Google+ Followers

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Saudi Arabia Said to Eye Bond Sale of as Much as $15 Billion - Bloomberg

Saudi Arabia Said to Eye Bond Sale of as Much as $15 Billion - Bloomberg:

"Saudi Arabia is considering selling as much as $15 billion of bonds this year in what would be the country’s first foray into international capital markets, people with knowledge of a matter said.

Encouraged by Qatar’s record issue last week, Saudi Arabia is weighing a sale of at least $10 billion in five-, 10- and 30-year bonds after Ramadan ends in July, the people said. No final decision has been made and the discussions are still at a preliminary stage, the people said, asking not to be identified as the talks are private.
Governments in the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council, which includes the two-biggest Arab economies of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, are turning to public markets after the plunge in oil prices punched holes in their budgets. Qatar last week attracted $23 billion in orders for its $9 billion sale, the biggest-ever from the Middle East. Abu Dhabi raised $5 billion from the sale of five- and 10-year securities in April, while Dubai is also said to be preparing an international bond sale this year."



'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Bourse indexes diverge but end the month at a loss | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Bourse indexes diverge but end the month at a loss | Reuters:

"Share market indexes in the Middle East diverged on Tuesday, with Saudi Arabia's index outperforming peers as some positive news lifted shares, but all markets ended with losses for the month.

Riyadh's index rebounded 1.4 percent, ending three sessions of declines, although volumes were the lowest since last October.

The index was down 5.3 percent in May, its worst monthly performance since the start of the year."



'via Blog this'

Full Show: Bloomberg Markets Middle East (05/31) - Bloomberg

Full Show: Bloomberg Markets Middle East (05/31) - Bloomberg:




"Full Episode of "Bloomberg Markets Middle East." Guests include: Mouayed Makhlouf, regional director at IFC and Mario Maratheftis, global chief economist at Standard Chartered. (Source: Bloomberg)"



'via Blog this'

Funding crunch leaves GCC projects in the lurch | GulfNews.com

Funding crunch leaves GCC projects in the lurch | GulfNews.com:

"Lower oil prices will constrain the amount of funding available to GCC governments to finance capital and infrastructure projects which will force them to look at alternate solutions according to audit, consulting and financial advisory firm Deloitte.

“Spending in the region will need to be better prioritised in order to ensure it meets social and economic development. Governments will have to seek for the private sector involvement, innovate and find alternative funding sources to fund their project requirements,” said Cynthia Corby, Audit partner and Middle East Infrastructure and Capital Projects leader at Deloitte.

Shrinking banking sector liquidity and rising funding costs are expected to increase cost of bank funding for projects across the GCC. Overall bank liquidity in the Gulf region started to weaken visibly from the second half of 2015, and the trend is expected to continue this year."



'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi petrochemical shares lift bourse, other Gulf weak | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi petrochemical shares lift bourse, other Gulf weak | Reuters:

"A rebound in Saudi Arabian petrochemical shares helped lift the index in early trade on Tuesday, while other Gulf bourses were weak.

Saudi's Yanbu National Petrochemicals (Yansab), a large cap petrochemical producer, jumped 5.2 percent after the company announced late on Monday that its board recommended a cash distribution of 1.5 riyals per share for the first half of the year, higher than the 1.0 riyals per share for first half of 2015. The total dividends in 2015 and 2014 were 2.0 and 3.0 riyals respectively.

"We expect the company to pay a dividend of 2.5 riyals per share in 2016E, and based on this the dividend yield is expected to be 6.3 percent," said a note by Saudi firm NCB Capital."



'via Blog this'

The Untold Story Behind Saudi Arabia’s 41-Year U.S. Debt Secret - Bloomberg

The Untold Story Behind Saudi Arabia’s 41-Year U.S. Debt Secret - Bloomberg:

"Failure was not an option.

It was July 1974. A steady predawn drizzle had given way to overcast skies when William Simon, newly appointed U.S. Treasury secretary, and his deputy, Gerry Parsky, stepped onto an 8 a.m. flight from Andrews Air Force Base. On board, the mood was tense. That year, the oil crisis had hit home. An embargo by OPEC’s Arab nations—payback for U.S. military aid to the Israelis during the Yom Kippur War—quadrupled oil prices. Inflation soared, the stock market crashed, and the U.S. economy was in a tailspin.

Officially, Simon’s two-week trip was billed as a tour of economic diplomacy across Europe and the Middle East, full of the customary meet-and-greets and evening banquets. But the real mission, kept in strict confidence within President Richard Nixon’s inner circle, would take place during a four-day layover in the coastal city of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

"



'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf bourses poised to end the month with losses | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf bourses poised to end the month with losses | Reuters:

"Stock markets in the Middle East looked set to end the month down on Tuesday as investors sell off ahead of the holy month of Ramadan and find little incentive to buy shares.

A Reuters poll of 14 leading fund managers held over the last 10 days found they had grown more cautious about building positions in equities.

Twenty-one percent anticipate cutting back allocations to Middle Eastern stock markets in the next three months, while 14 percent expect to raise them."



'via Blog this'

Qatar Mega-Deal Boosts Middle East Bond Sales to Record: Chart - Bloomberg

Qatar Mega-Deal Boosts Middle East Bond Sales to Record: Chart - Bloomberg:

"Qatar’s $9 billion offering last week propelled monthly foreign bond sales in the Middle East to the highest on record at $13.8 billion as borrowers rush to raise money before the U.S. increases interest rates. DP World Ltd. and Etihad Airways were among other issuers in the week. Governments in the world’s largest oil-producing region have been looking to sell bonds to help plug holes in budget deficits after the slump in crude prices cut revenue."



'via Blog this'

Monday, 30 May 2016

ADFG and Bahrain’s GFH to launch Islamic bank in Abu Dhabi | GulfNews.com

ADFG and Bahrain’s GFH to launch Islamic bank in Abu Dhabi | GulfNews.com:

"Abu Dhabi Financial Group (ADFG) and Bahrain’s GFH Financial Group are jointly setting up an Islamic bank in Abu Dhabi’s new financial free zone with initial capital of $100 million, ADFG’s chief executive told Reuters on Monday.

Privately-owned investment management firm ADFG and GFH have received preliminary approval to launch the bank at Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), the second financial free zone in the United Arab Emirates after the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).

It will be the first new bank set up at the recently-launched ADGM, which has so far attracted Aberdeen Asset Management and Macquarie Capital to open offices.

"



'via Blog this'

Saudi Arabia Said to Hire HSBC Banker to Set Up New Debt Office - Bloomberg

Saudi Arabia Said to Hire HSBC Banker to Set Up New Debt Office - Bloomberg:

"Saudi Arabia hired HSBC Holdings Plc banker Fahad Al Saif to start a debt management office that will be responsible for the kingdom’s first international bond sale, two people with knowledge of the matter said.
Al Saif joined the Ministry of Finance on an open-ended secondment from HSBC’s Saudi British Bank, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private. At Saudi British, in which HSBC holds a 40 percent stake, he was general manager of global banking and markets. Al Saif is also a board member at HSBC Saudi Arabia Ltd.
Al Saif is the second HSBC banker to move into a government role in Saudi Arabia in the past few months after Mohammad Al Tuwaijri, the bank’s chief executive officer for the Middle East, was appointed deputy economy and planning minister. The moves come as Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman oversees an unprecedented shakeup of the kingdom’s economy to reduce the country’s reliance on oil receipts."



'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Bourses fall in broad sell-off after oil dips below $50 | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Bourses fall in broad sell-off after oil dips below $50 | Reuters:

"Shares in the Gulf fell in a broad sell-off on Monday as investors booked profits after a dip in oil prices. Egypt was lower as foreign funds exited positions.

Saudi Arabia's index lost 1.1 percent, its lowest close since April 11, before the kingdom announced plans to diversify away from hydrocarbon dollars. Eighty-eight percent of the shares closed down.

Petrochemical shares were the main drag with Saudi Basic Industries, the largest listed producer, dropping 1.8 percent, taking its losses to 3.0 percent since Brent prices fell back below $50 a barrel."



