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Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Business as usual for Qatar — but at what cost? | Arab News

Business as usual for Qatar — but at what cost? | Arab News:

"On the face of it, it looks like business as usual for Qatar despite the travel and economic boycott imposed by some of its Arab neighbors because of its alleged support for terrorism and close relationship with Iran. The country, which has faced sanctions from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt since June, announced a budget for 2018 that projects a marginal fall in deficit, from a forecast 28.4 billion riyals ($7.8 billion) this year to 28.1 billion riyals next. Government expenditure is expected to rise 2.4 percent, to 203.2 billion riyals, but revenue will also increase slightly, by 2.9 percent to 175.1 billion riyals, driven by non-energy income, the government said. The resulting deficit will be financed largely through debt sales, Finance Minister Ali Sharif Al-Emadi said."



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Qatar launches new investments worth QR4 billion - The Peninsula Qatar

Qatar launches new investments worth QR4 billion - The Peninsula Qatar:

"Investments worth more than QR4 billion in projects mainly in the health, education, logistical support, agricultural produce, industry and environmental sectors were announced by the Ministerial Group for Encouragement and Participation of Private Sector in Economic Development Projects of Qatar.  In accordance to the directives of the Emir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani of reaching self-sufficiency and reliance, the Ministerial Group chaired by Prime Minister and Interior Minister H E Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al-Thani, announced the new initiatives in different sectors.  In the education sector, investors were chosen to establish seven schools. The plots for the schools are already allocated and provided with necessary infrastructure. The investment for these schools will be QR750 million and will accommodate a total of 9,000 students in different age groups. "



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OPEC Wakes Up to the Threat of U.S. Shale 2.0 - Bloomberg

OPEC Wakes Up to the Threat of U.S. Shale 2.0 - Bloomberg:

"OPEC predicted that global oil markets won’t rebalance until late next year after boosting forecasts for supplies from the U.S. and other rivals.

 The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ monthly report raised its outlook for non-OPEC supply in 2018 by 300,000 barrels a day, as its projections for American output caught up with those of the U.S. government. As a result, an initiative by OPEC and Russia to clear a global oil glut by cutting production -- previously seen succeeding in the third quarter of 2018 -- will take effect more slowly."



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Abu Dhabi-based fund to invest $2bln in India technology | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Abu Dhabi-based fund to invest $2bln in India technology | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Next Orbit Ventures (NOVF) ESDM, a newly established Abu Dhabi-based fund, said on Wednesday it had launched a $2 billion fund to invest in India's semiconductor and electronics industries.

Mumbai-based private equity firm Next Orbit Ventures set-up the fund under the regulation of the Abu Dhabi Global Market financial centre after receiving funding commitments from the Gulf region.

Around $1.5 billion for the fund will be raised from the region, while the remaining $500 million has been secured from a consortium of investors involving both the Indian government and ultra high net worth individuals, NOVF said. "



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Fitch Affirms 9 Qatari Banks' VRs; Removes Rating Watch Negative

Fitch Affirms 9 Qatari Banks' VRs; Removes Rating Watch Negative:

"Fitch Ratings has affirmed nine Qatari banks' Viability Ratings (VRs): Qatar National Bank (Q.P.S.C.) (QNB), The Commercial Bank (P.S.Q.C.) (CBQ), Doha Bank (DB), Qatar Islamic Bank (S.A.Q) (QIB), Al Khalij Commercial Bank P.Q.S.C. (AKB), Qatar International Islamic Bank (QIIB), Ahli Bank Q.S.C. (ABQ), International Bank of Qatar (Q.S.C.) (IBQ) and Barwa Bank Q.S.C. (Barwa), and removed the VRs from Rating Watch Negative (RWN). The banks' other ratings are unaffected by this rating action. Fitch placed all nine Qatari banks' ratings on RWN following a similar action on the Qatari sovereign in June 2017 to reflect the heightened risks from the decision of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, Egypt and some other Arab countries to sever diplomatic and logistical ties with Qatar. "



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Saudi $19 Billion Stimulus to Prioritize Housing, Small Business - Bloomberg

Saudi $19 Billion Stimulus to Prioritize Housing, Small Business - Bloomberg:

"Saudi Arabia will on Thursday unveil a 72 billion-riyal ($19.2 billion) program to bolster private-sector growth in 2018, with money to support housing construction as well as fee waivers for small businesses, Commerce and Investment Minister Majid Al-Qasabi said.

