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Tuesday, 3 April 2018

QSE witnesses strong buying support from Gulf funds, local and non-Qatari retail investors

QSE witnesses strong buying support from Gulf funds, local and non-Qatari retail investors:

"The Qatar Stock Exchange witnessed strong buying support from Gulf funds as well as local and non-Qatari retail investors but overall it settled marginally weak.

Industrials and transport counters witnessed profit-booking pressure to effect a 0.08% decline in the 20-stock Qatar Index to 8,721.75 points.

Foreign institutions turned bearish and there was increased net selling by their domestic counterparts on the market, which is however up 2.33% year-to-date."



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COLUMN-Hedge fund oil bulls downplay macro risks: Kemp

COLUMN-Hedge fund oil bulls downplay macro risks: Kemp:

"Hedge fund managers have turned bullish again towards oil prices, casting aside the caution that prevailed during much of February and March. Hedge funds and other money managers increased their net long position in the six most important futures and options contracts linked to petroleum prices by 85 million barrels in the week to March 27. Portfolio managers have increased their net long position in Brent, NYMEX and ICE West Texas Intermediate crude, U.S. gasoline, U.S. heating oil and European gasoil by a total of 180 million barrels over the two most recent weeks."



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UAE's ADFG acquires strategic stake in Silicon Valley-based 500 Startups

UAE's ADFG acquires strategic stake in Silicon Valley-based 500 Startups:

"500 Startups, a Silicon Valley venture fund with a track record of investing in young companies, said on Tuesday Abu Dhabi Financial Group (ADFG) had acquired a strategic stake in the firm. The move by ADFG, a privately owned investment company in the United Arab Emirates with more than $6 billion under management, comes as Gulf sovereign wealth funds and corporates look to invest in firms on the U.S. West Coast involved in venture capital, artificial intelligence and robotics. The statement did not disclose the value of the deal or the size of the stake."



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U.A.E. Says Oil Cuts Removed ‘85% of the Problem’ of Oversupply - Bloomberg

U.A.E. Says Oil Cuts Removed ‘85% of the Problem’ of Oversupply - Bloomberg:

"The global deal to rein in oil output has removed “85 percent of the problem” of oversupply, and OPEC and allied producers are seeking ways to cooperate after the agreement ends, according to United Arab Emirates Energy Minister Suhail Al Mazrouei.

The world economy is benefiting from the cuts, he said at a Bloomberg Businessweek Middle East conference in Dubai. Mazrouei, who also serves this year as president of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, isn’t concerned that a potential international trade war might upset the crude market, he said Tuesday in a Bloomberg TV interview in Dubai.

“I’m not that concerned about a trade war getting to the oil market,” Al Mazrouei said in the interview. “It may affect the cost of drilling, the cost of completion, but I think overall the effect is going to be minor to the oil prices.”"



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Saudi Prince’s U.S. Tour Plays Big at Home - Bloomberg

Saudi Prince’s U.S. Tour Plays Big at Home - Bloomberg:

"The Saudi media trailing Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman around the U.S. is burnishing the young leader’s image as a reformer. Government-owned broadcaster Al Arabiya showed pictures of  him wearing virtual-reality goggles when he met software developer Magic Leap Inc. Chief Executive Officer Rony Abovitz. The Jeddah-based newspaper Okaz ran a story with the headline “Crown Prince looks to turn the kingdom into a technology producer” with images of the prince with Virgin Galactic’s founder Richard Branson."



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Crude Toys With $63 in `Relief Rally' as Equities Recover - Bloomberg

Crude Toys With $63 in `Relief Rally' as Equities Recover - Bloomberg:

"Oil rebounded following an equity-driven selloff on Monday, emboldening some investors to gather riskier assets.

Futures advanced as much as 1.2 percent in New York following Monday’s 3 percent drop. Two U.S. blue-chip stocks rose for every one that fell. Expectations for continued growth in American crude stockpiles are keeping a lid on oil’s upward move.

“What we are seeing is a little bit of increase in risk appetite,” said Bart Melek, head of global commodity strategy at TD Securities in Toronto. “We had a big selloff for no apparent reason other than the fact that equities were getting smashed. Now, there is a bit of a relief rally.”"



