Google+ Followers

Thursday, 1 March 2018

UAE Central Bank reports 12% rise in foreign currency assets - The National

UAE Central Bank reports 12% rise in foreign currency assets - The National:

"Total foreign currency assets held by the Central Bank of the UAE abroad surged 12 per cent annualy in January as current account balances rose and deposits with foreign banks strengthened. The foreign assets of the central bank reached Dh326 billion at the end January, up from Dh290.7bn recorded for the same month in 2017, UAE’s official news agency WAM reported, citing figures from the UAE’s banking regulator. The surge in the central bank’s foreign assets was driven by the rise in current account balances and deposits with banks abroad to Dh254.9bn in January 2018, from Dh129.8bn same time last year. The foreign assets exclude the central bank’s Reserve Tranche Position and Special Drawing Rights holdings with the International Monetary Fund. Gross bank assets, including bankers’ acceptances, recorded a month-on-month slide of 0.3 per cent, falling from Dh2.695 trillion at the end of December 2017 to Dh2.688tn at the end of January 2018, figures showed. "



'via Blog this'

Ethiopia buys stake in Dubai-managed Somaliland port | Arab News

Ethiopia buys stake in Dubai-managed Somaliland port | Arab News:

"Ethiopia acquired a stake in a port in the breakaway state of Somaliland, its operator DP World said, as a legal dispute rages over another major Horn of Africa shipping hub. Dubai-based DP World last week accused Djibouti of illegally seizing a port that is the main transit route to landlocked Ethiopia, the second most populous African nation. More than 90 percent of Ethiopia’s trade passes through Djibouti, located on the Bab Al-Mandab strait, the key shipping lane to Europe from the Gulf and Asia beyond."



'via Blog this'

QCB weighing proposal on combining three banks, says Masraf Al Rayan chairman

QCB weighing proposal on combining three banks, says Masraf Al Rayan chairman:

"The Qatar Central Bank is evaluating a proposal on the three-way combination of Masraf Al Rayan, Barwa Bank and International Bank of Qatar (IBQ) that will pave the way for the creation of the country’s largest Shariah-compliant bank, according to the chairman and managing director of Masraf Al Rayan.
The tie-up will be completed once regulators approve the deal, Dr Hussain al-Abdulla said at Masraf Al Rayan’s annual general meeting on Tuesday, without giving a time frame.
Al-Abdulla had said in April that Masraf Al Rayan would issue new shares to acquire the other two banks, helping to form a lender with about QR178bn ($49bn) of assets."



'via Blog this'

Cybersecurity Startup DarkMatter Doubles Revenue to $400 Million - Bloomberg

Cybersecurity Startup DarkMatter Doubles Revenue to $400 Million - Bloomberg:

"DarkMatter, a three year-old United Arab Emirates-based cybersecurity firm, has more than doubled revenue last year to over $400 million. The firm, which earns about 80 percent of its revenue from U.A.E. government contracts, plans to grow from 650 to 900 employees by the end of the year, Chief Executive Officer Faisal Al Bannai told Bloomberg in an interview. DarkMatter, founded by Al Bannai in 2014, is one of the few regional cybersecurity firms in the Middle East. The startup plans to increase its focus on ‘smartcity’ projects, helping cities use data to improve security, and provide services to blockchain-focused businesses."



'via Blog this'

Emirate of Sharjah hires banks for sukuk offering

Emirate of Sharjah hires banks for sukuk offering:

"The Emirate of Sharjah has mandated banks for a US dollar sukuk transaction, according to a lead. The issuer has hired HSBC as global coordinator, and as a joint lead manager and bookrunner alongside Dubai Islamic Bank, Sharjah Islamic Bank and Standard Chartered. Fixed income investor meetings will take place in the UAE and UK, commencing March 4."



'via Blog this'

UPDATE 1-Saudi Arabia debt management office meets investors in London - sources

UPDATE 1-Saudi Arabia debt management office meets investors in London - sources:

"The Saudi Arabia debt management office is meeting investors this week in London to provide updates on the sovereign’s debt plans, according to investor sources.

