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Monday, 20 November 2017

S&P affirms Saudi Arabia credit ratings | GulfNews.com

S&P affirms Saudi Arabia credit ratings | GulfNews.com:

"S&P Global Ratings on Monday affirmed Saudi Arabia’s credit ratings, saying the kingdom’s sweeping reforms could make it attractive to investors in the medium term despite underlying risks.

The agency maintained its “A-/A-2” ratings on Saudi Arabia and said its outlook was stable, citing expectations the government would take steps to consolidate public finances in the next two years.
“Recent shifts in Saudi Arabia’s political power structures and societal norms, alongside various regional stresses, could increase the risk of policy mistakes that could result in increased domestic and geopolitical tensions,” S&P said."



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Exclusive: Saudi prince detention holds up loan to investment firm - sources

Exclusive: Saudi prince detention holds up loan to investment firm - sources:

"Kingdom Holding’s plan to borrow money to fund new investments has stalled because owner Prince Alwaleed bin Talal has been detained in Saudi Arabia’s anti-corruption crackdown, according to four banking sources familiar with the matter. Kingdom 4280.SE had approached banks to obtain the loan, but the financing plan has been held up because the lenders are worried about potential repercussions if they lend to the prince’s company, the sources said.

One of the sources, who was approached for the loan, said it would have been worth roughly 5 billion riyals ($1.3 billion). "



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Saudi Billionaires Look for Ways to Protect Assets From Any Government Purge - Bloomberg

Saudi Billionaires Look for Ways to Protect Assets From Any Government Purge - Bloomberg:

"Wealthy Saudis are seeking to restructure their businesses to ring fence assets in case authorities widen their declared crackdown on corruption, according to three people with knowledge of the matter. Several family groups and businessmen who aren’t implicated in the purge are talking to local banks and international law firms about how to structure their companies to make it harder for the kingdom to confiscate or seize assets, the people said, asking not to be identified because the discussions are private. One option could be to split assets between more than one holding company, one of the people said, though it’s not clear how successful these plans could be because the government is closely scrutinizing business activity in the kingdom as part of the crackdown, he said."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Geopolitics weigh on markets, Abu Dhabi firm on ADNOC IPO plan

MIDEAST STOCKS-Geopolitics weigh on markets, Abu Dhabi firm on ADNOC IPO plan:

"Most stock markets in the Middle East fell again on Monday, dampened by geopolitics, although Abu Dhabi was supported by plans for an initial public offer of shares by the distribution unit of Abu Dhabi National Oil Co (ADNOC).

Regional tensions have risen in recent weeks between Sunni Muslim monarchy Saudi Arabia and Shi‘ite Islamist Iran over Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri’s surprise resignation, and an escalation in Yemen’s conflict.

The Saudi and other Arab foreign ministers called at an emergency meeting in Cairo on Sunday for a united front to counter Iranian interference."



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Saudi Arabia’s crown prince could turn to Credit Suisse next

Saudi Arabia’s crown prince could turn to Credit Suisse next:

"For those who had not been paying attention to the rise of Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, his recent dramatic detention of fellow princes and other senior figures over corruption allegations came out of the blue.

But amid some pretty tough competition for the world’s attention — a quasi-coup in Zimbabwe, more Brexit tumult — he has kept up the momentum ever since. On Thursday it emerged that the Saudi authorities were seeking vast sums — up to $300bn — in exchange for dropping charges relating to the alleged $100bn corruption racket.

It is against that background that two people close to the situation confirm the existence of deepening but secret talks between the Saudi government and the Swiss banking sector. Precise information about the whys and wherefores is scant. But there are several plausible reasons for the contact."



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Investor relations a critical skill in KSA’s great transformation | Arab News

Investor relations a critical skill in KSA’s great transformation | Arab News:

"Tadawul, the Riyadh stock exchange, is holding a workshop later this week on the issue of crisis management and its impact on shareholder value. The session — organized in conjunction with the Middle East Investor Relations Association (MEIRA) Saudi chapter, and in which all listed companies are invited to participate — could not be better timed.  The huge changes underway in the Kingdom do not necessarily bring crisis, but in any great transformation there will come moments of critical vulnerability where share prices can react with extreme volatility. Shareholders — and the professional advisers who are expert on such things — have to know how to react in times of value fluctuation."



