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Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Wielding riches, Qatar seeks to deepen U.S. ties, protect regional clout | Reuters

Wielding riches, Qatar seeks to deepen U.S. ties, protect regional clout | Reuters:

"Qatar is hoping big investment and trade deals with Washington will help restore its position as a Middle East power broker after charges of World Cup graft, labor abuse and links to militants damaged its standing.

The country, adept at using finance as a form of "soft power", also wants to reverse what it sees as waning U.S. interest in Gulf Arab states and ensure U.S. rapprochement with Iran does not shift it from the center of Middle East politics.

Once the enfant terrible of the Gulf Arab dynasties, Qatar has toned down a traditionally assertive foreign policy in the past two years, chastened by setbacks in Egypt and Syria, after helping bankroll Arab Spring revolts."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi rebounds from chart support, most of region weak | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi rebounds from chart support, most of region weak | Reuters:

"Saudi Arabia's stock market
rebounded from near technical support on Wednesday but most
major Middle Eastern bourses were weak, weighed down by concern
about slowing economic growth.

The Saudi stock index, which has support at its
August low of 6,921 points, fell to 6,890 during the day but
rebounded to close 1.2 percent higher at 7,035 points.

Petrochemical blue chip Saudi Basic Industries
climbed 1.9 percent and Al-Rajhi Bank added 3 percent."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi rises from chart support, data caps Egypt | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi rises from chart support, data caps Egypt | Reuters:

"Saudi Arabia's stock market rose slightly from near technical support early on Wednesday, while poor economic data continued to weigh on Egypt.

The Saudi stock index edged up 0.3 percent to 6,974 points after falling to 6,955 points on Tuesday following Standard & Poor's downgrade of the kingdom's debt. It has support at its August low of 6,921 points.

Al-Rajhi Bank rose 1.5 percent. Late on Tuesday, Fitch Ratings lowered the outlooks for the Long-term Issuer Default Ratings of Saudi British Bank, Banque Saudi Fransi and Arab National Bank to negative from stable, citing a tougher operating environment caused by low oil prices, but the banks' shares were flat to higher."



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Crisis-hit Kazakhstan unveils ambitious privatisation plan - FT.com

Crisis-hit Kazakhstan unveils ambitious privatisation plan - FT.com:

"Kazakhstan is set to embark upon its most ambitious privatisation plan since independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, offering stakes in its largest state-owned enterprises to international investors in preparation for eventual stock market flotations, officials told the Financial Times on Tuesday.
The move coincides with a warning from Nursultan Nazarbayev, president, that the world faces “economic turbulence” that for many emerging market countries could dwarf the impact of the global financial crisis of 2008-09."



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Tidjane Thiam defends investment banking - FT Business - Companies & Management Video - FT.com

Tidjane Thiam defends investment banking - FT Business - Companies & Management Video - FT.com:



"Investment banking should focus on the real economy, says Tidjane Thiam, chief of Credit Suisse, with equity capital markets playing a bigger role in Europe. He tells the FT’s Caroline Binham that his bank is staying away from complex derivatives."

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Walls of worry | Authers' Note - YouTube

Walls of worry | Authers' Note - YouTube: ""



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Soros’s Gross mistake | Short View - YouTube

Soros’s Gross mistake | Short View - YouTube: ""



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Long-term vision gives Waha Capital chief clear goals | The National

Long-term vision gives Waha Capital chief clear goals | The National:

"One of Salem Al Noaimi’s aides has tipped me off that football is likely to figure in our conversation, so I am not surprised when the chief executive of Waha Capital goes straight into an analogy between the firm’s investment philosophy, the economic strategy of the UAE, and the business approach at Manchester City, the club he ­supports.

“In all three, we have taken a long-term view. Painful decisions have been taken, and will continue to be when necessary. But the basic approach is to plan long term for the future, and that’s paying off for us, the country and the football club. We are planting seeds, and the fruits will be seen in a few years time,” he says.

Seeing the potential value in long-term investments has been an essential feature of Waha Capital’s strategy since its origins as Oasis International Investments in 1997."



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Oil to bounce back next year, predicts UAE energy minister | The National

Oil to bounce back next year, predicts UAE energy minister | The National:

"Project delays and slowing shale production will lead to a rebound in oil prices next year, according to the UAE’s energy minister Suhail Al Mazrouei.

The minister yesterday said that economic growth in some countries would lead to higher demand. “Project delays and increased demand give us the impression that the market will have a correction in 2016,” he said. The price of Brent crude, the global benchmark, has fallen 50 per cent since its summer high last year of more than US$100 per barrel.

The nine largest international oil companies have cut spending by nearly 30 per cent in the period from January to September compared to a year earlier, according to London-based Energy Aspects, an energy market research company."



