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Thursday, 29 March 2018

ADX concludes New York roadshow, expanding beyond 3,800 US investors - The National

ADX concludes New York roadshow, expanding beyond 3,800 US investors - The National:

"The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) completed its New York roadshow this week, touting market successes and an expanded portfolio of individual and institutional investors in the United States.

Following meetings in Boston, ADX Chief Executive, Rashed Al Balooshi, went to New York where he hosted roadshows on Monday and Tuesday. It oversaw meetings for ADX and listed companies with around 70 institutional investors whose assets under management are around $11 trillion.

Mr Al Blooshi told The National that the roadshow is intended to attract international individual and institutional investors, and present opportunities available in ADX."



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Qatar shares snap 6-day losing streak on buying support

Qatar shares snap 6-day losing streak on buying support:

"The Qatar Stock Exchange on Thursday snapped six consecutive days of bearish spell to settle higher on strong buying support from Gulf and foreign institutions. Heavy demand, especially at the insurance, telecom and consumer goods counters, led the 20-stock Qatar Index to gain 0.24% to 8,573.99 points. The Doha Bank and Masraf Al Rayan sponsored exchange traded funds, QETF and QATR , saw 0.16% and 0.39% gains respectively."



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Saudi Arabia’s Solar Power Goals Are as Challenging as They Are Big - Bloomberg

Saudi Arabia’s Solar Power Goals Are as Challenging as They Are Big - Bloomberg:

"Saudi Arabia and Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp. signed a memorandum of understanding on Tuesday to develop 200 gigawatts of solar power capacity by 2030 in the desert kingdom, with a price tag of $200 billion. Here’s a few points to keep in mind: The Size It’s a hundred times larger than anything else on the drawing board worldwide and double what the global photovoltaic industry supplied last year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Or, as Bart Lucarelli, managing director for power and utilities at AWR Lloyd, puts it: “Surreal and unprecedented.” If built at one site, a 200-gigawatt solar farm would cover about 2,023 square kilometers (781 square miles), or double the size of Hong Kong, according to Bloomberg News calculations."



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Qatar Petroleum wins exploration bids in 4 blocks offshore Brazil

Qatar Petroleum wins exploration bids in 4 blocks offshore Brazil:

"Qatar Petroleum and its partners won bids for four exploration blocks in the Campos basin off Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro coast on Thursday, the company said in a statement.

It will hold a 30 percent stake in two of the blocks to be explored along with Exxon Mobil Corp and Brazil’s state-controlled oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA < and 36 percent in another two to be explored with Exxon."



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UAE money exchange houses ordered to raise standards by regulator

UAE money exchange houses ordered to raise standards by regulator:

"Money exchange houses in the United Arab Emirates have been ordered by the central bank to raise their standards, after several banks cut ties with them due to concerns about the risk of illicit financial flows. The United Arab Emirates’ huge expatriate workforce and growing business and tourism sectors have made it a global centre for exchanging foreign currencies and transferring money to and from the Middle East, Asia, Africa and parts of Europe. But some of the roughly 125 exchange houses in operation have struggled in recent years as a growing number of U.S. dollar correspondent banks, relied upon to clear dollar trade, and local lenders cut ties with them. The banks have often cited the prohibitive compliance costs they must have in place to ensure they’re not doing business with exchange houses laundering money or financing terror."



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UPDATE 1-Mannai Corporation set to break Qatar public bond impasse

UPDATE 1-Mannai Corporation set to break Qatar public bond impasse:

"Qatar’s Mannai Corporation has hired banks to arrange investor meetings ahead of a potential debut bond offering denominated in U.S. dollars, a document from one of the banks showed.

Should it go ahead, the deal would be the first public debt issuance by a Qatari entity since the beginning of a diplomatic rift in the Gulf last June, when Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut ties with Doha accusing it of supporting terrorism, a charge that Qatar denies.

Mannai Corporation has hired Bank of America Merrill Lynch as global coordinator for the planned bond, which would be a senior perpetual bond non-callable for five years. Other banks arranging the deal are Nomura and Standard Chartered, the document showed."



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Oil stumbles as U.S. supply growth offsets OPEC optimism | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Oil stumbles as U.S. supply growth offsets OPEC optimism | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Oil prices slipped on Thursday as another rise in U.S. inventories and production outweighed the prospect of OPEC sticking to its output curbs for the rest of the year.

Brent crude, the international benchmark, touched $71 a barrel on Tuesday, near its high for the year, but has dipped since then.

June Brent crude futures were down 35 cents at $68.41 by 1310 GMT, while the May contract expiring on Thursday was down 25 cents at $69.28."



