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Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Crude Oil Falls From Two-Week High in New York on U.S. Supply Forecasts - Bloomberg

Oil fell from its highest in almost two weeks in New York on speculation that crude stockpiles are increasing in the U.S., the biggest consumer of the commodity.

Futures reversed earlier gains as the dollar strengthened, diminishing the appeal for assets used to protect against inflation, such as crude. An Energy Department report tomorrow may show U.S. crude inventories climbed 875,000 barrels last week. The industry-funded American Petroleum Institute will release its own data later today.

“I don’t see a lasting rally, given the ongoing risks for the world economy,” said Carsten Fritsch, an analyst at Commerzbank AG in Frankfurt. The bank was the third most- accurate forecaster of oil prices in the second quarter. “It’s only soft factors like rising stock markets and returning risk appetite that’s supporting prices.”

Saudi Arabia: $500bn and counting | beyondbrics – FT.com

The foreign assets of Saudi Arabia’s central bank have crossed $500bn for the first time.

Measured on a per capita basis or as a percentage of gross domestic product the kingdom’s foreign asset holdings are substantially higher than China’s, according to research from HSBC in Dubai.

Of that vast wealth around $360bn are holdings in foreign securities, the majority of which, analysts say, are US treasury bills. The central bank doesn’t give a full break down of its holdings and doesn’t say whether its data is mark-to-market.


Saudi’s economic problems « The Gulf blog

While in Carrefour this week standing at the checkout there was a burkad up woman in front of me with her 10-ish year old child. For seemingly no reason other than boredom (the queue was taking ages) the girl started to cry those pathetic, ‘I can’t really be bothered to put my all into it, I just want some attention’ type of crocodile tears. Any parents, those with experience of younger siblings or ten year old children will know what I’m on about.

In response, the mother thrust a Galaxy chocolate bar into the little girl’s hand: she continued to cry. A second Galaxy bar was offered: no dice. Then a king size Lion bar and a Galaxy chocolate drink carton were offered. A moment of indecision swept across the little girl’s face: should she relinquish here clearly superior bargaining position for just two Galazy bars, one king sized Lion bar and a Galaxy drink, or ought she push straight onwards and upwards…a kilogram or two of Cadbury’s, a gallon of Coke, a hectare of Choco-Choco Puffs or a Porsche Cayenne…clearly it was all within her reach. But, magnanimous in her humiliation victory, she accepted her bounty, the non existent tears stopped welling and a brooding scowl resumed its place.

This atrocious parenting (yes, I said it) is a mirror image of Saudi Arabia’s recent policies. In its desperate desire to appease the youth (in particular) in the Kingdom, the government has given out all the Galaxy and Lion bars in the land. Hunger sated for the moment and the restlesness in the Kingdom subsided.


US companies in Iraq: touting for business | beyondbrics – FT.com

As the US starts the withdrawl of its remaining 40,000 troops in Iraq, with December 31st as the deadline, US officials are trying to shore up the position of the American business community.

With US economic growth slowing fast, US companies are increasingly keen to exploit the potential of Iraq’s post-war recovery – despite the considerable risks involved. One example is 360 Architecture, a Kansas City-based design company, which is building a glitzy sports complex in the southern oil centre of Basra.

With the 2013 Gulf Games scheduled to be held in Iraq, the public relations-conscious government was looking to build a stadium and facilities for athletes.

gulfnews : Gulf banks can handle slowdown

Banks in the GCC and wider Middle East are adequately capitalised to meet the fallout from a global economic slowdown or a double-dip recession, according to analysts.

Christine Lagarde, the new managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Sunday warned that the world economy is in a dangerous phase and that officials should take new steps to strengthen growth. She called on European authorities to boost capitalization levels of European banks to prevent the sovereign debt crises of some countries from infecting more countries.

While calling on European banks to fortify their capital bases, Legarde said that decoupling between emerging economies and developed economies is a myth and warned that if the advanced countries succumb to recession, the emerging, markets will not escape.

Renaissance back in favour with investors - The National

Investors are showing renewed confidence in the long-term growth prospects of Renaissance Services, the oil services company based in Oman.

The company is projected to earn a profit of about 30.5 million rials next year. That forecast is up significantly from a previous estimate of 16.7 million rials, according to data compiled by Bloomberg News.

The company's share price increased more than 6 per cent on the Muscat Securities Market yesterday, closing at 0.698 rials.