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Monday, 29 January 2018

Saudi Arabia investment authority streamlines business licensing process | Arab News

Saudi Arabia investment authority streamlines business licensing process | Arab News:

"The time it takes to process a business license in Saudi Arabia has been slashed by more than 92 percent in the hope that it will encourage further investment in the Kingdom. Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) has reduced the processing time from about 53 hours to four hours according to a statement released by the authority. The shortening of the processing time has been achieved following three initiatives undertaken by the agency, which oversees investment affairs in the Kingdom."



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Foreign funds lift Qatar shares; capitalisation hits QR516bn

Foreign funds lift Qatar shares; capitalisation hits QR516bn:

"Foreign funds’ bullish outlook on Monday steered the Qatar Stock Exchange back onto the positive trajectory as capitalisation touched QR516bn. Mainly led by transport, realty and banking equities, the 20-stock Qatar Index gained 0.41% to 9,450.07 points. Gulf as well as domestic institutions’ weakened net selling also helped the market, which is up 10.87% year-to-date."



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Sberbank Is Said to Hold Talks to Sell Denizbank to UAE Lender - Bloomberg

Sberbank Is Said to Hold Talks to Sell Denizbank to UAE Lender - Bloomberg:

"Sberbank PJSC has held talks with possible investors for its wholly owned Turkish unit as Russia’s biggest lender considers a sale, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Moscow-based Sberbank held discussions with possible investors, including Dubai’s Emirates NBD PJSC, and other Gulf-based lenders, some of the people said, asking not to be identified as the talks are private. Discussions are at any early stage and may not result in a deal, they said. Sberbank, which has been under U.S. and European Union sanctions since 2014, bought Dexia SA’s Turkish unit Denizbank for about $3.5 billion in 2012. Denizbank was Turkey’s ninth-largest lender by assets at the end of September, according to country’s banking association."



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Saudi's Ibrahim to keep control of regional broadcaster MBC | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Saudi's Ibrahim to keep control of regional broadcaster MBC | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Saudi Arabia's Waleed al-Ibrahim will keep management control of regional television broadcaster MBC following his release from detention in a corruption probe, a senior MBC executive told Reuters on Monday.

The executive, speaking on condition of anonymity under briefing rules, said Ibrahim's 40 percent stake in MBC would not change and that he was found innocent of any wrongdoing in the probe.

Ibrahim, who at the weekend was released along with at least half a dozen other prominent Saudi businessmen detained in the probe, reiterated his allegiance to Saudi Arabia and the ruling family, the executive said. "



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First Abu Dhabi Bank's 2017 profit crimped by merger costs | ZAWYA MENA Edition

First Abu Dhabi Bank's 2017 profit crimped by merger costs | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB), the largest bank in the United Arab Emirates, on Monday reported a 3.5 percent profit fall in 2017, citing costs linked to its recent merger.

FAB, the combination of National Bank of Abu Dhabi and First Gulf Bank, said its full-year net profit was 10.92 billion dirhams ($3 billion) compared to 11.32 billion dirhams in 2016.

Excluding integration costs and other merger-related expenses of around 601 million dirhams, adjusted net profit for the year was 11.52 billion dirhams while fourth-quarter profit was up 6 percent from the same period of last year, FAB said. "



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Region mixed, Saudi's Kingdom continues rebound after Alwaleed release

MIDEAST STOCKS-Region mixed, Saudi's Kingdom continues rebound after Alwaleed release:

"Middle Eastern stock markets were mixed on Monday with Saudi Arabia’s index rising as global investment firm Kingdom Holding continued rebounding after its owner Prince Alwaleed bin Talal was released from custody.

The Saudi index gained 0.4 percent as Kingdom added 2.4 percent to 10.28 riyals - the level where it was trading before Prince Alwaleed was detained in a corruption probe that saw scores of businessmen detained last November.

Daily volume in the stock was the heaviest since February 2016. On Sunday, the first day after Prince Alwaleed’s release, it rocketed 10 percent."



