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Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Emirates NBD shares soar on talks to acquire Turkish DenizBank - The National

Emirates NBD shares soar on talks to acquire Turkish DenizBank - The National:

"Shares in Emirates NBD soared to a two-year high yesterday, after it confirmed it was in talks to acquire a majority stake in Turkish lender DenizBank from Sberbank of Russia. "Discussions are at a very preliminary stage and there is no certainty that any transaction will be entered into," Emirates NBD, Dubai's biggest bank by assets, said in a statement on Tuesday. "Emirates NBD routinely evaluates potential opportunities in different markets. A further announcement will only be made if there is a material development." "



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Governor says UAE will keep dirham tied to US dollar | GulfNews.com

Governor says UAE will keep dirham tied to US dollar | GulfNews.com:

"UAE Government will keep the dirham tied to the US dollar, Mubarak Rashid Al Mansouri, the Central Bank Governor, told the Federal National Council yesterday.

“The UAE dirham is pegged to the US dollar because oil exports are traded in US dollars, which makes the dirham peg to greenback convenient for oil transactions, and helps stabilise the UAE economy,” Al Mansouri said.
Al Mansouri told the House through the peg, the UAE benefits from the US’s financial stability and staves off vulnerability to exchange rate fluctuations."



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UAE's Emaar to distribute $1bln as special dividends | ZAWYA MENA Edition

UAE's Emaar to distribute $1bln as special dividends | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Leading UAE developer Emaar Properties said it has won approval from the company board to distribute Dh4 billion ($1.08 billion) as special dividends (Dh0.56 per share) to its shareholders. The dividends will be paid in two parts with the first tranche of Dh3 billion ($816 million), representing 42 per cent of the capital set for distribution this month, while the second Dh1 billion tranche will be given during the annual general meeting in April, said the top developer in its statement to Dubai Financial Market. "The board considered the funding and cash requirements of the company in light of ongoing development of large projects and approved the proposal to distribute a special dividend of Dh4 billion," the statement added. "



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US, Qatar reach agreement on subsidy spat with airlines

US, Qatar reach agreement on subsidy spat with airlines:

"The United States and Qatar on Tuesday inked a deal to resolve a years-old quarrel over alleged airline subsidies, as Qatar’s government works to defuse tensions with the Trump administration.

A formal announcement came Tuesday, as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis hosted the inaugural round of the U.S.-Qatar strategic dialogue. Agreements, on security and counter-terrorism cooperation and combatting human trafficking, were also signed.

“Qatar is a strong partner and long-time friend of the United States,” Tillerson said, welcoming the agreements. Tuesday’s meeting follows harsh criticism of Qatar from President Donald Trump. He denounced the country last year for allegedly funding terrorism amid a row between the country and other members of the Gulf Cooperation Council, who have imposed a land, sea and air blockade on it."



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Saudis Reap $107 Billion in Graft Pacts as 56 Remain Held - Bloomberg

Saudis Reap $107 Billion in Graft Pacts as 56 Remain Held - Bloomberg:

"Saudi authorities have reached agreements to recover more than 400 billion riyal

s ($107 billion) from people held under a controversial corruption investigation but refused to settle with 56 suspects who remain in custody.

The payments are a combination of “various types of assets, including real estate, commercial entities, securities, cash and other assets,” Attorney General Sheikh Saud Al Mojeb said in a statement released by the government’s Center for International Communication.

Some individuals were released due to lack of evidence. A total of 381 people were subpoenaed for questioning either as suspects or to provide evidence. Authorities refused to settle with 56 people “due to other pending criminal cases, in order to continue the investigations process,” according to the statement."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi rises as government winds down graft purge, region mostly weak

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi rises as government winds down graft purge, region mostly weak:

"Saudi Arabian stocks rose on Tuesday as the government indicated it was winding down its crackdown on corruption, while most other major Middle Eastern bourses were weak. The Saudi stock index closed 0.8 percent higher on active volumes after the government’s announcement in late trade. The statement said 56 people were now detained in the purge, down from well over 100 at one stage, and that authorities had reached their target of securing $100 billion of financial settlements from suspects. It is not clear that the government will get any quick infusion of cash: most of the settlements involve real estate or other illiquid assets."



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Saudi Aramco indecision shrouds world’s biggest IPO in uncertainty

Saudi Aramco indecision shrouds world’s biggest IPO in uncertainty:

"Indecision at the highest levels of government about Saudi Aramco’s planned IPO is causing frustration among company executives and financial advisers, shrouding what has been billed as the biggest stock market sale in uncertainty. Saudi Arabia has said it wants to sell 5 per cent of Saudi Aramco — the world’s largest oil producer — as part of major economic reforms driven by crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, who believes the company is worth as much as $2tn. The kingdom is targeting a listing in late 2018, with shares to be sold on the domestic Tadawul exchange. But Saudi Arabia’s preparedness for this flotation and willingness for a simultaneous or sequential flotation abroad has come into question."



