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Wednesday, 30 November 2016

GCC debt deluge: big-ticket issues, even by international standards | The National

GCC debt deluge: big-ticket issues, even by international standards | The National:
"The GCC is raining debt issuances. From almost nothing a few years ago, all we hear and read these days is the jumbo-sized bond issuances from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Abu Dhabi etc. The Saudis just closed a successful US$17.5 billion issue that was oversubscribed by more than four times, while Qatar raised $9bn in May, followed by a $5bn sale by Abu Dhabi. Even by international standards, these are big-ticket issues.


Why such a sudden rush to issue bonds overseas?

The straight answer should be the growing fiscal deficit or budgetary gap between income and expenses."

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RPT-UAE's Gulf Capital may sell some investments late next year | Reuters

RPT-UAE's Gulf Capital may sell some investments late next year | Reuters:
"Private equity firm Gulf Capital plans to sell some of its investments towards the end of 2017 and early 2018 as market sentiment and the regional economy improve, its chief executive told Reuters.

Karim El Solh declined to say which stakes the Abu Dhabi-based company, one of the biggest private equity firms in the region, was considering offloading but said that they would be appealing to global strategic buyers.

Sources familiar with the situation said Gulf Capital's stake in Egyptian medical firm TechnoScan and its remaining stake in utility business Metito Holdings were both for sale."

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Bloomberg

Bloomberg:
"Saudi Arabia is faced with making a meaningless OPEC deal or just walking away from the bargaining table, says Gareth Lewis, Senior Emerging Commodity Strategist at BNP Paribas. Either way, he tells Bloomberg Daybreak’s Guy Johnson, the Gulf nation’s long-term vision wins as prices head lower, thus making it more difficult for non-OPEC nations to produce."

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Leaner and meaner: U.S. shale greater threat to OPEC after oil price war | Reuters

Leaner and meaner: U.S. shale greater threat to OPEC after oil price war | Reuters:
"In a corner of the prolific Bakken shale play in North Dakota, oil companies can now pump crude at a price almost as low as that enjoyed by OPEC giants Iran and Iraq.

Until a few years ago it was unprofitable to produce oil from shale in the United States. The steep slide in costs could encourage more U.S. shale output if OPEC members cut supplies, undermining the producer group's ability to boost prices. OPEC ministers meet Wednesday to weigh output cuts to end a two-year glut that has pressured global oil prices."

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OPEC in first joint oil cut with Russia since 2001, Saudis take big hit | Reuters

OPEC in first joint oil cut with Russia since 2001, Saudis take big hit | Reuters:
"OPEC agreed on Wednesday its first oil output cuts since 2008 after Saudi Arabia accepted "a big hit" on its production and dropped its demand on arch-rival Iran to slash output.

Non-OPEC Russia will also join output reductions for the first time in 15 years to help the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries prop up oil prices.

Brent crude jumped over 9 percent to more than $50 a barrel as Riyadh reached a compromise with Iran and after fast-growing producer Iraq also agreed to curtail its booming output."

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MIDEAST STOCKS-Oil boosts Gulf, Saudi hits year-high; Egypt up on foreign buys | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Oil boosts Gulf, Saudi hits year-high; Egypt up on foreign buys | Reuters:
"An 8 percent leap in oil prices due to hopes for OPEC output cuts boosted Gulf stock markets on Wednesday with Saudi Arabia climbing to its highest level this year, while foreign buying lifted Egypt's bourse again.

The Saudi index climbed 1.5 percent to 7,000 points in heavy trade, confirming a break of major technical resistance on its April peak of 6,876 points. That triggers a double bottom formed by this year's lows and pointing up to around 8,400 points in the long term.

The index has soared over 25 percent from October's multi-year low since a $17.5 billion international bond issue by the government eased fears about its ability to cope with an era of cheap oil, and helped it begin making delayed payments to settle its debts to private companies."

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Oil up over 6% as Saudi Arabia and Iran point to Opec supply deal

Oil up over 6% as Saudi Arabia and Iran point to Opec supply deal:
"Oil rose sharply on Wednesday after two of Opec’s most powerful members said they were hopeful of reaching the first deal to cut supplies since prices started to plummeted two years ago.

Saudi Arabia’s energy minister Khalid al-Falih said the group, which controls around a third of the world’s oil production, was getting “close” to a deal and signalled that it was prepared to give some ground to its fierce regional rival Iran.

But he again hinted that Saudi Arabia could walk away from a deal if its conditions were not met, saying that waiting for the market to recover on its own was not a “bad outcome.”"

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Opec supply deal talks — 5 things to watch

Opec supply deal talks — 5 things to watch:
"Opec oil ministers from the 14-member producer group start their official meeting around 10am (GMT) on Wednesday in Vienna as they attempt to secure the first supply deal in eight years. Meetings traditionally last for between two and eight hours, but trying to predict the duration of such a gathering is near impossible. Oil traders will be glued to their screens throughout, with billions of dollars riding on the outcome. 

Opec ministers are holding a pre-meeting early Wednesday morning to try and smooth some remaining differences and set the tone for the rest of the day.

A news conference, known for its largely uncontrolled nature, will also give ministers a chance to voice their positions publicly to hordes of journalists before the formal discussions get under way."

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Brent crude leaps to $49 as Opec meetings begin

Brent crude leaps to $49 as Opec meetings begin:
"Oil prices rose sharply on Wednesday as Opec gathered in Vienna to try and clinch the first supply deal since crude prices plummeted two years ago.

Ministers from the 14-member cartel held pre-meeting talks at the Park Hyatt hotel this morning a final attempt to bridge their differences.

Iran’s oil minister Bijan Zanganeh said he was “optimistic” when asked by reporters if there would be an agreement later today."

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MIDEAST DEBT-Saudi's ACWA expected to offer sizeable spread on $1 bln project-linked bond | Reuters

MIDEAST DEBT-Saudi's ACWA expected to offer sizeable spread on $1 bln project-linked bond | Reuters:
"Saudi Arabia's ACWA Power (IPO-ACWA.SE) is expected to offer a hefty spread on its planned $1 billion bond offer, partly because of market volatility since the U.S. elections and a narrowing issuance window, bankers and investors said.

ACWA, in which Saudi sovereign entities hold a combined 16.3 percent stake, is set to be the first international bond from the kingdom since the government's mammoth $17.5 billion debt sale in October, Riyadh's first issue.

The huge success of the sovereign issue showed there is strong demand for Saudi debt, especially from Asian and U.S. investors. But market volatility, and the complexity and long maturity of ACWA's proposed bond structure, mean it may not issue cheaply."

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OPEC Deadlocked as Iran, Saudis Harden Positions on Oil Deal - Bloomberg

OPEC Deadlocked as Iran, Saudis Harden Positions on Oil Deal - Bloomberg:
"An OPEC deal to curtail oil production and prop up global prices appeared in jeopardy as Iran said it won’t make cuts while Saudi Arabia insisted Tehran must be willing to play a meaningful role in any agreement.

Ministers gathering in Vienna before Wednesday’s crucial OPEC meeting attempted to resolve differences obstructing an accord. Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh laid out his country’s position following talks with his Algerian and Venezuelan counterparts. Under an Algerian proposal Tuesday, the 14 members of OPEC would cut production to 32.5 million barrels per day from their October level of 33.6 million, according to two delegates familiar with the talks. "

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Saudi Arabia Transfers $27 Billion to Wealth Fund for Deals - Bloomberg

Saudi Arabia Transfers $27 Billion to Wealth Fund for Deals - Bloomberg:
"Saudi Arabia is transferring 100 billion riyals ($27 billion) to the sovereign wealth fund to boost investments and diversify from oil.

The funds will be allocated to the Public Investment Fund from the kingdom’s reserves, according to a statement on the state-run Saudi Press Agency on Wednesday. The PIF, as it’s known, will focus on international and domestic deals including some “high yield opportunities in the local market that support the private sector,” it said. The new funding represents an increase of about 17 percent to the PIF’s existing 600 billion riyals of assets.

Saudi Arabia is planning to transform the PIF from a domestically focused investment firm into a $2 trillion sovereign wealth fund as the OPEC member seeks to boost non-oil income. The fund made some of its highest-profile deals this year, including a $3.5 billion investment in taxi-hailing app Uber Technologies Inc. and plans to put as much as $45 billion into a $100 billion global technology fund formed by Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp."

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MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf mixed in early trade before OPEC decision | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf mixed in early trade before OPEC decision | Reuters:
"Saudi Arabia's stock market edged up in early trade on Wednesday while other Gulf bourses were mixed ahead of an OPEC decision expected late in the day on proposed oil production cuts to prop up prices.

Most analysts believe the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries will cobble together a deal to reduce some production at its meeting on Wednesday in Vienna, which starts at 1000 GMT.

But there is a lot of uncertainty on the terms of the deal and whether it will have much long-term effect on the oil market, and in this environment, many institutional funds have been cutting back activity, leaving Gulf stock markets to focus on short-term trade by retail investors."

