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Sunday, 15 October 2017

Dubai Holding 're-evaluating' Jumeirah Central, insists project will continue - The National

Dubai Holding 're-evaluating' Jumeirah Central, insists project will continue - The National:

"Dubai Holding, one of the emirate’s three big conglomerates, is “re-evaluating” its 47 million square feet Jumeirah Central residential and office development on the Sheikh Zayed Road “to meet expected future demand”. The company said it remains committed to the overall project. The developer said yesterday its changing priorities for the development, unveiled at last year’s Cityscape Global exhibition, have prompted a restructuring of its upper management, with chief operating officer Morgan Parker due to leave the company in the next three months. “Dubai Holding is prioritising projects that will be ready for Expo 2020 Dubai and those that will help draw tourists to the Emirate," a Dubai Holding spokesperson said on Sunday."



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GCC-wide VAT implementation likely to be delayed, IMF official says - The National

GCC-wide VAT implementation likely to be delayed, IMF official says - The National:

"The implementation of GCC-wide value-added tax could be delayed due coordination and preparatory work requirements needed to introduce the 5 per cent tariff at the beginning 2018, an IMF official said. All Arabian Gulf countries have committed to implement the Unified Agreement for Value Added Tax, but nations are moving at different paces of implementation, raising doubt about the possibility of a harmonious introduction of the levy. According to PwC each GCC state establishes its own separate national legislation with detailed compliance requirements and rules outlined in each respective legislation “We are sceptical about whether this (implementation of VAT in the first quarter of next year) can be achieved in the sense that the preparatory and coordination work may not be completed on time,” said Abdelhak Senhadji, deputy director of the fiscal affairs department at the IMF in an interview."



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Dubai Investment Week 2017 opens with FDI leadership workshop | GulfNews.com

Dubai Investment Week 2017 opens with FDI leadership workshop | GulfNews.com:

"The “Dubai Investment Week 2017”, organised by the Dubai Investment Development Agency (Dubai FDI), an agency of Dubai Economy, under the patronage of Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, got off to a start on Sunday with an FDI Leadership Training Workshop on “Industrial FDI: Trends & Opportunities”. The workshop was attended by over 100 professionals working in the development, promotion, and facilitation of foreign investment across government entities and free zones in Dubai as well as partner entities of Dubai FDI. Fahad Al Gergawi, CEO of Dubai FDI opened the workshop, following which Dr Abdul Aziz Istaitieh, Senior Economic Advisor to the Executive Council of Dubai, gave an overview and performance update on the Dubai Industrial Strategy launched last year by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. "



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There is more to health care than building new hospitals | GulfNews.com

There is more to health care than building new hospitals | GulfNews.com:

"For the UAE’s leading health care companies, building new hospitals needn’t be their only plan of action. They can just as easily take on the operation and management (O&M) of existing health care assets owned by others. And that can prove quite a revenue generating option, according to Abu Dhabi headquartered NMC Health. NMC Health is now aiming for full-year O&M revenues of Dh69.7 million, and a figure boosted by its recent deal with Emirates Healthcare, which operates a network of hospitals and specialised clinics in the UAE. “We feel the O&M business provides a great opportunity for NMC to expand our footprint across the GCC,” said Prasanth Manghat, CEO and executive director at NMC Health. “We have been able to enter into O&M agreements that have provided strong corporate operational, financial, and back-office support and relieved the burden of having to go out and recruit talent. We do it because the relationships we have entered into have been mutually beneficial for NMC and for our partners.”"



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Kurdish Oil Keeps Flowing Despite Baghdad's Threats Over Kirkuk - Bloomberg

Kurdish Oil Keeps Flowing Despite Baghdad's Threats Over Kirkuk - Bloomberg:

"Oil flowed normally from fields in northern Iraq even as government troops and allied militias faced off with forces from the independence-seeking Kurdish region on the outskirts of the disputed area of Kirkuk. Exports of about 600,000 barrels a day of crude from Kirkuk’s oil fields and from deposits inside the adjacent Kurdish region continued as usual through a Kurd-controlled pipeline to Turkey, according to a person familiar with the matter, asking not to be identified because the information is private. The shipments from Kirkuk combine crude pumped by Iraq’s state-owned North Oil Co. and by the Kurdistan Regional Government, and both flows are normal, Kirkuk Governor Najmaddin Kareem said Sunday. Kirkuk, home to Iraq’s oldest-producing oil fields, has emerged as a potential flashpoint of conflict between the country’s federal government in Baghdad and the semi-autonomous KRG. Iraq is the second-largest OPEC producer, pumping most of its 4.47 million barrels a day from fields in the south and shipping it from the Persian Gulf port of Basra. But with Iraq supplying about 14 percent of total production from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, a conflict centered in the country’s north could have an immediate impact on oil markets."



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Qatar National Bank aims to refinance $3 bln loan by year-end –sources

Qatar National Bank aims to refinance $3 bln loan by year-end –sources:

"Qatar National Bank, the largest Gulf Arab bank, has approached commercial banks for the refinancing of a $3 billion loan due next March, saying it would like to complete the deal before the end of 2017, sources familiar with the matter said. The refinancing could force foreign banks to make difficult decisions as they seek to avoid choosing sides in the diplomatic crisis between Qatar and its Gulf neighbours. Some banks with operations on both sides are trying to maintain existing relationships with Qatari borrowers. But they would prefer not to be seen lending to Qatar for fear of disrupting their existing relationships with clients in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi falls, most markets trade narrowly

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi falls, most markets trade narrowly:

"Most Middle East stock markets traded in narrow ranges on Sunday while Saudi Arabia was dragged down by several major blue chips.

