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Sunday, 2 December 2012

‘Saudi America’ hopes unlikely to be met - FT.com

“Saudi America”, they are calling it: the boom in US oil production that on some forecasts will make the country a net exporter of crude by the end of the decade.
It is an exciting prospect, promising dramatic growth for the companies able to capitalise on it. Enthusiasts for America’s oil surge often make grandiose claims about the future on the basis of what is still only a very limited history, and there are many risks to that rosy outlook, from environmental protests to doubts over the accuracy of estimates for shale reserves.
Yet there is one widely discussed possibility – a sustained fall in oil prices – that may be less of a threat to the US industry than is often feared.

Gas-rich Qatar to invest up to $20 billion in solar energy plant | Reuters

OPEC member Qatar will ask firms to tender for a 1,800 megawatt (MW) solar energy plant in 2014 costing between $10-20 billion as the world's highest per capita greenhouse gas emitter seeks to increase its renewable energy production.

"We need to diversify our energy mix," said Fahad Bin Mohammed al-Attiya, chairman of the Qatari organizers of climate talks in Doha. The United Nations-led summit is being held among almost 200 nations from November 26-December 7.

Qatar, the world's top exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG), has been wary of a global shift to renewable energy, fearing it will hit demand for oil and gas from OPEC producers.

Kuwait Index take-off stalls | GulfNews.com

Late selling drags Kuwait’s index to a lower close as a post-election bounce proves short-lived, with sceptical investors waiting for the government to reveal firm plans on long-stalled plans to develop the non-oil economy.
Kuwaitis voted in a new parliament on Saturday that may prove to be more government-friendly after the opposition refused to stand in the election.
The share index slips 0.03 per cent to 5,942 points, trimming its gains since early November’s eight-year low to 5.2 per cent after hitting an intraday high of 6,004.

MENA stock markets close - December 2, 2012

 ExchangeStatus IndexChange  
 
 TASI (Saudi Stock Market)
 
6708.010.30%  
 
 DFM (Dubai Financial Market)
 
1607.91.20%  
 
 ADX (Abudhabi Securities Exchange)
 
2674.561.04%  
 
 KSE (Kuwait Stock Exchange)
 
5942.31-0.03%  
 
 BSE (Bahrain Stock Exchange)
 
1047.58-0.12%  
 
 MSM (Muscat Securities Market)
 
5556.450.41%  
 
 QE (Qatar Exchange)
 
8358.66-0.50%  
 
 LSE (Beirut Stock Exchange)
 
1114.950.10%  
 
 EGX 30 (Egypt Exchange)
 
4894.641.81%  
 
 ASE (Amman Stock Exchange)
 
1930.260.05%  
 
 TUNINDEX (Tunisia Stock Exchange)
 
4672.16-0.11%  
 
 CB (Casablanca Stock Exchange)
 
9733.620.65%  
 
 PSE (Palestine Securities Exchange)
 
455.08-0.28%  


DFSA proposes changes to anti-money laundering framework - bi-me.com

The Dubai Financial Services Agency (DFSA) has released proposals to simplify and strengthen their existing anti-money laundering (AML) framework.

The proposed changes will require (re)insurers and service providers based in the DIFC to review and evaluate their current AML procedures and practises to ensure compliance with the new and more exacting standards. In addition, those on the governing bodies of DIFC firms will need to note their additional accountability for AML functions.

New Structure for AML, Counter Terrorist Financing and Sanctions Compliance
The Consultation Paper, No. 86, proposes to repeal the current AML module of the DFSA Rulebook and AML rules contained in other modules and replace them with a new and consolidated AML module, applicable to all persons who fall within the DFSA AML regime.

UPDATE 1-GIH approves stock delisting from Kuwait bourse | Reuters

Shareholders in Kuwait's Global Investment House have approved the delisting of the stock from the Kuwait bourse, nearly a year after firm's shares were suspended from trading.

"(The general assembly) agreed to authorise the board of directors to cancel the listing of the company on the Kuwait Stock Exchange," a stock market statement said on Sunday, following a board meeting.

