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Saturday, 1 July 2017

U.A.E.’s Ambassador to U.S. Linked to 1MDB Scandal - WSJ

U.A.E.’s Ambassador to U.S. Linked to 1MDB Scandal - WSJ:

"The scandal swirling around a Malaysian state investment fund allegedly defrauded of billions of dollars has entangled the United Arab Emirates ambassador to the U.S., according to court and investigative documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. Companies connected to Yousef Al Otaiba, the ambassador, received $66 million from offshore companies that investigators in the U.S. and Singapore have said contained funds misappropriated from 1Malaysia Development Bhd, the documents show. There have been no public disclosures as to the purpose of the transfers, and Mr. Otaiba declined to comment on them."

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Why a Natural Gas Company Is Shaking the Islamic Finance World - Bloomberg

Bloomberg: "Earlier this month, Dana Gas, a UAE-based company, rocked the world of Islamic finance by announcing that one of its Shariah-compliant bonds was, well, no longer Shariah-compliant. On this week’s episode of Odd Lots, we speak to veteran Dubai-based journalist Frank Kane about the rise of Islamic finance (what it is, how it works, why it’s grown so fast) and why the Dana Gas announcement is such a big deal."

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Saudi Economy Shrinks, Showing Task Facing New Crown Prince - Bloomberg

Saudi Economy Shrinks, Showing Task Facing New Crown Prince - Bloomberg:

"Saudi Arabia’s economy shrank by 0.5 percent in the first quarter, illustrating the scale of the challenge facing the country’s new heir as he overhauls an economy still reliant on a struggling oil industry.

Gross domestic product was 643 billion riyals ($170 billion) compared with 646.4 billion riyals in the same quarter a year earlier, the General Authority for Statistics said in a report on its website on Friday, using preliminary data based on 2010 constant prices. The oil and gas sector shrank 2.4 percent. The economy expanded 10.1 percent at current prices."

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Saudi Arabia and Qatar Are Still Friends When It Comes to Tankers - Bloomberg

Saudi Arabia and Qatar Are Still Friends When It Comes to Tankers - Bloomberg:

"As Saudi Arabia leads three other Arab nations in accusing Qatar of links to terror groups and being too close to Iran, one thing is becoming increasingly clear in the oil market: tensions have yet to reach a point where the world’s biggest crude exporter is disrupting its tiny neighbor’s shipments. The number of tankers that are filling with Qatari crude along with that of Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates actually increased since tensions escalated on June 5, according to ship-tracking data compiled by Bloomberg for the 25 days before and after that date. The ability to cooperate in the tanker market despite diplomatic ties being cut shows how pragmatism often wins out over politics when it comes to the energy market. Were Saudi Arabia to block shared loadings, the kingdom would have created a logistical challenge for its own clients, forcing them to reorganize dozens of cargoes. Such disruptions can also reduce vessel supply and drive up freight costs."

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