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Wednesday, 10 January 2018

DFM unveils 19 securities eligible for short-selling - The National

DFM unveils 19 securities eligible for short-selling - The National:

"Dubai Financial Market, the region’s only listed bourse, on Tuesday announced the list of securities eligible for trading under its new regulated short-selling (RSS) service aimed at boosting liquidity and attracting foreign investors.

“The regulated short-selling enables investors to short securities listed on DFM through selling borrowed shares with a commitment to return to the lender based on the mutually signed agreement,” the DFM said in a statement on its website.

The DFM had announced plans in July to introduce short-selling – the practice of selling borrowed shares in the hope of buying them back later at a lower price – by the end of 2017."



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Tadawul unveils more reforms to boost investor confidence | Arab News

Tadawul unveils more reforms to boost investor confidence | Arab News:

"Tadawul, the Saudi stock exchange has announced another round of reforms designed to widen its appeal to domestic, regional and international investors — part of the Kingdom’s accelerating modernization drive.
The latest measures are designed to lift market efficiency, boost investor security and access, as well as improve liquidity in Saudi capital markets.
Last year was a groundbreaking one for Tadawul which, in conjunction with the Capital Market Authority (CMA), implemented far-ranging reforms, including introducing IFRS accounting standards for all listed companies, laying the groundwork domestic IPOs, and adopting tighter rules on corporate governance."



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QIA supported CEFC’s acquisition emerges as biggest deal in Mideast - The Peninsula Qatar

QIA supported CEFC’s acquisition emerges as biggest deal in Mideast - The Peninsula Qatar:

"China CEFC Energy Co’s acquisition of Rosneft Oil Co, with Qatar Investment Authority’s (QIA) involvement, was the biggest deal that took place with the Middle Eastern association in the region in 2017. The Chinese company acquired a 14.2 percent stake of the Russian crude petroleum and natural gas producer, Thomson Reuters revealed in its 2017 investment banking analysis for the Middle East, yesterday. China International Capital and VTB Capital shared first place in the 2017 announced any Middle Eastern involvement M&A league table. Citi took third place. According to the investment bank analysis, Middle Eastern investment banking fees totalled an estimated $912.4m during 2017, 0.1percent less than the value of fees recorded during 2016. Equity capital markets fees increased 118 percent to $91.3m, while fees generated from completed M&A transactions totalled $181.9m, a 21 percent decrease from last year and the lowest full year total since 2012."



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Qatar’s investment in Turkey exceeds $19bn - The Peninsula Qatar

Qatar’s investment in Turkey exceeds $19bn - The Peninsula Qatar:

"Qatar’s investment in Turkey has surged over $19bn (about QR70bn), which is expected to increase further in the coming years.  Qatari investments in Turkey is the second highest value by any country in Turkey. The invesment is diversified in different sectors of the fast growing Turkish economy such as real estate, banking, food processing industries among others. “Qatar’s investments in Turkey is growing fast and steadily. The cumulative value of Qatari investments (both public and private) has reached over $19bn, and with the completion of many ongoing projects and upcoming projects which are currently in the pipeline, it will surge further in the coming years,” Turkey’s ambassador to Qatar Fikret Ozer told The Peninsula, yesterday."



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Exclusive: Saudi Arabia's ACWA Power invites banks to arrange IPO - sources

Exclusive: Saudi Arabia's ACWA Power invites banks to arrange IPO - sources:

"Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power IPO-ACPO.SE has invited banks to bid to arrange an initial public offer of its shares, which is expected to value the company at up to $1 billion, sources told Reuters on Wednesday.

ACWA Power, a developer of electricity and water projects in the Middle East, Africa and southeast Asia, sent a request for proposals to banks last week, the sources said, declining to be named because of the commercial sensitivity of the matter. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The firm could become one of the main beneficiaries of Saudi Arabia’s effort to develop its power industry, particularly renewable energy. It is looking to sell a 30 percent stake to investors and list in Riyadh, two banking sources said."



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Exclusive: Saudi Aramco working to raise cheap loans before IPO - banking sources

Exclusive: Saudi Aramco working to raise cheap loans before IPO - banking sources:

"Saudi Aramco is working to secure billions of dollars in cheap loans from banks seeking to strengthen their ties with the oil giant before its stock listing, banking and export credit agency (ECA) sources said.

Citigroup (Citi), Standard Chartered and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation were advising on the transactions, which two sources said could raise at least $5 billion to $6 billion, all with ECA-backing.

The bid to raise funds is the latest indication of Saudi Arabia’s push to ensure what could be the world’s biggest initial public offering (IPO) goes ahead in 2018, despite market speculation that sale plans might be delayed or even shelved."



