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Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Exclusive: Iran's biggest cargo line looks at London IPO; thwarted so far - sources | Reuters

Exclusive: Iran's biggest cargo line looks at London IPO; thwarted so far - sources | Reuters:

"Iran's top cargo shipping company has held meetings in London to discuss a possible listing on the London Stock Exchange, but has so far been thwarted by U.S. sanctions that still scare banks off Iranian business, four Iranian and two Western sources said. Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) was removed from international sanctions blacklists last year and after years of isolation aims to raise funds to modernize its fleet. It has already placed an order for new ships estimated to be worth $626 million. A flotation on the LSE would make it the first Iranian company to list on Britain's main exchange since the Islamic revolution in 1979."



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Saudi Arabia Says It Has Reversed a Third of Its Production Cuts - Bloomberg

Saudi Arabia Says It Has Reversed a Third of Its Production Cuts - Bloomberg:

"Saudi Arabia told OPEC it raised output back above 10 million barrels a day in February, reversing about a third of the cuts it made the previous month. The most important business stories of the day.

The kingdom, which had curbed supplies more than it needed in January to lead the way in an accord to re-balance world markets, boosted production by 263,300 barrels a day to 10.011 million a day, according to a monthly report from OPEC on Tuesday. Still, the country placed extra crude into storage at domestic refineries and terminals rather than sending it to international markets, according to a person familiar with policy.

Even after the increase, Saudi Arabia’s data show it’s cutting output more than required under the terms of OPEC’s Nov. 30 agreement. Nevertheless, Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih warned last week that the kingdom won’t indefinitely “bear the burden of free riders.” Russia, Iraq and the United Arab Emirates are yet to deliver all the curbs they promised."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf mixed; Shuaa pulls down Dubai, bond issue buoys Kuwait | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf mixed; Shuaa pulls down Dubai, bond issue buoys Kuwait | Reuters:

"Gulf stock markets were mixed on Tuesday with a retreat by Shuaa Capital helping to dampen Dubai while the success of the Kuwait government's debut international bond issue buoyed that market. The Dubai index fell 0.9 percent as Shuaa dropped 4.2 percent. It had risen more than 18 percent to a seven-year high in the previous two days on speculation that it might merge with Bahrain's GFH Financial. During late trade on Tuesday, GFH confirmed that speculation, saying it had been discussing potential acquisitions of mergers with several financial institutions including Shuaa, and that no final decision had been made yet."



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5 things to watch as oil prices fall

5 things to watch as oil prices fall:

"Oil prices have fallen almost 10 per cent in the past week to their lowest level since Opec agreed to cut output in November.

Here are five factors contributing to the renewed bout of selling that could dictate whether Brent crude can hold above $50 a barrel."



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Pressure building on Bahrain and Oman currency pegs – Moody’s

Pressure building on Bahrain and Oman currency pegs – Moody’s:

"Pressure is building on the currency pegs of states Bahrain and Oman, the Gulf states with the weakest external balance of payments, ratings agency Moody’s said in new research issued on Tuesday. While most Gulf Cooperation Countries have favourable net asset positions that can withstand pressure on their external positions, Moody’s said Bahrain has low foreign exchange reserves while Oman has a large current account deficit. Saudi Arabia also faces some of these pressures, but Moody’s believes it can rely on low debt and large forex reserves of 82 per cent of gross domestic product – though they have fallen by almost $200bn since end-2014 to $526bn at the end of 2016."



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OPEC's Best Signal of Success No Longer Looks So Promising - Bloomberg

OPEC's Best Signal of Success No Longer Looks So Promising - Bloomberg:

"When OPEC announced production cuts last year, the most reliable indicator of oil-market supply started signaling a shortage ahead. Now it’s pointing the other way. In the weeks after OPEC’s Nov. 30 agreement, shorter-term oil prices began to strengthen versus longer-term contracts amid expectations the group’s output cuts would cause a shortfall this year. That trend is reversing on growing concern the curbs aren’t enough to clear the surplus in world oil inventories. Oil prices have slumped below $50 a barrel for the first time this year as record crude stockpiles and rebounding production in the U.S. suggest that the curbs by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russia aren’t working fast enough."



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Qatar exchange awaiting shareholder approval for IPO: CEO | Reuters

Qatar exchange awaiting shareholder approval for IPO: CEO | Reuters:

"The Qatar Stock Exchange is awaiting the approval of its shareholders to conduct an initial public offer of its own shares, the exchange's chief executive Rashid Ali al-Mansoori told reporters on Tuesday. He did not give a time frame for the IPO. The exchange is owned by Qatar Holding, the investment arm of the country's sovereign wealth fund Qatar Investment Authority; in 2013, Qatar Holding bought out NYSE Euronext's 12 percent stake. Dubai Financial Market DFM.DU is currently the only listed Gulf stock exchange. Its shares are listed in Dubai."



