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Monday, 5 January 2009

BarCap sees far worse for hedge funds

The global hedge fund industry will contract by between 70 and 80 per cent this year as credit lines continue to be withdrawn, according to Barclays Capital.
The estimate is more pessimistic than other forecasts for the future of the once omnipotent industry, which has seen a rash of redemptions as the average fund lost 19 per cent of its value in the first 11 months of 2008, according to data from Chicago-based Hedge Fund Research.

India’s story stays ‘intact’

The Indian government has set ambitious targets to almost double investment in infrastructure over the next five years, injecting $500bn (£343bn, €352bn) into the sector. Projects include modernising secondary airports, adding electricity generating capacity and ports-related developments.
The plans are attracting significant interest from private investors, but there are reasons to be cautious. Rajiv Lall, chief executive of Mumbai-based Infrastructure Development and Finance Corporation, says his company is dialling down risk. IDFC was among the first to anticipate an economic slowdown while others spoke of a huge investment pipeline and said everything was well with the Indian economy, he told financial analysts recently. “We continue to remain cautious for exactly the same reasons that we were six months ago. If anything, there are reasons to be even more cautious,” said Mr Lall.

Europe feels heat from gas stand-off

Russia and Ukraine traded insults at the weekend as a gas stand-off between the two countries entered a fifth day, causing gas shortages to ripple west into Europe.
Poland reported an 11 per cent drop in Russian gas deliveries through Ukraine on Sunday and appeared to be the worst-hit by the dispute. The Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey are also affected.

Capital is crucial as banks face tougher times

Published 10 December, 2008
Within the next few weeks, the long-term impact on Gulf banks of turmoil in global financial markets and the recent decline in oil prices will start to become apparent.
So far, the region’s banks have, with a few exceptions, been able to shrug off the effects of the asset writedowns that have caused such havoc in western financial markets.

Published 4 January, 2009
Dubai: The UAE's banks have the highest exposure to the real estate sector among its regional peers and it has cast doubts on the asset quality of many banks, according to analysts.
While banks in Kuwait and the UAE have the highest exposure to the real estate sector, Saudi Arabia's banking sector has the least real estate exposure, at just 7.5 per cent of total loans according to a recent report from Credit Suisse.