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Thursday, 6 July 2017

Qatar dispute leads Moody's to downgrade Dolphin Energy rating - The National

Qatar dispute leads Moody's to downgrade Dolphin Energy rating - The National:

"Dolphin Energy, the joint venture company that owns the pipeline carrying Qatari natural gas to the UAE and Oman, has been downgraded by debt rating agency Moody's Investors Service. In making the unusual move, Moody's cited the ongoing dispute between Qatar and several of its Arabian Gulf neighbours, including the UAE, and the effect it might have on Abu Dhabi's commitment to the project, as the reason for cutting the company's rating one notch, to A2 from A1. The rating agency said it expects the dispute "will erode inter-governmental cooperation between Qatar and the UAE [and] over time, this will, to an extent, decrease the strategic importance of the project to the government of Abu Dhabi and the likelihood of support, should it become necessary, from  Dolphin Energy's 51 per cent owner, Mubadala Development Company." "



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Amid Dana debacle, Islamic finance seeks safeguards against illegality claims | Reuters

Amid Dana debacle, Islamic finance seeks safeguards against illegality claims | Reuters:

"The Islamic finance industry is seeking ways to safeguard deals against challenges to their religious permissibility, after a case in the United Arab Emirates raised the risk that issuers of Islamic bonds could refuse to redeem them after such a challenge. Bankers and lawyers say several mechanisms, new and old, could address the problem, though it may be impossible to remove the risk entirely. Legal provisions in contracts for financial instruments could prevent their sharia-compliance from being questioned after they are issued. Investors may also screen scholars who certify instruments as sharia-compliant more carefully, and pay more attention to what mechanisms, such as courts, exist to rule on potential disputes."



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Arab sanctions stir defiance, patriotism in wealthy Qatar | Reuters

Arab sanctions stir defiance, patriotism in wealthy Qatar | Reuters:

"At dusk, young Qataris gather outside the house of a ruling family member in Doha to sign a portrait of Qatar's emir mounted on a giant billboard. A month of sanctions imposed on Qatar by Egypt and Arab neighbors that have cut ties and accused Doha of supporting militants has galvanized patriotic feelings among Qataris, who number 300,000, as well as fear about the possibility of military escalation. While Doha denies the charges and there are no signs the standoff will spiral into military confrontation, the crisis has bolstered nationalist support for the 37-year-old ruler of the world's wealthiest country per capita."



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Oil Closes Below $46 as U.S. Output Gain Offsets Stockpile Drop - Bloomberg

Oil Closes Below $46 as U.S. Output Gain Offsets Stockpile Drop - Bloomberg:

"Oil settled below $46 as rising U.S. production dampened the enthusiasm over declining crude and gasoline stockpiles.

Futures gained less than 1 percent in New York after jumping more than 3 percent in an initial reaction to the supply drop. While data from the Energy Information Administration showed U.S. crude inventories fell by 6.3 million barrels last week, and gasoline by 3.7 million, American production resumed its steady climb. Output has risen for all but six weeks this year, increasing by 88,000 barrels a day the last time around.

“We got a bit of a rally off the report. It was fairly bullish obviously, but a couple of things in the report also cut the other way, in particular the big rebound in domestic production,” John Kilduff, a partner at Again Capital LLC, a New York-based hedge fund, said by telephone."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi steel, cement strong on export tariff cuts in otherwise weak region | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi steel, cement strong on export tariff cuts in otherwise weak region | Reuters:

"Shares in Saudi Arabia's cement and steel sectors rose on Thursday after the government cut export tariffs, but Gulf stock markets were mostly weak after a slide in oil prices. The Saudi government said it was cancelling all export duties on steel for two years to encourage local industries, and would halve cement export tariffs. Analysts said top-line growth of cement and steel companies was not expected to get a huge boost, but the news was positive for a building materials sector that has been hit hard by the government's austerity policies in the past couple of years."



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DP World may revive US$1.6 billion Jebel Ali terminal 4 expansion next year - The National

DP World may revive US$1.6 billion Jebel Ali terminal 4 expansion next year - The National:

"DP World, one of the biggest port operators globally, may resume development next year of the US$1.6 billion fourth terminal at its flagship Jebel Ali port, which was put on hold last year because of a softening in the container shipping market. The Nasdaq Dubai-listed company said last year it was slowing down work in Jebel Ali, the biggest port in the Middle East and North Africa, by postponing new additions to Terminal 3 into this year and putting off the construction of phase one of Terminal 4 which was scheduled for completion next year. "Current capacity at Jebel Ali is 18 million TEU (twenty-foot equivalent units). At the same time, 1.3 million TEU will be added to T3 in the second half of 2017," Sultan bin Sulaymen, DP World's chairman, said in written answers to The National's questions."



