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Thursday, 2 March 2017

Emirates rejects Lufthansa, Air France-KLM claims in letter to EU | Reuters

Emirates rejects Lufthansa, Air France-KLM claims in letter to EU | Reuters:

"Emirates [EMIRA.UL] has rejected claims by Lufthansa and Air France-KLM in a letter to the EU that competition from Gulf airlines had forced them to terminate services to Asia. The letter from the CEOs of the French and German carriers this week asked the European Union executive to act over what they say are unfair practices by the Gulf airlines that have caused them to scrap flights to destinations in the Middle East, Asia and India. "It is baffling why two of the largest legacy airlines in Europe are alleging that Gulf carriers have caused them to contract their Asian services when the opposite is true," an Emirates spokeswoman said."



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Middle East's Largest Aluminum Producer Is Considering an IPO - Bloomberg

Middle East's Largest Aluminum Producer Is Considering an IPO - Bloomberg:

"Emirates Global Aluminium, the largest aluminum producer in the Middle East, is preparing to sell shares amid a comeback in commodities prices, according to people familiar with the matter. The United Arab Emirates-based company is seeking advisers for a potential initial public offering on the local stock exchange as early as this year, the people said, asking not to be named as the details aren’t public. The UAE agreed to merge its two flagship state aluminum firms in 2013 to create EGA, with an enterprise value of about $15 billion. A representative for Emirates Global Aluminium, which is jointly owned by Abu Dhabi’s sovereign fund Mubadala Investment Co. and the Investment Corp. of Dubai, declined to comment. No final decisions have been made, and the firm may decide to delay an IPO or not to list, the people said."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Gradual tax plan boosts Egypt, ex-dividend shares hit Dubai | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gradual tax plan boosts Egypt, ex-dividend shares hit Dubai | Reuters:

"Egypt's stock market rose sharply on Thursday after the finance minister said he would propose only a gradual introduction of a stamp duty on transactions, while stocks going ex-dividend dragged down Dubai. The Egyptian index climbed 2.6 percent as blue chip Global Telecom jumped 7.6 percent. Amr al-Garhy told Reuters on Wednesday that he would propose a duty starting at 1.25 Egyptian pounds ($0.08) per 1,000 to the government next week, rising to 1.5 pounds in the second year of implementation and 1.75 pounds in the third."



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Exxon's New CEO Shifts Investments to Quick-Earning Shale Oil - Bloomberg

Exxon's New CEO Shifts Investments to Quick-Earning Shale Oil - Bloomberg:

"Exxon Mobil Corp. is trading in long-term projects that pump oil over decades for U.S. shale drilling that can be switched on or off as crude prices change.

Long a world leader in multi-billion dollar oil and natural gas developments that take years to build and even longer to profit, Exxon is diverting about one-third of its drilling budget this year to shale fields that will deliver cash flow in as little as three years, said Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Darren Woods."



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Carillion venture chosen as main contractor for $600 mln Dubai Expo project | Reuters

Carillion venture chosen as main contractor for $600 mln Dubai Expo project | Reuters:

"Al Futtaim Carillion, a venture partly owned by London-listed Carillion Plc, has been chosen as the main contractor for a $600 million project as Dubai prepares to host the 2020 World Expo, the Dubai government said on Thursday. The company will develop three districts of the Expo site that are expected to house as many as 136 pavilions for the world's fair. Al Futtaim Carillion is 51 percent owned by Dubai firm Al Futtaim and 49 percent by Carillion Construction Overseas Ltd, part of the Carillion group, according to the venture's website."



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Mediclinic and rivals press Abu Dhabi to rethink healthcare reform | Reuters

Mediclinic and rivals press Abu Dhabi to rethink healthcare reform | Reuters:

"International healthcare operator Mediclinic is lobbying the Abu Dhabi government to rethink a change in medical insurance rules that has damaged its business after it bet big on acquiring Al Noor Hospitals, its regional CEO told Reuters. At least two other healthcare companies operating in Abu Dhabi are also in talks with authorities, seeking a reversal or amendment to the reform that reduces state insurance coverage for citizens using private hospitals, according to two industry sources who declined to be named due to the sensitivity of the matter. Abu Dhabi has cut insurance coverage under its Thiqa plan to 80 percent from 100 percent, meaning patients have to pay 20 percent of bills if they seek treatment at private hospitals."



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MIDEAST DEBT-Oman gains breathing space with jumbo $5 billion bond sale | Reuters

MIDEAST DEBT-Oman gains breathing space with jumbo $5 billion bond sale | Reuters:

"Oman's government has given itself breathing space from the pressure of financing a large budget deficit by selling $5 billion of international bonds, almost completing its entire foreign borrowing plan for 2017 in a single issue.

Wednesday's bond sale, in tranches of five, 10 and 30 years, was about double the size that most investors had expected and a huge amount for a country which returned to the international bond market in 2016 after an absence of two decades.

Order books for the issue totalled $20 billion, bankers said, showing that though Oman is among the financially weakest oil exporters in the Gulf, it can for now count on strong international demand for its high-yielding debt."



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Saudi Data Show Economy Struggling as Lending Growth Slumps - Bloomberg

Saudi Data Show Economy Struggling as Lending Growth Slumps - Bloomberg:

"Data released this week by the Saudi central bank show how the economy is still struggling to gain momentum amid low oil prices.

The International Monetary Fund in January slashed its forecast for Saudi economic growth this year to 0.4 percent from 2 percent. The government says gross domestic product will likely expand by more than 1 percent. The following four charts illustrate key takeaways from the central bank’s data for January:"



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Help Wanted in Saudi Arabia: Savvy Investors - Bloomberg

Help Wanted in Saudi Arabia: Savvy Investors - Bloomberg:

"Yasir Alrumayyan has gotten the ear of some of the world’s most successful investors. In closed-door meetings with Blackstone Group LP co-founder Stephen Schwarzman, Carlyle Group LP’s David Rubenstein, and others, the former investment banker in charge of building up Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) has been making a pitch: Help us build our investing expertise, and you can run money for us. A lot of it. The PIF has become part of Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s plan to wean Saudi Arabia off its reliance on oil and make it a financial powerhouse. Already it’s committed $45 billion to a new technology fund. It’s a high-stakes gamble for the 31-year-old prince. If the PIF’s team makes a misstep, the prince’s critics may question why he’s plowing revenue from oil into companies abroad rather than spending it at home. “Any failure of the new sovereign wealth fund would be used to return to the old privileges and structures,” says Jean-Francois Seznec, a political scientist and nonresident senior fellow at the Global Energy Center of the Atlantic Council. Prince Mohammed’s rivals could use it “to build a bigger coalition to have him sidelined.”"



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf mostly edges up, Dubai hit by ex-dividend stocks | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf mostly edges up, Dubai hit by ex-dividend stocks | Reuters:

"Most stock markets in the Gulf edged up early on Thursday because of a strong tone in global bourses, but Dubai's index was dragged down by two major stocks going ex-dividend.

Dubai sank 1.1 percent. Dubai Islamic Bank plunged 8.6 percent and GFH Financial slid 11.0 percent; both stocks went ex-dividend on Thursday. The scope of the falls was larger than normal for ex-dividend stocks and suggested a lack of institutional buying support.

However, falling stocks in Dubai only narrowly outnumbered gainers by 13 to 10."



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