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Friday, 21 July 2017

Qamar’s Mills: Qatar Deepens Iran Relationship on Natural Gas

Bloomberg:

"Bloomberg Markets AM with Pimm Fox and Lisa Abramowicz.
GUEST: Robin Mills, CEO of Qamar Energy and contributor to Bloomberg View, on Qatar’s deepening relationship with Iran on natural gas.
Running time 05:53"



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Oil nudges higher; Brent crude below $50 ahead of OPEC meeting

Oil nudges higher; Brent crude below $50 ahead of OPEC meeting:

"Oil prices edged up on Friday ahead of a key meeting of major oil producing nations next week, but Brent held below the $50 per barrel level that was briefly breached for the first time in six weeks in the previous session.

International benchmark Brent crude futures were up 10 cents, or 0.2 percent, at $49.40 per barrel at 0658 GMT.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 7 cents, or 0.2 percent at $46.99 per barrel."



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OPEC, Russia to Stand Pat on Oil Deal Even as Glut Persists - Bloomberg

OPEC, Russia to Stand Pat on Oil Deal Even as Glut Persists - Bloomberg:

"OPEC and Russia’s plan to clear the global oil glut hasn’t worked as they hoped, but there’s little expectation the world’s largest producers will act more aggressively when they meet this weekend. Oil has slumped into a bear market and inventories remain stubbornly high despite a deal between OPEC and 10 countries outside the group to cut output. The implementation of supply curbs is faltering as Libya and Nigeria restore lost production. The trouble for ministers meeting in St. Petersburg to review the progress of the deal is the alternatives look little better than the status quo. If the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries abandons the deal and increases oil output, a further plunge in prices would inflict more pain on their economies. And while deepening the production cuts would spark a rally, that might encourage even bigger flows from U.S. shale drillers."



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Thursday, 20 July 2017

Deyaar Development's first-half revenues rocket - The National

Deyaar Development's first-half revenues rocket - The National:

"Deyaar Development reported a first-half 135 per cent year-on-year increase in revenues to Dh316.4 million, up from Dh134.9m in the same period last year, for the six months ending June 2017. The rise was driven by sales of its properties and construction progress at The Atria and Mont Rose projects, both of which currently exceed 75 per cent completion, it said. Deyaar, based in the UAE, also recorded first-half net profit of Dh67m, down from Dh111.3m in the same period last year. This year’s net profit figure was a result of the progress in Deyaar’s flagship projects, it said."



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Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank profits dip on provisions - The National

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank profits dip on provisions - The National:

"Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB), the UAE's third largest lender, said yesterday that its second -quarter net profit dipped 10.3 per cent, missing analyst forecasts, as money set aside to cover bad debt grew and non-interest income plummeted. Net profit in the three months ended June 30 reached Dh1 billion compared with Dh1.12bn a year earlier, the bank said. Total net interest and Islamic financing income rose 10 per cent year-on-year to Dh1.67bn but non-interest income declined 30 per cent to Dh434 million. Four analysts polled by Bloomberg had forecast an average net profit of Dh1.11bn."



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Diplomatic crisis triggers only minor Qatar economic forecast cuts: Reuters Poll

Diplomatic crisis triggers only minor Qatar economic forecast cuts: Reuters Poll:

"A political crisis between Doha and its neighbors has pushed economists to cut growth forecasts for Qatar -- but not by enough to stop it being one of the region's strongest performers, a Reuters poll showed. The poll of 12 economists lowered the median forecast for Qatar's gross domestic product growth this year to 2.3 percent from 3.5 percent projected in the previous Reuters poll, conducted in April. Next year's growth forecast was cut to 3.1 percent from 3.7 percent. If the new predictions are correct, Qatar will still grow more quickly this year and next year than most of the five other rich Gulf Arab oil exporters."



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Fitch Revises Dunia's Outlook to Negative; Affirms IDR at 'BB'

Fitch Revises Dunia's Outlook to Negative; Affirms IDR at 'BB':

"(The following statement was released by the rating agency) LONDON, July 20 (Fitch) Fitch Ratings has revised Dunia Finance LLC's (Dunia) Outlook to Negative from Stable while affirming the company's Issuer Default Ratings (IDR) at Long-Term 'BB' and Short-Term 'B'. The Outlook revision reflects weakening asset quality, which negatively affected Dunia's profitability in 2016. Fitch expects Dunia's asset quality metrics to remain under pressure throughout 2017. Dunia is a UAE-based finance company, offering smaller-ticket, predominantly unsecured loans, with a particular franchise among salaried expatriates from emerging markets. KEY RATING DRIVERS IDRS The IDRs reflect the balance between the significant exposure of Dunia to credit risk arising from its unsecured lending and the moderate (by finance company benchmarks) leverage under which it operates. Dunia's net impairment charge has approximately doubled in each of the last two years as job losses and wage pressures constrained borrowers' repayment capacities. Simultaneously, loan growth slowed markedly to -2% in 2016 from 34% in 2015 and 47% in 2014. With impairment charges absorbing a materially higher proportion of revenue (72% in 2016, up from 40% in 2015 and 29% in 2014), Dunia's pre-tax profit dropped 67% in 2016 to AED71 million (2015: AED217 million). "



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The Blockade of Qatar Airways’ Home Base Is Trouble for the World’s No. 1 Airline - Bloomberg

The Blockade of Qatar Airways’ Home Base Is Trouble for the World’s No. 1 Airline - Bloomberg:

"You’d think Qatar Airways, voted the world’s best airline in a passenger survey last month, would have no trouble keeping its seats filled. Instead, it’s had to cancel scores of flights after four neighboring countries barred it from their airspace; it’s also being kicked out of an American Airlines Group Inc. code share agreement that eased access to the crucial U.S. market. On July 12, Qatar Air’s brash chief executive officer, Akbar Al Baker, issued a rare public apology after his description of U.S. flight attendants as “grandmothers” was condemned by other airline executives and labor unions. The carrier has now been pressed into service to fly 4,000 dairy cows into the country on cargo planes to assure fresh milk supplies during the blockade."



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Hunting Oil Services Stocks With a DUC Call - Bloomberg Gadfly

Hunting Oil Services Stocks With a DUC Call - Bloomberg Gadfly:

"The problem is, of course, the oil price. E&P firms have cut costs and got a bit of a tailwind from the rally in oil prices earlier this year, leading to a sharp increase in the number of rigs in operation. But it's hard to maintain that sort of enthusiasm when oil futures don't rise above $50 a barrel until early 2020. So the number of oil rigs being added has slowed markedly:
Dog Days
Weekly additions to the U.S. oil-rig fleet this summer have slowed to about a third of the pace in the spring"



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Qatar continues rally near pre-crisis level, SABIC boosts Saudi

MIDEAST STOCKS-Qatar continues rally near pre-crisis level, SABIC boosts Saudi:

"Qatar's stock market continued rebounding on Thursday from lows hit after its diplomatic rift with neighbouring Arab states, while strength in top petrochemical producer Saudi Basic Industries buoyed Saudi Arabia.

The Qatari index rose 0.4 percent to 9,542 points. It had closed at 9,924 points on June 4, just before the crisis erupted, and has rebounded more than 10 percent from its low at the start of July.

Doha Bank gained 2.0 percent after reporting its first-half net profit rose to 716‍​ million riyals ($197 million) from 708 million riyals year ago, as operating income gained 4.8 percent."



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Etihad Airways sells first airline stake amid review | GulfNews.com

Etihad Airways sells first airline stake amid review | GulfNews.com:

"Etihad Airways has sold its minority stake in European regional carrier Darwin Airline, the first divestment since launching a strategic review last year and just weeks after chief executive James Hogan left the Abu Dhabi carrier.
Etihad, which held a 33.3 per cent stake in Darwin Airline, and other investors have sold their shares to a subsidiary of Slovenia’s Adria Airways, according to a Darwin Airline statement sent to Reuters by Etihad on Wednesday.

Darwin Airline was one of eight carriers Etihad had bought since 2011 and the second one sold after British Airways-owner International Airlines Group (IAG) took over Aer Lingus in 2015."



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Adnoc hires banks for fuel retailer IPO: sources

Adnoc hires banks for fuel retailer IPO: sources:

"Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) has picked a local bank and three foreign lenders as bookrunners for the planned initial public offering of its retail unit that could raise $1.5 billion to $2 billion, sources said on Thursday. The listing for ADNOC Distribution, which manages petrol stations as well as convenience stores across the United Arab Emirates (UAE), comes as Abu Dhabi joins other Gulf states, such as Saudi Arabia and Oman, in privatizing energy assets. First Abu Dhabi Bank, HSBC, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Citigroup have been mandated for the IPO, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters."