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Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Iran outlines proposal for Saudi output cuts ahead of Opec meeting

Iran outlines proposal for Saudi output cuts ahead of Opec meeting:
"An Opec meeting wouldn’t be an Opec meeting without some noisy negotiations – and Iran has just turned the volume up to 11.

It has demanded Saudi Arabia cut production to its November 2014 level of around 9.5m barrels a day – that’s around 1m barrels per day less than Riyadh is currently producing, report Anjli Raval and David Sheppard in Vienna.

The request was made in a letter sent to Opec’s secretariat and marks the latest tit-for-tat exchange between the two regional rivals ahead of Wednesday’s ministerial meeting in Vienna."

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City must apply EU rules to keep lead role, says eurogroup chief

City must apply EU rules to keep lead role, says eurogroup chief:
"The City of London risks losing its role as the continent’s premier financial centre unless the UK agrees to fully apply EU regulations post-Brexit, one of Europe’s most senior policymakers has warned.

The stance of Jeroen Dijsselbloem, who chairs the eurogroup of 17 eurozone finance ministers, would in effect scupper any attempt by Britain to negotiate a special deal for its financial industry to maintain prized “passporting” rights that allow UK-based banks to operate across the EU.

The remarks are some of the starkest yet about the difficult choice facing British negotiators, who may have to pick between retaining access to EU markets or having the freedom to attract business by lowering regulatory standards at home. Mr Dijsselbloem, the Dutch finance minister, was echoing warnings from other EU leaders that the UK would not be allowed to “have its cake and eat it”."

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MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi pulls back with oil's retreat; profit-taking resumes in Egypt | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi pulls back with oil's retreat; profit-taking resumes in Egypt | Reuters:
"Saudi Arabia's stock market gave up early gains by the close on Tuesday as oil prices pulled back, while other Gulf bourses were mixed. Profit-taking pulled Egypt' market lower after big gains this month.

The Saudi index has soared over 25 percent - almost entirely erasing its losses this year - since the government's $17.5 billion international bond issue in late October eased fears about its ability to cope with an era of cheap oil, and helped it begin making delayed payments to settle its debts to private companies.

In early trade on Tuesday the index rose as much as 0.7 percent. But Brent crude oil fell around 2 percent to below $47.50 a barrel on Tuesday afternoon on signs that oil exporters were struggling to agree a deal to cut production."

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Opec heavy-hitters rush to rescue supply deal

Opec heavy-hitters rush to rescue supply deal:
"Opec’s most powerful members were rushing on Tuesday to rescue a supply deal designed to end the longest oil price decline in a generation.

Saudi Arabia, Opec’s largest producer, and its arch rival Iran have set out their positions ahead of Wednesday’s ministerial meeting in Vienna, with the kingdom hinting it could walk away from a deal if its conditions are not met and Tehran publicly saying it cannot compromise on its production rights.

But after 10 hours of closed-door talks, delegates from the 14-member group made progress on Monday. There were signs of greater flexibility between the main players, which are trying to support prices that have more than halved since mid-2014."

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In OPEC’s High-Stakes Poker Game, Iran and Iraq Call Saudi Bluff - Bloomberg

In OPEC’s High-Stakes Poker Game, Iran and Iraq Call Saudi Bluff - Bloomberg:
"For decades, Saudi Arabia has had its way at OPEC. All of a sudden the position has turned: Riyadh finds its power waning against a resurgent Iran and Iraq.

As Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries ministers meet Wednesday, Saudi Arabia is trying to reassert its authority by hinting it’s prepared to walk away from the negotiations. Genuine warning or bluff, Tehran and Baghdad may be willing to take the risk. Both have seen Saudi Arabia gain market share and neither is as dependent on oil prices as Riyadh.

"Iran and Iraq have assumed that Saudi Arabia will cut unilaterally because it wanted higher prices and thought they could put the Saudis into a corner," said Amrita Sen, chief oil analyst at Energy Aspects Ltd. "Riyadh has effectively said it isn’t in a corner and will not do a deal unless everyone else contributes.""

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Saudis Temper Call for Cuts and Russia Digs In - Bloomberg

Saudis Temper Call for Cuts and Russia Digs In - Bloomberg:
"OPEC surprised the market in September with a preliminary agreement to reduce supply to 32.5 million to 33 million barrels a day, breaking a two-year policy to pump at full throttle. The news pushed prices above $50 a barrel in New York for the first time since June, but optimism faded as subsequent meetings failed to decide cuts for individual members.

Ministers gather in Vienna Wednesday for final talks to hammer out a deal with several obstacles remaining. There’s still no agreed mechanism for Iran and Iraq to participate in an accord, while Libya and Nigeria -- both exempt from any cuts -- are boosting output, increasing the burden on other members. Russia, the biggest non-OPEC supplier, doesn’t plan to attend the Vienna talks even though several members have insisted it contribute to cuts.
OPEC’s output swelled to a record 33.6 million barrels a day last month. The group’s own estimates show that the September agreement would barely drain a record global oil surplus next year without the cooperation of producers outside the organization. "

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Saudi Arabian Wealth Fund Takes 50% Stake in Alabbar’s Adeptio - Bloomberg

Saudi Arabian Wealth Fund Takes 50% Stake in Alabbar’s Adeptio - Bloomberg:
"Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund is deepening ties with Dubai-based businessman Mohamed Alabbar by taking a 50 percent stake in his Adeptio investment vehicle.
The acquisition is part of the Public Investment Fund’s strategy to boost non-oil investments, according to a statement late Monday, which didn’t give financial details of the transaction. Adeptio is working on a takeover of fast food restaurant operator Kuwait Food Co., also known as Americana, and is set to begin a mandatory tender offer for the company’s shares after acquiring a 67 percent stake."

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UPDATE 1-State of Kuwait sends request for proposals for bond | Reuters

UPDATE 1-State of Kuwait sends request for proposals for bond | Reuters:
"The State of Kuwait has sent a request for proposals for a potential debut international bond, according to sources.

The sovereign is expected to issue next year, most likely in the US dollar market, continuing the spree of Gulf sovereign bond deals.

In October, bankers said that Kuwait was in no rush to fund overseas, according to Reuters. Finance Minister Anas al-Saleh had said in July the government planned to sell as much as US$10bn in conventional and Islamic bonds in international markets to help plug Kuwait's budget deficit for the current fiscal year, which will end on March 31."

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MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi close to technical breakout; UAE firms in speculative trade | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi close to technical breakout; UAE firms in speculative trade | Reuters:
"Saudi Arabia's stock market neared a bullish technical breakout in early trade on Tuesday while speculative activity in small caps boosted United Arab Emirates markets, though other bourses in the Gulf were little changed.

The Saudi index climbed 0.7 percent in the first half-hour to 6,950 points, its highest level since Jan. 3. A close above major technical resistance on the April peak of 6,876 points would confirm a major double bottom formed by the January and October lows and pointing up to around 8,400 points in the long term.

As on Monday, the banking and petrochemical sectors moved little and much activity focused on smaller stocks.

"

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Monday, 28 November 2016

Crude oil rebounds with Opec meeting on the horizon

Crude oil rebounds with Opec meeting on the horizon:
"Crude oil prices recovered from earlier losses in the trading day ahead of Wednesday’s crucial Opec meeting in Vienna, as investors weighed the chances of the production cartel’s ability to reach an agreement to curb output.

Brent crude oil, the international benchmark, gained 1.8 per cent to hit $48.09 per barrel by midday trading, after falling 2.0 per cent earlier on Monday. West Texas Intermediate, the US benchmark, also rose 1.7 per cent to $46.83 per barrel.

The rebound came after Iraq oil minister Jabar Ali al-Luaibi said he was “optimistic” about reaching a deal in Vienna."

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Bankruptcy law to improve credit dynamics in the UAE | GulfNews.com

Bankruptcy law to improve credit dynamics in the UAE | GulfNews.com:
"The UAE Bankruptcy Law or Federal Law 9 of 2016 is one crucial part of the comprehensive insolvency law reforms that will go a long way in improving the credit dynamics and investor confidence in the UAE, according to economists.
“The law comes at a critical time in the UAE’s economic development road map, especially given the vital role the law will play in incentivising private sector and entrepreneurial activity,” said Shady Shaher Elborno, Head of Macro Strategy at Emirates NBD.
The existing insolvency regime was broadly spread across three pieces of legislation, the commercial companies law, the commercial transactions law, and the civil law. While providing a formal court supervised process for settling creditor claims, the lack of clarity and inconsistency around the laws meant they have been largely untested."