'via Blog this'

Emirates NBD's Dugan: We're Building Up for Trouble - Bloomberg

Emirates NBD's Dugan: We're Building Up for Trouble - Bloomberg:




"Gary Dugan, chief investment officer at Emirates NBD, and Bloomberg's Tracy Alloway discuss the potential for a rate hike in June or July, the possibility of a global recession and Japan's sales tax hike. They speak to Manus Cranny on "Bloomberg Markets Middle East." (Source: Bloomberg)"



'via Blog this'

Iran Says Growth Target Can Be Met - Bloomberg

Iran Says Growth Target Can Be Met - Bloomberg:




"Iran's newly elected parliament held its first session with President Rouhani telling them he's confident a 5% growth rate is still achievable. Bloomberg's Golnar Motevalli reports on "Bloomberg Markets Middle East." (Source: Bloomberg)"



'via Blog this'

Malaysia's 1MDB makes coupon payment on Islamic medium term notes | Reuters

Malaysia's 1MDB makes coupon payment on Islamic medium term notes | Reuters:

"Malaysia's state-owned 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) said on Monday that it had made a scheduled coupon payment on an Islamic medium term bond, despite an ongoing multi-billion dollar spat with a UAE sovereign fund.

1MDB said it made a 143.75 million ringgit ($34.96 million) coupon payment due on 5 billion ringgit in Islamic Medium Term Notes (IMTNs) due in 2039.

"1MDB has ample liquidity to make interest payments and service its current debt obligations," 1MDB's president Arul Kanda Kandasamy said in a statement on Monday."



'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Dubai weakens in early trade, Saudi choppy | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Dubai weakens in early trade, Saudi choppy | Reuters:

"Shares in Dubai dropped in early trade on Monday as investors cashed out of stocks which have made recent gains, while Saudi Arabia's stock market was choppy.

In Dubai losers outnumbered gainers 14 to six and the index was down 1.0 percent.

Blue-chips Emaar Properties, which has been rising for three session, lost 1.7 percent, while Dubai Islamic Bank, which was a top gainer on Sunday, dropped 2.2 percent."



'via Blog this'

Sunday, 29 May 2016

Former Deyaar real estate boss jailed for Dh56m theft and fraud | The National

Former Deyaar real estate boss jailed for Dh56m theft and fraud | The National:

"The former chief executive of a large real estate development company and three others were each sentenced to 15 years in prison on Sunday for theft and fraud valued at more than Dh56 million in relation to a land deal in 2007.

Zack Shahin, the former boss of Deyaar who was present in court, and the others, who were sentenced in their absence, were found guilty by Dubai Criminal Court, which fined them Dh56m and ordered them to pay back the same amount to the Dubai property company.

The American businessman, 56, and eight other men including three former Deyaar executives, denied deceiving the company into paying an inflated price for a plot of land in Houston, Texas, on November 4 2007, and embezzling Dh56.3m from the deal."



'via Blog this'

Saudi Arabia’s foreign assets fall to lowest level in four years | The National

Saudi Arabia’s foreign assets fall to lowest level in four years | The National:

"Saudi Arabia’s net foreign assets fell for a 15th month in April, as the kingdom announced its “vision" for a post-oil future.

The Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency said on Sunday net foreign assets declined 1.1 per cent to US$572 billion, the lowest level in four years. The slump in crude prices has forced the government to sell bonds and draw on its currency reserves, still among the world’s largest. Net foreign assets fell by $115bn last year, when the kingdom ran a budget deficit of nearly $100bn.

The fiscal crunch has pushed Saudi Arabia to look beyond oil, consider new taxes and plan an initial public offering of state energy major Saudi Aramco. The Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman sketched out the planned changes dubbed Saudi Vision 2030 on April 25.

"



'via Blog this'

Bahrain’s got some serious catching up to do | GulfNews.com

Bahrain’s got some serious catching up to do | GulfNews.com:

"Bahraini authorities should not miss the chance to turn existing economic challenges into opportunities. The fact that Bahrain suffers from the worst credit ratings among Gulf countries says a great deal about the tasks ahead.

Sadly, major credit ratings agencies have one thing in common — namely in assigning adverse marks for Bahrain. In February, S&P cut Bahrain’s ratings by two notches to BB. Worse, the agency removed its investment grade status, the sole case within the Gulf.

And Moody’s downgraded Bahrain’s sovereign ratings from Ba1 to Ba2."



'via Blog this'

GCC investors urged to think short-term | GulfNews.com

GCC investors urged to think short-term | GulfNews.com:

"Fund managers are playing safe ahead of Brexit vote, along with meetings of US Federal Reserve and Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) members.

Despite oil prices breaching the keenly watched $50 (Dh183) per barrel mark, Emirates Investment Bank (EIB) has trimmed its positions in the UAE and Saudi equities amid the anxiousness and is placing bets on short-term hedging strategies, which offers low yields as it expects volatility to spike up amid the upcoming events.

“We have been de-risking. We have trimmed our positions in the UAE and Saudi in line with our equity exposure globally. We won’t have any strategic positions between now and August,” said Nadi Bargouti, Managing Director of Asset Management at Emirates Investment Bank, adding, “Investors should get into defensive firms, reduce exposure to risky assets as much as you can.”"



'via Blog this'

DP World’s $1.2 billion sukuk to be listed on Nasdaq Dubai | GulfNews.com

DP World’s $1.2 billion sukuk to be listed on Nasdaq Dubai | GulfNews.com:

"DP World said on Sunday the company has raised $1.2 billion (Dh4.4 billion) in a new 7-year sukuk and will be listed on Nasdaq Dubai.

More and more companies in the UAE and Gulf Cooperation Council along with the governments are taking full advantage of market conditions as US Federal Reserve prepares for a rate hike amid an economic recovery.

“As a leading enabler of global trade, we have taken advantage of attractive market conditions to successfully execute the first tender offer in the region and issue a new sukuk to drive our ongoing growth strategy,” Sultan Ahmad Bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, DP World said in a statement. The money raised from the new sukuk sale will fund the tender offer along with general corporate purposes."



'via Blog this'

Abu Dhabi gov't may act to address property glut - official | Reuters

Abu Dhabi gov't may act to address property glut - official | Reuters:

"Abu Dhabi's property market is over-supplied and the government may take steps to address the imbalance, a senior official said on Sunday.

Prices in the UAE capital's residential sector were flat last year, after rising about 25 percent a year in 2013 and 2014, as affordability levels became stretched and the government cut spending following the slump in oil prices.

First-quarter residential prices were little changed and property consultants CBRE last month described buying appetite and overall sentiment as weak. Rival firm JLL warned prices could come under downward pressure if transaction volumes remain low."



'via Blog this'

Citigroup Says Saudi Arabia Is Best Emerging Market for Deals - Bloomberg

Citigroup Says Saudi Arabia Is Best Emerging Market for Deals - Bloomberg:

"Saudi Arabia’s planned privatizations, including a share sale in the world’s biggest oil company, represent the biggest investment banking opportunity in emerging markets, according to Citigroup Inc.
Implementation of the kingdom’s plans to restructure the economy -- known as Vision 2030 -- "could translate into a fantastic wallet for the investment banks," Omar Iqtidar, Citigroup’s head of investment banking in the Middle East, said in an interview in Dubai. "We are seeing momentum picking up, with skeptics increasingly converted into believers of the restructuring," he said.
Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is overseeing an unprecedented shakeup of the biggest Arab economy as the country seeks to reduce its reliance on oil after a plunge in prices that started in 2014. The country plans an initial public offering of Saudi Arabian Oil Co., which the prince said may value the company at more than $2 trillion."



'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Scrapped Americana sale weighs on Kuwait; other bourses mixed | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Scrapped Americana sale weighs on Kuwait; other bourses mixed | Reuters:

"Shares in Kuwaiti companies linked with the al-Kharafi family tumbled on Sunday after the multi-billion-dollar sale of another Kharafi-controlled business was scrapped, while other markets were mixed in thin trade.

Investment company Adeptio had agreed in February to buy 69 percent of Kuwait Food Co (Americana) from Al Khair for Stocks and Real Estate, which is run by the wealthy Kharafi merchant family. But Al Khair announced on Sunday that the sale had been scrapped.

Americana's shares were suspended, but other Kharafi-linked stocks plunged."



'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Kuwaiti Kharafi-linked stocks slip on Americana sale collapse | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Kuwaiti Kharafi-linked stocks slip on Americana sale collapse | Reuters:

"Shares in Kuwaiti companies linked with the al-Kharafi family tumbled on Sunday after the multibillion-dollar sale of another Kharafi-controlled business was scrapped.

Investment company Adeptio had agreed in February to buy 69 percent of Kuwait Food Co (Americana) from Al Khair for Stocks and Real Estate, which is run by the wealthy Kharafi merchant family, but Al Khair announced on Sunday that the plans have been scrapped.

Americana's shares were suspended ahead of the market open and have yet to resume trading, but other Kharafi-linked stocks plunged."



