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Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Air Arabia says approves 10% dividend for 2017 - The National

Air Arabia says approves 10% dividend for 2017 - The National:

"Sharjah-based low-cost carrier Air Arabia approved the distribution of a 10 per cent cash dividend to shareholders for the financial year ended December 31 2017, as proposed in the company’s financial results published in February. The dividend, equivalent to 10 fils per share, reflects a solid financial performance in 2017, the airline said in a statement following its annual general meeting in Sharjah on Tuesday. “Air Arabia has enjoyed consistent and sustained growth in 2017 driven by its network expansion strategy and cost control measures helping us to once again deliver a strong set of results,” said Sheikh Abdullah Al Thani, chairman of Air Arabia."



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Saudi Arabian banks to outperform GCC peers in 2018, Moody's says - The National

Saudi Arabian banks to outperform GCC peers in 2018, Moody's says - The National:

"Profits at Saudia Arabian banks will outperform their GCC peers this year as the economy improves on greater government spending and higher interest rates boost net interest margins, according to Moody’s Investors Service.

“Saudi banks’ profitability improved in 2017 despite a challenging environment and a decline in lending,” analysts at Moody’s, led by Olivier Panis, said on Tuesday.

“We expect their profitability to remain broadly stable at this level in the next 12-18 months thanks to higher interest rates, a gradual pick-up in credit growth and fee-based income. We also expect Saudi banking system’s profitability to remain above GCC peers.”"



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Sheikh Ahmed: Emirates set for stronger annual earnings - The National

Sheikh Ahmed: Emirates set for stronger annual earnings - The National:

"Emirates airline, the world’s biggest long-haul carrier, expects a stronger performance in its current fiscal year than the last, as it benefits from a reversal in US President Donald Trump’s electronics ban and closer ties with low-cost sister service flydubai. Emirates is also seeking to raise $1.1 billion in an Islamic bond sale, with the proceeds to be used partially for aircraft financing, chairman of Emirates Group Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed said on the sidelines of a GE Aviation event in Dubai on Tuesday. The airline expects an increase in annual earnings for the fiscal year ending March 31 compared with the previous year. “It’s going to be better than last year in general,” Sheikh Ahmed said, declining to provide details of the growth."



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ADCB approves a dividend of 42% of bank’s capital | GulfNews.com

ADCB approves a dividend of 42% of bank’s capital | GulfNews.com:

"The Board of Directors of Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank approved a dividend payout for 2017 of 42 per cent of the bank’s capital. Dividend payout totals Dh2.18 billion, chairman of the bank Eisa Mohammad Al Suwaidi said at the Annual General Meeting on Tuesday. ADCB made a net profit of Dh4.27 billion in 2017 compared to Dh4.15 billion in 2016. "



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LNG is the new shale oil with the US as disruptor-in-chief | Arab News

LNG is the new shale oil with the US as disruptor-in-chief | Arab News:

"Crude oil is likely to spring to mind if one is asked to name a commodity where the US is disrupting the market by becoming a swing producer and challenging traditional trade flows, especially in fast-growing Asian markets. But it is increasingly likely that the US is about to play the same role in liquefied natural gas (LNG), as it ramps up production in an already well-supplied market. Much has been written about how the expected glut in LNG supply is unlikely to materialize, given the rapid growth of demand for the super-chilled fuel in Asia, especially in China, which is now second only to Japan as an importer."



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Qatar, Abu Dhabi Extend Deal for Shared Oil Field Despite Feud - Bloomberg

Qatar, Abu Dhabi Extend Deal for Shared Oil Field Despite Feud - Bloomberg:

"Qatar Petroleum and the Abu Dhabi Supreme Petroleum Council agreed to extend a concession for a Japanese-operated oil field they share in the Persian Gulf, in a rare display of cooperation amid the political standoff between their two countries.

QP announced the agreement in a statement on its website, without disclosing terms. United Petroleum Development Co., in which Cosmo Energy Holdings Co. and JX Nippon Oil & Gas Exploration Corp. both hold stakes, owns the business that has operated the offshore Al-Bunduq field since 1970 and will continue to do so under the new deal.

The Qatari and Abu Dhabi governments extended the concession through a technical agreement with the Japanese partner, the Abu Dhabi-based official news agency WAM reported, citing an unidentified official at the Supreme Petroleum Council. “There was no direct contact with the Qatari side, and communication was limited to the Japanese side only,” WAM reported."



