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Friday, 23 February 2018

Saudi Arabia improves position in anti-corruption league table | Arab News

Saudi Arabia improves position in anti-corruption league table | Arab News:

"Saudi Arabia’s position in Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index (CPI) has continued to improve with the country jumping five places in the index. In total, 180 countries were ranked on the basis of a number of best practice indicators, including international standards linked to business ethics. Saudi Arabia jumped to 57 in 2017 from 62 in the previous year."



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GCC bonds & sukuk market raises $174.17bn - The Peninsula Qatar

GCC bonds & sukuk market raises $174.17bn - The Peninsula Qatar:

"A total of $174.17bn was raised in the GCC aggregate bonds and sukuk market during 2017, an increase of 3.96 percent over $167.54bn raised in 2016. Out of which, $69.90bn was raised by the GCC Central Banks local issuances (CBLI) whereas $104.26bn was raised by GCC sovereign and corporate issuance. GCC aggregate bonds and sukuk market includes GCC Central Banks Local Issuances in addition to GCC Sovereign and Corporate Issuances. According to Kuwait Financial Centre’s (Markaz) ‘GCC bonds and sukuk market’ research note, an estimated 73.3 percent of GCC bonds and sukuk issuances (in value terms), with an aggregate value of $76.46bn were listed on exchanges in 2017. International exchanges accounted for 99 percent of such listings while regional exchanges recorded listing of 4 bonds and sukuk with a total value of $0.89bn. Dublin continued to be the most sought after exchange as it listed 71.39 percent of all the listed issuances during the year. The S&P MENA Bonds and Sukuk Index posted a gain of 4.56 percent in 2017, (4.003 percent in 2016) with total return increasing from 114.85 on 31st December 2016 to 120.19 on 29th December 2017. The index recorded the lowest value around the beginning of the year on 3rd January 2017 when it reached 114.94, while it recorded its highest value of 120.59 on 8th September 2017. Year-on-year, the Index yield increased from 3.38 percent to 3.40 percent. The index recorded its minimum yield during the year of 3.08 percent on 2nd June 2017 while it recorded its maximum yield of 3.43 percent on 10th November 2017."



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Bourse remains bullish overall on non-Qatari institutions' outlook

Bourse remains bullish overall on non-Qatari institutions' outlook:

"An across-the-board buying — particularly in insurance, realty, industrial and transport stocks — led the Qatar Stock Exchange remain overall bullish amidst weakened trading volumes and turnover this week. The bullish outlook of non-Qatari institutions and the weakened net selling by non-Qatari individuals helped the 20-stock Qatar Index rise 0.76% this week which saw global credit rating agency Fitch view that Qatar's fiscal deficit is narrowing despite the economic boycott that began in June last year. Islamic stocks were seen gaining slower than the other indices this week which saw the Institute of International Finance say that a pickup in private consumption, public spending, and exports has helped Qatar fast dissipate shocks from the economic blockade."



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LNG: Qatar could partner with companies having Chinese buyer ties, says BMI

LNG: Qatar could partner with companies having Chinese buyer ties, says BMI:

"Qatar, which is planning to build three new liquefied natural gas (LNG) trains to target the tighter LNG market expected in the mid-2020s, could rather look to partner with companies that have strong existing relationships with Chinese buyers to bolster its position in this market, according to BMI, a Fitch company. The expansion offers substantial opportunities for oil majors to expand their gas portfolios and Qatar to grow exports to new markets, BMI said, highlighting that Qatar has unveiled plans to develop three new LNG trains in order to achieve the 100mn tonnes (Mtpa) capacity target set in its mid-2017 expansion programme. Initially, BMI had expected the 23Mtpa of capacity growth to come from a mixture of debottlenecking work at existing mega-trains, in addition to two new-build production trains."



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Abraaj's Naqvi Cedes Control of Funds Division in Reshuffle - Bloomberg

Abraaj's Naqvi Cedes Control of Funds Division in Reshuffle - Bloomberg:

"Abraaj Group’s founder Arif Naqvi will cede control of the fund management business in a sweeping restructuring of the Middle East’s largest private equity firm following reports of misused funds.

Omar Lodhi and Selcuk Yorgancioglu were promoted to co-chief executive officers of Abraaj Investment Management Ltd., which will oversee funds globally for institutional investors, according to a statement Friday. The firm has also halted making new commitments for its capital until the reorganization is complete, it said.

Abraaj, which manages about $13.6 billion, is reorganizing the business following allegations in recent weeks that money in its health-care fund had been misused. The firm this month said a review by KPMG found no wrongdoing, and that all payments and receipts had been properly accounted for and unused capital had been returned to investors. The Dubai-based firm said Friday it has hired independent consultants to review its corporate governance and controls."



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Oil's Up for Another Week as Libya Woes Add to U.S. Supply Dive - Bloomberg

Oil's Up for Another Week as Libya Woes Add to U.S. Supply Dive - Bloomberg:

"Crude rose for a second week as American supplies drain and a key Libya oil field was shut. News of a production halt at Libya’s 70,000 barrel-a-day El-Feel field helped cap a weekly drop of more than 3 percent, after a report Thursday showed storage tanks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, hub are at their lowest levels since 2014 as exports of U.S. crude surge. “Yesterday’s inventory report was very bullish for crude oil,” John Kilduff, a partner at Again Capital LLC, a New York-based hedge fund, said by telephone. The decline of stockpiles “is starting to turn into a potentially critical situation that could be very supportive” for West Texas Intermediate crude prices, plus “the trouble in Libya seems to be on the upswing,” he said."



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Pickup in Qatar private consumption, public spend and exports blunt blockade: IIF

Pickup in Qatar private consumption, public spend and exports blunt blockade: IIF:

"A pickup in private consumption, public spending, and exports has helped Qatar fast dissipate shocks from the economic blockade, according to Washington-based Institute of International Finance (IIF).

Qatar's economy has remained resilient to the blockade, which, however, has had a silver lining, motivating deeper trade and diplomatic ties with several partners beyond their immediate geographical neighbourhood, which could pay long-term dividends, the IIF said in a report.

Although the blockade visibly crimped non-hydrocarbons in the middle of 2017, particularly in sectors such as trade, tourism, and real estate where foreign participants had played a leading role, the shock has largely dissipated, and manufacturing remained strong throughout."



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Djibouti seizes control of DP World's container terminal

Djibouti seizes control of DP World's container terminal:

"Djibouti has seized control of a container terminal run by Dubai-based port operator DP World, the latest move in a long-running legal dispute over the facility in the East African nation. The nationalization of the Doraleh Container Terminal in Djibouti comes as the United Arab Emirates’ interests across East Africa now also include a series of military bases allowing it to project power into the Red Sea and the crucial Bab el-Mandeb strait. A statement on behalf of President Ismail Omar Guelleh’s office issued Thursday said the government had “decided to proceed with the unilateral termination of the concession contract ... awarded to DP World.”"



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U.S. shale investors still waiting on payoff from oil boom | ZAWYA MENA Edition

U.S. shale investors still waiting on payoff from oil boom | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"U.S. oil production has topped 10 million barrels per day, approaching a record set in 1970, but many investors in the companies driving the shale oil revolution are still waiting for their payday.

Shale producers have raised and spent billions of dollars to produce more oil and gas, ending decades of declining output and redrawing the global energy trade map. But most U.S. shale producers have failed for years to turn a profit with the increased output, frustrating their financial backers.

Wall Street’s patience ran out late last year as investors called for producers to shift more cash to dividends and share buybacks."



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