Google+ Followers

Monday, 30 April 2018

Dubai Aerospace Enterprise considers $500m bond raising - The National

Dubai Aerospace Enterprise considers $500m bond raising - The National:

"Dubai Aerospace Enterprise, the UAE aircraft lessor with a global fleet worth some $14 billion, is mulling an issuance of at least a $500 million sukuk, its chief executive said on Monday. The Dubai Government-controlled company, which became one of the largest leasers of aeroplanes in the world after acquiring Dublin-based Awas in August, may tap the market later this year or in 2019 depending on “market appetite”, Firoz Tarapore, chief executive of DAE, said on the sidelines of an aerospace conference in Abu Dhabi, without elaborating on the change in timeline or discussions with investors."



'via Blog this'

Emaar Development Q1 net income up 62% on project delivery - The National

Emaar Development Q1 net income up 62% on project delivery - The National:

"Emaar Development, the real estate arm of the UAE's biggest developer Emaar Properties, posted a 62 per cent rise in the first quarter net income as revenues surged on the back of continued delivery of projects. The company reported net profit of Dh819 million for the three months to the end of March, up from Dh506m reported a year earlier, the company said in a statement to the Dubai Financial Market, where its shares are traded. The quarterly revenues almost doubled to Dh3.27 billion, from Dh1.67bn, reflecting strong progress in construction of its projects, it said. Emaar Development, which follows a build-to-sell business model, floated its shares on DFM in the fourth quarter of 2017 in the largest listing on the bourse since 2014. It recorded sales of Dh3.91bn in the first three months of the year and currently has a total sales backlog of Dh41bn, which highlights a delivery pipeline of more than 27,200 residential units in the next four to five years."



'via Blog this'

Qatar Airways Cardiff flights strengthen Qatar, UK bonding: UK official

Qatar Airways Cardiff flights strengthen Qatar, UK bonding: UK official:

"Qatar Airways’ launch of direct flights to Cardiff will further cement the already strong relationship between Qatar and the UK, says Alun Cairns, secretary of state for Wales at the UK Government.

“Qatar Airways brings significant opportunities for Cardiff, the capital city of Wales. To have such a flagship carrier with an excellent reputation flying to Cardiff is something, which is very important to us,” Cairns said in an interview with Gulf Times on Monday.

For Wales, he said, Qatar is the second largest export market. Wales exported commodities worth £158mn to Qatar, which includes foodstuff (meat in particular), dairy products and machinery items.
Wales is also home to the South Hook LNG Terminal at Milford Haven, which is co-owned by Qatar Petroleum. Qatar provides for 24% of the UK’s gas supply through this terminal."



'via Blog this'

Etihad Won’t Be Reduced to ‘Boutique’ Airline Status, CEO Says - Bloomberg

Etihad Won’t Be Reduced to ‘Boutique’ Airline Status, CEO Says - Bloomberg:

" Etihad Airways PJSC intends to remain a major global carrier as it works on re-sizing its global business following record losses, according to new Chief Executive Officer Tony Douglas. The Persian Gulf company, which has built up a vast inter-continental route network and spent billions of dollars on plane purchases, has no intention of becoming a “boutique” operator and still aspires to being an “airline of choice,” Douglas said Monday in Abu Dhabi, where Etihad is based. At the same time, failed investments in Alitalia SpA and Air Berlin Plc -- which both filed for insolvency last year after Etihad pulled the plug on funding -- have led to a more “strategic” approach to expansion, according to Douglas, who took over in January."



'via Blog this'

Citigroup Sees MENA Syndicated Loans at More Than $70 Billion - Bloomberg

Citigroup Sees MENA Syndicated Loans at More Than $70 Billion - Bloomberg:

"The resurgence in syndicated loans in the Middle East and North Africa seems set for a slowdown as the deal pipeline dries up, according to Citigroup Inc.


Loans in the region have surged 85 percent in 2018 to $33.4 billion, helped by a jumbo $16 billion issue from Saudi Arabia, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Overall volume will probably climb to more than $70 billion, according to Zain Zaidi, a director for loans and acquisition finance at Citigroup, the region’s biggest loan arranger. Syndicated loans in MENA fell 30 percent in 2017 to $82.9 billion."



'via Blog this'

Heavy flows into Saudi to continue, Mideast funds say | Reuters

Heavy flows into Saudi to continue, Mideast funds say | Reuters:

"Middle East fund managers intend to pump more money into Saudi Arabian equities in coming months, despite concern about rich valuations, because of Riyadh’s expected entry into emerging market indexes next year, a Reuters poll showed on Monday. Foreign investors turned net sellers of Saudi stocks last week for the first time this year, according to exchange data. The Saudi stock index .TASI is up 13.8 percent this year, trading at over 16 times corporate earnings - higher than most other emerging markets. But the monthly poll of 13 leading regional fund managers, conducted over the past week, showed they believe capital inflows into the kingdom are unlikely to slow significantly."



'via Blog this'

OPEC April oil output hits year low on Venezuela slide: Reuters survey | Reuters

OPEC April oil output hits year low on Venezuela slide: Reuters survey | Reuters:

"OPEC oil output fell in April to a one-year low due to declining production in Venezuela and lower shipments from African producers, a Reuters survey found, sending compliance with a supply-cutting deal to another record.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries pumped 32.12 million barrels per day this month, the survey found, down 70,000 bpd from March. The April total is the lowest since April 2017, according to Reuters surveys.

OPEC is reducing output by about 1.2 million bpd as part of a deal with Russia and other non-OPEC producers to get rid of excess supply. The pact started in January 2017 and runs until the end of 2018. "



'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Dubai lifted by Emaar Dev earnings, weak oil depresses other markets | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Dubai lifted by Emaar Dev earnings, weak oil depresses other markets | Reuters:

"Dubai shares rose on Monday, helped by strong earnings at Emaar Development and outperforming the Gulf region, where most markets weakened amid a slight correction in oil prices and selective profit-taking.

Oil dipped after a rising rig count in the United States pointed to higher production there, but markets held near their highest in more than three years.

The Dubai index added 0.6 percent, fuelled by gains in property stocks and financials. Lender Emirates NBD was up 0.9 percent."



'via Blog this'

Foreigners turn net sellers of Saudi equities for first time this year | Reuters

Foreigners turn net sellers of Saudi equities for first time this year | Reuters:

"Foreign investors turned net sellers of Saudi Arabian stocks last week for the first time this year, exchange data showed on Sunday, as fund managers became increasingly concerned about rich valuations.

Foreign portfolio funds have been flooding into the kingdom ahead of Riyadh’s expected inclusion in global emerging market indexes next year. In the week through April 19, foreigners bought a net $384 million of equities, a record sum.

In the week through last Thursday, however, foreigners were net sellers to the tune of $48 million, the data showed. They bought $313 million and sold $361 million."



'via Blog this'

Turkish Stocks at Cheapest in Nine Years Still Find Few Buyers - Bloomberg

Turkish Stocks at Cheapest in Nine Years Still Find Few Buyers - Bloomberg:

"Turkish stocks haven’t been this cheap in almost a decade, but that doesn’t mean they’re a slam dunk.

Just two weeks after markets celebrated President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s call for snap elections, a move that condensed a period of political uncertainty from 19 months to two, investors are beginning to reconsider the premise of that rally. The economy’s still overheating, and analysts are starting to doubt an easy victory for the incumbent.

As investors reassess their initial reaction to the news, Turkish stocks are headed for their biggest monthly slump since September, pushing the price-to-estimated earnings ratio of the benchmark Borsa Istanbul 100 Index to 7.2. The gauge was already one of the cheapest among emerging markets and now trades at the lowest multiple since 2009. The lira traded little changed even after the central bank raised rates by 75 basis points last week."



'via Blog this'

Not Everybody’s Buying the Saudi Story, Even as Money Gushes In - Bloomberg

Not Everybody’s Buying the Saudi Story, Even as Money Gushes In - Bloomberg:

"While tens of billions of dollars gush into Saudi Arabia on a potential MSCI Inc. upgrade to emerging-market status, it will take more to keep investors enthused.

The Arab world’s biggest stock market will probably face difficulty in retaining foreign money unless companies become more transparent, according to some investors. Executives aren’t used to the level of scrutiny demanded by global funds as retail buyers, who typically focus on charts rather than financial analysis, account for about 75 percent of daily trading, according to Gary Dugan, chief investment officer at Dubai-based family office Namara Wealth Advisors Ltd.

Gary Greenberg, an investing veteran, isn’t joining the Saudi party. The London-based head of global emerging markets at Hermes Investment Management Ltd. wants more evidence of economic and political change as well as confidence in the rule of law as Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman seeks to modernize the kingdom and wean it off its reliance on oil. Other investors including J O Hambro Capital Management are wary of adding to their emerging-market holdings as concern over the pace of U.S. policy tightening sent equities retreating from a multi-year high."



