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Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Rebranded Rasmala to focus on regional assets | The National

Rebranded Rasmala to focus on regional assets | The National:

"Sometimes a rebranding tells you of little except a chief executive’s low boredom threshold; sometimes it tells you a lot about future strategy.

The renaming of EIIB Rasmala as Rasmala is an example of the latter, as Zak Hydari, the financial firm’s chief executive, is keen to point out.

“Remember in 1999 when Rasmala started, there was no Dubai International Financial Centre, no capital market, no regional asset management industry. So the bank has been interwoven into the Gulf financial structure ever since then and dealing with investors across the GCC,” he says."



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Iran growth hovering near zero as IMF says economy stuck in stagflation | The National

Iran growth hovering near zero as IMF says economy stuck in stagflation | The National:

"The end of sanctions cannot come soon enough for an Iranian economy crippled by trade restrictions and the low oil price.

Growth in Iran this year is set to hover somewhere between 0.5 per cent and -0.5 per cent, the IMF said.

When population growth is included, that means per capita growth is negative, and living standards are falling."



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No plans for taxes on incomes or remittances, minister says | GulfNews.com

No plans for taxes on incomes or remittances, minister says | GulfNews.com:

"The UAE is not planning to start taxing individual incomes in the UAE, a minister of state said on Tuesday.

“There is no intention and no plans to impose taxes on the income of individuals in the UAE,”, Obaid Humaid Al Tayer, Minister of State for Financial Affairs, told reporters at the Federal National Council on Tuesday.

Al Tayer also dismissed any plans to impose taxes on remittances."



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Siberian Surprise: Russian Oil Patch Just Keeps Pumping - Bloomberg Business

Siberian Surprise: Russian Oil Patch Just Keeps Pumping - Bloomberg Business:

"In the fight for market share among the world’s oil producers this year, Russia wasn’t supposed to be a contender.
But the world’s No. 3 producer has been pumping at the fastest pace since the collapse of the Soviet Union, adding to the flood on an already-swamped market and helping push prices to the lowest levels since 2004.
Russia’s unexpected oil bounty this year is the result not of a new Kremlin campaign but of dozens of modest productivity improvements across the sprawling sector. Even pressured by plunging prices, as well as U.S. and European Union sanctions that cut access to much foreign financing and technology, Russian companies have managed to squeeze more crude out of some of the country’s oldest fields. They have also brought new projects on line, offsetting steady declines in its core producing region of West Siberia."



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Morgan Stanley: Oil's Road Toward Rebalancing Could Take a Detour in 2016 - Bloomberg Business

Morgan Stanley: Oil's Road Toward Rebalancing Could Take a Detour in 2016 - Bloomberg Business:

"The year 2016 may prove a time in which the theoretical underpinnings of the old adage that "the best cure for low prices is low prices" is challenged, according to Morgan Stanley.
Amid firming demand and plateauing production from nations outside the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, the oil market has made strides toward rebalancing in the second half of 2015 despite hitting fresh 11-year lows:"



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Markets rebound; Saudi budget expected next week

MIDEAST STOCKS-Markets rebound; Saudi budget expected next week:

"Middle Eastern stocks rose on Tuesday as oil prices and global equities firmed slightly, and because of expectations that Saudi Arabia's state budget would be announced next Monday.

Investors had been expecting the Saudi budget release this week but Saudi-owned Al Arabiya television reported late on Monday, quoting sources, that it would come on Dec. 28.

Without the threat of an imminent announcement -- the budget is expected to include substantial spending cuts as Riyadh works to shrink its deficit -- short-term investors in Saudi Arabia and the wider region felt more comfortable buying on dips."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi advances; Orascom Telecom supports Egypt | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi advances; Orascom Telecom supports Egypt | Reuters:

"Stocks in Saudi Arabia advanced in early trade on Tuesday as investors returned to the market and bought on dips after reports the kingdom's state budget would now be announced next week, while Orascom Telecom carried Egypt higher.

The Saudi bourse climbed 1.2 percent, breaking the 7,000-point level, with all sectors advancing in early trade.

