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Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Etihad CEO Defends Strategy as Airline Grows Wide-Body Fleet - Bloomberg

Etihad CEO Defends Strategy as Airline Grows Wide-Body Fleet - Bloomberg:

"Etihad Airways PJSC group chief James Hogan, who is standing down as the Gulf carrier grapples with losses at European partners, detailed growth plans for 2017 while defending his strategy as one that’s attracting passengers and is here to stay.

Etihad will add 12 wide-body aircraft, including two A380 superjumbos, swelling capacity in what will be “another challenging year,” the Abu-Dhabi-based carrier said in a statement Tuesday. That follows the addition of 10 planes in 2016, three of them A380s.

Hogan, due to leave in the second half, said in the release the aim is to expand “prudently and efficiently” in light of the prevailing economic environment, adding: “We remain optimistic and have every belief that our robust business model will succeed and, most importantly, stand the test of time.”"



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Qatar says oil market can cope with higher shale output | Reuters

Qatar says oil market can cope with higher shale output | Reuters:

"Higher oil prices may boost shale oil production but the global oil market can accommodate this as demand remains healthy, Qatar's energy minister said on Wednesday. "The market is gradually accommodating for shale oil as well as shale gas - the demand is healthy. With that continuous demand increase I think all available oils are going to be accommodated," Mohammed al-Sada told Reuters in Doha. He said current oil prices made the development of most oilfields around the world unviable."



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MIDEAST DEBT-ICD’s performance makes case for 10-year Saudi sukuk, investors say | Reuters

MIDEAST DEBT-ICD’s performance makes case for 10-year Saudi sukuk, investors say | Reuters:

"A strong performance by $1 billion of 10-year Islamic bonds from a Dubai sovereign fund suggests investors are being driven into longer maturities of Middle Eastern debt, and could encourage Saudi Arabia to issue 10-year sukuk later this year. In late January, Investment Corp of Dubai (ICD) sold sukuk due in February 2027 with a 5.056 percent yield. The 10-year maturity was unusual for an Islamic bond from the Gulf, where most sukuk have had maturities of five or seven years. ICD’s paper started tightening in the secondary market right after it was issued, gaining 2.5 points in price on the first day of trade and has continued to firm."



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UPDATE 2-Chairman leads deal to buy stake in Arab Bank for $1.12 bln | Reuters

UPDATE 2-Chairman leads deal to buy stake in Arab Bank for $1.12 bln | Reuters:

"A consortium of Arab and Jordanian investors led by Arab Bank Chairman Sabih al Masri has bought a 20 percent stake in Jordan's Arab Bank Group for $1.12 billion, the bank said on Wednesday. It said the deal to buy the stake from Oger Middle East Holdings, part of the Lebanon's Hariri family business empire, involved a consortium including 40 investors, a majority of them Jordanian. Masri led the negotiations after the family of Saudi Arabia's Fawaz Alhokair dropped a planned $1.1 billion offer."



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Canada's TMX in talks over possible Saudi Aramco IPO in Toronto | Reuters

Canada's TMX in talks over possible Saudi Aramco IPO in Toronto | Reuters:

"TMX Group, owner of the Toronto Stock Exchange, said on Wednesday that it is in talks with Saudi Arabia over the possibility of Saudi Aramco listing in Canada.

TMX said the talks were part of efforts by a consortium of representatives from across Canada's capital markets to establish relationships with key business and government leaders in Saudi Arabia.

"As part of this unique, collaborative initiative, we are dedicating a portion of our effort toward attracting the Saudi Aramco IPO to TSX," Nick Thadaney, President and CEO, TSX Global Equity Capital Markets said in a statement emailed to Reuters."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Qatar rises as Barwa leaps; oil price drop pulls down Saudi | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Qatar rises as Barwa leaps; oil price drop pulls down Saudi | Reuters:

"Qatar's stock market rose on Wednesday after a major real estate company swung to a fourth-quarter profit, while a drop in oil prices pulled Saudi Arabia down.

The Qatari index closed 0.7 percent higher as Barwa Real Estate surged 8.3 percent in its heaviest trade for 1-1/2 years. It posted a quarterly net profit of 108 million riyals ($29.7 million) versus a loss of 518 million riyals a year earlier; the board recommended a 2016 cash dividend of 2.5 riyals per share, higher than the 2.2 riyals proposed for 2015.

