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Saturday, 30 April 2016

Oil on track for biggest monthly gain in seven years - FT.com

Oil on track for biggest monthly gain in seven years - FT.com:

"Oil is on track for its biggest monthly gain in seven years, boosted by a weak dollar and a decline in US production that has helped to ease concern about a persistent supply glut.
Brent crude, the international benchmark, has gained over 22 per cent in April — up more than 70 per cent from its January lows. The US marker, West Texas Intermediate, has recorded a similar increase this month.
The rebound in prices has come as investors position themselves for the biggest decline in non-Opec supply in 25 years and what they hope will be a more balanced market later in the year."



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Brexit and the City | Analysis Review - YouTube

Brexit and the City | Analysis Review - YouTube: ""



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Friday, 29 April 2016

US economic growth slows, ‘Gucci’ paper handbags | FirstFT - YouTube

US economic growth slows, ‘Gucci’ paper handbags | FirstFT - YouTube: ""



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Vijay Mallya tries to clear his name - YouTube

Vijay Mallya tries to clear his name - YouTube: ""



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Scepticism over privatisation in cradle-to-grave Saudi state - FT.com

Scepticism over privatisation in cradle-to-grave Saudi state - FT.com:

"When Saudi Arabia unveiled its ambitious plan to replace decades of dependence on oil with a thriving private sector economy, attention unsurprisingly focused on the sale of state oil producer Saudi Aramco — which would be the biggest initial public offering of all time.
But a much wider programme of privatisation will be required to meet the broader goal of economic diversification and job creation outlined this week by Mohammed bin Salman al-Saud, the young Saudi deputy crown prince leading the planned transformation."



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Thursday, 28 April 2016

How Tehran is ramping up a trade offensive | The National

How Tehran is ramping up a trade offensive | The National:

"Since 1979, Iran has positioned itself in strategic competition with its neighbours, primarily Saudi Arabia. One of Iran’s major tactics has been to seek to gain popularity and exert influence through soft power.

Before the Syrian uprising, Iranian leaders, in contrast to the American political establishment, implemented strategies to expand their influence in the Middle East and establish relationships through soft power.

Culturally, Iran enjoys shared societal norms and national festivals with some of the population in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Turkey, Lebanon, Yemen and Syria. Religiously, the Shiite communities across the region have affinities with Iran."



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Mubadala Said to Mandate Citi, JPMorgan, BofAML for Bond Sale - Bloomberg

Mubadala Said to Mandate Citi, JPMorgan, BofAML for Bond Sale - Bloomberg:

"Mubadala Development Co., the Abu Dhabi government-owned investment company, hired banks for its first dollar-bond sale since 2014, two people with knowledge of the plan said.
The company mandated Citigroup Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Bank of America Corp’s Merrill Lynch unit to arrange the benchmark-sized offering, said the people, asking not to be identified because the information isn’t public yet. The sale process may begin as early as next week, one of the people said. A benchmark-sized issue usually raises $500 million or more.
Mubadala’s possible debt offering comes after Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates and holder of about 6 percent of the world’s oil reserves, raised $5 billion from the sale of five and 10-year securities this week, its first sale in seven years. Mubadala, which has the third-highest investment grade rating at Moody’s Investors Service, last sold bonds in April 2014 when it raised $750 million.
"



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Disappointing earnings hit UAE, Egypt; Saudi soft | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Disappointing earnings hit UAE, Egypt; Saudi soft | Reuters:

"Disappointing quarterly earnings among big banks pulled down stock markets in the United Arab Emirates on Thursday, while Orascom Telecom posted a big net loss that weighed on Egypt's bourse.

Abu Dhabi's index lost 1.0 percent. Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank nosedived 7.7 percent after it reported first-quarter net profit of 1.02 billion dirhams ($277.7 million), missing analysts' forecasts.

It attributed the 18.2 percent fall to a dip in income from core business and increased bad loan provisions."



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Iran's Startup Spring - Fortune

Iran's Startup Spring - Fortune:

"As sanctions are lifted, can a burst of entrepreneurship succeed—and even transform the nation?

The sun is streaming through the windows of a loft-like office where a half-dozen young tech entrepreneurs huddle over their MacBooks in sweatshirts and sneakers. They’re putting the finishing touches to PowerPoint presentations in preparation for a pitch meeting with potential funders, who are visiting from Germany and Austria. When the investors arrive, the entrepreneurs, most in their twenties, nervously take turns displaying graphs and figures that promise sharp growth for their new ventures. “Trello meets Slack on steroids,” notes one slide, describing a project-management platform that launched a year ago. Another predicts rapidly rising subscriptions for a remote-learning site.

With bean bag chairs scattered on the floor and a ping pong table next to the coffee machine, you could easily imagine this scene in Silicon Valley. But these startups are launching thousands of miles away. This is Tehran, a city that since the Islamic Revolution in 1979 has been associated in the minds of many Americans with stern-faced mullahs, women in black chador, and angry demonstrators railing against “the Great Satan.”"



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Putin's Decade-Old Dream Realized as Russia to Price Its Own Oil - Bloomberg

Putin's Decade-Old Dream Realized as Russia to Price Its Own Oil - Bloomberg:

"Russian President Vladimir Putin is on the verge of realizing a decade-old dream: Russian oil priced in Russia.
The nation’s largest commodity exchange, whose chairman is Putin ally Igor Sechin, is courting international oil traders to join its emerging futures market. The goal is to increase revenue from Urals crude by disconnecting the price-setting mechanism from the world’s most-used Brent oil benchmark. Another aim is to move away from quoting petroleum in U.S. dollars. 
If Russia is going to attract international participation in Russian-based pricing, the Kremlin will need to persuade traders it’s not simply trying to push prices up, some energy analysts said. The government is dependent on oil revenue to fund its budgets."



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Best Airline Meals on Etihad, Cathay, Singapore, Qatar, Emirates - Bloomberg

Best Airline Meals on Etihad, Cathay, Singapore, Qatar, Emirates - Bloomberg:

"Ever since Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin served his guests turtle bouillon, lamb chops and champagne on the world’s first international passenger flight in 1912, on-board catering has been key to winning the hearts and stomachs of top-paying passengers.
These days, about 4 million meals are consumed in the air every day. So with competition increasing between the highest-rated airlines in Asia and the Middle East, it’s no surprise that their battalions of food trolleys are in the vanguard of the fight for premium passengers.
Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. and Singapore Airlines Ltd. introduced new food and beverage offerings as they try to lure back premium passengers from carriers such as Emirates Airline and Etihad Airways PJSC that offer shower spas and luxurious suites. The Middle Eastern operators have used their geographic position at the crossroads of global flight paths to build giant transfer hubs that connect passengers between Asia and Europe and the U.S."



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Libya fund accuses Goldman Sachs of breaching its own rules - FT.com

Libya fund accuses Goldman Sachs of breaching its own rules - FT.com:

"The brother of a top Libyan official who secured an internship at Goldman Sachs was paid a pro-rata salary of £36,000 plus a housing allowance — soon after the US bank carried out lossmaking trades on behalf of Libya’s sovereign wealth fund.
New details of the internship undertaken by Haitem Zarti, brother of Mustafa Zarti, the Libyan Investment Authority’s former deputy head, have been revealed in court documents as part of a $1bn legal battle between the Libyan Investment Authority and Goldman."



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Qatar National Bank hit by cyber attack - FT.com

Qatar National Bank hit by cyber attack - FT.com:

"Qatar National Bank, the gas-rich Gulf state’s leading lender, has been rocked by a data leak that has exposed the personal details of many of its clients in a file posted on social media that singles out some Al Jazeera staff and purports to identify security officials.
The leak contains references to thousands of alleged transactions records of QNB customers, including remittance data to global banks with thousands of alleged beneficiary names and account numbers."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Abu Dhabi, Dubai pulled down by banks; Saudi cools | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Abu Dhabi, Dubai pulled down by banks; Saudi cools | Reuters:

"Share price declines among leading banks in the United Arab Emirates after disappointing quarterly earnings reports pulled down stock markets there on Thursday, while Saudi Arabian shares edged down.

Abu Dhabi's index lost 1.3 percent. Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank dropped 5.0 percent after it reported first-quarter net profit of 1.02 billion dirhams ($277.7 million), missing analysts' forecasts. It attributed the 18.2 percent fall to a dip in income from core business and increased bad loan provisions.

"Tight liquidity in the market is escalating competition and pushing deposit costs higher," said a note by UBS Securities."



