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Tuesday, 31 December 2013

UAE indices end year on a strong note | GulfNews.com

UAE indices end year on a strong note | GulfNews.com:

"Financial and investment shares lifted the Dubai index further on Tuesday to end the year on a strong note.
The DFM index closed 1.14 per cent higher at 3369.81 points. The index ended 2012 at 1622.53 points.
The index was the second-best performer globally after Caracas Stock Exchange’s IBVC index.
According to Bloomberg website, the index gained 117.24 per cent for the year while the IBVC index gained close to 503 per cent.
About 1.24 billion shares worth Dh1.66 billion were traded.
“The index has a possibility of crossing 4,000 points next year as continuation of correction from the crisis of 2008,” said Mohammad Ali Yasin, managing director at NBAD Securities."

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flydubai to operate select summer flights from DWC | GulfNews.com

flydubai to operate select summer flights from DWC | GulfNews.com:

"Flydubai will briefly shift part of its operations to Al Maktoum International at Dubai World Central (DWC) between May 1 and July 20, 2014 because of the runway closure at Dubai International, a flydubai spokesperson told Gulf News.
Scheduled maintenance work will force the closure of one runway at Dubai International during the summer reducing capacity by 28 per cent over the 80-day period. “We will be operating select flights from DWC during the runway closure period. After that all flights will resume at Dubai International as normal,” the flydubai spokesperson said.
A previously leaked letter revealed that Dubai Airports asked Emirates and flydubai to cut their combined services by 22 per cent during the runway closure."

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Times of Oman | News :: Oman bourse ends with gains on last trading day of 2013

Times of Oman | News :: Oman bourse ends with gains on last trading day of 2013:

"MSM 30 index ended the last trading session of this year with gains and closed at 6834.56 points, up by 0.27 per cent. The index registered an annual return of 18.64 per cent for the year 2013. MSM Shariah Index closed at 1099.68 points, up by 0.27 per cent.

Gulf Investment Services was the most active in terms of volume while OIFC was the most active in terms of turnover. Al Omaniya Financial Services was the top gainer and closed up by 2.56 per cent while Oman Fibre Optic was the top loser and closed down by 5.00 per cent.

A total number of 1,794 trades were executed in Tuesday's trading session generating turnover of OMR11.00 million with over 34.87 million shares traded. Out of 60 traded stocks, 26 advanced, 17 declined and 17 were unchanged. GCC and Arab investors were net buyers for OMR1.10 million followed by foreign investors for OMR149,000 while Omani investors were net sellers for OMR1.25 million worth of shares. "

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Most-Accurate Oil Forecasters See Second Year of Losses - Bloomberg

Most-Accurate Oil Forecasters See Second Year of Losses - Bloomberg:

"Brent crude prices, the benchmark for half the world’s oil, will weaken for a second year in 2014 as U.S. output expands and threats to Middle East and North African supply ease, the most-accurate forecasters said.

Prices will average $105 a barrel in 2014, from $108.71 in 2013, according to the median of estimates from the seven analysts who most accurately predicted this year’s level in a survey last December. Brent averaged $111.68 in 2012.

Global supply is expanding as the U.S. pumps oil trapped in shale-rock formations, driving domestic output to the highest in a quarter century and curbing demand for the crude priced off Brent. Iran, Iraq and Libya will also produce more in 2014, the forecasters said. While a second annual drop for Brent would be the first consecutive retreat since 1998, prices are still about 39 percent higher than the average over the past decade."

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Qatar launches QR 3.2 billion IPO subscription for Mesaieed Petrochem | Doha News

Qatar launches QR 3.2 billion IPO subscription for Mesaieed Petrochem | Doha News:

"State-owned Qatar Petroleum has launched the Initial Public Offering subscription period to sell 25 percent of its subsidiary Mesaieed Petrochemical Holding Company.

It is the country’s first IPO in four years, and is being billed as a way for the government to both share some of Qatar’s oil and gas wealth directly with its citizens, as well as foster a culture of personal saving.

On the company’s website, Mesaieed Petrochemical states:"

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Putin Tells Ukraine Leader He Expects Progress in Ties - Bloomberg #EuroMaidan

Putin Tells Ukraine Leader He Expects Progress in Ties - Bloomberg:

"Russian President Vladimir Putin told his Ukrainian counterpart, Viktor Yanukovych, that he’s counting on further strengthening ties.

In a New Year’s greeting, Putin thanked Yanukovych for “comradely, businesslike” relations that allowed the two former Soviet neighbors to develop a partnership benefiting “brotherly peoples.”

The coming year should provide an opportunity to achieve “new results,” expanding mutually beneficial cooperation in key areas, Putin said, according to a statement posted on the Kremlin website today.

Russia agreed earlier this month to buy $15 billion in Ukrainian Eurobonds and cut the price it charges for gas by 30 percent after Ukraine pulled out of an association agreement with the European Union.

