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Thursday, 22 June 2017

Abu Dhabi Fund Buys 5% of Troubled Commodity Trader Noble Group - Bloomberg

Abu Dhabi Fund Buys 5% of Troubled Commodity Trader Noble Group - Bloomberg:

"An Abu Dhabi fund has taken a 5 percent stake in Noble Group Ltd., the embattled commodity trader searching for a white knight investor.

Goldilocks Investment Co. bought 50.5 million shares in the Hong Kong-based commodity trader on June 20, according to a company filing on Thursday on the Singapore Exchange. The acquisition lifts Goldilocks’s stake to 5.03 percent from 1.18 percent previously.

Goldilocks is controlled by investor Jassim Alseddiqi’s Abu Dhabi Financial Group. It started the $200 million fund last year, saying it targets “undervalued opportunities” in the six Gulf Cooperation Council countries. On Monday, it announced it had bought a stake in troubled U.A.E.-based energy group Dana Gas."



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New Saudi crown prince to maintain oil policy | The National

New Saudi crown prince to maintain oil policy | The National:

"A new crown prince ascends as oil prices slump. The appointment of the 31-year-old Mohammed bin Salman as next in line to the throne of Saudi Arabia can set the direction of Saudi policy – and its massive energy sector – for decades to come. With the kingdom facing an unprecedented confluence of economic and regional political threats, the pace of reform cannot slip. The prince’s rise should not bring any sharp changes in the kingdom’s energy policy – on the contrary, it consolidates approaches that were already clear, under energy viceroy and close confidant Khalid Al Falih. The kingdom’s emerging energy strategy has three pillars. Firstly, with most consequence for other oil producers, the country’s Opec policy and cooperation with non-Opec producers. When Mohammed bin Salman became the deputy crown prince in April 2015, the oil price slump was well under way, and Ali Al Naimi, the oil minister at the time, was encouraging high production to reclaim market share. Just a year later, at the infamous Doha meeting, the prince intervened to prevent an Opec agreement unless Iran agreed to limit its production."



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Fitch: Dana Gas Case Highlights Sukuk Legal Uncertainties | Reuters

Fitch: Dana Gas Case Highlights Sukuk Legal Uncertainties | Reuters:

"Any potential credit rating implications for sukuk arising from Dana Gas's attempt to have its mudaraba sukuk declared unlawful will take time to emerge, and their scope and impact are likely to remain unclear until all relevant proceedings are resolved, if they ever are, Fitch Ratings says. We believe our current assumption that sharia compliance typically does not have credit implications for Fitch-rated sukuk remains appropriate. Resolving the relevant issues could be a complex and drawn-out process with uncertain implications and the potential for a market or regulatory response. Fitch does not rate Dana Gas or its sukuk. Dana Gas publicly stated on 13 June 2017 that it had "received legal advice that the sukuk in its present form is not sharia compliant and is therefore unlawful under UAE law" and that it had started court proceedings in the UAE to have the sukuk declared unlawful and unenforceable. It has proposed restructuring the sukuk "to ensure that it conforms to the relevant laws" and also to take into account "the Company's need to focus on short to medium term cash preservation". Sukuk distributions due on 31 July and 31 October "cannot be paid now that the existing sukuk is deemed unlawful but will be accounted for" as part of the restructured instrument, Dana Gas said. Sukuk regulations have been introduced and updated in several countries in recent years, but standardisation, harmonisation and legal precedents are limited in most jurisdictions. "



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Qatar Seeks 10% of American Air, Escalating ‘Open Skies’ Battle - Bloomberg

Qatar Seeks 10% of American Air, Escalating ‘Open Skies’ Battle - Bloomberg:

"Only weeks after President Donald Trump accused Qatar of funding terrorism, the nation’s flagship airline has made a surprise overture to acquire a major stake in American Airlines.

The move represents a startling turn in a running battle between U.S. carriers and their Persian Gulf rivals, which U.S. airline executives say have unfair advantages because of deep government subsidies. It also comes against the backdrop of renewed efforts by the Trump administration to mediate the simmering crisis between Qatar and some of the closest U.S. allies in the region, notably Saudi Arabia.

Qatar Airways Ltd. is interested in acquiring about 10 percent of American, the U.S. company said in a filing. That would put the state-owned Mideast airline on par with Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. among shareholders of the world’s largest carrier. It would also require approval by the board of American Airlines Group Inc. -- a step that is by no means guaranteed given the U.S. company’s vocal efforts to level the playing field in global aviation under so-called Open Skies agreements."