Volumes peaked at the open as investors found some reprieve in knowing the Saudi budget is now expected to be released next Monday, Saudi-owned Al Arabiya television reported late on Monday, quoting sources."



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Conoco exits Russia after 25 years - FT.com

Conoco exits Russia after 25 years - FT.com:

"ConocoPhillips, one of the pioneers of foreign investment in the Russian oil and gas industry, has completed a full retreat from the country by selling out of its Polar Lights joint venture with Rosneft.
A spokesman for the US oil and gas producer confirmed it had sold its 50 per cent stake in the venture, which is focused on the far north-west of Russia. Rosneft, the Russian state oil company, also sold its stake in the asset last week, in a deal that valued the business at about $150m-$200m, according to one person familiar with the matter."



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Morocco businessman says it how he sees it - FT.com

Morocco businessman says it how he sees it - FT.com:

"He is Morocco’s most outspoken businessman. Karim Tazi, one of two brothers who run Richbond, an industrial and property conglomerate with an annual turnover of $170m, has no qualms about criticising corruption in high places, denouncing human rights abuses or supporting pro-democracy protestors — in short, the kinds of actions businessmen around the world usually shy away from because governments can make them pay a heavy price for their defiance.
Tazi — whose views have made him the target of hate campaigns in the press — was a vocal supporter of the February 20 movement, which led protests in 2011 calling for political reform and social justice in Morocco in the wake of the Arab uprisings against autocratic rulers in neighbouring countries. Though he recognises that Morocco has since made big strides towards representative politics — with King Mohammed VI leading constitutional changes giving more powers to parliament and the elected government — he continues to call for change."



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Unrealised business potential of Arab world - FT.com

Unrealised business potential of Arab world - FT.com:

"Many consider the term the “Arab world” to be a misnomer, for while it identifies a linguistic region with deep historical, cultural and religious affinities it lumps together, say, a Dubai and an Aleppo. Yet many of those same people find it hard to remember a time when this region’s prospects looked more uniformly bleak. Everyone can discern the commercial vibrancy of a city like Dubai, and differentiate it from the apocalyptic ruins of Aleppo, the war-stricken business hub of Syria. But there is a pall of violence and upheaval that seems to envelop the region as a whole.
Ethno-sectarian war is cracking Syria and Iraq into de facto partition, with Isis and its cross-border caliphate in both countries threatening the rest of the Levant — and beyond. The cycles of upheaval in Egypt, the most populous Arab state, have turned the country inwards, menaced by Isis in the Sinai to the east and from a crumbling Libya to its west. The absolute monarchies of the Gulf reacted to the wave of the “Arab Spring” turmoil with a mix of repression and largesse, hosing their subjects into quiescence with handouts worth tens of billions of dollars. The oil price collapse has made the long-term affordability of this moot."



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Oil price sounds Saudi Arabia wake-up call - FT.com

Oil price sounds Saudi Arabia wake-up call - FT.com:

"Inside the sprawling royal court in Riyadh, a team of technocrats is putting the final touches to plans for a drastic overhaul of the Saudi Arabian economy. Backed by an army of highly paid western consultants, the royal aides have identified billions of dollars of waste and government largesse that the desert kingdom can no longer afford.Less than a year after taking the helm of the absolute monarchy, King Salman bin Abdulaziz, 79, faces the daunting challenge of managing a new era in Saudi Arabia. The world’s largest oil producer and longstanding US ally has adopted an oil policy that protects its market share rather than the price. But while the impact has been cushioned by $640bn in foreign exchange reserves, the age of $100-a-barrel oil has receded and budget surpluses have been replaced by yawning deficits.
“The collapse in oil prices is a wake up call,” says a senior official in Riyadh. “We’ve had a long history of bad practices because of our overreliance on oil.”"



