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Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Saudi regulator asked to study local market impact of Aramco IPO

Saudi regulator asked to study local market impact of Aramco IPO:

"An advisory council to Saudi Arabia’s government has asked the securities regulator to study the impact of listing Saudi Aramco on the local bourse amid concern that a huge initial public offer could damage the market.

The Shura Council’s fiscal committee has also requested the Capital Market Authority (CMA) makes sure the stock market’s liquidity would not become concentrated in the giant oil company alone, state news agency SPA reported late on Tuesday.

The government has said it plans to sell about 5 percent of Aramco, hoping to raise some $100 billion or more in what would likely be the world’s biggest initial public offer (IPO). The sale is expected in the second half of 2018. "



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Saudi corruption sweep to move to trial with 95 detained

Saudi corruption sweep to move to trial with 95 detained:

"Saudi authorities are still holding 95 people in a purported anti-corruption campaign that was launched nearly three months ago by the kingdom’s influential crown prince, Saudi press quoting the attorney general reported on Wednesday. A Saudi infographic shared on social media said that detainees who have not agreed on financial settlements to close their case will soon be referred to the Public Prosecution for trial. Billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal is reportedly among those still being held since early November when Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the stunning arrests of top princes, businessmen and officials. The prince is chairman of the publicly traded Kingdom Holding, which has investments in twitter, Apple, Citigroup, and the Four Seasons hotel chain. He is also an investor in ride-sharing services Lyft and Careem."



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Aramco seeks to expand in U.S., says Trump is pro-oil

Aramco seeks to expand in U.S., says Trump is pro-oil:

"Saudi oil giant Aramco is looking to expand in the United States where President Donald Trump’s tax cuts and support for the oil industry are making business increasingly attractive, its chief executive told Reuters. Aramco already controls a large refinery in Texas. It is also preparing to launch what could be the world’s largest initial public offer (IPO) and is considering listing its shares in New York among several possible exchanges. “We are looking at new business opportunities in the U.S. and with the tax cuts it will make it much more profitable ... It is part of our strategy to grow our business in the U.S.,” Amin Nasser said in an interview."



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Aramco CEO Says Post-IPO Tax Burden Will Link to Oil Prices - Bloomberg

Aramco CEO Says Post-IPO Tax Burden Will Link to Oil Prices - Bloomberg:

"Saudi Aramco’s chief executive said the most important tax paid by the state-owned energy giant will fluctuate with the price of oil, a significant move ahead of the company’s initial public offering this year.

Adjusting the 20 percent royalty on oil revenue Aramco currently pays would help the kingdom to raise extra money if prices climb. While not unusual in commodities industries, the move may not prove popular with potential investors. It would protect them from downturns, but also reduce their gains at times of rising prices.

The Aramco IPO would be one of the biggest events on financial markets this year, so any change affecting the deal is of significant interest to global investors. Saudi officials said they hope to raise a record $100 billion, valuing the company at more than $2 trillion and dwarfing the $25 billion raised by Chinese Internet retailer Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. in 2014."



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Saudi corruption cash settlements will help finance royal handouts- finance minister | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Saudi corruption cash settlements will help finance royal handouts- finance minister | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Cash settlements obtained from people detained in Saudi Arabia's crackdown on corruption will help to finance a 50 billion riyal ($13.3 billion) package to help citizens cope with the rising cost of living, Finance Minister Mohammed al-Jadaan said on Wednesday. The package was announced by King Salman early this month, said Jadaan, speaking to Al Arabiya television at the World Economic forum in Davos. He said the package would also be financed by money from the state budget. "



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UAE's Etihad Airways grounds 5 cargo planes, pilots asked to take unpaid leave | ZAWYA MENA Edition

UAE's Etihad Airways grounds 5 cargo planes, pilots asked to take unpaid leave | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Etihad Airways has grounded its five Airbus freighters, and is asking its pilots to take unpaid leave as it continues to rethink its strategy, the airline and sources told Reuters on Wednesday.

The state-owned Gulf carrier has been reviewing its business since 2016 after billions of dollars spent buying stakes in other airlines failed to deliver substantial returns. This contributed to a $1.87 billion loss in 2016, its first loss since 2010.

