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Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Abu Dhabi's Taqa Seeking to Sell Energy Assets in North America - Bloomberg

Abu Dhabi's Taqa Seeking to Sell Energy Assets in North America - Bloomberg:

"Abu Dhabi National Energy Co., the government-run company known as Taqa, is generating cash from overseas oil and natural gas operations and wants to sell some higher-cost wells in North America after reporting a record $5.2 billion loss last year.

After a two-year program to cut costs, Taqa’s oil and gas businesses in North America and Europe are “cash-flow positive,” Saeed Hamad Al Dhaheri, acting chief operating officer, said in an emailed response to questions. Taqa plans to invest more in the hydrocarbon business in Canada’s Alberta province, he said.

Taqa has written off assets, sold businesses and cut jobs and spending after losing money due to acquisitions and lower crude prices over the past two years. The company earlier this month reported a loss of 19 billion dirhams on one-time impairments for 2016. It lost 1.8 billion dirhams the previous year. Taqa currently has a market capitalization of 3.4 billion dirhams.

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Promise of Saudi Reforms Attracts Qatari Money - Bloomberg

Promise of Saudi Reforms Attracts Qatari Money - Bloomberg:

"Saudi Arabia has attracted the attention of global investors and investment banks looking to benefit from the kingdom’s plans for economic transformation. It’s also drawing regional money. Amwal LLC, a Doha-based asset manager, is buying Saudi stocks in anticipation of the market’s inclusion in emerging-market benchmarks. The Qatari firm plans to boost the Saudi Arabian exposure in its four equity funds to as much as 60 percent by the end of the year, said Rami Jamal, a portfolio manager at Amwal, which oversees around 1 billion riyals ($275 million) in assets. That’s up from close to 30 percent in the beginning of 2017. “Take off for Saudi is this year,” Jamal said in an interview in Doha on April 13. “Saudi is still trading at slightly higher multiples than the region, but the growth potential is there and it is worth it. You are buying into the future.”"



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Emirates Trims U.S. Flights After Trump's Bans Cut Demand - Bloomberg

Emirates Trims U.S. Flights After Trump's Bans Cut Demand - Bloomberg:

"U.S. airlines stand to benefit from flight cutbacks by Dubai-based Emirates, which blamed President Donald Trump’s travel restrictions for weakening demand from Middle Eastern passengers. Emirates will pare service to five U.S. cities after the U.S. banned on-board electronics on flights from some Middle Eastern airports and attempted to block travel from six predominantly Muslim nations. That trims competition from the biggest Persian Gulf carrier -- a persistent irritant to long-haul U.S. operators that see it as an unfair rival. “Any reduction in capacity from them is only a good thing for U.S. airlines,” said Joe DeNardi, an analyst at Stifel Financial Corp. “To some extent it was an unintended byproduct of Trump’s plans.”"



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UPDATE 1-Newly-merged UAE bank posts 12 pct rise in Q1 profit | Reuters

UPDATE 1-Newly-merged UAE bank posts 12 pct rise in Q1 profit | Reuters:

"National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) and First Gulf Bank (FGB), which merged on April 1 to create one of the largest banks in the Middle East and Africa, posted on Wednesday a 12.4 percent rise in combined "pro-forma" first quarter net profit. Pro-forma net profit reached 2.93 billion dirhams ($797.80 million) in the three months to March 31, they said in a statement, up from 2.60 billion dirhams in the year earlier period. Analysts only provided forecasts for the two separate lenders - 1.31 billion dirhams for NBAD and 1.41 billion dirhams for FGB, according to the average estimates of three analysts polled by Reuters."



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Exclusive: China gathers state-led consortium for Aramco IPO - sources | Reuters

Exclusive: China gathers state-led consortium for Aramco IPO - sources | Reuters:

"China is creating a consortium, including state-owned oil giants and banks and its sovereign wealth fund, that will act as a cornerstone investor in the initial public offering of Saudi Aramco, people with knowledge of the discussions told Reuters.

Saudi Aramco, a key exporter to China along with Russia's Rosneft (ROSN.MM), is due to list next year, with a potential $100 billion equity sale that is expected to be the world's largest to date.

