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Monday, 25 January 2016

UAE lenders’ bad debts start to weigh on financial results | The National

UAE lenders’ bad debts start to weigh on financial results | The National:

"UAE banks are starting to feel the pain from tumbling oil prices and a slowing economy.

While there have been indications of lower loan growth and rising defaults amid job cuts and reports of small businesses going bankrupt, the fourth-quarter results are starting to show the extent of the bad debt that has accumulated.

Sharjah-based United Arab Bank (UAB) yesterday said it booked a loss of Dh166 million in 2015 as bad debts piled up after years of risky lending to SMEs unravelled in the economic downturn. Union National Bank and National Bank of Fujairah also reported earnings showing sharp drops in quarterly profit as the amounts set aside for bad debt jumped."



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Abu Dhabi’s Aabar seeks $2.5b to refinance loan — sources | GulfNews.com

Abu Dhabi’s Aabar seeks $2.5b to refinance loan — sources | GulfNews.com:

"Abu Dhabi state fund Aabar Investments is seeking to borrow $2.5 billion (Dh9.2 billion) from banks to refinance a loan coming due in April, sources aware of the matter said on Monday.

The firm is in talks with a small group of banks regarding the financing, the sources said, adding the talks were at the preliminary stage.

The loan will be supported by its parent company, International Petroleum Investment Co (Ipic), said two of the sources without divulging the nature of support."



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What Xi's Iran Trip Tells Us About China's Middle East Plans - Bloomberg Business

What Xi's Iran Trip Tells Us About China's Middle East Plans - Bloomberg Business:

"Chinese President Xi Jinping covered a lot of ground in his first swing through the Middle East, announcing $55 billion in aid and giving a speech to the Arab League in which he vowed not to seek proxies, a thinly veiled jab at U.S. history in the region.
Xi’s most interesting stop was in Iran, where he planted a flag for Chinese business and cast his country as a more accommodating alternative to the West. As the first major world leader to visit Tehran since U.S. and European sanctions were lifted, Xi sought to present China’s commitment as long term, agreeing on Saturday to a pact pledging economic cooperation for the next quarter century. The two sides also signed a strategic partnership that covers military and security cooperation.
Such moves provide some of the clearest evidence yet of Xi’s willingness to revise China’s traditional policy of non-interference and use its economic clout to build geo-political influence. Besides offering a chance to lessen dependence on Saudi oil, Iran offers a potential partner in China’s efforts to challenge the international order."



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Griffon Starts $108 Million Fund to Invest in Iranian Stocks - Bloomberg Business

Griffon Starts $108 Million Fund to Invest in Iranian Stocks - Bloomberg Business:

"Griffon Capital, a Tehran-based firm set up by a group of international and Iranian investors including Xanyar Kamangar in anticipation of Iran’s nuclear deal, is seeking to raise 100 million euros ($108.2 million) by the end of the year for a new offshore fund specializing in the country’s stocks.
Griffon’s Iran Flagship Fund, domiciled in the Cayman Islands, is an open-ended vehicle investing mainly in the Tehran Stock Exchange and Iran Fara Bourse, the company said in an e-mailed statement Monday. Griffon will start pitching the fund in the U.K. next month.
“It’s impossible to ignore a market of this size and Iran has a very compelling story,” Payam Malayeri, Griffon’s head of asset management, said by telephone from Tehran on Sunday."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Bearish sentiment thwarts mkt rally; Saudi near-flat | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Bearish sentiment thwarts mkt rally; Saudi near-flat | Reuters:

"Major Gulf bourses retreated on Monday, erasing some of the previous day's gains with investors unconvinced markets can mount a sustainable rebound.

Riyadh's index was near-flat, slipping 0.02 percent to 5,610 points as day traders booked quick profits to take its 2016 losses to 18.8 percent. It had gained 2.7 percent on Sunday after oil prices rallied late last week, but crude's renewed weakness has again sapped Saudi market confidence.

The petrochemical sector, the main influence on market direction of late, dropped 0.2 percent."



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Oil falls 3 percent on swelling oversupply | Reuters

Oil falls 3 percent on swelling oversupply | Reuters:

"Oil prices fell 3 percent on Monday as Iraq announced record-high oil production feeding into a heavily oversupplied market, wiping out much of the gains made in one of the biggest-ever daily rallies last week.

Brent crude LCOc1, the global benchmark, was down 93 cents at $31.25 a barrel at 0955 GMT, losing 3 percent from its closing price on Friday, when Brent surged 10 percent.