The package, part of a four-year stimulus program announced last year, contains 17 separate initiatives the government hopes will result in direct and indirect job creation, Al-Qasabi said in an interview in Riyadh. It’s a key component of the kingdom’s Vision 2030 economic-transformation plan ahead of the 2018 budget due next week.

"Next year is the year for stimulus," Al-Qasabi said. "That’s how we will strengthen our bonds with local and international investors.""



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Saudi Aramco to Seek Pitches for IPO Coordinator Roles - Bloomberg

Saudi Aramco to Seek Pitches for IPO Coordinator Roles - Bloomberg:

"Saudi Arabian Oil Co. is asking banks to pitch for roles as coordinators and bookrunners on its initial public offering, people familiar with the matter said, as the state-owned crude producer pushes ahead with plans for the world’s biggest share sale. The company sent out the request for proposals to banks over the past few days and aims to appoint a group of lenders by early next year, said the people, asking not to be identified as the information is private. Saudi Aramco, as it’s known, hasn’t told banks where it plans to list the shares, the people said. Saudi Arabia is seeking to sell as much as 5 percent of Aramco as part of a plan by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to set up the world’s biggest sovereign wealth fund and reduce the economy’s reliance on hydrocarbons. The sale could be the largest ever, based on the government’s $2 trillion valuation of the company."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Corporate news weakens Dubai and Saudi, Qatar jumps after budget

MIDEAST STOCKS-Corporate news weakens Dubai and Saudi, Qatar jumps after budget:

"Corporate news pulled down stock markets in Saudi Arabia and Dubai on Wednesday, while Abu Dhabi was supported by a strong new listing and Qatar surged after the release of the government’s 2018 budget.

The Dubai index dropped 1.4 percent as Emaar Properties sank 6.2 percent to its lowest close since June, in its heaviest trade since June.

Emaar said it would pay a special dividend of four billion dirhams ($1.1 billion) related to its listing of Emaar Development - three billion dirhams next month and one billion after its annual general assembly in April."



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Alwaleed’s investment kingdom reels without its prince

Alwaleed’s investment kingdom reels without its prince:

"When Citigroup was battling to survive the financial crisis, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal was quick to come to the aid of the US bank. As its shares tumbled, the Saudi billionaire publicly backed Vikram Pandit, Citi’s then-chief executive, and raised his stake in the group from 4 per cent to about 5 per cent. His intervention helped cement his reputation as the “Warren Buffett of Arabia”.

Now it is Prince Alwaleed who is engulfed in a crisis following his detention last month as part of Riyadh’s anti-corruption crackdown. But, in his hour of need, nobody has publicly come to his aid as billions of dollars have been wiped off his fortune and the investment firm he founded, Kingdom Holding Company, has been plunged into uncertainty.

KHC has lost nearly a fifth of its value since Prince Alwaleed’s detention, falling to $8.5bn and hitting the tycoon’s net wealth by $2bn to about $16bn, according to Forbes magazine.

