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Friday, 2 November 2012

Poverty in the Kingdom of Gold - Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East

It is not easy for Saudi Arabia to acknowledge that poverty exists in its society. The third richest country in the world — known for its wealth of oil and natural resources, which fills its coffers with money — is not expected to accept its growing poverty crisis. The stereotypical image of Saudis places them nowhere near poverty. It portrays them as rich individuals that squander their money to fulfill their desire to consume unnecessary goods and wants. One cannot imagine a poor Saudi citizen living in a modest home and spending three-quarters of his salary to secure basic needs of food and water. Saudi Arabia is a financially stable country that grants a lot of donations and aid to surrounding countries. It also supports global development funds and has its doors open to millions of workers. That said, how could this country leave its own people destitute at home?

Turkey: can stocks go any higher? | beyondbrics

How much higher can Turkish stocks go? The Istanbul market slipped 1.6 per cent in profit-taking on Friday. But that still leaves it within a whisker of the all-time high hit on Thursday, when the ISE 100 index closed at 72,552.

Turkish stocks have gained 46 per cent this year, making Turkey the third-best equity market in the world, behind only Venezuela and Egypt. The bulls put a lot of weight on hopes that Fitch might next week become the first international credit agency to raise Turkey to investment grade. But the bears aren’t convinced that this will happen – or that, even if Fitch delivers, that there’s much scope for further advances in equities.

The immediate cause of Friday’s dip in the market, was a Hurriyet newspaper report that Turkish banks would be fined for colluding on setting interest rates. Banks finished 2.4 per cent down, dragging down the ISE 100.

EFG Hermes eyes Turkey, Iraq, Libya after sealing JV - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Egyptian investment bank EFG Hermes aims to expand into Turkey, Iraq and Libya and plans to grow its asset management arm by 50 percent after the completion of its joint venture with Qatar's QInvest, it said on Friday.
EFG Hermes announced its tie-up with QInvest in May and the deal should close this month, said Kashif Siddiqui, managing director and head of asset management at EFG Hermes, who will be co-CEO of the joint venture.
QInvest will hold 60 percent and EFG's holding company will own 40 percent of the venture, which will be branded EFG Hermes.
The enlarged business will aim to increase its assets under management to about $5 billion within a couple of years, from $3.4 billion now, Siddiqui said.

KUNA : Despite spending rise, Kuwait''s budget set for large surplus - report - Economics - 02/11/2012

Video - Abu Dhabi plans to invest $500 billion into tourism, culture and industry by 2030. Schams Elwazer reports from

Fund flows: the EM tide runs strong | beyondbrics

Portfolio investors’ 2012 advance into emerging markets goes on. Data from EPFR, the funds research company, provided to banks indicate that in the seven days to Wednesday, EM bond funds recorded an overall inflow for the 21st week in succession. EM equities posted an inflow for the eighth week in a row.

With the developed world’s central banks pouring easy money into the market, the global financial tide shows little sign of turning.

In the past week, EM bond funds saw $1.1bn of inflows (0.61 per cent of assets under management), according to Barclays Bank, citing EPFR. EM dedicated equity funds saw $922.8m of inflows (0.13 per cent of AUM).

FACTBOX-Iran's crude oil buyers in Asia, Europe - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Iran is struggling to find buyers for its crude, with top Asian consumers cutting purchases as Western sanctions choke off business with OPEC's second-largest producer.
The following are imports as reported by China, South Korea and Japan. India's figures are calculated by Reuters based on data from trade sources.
Also detailed are annual term crude contract volumes that Iran has agreed with its major buyers. Volumes are in thousand barrels per day.

REFILE-Qantas says to focus on paying down debt - Yahoo! News Maktoob

Guest post by Dmitry Medvedev: Russia must look east | beyondbrics

In a few days many heads of state and government will take part in the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) in Vientiane, Laos. This forum is unique. Established in 1996, it brings together countries from Europe, South Asia and the Pacific region to debate our increasing global interdependence, including the need for deeper regional integration.

When Russia joined ASEM in 2010 it was of great importance, not only for us and the organisation itself, but for the entire system of international relations. It allowed us to literally “connect” two influential political and economic centres in the world. And it is increasingly clear that sustainable global development requires a system of interconnected yet independent regional integration mechanisms.