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JPMorgan, Citigroup See Mideast Bond Deals Slipping From Record - Bloomberg

JPMorgan, Citigroup See Mideast Bond Deals Slipping From Record - Bloomberg:

"JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Citigroup Inc., the biggest debt arrangers in the Middle East and North Africa, expect regional sales to slow for the rest of the year after sovereigns raised a record $37 billion in the first half.

“We have seen a significant amount of issuance early in the year and it’s not surprising that we are starting to see things slow down,” Hani Deaibes, JPMorgan’s regional head of debt-capital markets, said in an interview. “While we expect activity to pick up a bit later in the year, we don’t see a substantial pipeline at the moment.”"



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Qatar Warms Up to Iran on Natural Gas - Bloomberg

Qatar Warms Up to Iran on Natural Gas - Bloomberg:

"The world’s biggest gas field lies between Qatar and Iran, and the half-competitive, half-cooperative race to exploit it has taken a new turn. For both countries, this enormous resource is also a source of political power. Now, with the emirate at odds with Tehran’s foe, Saudi Arabia, its tacit cooperation with Iran is gaining, even as the two are set to compete more intensely in gas markets. In 1971, Shell first drilled into what became Qatar’s North Field and was disappointed to find not oil, but gas, though in vast quantities. The country was only a modest oil producer with a tiny domestic and regional energy market. Through the 1980s and 1990s, it struggled to develop a liquefied natural gas project to export to Asia, but with low global energy prices, a cost-cutting BP gave up and Mobil took over. The emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, who took power from his cautious father in a bloodless coup in 1995, was keen to press ahead. Exxon might not have had the entrepreneurial mindset to create the project, but when it bought Mobil in 1998, and soon afterwards oil and gas prices began to rise, it had one of its most valuable global assets. The wily former oil minister, Abdullah bin Hamad al-Attiyah, worked with the emir to use Qatar’s strategic position to sell gas both east and west. Total, ConocoPhillips and Shell also built LNG plants, while the Abu Dhabi state firm Mubadala, with Total and Occidental, constructed the Dolphin pipeline to the neighboring United Arab Emirates."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf mixed in early trade but Qatar continues rebound

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf mixed in early trade but Qatar continues rebound:

"Gulf stock markets were mixed in early trade on Thursday but Qatar continued rebounding from lows hit early this month because of its diplomatic rift with neighbouring Arab states.

The Qatari index rose 0.6 percent to 9,562 points. It closed at 9,924 points on June 4, just before the crisis erupted.

Doha Bank gained 2.2 percent after reporting that first-half net profit rose to 716‍​ million riyals ($197 million) from 708 million riyals year ago, as operating income gained 4.8 percent."



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Saudi Aramco offers fund managers a chance to prove their worth

Saudi Aramco offers fund managers a chance to prove their worth:

"Where is the clamour of investors calling for Saudi Aramco to list in their jurisdiction? Politicians, exchange executives, lawyers and bankers all see benefits from helping the national oil champion sell stock. Prestige, relevance, trading volumes and fees beckon, if the world’s largest extractor of crude oil becomes a public company late next year as planned. Yet recent proposals from the UK regulator to ease the way for a London quote, by removing some governance requirements for state controlled companies, prompted several asset managers to adopt a posture of principled outrage."



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Three Years Into Cheap Oil, Gulf Is Still Depending on a Rebound - Bloomberg

Three Years Into Cheap Oil, Gulf Is Still Depending on a Rebound - Bloomberg:

"Energy-rich Gulf Arab nations have scrambled to adjust to the slump in oil prices since 2014. Three years on, their economies are mired in weak growth and largely just as dependent on crude as they ever were.

The six members of the Gulf Cooperation Council have curtailed subsidies and introduced new taxes to bolster non-oil revenue and reduce ballooning budget deficits. Much of the savings, however, have been due to spending cuts and the pace of reforms has slowed across the region, said Monica Malik, chief economist at Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank. Overall progress in economic diversification has been limited, she said.

 Absent a rebound in oil prices, analysts say it’s unlikely that these nations can repair their finances without deeper spending cuts that could further hurt growth. The standoff between a Saudi-led bloc and Qatar is also undermining investor confidence at a time when the GCC is seeking foreign funds.

"



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Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Qatar LNG company postpones layoffs amid diplomatic crisis

Qatar LNG company postpones layoffs amid diplomatic crisis:

"Majority state-owned Qatari gas producer Rasgas has postponed a round of job cuts after the diplomatic crisis which erupted between Qatar and its neighbors in early June, people familiar with the matter have told Reuters. Staff at Rasgas were told earlier this year that they would be laid off in June, with the job cuts following last year's decision to merge RasGas with Qatargas, the two liquefied natural gas divisions of Qatar Petroleum [QATPE.UL]. But in a company email last month staff were informed that the job cuts had been delayed, two Rasgas employees said."



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ADCB's Malik Says Qatar Has Deep FX Reserve Pockets - Bloomberg

ADCB's Malik Says Qatar Has Deep FX Reserve Pockets - Bloomberg:

"Monica Malik, chief economist at Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, discusses Qatar's geopolitical headwinds on "Bloomberg Markets: Middle East." (Source: Bloomberg)"



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Qatar's $300 billion conundrum: how liquid are its reserves?

Qatar's $300 billion conundrum: how liquid are its reserves?:

"When is $300 billion not enough? That question is key to Qatar's future as some bankers and hedge funds speculate the super-rich state's vast financial reserves may not be liquid enough to defend its currency in the long term. Nobody doubts Qatar has a lot of money to resist economic sanctions imposed on it early last month, when Saudi Arabia and three other Arab states cut diplomatic and transport ties. Central bank governor Sheikh Abdullah bin Saud al-Thani said last week that Doha could employ about $340 billion of reserves: some $40 billion plus gold at the central bank, and $300 billion at the Qatar Investment Authority, the sovereign wealth fund."



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Saudi Arabia empties domestic crude tanks: Kemp

Saudi Arabia empties domestic crude tanks: Kemp:

"Saudi Arabia has been progressively reducing its bloated domestic stocks of crude in a sign the global oil market is rebalancing, albeit more slowly than OPEC anticipated. Saudi Arabia’s domestic crude stocks declined in 16 of the 19 months between November 2015 and May 2017 according to government data reported to the Joint Organisations Data Initiative (tmsnrt.rs/2uIi9dC). Domestic stocks fell to just 259 million barrels at the end of May 2017, which was the lowest level since January 2012, according to updated figures published on Tuesday."



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Collapse in Saudi Oil Shipments Puts Upward Pressure on Prices - Bloomberg

Collapse in Saudi Oil Shipments Puts Upward Pressure on Prices - Bloomberg:

"Forget for a moment about the stock-draws in crude, gasoline and distillates. The most relevant piece of data is the collapse in Saudi shipments into the U.S., with last week’s arrivals at a seven-year low of just 524,000 barrels a day. Riyadh has promised to cut supplies this summer to the market that traders care the most (and where the data is most visible) and it seems to be delivering. If the trend holds, it could put upward pressure on prices."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Banks boost Qatar in otherwise quiet region

MIDEAST STOCKS-Banks boost Qatar in otherwise quiet region:

"Banking stocks boosted Qatar's equities market on Wednesday, with some share prices approaching levels last reached before the country's diplomatic crisis erupted in early June, while other bourses in the region were mostly quiet. The Qatar index advanced by 1.2 percent to 9,502 points, its highest finish since Saudi Arabia and other Arab states cut diplomatic and transport links with Doha on June 5. Wednesday's gain left the index only 4.3 percent below its pre-crisis close. It has been as much as 13 percent lower early this month. Qatar National Bank(QNB), the largest lender, jumped by 4.4 percent to 143 riyals. It closed at 145.30 riyals on June 4."



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UPDATE 1-Dubai's Emirates NBD Q2 profit rises 6 pct, meets forecasts

UPDATE 1-Dubai's Emirates NBD Q2 profit rises 6 pct, meets forecasts:

"Emirates NBD (ENBD), Dubai's largest lender, posted a 6 percent rise in its second-quarter net profit on Wednesday, in line with analysts' forecasts, as net interest income edged up due to loan growth and higher lending rates.

The bank, the first major lender from the United Arab Emirates to report its earnings this quarter, made a net profit of 2.02 billion dirhams ($550 million) in the three months to June 30, it said in a statement, compared with 1.91 billion dirhams a year earlier.

Three analysts on average had forecast the bank to post a net profit of 1.88 billion dirhams."



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Gulf business counts cost of Arab states’ Qatar embargo

Gulf business counts cost of Arab states’ Qatar embargo:

"When the quartet of Arab nations imposed an embargo on Qatar a month ago, accusing the gas-rich Gulf state of backing terrorism, they quickly closed air, sea and land borders to their neighbour.

