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Sunday, 29 October 2017

Saudi Arabia affirms backing for Opec supply cuts extension

Saudi Arabia affirms backing for Opec supply cuts extension:

"Some of the world’s most powerful oil producers are rallying behind an extension of a global supply cuts agreement ahead of next month’s ministerial meeting, providing support to crude prices that have rebounded to $60 a barrel.

Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Mohammed bin Salman confirmed on Saturday the kingdom’s willingness to back an extension of Opec-led output curbs past its expiry in March next year.

“The kingdom affirms its readiness to extend the production cut agreement, which proved its feasibility by rebalancing supply and demand,” Prince Mohammed said in an unusual official statement on the oil market."



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Exclusive: S&P Dow Jones to launch three new Middle East indices - The National

Exclusive: S&P Dow Jones to launch three new Middle East indices - The National:

"Index provider S&P Dow Jones Indices plans to launch three new regional indexes by early 2018 a it continues its expansion in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) and leverages the global and regional rise in passive investment inflows, its global chief executive. The company plans to launch two high-yield indexes before the end of this year – the S&P Mena Bond and Sukuk High Yield Index, and the S&P Bond and Sukuk High Yield Index – said its global chief executive Alex Matturi. The company, which is majority owned by S&P Global, plans to launch a third index, the S&P Pan-Arab Sharia Multi-Asset Class Index, in the first quarter of 2018, responding to growing demand for market benchmarking tools among banks, asset managers and sovereign wealth funds."



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Saudi foreign reserves continue slide, lowest since April 2011

Saudi foreign reserves continue slide, lowest since April 2011:

"The Saudi Arabian central bank’s foreign reserves continued falling in September, standing at their lowest since April 2011, as the government drew them down to cover a budget deficit caused by low oil prices, central bank data showed on Sunday. The bank’s net foreign assets shrank by $2.4 billion from August to $477.6 billion, down 12.6 percent from a year earlier. They peaked at $737 billion in August 2014, before starting to drop in line with oil prices. Central bank governor Ahmed al-Kholifey said last week that the pace of the reserves’ fall had slowed over the past three years and that their current level was very comfortable."



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INTERVIEW- UAE, Saudi eye joint investments to reduce food security risks: UAE ministry undersecretary | ZAWYA MENA Edition

INTERVIEW- UAE, Saudi eye joint investments to reduce food security risks: UAE ministry undersecretary | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"The United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia are looking to ramp up their partnerships and joint ventures in order to bolster food security levels for their growing populations, a senior UAE official said. “Today neither UAE nor Saudi are arable lands. So the food security concerns created a will for both countries to get into joint investments that could see a third party or country, not necessarily in UAE or Saudi,” Abdulla Al Saleh, Undersecretary for Foreign Trade and Industry at the UAE Ministry of Economy told Zawya in an Arabic interview at a business forum in Abu Dhabi this month. “This is one of the ways to reduce the investment and production costs of food commodities. When there is a larger capital along with a bigger target market, the investment return is definitely better,” he added."



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UPDATE 1-Saudi’s SABIC Q3 net profit up 10.7 pct on higher prices, sales

UPDATE 1-Saudi’s SABIC Q3 net profit up 10.7 pct on higher prices, sales:

"Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC), the world’s fourth-biggest petrochemicals company, reported a 10.7 percent rise in third-quarter net profit on Sunday, beating analysts’ estimates.

Majority state-owned SABIC made a net profit of 5.79 billion riyals ($1.54 billion) in the three months to Sept. 30, up from 5.23 billion riyals in the year-earlier period, the company said in a bourse statement.

The net profit was better than the average net profit of 4.27 billion riyals forecast by four analysts."



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Qatar Eases Bank Laws for Expats With Expired Visas Amid Boycott - Bloomberg

Qatar Eases Bank Laws for Expats With Expired Visas Amid Boycott - Bloomberg:

"Qatar’s central bank is easing its banking rules for expatriates, as it grapples with a regional economic boycott about to enter its sixth month. The regulator ordered lenders to allow foreign workers to conduct normal banking transactions for 90 days after the expiry date of their visa, according to a statement posted on its website Sunday. The rule change is in line with an existing policy allowing expatriates to stay for three months from the end of a residency permit. The law “aims to facilitate the transactions of residents in the State of Qatar and to ensure the proper functioning of their financial affairs,” the central bank said in the statement. Qatar’s banks, like others in the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council, have typically blocked expat accounts once residency is canceled or expires to ensure debts are settled before they leave the country."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Petchems, Saudi Telecom beat lift Riyadh; rest of Gulf sluggish

MIDEAST STOCKS-Petchems, Saudi Telecom beat lift Riyadh; rest of Gulf sluggish:

"Petrochemical stocks and an earnings beat by Saudi Telecom Co lifted Riyadh’s stock market on Sunday while other Gulf bourses were sluggish, once more ignoring a strong performance by Wall Street on the previous trading day.

