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Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Saudi-Russian oil alliance will last for ‘decades and generations’ - al Falih

Saudi-Russian oil alliance will last for ‘decades and generations’ - al Falih:

"Saudi Arabia’s oil alliance with Russia will last for “decades and generations”, the kingdom’s energy minister said, adding that while the crude market was close to rebalancing, more work was needed. Some of the world’s biggest oil producers - including Opec kingpin Saudi Arabia and allies outside of the cartel such as Russia - joined forces in 2017 to curb supplies to reduce excess stockpiles and bolster prices. Khalid al Falih stressed the need to maintain longterm cooperation with Russia, telling television network CNBC, it was essential to “preserve our longterm interests.”"



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Biggest US state fund to invest in Middle East via Abu Dhabi-based fund - The National

Biggest US state fund to invest in Middle East via Abu Dhabi-based fund - The National:

"The Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation (APFC), a wealth fund for the oil-rich state that has US$65 billion of assets under management, will be an anchor investor in a Middle East, Africa and South Asia (Measa)-focused fund that will be managed by US-based McKinley Capital. The fund will be based in Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) through a joint venture between the Abu Dhabi family office Al Maskari Holding and McKinley Capital, a quant asset manager that oversees more than $6bn, according to Peter Lejre, an adviser to Al Maskari Holding. Mr Lejre, who will be the senior executive of the joint investment platform, named McKinley Management Middle East, said the fund is expected to be launched in the next month or two. "



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Qatar shares extend rally to surpass 9,250 mark

Qatar shares extend rally to surpass 9,250 mark:

"Robust buying interests of domestic institutions on Tuesday placed the Qatar Stock Exchange above 9,250 levels. The industrials, realty and transport counters witnessed higher than average demand, which led the 20-stock Qatar Index to gain 0.47% to 9,254.61 points. The local bourse is up 8.58% year-to-date."



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Qatar sees oil market balancing in third quarter of 2018

Qatar sees oil market balancing in third quarter of 2018:

"Oil markets should reach balance after several years of supply glut some time in the third quarter of 2018, Qatari Energy Minister Mohammed al-Sada told Reuters on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Al-Sada said the majority of the surplus has been taken away by the market but he still sees excellent opportunities for OPEC and non-OPEC members to continue cooperation beyond 2018.

He said that oil producers could also target the flow of investments into the sector."



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Foreign deposits in Qatar banks resume rising as embargo impact eases

Foreign deposits in Qatar banks resume rising as embargo impact eases:

"Deposits by foreigners in Qatari banks rose in December for the first time since other Arab countries imposed an embargo on Doha last June, data from Qatar’s central bank showed on Tuesday.

Banks and investors from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt began pulling deposits and other funds out of Qatar in June, when those four nations cut diplomatic and trade ties with Doha.

But in December, deposits in Qatari banks by customers located abroad rose by 2.2 billion riyals ($606 million) from the previous month to 137.1 billion riyals, the data showed. They stood at 184.6 billion riyals in May, before the embargo."



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Oil at $70 is no quick fix for Gulf economies

Oil at $70 is no quick fix for Gulf economies:

"Rising oil prices are easing fears of a financial crisis in the Gulf, but they look unlikely to trigger another economic boom in the region, a quarterly Reuters poll of private economists shows.

The Brent oil price has surged to three-year highs around $70 a barrel, from around $55 three months ago. That means a boost to oil export receipts for governments of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council.

Every $1 rise in the average price of oil this year would tend to improve Saudi Arabia’s budget position by roughly $2.1 billion, London’s Capital Economics estimated. Last month, Riyadh projected a 2018 deficit of $52 billion; analysts said the budget appeared to assume an oil price of roughly $55."



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EU removes Panama, seven others from tax-haven blacklist, triggering criticism

EU removes Panama, seven others from tax-haven blacklist, triggering criticism:

"European Union finance ministers agreed on Tuesday to remove eight jurisdictions, including much-criticised Panama, from the bloc’s blacklist of tax havens, one month after the list was set up.

The decision prompted an outcry from lawmakers and activists.

Barbados, Grenada, South Korea, Macao, Mongolia, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates joined Panama as jurisdictions delisted “following commitments made at a high political level to remedy EU concerns,” according to a statement from the ministers."



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Saudi's Falih says still anxious about fragility of oil market: CNBC

Saudi's Falih says still anxious about fragility of oil market: CNBC:

"Saudi Arabia’s energy minister, Khalid al-Falih, tells CNBC in Davos he’s not convinced that the oil market has returned to balance, despite rising prices.

- “While I‘m still anxious about the fragility of the market ... by and large we think we’re on our way, but we’re not there yet,” he said.

