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Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Global bodies vouch for Qatar’s solid economy - The Peninsula Qatar

Global bodies vouch for Qatar’s solid economy - The Peninsula Qatar:

"As Qatar enters the 10th month of unjust blockade, international agencies are increasingly affirming the resilience of Qatari economy.  A day after IMF reaffirmed that Qatari economy continued to remain strong and the impact of economic blockade was fast fading, Institute of International Finance (IIF) yesterday noted ‘Qatar has successfully turned the crisis in to opportunity.’  “Although the Saudi-led blockade on Qatar continues into its ninth month and shows no signs of abating, Qatar’s economy has remained resilient. The blockade has had a silver lining, motivating deeper trade and diplomatic ties with a wide range of partners beyond their immediate geographical neighbourhood, which could pay long-term dividends”, the IIF Chief Economist Garbis Iradian and IIF analyst Boban Markovic said in the latest research note on Mena."



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Saudis Seek to Tap Shale Gas Basin Rivaling Texas' Eagle Ford - Bloomberg

Saudis Seek to Tap Shale Gas Basin Rivaling Texas' Eagle Ford - Bloomberg:

"Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest oil exporter, is set to join the shale revolution with plans to start producing unconventional natural gas this month and exploit a deposit that could rival the Eagle Ford formation in Texas.

Saudi Arabia’s gas resources from shale and other alternative supplies are “huge,” Khalid Al Abdulqader, general manager of unconventional resources at Aramco, said Wednesday in Manama, Bahrain. Production at the kingdom’s North Arabia basin will start by the end of March and reach its target by the end of this year, he said, without giving details.

Aramco is also drilling for unconventional gas in the South Ghawar and Jafurah basins, he said. Jafurah in eastern Saudi Arabia is similar in size to Eagle Ford, the second-biggest U.S. shale play for gas, Al Abdulqader said, without giving an estimate of the gas contained at Jafurah."



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Britain and Saudi Arabia target 65 billion pound trade and investment ties

Britain and Saudi Arabia target 65 billion pound trade and investment ties:

"Britain and Saudi Arabia set out an ambition to build 65 billion pounds ($90.29 billion) of trade and investment ties in coming years, London said on Wednesday, calling the agreement a vote of confidence in the British economy ahead of Brexit. “The meeting agreed a landmark ambition for around 65 billion pounds of mutual trade and investment opportunities over the coming years, including direct investment in the UK and new Saudi public procurement with UK companies,” a spokeswoman from Prime Minister Theresa May’s office said in a statement. “This is a significant boost for UK prosperity and a clear demonstration of the strong international confidence in our economy as we prepare to leave the European Union.”"



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Qatar Air Sounds Defiant Note Over Sanctions, Vows Expansion - Bloomberg

Qatar Air Sounds Defiant Note Over Sanctions, Vows Expansion - Bloomberg:

"Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker struck a defiant tone in the face of the continued sanctions against his country, calling them a “challenge to civilization” that has only strengthened his resolve to push for more growth and add destinations.

Speaking at the annual tourism fair in Berlin, Al Baker blasted the measures as an assault on his nation, saying “we’re not a grocery shop, we’re a sovereign country.” Rather than curb growth last year, the embargo had the opposite effect, the CEO said as he announced higher frequencies to places like Barcelona and Madrid and a new twice-daily service to London Gatwick.


At the same time the restrictions imposed by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt last June will push Qatar Air to a “very large loss” for the year ending April 1, the CEO said, adding that the carrier will need to find new streams of financing to survive since it has no access to the equivalent of U.S. Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. That might include an equity injection, something the government is prepared for, he said."



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UK still wants Aramco listing in London, will continue lobbying- minister | ZAWYA MENA Edition

UK still wants Aramco listing in London, will continue lobbying- minister | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Britain will continue to make the case for the partial public listing of Saudi oil firm Aramco to be conducted in London, junior foreign office minister Alistair Burt said in parliament on Wednesday. "We would like the Aramco share option to be issued in the United Kingdom and we will continue to suggest the City would be the best place for it," Burt told parliament."



