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Thursday, 12 April 2018

Qatar’s $12bn bond deal tops that of rival Saudi Arabia

Qatar’s $12bn bond deal tops that of rival Saudi Arabia:

"The diplomatic crisis between Gulf states spilled into financial markets this week, as Qatar overcame a surprise debt issue from rival Saudi Arabia to set a record for the largest emerging market bond sale of the year. Qatar returned on Thursday to the international bond market for the first time since 2016, as it raised $12bn in a sale that attracted $53bn of orders, according to people involved in the deal. That came despite Saudi Arabia just days earlier borrowing $11bn in a quick-fire sale that drew $52bn of orders, and was seen by some as an attempt to soak up demand that would otherwise go to Qatar."



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Saudi's $11 billion bond largely covers dollar funding for 2018: official

Saudi's $11 billion bond largely covers dollar funding for 2018: official:

"Saudi Arabia has largely covered its hard currency funding needs for 2018 by completing this week’s $11 billion international bond issue, the head of the kingdom’s debt management office said.

Riyadh has become one of the biggest emerging market debt issuers since it started borrowing internationally in 2016 to finance a state budget deficit caused by low oil prices.

This week it issued its fourth international bond in tranches of seven, 12 and 31 years, attracting massive investor orders of $52 billion. That followed last month’s $16 billion syndicated loan refinancing, which expanded the original facility by $6 billion."



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OPEC switches operational target from inventories to investment: Kemp

OPEC switches operational target from inventories to investment: Kemp:

"OPEC appears to be reformulating its target in terms of upstream investment rather than oil inventories, according to an analysis of recent statements made by ministers from member countries.

“There is no such thing as a target price by Saudi Arabia,” the kingdom’s energy minister, Khalid al-Falih, told reporters on Wednesday (“Saudi Arabia happy with oil market, won’t let another glut form”, Reuters, April 11).

“We’re seeing (production in) many regions declining. The only way to offset this is for the financial markets to start financing and funding upstream projects,” Falih observed.

"



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Qatar Treads Off the Beaten Path in Quest for U.S. Investments - Bloomberg

Qatar Treads Off the Beaten Path in Quest for U.S. Investments - Bloomberg:

"Qatari investors are hitting the road less traveled in their current tour of the U.S., sizing up deals in South Carolina, Florida and Texas rather than hitting only New York and other mainstays. The biggest exporter of liquefied natural gas has already spent more than $17 billion of the $35 billion it plans to invest in the U.S. by 2020, with an additional $10 billion earmarked for infrastructure projects, Sheikh Ahmed Bin Jassim Bin Mohammed Al Thani, Qatar’s minister of economy and commerce, said in an interview in Washington. “The economic relationship between Qatar and the U.S. keeps increasing year after year,” said Sheikh Ahmed, who is also the vice-chairman of the country’s $320 billion sovereign wealth fund, the Qatar Investment Authority. The fund plans to open its second office in Silicon Valley, while private Qatari investors are pooling their funds to co-invest in deals around the U.S., he said."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Most Gulf stocks in red over Syria tension, Saudi stabilises

MIDEAST STOCKS-Most Gulf stocks in red over Syria tension, Saudi stabilises:

"Most Gulf stock markets closed lower on Thursday as the threat of U.S. military action in Syria kept investors on the sidelines, but the Saudi Arabian market stabilised after a sell-off on the previous day.

In Egypt, the index fell 1.8 percent as investors booked profits, overwhelming a 1.4 percent gain on Wednesday. Banking and property stocks were hit hard with Commercial International Bank falling 3.3 percent.

Property firm Madinet Nasr for Housing and Development dropped 6.5 percent after soaring on Wednesday on news that it would discuss a possible merger with SODIC. SODIC rose a further 1.8 percent."



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OPEC sees oil markets tighten further even as U.S. shale booms

OPEC sees oil markets tighten further even as U.S. shale booms:

"The global oil stocks surplus is close to evaporating, OPEC said on Thursday, citing healthy energy demand and its own supply cuts while revising up its forecast for production from rivals who have benefited from higher oil prices.

U.S. shale oil output has been booming over the past year since OPEC reduced its own production in tandem with Russia to prop up global oil prices.

But as oil production collapsed in OPEC member Venezuela and is still facing hiccups in countries such as Libya and Angola, the oil exporters’ group is still producing below its targets meaning the world needs to use stocks to meet rising demand."



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UPDATE 1-Qatar attracts hefty demand for comeback international bond

UPDATE 1-Qatar attracts hefty demand for comeback international bond:

"Qatar, which is marketing a triple-tranche U.S. dollar-denominated bond, has received orders in excess of $32.5 billion for the planned debt sale, a sign of hefty demand for its comeback to the international debt markets since a rift with its Gulf neighbours started last year.

Qatar plans to price later on Thursday bonds with maturities of five, 10 and 30 years.

The issuance is a test of Qatar’s ability to access international markets after Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt severed diplomatic and transport ties with the country in June last year, accusing it of supporting terrorism. Doha denies the charges."



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Fitch affirms Qatar Islamic Bank rating at ‘A’ - The Peninsula Qatar

Fitch affirms Qatar Islamic Bank rating at ‘A’ - The Peninsula Qatar:

"Fitch Ratings has affirmed Qatar Islamic Bank’s (QIB) Long Term Issuer Default Rating (IDR)at ‘A’. The rating of QIB reflects its strong and well-established franchise in Qatar, with a market share of about 10 percent of total banking system assets at end-2017. It also factors in adequate profitability, sound asset-quality metrics, satisfactory capital ratios and sufficient liquid assets. QIB reported sound financial performance in 2017 due to an improvement in its net financing margin."



