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Sunday, 18 June 2017

MIDEAST STOCKS-Cheaper oil depresses most of Gulf but MSCI hopes buoy Saudi | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Cheaper oil depresses most of Gulf but MSCI hopes buoy Saudi | Reuters:

"Most major Gulf stock markets fell on Sunday because of weak oil prices, but hopes that Saudi Arabia will join MSCI's group of emerging markets, which would trigger billions of dollars of fund inflows, buoyed that market. MSCI will announce late on Tuesday whether it is adding Saudi Arabia to a list for possible upgrade to emerging market status; the upgrade, if it happens, would probably not occur before mid-2019. The Saudi index rose 0.9 percent in thin trade as some stocks expected to be targets of incoming foreign funds rose, with Food maker Savloa jumping 5.0 percent to 48.40 riyals, its highest finish since January 2016."



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Saudi’s $250 billion construction market still offers greatest potential, says Meed | The National

Saudi’s $250 billion construction market still offers greatest potential, says Meed | The National:

"Saudi Arabia remains the market with the greatest potential for the region’s construction industry, with more than US$250 billion worth of projects in the pipeline, according to a new report by the regional news service Meed. The kingdom has almost as much work in the pre-execution phase as the GCC’s second and third-biggest markets combined: the UAE has $184bn of work in the pipeline while Qatar has $69bn. Meed said in the new report that after a year of uncertainty in 2016, Saudi Arabia will start to deliver on its promises in 2017. The construction industry in the country almost ground to a halt last year, following a decision to stop awarding new contracts for major government projects until a new network of programme management offices (PMO) was established. Payments to contractors for all but the most essential projects were also halted for the first nine months of the year, placing serious cash-flow pressures on many contractors and leading to tens of thousands of workers for some of the country’s biggest companies being left without pay for months."



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Oil production will get harder to balance as time goes on | The National

Oil production will get harder to balance as time goes on | The National:

"Restoring balance to the oil markets appears as hard as restoring balance to the Force in Star Wars.

After the optimism of last November’s production cuts agreement, low prices are striking back. With Brent crude at a seven-month low, can Opec avoid a rebellion?

The producers’ organisation knew the route to rebalancing would be longer than a few parsecs. Its target has been to bring oil stocks in the OECD (developed) countries, currently 292 million barrels above, down to their five-year average."



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UAE's Dana Gas gets injunction from English court blocking claims on $700 mln sukuk | Reuters

UAE's Dana Gas gets injunction from English court blocking claims on $700 mln sukuk | Reuters:

"Dana Gas said on Sunday it had obtained an injunction from the English High Court of Justice in London restraining holders of its $700 million of sukuk from taking any hostile action against the company in relation to the Islamic bonds. Last week, the company obtained similar injunctions from the Sharjah Federal Court of First Instance in the United Arab Emirates and from the Commercial Division of the High Court of Justice in the British Virgin Islands. The Abu Dhabi-listed energy company announced last week that its outstanding sukuk were not sharia-compliant and were therefore unlawful and unenforceable in the UAE."



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Saudi to transfer employees from troubled Oger construction firm | Reuters

Saudi to transfer employees from troubled Oger construction firm | Reuters:

"Employees of troubled construction company Saudi Oger will be moved to other firms, the Saudi labor ministry said, amid unconfirmed reports that workers there will be laid off from July 31. The ministry said there were 1,200 Saudis among a total of around 8,000 workers at the company, which is owned by the family of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri and has built many huge infrastructure projects in the kingdom, from universities and roads to airports and hospitals. It said it planned to move some 600 Saudi employees to other facilities and would continue to look for jobs for the remaining Saudis working there. It was also working with Saudi Oger to transfer around 6,000 foreign workers to other firms."



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Energy Markets Can Survive This Qatari Blockade - Bloomberg Gadfly

Energy Markets Can Survive This Qatari Blockade - Bloomberg Gadfly:

"The blockade against Qatar is undoubtedly causing difficulties for the citizens on the small Persian Gulf emirate. But its isolation is far from complete, and chinks in the wall are a clear indication that the connections that exist between Qatar and its uneasy neighbors cannot easily be broken. And, it looks like energy markets can survive the policy.Qatar's rulers built the country's independence on exports of hydrocarbons -- particularly natural gas -- and flows of these commodities have been put at risk by the restrictions imposed by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt.As I noted last week, the precise nature of these restrictions is far from clear. Some authorities in Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E. say any vessel travelling to or from Qatar cannot enter their ports. More recently, the U.A.E.'s Federal Transport Authority limited the ban to those that are Qatari-owned or flagged, and to the loading or unloading of ships trading with Qatar."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf little changed in early trade, oil price deters activity | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf little changed in early trade, oil price deters activity | Reuters:

"Gulf stock markets were little changed in early trade on Sunday as low oil prices, with Brent crude just above $47 a barrel, deterred buying and diminished liquidity. The Saudi stock index rose 0.2 percent. MSCI will announce on Tuesday whether it is adding Saudi Arabia to a list for possible upgrade to emerging market status, which could attract fresh inflows of foreign money. Some stocks expected to benefit from such flows rose, with Saudi British Bank climbing 3.3 percent to its highest level since early January."



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