VanEck Vectors Gulf States Index ETF(MES)- NYSEARCA
  • Mon, Sep. 12, 3:03 PM
    • The $6.2M VanEck Vectors Indonesia Small-Cap ETF (NYSEARCA:IDXJ) and $7M VanEck Vectors Gulf States Index ETF (NYSEARCA:MES) are slated for closure after the end of trading on September 28.
    • Those who hold past that time will recieve proceeds from liquidation on or about October 18.
    • Source: Press release
    | Mon, Sep. 12, 3:03 PM
  • Sun, May 15, 8:57 AM
    • Saudi Arabia suffered another cut to its credit rating on Saturday as Moody's Investors Service downgraded the country along with Bahrain and Oman because of the slump in oil prices.
    • "A combination of lower growth, higher debt levels and smaller domestic and external buffers leave the Kingdom less well positioned to weather future shocks," the agency said. But "ambitious plans" announced by Riyadh to diversify its economy could "offer a route back to a higher rating level over time."
    • ETFs: GULF, MES, KSA
    | Sun, May 15, 8:57 AM | 15 Comments
  • Tue, Apr. 12, 8:01 AM
    | Tue, Apr. 12, 8:01 AM | 2 Comments
  • Tue, Mar. 15, 6:37 AM
    • With its finances strained by low oil prices, Saudi Arabia is opening a fresh austerity drive by ordering ministries to cut their spending on contracts by at least 5%, Reuters reports.
    • The government ran a record budget deficit of nearly $100B last year and has been seeking ways to narrow the gap.
    • It is laying plans to boost non-oil revenues with taxes, but that will take years to have much impact, leaving spending cuts as the main way to bring state finances under control.
    • ETFs: GULF, MES
    | Tue, Mar. 15, 6:37 AM | 1 Comment
  • Thu, Mar. 10, 4:05 AM
    • Saudi Arabia is seeking a bank loan of between $6B-$8B, in what would be the first significant foreign borrowing by the kingdom's government in over a decade.
    • Riyadh has asked lenders to submit proposals to extend it a five-year U.S. dollar loan of that size, with an option to increase it, to help plug a record budget deficit caused by low oil prices.
    • The kingdom's budget deficit reached nearly $100B last year.
    • Previously: Report: Saudi Arabia looking to borrow $10B (Mar. 02 2016)
    • ETFs: GULF, MES, KSA
    | Thu, Mar. 10, 4:05 AM | 5 Comments
  • Wed, Mar. 2, 11:53 AM
    • Its finances under strain by the oil price crash, the government of Saudi Arabia has sent out feelers to bankers about a loan in the $10B range, according to a Reuters report.
    • Apparently pumping more crude is not an option?
    • ETFs: GULF, MES, KSA
    | Wed, Mar. 2, 11:53 AM
  • Fri, Feb. 26, 3:08 AM
    • Voting is underway in Ireland, with locals heading to the polls to elect 157 new members of parliament as a stellar recovery hangs in the balance.
    • Iranians are also hitting the ballot boxes in the country's first elections since last summer's landmark nuclear accord.
    • As part of a wider parliamentary election, voters will additionally decide on representatives for the Experts Assembly, a clerical body that appoints the supreme leader.
    • ETFs: IRL, KSA, GULF, EIRL, MES
    | Fri, Feb. 26, 3:08 AM | 3 Comments
  • Thu, Feb. 18, 2:24 AM
    • Standard & Poor's has downgraded the credit ratings of several Middle East nations, in its second mass cut of large oil producers in almost exactly a year.
    • Citing pressures from the drop in crude prices, the ratings agency lowered Saudi Arabia by two notches to A- stable, and stripped Bahrain of its investment grade status.
    • S&P also cut the ratings of Bahrain and Oman to reflect lower oil price assumptions.
    • ETFs: GULF, MES, KSA
    | Thu, Feb. 18, 2:24 AM | 1 Comment
  • Wed, Jan. 20, 5:15 AM
    • The Saudi Arabian central bank has warned commercial banks against betting on depreciation of the riyal as tumbling oil prices put pressure on the Saudi currency.
    • Bets for a devaluation of the riyal reached their highest in almost two decades this month, driving 12-month forward contracts to their highest since at least December 1996.
    • Banks and hedge funds are also speculating that low oil prices might eventually prompt Riyadh to scrap its peg to the U.S. dollar (which has been linked since 1986).
