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Sunday, 18 February 2018

Saudi stocks will have potential 2.3 per cent weighting on MSCI Emerging Markets Index - The National

Saudi stocks will have potential 2.3 per cent weighting on MSCI Emerging Markets Index - The National:

"Saudi stocks will account for a potential 2.3 per cent weighting in MSCI’s Emerging Market Index in the event of an expected upgrade of the kingdom’s equities to the widely tracked measure, the index provider said in a presentation. The 2.3 per cent weighting would make it the third biggest market in the EMEA region on the index behind South Africa with 6.7 per cent and Russia with 3.4 per cent. The kingdom’s weighting will increase following the completion of the initial public offering of Saudi Aramco, currently slated for late 2018, the index provider said. MSCI last June added Saudi stocks to a watch-list for possible inclusion in its Emerging Market index, after the country passed a series of market reforms. These included easing requirements for the ownership of equities by foreign investors, reducing settlement cycles and introducing short-selling."



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Qatar’s listed banks weather blockade storm - The Peninsula Qatar

Qatar’s listed banks weather blockade storm - The Peninsula Qatar:

"The combined profit of Qatar’s listed banks rose by 6.7 percent to QR21.29bn in 2017, on year-on- year. The banks’ assets increased 9.7 percent to 1.4 trillion during the period, as they stood firm and weathered the blockade storm. Among the country’s eight listed banks, the banking powerhouse QNB recorded the maximum net profit for the year by posting QR13.12bn, followed by QIB (QR2.4bn) and Masraf Al Rayan (QR2.02bn). Doha Bank recorded QR1.1bn, while QIIB reported QR832m and Commercial Bank delivered QR604m, up from the previous year’s QR501m, showed KPMG’s banking results snapshot for the year 2017. In terms of growth in assets, QNB led the pack by increasing its assets by 12.7 percent to QR811bn, from the previous year’s QR719bn. Masraf Al Rayan’s assets rose to QR102.9bn, up from QR91 bn, recording a 12.5 percent increase. QIIB’s assets increased by 9.6 percent to QR46.6bn, while QIB saw a 7.5 percent growth. Commercial Bank posted 6.2 percent increase and Doha Bank recorded 3.5 percent growth on year-on-year."



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QSE inches near 9,100 level on domestic institutions

QSE inches near 9,100 level on domestic institutions:

"The Qatar Stock Exchange on Sunday opened the week on a stronger note to inch near 9,100 levels mainly on stronger buying support from domestic institutions.

An across the board buying – particularly at the insurance, industrials, transport and realty counters – led the 20-stock Qatar Index to gain 0.57% to 9,079.43 points.

Non-Qatari individuals turned net buyers in the market, which is up 6.52% year-to-date."



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Abu Dhabi Awards Oil Field Stake to Cepsa for $1.5 Billion - Bloomberg

Abu Dhabi Awards Oil Field Stake to Cepsa for $1.5 Billion - Bloomberg:

"Abu Dhabi awarded a second slice of its offshore oil concessions in as many weeks, this time to Spanish refiner and producer Cia Espanola de Petroleos SA for a $1.5 billion fee. Government-owned Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. awarded Madrid-based Cepsa a 20 percent stake in development rights for the Sateh Al Razboot and Umm Lulu fields in the Persian Gulf, Adnoc said Sunday. Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Investment Co. owns Cepsa. The 40-year contract is the second that Adnoc has signed for its offshore deposits this month. Adnoc secured a $600 million deal with a group of Indian companies for the Lower Zakum field on Feb. 10. The emirate split an existing offshore oil partnership into three blocks and is seeking new partners to hold as much as 40 percent of each of the the new concessions. The current partnership governing those deposits as a single block will expire on March 8."



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Oman Gas working with banks on $1bln bridge loan- sources | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Oman Gas working with banks on $1bln bridge loan- sources | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"State-owned Oman Gas Co. is working with a group of banks to raise a bridge loan of slightly over $1 billion, which will later be refinanced via a U.S. dollar bond issue, sources familiar with the matter said. The natural gas transport company, which was bought by state-owned Oman Oil Company in 2013, will use the financing for capex purposes and to purchase assets from the government, the sources said. One of the sources said the loan talks were at an early stage with "a lot of building blocks" still needed before it can be completed."



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In boost to reform, Saudi Arabia's cabinet approves bankruptcy law

In boost to reform, Saudi Arabia's cabinet approves bankruptcy law:

"Saudi Arabia’s cabinet has approved a bankruptcy law, sources familiar with the matter said on Sunday, giving a boost to efforts to make the kingdom more enticing to investors. Modern bankruptcy legislation does not currently exist in Saudi Arabia, creating difficulties for struggling companies seeking to restructure debt with creditors since the 2009 global financial crisis and, more recently, the dip in oil prices. The kingdom is embarking on an intensive drive to overhaul its economy - including updating outdated laws - as it seeks to create an investor-friendly climate to push through a multi-billion dollar pipeline of asset sales such as the initial public offering of Saudi Aramco, expected to be the world’s largest public share sale."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Dubai underperforms in sluggish region, rate cut boosts Egypt

MIDEAST STOCKS-Dubai underperforms in sluggish region, rate cut boosts Egypt:

"Dubai’s stock market again underperformed in a sluggish Gulf on Sunday while local institutional investors boosted Qatar and Egypt rose after an interest rate cut at the end of last week. Slumping real estate prices have weighed on Dubai’s bourse in recent months, and mostly mediocre fourth-quarter earnings released in the past fortnight have worsened liquidity. Meanwhile, some fund managers say money is already rotating out of Dubai to Saudi Arabia, which is anticipating an upgrade to emerging market status by index compiler MSCI and the listing of oil giant Saudi Aramco late this year."



