterns, deficient demand, and deflationary risks”."



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UAE energy minister says urgent need to cut subsidies in the region as oil prices decline | The National

UAE energy minister says urgent need to cut subsidies in the region as oil prices decline | The National:

"There is an urgent need to cut regional energy subsidies as government budgets are squeezed by slumping oil prices, the UAE Minister for Energy said on Sunday.

Opening an annual industry conference at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, Suhail Al Mazrouei said the issue of subsidies for electricity has become acute because demand continues to grow by about 9 per cent a year in the GCC countries, even while governments’ spending is under severe pressure.

“These subsidies urge most of the people in the region not to rationalise [their energy consumption] while using energy, and as you may know these figures are a great challenge for the budgets of the Arab world,” the minister said in his speech."



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Lower oil prices weigh on power sector projects | GulfNews.com

Lower oil prices weigh on power sector projects | GulfNews.com:

"While the Middle East still has one of the lowest break-even prices for crude oil, falling oil prices will put pressure on fiscal budgets and could result in a knock-on effect as governments reduce spending on certain projects.

According to Shaheen Chohan, vice-president of global analytics at Industrial Info Resources, a US-based provider of market intelligence, oil prices could trade around the $60 (Dh220.38) a barrel mark over the next 12-18 months.

Such a drop in prices presents challenges for power companies to manage planned projects, finance growth and bring a new generation of projects in time and on budget."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Markets edge up on improved global mood | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Markets edge up on improved global mood | Reuters:

"Gulf stock markets edged up in early trade on Monday after global oil prices and Asian equities rose, but modest turnover suggested bourses were not starting an extended rally.

Dubai's index added 0.9 percent. Dubai Parks and Resorts, the most heavily traded stock, climbed 1.6 percent after local media reported the emirate's transport authority had awarded a $68 million contract to build roads and bridges giving access to the company's theme park complex, due to open next year.

Abu Dhabi rose 0.4 percent, buoyed by blue chip Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, which gained 2.5 percent to 7.85 dirhams. Late last week Global Investment House raised the stock to a "strong buy" from a "hold" with a target price of 9.66 dirhams, citing attractive valuations."



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Saudi FX Burn Persists as Reserves Fall to Lowest Since 2013 - Bloomberg Business

Saudi FX Burn Persists as Reserves Fall to Lowest Since 2013 - Bloomberg Business:

"Saudi Arabia’s net foreign assets dropped to the lowest level in more than two years in August, as the world’s largest crude exporter grappled with oil prices below $50 a barrel.
Net foreign assets held by the central bank fell for a seventh month in a row to $654.5 billion, the lowest since February 2013. That compares with $661 billion in July, the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency said in its monthly report.
The oil rout has pressured Saudi Arabia’s public finances, pushing the government to search for savings and sell bonds for the first time since 2007. The kingdom’s budget deficit may widen to up to 20 percent of gross domestic product this year, according to the International Monetary Fund. The central bank’s net foreign assets have fallen a total of $82.5 billion since peaking at an all-time high of $737 billion last August, though the decline began to slow in July."



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