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Qatar could issue $10bn worth bonds in 2018 - The Peninsula Qatar

Qatar could issue $10bn worth bonds in 2018 - The Peninsula Qatar:

"An estimated $72bn of the net sovereign issuance is expected to come from the Middle East and Africa this year, of which $44bn should be primarily from four GCC countries- Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Kuwait. Qatar is expected to issue bonds/sukuks worth $10bn, Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BofAML) said yesterday. BofML expects external debt supply of sovereign and corporate debt to increase slightly in aggregate in 2018. It forecasts overall sovereign gross debt issuance to decrease to $178bn, as sovereigns are turning more to local markets for funding."



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Oil dips as North American output soars; overall market remains strong

Oil dips as North American output soars; overall market remains strong:

"Oil prices dipped on Monday as soaring North American production was seen undermining efforts led by OPEC and Russia to tighten supplies.

Despite this, traders said overall market conditions remained strong due to the production cuts and healthy demand-growth.

Brent crude futures held above $70 per barrel, but were down by 19 cents from their last close at $70.34 a barrel at 0749 GMT."



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What's Next for Saudi's Elite After Leaving Ritz? - Bloomberg

What's Next for Saudi's Elite After Leaving Ritz? - Bloomberg:

"Even before Prince Alwaleed bin Talal and other billionaires were released after almost three months in detention, Saudi officials had already pronounced their controversial anti-corruption crackdown a resounding success. Authorities were on track to recover more than $100 billion in settlement deals in exchange for dropping all charges against dozens of the country’s rich and famous, a senior official said last week. Yet as detainees leave their luxury prison at the Ritz-Carlton in Riyadh, questions linger. Was this a crackdown, a power grab, or a shakedown to help an economy strained by low oil prices? Is it the end of anti-corruption efforts in the largest Arab economy?

1. How many people have been released?

Attorney General Sheikh Saud Al Mojeb said in a rare Jan. 21 interview that about 90 people were released after agreeing to pay back ill-gotten money. A senior government official predicted the purge would wind down before the end of the month, with a few more agreements expected. Over the weekend, Prince Alwaleed and other top businessmen including retail billionaire Fawaz Al Hokair were let go. Also freed were Khalid al-Tuwaijri, head of the royal court under the late King Abdullah, and Prince Turki bin Nasser, who was involved in a massive arms sale that led to corruption probes in the U.K. and the U.S., one of the government officials said. "



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Qatar Agrees to Transparency to Resolve U.S. Airline Dispute - Bloomberg

Qatar Agrees to Transparency to Resolve U.S. Airline Dispute - Bloomberg:

"Qatar Airways will commit to greater financial transparency and to not run any indirect flights to the U.S. through other countries as part of an agreement with the Trump administration addressing U.S. carriers’ accusations that their Gulf competitors get unfair government help. Airlines are hailing the agreement as a victory, if not a complete one, in one of the biggest trade disputes in U.S. history. They’ve estimated that Qatar gave $17 billion or more to Qatar Airways over a 10-year period. “This would be a landmark milestone for the American airline industry that will protect our workers and ensure that our foreign competitors play by the rules and do not undermine our international agreements,” said Peter Carter, chief legal officer of Delta Air Lines. “We all support the administration as it holds their feet to the fire to ensure they live up to their commitments.”"



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi edges up as Kingdom continues rebound, rest of Gulf sluggish

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi edges up as Kingdom continues rebound, rest of Gulf sluggish:

"Saudi Arabia’s stock market rose in early trade on Monday as investment firm Kingdom Holding continued rebounding after its owner Prince Alwaleed bin Talal was released from custody, while other Gulf markets were sluggish.

The Saudi index gained 0.5 percent in the first hour as Kingdom added 4.8 percent to 10.52 riyals in heavy volumes, rising above the 10.28 riyal level where it traded before Prince Alwaleed was detained in a corruption probe last November.

During Prince Alwaleed’s detention, the Saudi stock index rose over 8 percent. Nevertheless, Kingdom’s rebound was seen as a vote of confidence in the company. Saudi officials said the prince would keep control of Kingdom after his release."



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