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Monday, 12 February 2018

GCC banks still far from 2008 resolutions | GulfNews.com

GCC banks still far from 2008 resolutions | GulfNews.com:

"Banks in the Gulf Co-operation Council are still far from the implementation of resolution regimes discussed during the financial crisis in 2008 for both conventional and Islamic banks despite having implemented many of the recommendations. G7 finance ministers agreed to take decisive action during the global financial crisis. Using all available tools to minimise the need for government intervention and related costs for taxpayers, regulators enhanced their monitoring and supervision methodologies, revamped on-site examination processes, and, in many countries, expanded their toolkit to process orderly resolutions of and support systemically important financial institutions to prevent their failures. But “such implementation [by GCC banks] would require a significant change in mentality and the governments’ approach toward their banking systems,” said Dr Mohammad Damak, S&P Global Ratings head of Islamic Finance, in a report. "



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Nasdaq leaves door open for potential Saudi Aramco IPO | Arab News

Nasdaq leaves door open for potential Saudi Aramco IPO | Arab News:

"Adena Friedman, president and chief executive of Nasdaq, has left the door of the second New York stock exchange wide open for a listing of Saudi Aramco, the Kingdom’s oil giant aiming for an initial public offering this year. At the World Government Summit in Dubai, she was asked by Hadley Gamble, CNBC’s Middle East anchor, if Aramco could go for a dual listing on the Riyadh market and Nasdaq and replied: “With any company of that size and liquidity you could support a dual listing and allow fungibility (interchangeability) across markets.” She insisted she was not referring to any specific company, but went on to say that Nasdaq was home to the four largest companies in the world, and that it had attracted $350 billion-worth of listings from companies moving from the New York Stock Exchange to the newer and smaller Nasdaq."



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DXB Entertainments annual losses more than double | Arab News

DXB Entertainments annual losses more than double | Arab News:

" DXB Entertainments (DXBE), which owns one of the largest theme parks in the Middle East, has posted a net loss of 1.12 billion dirhams ($303.8 million) in 2017, despite reporting increased visitor numbers and implementing a cost-cutting strategy last year.
The company’s largest asset, Dubai Parks and Resorts, reported revenues of 552 million dirhams in its preliminary results for 2017. Revenue in the fourth quarter reached 157 million dirhams, marking an increase of 37 percent compared with the third quarter, according to a filing on the Dubai Financial Market.
While the company reported lower revenues of 76 million dirhams in 2016, the park only opened late that year and the full-year results reflect just three months of operations. DXBE posted a net loss of 485 million dirhams for that time period."



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Qatar economy resilient, continues to perform well, says Seetharaman

Qatar economy resilient, continues to perform well, says Seetharaman:

"Qatar’s economy has proven its resilience and continues to perform well amid the blockade, improving local liquidity and gaining the confidence of international investors, said Doha Bank CEO Dr R Seetharaman.
“The blockade (on Qatar by a quartet of nations) came as a rude shock to us. But Qatar has withstood… it has proven to be a resilient model. Qatar’s economy was performing around 2.5% last year. This year we are not expecting less than 3.1% growth,” Seetharaman told Gulf Times in an interview.
He said Qatar improved local liquidity by disinvestment last year.
“If you look at Qatar economy, liquidity was under stress to start with. The government improved local liquidity. Now international investors have reposed confidence in Qatar. The banking system as a whole is improving. "



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OPEC President Says Shale Surge Won't Thwart Plan to Clear Glut - Bloomberg

OPEC President Says Shale Surge Won't Thwart Plan to Clear Glut - Bloomberg:

"Surging output of U.S. shale oil won’t be a “huge distorter” of efforts by global crude producers to clear a glut, according to OPEC’s president. The market should re-balance this year, given robust demand and producers’ compliance with their pledges to curtail supply, United Arab Emirates Energy Minister Suhail Al Mazrouei, currently the president of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, said Monday in an interview in Dubai. The market is “on course to restoring balance” for the first time since 2014, OPEC’s Secretary-General Mohammad Barkindo said at a conference in Cairo. Oil demand is set to grow by 1.6 million barrels a day in 2018, the same level as last year, and crude inventories are continuing to dwindle as OPEC and other producers pursue their output cuts until the end of the year, Barkindo said Monday. Venezuela is proposing that OPEC seek a five-year deal for cooperation on output with allied producers beyond 2018, he said."



