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Tuesday, 20 March 2018

UAE seeks exemption from U.S. tariffs on steel, aluminium- govt official | ZAWYA MENA Edition

UAE seeks exemption from U.S. tariffs on steel, aluminium- govt official | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"The United Arab Emirates is asking Washington to exempt it from new U.S. tariffs on aluminium and steel and believes it has a strong case, a senior government official said on Tuesday. U.S. President Donald Trump is pressing ahead with imposing import tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminium, but has already exempted neighbouring Canada and Mexico and offered to exclude allies.  The UAE is the third-largest exporter of aluminium to the United States, after China and Russia, and also sells its steel there."



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UAE's Mubadala fund in talks to buy renewable energy arm of Brazil's QGEP-report | ZAWYA MENA Edition

UAE's Mubadala fund in talks to buy renewable energy arm of Brazil's QGEP-report | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"United Arab Emirates's sovereign wealth fund Mubadala Development Fund is close to a deal to buy Queiroz Galvao Energia SA, the renewable energy arm of Brazil's Queiroz Galvao Participacoes, Brazilian newspaper Valor Economico reported on Tuesday.

Citing sources close to the deal, Valor said the purchase would be valued at around 4 billion reais ($1.2 billion). Mubadala has partnered with Castlerock Asset Management Inc., the report added.

The conglomerate has negotiated its energy arm with other groups, including China Three Gorges Corp, but the talks had collapsed, according to the report."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Qatar outperforms in soft Gulf markets

MIDEAST STOCKS-Qatar outperforms in soft Gulf markets:

"Qatar’s stocks outperformed in generally weak Gulf markets on Tuesday as investors awaited a U.S. interest rate hike expected at the Federal Reserve policy meeting on Wednesday.

In Qatar, the index rose 1.0 percent to its highest level in just over three weeks. The Al Rayan Qatar exchange-traded fund will list on Wednesday, giving the market a second locally listed ETF as part of efforts to improve liquidity and attract more investment.

Drilling rig provider Gulf International Services was the top gainer, rising 9.8 percent in unusually heavy trade, while Qatari Investors Group climbed 4.1 percent."



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Gulf developers Emaar, Aldar launch $8bn partnership

Gulf developers Emaar, Aldar launch $8bn partnership:

"Dubai real estate giant Emaar is teaming up with Abu Dhabi’s Aldar to launch more than $8bn of projects as the United Arab Emirates looks to streamline competitiveness.

In tweets from the ruler of Dubai and Abu Dhabi’s crown prince, the two companies agreed to partner on developments in the seven emirates of the UAE and abroad.

The deal would be “combining efforts, energies, cooperation and working together in creative plans and programmes that enhance the leadership of our companies and the competitiveness of our institutions at the global level,” the state news agency reported."



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Vodafone Qatar set to deliver its growth plans faster, says Gray

Vodafone Qatar set to deliver its growth plans faster, says Gray:

"Vodafone Qatar will be able to deliver its growth plans faster as the recently announced company changes reset it for the future, said outgoing CEO Ian Gray. Addressing company shareholders at their ordinary and extraordinary general assembly meetings at the Four Seasons yesterday Gray said, “The overall financial results clearly indicate a recovery in our business performance. Looking ahead, we will continue to bring further innovative products and unmatched customer experiences across our core mobile offering. “We will also further expand our rapidly growing fixed-line proposition, targeting opportunities in public and private investments, major real estate developments and infrastructure projects.”  Gray said, “At our extraordinary general assembly in October, Vodafone Qatar changed its financial year-end to December 31. This change aligns our results announcements and other reporting requirements with other listed companies in Qatar. "



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EU lawmakers act to address 'unfair' airline competition rules

EU lawmakers act to address 'unfair' airline competition rules:

"Non-EU carriers could see their rights to fly in the bloc revoked if they or their home countries engage in “unfair” competitive practices under rules voted on by a European Parliament committee on Tuesday.