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Saudi Arabia Follows Post-Oil Vision With Jordan Investment Plan - Bloomberg

Saudi Arabia Follows Post-Oil Vision With Jordan Investment Plan - Bloomberg:

"Saudi Arabia and Jordan agreed to set up a joint coordination council that will oversee investments by the Saudi Public Investment Fund.
The fund’s investments will be the largest in Jordan in decades and "will unblock billions of dollars" for the Hashemite kingdom, Bassem Awadallah, King Abdullah II’s special envoy to Saudi Arabia, said by phone from Amman. Agreements on nuclear power cooperation and on uranium extraction are also expected to follow, he said.
"We’ve never had an Arab investment fund that has come to commit billions of dollars in investments in leading sectors of the economy in Jordan," Awadallah said. The new council will determine which sectors will be chosen and how much will be invested, and the two countries will also cooperate in Jordan’s Aqaba special economic zone, Awadallah said."



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Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Etihad Airways achieves record financial returns as global alliances pay off | The National

Etihad Airways achieves record financial returns as global alliances pay off | The National:

"Etihad Airways, the Abu Dhabi carrier, achieved record financial returns last year, boosted by its strategy of global alliances with other airlines.

The airline reported its best ever turnover and profit figures, with revenue up nearly 20 per cent to US$9.02 billion and net profit soaring by 40 per cent to $103 million.

Etihad is reporting consoli­dated financial statements for the first time and figures for 2014 represent the stand-alone airline business."



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Oil's Magic Number Becomes $50 a Barrel for Promise of Recovery - Bloomberg

Oil's Magic Number Becomes $50 a Barrel for Promise of Recovery - Bloomberg:

"The new magic number in the oil industry is $50.
BP Plc, rig-owner Nabors Industries Ltd. and explorer Pioneer Natural Resources Co. all said in the past 24 hours that prices above $50 will encourage more drilling or provide the needed boost to cash flow. With oil bouncing close to $45 a barrel, an industry that has been shaving costs to stay competitive is ready for signs of stability at a price level less than half of 2014’s average."



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Falling, Falling: Dubai House Prices Seen Dropping a Second Year - Bloomberg

Falling, Falling: Dubai House Prices Seen Dropping a Second Year - Bloomberg:

"The pain in Dubai’s property market isn’t about to go away any time soon.
Home prices are set to fall by 10 percent this year because of lower oil prices and a strong dollar-pegged local currency, which makes real estate in the emirate more expensive for international investors, according to Standard & Poor’s. A slowdown in the hiring and expansion of companies is also putting pressure on the market, the ratings firm said in a report. Home prices slumped about 13 percent on average in 2015.
Dubai’s housing market, the biggest and most volatile in the Middle East, is in the doldrums as falling oil prices, a weaker euro and ruble and an abundance of properties damp demand. Residential values fell 2.2 percent in the first quarter, according to consultancy Cluttons, which predicts villa prices will decline 5 percent this year and apartment prices 3 percent to 4 percent."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Petrochemicals lift Saudi, rest of region sluggish | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Petrochemicals lift Saudi, rest of region sluggish | Reuters:

"Petrochemical stocks and a few shares expected to benefit from Saudi Arabia's economic reform plans lifted the Riyadh market on Wednesday while other Gulf bourses were sluggish.

The main Saudi stock index added 0.9 percent as the biggest petrochemical maker, Saudi Basic Industries, gained 1.5 percent after Brent oil rose as high as $47.05 a barrel, its highest this year.

Another producer, Saudi Kayan, was the most heavily traded stock and rose 5.2 percent.

"



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Iran's Supreme Leader says U.S. lifted sanctions only on paper | Reuters

Iran's Supreme Leader says U.S. lifted sanctions only on paper | Reuters:

"Iran's Supreme Leader accused the United States on Wednesday of scaring businesses away from Tehran and undermining a deal to lift international sanctions.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told hundreds of workers that a global deal, signed between Iran and world powers, had lifted financial sanctions, but U.S. obstruction was stopping Iran getting the full economic fruits of the agreement.

"On paper the United States allows foreign banks to deal with Iran, but in practice they create Iranophobia so no one does business with Iran," he said in quotes from the speech posted on his website."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Petrochemical stocks lift Saudi market, rest of Gulf sluggish | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Petrochemical stocks lift Saudi market, rest of Gulf sluggish | Reuters:

"Petrochemical stocks and shares expected to benefit from Saudi Arabia's economic reform plans lifted the Riyadh market on Wednesday, while other Gulf bourses were sluggish.

Saudi Basic Industries was up 1.8 percent as Brent oil rose to a five-month peak of $46.49 a barrel overnight. The main Saudi stock index added 0.7 percent.

Al Tayyar Travel jumped 3.9 percent in unusually heavy trade. The reform plan unveiled this week stressed developing the tourism sector, though no details were given."



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Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Abu Dhabi raises $5bn from first bond sale in seven years | The National

Abu Dhabi raises $5bn from first bond sale in seven years | The National:

"The emirate of Abu Dhabi has sold US$5 billion in sovereign bonds for the first time since 2009 as Arabian Gulf governments turn to debt markets amid a weaker oil price.

Abu Dhabi’s department of finance sold a $2.5bn tranche of 5-year bonds yielding 2.125 per cent and which mature on May 3, 2021, and another $2.5bn tranche of 10-year bonds yielding 3.125 per cent. Those bonds mature on May 3, 2026, according to market participants.

JP Morgan, Bank of America and Citigroup managed the sale."



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Dubai rents fall fastest in prime areas as jobs market weakens | The National

Dubai rents fall fastest in prime areas as jobs market weakens | The National:

"Dubai rents could fall by as much as 5 per cent this year, with the biggest drops in prime areas including Dubai Marina and Palm Jumeirah, according to Cluttons.

The consultancy said that rents in prime areas are likely to fall by up to 7 per cent, driven by a decline in demand for luxury apartments. Overall, rents are expected to decline in the range of 3 to 5 per cent

Richard Paul, the head of residential valuations at Cluttons, said that average rents fell by 1.3 per cent over the quarter and are 3.5 per cent lower year-on-year."



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Emirates’ Shaikh Ahmad bullish despite global economic worries - YouTube

Emirates’ Shaikh Ahmad bullish despite global economic worries - YouTube: ""



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Emirates’ Shaikh Ahmad bullish despite global economic worries | GulfNews.com

Emirates’ Shaikh Ahmad bullish despite global economic worries | GulfNews.com:

"Emirates, the Middle East’s largest airline, sees growth opportunities in Africa, Asia and Europe over the next 12 months despite global economic concerns over a China slowdown and the United Kingdom leaving the European Union.

This month, the International Monetary Fund downgraded its forecast for global growth this year due to instability in emerging markets, concerns over China and fractured political and economic ties in Europe.

Still, Emirates sees growth in major and emerging markets. This year, the airline will add six new destinations – all in Asia - to its network."



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Emirates REIT’s net profit up 57.8% to $14.3m | GulfNews.com

Emirates REIT’s net profit up 57.8% to $14.3m | GulfNews.com:

"Emirates REIT has reported a net profit, including valuation gains, of $14.3 million (Dh52.52 million) in the first quarter of 2016.

The figure marks a rise of 57.8 per cent compared to $9.1 million in the first quarter last year.

The investment company continued to increase its property income in the first quarter of 2016, which rose 24.3 per cent to $11.7 million compared to $9.4 million in the same quarter of 2015."



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Not So Rich Anymore, Gulf Arabs Enter World of Cuts and Strikes - Bloomberg

Not So Rich Anymore, Gulf Arabs Enter World of Cuts and Strikes - Bloomberg:

"A cushy government job, cheap fuel, a mortgage-free home and a bit of five-star travel and luxury shopping were never too much to expect in the Gulf.
Yet what previously was taken for granted in the oil-rich region is being replaced by something more familiar to the western world: spending cuts, taxation, a scarcity of jobs and even strikes. There’s discontentment among young populations rarely seen before as the countries come to terms with the collapse in energy prices blowing holes in budgets.
Kuwait had its first walkout by oil workers in two decades last week as 13,000 employees protested cuts to pay and benefits. Disgruntled Saudis, presented on Monday with a royal blueprint for life after oil, are complaining about the cost of water. Even in Qatar, the world’s richest country, locals were told on Tuesday their gasoline subsidies were being scrapped."



