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Tuesday, 6 February 2018

US-inspired market volatility does not enhance the case of Aramco to list on NYSE | Arab News

US-inspired market volatility does not enhance the case of Aramco to list on NYSE | Arab News:

"If Saudi Aramco had been listed on the New York Stock Exchange on Monday at its officially estimated market value of $2 trillion, it would have lost nearly $100 billion in value between the opening and closing bells.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average Index — in which Aramco would surely be included if it ever gets on the Big Board — fell by 4.6 percent on the day. Put another way, the entire value of the initial public offering of 5 percent of the shares, if they were listed exclusively on NYSE, would have been virtually wiped out in a single day.
That is a sobering thought for the investment bankers, consultants and lawyers who are “beauty parading” in the Kingdom."



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Decision-makers upbeat about Qatar business environment: OBG survey

Decision-makers upbeat about Qatar business environment: OBG survey:

"Almost all decision-makers interviewed for the first release of the Business Barometer: Qatar Survey carried out by Oxford Business Group (OBG) remain upbeat about the local business environment, despite the ongoing blockade by some of its GCC neighbours.
As part of its survey, the global research and consultancy firm asked over 100 high-level executives from across the country’s industries a series of questions aimed at gauging business sentiment. 
In the period after the blockade, 91% of respondents said they felt positive or very positive about local business conditions, up from 74% surveyed in the period June 2016 to January 2017."



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Iran Orders Armed Forces to Sell Off All Energy, Business Assets - Bloomberg

Iran Orders Armed Forces to Sell Off All Energy, Business Assets - Bloomberg:

"Iran’s armed forces, some of which are under U.S. sanctions, must divest from energy assets and other businesses to help save the Persian Gulf nation’s economy, President Hassan Rouhani said.

Armed forces, together with the largest state pension fund and other branches of the government, must withdraw from all their commercial holdings, Rouhani said Tuesday at a news conference in Tehran. Armed forces in Iran include the U.S.-sanctioned Revolutionary Guards Corps, a powerful military organization that controls a wide range of local companies.

“Not only the Social Security Organization but all government sectors, including banks, have to divest their business holdings, and this is the only way to rescue the country’s economy,” Rouhani said. “Government officials, non-government institutions and the armed forces and others -- everyone has to divest their commercial businesses.”"



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UAE's DP World reports record volume handling in 2017 | ZAWYA MENA Edition

UAE's DP World reports record volume handling in 2017 | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"DP World Limited handled 70.1 million TEU (twenty-foot equivalent units) across its global portfolio of container terminals in the full year of 2017, with gross container volumes growing by 10.1% year-on-year on a reported basis and 9.7% on a like-for-like1 basis, ahead of Drewry Maritime’s global container throughput growth estimate of 6.0% for 2017.

In the fourth quarter, a company statement said, the global portfolio grew 10.3% year-on-year on a reported basis and 9.9% on a like-for-like basis with consistent performance across all three DP World regions and particularly strong contributions from terminals in Europe, Americas and Middle East & Africa. The UAE handled 15.4 million TEUs in 2017, up by 4.0% year-on-year.

At a consolidated level, DP World terminals handled 36.5 million TEUs in 2017, a 24.7% improvement in performance on a reported basis and up 6.2% year-on-year on a like-for-like basis. Reported consolidated volume in the Asia Pacific & Indian Subcontinent region was boosted by the consolidation of Pusan, South Korea, in December 2016."



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Qatar's Masraf Al Rayan, Amwal to list ETFs this quarter -sources

Qatar's Masraf Al Rayan, Amwal to list ETFs this quarter -sources:

"Qatar’s stock market is set to list its first exchange-traded funds this quarter, market sources said on Tuesday, as authorities seek to develop the bourse in the face of a boycott by other Arab states. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut diplomatic and transport ties with Qatar last June, causing the Qatari stock index to plunge more than 20 percent at one stage. But the market has since recovered much of those losses and authorities say they aim to press ahead with reforms to improve liquidity and attract more foreign money."



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Saudi Arabia working with HSBC, JPMorgan, MUFG on $10 bln loan refinancing: sources

Saudi Arabia working with HSBC, JPMorgan, MUFG on $10 bln loan refinancing: sources:

"Saudi Arabia is working with HSBC, JPMorgan and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group on the refinancing of its existing $10 billion syndicated loan, said banking sources familiar with the matter. The three lenders have a leading role in the refinancing, which will involve a much larger group of banks. Loan syndication is expected to be completed by mid-February, said the sources. A spokesman for the Saudi debt management office said: “The DMO is coordinating this transaction directly with all financial institutions and it would be inappropriate to comment further whilst discussions are still ongoing.”"