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Saudi Aramco and Adnoc Expanding Into Chemicals Amid Asia Growth - Bloomberg

Saudi Aramco and Adnoc Expanding Into Chemicals Amid Asia Growth - Bloomberg:
"Saudi Arabia and the emirate of Abu Dhabi plan to more than double their production of petrochemicals to cash in on growing demand.
Both Persian Gulf oil producers are prioritizing a more diverse output of petrochemicals to help wean their economies away from crude. They want to produce chemicals that are used in plastics to tap growing consumer-goods markets, particularly in Asia, and to make plastics themselves.  
“By 2030, Asia will become the main driver of global economic growth and will also represent the world’s largest market for consumer goods,” Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, chief executive officer of Abu Dhabi National Oil Co., said Monday at a conference in Dubai. “Demand for petrochemicals by 2030 will in fact double, representing an unprecedented market opportunity.”"

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BRIEF-Fitch says UAE Islamic banking faces growing operating challenges | Reuters

BRIEF-Fitch says UAE Islamic banking faces growing operating challenges | Reuters:
"* Fitch says UAE Islamic banking faces growing operating challenges

* Fitch says Islamic financing growth in UAE slowed in 2016, but remained above conventional banks"

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MIDEAST STOCKS-Second-tier stocks boost Saudi, foreign money supports Egypt | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Second-tier stocks boost Saudi, foreign money supports Egypt | Reuters:
"Strength in second-tier stocks favoured by local retail investors boosted Saudi Arabia's stock market on Monday, while foreign buying helped Egypt partially rebound from a drop on Sunday and most other Middle East bourses fell.

Saudi Arabia's index climbed 0.9 percent to 6,904 points, rising above major technical resistance on its April peak of 6,876 points. A second consecutive close above that level would be very bullish technically and point to the index reaching around 8,400 points in the long term.

The Saudi market has been strong since the kingdom's $17.5 billion international bond issue in late October partly eased concern about Riyadh's ability to cope with an era of cheap oil."

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The Saudis are playing with fire if they raise oil output further

The Saudis are playing with fire if they raise oil output further:
"Does Saudi Arabia in its pursuit of a secure share of the world oil market have the nerve to take on its principal supporter and patron? Will those in power in Riyadh take the risk of challenging US economic interests as a new president comes into power in Washington?

The Opec states meet on Wednesday to discuss a co-ordinated cut in production designed to rebalance an oversupplied market. In advance of that meeting, the gamesmanship goes on. The Saudis are producing at record levels while Iran continues to increase output — opening three new fields in the past few weeks alone. There is little sign that the promised cuts will be delivered when the cartel meets and, unsurprisingly, prices have fallen back to around $45 a barrel.

The Saudi response to this stalemate has been to threaten a further increase in production to 11mbd or more. The assumption is that other producers can be pressured into cutting back to give the Saudis a bigger market share. That starts with Iran but extends to the US. In the new world order after the US presidential election the approach looks risky at best and potentially an act of serious self-harm."

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Oil Extends Slide Below $46 on Skepticism Over OPEC Output Deal - Bloomberg

Oil Extends Slide Below $46 on Skepticism Over OPEC Output Deal - Bloomberg:
"Oil extended declines to slip below $46 a barrel amid skepticism over OPEC’s ability to reach an agreement to cut output as representatives prepare to meet Monday amid last-minute negotiations over the deal the group aims to formalize Wednesday.

Futures fell as much as 2 percent in New York after dropping 4 percent on Friday. Saudi Arabia for the first time on Sunday suggested OPEC doesn’t necessarily need to curb output and pulled out of a scheduled meeting with non-member producers, including Russia. OPEC will hold an internal meeting in Vienna Monday to resolve its differences and, as part of the final push to reach an agreement, oil ministers from Algeria and Venezuela are heading to Moscow to get the group’s biggest rival on board."

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Saudis Temper Call for Cuts and Russia Digs In - Bloomberg

Saudis Temper Call for Cuts and Russia Digs In - Bloomberg:
"OPEC surprised the market in September with a preliminary agreement to reduce supply to 32.5 million to 33 million barrels a day, breaking a two-year policy to pump at full throttle. The news pushed prices above$50 a barrel in New York for the first time since June, but optimism faded as subsequent meetings failed to decide cuts for individual members.

Ministers gather in Vienna Wednesday for final talks to hammer out a deal with several obstacles remaining. There’s still no agreed mechanism for Iran and Iraq to participate in a deal, although Baghdad last week appeared to reverse its opposition to making cuts. Libya and Nigeria, both exempt from any supply reductions, are boosting output, increasing the burden on other members. OPEC supply had already swelled to a record 33.6 million barrels a day last month.
OPEC’s own estimates show that the September agreement would barely drain a record oil surplus next year without the cooperation of producers outside the group. Several members are said to be adamant that Russia, the biggest non-OPEC supplier, should shoulder some of the cuts. So far Russia has offered no more than to freeze at current record levels.
"

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MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets move sideways in early trade | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets move sideways in early trade | Reuters:
"Gulf stock markets moved sideways in early trade on Monday with little fresh corporate news to spur buying, while uncertainty over oil prices also deterred some investors.

Saudi Arabia's index was flat after 70 minutes of trade with most petrochemical companies little changed and the banking sector index edging down.

Real estate developer Jabal Omar gained 1.4 percent after saying it had ended a contract with builder Saudi Binladin Group, settling an outstanding 196 million riyal ($52.3 million) debt to Binladin by transferring to it ownership of units in a project."

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Sunday, 27 November 2016

OPEC Pushes for Oil Deal as Saudis Open Door for No Output Cut - Bloomberg

OPEC Pushes for Oil Deal as Saudis Open Door for No Output Cut - Bloomberg:
"OPEC is embarking on a last-ditch diplomatic push to reach a production cut, with ministers flying to Russia for talks, as Saudi Arabia for the first time suggested the oil-club doesn’t necessarily need to curb output.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will meet on Wednesday in Vienna to try finalize the terms of its first production decrease in eight years. Yet the group remains divided about how to share the curbs internally and Khalid Al-Falih, the Saudi oil minister, has opened the door to leave the group’s production unchanged.

“We expect demand to recover in 2017, then prices will stabilize, and this will happen without an intervention from OPEC,” Al-Falih said in Dhahran, eastern Saudi Arabia, on Sunday, according to the Saudi newspaper Asharq al-Awsat. “We don’t have a single path which is to cut production at the OPEC meeting, we can also depend on recovery in consumption, especially from the U.S.”"

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UPDATE 1-Saudi energy minister: oil market would balance even without output cuts | Reuters

UPDATE 1-Saudi energy minister: oil market would balance even without output cuts | Reuters:
"Saudi Arabia's energy minister Khalid al-Falih said on Sunday that he believed the oil market would balance itself in 2017 even if producers did not intervene, and that keeping output at current levels could therefore be justified.

Under a preliminary agreement reached in September in Algeria, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries would reduce its production to between 32.5 million and 33 million barrels per day, its first supply curb since 2008.

OPEC oil ministers meet in Vienna on Wednesday in an effort to finalise that deal; OPEC also wants non-OPEC producers such as Russia to support the intervention by curbing their output."

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MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf consolidates in quiet trade | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf consolidates in quiet trade | Reuters:
"Gulf stocks consolidated in a quiet market on Sunday with little corporate news to prompt trading, and with Friday's sharp pull-back in oil prices offsetting strength in bourses worldwide.

The Saudi stocks edged up 0.1 percent to 6,806 points in the first half hour. The index tested and failed to break technical resistance on its April peak of 6,876 points on Thursday.

The petrochemical index underperformed, dropping 0.4 percent, while the cement sector was also weak."

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Opec oil deal dominates market tone for the week

Opec oil deal dominates market tone for the week:
"All eyes are on Vienna and Opec’s annual gathering with a keenly awaited decision on production levels. An Opec deal on Wednesday that delivers a concrete supply reduction of at least 1m barrels a day, with non-members such as Russia on board could boost oil beyond its recent $40-$50 range.

While traders pushed Brent towards $50 a barrel earlier last week, news on Friday that Saudi Arabia would not attend a meeting with Russia and Kazakhstan on Monday, prompted a pullback in the crude benchmark below $48.

The price action underscores the high stakes for oil traders should Opec stumble in trying to distribute a production cut among members before ministers convene their meeting. A sticking point appears to be Iran, recovering after years under western sanctions, and which believes it should be treated as a special case without any output restraints."

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Gulf markets consolidate in subdued opening trade | The National

Gulf markets consolidate in subdued opening trade | The National:
"Gulf stocks consolidated in a quiet market on Sunday with little corporate news to prompt trading, and with Friday’s sharp pull-back in oil prices offsetting strength in bourses worldwide.

The Saudi stocks edged up 0.1 per cent to 6,806 points in the first half hour. The index tested and failed to break technical resistance on its April peak of 6,876 points on Thursday.

The petrochemical index underperformed, dropping 0.4 per cent, while the cement sector was also weak."

