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Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Looking for Cheap Real Estate in Dubai? Check The Stock Market - Bloomberg

Looking for Cheap Real Estate in Dubai? Check The Stock Market - Bloomberg:

Dubai is famous for its high skyscrapers and lavish lifestyle, and owning real estate in the sunny Gulf city may sound like a non-affordable dream for many people. By contrast, stocks of its biggest property owners and developers are becoming increasingly within reach.

Shares of Emaar Properties PJSC, the developer of the world’s tallest building and an icon of Dubai, can be bought at the lowest valuation since 2010. Competitor Damac Properties Dubai Co PJSC, known for its business ties with U.S. President Donald Trump’s family company, traded earlier this year at the cheapest price-to-earnings ratio in more than 17 months.

Both stocks have tumbled more than 30 percent this year as real-estate prices in Dubai have dropped and domestic demand has faltered, prompting the government to announce a series of measures to stimulate the economy. Earlier this month, S&P Global Ratings cut the credit worthiness of two local companies, including one that owns properties in Dubai’s financial center, citing deteriorating credit conditions.

Qatar Names Mansoor Al Mahmoud CEO of $320 Billion Wealth Fund - Bloomberg

Qatar Names Mansoor Al Mahmoud CEO of $320 Billion Wealth Fund - Bloomberg:

Qatar appointed Mansoor bin Ebrahim Al Mahmoud as the chief executive officer of the Qatar Investment Authority, one of the world’s largest sovereign funds.

He replaces Qatari royal Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammed Al Thani, who becomes a minister of state, according to a royal decree published by state-run Qatar News Agency. It didn’t provide more details.

Al Mahmoud, who is currently the CEO of Qatar Museums, has worked as the head of risk management at the QIA, according to information on Qatar Museums’ website.

From Lucid to Tesla, Saudi Wealth Fund Goes on Spending Spree - Bloomberg

From Lucid to Tesla, Saudi Wealth Fund Goes on Spending Spree - Bloomberg:

Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund is set to have its busiest year for deals since the world’s biggest crude exporter ago embarked on plans to future-proof itself against oil four years ago.

In recent months, the Public Investment Fund has agreed to invest more than $1 billion in electric car startup Lucid, built a roughly $2 billion stake in Elon Musk’s Tesla Inc. and is in talks to sell its stake in chemical producer Saudi Basic Industries Corp. that could bring in about $70 billion. It also raised an $11 billion loan this week.

The investments are part of plans -- unveiled after the collapse in crude prices in mid-2014 -- to turn the PIF into the world’s biggest sovereign fund with more than $2 trillion in assets by 2030. Those plans also included the initial public offering of oil giant Saudi Aramco to provide the PIF with funds for investments, which has since been put on ice.

Abu Dhabi studies restructuring options for $1.2 bln Etihad-linked bonds -sources | Reuters

Abu Dhabi studies restructuring options for $1.2 bln Etihad-linked bonds -sources | Reuters:

The government of Abu Dhabi is looking at proposals to restructure some $1.2 billion of troubled bonds that were issued by Abu Dhabi state-owned carrier Etihad Airways in partnership with other airlines, sources familiar with the matter said.

Etihad issued $700 million of bonds through a special purpose vehicle called Equity Alliance Partners (EAP) in 2015, and a further $500 million in 2016. Proceeds of the paper went to Etihad and other airlines it partially owned at the time, including Alitalia and Air Berlin, which are now both insolvent.

The notes were seen as strengthening Etihad’s partnerships with those airlines after it spent billions of dollars in acquisitions.

COLUMN-LNG industry is super bullish, but in no rush to benefit: Russell | Reuters

COLUMN-LNG industry is super bullish, but in no rush to benefit: Russell | Reuters:

Bullish, as a word, doesn’t quite capture the stampede of optimism that was gushing out from the natural gas industry at its biggest annual event this week in Barcelona.

“The demand is there,” stated Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, the chief executive of Qatar Petroleum, the world’s largest producer of liquefied natural gas (LNG), in confirming that his country was on track to lift its output to 100 million tonnes of the super-chilled fuel by 2023.

Al-Kaabi’s remarks were among the more measured at the GasTech conference, with some executives making predictions that the market for LNG, currently around 300 million tonnes a year, will more than double by 2025.

UPDATE 1-UAE central bank trims 2018 GDP growth forecast to 2.3 pct | Reuters

UPDATE 1-UAE central bank trims 2018 GDP growth forecast to 2.3 pct | Reuters:

The United Arab Emirates central bank has cut its forecast for economic growth this year after non-oil growth slowed slightly in the second quarter, according to a report released by the bank on Wednesday.

The central bank now expects the UAE’s inflation-adjusted gross domestic product to expand 2.3 percent in 2018, instead of the 2.7 percent which it had projected in its last report three months ago.

The non-oil part of the economy grew 3.6 percent year-on-year in the second quarter, compared to a revised 3.8 percent in the first quarter, which was the fastest rate since the beginning of 2016.

Oil prices edge up as supply concerns outweigh U.S. stockpile gains | Reuters

Oil prices edge up as supply concerns outweigh U.S. stockpile gains | Reuters:

Oil prices inched up on Wednesday as concerns that producers may not be able to cover a shortfall in supply once U.S. sanctions on Iran kick in outweighed a gain in U.S. stockpiles.

Brent crude futures were up 16 cents at $79.19 per barrel at 0658 GMT, after rising 1.3 percent in the previous session.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 20 cents, or 0.29 percent, at $70.05 a barrel, having climbed 1.4 percent the day before.

MIDEAST STOCKS-Most Gulf markets weak as Saudi opens higher on oil price rise | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Most Gulf markets weak as Saudi opens higher on oil price rise | Reuters:

Saudi Arabia’s stock market opened higher on Wednesday as oil prices rose and the global reaction to the latest escalation in the United States-China trade dispute remained relatively limited.

Oil edged up on concerns that producers may not be able to cover a shortfall in supply once U.S. sanctions on Iran come into effect, despite gains in U.S. stockpiles.

Saudi Arabia’s main index was up 0.7 in morning trade as petrochemical company Saudi Kayan jumped 4.0 percent and Al-Rajhi Bank added 0.7 percent.

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

U.S. Gas Exports Hit by China Tariffs as Trade War Escalates - Bloomberg

U.S. Gas Exports Hit by China Tariffs as Trade War Escalates - Bloomberg:

China plans to slap tariffs on U.S. natural gas exports as trade tensions escalate, a likely setback for the burgeoning energy relationship between the world’s two largest economies.

The Asian nation said in a statement Tuesday it would levy a 10 percent duty on liquefied natural gas starting Sept. 24, retaliation for a fresh round of tariffs announced the day before by the U.S.

While China’s levy is less than the 25 percent it proposed last month, the tariff still brings additional pressure to bear on the U.S. gas industry, which is competing with Russia, Australia and Qatar for market share in China, the world’s biggest buyer. Just last year, American officials were courting Chinese companies to invest in new export projects.

Qatar's QIA Chief Is Said to Leave $320 Billion Wealth Fund - Bloomberg

Qatar's QIA Chief Is Said to Leave $320 Billion Wealth Fund - Bloomberg:

The chief executive officer of the Qatar Investment Authority is leaving the firm after almost four years at the helm of one of the world’s largest sovereign funds, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The reasons behind the surprise departure of Qatari royal Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammed Al Thani, weren’t immediately clear and a replacement is yet to be officially named, the people said on condition of anonymity. A spokesman for the QIA wasn’t immediately able to comment.

Sheikh Abdullah was appointed in December 2014, replacing Ahmed Al-Sayed. Before joining the fund, he had served as the chairman of Ooredoo QSC, the country’s largest telecommunications company, since 2000. Sheikh Abdullah led the company’s expansion into Kuwait, Indonesia and more than a dozen other countries in Africa and Asia.

Crude Advances as Saudis Indicate Oil Over $80 Is Just Fine - Bloomberg

Crude Advances as Saudis Indicate Oil Over $80 Is Just Fine - Bloomberg:

Crude popped higher amid indications that Saudi Arabia is just fine with oil prices pushing past $80 a barrel given the looming supply losses from Iran.

Futures in New York climbed as much as 2.2 percent on Tuesday. The world’s biggest crude exporter is said to be comfortable with Brent prices rising above $80 a barrel as markets adjust to the loss of Iranian supply due to U.S.-imposed sanctions, with oil exports from the nation plunging about 35 percent since April. In the U.S., crude inventories are seen declining for a fifth straight week.

“The comments that the Saudis were happy with higher prices combined with what looks like dropping Iranian oil exports is making people think we’re going into another bull period,” said Michael Lynch, president of Strategic Energy & Economic Research in Winchester, Massachusetts.

Clariant, SABIC tighten links under new partnership | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Clariant, SABIC tighten links under new partnership | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

Switzerland's Clariant and new anchor shareholder Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) will merge their high-performance materials businesses and install a SABIC manager as head of the group as they strengthen their partnership.

The new joint venture and governance accord announced on Tuesday mark the first concrete signs of how SABIC's arrival as a white knight in January is reshaping the speciality chemicals group that U.S. activists had targeted.

The partners had agreed that SABIC would not take over Clariant but could boost the 24.99 percent stake it bought from the activists to rescue Clariant from a hostile takeover threat, Clariant Chief Executive Hariolf Kottmann told a news conference.

REFILE-Abu Dhabi Islamic aims to boost lending after capital increase | Reuters

REFILE-Abu Dhabi Islamic aims to boost lending after capital increase | Reuters:

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank expects to increase lending in 2018 after boosting its capital, its acting chief executive said, as the sharia-compliant bank’s rate of profit growth slows as it battles against a sluggish economy.

An economy weakened by lower oil prices and a crowded banking market has hit the balance sheets of United Arab Emirates’ banks and hobbled loan growth.