    • Tadawul All Share Index -4.7%
    • ETFs: GULF, MES, KSA
    • Related: Hong Kong dollar peg at risk (Jan. 20 2016)
    | Wed, Jan. 20, 5:15 AM | 2 Comments
  • Dec. 31, 2015, 9:28 AM
    • After opening its stock exchange to foreign investors in June, Saudi Arabia plans to sell shares of the bourse in an initial public offering in 2018.
    • The Middle East’s largest and most liquid stock market, better known as the Tadawul, has a market capitalization of about $419B.
    • ETFs: GULF, MES, KSA
    • Previously: Saudi Arabia's stock market opens to foreigners (Jun. 15 2015)
    | Dec. 31, 2015, 9:28 AM
  • Dec. 28, 2015, 9:23 AM
    • Hit by low crude prices, Saudi Arabia has announced plans to shrink a record state budget deficit with spending cuts and a drive to raise revenues from sources other than oil.
    • The government ran a deficit of 367B riyals ($97.9B) in 2015, overshooting its target by 13%, according to the Council of Economic and Development Affairs.
    • Next year's budget projects spending of 840B riyals, down from the 975B spent this year.
    • ETFs: GULF, MES, KSA
    • Previously: Saudi Arabia to set budget amid oil plunge (Dec. 28 2015)
    | Dec. 28, 2015, 9:23 AM
  • Sep. 28, 2015, 10:50 AM
    • Saudi Arabia has withdrawn $50B-$70B from global asset managers over the last six months to plug its budget deficit, according to Insight Discovery.
    • The country's finances are deteriorating as plunging oil prices combine with an expensive war with Yemen. Foreign currency reserves held by the central bank peaked at $737B in August 2014, and fell to $661B in July.
    • The IMF says Saudi Arabia's budget deficit could widen to 20% of GDP, or roughly $150B this year.
    • ETFs: GULF, MES, KSA
    | Sep. 28, 2015, 10:50 AM | 44 Comments
  • Sep. 22, 2015, 4:00 AM
    • France has opened a trade office in Tehran, leading the charge of European countries seeking to renew economic ties with Iran after July's nuclear accord.
    • Although several European and Asian business delegations have been visiting the Islamic Republic since the signing of the agreement, the U.S. still seems to be a political outcast in the country at the order of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
    • ETFs: GULF, MES
    | Sep. 22, 2015, 4:00 AM
  • Sep. 18, 2015, 10:41 AM
    • The iShares MSCI Saudi Arabia Capped ETF (KSA) is the first ETF with significant exposure to that country - an impossibility until June when Saudi Arabia opened up (limited) direct foreign investment in its stock market.
    • The ETF will track the MSCI Saudi Arabia IMI 25/50 Index which holds about 50 large-, mid-, and small-cap stocks. Interestingly, the index has 30% allocated to both financials and materials, but just 1.4% to energy stocks - it makes sense considering the country's oil production is state-owned and not publicly traded.
    • The next step for Saudi Arabia could be inclusion in the MSCI Emerging Markets Index - a possibility as soon as June 2017, according to the WSJ.
    • Source: Bloomberg
    • MENA ETFs: AFK, EZA, EGPT, EIS, GULF, NGE, GAF, MES, ISRA, ISL, UAE, QAT
    | Sep. 18, 2015, 10:41 AM | 2 Comments
  • Aug. 26, 2015, 6:23 AM
    • In the latest escalation of Yemen’s five-month war, Houthi rebels said they've fired a Scud missile into Saudi Arabia while a Saudi official acknowledged sending forces into northern Yemen in a bid to stop border attacks.
    • A Saudi-led coalition recently stepped up its ground offensive after months of airstrikes against the Houthis, who seized the Yemeni capital Sana'a in September and forced President Abdurabuh Mansur Hadi’s government to flee to neighboring Saudi Arabia.
    • ETFs: GULF, MES
    | Aug. 26, 2015, 6:23 AM | 1 Comment
  • Jun. 15, 2015, 2:06 AM
    • Saudi Arabia's $560B stock market will open to foreigners today, giving international investors direct access to the Middle East's largest economy for the first time.
    • The move comes as Gulf leaders look to diversify their economies away from a dependence on oil by boosting the private sector.
    • Some restrictions on trading will still apply: Foreign investors must have a minimum of $5B in AUM, at least five years of trading experience, and will only be able to own 49% of a single stock.
    • ETFs: GULF, MES
    | Jun. 15, 2015, 2:06 AM
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