For Mohammed Saleh, who runs a business that distributes building materials across the region, the crisis left an important Qatar-bound cargo stranded at Dubai’s Jebel Ali port. He had to take out a loan to pay his supplier, losing £30,000 in the process.

“One minute we are doing business with Qatar, the next we are told we are doing business with terrorist financiers,” he said. “It’s all so confusing.”"



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Oil Steadies Amid Mixed Signals on U.S. Crude Inventories - Bloomberg

Oil Steadies Amid Mixed Signals on U.S. Crude Inventories - Bloomberg:

"Oil was steady amid mixed signals on U.S. crude inventories, with industry data showing supplies increased last week while government statistics were expected to indicate a decline.

Futures were little changed in New York after adding 0.8 percent on Tuesday. U.S. inventories rose by 1.63 million barrels last week, according to people familiar with the API data. That contrasts with a Bloomberg survey before an Energy Information Administration report Wednesday that forecasts a 3.5 million-barrel decline, which would be the 13th drop in 15 weeks."



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Saudi Deflation Persists as Weak Demand Weighs on Growth - Bloomberg

Saudi Deflation Persists as Weak Demand Weighs on Growth - Bloomberg:

"Saudi Arabian consumer prices dropped again in June, reflecting the nation’s worst economic slowdown since 2009 as the kingdom struggles to cope with low oil prices. The economy shrank 0.5 percent year-on-year in the first quarter amid lower oil output and cutbacks in spending to shore up public finances. However, the reinstatement of public sector benefits and bonuses, and the introduction of value-added taxes in 2018 should support a return of positive inflation, according to Jason Tuvey, an economist at London-based Capital Economics."



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Oman Oil to close $1 billion PXF loan imminently - source

Oman Oil to close $1 billion PXF loan imminently - source:

"State-owned Oman Oil expects to close imminently, within two months at the latest, a pre-export financing (PXF) loan of around $1 billion, a source close to the matter told Reuters.

The petroleum firm has hired Natixis and Societe Generale to lead the debt transaction, which is being marketed to other lenders. The loan is in the region of $1 billion, but the final size could be larger, the source added.

In PXF loans, which are often used by commodity producers, the borrower raises funds based on confirmed orders for its production. Another Omani government-controlled company, Petroleum Development Oman, raised in June 2016 a $4 billion loan with a similar structure."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Dubai rises after bank earnings, most of region sluggish

MIDEAST STOCKS-Dubai rises after bank earnings, most of region sluggish:

"Dubai's stock market rose on the back of strong bank earnings in early trade on Wednesday while most of the rest of the region was sluggish. The Dubai index, which has been technically bullish since rising earlier this week above resistance on its April peak, climbed 0.5 percent. Emirates NBD, Dubai's largest lender, gained 1.1 percent after it posted a 6 percent rise in second-quarter net profit to 2.02 billion dirhams ($550 million), at the high end of analysts' forecasts; three analysts had on average forecast 1.88 billion dirhams. Trade was very thin as the stock is tightly held."



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Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Fawaz Abdulaziz Al Hokair sinks its teeth into Turkish simit maker - The National

Fawaz Abdulaziz Al Hokair sinks its teeth into Turkish simit maker - The National:

"Saudi Arabia’s Fawaz Abdulaziz Al Hokair Group has bought a 10 per cent stake in a Turkish chain specialising in the bagel-like bread product known as simit, building on three years of cooperation between the companies. The Riyadh-based retailer will help privately-held Simit Sarayi, whose current locations include City Walk in Dubai, open more than 250 shops in the Middle East and North Africa by 2021, bringing the total number of regional outlets to more than 300, the companies said in a joint statement yesterday .  Al Hokair has a master-franchise agreement with Simit Sarayi, which currently operates 408 shops in 21 countries, including Turkey. "



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Biggest MSCI Emerging Hopeful Falters as Saudi Profits Stall - Bloomberg

Biggest MSCI Emerging Hopeful Falters as Saudi Profits Stall - Bloomberg:

"All it took was five trading days.

That was the time EFG-Hermes Holding SAE needed to go from overweight to underweight on Saudi Arabian shares after they were added to MSCI Inc.’s list for potential classification as an emerging market. The reasons: flat company earnings and excessive valuations.

Analysts have been slow to raise profit estimates for the $463 billion exchange -- the biggest among markets seeking emerging status on MSCI indexes -- as the kingdom struggles to diversify its economy away from oil amid low crude prices. While developing nation stocks have posted an 18 percent increase in 12-month forward earnings estimates over the past year, Saudi profit expectations are down 0.4 percent over that period."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Region falls; DAMAC hits Dubai, weak earnings dampen Egypt

MIDEAST STOCKS-Region falls; DAMAC hits Dubai, weak earnings dampen Egypt:

"Middle East stock markets fell on Tuesday as a tumble by real estate developer DAMAC caused Dubai to break a seven-session rising streak and weak corporate earnings helped to pull down Egypt's bourse.

The Egyptian blue chip index, which had closed at a record high on Monday, sank 1.7 percent in rising turnover - a negative technical sign. The broader EGX100 dropped 1.6 percent.

Ezz Steel plunged 10 percent after it reported a quarterly consolidated net loss after tax and minority interests of 521 million Egyptian pounds ($29.2 million), versus a loss of 137 million pounds a year ago."



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Will a tie-up lead to an Emirates-flydubai consolidation? - The National

Will a tie-up lead to an Emirates-flydubai consolidation? - The National:

"In an increasingly turbulent travel industry, existing synergies between Emirates and flydubai have led the two carriers to move closer announcing an “extensive partnership” yesterday that will pave the way for greater network integration and crossover of passengers out of their joint hub at Dubai International Airport.   “This is an exciting and significant development for Emirates, flydubai, and Dubai aviation,” said Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the chairman and chief executive of Emirates Group and the chairman of flydubai. “Both airlines have grown independently and successfully over the years and this new partnership will unlock the immense value that the complementary models of both companies can bring to consumers, each airline and to Dubai.”"



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Kuwait Finance House studying merger with Ahli United Bank

Kuwait Finance House studying merger with Ahli United Bank:

"Kuwait Finance House (KFH) is looking to merge with Bahrain's Ahli United Bank , Kuwait's biggest Islamic lender said in a statement on Tuesday, confirming an earlier media report. The Gulf's banking sector is consolidation as three years of low oil prices squeeze deposits and push up bad loans. "The merger is currently only under study and there has been no agreement so far, and this would be a positive step if it closed with the right price," KFH Chief Executive Mazin Al-Nahedh was quoted as saying in Kuwait's Arabic language Al-Qabas newspaper."



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Oil Climbs on Report Saudi Arabia Considering More Export Cuts - Bloomberg

Oil Climbs on Report Saudi Arabia Considering More Export Cuts - Bloomberg:

"Oil climbed to the highest level in almost two weeks following a report that Saudi Arabia is considering deeper export curbs.

Futures gained as much as 2 percent in New York. Consultant Petroleum Policy Intelligence said the kingdom is considering additional export curbs of as much as 1 million barrels a day following signs that OPEC’s cutbacks aren’t clearing a global glut. Supplies from OPEC members Libya and Nigeria have recovered, while Iraq’s compliance has faltered and Ecuador announced it can no longer restrain output while its economy suffers."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf narrowly mixed, Saudi Kayan rises on earnings

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf narrowly mixed, Saudi Kayan rises on earnings:

"Gulf stock markets were mixed in narrow ranges early on Tuesday though petrochemical maker Saudi Kayan rose in response to better-than-expected second-quarter earnings. The Saudi index edged down 0.1 percent in the first half-hour as Saudi Kayan, the most heavily traded stock, rose 2.2 percent. Its second-quarter net profit climbed to 242 million riyals ($64.5 million) from 97.3 million riyals a year ago; analysts had on average predicted 212 million riyals.

Jouf Cement jumped 9.5 percent after shareholders approved a 10 percent capital increase via an issue of bonus shares, to be paid for with the company's retained earnings.

National Co for Glass Industries surged 7.1 percent after reporting a 224 percent leap in quarterly net profit, although operating profit actually fell sharply."



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Monday, 17 July 2017

Qatar Fund Seeks U.S. Deals In Defiance of Gulf Crisis - Bloomberg

Qatar Fund Seeks U.S. Deals In Defiance of Gulf Crisis - Bloomberg:

"Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund is pressing ahead with plans to invest in the U.S. to show that the political crisis with Saudi Arabia and its allies hasn’t impacted its ability to strike global deals, according to four people with knowledge of the matter.

The Qatar Investment Authority is working to identify possible acquisition targets, the people said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the talks are private. Areas of interest include infrastructure and technology, two people said. A spokesman for QIA declined to comment.

