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Thursday, 27 April 2017

Saudi shake-up strengthens king's powerful son - World - Dunya News

Saudi shake-up strengthens king's powerful son - World - Dunya News:

"A recent Saudi government and security shake-up aims to strengthen King Salman’s increasingly powerful son against a royal rival and to bolster ties with Washington, analysts and diplomats say. Royal decrees at the weekend saw a number of allies of Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman moved into key positions and another son of the king named as ambassador to Washington. The goal, a foreign diplomat told AFP, is "to strengthen MBS (Mohammed bin Salman) and the Salman branch" of the al-Saud family which has ruled Saudi Arabia since the country’s founding."



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Kuwait Energy plans London IPO

Kuwait Energy plans London IPO:

"Kuwait Energy, an oil and gas company with assets in the Middle East, will next week resurrect plans for an initial public offering in London that could value the group at about $1bn (£780m).

The company, which was set up in 2005 and has operations in Egypt, Iraq, Yemen and Oman, is planning to raise $250m through the offering, which will test investor appetite for assets in countries that have been struck by geopolitical difficulties in recent years.

Funds raised will be used to accelerate the company’s growth plans, particularly in southern Iraq. Bank of America Merrill Lynch, EFG Hermes and Numis are advising Kuwait Energy on the IPO."



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Peak oil demand still decades away: Saudi Aramco CEO

Peak oil demand still decades away: Saudi Aramco CEO:

"Switching oil for cleaner fuels will be a “long and complex” transition meaning demand for crude to meet the world’s growing energy needs will remain robust, the chief executive of Saudi Aramco said on Thursday. According to prepared remarks, Amin Nasser, the head of Saudi Arabia’s state energy giant, said:"



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OPEC output cuts whet Asia's appetite for North Sea oil | Reuters

OPEC output cuts whet Asia's appetite for North Sea oil | Reuters:

"OPEC production cuts have created record Asian demand for European oil and made China the second biggest consumer of North Sea crude as flows from its usual Middle East suppliers dip. Rising Asian appetite for North Sea crude has largely been fueled by the falling premium charged for North Sea crude over rival Middle East oil and this demand could last beyond OPEC's supply cuts if that favorable pricing persists. Thomson Reuters Eikon data shows China imported almost 38 million barrels of North Sea crude from the start of the year until late April, compared with about 8 million barrels by the same point in 2016."



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UPDATE 1-Total CEO says could consider participation in Saudi Aramco IPO | Reuters

UPDATE 1-Total CEO says could consider participation in Saudi Aramco IPO | Reuters:

"French oil and gas major Total could consider taking a stake in the planned listing of part of Saudi Arabia's Aramco, the company's chief executive said on Thursday.

Total CEO Patrick Pouyanne told an oil summit in Paris that it was all premature as the market was still awaiting details on how the initial public offering (IPO) would be done, but added it could be a meaningful partnership for Total in Saudi Arabia.

"We may consider it," Pouyanne said, who also stated that any final decision was "a matter of profitability and best allocation of capital.""



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi banks strong in light of brewing changes in industry; region subdued | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi banks strong in light of brewing changes in industry; region subdued | Reuters:

" Shares in two Saudi banks that are in early merger talks moved in opposite directions on Thursday while other regional markets ended the week down as investors had little fresh company earnings and news to reallocate their funds or build positions. Alawwal Bank extended the previous session's 8.6 percent gains, adding 2.2 percent. Shares in Saudi British Bank (SABB), however, slipped 0.9 percent after jumping 6.8 percent on Wednesday. Six other commercial lenders rose, with the largest by assets, National Commercial bank up 1.0 percent. If"



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First Bank Merger in 20 Years Sets Saudi Up for More Deals - Bloomberg

First Bank Merger in 20 Years Sets Saudi Up for More Deals - Bloomberg:

"A combination of the Saudi Arabian ventures of HSBC Holdings Plc and Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc will break an almost 20-year drought for mergers and acquisitions in the country’s banking industry that may spur more deals across the kingdom.

The potential merger of HSBC’s Saudi British Bank and Alawwal Bank comes as lenders in the Persian Gulf’s biggest economy grapple with slowing growth and uncertainty around a government plan to reduce its dependence on oil, which is weighing on demand for loans. At the same time, the country’s overhaul presents an opportunity for banks to get in on major deals, like the listing of Saudi Arabian Oil Co., in what could be the largest-ever initial public offering."



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China's ICBC Doha clears more than $86 bln in yuan transactions | Reuters

China's ICBC Doha clears more than $86 bln in yuan transactions | Reuters:

"Industrial and Commercial Bank of China has cleared more than 590 billion yuan ($86 billion) in transactions in Qatar in the nearly two years since it opened its clearing centre in the Gulf state, an executive told Reuters.

The move reflects a surge in trade and investment between China and Gulf Arab states in recent years, though most business between the two sides is still conducted in U.S. dollars.

The clearing centre was launched in June 2015 as the Middle East's first location for clearing transactions in the yuan to promote business ties. A clearing centre can handle all parts of a currency transaction from when a commitment is made until it is settled, reducing costs and time taken for trading.

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Dubai's Alabbar to Weigh Buying Into Venture Capital Firms - Bloomberg

Dubai's Alabbar to Weigh Buying Into Venture Capital Firms - Bloomberg:

"Dubai-based business-tycoon Mohamed Alabbar is weighing buying in to venture capital firms in the Middle East to help kick start his $1 billion technology fund, according to people familiar with the matter. Representatives for Alabbar held talks with several regional companies, including Middle East Venture Partners and BECO Capital, about either buying them entirely, joining as a co-investor or making a significant investment in the firms, the people said, asking not to be identified as talks are private. Final agreements haven’t been reached with any party and discussions may not result in a deal, they said. Alabbar, who is also chairman of the Middle East’s largest listed developer -- Emaar Properties PJSC -- is increasingly focusing on technology investments and set up the technology investment fund with other regional investors. Separately, he raised $1 billion from investors including Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund to create e-commerce firm Noon. Emaar’s mall unit missed out to Amazon.com Inc. last month when it bid for online retailer Souq.com for $800 million."



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Saudis Seen Losing Market Share to Iran, Iraq on Oil Cuts - Bloomberg

Saudis Seen Losing Market Share to Iran, Iraq on Oil Cuts - Bloomberg:

"Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest crude exporter, is losing market share to Iraq and Iran as a result of OPEC’s agreement to curb supplies to bolster prices, according to the head of research at Abu Dhabi Investment Authority. “If you’re talking about winners, you can count Iran and Iraq,” Christof Ruehl said Wednesday at a conference in Dubai. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries agreed to production limits for most of its members at a meeting in November and brought 11 other nations on board with the deal in December. Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s biggest producer, agreed to cut output by 486,000 barrels a day while Iraq said it would cut 210,000 barrels a day. Iran was permitted to increase output by 90,000 barrels a day, according to the OPEC accord."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi bank Alawwal extends gains on merger talks, region subdued | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi bank Alawwal extends gains on merger talks, region subdued | Reuters:

"Shares in two Saudi banks that are in early merger talks moved in opposite directions on Thursday while other regional markets moved little in thin volumes.

Alawwal Bank extended the previous session's 8.6 percent gains, adding 0.9 percent after 20 minutes of trade. Shares in Saudi British Bank (SABB), however, slipped 0.2 percent after jumping 6.8 percent on Wednesday.

Other commercial lenders were mixed, with the top two by total assets, making small gains; National Commercial bank was up 0.3 percent and Al Rajhi Bank up 0.4 percent."



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