Google+ Followers

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Norway’s wealth fund blocked from investing in private equity

Norway’s wealth fund blocked from investing in private equity:

"Norway will not allow its sovereign wealth fund to invest in private equity but opened the door for the $1tn oil fund to go into renewable infrastructure.

In its annual white paper on the oil fund, Norway’s finance ministry said on Tuesday that private equity did not suit its model of running the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund.

But it said, after twice turning down the chance to invest in infrastructure more broadly, that it would examine whether the fund could use its existing environmental mandate to invest in projects such as wind farms and solar parks. The government will report back next year to parliament on how the fund could do this."



'via Blog this'

GCC debt issuance to drop to $80bn in 2018, says Franklin Templeton - The National

GCC debt issuance to drop to $80bn in 2018, says Franklin Templeton - The National:

"Total new GCC debt issuance in 2018 is forecast to drop by more than 10 per cent to $80 billion, thanks to higher oil prices and fiscal consolidation measures, according to fund manager Franklin Templeton Investments. The majority of issuances will be sovereign, including an expected multi-tranche dollar bond from Saudi Arabia, said Mohieddine Kronfol, chief investment officer of global sukuk and Mena fixed income at Franklin Templeton. Last year's issuances averaged $90bn."



'via Blog this'

Emirates to slash services to the US, Europe and Asia from this month - The National

Emirates to slash services to the US, Europe and Asia from this month - The National:

"Dubai-based Emirates, the world’s biggest long-haul carrier, is cutting the frequency of services to the US, Europe and Asia in line with demand, it said on Tuesday. “Emirates can confirm that from 1 July, our Fort Lauderdale and Orlando operations will move from daily services to five a week,” a spokesperson for Emirates said in an emailed statement to The National. The carrier will also cut services from Dubai to London Heathrow from six to five a day from April 25 to May 22, to Munich from three to two a day on certain dates in May and June, and to Oslo from seven to six a week in May."



'via Blog this'

Qatar Airways signs LOI for 5 Boeing 777 freighters worth $1.7 billion

Qatar Airways signs LOI for 5 Boeing 777 freighters worth $1.7 billion:

"Qatar Airways signed a preliminary agreement on Tuesday to buy 5 Boeing (BA.N) 777 Freighters worth $1.7 billion, the airline said.

The letter of intent was signed at a ceremony attended by Qatar’s Minister of Finance Ali Sharif al-Emadi, who is also the airline’s chairman, Qatar Airways Chief Executive Akbar al-Baker, and Boeing Commercial Airplanes President Kevin McAllister, the airline said in a statement.

 The order will be posted on Boeing’s orders and deliveries website once the purchase is finalised, the statement said."



'via Blog this'

Bahrain c.bank net foreign assets drop to six-month low of $1.60 bln

Bahrain c.bank net foreign assets drop to six-month low of $1.60 bln:

"Net foreign assets at Bahrain’s central bank dropped to a six-month low of 604.8 million dinars ($1.60 billion) in February from 750.8 million dinars in January, the central bank said on Tuesday. The reserves have been depleted as the country runs a current account deficit caused by low oil prices. Before 2014, when oil prices began to plunge, net foreign assets totalled close to 2 billion dinars. "



'via Blog this'

Vow to End Iran's Black Market Spurs Rush for Dollars in Tehran - Bloomberg

Vow to End Iran's Black Market Spurs Rush for Dollars in Tehran - Bloomberg:

"Iranians flocked to foreign-exchange houses after authorities vowed to halt a currency slump by eliminating black-market rates, only to be turned away by currency traders awaiting instructions from the central bank. Street dealers usually provide an alternative to Iran’s registered banks for Iranians looking to buy and sell dollars or euros. But they were absent from their usual corners in downtown Tehran on Tuesday after the government warned it would prosecute anyone who violated new rules setting the exchange rate at 42,000 rials to the dollar. The currency had weakened to 60,000 rials on the unregulated market this week, a record low. The slide in the rial comes as the Trump administration nears a critical May 12 decision on its participation in Iran’s nuclear deal, and as political feuding at home raises pressure on President Hassan Rouhani to deliver a stronger economy for ordinary Iranians. Traders have also been accused of deliberately driving the currency lower with speculative bets. "