'via Blog this'

UPDATE 2-Kuwait's fast-food group Americana scraps sale to consortium | Reuters

UPDATE 2-Kuwait's fast-food group Americana scraps sale to consortium | Reuters:

"Kuwait's al-Kharafi family has scrapped a sale of a majority stake in Kuwait Food Co (Americana) to a Gulf-based consortium, a company controlled by the family said on Sunday, ending months of talks over the multibillion-dollar deal.

Americana, which owns the Middle East franchises for fast food chains KFC and Pizza Hut and also produces branded consumer foods, has been up for sale since early 2014.

Investment firm Adeptio, which is led by prominent Dubai businessman Mohamed Alabbar, in February agreed to buy 69 percent of Americana from Al Khair for Stocks and Real Estate, which is controlled by the Kharafis, a wealthy merchant family."



'via Blog this'

Friday, 27 May 2016

Full Show: Bloomberg Markets Middle East (05/26) - Bloomberg

Full Show: Bloomberg Markets Middle East (05/26) - Bloomberg:




"Full Episode of "Bloomberg Markets Middle East." Guests include: John Driscoll, director and chief strategist at JTD Energy Services, and Xavier Denis, economist strategist at Societe Generale. (Source: Bloomberg)"



'via Blog this'

Saudi offers more oil to Asian clients ahead of OPEC meet | Reuters

Saudi offers more oil to Asian clients ahead of OPEC meet | Reuters:

"Saudi Arabia is offering extra crude to customers in Asia, a sign the world's largest oil exporter does not intend to cut output as it battles for market share with other top producers.

Saudi's offers of more oil come after it recently completed maintenance programs that had reduced supplies from some fields during the second quarter, traders said. The kingdom will also soon increase its Arab Extra Light crude output in an expansion of the Shaybah oilfield.

But some Asian refiners said they are not rushing to buy more Arab Extra Light after Aramco raised the oil's official selling price (OSP) by 80 cents a barrel in June, making it more expensive relative to similar Abu Dhabi grades."



'via Blog this'

HMRC loses £50m Chelsea Barracks tax appeal to Qatar - BBC News

HMRC loses £50m Chelsea Barracks tax appeal to Qatar - BBC News:

"HM Revenue & Customs has lost its bid to recover up to £50m in stamp duty from the sale of the Chelsea Barracks in 2007.
Three Court of Appeal judges decided that the tax office had pursued the wrong party for the tax.
The purchaser, a firm owned by the Qatar Investment Authority, had used a type of Islamic finance that meant a bank actually owned the property."



'via Blog this'

Eyes on Yellen, Japan deflation deepens | Market Minute - YouTube

Eyes on Yellen, Japan deflation deepens | Market Minute - YouTube: ""



'via Blog this'

Gulf contractors face tough market conditions amid cashflow constraints | The National

Gulf contractors face tough market conditions amid cashflow constraints | The National:

"Contractors across the Gulf are facing a tough set of market conditions, with cash flow constraints and greater competition for fewer contracts placing a squeeze on margins, according to Deloitte.

The accountancy firm’s 2016 Powers of Construction report states that contract awards are likely to drop to $140 billion this year, a reduction of 17 per cent on the amount of awards last year.

Despite this, Deloitte argued that the pipeline of future projects due for delivery in future years means the region still offers decent long-term fundamentals for companies prepared to ride out the current slowdown in the market."



'via Blog this'

India’s Jet Airways back in black ahead of schedule | The National

India’s Jet Airways back in black ahead of schedule | The National:

"Jet Airways yesterday posted a record annual profit, achieving a return to profitability a year ahead of its target, as low oil prices helped to lift the airline’s financial performance.

The airline declared a net profit of 12.1 billion rupees (Dh657.4 million) in the year to the end of March, compared to a loss of almost 21bn rupees in the same period a year earlier.

Etihad Airways bought a 24 per cent stake in Mumbai-based Jet Airways for US$379 million in 2013 after India opened up the aviation sector to allow foreign direct investment of up to 49 per cent by overseas airlines in its carriers."



'via Blog this'

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Bloomberg Markets Middle East: The First Month - Bloomberg

Bloomberg Markets Middle East: The First Month - Bloomberg:




"The first month of the new Bloomberg Markets Middle East show saw regional and global decision makers join hosts Manus Cranny in Dubai and Rishaad Salamat in Hong Kong to discuss the hot topics of the day including oil, investment, the markets and more."



'via Blog this'

Saudi Aramco boosting market share as it prepares for listing: CEO | Reuters

Saudi Aramco boosting market share as it prepares for listing: CEO | Reuters:

"Saudi oil giant Aramco is gaining market share and pushing for greater efficiency, chief executive Amin Nasser said in an interview, as it acts as a "bridge" to a future when the nation relies less on energy exports.

Nasser also told Reuters that the state-owned group was pressing on with preparations for its partial privatization via a stock market listing, which he said lay at the heart of Riyadh's "Vision 2030", a long-term economic plan headed by Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Riyadh has been the driving force behind OPEC's decision in November 2014 to refuse to cut supply to boost prices. Instead it opted to raise output and fight for market share against higher-cost rivals such as U.S. shale producers - as well as fellow OPEC member Iran which has ramped up its exports since the lifting of international sanctions."



'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi shares drop despite oil over $50 but Dubai lifted | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi shares drop despite oil over $50 but Dubai lifted | Reuters:

"A break in Brent crude prices over $50 a barrel failed to support Saudi Arabia's index on Thursday, but helped carry Dubai's index higher for a fourth session. Other markets were mixed.

The Riyadh index failed to hold on to earlier gains as investors booked profits, snapping two days of gains.

Although petrochemical shares remained resilient, with the sub-index advancing 0.3 percent, it closed 49 points below its intra-day high, a sign that investors lack belief in a sustained rally."



'via Blog this'

Oil rises above $50, US productivity set to fall | FirstFT - YouTube

Oil rises above $50, US productivity set to fall | FirstFT - YouTube: ""



'via Blog this'

Riyal Dollar Peg Is Under Review - Bloomberg

Riyal Dollar Peg Is Under Review - Bloomberg:




"Saudi Arabia's fiscal stresses are driving speculation the kingdom may change the riyal's peg to the dollar. The Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority maintains the spot exchange rate of the riyal at 3.75 to the dollar, which means future expectations of its value must be examined through the forwards or options market. Societe Generale Economist Strategist Xavier Denis discusses with Bloomberg's Manus Cranny and Rishaad Salamat on "Bloomberg Markets Middle East.""



'via Blog this'

A Rearguard Action by Saudi Arabia to Stop Iran’s Economic Rise - Bloomberg

A Rearguard Action by Saudi Arabia to Stop Iran’s Economic Rise - Bloomberg:




"Saudi Arabia couldn’t stop the Iran nuclear deal from being signed. Plan B is to limit Iran’s ability to reap its benefits.
The kingdom is mobilizing its Gulf allies to make sure that, more than four months after the lifting of sanctions on the Islamic Republic, Iran’s opening-up to the global economy doesn’t go smoothly. Last month the Saudis scuttled a bid to stabilize crude prices because it would have allowed their bitter foe to grab a larger share of oil markets. And in Dubai, once their main gateway to the world, Iranian businessmen privately complain of increasing restrictions."



'via Blog this'

Gulf banks report more loan defaults as oil slump plays out | Reuters

Gulf banks report more loan defaults as oil slump plays out | Reuters:

"More than two-thirds of Gulf banks reported an increase in unpaid loans in the first three months of the year and more defaults are likely as oil-dependent governments slash spending to adjust to lower crude prices.

After several years in which banks' profits jumped thanks to the region's petrodollar boom, the oil markets' two-year malaise is taking its toll. New global accounting standards from 2018 will make lending even harder.

"The days of double-digit profits and expansion plans are gone," said one United Arab Emirates-based banker. "Now, it's all about single-digit growth and controlling costs as bad loans are going to keep getting higher. It's the new normal.""



'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf bourses rises in early trade as oil breaks $50 | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf bourses rises in early trade as oil breaks $50 | Reuters:

"Gulf shares rose in early trade on Thursday as oil prices climbed to hit their highest levels in six months and global equity markets edged higher.

Petrochemical shares lifted Riyadh's index 0.6 percent with Saudi Basic Industries, the largest listed producer, adding 1.2 percent as Brent oil prices broke over $50 a barrel in Asian trade.

Makkah Construction added 0.6 percent after it reported a 6 percent rise in its quarterly income. The company attributed the growth to higher occupancy at its Mecca-based Hilton Towers."



'via Blog this'

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf rises on back of oil, global mood | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf rises on back of oil, global mood | Reuters:

"Gains for global equity and oil markets boosted Gulf bourses on Wednesday with Saudi petrochemical shares and Dubai real estate stocks leading the gains.

