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Monday, 11 December 2017

Rouhani’s New Budget Focuses on Creating Jobs, Fixing Banks - Bloomberg

Rouhani’s New Budget Focuses on Creating Jobs, Fixing Banks - Bloomberg:

"Iranian President Hassan Rouhani submitted a $337 billion draft budget to parliament that earmarks about $100 billion for public service programs that would create jobs, address a banking crisis and introduce a new social security program. Rouhani told lawmakers that the budget was based on oil prices forecast at $55 a barrel, according to an advance text of the speech, delivered on state TV. He said banks need to “withdraw from business dealings” and return to traditional lending services, and pledged more than $3 billion to shore up the sector, which has been beset by bad loans and unauthorized credit lenders. The draft, which is to be debated, revised and approved by lawmakers, is for the new Iranian year starting March 21. It introduces significant increases to various fees and duties including car registration and the departure tax."



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UAE economy to recover next year, little impact from VAT: IMF

UAE economy to recover next year, little impact from VAT: IMF:

"The United Arab Emirates economy is expected to recover gradually next year without suffering a significant blow to growth from the introduction of a 5 percent value-added tax in January, a senior International Monetary Fund official said. Natalia Tamirisa, IMF mission chief to the Ara b world’s second biggest economy, said Dubai’s spending on preparations to host the Expo 2020 world’s fair would help to boost growth. On Sunday, Dubai announced a 19.5 percent leap of spending in its 2018 state budget, largely because of higher allocations for infrastructure."



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Exclusive: Detained Saudi billionaire al-Sanea seeks to end debt dispute

Exclusive: Detained Saudi billionaire al-Sanea seeks to end debt dispute:

"A detained Saudi billionaire who led the collapsed Saad Group is seeking to repay part of a multi-billion dollar debt to creditors under a deal that could allow his release, people familiar with the matter told Reuters. The businessman, Maan al-Sanea, was detained in October in the kingdom’s Eastern Province for unpaid debts, and has since been in a civil detention center in the city of Khobar, according to several sources. Reemas Group, a financial consultancy hired by Saad Group, has outlined a proposed settlement covering $4 billion in debt. In an email sent by Reemas to creditors, of copy of which Reuters has obtained, it suggests that they would get more of their money back than under a court-enforced liquidation of the company, albeit over a longer period."



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Adnoc IPO Valuation Holds Lessons for Saudi Aramco's Sale - Bloomberg

Adnoc IPO Valuation Holds Lessons for Saudi Aramco's Sale - Bloomberg:

"When the state-owned oil company of the United Arab Emirates decided to sell a stake in its fuel-retailing unit, it had a lofty valuation target. 

The Abu Dhabi National Oil Co., or Adnoc, was seeking a valuation of between $10 billion to $14 billion, people familiar with the matter said in July. Nearly half a year later, Adnoc is settling for far less: $8.5 billion. The company hasn’t commented publicly on the valuation.

That drop will resonate through the Middle East, where governments are counting on their oil giants to raise cash. The Adnoc fuel-distribution IPO is the first of several expected in the region -- most notably that of Saudi state-owned oil giant Aramco -- a trend that will partly reverse the nationalization of the Middle East’s energy industry that started in 1950."



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Aramco Can Learn From Oil's School of Hard NOCs - Bloomberg Gadfly

Aramco Can Learn From Oil's School of Hard NOCs - Bloomberg Gadfly:

"If you've ever wondered what national oil companies are for, one of the bigger ones offers this pithy take on the cover of its annual report:
This isn't strange; national oil companies, or NOCs in industry parlance, are often their country's biggest corporate entity, employer and source of public revenue. The question is what they offer international investors, especially as we await the IPO of the biggest NOC of all, Saudi Arabian Oil Co., or Saudi Aramco.The proliferation of listed NOCs is mostly a post-2000 phenomenon. These include Russia's Rosneft Oil Co. PJSC; China's PetroChina Co. Ltd., China Petroleum & Chemical Corp., and CNOOC Ltd.; Petroleo Brasileiro SA of Brazil; and Norway's Statoil ASA. The timing, amid a boom in oil prices and emerging markets, was no accident:"



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi pulls back as Dar Al Arkan bubble bursts

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi pulls back as Dar Al Arkan bubble bursts:

"Saudi Arabia’s stock market pulled back on Monday as a bubble in shares of real estate firm Dar Al Arkan burst, while equities in Qatar pulled further away from six-year lows. The Saudi index retreated 0.6 percent as Dar Al Arkan, which had gained as much as 3.4 percent in early trade, closed 9.9 percent lower at 12.60 riyals. It was by far the market’s most heavily traded stock. Dar Al Arkan had jumped from around 7.50 riyals in mid-November, when international index compiler MSCI said it was adding the stock to its Saudi Arabia Index. Retail investors piled into the stock in recent days, drawn by its volatility."



