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Sunday, 26 March 2017

UAE federal budget shows surplus in first nine months of 2016 | The National

UAE federal budget shows surplus in first nine months of 2016 | The National:

"The rally in crude prices and a cut in government spending meant that the Federal budget surplus was Dh4.5 billion higher in the first nine months of last year compared to the same period in 2015. The surplus rose 130 per cent year-on-year during the period to almost Dh8bn compared to Dh3.48bn a year earlier, the Emirates News Agency (Wam) reported, according to its own analysis. Benchmark Brent crude rose 31 per cent to US$49 a barrel from $37.22 between January and the end of September 2016. "



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Nasdaq Dubai set to reinforce equity futures after robust progress | GulfNews.com

Nasdaq Dubai set to reinforce equity futures after robust progress | GulfNews.com:

"Nasdaq Dubai wants to reinforce equity futures after it witnessed strong growth, its chief executive officer said on Sunday.
Nasdaq Dubai plans to introduce futures in two names by the beginning of April, taking the total number of shares to 11 from the current nine.
“We are looking at Dubai Investment Company, and Dubai Financial Market contracts to go live in the first week of April,” Hamed Ali, chief executive officer of the bourse told Gulf News in an interview."



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Gulf Arab states push for UK free trade deal after Brexit: officials | Reuters

Gulf Arab states push for UK free trade deal after Brexit: officials | Reuters:

"Gulf Arab states are pressing for an early deal on free trade with Britain to secure preferential arrangements after Brexit, and could have a draft agreement ready within months, Gulf officials say.

Britain cannot formally sign trade agreements while it remains a member of the European Union, but the British government has said it is keen to start preparatory work so deals can be reached quickly after it leaves.

One of the first agreements could be with the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council, which includes Qatar and the two biggest Arab economies, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, as well as Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman, according to the officials. Trade between Britain and the GCC totals about 30 billion pounds ($37.5 billion) annually."



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Oil producers' compliance with deal at 94 percent: Russia | Reuters

Oil producers' compliance with deal at 94 percent: Russia | Reuters:

"Compliance with a deal to cut oil output is at 94 percent among OPEC and non-OPEC oil producers combined, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak told reporters on Sunday. Russia is committed to cuts of 300,000 barrels per day by the end of April, he added. Novak said he expects global oil stockpiles to decrease in the second quarter of this year."



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Goldman Sachs in Talks for Saudi Arabian Equities License - Bloomberg

Goldman Sachs in Talks for Saudi Arabian Equities License - Bloomberg:

"Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is in preliminary talks for an equities license in Saudi Arabia as the U.S. lender seeks to take advantage of the country’s economic reforms, according to people familiar with the matter.

The bank has yet to file a formal application, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private. While talks are ongoing, no final decisions have been made, the people said. The bank may also decide against going ahead with the submission, they said.

A Goldman Sachs representative declined to comment. Saudi Arabia’s Capital Markets Authority, which would approve the license, didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Markets mixed as Saudi fails to keep reform-related gains | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Markets mixed as Saudi fails to keep reform-related gains | Reuters:

"Middle East stock markets were mixed in mostly thin trade on Sunday, with Saudi Arabia giving up early gains triggered by progress in reforms that could help it to join MSCI's emerging market index. The Saudi index rose as much as 0.5 percent in early trade but closed 0.1 percent down in its thinnest volume since last September. The exchange said late on Thursday that it would extend the period for settling trades and introduce short-selling on April 23 in reforms demanded by MSCI. The reforms had been expected in the second quarter, but the date is positive because it gives MSCI time to evaluate their impact before deciding in June whether to put Riyadh on its review list."



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Frontier too far? Oil producers adjust to reduced hopes for Kurdistan

Frontier too far? Oil producers adjust to reduced hopes for Kurdistan:

"It was described by former BP chief executive Tony Hayward as the “one of the last great frontiers in the oil and gas industry”.

Back in 2011, when Mr Hayward made those remarks, the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region of Iraq was hailed as the energy sector’s new darling.

Excited tales about how Kurdistan was one of the cheapest places on earth to pump crude grabbed the attention of big energy groups such as ExxonMobil as well as small oil explorers including London-listed Genel Energy, which Mr Hayward chairs."



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De-risking takes toll on GCC institutions’ access to global banking system | GulfNews.com

De-risking takes toll on GCC institutions’ access to global banking system | GulfNews.com:

"Restrictions imposed by global financial institutions on smaller regional and local counterparts as part of reducing risks associated with anti-money laundering (AML) and combating financing of terrorism (CFT) are causing significant business losses to regional banks and money transfer companies. Global financial institutions are increasingly terminating or restricting correspondent banking relationships with remittance companies and smaller local banks in many regions of the world — a practice that is called “de-risking.” De-risking has been rampant in regions that are generally perceived to be high risk. Bankers say GCC region is perceived as ‘high risk’ because of the volatile political situation prevailing in the neighbouring countries and regions."



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Emaar Malls Bids for Dubai's Souq.com to Challenge Amazon - Bloomberg

Emaar Malls Bids for Dubai's Souq.com to Challenge Amazon - Bloomberg:

"Emaar Malls PJSC, the shopping-center unit of Dubai’s largest publicly-traded property developer, bid for online retailer Souq.com in a challenge to an offer made by Amazon.com Inc., according to people familiar with the matter.

The retail division of Emaar Properties PJSC, run by Mohamed Alabbar, offered about $800 million for Souq.com last week, which includes a convertible deposit of $500 million, one of the people said, asking not to be identified as the talks are private. Amazon has an exclusivity clause in its buyout talks for the online retailer, the person said.

A final agreement hasn’t been reached with any bidder, the people said. An Emaar spokesman declined to comment. A representative for Souq.com couldn’t immediately be reached for comment. Emaar’s bid was previously reported by Arabian Business."



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More Oil Producers Call to Roll Over Output Cuts Beyond June - Bloomberg

More Oil Producers Call to Roll Over Output Cuts Beyond June - Bloomberg:

"Venezuela, Iraq and Oman added their support for a possible extension of global oil-production cuts beyond June as momentum builds among OPEC members and other crude producers to prolong the strategy to re-balance the market and prop up prices. Oil minsters for the three countries commented on Sunday, a day after Algeria’s Energy Minister Noureddine Boutarfa called for an extension because he said the strategy is succeeding in paring global inventories. The ministers are meeting in Kuwait City to discuss compliance with the pledged reductions. So far, five OPEC members, including Kuwait and Angola, have backed an extension of the cuts. “We are ready to support” prolonging the six-month deal, which took effect in January, Venezuela’s Oil Minister Nelson Martinez told reporters on Sunday before the meeting. “It does make sense to extend the agreement for another six months -- maybe at least,” said his Omani counterpart, Mohammed Al Rumhy. Oman, unlike Venezuela, isn’t a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf stocks mixed, reforms support Saudi shares | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf stocks mixed, reforms support Saudi shares | Reuters:

"Stock markets in the Gulf were mixed in early trade on Sunday with Saudi Arabia outperforming after its exchange announced progress on reforms that could help it join MSCI's emerging market index.

The Saudi index rose 0.4 percent in the first hour with much activity focusing on smaller stocks such as Filing and Packing Materials Manufacturing Co, up 7.1 percent. Arab Bank dropped 2.5 percent as it went ex-dividend.

The exchange said late on Thursday that it would extend the period for settling trades and introduce short-selling on April 23, reforms demanded by MSCI. The reforms had already been expected sometime in the second quarter but the date is positive as it will give MSCI time to evaluate their impact before deciding in June whether to put Riyadh on its review list."



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