Middle East

Oil field

Iraqi bank to open five more branches in bet on future

An Iraqi bank controlled by Jordanian interests plans to open five more branches in Iraq by the end of this year, a sign that there is still money to be made in much of the country despite civil war and low oil prices.

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Bijan Zanganeh

Iran says OPEC unlikely to change output ceiling: Mehr news agency

OPEC is unlikely to change its production ceiling when the group meets in June, Iran's Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said on Sunday, according to the semi-official Mehr news agency.

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Oil field

Gulf states agree to push value-added tax project with oil low

Officials of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council agreed at the weekend to keep working toward the introduction of a value-added tax around the region, in a sign that low oil prices may be strengthening support for the idea.

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Iraq Oilfield

World Bank plans help for regions in Iraq recaptured from Islamic State

The World Bank is seeking to finance development projects in areas in Iraq that the government has recaptured from Islamic State militants, its regional vice president said.

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SABIC

Saudi's SABIC signs deal to use U.S. shale gas at British plant

Saudi Basic Industries Corp 2010.SE has signed a deal to use shale gas from the United States at its Teesside petrochemical plant in Britain, acting chief executive Yousef Abdullah al-Benyan told Reuters on Sunday.

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Teva Pharmaceutical Industries

Teva to buy U.S. drug developer Auspex Pharma for $3.5 billion

Israel's Teva Pharmaceutical Industries said it would buy U.S. neurology drug company Auspex Pharmaceuticals Inc for an equity value of $3.5 billion to boost its portfolio of treatments for the central nervous system.

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Standard Chartered

Stanchart says committed to Islamic banking after head of unit exits

Standard Chartered remains committed to Islamic banking and expects growth in its core markets, a spokesman for the lender said on Sunday, after the head of its Islamic arm departed.

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OPEC

OPEC won't bear burden of propping up oil price: Saudi minister

OPEC will not take sole responsibility for propping up the oil price, Saudi Arabia's oil minister said on Sunday, signaling the world's top petroleum exporter is determined to ride out a market slump that has roughly halved prices since last June.

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HSBC

HSBC Asset Management buying bonds of commodity exporters, Russia, Brazil

HSBC Global Asset Management, an arm of HSBC Holdings (HSBA.L), is buying bonds of commodity exporting countries because their valuations have dropped so far with the plunge of oil prices, an executive said.

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US Oil Drill

Saudi Arabia's OPEC governor: hard to reach $100-120 oil again

Saudi Arabia's OPEC governor Mohammed al-Madi said on Sunday that he believed it would be difficult for oil to reach a price range of $100-120 per barrel again.

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Israel's election

Business leaders see peace boost if Netanyahu loses Israeli election

An upset victory by Israel's centre-left opposition in Tuesday's election could be a welcome change for a business and corporate sector eager for the "peace dividend" that might come with a government willing to talk with the Palestinians.

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Oil pump

Oil prices stabilizing, will continue to firm up: Saudi adviser

Oil prices have started to stabilize around $60 a barrel in past weeks and will continue to firm up, while crude demand will grow stronger, an adviser to Saudi Arabia's oil minister said on Sunday.

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Emirates Airlines

Emirates Airline expects drop in annual fuel costs

Dubai's Emirates Airline [EMIRA.UL] expects lower oil prices to translate into fuel savings in the financial year ending this month but is braced for foreign exchange hits in markets such as Europe, India and Russia, its chief operating officer said.

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Saudi security forces

Saudi Arabia outpaces India to become top defense importer: IHS

Saudi Arabia overtook India to become the world's biggest weapons importer in 2014, a year when global defense trade rose for the sixth straight year to a record $64.4 billion, research company IHS said on Sunday.

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PayPal

PayPal to buy Israeli cyber security firm CyActive: media

Online payments company PayPal, a unit of eBay (EBAY.O), will buy Israeli cyber security company CyActive for $60 million, Israeli media reported.

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