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Sunday, 15 January 2017

Named: the best and worst funds of 2016

Named: the best and worst funds of 2016:

"Funds run by BlackRock, Odey and Lyxor have topped a table of 2016’s worst-performing investments, in a year when active stockpickers struggled to cope with the impact of political turmoil and market volatility.

A BlackRock fund that aims to reduce currency risk for clients investing with sterling was named as the worst-performing fund globally last year. It lost 43.9 per cent in 2016 and was hit by the UK’s vote to leave the EU, which caused the value of the pound to plummet.

The BlackRock fund performed marginally worse than the Odey Swan fund run by Crispin Odey, the well-known hedge fund manager. The Odey fund lost 43.7 per cent, after making big bets on a collapse in markets that did not pay off."



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Qatar National Bank seeks growth in SE Asia after Q4 profit rises | GulfNews.com

Qatar National Bank seeks growth in SE Asia after Q4 profit rises | GulfNews.com:

"Qatar National Bank (QNB) is broadening its horizons in Southeast Asia after the Gulf’s largest lender reported a 8.3 per cent rise in fourth-quarter net profit, according to Reuters calculations.
It follows a year in which the bank cemented its position as the largest lender in the Middle East and Africa by assets after completing the 2.7 billion euro purchase of Finansbank, Turkey’s fifth-largest private lender.
The takeover helped lift its fourth-quarter net profit to 2.75 billion riyals ($755 million), compared with 2.54 billion riyals in the corresponding period of 2015, according to Reuters calculations based on the bank’s annual results."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi stalls, Kuwait outperforms, Dubai slips | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi stalls, Kuwait outperforms, Dubai slips | Reuters:

"Stock markets in the Gulf diverged on Sunday with Saudi Arabia stalling near a six-week low and Dubai retreating on profit-taking, while Kuwait continued to outperform.

Saudi Arabia's index added 0.1 percent. Nine of the top 10 performers were from the insurance segment with Wafa Insurance in the lead, jumping 9.1 percent.

Interest in the sector has risen partly because of local media reports late last year that Saudi Arabia was looking at the possibility of including haj and umra pilgrims in a compulsory health insurance scheme."



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IranAir blazes a trail with first new aircraft in 23 years

IranAir blazes a trail with first new aircraft in 23 years:

"Captain Behnam Shirzad wears a broad smile as he walks into the hall where IranAir is about to take delivery from Airbus of its first brand new aircraft in 23 years. “It is fantastic,” he says of the A321 single-aisle passenger jet, visible just the other side of the glass wall facing the runway. “Everyone loves this aircraft.” 

Top brass from IranAir and Airbus were gathered in Toulouse on Wednesday for what the carrier’s chief executive, Farhad Parvaresh, called a “bright day” for his state-owned company and his country. The new aircraft is the first of 180 jets ordered from Airbus and its US rival Boeing after international sanctions were lifted last year as part of the nuclear accord between Iran and global powers. 

Two more wide-body A330s will fly to Tehran in the next two months. For Iran, they are the trailblazers for a revival of Iranian aviation and tangible proof that the relaxation of sanctions 12 months ago is finally beginning to deliver concrete results. "



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Banks likely to report modest growth in assets and profitability | GulfNews.com

Banks likely to report modest growth in assets and profitability | GulfNews.com:

"The first three quarters of 2016 saw the UAE banks reporting a general decline in earnings growth driven by rising funding costs, somewhat elevated non-performing loans (NPLs) and slowing private sector loan growth and rising provisions dragging down profits.
With the full year results of banks to be announced starting this week, bankers and analysts expect UAE banks to report single digit loan growth and anaemic profit growth compared to previous years.
Amid the overall subdued trend in credit growth and profitability, banks continue to remain resilient to difficult operating environment resulting from prolonged low oil prices and a slowdown in the UAE’s economic growth from 4 per cent last year to a projected 2.3 per cent in 2016."



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Kuwait Stocks Extend Advance as Banks Weigh on U.A.E. Markets - Bloomberg

Kuwait Stocks Extend Advance as Banks Weigh on U.A.E. Markets - Bloomberg:

"Kuwait’s main stock gauge, the Middle East’s best performer this year, rose for an eighth day, while shares in the United Arab Emirates fell as investors prepared for the release of bank earnings.

Kuwait’s SE Price Index advanced 1.7 percent to the highest level since August 2015 as 98 of the measure’s 182 members gained, the most in almost a year. Traders exchanged 560 million shares, more than three times the 30-day intraday average. Emirates NBD PJSC, the U.A.E.’s biggest bank, will probably release its 2016 earnings this week. The Dubai-based lender declined 1 percent.

“Normally banks during the fourth quarter increase their provisioning -- that is cyclical,” said Ali Adou, an equities money manager at The National Investor in Abu Dhabi. “Banks across the region will take the opportunity to clean as much as they can in terms of provisions, as it was a very difficult year.” This year’s outlook should be better if oil prices maintain current levels, he said."



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Ooredoo Oman posts 5.4 pct Q4 net profit drop | Reuters

Ooredoo Oman posts 5.4 pct Q4 net profit drop | Reuters:

"Ooredoo Oman, the sultanate's No.2 telecom operator, reported a 5.4 percent fall in fourth-quarter net profit on Sunday.

* The firm, majority-owned by Qatar's Ooredoo, made 8.7 million rials ($22.6 million) in the three months to Dec. 31, down from 9.2 million rials in the year-earlier period, it said in a bourse statement.

* Gulf Baader Capital Markets forecast: 10.6 million rials net proft."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf shares diverge in early trade, small caps support Saudi | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf shares diverge in early trade, small caps support Saudi | Reuters:

"Stock markets in the Gulf diverged in early trade on Sunday with Saudi Arabia's bourse supported by small and mid-sized shares while profit taking weighed on Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Saudi Arabia's index edged up 0.3 percent in the first half hour; Al Jouf Cement was the top gainer, jumping 5.8 percent.

Almarai rose 0.4 percent after the Gulf's largest dairy company reported a 1 percent increase in fourth-quarter net profit to 488.5 million riyals ($130 million), virtually meeting analysts' forecasts as sales rose marginally and the cost of sales fell."



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