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Sunday, 11 March 2018

Capital flows to Mena bounce back: IIF - The Peninsula Qatar

Capital flows to Mena bounce back: IIF - The Peninsula Qatar:

"Non-resident capital inflows to Mena is expected to rise to $224bn this year, equivalent to about 8 percent of the region’s GDP, and twice the ratio for Emerging Markets (EMs). The main source of inflows in 2018 will continue to be sovereign bond issuance, according to Institute of International Finance (IIF). IIF also sees significant increase in corporate issuance due mainly to the large refinancing need of loans and bonds that mature this year. Foreign direct investment (FDI) flows are likely to remain subdued in the near term due to political uncertainty in some countries and lack of progress in improving the business environment."



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Commercial Bank has huge confidence in Turkish economy: Omar Alfardan

Commercial Bank has huge confidence in Turkish economy: Omar Alfardan:

"Commercial Bank has invested in Alternatif Bank as it has huge confidence in the Turkish economy, said managing director Omar Hussain Ibrahim Alfardan.  “Alternatif Bank is now in a good position to capture a share of this growth,” Alfardan said in his introductory remarks at the gala dinner held as part of the rebranding of Alternatif Bank at the Four Seasons in Istanbul on March 6. The Alternatif Bank rebranding, Alfardan said, “signals a fresh start and a new face in the business.” "



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Biggest Dubai Bank Courts Foreigners as It Plans Turkey Bid - Bloomberg

Biggest Dubai Bank Courts Foreigners as It Plans Turkey Bid - Bloomberg:

"Emirates NBD PJSC plans to open up for more foreign shareholders as Dubai’s biggest bank prepares a bid for Turkey’s DenizBank AS. The shares surged.

The bank is seeking shareholder approval to boost its foreign ownership limit to 20 percent from 5 percent, the Dubai government-controlled lender said Sunday in a statement. It also plans to raise capital by 7.35 billion dirhams ($2 billion) from an issue of new shares at no less than a 10 percent discount to the market price.

Emirates NBD is preparing to submit a bid for Sberbank PJSC’s wholly owned Turkish unit in March, people with knowledge of the matter said last month. A deal for Moscow-based Sberbank’s 99.9 percent holding could be valued at about $3.69 billion, according to Bloomberg calculations."



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In Turbulent Tehran, It's Hard to Buy a Home at Any Price - Bloomberg

In Turbulent Tehran, It's Hard to Buy a Home at Any Price - Bloomberg:

"After a year of trying, Iranian real-estate agent Javad Baratloo had finally found a buyer for a large home and garden in central Tehran. A price was agreed and contracts prepared -- the only thing missing was the seller, who wasn’t answering his phone. When he did get in touch, it was to raise the price tag to 235 million rials a square meter. The purchaser agreed, but that wasn’t the end of it. “Now he’s asking for 250 million,” said an exasperated Baratloo, who’s employed by the Khaneh Bartar, or Superior Home, agency. “Until two to three months ago, sellers were chasing buyers. Now it’s the exact opposite.” Six other deals have fallen apart in a similar way this year, he said. In hard-currency terms, prices aren’t really rising -- it’s just that the Iranian rial has shed a fifth of its value against the dollar in a year, and Tehranis are looking for ways to protect their savings. It’s all largely a reflection of accumulating bad news in Iran, where a season of protests, the threat of further sanctions from the Trump administration and warring domestic political factions are taking their toll on economic sentiment."



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UAE's ADNOC says awards Italy's Eni stakes in new oil concessions

UAE's ADNOC says awards Italy's Eni stakes in new oil concessions:

"Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) said on Sunday it had signed 40-year agreements with Eni, awarding the Italian company a 10 percent stake in its Umm Shaif and Nasr offshore oil concession and a 5 percent stake in Lower Zakum.

Eni has contributed a participation fee of 2.1 billion dirhams ($575 million) for the Umm Shaif and Nasr offshore concession and a fee of 1.1 billion dirhams ($300 million) for the Lower Zakum oil concession, ADNOC said in a statement.

 The signing ceremony in Abu Dhabi was attended by Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan and Italian premier Paolo Gentiloni.