While Qatar has earmarked $35 billion for American investments -- and already spent more than 50 percent of that amount -- more deals could help improve ties with the U.S. after President Donald Trump publicly sided with the Saudi alliance. U.S. companies, however, may hesitate to do business with the world’s biggest exporter of liquefied natural gas until the dispute is resolved, said Jason Tuvey, a London-based economist at Capital Economics.

"



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Tokyo Seeks Return to Glory Days With Piece of Saudi Aramco IPO - Bloomberg

Tokyo Seeks Return to Glory Days With Piece of Saudi Aramco IPO - Bloomberg:

"When members of Saudi Arabia’s royal family visited Japan last September and again in March, the Asian country made sure at least one message got through: Please list Saudi Aramco in Tokyo.

In September, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe delivered the message himself to then Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, while Japan Exchange Group’s chief executive, Akira Kiyota, tried to win King Salman’s approval in March. The conversations never stopped, with Tokyo executives visiting Saudi Arabia in October, December and again in March to explain why Japan would be ideal for the world’s largest oil company to go public.

“It’s going to be one big epic event,” Kiyota said in an interview at the exchange headquarters in Tokyo. “If all goes well, we want other foreign companies to opt for Tokyo as a destination for their initial public offerings.” "



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Dubai rises above chart barrier, ex-dividend bank pulls down Saudi

MIDEAST STOCKS-Dubai rises above chart barrier, ex-dividend bank pulls down Saudi:

"Dubai's stock index rose above technical resistance on Monday, suggesting a long period of underperformance compared with the region and other emerging markets might be ending, while a bank going ex-dividend helped to pull down Saudi Arabia's market.

The Dubai index gained 0.8 percent to 3,602 points, eclipsing its April peak of 3,573 points. The next, strong resistance is at 3,737-9 points, the January and February peaks.

Islamic Arab Insurance, the market's most active stock, climbed 3.4 percent in unusually heavy trade, accounting for about a quarter of all volume. It has been trading near record lows and, with a price below half a dirham, is easily moved by short-term speculators."



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Emirates announces new partnership with low-cost flydubai

Emirates announces new partnership with low-cost flydubai:

"Dubai’s Emirates airline has announced an “extensive partnership” agreement with its sister low-cost airline flydubai, opening up a combined network of 216 destinations, as Gulf carriers adapt to a slowdown in the region. With Gulf airlines facing economic headwinds, the two state-owned carriers said the tie-up would give flydubai customers “seamless connectivity” to Emirates’ worldwide destinations. Emirates said the partnership would be rolled out over the coming months, with the first enhanced code-sharing arrangements launching in the last quarter of this year. The two airlines, which will continue to operate independently, will align systems and operations at their Dubai hub."



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New UK listing rules set to attract state companies beyond Aramco

New UK listing rules set to attract state companies beyond Aramco:

"Proposed changes to Britain's listing regime are likely to attract a series of state-backed companies to London's stock markets as governments in oil rich states prepare for a wave of asset sales. However some investors and corporate governance groups say Britain's move to make its capital markets attractive to state-controlled firms by loosening some of the rules may lower the quality of companies on its stock exchange and leave shareholders with less protection when things go wrong. The UK financial regulator proposed a new "premium" listing category for state-owned companies on Thursday, intended to make the market more attractive for oil giant Saudi Aramco as it plans what is expected to be the world's largest ever initial public offering."



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EFG-Hermes' Al Hajj Says Saudi Stocks Are a Bit Expensive - Bloomberg

EFG-Hermes' Al Hajj Says Saudi Stocks Are a Bit Expensive - Bloomberg:

"Mohamad Al Hajj MENA Equity Strategist at EFG-Hermes, discusses Saudi Arabia's path to MSCI inclusion, Saudi stocks and his investment strategy for Saudi equities. He speaks on "Bloomberg Markets: Middle East." (Source: Bloomberg)"



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Dubai rises above chart barrier in otherwise sluggish region

MIDEAST STOCKS-Dubai rises above chart barrier in otherwise sluggish region:

"Dubai's stock index rose above technical resistance in early trade on Monday while the rest of the region's bourses remained mostly sluggish. The Dubai index gained 0.4 percent in modest trading volume to 3,586 points, eclipsing its April peak of 3,573 points. The next, strong resistance is at 3,737-9 points, the January and February peaks. Islamic Arab Insurance climbed 3.8 percent in unusually heavy trade - it was the market's most active stock, and three of the 10 most active stocks were insurers. DAMAC Properties, which has been surging in the past week, climbed a further 3.0 percent."



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Sunday, 16 July 2017

Swiss investment bank UBS says Saudi Arabian economy is stabilising - The National

Swiss investment bank UBS says Saudi Arabian economy is stabilising - The National:

"The Swiss investment bank UBS said that Saudi Arabia's economy appears to be stabilising ahead of its possible inclusion in the MSCI Emerging Markets stock index even amid volatile oil prices and regional conflicts.  Economists at UBS are predicting that GDP growth for the country's economy will stabilise at about 1 per cent this year and that its currency, which is pegged to the US dollar, will remain unchanged at 3.75 Saudi Arabian riyals over the next 12 months.  “Despite the geopolitical situation, we expect the Kingdom’s economic growth to stabilise and its deficits to shrink,” said Ali Janoudi, head of wealth management for Central & Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa at UBS and vice chairman of UBS Saudi Arabia.   "



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IMF lowers UAE growth forecast for this year and 2018 on low oil prices - The National

IMF lowers UAE growth forecast for this year and 2018 on low oil prices - The National:

"The IMF has lowered its growth forecast for the UAE for this year and 2018, as low oil prices continue to impact the economy.

The fund, however, said over the medium term non-oil growth is forecast to stay around 3 per cent, thanks to higher investment in the lead-up to Expo2020. It also said the introduction of a 5 per cent value added tax (VAT) in January next year will not have a “significant adverse impact on growth".

Overall growth this year is now projected to reach 1.3 per cent, compared to its 1.5 per cent forecast in April due to a slower expansion in the non-oil economy, which will grow 3.3 per cent, compared to 3.8 per cent in its previous forecast. The growth forecast for next year was lowered one percentage point to 3.4 per cent from 4.4 per cent in April, owing to an easing of oil growth to 3.2 per cent, compared with 6.2 per cent in the April forecast.

"



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Mashreq posts Dh1.1b first half 2017 net profit | GulfNews.com

Mashreq posts Dh1.1b first half 2017 net profit | GulfNews.com:

"Mashreq posted a net profit of Dh1.1 billion for the first half 2017, up 3 per cent compared to the first half of 2016.

A significant decline of impairment allowance by 22.3 per cent year on year boosted the first half profits.
Net profit for the second quarter increased by 2.1 per cent to Dh557 million from Dh546 million in the first quarter of 2017.
"



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ECB considers special assessment of Deutsche Bank shareholders: paper

ECB considers special assessment of Deutsche Bank shareholders: paper:

"Europe's top banking regulator, the European Central Bank (ECB), is considering carrying out a special assessment of Deutsche Bank's (DBKGn.DE) two largest shareholders, a German paper reported on Sunday, citing regulatory sources. The ECB may launch so-called ownership control procedures to scrutinize both the Qatari royal family and China's HNA (0521.HK), which each own just under 10 percent of the shares of Germany's flagship lender, Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported in a prereleased version of its Monday edition. The ECB and Deutsche Bank declined to comment."



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Doha mall's $1 billion-plus loan refinancing frozen amid Qatar boycott: sources

Doha mall's $1 billion-plus loan refinancing frozen amid Qatar boycott: sources:

"The refinancing of a $1 billion loan by Doha Festival City, a retail and hospitality complex in Qatar, has been indefinitely postponed as a diplomatic crisis deters regional banks from doing new Qatari business, bankers said.

The refinancing, coordinated by Doha-based investment bank QInvest, was marketed earlier this year to both Qatari and regional banks, including institutions in the United Arab Emirates. It was to have been larger in size than the original loan - perhaps around $1.2 billion, bankers said.

But Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain cut diplomatic and transport ties with Qatar on June 5, accusing it of supporting terrorism, and the proposed deal has been put on hold, the sources said."



