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Tuesday, 15 March 2016

M&A deals in Mena hit $105.5 billion | GulfNews.com

M&A deals in Mena hit $105.5 billion | GulfNews.com:

"Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) activity in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has remained robust during the current decade, barring 2015 when both the number and value of deals significantly declined, an Al Masah Capital Limited Report titled MENA M&A Industry reveals.

During the period 2010-2015, the region witnessed M&A deals worth $105.5 billion with GCC-based companies leading the way in terms of volume and value year-on-year, peaking at an unprecedented 88.1 per cent of the total value of deals in 2015.

According to the report, Qatar, Egypt and UAE with deals worth $22.37 billion, $21.72 billion and $21.29 billion respectively, accounting for 62 per cent of the total deal value during the period, were the most preferred investment destinations in MENA."



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Egypt Stocks Post Biggest Two-Day Gain Since 2012 on Devaluation - Bloomberg Business

Egypt Stocks Post Biggest Two-Day Gain Since 2012 on Devaluation - Bloomberg Business:

"Egyptian stocks rose in the biggest two-day advance in almost four years following the nation’s decision Monday to devalue the currency the most since 2003. The government’s dollar bonds rose.
The EGX 30 Index bucked declines across most Middle Eastern markets to rise 1.9 percent to close at 7,139.44, the highest level since November and close to its 200-day moving average. Traders exchanged about 335 million shares, about 60 percent higher than the six-month average. The index has added 8.8 percent since the central bank weakened the currency 13 percent on Monday and said it would adopt a more flexible exchange rate.
The devaluation diminishes at least one of the risks that has left foreign investors wary of Egypt since the 2011 uprising and exacerbated a dollar shortage at a time when security concerns have been driving away tourists, one of the country’s biggest sources of revenue. The move came less than a week after a senior government official said Egypt is preparing to start loan talks with the International Monetary Fund, a suggestion that central bank Governor Tarek Amer denied. The bank will offer $1.5 billion at an exceptional auction on Wednesday, it said in a statement on its website Tuesday."



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Kuwait's Economic Overhaul Faces Familiar Parliament Hurdle - Bloomberg Business

Kuwait's Economic Overhaul Faces Familiar Parliament Hurdle - Bloomberg Business:

"Kuwait’s plan to impose corporate taxes and cut fuel subsidies to reduce the OPEC member’s reliance on oil faces a familiar obstacle: a parliament that has resisted previous attempts to curtail one of the world’s most generous welfare systems.
Finance Minister Anas al-Saleh on Monday submitted a six-point plan to the cabinet that aims in part to bolster revenue and cut public spending. Measures include selling stakes in state-owned entities, official media reported. The plan, which needs parliamentary approval, has been referred to the legislature’s committee for finance and economy.
“In the current parliament there are no political blocs with defined economic plans or philosophies,” Abdullah al-Naibari, a former lawmaker, said in a phone interview from Kuwait on Tuesday. “There are individuals with one aim, which is winning votes, nothing else.”"



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Egypt rises in post-devaluation rally; Gulf falls with oil | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Egypt rises in post-devaluation rally; Gulf falls with oil | Reuters:

"Egypt's stock market rose for a second straight day on Tuesday after the country's central bank devalued the currency. Gulf markets fell as oil prices retreated.

Cairo's index climbed 1.9 percent to 7,140 points, rising above technical resistance at this year's peak of 7,114 points. A second straight close above that level would confirm a break, pointing up to the October peaks around 7,700 pounds.

But while trading volume was active, it almost halved from the extraordinarily high seen on Monday, when the index soared 6.7 percent after the central bank devalued the pound to 8.85 per U.S. dollar from 7.73."



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Saudi Arabia orders 5 per cent contract spending cut in fresh austerity drive | The National

Saudi Arabia orders 5 per cent contract spending cut in fresh austerity drive | The National:

"Saudi Arabia’s government, its finances strained by low oil prices, is opening a fresh austerity drive by ordering ministries to cut their spending on contracts by at least 5 per cent, a document seen by Reuters shows.

The spending cuts could further slow economic growth in the world’s top oil exporter and hurt the construction industry, where many companies are struggling with deteriorating cash flow and rising labour costs.

