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Thursday, 2 November 2017

Qatar poised to buy into En+ as Russia tests investor interest | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Qatar poised to buy into En+ as Russia tests investor interest | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Qatar Investment Authority is expected to invest in the initial public offering of Russia's En+ , sources said on Thursday, adding the flotation would be priced at the bottom of a previously announced range. The En+ IPO is the first major float of a Russian company in London since 2014, when Moscow's annexation of Ukraine's Crimea provoked western sanctions, and one of the biggest European flotations of 2017. QIA had bid for around $300 million of the IPO of En+, which manages tycoon Oleg Deripaska's aluminium and hydropower businesses, while U.S. Capital Group asked for around $125 million, three sources familiar with the process told Reuters. "



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Breakingviews - Cox: Saudi crown prince revealed his magic number

Breakingviews - Cox: Saudi crown prince revealed his magic number:

"The key number to emerge from Saudi Arabia’s big financial confab last week wasn’t a sum of money, or an economic target, but a year - 1979. To thousands of foreign dignitaries, journalists and his own subjects, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman vowed to return the kingdom his family has ruled since 1932 to the more moderate society that prevailed before the siege of the Grand Mosque 38 years ago. He may need the global financial community’s help to make it happen.

Saudi has doled out money to global institutions for decades, hoping to generate income for its monarchy. Now the crown prince is turning the tables. At the Future Investment Initiative conference in Riyadh, the heir to the throne exhorted global entrepreneurs, business leaders and money managers to put some of their treasure to work in the kingdom. A precondition for that should be that Saudi modernizes, improving the role of women and establishing a more just criminal justice system.

The pitch is sinking in. “The opening up of Saudi Arabia - to try to take things back to before 1979 - is brave, it’s bold,“ Richard Branson said at the so-called ”Davos in the desert“ hosted by the country’s Public Investment Fund last week. The Virgin Group founder is considering backing tourism enterprises along Saudi Arabia’s unspoiled coastline on the Red Sea. ”Young people want it, the women want it and I think most sensible men want it too.”"



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf sluggish, blue chips lift Egypt

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf sluggish, blue chips lift Egypt:

"Gulf markets remained sluggish on Thursday despite activity in Dubai’s Emaar Properties after its local property development arm set an indicative price range for its initial public offering (IPO) while a couple of blue chips boosted Egypt.

Emaar Development set a range of 5.7 dirhams to 6.9 dirhams per share, valuing the company at between 22.8 billion and 27.6 billion dirhams ($6.21 billion-$7.52 billion).

Proceeds from the IPO, and possibly other funds, are expected to be paid to Emaar Properties shareholders as a special dividend by the end of January."



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Its image at risk abroad, Qatar backs labor reforms at home

Its image at risk abroad, Qatar backs labor reforms at home:

"Qatar’s decision to commit to sweeping labor reforms may head off an international investigation into its treatment of hundreds of thousands of foreign workers, but rights groups wonder if the 2022 World Cup host will stick to its pledges.

Last week the International Labor Organization said Qatar had agreed to cooperate on a range of reforms - from allowing workers freedom to leave the country and change jobs without their employer’s permission, to establishing a minimum wage and a fund to guarantee late wages.

These are the most far-reaching labor reforms yet agreed to by Qatar, which hopes to burnish its image abroad at a time when its Arab rivals have been boycotting it as a global financier of militant groups, a charge it denies. "



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Why Saudi Arabia Can’t Change Too Quickly - Bloomberg

Why Saudi Arabia Can’t Change Too Quickly - Bloomberg:

"Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman hasn’t wasted any time implementing his vision for Saudi Arabia’s future. Since leapfrogging other senior royals on the line of succession to the throne, the prince has granted women the right to drive and curbed the power of the religious police. Music plays in restaurants, and many women are swapping their black abayas for colorful ones, sharp contrasts in a country that’s been guided by an austere brand of Islam for decades."



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Even the Smallest Gulf Economy Is Too Big to Fail - Bloomberg

Even the Smallest Gulf Economy Is Too Big to Fail - Bloomberg:

"Its economy is 5 percent the size of Saudi Arabia’s, but analysts are betting the kingdom won’t let its neighbor’s financial woes morph into a Gulf crisis. Bahrain, one of the most vulnerable economies in the Gulf Cooperation Council to political instability and oil-price swings, sought financial support from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to replenish its foreign reserves and avert a currency devaluation, according to two people with knowledge of the issue. A third person said Kuwait was also approached. The three countries responded by asking Bahrain for more efforts to control its public finances in return for the money, the people said on condition of anonymity. Bahrain 12-month forward contracts jumped on Wednesday by the most in more than a year, while its dollar bonds fell for a second day."



