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Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Dubai wealth managers dismiss UAE inclusion in EU tax haven blacklist   - The National

Dubai wealth managers dismiss UAE inclusion in EU tax haven blacklist   - The National:

"UAE wealth managers said a move by the European Union to include the Emirates in a black list of 17 global tax havens is not credible and likely to have a negligible effect on the banking industry which has in recent years intensified efforts to clamp down on financial crime. Dubai-based executives including Khaled Sifri, the chief executive officer of Emirates Investment Bank, said that the blacklist seemed more of a political exercise than an objective undertaking that judged jurisdictions on specific criteria. "It's not a very credible list because they excluded many jurisdictions and I mean many that provide the kind of environment that they are trying to highlight, an environment where corporations would be able to set up companies or subsidiaries in those jurisdictions and these subsidiaries were not taxed at normal rates,” said Khaled Sifri, the chief executive officer of Emirates Investment Bank, a Dubai-based private bank."



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How EU tax crackdown will affect UAE, Bahrain and Tunisia | Arab News

How EU tax crackdown will affect UAE, Bahrain and Tunisia | Arab News:

"Arab News has established how sanctions will affect Bahrain, the UAE and Tunisia as part of an EU crackdown on tax avoidance.
The main weapon will be funding restrictions to be imposed by the European Fund for Sustainable Development (EFSD), the European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI) and the External Lending Mandate (ELM).
Direct funding for projects on the ground in those countries — already subject to checks before loans are released – will not be affected."



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UAE must do more on transparency to get off tax blacklist: EU envoy

UAE must do more on transparency to get off tax blacklist: EU envoy:

"The United Arab Emirates will have to do more to address the European Union’s concerns about tax transparency if it is to be removed from a tax-haven blacklist, the EU’s ambassador to the UAE said on Wednesday.

He was speaking a day after EU finance ministers adopted a blacklist of 17 jurisdictions deemed to be tax havens, including UAE and Bahrain, in an unprecedented step to counter worldwide tax avoidance.

“The EU has been in touch over the last months with the UAE authorities and the UAE made a certain number of commitments,” EU ambassador Patrizio Fondi said in an email to Reuters."



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U.S. Ready to Ship More Gas to Middle East - Bloomberg

U.S. Ready to Ship More Gas to Middle East - Bloomberg:

"U.S. natural gas exports could find buyers in the oil-rich Persian Gulf as countries there look to meet surging demand. Growing U.S. exports of liquefied natural gas could be an additional source of gas supply to the region, U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry and U.A.E. Energy Minister Suhail Al Mazrouei said Wednesday at a news conference in Abu Dhabi. Jordan, the U.A.E. and Egypt have been buyers of LNG from the Sabine Pass complex in the U.S. the past two years, according to Bloomberg vessel tracking, IHS Markit Ltd. and Genscape. “We want to be in the mix of LNG suppliers for the Mideast,” Perry said at the news conference. “Creating a relationship, having these conversations is good, it gives the U.A.E. some options.” The U.S. offered gas to Saudi Arabia, he said."



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Adnoc Unit IPO to Raise $902 Million After Narrowing Range - Bloomberg

Adnoc Unit IPO to Raise $902 Million After Narrowing Range - Bloomberg:

"Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. plans to raise as much as 3.31 billion dirhams ($902 million) from the initial public offering of its fuel-retailing unit after lowering the top end of the offer price and deciding to only sell a 10 percent stake.

The crude producer reduced the price range to 2.35 dirhams to 2.65 dirhams for the shares of Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. for Distribution PJSC, according to terms seen by Bloomberg News. The initial price range was 2.35 dirhams to 2.95 dirhams. The company initially planned to sell as much as 20 percent.

The offering is covered throughout the revised price range, according to the document."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Geopolitics, global downtrend drag down region; Qatar hit hardest

MIDEAST STOCKS-Geopolitics, global downtrend drag down region; Qatar hit hardest:

"Most Middle Eastern stock markets fell on Wednesday because of sliding foreign bourses and negative geopolitical news related to Qatar and Yemen.

