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Friday, 30 March 2018

QSE below 8,600 as domestic institutions turn profit takers

QSE below 8,600 as domestic institutions turn profit takers:

"The Qatar Stock Exchange settled below 8,600 levels as domestic institutions turned profit takers this week which saw improved earnings performance of banking and industry help the listed companies’ 2017 net profitability expand more than 1%.
Insurance, real estate, transport and banking counters witnessed stronger selling pressure this week which witnessed Capital Intelligence, the international credit rating agency, affirm Doha Bank's financial strength rating at ‘A’ with a "stable" outlook.
Foreign institutions’ weakened net buying interests also played its part in the bearish market this week which saw Qatar’s February 2018 trade surplus at QR14.05bn mainly on higher shipments to South Korea, Japan and India, which together accounted for more than 53% of exports."



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Starbucks stop showcases Prince Mohammed’s charm offensive

Starbucks stop showcases Prince Mohammed’s charm offensive:

"Dressed in an open-neck shirt and casual suit, Mohammed Bin Salman looked like any other highflying Manhattan businessman this week as he grabbed a coffee in Starbucks with media entrepreneur Michael Bloomberg.

In another image from his New York trip, the Saudi crown prince, who has rapidly consolidated power under his father, King Salman, was locked in a smiling embrace with Lloyd Blankfein, Goldman Sachs chief executive and one of Wall Street’s most powerful figures. “The crown prince is always impressive when he sets out his vision for the KSA,” Mr Blankfein enthused in a tweet. 

The side of Prince Mohammed on display since his arrival last week in the US is part of a charm offensive that aims to reshape how the world views Saudi Arabia. Riyadh has deployed millions of dollars in Washington as part of its lobbying efforts, and relations between the White House and the kingdom are at their warmest in years."



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Follow the money as Gulf tension ratchets up

Follow the money as Gulf tension ratchets up:

"“The Shanamah has a happy ending”. Iranian proverb about how good outcomes are only found in fiction

Elite American chatter about Iran or conflict in the Gulf mostly concerns courtiers rising or falling at the White House, or Washington think-tanker moans over past or present American policy. Perhaps that is less useful than considering the sentiments of people in the region, and what they are doing with their money.

That is not a simple task, because most of the states on the Gulf have fixed currency pegs, and all of them have opaque governance and obedient media. Insider trading is not the exception but the rule. For decades, Gulf financial markets and exchange rates have been tranquil, right up to the moments when they are not."



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Dubai's Abraaj Group said to cut back on 15 per cent of its workforce - The National

Dubai's Abraaj Group said to cut back on 15 per cent of its workforce - The National:

"Abraaj Group is cutting about 15 per cent of its total workforce, according to people with knowledge of the matter, as the Middle East’s largest buyout fund seeks to trim costs, placate investors and curb the tumult that followed allegations of misused funds. Positions are being eliminated globally, mostly in back-office operations and among junior employees, with most of the affected staff being notified on Thursday, the people said, declining to be identified as the plans are confidential. No partners will be fired, they said. The company employs about 350 people. “It is always difficult to separate talented people from the firm,” the Dubai-based buyout firm said in a statement. “The personnel changes we are making as part of this re-organisation will help ensure that Abraaj is better positioned for operational effectiveness and sustainable growth.”"



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Saudi's Kingdom Holding proposes fiscal year dividend | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Saudi's Kingdom Holding proposes fiscal year dividend | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Saudi Arabian investment firm Kingdom Holding proposed a cash dividend of 0.50 riyals per share for 2017, the company said on Thursday.

Chairman Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, who holds a 95 percent stake, waived his share of proposed dividends worth 299.2 million riyals quarterly ($79.8 million), it added in a bourse filing.

Alwaleed will still receive 562.7 million riyals in dividend for the year, a company official told Reuters."



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Saudi market rules ready for Aramco IPO by end-June - CMA chairman | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Saudi market rules ready for Aramco IPO by end-June - CMA chairman | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Saudi Arabia expects to unveil by the end of June rules to prevent large share price drops in newly-listed companies, the final regulatory step for the listing of oil giant Saudi Aramco, the head of the kingdom’s stock market regulator said.

The mechanism, known as price stabilization, is common on developed markets and allows underwriters of an initial public offering (IPO) to use some of the company’s stock to bolster its price, should it fall in the days after it starts trading, or the volume of shares changing hands is weak.

The kingdom has been overhauling its stock market rules to prepare for the local listing of state-owned Aramco, which is hoping to raise $100 billion or more through a 5 percent stake sale later this year."



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Index inclusion promises Saudi a pre-Aramco bump | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Index inclusion promises Saudi a pre-Aramco bump | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Saudi Arabia’s integration with global markets doesn’t depend entirely on the initial public offering of Saudi Aramco, its national oil champion. FTSE Russell is adding the kingdom to its global and emerging-markets indexes. MSCI is likely to follow suit, which could steer billions in index funds to the Riyadh exchange.

The big index companies have been dancing with the Saudis for years but have held off from including the country’s stocks in their benchmarks because of limited market access and burdensome rules. What tipped the balance this time were measures to simplify the quota system used to give foreign investors access and to align settlement procedures with global norms.

Although the quotas have been in place for three years, most international investors have little exposure to Saudi stocks. By itself, the FTSE Russell decision is unlikely to change that picture dramatically. Based on the funds that track the relevant indexes, inclusion could generate some $5 billion of inflows, or 1 percent of the $500 billion market cap of the Tadawul, the only Saudi bourse."



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