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Monday, 21 August 2017

New law sets framework for excise tax collection in the UAE | GulfNews.com

New law sets framework for excise tax collection in the UAE | GulfNews.com:

"The new Excise Law or Federal Decree-Law No. 07 of 2017 sets the framework for the imposition and administration of excise duties in the UAE. The new legislation requires excise tax to be imposed on certain activities around specific excise goods, activities such as the production or import of excise goods in to the UAE, as well as the stockpiling of these in the UAE. The due tax is the responsibility of the person who conducts any of these activities. The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) may exempt a person from registration, but not payment of tax, if they can demonstrate that they will not regularly import excise goods. However, anyone who has been exempted from tax registration must immediately inform the authority of any changes to his/her circumstances that would make them subject to tax."



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Saudi to transfer airports to sovereign fund in privatization drive

Saudi to transfer airports to sovereign fund in privatization drive:

"Saudi Arabia plans to transfer ownership of all its airports to its main sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund, as part of a drive to privatize them, a senior aviation official said on Monday. Companies will be set up for each airport under Saudi Civil Aviation Holding, a spin-off from the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA), which will continue to regulate the industry, state news agency SPA quoted Mohammed al-Shetwey, aide to GACA's president for financial affairs, as saying. "The process of establishing companies will continue for all airports, and the civil aviation holding company in the future will be 100 percent owned by the Public Investment Fund," Shetwey said."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-REITs shine in Saudi, trading volume shrinks in Qatar

MIDEAST STOCKS-REITs shine in Saudi, trading volume shrinks in Qatar:

"Real estate investment trusts were some of the top gainers on Saudi Arabia's stock exchange on Monday, a day before the listing of a new trust, but bourses in the region were generally sluggish, especially Qatar. All four listed REITs were among the 10 most heavily traded shares in Riyadh, where the main index edged up 0.2 percent. Al Jazira Mawten REIT jumped 9.6 percent. Jadwa REIT Haramain Fund rose 1.3 percent. The trust said it would distribute a cash dividend of 0.1 riyal per share for the 75-day period to June 30."



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Will China buy Saudi Aramco?

Will China buy Saudi Aramco?:

"The planned sale of a 5 per cent stake in the Saudi state oil company Aramco is still in limbo. There is no clarity on where it will be listed, on its value or, most important, on how the rights of minority shareholders can be protected in an entity that will be 95 per cent owned by the Saudi government. The volatility of politics in Riyadh over the last few months, centred around the transfer of power from the former crown prince Mohammed bin Nayef to the 31-year-old Mohammed bin Salman, has not helped. The question now is whether the sale will go ahead or not. There is a lot at stake. Saudi Arabia is rapidly running through its financial reserves and needs the revenue, especially given the persistence of dissent within the country over any attempts to impose austerity. The Vision 2030 plan to transform the economy cannot be properly funded without the proceeds of the Aramco sale."



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Law firm quit as Barclays adviser over Qatar loan fears

Law firm quit as Barclays adviser over Qatar loan fears:

"Linklaters, the big British law firm, resigned from advising Barclays over a controversial loan to Qatar at the heart of a $1bn lawsuit over fears it would be illegal, court documents have claimed. Barclays instructed the law firm to advise it on the $3bn loan it made at the height of the financial crisis, just as the Gulf state was investing in the bank as part of an £7.3bn emergency cash call to avoid a state bailout. But Linklaters quit the brief over worries that it “would involve unlawful financial assistance by Barclays for the purchase of its own shares”, it has been alleged. The fresh claims are contained in new documents filed this month in the High Court by PCP Capital Partners, the firm founded by financier Amanda Staveley, which is suing the bank over the events in 2008. PCP claims Barclays paid Qatar £2.4bn in secret side arrangements and undisclosed fees, which had the effect of limiting the amount of its own money that Qatar ploughed into the bank."



