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Monday, 2 April 2018

Dubai’s off-plan sales dip 37% in first quarter 2018 | GulfNews.com

Dubai’s off-plan sales dip 37% in first quarter 2018 | GulfNews.com:

"With many developers staying away from new launches, off-plan sales in Dubai are down 37 per cent in the first quarter of 2018 compared with a year ago. In all, 4,564 off-plan sales were registered during the period, with January having the highest (1,752 units) and March the lowest (1,226 units). In value terms the decline in off-plan sales was steeper still, at an estimated Dh5.91 billion, down 46 per cent from the numbers recorded in the first three months of 2017, according to figures released by Reidin-GCP, the consultancy."



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Foreigners Splurged on Saudi Stocks in March - Bloomberg

Foreigners Splurged on Saudi Stocks in March - Bloomberg:

"Foreign investors bought more Saudi stocks in March than ever before in anticipation of the kingdom’s upgrade to emerging-market status. Overseas investors spent a net 3.6 billion riyals ($960 million) last month on shares traded on the Tadawul, the Saudi stock exchange, according to data provided by the bourse. That’s the most in a single month since the Tadawul started disclosing the data in August 2015. Foreign investors have been net buyers of Saudi shares every week since the start of 2018 amid speculation the biggest Middle Eastern economy would earn emerging market classification from major index operators, which could drive billions in inflows from investors tracking these benchmarks. FTSE Russell granted that status to Saudi Arabia last week, with implementation starting in one year. MSCI Inc. is expected to make a decision in June."



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UAE's Tabarak given more time to close UAB stake buy- sources | ZAWYA MENA Edition

UAE's Tabarak given more time to close UAB stake buy- sources | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"United Arab Emirates-based Tabarak Investment has been granted more time to secure the financing it needs to buy Qatar's Commercial Bank's  40 percent stake in Abu Dhabi-listed United Arab Bank UAB.AD , sources said on Monday. An exclusivity agreement granted to the private equity firm to finalise the purchase expired on Monday, the sources told Reuters.  Based on UAB's current market capitalisation, the 40 percent stake held by Commercial Bank - Qatar's third largest bank by assets - is worth around 1 billion dirham ($270 million)."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi continues slide after FTSE decision, Qatar climbs again

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi continues slide after FTSE decision, Qatar climbs again:

"Saudi Arabia’s stock market closed down on Monday, falling for a third straight day after FTSE Russell decided last week to upgrade the bourse to emerging market status. The rest of the region was mixed but Qatar continued climbing. The Saudi index shed 0.2 percent in active trade, which analysts attributed to moderate profit-taking after a months-long surge preceding FTSE’s decision. The biggest contributor to the index’s drop was property developer Dar al-Arkan, down 5.4 percent. Saudi Telecom, which analysts at NCB Capital said was likely to be hurt this year by regulatory changes scrapping a ban on internet telephone calls, dropped 1.3 percent."



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America’s gas exports keep booming but a dearth of tankers looms

America’s gas exports keep booming but a dearth of tankers looms:

"More new tankers were ordered in the first quarter of 2018 to carry liquefied natural gas than in all of 2017. Still, the buildout won’t come fast enough to meet growing global demand. That’s the message from GasLog Ltd, a Monaco-based tanker owner and manager that’s predicting a 30- to 40-vessel gap by 2020 as the number of export terminals worldwide continues to rise. In the US alone by that point, there’s expected to be four export terminals operating, compared with just one now, and other countries are also expanding in the field. The immediate result of the tanker gap: Shipping costs could rise, and it may be tougher to get the product to foreign markets, said Jefferson Clarke, an industry analyst at London-based Poten & Partners Inc."



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A Wild Ride Behind the Scenes as Saudi Crown Prince Does America - Bloomberg

A Wild Ride Behind the Scenes as Saudi Crown Prince Does America - Bloomberg:

"The phone call came at 8 p.m. from the Saudi royal court: Come to The Plaza, immediately.