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1MDB's Default Leaves Bonds of Abu Dhabi Guarantor Fund Unmoved - Bloomberg

1MDB's Default Leaves Bonds of Abu Dhabi Guarantor Fund Unmoved - Bloomberg:

"A debt default by 1Malaysia Development Bhd. failed to ruffle investors in the Abu Dhabi state fund that is a co-guarantor of the unpaid bonds.
International Petroleum Investment Co.’s own $1.5 billion of securities maturing 2022 were little changed after Kuala Lumpur-based 1MDB defaulted on a $50 million interest payment it says IPIC should pay.
The lack of movement underscores how the financial turbulence of Malaysia’s state-owned firm have had a limited impact in the Middle East. The default is the latest episode to rock 1MDB, already a target of global investigations into allegations of money laundering and embezzlement. 1MDB has consistently denied wrongdoing."



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Saudi Spot Oil Deal in China Seen by Citi a `Dramatic' Shift - Bloomberg

Saudi Spot Oil Deal in China Seen by Citi a `Dramatic' Shift - Bloomberg:

"Saudi Arabia made its first sale of oil to a small, independent Chinese refiner. What’s more significant to markets is that the world’s biggest crude exporter broke from its usual practice of selling via long-term contracts, according to Citigroup Inc.
The world’s biggest crude exporter sold a spot cargo to teapot refiner Shandong Chambroad, said people with knowledge of the deal who asked not to be identified as the information is confidential. The 730,000-barrel shipment is expected to load in June from state-owned Saudi Arabian Oil Co.’s leased storage tank in Japan.
“News that Saudi Arabia is selling a cargo on the spot market to Asia may mark the turning of a dramatic new chapter in the Saudi playbook,” the bank’s analysts including New York-based Ed Morse said in a April 25 report. “What is unusual is that the sale is spot rather than the initiation of a new term contract. Spot sales are about the only way the Kingdom can gain new market share in a world in which chunky buyers are interested in securing incremental purchases via spot rather than term arrangements.”"



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Saudi reform plans flirt with social change | Reuters

Saudi reform plans flirt with social change | Reuters:

"Reforms promised by a young Saudi prince are couched in references to the kingdom's Islamic tradition but include ideas likely to upset some conservatives, risking future ruptures over the direction of society.

Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's "Vision 2030" plan, which the 31-year-old announced on Monday, largely aims to transform Saudi Arabia's economy in an era of low oil prices and made few specific pledges of social change.

However, it also stepped into areas that have long been cultural battlegrounds in a country defined by its religious conservatism."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi falls as reform euphoria fades, rest of region mixed | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi falls as reform euphoria fades, rest of region mixed | Reuters:

"Shares in Saudi Arabia pulled back on Tuesday as local short-term investors booked profits in stocks that had jumped when Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced economic reforms on Monday.

Riyadh's stock index, which had gained 2.5 percent on Monday mainly from banks that could win business handling the government's privatisation plans, dropped 1.6 percent. Trading volume shrank by almost one-third.

Samba Financial Group, lead underwriter of the recent initial public offer of Middle East Healthcare, dropped 5.3 percent after rocketing 9.3 percent on Monday."



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Monday, 25 April 2016

A bold bid to transform Saudi Arabia’s economy - FT.com

A bold bid to transform Saudi Arabia’s economy - FT.com:

"With a pledge to end Saudi Arabia’s reliance on oil in a mere four years, Mohammed bin Salman, the 30-year-old deputy crown prince, is attempting nothing less than a transformation of the conservative kingdom.
The overarching aims of his “vision” for 2030 — to slash wasteful government spending, develop the non-oil economy and boost private sector job creation — are the right ones. Yet Saudi rulers have talked of diversification for decades and failed to deliver it. The question is whether MbS, as the powerful son of King Salman has become known, stands a better chance of overcoming resistance from the bureaucracy, rivals for power within the royal family and ultra-conservative clerics."



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Saudi Arabia pledges economic overhaul to end ‘addiction to oil’ - FT.com

Saudi Arabia pledges economic overhaul to end ‘addiction to oil’ - FT.com:

"Saudi Arabia has unveiled a long-awaited plan for a radical transformation of its economy, pledging to end its “addiction to oil” and bolster its private sector in a shift that will see the planned $2tn listing of the state-owned Saudi Aramco.
Spurred by the collapse in oil prices, the kingdom has set out ambitious targets for economic and social reform under a “Vision 2030” plan that is the brainchild of Mohammed bin Salman, the 30-year-old deputy crown prince and the favoured son of King Salman bin Abdulaziz.
The kingdom could end its reliance on oil within four years, the prince said in a television interview after the Saudi cabinet approved the plan on Monday morning. Saudi Arabia currently derives more than 90 per cent of its budget revenues from hydrocarbons."



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Why global government debt is booming | FT Markets - YouTube

Why global government debt is booming | FT Markets - YouTube: ""



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Saudi Arabia approves ambitious plan to move economy beyond oil | World news | The Guardian

Saudi Arabia approves ambitious plan to move economy beyond oil | World news | The Guardian:

"Saudi Arabia has approved an ambitious strategy to restructure the kingdom’s oil-dependent economy, involving diversification, privatisation of massive state assets including the energy giant Aramco, tax increases and spending and subsidy cuts.

King Salman bin Abdulaziz announced cabinet backing for the Saudi Vision 2030 plan in a brief televised announcement on Monday in which he called on his subjects to work together to ensure success. Shares on the Riyadh stock market rose sharply.

Under Salman, who came to the throne in early 2015, economic strains have been the backdrop to rising tensions with regional rival Iran, the threat from Islamic State, the wars in Syria and Yemen, and a sense that the kingdom’s decades-long relationship with the US is fraying."



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Analyst view: Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030 reform plan | Reuters

Analyst view: Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030 reform plan | Reuters:

"ALI AL NASSER, FUND MANAGER AT LONDON-BASED DUET GROUP, WHICH HAS MORE THAN $1 BILLION INVESTED IN MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICAN STRATEGIES

The question is now again about execution. He said all of the right things, it is a matter of putting it all to work, and he seems to be very keen and very focused and all else being equal, there is pretty strong momentum behind it, and locally there is strong support for his agenda.

In terms of the stock market’s reaction – the market reacted positively to the interview and some of the headlines that have been coming out. The one take-away is that the move was restricted to the blue-chips in the market – large banks, large petrochemicals. Interestingly enough, the sectors that probably people were positioned in, in terms of expectations like for example healthcare, those did not move much higher during the interview or after the interview."



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Saudi Arabia's Break-Even Oil Price Plunges as Spending Drops - Bloomberg

Saudi Arabia's Break-Even Oil Price Plunges as Spending Drops - Bloomberg:

"Saudi Arabia will see the biggest drop this year in the oil price needed to balance its budget as Riyadh curbs spending amid the crude-market rout.
The kingdom’s fiscal break-even will fall to $66.70 a barrel from $94.80 in 2015, the International Monetary Fund said on Monday. The 30 percent drop is the steepest among a group of Middle East and North African OPEC members reviewed by the IMF."



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Saudi prince unveils sweeping plans to end 'addiction' to oil | Reuters

Saudi prince unveils sweeping plans to end 'addiction' to oil | Reuters:

"The powerful young prince overseeing Saudi Arabia's economy unveiled ambitious plans on Monday aimed at ending the kingdom's "addiction" to oil and transforming it into a global investment power.

Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said the world's top oil exporter expects state oil company Saudi Aramco [SDABO.UL] to be valued at more than $2 trillion ahead of the sale of less than 5 percent of it through an initial public offering (IPO).

He added that the kingdom would raise the capital of its public investment fund to 7 trillion riyals ($2 trillion) from 600 billion riyals ($160 billion)."



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Saudi Arabia to Overhaul Military in Plan for Life After Oil - Bloomberg

Saudi Arabia to Overhaul Military in Plan for Life After Oil - Bloomberg:

"Saudi Arabia’s plans to overhaul every corner of its economy won’t spare the military.

The kingdom will put its armaments industry under a holding company as it prepares for a post-oil era. Part of that reboot will seek to meet more of its military needs domestically and diversify its economy, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said.

Prince Mohammed, second in line to be king and the power behind the throne, is leading the biggest economic shakeup since the founding of Saudi Arabia in 1932, with steps that include selling less than 5 percent of Saudi Arabian Oil Co., cutting subsidies and bringing more Saudis into the labor market. His goal: end eight decades of the dependency on oil."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi surges as reforms announced, rest of Gulf weak | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi surges as reforms announced, rest of Gulf weak | Reuters:

"Saudi Arabia's stock market recovered from early losses and jumped 2.5 percent on Monday as Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced an economic overhaul for the oil-dependent kingdom.

