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Monday, 12 March 2018

QFC looks to expand its business ties with Oman

QFC looks to expand its business ties with Oman:

"The Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) is exploring options to expand business ties with Oman as part of strengthening its regional network. “There has never been a more important time to further regional partnerships, and this high-level visit to Oman is representative of our efforts to build upon and expand business ties between our countries,” said QFC Authority chief executive Yousuf Mohamed al-Jaida, who led a high-level delegation to Muscat to discuss collaboration for mutual benefit and showcase the growing opportunities available in Qatar’s booming market. The recent meetings in Oman come as part of the QFC’s continued efforts to promote Qatar as a lucrative destination for companies looking to expand their operations to the Middle East and tap into Qatar’s multibillion dollar infrastructure programme."



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Oil down 1 percent on continued concerns over U.S. output

Oil down 1 percent on continued concerns over U.S. output:

"Oil prices fell on Monday as investors grappled with ongoing concerns over rising U.S. output and tight OPEC supply, while last week’s data showing speculators cut bets on oil suggested more selling could be seen.

Brent crude futures LCOc1 slipped 54 cents, or 0.8 percent, to settle at $64.95 per barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 fell 68 cents, or 1.1 percent, to settle at $61.36 per barrel.

Hedge funds and money managers pared their bullish wagers on U.S. crude oil, with long positions falling last week for the first time in three weeks. Gross short positions on the New York Mercantile Exchange 3067651MSHT climbed to their highest in nearly a month.

"



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GCC Plans Company to Facilitate Money Transfers Among Members - Bloomberg

GCC Plans Company to Facilitate Money Transfers Among Members - Bloomberg:

"The Gulf Cooperation Council is setting up a company to facilitate direct money transfers among its six members, in a rare display of cooperation with isolated Qatar. The Riyadh-based company will allow Gulf states to transfer money “without reliance on international currencies,” Kuwait central bank Governor Mohammed Al-Hashel told reporters on Monday following a meeting of regional central bankers in Kuwait City. The chief executive officer has been picked and all member states have agreed to contribute initial capital, Al-Hashel said. “After that the company has to go out and borrow from the Gulf market or use the capital it has generated,” he said. The countries’ central bank governors will sit on the board and a secondary office will be set up in the United Arab Emirates, he said, without saying when the company would start operating."



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Saudis Hire Top D.C. Lobbyists to Seek U.S. Approval for Deals - Bloomberg

Saudis Hire Top D.C. Lobbyists to Seek U.S. Approval for Deals - Bloomberg:

"Saudi Arabia is adding to its ranks of blue-chip lobbyists in Washington.

A Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund that aims to reduce the kingdom’s dependency on oil has engaged a top K Street firm to lobby for approval of future acquisitions in the U.S., according to a March 8 filing with the Justice Department.

The Public Investment Fund, chaired by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, will pay the firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP up to $535,000 through May 1 for legal services and outreach to government officials for "current and anticipated investments" in the U.S. Among those representing the fund will be Geoffrey Verhoff, a top fundraiser for the Republican National Committee and a regional vice-chairman of the party’s finance team."



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UAE central bank to launch new EIBOR system next month- banker | ZAWYA MENA Edition

UAE central bank to launch new EIBOR system next month- banker | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"The United Arab Emirates central bank will next month launch a new way of setting Emirates Interbank Offered Rates (EIBOR), helping to make the system more accurate and transparent, a senior banking industry official told reporters on Monday. "We have taken benchmark banks to tell us what is the actual cost of deposit and the incremental cost of deposit that will become the interbank rate for the UAE," said Abdulaziz al-Ghurair, chairman of the UAE Banks Federation. EIBOR rates, used in many UAE financial transactions, are calculated daily by a panel of 10 banks for maturities ranging from overnight to one year."



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CFO says he left Dubai-based private equity firm Abraaj | ZAWYA MENA Edition

CFO says he left Dubai-based private equity firm Abraaj | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"The chief financial officer of Dubai-based Abraaj Holdings told Reuters he had left the embattled private equity company.

Two other senior executives are also preparing to leave, three people with direct knowledge of the matter said. The investment firm, which manages $13.6 billion in assets, is also considering a round of job cuts, they said.

Abraaj has shaken up its management, suspended new investments and undertaken a review of its corporate structure following a dispute with four of its investors over the use of their money in a $1 billion healthcare fund."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Qatar soars as QNB to lift ownership ceiling, Saudi also strong

MIDEAST STOCKS-Qatar soars as QNB to lift ownership ceiling, Saudi also strong:

"Qatar’s stock market soared on Monday after Qatar National Bank said it would raise its ceiling for foreign ownership, while expectations for more inflows of foreign money lifted Saudi Arabia.

The Qatari stock index added 5.0 percent, its biggest leap since January 2016, in its heaviest trade this year as QNB, the Middle East’s biggest bank, rocketed its 10 percent daily limit.

QNB, in which the government is by far the biggest shareholder, said it would recommend to shareholders increasing its non-Qatari ownership ceiling to 49 percent of capital from 25 percent."



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Dubai's Majid Al Futtaim hires banks for perpetual dollar bond | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Dubai's Majid Al Futtaim hires banks for perpetual dollar bond | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Dubai's Majid Al Futtaim, a holding company that owns and operates shopping centres in the Middle East and North Africa, has mandated banks to arrange a potential hybrid U.S. dollar-denominated bond, a document from one of the banks showed on Monday.

