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Thursday, 4 February 2016

EXCLUSIVE: Platts backs its oil benchmark methodology | The National

EXCLUSIVE: Platts backs its oil benchmark methodology | The National:

"Crude oil benchmarks in the Middle East, which play a critical role in the pricing of energy products worldwide and especially in Asia, are entering a period of change. In Platts’ view, change means progress and we have acted to ensure that the important Dubai and Oman crude benchmarks remain fit for purpose over the coming decades.

Dubai crude oil has been the main Asian benchmark since the mid-1980s despite Dubai’s peak production of more than 400,000 barrels per day in 1991 sliding to below 50,000 bpd today, according to most estimates.

Through alternative delivery mechanisms that bring in crude oil traded in the spot market from Abu Dhabi and Qatar, the benchmark has remained relevant to the global oil markets as a “brand name” benchmark, representing the value of more than 2 million bpd of crude oil freely traded in the markets."



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Barclays agrees to hand over internal documents to Serious Fraud Office | Business | The Guardian

Barclays agrees to hand over internal documents to Serious Fraud Office | Business | The Guardian:

"Barclays has agreed to hand over internal documents to the Serious Fraud Office in a change of approach towards the SFO’s investigation into its rescue fundraising during the financial crisis.

The bank will give the SFO communications linked to the inquiry into whether Barclays and its leaders made false and misleading statements about a £7bn deal with Middle Eastern investors.

Barclays had argued that the documents contained legal advice protected by client-lawyer privilege. However, it changed its stance before a court hearing due in March at which the SFO intended to argue that legal privilege did not allow documents to be withheld from a fraud inquiry."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf rises with oil; Egypt up as foreigners return | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf rises with oil; Egypt up as foreigners return | Reuters:

"Stock markets in the Middle East firmed on Thursday as a second day of stronger oil prices helped to revive risk appetite, although Saudi Arabia's bourse lost some steam in the final hour of trade as oil gave up some of its gains.

The Saudi index closed up 0.8 percent at 5,973 points, 83 points below its high. Petrochemical producer Saudi Basic Industries closed 0.7 percent lower at 67.25 riyals after Brent crude slipped below $35 a barrel; the stock had traded as high as 71.00 riyals.

"The Gulf bourses are humming the same tune as oil prices," said a Riyadh-based equity analyst. "Although oil prices and regional equities markets have always been strongly correlated, recently the correlation has strengthened.""



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi, Egypt up in early trade as oil rises | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi, Egypt up in early trade as oil rises | Reuters:

"Stock markets in Saudi Arabia and Egypt rose in early trade on Thursday as a second day of rising oil prices helped to revive risk appetite.

Riyadh's index traded up 1.7 percent to slightly above 6,000 points, lifted by the petrochemical sector. Saudi Basic Industries, the largest petchem by market value, jumped 3.0 percent.

However, strength in Saudi stocks late on Wednesday was accompanied by lower trading volumes, suggesting the index is still in an adjustment phase, said a note by Riyad Capital."



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Malta Stock Exchange to launch Islamic equity index, eyes sukuk | Reuters

Malta Stock Exchange to launch Islamic equity index, eyes sukuk | Reuters:

"The Malta Stock Exchange (MSE) will launch on Monday an Islamic equity index aiming to attract business from Middle East firms, a move it hopes will also prompt the government to issue Islamic bonds (sukuk), senior executives told Reuters.

The 25-year old MSE is rolling out a new strategy which includes facilitating financial products that follow Islamic principles such as bans on investing in alcohol, tobacco and gambling-related businesses.

The launch of an Islamic index, developed alongside Dubai-based sharia advisory firm Dar al Sharia, and a debut sovereign sukuk would mirror steps taken by Britain and Luxembourg to develop their own credentials in the sector.

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MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf bourses rise as oil rallies | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf bourses rise as oil rallies | Reuters:

"Gulf stock markets rebounded in early trade on Thursday, following Asian stock markets higher as oil prices extended their rally into a second day.

Dubai's index climbed 2.1 percent in the first 45 minutes of trade, with local investor favourites Arabtec and Drake & Scull trading up 2.6 amd 1.8 percent respectively.

Blue chips also bounced back with Emaar Properties up 4.1 percent."



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Shell confirms 10,000 job cuts and a steep profits fall - BBC News

Shell confirms 10,000 job cuts and a steep profits fall - BBC News:

"Royal Dutch Shell has confirmed it is cutting 10,000 jobs amid its steepest fall in annual profits for 13 years.
It made $1.8bn (£1.23bn) for the fourth quarter of the year, compared with a $4.2bn profit for the same period the year before.
Full-year 2015 earnings, excluding identified items, were $10.7bn, compared with $22.6 billion in 2014."



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