'via Blog this'

Saudi's REIT market grows in size and scale | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Saudi's REIT market grows in size and scale | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"The number of real estate investment trusts (REITs) in Saudi Arabia has doubled over the past two quarters to 12, with the combined market capitalisation of these trusts now exceeding $2.3 billion, according to a new report from Knight Frank. The property consultancy said that six new REITs achieved listings on the Saudi stock market, Tadawul, in the final quarter of 2017 and the first quarter of this year. Research manager Raya Majdalani also said that a further six REITs are currently in the pipeline, having received initial approval from the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) to list, subject to regulatory requirements. The CMA has also proposed changes to the structure of REITs, which would see the minimum capital requirement raised to 500 million Saudi riyals ($133.3 million), up from the current level of just 100 million riyals, in a bid to avoid having smaller, less liquid REITs."



'via Blog this'

ADIA eyes renewable technologies, long-term returns improve in 2017 | ZAWYA MENA Edition

ADIA eyes renewable technologies, long-term returns improve in 2017 | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), the world's third-biggest sovereign wealth fund, said it may invest more in renewable energy, as climate change fears prompt fund managers even in the oil-rich Middle East to look beyond fossil fuels.

"The world's energy industry is in the early stages of a fundamental shift from fossil fuels to a more sustainable reliance on a range of renewable technologies," ADIA said in its 2017 annual review on Monday.

The ADIA's comments show how global sovereign funds are waking up to growing calls from governments to address climate change and to build a low-carbon society in the future."



'via Blog this'

Prince Alwaleed's firm sells Movenpick Hotels to AccorHotels | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Prince Alwaleed's firm sells Movenpick Hotels to AccorHotels | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Prince Alwaleed bin Talal's Kingdom Holding 4280.SE and its partners have agreed to sell Movenpick Hotels and Resorts to its associate firm AccorHotels.

The deal is expected to close in the second half of 2018, Kingdom Holding said in a statement. Kingdom has a 5.7 percent stake in Accor SA.

AccorHotels said earlier it had agreed to buy rival Movenpick Hotels & Resorts for 560 million Swiss francs ($567 million), in a deal which Accor said would boost its earnings and marks the latest example of the French group's ambitious takeover strategy. Founded in 1973 in Switzerland, Movenpick Hotels & Resorts operates in 27 countries with 84 hotels, and has a strong presence in Europe and the Middle East."



'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Blue chips send Dubai, Saudi higher; other markets down | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Blue chips send Dubai, Saudi higher; other markets down | Reuters:

"Dubai and Saudi stock markets both rose on Monday backed by gains in key blue-chip stocks and strong corporate earnings, while Abu Dhabi and Qatar were down.

The Dubai index added 0.4 percent fueled by gains in property stocks and financials. Lender Emirates NBD was up 0.5 percent.

Emaar Properties jumped 1.4 percent, while its unit Emaar Development climbed 0.9 percent after the development firm recorded a net profit of 819 million dirhams ($223 million) in the first quarter of 2018, versus 506 million a year ago."



'via Blog this'

Sunday, 29 April 2018

Top Sainsbury's shareholder QIA backs Asda takeover talks: source | Reuters

Top Sainsbury's shareholder QIA backs Asda takeover talks: source | Reuters:

"Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), the biggest shareholder in J Sainsbury Plc, is supportive of merger talks between the British supermarket chain and rival Walmart Inc’s Asda, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters. Sainsbury’s statement regarding the discussions on Monday will reflect QIA’s position on the matter, the source said. Sainsbury’s declined to comment on Sunday."



'via Blog this'

Audit finds Aramco oil reserves slightly higher than reported- sources | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Audit finds Aramco oil reserves slightly higher than reported- sources | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"An audit of Saudi Aramco's oil reserves - an essential part of the preparatory work for its planned initial public offering - has found the state oil giant to have higher reserves than it previously reported, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Saudi Arabia’s reserves of easily recoverable oil have long been the world’s largest.

Two sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the independent external audit has found the proven oil reserves to be at least 270 billion barrels, which is slightly higher than the 260.8 billion barrels the company reported in its 2016 annual review."



'via Blog this'

Higher fees, less impairments lift First Abu Dhabi Bank Q1 profit | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Higher fees, less impairments lift First Abu Dhabi Bank Q1 profit | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"First Abu Dhabi Bank, the largest bank in the United Arab Emirates, on Sunday reported a 2 percent rise in first quarter profit, helped by higher fees and commission and lower impairments. FAB made a net profit of 3.0 billion dirhams ($817 million) in the three months ending March 31, compared to 2.9 billion dirhams in the prior-year period, it said in a statement. SICO Bahrain and EFG Hermes had forecast FAB would make a first quarter profit of 2.9 billion dirhams and 2.8 billion dirhams, respectively. Loans and advances grew to 338 billion dirhams in the quarter, up 2 percent over the previous year first quarter. Deposits totalled 404 billion dirhams, up 3 percent year-on-year."



'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Alinma drags down Saudi index, Qatar rises, Dana weighs on Abu Dhabi | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Alinma drags down Saudi index, Qatar rises, Dana weighs on Abu Dhabi | Reuters:

"After a strong opening on the back of last week’s firm oil prices, Gulf stock markets were mixed on Sunday, with the Qatari index lifted by Industries Qatar’s positive first quarter results and Dana Gas weighing on the Abu Dhabi exchange.

The Saudi index lost 0.3 percent after rising in early trade. Blue chip Saudi Basic Industries Corp lost 0.6 percent despite reporting a 5.4 percent rise in first-quarter net profit, broadly in line with analysts’ forecasts.

Islamic lender Alinma, one of the most heavily traded stocks, climbed 0.5 percent early on Sunday but had dropped 0.7 percent by the market close. The bank reported a quarterly profit rise of 38 percent year on year."



'via Blog this'

BMI Research upbeat on Saudi Arabia's economic rebound this year - The National

BMI Research upbeat on Saudi Arabia's economic rebound this year - The National:

"The Saudi Arabian economy, the biggest in the Arab world, is poised to grow by 1.6 per cent this year amid a rebound in oil prices and an easing of fiscal austerity, according to BMI Research. Private sector activity, however, will regain traction at a slower pace as the introduction of VAT weighs on business confidence in the first half of the year. “The Saudi economy will recover in 2018, as continued gains in oil prices support the government’s move towards a more expansionary fiscal policy in turn boosting consumption in the kingdom,” BMI said in a report."



'via Blog this'

In its latest World QA flight to Cardiff to boost global profile of Wales - The Peninsula Qatar

In its latest World QA flight to Cardiff to boost global profile of Wales - The Peninsula Qatar:

"The inaugural Qatar Airways flight to Wales’ capital Cardiff in May is expected to enhance the global profile of Wales. The direct service between Doha and Cardiff will also help further boost Qatar-Wales bilateral trade relations.

The new route provides an unprecedented opportunity to enhance global tourism and trade links and showcase Wales internationally. In anticipation of the inaugural Qatar Airways flight to Cardiff next month, a marketing partnership agreement has been signed between Welsh Government and Qatar Airways which will increase Wales’ visibility in key markets as a holiday and business destination, Lord Elis-Thomas, Welsh Government Minister for Culture, Tourism and Sport, told The Peninsula.

The direct service between Cardiff and Doha is a huge boost for Wales. From the construction and energy supply chain to food and drink, there are already a number of Wales based companies active in Qatar, while Qatar Petroleum is the major shareholder in South Hook, one of the largest liquefied natural gas terminals in Europe, in Milford Haven, Pembrokeshire."



'via Blog this'

Saudi Basic Industries Corp reports 5.4 pct Q1 profit rise | Reuters

Saudi Basic Industries Corp reports 5.4 pct Q1 profit rise | Reuters:

"Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC), the world’s fourth-biggest petrochemicals company, reported a 5.4 percent rise in first-quarter net profit on Sunday, broadly in line with analysts’ forecasts.

SABIC attributed the profit rise to higher average selling prices and sold quantities.

The company made a net profit of 5.51 billion riyals ($1.47 billion) in the three months to March 31, up from 5.23 billion riyals in the year-earlier period, the company said in a bourse statement."



'via Blog this'

Saudi Aramco appoints first woman to the board | Reuters

Saudi Aramco appoints first woman to the board | Reuters:

"Saudi Aramco, the world’s top oil company which is preparing to go public, said on Sunday it has appointed new members to its board including a female executive, a milestone for Saudi Arabia and the oil industry where there are few women executives.