Riyadh's index rose 0.6 percent in modest volume as Saudi Basic Industries, the largest petrochemical producer, climbed 1.2 percent.

Saudi Cement added 2.0 percent after the company said it had sold its 40 percent stake in Kuwaiti cement company Group International Cement for $6.59 million; the deal will be reflected in its books in the second quarter."



'via Blog this'

Qatar to Issue $9 Billion in Middle East’s Biggest Bond Sale - Bloomberg

Qatar to Issue $9 Billion in Middle East’s Biggest Bond Sale - Bloomberg:

"Qatar is selling $9 billion of Eurobonds, marking the biggest-ever bond issue from the Middle East where governments are tapping international investors to fill budget holes left by declining oil and gas revenues.
The country is borrowing across three maturities, offering $3.5 billion in five-year notes at 120 basis points over U.S. Treasuries, the same amount in 10-year bonds at 150 basis points over Treasuries and $2 billion of 30-year paper at a 210 basis-point spread, according to a person familiar with the transaction. The amount is almost double the $5 billion that bankers close to the deal said Qatar was targeting.
The deal follows a $5 billion Eurobond from Abu Dhabi last month with Middle Eastern sales this year now amounting to almost $30 billion if Qatar’s is included. Energy-exporting nations are borrowing internationally following a halving of oil prices since 2014 which has forced some governments to raid reserves. Qatar is also in the second year of a $200 billion infrastructure upgrade ahead of hosting the 2022 soccer World Cup."



'via Blog this'

Etihad raises $500m with minority-owned airlines | GulfNews.com

Etihad raises $500m with minority-owned airlines | GulfNews.com:

"Etihad Airways said on Wednesday it has raised $500 million in funds for the airline and four of its minority-owned carriers.

The announcement follows the airline’s successful efforts last year to raise $700 million using its Etihad Airways Partners platform, a group of airlines minority owned by Etihad.

Etihad along with its airport services unit and minority owned Air Berlin, Air Serbia, Air Seychelles and Alitalia raised the $500 million, according to an Etihad statement."



'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf bourses rise in early trade, Saudi petchems lead | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf bourses rise in early trade, Saudi petchems lead | Reuters:

"Gains for global equity and oil markets supported Gulf bourses in early trade on Wednesday, with Riyadh's index gaining one percent in the first hour as investors bought back shares which were sold off at the start of the week.

Saudi petrochemical shares were particularly strong, lifted by firm oil prices. Saudi Basic Industries was up 1.6 percent.

Saudi Cement rose 1.6 percent after the company said it had sold its 40-percent stake in a Kuwaiti cement company, Grup International Cement, for $6.59 million, and that would be reflected in its books in the second quarter."



'via Blog this'

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Dubai landlords fight to keep hold of tenants but savvy buyers snap up bargains | The National

Dubai landlords fight to keep hold of tenants but savvy buyers snap up bargains | The National:

"Leasing activity in Dubai’s residential market tailed off towards the end of the first quarter as landlords proved more willing to negotiate on rents to keep existing tenants in place, according to a report from Asteco Property Consultants.

Although apartment rent declines were “limited" over the quarter, with affordable areas remaining flat and mid-market communities reporting declines of just 2 per cent, certain submarkets performed considerably worse than others.

At Jumeirah Lakes Towers, for instance, rents declined by 6 per cent quarter-on-quarter and 12 per cent year-on-year by the end of March."



'via Blog this'

Bin Sulayem rebukes Kimberley Process activists | GulfNews.com

Bin Sulayem rebukes Kimberley Process activists | GulfNews.com:

"As the UAE’s first meeting as host of the Kimberley Process (KP) went ahead without representatives from the KP’s Civil Society Coalition (CSC), KP Chair Ahmad Bin Sulayem had this to say to the group’s spokesman: “Get back to work.”

Bin Sulayem, executive chairman of Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC), said he “strongly refuted and rejected” allegations from the CSC, made up of 11 rights groups, about the UAE’s suitability to chair KP. It is the first Arab nation to chair the group, which aims to regulate the international diamond industry to keep so-called “blood diamonds” or “conflict diamonds” off the market.

In his opening comments to the KP Intersessional 2016, at Atlantis, Palm Jumeirah, he said the UAE had agreed to all conditions set by the World Diamond Council, acting as moderators between the CSC and the UAE, but that had not satisfied “self-appointed leader” of the CSC, Alan Martin."



'via Blog this'

Dubai Commercial Real Estate: a Tale of Two Cities - Bloomberg

Dubai Commercial Real Estate: a Tale of Two Cities - Bloomberg:




"Murray Strang, director head of investments UAE at Cluttons, discusses commercial real estate in Dubai and how it's become a tale of two cities and the trends he's seeing. He speaks to Bloomberg's Manus Cranny on "Bloomberg Markets Middle East.""



'via Blog this'

Qatar Bank CEO Says Liquidity Is a ‘Bigger Issue’ Than in 2008 - Bloomberg

Qatar Bank CEO Says Liquidity Is a ‘Bigger Issue’ Than in 2008 - Bloomberg:

"The shortage of liquidity in Qatar is more serious than during the financial crisis, forcing the country’s lenders to adapt their businesses to the low oil-price environment, according to Doha Bank QSC Chief Executive Officer Raghavan Seetharaman.
“Liquidity is a much bigger issue today than it was in 2008,” he said in a TV interview with Bloomberg Markets Middle East on Tuesday. “All of the Gulf countries were running a fiscal surplus and current account surplus in 2008, today they’re running a fiscal and current account deficit. Every institution, including Doha Bank, has to redefine its business model.""



'via Blog this'

Saudi Arabia’s Late Arrival to Eurobond Party Comes With a Cost - Bloomberg

Saudi Arabia’s Late Arrival to Eurobond Party Comes With a Cost - Bloomberg:

"By the time Saudi Arabia taps international investors for a debut bond, it may have to pay extra to lure money managers who have just gorged on debt sold by its neighbors.
When the kingdom invited banks last week to pitch to underwrite a bond issue, it joined the back of the line behind other Middle Eastern companies and states that have already raised $15 billion this year. Qatar is meeting investors this week about a possible $5 billion sale, following a similar-sized transaction from Abu Dhabi last month."



'via Blog this'

TPG Said in Talks to Acquire Abraaj’s Spinneys Chain in Egypt - Bloomberg

TPG Said in Talks to Acquire Abraaj’s Spinneys Chain in Egypt - Bloomberg:

"TPG Capital is in talks to buy the Spinneys supermarket chain in Egypt from Abraaj Group, in what would be the U.S. buyout firm’s first deal in the North African country, two people with knowledge of the matter said.
Fort Worth, Texas-based TPG is the preferred bidder for the business, which may be worth about $100 million, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. The private-equity firm would enter into a franchise agreement with Spinneys as part of the deal, one of the people said. No final decision has been made and talks may still falter, the people said.
TPG teamed up with Abraaj in 2014 to buy a majority stake in Saudi Arabian fast-food chain Kudu, its first investment in the Middle East. TPG was also among bidders for Kuwait Food Co., the operator of KFC restaurants in the Middle East and North Africa. Kuwait Foods is now in talks to sell itself to a group of investors led by Emaar Properties PJSC Chairman Mohamed Alabbar."



'via Blog this'

1MDB Committed to Ending Spat With Abu Dhabi - Bloomberg

1MDB Committed to Ending Spat With Abu Dhabi - Bloomberg:




"1MDB told its shareholders it's committed to end its spat with Abu Dhabi's sovereign-wealth fund that led to a debt default last month. Bloomberg's Haslinda Amin reports on "Bloomberg Markets Middle East." (Source: Bloomberg)"



'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf mostly rises, quieter as Ramadan nears | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf mostly rises, quieter as Ramadan nears | Reuters:

"Most Gulf stock markets rose on Tuesday but trading volumes were small as some investors stayed away because of the approach of the holy month of Ramadan and summer holidays, when activity tends to decrease in some bourses.

Dubai's index spent most of the day little changed but closed 1.0 percent higher after a surge in the final half-hour.

Investment bank Shuaa Capital jumped 3.7 percent in unusually heavy trade after sources told Reuters that it cut about 15 percent of its workforce at the end of last week, ahead of a possible sale of a stake in the company by Dubai Group."



'via Blog this'

Monday, 23 May 2016

UAE banks and SMEs keep lid on bad debt fallout | The National

UAE banks and SMEs keep lid on bad debt fallout | The National:

"The potential fallout from rising levels of bad debt in the small and medium enterprise sector has been contained as banks restructure some of those loans that went sour in the aftermath of the oil price crash, said Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair, the head of the UAE bank federation.

