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Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Iran’s ‘outdated’ banks hamper efforts to rejoin global economy - FT.com

Iran’s ‘outdated’ banks hamper efforts to rejoin global economy - FT.com:

"Companies across the world are lining up to explore opportunities in Iran, and Tehran is keen to lure them, after a range of international sanctions was lifted this weekend. But if businesspeople and politicians are ready, the country’s banks are not.

“Our banking system, like our economy has been isolated and has no idea what has happened in the world over the past decades,” says one senior Tehran banker.
Iran’s economy is in dire need of refinancing. Years of sanctions imposed over its nuclear programme, combined with the populist policies of former president Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad, have left it with negative economic growth in most years since 2011 and a youth unemployment rate of about 25 per cent."



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IEA warns oil market could ‘drown in oversupply’ - FT.com

IEA warns oil market could ‘drown in oversupply’ - FT.com:

"The oil market “could drown in oversupply” as a rise in Iranian output offsets production cuts elsewhere, threatening a further price collapse, the world’s leading energy forecaster has said.
In a stark assessment of the challenges facing the global oil industry, the International Energy Agency warned on Tuesday of an overhang of at least 1m barrels a day for a third consecutive year in 2016.
Production outside the Opec cartel would decline this year, the IEA said. But that would be offset by slower demand growth and higher production from Iran now that sanctions linked to its nuclear programme had been lifted."



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How Iran returns to the oil market | FT Markets - YouTube

How Iran returns to the oil market | FT Markets - YouTube: ""



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Occidental will quit troubled regional markets to cut costs | The National

Occidental will quit troubled regional markets to cut costs | The National:

"Occidental Petroleum plans to step back from troubled regional markets by the end of the year as it seeks to cut costs and focus its portfolio on three key markets in the Middle East, according to the company’s new chief executive.

Vicki Hollub, who will take over as chief executive of Occidental in April, said that the Houston-based firm would focus on three areas in the Middle East, including Abu Dhabi, Oman and Qatar, as well as Colombia and the Permian Basin in Texas.

“Getting the portfolio the way that we want means that we can work on lowering our cost structure that will help optimise what we are doing,” she said."



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Sharjah says targeting 5-year sukuk, could issue as soon as this week | GulfNews.com

Sharjah says targeting 5-year sukuk, could issue as soon as this week | GulfNews.com:

"The emirate of Sharjah is targeting a five-year sukuk offering and could launch a transaction as early as this week, a document from lead arrangers showed on Tuesday.

The sovereign finished roadshows on Monday in London, following investor meetings in the Middle East and Asia last week, and was now in the process of receiving feedback from the market, the document added.

The emirate mandated Bank Of Sharjah, Barclays, Commerzbank, Dubai Islamic Bank, HSBC and Sharjah Islamic Bank to arrange the meetings and the possible transaction."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Bourses rebound from near multi-year lows as oil edges up | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Bourses rebound from near multi-year lows as oil edges up | Reuters:

"Major Middle East bourses climbed more than 2 percent on Tuesday after global oil and equity markets stabilised, encouraging investors to buy stocks with beaten-down valuations.

The Saudi index, which had tumbled 20 percent since the end of last year, jumped 4.0 percent to 5,746 points. One of the top performers was Southern Province Cement, a mid-cap materials company, which rocketed 9.8 percent after it reported a 21.6 percent increase in fourth-quarter net profit.

Other mid-caps in various sectors also carried the bourse higher. Bupa Arabia was up 8.7 percent after the insurer reported a 69 percent jump in quarterly profit."



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Iceland Sentences 26 Corrupt Bankers To 74 Years In Prison | PopularResistance.Org

Iceland Sentences 26 Corrupt Bankers To 74 Years In Prison | PopularResistance.Org:

"Iceland just sentenced their 26th banker to prison for his part in the 2008 economic collapse. The charges ranged from breach of fiduciary duties to market manipulation to embezzlement.

