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Sunday, 25 March 2018

Deepening economic ties will give the west leverage over Iran

Deepening economic ties will give the west leverage over Iran:

"President Donald Trump’s choice of John Bolton as his national security adviser installs the ultimate Iran hawk in the White House. Mr Bolton has called for the bombing of Iran on multiple occasions, repeatedly urged regime change in Tehran and has sketched a plan for extricating the US from the nuclear deal. Mr Trump’s two-step of appointing Mr Bolton and nominating another hawk, Mike Pompeo, for secretary of state may put the US on a collision course with Iran.

Congress and the US’s European allies have been discussing how to save the nuclear agreement with Iran so that Mr Trump does not rip it up. Mr Pompeo has indicated he is open to the idea. But even if they find a way to placate the president, isolate Mr Bolton and preserve the deal, the administration’s current stance towards Iran will ensure that the US continues to lurch from one crisis to another.

A different strategic approach is needed: increased trade in exchange for specific concessions on ballistic missiles or regional meddling."



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Qatar has shaken off initial negative impact of blockade: CI

Qatar has shaken off initial negative impact of blockade: CI:

"Qatar has shaken off the initial negative impacts of the blockade and appears to have fully adjusted to the need to change supply chains and logistical arrangements, according to Capital Intelligence, an international credit rating agency. "The general picture is of a return to normality," CI said in a report. Historical trading and family links have been hit. Nevertheless, part of the response has been legal and regulatory changes that are making Qatar a much more open economy – and this is encouraging inward investment into the private sector, the rating agency said."



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Qatar proposes Russian companies develop gas fields in 2019-2020: RIA

Qatar proposes Russian companies develop gas fields in 2019-2020: RIA:

"Qatar has proposed that Russian companies take part in tenders for the further development of gas fields in 2019-2020, RIA news agency cited the Qatari envoy to Russia Fahad bin Mohammed Al-Attiyah as saying on Sunday.

“Russian companies, like others, may try to win the tender, which will be announced,” he is quoted as saying.

Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet the Emir of Qatar in Moscow on March 26, the Kremlin said on Friday."



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The Builder of One of the World's Largest Airports Revives IPO - Bloomberg

The Builder of One of the World's Largest Airports Revives IPO - Bloomberg:

"Limak Investments, which is part of a group building Istanbul’s new six-runway airport, is considering an initial public offering later this year or next, rekindling a plan it shelved in 2011 after equity markets tumbled.

"We are looking for the right window to move forward," Chairwoman Ebru Ă–zdemir said in an interview with Bloomberg TV in Kuwait. "All our companies are ready. Our cement group is the second-biggest cement group in Turkey. Our infrastructure and energy groups, likewise."

Limak has expanded into building roads in Russia and airports in Kosovo, Senegal and Kuwait, and now has 65,000 employees and operations in 17 countries since touting the sale of a 30 percent stake in its business seven years ago. The company may come to market amid a boom in Turkish share sales that last year jumped to the highest since 2011, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. This year may be more than five times 2017’s levels, according to local brokerage, Is Yatirim."



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UAE's Dana Gas plans cash dividend despite $700mln sukuk dispute | ZAWYA MENA Edition

UAE's Dana Gas plans cash dividend despite $700mln sukuk dispute | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Dana Gas will seek shareholder approval to pay a dividend for 2017, it said on Sunday, in a move that could complicate its legal dispute with investors demanding that the company settles $700 million of Islamic bonds. The United Arab Emirates energy producer's share price jumped by 8.3 percent after it announced that a shareholder meeting on April 11 would discuss a proposal to pay its first cash dividend in several years. The dividend, equivalent to 5 percent of capital, would total about 349 million dirhams ($95 million)."



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UAE inflation eases in February after jumping on new tax | ZAWYA MENA Edition

UAE inflation eases in February after jumping on new tax | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Inflation in the United Arab Emirates eased slightly in February after jumping to a multi-year high in January when the government introduced a 5 percent value-added tax, official data showed on Sunday.

The annual inflation rate came down to 4.5 percent last month from 4.8 percent in January, which was the highest level since 2015. Month-on-month, consumer prices fell 0.2 percent in February after surging 2.7 percent in January.

There were signs in February that some companies were discounting to maintain market share after initially hiking prices more sharply in response to the tax.
"



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Dana Gas lifts Abu Dhabi; some Saudi blue-chips advance

MIDEAST STOCKS-Dana Gas lifts Abu Dhabi; some Saudi blue-chips advance:

"Gulf stock markets were generally little changed on Sunday, though Abu Dhabi’s Dana Gas surged on news of plans for its first annual dividend for several years. The Abu Dhabi index rose 0.8 percent as Dana Gas jumped 8.3 percent after the board said it would seek shareholder approval for a cash dividend for 2017 totalling 5 percent of capital, or about 349 million dirhams ($95 million). By diverting money to shareholders, the plan could complicate Dana’s dispute with bondholders after the company’s decision not to redeem $700 million of sukuk that it said had become unlawful after changes in Islamic finance."



