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Thursday, 27 July 2017

Etihad Airways books $1.87b in annual losses |

Etihad Airways books $1.87b in annual losses |

"Etihad Airways said it expected to continue facing headwinds in 2017 on the back of a challenging environment for the global aviation industry as the carrier reported $1.87 billion (Dh6.86 billion) in net losses for 2016.
The losses for the year mark a significant plunge from the $103 million in profits recorded in 2015. The plunge was due mainly to $1.9 billion the airline paid in impairments.

In a statement, the Abu Dhabi-based carrier attributed the losses to one-off impairment charges and fuel hedging losses. The $1.9 billion in impairments were mostly from a $1.06 billion charge on aircraft."

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Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank issues $320 mln Formosa bond -sources

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank issues $320 mln Formosa bond -sources:

"Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB), the emirate's second largest bank by assets, raised $320 million through the sale of a five-year Formosa bond, sources told Reuters on Thursday.

Several Gulf banks have made forays into the Formosa market in the past year or so, including ADCB. Formosa bonds are sold in Taiwan by foreign issuers and denominated in currencies other than the Taiwanese dollar.

The sale, which was settled on Wednesday, was placed with institutional investors, the sources said, with one adding that a Taiwanese bank arranged the deal, declining to name it."

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End the Blockade Against Qatar - Bloomberg

End the Blockade Against Qatar - Bloomberg:

"For two months, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia have led an illegal and unwarranted blockade on Qatar. The blockaders have attempted to use trade and economic levers as weapons – by closing borders, forbidding exports to Qatar, forcibly recalling their citizens, and censoring information. Qatar has successfully rejected these attempts to curb its sovereignty, as our citizens and residents have responded valiantly to every challenge and obstacle. Our strength traces back to our independence in 1971, when an early decision was made to always pursue dialogue and diplomacy over threats and force. At the same time, we resolved to guide economic and investment decisions by taking the long view toward our interests at home, in the region and globally."

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City of London Skyscraper Stake Is Said to Be Offered for Sale - Bloomberg

City of London Skyscraper Stake Is Said to Be Offered for Sale - Bloomberg:

"Gerald Ronson’s U.K. property company plans to sell its stake in the City of London office building known as Heron Tower, a person with knowledge of the matter said, as overseas investors pay record values for properties in the financial district.

Ronson’s Heron International owns about a third of the 46-story skyscraper officially called 110 Bishopsgate. The stake will probably attract bids valuing the entire building at more than 760 million pounds ($1 billion), based on the price paid for the Walkie Talkie, the person said.

The rest of the building is controlled by investors including the State General Reserve of Oman Fund and members of Saudi Arabia’s royal family. Broker CBRE Group Inc. is advising Heron on the sale of the stake, the person said. A spokesman for Heron didn’t respond to repeated requests for a comment, and a spokeswoman for CBRE wasn’t immediately able to comment to answer requests for comment.


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UAE’s ADNOC starts picking banks for planned loan – sources

UAE’s ADNOC starts picking banks for planned loan – sources:

"Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) has picked an initial group of banks to arrange a planned syndicated loan of up to $5 billion, banking sources familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, First Abu Dhabi Bank, HSBC, and JPMorgan have a lead role in the deal, said the sources.

The four banks declined to comment, while ADNOC was not immediately available to comment."

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MIDEAST STOCKS-Juhayna profit fall pulls down Egypt; Gulf mixed

MIDEAST STOCKS-Juhayna profit fall pulls down Egypt; Gulf mixed:

"A slide in shares of Egypt's Juhayna Food Industries after it reported second-quarter earnings pulled down Egypt's stock market on Thursday, while Gulf bourses were mixed.

Egypt's blue-chip index dropped 1.4 percent as Juhayna sank 4.2 percent after saying consolidated net profit attributable to shareholders fell to 27.2 million Egyptian pounds ($1.5 million) from 29.8 million pounds a year earlier.

A couple of other blue chips also retreated significantly: Commercial International Bank lost 1.9 percent and Global Telecom slipped 3.0 percent."

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Foreign Bank Deposits in Qatar Fall Most Since 2015 on Spat - Bloomberg

Foreign Bank Deposits in Qatar Fall Most Since 2015 on Spat - Bloomberg:

"Foreign deposits at Qatar’s banks fell the most in almost two years last month as customers withdrew funds following a diplomatic row with four Arab nations led by Saudi Arabia.

