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Sunday, 24 April 2016

After Doha, what next for Opec? | The National

After Doha, what next for Opec? | The National:

"Opec has had some infamous meetings in its history. An ill-timed hike in quotas in Jakarta in November 1997 led to a crash in prices, while the June 2011 “worst ever" meeting in Vienna, as the Saudi oil minister termed it, failed to stop prices from rising. Doha last week was, perhaps, not in that league but still blended tedium, surprise and dysfunction, even more embarrassingly for including key non-Opec players.

Most Opec countries attended along with non-Opec leaders such as Russia and Oman. It seemed that the previously announced deal to freeze production at January levels was a formality, especially as most countries involved could not or would not increase output anyway.

But at the last moment the Saudi position changed, and it became clear they would not agree to freeze production unless Iran were included. The Venezuelan oil minister Eulogio Del Pino said: “Even [the Saudi oil minister, Ali Al] Naimi didn’t have the authority to change anything … One minister told me it was his worst-ever meeting.""



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UAE economy headed for soft landing amid low oil prices | GulfNews.com

UAE economy headed for soft landing amid low oil prices | GulfNews.com:

"The UAE economy is expected to weather the turbulence from low oil prices that resulted in decline in government revenues and budget deficits, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BofAML).

“We continue to think that the UAE is headed for a soft landing, with a less pronounced cycle than in 2008. Challenges and downside risks are likely to increase if oil prices remain low. Macro buffers including adequate banking sector capital and liquidity, lower exposure to foreign bank funding, and lower build-up of debt and real estate-related leverage are likely to mitigate vulnerabilities, in our view,” said Jean-Michel Saliba an economist with BofAML.

BofAML’s assessment follows a recent report from Institute of International Finance (IIF) that said the UAE economy will sustain strong economic growth in 2016 despite the economic headwinds from prolonged slump in oil prices."



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Indian Companies Curb Global Loan Costs by Refinancing $5.1 Billion - Bloomberg

Indian Companies Curb Global Loan Costs by Refinancing $5.1 Billion - Bloomberg:

"Indian companies refinanced offshore loans at the fastest pace in a year last quarter, rushing to take advantage of improved confidence in Asia’s fastest-growing major economy as borrowing costs start to rise.
Corporate borrowers took out $5.1 billion of loans for refinancing in the period at an average margin of 140 basis points over the London interbank offered rate, data compiled by Bloomberg show. That’s up from 98 basis points in the three months ended Dec. 31, the lowest since the second quarter of 2008.
“Global lenders have a positive view on Indian credit as they are encouraged by the stronger growth dynamics and a robust outlook on the economy,” said Rajiv Datt, New Delhi-based managing director at Indian Railway Finance Corp., which refinanced loans late last year. “The pipeline should get stronger as liquidity globally ensures that funding will be at reasonable costs.”
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MIDEAST STOCKS-Petchems lift Saudi, other Gulf markets mixed | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Petchems lift Saudi, other Gulf markets mixed | Reuters:

"Saudi Arabia's stock market rose strongly in heavy trade on Sunday as firm oil prices boosted petrochemical shares, while other markets in the region were mixed.

Riyadh's main index jumped 1.7 percent to 6,699 points, its highest finish since Jan. 5, in the largest trading volume since late August 2015.

Petrochemical heavyweight Saudi Basic Industries jumped 3.8 percent after oil prices rose on Friday, notching their third straight week of gains. Brent futures ended Friday up 1.3 percent on the day at $45.11 per barrel."



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Saudis await prince's vision of future with hope and concern | Reuters

Saudis await prince's vision of future with hope and concern | Reuters:

"Saudi Arabians are anticipating with hope, doubt and worry the release this week of a government plan to liberate the kingdom from its reliance on oil, which could solve deep-rooted problems but bring economic pain.

Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the 30-year-old son of King Salman, is to announce on Monday his "Saudi Vision 2030", which is expected to set goals for the next 15 years and a broad policy agenda to reach them, official sources say.

