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Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Dana Gas' Sharjah Dec 25 court hearing adjourned, spokeswoman says - The National

Dana Gas' Sharjah Dec 25 court hearing adjourned, spokeswoman says - The National:

"Dana Gas, the Sharjah-based energy company currently embroiled in court battles over the legality of its US$700 million sukuk issuance, has had its December 25 hearing at a Sharjah court adjourned, a spokeswoman said. It is not known when the next hearing will take place. The Sharjah proceedings are set to determine whether the structuring of the sukuk, which was based on Mudarabah contracts, was valid."



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Qatar economy 2017: Resilience against blockade and growth in key sectors - The Peninsula Qatar

Qatar economy 2017: Resilience against blockade and growth in key sectors - The Peninsula Qatar:

"Qatar’s economy has shown considerable stability and strength that enabled it to cope with the effects of the siege. The measures taken by the country succeeded at limiting the repercussions of the blockade and turned it into a challenge which resulted in the expansion and development of different sectors with expectations that the economy continues to excel and develop at a pace fastest in the region. The economy is driven by the energy fields and ongoing initiatives that were accelerated, QNA reported citing various official data. To find an alternative for the blockading countries and to encourage self sufficiency in the past year, the State of Qatar adopted major projects that contributed to strengthening the economy, led by the inauguration of Hamad Port, which is one of the biggest ports in the region. The decision to reduce rent by 50 percent for all investors during 2018-2019 in logistic areas in the southern parts of Qatar, launching a network of highways and logistics centers and special economic zones, in addition to establishing projects aimed at supported innovation and young entrepreneurs as well as expanding economic partnerships with many countries in the region and around the world."



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New draft law on foreign investment to boost economy

New draft law on foreign investment to boost economy:

"The new draft law on organising foreign investment aims to attract foreign capital by 100% in all economic and commercial activities and sectors, thus helping foreign capital inflow which will push forward the country's economic development. This was stated by HE the Minister of Economy and Commerce, Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim bin Mohamed al-Thani. He said the draft law, approved by the Council of Ministers at its first regular meeting of 2018, has been implemented in accordance with the directives of His Highness the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani. The minister stressed that the new law contributes to raising the index of confidence and investment security in the country, based on the strength of government spending to localise foreign investments, increase tax revenues, as well as protect foreign and local investors from the risks of side agreements, reduce trade concealment and raise Qatar's position in global economic indicators like the indicator of ease of doing business."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf mostly rises as Emaar continues rebound; Egypt blue chips weak

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf mostly rises as Emaar continues rebound; Egypt blue chips weak:

"Most major Gulf stock markets rose on Wednesday as some buyers returned from New Year holidays, and shares in Dubai’s blue chip Emaar group rebounded for a second straight day. Egypt lagged, however, led lower by a few blue chips. Dubai’s index added 1.4 percent to 3,459 points in rising volume as Emaar Properties, which had surged 3.6 percent on Tuesday, gained a further 2.9 percent. Emaar Development jumped 3.8 percent and Emaar Malls added 1.8 percent."



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Oil dips away from mid-2015 highs as higher output looms | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Oil dips away from mid-2015 highs as higher output looms | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Oil prices held steady on Wednesday near mid-2015 highs reached the previous session as high output in the United States and Russia balanced tensions from a sixth day of unrest in OPEC member Iran. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $60.50 a barrel at 1017 GMT, up 13 cents from their last close, though still not far off the $60.74 reached on the previous day that was the highest since June 2015. Brent crude futures - the international benchmark for oil prices - were at $66.74 a barrel, up 17 cents but still trailing Tuesday's high of $67.29 that was the most since May 2015. "



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Kuwait after recession, returns as best performing financial market in the Gulf | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Kuwait after recession, returns as best performing financial market in the Gulf | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"A report from the research unit of Kuwait Financial Center — Markaz indicates that Kuwait, after the recession period in the Kuwaiti financial market, has returned in the forefront as the best performing market in the Gulf region, achieving returns of 13 percent from the start of 2017 until October, reports Al-Shahed daily. According to the report, the declaration to incorporate Kuwait in the FTSE Index for developing market from 2018 came as a motivator, besides various other achievements of Kuwait in the financial control aspect. The report on food production in the GCC countries, which was issued by the corporate finance and investment advisory company Alpen Capital, expects Kuwait to record rapid annual growth in food consumption in the Gulf region during the period between 2016 and 2021, at a compound annual growth rate of 5.5 percent. Kuwait has been ranked first in the Arab region and 26th globally in the 2017 Food Security index in accordance with the annual global food index report by “Economic Intelligence” for research. Kuwait also has been ranked top in the Arab world and second globally for consumption of meat with about 119.2 kg per person annually. The United Arab Emirates came second in the Arab world with an average meat consumption rate of about 73.8 kg per person annually, Lebanon came third with 58.5 kg per person and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia came fourth with 54.4 kg per person."