"



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Saudi sets up departments to investigate, prosecute corruption cases- royal decree | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Saudi sets up departments to investigate, prosecute corruption cases- royal decree | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Saudi King Salman has ordered the establishment of specialised departments in the public prosecutor's office to investigate and prosecute corruption cases, the government's information office said in a statement on Sunday.

The move was intended to increase effectiveness and accelerate the process of combating corruption, the statement quoted Attorney General Sheikh Saud al-Mujib as saying.
"



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DIFC, Middle East Venture Partners ink strategic deal | ZAWYA MENA Edition

DIFC, Middle East Venture Partners ink strategic deal | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Middle East Venture Partners (MEVP) to facilitate the exchange of information on the latest trends in the finance industry, with a focus on the FinTech field. Arif Amiri, chief executive officer of DIFC Authority, and Walid Hanna, founder and chief executive officer of MEVP, signed the MoU to enhance cooperation between DIFC and MEVP and to favourably encourage the development of the region’s venture capital technology ecosystem. The MoU will also enable both entities to work together towards launching initiatives and future regulations that ensure an attractive and competitive investment environment for the region’s technology-focused entrepreneurial base. The signing ceremony was in the presence of Essa Kazim, Governor of DIFC and Mohamed Alabbar, MEVP’s chairman of the Board."



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Oman's Sohar Aluminium says may feel knock-on effect from U.S. tariffs | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Oman's Sohar Aluminium says may feel knock-on effect from U.S. tariffs | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Sohar Aluminium, one of the largest producers of the metal in the Middle East, said on Sunday that it may feel some knock-on effect from tariffs on aluminium imports imposed by the United States. U.S. President Donald Trump set import tariffs on Thursday of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminium, to come into force in 15 days, a move that has raised concerns about a global trade war.  Sohar Aluminium, jointly owned by Oman Oil Company, Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (TAQA) and Rio Tinto RIO.L , said it will not be directly impacted by the tariffs as it did not currently have any direct exports to the U.S."



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Understanding petroleum regimes in MENA | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Understanding petroleum regimes in MENA | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has vast petroleum resources with Iran, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates within the top ten oil producing countries in the World.

National Oil Companies (“NOCs”) in conjunction with International Oil Companies (“IOCs”) typically develop these petroleum resources and the legal regime governing the relationship between a NOC and an IOC varies depending upon the project, the resource and the host country.    Historically, host counties were dependent upon the IOC’s know-how, technology and finance but this dependence has reduced as projects were developed and know-how and technology transferred to the NOCs.

Projects are, in the most cases, awarded to IOCs following success bids on tenders and, at the end of 2017, Oman, Egypt and Iraq announced tenders over certain oil and gas blocks in the region."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Foreign fund hopes boost Saudi, Emirates NBD soars in Dubai

MIDEAST STOCKS-Foreign fund hopes boost Saudi, Emirates NBD soars in Dubai:

"Expectations for inflows of foreign funds in coming months boosted Saudi Arabia’s stock market to a multi-year high on Sunday, while a leap by Dubai’s biggest bank, Emirates NBD, lifted that index.

The Saudi index surged 1.8 percent, its biggest daily gain since last June, to 7,696 points, its highest finish since November 2015.

The index, which had added 1.5 percent on Thursday, confirmed a break above resistance on the late February peaks, triggering a minor double bottom formed by the lows since February - a classic, bullish technical signal."



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Dubai economy tracker slips in February but remains positive - The National

Dubai economy tracker slips in February but remains positive - The National:

"A key gauge of Dubai's non-oil private sector activity eased slightly in February but continued to suggest that the emirate's economic fortunes are on an upward trajectory, showing improving conditions for the 24th consecutive month. Emirates NBD’s monthly Dubai Economy Tracker survey slipped slightly to 55.8 in February from 56 in January, as a drop in construction outweighed gains in the wholesale and retail sector as well as travel and tourism. A reading above 50 in the purchasing managers’ index (PMI) suggests the non-oil economy is growing, while a reading below 50 suggests a contraction. "The PMI survey data for February continued to show solid growth in Dubai's economy, with the travel and tourism sector performing particularly well after a relatively soft Q4 2017," said Khatija Haque, head of Middle East and North Africa Research at Emirates NBD."