He outlined a restructuring of the government's Public Investment Fund to make it an international investment power, a planned sale of a stake of less than 5 percent in national oil giant Saudi Aramco, a restructuring of the housing ministry to increase supply of affordable housing, and a "green card" system to give expatriates long-term residence.

There were few details, and many analysts said execution of some of the reforms would be difficult. But the stock market was lifted by a sense that the government was acting energetically to address the economy's problems."



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Chinese debt-level record, Goldman offers $1 savings accounts | FirstFT - YouTube

Chinese debt-level record, Goldman offers $1 savings accounts | FirstFT - YouTube: ""



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf lower and Saudi stocks slip ahead of reform plan | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf lower and Saudi stocks slip ahead of reform plan | Reuters:

"Gulf shares edged lower, giving up recent gains, while the Saudi market fell ahead of the expected announcement of a major reform plan later on Monday.

Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is due to reveal his "Saudi Vision 2030", a plan to liberate the kingdom from its reliance on oil through steps such as a government efficiency campaign, a bigger private sector role, and more aggressive management of the kingdom's foreign assets.

Regional fund managers said some healthcare, education and insurance shares may see buying interest as a result of the plan, which is likely to try to develop those sectors."



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Middle East Non-Oil Growth Doubts - Bloomberg

Middle East Non-Oil Growth Doubts - Bloomberg:

"As oil exporters in the Middle East cut public spending and generous handouts to adapt to the reality of low crude prices, one casualty of their plans is economic growth and the ability to reduce one of the world’s highest youth unemployment rates. Non-oil economic expansion is set to slow to between 3.5 percent to 4 percent through 2021, compared with about 7.5 percent in the previous decade, according to the latest International Monetary Fund forecasts. Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told Bloomberg in an interview late in March that the kingdom plans to raise non-oil income by more than $100 billion by 2020 through measures that include subsidy cuts and the introduction of value-added taxation. Bloomberg’s Alaa Shahine reports and HSBC Senior FX Strategist Dominic Bunning discusses with Bloomberg’s Anna Edwards on “Countdown.”"



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IMF says it's encouraged by Gulf's economic reform plans | Reuters

IMF says it's encouraged by Gulf's economic reform plans | Reuters:

"The International Monetary Fund said it was encouraged by the efforts of Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Arab oil exporters to repair damage to their state finances as low crude prices slash export revenues.

"I do see in a number of countries action to address the budget deficit," Masood Ahmed, director of the IMF’s Middle East and central Asia department, said in an interview. "That gives us encouragement and comfort."

He was speaking hours before Saudi Arabia's government was due to announce on Monday a sweeping plan to ensure its economy could survive an era of cheap oil, including spending cuts, tax rises and policies to expand the private sector."



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Sunday, 24 April 2016

After Doha, what next for Opec? | The National

After Doha, what next for Opec? | The National:

"Opec has had some infamous meetings in its history. An ill-timed hike in quotas in Jakarta in November 1997 led to a crash in prices, while the June 2011 “worst ever" meeting in Vienna, as the Saudi oil minister termed it, failed to stop prices from rising. Doha last week was, perhaps, not in that league but still blended tedium, surprise and dysfunction, even more embarrassingly for including key non-Opec players.

Most Opec countries attended along with non-Opec leaders such as Russia and Oman. It seemed that the previously announced deal to freeze production at January levels was a formality, especially as most countries involved could not or would not increase output anyway.

But at the last moment the Saudi position changed, and it became clear they would not agree to freeze production unless Iran were included. The Venezuelan oil minister Eulogio Del Pino said: “Even [the Saudi oil minister, Ali Al] Naimi didn’t have the authority to change anything … One minister told me it was his worst-ever meeting.""



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UAE economy headed for soft landing amid low oil prices | GulfNews.com

UAE economy headed for soft landing amid low oil prices | GulfNews.com:

"The UAE economy is expected to weather the turbulence from low oil prices that resulted in decline in government revenues and budget deficits, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BofAML).

“We continue to think that the UAE is headed for a soft landing, with a less pronounced cycle than in 2008. Challenges and downside risks are likely to increase if oil prices remain low. Macro buffers including adequate banking sector capital and liquidity, lower exposure to foreign bank funding, and lower build-up of debt and real estate-related leverage are likely to mitigate vulnerabilities, in our view,” said Jean-Michel Saliba an economist with BofAML.

BofAML’s assessment follows a recent report from Institute of International Finance (IIF) that said the UAE economy will sustain strong economic growth in 2016 despite the economic headwinds from prolonged slump in oil prices."



'via Blog this'

Indian Companies Curb Global Loan Costs by Refinancing $5.1 Billion - Bloomberg

Indian Companies Curb Global Loan Costs by Refinancing $5.1 Billion - Bloomberg:

"Indian companies refinanced offshore loans at the fastest pace in a year last quarter, rushing to take advantage of improved confidence in Asia’s fastest-growing major economy as borrowing costs start to rise.
Corporate borrowers took out $5.1 billion of loans for refinancing in the period at an average margin of 140 basis points over the London interbank offered rate, data compiled by Bloomberg show. That’s up from 98 basis points in the three months ended Dec. 31, the lowest since the second quarter of 2008.
“Global lenders have a positive view on Indian credit as they are encouraged by the stronger growth dynamics and a robust outlook on the economy,” said Rajiv Datt, New Delhi-based managing director at Indian Railway Finance Corp., which refinanced loans late last year. “The pipeline should get stronger as liquidity globally ensures that funding will be at reasonable costs.”
"



'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Petchems lift Saudi, other Gulf markets mixed | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Petchems lift Saudi, other Gulf markets mixed | Reuters:

"Saudi Arabia's stock market rose strongly in heavy trade on Sunday as firm oil prices boosted petrochemical shares, while other markets in the region were mixed.

Riyadh's main index jumped 1.7 percent to 6,699 points, its highest finish since Jan. 5, in the largest trading volume since late August 2015.

Petrochemical heavyweight Saudi Basic Industries jumped 3.8 percent after oil prices rose on Friday, notching their third straight week of gains. Brent futures ended Friday up 1.3 percent on the day at $45.11 per barrel."



'via Blog this'

Saudis await prince's vision of future with hope and concern | Reuters

Saudis await prince's vision of future with hope and concern | Reuters:

"Saudi Arabians are anticipating with hope, doubt and worry the release this week of a government plan to liberate the kingdom from its reliance on oil, which could solve deep-rooted problems but bring economic pain.

Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the 30-year-old son of King Salman, is to announce on Monday his "Saudi Vision 2030", which is expected to set goals for the next 15 years and a broad policy agenda to reach them, official sources say.

Economic details of the vision, a package of state budget reforms, regulatory changes and policy initiatives for the next five years known as the "National Transformation Plan", are expected to be released four to six weeks later."



'via Blog this'

Week Ahead: Apple, Japan monetary policy - YouTube

Week Ahead: Apple, Japan monetary policy - YouTube: ""



'via Blog this'

Arabian Gulf companies tread carefully in doing business with Iran | The National

Arabian Gulf companies tread carefully in doing business with Iran | The National:

"Arabian Gulf companies seeking to do business with Iran are treading cautiously because there are a number of pitfalls from working with Iran’s sanction-hit Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) to involvement of US dollar transactions.

The easing of US, European and other western sanctions on Iran in January presents Arabian Gulf companies, particularly those in the UAE, with ample business opportunities. But the complexity of the remaining sanctions leaves a lot of hurdles.

“There are a number of new opportunities certainly for non-US companies, but we would recommend a cautious approach to understand and take heed of continuing restrictions," says Nicholas Coward, a Washington-based lawyer at Baker & McKenzie.

"



'via Blog this'

Saudis intervene in Gosaibi dispute | The National

Saudis intervene in Gosaibi dispute | The National:

"Saudi Arabia’s authorities have intervened in the long-­running dispute between the Al Gosaibi family and their estranged member, Maan Al Sanea, to force a multi-billion dollar settlement.

The country’s Supreme Judicial Council has set up a special enforcement tribunal in Al Khobar, the city in the kingdom’s eastern province where the protagonists are based.

The three-man tribunal has the “sole charge completing and settling these two cases", according to the official order, a copy of which has been seen by The National."