Qatar was the hardest hit major market, with its index dropping 1.5 percent. Qatar National Bank, the biggest bank, tumbled 3.3 percent, while drilling rig provider Gulf International Services sank 6.5 percent.

The market surged early this week on hopes for progress in resolving Qatar’s diplomatic dispute with four other Arab states. But those hopes were dashed when Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, in an apparent snub of Qatar, did not send their heads of state to this week’s regional summit in Kuwait."



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Tunisia and Abu Dhabi Investment Authority to sell BTE stake | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Tunisia and Abu Dhabi Investment Authority to sell BTE stake | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Tunisia and the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority plan to sell their majority stake in Banque de Tunisie et des Emirats (BTE) bank by launching a tender next week, the bank said on Wednesday. This sale is for 77.8 percent of the bank's capital with Tunisia and Abu Dhabi each owning 38.9 pct. The tender will be open from December 11 until January 15, the bank said in statement."



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MIDEAST DEBT-Sukuk documents seek to reassure investors after Dana Gas scare

MIDEAST DEBT-Sukuk documents seek to reassure investors after Dana Gas scare:

"Issuers of Islamic bonds are changing the language in documentation for new issues to reassure investors after a United Arab Emirates company refused to redeem $700 million of maturing sukuk. In June, Dana Gas said it would not repay sukuk maturing in October because changes in the interpretation of Islamic finance during recent years had made the bonds “unlawful” in the UAE. Dana argues that its case, which involves a specific sukuk structure known as mudaraba, has no implication for the broad sukuk market. But its announcement worried many investors because of the risk that other Islamic bond issuers could use the same kind of argument to justify not paying debt."



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MIDEAST DEBT-Sukuk documents seek to reassure investors after Dana Gas scare

MIDEAST DEBT-Sukuk documents seek to reassure investors after Dana Gas scare:

"Issuers of Islamic bonds are changing the language in documentation for new issues to reassure investors after a United Arab Emirates company refused to redeem $700 million of maturing sukuk. In June, Dana Gas said it would not repay sukuk maturing in October because changes in the interpretation of Islamic finance during recent years had made the bonds “unlawful” in the UAE. Dana argues that its case, which involves a specific sukuk structure known as mudaraba, has no implication for the broad sukuk market. But its announcement worried many investors because of the risk that other Islamic bond issuers could use the same kind of argument to justify not paying debt."



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Are Saudi Arrests Crackdown, Shakedown or Purge?: QuickTake Q&A - Bloomberg

Are Saudi Arrests Crackdown, Shakedown or Purge?: QuickTake Q&A - Bloomberg:

"There’s never been a housecleaning quite like this one. Dozens of Saudi Arabia’s richest and most influential people, including princes and government ministers, were swept up by authorities and have been detained for more than a month at the palatial Ritz Carlton in the capital, Riyadh. There, they’ve been presented with evidence of their corruption, officials say, and can choose to face trial or relinquish ill-gotten riches and go free. That process and the identity of some of the detainees have raised questions: Is the crackdown really a shakedown? Is it aimed at sidelining potential rivals to King Salman bin Abdulaziz’s favorite son and designated heir, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman? Some debate is inevitable in a country in which the definition of corruption is muddied by a long-tolerated system of patronage that’s allowed royals and Saudi businessmen to grow wealthy off government contracts and lucrative deals with multinational corporations."