“We’re hoping to meet them tomorrow,” said one investor.

A second investor, however, has decided against meeting the team from the DMO."



'via Blog this'

Fitch downgrades Bahrain to 'BB-'; outlook stable | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Fitch downgrades Bahrain to 'BB-'; outlook stable | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

Fitch Ratings-Hong Kong-March 01: Fitch Ratings has downgraded Bahrain's Long-Term Foreign-Currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) to 'BB-' from 'BB+'. The Outlook is Stable.

A full list of rating actions is at the end of this rating action commentary.
"



'via Blog this'

Ali Shamekh resigns from CEO post at Libyan sovereign fund | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Ali Shamekh resigns from CEO post at Libyan sovereign fund | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Ali Shamekh has resigned from his position as chief executive of Libya's contested sovereign wealth fund, saying divisions within Libya had made it impossible for him to implement a viable programme, according to a statement. The $66 billion Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) has long been hobbled by a leadership dispute, reflecting the divided nature of the country. Shamekh, who has held a number of senior positions in Libya, including chief executive of Libya Oil Holdings and TAMOIL Africa Holdings, was appointed chief executive of the LIA in August 2016 by authorities in the east of the country."



'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Most big markets fall but local institutions help Qatar rebound a little

MIDEAST STOCKS-Most big markets fall but local institutions help Qatar rebound a little:

"Major Middle Eastern stock markets mostly fell on Thursday after oil prices slipped more than two percent overnight and global bourses dropped, although buying by local institutions helped Qatar rebound slightly from its steep fall on Wednesday. The Qatari index, which had plunged 3.1 percent on Wednesday as several stocks went ex-dividend, recovered 0.9 percent. Exchange data showed foreigners were net sellers by a ratio of three to two. Industrial firm Aamal surged 3.9 percent after reporting an eight percent gain in annual net profit, while Vodafone Qatar climbed for a third straight day after announcing strong earnings and positive licensing news. It added 2.3 percent and was the market’s most heavily traded stock."



'via Blog this'

Lawyers welcome draft UAE arbitration law as a boost for investors - The National

Lawyers welcome draft UAE arbitration law as a boost for investors - The National:

"Lawyers have welcomed the UAE’s approval of a draft law on arbitration, a fast-growing method of settling disputes out of court, saying it would provide increased confidence to investors bringing cases in the Emirates.

“Today’s business world is always evolving and an effective dispute resolution system is paramount to securing investor trust,” said Habib Al Mulla, sole managing partner of law firm Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla, and one of the most established Emirati legal practitioners.

“The UAE Federal National Council’s approval of the draft Arbitration Bill on Tuesday is a very welcome development and clearly evidences the UAE’s intention to remain at the forefront of dispute resolution in the region.""



'via Blog this'

Bank Muscat mandates banks for dollar bond -leads

Bank Muscat mandates banks for dollar bond -leads:

"Bank Muscat, Oman’s largest lender, has mandated banks to arrange a five-year, U.S. dollar-denominated benchmark bond issue, according to a document from leads. Bank ABC, Bank Muscat, Citigroup, Credit Agricole CIB, Emirates NBD Capital, First Abu Dhabi Bank, HSBC and ICBC Standard Bank will act as joint lead managers and bookrunners for the issue, according to the document. Ahead of the issue, the banks will arrange a series of fixed income investor meetings in the Middle East, Asia and Europe, starting on Sunday, the document said."



'via Blog this'

Saudi Prince's Big Military Revamp Means Billions to Business - Bloomberg

Saudi Prince's Big Military Revamp Means Billions to Business - Bloomberg:

"An army band with bagpipes marched past displays of machine guns and laser-guided missiles in Riyadh this week as international defense companies showed off their hardware. Hours later, the Saudi government announced that several top commanders had been removed, including the chief of staff and the heads of ground and air forces. If recent months have all been about Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s crackdown on business elites, now he’s turned to the military as he extends his authority over the kingdom. The purge of top brass comes as Saudi Arabia is struggling to get a grip on the proxy war with Iran in neighboring Yemen."