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UPDATE 1-Profit of UAE airlines will likely fall this year: IATA | Reuters

UPDATE 1-Profit of UAE airlines will likely fall this year: IATA | Reuters:

"The profitability of airlines in the United Arab Emirates, one of the Middle East's two big aviation hubs, is expected to fall this year, the director-general of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) told reporters on Tuesday.

"The UAE carriers will have a year that is probably below 2016," IATA Director General and Chief Executive Alexandre de Juniac told reporters in Abu Dhabi, adding that low-cost, long-haul service could also soon start to take hold in the region.

IATA previously said Middle East airlines are likely to see profits fall to $300 million in 2017 from $900 million last year in part due to high capacity and limited demand growth. It did not elaborate."



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Bahrain's GFH says it may merge with Dubai's Shuaa Capital, others | Reuters

Bahrain's GFH says it may merge with Dubai's Shuaa Capital, others | Reuters:

"Bahrain's GFH Financial Group may merge with Dubai-based Shuaa Capital, GFH said on Tuesday, confirming market speculation that sent both companies' share prices surging this week.

"GFH has been in discussion with several financial institutions, including Shuaa Capital, for potential majority shares acquisitions of those financial institutions and/or mergers," GFH said in a statement to the Bahrain bourse, without disclosing further details.

A spokesman for Shuaa declined to comment."



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UPDATE 1-Qatargas agrees to double LNG supplies to Poland | Reuters

UPDATE 1-Qatargas agrees to double LNG supplies to Poland | Reuters:

"State-owned Qatargas has agreed to double volumes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) it supplies to Poland's gas firm PGNiG to 2 million tonnes per year at a price that may have positive impact on PGNiG's bottom line, the companies said. The agreement comes as Poland is struggling to reduce its reliance on supplies of Russian gas, while a deepening global gas glut offers opportunities to bring in cheap LNG from Qatar and elsewhere. For Qatar, which faces competition from Australian and U.S. producers, supply deals into Europe offer a valuable option as Asia's gas-consuming economies rein in new deals in light of a growing supply overhang."



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Saudi receives interest from GCC firms keen to list on its SME market | Reuters

Saudi receives interest from GCC firms keen to list on its SME market | Reuters:

"Saudi Arabia's Capital Market Authority (CMA) has received enquiries from companies from the Gulf Cooperation Council considering listing on its new parallel market, Nomu, a senior executive said on Tuesday. The companies were in the process of appointing advisers to support their potential listings, said Yarub Awadh Albadi, head of CMA's initial public offering unit. The Nomu market, which launched on Feb. 26, is designed for small and medium sized businesses, requiring a market value of at least 10 million riyals ($2.67 million), minimum shareholder size of 35-50 shareholders, and an offering of at least 20 percent of its shares."



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Inside Billionaire Olayan Family's Plans for IPO - Bloomberg

Inside Billionaire Olayan Family's Plans for IPO - Bloomberg:

"Saudi Arabia’s billionaire Olayan family, Credit Suisse Group AG’s largest shareholder, is considering selling shares in some of its local assets, according to a company spokesman. Bloomberg's Matthew Martin reports on "Bloomberg Markets: Middle East." (Source: Bloomberg)"



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Kuwait Pledges Prudent Borrowing After $8 Billion Debut Sale - Bloomberg

Kuwait Pledges Prudent Borrowing After $8 Billion Debut Sale - Bloomberg:

"Kuwait will be a “prudent” borrower after raising $8 billion in its first international bond sale at a lower price than other oil-rich Gulf Arab states seeking to plug budget deficits, a top government official said.

The OPEC member sold $3.5 billion in five-year notes at 75 basis points over similar-maturity U.S. Treasuries and $4.5 billion in 10-year bonds at a 100 basis-point spread, according to a person familiar with the deal who spoke on condition of anonymity. The offer attracted about $29 billion in bids, the person said, allowing Kuwait to sell at a lower rate than Qatar, Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia offered last year, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

“We had strong demand from the U.S., strong demand from MENA, strong demand from Europe,” deputy Prime Minister Anas al-Saleh said in a phone interview late on Monday from London. “We will continue to be a rational, prudent borrower, making sure that we maintain our current credit rating and the successful secondary performance of the existing issue.”"



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf weak in early trade, Shuaa retreats in Dubai | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf weak in early trade, Shuaa retreats in Dubai | Reuters:

"Gulf stock markets were generally weak in early trade on Tuesday on concern about weaker oil prices and the prospect of multiple possible U.S. interest rate hikes this year. A retreat by Shuaa Capital dampened Dubai. The Dubai index fell 1.1 percent as Shuaa dropped 3.2 percent. It had risen more than 18 percent to a 7-year high in the previous two days after local news provider MEED quoted Shuaa chairman Jassim Alseddiqi as saying it was in talks with a larger regional financial institution over a potential share-swap merger in a deal that could be worth billions of dirhams. GFH Financial, which jumped 7 percent on Monday because some investors think it could be the merger partner, was flat in heavy trade. GFH has growing financial ties with Abu Dhabi Financial Group, Shuaa's main shareholder."



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