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Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Qatar Islamic Bank profit grows by 11.6% to QR2.4bn in 2017 - The Peninsula Qatar

Qatar Islamic Bank profit grows by 11.6% to QR2.4bn in 2017 - The Peninsula Qatar:

"Qatar Islamic Bank’s (QIB) net profit attributable to shareholders stood at QR2.4bn for the fiscal year 2017, an increase of 11.6 percent compared to QR2.15bn reported for the year 2016. QIB’s basic earnings per share reached QR9.31 compared to QR8.55 in December 2016. In line with the improved profitability, QIB Board of Directors proposed a higher dividend distribution to shareholders of QR5 per share i.e. 50 percent of the nominal share value, subject to approval of Qatar Central Bank and General Assembly. Total Assets of the bank has increased by 7.5 percent compared to 2016 and now stands at QR150bn driven by a robust growth in the financing and investing activities. The bank’s financing activities reached QR102.6bn having added QR4.4bn, representing a 4.5 percent growth over 2016. Investment securities have now reached QR30.4bn having added QR10.4bn, representing a 52 percent growth over 2016. Customer Deposits of the Bank have registered a strong growth of 6.7 percent compared to 2016 and stood at QR101.8bn improving the bank’s financing to deposit ratio."



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Qatar tipped to be key fixed income issuer in ’18 - The Peninsula Qatar

Qatar tipped to be key fixed income issuer in ’18 - The Peninsula Qatar:

"Fixed income issuances in the GCC in 2017 saw one of the biggest jumps since the financial crisis with growth recorded in both bonds and sukuk markets. The market issuances reached a record level of $40.6bn as against around $20bn during 2016. It was a record year for the GCC countries as sustained low oil prices coupled with rising budget pressure at home as well as infrastructure spending requirements triggered some of the biggest issuances in the region, KAMCO Research noted in its GCC Fixed Income 2017 market report. The ongoing trends also indicate a healthy pipeline of issuances in the near term. In addition, central banks in the region are also under pressure to raise interest rates due to rising interest rates in the US and the pressure to keep currency pegs within a manageable limit. This has also forced some issuers in the region to lock in favorable rates before the interest rates are raised."



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Uber's Mideast Rival Careem Holds IPO Talks With Banks - Bloomberg

Uber's Mideast Rival Careem Holds IPO Talks With Banks - Bloomberg:

"Careem Networks FZ, which competes with Uber Technologies Inc. in the Middle East, is in early talks with banks about a potential initial public offering, according to people familiar with the matter.

 The Dubai-based ride-hailing company started preliminary discussions as it prepares to hire financial advisers, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. The firm could be valued at about $1.5 billion, with a share sale likely by early 2019, one of the people said. Banks haven’t been appointed and the company may decide not to pursue the listing, the people said. 


While an IPO is a“natural milestone” for a fast-growing business like Careem, the company is currently focused on expanding its operations to more markets, Chief Executive Officer Mudassir Sheikha said in an emailed response to questions.

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Exclusive: Weeks of talks fail to resolve Dana Gas sukuk dispute - sources

Exclusive: Weeks of talks fail to resolve Dana Gas sukuk dispute - sources:

"Weeks of talks between UAE energy firm Dana Gas and some local holders of a disputed $700 million sukuk have failed to reach an agreement, sources told Reuters, leaving a potentially protracted legal battle as the only available option for now. Last year, Dana refused to redeem $700 million of maturing Islamic bonds, arguing they were no longer valid under United Arab Emirates (UAE) law because of changes in Islamic financial practice over the last several years. The move shocked the global Islamic finance industry, as some investors worried it could set a precedent for other sukuk issuers who might refuse to repay their obligations on the grounds of religious permissibility."



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RPT-Banks expected to share tiny proportion of mammoth Saudi Aramco IPO

RPT-Banks expected to share tiny proportion of mammoth Saudi Aramco IPO:

"The banks that will advise and execute Saudi Aramco’s stock market listing are expected to share a tiny proportion of the $100 billion Riyadh hopes to raise in its initial public offering, according to banking sources and industry insiders. Investment banks involved in the listing IPO-ARMO.SE are expected to share a fifth of a percent of the money raised, they said, but noted that could still amount to about $200 million. The listing of 5 percent of the state oil company’s shares could be the largest IPO in history, almost five times the size of current record holder Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce company which went public in New York in 2014."



