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Sunday, 18 March 2018

Shale to dictate oil prices in the coming quarter | GulfNews.com

Shale to dictate oil prices in the coming quarter | GulfNews.com:

"Oil prices are expected to trade lower in the coming days due to seasonal weakness in demand and rise in shale oil production in the US, analysts said. Brent is currently trading at $66.21 (Dh242.99) per barrel and the US benchmark West Texas Intermediate at $62.34 per barrel. “For oil prices, near term risks are skewed to downside. We are in the midst of a period of seasonal demand weakness which coupled with the undeleting rise in US shale, makes for a bearish cocktail,” Stephen Brennock, a London-based analyst from brokerage firm PVM Oil Associates told Gulf News."



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New York allure fades for Saudi Aramco as ‘frivolous’ climate change actions loom | Arab News

New York allure fades for Saudi Aramco as ‘frivolous’ climate change actions loom | Arab News:

"When Khalid Al-Falih, Saudi Arabian oil minister and chairman of Saudi Aramco, told a TV interviewer of the “risk” and “concern” associated with New York financial markets, it was the first time a senior executive of the national oil company had spelled out, on the record, what others had been saying privately for some time: An American listing might not be best for Aramco. The New York Stock Exchange had long been regarded as the front runner in the race to stage the biggest initial public offering in history. Ever since the IPO was first announced in late 2016, Wall Street’s Big Board was seen as the inevitable venue for the listing, not least because that was what the shareholder — the government of Saudi Arabia — wanted. There were other very persuasive reasons to choose NYSE, or even its equally powerful city rival Nasdaq, over other contenders such as London or Hong Kong, for the international element of the IPO in addition to Riyadh’s Tadawul. "



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Post-corruption era investment good despite warnings by big bad news story wolves | Arab News

Post-corruption era investment good despite warnings by big bad news story wolves | Arab News:

"So what was all the fuss about? It looks as though Saudi Arabia is doing rather well in attracting money from the rest of the world, and even that the pace of foreign investment in the Kingdom has picked up since the anti-corruption drive last year.
Go back a few months, and the prophets of doom were predicting that the detentions of last November would deter international investors from putting their money into Saudi Arabia. They — mainly international news organizations keen to be first with a big bad news story — told us that it was all about the rule of law, and transparency, and reliability of legal jurisdictions.
They said that this would hit foreign direct investment (FDI) particularly hard, as overseas investors pondered whether their local partners in the Kingdom would be swept up in an anti-corruption purge. And they predicted it would have a knock-on effect on the Kingdom’s economy and financial markets."



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Dubai's Emirates Airline Set to Raise $600 Million in Sukuk Sale - Bloomberg

Dubai's Emirates Airline Set to Raise $600 Million in Sukuk Sale - Bloomberg:

"Emirates is set to raise $600 million from the sale of Islamic bonds as the world’s biggest airline by international passengers joins a rush of borrowers from the Gulf region. The Dubai government-owned carrier sold 10-year amortizing sukuk at a profit rate of 4.5 percent, the company said in an emailed statement. The yield was cut from an initial guidance, which was in the high 4 percent range, according to a person familiar with the deal who asked not to be identified because the information is private. Emirates will use the money for general corporate purposes. Emirates joins a list of regional issuers seeking funding from bond markets before increases in U.S. interest rates push up borrowing costs. The emirate of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates and Oman are among sovereigns that have raised funds via bonds so far this year, while Saudi Arabia is said to have selected banks to help manage an offering as soon as this month."