Economic details of the vision, a package of state budget reforms, regulatory changes and policy initiatives for the next five years known as the "National Transformation Plan", are expected to be released four to six weeks later."



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Week Ahead: Apple, Japan monetary policy - YouTube

Week Ahead: Apple, Japan monetary policy - YouTube: ""



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Arabian Gulf companies tread carefully in doing business with Iran | The National

Arabian Gulf companies tread carefully in doing business with Iran | The National:

"Arabian Gulf companies seeking to do business with Iran are treading cautiously because there are a number of pitfalls from working with Iran’s sanction-hit Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) to involvement of US dollar transactions.

The easing of US, European and other western sanctions on Iran in January presents Arabian Gulf companies, particularly those in the UAE, with ample business opportunities. But the complexity of the remaining sanctions leaves a lot of hurdles.

“There are a number of new opportunities certainly for non-US companies, but we would recommend a cautious approach to understand and take heed of continuing restrictions," says Nicholas Coward, a Washington-based lawyer at Baker & McKenzie.

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Saudis intervene in Gosaibi dispute | The National

Saudis intervene in Gosaibi dispute | The National:

"Saudi Arabia’s authorities have intervened in the long-­running dispute between the Al Gosaibi family and their estranged member, Maan Al Sanea, to force a multi-billion dollar settlement.

The country’s Supreme Judicial Council has set up a special enforcement tribunal in Al Khobar, the city in the kingdom’s eastern province where the protagonists are based.

The three-man tribunal has the “sole charge completing and settling these two cases", according to the official order, a copy of which has been seen by The National."



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Banks fortify balance sheets to meet challenges ahead | GulfNews.com

Banks fortify balance sheets to meet challenges ahead | GulfNews.com:

"The first quarter results of half a dozen banks published last week showed that the UAE banks are well prepared to meet the challenging global and regional economic conditions.

While a few banks had announced restructuring of their balance sheets in the beginning of the year involving reduction in exposures to risky portfolios, a few had made full provisions for legacy non-performing loans. Some of these efforts have already started showing results with a few other banks stepping up efforts to fortify their balance sheets.

Emirates NBD which reported a first quarter net profit of Dh1.8 billion, up 8 per cent compared to the first quarter of 2015. The bank’s balance sheet remained strong in the first quarter of 2016. Credit quality improved as the impaired loan ratio advanced from 7.1 per cent to 6.9 per cent during the quarter whilst the impaired loan coverage ratio also strengthened to 113.5 per cent.

"



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The Gulf scripts a recovery via fiscal policy tweaks | GulfNews.com

The Gulf scripts a recovery via fiscal policy tweaks | GulfNews.com:

"The “Wall Street Journal” ran an article after the collapse of the Doha Summit, illustrating that whilst the correlation between oil and the real estate markets in the US had been 0.3 last year, it was — 0.1 over a 26-year period. Thus demonstrating conclusively that there was no link between oil and that of real estate prices over a longer period of time.

If that is the case, then why is it that real estate prices on a global scale have effectively stagnated or started to decline, especially at the top end of the spectrum, even as economic growth continues to show signs of moderate growth? Data, as usual, provides the answer, that partly helps disprove some of the pessimism pervading the marketplace, especially in the region.

And aids in crystallising the road map ahead for investors and policymakers alike."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi rises in early trade, rest of Gulf mixed | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi rises in early trade, rest of Gulf mixed | Reuters:

"Saudi Arabia's bourse rose in early trade on Sunday as firm oil prices encouraged investors, but the retail sector continued to reflect weakness of the domestic economy. Other Gulf bourses traded narrowly.

Riyadh's main index was up 0.9 percent in the first hour of trade, extending Thursday's 1.2 percent gain. It was supported mainly by petrochemical shares, with Saudi Basic Industries up 1.9 percent.

Oil prices rose on Friday, notching their third straight week of gains, as market sentiment turned more upbeat amid signs that a persistent global supply glut might be easing. Brent futures ended Friday up 1.3 percent at $45.11 per barrel."



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