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Qatar Airways says U.S. startup airline has offered 25% stake | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Qatar Airways says U.S. startup airline has offered 25% stake | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"A start-up airline in the United States has offered a 25 percent stake to Qatar Airways, chief executive Akbar al-Baker said on Wednesday, providing another opportunity for the Gulf airline to broaden its reach. Baker did not name the airline when speaking with reporters at an airshow in Kuwait. Qatar Airways, which cannot fly to the lucrative markets of Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates because of an economic boycott, late last year bought a 9.61 percent stake in Hong Kong's Cathay Pacific Airways 0293.HK to help to increase traffic through its Doha hub. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL3N1ND3V7 Baker also expressed regret about management changes at Airbus AIR.PA , such as the impending department of Chief Operating Officer Fabrice Bregier who is due to step down in February. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL8N1OE7D2 "I'm very sad that Fabrice (Bregier) is leaving. Fabrice is a very good administrator. He is a very good engineer and he is a very good friend so I am very sad that he is leaving and I think by doing all these changes Airbus is going into unchartered waters," Baker said. He said Airbus still had to deliver 120 aircraft to Qatar Airways so these changes were a concern to him. Qatar Airways is one of Airbus' biggest customers. Airbus did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Baker's remarks. "



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Economists Think Saudi's Outlook Looks a Little Too Rosy - Bloomberg

Economists Think Saudi's Outlook Looks a Little Too Rosy - Bloomberg:

"Saudi Arabia’s government expects record spending to deliver a strong economic rebound in 2018. Economists say it’s too optimistic, with officials underestimating the impact of new taxes, subsidy cuts and oil prices.

Even after King Salman ordered additional cash handouts this month to mitigate the toll of austerity on households, the median estimate of five economists surveyed by Bloomberg is 1.6 percent growth -- well below the 2.7 percent in the Saudi budget -- with predictions ranging from 0.7 percent to 2 percent."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Big Qatar banks diverge on Q4 earnings in mixed Gulf

MIDEAST STOCKS-Big Qatar banks diverge on Q4 earnings in mixed Gulf:

"Gulf stock markets were mixed on Wednesday with Masraf Al Rayan, Qatar’s second-largest bank by market value, pulling the Qatari stock index 0.2 percent lower.

Shares in Masraf Al Rayan sank 2.7 percent after the bank reported a 9.6 percent drop in fourth-quarter net profit to 466 million riyals, below an average 562.5 million riyal forecast by three analysts polled by Reuters.

Qatar National Bank also missed forecasts with a 5.2 percent rise in fourth-quarter net profit to 2.85 billion riyals ($783 million). But the Gulf’s largest lender raised its cash dividend for 2017 to 6 riyals per share and its stock was up 0.7 percent."



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Dubai Islamic Bank weighs capital-raising in 2018- CEO | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Dubai Islamic Bank weighs capital-raising in 2018- CEO | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Dubai Islamic Bank plans to raise capital in 2018 to help support an expected double-digit rise in loan growth, its chief executive said on Wednesday.

The bank is considering options including a rights issue and an issue of Islamic bonds, but any final decision on its plans will be subject to regulatory approvals, Adnan Chilwan said on a conference call to discuss the bank's fourth-quarter results.

In an investor presentation, the bank said it was targeting loan growth of between 10 and 15 percent in 2018, the same target it set for 2017. "



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Saudi Arabia Closes the World’s Ritziest Prison - Bloomberg

Saudi Arabia Closes the World’s Ritziest Prison - Bloomberg:

 "The Ritz-Carlton in Riyadh is due to resume life as a five-star hotel next month, but the purge that turned it into the world’s most luxurious prison still carries risks for Saudi Arabia’s young leader.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, 32, held relatives and scores of others from his anti-corruption sweep in the 492-room establishment since November. Some are still there, while others are thought to be abroad, under house arrest or banned from traveling. The Ritz website is now taking reservations from Feb. 14, signaling an end to one chapter of a campaign whose goal is to recoup as much as $100 billion of allegedly misappropriated money.

The detentions are part of Prince Mohammed’s drive to transform Saudi society and the economy and cement his power. At the same time, they have strained ties within the royal family, once the pillar of Saudi stability, and raised questions over the increasingly authoritarian heir's intentions amid the prospect of facing some new powerful enemies. "



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Oman’s economy is ‘over the worst’ says leading economist | Arab News

Oman’s economy is ‘over the worst’ says leading economist | Arab News:

"Oman’s economy is set to receive a ‘much-needed’ boost from additional revenue due to the rise in prices of oil barrels, according to the country’s investment fund chief economist, Fabio Scacciavillani. “The most difficult phase for the economy is coming to an end,” Scacciavillani told the Times of Oman. OPEC agreed to a production cut late last year which allowed the prices to rise, prompting Oman’s crude oil cost to rise above $67 — a three-year high for the gulf nation."



