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Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Provision for money owed weighs on Drake & Scull International first quarter | The National

Provision for money owed weighs on Drake & Scull International first quarter | The National:

"Contractor Drake & Scull International (DSI) posted a loss of Dh722.5 million in the first quarter as it made provisions against contract sums owed from customers.

The company wrote down Dh572m in amounts due from customers on contract balances. It also declared a 23 per cent decline in year-on-year revenue during the period to Dh796m.

The loss declared for the quarter "looks like a back-calculation" said Nishit Lakhotia, the head of research at Bahrain-based Securities & Investment Company, allowing it to meet its latest capital restructuring plan."



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Fetchr closes region’s largest ever Series B funding | GulfNews.com

Fetchr closes region’s largest ever Series B funding | GulfNews.com:

"Fetchr, the Dubai-based technology start-up, has secured $41 million (Dh150.5 million) in what is the region’s largest ever Series B round, according to the company’s co-founder and chief executive. Speaking on the phone with Gulf News, Idriss Al Rifai confirmed that the company had closed the record amount from a group of well known investors, including Majid Al Futtaim and New Enterprise Associates (NEA). A funding round refers to the money a start-up raises from venture capitalists to finance its growth and the class of shares sold to investors. The progression of rounds is often viewed as an indication of a company’s progress."



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Singapore's GIC faces US$4bn loss on UBS bet | Reuters

Singapore's GIC faces US$4bn loss on UBS bet | Reuters:

"Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC Private Limited is facing a loss in excess of US$4bn on its emergency investment in Swiss bank UBS Group nine years ago, according to IFR calculations. GIC cut its stake in UBS on Monday evening, selling 93m shares at SFr16.10 each to bring in SFr1.5bn. The sale was conducted by UBS as sole bookrunner and wrapped up in two and a half hours. The bank accidentally announced the sale ahead of the market close when it had been due to launch. UBS's ECM bankers were already talking to investors through a wall-crossing exercise so the deal was not too disrupted."



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Aramco Plans at Least 10 Energy Deals During Trump Visit - Bloomberg

Aramco Plans at Least 10 Energy Deals During Trump Visit - Bloomberg:

"Saudi Aramco plans to sign agreements with at least 10 companies including General Electric Co. and oil field-service businesses Schlumberger Ltd. and Halliburton Co. when President Donald Trump visits Saudi Arabia, according to two people familiar with the matter. The world’s biggest crude oil exporter plans to sign accords also with Baker Hughes Inc., KBR Inc., Jacobs Engineering Group Inc., Nabors Industries Ltd., Weatherford International Plc, McDermott International Inc. and Rowan Companies Plc, said the people, who asked not to be identified because they are not authorized to speak to media. The deals will be signed on May 20 during Trump’s first foreign trip as president.  Media officials at Aramco, Baker Hughes, McDermott, Halliburton and Jacobs declined to comment. GE, Schlumberger, Weatherford, Nabors, Rowan and KBR didn’t immediately return phone and email messages seeking comment."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Egypt's EFG, TMGH diverge on MSCI changes; Gulf firm with oil at $52 | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Egypt's EFG, TMGH diverge on MSCI changes; Gulf firm with oil at $52 | Reuters:

"Shares of Egypt's EFG Hermes and Talaat Mostafa diverged sharply on Tuesday on news that MSCI will swap the shares in its main Egyptian index, while Gulf equity markets were firm with the Brent oil price at $52 a barrel. Overnight, MSCI said it would include investment bank EFG Hermes in its MSCI Egypt Index but remove real estate developer Talaat Mostafa Group, downgrading it to the small-cap index. The changes will take effect on June 1. EFG, which on Monday reported a near-tripling of first quarter net income and a more than doubling of operating revenue, surged 8.8 percent while TMGH slumped 9.8 percent."



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Another high-profile candidate pulls out of Iran’s presidential race

Another high-profile candidate pulls out of Iran’s presidential race:

"Es’haq Jahangiri, Iran’s reform-minded candidate for president, has stepped aside from Friday’s poll, calling on his supporters to “decisively” vote to re-elect president Hassan Rouhani.

