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Wednesday, 21 September 2016

What did we learn following the Lehman Brothers collapse? | The National

What did we learn following the Lehman Brothers collapse? | The National:

"A little over eight years ago, I sat in a Dubai radio studio as news of the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers came across the wires. I broadcast at the time that we were witnessing "the financial equivalent of 9/11", alluding to the terrorist attacks on New York of 2001 that in a few hours changed the world beyond recognition.

I remember I got a lot of stick after that broadcast. I was being alarmist, sensationalising a relatively minor event at an American bank that not many people outside the rarefied world of high finance had even heard of before that day. In short, I was a scaremonger looking to boost the station’s audience.


With eight years’ hindsight, I think I deserved some criticism. But not for exaggerating."



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Former RAK Investment Authority chief arrested in Saudi Arabia | The National

Former RAK Investment Authority chief arrested in Saudi Arabia | The National:

"The former chief executive of Ras Al Khaimah Investment Authority has been arrested in Saudi Arabia.

Khater Massaad, 63, a Lebanese-Swiss national, was detained at Jeddah Airport on Tuesday on an arrest warrant issued by Ras Al Khaimah.

Mr Massaad is accused of embezzling $1.5 billion (Dh5.5bn) while running the investment authority. He denies all charges brought against him."



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Qatar budget back to ‘near balance’ by 2018 | GulfNews.com

Qatar budget back to ‘near balance’ by 2018 | GulfNews.com:

"Qatar’s budget should be back to “near balance” by 2018, as it overcomes the shock waves from a global fall in energy prices, economists at Qatar National Bank (QNB) have forecast.
The QNB, in its Qatar Economic Insight report, predicts that rising oil prices and the introduction of a value-added tax will help Qatar recover from the deficits expected in 2016 and 2017.
“The government’s budget balance is expected to register a deficit of 5.3 per cent of GDP [gross domestic product] in 2016 and 2.2 per cent in 2017, before recovering to near balance in 2018,” the report said."



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Saudis Said to Meet With Iran for Oil Talks Before Algiers - Bloomberg

Saudis Said to Meet With Iran for Oil Talks Before Algiers - Bloomberg:

"OPEC members Saudi Arabia and Iran, whose rivalry sunk an oil supply accord earlier this year, met in Vienna a week before the organization holds talks in Algeria.
The two oil producers, along with fellow OPEC member Qatar, met at the headquarters of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries in Vienna, according to three people familiar with the matter. They were making preparations for informal discussions between energy ministers from OPEC and Russia in Algiers next week, the people said, asking not to be identified because the talks were private.
The face-to-face talks between Saudi Arabia and Iran, OPEC’s two leading members and fierce regional rivals, show diplomatic efforts to secure a meaningful deal in Algiers are still under way despite market skepticism. Prices have retreated this month amid concern there will be no serious commitment to constrain supply and all but two of 23 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg this week predict there will be no agreement next week."



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Saudi Arabia’s Clout in Washington Isn’t What It Used to Be - Bloomberg Politics

Saudi Arabia’s Clout in Washington Isn’t What It Used to Be - Bloomberg Politics:

"Saudi Arabia doesn’t have the same clout it used to. That’s the message the chairman of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee says he has delivered to the Saudi government.
On Wednesday, the Senate blocked a measure by a wide 71-27 margin that would have prohibited a $1.15 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia, in a vote that was nonetheless embarrassing to the kingdom. Nest week, Congress is expected to try to override a looming presidential veto of a Sept. 11 lawsuit bill the kingdom strongly opposes."



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U.A.E. Oil Port at Fujairah Opens Crude Jetty to Boost Hub Role - Bloomberg

U.A.E. Oil Port at Fujairah Opens Crude Jetty to Boost Hub Role - Bloomberg:

"Fujairah, a rocky ribbon of land between the Hajar Mountains and the Indian Ocean coast of the United Arab Emirates, plans to boost its influence as an oil-trading hub with the addition of the region’s first crude-shipment jetty and expanded storage facilities.
The emirate, one of the smallest of the U.A.E.’s seven sheikhdom’s, unloaded its first full crude cargo of about 2 million barrels at the jetty Tuesday after opening the dock for testing early last month, Mousa Murad, the port’s general manager, said by phone. The jetty connects by pipeline to tanks leased by Royal Dutch Shell Plc at a local storage terminal, he said.
Producers in the Middle East, the world’s biggest supplier of crude over the last half century, are expanding oil output as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries battles for market share amid a global supply glut. The region has traditionally shipped its oil straight to refineries in Asia, the U.S. or Europe. Allowing international companies to store crude may develop trading in the same way that Fujairah built its role as a refined-products hub."



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UAE says Algiers oil talks aimed at consultation, not decision-making | Reuters

UAE says Algiers oil talks aimed at consultation, not decision-making | Reuters:

"An oil meeting next week in Algiers due to be attended by OPEC countries is aimed at holding consultations rather than making decisions, the energy minister of the United Arab Emirates said on Wednesday.

"Wait until we meet next week," Suhail bin Mohammed al-Mazroui told reporters. "Wait for us to discuss first before we jump to any conclusion."

"We are not ... targeting a decision, we are meeting for consultations," he said, adding: ‎"We at the UAE are encouraged and we support the joint approach between Saudi Arabia and Russia.""



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf mixed with Saudi outperforming peers, Egypt loses steam | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf mixed with Saudi outperforming peers, Egypt loses steam | Reuters:

"Bourses in the Gulf were mixed on Wednesday with Saudi Arabia's bourse supported by the petrochemical sector while Egypt lost steam as local and regional funds exited positions.

Saudi Arabia's index rose 0.4 percent in moderate trade as Brent prices firmed over $46 a barrel. Saudi Basic Industries, the petrochemical heavyweight, climbed 0.9 percent.

The insurance sub-index, usually actively traded by day traders, added 1.7 percent as almost all the constituents advanced, recouping some of the heavy losses of the week. BUPA Arabia, a mid-sized medical insurer, rose 2.9 percent."



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GCC loan growth projected to decline to 6% in 2016 | GulfNews.com

GCC loan growth projected to decline to 6% in 2016 | GulfNews.com:

"GCC's banking sector is expected face continued slowdown in growth, deterioration of asset quality, and reduced profitability in 2016, according to rating agency Standard & Poor’s.
“Lower economic growth means fewer growth opportunities for banks in the GCC. We expect loan growth in the region will reach around 6 per cent on average in 2016 compared with around 10 per cent in 2015. We think this slowdown will persist in 2017, with growth stabilizing at around 5 per cent,” Mohammad Damak, S&P Global ratings analyst
Lower oil prices mean lower liquidity, as deposits from governments and their related entities account for between 20 per cent and 40 per cent of the deposit base of GCC banks, and this inflow of money depends heavily on oil prices."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf edges up but Qatar slips in early trade | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf edges up but Qatar slips in early trade | Reuters:

"Stock markets in the Gulf made small gains in early trade on Wednesday with investors buying small and mid-sized shares, while Qatar's index slipped as the FTSE passive funds inflow faded.

Riyadh's index rose 0.3 percent to 5,943 points after 45 minutes of trade, pulling slightly away from its technical support at the August low of 5,911 points.

Petrochemical shares firmed as Brent futures bounced back over $46 a barrel. The largest listed producer Saudi Basic Industries added 0.3 percent."



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