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Slow UAE credit growth set to linger on in 2018 | GulfNews.com

Slow UAE credit growth set to linger on in 2018 | GulfNews.com:

"Slow credit growth driven by weak credit demand in UAE in 2017 is expected linger on this year, economists and analysts have said.
UAE Central Bank Data on credit growth released in December showed weak credit demand in 2017. Gross loans fell 0.9 per cent month-on-month in December, resulting in an annual growth of just 1.7 per cent.

“The monthly fall in total loans in December appears to be a seasonal effect, with similar trends seen in the previous three years. Lower GRE [government-related entities] borrowing [-6.4 per cent] month-on-month was largely behind the overall drop in December 2017, suggesting a notable repayment of debt,” said Monica Malik, chief economist at Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB)."



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Oil prices to average $60-65/b in 2018: QNB - The Peninsula Qatar

Oil prices to average $60-65/b in 2018: QNB - The Peninsula Qatar:

"Oil prices are expected to be range bound around the $60/b mark. On the one hand, Opec would have a strong incentive to extend the current production cuts beyond 2018 if prices threaten to break significantly lower due to excess supply. This would help to rebalance the market and support prices. On the other hand, if prices rise significantly above the US shale “break-even” price, these producers are likely to respond by increasing US shale production more aggressively thus capping the topside in oil prices. In its weekly ‘economic commentary’, QNB Group noted the Brent oil price has proven to be volatile over the past 10 days. After rising to above $70/b in late January, which is 55 percent higher than the recent low of $45/b set in June last year, the Brent oil price fell back to around $63/b last week."



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As Oil Stocks Drain, OPEC Searches for Its Next Fig Leaf - Bloomberg

As Oil Stocks Drain, OPEC Searches for Its Next Fig Leaf - Bloomberg:

"There is no doubt that the output cuts made by OPEC and its friends, aided by a collapse in production from group member and historic quota cheat Venezuela, have drained a lot of excess oil out of the supply chain. Tankers floating full of crude off the coasts of Iran and South Africa have disappeared and total U.S. stockpiles are close to their lowest in almost three years.

But now their goal is within sight, or it may already have been passed. And that creates problems for the producer group.

If inventories are back where they say they want them, but prices haven't recovered as much as they would like, they need to find a way to justify prolonging the cuts to boost their revenues."



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Qatar National Bank to sell small stake in Egypt unit to comply with listing rules | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Qatar National Bank to sell small stake in Egypt unit to comply with listing rules | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Qatar National Bank (QNB) QNBK.QA , the Middle East's largest lender by assets, said it will sell a 2 percent stake in its Egyptian unit QNB Alahly QNBA.CA to comply with Cairo listing rules. A QNB spokesman said the bank had no current plans to further reduce its stake, which will stand at 95 percent after the sale. The sale of the 2.125 percent stake is intended to comply with Egyptian stock exchange rules that require a free float of not less than 5 percent, QNB Alahly QNBA.CA said in a statement. "



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Nasdaq Dubai launches Abu Dhabi, Dubai equity index futures | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Nasdaq Dubai launches Abu Dhabi, Dubai equity index futures | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"In a move that could attract fresh money to the United Arab Emirates' equity markets, the Nasdaq Dubai exchange launched futures contracts on Sunday covering the main indexes of the country's two main stock markets in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. The futures provide exposure to the General Index .ADI of the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange and the equivalent index .DFMGI at Dubai Financial Market DFM.DU , giving investors new opportunities to hedge. "This is one of the templates for stock markets in the UAE and how they can complement each other," Hamed Ahmed Ali, chief executive of Nasdaq Dubai, told reporters on Sunday."



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Mideast Stocks: Most major Gulf bourses edge up, Shuaa continues slide in Dubai | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Mideast Stocks: Most major Gulf bourses edge up, Shuaa continues slide in Dubai | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Most major Gulf stock markets edged up in early trade on Sunday although Dubai fell, partly because of a continued slide in Shuaa Capital SHUA.DU . The Saudi index was up 0.5 percent after 55 minutes with blue-chip bank Al Rajhi gaining 0.9 percent. National Medical Care Co rose 1.3 percent after proposing to resume dividend payments for 2017. But Buruj Cooperative Insurance sank 6.3 percent after reporting a 62 percent decline in fourth-quarter net profit, as gross written premiums fell."



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