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Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Qatar National Bank's 2017 loan growth to rise 12-14 pct -analysts

Qatar National Bank's 2017 loan growth to rise 12-14 pct -analysts:

"Qatar National Bank (QNB), the largest lender in the Middle East and Africa by assets, expects loan growth of 12-14 percent this year, propelled by government infrastructure spending, analysts said after a call with QNB’s finance chief.

The country’s banking sector has had to contend with fallout from a June decision by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt to cut diplomatic and transport ties with Qatar, though the Qatari government has shown little sign of weakening its commitment to spending on infrastructure projects.

QNB expects net profit growth of 6-8 percent for 2017 and for 2018, analysts said after an investor relations conference call with QNB Chief Financial Officer Ramzi Mari."



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Abu Dhabi bourse starts technical short-selling to boost liquidity | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Abu Dhabi bourse starts technical short-selling to boost liquidity | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange said on Tuesday it was introducing technical short-selling in an effort to increase liquidity in the stock market and attract more foreign investors.

In short-selling, investors sell stocks they do not own to profit if prices have dropped when the trades are settled. In the exchange's technical short-selling system, trades are settled within two business days, with short-sellers depositing an initial margin worth 50 percent of the shares' market value.

Several rules seek to reduce volatility and risk in the system, such as a trading suspension if a stock drops 5 percent, or if the proportion of a company's capital sold short reaches 10 percent. "



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Abu Dhabi’s ADNOC to sell $3 bln debut bond as soon as this week -sources

Abu Dhabi’s ADNOC to sell $3 bln debut bond as soon as this week -sources:

"Abu Dhabi National Oil Co (ADNOC) is expected to issue as early as this week a project bond in the region of $3 billion, in what would be the United Arab Emirates oil major’s first public debt issue, sources familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.

The bond, with a maturity longer than 10 years, would be sold by one of ADNOC’s subsidiaries, not by the holding company.

State-owned ADNOC, which manages almost all the proven oil reserves in the UAE, has mandated banks including Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, First Abu Dhabi Bank, HSBC and JP Morgan to arrange the debt sale, said the sources."



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Fight for Iraq's Future Targets 90-Year-Old Kirkuk Oil Field - Bloomberg

Fight for Iraq's Future Targets 90-Year-Old Kirkuk Oil Field - Bloomberg:

"The latest battle for Iraq’s future is unfolding around the country’s oldest oil field.

Federal government troops on Tuesday took control of all the crude deposits in the Kirkuk area after pushing back forces from the semi-autonomous Kurdish region with a rapid thrust into the province in northern Iraq. The fighting broke a stand-off over the long-disputed area.

Baghdad wants to reassert control of the area’s oil deposits from Kurdish fighters, who seized the territory and its capital city, also called Kirkuk, to ward off Islamic State militants in 2014. The Kurds, who voted overwhelmingly for independence in a referendum last month, see the resources as a financial lifeline for a future state."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf mixed, insurers help Saudi Arabia

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf mixed, insurers help Saudi Arabia:

"Gulf stock markets were mixed despite strong oil prices on Tuesday while Saudi Arabia’s insurance sector continued to recover from last week’s losses.

The main Saudi index inched up 0.2 percent. In the insurance sector, which sank last week on expectations for a shakeout in the sector caused by tougher regulation, Malath Insurance surged 9.9 percent after the trading period for its rights issue ended, while Metlife AIG ANB jumped 3.6 percent.

Banks were mixed. Alinma Bank, which had risen 2.3 percent on Monday after it reported better-than-expected earnings, fell back 0.3 percent. But Riyad Bank edged up 0.8 percent while Alawwal Bank gained 2.1 percent."



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Mashreq Q3 profits up 35% on lower impairments  - The National

Mashreq Q3 profits up 35% on lower impairments  - The National:

"Mashreq, the Dubai-based lender, said third-quarter profit rose 35 per cent, boosted by gains in net interest income, fees and commissions and a drop in money set aside to cover bad debt. The bank's profits for the three months to the end of September increased to Dh561 million from Dh415m in the corresponding period last year, the bank said on Tuesday, as impairment allowances decreased 44 per cent to Dh265m. Net interest income and income from Islamic financing advanced 3.9 per cent to Dh910m compared with Dh876m in the same quarter last year, while fees and commissions grew 3.8 per cent to Dh414m compared with Dh399m over the same period."