- Oil prices have rallied to the highest since 2014 this year, trading above $70 a barrel, supported by an OPEC-led supply cut. "



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Oman Weighs $2 Billion Loan After Multi-Billion-Dollar Bond - Bloomberg

Oman Weighs $2 Billion Loan After Multi-Billion-Dollar Bond - Bloomberg:

"Oman is considering raising a loan of as much as $2 billion, two people familiar with the plans said, just weeks after the Middle East’s biggest non-OPEC producer sold $6.5 billion of bonds.

The government is in talks with international banks about pricing for the loan, the people said, asking not to be identified because the talks are private. Discussions are preliminary and may not result in a deal, they said. Repeated calls to Oman’s Ministry of Finance weren’t answered.

Oman became the first Gulf Cooperation Council country to tap international capital markets this year to bridge a budget deficit brought on by lower oil prices. Its neighbors are expected to follow. Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi are planning to sell bonds, according to people familiar with the matter. Saudi Arabia is also said to be seeking to increase a $10 billion sovereign loan by $2.5 billion. "



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Most big Gulf markets firm, ex-div Emaar pulls down Dubai

MIDEAST STOCKS-Most big Gulf markets firm, ex-div Emaar pulls down Dubai:

"Most Gulf stock markets were firm on Tuesday, with conglomerate Aamal Holding surging in Qatar, but blue chip Emaar Properties dragged down Dubai’s index as the stock went ex-dividend. Qatar’s index rose 0.5 percent in active trade as Aamal gained 4.8 percent after saying a unit had spent about 179.5 million riyals ($49.3 million) buying residential assets in Doha, a deal which would boost the unit’s revenue by about 9 percent on year. Several other property-related firms rose in sympathy, with Barwa Real Estate gaining 1.5 percent and United Development adding 2.6 percent. "



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Qatar-EU air & sea freight lanes to grow faster - The Peninsula Qatar

Qatar-EU air & sea freight lanes to grow faster - The Peninsula Qatar:

"The Qatar-EU trade lane has been projected as one of the busiest routes, both in terms of air and sea freight lanes, in the Emerging Market.

The EU-Qatar air freight lane is forecast to grow by 39.4 percent, while Qatar-EU sea freight air lane is projected to expand by a whopping 121.7 percent.

The annual Emerging Markets Logistics Index, released by global logistics leader Agility described Qatar as the “surprise GCC Index darling this year”, with its score improving by 0.24 points to 6.02, ranking it No. 11. Qatar made significant gains in Compatibility as economic diversification progressed and non-tariff barriers were judged to be less of a burden, while Connectivity improved thanks to better liner shipping connections."



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Qatar to take the lead in debt issuance this year: Kamco

Qatar to take the lead in debt issuance this year: Kamco:

"Qatar, along with three other Gulf countries, will take the lead in debt issuance this year and Islamic issuers are set to focus on sukuks as the outlook for Islamic banks continues to remain weak, according to Kamco. Referring to the prospective plans of Qatar and other Gulf countries in tapping the fixed income market, Kamco said these countries look at ways to finance their respective investment plans and plug budget deficits. “The GREs (government related enterprises) are increasingly tapping the international bond markets and this new trend is expected to see noticeable growth in 2018,” it said. Finding that fixed income issuances in the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) in 2017 saw one of the biggest jumps since the financial crisis with growth recorded in both bonds and sukuk markets; it said 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 needs triggered some of the biggest issuances in the region."



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Extending Alliance, Oil's Big Two Seek Smooth Exit From Cuts - Bloomberg

Extending Alliance, Oil's Big Two Seek Smooth Exit From Cuts - Bloomberg:

"The pledge Saudi Arabia and Russia made to keep working together on managing the oil market beyond 2018 shows the two energy giants are now looking to engineer an orderly exit from the deal and avoid crashing the prices they’ve worked so hard to revive. “Keeping some level of production cuts into 2019 is the kind of thing that makes sense,” said Robin Mills, chief executive officer of Dubai-based consultants Qamar Energy. “Just abandoning the deal at the end of 2018 would put a lot of oil back on the market.” Russia is prepared to continue cooperating with the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries even after the cuts expire, Energy Minister Alexander Novak said in a joint interview with his Saudi counterpart in Oman on Sunday. Saudi minister Khalid Al-Falih said continuing curbs at a different level was one possibility under consideration."



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Iran Freezes Permits for New Private Banks, Credit Institutions - Bloomberg

Iran Freezes Permits for New Private Banks, Credit Institutions - Bloomberg:

"Iran’s central bank has ceased issuing permits and licenses for new private banks or commercial lenders, following a credit crisis that has seen the collapse of a parallel financial industry, freezing the savings of thousands of depositors.

