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While the Middle East has weathered the global recession better than most regions, the regional dynamics have altered, with the more highly leveraged economies such as Dubai losing ground to more conservative and resource-rich players, led by Saudi Arabia.

Iran | Kuwait | Saudi Arabia | Bahrain | Oman | United Arab Emirates (UAE) | Iraq | Qatar
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Aabar invests in European subsidiary of AIG, Mubadala posts Dh11.8bn loss for 2008, Brunei investment fund, German automotive industry attracts Qatar,

United Arab Emirates (UAE) | Oman | Qatar
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After eight months in the doldrums triggered by the global credit crisis, Middle East project finance has bounced back to life with the stunning commitment of $3bn from commercial banks to refinance the Dolphin pipeline. With liquidity still very tight, a boost was necessary to bring banks back into the international syndications market.

Oman | United Arab Emirates (UAE) | Qatar
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Oman and Uzbekistan signed an MoU in early April for a 75%/25% joint investment company …….

Oman
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London AIM-listed Indago Petroleum has sold its 50% stake in Blocks 31, 47 and 43A to UAE-based RAK Petroleum. RAK Petroleum already held the balance of the interests and is the operator of the licences.

Oman | United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Issue 850 - 27 March 2009

Omani fund's love for Bulgaria

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Compared to the likes of the Qatar Investment Authority, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority or the Dubai group of funds, not much is known about the Omani State General Reserve Fund (SGRF) or how it makes its investments. But some details have now emerged following its acquisition of a majority stake in the AIM-listed, BVI-incorporated Equest Investment Balkans Ltd (EIB). The SGRF holds 32.27% of EIB, which invests primarily in Bulgaria and Romania. Following the acquisition of a stake, the fund named two Omani directors, Warith Mubarak Al-Kharousi and Faisal Amur Mohammed Al-Riyani to the EIB board.

Oman
Issue 850 - 27 March 2009

SULTAN QABOOS: Mubarak meeting

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On 18 March, Sultan Qaboos received Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak for talks.

Oman
Issue 850 - 27 March 2009

OMAN: Tamrus Exploration

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In GSN 847 we wrote that Russia's Tamrus Exploration was no longer part of the Taqah Oil Exploration consortium exploring on Oman's Block 57

Oman
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By squirreling away its recent fiscal surpluses, Oman has stayed snugly insulated from the worst chills of the global financial crisis, with both the credit standing of local companies and the sovereign outlook still viewed very favourably by rating agencies and credit insurers.

Oman
Issue 849 - 13 March 2009

RBS stays in PF, advises Dolphin deal

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Former boss Sir Fred Goodwin is vilified in the British press, and the UK government effectively controls 68% of its equity, but credit crunch victim Royal Bank of Scotland retains some significant businesses, notably a project finance arm which has acted as advisor to major GCC project sponsors including Qatar Petroleum, Saudi Aramco, Total, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil and Occidental Petroleum Corp (Oxy). Rumour has it that, as it refocuses its investment banking operations, a contrite RBS is set to exit project, leveraged and real estate lending.

United Arab Emirates (UAE) | Saudi Arabia | Oman | Qatar
Issue 848 - 27 February 2009

COMPANIES AND PEOPLE: Chevron, Indago

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Chevron builds Qatar sustainable energy centre; Indago boosted by insurance settlement

Oman | Qatar
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Oman has all the ingredients for becoming the Gulf’s most attractive tourist and living destination, but projects remain prey to the vagaries of local politics, as well as more recent credit crunch concerns. A case in point seems to be the legal dispute over ownership of Blue City – said to be the Sultanate’s largest real estate development, costing an estimated $20bn – that for more than three years has pitted Bahrain’s Al-Janahi business family against the local Cyclone company.

Oman
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Supermajors interested in Bahrain onshore gas round; Indian offshore drilling firm considers entry;:Block 8 partner announces first oil from West Bukha; Oilex resumes Block 56 testing programme

Bahrain | Oman
Issue 847 - 13 February 2009

France: Sarko’s regional play

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In a fast-evolving regional situation, French President Nicolas Sarkozy is touring the Gulf again, visiting Oman, Bahrain and Kuwait

Kuwait | Bahrain | Oman
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Buoyed by a reversal of the long-term declining trend in crude production, and looking to build gas reserves, Oman is offering opportunities for IOCs of all sizes, reflected in its current offer of five exploration blocks. These are shown below in GSN’s first Oman upstream update – a feature we plan to develop in future months, with regular updates and more information as our database builds. Oman provides a good place to start,

Oman