Some EU airlines, notably Air France-KLM (AIRF.PA) and Lufthansa (LHAG.DE), have long complained about what they see as unfair competition from carriers such as those in the Gulf region - Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways - whom they accuse of receiving illegal state subsidies.

The three airlines have vehemently denied such claims."



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QIA Seeks $665 Million Exiting Asia Department Store Investments - Bloomberg

QIA Seeks $665 Million Exiting Asia Department Store Investments - Bloomberg:

"Qatar Investment Authority, the sovereign fund pursuing asset disposals globally, is seeking to raise $665 million selling its holdings in Hong Kong retailer Lifestyle International Holdings Ltd. and its China affiliate. QIA is offering 371.1 million Lifestyle International shares, or a 23 percent stake in the company, at a fixed price of HK$12 apiece, according to terms for the deal obtained by Bloomberg. The offer price represents a 3.8 percent discount to Lifestyle International’s last close, the terms show. The sovereign fund first invested in Lifestyle International, which runs Sogo department stores, in 2014. QIA has already been reducing its direct holdings in Credit Suisse Group AG and Tiffany & Co. It’s considering selling more assets and channeling the proceeds back into its domestic market, people with knowledge of the matter said in October."



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Prince Alwaleed's Kingdom Holding likely to spin off assets: BBG

Prince Alwaleed's Kingdom Holding likely to spin off assets: BBG:

"Saudi Arabian investment firm Kingdom Holding 4280.SE is likely to split its $13 billion of assets through a spin-off of domestic property and other holdings, its billionaire chairman Prince Alwaleed bin Talal said.

Prince Alwaleed also told Bloomberg in a television interview that he was working with advisors, including Goldman Sachs, to look for investments as large as $3 billion for Kingdom."



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Why the Breach Between Saudis, Qataris Goes On and On: QuickTake - Bloomberg

Why the Breach Between Saudis, Qataris Goes On and On: QuickTake - Bloomberg:

"When four Arab states led by Saudi Arabia cut diplomatic ties and transportation links with Qatar last June, there were widespread expectations that the rift would be quickly resolved, as had been the case with a similar dispute three years earlier. Instead, Qatar’s leaders have dug in, choosing isolation rather than kowtowing to the Saudis. Mediation efforts led by Kuwait have failed. When he was the U.S. secretary of state, Rex Tillerson tried to defuse tensions, but he was ousted March 13 by President Donald Trump.

1. What’s the rift about?

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt complain about Qatar’s friendliness with Iran and accuse it of supporting terrorism, a charge the emirate denies. The crisis was sparked last year when hackers published a story on Qatar’s news agency quoting Qatar’s emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, as criticizing mounting anti-Iran sentiment after a trip to the region by Trump. Qatari officials quickly deleted the comments, called the FBI to help investigate the hack, and appealed for calm as Saudi and U.A.E. newspapers, clerics and celebrities accused Qatar of trying to undermine efforts to isolate Iran.

2. So was it all a misunderstanding?

No. The conflict had been brewing for years. With its oil riches and custodianship of Islam’s holiest sites, Saudi Arabia has long seen itself as the natural leader of the Persian Gulf region, if not the entire Middle East. Its strongest competitor is Iran, with whom it has a testy relationship. In addition to being rivals for regional power, the two are on opposite sides of the Sunni-Shiite split within Islam. Since Qatar began to grow wealthy from natural gas exports two decades ago, it has asserted its independence from the Saudis and sought cordial ties with Iran, with whom it shares a gigantic offshore gas field.

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Emaar, Aldar to launch $8.2 billion in projects: Dubai ruler

Emaar, Aldar to launch $8.2 billion in projects: Dubai ruler:

"United Arab Emirates property developers Emaar and Aldar are partnering to launch local and international projects worth 30 billion dirhams ($8.17 billion), Dubai’s ruler said on Tuesday.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, who is also Prime Minister and Vice-President of the UAE, made the announcement on Twitter. "



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Foreigners Buy Saudi Stocks as Index Calls Loom, Oil Gains - Bloomberg

Foreigners Buy Saudi Stocks as Index Calls Loom, Oil Gains - Bloomberg:

"Foreign investors are piling into Saudi Arabian stocks, counting on the country’s inclusion in emerging-markets indexes at a time when the outlook for oil prices is improving.

