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Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Dubai’s DAE Capital sets up dedicated asset management unit - The National

Dubai’s DAE Capital sets up dedicated asset management unit - The National:

"DAE Capital, the leasing arm of Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE), has formed an asset management unit that will seek to build a US$5 billion portfolio of assetsin the coming years, the company said on Tuesday. DAE Aircraft Investor Services (DAE-AIS) will include in its remit the two aircraft portfolios that DAE already manages – Falcon Aerospace and Diamond Head, the latter of which was acquired as part of DAE’s acquisition of Dublin-based lessor Awas last August. The two portfolios have combined assets under management of $850 million."



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Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange signs agreement with Swift and other parties to adopt blockchain technology - The National

Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange signs agreement with Swift and other parties to adopt blockchain technology - The National:

"Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) has signed an agreement with financial messaging services firm Swift and seven central securities depository (CSD) companies to use blockchain technology in post-trade operations and capital market transactions to cut costs and risks, it said on Tuesday. The nine entities signed a memorandum of understanding, under which they will collaborate on distributed ledger technology (DLT) in areas that include research and development, identifying, defining and developing additional use cases for DLT in a CSD environment, and the post-trade landscape, such as services for different kinds of DLT-based digital assets, ADX said. The bourse said it was the first in the region to enter such an agreement. “The exchange will open channels of constructive dialogue with various stakeholders to identify the common principals, standards and business rules needed for the successful implementation of DLT in post-trade operations, with the aim of enhancing the speed and security of capital market transactions,” said Rashed Al Blooshi, chief executive of ADX."



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Saudi Arabia’s ACWA powers on with IPO plan | Arab News

Saudi Arabia’s ACWA powers on with IPO plan | Arab News:

"Saudi Arabia-based ACWA Power, the power and desalination plant producer, could go public within the next two years, according to its CEO and President Paddy Padmanathan.
ACWA, which has garnered a reputation for building renewable energy projects at record low prices, is looking for an initial public offering (IPO) as soon as possible, Padmanathan said in an interview at the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week conference.
“I hope (it will happen) within two years. If it was this year, it would be wonderful. We’re not the ones holding back,” he said."



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Qatar's Masraf Al Rayan reports 9.6 pct fall in Q4 profit

Qatar's Masraf Al Rayan reports 9.6 pct fall in Q4 profit:

"Masraf Al Rayan, Qatar’s second-largest bank by market value, reported a 9.6-percent drop in fourth-quarter net profit on Tuesday, according to Reuters calculations, missing analysts’ expectations.

Net profit for the three months to Dec. 31 was 466 million riyals ($128 million) compared to 515.6 million riyals in the same period a year ago, Reuters calculations showed, using financial statements in lieu of a quarterly earnings breakdown.

An average of three analysts polled by Reuters had forecast the bank would make a net profit of 562.5 million riyals."



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Qatar central bank to consider topic of virtual currencies: governor

Qatar central bank to consider topic of virtual currencies: governor:

"Qatar’s central bank will consider the topic of virtual currencies and there may be an opportunity in the future to introduce them in Qatar, central bank governor Sheikh Abdullah bin Saud al-Thani said on Tuesday. "



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Saudi businessman Mulhem released in anti-corruption probe: sources | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Saudi businessman Mulhem released in anti-corruption probe: sources | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Prominent Saudi Arabian businessman Khalid Bin Abdullah al-Mulhem has been released after being detained for more than two months, sources told Reuters on Tuesday.

Mulhem, vice chairman of Saudi British Bank, was among dozens of princes, senior officials and top businessmen detained in early November in what Saudi officials said was a crackdown on suspected corruption.

Mulhem could not be reached for comment on Tuesday and the Saudi government's media office declined to comment, saying all defendants in the investigation had a right to privacy. "



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Saudi Aramco snubs UBS and Bank of America for listing roles: sources | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Saudi Aramco snubs UBS and Bank of America for listing roles: sources | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Saudi Aramco has not invited UBS and Bank of America Merrill Lynch to pitch for senior advisory roles in its stock market listing because they have not lent money to the state oil giant in recent years, according to five finance sources. The two investment banks, among the world's biggest, have not been asked to attend meetings in Saudi Arabia in the coming weeks where its rivals will pitch for global coordinator mandates for the IPO, said the people familiar with the matter.

