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Thursday, 22 February 2018

Opec co-operation with Russia is ‘new norm’ — UAE energy minister

Opec co-operation with Russia is ‘new norm’ — UAE energy minister:

"The UAE’s energy minister reaffirmed that Opec countries alone would not balance supply and demand in the event of another price crash, adding that the involvement of Russia is now the “new norm”.

Suhail al-Mazrouei said some of the world’s biggest producer nations were looking to establish a “structure” for long-term co-operation, following a supply curbs deal among 24 countries inside and outside the Opec cartel.

“We are living in a new norm,” said Mr Mazrouei, speaking at the International Petroleum Week conference in London. “Opec alone cannot be responsible for the whole restoration of the market.”"



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Oil prices hit two-week high after US inventories drop

Oil prices hit two-week high after US inventories drop:

"Oil is cruising higher after data showed US crude stockpiles unexpectedly fell last week. Before the data, both Brent, the international benchmark, and West Texas Intermediate, the US standard, were relatively flat on the day. Since then, both have pushed higher, with a barrel of Brent now trading up by $1 at $66.56 — a two-week high. WTI is up more than 2 per cent to $63.02, also its highest point in two weeks. The US Energy Information Administration said that US crude inventories dropped by 1.6m barrels in the week ending February 16. Analysts had on average been looking for a 1.33m barrel increase, according to Thomson Reuters data."



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Damac to experience 'cash flow pressure' in 2018, says EFG Hermes - The National

Damac to experience 'cash flow pressure' in 2018, says EFG Hermes - The National:

"Operational and financial challenges at Damac Properties, one of the UAE’s biggest listed real estate developers, are expected to continue this year after the company reported a 25 per cent drop in full-year net profit for 2017, a report from EFG Hermes bank said.

“We think the company will face operational challenges and, potentially, see pressure on its cash flows over the coming 12 to 24 months; this might, in turn, place pressure on the company’s future dividends starting 2018, and on sustaining its historical attractive dividend yields,” the report said.

The developer’s net profit dropped to Dh2.76 billion in 2017 from Dh3.69bn in 2016, Damac said in a filing last week to the Dubai Financial Market, where its shares are traded. It attributed the drop to a higher cost of sales coupled with rising expenses and depreciation charges.

"



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A night at the opera, a new dawn for the economy | Arab News

A night at the opera, a new dawn for the economy | Arab News:

"The concert goers might see a virtuoso opera singer, but the economists see the multiplier effect. Investment in the entertainment industry produces broader macro-economic benefits that will add to living standards across Saudi Arabia, and in the process improve quality of life in the Kingdom. A $64 billion investment in the entertainment industry over the next 10 years will have excited youngsters, opera fans and fun-seekers everywhere, but it will also have the economists working out the financial implications. The global value of the entertainment industry (including media) will be about $2.2 trillion by 2021, making it one of the biggest and fastest growing areas of the world economy."



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Qatar shares settle below 9,100 despite buying interests in banks, industrials

Qatar shares settle below 9,100 despite buying interests in banks, industrials:

"The Qatar Stock Exchange was back in the negative turf to settle below 9,100 levels despite buying interests in banking, industrials and telecom counters.

Lower net buying by foreign funds and Gulf individuals was largely instrumental in dragging the 20-stock Qatar Index 0.25% higher at 9,096.36 points.

Islamic stocks were seen declining slower than the main index in the market, which is however up 6.72% year-to-date."



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Irish taxman sees disputed Apple bill remaining around $16 billion

Irish taxman sees disputed Apple bill remaining around $16 billion:

"United Arab Emirates Energy Minister Suhail al-Mazrouei said on Thursday that the current oil price level was not encouraging the flow of investments yet that the oil industry needs. Speaking at an energy conference in London, Mazrouei, who holds the OPEC presidency this year, said the exporting group was not targeting a specific oil price but rather seeking a balanced oil market. “Am I seeing the right investments coming to the market? Not yet,” he said, when asked whether he sees oil at $60-65 as the sweet spot for the oil industry."



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New tax pushes Dubai inflation up moderately in January

New tax pushes Dubai inflation up moderately in January:

"Dubai consumer inflation rose only moderately in January when the United Arab Emirates introduced a 5 percent value-added tax, as authorities look to balance a need to increase state revenues with continued economic growth.

Last month’s imposition of VAT on the UAE’s low-tax economy, designed to strengthen state finances in the face of low oil prices, was one of the biggest policy shifts in years.

Dubai’s annual inflation rate to its highest level since last April, data showed on Thursday, but the rise to 2.7 percent, from 1.5 percent in December, was relatively modest."



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Energy Costs: Big Oil and Power Face New Competition - Bloomberg

Energy Costs: Big Oil and Power Face New Competition - Bloomberg:

"You may not have noticed, but you're spending a lot less on energy these days.

Less than four cents of every dollar of U.S. consumer spending went to gasoline, electricity and natural gas last year, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance's recently published "Sustainable Energy In America Factbook." "



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Oil prices to average $50-$70 out to 2023: BofAML paper | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Oil prices to average $50-$70 out to 2023: BofAML paper | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Brent crude oil prices are expected to average $50 to $70 per barrel (/bbl) in a medium-term horizon to 2023, said the Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BofAML) in its latest Global Energy Paper.
 This forecast range compares to a current forward strip of $58/bbl on average over the forecast horizon to 2023, and a 15-year average price of $72/bbl, the report added, noting that global oil consumption has expanded by 1.4 million b/d in the past two years and remains on a solid footing.