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Region dragged down by global tumble but outperforms most of Asia

MIDEAST STOCKS-Region dragged down by global tumble but outperforms most of Asia:

"Middle Eastern stock markets fell on Tuesday because of the global downturn in equities, but the region outperformed emerging markets in Asia, where MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares ex-Japan plunged 3.6 percent.

Because of low oil prices and poor liquidity, the Gulf greatly underperformed the uptrend in global emerging markets last year, so fund managers say it may be less prone to profit-taking and have less distance to fall on the way down.

The Saudi stock index fell 1.6 percent with declining stocks outnumbering gainers by 169 to 13. Cement shares continued to pull back after big gains last week, with Jouf Cement down 3.3 percent."



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Monthly round-up: Gulf markets rebound at the start of 2018 | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Monthly round-up: Gulf markets rebound at the start of 2018 | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"January was a positive month for Middle East stock markets which tracked record high levels reached by global markets in a very busy beginning of the year. A good range for oil prices was also one of the main supports for Gulf stocks. Momentum started fading in the first week of February, though, with most global markets dropping as a result of profit-taking. Investors will be looking at the 2017 end-of-year and fourth quarter earnings results for more clues in the coming days. "



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BP’s profits quadruple on higher oil prices and new projects

BP’s profits quadruple on higher oil prices and new projects:

"BP’s fourth-quarter earnings more than quadrupled from last year as the UK oil and gas group benefited from higher crude prices and a surge in production from new projects. Seven project start-ups last year from Oman to Trinidad increased output by a tenth to 3.6m barrels a day. That represented BP’s highest level of production since the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico forced BP to sell tens of billions of dollars of assets to pay clean-up costs, fines and compensation. Bob Dudley, chief executive, said 2017 had been “one of the strongest years in BP’s recent history” and that the group had entered 2018 “with real momentum”."



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Oil prices fall more than 1 percent amid global market rout

Oil prices fall more than 1 percent amid global market rout:

"Oil prices dropped by more than 1 percent on Tuesday, extending falls from the previous session as global financial markets tumbled lower in the wake of one of the biggest intra-day falls ever registered on Wall Street.

Brent crude futures were at $66.91 per barrel at 0530 GMT, down 71 cents, or 1.1 percent, from the previous close. That was more than $4 below their high-point for 2018, hit last month.

 U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $63.46 a barrel, down 69 cents, or 1.1 percent, from their last settlement and more than $3 off their 2018 high.

"



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Saudi NCB net profit up 11.8 pct as expenses, impairments drop

Saudi NCB net profit up 11.8 pct as expenses, impairments drop:

"Saudi Arabia’s National Commercial Bank (NCB), the kingdom’s largest lender, reported an 11.8 percent rise in fourth-quarter net profit on Tuesday, helped by a drop in expenses and lower impairment charges.

The bank made a net profit of 2.56 billion riyals ($683 million) in the three months to Dec. 31, up from 2.29 billion riyals in the same period of 2016, it said in a bourse statement.

SICO Bahrain had forecast NCB would report a profit of 2.16 billion riyals."



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Gold Jewelry Demand Seen at 20-Year Low in United Arab Emirates - Bloomberg

Gold Jewelry Demand Seen at 20-Year Low in United Arab Emirates - Bloomberg:

"Gold jewelry demand in the United Arab Emirates sank to a 20-year low last year, the fourth consecutive annual decline, the World Gold Council said. Purchases fell 2 percent to 42.8 tons last year, the producer-funded council said Tuesday in an emailed report. The drop occurred even after fourth-quarter demand gained 16 percent as consumers rushed to buy to beat a 5 percent Value Added Tax that was imposed in January, it said. The U.A.E. and Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil exporter, have been squeezed by a fall in crude prices over the past several years. U.A.E. per capita consumer gold demand dropped from 8.7 grams in 2013 to 4.8 grams in 2017 while Brent crude tumbled over the same period from $108.70 a barrel on average to $54.75, according to data compiled by the council and Bloomberg."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf falls but outperforms Asian emerging markets

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf falls but outperforms Asian emerging markets:

"Gulf stock markets fell in early trade on Tuesday because of the global downturn in equities, but the region outperformed emerging markets in Asia, where MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares ex-Japan was down 3.7 percent. Because of low oil prices and poor liquidity, the Gulf greatly underperformed the uptrend in global emerging markets last year, and fund managers say it may have less distance to fall on the way down. The Saudi stock index fell 1.7 percent in the first 45 minutes with the biggest bank, National Commercial Bank , losing only 0.5 percent."



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