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Thursday, 30 November 2017

Local funds positive on Saudi Arabia after corruption crackdown - The National

Local funds positive on Saudi Arabia after corruption crackdown - The National:

"Middle East fund managers have become more positive towards Saudi Arabian equities after authorities launched a sweeping crackdown on corruption, a monthly Reuters poll showed on Thursday. Forty-six per cent of funds now expect to raise their allocations to the Saudi stock market in the next three months and none to reduce them, according to the poll of 13 leading managers, conducted over the past week.) That is the most bullish bias towards Saudi stocks since July, and compares with ratios of 31 per cent and 8 per cent in last month's poll, just before the purge was announced."



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Offshore Banking Guards Against Tyranny - Bloomberg

Offshore Banking Guards Against Tyranny - Bloomberg:

"Confidential, offshore banking is hardly a popular institution. It’s often seen a stand-in for rampant wealth inequality, secrecy and, in some cases, tax avoidance or evasion, even when the money is placed overseas legally. The Panama Papers and Paradise Papers, both large troves of leaked documents about overseas accounts, were considered scandalous, even though the financial institutions involved are legitimate, and many of the accounts haven’t been connected with legal wrongdoing in any way. Given this background, I’d like to speak up for offshore banking as a significant protection against tyranny and unjust autocracy. It’s not just that many offshore financial institutions, such as hedge funds registered in the Cayman Islands, are entirely legal, but also that the practice of hiding wealth overseas has its upside. Consider recent developments in Saudi Arabia. In a series of remarkable events, the Saudi government has taken many of the kingdom’s wealthiest individuals hostage in Riyadh hotels, including the Ritz-Carlton, and is negotiating with them for their release. According to some reports, the government is asking for up to 70 percent of their wealth, to raise hundreds of billions of dollars. Presumably if they turn the wealth over, they will be given their freedom. On Tuesday, one of the most senior detained royals, Prince Miteb bin Abdullah, was released after agreeing to pay a $1 billion settlement."



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OPEC Agrees to Extend Oil Cuts Until the End of 2018 - Bloomberg

OPEC Agrees to Extend Oil Cuts Until the End of 2018 - Bloomberg:

"OPEC and its partners, including Russia, agreed to extend oil-production cuts to the end of 2018 and included Libya and Nigeria in the deal for the first time, according to delegates gathered in Vienna.

The cooperation of OPEC’s allies enables the deal to be finalized following a day of talks in the Austrian capital.

Libya and Nigeria, previously exempt from cutting production due to internal strife, agreed to a collective cap on their output that exceeds the nations’ current production, according to Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh. That means their inclusion won’t immediately deepen the overall level of supply reduction."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi edges up to chart barrier, Qatar slips before MSCI decision

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi edges up to chart barrier, Qatar slips before MSCI decision:

"Saudi Arabia’s stock market edged up to technical resistance on Thursday while Qatar’s bourse softened, as regional trade was thinned by the closure of markets including the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Egypt for public holidays. The Saudi index added 0.5 percent to 7,004 points, rising for a seventh straight day to test resistance around 7,000 points, which has capped the market since mid-October and roughly coincides with the 200-day average, now at 7,014 points. The market was hurt this month by Saudi Arabia’s massive crackdown on corruption, but in recent days there have been signs the damage is fading, with some detained suspects reaching settlements with the government and the number of frozen bank accounts falling after exceeding 2,000 at one stage."



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Qatar, Oman set up $416m joint venture to assemble buses - The Peninsula Qatar

Qatar, Oman set up $416m joint venture to assemble buses - The Peninsula Qatar:

"The foundation of mega vehicle assembling unit, which is a joint venture of Mowasalat Qatar and Oman Investment Fund (OIF), will be laid today in Al Duqm Special Economic Zone, Oman. It is a $416m joint venture between Mowasalat, Qatar’s public transport company and Oman Investment Fund (OIF). The new vehicle assembling unit will be named Karwa Automotors. The facility will assemble big buses, school buses, cars. According to Lusail newspaper, total investment for the project is $416m with 70% shares of Mowasalat and 30% of Oman Investment Authority. The unit will have capacity to produce 2000 buses per year and create employment opportunity for 500 people directly or indirectly. It will also create benefits for 2000 people employed by related companies or industries like suppliers etc."



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May Vies With Trump for Aramco Listing - Bloomberg

May Vies With Trump for Aramco Listing - Bloomberg:

"U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May said London is “extremely well-placed’’ to win a planned stock exchange listing by Saudi Arabia Oil Co., as she competes against U.S. President Donald Trump for the coveted initial share sale by the world’s largest crude producer. The company, known as Aramco, is mulling an international sale in addition to a listing on the Saudi exchange. Trump earlier this month tweeted his hope that the Saudis would use a U.S. exchange, before lobbying Saudi King Salman personally on a phone call. “I think London is extremely well-placed’’ to secure the listing, May told reporters on the plane when asked how confident she was that London would secure the share sale. That’s “not only for its importance as an international financial center, it’s also technically well-placed in relation to Aramco.’’"



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OPEC and Russia Ready to Extend Oil-Supply Cuts Through 2018 - Bloomberg

OPEC and Russia Ready to Extend Oil-Supply Cuts Through 2018 - Bloomberg:

"OPEC and Russia are ready to extend their oil production cuts until the end of next year to ensure global stockpiles keep falling and prices maintain recent gains.

All OPEC members and Russia, the biggest producer outside the group to join the deal, agree the cuts should last until the end of 2018, according to delegates in Vienna to attend Thursday’s meeting. On Wednesday, a committee charged with overseeing the agreement on behalf of the whole group also recommended extending until the end of next year, two delegates said.

"Everybody’s working toward that nine-month extension,” Nigerian Petroleum Minister Emmanuel Kachikwu said in a Bloomberg television interview."



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Qatar sovereign fund may support Qatar Airways, local projects, CEO says | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Qatar sovereign fund may support Qatar Airways, local projects, CEO says | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), one of the world's largest sovereign funds, may invest in local real estate development Katara and national carrier Qatar Airways as it supports local projects, its chief executive was quoted as saying. "Katara is in the pipeline and Qatar Airways could be the next one," the Gulf Times quoted Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohamed bin Saud al-Thani as saying in a speech late on Wednesday. Katara is a major real estate development in Doha which includes theatres, galleries and restaurants and venues. Qatar's economy has been hit this year by an economic boycott imposed by other Arab states on Doha in June."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi edges up, Qatar soft in early trade | ZAWYA MENA Edition

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi edges up, Qatar soft in early trade | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Saudi Arabia's stock market edged up in early trade on Thursday while Qatar's bourse softened, as regional trade was thinned by the closure of the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait for public holidays. The Saudi index added 0.2 percent in the first hour as retailer United Electronics gained 2.3 percent after saying it had launched a partnership with online retailer Noon.com to be its exclusive supplier of home and electronic appliances in Saudi Arabia. In Qatar, the index fell 0.6 percent as Qatar Islamic Bank slipped 1.2 percent. But shipper Qatar Navigation, which has been rebounding from an eight-year low hit in mid-November, jumped a further 5.8 percent. "



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