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Friday, 16 March 2012

Bulgaria: Qatar Demands High Returns to Fund Bulgaria's Black Sea Highway - Novinite.com - Sofia News Agency

Qatar's government has asked for a minimum of 14% return on investment (ROI) in order to participate in the funding of Bulgaria's Black Sea coast highway, the Cherno More Highway, a Bulgarian minister announced.

Qatar's tough conditions for becoming involved in the Cherno More Highway project that is supposed to link the major Bulgarian Black Sea cities Varna and Burgas were made clear Friday by Regional Development and Public Works Minister Lilyana Pavlova, a day after a high-profile Bulgarian delegation led by PM Boyko Borisov came back from a visit to the Gulf nation.

Bulgaria has offered Qatar to join the construction of the Black Sea highway through a public private partnership since the European Commission has not agreed to provide EU funding for project as it is not considered an international road, Pavlova explained on Friday after handing out EU funding checks for flood prevention to several Bulgarian municipalities, as cited by BTA.

Exclusive: Saudi oil sales, tanker bookings to U.S. surge | Reuters

Saudi Arabia is preparing to extend this year's unexpected surge in oil sales to the United States, according to tanker industry sources and government data, adding to speculation about the response of the world's top oil exporter to sanctions against Iran and a rally in prices.

Contrary to expectations that the modest recent rise in the kingdom's output was bound for fast-growing Asian markets, preliminary data shows that shipments to the United States have quietly risen 25 percent to the highest level since mid-2008, when the OPEC kingpin was driving up production to knock oil prices off record highs near $150 a barrel.

The surge appears set to continue. Vela, Saudi Arabia's state oil tanker company, has booked at least 9 very large crude carriers (VLCCs) capable of carrying 2 million barrels of crude each from the Middle East Gulf to the U.S. Gulf since the start of March, the biggest such wave of fixtures in years, analysts say.

EM Fund flows: running out of breath? | beyondbrics – FT.com

Could investor appetite for EM bonds, voracious so far this year, be easing?

Figures from EPFR, the fund flow monitor, suggest not: inflows into fixed incomes funds climbed to $1.44bn in the week to Wednesday. But RBS, which has been very optimistic about EM funds so far this year, sees signs of a slowdown.

Analyst Demetrios Efstathiou wrote in a note to clients:

We expect inflows to EM funds to slow down from the same stellar pace set so far this year. Supporting further inflows, we note a number of factors; the better than expected economic data, the comfort of the LTRO, the Greek PSI out of the way, and a constructive market mood. However, the recent spike in US Treasury Yields, partly linked to the factors above, could have more legs to it, reducing the appetite for all EM fixed income assets in the short-term.

The Arab Uprisings and the International Oil Markets | Chatham House: Independent thinking on international affairs

  • Although there have been no serious threats to global supplies since the Arab uprisings started, oil prices will remain volatile as political developments combine with global economic gloom, and surviving regimes spend to pacify populations.
  • Physical oil markets managed the loss of Libyan crude exports well. However, in the paper markets, concerns over major Gulf Cooperation Council countries caused prices to strengthen.
  • Under two long-term scenarios – 'Business as Usual' and 'Democracy Develops' – governments will seek higher production to provide more revenue. This could open the upstream to foreign investment, although democracy could create a nationalist backlash. There are also questions over whether democracies choose faster rates of depletion.


IMF cautions UAE on risks of debt rollover - UAE - Zawya

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Wednesday cautioned the UAE on risks involving debt rollover of government-related entities (GRE) due to the uncertain global economic and financial environment.

An IMF delegation said the UAE’s real gross domestic product (GDP) will grow at 2.3 per cent this year, down from 4.9 per cent growth rate recorded last year, while inflation will remain at 1.5 per cent.

“The economic recovery looks set to continue. Real GDP growth reached an estimated 4.9 per cent in 2011, supported by increases in oil production. Non-hydrocarbon growth also strengthened to around 2.7 per cent backed by strong trade, tourism, and manufacturing, and despite continued oversupply in the property sector. Real non-oil GDP growth is projected to further strengthen to 3.5 per cent in 2012,” said Harald Finger, the IMF team leader following a two-week visit to the UAE.