Google+ Followers

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Kurdish oil industry in the balance following referendum - The National

Kurdish oil industry in the balance following referendum - The National:

"The old adage that the Kurds have no friends but the mountains was reinforced last Monday, when most regional powers condemned the Kurdistan Region of Iraq’s referendum on independence. The Kurds’ bid for statehood has been underpinned by the oil under their homeland’s mountains. And three major players, seeking that oil, have enabled these aspirations. Partly in response to the vote - 92 percent in favour of independence with 73 percent turnout - oil prices rose to a two-year high. Turkish president Recep Erdo─čan, concerned about his own country’s large Kurdish minority, said Turkey might close the oil pipeline from Kurdistan to the Mediterranean port of Ceyhan, the region’s only route to export markets. The federal government in Baghdad has closed Kurdish airspace to international flights and sought to take back control of border posts. Iran also halted flights and closed its border. US secretary of state Rex Tillerson said the vote lacked legitimacy and reiterated the American policy favouring a united Iraq. It is a rare issue today that can unite the US, Iran, Turkey and Baghdad."



'via Blog this'

UAE economy manages soft landing with improvements in public finance | GulfNews.com

UAE economy manages soft landing with improvements in public finance | GulfNews.com:

"The UAE economy is successfully managing a soft landing amid fiscal pressures on public finance resulting from persistent low oil prices, according to economists and analysts “We continue to think that the UAE has managed a soft landing, with a less pronounced cycle than in 2008. We expect non-oil real GDP growth to have bottomed out as the fiscal drag eases and infrastructure activity picks up,” said Jean-Michel Saliba, Middle East and North Africa (Mena) Economist of Bank of America Merrill Lynch. A gradual pick up in non-oil private sector economic activity in the UAE will be a key driver of economic growth in the country this year and next, but low oil prices and output will continue to be a drag on economic growth, according to the latest UAE Economic Update from Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB)."



'via Blog this'

Dubai’s GEMS Education planning over $1 bln loan ahead of IPO -sources

Dubai’s GEMS Education planning over $1 bln loan ahead of IPO -sources:

"GEMS Education, an international education firm headquartered in Dubai, plans to raise a loan of over $1 billion to refinance some existing debt before a planned initial public offer of shares in London, sources familiar with the matter said. The company, backed by Dubai-based Fajr Capital, Bahraini state investment fund Mumtalakat and private equity giant Blackstone, is expected to issue a request for proposals to banks by the end of this month, said one of the sources, adding that the loan could go up to $1.2 billion in size. A spokesman for GEMS declined to comment."



'via Blog this'

UPDATE 1-Dubai’s Mashreq to cut branches as it shifts towards digital banking - CEO

UPDATE 1-Dubai’s Mashreq to cut branches as it shifts towards digital banking - CEO:

"Dubai’s Mashreq Bank, the emirate’s third-largest lender by assets, plans to halve the size, not the number, of its branches over the next three years as it shifts its focus towards digital banking services, its CEO told Reuters on Sunday. The downsizing will translate into a reduction of 15 to 20 percent of the bank’s staff in retail services, including employees working at branches and also back office personnel, said Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair, without giving precise numbers. Mashreq has 44 branches in the United Arab Emirates, and a retail presence in other countries in the region including Egypt, Qatar, Kuwait and Bahrain, according to its website. It has more than 4,000 employees."



'via Blog this'

Qatar growth sinks as oil sector stalls, sanctions cause minor damage

Qatar growth sinks as oil sector stalls, sanctions cause minor damage:

"Qatar’s economic growth slowed in the second quarter to its lowest rate since the global financial crisis because of a sagging oil sector, while sanctions by other Arab states inflicted minor damage, official data showed on Sunday.

Gross domestic product, adjusted for inflation, expanded just 0.6 percent from a year earlier in the April-June period, the slowest growth since the 2009-2010 crisis. GDP grew 0.5 percent from the previous quarter.

The main reason for the slowdown was the mining and quarrying sector, which includes oil and gas output; it shrank 2.7 percent from a year ago. Last December, Qatar and other global oil producers agreed to cut output to support prices."



