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Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Saudi foreign reserves rise in October as budget deficit outlook improves

Saudi foreign reserves rise in October as budget deficit outlook improves:

"The Saudi Arabian central bank’s foreign reserves rose in October for the first time since June, in a sign that higher oil prices and government austerity steps are reducing pressure to draw down the assets, official data showed on Tuesday.

The bank’s net foreign assets rose by $8.3 billion from September to $485.9 billion last month; they shrank by 9.3 percent from a year ago. The reserves peaked at $737 billion in August 2014 before starting to drop as oil prices plunged.

The government has been liquidating the reserves to cover a big budget deficit caused by low oil export receipts, and to build up its top sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund, which is becoming a key force in developing the economy."



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Violating Saudi bankruptcy laws could invite fines and prison time | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Violating Saudi bankruptcy laws could invite fines and prison time | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"The Shoura Council is set discuss on Wednesday a draft bankruptcy law prepared by the Ministry of Commerce and Investment. The draft law, which includes 231 articles, stipulates that anyone who breaks the law or abuses its measures will be punished by imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years and a fine not exceeding SR5 million ($1.3 million) or one of these penalties. The law also gives the court the right to add other penalties to the violator, including the prohibition of running any profitable establishment, the direct or indirect management of its business, in addition to the sale of violator’s share in the ownership of the enterprise or other rights."



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OPEC to Back 9-Month Extension, Awaits Russia's Commitment - Bloomberg

OPEC to Back 9-Month Extension, Awaits Russia's Commitment - Bloomberg:

"All OPEC members support extending their oil production cuts until the end of 2018, although Russia hasn’t yet committed to the proposal before Thursday’s meeting in Vienna, said people familiar with the matter.

While Russia and the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries have crafted the outline of a deal to continue their curbs for nine months beyond the current end-March expiry, Moscow still has concerns that supporting oil prices above $60 a barrel will help U.S. shale rivals, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private.

This situation underscores the dilemma faced by the 24 oil producers who forged a historic agreement to curb output a year ago. Signs of success are clear -- global fuel stockpiles are draining and crude prices are near two-year highs. Yet ministers gathering in the Austrian capital this week have little idea how U.S. shale producers will respond if they continue to restrain their own output until the end of 2018. Until recently, Russia and OPEC member Kuwait had been insisting the decision on extension should be delayed until early next year, hoping the outlook would be clearer."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Egypt surges as FX control removed, Saudi continues climb

MIDEAST STOCKS-Egypt surges as FX control removed, Saudi continues climb:

"Egypt’s stock market surged on Tuesday after the central bank removed caps on deposits and withdrawals of foreign currency for importers, scrapping one of the last currency controls in place since the Arab Spring uprising in 2011. The blue-chip index registered its biggest daily jump since March as it rose 2.2 percent to a record closing high of 14,537 points, passing its previous peak in mid-November. The central bank’s move reflects a big improvement in foreign currency liquidity after Egypt obtained a $12 billion International Monetary Fund loan and devalued the pound last year."



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Slowing outflows let Qatar wind down bank support operation in Oct-data | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Slowing outflows let Qatar wind down bank support operation in Oct-data | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Slowing withdrawals of deposits from Qatari banks permitted Qatar's government to stop pumping money into the banks last month to shield them from sanctions imposed by other Arab countries, central bank data showed on Tuesday. Banks and investors from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt began pulling deposits and other funds out of Qatar in June, when those four states cut diplomatic and trade ties with Doha. The deposit outflow initially put the balance sheets of some Qatari banks under pressure, and the government responded by injecting billions of dollars of its own money into accounts at the banks. Much of the money came from the country's sovereign wealth fund, the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA). "



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ADNOC Distribution books are covered on the base deal size- term sheet | ZAWYA MENA Edition

ADNOC Distribution books are covered on the base deal size- term sheet | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"The information came after ADNOC unit on Sunday set an indicative price range for its IPO that could raise as much as $2bln. ADNOC Distribution's books for its initial public offering are covered on the base deal size, according to a term sheet by one of its bookruners seen by Reuters. The information came after Abu Dhabi National Oil Co's (ADNOC) unit on Sunday set an indicative price range for its IPO that could raise as much as $2 billion to become the biggest listing in the United Arab Emirates since 2007. "



