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Nafisa Eltahir

UPDATE 1-Invest Bank shareholders approve Sharjah government as controlling shareholder

Apr 10 2019

SHARJAH, United Arab Emirates, April 10 (Reuters) - S hareholders of Invest Bank have approved a proposal to hand the Sharjah government a 50.07 percent stake in the lender and allow it to merge with one or more other banks without a vote.

Bahrain sentences 167 people to prison in crackdown on dissent

Mar 14 2019

DUBAI A Bahraini court sentenced 167 people arrested in 2017 at a sit-in outside the home of Bahrain's leading Shi'ite Muslim cleric to between six months and 10 years in prison at a trial in late February, court documents and lawyers said.

MIDEAST STOCKS- Gulf stocks hit by global market weakness, IPOs boost Egypt

Mar 10 2019

* Abu Dhabi stocks hurt by selling in banks * Saudi loses early gains amid lower oil prices * Egyptian stocks up, supported by IPOs By Nafisa Eltahir DUBAI, March 10 Gulf markets ended lower on Sunday, weighed down by weak global markets and a drop in oil price, but Egyptian stocks defied the trend, gaining on the back of positive momentum generated by the initial public offering of a state-owned company. Abu Dhabi's stock index lost 0.9 percent, hurt mainly by First Abu Dhabi Bank, which was down 1.6 percent, while other banks were also lower. FAB's shares were hit partly by technical factors, as the stock fell through its fifty-day moving average on Thursday and also below its 100 day moving average, an analyst said. The Abu Dhabi index has had a weak March, falling 5.2 percent since the start of the month. Dubai's stock exchange was down 0.6 percent , weighed down by Emaar Properties , which was down 0.8 percent and Dubai Islamic Bank, down 0.8 percent. "Dubai is basically just giving up the funny little rally it had in the second half of February," the analyst said. "The rally was triggered by Aldar's super-duper dividend, and everyone got excited and (then) everyone realised there wasn't a reason to get excited." Egypt's stock index was the only gainer on Sunday, up 0.5 percent. This was due to the initial public offering of state-owned cigarette maker Eastern Company last week, as well as another upcoming IPO, Karim Abdelaziz, general manager of brokerage Miracle for Securities Transactions, said. Saudi Arabia's main index was down 0.2 percent, hit by a weak performance among banking stocks. Banque Saudi Fransi was down 1.4 percent, while Samba Financial Group was down 0.7 percent. Banks had gained in early trading after Saudi authorities said on Friday they had no current plans to increase Islamic tax levels on the private sector. The Saudi market is anticipating the Tadawul exchange's impending entry into the FTSE Russell emerging market index next week, which could bring billions of dollars of fund inflows. Qatar's index lost 0.1 percent, trading at its lowest in more than five months, weighed down by Qatar National Bank , and Qatar International Islamic Bank, which were down 0.7 percent and 2.5 percent respectively. Qatar was one of 2018's best-performing markets globally, with stocks gaining 21 percent, helped by a lifting of limits on foreign ownership of shares. But it has lost 5.2 percent this year. "Qatar was overdue for a small correction that would let the valuation catch up with the price. And that decline is healthy," said Talal Samhouri, head of asset management at Amwal LLC. SAUDI ARABIA The index slipped 0.2 pct to 8,466 points DUBAI The index was down 0.6 pct at 2,578 points QATAR The index fell 0.12 pct to 9,769 points ABU DHABI The index lost 0.9 pct to 4,872 points EGYPT The index was up 0.5 pct at 14,979 points KUWAIT The index was down 0.4 pct at 5,577 points OMAN The index lost 0.6 pct to 4,090 points BAHRAIN The index dropped 0.2 pct to 1,406 points (Reporting by Nafisa Eltahir. Editing by Jane Merriman)

EFG Hermes advising on $500 million M&A deal in Saudi Arabia, more in pipeline: executive

Mar 04 2019

DUBAI Egypt's EFG Hermes is working on a $500 million merger and acquisition in Saudi Arabia and expects more deals to come out of the kingdom this year, especially from the private sector, its head of investment banking told Reuters.

