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Monday, 20 March 2017

Hedge funds bet on renewed oil decline below $50 a barrel

Hedge funds bet on renewed oil decline below $50 a barrel:

"Hedge funds are unwinding a near billion-barrel speculative oil position at a record pace, slashing bets on rising prices and adding to wagers that the market could suffer a renewed slump below $50 a barrel. In the latest week funds reduced their net-long position — the difference between bets on rising and falling prices — by a combined 153m barrels across the two benchmark oil contracts, the biggest one week cut on record and the equivalent of selling almost two days of global crude demand. Oil slumped to a three-month low last week, with doubts rising about Opec’s ability to reduce a supply glut that has roiled the market since mid-2014."



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UAE hospital operator NMC Health to pursue Gulf expansion, debut bond | Reuters

UAE hospital operator NMC Health to pursue Gulf expansion, debut bond | Reuters:

"United Arab Emirates-based hospital operator NMC Health plans to expand in Gulf markets with a debut bond issue to fund acquisitions, its new chief executive said on Monday.

NMC is among the beneficiaries from substantial growth in the Gulf's healthcare sector as an increasingly wealthy population becomes more susceptible to lifestyle diseases such as diabetes and obesity.

The company's main focus since its London listing in 2012 has been its UAE home market, where it has both built and acquired hospitals, including last month's completion of the purchase of Al Zahra Hospital in Sharjah for $560 million."



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OPEC leans toward oil cut extension, but non-members need to be in: sources | Reuters

OPEC leans toward oil cut extension, but non-members need to be in: sources | Reuters:

"OPEC oil producers increasingly favor extending beyond June a pact on reducing crude supply to balance the market, sources within the group said, although Russia and other non-members need to remain part of the initiative. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries is curbing its output by about 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) from Jan. 1 for six months, the first reduction in eight years. Russia and other non-OPEC producers agreed to cut half as much. The deal has lifted oil prices LCOc1, but inventories in industrial nations are rising and higher returns have encouraged U.S. companies to pump more. A growing number of OPEC officials believe it may take longer than six months to reduce stocks."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Insurance, petchems dampen Saudi, Qatar rises as it completes FTSE upgrade | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Insurance, petchems dampen Saudi, Qatar rises as it completes FTSE upgrade | Reuters:

"Stock markets in the Middle East were mixed on Monday with petrochemicals and the insurance sector weighing on Saudi Arabia while Qatar rose as it completed its upgrade by index compiler FTSE Russell to secondary emerging market status. The Saudi index fell 0.5 percent with the main drag coming from the petrochemical sector as Brent oil futures fell further towards $51 a barrel. Saudi Kayan Petrochemical lost 1.9 percent. Most insurance shares, which had risen strongly on Sunday, retreated. Solidarity Saudi Takaful slumped 5.6 percent after the company said the regulator had suspended its right to issue health insurance policies because of regulatory violations; the firm did not describe those violations. "



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Saudi king's Asia tour trumpets Aramco's moves downstream | Reuters

Saudi king's Asia tour trumpets Aramco's moves downstream | Reuters:

"Saudi King Salman's lavish tour of Asia, arriving in each country on a golden escalator with 400 tonnes of luggage, had a hardnosed marketing mission - to cement the kingdom's place as leading oil supplier to the world's biggest consumer region. The string of deals inked on his three-week tour to Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan and China also point to a fresh strategy, one to increase Saudi leverage over refined product and petrochemical markets, known as the downstream sector. "Our strategy is about growth in the downstream," said Amin Nasser, chief executive officer of state oil company Aramco, told Reuters on Sunday. "The growth in that sector is very important, and anything integrated between refining, petrochemical, with marketing and distribution, is of interest to us.""



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Sovereign wealth funds move beyond trophy assets

Sovereign wealth funds move beyond trophy assets:

"Sovereign wealth funds are shifting away from luxury businesses, buying more hotels and increasing their allocations to private deals as they look to offset falling state revenue from lower oil prices, a report on their investment strategies has revealed.

Investment by national funds in trophy assets aimed at wealthy customers, including Tiffany, Porsche and LVMH, has fallen from $13bn in 2009 to just $1.4bn in 2015, according to the latest figures available for analysis by Madrid-based IE Business School.

By contrast, sovereign wealth funds increased their spending in the hotel sector from $500m in 2012 to $7bn in 2015. The number of direct investments — rather than through a fund — has also increased from 105 in 2012 to 178 in 2015."



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DP World profits benefit from purchases in UAE and abroad | The National

DP World profits benefit from purchases in UAE and abroad | The National:

"The ports operator DP World’s profit for 2016 on a reported basis jumped almost 30 per cent as acquisitions in the UAE and Canada boosted earnings. The Nasdaq Dubai-listed firm said profit attributable to owners of the company rose 27.6 per cent to US$1.12 billion thanks to a full-year contribution from Jebel Ali Free Zone and the firm’s terminal in Prince Rupert, Canada. On a like-for-like basis, profit attributable to owners of the company, was up a more modest 6.2 per cent, DP World said in a statement. However, consolidated throughput at its ports fell 1.6 per cent on a like-for-like basis to 29.24 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs)."



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Oil Prices Seen Stuck Below $60 This Year as High Stocks Persist - Bloomberg

Oil Prices Seen Stuck Below $60 This Year as High Stocks Persist - Bloomberg:

"An historic agreement between OPEC countries and other oil producers to reduce their output won’t be enough to nudge crude prices above $60 a barrel this year, according to energy lender Arab Petroleum Investment Corp. Consumer countries have built up large stockpiles of crude during nearly three years of low prices, and U.S. shale production is rebounding as prices have recovered since OPEC reached the production deal November. That means the process of balancing the market will take at least until the second half of this year, the company known as Apicorp said Monday in a report. The inability to balance the market in the first half of the year will mean the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries should extend the six-month deal, which took effect on Jan. 1, for the rest of the year, it said. OPEC meets in Vienna on May 25."



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Oil Drops as U.S. Drilling Growth Threatens to Counter OPEC Cuts - Bloomberg

Oil Drops as U.S. Drilling Growth Threatens to Counter OPEC Cuts - Bloomberg:

"Oil fell as U.S. drilling continued to rise, undermining the potential for even an extended OPEC output-reduction deal to rebalance the market.

Futures lost as much as 1.6 percent in New York after gaining 0.6 percent last week. Producers added more oil rigs to U.S. fields, extending a drilling surge into a 10th month, Baker Hughes Inc. said on Friday. Saudi Arabia is ready to extend cuts if supplies stay above the five-year average, Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said in an interview on Bloomberg Television last week."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf moves little, insurers retreat in Saudi | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf moves little, insurers retreat in Saudi | Reuters:

"Qatar's stock market marginally outperformed Gulf peers in slow early trade on Monday as it completed its upgrade to FTSE Russell's secondary emerging market index, while Saudi Arabia lagged on profit-taking in the insurance sector. In Qatar, the second phase of the FTSE upgrade took effect from the opening, with 20 of the 22 companies selected in September 2016 seeing their investibility weights doubled. Stocks in this group were mixed, with Commercial Bank adding 0.9 percent but Qatar Navigation down 0.9 percent. Many investors tried to front-run the passive funds brought in over the past few days by the upgrade."



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