Middle East Business News Review – 8 May

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A look at today’s important financial news and business updates from the Middle East region:

UAE, Saudi promise Korea to plug Iran oil supply gap

South Korean Finance and Strategies Minister Bahk Jae-wan said the UAE and Saudi Arabia have vowed to boost oil supplies to Seoul if it agrees to halt Iranian oil imports. Click here to read more…

Dubai Islamic Bank sukuk issue on cards – sources

Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB) has shortlisted five banks for sukuk, an Islamic bond, othat will be issued at the end of May, Reuters quoted three anonymous sources as saying on Tuesday. Click here to read more…

Kuwaiti Central Bank reforms bank loan rules

Kuwait’s central bank governor has announced he will change its loan-to-deposit ratio rules for banks in a bid to boost lending. State-run news agency KUNA reported that calculations for the new loan-to-deposit ratios will be based on loan maturities. The announcement also added that sources of funding such as bonds, loans and Islamic bonds banks can now be grouped with deposits while calculating their loan-to-deposit ratios. Click here to read more…

Rising inflation, unrest marring investors’ confidence in Jordan, says Arab Bank chief

Arab Bank Chairman Abdul Hamid Shoman has expressed his concerns over Jordan’s rising energy bills and political instability that are having a negative impact on investors’ confidence in the Hashemite Kingdom’s economy. Click here to read more…

MENA region credit ratings may slip due to political instability

Sovereign ratings of countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region – particularly of Tunisia, Egypt, Syria, Yemen and Bahrain – suffered a massive blow due to the popular uprisings that began in early 2011, Standard and Poor’s said in a report Tuesday. The credit rating agency warned of further deterioration. Click here to read more…

Kuwait refers $800 mln Shell deal to judiciary

Kuwait has referred a $800 million gas contract between state-owned Kuwait Oil Co. and Shell to the public prosecution to investigate suspected irregularities, a newspaper report said on Tuesday. Click here to read more. (Source – AFP via Zawya.com)

Egyptian Expats Buy Dollar Bonds

Around one million Egyptian expatriates filled applications in Saudi Arabia to obtain US dollar-denominated bonds specifically for Egyptians living abroad. Click here to read more. (Source – Nuqudy.com)

Prince Alwaleed in talks over 3 investments – paper

Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal is eyeing three big investments in the near-term, setting a high bar for the acquisitions as he pursues ambitious returns of at least 20 percent, he told a German newspaper. Click here to read more. (Source – Reuters via ArabianBusiness.com)

Bahrain to issue sovereign bond by summer

Bahrain plans to issue a sovereign bond by the summer, its central bank said on Tuesday, a sign that the Gulf country is confident it can draw international investors despite ongoing social unrest and budgetary pressures. Click here to read more. (Source – Reuters via ArabianBusiness.com)

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