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Sunday, 20 August 2017

Dana Gas moves to lift court injunction in sukuk case - The National

Dana Gas moves to lift court injunction in sukuk case - The National:

"Dana Gas, a Sharjah-based oil and gas exploration firm, has filed an application with the emirate’s Federal First Instance Court to lift an injunction, protecting it against claims related to its US$700 million Islamic bonds or sukuk. Dana, which is embroiled in a row with its bondholders on restructuring of the outstanding sukuk, had received the Sharjah court injunction on 13 June, but moved to discharge it in compliance with a London court order, the firm said on Sunday in a statement to Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX), where its shares are traded. The injunction by the Sharia-court in Sharjah restrained the Trustee, the Delegate, the Principal Security Agent and others from taking any legal action against the company until pronouncement of final judgement by the Sharjah court in relation to the sukuk."



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The best is yet to come for Air Arabia - The National

The best is yet to come for Air Arabia - The National:

"It seems like yesterday that the Arab world’s first low cost carrier took to the skies. Fourteen years later, Adel Ali the Bahraini chief executive and British Airways veteran is all smiles. His journey and that of Air Arabia, the largest low-cost carrier in the Middle East and North Africa, haven’t been as choppy like some of the region’s other carriers. The track record of the airline has been impressive. The Sharjah-based carrier has been profitable since it started operations in October 2003. This month it beat analyst estimates and reported a 21 per cent increase in second quarter net profit after serving more than 2.05 million passengers. By comparison Etihad Airways reported a $1.87 billion loss in 2016, Emirates, the largest airline in the world by passenger traffic, reported an 82.5 per cent annual decline in earnings and low-cost carrier flydubai recognised a 69 per cent drop in its 2016 earnings. "



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UAE banks poised for strong H2 performance | GulfNews.com

UAE banks poised for strong H2 performance | GulfNews.com:

"Financial results of UAE banks in the second quarter of this year point to improving profitability, modest balance sheet growth, margin expansion and improving costs, according to banking sector analysts.
While the underlying trend of a turnaround in growth and profitability is in its early stages, analysts say these are sustainable.

“The UAE banks generally reported good second-quarter results, driven by improving credit environment and some margin expansion, with Dubai banks showing relatively better balance-sheet growth than Abu Dhabi banks. We expect earnings to further improve in the second half of 2017 supported by increased credit appetite, [a] consistent decline in credit costs and [a] June rate hike,” Jaap Meijer, head of Equity Research at Arqaam Capital.
"



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Foreign funds for Iran's oil sector a top priority: Oil Minister

Foreign funds for Iran's oil sector a top priority: Oil Minister:

"Attracting foreign investment for Iran’s oil sector will continue to be a top priority during President Hassan Rouhani’s second term, Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said on Sunday.

"Attracting foreign investment and technology is a priority for us in the oil industry, whether in shared fields or for increasing the production of oil at fields that are already operational," he said during a live television interview on state TV.

Zanganeh, who won parliamentary approval on Sunday to stay on as oil minister, has been credited with increasing Iran's crude output since many global sanctions were lifted last year following an international deal on Iran's nuclear program."



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Dubai exchange, Saudi firm plan sharia-compliant spot gold contract

Dubai exchange, Saudi firm plan sharia-compliant spot gold contract:

"The Dubai Gold and Commodities Exchange and Saudi Arabian conglomerate Ayedh Dejem Group plan to develop and launch the Middle East's first sharia-compliant spot gold contract to be traded on an international exchange, they said on Sunday.

"We are looking at this product to develop local markets and unlock the potential of gold trading in the region," said Gaurang Desai, chief executive of the exchange, adding that he hoped it would attract new institutional investors to trade.

Ayedh Dejem is a major transporter of fuel by road in Saudi Arabia. The statement did not give any details of the new contract or a timetable, but said global Islamic finance consultants Amanie Advisors would advise on the initiative."



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Goldman Sachs gets approval for Saudi equities trading license

Goldman Sachs gets approval for Saudi equities trading license:

"Goldman Sachs (GS.N) received approval on Sunday to trade equities in Saudi Arabia, joining the growing band of western investment banks and fund managers expanding in the kingdom.

Western financial institutions have been looking to tap new opportunities in Saudi Arabia since the government unveiled plans for oil giant Saudi Aramco's $100 billion initial public offering and introduced reforms to attract foreign capital as part of moves to reduce the economy's dependence on oil.