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Norway’s dilemma over an oil fund without oil

Norway’s dilemma over an oil fund without oil:

"An oil fund without oil. The divestment of all petroleum companies would be a momentous change for Norway’s huge $1tn investment fund, itself fuelled by the country’s oil and gas revenues. But the recommendation last month from the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund that it sell its oil and gas stocks is forcing top Norwegian policymakers to grapple with the question of what the fund and the country wants to stand for. Officials say there is a good chance that the proposal could be delayed, even shelved. But they also say that there is a discussion coming that policymakers cannot avoid."



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Natural gas golden age becomes golden bubble

Natural gas golden age becomes golden bubble:

"The “golden age of gas” has not turned out quite as the forecasters and the gas producers who promoted the slogan a few years ago expected.

Gas was supposed to be the irresistible fuel of the future. After the disaster at Fukushima, nuclear power stations across Japan were closed and natural gas imports surged with the result that prices in the north Asian market more than doubled, at times touching $20/mmbtu. Gas was the safe, reliable fuel and it was cleaner than coal – making it the obvious replacement as the world became more serious about tackling the risks of global warming and climate change.

In addition, what was traditionally mainly a pipeline business within three regional markets was being made global by LNG – the process through which gas is liquefied and then transported to distant markets in tankers. A thriving world market was in the making. To meet the promised growth in demand much greater volumes would be needed – and that led to a rush of investment in highly expensive LNG projects."



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U.A.E., Kuwait Target June for Talks on Phasing Out Oil Cuts - Bloomberg

U.A.E., Kuwait Target June for Talks on Phasing Out Oil Cuts - Bloomberg:

"OPEC and allied oil producers can draft a strategy in June to end global output cuts if the market is no longer oversupplied by then, the U.A.E.’s energy minister said. Kuwait’s oil minister said the cuts may end before 2019 if the market is re-balanced by June.

The global agreement to limit production is making progress in re-balancing supply and demand for oil, though some excess inventories remain and more work is needed to remove them, United Arab Emirates Energy Minister Suhail Al Mazrouei told reporters on Monday at the Bloomberg Invest Abu Dhabi conference. Signs of growth in demand are a positive surprise, and an increase in U.S. shale output will be “moderate” next year, he said. 

“We will meet in June, and hopefully the market will be in a much better condition for us to come and announce an exit strategy,” Al Mazrouei said at the event in the U.A.E. capital."



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UPDATE 1-Abu Dhabi's Mubadala partners Softbank for 15 to 16 technology investments

UPDATE 1-Abu Dhabi's Mubadala partners Softbank for 15 to 16 technology investments:

"Abu Dhabi state investor Mubadala has made 15 to 16 investments in technology firms as part of a partnership with SoftBank Group of Japan, deputy group chief executive Waleed al-Muhairi told a conference in Abu Dhabi on Monday.

Mubadala has committed $15 billion to SoftBank’s $93 billion private equity fund, the SoftBank Vision Fund, which has also raised money from Saudi Arabia’s main sovereign wealth fund and other investors.

“We have done 15 to 16 different investments today, mostly centred in Silicon Valley,” Muhairi said, adding that areas of investment included artificial intelligence and biotechnology."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf narrowly mixed early on, Saudi's Dar Al Arkan continues ascent | ZAWYA MENA Edition

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf narrowly mixed early on, Saudi's Dar Al Arkan continues ascent | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Gulf stock indexes were mixed in narrow ranges in early trade on Monday, but real estate firm Dar Al Arkan continued a spectacular rally in Saudi Arabia. The Saudi index edged down 0.04 percent in the opening half-hour as Dar Al Arkan, the most heavily traded stock, climbed 2.8 percent to 14.38 riyals. It has jumped from around 7.50 riyals in mid-November, when MSCI said it was adding the stock to its Saudi Arabia Index; retail investors have piled into the stock in recent days, attracted by its volatility. "



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