Egypt Independent: Business-Main news en Egypt's GASC buys 120,000 tonnes Russian wheat <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p>Egypt&#39;s state grain buyer GASC said on Thursday it bought 120,000 tonnes of Russian wheat in a tender.</p><p>The wheat was purchased at the average price of $179.70 a tonne free-on-board (FOB), GASC said.</p><p>Traders gave the following breakdown of the purchase:</p><p>-60,000 tonnes of Russian wheat from Cargill at $179.55 a tonne FOB and $9.74 a tonne freight equating to $189.29 a tonne cost and freight (C&amp;F).</p><p>-60,000 tonnes of Russian wheat from ECTP at $179.85 a tonne FOB and $9.74 a tonne freight equating to $189.59 a tonne C&amp;F.</p> Fri, 21 Oct 2016 10:54:00 +0000 Reuters 2473654 at sites/default/files/photo/2013/11/19/481046/shutterstock_130958987.jpg Dollar hits seven-month high, stocks set for weekly rise <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p><span style="font-size: 1em;">Global stocks were set for their first weekly gain in four weeks on Friday and the dollar rose to its highest since March, as the euro came under pressure after the European Central Bank shot down talk of tapering its easy money stance.</span></p><div><p>The euro hit its lowest since March after the ECB left its ultra-loose policy unchanged on Thursday but kept the door open to more stimulus in December.&nbsp;</p><p>ECB President Mario Draghi also doused recent market speculation that the central bank had discussed winding down its 1.7 trillion euro asset-buying program.</p><p>&quot;Weaning markets off easy monetary policy will be a delicate exercise for the ECB, and we think the bank is unlikely to remove its stimulus until inflation is solidly on track to 2 percent,&quot; Andrew Bosomworth, managing director and portfolio manager at PIMCO, said in a note.</p><p>&quot;We thus view tapering as a topic for 2017 and beyond.&quot;</p><p>The dollar index touched 98.564, its highest since early March, while the euro was down 0.4 percent at $1.0890 after seeing a seven-month trough of $1.0885.</p><p>The dollar was little changed at 103.84 yen after rising 0.5 percent overnight.</p><p>The dollar index was set for its third straight week of gains, driven by hardening expectations of a rise in U.S. interest rates in December.</p><p>After three weeks of falls, world stocks were set to end the week higher for the first time since September.</p><p>The dovish stance taken by the ECB helped underpin appetite for European stocks, with the STOXX Europe 600 rising 0.1 percent.</p><p>Equities have also been boosted by a good start to earnings season, with expectation-beating results from U.S. banks the highlights so far. On Friday, Norway&#39;s Yara International and France&#39;s Valeo were the latest to beat expectations.&nbsp;</p><p>WEAK OUTLOOKS</p><p>However, companies such as Daimler have posted solid results but weak outlooks, and some said that the market&#39;s recent run was unsustainable.</p><p>&quot;This week held several positives for markets. The Q3 earnings season so far managed to surprise rather strong market expectations and solidified anticipations that the earnings recession has ended after four quarters,&quot; said Susan Joho, economist at Julius Baer.</p><p>&quot;As good as these developments may look at first sight, none of them are robust enough to be sustained in the next months. The reality looks more sober: corporate guidance is weak.&quot;&nbsp;</p><p>MSCI&#39;s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.4 percent, hit by a fall in oil prices.</p><p>Japan&#39;s Nikkei brushed a six-month high earlier on a weaker yen but was last down 0.3 percent.China&#39;s offshore yuan fell to its lowest level in six years against the broadly stronger dollar.</p><p>&quot;Further yuan depreciation, which many people expect, is good for exporters, but it will also have a negative psychological impact and curb risk appetite,&quot; said Yang Hai, analyst at Kaiyuan Securities.&nbsp;</p><p>Sterling slipped 0.1 percent to $1.2236, taking in its stride comments by European Council President Donald Tusk that British Prime Minister Theresa May had confirmed that Brexit talks would be triggered by end-March 2017.</p><p>U.S. crude futures were down 0.2 percent, slightly off lows. The contract lost more than 2 percent on Thursday as the dollar&#39;s surge prompted profit-taking on a rally that sent U.S. crude to 15-month highs midweek. Brent crude slipped 0.1 percent to $51.32 a barrel. [O/R]</p><p>A stronger greenback tends to increase the purchase cost for non-U.S. buyers of commodities such as crude oil and gold, which are denominated in dollars.</p><p>Spot gold was down 0.3 percent at $1,262.96 an ounce, although it was on track for a 1 percent gain on the week.</p></div><p>&nbsp;</p> Fri, 21 Oct 2016 09:16:00 +0000 Reuters 2473650 at sites/default/files/photo/2014/06/05/484151/dwlrt.jpg Saudi equity investors cheer mega bond debut, SEC jumps on Q3 profit <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p>Saudi Arabia&#39;s stock market rose in early trade on Thursday as the banking sector rallied following the kingdom&#39;s mammoth international bond sale, which could help to unclog liquidity bottlenecks in the economy. Other Gulf bourses were mixed.