'via Blog this'

Saudis Pay the Price for OPEC Leadership - Bloomberg Gadfly

Saudis Pay the Price for OPEC Leadership - Bloomberg Gadfly:

"This isn't the result the Saudis were looking for, and they might just decide to fight back.Saudi Arabia's leadership of OPEC and non-OPEC production cuts comes at a cost. Not only is it trimming export volumes, it is also losing market share in key destinations, most gallingly, to countries that are also part of the output deal. That could herald fierce competition for market share once restrictions are lifted.After almost a year of negotiations, OPEC member countries agreed in November to reduce output by around 4.5 percent (with a couple of exemptions). The following month they secured pledges from a group of non-OPEC countries to cut their production. Most important of these was Russia, which agreed to trim output by 300,000 barrels a day, or 2.7 percent."



'via Blog this'

Qatar's Economy Was Already Slowing Ahead of Saudi-Led Boycott - Bloomberg

Qatar's Economy Was Already Slowing Ahead of Saudi-Led Boycott - Bloomberg:

"Qatar’s economic growth was slowing even before a Saudi Arabia-led bloc severed diplomatic and transport links in early June, as the world’s biggest exporter of natural gas felt the impact of lower energy prices.

Gross domestic product grew 0.6 percent in the second quarter ended June 30 from a year earlier, the Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics said on Sunday, compared with 2.5 percent in the January-to-March period. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt began a boycott of Qatar on June 5, closing its only land border and halting commercial flights.

The data show Qatar was suffering due to lower oil prices, which weighed on growth across the region. The slowdown is being exacerbated by the Saudi-led action, and economists expect Qatar’s economy to expand 2.5 percent this year -- the slowest pace since 1995. Saudi Arabia said on Saturday its own economy contracted in the second quarter."



'via Blog this'

Oil Cuts Add to Saudi Pain as GDP Contracts for Second Quarter - Bloomberg

Oil Cuts Add to Saudi Pain as GDP Contracts for Second Quarter - Bloomberg:



"Saudi Arabia’s economy contracted for two quarters in a row for the first time since the global financial crisis, as the kingdom grapples with low oil prices and its businesses struggle to cope with economic reforms.

The kingdom’s gross domestic product shrank 1 percent in the second quarter from the same period a year earlier, when it expanded 0.9 percent, according to official data released on Saturday. The economy had contracted 0.5 percent in the first three months of 2017.

Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman is leading the push to transform the biggest Arab economy at a time when crude prices are at about half their 2014 peak. But as authorities seek to reduce the kingdom’s reliance on oil, they’re also leading efforts among OPEC members and some other major producers to bolster prices by cutting output. The kingdom’s oil GDP shrank 1.8 percent in the second quarter, weighing on overall activity."



'via Blog this'

FTSE Russell Denies Saudi Arabia Entry to Emerging Markets List - Bloomberg

FTSE Russell Denies Saudi Arabia Entry to Emerging Markets List - Bloomberg:

"Index provider FTSE Russell refrained from adding Saudi Arabia to its index of emerging market countries amid its September country classification annual review. Neighbor Kuwait was added to the list.

FTSE Russell said Saudi Arabia will soon meet criteria to be promoted from unclassified status to a secondary emerging market, according to a statement on Friday. Saudi Arabia will be assessed again in March, it said.

Capital markets regulators and the stock exchanges in both countries have introduced infrastructure reforms in attempts to attract local and international investors. In Saudi Arabia, the improvements are part of a broad program to diversify the country’s economy away from oil, its main export, and ahead of the sale of shares in state-controlled oil company Saudi Arabian Oil Co."



'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-FTSE decisions hurt Saudi, boost Kuwait blue chips

MIDEAST STOCKS-FTSE decisions hurt Saudi, boost Kuwait blue chips:

"The Saudi stock index fell on Sunday after news that index compiler FTSE had decided to delay including Riyadh in its secondary emerging market index, while Kuwaiti blue chips were strong after FTSE included Kuwait. In its annual country classification review on Friday, FTSE praised Riyadh’s market reforms but said it would need more time to evaluate their practical impact. It will therefore assess Saudi Arabia again next March: “It is anticipated that Saudi Arabia will meet the requirements for inclusion as a Secondary Emerging market from early 2018.”"



'via Blog this'