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Friday, 27 July 2012

Mobius: time to feast | beyondbrics

There are many investors whose success and longevity has translated into financial fame. But few have been the subject of a Japanese Manga-style illustrated book detailing their exploits. Yet Mark Mobius’ striking bald pate and status as a pioneer of investments in strife-torn, underdeveloped countries made him a fitting, if unusual, subject of a 2007 comic by Kaoru Kurotani – Manga Mark Mobius, an Illustrated Biography of the Father of Emerging Markets Funds.

The “emerging markets” moniker was first invented by Antoine van Agtmael of the International Finance Corporation in 1981 to rebrand nations previously known as “less-developed countries”. But it was Mobius who was approached by Sir John Templeton to launch what is considered the first dedicated emerging market equity fund in 1987.

The venerable investor – he turns 77 later this year – is still as enthusiastic about emerging markets today as he was when he started. Indeed, even after over two decades of traversing the world in search of profitable investments, Mobius is still perpetual motion personified.

Industrial diversification augurs well for Abu Dhabi |

Abu Dhabi has done well in diversifying its economy, away from an overwhelming reliance on oil and hydrocarbons. Its strategic authorities have looked at a variety of industries and given its substantial financial reserves and small national population, Abu Dhabi has focused on industries that require large amounts of capital and technology and a small requirement for labour.
Abu Dhabi is already busy in a variety of downstream industries like refining or using the hydrocarbons for making fertilizer and plastics, as well as aluminium, which relies on a large amount of gas to provide the power required for the smelting.
But Abu Dhabi has also looked at totally new industries and has turned its detailed knowledge of the world’s energy markets to develop a key space in the emerging renewable energy business. Masdar City is an important test bed for totally new technologies which may in time become world leaders in the field of renewable energy, offering Abu Dhabi both an important commercial asset as well as strategic leadership in this vital sector.

Barclays Said to Be Probed in U.K. on Fees to Qatar Fund - SFGate

Barclays Plc is being investigated over whether it adequately disclosed fees it agreed to pay to the Qatar Investment Authority as it sought to raise money from investors including the sovereign wealth fund, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.

“The bank entered into an agreement for the provision of advisory services by Qatar Investment Authority to Barclays in the Middle East,” the lender said in a June 2008 statement detailing the fundraising. Britain’s Financial Services Authority is probing whether that disclosure was adequate, said the person, who declined to be identified because the terms of the investigation are private.

Barclays’s attempts to put its regulatory troubles behind it in the wake of last month’s record fine for manipulating Libor were complicated today by its disclosure that four current and former senior employees, including Finance Director Chris Lucas, were being probed by the FSA. The bank made the disclosure today as it reported first-half profit that beat analyst estimates.

COLUMN-Oil market playing chicken with Saudi Arabia: Campbell | Reuters

Crude oil has shown great resilience in the face of unsupportive data over the last month, bolstered by traders' optimism that central banks will prime the economic pump yet again by printing more money.

Even traders who acknowledge that sentiment may have lifted crude temporarily out of alignment with fundamentals say they have to keep buying. Momentum can be friendly, after all.

The trick, of course, is knowing when to stop chasing the crowd, because when sentiment shifts, the reckoning can be brutal.

Saudi Arabia to open stock market to foreigners - Telegraph

Foreign investors could soon be able to buy shares on Saudi Arabia’s stock market, the biggest exchange in the Middle East.
Currently, foreigners are only allowed to invest in the Saudi stock market through complicated financial products offered by international investment banks with links to local brokers.
But officials are keen to open share-buying up to foreign investors and increase the capital available to local companies. The Saudi stock market, known as Tadawul, is valued at US$337 billion (£217 billion) and has 152 companies listed on it.