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Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Etihad confident partner strategy can help group weather challenging year ahead for aviation | The National

Etihad confident partner strategy can help group weather challenging year ahead for aviation | The National:

"Etihad Airways underscored on Wednesday the effect of its investments in other airlines, saying that the strategy had paid off and that its commitment to struggling partners was unwavering despite current market pressures.

"Our investments had an immediate impact on the revenue side, delivering hundreds of millions of dollars in additional revenues and allowing us to fill our onward connecting flights," James Hogan, the chief executive of Etihad Aviation Group, said at an industry event in Dublin.


"We are committed to our equity partner strategy – it delivers a huge amount to our business. Some of those airlines need to react to the market pressures they face and we are supportive of that process too.""



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Kuwaiti Wealth Fund May Pull Billions From External Managers - Bloomberg

Kuwaiti Wealth Fund May Pull Billions From External Managers - Bloomberg:

"Kuwait Investment Authority is planning to manage more of its own assets as the world’s fifth-largest sovereign wealth fund seeks to take more risk to boost returns. The KIA, as the fund is known, wants to increase the allocation of funds managed in-house to as much as 8 percent from 1 or 2 percent at present, Managing Director Bader Al Saad said in an interview with Bloomberg Television on Wednesday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. The KIA has $592 billion of assets, according to the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute, meaning $35 billion could be withdrawn from external managers. “Why do I have to pay extra fees for less return?” he said. The shift translates into “a big lump sum but it’s small compared to the core portfolio,” Al Saad said."



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Saudi Arabia’s Sabic in Talks for Up to $2 Billion of Loans - Bloomberg

Saudi Arabia’s Sabic in Talks for Up to $2 Billion of Loans - Bloomberg:

"Saudi Basic Industries Corp., the world’s largest petrochemicals maker by market value, is in talks with banks to raise as much as $2 billion of loans, according to two people familiar with the matter.

Sabic, as the company is known, has asked lenders to give indications on loan pricing across several different tenors, the people said, asking not to be identified because the discussions are private. Proceeds from the deal may be transferred to Saudi Kayan Petrochemicals Co., in which Sabic holds a 35 percent stake, the people said. Sabic held similar consultations last year but didn’t proceed with a transaction, they said, adding that current talks are also at an early stage and the company may decide not to proceed."



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Iran, China to sign $3 billion contract to upgrade Iranian refining capacity: Mehr news agency | Reuters

Iran, China to sign $3 billion contract to upgrade Iranian refining capacity: Mehr news agency | Reuters:

"Iran and China will sign a $3 billion contract next month to upgrade Iran's oil refining capacity, according to Iran's Mehr News agency. Iran’s deputy oil minister Abbas Kazemi said in Tehran on Tuesday that the deal will focus on upgrading the Abadan oil refinery, Mehr said. “Last week, China officially opened the financing for the plan to fix and improve the quality of the Abadan refinery,” Mehr quoted Kazemi as saying. "



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Qatar National Bank raising $1 billion loan from Asian lenders: sources | Reuters

Qatar National Bank raising $1 billion loan from Asian lenders: sources | Reuters:

"Qatar National Bank QNBK.QA, the largest bank in the Middle East and Africa by assets, is raising a $1 billion, three-year syndicated loan in the Asian bank market, sources familiar with the situation said on Wednesday. The Qatari lender is not new to the international loan market and has previously raised large debt facilities in both U.S. dollars and euros. Agricultural Bank of China has a leading role in the new loan, the sources said."



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UPDATE 1-Al Rajhi Bank defies Saudi austerity impact with profit rise | Reuters

UPDATE 1-Al Rajhi Bank defies Saudi austerity impact with profit rise | Reuters:

"Al Rajhi Bank, Saudi Arabia's second-largest lender by assets, reported a 5 percent rise in fourth-quarter net profit on Wednesday, meeting analysts' forecasts as financing, investment and other income all increased.

The bank extended its run of rising profits to five quarters in a row, despite the impact of austerity measures by the government aimed at trimming the kingdom's budget deficit to adjust to lower oil revenues.

It reported its results on the same day that National Commercial Bank (NCB), the kingdom's largest lender, reported a 7.5 percent rise in fourth-quarter net profit, boosted by higher income from commission and investments."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi Electricity weighs on Riyadh, Egypt pulls back | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi Electricity weighs on Riyadh, Egypt pulls back | Reuters:

"Shares in Saudi Electricity Co (SEC) weighed on Saudi Arabia's stock market on Wednesday after the company reported a wider net loss for the fourth quarter, while Egypt's index pulled back as local traders booked gains in blue chips.

The Saudi equities index edged down 0.3 percent as SEC slumped 3.4 percent after posting a quarterly loss of 2.34 billion riyals ($624 million), much worse than NCB Capital's forecast of a loss of 1.04 billion riyals.

SEC cited higher energy prices and operating costs."