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Oil price climbs as Opec meets in Vienna

Blockade on Qatar: Firms to approach international courts - The Peninsula Qatar

Blockade on Qatar: Firms to approach international courts - The Peninsula Qatar:

"With the Saudi-led quartet countries’ unjust blockade on Qatar completing six months in a week’s time, local and international law firms are reviewing large number of cases for damage claims filed by scores of companies and hundreds of individuals, legal experts familiar with such cases, told The Peninsula. The affected parties have filed cases in a number of courts including in Qatar, UAE, Saud Arabia, Switzerland, the UK and the US. Damage compensation claims made by businesses, companies and individuals for all kinds of losses they suffered (or have been suffering) due to the illegal economic and diplomatic siege, are very strong cases, both as per Qatari civil laws as well as international laws, say law experts handling scores of these cases."



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Abraaj buys Tunisie Telecom from Dubai Holding-Tunisian minister

Abraaj buys Tunisie Telecom from Dubai Holding-Tunisian minister:

"Private equity firm Abraaj Group has bought from Dubai Holdings’ telecoms arm its 35 percent stake in state-controlled Tunisie Telecom, a Tunisian minister said on Monday.

In 2006 Dubai Holding’s Emirates International Telecommunications (EIT) bought the stake for $2.25 billion, according to its website. “The UAE’s Abraaj became a new partner in Tunisie Telecom to succeed Dubai Holding which sold its 35 per cent stake,” the Tunisian Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Anwar Maarouf, told parliament.

“The entry of the new partner contributes to the development of the company’s activity,” he said without disclosing the financial details of the deal."



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Bill Gates Calls Detained Saudi Prince Alwaleed an ‘Important Partner’ - Bloomberg

Bill Gates Calls Detained Saudi Prince Alwaleed an ‘Important Partner’ - Bloomberg:

"Bill Gates said that Saudi Arabia’s Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, who was arrested as part of the kingdom’s anti-corruption drive this month, has been an “important partner” in charitable work to improve health conditions around the globe.

“I’m only aware of what I’ve read in the press, and I can’t speculate,” the Microsoft Corp. co-founder said in an emailed statement. “Prince Alwaleed has been an important partner in my foundation’s work to ensure that kids around the world receive life-saving vaccinations. We’ve worked together to help stop the spread of polio, measles, and other preventable diseases. His commitment to philanthropy is inspiring.”

Alwaleed, the billionaire investor whose Kingdom Holding Co. owns stakes in companies such as Citigroup Inc. and Twitter Inc., is among dozens of princes, ministers and senior officials being held on orders from an anti-corruption committee headed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

"



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Tough OPEC meeting looms amid specter of oil deficit

Tough OPEC meeting looms amid specter of oil deficit:

"OPEC is heading for tougher-than-expected policy talks this week amid concern that its efforts to rebalance the oil market might overshoot by creating a global deficit and spurring a further price rally.

“It will not be an easy meeting and we always look at various scenarios,” United Arab Emirates Energy Minister Suhail bin Mohammed al-Mazroui said on Tuesday in Dubai before leaving for the gathering of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries in Vienna.

OPEC, Russia and nine other producers are cutting oil output by about 1.8 million barrels per day until March 2018, and on Thursday will discuss extending the deal. The market had largely expected OPEC to prolong cuts until the end of 2018 but doubts have emerged in the last few days."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets narrowly mixed, Saudi firm early on

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets narrowly mixed, Saudi firm early on:

"Most Gulf stock markets were narrowly mixed in early trade on Tuesday with Saudi Arabia edging up for a fifth straight day as it was boosted by the petrochemical sector.

The Saudi index rose 0.1 percent in the first hour as Chemanol gained 1.2 percent and PetroRabigh added 0.4 percent.

In Qatar, the main index fell 0.3 percent despite a 0.5 percent gain by Qatar National Bank, the region’s largest bank by assets."



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