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Thursday, 16 March 2017

Kuwait hastens GCC market's evolution | Reuters

Kuwait hastens GCC market's evolution | Reuters:

"Bond market debutant Kuwait overcame growing fears about higher Treasury yields to sell the biggest EM sovereign deal this year, marking another big step in the Gulf region's evolution into a fully-fledged market.

Kuwait was the only Gulf sovereign - bar some of the smaller emirates that make up the UAE - not to have issued in the international markets. But all that changed on Monday when it raised US$8bn through a dual-tranche offering of five and 10-year notes.

It means that each of the region's sovereigns has an established liquid benchmark curve. "The Gulf is a serious market now," said one banker close to the Kuwait deal. "Everyone has set up DMOs or departments that manage debt. The region is allocating time, effort and people.""



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UPDATE 1-Banks in stand-off with Etisalat Nigeria over problem loan | Reuters

UPDATE 1-Banks in stand-off with Etisalat Nigeria over problem loan | Reuters:

"Nigerian banks have opposed a proposal by Etisalat Nigeria to convert part of a $1.2 billion loan from dollars into naira and want Abu Dhabi telecoms group Etisalat and its other shareholders to recapitalise it instead, a source said. A banker with knowledge of the negotiations told Reuters that the seven-year syndicated loan, on which Etisalat Nigeria missed a payment, has a dollar portion of $235 million which the telecoms operator wants to convert into naira to overcome hard currency shortages on Nigeria's interbank market. "Etisalat is asking for us to convert the dollar component to naira but banks don't want that option and have told them to talk to their parent to settle the loan," the source said, adding that regulators favoured the conversion."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Region surges on Fed but Gulf lags emerging markets | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Region surges on Fed but Gulf lags emerging markets | Reuters:

"Middle Eastern stock markets rose on Thursday, led by Egypt, after the U.S. Federal Reserve hiked interest rates as expected but signalled no acceleration in the pace of monetary tightening. But Gulf bourses lagged emerging markets in general because of concern that low oil prices and government austerity measures will continue to weigh on corporate earnings. Among planned austerity, the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council plans to introduce a 5 percent value-added tax in 2018. The Saudi stock index rose 1.3 percent, while Dubai was up 1.2 percent and Qatar added 0.7 percent. MSCI's emerging market index surged 2.0 percent."



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Peak oil on the horizon | Markets

Trump backs plan to boost Saudi investment in the US

Trump backs plan to boost Saudi investment in the US:

"Donald Trump has backed a plan to boost Saudi Arabian investment in the US, with the White House on Wednesday touting an initiative it said could potentially provide more than $200bn for infrastructure and other sectors.

The announcement of a “US-Saudi programme” comes after the US president on Tuesday hosted a private lunch for Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s deputy crown prince — a meeting Riyadh hailed as a “historical turning point” in its relations with Washington.

The White House said Mr Trump had expressed support for the new programme that would see “unique initiatives in energy, industry, infrastructure and technology worth potentially more than $200bn in direct and indirect investments within the next four years.”"



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Dubai investment bank Shuaa confirms merger talks with Bahrain’s GFH | The National

Dubai investment bank Shuaa confirms merger talks with Bahrain’s GFH | The National:

"Dubai’s Shuaa Capital has confimed it has held discussions with GFH with a view to the Bahraini investment group acquiring a majority stake in its business. Shuaa’s shares jumped over 2 per cent on the news in early trading. GFH shares, also listed on the Dubai Financial Market, climbed too. GFH said on Tuesday that it had held discussions with a number of companies, including Shuaa Capital, with a view to acquiring majority stakes."



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Saudi Investment-Bank Fee Bonanza Will Come to Those Who Wait - Bloomberg

Saudi Investment-Bank Fee Bonanza Will Come to Those Who Wait - Bloomberg:

"Saudi Arabia and its ambitious reform plans are the focus of all the hype in Middle Eastern financial circles these days, but it’s still in the United Arab Emirates where banks are earning most of their money. Investment banking fees paid to lenders in the U.A.E. were 45 percent higher than in the kingdom last year, according to New York-based research firm Freeman & Co. Saudi Arabia has trailed the U.A.E. for fees earned from merger and acquisitions, equity capital market and financing deals since 2011, and is off to a slower start this year, according to the data. Global banks are investing in Saudi Arabia in preparation for an expected fee bonanza. As part of efforts to repair state finances damaged by a slump in oil prices, the kingdom plans to create the world’s largest sovereign fund and sell hundreds of state assets, including Saudi Arabian Oil Co. The IPO could value the company at $2 trillion and generate millions of dollars in fees, but banks may have to wait before their investments pay off."



