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Monday, 25 September 2017

Sharjah intends to be right at the centre of innovation | @bodour

Sharjah intends to be right at the centre of innovation |

"Last week, we successfully concluded the third edition of the Sharjah Foreign Direct Investment Forum (FDI Forum). The theme this year was the fourth industrial revolution. We discussed the transformations that are rapidly taking place in the world through technology, specifically in relation to Sharjah and the UAE. We emerged from the forum energised about the future, and have since been determined to continue this journey, until we become a top global FDI destination, and a leader in the field. There were a lot of topics in the matrix — nanotechnology, artificial intelligence, 3D printing, big data, smart robotics. Just name it. What clearly emerged from all these discussions, is that innovation is the new battleground for all economies."

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Where Oil and OPEC Go From Here - Bloomberg

Where Oil and OPEC Go From Here - Bloomberg:

"Bassam Fattouh, director of the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, argues that while U.S. shale poses a threat to OPEC, the idea that the organization has no role in the oil market is unrealistic. Fattouh was interviewed via email between Sept. 21-22. Comments have been edited and condensed.

 Can OPEC still manage the market given shale’s strength?

There is no doubt that the context within which OPEC is operating has dramatically changed. Within OPEC, the output from some producers such as Nigeria and Libya has become more uncertain. The re-entry of Iraq with its massive reserve base, low production cost and ambitious plans to increase its productive capacity, and Iran’s plans to increase productive capacity after the lifting of sanctions, will complicate the management of OPEC output."

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Creditors tell High Court that Dana Gas sukuk get-out is "absurd"

Creditors tell High Court that Dana Gas sukuk get-out is "absurd":

"A claim by Dana Gas that it does not have to pay back its Islamic bonds because they are no longer sharia-compliant is “absurd” as repayment under such a scenario is covered in the original paperwork, creditors told a London High Court. United Arab Emirates energy producer Dana Gas said in June that its $700 million sukuk were unlawful and unenforceable under UAE law and began proceedings to have this confirmed in British and UAE courts, because while the purchase undertaking part of the sukuk is regulated by English law, the “mudarabah” agreement underlying it is regulated by UAE law. Mudarabah is a sukuk structure which resembles an investment management partnership."

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MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi shares drop on fear of FTSE delay, Qatar rises again

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi shares drop on fear of FTSE delay, Qatar rises again:

"Saudi Arabia’s stock index fell on Monday on rumours that index compiler FTSE might not upgrade Riyadh to emerging-market status as quickly as hoped, while Qatar notched up its fifth straight session of gains.

At the end of the business day on Sept. 29, FTSE will announce its decision on whether to include Saudi Arabia in its secondary emerging market index.

For several weeks the market had been pricing in a strong chance of an upgrade. Analysts have predicted Saudi Arabia could see around $3.2 billion to $3.7 billion of passive fund inflows as a result, although that would not occur until the decision actually took effect, probably in late 2018."

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Why oil markets are taking Kurdish referendum in their stride

Why oil markets are taking Kurdish referendum in their stride:

"Today the Kurdistan region of Iraq (KRI) plans to hold a referendum on independence. The move has sparked fierce opposition from the Iraqi central government, as well as many western countries, the UN Security Council and neighbouring Iran and Turkey.

All sides have urged the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to postpone the referendum arguing that it will lead to further destabilisation of Iraq and the region.

But the KRG is determined to push ahead. According to Kurdish officials, the referendum will not only be held in the three provinces formally under Kurdish jurisdiction but also include disputed areas claimed by both the central government and the KRG."

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BP begins fracking at $16bn Oman gas project

BP begins fracking at $16bn Oman gas project:

"BP has started production from a $16bn gas project in Oman that involves the biggest use of US-style fracking technology so far seen in the Middle East.

The Khazzan field in central Oman is characterised by “tight” rock, which requires horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing to release trapped gas from depths of up to 5km below the surface.

BP said it had employed techniques developed in the US to open the field, showing how the American-led “unconventional” oil and gas revolution is slowly spreading to hard-to-reach resources in other parts of the world."

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NMC Healthcare snaps up two Saudi hospitals for $40m - The National

NMC Healthcare snaps up two Saudi hospitals for $40m - The National:

"NMC Healthcare, the UAE's largest private healthcare provider, is expanding further into Saudi Arabia, the Arab world's largest economy, via two multi-speciality hospital acquisitions worth a combined US$40 million and two greenfield health facilities. The London-listed healthcare provider, which entered the kingdom last year via the acquisition of a 70 per cent stake in As Salama Hospital in Al Khobar, will acquire a 60 per cent stake in a new hospital in the southern city of Najran, and fully acquire a second hospital in the northwestern city of Ha’il. NMC also plans to build a multi-speciality facility in the eastern oil city of Al Khobar, and has received regulatory approvals for its proposed new long-term care facility, Chronic Care Specialty Medical Center, in the Red Sea port city of Jeddah."

