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Thursday, 25 January 2018

Big banks head to Riyadh from Davos for Saudi Aramco ‘beauty parade’ | Arab News

Big banks head to Riyadh from Davos for Saudi Aramco ‘beauty parade’ | Arab News:

"Some of the world’s leading investment bankers will go direct from Davos to Riyadh to take part in a “beauty parade” in front of Saudi Aramco officials to pitch for lucrative roles in the oil company’s planned initial public offering (IPO) later this year. One banking chief, speaking on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Switzerland, said that he and fellow executives were preparing to travel to the Kingdom early next week for a round of presentations in response to “request for proposal” invitations from Aramco. Some of the biggest banks in the world are believed to be making the trip. In addition to HSBC, JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley, all of whom have already been working to advise the Saudis on the IPO, American banks Goldman Sachs and Citibank are believed to be pitching for the next phase of the process. The German giant Deutsche Bank is also believed to be involved in the presentations."



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Saudi bank merger outlook to be clear by end-Q1 -central bank chief

Saudi bank merger outlook to be clear by end-Q1 -central bank chief:

"The outlook for a proposed merger of Saudi British Bank (SABB) and Alawwal Bank will become clear by the end of the first quarter of 2018, Saudi central bank governor, Ahmed al-Kholifey, told Al Arabiya television on Thursday. SABB, 40 percent owned by HSBC Holdings, and Alawwal, 40 percent owned by Royal Bank of Scotland, said in April that they had agreed to start merger talks, but progress has been slow. Kholifey had told Al Arabiya in October the outlook for the merger would be clear by the end of 2017, but on Thursday, he said the banks needed more time to finalise their discussions."



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Within Days, Saudis Wobble on Timing of Aramco IPO and OPEC Cuts - Bloomberg

Within Days, Saudis Wobble on Timing of Aramco IPO and OPEC Cuts - Bloomberg:

"Saudi Arabia has insisted there’s no connection between plans to sell part of its state oil giant and an OPEC strategy that supports crude prices. But within days, it’s hesitated on the time-frame for both.

On Jan. 21, Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih indicated it could be next year before OPEC and its allies can clear a supply glut. This could force the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to extend its production curbs, he told reporters in Oman’s capital Muscat, as global oil markets might not rebalance as anticipated in 2018.

Three days later, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Al-Falih said oil behemoth Aramco’s initial public offering will take place “when the time is right.” While he hoped that right time will still be this year, it’s a change from previous assurances that one of the most anticipated IPOs will proceed later in 2018.

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MIDEAST STOCKS-Oil buoys Gulf markets, Qatar and Saudi lead

MIDEAST STOCKS-Oil buoys Gulf markets, Qatar and Saudi lead:

"Stock markets in the Gulf gained on Thursday, supported by the rise in Brent oil to a three-year high above $70 a barrel, as Qatar continued a strong rally and the top Saudi Arabian petrochemical producer climbed after acquisition news.

Qatar’s main index rose 1.1 percent, gaining for a fourth straight day. Corporate earnings have suggested that damage to the economy from an embargo imposed by other Arab states has been less serious than feared, and the index is now within 5 percent of its pre-embargo level last June.

Mesaieed Petrochemical surged 5.5 percent and drilling rig provider Gulf International Services gained 3.2 percent in active trade. Both firms’ revenues could benefit from higher oil prices."



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Aramco IPO to make global impact, say regional money managers - The National

Aramco IPO to make global impact, say regional money managers - The National:

"Money managers in the Middle East are confident the stake sale of government-owned Saudi Arabian Oil Co, known as Aramco, this year will shake up the global stock market with a record initial public offering that gives the world’s biggest company a valuation of about $1.5 trillion. “People focus on Aramco as being the key thing,” said Salman Bajwa, chief executive officer of Dubai-based Emirates NBD Asset Management, which has $4.8 billion of assets. “In our eyes, it is just one of the several major changes taking place. We have landmark reforms going in the social, economic and markets space. The Aramco IPO will be the confirmation that one phase of structural reforms in the markets space has been successfully completed” because “there are going to be other IPOs, many of state-owned entities,” Mr Baja said. The market capitalisation of Aramco will be almost twice that of Apple, four times bigger than Exxon Mobil and at least one-fifth of the $5.8tn MSCI Emerging Markets Index, the benchmark for emerging markets, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. At the same time, Saudi Arabia plans to create the largest sovereign wealth fund and sell hundreds of state assets, including stakes in the stock exchange, football clubs and flour mills. Aramco is ready for its IPO in the second half, the chief executive officer Amin Nasser said last week."



