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Friday, 30 September 2016

Boeing said to be nearing $6.7b Qatar deal | GulfNews.com

Boeing said to be nearing $6.7b Qatar deal | GulfNews.com:

"Boeing Co is nearing an agreement with Qatar’s flagship airline for a multibillion-dollar commercial jet order, following US approval of a long-stalled sale of F-15 fighter jets to the Arabian Gulf nation.
Qatar Airways is in late-stage talks to acquire at least 30 Boeing wide-body jets and would take 787 Dreamliner and 777 models, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private. The order would be valued at upwards of $6.7 billion (Dh24.5 billion) at catalogue prices, although airlines typically negotiate discounts.
Akbar Al Baker, chief executive officer of government-owned Qatar Airways, told reporters in late August that the carrier was poised to make a “large” aircraft purchase, adding to its backlog of orders for Boeing and Airbus Group SE planes. The US approved fighter-jet sales to Arabian Gulf allies including Qatar, Bloomberg News reported Wednesday."



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Early Signs of OPEC Supply After Algiers Deal Show Saudi Dilemma - Bloomberg

Early Signs of OPEC Supply After Algiers Deal Show Saudi Dilemma - Bloomberg:

"Just days after OPEC agreed the framework for its first production cut in eight years, initial estimates of the group’s output this month show the potential bind faced by its most powerful member.
While Saudi Arabia lowered output this month -- following the typical seasonal shift as local consumption sags at the end of summer -- the group’s overall output remained steady as Nigeria and Libya restored disrupted supplies and Iran continued its return from international sanctions, according to data from Vienna-based consultants JBC Energy GmbH.
Saudi output fell by 140,000 barrels a day to 10.5 million a day last month, the data show. At the same time, Nigeria added 90,000 barrels a day and Libya pumped an extra 30,000, JBC said. That left total OPEC output stable at 33.5 million daily barrels, illustrating the challenge the Gulf kingdom may face to deliver on the Sept. 28 pledge to reduce the group’s output to 32.5 million to 33 million barrels a day."



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Thursday, 29 September 2016

Nissan delays Sunderland investment plans — FT.com

Nissan delays Sunderland investment plans — FT.com:

"Nissan is delaying new investments in its Sunderland plant until the UK has concluded Brexit negotiations with the EU, its chief executive said on Thursday in the first public admission by a carmaker that concerns over future tariffs are hurting business decisions.

Carlos Ghosn, who also runs France’s Renault, said the Japanese carmaker would defer decisions on where to build new generations of models currently assembled in Britain’s largest car factory until it knows whether it will face tariffs when exporting to the EU. The UK plant, which makes more than half a million cars a year, is heavily dependent on exports to the single market.

“Important investment decisions will not be made in the dark,” Mr Ghosn said at the Paris Motor Show."



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Right to sue over 9/11 risks Saudi pullout from US, say bankers — FT.com

Right to sue over 9/11 risks Saudi pullout from US, say bankers — FT.com:

"US legislation that allows families of victims of the 9/11 attacks to sue Saudi Arabia threatens to deter investment in the US and risks triggering the sale of billions of dollars of assets, Gulf bankers warn.

The US Congress voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday to override a presidential veto of legislation that waives claims of foreign immunity for terrorist attacks in the US.

Riyadh has not responded officially to the congressional vote. But Saudis have privately expressed concern to bankers that their assets could eventually become the target of legal action."



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U.S. 9/11 law exasperates Saudis, government silent | Reuters

U.S. 9/11 law exasperates Saudis, government silent | Reuters:

"A U.S. law allowing lawsuits against Saudi Arabia over the Sept. 11 attacks met a stony silence from Riyadh on Thursday but some Saudis bristled, saying the kingdom should curb business and security ties in response.

The Senate and House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday to approve legislation that will allow the families of those killed in the 2001 attacks on the United States to seek damages from the Saudi government.

Riyadh has always dismissed suspicions that it backed the attackers, who killed nearly 3,000 people under the banner of Islamist militant group al Qaeda. Fifteen out of the 19 hijackers were Saudi nationals."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi rebounds on OPEC deal but ends week with big loss | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi rebounds on OPEC deal but ends week with big loss | Reuters:

"Saudi Arabia's stock market rebounded on Thursday on the back of petrochemical shares, which rallied in response to OPEC's deal to restrain oil output, but the bourse posted a big weekly loss because of government austerity measures.

Petrochemical firms, their profit margins closely tied to oil prices, recovered after Brent oil surged above $48 a barrel overnight on the OPEC deal in Algeria. The largest petrochemical producer, Saudi Basic Industries, gained 3.5 percent.

This encouraged buying back of a range of stocks and the insurance sub-index, which had seen many of its constituents drop their 10 percent daily limits in recent days, rebounded 2.4 percent. BUPA Arabia, the largest medical insurance provider, jumped 4.1 percent."



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Saudi riyal falls, bond may be delayed after U.S. Congress vote | Reuters

Saudi riyal falls, bond may be delayed after U.S. Congress vote | Reuters:

"The Saudi riyal fell against the U.S. dollar in the forward foreign exchange market on Thursday after the U.S. Congress voted to allow relatives of victims of the Sept. 11 attacks to sue Saudi Arabia.

Any legal action could take years to wind through the U.S. court system, and analysts said there might be little if any impact on the Saudi economy or state finances. But the decision by Congress was an unwelcome reminder of political and financial pressures on Riyadh as low oil prices strain its budget.

Saudi Arabia has been preparing to make its first international issue of sovereign bonds next month to raise $10 billion or more, but some Gulf bankers said the issue might now be delayed to give investors time to digest the news."



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Fitch: Low Oil Prices Weakens State Support and Operating Environment for GCC Banks | Reuters

Fitch: Low Oil Prices Weakens State Support and Operating Environment for GCC Banks | Reuters:

"Fitch Ratings says the sovereign willingness to provide support for Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) banks has remained extremely strong and virtually no progress towards resolution has been made. Nevertheless, the sovereign ability to provide support has diminished in Saudi Arabia, Oman and Bahrain with the fall in oil prices since mid-2014 and this has reduced the average Issuer Default Rating (IDR) by one notch in these three countries in the past 12 months. In its 2016 compendium on GCC banks, Fitch says of the IDRs assigned by the agency to banks in the GCC region, 96% are investment-grade and 82% are driven by potential sovereign support. Just over half of Viability Ratings (VRs), which measure banks' individual credit profiles, are investment-grade and risk appetite/asset quality the main shortfalls. The operating environment has become a constraint on VRs in Saudi Arabia, Oman and Bahrain following the fall in oil prices. The average VRs in Saudi Arabia and Oman have been downgraded by one notch in the past 12 months."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi remains weak despite oil rally, rest of Gulf firm | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi remains weak despite oil rally, rest of Gulf firm | Reuters:

"An overnight rally in oil prices after an OPEC production deal helped lift most Gulf stock markets in early trade on Thursday but Saudi Arabia's bourse contined to drop.

Saudi petrochemical shares, which make up roughly one-quarter of the market's capitalisation, jumped after Brent oil surged over $48 a barrel. The largest producer, Saudi Basic Industries, gained 1.9 percent.

But the main Saudi market index resumed its descent and fell 0.5 percent after 40 minutes of trade, heading for a third day of declines. In the previous two days, it slid 7.1 percent."



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Opec agrees on oil output cut at Algiers meeting — FT.com

Opec agrees on oil output cut at Algiers meeting — FT.com:

"Some of the world’s biggest oil producers have agreed to cut production for the first time in eight years, sending crude prices higher by more than 6 per cent and sparking big gains for energy stocks.

After more than four hours of talks in Algeria on Wednesday Opec committed itself to reducing output to between 32.5m barrels a day and 33m b/d, according to ministers.

The agreement surprised oil traders who thought a consensus would be difficult to reach because of divisions between Saudi Arabia and Iran, two of Opec’s largest and most influential members. Brent crude jumped $2.84 a barrel to $48.85."



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Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Opec agrees on need for output cut — FT.com

Opec agrees on need for output cut — FT.com:

"Some of the world’s biggest oil producers have agreed on the need to cut production for the first time in eight years, sending crude prices higher by more than 5 per cent.

After four-and-a-half hours of discussions in Algeria on Wednesday, the 14 member group has reached a consensus that output cuts are needed to help lift prices and rebalance the market, according to Opec delegates, report David Sheppard in Algiers and Anjli Raval and Neil Hume in London.