Mr Al Ghurair, who is also the chief executive of the Dubai-based lender Mashreq, last year warned that a number of small business owners may have skipped town, leaving about Dh5 billion of unsettled loans.

“The UAE banking federation has put a framework to work out all the skip customers and this has been a great boost to stabilise our economy, stabilise our SMEs and stabilise the banks," he said in Dubai yesterday on the sidelines of an event hosted by Family Business Council, of which he is chairman, to launch the region’s first bilingual governance guide for family businesses."



'via Blog this'

Dubai's Shuaa Capital cuts 15 pct of staff -sources | Reuters

Dubai's Shuaa Capital cuts 15 pct of staff -sources | Reuters:

"Dubai investment bank Shuaa Capital has cut about 15 percent of its workforce, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters, ahead of a possible sale of a stake in the company by Dubai Group.

Before the lay-offs, which took place at the end of last week, the bank had about 70 employees. Shuaa did not respond to comment when contacted by Reuters.

Dubai Group, a unit of Dubai Holding, the investment vehicle of the emirate's ruler, mandated Emirates NBD in April to arrange a sales process for its 48 percent stake in Shuaa. The stake is worth about 315 million dirhams ($86 million) at stock market prices.

"



'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi slumps over 3 pct, other bourses mixed | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi slumps over 3 pct, other bourses mixed | Reuters:

"Saudi Arabia's stock index sank 3.1 percent on Monday as investors sold shares indiscriminately, while the United Arab Emirates and Qatar held onto small gains. Egypt fell as foreign funds exited the market.

Saudi shares were dumped across the board in the largest single-day decline since the government announced sweeping economic reforms in late April.

"Investors are cashing out and keeping cash available on hand before the extended low-volume season of Ramadan and summer vacations," said Sebastien Henin, head of asset management at Abu Dhabi's The National Investor."



'via Blog this'

GE Signs $3 Billion Investment Deal in Saudi Shift From Oil - Bloomberg

GE Signs $3 Billion Investment Deal in Saudi Shift From Oil - Bloomberg:

"General Electric Co. agreed to participate in as much as $3 billion of investments across industries in Saudi Arabia as the desert kingdom seeks to diversify its economy away from oil.
The U.S. manufacturing giant will collaborate with the Saudi Arabian Industrial Investments Company to pump $1 billion into the local market by the end of next year, GE said Monday in a statement. That could be followed by another $2 billion invested in water, energy, aviation and digital projects in subsequent years, the company said. SAIIC is a joint venture that includes Saudi Arabian Oil Co., or Aramco.
The agreement, announced as part of a visit by GE Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Immelt, is intended to complement the recently announced “Saudi Vision 2030” plan to help the crude-rich nation diversify its economy. The project, championed by Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, includes selling shares in Aramco, creating the world’s biggest sovereign wealth fund and generating more than $100 billion in additional non-oil revenue by 2020."



'via Blog this'

Creditor call edges Ahab collapse case closer to resolution - FT.com

Creditor call edges Ahab collapse case closer to resolution - FT.com:

"A Saudi court has called for creditors to Ahmad Hamad Algosaibi & Brothers, or Ahab, to file claims against the conglomerate in a step towards resolving the region’s worst corporate collapse.
Since the default in 2009 of family-owned Ahab and the Saad group — owned by Maan al-Sanea, a relative of the Algosaibis by marriage — both sides have been embroiled in court battles across the world, in which they blame each other for the collapse. Their assets have been subjected to a royal freezing order."



'via Blog this'

Full Show: Bloomberg Markets Middle East (05/23) - Bloomberg

Full Show: Bloomberg Markets Middle East (05/23) - Bloomberg:


"Full episode of "Bloomberg Markets Middle East." Guests include: Dr. Melhem Melhem, chief economist at Deutsche Securities and Sean Callow, senior FX strategist at Westpac. (Source: Bloomberg)"



'via Blog this'

Bahrain Wealth Fund Plans to Invest Over $400 Million This Year - Bloomberg

Bahrain Wealth Fund Plans to Invest Over $400 Million This Year - Bloomberg:

"Bahrain’s sovereign wealth fund plans to invest more than $400 million this year on international deals as it seeks to further diversify away from domestic assets, according to Chief Executive Officer Mahmood Al Kooheji.
Mumtalakat, as the fund is known, will spend more outside Bahrain this year after the bulk of investments were made in its home market in 2015, Al Kooheji said on Sunday by phone from Manama, declining to give more detail. The fund invested $335 million in Bahrain last year in industrial, manufacturing, real estate and tourism businesses, and made one investment of an undisclosed size internationally. About 57 percent of Mumtalakat’s investments are in Bahrain, Al Kooheji said.
The fund, one of only a few in the Middle East to publish financial statements, reported a 70 percent drop in profit for 2015, largely due to an impairment of its stake in Aluminium Bahrain, Al Kooheji said. Profit fell to $76.3 million even as losses at Bahrain national carrier Gulf Air, which the fund also owns, narrowed to $82.7 million from $174.5 million, the company said in a statement."



'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf bourses diverge in early trade | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf bourses diverge in early trade | Reuters:

"Stock markets in the Gulf trod separate paths on Monday, with Saudi Arabia's market lagging while the two main markets in the United Arab Emirates held on to small gains.

Riyadh's index was down 1.2 percent after an hour of trade amid a sell-off in petrochemical shares after oil prices weakened.

Brent oil was down 0.9 percent at $48.25 a barrel; mid-sized petrochemical producers were hit hardest, with Saudi Kayan dropping 3.0 percent."



'via Blog this'

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Saudi Arabia construction contract awards drop by 51 per cent in first three months | The National

Saudi Arabia construction contract awards drop by 51 per cent in first three months | The National:

"Saudi Arabia’s construction market is in for a “challenging year" as lower oil prices continue to place restrictions on capital spending, according to a new report by National Commercial Bank (NCB).

NCB’s quarterly construction contracts index reports that just 27.9 billion Saudi riyals (Dh27.3bn) of new contract awards were made in the first three months of this year, a 51 per cent year-on-year decline, and a 39 per cent drop on the preceding quarter.

The bulk of contracts awarded were in the private sector, with 47 per cent in oil and gas, 21 per cent in hospitality and 16 per cent in residential property."



'via Blog this'

New test awaits oil as prices rise | The National

New test awaits oil as prices rise | The National:

"Clouds of smoke from wildfires hang over the Canadian town of Fort McMurray; oil leaks from sabotaged pipelines at Nigeria’s Forcados terminal; Venezuela runs out of money to buy oil to mix with its own heavy crude for export; Kuwaiti petroleum workers go on strike over pay; and an Indian tanker is turned around after attempting illegally to export oil from eastern Libya.

These five disparate incidents are linked in two ways. They, and other disruptions, have removed about 2.5 million barrels per day of oil supply, bringing the market closer to balance after two years of glut. Oil prices, which dropped to as low as US$27.50 per barrel in January, rebounded to close to $50 per barrel last week.

But there is also a deeper connection. The forest fires in Alberta are a natural disaster that might happen at any time, but the other disruptions are all linked to low oil prices."



'via Blog this'

Saudi Arabia urges Al Gosaibi creditors to file claims | The National

Saudi Arabia urges Al Gosaibi creditors to file claims | The National:

"The Saudi Arabian government has urged local creditors to the troubled Al Gosaibi family to enter claims against the family or be ruled out of any settlement process.

On the orders of a special tribunal in the Al Gosaibi’s headquarters of Al Khobar, Ahmed Hamed Al Gosaibi and Brothers (Ahab), the partnership that runs the family conglomerate, placed advertisements in Saudi papers asking potential claimants to come forward.

The wording of the ads makes it clear that, unless Saudi banks – owed about US$2 billion by the family – agree to be part of the process, any further claim will not be considered. “Please note that the distribution of creditor funds will be limited only to the applications made in accordance with [Saudi legislation governing enforcement of legal decisions]," said the ads in three newspapers."



'via Blog this'

GCC and Turkey find common ground to rebuild relations | The National

GCC and Turkey find common ground to rebuild relations | The National:

"Ties between the GCC and Turkey are set to improve as their interests align on a number of key regional issues, and despite Ankara’s support for Islamist political parties that has strained ties for the past five years.

The reset in relations was marked by a flurry of diplomatic activity over the past month.