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Saudi Fund Said to Take $400 Million Stake in Emanuel’s Endeavor - Bloomberg

Saudi Fund Said to Take $400 Million Stake in Emanuel’s Endeavor - Bloomberg:

"Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund is taking a $400 million stake in Endeavor, one of Hollywood’s biggest talent and event managers, as part of Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman’s grand plan to diversify the kingdom’s oil-based economy, according to people with knowledge of the deal. The purchase is the latest in a series of deals by the Public Investment Fund and is scheduled to close as soon as March 19, a day before bin Salman and U.S. President Donald Trump meet at the White House, said the people, who asked not to be identified because some of the details are still private. Then in early April, the crown prince -- known by his initials MBS -- will be the guest of honor at a Los Angeles dinner hosted by Endeavor Chief Executive Officer Ari Emanuel, the people said. Endeavor, which stages events worldwide from New York Fashion Week to Ultimate Fighting Championship fights, could play a key role as Saudi Arabia rebuilds industries that have withered since movie theaters and other forms of cultural expression were banned more than 35 years ago. One proposal under discussion would have the company work with Saudi Arabia’s General Sports Authority and General Entertainment Authority on projects that range from staging events to training athletes, the people said. Ari Emanuel Photographer: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for LACMA "



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Saudi Arabia Blocks Some German Business Over Rift - Bloomberg

Saudi Arabia Blocks Some German Business Over Rift - Bloomberg:

"Saudi Arabia is cutting back on its dealings with some German companies amid a diplomatic spat with its top European trading partner, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Government agencies have been told not to renew some non-essential contracts with German firms following comments made in November by Germany’s then-foreign minister, Sigmar Gabriel, two of the people said, asking not to be identified because the matter is private. Essential business is continuing as normal, they said."



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Iraq seeks investors to build two southern refineries- oil ministry | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Iraq seeks investors to build two southern refineries- oil ministry | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Iraq has invited foreign companies and investors to bid for the construction and operation of two new refineries in southern Iraq, the oil ministry said on Sunday. One refinery is to be built in Wasit province with a production capacity of 100,000 barrels per day (bpd), and the other in Diwaniyah province with a capacity of 70,000 bpd, the oil ministry said in two statements. Documents for the bidding process for both refineries will be available until April 29 and the bidding will close on June 14."



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Islamic Development Bank lists Sukuk valued $1.25bln on Nasdaq Dubai | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Islamic Development Bank lists Sukuk valued $1.25bln on Nasdaq Dubai | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Nasdaq Dubai today welcomed the listing of a US$1.25 billion Sukuk by the Islamic Development Bank, IDB, whose activities include financing development projects for its 57 member countries. The listing brings the number of Sukuk listings by the IDB on the exchange to nine with a total value of US$11.5 billion, making it one of the largest Sukuk issuers on Nasdaq Dubai. IDB’s Sukuk support the bank’s economic and social advancement goals in line with Sharia principles. IDB participates in equity capital and grant loans for productive projects and enterprises as well as providing financial assistance to member countries in other forms. This includes financing infrastructure and agricultural projects such as roads, dams, schools, hospitals, housing, and rural development in the public and private sectors. Nasdaq Dubai provides the IDB and its other regional and international issuers with close links to investors around the world as well as a first class listing infrastructure."



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Gulf jobs on the rise, driven by higher oil prices: Study | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Gulf jobs on the rise, driven by higher oil prices: Study | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"The Gulf job market is set to grow at an average rate of nine percent this year, according to research conducted by GulfTalent, an online recruitment portal.

The results are based on GulfTalent’s survey of over 1,100 CEOs and executive managers of firms across the Gulf Cooperation Council, GCC. According to survey findings, the biggest factor driving employment growth is the recent rise in oil prices and resulting upturn in business optimism. The price of crude oil, which ranged from US$30-50 for much of 2016 and 2017, has been averaging over US$60 in the past six months. Kuwait is set to have one of the fastest rates of job creation, with a net 18 percent of firms increasing headcount.

The country, which has the region’s highest dependence on the oil and gas sector, is witnessing a boom thanks to higher oil prices. According to the IMF, it is expected to have the region’s fastest economic growth this year. In the UAE, a net 13 percent of firms are reporting an increase in personnel, driven by a recovering oil sector in Abu Dhabi as well as growth in Dubai’s non-oil sector, including the impact of infrastructure spending for Expo 2020."



