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Sunday, 14 August 2016

Shuaa Capital losses lead to ‘rigorous cost controls’ and cuts | The National

Shuaa Capital losses lead to ‘rigorous cost controls’ and cuts | The National:

"Shuaa Capital plans to cut further costs after swinging to a loss in the second quarter, as it earmarked Dh56.9 million as provisions for its SME lending business, the Dubai investment bank said.

Net losses in the three months to June 30 reached Dh50.8m, compared with a net profit of Dh1.7m in the same period a year earlier, the company said.

"Shuaa’s second-quarter performance is reflective of the ongoing volatility in global markets and the challenges facing the local SME sector," said the bank’s chairman, Abdul Rahman Al Hareb. The company plans to undertake "rigorous cost controls" and appoint senior executives to help turn it around. Gulf Finance, the company’s SME lending business, posted a 9.8 per cent drop in revenue to Dh34.6m, while general and administrative expenses were reduced by 15 per cent."



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Dubai Group sells stake in Egyptian investment bank EFG-Hermes | The National

Dubai Group sells stake in Egyptian investment bank EFG-Hermes | The National:

"The Dubai Financial Group, a unit of Dubai Group, has sold its 11.8 per cent stake in Egyptian investment bank EFG Hermes to European bank Natixis as part of debt restructuring, the group said.

"The sale of our stake in EFG Hermes is consistent with the business plan for Dubai Group, which was agreed with its lenders as part of the restructuring agreement," said Fadel Al Ali, the chairman of Dubai Group.


The Dubai Financial Group did not disclose the value of its stake in the Cairo-listed bank. EFG Hermes has a market capitalisation of about 8 billion Egyptian pounds (Dh3.3bn).

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Kuwait has some catching up to do on reforms | GulfNews.com

Kuwait has some catching up to do on reforms | GulfNews.com:

"Kuwait is gradually moving towards addressing key challenges related to the state of its public finance in an environment of low oil prices. Other Gulf countries have moved faster in assuming — not necessarily popular — steps designed to check governmental spending like reducing subsidies for petroleum at the retail level.
In Kuwait, a compromise is essential between the appointed government and elected parliament. Not surprisingly, MPs try to get the best possible deals for their constituents. In reality, Kuwaiti legislators have a track record for demanding more rather than less benefits like bonuses for nationals to help cope with living expenses.
Recently, the authorities decided to reduce the amount of subsidies extended to petroleum products as part of efforts to streamline budgetary resources. Accordingly, the cost of low-octane petrol was increased by 41 per cent to $0.28 a litre; also, that for high-grade petrol was raised by 61 per cent to $0.35 a litre. The price for ultra-petrol — or the environmentally-friendly low-emission fuel — was higher by 83 per cent to $0.55 per litre."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf shares rise after oil prices climb, Egypt eases off 13-month high | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf shares rise after oil prices climb, Egypt eases off 13-month high | Reuters:

"A bounce in oil prices at the end of last week helped lift stock markets in the Gulf on Sunday, while Egypt's main index eased off a 13-month closing high as investors were cautious about a preliminary agreement with the IMF on a loan programme.

Dubai's index rebounded 1.2 percent to 3,567 points, its highest close in 16 weeks. Emaar Properties surged 3.5 percent and Dubai Islamic Bank added 1.7 percent.

But DAMAC Properties fell 0.4 percent after the developer reported a 37.4 percent fall in second-quarter net profit to 886.8 million dirhams ($241 mln)."



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IMF Steps Deeper Into Middle East Cauldron With Loan to Egypt - Bloomberg

IMF Steps Deeper Into Middle East Cauldron With Loan to Egypt - Bloomberg:

"The International Monetary Fund is stepping up lending in a region where economic reformers haven’t exactly had the most success.
Hoping to restore the confidence of foreign investors, Egypt announced an initial agreement Thursday to borrow $12 billion over three years from the IMF, joining Iraq, Tunisia and Jordan in taking money from the Washington-based fund. Egypt’s program is likely to see the government of President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi move toward a more flexible exchange rate, rebuild foreign-currency reserves and cut spending.
The influx of capital offers an opportunity to restore economic stability in a region beset by political turmoil, terrorism and the collapse in the price of oil, its most important export. While all the IMF borrowers except Iraq are fuel importers, they’ve received flows of aid and remittances from wealthy producers such as Saudi Arabia, which are now drying up.
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MIDEAST STOCKS-Petrochemical shares support Saudi, Dubai's gain limited | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Petrochemical shares support Saudi, Dubai's gain limited | Reuters:

"A bounce in oil prices at the end of last week helped lift stock markets in the Gulf on Sunday but second-quarter earnings from some of Dubai's second-tier companies limited gains on that bourse.

Riyadh's index added 1.0 percent as all 14 listed petrochemical shares advanced after Brent crude futures settled 2.0 percent higher at $46.97 per barrel on Friday after touching $47.05, their highest level in more than three weeks.

Bellwether Saudi Basic Industries gained 1.5 percent in the first 10 minutes of trade.

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