Goldman, which has been operating in the kingdom since 2009 as an agent and underwriter, applied to the Saudi Capital Market Authority (CMA) for a license to trade equities, sources told Reuters in June."



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Little-Known Qatari Sheikh Embraced by Saudi in Surprise Move - Bloomberg

Little-Known Qatari Sheikh Embraced by Saudi in Surprise Move - Bloomberg:

"A little-known Qatari sheikh has been thrust into the limelight as a Saudi Arabia-led bloc tries to wring concessions from his nation to end the political feud dividing the Persian Gulf. Sheikh Abdullah Bin Ali Al-Thani, a descendant of Qatar’s founder, was welcomed warmly in Saudi Arabia by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, then jetted off to Morocco, where Saudi King Salman hosted him at his vacation spot in Tangier. And while the Qatari government said the sheikh was on a personal visit, some media outlets close to the alliance portrayed his meetings as a triumphant diplomatic effort. Sheikh Abdullah said King Salman and his son agreed to open Qatar’s only land border, snapped shut on June 5, to allow Muslim pilgrims to travel to the holy city of Mecca. The king even offered to dispatch planes at his own expense to fly in others and set up an operations center under the sheikh’s command to help Qataris entangled in the crisis."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf finds support from robust oil price, Egypt declines

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf finds support from robust oil price, Egypt declines:

"Most stock markets in the Gulf rose modestly on Sunday, lifted by a rally in oil prices at the end of last week, while three small to mid-sized Saudi Arabian insurers fell sharply after they were slapped with a temporary ban by the central bank.

Riyadh's index added 0.4 percent as all but two of the 14 listed petrochemical producers advanced after Brent oil surged 3.3 percent on Friday. Rabigh Refining and Petrochemical rose 1.6 percent.

Saudi Indian Company for Cooperative Insurance dropped 3.8 percent, Malath Cooperative Insurance fell 4.5 percent and Arabian Shield Cooperative Insurance slumped 7.6 percent."



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Dubai still in lead, but race for Gulf financial supremacy is hotting up | Arab News

Dubai still in lead, but race for Gulf financial supremacy is hotting up | Arab News:

"The Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC) last week gave an update on the impressive plans it has to expand — both physically and commercially — as part of a 10-year plan that aims to triple its size by 2024. On the real estate side of the strategy, work is progressing well. The two big flagship projects are: A $280 million plan to link the current Gate complex with the southern end of the DIFC jurisdiction via an avenue of commercial, retail and leisure facilities; and a new $50 million office block addition to the Gate Village complex. Both will open in the first half of next year, according to Nabil Al-Kindi, the DIFC’s real estate chief. That progress is matched by advances on the financial business side. Nearly 22,000 people now work at the center, making the 2024 target of 50,000 eminently achievable; there are some 463 financial firms registered at DIFC, against a target of 1,000 in seven years; assets under management — also forecast to triple — got a big boost last year when HSBC moved its Middle East headquarters to DIFC."



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Gulf project awards slumped in H1 but will pick up: MEED study

Gulf project awards slumped in H1 but will pick up: MEED study:

"Contracts awarded to build economic projects in the Gulf's rich Arab oil exporting states slumped in the first half of this year but are expected to pick up in the second half, a data service tracking the industry said on Saturday.

Awards in the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council dropped to $56.1 billion in the January-June period from $69.3 billion a year earlier, according to MEED Projects. Low oil prices have forced governments in the region into tough austerity policies.

With the exception of Saudi Arabia, where contract awards rose 12 percent from a year ago to $15.8 billion as the government showed signs of spending a little more freely with a modest improvement in its budget position, awards fell in every GCC state."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Three Saudi insurers sink, region mostly quiet

MIDEAST STOCKS-Three Saudi insurers sink, region mostly quiet:

"Three small to mid-sized insurance companies fell sharply in a rising Saudi Arabian stock market on Sunday morning after they were slapped with a temporary ban by the central bank, while the rest of the region barely moved in lethargic trade. Saudi Indian Company for Cooperative Insurance dropped 6.7 percent, Malath Cooperative Insurance fell 5.5 percent and Arabian Shield Cooperative Insurance slumped 8.3 percent. The central bank said was temporarily banning those insurers from selling vehicle policies because of "serious breaches" in their car insurance practices. Of the 30 other listed Saudi insurers 12 were down and 13 rose including medical insurer Saudi Enaya Cooperative Insurance, up 5.2 percent."



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