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Oil eases as rising U.S. output puts pressure on prices | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Oil eases as rising U.S. output puts pressure on prices | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Oil fell on Tuesday as investors took profits after a brief uptick in prices, while U.S. data that showed crude output is growing faster than expected continued to put pressure on the market. Brent crude futures  were down 32 cents at $64.63 a barrel by 1246 GMT, off an earlier high of $65.25, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were up 17 cents at $61.53 a barrel. Both crude benchmarks dropped by around 1 percent on Monday after the U.S. Energy Information Administration said output from the shale basin would hit a new record high in April."



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Saudi businessman al-Sanea seeks last-ditch debt deal- sources | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Saudi businessman al-Sanea seeks last-ditch debt deal- sources | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Saudi Arabia's collapsed Saad Group, led by businessman Maan al-Sanea, has called a meeting with creditors in a last-ditch attempt to end a dispute over 16 billion riyals ($4.3 billion) of claims, sources close to the matter said.

Advisers to the group have asked creditors to meet in Dubai over the next few days, seeking a deal before Saudi authorities start auctioning, from March 18, billions of dollars of assets, including machinery, real estate, vehicles, belonging to Maan al-Sanea and his company, the sources added.

Maan al-Sanea, ranked in 2007 by Forbes as one of the world's 100 richest people, was detained in Saudi Arabia's Eastern province last October for unpaid debt. His case is separate from the dozens of Saudi businessmen and prominent figures who have been held in a corruption crackdown."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Higher ownership ceilings boost Qatar, Egypt climbs on CIB

MIDEAST STOCKS-Higher ownership ceilings boost Qatar, Egypt climbs on CIB:

"Qatar’s stock market continued rising on Tuesday after two top companies said they were raising their ceilings for foreign ownership, while strength in Egypt’s biggest bank lifted that market. Most of the rest of the region was subdued. The Qatari stock index, which had soared 5 percent on Monday, added a further 1.6 percent. Qatar National Bank , which had risen its 10 percent daily limit on Monday, climbed 6.9 percent. The bank said on Monday that it would recommend to shareholders increasing its non-Qatari ownership ceiling to 49 percent of capital from 25 percent, a step which would increase its weighting in emerging market equity indexes, attracting fresh flows of foreign funds."



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No concession awarded to Qatar Petroleum: UAE official | ZAWYA MENA Edition

No concession awarded to Qatar Petroleum: UAE official | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"An official source at the Supreme Petroleum Council has said that no concession was awarded to Qatar Petroleum.

In a statement, the source said, "The Bunduq field, due to its geographical location, is shared between the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and Qatar. It has been operated via a concession with a Japanese consortium for over four decades. This concession was recently extended by each respective government to the Japanese consortium with no direct communication or engagement between the two states."

"There is no commercial or trading relationship being established between the UAE and Qatar by the extension of this concession," he added."



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COLUMN-LNG is the new shale oil with the U.S. as disruptor-in-chief: Russell

COLUMN-LNG is the new shale oil with the U.S. as disruptor-in-chief: Russell:

"Crude oil is likely to spring to mind if one is asked to name a commodity where the United States is disrupting the market by becoming a swing producer and challenging traditional trade flows, especially in fast-growing Asian markets.

But it’s increasingly likely that the United States is about to play the same role in liquefied natural gas (LNG), as it ramps up production in an already well-supplied market.

Much has been written recently about how the expected glut in LNG supply is unlikely to materialise, given the rapid growth of demand for the super-chilled fuel in Asia, especially in China, which is now second only to Japan as an importer."



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Natural Gas Exporters Want Oil-Linked Pricing to Maintain Supply - Bloomberg

Natural Gas Exporters Want Oil-Linked Pricing to Maintain Supply - Bloomberg:

"The debate over how to price natural gas is settled, at least for exporters, and oil-indexing should prevail. Prices have to be linked to crude oil to keep expected revenue predictable, with some $8 trillion of investments in the fuel needed by 2040, according to Yury Sentyurin, the new head of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum, an industry group representing gas sellers. Many consumers are opting for different formulas used by the U.S. and Australia, which are emerging as top exporters. "Consumers should understand the peculiarities which producers face," Secretary General Sentyurin said in an interview. "Security of investment and supply can only be on the basis of long-term contracts closely connected to oil prices so we could plan further investments into crucial infrastructure.""