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Saudi Arabia’s small step towards sustainability

Saudi Arabia’s small step towards sustainability:

"Reform in Saudi Arabia has always been a delicate balancing act. Concessions to liberals have tended to be matched by those granted to conservatives in the religious establishment, on whom the al-Saud royals have relied for their legitimacy since the founding of the kingdom in 1932. The ambition with which the crown prince and de facto ruler, Mohammed bin Salman, is seeking to wean the country off its oil dependency and shake up its ultra-conservative social mores represents therefore a radical departure. This was becoming increasingly necessary. The economy fell into recession in 2017, contracting by 0.5 per cent because of lower oil output and weak confidence in the private sector, which has been hit hard by the slowdown. Similar slumps in the oil price also triggered talk of change in the past, only for grand aspirations to be forgotten when prices rebounded."



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Iran and the oil price

Iran and the oil price:

"What does the spread of street protests across Iran mean for the oil market? The immediate response, driven no doubt by the substantial amounts of speculative money that are in play, is likely to be an upward spike. But although the troubles are serious and fuelled by real hardship in a struggling economy, there is no objective justification for any increase. If anything, the demonstrations can be seen as the prelude to a fall in prices. The first point in support of this argument is that the protests are based in the country's cities and towns and not, so far, in the oil-producing regions. The disturbances in the southern port of Bandar Abbas are serious but there has been no report of any trouble near the Abadan refinery. Stories of an attack on pipelines in the south by Sunni Islamist jihadis have not been confirmed. As yet, there is no immediate reason to think oil production will be interrupted. The second point is that the overriding drive of every Iranian government over the last 38 years since the 1979 revolution has been to stay in power and preserve the Islamic Republic, even if that involves making sudden and radical changes in policy. And in this they have been remarkably successful and remarkably pragmatic. As any visitor to Tehran will notice Iranian society, below a thin theocratic layer, is open and, within limits, tolerant of different views. The country has a partial democracy in which real votes are cast."



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Qatar economy to pick up to 3.5% in ’18 - The Peninsula Qatar

Qatar economy to pick up to 3.5% in ’18 - The Peninsula Qatar:

"Qatar’s gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to pick up 3.5 percent in 2018, from 1.2 percent (preliminary Qatar figure at 1.9 percent) in 2017, provided that Barazan project is coming on stream. Barzan is estimated to add 20 percent to total gas output of the country, NBK noted in its first quarter (Q1, 2018) economic outlook for Qatar. NBK analysts reconfirmed that the initial shock to Qatari economy from the dispute which started in June has passed, with imports returning close to pre-crisis levels, new trade routes established and capital flows more stable. But the economy still remains under pressure."



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Qatar's new LNG merger to save $550 mn yearly in operation cost: QP

Qatar's new LNG merger to save $550 mn yearly in operation cost: QP:

"Qatar Petroleum's merger of liquefied natural gas (LNG) producers Qatargas and RasGas will save the company two billion riyals ($550 million) annually in operation costs, QP's chief executive said on Wednesday.

The new entity, which is called Qatargas, started operations on Jan. 1. Before the merger, Qatargas and RasGas were already the world's two biggest LNG producers.

‘This integration is an integral part of Qatar Petroleum's vision to become one of the best national oil and gas companies in the world, with roots in Qatar and a strong international presence,’ Qatar Petroleum CEO & president Saad al-Kaabi said in a news conference."



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Oil Trades Near Two-Year High as U.S. Stockpiles Seen Dropping - Bloomberg

Oil Trades Near Two-Year High as U.S. Stockpiles Seen Dropping - Bloomberg:

"Oil traded near the highest close in more than two years before U.S. government data forecast to show stockpiles extended declines for a seventh week and as unrest continued in OPEC’s third-biggest producer.

Futures were little changed in New York near $60 a barrel after easing 5 cents on Tuesday. Inventories probably fell by 5 million barrels last week, according to a survey before an Energy Information Administration report on Thursday. Crude and condensate exports from Iran remain unaffected by the turmoil that has spread across the country, Bloomberg tanker tracking shows."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets edge up early on, Dubai's Emaar continues rebound | ZAWYA MENA Edition

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets edge up early on, Dubai's Emaar continues rebound | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Gulf stock markets edged up in early trade on Wednesday, buoyed by strong global bourses and the return of some investors in the Gulf from New Year holidays. Dubai's index added 0.4 percent as blue chip Emaar properties gained 1.0 percent. Another bellwether for the Dubai market, logistics firm Aramex, fell 1.9 percent after a higher opening. Abu Dhabi's index was 0.1 percent higher as banks stayed firm, with Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank edging up 0.3 percent. Qatar was 0.6 percent higher as Barwa Real Estate rose 1.2 percent. "



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