On April 14, the Saudi and Turkish foreign ministers signed an agreement at a ceremony in Istanbul attended by King Salman and president Recep Tayyip Ergogan to create a bilateral strategic cooperation council. On April 26, foreign minister Mevlet Cavusoglu became the first senior Turkish official to visit the UAE in nearly three years when he arrived in the capital for talks with Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces. A day later, the UAE said it was sending an ambassador back to Ankara after a three-year absence."



'via Blog this'

Bahrain sovereign fund Mumtalakat 2015 net profit drops 68.7% | GulfNews.com

Bahrain sovereign fund Mumtalakat 2015 net profit drops 68.7% | GulfNews.com:

"Bahraini sovereign fund Mumtalakat posted a 68.7 per cent drop in 2015 net profit on Sunday, as the state-owned investor cited impairment losses for the decline. Net profit in 2015 was $76.3 million (Dh280 million) against $243.6 million in the previous year, Mumtalakat said in a statement. It added that the reduction in net profit was due to “impairment losses recognised on goodwill” without elaborating. It noted though that the impact was partially offset by a higher contribution from its share of profit from associates and improved operational performance at Gulf Air. (Reuters)"



'via Blog this'

Qatar to raise $5 billion via bonds | GulfNews.com

Qatar to raise $5 billion via bonds | GulfNews.com:

"Qatar may raise $5 billion (Dh18.36 billion) in international capital markets through bonds as it seeks to plug its budget deficit due to falling gas prices, according to reports.

The world’s largest exporter of liquid gas has arranged meetings with investors in Asia, Europe and the US and hired 10 banks to sell the loan.

The bond could be issued on Wednesday, according to a banker involved in the deal, quoted in the report. Moody’s confirmed Qatar’s third-highest investment-grade rating last week."



'via Blog this'

Saudi Arabia’s job policy that needs change | GulfNews.com

Saudi Arabia’s job policy that needs change | GulfNews.com:

"Nearly two years after oil prices began their precipitous decline, leading global producers are facing the prospect of major adjustments that will have far-reaching economic, social, and political consequences.

While such adjustments will surely be enormously challenging — especially for middle-income countries like Saudi Arabia, which lack the massive wealth funds of, say, the UAE — they present these countries with an important opportunity to consider more productive ways to organise their societies.

It seems that Saudi Arabia has embraced this challenge. The long-time oil minister was replaced, soon after the Kingdom issued its Vision 2030 plan for ensuring sustainable long-term growth. The plan has been both hailed and criticised for its ambition, exemplified by the goal of turning the Kingdom into the world’s 15th largest economy over the next two decades — an economy characterised by its skilled labour force, open markets, and good governance."



'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets fall as investors take profits; Egypt sags | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets fall as investors take profits; Egypt sags | Reuters:

"Stock markets in the Gulf fell on Sunday as investors took profits, taking their cue from a dip in Brent oil futures at the end of last week, while concerns over security risks put pressure on Egyptian shares.

Riyadh's stock index dropped 1.0 percent, weighed down by the two largest sectors, banks and petrochemicals. Samba Financial Group and Saudi Basic Industries, the largest listed stock by market value, fell 2.0 and 1.2 percent respectively.

But some retail industry shares, which had largely been weak since reporting quarterly results last month, outperformed the market with Fawaz Alhokair, which owns Saudi rights to clothing brands such as Mango and Banana Republic, surging 9.6 percent. The stock has rebounded 25.5 percent since late last week."



'via Blog this'

Gulf producers must adjust to China’s oil pricing power | The National

Gulf producers must adjust to China’s oil pricing power | The National:

"The growing dominance of China in Asian oil trading is a problem that will not go away for Arabian Gulf crude producers.

The question now is whether the new generation of technocrats that in recent months have taken over the national oil companies in Riyadh, Abu Dhabi and elsewhere in the region will act on pledges to be more transparent and efficient by modernising crude oil trading with their major Asian clients, especially China.

The fact that China has become not only Asia’s dominant oil buyer but the world’s swing consumer was underlined last week by Platts, an arm of McGraw Hill Financial whose oil pricing system is a linchpin of Asian oil trading."



'via Blog this'

S&P affirms Oman’s rating | The National

S&P affirms Oman’s rating | The National:

"Standard & Poor’s has affirmed its BBB-/A-3’ rating on Oman, even as lower oil prices keep adding pressure on the Arabian Gulf oil exporter.

The ratings agency added that the sultanate’s outlook was stable.

“The stable outlook reflects the balance between our expectation that Oman can broadly maintain its fiscal and external stock positions over 2016-2019 against risks from weakening economic income, fiscal and external flows," it said."



'via Blog this'

Abu Dhabi Stocks in Worst Run Since October as Gulf Markets Drop - Bloomberg

Abu Dhabi Stocks in Worst Run Since October as Gulf Markets Drop - Bloomberg:

"Abu Dhabi stocks headed for the longest losing streak since October as most Gulf Arab equity markets declined.
The ADX General Index fell 0.4 percent to 4,220.24 at 11:13 a.m. local time, extending its drop for a sixth day. Emirates Telecommunications Group Co., the largest telecom company in the Middle East also known as Etisalat, led the retreat with a 1.1 percent drop. Qatar’s QE Index eased 0.1 percent and Kuwait’s SE Price Index lost 0.3 percent.
Dubai’s DFM General Index decreased 0.1 percent. Oman’s MSM 30 Index was little changed. Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index slipped 0.2 percent."



'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets edge lower in early trade | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets edge lower in early trade | Reuters:

"Stock markets in the Gulf edged down in early trade on Sunday as investors took profits, encouraged by a dip in Brent oil futures at the end of last week.

Riyadh's stock index lost 0.2 percent, weighed down by the petrochemical sector. Saudi Basic Industries, the largest listed stock by market value, was down 0.6 percent.

But some retail industry shares, which had largely been weak since reporting quarterly results last month, outperformed the market with Jarir Marketing up 0.2 percent. Shares in the company are however down 6.4 percent since last month."



'via Blog this'

Saturday, 21 May 2016

India says will sign Iran port contract during Modi’s trip | GulfNews.com

India says will sign Iran port contract during Modi’s trip | GulfNews.com:

"India will on Monday sign a commercial contract with Iran to build and run a strategic port on Iran’s southern coast, the Indian government said on Friday, to help it gain a foothold in Iran and win access to central Asia and Afghanistan.

Talks to build the Chabahar port have been on for years but since the scaling back of Western sanctions against Iran, India has pushed hard for the project so it doesn’t lose out to other such as China, who are keen to invest.

The deal under which India will develop two terminals and cargo berths at Chabahar, on the Gulf of Oman, will be signed during a visit by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Iran beginning on Sunday."



'via Blog this'

Friday, 20 May 2016

Saudi Arabia in talks with banks over bond sale - FT.com

Saudi Arabia in talks with banks over bond sale - FT.com:

"Saudi Arabia is advancing plans for its first international bond sale as the kingdom seeks to address damage caused to its public finances by lower oil prices.
A number of international banks have been asked to indicate their terms to arrange a sovereign debt issue, according to people familiar with the situation."



'via Blog this'

Market Minute -- oil and gas lead the way - YouTube

Market Minute -- oil and gas lead the way - YouTube: ""



'via Blog this'

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Analysis: A non-specific Saudi statement of intent | The National

Analysis: A non-specific Saudi statement of intent | The National:

"The IMF has given Saudi Arabia’s reforms its seal of approval – while admitting that it doesn’t quite know exactly what they are.

Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s objectives are “bold and far-reaching". But we must await the “supporting policies [that will] set out how these goals will be achieved", the IMF says.

Mohammed Alyahya, a consultant and researcher at a Saudi think tank, writing in the Financial Times, argues that nit-picking through the specifics misses the point. “Visions are, by their very nature, idealistic and ambitious", he writes, while what is “more important even than the detail of this vis­ion is the team behind it", a rare illustration of meritocracy in the gerontocratic state.

"



'via Blog this'

GCC sovereign ratings diverge as economic impact of oil price varies | GulfNews.com

GCC sovereign ratings diverge as economic impact of oil price varies | GulfNews.com:

"The credit ratings of all GCC countries have come under pressure following the sharp decline oil prices over the past two years, which resulted in a squeeze on government finances.

However, analysts say there is a clear divergence in terms of ratings and the outlook among countries depending on their perceived resilience to the oil shock.

Saudi Arabia, the largest economy in the GCC, has been downgraded along with Oman and Bahrain by leading credit rating agencies such as Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch since the beginning of this year."



