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Thursday, 9 February 2017

Dubai non-oil growth fastest since 2015 | GulfNews.com

Dubai non-oil growth fastest since 2015 | GulfNews.com:

"Dubai’s non-oil private sector economic activity signalled strong growth in January according to the Emirates NBD Dubai Economy Tracker Index (DET).
January data showed the DET rose to 57.1 from 55.9 in December, the highest reading since February 2015. Business activity expanded at a faster pace across the whole of Dubai while new work growth was the fastest since March 2015.
“As we have noted throughout 2016, the strong rise in activity and new orders volumes were driven partly by competitive pricing and promotional activity, and this appeared to be the case again in January,” said Khatija Haque, Head of Mena Research at Emirates NBD."



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Trump Promises Airlines Help in Feud Over Foreign Carriers’ Aid - Bloomberg

Trump Promises Airlines Help in Feud Over Foreign Carriers’ Aid - Bloomberg:

"President Donald Trump told U.S. airlines he would help them compete with foreign carriers that he said are subsidized by their governments, a crucial signal of White House support for a long-running industry campaign that began in 2015. “You’ve got a lot of competition,” Trump said at a White House meeting Thursday with the nation’s largest airlines, air freight companies and airports. “A lot of that competition is subsidized by governments, big league.”"



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An Energy Giant Bigger Than Exxon in the Shadow of Saudi Aramco - Bloomberg

An Energy Giant Bigger Than Exxon in the Shadow of Saudi Aramco - Bloomberg:

"Qatar Petroleum is the hidden giant of the global energy industry, overshadowed by its neighbor Saudi Aramco. Yet, the country’s colossal natural gas resources allow the state-run company to pump more oil and gas than Rosneft PJSC or Exxon Mobil Corp. After almost two decades of breakneck growth, the company needs to change tack. QP plans to expand abroad as domestic crude output declines and the government bars new drilling in the offshore North Field, home to the gas that made Qatar the world’s leading supplier of liquefied natural gas. QP will have no problem paying for overseas expansion. Qatar’s energy minister, Mohammed Al Sada, said this week that almost all the country’s domestic LNG terminals have been paid for. And despite a near-term glut, he said the commodity will be in short supply by 2021."



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Saudi Fund Said to Weigh Offering Billions for Buyout Expertise - Bloomberg

Saudi Fund Said to Weigh Offering Billions for Buyout Expertise - Bloomberg:

"Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund has discussed investing billions of dollars in global buyout funds as the kingdom seeks private equity’s help to manage its portfolio of companies at home, according to people familiar with the matter.

The Public Investment Fund -- with more than $100 billion worth of shares in listed local companies including Saudi Basic Industries Corp. and Saudi Telecom Co. -- has informally reached out to some of the world’s leading private equity firms to secure know-how and expertise to help improve these businesses, the people said, asking not to be identified as the deliberations are private.

Arrangements could include the buyout firms overseeing some of PIF’s portfolio companies for a fee, providing operating partners or taking minority stakes in individual companies, the people said. Talks about the potential partnerships are at a preliminary stage, and the wealth fund may elect not to proceed with any such ideas, they said."



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COLUMN-OPEC supply surge has left oil market nursing a hangover: Kemp | Reuters

COLUMN-OPEC supply surge has left oil market nursing a hangover: Kemp | Reuters:

"OPEC members have reportedly achieved a high level of compliance with the production cuts announced in November but their efforts to ramp up output ahead of the accord have left the market with a nasty hangover from 2016. Compliance has been estimated at between 80 percent and 100 percent by the major reporting agencies, as deeper cuts by Saudi Arabia and some of its allies make up for poorer compliance by other members. OPEC delivered 82 percent of its promised cut of 1.17 million barrels per day in January according to Reuters, but as much as 98 percent according to Argus (http:/tmsnrt.rs/2k7eIIy)."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-UAE hit by poor Q4 earnings, Kuwait retreats in volatile trade | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-UAE hit by poor Q4 earnings, Kuwait retreats in volatile trade | Reuters:

"Poor fourth-quarter earnings from two United Arab Emirates companies weighed on stock markets there on Thursday while Kuwait pulled back in another day of volatile trade.

Dubai's index fell 1.2 percent to 3,683 points, retreating from major technical resistance at 3,737-38 points, the peaks in January.

Air Arabia slumped 8.6 percent in unusually heavy trade after it made a net loss attributable to owners of 38.6 million dirhams ($10.5 million) versus a net profit of 55.9 million dirhams in the prior-year period.

