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Thursday, 2 February 2017

OPEC Cuts Oil Output, But More Work Needed to Fulfill Deal - Bloomberg

OPEC Cuts Oil Output, But More Work Needed to Fulfill Deal - Bloomberg:

"OPEC cut output by 840,000 barrels a day last month, but has more work to do to fully comply with last year’s historic production deal. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries pumped 32.3 million barrels a day in January, according to a Bloomberg News survey of analysts, oil companies and ship-tracking data. The 10 members of the group that pledged to make cuts in Vienna two months ago implemented 83 percent of those reductions on average, but their efforts were offset by increases from Iran, Nigeria and Libya that were permitted under the terms of the agreement."



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Saudi Oil Minister Says World to Be ‘Amazed’ by Aramco IPO - Bloomberg

Saudi Oil Minister Says World to Be ‘Amazed’ by Aramco IPO - Bloomberg:

"An audit of state oil producer Saudi Aramco’s crude reserves is showing “very reassuring” results ahead of what could be the world’s biggest share sale when the company sells a stake to investors next year, the kingdom’s energy minister said. The independent audit will be completed in the near future, and its results will be part of the prospectus for the initial public offering by Saudi Arabian Oil Co., known as Saudi Aramco, Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih told reporters Thursday in Riyadh. Aramco will disclose its 2017 annual statements prior to the listing scheduled for next year, and the company is likely to sell shares on three stock exchanges, he said at a seminar earlier in the day. “So far, the correlation between what they have determined and what Aramco has booked on its own books and announced in the past is very reassuring,” Al-Falih said of the audit. The results so far are “in the positive side” and higher than the company’s own reserves estimate, Al-Falih said, declining to identify the auditors."



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Saudi Aramco likely to list on multiple exchanges at same time: minister | Reuters

Saudi Aramco likely to list on multiple exchanges at same time: minister | Reuters:

"Saudi Aramco is likely to list its shares simultaneously on more than one exchange but this is still under evaluation, Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said on Thursday. Asked by reporters if Aramco would list first on the Saudi bourse and then on another exchange abroad, Falih said: "It will probably be done concurrently, but we have not announced. We are evaluating. All our options are open." The planned listing next year of up to 5 percent of Aramco, expected to be the world's biggest initial public offer of shares, is a centerpiece of the Saudi government's plan to diversify the economy beyond oil."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Most of Gulf slips, Egypt rebounds from Trump-linked slide | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Most of Gulf slips, Egypt rebounds from Trump-linked slide | Reuters:

"Most Gulf stock markets were weak on Thursday but Egypt's bourse rebounded after sliding for three days partly on concern that U.S. President Donald Trump's policies could hurt the economy.

The Saudi index edged down 0.03 percent as loss-making Nama Chemicals, which had soared 37 percent in the four days through Tuesday after it announced the outline of a recovery plan, pulled back 6.3 percent.

Atheeb Telecom surged to its 10 percent daily limit, however, after jumping 9.4 percent on Wednesday in response to the sale of some of its tower network for 230 million riyals ($61.3 million) to Saudi Telecom Co.

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RAKBank profit falls by more than half as loan defaults surge | The National

RAKBank profit falls by more than half as loan defaults surge | The National:

"RAKBank’s profit tumbled by more than half last year despite the lender slashing Dh68 million from its staff costs as loan defaults surged. The lender, also known as National Bank of Ras Al Khaimah, reported a fourth-quarter net profit Dh108.7 million which was flat on the previous quarter. It did not provide a year earlier comparison. Overall 2016 profits fell by almost 53 per cent to Dh662.9m. "



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How Do Israel’s Tech Firms Do Business in Saudi Arabia? Very Quietly - Bloomberg

How Do Israel’s Tech Firms Do Business in Saudi Arabia? Very Quietly - Bloomberg:

"Over the course of 30 years working in Israeli intelligence, Shmuel Bar immersed himself in the hermeneutics of terrorism. Using techniques of literary analysis more familiar to Koranic scholars and Bible critics, he came to recognize the distinctive language and religious phrases that suicide bombers used in their farewell videos. “Victory is with the patient” appeared frequently in the martyrdom declarations of Hamas recruits. Al-Qaeda adherents favored the call “God, count them, kill them, and don’t leave any of them.”