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Investment Corp of Dubai raises $1.2bln loan- sources | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Investment Corp of Dubai raises $1.2bln loan- sources | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD), the Dubai government’s main investment arm, has raised a $1.2 billion loan needed to refinance existing debt, banking sources said. The loan was led by Citi, Dubai Islamic Bank, Emirates NBD, HSBC, ICBC and Standard Chartered . The Dubai sovereign wealth fund, whose portfolio includes stakes in companies such as Emirates Airline and Emirates NBD, had assets totaling 786.8 billion dirham ($214.21 billion) as of June last year, according to its most recent financial results."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Egypt falls on failed buyout offer, Gulf mostly lower

MIDEAST STOCKS-Egypt falls on failed buyout offer, Gulf mostly lower:

"Egyptian stocks fell on Tuesday, hit by a plunge in index heavyweight Global Telecom after the company’s majority shareholder withdrew a buyout offer, while Saudi Arabia stabilised after three days of falls. Most Gulf markets were lower or flat in the absence of fresh cues ahead of quarterly earning announcements for companies, which began this week. A six-day rally in Egypt’s blue-chip index ended with a 1.1 percent drop, on news that Amsterdam-based Veon , which owns about 57 percent of Global Telecom, withdrew its offer to buy the remaining shares."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi market falls for fourth day, region awaits Q1 earnings | ZAWYA MENA Edition

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi market falls for fourth day, region awaits Q1 earnings | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Saudi Arabia's stocks opened lower on Tuesday, dropping for the fourth straight session, as the index continued to lose momentum after gaining sharply ahead of FTSE Russell's decision last week to upgrade the bourse to emerging market status. Other Gulf markets were trading in a narrow range in the absence of fresh cues ahead of quarterly earning announcements for companies, which began this week. The positive news about Saudi Arabia's inclusion in the secondary FTSE emerging market index from next March was mostly priced in, prompting investors to book profits. The Saudi index was down 0.2 percent in late morning trade, dragged down by petrochemicals and financials. Yanbu National Petrochemicals  dropped 1.3 percent while Banque Saudi Fransi was down 0.6 percent."



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Sunni Saudi Arabia courts an ally in Iraq’s Shia

Sunni Saudi Arabia courts an ally in Iraq’s Shia:

"Beneath the golden dome of the Imam Ali shrine spreads the ramshackle expanse of Najaf, the Iraqi holy city for Shia Muslims, who flock to it in their thousands. Arab visitors bow as they pass the shrine, Iranians sitting beneath it recite lilting chants and Pakistani worshippers rhythmically beat their chests. 

With little in the way of wealth or resources, Najaf might seem an unlikely place for anyone but Shia pilgrims to seek out. Yet the city, 160km south of Baghdad, has an unusual new suitor — the oil-rich power on the other side of Islam’s sectarian divide, Saudi Arabia. The Sunni Gulf kingdom’s courting of Iraq’s Shia clerical elite over the past year could mark a transformational shift in Riyadh’s regional strategy.

For decades, Saudi Arabia and its Shia rival Iran have exploited the centuries-old schism between Islam’s Shia and Sunni sects to serve their modern-day power struggles. Now, Saudi officials are discreetly shuttling messages to Najaf’s leading Shia clerics, who, although wary of being drawn into a proxy struggle, want to hear Riyadh out. Last year foreign minister Adel al-Jubeir made the first visit to Iraq by a senior Saudi official since 1990. Iraqi leaders have hinted that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman could also visit the country soon, with some saying he would include Najaf on any itinerary. But the Saudi foreign ministry was forced on Saturday to issue a statement saying that no such trip was planned, after a protest in Baghdad at the end of last week against such a visit."



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Riding the wave of interest in the new Saudi Arabia | Arab News

Riding the wave of interest in the new Saudi Arabia | Arab News:

"Ellen Wald began working on her “Saudi project” 10 years ago, but she could not have known that she was going to catch a wave of interest in the affairs of the Kingdom just at the time of the biggest transformation in its near 100-year history. The Philadelphia-born academic and author, whose book “Saudi, Inc.,” has just been published amid much expectation, said she had been interested in the Middle East ever since she could remember. “I’ve always felt drawn to the desert. I just found it all so fascinating.” But that casual wanderer’s interest was galvanized by the terrorist attacks on the US on 9/11, 2001, and suddenly she found herself right in the middle of the hottest subject of the day — the political, economic and cultural affairs of the most complicated region on the planet"



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Qatar central bank backs three-way Islamic bank merger

Qatar central bank backs three-way Islamic bank merger:

"Qatar’s central bank hopes a planned merger between three local Islamic banks can proceed this year, its governor said on Tuesday, in his clearest show of support for the deal so far. 

