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Oil slumps anew, global equity markets fall
(The Peninsula - 31/12/2015)

Global stock markets fell on Wednesday as oil prices slumped toward 11-year lows, sapping investors’ appetite for risky assets on the penultimate trading day of 2015. Stock markets rallied the previous day as oil prices rebounded on prospects for lower

China suspends forex business for some foreign banks
(The Gulf Today - 31/12/2015)

China’s central bank has suspended at least three foreign banks from conducting some foreign exchange business until the end of March, three sources who had seen the suspension notices told Reuters on Wednesday. Included among the suspended services are

Global sukuk see bigger challenge in 2016
(Saudi Gazette - 31/12/2015)

The next 12 months look just as challenging for global sukuk as sales of Islamic bonds languish in the bleakest year since 2010. Malaysia’s CIMB Group Holdings Bhd, the top sukuk arranger worldwide for seven of the last nine years, predicts a pick up in

IDB clears $466m for new projects
(The Gulf Today - 30/12/2015)

The Board of Executive Directors of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) has approved financing for several major new and also ongoing projects during its 309th meeting in Jeddah. Four Member countries — Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Pakistan and Turkey — will

World stocks jump as oil price steadies
(The Gulf Today - 30/12/2015)

Stocks gained around the world, trimming the first annual loss for equities since 2011, while Treasuries declined as oil led a rally among commodities. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index halted a two-day slide and the MSCI All-Country World Index cut its

Japan’s factory output and retail sales slump
(Gulf Times - 29/12/2015)

Japan’s factory output fell for the first time in three months in November and retail sales slumped, suggesting that a clear recovery in the world’s third-largest economy will be delayed until early in 2016. While manufacturers expect to increase output

Declining euro a boon for steel regional fabricators
(Khaleej Times - 29/12/2015)

The upcoming SteelFab 2016 will offer the regional steel fabrication and metal working industry an unprecedented opportunity to source machinery from Europe at an economical rate, thanks to the depreciating euro against the US dollar. Another key factor

Britain to become world’s fourth largest economy
(Arab News - 28/12/2015)

Bumper growth will put Britain on course to become the world’s fourth largest economic powerhouse ahead of Japan and Germany in the 2030s, new analysis shows. Britain is currently the world’s fifth largest economy based on total Gross Domestic Product

Financial sector key to final week of trading on Wall St
(Gulf Times - 27/12/2015)

As 2015 draws to a close this week, the fortunes of the last few trading days of the year may be dictated by the direction of the financial sector. The financials have risen more than 6% this quarter, with investors expecting the sector to be one of the

Global sukuk faces more challenges in 2016
(Bloomberg - 24/12/2015)

As global Islamic bonds languish in the bleakest year for sales since 2010, the next 12 months look just as challenging. Malaysia’s CIMB Group Holdings Bhd, the top sukuk arranger worldwide for seven of the last nine years, predicts a pick-up in 2016 to

Branchless banking accounts in Pakistan reach 10.8 million
(Oman Daily Observer - 24/12/2015)

The number of branchless banking accounts in Pakistan rose by 444.4 per cent to 10.8 million during the second quarter of 2015, compared with 7.5 million in the previous quarter of January-March, according to the latest Branchless Banking (BB)

UK GDP rises marginnaly
(The Gulf Today - 24/12/2015)

The UK economy expanded less than previously estimated in the past two quarters in a sign growth is losing some momentum. Gross domestic product rose 0.4 per cent between July and September instead of the 0.5 per cent previously estimated, the Office

China eyes reforms after top economic meet
(Oman Daily Observer - 23/12/2015)

China is eyeing strict management of local debt and increased housing reform as part of moves to shore up growth in the world’s second largest economy, state media said, after the close of a key economic forum. Beijing’s economic planners will “allow

India’s current-account deficit widens in risk to rupee
(Gulfnews - 23/12/2015)

India’s current-account deficit widened more than estimated, threatening to push the rupee even lower after an increase in US interest rates. The shortfall in the broadest measure of trade was $8.2 billion in July to September, widening from $6.1

US economy expands 2% in 3rd quarter
(The Gulf Today - 23/12/2015)

The US economy expanded at a revised 2 per cent annualised rate in the third quarter, buoyed by consumer spending as businesses struggled to sell to overseas customers battered by sluggish growth. The gain in gross domestic product followed a 3.9 per

Sweden sees faster economic growth
(The Gulf Today - 22/12/2015)

Sweden’s economy will expand this year at its fastest pace since 2010 and growth will continue to be strong further ahead, though the cost of a record influx of refugees will weigh on finances, the government said in a forecast on Monday. The centre-left

Malaysia’s first Islamic-compliant airline takes off
(The Gulf Today - 21/12/2015)

Malaysia’s first Islamic-compliant airline Rayani Air began operations on Sunday with its maiden flight taking off from the capital to the resort island of Langkawi, local media reported. In-flight meals served on board its flights are completely halal,

US rates begin on path to normal in 2016 Fed and market views diverge
(Arab Times - 20/12/2015)

With its December first tightening in 9 years, the so-called “lift-off” is finally behind us. Phew! The federal funds rate is up 25 basis points (bps) to a target of 25- 50 bps. Markets can now move on to the next set of questions: how much and how fast

Dutch to lose $1.62bn in gas production cut in EU’s biggest field
(Arab News - 20/12/2015)

A cut-back in natural gas production in the EU’s biggest gas field will cost the Netherlands a billion-and-a-half euros in lost revenue, Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem said. “It’s going to cost around 1.5 billion euros ($1.62 billion) next

Eurozone economy slows in December, recovery still on track: survey
(Gulfnews - 17/12/2015)

Eurozone private sector business activity slowed slightly in December but still held at a four-and-a-half year high as the recovery remained on track, creating much-needed jobs, a key survey showed Wednesday. Data monitoring company Markit said its

China plans more government bonds
(The Gulf Today - 16/12/2015)

China plans to issue significantly more government bonds next year, with key tenors in the one- to 10-year range, three sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Tuesday. One, three-, five, seven- and 10-year bonds could be issued as

US stocks fluctuate as oil pares drop
(The Gulf Today - 15/12/2015)

US stocks fluctuated at a 10-week low as crude held at its cheapest since 2009 and credit markets weakened further in the run-up to the Federal Reserve’s decision this week on interest rates. Oil pared a decline that took it below $35 per barrel for the

$10 billion pipeline set to ease energy deficits in South Asia$10 bill
(Arab News - 14/12/2015)

MARY, Turkmenistan: Leaders of Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India broke ground Sunday on a $10 billion gas pipeline expected to help ease energy deficits in South Asia and stem tensions in the divided region. Presidents Gurbanguly

Stocks around the world fall as investors fear slide in oil
(Gulfnews - 13/12/2015)

Another drop in the price of oil rattled stock investors around the world on Friday, with steep losses in Europe and the US, where a major market index ended its worst week since the summer. The selling in the US was broad, with all 10 sectors of the

Chinese factory output rebounds after stimulus
(Arab News - 13/12/2015)

China’s activity data was stronger than expected in November, with factory output growth picking up to a five-month high, signalling that a flurry of stimulus measures from Beijing may have put a floor under a fragile economy. Still, analysts believe