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Saxo Bank Says Markets Believe Saudi-Qatar Solution Soon - Bloomberg

Saxo Bank Says Markets Believe Saudi-Qatar Solution Soon - Bloomberg:

"Mario Camara, chief executive officer at Saxo Bank Dubai, discusses the standoff between Qatar and the Saudi-led bloc of nations and its impact on markets. He speaks on "Bloomberg Markets: Middle East." (Source: Bloomberg)"



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Qatar Plans Food Cluster to Boost Supplies at Home - Bloomberg

Qatar Plans Food Cluster to Boost Supplies at Home - Bloomberg:

"Qatar will spend 1.6 billion riyals ($431 million) to build a food-processing and storage facility near Hamad Port in about two years that will more than meet local demand for sugar, rice and cooking oil. Doha-based Al Jaber Engineering won the contract and has 26 months to design and build the project for the nation’s food security, Jassim bin Saif al-Sulaiti, minister of transport and communications, told reporters Sunday in Doha. Qatar invited companies to bid on the project last year, before the Saudi-led trade boycott against Qatar that began in June. Food security is important in the Middle East because lack of rain and excessive heat make it difficult to grow grains and develop livestock farms. Qatar is in a tougher position because it depended on food coming across the border with Saudi Arabia, which cut diplomatic and trade links with its neighbor last month. Some 38 percent of Qatar’s food used to come through Saudi Arabia, according to Mazen Al-Sudairi, head of research at Al Rajhi Capital."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Region mixed; Dubai tests chart barrier, poor earnings hit Oman

MIDEAST STOCKS-Region mixed; Dubai tests chart barrier, poor earnings hit Oman:

"Stock markets in the Gulf were mixed on Sunday with the global uptrend in equities pushing Dubai's index up to test technical resistance but weak corporate earnings hurting Oman.

The Dubai index gained 1.0 percent in modest trading volume to close on its April peak of 3,573 points. Eight of the 10 most heavily traded stocks rose, with the most active, Union Properties, edging up 0.3 percent.

Abu Dhabi added 0.2 percent as Ajman Bank gained 2.6 percent despite reporting a moderate fall in second-quarter net profit. Its operating income actually rose slightly."



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UAE’s financial system needs a more active liquidity management: IMF | GulfNews.com

UAE’s financial system needs a more active liquidity management: IMF | GulfNews.com:

"The banking system is facing new challenges following the sharp decline in oil prices and it needs to adjust its liquidity management measures to adjust to the new reality according to a recent paper prepared by a staff team from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The IMF paper observes that with lower oil revenues, current account surpluses have declined, and fiscal surpluses have turned into deficits. In this setting, the public sector’s propensity to accumulate deposits in the banking system has weakened.
In addition, the normalisation of US interest rates and banking regulatory changes in the UAE are creating new challenges for banks’ management of liquidity. Yet ensuring healthy liquidity conditions and promoting financial market development is important for supporting robust credit and economic growth and diversification goals."



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UAE's Dana Gas describes UK court decisions on sukuk as favourable

UAE's Dana Gas describes UK court decisions on sukuk as favourable:

"Abu Dhabi-listed Dana Gas described decisions by the High Court of Justice in London as favourable, as the company seeks to restructure $700 million of outstanding sukuk on the grounds that the instruments have become unlawful in the UAE. On July 5 a High Court judge upheld an injunction blocking holders of the bonds, which are due to mature in October, from enforcing claims related to the securities against Dana. But he also imposed restrictions on asset sales by Dana and its ability to raise more debt or pay dividends. He ordered Dana to cancel an injunction in a court in the emirate of Sharjah, where it has been trying to have the sukuk declared unlawful, and to seek a stay of proceedings there."



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Turquoise CEO: EU Firms After Potential Iran JVs - Bloomberg

Turquoise CEO: EU Firms After Potential Iran JVs - Bloomberg:

"Ramin Rabii, chief executive officer of Tehran-based investment company Turquoise Partners, discusses the current foreign investment climate in Iran. He speaks to Mark Barton on "Bloomberg Surveillance." (Source: Bloomberg)"



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Aramco's Odd Response to a Future Oil Shortage - Bloomberg Gadfly

Aramco's Odd Response to a Future Oil Shortage - Bloomberg Gadfly:

"Let's say you're the holder of the world's largest reserves of conventional, low-cost crude oil and you believe the supply outlook is "increasingly worrying" due to a lack of investment. Enhancing production capacity so as to cash in when prices soar would seem like a good idea. Apparently not if you're Saudi Aramco.Saudi Arabian Oil Co. CEO Amin Nasser spoke at the World Petroleum Congress in Istanbul last week, describing his company's plans to invest $300 billion over the next decade. But that cash won't go toward boosting the rate at which Saudi Arabia can get oil out of the ground, even though as much as 20 million barrels a day of new output could be needed over the next five years to offset rising demand and the natural decline of fields that are currently in production. Instead, that money will be used to maintain current capacity, and double gas output.Am I alone in seeing this as an odd response to the supply crunch Nasser sees looming?"



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Most Gulf bourses edge up, Oman hit by poor H1 earnings

MIDEAST STOCKS-Most Gulf bourses edge up, Oman hit by poor H1 earnings:

"Most Gulf stock markets edged up early on Sunday in line with a strong trend for global equities, though Qatar pulled back after last week's strong rebound and weak corporate earnings hurt Oman.

The Saudi index climbed 0.5 percent in the first half-hour in a broad rally, with advancing stocks outnumbering decliners by 124 to 20. Banque Saudi Fransi added 2.6 percent.

Dubai's index gained 0.3 percent as Union Properties, the most heavily traded stock, rose 0.4 percent."



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Friday, 14 July 2017

Oil's Weekly Advance Leaves OPEC With Meager Gains From Cuts - Bloomberg

Oil's Weekly Advance Leaves OPEC With Meager Gains From Cuts - Bloomberg:

"Oil is set to rise this week, 2017 demand is seen growing more than previously expected, and U.S. stockpiles are declining, yet prices are still only about $1 higher than when OPEC pledged to curb output late last year. While the International Energy Agency raised its forecast for demand growth to the strongest in two years, it said on Thursday that the rebalancing of supply and demand has become less certain as OPEC’s output expands. U.S. crude inventories slid the most since September last week, but the IEA said there’s little evidence that total fuel stockpiles in developed countries are shrinking as anticipated. "



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London opens door to Saudi Aramco | Markets

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Emirates looks to scale up flights to US after electronics ban hits demand - The National

Emirates looks to scale up flights to US after electronics ban hits demand - The National:

"Emirates, the world’s largest airline by international passengers, has started to ramp up some of its routes to the US that it had scaled back as a result of an electronics ban implemented in March by the Trump administration, and is looking to boost further capacity, its president said. “We’ve already put Orlando back up to a daily and we’ve seen extraordinary high seat factors on Boston and Seattle on the one frequency,” Emirates president Tim Clark said in an interview with The National. “I would say it’s not going to be long before we start re-assessing a reintroduction of our capacity into the US… I’m hoping we can restore that fairly soon.” In March, the US announced that laptops, tablets, e-readers and other large electronic devices would be banned from cabins on flights from 10 airports, including those in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. The ban disrupted operations of a number of carriers, with the drop in demand translating into commercial losses."



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Commerzbank Banker Says He Was Told to Shut Up on Compliance - Bloomberg

Commerzbank Banker Says He Was Told to Shut Up on Compliance - Bloomberg:

"A former Commerzbank AG executive said in a London employment lawsuit that he was told to "shut up," harassed and eventually let go after he blew the whistle on corporate misconduct at the German lender. Najam Khan, who was head of corporate finance and Middle East Islamic finance in Dubai, said the bank ignored his repeated concerns over the lender’s failures to properly separate the private and public sides of the business, according to his statement in the employment tribunal case Thursday. Khan said a 2016 layoff was used to terminate him after he flagged the issues. Khan said that his superior, global head of corporate finance Roman Schmidt, rebuked his attempts to point out that the bank’s units weren’t adequately divided. Banks are required to split the business areas to avoid information sharing that could lead to conflicts of interest or insider trading ahead of deals."



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Qatar's Biggest Bank Turns to Asia to Offset Saudi-Led Sanctions - Bloomberg

Qatar's Biggest Bank Turns to Asia to Offset Saudi-Led Sanctions - Bloomberg:

"Qatar National Bank QPSC’s expansion into Asia is helping the lender offset the impact of the ongoing Saudi-led campaign to isolate the gas-rich Arab state, its chief executive officer said. The shares rose. The Middle East’s biggest bank by assets aims to cut the income generated from its domestic market to 50 percent by 2020 from about 63 percent currently, Ali al-Kuwari said in a Bloomberg TV interview, his first since the standoff began on June 5. The bank will apply to open a branch in Hong Kong this year and convert its China representative office to a branch, he said. "



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Oman Oil closes $2 billion loan financing - source

Oman Oil closes $2 billion loan financing - source:

"Oman Oil Co, the Omani state-owned petroleum firm, has completed a $2 billion loan financing, a source close to the matter said.

The company’s funding efforts are part of a wider push by the government to raise international finance to reduce pressure on its budget, which has been hit by low oil prices.

Oman Oil has signed a revolving credit facility (RCF) of $1.15 billion, with a five-year maturity, and has slightly amended the terms of an existing $850 million revolving loan that matures in 2019, the source said."