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Qatar economy ‘more accessible’ to world post-illegal blockade, says Sheikh Ahmed

Qatar economy ‘more accessible’ to world post-illegal blockade, says Sheikh Ahmed:

"The illegal blockade on Qatar since June 2017 has presented the country with an opportunity to make its economy “more accessible to the world, and bolster its trade relations,” particularly with the US, said HE the Minister of Economy and Commerce Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim bin Mohamed al-Thani.
“The illegal blockade was with the aim of undermining Qatar’s position as an economically independent and sovereign state, but we have emerged stronger and more independent than ever before,” Sheikh Ahmed said in his address to a reception organised by the US Chamber of Commerce in co-operation with the Qatar-US Business Council and the Embassy of Qatar in Washington on Tuesday.
Qatar, he said, has successfully established direct commercial routes with a number of strategic hubs around the world, diverting trade to its major trading partners."



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JetSuite Plans a 100-Plane Fleet, Thanks to Qatar - Bloomberg

JetSuite Plans a 100-Plane Fleet, Thanks to Qatar - Bloomberg:

"JetSuite Inc., a small charter airline that offers scheduled service up and down the West Coast, plans to expand its public face with a fleet of regional jets that will eventually grow to 100.

The expansion of its public charter, JetSuiteX, will be funded in part by investor Qatar Airways and an expanded stake sold to JetBlue Airways Corp., which became a minor JetSuite investor in 2016. The company also plans to relocate from Southern California to the Dallas-Fort Worth area this summer.

Qatar Airways has invested in several major airlines, from Italy to London to Hong Kong. In August, the carrier ended its effort to acquire 10 percent of American Airlines Group Inc. after the world’s largest carrier rebuffed its advances. Federal law limits foreign investment in a U.S. air carrier to 25 percent. None of the companies involved in the JetSuite deal disclosed the size of their investments."



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UAE says most countries in oil cut deal like idea of long-term alliance

UAE says most countries in oil cut deal like idea of long-term alliance:

"A majority of the OPEC and independent oil producers participating in a current deal to cut supply like the idea of a long-term producers’ alliance, the energy minister of the United Arab Emirates said on Thursday.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Russia and several other non-OPEC producers began to cut supply in January 2017 in an effort to erase a global glut of crude that had built up since 2014.

OPEC and its partners, 24 countries in all, have extended the pact until the end of 2018 and are considering a deal to prolong their alliance for years or even decades. "



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Qatar Starts Dollar Bond Sale Days After Saudi Arabia - Bloomberg

Qatar Starts Dollar Bond Sale Days After Saudi Arabia - Bloomberg:

"Qatar is selling its first dollar bonds in two years just as the region’s security risk rises with the prospect of a U.S. strike in Syria.

The world’s biggest exporter of liquefied natural gas is offering a three-part bond sale, less than 48 hours after Saudi Arabia raised $11 billion in the largest offering by an emerging-market sovereign this year. Global books are open and the deal is expected to be completed today.

The sale comes after U.S. President Donald Trump’s tweets on Wednesday raised speculation that a strike against Syria is imminent, adding to a risk-off sentiment that had already sent the average yield on emerging-market debt near the highest level in 16 months, according to the Bloomberg Barclays Emerging Markets Hard Currency Aggregate Index."



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GCC Islamic banks to maintain improved asset quality and profitability | ZAWYA MENA Edition

GCC Islamic banks to maintain improved asset quality and profitability | ZAWYA MENA Edition:

"The credit fundamentals of Islamic banks operating in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries have converged with those of their conventional peers and they should maintain their improved asset quality and profitability in the coming year, Moody's Investors Service said. However, the Islamic banks' still high loan concentration to real estate-related sector and higher asset growth remain key moderating factors in Moody's assessment of their standalone profiles. "Islamic banks operating in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries have benefited from sustained growth in their franchises in recent years. Their solvency has improved, supported by their efforts to reduce the stock of problem loans, and by their sound profitability. While both Islamic and conventional banks in GCC countries reported non-performing loan (NPL) ratios of around five per cent at the end of 2011, Islamic banks reported a larger decline in subsequent years, to around 2.1 per cent at the end of 2017, compared to 2.9 per cent for conventional banks,” said Nitish Bhojnagarwala, Vice President—Senior Analyst and author of the report, Islamic banks - Gulf Cooperation Council, Islamic banks' fundamentals converging with conventional peers.  "



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Most of Gulf hit by Syria tensions but Saudi stabilises

MIDEAST STOCKS-Most of Gulf hit by Syria tensions but Saudi stabilises:

"Most Gulf stock markets dropped in early trade on Thursday as fears of an imminent strike on Syria unsettled bourses globally, but Saudi Arabian stocks stabilised after their sell-off late on the previous day. The geopolitical tensions have sent the Brent oil price soaring as high as $73.09 a barrel, a multi-year high, and strong oil prices are in themselves positive for Gulf economies. The Saudi index was up 0.2 percent after half an hour, after plunging 1.9 percent on Wednesday in the final hour of trade when U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted that missiles “will be coming” to Syria."



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