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Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Saudi prince sells 21st Century Fox stake in blow to Murdochs | Media | The Guardian

Saudi prince sells 21st Century Fox stake in blow to Murdochs | Media | The Guardian:

"A key ally of Rupert Murdoch has sold his stake in 21st Century Fox, leaving the company more vulnerable to a rebellion by shareholders unhappy at the dominance of the Murdoch family. Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, who controls the investment firm Kingdom Holding and is one of the world’s richest men, at one stage owned more than 6% of Fox and has consistently backed the Murdochs in shareholder votes about the family’s control of the company. He has been a shareholder in Murdochcompanies – including Fox and News Corp, the owner of the Sun, Times and Wall Street Journal – for two decades and expressed public support for the family after the phone-hacking scandal at the News of the World in 2011."



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Just why did Trump tweet about the Saudi Aramco IPO? | Arab News

Just why did Trump tweet about the Saudi Aramco IPO? | Arab News:

"Where does the initial public offering (IPO) of Saudi Aramco stand after the dramatic weekend intervention by President Trump in support of attempts by the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) to stage the record-breaking IPO? Even by his own standards, it was an extraordinary tweet from the president. He said he would “appreciate” it if the Kingdom chose the NYSE rather than the other range of options it is considering. That is the transactional language of a businessman president, and suggested Trump would show his appreciation in some way if Saudi Arabia went for the NYSE. “Important to the United States!,” he exclaimed, underlining the historic significance of the Aramco IPO, which at $100 billion is set to be the biggest in history and four times the size of the previous record holder, Alibaba of China, also on the NYSE, in 2014."



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Qatari investor sells $1.5 billion stake in India's Bharti Airtel

Qatari investor sells $1.5 billion stake in India's Bharti Airtel:

"A Qatari investor sold its entire 5 percent stake in top Indian telecoms carrier Bharti Airtel (BRTI.NS) on Wednesday for 96 billion rupees ($1.48 billion), adding to the sanctions-hit Gulf nation’s recent stake sales in foreign companies.

An affiliate of the Qatar Foundation Endowment (QFE) sold about 199.9 million shares in the phone carrier at 481 rupees each via a block trade, it said in a statement.

The sale price was a 6.4 percent discount to Bharti Airtel’s Tuesday closing price, but will still give the Qatari investor a significant return over its 68 billion-rupee investment in the Indian company in May 2013."



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Fitch: Saudi Arrests Increase Political Uncertainty

Fitch: Saudi Arrests Increase Political Uncertainty:

"The arrests of members of the Saudi royal family, current and former ministers and prominent businessmen increase political uncertainty in Saudi Arabia (A+/Stable), Fitch Ratings says. We believe that concentrating power in the hands of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman should bolster economic and social reform efforts, but heightens key man risk, and a backlash is possible. It is likely to take some time for the implications for the domestic political and policy environment to become clear. The detention of senior members of the Saudi elite following the creation of an anti-corruption commission under Mohammed bin Salman seems likely to immediately strengthen his position. "



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf continues fall on Saudi fears though state supports Riyadh

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf continues fall on Saudi fears though state supports Riyadh:

"Most major Gulf stock markets continued falling on Wednesday because of concern about Saudi Arabia’s crackdown on corruption, though Riyadh itself was supported by government intervention, fund managers said. The Saudi stock index fell as much as 1.1 percent during the day in active trade but closed 0.04 percent higher. In the same pattern seen on every day this week, state-linked funds appeared to buy stocks towards the close in a deliberate effort to prevent panic. Investors throughout the Gulf worry that the crackdown, which has so far frozen over 1,700 bank accounts in Saudi Arabia, will slow economic growth, force people implicated to sell off equities holdings and shrink Saudi investment flows around the region."



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Saudis move to reassure jittery investors amid graft probe

Saudis move to reassure jittery investors amid graft probe:

"Saudi authorities have attempted to reassure jittery investors and others in the business community following the attorney-general’s decision to freeze up to 1,500 bank accounts of suspects detained in the corruption crackdown. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman instructed officials to ensure that activities of companies, “including those wholly or partly owned by individuals under investigation, were not disrupted while investigations into corruption were under way”, according to a statement by the Council of Economic and Development Affairs on Tuesday. The business community, both in Saudi Arabia and abroad, was becoming nervous about the impact on operations as the central bank and other financial regulators issued orders for accounts to be frozen."



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Kuwait’s stock market upgrade is a big plus for GCC | GulfNews.com

Kuwait’s stock market upgrade is a big plus for GCC | GulfNews.com:

"The Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) recently joined the MSCI Emerging Markets Index, which is designed to measure the performance of companies in emerging market countries based on liquidity, ease of investment and transparency, and periodic assessments of their positions.
This ascension represents a major achievement for Kuwait, whereby its stock exchange will become an even more attractive investment hub for local and foreign capital. Interestingly, the FTSE Russell predicted that Kuwait’s joining of the index would draw $750 million to the local market, and this reflects progress achieved in fulfilling global standards for stock exchanges as well as the development of Kuwaiti legislative and legal systems.