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Britain seeks looser IPO rules to lure Saudi Aramco, worries investors

Britain seeks looser IPO rules to lure Saudi Aramco, worries investors:

"Britain wants to loosen rules on listing state companies in a move that could help London win the lucrative IPO of oil giant Saudi Aramco (IPO-ARMO.SE) but which has raised fears for minority investors. The Financial Conduct Authority's proposals on Thursday would create a new listing category for companies controlled by sovereign states and come as exchanges vie to win the Aramco initial public offering, which is set to be the largest ever. But they met with criticism from British fund managers, who have already expressed concerns about Aramco's governance."



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Deeper OPEC Cuts Would Help Shale, Former Qatar Minister Warns - Bloomberg

Deeper OPEC Cuts Would Help Shale, Former Qatar Minister Warns - Bloomberg:

"OPEC would hurt itself and help U.S. shale producers if it adopted deeper cuts, the former oil minister of Qatar warned. "It’s not beneficial for OPEC to deepen their cuts because prices will go up and shale oil producers and others will take OPEC’s market share," Abdullah al-Attiyah said in interview in Istanbul. “The problem is that there is someone waiting in the dark corner for OPEC -- it’s shale oil producers and whenever prices rise, they raise production.” The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russia’s quest to rebalance the oil market through a deal to curb production have failed to sustainably boost prices. Resilient U.S. shale output and rising production from Libya and Nigeria -- OPEC members exempt from cutting -- have diluted the group’s efforts and global inventories remain well above the five-year average."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf stocks end week on high after Fed's dovish comments, good Q2 results

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf stocks end week on high after Fed's dovish comments, good Q2 results:

"Middle East stock markets extended gains on Thursday, helped by a rise in oil prices this week and by dovish comments from U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen that pointed to a more gradual tightening of monetary policy. U.S. treasury yields eased following Yellen’s statement that interest rates could not rise "all that much further", a positive factor for emerging markets globally. Inflows from emerging market investors in the Gulf provided support to the Qatari and the United Arab Emirates stock markets in particular, as they are both linked to the MSCI emerging markets equity index."



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Sukuk market stalls after UAE issuer declares $700m bond unlawful

Sukuk market stalls after UAE issuer declares $700m bond unlawful:

"The market for Islamic finance has stalled after a Middle Eastern energy company attempted to declare its bond issue unlawful, provoking a court battle. Dana Gas told investors last month that it could not make payments on its $700m sukuk bond because its structure had been deemed unlawful under Emirati law.  The United Arab Emirates company wants to restructure the bonds but its investors say the move runs counter to the English law under which the bonds are governed."



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MIDEAST STOCKS- Gulf markets up on Fed hopes; Qatar index at highest since sanctions

MIDEAST STOCKS- Gulf markets up on Fed hopes; Qatar index at highest since sanctions:

"Gulf stocks advanced on Thursday, with Qatar leading the way as investors turned positive on financial earnings and also took heart from U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's overnight comments hints of a more gradual monetary tightening.

Financial and property stocks were leading gainers across the region's stock markets, with the Qatari index at its highest since Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt cut diplomatic ties and severed transport links with Qatar in early June.

Qatar stocks were up 1.96 percent in early trade, led by Qatar National Bank's 4.9 percent gain and a 7.9 percent jump for Qatar Electricity and Water Co."



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New London listing rules open door to Saudi Aramco

New London listing rules open door to Saudi Aramco:

"The UK’s financial watchdog is making it easier for state-owned companies to list their shares in what will be a boon for those lobbying for Saudi Arabia’s Aramco to choose London for its initial public offering.

The Financial Conduct Authority said on Thursday it is planning to create a new category for sovereign-owned companies that are looking to privatise. The move is part of broader plans by the FCA to reform equity and debt markets in an attempt to keep the UK open for business after Brexit.

The plans involve creating a new category within the “premium” listing rules for companies controlled by sovereign entities rather than by oligarchs or other private groups."



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US 'will become one of the world's top gas exporters by 2020' | Business | The Guardian

US 'will become one of the world's top gas exporters by 2020' | Business | The Guardian:

"The American shale gas revolution will enjoy a second wind as rapid growth in domestic production sees the US join the world’s club of top gas exporters, a leading energy authority has predicted. Fracking has already opened up US shale oil and gas deposits, leading to a fall in gas prices and greenhouse gas emissions as power generation switches from coal to gas, as well as reducing America’s historical reliance on fossil fuel imports. But an increase in US gas production over the next five years will cause another revolution as the country begins liquefying and shipping gas to Asia, Europe and the Middle East, the International Energy Agency said."



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Wednesday, 12 July 2017

MIDEAST STOCKS-Confidence in banking sector ahead of Fed testimony supports Middle East

MIDEAST STOCKS-Confidence in banking sector ahead of Fed testimony supports Middle East:

"Stock markets in the Middle East rose on Wednesday, bolstered by banking shares ahead of testimony from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen that could offer clues on when the central bank will tighten U.S. monetary policy. Most Gulf currencies are pegged to the dollar and any monetary policy change in the United States is usually mimicked by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar. In Saudi Arabia all 12 of the listed lenders advanced, half of them rising by 1 percent or more, helping to push the index 0.8 percent higher."



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Iran sees oil output rising to 4 million bpd by year end | Reuters

Iran sees oil output rising to 4 million bpd by year end | Reuters:

"Iran's oil output will rise to around 4 million barrels per day by the end of the year, an Iranian oil official said on Wednesday as the OPEC member tries to ramp up production after years of international sanctions. "By the end of 2017 we hope to reach about 4 million barrels per a day," Amir Hossein Zamaninia, Iran's deputy oil minister for trade and international affairs, told reporters in Istanbul. Iran has been producing around 3.8 million barrels per day in recent months."



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Goldman, JPMorgan, HSBC in race for lead roles on UAE ADNOC retail unit IPO: sources | Reuters

Goldman, JPMorgan, HSBC in race for lead roles on UAE ADNOC retail unit IPO: sources | Reuters:

"Abu Dhabi's national oil company is weighing proposals from Goldman Sachs, First Abu Dhabi Bank, HSBC and JPMorgan for lead roles in the listing of its retail unit as the emirate joins other Gulf states in privatizing assets, sources familiar with the matter said. Rothschild is separately in a strong position for an advisory role in a deal that could raise $1.5 to $2 billion, sources told Reuters. The listing of Abu Dhabi National Oil Co's (ADNOC) Distribution, which manages 300 petrol stations as well as convenience stores across the United Arab Emirates (UAE), is planned before the end of the year, one of the sources told Reuters."



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Tiny Qatar Is Living Large Despite Monthlong Arab Siege - Bloomberg

Tiny Qatar Is Living Large Despite Monthlong Arab Siege - Bloomberg:

"It's been more than a month since four Arab nations cut land, sea and air routes to Qatar, but in the gas-rich Gulf nation's glimmering malls and luxury hotels there is little sign of hardship. High-end clothing stores hawk the latest summer trends. Grocery stores are brimming with meats and cheeses from Europe and Turkey, and just last month the country's main port received 4,300 cars and sheep from Australia. Luxury hotels like the W and St. Regis serve lavish meals around the clock and alcohol flows for visitors. Famous Barcelona soccer players Gerard Pique, Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba met with fans last week at a mall in the capital, Doha, which will host the 2022 World Cup tournament."



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Contrarian Who Predicted OPEC's Woes Says Group Should End Cuts - Bloomberg

Contrarian Who Predicted OPEC's Woes Says Group Should End Cuts - Bloomberg:

"When OPEC and its allies unveiled their plan last year to re-balance world oil markets, prices rallied and most analysts expected the supply cuts would succeed. With the strategy now faltering, one bank that predicted failure says the group should call it quits. There’s been a wave of price-forecast downgrades over the past month as analysts from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to Bank of America Corp. and Citigroup Inc. acknowledged that OPEC’s production curbs haven’t cleared a global glut. One forecaster who’s kept his outlook unchanged is Commerzbank AG’s Frankfurt-based head of commodities research Eugen Weinberg, who never believed the cuts would work in the first place. “OPEC’s strategy was doomed from the very beginning,” Weinberg said. “It’s all about shale and the sooner they recognize that the better.” "



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi retail sector lifts market, Dubai, Qatar supported by banking shares | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi retail sector lifts market, Dubai, Qatar supported by banking shares | Reuters:

"Shares of retailers were the chief gainers in Saudi Arabia in early trade on Wednesday, the property sector helped Dubai and Qatar was buoyed by blue chips such as Qatar National Bank. The Riyadh index was up 0.7 percent as electronics seller United Electronics continued to rally in heavy trade as investors gained confidence in the company after it reported a near quadrupling in second quarter results, its board recommended a cash dividend for the first time since 2015, and on comments by its chief executive to local media that it plans to expand its online footprint. Extra's chief competitor Jarir was up 2.3 percent."