The appointments, which bring in more international experience, come as the Saudi government plans to float around 5 percent of Aramco in an initial public offering (IPO) - the world’s largest - later this year or early 2019.

Saudi Arabian Minister of Finance Mohammed al-Jadaan and Minister of Economy and Planning Mohammed al-Tuwaijri were appointed as members of the board of directors, Aramco said in a statement. "



'via Blog this'

Kuwait Finance House reports 13.9% first quarter profit rise | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Kuwait Finance House reports 13.9% first quarter profit rise | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Kuwait Finance House (KFH), the country's biggest Islamic lender, reported a 13.9 percent rise in first-quarter net profit, according to a statement on Sunday. Net profit rose to 44.0 million dinars ($146 million) in the three months to March 31, from 38.6 million dinars in the same period a year ago, the statement said. EFG Hermes forecast the lender would make a quarterly net profit of 42.2 million dinars. "



'via Blog this'

Mideast Stocks: Alinma Bank and SABIC lead Saudi up, Dana Gas weighs on Abu Dhabi | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Mideast Stocks: Alinma Bank and SABIC lead Saudi up, Dana Gas weighs on Abu Dhabi | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Most Gulf stock markets opened in positive territory on Sunday on the back of last week's gain in oil prices, although the Abu Dhabi index fell slightly, pulled down by energy producer Dana Gas. The Saudi index gained 0.4 percent in the first hour in a broad rise. Blue chip Saudi Basic Industries Corp was up 0.3 percent after reporting a 5.4 percent rise in first-quarter net profit, broadly in line with analysts' forecasts. Islamic lender Alinma , one of the most heavily traded stocks, climbed 0.5 percent after reporting a quarterly profit rise of 38 percent on year."



'via Blog this'

Abu Dhabi state fund Mubadala's 2017 operating profit rises 11.5% | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Abu Dhabi state fund Mubadala's 2017 operating profit rises 11.5% | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Abu Dhabi's state investor Mubadala Investment Co on Sunday reported a 2017 operating income of 10.7 billion dirhams ($2.9 billion), rising 11.5 percent from 9.6 billion dirhams in 2016.

The company, formed through the merger of Mubadala Development Company and International Petroleum Investment Co in 2017, said total assets rose to 469.4 billion dirhams at the end of 2017, up from 449.7 billion dirhams at the end of 2016.

It reported total comprehensive income of 10.3 billion dirhams, compared to 5.1 billion dirhams in 2016."



'via Blog this'

Institutional Money Fund foundations laid in Saudi Arabia: Fitch | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Institutional Money Fund foundations laid in Saudi Arabia: Fitch | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Fitch Ratings says in a new report that the foundations of an institutional money fund industry have been laid in Saudi Arabia. Retail investors represent the largest share of money fund investors in Saudi Arabia; however, Fitch has identified an increasing number of funds offering high minimum initial investment share classes, which are typically accessible only to large or sophisticated, ie non-retail, investors. The growth of this nascent institutional segment is supported by the growth of the money fund sector in Saudi Arabia and the solid regulatory framework already in-place for these funds. Overall, Fitch estimates that the Saudi Arabian money fund sector grew by around 10% over the three years to end-December 2017 in US dollar terms, with asset expansion particularly high in 2017. This compares with a global money fund growth of 5% over the same period. Saudi money funds are primarily denominated in Saudi riyals, although a limited number are denominated in US dollars. Saudi Arabia is approximately by total asset the 20th-largest money fund domicile (approximately 19 billion in US dollar terms) globally. While Saudi Arabia is a middle-ranking money fund domicile, it is by far the largest in the Middle East region. Money funds represent around 73% of total mutual fund assets domiciled in Saudi Arabia. As in other smaller mutual fund markets, money funds offer a first step into investment for risk-averse investors through effecting limited maturity transformation and hence offering superior rates - and diversification - to bank deposits. Fitch expects continued growth in the Saudi Asset management industry, which is already the largest Islamic asset management industry globally. "



'via Blog this'

Saturday, 28 April 2018

Sainsbury Considers Buying Asda From Walmart - Bloomberg

Sainsbury Considers Buying Asda From Walmart - Bloomberg:

"U.K. grocer J Sainsbury Plc is in advanced talks to combine with Walmart Inc.’s Asda in a multibillion-pound deal that would reshape Britain’s brutally competitive supermarket business.

Sainsbury confirmed the discussions in response to a Bloomberg News report and said a further announcement would be made on Monday. The supermarket chain ranks second in the U.K., followed by Asda and behind Tesco Plc.

Bringing together Sainsbury and Asda is the most radical response yet by the country’s retailers to the rise of German discounters Lidl and Aldi and the threat of Amazon.com Inc., which has muscled into the home-delivery space that’s become many Britons’ preferred way to shop."



'via Blog this'

UPDATE 1-Jordan's Arab Bank Q1 net profit $220.3 mln vs $218.2 mln -statement | Reuters

UPDATE 1-Jordan's Arab Bank Q1 net profit $220.3 mln vs $218.2 mln -statement | Reuters:

"Jordan’s Arab Bank Group , the country’s largest lender, on Saturday reported first-quarter net profit of $220.3 million, slightly up from $218.2 million a year earlier. Its overall operations continued to grow despite challenges faced by banks in the Middle East, chairman Sabih al Masri said in a statement. Total loans rose 5 percent to $25.5 billion as of end-March, while deposits rose slightly to $33.4 billion compared with $33 billion in the corresponding period last year."



'via Blog this'

Pompeo starts Mideast tour with call for new Iran sanctions | Reuters

Pompeo starts Mideast tour with call for new Iran sanctions | Reuters:

"Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in Saudi Arabia on Saturday on a hastily-arranged visit to the Middle East as the United States aims to muster support for new sanctions against Iran.

The visit to Riyadh, Jerusalem and Amman just two days after Pompeo was sworn-in comes as President Donald Trump is set to decide whether to pull out of the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran that is still supported by European powers.

“We are urging nations around the world to sanction any individuals and entities associated with Iran’s missile program, and it has also been a big part of discussions with Europeans,” Brian Hook, a senior policy advisor traveling with Pompeo, told reporters. "



'via Blog this'

Giant gas pipeline boost for Turkey amid turmoil

Giant gas pipeline boost for Turkey amid turmoil:

"It has been a decade in the making: The $40 billion Southern Gas Corridor (SGC), arguably the gas industry’s most significant and ambitious undertaking yet, involving seven governments and 11 companies. The 3,500 kilometers pipeline corridor is one of the biggest infrastructure projects in the global oil and gas industry, bringing Caspian gas through three linked networks across Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, Greece and the Adriatic Sea to southern Italy where it can be conveyed to European markets. SGC has been pushed by the EU since 2008 as a strategic imperative to reduce the bloc’s dependence on Russian gas, and has been bankrolled by EU and international funding, including loans from the Asian Infrastructure and Investment Bank, which counts Saudi Arabia and UAE as members."



'via Blog this'

Oil rebound to ease GCC fiscal pressure - The Peninsula Qatar

Oil rebound to ease GCC fiscal pressure - The Peninsula Qatar:

"Higher oil prices are expected to result in better current account balances in the GCC over 2018 and 2019. The higher prices are expected to give GCC countries more flexibility in terms of their ongoing fiscal consolidation plans, according to KAMCO Research.

However, KAMCO analysts continue to expect initiatives to bolster the GCC non-oil economy to be less synchronised than the previous years, as individual GCC countries are likely to use different fiscal tools to shore up their state finances.

Citing IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook (WEO), KAMCO’s monthly research note said Kuwait’s current account surplus in GDP terms to be the highest in the region at 5.8 percent of GDP in 2018, improving by 720bps from their October 2018 update, while 2019 current account surplus in GDP terms is forecasted to improve by 500 bps (3.6 percent)."



'via Blog this'

Oil Stuck Near $68 as Questions Swirl Around Iran Nuclear Deal - Bloomberg

Oil Stuck Near $68 as Questions Swirl Around Iran Nuclear Deal - Bloomberg:

"Oil circled around $68 a barrel as traders sifted mixed messages on the Iran nuclear deal.


Futures in New York traded in the narrowest range since January this week. Investors were waiting to see whether the nuclear accord that Iran signed with world powers in 2015 will remain. U.S. President Donald Trump said at a press conference Friday that it needs to ensure that Iran “doesn’t even get close” to nuclear weapons, while German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she told Trump the Iran deal is part of a bigger Middle East picture.

“There’s lots of rhetoric around dispensing with the Iran deal and reimposing sanctions, which will further constrain the market,” said Rob Haworth, who helps oversee $151 billion in assets at U.S. Bank Wealth Management in Seattle. “You’ve got fears of further shutdowns of production supporting the market.”"