Iran’s state news agency Shana quoted the country’s oil minister Bijan Zanganeh as saying:"



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US Senate’s 9/11 vote raises heat on Saudi Arabia — FT.com

US Senate’s 9/11 vote raises heat on Saudi Arabia — FT.com:

"The US Senate voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday to override a presidential veto on a bill allowing the families of 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia. The legislation is part of a potential sea change in the kingdom’s relationships with the west over its alleged connection to religious extremism and its conduct of the war in Yemen.

Despite fierce last-minute lobbying by the administration and the Saudi embassy in Washington, the Senate voted 97-1 to support the bill, which President Barack Obama vetoed last week.

While Riyadh is still considered by the US and Britain to be a critical partner in counter-terrorism operations and the fight against Isis, the Saudis are having to adjust to a more openly critical political mood in many capitals."



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Sharjah launches bid for 30% increase in foreign direct investment | The National

Sharjah launches bid for 30% increase in foreign direct investment | The National:

"Sharjah launched its bid for an increase of 30 per cent in foreign direct investment on Wednesday.

Home to a third of the UAE’s manufacturing capacity, with GDP growing by 8 per cent in 2015, the emirate is looking to show off its unique logistical pre-eminence in the UAE with ports sitting on both coasts. It believes its maritime expertise, coupled with its international airport and a growing population of 1.2 million means it has many attractions to FDI.


"We have focused and specific targets," said Mohammed Juma Al Musharrakh, the deputy director of Sharjah FDI at Shurooq said at the Sharjah FDI Forum on Wednesday. "We are targeting the UK after its Brexit decision along with India, the US and China. The sectors we are focused on are tourism, renewable energy, health care and logistics. We have the Government of Sharjah behind the new initiative with a new free zone, the only one in the UAE just for publishing.""



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Shurooq launches ‘Invest in Sharjah’ initiative | GulfNews.com

Shurooq launches ‘Invest in Sharjah’ initiative | GulfNews.com:

"His Highness Dr Shaikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, witnessed on Wednesday the launch of ‘Invest in Sharjah’, an initiative aimed at showcasing investment opportunities in the emirate to businessmen and investors across all sectors.
‘Invest in Sharjah’ was launched by the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) at the Sharjah Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Forum. It is a venture undertaken in collaboration with government agencies in the emirate.
The initiative incorporates a vision that is aligned with the economic changes and paradigm shifts. Its goal is to help investors fully capitalise on the emirate’s different elements and provide them with more facilities and investment advantages, according to a statement from Shurooq."



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Cosco Shipping Signs $738 Million Deal to Expand U.A.E. Port - Bloomberg

Cosco Shipping Signs $738 Million Deal to Expand U.A.E. Port - Bloomberg:

"Cosco Shipping Co., a unit of China’s biggest shipping group, agreed to build and operate a new container terminal in Abu Dhabi, securing a foothold in the Gulf with a $738 million deal that would more than double cargo-handling capacity at Khalifa port.
The company signed an accord with state-run Abu Dhabi Ports Co. on Wednesday to invest in a planned second terminal at Khalifa, boosting the port’s capacity to about 6 million 20-foot containers from 2.5 million currently. The 35-year agreement will boost Abu Dhabi’s role in regional logistics, Abu Dhabi Ports Chairman Sultan Al Jaber said at a news conference at Khalifa. 
The concession is valued at about $738 million, Cosco Shipping said in a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange. It’s the Chinese company’s first such deal in the Gulf, Abu Dhabi Ports Chief Executive Officer Mohamed Al Shamsi said in an interview.
"



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OPEC could announce oil freeze in Algeria, details later: sources | Reuters

OPEC could announce oil freeze in Algeria, details later: sources | Reuters:

"OPEC could announce an output-freeze deal on Wednesday in Algeria, although full details are unlikely to be firmed up before a formal meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries in November, two OPEC sources said.

They spoke on condition of anonymity as no decision had yet been reached at OPEC's informal meeting in Algiers. The meeting has been going on for more than two hours."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi leads region down on weak oil, austerity steps | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi leads region down on weak oil, austerity steps | Reuters:

"Saudi Arabia's stock market fell sharply for a second straight day on Wednesday, leading the entire region down, in response to weak oil prices and government austerity measures.

The Saudi equities index, which had retreated 3.8 percent on Tuesday, sank a further 3.4 percent to 5,534 points, its lowest finish since Jan. 21. It has tumbled 19.5 percent from a peak in April.

Trading volume climbed to a two-month high as the index fell below technical support on the February low of 5,551 points, though it closed off its intra-day low. It has stronger support at the January low of 5,349 points."



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Shurooq chief wants Sharjah to bring Bollywood to the emirate | GulfNews.com

Shurooq chief wants Sharjah to bring Bollywood to the emirate | GulfNews.com:

"Sharjah should develop favourable policies and incentives to attract Bollywood film production to the emirate, the chief executive of Sharjah Investment & Development Authority (Shurooq) said on Tuesday.
Film production could be a major windfall for the emirate’s economy that aims to attract 10 million visitors a year by 2021, Shurooq chief executive Marwan Bin Jassim Al Sarkal told Gulf News in an interview at his offices in Sharjah. “It’s just a matter of tapping into the opportunities.”
Incentives to film in the United Arab Emirates do exist. Abu Dhabi offers a 30 per cent cash rebate on productions. That has helped Abu Dhabi lure big films, including Star Wars: The Force Awakens and The Bourne Legacy. The idea is that major productions will inject cash into the local economy and bring tourists who watch the locations in the film."



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Sharjah FDI Forum kicks off | GulfNews.com

Sharjah FDI Forum kicks off | GulfNews.com:

"The second edition of the Sharjah Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Forum opened on Wednesday, with more than 300 financial experts, top entrepreneurs and businessmen from around the world.
The forum kicked off with opening remarks from Shaikh Dr. Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council of the UAE and Ruler of Sharjah.
Today, industry experts will discuss a range of topics, such as investment opportunities in the UAE beyond oil; strengthening trade links between the UAE and Europe; and harnessing the investment potential in the UAE’s transportation and logistics sector to meet with expanding trade demand. "



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What Caused the Drop in Saudi Stocks? - Bloomberg

What Caused the Drop in Saudi Stocks? - Bloomberg:

"Tarek Fadlallah, Middle East chief executive officer at Nomura Asset Management, discusses the drop in Saudi stocks, what it would take to get investors back in the market and what we can expect from the OPEC talks in Algiers. He speaks to Angie Lau and Yousef Gamal El-Din on "Bloomberg Markets Middle East.""



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UPDATE 1-Russia's Sakhalin oil output to rise by 8 pct in 2016 - regional govt | Reuters

UPDATE 1-Russia's Sakhalin oil output to rise by 8 pct in 2016 - regional govt | Reuters:

"Russia's Pacific island of Sakhalin is expected to increase oil production by 8 percent in 2016 from a year ago, a regional official said, which would add to the global glut the industry currently faces.

Russia and the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries are gathering in Algeria this week in a second attempt this year to cooperate on global oil markets to stabilise prices. Yet, the task looks hard as hopes are fading that Saudi Arabia and Iran would find a compromise, while production is growing in Russia.

Vera Sherbina, head of Russia's regional government of Sakhalin, told a conference on Wednesday that oil and gas condensate production at the island, which comes mostly from offshore, will climb to 18.1 million tonnes, or about 362,000 barrels per day (bpd), this year, up from 16.7 million tonnes in 2015.

"



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Most of region drops on weak oil prices | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Most of region drops on weak oil prices | Reuters:

"Most stock markets in the Gulf fell in early trade on Wednesday after Saudi Arabia and Iran dashed market hopes that the two major OPEC producers would find a compromise at a meeting in Algiers to help ease a global glut of oil.

Brent oil futures sank about 3 percent to around $46 a barrel on Tuesday after Iran rejected an offer from Saudi Arabia to limit its oil output in exchange for Riyadh cutting supply.

Saudi Arabia's index, which retreated 3.8 percent on Tuesday after the government said it would scale back financial bonuses for public sector workers in an austerity drive, fell a further 0.5 percent in the first half-hour on Wednesday to 5,703 points, approaching technical support on its February low of 5,551 points."



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Liam Fox speech hints at government confusion over Brexit | Politics | The Guardian

Liam Fox speech hints at government confusion over Brexit | Politics | The Guardian:

"Liam Fox has used a speech to the World Trade Organisation to portray post-Brexit Britain as a “proud and outward-looking trading nation” that would battle for liberalised commerce outside the EU.

The address in Geneva was billed in advance as the international trade secretary making a significant push for a so-called hard Brexit, taking the UK outside the EU’s single market. However, critics said the lack of any new details on the terms of Brexit indicated confusion in the government over the issue.

Fox, speaking at the WTO’s headquarters in Geneva at the launch of the organisation’s annual report on world trade, began by quoting free trade champion Adam Smith, saying he was as much advocating “the moral case” for unhampered global commerce as arguing for economic reasons."