'via Blog this'

LNG Demand May Need $200 Billion Investment: Bechtel CEO - Bloomberg

LNG Demand May Need $200 Billion Investment: Bechtel CEO - Bloomberg:

"The world may need an investment of as much as $200 billion in new liquefied natural gas terminals by 2025 to satisfy a growing appetite for cleaner-burning fuels, according to Bechtel Group Inc.

Even under a moderate-growth scenario, global LNG demand will climb by 15 million metric tons a year, Bechtel Chief Executive Officer Brendan Bechtel said in an interview on Tuesday in Riyadh, where the engineering firm is celebrating its 75th anniversary of doing business in Saudi Arabia. Between 70 and 160 new plants that aren’t yet slated for construction could be built by 2030, he said.

Bechtel is a top LNG contractor, having built 41 plants in 10 countries, according to its website. Last month, the company announced a $50 million investment in Tellurian Inc., a would-be U.S. gas exporter. Tellurian has proposed the Driftwood LNG terminal in Louisiana, a project that could enter service in 2023."



'via Blog this'

Exxon, Qatar in talks for potential U.S. shale deal - WSJ | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Exxon, Qatar in talks for potential U.S. shale deal - WSJ | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Exxon Mobil is in talks with Qatar over a possible deal that could see the country investing in the company's U.S. gas resources, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

The deal could take the shape of a joint venture in which Qatar, through state-owned Qatar Petroleum, could partner or invest in future wells with Exxon's unit XTO Energy, the paper said.

WSJ said that no deal had been finalised yet. The report did not say how much Qatar was planning to invest in XTO Energy."



'via Blog this'

Oil major Total and Aramco sign $5bln deal to build Jubail petrochemical complex | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Oil major Total and Aramco sign $5bln deal to build Jubail petrochemical complex | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"French oil and gas major Total on Tuesday signed a $5 billion deal with Saudi Aramco to build a giant petrochemical complex at their 440,000 barrels-per-day Jubail Satorp refinery.

Saudi Aramco holds a 62.5 percent stake in the refinery, while Total holds the other 37.5 percent. The memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed on the sidelines of a visit by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Paris.

"The project will represent an investment of around $5 billion. The two partners are planning to start the front-end engineering and design in the third quarter of 2018," Total said in a statement."



'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Qatar attracts more buyers, rest of Gulf mixed

MIDEAST STOCKS-Qatar attracts more buyers, rest of Gulf mixed:

"Money flowed into Qatar’s stock market for a second straight day on Tuesday after several blue-chip firms raised foreign ownership limits, while other Gulf markets were mixed. The Qatar index rose 0.8 percent after a 1.8 percent gain on Monday. Qatar Electricity and Water Co was up 2.0 percent, Industries Qatar was 2.2 percent higher while Qatar Islamic Bank rose 2.9 percent. The three companies hiked their foreign ownership ceilings to 49 percent from 25 percent on Monday. Actual foreign ownership levels are far below 25 percent, but the changes should increase the stocks’ weightings on emerging market indexes, and some bankers believe the government may be preparing to privatise the companies further."



'via Blog this'

Little leeway for Gulf economies in high interest scenario | GulfNews.com

Little leeway for Gulf economies in high interest scenario | GulfNews.com:

"The data on the Federal Reserve website tells that the US economy in 2017 had a better performance than 2016’s, registering a real growth rate of 2.3 per cent compared with 1.5 per cent and exceeding expectations. Moreover, the inflation rate moved to a more comfortable level, while unemployment declines reduced the tension inside the economy. A Survey of Professional Forecasters predicts the US economy will continue the performance because of several reasons, of which the continuous increase in government expenditures, the noticeable improvements in personal consumption expenditures, and the tax reform package announced in December are notable. These indicators — and others — have encouraged the Fed to continue rising the federal fund rate (FFR), which is the interest rate at which banks borrow and lend reserves to each other. In December 2015, the Fed started to raise the FFR and continued eight times between January 2016 to March 2018. In the same vein, the interest rate on the excess reserves witnessed a remarkable increase between November 2015 and March 2018."