But United Development dropped 3.0 percent after the board recommended a dividend for the year of 1.25 riyals, lower than 1.5 riyals for 2015. The firm reported a fourth-quarter net profit of 171.4 million riyals, an 81 percent jump."



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Trade in post Brexit Britain | World

Etihad eyes growth this year as it reports rise in passenger numbers for 2016 | The National

Etihad eyes growth this year as it reports rise in passenger numbers for 2016 | The National:

"Amid a "very tough" business environment, Etihad Airways carried 18.5 million passengers last year, up 6 per cent on 2015. It will push ahead with expansion, including of its fleet, even though it "will be another challenging year", said James Hogan, president and chief executive of Etihad Aviation Group, the parent of the airline. "We will continue to expand prudently and efficiently, reflecting the nature of the economic environment. We remain optimistic and have every belief that our robust business model will succeed and, most importantly, stand the test of time," he said. "



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Brexit seems to be about taking reckless chances | GulfNews.com

Brexit seems to be about taking reckless chances | GulfNews.com:

"After voting to leave the European Union last June, the British might have left their country high and dry. And things got worse after the country’s Supreme Court issued a decision obliging the government to obtain parliament’s approval before triggering Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty on withdrawal by any EU member.
Indeed, the House of Commons gave the government the green light to go ahead with Article 50, provided that results of negotiations with Brussels are presented once again to it for a final approval.
It is known that a majority of the parliament were against Brexit but their current attitude and voting to activate the Article 50 cast doubts on their credibility and present quite a few complications, locally and abroad."



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Biggest Mideast Bank Eyes Southeast Asia After Beating Expansion Goal - Bloomberg

Biggest Mideast Bank Eyes Southeast Asia After Beating Expansion Goal - Bloomberg:

"Qatar National Bank SAQ, the biggest bank in the Middle East and Africa, is turning its focus to Southeast Asia for growth after hitting expansion goals in the region earlier than planned. “Our previous target to become a Middle East and Africa icon by 2017, was achieved in 2014, so we have upscaled our aspiration to become a Middle East, Southeast Asia and Africa bank,” Chief Executive Officer Ali Al Kuwari said in an interview with Bloomberg TV at his office in Doha on Tuesday. “The business environment in Southeast Asia is great for us.” QNB, as the bank is known, is turning its Singapore operation into an Asian hub, adding staff there and introducing Islamic finance products, along with boosting its presence in India, Indonesia, Vietnam and Myanmar, and opening its first branch in Saudi Arabia this year. While the bank isn’t actively pursuing a large acquisition at the moment, it will make use of opportunities as long as they fit the lender’s strategy, Al Kuwari said."



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Saudi Aramco Picks Moelis to Advise on Biggest IPO - Bloomberg

Saudi Aramco Picks Moelis to Advise on Biggest IPO - Bloomberg:

"Saudi Arabian Oil Co. hired Moelis & Co. to advise on its initial public offering, according to a person familiar with the matter, as it pushes ahead with plans to pursue the world’s biggest share sale.

The New York-based boutique investment bank had been shortlisted as a potential adviser for the deal, people familiar with the matter said last month. Aramco, as the company is known, was seeking an adviser to help it select underwriting banks for the sale, make decisions on potential listing venues and ensure the IPO goes smoothly, the people said at the time.

A representative for Moelis declined to comment. Aramco’s press office in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment outside business hours. The Financial Times previously reported that Moelis won an advisory role on Saudi Aramco’s IPO."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Qatar's Barwa leaps on Q4 earnings, Saudi drops as oil slides | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Qatar's Barwa leaps on Q4 earnings, Saudi drops as oil slides | Reuters:

"Shares in a Qatari property developer jumped in early trade on Wednesday after it swung to a quarterly profit, while Saudi Arabia's market pulled back following a fall in crude oil prices.

Barwa Real Estate surged 6.9 percent after posting a net profit of 108 million riyals ($29.7 million) in the three months to Dec. 31 versus a loss of 518 million riyals a year earlier. The board recommended a 2016 cash dividend of 2.5 riyals per share, higher than the 2.2 riyals proposed for 2015.

United Development, however, dropped 2.4 percent after the board recommended a dividend for the full year of 1.25 riyals, lower than 1.5 riyals for 2015. The developer reported a fourth-quarter net profit of 171.4 million riyals, an 81 percent jump from the prior-year period."



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