'via Blog this'

Hedge Funds Throw Record Bets on Rising Gasoline Prices - Bloomberg

Hedge Funds Throw Record Bets on Rising Gasoline Prices - Bloomberg:

"Money managers are going all in on gasoline.

Hedge funds boosted bets on rising gasoline prices to the highest on record. That’s as futures for the motor fuel jumped to the highest since August amid robust demand and inventories hovering near their lowest since January.

“We are heading into the driving season and the market has tightened rather nicely,” said Michael Lynch, president of Strategic Energy & Economic Research in Winchester, Massachusetts. “People are gambling that the strong economy will yield a very strong driving season and that may stress out the refining sector.”"



'via Blog this'

Friday, 27 April 2018

London judge orders Dana Gas to hold dividends in English bank account | Reuters

London judge orders Dana Gas to hold dividends in English bank account | Reuters:

"A London judge has ordered Dana Gas to pay any dividends into an English bank account where the funds must be held until a dispute over its $700 million Islamic bond is resolved, sources familiar with the matter said. Friday’s ruling is the latest twist in a complex legal battle taking place in courts in London and the United Arab Emirates which began last year when the UAE energy producer halted payments on $700 million of Islamic bonds it said had become unlawful because of changes in Islamic finance. Holders of the sukuk contest its position and are demanding to be paid by Dana, which declined to comment on the ruling."



'via Blog this'

What’s at Stake If Trump Kills the Iran Nuclear Deal? - Bloomberg

What’s at Stake If Trump Kills the Iran Nuclear Deal? - Bloomberg:

"U.S. President Donald Trump has until May 12 to decide whether to perhaps fatally undermine a years-in-the-making nuclear deal with Iran, with the consequences likely to be felt from Middle East war zones to oil markets. If the U.S. refuses to continue to waive sanctions under the six-nation agreement reached in 2015, there’s a real threat Iran will also walk away. European powers are scrambling to persuade Trump to preserve the agreement, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Washington on Friday on the heels of French President Emmanuel Macron. So what’s at stake if the U.S. withdraws?

Oil Markets
A “snap-back” in Iran sanctions by the U.S. would almost certainly reduce Iran’s oil exports, further stretching an oil market that’s seen prices rise 11 percent this year. What’s more uncertain is exactly how far shipments would fall."



'via Blog this'

Oil investment may prove a tricky target for OPEC | Reuters

Oil investment may prove a tricky target for OPEC | Reuters:

"It’s “mission accomplished” for OPEC in its battle against bulging global inventories of oil, thanks to the production cuts it has had in place for nearly 18 months.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, which supplies a third of the world’s oil, agreed to curb output by 1.8 million barrels per day jointly with 10 other producers including Russia until stocks returned to more normal levels.

 The overhang of unwanted crude and oil products has reached OPEC’s target, but the group now says it would rather see a pickup in investment, which fell by $1 trillion (719.01 billion pounds) in the three years of surplus and weak prices that started in June 2014."



'via Blog this'

Thursday, 26 April 2018

Dubai Holding says net profit jumps 57% | GulfNews.com

Dubal says net profit jumps 57% | GulfNews.com: "Dubal Holding, the Dubai government’s investment arm for the power, commodities, mining and industry, held its fourth annual general meeting on Thursday. Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, UAE Minister of Finance and Chairman of Dubal Holding praised company’s overall performance, noting that it achieved a good net profit in 2017, representing a 57 per cent increase compared to 2016, while net assets increased by two per cent by the end of the year. "



'via Blog this'

Challenges and risks in the historic Saudi Arabian privatization plan | Arab News

Challenges and risks in the historic Saudi Arabian privatization plan | Arab News:

"Saudi Arabia’s plan to kick-start its historic privatization program has been well received by an international investment community that is often skeptical of big announcements. Bankers have spoken of the “positive momentum” behind the plan, and that it looks realistic and achievable. Raising around $10 billion through state sell-offs, public private partnerships and trade sales is certainly a long way from the $200 billion put up as the total value of the privatization program just last year, but you have to start somewhere. The $10 billion figure relates to sell-off proceeds between now and the end of 2020, while the bigger figure was an estimate of the total value of proceeds from  all asset sales and other privatization measures (excluding whatever comes from an IPO of Saudi Aramco) under the Vision 2030 strategy. Saudi policymakers still have the potential to meet the higher figures over the next 12 years as the pace of sell-offs accelerates and they — and global markets — become more familiar with the process."



'via Blog this'

Trump’s Threat to Ax ‘Insane’ Iran Deal Is Scaring Off Oil Traders - Bloomberg

Trump’s Threat to Ax ‘Insane’ Iran Deal Is Scaring Off Oil Traders - Bloomberg:

"Some oil traders are already steering clear of doing business with Iran as U.S. President Donald Trump signals he’ll ditch the nuclear deal with OPEC’s third-largest producer.

Traders are unwilling to sign contracts for Iranian crude and refined products that would be valid after May 12, the deadline for Trump to decide whether to reimpose sanctions, according to recent interviews with six companies that buy and sell oil in the Middle East.

French President Emmanuel Macron, who met Trump this week in Washington, said he thinks the U.S. leader will abandon the nuclear accord that Iran signed with world powers in 2015. Trump ridiculed the existing deal as “terrible” and “insane.” U.S. curbs would squeeze Iran’s oil exports this year by as much as 500,000 barrels a day, according to consultant FGE and trader Gunvor SA. Iran currently ships about 2.5 million barrels a day."



'via Blog this'

Crude Closes Near Three-Year High as Focus Remains on Iran Deal - Bloomberg

Crude Closes Near Three-Year High as Focus Remains on Iran Deal - Bloomberg:

"Crude settled near a three-year high as investors gauged the potential of a U.S. exit from the Iran nuclear deal.


Futures ended the session 0.2 percent higher, closing above $68 a barrel for a third time this week. French President Emmanuel Macron’s prediction that the U.S. will pull out of the Iran nuclear accord stoked concerns about a renewal of sanctions that would slash crude exports from OPEC’s third-largest producer. U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Thursday that there’s been no decision on the nuclear deal.

“We are pricing in some geopolitical risk,” said Bart Melek, head of global commodity strategy at TD Securities in Toronto. “There are concerns that we might get into a difficult conversation with Iran.”"



'via Blog this'

No oil majors win contracts in Iraq oil licensing round | Reuters

No oil majors win contracts in Iraq oil licensing round | Reuters:

"Iraq failed to attract investment from the top global energy companies in its oil and gas exploration/development contract auction on Thursday, with no major firms winning any bids and only Italy’s Eni submitting an offer.

The Oil Ministry held an auction to award contracts to international energy companies, with 11 blocks on offer near the borders with Iran and Kuwait and in offshore Gulf waters.

 “We have decided to speed up the development of border fields after five decades without investments ... leaving them without investments meant wasting the oil wealth of the country,” Oil Minister Jabar al-Luaibi said ahead of bidding.

"



'via Blog this'

Qatar's Al Khalij Bank Weighs Sale of French, U.A.E. Units - Bloomberg

Qatar's Al Khalij Bank Weighs Sale of French, U.A.E. Units - Bloomberg:

"Qatar’s Al Khalij Commercial Bank PQSC has hired Barclays Plc to advise on the sale of its businesses in France and the United Arab Emirates, according to people familiar with the matter. The Doha-based lender, which plans to retain only it’s Qatar business, is drawing interest from global banks and financial institutions from the region for the assets, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. The sale talks come amid a diplomatic standoff between Qatar and it’s neighbors including Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E., which has made it difficult for companies in the gas-rich state to operate in the rest of Gulf. The blockade has hurt the revenue of many Qatari companies, forcing them to shrink their workforce and sell non-core assets."



'via Blog this'

UAE lender ADCB Q1 profit up 9% | ZAWYA MENA Edition

UAE lender ADCB Q1 profit up 9% | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank on Thursday posted a 9 percent rise in first quarter profit as net interest and Islamic financing income rose. The emirate's second-largest bank by assets made a net profit attributable to shareholders of 1.21 billion dirhams ($330 million) in the three months to Mar.31, compared to 1.11 billion dirhams in the first quarter of 2017, ADCB said in a statement. SICO Bahrain forecast a fourth-quarter profit of 1.09 billion dirhams, while EFG Hermes expected a profit of 1.14 billion dirhams. Total net interest and Islamic financing income reached 1.83 billion dirhams, 12 percent up from the same period of last year."