They have been frozen out by Aramco, the sources added, despite having operations in the Middle East and wanting to take part in the initial public offering, which could be the biggest in history.

Saudi Aramco, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Swiss lender UBS all declined to comment."



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Oman Plans $1 Billion Infrastructure Fund - Bloomberg

Oman Plans $1 Billion Infrastructure Fund - Bloomberg:

"Oman’s sovereign wealth fund is planning to start a $1 billion infrastructure fund to boost investment in projects including the Gulf state’s road, transport and energy systems, according to people familiar with the matter.

The State General Reserve Fund is talking to international banks and potential investors for the financing, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. The projects in which the funds will be deployed have not been finalized, they said. Repeated calls to the fund’s offices in Muscat and the Ministry of Finance weren’t answered, while an email sent to an address on the fund’s website bounced back.

The country is turning to public-private partnerships to plug gaps in its infrastructure program, which is being hindered by tighter government finances. Oman, like other states in the oil-rich six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council, has been battered by a plunge in crude prices since mid-2014 that has caused budget deficits to swell and borrowing to surge. The nation’s bonds are rated junk by S&P Global Ratings and have among the lowest investment grades from Moody’s Investors Service and Fitch Ratings."



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UPDATE 1-Qatar National Bank Q4 profit rises 5.2 pct, below two forecasts

UPDATE 1-Qatar National Bank Q4 profit rises 5.2 pct, below two forecasts:

"Qatar National Bank (QNB) , the Gulf’s largest lender, on Tuesday reported a 5.2 percent increase in fourth-quarter net profit, missing two analysts’ forecasts as provisions for bad loans jumped. The bank made a net profit of 2.85 billion riyals ($783 million) in the three months to Dec. 31, compared with 2.71 billion riyals in the corresponding period of 2016, Reuters calculated in the absence of a quarterly breakdown. SICO Bahrain forecast the bank would make a net profit of 3.54 billion riyals, while EFG Hermes expected a net profit of 3.30 billion riyals."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Qatar rebounds sharply, major Gulf markets firm

MIDEAST STOCKS-Qatar rebounds sharply, major Gulf markets firm:

"Qatar’s stock market rebounded on Tuesday, erasing a sharp fall suffered on the previous day, while other major Gulf bourses were firm on the back of strong oil prices after Brent crude rose above $70 a barrel for the first time since December 2014. The Qatari index had tumbled 2.5 percent on Monday because of heavy selling in the final half-hour, ending a seven-day rising streak. Sentiment was hit after the United Arab Emirates said Qatari fighter jets twice intercepted Emirati civilian aircraft during routine flights to Bahrain, which Qatar denied. Jitters over the incident subsided on Tuesday, however, and the index surged 2.6 percent to close marginally above its finish last Thursday. Trading volume was moderate."



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Qatar’s fiscal deficit continues to narrow: QNB - The Peninsula Qatar

Qatar’s fiscal deficit continues to narrow: QNB - The Peninsula Qatar:

"Qatar banks recorded a 16.1 percent deposit growth in November 2017, on year-on-year. Private sector deposits increased for a fourth consecutive month in November as pressures on the banking system continued to ease. Broad money supply (M2) grew to 18.9 percent in November, up from 18.3 percent in October. Overnight and 3-month interbank rates were 2.07 percent and 2.75 percent respectively in November.
QNB’s monthly monitor data released yesterday noted Qatar’s fiscal deficit continued to narrow, reaching 4.1 percent of GDP in Q2, 2017 from a revised deficit of 5.1 percent in Q1-2017 (previously 5.5 percent). The current account surplus widened to 5.3 percent of GDP in Q3, 17 from 2.5 percent in Q2 while the deficit in the financial account narrowed.
Money and Banking assets expanded to $366bn in November, with the growth rate picking up to 11.7 percent year-on-year from 11.4 percent. Credit growth slowed to 12.9 percent y/y in November from 13.6 percent y/y in October. Banks’ lending to the public sector grew 26.6 percent y/y.
The country’s imports declined 2 percent y/y in November while exports grew 15.9 percent y/y, likely helped by higher hydrocarbon prices and increased output."