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Saudi Prince Alwaleed cedes cash distributions from Kingdom Holding | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Saudi Prince Alwaleed cedes cash distributions from Kingdom Holding | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, chairman of Kingdom Holding, has given up full entitlement of his share of proposed annual cash distributions, the company said in a bourse filing on Thursday. Prince Alwaleed, the kingdom's most recognised business figure, was freed on Jan. 27 after being held at Riyadh's Ritz-Carlton for three months in a campaign against corruption led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. "Prince Alwaleed gave up his full entitlement of his share of the proposed annual cash distributions, which totaled ... 8.50 halalas per share (or) 299.2 million Saudi riyals ($79.8 million) quarterly," the filing said."



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Bahrain agrees to sign key accords to avoid EU blacklist | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Bahrain agrees to sign key accords to avoid EU blacklist | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Bahrain has agreed to share financial information of expatriates and foreign companies from the European Union to avoid being blacklisted as a tax haven.

Parliament yesterday voted in favour of two international agreements drafted by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the G20.

Both agreements, which go hand in hand, focus on administrative assistance and the sharing of information regarding the finances of expatriates and businesses with their countries of origin to ensure they are paying their taxes."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi retreats after winning FTSE emerging status, rest of region strong

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi retreats after winning FTSE emerging status, rest of region strong:

"Saudi Arabia’s stock market fell back because of moderate profit-taking on Thursday after index compiler FTSE Russell decied to upgrade Riyadh to emerging market status, a move likely to draw billions of dollars of new foreign money. Most other Gulf markets gained, after being being depressed in recent weeks by funds flowing to Riyadh in anticipation of a positive decision by FTSE. Inclusion in FTSE’s emerging market index is expected to put Saudi Arabia on the map for many international fund managers. If rival index compiler MSCI also decides in June to upgrade Riyadh, over $30 billion could flow in over the next couple of years."



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Saudi solar energy comes of age at the stroke of midnight in New York | Arab News

Saudi solar energy comes of age at the stroke of midnight in New York | Arab News:

"The tension had been building for some hours in New York City, but when the deal finally came it was well worth the wait. The provisional agreement that was announced just before midnight could well turn out to be the tipping point in the global quest for renewable energy.
Mohammed bin Salman, crown prince of Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest exporter of oil, and Masayoshi Son, the far-sighted founder of high-technology finance house SoftBank, signed a memorandum of understanding that looks set to revolutionize the solar energy industry.
With a potential value of $200 billion by the time the project is completed in 2030, the deal is one of the biggest in the history of the Kingdom. Only the project to develop Neom, the futuristic urban development straddling the northern borders of the Red Sea, is bigger — with an estimated cost of $500 billion."



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COLUMN-China's crude oil futures contract should confound the sceptics: Kemp

COLUMN-China's crude oil futures contract should confound the sceptics: Kemp:

"China’s new crude oil futures contract, which began trading this week, has a good chance of confounding the doubters and becoming a regional benchmark where other contracts have failed.

The history of futures and options trading is littered with new contracts launched amid great fanfare but which subsequently failed to develop sufficient liquidity and have been discontinued or faded into irrelevance.

But the new crude futures contract launched on the Shanghai International Energy Exchange comes after years of meticulous preparation and has many of the ingredients needed to be successful."



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Four Charts Show How World's Newest Oil Futures Fared This Week - Bloomberg

Four Charts Show How World's Newest Oil Futures Fared This Week - Bloomberg:

"The burden of a quarter century of expectations is weighing on China’s oil futures. The yuan-denominated contract that was launched this week has lofty goals -- from providing a benchmark for buyers in the world’s biggest oil-consuming region to challenging the dominance of the dollar and encouraging the Chinese currency’s use in global trade. The debut on Monday, which ended years of delays and setbacks since China’s first attempt to list the securities in 1993, was given a hand by some of oil’s biggest names including Glencore Plc and Trafigura Group. Yet data from the first few days of trading signal the futures have a ways to go for success."



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Islamic finance body IFSB throws down gauntlet on sukuk

Islamic finance body IFSB throws down gauntlet on sukuk:

"The Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) has proposed a new standard covering the regulation of sharia-compliant capital market products, posing a challenge for regulators, issuers and intermediaries working on Islamic bonds, or sukuk. The exposure draft from the IFSB, one of the main standard-setting bodies in Islamic finance, represents the most detailed effort to rein in claims of sharia non-compliance and clarify resolution of disputes in sukuk deals. Such issues have gained prominence over the past year after a company in the United Arab Emirates stopped payments on a $700 million sukuk, arguing the transaction no longer complied with Islamic principles."



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UPDATE 1-Bahrain says it may return to global market after calling off part of bond issue

UPDATE 1-Bahrain says it may return to global market after calling off part of bond issue:

"Bahrain may return to the international debt market to raise funds later this year, its central bank said on Thursday, after investors’ concern about its rising public debt level caused it to call off part of a planned bond issue this week. The government sold $1 billion of 7-1/2-year Islamic bonds on Wednesday but decided not to go ahead with plans for an issue of conventional bonds, because it found the pricing demands of some investors too costly, banking sources said. The deal illustrated the growing market pressures on Bahrain, which is financing a state budget deficit caused by low oil prices while it is rated as junk by all three of the world’s top credit rating agencies."