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Emirates to Seek $1 Billion Sukuk to Diversify Funding - Bloomberg

Emirates to Seek $1 Billion Sukuk to Diversify Funding - Bloomberg:

"Emirates, the world’s largest airline by international passengers, is talking to banks about raising as much as $1 billion through an Islamic bond sale that could happen in the first half, people familiar with the matter said. The Dubai government-owned carrier joins a list of regional issuers seeking funding from international debt markets before higher U.S. interest rates push up borrowing costs. International bonds are particularly popular as cheap oil limits local banks’ ability to underwrite large debt sales or to extend loans. Emirates, which has built its Dubai operations into a hub for transcontinental traffic between the U.S., Europe and Asia, has been a regular borrower in the aircraft-financing loan market. Another reason the company is seeking a sukuk is that it wants to diversify its funding, the people said, asking not to be identified because the talks are private."



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Saudi Bourse Takes More Steps to Bolster Emerging Markets Case - Bloomberg

Saudi Bourse Takes More Steps to Bolster Emerging Markets Case - Bloomberg:

"Saudi Arabia’s stock exchange is forging ahead with its effort to win emerging markets status this year, taking further steps to amend trading rules.

The Tadawul bourse will update its independent custody model and introduce measures to allow asset managers to aggregate orders of managed assets, it said in a statement on Wednesday. It will also move to an auction method to determine closing prices and implement a market-making program aligned with global best practices

Already the biggest stock market in the Middle East, the Tadawul has been making reforms to strengthen its position as a gateway to the kingdom and is seeking to double its market capitalization in the next five years. The government plans to create the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund and sell hundreds of state assets, including shares of oil giant Saudi Arabian Oil Co., known as Aramco, which could take place as early as this year.


"



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf mixed, Qatar continues rally as foreigners buy

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf mixed, Qatar continues rally as foreigners buy:

"Gulf stock markets were mostly mixed in narrow ranges on Wednesday but Qatar rose for a fifth straight day on the back of buying by foreign investors seeking attractive dividend yields. The Qatari index rose 0.5 percent in active trade. Exchange data showed foreign investors were net buyers of stocks by a substantial margin, accounting for 33.7 percent of buy orders and 21.8 percent of sell orders. Qatari companies are expected to announce annual dividends in the next few weeks, and some buyers are positioning for them. Also, data in the last several weeks has confirmed that an embargo imposed on the country by other Arab states has done only modest damage to the economy and that growth has rebounded. "



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The latest Iranian protests are different

The latest Iranian protests are different:

"Insofar as one can distil the angry message of the protesters who have taken to the streets across Iran over the past ten days, it is a demand for freer lives and the chance of a decent livelihood. Threatened by theocratic judges with being declared “mohareb”, guilty of the capital offence of “waging war on God”, these young Iranians are taking huge risks, in the biggest eruption of discontent since the clergy-dominated regime put down mass protests against election-rigging in 2009. One of the many paradoxes of the Islamic Republic is that, while appointed theocrats and their enforcers — principally the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) — are the lords of Iran’s labyrinthine politics, the vitality of its republican institutions and fiercely contested elections keeps springing surprises. And when the reformers Iranians elected fail to perform, this energy, propelled by that half of the 80m population under 30, spills into the streets. Hassan Rouhani, the reformist-backed moderate re-elected president last year in the teeth of hardline opposition, gets this — even if he is a target of the protests as well as the conservatives. Four decades after the 1979 revolution, the young are fed up with being dictated to by aged reactionaries hiding behind a fossilised ideology that has kept Iran isolated from the world."



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Dubai's non-oil economy index dips in December  - The National

Dubai's non-oil economy index dips in December  - The National:

"Dubai’s non-oil private sector economy slowed in December, recording the weakest growth in business activity since April 2016, however the overall business activity and new work remained sharp in the emirate, according to a new survey. The Emirates NBD Dubai Economy Tracker Index, an indicator designed to give an overview of non-oil private sector economy, eased to 54.7 in December, from 55.3 in November. A reading above 50 suggests that the non-oil economy is growing, while a reading below 50 suggests a contraction. The survey is sponsored by Emirates NBD, Dubai’s biggest bank by assets, and produced by IHS Markit, a financial information services company. “The decline in the Dubai Economy Tracker index in December is a little surprising, but appears to be broad-based across all the key sectors. Nevertheless, a reading of 54.7 still indicates economic growth in December,” said Khatija Haque, the head of Mena research at Emirates NBD. “Looking at 2017 as a whole, the survey data suggests that Dubai’s economy grew at a faster rate than both 2015 and 2016.”"



