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Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund eyes overseas expansion

Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund eyes overseas expansion:

"Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund is considering opening offices around the world as it plans to expand its assets under management to $400bn by 2020 through overseas as well as domestic investments. 

Yasir al-Rumayyan, managing director of the kingdom's Public Investment Fund said it was weighing opening up offices in the US - New York and San Francisco - the UK and Japan as it seeks to become a "global investment powerhouse'.

Speaking at a gathering of Saudi and US business leaders in New York, he said the PIF had grown from around 50 people in 2015 to 240 today and he sought to double this number by the end of the year. "



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UPDATE 1-UAE's Mubadala, Greece's Taneo to invest 400 mln euros in Greece

UPDATE 1-UAE's Mubadala, Greece's Taneo to invest 400 mln euros in Greece:

"Mubadala Investment Company has signed a deal with Greece’s New Economy Development Fund, known as Taneo, to create a 400 million euro ($496 million) co-investment platform, the Abu Dhabi state fund said on Wednesday. Under the agreement, Taneo and Mubadala will each contribute 200 million euros to invest in businesses with growth potential across key sectors of Greece’s economy, Mubadala said. In the past, Mubadala has signed investment deals with state-linked funds in Russia and, most recently, France to invest in parts of those countries’ economies."



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Saudi Bank Pegs Growth Hopes on Mortgages, Women Buying Cars - Bloomberg

Saudi Bank Pegs Growth Hopes on Mortgages, Women Buying Cars - Bloomberg:

"Saudi Arabia’s second-biggest bank is betting that government efforts to develop the entertainment industry, boost home-ownership and open up the role of women in the economy will fuel growth this year. The kingdom is undergoing an economic overhaul driven by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman that includes removing restrictions on cinemas, concerts and women driving and working. It also plans to subsidize home loans to expand the private-sector’s role in funding mortgages as part of the transformation plan to diversify the economy away from oil and reduce the population’s reliance on state spending. Al Rajhi Bank is also planning to expand its corporate-lending business on optimism that businesses will start borrowing again later this year, after loans to the private sector fell in 2017, Chief Executive Officer Steve Bertamini said in an interview. Rising demand for corporate and housing loans should help Al Rajhi outperform peers in 2018, he said."



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Bahrain Wakes Up to Bond Reality as Secondary Market Takes a Hit - Bloomberg

Bahrain Wakes Up to Bond Reality as Secondary Market Takes a Hit - Bloomberg:

"Bahrain reined in its bond-sale plans as investors sought higher yields amid a surge in issuance from the Gulf. After indicating last week that the kingdom could sell as many as three different tenors in a mix of conventional and Islamic debt, it only offered a 7.5 year sukuk today. Bahrain’s yields have jumped since the roadshow details were shared with investors. Recent sales from the region have seen a drop off in bids as appetite for Gulf deals flagged amid tight pricing. Weak global markets are also adding to the jitters."



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OPEC seeks "very long-term" cooperation with other oil exporters | ZAWYA MENA Edition

OPEC seeks "very long-term" cooperation with other oil exporters | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"OPEC is seeking "very long-term" cooperation with other oil exporters, the secretary general of the oil exporting group said on Wednesday. Mohammad Barkindo was commenting on news that top OPEC producer Saudi Arabia and non-OPEC Russia were working on a long-term pact that could extend controls over world crude supplies by major exporters for up to 20 years. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced the plan in an interview with Reuters on Monday. "



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi stocks pull back before FTSE decision, most of Gulf down

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi stocks pull back before FTSE decision, most of Gulf down:

"Saudi Arabia’s stock market pulled back because of profit-taking on Wednesday ahead of a decision by index compiler FTSE Russell on whether to upgrade Riyadh to emerging market status, while most other regional bourses were also weak.

The Saudi index has surged in recent weeks on expectations of a positive decision by FTSE on Wednesday. If MSCI also decides in June to make Saudi Arabia an emerging market, the bourse - which now has a capitalisation of about $500 billion — could see foreign fund inflows exceeding $40 billion in the next couple of years, analysts calculate.

