Saudi stocks continue to rise, Qatar down after fighter jet report

Saudi Arabian stocks continued rising, while Qatar’s bourse fell steeply after the United Arab Emirates said Qatari fighter jets intercepted an Emirati civilian aircraft. (AFP)
Updated 15 January 2018
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Saudi stocks continue to rise, Qatar down after fighter jet report

DUBAI: Saudi Arabian stocks continued rising on Monday, while Qatar’s bourse fell steeply after the United Arab Emirates said Qatari fighter jets intercepted an Emirati civilian aircraft.
The Saudi index rose 0.6 percent, outperforming the rest of the region, after surging 1.4 percent on the previous day.
Shares in Kingdom Holding rose 2.7 percent on Monday after jumping 7.0 percent on Sunday.
Petrochemical blue chip Saudi Basic Industries climbed 2.6 percent, buoyed by high oil prices. PetroRabigh , which has been aided by the start-up of its Phase II petrochemical complex, soared 9.1 percent to its highest level since August 2015 in its heaviest trade since last May.
But Bank Albilad fell 2.4 percent after proposing a 0.4 riyal dividend for the second half of 2017, up from 0.3 riyal for the first half; the stock had risen sharply in recent weeks in anticipation of such news.
Qatar’s index tumbled 2.5 percent on heavy selling in the final half-hour of trade, ending a seven-day rising streak. It had soared 19 percent from its November low as investors chased dividends.
Stocks dropped after the UAE said Qatari fighter jets had intercepted an Emirati civilian aircraft during a routine flight to Bahrain. Qatar denied this, but the accusation appeared to add to regional tensions.
Among major losers, Islamic bank Masraf Al Rayan plunged 4.9 percent and Gulf Warehousing tumbled 6.1 percent after saying its annual net profit rose to ‍​215.4 million riyals ($58.7 million) from 205.0 million, and proposing a dividend of 1.70 riyals for 2017 after 1.60 riyals for 2016.
Dubai’s index fell 0.5 percent as blue chip Emaar Properties dropped 1.4 percent. But smaller real estate developer Deyaar was the most heavily traded stock and added 1.2 percent.
Despite strength in emerging markets globally, Egypt’s index dropped 0.8 percent as the biggest bank, Commercial International Bank, retreated 1.8 percent.


Volvo quits Iran as US sanctions pressure mounts

Updated 25 September 2018
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Volvo quits Iran as US sanctions pressure mounts

  • Volvo cannot get paid in Iran due to US sanctions
  • Plans were for at least 5,000 trucks to be assembled in Iran Saipa Diesel says zero Volvo trucks assembled since May

STOCKHOLM, Sweden: Swedish truck maker AB Volvo has stopped assembling trucks in Iran because US sanctions are preventing it from being paid, a spokesman for the company said on Monday.
The sanctions against Iran, reimposed on Aug. 6 by US President Donald Trump after his decision to pull out of a nuclear deal with Tehran, have forced companies across Europe to reconsider their investments there.
Volvo spokesman Fredrik Ivarsson said the trucks group could no longer get paid for any parts it shipped and had therefore decided not to operate in Iran in another blow to the country’s car industry, which unlike the energy and banking sectors, had managed to sign contracts with top European firms.
“With all these sanctions and everything that the United States put (in place) ... the bank system doesn’t work in Iran. We can’t get paid ... So for now we don’t have any business (in Iran),” Ivarsson told Reuters by telephone.
Before the sanctions were reimposed, Volvo had expressed an ambition for Iran to become its main export hub for the Gulf region and North Africa markets.
The European Union has implemented a law to shield its companies, but the sanctions have deterred banks from doing business with Iranian firms as Washington can cut any that facilitate such transactions off from the US financial system.
Volvo was working with Saipa Diesel, part of Iran’s second-largest automaker SAIPA, which was assembling the Swedish firm’s heavy-duty trucks from kits shipped to Iran.
Ivarsson said Volvo had no active orders in Iran as of Monday.
A commercial department manager at Saipa Diesel confirmed that sanctions had prompted Volvo Trucks to terminate their partnership agreement.
“They have decided that due to the sanction on Iran, from (May) they couldn’t cooperate with us. We had some renovation planned in Iran for a new plant but they refused to work with us,” said the manager, who declined to be identified.
More than 3,500 Volvo trucks had been assembled by Saipa Diesel in the year to May, but none had been assembled in this financial year although the original deal was for at least 5,000 trucks, the manager told Reuters.
Swedish truckmaker Scania, which is owned by Volkswagen , said it had canceled all orders that it could not deliver by mid-August due to sanctions, while French carmaker PSA Group began to suspend its joint venture activities in Iran in June.
Germany’s Daimler has said it is closely monitoring any further developments, while carmaker Volkswagen has rejected a report that suggested it had decided against doing business in Iran.