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US crude exports to boom | Markets

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Oil Climbs After U.S. Crude Output Forecast Is Cut for Next Year - Bloomberg

Oil Climbs After U.S. Crude Output Forecast Is Cut for Next Year - Bloomberg:

"Oil rose the most in more than a week after the Energy Information Administration cut its U.S. crude output forecast for next year and as investors focused on the pace of rebalancing."



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Adnoc to Plan IPO of Retail Unit at $14 Billion Value - Bloomberg

Adnoc to Plan IPO of Retail Unit at $14 Billion Value - Bloomberg:

"Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. is planning an initial public offering of its service stations unit and may seek a value of as much as $14 billion, according to people familiar with the matter. The company known as Adnoc, may appoint investment banks for the share sale, likely to be on the Abu Dhabi stock exchange, as early as this week, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private. The unit may ultimately fetch a value of about $10 billion and raise up to $3 billion from a listing, another person said. No final decisions have been made, and Adnoc may also decide not to pursue an IPO, they said. Adnoc, which produces most of the crude in the United Arab Emirates, said earlier this week that it may sell minority stakes in some of its service units and will seek international partners to boost growth and expand operations. Adnoc will also seek to expand its energy trading operations as part of the new plan, Abdulla Salem Al Dhaheri, head of the company’s marketing, sales and trading directorate, said at a conference in Istanbul on Monday. "



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Total Starts Work at Biggest Qatari Oil Field to Maintain Output - Bloomberg

Total Starts Work at Biggest Qatari Oil Field to Maintain Output - Bloomberg:

"Total SA will start work this week on Qatar’s biggest oil field and is willing to make more investments in the country, which faces a trade boycott led by fellow OPEC producer Saudi Arabia.

Total will start operating at Al-Shaheen field on Friday to maintain output at 300,000 barrels a day, a development project involving $3.5 billion in investment over five years, Patrick Pouyanne, the company’s chief executive officer, said Tuesday in Doha. There will be no disruption in output and deliveries of crude during the transition to Total as the field’s operator, he said.

Paris-based Total beat competitors including Royal Dutch Shell Plc last year to win a 30 percent stake in the al-Shaheen joint venture, called North Oil Co., with state-run Qatar Petroleum holding the rest. It’s replacing AP Moeller-Maersk A/S in running the deposit, which pumps about 45 percent of the OPEC nation’s output."



'via Blog this'

Saudi Arabia Exceeds Oil-Production Cap for First Time - Bloomberg

Saudi Arabia Exceeds Oil-Production Cap for First Time - Bloomberg:

"Saudi Arabia told OPEC it pumped 10.07 million barrels a day in June, a person with knowledge of the data said, exceeding its production limit for the first time since brokering a deal to curb global crude supply to counter a glut. The world’s biggest oil exporter boosted output from 9.88 million barrels a day in May, surpassing the limit of 10.058 million it accepted in an agreement between OPEC and other major suppliers including Russia. Under the deal reached in December, Saudi Arabia agreed to reduce production by 486,000 barrels a day, the most of any country participating in the cuts. The person with knowledge of the June data asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public. Saudi Arabia usually boosts production during summer months to meet demand for power for air conditioning, leaving less output for exports. Demand got an extra bump this year in June because of the fasting month of Ramadan, when millions of Muslims visit Saudi Arabia, according to Sadad al-Husseini, a former executive vice president at Saudi Arabian Oil Co., the nation’s main oil producer."



'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Banking shares lead Middle East higher ahead of Fed testimony | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Banking shares lead Middle East higher ahead of Fed testimony | Reuters:

"Blue-chip banks pushed Middle East stock markets slightly higher on Tuesday, a day ahead of the testimony from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen for clues on when the central bank would tighten U.S. monetary policy.

Yellen's semi-annual monetary policy testimony before Congress will be on Wednesday and Thursday. San Francisco Federal Reserve President John Williams said on Tuesday in Sydney that it was a reasonable view to expect one more rate hike this year, and his own view was to start adjusting the central bank's balance sheet in the next few months.

Most Gulf currencies are pegged to the dollar and any monetary policy change in the United States is usually mimicked by Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Qatar."



'via Blog this'

Nomura's Fadlallah Says Qatari Markets Have Stabilized - Bloomberg

Nomura's Fadlallah Says Qatari Markets Have Stabilized - Bloomberg:

"Tarek Fadlallah, Middle East chief executive officer at Nomura Asset Management, discusses his strategy for the Qatari market. He speaks on "Bloomberg Markets: Middle East." (Source: Bloomberg)"



'via Blog this'

Like Father, Like Son: Qatar Pays Price for Going Against Saudis - Bloomberg

Like Father, Like Son: Qatar Pays Price for Going Against Saudis - Bloomberg:

"When Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani handed the reins of power to his son in 2013, he said it was time “to turn a new page” in Qatar. The emir's abdication, an unusual move for a Gulf ruler, was expected to mark a change of course, with his youthful successor dialing back on foreign policy positions that angered neighbors and allies by, among other things, supporting the former Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt. But the father's strategy of engaging with everyone has spectacularly caught up with the world’s richest country under his son, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad, with the Saudi-led isolation of Qatar in its fifth week and showing no sign of ending. The Saudis say that's because nothing has really changed, and it's the older man who still pulls the strings."



'via Blog this'

Remember Peak Oil? Demand May Top Out Before Supply Does - Bloomberg

Remember Peak Oil? Demand May Top Out Before Supply Does - Bloomberg:

"When Bob Dudley, chief executive officer of British oil giant BP Plc, was asked at a recent conference when oil demand will peak, he had a precise answer: June 2, 2042.

The audience at the annual St. Petersburg International Economic Forum burst into laughter, knowing it’s impossible to predict such an event down to the day. But the American executive wasn’t speaking entirely in jest: The most recent edition of BP’s widely scrutinized Energy Outlook has global demand for crude maxing out in 2½ decades, give or take a year. That projection casts a shadow over one of the world’s largest industries, which until recently was far more concerned with boosting supply. The advent of electric cars, the fight against climate change, and slowing economic growth in China is dampening the world’s once boundless appetite for crude. Carmaker Volvo AB announced on July 5 that it will manufacture only electric or hybrid models from 2019 onward. Three days later, France said it would ban sales of cars with diesel and gasoline engines starting in 2040."



'via Blog this'

Kushner Cos. Sought Qatar Funds as Jared Advised Trump - Bloomberg

Kushner Cos. Sought Qatar Funds as Jared Advised Trump - Bloomberg:

"A few months before President Donald Trump encouraged Saudi Arabia and others to blockade Qatar, the real estate business owned by the family of his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, sought a substantial investment from one of the Gulf State country’s wealthiest and most politically influential figures, according to a spokesman for Kushner Cos.

Since at least 2015, Kushner, his father, Charlie, and other officials of the company had discussions with Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr Al Thani, the former prime minister of Qatar who now runs a private investment firm. The talks were about a possible cash infusion of $500 million for the Kushners’ financially challenged high rise at 666 Fifth Ave. in Manhattan. The Intercept first reported the negotiations, which were later confirmed by the Kushner spokesman.

Financial negotiations between the Kushners and a politically powerful Qatari figure like Al Thani raise concerns about a possible conflict of interest because Jared Kushner is one of the president’s closest advisers. While Kushner sold his stake in 666 Fifth Ave. to family members upon joining the administration, he still has input regarding U.S. diplomatic policy.


"



'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Banking shares boost Gulf a day ahead of Fed testimony | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Banking shares boost Gulf a day ahead of Fed testimony | Reuters:

"The banking sector pushed Gulf stock markets slightly higher in early trade on Tuesday, a day ahead of the testimony from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen for clues on when the central bank would tighten U.S. monetary policy.

Yellen's semi-annual monetary policy testimony before Congress will be on Wednesday and Thursday. San Francisco Federal Reserve President John Williams said on Tuesday in Sydney that it was a reasonable view to expect one more rate hike this year, and his own view was to start adjusting the central bank's balance sheet in the next few months.

Most Gulf currencies are pegged to the dollar and any monetary policy change in the United States is usually mimicked by Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Qatar."



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Monday, 10 July 2017

#Emirates #Dubai #UAE Lets Dozens of Employees Go - Bloomberg

Emirates Lets Dozens of Employees Go - Bloomberg:

"Emirates is letting go of dozens of employees as the Persian Gulf carrier continues a push to streamline after years of rapid growth, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The world’s biggest long-haul airline is scaling back senior cabin crew as well as the support department workforce including administration and IT, according to the people, who asked not to be identified as the information isn’t public. The cuts at Emirates, which froze hiring last summer and hasn’t taken on new crew in months, began in the last few weeks and affect middle and upper-level managers, they said. Dubai-based Emirates said there is no company-wide program to reduce headcount and that “there is no change in staff turnover rates in the past weeks.”"



