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Thursday, 22 March 2018

Abu Dhabi to combine two sovereign wealth funds into new $200bn vehicle

Abu Dhabi to combine two sovereign wealth funds into new $200bn vehicle:

"Abu Dhabi is consolidating two of its leading sovereign wealth funds into a $200bn vehicle, deepening financial consolidation in the oil-rich emirate. Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the crown prince and de factor ruler of the emirate, said Abu Dhabi Investment Council would join Mubadala Investment Company group, which last year merged with the International Petroleum Investment Company, or Ipic. “An investment vehicle of such scale will enhance the country’s competitive position,” he tweeted. Abu Dhabi’s original and largest sovereign fund, the $800bn-plus Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, remains a separate entity, leading efforts to invest excess oil revenues for future generations. Bankers say Adic was set up in 2007 with a mandate to deploy surplus revenues into the region as a complement to Adia’s global focus. The council also holds the government’s stakes in domestic banks. Adic, which ended up replicating the strategies of Adia and Mubadala, was closely associated with United Arab Emirates President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who is recovering from a stroke away from public life."



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Masraf Al Rayan launches Qatar ETF - The Peninsula Qatar

Masraf Al Rayan launches Qatar ETF - The Peninsula Qatar:

"Qatar’s first Shari’a-compliant exchange traded fund and arguably, the largest single-country Shari’a compliant ETF in the world was listed on Qatar Stock Exchange (QSE) yesterday. The Al Rayan Qatar ETF (stock exchange ticker: QATR) traded more than QR56m on its debut which accounted for 20 percent of total exchange volumes on the day. To mark the launch of the ETF, the bourse yesterday welcomed the fund’s founder, Masraf Al Rayan, and fund manager, Al Rayan Investment, to open trading. The Fund will track the QE Al Rayan Islamic Index (Price) which is comprised of large and medium sized, Shari’a-compliant, listed Qatari companies. “As an exchange we’re delighted that the world’s largest single-country Islamic ETF is available to trade exclusively in Doha. Al Rayan Investment has a strong reputation in asset management locally and the index itself makes for a Shari’a-compliant investment strategy and diversification for QSE investors,” said Rashid Ali Al-Mansoori, CEO of the Qatar Stock Exchange."



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Qatar Airways denies Air India bid plan

Qatar Airways denies Air India bid plan:

"Qatar Airways has denied reports in a section of the Indian media that it is making a joint bid with IndiGo for India's national carrier Air India, which the country's federal government plans to sell.
“We are aware of the reports in India, but we are not interested in the bid. We deny the report that we are making a bid on Air India along with IndiGo,” a Qatar Airways spokesperson told Gulf Times on Wednesday. 
In June 2017, India’s Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs gave an in-principle nod for the strategic divestment of the airline."



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Qatar forex reserves rise to $37.7bn in January: QNB

Qatar forex reserves rise to $37.7bn in January: QNB:

"In a clear indication of Qatar’s improving international investment position, the Qatar Central Bank’s foreign exchange reserves increased to $37.7bn in January, QNB has said in its “Qatar Monthly Monitor’.
In December, Qatar’s forex reserves stood at $37.6bn, the report said.
The report showed Qatar’s current account surplus widened to 5.3% of GDP in the third quarter (Q3) from 2.5% in the second quarter (Q2) while the deficit in the financial account narrowed."



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BP Squeezed Out of Abu Dhabi Offshore Oil as China, Italy Win - Bloomberg

BP Squeezed Out of Abu Dhabi Offshore Oil as China, Italy Win - Bloomberg:

"When oil-rich Abu Dhabi put a string of offshore fields up for auction, suitors from China to Italy vied for a slice of the pie. Surprisingly, that piece was snatched from one of the world’s largest energy conglomerates. BP Plc missed out on a chance to renew its partnership in oil concessions off the emirate’s shores, which expired this month. The loss of barrels -- estimated at 100,000 a day -- will offset growth from BP’s new projects, meaning its total oil output will stay flat this quarter. Competitors Total SA, Eni SpA and others will take a share of the three licenses in Abu Dhabi, an emirate that produces 6 percent of the world’s oil. Now out of the picture offshore, BP will need to focus on the country’s onshore fields it won in 2016, as well as gas assets in the region such as Zohr in Egypt and Khazzan in Oman. "



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Qatar central bank keeps repo rate flat, raises deposit rate 25 bps

Qatar central bank keeps repo rate flat, raises deposit rate 25 bps:

"Qatar’s central bank said on Thursday that it was keeping its repo rate flat at 2.50 percent, and leaving its overnight lending rate unchanged at 5.00 percent.

However, the bank raised its overnight deposit rate by 25 basis points to 1.75 percent.

It was acting after the U.S. Federal Reserve hiked rates by 25 bps late on Wednesday. "



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Qatar Meets Investors Ahead of Potential Bond Sale - Bloomberg

Qatar Meets Investors Ahead of Potential Bond Sale - Bloomberg:

"Qatar met fixed-income investors in Asia to test their appetite for a potential bond sale in the next few weeks, according to people familiar with the matter. Government officials from the gas-rich state held a non-deal roadshow in Singapore on Wednesday, one of the people said, asking not to be identified because the matter is private. They also met investors in Doha this week to discuss the possibility of a sale, another person said. A sale would be the country’s first international fundraising since a diplomatic spat with its neighbors started in June. Qatar had planned to tap the debt market in the first quarter for about $9 billion to finance its budget deficit, people familiar with the matter said in January. The country has $1 billion bond maturing in 2019, according to data compiled by Bloomberg."



