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Sunday, 8 October 2017

UAE banks continue to top GCC with $723b worth of assets | GulfNews.com

UAE banks continue to top GCC with $723b worth of assets | GulfNews.com:

"The UAE banking sector has continued to top other GCC (Gulf Cooperative Council) counterparts in terms of assets value in the first half of 2017, with a total value of $723 billion in 48 banks operating in the country, a growth rate of 1.7 per cent compared to 2016. According to experts, the UAE banking sector’s continuation of being ranked first represents an evidence of the financial solvency it enjoys given the open financial and economic policy being adopted by the country, which resulted in encouraging many international financial institutions to invest in this sector. According to a study published by First Abu Dhabi Bank, the Saudi banking sector came second with a total asset value of $611 billion (in the first half), a growth rate of 1.5 per cent compared to $602 billion in 2016. Kuwait was third with $206 billion, followed by Bahrain with $185 billion and Oman with $80 billion."



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UAE hopeful of extension to oil output cut deal

UAE hopeful of extension to oil output cut deal:

"The United Arab Emirates Energy Minister Suhail bin Mohammed al-Mazroui said on Sunday he was hopeful producers will reach a consensus on extending an oil output cut next month. “We are hopeful that the meeting in November will be a good meeting, that it will not be so difficult to reach consensus,” Mazroui told reporters in Abu Dhabi when he was asked about the prospect for an agreement on extending the oil output cut deal. He said he expected the oil market to recover in the second half of the year. Asked whether any new members would join the output cuts this time he said: “all is on the table: the roll over on how many months...I‘m hopeful.”"



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Saudi Aramco eyes joint venture deal in India by next year: CEO

Saudi Aramco eyes joint venture deal in India by next year: CEO:

"State-run oil giant Saudi Aramco [IPO-ARMO.SE] is in talks with several Indian refiners and hopes to land a joint venture deal by next year, the company’s chief executive told Reuters on Sunday. Aramco, like other major oil producers, wants to tap rising demand growth opportunities and invest in the world’s third biggest consumer. “We are hoping to land on a JV sometime,” Aramco’s CEO Amin Nasser said at India Energy Forum by Cera Week in New Delhi."



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OPEC Says 'Extraordinary' Steps Needed for Stable Market in 2018 - Bloomberg

OPEC Says 'Extraordinary' Steps Needed for Stable Market in 2018 - Bloomberg:

"Oil producers are succeeding in re-balancing an oversupplied market, though they may need to take further steps to sustain the recovery into 2018, OPEC Secretary-General Mohammad Barkindo said. Saudi Arabia and Russia are currently leading consultations between the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and other major suppliers about the future of their agreement to cut oil output, Barkindo said Sunday in New Delhi. The pact expires in March, and oil producers are debating whether to extend it later into the year. “There is a growing consensus that, number one, the re-balancing process is underway,” he said after meeting with Indian Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan. “Number two, to sustain this into next year, some extraordinary measures may have to be taken in order to restore this stability on a sustainable basis going forward.” Barkindo didn’t elaborate on any such measures."



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Saudi Dairy Producer to Hold Talks With Danone Unit for Merger - Bloomberg

Saudi Dairy Producer to Hold Talks With Danone Unit for Merger - Bloomberg:

"National Agricultural Development Co., the Saudi dairy producer part owned by the kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund, plans to start talks with Danone SA’s venture in the country for a potential combination. Shareholders of the privately-held Al Safi Danone will own 38.75 percent of National Agricultural Development Co. at the completion of the proposed transaction, according to a statement to the Saudi stock exchange. The companies signed a six-month non-binding MoU to conduct financial, commercial and legal due diligence. The merger plan follows banking and insurance companies in Saudi Arabia starting talks on potential combinations. HSBC Holdings Plc and Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc’s ventures in the kingdom are exploring a potential merger, while at least four insurance companies said earlier this year that they are studying plans for the same."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Sudan-linked shares jump on sanctions end, DSI boosts Dubai

MIDEAST STOCKS-Sudan-linked shares jump on sanctions end, DSI boosts Dubai:

"Shares of Sudanese companies listed in the United Arab Emirates soared on Sunday after the United States said it was lifting sanctions on Sudan, while construction firm Drake & Scull led Dubai higher. In Abu Dhabi, Sudatel Telecom rose by its 15 percent daily limit to 0.69 dirham, its highest level since April, in heavy trade. A Dubai-listed Sudanese bank, Al Salam Bank Sudan, also gained 15 percent but in much smaller trading volume. Citing progress on counter-terrorism and improvement in human rights, Washington lifted 20-year-old sanctions against Sudan that had effectively cut the country off from much of the global financial system, raising costs and risks for Sudanese firms."



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Qatar Central Bank FX Holdings Cushioned by IMF Accounting Tip - Bloomberg

Qatar Central Bank FX Holdings Cushioned by IMF Accounting Tip - Bloomberg:

"Qatar’s central bank has added the equivalent of about $19 billion of previously unreported foreign-currency assets to its total reserves in August based on an International Monetary Fund recommendation, a move that help offset the impact of the Saudi-led embargo.

By adding “other liquid assets in foreign currencies,” the central bank’s total holdings show a decline of 15 percent to 141.84 billion riyals ($39 billion) compared with May, a month before Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt severed diplomatic and transport links with Qatar. Total holdings under the previous method referred only to net international reserves, which have dropped more than 40 percent in the same period to $19.8 billion, the data show."



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Qatar orders aid to private sector as sanctions hurt economy

Qatar orders aid to private sector as sanctions hurt economy:

"Qatar’s government announced measures to help private sector businesses on Saturday after its economy was hurt by sanctions imposed by other Arab states. Prime Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al-Thani decided to cut rents paid by companies in Qatar’s logistics zones in half during 2018 and 2019, official news agency QNA reported. New investors in the zones will be completely exempt from paying rents for a year if they obtain building permits by certain deadlines. Qatar Development Bank, a state-founded body which lends to firms, will postpone receiving loan installments for up to six months to facilitate industrial sector projects."



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OPEC Finds an Unlikely Savior - Bloomberg Gadfly

OPEC Finds an Unlikely Savior - Bloomberg Gadfly:

"There's nothing like a crisis to create unlikely friends and, goodness knows, there are enough crises in the Persian Gulf to create the unlikeliest of alliances. The visit by King Salman of Saudi Arabia to President Putin of Russia may not reflect a complete about-face by the desert kingdom, but it sends a very clear message that the U.S. is no longer the only great power calling the shots in the Gulf.
Big Beasts
Saudi Arabia and Russia, the world's biggest oil exporters, are drawing closer together"



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Drake & Scull leads Dubai index up, Qatar continues slide

MIDEAST STOCKS-Drake & Scull leads Dubai index up, Qatar continues slide:

"Construction firm Drake & Scull led a rise in Dubai’s stock market index in early trade on Sunday while Qatar’s continued dropping to fresh five-year lows, weighed on by the sanctions imposed on Doha by other Arab states. The Dubai index rose 0.3 percent as Drake & Scull , the most heavily traded stock, surged 6.4 percent to 1.82 dirhams, its highest level since April. The stock has been rising sharply in heavy trade since last Wednesday, after it completed a capital restructuring that involved Tabarak Investment receiving 500 million new shares. Investment bank Shuaa Capital jumped 6.5 percent, also in unusually heavy trade."



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