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Thursday, 18 January 2018

Abu Dhabi fund Goldilocks buys stake in GFH - The National

Abu Dhabi fund Goldilocks buys stake in GFH - The National:

"Goldilocks Investment Company, controlled by Abu Dhabi Financial Group (ADFG), on Thursday announced its had taken a 4.99 per cent stake in GFH Financial Group, the Bahraini Sharia-compliant investment house. Goldilocks is managed by ADCM Altus Investment Management, an indirect subsidiary of ADFG, and said it intends to request board representation with GFH. No financial details were given. "



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Iran’s central bank claims billions from German stock exchange | Arab News

Iran’s central bank claims billions from German stock exchange | Arab News:

"German stock market operator Deutsche Boerse said Thursday that Iran’s central bank had levelled claims for billions of dollars against its Luxembourg subsidiary Clearstream, which blocked the funds after the US accused Tehran of funding terrorism.
The central bank (Bank Markazi) demands some $4.9 billion (4.0 billion euros) of assets it says are held in Clearstream accounts belonging to it and to Italian bank UBAE, plus interest, Deutsche Boerse said in a statement.
If the assets themselves cannot be recovered, the Iranian institution wants damages in the same amount."



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Saudi Wealth Remains Hidden as Government Pursues $100 Billion - Bloomberg

Saudi Wealth Remains Hidden as Government Pursues $100 Billion - Bloomberg:

"When the Riyadh Ritz-Carlton starts accepting guest bookings next month, it will be the end of the luxury hotel’s stint as a prison for Saudi Arabian princes, billionaires and dignitaries accused of corruption. It also closes the door on a rare glimpse into the enduring mystery of private wealth in the oil-rich kingdom.

The Bloomberg Billionaires Index, a daily ranking of the world’s 500 richest people, has documented 15 individuals with a combined net worth of $63 billion from Saudi Arabia, a nation of 32 million. In Canada, which has a population of 36 million, the index has counted 31 with a combined $171 billion. In Singapore, a city-state of only 5.6 million people, the index tallies 14 with $85 billion.

The government’s goal of recouping up to $100 billion from the princes and businessmen detained in the purge suggests there may be a lot more wealth hidden in Saudi Arabia. The amount is about equal to the funds it says has been drained from state coffers through corruption."



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Qatar's QNB Plans Expansion After Absorbing Shock of Standoff - Bloomberg

Qatar's QNB Plans Expansion After Absorbing Shock of Standoff - Bloomberg:

"Qatar National Bank QPSC has absorbed the shock of last year’s Saudi Arabia-led isolation of the gas-rich state and plans to push ahead with its expansion strategy. The Middle East’s biggest bank by assets expects that profit will increase 5 percent to 7 percent this year, Chief Executive Officer Ali al-Kuwari said in an interview. QNB will continue to diversify earnings by targeting Southeast Asia, while focusing on its main markets in Qatar, Egypt and Turkey, he said. QNB said Tuesday that annual net income rose 6 percent, meeting analysts’ estimates, as the lender cut impairment charges. The profit growth was at the slowest pace in at least 10 years with operating income remaining little changed from a year earlier."



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Dubai Islamic Bank poised to issue dollar sukuk – sources

Dubai Islamic Bank poised to issue dollar sukuk – sources:

"Dubai Islamic Bank, the largest sharia-compliant bank in the United Arab Emirates, is expected to issue as soon as next week a U.S. dollar-denominated Islamic bond in the region of $750 million, sources familiar with the matter said. The bank, which this week reported a 26 percent increase in fourth-quarter net profit, has appointed a group of banks including HSBC and Standard Chartered for the planned Islamic bond, or sukuk. The bank’s chief executive Adnan Chilwan said on Wednesday during a conference call to discuss the lender’s fourth-quarter results that Dubai Islamic Bank was considering capital raising options in 2018, including a rights issue and an Islamic bond."



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OPEC-Russia Oil Deal Faces a New Danger: Too Much Winning - Bloomberg

OPEC-Russia Oil Deal Faces a New Danger: Too Much Winning - Bloomberg:

"When OPEC and Russia meet this weekend to review their strategy for clearing a global oil glut, they’ll face an unusual problem: it could be working just a bit too well. As their output cuts, coupled with robust global demand, tighten the market, crude prices have soared to a three-year high near $70 a barrel. That’s prompted warnings -- from Iran’s oil minister to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and even OPEC’s own analysts -- of a fresh surge in U.S. production, wrecking all of the group’s hard work."



