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Monday, 19 March 2018

Saudi Arabia’s existential crisis returns as US shale booms anew 

Saudi Arabia’s existential crisis returns as US shale booms anew :

"When Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Mohammed bin Salman visits the US next week, he will champion a new vision for the desert kingdom — one that is technologically savvy, religiously moderate and has a global influence beyond its oil prowess. He should thank his hosts for the opportunity. It was the US shale boom that caused a structural shift in the energy industry and induced a collapse in oil prices, forcing the kingdom to confront economic dependence on its resource riches.  Yet limiting the kingdom’s reliance on oil revenues in the future requires higher prices today to fund sweeping economic and social reforms to help create Saudi Arabia 2.0. The risk is that buoyant crude prices allows shale producers to pump without restraint, challenging the country’s oil dominance and in the long run jeopardising the country’s entire modernisation programme."



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Why a domestic listing for Saudi Aramco is back on the agenda - The National

Why a domestic listing for Saudi Aramco is back on the agenda - The National:

"Saudi Arabia has not yet decided on the international venue for the dual-listing of oil major Saudi Aramco, with London, New York, Singapore, and Hong Kong all vying for the prestigious IPO. Such a delay in announcing a venue raises the intriguing possibility of a Saudi-only listing.

There is speculation that the highly-anticipated IPO – which may be the largest the world has ever seen – will be delayed until next year, and that the international component will be a secondary listing, with a primary offering on the Saudi stock exchange (Tadawul) becoming a more realistic choice.

Such a prospect will no doubt cause many investment bankers and financial advisers to worry about losing out on bonuses and advisory fees if a local primary listing proceeds. But is there any justification for this scenario? And more importantly, is listing Aramco exclusively on Tadawul a viable option."



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France faces legal risks over Saudi, UAE arms sales: lawyers

France faces legal risks over Saudi, UAE arms sales: lawyers:

"France and its arms suppliers face heightened legal risks for supplying weapons to Saudi Arabia and the UAE despite warnings such arms could be used in the war in Yemen, a law firm’s report commissioned by human rights groups said on Monday.

The two Gulf Arab states are leading a coalition fighting the Iran-aligned Houthi group that controls most of northern Yemen and the capital Sanaa. The conflict has killed more than 10,000 people and displaced more than three million.

The report follows criticism of President Emmanuel Macron by rights groups and French lawmakers over his support for the coalition, opaque arms sales and inadequate safeguards to prevent its weapons being used in Yemen operations."



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Qatar selects Japan's Chiyoda Corp for gas field's design contract

Qatar selects Japan's Chiyoda Corp for gas field's design contract:

"Qatar Petroleum has chosen Japan’s Chiyoda Corp for front-end engineering and design of the onshore facilities of the North Field expansion, the state-owned energy giant said in a statement on Monday. Qatar lifted a moratorium on gas development from the North Field, the world’s biggest natural gas field, in April last year. Qatar Petroleum said the facilities will produce an additional 23 million tons per annum (mtpa) of LNG, which will raise Qatar’s production from 77 to 100 mtpa."



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Crude Dips as Stock Markets Swoon Amid Ballooning Shale Output - Bloomberg

Crude Dips as Stock Markets Swoon Amid Ballooning Shale Output - Bloomberg:

"Crude slipped for the first time in four sessions as equities declined around the world against the backdrop of surging oil-production growth from U.S. shale drillers. Futures dropped as much as 1.6 percent in New York on Monday. Investors dumped stocks as risky holdings fell out of favor across the globe. The anxiety rippled through a crude market already unsettled by an increase in drilling activity by American explorers as well as inventories in U.S. tanks and terminals that have expanded in six of the past seven weeks. “We should continue to see” rising U.S. production and stored supplies, said Tariq Zahir, a New York-based commodity fund manager at Tyche Capital Advisors LLC. “If we see a further equity selloff,” crude’s losses may deepen. "



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Tillerson’s Firing Is Likely to Delay Push to Resolve Qatar Crisis - Bloomberg

Tillerson’s Firing Is Likely to Delay Push to Resolve Qatar Crisis - Bloomberg:

"Rex Tillerson’s abrupt firing as secretary of state last week will likely undermine the latest U.S. push to resolve a nine-month standoff between Qatar and a Saudi-led alliance, viewed by the Trump administration as a distraction from efforts to curb Iran’s regional influence.

Shortly before President Donald Trump dismissed Tillerson, U.S. officials were working to convene Qatar and the bloc at an April meeting in Kuwait to reach an initial agreement on ending the dispute, according to two people briefed on the plan, including a senior Gulf official. The final deal would then be sealed at a summit in May hosted by Trump, the people said on condition of anonymity because the talks were private.

 The departure of Tillerson, who had pushed for a negotiated settlement to the crisis from its outset in June, and his replacement by CIA chief Mike Pompeo, means Saudi Arabia and its allies will be under less pressure to end their boycott of Qatar soon, they said, an opinion supported by analysts."