'via Blog this'

U.S. Shale Surge Offsets Lowest Saudi Oil Imports Since 1980s - Bloomberg

U.S. Shale Surge Offsets Lowest Saudi Oil Imports Since 1980s - Bloomberg:

"America’s role in the global oil market was flipped on its head in 2017. As shale producers cranked out more and more crude, the U.S. relied less and less on some of its traditional sources of oil. At the same time, exports of crude, gasoline and other refined fuels surged higher than ever before. Shale Surge The U.S. bypassed Saudi Arabia late last year and is nipping on the heels of Russia to be the world’s biggest oil producer. November output hit a record of 10.057 million barrels a day after the Energy Information Administration revised its data upward. U.S. frackers ramped up production as prices rose toward $60 a barrel late in the year, drawing more drillers to the market."



'via Blog this'

Saudi c.bank's foreign securities holdings fall as Riyadh mobilises funds | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Saudi c.bank's foreign securities holdings fall as Riyadh mobilises funds | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"The foreign securities holdings of Saudi Arabia's central bank fell sharply in January in a sign that the government may be mobilising money for investment projects this year, official data showed on Wednesday.

After rising for three straight months, the bank's net foreign assets edged down to $486.7 billion last month from $488.9 billion in December. They shrank by 5.8 percent from a year earlier.

The government has been gradually liquidating the reserves, which peaked at $737 billion in August 2014, to cover a budget deficit caused by low oil export receipts. The vast majority of the assets are believed to be denominated in U.S. dollars."



'via Blog this'

The Saudi sovereign wealth fund is splashing cash around

The Saudi sovereign wealth fund is splashing cash around:

"How Mohammed bin Salman, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, has gone about consolidating political power in his kingdom (let’s call it the, “Putting on the Ritz” strategy) and what he is doing with that power is one of the biggest stories in geopolitics. In business, his plans to privatise Saudi Aramco have global bankers and stock exchange officials tripping over themselves to curry favour with MbS and his inner circle.  But less attention has been placed on the kingdom’s Public Investment Fund, the $230bn sovereign wealth fund at the centre of MbS’s plans to wean the country’s economy off its dependence on oil revenues generated by Aramco.  So it was with much fanfare back in 2016 when the PIF, which was until recently a pretty sleepy institution inside Saudi Arabia, took a $3.5bn stake in car-booking app Uber at a valuation of $62.5bn. Yasir Al-Rumayyan, the head of the PIF, even joined the company’s board."



'via Blog this'

Saudi Arabia to tap bond market for third year in a row

Saudi Arabia to tap bond market for third year in a row:

"Saudi Arabia is set to finalise the refinancing of a major sovereign loan, paving the way for the kingdom to tap international bond markets for the third year in a row as the government looks to ease fiscal pressures and cement its position as a major global borrower. The plan for the bond sale is expected to follow soon after the kingdom finalises as early as this week the refinancing of a $10bn loan first made in April 2016 that will change to a new five-year facility of about $15bn-$16bn at cheaper rates. The ministry of finance, which declined to comment, could as early as March mandate global lenders to sell a new bond, building on last year’s $12.5bn issue and $9bn sharia-compliant sukuk instrument, bankers in the Gulf familiar with the matter said."



'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf mostly weak early on though Qatar partially rebounds | ZAWYA MENA Edition

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf mostly weak early on though Qatar partially rebounds | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Gulf stock markets were mostly weak in early trade on Thursday after oil prices slipped more than 2 percent overnight, although Qatar partially rebounded from its steep fall on Wednesday. The Qatari index, which had plunged 3.1 percent on Wednesday as several stocks went ex-dividend, recovered 3.1 percent. Industrial firm Aamal surged 3.7 percent after reporting an 8 percent gain in annual net profit, while Vodafone Qatar climbed for a third straight day after announcing strong earnings and positive licensing news. It added 2.3 percent and was the market's most heavily traded stock."



'via Blog this'