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Qatar Airways to report very large loss for current fiscal year- CEO | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Qatar Airways to report very large loss for current fiscal year- CEO | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Qatar Airways will report a "very large loss" because of a regional political dispute that has slapped restrictions on the airline, its chief executive said on Wednesday. The major Gulf airline lost access to 18 cities in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Egypt, and Bahrain last June when those four countries cut ties with Qatar after accusing it of supporting terrorism. Qatar denies the charges. The restrictions, which include a ban on using airspace over the four countries, is "putting financial strain" on Qatar Airways, Chief Executive Akbar al-Baker told reporters at the ITB travel fair in Berlin."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf stocks down with global markets; Saudi and Egypt defy trend

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf stocks down with global markets; Saudi and Egypt defy trend:

"Gulf stocks mostly fell on Wednesday, with only Saudi Arabia resisting a broad decline in global markets after the resignation of a key White House economic adviser sparked fears of a trade war.

The departure of Gary Cohn, who had opposed U.S. President Donald Trump’s plan for tariffs and was seen as a bulwark against protectionist forces within the Trump administration, triggered a global sell-off across asset classes.

The Qatar market lost 0.7 percent. Vodafone Qatar was the worst performer, shedding 5.4 percent."



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Hospital group NMC logs profit jump on growing Gulf healthcare market

Hospital group NMC logs profit jump on growing Gulf healthcare market:

"NMC Health, the private healthcare operator headquartered in the United Arab Emirates, has reported strong profit growth for 2017 on the back of an expanding healthcare market in the Gulf.  Its healthcare revenues jumped 41.1 per cent last year with patient numbers reaching 5.8m thanks to a growing and increasingly affluent population in the UAE and wider region. NMC’s net profit rose 38.2 per cent to $209.2m, while overall revenues climbed to $1.6bn from $1.22bn. The results were in-line with the expectations of analysts polled by FactSet. However, the shares were down 4.5 per cent in mid-day trade in London. Despite the fall, its shares are still up 80.3 per cent over the past 12 months."



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Qatar GDP to grow 2.6% in ’18; to average 2.7% in 2019-23: IMF

Qatar GDP to grow 2.6% in ’18; to average 2.7% in 2019-23: IMF:

"Qatar’s gross domestic product (GDP) is set to grow 2.6% this year and then average 2.7% during 2019-23, bolstered by Doha’s moves to increase liquefied natural gas production capacity by about 30%, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). “Macro-financial indicators are improving in 2018 compared to mid-2017; the CDS (credit default swap) spreads have come down, stock market has recovered, and non-resident deposits have started to flow back in,” the IMF said in its Article IV consultation with Qatar. Highlighting that the medium-term financial outlook is expected remain broadly favourable; it said while the implementation of the public investment programme and the ease in the pace of fiscal consolidation would help support growth, the continuation of the diplomatic tensions could weigh on the confidence. Inflation may peak at 3.8% this year – as the impact of the value added tax being introduced during the second half of 2018 would mostly be felt in that year – before easing to 2.2% in the medium term, said the Bretton Woods institution."



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Qatar central bank sells 900 mln riyals of T-bills

Qatar central bank sells 900 mln riyals of T-bills:

"Qatar’s central bank sold 900 million riyals ($247.25 million) of Treasury bills with maturities of three, six and nine months, it said on Wednesday.

It sold 500 million riyals of three-month bills at a yield of 2.52 percent, 250 million riyals of six-month at 2.63 percent and 150 million riyals of nine-month at 2.9 percent.

In February, the central bank sold 1.15 billion riyals of bills with three-month yields at 2.5 percent, six-month at 2.6 percent and nine-month at 2.8 percent. "



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Embattled Abraaj frees private equity investors from capital commitments

Embattled Abraaj frees private equity investors from capital commitments:

"Embattled private equity firm Abraaj has begun freeing large investors from millions of dollars in capital commitments after deciding to suspend its new fund, the Dubai-based asset manager said.