'via Blog this'

Iran’s London Charm Offensive Met With Wariness on Sanctions - Bloomberg

Iran’s London Charm Offensive Met With Wariness on Sanctions - Bloomberg:

"Investing in Iran is being held up by a lack of trust in market infrastructure and concern lingering sanctions will penalize western companies, money managers said at a conference in London.
While the lifting of most curbs after the country’s nuclear deal with world powers last year is luring some smaller investors, most are staying away from the market of 80 million consumers as they remain doubtful of Iran’s ability to protect their investments. To win back their trust, Tehran sent 50 policy makers and finance executives to meet their European counterparts at the first-ever Euromoney conference dedicated to the country.
“From the investor perspective, it’s the uncertainty,” Salman Ahmed, chief investment strategist at Lombard Odier Investment Managers, said at the conference on Thursday. “We have no influence on geopolitics. There are a lot of question marks right now.”
"



'via Blog this'

How the Second-Richest Arab Nation Is Reacting to Oil Shock - Bloomberg

How the Second-Richest Arab Nation Is Reacting to Oil Shock - Bloomberg:


"The man in charge of helping Kuwait navigate the global oil-price shock said the Middle East’s second-richest nation is responding to the crisis by “spending as much as possible” to bolster economic growth.
Anas Al-Saleh, Kuwait’s deputy premier, said that the government isn’t canceling any projects. At the same time, authorities are cutting wasteful spending to plug a budget deficit that could exceed 13 percent of gross domestic product in 2016, according to International Monetary Fund estimates.
Al-Saleh, the minister of finance and the country’s acting oil chief, is pushing a plan to reduce Kuwait’s reliance on oil, a challenge shared by major crude exporters from Saudi Arabia to Nigeria. The measures include reducing utility subsidies, introducing corporate taxes, merging state entities to downsize the government and tapping local and international debt markets."



'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Markets retreat on weak oil, U.S. rate worries | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Markets retreat on weak oil, U.S. rate worries | Reuters:

"Middle East stock markets lost ground on Thursday after oil prices retreated and global equity prices fell on speculation the United States might raise interest rates as early as June.

The Saudi stock index dropped 0.6 percent in a broad-based decline as losers outnumbered gainers by 126 to 27.

Miner Ma'aden, which had been surging for several weeks on hopes it will benefit from an emphasis on developing the mining industry in Saudi Arabia's economic reform plan, dropped 2.2 percent.

"



'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf pulls back on weaker oil, U.S. rate outlook | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf pulls back on weaker oil, U.S. rate outlook | Reuters:

"Gulf stock markets lost ground in early trade on Thursday after oil prices retreated and Asian stocks fell on speculation the United States would raise interest rates as early as June.

The Saudi index dropped 0.4 percent in a broad-based decline during the first hour> Losers outnumbered gainers 119 to 28.

Miner Ma'aden, which has been surging for several weeks on hopes it will benefit from an emphasis on developing the mining industry in Saudi Arabia's economic reform plan, dropped 2.4 percent.

"



'via Blog this'

Kuwait's Al-Saleh: See Oil Around $50 for 2016 - Bloomberg

Kuwait's Al-Saleh: See Oil Around $50 for 2016 - Bloomberg:

"Acting Oil Minister and Deputy Prime Minister of Kuwait Anas Al-Saleh Kuwait's sovereign wealth fund, his outlook for oil prices and their investment plans. He speaks to Manus Cranny on "Bloomberg Markets Middle East." (Source: Bloomberg)"



'via Blog this'

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Commodity prices on a tear | Short View - YouTube

Commodity prices on a tear | Short View - YouTube: ""



'via Blog this'

UAE’s legal structure must evolve as its economy grows | The National

UAE’s legal structure must evolve as its economy grows | The National:

"An economy becomes more complex as it matures. Just as an economy develops the capacity to handle market complexity, so it must build the capacity to resolve the issues that greater complexity will inevitably generate.

In stock market terms, Arabian Gulf economies have moved from “pioneer" to “emergent". That description would seem to be behind the curve. Even so, the trend is evident.

Gulf states are in the process of developing legal architecture to match. As William Blair, a commercial court judge in England, recently noted: “The importance of commercial justice is linked to economic development." This means setting up specialist courts (or circuits, or lists). It means providing specially trained judges with appropriate expertise. It means encouraging specialist professional competence among advocates."



'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Egypt lifted by foreign money; Gulf bourses lose steam | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Egypt lifted by foreign money; Gulf bourses lose steam | Reuters:

"Foreign funds boosted the Egyptian stock market for a second straight day on Wednesday, exchange data showed, while Gulf bourses lost steam as investors took profits.

Cairo's main index added 1.2 percent following its 1.9 percent jump on Tuesday, taking the bourse's gains for 2016 to 9.0 percent. Global Telecom Holding, a stock preferred by international managers, gained 1.1 percent.

"For now foreign fund managers seem to be at ease with current FX prices, and find the market attractive at current levels compared to other emerging markets," said a Cairo-based fund manager.

"



'via Blog this'

Full Show: Bloomberg Markets Middle East (05/18) - Bloomberg

Full Show: Bloomberg Markets Middle East (05/18) - Bloomberg:

"Bloomberg Markets Middle East hosted by Manus Cranny and Yvonne Man. Guests include Patrick George, global head of equities at HSBC, Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, chief executive officer and chairman at DP World, and Mohammed Ali Yasin, managing director at NBAD Securities. (Source: Bloomberg)"



'via Blog this'

Middle East needs to close gender gap to spur growth | beyondbrics

Middle East needs to close gender gap to spur growth | beyondbrics:

"For years, the Middle East and North Africa has been grappling with conflict, widespread unemployment, and civil unrest. Today, governments across the region face the additional challenges of an unprecedented refugee influx, inadequate infrastructure after years of neglect, and lukewarm investor sentiment. With all of this, should closing gender gaps be a priority in the region?

A growing body of evidence makes a strong business case for saying “yes” and ensuring that women are fully integrated into the economy. A report from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) found that if Egypt leveled the economic playing field, for example, it could boost its GDP by 34 per cent.

According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO), women’s work is an important poverty-reducing factor in developing economies. Greater earnings by women could result in higher spending on school enrollment for children, including girls. Economies in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) gain tremendously from closing economic gender gaps."



'via Blog this'

Fracking will provide a buffer for consumers as oil price rises - FT.com

Fracking will provide a buffer for consumers as oil price rises - FT.com:

"Oil producers in the US have already ridden to the rescue of consumers once this decade. Soon they may have a chance to do it again. The oil market has been hit by a series of shocks, from wildfires in Canada to militant attacks in Nigeria, which have taken an estimated 3m barrels a day from global supplies.
The glut that has sent prices plunging since 2014 has been clearing faster than expected. Internationally traded Brent crude, which was about $27 per barrel in January, is hovering at about $50. With Russian production expected to decline and Venezuela staring into the abyss, there is a real risk that further disruptions will drive prices higher still."



'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Most Gulf bourses slip in early trade, Saudi firm | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Most Gulf bourses slip in early trade, Saudi firm | Reuters:

"Most Gulf bourses were weak in early trade on Wednesday as investors booked profits, while Saudi Arabia's index edged up.

Saudi Arabia's Advanced Petrochemical surged 3.5 percent after the company announced plans to increase its share capital by 20 percent to support future growth. The company also said it recommended distributing a cash dividend of 0.75 riyal per share for the first quarter.

"We expect the company will distribute 3.0 riyals per share for 2016. If annualised, the dividend yield will be 6 percent," said a note by NCB Capital. The range of dividend yields is between 4 and 9 percent for Saudi petrochemical producers, according to Reuters data."



'via Blog this'

IMF calls for Iran reforms to attract international investors - FT.com

IMF calls for Iran reforms to attract international investors - FT.com:

"Iran must implement macroeconomic and structural reforms and combat money laundering and terrorist-financing if it is to reintegrate into the global economy, the International Monetary Fund said on Tuesday.
“The first and most basic requirement for access to international markets is maintaining good macroeconomic policies so you are viewed as a good credit . . . and creating an environment in which the economy has a better growth prospect,” David Lipton, the IMF’s first deputy managing director, said in Tehran."



'via Blog this'

Qatar raises stake in British Airways parent company - FT.com

Qatar raises stake in British Airways parent company - FT.com:

"Qatar Airways has raised its stake in the owner of British Airways for the second time in less than a month and signalled it could increase it further.
The Doha-based carrier, the largest shareholder in International Airlines Group since last year, said on Tuesday that it had upped its stake in IAG from 12 to 15 per cent.
The government-controlled airline added that it could look to “increase its stake over time within the allowable limits”, acknowledging the ownership restrictions that apply to non-EU shareholders in EU airlines."



