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UPDATE 4-GE looks for sharp cut in corporate tax rate under Trump

Jan 20- General Electric Co is seeking a sharp cut in corporate tax rates under President Donald Trump but is bracing for U.S. sales of medical equipment to suffer if Congress delays changing U.S. healthcare laws. "From a GE perspective, at a minimum, we need to have a corporate tax system where the rate of taxation is commensurate with the OECD average of 21 or 22...

Source: Reuters

UPDATE 3-GE profit jumps 36 percent, but weak revenue clouds outlook

GE said revenue at its power plant unit was hit by failure to ship six gas turbines to Bahrain and Iraq that it expected to deliver in the quarter. The Boston- based maker of power plants, aircraft engines, locomotives and medical equipment said total revenue fell 2.4 percent to $33.1 billion, slightly below Wall Street expectations of $33.6 billion.

Source: Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Egypt tumbles on stamp duty worry, Q4 earnings support Saudi

*Sources say Egypt may introduce stamp duty. DUBAI, Jan 19- Egypt's blue-chip stock index tumbled on Thursday after Reuters reported that authorities were considering temporarily reintroducing a stamp duty on stock market transactions, while Saudi Arabia was supported by quarterly corporate earnings. Local traders were heavy net sellers after a Finance...

Source: Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi Electricity weighs on Riyadh, Egypt pulls back

DUBAI, Jan 18- Shares in Saudi Electricity Co weighed on Saudi Arabia's stock market on Wednesday after the company reported a wider net loss for the fourth quarter, while Egypt's index pulled back as local traders booked gains in blue chips. The Saudi equities index edged down 0.3 percent as SEC slumped 3.4 percent after posting a quarterly loss of 2.34 billion...

Source: Reuters

Iran's Zarif wants cooperation with Saudi over Syria and Yemen

DAVOS, Switzerland, Jan 18- Iran and Saudi Arabia should be able to work together to help end conflicts in Syria and Yemen, after successfully cooperating over Lebanon last year, Iran's foreign minister said. Aoun is a close ally of Lebanon's Hezbollah, an Iran- backed Shi'ite Muslim group, and Iran welcomed Aoun's election as a victory for Hezbollah.

Source: Reuters

INTERVIEW-New Zealand presses Gulf states to finalize stalled trade deal

*New Zealand exports dairy, meat, wood to Gulf. DUBAI, Jan 17- New Zealand is pressing to finalize a stalled free trade deal with the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council that includes two of the Middle East's largest economies, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The GCC comprises Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman.

Source: Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Qatar strong, Saudi recovers, Egypt extends bull run

*Saudi Cement, Jabal Omar, Albilad up on higher Q4 profits. DUBAI, Jan 17- Qatar's stock market rose to a multi-month high on Tuesday in the heaviest volume since late November, buoyed by the banking sector, while firmer oil prices supported the rest of the Gulf and foreign investors bought up Egyptian shares. It reported an 8 percent drop in fourth-quarter net profit...

Source: Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Sinking banks drag down Saudi stocks, rest of region mixed

*Earnings miss at Riyad Bank prompts slide by sector. Riyad Bank, the first major Saudi bank to report fourth-quarter earnings, posted a 66 percent fall in net profit to 293 million riyals, citing higher impairment charges for credit losses as well as lower operating income from fees and commissions. Analysts polled by Reuters had on average forecast Riyad Bank...

Source: Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi stalls, Kuwait outperforms, Dubai slips

*Fund managers positive on Kuwait. DUBAI, Jan 15- Stock markets in the Gulf diverged on Sunday with Saudi Arabia stalling near a six-week low and Dubai retreating on profit-taking, while Kuwait continued to outperform. Interest in the sector has risen partly because of local media reports late last year that Saudi Arabia was looking at the possibility of...

Source: Reuters

PR effort? Questions surround Trump's hotel profits pledge

WASHINGTON— It's a public relations win for the president-elect: Donald Trump's company says it will donate profits from any foreign governments that use his hotels. Trump says he is making the move to avoid the appearance that foreign governments can curry favor with him by using his hotels— including one that just opened a short walk from the White House.

Source: The Associated Press