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QNB Group profit surges 6% to QR13.1bn in 2017

QNB Group profit surges 6% to QR13.1bn in 2017:

"QNB, the largest financial institution in the Middle East and Africa, has reported 6% year-on-year growth in net profit to QR13.1bn in 2017 and suggested 60% cash dividend.
The bank’s total assets expanded 13% to QR811bn, the highest ever achieved by the group. The key driver of asset growth was loans and advances, which grew 12% to QR584bn. Also, the QNB Group increased customer deposits by 16% to QR586bn from December 2016.
“This led to QNB Group’s loans-to-deposits ratio to decrease from 102.7% in December 2016 to 99.8% as on December 31, 2017,” a bank spokesman said."



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Oil-betting funds are having their cake and eating it

Oil-betting funds are having their cake and eating it:

"We are taught from a young age that it is possible to have too much of a good thing. Too many sweets will make you sick, staying up too late will leave you overtired and, as we get older, most eventually learn it is better to exit a party when you are still having fun.

But for hedge funds operating in the oil market — who have established a record bet on rising prices —Brent’s rally to $70 a barrel is not yet the signal to trigger a self-imposed curfew.

As prices hit levels not seen since the oil crash started in late 2014, a growing band of traders expect money managers from Mayfair to Connecticut to double-down on crude, despite warnings that the speculative overhang could trigger a sell-off if enough decide to cash in their profits."



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Rouhani’s budget transparency stokes Iran unrest

Rouhani’s budget transparency stokes Iran unrest:

"When President Hassan Rouhani unveiled this year’s budget his intention was to shine a spotlight on state funding for institutions under the influence of his hardline opponents. Instead, his attempt at transparency inadvertently stoked public anger that helped trigger the biggest anti-regime protests in almost a decade. As disgruntlement festered over rising living costs and complaints that Mr Rouhani had failed to back his promises of reform grew louder, the budget exposed the large amounts of taxpayers’ cash allocated to religious institutions and other entities affiliated to factions within the Islamic regime. One example picked up on by Iranians was the 31.1trn rials ($853m) proposed for about a dozen institutions that promote Islam and the ideological foundations of the Islamic regime. This was a nominal increase of 9 per cent on the previous year and almost the equivalent to the amounts earmarked for the foreign and culture ministries. "



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Damac Chief Ready to Sell 15% of His Stake at Right Price - Bloomberg

Damac Chief Ready to Sell 15% of His Stake at Right Price - Bloomberg:

"Hussein Sajwani, the billionaire whose Damac Properties Dubai Co. is developing Donald Trump-branded golf courses in Dubai, would be “more than happy” to sell as much as 15 percent of his majority stake in the company to boost the trading in its shares. Shares rose.

“The intention is there,” the Damac chairman said in an interview at his seafront residence on The Palm, a man-made island off Dubai’s coast. “As an owner who built the company with all the effort and hard work, I am not willing to sell it when I see my stock is undervalued,” he said. He declined to say what he considers a fair price.

Play Video
Damac Properties' Chairman on Business Opportunities, London
"



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Oil gives up early gains, but market still well supported

Oil gives up early gains, but market still well supported:

"Oil prices gave up some early gains on Wednesday as analysts warned of a downward correction, but remained well supported on the back of tightening supply and strong global demand

Tighter fundamentals have lifted both crude futures benchmarks about 13 percent above levels in early December, helped by production curbs by OPEC and Russia, as well as by healthy demand growth.

Brent crude futures LCOc1 were at $69.23 a barrel at 0808 GMT, up 8 cents from their last close, but down from a high of $69.37 earlier in the day. Brent on Monday rose to $70.37 a barrel, its highest since December 2014, the start of a three-year oil price slump."



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Why Carillion bankruptcy won't affect UAE projects | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Why Carillion bankruptcy won't affect UAE projects | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Ongoing projects under the Al-Futtaim and Carillion joint venture in the UAE are unlikely to take a hit from the bankruptcy declared by the British partner on Monday, analysts said.

Abdul Kadir Faizal, CEO, Ere Homes, said Al-Futtaim is a big and well-diversified company and has resources to cope with this situation.

Another analyst, asking not to be named, said projects being developed by the joint venture are unlikely to take a hit because Al-Futtaim has the capacity to handle the situation."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf moves sideways early on; Qatari banks mixed after earnings | ZAWYA MENA Edition

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf moves sideways early on; Qatari banks mixed after earnings | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Gulf stock markets moved sideways in early trade on Wednesday with shares in top Qatari banks mixed after they reported lower-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings.

The Qatari stock index was almost flat. Qatar National Bank, the Gulf's largest lender, was up 0.7 percent after reporting a 5.2 percent increase in fourth-quarter net profit to 2.85 billion riyals ($783 million); SICO Bahrain had forecast 3.54 billion riyals, while EFG Hermes expected 3.30 billion riyals.

The bank's board recommended a cash dividend of 6 riyals per share for 2017, compared to the proposal for the previous year of 3.5 riyals per share plus a bonus share dividend which awarded one free share for every 10 owned.
"



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