The announcement comes one day after hardline candidate Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf withdrew from the race and threw his weight behind Ebrahim Raisi, a senior cleric and former prosecutor-general. Mr Qalibaf’s withdrawal further polarised the election, leaving two leading candidates from different camps.

Mr Jahangiri – currently first vice-president – was a champion of televised debates thanks to his verbal blows to hard-line candidates. Analysts did not expect him to remain in the race and compete against his boss and speculated that his main intention was to help defend the records of Mr Rouhani."



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Oil market rebalancing needs ‘much work’, says IEA

Oil market rebalancing needs ‘much work’, says IEA:

"Drastic Opec-led production cuts have helped accelerate the oil market recovery but “much work remains” to drain excess inventories, the International Energy Agency said on Tuesday. The deal among some of the world’s biggest producers to curb supply may not dent stubbornly high stockpiles as much as Opec would like in 2017, the energy body said, just as output growth from US shale producers and others exceeds expectations. “It has taken some time for stocks to reflect lower supply when volumes produced before output cuts by Opec and eleven non-Opec countries took effect are still being absorbed by the market,” said the IEA in its monthly oil market report."



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Capital markets growth promises big gains for GCC countries

Capital markets growth promises big gains for GCC countries:

"The plunge in oil prices from mid-2014 has been a serious setback for all oil producing countries but for the members of the Gulf Cooperation Council the effects have been dramatic. From a comfortable position of current account and budget surpluses for more than a decade, GCC governments suddenly found themselves in 2015 with large deficits and sizeable financing needs. While GCC governments financed deficits by drawing on large accumulated reserves and ample bank deposits, there was also renewed borrowing, including from the capital markets. The GCC countries’ current and prospective financing needs may not be large relative to the size of their economies or their financial assets, but their reorientation towards market borrowing provides an opportunity to examine the potential of the local debt capital markets. In the GCC, these have lagged behind emerging-market peers, and remain a relatively under-developed segment of what are otherwise modern and fully globalised economies."



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‘Much work remains’ to drain excess oil inventories – IEA

‘Much work remains’ to drain excess oil inventories – IEA:

"Global oil market supply and demand is moving into balance but “much work remains” to drain excess inventories, the International Energy Agency said on Tuesday. Despite drastic cuts to Opec supply, as part of a global deal to curb output, stockpiles by the end of 2017 might still not fall to levels targeted by the group, the energy body said. The IEA’s forecasts echo those by Opec’s own research arm that show production cuts by global producers may not be enough to severely dent stubbornly high inventories and raise demand significantly for the cartel’s crude."



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ADGM eases capital base rules for VC funds | The National

ADGM eases capital base rules for VC funds | The National:

"The Abu Dhabi Global Market has made it easier for venture capital funds to operate in the financial free zone on Al Maryah Island by removing the need for them to put up cash to start these businesses.

The ADGM’s Financial Services Regulatory Authority, the zone’s regulator, said the move to simplify regulations for venture capital funds by not making them subject to any capital base requirements or expenditure-based capital took effect from May 15.


"In close consultation with industry players, the tailored regulatory framework for VC managers simplifies the applicable regulatory requirements while maintaining the necessary safeguards to ensure that they operate in a safe and sound manner," ADGM said."



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Absent from America, French cars drive into Iran election | Reuters

Absent from America, French cars drive into Iran election | Reuters:

"French carmakers PSA (PEUP.PA) and Renault (RENA.PA) are turning their U.S. absence into an Iranian advantage by piling into a resurgent market still off-limits to foreign rivals fearful of sanctions under Donald Trump's administration. The French investment has been seized upon by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who is seeking re-election this week, as evidence that his pursuit of a nuclear detente and attempts to attract foreign money will pay off for the economy. PSA - the maker of Peugeots and Citroens - and Renault have pushed hard into Iran since its 2015 deal with world powers that saw international sanctions lifted in return for curbs on Tehran's nuclear activities. PSA has signed production deals worth 700 million euros ($768 million), while Renault has announced a new plant investment to increase its production capacity to 350,000 vehicles a year."