The recent surge has left many valuations in line with or slightly above other emerging markets, however, so some fund managers think the index could drop back after a positive FTSE decision."



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Growth strategies to reinforce role of Qatari capital market, says QSE’s Al Mansoori - The Peninsula Qatar

Growth strategies to reinforce role of Qatari capital market, says QSE’s Al Mansoori - The Peninsula Qatar:

"Qatar’s ongoing strategies to transform the competitive dynamics of the country’s capital market is set to expand the role of the local market in financing business ventures, widening ownership of assets and generate returns on long-term savings. In this free-wheeling interview to  the Arabic business daily Lusail, published today, Qatar Stock Exchange (QSE) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Rashid bin Ali Al Mansoori  (pictured) shares his vision how QSE is set to transform itself as one of the leading bourses in the region. Following is the translated version of the interview: Rashid bin Ali Al Mansoori, CEO of the Qatar Stock Exchange (QSE) has said the bourse is in the process of listing several companies in the coming years. In fact, the QSE has prepared a list of 35 companies that are expected to be listed for the next five years, he said."



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Saudis Struggle to Respond as Rising Libor Pressures Dollar Peg - Bloomberg

Saudis Struggle to Respond as Rising Libor Pressures Dollar Peg - Bloomberg:

"Saudi Arabia is struggling with rising U.S. rates as it tries to strike a balance between boosting growth and averting capital flight that would put pressure on the riyal’s currency peg. Saibor, a key Saudi interbank rate for riyals, rose on Monday above the central bank’s benchmark repurchase rate -- in theory its ceiling. That means the Saudi central bank, SAMA, could face renewed pressure to raise the repo rate to keep the riyal attractive for depositors who might otherwise be tempted to shift into dollars. Saudi Arabia raised its benchmark rate on March 15 for the first time since 2009, preempting the U.S. Federal Reserve increase after Saibor fell below its equivalent London rate for dollars, posing a risk of capital flight."



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Exclusive: Mideast Uber rival Careem in early talks to raise new funds - sources

Exclusive: Mideast Uber rival Careem in early talks to raise new funds - sources:

"Middle East ride-hailing app Careem is in early talks to raise as much as $500 million in new funds from investors, sources told Reuters.

Careem, Uber’s [UBER.UL] rival in the region, is checking the appetite of potential investors and hopes to secure its targeted $500 million in a new funding series, three sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity as the matter is not public.

Careem declined to comment when contacted by Reuters on Wednesday. "



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Dubai Aerospace set to raise $400 million syndicated loan - sources

Dubai Aerospace set to raise $400 million syndicated loan - sources:

"Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE), a government-controlled company, is raising a $400 million loan arranged by Ahli Bank of Kuwait, sources familiar with the matter said.

DAE has become one of the world’s largest aircraft lessors after acquiring Dublin-based AWAS last year. The acquisition tripled the Dubai aircraft leasing and maintenance company’s portfolio to about 400 aircraft worth more than $14 billion.

The new loan, which is being syndicated to banks, includes a revolving credit facility and a working capital facility. It could be increased to $600 million, one of the sources said."



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UPDATE 1-Bahrain markets sukuk, does not proceed with conventional bond -sources

UPDATE 1-Bahrain markets sukuk, does not proceed with conventional bond -sources:

"Bahrain is marketing an international issue of U.S. dollar-denominated Islamic bonds, but is not proceeding with a proposed conventional bond sale because of the pricing demands of some investors, banking sources said on Wednesday. The kingdom started meeting investors last week ahead of its planned international debt issuance. It was considering making a long seven-year sukuk issue, and also an issue of 12- or 30-year conventional bonds, or both, depending on market conditions, documents from the banks leading the deal showed. On Wednesday, Bahrain gave initial price guidance in the 7 percent area for the sukuk, documents from the banks showed, but they made no reference to the conventional bonds, and a banker involved in the deal confirmed to Reuters that the conventional tranche was no longer planned."