'via Blog this'

Saudis sink Russia oil talks as Opec deal hangs in the balance | GulfNews.com

Saudis sink Russia oil talks as Opec deal hangs in the balance | GulfNews.com:
"Saudi Arabia pulled out of planned talks with non-Opec nations including Russia as disagreements about how to share the burden of supply cuts stood in the way of a deal to boost prices just days before a make-or-break meeting in Vienna.
Opec officials were scheduled to meet with non-members including Russia on Monday before a ministerial meeting in Vienna two days later. The meeting was later cancelled entirely after the Saudis decided not to take part.
Instead, the group called another internal meeting to try to resolve its own differences, particularly the question of whether Iran and Iraq are willing to cut production, said two delegates, asking not to be identified because the deliberations are sensitive. Saudi Arabia wants an Opec deal in place before conversations with other producers such as Russia, one delegate said."

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MIDEAST STOCKS-Technicals weakening for some major markets | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Technicals weakening for some major markets | Reuters:
"The short-term technical outlook for some major Middle Eastern stocks markets appears to be weakening, which could weigh on share prices on Sunday.

Saudi Arabia's index, last at 6,797 points, closed on Thursday well off its intra-day high, failing an initial test of resistance on its April peak of 6,876 points. That level could be a ceiling for the market, at least in the short term.

Dubai's index, last at 3,324 points, failed a test on Thursday of minor resistance on its late October peak of 3,368 points."

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Saturday, 26 November 2016

Russneft raises $500m in IPO

Russneft raises $500m in IPO:
"Russneft, the Russian oil producer in which Glencore holds a 25 per cent stake, has raised 32.4bn roubles ($502m) in an initial public offering on the Moscow Exchange, the company said on Friday.

Russneft, which is Russia’s seventh-largest oil producer by volume with an output of about 150,000 barrels a day last year, said it had sold 20 per cent of its ordinary shares at 550 roubles each in the flotation, valuing its ordinary equity at $2.5bn. Including preference shares, the stake sold in the flotation was equivalent to 15 per cent of the company’s total equity capital, it said.

The deal values Glencore’s stake in the oil company at about $830m — above the $685m at which it was valued in the company’s most recent annual report. Glencore swapped $984m of loans to Russneft and equity stakes in Russneft subsidiaries for its stake in the Russian oil company last year.

"

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An Opec deal is not about to usher in an era of $100 oil

An Opec deal is not about to usher in an era of $100 oil:
"Opec has been talking for nine months now about an oil supply deal that may only last for half a year. It is a measure of just how badly most cartel members want a higher oil price, and just how hard it has been to achieve.

When ministers sit down in Vienna next week, the oil industry will be looking for them to finally deliver a concrete supply reduction of at least 1m barrels a day, putting searing differences between Saudi Arabia, Iran and Iraq aside to speed the end of the oil glut.

But after all this time a deal is still not locked down and, even if it is successful on Wednesday, Opec is not about to usher in a new era of $100 oil."

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Saudi Arabia on verge of $30bn capital injection | World Places and News

Saudi Arabia on verge of $30bn capital injection | World Places and News:
"Saudi Arabia is hardly an emerging market success story at the moment, with a bout of austerity driven by low oil prices resulting in public sector pay cuts and a slump in non-oil growth to 0.07 per cent in the second quarter of 2016, putting the country on the brink for its first non-oil recession in 30 years.

Yet Saudi could be on the verge of attracting more than $30bn of foreign capital to its $380bn stock market, according to estimates by Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

A buying spree of this magnitude would represent a seismic shift for a widely ignored bourse that accounts for just 0.2 per cent of the holdings of the global emerging market fund sector.

"

'via Blog this'

Big oil collides with a family fortune

Big oil collides with a family fortune:
"The Rockefeller name re­mains synonymous with the capitalist bludgeon of John D Rockefeller and Standard Oil, the 19th century monopoly that created one of the greatest fortunes in history. But, deep into the fifth generation, the money is still gushing along with a conscience and swagger rarely found in money this old.

It pops up in the unlikeliest places. The phenomenon of farm-to-table dining was nurtured and popularised at the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture in Tarrytown, New York, funded by the Rockefellers and created out of their former dairy farm. Through Venrock, their venture capital firm, the Rockefellers have funded companies such as Intel and Apple — and more recently Nest Labs, which was sold to Google for $3.2bn, and the Dollar Shave Club, which Unilever bought recently for $1bn.

One of the greatest thrills of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York is the Michael C Rockefeller wing, housing art from Africa, Oceania and Central and South America. Michael was a scholarly collector of primitive art, who died at the age of 23 on an expedition to Netherlands New Guinea in 1961."

'via Blog this'

Friday, 25 November 2016

Russia cements leading China oil supply position | Reuters

Russia cements leading China oil supply position | Reuters:
"Russia is cementing its position as the main oil supplier to China, the world's biggest net importer and growth market for the fuel, taking over the lead from Saudi Arabia in the first 10 months of the year, customs data showed on Friday.

Russia also took the monthly lead back from Angola, which briefly had top supply spot to China in September, the data showed.

Chinese crude oil imports from Russia in October climbed 39 percent on a year earlier to 1.12 million barrels per day (bpd), making it the biggest supplier. That also left it the largest supplier over the first 10 months of the year, totaling around 1.03 million bpd in that period, customs data showed.

"

'via Blog this'

For OPEC’s Rivals, Success Lies in Oil Market Far, Far Away - Bloomberg

For OPEC’s Rivals, Success Lies in Oil Market Far, Far Away - Bloomberg:
"Rivals of OPEC seeking to reach its most-prized oil customers are finding that the long way around is better than any shortcut to success.
As the group seeks to implement a deal to limit output, the glut that was exacerbated by its prior strategy of keeping taps open has spawned a market structure that’s benefiting competitors in sales to Asia. Cargoes from Europe’s North Sea will reach South Korea in coming months, while U.S. Eagle Ford shale crude as well as Mexican oil arrived at Yeosu port in November. Japanese and Thai refiners have bought West Texas Intermediate from BP Plc.
Shipments to Asia from locations farther than the Middle East are turning more attractive because of a deepening market structure known as contango, where near-term supplies are cheaper than those for future months. Sellers benefit from this because the value of a cargo rises as it makes the longer journey to its destination. For buyers, abundant output across the Atlantic Basin has made North American and European oil cheaper relative to crude from OPEC nations such as the U.A.E and Qatar."

'via Blog this'

Export credit enlisted to keep Gulf mega projects funded: sources | Reuters

Export credit enlisted to keep Gulf mega projects funded: sources | Reuters:
"Gulf governments are increasingly turning to export credit agencies (ECAs) to finance billions of dollars of infrastructure projects as low oil prices squeeze liquidity in the region.

Bankers say that since oil prices fell more than two years ago, eroding state revenues and drying up funding from local and international banks, borrowers are considering ECA finance for everything from airports to oil refinery expansion.

The extent of its use in the future is difficult to predict, but at least a portion of the estimated $2 trillion of projects planned in the Gulf Cooperation Council are likely to require ECA involvement."

'via Blog this'

Saudi Aramco to supply more oil to Asia in January: sources | Reuters

Saudi Aramco to supply more oil to Asia in January: sources | Reuters:
"State oil giant Saudi Aramco has agreed to supply some customers in Asia with incremental crude that will load in January, as it holds to a strategy of maintaining market share, three sources with knowledge of the matter said on Friday.

The decision by the world's top exporter to give extra oil came weeks before Saudi Aramco was due to notify customers of their monthly supply allocation. For January supplies, allocations would have been made only around Jan. 10.

By exercising flexibility to meet customers' demand, Saudi Arabia is signaling that it won't budge on market share even as it works with members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to finalize plans for a production cut at their Nov. 30 meeting, the sources said."

'via Blog this'

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Saudi fund hires HSBC for potential purchase of ACWA Power stake | Reuters

Saudi fund hires HSBC for potential purchase of ACWA Power stake | Reuters:
"Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund (PIF), has hired HSBC to advise it on a potential purchase of a stake in ACWA Power, a developer and operator of power and water plants, sources close to the matter said.

Riyadh-based ACWA Power has chosen JP Morgan to advise it on the process, the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity as the information is not public, said.

Saudia Arabia aims to expand the PIF into the world's largest sovereign wealth fund as part of economic reforms prompted by lower oil prices. As a result, it has been linked with or completed a number of domestic and overseas asset purchases in the past few months."

'via Blog this'

Azerbaijan signals OPEC wants big cuts from non-OPEC producers | Reuters

Azerbaijan signals OPEC wants big cuts from non-OPEC producers | Reuters:
"OPEC may ask oil producers outside the cartel to make big cuts in output, Azerbaijan said on Thursday, highlighting the challenges in striking a deal as the two sides enter the final stages of talks aimed at cutting production to stabilize prices.

The oil minister of Azerbaijan, which is not a member of OPEC, was quoted in a newspaper as saying the cartel may want non-OPEC producers to cut output by as much as 880,000 barrels per day (bpd) - a figure which analysts said could help wipe out excess crude supplies and start to eat into record inventories.

However, the energy minister of Russia, the largest non-OPEC producer, said he hadn't heard about such a proposal, and that OPEC's earlier suggestion had been for members outside the cartel to reduce output by 500,000 bpd."