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Qatar Wealth Fund to Sell Entire Veolia Stake Worth $640 Million - Bloomberg

Qatar Wealth Fund to Sell Entire Veolia Stake Worth $640 Million - Bloomberg:

"Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund is selling a stake worth about $640 million in Veolia Environnement SA, months after it reduced holdings in Tiffany & Co. and Credit Suisse Group AG. Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Co., the property arm of Qatar Investment Authority, will sell about 26.1 million shares in the French utility, or around 4.6 percent of share capital, according to a statement from the Doha-based firm. Veolia’s shares closed at 19.91 euros in Paris trading on Monday. The planned sale comes after the QIA offloaded shares worth about $417 million in luxury jewelry retailer Tiffany & Co. in September and reduced its direct shareholding in Credit Suisse to 4.94 percent in August. Qatar has been involved in a nine-month standoff with neighboring states including the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia that has forced its sovereign fund to focus on the country’s economy and financial system. The QIA has injected billions of dollars into local banks as the ongoing campaign hurts lenders. "



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Saudi Petrochemical Producers Plan to Return to Merger Table - Bloomberg

Saudi Petrochemical Producers Plan to Return to Merger Table - Bloomberg:

"Sahara Petrochemical Co. and Saudi International Petrochemical Co. plan to resume talks about a potential merger, four years after a tie-up was put on hold.

Discussions will begin after “recent changes in the regulatory framework,” both companies said Tuesday in separate statements to the Saudi stock exchange. The chief executive officers of both companies told Bloomberg Monday that they were again evaluating a merger, sending shares of Saudi International Petrochemical, also known as Sipchem, up 2.6 percent.

The initial merger, which proposed a share swap, was put on hold because both companies said it would be difficult to proceed using a structure acceptable to both sides under the regulatory framework at the time."



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Saudi Aramco international listing looks increasingly difficult - sources | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Saudi Aramco international listing looks increasingly difficult - sources | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Saudi Arabia is increasingly looking to just float oil giant Saudi Aramco locally as plans for an initial public offering (IPO) on an international exchange such as London or New York hang in the balance, sources close to the process said. The kingdom is counting on being awarded emerging market status by index complier MSCI in June to help Saudi Aramco attract Western funds, in addition to cornerstone investors from China, Japan and South Korea, the sources said. "I would guess it is about evens that there will be no international IPO," said a high-level source familiar with the preparations, saying they were proving to be a disappointment."



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Dana Gas says UAE court orders it to proceed with $700mln sukuk case | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Dana Gas says UAE court orders it to proceed with $700mln sukuk case | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"A court in the emirate of Sharjah has ordered United Arab Emirates energy firm Dana Gas to continue with legal efforts in the UAE to have $700 million of its Islamic bonds declared invalid, the company said on Tuesday. The decision appeared to set up a conflict between courts in the UAE and Britain, where Dana and holders of the sukuk, including international investors such as BlackRock, have also been fighting the dispute. Last year, Dana refused to redeem the sukuk when they matured, arguing they were no longer valid under UAE law because of changes in Islamic financial practice over the last several years."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Qatar climbs on higher ownership ceilings, rest of region subdued | ZAWYA MENA Edition

MIDEAST STOCKS-Qatar climbs on higher ownership ceilings, rest of region subdued | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Qatar's stock market kept rising sharply early on Tuesday after two top companies said they were raising their ceilings for foreign ownership, while other Gulf markets were much more subdued.

The Qatari stock index, which had soared 5.0 percent on Monday, added a further 2.1 percent. Qatar National Bank, which had risen its 10-percent daily limit on Monday, climbed 7.0 percent. The bank said on Monday that it would recommend to shareholders increasing its non-Qatari ownership ceiling to 49 percent of capital from 25 percent, a step which would increase its weighting in emerging market equity indexes, attracting fresh flows of foreign funds.

Industries Qatar gained 5.9 percent on Tuesday morning after leaping 10 percent on Monday. On Tuesday, the company said it had increased its foreign ownership limit to 49 percent from 25 percent."



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Qatar Petroleum signs deal with Abu Dhabi for Al-Bunduq oil field operation - The Peninsula Qatar

Qatar Petroleum signs deal with Abu Dhabi for Al-Bunduq oil field operation - The Peninsula Qatar:

"Qatar Petroleum signed a concession agreement with the Abu Dhabi Supreme Petroleum Council (on behalf of the Government of Abu Dhabi), Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), United Petroleum Development Co Ltd (Japan), and Bunduq Company Limited (operator) for the continued development and operation of the shared Al-Bunduq offshore oil field. The signed agreement replaces the original concession agreement signed in March 1953 between the ruler of Abu Dhabi and D’Arcy Exploration Company Limited, which was amended several times since then. In March 1969, the Qatar and Abu Dhabi signed an agreement stipulating that the Al-Bunduq field is equally owned by both sides. On this occasion, Mr. Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, the President & CEO of Qatar petroleum, reaffirmed Qatar Petroleum’s commitment to its international reputation as a trustworthy national oil company and a reliable energy provider at all times and under all conditions."



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