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The World's Oil Kings Are Under Threat - Bloomberg

The World's Oil Kings Are Under Threat - Bloomberg:

"Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown in the world’s biggest oil market. Middle East producers who for decades reigned as the undisputed leaders of oil sales to Asia are sensing a threat to their dominance, which is goading them to review age-old habits. Before the U.S. shale boom and the biggest price crash in a generation, buyers eager to feed their galloping economies had little choice but to purchase their supply even if terms weren’t desirable. Refiners have long grumbled about Middle East producers providing pricing for long-term oil cargoes in a timeline that’s out of sync with when individual “spot” shipments are traded. That complicated policy makes it difficult to compare the relative costs of various crudes. "



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UAE's Dana Gas sukuk drop after settlement talks fail to yield settlement | ZAWYA MENA Edition

UAE's Dana Gas sukuk drop after settlement talks fail to yield settlement | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Prices of about $700 million of sukuk issued by United Arab Emirates energy producer Dana Gas fell by around three points on Thursday after talks between some local creditors and the company failed to lead to a settlement of their dispute. Last year the company refused to repay its Islamic bonds when they matured, claiming they were no longer sharia-compliant and therefore not valid under UAE law. It sought declarations in British and UAE courts on the validity of the sukuk. Legal proceedings are continuing but sources told Reuters this week that several weeks of discussions between the firm and some of its local creditors, aimed at finding an out-of-court settlement, did not lead to a solution. "



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Oman's SWF gets approval for $1bln infrastructure fund- official | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Oman's SWF gets approval for $1bln infrastructure fund- official | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Oman's State General Reserve Fund (SGRF) has got government approval to launch a $1 billion infrastructure fund that will invest in the tiny Gulf state's infrastructure projects, a senior finance ministry official said on Thursday. The non-OPEC oil producer, like some other Gulf states has been hit hard by low oil prices in the last two years leading to budget deficits. Oman is also channeling funding into projects that are essential for the country's non-oil future. "



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Saudi Electricity secures $2.6bln syndicated bridge loan | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Saudi Electricity secures $2.6bln syndicated bridge loan | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"State-controlled utility Saudi Electricity Co said on Thursday it had signed a $2.6 billion bridge syndicated loan.

The unsecured debt facility, with a one-year maturity, will be used for general corporate purposes and to back the company's capital expenditure programme.

Saudi Electricity raised the facility with a group of eight international banks including Citibank, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, First Abu Dhabi Bank, HSBC, Mizuho Bank, Natixis, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation and Standard Chartered Bank. "



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Egypt buoyed by M&A activity, Widam Food soars in Qatar

MIDEAST STOCKS-Egypt buoyed by M&A activity, Widam Food soars in Qatar:

"Mergers and acquisition activity in the health sector lifted Egypt’s stock market on Thursday, while Gulf markets mostly moved sideways but Qatar rose on the back of a jump by food processor and livestock trader Widam Food.

Nozha International Hospital jumped 10 percent to 75.62 Egyptian pounds and Cleopatra Hospital surged 7.4 percent after Nozha said Cleopatra was seeking regulatory approval to make a mandatory tender offer for all of Nozha.

Cleopatra, advised by EFG Hermes, will offer Nozha shareholders 90 pounds per share and intends to delist its acquisition, Nozha said."



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U.A.E. to Postpone Changes to How It Calculates Key Rate - Bloomberg

U.A.E. to Postpone Changes to How It Calculates Key Rate - Bloomberg:

"The United Arab Emirates central bank’s plan to change the way a key interest rate used to price debt is calculated has been postponed, according to two people familiar with the matter.

For several months, banks that form part of a panel that contributes to the Emirates Interbank Offered Rate every day have been submitting interest rate quotes using both the current and proposed system, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. The new method, which was supposed to be implemented this week, made the rate more volatile, they said.


The change was planned as the Federal Reserve seeks to boost borrowing costs further this year. The U.A.E. typically follows U.S. monetary policy decisions because its currency is pegged to the dollar. The last time the central bank proposed changing the way Eibor is calculated was in 2009, when interest rates plummeted, according to Aarthi Chandrasekaran, the vice president for research at Shuaa Capital in Dubai."