ADIB, the largest sharia-compliant lender in Abu Dhabi, expects to increase profit in 2018 in single digit percentage terms, acting-CEO Khamis Buharoon al-Shamsi said. This compares with growth of 18 percent in 2017.

Qatar National Bank in talks to refinance 2.25 bln euro loan - sources | Reuters

Qatar National Bank in talks to refinance 2.25 bln euro loan - sources | Reuters:

Qatar National Bank, the largest bank by assets in the Middle East and Africa, is in discussions with lenders to refinance a 2.25 billion euro syndicated loan, sources familiar with the matter said.

QNB, which is 50 percent owned by Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund Qatar Investment Authority, is a regular borrower in the international syndicated loan market. Over the past three years it has raised over $7 billion in loans.

But a diplomatic crisis which erupted in the Gulf last year has made some international lenders more cautious about their exposure to Qatari entities, several sources told Reuters over the past year.

Oil rises 1 percent on signs OPEC not prepared to boost output | Reuters

Oil rises 1 percent on signs OPEC not prepared to boost output | Reuters:

Oil futures rose more than 1 percent on Tuesday on signs that OPEC would not be prepared to raise output to address shrinking supplies from Iran, and as Saudi Arabia signaled an informal target near current levels.

Brent crude LCOc1 futures were up 89 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $78.94 a barrel by 12:58 p.m. EDT (1658 GMT).

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 futures rose 88 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $69.79 a barrel.

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi stocks lifted by oil rise, SABIC-Clariant partnership | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi stocks lifted by oil rise, SABIC-Clariant partnership | Reuters:

Saudi Arabia’s stock market closed higher on Tuesday, buoyed by rising oil prices and more details on Saudi Basic Industries Corp’s (SABIC) partnership with Switzerland’s Clariant.

Other Gulf markets closed mostly lower.

In Egypt, the stock index was flat, closing up 0.02 percent after tumbling to its lowest level this year on Monday due to fallout from the arrest of ousted President Hosni Mubarak’s two sons on charges of stock market manipulation.

Saudi Reforms Could Cause a Crisis for Egypt - Bloomberg

Saudi Reforms Could Cause a Crisis for Egypt - Bloomberg:

In August, as the Turkish lira crisis set off anxieties of financial turmoil in other developing economies, the Egyptian pound held firm. That was thanks to painful reforms the government of President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi began in 2016. Allowing the currency to trade freely, along with a rise in tourism and in remittances from Egyptians working abroad, had helped to stabilize the Egyptian economy, prompting S&P Global Ratings to raise the nation’s credit rating.

Now, Egypt’s reforms face an unexpected challenge from the reform agenda of its most important political and economic allies, Saudi Arabia. The knock-on effect of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s plan for economic modernization could force El-Sisi to deepen spending cuts and seek more expensive borrowing. The way out for the president is to make bolder changes, to cut the Egyptian economy loose from the restricting ties to the state, and its all-powerful military.

On Sept. 11, the Saudi government began to enforce strict labor-market regulations, to boost employment of its own nationals at the expense of foreign workers. The hiring restrictions, part of Prince Mohammed’s Vision 2030 program, were announced in January, and there has been a steady exodus of foreigners ever since. According to Saudi government statistics, the number of foreigners employed in the kingdom fell from 10,883,335 in the fourth quarter of 2016 to 10,183,104 in the first quarter of 2018.

Qatar Fund Said to Near Investment in China's Top Online Lender - Bloomberg

Qatar Fund Said to Near Investment in China's Top Online Lender - Bloomberg:

The Qatar Investment Authority is in advanced talks about an investment in Lufax, China’s biggest online lender, as the sovereign wealth fund seeks to tap into the world’s second-largest economy, people familiar with the matter said.

QIA has been negotiating the potential purchase of a minority stake in Lufax, which is an arm of China’s Ping An Insurance (Group) Co., according to the people. It could spend about $500 million to $1 billion, the people said, asking not to be identified because the matter is private.

A deal could be announced as soon as the next few weeks, the people said. Shanghai-based Lufax, which became profitable for the first time last year, completed a fundraising in 2016 that valued it at $18.5 billion.

Rebounding Qatar Stocks Shine in 2018 as Dubai Lacks Sparkle - Bloomberg

Rebounding Qatar Stocks Shine in 2018 as Dubai Lacks Sparkle - Bloomberg:

When it comes to their Gulf stock-market rivalry, Doha is easily outshining Dubai.

The main Qatari equities index is 2018’s best performer worldwide in dollar terms, up 15 percent. Earlier this year, it recovered all the losses caused by Qatar’s diplomatic standoff with a group of countries including the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia that began 15 months ago. In bleak contrast, Dubai stocks are languishing at their lowest level since January 2016 after falling 19 percent this year.

Qatar responded to the spat with steps to entice investors. Several companies have allowed increased foreign ownership, while the country has made permanent residency an option for some non-nationals. A minister even described the embargo as “a blessing” for the gas-rich nation, with exports and global trade rising. The U.A.E. has taken steps of its own to stimulate its economy at a time of dropping Dubai real-estate prices and faltering demand, but these efforts are yet to reflect in stock performances.

Dubai's DP World markets 30-year conventional bond, 10-year sukuk | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Dubai's DP World markets 30-year conventional bond, 10-year sukuk | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

Dubai's port operator DP World has started marketing a 30-year conventional bond and 10-year sukuk, or Islamic bonds, a document by one of the banks leading the transaction showed.

The company has given initial price guidance in the 5.875 percent area for the 30-year paper, and in the 200 basis points over mid-swaps area for the 10-year sukuk.

Barclays, Citi, Emirates NBD Capital, First Abu Dhabi Bank, HSBC, JPMorgan, Societe Generale and Standard Chartered Bank are the joint bookrunners of the 30-year bond deal, while the list of bookrunners for the planned sukuk comprises the same lenders and Dubai Islamic Bank.

Boursa Kuwait's listing on FTSE EM index to attract $800mln liquidity | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Boursa Kuwait's listing on FTSE EM index to attract $800mln liquidity | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

Boursa Kuwait is closely awaiting the actual listing on the FTSE Russell index for emerging markets within the coming few days, which will positively affect its performance through attracting more investments.

The stock index compiler previously announced the inclusion of the Kuwaiti bourse in its EM index in two stages, one in late September, while the other will be in December 2018.

FTSE projected that Kuwait would have a total 0.4% weighting in the index.

Oil prices fall as U.S.-China trade war clouds demand outlook | Reuters

Oil prices fall as U.S.-China trade war clouds demand outlook | Reuters:

Oil markets slipped on Tuesday as the latest escalation in the Sino-U.S. trade war clouded the outlook for crude demand from the two countries, the world’s top crude consumers. 

Brent crude LCOc1 futures had dropped 29 cents, or 0.37 percent, to $77.76 per barrel by 0632 GMT.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 was down 15 cents, or 0.22 percent, at $68.76 per barrel.

Qatar Airways blames $69 million annual loss on Gulf dispute | Reuters

Qatar Airways blames $69 million annual loss on Gulf dispute | Reuters:

Qatar Airways reported on Tuesday a 252 million riyals ($69 million) loss for the financial year ending March 31, citing a regional political dispute that has seen it banned from four Arab countries.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Egypt, and Bahrain have banned Qatar Airways since June 2017 as part of a dispute they have with the government of Qatar.

“This turbulent year has inevitably had an impact on our financial results,” Qatar Airways Chief Executive Akbar al-Baker said in a statement.

OPEC chief: Cartel must stay together as US sanctions Iran

OPEC chief: Cartel must stay together as US sanctions Iran:

OPEC must stick together for the good of the global economy as founding member Iran faces renewed U.S. sanctions, the head of the cartel said Tuesday — though he did not address how an already-tight market will make up for the loss of Iranian supply.

Mohammed Sanusi Barkindo also said an agreement between OPEC and non-members that cut production and helped bring prices back up from lows of $30 a barrel in January 2016 was now “a permanent feature.”

Cementing that arrangement would be one of the topics of discussion as OPEC meets this Sunday in Algeria, he added.

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets open weaker, Deyaar soars in Dubai | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets open weaker, Deyaar soars in Dubai | Reuters:

Most Gulf markets opened in negative territory on Tuesday, mirroring a slip in Asian shares after Washington announced new tariffs on Chinese imports, escalating trade tensions between the world’s two biggest economies.

In Dubai, where the index was down 0.7 percent in the first hour of trade, second-tier real estate developer Deyaar Development soared 7 percent to 0.45 dirhams, and was one of the most heavily traded stocks by a large margin.

Shares in the company have rebounded from a five-year low hit last month and last week rose above their 100-day average for the first time since March.

Monday, 17 September 2018

DFM accredits Bahrain’s Sico as market maker | GulfNews.com

DFM accredits Bahrain’s Sico as market maker | GulfNews.com:

Sico BSC, the Bahrain-based investment management firm, has been accredited to provide liquidity and act as market maker for companies listed on Dubai Financial Market (DFM), it said on Monday.

The company said in a statement that the move would help create more “dynamic two-way markets that will enhance the liquidity of companies listed on the exchange.”

The accreditation builds on Sico’s status as the leading market-maker on the Bahrain Bourse since 1995, reinforcing its position as a pioneer and key player in GCC financial markets. It also follows the admission of Sico as the first non-UAE based registered market maker and liquidity provider at the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) last month.

KSA in line for multibillion-dollar infrastructure dividend

KSA in line for multibillion-dollar infrastructure dividend:

Saudi Arabia stands to collect an “infrastructure dividend” worth billions as it pushes ahead with its diversification drive, powered by a localization program involving partnerships between KSA enterprises and overseas firms to ensure wealth cascades down to the wider population, say experts.