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Saudi Sovereign Fund Considers Stake in Six Flags - Bloomberg

Saudi Sovereign Fund Considers Stake in Six Flags - Bloomberg:

"Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, which is being transformed into a $2 trillion investment giant, is considering buying a stake in U.S. theme park operator Six Flags Entertainment Corp., people familiar with the matter said.

The PIF, as the sovereign wealth fund is known, is holding early deliberations about the potential investment after the kingdom started negotiations to let the Texas-based company open its first attractions in the country, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the talks are private. An agreement hasn’t been reached and the informal discussions may not result in a deal, they said.

Shares of Six Flags climbed 1.7 percent to $60.84 as of 1:53 p.m. on Wednesday in New York, giving the company a market value of about $5.6 billion. The stock climbed 24 percent in the 12 months through Tuesday.

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Kuwait’s Stock Exchange to Modernize in Bid to Lure Investors - Bloomberg

Kuwait’s Stock Exchange to Modernize in Bid to Lure Investors - Bloomberg:

"Kuwait’s stock exchange is increasing its efforts to attract investors by reforming its trading infrastructure and introducing products such as stock options and futures.

Boursa Kuwait, as the stock exchange is known, is currently working with the local capital markets authority and settlement and clearing bodies to revamp its infrastructure, it said in an e-mail response to questions from Bloomberg News. It may introduce a new process regarding settlement cycles, clearing methods and trade-settlement issues that arise from failures, it said, without giving a timeline."



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UPDATE 1-Oil major Total says final Iran project investment decision depends on renewal of U.S. waivers | Reuters

UPDATE 1-Oil major Total says final Iran project investment decision depends on renewal of U.S. waivers | Reuters:

"French oil major Total plans to make a final investment decision on a $2 billion gas project in Iran by the summer, but the decision hinges on the renewal of U.S. sanctions waivers, the company's chief executive said on Thursday. Total was the first Western energy company to sign a major deal with Tehran since the lifting of international sanctions against Iran. Its project aims to develop South Pars 11, which is part of the world's largest gas field. Chief Executive Patrick Pouyanne said South Pars 11 will be among a couple of projects to be approved by the company to start by the summer, if nothing is modified with regards to the sanctions."



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Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah in talks with banks for dollar bond -sources | Reuters

Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah in talks with banks for dollar bond -sources | Reuters:

"The emirate of Ras Al Khaimah is in talks with banks about a U.S. dollar bond sale, though it has not yet sent an official request for proposals and there is no indication so far on the timing of any issue, banking sources familiar with the matter said on Thursday. Standard & Poor's last month affirmed its A long-term credit rating for the emirate, one of the seven which make up the United Arab Emirates – a move which supported the sovereign’s fund-raising targets, one of the sources noted. Ras Al Khaimah issued its latest international bond in 2015, when it borrowed $1 billion through a 10-year sukuk issue with a profit rate of 3.094 percent. The sukuk, with an ijara structure, was arranged by Al Hilal Bank, Citi, JP Morgan and National Bank of Abu Dhabi. It was yielding 3.449 percent on Thursday. "



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UPDATE 2-UAE's Dana Gas freezes Egypt investments over debts | Reuters

UPDATE 2-UAE's Dana Gas freezes Egypt investments over debts | Reuters:

"Dana Gas will not make new investments in Egypt because of delays in obtaining payments owed to it there, the chief executive of the United Arab Emirates company said.

Political and economic turbulence in Egypt and Iraqi Kurdistan mean Dana has struggled to secure revenues in either country, once again hitting its profit on Thursday.

Dana posted a $7 million net profit in the three months to Dec. 31, versus $134 million in the same period of 2015 when it benefited from a one-off legal settlement. Shares in Dana fell 3.7 percent following the results."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Air Arabia, Dana Gas weigh on UAE, Saudi flat in early trade | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Air Arabia, Dana Gas weigh on UAE, Saudi flat in early trade | Reuters:

"Poor fourth-quarter earnings from two United Arab Emirates companies weighed on stock markets there in morning trade on Thursday while Saudi Arabia barely moved.

Dubai's index was pulled 0.7 percent lower as Air Arabia dropped 5.8 percent in unusually heavy trade after it made a net loss attributable to owners of 38.6 million dirhams ($10.5 million) versus a net profit of 55.9 million dirhams in the prior-year period.

Analysts at EFG Hermes and SICO Bahrain had forecast a net profit of 131.8 million dirhams and 127.9 million dirhams respectively. The board, citing difficult conditions in the regional aviation industry, recommended a cash dividend of 7 percent for 2016, down from 9 percent for 2015."



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