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Oman Chases Bigger Slice of Maritime Oil Trade With Port Project - Bloomberg

Oman Chases Bigger Slice of Maritime Oil Trade With Port Project - Bloomberg:

"Oman, the biggest Arab oil producer outside of OPEC, is turning up the heat in a regional battle for business from ships in need of fuel with a $600 million deal to build storage tanks at the port of Sohar. Sohar Port and Freezone signed a contract with Singapore-based trader Trescorp Alliance Pte to build an initial fuel-storage capacity of 600,000 cubic meters (21.2 million cubic feet) that will start operating by 2020, the Omani company’s chief executive officer, Mark Geilenkirchen, said in an interview. Trescorp plans to triple the facility’s capacity to 1.8 million cubic meters within a year, he said Monday in Dubai. The Indian Ocean port of Sohar is taking aim at some of the business that the oil trading hub of Fujairah, located on the same coastline in the neighboring United Arab Emirates, has had pretty much to itself. Fujairah is the Middle East’s biggest hub for ship fueling, or bunkering, and will provide more than four times the oil-storage capacity that Sohar expects to have by 2020. "

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Iran Says OPEC Must Address Rising Libya, Nigeria Oil Output - Bloomberg

Iran Says OPEC Must Address Rising Libya, Nigeria Oil Output - Bloomberg:

"OPEC’s commitment to cutting production to clear a global glut is working, but the group needs to address rising output from Libya and Nigeria, Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said. Compliance with the output cuts is “acceptable,” Zanganeh told reporters Sunday in Tehran. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries should focus on “the situation with Libya and Nigeria,” he said, referring to the two countries exempted from capping production due to their internal strife. Nigeria will be able to participate in cuts when its output stabilizes at 1.8 million barrels a day, Oil Minister Emmanuel Kachikwu said Friday. “OPEC’s actions are working and compliance is acceptable overall, although there needs to be some change,” Zanganeh said, referring to OPEC members’ compliance with their pledges to pump less. “Changes are really related to Libya and Nigeria and the 100 percent compliance of everyone.” He didn’t elaborate."

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UAE's oil supply cut compliance is 100 percent: energy minister

UAE's oil supply cut compliance is 100 percent: energy minister:

"The United Arab Emirates energy minister said the country’s compliance with a pact on global oil supply cuts stood at 100 percent. “UAE compliance is 100 percent and we announce cuts every month,” Suhail al-Mazroui told reporters on the sidelines of an event in the the capital Abu Dhabi on Monday. “In the last two months we cut 10 percent of our exports,” he said."

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OPEC Deal With Russia Is Showing Signs of Strain - Bloomberg

OPEC Deal With Russia Is Showing Signs of Strain - Bloomberg:

"Saudi Arabia's former oil minister Ali al-Naimi complained in 2014 that Russia never followed through on its promises to reduce production during the 2008-2009 financial crisis, and he assessed the chance of cuts at “zero." Under his successor, Khalid Al-Falih, Russia -- leading a group of non-OPEC states -- has engaged in unprecedented cooperation with the Saudi-guided Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. Rising oil prices reflect some market optimism, but strains are again showing in the deal, up for renewal or expiry in March 2018. A failure to renew the accord would add further oversupply. Despite a bump in August, compliance is already weakening slowly. The conditions in the first half of this year were the most favorable: Russian production usually is stagnant in spring, due to weather. At the same time, Saudi domestic demand for power generation was lower, and Iraq and Iran struggled to boost output. Nonetheless, OPEC exports did not decline nearly as much as reported falls in production. Since then, Libyan production, though volatile, has recovered substantially, while Nigerian output also came back, as both have been exempt from cuts under the arrangement. Iran has recently started exceeding its agreed cap slightly, with production inching up, while investment is returning in Iraq, which has reluctantly agreed to the deal. To meet summer domestic demand, Saudi Arabia moved from over-complying to merely complying. OPEC’s goal of removing 1.16 million barrels per day from its October 2016 production has shrunk to only 489,000 bpd, taking into account the two exempt countries, while exports are down just 213,000 bpd, according to the tanker-tracking service Kpler."

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Saudi Arabia Hires Goldman, JPMorgan, HSBC for Dollar Bond - Bloomberg

Saudi Arabia Hires Goldman, JPMorgan, HSBC for Dollar Bond - Bloomberg:

"Saudi Arabia will hold calls with fixed-income investors starting Monday as the world’s biggest oil exporter seeks to sell dollar bonds for the second time this year. The kingdom mandated Goldman Sachs Group Inc., GIB Capital, HSBC Holdings Plc, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. as joint lead managers and bookrunners to organize the calls, according to two people familiar with the matter. A sale of 144a/ RegS bonds with maturities of more than five, 10 and 30 years will follow subject to market conditions, they said."

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MIDEAST STOCKS-Dana Gas down before sukuk trial, Qatar extends gains

MIDEAST STOCKS-Dana Gas down before sukuk trial, Qatar extends gains:

"Shares of Abu Dhabi-listed Dana Gas fell sharply early on Monday, before a London court hearing on its maturing sukuk issue, while Qatar bucked an otherwise weak regional market. They stocks sank 2.7 percent after 90 minutes of trade, heading to their third straight session of losses, as investors awaited the outcome of a London High Court trial on the validity of the $700-million sukuk. It focuses on Dana Gas’s June announcement that it would not redeem its outstanding sukuk, or Islamic bonds, on the grounds that due to changes in interpretation of Islamic finance they’re no longer sharia-compliant and therefore unlawful in the UAE."

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