We journalists rushed over to the Manhattan hotel, but it was almost three hours before anything happened. And when it did -- when Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Masayoshi Son, Softbank’s chief executive officer, wordlessly signed papers and declared that a “huge step in human history” had been taken -- we had no idea what they were talking about. As the prince left, Son stood still for several long seconds before taking questions.

“What just happened?” I ventured."



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Monthly markets round-up: Saudi's attempt to woo passive funds pays first big dividend | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Monthly markets round-up: Saudi's attempt to woo passive funds pays first big dividend | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Saudi Arabia’s stock exchange, Tadawul, saw its index rise 6 percent during the month of March as investors anticipated that it would be included onto the secondary FTSE Russell emerging market index. FTSE Russell confirmed this in an announcement on March 28, which was immediately welcomed by Tadawul’s chief executive, Khalid Al Hussan. He said the decision “indicates growing investor confidence in the Saudi capital market and recognition that we are among the largest and most liquid emerging markets in the world”."



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Sharjah Islamic Bank hires HSBC, StanChart for benchmark dollar sukuk -sources | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Sharjah Islamic Bank hires HSBC, StanChart for benchmark dollar sukuk -sources | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Sharjah Islamic Bank has mandated HSBC and Standard Chartered to coordinate the potential sale of dollar-denominated sukuk, sources familiar with the matter said. The Islamic bonds will be of benchmark size, which normally means upwards of $500 million, and are expected to have a five-year tenor. The notes will be issued over the next few weeks, and the sale could be announced as soon as this week, depending on market conditions."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi continues slide after FTSE decision, rest of region mixed | ZAWYA MENA Edition

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi continues slide after FTSE decision, rest of region mixed | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Saudi Arabia's stock market opened lower on Monday, falling for a third straight day after FTSE Russell decided last week to upgrade the bourse to emerging market status. The rest of the region was mixed. The Saudi index shed 0.3 percent in the first hour, which analysts attributed to profit-taking after a months-long surge preceding FTSE's decision. The biggest contributor to the index's drop was Saudi Telecom Co, down 1.2 percent. Al Rajhi Bank, which attracted hundreds of millions of dollars of fresh foreign money earlier this year as it is expected to be a major constituent of the FTSE index, slipped 0.3 percent."



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Russian oil output hits 11-month high in March

Russian oil output hits 11-month high in March:

"Russian oil output rose slightly in March to an 11-month high of 10.97 million barrels per day (bpd), above a quota agreed under a global pact to curb production, energy ministry data showed on Monday.

This was the first increase in Russian output since December and the highest level since output of 11 million bpd in April 2017.

March output rose from 10.95 million bpd in February. In tonnes, it totaled 46.39 million versus 41.836 million in February."



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Salman’s Legacy, edited by Madawi al-Rasheed

Salman’s Legacy, edited by Madawi al-Rasheed:

"Mohammed bin Salman, the young crown prince of Saudi Arabia, has set out to transform the kingdom he stands to inherit from his aged father, Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud. Since King Salman acceded to the throne in 2015, his favourite son (who is known as MbS) has not so much gripped his people’s imagination as taken it by storm, propelling social and economic reform at home and conducting foreign and defence policy with impulsive aggression against the influence of Iran, the Saudi rival for regional hegemony. A lot hangs on the outcome of the MbS revolution. Saudi Arabia’s pivotal position in the Arab world, the Middle East and Islam, makes it analogous to three systemically neuralgic banks whose collapse would bring down the financial system. The kingdom is simply too big to fail. That is why Salman’s Legacy, a collection of essays by leading scholars on the subject, is a valuable report card. This is a story as gripping as any game of thrones. The 32-year-old crown prince has ruthlessly taken absolute power. He has done away with the House of Saud’s ponderous consensus-building among competing clans and family fiefs. Last year, he elbowed aside more experienced cousins and potential rivals: Mohammed bin Nayef, then interior minister and crown prince; and Prince Miteb bin Abdullah, who inherited command of the National Guard from his father, the late King Abdullah. These states-within-the-state, each with its own army, submitted without a peep."



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