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Thursday, 8 December 2016

UAE regulator clamps down on savings, investment and insurance policy sales practices after ‘alarming amount of complaints’ | The National

UAE regulator clamps down on savings, investment and insurance policy sales practices after ‘alarming amount of complaints’ | The National:
"The UAE Insurance Authority (IA) plans to introduce tough regulations to fundamentally change the way savings, investment and life insurance policies are sold, in response to "an alarming amount of complaints" from policyholders.

Sales advisors will be obliged to provide customers with a detailed schedule of fees and commissions for the entirety of an insurance policy’s life cycle, with a mandatory option to cancel a policy within 20 days of purchase.


The proposed new regulations propose a maximum commission of 4.5 per cent for savings products, while commissions paid up-front based on the full value of an insurance policy, known as an indemnity commission, will be prohibited."

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Global airlines industry to reap $29.8b in 2017 net profit | GulfNews.com

Global airlines industry to reap $29.8b in 2017 net profit | GulfNews.com:
"The global airline industry globally will make a net profit of $29.8 billion in 2017, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said in Geneva on Thursday, announcing its financial outlook for the coming year.
For this year though, slower global economic growth and rising costs have seen the aviation watchdog revise slightly downward its outlook for airline industry profitability to $35.6 billion – a record profit, even though slightly less that its June projection of $39.4 billion.
“We forecast that the strong performance on profitability will extend into 2017. Even though we expect conditions to be more difficult, we see a safe landing safely in profitable territory,” said Alexandre de Juniac, Director-General and chief executive of IATA, who took over as the aviation body’s chief in September this year."

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Italian bank Intesa to help fund Rosneft deal for Glencore and Qatar: sources | Reuters

Italian bank Intesa to help fund Rosneft deal for Glencore and Qatar: sources | Reuters:
"Italian bank Intesa Sanpaolo is expected to provide a consortium of Qatar and commodities trader Glencore with sizeable funds to help finance their purchase of a stake in Russian oil company Rosneft, two sources familiar with the transaction said.

Intesa declined to say whether it was helping finance the deal, announced by the Kremlin, which said on Wednesday it had sold a 19.5 percent government stake in Rosneft for 10.5 billion euros ($11.3 billion) to Qatar's sovereign wealth fund and Glencore.

The bank, Italy's biggest retail lender, has deep ties in Russia and advised state-owned Rosneft on the sale of the 19.5 percent stake."

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Qatar Regains Deal Appetite With Investments From Russia to U.K. - Bloomberg

Qatar Regains Deal Appetite With Investments From Russia to U.K. - Bloomberg:
"Qatar, the world’s largest exporter of liquefied natural gas, is investing alongside the billionaire’s Glencore Plc in an $11 billion deal to buy 19.5 percent of Russia’s Rosneft PJSC. The Qatar Investment Authority is also part of a group of investors that on Thursday agreed to take a 61 percent stake in the U.K. gas-distribution business of National Grid Plc. The sovereign wealth fund is also interested in putting money into Italian lender Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA, Il Sole 24 Ore reported.

Qatar -- known for making trophy European investments ranging from Credit Suisse Group AG to London department store Harrods during the days when oil was trading at more than $100 a barrel -- scaled back as crude prices slumped and the government reshuffled the fund’s management in late 2014. Under Sheikh Abdulla bin Mohamed bin Saud Al Thani, the QIA, as the fund is known, has been boosting its focus on real-estate assets in Asia and the U.S. as it seeks to diversify from energy production.

“This is the return of the dealmaking and alliance-building of Qatar that we haven’t seen for a few years,” Sven Behrendt, managing director of GeoEconomica, said by phone from Geneva. “It is quite a surprise to see them back in this role after the fall in oil prices and a few quieter years while the QIA was being restructured under new management and expected to be more measured and sophisticated in future.”"

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UAE telecom du says board to discuss capital options | Reuters

UAE telecom du says board to discuss capital options | Reuters:
"Du, the United Arab Emirates' No.2 telecom operator, will hold a board meeting on Dec. 14 to discuss its capital structure and options available to the company, according to a bourse statement on Thursday.

Du did not elaborate further and declined to comment beyond the bourse statement when contacted by Reuters."

