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Thursday, 18 February 2016

EU court ruling on Iranian bank paves way for claims against UK | World news | The Guardian

EU court ruling on Iranian bank paves way for claims against UK | World news | The Guardian:

"Bank Mellat, an Iranian firm whose assets were frozen due to alleged involvement in nuclear proliferation, has won a European Union court ruling paving the way for claims against the UK.

The decision by the EU court of justice in Luxembourg that the bank should not have been targeted will bolster its claim against the UK government for billions of pounds worth of compensation.

The case was brought against the European council, the grouping of the EU’s 28 member states, which froze the funds of a number of Iranian financial entities from 2010 to combat Iranian activities that could have led to the country developing nuclear weapons. The UK government appeared in support of the council."



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UAE debt defaults could mount and spread to indi­vidual borrowers, warns EFG Hermes | The National

UAE debt defaults could mount and spread to indi­vidual borrowers, warns EFG Hermes | The National:

"The investment bank EFG-Hermes is warning that the fallout sparked by SME debt delinquencies may spread to indi­vidual borrowers as the strain from the weakening economy increases.

While the bank’s fourth-quarter earnings grew compared with the third quarter, they were largely propped up by one-off gains and increases in non-interest income, said Shabbir Malik, the author of a report released on Thursday.

More worryingly, banks are putting aside more cash to cover any nasty surprises this year, he said.

"



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Struggling UAE brokers under further pressure as Securities and Commodities Authority cuts commissions | The National

Struggling UAE brokers under further pressure as Securities and Commodities Authority cuts commissions | The National:

"The Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA) has announced a 17 per cent cut in the commission on share transactions paid to brokerages.

The regulator said an overhaul to the commission structure on share transactions, will lead to an increase in commissions paid to the regulator, while that paid to brokerages will decrease. Under the new regime, the SCA will receive a 0.05 per cent commission on each share transaction, compared with 0.025 per cent previously.

The increase in commission to the regulator will be funded by a reduction in the commission payable to brokers, which will fall by 17 per cent to 0.125 per cent from 0.15 per cent."



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Norway Opens Wealth Fund to Buying Iranian Government Bonds - Bloomberg Business

Norway Opens Wealth Fund to Buying Iranian Government Bonds - Bloomberg Business:

"Norway opened its $810 billion wealth fund to Iranian government bonds as the Middle Eastern nation emerges from almost a decade of international sanctions following a deal to curb a nuclear program.
Norway has had sanctions in place on investing in Iranian government bonds since January 2014 as part of a ban that now will include only North Korea and Syria, according to a statement from the Finance Ministry in Oslo. The ban was lifted as Iran met its initial obligations under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the ministry said.  
“As part of this easing the prohibition against buying Iranian government bonds falls away,” Norway said."



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U.A.E. Central Bank Foreign Assets Decline $12 Billion - Bloomberg Business

U.A.E. Central Bank Foreign Assets Decline $12 Billion - Bloomberg Business:

"The United Arab Emirates central bank’s foreign assets fell by $12 billion in January from the previous month as the Arab world’s second-biggest economy grapples with falling oil prices and bets against its currency.
Foreign assets declined to 296.9 billion dirhams ($81 billion) from 341.1 billion dirhams, according to data posted on the central bank’s website. Cash, bank balances and deposits with banks abroad dropped almost 30 percent to 122.2 billion dirhams, while investments in held-to-maturity foreign securities and other foreign assets increased, according to the data.
Oil producers in the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council, which includes Qatar, Kuwait and the biggest Arab economy of Saudi Arabia, are seeing their public finances deteriorate as crude prices hover near 12-year lows. Net foreign assets of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency, the kingdom’s central bank, have fallen in the 11 months to December as the country sought to bridge its budget deficit."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets rise on oil hopes, ignore debt downgrades | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets rise on oil hopes, ignore debt downgrades | Reuters:

"Gulf stock markets rose on Thursday amid hopes for a global deal to prop up oil prices, as investors largely ignored sharp downgrades of the credit ratings of three nations in the region.

Late on Wednesday, Standard & Poor's cut Saudi Arabia by two notches to A- from A+, while Bahrain lost its investment grade status; Oman was lowered to the last rating above junk status.

The downgrades underlined the damage to state finances in the region from cheap oil, and the likelihood that governments will have to pay more in future to fund themselves. After the markets closed, the Bahrain government cancelled a $750 million bond sale in response to S&P's decision."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi rises sharply on oil price hopes, Egypt firm | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi rises sharply on oil price hopes, Egypt firm | Reuters:

"Saudi Arabia's stock market rose sharply in early trade on Thursday on hopes for a global agreement to prop up oil prices, while Egypt's bourse was firm.

The Saudi index gained 1.5 percent in the opening minutes, heading for its fourth straight day of gains, as the biggest petrochemical maker, Saudi Basic Industries, climbed 2.9 percent.

Jabal Omar Development rose 3.4 percent after saying it had signed an agreement with the Ministry of Finance to defer payments on a 3 billion riyal ($800 million) loan; it had missed a first payment on the loan in January."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi, other debt downgrades may dampen markets | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi, other debt downgrades may dampen markets | Reuters:

"Downgrades of the credit ratings of three Gulf oil exporters may dampen stock markets in the region on Thursday, offsetting strength in oil prices and global equity markets.

Brent oil futures are just above $35.0 a barrel, having surged more than 7 percent overnight after Iran endorsed the idea of oil producers capping their output to support prices. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan is up 1.7 percent on Thursday morning.

However, Iran did not explicitly say on Wednesday that it would restrain its own output, and many analysts still doubt that the agreement will make much difference to oil prices."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf stocks rise on higher oil, global gains | News by Country | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf stocks rise on higher oil, global gains | News by Country | Reuters:

"Gulf stock markets rose in early trade on Thursday in response to strength in oil prices and global equity markets, though they quickly came off their highs.

The Dubai index was up 1.1 percent at 3,092 points after an hour of trade, but pulled back after nearing minor technical resistance at the February peak of 3,125 points. Second-tier property stocks were major gainers with Deyaar , the most heavily traded stock, up 2.0 percent.

GFH Financial gained 2.4 percent. It had risen 1.4 percent on Wednesday after Abu Dhabi Financial Group's capital markets arm, Integrated Capital, said it had increased its stake in GFH to 10 percent. Previously its stake was 7.4 percent, according to bourse data."



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