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Saturday, 13 January 2018

Mubadala Petroleum & Petrochemicals to finalise investments in Malaysia and US - The National

Mubadala Petroleum & Petrochemicals to finalise investments in Malaysia and US - The National:

"Mubadala Investment Company is close to taking final decisions on an international gas asset in Malaysia and a petrochemicals facility in the United States, its Petroleum & Petrochemicals chief executive said, with the expansion of its refinery in Pakistan also under consideration.

“We’re about to finalise final investment decision on a big gas discovery project in Malaysia," Musabbeh Al Kaabi told reporters on the sidelines of an energy forum in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.

"We’re the operator, we have two big reputable IOCs [international oil companies] with us on this project - Petronas and Shell.”"



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Iran economy faces ‘layers of uncertainty’ after Trump statement | Arab News

Iran economy faces ‘layers of uncertainty’ after Trump statement | Arab News:

"Even with President Donald Trump continuing to waive nuclear sanctions, Iran’s economy remains hobbled by US restrictions but some diplomats in Tehran remain quietly confident for the future.
The real problem in Iran right now, everyone in the international business community agrees, is uncertainty.
That was not helped by Trump’s announcement on Friday that he would waive nuclear-related sanctions, but only once more and that Europe must work with Washington to “fix the deal’s disastrous flaws, or the United States will withdraw.”"



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Substantial growth seen in Qatar investments in France

Substantial growth seen in Qatar investments in France:

"Qatari investments in France “have grown substantially,” according to a former official of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), who was in Qatar recently to promote the country’s bid to organise the World Exposition in 2025. Former WTO director general Pascal Lamy, who is France’s delegate for the 2025 Expo bid, told Gulf Times that Qatari investments in France have increased in the technology, real estate, distribution, and sport sectors, among others. Asked if the visit of Greater Paris Investment Agency (GPIA) president Pierre Simon in 2015, was instrumental in attracting more Qatari FDI to France, Lamy said, “I’ve looked at the numbers before coming here, if the pitch in 2015 was for Qatar to invest more in France, it has been successful.”"



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Saudi Arabia to seek extradition of corruption suspects

Saudi Arabia to seek extradition of corruption suspects:

"Saudi Arabia’s public prosecutor has said he will pursue extradition for corruption suspects living abroad as part of a two-month-old crackdown that has already netted princes and tycoons.

Evidence is being collected against “fugitives” in order to issue indictments against them and request that foreign governments return them to the kingdom, Saud al-Muajab told Arrajol magazine in an interview published on Thursday.

It was not clear how many people are being targeted, or in which countries. "



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S&P affirms Abu Dhabi credit rating as stable on strong asset position - The National

S&P affirms Abu Dhabi credit rating as stable on strong asset position - The National:

"S&P Global Ratings affirmed on Friday its AA/A-1+ sovereign credit rating for Abu Dhabi, with the Government’s large net asset position said to provide a “considerable buffer” against the impact of commodity market volatility. “The stable outlook on Abu Dhabi reflects our expectation that economic growth will gradually pick up and its fiscal position will remain extremely strong over the next two years, although structural and institutional weaknesses will likely persist,” the rating agency said. While the outlook for Abu Dhabi is “stable”, S&P said it would consider a negative rating action if the country’s fiscal deficits or contingent liabilities led to a drop in liquid assets to below 100 per cent of GDP."



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Bin Laden Group still a private sector company: Statement | Arab News

Bin Laden Group still a private sector company: Statement | Arab News:

"In a statement received by Arab News, the Saudi Bin Laden Group Company (SBG) has asserted that it remains a private sector company owned by its shareholders. SBG can also confirm that contracted work with the government, which remains a large part of its activities, are ongoing. This includes the projects currently operating in the two holy mosques and the Zamzam rehabilitation project, which began months ago and is expected to end before Ramadan 2018. Based on information available to the management, some of the shareholders may have agreed a settlement that involves transferring some SBG shares to the goverment of Saudi Arabia against outstanding dues."