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Exclusive: China taking first steps to pay for oil in yuan this year - sources

Exclusive: China taking first steps to pay for oil in yuan this year - sources:

"China is taking its first steps towards paying for imported crude oil in yuan instead of the U.S. dollar, three people with knowledge of the matter told Reuters, a key development in Beijing’s efforts to establish its currency internationally.

Shifting just part of global oil trade into the yuan is potentially huge. Oil is the world’s most traded commodity, with an annual trade value of around $14 trillion, roughly equivalent to China’s gross domestic product last year.

 A pilot program for yuan payment could be launched as early as the second half of this year, two of the people said.

"



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Saudi Arabia Wins Emerging Status in Quest for Billions - Bloomberg

Saudi Arabia Wins Emerging Status in Quest for Billions - Bloomberg:

"Saudi Arabia won classification as an emerging market by a major index compiler for the first time, a key step toward the kingdom’s goal of attracting billions in additional stock investor inflows. FTSE Russell said the Middle Eastern country will be included in its secondary emerging markets grouping effective March 2019, according to a statement Wednesday. Saudi Arabia joins a category that already includes China, Russia and India. The kingdom will have a 2.7 percent weighting in the compiler’s main emerging market stock benchmark, FTSE said. “Saudi Arabia is to be congratulated on the pace of the recent market reforms,” said Mark Makepeace, FTSE Russell’s chief executive officer."



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Qatar c.bank's international reserves, liquidity edge down in February | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Qatar c.bank's international reserves, liquidity edge down in February | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"The Qatar central bank's international reserves and foreign currency liquidity edged down in February, official data showed on Thursday.

The reserves and liquidity, a measure of the central bank's ability to support the riyal currency, fell to $37.6 billion last month from $37.7 billion in January."



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FTSE to upgrade Kuwait to emerging market in two stages | ZAWYA MENA Edition

FTSE to upgrade Kuwait to emerging market in two stages | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Kuwait's stock market will enter FTSE Russell's emerging marketindex in two equal stages in September and December this year, and 10 Kuwaiti stocks currently look likely to join the benchmark, the company said on Wednesday. FTSE announced in September that it planned to classify Kuwait as an emerging market; it released details of the transition on Wednesday. Kuwaiti stocks entering the index will be given 50 percent of their weightings in September and the remaining 50 percent in December. FTSE projected that Kuwait would have a total 0.4 percent weighting in the index."



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Mideast funds more wary on Saudi after market surge, bullish on Egypt | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Mideast funds more wary on Saudi after market surge, bullish on Egypt | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Middle East fund managers have become more cautious about ploughing additional money into Saudi Arabian equities after the market jumped on expectations that it would be included in global indexes, a monthly Reuters poll showed on Thursday. The Saudi stock index has rocketed over 9 percent so far this year on widespread expectations that FTSE Russell would decide this month to add Riyadh to its secondary emerging market index, and that MSCI would make a similar decision in June. FTSE decided in favour of Saudi Arabia on Wednesday night, and many fund managers are positive on the kingdom's long-term outlook because of economic reforms now underway."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi moves sideways after winning FTSE emerging market status

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi moves sideways after winning FTSE emerging market status:

"Saudi Arabia’s stock market moved sideways in early Thursday trade after index compiler FTSE Russell said it would upgrade Riyadh to emerging market status, a move expected to draw billions of dollars of fresh foreign money in the next two years. FTSE’s decision is extremely positive for the market in the long term, and is expected to be followed by a similar decision by rival index compiler MSCI in June. But it will only take effect in stages between March and December 2019. Only then will passive funds linked to the index begin flowing in."



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FTSE Russell promotes Saudi Arabia to Emerging Market status

FTSE Russell, the global index, data and analytics provider, has confirmed that Saudi Arabia will be promoted to Secondary Emerging market status following the March 2018 interim country classification review. FTSE Russell formally reviews country classifications within its FTSE Global Equity Index Series (FTSE GEIS) using a comprehensive, transparent and consistent methodology. The review incorporates ongoing country classification research and feedback from FTSE Russell’s independent external advisory committees to designate markets as Developed, Advanced Emerging, Secondary Emerging or Frontier.
The market authorities in Saudi Arabia have taken the required steps to implement market reforms and now meet the formal requirements to be included in FTSE GEIS. Changes include the introduction of enhancements to the Independent Custody Model (ICM) and the further opening of the Saudi Arabia capital market to Qualified Foreign Investors (QFI), which was initiated in 2015 and enhanced in 2018.http://www.ftserussell.com/files/press-releases/ftse-russell-promotes-saudi-arabia-emerging-market-status