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Thursday, 21 December 2017

Abu Dhabi Plans First Treasury Bill Sales Next Year - Bloomberg

Abu Dhabi Plans First Treasury Bill Sales Next Year - Bloomberg:

"Abu Dhabi plans to start selling treasury bills for the first time next year, according to people with knowledge of the matter, as the OPEC producer seeks to develop its local-currency debt market.


The government is working with international and local banks on how the notes will be structured, the people said, asking not to be identified because the discussions are private. Regulations are expected to be completed next year and regular sales could follow shortly after that, the people said.  "



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Swiss find serious shortcomings at JPMorgan in Malaysian 1MDB case | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Swiss find serious shortcomings at JPMorgan in Malaysian 1MDB case | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Swiss financial watchdog FINMA said on Thursday the Swiss subsidiary of U.S. bank JPMorgan had committed serious anti-money laundering breaches in relation to Malaysian sovereign wealth fund 1MDB.

The case adds to the political storm that has raged for more than two years over the scandal at 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), the focus of money-laundering investigations in at least six countries including Singapore, Switzerland and the United States.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, who chaired 1MDB's advisory board, has denied any wrongdoing. "



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Foreign deposit outflow from Qatari banks slows further in November | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Foreign deposit outflow from Qatari banks slows further in November | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"An outflow of foreign deposits from Qatari banks slowed further in November as the impact of an economic boycott imposed by other Arab states continued to diminish, data from Qatar's central bank showed on Thursday.

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 countries cut diplomatic and trade ties with Doha.

But in November, foreign customers' deposits at banks in Qatar fell by just 2.8 billion riyals ($763 million) from the previous month to 134.9 billion riyals, the data showed. "



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Ex-Embraer executive pleads guilty to U.S. corruption charges

Ex-Embraer executive pleads guilty to U.S. corruption charges:

"A former executive at Brazilian aircraft maker Embraer SA pleaded guilty on Thursday to U.S. charges that he arranged a bribe to an employee of Saudi Arabia’s state-owned Saudi Aramco to secure a contract for the sale of three jets.

Colin Steven, 61, entered his plea before U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan in Manhattan. He said at the hearing that others at Embraer had approved of the payment and that he had agreed to cooperate with U.S. prosecutors.

Steven, who was charged with violating the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, wire fraud, money laundering and conspiracy, was released on bail following his court hearing, allowing him to return to Dubai, where he lives."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Qatar resumes rally, most of Gulf little changed

MIDEAST STOCKS-Qatar resumes rally, most of Gulf little changed:

"Qatar’s stock market resumed a rally from near six-year lows on Thursday while most bourses in the Gulf were little changed, lacking fresh stimulus.

The Qatari index added 1.2 percent as Vodafone Qatar, the most heavily traded stock, rose 2.6 percent. Qatar Islamic Bank gained 3.1 percent in active trade.

The index fell sharply in the months to mid-December after four other Arab states imposed an economic boycott on Doha. But signs that the damage is less than some investors had feared, and a supportive 2018 state budget plan announced last week, are now helping the market recover."



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Saudi energy chief says crackdown not hurting investment

Saudi energy chief says crackdown not hurting investment:

"Saudi officials played down fears that an anti-corruption campaign risked driving away international investors as the kingdom seeks to attract foreign capital to diversify its economy. “Eliminating the pockets of small corruption here and there is reassuring to investors and they are responding by increasing their appetite for the kingdom,” Khalid al-Falih, the energy minister, said on Wednesday. “Without any exaggeration, my phone doesn’t stop ringing.” More than 200 princes, businessmen and senior officials have been detained in Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s anti-corruption drive, raising concerns by investors about the business climate in the country. Those arrested include billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, one of the Saudi Arabia’s most prominent investors, construction magnate Bakr bin Laden and Saleh Kamel, a prominent businessman from the coastal city of Jeddah."



