Complex Made Simple

Daily brief: Shell develops Iran oil and gas fields, FGB approves NBAD merger

Shell signs a provisional agreement to develop Iran’s oil and gas fields, an Iranian official said. Here are the business stories you need to know today.


Qatari fund to buy 19.5 per cent stake in Rosneft

Russia said on Wednesday it sold a stake in oil giant Rosneft for 10.5 billion euros ($11.3 billion) to Qatar and commodities trader Glencore , confounding expectations that the Kremlin’s standoff with the West would scare off major investors.


Tunisian union reaches wage deal with government, cancels strike

Tunisia’s powerful UGTT union has cancelled a planned public- sector general strike after reaching an agreement with the government on salary increases covering the next two years, officials said on Wednesday.

The agreement reduces the prospect of widespread social unrest over austerity measures proposed in the 2017 draft budget, though the government still faces protests and industrial action from several sectors.


(Regional partners pledge billions in help for Tunisia economy)


Shell, Iran agree on future oil and gas development

Royal Dutch Shell signed a provisional agreement on Wednesday to develop Iranian oil and gas fields, an Iranian official said, the first deal by the world’s second biggest listed oil firm in Iran since sanctions were lifted.

Analysts said the agreement underscored major oil companies’ willingness to keep doing business with Iran despite the risk that U.S. President-elect Donald Trump could scrap the nuclear deal that ended the sanctions earlier this year.


(Shell considering selling its Iraq oil assets: sources)


Russian oil firms discussed output cuts, no quota recommendations

Russian companies support Energy Ministry proposals to cap oil output as part of a global deal, a ministry spokeswoman said on Wednesday as Moscow prepares to finalise the agreement with OPEC and other producer nations this weekend.


Consortium to pay $1.12bn for Oger’s stake in Jordan’s Arab Bank: TV

A group of investors will pay $1.12 billion for Saudi Oger’s stake in Jordan’s Arab Bank and expects to complete the deal by mid-January, a member of the consortium told Al Arabiya TV on Wednesday.


(Jordan investors set to buy Arab Bank stake after Saudi bid fades)


First Gulf Bank shareholders’ approve NBAD merger, CEO says

First Gulf Bank (FGB) secured shareholders’ approval to merge with National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) at a meeting on Wednesday, FGB’s chief executive Andre Sayegh said. The pair said in July that their boards had approved the tie-up, which will create one of the largest banks in the Middle East and Africa with assets of around $175 billion.


Oman central bank says it aims to avoid bank rate rises as liquidity pressures

Oman’s central bank hopes local lenders will not raise loan and deposit rates because of tightening liquidity arising from low oil prices, but rises may be inevitable depending on the trend in U.S. rates, a top central bank official said on Wednesday.


(With Reuters)