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Iran’s economy is perpetually on the brink | GulfNews.com

Iran’s economy is perpetually on the brink | GulfNews.com:

"How would the turmoil in Iran affect the economic and living aspects, reflected the extreme poverty suffered by a vast majority of its people despite having the natural and human resources to build an advanced economy and achieve high living standards? Why an upheaval happened earlier during the 40 years of mullah rule remains an important question. But what has happened is the other way round. The living standards of most Iranians have deteriorated since the fall of the Shah. Millions have joined the ranks of the impoverished, destitute and homeless due to the corruption, mismanagement, capital flight, drying up of domestic liquidity, and militarisation of the economy. History clearly shows that the system in any country would inevitably collapse if its economy were militarised and ideologized. The examples are many, the most recent being the disintegration of the Eastern Europe bloc, which was prompted into a feverish arms race that exhausted those countries through unproductive investments."



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Islamic banks better prepared to face crunch - The Peninsula Qatar

Islamic banks better prepared to face crunch - The Peninsula Qatar:

"Qatar’s Islamic finance industry’s combined assets totalled QR386.5bn by the end of 2016, constituting 23 percent of Qatar’s total financial system assets, which are under the supervision of Qatar Central Bank (QCB).
In the past five years, the growth of Islamic finance industry assets slightly outpaced that of the overall banking industry, growing at a CAGR of 11 percent from 2012 to 2016, while CAGR for the overall financial system stood at 9 percent. “The Qatar Islamic Finance Report”, released at the 4th Doha Islamic Finance Conference has revealed.
The report, jointly prepared by Qatar Financial Centre (QFC), Thomson Reuters and the Islamic Research and training Institue (IRTI), noted that as with the overall financial system in Qatar, the Islamic banking sector is the biggest driver of industry asset growth given its 83.5 percent share of total Islamic finance assets. It grew at a CAGR of 13 percent between 2012 and 2016, while the overall banking industry grew at 11 percent."



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Rates, Reserves and Perhaps a Float: A Guide to MENA Central Banks - Bloomberg

Rates, Reserves and Perhaps a Float: A Guide to MENA Central Banks - Bloomberg:

"After a year of rising U.S. interest rates and political volatility that drove up borrowing costs in much of the Middle East and North Africa, the region’s central banks have more divergent goals in 2018.

 From a new easing cycle in Egypt, political pressure in Turkey and a potential currency float in Morocco, below is a guide to what to look for:

Turkey

Even after Turkey missed its inflation target for the seventh year in 2017, few expect central bank Governor Murat Cetinkaya to further tighten monetary conditions against a backdrop of frequents calls from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for lower interest rates. "



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Citi Says Trump and War Could Help Drive Oil to $80 - Bloomberg

Citi Says Trump and War Could Help Drive Oil to $80 - Bloomberg:

"This year may be anything but staid for the oil market as Citigroup Inc. predicts wildcards including war, Middle East tensions, Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un driving crude toward $80 a barrel.

After prices were boosted by OPEC’s output curbs in 2017, the U.S. President has shifted the focus to geopolitical risks, with his pursuit of sanctions on Iran and North Korea potentially having significant consequences, the bank said. That’s in addition to political disturbances in some OPEC members like Iraq and Libya that could see crude supplies decline, boosting oil to levels between $70-$80, it said in a Jan. 9 report.

“Many of these uncertainties have significant consequences for commodities,” Citigroup analysts including Ed Morse wrote in the report titled Wildcards for 2018: Trump looms large along with systemic risks. “It is not a surprise that our list of potential wildcard events in the year ahead retains a focus on the United States.” "



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U.S. oil prices hit highest since 2014, but analysts warn of overheated market

U.S. oil prices hit highest since 2014, but analysts warn of overheated market:

"U.S. oil prices hit their highest since 2014 on Wednesday due to ongoing production cuts led by OPEC as well as healthy demand, although analysts cautioned that markets may be overheating.

A broad global market rally, including stocks, has also been fuelling investment into crude oil futures.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were at $63.44 a barrel, 48 cents, or 0.8 percent, above their last settlement at 0752 GMT. Earlier prices rose to as much as $63.53, the highest since Dec. 9, 2014. "



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf mixed, Qatar continues rebound on foreign buying | ZAWYA MENA Edition

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf mixed, Qatar continues rebound on foreign buying | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Gulf stock markets were mixed in early trade on Wednesday with Qatar continuing to rebound on the back of buying by foreign investors seeking attractive dividend yields. The Qatari index was up 0.5 percent after 50 minutes of trade with real estate firm United Development, the most heavily traded stock, gaining 4.6 percent. Aamal Co, which had risen 2.4 percent on Tuesday after announcing plans for an affiliate to build three local factories to produce copper wires, aluminium bars and drums for cables, climbed a further 3.9 percent. "



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