The document, sent by the central government to all ministries and state bodies, instructs them to reduce the value of outstanding contracts signed to support their operations, as well as construction contracts included in the 2016 state budget, by “not less than 5 per cent of remaining obligations"."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi falls in early trade after oil turns south | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi falls in early trade after oil turns south | Reuters:

"A drop in oil prices dampened investor confidence in Saudi Arabia's stock market, prompting a broad sell-off in early trade on Tuesday.

The petrochemical sector was the main drag as Riyadh's index fell 0.8 percent in the first 30 minutes after oil slipped below $39 a barrel. Saudi Basic Industries, the largest listed petrochemical producer, fell 0.7 percent.

But construction company Khodari added 3.0 percent after it announced that it had received 9.1 million riyals ($2.4 million) as compensation from the state's Human Resource Development Fund for the impact of labour reforms. The gain will be booked in the first quarter of 2016, the company said in a bourse statement."



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Is Iran really one of the world’s best investments? - FT.com

Is Iran really one of the world’s best investments? - FT.com:

"An oasis of stability. That’s how MP Jock Bruce-Gardyne described Iran in late 1966. How wrong he turned out to be.
Fifty years ago, he had just attended a conference in Tehran. He loved it — as did his fellow delegates. In a note afterwards, he wrote of their “surprise with the striking contrasts” all over the city, noting the “watermelon stalls on one side of the road” with “new factories for assembling Leyland lorries and Mercedes ‘buses’ on the other”."



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Brussels warns EU banks against Russian bond deal - FT.com

Brussels warns EU banks against Russian bond deal - FT.com:

"Brussels is urging European banks to steer clear of Russia’s first sovereign bond issue since the imposition of western sanctions over Ukraine, creating fresh doubts about the viability of the offering. 
Although the EU’s sanctions do not explicitly prohibit purchases of Russian government debt, EU officials have privately echoed Washington’s warnings that the proceeds from an offering could be misused, according to two people familiar with the guidance. 
If this qualified warning convinces European banks to avoid the sale, Russia could be forced to abandon its first foray into capital markets since the annexation of Crimea in 2014, dealing a financial and political blow to the Kremlin. “It is clear that they don’t want us to take part,” said one banker familiar with the guidance. “We are being discouraged.” "



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India targets $40bn of untapped oil and gas - FT.com

India targets $40bn of untapped oil and gas - FT.com:

"India aims to attract $25bn of investment in natural gas and crude oil in the next few years with the help of sweeping reforms to its exploration and production rules announced last week.
Dharmendra Pradhan, minister of state for petroleum and natural gas, said the new hydrocarbon exploration and licensing policy (Help) and a liberalised gas price regime would help reduce India’s heavy dependence on imported energy over the next 10-15 years."



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Commodities are 'through the worst' - YouTube

Commodities are 'through the worst' - YouTube: ""



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Brent oil extends drop as Iran spurns production freeze deal | The National

Brent oil extends drop as Iran spurns production freeze deal | The National:

"Brent dropped for a second day as Russia signalled Iran won’t join major producers in freezing output to manage a global glut.

Futures lost as much as 1 per cent in London after falling 2.1 per cent Monday. Iran has “reasonable arguments" for not joining an alliance to cap production now, Russian energy minister Alexander Novak said after meeting with his Iranian counterpart. Talks on the freeze are most likely to occur in Qatar’s capital Doha next month, according to Gulf Opec delegates. US stockpiles probably expanded last week, keeping supplies at the most since 1930.

“Supply is still the key factor for the market," David Lennox, an analyst at Fat Prophets in Sydney, said by phone. “If there is a meeting and it does result in a decision on definitive action, that will be positive for prices, but history is against anything happening,""



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Kuwait to impose 10 per cent tax on corporate profits | GulfNews.com

Kuwait to impose 10 per cent tax on corporate profits | GulfNews.com:

"Kuwait told a press conference on Monday that the cabinet had approved a plan to impose a 10 percent tax on profits of companies.

The cabinet also approved a repricing of some commodities and public services, said Kuwait’s acting Finance Minister Anas al-Saleh. He said country would seek to privatise some state-owned projects, including airports, ports and some facilities of the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC). Al-Saleh did not give a timeline covering when the tax would implemented.

That Kuwait was first planning to introduce a corporate tax was first announced in December, when the ministry announced it could be part of a broad move to introduce fiscal reforms amid pressure from low oil prices."



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