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  • *Oil importer Egypt is year's best performer. DUBAI, Dec 31- Most major Middle East stock markets ended 2014 with annual gains after wild swings which underlined their fragility as well as their promise to investors. Gulf markets soared in the first half of the year as the region became more of a mainstream investment destination for foreigners with index...

  • *Retail investors drag Dubai down 5.4 percent. *Kuwait's CBK cuts Boubyan Bank stake by selling on open market. DUBAI, Dec 30- Gulf stock markets suffered broad sell-offs on Tuesday as Brent crude oil slumped to a fresh 5-1/ 2- year low and political uncertainty in Greece pressured global equities.

  • UPDATE 2-Burger chain Shake Shack files for IPO Monday, 29 Dec 2014 | 2:59 PM ET

    Dec 29- Burger chain Shake Shack Inc, which grew out of a hot dog stand in New York's Madison Square Park, has filed for an initial public offering at a time when stock offerings by casual restaurants have proven to be a big hit with investors. Meyer's Union Square Hospitality Group LLC also runs other popular New York eateries, including Blue Smoke, Gramercy Tavern...

  • Dec 29- Fast food chain Shake Shack Inc, which grew out of a hot dog stand in New York's Madison Square Park, has filed for an initial public offering at a time when stock offerings by casual restaurants have proven to be a big hit with investors. Meyer's Union Square Hospitality Group LLC also runs other popular New York eateries, including Blue Smoke, Gramercy...

  • *UAE, Qatar retreat on profit-taking. DUBAI, Dec 29- Most Gulf stock markets pulled back on Monday after gaining strongly in the two previous sessions, but Saudi Arabia's petrochemicals sector rose after Brent crude oil climbed back above $60 per barrel. Although confidence in heavy state spending- underlined by Saudi Arabia's record 2015 budget plan, announced...

  • *Dubai's Marka soars on acquisition news. *Govt spending may boost Dubai property sector- analyst. DUBAI, Dec 28- Gulf stock markets rose on Sunday despite oil's weakness as Saudi Arabia's plan to maintain government spending at a high level boosted investor confidence.

  • China challenges India's polished diamond throne Thursday, 25 Dec 2014 | 7:18 PM ET

    *India seeks help from Russia to defend market share. NEW DELHI, Dec 26- India's long-held position as the world's top diamond polisher is being challenged by soaring output from China, compelling the south Asian country to seek help from ally and top rough diamond supplier Russia to defend its market share. India has traditionally relied on the middlemen in...

  • *Alinma Bank surges on 2014 dividend news. *Egypt's Palm Hills rises after board member buys. DUBAI, Dec 25- Gulf stock markets rose on Thursday as Saudi Arabia released a 2015 state budget that will keep spending high, reassuring the region that economic growth is unlikely to be hurt much by the plunge of oil prices.

  • DUBAI, Dec 25- Saudi Arabia will lift state spending to a record in its 2015 budget while covering a deficit with its huge fiscal reserves, the government said, providing the first detailed look at how the world's top oil exporter aims to handle an era of cheap oil. But the budget, released by the Finance Ministry on Thursday, suggests authorities are confident of...

  • UPDATE 2-Russia's grain exports stop - farm lobby Wednesday, 24 Dec 2014 | 7:59 AM ET

    *About 3 mln T of grain are now stuck in Russia- Union. *Wheat futures rise on Russia export curbs. Russia's main wheat buyers are Turkey, Iran and, very vulnerable to supply disruption, Egypt.

  • *OPEC hopes economic recovery will spur fresh demand. *$100 seen as encouraging non- OPEC output. ABU DHABI, Dec 23- Arab OPEC producers expect global oil prices to rebound to between $70 and $80 a barrel by the end of next year as a global economic recovery revives demand, OPEC delegates said this week in the first indication of where the group expects oil markets to...

  • *U.S. crude falls more than $2 intraday; Brent down over $1. NEW YORK, Dec 22- Oil prices resumed their downward march on Monday, doubling back on the biggest one-day gain in over two years, after Saudi Arabia's powerful oil minister said OPEC would not cut production at any price. After a weekend of comments from several Gulf OPEC members reiterating their intent not...

  • NEW YORK, Dec 22- Oil prices resumed their downward march on Monday, doubling back on the biggest one-day gain in over two years, after Saudi Arabia's powerful oil minister said OPEC would not cut production at any price. After a weekend of comments from several Gulf OPEC members reiterating their intent not to intervene in oil markets, despite oil prices that have...

  • DUBAI, Dec 22- Saudi Arabia is prepared to increase its oil output and claim a bigger market share to meet the demands of any new customers, Monday's edition of the Saudi-owned al-Hayat newspaper quoted the kingdom's oil minister as saying. The remark was one of the strongest signals yet that the world's top oil exporter has no intention of cutting output in the...

  • ABU DHABI, Dec 21- Saudi Arabia said on Sunday it would not cut output to prop up oil markets even if non- OPEC nations did so, in one of the toughest signals yet that the world's top petroleum exporter plans to ride out the market's biggest slump in years. "If they want to cut production they are welcome: We are not going to cut, certainly Saudi Arabia is not going to cut."

  • ABU DHABI, Dec 21- The United Arab Emirates oil minister urged all of the world's producers on Sunday not to raise their oil output next year, saying this would quickly stabilise prices. "We invite everyone to do what OPEC did and take a step to balance the market through not offering additional products in 2015, and if everyone abides by OPEC decision, the market...

  • At a meeting in November, OPEC kept its target output of 30 million barrels per day unchanged, leaving the market to balance itself without the group's intervention. That stance was seen as a shift from a longstanding policy in which OPEC powerhouse Saudi Arabia acts as a swing supplier. Speaking in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, he said: "The talk...

  • ABU DHABI, Dec 21- Iraq Oil Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi said on Sunday Iraq's total oil production would reach four million barrels per day after Baghdad reached an agreement on exports with Kurdish regional authorities. Mahdi made the remarks in a speech at a conference in Abu Dhabi. Iraq's government reached a temporary agreement with Kurdish regional...

  • DUBAI, Dec 21- Saudi Arabia's oil minister said on Sunday non-cooperation by producers outside of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and the actions of speculators had led to the oil price fall, but he was confident the market would improve. In a speech in Abu Dhabi, the minister, Ali al-Naimi, denied politics played a role in the kingdom's oil...

  • DUBAI, Dec 21- Saudi Arabia's oil minister said on Sunday non-cooperation by producers outside of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and the actions of speculators had led to the oil price fall, but he was confident the market would improve.