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Standard Chartered's Bad Loans Reveal Cracks in Asian Economies - Bloomberg Business

Standard Chartered's Bad Loans Reveal Cracks in Asian Economies - Bloomberg Business:

"As China’s growth sputters, the troubles at Standard Chartered Plc are another bad omen for what were once Asian economic darlings.
The bank, which generates most of its income in the region, had gambled on success in emerging markets such as India, which instead saddled the lender with delinquent loans. As a result, the company which opened its offices in Mumbai under Queen Victoria is now axing 15,000 jobs and is asking investors for $5.1 billion.
“Standard Chartered are Asian specialists and are in all the main markets in the region, so in looking at them you can get a good sense for credit direction and lending appetite,” said Mark Holman, chief executive officer at TwentyFour Asset Management in London, which oversees 5 billion pounds ($7.7 billion). "



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BofA Sees Saudi Rating Risks Another S&P Cut Amid Oil Slump - Bloomberg Business

BofA Sees Saudi Rating Risks Another S&P Cut Amid Oil Slump - Bloomberg Business:

"Saudi Arabia faces an “elevated” risk of another credit rating downgrade by Standard & Poor’s as the world’s biggest oil exporter grapples with the slump in crude prices, Bank of America Merrill Lynch said.
The rating agency on Friday lowered Saudi Arabia’s credit rating one level to A+, the fifth-highest classification, saying the oil rout will increase the budget deficit in a country that relies on energy exports for more than 80 percent of its revenue. The International Monetary Fund expects Saudi Arabia to post a fiscal shortfall of more than 20 percent of economic output this year.
"Based on planned fiscal consolidation measures, we think the risk of another downgrade" is elevated, Jean-Michel Saliba, Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s Middle East and North Africa economist, said in an e-mailed report on Tuesday. S&P’s expectation of a budget deficit of 10 percent of economic output next year and 5 percent in 2018 is optimistic, he said."



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Saudi Wells Running Dry -- of Water -- Spell End of Desert Wheat - Bloomberg Business

Saudi Wells Running Dry -- of Water -- Spell End of Desert Wheat - Bloomberg Business:

"For decades, only a few features punctuated the vastness of the Saudi desert: oil wells, oases -- and wheat fields.
Despite torrid weather and virtually no rain, the world’s largest oil producer once grew so much of the grain that its exports could feed Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman and Yemen. The circular wheat farms, half a mile across with a central sprinkler system, spread across the desert in the 1980s and 1990s, visible in spring to anyone overflying the Arabian peninsula as green spots amid a dun sea of sand.
The oilfields remain, but the last wheat farms have just disappeared to save the aquifers supplying them. For the first time, Saudi Arabia will rely almost completely on wheat imports in 2016, a reversal from its policy of self-sufficiency. It will become a full member of the club of Middle Eastern nations that, according to the commodity-trade adage, "sell hydrocarbons to buy carbohydrates.""



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Amlak lifts Dubai; other Gulf markets sluggish | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Amlak lifts Dubai; other Gulf markets sluggish | Reuters:

"Islamic mortgage provider Amlak Finance boosted Dubai's stock market early on Wednesday after the company released third-quarter earnings, while other Gulf markets were sluggish.

Amlak jumped 5.8 percent after reporting net group profit surged to 57 million dirhams ($15.5 million) from 7 million dirhams a year ago, while nine-month profit dropped 11 percent. It was Dubai's most heavily traded stock, helping the index rise 0.5 percent.

Abu Dhabi's index edged down 0.3 percent as telecommunications blue chip Etisalat fell by the same margin."



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Victory proves elusive in Saudi king's Yemen war | Reuters

Victory proves elusive in Saudi king's Yemen war | Reuters:

"In Yemen's humid southern port of Aden, Saudi Arabian soldiers in armored cars patrol streets where jihadists lurk. In Marib, east of the capital Sanaa, they fight alongside tribesmen in the hills. From the skies above, their jets fire down missiles.

Saudi military involvement in Yemen would have been unthinkable even a year ago, but with a new leadership and in the crucible of a region-wide struggle with Iran, Riyadh abandoned decades of backroom diplomacy for armed adventure.

It began six months before Russia's intervention in Syria on the other side of the Iranian-Saudi divide, but decades of instability in Yemen, isolated at the southern end of the Gulf peninsula, means it has attracted far less attention."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi shares drop after PMI points to economic slowdown | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi shares drop after PMI points to economic slowdown | Reuters:

"Saudi Arabia's stock market fell
sharply on Tuesday after data pointed to an economic slowdown
due to low oil prices.

Other major Middle Eastern markets fared better, with
second-tier stocks favoured by speculators lifting Dubai.

The seasonally adjusted Emirates NBD Saudi Arabia Purchasing
Managers' Index, an indicator of growth in the non-oil private
sector, fell last month to 55.7 - its lowest since the survey
began in August 2009 - from 56.5 in September. "



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