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RPT-UAE healthcare provider NMC raises $2 billion loan - sources

RPT-UAE healthcare provider NMC raises $2 billion loan - sources:

"United Arab Emirates’ healthcare provider NMC Health has raised a $2 billion loan which will be used for general corporate purposes and partly to refinance existing debt, sources familiar with the matter said.

The fundraising, completed earlier this month, was provided by a consortium of banks including Citi, JPMorgan and Standard Chartered, the sources said.

London-listed NMC said earlier this month that it planned acquisitions worth up to $800 million this year, as it looks for growth opportunities in Dubai, Oman and Saudi Arabia. Last year, NMC spent $641 million in acquisitions."



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Saudi Arabia’s Farabi Petrochemicals shortlists banks for $1 billion project: sources

Saudi Arabia’s Farabi Petrochemicals shortlists banks for $1 billion project: sources:

"Saudi Arabia’s privately owned Farabi Petrochemicals Company has shortlisted a group of banks to finance the development of a new petrochemical complex worth 4 billion riyals ($1.07 billion), banking sources familiar with the matter said. The company will borrow around 3 billion riyals for the project, they said. The sources said HSBC is advising Farabi on financing for the new project, which will be built in Yanbu, a port city on Saudi Arabia’s western Red Sea coast which is already home to several refineries and petrochemicals plants."



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Oil eases back from 2018 highs above $70 a barrel

Oil eases back from 2018 highs above $70 a barrel:

"Oil fell on Wednesday as investors took profit on a rally the previous day to this year’s highs after a report showed a surprisingly large increase in U.S. crude inventories.

Brent crude futures LCOc1, which expire on Thursday, were at $69.70 per barrel, down 41 cents on the day by 0917 GMT, while June futures LCOc2 were down 44 cents at $69.02.

 WTI futures CLc1 were down 60 cents at $64.65 a barrel."



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Softbank to Build World’s Biggest Solar Park in Saudi Arabia - Bloomberg

Softbank to Build World’s Biggest Solar Park in Saudi Arabia - Bloomberg:

"Saudi Arabia and SoftBank Group Corp. signed a memorandum of understanding to build a $200 billion solar power development that’s exponentially larger than any other project. SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son, known for backing ambitious endeavors with flair, unveiled the project Tuesday in New York at a ceremony with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman. The powerful heir to the throne of the world’s largest crude exporter is seeking to diversify the economy and wean off a dependence on oil."



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Saudi, US companies sign 36 MoUs | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Saudi, US companies sign 36 MoUs | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Apart from high ranking government officials, more than 200 leading economic figures and business leaders from Saudi Arabia and the United States participated in the second edition of the Saudi-US CEO Forum held in New York on Tuesday. The forum, with the theme of “An era of Transformation: From Vision to Implementation,” was organized by the Saudi Center for Strategic Partnerships on the sidelines of the current state visit of Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, deputy premier and minister of defense, to the United States. The main thrust of the forum was achieving political and social reforms in a broad spectrum within the Vision 2030 through establishing new partnerships, further bolstering economic ties, and expanding mutual trust, understanding and cultural awareness."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi stalls before FTSE decision, other markets mixed

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi stalls before FTSE decision, other markets mixed:

"Saudi Arabia’s stock market stalled in early trade on Wednesday ahead of a decision by index compiler FTSE Russell on whether to upgrade Riyadh to emerging market status, while other regional bourses were mixed. The Saudi index was 0.1 percent lower at 7,931 points after 45 minutes of trade, with leading blue chips still heavily traded ahead of the FTSE decision, which will come on Wednesday night. The index rose 1.1 percent on Tuesday and is up about 10 percent year-to-date. Some fund managers think that could expose the market to profit-taking directly after FTSE’s announcement, but Khaled Feda, senior research manager at Alistithmar Capital, said the outlook remained strong."



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