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Oil Lingers Below $43 After Entering Bear Market on Glut Worries - Bloomberg

Oil Lingers Below $43 After Entering Bear Market on Glut Worries - Bloomberg:

"Oil closed below $43 a barrel for a second day as brimming supplies work against OPEC-led efforts to reduce a glut.

Futures edged up 0.5 percent in New York after losing nearly 5 percent since the start of the week. A report Wednesday from the Energy Information Administration showed U.S. oil production increased to the highest since August 2015. A committee of OPEC and non-OPEC members meeting in Vienna this week is said to have wrestled with the issues of increasing production in Libya and Nigeria, coupled with soaring U.S. output."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi extends rally on new crown prince, MSCI; foreign funds boost Doha | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi extends rally on new crown prince, MSCI; foreign funds boost Doha | Reuters:

"Saudi Arabia's stock market extended on the previous session's rally on Thursday as investors focused on shares likely to benefit from economic reforms and from MSCI's decision while Qatar rebounded as foreign funds were net buyers. The Riyadh index added 1.2 percent to a 20-month high of 7,426 points in heavy trade. It is now up 6.8 percent in reaction to the appointment of the architect of the economic reform and privatisation plans, Prince Mohammed bin Salman, to crown prince. Previously the 31-year old was deputy crown prince. Some shares which were top gainers on the previous day continued to rally with the only listed miner, Saudi Arabian Mining, surging 9.4 percent. The now crown prince had previously stressed the importance of expanding the mining sector as part of plans to diversify the economy from oil."



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Hard to invalidate Islamic contracts, scholars say amid Dana Gas dispute | Reuters

Hard to invalidate Islamic contracts, scholars say amid Dana Gas dispute | Reuters:

"Some of the top scholars in Islamic finance say it is difficult to declare an Islamic contract invalid because it no longer meets sharia standards, as the United Arab Emirates' Dana Gas is trying to do with $700 million of sukuk. Scholars decline to comment specifically on the case, which Dana has filed at a court in the emirate of Sharjah. The company argues it should no longer make payments on the sukuk because the interpretation of Islamic finance standards has changed since they were issued in 2013, making them "unlawful". But many scholars say Islamic instruments are not subject to reinterpretation if they were originally certified by a competent authority."



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Al Habtoor on Prince Mohammed, Qatar, Expansion Plans - Bloomberg

Al Habtoor on Prince Mohammed, Qatar, Expansion Plans - Bloomberg:

"Khalaf Al Habtoor, founder and chairman at Al Habtoor Group, discusses Saudi Arabia's new crown prince, Washington's stance towards the Gulf, resolving the Qatar crisis, his outlook for his hotel business, the possibility of an IPO and where he's looking for expansion. He speaks exclusively on "Bloomberg Markets: Middle East." (Source: Bloomberg)"



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Too Much Oil Anchors Crude in Bear Market as U.S. Output Swells - Bloomberg

Too Much Oil Anchors Crude in Bear Market as U.S. Output Swells - Bloomberg:

"Oil held its slide into a bear market amid speculation rising U.S. output will blunt OPEC-led efforts to trim a global glut.

Futures were little changed in New York after sinking below $43 a barrel. U.S. oil production increased to the highest since August 2015, according to a report from the Energy Information Administration. Crude and gasoline stockpiles declined last week. Brent in London closed Wednesday more than 20 percent below its January peak, also entering a bear market."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi shares extend rally on new crown prince, MSCI; Qatar rebounds | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi shares extend rally on new crown prince, MSCI; Qatar rebounds | Reuters:

"Saudi Arabia's stock market extended on the previous session's rally in early trade on Thursday headed for its highest close in 20 months as investors focused on shares likely to benefit from economic reforms and from MSCI's decision. The Riyadh stock index surged 5.5 percent in reaction to the appointment of the architect of the economic reform and privatisation plans, Prince Mohammed bin Salman, to crown prince. Previously the 31-year old was deputy crown prince. The index was up 1.2 percent in the first hour of trade as some shares which were top gainers on the previous day continued to rally with the only listed miner Saudi Arabian Mining jumping surging its 10 percent daily limit in the first half hour of trade. Banks were also strong with government-majority owned National Commercial Bank jumping 7.3 percent, extending on its 10 percent surge on Wednesday. "



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