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UAE's ADNOC awards Total stakes in two offshore concessions | ZAWYA MENA Edition

UAE's ADNOC awards Total stakes in two offshore concessions | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) said on Sunday it had signed 40-year agreements with France's Total, awarding the company a 20 percent stake in the Umm Shaif and Nasr concession and a 5 percent interest in the Lower Zakum concession. Total has contributed a participation fee of 4.2 billion dirhams ($1.15 billion) for the Umm Shaif and Nasr concession and a fee of 1.1 billion dirhams ($300 million) for the Lower Zakum concession, ADNOC said in a statement. The agreements were signed by Sultan al Jaber, group chief executive of ADNOC and Patrick Pouyanne, chairman & CEO of Total. The agreements have a term of 40 years and are backdated to March 9, 2018, ADNOC said."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf softens despite oil rebound; Ezz Steel lifts Egypt

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf softens despite oil rebound; Ezz Steel lifts Egypt:

"Gulf stock markets eased on Sunday as gains in oil prices at the end of last week failed to spur activity, though Ezz Steel helped to lift Egypt’s index.

There was very little action in the United Arab Emirates, with both Dubai and Abu Dhabi registering among their lowest trading volumes this year as the indexes fell marginally.

Emaar Properties was the worst performer in Dubai, shedding 1.9 percent and closing near 20-month lows. The stock has been sold off by international accounts since last week, said one trader, depressed by the sluggish outlook for Dubai’s real estate market."



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Qatar asks US to investigate UAE bank for 'financial warfare' - The Peninsula Qatar

Qatar asks US to investigate UAE bank for 'financial warfare' - The Peninsula Qatar:

"Qatar has asked US regulators to investigate the US subsidiary of the largest bank in the United Arab Emirates, accusing it of "bogus" foreign exchange deals designed to harm its economy as part of a blockade by Gulf neighbours.

The Central Bank of Qatar's law firm has written a letter to the US Treasury asking it to investigate NBAD Americas, the US subsidiary of First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB), which is majority state-owned.

In a second letter, the lawyers - Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison - asked the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to investigate possible manipulation of Qatar's currency, the riyal."



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Saudi banks’ lending growth to pick up pace in 2018 | GulfNews.com

Saudi banks’ lending growth to pick up pace in 2018 | GulfNews.com:

"Saudi Arabia’s banking sector is expected to report improved lending growth in the next two years driven by higher government spending and recovering oil prices, but the rising interest rates could become a damper in the expected credit growth, according to analysts The Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) raised its benchmark repo (lending) and reverse repo (deposit) rates on last week. Both benchmark rates were increased by 25 basis points (bps), bringing the repo rate to 2.25 per cent and the reverse repo rate to 1.75 per cent. The rate hikes ahead of the anticipated Fed rate hike this month points to SAMA’s plans to keep the rates in tandem with the US rates is expected to keep the credit growth low despite ample liquidity in the system."



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Alwaleed’s Kingdom is said to revive talks for $1bn loan

Alwaleed’s Kingdom is said to revive talks for $1bn loan:

"Kingdom Holding Co is reviving talks to raise about $1bn in loans, weeks after its chairman Prince Alwaleed bin Talal was released from detention, people familiar with the matter said.
The investment firm restarted talks with local and international lenders about the financing backed by its stake in Banque Saudi Fransi, the people said, asking not to be identified because the discussions are private. Talks were put on hold in November after Alwaleed was arrested as part of an anti-corruption crackdown, people said at the time.
Alwaleed, the 65th-richest person in the world, was among princes, ministers and senior officials who were held at the Ritz-Carlton for almost three months. He told Reuters in January that his detention was a “misunderstanding.” "



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Trump Death of Iran's Nuclear Deal Could Set Oil Bulls Loose - Bloomberg