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Saudi Oger $3.5 bln debt plan hit by creditor court move -sources | Reuters

Saudi Oger $3.5 bln debt plan hit by creditor court move -sources | Reuters:
"Saudi Oger's attempt to restructure around 13 billion riyals ($3.5 billion) in debts have been dealt another blow after a second major creditor obtained a court order demanding the money it is owed by the construction group, sources said.

Saudi Oger, owned by the family of Lebanese Prime Minister-designate Saad al-Hariri, has for years played a central role in building everything from hotels to hospitals in Saudi Arabia.

But a cut in government spending after a slump in oil prices has left firms like Saudi Oger struggling to service debts."

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MIDEAST STOCKS-Foreign investors buy Dubai; Saudi, Egypt continue pulling back | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Foreign investors buy Dubai; Saudi, Egypt continue pulling back | Reuters:

"Stock markets in the United Arab Emirates rose strongly for a second straight day on Thursday while blue chips in Saudi Arabia and Egypt fell as investors kept booking profits.

Dubai's index added 1.8 percent with trading volume jumping 75 percent from the previous day as mid- and large- sized shares attract foreign funds. Emaar Properties climbed 2.5 percent. The index rose 6 percent over the week.

But builder Drake & Scull lost 1.2 percent after the loss-making company announced it had appointed PricewaterhouseCoopers to assist with "examining the company's capital structure and financial liabilities"."



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National Grid sells majority stake in gas division in £13.8bn deal | Business | The Guardian

National Grid sells majority stake in gas division in £13.8bn deal | Business | The Guardian:
"National Grid has agreed to sell a majority stake in its gas pipe network to a team of investors in a deal valuing the division at about £13.8bn.

The UK’s power network operator said it would sell a 61% shareholding in the gas pipe arm to a consortium led by Australian investment bank Macquarie, including backing from Qatari and Chinese state investors.

National Grid will return £4bn to shareholders after the deal, and it will make a voluntary payment of £150m to the benefit of British energy consumers."

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China to help 1MDB settle multibillion-dollar legal dispute

China to help 1MDB settle multibillion-dollar legal dispute:
"Malaysia’s troubled state investment fund 1MDB is preparing to make a repayment, with Chinese assistance, to Abu Dhabi’s state-owned International Petroleum Investment Company, as it seeks to settle a dispute in which the Emirati fund is claiming about $6.5bn. 

The move to begin repaying what the Malaysian fund owes, confirmed by two people familiar with the matter, marks a step forward in efforts to resolve the financial position of the heavily indebted state fund. 

The two funds reached an impasse earlier this year, with 1MDB insisting it had fulfilled its obligations and Ipic taking the dispute to arbitration in London."

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China forex reserves drop $70bn

GCC banks seen defying challenges to remain profitable | GulfNews.com

GCC banks seen defying challenges to remain profitable | GulfNews.com:
"GCC’s banking sector is expected to maintain strong profitability, asset quality and capital adequacy ratios in 2017 despite a challenging economic environment, according to rating agency Moody’s.
The operating environment in the region remains challenging but is expected to benefit from oil price stabilisation.
Economic growth is projected to remain positive with a gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 2 per cent next year, slightly above the 2016 level of 1.9 per cent."

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Bilfinger CEO says will take time for Iran to regain investors' trust | Reuters

Bilfinger CEO says will take time for Iran to regain investors' trust | Reuters:
"Financing is the main hurdle facing companies looking at doing business in Iran, Bilfinger (GBFG.DE) Chief Executive Thomas Blades said in German newspaper Handelsblatt and he also said it would take time for the country to regain investors' trust.

"The biggest challenge that I currently see in Iran is the financing of projects," Blades said in an interview published on Thursday.

Many Western banks have been reluctant to provide financing for big projects in Iran, fearing a regulatory backlash if there is a new setback in relations with the country."

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Dubai contractor Drake & Scull appoints strategic and financial advisor | Reuters

Dubai contractor Drake & Scull appoints strategic and financial advisor | Reuters:

"The board of Dubai-listed construction and engineering firm Drake & Scull (DSI) has appointed PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) as a strategic and financial advisor, DSI said on Thursday.

The consultancy firm will assist with "examining the company's capital structure and financial liabilities", according to a bourse filing.

DSI announced last month it was reviewing its business to address market challenges which could lead to a withdrawal from non-core markets, retrenching on civil works in Saudi Arabia and a more conservative stance on recovering certain receivables."



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