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Qatar LNG flows unaffected by crisis: Shell | Reuters

Qatar LNG flows unaffected by crisis: Shell | Reuters:

"Qatari exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) remain stable amid ongoing tension between the world's biggest LNG exporter and its neighbors, an executive for Royal Dutch Shell said on Monday. "LNG flows remain stable, cargoes are going into the market," said Steve Hill, Executive Vice-President for Gas and Energy Marketing and Trading at Shell, one of the world's biggest LNG traders. "Qatar is a very credible and competent LNG producer," Hill said at an industry event in Istanbul."



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#Qatar Shares Dumped by Neighbors Get Snapped Up by Locals - Bloomberg

Qatar Shares Dumped by Neighbors Get Snapped Up by Locals - Bloomberg:

"Institutional investors from the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council were net sellers of Qatari stocks in almost every session since June 5, when a Saudi Arabian-led bloc cut commercial and diplomatic ties with the country. A wave of patriotic buying has countered the disposals, with local money managers purchasing $322 million in stocks, against $240 million of outflows from GCC institutions. Qatar’s main stock index has declined 10 percent since the spat began, more than any other major global benchmark."



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#Qatar’s Wealth Enough to Weather Any Shock, Central Bank Says - Bloomberg

Qatar’s Wealth Enough to Weather Any Shock, Central Bank Says - Bloomberg:

"Qatar has enough cash reserves and assets to weather the standoff with the Saudi-led alliance, now in its second month, with inflows into the country still exceeding money heading out, central bank Governor Sheikh Abdullah bin Saoud Al Thani. Withdrawals from Qatari banks aren’t “significant,’’ the governor said in remarks published by CNBC on its website. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt severed diplomatic and transport links with Qatar, the world’s biggest exporter of liquefied natural gas, on June 5. The alliance accuses Qatar of destabilizing the region by supporting proxies of Shiite-dominant Iran as well as Sunni extremists, charges the sheikdom has denies."



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Oil Hovers Near $44 as Market Weighs Libya, Nigeria Output Caps - Bloomberg

Oil Hovers Near $44 as Market Weighs Libya, Nigeria Output Caps - Bloomberg:

"Oil closed above $44 a barrel as the market weighed the likelihood and potential effectiveness of Libya and Nigeria capping production.

The two African producers, which have boosted output since being exempt from OPEC cuts, have been invited to a July 24 meeting in Russia to discuss the stability of their production, Kuwait’s Oil Minister Issam Almarzooq said in Istanbul. Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said the oil market situation will be discussed at the meeting and the pact between OPEC and non-OPEC is working “successfully.”"



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UPDATE 1-Etisalat to exit Nigeria after regulators intervene | Reuters

UPDATE 1-Etisalat to exit Nigeria after regulators intervene | Reuters:

"Telecoms group Etisalat has terminated a management agreement with its Nigerian arm and given the business time to phase out the Etisalat brand in Nigeria, the chief executive of Etisalat International told Reuters on Monday.

Nigerian regulators intervened last week to save Etisalat Nigeria from collapse after talks with its lenders to renegotiate a $1.2 billion loan failed.

Etisalat, with a 45 percent stake in the Nigerian business, said in June it had been ordered to transfer its shares to a loan trustee after the talks had failed."



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Abu Dhabi's Oil Producer May Sell Shares in Units to Expand - Bloomberg

Abu Dhabi's Oil Producer May Sell Shares in Units to Expand - Bloomberg:

"Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. may sell minority stakes in some of its service units and will seek international partners as the producer of most of the crude in the United Arab Emirates seeks to boost growth and expand operations. The company known as Adnoc, which already has ventures with international companies such as Total SA at its main oil and natural gas fields, will expand its partnerships into refining and petrochemicals as well as other areas like pipelines and storage, Chief Executive Officer Sultan Al Jaber said Monday in an emailed statement. One of its services-related companies may be listed by the end of this year, a spokesman said. “Adding partnerships and selling stakes in some units like services that are not core businesses makes sense to bring in capital and raise profitability and efficiency,” said Robin Mills, head of Dubai-based consultant Qamar Energy. “When oil prices are low and producers can’t raise output, petrochemicals are an obvious place to look for profit and growth.”"



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Aramco to Spend $300 Billion as CEO Frets Over World Oil Supply - Bloomberg

Aramco to Spend $300 Billion as CEO Frets Over World Oil Supply - Bloomberg:

"Saudi Aramco, which plans what could be the world’s biggest initial public offering, will invest more than $300 billion over the next decade to maintain its spare oil-production capacity and explore for more natural gas, President and Chief Executive Officer Amin Nasser said.

The outlook for oil supplies is “increasingly worrying,” with about $1 trillion in investments lost during the current industry downturn and fewer new deposits being discovered, Nasser said at a conference in Istanbul. Some estimates suggest that at least 20 million barrels a day of new output is needed over the next five years to offset rising oil demand and the natural decline of developed fields, he said.

“There seems to be a growing belief that the world can prematurely disengage from proven and reliable energy sources like oil and gas, on the mistaken assumption that alternatives will be rapidly deployed,” Nasser said in a speech on Monday. The petroleum industry will be at the heart of global energy for years, and the transition to use of alternatives will be “long and complex,’ he said."



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Rasmala's Taqi Sees Fiscal Challenges for Saudi Arabia - Bloomberg

Rasmala's Taqi Sees Fiscal Challenges for Saudi Arabia - Bloomberg:

"Rasmala Investment Bank Head of Equities Ali Taqi discusses his outlook for the Saudi Arabian economy and markets. He speaks on "Bloomberg Markets: Middle East." (Source: Bloomberg)"



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Middle East follows global shares up, strong Q2 boosts Saudi | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Middle East follows global shares up, strong Q2 boosts Saudi | Reuters:

"Middle East markets followed global shares higher on Monday and Saudi Arabia's stock index was bolstered by strong quarterly reports and dividend announcements.

For now, unease about an end to the era of ultra-cheap money has given way to optimism about global growth, with Friday's stronger-than-expected U.S. non-farm payrolls report bolstering risk appetite. Data on Monday showed exports from Germany, Europe's biggest economy, rose more than expected in May.

The pan-European STOXX 600 rallied 0.4 percent, with banks being one of the strongest sectors."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi gets a boost from retail, banking shares following Q2 profit, dividends | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi gets a boost from retail, banking shares following Q2 profit, dividends | Reuters:

"Shares of Saudi Arabia's United Electronics surged in early trade on Monday after reporting a quadrupling in its second quarter net income and its first dividend distribution since 2015, while the region's banking shares were also strong. Shares of United Electronics Company (Extra) surged by their 10 percent daily limit in the first 10 minutes of trade after reporting a second quarter net income of 43.4 million riyals ($11.57 million), up 287.5 percent from the prior year period. In a separate statement, the board approved a cash dividend of 0.75 riyal per share for first half of 2017, the company's first dividend distribution since 2015."



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Sunday, 9 July 2017

Dubai stock market targets short-selling by year end - The National

Dubai stock market targets short-selling by year end - The National:

"Dubai's stock exchange hopes to introduce regulated short-selling this year and real estate investment trusts (Reits) next year, as part of a 2021 strategy aimed at diversifying asset classes to elevate the bourse to developed market status, a bourse official said Sunday. The Dubai Financial Market announced in January plans to introduce covered short-selling - the practice of selling borrowed shares in the hope of buying them back later at a lower price - in a few months, following in the foot-steps of Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, which also has revealed plans to start short-selling services gradually. “We are amending the rules and are in contact with (market regulator) the Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA), and once we are ready with the system we will start,” said Hassan Al Serkal, executive vice-president of the DFM."



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No recovery in sight for oil prices as pressures mount | GulfNews.com

No recovery in sight for oil prices as pressures mount | GulfNews.com:

"The oversupply in the oil market seems to be getting worse, with no signs of recovery in prices. The US rig counts rose to the highest level since April 2015 even as Opec exports hit a two year high, exacerbating concerns over oversupply and hitting prices hard. On Friday, Brent crude fell 2.91 per cent to close at $46.71 per barrel, after falling to $46.28, its lowest in more than a week. The West Texas Intermediate closed 2.83 per cent lower at $44.23 per barrel. Both the benchmarks marked the sixth weekly decline in the past seven weeks."



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Qatar to Seek Compensation for Damages From Gulf Blockade - Bloomberg

Qatar to Seek Compensation for Damages From Gulf Blockade - Bloomberg:

"Qatar's government says it is forming a committee to pursue compensation for damages stemming from its isolation by four Arab countries.

Qatari Public Prosecutor Ali Al-Marri said in a press conference Sunday that the committee will handle claims made by private companies, public institutions and individuals.

He gave few details, but said the body would use both domestic and international mechanisms to seek compensation."



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