Dana Gas shares down as London sukuk trial set to resume

Updated 24 September 2017
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Dana Gas shares down as London sukuk trial set to resume

DUBAI: Shares of Abu Dhabi-listed Dana Gas fell sharply on Sunday after news that a London court hearing on its maturing sukuk issue would resume.
After several delays last week, a London High Court trial on the validity of $700 million of sukuk issued by Dana will go ahead on Monday. Dana said in June it would not repay holders of its Islamic bond, or sukuk, because it had become invalid under UAE law.
The case is being fought in UAE and British courts, and sukuk holders have been hoping the London court will produce a ruling that effectively shuts down Dana’s legal campaign in both jurisdictions. The uncertainty knocked Dana’s shares 5.1 percent lower on Sunday.
“When creditors and shareholders are at odds in a legal hearing, this sends a bad signal,” said a regional fund manager.
Escalating tensions between North Korea and the United States weighed on Gulf markets in general on Sunday, dragging the Abu Dhabi index 0.3 percent lower.
The Dubai index fell 0.9 percent as 27 shares declined including Emaar Properties, which lost 1.6 percent. Only seven stocks rose.
Shares favored by foreign funds weighed on Egypt’s blue-chip index, which fell 0.6 percent; Global Telecom Holding lost 2.0 percent. But the broader EGX100 index added 0.7 percent.
The Saudi Arabian and Omani markets were closed for public holidays on Sunday.
—  Reuters


French state-owned bank drops plan to aid trade with Iran

Updated 37 min 9 sec ago
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French state-owned bank drops plan to aid trade with Iran

PARIS: French state-owned bank Bpifrance has abandoned its plan to set up a mechanism to aid French companies trading with Iran, in the face of US sanctions against Tehran.
Earlier this year, the bank had said it was working on a project to finance French companies that wished to export goods to Iran despite US sanctions.
“It’s put on hold,” said Nicolas Dufourcq, Bpifrance’s chief executive. “Conditions are not met (...) Sanctions are punitive for companies.”
Bpifrance was working on establishing euro-denominated export guarantees to Iranian buyers of French goods and services. By structuring the financing through vehicles without any US link, Bpifrance thought it was possible to avoid the extraterritorial reach of US legislation.
Dufourcq’s latest comments show how the scope of the sanctions is making trade with Iran increasingly difficult for European companies.
The United States is renewing sanctions on Iran after withdrawing from a nuclear deal forged in 2015 between Tehran and world powers. Washington reimposed some of the financial sanctions from Aug. 6, while those affecting Iran’s petroleum sector will come into force from Nov. 4.
Even though several European countries have said they are seeking to protect their companies from the sanctions, several major companies including oil company Total, Air France-KLM and British Airways have announced they would suspend activities in Iran.
German officials have in recent weeks advocated for the creation of an independent system for cross-border payments to make trade with Iran possible even with the US sanctions.
European Union diplomats have said US President Donald Trump’s positions on trade and on Iran were fueling a rethink about the EU’s dependency on the US financial system.
However, European countries appear to be struggling to find or agree on effective options to tackle the issue.