Complex Made Simple

Daily brief: Top 7 business stories November 1, 2016

Here are the top seven business stories you need to know today.

Saudi Arabia appoints new finance minister

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia by royal decree appointed market regulator Mohammed Al-Jadaan as its new Finance minister, replacing Ibrahim Assaf, who served in the post since 1996.

The new appointment is unlikely to impact Saudi Arabia’s fiscal policy, which is now crafted and overseen primarily by Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud, the man behind Saudi Vision 2030.

OPEC officials approve delayed long-term strategy

Officials of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) approved on Monday a document outlining the group’s long-term strategy, sources told international news agency, Reuters.

The agreement has been taken as a sign that the officials are making progress in reaching common terms over how and when to manage production levels and oil prices. Oil output from the 14 OPEC members has risen by 130,000 barrels per day in October, a Reuters survey found, with leading countries here being Nigeria, Libya and Iraq.

Asian investors bullish about Middle East bonds

The number of Middle East bond issues going to Asian investors has roughly doubled, reaching 30 per cent over the past six to nine months, Standard Chartered executives told Reuters.

“On everything from public bond issues to bank placements, we are seeing up to 30 percent of the issuance is going into Asia, the majority of which would be Chinese. Normally, it would be 15 to 20 percent,” said Stephen Priestley, regional head, corporate and institutional banking for Africa, Middle East and Pakistan, at Standard Chartered, adding that the rise had been over the past six to nine months.

Suez Canal Authority expects $5.7bn in revenue in 2016

Egypt’s Suez Canal Authority expects revenue to increase to $5.7 billion this year after the waterway was widened, company executive Tamer Hammad told Reuters at a maritime conference in Dubai on Monday.

The expected figure beats the $5.175bn achieved in 2015.

Shell, Vitol boost UAE storage to handle Iraq crude

Shell and trading house Vitol are boosting their operations in the port of Fujairah in the UAE to store Iraqi crude, which has been increasing in production levels, industry sources told Reuters.

Iraq’s oil, the second largest OPEC producer after Saudi Arabia, has almost doubled its output throughout the past ten years.

Qatar’s Hamad International Airport launches passenger trains

Hamad International Airport in Doha announced launching dual Passenger Trains inside the airport terminal, which start operations on November 1.

According to the airport, the Ministry of Transport and Communications and the airport worked for months to ensure compliance with safety regulations in the State of Qatar.

Kuwait opens large cultural centre, opera house

Kuwait opened a huge cultural centre which includes a 2,000-seat opera house, the first of its kind in the country.

Italian classical tenor Andrea Bocelli performed at the inauguration, in addition to other local talents that made the night come to life.