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Thursday, 4 January 2018

Oil giant Saudi Aramco to change its legal status

Oil giant Saudi Aramco to change its legal status:

"Saudi Arabia is changing the legal status of state energy giant Saudi Aramco in a sign it is pressing ahead with plans for a 2018 initial public offering that is tipped to be the biggest ever. The move to bring the state-backed company’s status in line with other Saudi corporations is a concrete step towards a stake sale, though questions remain over the kingdom’s readiness and willingness to list the company internationally. The kingdom has said it wants to sell 5 per cent of Saudi Aramco in a stock market flotation, as the centrepiece of ambitious plans to reform the country’s economy led by powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Prince Mohammed believes the listing could value the company at $2tn, although industry analysts predict a much smaller figure."



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NMC buys remaining stakes in UAE and Saudi Arabia medical facilities for $218m - The National

NMC buys remaining stakes in UAE and Saudi Arabia medical facilities for $218m - The National:

"London-listed NMC Health acquired remaining stakes in two hospitals in the UAE and Saudi Arabia that it partially owns for a combined investment of US$218 million, as the healthcare provider continues to expand in the Arabian Gulf region.

NMC bought the 49 per cent stake it does not already own in Fakih IVF facility in Dubai for $205m and an outstanding 30 per cent stake in As Salama hospital in Saudi Arabia, the company said in a statement.

"In December 2017, I set out our strategy to drive the company's next phase of growth,” said NMC chief executive Prasanth Manghat. “The transactions today fit with our commitment to increase our capacity, capabilities and geographic coverage.”"



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Saudi Arabia to Provide Oman With Rare Grant to Develop Port Hub - Bloomberg

Saudi Arabia to Provide Oman With Rare Grant to Develop Port Hub - Bloomberg:

"Oman has accepted a $210 million grant from Saudi Arabia to fund two projects at its flagship Arabian Sea port of Duqm, a rare agreement between two countries that often differ on some of the Middle East’s biggest disputes. The funding, to be provided by the Saudi Development Fund, will finance a 61-million-rial ($158 million) fishing facility and a road costing 20 million rials, state-run Oman News Agency reported Thursday. Oman wants to develop Duqm into a major hub, and is building a 230,000 barrel per day oil refinery there with Kuwait. Muscat rarely takes handouts. The Gulf Cooperation Council offered it a $10 billion aid package following protests in 2011, but it’s not known how much, if anything, was disbursed. Following reports of a 1-billion-dirham grant by the United Arab Emirates in 2014, Oman’s foreign minister said his country had “never asked for it.”"



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Saudi Arabia's Best 2017 Performer Plans Unit IPO by End of Year - Bloomberg

Saudi Arabia's Best 2017 Performer Plans Unit IPO by End of Year - Bloomberg:

"Dar Al Arkan Real Estate Development, the biggest stock winner of 2017 in Saudi Arabia, expects to conclude the initial public offering of its property unit before the end of this year, according to Chief Executive Officer Ziad El Chaar.


The process is still in “very early stages,” Chaar said in a telephone interview on Thursday. The preliminary valuation of the asset portfolio owned by the unit is about 2.7 billion riyals ($720 million), he said. The company could raise about 810 million riyals if it sells an intended 30 percent stake in the subsidiary, which owns projects in Saudi cities including Mecca, Medina, Jeddah and Riyadh. "



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf rises on oil, global trend; First Abu Dhabi surges

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf rises on oil, global trend; First Abu Dhabi surges:

"Gulf stock markets rose on Thursday, buoyed by rising oil prices and record closes on Wall Street, while strength in the United Arab Emirates’ biggest bank boosted Abu Dhabi’s market in particular.

The Abu Dhabi index climbed 1.5 percent to its highest level since mid-August as First Abu Dhabi Bank surged 2.4 percent to 10.90 dirhams, bringing its gains in the last three days to 6.3 percent.

The stock rose on Wednesday above its 200-day average for the first time since September, triggering a minor double bottom formed by the lows since October. Of 10 analysts polled by Reuters, one has a “strong buy” on the stock, five have a “buy” and four have a “hold”, with a median target of 11.75 dirhams."



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Wave of LNG Projects Set to Begin Even as Projected Glut Looms - Bloomberg

Wave of LNG Projects Set to Begin Even as Projected Glut Looms - Bloomberg:

"The liquefied natural gas industry needs to start planning for shortages even as analysts project a glut starting next year, according to Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. The next wave of LNG projects is set to begin as early as this year, Bernstein analysts including Neil Beveridge said Thursday in a report. That’s a more aggressive timetable than the firm made in September, when it said investment decisions for the next group of plants wouldn’t come until 2019."



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Pre-VAT buying boosts UAE private sector growth to 35-month high: PMI | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Pre-VAT buying boosts UAE private sector growth to 35-month high: PMI | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Growth of the United Arab Emirates’ non-oil private sector accelerated to a 34-month high in December, partly because of a rise in consumer spending to beat the introduction of value-added tax (VAT) in January, a survey showed on Thursday.

The seasonally adjusted Emirates NBD UAE Purchasing Managers’ Index, which covers manufacturing and services, rose to 57.7 last month from 57.0 in November. Above 50 indicates expansion and below shows a contraction.

Output growth fell sharply last month to 60.7 from 64.3 but remained strong by historical standards, while growth in new orders rose sharply to a 35-month high of 64.8 from 60.1. "



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Saudi Aramco Seeking Adviser for Global Gas Acquisitions - Bloomberg

Saudi Aramco Seeking Adviser for Global Gas Acquisitions - Bloomberg:

"Saudi Arabian Oil Co. is seeking to hire a bank to advise on plans to buy natural gas assets, according to people familiar with the matter, ahead of what could be the world’s biggest share sale.

Aramco, as the company is known, in late 2017 invited international banks to pitch for the advisory role to help identify acquisition targets, said the people, asking not to be identified as the information is private. Aramco declined to comment.

Khalid Al-Falih, who is both Aramco chairman and the kingdom’s energy minister, said last month the company is looking for natural gas assets anywhere from the U.S. to East Africa and Russia as the kingdom’s state-owned energy giant hunts for ways to meet soaring domestic demand.

"



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf narrowly mixed early on, First Abu Dhabi continues climbing | ZAWYA MENA Edition

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf narrowly mixed early on, First Abu Dhabi continues climbing | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Gulf stock markets were narrowly mixed in early trade on Thursday although strength in the United Arab Emirates' biggest bank boosted Abu Dhabi's market. The Abu Dhabi index  gained 0.7 percent as First Abu Dhabi Bank rose 1.4 percent to 10.80 dirhams, bringing its gains in the last three days to 5.4 percent. The stock rose on Wednesday above its 200-day average for the first time since September, triggering a minor double bottom formed by the lows since October. It faces initial technical resistance at the August peak of 11.00 dirhams. "



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