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Thursday, 21 January 2016

Crude prices to stay in $20s, says former Saudi official | GulfNews.com

Crude prices to stay in $20s, says former Saudi official | GulfNews.com:

"Crude prices may remain low at least in the short term, Mohammad A. Al Sahlawi, a former member of advisory board, Supreme Economic Council of Saudi Arabia told Gulf News on Thursday.

“Next year, prices would be prevailing at around $20s. We don’t see a major growth in demand in emerging economies like China, and supplies are expected to increase from many countries especially Iran, US,” said Al Sahlawi, who is currently a professor of economics, college of industrial management, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals in Riyadh. “So there is less demand, more supplies, so prices would be at lower level.” He was speaking on sidelines of a financial markets conference in Dubai.

Oil prices have crashed about 75 per cent since mid-2014, hit by a perfect storm of a supply glut, weak demand, a slowing global economy and a strong dollar.

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Income, sales taxes proposed in Kuwait | GulfNews.com

Income, sales taxes proposed in Kuwait | GulfNews.com:

"Kuwait’s Emir Shaikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah has said that the country plans to cut heavy subsidies on fuel and power in a bid to offset a fall in oil revenues.

“We will lift subsidies and will raise the prices of petrol, electricity and water” and reduce subsidies for other services, a Kuwaiti daily quoted the Emir as telling editors of local newspapers.

Kuwait is the only member of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) that has not hiked the prices of petrol and power after income from oil plunged."



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Norway to World: We're Sitting Out the Big Wealth Fund Selloff - Bloomberg Business

Norway to World: We're Sitting Out the Big Wealth Fund Selloff - Bloomberg Business:

"The world’s biggest wealth fund won’t be joining its counterparts in a selloff that’s hurting already depressed markets.
In fact, officials who supervise the $780 billion fund haven’t even discussed the possibility of shifting strategy, according to Egil Matsen, who this week started as the new deputy central bank governor in charge of oversight of the investor.
“There’s no indication that we need to sell assets now, not at all,” Matsen said in an interview in Oslo Thursday. “The governance structure around our sovereign wealth fund is actually designed to live through such periods.”"



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Saudi Arabia intervenes to prevent currency speculation - FT.com

Saudi Arabia intervenes to prevent currency speculation - FT.com:

"Saudi Arabia has moved to damp speculation on its currency by barring domestic banks from dealing in forward contracts on the riyal as the kingdom seeks to shield its economy from the impact of the oil price plunge.
Bankers said the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority had told lenders to refrain from engaging in trades on riyal forward options, which have come under intense pressure as traders bet that the oil-dependent kingdom’s fiscal strains will trigger a departure from decades of pegging the riyal to the US dollar."



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Oil contagion I Short View - YouTube

Oil contagion I Short View - YouTube: ""



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Oil prices fall near 2003 lows on oversupply, demand worries | Reuters

Oil prices fall near 2003 lows on oversupply, demand worries | Reuters:

"Oil fell on Thursday, turning back toward 12-year lows on persistent concerns about oversupply and the outlook for demand.

Oil futures have hit their lowest since 2003 this week as investors worry that a glut of crude is combining with slowing demand due to economic weakness, especially in China.

Benchmark Brent was down 16 cents at $27.72 a barrel by 1401 GMT. Brent has lost 26 percent in January, on track for its biggest monthly fall since 2008."



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China offers financial, political support to Egypt ahead of uprising anniversary | Reuters

China offers financial, political support to Egypt ahead of uprising anniversary | Reuters:

"China signed a raft of economic deals with Egypt during a visit by President Xi Jinping on Thursday, including $1.7 billion in loans to the banking sector, and said it supports Egypt's efforts to maintain stability and set its own course.

Xi arrived in Egypt on Wednesday, the second leg of a Middle East tour, just ahead of the Jan. 25 anniversary of the 2011 uprising that ended autocrat Hosni Mubarak's 30-year rule.

