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Thursday, 19 January 2017

Theresa May's anticlimactic Davos speech | Davos 2017

Saudi Aramco IPO is key to success of kingdom’s economic transformation plans, says Al Falih | The National

Saudi Aramco IPO is key to success of kingdom’s economic transformation plans, says Al Falih | The National:

"A successful stock market flotation of Saudi Aramco is essential for the implementation of the kingdom’s economic diversification strategy, according to Khalid Al Falih, the energy minister. Speaking on the sidelines of an event at the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, Mr Al Falih, who is also the chairman of Aramco, said: "The [National Transformation Program] has many legs, but the initial public offering of Aramco is a key one." He made it clear that the IPO was more than just a symbolic statement of intent by the Saudi government. "The income from the IPO will allow the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia (PIF) to have more funds as it goes global, so [the IPO] is a key issue for the transformation.""



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UAE business confidence drops | GulfNews.com

UAE business confidence drops | GulfNews.com:

"Economic conditions in the UAE are expected to improve this year, but optimism among businesses remain subdued, according to the latest report. The Global Economic Conditions Survey by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) showed that business confidence in the country dropped to -23.7 in the fourth quarter of 2016, lower than in the preceding two quarters of the year and a far cry from +41.8 in the first quarter of 2014. The survey, which was based on the responses from more than 4,500 finance professionals and business leaders worldwide, also indicated that business confidence levels in the Middle East and the rest of the world have also declined, owing to political and economic uncertainties, as well as weak oil prices."



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Saudi energy minister: wealth fund on track to top $2 trillion

Saudi energy minister: wealth fund on track to top $2 trillion:

"Saudi Arabia has signalled a clear intention to make more big-ticket acquisitions in the wake of its $3.5bn purchase of a stake in Uber last June , with the kingdom’s energy minister saying its wealth fund is on track to top $2 trillion in assets “in the not too distant future”. “We will invest strategically abroad,” energy minister Khalid Al-Falih told a small audience at the World Economic Forum in Davos. “Investments will be key.” Mr Al-Falih noted that services, tourism, banking and logistics are all areas of focus under the ‘Vision 2030‘ reform package. He added:"



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Saudi's Kingdom Holding Q4 net profit climbs 6 pct | Reuters

Saudi's Kingdom Holding Q4 net profit climbs 6 pct | Reuters:

"Saudi Arabia's Kingdom Holding , the investment firm owned by billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, posted a 6 percent rise in fourth-quarter net profit on Thursday. * Net profit of 40.2 million riyals ($10.7 million) in the three months ending Dec. 31, versus 37.9 million riyals a year earlier, according to a bourse filing. * Earnings boosted by rise in dividends, increase in revenue and operating income from hotels and providing for impairment provisions in same quarter of last year. "



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Egypt tumbles on stamp duty worry, Q4 earnings support Saudi | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Egypt tumbles on stamp duty worry, Q4 earnings support Saudi | Reuters:

"Egypt's blue-chip stock index tumbled on Thursday after Reuters reported that authorities were considering temporarily reintroducing a stamp duty on stock market transactions, while Saudi Arabia was supported by quarterly corporate earnings.

The dropped 3.7 percent, its largest single-day decline since June 2016. Local traders were heavy net sellers after a Finance Ministry source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said:

"We are studying temporarily re-imposing a stamp duty on stock market transactions pending the return to a capital gains tax, which has been postponed since May 2015.""



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Saudi's SABIC still keen on Exxon Mobile venture in U.S., looking for more | Reuters

Saudi's SABIC still keen on Exxon Mobile venture in U.S., looking for more | Reuters:

"Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) 2010.SE remains upbeat on a proposed petrochemical venture in the United States with Exxon Mobil (XOM.N) and a preliminary investment decision could be made within months, SABIC's chief executive said on Thursday. Last July SABIC, one of the world's largest petrochemicals groups, said it was studying whether to build a petrochemical complex on the U.S. Gulf Coast with an Exxon affiliate. The project would supply ethylene to other units making derivatives. SABIC chief executive Yousef al-Benyan told Reuters on Thursday that he would travel to the United States at the end of this month to look at the proposed project."



