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Tuesday, 19 April 2016

AmEx Finds Persian Gulf Spending Shifts to Basics Amid Oil Slump - Bloomberg

AmEx Finds Persian Gulf Spending Shifts to Basics Amid Oil Slump - Bloomberg:

"More affluent residents and citizens in oil-rich Persian Gulf countries are holding back on luxury spending, focusing instead on basic needs amid concerns over jobs and the health of the economy.
A regional survey commissioned by AmEx (Middle East) BSC, a joint venture between American Express Co. and Mawarid Group, found 20 percent of respondents reduced spending on luxury goods and services in 2015, compared with a 13 percent decline a year earlier. While respondents who earn over $75,000 a year are changing the composition of their spending, most plan to maintain or increase consumption this year, the survey found.
People are still "optimistic about how much they will be spending in 2016 despite the economic conditions in the region," Mazin Khoury, Chief Executive Officer of American Express Middle East, said in an interview in Doha on Tuesday. "They are not saying we are definitely looking at a bad year.""



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Bailouts Are Big in the Middle East This Season - Bloomberg

Bailouts Are Big in the Middle East This Season - Bloomberg:

"The International Monetary Fund has never been busier in the Middle East.
The fallout from terrorism, political turmoil and the collapse in oil prices has prompted a flurry of requests for bailouts, assistance or just plain advice.
Iraq is close to becoming the first major Arab oil producer to agree on a program with the Washington-based lender. Tunisia and Jordan, still suffering from the aftermath of the Arab Spring uprisings, hope to attract billions of dollars of loans and investments after receiving an IMF seal of approval. Even Morocco, which outperformed its neighbors after avoiding the worst of the Arab Spring turmoil, is considering renewing its $5 billion IMF credit line."



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Calling All Bankers for Help Managing $2 Trillion Saudi Fund - Bloomberg

Calling All Bankers for Help Managing $2 Trillion Saudi Fund - Bloomberg:

"Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund is seeking to recruit senior bankers to help the kingdom run what may become the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
The fund, which holds about $100 billion worth of stakes in local companies, is working with U.S.-based executive search firm Korn Ferry International to hire for positions including the head of private equity, head of real estate, head of risk management and the head of markets, the people said, asking not to be identified because the matter is private. The fund is seeking the most experienced international candidates, they said.
Saudi Arabia is preparing itself for the twilight of the oil age by expanding the PIF so it eventually controls more than $2 trillion, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said in an interview earlier this month. The country will sell shares in Saudi Arabian Oil Co.’s parent company, or Aramco, and transfer these to the fund, technically making investments the source of Saudi government revenue, not oil, according to the prince."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi earnings, oil boost Gulf, Egypt breaks chart barrier | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi earnings, oil boost Gulf, Egypt breaks chart barrier | Reuters:

"Gulf stock markets rose on Tuesday as several Saudi companies beat first-quarter earnings estimates and oil prices held up better than feared after the failure of Sunday's Doha meeting to agree on an output freeze.

The Saudi stock index climbed 1.7 percent as Saudi Basic Industries, the biggest petrochemical producer, gained 2.3 percent.

SABIC reported a 13.2 percent drop in net profit to 3.41 billion riyals ($909.4 million) after analysts had on average forecast 2.84 billion riyals."



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UPDATE 1-Iran's oil output to reach pre-sanctions level by June, official says | Reuters

UPDATE 1-Iran's oil output to reach pre-sanctions level by June, official says | Reuters:

"Iran's crude oil production will reach pre-sanctions levels within two months, a deputy oil minister was quoted as saying on Tuesday, a signal the OPEC member might be willing to discuss an output freeze by the time when the exporting group meets next.

Talks between OPEC and non-OPEC producers to freeze production unexpectedly broke down on Sunday when Saudi Arabia insisted that all OPEC members, including Iran, and non-OPEC oil exporters should join in the deal.

Iran, which was relieved of sanctions in January, is concerned at oversupply but is insisting on ramping up its production to pre-sanctions levels and reclaiming its market share before it will consider freezing output."



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Cheap oil trips up Gulf’s banks - FT.com

Cheap oil trips up Gulf’s banks - FT.com:

"Late last year, tales of indebted managers closing down their businesses and fleeing the United Arab Emirates re-emerged. In an echo of the financial crisis, there were stories that owners of small and medium sized enterprises were leaving the country rather than risk jail for not paying debts.
A wave of expats leaving cars at the airport has yet to materialise, but dozens of corporate directors — especially contractors reliant on government spending — have been folding their businesses as payments slow after the collapse in oil prices."



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Money flows from Doha | Authers' Note - YouTube

Money flows from Doha | Authers' Note - YouTube: ""



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Failed Doha oil talks explained | FT Markets - YouTube

Failed Doha oil talks explained | FT Markets - YouTube: ""



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Cautious Emaar cuts costs despite first quarter ‘surprise’ | The National

Cautious Emaar cuts costs despite first quarter ‘surprise’ | The National:

"Emaar Properties has embarked on a cost-cutting drive to meet more challenging market conditions.

Speaking to reporters after the company’s annual general meeting in Dubai yesterday, the chairman Mohamed Alabbar said that it had “severely" cut costs, but maintained that this was not because of its performance.

“We are really scared of 2016," he said. “If you look at our cost budget, it went back two years. So we went to a cost budget base of two years ago just to be cautious.""



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Emirates NBD’s first quarter net profits up to Dh1.8 billion | GulfNews.com

Emirates NBD’s first quarter net profits up to Dh1.8 billion | GulfNews.com:

"Emirates NBD on Tuesday reported a first quarter net profit of Dh1.8 billion up 8 per cent compared to the first quarter of 2015.

The healthy operating performance was helped by an increase in total income, driven by asset growth and stable core fee income, coupled with a control on expenses and lower provisions.

Despite challenging market conditions, Emirates NBD continued to achieve growth in revenue and net profit as various parts of the business delivered a robust performance in the first quarter, the bank said in a statement."



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YNAP to Sell Stake to Dubai Mall Operator in Middle East Push - Bloomberg

YNAP to Sell Stake to Dubai Mall Operator in Middle East Push - Bloomberg:

"Yoox Net-a-Porter agreed to sell a stake to the founder of Dubai-based developer Emaar Properties PJSC to help the world’s largest online luxury retailer expand in the Middle East.
Alabbar Enterprises, controlled by Emaar Chairman Mohamed Alabbar, agreed to pay 100 million euros ($113 million) for new shares amounting to 4 percent of YNAP, the Milan-based retailer said in a statement Tuesday. The shares rose.
The transaction brings together the online retailing partner for more than 30 luxury brands and the operator of the world’s largest shopping mall in Dubai, with 80 million visitors last year. As a strategic investor, Alabbar can provide insights and support to YNAP in the Middle East, which represents 5 percent of global luxury spending, the Italian company said."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf rises as Saudi Q1 earnings please, oil holds up | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf rises as Saudi Q1 earnings please, oil holds up | Reuters:

"Most Gulf stock markets rose early on Tuesday as several Saudi Arabian companies beat first-quarter earnings estimates and oil prices held up better than feared after the failure of Sunday's Doha meeting of producers to agree on an output freeze.

The Saudi stock index climbed 1.1 percent as Saudi Basic Industries, the biggest petrochemical producer, gained 1.7 percent. It reported a 13.2 percent drop in net profit to 3.41 billion riyals ($909.4 million); analysts had on average forecast 2.84 billion riyals.

Sipchem gained 1.4 percent after posting a 37.1 percent drop in profit to 50.7 million riyals. Analysts had forecast 37.42 million riyals."



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