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Saudi tycoon's creditor banks weigh multi-billion dollar debt deal | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Saudi tycoon's creditor banks weigh multi-billion dollar debt deal | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Bank creditors of detained Saudi Arabian tycoon, Maan al-Sanea, have asked his advisers for more details on a proposed settlement covering 16 billion riyals ($4.3 billion) in claims before they agree to move forward with the process, sources close to the matter said.

Banks met in Dubai on Wednesday as they seek to resolve the debt crisis that has rumbled on since al-Sanea's company Saad Group defaulted on its debt in 2009.

The meeting, the first major gathering of the debtors and creditors since 2009, took place as auctions were underway to sell around 900 vehicles owned by al-Sanea and Saad."



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Saudi Arabia’s Ma’aden approaches banks to refinance subsidiary loan- sources | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Saudi Arabia’s Ma’aden approaches banks to refinance subsidiary loan- sources | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Ma'aden) is seeking to refinance around $1 billion of bank debt raised for its subsidiary Ma'aden Bauxite and Alumina Company (MBAC), three banking sources familiar with the matter said.

State-controlled Ma'aden has hired BNP Paribas and National Commercial Bank to advise it on the fundraising and has been in talks with banks over recent weeks for a refinancing facility expected to be denominated in both riyals and U.S. dollars.

Sources said the transaction was expected to be in the region of $1 billion but it had not been finalised. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment."



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Emirates NBD closes in on Turkey's Denizbank despite Gulf row | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Emirates NBD closes in on Turkey's Denizbank despite Gulf row | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Emirates NBD could agree to buy Turkey's Denizbank within weeks, sources said, after intense lobbying by the Turkish bank to convince President Tayyip Erdogan of the benefits of the potential $5.3 billion deal despite a diplomatic rift. Dubai's biggest bank, Emirates NBD  said it was in preliminary talks to buy Denizbank  from Russia's Sberbank SBER.MM in January, but the plan has met resistance from Erdogan, four sources told Reuters. While Erdogan does not have direct control over Turkey's banks, the president could potentially block any deal by telling the country's BDDK banking watchdog not to approve it."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Dubai ends at two-year low, Saudi keeps climbing on FTSE hopes

MIDEAST STOCKS-Dubai ends at two-year low, Saudi keeps climbing on FTSE hopes:

"Major Gulf stock markets performed very differently on Thursday as Dubai closed at its lowest level in two years while Saudi Arabia continued to climb on optimism over its entry into emerging market indexes. Money has been flowing from Dubai and other Gulf Arab markets into Saudi Arabia since the start of the year, as investors try to get in ahead of billions of dollars of passive foreign funds that are expected to pour into Riyadh after it gains emerging market status. Dubai’s index ended down 1.8 percent at 3,150 points in lacklustre turnover, dropping below a two-year low that it hit last week."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi continues climb, most of Gulf lower on ex-dividends

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi continues climb, most of Gulf lower on ex-dividends:

"Most Gulf stock markets were soft in early trade on Thursday as several companies in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Qatar went ex-dividend, while Saudi Arabia continued to climb on optimism over its entry into emerging market indexes. The Saudi index rose 0.8 percent in the first hour, anticipating FTSE’s decision at the end of March on whether to upgrade Riyadh to secondary emerging market status. The biggest market movers included petrochemical firm Saudi Basic Industries Corp and Saudi Telecom, up 2.0 percent and 4.0 percent respectively - stocks that are expected to figure prominently in the global indexes."



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UAE central bank raises rates by 25 bps

UAE central bank raises rates by 25 bps:

"The United Arab Emirates central bank said on Wednesday that it was raising its repo rate by 25 basis points to 2.0 percent, and increasing interest rates on certificates of deposit by a similar margin.

Its decision followed the U.S. Federal Reserve’s decision to hike rates by 25 bps. "



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Oil loses ground as rising U.S. output threatens to disrupt tightening market

Oil loses ground as rising U.S. output threatens to disrupt tightening market:

"Oil prices gave up earlier gains as the relentless rise in U.S. crude production threatens to undermine efforts led by producer cartel OPEC to tighten the market. Brent crude futures LCOc1 were at $69.34 per barrel at 0750 GMT, down 13 cents, or 0.2 percent from their last close.

 U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were at $65.13 a barrel, down 4 cents from their previous settlement."



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Saudi Grand Tour to Include Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, JPMorgan - Bloomberg

Saudi Grand Tour to Include Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, JPMorgan - Bloomberg:



"Senior Saudi officials touring the U.S. to drum up business will visit investment banks including JPMorgan Chase & Co., Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Citigroup Inc. and Bank of America Corp., Saudi Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan said.

“There are opportunities being created for a lot of U.S. businesses," Al-Jadaan said in an interview Wednesday with Bloomberg Television in Washington, the first stop in Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s three-week tour of America. The Saudi delegation is also expected to visit Boston, New York, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Houston on a trip scheduled to last through April 7."



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Saudi Finance Minister Says Aramco IPO Remains on Track – Bloomberg

Saudi Finance Minister Says Aramco IPO Remains on Track – Bloomberg:

"Saudi Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan discusses the Aramco IPO and talks about the international bond sale. He speaks with Vivian Nereim on "Bloomberg Daybreak: Middle East." "



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US investments in Saudi Arabia reach $56.40bln | ZAWYA MENA Edition

US investments in Saudi Arabia reach $56.40bln | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"The volume of US investments in the Saudi market until Feb. 2018 reached over SR207 billion, according to a report of the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA). Some 373 American companies made investments in a wide range of areas such as the service, industry, real estate, scientific and technical sectors in the Kingdom. The industrial activities make up the lion’s share of these investments with a total amount of SR193 billion for 95 projects while the service sector comes second with a financing of SR13.5 billon for 245 projects."



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