'via Blog this'

Banks fortify balance sheets to meet challenges ahead | GulfNews.com

Banks fortify balance sheets to meet challenges ahead | GulfNews.com:

"The first quarter results of half a dozen banks published last week showed that the UAE banks are well prepared to meet the challenging global and regional economic conditions.

While a few banks had announced restructuring of their balance sheets in the beginning of the year involving reduction in exposures to risky portfolios, a few had made full provisions for legacy non-performing loans. Some of these efforts have already started showing results with a few other banks stepping up efforts to fortify their balance sheets.

Emirates NBD which reported a first quarter net profit of Dh1.8 billion, up 8 per cent compared to the first quarter of 2015. The bank’s balance sheet remained strong in the first quarter of 2016. Credit quality improved as the impaired loan ratio advanced from 7.1 per cent to 6.9 per cent during the quarter whilst the impaired loan coverage ratio also strengthened to 113.5 per cent.

"



'via Blog this'

The Gulf scripts a recovery via fiscal policy tweaks | GulfNews.com

The Gulf scripts a recovery via fiscal policy tweaks | GulfNews.com:

"The “Wall Street Journal” ran an article after the collapse of the Doha Summit, illustrating that whilst the correlation between oil and the real estate markets in the US had been 0.3 last year, it was — 0.1 over a 26-year period. Thus demonstrating conclusively that there was no link between oil and that of real estate prices over a longer period of time.

If that is the case, then why is it that real estate prices on a global scale have effectively stagnated or started to decline, especially at the top end of the spectrum, even as economic growth continues to show signs of moderate growth? Data, as usual, provides the answer, that partly helps disprove some of the pessimism pervading the marketplace, especially in the region.

And aids in crystallising the road map ahead for investors and policymakers alike."



'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi rises in early trade, rest of Gulf mixed | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi rises in early trade, rest of Gulf mixed | Reuters:

"Saudi Arabia's bourse rose in early trade on Sunday as firm oil prices encouraged investors, but the retail sector continued to reflect weakness of the domestic economy. Other Gulf bourses traded narrowly.

Riyadh's main index was up 0.9 percent in the first hour of trade, extending Thursday's 1.2 percent gain. It was supported mainly by petrochemical shares, with Saudi Basic Industries up 1.9 percent.

Oil prices rose on Friday, notching their third straight week of gains, as market sentiment turned more upbeat amid signs that a persistent global supply glut might be easing. Brent futures ended Friday up 1.3 percent at $45.11 per barrel."



'via Blog this'

Saturday, 23 April 2016

U.S. not against foreign banks dealing with Iran: Kerry | Reuters

U.S. not against foreign banks dealing with Iran: Kerry | Reuters:

"The United States is not opposed to foreign banks doing business with Iran in line with the terms of last year's historic nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Friday.

"The United States is not standing in the way, and will not stand in the way, of business that is permitted in Iran since the (nuclear deal) took effect," Kerry told reporters before meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

Kerry said he was trying to clear up uncertainty in the business community outside the United States about investing in Iran. The Iranian government has complained about not getting the full economic fruits of the July 14, 2015 nuclear deal."



'via Blog this'

Friday, 22 April 2016

The oil keeps gushing | Authers' Note - YouTube

The oil keeps gushing | Authers' Note - YouTube: ""



'via Blog this'

UAE economy to sustain solid growth despite headwinds: IIF | GulfNews.com

UAE economy to sustain solid growth despite headwinds: IIF | GulfNews.com:

"The UAE economy will sustain strong economic growth in 2016 despite the strong economic headwinds from a prolonged slump in oil prices, according to Institute of International Finance, a global association of leading financial institutions.

“We expect overall growth to moderate from an estimated 3.5 per cent in 2015 to 3 per cent in 2016 due to a smaller contribution to growth from oil production. Non-hydrocarbon growth is expected to remain relatively strong at 3.3 per cent, as a pickup in private growth offsets the drag from the decline in public spending,” said Dr Garbis Iradian, chef economist, Middle East and Africa, IIF.

"



'via Blog this'

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Hapag-Lloyd in merger talks with United Arab Shipping | The National

Hapag-Lloyd in merger talks with United Arab Shipping | The National:

"The German shipper Hapag-Lloyd is in merger talks with United Arab Shipping Company (UASC), which is based in Kuwait, as shipping lines consolidate amid a drop in freight rates.

Hapag-Lloyd’s shares surged 16 per cent to €19 in late afternoon trading in Frankfurt.

“In case of a business combination, the parties are basing their discussions on a relative valuation of the two businesses at 72 per cent (Hapag Lloyd) and 28 per cent (UASC), subject to a mutually satisfactory completion of the negotiations and the mutual due diligence exercise," the two companies said in a joint statement."



'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Oil-linked stocks lift Saudi but retailers slump; Gulf firms | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Oil-linked stocks lift Saudi but retailers slump; Gulf firms | Reuters:

"Petrochemical shares helped buoy Riyadh's stock index on Thursday, but some domestic-focused shares fell after earnings missed estimates, while other Gulf stock markets ended the week on a high note ahead of quarterly results.

The Saudi petrochemical sub-index jumped 2.0 percent after Brent crude oil rallied overnight to hit a high of $46 a barrel. The overall Saudi stock index added 1.2 percent to 6,588 points, a 14-week closing high.

Rabigh Refining and Petrochemical Co (PetroRabigh) fell as much as 4.9 percent early on after the company reported a quarterly net loss of 32.7 million riyals ($8.7 million), versus a net profit of 205.4 million riyals a year earlier. But it closed 4.9 percent higher."



'via Blog this'

Your oil questions answered | FT Business - YouTube

Your oil questions answered | FT Business - YouTube: ""



'via Blog this'

So investors, what if the oil price heads south again? - FT.com

So investors, what if the oil price heads south again? - FT.com:

"We are all oil traders at the moment.

The resilience of crude prices in the wake of a failed production freeze deal in Doha firmly illustrates the importance of black gold for sentiment across the broader financial system at the moment.

Talk of a freeze in recent weeks propelled the robust recovery in oil prices. However, the lack of an agreement and the crackling tension between Iran and Saudi Arabia is being downplayed by energy traders. They are looking ahead to the prospect of supply and demand becoming balanced during the second half of the year, thus supporting crude prices."



'via Blog this'

The $2 Trillion Project to Get Saudi Arabia’s Economy Off Oil - Bloomberg

The $2 Trillion Project to Get Saudi Arabia’s Economy Off Oil - Bloomberg:

"Early last year, at a royal encampment in the oasis of Rawdat Khuraim, Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia visited his uncle, King Abdullah, in the monarch’s final days before entering a hospital. Unbeknown to anyone outside the House of Saud, the two men, separated in age by 59 years, had a rocky history together. King Abdullah once banned his brash nephew, all of 26 at the time, from setting foot in the Ministry of Defense after rumors reached the royal court that the prince was disruptive and power-hungry. Later, the pair grew close, bound by a shared belief that Saudi Arabia must fundamentally change, or else face ruin in a world that is trying to leave oil behind.

For two years, encouraged by the king, the prince had been quietly planning a major restructuring of Saudi Arabia’s government and economy, aiming to fulfill what he calls his generation’s “different dreams” for a postcarbon future. King Abdullah died shortly after his visit, in January 2015. Prince Mohammed’s father, Salman, assumed the throne, named his son the deputy crown prince—second in line—and gave him unprecedented control over the state oil monopoly, the national investment fund, economic policy, and the Ministry of Defense. That’s a larger portfolio than that of the crown prince, the only man ahead of him on the succession chart. Effectively, Prince Mohammed is today the power behind the world’s most powerful throne. Western diplomats in Riyadh call him Mr. Everything. He’s 31 years old.

"



'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Petchems lift Saudi but domestic-focused shares slump; Dubai up | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Petchems lift Saudi but domestic-focused shares slump; Dubai up | Reuters:

"Shares in the petrochemical sector helped buoy Riyadh's stock index early on Thursday after oil prices firmed overnight, but some companies dropped after earnings misses that reflected weakness in the domestic economy.

Dubai's bourse was lifted by the real estate sector.

The Saudi petrochemical sub-index was up 1.0 percent after Brent crude prices rallied overnight to hit a high of $46 a barrel. The overall Saudi stock index was up 0.5 percent."



'via Blog this'

Handovers lift Nakheel first-quarter profit | The National

Handovers lift Nakheel first-quarter profit | The National:

"First-quarter profit at Nakheel increased by an annualised 8 per cent as it opened new shops and hotels and handed over homes.