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Qatar Central Bank says it has plenty of reserves to support riyal - The Peninsula Qatar

Qatar Central Bank says it has plenty of reserves to support riyal - The Peninsula Qatar:

"Qatar Central Bank has plenty of reserves with which it can support the riyal and achieve its monetary policy goals, Central Bank Governor H E Sheikh Abdullah bin Saud al-Thani said on Wednesday. Speaking at an international business conference, Sheikh Abdullah also said the economy remained strong despite the blockade of Qatar by four other Arab states, and that inflation was stable. Infrastructure projects will be completed on schedule, he added. A number of speakers at a panel discussion held on the sidelines of the sixth edition of Euromoney Qatar Conference, highlighted the measures taken by the Qatari government to support the development and growth of the economy, which gave it to ability to overcome the possible repercussions."



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UPDATE 1-MSCI to continue using onshore FX rates for Qatari riyal for now

UPDATE 1-MSCI to continue using onshore FX rates for Qatari riyal for now:

"Equity index compiler MSCI will continue to use onshore foreign exchange rates to value Qatari stocks until further notice, instead of switching to offshore rates, MSCI said on Tuesday.

The decision, which follows a campaign by Qatari financial authorities to persuade foreign investors that they have free access to riyal currency, is likely to please Doha’s stock market.

Two weeks ago, MSCI had said it would consider using offshore rates because economic sanctions against Qatar had made it more difficult for foreigners to obtain riyal onshore. Such a step could have reduced the weightings of Qatari stocks in MSCI’s emerging market index."



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Qatar International Islamic Bank eyes dollar benchmark sukuk in Feb - sources | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Qatar International Islamic Bank eyes dollar benchmark sukuk in Feb - sources | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Qatar International Islamic Bank (QIIB), Qatar's third largest listed Islamic bank by assets, plans to issue a U.S. dollar-denominated benchmark sukuk in February, said two sources familiar with the matter. Benchmark bond deals are generally upwards of $500 million. One of the sources said the transaction could go up to $700 million in size. The planned issuance would be QIIB's first debt sale under a $2 billion sukuk programme the bank established in October."



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Abu Dhabi's ADNOC cuts indicative price range for unit's IPO as market sags

Abu Dhabi's ADNOC cuts indicative price range for unit's IPO as market sags:

"Abu Dhabi National Oil Co (ADNOC) has cut the price range for an initial public offer of shares in its fuel distribution unit and will sell only a 10 percent stake in the unit, valuing the potential deal at $900 million.

United Arab Emirates stock markets have been hit hard this year by subdued economic growth due to low oil prices, a weak real estate market and geopolitical tensions in the Middle East.

Abu Dhabi’s state-owned oil firm had indicated last month that it could sell as much as 20 percent of ADNOC Distribution at a higher price range, which would have valued the deal as high as $2 billion, making it the UAE’s biggest IPO since 2007."



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Oil Dips Toward $57 on Signs U.S. Gasoline Stockpiles Expanded - Bloomberg

Oil Dips Toward $57 on Signs U.S. Gasoline Stockpiles Expanded - Bloomberg:

"Oil slid toward $57 a barrel after industry data showed U.S. gasoline stockpiles expanded for the first time in four weeks.

Futures dropped 0.4 percent in New York after rising 0.3 percent on Tuesday. Motor fuel inventories climbed by 9.2 million barrels last week, the American Petroleum Institute was said to report. That will be the biggest gain since January 2016 if replicated in government data due on Wednesday. Nationwide crude stockpiles declined, according to the API data."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf falls on weak foreign bourses, geopolitics | ZAWYA MENA Edition

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf falls on weak foreign bourses, geopolitics | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Most Gulf stock markets fell in early trade on Wednesday because of sliding foreign bourses, with MSCI's index of Asia-Pacific shares ex-Japan down 1.4 percent, and because of negative geopolitical news related to Qatar and Yemen.

Qatar was the hardest hit major market with its index dropping 1.9 percent. Drilling rig provider Gulf International Services tumbled 5.7 percent.

The market surged early this week on hopes for progress in resolving Qatar's diplomatic dispute with four other Arab states. But those hopes were dashed when Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, in an apparent snub of Qatar, did not send their heads of state to this week's regional summit in Kuwait.  "



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