Dr. Raed Kombargi, an Abu Dhabi-based partner with consultancy Strategy&, told Arab News that KSA should be able to provide goods and services for its local market as well as build globally competitive export industries. “The dividend is certainly there and I am confident they can do it,” he said.

Kombargi said the purpose of localization was, on one level, to stimulate the economy by creating a lot of jobs. But it was also about having an impact on GDP.

Kuwaiti investors weigh up their future bond to Aston Martin | Arab News

Kuwaiti investors weigh up their future bond to Aston Martin | Arab News:

Andy Palmer, the affable chief executive of Aston Martin, called the forthcoming initial pubic offering (IPO) of the famous British car company a “monumental moment” in its 105-year history.

Quite right. For a company that in many ways mirrors the past century of British engineering — heavy on style and invention, light on financial acumen — the prospect of a £5 billion ($6.5 billion) valuation and a possible place in the FTSE 100 index of London’s elite is a real triumph.

Aston has gone bust seven times in its history, but has always come back with a product to catch the fancy of a forty-something male petrolhead with an eye for style and glamor. Its best bit of marketing came when film makers put the dashing spy James Bond behind the wheel of an Aston Martin DB5.

Banking, industrials equities weigh on Qatar bourse

Banking, industrials equities weigh on Qatar bourse:

The Qatar Stock Exchange continued to remain under the bearish spell for the second day on Monday, dropping more than 109 points, mainly dragged by banking and industrials equities.

Strong selling pressure from Gulf and domestic funds drove the 20-stock Qatar Index down 1.1% to 9,832.68 points.

Doha Bank-sponsored exchange traded fund QATR declined 1.06%; whereas Masraf Al Rayan-sponsored QETF gained 1.18%.

Uber Is Said in Talks to Acquire Dubai Ride Hailing Firm Careem - Bloomberg

Uber Is Said in Talks to Acquire Dubai Ride Hailing Firm Careem - Bloomberg:

Uber Technologies Inc. is in discussions to buy its Dubai-based rival Careem Networks FZ as the ride-hailing giant expands in the Middle East, people familiar with the matter said.

A deal could value Careem at $2 billion to $2.5 billion, the people said, asking not to be identified because the talks are private. Negotiations are ongoing and Careem’s management is working to convince the firm’s shareholders of the merits of a deal, the people said. No final decisions have been made, and the companies may decide against the transaction, they said.

“We believe the consumer internet opportunity in the region is massive and untapped,” Careem said in an emailed statement. “In the last couple of years, the rest of the world has begun to embrace this opportunity and we have been approached by multiple strategic and financial investors. Our ambition remains to build a lasting tech institution from the region.”

Turkey's Erdogan Got a Half-Billion Dollar Gift From Qatar - Bloomberg

Turkey's Erdogan Got a Half-Billion Dollar Gift From Qatar - Bloomberg:

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has received a luxury jet worth about half a billion dollars from the emir of Qatar.

Erdogan confirmed receipt of the gift as he hit back at critics who’d been questioning whether it was actually paid for with taxpayer money. Turkey had showed interest in purchasing the aircraft when it was up for sale for around $500 million, Erdogan told reporters over the weekend, according to Hurriyet newspaper. But when Qatar’s ruler found out, he donated it to the Turkish presidency free of charge, Erdogan said.

Turkey’s political, military and economic relations with Qatar have improved dramatically as Ankara sided with the gas-rich Gulf state in its tussle with a regional alliance led by Saudi Arabia. Last month, Qatar’s ruler met Erdogan in Ankara and promised to invest $15 billion in the country to try and pull Turkey back from the brink of a financial crisis.

Tesla (TSLA) Rival Lucid's Saudi Funding Is Ominous - Bloomberg

Tesla (TSLA) Rival Lucid's Saudi Funding Is Ominous - Bloomberg:

Monday’s big news in electric vehicles: Lucid Motors Inc. secured some funding, and from Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, no less. That may sound like a cheap joke at rival Tesla Inc.’s expense; and, yes, that can happen when your CEO conducts corporate finance over Twitter. But few seemed to be laughing Monday morning, with Tesla’s stock dropping at first.

Superficially, Monday’s announcement of Saudi money going to a rival raises uncomfortable memories of Tesla’s bizarre take-private episode. But that fiasco is almost a month old, and we already suspected the sovereign wealth fund might invest $1 billion in Lucid.

More importantly, Lucid’s funding is a reminder that Tesla has a target on its back. Tesla is still a company that — despite the drama, lack of profits, and relatively puny vehicle production — is valued at almost $50 billion. That sort of thing tends to attract competition; indeed, realizing the electrified future Tesla foresees demands it.

Dubai inflation flat in August, housing deflation accelerates | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Dubai inflation flat in August, housing deflation accelerates | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

The Dubai Statistics Center released the following August consumer price data for the Gulf Arab emirate.

DUBAI CONSUMER INFLATION 18-Aug 18-Jul 17-Aug pct change month/month 0.2 -0.1 0.2 change year/year 2.2 2.2 0.8

NOTE - Housing and utility costs fell 3.6 percent from a year earlier in August, after a 3.2 percent drop in July and a 2.6 percent decline in June.

Food and beverage prices climbed 3.3 percent while transport price inflation rose to 18.5 percent, partly because of higher petrol prices compared to a year ago.

UAE free zones will need to up their game to retain tenants, says expert | ZAWYA MENA Edition

UAE free zones will need to up their game to retain tenants, says expert | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

Free zone authorities in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will need to build higher-value networks to justify their higher expense as many of their regulatory and other benefits are stripped back, according to an expert.

Discussing a new report on Special Economic Zones published by consultancy firm Oliver Wyman earlier this month, partner Anush Vats told Zawya that many of the '40-plus' free zones in the country have been developed around advantages such as allowing 100 percent foreign ownership and exemption from certain labour laws, and focussed more on property than industry development.

"To be honest, my sense has always been that the UAE experiment started, quite rightly, by looking at the regulatory incentives, as most countries do, but then it got somewhat distracted into a real estate play," he said in a phone interview.

Abu Dhabi's Mubadala to sell 25 pct of Spain's Cepsa in IPO | Reuters

Abu Dhabi's Mubadala to sell 25 pct of Spain's Cepsa in IPO | Reuters:

Abu Dhabi state investor Mubadala said on Monday it plans to sell a 25 percent stake in Spanish energy company Cepsa in an initial public offer on the Spanish stock exchange in the fourth quarter of 2018.

The listing will provide Cepsa with wider access to capital markets and increase its financial flexibility, Mubadala said in a statement.

Morgan Stanley, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citigroup and Santander are joint global coordinators for the deal, according to a term sheet seen by Reuters.

UPDATE 2-Egypt cancels debt auction as foreign investor appetite weakens | Reuters

UPDATE 2-Egypt cancels debt auction as foreign investor appetite weakens | Reuters:

Egypt cancelled a treasury bond auction on Monday, its third such move in as many weeks, as foreign investors cut their exposure to the country’s debt at a time of weak appetite globally for emerging market assets.

Data from the central bank showed it had called off the auction of 3- and 7-year treasury bonds worth 3.5 billion Egyptian pounds ($195.97 million). Two previous T-bond auctions, also for 3.5 billion pounds each, had been cancelled after bankers and investors demanded high yields on the debt.

“The finance ministry has been cancelling the bond auctions for the past few weeks due to higher yields than they are willing to accept,” said one banker at an Egyptian bank.

UPDATE 1-Qatar's Hassad Food to merge Australia farm portfolio with Macquarie's - QNA | Reuters

UPDATE 1-Qatar's Hassad Food to merge Australia farm portfolio with Macquarie's - QNA | Reuters:

Qatar’s Hassad Food IPO-HASS.QA, the agricultural arm of the country’s sovereign wealth fund, is merging its Australian farm portfolio with that of Macquarie Group.

The investments will be incorporated into the Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA) agricultural portfolio, according to a statement on the state-run Qatar News Agency.

The transition of the “significant majority of farms to MIRA’s agricultural portfolio” is expected to be completed before the end of the month, the statement said.

Saudi's PIF invests more than $1 billion in electric carmaker Lucid Motors | Reuters

Saudi's PIF invests more than $1 billion in electric carmaker Lucid Motors | Reuters:

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) has agreed to invest more than $1 billion in Lucid Motors, adding to the emerging competition facing U.S. electric vehicle maker Tesla (TSLA.O).

The funding will enable Silicon Valley-based Lucid to achieve the commercial launch of its Lucid Air electric vehicle in 2020, PIF said as it announced the deal on Monday, joining Daimler-owned (DAIGn.DE) Mercedes, BMW (BMWG.DE) and Volkswagen’s (VOWG_p.DE) Audi and Porsche divisions in the battle for dominance in the market for premium battery cars.

The deal comes only a few weeks after Tesla founder Elon Musk said the Saudi sovereign wealth fund could help him to take his company private. Shares in Tesla initially dropped 2.2 percent on Monday’s announcement before recovering to positive territory.

Oil near flat as market weighs U.S.-China trade tensions, Iran sanctions | Reuters

Oil near flat as market weighs U.S.-China trade tensions, Iran sanctions | Reuters:

Oil prices were little changed on Monday as the market weighed deepening trade tension between the U.S. and China that is expected to dent global crude demand and potential supply tightening due to Iran sanctions.

Brent crude futures dipped 4 cents to settle at $78.05 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell 8 cents to settle at $68.91 a barrel.

Top White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said on Monday that he expected the United States would soon announce tariffs on an additional $200 billion worth of Chinese goods.

MIDEAST STOCKS-Visa law fails to lift Dubai but Saudi rebounds from low | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Visa law fails to lift Dubai but Saudi rebounds from low | Reuters:

Middle East stock markets mostly fell on Monday because of U.S.-China trade tensions, with Dubai sliding despite a new visa policy designed to support slumping real estate prices. Saudi Arabia’s market, however, rebounded after a five-day slide.