The Dubai government-owned property developer said net profit came in at Dh1.47 billion for the three months to the end of last month from Dh1.35bn a year earlier.

Nakheel did not provide figures for its turnover during the period or any detailed breakdown of how its profit was achieved."



'via Blog this'

IEA chief says oil market, prices to return to balance by 2017 | Reuters

IEA chief says oil market, prices to return to balance by 2017 | Reuters:

"International Energy Agency (IEA) chief Fatih Birol said on Thursday he expects the oil market to come back into balance from oversupply by next year, providing there is no major economic downturn.

Birol said low oil prices have cut oil investment by about 40 percent in the past two years, with sharp falls in the United States, Canada, Latin America and Russia, and the world's reliance on Middle East oil will accelerate substantially in the next few years.

"This year, we are expecting the biggest decline in non-OPEC oil supply in the last 25 years, almost 700,000 barrels per day. At the same time, global demand growth is in a hectic pace, led by India, China and other emerging countries," he told reporters after meeting Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo."



'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi cyclical earnings miss estimates; Dubai major builder hopeful | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi cyclical earnings miss estimates; Dubai major builder hopeful | Reuters:

"Shares in Saudi Arabia may extend prior session losses on Thursday after major cyclical stocks reported earnings that fell short of expectations, while Dubai's real estate-linked sector may find some buying interest.

Shares of Saudi retail giant Fawaz Alhokair may be hit after its net profit for the first three months of the year missed analysts estimates by a large margin.

The retailer reported a net profit of 3.2 million riyals ($853,561), a 98.4 percent slump in net profit compared with the same period a year ago - its financial year starts in April 1. Sales fell by 3.2 percent, with the Saudi market being the main drag, the company said in a bourse statement."



'via Blog this'

Consultants in the Gulf Are Doing Just Fine - Bloomberg

Consultants in the Gulf Are Doing Just Fine - Bloomberg:

"It’s a great time to be a consultant in the Gulf Cooperation Council. Less so for bankers.
Demand for consultants and consultancy firms in the region was much stronger than expected in the first quarter and is set to stay that way for the remainder of the year, according to recruiter Morgan McKinley. By contrast, hiring by banks slumped 60 percent in the three months through March and isn’t likely to improve by December, it said.
"If you’re a consultant, business is booming," Trefor Murphy, managing director of Morgan McKinley in the Middle East and North Africa, said in an interview. "There’s huge demand in places like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates as they transform their economies. Many bankers, on the other hand, will be struggling to hold down their job.""



'via Blog this'

Dubai Property Still a Winning Bet for This Billionaire: Chart - Bloomberg

Dubai Property Still a Winning Bet for This Billionaire: Chart - Bloomberg:

"Falling prices haven’t dented the fortune of one of Dubai’s richest property developers. Billionaire Hussain Sajwani, founder and chief executive officer of Damac Properties Dubai Co., has expanded his net worth by 20 percent this year, to $3.9 billion, as shares of the developer have risen. Meanwhile, the nine Middle East billionaires ranked among the world’s 400 richest people have seen their fortunes drop by an average of 6.3 percent since Jan. 1."



'via Blog this'

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Mahathir wants 1MDB findings made public | GulfNews.com

Mahathir wants 1MDB findings made public | GulfNews.com:

"Foreign governments and investigating agencies probing allegations of money laundering and misappropriation funds of Malaysian state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) should share their findings, former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohammad told Gulf News in an exclusive interview.

Mahathir was in Dubai to address a conference on leadership, innovation and entrepreneurship organised by Canadian University Dubai.

He wants foreign investigations to put pressure on Prime Minister Najib Razak to leave office and face the law. The scandal surrounding 1MDB is now a subject of investigations in nearly a dozen countries, looking at the legality of fund transfers amid allegations of graft and money laundering.

"



'via Blog this'

Inside EFG Hermes' Investment Strategy - Bloomberg

Inside EFG Hermes' Investment Strategy - Bloomberg:

"EFG Hermes Head of Private Equity Karim Moussa discusses the company's planned 49% percent stake in EDP Renovaveis. He speaks on "Bloomberg Markets." (Source: Bloomberg)"



'via Blog this'

In riposte to Riyadh, Russia says ready to ramp up oil output | Reuters

In riposte to Riyadh, Russia says ready to ramp up oil output | Reuters:

"Russia said on Wednesday it was prepared to push oil production to historic highs, just days after a global deal to freeze output levels collapsed and Saudi Arabia threatened to flood markets with more crude.

Venezuela predicted prices could crash in the next few weeks if producers failed to resume dialogue and urged that non-OPEC participants be observers at a June OPEC meeting, as the specter of oversupply loomed once more.

OPEC member Venezuela and top non-OPEC producer Russia had been the main proponents of the output freeze deal, in the making since February, until it collapsed on Sunday in Doha after Riyadh said it would not sign unless Iran took part."



'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi blue chips weigh on bourse; Egypt follows global stocks lower | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi blue chips weigh on bourse; Egypt follows global stocks lower | Reuters:

"Most stock markets in the Gulf fell slightly on Wednesday with Saudi Arabia's telecommunications and food shares selling off after mixed earnings, while Egypt followed global shares lower.

The Saudi telecommunications sub-index dropped 3.3 percent, helping to push the overall stock index down 0.3 percent.

Etihad Etisalat (Mobily) dropped 7.8 percent to 29.50 riyals despite swinging to a first-quarter profit of 16.6 million riyals ($4.43 million) from a loss of 44.5 million riyals in the prior-year first quarter."



'via Blog this'

Saudi Arabia takes out $10bn in bank loans - FT.com

Saudi Arabia takes out $10bn in bank loans - FT.com:

"Saudi Arabia is raising $10bn from a consortium of global banks as the kingdom embarks on its first international debt issuance in 25 years to counter dwindling oil revenues and reserves.
The landmark five-year loan, a signal of Riyadh’s newfound dependence on foreign capital, opens the way for Saudi to launch its first international bond issue. It comes as the sustained slump in crude encourages other Gulf governments, such as Abu Dhabi, Qatar and Oman, to tap international bond markets."



'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf weakens in early trade; Saudi's Savola slumps | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf weakens in early trade; Saudi's Savola slumps | Reuters:

"Stock markets in the Gulf edged down in early trade on Wednesday with Saudi Arabia's blue-chip food and telecommunications shares selling off after posting mixed earnings.

Riyadh's main index was down 0.1 percent in the first hour of trade.

Savola Group slumped 7.8 percent to 38.80 riyals after the largest food company in the Gulf reported an 80.3 percent drop in first-quarter net profit, missing analysts' forecasts."



'via Blog this'

Crude futures fall after Kuwaiti oil workers end strike | Reuters

Crude futures fall after Kuwaiti oil workers end strike | Reuters:

"Crude futures fell on Wednesday after Kuwaiti oil workers ended a three-day strike that had cut the nation's crude output by around half, with worries about an oversupplied market returning to the fore.

Concerns about an oil surplus were also reinforced by industry data that showed U.S. stockpiles rose last week.

Brent crude futures LCOc1 were down 82 cents at $43.21 a barrel at 0700 GMT."



'via Blog this'

Saudi Said to Agree Terms on $10 Billion Loan to Fund Deficit - Bloomberg

Saudi Said to Agree Terms on $10 Billion Loan to Fund Deficit - Bloomberg:

"Saudi Arabia has agreed terms with banks for its first sovereign loan in at least 15 years, three people with knowledge of the matter said.
The government will pay lenders about 120 basis points above the London interbank offered rate including margin and fees for the $10 billion facility, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private. The loan will have a tenor of five years and should be signed before the end of April, the people said.
A large group of U.S., European, Japanese and Chinese banks are lending the funds, the people said. Saudi Arabia’s initial request for as much as $8 billion was significantly oversubscribed, allowing the country to increase the size of the deal, the people said."



'via Blog this'

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

AmEx Finds Persian Gulf Spending Shifts to Basics Amid Oil Slump - Bloomberg

AmEx Finds Persian Gulf Spending Shifts to Basics Amid Oil Slump - Bloomberg:

"More affluent residents and citizens in oil-rich Persian Gulf countries are holding back on luxury spending, focusing instead on basic needs amid concerns over jobs and the health of the economy.
A regional survey commissioned by AmEx (Middle East) BSC, a joint venture between American Express Co. and Mawarid Group, found 20 percent of respondents reduced spending on luxury goods and services in 2015, compared with a 13 percent decline a year earlier. While respondents who earn over $75,000 a year are changing the composition of their spending, most plan to maintain or increase consumption this year, the survey found.
People are still "optimistic about how much they will be spending in 2016 despite the economic conditions in the region," Mazin Khoury, Chief Executive Officer of American Express Middle East, said in an interview in Doha on Tuesday. "They are not saying we are definitely looking at a bad year.""



