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Friday, 14 October 2011

Saudi mulls commodities bourse - Zawya

Saudi Arabia could become the second Gulf country to have an official commodities bourse when but oil will not be traded in the new market to avoid any speculation, a Saudi newspaper said on Sunday.

A company with a capital of around SR one billion ($266 million) could be established in the near future to operate that bourse, which will be the second major commodities exchange in the region after Dubai's commodities bourse.

"Saudi Arabia is serious considering the establishment of a commodities and metals bourse," Shams daily said, quoting "reliable" banking sources.

IPIC Prepared To Grant Guarantees To Ferrostaal AG's Banks - WSJ.com

Abu Dhabi's International Petroleum Investment Company, or IPIC, said Friday it is prepared to grant interim shareholder guarantees for EUR130 million to the banks financing troubled German industrial services firm Ferrostaal AG.

"Against the background of the critical situation at Ferrostaal, and despite the refusal of MAN SE (MAN.XE) to provide additional financial support to the company, IPIC is prepared to grant interim shareholder guarantees entirely for 50% of the existing guarantee lines, which now total EUR259 million," it said in a statement.

Earlier this month, IPIC suggested providing a joint guarantee worth around EUR126 million with co-shareholder and former owner MAN SE, but the German engineering company and truck maker refused to contribute.

MAN and IPIC are stuck in a legal dispute over a bribery scandal at Ferrostaal. IPIC bought a 70% stake in Ferrostaal in 2009. The continuing bribery investigation relates to the time Ferrostaal was still part of MAN.

China in Dubai: courting the hunters | beyondbrics – FT.com

It is said that the Chinese are leading the scramble for Africa. In Dubai, the very Chinese firms leading that charge have become a target for major banks looking to maintain their Middle East franchises in the midst of the Arab revolts.

Over the past couple of years, global banks have been placing teams in Dubai to serve the Chinese multinationals that are heading into the region seeking hydrocarbons and infrastructure contracts.

HSBC has had a China-focused team in its Dubai office for a couple of years now. Standard Chartered’s Dubai regional office has dozens of bankers using its reputation as an Asian and African specialist, as well as a specific Chinese and Korean desk for Chinese companies interested in the United Arab Emirates.

Fuel smuggling costing Kuwait billions: Saadoun » Kuwait Times Website

Veteran opposition lawmaker Ahmad Al-Saadoun yesterday alleged that hundreds of millions of dinars of public funds are being squandered due to organized smuggling of heavily-subsidized fuel to Iraq. The lawmaker said that fuel subsidies in the state budget had risen sharply from KD 6.5 million in the 2002/2003 fiscal year to as high as KD 800 million in the 2009-2010 fiscal year and again increased sharply to KD 1.028 billion in the current, 2010-2011 year.

Al-Saadoun said that based on official estimates, diesel smuggling to Iraq by land and sea, is costing Kuwait around $2.5 million daily or $912 million per year, adding this amounts to daylight robbery of public funds. The MP said that the estimated costs to the state of this illicit activity come from a letter sent by the interior ministry in 2009 to the oil ministry warning it that fuel, and more particularly diesel, was being smuggled into Iraq.

Kuwait sells fuel at one of the lowest prices worldwide mainly because of massive government subsidies. This has been exploited by smugglers, who have managed to steal large quantities of cheap diesel and smuggle it to neighboring Iraq where it can be sold at a much higher price.

Oil-Rich but Gas-Poor in the Middle East - Businessweek

Life moves slowly at Block 61 in the Omani desert, where the flat terrain bakes in temperatures that can soar above 120F. Lately, though, activity has picked up as hundreds of workers operate drilling rigs and rearrange the landscape with bulldozers, looking for gas.

The complex project involves drilling for gas that’s tightly packed into rocks more than three miles underground. At $15 billion, it’s one of the most expensive exploration efforts ever undertaken in the Middle East. Yet Oman has little choice. Like most of its Gulf neighbors, the country needs new sources of gas to keep the lights on and factories running. The project, by British oil giant BP (BP), could boost Oman’s domestic supply by a third.

The Gulf may have the world’s largest oil reserves, but it’s facing a shortage of gas. Long viewed as a nuisance that hampered production of crude, gas was typically injected back into the ground or flared off. After Shell (RDSA) discovered the world’s largest gas field off Qatar in 1971, there was little demand for its output.