U.S. crude CLc1 traded $1.02 lower at $31.17 a barrel.

"



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Follow the Twitter feed to fat returns - FT.com

Follow the Twitter feed to fat returns - FT.com:

"It was labelled “probably the most expensive tweet ever”. In just 21 words, US presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton’s pledge on Twitter, the microblogging platform, to tackle “outrageous” price manipulation by drugmakers wiped $15bn off the value of pharmaceutical stocks last September.
It was not the first time a social media post had a big impact on markets. A bogus tweet about an explosion at the White House rapidly stripped up to $90bn off the value of US stocks, although markets recovered quickly when it became apparent the information was false."



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Lionel Barber on Davos 2016 | FT Comment - YouTube

Lionel Barber on Davos 2016 | FT Comment - YouTube: ""



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The ten big burning legal questions of The Address Downtown Dubai fire | The National

The ten big burning legal questions of The Address Downtown Dubai fire | The National:

"Key legal questions arising from the new year’s eve blaze are answered by construction and property lawyers Michael Lunjevich and Anthony Edwards of Dubai-based law firm Hadef & Partners."



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Time to stop criminalising bounced cheque cases | GulfNews.com #UAE

Time to stop criminalising bounced cheque cases | GulfNews.com:

"It is no secret that we are facing another cycle of economic slowdown since the last quarter of 2015. Capital markets are shadowed in red, the real estate market is at a standstill and retail is struggling.

It is true that this is mainly caused by turbulence in the global economy. China’s economy is showing no signs of immediate recovery in spite of all governmental efforts.

Oil prices continue to plummet with no signs of recovery soon and Russian tourism is drying up as a result of the slowdown of the economy and devaluation of the rubble. In reality, part of the problem is of confidence in the markets rather than a cashflow issue."



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Saudi banks to face further downward pressure on profits | GulfNews.com

Saudi banks to face further downward pressure on profits | GulfNews.com:

"The fourth-quarter results of leading Saudi banks show a number of these institutions are facing a squeeze on profits as both loans and deposits decline and asset quality deteriorates further.

At the close of the fourth quarter, Saudi Hollandi Bank, the kingdom’s oldest lender, reported a 2.3 per cent fall in fourth-quarter net profit on higher staffing costs and provisions for bad loans.

Saudi British Bank (SABB), an affiliate of HSBC Holdings, posted a 3.1 per cent drop in fourth-quarter net profit and Riyad Bank, Saudi Arabia’s fourth-largest lender by assets, posted a 19.7 per cent fall in fourth-quarter net profit, in line with analysts’ forecasts as Samba Financial Group, the kingdom’s third-largest bank by assets, reported flat net profit for the fourth quarter."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi dips in early trade as investors become skittish | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi dips in early trade as investors become skittish | Reuters:

"Saudi Arabia's bourse slid in early trade on Monday, erasing some of the previous session's rebound as day traders booked quick profits and long-term investors awaited more market stability.

Riyadh's index dropped 0.8 percent. It rose 2.7 percent on Sunday.

The petrochemical sector, which has recently been the main influence on market direction, was down 0.9 percent."



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

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

"Most Gulf bourses traded narrowly on Monday, with investors torn between betting on further gains following a sharp rebound a day earlier or booking some quick profits and this lack of conviction indicates the bear trend could persist.

Markets have tumbled to such an extent this year that many stocks are considered cheap by traders and fund managers, even after Sunday's rally.

"Sunday's sugar rush is winding down," said a Dubai-based trader. "Daily traders turned a quick profit and cashed out and so the markets may continue to see-saw."

"



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Oil Declines After Saudi Aramco Says It's Sustaining Investments - Bloomberg Business

Oil Declines After Saudi Aramco Says It's Sustaining Investments - Bloomberg Business:

"Oil gave up its gains after the world’s biggest crude exporter said it’s keeping up investments in energy projects.
Futures dropped as much as 4.1 percent after earlier rising as much as 1.7 percent in New York. State-run Saudi Arabian Oil Co. hasn’t reduced its investment capacity amid lower crude prices and is building a marine cluster in the eastern part of the Middle East nation, Chairman Khalid Al-Falih said.
“The Saudi news surely would give a little bit of a worry that production would remain strong,” Daniel Ang, an investment analyst at Phillip Futures, said by phone from Singapore. “The main reason for oil losing steam still comes from the fact that oil markets are currently in oversupply.”"



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