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Tuesday, 12 April 2016

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi shares boosted by strong banking results; Egypt bourse weak | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi shares boosted by strong banking results; Egypt bourse weak | Reuters:

"Banking shares helped lift Saudi Arabia's bourse on Tuesday as two lenders beat analysts' earnings forecasts, helping boost investor sentiment across the region, while Egypt extended its correction.

Banque Saudi Fransi jumped 6.7 percent to 27.00 riyals after it reported a 2.7 percent increase in first-quarter net profit to 1.08 billion riyals ($288 million) after market close on Monday.

Four analysts surveyed by Reuters had on average forecast the bank would make a quarterly profit of 964.3 million riyals. In a note by Riyad Capital published on Tuesday analysts maintained a "buy" rating on the stock with a price target of 34.00 riyals adding that the stock will continue to perform well in the near term."



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Italy's Renzi signs potentially huge business deals in Iran | Reuters

Italy's Renzi signs potentially huge business deals in Iran | Reuters:

"Italy and Iran signed deals potentially worth billions on Tuesday when Prime Minister Matteo Renzi visited Tehran seeking a strong Italian foothold in a nation hungry for infrastructure investment as it emerges from financial isolation.

Renzi was accompanied by a delegation of some 60 business leaders in sectors including energy, railways and defense, and by Italy's export agency and state lender which pledged billions of euros in credit lines and guarantees.

Three months ago President Hassan Rouhani made Italy his first stop in Europe as he sought to drum up investment in the Iranian economy, which rejoined the global trading system in January following a deal to lift crippling sanctions in exchange for limiting its nuclear activities."



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Dubai Group said to hire Emirates NBD for Shuaa stake sale | GulfNews.com

Dubai Group said to hire Emirates NBD for Shuaa stake sale | GulfNews.com:

"Dubai Group LLC, an investment company, hired Emirates NBD PJSC to help find a buyer for its stake in investment bank Shuaa Capital PSC, according to two people familiar with the matter.

The sale process is at an early stage and may not result in a deal, said the people, asking not to be identified because the talks are private. Dubai Group holds a 48 per cent stake in Shuaa worth about $100 million (Dh367 million), according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Dubai Group, Emirate NBD and Shuaa all declined to comment.

Trading volumes in Shuaa have been soaring in recent weeks amid signs that an investor may be seeking to gain a foothold in the company. The investment firm, whose shares have lost about two-thirds of their value in the past two years, had four chief executive officers in about five years and managed without one since the end of 2013. The stock fell 2.4 per cent to 67 fils as of 10:55am in Dubai and has gained about 64 per cent this year."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Bank shares boost Saudi bourse, other Gulf markets upbeat | News by Country | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Bank shares boost Saudi bourse, other Gulf markets upbeat | News by Country | Reuters:

"Banking shares helped lift Saudi Arabia's bourse in early trade on Tuesday as two lenders beat analysts' earnings forecasts, amid a positive mood in other Gulf bourses.

Banque Saudi Fransi jumped 3.1 percent after it reported a 2.7 percent increase in first-quarter net profit to 1.08 billion riyals ($288 million) on Monday, after market close, topping analysts expectations.

Four analysts surveyed by Reuters had on average forecast the bank would make a quarterly profit of 964.3 million riyals."



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Aspen Hires From Swiss Re, Generali for New Dubai Operation - Bloomberg

Aspen Hires From Swiss Re, Generali for New Dubai Operation - Bloomberg:

"Aspen Insurance Holdings Ltd. hired senior underwriting managers for a new Dubai reinsurance operation as the company seeks expansion in the Middle East and Africa.
Peter Thompson, formerly of Assicurazioni Generali SpA, was assigned to the Dubai hub along with Gulf Re’s Houcine Zouaoui, and Swiss Re AG’s Attilio Tornetta. All three men will report to Abdallah Balbeisi, senior executive officer and head of Middle East and Africa, the Bermuda-based company said in a statement Monday.
Aspen is looking to diversify risks and build operations in new markets after rebuffing a hostile takeover bid from Endurance Specialty Holdings Ltd. in 2014. The company previously serviced the Middle East and Africa from a London office, a spokeswoman for the insurer said in an e-mail."



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Sumitomo Tops Gulf Loan Table as Oil-Cash Decline Curbs Locals - Bloomberg

Sumitomo Tops Gulf Loan Table as Oil-Cash Decline Curbs Locals - Bloomberg:

"Japanese lenders are upsetting the natural order in the Gulf’s more than $400 billion syndicated loan market.
Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. was the top loan arranger for the second straight quarter in the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council, a first for an Asian bank in the region. While HSBC Holdings Plc -- which has led on an annual basis for four years -- was second, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. took third."



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Steadier oil and softer yen support risk appetite - FT.com

Steadier oil and softer yen support risk appetite - FT.com:

"Equity gauges are mostly firmer as risk appetite is supported by steadier oil prices, a weaker Japanese yen and a stoic response to an uninspiring start to the US earnings season.
The positive tone is undermining government bonds, nudging yields higher and pushing gold down $1 to $1,256 an ounce."



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Oman: Iran’s best friend in the Gulf | beyondbrics

Oman: Iran’s best friend in the Gulf | beyondbrics:

"The sultanate of Oman appears set to play a key role in Iran’s efforts to reintegrate into the regional and global economy. While other Middle Eastern states kept their distance during Iran’s years of isolation, Oman stuck with its longtime trading partner and is now set to reap the benefits, as the two countries move ahead with large-scale joint economic initiatives.

A long-planned $60bn undersea gas pipeline project has been given fresh impetus since sanctions on Iran were lifted earlier this year. The Korea Gas Corporation, a partly state-owned South Korean energy company, is reported to be nearing an agreement to build pipelines that will pump 20m cubic metres of Iranian gas a day to Oman, where it will be converted into Liquefied Natural Gas for international export.

Plans for another major bilateral project are coming to fruition. An ongoing feasibility study for the construction of a car manufacturing hub in the Omani port of Duqm is likely to be concluded this month. The plant, a $200m joint venture with the Khodro Industrial Group, the region’s largest automobile manufacturer, is expected to produce 20,000 cars within two years. Production is set to begin next year, with the bulk of output destined for neighbouring markets including Yemen, Sudan and Ethiopia."



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