Besides Kuwait, the Saudi Stock Exchange is also expected to join the MSCI Emerging Markets Index by mid-2018 after it completes the requirements, thus having a direct impact not only on the Saudi market but also on the region as a whole as it is the largest bourse in the region."



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Saudis Must Now Temper Expectations for Aramco's IPO - Bloomberg

Saudis Must Now Temper Expectations for Aramco's IPO - Bloomberg:

"The Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, known as MBS, used oil as his initial springboard from relative obscurity. In his first on-the-record interview, in January 2016, he proposed the initial public offering of the oil giant Saudi Aramco. Also that year, he stamped his authority on the energy and industrial sector by appointing his loyal associate Khalid al-Falih as oil minister, with a broad portfolio. Now, as he pursues a remarkable purge of princes and other senior figures on corruption charges, oil is once again driving his vision.

Yet, the crackdown carries some risk: Even if the Aramco IPO goes ahead and investors look past the political upheaval, it will raise less than the hoped-for $100 billion and more like $65 billion. A plan to reduce oil dependence in the long-term has created a greater need for petrodollars in the short-term, even as Saudi Arabia becomes more hawkish about oil prices.

MBS is a man in a hurry. The war in Yemen, his plan to build a huge city of the future in the desert, the development of a nuclear power program, and investments in Uber, Softbank and other tech companies all require cash. At the same time, the crown prince has moved cautiously in cutting subsidies and salaries, reversing reforms when faced with public discontent. In conjunction with the domestic non-oil recession, this means that savings or new revenues at home will be limited. Until his ambitious modernization drive, Vision 2030, begins to show tangible progress, domestic private investment will slow, international businesses will be wary of entanglement with the wrong Saudi partner and capital flight will accelerate, as was the case after President Vladimir Putin’s purges in Russia.


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Don't Forget Qatar and Its Asset Sales Amid Saudi Arabia's Purge - Bloomberg

Don't Forget Qatar and Its Asset Sales Amid Saudi Arabia's Purge - Bloomberg:

"As the corruption crackdown in Saudi Arabia reverberates across markets, companies in gas-rich Qatar are selling assets. This week two state-linked firms are divesting assets. Qatar Foundation, a royal family run non-profit that also operates a joint venture with Vodafone Group Plc, is seeking to raise as much as $1.5 billion from the sale of a stake in India’s biggest mobile-phone operator, while Qatar Islamic Bank is exiting its investment in Asian Finance Bank. The nation’s foreign reserves and companies are showing signs of strain as a Saudi-led isolation of Qatar entered its sixth month. International reserves and foreign-currency liquidity in September dropped 8.6 percent to $34 billion from a month ago. The stock index has lost 24 percent this year compared with a 3.8 percent decline for its Saudi counterpart."



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Oil Steadies Near $57 a Barrel Before U.S. Crude Inventory Data - Bloomberg

Oil Steadies Near $57 a Barrel Before U.S. Crude Inventory Data - Bloomberg:

"Oil steadied in New York before weekly data on crude inventories in the U.S., the world’s biggest oil consumer.

Futures were little changed after slipping 0.3 percent on Tuesday, the first decline in four sessions. Crude inventories fell by 1.56 million barrels last week, while motor-fuel stockpiles gained 520,000 barrels, the industry-funded American Petroleum Institute was said to report. A Bloomberg survey forecast a 2.45 million-barrel oil-supply drop ahead of government data Wednesday."



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Gulf Stocks Lose $6.8 Billion in 72 Hours Amid Saudi Crackdown - Bloomberg

Gulf Stocks Lose $6.8 Billion in 72 Hours Amid Saudi Crackdown - Bloomberg:

"Saudi Arabia’s anti-corruption purge and deepening feud with Iran have spurred a selloff across Gulf stock markets to the tune of almost $7 billion in three days, a sign of the volatility to come as governments in the region push ahead with reforms.

The decline cut the combined market capitalization of bourses in the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council to $910.7 billion, the lowest level in a year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi stocks continue slide but rest of region starts to stabilise

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi stocks continue slide but rest of region starts to stabilise:

"Saudi Arabia’s stock market continued to fall in early trade on Wednesday because of concern about the economic impact of its anti-corruption purge, but other bourses in the region began to stabilise. The Saudi index was 1.0 percent lower after half an hour of trade. Shares in companies linked to people detained in the investigation slid further. Al Tayyar Travel, whose founder Nasser bin Aqeel al-Tayyar was detained, was down 4.8 percent after plunging 10 percent on each of the previous two days. It was the market’s most heavily traded stock. "



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