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Thursday, 19 October 2017

Sovereign wealth funds seek closer Silicon Valley ties

Sovereign wealth funds seek closer Silicon Valley ties:

"Ibrahim Ajami admits to being concerned about the high valuations of tech start-ups. But not so much that he is not ready to put another $600m of venture money to work — not to mention the $15bn his group already ploughed in last year. As the man in charge of venture investing for Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala sovereign wealth fund, Mr Ajami’s general wariness is appropriate. Funds like his have come late to the party, at what, for a while, has been looking like a cyclical peak in start-up funding. His defence is that good companies never have a problem going public, and that there are enough truly disruptive, world-beating companies to make it worthwhile. It is true that buying into tech start-ups at what look like historically excessive valuations, does not necessarily end in tears. You just have to make sure it is the right start-ups you are over-paying for."



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Abu Dhabi's Adnoc to Plan IPO of Gas Stations This Year - Bloomberg

Abu Dhabi's Adnoc to Plan IPO of Gas Stations This Year - Bloomberg:

"Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. plans to sell shares in its gas stations unit this year and list them on Abu Dhabi’s stock exchange, according to a person with knowledge of the matter. Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Morgan Stanley and EFG-Hermes are helping to manage the sale, according to two people with knowledge, asking not to be identified because the information is private. Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc., HSBC Holdings Plc and First Abu Dhabi Bank PJSC were hired as underwriters, people familiar with the matter said in July. Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and EFG declined to comment. Adnoc said in a statement that it’s considering selling shares in some of its services business, but it didn’t go into more detail. Adnoc Distribution may seek a value of as much as $14 billion, people familiar with the matter said in July. The company has started meeting with investors and analysts, one of the people said."



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Saudi needs Aramco billions as recession slows austerity drive

Saudi needs Aramco billions as recession slows austerity drive:

"Saudi Arabia’s plans to sell state assets - including a stake in energy giant Saudi Aramco - are becoming even more important to its finances as a recession slows Riyadh’s effort to close a budget deficit caused by low oil prices.

Last December, Riyadh released a plan to abolish the deficit by 2020, cutting it from $79 billion (£60 billion) or 12.3 percent of gross domestic product in 2016 via steps such as domestic energy price hikes and tax rises. The plan eased investor fears about Saudi Arabia’s fiscal stability and reduced pressure on its currency.

 But in recent weeks, it has become clear from official statistics that the 2020 target is much too optimistic, economists said. Austerity measures so far have pushed the economy into recession, with GDP shrinking for a second straight quarter in the April-June period.

"



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Saudi Wealth Fund Widens Economic Role With Mortgage Company - Bloomberg

Saudi Wealth Fund Widens Economic Role With Mortgage Company - Bloomberg:

"Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund is setting up a mortgage refinancing company as it deepens the role it plays in the Arab world’s biggest economy. Saudi Real Estate Refinance aims to refinance 75 billion riyals ($20 billion) in mortgages in five years and more than double that by 2026, the Public Investment Fund said in an emailed statement. The company plans to acquire mortgage portfolios, issue mortgage-backed securities and offer direct and indirect refinancing as it seeks to boost home ownership, it said. “The new company is designed to stimulate housing sector development in the kingdom by injecting liquidity in the real estate market,” the statement said."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Banks boost Saudi on Riyad earnings, Dubai's DSI jumps

MIDEAST STOCKS-Banks boost Saudi on Riyad earnings, Dubai's DSI jumps:

"Banks led the Saudi Arabian stock market higher on Thursday after Riyad Bank reported better-than-expected earnings for the third quarter, while builder Drake & Scull jumped in Dubai.

Riyad Bank gained 6.2 percent after reporting a 47.7 percent year-on-year rise in third-quarter net profit to 1.08 billion riyals ($288 million); analysts polled by Reuters had on average forecast 852.5 million riyals.

It was one of the first Saudi banks to report quarterly earnings -- Alinma Bank beat analysts’ estimates slightly on Sunday -- so the news buoyed the sector in general. Eleven of 12 listed Saudi banks rose on Thursday."



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Iraq Turmoil Threatens Billions in Oil Traders' Kurd Deals - Bloomberg

Iraq Turmoil Threatens Billions in Oil Traders' Kurd Deals - Bloomberg:

"The crisis unfolding around the Iraqi city of Kirkuk has left some of the world’s largest commodity trading houses worried the country’s autonomous Kurdish region will struggle to repay billions of dollars in cash-for-oil loans.

The approximately $3.5 billion in debts were going to be met with the roughly 500,000 to 600,000 barrels a day of crude that the northern region of Iraq was pumping, according to people familiar with the information, asking not to be named discussing private information. But output has now collapsed to about half that level after the federal government in Baghdad recaptured some oilfields that the Kurds seized in 2014."



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London Stock Exchange CEO Rolet Fires Back at Aramco IPO Critics - Bloomberg

London Stock Exchange CEO Rolet Fires Back at Aramco IPO Critics - Bloomberg:

"London Stock Exchange Group Plc’s Xavier Rolet hit back at criticism that listing rules were bent to pave the way for one of the world’s largest initial public offerings.

The exchange went on a charm offensive after Saudi officials said they are looking to list as much as 5 percent of Aramco in Riyadh plus one or two foreign exchanges. But the 200-member U.K. Investment Association, which represents funds managing more than 5.7 trillion pounds ($7.5 trillion), cried foul, saying that 25 percent should be the minimum free-float level for any premium listed company in the U.K., and that Saudi Aramco should not be an exception.

“There is not a 25 percent governance rule. There’s a liquidity test,” Rolet said in a Bloomberg TV interview Wednesday. “There have been companies that are extremely large that have been allowed to list with less than 25 percent. Let’s not confuse liquidity with governance.”"



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Banks boost Saudi after Riyad Q3 beat, Dubai's DSI surges

MIDEAST STOCKS-Banks boost Saudi after Riyad Q3 beat, Dubai's DSI surges:

"Banks led the Saudi Arabian stock market up early on Thursday after Riyad Bank beat expectations for its earnings, while builder Drake & Scull jumped in Dubai.

Riyad Bank gained 4.0 percent after reporting a 47.7 percent year-on-year rise in third-quarter net profit to 1.08 billion riyals ($288 million); analysts polled by Reuters had on average forecast 852.5 million riyals.

It was one of the first Saudi banks to report quarterly earnings - Alinma Bank beat analysts’ estimates slightly on Sunday - so the news buoyed the sector in general. All eight listed Saudi banks that traded early on Thursday were higher."



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