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Sunday, 7 August 2016

Revealed: UAE firms that defy tough times | GulfNews.com

Revealed: UAE firms that defy tough times | GulfNews.com:

"Amid reports of job losses, slowing revenues and declining oil prices, there are organisations that have stood against all odds. These companies, some of them based in the UAE, have just been named among the top 100 from emerging markets that have continued to power ahead amid the current global macroeconomic environment.

The 2016 Boston Consulting Group (BCG) “Challengers” report highlighted that at least six organisations in the UAE and other parts of the Middle East have continued to impress: Emirates Global Aluminum, Etihad Airways, El Sewedy Electric, Etisalat, Qatar Airways and SABIC.

The two Gulf carriers on the list, Etihad and Qatar Airways are considered among the fastest-growing airlines in the Middle East. They have succeeded in leveraging the region’s strategic location as a transport hub for Asia-Pacific, Europe and Africa."



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If Iran opens its oil sector, will Saudi Arabia be next? | GulfNews.com

If Iran opens its oil sector, will Saudi Arabia be next? | GulfNews.com:

"Iran has taken a big step toward bringing foreign investors back into its oil and gas sector. The experience of neighbouring Iraq shows it still has a long road to walk, though — if successful — there may well be a lesson here for Saudi Arabia on opening up to outside help.

Iran has restored most of the production it lost because of sanctions imposed in 2012, confounding analysts with its speed of recovery. Crude exports are back at 2 million barrels a day and the country is slowly re-establishing itself in European markets.

But the next step — taking output back to levels last seen before the 1979 revolution — needs the assistance of foreign oil companies. And that’s much more complicated."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf starts week on strong footing, Egypt slips back | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf starts week on strong footing, Egypt slips back | Reuters:

"Strength in international equities markets at the end of last week helped lift share prices in the Gulf on Sunday with markets most exposed to foreign capital inflows outperforming, while Egypt slipped on profit-taking.

Dubai's index climbed 1.1 percent. Four-fifths of the traded shares advanced, with companies which have not yet reported quarterly earnings attracting the most volume. Builder Arabtec climbed 3.4 percent and amusement park developer Dubai Parks and Resorts added 1.7 percent.

Blue chips helped push Qatar's index up 1.0 percent with Vodafone Qatar advancing 2.4 percent. Pertrochemical conglomerate Industries Qatar, which reported strong earnings late last week, jumped 3.9 percent."



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S&P concern over Sharjah as agency changes outlook to negative | The National

S&P concern over Sharjah as agency changes outlook to negative | The National:

"Sharjah’s economic strains and rising government budget deficit worry the credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s, which yesterday changed its outlook to negative and warned it could downgrade the emirate’s debt rating.

Despite the warning, the agency reaffirmed Sharjah’s current long and short-term debt ratings at A and A1, respectively, citing strong support it receives as a member of the UAE federation.


Although Sharjah has a relatively diverse economy and is not directly dependent on oil and gas, S&P cited its exposure to oil-dependent neighbours as the main reason for slower growth."



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GCC sovereign bond issuance on the rise | GulfNews.com

GCC sovereign bond issuance on the rise | GulfNews.com:

"The prolonged period of low oil prices has put a strain on government budgets across the region, exposing the dependence that GCC economies have on oil revenues. This development over the past 18 months indicates that there are challenging times ahead for GCC countries. To address that there is an urgent need to transition from the over reliance on income from crude oil to a more diversified economic model.

Consequently, this period has encouraged GCC governments to accelerate initiatives to implement economic reforms and exercise greater budgetary discipline. Moreover, the current climate has channelled GCC issuers tap into the bond market to address the growing requirement for additional funds. Although fiscal and economic reforms are lengthy processes, GCC markets have seen a significant surge in bond and sukuk issuances over the past year. Indicative signs of what lies ahead was visible during the first six months of 2016 (first half of 2016), when GCC bond issuances totalled approximately $39 billion (Dh143 billion) (including Sukuks) — almost 15 per cent of the total outstanding amount of bonds as of June 30, 2016. It is interesting to note that the amount of bonds issuances (excluding short term) in the first half of 2016 by GCC issuers is almost equal to the amount they issued during 2015.

Sovereign issuances have recently dominated the GCC bond market with a total of $20 billion, or 51 per cent of total bonds issued in 1H 2016. While the end of 2015 saw a $2.1bn issue of 5-year and 10-year bonds by the Bahrain Government, new records are being set in 2016 for big sovereign issuances from the region."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf prices edge up with rise in overseas markets | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf prices edge up with rise in overseas markets | Reuters:

"Strength in international equities markets at the end of last week helped lift share prices in the Gulf in early trade on Sunday.

Dubai's index added 0.6 percent as mid-cap shares outperformed. Construction firm Arabtec, which has yet to publish its quarterly financial report, added 3.4 percent.

Similarly, mid-cap shares helped push Abu Dhabi's index up 0.1 percent. RAK Properties was 1.7 percent higher."



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