BNP Paribas, Citi, JPMorgan and Standard Chartered are the joint global coordinators and joint lead managers together with Emirates NBD Capital and First Abu Dhabi Bank.

The potential subordinated perpetual bond will be non-callable for eight years and will be of benchmark size, which normally means upwards of $500 million."



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QNB Group Seeks Shareholder Approval to Increase Non-Qatari Share Ownership Limit to 49%

"QNB Group intends to recommend to the Extraordinary General Assembly of the Bank, to approve increasing the percentage of non-Qatari ownership in the Company’s capital to 49% instead of 25% in accordance with the applicable provisions of Law No. 9 of 2014 regulating the Investment of Non-Qatari Capital in the Economic Activity and subject to approval of the concerned regulators.

An Extraordinary General Assembly will be convened to present and approve the proposed amendment to QNB’s Articles’ of Association by adding an agenda item in respect of the above after securing the appropriate regulatory approvals of the proposed amendment.

QNB Group will disclose the date and venue of the Extraordinary General Assembly in due course."



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The Secretive China Energy Giant That Faces Scrutiny - Bloomberg

The Secretive China Energy Giant That Faces Scrutiny - Bloomberg:

"
CEFC China Energy Co.’s rapid ascent was shrouded in mystery. So is the turmoil that’s engulfing the Shanghai-based company. Its chairman, Ye Jianming, is said to have been investigated by authorities, and the company is reported to have been taken over by an arm of the Shanghai government. Speculation that the company is connected to China’s military, the People’s Liberation Army, has followed CEFC during its rise.

1. What is CEFC?
When it agreed to buy a $9 billion stake in Russia’s Rosneft PJSC in September, CEFC said it was China’s largest private oil and gas company, with 50,000 employees and revenue of more than $40 billion. Since its founding in 2002, it has bought up stakes in sectors ranging from oil and petrochemical processing to financial services, apparel and even a soccer team in the Czech Republic. Its oil-trading portfolio includes a 4 percent stake in Abu Dhabi’s largest oil concession, awarded last year for an $888 million signing bonus, and a five-year supply deal with Rosneft."



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Oil slips as higher U.S. output looms despite dip in drilling

Oil slips as higher U.S. output looms despite dip in drilling:

"Oil prices gave up earlier gains on Monday as rising U.S. output loomed over markets, despite a slowdown in rig drilling activity.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $61.91 a barrel at 0755 GMT, down 13 cents, or 0.2 percent.

Brent crude futures were at $65.38 per barrel, down 11 cents, or 0.2 percent, from their previous close. "



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Kuwait Finance House to split shareholding of Turkish asset manager | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Kuwait Finance House to split shareholding of Turkish asset manager | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Kuwait Finance House (KFH) will divide the ownership structure of its Turkish asset management firm between local and Kuwaiti units, as the Islamic lender continues to build on its Turkey franchise. KT Asset Management, a wholly-owned subsidiary of lender Kuveyt Turk, will transfer 5 million shares representing a 50 percent stake to KFH Capital, according to a regulatory filing. Both Kuveyt Turk and KFH Capital are subsidiaries of KFH, Kuwait's second largest lender and one of the world's oldest Islamic banks."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-QNB's leap lifts Qatar in early trade, most of region strong

MIDEAST STOCKS-QNB's leap lifts Qatar in early trade, most of region strong:

"Qatar’s stock market rose sharply in early trade on Monday because of a jump by Qatar National Bank, after the bank said it would raise its ceiling for foreign ownership. Most other Gulf bourses were also firm. The Qatari stock index climbed 2.3 percent as QNB, the Middle East’s biggest bank, rocketed 7.3 percent; it was the market’s most heavily traded stock. QNB, in which the government is by far the biggest shareholder, said it would recommend to shareholders increasing its non-Qatari ownership ceiling to 49 percent of capital from 25 percent."



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Saudi Aramco IPO delayed until 2019, UK officials told

Saudi Aramco IPO delayed until 2019, UK officials told:

"Saudi Aramco’s listing is unlikely to go ahead this year, according to British officials who have been warned by their Saudi counterparts that the world’s biggest flotation was expected to be delayed.  Several people briefed on the talks said London still had a good chance of securing the listing, which Riyadh said could value the state energy company at $2tn, but any foreign flotation was likely to happen in 2019 at the earliest. Saudi Arabia wants to sell 5 per cent of the world’s largest oil-producing company as part of an economic reform programme driven by Mohammed bin Salman, the crown prince, who visited the UK this week. "



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Eni sells stake in Egypt gasfield to Mubadala

Eni sells stake in Egypt gasfield to Mubadala:

"Eni has sold a 10 per cent stake in Zohr, the giant gasfield off the north coast of Egypt, to Mubadala, the UAE-based investment fund, for $934m, as the Italian oil and gas company continues to cash in on one of the sector’s most successful discoveries in recent years.  The deal comes just a few months after the start of production at Zohr, which was discovered in August 2015 by Eni and is already reshaping the geopolitics of energy in the eastern Mediterranean, holding promise for the region but also stoking tension among neighbouring countries.  Since making the discovery, Eni has sold a 10 per cent stake to BP, the UK oil and gas group, and a further 30 per cent stake to Rosneft of Russia."



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