REFILE-MIDEAST STOCKS-Dubai hits 2-month high, Saudi hurt by financials

Feb 24 2019

(Adds word costs, paragraph 13) By Nafisa Eltahir DUBAI, Feb 24 Dubai stocks rose to a more than 2-month high on Sunday after falling in the previous session, helped by strong gains in property stocks, while financials weighed on both the Saudi and Qatari markets. Dubai's index was up 1.3 percent, supported by Emaar Properties, which gained 3.2 percent, DAMAC Properties surged 8.4 percent and Emaar Malls rose 5.1 percent. Emirates NBD Bank fell 5.3 percent after the bank last week announced it has received approval from its shareholders to issue new shares. Property firms have led a recent rally after signs of recovery in their fourth-quarter results and more construction contracts. However they remain vulnerable to falling property prices. Dubai residential property prices, which have fallen 25 to 33 percent in nominal terms since 2014, are likely to fall another 5 to 10 percent this year, S&P Global Ratings said last week. Saudi Arabia's Tadawul index fell 0.4 percent, weighed down primarily by Al Rajhi Banking which fell almost 1 percent. Market heavyweight Saudi Basic Industries was down 0.7 percent. The Saudi market is consolidating after a strong rally in January due to an increase in foreign fund flows ahead of the market's inclusion in key emerging market benchmarks later this year. The index is up 9 percent year to date. The Qatari index was flat with lender Masraf Al Rayan up 2.5 percent, but the Gulf's biggest lender Qatar National Bank was down 1.5 percent. Mesaieed Petrochemical Holding, which index compiler FTSE Russell said will still be included in its emerging market index but with an increased free float, was down 0.23 percent. The Abu Dhabi index was up nearly 1 percent with First Abu Dhabi Bank gaining almost 1.7 percent. Egyptian stocks, which have been Middle East's biggest gainer this year, were down 1.3 percent with Commercial International Bank Egypt down 2.2 percent. Egyptian stocks are still up 14.7 percent so far this year amid a recent recovery in emerging markets and an expected drop in borrowing costs after the central bank recently cut interest rates. SAUDI ARABIA The index down 0.4 pct to 8,513 points DUBAI The index up 1.3 pct at 2,669 points ABU DHABI The index up 0.8 pct to 5,140 points Qatar The index flat at 10,190 points EGYPT The index down 1.3 pct to 14,955 points KUWAIT The market was closed due to a public holiday BAHRAIN The index up 0.80 pct to 1,415 points OMAN The index flat at 4,053 points (Reporting by Nafisa Eltahir; editing by Jason Neely)

Sudan restricts social media access to counter protest movement

Jan 02 2019

CAIRO/DUBAI Sudanese authorities are blocking access to popular social media platforms used to organize and broadcast nationwide anti-government protests triggered by an economic crisis, internet users say. | Video

Real Christmas trees find buyers in the desert among UAE expats

Dec 24 2018

DUBAI, Dec 24 For over 25 years, expatriates celebrating Christmas in Dubai have been able to buy large, fragrant Christmas trees imported from Canada and the United States - a seasonal treat in the desert Gulf state.

Bahrain readies austerity push, keeping wary eye on opposition

Nov 28 2018

DUBAI Bahrain's new parliament is expected to swiftly pass sensitive austerity measures needed to secure a Gulf aid package, but the U.S.-allied government may implement the belt-tightening in stages to avoid provoking public anger.

Bahrain holds elections with ban on opposition groups

Nov 24 2018

DUBAI Bahrainis voted on Saturday in a parliamentary election from which opposition groups have been barred, amid a crackdown on dissent in the small Sunni-led, Western-allied kingdom.

FACTBOX-Saudi sovereign fund's investments abroad

Oct 16 2018

DUBAI, Oct 16 Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund has pursued eye-catching investments abroad over the past several years, part of reform plans to diversify the economy beyond oil and transform the country into a high-tech investment powerhouse.

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