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Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Oil Falls as Saudis Says OPEC Output Freeze Unlikely Wednesday - Bloomberg

Oil Falls as Saudis Says OPEC Output Freeze Unlikely Wednesday - Bloomberg:

"Oil dropped after Saudi Arabia said it doesn’t expect a production accord to be reached when OPEC ministers meet Wednesday, but left open the possibility of a deal when they gather in November.
Futures fell 2.7 percent in New York, continuing the gyrations of recent days. Saudi Oil Minister Khalid Al-Falih said several potential freeze pacts are being discussed, but that agreement in Algiers is unlikely when ministers meet informally Wednesday. Iran, Nigeria and Libya "have special conditions," Falih said. Influential forecasters gave a worsening outlook for the market, with the head of the International Energy Agency saying supply and demand won’t be in balance until late 2017 and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. cutting its fourth quarter price forecast."



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OPEC set for no deal as Iran rejects Saudi oil output offer | Reuters

OPEC set for no deal as Iran rejects Saudi oil output offer | Reuters:

"Iran rejected on Tuesday an offer from Saudi Arabia to limit its oil output in exchange for Riyadh cutting supply, dashing market hopes the two major OPEC producers would find a compromise this week to help ease a global glut of crude.

"The gap (in views) between OPEC countries is narrowing. I don't expect that an agreement will come out of the consultations tomorrow," Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih told reporters.

Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said earlier: "It is not the time for decision-making." Referring to the next formal OPEC meeting in Vienna on Nov. 30, he added: "We will try to reach agreement for November.""



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TABLE-UAE central bank foreign assets fall in August | Reuters

TABLE-UAE central bank foreign assets fall in August | Reuters:

"The United Arab Emirates central bank
released the following figures for foreign assets in August.

UAE C.BANK FOREIGN CURRENCY ASSETS

                            08/16   07/16  08/15

 bln dirhams        299.3  315.3  264.2

 deposits              118.2  123.5  130.7

foreign securities 174.4 186.4  129.7

 NOTE: Data as of the end of the period. "



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi tumbles on government austerity steps | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi tumbles on government austerity steps | Reuters:

"Saudi Arabia's stock index slumped 3.8 percent on Tuesday after the government said it would cut ministers' salaries by 20 percent and scale back financial bonuses and perks for public sector workers under an austerity drive.

The new steps largely appear to formalise spending reductions introduced on an ad hoc basis since last year, and they will not by themselves make a huge difference to the government's deficit. NCB Capital estimated allowances accounted for about a quarter of the government's total salary expenses last year, which were 38 percent of its overall budget.

Nevertheless, the announcement underlined the bleak outlook for Saudi government spending, which is a key driver of consumption, as oil prices stay low."



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Oaktree Executive Avoids UAE Extradition Over $264 Million - Bloomberg

Oaktree Executive Avoids UAE Extradition Over $264 Million - Bloomberg:

"An Oaktree Capital Group LLC executive wanted by United Arab Emirates authorities in a $264 million embezzlement case won’t be extradited after U.K. prosecutors said there was insufficient evidence to back up the warrant.
A London judge on Tuesday dismissed the warrant against Martin Graham -- a senior vice president at the world’s largest distressed-debt investor -- after the Crown Prosecution Service said there was no case to answer. Graham, wearing a gray suit and blue and white spotted tie, sat quietly in the back of the courtroom and declined to comment after the hearing.
The 37-year-old was arrested in June after the UAE issued an extradition request accusing him of stealing $264 million from engineering contractor Gulmar Offshore Middle East LLC between June 2014 and April 2015. He was found guilty by a UAE court and sentenced in absentia in August 2015. He said he wasn’t aware of the conviction until November 2015 when he was told by a third party."



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Oil Drops as Iran Says It Won’t Freeze Output at Current Level - Bloomberg

Oil Drops as Iran Says It Won’t Freeze Output at Current Level - Bloomberg:

"Oil extended declines as Iran said it’s unwilling to freeze output at current levels and wants to raise production to 4 million barrels a day, damping expectations for OPEC to reach a deal to stabilize markets when the group meets Wednesday in Algiers.
Futures fell as much as 2.1 percent in New York continuing the gyrations of the previous two days. It’s “not on our agenda” to reach agreement at the OPEC talks in Algiers, Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh told reporters in the Algerian capital. Influential forecasters gave a worsening outlook for the market, with the head of the International Energy Agency saying supply and demand won’t be in balance until late 2017 and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. cutting its fourth quarter price forecast."



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Saudi stocks sink to 7-month low amid fresh wave of austerity — FT.com

Saudi stocks sink to 7-month low amid fresh wave of austerity — FT.com:

"The kingdom’s stock exchange has fallen to its lowest level since February today as investors took a dim view of the central bank’s latest move to support its banks and news of a fresh round of austerity in the public sector.

Saudi’s Tadawul bourse is down 3.5 per cent today – dropping to its lowest level since global markets went into a tailspin back in February.

The drop comes after the Saudi Monetary Authority (SAMA) unveiled plans to inject 20bn riyals ($5.3 billion) into its banking system – a decision which analysts at Bank of America Merrill Lynch think will help reduce the strain on domestic banks, which have been reeling from the effects of low global oil prices."



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Monday, 26 September 2016

UAE’s market cap is simply not enough | The National

UAE’s market cap is simply not enough | The National:

"I am in New York, the primary financial centre in the world, visiting asset managers. The smallest of these managers has a total of about US$500 billion under management. According to the World Bank, the total market capitalisation of domestic listed companies in the UAE was about $195bn at the end last year. The UAE has two primary stock markets, a federal level market regulator in the SCA and at least two offshore financial centres in the DIFC and ADGM, each of which is regulated independently of the other and the SCA.


Maybe looking at total numbers doesn’t make sense as different countries have different GDPs. Fortunately for us the World Bank provides market size as a percentage of GDP. For the UAE, the total market cap of domestic listed companies is 53 per cent of GDP as of the end of last year; for the US it was 140 per cent. For Singapore, a country often held up as a model for the UAE to learn from if not emulate, market cap is 219 per cent of GDP.


For Saudi Arabia, which many assume lags the UAE in fin­ancial innovation, the number is 65 per cent. What saddens me is that the world average is 99 per cent and in terms of the size of our markets relative to GDP we are roughly half the global average."



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Saudi Arabia bond sale set to test investor appetite | The National

Saudi Arabia bond sale set to test investor appetite | The National:

"Saudi Arabia’s upcoming international sovereign bond sale will be a litmus test of global investment appetite for the Arab world’s largest economy as it embarks on a plan to wean itself off oil dependency.

The kingdom, the world’s largest crude exporter, is said to have mandated Citigroup, JP Morgan and HSBC to manage what is expected by market participants to be a US$10 billion to $15bn bond sale. The timing of the issue is as yet unconfirmed but it could be early next month according to media reports.


That would make it the biggest ever such sale in the region. Pricing is difficult to anticipate as it will be the first ever international sale for the kingdom and there are a number of push and pull factors that may swing the coupon higher or lower, bond investors say."



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Saudi Aramco evaluating foreign exchanges for 2018 | GulfNews.com

Saudi Aramco evaluating foreign exchanges for 2018 | GulfNews.com:

"Saudi Aramco is looking at a number of foreign exchanges, including London, New York and Hong Kong, for a partial listing of the oil giant in 2018, chief executive Amin Nasser said on Monday.
The state-oil firm plans to list as much as 5 per cent on Saudi Arabia’s stock exchange, the Tadawul, and at least one foreign exchange as part of efforts to wean the country’s economy away from hydrocarbon sales.
“This thing will happen in 2018,” Nasser told reporters at a conference in Dubai. He said “other exchanges” were also under consideration without disclosing where."



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How Close Are Iran and Saudi Arabia to an Oil Deal? - Bloomberg

How Close Are Iran and Saudi Arabia to an Oil Deal? - Bloomberg:

"Scott Bauer of Trading Advantage and Bloomberg's Alix Steel examine oil price expectations if Iran refuses to freeze production. They speak in today’s “Futures in Focus” on "Bloomberg ‹GO›." (Source: Bloomberg)"



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Dubai could create its own demographic dividend

Dubai could create its own demographic dividend:

"The solution to Dubai’s economic challenges might be right under its nose. The tiny emirate, the most diversified sheikhdom in the Gulf, has been affected like most of the region by low prices for the oil exported mainly by its neighbours. One way to offset that impact might be to address an imbalanced workforce that is too reliant on expatriates. They make up 22 out of every 23 active workers, according to calculations based on official data. Dubai could even do worse than turn some of its skilled foreign workers into actual citizens.