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Move to 'privatize' Kuwait Stock Exchange moves one step closer | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Move to 'privatize' Kuwait Stock Exchange moves one step closer | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"The privatization of Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) has reached a new level of discussion between the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) and a number of major investment groups in a bid to create more flexible mechanisms in favor of all parties and interpret the interest of the Board of Commissioners properly, reports Al-Rai daily. The companies and investment groups include NBK Capital, National Investment Company, KAMCO and ALMARKAZ (Kuwait Financial Center) among others. Some suggestions were presented during the discussions, such as enforcing Article 33 of Law No. 7/2010 stating that:"



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Saudi Arabia to push back balanced budget target to 2023 -sources

Saudi Arabia to push back balanced budget target to 2023 -sources:

"Saudi Arabia’s government plans to push back the target date for eliminating a big state budget deficit caused by low oil prices to 2023 from 2020, sources briefed by finance ministry officials told Reuters on Thursday. Finance Minister Mohammed al-Jadaan disclosed the change at a seminar on the economy that was closed to the media, the sources said. The 2020 target for eliminating the deficit, which totalled a record $98 billion in 2015, was part of a long-term fiscal plan which Riyadh released in December. Officials are now moving the target back three years to avoid slowing economic growth excessively and hurting the economy, Jadaan told the seminar."



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Oil’s $1 Trillion Question - Bloomberg

Oil’s $1 Trillion Question - Bloomberg:

"If it wasn’t a sales pitch, it really sounded like one. “Aramco is by far the lowest-cost producer,” said Khalid al-Falih, the Saudi oil minister, at the Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh. The October gathering, dubbed “Davos in the desert,” brought together a who’s who of business and finance, including the bosses of Blackstone Group LP and Credit Suisse Group AG. Al-Falih was talking up Saudi Arabian Oil Co., also known as Aramco, the state-owned oil company the kingdom is planning to sell shares of."



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Emaar Plans to Raise $1.5 Billion From Development Unit IPO - Bloomberg

Emaar Plans to Raise $1.5 Billion From Development Unit IPO - Bloomberg:

"Emaar Properties PJSC is seeking to raise as much as $1.5 billion from the initial public offering of its United Arab Emirates development business in what would be the country’s biggest share sale since 2014.

The developer of the world’s tallest skyscraper plans to sell 800 million shares in Emaar Development PJSC at a price range of between 5.7 dirhams ($1.55) and 6.9 dirhams per share, the Dubai-based company said in a statement to the bourse on Thursday. The IPO opens today, with about 10 percent of the shares available to retail investors and 90 percent to institutions."



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Oil Trades Near $54 as U.S. Crude Stockpiles Resume Decline - Bloomberg

Oil Trades Near $54 as U.S. Crude Stockpiles Resume Decline - Bloomberg:

"Oil traded near $54 a barrel as traders remained cautious on how quickly a global oil glut is diminishing. Futures were little changed in New York after falling 0.2 percent Wednesday. Crude inventories fell by 2.44 million barrels for a fifth decline in six weeks, according to the Energy Information Administration. U.S. oil production rose a second week. OPEC output slid in October as tensions between Iraq’s central government and the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region crimped supply."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf subdued, Emaar Properties edges up after unit's IPO pricing

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf subdued, Emaar Properties edges up after unit's IPO pricing:

"Gulf stock markets remained subdued in early trade on Thursday although Dubai’s Emaar Properties edged up after its local property development arm set an indicative price range for its initial public offer of shares.

Emaar Development set a range of 5.7 dirhams to 6.9 dirhams per share, which would value the deal at 5.52 billion dirhams ($1.50 billion) at the top end of the range. The top price would give the company a market capitalisation of 27.60 billion dirhams, a 14.5 percent premium to its estimated net asset value of 24.1 billion dirhams.

Proceeds of the IPO, and possibly other funds, are expected to be paid to Emaar Properties shareholders as a special dividend by the end of January. Fund managers and analysts said the price range appeared reasonable given Dubai’s sluggish real estate market, although the dividend could disappoint some investors; some had been expecting a premium in a range of 10 to 20 percent."



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