Foreigners were net buyers of more than 5.5 billion riyals ($1.47 billion) of shares for 11 straight weeks this year, according to data provided by Saudi Arabia’s stock exchange. Last week, they bought 1.375 billion riyals in shares, more than in any other week since Bloomberg started compiling the data in October 2015."



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Trump and Saudi Prince MBS Look to Cut Deals, Strengthen Ties - Bloomberg

Trump and Saudi Prince MBS Look to Cut Deals, Strengthen Ties - Bloomberg:

"Longtime U.S. allies like the U.K. and South Korea have seen relations fray since President Donald Trump took office, but at least one nation sees its partnership growing tighter than ever: Saudi Arabia. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman will meet Trump in Washington on Tuesday at the start of a three-week American tour. The two countries are developing an increasingly close partnership, encompassing everything from isolating Iran to bolstering business ties beyond energy into technology, defense and entertainment, according to top U.S. and Saudi officials. “Our relationship with the U.S. is at an all-time high,” Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told reporters in Washington on Monday."



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Billionaire Saudi Prince Denies Torture in Ritz-Carlton Detention

Saudi Prince Alwaleed reached secret agreement with govt -BBG TV | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Saudi Prince Alwaleed reached secret agreement with govt -BBG TV | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, the chairman of Kingdom Holding who spent nearly three months in detention in the kingdom's anti-corruption campaign, told Bloomberg TV he had reached an agreement with the government for his release. The prince declined to disclose the details of his "confirmed understanding" with authorities in the interview, which aired on Tuesday, but said it was easy to verify that he still held a 95 percent stake in his global investment firm. "When I say it is a confidential and secret agreement, an arrangement that is based on a confirmed understanding between me and government of Saudi Arabia, I have to respect that," he said. The process with the government was ongoing, he said."



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Saudi finance ministry sells $1.29bln of domestic Sukuk | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Saudi finance ministry sells $1.29bln of domestic Sukuk | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Saudi Arabia's government sold 4.85 billion riyals ($1.29 billion) of domestic sukuk in a monthly sale by re-opening an issue originally made in January, the Ministry of Finance said on Tuesday. The ministry sold 2.60 billion riyals of five-year sukuk, 1.85 billion riyals of seven-year and 0.40 billion riyals of 10-year. Last month, the ministry sold 7.22 billion riyals of domestic sukuk. ($1 = 3.7500 riyals)"



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Dubai Investments to launch sharia-compliant Arkan Bank | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Dubai Investments to launch sharia-compliant Arkan Bank | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Dubai Investments will lead a consortium of investors to launch Arkan Bank, a wholesale Islamic financial institution with an initial paid-up-capital of $100 million, the investment company said on Tuesday.

Arkan Bank, which will have an authorised share capital of $500 million, is applying to the Dubai Financial Services Authority for approval for a licence to operate as an Islamic financial institution, it said.

It plans to offer sharia-compliant banking services and investment products to serve ultra-high-net-worth individuals, corporates, and institutional clients."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf stocks little changed early Tuesday as investors await global cues

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf stocks little changed early Tuesday as investors await global cues:

"Gulf stocks were trading in a narrow range early on Tuesday as investors paused ahead of a U.S. Federal Reserve policy meeting and amid concerns that U.S. President Donald Trump could impose additional protectionist trade measures.

Oil prices edged up slightly, with Brent crude futures up 21 cents at $66.26 per barrel. The Fed’s first policy meeting under new chairman Jerome Powell begins later in the day.

The region’s biggest market, Saudi Arabia, was 0.1 percent lower, weighed down by banks. National Commercial Bank was down 0.4 percent and Samba Financial Group dropped 0.5 percent.

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