About half of Dubai’s $143 billion pile of debt has to be repaid by the end of the decade, according to the International Monetary Fund. That is almost double the United Arab Emirates’ forecast revenue from exporting oil this year. One of seven semi-autonomous sheikhdoms in the U.A.E., Dubai has endured the 53 percent fall in oil prices over the past two years relatively unscathed, but some belt tightening is inevitable. The Financial Times reported on Sept. 12 that Istithmar World – a government investment company – has made most of its staff redundant to save money."



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Iran downplays chances of oil deal, UAE keen on freeze | Reuters

Iran downplays chances of oil deal, UAE keen on freeze | Reuters:

"Iran downplayed on Monday the chances of OPEC and non-OPEC oil producers clinching an output-restraint deal in Algeria this week even though several other members of the group said they still hoped for steps to tackle a price-eroding glut of crude.

Oil prices have more than halved from 2014 levels due to oversupply, prompting OPEC producers and rival Russia to seek a market rebalancing that would boost revenues from oil exports and help their crippled budgets.

The predominant idea since early 2016 among producers has been to agree to freeze output levels, although market watchers have said such a move would fail to reduce unwanted barrels."



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Saudi Arabia slashes ministers' pay, cuts public sector bonuses | Reuters

Saudi Arabia slashes ministers' pay, cuts public sector bonuses | Reuters:

"Saudi Arabia will cut ministers' salaries by 20 percent and scale back financial perks for public sector employees in one of the most drastic measures yet by the energy-rich kingdom to save money at a time of low oil prices.

The measures, disclosed in a cabinet statement and royal decree broadcast on state-run Ekhbariya TV on Monday, constitute the first pay cuts for government employees, who make up about two-thirds of working Saudis.

"The cabinet has decided to stop and cancel some bonuses and financial benefits," read a line of text on Ekhbariya, as a minister read to assembled ministers and royals, including King Salman, a list of cuts in various grades in the civil service."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi banks rally on central bank monetary action | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi banks rally on central bank monetary action | Reuters:

"Saudi banking shares rallied on Monday after the central bank said it would deposit about 20 billion riyals ($5.3 billion) at commercial lenders and introduce two new money market instruments to fight a surge in market interest rates caused by low oil prices.

Riyadh's main index climbed 0.7 percent as three-quarters of the banking shares rose. Blue-chip lenders Samba Financial Group and National Commercial Bank gained 1.7 percent and 2.7 percent respectively.

Banking shares have been underperforming the general index for several months, hit by an illiquid construction sector, which makes up a large portion of corporate loans. Samba, for example, is trading at a 26 percent discount to its average fair value as estimated by 13 analysts, according to Reuters data."



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How will Twitter’s suitors reap its value? — FT.com

How will Twitter’s suitors reap its value? — FT.com:

"Twitter may finally be running out of time.

News at the end of last week that Google and cloud software company Salesforce have both held preliminary discussions about a possible acquisition have underlined waning Wall Street confidence in the social media group’s attempts to reinvigorate growth and maintain its independence.

Fifteen months after the return of co-founder and product visionary Jack Dorsey, Twitter has failed to come up with the new ideas needed to reach a wider group of users. It also admitted after its last quarterly earnings that it was not doing enough for advertisers to justify its current pricing."



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Oil market has low expectations for Opec production deal - FT.com

Oil market has low expectations for Opec production deal - FT.com:

"Saudi Arabia has set out its terms to join the first co-ordinated Opec production cut since the financial crisis. The only problem for an oversupplied oil market is few think it will be achieved.
As the world’s largest oil producers descend on Algeria this week for crunch talks on ending a two-year old supply glut, Opec’s biggest members remain far apart.
Several Opec delegates have sought to manage expectations saying the meeting would be informal and would only lay the groundwork for the next official Opec meeting in November, or perhaps a follow-up gathering next month."



'via Blog this'

Qatar withdraws from race for Grosvenor House and New York Plaza - FT.com

Qatar withdraws from race for Grosvenor House and New York Plaza - FT.com:

"The Qatar Investment Authority has abandoned talks to buy London’s Grosvenor House Hotel and two hotels in New York, increasing the likelihood that the trophy properties will be acquired by the UK’s richest men, the Reuben brothers.
The QIA’s withdrawal, confirmed by three people briefed on the situation, prolongs the troubles of India’s Sahara Group, which owns the Grosvenor House and majority stakes in New York’s Plaza and Dream Downtown hotels."



'via Blog this'

Sharjah fashions itself as a magnet for start-ups | The National

Sharjah fashions itself as a magnet for start-ups | The National:

"From Amman to Cairo, several cities have been tipped as the Silicon Valley of the Arab world. But there is a new contender for the crown as the region’s star start-up centre: Sharjah.

Many of the UAE’s most dynamic entrepreneurial ventures have sprung up in Dubai, making it a magnet for the regional offices of established global players like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

But two new initiatives designed to boost Sharjah’s start-up status could result in the Middle East’s elusive Silicon Valley edging northwards."



'via Blog this'

Pain persists without an Opec agreement | The National

Pain persists without an Opec agreement | The National:

"As Opec and Russia are preparing to meet in Algiers to discuss the prospect for an output agreement, oil producers have been watching their fiscal revenues slump. Failure to agree would only prolong the macroeconomic crisis faced by some and the fiscal predicament of others. Supply and demand-side factors suggest that the oil price is likely to stay low for longer than initially thought. But at this point, it’s easier to address supply-side dynamics.


The collapse of the oil price has exposed the mismanagement and dysfunctions sustained during the boom years. On a large scale, the size and probable persistence of this external shock means that all oil exporters will have to further adjust by reducing spending and increasing revenue.

Venezuela’s economy is in perpetual crisis. Economic mismanagement and the low oil price have led to shortages of foods like corn and rice, which it once easily imported using the national oil company’s vast foreign currency revenues. Essential medicines such as antibiotics have disappeared. The economy is set to contract by 10 per cent by the end of the year and is already experiencing triple-digit inflation. The price of bread alone has doubled from month to month, now about 50 cents a loaf in many places, at a time when the oil workers here say they are making less than a dollar a day because of the inflation. The state oil company is hobbled by debt, two thirds of its exports go to paying off its lenders. The desperate condition of Venezuela’s state oil company has international oil traders concerned that its collapse could shock an otherwise oversupplied global market."



'via Blog this'

Oil Holds Near $45 as Saudi Offer Opens Door to Future OPEC Deal - Bloomberg

Oil Holds Near $45 as Saudi Offer Opens Door to Future OPEC Deal - Bloomberg:

"Oil held near $45 a barrel as Saudi Arabia’s offer to cut output opened the door to a future OPEC deal, even though the kingdom doesn’t expect an agreement this week when members of the group meet.

Futures added 0.1 percent in New York after slumping 4 percent on Friday. While Saudi Arabia and Iran didn’t reach an agreement after two days of preparatory talks in Vienna, the Saudis did offer to pump less crude if Iran caps output, according to two people familiar with the negotiations. Saudi Arabia proposed to cut its production to January levels, Algerian Energy Minister Noureddine Boutarfa said Sunday."



'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi banks rally on central bank monetary action | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi banks rally on central bank monetary action | Reuters:

"Saudi banking shares rallied on Monday after the central bank said it would deposit about 20 billion riyals at commercial lenders and introduce two new money market instruments to fight a surge in market interest rates caused by low oil prices.

Riyadh's main index was up 0.6 percent after 15 minutes of trade as four-fifth of the banking shares rose. Samba Financial Group was the top gainer in the industry, up 2.3 percent to 18.20 riyals ($4.85).

Banking shares have been underperforming the general index in several months, hit by an illiquid construction sector, which makes up a large portion of corporate loans. Samba, for example, is trading at a 26 percent discount to its average fair value as estimated by 13 analysts, according to Reuters data."



'via Blog this'

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Opec might not reach a deal, but here are seven bright spots | The National

Opec might not reach a deal, but here are seven bright spots | The National:

"Opec oil ministers head into Monday’s meeting amid fading hopes of any grand bargain to try to lift oil prices, but there is plenty Saudi Arabia can point to in support of its steady-as-she goes policy.

As ever, when the market story turns bearish, the trading world tends to focus on the bearish news, such as rising production in Kazakhstan, and possibly Nigeria, Libya etc.