<br /><br />Riyadh&#39;s stock index added 1.2 percent as all but three listed Saudi banks advanced, with Samba Financial Group, which earlier this week had reported a drop in third-quarter net income, adding 4.0 percent.<br /><br />The kingdom conducted the largest emerging market bond sale on Wednesday, selling $17.5 billion of debt in the government&#39;s first international offer while attracting investor orders totalling almost four times that amount.<br /><br />Other stock market sectors, however, were driven mainly by quarterly corporate earnings.<br /><br />Saudi Electricity Co soared 8.0 percent after its third-quarter net profit jumped 50.8 percent to 4.40 billion riyals ($1.17 billion). Analysts at NCB Capital had forecast 1.90 billion riyals.<br /><br />Saudi Telecom Co rose 3.3 percent after reporting profit of 2.15 billion riyals, down 7.5 percent year-on-year but in line with forecasts.<br /><br />But rival Etihad Etisalat (Mobily) slumped 8.8 percent after reporting a net loss of 167.7 million riyals versus a loss of 158.3 million riyals in the year-earlier period. Analysts had forecast a profit of 15.06 million riyals.<br /><br />Retailer Fawaz Alhokair dropped 5.2 percent on an 81.1 percent slump in quarterly earnings to 58.7 million riyals. EFG Hermes had forecast quarterly profit of 244.13 million riyals, while NCB Capital had estimated 269 million riyals. The company cited decrease in sales, lower gross margins and higher finance expenses.<br /><br />Saudi International Petrochemical (Sipchem) fell 4.4 percent after it swung to a net loss of 59 million riyals from a profit of 71.6 million riyals; analysts had forecast a 30.6 million riyal profit.<br /><br />Rabigh Refining and Petrochemical was down 5.4 percent after reporting a narrower net loss of 217 million riyals compared with a year-ago loss of 460 million riyals.<br /><br />Elsewhere, Dubai&#39;s index edged up 0.5 percent with DXB Entertainments rising 3.9 percent in active trade. But neighbouring Abu Dhabi&#39;s index pulled back 0.5 percent with blue-chip lender First Gulf Bank falling 1.8 percent as investors booked profits on recent gains.<br /><br />In Doha, the main index of the 20 most valuable shares fell a further 0.2 percent. Commercial Bank, which reported a net loss earlier this week, slipped a further 1.3 percent.</p> Thu, 20 Oct 2016 11:01:00 +0000 Reuters 2473633 at sites/default/files/photo/2016/05/08/504802/saudi_stock_market.jpg Saudi has little room to slow austerity drive, IMF says <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p>The International Monetary Fund feels the pace of Saudi Arabia&#39;s austerity drive is broadly appropriate and there is little room for Riyadh to ease up on the spending cuts that have slowed economic growth sharply, a senior IMF official said.<br /><br />Its budget strained by low oil prices, the Saudi government has slashed capital spending this year and delayed payments that it owes to some companies, while last month it announced cuts to allowances for public sector workers.<br /><br />Gross domestic product growth fell to 1.4 percent year-on-year in the second quarter, the lowest in more than three years. The non-oil sector &mdash; the part of the economy directly affecting most people&#39;s living standards &mdash; expanded just 0.4 percent, after shrinking 0.7 percent in the first quarter.<br /><br />Masood Ahmed, director of the IMF&#39;s Middle East department, said Riyadh could not soften austerity policies significantly without endangering its goal of balancing its budget in about five years.<br /><br />&quot;I don&#39;t see there is a lot of scope for postponing fiscal consolidation,&quot; he told Reuters in an interview.<br /><br />Ahmed said the IMF expected Saudi Arabia to run a fiscal deficit of 13.0 percent of GDP this year, compared to an estimated 15.9 percent last year. The Fund projects next year&#39;s gap at 9.5 percent.<br /><br />Months-long delays in state payments to construction firms have hit the sector hard, forcing some companies into severe financial difficulties. Ahmed said the delays were &quot;not a preferred method&quot; of cutting the budget deficit but it was hard to impose austerity without pain.<br /><br />The IMF expects Saudi economic growth to bottom out at 1.2 percent this year, rebounding to 2.0 percent in 2017. Some private analysts think growth could be near zero this year.<br /><br />In a twice-yearly report on regional economies published this month, the IMF said it was difficult to estimate how much austerity policies would slow growth in the Gulf oil exporters, and that any forecasts could prove wrong by a wide margin.<br /><br />&quot;An adverse feedback loop between budget spending cuts and tightening credit conditions could reduce the private sector&rsquo;s ability to pick up the slack created by the shrinking public sector,&quot; it said.</p> Wed, 19 Oct 2016 08:57:00 +0000 Reuters 2473605 at sites/default/files/photo/2016/06/14/505021/r.jpg