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Friday, 30 December 2016

Mideast funds see stocks rising in 2017; positive on Saudi budget | GulfNews.com

Mideast funds see stocks rising in 2017; positive on Saudi budget | GulfNews.com:
"Middle East fund managers have become more positive toward equities in the region as the new year begins because of higher oil prices and efforts by Gulf governments to cut their budget deficits, a monthly Reuters poll found.
The poll of 13 leading fund managers, conducted over the last week, found 62 per cent expect to raise their allocations to regional equities in the next three months and none to reduce them, the most bullish view of equities since February 2014, before oil prices began to plunge.
In last month’s poll, 43 per cent expected to increase their allocations to Middle East equities and 7 per cent to cut them."

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Year in review: Why economic reform was the Middle East’s business story of the year | The National

Year in review: Why economic reform was the Middle East’s business story of the year | The National:

"GCC economies are at crossroads. The slump in oil prices since 2014 has affected the GCC countries in many ways. Unlike previous episodes of price collapse, the latest one is marred with ambiguity about its recovery and the demand dynamics going forward.

A new normal in oil prices is being formulated as we speak.

Countries have been compelled to accelerate structural reforms to diversify their economies away from hydrocarbons, boost the role of the private sector, and create jobs for their rapidly growing labour forces."



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Saudi Telecom Said to Work With JPMorgan on Options for Oger - Bloomberg

Saudi Telecom Said to Work With JPMorgan on Options for Oger - Bloomberg:

"Saudi Telecom Co. is working with JPMorgan Chase & Co. to evaluate options including increasing its stake in Turkish telecommunications investor Oger Telecom, according to people familiar with the matter.

The Riyadh-based firm could buy a stake in Oger Telecom from Saudi Oger, which holds 65 percent, to boost its current holding of 35 percent, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the information is private. Oger Telecom, which owns a majority in carrier Turk Telekomunikasyon AS, has been in negotiations with its lenders since one of its units failed to pay a loan installment of around $290 million due in September, the people said.

A potential sale of a stake in the company could help raise funds to make the payment, the people said. STC, as the Saudi firm is known, has not yet agreed to a deal and talks may fall apart, the people said. Representatives for STC, JPMorgan and Oger Telecom declined to comment."



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UPDATE 1-Oman raises telecommunications firms' royalty payments in revenue push | Reuters

UPDATE 1-Oman raises telecommunications firms' royalty payments in revenue push | Reuters:
"Oman's telecommunications companies will pay a royalty to the government of 12 percent of revenues in 2017, the country's Capital Market Authority said in a bourse statement on Thursday, citing a letter from the Telecommunication Regulatory Authority.

That is an increase from the current 7 per cent royalty paid by Oman Telecommunications (Omantel) and Ooredoo Oman , the companies said in bourse statements.

The CMA said Oman's cabinet had decided to lift the rate for next year. Its state revenues strained by low oil prices, the government has been looking for ways to increase its income."

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Saudi's PIF denies plans to buy stake in UAE's Utico | Reuters

Saudi's PIF denies plans to buy stake in UAE's Utico | Reuters:
"Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF), its top sovereign wealth fund, on Thursday denied that it was buying a stake in United Arab Emirates utility Utico.

"An official at the fund said that the news about entering into a binding agreement with Utico is baseless and unfounded." the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

On Wednesday, Utico Chief Executive Richard Menezes told Reuters that the PIF had entered into a binding agreement with his company to buy a "significant minority stake"."

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Oil down, but ends year with biggest gain since 2009 | Reuters

Oil down, but ends year with biggest gain since 2009 | Reuters:
"Oil prices settled slightly lower on Friday, the year's last trading day, but attained their biggest annual gain since 2009, after OPEC and partners agreed to cut output to reduce a supply overhang that has depressed prices for two years.

A two-rig rise in the oil rig count in the United States, the ninth weekly increase in a row, as reported by oilfield services provider Baker Hughes Inc (BHI.N), added to bearish sentiments.

But the total count of 525 for the week, the last for the year, was still below last year's level by 11 rigs."

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