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Qatar Islamic Bank's dollar sukuk books top $1 billion -lead | Reuters

Qatar Islamic Bank's dollar sukuk books top $1 billion -lead | Reuters:

"Order books for Qatar Islamic Bank's planned dollar five-year sukuk have topped $1 billion, a document from one of the banks leading the deal showed on Tuesday. The Regulation S, senior unsecured deal, part of a $3 billion sukuk programme, will be of benchmark size, which conventionally means upwards of $500 million. Initial price guidance for the Islamic bond was 145-155 basis points over mid-swaps. Citi, Emirates NBD Capital, HSBC, Noor Bank, QInvest and Standard Chartered Bank have been appointed to lead the transaction, which is expected to price on Tuesday. "



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Saudi Aramco Makes Leadership Changes Ahead of IPO Plans - Bloomberg

Saudi Aramco Makes Leadership Changes Ahead of IPO Plans - Bloomberg:

"Saudi Arabian Oil Co. has promoted eight executives to top positions, including a senior vice president for downstream operations, as it seeks to double refining capacity and expand natural gas and chemical businesses ahead of what could be the world biggest share sale.

The world’s largest oil exporter, known as Saudi Aramco, appointed two senior vice presidents, six vice presidents and two associate general counsels, according to an internal memo obtained by Bloomberg that was dated Sunday and signed by Chief Executive Officer Amin Nasser. The appointments are effective May 1. Saudi Aramco declined to comment, and the company website later confirmed the appointments of the two senior vice presidents.

Saudi Arabia plans to sell as much as 5 percent of Aramco in 2018 as part of a plan to set up the world’s biggest sovereign wealth fund and reduce the economy’s reliance on oil. Since King Salman acceded to the throne in 2015, the kingdom changed its oil minister and the top Aramco leadership. The company has formed a supreme board to oversee its affairs, led by the king’s influential son, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman. The prince has been the driving force behind the Aramco IPO plans."



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MIDEAST DEBT-Bumpy road ahead for Oman loan after downgrade - IFR | Reuters

MIDEAST DEBT-Bumpy road ahead for Oman loan after downgrade - IFR | Reuters:

"Standard & Poor's downgrade of Oman’s credit rating to junk status has complicated the sovereign borrower’s first visit to the Asian syndicated loan market. The agency last Friday lowered the Sultanate of Oman’s rating to BB+ from BBB−, with a negative outlook, saying the country’s external buffers have weakened and are insufficient to mitigate the risk from volatile oil-driven export revenues. The downgrade came days after Thomson Reuters LPC reported that Oman was seeking a $3.6 billion unsecured, five-year bullet loan from Chinese banks. Bank of China, China Development Bank, and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China are the mandated lead arrangers, with the latter two also acting as bookrunners."



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Kuwait Joins Saudis, Russia to Seek Oil-Cuts Extension Into 2018 - Bloomberg

Kuwait Joins Saudis, Russia to Seek Oil-Cuts Extension Into 2018 - Bloomberg:

"Kuwait joined Saudi Arabia and Russia in supporting an extension of oil-output cuts by OPEC and other global producers through the first quarter of 2018 to help trim global stockpiles. Extending the cuts at already agreed-upon volumes is needed to reach the goal of trimming global stockpiles to the five-year average, Kuwait’s Oil Minister Issam Almarzooq said in an emailed statement on Tuesday. “There are positive signals that have started to show, as April and May monthly reports are showing that global stockpiles have fallen significantly,” Almarzooq said."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Dubai's DSI slumps, DAMAC surges on index entry in generally flat region | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Dubai's DSI slumps, DAMAC surges on index entry in generally flat region | Reuters:

"Dubai-listed builder Drake & Scull plummeted in response to its first-quarter results, while Dubai real estate firm DAMAC jumped on news that MSCI would add it to an index, in otherwise largely flat Gulf markets early on Tuesday. DSI slumped 7.6 percent to 0.352 dirham, a 15-month low, after it reported a first-quarter net loss attributable to shareholders of 722.5 million dirhams ($196.9 million) versus a profit of 9.8 million dirhams in the year-ago period. The company is in the midst of a capital restructuring plan to wipe out its accumulated losses, and has said it expects to receive a capital injection of 500 million dirhams from a strategic investor by mid-2017."



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