Non-resident deposits with the 18 lenders in the world’s biggest liquefied natural gas exporting nation dropped 7.6 percent to 170.6 billion riyals ($47 billion) in June from a month earlier, according to data posted on the Qatar Central Bank’s website on Wednesday. The decline is the biggest since November 2015, the data show. Overall deposits climbed 1.1 percent in June helped by a jump in domestic funds.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut ties with Qatar on June 5, accusing it of supporting extremist groups. Qatar denies the charge and says the move was an attempt by Saudi Arabia to impose its will on smaller nations in the Gulf. Qatar Investment Authority, the country’s sovereign wealth fund, has placed billions of dollars in deposits in local banks since then to shore up liquidity and soften the blow, people familiar with the development said last month.


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Opec’s purple patch does not mean the oil battle is won

Opec’s purple patch does not mean the oil battle is won:

"Is Opec using the summer to finally get its act together? After promising earlier this year to do “whatever it takes” to rebalance the oil market, Saudi Arabia, Opec’s de facto leader, said this week it would cut oil exports in August to 6.6m barrels a day, the lowest level in six years, and down 1m barrels a day from the same month in 2016. It was followed in quick succession by the UAE saying it would trim oil allocations to customers by 10 per cent in September, a significant move given the country has dragged its feet in reducing output in line with Opec’s deal to curb supplies."

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Oil and the battle for Norway’s soul

Oil and the battle for Norway’s soul:

"As his fishing boat bobs its way out of the port, Leif Karlsen points to the house where he was born 63 years ago. He lets out nearly two kilometres’ worth of line while we watch the majestic, jagged peaks that dominate this part of the Arctic Circle framing the sea. Then he gestures towards another dwelling. “My grandmother lives there; she is 103.”

Karlsen has fished the waters off Norway’s Lofoten Islands since he was 15. The spectacular archipelago — widely prized as the crown jewel in a country with abundant natural treasure — is known for a bounteous population of Arctic cod, which has formed the basis of its economy for almost a millennium. 

It is a bright June day and outside the Arctic cod season, so Karlsen is here to catch halibut. The haul is expected to be slight — “I will be satisfied with one,” he says in his strong, lilting Lofoten dialect over the chug of the motor."

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Riyadh airport sale a challenge for privatization policy, and for Goldman Sachs | Arab News

Riyadh airport sale a challenge for privatization policy, and for Goldman Sachs | Arab News:

"They are tricky things to sell, airports. With high infrastructure costs, and major consumer interface and national strategic considerations to take into account, they tick many of the boxes marked “avoid” in modern investment strategy. So this week’s news that Saudi Arabia has hired investment bank Goldman Sachs to handle the sale of a stake in Riyadh’s King Khaled International Airport will represent a rigorous test of how the Kingdom intends to manage the huge privatization program — worth some $300 billion, including the estimated $100 billion Saudi Aramco initial public offering (IPO) — which is at the heart of the Vision 2030 reforms. News reports about the hiring of Goldman — later confirmed by the Saudi aviation authorities — did not specify what kind of sale would be involved. Would it be a sale to public equity investors via an IPO? A sale to private equity firms? Or a sale to a trade partner, like an existing airport operator?"

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UPDATE 1-Etisalat's Q2 net profit falls 15 pct as impairments weigh

UPDATE 1-Etisalat's Q2 net profit falls 15 pct as impairments weigh:

"United Arab Emirates-based telecoms operator Etisalat posted a 14.7 percent drop in second quarter net profit attributable to shareholders as impairments rose, its full financial report showed on Thursday.

The country’s largest telecoms operator issued a statement on Wednesday to say its net profit rose 6 percent, but it did not provide a breakdown of its net profit attributable to shareholders, a measure closely watched by investors.

On that basis, net profit was 1.97 billion UAE dirham ($536.40 million) in the second quarter compared with 2.31 billion dirhams in the prior-year period, a bourse filing showed."

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MIDEAST STOCKS-Region moves little, earnings pull down Qatar

MIDEAST STOCKS-Region moves little, earnings pull down Qatar:

"Most Gulf stock markets barely moved in early trade on Thursday, largely ignoring a strong rise in global equities, while Qatar's stock index was pulled lower by weak corporate earnings.

The Qatari index fell 0.6 percent as Qatar First Bank dropped 2.8 percent to 7.56 riyals, though it came well off an intra-day low of 7.21 riyals.

The bank reported a first-half net loss of 76.7 million riyals ($21.1 million) versus a profit of 16.8 million riyals a year ago. In the first quarter of this year, it made a net loss of 9.6 million riyals."

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