'via Blog this'

IMF Visits Iran to Assess Reconnect to Global Economy - Bloomberg

IMF Visits Iran to Assess Reconnect to Global Economy - Bloomberg:

"The IMF says Iran must tackle problems in its banking system and bolster terrorism financing laws if it wants to reconnect with the global economy. Bloomberg's Ladane Nasseri reports on "Bloomberg Markets Middle East." (Source: Bloomberg)"



'via Blog this'

IMF Questions Abu Dhabi's Austerity - Bloomberg

IMF Questions Abu Dhabi's Austerity - Bloomberg:

"Months of cheap oil have forced many of the gulf nations to tighten the purse strings. Abu Dhabi reduced its spending by one-fifth and plans to cut another 17% this year. The IMF is concerned that such austerity may cause unnecessary pain. Bloomberg's Zainab Fattah reports on "Bloomberg Markets Middle East." (Source: Bloomberg)"



'via Blog this'

Qatar Hires JLo to Promote New Route to Delta's Hometown - Bloomberg

Qatar Hires JLo to Promote New Route to Delta's Hometown - Bloomberg:

"The chief executive of Qatar Airways Ltd. -- and chief antagonist of Delta Air Lines Inc. -- has said that his new Atlanta-Doha route would “rub salt in the wounds” of his U.S. rival. Jennifer Lopez will be on hand to shake out the first dash.
On Tuesday night the Persian Gulf airline will celebrate flights linking Qatar’s capital to Delta’s headquarters city, with J. Lo, as the star is known, expected to perform at the city’s historic Fox Theatre in front of Qatar CEO Akbar Al Baker and guests. 
Delta fired back hours before Lopez’s show, saying it wouldn’t renew its sponsorship of the Fox next year after more than 20 years of support."



'via Blog this'

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Moody’s confirms ratings of five Abu Dhabi banks with negative outlook | GulfNews.com

Moody’s confirms ratings of five Abu Dhabi banks with negative outlook | GulfNews.com:

"Credit rating agency Moody’s yesterday confirmed the deposits ratings of five UAE banks National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD), Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB), Union National Bank PJSC (UNB), Al Hilal Bank (AHB) and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB).

These rating actions follows recent confirmation of the UAE Government rating. The current ratings of these banks are NBAD: Aa3, ADCB: A1, UNB: A1, Al Hilal Bank: A1 and ADIB: A2.

All five banks’ ratings have been placed on negative outlook. The action concludes Moody’s review for downgrade of five UAE banks’ ratings that was initiated in March this year."



'via Blog this'

Saudi Arabia’s Dabbagh Said to Work With JPMorgan on Stake Sale - Bloomberg

Saudi Arabia’s Dabbagh Said to Work With JPMorgan on Stake Sale - Bloomberg:

"Saudi Arabia’s Dabbagh Group is reviving plans to sell a minority stake in its lubricants and automotive services unit Petromin Corp, people with knowledge of the matter said.
Dabbagh is working with JPMorgan Chase & Co. on the sale of about 20 percent of the business, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private. The company could be valued at about $1.5 billion, the people said, though no final agreements have been reached and talks may still falter.
Dabbagh Group, a family-owned group with interests from automobiles to real estate and food, bought a 49 percent stake held by India’s Hinduja Group to take full control of Petromin in 2013. The family-owned firm canceled plans to sell a 20 percent stake in 2014 and was also weighing an initial public offering."



'via Blog this'

Iran Must Fix Own Banks to Win Overseas Business, IMF Says - Bloomberg

Iran Must Fix Own Banks to Win Overseas Business, IMF Says - Bloomberg:

"Iran must tackle problems in its banking system and bolster anti-money laundering and terrorism-financing laws if it wants to reconnect to the global economy, the second-ranked official at the International Monetary Fund said in an interview in Tehran.
“The best thing the government can do, and the banks can do, is to bring those standards up to international levels and try to reassure foreign partners, banks and otherwise that Iran’s banks are safe to deal with,” David Lipton, Managing Director Christine Lagarde’s deputy at the Washington-based lender, said on Tuesday.
Though most sanctions were lifted following Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers, European lenders have said doing business is risky while other U.S. trade restrictions remain in place. Shortly after Lipton gave a speech at Iran’s central bank, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif again called on the U.S. to give adequate assurances to foreign banks wanting to do business with his country, the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency reported."



'via Blog this'

Full Show: Bloomberg Markets Middle East (05/17) - Bloomberg

Full Show: Bloomberg Markets Middle East (05/17) - Bloomberg:

"Bloomberg Markets Middle East hosted by Manus Cranny. Guests include Ashraf Laidi, chief executive officer and founder at Intermarket Strategy, and Gary Chapman, Dnata president at Emirates Group Services. (Source: Bloomberg)"



'via Blog this'

Senate passes bill allowing 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia | Reuters

Senate passes bill allowing 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia | Reuters:

"The U.S. Senate passed legislation on Tuesday that would allow families of Sept. 11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia's government for damages, setting up a potential showdown with the White House, which has threatened a veto.

The Saudis, who deny responsibility for the 2001 attacks, strongly object to the bill. They had said they might sell up to $750 billion in U.S. securities and other American assets in retaliation if it became law.

The "Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act," or JASTA, passed the Senate by unanimous voice vote. It must next be taken up by the U.S. House of Representatives, where the Judiciary Committee intends to hold a hearing on the measure in the near future, a committee aide said."



'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Oil aids most Gulf bourses, Egypt lifted by foreign funds | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Oil aids most Gulf bourses, Egypt lifted by foreign funds | Reuters:

"Shares in most Gulf bourses were firm on Tuesday as oil prices held near this year's highs, while Egypt's stock index climbed as international funds flowed back into the market.

Saudi petrochemical shares were strong with the sub-index rising 1.3 percent, its fifth straight session of gains. The main stock index rose 0.6 percent.

Etihad Etisalat (Mobily) jumped 4.6 percent after it said lenders who had not already agreed in December to waive breaches in loan terms had now done so."



'via Blog this'

Saudi Arabia's attempt to reduce reliance on oil has the world rapt | Business | The Guardian

Saudi Arabia's attempt to reduce reliance on oil has the world rapt | Business | The Guardian:

"Saudi Arabia has captured the world’s attention with the announcement of an ambitious agenda, called Vision 2030, aimed at overhauling the structure of its economy. The plan would reduce historical high dependence on oil by transforming how the kingdom generates income, as well as how it spends and manages its vast resources. It is supported by detailed action plans, the initial implementation of which has already involved headline-grabbing institutional changes in a country long known for caution and gradualism.

While the immediate catalyst for economic restructuring is the impact of the sharp fall in international oil prices, the rationale for these reforms has been evident for much longer. With oil sales generating the bulk of government revenues, and with the public sector being the predominant employer, Saudi officials have long worried that the kingdom’s lack of economic diversity could place at risk its long-term financial security.

The more than halving of oil prices in the last 18 months has been accompanied by a major change in how the oil market functions. With growth in non-traditional sources of energy – particularly the “shale revolution”, which drove a near-doubling in US production, to almost 10m barrels per day, in just four years – the Saudi-led OPEC oil cartel has less influence on market prices. In addition, certain members of OPEC, again led by Saudi Arabia, are now less willing to try to moderate fluctuations in the price of oil, as they correctly recognize that “swing producers” risk durable losses in market share."



'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi, Dubai rise; Mobily up on waiver of loan breaches | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi, Dubai rise; Mobily up on waiver of loan breaches | Reuters:

"Saudi shares rose early on Tuesday, lifted by firmer oil prices and news that Saudi Arabia's second-largest telecommunications operator Mobily had secured waivers from all its lenders on breaches of loan agreements.

Real estate stocks lifted the Dubai index.

Etihad Etisalat (Mobily) jumped 6.7 percent after it said lenders who had not already agreed in December to waive breaches in loan terms had now done so."



'via Blog this'

Gulf Bond Sales Return, And This Time It’s None of Your Business - Bloomberg

Gulf Bond Sales Return, And This Time It’s None of Your Business - Bloomberg:

"Gulf borrowers are back in the bond market, and a new pattern is emerging.
As debt sales from issuers in the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council surge by a third, Bahrain and Oman have opted to privately place sovereign issues. Bloomberg data show a jump in transactions done out of the public eye, and Abu Dhabi’s biggest bank says the number of such deals it has helped manage this year is 10 times the same period in 2015.
“We have seen a significant uptick in the volume of private placement issuance,” said Andy Cairns, the global head of debt origination and distribution at National Bank of Abu Dhabi PJSC. They are “a discrete means of accessing under-the-radar liquidity, albeit at higher cost, without contaminating their public curves,” he said."



'via Blog this'