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Sunday, 11 February 2018

Sharjah's Air Arabia 2017 profits soar - The National

Sharjah's Air Arabia 2017 profits soar - The National:

"Air Arabia, based in Sharjah, announced surging full-year financial results for 2017 as the Mena region's first and largest low-cost carrier posted a 30 per cent rise in earnings along with growth across its operations. “Air Arabia has enjoyed consistent and sustained growth in 2017 driven by its network expansion strategy and cost control measures helping us to once again deliver a strong set of results," said Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammad Al Thani, Chairman of Air Arabia. Net profit for the full year ending December 31 was Dh662 million, up from Dh509m for 2016. Turnover for the full year 2017 was in line with the preceding 12 months reaching Dh3.74 billion. More than 8.5 million passengers flew with Air Arabia in 2017 and the average seat load factor – or passengers carried as a percentage of available seats – in 2017 stood at 79 per cent."



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ENBD move could see foreign ownership cap lifted | GulfNews.com

ENBD move could see foreign ownership cap lifted | GulfNews.com:

"Emirates NBD (ENBD) was up 6.5 per cent in one day last week and this was on the back of confirmed talks with Russian lender Sberbank to potentially acquire its wholly-owned Turkish unit DenizBank, which is valued as much as $4.12 billion (Dh15.13 billion) or 1.3x book value.
We were less surprised with ENBD’s move to enter the new market as the bank has always been keen on inorganic growth (they entered the Egyptian market in 2013 after buying BNP Paribas’ subsidiary), rather than returning capital to shareholders via dividend payments.

Despite great fundamentals, ENBD has traditionally traded at a 20-30 per cent valuation discount to the UAE banking sector, mainly due to the foreign ownership limit (FOL) cap at 5 per cent for the stock."



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Emirates firms up $16 billion order for A380 superjumbos

Emirates firms up $16 billion order for A380 superjumbos:

"Emirates signed a contract on Sunday to buy as many as 36 Airbus (AIR.PA) A380 aircraft worth as much as $16 billion at list prices, firming up an order that is crucial to the future of the world’s biggest passenger jet.

The order, for 20 of the double-decker planes with an option for 16 more, was originally announced on a provisional basis in mid-January. Deliveries are to start as soon as in 2020, the Dubai-based carrier said.

Airbus had previously said it would have to end production of the A380 if it failed to secure the huge Emirates deal."



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Abu Dhabi financial regulator may create framework for virtual currencies

Abu Dhabi financial regulator may create framework for virtual currencies:

"The regulator of Abu Dhabi’s international financial centre said it could create rules for exchanges handling virtual currencies, in a sign that authorities in the United Arab Emirates may allow trade in cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin to develop. The Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) is considering whether to establish a framework for virtual currency exchanges, the FSRA, which supervises the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), said on Sunday. “In considering such a framework, the FSRA intends to consult and work closely with industry participants and relevant professional bodies,” the regulator said. Previously, regulators in the UAE had expressed scepticism about cryptocurrencies, without going as far as trying to enforce an outright ban on them."



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Saudi's Savola Q4 loss narrows on higher margins

Saudi's Savola Q4 loss narrows on higher margins:

"Saudi Arabia’s largest food products company, Savola Group, reported a fourth-quarter loss on Sunday but said it was much smaller than a year earlier due to higher profit margins and a lower impairment loss at one of its subsidiaries.

Its net loss for the three months to Dec. 31, 2017, was 37.5 mln riyals ($10 million), compared with a loss of 915.7 million riyals a year earlier.

NCB Capital forecast Savola would make a quarterly net profit of 144 million riyals."



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UAE rules out VAT, excise tax increase over next five years | ZAWYA MENA Edition

UAE rules out VAT, excise tax increase over next five years | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"The UAE has ruled out increasing value-added tax (VAT) and excise tax over the next five years, said Obaid Al Tayer, UAE's Minister of State for Financial Affairs. The UAE, along with Saudi Arabia, implemented five per cent VAT and increased excise tax by 50 per cent on energy and carbonated drinks and doubled on tobacco products. Speaking on the sidelines of the Arab Fiscal Forum held in Dubai on Saturday, Al Tayer noted that he doesn't "expect increasing VAT or excise tax over the next five years. Moreover, there's no study under consideration about introducing income tax as well in the country.""



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Region soft as Saudi slides but local institutions lift Qatar

MIDEAST STOCKS-Region soft as Saudi slides but local institutions lift Qatar:

"Major Middle Eastern stock markets were mostly lower on Sunday with petrochemical shares dragging down Saudi Arabia, but Qatar’s bourse climbed on the back of determined buying by local institutional investors.

The Saudi index fell 1.0 percent as 12 of 14 petrochemical producers slid, after Brent oil, which two weeks ago was trading around $70 a barrel, fell more than 3 percent on Friday to $62.79, its lowest since late December.

Al Tayyar Travel closed 1.7 percent lower after tumbling 8 percent at one stage. It reported annual net profit shrank to 497 million riyals ($132.5 million) from 814 million riyals; fourth-quarter profit was 17 million riyals, far below NCB Capital’s prediction of 113 million riyals for the quarter."



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Emaar Properties says 2017 net profit was $1.55 bln | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Emaar Properties says 2017 net profit was $1.55 bln | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Dubai-based Emaar Properties said on Sunday it posted a net profit of $1.55 billion in 2017, about 8 percent higher than a year earlier.

The developer of the more than 160-storey Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest tower, had made $1.43 billion in net profit in 2016.

