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Sunday, 25 February 2018

Mena sovereign borrowing to decline by 6% to $181bn - The Peninsula Qatar

Mena sovereign borrowing to decline by 6% to $181bn - The Peninsula Qatar:

"S&P Global believes sovereign borrowing in the Middle East and North Africa could decrease by 6 percent this year after falling 30 percent in 2017. This is chiefly because fiscal consolidation measures in all Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and higher oil prices will likely reduce GCC sovereigns’ funding needs, the ratings agency noted in its latest report. S&P expects that about 40 percent of Mena sovereigns’ $181m of gross borrowing this year will go toward refinancing maturing long-term debt, resulting in an estimated net borrowing requirement of $108bn. Adding amounts owed to bi- and multilateral institutions, total debt will reach about $860bn, a year-on-year increase of $13bn, or 2 percent. However, the share of non-commercial official debt is set to decline to 11 percent of total sovereign debt as of year-end 2018, from 12 percent in 2017. It expects that outstanding short-term commercial debt (original tenor of less than one year) will fall to $131bn by the end of this year. “For 2018, we project that sovereigns’ commercial debt rated in the ‘AA’ category (Abu Dhabi, Kuwait, and Qatar) will be 19 percent of the total, up from 16 percent in our 2017 report. The share of ‘A’ category debt (Ras Al Khaimah and Saudi Arabia) will rise to about 20 percent. No Mena sovereigns are rated ‘AAA’. Due to the rise in the share of debt issuance by higher-rated Mena sovereigns, the share of commercial debt rated in the ‘BBB’ category or lower should fall to about 62 percent of the total from 67 percent at the time of our 2017 report. Egypt accounts for 19 percent of the total commercial debt we expect the region’s sovereigns will issue by the end of 2018, with Lebanon at about 11 percent, closely followed by Iraq at around 10 percent,” the ratings agency noted."



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Nakilat posts 2017 profit of QR847mn

Nakilat posts 2017 profit of QR847mn:

"Nakilat posted a net profit of QR847mn in 2017, the company said yesterday.
The company’s earnings per share stood at QR1.53.
Nakilat’s board of directors recommended distributing cash dividends to the shareholders equal to 10% of the nominal value of its capital, which is equivalent to QR1 per share. 
During the year, Nakilat successfully deployed the company’s strategic plans towards maintaining its global leadership in LNG transportation and the integral role it plays in Qatar’s LNG supply chain. "



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Saudi January inflation jumps to 3.0 percent on VAT, gasoline price hike

Saudi January inflation jumps to 3.0 percent on VAT, gasoline price hike:

"Saudi Arabia’s annual consumer price inflation jumped to 3.0 percent in January after the government introduced a 5 percent value-added tax and hiked domestic gasoline prices at the start of the year, official data showed on Sunday.

The figures suggested the new tax and more expensive fuel, part of a government drive to cut a big budget deficit caused by low oil prices, had a large impact on Saudi consumer spending power in some areas last month. Consumer prices rose 3.9 percent from the previous month in January.

Food and beverage prices jumped 6.7 percent from a year earlier, restaurants and hotels gained 5.8 percent, and transport costs soared 10.5 percent. "



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Saudi developer Dar Al Arkan meets bond investors for non-deal roadshow- sources | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Saudi developer Dar Al Arkan meets bond investors for non-deal roadshow- sources | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Saudi Arabian real estate developer Dar Al Arkan met fixed income investors last week for a so-called non-deal roadshow, discussions that were not linked to any specific plan for a bond issue, sources familiar with the matter said. Dar Al Arkan 4300.SE , which issued $500 million of Islamic bonds last April, held the meetings to update investors on the company's business, but no concrete bond issue plan was discussed, said one source, declining to be named because of commercial sensitivities. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The roadshow was held last week in Dubai and arranged by Emirates NBD."



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First Abu Dhabi Bank eyes entering Saudi market in 2018 | ZAWYA MENA Edition

First Abu Dhabi Bank eyes entering Saudi market in 2018 | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"First Abu Dhabi Bank FAB.AD , the largest bank in the United Arab Emirates, expects to enter Saudi Arabia's banking market in 2018, a senior executive said on Sunday. The bank has applied for a commercial banking licence in the kingdom, Karim Karoui, the bank's group head of subsidiaries, strategy and transformation, told reporters. FAB, created by last year's merger between National Bank of Abu Dhabi and First Gulf Bank, recently was given the go-ahead by Saudi Arabia's regulator to conduct arranging and advising activities in the securities sector."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi lower as weak banks outweigh rising petchems

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi lower as weak banks outweigh rising petchems:

"Saudi Arabian shares fell on Sunday as weakness in banks more than offset a rise in petrochemicals after Brent crude oil rebounded to around $67 a barrel at the end of last week. The Saudi stock index fell 0.4 percent. Ten of 14 petchems climbed, with the biggest, Saudi Basic Industries , adding 0.6 percent. Saudi Kayan Petrochemical gained 0.3 percent after swinging to a fourth-quarter loss of 220 million riyals ($58.7 million) due to scheduled maintenance at its plants. The loss was larger than 90 million riyals forecast by SICO Bahrain but much smaller than 417 million riyals predicted by NCB Capital."



