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Tuesday, 23 May 2017

UAE’s non-Muslim expats can now register for a will not governed by Sharia Law | The National

UAE’s non-Muslim expats can now register for a will not governed by Sharia Law | The National:

"Non-Muslim expatriates can now dictate where they want their assets to go when they die, after a decision to change rules governing wills. The changes will ensure there is no dispute or confusion over a deceased’s belongings and custody of children, and expats can register a will for about Dh500. Abu Dhabi has had no way of registering wills drafted in the UAE or an expat’s home country."



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Vanguard’s rise shows it is now time for UAE investors to have access low-cost funds | The National

Vanguard’s rise shows it is now time for UAE investors to have access low-cost funds | The National:

"UAE investors are calling on low-cost mutual fund managers such as Vanguard to enter the region to boost competition and drive down costs.

They say too many UAE residents continue to buy over-priced insurance-based investment plans and need cheaper and more flexible alternatives.

The entry of a major low-cost platform such as US-based Vanguard would shake up the UAE market, giving local investors more choice and lower charges."



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GCC Unified VAT, Selective Excise Taxation Agreements come into effect | GulfNews.com

GCC Unified VAT, Selective Excise Taxation Agreements come into effect | GulfNews.com:

"The Gulf Cooperation Council for Arab States’ (GCC) Unified Selective Excise Tax and the Unified Value Added Tax (VAT) agreements have come into effect after ratification by the UAE.

The General Secretariat of the GCC has received the UAE’s ratification documents for the two agreements. In a statement issued on Tuesday, the Secretariat, said: “The UAE is the second State to submit the two ratification documents to the Secretariat.” The two agreements have become effective when the second state submits the ratification documents to the Secretariat, it added. Hence, the GCC unified selective excise tax and the VAT agreements entered into force, the statement said."



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Former Gulf emirate officials sentenced in embezzlement case | Reuters

Former Gulf emirate officials sentenced in embezzlement case | Reuters:

"Two former senior officials of the Ras al-Khaimah Investment Authority (RAKIA) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have been sentenced in absentia to 15 years in prison for embezzlement, according to court documents released on Tuesday.

Khater Massaad and Gela Mikadze were sentenced on April 26 by a court in Ras al-Khaimah (RAK) for defrauding RAKIA of $17.2 million in 2011. A third man, George Janashia, was also sentenced to 15 years in prison in absentia.

Mikadze and Janashia, both citizens of the former Soviet republic of Georgia, were ordered to repay $12.8 million and $4.4 million respectively. The three defendants were also fined $17.2 million, according to the documents which were released by the RAK government."



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Blackstone, SoftBank Deals Put Saudi’s Sovereign Fund on the Map - Bloomberg

Blackstone, SoftBank Deals Put Saudi’s Sovereign Fund on the Map - Bloomberg:

"Saudi Arabia plans to expand its sovereign wealth fund into the world’s largest. The kingdom took a huge step toward that goal on Saturday when it signed billions of dollars of deals with Blackstone Group LP and SoftBank Group Corp. The Public Investment Fund, or PIF, is at the center of Saudi Arabia’s efforts to diversify revenue away from oil under an economic transformation plan known as Vision 2030. The fund could eventually control more than $2 trillion, according to Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The sale of a less than 5 percent stake in oil giant Aramco to the public will provide funds for investment. “We want to be an investment powerhouse,” PIF managing director Yasir Alrumayyan said in a rare public appearance Saturday during an event that gathered top Saudi officials and American corporate titans, including JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon and Citigroup Inc. CEO Mike Corbat, in Riyadh. “Most of the investments we announced and will announce soon are international, but they will be in parallel with our investments in Saudi.”"



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Saudi Aramco plans up to $30 billion investment in Motiva by 2023 | Reuters

Saudi Aramco plans up to $30 billion investment in Motiva by 2023 | Reuters:

"Saudi Aramco [IPO-ARMO.SE] plans an investment of up to $30 billion in its U.S. subsidiary Motiva Enterprsies LLC [MOTIV.UL], the company said in an announcement on Saturday at a business summit in Saudi Arabia.

The company said that $12 billion would be the initial investment in a project to expand refining capacity at Motiva's Port Arthur, Texas, refinery and extend Motiva's operations in the petrochemical value chain.