Global's shares have not traded in Kuwait since last December, when the bourse suspended the stock after Global accumulated losses exceeding 75 percent of its capital.

Kuwait elects new parliament, stocks rally | Reuters

Kuwaitis have elected a parliament including many newcomers which may prove more government-friendly than its predecessor but could lack legitimacy in the eyes of some due to a low voter turnout.

Kuwait's stock index .KWSE rose to a six-week high with retail investors more confident the government would be able to follow through on plans to develop the economy.

About 39 percent of the 422,569 eligible voters cast ballots, according to a Reuters calculation based on voting figures posted on Sunday on an Information Ministry website. It was not clear if the figures included invalid votes and ministry officials were not immediately available for a comment.

BBC News - Dubai's return to 'mega-projects' (click-thru to video report)

Dubai has announced plans for two new large-scale projects, following the country's property crash in 2008.

The first is for for the world's biggest shopping mall, 100 hotels and a green space bigger than London's Hyde Park. The other involves five large amusement parks.

A number of major projects were abandoned in the aftermath of the 2008 crash. What, if anything, has Dubai learned from the experience?

Jonathan Frewin reports.

Sepp Holzer: Aquaculture – Synergy of Land and Water « naked capitalism

Sepp Holzer is a high-altitude permaculturalist from Austria; his farm is on a mountaintop in the Province of Salzburg, Austria:

Holzer states his path to success began when he realised he had to discard what he’d learned in agricultural college. He set out on a path of observing and emulating natural systems, rather then attempting to control (and, in the process, undermining and destroying) nature. His knowledge rebellion also put him at odds with the Austrian authorities, who fined him several times — and even threatened him with imprisonment — for ignoring regulations on what plants can and cannot be grown in specific regions.

In an interesting example of “the test of independent invention,” Holzer devised a practice of permaculture over a couple of decades before encountering the work of Australians Bill Mollison and David Holmgren, who coined the term. In the video below, check out the aerial shot of Holzer’s farm starting at 1:09: It’s like a fantasy realm. Except it’s real.

Why the UAE economy still offers exceptional opportunities on its 41st birthday « ArabianMoney

The United Arab Emirates is one of the greatest success stories in emerging markets. In 41 years its population has moved from Third World poverty to per capita income well in excess of the most advanced nations. Today it is the developed nations that struggle and fail to keep up.

Thankfully this success has never gone to the head of the UAE rulers. They realize that they struck on a winning formula in creating their federation in 1971 and have largely stuck to it over the years.

First Saudi Ucits fund to open in Dublin - FT.com

The first international Ucits funds run by a Saudi Arabian manager will be launched from Dublin this month.
Wealth manager NCB Capital will launch equity funds investing in Saudi Arabia and the wider Gulf Co-operation Council region. Both will be run in accordance with sharia principles. “This is a continuation of our strategy to be a sizeable player in the sharia market,” said Faysal Badran, chief investment officer at NCB Capital, which has SR45.5bn ($12bn) under management.
“The macroeconomic story in the GCC is quite compelling in the current slow global economic environment,” added Mr Badran, who argued the financial infrastructure was more than adequate for international investors. “We have a well-functioning market with a supportive regulator.”

Saudi Arabia: Ahead of the curve - Energy - ArabianBusiness.com

Abdulla Mohammed Al Zamil is something of a visionary. He represents a younger generation of Saudis looking to shake things up and in many ways symbolises the changing dynamics of family businesses in the Gulf that have made the transition from traditional merchant houses rooted back in the 1970s to companies that have had to adapt and evolve in tandem with the changing global economy.
At 47, an upbeat and energetic Al Zamil heads Zamil Industrial Investment Co (ZIIC), the fourth-largest Saudi industrial company by market capitalisation and one of the fastest-growing companies in Saudi Arabia. After earning a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of Washington in Seattle, Al Zamil returned to the kingdom in 1987 to join the family business while completing his MBA. He worked his way up from an industrial engineer on the assembly line, to then being part of the purchasing department, before going on to sales and marketing and eventually operations.
“My father was the best silent teacher,” he says. “His actions spoke volumes.”