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DXB Entertainments Is Seeking to Restructure $1.15 Billion - Bloomberg

DXB Entertainments Is Seeking to Restructure $1.15 Billion - Bloomberg:

"Dubai’s DXB Entertainments PJSC is talking to banks to restructure $1.15 billion in loans used to build a theme park in the emirate after visitor numbers missed expectations, according to people familiar with the matter. The theme park operator is seeking to reschedule the loan it signed in 2014 and is asking lenders to freeze payments for three years and make higher repayments after that, the people said, asking not to be identified because the talks are private. The facility matures in 2026, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. DXB Entertainments, which counts Qatar Investment Authority as its second-biggest shareholder, opened the Dubai Parks & Resorts theme park in 2016. The entertainment center, which includes the Middle East’s first Legoland theme park and parks based on Bollywood and Hollywood films, aimed to draw 6.7 million visitors in 2017, its first full year of operation. Instead, it attracted 2.3 million visitors, the company said in its earning statement on Monday. "



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Kuwait hires TICG to advise on bourse listing- regulator | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Kuwait hires TICG to advise on bourse listing- regulator | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Kuwait has hired Tri International Consulting Group (TICG) to advise on the initial public offer of shares in the operator of its stock exchange, the capital markets regulator said on Monday. TICG is a joint venture between sovereign wealth fund Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA), the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development, and international consulting firm Oliver Wyman. Kuwait has been considering an IPO of its stock market for years, but political infighting and an entrenched bureaucracy have held up the process. Dubai's bourse is currently the only listed stock exchange in the Gulf region. The Kuwaiti bourse, with a market capitalisation of about $90 billion, is one of the oldest in the Middle East. Established officially in the early 1980s, it has seen the number of companies shrink in the past few years as dozens have been delisted. "



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UBS to Hire Ex-Morgan Stanley Banker for Richest Saudis - Bloomberg

UBS to Hire Ex-Morgan Stanley Banker for Richest Saudis - Bloomberg:

"UBS Group AG hired a former Morgan Stanley banker to run its ultra-high net worth business in Saudi Arabia as the bank consolidates its wealth management operations, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Gabriel Aractingi will be based in Geneva and joins from Bahrain’s Investcorp Bank BSC where he’d been head of its Saudi Arabia business since May, said the person, asking not to be identified because the move isn’t public. The Zurich-based bank confirmed his appointment.

Aractingi left his role as Morgan Stanley’s CEO in Saudi Arabia in August 2016 after six years with the U.S. lender. Yasser Bajsair will replace him as Investcorp’s head in the kingdom, another person familiar with the matter said."



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Saudi orders inventory of delayed payments to private sector

Saudi orders inventory of delayed payments to private sector:

"Saudi Arabia has ordered an inventory of all delayed payments to the private sector, state news agency SPA said on Monday, citing a royal decree. The decree urged a quick resolution of outstanding payments. It will also establish a committee headed by the trade and investment minister in charge of gathering data on payment delays to private sector contractors."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi surges on petchems as global trend pulls region up slightly

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi surges on petchems as global trend pulls region up slightly:

"Most Middle Eastern stock markets rebounded on Monday, with Saudi Arabia leading the recovery on the back of petrochemical stocks, as global equities and oil prices regained some strength after last week’s tumble. The Saudi index surged 1.3 percent as all 14 petrochemical stocks rose. The biggest, Saudi Basic Industries , added 1.7 percent. The strength of high-priced petrochemical stocks such as SABIC suggested there was good institutional buying support for the market ahead of catalysts expected later this year, including MSCI’s decision in June on whether to label Saudi Arabia an emerging market, and FTSE’s similar decision in March."



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Italy's SACE plans to back $1.6bln in debt to Saudi Arabia- CEO | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Italy's SACE plans to back $1.6bln in debt to Saudi Arabia- CEO | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Italy's export credit agency SACE plans to back $1.6 billion in loans to Saudi Arabia over the next 12 to 18 months, the agency's chief told Reuters, potentially boosting the country's search for outside investment at a time of weak oil prices.

Export credit agencies (ECAs) offer loan guarantees, and sometimes direct financing to overseas buyers, to facilitate the export and supply of domestic goods or contractors.

ECA-backed debt financing has become increasingly relevant in the Gulf region as a drop in oil prices and tighter liquidity in local banks have prompted governments to seek alternative funding sources for long-term infrastructure projects. "



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Dubai exchange exploring options as Indians stop licensing securities abroad | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Dubai exchange exploring options as Indians stop licensing securities abroad | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"The Dubai Gold and Commodities Exchange (DGCX) said on Monday it was working with Indian exchanges to explore alternatives after India's three main stock exchanges declared they would stop licensing their indexes and securities abroad.

The Indian decision appears to threaten several products offered by the DGCX, which trades futures based on the Bombay Stock Exchange's Sensex index, futures based on single Indian stocks, and Indian rupee and U.S. dollar-based futures for an Indian index compiled using methodology from MSCI.