"



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KSA’s new stakeholders will need an integrated approach | Arab News

KSA’s new stakeholders will need an integrated approach | Arab News:

"The subject of accounting practices bores some people, but not me. I find it absolutely fascinating.
I recently spent a very enjoyable lunchtime with Richard Howitt, chief executive of the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC). While the world is getting excited about the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the looming automation of virtually all business systems, including accounting and auditing procedures, Howitt is focusing instead on the actual content of the corporate annual report to make it more relevant to the modern world and the needs of business people around the globe.
He was in Dubai meeting accounting firms, regulators and other market people, and on his way to Riyadh, to explain to them that the Middle East has lots of advantages and opportunities to exploit the new accounting revolution, but is — mostly — failing to fully exploit them."



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Qatar Petroleum interested in investing in Iraq's energy sector - oil ministry

Qatar Petroleum interested in investing in Iraq's energy sector - oil ministry:

"* Iraq’s Oil Ministry said on Wednesday Qatar Petroleum is interested in investing in the country’s energy projects * Qatar Petroleum has shown interest in Iraq’s projects in gas, extraction, refining and petrochemicals infrastructures, , the ministry said in a statement * Iraq invited foreign companies to bid for contracts to explore and develop oil and natural gas reserves in nine new blocks as the OPEC nation seeks to boost its output capacity."



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UAE says too early to talk about exit strategy from oil cuts

UAE says too early to talk about exit strategy from oil cuts:

"United Arab Emirates Energy Minister Suhail al-Mazroui said that it was premature to talk about an exit strategy from the current global supply cut agreement between OPEC and non-OPEC producers. “It is... too early to speculate about the agreement’s exit strategies at this time; this will be a collective discussion between OPEC and its non-OPEC partners at the appropriate time in the future,” Mazroui said in a statement on Wednesday. “At present, our absolute focus remains on meeting the terms of the current agreement, which runs to the end of December 2018.”"



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Investor Bet on Middle East Oil Play Pays Off in Abu Dhabi IPO - Bloomberg

Investor Bet on Middle East Oil Play Pays Off in Abu Dhabi IPO - Bloomberg:

"Investors who bet on exposure to Middle East oil got it right, at least on the first trading day of shares in a unit of Abu Dhabi’s oil giant. The stock of Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. for Distribution PJSC, the fuel retailing unit of Adnoc, soared as much as 16 percent to 2.90 dirhams in early trading. They pared gains to 2.77 dirhams at 10:51 a.m. in Abu Dhabi, which pumps most of the crude in OPEC member United Arab Emirates. “It’s interesting for investors to own Adnoc Distribution because forecasts are indicating a rise in oil price, which can increase profit margins,” said Issam Kassabieh, equities analyst at Menacorp Financial Services in Dubai. “The offer was oversubscribed to retail by more than 20 times, and having a local fuel distributor listed will add more transparency to the sector in general.”"



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Saudi Arabia to Set Up Entity for Assets Taken in Crackdown - Bloomberg

Saudi Arabia to Set Up Entity for Assets Taken in Crackdown - Bloomberg:

"Saudi Arabia is setting up an organization to manage assets relinquished by detainees as part of settlement agreements in the crackdown on corruption, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The kingdom is talking to consultants about how to set up the entity, which will evaluate and potentially sell holdings handed over by billionaires and princes in exchange for their freedom, said the people, asking not to be identified because the matter is private.

Hani Halawani, head of direct investments at Sanabil Investments, part of the Public Investment Fund, will help run the organization, the people said. The government’s Center for International Communication didn’t respond to a request for comment. Halawani didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Emaar dividend drags down Dubai, Saudi Electricity plunges

MIDEAST STOCKS-Emaar dividend drags down Dubai, Saudi Electricity plunges:

"Weakness in Emaar Properties after news of a special dividend payment pulled down Dubai’s stock market in early trade on Wednesday, while utility Saudi Electricity plunged after it said it would pay increased revenues to the state.

The Dubai stock index sank 1.6 percent as Emaar tumbled to its lowest level since June in heavy trade.

Emaar said it would pay a special dividend of 4 billion dirhams ($1.1 billion) related to its listing of Emaar Development - 3 billion dirhams next month and 1 billion after its annual general assembly in April."



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