Several of Iran’s commercial banks and so-called credit institutions or funds -- whose high interest rates attracted widespread popularity over the past 15 years -- have collapsed or received government bailouts in the past year, sparking protests last summer and fueling recent demonstrations against Iran’s political establishment over rising agricultural prices and its handling of the economy.

“I’ve instructed the central bank not to issue any permits to any new private banks since issuing unlicensed permits creates problems," President Hassan Rouhani said Monday in his first major live television appearance since the protests erupted earlier this month."



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Russia may back Aramco IPO, enhance OPEC ties

Russia may back Aramco IPO, enhance OPEC ties:

"Russian pension funds are considering investing in Saudi Arabian state oil major Aramco when it lists its stock in a move to strengthen the partnership between the world’s two top oil producers, Russia’s top state investment officer said.

The head of Russia’s Direct Investment Fund, Kirill Dmitriev, told Reuters on Tuesday that Moscow and Riyadh should be coordinating oil policies for many more years.

 “We see great interest in the Aramco IPO from Russian pension funds as well as from our Chinese partners,” said Dmitriev, who two years ago was the first Russian official to suggest the possibility of a joint oil output deal with OPEC.

"



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Qatar asks banks for proposals on first dollar bond issue since diplomatic crisis: sources

Qatar asks banks for proposals on first dollar bond issue since diplomatic crisis: sources:

"Qatar has sent out a request for proposals to banks to arrange an international bond issue, which would be Qatar’s first appearance in the international debt markets since the beginning of a diplomatic crisis in the Gulf last year. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut diplomatic and transport ties with Doha on June 5 last year, accusing it of supporting terrorism. Doha vehemently denies the charges. The government of Qatar issued its last international bond in 2016, raising $9 billion through the debt sale. There is no clarity on the size of the upcoming, potential bond sale, but banking sources say Qatar will likely raise a similar amount."



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Emirates Picks HSBC, Citi to Arrange $1 Billion Sukuk - Bloomberg

Emirates Picks HSBC, Citi to Arrange $1 Billion Sukuk - Bloomberg:

"Emirates, the world’s biggest airline by international traffic, has mandated eight banks including HSBC Holdings Plc and Standard Chartered Plc to manage a sale of Islamic bonds, according to two people with knowledge of the transaction. The Dubai government-owned carrier also picked Citigroup Inc., BNP Paribas SA, Emirates NBD PJSC, Dubai Islamic Bank PJSC, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank PJSC and Noor Bank PJSC, said the people, asking not to be identified because the information is private. The issue is scheduled for the next few weeks and will aim to raise about $1 billion, they said. Emirates will join a list of regional issuers seeking funding from international bond markets before expected increases in U.S. interest rates push up borrowing costs. Issuers from the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council, which includes the two biggest Arab economies of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, raised a record $84.9 billion from bond sales last year as they sought to take advantage of low interest rates and sidestep tight liquidity in the local-loans market amid low oil prices."



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Oil Hedge Fund BBL Commodities Sees Brent at $80 on OPEC Cuts - Bloomberg

Oil Hedge Fund BBL Commodities Sees Brent at $80 on OPEC Cuts - Bloomberg:

"BBL Commodities LP, one of the world’s largest oil-focused hedge funds, believes Brent crude will climb to $80 a barrel this year as stockpiles drop rapidly on the back of production cuts made by OPEC and its allies. "We think the market is vastly overestimating the near term inventory buffer," Jonathan Goldberg, the founder of BBL Commodities, said in an interview last week. "Given the rise in demand over the past five years, inventories are especially low as a measure of forward cover." With crude inventories down, Goldberg expects Brent to climb about 15 percent from current levels of $68.50 a barrel to about $80 a barrel. He also sees further gains in the premium of spot prices to prices further in future, a structure known in the oil market as backwardation."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf mixed as petchems aid Saudi, ex-div Emaar drags down Dubai | ZAWYA MENA Edition

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf mixed as petchems aid Saudi, ex-div Emaar drags down Dubai | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Gulf stock markets were mixed in early trade on Tuesday as petrochemical stocks supported Saudi Arabia while blue chip Emaar Properties dragged down Dubai as the stock went ex-dividend. The Saudi index climbed 0.3 percent in the first 45 minutes as 10 of the 14 petrochemical stocks rose on the back of strong oil prices. Saudi Kayan 2350.SE rose 1.3 percent. The company reported a fourth-quarter net loss of 220.3 million riyals ($58.7 million) versus a profit of 91.6 million riyals a year ago, but the loss was much smaller than the 417 million riyal loss forecast by NCB Capital. SICO Bahrain had predicted a 90 million riyal loss. "



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