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Libor scandal: the bankers who fixed the world’s most important number | Liam Vaughan and Gavin Finch | Business | The Guardian

Libor scandal: the bankers who fixed the world’s most important number | Liam Vaughan and Gavin Finch | Business | The Guardian:

"At the Tokyo headquarters of the Swiss bank UBS, in the middle of a deserted trading floor, Tom Hayes sat rapt before a bank of eight computer screens. Collar askew, pale features pinched, blond hair mussed from a habit of pulling at it when he was deep in thought, the British trader was even more dishevelled than usual. It was 15 September 2008, and it looked, in Hayes’s mind, like the end of the world. Hayes had been woken up at dawn in his apartment by a call from his boss, telling him to get to the office immediately. In New York, Lehman Brothers was hurtling towards bankruptcy.

At his desk, Hayes watched the world processing the news and panicking. As each market opened, it became a sea of flashing red as investors frantically dumped their holdings. In moments like this, Hayes entered an almost unconscious state, rapidly processing the tide of information before him and calculating the best escape route.

Hayes was a phenomenon at UBS, one of the best the bank had at trading derivatives. So far, the mounting financial crisis had actually been good for him. The chaos had let him buy cheaply from those desperate to get out, and sell high to the unlucky few who still needed to trade. While most dealers closed up shop in fear, Hayes, with a seemingly limitless appetite for risk, stayed in. He was 28, and he was up more than $70 million for the year."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi Electricity slumps, other shares mixed after Q4 results | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi Electricity slumps, other shares mixed after Q4 results | Reuters:

"Shares in Saudi Electricity Co (SEC) weighed on Saudi Arabia's stock market on Wednesday morning after the company reported a wider net loss for the fourth quarter. Other results had a mixed impact on Saudi stocks.

SEC slumped 3.4 percent after posting a quarterly loss of 2.34 billion riyals ($624 million), much worse than NCB Capital's forecast of a loss of 1.04 billion riyals. SEC cited higher energy prices and operating costs.

But Alinma Bank added 1.4 percent after it made 390 million riyals in the fourth quarter, a 1 percent rise, in line with analysts' average forecast of 389 million riyals."



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Adia open to more investments in China | The National

Adia open to more investments in China | The National:

"The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (Adia), one of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds, said that it was upbeat about the economic outlook for China and would be open to more investments there.

Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed, Adia’s managing director, told China Finance, a bimonthly journal, that steps to liberalise financial markets in China were promising and could lead to more investments in listed companies, fixed income, real estate and private equity.


"Broadly speaking, we remain optimistic about the outlook for China and the government’s ability to steer the country’s economic transition in a skilled and measured way," Sheikh Hamed said.

"



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Amazon Said to Walk Away From $1 Billion Souq.com Takeover Talks - Bloomberg

Amazon Said to Walk Away From $1 Billion Souq.com Takeover Talks - Bloomberg:

"Amazon.com Inc. and India’s Flipkart Online Services Pvt have walked away from talks to acquire Dubai-based Souq.com after disagreeing over price, according to two people with knowledge of the matter. The e-commerce business is now seeking other potential investors and is negotiating with mall-operator Majid Al Futtaim, one of the people said, asking not to be identified as the talks aren’t public. U.S. online retail giant Amazon entered talks with Souq.com last year in a deal that would have been worth about $1 billion, people with knowledge of the matter said in November. The Middle Eastern company’s existing investors include Tiger Global Management and South Africa’s Naspers Ltd. Souq.com appointed Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to find buyers for a stake last year, people familiar said."



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Qatar National Bank plans to increase share capital by distributing bonus shares | Reuters

Qatar National Bank plans to increase share capital by distributing bonus shares | Reuters:

"Qatar National Bank, the Gulf's largest lender, plans to increase its share capital by distributing bonus shares worth 10 percent of the current capital, it said in a statement on Wednesday. The bank's current capital amounts to about 9.2 billion riyals ($2.53 billion) divided into approximately 923 million shares with a nominal value of 10 riyals each. The statement did not specify whether the capital increase would be discussed or approved during the bank's extraordinary general assembly on Feb. 5. "



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New Zealand presses Gulf states to finalize stalled trade deal | Reuters

New Zealand presses Gulf states to finalize stalled trade deal | Reuters:

"New Zealand is pressing to finalize a stalled free trade deal with the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) that includes two of the Middle East's largest economies, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Trade Minister Todd McClay visited the UAE and Kuwait this week in an effort to promote the deal with the GCC, his country's sixth largest trading partner. The GCC comprises Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman. New Zealand wrapped up talks on the trade pact in 2009 but it has never been ratified."



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Saudi Aramco to continue building oil, gas capacity to meet demand : CEO | Reuters

Saudi Aramco to continue building oil, gas capacity to meet demand : CEO | Reuters:

"Saudi Aramco Chief Executive Amin Nasser said the state oil giant was working on building its oil and gas production capacity to meet future demand growth. "What we are doing at Saudi Aramco is building our capacity in oil, we are the most reliable oil producer, we have a maximum sustained capacity of 12 million barrels per day (bpd). The kingdom has a capacity of 12.5 million bpd," Nasser said on Tuesday. He did not say there were immediate plans to expand Aramco's oil production capacity beyond the current 12 million bpd‎."



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