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Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Six Charts of Christmas: The US exception | Authers' Note - YouTube

Six Charts of Christmas: The US exception | Authers' Note - YouTube: ""



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Oman to raise tax and cut subsidies as oil rout hits sultanate hard | The National

Oman to raise tax and cut subsidies as oil rout hits sultanate hard | The National:

"Oman will trim spending, cut subsidies and raise corporation tax as it seeks to curtail the effect of the oil-price rout that has hit the sultanate harder than neighbouring Arabian Gulf states.

This is the latest in a series of belt-tightening budgets in the Gulf, as the region’s oil producers wrestle with Brent prices near an 11-year low.

“The council of ministers approved a number of procedures to face the impact of lower oil prices in order to ensure the sustainability of the financial situation of the state,” ONA, the Omani state news agency, said on Wednesday."



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Abu Dhabi Global Market brings in ‘transparent regulations and rules’ | The National

Abu Dhabi Global Market brings in ‘transparent regulations and rules’ | The National:

"Abu Dhabi Global Market, the capital’s new financial free zone, has put in place another layer of the legal infrastructure essential for its independent courts system.

ADGM announced it has enacted regulations on civil evidence, judgments, enforcement and judicial appointments, supporting its existing rules and arbitration regulations.

The chief justice, David Hope, also enacted rules covering judicial conduct and complaints against judicial officers."



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Burgan Bank sells majority stake in Jordanian bank to parent firm | GulfNews.com

Burgan Bank sells majority stake in Jordanian bank to parent firm | GulfNews.com:

"Kuwait’s Burgan Bank said on Wednesday it would sell its controlling stake in Jordan Kuwait Bank to another subsidiary of parent firm Kuwait Projects Company (KIPCO).

The deal, involving Jordan’s fourth-largest bank by assets according to Thomson Reuters data, is part of a series of steps being taken to boost Burgan’s capital in preparation for the introduction of the Basel III global finance rules, Burgan said in a bourse filing.

The transaction will reduce Burgan’s risk-weighted assets by more than 500 million dinars ($1.65 billion; Dh6.1 billion) and enhance the total capital adequacy ratio (CAR) of Kuwait’s third-largest bank by assets to over 15 per cent at the end of 2015."



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Saudi finance minister plans VAT in 2 years -newspaper | GulfNews.com

Saudi finance minister plans VAT in 2 years -newspaper | GulfNews.com:

"Saudi Arabian finance minister Ebrahim Al Assaf said the kingdom expects to introduce value-added tax in two years, aiming for a tax rate of around 5 per cent, the Saudi-owned Al-Hayat newspaper reported on Wednesday.

“VAT will be introduced gradually and be completed within two years, which is the time set for application in GCC [Gulf Cooperation Council] countries in 2018. It will be around 5 per cent, which is the lowest worldwide,” Alassaf was quoted as saying.

In its 2016 state budget announcement earlier this week, the ministry said it planned to introduce VAT in coordination with other countries in the region."



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Recession, retrenchment, revolution? Impact of low crude prices on oil powers | Business | The Guardian

Recession, retrenchment, revolution? Impact of low crude prices on oil powers | Business | The Guardian:

"A glut of oil, the demise of Opec and weakening global demand combined to make 2015 the year of crashing oil prices. The cost of crude fell to levels not seen for 11 years – and the decline may have further to go.

There have been four sharp increases in the price of oil in the past four decades – in 1973, 1979, 1990 and 2008 – and each has led to a global recession. By that measure, a lower oil price should be positive for the world economy, with lower fuel costs for consumers and businesses in those countries that import crude outweighing the losses to producing nations.

But the evidence since oil prices started falling from their peak of $115 a barrel in August 2014 has not supported that thesis – or not yet. Oil producers have certainly felt the impact of the lower prices on their growth rates, their trade figures and their public finances butthere has been no surge in consumer spending or business investment elsewhere."



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Global growth will be disappointing in 2016 - IMF's Lagarde | Reuters

Global growth will be disappointing in 2016 - IMF's Lagarde | Reuters:

"Global economic growth will be disappointing next year and the outlook for the medium-term has also deteriorated, the head of the International Monetary Fund said in a guest article for German newspaper Handelsblatt published on Wednesday.

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said the prospect of rising interest rates in the United States and an economic slowdown in China were contributing to uncertainty and a higher risk of economic vulnerability worldwide.