Etihad confirmed to Reuters it has grounded its Airbus freighter fleet, five A330 Freighters, and that it had opted to operate an all-Boeing 777 Freighter fleet. It declined to comment on whether it had offered pilots unpaid leave. "



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Earnings boost Qatar in sluggish region

MIDEAST STOCKS-Earnings boost Qatar in sluggish region:

"Corporate earnings and dividend news boosted Qatar’s stock market on Wednesday by suggesting the economy is coping with the impact of an embargo imposed by other Arab states. Other Gulf markets were sluggish. Qatar’s stock index rose 1.1 percent in heavy trade, leaving it within 6 percent of its close just before the embargo was imposed last June. Late last year, the embargo pushed the index more than 20 percent lower. Foreign investors from outside the Gulf were active players in the market on Wednesday, accounting for about 27 percent of buying and about the same proportion of selling, exchange data showed."



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Oil prices ease as US crude inventories rise unexpectedly | Arab News

Oil prices ease as US crude inventories rise unexpectedly | Arab News:

"Oil prices slipped on Wednesday, under pressure from a rise in US crude and gasoline inventories although crude remained near three-year highs. Brent futures eased 24 cents to $69.72 a barrel at 0930 GMT, after climbing above $70 this month for first time since 2014. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures were unchanged at $64.47 a barrel. The American Petroleum Institute said on Tuesday crude inventories rose by 4.8 million barrels in the latest week, compared with expectations for a decline of 1.6 million barrels. Gasoline inventories also rose."



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Doha Bank’s 2017 net profit rises to QR1.11bn

Doha Bank’s 2017 net profit rises to QR1.11bn:

"Doha Bank has posted a net profit of QR1.11bn in 2017, up 5.3% on QR1.05bn in the previous year. Doha Bank’s board of directors at their meeting in Doha yesterday recommended to the ordinary general assembly to distribute 30% of the paid up capital as cash dividend to shareholders for 2017. This translates into QR3 per share. Doha Bank chairman Sheikh Fahad bin Mohamed bin Jabor al-Thani said the bank has achieved noticeable growth rates in many financial indicators. "



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Tunisia to sell bonds worth $1bln in the second half of March | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Tunisia to sell bonds worth $1bln in the second half of March | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Tunisia's parliament on Tuesday approved a plan by the central bank to sell bonds worth $1 billion to help finance the 2018 budget, the state news agency said. The finance ministry directed the central bank after the approval by parliament's financial committee to issue the bonds in the second half of March, the agency said. The North African country previously said it needed $3 billion ($14.7 billion) in loans next year to finance its budget of 36 billion dinar in 2018. "



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Qatar Economy Can Survive `Forever' Under Embargo, Minister Says - Bloomberg

Qatar Economy Can Survive `Forever' Under Embargo, Minister Says - Bloomberg:

"Qatar’s economy performed better than expected last year and required “minimal” government support to blunt the effects of a trade and diplomatic embargo by Saudi Arabia and three other Arab countries, a minister said. There are no signs of a resolution to the crisis, Sheikh Ahmed Bin Jassim Bin Mohammed Al Thani, Qatar’s minister of economy and commerce, told Bloomberg TV in an interview in Davos. Government support for the economy was needed only in the first few weeks, focusing mostly on logistics to reroute imports, he said. “We opened new routes, we opened new markets, and we are trading with the whole world. The world is not only these four countries,” Sheikh Ahmed said. “From an economic point of view we can live forever without those countries.”"



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Qatar sees stampede for gas projects to help beat crisis

Qatar sees stampede for gas projects to help beat crisis:

"U.S. and European oil majors are piling in with offers to help Qatar develop new gas projects, the country’s energy minister said, despite a protracted crisis in the Gulf region and pressure on firms to chose between Qatar and its neighbors. Mohammed al-Sada told Reuters Doha had seen unprecedented interest from majors as Qatar seeks to expand its gas capacity to 100 million tonnes a year from the current 77 million to cement its position as the world’s largest exporter. “Both U.S. and EU majors have shown great interest. We did expect this, but they surprised us on the upside by the degree of keenness,” said al-Sada, when asked whether firms had expressed concerns about potential pressure from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) not to cooperate with Qatar. "



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Annual earnings boost Qatar, rest of Gulf sluggish | ZAWYA MENA Edition

MIDEAST STOCKS-Annual earnings boost Qatar, rest of Gulf sluggish | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Corporate earnings and dividend news boosted Qatar's stock market early on Wednesday by suggesting the economy is generally coping well with the impact of an embargo imposed by other Arab states, while other Gulf bourses were sluggish.

Qatar's stock index rose 0.9 percent in heavy trade as Doha Bank gained 4.1 percent, rising above its July peak to its highest level since March.

The company reported 6 percent growth in annual net profit, an acceleration from 3 percent growth in the first nine months, and kept its annual dividend unchanged, suggesting that with aid from the government, it has withstood withdrawals of deposits and loans triggered by the embargo. "



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