When most people think of Iceland, they envision fire and ice. Major volcanoes and vast ice fields are abundant due to its position on the northern part of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. (A hot July day in Reykjavik is around 55 degrees.) However, Iceland is also noted for being one of the Nordic Socialist countries, complete with universal health care, free education and a lot other Tea Potty nightmares. Therefore, as you might imagine, they tend to view and react to economic situations slightly differently than the U.S.

When the banking induced “Great Recession of ’08” struck, Iceland’s economic hit was among the hardest. However, instead of rewarding fraudulent banking procedures with tons of bailout money, they took a different path."



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Oil markets may drown in oversupply and prices could go even lower, says IEA | The National

Oil markets may drown in oversupply and prices could go even lower, says IEA | The National:

"The International Energy Agency expects the oil glut to worsen this year before it gets better.

Though the full return of Iran to the oil market has been expected since last year when a deal was agreed in principle, the actual lifting of sanctions this week after it complied with terms of the agreement has added to the broader market gloom, the Paris-based watchdog for rich energy-consuming countries said in its latest report.

“Iran’s return to the oil market confirms what has been inevitable for six months,” the IEA said. “There are considerable uncertainties around the quality and quantity of oil that Iran can offer to the market in the short term and the not inconsiderable challenge of finding buyers willing to take more oil into an already glutted market,” the IEA argues."



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Dubai Landlord Sees Budget Rethinks as `Tough' Period Ahead - Bloomberg Business

Dubai Landlord Sees Budget Rethinks as `Tough' Period Ahead - Bloomberg Business:

"Dubai’s biggest landlord has a message for the city’s developers: get ready to rethink your budgets and building plans repeatedly this year or be engulfed by a topsy-turvy market.
Companies need to be “more agile to sustain their businesses and survive the tough period ahead,” said Hesham Al Qassim, chief executive officer of the state’s Wasl Asset Management and vice chairman of Dubai’s largest lender, Emirates NBD PJSC. “Those who are mindful of the reality around them will manage, but those who stretch themselves with billions worth of projects won’t.”
Dubai’s property market was buffeted last year by falling oil prices, rising political tension in the region and slowing economic growth from China to Brazil, all trends that are set to continue in 2016. Real estate developers, whose projects can take two to four years to build, may see their markets change several times over that period."



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IMF slashes Saudi Arabia growth forecast to 1.2 per cent | The National

IMF slashes Saudi Arabia growth forecast to 1.2 per cent | The National:

"The IMF slashed its forecast for growth in Saudi Arabia today, as it blamed the slowing Chinese economy, the collapse in oil prices, and a slowdown in emerging markets for a cut to the overall economic outlook for the world.

Saudi Arabia’s economy will grow at just 1.2 per cent in 2016, and 1.9 per cent the year after, the Fund expects. Both figures are one percentage point below the IMF’s October forecasts for growth in the Kingdom.

Saudi Arabia announced an austerity budget that in December that should see spending fall by 13 per cent this year. Government spending accounts for around a third of GDP."



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Creditworthiness of Middle East sovereigns on the decline | GulfNews.com

Creditworthiness of Middle East sovereigns on the decline | GulfNews.com:

"The overall creditworthiness of Middle East and North Africa (MENA) sovereigns, including the GCC sovereigns has deteriorated over past six months with Saudi Arabia, Oman and Bahrain facing negative rating outlook in the context of rising fiscal pressures, according to rating agency Standard & Poor’s.

Assuming average crude prices of $45 (Dh165) for the current year, S&P expects current ratings and outlooks to hold for GCC countries as many of them continue to retain substantial government reserves and have initiated fiscal reforms to balance budgets and contain reserve erosion.

“In October 2015 we downgraded Saudi Arabia’s ratings to ‘A+’ from ‘AA-’ due to the deterioration in the Kingdom’s fiscal position. Saudi Arabia’s general government fiscal deficit widened to about 15 per cent of GDP in 2015, from 1.5 per cent in 2014, primarily reflecting the sharp drop in oil prices. Absent a rebound in oil prices, we now expect general government deficits of 10 per cent of GDP in 2016, 8 per cent in 2017, and 5 per cent in 2018, based on planned fiscal consolidation measures,” said Standard & Poor’s sovereign analyst Trevor Cullinan."