The planned Chinese investment makes it more likely that the national energy giant would seek a listing in Asia, with Hong Kong currently the frontrunner among bourses in the region, the same people said."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Cement companies hold back Saudi index, Dubai's Arabtec shines | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Cement companies hold back Saudi index, Dubai's Arabtec shines | Reuters:

"Construction-related shares underperformed Riyadh's stock market on Wednesday because of poor first-quarter earnings, though troubled Dubai builder Arabtec jumped after shareholders approved a capital restructuring plan. Riyadh-listed Arabian Cement slid by 5 percent after reporting net profit for the three months to March 31 down 55 percent year on year, citing lower sales volumes and prices. Other cement companies have also reported double-digit declines in quarterly earnings, with analysts saying the sector's outlook does not look promising. Government sources told Reuters this weak that the government is embarking on a review of unfinished projects to shelve some of them indefinitely as a cost-saving measure."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Cement caps gains in Saudi, Dubai's Arabtec leaps | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Cement caps gains in Saudi, Dubai's Arabtec leaps | Reuters:

"Construction-related shares underperformed Riyadh's stock market in early trade on Wednesday because of poor first-quarter earnings, though troubled Dubai builder Arabtec jumped after shareholders approved a capital restructuring plan.

The Saudi index was almost flat after 30 minutes of trade. But Arabian Cement slumped 5.6 percent after it posted a net profit for the three months to March 31 of 100.1 million riyals ($26.7 million), down 55.4 percent from the prior-year period. The company attributed the fall to lower sales volumes and prices.

It said its adoption of IFRS accounting rules had made no significant changes to its results. Companies in Saudi Arabia are now obliged to report earnings based on IFRS, and the securities regulator said last year that firms could report interim earnings as long as 30 days after the end of each period, rather than 15 days as previously."



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Arabtec shares up 10% in trade | GulfNews.com

Arabtec shares up 10% in trade | GulfNews.com:

"Arabtec shares jumped nearly 10 per cent on Wednesday after reports that the company would announce a profit for the first quarter of 2017.
Arabtec shares were up 8.93 per cent to be at Dh0.915, after hitting a high of Dh0.966.
The wider Dubai index was up 0.29 per cent at 3,505.91."



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U.S. says Iran complies with nuke deal but orders review on lifting sanctions | Reuters

U.S. says Iran complies with nuke deal but orders review on lifting sanctions | Reuters:

"The Trump administration said on Tuesday it was launching an inter-agency review of whether the lifting of sanctions against Iran was in the United States' national security interests, while acknowledging that Tehran was complying with a deal to rein in its nuclear program. In a letter to U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan, the top Republican in Congress, on Tuesday U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Iran remained compliant with the 2015 deal, but said there were concerns about its role as a state sponsor of terrorism. Under the deal, the State Department must notify Congress every 90 days on Iran's compliance under the so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). It is the first such notification under U.S. President Donald Trump."



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Ex-Goldman Banker to Run Dubai's $35 Billion Investment Firm - Bloomberg

Ex-Goldman Banker to Run Dubai's $35 Billion Investment Firm - Bloomberg:

"Dubai Holding LLC named Edris Alrafi chief executive officer as the investment company owned by the emirate’s ruler seeks to grow after years of restructuring. Alrafi, formerly chief commercial officer at government-backed property developer Meraas Holding LLC, replaces Fadel Al Ali. He joins as Dubai Holding “focuses on a new organizational structure and debt management program to achieve a stronger balance sheet," according to a statement late Monday."



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UPDATE 1-Dubai's Emirates NBD Q1 profit rises 4 pct, meets forecasts | Reuters

UPDATE 1-Dubai's Emirates NBD Q1 profit rises 4 pct, meets forecasts | Reuters:

"Emirates NBD, Dubai's largest lender, reported a 4 percent rise in first-quarter net profit on Wednesday as expenses and provisions for bad loans declined.

Net profit came in at 1.87 billion dirhams ($509 million) in the three months ended March 31, Emirates NBD (ENBD) said in a statement, compared with 1.81 billion dirhams in the year-ago period.

That was in line with the average forecast of three analysts polled by Reuters, who had expected a net profit of 1.79 billion dirhams."



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IMF Lowers Saudi Arabia Growth Forecast After Oil Output Cut - Bloomberg

IMF Lowers Saudi Arabia Growth Forecast After Oil Output Cut - Bloomberg:

"The International Monetary Fund lowered its growth forecast for Saudi Arabia next year, as oil production cuts and austerity measures take a toll on the biggest Arab economy.

The Saudi economy is expected to expand 1.3 percent in 2018, down from a 2.3 percent projection in January, the IMF said in its World Economic Outlook report on Tuesday. The Washington-based lender left this year’s forecast unchanged at 0.4 percent, citing “lower oil production and ongoing fiscal consolidation.”"



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