The Saudi index dropped 0.7 percent as Al Rajhi Bank lost 1.0 percent and miner Ma‘aden sank 1.9 percent. Petrochemical producer Saudi Basic Industries fell 0.7 percent.

Insurers were roughly evenly split between gainers and losers after they tumbled last week on expectations for a shakeout in the sector caused by tougher regulation. Amana Insurance, which had plunged 14.9 percent last week, surged 5.8 percent in unusually heavy trade."



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UAE banks set for resilient third quarter results | GulfNews.com

UAE banks set for resilient third quarter results | GulfNews.com:

"The UAE banking sector performance is expected to be resilient in the third quarter of this year despite a slowdown in economic growth resulting in modest balance sheet growth across the banking sector. Analysts expect no major surprises except the broad trend of modest margin growth largely from loan repricing because of higher interest rates and improving cost structure. UAE banks in general have reported resilient earnings in the second quarter. Earnings benefited from an improvement in credit cost, as well as modest loan growth. Margins were slightly compressed year-on-year, but have improved since the start of this year, thanks to two rate hikes in 2017. Banks continue to put a lid on cost growth, further supporting profitability."



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High Noon.com: Battle for Saudi e-commerce market begins

High Noon.com: Battle for Saudi e-commerce market begins:

"In Saudi Arabia, a kingdom where postal codes are rarely used, most people pay in cash, and shopping is done in giant air-conditioned malls, building an online retail business is no easy task.

But two powerfully-backed companies are trying to do just that, betting a young, tech-savvy population will eventually deliver up a large slice of the Arab world’s largest consumer market.

After months of delays, Noon.com launched in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Oct. 1 and said it would enter the Saudi market “within the coming weeks.”"



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Iran's a Distraction. The Urgent Problem Is Kurdish Oil - Bloomberg Gadfly

Iran's a Distraction. The Urgent Problem Is Kurdish Oil - Bloomberg Gadfly:

"The drama around President Donald Trump and Iran's compliance with the nuclear deal has grabbed the oil world's attention. This gaze should shift west. Rising tensions in northern Iraq could have a much more immediate impact on oil flows that could lead prices higher, and squeeze producers and refiners.The collapse of so-called Islamic State in Iraq ought to be a cause for celebration and national renewal. Instead, it has dragged the country to the brink of a civil war that, on top of the unnecessary human suffering, could cause the loss of more than half a million barrels a day of exports.The ousting of insurgents from their last strongholds in northern Iraq has brought the Iraqi military and Iranian-backed militias into direct contact with forces loyal to the Kurdish Regional Government in the oil fields around Kirkuk. Although these produce much less than the fields in the south of the country they are nonetheless important, both economically and strategically, to the Kurdish and Baghdad governments alike."



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Saudi Wealth Fund Builds $2.4 Billion Stake in Food Producer - Bloomberg

Saudi Wealth Fund Builds $2.4 Billion Stake in Food Producer - Bloomberg:

"Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund became the third-biggest shareholder in Almarai Co. as it boosts investments at home and abroad.

The Public Investment Fund owns 163.2 million shares, or 16.32 percent, of Riyadh-based dairy farm operator and food processor, according to a regulatory filing that didn’t disclose the identity of the seller. The stake is valued at about 9 billion riyals ($2.4 billion) based on Oct. 12 closing prices, according to data compiled by Bloomberg."



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UPDATE 1-Saudi may raise loan-deposit ratio if needed, c.bank chief tells Arabiya

UPDATE 1-Saudi may raise loan-deposit ratio if needed, c.bank chief tells Arabiya:

"Saudi Arabia’s central bank may raise the maximum loan-to-deposit ratio for commercial banks if that is needed to help the economy, central bank governor Ahmed al-Kholifey told Al Arabiya television. Kholifey was speaking on the sidelines of meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in Washington at the weekend. The central bank last raised the ratio in February 2016, to 90 percent from 85 percent. The ratio for the banking sector as a whole stood at 81.7 percent in August, down from 84.8 percent a year ago, according to the latest central bank data."



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Qatar deflation deepens as real estate market weakens

Qatar deflation deepens as real estate market weakens:

"Qatar’s consumer price deflation deepened in September as a downturn in the real estate market deepened because of economic sanctions imposed by other Arab states, official data showed on Saturday.

Consumer prices fell 0.5 percent from a year earlier last month, after a 0.4 percent drop in August that was the first fall since at least early 2015, when the current data series began.

Housing and utility prices sank 4.7 percent from a year ago in September, their biggest drop for at least several years, and fell 0.7 percent from the previous month. In August, prices had slipped 4.0 percent from a year earlier."



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Mideast stocks: Gulf marginally firmer in early trade | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Mideast stocks: Gulf marginally firmer in early trade | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Gulf stock markets were marginally firmer in early trade on Sunday with most Saudi Arabian insurance company shares continuing to rebound from sharp losses last week.

The main Saudi stock index.TASI edged up 0.02 percent in the first hour. Amana Insurance, which had plunged 14.9 percent last week on expectations for a shakeout in the sector caused by tougher regulation, surged 6.6 percent.

Food company Almarai 2280.SE rose 2.9 percent after saying the Public Investment Fund, the main Saudi sovereign wealth fund, had retained a 16.3 percent stake in the company after a 25 percent capital increase through an issue of bonus shares. "



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