However, Sheikh Abdullah bin Saud al-Thani also said in a newspaper interview the deal would depend on other factors, such as shareholder support, and the central bank was waiting for a report by financial advisers before taking action on the merger.

 Masraf Al Rayan MARK.QA, Barwa Bank IPO-BABK.QA and International Bank of Qatar have been discussing a merger, though they missed an end-2017 target date to complete the proposed deal, which sources familiar with the matter had said enjoyed the support of shareholders."



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Qatar central bank to issue about as much riyal debt in 2018 as in 2017

Qatar central bank to issue about as much riyal debt in 2018 as in 2017:

"Qatar’s central bank plans to issue roughly the same amount of riyal debt in 2018 as it did in 2017, when it issued 47.5 billion riyals ($13.0 billion), including 18.5 billion riyals of bonds and sukuk, its governor was quoted as saying on Tuesday. Sheikh Abdullah bin Saud al-Thani was speaking in an interview with the Arabic-language Lusail newspaper. "



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Oman central bank eases capital, lending curbs in effort to boost growth

Oman central bank eases capital, lending curbs in effort to boost growth:

"Oman’s central bank said on Tuesday it was cutting the capital adequacy ratio for commercial banks and taking other steps to increase their capacity to lend, in an effort to boost economic growth. The capital adequacy ratio, the proportion of capital that banks must hold back from lending, was reduced to 11 percent from 12 percent."



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Oil Holds Loss as Trade War Fears Spread in Oversupplied Market - Bloomberg

Oil Holds Loss as Trade War Fears Spread in Oversupplied Market - Bloomberg:

"Oil held losses below $64 a barrel as the risk of a trade war between China and the U.S. rattles a market that’s already grappling with swelling inventories. Futures were little changed in New York after losing 3 percent on Monday. China imposed retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods valued at about $3 billion, the latest move in an escalating trade dispute between the world’s largest economies that’s spurring investors to shy away from risk assets. Meanwhile, American crude stockpiles are forecast to have risen for the fifth time in six weeks. While oil rebounded over 5 percent last month on rising geopolitical risk surrounding the U.S. and OPEC producer Iran, a rapid increase in American production -- which has topped 10 million barrels a day for eight straight weeks -- has placed a lid on prices. Investors also worry President Donald Trump’s protectionist policy will lead to further reciprocal tariffs by China, undermining global economic growth."



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Bakery opens in Dubai to fund emerging markets, backed by Abraaj | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Bakery opens in Dubai to fund emerging markets, backed by Abraaj | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"A new venture capital firm, focused on investments in emerging markets, is set to launch in Dubai. Senior executives at Bakery, which is set to commence operations in the coming months, described in detail the remit of their new investment vehicle, and the role that the Abraaj Group is playing in backing their business, in an interview with Gulf News. Bakery will operate in Dubai, Lahore, Cairo, Lagos, Nairobi, Istanbul, and Karachi. “We’re tired of looking to the West. There’s a lot of talent, a lot of quality ideas and commercial thinking and acumen here, we should be building that locally over here,” an official company spokesperson told Gulf News in a recent interview."



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Abu Dhabi homes market faces another year of decline - report | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Abu Dhabi homes market faces another year of decline - report | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Abu Dhabi's residential property market is likely to see further declines in both sale prices and rents over the next 12-24 months, but its mid-term prospects are beginning to look brighter, according to the head of consultancy firm Core Savills. Its Abu Dhabi Residential Snapshot published on Tuesday states that although prices and rents are continuing to soften, the pace of decline is starting to slow.  "The feeling and the sentiment is less negative than it was a year or two ago," David Godcheaux, the chief executive of Core Savills, told Zawya in a telephone interview on Monday. "



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