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Saudi Arabia foreign reserves to rise for third straight month, central bank chief reveals | Arab News

Saudi Arabia foreign reserves to rise for third straight month, central bank chief reveals | Arab News:

"The Kingdom’s foreign reserves are set to rise for the third straight month when the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) issues its regular monthly update on Sunday. The impending increase in reserves for the month of December was revealed by Ahmed Al- Kholifey, governor of SAMA — the Kingdom’s central bank — on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos. “Monthly reserves will be inching up again. It is a good thing, showing there is great momentum in Saudi Arabia’s economy,” he said at an event organized by the Bahrain Economic Development Board."



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QIIB’s 2017 net profit rises 6% to QR832mn

QIIB’s 2017 net profit rises 6% to QR832mn:

"Achieving “remarkable” growth across various items provided in its budget, leading Islamic bank QIIB posted a net profit of QR832mn in 2017, up 6% on 2016.
The bank’s total assets increased to QR46.6bn by end-2017, which represents a growth of 9.6% compared to 2016. 
The results were announced after a meeting of the QIIB board of directors presided over by QIIB vice-chairman Sheikh Abdullah bin Thani bin Abdullah al-Thani here yesterday."



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Qatar Passes First Test in LNG Expansion. Now Partners Can Join - Bloomberg

Qatar Passes First Test in LNG Expansion. Now Partners Can Join - Bloomberg:

"Qatar managed to keep liquefied natural gas exports flowing last year even under a Saudi-led embargo, passing its first test in its plans to expand LNG production. Now the world’s biggest LNG exporter gets to pick who its partners will be. Qatar ended 2017 with LNG exports slightly above its 77 million ton annual capacity, mirroring levels recorded in previous years, according to ship-broker Poten & Partners Inc.’s data compiled by Bloomberg. The result bodes well for state-run Qatar Petroleum’s plan to increase output by 30 percent to 100 million tons in five to seven years."



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Aramco's 2018 IPO Schedule Is Wavering - Bloomberg

Aramco's 2018 IPO Schedule Is Wavering - Bloomberg:

"Saudi Arabia’s oil minister said the initial public offering of oil giant Aramco will take place “when the time is right,” revealing the first crack in the kingdom’s earlier plan to debut the company this year.

“We hope that 2018 will be the right time, but ultimately we have to make sure the market is ready,” Khalid Al-Falih said the World Economic Forum in Davos.

His comments indicate a possible shift from Riyadh’s long-standing assurances that the IPO was “on track and on time” for the second half of 2018. Al-Falih declined to answer questions about whether the IPO could be postponed to 2019."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi, Qatar edge up early on, UAE moves sideways | ZAWYA MENA Edition

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi, Qatar edge up early on, UAE moves sideways | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Stock markets in Saudi Arabia and Qatar edged up in early trade on Thursday, with the top Saudi petrochemical producer climbing after acquisition news, while United Arab Emirates bourses moved sideways. The Saudi index was 0.2 percent higher after an hour with Saudi Basic Industries Corp adding 1.6 percent to its highest level since early 2015. It agreed to acquire a 24.99 percent stake in Swiss specialty chemicals maker Clariant AG, becoming the Swiss company's largest shareholder. SABIC did not say how much it paid, but the 24.99 percent stake is worth $2.4 billion based on its market capitalisation.  "



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Saudi's SABIC buys 24.99% stake in Swiss chemicals maker Clariant | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Saudi's SABIC buys 24.99% stake in Swiss chemicals maker Clariant | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) has agreed to acquire a 24.99 percent stake in Swiss specialty chemicals maker Clariant AG , SABIC said on Thursday, becoming the Swiss company's largest shareholder. SABIC did not say how much it paid for the deal, but Clariant's 24.99 percent stake is worth $2.4 billion based on its market capitalisation. SABIC bought the stake from Corvex hedge fund and New York's 40 North. Clariant AG recently abandoned merger plans with Huntsman . "



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