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Opec’s own numbers suggest deeper cuts needed

Opec’s own numbers suggest deeper cuts needed:

"Opec’s own projections for the oil market show the cartel needs to maintain or increase output cuts beyond the first half of this year if it wants to finally balance the market, with supply still threatening to overwhelm demand in 2017. In its closely watched monthly report, Opec forecast demand for its crude this year would average just 32.1m barrels a day, an increase on 2016 but still below its target output level of around 32.5m b/d, reports David Sheppard in London. The forecast from Opec’s in-house analysts comes after Saudi Arabia, the largest and most powerful member in the 13-member cartel, suggested this week that the output cuts agreed in November may not need to be extended beyond the first half of this year."



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Debt appetite will continue for Gulf investors | GulfNews.com

Debt appetite will continue for Gulf investors | GulfNews.com:

"By many measures 2016 was a blockbuster year for debt markets in the Gulf region. Backed by solid credit fundamentals and compelling valuations, the size and frequency of debt issuance last year surpassed even the most optimistic of forecasts. But the success should not be viewed as a one-time anomaly. Instead, in our view, recent developments have created a platform for potential further outperformance for the asset class in 2017. The reasons are straight forward: a more stable oil price, coupled with further fiscal consolidation by GCC governments and continued easy global monetary policies are all potential contributors for credit to perform. It is worth remembering that a year ago there were serious concerns about slumping oil prices and the spillover impact on the region’s hydrocarbon dependent economies. This wall of worry has, for now, been removed."



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Better to review Iran deal than withdraw from it: Trump U.N. pick Haley | Reuters

Better to review Iran deal than withdraw from it: Trump U.N. pick Haley | Reuters:

"It would be better for the United States to carefully review the 2015 Iran nuclear deal rather than unilaterally withdraw from it, Nikki Haley, U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's nominee for ambassador to the United Nations, said on Wednesday. "I think what would be more beneficial at this point is that we look at all the details of the Iran deal, we see if they (the Iranians) are actually in compliance. If we find that there are violations that we act on those violations," Haley told lawmakers at her Senate confirmation hearing. "



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UPDATE 1-Turkey borrows $2 billion in 10-year eurobond issue, final yield 6.15 pct | Reuters

UPDATE 1-Turkey borrows $2 billion in 10-year eurobond issue, final yield 6.15 pct | Reuters:

"The Turkish Treasury borrowed $2 billion in the issue of a 10-year, dollar-denominated eurobond with a yield of 6.15 percent as part of a planned $6 billion eurobond issuance programme this year, the treasury said on Thursday. According to bankers, the initial price guidance for the eurobond, maturing on March 25, 2027 with a coupon rate of 6 percent, was around 6.35 percent. This was later revised down to 6.20 percent before the final yield was set at 6.15 percent. "The offering attracted an order book of more than 3 times the actual issue size," the treasury said in a statement."



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Saudi's Alawwal Bank gets regulatory approval for derivatives trading unit | Reuters

Saudi's Alawwal Bank gets regulatory approval for derivatives trading unit | Reuters:

"Saudi Arabia's Alawwal Bank said on Thursday it had received regulatory approval to set up a fully owned subsidiary that could trade derivatives and repo agreements. Establishing the subsidiary, located in the Cayman Islands, will have no impact on the company's current financial statements, Alawwal said. Alawwal changed its name from Saudi Hollandi Bank last November."



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Russia state fund chief sees alliance with OPEC lasting years | Reuters

Russia state fund chief sees alliance with OPEC lasting years | Reuters:

"A senior Russian official, who last year was first to predict that Moscow could cut oil output in tandem with OPEC, believes such cooperation can now last for years, strengthened by cross border investments between Saudi Arabia and Russia. Last year Kirill Dmitriev, who runs Russia's $10 billion state Direct Investment Fund and has close ties to the government and the Kremlin, spoke about a possible joint action after meeting Saudi officials at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Russia agreed to cut output together with OPEC last month and Dmitriev, a former investment banker from Goldman Sachs, now says it is only the beginning of a long-term alliance between the world's two biggest oil exporters."



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