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Doha Bank unveils aggressive Asian expansion plans - The Peninsula Qatar

Doha Bank unveils aggressive Asian expansion plans - The Peninsula Qatar:

"Doha Bank, one of Qatar’s largest private commercial banks, has unveiled its aggressive expansion plans in fast-growing Asian economies.

After opening its branches in India, the bank is planning to expand its footprint to Nepal, Vietnam and Sri Lanka.

Doha Bank already has two fully functional branches in Indian cities- Mumbai and Kochi."



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No. 2 OPEC Producer Loosens Oil Shackles for Premium Prices - Bloomberg

No. 2 OPEC Producer Loosens Oil Shackles for Premium Prices - Bloomberg:

"OPEC’s second-biggest producer is relinquishing some control over its prized oil in exchange for better prices.

In a rare move, Iraq is allowing buyers to load its crude without saying where the cargo will finally end up. They will only have to let the Middle East producer know about the destination two weeks after the shipment’s bill of lading, under the terms by which 4 million barrels of its March supply was sold via auctions this month.

That enables buyers to take a decision at the time of loading on the best location for a cargo, based on several factors such as comparative pricing and whether a particular region is short of supply. The strategy presents some advantages for Iraq as well: The two shipments loading in March sold at auction on the Dubai Mercantile Exchange fetched a premium to the oil’s official selling price. Basrah Light crude for March was sold at more than 40 cents per barrel over its official price, compared with a February lot that traded under more rigid terms at a discount."



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Qatar's Commercial Bank reports Q4 profit jump, beating two forecasts

Qatar's Commercial Bank reports Q4 profit jump, beating two forecasts:

"Commercial Bank, Qatar’s third-largest lender by assets, reported a large increase in fourth-quarter net profit on Monday, according to Reuters’ calculations, beating two analysts’ forecasts.

The bank earned a net profit of 345 million riyals ($94.8 million) in the three months to Dec. 31, Reuters calculated based on annual financial statements in the absence of a quarterly breakdown. That compares with a profit of 1.4 million riyals in the same period a year earlier.

SICO Bahrain had forecast the bank would make a quarterly profit of 101.3 million riyals, while QNB Financial Services had estimated a quarterly profit of 160.2 million riyals."



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Saudi Sipchem Mulls U.S. Shale Venture in First Foreign Foray - Bloomberg

Saudi Sipchem Mulls U.S. Shale Venture in First Foreign Foray - Bloomberg:

"Saudi International Petrochemical Co. is considering investing in the U.S. shale industry in what would be the company’s first foreign venture as it faces higher costs and a shortage of feedstock at home in Saudi Arabia.

Sipchem, as the business is known, may seek a U.S. partner in its effort to tap into the booming shale industry, though Chief Executive Officer Ahmad Al Ohali said in a Bloomberg television interview that he foresees risks in such an expansion.

“It’s not going to be easy because we don’t know the business landscape in the U.S., but definitely we are targeting hopefully to do something this year,” Al Ohali said. Sipchem would initially use cash to pay for the project instead of borrowing money, he said."



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Saudi closes hotel detention center as corruption purge winds down

Saudi closes hotel detention center as corruption purge winds down:

"Saudi Arabian authorities have released all remaining detainees from Riyadh’s opulent Ritz-Carlton Hotel, which had been used as an interrogation center in a crackdown on corruption, a Saudi official said on Tuesday.

The news signaled that the three-month-old purge, in which dozens of top officials and businessmen were detained by investigators who said they aimed to seize some $100 billion of illicit assets, was drawing to a close.

“There are no longer any detainees left at the Ritz-Carlton,” the official told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity under briefing rules."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Dubai Islamic Bank pulls down Dubai, rest of Gulf moves little

MIDEAST STOCKS-Dubai Islamic Bank pulls down Dubai, rest of Gulf moves little:

"Dubai Islamic Bank pulled down the emirate’s stock index in early trade on Tuesday after it announced a new share issue, while other Gulf bourses moved little. The Dubai index slipped 1.0 percent as Dubai Islamic fell 4.1 percent. Its board called an annual general meeting for Feb. 21 to approve a proposed capital increase via issuance of up to 1.65 billion new shares; the bank currently has 4.9 billion outstanding shares. Bahrain’s Ithmaar Holding, which listed in Dubai on Monday, shot up its 15 percent daily limit to 0.87 dirham in heavy trade. Its Bahrain-listed shares surged 7.7 percent to 21.0 U.S. cents, equivalent to 0.77 dirham."



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