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Monday, 11 September 2017

The Saudi Arabian reform slowdown and the oil price dilemma

The Saudi Arabian reform slowdown and the oil price dilemma:

"Just a year after its release, Saudi Arabia is reportedly slowing down the planned pace of the National Transformation Program, a bundle of targets and initiatives designed to deliver the “Vision 2030” plan to diversify the country’s economy and reduce its reliance on oil revenue. The NTP was exceedingly ambitious from the start, with a head-spinning 543 initiatives and 346 targets. It has a laudable focus on concrete targets, measurable outcomes, transparency and accountability, along with a strong focus on boosting the education and skill levels of Saudi Arabian citizens. At the same time, many of the goals were unrealistic — tripling non-oil revenue by 2020, for example — and the pace of reform has been slower than intended. The reset is not surprising, therefore. Announcing an attention-grabbing set of goals can be an effective way to galvanise a complex government bureaucracy, as well demonstrate seriousness to both citizens at home and international investors who have seen economic reform visions in the Gulf states come and go."



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Five reasons to live in Dubai | FT Property Listings

Five reasons to live in Dubai | FT Property Listings:

"By the first quarter of 2017, prices were 28.7 per cent below their 2008 peak. But agents are confident the market will bottom out by the end of the year — off-plan transactions were up 14 per cent in the first two months of 2017, and Cluttons is anticipating an “expo effect” to boost prices."



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Abu Dhabi rises to 25th position in worldwide financial centres league table - The National

Abu Dhabi rises to 25th position in worldwide financial centres league table - The National:

"Abu Dhabi plans to become one of the world's top ten financial centres, according to Abu Dhabi Global Market chairman Ahmed Al Sayegh, as the nascent freezone continues to build up its service offering and attract new members.  The capital's prominence as a financial centre received a boost yesterday, rising three places to number 25 in the closely-watched Global Financial Center Index (GFCI), compiled every six months by London-based market intelligence firm Z\Yen. "This serves as an endorsement of Abu Dhabi's initiatives and efforts to enhance its strengths as a financial center," said Mr Al Sayegh."It also spurs us to continue raising the bar and improving the sectors to better serve the needs of our stakeholders." "



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Dubai's Union Properties may issue sukuk to back MotorCity project

Dubai's Union Properties may issue sukuk to back MotorCity project:

"Dubai’s Union Properties may issue Islamic bonds to fund construction of a new property development in the emirate worth some 8 billion dirhams ($2.2 billion), the company’s chairman said on Monday. Union Properties will raise about 2 billion dirhams per year of financing, Nasser Butti Omeir bin Yousef said during a press conference. The company has multiple potential sources of funding, including sukuk and conventional bonds, he added. It will take a decision on which instrument to use by the end of this year."



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MIDEAST DEBT-Bahrain expected to offer premiums to issue multi-tranche bond

MIDEAST DEBT-Bahrain expected to offer premiums to issue multi-tranche bond:

"The government of Bahrain is expected to offer investors significant premiums over its outstanding debt when it issues bonds this week because of growing concern over its finances in an era of cheap oil, portfolio managers said. Investor meetings are due to end in New York on Tuesday. A triple-tranche issue may follow, including a long seven-year sukuk issue maturing in 2025, a 12-year conventional bond and, subject to investor interest, a 30-year conventional bond, investors familiar with Bahrain’s thinking told Reuters. They said Bahrain’s issuance this week could total $1.5 billion to $2.5 billion. Bahrain’s central bank did not respond to a request for comment."



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Abu Dhabi sheikh seeks to sell Qatar tower amid regional rift: sources

Abu Dhabi sheikh seeks to sell Qatar tower amid regional rift: sources:

"A company owned by a member of the Abu Dhabi royal family is seeking to sell Dolphin Tower in Doha, the Qatari headquarters of natural gas supplier Dolphin Energy, say sources, the latest sign of the United Arab Emirates attempting to trim ties with Qatar amid a diplomatic dispute. Al Ain Properties, owned through an investment vehicle by Sheikh Hamdan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Abu Dhabi Ruler’s Representative in the Western Region of the emirate, has within the past two months appointed real estate firm DTZ Qatar to market the 25-storey building, two of the sources said. Nobody was immediately available to comment from Al Ain Holding, the parent company of Al Ain Properties, or DTZ Qatar."



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Saudi Arabia Says It's Open to Another OPEC Cuts Extension - Bloomberg

Saudi Arabia Says It's Open to Another OPEC Cuts Extension - Bloomberg:

"Saudi Arabian Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih agreed with his Venezuelan, Kazakh and U.A.E. counterparts to keep all options open in their push to re-balance world oil markets, including the possible extension of output cuts beyond next March.  Al-Falih agreed in separate talks with the ministers in the Kazakh capital Astana that steps taken by OPEC and other major crude producers such as Kazakhstan have contributed to better market stability, according to three emailed statements from the Saudi energy ministry.  Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, both members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, agreed to consider prolonging production cuts “beyond the first quarter of 2018, if needed,” the Saudi ministry said in one of the statements. The kingdom and Kazakhstan said such an extension “would be considered in due course as market fundamentals may dictate,” according to a separate Saudi statement."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Qatar sinks to 19-month low, SABB surges in Saudi

MIDEAST STOCKS-Qatar sinks to 19-month low, SABB surges in Saudi:

"Qatar’s stock market sank to a 19-month low on Monday while other regional bourses were mixed in mostly quiet trade, although Saudi British Bank surged in Riyadh. The Qatari stock index dropped 1.6 percent to 8,532 points, its lowest finish since January 2016, in a broad sell-off that saw declining stocks outnumber gainers by 27 to nine. Qatar National Bank, the biggest lender, slid 2.0 percent and Qatar Gas Transport dropped 4.4 percent."



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Qatar Bank Stocks Expensive Even After Losing $7 Billion in 2017 - Bloomberg

Qatar Bank Stocks Expensive Even After Losing $7 Billion in 2017 - Bloomberg:

"Qatari bank stocks are more expensive than their Saudi or Emirati peers, even after suffering their biggest year-to-date loss in more than a decade.

The nation’s nine lenders trade at almost 11 times projected earnings, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That compares with 10.5 and 9 for peers in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which cut diplomatic and trade ties with the Gulf nation in early June over alleged support of terrorism.

Some overseas banks withdrew funds from Qatar in the wake of the spat, fueling a 12 percent drop in a Bloomberg generated stock index of Qatar’s nine lenders this year and wiping out about $7 billion from their total market capitalization."



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Oil edges up as Saudis discuss extending supply cut

Oil edges up as Saudis discuss extending supply cut:

"Oil prices edged up on Monday after the Saudi oil minister discussed possibly extending a pact to cut global oil supplies beyond March 2018 with his Venezuelan and Kazakh counterparts.

News of the talks on Sunday helped offset downward pressure on oil prices amid worries that energy demand would be hit hard by Hurricane Irma and its aftermath.

The hurricane knocked out power to nearly 4 million homes and businesses in Florida on Sunday. It is forecast to weaken to a tropical storm over northern Florida or southern Georgia later on Monday."



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