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Qatar Financial Centre Authority achieves 66% new business growth in 2017 - The Peninsula Qatar

Qatar Financial Centre Authority achieves 66% new business growth in 2017 - The Peninsula Qatar:

"The Qatar Financial Centre Authority (QFCA) has announced a record growth in 2017, posting a 66 percent increase in new firms being licensed year-on-year (1st January to 31 December 2017). This follows news earlier this year when the QFC reported a 41 percent increase in new firm registrations for H1 of 2017 (1st January to 30th June 2017) compared to H1 in 2016.
The total number of firms on the QFC platform has reached 461 as at 31 December 2017, compared to 348 firms at end of December 2016, marking a 32.5 percent increase year on year.
Yousuf Mohammed Al Jaida (pictured), QFC Authority Chief Executive Officer commented on the rapid increases stating: “While 2017 has seen unprecedented events take place, at the QFC we have in fact proven challenges can turn into successes and we have had our most successful year yet.”"



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Dubai Oil Refiner Said to Have Held Talks on Retail Unit IPO - Bloomberg

Dubai Oil Refiner Said to Have Held Talks on Retail Unit IPO - Bloomberg:

"Emirates National Oil Co., the government-owned refiner in Dubai, has held discussions with advisers for a potential initial public offering of its fuel-retailing unit, according to people familiar with the matter.

The retail arm of ENOC, as the company is known, could be valued at more than $7 billion in the event of a listing, the people said, asking not to be identified as the matter is private. ENOC held talks with banks as recently as December, the people said. No final decision has been made and the company may decide not to pursue an IPO, the people said.

ENOC “is not planning for any IPO currently,” a representative for the company said in an emailed statement. “The group’s financial performance has been resilient throughout the downturn in the oil and gas industry, which is reflected in our ability to secure various sources of funding.”"



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The missing million: Saudi women face grim realities in jobs market | ZAWYA MENA Edition

The missing million: Saudi women face grim realities in jobs market | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"More than one million Saudi women are currently looking for employment in Saudi Arabia, despite a push by policymakers to increase participation of this overshadowed, yet significant, portion of the labour force. Over 80 percent of Saudi job seekers are female, and almost half of these women hold bachelor's (or higher) degrees, according to recent data covering employment statistics for the third quarter of 2017. These numbers reflect the gaps that exist in levels of education, salaries and job opportunities between Saudi men and women. “Women are more likely to have higher education degrees - more than two times the number of unemployed men,” Karen Young, a senior resident scholar at the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington told Zawya. "



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Dubai's Emirates NBD Q4 net profit rises 17 pct | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Dubai's Emirates NBD Q4 net profit rises 17 pct | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Emirates NBD  (ENBD), Dubai's largest lender, posted a 17 percent rise in fourth-quarter net profit on Tuesday, buoyed by loan growth, interest rate rises and higher sales. The bank, the first major lender from the United Arab Emirates to report its earnings during the quarter, made a net profit of 2.18 billion dirhams ($593.5 million) in the three months to Dec. 31, a statement from the bank said, compared with 1.86 billion dirhams in the corresponding period of 2016. SICO Bahrain forecast the bank to post a net profit of 2.23 billion dirhams for the quarter, while EFG Hermes expected a profit of 1.98 billion dirhams. "



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Qatar rebounds, rest of Gulf mixed | ZAWYA MENA Edition

MIDEAST STOCKS-Qatar rebounds, rest of Gulf mixed | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Qatar's stock market rebounded in early trade on Tuesday from a sharp fall the previous day, while other Gulf bourses were mixed in narrow ranges. The Qatari index tumbled 2.5 percent on Monday because of heavy selling in the final half-hour, ending a seven-day rising streak. Sentiment was hit after the United Arab Emirates said Qatari fighter jets twice intercepted Emirati civilian aircraft during routine flights to Bahrain, which Qatar denied.   It is not clear the incidents will escalate further, however, and some investors bought back on Tuesday ahead of Qatari corporate earnings and dividend announcements in coming weeks. "



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