'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Egypt succumbs to profit taking, Saudi whipsaws but ends week up | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Egypt succumbs to profit taking, Saudi whipsaws but ends week up | Reuters:
"Egypt's stock index slipped from a multi-year peak on Thursday while shares in the Gulf were mixed with Saudi Arabia's market swinging in volatile, heavy trade but ending the week on a firm footing.

Cairo's index of the 30 most actively traded shares dropped 1.7 percent to 11,353 points, falling from a strong technical barrier at its 2008 peak of 12,039 points. The broader market index, which has been outperforming over the last few sessions, retreated 0.1 percent.

Investor turnout remained strong, according to bourse data, but heavily skewed towards aggressive selling from local traders while international funds remained net buyers."

'via Blog this'

Saudi Arabia Mining Expands as Kingdom Chases Growth Beyond Oil - Bloomberg

Saudi Arabia Mining Expands as Kingdom Chases Growth Beyond Oil - Bloomberg:
"Saudi Arabian Mining Co. plans to double gold production by 2020 and is increasing output of other commodities from aluminum to ammonia as the world’s biggest crude oil exporter seeks to diversify its economy. 
Gold output will be 500,000 ounces by 2020 from about 200,000 ounces this year, Chief Executive Officer Khaled Al Mudaifer said Wednesday in an interview in Ras Al-Khair in eastern Saudi Arabia. Aluminum production through a joint venture with Alcoa Corp. in the U.S. has potential to increase to 1 million metric tons from 760,000 tons this year, through the use of recycled metal parts, he said."

'via Blog this'

Thanks be to Trump - YouTube

Thanks be to Trump - YouTube: ""

'via Blog this'

Saudi Arabia Is On Track for IMF 2016 Budget Deficit Forecast - Bloomberg

Saudi Arabia Is On Track for IMF 2016 Budget Deficit Forecast - Bloomberg:
"Saudi Arabia will likely reduce its budget deficit this year to the level forecast by the International Monetary Fund, as the kingdom cuts spending to counter the impact of low oil prices, a fund official said on Wednesday.
The Washington-based lender expects the shortfall to narrow to 13 percent of economic output from about 16 percent last year.
Tim Callen, the IMF Saudi mission chief, said in a phone interview that while the government’s decision to pay back arrears owed to contractors “will push up spending” in the fourth quarter. “But from what we’ve seen they’re on track.”"

'via Blog this'

IEA expects oil investment to fall for third year in 2017 | Reuters

IEA expects oil investment to fall for third year in 2017 | Reuters:
"Investment in new oil production is likely to fall for a third year in 2017 as a global supply glut persists, stoking volatility in crude markets, the head of the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Thursday.

"Our analysis shows we are entering a period of greater oil price volatility (partly) as a result of three years in a row of global oil investments in decline: in 2015, 2016 and most likely 2017," IEA director general Fatih Birol said, speaking at an energy conference in Tokyo.

"This is the first time in the history of oil that investments are declining three years in a row," he said, adding that this would cause "difficulties" in global oil markets in a few years.

"

'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Rising Saudi market on track to break technical resistance | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Rising Saudi market on track to break technical resistance | Reuters:
"Saudi Arabian shares continued their advance during early trading on Thursday while there was a mixed showing in light volumes for the rest of the region's markets.

Riyadh's index added 1 percent within the first 20 minutes of trade, extending the previous session's 3 percent gain.

If trading momentum continues to build on Thursday, it could confirm a break above technical resistance at the July high of 6,703 points and head towards the next at its April peak of 6,876, its highest this year.

"

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Barclays executive sacked after SFO interview

Barclays executive sacked after SFO interview:
"Barclays dismissed one of its top executives as a “direct result” of what he told investigators who have a criminal probe open against the bank, a tribunal has heard.

Richard Boath, who until this year was Barclays’ chairman of financial services, will argue in an unfair-dismissal hearing against the ban‎k that he was sacked after investigators at the UK’s Serious Fraud Office passed Barclays a transcript of his interview with them, his lawyer told a London tribunal in a hearing on Wednesday, reports Caroline Binham in London.

The SFO is investigating Barclays’ £7.3bn emergency cash call at the height of the financial crisis, when it turned to investors in Qatar and Abu Dhabi to stay out of UK government control."

'via Blog this'

Oil price firms after Iraq says it is ready to cut output

Oil price firms after Iraq says it is ready to cut output:
"Iraq’s prime minister said the country is willing to cut some of its own production, in a move that could smooth the way to a supply deal when Opec, the oil cartel, meets next week.

Haider al-Abadi said Iraq would “shoulder responsibility” for some of the planned reductions of the 14-member group’s output to bolster the oil price, according to comments reported by Reuters.

The price of Brent crude, the international benchmark, rose 20 cents to $49.28 a barrel following the news, from an earlier low of $48.56 a barrel. West Texas Intermediate, the US marker, increased 25 cents to $48.27 a barrel, from a low of $47.40."

'via Blog this'

Oil prices edge higher despite doubts on OPEC-led cuts | Reuters

Oil prices edge higher despite doubts on OPEC-led cuts | Reuters:
"Oil prices turned positive on Wednesday despite investor doubts that OPEC will agree to a production cut large enough to make a significant dent in the global glut of crude.

Members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will meet next week on Nov. 30 in Vienna to decide on the details of an agreement to cut output that the group has been trying to hammer out since September.

Oil prices were lower in the morning but turned positive after the Energy Information Administration said U.S. crude stocks unexpectedly fell 1.3 million barrels last week."

'via Blog this'

OPEC’s Latest Headache: Russian Reluctance to Cut Oil Output - Bloomberg

OPEC’s Latest Headache: Russian Reluctance to Cut Oil Output - Bloomberg:
"For months, Russia has told OPEC its preferred option in any eventual oil-supply deal was to freeze production, rather than to cut it. It’s dawning on the group that Moscow may actually mean it.

While Russia talked about a freeze, Saudi Arabia and its allies privately expected Moscow would eventually join a cut if the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries delivered its own reduction, according to people briefed on the matter, who asked not to be named because of the sensitive nature of the talks.

Several OPEC members are adamant Russia must reduce supply if the plan to ease a global glut is to succeed. Just one week before OPEC’s ministerial meeting in Vienna, that prospect seems less likely."

'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi lifts mood in regional markets; Egypt holds near 8-yr peak | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi lifts mood in regional markets; Egypt holds near 8-yr peak | Reuters:
"Saudi Arabia's index firmed on Wednesday as blue chips resumed their climb and the positive mood flowed into other Gulf bourses, carrying them higher. Egypt's market edged up, holding near an 8-year peak as foreign funds remained aggressive buyers.

Riyadh's index bounced 3.0 percent to 6,796 points, closing 93 points over technical resistance at the July peak of 6,703 points. Turnover was almost double that of Tuesday.

Some blue chips continued to attract funds, with the top telecommunication operator Saudi Telecom Co (STC) jumping 4.6 percent."

'via Blog this'

Saudi government payments to construction firms may not mean a speedy market recovery, builders warn | The National

Saudi government payments to construction firms may not mean a speedy market recovery, builders warn | The National:
"Builders have cautioned that the Saudi government’s instigation of repayments to its suffering construction industry may not be able to avert a prolonged lull next year before a recovery takes hold of the market.

Joseph Daher, the chief executive of the Jeddah-based Almabani General Contractors, said payments started to filter through from some government-related clients at the end of September.

"We’ve received some, and more is on the way," he said. "We have reasons to be optimistic.""

'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi shares advance, rest of region quiet | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi shares advance, rest of region quiet | Reuters:
"Saudi Arabia's stock market extended gains in early trade on Wednesday, outperforming regional markets where local retail investors were the main participants.

Riyadh's index added 1 percent in the first 45 minutes of trade, inching closer to technical resistance at the July peak of 6,703 points.

Petrochemicals and banking stocks, which have been outperforming other sectors over the past month, strengthened. Saudi Basic Industries added 1.2 percent while Banque Saudi Fransi gained 2.4 percent."

'via Blog this'

Saudi Arabia Sway in OPEC Limited by Resurgent Iraq and Iran - Bloomberg

Saudi Arabia Sway in OPEC Limited by Resurgent Iraq and Iran - Bloomberg:
"Saudi Arabia’s dominance of OPEC isn’t what it once was. 
Iraq and Iran, shaking off shackles of sanctions and war, have raised oil output to record highs and are asserting themselves within the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. Together they produce more than 8 million barrels of oil a day, nearly a quarter of the oil pumped by the group, and both want to boost their output further."

'via Blog this'

Saudi Arabia, cutting its budget, turns to private schools

Saudi Arabia, cutting its budget, turns to private schools:
"With oil prices languishing around $50 a barrel for the second year, in Saudi Arabia economic diversification has transformed from a phrase in vogue to a necessity. The kingdom, burning through foreign reserves, faces another year of double-digit fiscal deficits and plans to wean itself off oil revenues by shifting nationals from the public payroll and into the private sector.