'via Blog this'

DP World reports 7.3% gross volume growth in Q1 2018 | ZAWYA MENA Edition

DP World reports 7.3% gross volume growth in Q1 2018 | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"DP World Limited handled 17.6 million twenty-foot equivalent units, TEU, across its global portfolio of container terminals in the first quarter of 2018, with gross container volumes growing by 7.3 percent year-on-year on a reported basis, and 8.4 percent on a like-for-like basis, well ahead of Drewry Maritime’s industry estimate of 4.6 percent global throughput growth for the first quarter of 2018.

In a press statement, DP World stated that the first quarter witnessed a continuation of the recovery in global trade and all three regions delivered growth, especially in its terminals in Europe, Middle East and Africa and Australia. The UAE continues to deliver stable growth and handled 3.8 million TEU, growing 2.9 percent year-on-year in Q1 2018, it added.

At a consolidated level, DP World terminals handled 9.2 million TEU during the first quarter of 2018, a 6.6 percent improvement in performance on a reported basis and up 6.8 percent year-on-year on a like-for-like basis. Commenting on the results, DP World Group Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, said, "Following a strong year for the global container market in 2017 with peak levels since 2011, our portfolio has had an encouraging start to 2018 delivering ahead-of-market growth."



'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi petrochemical stocks under pressure despite index rise | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi petrochemical stocks under pressure despite index rise | Reuters:

"Saudi petrochemical stocks ended Thursday’s trading on the downside after some disappointing earnings, but key banking and property stocks helped the index close slightly higher.

Other Gulf markets were mixed.

The Saudi index closed 0.2 percent up at 8,248 points, hovering near the level last seen in August 2015."



'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi stocks slip; Qatar's Ooredo down on earnings miss | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi stocks slip; Qatar's Ooredo down on earnings miss | Reuters:

"Saudi stocks slipped in early trade on Thursday, with investors continuing to sell some blue chips after the index hit a more than two-year high earlier in the week. Other Gulf markets were mostly sluggish. The Saudi index was down 0.5 percent. Petrochemicals firms were the biggest drag with the index’s most heavily weighted company, Saudi Basic Industries Corp, down 1.0 percent. Saudi International Petrochemical Co (Sipchem) dropped 5.4 percent after missing earnings forecasts with a first-quarter net profit of 151 million riyals, up 65 percent on year. Three analysts surveyed by Reuters had on average forecast a profit of 189 million riyals."



'via Blog this'

Qatar economy proved resilient to blockade: QFB - The Peninsula Qatar

Qatar economy proved resilient to blockade: QFB - The Peninsula Qatar:

"Qatar’s economy has proven its resiliency and robustness as it swiftly recovered from the effects of this blockade, Qatar First Bank (QFB) Chairman Abdulla bin Fahad bin Ghorab Al Marri has stated.

Addressing QFB’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) yesterday, Al Marri said: “2017 was a challenging year for all financial institutions in the country, amid the ongoing illegal blockade imposed on Qatar by some neighbouring GCC countries, which impeded the flow of business both locally and regionally. Qatar’s economy, however, has proven its resiliency and robustness as it swiftly recovered from the effects of this blockade, and continues to do so.”

“At QFB we are not immune to the prevailing global and regional economic environment. In 2017 the bank recorded revenue of QR334.2m and a net loss of QR 269.3m, resulting mainly from the downward revision of the valuations of some of the bank’s private equity investments across several markets,” he added."



'via Blog this'

Foreign outflows from Dubai stocks gain momentum

Foreign outflows from Dubai stocks gain momentum:

"Foreign selling of Dubai’s stocks accelerated in the past week as the nation’s benchmark equity index fell and the Dubai dirham was little changed. The 5-day moving average of net foreign outflows accelerated to $4.57mn, compared with the 20-day average outflows of $4.06mn, according to data from the Dubai Financial Market compiled by Bloomberg. The Dubai Financial Market General Index fell 3.1% over the past week and the dirham was little changed against the dollar at 3.673."



'via Blog this'

Abu Dhabi's Al Hilal Bank Uncovers Internal Fraud - Bloomberg

Abu Dhabi's Al Hilal Bank Uncovers Internal Fraud - Bloomberg:

"Abu Dhabi’s Al Hilal Bank PJSC uncovered internal fraud worth more than 500 million dirhams ($136 million), according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Some employees at the Abu Dhabi state-owned Islamic lender allegedly withdrew funds from dormant customer accounts, said the people, asking not to be identified because the details aren’t public. Money was then transferred from the Al Hilal accounts to bogus accounts before being withdrawn, they said.

A total of 38 people from Asian and European backgrounds were arrested last summer for the "unlawful confiscation" of 635 million dirhams from a U.A.E. bank, Abu Dhabi’s Judicial Department said in an emailed statement, without identifying the lender."



'via Blog this'

Oil Holds Above $68 as Iran Deal Speculation Counters Stockpiles - Bloomberg

Oil Holds Above $68 as Iran Deal Speculation Counters Stockpiles - Bloomberg:

"Oil held above $68 a barrel as America’s potential exit from the Iran nuclear deal increased concern over Middle East supplies, overshadowing expanding U.S. crude output and stockpiles.

Futures were little changed in New York after climbing 0.5 percent Wednesday. French President Emmanuel Macron predicted U.S. President Donald Trump will pull out of the Iran accord. A revival of sanctions on the Persian Gulf state is expected to cut oil exports from the third-largest OPEC producer. Meanwhile, investors largely shrugged off a government report showing record high American crude production and a surprise build in nationwide inventories."



'via Blog this'

Challenges in Indonesia, Algeria dent Qatar's Ooredoo's profit | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Challenges in Indonesia, Algeria dent Qatar's Ooredoo's profit | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Qatar's telecommunications firm Ooredoo's first-quarter profit fell 17 percent, citing challenges in Indonesia, its biggest international market, and Algeria which offset strong contributions from other market such as Myanmar. Ooredoo made a net profit attributable to shareholders of 486 million riyals ($133.50 million) in the three months ending March 31, 2018, it said in a statement. That compared with 584 million riyals in the same period a year ago. The result was below SICO Bahrain's forecast of 549 million riyals in net profit, but above EFG Hermes' forecast of 449 million riyals. "



'via Blog this'

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Schools, water are priorities as Saudi launches privatization plan | Reuters

Schools, water are priorities as Saudi launches privatization plan | Reuters:

"School buildings and desalination facilities producing fresh water will feature in some of the first deals as Saudi Arabia transfers a quarter of its economy to private hands, an official overseeing the process said on Wednesday.

Turki A. Al Hokail, chief executive of the National Centre for Privatisation and Public-Private Partnerships, was speaking as the government formally launched a vast privatisation program focusing on 10 sectors of the economy.

 Riyadh is working on new rules to attract foreign as well as local capital to the scheme and will address potential investors’ concern about their level of control over projects, including their ability to hire and fire workers, Hokail said.

"



'via Blog this'

Qatar Airways confirms substantial annual loss, blames regional row | Reuters

Qatar Airways confirms substantial annual loss, blames regional row | Reuters:

"Qatar Airways made a “substantial” loss in its last financial year because of a regional dispute that has banned the airline from four Arab countries, its chief executive said on Wednesday without revealing the extent of the losses.

Qatar Airways has been blocked from flying to 18 cities in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt since June when those countries cut ties with Qatar, accusing it of supporting terrorism. Doha denies the charges.

 “We have increased our operating costs. We had to also take a hit on revenues so we don’t think that our results for the last financial year will be very good,” Chief Executive Akbar al-Baker told reporters at the Eurasia Airshow in Antalya, Turkey.

"



'via Blog this'

Iraq's move to rush oil bidding could deter some firms

Iraq's move to rush oil bidding could deter some firms:

"Iraq is opening more of its untapped oil and gas resources to foreign developers, hoping to boost revenues after its costly war with the Islamic State group, but analysts say the rushed bidding process — now timed to precede national elections — could draw a lukewarm response.

Last month, Oil Minister Jabar Ali al-Luaibi unexpectedly moved the date to receive bids from late June to April, meaning the bidding would be held before May 12 national elections. Some believe Al-Luaibi, who is campaigning for a seat in parliament, moved up the date for political reasons.

Al-Luaibi hopes to represent the oil-rich southern province of Basra as a member of the Victory Alliance, which is led by Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, who is running for re-election."



'via Blog this'

Dubai to become leading Sukuk-listing hub through new agreement | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Dubai to become leading Sukuk-listing hub through new agreement | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre (DIEDC) today announced its collaboration with Nasdaq Dubai to design and implement new initiatives that complement Dubai’s success in emerging as a leading global Sukuk-listing hub. DIEDC outlined plans for developing the Sukuk market and increasing sukuk issuances and listings in Dubai to boost economic growth. A key objective of the ‘Dubai: Capital of Islamic Economy’ initiative that was launched in 2013 was achieved when Dubai was globally ranked in first place over other global capitals as the largest platform worldwide for attracting and listing Islamic Sukuk."