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Foreign selling of Saudi stocks slows in latest week- exchange | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Foreign selling of Saudi stocks slows in latest week- exchange | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Selling of Saudi Arabian equities by foreign investors eased last week after increasing sharply early this month in response to the kingdom's sweeping crackdown on corruption, exchange data released on Monday showed.

Immediately after the purge was announced, foreign investors were heavy net sellers of Saudi stocks. In the week to Nov. 9, they sold 2.00 billion riyals ($533 million) and bought 917 million riyals.

In the latest week to Nov. 16, they remained net sellers but by a much smaller margin, of 748 million riyals to 439 million riyals. "



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Oil Short-Sellers Return as Doubts Loom on OPEC's Horizon - Bloomberg

Oil Short-Sellers Return as Doubts Loom on OPEC's Horizon - Bloomberg:

"Short-selling is rearing its head in the oil market again.

After bullish bets on Brent crude hit a record and futures surged to two-year highs, hedge funds are pulling back with a sense that the rally reached its limit for now. Wagers on lower prices rose by the most since June as Middle East tensions took a backseat, while uncertainty looms over Saudi Arabia’s push to extend OPEC’s output curbs this month.

"We’re at levels where the market appears to have crested," said Gene McGillian, a market research manager at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut. "Continuing to see supply draw-downs is probably what the next leg of the rally will be predicated on.""



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Looking at Saudi Stocks? Forget Crude, Geopolitics Is King - Bloomberg

Looking at Saudi Stocks? Forget Crude, Geopolitics Is King - Bloomberg:

"Investors in Saudi Arabia’s stock market are more concerned with political headlines coming out of Riyadh than oil prices.

Brent crude and the Tadawul All Share Index have recently gone opposite ways, contrary to the positive trend seen for the majority of the past two decades. The 120-day correlation between the oil exporter’s main stock gauge and the commodity became the most negative in more than three years, as this month’s anti-corruption arrests and increased tensions with Iran overshadowed a recovery in the price of the commodity."



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Abu Dhabi Oil Giant Pushes Ahead With IPO After Emaar Sale - Bloomberg

Abu Dhabi Oil Giant Pushes Ahead With IPO After Emaar Sale - Bloomberg:

"Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. plans to sell as much as 20 percent of its fuel-distribution unit weeks after Saudi Arabia’s corruption crackdown deterred investors from the Middle East’s biggest share sale of the year.

 The crude producer will offer 1.25 billion to 2.5 billion shares of Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. for Distribution PJSC, according to an advertisement on Monday. The pricing range for the book-build initial public offering will be announced on Nov. 26 and the shares will start trading in Abu Dhabi on Dec. 13.

 The IPO is among several expected in the Middle East, including that of Saudi Aramco, as oil-rich Gulf governments sell assets to raise cash to diversify after crude prices slumped. The Adnoc sale is set to come after Emaar Properties PJSC scrambled to complete a $1.3 billion offering last week as local investors reneged on investment plans following the Saudi crackdown, according to people familiar with the matter."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi flat in early trade, Emaar drags down Dubai

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi flat in early trade, Emaar drags down Dubai:

"Saudi Arabia’s stock index was flat in early trade on Monday while Dubai edged down as Emaar Properties and Arabtec Holding fell. Despite strong oil prices in recent weeks, most Saudi petrochemical shares edged down with Saudi Basic Industries and PetroRabigh both losing 0.4 percent. Banks and insurers were also down, with Banque Saudi Fransi losing 1.1 percent. In Dubai, the index edged down 0.2 percent as construction firm Arabtec Holding lost 2.0 percent and Emaar Properties fell 1.2 percent. Emaar has been sliding since late last week, when it priced the initial public offer of its local real estate development unit in the lower half of an indicative range."



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