Despite education making up a quarter of all budgeted spending, however, some experts feel the system of rote learning and omnipresent religious schooling has left youths lacking the critical thinking and technical skills needed for productive private sector work.

“Education is the fulcrum of Vision 2030,” says Rasheed Eltayeb, vice-president in Booz Allen’s Middle East public sector practice, referring to Saudi Arabia’s official blueprint for the future. “So the next logical step is to get into reforming the core of education.”"

'via Blog this'

Honeymoon is over for new Saudi leader as reform pain kicks in

Honeymoon is over for new Saudi leader as reform pain kicks in:
"As new arrivals hurry through Riyadh’s airport, Ahmed hustles for customers, hoping to lure travellers into his saloon car.

One of hundreds of thousands of Saudis who studied in the US on a government-funded programme, the 30-year-old mechanical engineering graduate has yet to find a job for which he spent years training for. Instead, he makes an uncertain living, operating an illegal airport taxi, risking fines from the police.

“The economy is bad, where are the jobs?” he says. “All my friends are cursing the government.”"

'via Blog this'

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Gulf aluminium producers cut costs amid glut and US protectionism concerns | The National

Gulf aluminium producers cut costs amid glut and US protectionism concerns | The National:
"Gulf aluminium producers are cutting costs as they grapple with oversupply and amid concerns about a potential rise in protectionism under a Donald Trump presidency, officials said today.

"The most important factor in our business is to protect our margin," Abdulla Al Kalban, the chief executive of Emirates Global Aluminium, told the Arab International Aluminium Conference in Dubai today. "We keep hammering our costs every day."


EGA, with an output of 2.4 million tonnes per year, is the Gulf’s largest aluminium producer and one of the world’s top 10 aluminium companies."

'via Blog this'

Qatar and UAE top in average wealth in the region | GulfNews.com

Qatar and UAE top in average wealth in the region | GulfNews.com:
"Qatar and UAE topped in the average wealth per person in the Middle East and North Africa region Global Wealth Report 2016 from Credit Suisse Research Institute (CSRI).
Growth in global wealth remains limited in 2016 with trend reflecting in the growth trends in the Middle East and North Africa region. The report shows, total global wealth in 2016 edged upwards by $3.5 trillion to a total of $256 trillion (or 1.4 per cent) and average wealth per adult was at $52,800.
“The consequences of the 2008-2009 recession will continue to have a material impact on growth, which is pointing more and more towards a long-term stagnation. The emergence of a multipolar world, confirmed by the impact of the Brexit vote in the UK and by the US Presidential election, is likely to exacerbate such a trend, which could possibly lead to a new normal lower rate of wealth growth,” said Loris Centola, Global Head of Research of International Wealth Management."

'via Blog this'

Saudi Arabia’s Vision for the Future Looks Dim to Jobless Youth - Bloomberg

Saudi Arabia’s Vision for the Future Looks Dim to Jobless Youth - Bloomberg:
"Saudi engineering graduate Marwan turned down a job from General Electric to hold out for a better salary. It’s a decision he now regrets.
The 24-year-old native of the port city of Jeddah has been applying to jobs for a year with no luck. As the kingdom grapples with low oil prices, he worries whether he’ll still be employable when the economy recovers. “Will companies hire the new graduates, or us, the forgotten generation?” he said, declining to use his full name to share his experience."

'via Blog this'

UAE's Etihad Airways sets pricing guidance for planned 5-year sukuk | Reuters

UAE's Etihad Airways sets pricing guidance for planned 5-year sukuk | Reuters:
"Etihad Airways has set final pricing guidance of around 215 basis points above midswaps for its planned sukuk, expected to be at least $500 million in size, according to one of the banks arranging the transaction.

The Islamic bond, which once completed will be Etihad's debut U.S dollar debt sale, received orders of up to $1.3 billion, the bank said on Tuesday. Order books are expected to close as early as later in the day, it added.

Initial guidance, released on Monday, was in the low-to-mid 200 basis points range over midswaps."

'via Blog this'

Oil prices end near flat on uncertain outcome from OPEC meeting | Reuters

Oil prices end near flat on uncertain outcome from OPEC meeting | Reuters:
"Oil ended little changed on Tuesday in volatile trade that saw prices rise and fall by $1 a barrel depending on the latest comment from OPEC officials at a technical conference in Vienna on whether the cartel members would agree to an output cut.

Officials at the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) meeting tried to hammer out the details of an agreement to cut output before a formal meeting on Nov. 30.

Brent futures LCOc1 gained 22 cents, or 0.45 percent, to settle at $49.12 a barrel, its highest close since the end of October, while U.S. crude CLc1 lost 21 cents, or 0.44 percent, to finish at $48.03."

'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi shares rebound, outperform rest of Gulf | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi shares rebound, outperform rest of Gulf | Reuters:
"Saudi Arabian stocks rebounded on Tuesday as oil prices hit a one-month high, outperforming other stock markets in the Gulf where traders booked profits.

Egypt's main index pulled back but foreign buyers continued to hunt for bargain buys, lifting the broader index.

Saudi Arabia's general market index rose 1.6 percent to 6,602 points, heading back towards technical resistance at the July peak of 6,703 points."

'via Blog this'

Trump’s transition is tangled up in business ties

Trump’s transition is tangled up in business ties:
"Donald Trump’s transition to power is being dogged by questions over potential conflicts of interest related to his global business interests, as scrutiny grows over the president-elect’s dealings in Argentina, Saudi Arabia and the UK.

In Argentina, a project to build a 35-storey Trump Tower in Buenos Aires appears set to move forward after stalling under the previous Argentine government.

In Saudi Arabia, Mr Trump registered eight new companies in August this year, according to Federal Election Commission disclosures first reported by The Washington Post."

'via Blog this'

Saudi Telecom aims for data refuel of oil-led economy

Saudi Telecom aims for data refuel of oil-led economy:
"Saudi Arabia may be more dependent on data pipelines than oil ones in the future, if the head of its state-owned telecoms company achieves his goals.

Khaled Hussain Biyari, chief executive of Saudi Telecom Company or STC, believes it has a key role to play in reducing economic reliance on oil by transforming itself into a regional technology incubator and a capacity hub for US companies such as Facebook and Google.

As the dominant force in the Saudi telecoms market, Dr Biyari said his company would become a “major player” in the transformation of the economy. “The dependence on oil is a curse,” he said of the need to reform."

'via Blog this'

Brent crude eyes $50 on Opec hopes

Brent crude eyes $50 on Opec hopes:
"Oil prices have risen towards $50 a barrel on Tuesday, extending gains to more than 12 per cent in the last five sessions as traders bet Opec is inching towards a deal to reduce output.

Brent crude oil, the international benchmark, rose almost 2 per cent on Tuesday to a high of $49.96 a barrel, while US marker West Texas Intermediate gained 1.5 per cent to $49.20.

The price of Brent is now at its highest since late October, though it remains below the year-high hit above $53 a barrel shortly after Opec agreed to work towards output curbs almost two months ago."

'via Blog this'

Dubai property prices to rise in 2017, but how quickly? | The National

Dubai property prices to rise in 2017, but how quickly? | The National:
"Brokers and analysts are certain that Dubai residential house prices will rise next year but disagree over the speed of the property market’s recovery.

Two reports yesterday by JLL and dubizzle and by Core Savills are forecasting that Dubai’s property market will recover much faster than the end of next year, which their rival Cluttons had set as a target on Sunday.

All three brokers expect house prices and rents to rise at various points next year as the emirate’s economy recovers and construction jobs are created to build Expo 2020 infrastructure."

'via Blog this'

Iraq says would not be fair to be asked by OPEC to cut oil output | Reuters

Iraq says would not be fair to be asked by OPEC to cut oil output | Reuters:
"OPEC should allow Iraq to continue raising output with no restrictions, Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jafari told reporters in Budapest on Tuesday, commenting on a plan by the organisation to limit supply in order to support prices.

"We think we should increase output. Iraq is in a special situation ...we are at war," he said, referring to the ongoing military campaign to defeat Islamic State.

"It would not be fair for us to cut oil output.""

'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-A rally in oil helps lift sentiment towards Gulf equities | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-A rally in oil helps lift sentiment towards Gulf equities | Reuters:
"A rally in oil prices helped lift stock markets in the Gulf early on Tuesday, with investors favouring oil-derivative stocks and Abu Dhabi's banks extending gains in volatile week of trade.

Brent futures were trading at $49.22 a barrel in Asian trade, their highest level since October.

Saudi Arabia's general market index rose 0.6 percent in the first 15 minutes of trade, led by petrochemical shares, with all but one of the listed producers gaining. Yanbu National Petrochemical rose 2.7 percent."

