OPEC rift deepens as Iran walks out of key meeting in Vienna

Author:  AFP Thu, 2018-06-21 20:02 ID:  1529611891965266200 VIENNA: Iran’s oil minister walked out of a key meeting with OPEC peers on Thursday, as a rift deepened with regional rival Saudi over its push to ramp up the cartel’s oil output. “I do not think we can reach an agreement,” Bijan Namdar Zanganeh told reporters at his Vienna hotel after storming out of talks with a group of ministers on the eve of a crucial OPEC meet. The talks were meant to lay the groundwork for Friday’s gathering of the 14-nation…

Is the Dubai economy turning the corner?

LONDON: Is the Dubai economy finally turning the corner? At least one major international bank thinks so. It follows a move by the emirate’s leadership to reboot an economy that has been hit hard by corporate job losses, the introduction of VAT and a slowing real estate sector. The UAE’s non-oil economy is likely to “turn a corner” next year with Dubai’s Expo 2020 infrastructure projects, changes to visa rules and increased government spending set to boost growth, according to a Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BofAML) research note. Abu…

Cleartrip acquires Saudi Arabia’s online travel firm Flyin

LONDON: Dubai-headquartered Cleartrip has acquired the Saudi Arabian online travel company Flyin in an effort to capitalize on the growing online and mobile travel business in the Kingdom. The deal is considered one of the largest in the travel sector in the Middle East and the combined company will have more than 60 percent of the regional market share. The two business combine represent $600 million in sales — excluding Cleartrip’s India business. Cleartrip’s CEO Stuart Crighton said in a phone interview that the deal will help his company “double-down…

Thyssenkrupp workers urge thoroughness over speed in Tata Steel talks

DUBAI: The United Arab Emirates’ top securities regulator has asked UAE-listed companies to declare their exposure to Dubai-based private equity firm Abraaj, which filed for provisional liquidation last week.The Securities & Commodities Authority sent a letter earlier this week and companies had until Thursday to submit their responses, Obaid Al-Zaabi, chief executive of the regulator, told Reuters.Air Arabia, a Dubai-listed low-cost carrier, said this week that it had a $336 million exposure to Abraaj, which is the Middle East’s biggest private equity firm. Shares in the airline plunged because of…

OPEC nears oil output deal ahead of key Vienna meeting

DUBAI: The United Arab Emirates’ top securities regulator has asked UAE-listed companies to declare their exposure to Dubai-based private equity firm Abraaj, which filed for provisional liquidation last week.The Securities & Commodities Authority sent a letter earlier this week and companies had until Thursday to submit their responses, Obaid Al-Zaabi, chief executive of the regulator, told Reuters.Air Arabia, a Dubai-listed low-cost carrier, said this week that it had a $336 million exposure to Abraaj, which is the Middle East’s biggest private equity firm. Shares in the airline plunged because of…

Saudi stock exchange cheers MSCI emerging markets upgrade

Author:  Zaynab Khojji Thu, 2018-06-21 13:45 ID:  1529578161060582500 RIYADH: The Saudi stock exchange celebrated an “historic milestone” with inclusion into MSCI’s Emerging Market index, as it pledged to make further improvements to become the “leading” market in the Middle East. The move, announced early Thursday morning Riyadh time, is forecast to attract as much as $40 billion in foreign investment into Saudi stocks, following a series of reforms passed by authorities to bring the Kingdom’s capital markets more in line with international standards. “This is a significant milestone for the…

RPT: EU opens investigation into free flow of gas sold by Qatar

Author:  Reuters Thu, 2018-06-21 09:56 ID:  1529575714260391000 BRUSSELS: The European Commission on Thursday said it had opened an investigation into the free flow of gas sold by Qatar Petroleum in Europe.The investigation will focus on whether agreements on the sale of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to European companies have restricted the free flow of gas in the European Economic Area.“Such clauses may harm competition and prevent consumers from enjoying the benefits of an integrated European energy market,” EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in a statement. Main category:  Business &…

BP axes purchase of Australian petrol pump network

Author:  AFP Thu, 2018-06-21 08:02 ID:  1529570731730080100 LONDON: British energy giant BP has axed its planned $1.3-billion purchase of a network of Australian petrol stations, it said Thursday. “BP Australia will not continue with the proposed acquisition of Woolworths’ retail fuel and convenience business,” it said in a statement. “Despite its best efforts, BP has determined the transaction cannot be structured to meet its strategic objectives.” London-listed BP had announced plans in late 2016 to buy the network from supermarket chain Woolworths. BP had sought to rebrand and operate Woolworths’…

Starbucks blames slower China growth on drop in third-party delivery orders

SINGAPORE/SHANGHAI: Starbucks Corp. has reported a sudden slowdown in China growth just weeks after trumpeting rapid expansion in the country, citing a drop-off in unapproved third-party delivery services whose bulk orders had been clogging up its cafes.The US cafe chain on Tuesday same-store sales would be flat to slightly negative in its second-biggest market in April-June, versus 7 percent growth a year earlier. The announcement was followed by a 9 percent drop in Starbucks’ share price.China has been a sweet spot for Starbucks for the past few years, as the…

Dubai’s Abraaj sells LATAM, Africa businesses to Colony Capital

DUBAI: Dubai-based Abraaj Group agreed to sell its Latin America, Sub Saharan Africa, North Africa and Turkey Funds management business to U.S. investment management firm Colony Capital Inc, the companies said on Thursday. The agreement comes after months of turmoil at Abraaj in the wake of its dispute with four of its investors, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and International Finance Corp (IFC), over the use of their money in a $1 billion healthcare fund. The group has denied it misused the funds. The sale is part of…