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Saturday, 10 March 2018

Business chiefs flock to build bridges with Saudi prince

Business chiefs flock to build bridges with Saudi prince:

"Any business aficionado wandering along Mayfair’s Curzon Street on Thursday afternoon would have been treated to a surreal sight: 15 of Britain’s top chairmen and chief executives trooping on to a coach. “It was like a school trip for the captains of industry,” joked one blue-chip director. The coach took nearly an hour to make the two-mile journey to the Saudi ambassador’s residence, threatening to make the leaders late for an audience with Mohammed bin Salman, the Saudi crown prince, and Philip Hammond, UK chancellor. “Fortunately MbS was himself running late,” said another attendee. That Britain’s business leaders let themselves be herded about the British capital in a coach is a sign of the expectation that accompanied Mohammed bin Salman’s first official visit to the UK as crown prince. As it drew to a close, both sides could claim a measure of success."



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Saudi banks to see credit-positive recovery in 2018, says Moody’s - The National

Saudi banks to see credit-positive recovery in 2018, says Moody’s - The National:

"Saudi Arabia’s listed banks on aggregate reported a 9 per cent year-on-year increase in net profits in 2017, an improvement on a 5 per cent decline the previous year, due to lower interest expenses and prompting expectations of a credit-positive recovery in 2018, a Moody’s report said. “The results are credit positive for Saudi banks because their improvement occurred amid subdued economic activity, which negatively affected credit demand and banks’ revenue,” the report said. Moody’s estimates that the kingdom's real GDP contracted 0.7 per cent in 2017, while lending contracted by 1 per cent. On Sunday, Banque Saudi Fransi was the final domestic bank in Saudi Arabia to submit preliminary 2017 financial results to the Saudi stock exchange. Moody’s examined the results of all Tadawul-listed Saudi banks, including National Commercial Bank, Al Rajhi Bank, Samba Financial Group, Saudi British Bank, Riyad Bank, Arab National Bank, Alawwal Bank, Saudi Investment Bank, Bank AlBilad, Bank AlJazira and Alinma Bank."



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NYSE looks to allay Saudi Aramco fears ahead of listing | Arab News

NYSE looks to allay Saudi Aramco fears ahead of listing | Arab News:

"Only Wall Street can offer Saudi Aramco the exposure to capital that it needs for a successful public listing, according to a top New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) executive.
Alex Ibrahim, head of international capital markets for the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), told Arab News that all the world’s other major oil firms had opted for NYSE.
It comes as Saudi Arabian officials eye several global bourses to sell 5 percent of the national oil company via an initial public offering (IPO) expected later this year."



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Fears of Too Much Oil Bring Short-Selling Back - Bloomberg

Fears of Too Much Oil Bring Short-Selling Back - Bloomberg:

"Short-selling is creeping back into the oil market as fears increase that the U.S. will be awash with oil again.

Hedge funds boosted bets on falling West Texas Intermediate crude prices by the most this year after American production surged to record levels. While OPEC this week reaffirmed its commitment to rebalancing the market, U.S. fields are forecast to be gushing 11 million barrels a day by October.

“If you’re taking a speculative short position, you’re looking at what U.S. production is going to do,” Ashley Petersen, an analyst at Stratas Advisors, said in a phone interview. “There’s starting to be a little bit of a turn in sentiment.”"



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GCC sovereign debt to fall on fiscal consolidation | ZAWYA MENA Edition

GCC sovereign debt to fall on fiscal consolidation | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Sovereign borrowing in the Middle East and North African countries, particularly the GCC, could further decline this year to $181 billion in the wake of fiscal consolidation and higher oil prices, S&P Global Ratings said in a recent report. "We expect the 13 Mena sovereigns we rate will borrow about $181 billion this year from domestic and international commercial sources, down six per cent or $11 billion from 2017," said S&P Primary Credit Analyst Trevor Cullinan. In 2017, sovereign debt fell 30 per cent. The decline will result from fiscal consolidation measures across the GCC and the uptick in oil prices, which will likely push down net-oil-exporting governments' financing needs, said the ratings agency in a report."



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Saudi investment authority awards licenses to 10 UK firms | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Saudi investment authority awards licenses to 10 UK firms | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"The Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) on Friday announced that 10 UK businesses have been granted Saudi investment licenses — enabling them to establish operations in the Kingdom or expand their existing presence. The 10 companies include AstraZeneca, Unipart Rail, ARC Middle East, Dudley College of Technology, Mott MacDonald Middle East, Standard & Poor’s Credit Market and MEMF REPL Cable Accessories. Ibrahim Al-Omar, governor of SAGIA, said: “The unprecedented program of reforms being implemented in Saudi Arabia is unlocking an exciting range of opportunities for investors in the Middle East’s largest economy.”"



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