'via Blog this'

Iran fixes forex rate in bid to stop rial collapse

Iran fixes forex rate in bid to stop rial collapse:

"Iran took the drastic step of fixing the rate of its currency against the dollar on Tuesday in a bid to arrest a slide that has seen it fall by a third in six months. The rial has reached a series of record-lows in recent weeks, and stood at 58,650 to the dollar at the close of business on Monday, driven mostly by speculation that the US would pull out of the nuclear deal with Iran next month. After an emergency session of the government on Monday night, Vice President Eshagh Jahangiri said the rate would be capped at 42,000 rials to the dollar and foreign exchange offices would be brought under the control of the central bank."



'via Blog this'

Iranian rial hits record low; dealers stop trading dollar

Iranian rial hits record low; dealers stop trading dollar:

"The Iranian rial hit a record low against the US dollar for the second time in two months over concerns about Iran’s economy, rattling businesses and prompting some currency dealers to suspend trading. The rial fell to a record low of 57,000 against the dollar by late afternoon on the unregulated currency market, according to the semiofficial Iranian Students’ News Agency. Several foreign-exchange dealers announced they had stopped selling both dollars and euros by late afternoon trade, according to ISNA. The greenback first breached 50,000 Iranian rials in February. Authorities arrested scores of traders whom it blamed for deliberately driving the devaluation in order to profit from it. The Central Bank sought to stabilise the currency by issuing a bond and temporarily allowed banks to increase rates on deposits in an attempt to draw investors away from the dollar."



'via Blog this'

Saudi Arabia Is Said to Start Bond Sale as Qatar Meets Investors - Bloomberg

Saudi Arabia Is Said to Start Bond Sale as Qatar Meets Investors - Bloomberg:

"Saudi Arabia will probably beat Qatar, its neighbor and political rival, to the international debt market with a three-part dollar bond sale as it seeks to fund its budget deficit. “It is a clever move on part of Saudi Arabia to come before Qatar,” said Hakki Kalsen, a portfolio manager for emerging-market debt at Union Investment Privatfonds in Frankfurt. “They would have had to pay more if they issued after Qatar.” The kingdom is raising the funds as Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman visits France after a three-week tour of the U.S. But it also comes as Qatar, which is being boycotted by the kingdom and other Gulf states, meets investors in the U.S. and U.K. ahead of a possible bond sale."



'via Blog this'

The Global Oil Market Is About to Be Upended - Bloomberg

The Global Oil Market Is About to Be Upended - Bloomberg:

"Bahrain discovered the first oil on the Arab side of the Gulf in 1932. It took a long time for the small island to find anything of similar significance, but its recent announcement of an enormous shale oil resource under its shallow waters should not be underestimated: Commercial offshore shale oil production would be a first for the worldwide industry. Perhaps more significant is that this discovery has the potential to boost Middle East output, while raising the odds that shale oil production outside the U.S. and Canada finally takes off. The Middle East has the advantages of good geology, existing petroleum infrastructure, and a lack of environmental or community opposition. To be sure, local producers will have to offer attractive terms to international investors to compensate for the higher costs and technical risks than their conventional fields, source fresh-water or use other hydraulic fracturing technologies, and develop or bring in service companies skilled in unconventional resources. But given that U.S. shale specialists have tended to stay at home, the Bahrain find offers interesting possibilities for large international oil companies as partners. Given their proximity, the newfound resources probably stretch into Saudi and perhaps Qatari waters. Saudi Arabia, with its own first find the Dammam field, lies just 25 kilometers (15.5 miles) to the west of Bahrain, the countries linked by the King Fahd Causeway. Some 20 kilometers to the southeast is Qatar. Though a holder of the world’s third-largest gas reserves, Doha’s mature oil production is slowly declining. Shale production could give it a boost if it’s able to sidestep the obstacles posed by an embargo imposed by Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E. since June."