The latest statement came after Emaar chairman Mohamed Alabbar said on Wednesday the firm had made $1.8 billion in profit and close to $5 billion in sales in 2017. "



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Rebound in Dubai house prices unlikely as supply pipeline grows | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Rebound in Dubai house prices unlikely as supply pipeline grows | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Dubai's residential market "shows few signs of bouncing back quickly" from what is now a three-year downturn, according to note published by the National Bank of Kuwait (NBK). Citing numerous data sources, the note states that there is only 'moderate' demand for residential property in Dubai, but supply continues to rise as new developments hit the market. Supply “is expected to grow over coming quarters," it said, citing figures from real estate consultancy firm JLL, which forecast a 9 percent increase in supply this year. The NBK note said that within the first few months of this year, some 17,000 new homes are due to complete including the New Dubai Gate project at Jumeirah Lakes Towers, The Pad at Business Bay and Eagle Heights in Dubai Sports City, among others. Although delivery numbers are likely to slow in the second half, supply is expected to increase by a further 8 percent in 2019, it added."



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Qatar banks need to set aside QR8.5bn buffer - The Peninsula Qatar

Qatar banks need to set aside QR8.5bn buffer - The Peninsula Qatar:

"With the new accounting norms kicking in, Qatar banks are forced to set aside additional reserve. Based on the IFRS9 standards, created on the aftermath of 2008 financial crisis, the listed banks in Qatar alone will have to create a combined additional buffer of QR8.5bn, according to an estimate by KPMG Qatar. “The implementation in the new accounting standards (IFRS9) on January 1, 2018, will result in higher provisioning by financial institutions based on the new expected credit loss approach. The estimated expected credit loss charge on loans and advances for listed banks as a result of IFRS9 implementation will range from QR0.2bn to QR2.3bn,” Omar Mahmood (pictured), the Qatar-based Partner and Head of Financial Services for KPMG in the Middle East and South-Asia told The Peninsula in an interview. Qatar banks are however, well prepared for the expected impacts. The retained earnings of the listed banks are currently standing at QR47bn. Then they have the existing risk reserve of QR16.5bn, which would together come around QR64bn. These numbers clearly show Qatar banks have got adequate buffers to cope for the IFRS9 charge. "



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Saudi's Al Rajhi Bank Q4 net profit rises 20 pct

Saudi's Al Rajhi Bank Q4 net profit rises 20 pct:

"Al Rajhi Bank, Saudi Arabia’s second-largest lender by assets, reported a 19.8 percent rise in its fourth-quarter net profit on Sunday, broadly in line with analysts’ forecasts.

The bank made 2.45 billion riyals ($653.4 million) in the three months to Dec. 31, up from 2.05 billion riyals in the same period a year earlier, it said in a bourse statement.

Three analysts surveyed by Reuters had on average forecast the bank’s quarterly profit would be 2.28 billion riyals."



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OPEC's Oil Price Nightmare Is Coming True - Bloomberg

OPEC's Oil Price Nightmare Is Coming True - Bloomberg:

"The latest surge in U.S. oil output will probably hasten the country's rise to the top of the producer pile. More important, it's starting to look as though at least half of OPEC's nightmare scenario for 2018 -- a surge in shale output and slowdown in demand growth -- is coming true. Last week's avalanche of releases from the U.S. Department of Energy showed daily oil production above 10 million barrels a day for the first time since 1970."



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Dana Gas swings to net profit in 2017 boosted by settlement with Kurdistan Regional Govt | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Dana Gas swings to net profit in 2017 boosted by settlement with Kurdistan Regional Govt | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"United Arab Emirates energy producer Dana Gas swung to a net profit of $83 million in 2017 from a net loss of $88 million a year earlier after a $1 billion payment as part of a settlement with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).

The company's revenues were also boosted by higher oil prices and higher production in Egypt and Kurdistan, where the Abu Dhabi-listed producer has its main assets.

However, Dana posted a net loss of $42 million in the fourth quarter of last year, Reuters calculated in the absence of a quarterly breakdown, compared with a $7 million profit in the same period a year earlier. "



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Emaar Properties $1.8bln profit in 2017 was before depreciation: company | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Emaar Properties $1.8bln profit in 2017 was before depreciation: company | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Emaar Properties' $1.8 billion estimate of its profit in 2017 was before depreciation, a spokeswoman for the company said on Saturday.

The spokeswoman was clarifying a statement on Wednesday by Emaar chairman Mohamed Alabbar, who said it made $1.8 billion in profit and close to $5 billion in sales in 2017.

The developer of the more than 160-storey Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest tower, made $1.43 billion in 2016 and reported $3.92 billion in Dubai property sales. "



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Mideast Stocks: Petchems drag down Saudi early on, rest of Gulf fares better | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Mideast Stocks: Petchems drag down Saudi early on, rest of Gulf fares better | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Petrochemical shares pulled down Saudi Arabia's stock index in early trade on Sunday but most Gulf markets moved little in response to the latest volatility in global bourses and oil prices at the end of last week.

The Saudi index sank 0.9 percent in the first 90 minutes as all 14 petrochemical shares fell, after Brent crude, which two weeks ago was trading around $70 a barrel, slipped more than 3 percent on Friday to $62.79, its lowest level since late December.

Al Tayyar Travel plunged 6.8 percent after reporting annual net profit shrank to 497 million riyals ($132.5 million) from 814 million riyals. It made 480 million riyals in first nine months, implying fourth-quarter profit of just 17 million riyals, far below NCB Capital's prediction of 113 million riyals for the quarter. "



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