But the oil world is a large and complicated one, and there are bullish stories too. Here are seven from the past week or so:"



'via Blog this'

Citigroup Accelerates Saudi Return Plans With Megabond Mandate - Bloomberg

Citigroup Accelerates Saudi Return Plans With Megabond Mandate - Bloomberg:

"More than a decade after quitting Saudi Arabia, Citigroup Inc. is winning more high-profile deals in the kingdom and quietly plans to compete for more.
The New York-based bank has set up a company-wide task force to target opportunities in Saudi Arabia and holds weekly calls to coordinate the push, people familiar with the firm’s strategy said, asking not to be identified because the plan is private. Those leading the charge include Alberto Verme, banking chairman for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and regional Chief Executive Officer Atiq Ur Rehman, according to three of the people.
The bank’s efforts may be paying off after it won a role as lead adviser on Saudi Arabia’s first international bond sale, which could raise at least $10 billion as soon as next month. Citigroup is keen to profit from a potential fee bonanza as the nation undergoes an unprecedented economic shakeup, including plans to create the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund and sell shares of crude giant Saudi Arabia Oil Co. in an initial public offering."



'via Blog this'

Saudi Arabia Injects $5.3 Billion in Bank System Amid Crunch - Bloomberg

Saudi Arabia Injects $5.3 Billion in Bank System Amid Crunch - Bloomberg:

"Saudi Arabia’s central bank stepped up efforts to support lenders in the Arab world’s biggest economy as they grapple with the effects of low oil prices.
The Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency, as the central bank is known, said it decided to give banks about 20 billion riyals ($5.3 billion) in the form of time deposits “on behalf of government entities.” It’s also introducing seven-day and 28-day repurchase agreements, as part of its “supportive monetary policy.”
The plunge in oil prices over the past two years forced the government to draw down on its deposits in the banking system, squeezing domestic liquidity. That’s pushed up the three-month Saudi Interbank Offered Rate, a key benchmark used for pricing loans, to the highest level since 2009. The central bank was said to have offered lenders 15 billion riyals in short-term loans in June to help ease liquidity constraints."



'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Major Gulf bourses retreat after crude tumbled; Telcos mixed | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Major Gulf bourses retreat after crude tumbled; Telcos mixed | Reuters:

"Petrochemical shares were the main drag on Saudi Arabia's equity index after oil prices fell 4 percent at the end of last week, while Qatar's main index regained some ground.

Riyadh's main index fell 0.6 percent to 5,913 points in low volumes, hitting a fresh 7-month low. Bellwether petrochemical producer Saudi Basic Industries declined 2.4 percent.

The retail segment was also weak, with one of the largest electronics stores, Jarir Marketing, dropping 2.0 percent."



'via Blog this'

Russia decries ‘castles in the sky’ as plans converge on $40 oil | GulfNews.com

Russia decries ‘castles in the sky’ as plans converge on $40 oil | GulfNews.com:

"Oil has traded above $40 for five months, but Russia’s future economic plans increasingly revolve around crude prices at that level.
The price of Russia’s main export blend Urals at $40 a barrel will be used to calculate the country’s budget in 2017-2019, and a fiscal mechanism that will go into effect from 2020 should be set at the same level — or $10 less than previously suggested, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said at a conference in Moscow on Friday. The so-called budget rule, which would prevent the government from spending surplus revenue above a preset oil price, aims to insulate the economy from the ups and downs in crude and shield the exchange rate by withdrawing all additional income into reserves.
“Plans can’t be made under the assumption that prices will grow and demand for our products will rise,” Siluanov said. The Finance Ministry “always advocates a position against building exuberant plans, castles in the sky.”"



'via Blog this'

Turkey cut to junk as Moody’s concludes its post-coup review | GulfNews.com

Turkey cut to junk as Moody’s concludes its post-coup review | GulfNews.com:

"Turkey’s sovereign credit rating was cut to junk by Moody’s Investor Service, which concluded a review initiated after an unsuccessful coup attempt on July 15.
Moody’s cited rising risks related to Turkey’s external financing needs and a weakening in credit fundamentals as economic growth slows. The rating was cut to Ba1 from Baa3, leaving Fitch Ratings as the only major ratings company to keep Turkey at investment grade.
Erdogan Doesn’t Care at All If Turkey Gets Downgraded to Junk
"



'via Blog this'

No Respite for Battered Saudi Stocks as IPO Pipeline Shrinks - Bloomberg

No Respite for Battered Saudi Stocks as IPO Pipeline Shrinks - Bloomberg:

"Add this to the reasons why 2016 isn’t the year for Saudi stocks: the IPO pipeline is drying up.
Two companies have announced plans for initial public offerings this year, down from six in 2015, putting the Saudi market on track for its slowest lineup since 2004. That compares with nine in Malaysia, another energy-dependent developing economy whose main stock index is poised for its third straight annual drop following the retreat in oil prices."



'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf bourses start week down, but Qatar slightly up | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf bourses start week down, but Qatar slightly up | Reuters:

"Petrochemical shares dragged Saudi Arabia's equity index lower in early trade on Sunday after oil prices fell 4 percent at the end of last week, while Qatar's main index regained some ground.

Riyadh's main index slipped 0.3 percent after 15 minutes of trade, with bellwether petrochemical producer Saudi Basic Industries declining 0.9 percent.

The retail segment was also weak, with one of the largest electronics stores, Jarir Marketing, down 1.0 percent."



'via Blog this'

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Saudis offer oil cut for OPEC deal if Iran freezes output: sources | Reuters

Saudis offer oil cut for OPEC deal if Iran freezes output: sources | Reuters:

"Saudi Arabia has offered to reduce oil production if rival Iran caps its own output this year, four sources familiar with the discussions told Reuters, as Riyadh tries to strike an elusive OPEC deal to curtail supply and boost prices.

The offer, which has yet to be accepted or rejected by Tehran, was made this month, the sources told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

OPEC holds an informal meeting next week in Algiers, which non-OPEC Russia will also join. The group, which produces a third of the world's oil, will also have a formal gathering in Vienna at the end of November."



'via Blog this'

Friday, 23 September 2016

OPEC Deal Still Elusive Even After Saudis Offer Oil Cuts to Iran - Bloomberg

OPEC Deal Still Elusive Even After Saudis Offer Oil Cuts to Iran - Bloomberg:

"OPEC members aren’t likely to reach a supply deal in Algiers next week, but an agreement to boost prices could be drawing closer after Saudi Arabia signaled for the first time in two years that it’s willing to cut production.
Saudi Arabia and Iran, whose rivalry thwarted a deal with other major producers in April, didn’t reach agreement after two days of preparatory talks in Vienna, including the Saudi offer to pump less if Iran caps output at current levels, according to two people familiar with the negotiations. While the kingdom doesn’t now anticipate any formal decision on supply will be taken in the Algerian capital, talks will continue and OPEC meets again in two months, said a delegate familiar with its policy.
The impasse between the Middle East neighbors dims the prospects that OPEC and Russia will cooperate to curb a global supply glut next week -- already seen as unlikely by market watchers. The delegation from Moscow only intends to join discussions after OPEC members reach a supply agreement between themselves and they could leave before the informal talks scheduled for Sept. 28, three people familiar with the matter said."



'via Blog this'

Putin opens production at new Russian oilfield as output touches record high | Reuters

Putin opens production at new Russian oilfield as output touches record high | Reuters:

"President Vladimir Putin officially launched production at a new oil field on Wednesday, a day after Russia's output touched a record high even as Moscow prepared to join talks aimed at supporting prices.

OPEC and non-member producers including Russia will meet next week to discuss a potential deal to stabilize the market by at least freezing output in efforts to contain a supply glut that triggered a price collapse two years ago.

But OPEC producers Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Iran have pushed output to record highs this year in a bid to gain market share despite low prices."



'via Blog this'

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Dubai said to seek $2.5b loans to expand metro for Expo | GulfNews.com

Dubai said to seek $2.5b loans to expand metro for Expo | GulfNews.com:

"Dubai is seeking $2.5 billion (Dh9.1 billion) in loans to finance a 15-km extension of its above-ground metro line to the World Expo site, according to two people with knowledge of the plan.
Banks submitted proposals this week to the emirate’s department of finance, including a $1.34 billion facility backed by European export credit agencies, said the people, asking not to be identified because the information isn’t public yet. Lenders also bid for a $1.12 billion unsecured, commercial facility that is guaranteed by the Dubai government, they said.
Funding is expected to be provided mainly by international banks, the people said. The ECA-backed facility has a maturity of 18 years, while the commercial loan has a 10-year tenor, one of the people said."