'via Blog this'

Monday, 21 November 2016

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi sags on profit taking, Egypt conquers 8-yr high as currency weakens | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi sags on profit taking, Egypt conquers 8-yr high as currency weakens | Reuters:
"Stock markets in the Gulf diverged on Monday with Saudi Arabia's index cooling for a third session as investors book profits on lofty prices while Abu Dhabi rebounded slightly.

Egypt hit yet another 8-year high as foreign investors continued to reprice equities as the local currency weakened against the U.S. dollar.

Riyadh's main index fell 1.1 percent in modest trade, with roughly 70 percent of the traded shares declining. It is now down 2.3 percent over the past three sessions but is still up 14.9 percent over the last 30 days."

'via Blog this'

Oil rises as traders eye Opec production cut

Oil rises as traders eye Opec production cut:
"Oil prices rose sharply on Monday as traders weighed up the prospects of a deal between Opec member countries to cut production.

Ahead of a meeting of ministers in Vienna next week, Brent crude, the international benchmark, rose $2.09 a barrel or more than 4 per cent to $48.94. West Texas Intermediate, the US marker, was $1.94 a barrel stronger at $47.63. That leaves prices below last month’s intraday peaks of $53.73 for Brent and $51.93 for WTI.

The jump in prices came even as the physical oil market remains weak with plentiful supplies in the North Sea, while the rally has not been derailed by a pronounced strengthening of the US dollar since the election of Donald Trump."

'via Blog this'

“Invest in Sharjah” wraps up in London | GulfNews.com

“Invest in Sharjah” wraps up in London | GulfNews.com:
"The Sharjah FDI office (Invest in Sharjah), the agency responsible for promoting investment opportunities in the emirate, recently concluded its participation at the inaugurating edition of the Foreign Direct Investment Expo 2016 (FDI Expo) in London, UK, which took place from November 17 — 18, 2016 at the London Olympia exhibition venue.
FDI Expo gathered more than 3,500 speakers and visitors, and served as a key platform for (Invest in Sharjah), an investment promotion agency under the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) umbrella, to demonstrate competencies on multiple markets in Sharjah, as well as to highlight its role as the “Industrial Capital” of the UAE. The Expo explored strategic global FDI ventures which the UK can benefit from especially during its “Post-Brexit” period, with “Invest in Sharjah” being at the forefront introducing new initiatives and ways that British investors can capitalise on their foreign investments across a series of markets in Sharjah, especially in its ever emerging industrial sector.
“Keeping track with the latest trends and investment opportunities with UK markets has always been our top our priority to sustain the strength of our relationships with British investors. Our participation at the FDI Expo enabled us to do so, as well as enabled us to share our “Invest in Sharjah” brand and its vision to a crowd of the most industry leading experts from 80 regions,” said Mohammad Al Musharrkh, Director of Sharjah FDI Office.
"

'via Blog this'

The Very Real Risks That OPEC Won’t Cut Crude Oil Production - Bloomberg

The Very Real Risks That OPEC Won’t Cut Crude Oil Production - Bloomberg:
"OPEC says it’s close to a deal to cut oil output for the first time since 2008, a move that may halt a 2 1/2-year price slump. The actions of individual member states tell a different story. Here’s a look at the prospects for an agreement ahead of OPEC’s November 30 meeting:"

'via Blog this'

Arqaam Sees U.A.E. Bank ADCB Buying UNB in Next 12 to 18 Months - Bloomberg

Arqaam Sees U.A.E. Bank ADCB Buying UNB in Next 12 to 18 Months - Bloomberg:
"Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank PJSC will probably buy smaller rival Union National Bank PJSC in the next 12 to 18 months as the planned merger of Abu Dhabi’s two biggest banks boosts consolidation in the United Arab Emirates’ banking industry, Arqaam Capital Ltd. said.
Arqaam is “pretty confident” that ADCB and UNB looked at the possibility of a merger and “probably concluded that there are very strong merits for such a move,” Jaap Meijer, the brokerage’s head of equity research, said in an interview on Bloomberg TV on Monday. The shareholding structure of the two banks is supportive of a combination, he said.
Abu Dhabi in July decided to combine its two largest lenders, National Bank of Abu Dhabi PJSC and First Gulf Bank PJSC, to create a regional powerhouse with $175 billion of assets. The merger was seen as a precursor to more deals in the U.A.E.’s financial services industry, where 49 lenders compete in a market of about 9 million people."

'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Abu Dhabi recovers, Saudi petrochemicals buoyed by oil bounce | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Abu Dhabi recovers, Saudi petrochemicals buoyed by oil bounce | Reuters:
"Abu Dhabi's stock market index rebounded in early trade on Monday as some of banking stocks which were sold off in the previous session recovered, while Saudi Arabia rose as oil prices firmed.

Abu Dhabi's index rose 0.9 percent after falling 1.7 percent on Sunday. Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank climbed 3.2 percent and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank rose 0.3 percent.

On Sunday, Union National Bank dropped 5.2 percent and ADCB lost 2.7 percent after both lenders issued separate statements denying last week's Bloomberg report that they were involved in merger talks. Similarly, ADIB pulled back 0.8 percent after the lender said that it has no plans to merge with Alhilal Bank.

"

'via Blog this'

Oil rally shrugs off dollar strength as hopes for output cut grow

Oil rally shrugs off dollar strength as hopes for output cut grow:
"Oil prices are making notable gains, tracking the prospect of a deal on output cuts between major producers, setting Brent crude on course for its first two-session advance since early October.Brent crude, the international benchmark, is up 1.3 per cent at $47.47 a barrel, while West Texas Intermediate is 1.3 per cent stronger at $46.30.
After the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Peru, Russian President Vladimir Putin told reporters he saw few hurdles to Opec reaching an agreement on supply cuts at its Vienna meeting scheduled for later this month.

That added to comments from Iran’s oil minister over the weekend that he was optimistic Opec members will agree to proposed supply cuts at the forthcoming Vienna meeting, while Iraq has been reported to offer three new proposals this week for the output cuts."

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Oil prices buoyed by Opec production cut hopes

Oil prices buoyed by Opec production cut hopes:
"Oil prices were the big movers in Asian trade on Monday and eyeing their first back-to-back gains in a month amid hopes major producers would agree to output cuts and help rein in oversupply."

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‘Out of the Desert’, by Ali al-Naimi

‘Out of the Desert’, by Ali al-Naimi:
"When Ali al-Naimi was told he had been appointed Saudi oil minister, the most powerful post in the energy world, he was far from the desert kingdom. Keen for a break, the man who was then chief of state energy giant Saudi Aramco, was salmon fishing in remote Alaska.

After a series of urgent memos, Naimi returned a call from one of King Fahd’s advisers, who informed him of his new role — and ordered his speedy return.

“I asked if I had a choice in the matter. He said no,” said Naimi, recounting the 1995 conversation in his memoir, Out of the Desert. “I did what anyone in my position would do on hearing that momentous news: I went fishing.”

"

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Sunday, 20 November 2016

North Sea oil producers chart a course for revival

North Sea oil producers chart a course for revival:
"A low-rent serviced office squeezed between a railway and a main road in Aberdeen might not sound like the typical headquarters for an oil company backed by the might of Blackstone, the US private equity group, and GIC, the Singaporean sovereign wealth fund.

The no-frills atmosphere is even more surprising when considered that the company, Siccar Point Energy, this month agreed to pay up to $1bn for the UK business of Austria’s OMV in a deal that will make it a partner of oil majors BP, Statoil and Chevron in some of the biggest remaining North Sea fields.

So lean is the 13-person organisation that Jonathan Roger, Siccar’s Scottish chief executive and a veteran North Sea operator, personally makes tea for visitors in the absence of an assistant. “We’re all about value creation,” he says."

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How Opec’s leaders can smash the Texas upstarts | The National

How Opec’s leaders can smash the Texas upstarts | The National:
"The Permian period, which ended 250 million years ago, was a good time for the global oil industry. The rocks of that time now hold much of the Middle East’s gas, including the world’s largest field, between Qatar and Iran. But Permian rocks on the other side of the world are now a threat to Opec, and an alluring but dangerous prize for international oil companies.

The Permian Basin of west Texas and Mexico has emerged as the most resilient play in the US oil sector. Proximity to pipelines, low drilling cost and a layer cake of geology that offers multiple drilling targets have kept activity high. A well that cost up to US$11 million in 2014 can now be drilled for about $7m.


This month, the United States Geological Survey published its estimate that just one rock formation – the Wolfcamp Shale – in this area contains another 20 billion barrels of oil and 16 trillion cubic feet of gas yet to be found. In September, the oil corporation Apache estimated it had found 75 trillion cubic feet of gas and 3 billion barrels of oil in part of the basin it called the Alpine High area."

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Large Saudi bank cuts money quote; rates may fall back below repo | Reuters

Large Saudi bank cuts money quote; rates may fall back below repo | Reuters:
"Saudi Arabia's biggest commercial bank cut its quote for three-month money in the interbank market on Sunday in a signal that rates could fall further as a liquidity crunch in the banking system eases.