“On our latest estimates, oil demand should keep growing by 1.1 million b/d per annum out to 2023, falling short of average annual non-Opec oil supply growth of 750 thousand b/d,” BofAML said."



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Jump in Islamic tax liabilities worries Saudi banks | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Jump in Islamic tax liabilities worries Saudi banks | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"A jump in retroactive Islamic tax liabilities faced by Saudi Arabian banks is creating concern about damage to their earnings and the government's motives in demanding the money.

While Saudi banks and other firms generally do not pay corporate tax, they are subject to an annual Islamic tax called zakat, a 2.5 percent levy on each bank's net worth. Analysts say the way in which this is assessed can be complex and opaque.

In the last couple of weeks, several major banks have disclosed that the government's General Authority of Zakat and Tax (GAZT) is seeking additional zakat payments from them for years going back as far as 2002. In some cases, the demands exceed half of a bank's annual net profit."



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MSCI decision on Saudi Arabia to be independent of Aramco listing- executive | ZAWYA MENA Edition

MSCI decision on Saudi Arabia to be independent of Aramco listing- executive | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Global index compiler MSCI's impending decision on whether to upgrade Saudi Arabia to emerging market status will be independent of the stock market's ability to absorb the listing of Saudi Aramco, an MSCI executive said on Thursday. "It is not a factor," Robert Ansari, head of MSCI for the Middle East, told reporters at a financial conference in Abu Dhabi, when asked if the two issues were linked. "If the Aramco IPO happens, where it lists, what and how it lists is independent of what MSCI will do to classify.""



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Emaar continues rebound but Dubai, regional markets mostly move little

MIDEAST STOCKS-Emaar continues rebound but Dubai, regional markets mostly move little:

"Dubai blue chip Emaar Properties continued to rebound in heavy trade on Thursday but regional stock markets were mostly lacklustre, partly because of weak global bourses and oil prices.

Emaar, which had been trading near 14-month lows, surged 3.2 percent on Wednesday as some funds returned to the stock, apparently attracted by undemanding valuations compared to emerging market peers.

On Thursday the stock climbed a further 1.8 percent in its heaviest volume this year. However, this failed to lift Dubai’s stock index, which was flat as declining issues outnumbered gainers by 20 to nine."



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U.S. Oil Boom Tempts Saudis to Consider Exporting American Crude - Bloomberg

U.S. Oil Boom Tempts Saudis to Consider Exporting American Crude - Bloomberg:

"Even Saudi Arabia wants in on the U.S. oil boom.

The kingdom’s state oil firm considered the possibility of sending American crude to Asia in February via a U.S. unit before determining it wasn’t economically viable, according to a person with knowledge of the matter. It also asked potential buyers in Asia if they would be interested in U.S. supply, according to officials at two regional refiners. The people asked not to be identified because the information is confidential.


The fact that the Saudis decided against moving a cargo to the world’s biggest oil consuming region this month doesn’t mean they won’t consider it again. Such a sale would be unprecedented, and a potential strategy by the Middle East nation in the face of rising U.S. production. American supplies are proving a threat to efforts by the OPEC producer and its allies to clear a global glut and prop up prices.

"



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If You Thought Frontier Investing Was High Risk, Here's Comfort - Bloomberg

If You Thought Frontier Investing Was High Risk, Here's Comfort - Bloomberg:

"Try not to gasp, but in these days of surging volatility, frontier-market stocks are outperforming their more developed peers.

You might think equities in the more remote economies would experience wilder price swings than their developed or emerging-market counterparts, rendering their returns much more modest when the volatility risk is taken into account.

The truth is rather different."



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No going back on Saudization plans: Labor Minister | ZAWYA MENA Edition

No going back on Saudization plans: Labor Minister | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Minister of Labor and Social Development Dr. Ali Al-Ghafis has reiterated that his ministry will enforce the Saudization programs as planned and without delay, Makkah newspaper reported. The ministry will not renege on any decision, he said during a meeting with the heads of chambers of commerce and industry in the country at the ministry's offices in Riyadh. A number of participants called upon the ministry to exempt the private sector from 100 percent Saudization, especially of certain jobs that are difficult to be filled by Saudis. They asked the ministry to form a committee to study any decisions thoroughly before they are announced."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Emaar continues to buoy Dubai, ex-dividend Qatar Islamic Bank tumbles

MIDEAST STOCKS-Emaar continues to buoy Dubai, ex-dividend Qatar Islamic Bank tumbles:

"A rebound of shares in blue chip Emaar Properties continued to buoy Dubai’s stock market in early trade on Thursday while the rest of the region mostly moved sideways.

Emaar, which had been trading near 14-month lows, surged 3.2 percent on Wednesday in its heaviest volume this year as some funds returned to the stock, apparently attracted by undemanding valuations compared to emerging market peers.

On Thursday morning the stock climbed a further 1.9 percent in unusually heavy trade, helping to lift Dubai’s stock index by 0.9 percent."



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