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Oil-rich Gulf risks faces collateral damage in Trump trade war | Arab News

Oil-rich Gulf risks faces collateral damage in Trump trade war | Arab News:

"Gulf countries will not be able to fully escape the impact of any global trade wars that could break out following US President Donald Trump move to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, said analysts. Despite the region’s oil wealth and unlikelihood that any tariffs would be imposed on energy imports from the Gulf, the GCC remains vulnerable to any widespread economic downturn, said Monica de Bolle, senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics based in Washington DC. “Because of oil, things are somewhat protected, at least a little more than rest of world. But that is not to say the region would escape from the basic harm done to global economy as a whole,” she told Arab News, referring to the potentially damaging effects of a rise in protectionism."



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ABank rebranded Alternatif Bank; five-year goals are set

ABank rebranded Alternatif Bank; five-year goals are set:

"Turkey’s ABank, which became a 100% subsidiary of Qatar’s Commercial Bank in end-2016, has acquired a new brand identity and will continue its operations as Alternatif Bank. A gala dinner was held at the Four Seasons Bosphorus in Istanbul on March 6 as part of the corporate rebranding, which was attended among other dignitaries by Turkish Minister of Economy Nihat Zeybek├ži, Commercial Bank managing director Omar Hussain Ibrahim Alfardan, Commercial Bank and Alternatif Bank directors and Group CEO Joseph Abraham. On March 6, the corporate rebranding was deployed at all the 53 Alternatif branches across Turkey. A new commercial created for the rebranding was showcased during the gala dinner, which highlights “Alternatif Bank’s role in transforming a small business into a large company.” "



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As economic problems pile up, Iran cautiously weighs changes

As economic problems pile up, Iran cautiously weighs changes:

"Labor strikes. Nationwide protests. Bank failures.

In recent months, Iran has been beset by economic problems despite the promises surrounding the 2015 nuclear deal it struck with world powers.

Its clerically overseen government is starting to take notice. Politicians now offer the idea of possible government referendums or early elections. Even Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei acknowledged the depths of the problems ahead of the 40th anniversary of Iran’s Islamic Revolution."



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Saudi Aramco international share sale might never happen: Kemp | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Saudi Aramco international share sale might never happen: Kemp | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Saudi Aramco's IPO's partial privatisation has loomed over the oil market for the last two years, influencing expectations about oil prices, but what if it never happens

The possibility of selling a minority stake in the giant oil company was first mentioned in a newspaper interview published in January 2016 by then-Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The possibility merited little more than a brief mention in a section about economic reforms, diversification and privatisation of state assets. "



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Mideast Stocks: ENBD lifts Dubai, Saudi triggers bullish technical signal | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Mideast Stocks: ENBD lifts Dubai, Saudi triggers bullish technical signal | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Most Gulf stock markets were higher in early trade on Sunday as a leap by Dubai's biggest bank, Emirates NBD, pulled that index up sharply. The Dubai index, which had been languishing at two-year lows, climbed 1.3 percent as ENBD, which is usually very thinly traded, soared 13.6 percent to 10.0 dirhams in heavy volume. It broke major technical resistance around 9.0 dirhams, where it had peaked several times since mid-2016. The bank, majority owned by government, said it would ask shareholders on March 27 to approve a capital increase through the issuance of up to 7.35 billion new shares at a discount of at least 10 percent to the prevailing market price, with preference to existing shareholders. It currently has about 5.5 billion shares."



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Emirates NBD plans share capital hike ahead of possible acquisition | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Emirates NBD plans share capital hike ahead of possible acquisition | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Emirates NBD plans to raise its share capital by up to 7.35 billion dirhams ($2 billion) through the issuance of new shares, as Dubai's largest lender prepares to bid for Turkey's Denizbank. The bank said in January it had started initial strategic talks with Sberbank about a possible purchase of the Russian lender's stake in Turkey's Denizbank. The share hike, announced on Sunday, was expected to ensure the lender's common equity tier 1 ratio did not drop below the regulated 11 percent threshold with the acquisition, said Chiradeep Ghosh, banking analyst at SICO Bahrain."



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