Trump Death of Iran's Nuclear Deal Could Set Oil Bulls Loose - Bloomberg:

"Former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson put a break on President Donald Trump's desire to tear up the Iran nuclear deal. Rather than go against his top diplomat's advice, the president got rid of him, making it more likely that he will now pull the U.S. out of the agreement as early as May 12, the next deadline for him to extend the waiver on the sanctions that are suspended by it. The State Department doesn't seem to be entirely behind killing it. “We believe we can work within the nuclear deal,” Brian Hook, director of policy planning, said after Friday's quarterly meeting of the joint commission overseeing the 2015 agreement. If his former boss's fate is anything to go by, Hook's time at Foggy Bottom may be limited. President Trump appears determined to nix it. But there would be no point for the U.S. to withdraw if everybody else was just allowed to go on buying Iranian oil. If he does succeed in imposing new measures to slash the country's exports -- as he will surely seek to do -- the result would be a slump in Iranian flows that would make the decline in Venezuelan supply look modest by comparison."



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Aramco Is Said to Get Cool Response on IPO From U.S. Investors - Bloomberg

Aramco Is Said to Get Cool Response on IPO From U.S. Investors - Bloomberg:

"Saudi Arabia’s willingness to delay the initial public offering of state oil company Aramco to 2019 has several motivations, from regulatory risk to competing projects in the government’s crowded agenda.

There’s another, perhaps more significant hurdle: it appears some American investors aren’t that interested.

Over the past few weeks, Aramco executives and government officials pitched their plan for what could be world’s largest share sale to some of the biggest U.S. mutual fund firms and hedge funds, according to people familiar with the discussions."



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UAE firms may raise $9bln from IPOs | ZAWYA MENA Edition

UAE firms may raise $9bln from IPOs | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"The initial public offering (IPO) market looks pretty strong as the UAE companies are projected to raise up to $9 billion (Dh33 billion) this year, which could see 2018 as a landmark year for the UAE financial markets, industry analysts have said.

Vijay Valecha, chief market analyst, Century Financial Brokers, said UAE companies are expected to raise $8-$9 billion (Dh29.36-Dh33 billion) from IPOs through listing in global as well as local equity markets, depending on their valuations."



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Citi is back in Saudi Arabia | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Citi is back in Saudi Arabia | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"The year 1955 was a big one in the history of First National City Bank of New York.

Already a leading financial institution in the US, Europe and Japan, the bank went on an expansion spree in the Middle East, opening offices in Cairo and Beirut. In December, it started up in Jeddah, the first American bank in the Kingdom.

That office on the Red Sea coast was the beginning of a long and fruitful relationship between Saudi Arabia and what was later to become Citibank."



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Dubai's DP World buys stakes in container terminal in Peru and logistics firm in India | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Dubai's DP World buys stakes in container terminal in Peru and logistics firm in India | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"DP World, one of the world's largest port operators, said on Sunday it had bought a logistics firm in Peru for $315.7 million, giving it a 50 percent stake in the country's second largest container terminal. The acquisition of Cosmos Agencia Maritima, which also offers maritime services, gives it half-ownership of Euroandinos Port Terminals which operates the port of Paita. Dubai-owned DP World operates several ports in South America, including a container terminal in Peru's Port Callao."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Real estate weighs on Dubai in early trade, Saudi firm

MIDEAST STOCKS-Real estate weighs on Dubai in early trade, Saudi firm:

"Gulf stock markets were mixed in early trade on Sunday with the Dubai stock index pulled down by real estate and financial shares.

Dubai’s major developers Emaar Properties and DAMAC fell 1.5 percent and 1.9 percent respectively, while Dubai Islamic Bank shed 0.4 percent.

Courier Aramex gained 4.5 percent, however. A research note published by FAB Securities last week said the company was expected to grow in value given the strong momentum of e-commerce activity across the region."



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