Bar a tousle-haired 62-year-old with a wry sensibility, emerged from government service in 2003 amid the proliferation of global terrorism, and in the rising sense of doom he saw a business opportunity. He founded a company called IntuView, a miner of data in the deep, dark web—a sort of Israeli version of Palantir, the Silicon Valley security contractor. Tapping engineering talent in Israel’s startup hub of Herzliya, he adapted his analyst’s ear for language to custom algorithms capable of sifting through unending streams of social media messages for terrorist threats. He sold his services to police, border, and intelligence agencies across Europe and the U.S.

Then, two years ago, an e-mail arrived out of the blue. Someone from the upper echelons of power in Saudi Arabia, Bar says, invited him to discuss a potential project via Skype. The Saudis had heard about his technology and wanted his help identifying potential terrorists. There was one catch: Bar would have to set up a pass-through company overseas to hide IntuView’s Israeli identity. Not a problem, he said, and he went to work ferreting out Saudi jihadis with a software program called IntuScan, which can process 4 million Facebook and Twitter posts a day. Later, the job expanded to include public-opinion research on the Saudi royal family."



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U.S. May Export More Oil in 2017 Than Four OPEC Nations Produce - Bloomberg

U.S. May Export More Oil in 2017 Than Four OPEC Nations Produce - Bloomberg:

"U.S. crude exports are poised to surpass production in four OPEC nations in 2017 and may grow even more if President Donald Trump honors pledges to ease drilling restrictions and maximize output. The world’s largest oil-consuming country could sell as much as 800,000 barrels a day of crude overseas this year, according to four analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. That’s more than OPEC producers Libya, Qatar, Ecuador and Gabon each pumped in December. The U.S. exported 527,000 barrels a day in the first 11 months of 2016, Energy Information Administration data show. Chalk it all up to a resurgence in shale oil and gas, which Trump is counting on to create jobs and rebuild roads, schools and bridges. U.S. output will rebound to more than 9 million barrels a day in 2017 after sliding 5.6 percent to 8.87 million in 2016, the EIA estimates. And since restrictions on U.S. crude exports were lifted in late 2015, domestic producers are free to seek buyers in Europe, Asia and Latin America, which are on the lookout for alternate suppliers after OPEC and non-OPEC producers agreed to trim 2017 output."



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Etihad Heads Off Trump Tensions With Pledge Not to Grow in U.S. - Bloomberg

Etihad Heads Off Trump Tensions With Pledge Not to Grow in U.S. - Bloomberg:

"Etihad Airways PJSC sought to head off the prospect of further clashes over its U.S. expansion now that Donald Trump is president, saying it has no plans to add destinations beyond those already served.

“We are not flying into any further points in the U.S.A.,” Etihad Aviation Group Chief Executive Officer James Hogan said Wednesday in an interview with Bloomberg Television. “We are very comfortable with our American network.”

Should U.S. airlines revive claims that Mideast carriers have benefited from illegal aid now that Trump is in the White House, Etihad stands ready to reassert that it has expanded fairly and operates trans-Atlantic services strictly in line with an Open Skies aviation treaty, Hogan said in Abu Dhabi."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets mostly soft in early trade; banks buoy Qatar | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets mostly soft in early trade; banks buoy Qatar | Reuters:

"Gulf stock markets mostly edged down in early trade on Thursday in the absence of fresh news to prompt buying, with much activity in Saudi Arabia and Dubai focusing on second-tier stocks rather than blue chips.

The Saudi index slipped 0.1 percent in the first 45 minutes as loss-making Nama Chemicals, which had soared in the last few days after it announced the outline of a recovery plan, pulled back 7.3 percent.

Atheeb Telecom added a further 2.9 percent, however, after jumping 9.4 percent on Wednesday in response to the sale of some of its tower network for 230 million riyals ($61.3 million) to Saudi Telecom Co."



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Royal Dutch Shell’s key earnings fall 44%

Royal Dutch Shell’s key earnings fall 44%:

"Royal Dutch Shell reported worse than expected fourth-quarter results after booking $500m of impairments but the Anglo-Dutch group said it was making progress towards recovery from a two-year downturn.

Earnings on a current cost of supply basis, the measure most closely watched by investors, fell 44 per cent to $1.03bn, from $1.84bn in the same period last year.

Excluding exceptional items, earnings were up 14 per cent at $1.8bn, from $1.6bn a year ago. However, this was well below analysts’ consensus forecast for $2.79bn. Shell said the $500m impairment mostly related to the impact of a weakening Australian dollar on a deferred tax position."



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