Meeting Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi -- who last month warned critics not to hold protests to mark the anniversary -- Xi said China and Egypt had developed a deep friendship based on mutual respect."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Oil, global markets weigh on region but Saudi petchems rise | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Oil, global markets weigh on region but Saudi petchems rise | Reuters:

"Most Middle Eastern bourses fell on Thursday as investors remained worried by the chronic weakness of oil prices and declines in international bourses, but Saudi Arabia's stock index edged up on the back of petrochemical shares.

A petchems rally in the final hour of trade helped pull the Saudi index up 114 points from its intra-day low of 5,349 points, its lowest level since March 2011. It closed 0.1 percent higher at 5,464 points.

Saudi Basic Industries, the largest petrochemcical firm, bounced up 1.7 percent to 61.75 riyals, well off its session low of 59.50 riyals. The stock is down 19.5 percent year-to-date."



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Lagarde backed for second term, Planet Nine found | FirstFT - YouTube

Lagarde backed for second term, Planet Nine found | FirstFT - YouTube: ""



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Further dips anticipated in Dubai home prices: report | GulfNews.com

Further dips anticipated in Dubai home prices: report | GulfNews.com:

"Estate agents in Dubai seem to be in the grips of a bearish sentiment. A significant 46 per cent among their ranks feel that apartment values in Dubai could drop by up to 5 per cent in the first three months of the year, while another 5 per cent reckon the decline to be more than 5 per cent.

Thirty-three per cent, meanwhile, are keeping their fingers crossed that values would remain the same during the first three months, according to a poll conducted by the real estate consultancy Cavendish Maxwell.

With villa prices, 34 per cent of agents suggest a less than 5 per cent softening during the period, with 9 per cent insisting it could be higher. Another 43 per cent believe the status quo at the end of the fourth quarter of 2015 will be maintained."



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How Would an Aramco IPO Benefit Saudi Arabia? - Bloomberg Business

How Would an Aramco IPO Benefit Saudi Arabia? - Bloomberg Business:

"Masood Ahmed, director of the IMF's Middle East and Central Asia Department, discusses the impact of the oil glut on global markets. He speaks with Bloomberg's David Gura on "Bloomberg Markets." (Source: Bloomberg)"



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Cheap Oil Means as Many as 1,500 Middle East Bankers Seek Jobs - Bloomberg Business

Cheap Oil Means as Many as 1,500 Middle East Bankers Seek Jobs - Bloomberg Business:

"Bankers who have been dismissed in the United Arab Emirates may struggle to find work as the region grapples with the impact of oil below $30.
Banks in the country may have recently cut as many as 1,500 jobs, according to financial recruiters and Bloomberg calculations. While dismissals are taking place at international companies such as Standard Chartered Plc and HSBC Holdings Plc, local lenders, once seen as a safe-haven for seasoned expatriate bankers, have also dismissed workers. In some cases, they’ve explicitly said that expatriates will bear the brunt of the job cuts.
"Low oil prices have run through all industries in the region and hit the financial sector hard,” Trefor Murphy, managing director of recruiter Morgan McKinley in the Middle East and North Africa, said in a telephone interview. “It’s now an extremely challenged market. You’ll see an exodus of bankers.""



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi, Egypt retreat in early trade | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi, Egypt retreat in early trade | Reuters:

"Stock markets in Saudi Arabia and Egypt retreated in early trade on Thursday as investors remained worried by the chronic weakens in oil prices and declines in international bourses.

The Saudi index fell 1.8 percent in the first half-hour of trade, with the petrochemical sector dropping by the same magnitude.

"The swing factor in the markets is oil, because although technical analysis shows that the majority of stocks are in oversold territory, as long as Brent remains below $30 investors will have no confidence in any type of analysis," said a Jeddah-based portfolio manager.

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MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf trades narrowly as investors remain nervous | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf trades narrowly as investors remain nervous | Reuters:

"Most Gulf bourses traded narrowly early on Thursday as investors lacked the optimism to buy back beaten-down stocks aggressively, despite attractive valuations after the bear trend of the past several weeks.

Dubai's index retreated in the opening minutes to test fresh multi-year lows, as Emirates NBD, the largest bank in the emirate, fell more than 2.0 percent in unusually heavy trade.

The index then briefly traded in positive territory and was down 0.1 percent after an hour."



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