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Wednesday, 5 October 2016

JPMorgan challenges HSBC for GCC bond crown as sales set record | GulfNews.com

JPMorgan challenges HSBC for GCC bond crown as sales set record | GulfNews.com:

"In the hottest battleground for emerging-market bond deals, JPMorgan Chase & Co. is outflanking HSBC Holdings Plc for the first time in a decade.
The New York-based bank is threatening to dislodge its British rival as the biggest arranger of new issues among the nations of the Gulf Cooperation Council after topping the league table at the end of the third quarter, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. JPMorgan is moving up because governments and companies in the Middle East are borrowing more than ever and wooing American investors to soak up the extra supply, according to Matthew Hartley of law firm Allen & Overy LLP.
Bond sales in the six-nation GCC rose to a record $44 billion in the first nine months of 2016 as crude prices below $50 a barrel pushed issuers to cover their revenue shortfalls with debt. Business for global investment banks continues to boom in the fourth quarter, with Bahrain raising $2 billion yesterday and Saudi Arabia and Kuwait said to be seeking $20 billion between them."



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Exclusive: McDonald's set to sell Singapore, Malaysian franchise to Saudi company - sources | Reuters

Exclusive: McDonald's set to sell Singapore, Malaysian franchise to Saudi company - sources | Reuters:

"McDonald's Corp (MCD.N) is nearing a deal to sell 20-year franchise rights for its Singapore and Malaysia outlets to Saudi Arabia's Reza group, in a transaction estimated at up to $400 million, people familiar with the matter said.

Reza Food Services Co. Ltd, which owns and operates McDonald's restaurants in the western and southern region of Saudi Arabia, has tapped Malaysian bank CIMB (CIMB.KL) to finance the deal, said two of the sources, who declined to be identified as the deal has not been publicly announced.

CIMB declined to comment, while there was no immediate response from McDonald's. Reuters was not immediately able to reach Reza for a comment."



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Aramco Cuts Pricing for Oil Sales to Asia as Glut Persists - Bloomberg

Aramco Cuts Pricing for Oil Sales to Asia as Glut Persists - Bloomberg:

"Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest crude exporter, cut pricing for November oil sales to Asia and Northwest Europe and for most grades to other regions amid a global supply glut.
State-owned Saudi Arabian Oil Co., known as Saudi Aramco, lowered its official pricing for Arab Light crude to Asia by 25 cents a barrel to 45 cents less than the regional benchmark, it said Wednesday in an e-mailed statement. The company had been expected to widen the discount for shipments of Arab Light by 30 cents a barrel, to 50 cents less than the benchmark for buyers in Asia, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of six refiners and traders.
OPEC last week agreed to trim oil production for the first time in eight years after prices dropped to about half their levels in 2014. The decision meant the group abandoned a two-year-old, Saudi-led policy of letting members pump as much as possible to push higher-cost producers out of the market. That policy has contributed to a global supply glut, with output from Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries reaching record highs.
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MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi gains as crude firms but UAE, Qatar lag; Egypt strong | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi gains as crude firms but UAE, Qatar lag; Egypt strong | Reuters:

"Saudi Arabia's petrochemical stocks rallied on Wednesday after Brent crude oil firmed over $51 a barrel, while Egypt climbed for a third straight session as investors anticipated approval of its International Monetary Fund loan programme.

Riyadh's stock index closed up 1.1 percent as the petrochemical sub-index rose 3.4 percent with all 14 listed producers advancing. Yanbu National Petrochemicals (Yansab) jumped 5.9 percent to 46.80 riyals and National Petrochemical surged 8.2 percent to 15.15 riyals.

Analysts at NCB Capital said in a note that Yansab was one of their top picks in the sector because of superior efficiency and low debt levels. They maintained an "overweight" rating on the stock with a price target of 50.40 riyals."



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President Sisi deploys army to tackle Egypt’s economic woes — FT.com

President Sisi deploys army to tackle Egypt’s economic woes — FT.com:

"Huge trucks loaded with baby milk rolled out of Alexandria port emblazoned with pictures of a smiling baby and a message for Egyptian parents: “Don’t pay more than 30 pounds. With the compliments of the armed forces.”

The trucks then fanned out across Egypt, distributing the imported infant formula to be sold at half the price charged by retailers — part of a military venture that illustrates how President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is increasingly turning to the army to tackle the country’s economic woes.

An army spokesman described the move as part of efforts to combat the “greed of monopolists” and ease life for Egyptians. The initiative was announced last month after shortages caused suppliers to raise prices and prompted a rare protest by poor mothers carrying their infants."



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Barclays to sell Egypt retail, corporate banking unit — FT.com

Barclays to sell Egypt retail, corporate banking unit — FT.com:

"Barclays has agreed to sell its Egyptian business to a Moroccan rival in a $500m deal that will allow it to slightly boost its capital levels while shedding £2bn of risk-weighted assets and 1,500 staff.

Attijariwafa Bank, one of the leading banks in Morocco, is buying all of Barclays’ operations in Egypt, having seen off competition from Saudi and Emirati competitors, reports Martin Arnold, Banking Editor.

Barclays, which is in the process of selling its much larger South African-listed subsidiary, has been looking to offload its Egyptian and Zimbabwean operations since deciding to cut back its African presence earlier this year."



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Saudi economic growth outlook faces further downward pressure | GulfNews.com

Saudi economic growth outlook faces further downward pressure | GulfNews.com:

"After reporting a better than expected GDP growth in the second quarter of this year, Saudi Arabia’s economic growth is expected to slip into negative territory this year, according to economists and analysts.
“Saudi second quarter GDP growth was better than expected, but a headline contraction is only a matter of time,” said Jaap Meijer, Managing Director of Research, Arqaam Capital.
The kingdom reported a stronger than expected 1.4 per cent real GDP growth in the second quarter of this year, down from 1.5 per cent in the first quarter. Non-oil GDP grew 0.4 per cent compared to -0.7 per cent in the first quarter of this year as the government sector contributed surprisingly to growth, while the private sector remained barely positive at 0.07 per cent.
"



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BofA Sees Record Middle East Deals Driven by Oil Crash, Reforms - Bloomberg

BofA Sees Record Middle East Deals Driven by Oil Crash, Reforms - Bloomberg:

"As the price of oil stays stubbornly low, investors in the Middle East are turning to deals.
Mergers and acquisitions activity in the Gulf region is set to accelerate as lower oil prices force governments and corporations to consolidate fragmented industries, according to Bank of America Corp.
“The drop in oil prices has made people in the region go back to the drawing board and seriously analyze their existing portfolio and investments,” Wadih Boueiz, co-head of corporate and investment banking for Middle East and North Africa, said in a phone interview. “They are taking bold decisions to rationalize existing portfolios, reduce reliance on leverage and encourage consolidation.”"



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi telcos diverge, rest of region weak | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi telcos diverge, rest of region weak | Reuters:

"Saudi Arabia's top three telecommunication operators suffered mixed fortunes on Wednesday after all three had risen in heavy trade the previous day while other markets in the region sagged.

Mobile Telecommunication Company (Zain KSA) jumped 6.8 percent, taking its gains since Sunday to 17 percent. Its chief competitor Saudi Telecom (STC) retreated 2.8 percent on Wednesday morning and Etihad Eisalat was down 1.3 percent.

On Sunday the government said it will provide operators with "unified licences" allowing them to offer a full range of telecommunications services."



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