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EMERGING MARKETS-Emerging stocks sail to new 19-month highs

LONDON, Feb 22- Wall Street's record run helped emerging stocks sail to new 19- month highs on Wednesday with year-to-date gains of over 10 percent, while the rand firmed ahead of a key budget speech by the finance minister. MSCI's emerging equity index firmed half a percent, led by a 1 percent rise in Hong Kong after New York shares hit record highs and European...

Source: Reuters

Trump's defense chief visits UAE in first Middle East trip

President Donald Trump's defense secretary arrived in the United Arab Emirates on Saturday for talks with one of Washington's closest allies in the Middle East. Such views play well with Gulf Arabs, who hope Trump's administration will check what they see as a surge of Iranian support for paramilitary allies in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Lebanon and for fellow...

Source: Reuters

Gulf States to maintain defense spending despite oil price slump

Saudi Arabia's total defense budget is forecast at $82 billion in 2016, steadily rising to $87 billion in 2020 while that of UAE is put at $15.1 billion in 2016 reaching $17.0 billion in 2020, according to Teal Group, a U.S-based defense analysis firm which has also forecast increased spending by Kuwait, Qatar, Oman and Bahrain. "Defense spending is linked to...

Source: Reuters

Gulf States to maintain defence spending despite oil price slump

Saudi Arabia's total defence budget is forecast at $82 billion in 2016, steadily rising to $87 billion in 2020 while that of UAE is put at $15.1 billion in 2016 reaching $17.0 billion in 2020, according to Teal Group, a U.S-based defence analysis firm which has also forecast increased spending by Kuwait, Qatar, Oman and Bahrain. "Defence spending is linked to...

Source: Reuters

Tesla targets Middle East drive with Dubai debut

DUBAI, Feb 13- Tesla Inc has started selling its luxury electric cars in Dubai, marking its first foray into the Middle East. Founder Elon Musk said on Monday that Tesla will open a store and service centre in Abu Dhabi in 2018 and plans to expand to Bahrain, Oman and Saudi Arabia. Outside the U.S., Tesla's website says it is in Mexico, Canada, Europe, Australia, China, Hong...

Source: Reuters

INTERVIEW-Six Gulf nations aiming for simultaneous VAT adoption in January -UAE official

*UAE will minimize exemptions, some sectors may get relief. DUBAI, Feb 12- Policy makers in the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council are aiming to introduce a 5 percent value-added tax at the start of next year, despite administrative and technical obstacles, a senior United Arab Emirates finance official said on Sunday. However, Younis al-Khouri,...

Source: Reuters

UPDATE 1-Bahrain's Investcorp targets U.S. service sector, UK property

DUBAI, Feb 9- Bahrain- based Investcorp is responding to the election of U.S. Investcorp, which expects its assets under management to rise to around $21 billion in the first half of 2017, on Thursday reported a fall in profit to $35.6 million in the six months to Dec. 31 from $50.9 million in the prior-year period. Among potential investments in the U.S., Europe and the...

Source: Reuters

Qatar official: Gulf value-added tax could begin in 2018

DOHA, Qatar— Qatar's finance minister says a new unified value-added tax across the Gulf Arab countries could come into effect as early as next year as the oil-rich region searches for new sources of revenue. Ali Sherif al-Emadi told reporters Tuesday that all six members of the Gulf Cooperation Council had signed onto the agreement. The bloc includes Bahrain,...

Source: The Associated Press

MIDEAST STOCKS-UAE outperforms in an otherwise flat Gulf; Egypt dips

*Dubai climbs as Emaar Properties jumps on insurance claim. DUBAI, Feb 6- Most stock markets in the Gulf moved little on Monday but United Arab Emirates bourses outperformed with mid-to-large sized companies boosting Dubai, while Egypt's index slipped in thin volume. Dubai's main index added 1.2 percent as Emaar Properties gained 2.7 percent after saying it...

Source: Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi, Kuwait retreat; UAE bourses strong

*Dubai's Shuaa Capital rises before annual earnings. DUBAI, Feb 5- Saudi Arabia's stock market fell in a broad-based decline on Sunday and political tensions helped to pull down Kuwait, while United Arab Emirates bourses rose. The Saudi index closed 0.7 percent lower with decliners outnumbering advancers by 121 to 29. Atheeb Telecom, which jumped last week on...

Source: Reuters