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Friday, 21 December 2012

IMF, Gulf Loans Are a Trap For Non-Oil States - Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Secretary-General, finance ministers from the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and the IMF managing director at a meeting in Riyadh.
(photo by REUTERS/Fahad Shadeed)

The International Monetary Fund has returned to the forefront to play a bigger role than ever in the fate of Arab non-oil producing countries. Its advice and terms were partly responsible for the impoverishment of rural Tunis, Damascus, Alexandria, Sana’a and others. For its policy has always been predicated on giving priority to reducing subsidies and the development of world trade, at the expense of rural areas and the countryside. Why do Arab rulers, new and old, of non-oil producing countries, insist then on giving the IMF such leverage?

Saudi Arabia's Oil Minister Naimi Says Supply Matches Dem - Bloomberg

Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Ali al- Naimi said demand for crude matches supply and the global market is stable.
“The market is functioning well,” Naimi told reporters in Cairo before a meeting tomorrow of the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries. “Supply is adequate. Demand matches supply. If there is extra supply it is helping inventories.”
Oil in New York fell for the first time in six days on concern U.S. lawmakers will fail to reach a deal to avert a fiscal crisis, threatening the economy of the world’s biggest crude consumer.

Guest post: emerging and diverging – a new way to understand EMs | beyondbrics

With the US and Europe mired in economic uncertainty, investors have turned to the emerging markets as a source of higher growth and richer returns. But EMs face new economic and political challenges of their own that will cause them to diverge from one another in the coming years. Investors who fail to anticipate this divergence will underestimate risks in some countries and miss opportunities in others.

To look at asset prices alone, it is clear that emerging markets are fast becoming diverging markets. Over the past year, Turkey’s stock market boomed 50 per cent, while China’s stayed flat. The Hungarian forint appreciated 10 per cent while the Brazilian real fell 11 per cent. For a class of assets that used to move broadly in tandem with each other, this is a new and growing trend. | Qatar bank eyes NBG's Turkish subsidiary

Finansbank AS, owned by National Bank of Greece SA (NBG), will probably be a target for Qatar National Bank SAQ as the Middle East’s biggest lender studies buying one of Turkey’s top 10 banks, analysts say.

“QNB wants a controlling stake in Turkey and there’s no other bank than Finansbank at the moment where it could get that,” Ovunc Gursoy, analyst at Yapi Kredi Yatirim Menkul Degerler AS, the Istanbul broker of Yapi & Kredi Bank AS, a unit of Italy’s UniCredit SpA, said by telephone yesterday. “NBG could sell a majority stake due to its capital needs.”

Greek banks face shortfalls in capital after sustaining losses on their holdings of government bonds in the country’s debt swap, the biggest sovereign restructuring in history.

NBG might sell a minority stake in Finansbank to help strengthen its capital position, chief executive Apostolos Tamvakakis said in April.

NBG’s investor relations department in Athens declined to comment on any plan to sell Finansbank in an e-mailed response to questions.

Credit Suisse Names Badr Middle East Equities Head in Dubai Cull - Bloomberg

Credit Suisse Group AG (CSGN) hired Ahmed Badr as head of equities for the Middle East and North Africa based in Riyadh as the investment bank shifts operations away from Dubai.
Badr starts with immediate effect, according to an internal memo seen by Bloomberg yesterday and confirmed by Sofia Rehman, a spokeswoman for Credit Suisse in London. Wafic Nsouli, Badr’s predecessor, left the bank this week, said a person familiar with the matter, asking not to be identified as the news hasn’t been made public.
Credit Suisse is among firms downsizing in Dubai as equity trading in the city hovers near a six-year low and clients postpone initial public offerings and buyouts. EFG-Hermes Holding SAE, the biggest publicly traded Arab investment bank and Dubai’s top-ranked broker in terms of trading volume, is also cutting jobs and letting at least seven people go to reduce costs, said three people with knowledge of the matter who asked not to be named because the plans are private.

Oman set to buy 20 aircraft from BAe | World news | The Guardian

One of the RAF's Typhoon fighter aircraft, 12 of which, the UK government hopes, are about to be sold to Oman. Photograph: Alastair Grant/AP
Oman is expected to sign a multibillion-pound deal to buy 12 fighter jets and eight training planes from BAE Systems on Friday, a sale that the government says will safeguard thousands of jobs in the north of England.

David Cameron is hoping to seal the deal on a visit to Oman, his second since taking office. Cameron will meet the Sultan of Oman to discuss trade and regional foreign policy challenges – including Iran, Egypt and Yemen – and then the two men will view Typhoon fighter jets at the country's Seeb airport.

Oman is expected to order 12 of the fighters, worth £2.5bn, and eight Hawk 128 training aircraft from BAE Systems.