'via Blog this'

Rouhani Touts Iran as Investment Magnet at UN After Boeing News - Bloomberg

Rouhani Touts Iran as Investment Magnet at UN After Boeing News - Bloomberg:

"President Hassan Rouhani used his time on the United Nations stage to present Iran as open for business with the implementation of a nuclear agreement, while also ensuring he delivered a message tough enough to mollify hardliners back home ahead of next year’s presidential elections.
The annual gathering of leaders used to be where the Islamic Republic was denounced as a pariah by Western powers. But with a deal on Iran’s nuclear arsenal under his belt, Rouhani delivered a low-key address at the UN General Assembly, touting the country’s five percent economic growth and investment opportunities.
"The economy of Iran is one of the most secure and most profitable investment destinations in the region,” Rouhani said. Based on analyst expectations, “Iran is enjoying one the highest growth rates among the oil-producing countries.”"



'via Blog this'

Saudis, Iran Said to Meet Again for Oil Talks, No Agreement Yet - Bloomberg

Saudis, Iran Said to Meet Again for Oil Talks, No Agreement Yet - Bloomberg:

"OPEC members Saudi Arabia and Iran, whose rivalry derailed an oil supply accord earlier this year, met in Vienna for a second day of discussions to prepare for wider group talks next week in Algiers.
The two oil producers met at the headquarters of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries in Vienna in preparation for informal discussions between energy ministers from OPEC and Russia in Algiers next week, according to two people briefed on the discussions. The two nations have not yet reached an agreement, one of the people said, asking not to be identified because the meeting was private.
The rare private talks between Saudi Arabia and Iran -- OPEC’s two leading members and regional rivals -- show diplomatic efforts to secure a meaningful deal in Algiers are still under way. Prices have retreated this month amid concern there will be no serious commitment to constrain supply and all but two of 23 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg this week predict there will be no agreement next week.
"



'via Blog this'

UAE's Pacific Controls $381 mln debt plan due by end-October -sources | Reuters

UAE's Pacific Controls $381 mln debt plan due by end-October -sources | Reuters:

"Pacific Controls, a Dubai-based technology company, will submit a proposal to creditor banks on how to restructure its 1.4 billion dirhams ($381 million) of debt by the end of October, sources told Reuters on Thursday.

The company began talks with banks during the summer after hitting problems with its repayments, partly due to delays in payment from some clients as the United Arab Emirates' economy has stumbled over falling oil prices.

Recently appointed chief executive Sanjay Nayak has held talks with the company's clients to get assurances on continuation of payments and contracts, according to two banking sources who spoke on condition of anonymity."



'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf shares cheer Fed decision to keep interest rates put, Egypt slips | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf shares cheer Fed decision to keep interest rates put, Egypt slips | Reuters:

"Stocks in the Gulf rallied on Thursday, taking their cue from global shares after the Federal Reserve left U.S. interest rates unchanged and indicated a slower pace of future hikes.

Dubai's main index was the top gainer among its regional peers, jumping 2.0 percent in the most active trade of the week as nine-tenths of the traded shares rose.

Emaar Properties, the largest listed developer and Dubai Investments each gained 2.9 percent."



'via Blog this'

Airbus and Boeing win US licence for Iran sales - FT.com

Airbus and Boeing win US licence for Iran sales - FT.com:

"Airbus and Boeing have gained clearance from US authorities for multibillion-dollar aircraft deals with Iran — marking a significant milestone in the Middle Eastern country’s return to the international marketplace since certain sanctions were lifted in January.
The US green light for Airbus’s sale of 17 single- and twin-aisle aircraft and Boeing’s deal to sell 80 passenger jets to Iran Air offers proof that it is now possible to trade with the country without breaching complex rules that still prohibit the involvement of US entities or finance providers in trade deals."



'via Blog this'

The pursuit of Khater Massaad, the tile tycoon of RAK | The National

The pursuit of Khater Massaad, the tile tycoon of RAK | The National:

"He was the golden boy of business in the Northern Emirates. He transformed a small tile factory into a global manufacturing name and was recruited to run the Ras Al Khaimah Investment Authority (Rakia) in 2007 to achieve the same kind of transformation across the wider economy.

But four years after leaving the UAE, Khater Massaad is being pursued by his former employers from Africa to the Caucasus.

On Tuesday they caught up with him at Jeddah’s airport when he was detained by Saudi police on an arrest warrant issued from the northernmost emirate. It related to his conviction in his absence last year in a Ras Al Khaimah court on fraud charges."



'via Blog this'

Oman Said to Plan Dollar Bond Sale Return With Tap of June Issue - Bloomberg

Oman Said to Plan Dollar Bond Sale Return With Tap of June Issue - Bloomberg:

"Oman is planning to sell more of the dollar-denominated bonds it issued in June, according to two people with knowledge of the deal, as the Gulf nation looks to shore up state finances pressured by low energy prices.
The potential tap of bonds due 2021 and 2026 will be of benchmark size, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information isn’t public. The sultanate issued $2.5 billion in June; benchmark typically means at least $500 million. The sale may come as soon as this month, one of the people said.
Any fresh debt would be the latest in a series of issues by the largest Arab oil producer that’s not an OPEC member. Oman, rated one level above junk by S&P Global Ratings, borrowed $1 billion through international loans at the start of 2016 and also privately placed dollar-denominated Islamic bonds, people with knowledge of the matter said at the time."



'via Blog this'

Saudi builder Binladin says government started to pay dues: paper | Reuters

Saudi builder Binladin says government started to pay dues: paper | Reuters:

"The Saudi finance ministry has resumed payments to Saudi Binladin Group (SBG), the kingdom's biggest construction firm, for its work on government projects, Saudi Okaz newspaper reported on Thursday, citing an adviser to the chairman.

SBG was hard hit last year as low oil prices forced the government - its chief customer - to cancel or suspend projects and delay payments.

It was then barred from receiving new state contracts after one of its cranes toppled into Mecca's Grand Mosque during a storm, killing 107 people, though that ban has now been lifted."



'via Blog this'

UAE lender UNB mandates banks ahead of potential bond issue | Reuters

UAE lender UNB mandates banks ahead of potential bond issue | Reuters:

"Union National Bank (UNB), 50 percent owned by the Abu Dhabi government, said on Thursday it had mandated six banks as joint lead managers and bookrunners to arrange a series of meetings with fixed income investors.

It said a senior unsecured bond issue under the bank's euro medium term note (EMTN) programme may follow, subject to market conditions.

The mandated banks were Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, Commerzbank, HSBC Bank Middle East, Mizuho International, National Bank of Abu Dhabi and Standard Chartered, it said in a statement."



'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets climb in line with global shares | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets climb in line with global shares | Reuters:

"Stocks in the Gulf climbed in early trade on Thursday, taking their cue from Asian shares and Wall Street, after the Federal Reserve left U.S. interest rates unchanged and indicated a slower pace of future hikes.

Dubai's main index was the top gainer among its regional peers, jumping 1.1 percent as nine-tenths of the traded shares rose.

Emaar Properties, the largest listed developer, climbed 2.2 percent, and Dubai Investments gained 2.0 percent."



'via Blog this'

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

What did we learn following the Lehman Brothers collapse? | The National

What did we learn following the Lehman Brothers collapse? | The National:

"A little over eight years ago, I sat in a Dubai radio studio as news of the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers came across the wires. I broadcast at the time that we were witnessing "the financial equivalent of 9/11", alluding to the terrorist attacks on New York of 2001 that in a few hours changed the world beyond recognition.

I remember I got a lot of stick after that broadcast. I was being alarmist, sensationalising a relatively minor event at an American bank that not many people outside the rarefied world of high finance had even heard of before that day. In short, I was a scaremonger looking to boost the station’s audience.


With eight years’ hindsight, I think I deserved some criticism. But not for exaggerating."



'via Blog this'

Former RAK Investment Authority chief arrested in Saudi Arabia | The National

Former RAK Investment Authority chief arrested in Saudi Arabia | The National:

"The former chief executive of Ras Al Khaimah Investment Authority has been arrested in Saudi Arabia.

Khater Massaad, 63, a Lebanese-Swiss national, was detained at Jeddah Airport on Tuesday on an arrest warrant issued by Ras Al Khaimah.

Mr Massaad is accused of embezzling $1.5 billion (Dh5.5bn) while running the investment authority. He denies all charges brought against him."



'via Blog this'

Qatar budget back to ‘near balance’ by 2018 | GulfNews.com

Qatar budget back to ‘near balance’ by 2018 | GulfNews.com:

"Qatar’s budget should be back to “near balance” by 2018, as it overcomes the shock waves from a global fall in energy prices, economists at Qatar National Bank (QNB) have forecast.
The QNB, in its Qatar Economic Insight report, predicts that rising oil prices and the introduction of a value-added tax will help Qatar recover from the deficits expected in 2016 and 2017.
“The government’s budget balance is expected to register a deficit of 5.3 per cent of GDP [gross domestic product] in 2016 and 2.2 per cent in 2017, before recovering to near balance in 2018,” the report said."



