Abu Dhabi

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Oil Majors Don't Share OPEC's Optimism On Oil Prices In 2016

“This is [a] man-made crisis in our industry we have created,” al-Rhumy said. “And I think all we’re doing is irresponsible.”

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Malaysian PM's Goldman-Financed Slush Fund Now Linked To Defunct Australian Penny Stock Firm

The story behind Malaysia PM Najib Razak's Goldman-backed slush fund just got even stranger as it now appears some $2.3 billion in mystery money tied to an ill-fated investment with the Saudis ended up being managed by an Australian penny stock pusher via a shady Cayman Islands account. 

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Malaysian Lawmakers Call For No Confidence Vote Against PM Amid Goldman Slush Fund Probe

"Najib has tarnished the country’s image in the world and caused investors to lose faith in the government. Malaysians do not believe in this prime minister."

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FBI, DOJ Probe Goldman On Malaysia Prime Minister's Slush Fund

Back in August, we brought you the story of 1MDB, the Malaysian development bank turned-Najib slush fund with deep ties to Goldman. About a month later, the FBI announced an investigation into the fund after Malaysia arrested a former official who was trying to fly to New York to urge US authorities to look into the whole debacle. Now, as WSJ reports, the FBI and DOJ are looking into Goldman's role.

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Frontrunning: October 7

  • How Iranian general plotted out Syrian assault in Moscow (Reuters)
  • China FX reserves post record quarterly fall as cenbank steps up yuan support (Reuters)
  • MSF calls for independent inquiry into U.S. attack on Afghan hospital (Reuters)
  • Yen Advances as Bank of Japan Refrains From Adding to Stimulus (Reuters)
  • Abu Dhabi Said to Explore Asset Sales After Slump in Oil Price (BBG)
  • U.S. Oil Approaching $50 Boosts Stocks as Emerging Markets Surge (BBG)
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Dying Petrodollar Ripples Through Markets As Asset Managers Bemoan Loss Of Saudi Bid

"It was our Black Monday. The big question is when will they come back, because managers have been really quite reliant on Sama for business in recent years."

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FBI Opens Investigation Into Malaysian PM's Goldman-Financed Slush Fund

As WSJ reports, "the FBI has opened an investigation into allegations of money-laundering related to a Malaysian state investment fund, a person familiar with the matter said. The scope of the investigation wasn’t known. It is the latest in a series of international investigations related to the fund that have been revealed in the past several weeks."

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Abu Dhabi Can't Find $1.4 Billion It Supposedly Received From Malaysia PM's Slush Fund

Late last month, tens of thousands of Malaysians donning banned yellow attire took to the streets in Kuala Lumpur to call for the ouster of Prime Minister Najib Razak whose government has been accused of obstructing an investigation into how some $700 million from a Goldman-backed development bank mysteriously ended up in Najib’s personal bank account. As it turns out, the story goes well beyond Goldman and Najib. As WSJ reports, the 1MDB debacle takes us deep into the shadowy world of sovereign wealth funds where it appears as though someone told a $1.4 billion lie...

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France Prepares To Bomb Syria In Retaliation For Refugee Crisis

Filed under 'what the f##k?', French President Francois Hollande is preparing for air strikes in Syria in a somewhat mind-numbing approach to to stem a flood of refugees from the Middle East into Europe. Using the always-ready excuse of "grappling with the threat of terrorism," Bloomberg reports Hollande's response to Europe’s biggest refugee crisis since World War II by increasing the bombing of the very place from which the refugees are fleeing...

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Mid-East Meltdown Continues: Stocks Sell-Off Across Petrodollar States

"Regional buyers need a lot of conviction to step in front of this speeding train [especially] in context of a rapidly changing economic environment."

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Gulf Markets Melting Down: Saudi Arabia Plunges 7%, Dubai Sold

Following the end of a horrible week for petroleum importers (not to mention shale producers) despite WTI briefly dipping under $40 (wasn't this supposed to be great news for the US economy?) we have the start of a just as ugly week for the Persian Gulf oil exporters, whose Sunday market open can be described as a continuation of last week's broad risk carnage, and where Saudi Arabia, until recently the region's best performing market, is now down 10% for the year and down 30% compared to 12 months ago.

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Saudis Could Face An Open Revolt At Next OPEC Meeting

OPEC next gathers December 4 in Vienna, just over a year since Saudi Oil Minister Ali Al-Naimi announced at the previous OPEC winter meeting the Saudi decision to let the oil market determine oil prices rather than to continue Saudi Arabia’s role of guarantor of $100+/bbl oil. Despite the intense financial and economic pain this decision has inflicted on Saudi Arabia, its fellow OPEC members, and other oil producers, the Saudis have given no indication they plan to alter course. Given the Saudi decision’s positive impact on their and their Gulf Arab allies’ relative position within OPEC and its negative impact on OPEC outsiders, it is possible, perhaps even likely, the Saudis will face an OPEC outsider revolt at the December 4 OPEC meeting.. with three possible outcomes - Reconociliation, Separation, or Divorce.

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How The Saudi Foreign Ministry Controls Arab Media

On Monday, Saudi Arabia celebrated the beheading of its 100th prisoner this year. The story was nowhere to be seen on Arab media despite the story's circulation on wire services. Even international media was relatively mute about this milestone compared to what it might have been if it had concerned a different country. How does a story like this go unnoticed? Today's release of the WikiLeaks "Saudi Cables" from the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs show how it's done.

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