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Dubai Financial Market welcomes listing of AWTAD on Second Market | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Dubai Financial Market welcomes listing of AWTAD on Second Market | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Majid Abdullah Alsari, Chairman of AWTAD (PJSC) today rang the market bell to celebrate the listing of company’s shares on the "Second Market" of Dubai Financial Market (DFM), in the presence of Hassan Al Serkal, Chief Operating Officer (COO) and Head of Operations Division of DFM as well as senior representatives from both sides. Dubai-based AWTAD, is a property investment company with a capital of AED150 million distributed between 1.5 million shares with a nominal value of AED100 per share. Welcoming the listing, Essa Kazim, Chairman of DFM said, "The Second Market represents significant value for businesses and investors alike as it enables investors to trade on private companies’ shares within a regulated and advanced environment and through the electronic trading system. The listing also enables private companies that play an integral role in the economic activity, to avail various benefits of being a listed company." "The second market has a huge potential to expand considering the big number of private joint stock companies in the country of approximately 150 companies and DFM encourages them to be part of its comprehensive platform. The listing on the second market provides these companies with numerous benefits including; links with local and international investors, the streamlined access to funds necessary for expansion as well as enhancing its competitiveness through the implementation of best practices of transparency, corporate governance and investor relations, preparing the company for a new era of growth," Kazim added. "



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Qatar's currency manipulation probe could curb offshore FX trade, risk Gulf backlash

Qatar's currency manipulation probe could curb offshore FX trade, risk Gulf backlash:

"Qatar’s investigation into alleged manipulation of its currency could give it more control over exchange rates but make some international banks more wary of doing business with Doha. The probe may also risk prompting Qatar’s diplomatic enemies to impose more economic sanctions on it, if their banks are targeted in the investigation. “The risk is if the other Gulf countries, say Saudi and the UAE, react to this campaign by Qatar against currency manipulation by imposing fresh sanctions on Qatar,” said Jason Tuvey, an economist at Capital Economics in London."



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Oil falls as UK North Sea oil pipeline moves closer to restart

Oil falls as UK North Sea oil pipeline moves closer to restart:

"Oil prices fell on Thursday after the operator of Britain’s Forties pipeline in the North Sea said it was expected to restart in early January after repairs over Christmas.

Forties is the largest of the five North Sea crudes that underpin Brent, a benchmark for oil trading in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

 Oil prices have risen since the pipeline was shut on Dec 11. But Brent oil prices LCOc1 fell after the announcement to trade 23 cents down at $64.33 per barrel at 0933 GMT. "



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Saudi Aramco Embarks on Global Hunt for Natural Gas Supplies - Bloomberg

Saudi Aramco Embarks on Global Hunt for Natural Gas Supplies - Bloomberg:

"Saudi Aramco is looking for natural gas assets from Russia to East Africa and the U.S. as the kingdom’s state-owned energy giant hunts for ways to meet soaring domestic demand. The comments by Khalid Al-Falih, who’s both Aramco chairman and Saudi energy minister, are a tacit admission Aramco has failed to find enough domestic gas reserves despite years of exploration. He’s now considering imports of super-cooled liquefied natural gas to bridge the gap with local consumption and cut the amount of crude oil burned in power stations instead of exported for profit. “Aramco is drawing a very wide net,” said Al-Falih, mentioning the Mediterranean and the Caspian Sea as other potential targets for gas assets."



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Saudi energy minister: Premature to discuss changes in OPEC-led pact | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Saudi energy minister: Premature to discuss changes in OPEC-led pact | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Saudi Arabia’s energy minister said it is premature to discuss any changes to the OPEC-led supply cut pact as market rebalancing is unlikely to happen until the second half of 2018 even with the current outage of the North Sea Forties pipeline.

Any potential exit from current cuts would be done gradually once the market returns to balance but drawing down inventories will still take more time, Khalid al-Falih told Reuters on Wednesday. “We haven’t seen any major declines in inventories that we didn’t expect. As we said last month, we still have approximately 150 million barrels of overhang, and it is going to take the second half 2018 to draw that down,” Falih said.

“We expect the first few months of 2018 to be either flat or a build (in inventories) as it is typically the case with the seasonality with the oil market especially on the demand side,” he said in an interview in Riyadh. "



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Qatar resumes rally, most of Gulf little changed | ZAWYA MENA Edition

MIDEAST STOCKS-Qatar resumes rally, most of Gulf little changed | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Qatar's stock market resumed a rally in early trade on Thursday while most bourses in the Gulf were little changed, lacking fresh stimulus. The Qatari index , which has rebounded from near six-year lows in the past 10 days, added 0.5 percent as Vodafone Qatar, the most heavily traded stock, surged 4.4 percent. The index fell sharply in the months to mid-December after four other Arab states imposed an economic boycott on Doha. But signs that the damage is less than feared and a supportive 2018 state budget plan announced last week have helped the market recover. "



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