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GCC — the oil-rich bloc that’s facing a new era | GulfNews.com

GCC — the oil-rich bloc that’s facing a new era | GulfNews.com:

"The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) — Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE — are now among the world’s 30 richest countries in terms of GDP per capita and fared well compared with emerging markets, developed markets and the world economy throughout 2008-14. However, the latest episode of falling oil prices that started in mid-2014 saw average growth rates plummet throughout 2015-16, reaching only 0.3 per cent in 2017, based on our estimates. The lower-for-longer oil prices ($67 [Dh246] by the end of 2017 compared with an average of $100 during 2008-14) and subsequent lower growth are creating three big challenges for the GCC."



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Qatar’s economic diversification plans on track - The Peninsula Qatar

Qatar’s economic diversification plans on track - The Peninsula Qatar:

"The pick up in inbound foreign direct investments, growing investments in technology and inflow of  international talents, especially from many technologically advanced countries such as the US, UK, Germany, France, Italy, Japan and Korea, are giving a great impetus to Qatar’s ambitious economic diversification programme.   The upcoming Investment Free Zones and other economic zones with the combined capital and assets value of over QR50bn is expected to play a key role in achieving the objective of knowledge-based society, according to Qatar Chamber. “Businesses from many countries, including Turkey have already agreed to set up manufacturing facilities and production units,  in some of Qatar’s most promising sectors, such as food, medicine, construction materials and others,” Muhammed bin Ahmed bin Towar Al Kuwari (pictured), Vice-Chairman of Qatar Chamber told The Peninsula recently."



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Qatari equity market set to improve disclosure practices - The Peninsula Qatar

Qatari equity market set to improve disclosure practices - The Peninsula Qatar:

"Qatar’s capital market regulatory authority is working on a draft proposal ahead of considering to bring in better transparency and disclosure practiceS to the market. The proposals include a series of recommendations to make the market more efficient, people with direct involvement in drafting the proposal revealed to The Peninsula. “We have recommended changes in the ‘rule book’ regarding the disclosures and information sharing to the investors, which are currently under review of QFMA. The highlight of the recommendations is to make it mandatory for investors to get relevant information required for their investment decisions”, sources at one of the key government entities told The Peninsula. The challenge in the local market has been that when potential investors talk to a company, they are looking to meet the CFOs to discuss key numbers and business models. These opportunities are often denied to investors, especially the companies of which major stakes are being controlled by the government entities. It is important for the investors to understand companies before taking their investment decisions, he said."



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Large forex reserves help QCB to hold off on rate hikes: BMI

Large forex reserves help QCB to hold off on rate hikes: BMI:

"The Qatar Central Bank (QCB) is certainly able to hold off on rate hikes for some time, given its large foreign exchange reserves, a senior analyst has said.
“However, with growth likely to accelerate this year as FIFA World Cup-related projects progress and hydrocarbon prices edge up, the case for delaying hikes in order to support the economy amid the GCC diplomatic crisis will weaken,” Andrine Skjelland, analyst, BMI Research told Gulf Times yesterday. 
He said BMI expects the US Federal Reserve to raise its benchmark funds rate by 75 bps this year and 50 bps in 2019."



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Bahrain’s Alba on track to complete debt financing for smelter expansion: official

Bahrain’s Alba on track to complete debt financing for smelter expansion: official:

"Aluminium Bahrain (Alba), owner of one of the world’s largest aluminum smelters, will raise by the end of this year’s first quarter the final debt amount needed to fund its Line 6 expansion project, a company official told Reuters. With Line 6, Alba will become the world’s largest single aluminum smelter complex, increasing production capacity by 540,000 metric tonnes to a total capacity of 1.5 million tonnes per year, the company says. The project involves capital expenditure of around $3 billion. Of this amount, $1.5 billion was funded through a syndicated loan raised in 2016, $400 million was funded internally, and $700 million was borrowed last year through loans guaranteed by export credit agencies."



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Saudi shares focus on company financial results, oil prices | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Saudi shares focus on company financial results, oil prices | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"The profits of 80 companies listed in the trading of Saudi stocks leaped up to 13.1 percent in 2017, compared to profits they made in 2016. Remaining Saudi companies are expected to announce their financial results during the upcoming weeks. The improved oil prices meanwhile played a significant role in the Saudi stock movement and the financial results of the remaining companies are expected to impact the performance of the Saudi market index in the coming year. The index closed, during last week’s trading, with a slight rise of 0.2 percent, or an equivalent of 15 points, at a level of 7,525 points compared to last week’s 7,510 points. Total trading value of the week reached around SR15.42 billion (USD4.11 billion) compared to around SAR15.5 billion (USD4.13 billion) in the previous week."



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Mideast Stocks: Gulf rises on strong oil, global markets | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Mideast Stocks: Gulf rises on strong oil, global markets | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Gulf stock markets rose in early trade on Sunday in response to gains in global bourses and oil prices at the end of last week, with Saudi Arabian petrochemicals in particular climbing because of Brent crude oil's rebound to the $67 a barrel level.

The Saudi stock index added 0.3 percent in the first half-hour with 13 of 14 petrochemical stocks rising.

Saudi Kayan Petrochemical 2350.SE gained 0.5 percent after swinging to a fourth-quarter loss of 220 million riyals ($58.7 million) because of scheduled maintenance at its plants."



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