The United Arab Emirates announced visa rules allowing retired expatriates to stay in the country with renewable five-year visas, which could encourage them to buy homes or make other investments. The government also introduced lower electricity tariffs for the industrial sector.

But stock markets remained weak and the Dubai index lost 0.8 percent to a 32-month low. Blue chip Emaar Properties shed 1.7 percent and DAMAC Properties sank 2.9 percent.

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets hit by concern about new U.S. tariff risk | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets hit by concern about new U.S. tariff risk | Reuters:

Gulf stocks opened lower on Monday as investors worried about reports the United States was preparing a new round of tariffs on Chinese imports.

Such a move would set up a possible escalation in the trade dispute between the two world powers.

After closing at a new six-month low on Sunday, stocks in Saudi Arabia failed to recover on Monday. Saudi Basic Industries Corp, the largest listed company in the Gulf, opened 1.7 percent down, with Al Rajhi Bank falling 0.9 percent.

Oil Trades Near $69 as Signs of Higher Supply Offset Iran Fears - Bloomberg

Oil Trades Near $69 as Signs of Higher Supply Offset Iran Fears - Bloomberg:

Oil traded near $69 a barrel on signs of increased drilling by American producers and investor optimism that Saudi Arabia and Russia will fill in potential supply losses from Iran.

Futures were little changed in New York, after gaining 0.6 percent on Friday. Shale explorers added last week the most oil rigs in a month as a pipeline bottleneck in the busy U.S. Permian Basin is encouraging drilling in other areas. Meanwhile, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak and his Saudi Arabian counterpart Khalid al-Falih met in Moscow Saturday to confirm their willingness to stabilize prices and react to any changes in the market.

U.S. aims to start LNG deliveries to Germany in four years: Bild | Reuters

U.S. aims to start LNG deliveries to Germany in four years: Bild | Reuters:

U.S. companies expect to begin delivering liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Germany in four years at the latest and will challenge Russia which now accounts for 60 percent of German gas imports, the deputy U.S. energy secretary told a German newspaper.

“U.S. liquefied natural gas is coming to Germany. The question is not if, but when,” Dan Brouillette told the mass circulation daily Bild in an interview published on Monday.

U.S. President Donald Trump in July accused Germany of being a “captive” of Russia due to its energy reliance and urged it to halt work on the $11 billion, Russian-led Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline that is to be built in the Baltic Sea.

Saudi's Public Investment Fund says it closes $11 billion debut loan | Reuters

Saudi's Public Investment Fund says it closes $11 billion debut loan | Reuters:

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund said on Monday it had taken out an $11 billion international syndicated loan, the first commercial borrowing by the kingdom’s top sovereign wealth fund.

“This is the first step in incorporating loans and debt instruments into PIF’s long-term funding strategy,” the fund’s managing director Yasir al-Rumayyan said in a statement.

He added that the PIF would “develop into one of the most prominent users of banking services in the region”.

Sunday, 16 September 2018

Crown Prince reveals Tomorrow 2021 plan for Abu Dhabi's economy including Dh20bn for spending next year - The National

Crown Prince reveals Tomorrow 2021 plan for Abu Dhabi's economy including Dh20bn for spending next year - The National:

Abu Dhabi's drive to accelerate its economic growth will come under the banner of Tomorrow 2021, the Crown Prince revealed on Sunday, in what marks the culmination of a summer of reforms aimed at preparing the emirate for a more prosperous future.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, said the plan includes "50 initiatives that reflect the priorities of citizens, residents and investors". The move is part of an action plan to generate a vision of the future economy in a post-oil world that aims to stimulate investment, create jobs, spur innovation and improve the overall quality of life in the emirate.

Government officials were set a 90-day deadline on June 5 to put in motion wide-ranging economic reforms ordered as part of a Dh50 billion stimulus package over three years.

Marsh Saudi Arabia CEO Bassam Al-Bader: How KSA learned to love the insurance business

Marsh Saudi Arabia CEO Bassam Al-Bader: How KSA learned to love the insurance business:

The insurance industry was slow to gain traction in the Kingdom in comparison to other financial sectors such as banking and equities trading, but Bassam Al-Bader believes that its time has now come.

He is chief executive of Marsh Saudi Arabia, part of the global financial services group Marsh & McLennan, often rated the biggest broker in the world, and has spent most of his career in the insurance business in Saudi Arabia.

He has seen the industry develop through some challenging times.

Qatar-Sri Lanka economic ties enter defining moment - The Peninsula Qatar

Qatar-Sri Lanka economic ties enter defining moment - The Peninsula Qatar:

Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Qatar, A S P Liyanage, has said the bilateral relations between Qatar and Sri Lanka in terms of trade, investment, tourism and other activities will be further bolstered with the launch of ‘Sri Lanka Qatar Business Council’.

The soon to be launched Council will offer unique opportunities for both countries to engage with each other, where Qatar based entrepreneurs can explore the opportunities in major areas such as investments, food & agriculture, hospitality, oil and gas, infrastructure, tourism; and trade services.

“I am pleased to inform that the Sri Lankan Embassy in Qatar, under the guidance of, the President of Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, with the support of Doha Bank, have made arrangements to form ‘the Sri Lanka Qatar Business Council’ which would enable to improve the bilateral relations between two countries,” the Ambassador said while addressing a knowledge sharing session hosted by Doha Bank on ‘Qatar-Sri Lanka Bilateral Opportunities,’ here on Thursday.

Arrests Spark Selloff in Egypt, Pacing Mideast Losses: Inside EM - Bloomberg

Arrests Spark Selloff in Egypt, Pacing Mideast Losses: Inside EM - Bloomberg:

Egypt’s main stocks index dropped the most since January 2017, leading declines among Middle Eastern markets on Sunday.

The selloff followed the detention of former President Hosni Mubarak’s two sons, as well as that of EFG-Hermes’s non-executive vice chairman and Citadel Capital SAE’s investor relations head in a case linked to stock market manipulation. In Dubai, the equities gauge fell to the lowest level since January 2016 after breaching a resistance level.

The stock manipulation case created “a bad sentiment in the market,” said Tarek Abaza, chief executive officer of Naeem Brokerage in Cairo. “Investors are in a selling mood and the volumes are low -- any negative news is merely an excuse for a fall.”

UAE approves law granting residency to retired property investors | Reuters

UAE approves law granting residency to retired property investors | Reuters:

The United Arab Emirates government approved on Sunday a law that allows expatriates to stay in the country after retirement if they own a property valued about $545,000.

Current legislation provides for expatriates to leave when they reach the retirement age, between 60 and 65 years depending on the employer.

The new law could help prop up the real estate market of Dubai, the federation’s second-largest and second-wealthiest emirate, after oil-rich Abu Dhabi.

UAE's Brooge Petroleum plans to float 40 percent stake in London IPO | Reuters

UAE's Brooge Petroleum plans to float 40 percent stake in London IPO | Reuters:

The United Arab Emirates’ Brooge Petroleum & Gas Investment Co. plans to float 40 percent of its capital on the London Stock Exchange in October, Chief Executive Officer Nicolaas Paardenkooper said on Sunday.

Brooge Petroleum & Gas Investment (BPGIC) is looking to raise $400 million from Emirati and foreign investors in the IPO, to be conducted in a single tranche, Paardenkooper told Reuters on the sidelines of a company event in Dubai.

The company has already secured strategic investors and plans a roadshow next week in the United States and Europe, he said.

UPDATE 1-Saudi forex reserves rising, capital outflows due to investment -c.bank | Reuters

UPDATE 1-Saudi forex reserves rising, capital outflows due to investment -c.bank | Reuters:

Foreign reserves at Saudi Arabia’s central bank have been increasing this year and a large proportion of recent capital outflows has been due to foreign investment by other Saudi institutions, a senior central bank official said on Sunday.

Brent oil has jumped near $80 a barrel from $67 at the end of 2017, swelling Saudi Arabia’s current account surplus and shrinking its state budget deficit; this has reduced the need to liquidate assets to finance government spending.

However, the central bank’s net foreign assets — a measure of the country’s ability to defend its currency if needed — have risen only marginally, to $493.8 billion at the end of July from $488.9 billion at the end of 2017.

UPDATE 1-MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi hits 6-month low, Egypt slips on emerging market woes | Reuters

UPDATE 1-MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi hits 6-month low, Egypt slips on emerging market woes | Reuters:

Saudi Arabian shares closed at a new six-month low on Sunday, and stocks in Dubai and Egypt also fell sharply as risk aversion continued to spread across emerging markets.

The Egyptian index fell by 3.4 percent to end at 14,796, its lowest close since Feb. 13.

Radwa El-Swaify, head of research at Pharos, said news of the seizure of assets of some Muslim Brotherhood leaders and an arrest order on former President Hosni Mubrak’s sons Alaa and Gamal on charges of stock market manipulation, as well as concern about the Egyptian pound, had hurt the market.

US dollar and oil chasing $80 are in focus for investors this week | Financial Times

US dollar and oil chasing $80 are in focus for investors this week | Financial Times:

The oil market is suffering from altitude sickness. While the fundamentals of the market increasingly point to higher prices in the short term, with the International Energy Agency this week warning of a possible supply crunch once the US reimposes sanctions against Iran’s oil industry in November, Brent crude continues to struggle to break out of its well-defined $70-$80 a barrel trading range.

On Wednesday bullish traders briefly pierced the $80 a barrel level, getting within 50 cents of the high for the year. But rather than marching higher prices beat a quick retreat, like mountain climbers spooked by the effects of a lack of oxygen when scaling a Himalayan peak.