Added to that, growth in global trade has slowed considerably and a decline in raw material prices is posing problems for economies based on these, while the financial sector in many countries still has weaknesses and financial risks are rising in emerging markets, she said."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Petrochemicals pull Saudi down; Egypt breaks resistance | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Petrochemicals pull Saudi down; Egypt breaks resistance | Reuters:

"Petrochemical stocks pulled Saudi Arabia's main equity index down on Wednesday in the wake of gas feedstock price rises in the 2016 state budget, while Egypt's market rose in a broad-based rally, breaking technical resistance.

The Saudi index, which had dropped 0.9 percent on Tuesday in an initial reaction to the budget's austerity measures, fell a further 0.4 percent.

Saudi companies have begun estimating the impact on their cost bases of energy and feedstock price rises in the budget. Petrochemical producers are hardest hit, with Saudi Basic Industries (SABIC) projecting an 8-percent rise in its 2016 costs."



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Saudi GDP growth of 2.3% in 2016 slowest since 2009 - Saudi Gazette

Saudi GDP growth of 2.3% in 2016 slowest since 2009 - Saudi Gazette:

"Moderation in the Saudi business cycle is the most likely outcome over a five-year forecast horizon with real GDP expected to average below 3% per annum, the National Commercial Bank (NCB) said on its “Saudi Arabia’s 2016 Budget Report” issued Tuesday a day after the announcement of the new Saudi budget.

As for 2016, the NCB report projected a real GDP growth of 2.3%, the slowest pace since 2009.

The oil sector will be a drag especially with no expected increase in crude production  that will stabilize around 10.2 mmbd."



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Turkey and Saudi Arabia strengthen alliance against Russia | Russia Beyond the Headlines

Turkey and Saudi Arabia strengthen alliance against Russia | Russia Beyond the Headlines:

"Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan began on Dec. 29 a two-day visit to Saudi Arabia, the country that has recently announced a coalition to fight Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria.

The alliance formed by Riyadh runs counter to Russian interests, as it aims to overthrow Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, something that Erdogan fully agrees with.

But Ankara and Riyadh are united not only by the desire to change the government in Syria; they could have a common enemy in Russia."



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Outlook for oil hit by Saudi Arabia budget cuts - FT.com

Outlook for oil hit by Saudi Arabia budget cuts - FT.com:

"The outlook for the oil price next year is under renewed pressure following strong signals from Saudi Arabia that the world’s largest crude exporter is preparing for a long period of low returns and amid expectations that Iran will further flood the global market when sanctions are lifted.
Analysts said plans announced by Saudi Arabia late on Monday to reduce a budget deficit of nearly $98bn through spending cuts, reforms to energy subsidies and a privatisation drive were a sign that Riyadh intends to stick with its policy of not cutting output. It also shows that Opec’s de facto leader is prepared to accept cheap prices for its crude as it seeks to put pressure on higher cost rivals such as US shale producers and waits for the market to rebalance."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets mixed in quiet, early trade | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets mixed in quiet, early trade | Reuters:

"Gulf stock markets were mixed in quiet, early trade on Wednesday amid soft oil and global equities prices.

Dubai's index was up 0.9 percent after 45 minutes of trade with GFH Financial, the most heavily traded stock, up 2.4 percent.

GFH said it was suspending its decision to delist from the Kuwait Stock Exchange after Kuwait's Capital Markets Authority relaxed corporate disclosure rules. Its Kuwaiti-listed shares climbed 2.5 percent, helping Kuwait's main stock index rise 0.3 percent."



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In World With Too Much Crude Oil, 1,100-Foot Steel Monsters Rule - Bloomberg Business

In World With Too Much Crude Oil, 1,100-Foot Steel Monsters Rule - Bloomberg Business:

"The most destructive oil crash in a generation is giving ship owners a billion-dollar windfall.
With the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries abandoning output limits in a drive for market share, ships that carry as much as 2 million barrels a trip are in demand to haul crude from the Middle East to Asia and North America. While oil prices fell about 35 percent in 2015, average earnings for these carriers jumped to $67,366 a day, the most since at least 2009, according to Clarkson Plc, the world’s largest shipbroker.
“The stars are aligned for us right now,” Nikolas Tsakos, the chief executive officer of Tsakos Energy Navigation Ltd., said in an interview at Bloomberg’s New York offices, adding that falling oil prices will likely stimulate demand and cargoes next year."



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