'via Blog this'

Bailouts Are Big in the Middle East This Season - Bloomberg

Bailouts Are Big in the Middle East This Season - Bloomberg:

"The International Monetary Fund has never been busier in the Middle East.
The fallout from terrorism, political turmoil and the collapse in oil prices has prompted a flurry of requests for bailouts, assistance or just plain advice.
Iraq is close to becoming the first major Arab oil producer to agree on a program with the Washington-based lender. Tunisia and Jordan, still suffering from the aftermath of the Arab Spring uprisings, hope to attract billions of dollars of loans and investments after receiving an IMF seal of approval. Even Morocco, which outperformed its neighbors after avoiding the worst of the Arab Spring turmoil, is considering renewing its $5 billion IMF credit line."



'via Blog this'

Calling All Bankers for Help Managing $2 Trillion Saudi Fund - Bloomberg

Calling All Bankers for Help Managing $2 Trillion Saudi Fund - Bloomberg:

"Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund is seeking to recruit senior bankers to help the kingdom run what may become the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
The fund, which holds about $100 billion worth of stakes in local companies, is working with U.S.-based executive search firm Korn Ferry International to hire for positions including the head of private equity, head of real estate, head of risk management and the head of markets, the people said, asking not to be identified because the matter is private. The fund is seeking the most experienced international candidates, they said.
Saudi Arabia is preparing itself for the twilight of the oil age by expanding the PIF so it eventually controls more than $2 trillion, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said in an interview earlier this month. The country will sell shares in Saudi Arabian Oil Co.’s parent company, or Aramco, and transfer these to the fund, technically making investments the source of Saudi government revenue, not oil, according to the prince."



'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi earnings, oil boost Gulf, Egypt breaks chart barrier | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi earnings, oil boost Gulf, Egypt breaks chart barrier | Reuters:

"Gulf stock markets rose on Tuesday as several Saudi companies beat first-quarter earnings estimates and oil prices held up better than feared after the failure of Sunday's Doha meeting to agree on an output freeze.

The Saudi stock index climbed 1.7 percent as Saudi Basic Industries, the biggest petrochemical producer, gained 2.3 percent.

SABIC reported a 13.2 percent drop in net profit to 3.41 billion riyals ($909.4 million) after analysts had on average forecast 2.84 billion riyals."



'via Blog this'

UPDATE 1-Iran's oil output to reach pre-sanctions level by June, official says | Reuters

UPDATE 1-Iran's oil output to reach pre-sanctions level by June, official says | Reuters:

"Iran's crude oil production will reach pre-sanctions levels within two months, a deputy oil minister was quoted as saying on Tuesday, a signal the OPEC member might be willing to discuss an output freeze by the time when the exporting group meets next.

Talks between OPEC and non-OPEC producers to freeze production unexpectedly broke down on Sunday when Saudi Arabia insisted that all OPEC members, including Iran, and non-OPEC oil exporters should join in the deal.

Iran, which was relieved of sanctions in January, is concerned at oversupply but is insisting on ramping up its production to pre-sanctions levels and reclaiming its market share before it will consider freezing output."



'via Blog this'

Cheap oil trips up Gulf’s banks - FT.com

Cheap oil trips up Gulf’s banks - FT.com:

"Late last year, tales of indebted managers closing down their businesses and fleeing the United Arab Emirates re-emerged. In an echo of the financial crisis, there were stories that owners of small and medium sized enterprises were leaving the country rather than risk jail for not paying debts.
A wave of expats leaving cars at the airport has yet to materialise, but dozens of corporate directors — especially contractors reliant on government spending — have been folding their businesses as payments slow after the collapse in oil prices."



'via Blog this'

Money flows from Doha | Authers' Note - YouTube

Money flows from Doha | Authers' Note - YouTube: ""



'via Blog this'

Failed Doha oil talks explained | FT Markets - YouTube

Failed Doha oil talks explained | FT Markets - YouTube: ""



'via Blog this'

Cautious Emaar cuts costs despite first quarter ‘surprise’ | The National

Cautious Emaar cuts costs despite first quarter ‘surprise’ | The National:

"Emaar Properties has embarked on a cost-cutting drive to meet more challenging market conditions.

Speaking to reporters after the company’s annual general meeting in Dubai yesterday, the chairman Mohamed Alabbar said that it had “severely" cut costs, but maintained that this was not because of its performance.

“We are really scared of 2016," he said. “If you look at our cost budget, it went back two years. So we went to a cost budget base of two years ago just to be cautious.""



'via Blog this'

Emirates NBD’s first quarter net profits up to Dh1.8 billion | GulfNews.com

Emirates NBD’s first quarter net profits up to Dh1.8 billion | GulfNews.com:

"Emirates NBD on Tuesday reported a first quarter net profit of Dh1.8 billion up 8 per cent compared to the first quarter of 2015.

The healthy operating performance was helped by an increase in total income, driven by asset growth and stable core fee income, coupled with a control on expenses and lower provisions.

Despite challenging market conditions, Emirates NBD continued to achieve growth in revenue and net profit as various parts of the business delivered a robust performance in the first quarter, the bank said in a statement."



'via Blog this'

YNAP to Sell Stake to Dubai Mall Operator in Middle East Push - Bloomberg

YNAP to Sell Stake to Dubai Mall Operator in Middle East Push - Bloomberg:

"Yoox Net-a-Porter agreed to sell a stake to the founder of Dubai-based developer Emaar Properties PJSC to help the world’s largest online luxury retailer expand in the Middle East.
Alabbar Enterprises, controlled by Emaar Chairman Mohamed Alabbar, agreed to pay 100 million euros ($113 million) for new shares amounting to 4 percent of YNAP, the Milan-based retailer said in a statement Tuesday. The shares rose.
The transaction brings together the online retailing partner for more than 30 luxury brands and the operator of the world’s largest shopping mall in Dubai, with 80 million visitors last year. As a strategic investor, Alabbar can provide insights and support to YNAP in the Middle East, which represents 5 percent of global luxury spending, the Italian company said."



'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf rises as Saudi Q1 earnings please, oil holds up | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf rises as Saudi Q1 earnings please, oil holds up | Reuters:

"Most Gulf stock markets rose early on Tuesday as several Saudi Arabian companies beat first-quarter earnings estimates and oil prices held up better than feared after the failure of Sunday's Doha meeting of producers to agree on an output freeze.

The Saudi stock index climbed 1.1 percent as Saudi Basic Industries, the biggest petrochemical producer, gained 1.7 percent. It reported a 13.2 percent drop in net profit to 3.41 billion riyals ($909.4 million); analysts had on average forecast 2.84 billion riyals.

Sipchem gained 1.4 percent after posting a 37.1 percent drop in profit to 50.7 million riyals. Analysts had forecast 37.42 million riyals."



'via Blog this'

Monday, 18 April 2016

Abu Dhabi Plans First Bond Since 2009 as Oil Curbs Finances - Bloomberg

Abu Dhabi Plans First Bond Since 2009 as Oil Curbs Finances - Bloomberg:

"Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, is sounding out investors about plans to issue bonds for the first time in more than seven years as the government seeks to bolster its finances against a slumping oil price.
The emirate, holder of about 6 percent of the world’s oil reserves, will hold meetings with fixed-income investors in the U.A.E., Europe and the U.S. starting April 19, according to a person with knowledge of the plan. A sale of dollar-denominated benchmark-sized Regulation S and 144A securities may follow, subject to market conditions, said the person, asking not to be identified because the information is private.
Abu Dhabi is the “highest-quality” credit in the Middle East and demand for the issue will be “strong from both local as well as international investors,” Apostolos Bantis, a credit analyst at Commerzbank AG, said by e-mail from Dubai. “Despite the drop in crude prices, the collapse of the latest oil talks, Abu Dhabi’s new bond issue should manage an attractive price that will set the stage for other government-related entities to follow.”"