"DGCX is working very closely with the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) as well as India International Exchange (INX) to explore alternative offerings, which will be communicated in due course," it said. "



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Number of foreign investors in Saudi stock market doubled last year, says chair | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Number of foreign investors in Saudi stock market doubled last year, says chair | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"The number of qualified foreign institutions (QFIs) in Saudi Arabia has more than doubled over the past year, as the kingdom has introduced a broad set of reforms to its capital markets, the chairperson of Tadawul said. “There are more than 120 QFIs to date and this number is significant, because it was less than half of this last year,” Sarah Al Suhaimi, chairperson of the Saudi stock market said on Thursday at the Milken Institute MENA Summit held in Abu Dhabi. “The qualified investors’ programme went through several iterations and the latest one was last month,” she said, explaining that rules were updated to allow QFIs to participate in trading on the market with lighter capital requirements."



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Saudi Arabia hopes to raise $13bn by year end from graft purge

Saudi Arabia hopes to raise $13bn by year end from graft purge:

"Saudi authorities expect to raise SR50bn ($13.3bn) for the state’s finances by the end of the year as they complete settlements with the princes and tycoons rounded up in Riyadh’s corruption crackdown, a senior official said.

Some cash has already been transferred to the government from suspects who signed agreements to secure their freedom and more deals are being finalised. The settlements involve the suspects handing over deposits, real estate and corporate assets to the state.

“By the end of the year, SR50bn will have been paid,” the official said."



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Commercial property downturn in UAE extends into ninth quarter | Arab News

Commercial property downturn in UAE extends into ninth quarter | Arab News:

"Demand for commercial space in the UAE fell for the ninth consecutive quarter in the last three months of 2017, with a marginal decline seen in office rentals, but a steeper deterioration affecting industrial and retail space.
Even as demand falls, leasable space continues to increase, alongside the value of incentive packages offered to tenants. According to the UK’s Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) latest global commercial property survey, respondents also expect headline rents to drop by 2.7 percent over the next 12 months, with rents expected to fall across all areas of the market.
Despite these downbeat forecasts, during Q4 2017 the Occupier Sentiment Index moved to -36 from -49 in Q3, indicating a gradual improvement, with the average three-year rental projection being comparatively upbeat."



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Oil's Bounce From Worst Week in Two Years Capped by Shale Fears - Bloomberg

Oil's Bounce From Worst Week in Two Years Capped by Shale Fears - Bloomberg:

"While oil is rebounding from its biggest weekly decline in two years, gains are still being limited by concern over a resurgence in U.S. shale output. Futures in New York were up about 1 percent after tumbling 9.6 percent last week. Prices are near $60 a barrel after data showed last week that American drillers raised the number of rigs exploring for oil to the highest since April 2015. That’s raising fears that a gain in U.S. output will undermine OPEC’s efforts to clear a glut. Hedge funds scaled back bets on rising West Texas Intermediate crude by the most since August. "



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Barclays Bank charged over Qatar loans - BBC News

Barclays Bank charged over Qatar loans - BBC News:

"The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has charged Barclays Bank PLC with "unlawful financial assistance" related to billions of pounds raised from Qatar in 2008. The same charges were bought against Barclays PLC in June last year. The move to charge Barclays Bank as well is significant because it holds the banking licence that allows it to operate in different countries."



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Gulf national oil companies unlikely to go Aramco way, says official | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Gulf national oil companies unlikely to go Aramco way, says official | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Saudi Aramco’s proposed Initial Public Offering (IPO) is not going to spark an IPO trend among the region’s national oil companies (NOCs) as is widely believed, according to NBK Capital’s Managing Director and Head of Investment Banking, Rani Selwanes.

Speaking at a panel discussion on energy financing at the Petroleum Economist Energy Strategy Forum in Kuwait recently, Selwanes said a key challenge for the region’s NOCs would be the “governance and transparency” standards expected of listed companies.

He said:  “[Whether it is] London Stock Exchange, New York Stock Exchange, Hong Kong Stock Exchange, each of these has stringent regulatory measures that you would have to comply. The decision-making would involve foreign regulators and institutional shareholders interfering in what you do.”"



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi rebounds, rest of region sluggish | ZAWYA MENA Edition

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi rebounds, rest of region sluggish | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Saudi Arabia's stock market rebounded on Monday as global equities and oil prices regained some strength after last week's tumble, but other Gulf bourses moved little, with Qatar's index restrained by its biggest bank going ex-dividend. The Saudi index climbed 0.8 percent in the first 25 minutes as petrochemical blue chip Saudi Basic Industries added 1.1 percent and Al Rajhi bank gained 1.6 percent. Trade Union Cooperative Insurance  surged 4.6 percent after reporting an 87 percent leap in fourth-quarter net profit, as gross written premiums increased 35 percent. But Salama Cooperative Insurance fell 2.3 percent after quarterly profit shrank 6 percent. "



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