'via Blog this'

Saudis Said to Meet With Iran for Oil Talks Before Algiers - Bloomberg

Saudis Said to Meet With Iran for Oil Talks Before Algiers - Bloomberg:

"OPEC members Saudi Arabia and Iran, whose rivalry sunk an oil supply accord earlier this year, met in Vienna a week before the organization holds talks in Algeria.
The two oil producers, along with fellow OPEC member Qatar, met at the headquarters of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries in Vienna, according to three people familiar with the matter. They were making preparations for informal discussions between energy ministers from OPEC and Russia in Algiers next week, the people said, asking not to be identified because the talks were private.
The face-to-face talks between Saudi Arabia and Iran, OPEC’s two leading members and fierce regional rivals, show diplomatic efforts to secure a meaningful deal in Algiers are still under way despite market skepticism. Prices have retreated this month amid concern there will be no serious commitment to constrain supply and all but two of 23 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg this week predict there will be no agreement next week."



'via Blog this'

Saudi Arabia’s Clout in Washington Isn’t What It Used to Be - Bloomberg Politics

Saudi Arabia’s Clout in Washington Isn’t What It Used to Be - Bloomberg Politics:

"Saudi Arabia doesn’t have the same clout it used to. That’s the message the chairman of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee says he has delivered to the Saudi government.
On Wednesday, the Senate blocked a measure by a wide 71-27 margin that would have prohibited a $1.15 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia, in a vote that was nonetheless embarrassing to the kingdom. Nest week, Congress is expected to try to override a looming presidential veto of a Sept. 11 lawsuit bill the kingdom strongly opposes."



'via Blog this'

U.A.E. Oil Port at Fujairah Opens Crude Jetty to Boost Hub Role - Bloomberg

U.A.E. Oil Port at Fujairah Opens Crude Jetty to Boost Hub Role - Bloomberg:

"Fujairah, a rocky ribbon of land between the Hajar Mountains and the Indian Ocean coast of the United Arab Emirates, plans to boost its influence as an oil-trading hub with the addition of the region’s first crude-shipment jetty and expanded storage facilities.
The emirate, one of the smallest of the U.A.E.’s seven sheikhdom’s, unloaded its first full crude cargo of about 2 million barrels at the jetty Tuesday after opening the dock for testing early last month, Mousa Murad, the port’s general manager, said by phone. The jetty connects by pipeline to tanks leased by Royal Dutch Shell Plc at a local storage terminal, he said.
Producers in the Middle East, the world’s biggest supplier of crude over the last half century, are expanding oil output as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries battles for market share amid a global supply glut. The region has traditionally shipped its oil straight to refineries in Asia, the U.S. or Europe. Allowing international companies to store crude may develop trading in the same way that Fujairah built its role as a refined-products hub."



'via Blog this'

UAE says Algiers oil talks aimed at consultation, not decision-making | Reuters

UAE says Algiers oil talks aimed at consultation, not decision-making | Reuters:

"An oil meeting next week in Algiers due to be attended by OPEC countries is aimed at holding consultations rather than making decisions, the energy minister of the United Arab Emirates said on Wednesday.

"Wait until we meet next week," Suhail bin Mohammed al-Mazroui told reporters. "Wait for us to discuss first before we jump to any conclusion."

"We are not ... targeting a decision, we are meeting for consultations," he said, adding: ‎"We at the UAE are encouraged and we support the joint approach between Saudi Arabia and Russia.""



'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf mixed with Saudi outperforming peers, Egypt loses steam | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf mixed with Saudi outperforming peers, Egypt loses steam | Reuters:

"Bourses in the Gulf were mixed on Wednesday with Saudi Arabia's bourse supported by the petrochemical sector while Egypt lost steam as local and regional funds exited positions.

Saudi Arabia's index rose 0.4 percent in moderate trade as Brent prices firmed over $46 a barrel. Saudi Basic Industries, the petrochemical heavyweight, climbed 0.9 percent.

The insurance sub-index, usually actively traded by day traders, added 1.7 percent as almost all the constituents advanced, recouping some of the heavy losses of the week. BUPA Arabia, a mid-sized medical insurer, rose 2.9 percent."



'via Blog this'

GCC loan growth projected to decline to 6% in 2016 | GulfNews.com

GCC loan growth projected to decline to 6% in 2016 | GulfNews.com:

"GCC's banking sector is expected face continued slowdown in growth, deterioration of asset quality, and reduced profitability in 2016, according to rating agency Standard & Poor’s.
“Lower economic growth means fewer growth opportunities for banks in the GCC. We expect loan growth in the region will reach around 6 per cent on average in 2016 compared with around 10 per cent in 2015. We think this slowdown will persist in 2017, with growth stabilizing at around 5 per cent,” Mohammad Damak, S&P Global ratings analyst
Lower oil prices mean lower liquidity, as deposits from governments and their related entities account for between 20 per cent and 40 per cent of the deposit base of GCC banks, and this inflow of money depends heavily on oil prices."



'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf edges up but Qatar slips in early trade | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf edges up but Qatar slips in early trade | Reuters:

"Stock markets in the Gulf made small gains in early trade on Wednesday with investors buying small and mid-sized shares, while Qatar's index slipped as the FTSE passive funds inflow faded.

Riyadh's index rose 0.3 percent to 5,943 points after 45 minutes of trade, pulling slightly away from its technical support at the August low of 5,911 points.

Petrochemical shares firmed as Brent futures bounced back over $46 a barrel. The largest listed producer Saudi Basic Industries added 0.3 percent."



'via Blog this'

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

New Qatar financial city will be open to non-licensed foreign firms | The National

New Qatar financial city will be open to non-licensed foreign firms | The National:

"The Qatar Financial Center (QFC), which licences foreign companies to exempt them from local ownership laws, will move to a new complex next year shared with non-licensed foreign and local firms, its head said on Tuesday.

The QFC is one of two authorities under which 100 per cent foreign owned companies can operate in Qatar. Without licences from these entities, foreign firms typically require a local partner to own at least a 51 per cent stake.


Yousef Al Jaida, the head of the centre, said the QFC would relocate in mid-2017 to Msheireb Downtown Doha."



'via Blog this'

Gulf Investors Prepare for Saudi Mega Debt Deal - Bloomberg

Gulf Investors Prepare for Saudi Mega Debt Deal - Bloomberg:

"Waha Capital PJSC Managing Director of Capital Markets Mohamed Eljamal speaks about the outlook for Gulf bonds ahead of a mega $10-billion debt deal from Saudi Arabia. He speaks with Tracy Alloway in Abu Dhabi about why he expects Gulf spreads to widen. (Source: Bloomberg)"



'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Qatar gains after FTSE inclusion, Saudi near technical support level | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Qatar gains after FTSE inclusion, Saudi near technical support level | Reuters:

"Qatar's equity index climbed on Tuesday as passive funds flowed into shares now included in FTSE's secondary emerging market index while other Gulf markets sagged.

Doha's index rose 1.0 percent, recouping some of the percent losses from the previous session. Passive funds will flow into 22 shares from Tuesday, and the stocks will continue to be bid up for several days to come as managers meet their fund mandates.

Islamic lender Masraf Al Rayan, which slumped 5.1 percent on Monday, added 1.9 percent and telecommunication provider Ooredoo, which also dropped 5.1 percent the previous session, climbed 0.4 percent."



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Will the EU change the way it embraces globalization following the shock of the Brexit vote? - YouTube

Will the EU change the way it embraces globalization following the shock of the Brexit vote? - YouTube: ""



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Brexit: future relations between the British economy, global trade and global finance - YouTube

Brexit: future relations between the British economy, global trade and global finance - YouTube: ""



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Fox seeks stronger Gulf ties but move raises human rights concerns - FT.com

Fox seeks stronger Gulf ties but move raises human rights concerns - FT.com:

"Liam Fox is looking to deepen the UK’s trading relationship with the Gulf states in a move that is raising fresh concerns about how far the government is prepared to turn a blind eye to human rights abuses in the region.
As the international trade secretary presses ahead with informal discussions on future deals outside the EU after Britons voted to leave the bloc, Mr Fox has been seeking to highlight how deeper trade links with the Gulf should play a central role in the UK’s evolving trading strategy."



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UAE banks bail out 1,700 SMEs and corporations with Dh7 billion in loans restructured | The National

UAE banks bail out 1,700 SMEs and corporations with Dh7 billion in loans restructured | The National:

"An initiative among local banks to bail out small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) has helped to restructure some Dh7 billion of debt owed by more than 1,700 companies this year, the UAE Banks Federation (UBF) said.

