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Gulf banks join regulatory capital party LONDON: Middle Eastern banks are taking advantage of cheap borrowing costs to optimise their capital structure even though countries in the region have yet to fully implement Basel III rules.National Bank of Kuwait priced a US$700m 5.75% perpetual non-call six-year inaugural Additional Tier 1 bond on Wednesday, becoming the latest bank in the region to sell this type of instrument.That banks from the region are accumulating capital is surprising at first glance given the strength of their ratios. NBK has a Core Tier 1 ratio of 13.3% under Basel III, while the average Tier 1 ratio for GCC peers ex-UAE stood at 15.7% as at December 31.But just like some of the strongest Western European banks that don't need capital, AT1 offers other advantages."One of the key rationales is capital optimization and proactive capital management," said Kapil Damani, capital solutions, debt capital markets at BNP Paribas.Under Basel III, banks need ...

European shares capped by Greek nerves ahead of Easter break LONDON\PARIS: European shares dipped on Thursday, trading in a tight range ahead of the Easter break, with Greece still at the forefront of investors' minds after its lenders said the country needed to do more to unlock financial aid.European Union officials said more work was needed on new measures that Athens sent to its creditors on Wednesday. Greece denied it would delay a payment to the International Monetary Fund due on April 9, after the ...
UK's FTSE propped up by gains in M&S LONDON: Britain's top share index rose marginally on Thursday, helped by a surge in the shares of retailer Marks & Spencer after M&S posted its best non-food sales performance for nearly four years.The blue-chip FTSE 100 index rose 0.1 percent to 6,813.14 points going into the middle of the trading session, with volumes relatively thin ahead of the Easter holiday break.M&S rose 5.5 percent, making it the best-performing FTSE 100 stock in percentage terms.M&S said ...
Dollar, US data lift emerging stocks to 1-month high LONDON: Emerging market shares hit a one-month high on Thursday thanks to disappointing U.S. data stemming investment flows lured away by dollar assets.MSCI's emerging equity index rose 0.9 percent, with Russia and Hungary clocking some of the biggest gains after Wednesday's data on U.S. jobs and the pace of manufacturing growth came in short of expectations, weighing on the dollar .Russian dollar-denominated stocks rose 1.6 percent and their rouble peers added 0.3 percent. The rouble ...
Doubts over US growth cool dollar rally LONDON: The US dollar lost ground on Thursday, the last trading day of the week for many markets ahead of Easter, after disappointing economic data on Wednesday raised doubts over the growth outlook ahead of key jobs data due Friday.Although non-farm payrolls are expected to show an increase of 245,000 jobs in March, according to economists polled by Reuters, Wednesday's data hit U.S. equities and reinforced concerns that the dollar's recent rally has weighed on ...
European shares rangebound ahead of Easter break PARIS: European shares dipped on Thursday morning, trading in a tight range ahead of the Easter break, with Greece still at the forefront of investors' minds after the country sent an updated list of reforms to lenders.Greece sent a new list of measures to its creditors on Wednesday to try to unlock financial aid and avoid a default. But euro zone officials said more work was needed before they could release more money.On Wednesday Greece ...
Marks & Spencer helps Britain's FTSE to edge higher LONDON: Britain's top share index edged higher in morning trading on Thursday, with British retailer Marks & Spencer leading the market higher after posting its best non-food sales performance for nearly four years.The blue-chip FTSE 100 index was up 0.2 percent at 6,824.36 points by 0743 GMT, having gained 0.5 percent in the previous session. The index traded about 4 percent below its record high set in late March. Daily trading volume was expected to ...


Index Closing Chg%
Arrow DJIA 18,080.14 0.12
Arrow Nasdaq 5,092.09 0.71
Arrow S&P 2,117.69 0.23
Arrow FTSE 7,070.70 0.24
Arrow DAX 11,810.85 0.74
Arrow CAC-40 5,201.45 0.44
Arrow Nikkei 20,020.04 0.83
Arrow H.Seng 28,060.98 0.84
Arrow Sensex 27,437.94 1.07

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Banking Review 2014

Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-1.586 bln
Exports $1.932 bln
Imports $3.518 bln
WeeklyApril 16, 2015
Reserves $16.818 bln