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Thursday, 15 July 2021

Oil falls amid rumours of Saudi-UAE oil supply agreement

Oil falls amid rumours of Saudi-UAE oil supply agreement: Oil prices fell back yesterday after press reports suggested that Saudi Arabia and the UAE had come to an agreement over increasing oil supply. The price of Brent fell 2.3% to USD 74.76 on the news, which could pave the way for new barrels to enter the market, calming prices which have surged 50% this year due to tightening supply.

Has Riyadh backed down? An OPEC+ source told Reuters that Saudi Arabia has agreed to the UAE’s demands to increase its production quota. At the center of the dispute was a proposal to extend current supply curbs until the end of 2022 from April 2022, which Abu Dhabi refused to sign onto unless it was allowed to pump more oil under current production restrictions. Up until (perhaps) yesterday, Riyadh has refused to accept the demands, insisting that Abu Dhabi stick with the same quota and agree to extending the cuts.

It’s not official yet: A final agreement is yet to be reached between both countries and negotiations are still ongoing. The UAE's Energy Ministry also denied reaching an agreement but confirmed the ongoing talks.

A little bit more oil would be nice right now: The International Energy Agency this week warned that in the absence of an agreement, supply will “tighten significantly,” putting further upward pressure on prices. Brent has already risen to its highest level since late 2018, and some analysts have forecast a return to USD 100/bbl oil.

What’s next? The OPEC+ is expected to schedule a new meeting soon, one delegate to the group said.

The story dominated coverage in global business press yesterday: Bloomberg | FT | Reuters.

Abraaj former finance chief handed record fine in Dubai’s history: Ashish Dave, former finance chief of the now-defunct private equity group Abraaj, has been fined USD 1.7 mn by the Dubai Financial Services Authority on charges of “deception, unauthorized activity, and compliance breaches,” according to a notice by Dubai’s regulator. This is the largest ever fine handed out to an individual by the regulator. Abraaj, which was one of the region's biggest buyout funds, collapsed in 2019 after investors suspected the mismanagement of their money in its USD 1 bn healthcare fund. Abraaj founder Arif Naqvi and other senior executives now face criminal charges including racketeering and fraud from US prosecutors. The story got coverage in Reuters, Bloomberg and the Financial Times.

Other financial news worth noting this morning:

  • Abu Dhabi just pulled off its first IPO since 2017: Satellite operator Yahsat had its trading debut in Abu Dhabi yesterday, rising as much as 13% before closing 1.8% in the green, according to Bloomberg. Yahsat is owned by Abu Dhabi sovereign fund Mubadala Investment, which is holding onto its majority stake in the company. Yahsat is one of three portfolio companies that Mubadala could IPO this year which include a local listing of Emirates Global Aluminium and a US listing of semiconductor producer Globalfoundries, according to Reuters.
  • China is more popular than ever among global investors: Foreign investment in the Chinese capital markets has shrugged off concerns over Xinjiang and Hong Kong to grow at a record pace over the past year, with holdings of stocks and bonds surging 40% to more than USD 800 bn, the Financial Times reports. Foreign investors have purchased stocks worth USD 35.5 bn and treasuries worth USD 75 bn, both roughly 50% higher than foreign holdings of those assets this time last year and the steepest ever y-o-y increase in the country’s history.
  • Mashreqbank wants to go 100% digital: The Dubai-based lender is aiming to soon close its 10 remaining brick-and-mortar branches across the UAE and become a fully digital bank, CEO Ahmed Abdelaal tells Bloomberg. The Dubai-based bank has already cut its branches by two-thirds over the past two years, as more of its clients have made the switch to digital banking.




+1.6% (YTD: -2.2%)



Buy 15.64

Sell 15.74



Buy 15.64

Sell 15.74


Interest rates CBE

8.25% deposit

9.25% lending




+0.4% (YTD: +24.0%)




+0.5% (YTD: +40.3%)




-0.2% (YTD: +10.6%)


S&P 500


+0.1% (YTD: +16.5%)


FTSE 100


-0.5% (YTD: +9.8%)


Brent crude

USD 74.76



Natural gas (Nymex)

USD 3.66




USD 1,825.00




USD 32,864

+0.9% (as of midnight)


The EGX30 rose 1.6% at yesterday’s close on turnover of EGP 1.89 bn (36.2% above the 90-day average). Foreign investors were net sellers. The index is down 2.2% YTD.

In the green: Fawry (+4.7%), GB Auto (+3.5%) and Eastern Company (+3.5%).

In the red: MM Group (-1.9%), Oriental Weavers (-1.7%) and Orascom Financial Holding (-0.3%).

Asian markets are mostly in the green in early trading this morning, while futures indicate a mixed open in Europe and early losses in the US/

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