The federation also said the bankruptcy law approved this month by the country’s Cabinet is another measure that will help struggling business owners restructure debt, reducing the temptation to skip town.


Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair, the UBF chairman and chief executive of Dubai-based Mashreq, said that the initiative to rescue SMEs, dubbed "Modus Operandi," involved all banks. The executive’s comments came after a meeting of the heads of the 49 banks that are members of the federation. SMEs make up 90 per cent of non-government GDP, he said."



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Kuwaiti European Holdings buys stake in WH Ireland | The National

Kuwaiti European Holdings buys stake in WH Ireland | The National:

"Kuwaiti European Holdings Group (KEH) said that it had spent £8.4 million pounds (Dh40.4m) to buy a 23.1 per cent stake in the British financial services firm WH Ireland Group, to help serve its financial services clients across the Middle East and Britain.

KEH, an investment company focused on property, health and leisure businesses, said WH Ireland’s business model and strategy was "highly complementary" to that of KEH’s financial services businesses – Armila Capital and Al Fouz Investment Company.


"This partnership will allow the companies to provide cross-market corporate and capital markets advisory and capital raising services to their respective clients," KEH said."



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Oil Declines Amid Signs Rising Global Supply to Sustain Surplus - Bloomberg

Oil Declines Amid Signs Rising Global Supply to Sustain Surplus - Bloomberg:

"Oil declined on speculation a global glut will be sustained amid rising supply from Nigeria to the U.S.
Futures fell 0.6 percent in New York after advancing 0.6 percent Monday. Nigeria’s output expanded to 1.75 million barrels a day and will keep rising after government outreach and a cease-fire with militants allowed some production to restart, Minister of State for Petroleum Emmanuel Kachikwu said. U.S. crude stockpiles probably increased by 3.13 million barrels last week, according to a Bloomberg survey before government data Wednesday."



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India set to buy Iran oil for emergency reserves: sources | Reuters

India set to buy Iran oil for emergency reserves: sources | Reuters:

"India is set to buy 6 million barrels of Iranian crude for its strategic oil reserves as negotiations with the United Arab Emirates' national oil company for supplies are stuck over commercial terms, industry sources said.

Such purchases by the world's No.3 crude importer would boost Iran's drive to ramp up its oil shipments as it looks to regain market share following the lifting of sanctions over its disputed nuclear program.

Oil markets have been keenly focused on Iranian export volumes over the last few weeks as they get closer to pre-sanction levels - a milestone that Tehran has said is a precondition for discussing a global output freeze to boost crude prices."



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Dubai's Gulf Navigation looks to end creditor woes with debt cut | Reuters

Dubai's Gulf Navigation looks to end creditor woes with debt cut | Reuters:

"Dubai's Gulf Navigation Holding said on Tuesday it had reduced its debt from $36 million to $21 million and hopes to end a long-running dispute with creditors by consolidating all of its borrowing before the end of the year.

Dubai's only listed crude shipper expanded ambitiously at the end of the last decade just as oversupply hit the chemical tanker business and transportation rates plummeted.

Subsequent debt disputes weighed on its performance and investor confidence for many years, but Gulf Navigation has now "reached an amicable settlement with its creditors", Chief Executive Khamis Juma Buamim said in a bourse statement."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Qatar rises on passive fund flows, other Gulf bourses weak | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Qatar rises on passive fund flows, other Gulf bourses weak | Reuters:

"Qatar's equity index climbed in early trade on Tuesday as passive funds flowed into shares now included in FTSE's secondary emerging market index, while other Gulf benchmarks pulled back.

Doha's index rose 1.5 percent, recouping some of the 4.0 percent losses from the previous session. Passive funds will flow into 22 shares as of Tuesday, and the stocks will continue to be bid up for several days to come as managers meet their fund mandates.

Islamic lender Masraf Al Rayan, which slumped 5.1 percent on Monday, added 2.1 percent and telecommunication provider Ooredoo, which also dropped 5.1 percent the previous session, climbed 2.3 percent."



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Monday, 19 September 2016

MIDEAST STOCKS-Qatar slumps ahead of FTSE inclusion, Saudi drops on austerity concerns | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Qatar slumps ahead of FTSE inclusion, Saudi drops on austerity concerns | Reuters:

"Qatar's main equity index slumped 4.0 percent on Monday ahead of the additions of some companies in FTSE's secondary emerging market index, while Saudi Arabia dropped as investors grew weary of further austerity expected to come into effect next month.

Doha suffered from its largest single day drop since January in the heaviest turnover so far this year.

Shares in companies set to be included in index compiler FTSE's secondary emerging market index on Sept. 20 were the top losers, with mobile phone operator Ooredoo and Islamic lender Masraf Al Rayan each falling 5.1 percent."



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Hard Brexit will cost City of London its hub status, warns Bundesbank boss | World news | The Guardian

Hard Brexit will cost City of London its hub status, warns Bundesbank boss | World news | The Guardian:

"The head of Germany’s central bank has warned that London’s position as a financial centre would be dealt a severe blow if the UK left the single market because banks would be denied the right to operate across the 27 remaining members of the EU.

The “hard Brexit” option – favoured by some leading Conservative eurosceptics – would mean banks would automatically be stripped of their ability to conduct business across the EU and open the door for Frankfurt to take business away from London, the Bundesbank president, Jens Weidmann, said.

In an interview with the Guardian, Weidmann emphasised that banking “passporting rights are tied to the single market and would automatically cease to apply if Great Britain is no longer at least part of the European Economic Area” (EEA)."



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Brexit is Baxit | New York Minute - YouTube

Brexit is Baxit | New York Minute - YouTube: ""



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Egypt prepares ground for $10bn share sales in state energy companies | The National

Egypt prepares ground for $10bn share sales in state energy companies | The National:

"Egypt is set to launch its initial public offerings in government-owned companies with oil sector businesses, aiming to collect up to US$10 billion dollars within three to five years, the minister of investment said.

The government is studying which companies will participate in the programme, said the minister of investment Dalia Khorshid. The government will pick local and international investment banks to advise on the offerings.


"Many companies will be restructured in the coming period, beginning with electricity companies, to prepare them for share sales on the bourse," Ms Khorshid said. Proceeds will be used, in part, to narrow the budget deficit, she said."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Qatar pulls back ahead of FTSE inclusion, UAE outperforms peers | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Qatar pulls back ahead of FTSE inclusion, UAE outperforms peers | Reuters:

"Stock markets in the Gulf diverged in early trade on Monday, with Qatar's index pulling back ahead of the inclusion of some companies in FTSE's secondary emerging market index, while Dubai advanced as global risk sentiment improved.

Qatar's index retreated 1.8 percent, wiping out Sunday's 0.4 percent gain. Nine-tenth of the shared that were trading declined.

Shares in companies set to be included in index compiler FTSE's secondary emerging market index on Sept. 20 were the top losers, with mobile phone operator Ooredoo dropping 3.8 percent and Qatar National Bank shedding 1.9 percent."



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Sunday, 18 September 2016

Iran urges US to unblock aircraft deals, seeks investors | GulfNews.com

Iran urges US to unblock aircraft deals, seeks investors | GulfNews.com:

"Iran urged the United States on Sunday to remove remaining obstacles to it buying passenger planes following the lifting of international sanctions and spread out the welcome mat to foreign investors as it seeks to boost its aviation sector.
Iran provisionally agreed earlier this year to buy over 200 jets worth $50 billion (Dh183.5 billion) at list prices from Airbus and Boeing under an agreement between Tehran and world powers to ease sanctions in exchange for curbs on Iran’s nuclear activities.
Both deals hinge on the longer-than-expected process of winning US. Treasury approval, which is needed due to the high proportion of US parts in virtually all modern jetliners, including those made by Europe’s Airbus.
"



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OPEC May Hold Formal Meeting If Members Agree on Oil in Algiers - Bloomberg

OPEC May Hold Formal Meeting If Members Agree on Oil in Algiers - Bloomberg:

"OPEC may convene an extraordinary meeting if the group’s ministers reach a consensus on oil markets at an informal gathering in Algiers later this month, Secretary General Mohammed Barkindo said, according to Algeria’s official news agency.
Barkindo said he is “optimistic” about the informal session in Algiers to be held Sept. 27 on the sidelines of a conference of the International Energy Forum, Algeria Press Service reported Sunday. He made his comments after meeting with Algeria’s Energy Minister Nourredine Boutarfa, it said.
The Sept. 27 gathering will be a “meeting of consultation and not of decision-making,” unlike OPEC’s meeting in Oran, Algeria, in 2008, when it agreed to cut production, Barkindo said the previous day, APS reported on Saturday."



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