'via Blog this'

Trump hosting emir of Qatar despite saying it funds terror

Trump hosting emir of Qatar despite saying it funds terror:

"President Donald Trump is hosting the ruling emir of Qatar for a White House meeting, welcoming a leader whose tiny gas-rich nation he once accused of funding terrorism at a “high level.” With America’s allies in the Persian Gulf feuding with Qatar, there has been almost zero progress toward resolving their dispute since it erupted 10 months ago. Trump was more than a bit player in the inception of that crisis: He sided firmly with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and other neighbors who accused Qatar of spreading extremism, fomenting regional unrest and allowing funds to flow to terror groups. Qatar denies all those charges. Trump hasn’t repeated that charge in recent months, and Qatar has since taken steps to address U.S. concerns, even allowing Treasury Department officials into its central bank to improve accountability for controls to prevent terror funding. So far, those steps haven’t been enough to persuade Qatar’s neighbors to stop squeezing the country diplomatically and financially. A brief attempt last year by then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to resolve the crisis sputtered, and Tillerson was recently fired."



'via Blog this'

As sukuk disputes simmer, Islamic scholars ponder legal risks

As sukuk disputes simmer, Islamic scholars ponder legal risks:

"Senior scholars in Islamic finance are exploring ways to prevent legal disputes that have roiled the industry, with new rules aiming to clarify responsibilities, while others raise the prospect of penalties for their peers. The discussions are part of the annual sharia conference of the Bahrain-based Accounting and Auditing Organisation for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI), one of the industry’s top standard-setting bodies. Sharia scholars are considered the gatekeepers of Islamic finance, vetting products and services to ensure they comply with religious principles such as bans on interest and gambling."



'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Qatar rises again in early trade, Gulf markets soft

MIDEAST STOCKS-Qatar rises again in early trade, Gulf markets soft:

"Qatar’s stock index kept rising on Tuesday after several blue-chip firms raised foreign ownership limits, though other Gulf markets were weak. The Qatar index lifted 0.2 percent in early trade, building on a 1.8-percent gain on Monday. Qatar Electricity and Water Co was up 1.1 percent after gaining 3.5 percent in the previous session and Industries Qatar was 1.4 percent higher while Qatar Islamic Bank rose 0.4 percent. The three companies said on Sunday that they were hiking their foreign ownership ceilings to 49 percent from 25 percent, starting on Monday. Qatar National Bank (QNB), the region’s biggest bank by assets, lost 0.4 in the first hours of trade."



'via Blog this'

Saudi Arabia gives initial price guidance for multi-tranche dollar bond | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Saudi Arabia gives initial price guidance for multi-tranche dollar bond | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"Saudi Arabia has given initial price guidance for a planned multi-tranche dollar bond, a document from one of the banks leading the potential deal showed.

Citi, GIB Capital, Goldman Sachs International, HSBC, and Morgan Stanley have been appointed as global coordinators for the issue. Bank of China, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, JPMorgan Chase & Co, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group are working as joint lead managers.

The kingdom has established itself as one of the top emerging market debt issuers after it began issuing international sovereign bonds in 2016 with a $17.5 billion sale. The proceeds from the sale are being used to help fill a budget deficit caused by low oil prices."



'via Blog this'

Qatar economy, World Cup work progressing fast | ZAWYA MENA Edition

Qatar economy, World Cup work progressing fast | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"The economy of Qatar, the world’s top exporter of liquefied natural gas, is set to grow 2.6 percent this year and closer to 3 percent in 2019, its finance minister told Reuters.

The Gulf Arab state's economy has largely recovered from a boycott imposed by other Arab states last June and is again one of the region's fastest-growing.

Qatar moved quickly to safeguard its economy after Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut diplomatic and transport ties with Doha, accusing it of financing terrorism. Qatar rejects the allegations.
"



'via Blog this'