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Friday, 5 October 2012

Rial’s slide is little cause for jubilation - FT.com

Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad seemed in excellent form last week on his yearly journey to the UN, a circus that amuses the media and baffles the American public.
So desperate for attention was Iran’s president that he appeared on CNN’s Piers Morgan Tonight show to be asked whether he has ever properly fallen in love (to which he replied: “I love all of humanity”).

Mideast poses ad minefield for westerners - FT.com

Ikea’s widely criticised airbrushing women out of the Saudi Arabian edition of its furniture catalogue is the latest in a cascade of cultural controversies and missteps involving western brands in the Middle East.
Big consumer-goods companies from Samsung to Starbucks have struggled to strike the right tone in the region, where a single social or religious faux pas can sabotage access to a retail market worth hundreds of billions of dollars.
As the political upheaval sweeping the Middle East makes foreign companies’ task harder still, many are struggling to balance the need to follow local norms with the risk of provoking criticism back home for kowtowing to oppressive practices.

Forex Flash: Saudi Arabia, Switzerland and China emerge the most – Merrill Lynch - NASDAQ.com

Guided by almost 4000 indicators (including growth, inflation, fiscal ratios, external vulnerability and bank
funding and capitalization) BofA Merrill Lynch analysts see most of the G-10 markets falling behind GEM in terms of macro fundamentals and consider Saudi Arabia (likely boasts the highest current account surplus), Switzerland ( highest bank net foreign assets and lowest inflation) and China (highest GDP growth) to be the most emerging markets today.

Thanks to the spoils of oil, Norway, Russia and the UAE made it into the top 10, while South Korea (strong banks and fiscal) and Malaysia, Philippines and Peru (all with high growth, strong external balances and low leverage), complete the top 10. "Germany does not make the top-10, but at #15 is the highest ranked G-7 and Euro country. Japan is #21, and the US #40", Merrill Lynch analysts added.

UPDATE 1-Dexia to make loss on Luxembourg unit sale | Reuters

Franco-Belgian lender Dexia said on Friday it had completed the sale of its Luxembourg arm to Qatar's Precision Capital and the Luxembourg state and would likely suffer a loss of 199 million euros ($258.8 million) as a result.

However, Dexia said it had already set aside a similar amount into its accounts for the first half of 2012.

The prospect of Dexia having to take a large loss related to the sale had led to speculation that it would need to find funds from elsewhere. It already incurred losses of 11.6 billion euros in 2011 and 1.2 billion euros in the first half of this year.

Poland trims Russian influence with Qatar gas loan deal | EurActiv

Poland sent a clear message of moving away from its dependence to Russia on Thursday (4 October), when it secured the final investments needed to start construction of its first liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal, expected to start importing gas from Qatar in 2014.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) said it gave a 75 million euro, 12-year loan to Polish gas grid operator Gaz-System to begin building the terminal. The rest of the financing for the total cost of €660 million euro will come from the European Commission via grants, European Investment Bank and the company, from its own revenues.
"What this project really represents is a choice for Poland to receive one third of its gas from a country other than Russia for the first time," EBRD Managing Director for Energy and Natural Resources Ricardo Puliti said.

Dubai’s DP World likely to win JN port contract - Livemint

DP World Pvt. Ltd emerged as the only bidder to submit a price quotation for developing a new container loading facility at Jawaharlal Nehru port near Mumbai as India’s busiest container port seeks to expand much-needed capacity. The new facility will cost Rs.750 crore to build.
DP World, majority owned by the Dubai government, quoted a revenue share of 27.09%, a JN port spokesperson said. DP World is the world’s fourth biggest container port operator by volume.
“We have submitted our bid for the project,” said Anil Singh, senior vice-president and managing director (subcontinent) at DP World. “DP World is committed to India and if the project is awarded to us, we will spare no efforts in bringing the project on stream in the shortest possible time.”

Sky News: Qantas sells London via Dubai tickets

Qantas is now selling tickets for flights to London via Dubai as it revises its international schedule.

While interim approval would have enabled the pair to discuss matters such as pricing and schedules, Qantas said on Thursday it would still be able to do a significant amount of work with Emirates.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said it would continue to assess the deal, with a draft determination due out by December and a final decision by the end of March 2013.

As Rial Slides, So Do Iranians’ Dreams - NYTimes.com

For months, since the imposition of harsh, American-led sanctions over Iran’s nuclear program, the country’s leaders have sworn they would never succumb to Western pressures, and they scoffed at the idea that the measures were having any serious impact. But after a week in which the Iranian currency, the rial, fell by a shocking 40 percent and protests began to rumble through the capital, no one is making light of the mounting costs of confrontation.