The Saudi stock index climbed 0.7 percent. Unusually, four of the 10 most active stocks were petrochemical producers after oil prices rose sharply at the end of last week, with Brent crude hitting $60 a barrel for the first time since 2015; industry leader Saudi Basic Industries gained 0.8 percent.

Saudi Telecom climbed 3.6 percent after reporting an 18.2 percent rise in third-quarter net profit to 2.62 billion riyals ($698.7 million), topping the 2.28 billion forecast of four analysts polled by Reuters. But the increase was mostly due to cost-cutting; revenue from services fell 8.5 percent to 12.84 billion riyals."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Petchems, Saudi Telecom lift Riyadh; other bourses quiet

MIDEAST STOCKS-Petchems, Saudi Telecom lift Riyadh; other bourses quiet:

"Petrochemical stocks and an earnings beat by Saudi Telecom Co boosted Riyadh’s stock market early on Sunday while other Gulf bourses were generally quiet.

The Saudi stock index climbed 0.6 percent in the first 45 minutes as petrochemical giant Saudi Basic Industries gained 1.2 percent and several other producers such as Saudi Kayan rose by smaller amounts in unusually active trade.

Brent oil rose 1.9 percent on Friday to $60.44 a barrel after Saudi Arabia and Russia pledged support for extending oil output cuts. Rising oil prices tend to be positive for Saudi petrochemical firms’ profit margins."



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Mixed performance hides underlying strength | GulfNews.com

Mixed performance hides underlying strength | GulfNews.com:

"Last week the Dubai Financial Market General Index (DFMGI) fell by 21.67 or 0.59 per cent to end at 3,651.10. Market breadth leant on the bearish side but not by much. There were 15 advancing issues against 20 declining, while volume dipped below the prior week. The DFMGI made an attempt to continue its ascent at the start of the week but was quickly rebuffed at the week’s high of 3,684.19. That was a new eight-month high but the day closed near the low of the day, clearly a failed breakout, at least for now. Regardless, the general trajectory of price behaviour continues to point higher. After a continuation of the pullback off last week’s high the index managed to end the week relatively close the recent highs, and just at support of the downtrend line starting from the early-August peak. The overall retracement off the high was approximately 50 per cent of the most recent upswing, a respectable pullback with a quick recovery."



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Three Crucial Things We Still Don't Know About the Aramco IPO - Bloomberg

Three Crucial Things We Still Don't Know About the Aramco IPO - Bloomberg:

"The financiers and corporate chieftains gathered for Saudi Arabia’s ‘Davos in the Desert’ heard the same message again and again. From the crown prince down, Saudi leaders wanted no room for doubt: the initial public offering of oil giant Aramco is "on track" for 2018.

But beneath the disciplined message put forward in Riyadh lies a more uncertain reality. The 2018 deadline looks tight and the final shape of the deal -- exactly where it happens, how big it is and who gets to take part -- is no clearer than it was a week ago.

There’s a lot at stake in Saudi Arabia and beyond. Potentially the biggest equity sale in history, the IPO is the centerpiece of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s ambitious reform program and intended to seed a $2 trillion sovereign wealth fund to carry the Middle East’s biggest economy through the end of the oil age. It will also mean a giant pay day for Aramco’s Wall Street advisers including JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Morgan Stanley. "



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Saudi Arabia Mulls More Fiscal Expansion in 2018 to Spur Economy - Bloomberg

Saudi Arabia Mulls More Fiscal Expansion in 2018 to Spur Economy - Bloomberg:

"Saudi Arabia is considering a more expansionary budget than planned for 2018, Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan said, as authorities seek to support an economy struggling under the weight of austerity cutbacks.

Authorities were already planning an expansionary budget, “and we are considering even a potential further expansion,” Al-Jadaan said in an interview at the Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh. “We think the economy requires that support and development requires that support.”

The biggest Arab economy contracted two quarters in a row this year after the kingdom cut its crude output to support prices. Growth in non-oil industries was too slow to pick up the slack as Saudi Arabia struggles with the impact of spending cuts. The drive to repair public finances is part of a larger program to overhaul an economy too dependent on oil. The plan includes selling stakes in state assets, including oil giant Saudi Aramco, creating the world’s biggest sovereign wealth fund as well as balancing the budget by 2020."



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NYSE not given up on Aramco IPO, as Saudi bourse eyes exclusive role | ZAWYA MENA Edition

NYSE not given up on Aramco IPO, as Saudi bourse eyes exclusive role | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"The head of the New York Stock Exchange has not given up on the initial public offering (IPO) of Saudi Arabian oil company Aramco, even as the kingdom's bourse operator said it aspired to be the exclusive venue for the listing.

Thursday's comments add to the mystery about Aramco's listing venues as global exchanges compete to win part of the flotation as it will bring a major boost to trading volumes.

Saudi Aramco's chief executive said this week that domestic and international exchanges such as New York, London, Tokyo and Hong Kong have been examined for a partial listing. The $100 billion IPO is aimed at helping raise the kingdom's profile in the eyes of overseas investors, a key part of its goal to reform the economy that is reliant on oil revenues. "



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