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Kuwait oil firm hints at gasoline subsidy cut | GulfNews.com

Kuwait oil firm hints at gasoline subsidy cut | GulfNews.com:

"Kuwait may by the end of March announce cuts in domestic price subsidies for gasoline and kerosene, the chief executive of state oil firm Kuwait Petroleum Corp said on Tuesday.

“The Kuwait government gives huge subsidies. Subsidies will be taken out gradually. In the first quarter of 2016, there will be something on subsidies on gasoline, kerosene,” Nizar Al Adsani said in a panel discussion at an energy industry conference.

The Kuwaiti government has said it is considering subsidy and spending cuts to save money as low oil prices push state finances into the red."



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Xi Asserts China's Middle East Role as Iran Sanctions Lifted - Bloomberg Business

Xi Asserts China's Middle East Role as Iran Sanctions Lifted - Bloomberg Business:

"President Xi Jinping will wade into the feud between Iran and Saudi Arabia on Tuesday as he begins a Middle East tour that shows a new willingness by China to flex its diplomatic clout in one of the world’s most volatile regions.
Xi’s five-day swing through Riyadh, Cairo and Tehran represents the president’s first foray into the Middle East since taking power three years ago and marks 60 years of relations between Beijing and the Arab League. He’s also seeking to protect Chinese influence that accumulated in Iran during the country’s long isolation, with Xi becoming the first major world leader to visit since the U.S. and European Union lifted sanctions Saturday and cleared the way for its reemergence in the global economy.
The trip may show China playing a more hands-on peacemaking role as the Syrian conflict exports violence around the world, regional powers quarrel along sectarian lines and U.S. influence wanes. China doesn’t want more strife between Saudi Arabia -- its largest source of foreign oil -- and Iran, a potential strategic ally sitting at the crossroads of Xi’s Silk Road plan to build railways, pipelines and other infrastructure from Asia to Europe. He’ll be the first top Chinese leader to visit Iran since 2002."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi, Egypt rebound more than 3 pct in early trade | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi, Egypt rebound more than 3 pct in early trade | Reuters:

"Stock markets in Saudi Arabia and Egypt jumped more than 3 percent in early trade on Tuesday as investors returned to buy after oil prices and global bourses became more stable.

The Saudi index surged 3.4 percent on buying-back of stocks that were dumped over the past two weeks. One of the top performers was Southern Province Cement, a mid-cap materials company, which rocketed 8.6 percent after the company reported a 21.6 percent increase in fourth-quarter net profit.

Other mid-caps in various sectors also carried the bourse higher. BUPA Arabia was up 4.1 percent after the insurer reported a 69 percent jump in profit for the fourth quarter.

"



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Worried about sub-$20 crude? Some sellers are already there | Reuters

Worried about sub-$20 crude? Some sellers are already there | Reuters:

"An end to sanctions on Iran has driven global crude futures to 12-year lows and brought sub-$20-a-barrel oil in sight, although for some producers that is already a painful reality.

This unfortunate group sells some physical crude cargoes at prices that are closer to $10 a barrel, thanks to an abundance of the "sour" grades they produce and a consumer base that favors higher-quality "light" oils from other origins. (Graphic: reut.rs/1ZGAl0s)

Producers of certain crudes from Mexico, Venezuela, Canada and Iraq are bracing for worse to come as Iran - now free of international sanctions - prepares to offload hefty supplies of heavy sour grades onto export markets."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf rebounds after global markets stabilise | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf rebounds after global markets stabilise | Reuters:

"Gulf bourses rebounded early on Tuesday after global oil and equity markets stabilised for the time being at least, encouraging local investors to buy blue-chip stocks with attractive valuations.

In Qatar, the index jumped 3.9 percent in the first 20 minutes, pulling away from multi-year lows.

Masraf Al Rayan surged 9.9 percent and was the best-performing stock. Qatar's second-largest bank by market value reported a 3 percent fall in fourth-quarter net profit to 559 million riyals ($153.5 million), compared to analysts' forecast of 553 million riyals."



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