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UPDATE 1-London court to hear Dana Gas sukuk case in September | Reuters

UPDATE 1-London court to hear Dana Gas sukuk case in September | Reuters:

"London's High Court plans to hold a full hearing in September on efforts by Abu Dhabi-listed Dana Gas to restructure $700 million of its Islamic bonds, sources familiar with the case said on Wednesday. The sources were speaking after a High Court judge heard legal arguments from Dana Gas and Deutsche Bank, which is representing investors in the Islamic bonds, or sukuk. Dana Gas declared the bonds invalid last month, saying they were no longer compliant with changing interpretations of the Islamic sharia code and had therefore become unlawful in the United Arab Emirates."



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European Companies Flocking Into Tehran Widen Divide With Trump - Bloomberg

European Companies Flocking Into Tehran Widen Divide With Trump - Bloomberg:

"Iran made progress this week in preserving its new-found place in the global economy. French energy giant Total SA and German carmaker Volkswagen AG announced agreements to plow money into the Islamic republic, the first to be finalized since U.S. President Donald Trump took office, threatening to abandon the 2015 deal that rolled back a decade of sanctions on Iran. The investments end months of speculation that America’s shifting foreign policy would scare western companies away from taking bets on the Middle East’s fastest-growing economy. They also highlight the widening rift between Trump and European allies, who back President Hassan Rouhani even as the White House reviews the nuclear accord he helped engineer."



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Factbox: Oil majors' investments in countries involved in Qatar row | Reuters

Factbox: Oil majors' investments in countries involved in Qatar row | Reuters:

"The West's three biggest energy corporations are lobbying Qatar to take part in a huge expansion of its gas production, handing Doha an unintended but timely boost in its bitter dispute with Gulf Arab neighbors. ExxonMobil(XOM.N), Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) and Total (TOTF.PA) already have large investments in countries on both sides of the dispute, and are keen not to take sides after Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt severed ties with Doha on June 5. Here are some facts about international oil companies which operate in the Gulf countries involved in the rift:"



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Qatar Charts Second Gas Boom as Saudis Try to Tighten the Noose - Bloomberg

Qatar Charts Second Gas Boom as Saudis Try to Tighten the Noose - Bloomberg:

"Qatar’s neighbors are trying to isolate it from the outside world by cutting off transport and diplomatic links. There’s one major area where their ostracism campaign is falling short: energy. Qatar is the world’s fourth-biggest energy supplier and wealthiest country by per capita income. It pumps more oil and gas than Rosneft PJSC or Exxon Mobil Corp. and is the biggest producer and seller of liquefied natural gas. Saudi Arabia and its allies accuse the sheikhdom of funding terrorism and maintaining overly cordial ties with regional rival Iran. The allegations, which Qatar denies, pit Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest crude exporter and biggest supplier in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, against the group’s smallest Arab producer. Now Qatar is doubling down on its main asset, the North Field, announcing plans to boost production at the world’s largest offshore gas deposit. Located in the Persian Gulf, the field straddles Qatar’s maritime border with Iran, which refers to its side of the reservoir as South Pars. Paris-based Total SA, which has stakes in Qatari LNG projects and will develop the nation’s Al Shaheen oil field, signed a contract on Monday to boost output at South Pars."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi steel, cement cheer export tariff cuts in mostly weak region | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi steel, cement cheer export tariff cuts in mostly weak region | Reuters:

"Shares in Saudi Arabia's cement and steel sectors surged in early trade on Thursday after the government cut export tariffs, but Gulf stock markets were mostly weak after a slide in oil prices. The Saudi government said it was cancelling all export duties on steel for two years to encourage local industries, and would slash cement export tariffs by 50 percent. Najran Cement jumped 6.2 percent in unusually high volume and was the top gainer in Riyadh after 35 minutes of trade. All other stocks among the top 10 gainers were also from the building materials sector, including Al Yamamah Steel Industries, which rose 2.1 percent."



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