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Al Ghurair Iron and Steel says US exports will be hit due to tariffs | GulfNews.com

Al Ghurair Iron and Steel says US exports will be hit due to tariffs | GulfNews.com:

"Al Ghurair Iron and Steel, a joint venture between Nippon Steel Sumitomo Metal Corporation of Japan and UAE’s Al Ghurair Group, expects steel exports to the US will be hit due to the introduction of tariffs on imported steel and aluminium by the US government, the chief executive officer of the firm told Gulf News in an interview. “We are still getting enquiries from our US customers, however pricing has become a challenge. Even after the tariffs were announced, the buyers in the US have continued to send us enquires but they expect the prices to be discounted to offset the impact of the new 25 per cent tariffs,” said Abu Baqer Hussain, adding that US is a net importer of steel and their domestic mills don’t cater to the entire demand of the metal in the country. He said that the market sentiment is down due to protectionist measures undertaken by the US government and customers are feeling the heat. "



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Qatar’s non-oil exports reach QR2.2bn in Feb 2018, says report

Qatar’s non-oil exports reach QR2.2bn in Feb 2018, says report:

"The value of Qatar’s non-oil exports jumped 4.8% month-on-month from QR2.1bn to QR2.2bn in February 2018, Qatar Chamber said in its latest report.
The report, Qatar Chamber said, was prepared based on the 2,620 certificates of origin issued by its Research & Studies Department and Member Affairs Department in February 2018.
In February, the report said Qatar exported goods and services to 62 countries compared to 59 in the previous month."



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Abu Dhabi’s utility folded into new energy department - spokesman

Abu Dhabi’s utility folded into new energy department - spokesman:

"Abu Dhabi has folded utility Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Authority (Adwea) into the emirate’s newly established department of energy as part of a consolidation of state-owned entities, a spokesman for the department said on Sunday. The Regulation & Supervision Bureau (RSB), which oversees water, waste water and electricity in Abu Dhabi, will also become part of the energy department. Oil-rich Abu Dhabi has seen some of its largest firms merge in the last two years as part of a strategic review in response to an oil price slump."



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U.S. Investors Will Have Chance to Buy Aramco Shares, Saudis Say - Bloomberg

U.S. Investors Will Have Chance to Buy Aramco Shares, Saudis Say - Bloomberg:

"Americans will have a chance to own shares in Saudi Arabia’s oil company, the nation’s energy minister said.

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih also said some investors have been slow to sign on to the reform plan proposed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman because they are focused on dividends. “We are going to have to face that when we list Aramco and have a conversation about how much cash will be given to investors,” he said in a speech Saturday at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The initial public offering of shares in Saudi Aramco is a cornerstone of the prince’s reform plan -- dubbed Vision 2030 -- to transform the nation’s economy and society. Saudi officials hope to raise as much as $100 billion by selling up to 5 percent of the company, valuing Aramco at $2 trillion."



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Abu Dhabi's Dana Gas jumps on dividend plan | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Abu Dhabi's Dana Gas jumps on dividend plan | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Shares in Abu Dhabi-listed Dana Gas jump 9.5 percent to 0.92 dirham in early, unusually heavy trade Company's board said it will seek shareholder approval for 2017 cash dividend of 5 percent of capital; did not pay dividend for 2016 Not clear how decision to pay dividend may affect dispute between Dana and holders of its $700 million of sukuk, who are fighting company's refusal to redeem the sukuk on maturity"



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Kuwait’s Silk City key project in China’s One Belt One Road initiative | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Kuwait’s Silk City key project in China’s One Belt One Road initiative | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Kuwait’s Silk City and the five-island developments are a key project in the One Belt One Road initiative, and will strengthen Kuwait-China relations, according to Jiang Zengwei – Chairman of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) and the China Chamber of International Commerce (CCOIC).  In a keynote address at the Kuwait Investment Forum (KIF 2018), Zengwei said Kuwait was one of the first GCC nations to have diplomatic ties with China and relations between the two countries have strengthened over the years. He said the One Belt One Road initiative complements Kuwait’s Vision 2035 in fostering development in several core sectors.  Kuwait and China have signed several cooperation agreements, which have further laid the foundations for promoting mutually beneficial growth. “China is today one of the Kuwait’s most important trading partners and an important source of crude oil from Kuwait. Bilateral trade was US$12 billion in 2017, recording a year-on-year growth of 28 per cent,” added Zengwei. "



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Mideast Stocks: Gulf mostly soft early on but Dana Gas leaps on dividend plan | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Mideast Stocks: Gulf mostly soft early on but Dana Gas leaps on dividend plan | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Stock exchanges in the Gulf were mostly soft in early trade on Sunday, reflecting losses in global equity markets at the end of last week, but there were signs of continued flows of foreign funds into some Saudi Arabian blue chips. The Dubai and Abu Dhabi stock indexes were 0.1 percent and 0.4 percent down respectively, while the Qatari indexe lost 0.3 percent. But Abu Dhabi-listed energy producer Dana Gas  jumped 9.5 percent after the board said it would seek shareholder approval to pay a 2017 cash dividend of 5 percent of capital; it paid no dividend for 2016."



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