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Hunting for yield | Authers' Note - YouTube

Hunting for yield | Authers' Note - YouTube: ""



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Dubai financial regulator orders advisory firm to pay Dh12m over failed limited-edition book scheme | The National

Dubai financial regulator orders advisory firm to pay Dh12m over failed limited-edition book scheme | The National:

"The regulator of Dubai financial free zone has ordered investment banking advisory firm Mas Clearsight to pay a total of Dh12 million in compensation to 20 investors for breaching the authority’s rules, it said.

It followed an investigation into an unusual investment scheme that was intended to fund the publication of a group of limited-edition books.

The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) said it chose to censure the company and direct it to pay the compensation instead of fining it because of MAS’s financial position. The advisory company is currently being liquidated."



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Boom-bust cycle jerks reins out of Opec’s hands | The National

Boom-bust cycle jerks reins out of Opec’s hands | The National:

"From a low of US$9.10 per barrel in late 1998, oil prices escalated almost unrelentingly to $144 in July 2008, crashed below $34 in December in the financial crisis, rebounded to $128 in March 2012 on Middle East geopolitical turmoil and have now slumped again to around $36.

During this period, Opec was allegedly managing the market. If this is stability, what would instability look like?

A provocative new paper by Robert McNally of Columbia University argues that Opec’s market management role did not end with the recent rise of US shale oil. He concludes that the producers’ organisation has not effectively stabilised prices since 2004, except for a brief period during the financial crisis."



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New twist in Dubai’s property data row | The National

New twist in Dubai’s property data row | The National:

"Reidin, Dubai’s major property data provider, said yesterday that developers supplied just 9,397 units in 2015 – compared with start-of-the-year projections from other sources that 25,000 units would be handed over.

This is the latest chapter in an argument between property developers and brokerages over the outlook for Dubai’s property market – a dispute that came amid the Dubai Government’s introduction of a new law that limits the ability of private companies to conduct surveys in the emirate. ​

Property brokerages will see the new data as proof that they were right about the emirate’s housing market – while property developers will read the evidence as proof that the brokerages were wrong all along."



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Jebel Ali Free Zone repays Dh2bn Islamic loan ahead of schedule | The National

Jebel Ali Free Zone repays Dh2bn Islamic loan ahead of schedule | The National:

"Jebel Ali Free Zone has repaid a Dh2 billion Islamic loan four and a half years ahead of schedule.

The repayment of the loan that was set to mature in June 2020 comes amid efforts by Dubai government entities to reduce debt loads and as the emirate’s biggest free zone starts to show signs of sustained growth.

“This is perhaps the most significant milestone in the history of JAFZ,” said Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, the chairman of Economic Zones World, the holding company that controls JAFZ."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-UAE slips back, Qatar edges higher | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-UAE slips back, Qatar edges higher | Reuters:

"Stock markets in Dubai and Abu Dhabi fell back in early trade on Tuesday as blue chips sold off, while Qatar edged higher as traders bought shares in banks and the real estate sector.

Dubai's index slid 0.4 percent as large sell orders were executed in Emaar Properties and Emaar Malls . Emaar Properties, the largest stock by market value, slid 1.4 percent although it is still up 18.6 percent from its December low.

The most heavily traded stock, Arabtec, jumped 4.7 percent, however; it is up 18.3 percent from this month's low."



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Qatar National Bank to Buy Turkey's Finansbank for $2.95 Billion - Bloomberg Business

Qatar National Bank to Buy Turkey's Finansbank for $2.95 Billion - Bloomberg Business:

"Qatar National Bank SAQ, the Gulf country’s biggest lender, agreed to buy National Bank of Greece SA’s stake in its Turkish unit for 2.7 billion euros ($2.95 billion).
The deal to buy NBG’s 99.8 percent holding in Finansbank AS is subject to regulatory approvals and expected to close in the first half of 2016, the Doha-based lender said in an e-mailed statement on Tuesday. State-controlled QNB will finance the purchase with its own funds and will remain "strongly capitalized" after the acquisition, according to the statement.
“This transaction is a significant milestone in QNB’s vision to becoming a Middle East and Africa icon by 2017 and a leading global bank by 2030," Group Chief Executive Officer Ali Ahmed Al-Kuwari said in the statement.
"



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