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Oman Investment Fund about to close $600 mln loan for Omantel buy -sources | Reuters

Oman Investment Fund about to close $600 mln loan for Omantel buy -sources | Reuters:

"Omani sovereign wealth fund Oman Investment Fund is about to complete syndication of a $600 million loan needed for the acquisition of the ministry of finance’s shares in Oman Telecommunications Co (Omantel), sources familiar with the situation said on Thursday.

The $600 million, five-year loan offers lenders a margin of 230 basis points over the London Interbank Offered Rate plus bank fees starting at 60 bps over Libor for the highest level of banks’ participation, the sources said.

Oman Investment Fund did not respond to an emailed request for comment.

"



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Iran's Natural Gas Rush Won't Bring Export Riches -- For Now - Bloomberg

Iran's Natural Gas Rush Won't Bring Export Riches -- For Now - Bloomberg:

"Iran is on track to out-produce Qatar, the world’s biggest LNG exporter, at the vast natural gas deposit they share in the Persian Gulf. But as much as they might want, the Iranians won’t have much gas to export because they are likely to use most of the new production themselves.

1. How much natural gas does Iran export?

Almost nothing. Iran has 18.2 percent of proven gas reserves, ahead of Russia and Qatar, according to the BP Statistical Review of World Energy. Unlike its competitors, which have built far-flung pipelines and liquefied natural gas plants to reach foreign buyers, Iran exported 8.4 billion cubic meters (300 billion cubic feet) in 2015 while importing 7.5 billion cubic meters the same year. Until recently, it was a net importer, buying or bartering for gas from Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan because its domestic distribution network doesn’t supply the entire country. Iran exports less gas by pipeline than Myanmar or Kazakhstan, which together hold less than 1 percent of global reserves.

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China, Saudi Arabia eye $65 billion in deals as king visits | Reuters

China, Saudi Arabia eye $65 billion in deals as king visits | Reuters:

"Saudi Arabia's King Salman oversaw the signing of deals worth potentially $65 billion as he began a visit to Beijing on Thursday, as the world's largest oil producer looks to cement ties with the world's second-largest economy. The octogenarian monarch, who has overseen the launch of an ambitious economic reform plan since his accession two years ago, is on a month-long Asian tour. The visits to countries that are some of world's fastest growing importers of Saudi oil aim to promote investment opportunities in the kingdom, including the sale of a stake in its giant state firm Saudi Aramco."



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Saudi Arabia, Three Gulf Central Banks Raise Rates After Fed - Bloomberg

Saudi Arabia, Three Gulf Central Banks Raise Rates After Fed - Bloomberg:

"The central banks of four Gulf Arab oil-exporting countries followed the U.S. Federal Reserve by raising key interest rates on Wednesday, reaffirming their commitment to the dollar peg even as economic growth slows. The Saudi central bank raised the reverse repo rate by a quarter percentage point to 1 percent while leaving the official repurchase rate unchanged at 2 percent. Policy makers in the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Bahrain also raised their key policy rates by 25 basis points. The monarchies have pegged their currencies to the dollar for decades due to their reliance on oil exports, and typically follow the Fed’s moves. They last raised rates in December. On Wednesday, the Fed continued to project two more increases this year, signaling more vigilance as inflation approaches its target. The prospects of higher U.S. rates has bolstered the dollar in recent months."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf rises after Fed hike but lags emerging markets | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf rises after Fed hike but lags emerging markets | Reuters:

"Most stock markets in the Gulf rose in early trade on Thursday after the U.S. Federal Reserve hiked interest rates as expected but signalled no acceleration in the pace of monetary tightening.

However, the Gulf lagged other emerging markets around the world because of concern that low oil prices and government austerity measures will continue to weigh on corporate earnings. Among planned austerity steps, the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council plans to introduce a 5 percent value-added tax in 2018.

The Saudi stock index rose 0.8 percent in its first 20 minutes of trade, while Dubai was up 1.3 percent and Qatar added 1.0 percent. MSCI's emerging market index climbed 1.7 percent.

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