7 firms to list on 2nd Saudi stock board

Updated 20 February 2017
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7 firms to list on 2nd Saudi stock board

RIYADH/DUBAI: Seven companies will start trading in Saudi Arabia next Sunday on a parallel market designed to boost the role of small and medium firms, the bourse said on Monday.
The new market, called Nomu, “is an alternative trading platform with lighter listing requirements compared to the main market,” the Saudi Stock Exchange, Tadawul, said on its website.
Nomu requires firms to have a market value of at least SR10 million ($2.7 million), a minimum of 35-50 shareholders and at least 20 percent of shares publicly owned.
The stock exchange statement did not identify the seven companies to be initially listed.
But it said the second market “opens new investment possibilities for listed companies in terms of diversifying funding resources to further increase growth and business development.”
Firms listing on the main market must have a minimum capitalization of SR100 million, or 10 times that of the new platform.
Tadawul down 1%
The Tadawul All Share Index (TASI) on Monday lost 1 percent as a little more than four-fifths of traded shares declined.
All but two of the 12 listed banks fell. Alawwal Bank’s 2.7 percent rise on Sunday was all but wiped out by Monday’s 2.6 percent decline.
Arabian Cement, however, rose 1.8 percent after its board recommended a cash dividend of SAR2 ($0.53) per share for the second half of 2016, taking its full-year cash outlay to SR4 ($1.07). For 2015 the cement maker had paid out SR4.5 ($1.2).
Meanwhile, profit-taking swept across most stock markets in the Middle East with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) bourses particularly hard hit by slides in construction company Arabtec and energy business Dana Gas.
Dubai’s Arabtec dropped by its 10 percent daily limit to a five-year low of AED0.90 ($0.25). The company reported a week ago that its net loss had widened in the fourth quarter and that its board was seeking shareholder approval for a AED1.5 billion ($408.4 million) rights issue.
The main Dubai index retreated 1.2 percent, with 22 stocks declining and only four closing higher.
Abu Dhabi’s index declined by 0.9 percent on the back of a 4.1 percent drop in Dana Gas after it made a downward revision to its unaudited preliminary results for 2016 to a net loss of $88 million from the previously reported net profit of $33 million.
It cited a ruling by the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) this month in its dispute with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). The ruling reduced unrealized interest recorded on Dana’s books.
Banks, which had been buoying the market over the past week, were also weak, with National Bank of Abu Dhabi falling 1.4 percent.
Egypt’s main index extended losses with a 0.8 percent fall. Foreign funds remained net sellers of stocks, but by a much smaller margin than on Sunday, as the Egyptian pound held near Sunday’s three-month high against the US dollar.


EU could compensate firms hit by US sanctions over Iran — French minister

Updated 20 May 2018
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EU could compensate firms hit by US sanctions over Iran — French minister

  • In 1996, when the United States tried to penalize foreign companies trading with Cuba, the EU forced Washington to back down by threatening retaliatory sanctions

PARIS: France is looking to see if the European Union could compensate European companies that might be facing sanctions by the United States for doing business with Iran, said French finance minister Bruno Le Maire on Sunday.
Le Maire referred to EU rules going back to 1996 which he said could allow the EU to intervene in this manner to protect European companies against any US sanctions, adding that France wanted the EU to toughen its stance in this area.
In 1996, when the United States tried to penalize foreign companies trading with Cuba, the EU forced Washington to back down by threatening retaliatory sanctions.
European firms doing business in Iran face sanctions from the United States after President Donald Trump withdrew from a 2015 nuclear deal with Iran.
“Are we going to allow the United States to be the economic policeman of the world? The answer is no,” Le Maire told C News TV and Europe 1 radio on Sunday.
Le Maire added it was important Italy kept its EU budget commitments, in light of plans by Italy’s new coalition government to ramp up spending — which could put Rome at odds with the EU.