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What ‘Aramcologists’ say about biggest IPO in history | Arab News

What ‘Aramcologists’ say about biggest IPO in history | Arab News:

"Much like the now-obsolete art of “Kremlinology” — the study of the inner workings of the Soviet political system via analysis of announcements and reports — there is now a growing field I like to call “Aramcology.” The forthcoming initial public offering (IPO) of Saudi Aramco is of such importance to the economic future of the Kingdom and its citizens that every small news item about, or company announcement from, the Saudi oil giant is sieved, weighed and analyzed by a growing global circle of Aramcologists, in which I include myself. I imagine the world’s biggest investment banks, lawyers, accounting firms and consultants — which stand to make aggregated billions of dollars from the IPO — have their own Aramcology departments full of bright young things all eagerly devouring and interpreting snippets of information that come out of Dhahran.  "



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Qatar’s QR25bn worth sukuk to mature soon - The Peninsula Qatar

Qatar’s QR25bn worth sukuk to mature soon - The Peninsula Qatar:

"Almost half of Qatar’s outstanding sukuk, worth of over QR25bn, will mature in 2018. This accounts for 44 percent of the value of sukuk outstanding at the end of 2016. With the ongoing growth of Shariah-compliant institutions, new issuances are vital in helping them invest excess funds in a way that generates income. If no sukuk are issued in the country to replace the maturing ones, Shariah-compliant investors might look to other sukuk investments outside Qatar, a joint market study by the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC), Thomson Reuters and Islamic Research and Training Institute (IRTI) has revealed. There are also chances of new investors from Europe and Asia, who are likely to indifferent to Shariah-compliance of their investment holdings of shifting their investments to bonds or other asset classes in Qatar once their sukuk investments mature, to retain exposure to the Qatari market. According to the research note, retail sukuk remains an untapped segment in most of the countries in GCC. Qatar can capitalise on selling sukuk to the retail market to promote both the primary and secondary capital market. Issuers can find favourable conditions when issuing sukuk to the retail market, as they are able to find slightly cheaper pricing, with interest rates offered to the retail segment potentially lower than what institutional investors demand. Competitive pricing for retail sukuk is the result of limited investment options available to retail in Islamic financial markets, other than savings accounts and fixed deposits."



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Dubai off-plan property deals under threat as prices drop | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Dubai off-plan property deals under threat as prices drop | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Higher interest rates and falling property prices could hit Dubai developers’ transaction volumes linked to the purchase of properties off-plan, warn experts. Craig Plumb, head of research at property advisory firm JLL in Dubai, said rising interest rates were undoubtedly a negative for residential real estate markets and Dubai was no exception. But he said the Dubai market was less susceptible due to the higher number of purchases made with cash or using interest-free finance plans offered by developers."



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Russia's Novak says to discuss possible exit from OPEC+ deal in Oman | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Russia's Novak says to discuss possible exit from OPEC+ deal in Oman | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Ministers from leading OPEC and non-OPEC producers will discuss the possibility of a smooth exit from a global deal to cut oil output next week, Russia's energy minister said on Friday. Russia and Saudi Arabia are leading a joint OPEC and non-OPEC effort to limit production to prop up prices. Brent crude oil futures LCOc1 have risen by more than 50 percent since mid-2017, hitting $70 a barrel this week for the first time since December 2014. Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said the current oil price level was short term and he would discuss the situation at a ministerial monitoring committee meeting in Oman, which is scheduled for Jan. 21 next week. "



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MSCI expects to include Aramco in Saudi Arabia index from time of IPO | ZAWYA MENA Edition

MSCI expects to include Aramco in Saudi Arabia index from time of IPO | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"International equity index compiler MSCI said it expected to include Saudi Aramco in its Saudi Arabia Index from the time of the oil giant's IPO, potentially triggering a big flow of funds into the shares as soon as they list in Riyadh. "Saudi Aramco will be included in the MSCI Saudi Arabia Index at the time of the IPO as long as it fulfils all eligibility criteria, including the listing of the company's shares on an eligible stock exchange and related market segment e.g. Tadawul's Main Market," MSCI said late on Thursday. The Saudi government plans to raise tens of billions of dollars by selling about 5 percent of Aramco during the second half of this year, in what could be the world's largest-ever initial public offer of shares. "



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Saudi Binladin Shareholders May Have Settled With Government - Bloomberg

Saudi Binladin Shareholders May Have Settled With Government - Bloomberg:

"Some shareholders of Saudi Arabia’s biggest construction company may have transferred stock to the kingdom to “settle outstanding dues,” but the company remains private, Saudi Binladin Group said in a statement on Saturday.

Bakr Binladin, a scion of the closely-held firm and the half-brother of al-Qaeda founder Osama Bin Laden, has been swept up in a corruption crackdown with other billionaires and princes since November. Some of the detained men have been freed after paying settlements. Saudi authorities have said that they expect to collect as much as $100 billion.

Details of the Binladin settlement weren’t disclosed. The company had revenue of $3 billion in 2016, according to Orbis, a database of company information published by Bureau van Dijk. It had struggled to pay workers that year after slumping oil prices depleted the coffers of the Saudi government, its main client."



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