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Sunday, 9 April 2017

MIDEAST DEBT-Saudi readies debut dollar sukuk with U.S. risk disclosure | Reuters

MIDEAST DEBT-Saudi readies debut dollar sukuk with U.S. risk disclosure | Reuters:

"Saudi Arabia has included a disclosure on credit risk retention requirements, part of the U.S. Dodd-Frank Act, in the prospectus of a debut dollar sukuk which it is expected to issue this week and could total $10 billion. The disclosure to comply with the act, which the U.S. Congress introduced after the financial crisis to reduce risk-taking, has not been made for other sovereign sukuk issues. The U.S. retention rule was set to align the interests of issuers of asset backed securities (ABS) with those of ABS investors by asking the sponsor of an ABS securitisation to have "skin in the game" by retaining 5 percent of the credit risk associated with the securities it is issuing. "



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Saudi finance minister says no income taxes for Saudi citizens | Reuters

Saudi finance minister says no income taxes for Saudi citizens | Reuters:

"Saudi Arabia's finance minister said on Sunday that citizens would not pay taxes on income and Saudi companies would not see their profits taxed under sweeping economic reforms being introduced in the oil-rich kingdom. The collapse in oil prices after mid-2014 has pushed Saudi Arabia to contemplate a radical overhaul of all parts of its economy, including new taxes, privatizations, a changed investment strategy and sharp cuts in government spending. Mohammed al-Jadaan sought in a statement carried by state news agency SPA to allay concern that people would be taxed as part of the ambitious reform plan. Saudis currently do not pay any income tax, nor are Saudi companies taxed on their profits."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Egypt stocks fall on bomb blasts, most Mideast markets down | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Egypt stocks fall on bomb blasts, most Mideast markets down | Reuters:

"Egyptian stocks fell on Sunday, hurt by bomb blasts in the country, while most other Middle East stock markets also ended lower as geopolitical tensions weighed on investor sentiment.

Some of the Middle East markets started the day in positive territory as higher oil prices briefly offset concerns about a U.S. missile strike on a Syrian air base, but lost momentum as the day progressed.

The Egyptian index closed 1.55 percent lower with Commercial International Bank Egypt down 1.5 percent and Egyptian Iron and Steel losing 4.4 percent.

"



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Nasdaq Dubai optimistic about 2017 after robust performance | GulfNews.com

Nasdaq Dubai optimistic about 2017 after robust performance | GulfNews.com:

"After many achievements last year, Hamed Ali, the chief executive of Nasdaq Dubai still has a full plate and is optimistic about 2017. Just over three months into the year, Nasdaq Dubai is on a firm footing with six listings so far. “We are performing really well. 2017 would be a good year for us. We already have a good number of achievements and a good number of projects. We are looking at new things to be introduced in the market, be it for issuers, institutions, or issuers,” Ali said in an interview from his office at the DIFC. "



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Saudi banks overcome liquidity crunch but profits to shrink further | GulfNews.com

Saudi banks overcome liquidity crunch but profits to shrink further | GulfNews.com:

"The worst effects of the liquidity crunch that hit the Saudi Arabian banking sector in 2016 have subsided with fresh liquidity injections by the government into the banking system and reduced pressure from government’s domestic borrowing programmes, according to analysts. “The banks came through the period largely unscathed, with liquidity coverage ratios recovering and capital strength intact despite a dip in earnings. However, we expect profitability to continue declining in 2017, reflecting rising impairment charges and funding costs. Our analysis shows that liquidity metrics have recovered at banks that have reported their 2016 results,” said Andrew Parkinson, Director Financial Institutions at Fitch Ratings. Saudi banks’ average liquidity coverage ratio improved to 204 per cent by end-2016, down just one percentage point year on year, having dropped to 156 per cent at end-September 2016. The volatility of liquidity ratios highlights the concentration risk in many banks’ funding."



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Iran security body reviewing new IPC oil contracts: minister | Reuters

Iran security body reviewing new IPC oil contracts: minister | Reuters:

"Iran's top security body is still reviewing the Iran Petroleum Contract (IPC) model, Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh was quoted as saying on Sunday, as the contracts aimed at attracting foreign investors appear to face fresh delays.

In January, Iran named 29 companies from more than a dozen countries as being allowed to bid for oil and gas projects under the IPC, which Tehran hopes will boost production after years of sanctions.

But the IPC model has been delayed several times due to opposition from hardline rivals of President Hassan Rouhani."



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The Whole 'Malls Are Dying' Thing Is Getting Old, Say Mall CEOs - Bloomberg

The Whole 'Malls Are Dying' Thing Is Getting Old, Say Mall CEOs - Bloomberg:

"Traditional retailers, whose obituaries have been started and scrapped for years, are on the critical list again, with stores shuttering and e-commerce giants like Amazon.com Inc. in ascendance.

Executives say put the death notices away, at least for one category. Malls aren’t going extinct -- they’re changing, sometimes by healthy natural selection. While store closures are painful, often they represent a Darwinian moment, allowing a shopping center to refresh its mix by adding a grocery market or an Apple store.

Investors aren’t buying it. Literally. Mall REIT stocks have dropped 18 percent in the past year, compared with a 4 percent gain in the broader REIT group, as stores close at a record pace. At the same time, a view is building among industry analysts that skepticism has gone too far."



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Dubai exchange may launch gold contract for retail investors | Reuters

Dubai exchange may launch gold contract for retail investors | Reuters:

"The Dubai Gold and Commodities Exchange (DGCX) said on Saturday it was considering whether to launch a new spot gold contract designed to be used by retail investors and traders. The DGCX signed a memorandum of understanding with the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre, a body which facilitates commodity trade flows through Dubai, and National Bank of Ras Al Khaimah (Rakbank) to develop bullion products such as the proposed retail spot gold contract. The contract could be smaller in size than the existing DGCX Spot Gold contract, which requires physical delivery of one kilogramme gold bars and has been used by several institutional investors since its launch in 2016, the exchange said."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi Arabia's benchmark stock index higher in early trading | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi Arabia's benchmark stock index higher in early trading | Reuters:

"Saudi Arabia's main benchmark index edged slightly higher on Sunday ahead of the start of first-quarter earnings and showed no immediate response to a U.S. missile strike on a Syrian air base.

Friday's missile strike marked the strongest U.S. action in Syria's six-year-old civil war and has increased uncertainty about the situation in the Middle East.

Saudi Arabia's index was 0.1 percent higher after nearly an hour of trade. Saudi Telecom was among the gainers, up 0.7 percent."



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