'via Blog this'

Kuwait Oil-Worker Strike Slashes Crude Production for Second Day - Bloomberg

Kuwait Oil-Worker Strike Slashes Crude Production for Second Day - Bloomberg:

"Kuwait was seeking to boost crude production as oil workers stayed off their jobs for a second day in a strike that’s slashed the OPEC member’s output by about 1.7 million barrels a day, an amount larger than the current global surplus. 
Oil production plunged 60 percent to 1.1 million barrels a day when the strike began on Sunday, while the state refining company slowed operations at its three oil-processing plants to less than 60 percent of their combined capacity. Kuwait Petroleum Corp.’s oil-production and refining units are working to restart units and raise fuel-processing rates to full capacity, officials said Monday.
The efforts came a day after more than a dozen of the world’s major oil producers failed to reach an agreement to freeze output in a bid to halt a price rout of more than 30 percent over the past year amid a global glut. Kuwait produced 2.81 million barrels a day last month, making it OPEC’s fourth-largest member, while worldwide supply exceeded demand by 1.6 million barrels in the first quarter, according to the International Energy Agency."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf ends firm despite Doha talks' failure; Egypt surges | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf ends firm despite Doha talks' failure; Egypt surges | Reuters:

"Major stock markets in the Gulf rebounded in late trade on Monday to close higher despite the collapse of oil producers' talks in Doha, while Egypt's bourse surged to a six-month closing high.

The failure of Sunday's Doha meeting to agree on an oil output freeze was a blow to sentiment in the oil market, and Brent crude tumbled more than 5 percent at one stage. But it later came well off its lows to stand only 2.6 percent down at $42 a barrel.

This was a relief to Gulf bourses, which were also encouraged by some positive first-quarter earnings in Saudi Arabia that suggested the region's economic slowdown was not hurting corporate profits as much as feared."



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UAE’s Ipic terminates financial support agreement with Malaysia’s 1MDB | The National

UAE’s Ipic terminates financial support agreement with Malaysia’s 1MDB | The National:

"International Petroleum Investment Company (Ipic) said on Monday a June agreement to provide financial support to Malaysia’s 1MDB had been terminated after the troubled sovereign vehicle failed to meet obligations to the Abu Dhabi fund.

Ipic said in a bourse filing in London that the Malaysian state fund and the Asian country’s Ministry of Finance had failed to meet obligations including to pay $1.1 billion plus interest and was now in default.

While the obligations of Ipic and its subsidiary, Aabar Investments, under the June agreement had now been terminated, the Abu Dhabi fund still expected the Malaysian side to honour its commitments.

"



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Abu Dhabi picks banks for benchmark dollar bond – leads | GulfNews.com

Abu Dhabi picks banks for benchmark dollar bond – leads | GulfNews.com:

"The Emirate of Abu Dhabi has mandated banks to arrange a benchmark-sized US dollar bond issue, according to a document from lead managers, marking the sovereign’s return to the international bond market after an absence of seven years.

Abu Dhabi has hired Bank of America-Merrill Lynch, Citigroup and JP Morgan to organise investor meetings in the UAE, Europe and the United States starting from Tuesday, the document showed.

A 144A/Reg S deal, which allows the securities to be sold in the United States, may follow subject to market conditions."



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Oil Outlook: How Low Will the Price Go? - Bloomberg

Oil Outlook: How Low Will the Price Go? - Bloomberg:

"Abhishek Deshpande, oil and oil products research lead at Natixis, and Vasileios Gkionakis, global head of FX strategy at UniCredit, discuss the outlook for oil prices following the failed Doha meeting over the weekend, oil production and currency pegs in the Middle East. They speak to Bloomberg's Anna Edwards and Manus Cranny on "Countdown." (Source: Bloomberg)"



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi shares drop moderately after oil tumbles | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi shares drop moderately after oil tumbles | Reuters:

"Saudi Arabia's stock market fell moderately in early trade on Monday after oil producers meeting in Doha on Sunday caused crude prices to tumble, although some stocks rose on the back of better-than-expected earnings.

Brent futures are trading at $41.15 per barrel, down 4.6 percent from their last settlement.

The failure of the Doha meeting to agree on an oil output freeze may not make a huge difference to prices in the long term - analysts thought a freeze would have had only a minor impact on market conditions."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-UAE stocks fall after Doha oil talks failure | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-UAE stocks fall after Doha oil talks failure | Reuters:

"Stock markets in the United Arab Emirates fell in early trade on Monday after the collapse of Sunday's talks between oil producers in Doha caused crude prices to tumble.

Dubai's stock index sank 2.0 percent in the first 15 minutes with Emirates NBD, the largest bank, losing 5.0 percent and builder Drake & Scull down 2.7 percent.

But Shuaa Capital, which has been rising for a month partly on rumours that a shareholder is building a major stake, added 2.8 percent."



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Five questions in the wake of Doha - FT.com

Five questions in the wake of Doha - FT.com:

"Talks between some of the world’s biggest oil producers on a deal to freeze output collapsed on Sunday evening after Saudi Arabia insisted Iran, a fierce regional rival, be part of any agreement. Here are five questions oil market participants will now be asking.
How far will the price of oil fall?

Crude oil has jumped more than 40 per cent since mid-February when Saudi Arabia, Russia, Venezuela and Qatar first announced plans for an output freeze. While other factors have played a part in driving prices back above $40 a barrel there’s no doubt the prospect of the first global oil deal in 15 years was a key driver."



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Oil prices tumble after Saudi-Iran tensions sink output deal | Reuters

Oil prices tumble after Saudi-Iran tensions sink output deal | Reuters:

"Oil prices tumbled on Monday after a meeting by major exporters in Qatar collapsed without an agreement to freeze output, leaving the credibility of the OPEC producer cartel in tatters and the world awash with unwanted fuel.

Tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran were blamed for the failure, which revived industry fears that major government-controlled producers will increase their battle for market share by offering ever-steeper discounts.

"OPEC's credibility to coordinate output is now very low," said Peter Lee, oil analyst at BMI Research, a unit of rating agency Fitch. "But this isn't just about oil for the Saudis. It's as much about regional politics.""



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Oil slides after Saudi opposition blocks talks on output freeze - FT.com

Oil slides after Saudi opposition blocks talks on output freeze - FT.com:

"Oil prices sank after attempts by some of the world’s biggest producers to freeze output ended without a deal on Sunday night with Saudi Arabia insisting Iran should be part of any agreement.

Crude oil fell as much as 7 per cent in early trading on Monday in Asia before recovering slightly.

Talks in Doha aimed at achieving the first global oil deal in 15 years had appeared to be on course on Sunday. They broke up late in the day as ministers failed to overcome opposition from Riyadh, which had hardened its stance in recent days."



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Sunday, 17 April 2016

Saudi stock market to hire investment bank for flotation | The National

Saudi stock market to hire investment bank for flotation | The National:

"The Saudi Stock Exchange is in the process of hiring an investment bank to advise on its flotation, the bourse, known as Tadawul, said on Sunday.

Saudi Arabia is expected to privatise and float a number of state-owned assets in the next few years, part of efforts to raise cash to help bridge a budget shortfall caused by lower oil prices. The aim is also to improve the efficiency of the economy by the reform of state companies and by bringing in professional investors.

Among them is Tadawul, which said in December it planned to list its shares in 2018."



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DP World looking at three sites in Russia | GulfNews.com

DP World looking at three sites in Russia | GulfNews.com:

"DP World is evaluating three sites in Russia as part of a joint venture it set up earlier this year to invest $2 billion (Dh7.34 billion) in the country, the port operator’s chairman said on Sunday.

DP World and the state-owned Russian Direct Investment Fund agreed in January to establish DP World Russia to invest in upgrading Russian port facilities. DP World holds an 80 per cent stake in the joint venture.

“We have looked at three locations in Russia. Vladivostok in the far east where we had experience. We are looking at the Baltic, and we are looking at the Black Sea,” DP World Group chairman and chief executive Sultan Ahmad Bin Sulayem told reporters at a press conference at a Dubai hotel."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi pulls back as Doha deal in doubt; Egypt gains | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi pulls back as Doha deal in doubt; Egypt gains | Reuters:

"Uncertainty at talks among oil producers in Doha dampened Gulf stock markets on Sunday, with Saudi Arabia pulling back after a 4 percent jump last week. Egypt edged up as local investors returned to buy shares.

Early on Sunday it appeared that producers were close to agreeing an oil output freeze, but negotiations were later delayed into the afternoon as a new proposal called for all OPEC members to agree even though Iran has said it will not take part. [ID:nL9N0VZ00T}

"Investors interpreted the delay to possibly mean a lack of a solid deal," said a Jeddah-based trader, adding that investors would prefer to wait until an agreement was reached.

"



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