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Thousands flock to auction of vehicles owned by Saudi tycoon

Thousands flock to auction of vehicles owned by Saudi tycoon:

"Thousands of people attended the first day of an auction of vehicles owned by indebted Saudi Arabian tycoon Maan al-Sanea and his company, a sale which officials say will go towards repaying about 18 billion riyals ($4.8 billion) owed to creditors.

Authorities say the auction, the subject of huge interest in the Eastern Province where his business is based, reflects their focus on improving corporate governance and by extension Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s commitment to economic reforms.

Creditors ranging from unpaid workers to local and international banks hope the process, which at a later stage will include sale of bigger assets such as property, will lead to repayment of at least part of their debt. "



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Oman's PDO reports significant gas find in Mabrouk field -agency | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Oman's PDO reports significant gas find in Mabrouk field -agency | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) reported a significant gas find in the Mabrouk field with an estimated 4 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of recoverable gas and 112 million barrels of condensates, state news agency ONA reported on Monday.

It said PDO, the country's top oil and gas exploration and production company, had been exploring the reservoir located north of its concession area. It gave no further details.

The announcement was made at an annual news event held by the Ministry of Oil and Gas."



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UAE to introduce new interbank rates system on April 15- sources | ZAWYA MENA Edition

UAE to introduce new interbank rates system on April 15- sources | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"The United Arab Emirates central bank will introduce a new way of setting Emirates Interbank Offered Rates (EIBOR), helping to make the system more accurate and transparent, on April 15, banking sources told Reuters on Monday. The new system will shrink the panel of banks whose quotes are used to calculate the rates to eight banks from 10, the sources said. There was no immediate comment from the central bank."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Qatar up about 1 pct, outperforms lacklustre Gulf markets

MIDEAST STOCKS-Qatar up about 1 pct, outperforms lacklustre Gulf markets:

"Qatar’s main stock index rose nearly 1 percent on Monday as a planned increase in foreign ownership limits boosted blue-chips and helped Doha to outperform the rest of a region weighed down by weak global stocks and oil prices.

The gain in Qatar’s index was powered by a 2.9 percent surge in heavyweight Industries Qatar and a 1.8 percent rise for Qatar National Bank. The two announced last week that they were raising ceilings for foreign ownership of their shares, which will boost their weightings in emerging market equity indexes.

Vodafone Qatar jumped by 9.4 percent to close at 8.63 riyals on buying from retail investors after recent declines."



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First Abu Dhabi Bank denies it manipulated Qatari riyal | ZAWYA MENA Edition

First Abu Dhabi Bank denies it manipulated Qatari riyal | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"First Abu Dhabi Bank, the United Arab Emirates' biggest lender, on Monday denied that it had tried to manipulate the Qatari riyal.

"FAB conducts its business in accordance with the highest professional standards and complies with the laws and regulations of the jurisdictions in which it operates. FAB categorically refutes these rumours," it said in a statement.

Letters seen by Reuters showed a law firm working for the central bank of Qatar asked U.S. regulators to investigate FAB's U.S. subsidiary, accusing it of "bogus" foreign exchange deals designed to harm Qatar's economy as part of a boycott of Doha by other Gulf states."



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Oil prices fall as increased U.S. drilling points to higher output

Oil prices fall as increased U.S. drilling points to higher output:

"Oil prices fell on Monday as increased drilling in the United States pointed to more output, raising concerns about a return of oversupply.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $62.14 a barrel at 0739 GMT, down 20 cents, or 0.3 percent, from their previous close.

 Brent crude futures were at $65.99 per barrel, down 22 cents, or 0.3 percent.

"



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Saudis Narrow Rate Gap With Libor to Boost Riyal's Appeal - Bloomberg

Saudis Narrow Rate Gap With Libor to Boost Riyal's Appeal - Bloomberg:

"Saudi Arabia has narrowed the difference between a key rate and its U.S. dollar equivalent in London, days before the Federal Reserve is due to set monetary policy.

The three-month interbank rate has climbed 16 basis points this week to 2.18 percent, curbing its discount to Libor to about two basis points after the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority unexpectedly raised both its repurchase and reverse repurchase rates on Thursday."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf stocks mostly flat, Qatar bucks the trend on banks

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf stocks mostly flat, Qatar bucks the trend on banks:

"Gulf stock markets were mostly flat early on Monday, weighed down by weak global stocks and oil prices, but Qatar bucked the trend, helped by gains in financials such as Qatar National Bank.

Asian share markets slipped into the red on Monday in a week in which the Federal Reserve is likely to hike U.S. interest rates, while oil prices fell as increased drilling in the United States pointed to more output.

In the United Arab Emirates, indexes in Dubai and Abu Dhabi were both flat."



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