So what, if anything, can break the range that has been in place since April? Well the reasons for caution at the $80 a barrel level are multiple. That price level was one of the triggers back in May for US president Donald Trump to push Saudi Arabia and other major oil producers to add more supply to the market, partly to compensate for the looming loss of Iranian barrels. Further oil-related Tweets from the White House cannot be ruled out ahead of midterm elections in two months time.

Iran's Export Pain Could Mean a Hot Winter for Oil - Bloomberg

Iran's Export Pain Could Mean a Hot Winter for Oil - Bloomberg:

Winter is coming, and the oil market is starting to look pretty tight. 

Iran’s oil exports are down by almost a third since President Donald Trump said in April that the U.S. would withdraw from the nations’ nuclear deal and reimpose sanctions. They slid below 2 million barrels a day in August and continued to deteriorate in the first half of September, creating a build-up of crude held in tankers floating offshore.  

On paper there is enough spare capacity among other OPEC producers and Russia to offset falling Iranian supply — but what exists on paper and what can be brought into production in the next month or so are not necessarily the same.

Abu Dhabi Financial Group offers revised bid for Abraaj's ME funds | Reuters

Abu Dhabi Financial Group offers revised bid for Abraaj's ME funds | Reuters:

Abu Dhabi Financial Group (ADFG) has submitted a revised bid to acquire the management rights for the Middle East funds of stricken Dubai-based Abraaj, according to a document seen by Reuters.

The Abu Dhabi-based alternative investment firm is among more than a dozen bidders seeking to buy the bulk of Abraaj’s private equity funds.

But in a letter to investors in Abraaj Funds, ADFG said that the bid is unlikely to materialize given the “convolution” of the situation.

Exclusive: Saudi Arabia to auction detained tycoon's real estate assets - sources | Reuters

Exclusive: Saudi Arabia to auction detained tycoon's real estate assets - sources | Reuters:

Saudi Arabia will auction real estate owned by indebted billionaire Maan al-Sanea and his company starting next month to help repay billions of riyals due to creditors, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters. 

Sanea, ranked by Forbes in 2007 as one of the world’s 100 richest people, was detained last year for unpaid debts dating back to 2009 when his company, Saad Group, defaulted.

His case is separate from the scores of Saudi businessmen and prominent figures who were held on corruption charges last year at Riyadh’s Ritz Carlton hotel, although it touches on similar investor concerns about corporate governance.

Islamic banks face outdated property rules: industry body | Reuters

Islamic banks face outdated property rules: industry body | Reuters:

Regulators overseeing Islamic banking must revise guidance on real estate exposures to align with the post-financial crisis capital rules of Basel III, a global industry body said on Sunday.

The Bahrain-based General Council for Islamic Banks and Financial Institutions (CIBAFI) said treatment of real estate across Islamic finance jurisdictions still reflected Basel II or pre-reform Basel III rules.

But a revised version of Basel III, finalised in December 2017, introduced additional requirements including concentration limits and independent asset valuations.

Major shareholder Tabarak says it's committed to Dubai's Drake & Scull | Reuters

Major shareholder Tabarak says it's committed to Dubai's Drake & Scull | Reuters:

United Arab Emirates private equity firm Tabarak Investment said it is committed to restoring Drake & Scull to financial health, despite a plunge in the Dubai construction company’s shares. 


“Our business approach is to acquire low-performing companies and get them in shape. That’s what Tabarak is determined to do with Drake & Scull,” public relations manager Nader Muqbel said in an email to Reuters at the weekend.

“As the majority shareholder of DSI, we have committed over a billion dirhams ($272 million) of projects to Drake & Scull which will be awarded to the company,” he added.

CORRECTED-MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi drops on blue-chip weakness, Dubai hurt by DSI | Reuters

CORRECTED-MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi drops on blue-chip weakness, Dubai hurt by DSI | Reuters:

Gulf stocks were mostly lower on Sunday morning, with Saudi Arabia under pressure after closing at a six-month low in the previous session and Dubai hit by continued selling in contractor Drake & Scull International .

Declines in key blue-chip stocks pushed down the Saudi market by 0.2 percent in early trade.

Shares of top petrochemical firm Saudi Basic Industries were down 0.3 percent and refining firm Petro Rabigh fell 0.9 percent.

Saturday, 15 September 2018

Venezuela looks to China for help but gets few promises | Financial Times

Venezuela looks to China for help but gets few promises | Financial Times:

China agreed to several small oil deals with Venezuela this week but gave no public confirmation that it would extend more loans to the cash-strapped country during a rare visit by President Nicolás Maduro to Beijing.

Venezuela faces a stiff payments schedule over the next two months of about $2bn to bondholders, some of whom have debt secured against US-based refiner Citgo, and in compensation to western oil companies for past nationalisations in Venezuela.

Simon Zerpa, Venezuelan finance minister, said earlier this week that Beijing would extend a $5bn loan to Caracas. But Premier Li Keqiang, while saying that China would help Venezuela, made no mention of that money and urged Caracas to provide more “policy support and legal guarantees”, according to official statements released on Friday.

Friday, 14 September 2018

Crude Caps Weekly Advance as Iran Sanctions Bite Into Supply - Bloomberg

Crude Caps Weekly Advance as Iran Sanctions Bite Into Supply - Bloomberg:

Crude posted a third weekly advance out of four as Iranian sanctions take center stage, with investors eyeing the impact on supply.

Futures in New York closed 1.8 percent higher this week amid signs that looming U.S. sanctions on Iran are whittling global supply levels. The International Energy Agency warned of higher oil prices amid deepening supply losses in Iran and Venezuela.

“It looks like the reality of sanctions are happening pretty quickly,” said Phil Flynn, senior market analyst at Price Futures Group Inc. in Chicago. “The risk of being short went up dramatically.”

Oil mixed as China tariff talk scotches early rally | Reuters

Oil mixed as China tariff talk scotches early rally | Reuters:

Oil prices pulled back on Friday amid concerns additional U.S. tariffs would be placed on China, trading mixed after a rally triggered by worries of more sanctions on Iran.

Crude futures were on track to end the week up about 1.6 percent.

Traders said a rally on Friday was sparked by reports Secretary of State Michael Pompeo was going to give a press conference on new sanctions on Iran.

GLOBAL LNG-Prices for November soften after earlier strong weeks | Reuters

GLOBAL LNG-Prices for November soften after earlier strong weeks | Reuters:

Asian spot liquefied natural gas (LNG) softened for November delivery after several weeks of strong demand and tightening supplies led buyers to wait for a correction in prices.

Spot prices for November LNG-AS delivery in Asia were heard around $12.00 per million British thermal units (mmBtu) this week, down 5 cents from the week before, market sources said.

The first half of November was weaker than the second, with one cargo for delivery in the first two weeks of the month offered but unsold at $12.00, traders said.

U.S. drillers add oil rigs for second week in three: Baker Hughes | Reuters

U.S. drillers add oil rigs for second week in three: Baker Hughes | Reuters:

U.S. energy companies this week added oil rigs for the second time in the last three weeks even as new drilling has largely stalled since June due to pipeline constraints in the country’s biggest oilfield.

Drillers added seven oil rigs in the week to Sept. 14, the biggest weekly increase in a month, bringing the total count to 867, General Electric Co’s Baker Hughes energy services firm said in its closely followed report on Friday.

The U.S. rig count, an early indicator of future output, is higher than a year ago when 749 rigs were active as energy companies have been ramping up production in anticipation of higher prices in 2018 than previous years.

Oil prices claw back on supply concerns, but demand worries drag | Reuters

Oil prices claw back on supply concerns, but demand worries drag | Reuters:

Oil on Friday clawed back some of its losses from the previous session, when prices fell the most in a month, with concerns about supply countering worries that emerging market crises and trade disputes could dent demand.

Brent crude was up 3 cents at $78.21 a barrel by 0634 GMT, after falling 2 percent on Thursday. The global benchmark rose on Wednesday to its highest since May 22 at $80.13.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures were up 18 cents, or 0.2 percent, at 68.76 a barrel, after dropping 2.5 percent on Thursday.

Thursday, 13 September 2018

Dubai financial regulator appoints new chief executive - The National

Dubai financial regulator appoints new chief executive - The National:

Dubai Financial Services Authority, the emirate’s financial services regulator, appointed a new chief executive to replace Ian Johnston who will retire at the end of this month.


Bryan Stirewalt will take over from Mr Johnston from October 1, the DFSA said in a statement on Wednesday night. Mr Stirewalt has been with the regulator for a decade, serving for the past eight years as managing director, supervision.

He supported the work of international standard-setting bodies through his role as the co-chair of the Basel Consultative Group, which provides a forum for deepening Switzerland’s Basel Committee on Banking Supervision’s engagement with country heads.

QCB’s forex reserves rise to $45.4bn - The Peninsula Qatar

QCB’s forex reserves rise to $45.4bn - The Peninsula Qatar:

Qatar’s fiscal account turned to a surplus in first quarter of 2018 (Q1,18) as revenue rose in line with higher oil prices. The current account surplus widened to 7.3 percent of GDP in Q1, while the financial account deficit narrowed.

Exports grew 45.3 percent year-on-year in July as a result of higher oil prices, while imports grew 50 percent y/y due to the base effect from last year. QCB foreign exchange reserves rose 0.3 percent m/m to reach $45.4bn in July, equating to 7 months of import cover, according to QNB’s Monthly Monitor chart.

The country’s real GDP growth slowed in Q1 due to a further fall in hydrocarbon output. Non-hydrocarbon GDP growth was a solid 4.9 percent y/y. Booming construction output, up 17.2 percent, remained the key driver of activity in the non-hydrocarbon sector. Manufacturing gained 3 percent. CPI inflation was broadly flat at 0.6 percent in August; food inflation moderated, while housing inflation slightly picked up.