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CFO of Saudi Prince Alwaleed's Kingdom Holding resigns -sources

CFO of Saudi Prince Alwaleed's Kingdom Holding resigns -sources:

"The chief financial officer of Saudi Arabian Prince Alwaleed bin Talal’s investment vehicle, Kingdom Holding, is leaving the firm, sources familiar with the matter said, in the first prominent departure since the detention of the firm’s founder.

Mohamed Fahmy, who has worked with the company for about five years and is believed to be a close aide of the Saudi billionaire, will leave the firm at the end of February, the sources told Reuters, requesting anonymity because of the commercial sensitivity of the matter.

The sources said the reason for Fahmy’s departure was not clear but it was not related to the detention of Prince Alwaleed, who has been held since November among dozens of officials and businessmen in a government crackdown on corruption."



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Emirates throws Airbus A380 a lifeline with $16 billion deal

Emirates throws Airbus A380 a lifeline with $16 billion deal:

"The Middle East’s largest airline, Emirates, announced Thursday it struck a deal with Airbus to purchase 20 A380 aircraft with the option to buy 16 more in a deal worth $16 billion, throwing a lifeline to the European-made double-decker jumbo jets. The Dubai-based Emirates already has 101 A380s in its fleet and 41 more on order, making it the largest operator of the jumbo jet. “This new order underscores Airbus’ commitment to produce the A380 at least for another ten years,” said Airbus chief salesman John Leahy."



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Aramco ready to IPO in H2, awaiting govt decision on venue: CEO

Aramco ready to IPO in H2, awaiting govt decision on venue: CEO:

"Saudi Aramco’s Chief Executive Amin Nasser said on Thursday that the initial public offering (IPO) of the state oil giant is still planned for the second half of 2018, but the government has not yet made a decision on the listing venue.

“The company is ready for listing in 2018 when the decision is taken on the listing venue,” Nasser told reporters at the company’s headquarters.

 “We want to see if there is going to be a listing in another market (in addition to the Saudi Tadawul). There is a committee that is formed that looks into it and whenever the decision is taken the company is ready to implement.”"



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Sovereign investor 2017 deal values down 24% at $72bln | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Sovereign investor 2017 deal values down 24% at $72bln | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Sovereign investor deal-making fell 24 percent in 2017 to $72.5 billion as megadeals such as China Investment Corp's (CIC) bumper $13.8 billion buy of warehouse firm Logicor, which led the pack, were thin on the ground. In previous years, multi-decade port infrastructure leases and pipeline purchases have swollen the pot. In 2017, it was consortium deals and venture capital funding rounds that boosted values, with tech start-ups and energy the popular plays. For example, the second largest deal in the fourth quarter was a mega-funding round for on-demand services provider China Internet Plus. This raised $4 billion, with GIC among the participants.   "



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Qatar National Bank's loan growth seen slipping to 7-9% in 2018- analysts | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Qatar National Bank's loan growth seen slipping to 7-9% in 2018- analysts | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Qatar National Bank's (QNB) loan growth is expected to fall back to between 7 and 9 percent in 2018, analysts said after an investor relations conference call with executives of the Middle East's largest lender.

The analysts speculated that the drop in lending growth, from around 12 percent in 2017, would likely be because of a fall in state spending on new projects in the Gulf state.

QNB is the top lender to the public sector and has for years benefitted from government spending on infrastructure, including preparations for the soccer World Cup in 2022. QNB estimates around $177.4 billion of projects will be delivered across oil and gas, transport and construction between 2018 and 2028. "



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf moves sideways, Qatar's Widam jumps on dividend

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf moves sideways, Qatar's Widam jumps on dividend:

"Gulf stock markets mostly moved sideways in early trade on Thursday, with Qatari food processor and livestock trader Widam Food one of the few big movers as it soared after raising its annual dividend.

Qatar’s stock index edged down 0.1 percent but Widam jumped 9.1 percent in its heaviest trade for months. It said annual net profit rose to 108.1 million riyals ($29.7 million) from 91.3 million and proposed a dividend of 4.25 riyals per share, up from 3.5 riyals for 2016.

Medicare Group, which has more than doubled since mid-November, rose 3.6 percent and Qatar International Islamic Bank gained 1.9 percent. But the Qatari market was mostly quiet."



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