Saudi interbank offered rates soared this year, pressuring companies and banks seeking to raise funds, as low oil prices slashed flows of petrodollars into banks and forced the government to issue bonds domestically to fund a big budget deficit.

Three-month SAIBOR hit a seven-year high of 2.386 percent last month, from below 0.80 percent in August 2015. In a sign of unusual stress on the system, it rose above the central bank's repurchase rate of 2.00 percent, which the central bank uses to supply funds overnight to banks caught short of money."

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MIDEAST STOCKS-Abu Dhabi hit after bank merger talk quashed; Saudi slips but Egypt resilient | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Abu Dhabi hit after bank merger talk quashed; Saudi slips but Egypt resilient | Reuters:
"Shares of three of Abu Dhabi's top lenders pulled back on Sunday after the banks denied they were in merger talks, while Saudi shares were hit by profit taking.

Egypt's stock market gained as foreign funds continued to accumulate blue chips.

Abu Dhabi's index dropped 1.7 percent as Union National Bank retreated 5.2 percent and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank lost 2.7 percent after both lenders issued separate statements on Sunday denying last week's Bloomberg report that the two lenders were involved in merger talks."

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Abu Dhabi bank shares fall as merger talks are denied | The National

Abu Dhabi bank shares fall as merger talks are denied | The National:
"Banking shares in Abu Dhabi fell sharply on Sunday, as ADCB, ADIB and UNB distanced themselves from talks of further consolidation within the sector.

Shares rallied last week following rumours that ADCB and UNB may join forces, with ADIB and Hilal Bank considering a similar tie up.

The rumours came in the wake of the announcement in June of a merger between FGB and NBAD, which will create the Middle East’s largest bank by assets."

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Recovery in Dubai property market not expected until late 2017, says Cluttons | The National

Recovery in Dubai property market not expected until late 2017, says Cluttons | The National:
"Prices in Dubai’s residential market continued to fall during the third quarter of 2016, dropping by a further 2.6 per cent, according to a new report by Cluttons.

The firm’s Winter 2016/17 Property Market Outlook said residential prices reman 7.4 per cent lower year-on-year, and are 26.7 per cent below the previous market peak in 2008. It argued that residential property values are not expected to stabilise until late 2017 once employment picks up as a result of more infrastructure work being undertaken ahead of the Expo 2020 event, but also sounded a cautionary note on supply levels.


The head of Cluttons Dubai, Murray Strang, said that it is "closely monitoring the level of residential supply coming to the market"."

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GCC dominates third quarter M&A activity in the MENA region | GulfNews.com

GCC dominates third quarter M&A activity in the MENA region | GulfNews.com:

"The GCC dominated deals in the third quarter, representing 92 per cent of total deal value and 77 per cent of total deal activity while the Middle East and North Africa region reported a slowdown in activity recording 74 deals amounting to $5 billion (Dh18.3 billion), compared to 98 deals amounting to $6 billion in the third quarter of 2015 according to EY’s third quarter 2016 M&A report.
According to the latest EY Capital Confidence Barometer (CCB) fewer deals are expected, even as pipelines swell. Unlike global respondents, who see a rebound in deal activity from six months ago, interest from Mena executives is on the wane, with 21 per cent expecting their company to pursue a merger or acquisition in the next year.
“Mena companies’ interest in pursuing M&As is lower compared to October last year, and is currently below the long-term average level. The key driver behind this is lower CEO confidence, given the macro-uncertainties in the Mena region. Market fundamentals that are affecting M&A performance such as low interest rate and low growth rate are still prevalent,” said Phil Gandier, Mena Transaction Advisory Services Leader, EY"



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Saudi makes $10.7 billion of delayed payments to private sector: executive quoted | Reuters

Saudi makes $10.7 billion of delayed payments to private sector: executive quoted | Reuters:
"Saudi Arabia's government has made payments of 40 billion riyals ($10.7 billion) that it owed to private sector companies, the kingdom's Arab News newspaper quoted a senior construction industry executive as saying.

With its oil revenues slashed by low crude prices, the government of the world’s largest oil exporter has cut spending sharply this year and reduced or suspended payments owed to construction firms, medical establishments and even some of the foreign consultants who helped to design its economic reforms.

The payment delays have tightened liquidity in the banking system and caused severe financial problems for some companies, particularly those in the construction industry. In recent weeks, top officials have indicated that all or most of the delayed payments would soon be made."

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Abu Dhabi Stocks Drop Most in Month to Lead Decline Across Gulf - Bloomberg

Abu Dhabi Stocks Drop Most in Month to Lead Decline Across Gulf - Bloomberg:
"Abu Dhabi stocks retreated the most in a month after three banks said they were unaware of plans for possible mergers, dashing investor optimism that competition in the emirate’s financial sector will ease.
Abu Dhabi’s ADX General Index fell 1.7 percent after Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank PJSC, Union National Bank PJSC and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank PJSC made statements to the bourse about reports of potential combinations. All three lenders were suspended briefly before sinking at least 0.8 percent. Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index reversed gains of as much as 0.5 percent.
The shares of all three lenders rallied last week on reports the government was considering more financial-institution mergers after combining National Bank of Abu Dhabi PJSC and First Gulf Bank PJSC. The emirate is consolidating companies after the price of oil, one of its main sources of revenue, declined more than 40 percent in the past two years."

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MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf shares diverge in early trade | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf shares diverge in early trade | Reuters:
"Gulf equity markets diverged in early trade on Sunday with corporate news buoying Dubai's market and Abu Dhabi's index weighed down by some of last week's top movers.

Dubai's index rose 0.4 percent, buoyed by a 10.8 percent jump in Shuaa Capital after the investment firm announced that Abu Dhabi Financial Group (ADFG) had carried out a previously announced acquisition of 48.36 percent of the firm from Dubai Banking Group, a subsidiary of Dubai Group, for 0.705 dirham a share.

Although the purchase price was well below the market price, some investors are betting ADFG will develop Shuaa into a much bigger company."

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Saturday, 19 November 2016

Ruler’s Court panel settles Dh4.1b dispute | GulfNews.com

Ruler’s Court panel settles Dh4.1b dispute | GulfNews.com:
"An unusual commercial dispute worth Dh4.1 billion between a bank and its client was recently resolved by Dubai Ruler’s Court’s Administration of Expertise and Settlement of Disputes.
The client lodged a lawsuit before the Dubai Commercial Court against the bank and its company that trades in stocks across the country’s financial markets, seeking Dh4.1 billion in compensation for what he described as loss of his funds and financial damages.
“This commercial dispute was unprecedented and rarely happens between a bank and its client. The claimant alleged that the bank and its company traded his stocks in the financial market without his knowledge and consent. The pertinent court referred the dispute to our department and we commissioned three financial experts, who looked into the dispute and resolved it,” Hashem Salem Al Qiwani, the administration’s director told Gulf News."

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Lunch with the FT: Ali al-Naimi on two decades as Saudi’s oil king

Lunch with the FT: Ali al-Naimi on two decades as Saudi’s oil king:

"I am just a few minutes into my lunch with Ali al-Naimi and we are thousands of miles away in another era, racing across the sands of eastern Saudi Arabia on his mother’s white camel. It was her dowry in her second marriage and she took it on long trips in the 1950s — just as other Bedouin women now drive trucks and cars on desert tracks; the national ban on women driving, one of the more outrageous aspects of life in Saudi Arabia, is rarely enforced in remote parts of the kingdom. Naimi, Saudi Arabia’s legendary former oil minister, laughs. “In the past you used to see women riding camels, and now you see them driving Toyotas with the camels in the back of the car.”

We are at George, an elegant brasserie and private club in the heart of Mayfair, seated at a small round table beneath a David Hockney print. The diminutive Naimi, 81, is dressed in a three-piece suit, arguably a little too formal for the chic modern setting. For two decades, as the man responsible for the policy of the world’s largest oil exporter, Naimi bestrode the energy markets like a colossus. The “oil king” has never liked reporters. They have chased him relentlessly over the years. At summits of Opec, the cartel of oil exporters, the more determined took to accompanying him on his early-morning runs seeking to dissect his sometimes cryptic words, his mood and even his body language for clues about the direction of oil prices. He could be humorous with them at times and cantankerous at others. Now, six months after retiring, he is in a mellow mood, eager to tell stories.

Having just published a memoir, Out of the Desert, Naimi’s mind drifts back easily to tales of his childhood growing up in a nomad’s tent. I, of course, am keen to press him on the biggest bet of his long career. In November 2014, with the oil price in freefall, he convinced the ruling royal family to take an enormous gamble. For decades, the kingdom’s role had been as a swing producer, taking its output up or down to balance the oil price. On this occasion, Saudi Arabia abandoned that policy and stunned global markets by opting not to cut its production to bolster prices but instead keep pumping oil to protect its market share. The consequences still overshadow the global economy. After roughly four years at more than $100 a barrel, the price of oil tumbled, hitting a low below $30 earlier this year before staging a recovery to about $50.

"



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