QSE benchmark index gains 195.12 points last week - The Peninsula Qatar

QSE benchmark index gains 195.12 points last week - The Peninsula Qatar:

Qatar Stock Exchange’s (QSE) benchmark index gained 195.12 points, or 1.99 percent, last week when the bourse closed yesterday at 10,021.96 points.

Trading value during last week increased by 56.24 percent to reach QR958.30m compared to QR613.34m in the previous week.

Trading volume decreased by 1.52 percent to reach 27.43 million shares, as against 27.86 million shares, while the number of transactions rose by 34.35 percent, to reach 16,146 transactions as compared to 12,018 transactions.

After Shelving Biggest-Ever IPO, Can Saudis Pull Off a Mega Bond? - Bloomberg

After Shelving Biggest-Ever IPO, Can Saudis Pull Off a Mega Bond? - Bloomberg:

Two months after Saudi Arabia pulled a share sale that could have raised $100 billion for its sovereign wealth fund, the kingdom faces a tough sell in convincing bond investors to pick up the tab.

Saudi financial engineers are cooking up a plan to raise as much as $70 billion for the Public Investment Fund by having state oil giant Aramco buy PIF’s entire stake in sister company Sabic. That could include a bond sale the likes of which the world has never seen.

Problem is, this year’s selloff in emerging markets has sent borrowing costs surging and new debt issuance has dried up, with offerings down 14 percent from last year.

Saudi Aramco says recent media reports on a Sabic transaction are ''entirely speculative'' | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Saudi Aramco says recent media reports on a Sabic transaction are ''entirely speculative'' | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

Recent media reports on a potential transaction between Saudi Aramco and Saudi Basic Industries Corp. are ''entirely speculative'', Saudi Aramco said in a tweet on Thursday.

''Saudi_Aramco will provide updates when appropriate,'' it said, without specifying the reports it was referrring to or the media outlets concerned.

The world's top oil producer is having preliminary talks with banks about a potential debt financing of up to $70 billion to back its acquisition of a majority stake in Saudi petrochemical firm Sabic, banking sources told Reuters earlier this month.

Abu Dhabi set to cash in Spanish Cepsa investment with expected $11.6bln IPO | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Abu Dhabi set to cash in Spanish Cepsa investment with expected $11.6bln IPO | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

Abu Dhabi is set to cash in significant gains as its Mubadala Investment pushes ahead with an initial public offering for Spanish oil firm Cepsa, in what could be the largest such deal in a decade.

The state-owned investor decided to proceed with an initial public offering (IPO)rather than a sale after potential bidders for the company were narrowed down to private equity firm Carlyle Group, people familiar with the matter said. Cepsa could announce the IPO as early as next week, pending final approval from the emirate’s rulers.

If the Spanish refiner achieves the valuation its owners anticipate, Abu Dhabi would see significant paper gains because its funds took full control of the company in 2011 in a deal valuing it at about EUR 7.5 billion.

Oil has steepest drop in a month as economic concerns threaten demand | Reuters

Oil has steepest drop in a month as economic concerns threaten demand | Reuters:

Oil prices fell more than 2 percent on Thursday, with Brent slipping back from four-month highs as investors focused on the risk that emerging market crises and trade disputes could dent demand even as supply tightens.

The International Energy Agency warned that although the oil market was tightening at the moment and world oil demand would reach 100 million barrels per day (bpd) in the next three months, global economic risks were mounting.

“As we move into 2019, a possible risk to our forecast lies in some key emerging economies, partly due to currency depreciations versus the U.S. dollar, raising the cost of imported energy,” the agency said.

COLUMN-Oil prices are re-entering the Tweet zone: Kemp | Reuters

COLUMN-Oil prices are re-entering the Tweet zone: Kemp | Reuters:

Oil prices have risen back to levels that earlier this year prompted U.S. President Donald Trump to take to Twitter and demand OPEC do more to bring them down.

Front-month Brent futures settled well above $79 per barrel on Wednesday, the highest for over three months, and above levels that have spurred the president to complain in the past.

“The OPEC monopoly must remember that gas prices are up and they are doing little to help. If anything, they are driving prices higher as the United States defends many of their members,” the president wrote in July.

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi falls to six-month low, Qatar at 16-month high | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi falls to six-month low, Qatar at 16-month high | Reuters:

Saudi Arabia’s stock market fell to a six-month low on Thursday, missing out on a wider emerging markets rebound, but Qatar continued rising to a fresh 16-month high.

The MSCI emerging market index was up 1.1 percent but the Saudi index closed 0.6 percent lower at 7,591 points, with losers outnumbering gainers by 107 to 56.

The Saudi market is still up 5 percent year-to-date, far outperforming a 12 percent drop by the emerging market index. But individual investors have been net sellers of Saudi stocks for most of the past several weeks while institutions have become more cautious because of instability in emerging markets and global trade tensions.

Qatar ETF: An Oasis Amid the Emerging-Market Selloff – Bloomberg

Qatar ETF: An Oasis Amid the Emerging-Market Selloff – Bloomberg:

Qatar has this year introduced the Middle East’s two largest exchange-traded funds. Akber Khan, senior director of asset management at Al Rayan Investment, talks with Bloomberg's Scarlet Fu about his firm's Qatar ETF and the growth of ETFs in emerging markets. (Source: Bloomberg)

Saudis Tap Ex-Solicitor General Olson to Lobby Against `NOPEC' - Bloomberg

Saudis Tap Ex-Solicitor General Olson to Lobby Against `NOPEC' - Bloomberg:

Saudi Arabia is taking no chances with the longshot "NOPEC" bill, hiring former Solicitor General Ted Olson as a lobbyist to campaign against the act.

The Saudi embassy contracted with Olson’s law firm, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, to develop a white paper opposing the “No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels Act” legislation. It will also prepare a legal analysis of the bill and write an op-ed against it. The firm’s work also could include lobbying members of Congress and their staffs.

Details of the embassy’s contract with the law firm are described in a Sept. 7 filing with the Justice Department, which maintains registrations of foreign agents in the U.S.

Oil slips as economic concerns counter tighter supply | Reuters

Oil slips as economic concerns counter tighter supply | Reuters:

Oil prices fell on Thursday, slipping back from four-month highs as investors focused on the risk that emerging market crises and trade disputes could dent demand.

Benchmark Brent crude oil LCOc1 was down 70 cents a barrel at $79.04 by 0830 GMT. U.S. light crude CLc1 fell $1.15 to a low of $69.22 a barrel.

The International Energy Agency said on Thursday that although the oil market was tightening at the moment and world oil demand would soon reach 100 million barrels per day (bpd), global economic risks were mounting.

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi falls in broader decline, lags emerging markets | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi falls in broader decline, lags emerging markets | Reuters:

Saudi Arabian stocks fell in a broad-based Middle East decline on Thursday, missing out on a wider emerging markets rebound.

The MSCI emerging market index was up 0.9 percent but the Saudi index slipped 0.5 percent in the first 45 minutes, with losers outnumbering gainers by 98 to 33.

Individual investors have been net sellers of Saudi stocks for most of the past several weeks while institutions have become more cautious because of the instability in emerging markets and global trade tensions.

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Oil prices near four-year high as hurricane bears down on US | Financial Times

Oil prices near four-year high as hurricane bears down on US | Financial Times:

Oil prices rose to more than $80 a barrel on Wednesday, nearing a four-year high as traders braced for a series of tropical storms barrelling towards the US which are coinciding with mounting concerns about a global supply shortfall.

Hurricane Florence spiralled towards the US eastern seaboard, maintaining category four winds at 130 miles per hour. Its course shifted slightly south on Wednesday but it continued to head towards North and South Carolina.

Fuel supplies were in focus as motorists fill up their tanks in anticipation of the eye of the storm making landfall in the Carolinas on Friday.

QSE nears 10,000 levels on strong buying interests

QSE nears 10,000 levels on strong buying interests:

Strong buying interests of foreign funds and individuals on Wednesday steered the Qatar Stock Exchange close to 10,000 levels.

Robust demand especially at transport and consumer goods counters rather imparted a 0.6% thrust to the 20-stock Qatar Index to 9,990.17 points.

Masraf Al Rayan and Doha Bank sponsored exchange traded funds QATR and QETF saw 1.49% and 0.76% gains respectively.

Saudi Arabia Raises $2 Billion in Islamic Bond Sale - Bloomberg

Saudi Arabia Raises $2 Billion in Islamic Bond Sale - Bloomberg:

Saudi Arabia raised $2 billion through the issuance of notes due January 2029, completing the kingdom’s external funding requirements for the year.

The world’s biggest oil exporter mandated BNP Paribas SA, HSBC Holdings Plc, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Citigroup Inc., Mizuho Bank and Samba Capital for the deal, according to a term sheet seen by Bloomberg. The kingdom’s offering priced at 127 basis points over midswaps, tightening from initial price guidance in the area of 145 basis points.

Saudi Arabia plans to borrow about $31 billion this year to bridge a budget deficit brought on by lower oil prices. In April, it raised $11 billion in a dollar bond sale and has raised a total of $50 billion since the end of 2016, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. In March, it increased a $10 billion syndicated loan by $6 billion.

U.S. Likely Became Biggest Oil Producer Earlier This Year: EIA - Bloomberg

U.S. Likely Became Biggest Oil Producer Earlier This Year: EIA - Bloomberg:

America likely overtook Russia and Saudi Arabia in terms of oil output to become the world’s biggest producer earlier this year, according to the Energy Information Administration.

U.S. crude output exceeded that of Saudi Arabia in February for the first time in more than two decades, based on preliminary estimates from the agency’s Short-Term Energy Outlook. In June and August, it overtook Russia for the first time since 1999.