'via Blog this'

Saudi sets up committee on Saudi Oger debt restructuring- sources | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Saudi sets up committee on Saudi Oger debt restructuring- sources | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Saudi Arabia is setting up a committee to handle the restructuring of debt owed by Saudi Oger, the construction company owned by the family of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri, said two sources familiar with the matter.

Authorities are keen to resolve the financial fallout from the company's collapse after it was crippled by state spending cuts, mismanagement and corruption, leaving thousands of workers and banks out of pocket.

The business is now no longer operational and Saudi banks owed around 13 billion riyals ($3.5 billion) in debt have come under pressure from the regulator in recent quarters to provision for their exposure."



'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi falls for second day, property stocks weigh on Dubai | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi falls for second day, property stocks weigh on Dubai | Reuters:

"Saudi Arabia’s stock index fell for a second consecutive day on Wednesday as investors dumped blue-chip stocks, while property stocks dragged down Dubai’s market. The Saudi index closed 1.0 percent lower after hitting a more than two-year high earlier in the week. Saudi Basic Industries, the largest stock, was a big contributor to the decline, falling 0.9 percent. Banks Samba Financial Group and National Commercial Bank also weighed on the index, falling 3.2 percent and 1.3 percent, respectively."



'via Blog this'

Trump suggests he could be persuaded to stay in Iran deal

Trump suggests he could be persuaded to stay in Iran deal:

"Donald Trump has hinted that he could be persuaded to keep the US in the Iran nuclear deal after talks with French president Emmanuel Macron, who pledged to work with Washington to contain the Islamic republic.

Mr Trump, who has given European signatories to the deal a deadline of May 12 to “fix” the accord or face its collapse, said on Tuesday that “we could at least have an agreement among ourselves fairly quickly”.

“I think we are fairly close to understanding each other,” he said."



'via Blog this'Publish Post

Trump’s oil tweet aimed at Saudi Arabia as prices rise

Trump’s oil tweet aimed at Saudi Arabia as prices rise:

"Even as US crude oil exports hit record levels this month, Donald Trump’s tweet late last week revealed that worrying about Opec’s policies is not a thing of the past for the president of the United States.

His comments came as a series of decisions are on his agenda, any one of which could impact on oil markets.

Most importantly, the US is due to decide whether to effectively re-impose sanctions against Iran."



'via Blog this'

Shareholder Activism Creeps Up in the Middle East - Bloomberg

Shareholder Activism Creeps Up in the Middle East - Bloomberg:

"Shareholder activism is creeping up in the Gulf if events of the past week are a guide.

It’s unusual in the six members of the Gulf Cooperation Council, where shareholders tend to rubber-stamp board decisions. The impact was immediate on the stock markets with shares of three companies falling in Dubai and one in Kuwait."



'via Blog this'

Standard Chartered Is Top MENA Bond Arranger as Sales Boom - Bloomberg

Standard Chartered Is Top MENA Bond Arranger as Sales Boom - Bloomberg:

"For the first time since 2008, Standard Chartered Plc is topping the list of bond sales arrangers in the Middle East and North Africa.

The emerging markets-focused lender climbed four places from 2017 and has already built up a substantial lead on the competition just four months into the year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. JPMorgan Chase & Co., last year’s MENA league table leader, sits at No. 5."



'via Blog this'

Aramco and France’s Total Looking at Buying Saudi Fuel Stations - Bloomberg

Aramco and France’s Total Looking at Buying Saudi Fuel Stations - Bloomberg:

"Saudi Arabian Oil Co. and Total SA are weighing jointly buying businesses such as Tas’helat Marketing Co. to gain access to networks of retail fuel stations in the Gulf kingdom, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The state-owned company, known as Aramco, and the French oil giant are also looking at a range of options from consolidating some service stations to potentially starting the business from scratch, the people said, asking not to be identified as the matter is private. French lender Credit Agricole SA and local investment bank Saudi Fransi Capital are advising the firms on their plans, which are still in the early stages, they said. No final decisions have been taken and the group may decide against acquiring Tas’helat, which operates fuel stations under the Sahel brand, or any other business, they said. Representatives for Total and Credit Agricole declined to comment. Spokesmen for Aramco and Saudi Fransi didn’t respond to requests for comment."



'via Blog this'

Real estate investment trusts drive market growth in Saudi Arabia | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Real estate investment trusts drive market growth in Saudi Arabia | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"The boom in real estate investment trusts – or REITs – listed on the Kingdom’s stock exchange will be explored at an exclusive executive briefing ahead of Euromoney Saudi Arabia Conference, taking place this May.

Since the Tadawul market was opened to REITs in 2016, there have been multiple listings in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as well as in the UAE and Bahrain. With new listings planned in 2018 – including the possibility of a REIT from Kingdom Holding Company – investors within the Kingdom and globally are watching this sector closely.

The Euromoney Saudi Arabia Conference hosted a sell-out REITs briefing as a pre-conference event last year to introduce delegates to the sector, and this year’s briefing on May 1 will examine the impressive growth over the past 12 months."



'via Blog this'

Saudi's Olayan says IPO depends on market conditions | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Saudi's Olayan says IPO depends on market conditions | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Saudi Arabian billionaire Lubna Olayan said on Wednesday that the timing for floating parts of her family's business, one of the kingdom's largest conglomerates, depends on market conditions and the economic situation.

"We had four quarters of negative GDP growth which impacted many private businesses," Olayan told a business conference in Riyadh.

Reuters reported last year that the Olayan family was considering listing at least 30 percent of its Saudi business in a sale that could value the company at several billion dollars."



'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi stocks slip again, Dubai contractor DSI falls | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi stocks slip again, Dubai contractor DSI falls | Reuters:

"Saudi stocks slipped further in early trade on Wednesday from more than two-year highs earlier in the week, while Dubai’s market also fell.

After closing lower on Tuesday, the Saudi index dipped 0.5 percent, with market heavyweight Saudi Basic Industries the biggest drag, falling 0.6 percent. Another blue-chip stock, Samba Financial Group tumbled 1.8 percent.

After huge inflows in anticipation of the upgrade of Saudi stocks to emerging markets indexes, analysts said investors have begun to view some of the banks and petrochemical stocks as expensive."



'via Blog this'

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Saudi Arabia raises the alarm over rising unemployment

Saudi Arabia raises the alarm over rising unemployment:

"A senior Saudi official has sounded the alarm over rising unemployment as Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman pushes ahead with an ambitious plan to overhaul the economy and create private sector jobs. Ahmed Kattan, deputy minister for labour, told a business forum on Tuesday that the job market in the oil-dependent nation suffered from “structural problems”, coupled with a deep-rooted addiction to foreign low-wage workers. “As a government, it is an extremely big concern that unemployment is increasing while number of visas is also increasing,” Mr Kattan said. “That means the economy is creating jobs but we don’t give jobs to our citizens.”"



'via Blog this'

Wealthy Gulf individuals feel more confident about regional prospects

Wealthy Gulf individuals feel more confident about regional prospects:

"Survey finds growing optimism on region’s economies, but Saudi investors remain wary. Wealthy individuals in the Gulf are more optimistic over the future of the region and the global economy compared with last year, and are increasing likely to invest in their own countries and other emerging markets in Asia than in western economies. These are among the main findings of an annual survey by Dubai-based Emirates Investment Bank (EIB), released on Tuesday, of the sentiment among high net worth individuals (HNWIs) in the region.  After two years of falling confidence, some 60 percent of regional HNWIs now believe things will improve or stay the same. Fewer are pessimistic about both regional and global economic prospects than last year, while nearly 80 percent of respondents said they would prefer to invest in Gulf assets, rather than looking abroad."



'via Blog this'

Nakilat Q1 net profit jumps more than 13% to QR217mn

Nakilat Q1 net profit jumps more than 13% to QR217mn:

"Nakilat has reported more than 13% year-on-year growth in net profit to QR217mn in the first quarter of this year.
The company has managed to achieve positive results across its operations through rationalisation of operational costs, enhanced operational efficiency, and growth of international portfolio through the recent expansion with Maran Gas Ventures to include two additional liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers.
This most recent strategic alliance further strengthens Nakilat’s fleet to a total of 69 vessels."



'via Blog this'

Saudi Shares Are the Most Expensive Since 2015 - Bloomberg

Saudi Shares Are the Most Expensive Since 2015 - Bloomberg:

"Saudi Arabian stocks are trading at the most expensive level since 2015 relative to emerging markets as foreign investors continue buying into a potential status upgrade by MSCI Inc. as oil surges.