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Nasdaq Dubai inks derivatives deal with MSCI | GulfNews.com

Nasdaq Dubai inks derivatives deal with MSCI | GulfNews.com:

"Nasdaq Dubai has signed a licence agreement with index provider MSCI to create derivative products that will be traded on the Nasdaq Dubai derivatives platform.
The exchange initially plans to develop futures contracts based on the MSCI UAE Index, which is widely tracked by international institutional investors, the bourse said in an emailed statement on Tuesday.

The development is significant in the light of the growing importance of the region as an attractive investment destination for international investors seeking exposure to high-growth emerging markets such as the UAE."



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Are Saudi equities ready to go mainstream? | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Are Saudi equities ready to go mainstream? | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Many will find it a bit of a mystery that Saudi equities still do not form part of the most important international benchmarks. Despite solid macro-economic credentials, a market that has outperformed emerging and global equities for the past 20 years is still kept out by major index providers. If you buy a global equities ETF or index fund today, whether it has exposure to emerging markets, developed markets or otherwise, the chances are that you will have no direct investment in Saudi Arabia. This can seem somewhat odd as the Saudi market has a number of things going for it. It is large, representing between 40 and 60 per cent of the total available market capitalisation in the region, depending on index methodology. It is also liquid with an average daily volume above $1 billion over the past year, although this is a number that used to be significantly higher in previous years. It also counts some of the most important companies in the region: of the top 20 regional companies, 13 are from Saudi Arabia. Any investor seeking to find diversification opportunities by going global should seriously consider including this market in their investment universe. However, index providers have previously been held back by accessibility issues because of significant restrictions on foreign investors. Although it was possible to find a way into the Saudi market via derivatives, little progress was made on direct access until the Capital Market Authority decided to introduce the Qualified Foreign Investor (QFI) programme in 2015. Even then, there were a number of specific criteria to fulfil before an institution could gain full access to the cash market."



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Saudi Aramco asks FTI Consulting to halt IPO investor relations work: sources

Saudi Aramco asks FTI Consulting to halt IPO investor relations work: sources:

"State-owned Saudi Aramco has asked FTI Consulting (FCN.N) to suspend its investor relations advisory work related to the oil company’s planned initial public offering, people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Aramco brought in Brunswick to advice on media relations and appointed FTI Consulting to manage investor relations.

It was not immediately clear why FTI was asked to suspend its work for Aramco, but one of the sources said the latest decision could broaden Brunswick’s role beyond media relations."



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Qatari Banks Are Said to Cut Dollar Sales to Foreign Lenders - Bloomberg

Qatari Banks Are Said to Cut Dollar Sales to Foreign Lenders - Bloomberg:

"Some Qatari banks are becoming less willing to sell dollars to foreign lenders amid a lingering regional standoff with a Saudi-led alliance, according to people familiar with the matter.

Foreign exchange activity between local and international banks is almost at a standstill, the people said, asking not to be identified because the matter is private. The central bank is still providing dollars to local lenders to meet domestic business needs at the pegged rate of 3.64 riyals per dollar, they said.

To get dollars to fund imports and other commercial activities for local clients, foreign banks are using the offshore market to buy the U.S. currency at a higher rate and may have to pass these costs on to clients, some of whom are in Qatar, the people said. The Qatari riyal fell as low as 3.80 versus the dollar in the offshore market on Monday, the lowest since 1988, according to data compiled by Bloomberg."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf flat to lower in early trade, Saudi banks hold up

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf flat to lower in early trade, Saudi banks hold up:

"Most Gulf stock markets were flat to lower in early trade on Tuesday with Saudi Arabia’s banking and insurance sectors holding up after their rebound the previous day. The main Saudi index was flat after the first hour. Most Saudi banks edged up though Alinma Bank, which had jumped 2.3 percent in heavy trade on Monday after it reported better-than-expected earnings, fell back 0.2 percent. Malath Insurance surged 9.9 percent after the trading period for its rights issue ended on Monday. Another insurer, Metlife AIG ANB, jumped 4.5 percent."



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