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Thursday, 31 December 2015

MIDEAST STOCKS-Markets end grim year mixed, signs 2016 may be better | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Markets end grim year mixed, signs 2016 may be better | Reuters:

"Middle Eastern stock markets ended a grim year with mixed performances on Thursday, but there were signs they could fare better in 2016.

Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Egypt and other regional bourses were caught in an emerging market downturn this year and the Gulf was hit by shrinking oil revenues, while a severe foreign exchange shortage plagued Egypt.

There is likely to be more pain ahead. Gulf governments are starting to cut spending in response to cheap oil, which will hurt economic growth next year, while the reduction in oil revenues is pushing up market interest rates. Investors in Egypt have been disappointed by faltering economic reforms."



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Taqa gets US approval to sell stake in wind project | GulfNews.com

Taqa gets US approval to sell stake in wind project | GulfNews.com:

"Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (Taqa) has won US approval to sell its stake in the operator of a 205.5 megawatt (MW) wind farm in Minnesota to Qatar-based private equity fund Nebras Power QSC.

Nebras will buy a 50 per cent stake in LWP Lessee, the manager and operator of the Lakefield wind project, according to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ruling Wednesday. Terms of the deal, which are yet to be finalised, were not disclosed, a report by Bloomberg said.

Qatar Electricity & Water Co. QSC owns 60 per cent of Nebras. Qatar Petroleum International Ltd and Qatar Holding LLC each hold 20 per cent stakes in the company."



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Challenging year ahead for UAE equities | GulfNews.com

Challenging year ahead for UAE equities | GulfNews.com:

"Investors in the UAE’s equity markets can expect another volatile year ahead where oil prices, geopolitical tension, government policies, and actions from the US Federal Reserve will continue to define sentiment, analysts said.

With Brent oil prices currently hovering around the $36 (Dh132) a barrel level and supply still flooding the market, analysts said such fluctuations will continue to take a toll in 2016 on equities despite essentially strong fundamentals.

Analysts also expected negative sentiment to overpower attractive valuations on the short and medium terms."



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Saudi stock market says aiming to float itself in 2018 | Reuters

Saudi stock market says aiming to float itself in 2018 | Reuters:

"Saudi Arabia's Tadawul stock market said on Thursday that it planned to launch its own initial share sale in 2018.

The initial public offering will be launched after the readiness exercise is completed and necessary approvals are obtained, it said in a bourse statement.

The kingdom's stock market, by far the largest in the Gulf Arab region with a market capitalisation of 1.57 trillion riyals ($418.5 billion), said in 2014 that it was looking to go public, without giving a timeframe for the flotation. ($1 = 3.7519 riyals) "



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Malaysia Anti-Graft Agency Submits Probe Results of Najib Funds - Bloomberg Business

Malaysia Anti-Graft Agency Submits Probe Results of Najib Funds - Bloomberg Business:

"Malaysia’s anti-graft agency submitted results to the attorney general of a probe into hundreds of millions of dollars that ended up in Prime Minister Najib Razak’s private accounts before the 2013 general elections.
The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission said it made several proposals and recommendations for action in the case, according to a statement Thursday. While it has completed investigations involving witnesses in the country, the MACC said it still needs permission from the attorney general to get documents and evidence from overseas financial institutions.
"This evidence can only be taken by the Mutual Legal Assistance process because it is tied to the provision of banking legislation of the country concerned," the agency said. "MACC has made an application under the MLA to attorney general to obtain documents and evidence.""



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Here's One Part of Saudi Stock Market Thriving Despite Low Oil - Bloomberg Business

Here's One Part of Saudi Stock Market Thriving Despite Low Oil - Bloomberg Business:

"For all the pain low oil prices are causing Saudi Arabia’s financial markets, at least one area is flourishing.
The number of active initial public offering-focused funds in the kingdom more than doubled in 2015, as investors respond to the nation’s efforts to develop its capital markets and boost participation from institutions. The funds managed more than 4.9 billion riyals ($1.3 billion) as of Wednesday, compared with almost 2 billion riyals at the end of last year."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi opens weak as petchems soft; Egypt continues rally | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi opens weak as petchems soft; Egypt continues rally | Reuters:

"Saudi Arabia's stock market opened weak on Thursday as petrochemical firms remained soft following gas feedstock price rises in Monday's 2016 state budget. Egypt's bourse continued rallying after breaking technical resistance.

The Saudi index was 0.2 percent lower after 40 minutes of trade as the petrochemical sector index slipped a further 0.5 percent.

The biggest stock in the sector, Saudi Basic Industries , was flat but Saudi Kayan lost 2.2 percent and PetroRabigh SE> fell 2.4 percent after saying it would restart only gradually its high-olefin fluid catalytic cracker and subordinate units after an extended maintenance period. It estimated the cost of the extra maintenance at 200 million riyals ($53.3 million)."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets open soft, Dubai focuses on speculative plays | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets open soft, Dubai focuses on speculative plays | Reuters:

"Most Gulf stock markets opened soft on Thursday with very few new incentives to trade and Dubai focusing on low-priced shares favoured by short-term speculators.

The Dubai index fell 0.7 percent with seven of the 10 most heavily traded stocks priced below 1 dirham, including GFH Financial, the most active share, which lost 0.2 percent.

Abu Dhabi's index was flat as First Gulf Bank dropped 0.4 percent but National Bank of Abu Dhabi climbed 0.6 percent."



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Mideast funds more bullish on stocks, bearish on bonds -survey | Reuters

Mideast funds more bullish on stocks, bearish on bonds -survey | Reuters:

"Middle East fund managers have become more positive on regional equities with a strong bias towards the United Arab Emirates, and more bearish on bonds, a monthly Reuters survey shows.

The survey of 14 leading fund managers, conducted over the past 10 days, found 50 percent expecting to raise their regional equity allocations in the next three months, and 14 percent expecting to cut them - the largest bullish balance since February 2014.

In last month's survey, 29 percent anticipated increasing equity exposure and 21 percent expected to reduce it."



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