A likely additional investment of $18 billion is expected into Motiva by 2023, it said."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Egypt rebounds after tumble on rates, Gulf swept by profit-taking | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Egypt rebounds after tumble on rates, Gulf swept by profit-taking | Reuters:

"Egypt's stock market on Tuesday recovered some of the previous day's heavy losses while Gulf bourses were weaker as investors booked profits ahead of the holy month of Ramadan, when trading volumes and liquidity often decrease. Cairo's index rebounded 1.1 percent after tumbling 2.5 percent on Monday, its largest single-day decline since Jan. 19, after the central bank unexpectedly raised interest rates by 2 percentage points to fight sky-high inflation. The surprise move prompted heavy selling by local retail investors but several foreign fund managers said they did not expect a lasting impact on the market, partly because of the loose links between interest rates and the real economy in Egypt."



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Trump hits oil price with reported plan to sell half of strategic reserves

Trump hits oil price with reported plan to sell half of strategic reserves:

"Oil prices were weaker on Tuesday morning on reports that President Trump wants to sell half of the country’s strategic reserve to help balance the books. Brent, the global crude marker, fell 50 cents to $53.47, while West Texas Intermediate, the US benchmark, was 44 cents lower at $50.69 after details of the plan emerged. In budget documents, the White House said it would sell off half of the strategic petroleum reserve, the biggest in the world, to raise $16.5bn from October. The oil is held in heavily guarded underground caverns in Louisiana and Texas"



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OPEC's Worst Cheater Will Get Harder to Ignore as Curbs Falter - Bloomberg

OPEC's Worst Cheater Will Get Harder to Ignore as Curbs Falter - Bloomberg:

"OPEC’s second-biggest producer is also its biggest cheater. And if past is prologue, that lengthens the odds the group will be able to squeeze too many more price gains out of its output cuts. Iraq pumped about 80,000 more barrels of oil a day than permitted by Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries curbs during the first quarter. If that deal gets extended to 2018, the nation will have even less incentive to comply because capacity at key southern fields is expanding and three years of fighting Islamic State has left it drowning in debt."



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Kuwait says OPEC to discuss 6 or 9-month output cut extensions | Reuters

Kuwait says OPEC to discuss 6 or 9-month output cut extensions | Reuters:

"Kuwait's oil minister said on Tuesday that global oil producers would discuss at their meeting this week whether to extend output cuts for six months or nine months, because not all were on board for nine. "We have agreed on the six months. Some of the countries have agreed to six months subject to a revision in November for an additional three months," Essam al-Marzouq told reporters before heading to Vienna for the Thursday meeting. "From what I have heard, some of the press releases, the Iraqi and Iranian ministers have declared that they prefer six months," he said, before adding: "For nine months not everybody (is) on board.""



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Oil Halts Advance After Four-Day Gain as OPEC Prepares to Meet - Bloomberg

Oil Halts Advance After Four-Day Gain as OPEC Prepares to Meet - Bloomberg:

"Oil halted its advance after a four-day gain before OPEC meets Thursday to decide on prolonging output cuts by the group and its partners.

July futures dropped 0.9 percent in New York after front-month prices Monday capped a 4.3 percent increase over four sessions. Iraq backed a proposal to extend production curbs into 2018, adding to growing support for longer cuts to clear a global glut. In the U.S., crude inventories probably slid by 2 million barrels last week, according to a Bloomberg survey before data from the Energy Information Administration Wednesday."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi falls on pre-Ramadan selling, MSCI stocks strong elsewhere in Gulf | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi falls on pre-Ramadan selling, MSCI stocks strong elsewhere in Gulf | Reuters:

"Profit-booking swept across the Saudi Arabian bourse in early trade on Tuesday as investors cashed out ahead of Ramadan, while Abu Dhabi and Qatar were buoyed by gains among constituents of the MSCI emerging market index.

Riyadh's index fell 0.6 percent in the first 40 minutes as 151 shares declined and only eight rose.

"This is the cash-out before Ramadan, and it is not uncommon to see some unwinding ahead of the quieter period," said a Jeddah-based trader. Trading volumes often shrink during the holy month, which is expected to start this Saturday."



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