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Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Iran gives oil freeze plan cautious welcome - FT.com

Iran gives oil freeze plan cautious welcome - FT.com:

"Iran on Wednesday cautiously welcomed an initiative to freeze oil output by the world’s largest producers — even though Tehran itself is rushing to increase its own exports.
The Iranian response to a plan backed by Saudi Arabia and Russia helped oil prices to a 7 per cent gain on the day as traders discarded some of their scepticism about the first big effort to reverse the 18-month oil price slide."



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Abu Dhabi deficit to widen significantly in 2016, says Moody’s | The National

Abu Dhabi deficit to widen significantly in 2016, says Moody’s | The National:

"Abu Dhabi’s fiscal deficit will widen significantly in 2016, as oil prices remain lower for longer, according to Moody’s the ratings agency.

The emirate will run a fiscal deficit of 14 per cent of GDP this year, the ratings agency expects. Fitch estimates that Abu Dhabi ran a fiscal deficit of 13.2 per cent in 2015.

Major falls in oil and natural gas revenues are driving the deficits, with receipts falling from 26.6 per cent of GDP to 17 per cent of GDP from 2015. Oil revenues are expected to fall by about 41 per cent this year from their 2014 high, Fitch expects."



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Iranian banks reconnected to SWIFT network after four-year hiatus | Reuters

Iranian banks reconnected to SWIFT network after four-year hiatus | Reuters:

"Global transaction network SWIFT has reconnected a number of Iranian banks to its system, allowing them to resume cross-border transactions with foreign banks after the lifting of sanctions on Tehran, a SWIFT official said.

Iran's re-entry on to the SWIFT system, four years after banks were cut off from the network, had became a political issue in the Islamic Republic in recent weeks.

Some conservative parliamentary critics of President Hassan Rouhani had complained the reconnection was not occurring fast enough and the country's nuclear deal was not delivering the expected economic benefits."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi rises before oil meeting, Egypt firm | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi rises before oil meeting, Egypt firm | Reuters:

"Saudi Arabia's stock market rose on Wednesday before an oil producers' meeting that could help support crude prices, while Egypt's bourse was aided by a firm global tone for equities. Most Gulf markets were little changed.

Iran's oil minister was meeting his counterparts from Iraq, Qatar and Venezuela in Tehran on Wednesday afternoon to discuss a proposal for major producers to freeze output at January levels.

Even if an agreement can be reached, many investors doubt it will be respected in the long term, or that it will boost oil prices much."



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Harsh economic reality drives Saudi-Russia accord - FT.com

Harsh economic reality drives Saudi-Russia accord - FT.com:

"Saudi Arabia and Russia are hardly the most obvious allies. The world’s two largest oil exporters have been locked in an increasingly fierce battle for market share. They are on opposite sides of the bloody conflict raging in Syria. Previous attempts to co-operate on oil output have ended in bickering and distrust.
But the two states have been forced together by harsh economic reality, in the shape of collapsing oil price, which led to Tuesday’s tentative agreement to freeze oil production, also backed by Qatar and Venezuela."



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Break up the banks, says Minneapolis Fed chief - FT.com

Break up the banks, says Minneapolis Fed chief - FT.com:

"America’s biggest banks pose a potentially “nuclear” threat to the US economy and regulators should consider breaking them up, according to the new head of the Minneapolis Federal Reserve.
Neel Kashkari, who was a key architect of Wall Street’s 2008 bailout, said the largest US lenders remain “too big too fail”. He said in his first public comments since becoming the head of the Minneapolis Fed at the start of the year that efforts to regulate the big banks since the financial crisis had not gone far enough."



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Oil ministers’ output freezing deal in Qatar explained - FT.com

Oil ministers’ output freezing deal in Qatar explained - FT.com:

"At a meeting in Doha on Tuesday, oil ministers from Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela agreed to freeze — not cut — output at the levels reported in January in an attempt to prop up prices that have cratered from $115 a barrel in mid-2014 to just above $30 a barrel today.

All of the countries have been hit hard by the decline in prices, in particular Venezuela which has been trying to marshal support for co-ordinated action to stabilise prices. The provisional “freeze” comes ahead of the next Opec ministerial meeting in June.
Russia is estimated to have pumped a post-Soviet record of 10.88m barrels a day in January, which might explain why it has been willing to sign up to a deal. Its output is already forecast to decline slightly by the end of 2016. Equally, Saudi Arabia’s production has remained close to record levels above 10m b/d for almost 12 months."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi, Egyptian markets edge up in early trade | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi, Egyptian markets edge up in early trade | Reuters:

"The Saudi Arabian stock market edged up in early trade on Wednesday before an oil producers' meeting that could help to support crude prices, while Egypt's bourse was aided by a firm global tone for equities.

Iran's oil minister was due to meet his counterparts from Iraq, Qatar and Venezuela in Tehran on Wednesday afternoon to discuss a proposal for major producers to freeze output at January levels.

Even if an agreement can be reached, many investors doubt it will be respected in the long term, or that it would boost oil prices much."



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Iran signals tough stance in oil producers' talks | Reuters

Iran signals tough stance in oil producers' talks | Reuters:

"Iran signaled on Wednesday it would take a tough line in talks among oil producers on restraining production, saying it would continue increasing its output until it reached levels seen before international sanctions were imposed.

"Asking Iran to freeze its oil production level is illogical ... when Iran was under sanctions, some countries raised their output and they caused the drop in oil prices." Iran's OPEC envoy, Mehdi Asali, was quoted as saying by the Shargh daily newspaper.

"How can they expect Iran to cooperate now and pay the price?""



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf bourses move sideways, little optimism over oil deal | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf bourses move sideways, little optimism over oil deal | Reuters:

"Gulf stock markets mostly moved sideways in quiet, early trade on Wednesday as investors held out little hope that a proposed deal among oil producers would support crude prices much.

Venezuelan Oil Minister Eulogio Del Pino and Iraqi Oil Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi were to travel to Tehran for talks with their Iranian counterpart Bijan Zanganeh on Wednesday to discuss a possible output freeze by major producers.

But Iran signalled it would take a tough line in the talks, saying it would continue increasing its output until it reached levels seen before international sanctions on Tehran were imposed."



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