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Thursday, 3 March 2016

UAE’s non-oil private sector growth rebounded in February | GulfNews.com

UAE’s non-oil private sector growth rebounded in February | GulfNews.com:

"The UAE’s non-oil privates sector showed a rebound in growth last month with output rising at a marginally faster rate, according to the Emirates NBD UAE Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI)

The February index rose to 53 from a 52.7 in January, signalling growth in the non-oil private sector compared to persistent slowdown in four of the previous five months.

The overall improvement in business conditions was helped by expansions in output, new orders and employment. All three variables rose slightly faster than in January, but the respective indexes remained below long-run trends. Meanwhile, with total cost pressures remaining muted, firms cut charges to the greatest extent since March 2010 as they competed to secure new clients."



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Is Norway's Sovereign Wealth Fund at Risk? - Bloomberg Business

Is Norway's Sovereign Wealth Fund at Risk? - Bloomberg Business:

"Kari Due-Andresen, Handelsbanken chief economist, discusses Norway's fund withdrawals with Bloomberg's Alix Steel and Scarlet Fu on "What'd You Miss?" (Source: Bloomberg)"



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Iran hopes to raise March oil exports on higher European sales: sources | Reuters

Iran hopes to raise March oil exports on higher European sales: sources | Reuters:

"Iran, OPEC's No. 3 producer, is expected to raise its oil exports in March to around 1.65 million barrels per day from 1.5 million bpd a month earlier on the back of higher crude shipments to Europe, two industry sources told Reuters on Thursday.

State-run National Iranian Oil Co. (NIOC) is expected toship around 250,000-300,000 bpd to Europe this month after it finalised term deals with France's Total and Spanish refiner Cepsa, effective from March 1, said the sources, who are familiar with Iran's exports.

The French oil major has a contract to buy about 200,000 bpd, while Cepsa's deal was for about 35,000 bpd, one source said. Total is expected to lift at least 5 million barrels in March, the source added.Litasco, the trading arm of Russia's Lukoil, Cepsaand Total have become the first buyers in Europe after thelifting of sanctions and lifted trial cargoes in February,trading sources told Reuters."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf climbs on oil hopes, Egypt slowed by monetary fears | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf climbs on oil hopes, Egypt slowed by monetary fears | Reuters:

"Most Gulf stock markets rose on Thursday, buoyed by firm oil prices, while Egypt edged up but was again restrained by worries about a possible interest rate rise, a currency devaluation or both.

A decision by Saudi Arabia to raise oil prices to its main customers in Asia contributed to a sense that crude may finally have bottomed out. Also, purchasing managers' indexes released on Thursday showed non-oil business activity in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates accelerating slightly in February from January's multi-year lows.

The Saudi stock index rose 0.8 percent as petrochemical blue chip Saudi Basic Industries gained 1.0 percent."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi edges up, Egypt continues slide on rate worries | Agricultural Commodities | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi edges up, Egypt continues slide on rate worries | Agricultural Commodities | Reuters:

"Saudi Arabia's stock market edged up in early trade on Thursday, buoyed by interest in beaten-down cement firms, while Egypt fell again on worries about a possible interest rate increase, a currency devaluation or both.

A decision by Saudi Arabia to raise oil prices to its main customers in Asia contributed to a sense that crude may finally have bottomed out. Also, a purchasing managers' index released on Thursday showed non-oil business activity in Saudi Arabia accelerating slightly in February from January's multi-year low .

That helped the Saudi index rise 0.3 percent in the opening minutes. Jouf Cement climbed 3.5 percent to 9.00 riyals in unusually heavy trade; it is down from a mid-2015 peak of 18.35 riyals. Najran Cement added 2.0 percent."



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NBAD chief keen to help fill $260bn SME funding gap in Middle East | The National

NBAD chief keen to help fill $260bn SME funding gap in Middle East | The National:

"National Bank of Abu Dhabi is keen to help fill a US$260 billion funding gap for small and medium sized enterprises in the Middle East even as many banks step back from the risky business of funding them, said chief executive Alex Thursby.

But Mr Thursby at the same time expressed concern that governments, in their efforts to erect more regulations to avoid a repeat of the 2008 financial crash, have erected too many barriers to wealth creation.

“Policymakers in the financial industry as a whole must nurture the entrepreneurism of our small to medium sized businesses,” he said on Thursday at a financial conference organised by the bank in Abu Dhabi.

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Najib Hails Malaysia-Saudi Ties Amid $681 Million Funds Scandal - Bloomberg Business

Najib Hails Malaysia-Saudi Ties Amid $681 Million Funds Scandal - Bloomberg Business:

"Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak praised Saudi Arabia in a visit overshadowed by a scandal over a $681 million “personal” donation from the Saudi royal family.
The countries are "inseparable partners" in the war against Islamic extremism and terrorism, Najib said during a four-day trip to the Middle Eastern kingdom that ends Thursday. It’s his second visit in two months.
He was expected to meet King Salman, Crown Prince Muhammad bin Nayef and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman while there, according to a foreign ministry statement issued on Monday."



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Bouncing back | Authers' Note - YouTube

Bouncing back | Authers' Note - YouTube: ""



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Arabtec lifts Dubai, blue chips drag on Qatar, Abu Dhabi | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Arabtec lifts Dubai, blue chips drag on Qatar, Abu Dhabi | Reuters:

"Arabtec pulled up Dubai's stock market early on Thursday, encouraging investors to buy mid-cap stocks, while Abu Dhabi and Qatar slipped as blue chips were sold.

Shares in Arabtec jumped 8.0 percent in the first hour of trade, recouping most of their 9.1 percent slump on Wednesday. They have been swinging wildly in speculative trade since exchange data at the start of this week showed former chief executive Hasan Ismaik had raised his stake in the company to 11.91 percent from 11.81 percent - though his stake has not grown since then.

Amlak Finance, an Islamic investment firm, was up 3.1 percent and GFH Financial climbed 3.8 percent. Dubai's index was up 0.8 percent."



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Miramax bought by Qatari broadcaster BeIN Media Group - FT.com

Miramax bought by Qatari broadcaster BeIN Media Group - FT.com:

"Miramax, the studio behind films such as Pulp Fiction, Shakespeare in Love and The English Patient, has been sold to BeIN Media Group, the Qatari broadcaster.
BeIN acquired the entire company from a group of investors, including the Qatar Investment Authority — the country’s sovereign wealth fund — and Tom Barrack’s Colony Capital, for an undisclosed sum."



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