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Thursday, 23 February 2017

Aramco IPO could push other Gulf states to list oil assets: economist | Reuters

Aramco IPO could push other Gulf states to list oil assets: economist | Reuters:

"Saudi Aramco's initial public offering (IPO) could encourage other Gulf countries to list their oil assets, a leading regional economist said, but the oil giant must clear uncertainties over taxation, OPEC policy and ownership of crude.

Nasser Saidi, a former economy minister of Lebanon, told Dubai Eye Radio in an interview broadcast on Wednesday that Aramco has to address how the company will separate its assets and liabilities from those of the state.

"Many countries could follow in the region. (The) UAE I think could potentially be attracted to this," Saidi said."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Transaction tax plan hits Egyptian stocks; banks drag on most Gulf markets | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Transaction tax plan hits Egyptian stocks; banks drag on most Gulf markets | Reuters:

"Cairo's main stock index retreated on Thursday after Reuters reported the finance ministry would recommend a tax on stock exchange transactions.

In Gulf markets, banks were a drag on most bourses as minutes from a U.S. Federal Reserve meeting showed little support for a March rate rise.

Gulf currencies are pegged to the U.S. dollar, so policy rates in the region would follow any move by the Fed, which would boost banks' margins."



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Credit Suisse to Commit $600 Million for Saudi Expansion - Bloomberg

Credit Suisse to Commit $600 Million for Saudi Expansion - Bloomberg:

"Credit Suisse Group AG, the Swiss lender seeking a banking license in Saudi Arabia, has allocated about $600 million of its own capital to expand its business in the kingdom, according to people familiar with the matter. The Zurich-based bank, which has a securities and equities business in the country, plans to use the capital to, among other things, offer investors Lombard loans, which are backed by liquid assets such as stocks, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. Such loans could help facilitate trading in local equities, they said. International banks are seeking to expand their operations in the kingdom as it embarks on an unprecedented economic shakeup under Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is seeking to reduce its reliance on oil after a plunge in prices that started in 2014. Iqbal Khan, head of the Credit Suisse’s international wealth-management business, said in an interview last year that the bank was in talks with the Saudi central bank for an onshore license."



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UAE hotels drop room rates in January | GulfNews.com

UAE hotels drop room rates in January | GulfNews.com:

"Hotels in Abu Dhabi and Dubai posted a subdued performance in January 2017 compared to a year earlier, with the overall average daily rates (ADR) dropping by 8 per cent, according to the latest data. “Abu Dhabi reported a 1.5 per cent decline and Dubai posted nearly flat performance,” said market research firm STR on Thursday. Smaller markets outside the city centres, however, were doing well in the beginning of the year."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Bank shares main drag on Gulf bourses on Fed minutes, range-bound oil | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Bank shares main drag on Gulf bourses on Fed minutes, range-bound oil | Reuters:

"Bank shares were the main drag on most stock markets in the Gulf on Thursday on a lack of direction from the minutes of a U.S. Federal Reserve meeting that showed little support for a March rate rise and as oil traded in a range around $56.40 a barrel.

Saudi Arabia's index edged 0.3 percent lower after an hour of trade with half of the listed lenders declining. Saudi British Bank lost 1.3 percent and National Commercial Bank fell 0.7 percent.

Bank sector analysts expect a rising interest rate environment in 2017 would bode well for lenders in the region, boosting their net interest margins, although lower rates and easing liquidity concerns may encourage the private sector to borrow more."



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