The Tadawul All Share Index is trading at 15 times estimated earnings per share for the coming year, versus 12 times for the MSCI Emerging Markets Index. The spread between the measures is the widest since August 2015.

As of April 19, foreign investors were net buyers of Saudi stocks for the 16th straight week. They were net purchasers of 1.4 billion riyals ($370 million), more than any other week since at least October 2015, when Bloomberg started compiling the data."



'via Blog this'

Trump and France's Macron seek new measures on Iran as deadline looms

Trump and France's Macron seek new measures on Iran as deadline looms:

"President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron pledged on Tuesday to seek stronger measures to contain Iran, as the U.S. leader considers whether to ditch an international accord meant to prevent Tehran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

 At a joint news conference after lengthy talks, Trump did not repeat threats to withdraw from the 2015 agreement with Iran which was negotiated by his predecessor, former President Barack Obama, but made clear he has little patience for staying in the deal.

 Midway through a three-day state visit by Macron, the two leaders were remarkably chummy, repeatedly shaking hands and extolling each other’s friendship."



'via Blog this'

Saudi privatization program targets $11 billion non-oil revenues by 2020

Saudi privatization program targets $11 billion non-oil revenues by 2020:

"Saudi Arabia aims to generate 35 billion to 40 billion riyals ($9 billion to $11 billion) in non-oil revenues from its privatization program by 2020 and create up to 12,000 jobs, according to a document published by the official Saudi Press Agency on Tuesday.

The initiative targets 14 public-private partnership (PPP) investments worth 24 billion to 28 billion riyals. It includes the corporatization of Saudi ports and the privatization of the production sector at the Saudi Saline Water Conversion Corp (SWCC) and the Ras Al Khair desalination and power plant, the document showed.

The government has said it plans to raise about $200 billion through privatization in coming years as part of “Vision 2030” reforms that aim to transform the economy of the world’s top oil exporter. It separately wants to raise another $100 billion through the sale of a five percent stake in Saudi Aramco IPO-ARMO.SE."



'via Blog this'

Crude Slumps as Macron Iran Deal Proposal Eases Sanction Worries - Bloomberg

Crude Slumps as Macron Iran Deal Proposal Eases Sanction Worries - Bloomberg:

"Oil dropped to a one-week low after French President Emmanuel Macron proposed negotiating a new deal with Iran to contain its nuclear program in a bid to keep the U.S. on board.

Futures in New York, which had briefly climbed as President Donald Trump talked about Iran sanctions, ended the session 1.4 percent lower after Macron spoke during a visit to Washington. Meanwhile, the American Petroleum Institute was said to have reported U.S. crude inventories rose by 1.1 million barrels last week.

Macron “has quickly switched to ‘let’s negotiate a new deal.’ It was a bit of a surprise,” said Bob Yawger, director of futures at Mizuho Securities USA Inc. in New York. “It would be a deal that would get everyone involved and try to avoid a confrontational situation. It does seem to be a situation that would hopefully not involve taking barrels off the market.”"



'via Blog this'

Permian Basin Is Growing Into the Largest Oil Patch in the World - Bloomberg

Permian Basin Is Growing Into the Largest Oil Patch in the World - Bloomberg:

"The Permian shale play is all about setting records. Now, the region will probably become the world’s largest oil patch over the next decade.

Output in the basin is forecast to reach 3.18 million barrels a day in May, according to the Energy Information Administration. That’s the highest since the agency began compiling records in 2007. The size of the oil deposits coupled with increased technology and efficiency are fueling the rampant growth.

“The technology is the biggest driver,” said Rob Thummel, managing director at Tortoise, which handles $16 billion in energy-related assets. “The basin in and of itself could end up being the largest oil field in the world.""



'via Blog this'

Aries Group plans $10bln investment in India, Middle East | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Aries Group plans $10bln investment in India, Middle East | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"The UAE-based Aries Group's Indywood Consortium has initiated $10 billion investment in India and Middle East as part of Vision 2020, said Aries Group chairman and CEO Sohan Roy. "We will increase our market share in marine, tourism and entertainment sector by 2020. In entertainment, we will set up top notch multiplex screens, home cinemas, animation/films schools in India and Middle East. We will invest $10 billion in the next five years and it would generate 1,00,000 job opportunities. The details of other ventures will be announced soon," said Roy. In addition to this, the group will produce international movies using advanced technology and worldwide distribution. "We will promote young talents through movies and it would be a golden opportunity for them to showcase their talents," said Roy, who is also a Hollywood Director."



'via Blog this'

Abu Dhabi's Mubadala and MIP to sell 50% stake in Abu Dhabi Terminals- statement | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Abu Dhabi's Mubadala and MIP to sell 50% stake in Abu Dhabi Terminals- statement | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Abu Dhabi state investor Mubadala Investment Co and Mubadala Infrastructure Partners (MIP), an emerging markets infrastructure fund manager, have reached a deal to sell their combined 50 percent stake in Abu Dhabi Terminals to Abu Dhabi Ports, the remaining shareholder, for an undisclosed amount, the two companies said on Tuesday.

Abu Dhabi Terminals operates and manages a 30-year concession at Khalifa Port Container Terminal in the emirate."



'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi soft after hitting multi-year high, property hurts Dubai

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi soft after hitting multi-year high, property hurts Dubai:

"Saudi Arabia’s stock index fell back on Tuesday as many blue chips were seen as fully valued or expensive after the market hit a more than two-year high the previous day. Other Gulf markets were mixed, with property stocks dragging Dubai lower. The Saudi index ended 0.2 percent lower, remaining near levels last seen in August 2015. The index is up 15 percent this year because of inflows of foreign funds and strong corporate earnings. Saudi Basic Industries (SABIC) and Al Rajhi Bank both dropped 0.3 percent."



'via Blog this'

Here Come the Petrodollars, Back to Save Global Asset Prices - Bloomberg

Here Come the Petrodollars, Back to Save Global Asset Prices - Bloomberg:

"The recent surge in oil prices is poised to boost global assets as crude-producing states deploy replenished stashes of petrodollars, according to a growing chorus of analysts. It’s the potential reversal of part of the global "quantitative tightening" that was said to have occurred as oil prices dropped precipitously, and could amount to an extra shot of liquidity at a time when central banks are beginning to normalize monetary policy. "The increase in oil prices is generating a shift in flows and incomes across the world, effectively reversing the previous big shift seen between 2014 and 2016," wrote JPMorgan Chase & Co. analysts led by Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou. They estimate that energy producers stretching from the Middle East to Norway saw their oil-related revenues plunge from $1.6 trillion in 2014 -- when crude reached $115 a barrel -- to less than $800 billion in 2016, when it fell to $27."



'via Blog this'

QFC is launching Qatar PMI report by IHS Markit

QFC is launching Qatar PMI report by IHS Markit:

"The Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) has launched a new PMI (Purchasing Managers’ Index) for the non-oil private sector, compiled by IHS Markit, a world leader in critical information, analytics and solutions.
The PMI series produced by IHS Markit is one of the most closely watched signals of business activity and is valued worldwide by central banks, financial markets and business decision makers for providing timely and often unique monthly indicators of economic trends. 
The indices are based on monthly surveys of more than 28,000 senior business executives to quantify variables such as output, new orders, employment and prices. Qatar marks the 43rd country covered by the global PMI series from IHS Markit."



'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi pauses after hitting multi-year high as Gulf moves sideways

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi pauses after hitting multi-year high as Gulf moves sideways:

"Saudi stocks paused in early trade on Tuesday after hitting a more than two-year high on the previous day as key blue-chip stocks were seen as expensive. Other Gulf markets moved in narrow ranges as investors digested first-quarter earnings.

The Saudi index was almost flat at 8,321 points, hovering near levels last seen in August 2015. The index has gained 15 percent this year because of inflows of foreign funds and strong corporate earnings.

The main blue chips such as banks and Saudi Basic Industries (SABIC) were flat early on Tuesday."



'via Blog this'

Saudi Arabia Is Delaying Stock Exchange IPO on Higher Valuation Hopes - Bloomberg

Saudi Arabia Is Delaying Stock Exchange IPO on Higher Valuation Hopes - Bloomberg:

"Saudi Arabia is delaying the initial public offering of its stock exchange on hopes that a potential MSCI Inc. upgrade could boost its value, according to people with knowledge of the matter.


The Tadawul, as the Middle East’s biggest stock exchange is known, has pushed back plans to sell shares to 2019 at the earliest, from this year, said the people, asking not to be identified because the information is private.

Waiting until after a possible classification as an emerging market in June could improve trading volumes and help the bourse achieve a better valuation for its owner, the Public Investment Fund, they said.