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UAE GDP to expand by 2.9 per cent in 2018 as oil production returns to growth - The National

UAE GDP to expand by 2.9 per cent in 2018 as oil production returns to growth - The National:

"The UAE's economy will expand by 2.9 per cent in 2018 as oil production returns to growth, according to BMI. The economy will expand after curbs in oil production are expected to slow down the economy this year to 2.2 per cent growth this year, from a previous forecast of 2.8 per cent. The Arab world's second largest economy, grew 3.0 per cent in 2016. The UAE reduced its oil production as part of an agreement reached by OPEC and non-OPEC oil producing countries in late 2016. That agreement was extended a further nine months in May 2017, which will slow down the economy this year. "



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Emirati investors anticipate Saudi market bonanza | GulfNews.com

Emirati investors anticipate Saudi market bonanza | GulfNews.com:

"The Saudi equity market is set for a boost as it heads for possible inclusion in MSCI’s influential emerging market index in 2018. “In the meantime, active Emirati investors could reap early gains as corporate earnings should start increasing this year,” said Shakeel Sarwar, Head of Asset Management at SICO BSC. “The market has moved sideways in the first half of 2017 after the spectacular 30 per cent rally late last year. However, the latter part of the second half could again be an interesting period for the market. The key catalysts for another rally are going to be FTSE- and MSCI-related developments.”"



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Gulf weathers global financial crisis but oil did not | Arab News

Gulf weathers global financial crisis but oil did not | Arab News:

"Ten years ago this month is taken by most economic commentators as the beginning of the global financial crisis, often labelled these days the “GFC”. When an event has its own acronym, you know it must be significant. After months of worry about falling asset values, tighter credit conditions, and declining equity prices around the world, it was a relatively minor event at a French bank, BNP Paribas, that blew the whistle on global financial markets.  The bank froze some $2.5 billion of assets, citing “evaporation of liquidity”, and that was that."



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REFILE-Etihad Airways sets new CEO deadline, may join late 2017

REFILE-Etihad Airways sets new CEO deadline, may join late 2017:

"Etihad Airways has delayed the appointment of its new group chief executive to late 2017 with the hiring of a new boss nearly finalised, the airline said on Monday. In May, Abu Dhabi's Etihad appointed executive Ray Gammell as interim Group CEO to replace veteran CEO James Hogan who left on July 1. At the time, Etihad said it was in the "advanced stages" of hiring a permanent successor and would make an announcement "in the next few weeks". A source aware of the matter told Reuters that a new group CEO has been hired and would be joining after three months, without giving a name. The source declined to be named as the matter is not yet public."



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Funding squeeze hastens take-off of non-bank lending in Middle East

Funding squeeze hastens take-off of non-bank lending in Middle East:

"Middle East investment companies are ramping up their lending to businesses, providing a lifeline for small and medium-sized firms struggling to secure finance from banks that tightened credit after a suffering rise in bad loans. Industry participants estimate non-bank lenders in the region could provide around $1 billion over the next three to five years, including secured loans, mezzanine debt, preferred shares and convertible loans and bonds. That's a small slice of the global industry; private debt funds, the other name for non-bank lenders, distributed $58 billion in capital worldwide in the first half of 2016, according to financial data firm Preqin."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Qatar underperforms peers, stable oil prices help Saudi petchems

MIDEAST STOCKS-Qatar underperforms peers, stable oil prices help Saudi petchems:

"Qatar's bourse underperformed its neighbours in early trade on Monday while Saudi Arabia's index rose slightly, helped by robust oil prices. Qatar's index was down 0.5 percent as 70 percent of the 20 most valuable shares declined. Vodafone Qatar fell 0.6 percent, wiping out Sunday's 0.5 percent gain. Dubai's index edged down 0.1 percent as 12 shares declined, including builder Drake & Scull, which fell 0.8 percent. DSI said on Monday it was seeking shareholder approval to convert the company into a sharia-compliant entity."



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