The move underscores the impact on Abraaj’s business from a dispute with four other investors over the use of their money in a separate $1 billion healthcare fund.

 “Abraaj has voluntarily released investors from their commitments in Abraaj Private Equity Fund VI, and no longer intends to proceed with this Fund in its current form,” the firm said in a statement to Reuters.

"



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How Saudi Prince's Stock Market Flop May Be Salvaged: QuickTake - Bloomberg

How Saudi Prince's Stock Market Flop May Be Salvaged: QuickTake - Bloomberg:

"Saudi Arabia’s drive to lure foreigners to invest in its stock market has fallen flat, with some would-be buyers kept on the sidelines by political upheaval within the kingdom. But the campaign may be transformed in the coming months. Two major compilers of stock indexes will decide whether to upgrade Saudi Arabia’s status. And the kingdom will host what may be the biggest initial public offering in history when shares are offered in Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest oil company. 1. Why is Saudi Arabia trying to lure foreigners? Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is spearheading an effort to modernize Saudi society, and that includes turning the kingdom’s $450 billion-plus stock market into a gateway for foreign investment. But the crown prince’s crackdown on corruption, which included the detention of dozens of the country’s rich and famous, shocked prospective investors. Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen, and tensions involving arch-rival Iran, are other complicating factors. "



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Total's Pouyanne Gambles on Middle East Oil as Rivals Favor U.S. - Bloomberg

Total's Pouyanne Gambles on Middle East Oil as Rivals Favor U.S. - Bloomberg:

"Patrick Pouyanne, the pugnacious boss of Total SA, sees risks differently.

The French oil giant became the first Western major to sign a deal with Iran following the end of sanctions, has added projects in Abu Dhabi and Qatar and Pouyanne said last week’s $450 million acquisition in Libya is one of his “best deals ever.” He is expanding in the region even as some of his biggest rivals focus on politically safer U.S. shale.

“We’re ready to take risks,” Pouyanne said in a Bloomberg TV interview on Monday in Houston."



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Saudi prince says Qatar won't be barred from Arab summit

Saudi prince says Qatar won't be barred from Arab summit:

"Qatar will not be barred from an Arab summit in Riyadh later this month, but the standoff between Doha and a Saudi-led, four-nation alliance could last a “long time,” Saudi Arabia’s crown prince said in comments published Wednesday. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut ties with Qatar in June, accusing the tiny but super-rich Gulf state of supporting militant groups and cozying up to Shiite, non-Arab Iran. Qatar has long denied funding extremists, though it supports Islamist opposition movements that are considered terrorist groups by other countries in the region. It has long had warm ties with Iran, with which it shares a massive undersea gas field."



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Oman's Bank Muscat gives initial price guidance for dollar bond - lead | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Oman's Bank Muscat gives initial price guidance for dollar bond - lead | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Oman's Bank Muscat has given initial price guidance for a planned five-year U.S. dollar-denominated bond at 250 basis points over mid-swaps, a document by one of the banks leading the deal showed on Wednesday. Oman's largest lender is expected to price later on Wednesday a senior unsecured, Regulation S benchmark bond, the document said. Benchmark transactions are generally upwards of $500 million. Bank ABC, Bank Muscat, Citi, Credit Agricole CIB, Emirates NBD Capital, First Abu Dhabi Bank, HSBC and ICBC Standard Bank are the joint bookrunners."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf stocks slip on global trade worries; Saudi flat

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf stocks slip on global trade worries; Saudi flat:

"Gulf stock markets mostly opened lower on Wednesday, while Saudi stocks stayed flat, as fears of a trade war weighed on global markets after the departure of a free trade advocate from the White House. Qatar’s stock market slipped 0.2 percent after rebounding slightly on Tuesday following a two-month low the day before. Among the losers, Vodafone Qatar, was down 2.9 percent and the third most traded stock on the index. Saudi stocks traded roughly flat at 0.1 percent, buoyed by optimism on the overall market outlook despite the global slump."



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