The 5 important things in business right now

Here’s what you need to know in UAE business and globally on this Monday morning:

Debt crunch looming for the Gulf

Sovereign, financial and corporate borrowers in the GCC must repay or refinance US$94 billion in bonds and loans this year and next, HSBC said, and their ability to do so is challenged by falling oil revenues, downgrades of regional creditworthiness and a squeeze on dollar liquidity in the region. Read the full story here.


• Oil makes a positive start to the week

Brent was up 1.7 per cent to $35.68 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange this morning as the US rig count fell by 13 to 400, the lowest since December 2009, according to Baker Hughes.

“Oil has been quite stable above $30,” Angus Nicholson, an analyst at IG in Melbourne, told Bloomberg. “There isn’t a strong case for prices to rally too much further, but perhaps the worst of the selloff is done.”

Big names at NBAD Global Financial Markets Forum

Stay with us on Wednesday and Thursday as we bring you all of the breaking news and in-depth coverage of this event, which will feature the likes of Yanis Varoufakis, former minister of finance in Greece, Tony Blair, the former British prime minister, Daniel Yergin, vice chairman of IHS and a respected authority on energy, as well as many others.

Petrol prices still on the slide

Good news for those filling up their car this morning – the cost of petrol has fallen for the seventh straight month, though diesel for March is up 2 per cent.

• Brexit possibility

The UK pound has wobbled in the past week as it emerged that prime minister David Cameron has a huge challenge on his hands to keep the country in the European Union, with a referendum called for June 23. A Brexit, as it has become known, could have far reaching financial consequences – for the UK, Europe and beyond. HSBC said the British currency could lose up to 20 per cent of its value if Britons vote to leave. Read the column of Tim Fox, chief economist and head of research at Emirates NBD, here.

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