The EIA expects U.S. oil output to continue to exceed Russian and Saudi production for the rest of 2018 and in 2019. Growth has shot up in recent years from areas such as the Permian basin in West Texas and New Mexico.

Gazprom Neft, UAE's Mubadala discuss projects in Russia, Middle East

Gazprom Neft, UAE's Mubadala discuss projects in Russia, Middle East:

Russian oil producer Gazprom Neft and UAE-based Mubadala Petroleum are discussing several possible projects in Russia and the Middle East, Gazprom Neft CEO Alexander Dyukov said on Wednesday.

“It is too early to speak of any concrete results and agreements,” Dyukov told reporters at an economic forum in Russia’s far eastern city of Vladivostok.

MIDEAST STOCKS-Region falls, Drake & Scull's plunge dampens Dubai | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Region falls, Drake & Scull's plunge dampens Dubai | Reuters:

Middle Eastern stock markets mostly fell on Wednesday as a plunge by loss-making construction firm Drake & Scull dampened Dubai and a late wave of selling in Saudi Arabian banks dragged down that market.

Dubai’s index fell 0.8 percent as Drake & Scull plunged its 10 percent daily limit to a record low of 0.405 dirham, bringing its losses this year to 82 percent.

The company said shareholders would meet on Sept. 27 to decide whether to dissolve the company, under an article of United Arab Emirates company law requiring firms to vote on whether they should continue operating if their accumulated losses have reached half of issued share capital.

Dubai's Drake & Scull shareholders to decide whether to dissolve firm | Reuters

Dubai's Drake & Scull shareholders to decide whether to dissolve firm | Reuters:

Shareholders of loss-making Dubai construction company Drake & Scull will meet on Sept. 27 to decide whether to dissolve the company, Drake & Scull announced on Wednesday.

The company, which posted a second-quarter net loss of 181.1 million dirhams ($49.3 million) compared to a year-earlier loss of 182.7 million dirhams, said it was calling a general assembly under an article of United Arab Emirates company law. 


The law requires companies to vote on whether they should continue operating if their accumulated losses have reached half of their issued share capital.

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf mostly sluggish, keeps outperforming emerging markets | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf mostly sluggish, keeps outperforming emerging markets | Reuters:

Gulf stock markets were generally sluggish in early trade on Wednesday but the region continued to outperform slumping emerging markets elsewhere in the world, as has been the case for most of the past two weeks.

The Saudi stock index was up 0.3 percent after 45 minutes of trade, outperforming a 0.3 percent drop in the MSCI emerging market index.

Almost all petrochemical shares were firm after Brent oil surged near $80 a barrel over night; top producer Saudi Basic Industries climbed 0.8 percent and Chemanol surged 3.9 percent.

UAE's Aldar Properties creates new subsidiary with $5.4 billion assets | Reuters

UAE's Aldar Properties creates new subsidiary with $5.4 billion assets | Reuters:

Abu Dhabi’s largest developer Aldar Properties is spinning off its recurring-revenue assets worth 20 billion dirhams ($5.4 billion) into a new, fully-owned subsidiary as it seeks to achieve operational efficiencies and raise cheaper capital. 


The state-linked builder of Abu Dhabi’s Formula One circuit said on Wednesday the subsidiary, Aldar Investment Properties LLC, will take ownership of some of Aldar’s highest revenue-generating assets.

The new company follows the recent Abu Dhabi decree granting full onshore real estate ownership rights to Aldar Properties and its subsidiaries in the capital of the United Arab Emirates.

Saudi Arabia targets $2 billion with new Islamic bonds | Reuters

Saudi Arabia targets $2 billion with new Islamic bonds | Reuters:

Saudi Arabia has started marketing U.S. dollar-denominated sukuk, or Islamic bonds, with the issue expected to be around $2 billion in size, a document showed on Wednesday.

It would be the kingdom’s second international sale of sukuk after a $9 billion transaction last year. The exercise completes Saudi Arabia’s external funding requirements for 2018, according to the document.

The kingdom, acting through the ministry of finance, started marketing the notes with an initial price guidance of around 145 basis points over mid-swaps.

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

Three-way merger of UAE banks 'credit positive' for industry, says Moody’s - The National

Three-way merger of UAE banks 'credit positive' for industry, says Moody’s - The National:

The potential merger of Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Union National Bank and Al Hilal Bank would be credit positive for the country’s banking industry, according to Moody’s Investors Service.

“The merger would increase banks’ pricing power, reduce pressure on their funding costs and increase their ability to meet sizeable investments,” the rating agency said in a report on Monday.

It would also contribute to consolidation of the “overbanked” sector in the UAE.

Emaar denies plans to offer 10-year visa to UAE investors | GulfNews.com

Emaar denies plans to offer 10-year visa to UAE investors | GulfNews.com:

UAE-based property developer Emaar has denied reports that it is planning to grant a multi-year residence visa to its investors.

An Arabic newspaper reported on Tuesday that according to a source, the company intends to provide a 10-year residence visa to those who invest in some of its real estate developments.

According to the report, those who acquire a property in certain developments, such as Dubai Creek, Arabian Ranches 2 and Emaar Beachfront, among others, can benefit from a long-term visa.

Crescent raises its stake in Dana to over 20% | GulfNews.com

Crescent raises its stake in Dana to over 20% | GulfNews.com:

Crescent Petroleum has been granted permission to raise its stake in Dana Gas to more than 20 per cent and retain its position as the largest founding shareholder.

The Sharjah-based energy company said in a statement Tuesday that it has permission to acquire additional shares in Dana Gas as an insider.

“The purchase underscores Crescent Petroleum’s confidence in Dana Gas and in the continued growth of the company’s business. The share purchase follows the dilution of Crescent’s holding after the conversion of Dana convertible Sukuk shares,” the statement said.

QSE index surpasses 9,900 on weakened selling pressure

QSE index surpasses 9,900 on weakened selling pressure:

The Qatar Stock Exchange on Tuesday saw its key index surpass 9,900 levels mainly on the back of weakened selling pressure from domestic funds and local retail investors.

Telecom, banking and transport counters witnessed higher than average demand, leading to a 0.42% jump in 20-stock Qatar Index to 9,931.07 points.

Masraf Al Rayan and Doha Bank sponsored exchange traded funds QATR and QETF saw 0.21% and 0.66% gains respectively.

Iran Resorts to Floating Storage for Its Oil as Buyers Retreat - Bloomberg

Iran Resorts to Floating Storage for Its Oil as Buyers Retreat - Bloomberg:

Iran is starting to store oil on its fleet of supertankers again as impending U.S. sanctions force the Persian Gulf country to revive a strategy it deployed under previous curbs. 

The build-up of crude in floating storage offshore Iran signals the effectiveness of the new sanctions imposed by U.S. President Donald Trump on the Persian Gulf country’s oil. The measures are due to start in early November, but buyers including France, South Korea and others have already started to cut back sharply.

“We can expect floating storage to increase under the growing impact of U.S. sanctions in the coming months,” Harry Tchilinguirian, head of commodity-markets strategy at BNP Paribas SA, said from London.

More foreign money expected to flow into GCC funds- survey | ZAWYA MENA Edition

More foreign money expected to flow into GCC funds- survey | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

Three quarters (75 percent) of regional investment professionals expect more money from foreign investors to pour into locally-domiciled funds over the next five years, according to a new study.

United States-based financial services firm State Street’s 2018 Middle East and North Africa Regional Survey found that 14 percent of professionals felt that foreign investment into funds domiciled in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries would increase by 20 percent or more, while 24 percent felt it would increase by 10-20 percent and 37 percent expected an increase of under 10 percent. Only 7 percent of respondents thought foreign allocations into GCC funds would decline.

The survey covered 306 investment professionals representing sovereign funds, central banks, asset managers and pension funds from around the region, State Street said.

Saudi Arabia expected to announce dollar sukuk sale soon – sources | Reuters

Saudi Arabia expected to announce dollar sukuk sale soon – sources | Reuters:

Saudi Arabia is expected to announce soon a potential new U.S. dollar-denominated sukuk deal, sources familiar with the matter said.

The size of the planned sukuk, or Islamic bond, is to be determined and depends on market appetite, but it is unlikely to match Saudi Arabia’s previous jumbo debt transactions, said the sources.

Saudi Arabia, whose debt management office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the transaction, has established itself as a top regional debt issuer over the past two years after its first move into the international markets in late 2016, when it sold $17.5 billion in conventional notes – the largest bond ever issued across emerging markets.

Traders bet Iran sanctions will leave market short of crude: Kemp | Reuters

Traders bet Iran sanctions will leave market short of crude: Kemp | Reuters:

Oil traders have become much more concerned in recent weeks about the potential impact of U.S. sanctions on Iran and the effect on the availability of crude at the end of the year.

Brent futures for November have moved to a premium of 45 cents a barrel over the December contract, in a sharp reversal from early last month, when the earlier contract traded at a 20 cent discount.

The gyrations in the futures curve are linked closely to traders’ perceptions of the availability of seaborne crude once sanctions are re-imposed from early November (tmsnrt.rs/2oZ5MoB).

Oil up over two percent on concerns over Iran, slower U.S. output growth | Reuters

Oil up over two percent on concerns over Iran, slower U.S. output growth | Reuters:

Oil prices rose more than 2 percent on Tuesday as U.S. sanctions squeezed Iranian crude exports and after U.S. crude oil production in 2019 was forecast to grow at a slower rate than previously expected, prompting supply concerns.

Since spring when the Trump Administration said it would impose sanctions on Iran, crude traders have priced in a risk premium reflecting the supply shortages that may occur when exports from the third-largest OPEC member are cut. As the Nov. 4 date for imposing sanctions draws nearer, the premium has increased.

Brent crude futures rose $1.69, or 2.2 percent, to settle at $79.06 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude settled $1.71, or 2.5 percent, higher at $69.25 a barrel.

Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund raises $11 bln loan with 15 banks -Maaal | Reuters

Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund raises $11 bln loan with 15 banks -Maaal | Reuters:

Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth has raised an $11 billion loan from a total of 15 banks, the Maaal financial news website reported on Tuesday, citing unnamed sources.

A source with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters last month that the Public Investment Fund (PIF) will pay a margin of 75 basis points over the London Interbank Offered Rate on the loan, but the PIF has yet to announce the deal or name the participating banks.

The deal is the first commercial loan for the PIF, which has been tasked with helping to deliver the government’s Vision 2030 reforms. The ambitious economic reform programme announced in 2016 aims to free the kingdom from its dependence on oil exports.

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi stocks slump amid emerging markets sell-off | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi stocks slump amid emerging markets sell-off | Reuters:

Saudi Arabia’s stock market dipped on Tuesday as lingering trade disputes weighed on emerging markets.

MSCI’s emerging-market index sank 0.6 percent to a 15-month low amid investor concern over the potential fallout from any escalation in the trade dispute between the United States and China.

The Saudi index swung between gains and losses before finishing the day 0.2 percent down. Banks were the market laggards, with Arab National Bank dropping 2.4 percent, Samba Financial Group down 0.9 percent and National Commercial Bank declining by 1.2 percent.

Kuwait Investment Authority chief navigates politics and trendy tech | Financial Times

Kuwait Investment Authority chief navigates politics and trendy tech | Financial Times:

It has now been well over a year since Farouk Bastaki took over as head of the Kuwait Investment Authority, the oldest and one of the five largest sovereign wealth funds in the world.

The 65-year-old KIA is also among the most professional of such funds. For example, while many other Gulf funds exist at the whim of local rulers, the KIA is entitled by law to at least 10 per cent of state revenues a year. Moreover, whereas many state-controlled investment funds are headed by political appointees, Mr Bastaki is the first KIA managing director to have been promoted from within the KIA itself. His elevation came at least partly at the behest of his respected predecessor Bader al-Saad. Mr al-Saad is widely credited with making the KIA a more meritocratic organisation, in the face of resistance from influential vested interests.

Being the managing director of a sovereign wealth fund in the Gulf is no easy task, however.

‘The banking sector in Kuwait is in a sweet spot’ | Financial Times

‘The banking sector in Kuwait is in a sweet spot’ | Financial Times:

Theirs is one of the hottest cities on the planet, but Kuwait’s banks had a long wait for their day in the sun.

From 2011 to 2014, a succession of governments meant Kuwait’s public spending stagnated at a time when other Gulf countries were turbo-charging their economies — and their banks — with big infrastructure projects.

Now Kuwait’s banking industry is enjoying a renaissance, as long-awaited political stability has produced a flurry of public sector projects to be financed by banks and built by their customers.

Private equity: inside the fall of Abraaj | Financial Times

Private equity: inside the fall of Abraaj | Financial Times:

It was a deal that should have provided Abraaj Group with one of its biggest ever paydays. Instead the failure to sell a majority stake in Pakistan’s K-Electric to a Chinese group has all but crippled the Dubai-based private equity group.

Had the $1.8bn sale gone through at the end of 2017, its parent, Abraaj Holdings, would have received almost $450m. It didn’t. And within six months, the holding company had filed for provisional liquidation — a Cayman Islands court-driven restructuring process — to protect itself against a winding up order brought by two creditors. It had debts of over $1.1bn, and faced allegations of misusing investor money held in Abraaj’s $1bn healthcare fund to support the business of founder Arif Naqvi.

Abraaj claims that it had followed procedures, but the loss of confidence sent the firm into a death spiral.

Emaar to Offer Buyers 10-Year Visas in Some New Projects: Bayan - Bloomberg

Emaar to Offer Buyers 10-Year Visas in Some New Projects: Bayan - Bloomberg:

Dubai’s Emaar Properties PJSC, the developer of the world’s tallest skyscraper, will offer 10-year investor visas to buyers in six residential projects under development, Al Bayan newspaper reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

The visa incentive, offered to buyers and their families, is part of a stimulus package announced by the United Arab Emirates in June to attract more investors, the people said, according to the government-backed newspaper.

Projects in the plan include those in Dubai Creek Harbour and Downtown Dubai. Emaar will also pay half of the 4 percent property registration fee and will offer a three-year payment plan that starts after handover, Al Bayan said.

Saudi Group Seeks to Stop Banks Claiming Assets After Default - Bloomberg

Saudi Group Seeks to Stop Banks Claiming Assets After Default - Bloomberg:

Ahmad Hamad Algosaibi & Brothers Co. will seek to prevent Arab National Bank and another lender from claiming assets of the Saudi Arabian company to settle outstanding loans, according to its acting chief executive officer.

Algosaibi will oppose the move because the assets are meant to be frozen by a royal decree to ensure all creditors are treated fairly, Simon Charlton said in an interview in Dubai, without naming the second bank. The dispute over the portfolio of publicly-traded Saudi equities and accumulated dividends is now before a Saudi court appointed to oversee claims against the company, he said.

Algosaibi and billionaire Maan al-Sanea’s Saad Group, two Saudi family holding companies, defaulted on about $15 billion of loans in 2009 as the global economic crisis froze credit markets and asset prices slumped. The companies and banks are now in talks over how to resolve what was the Middle East’s largest-ever default.

Oil prices climb ahead of U.S. sanctions on Iran | Reuters

Oil prices climb ahead of U.S. sanctions on Iran | Reuters:

Oil prices rose on Tuesday as U.S. sanctions squeezed Iranian crude exports, tightening global supply despite efforts by Washington to get other producers to increase output.

Benchmark Brent crude oil LCOc1 was up 50 cents at $77.87 a barrel by 0750 GMT. U.S. light crude CLc1 was 15 cents higher at $67.69.

“The path of least resistance for oil prices, given the supply fundamentals, remains up,” Harry Tchilinguirian, oil strategist at BNP Paribas, told Reuters Global Oil Forum.

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf stocks hampered by Sino-U.S. trade worries | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf stocks hampered by Sino-U.S. trade worries | Reuters:

Gulf stocks slipped in early trade on Tuesday as concerns about a further escalation in the trade war between the United States and China weighed on investors.

The Saudi index was down a fractional 0.02 percent in early trade. Shares in Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) edged up 0.3 percent after it signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with China’s Fujian provincial government to build a petrochemical complex.

MedGulf jumped the 10 percent daily limit in early trade after the company’s extraordinary general meeting approved a doubling of MedGulf’s capital to 800 million riyals ($213 million) via a rights issue for 40 million new shares.

Monday, 10 September 2018

Abu Dhabi Stock Exchange Aims to Start Futures Trading Next Year - Bloomberg

Abu Dhabi Stock Exchange Aims to Start Futures Trading Next Year - Bloomberg:

Abu Dhabi’s stock exchange is joining a race to introduce derivatives as Gulf bourses including Kuwait and Saudi Arabia put strategies in place to lure more investors.

The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, known as ADX, plans to enable trading of futures contracts on single stocks in 2019, and they may eventually be available for the benchmark ADX General Index, Chief Executive Officer Rashed Al Blooshi said Monday in an interview, without specifying any starting dates.

Saudi Arabia’s stock exchange, the biggest in the Middle East, announced last week that it will introduce index-futures trading next year, with the contracts and options on single stocks expected to be available by 2020. Investors can already trade futures on United Arab Emirates company stocks listed on the Nasdaq Dubai exchange, but liquidity is thin. The derivatives will also be part of reforms Kuwait is undertaking that may result in the exchange’s upgrade to emerging-markets status at MSCI Inc. next year.

Oil Rally Stalls as Saudi Barrels Seen Offsetting Iran Sanctions - Bloomberg

Oil Rally Stalls as Saudi Barrels Seen Offsetting Iran Sanctions - Bloomberg:

Crude oil slipped in New York as investors weighed a potential production surge from Saudi Arabia and Russia against concern that sanctions against Iran will trigger a global supply crunch.

West Texas Intermediate crude advanced as much as 1.1 percent on Monday before pulling back. While South Korea has become the first of Iran’s top-three oil customers to fulfill a U.S. demand that buyers cut imports to zero, speculation that Saudi Arabia and Russia will fill in any supply gaps is keeping prices in check. A trade war between U.S. and China has also pressured the market lower.

Investors will be watching to see if “the Russians and the Saudis continue to put more oil on the market. That will basically negate some of the worries about tightening supply,” said Gene McGillian, manager of market research at Tradition Energy. Yet, Trump’s fresh threats of tariffs don’t really “sit well with the demand side of the market.”

SABIC and Clariant to deepen alliance as regulators back stake deal

SABIC and Clariant to deepen alliance as regulators back stake deal:

Saudi Basic Industries Corp won regulatory approvals on Monday to buy a quarter of Swiss chemicals maker Clariant, cementing a partnership they hope will drive profit.

The world's fourth-largest chemicals maker said in January it was buying a 24.99 percent stake from activist investors, rescuing Clariant from a hostile takeover threat.

However, gaining a regulatory nod from countries including Mexico and Brazil has pushed back closure of SABIC's stock purchase by nine months.

Dana and Keystone to boost oil and gas investment in Kurdistan

Dana and Keystone to boost oil and gas investment in Kurdistan:

The Kurdistan region of Iraq is set to attract increased investment from international oil and gas companies as the improving price of crude boosts sentiment.

Abu Dhabi-listed Dana Gas said it would raise gas production after Pearl Petroleum, in which it has a 35 percent stake, received its latest payment from the Kurdistan Regional Government.

Britain’s Gulf Keystone Petroleum also said it was resuming spending on the Shaikan oilfield in the region as it reported record profit for the first half.