The exchange’s main stock gauge, the Tadawul All Share Index, is among the world’s top 10 best performers this year after FTSE Russell classified the country as a secondary emerging market in March. That helped boost the gauge’s 12-month price-to-earnings ratio to the highest since 2015, the most expensive compared to emerging-market stocks in almost
three years.

"



'via Blog this'

Oil Rises on Flaring Geopolitical Risks and Shrinking Stockpiles - Bloomberg

Oil Rises on Flaring Geopolitical Risks and Shrinking Stockpiles - Bloomberg:

"Flaring geopolitical tensions in the Middle East coupled with expectations for a decline in U.S. stockpiles are boosting oil to trade near $70 a barrel.

Futures in New York climbed as much as 1 percent, set for the highest close since November 2014. A measure of oil volatility rose the most in two weeks as the conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran-backed Houthis in Yemen worsened, raising concerns over supply disruptions in the energy-rich Mideast region. Expectations for a drop in U.S. crude inventories added to the gains, with analysts forecasting a second weekly decline.

Oil has rallied this month as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies concluded that they have all but wiped out a global crude surplus, and Iran signaled the group can end cuts if prices rise more. Still, with production in the U.S. continuing to reach record levels, investors are wary that expanding output from shale producers could thwart OPEC’s efforts to reduce a global glut."



'via Blog this'

NMC Health's $450mln bond to boost Saudi expansion | ZAWYA MENA Edition

NMC Health's $450mln bond to boost Saudi expansion | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"The UAE-based private health care operator NMC Health has launched a $450 million senior unsecured guaranteed bond to help pay off an existing $1 billion bridge facility and support its expansion plans into Saudi Arabia. The earlier bridging loan was part of the $2 billion capital structure refinancing put in place at the start of the year, the company said. The bond is due in 2025 and is convertible into ordinary shares. JP Morgan is the sole bookrunner on the issuance. Bonds will have a fixed coupon rate of 1.875 percent, paid semi-annually."



'via Blog this'

UAE's EGA says IPO on track for H2 2018 | ZAWYA MENA Edition

UAE's EGA says IPO on track for H2 2018 | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"The planned initial public offering of Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA) is on track for the second half of 2018, the company's chief executive said on Tuesday. Talks between the governments of United Arab Emirates and the United States on aluminium import tariffs imposed by President Donald Trump are "progressing very well", EGA's CEO Abdulla Jassem Kalban told reporters. Owned by Mubadala and Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD), aluminium producer EGA was created in 2013 when state-owned companies Dubai Aluminium (Dubal) and Abu Dhabi's Emirates Aluminium merged."



'via Blog this'

Monday, 23 April 2018

Mubadala buys stake in New York-based Phoenician Capital - The National

Mubadala buys stake in New York-based Phoenician Capital - The National:

"Mubadala Investment Company, Abu Dhabi’s state-run strategic investment firm that has over $200 billion in assets, acquired an undisclosed minority stake in Phoenician Capital, a New York-based investment management company. The purchase, the financial terms of which weren’t disclosed, was made through Mubadala Capital, Mubadala’s financial investment arm. “Phoenician Capital has built a strong international reputation for its value investing strategies, based on a consistent track record of delivering attractive risk adjusted returns,” said Maxime Franzetti, head of public investments for Mubadala Capital."



'via Blog this'

Mashreq bank posts 9.5% increase in first quarter net profit, missing estimates - The National

Mashreq bank posts 9.5% increase in first quarter net profit, missing estimates - The National:

"Dubai-based lender Mashreq posted a 9.5 per cent increase in first quarter net profit, missing analysts’ estimates, as expenses rose and fees and commissions income declined. Net profit in the three months to the end of March rose to Dh598 million from Dh546m in the year-earlier period, the bank said on Monday. Two analysts polled by Bloomberg had forecast a mean net profit of Dh623.5m."



'via Blog this'

Moody’s assigns Ba1 rating to NMC Healthcare - The National

Moody’s assigns Ba1 rating to NMC Healthcare - The National:

"Moody’s Investor Service assigned a Ba1 rating to NMC Healthcare, the largest publicly-traded healthcare provider in the UAE, the first time the agency has rated the company.

The agency assigned the firm, which has a market value of $10.8 billion, a Ba1 corporate family rating and Ba1-PD probability of default rating. That puts the company one notch below investment grade, meaning that investment in the firm’s debt has an element of speculation and carries some credit risk. Moody's said the outlook on the rating was stable.

The ratings with a stable outlook “reflect its business profile as the largest healthcare provider in the United Arab Emirates, which is an affluent healthcare market with an attractive demographic profile,” Moody’s said."



'via Blog this'

UAE-based financial services conglomerate consolidates under new holding company | GulfNews.com

UAE-based financial services conglomerate consolidates under new holding company | GulfNews.com:

"The UAE based financial services conglomerate that includes, UAE Exchange, Travelex and Xpress Money on Monday announced the creation of a new holding company, Finablr, consolidating various financial services companies and brands under one umbrella. Incorporated in the UK, the new entity will provide strategic direction and oversight to its financial services brands across its network. As part of the consolidation, the new holding company will rebrand the non-UAE operations of UAE Exchange as Unimoni."



'via Blog this'

Saudi Arabia’s economy in a ‘sweet spot’, says US bank

Saudi Arabia’s economy in a ‘sweet spot’, says US bank:

"The Saudi Arabian economy is in a “sweet spot”, with higher oil prices allowing the Kingdom to boost spending while not having a significant impact on the country’s fiscal balance, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Research.
“Our meetings on Saudi Arabia comfort us in our view that the economy is in a sweet spot. Higher oil prices are allowing the focus on boosting activity not to materially impact fiscal balances,” the note said, published following the IMF and World Bank Spring meetings held in Washington DC this month.
“With a more entrenched current account surplus possible this year, FX reserves could increase this year,” the note said."



'via Blog this'

Dubai Property Developer Plunges as Shareholders Cut Dividend - Bloomberg

Dubai Property Developer Plunges as Shareholders Cut Dividend - Bloomberg:

"Damac Properties Dubai Co. tumbled after its shareholders approved a lower dividend than what its board recommended for 2017.

Shareholders at the real-estate developer approved a payout of 15 fils per share compared with the board’s recommendation of 25 fils, the company said in a statement, without providing further details. The shares retreated as much as 9.4 percent, the most in a year.

Damac Properties, which has two golf-course development deals with U.S. President Donald Trump’s family company, reported in February a full-year net income that missed the lowest analyst estimate. The firm’s biggest shareholder, Hussein Sajwani, said in January that he was open to selling as much as 15 percent of his stake."



'via Blog this'

Abu Dhabi's Invest AD divests stake in Jordan airport operator

Abu Dhabi's Invest AD divests stake in Jordan airport operator:

"Abu Dhabi asset manager Invest AD said on Monday it has divested its 38 percent stake in Airport International Group (AIG), the developer and operator of Jordan’s Queen Alia International Airport, for $230 million. Invest AD led the consortium that was awarded in 2007, a 25-year build-operate-transfer concession for the airport. Groupe ADP, Noor Financial Investment Co (Noor), Edgo, and Joannou & Paraskevaides (J&P) were also part of the consortium. Invest AD’s divestment is part of a transaction that will see Noor and J&P fully divest and Edgo partially divest, a statement from Invest AD said."



'via Blog this'

Abu Dhabi, Shanghai plan exchange focusing on China trade | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Abu Dhabi, Shanghai plan exchange focusing on China trade | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), the emirate's international financial centre, has agreed in principle with the Shanghai Stock Exchange to cooperate in establishing an exchange focusing on China's foreign trade and investment, ADGM said on Monday. The partners signed a memorandum of understanding to develop the exchange in Abu Dhabi. It would cater to companies and investors involved in China's Belt and Road initiative, a Beijing-backed drive to win trade and investment deals along routes linking China to Europe. "At ADGM, we have the international platform to serve different kinds of enterprises and investors - global, regional and local - seeking exposure to the Middle East and North Africa and Belt and Road projects,” said Richard Teng, chief executive of ADGM's Financial Services Regulatory Authority. "



'via Blog this'

Abu Dhabi's Mubadala halts Abraaj investment deal talks | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Abu Dhabi's Mubadala halts Abraaj investment deal talks | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Abu Dhabi state investor Mubadala has halted talks to buy Abraaj's investment business, two sources said, in a blow to the private equity firm which is facing an investigation by investors into how it used some of their money.

Dubai-based Abraaj, which denies any wrongdoing, is considering selling some or all of the unit following a row with four investors, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the World Bank's International Finance Corporation, over how it used their money in a $1 billion healthcare fund.

Mubadala, which has more than $200 billion in assets, and Abraaj held initial talks a month ago, but these did not progress, one of the sources told Reuters."



'via Blog this'