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Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Mashreq CEO says bank will become 'branchless' | GulfNews.com

Mashreq CEO says bank will become 'branchless' | GulfNews.com:

"Mashreq is set to become a “branchless bank,” according to CEO Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair, who was speaking at the banks 50th anniversary ceremony. In his effort to make Mashreq the “most progressive bank” in the region over the course of the next 50 years, Al Ghurair said that there would be a significant uptake in new technologies, and often these would replace roles currently occupied by human beings. “Machines will start replacing a lot of processes, and jobs,” he said, adding: “In fact, we have eliminated simple work that we used to do. The future for employees is not in repetitive work.”"



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NYSE executives to woo Aramco IPO in upcoming Saudi visit | Reuters

NYSE executives to woo Aramco IPO in upcoming Saudi visit | Reuters:

"A New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) delegation will visit Saudi Arabia in late May to try to lure a listing by state oil giant Saudi Aramco, industry sources familiar with the matter said.

The visit will follow a similar trip to Riyadh last month by London Stock Exchange (LSE) CEO Xavier Rolet, as top exchanges around the world vie to win slices of Aramco's initial public offering, expected to be the largest in history.

Aramco plans to list about 5 percent of its shares, mostly on the Saudi stock market, the Tadawul, and the rest likely on one, two or even three international exchanges, industry sources have previously said."



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The World's Biggest Independent Oil Trader Has a Warning for OPEC - Bloomberg

The World's Biggest Independent Oil Trader Has a Warning for OPEC - Bloomberg:

"OPEC and its allies are seeking to pump less for longer in a quest for higher prices. The world’s biggest independent oil trader says their efforts could be in vain.

Demand isn’t expanding as much as expected, and U.S. shale output is growing faster than forecast, according to Vitol Group. That’s increasing the burden on the world’s biggest producers, who need to stick to their pledges to cut supply just to keep prices from falling, said Kho Hui Meng, the head of the company’s Asian arm."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi near flat on varying Q1 results, Qatar rebounds in otherwise quiet region | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi near flat on varying Q1 results, Qatar rebounds in otherwise quiet region | Reuters:

"First quarter results from major companies drove trading on Saudi Arabia's stock exchange on Wednesday, with the Riyadh index edging 0.2 percent higher, while Qatar's bourse outperformed as investors bought shares on recent price dips.

Majority state-owned Saudi Electricity (SEC) rose 2.2 percent in trading that exceeded its one-month average daily volume after the company swung to a net profit of 4.94 billion riyals in the first quarter.

The company attributed the jump to the cancellation of accounts payable for municipality fees, as a result of a royal decree issued this year exempting the company from paying them."



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DXB Entertainments to cut costs after posting loss | The National

DXB Entertainments to cut costs after posting loss | The National:

"The theme parks operator DXB Entertainments said on Wednesday it planned to cut operational costs by 20 per cent this year, compared with initial projections, after it missed analysts’ forecasts and posted a wider-than-expected first-quarter loss. Net loss in the three months ending March 31 reached Dh292 million, compared with a loss of Dh38m during the same period last year, when none of the three theme parks at Dubai Parks and Resorts were open, it said in a statement on the Dubai Financial Market. The Egyptian investment bank EFG Hermes had forecast a Dh110m loss for the first quarter."



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Qatar has not asked to raise Deutsche Bank stake - sources | Reuters

Qatar has not asked to raise Deutsche Bank stake - sources | Reuters:

"Qatar has not asked German financial watchdog Bafin for approval to raise its stake in Deutsche Bank, two financial sources told Reuters on Wednesday. Shares in Deutsche Bank earlier spiked higher briefly, with a trader citing a Bloomberg report saying Qatar had asked German regulators to lift its stake in the bank to over 10 percent. Deutsche Bank and Bafin both declined to comment on the Bloomberg report."



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Qatar to Seek Approval to Lift Deutsche Bank Stake Over 10% - Bloomberg

Qatar to Seek Approval to Lift Deutsche Bank Stake Over 10% - Bloomberg:

"Qatar’s royal family asked Germany’s financial regulator for approval to boost its stake in Deutsche Bank AG to more than 10 percent, a signal it may be seeking greater control of Europe’s largest investment bank, people with knowledge of the matter said.

The request was made several months ago with Bafin, as the regulator is known, and before Deutsche Bank’s announcement in March that it would raise 8 billion euros ($8.7 billion) in fresh capital, the people said, declining to be identified because the discussions are private. Approval for the request is still pending, the people said, adding the Qataris have made no final decision on whether they will increase their stake and by how much.

Bafin and Deutsche Bank declined to comment, while the Qatari family office couldn’t be immediately reached for comment. "



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China's Big Play for Middle East Oil - Bloomberg

China's Big Play for Middle East Oil - Bloomberg:

"China's Middle East energy footprint has been expanding. In February, it made a deal for a stake in Abu Dhabi’s onshore oil. In March, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz travelled to China to strengthen trade ties, and now a Chinese consortium is lining up for a stake in the Aramco IPO. Geopolitical trends favor deeper engagement, but Chinese companies need to show they can deliver. The Chinese need new upstream opportunities. Domestic production from the country's highly mature fields has slumped: down 6.9 percent last year and 8 percent year-on-year so far in 2017. But, encouraged by the government to guarantee energy security, companies' capital budgets are set to soar again this year. Sinopec will spend as much as BP, and even at the low end of estimates, PetroChina, the listed unit of China National Petroleum Corp., or CNPC, will be the highest-spending listed oil company in the world."



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Saudi signals first cut in crude supplies to Asian customers: sources | Reuters

Saudi signals first cut in crude supplies to Asian customers: sources | Reuters:

"Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest oil exporter, has notified at least two Asian refiners of its first cuts in crude allocations for regional buyers since an OPEC output reduction took effect in January, two refining sources told Reuters on Wednesday.

State-owned Saudi Aramco has told Asian buyers it is curtailing supplies for June to meet its commitments for the output cut, one of the sources at a refiner in South Korea said.

"Saudi is adjusting supplies because it has somewhat supplied full volumes or even more in the previous months," the source said, declining to give specific details on the cuts."



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Saudi Arabia's Al Tuwaijri Talks Bonds, Budget and Big Spending - Bloomberg

Saudi Arabia's Al Tuwaijri Talks Bonds, Budget and Big Spending - Bloomberg:

"Saudi Arabia’s vice minister of economy and planning, Mohammed Al Tuwaijri, spoke to Bloomberg News on Tuesday about the government’s borrowing plans, infrastructure spending and how the kingdom still intends to balance its budget by 2020.

Here are the key points from Al Tuwaijri, who is also the head of the finance committee at Saudi Arabia’s powerful Council of Economic and Development Affairs, known as CEDA."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Two major Saudi companies diverge on Q1 results amid quiet region | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Two major Saudi companies diverge on Q1 results amid quiet region | Reuters:

"Shares in Saudi Arabian construction firm Al Khodari fell 4.3 percent to percent to 11.00 riyals in the first 10 minutes of trade on Wednesday after the company reported a first-quarter loss. Al Khodari, which has ongoing projects with the government, made a net loss of 17.8 million riyals against a net profit of 2.2 million riyals in same period last year. Al Khodari attributed the poor results to a 50 percent decline in revenue, slow progress on ongoing projects, a decline in new project awards and liquidity challenges in the industry as a whole."



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