Business Middle East

  • DUBAI, United Arab Emirates— Stockholders at two Abu Dhabi banks have agreed to a plan to merge the firms, which would create the biggest bank in the Gulf. Shareholders at the National Bank of Abu Dhabi and First Gulf Bank voted Wednesday to approve the tie-up. Moody's has said the merger would make the new NBAD the largest bank across Gulf Arab nations, with some $170...

  • *Dubai rises in healthy volume. *Abu Dhabi bolstered by strong gains in FGB, NBAD. DUBAI, Dec 7- Stock markets in the United Arab Emirates outperformed the region on Wednesday while investors booked profits in Saudi Arabian petrochemical shares and Egyptian blue chips.

  • BAGHDAD, Dec 7- Iraq's parliament approved the 2017 budget on Wednesday, lawmakers said, but a member of the Kurdish KDP said his party stayed away from the vote and differences between Baghdad and Kurdish authorities in the north had yet to be resolved. The deficit was forecast at 21.7 trillion dinars, with expenditure of 100.7 trillion dinars, about 6 percent...

  • TEHRAN, Iran— Iran's official IRNA news agency says that President Hassan Rouhani's administration is proposing changing the name and denomination of the country's currency. One toman would be worth 10 rials, or around 3,200 to a dollar at official exchange rates, and 3,900 to a dollar at unofficial rates. The Iranian currency was known as the toman until the...

  • DUBAI, Dec 7- Royal Dutch Shell will sign initial agreements on Wednesday to develop Iranian oil and gas fields, an Iranian official said, the first deal by the world's second biggest listed oil firm in Iran since sanctions were lifted. Analysts said the deals showed major oil companies were prepared to keep doing business with Iran despite the risk that U.S.

  • DUBAI, Dec 7- Royal Dutch Shell will sign three initial agreements on Wednesday to develop Iranian oil and gas fields, an Iranian oil ministry official said. Shell will sign the agreements in Tehran to develop the South Azadegan, Yadavaran oilfields and the Kish gas field, the Iranian official said. The Wall Street Journal earlier reported that both Shell and...

  • ABU DHABI, Dec 7- OPEC's deal to cut oil production will go ahead even if Russia becomes the only non- OPEC country to commit to reduce output at a meeting this week, Nigeria said on Wednesday, while the UAE voiced optimism that other producers would participate. "Yes, we will go ahead, but we will continue to work on the rest to come onboard," Nigerian Oil Minister Emmanuel...

  • *Seven tankers send U.S. crude worth about $150 million to Asia. SINGAPORE, Dec 7- Oil major BP is shipping almost 3 million barrels of U.S. crude to customers across Asia, pioneering a lengthy and complex operation likely to become more popular after OPEC last week announced deep production cuts. Now, using its global shipping and trading network, BP was able to...

  • Commodities tomorrow:

    CNBC's Jackie DeAngelis discusses the day's activity in the commodities markets.

  • ROME, Dec 6- Italy is preparing to take a 2 billion euros controlling stake in Monte dei Paschi di Siena as the bank's hopes of a private funding rescue fade following Prime Minister Matteo Renzi's decision to quit, two sources close to the matter said on Tuesday. This would make it by far the biggest shareholder, meaning the Treasury would be able to control Italy's...

  • DUBAI, Dec 6- U.S President-elect Donald Trump could give the business jet market a much needed boost after a "tough" 2016, Boeing Business Jets President David Longridge said in Dubai on Tuesday. The international property tycoon has his own private fleet, including a Boeing 757, which he used to criss-cross the United States during the presidential campaign.

  • LONDON, Dec 6- A British clampdown on retail trading platforms prompted warnings among industry players and investors on Tuesday that some smaller firms may not be able to sustain their business under the new stricter rules. The Financial Conduct Authority placed limits on the leverage which can be offered to individual investors betting on currency and...

  • DUBAI, Dec 6- Boeing sees sales of its business jets rebounding over the next two years after a "tough" 2016, Boeing Business Jet President David Longridge said at a press conference in Dubai on Tuesday. Boeing Business Jets, which sells variants of Boeing aircraft for the corporate jet market, blames a more than halving of sales this year on the uncertainty created...

  • RIYADH, Dec 6- Saudi Aramco's planned flotation is unlikely to require any major changes to Saudi Arabia's securities rules, the vice chairman of the kingdom's market regulator said. Saudi Arabia's ambitious Vision 2030 plan to diversify away from oil includes greater private sector involvement and improving the efficiency of state-owned companies.

  • *Abu Dhabi swings higher in volatile session. DUBAI, Dec 6- The petrochemical sector helped carry Saudi Arabia's stock market to a fresh one-year closing high on Tuesday after crude oil prices hit a 17- month peak, while Egypt's market followed global shares upwards. The petrochemical sector stayed strong; it has been contributing to the market's positive...

  • *Could raise up to $400 mln vs target of $550 mln. LONDON, Dec 6- Glencore will likely fall short of its target of raising $550 million to pre-finance the purchase of Kurdish oil, with investors exercising caution despite the offer of a 12 percent bond yield, industry sources told Reuters. The oil has been relatively cheap because of potential supply disruptions and...

  • Located in Dubai, IMG Worlds of Legends will feature eight property partnerships with global names such as Nickelodeon, Mattel and Pokemon, making the multi-billion dollar project one of the biggest global licensing deals of its kind. After years of few entertainment options in the Gulf, the vacuum is being filled as IMG Worlds and other theme parks and...

  • LONDON, Dec 6- The head of Europe's police agency said it would "look again" at the largest migrant shipwreck in the Mediterranean this year after an investigation by Reuters and BBC Newsnight exposed a gap in the response by law enforcement. The survivors, who eventually reached Greece on April 16, said that the smugglers abandoned the scene, leaving up to 100...

  • LONDON, Dec 6- The head of Europe's police agency said it would "look again" at the largest migrant shipwreck in the Mediterranean this year after an investigation by Reuters and BBC Newsnight exposed a gap in the response by law enforcement. The survivors, who eventually reached Greece on April 16, said that the smugglers abandoned the scene, leaving up to 100...

  • LONDON, Dec 6- The head of Europe's police agency said it would "look again" at the largest migrant shipwreck in the Mediterranean this year after an investigation by Reuters and BBC Newsnight exposed a gap in the response by law enforcement. The survivors, who eventually reached Greece on April 16, said that the smugglers abandoned the scene, leaving up to 100...