The decision to halt talks with the EU sparked the largest street protests since 2004 in the capital Kiev and other cities, with activists demanding the departure of Yanukovych and his cabinet. Ukraine sought a bailout to stay afloat while struggling with the third recession since 2008."

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Ten global market calls for 2014 | David McWilliams

Ten global market calls for 2014 | David McWilliams:

"Today, as there will be lots of commentary on Ireland, let’s go large, gain altitude and look at the broad global economic canvas, to see what is likely to happen in 2014. Making forecasts is risky business, but so too is life – and as return is the opposite of risk, you will hardly get one without the other. So let’s take a plunge and outline my top ten global financial/economic forecasts for the year.

1 The background noise in 2014 will be one where the US – and maybe Britain – tries to reverse the monetary easing of the past five years.
While this may point to higher interest rates in Britain and the US, it will certainly mark the end of the free liquidity which drove prices of everything from Francis Bacon paintings, expensive footballers to upscale apartments in Knightsbridge through the roof. We know that liquidity squeezes are to trophy assets what open goals are to Francisco Torres; they don’t like each other."

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Margin calls for UAE stocks, window-dressing in Kuwait - Markets - ArabianBusiness.com

Margin calls for UAE stocks, window-dressing in Kuwait - Markets - ArabianBusiness.com:

"On the last trading session of the year for regional markets, margin calls in UAE could trigger some selling, but 'window dressing' in Kuwait may lift the bourse in late trading.
Dubai's measure has outperformed all regional peers in 2013 and is among the world's top performing equity markets with gains of 105.4 percent.
A recent buying spree, especially in small-caps in Dubai and Abu Dhabi has been on margin, or leveraged trading by retail investors, traders say. Brokerage firms asking for individuals to reduce leverage to zero, or margin calls, for the year-end could result in many closing positions.
Profit-taking would usually be a good incentive for investors to sell after a strong positive year, but a bullish outlook for 2014 and the dividend season just a few weeks away, is keeping many bets on the table, which could minimize selling pressure."

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Creating bubbles that can be managed better | GulfNews.com

Creating bubbles that can be managed better | GulfNews.com:

"I already miss the real estate offers of the past. Back then when no one asked for one-cheque payments.
Some landlords were OK with as many as six cheques, while others would offer you a one-month free stay. Back then no one asked your name, where you come from, where you work, what your job title is, and how long you have been working there. Honestly, they only had to ask for a six-month bank statement for this to turn into a credit card application.
I am not against any of these practices when demand starts picking up, but why does it always have to be an extreme? And what’s worse than all of this is that the Expo 2020 is seven years away.
Speculation that is based on actuals is good as it is one way for a price incline, but a sudden unexplainable surge in prices without clear justification is the fastest way towards a real estate collapse."

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Burj Khalifa property prices reach for the sky once again | The National

Burj Khalifa property prices reach for the sky once again | The National:

"
Even before it was built, the Burj Khalifa served as a barometer of the health of Dubai’s fast-changing
property market.

Launched as a project in July 2006 as a flashy marker of Dubai’s ambitions to become a leading global city, prices grew almost as quickly as the building work. By the second quarter of 2008, prices had swelled 44 per cent from the earlier quarter.

Then the onset of the property downturn sent prices sinking from a peak of Dh9,000 per square foot in August 2008 to Dh2,500 by February 2009.

But as the fourth anniversary of the building’s completion approaches on January 4, prices have perked up again, mirroring gains in the wider market."

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Dubai International Airport set to beat 2013 passenger target | The National

Dubai International Airport set to beat 2013 passenger target | The National:

"Dubai International Airport will exceed its passengers forecast of 65.4 million for 2013, boosted by high growth in November, data by Dubai Airports showed.

Traffic in November reached 5.3 million, up 9.5 per cent, compared to 4.8m a year ago, Dubai Airports said in its monthly data report.

A total of 60.3m passengers visited the airport until November, compared to 52.3m a year earlier, marking an increase of 15.3 per cent, the report showed."

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Futures Gain as Valuations Trump Blasts: Russia Overnight - Bloomberg

Futures Gain as Valuations Trump Blasts: Russia Overnight - Bloomberg:

"Russian stock futures gained and contracts on the nation’s biggest company, OAO Gazprom, rose as the cheapest valuations among emerging-market equities outweighed concerns bomb blasts in the country’s south will hurt economic growth.

RTS stock index futures expiring in March increased 0.1 percent in U.S. hours to 144,590 after the 30-stock Micex Index (INDEXCF) added 0.6 percent to 1,504.08 in Moscow yesterday. Gazprom futures increased 0.8 percent. The Bloomberg Russia-US Equity Index of the most-traded Russian companies in New York slipped 0.2 percent to 101.49 yesterday as OAO Mechel rallied 5.3 percent.

Suicide bombers at a train station and on a trolleybus killed more than 30 people over 24 hours in the southern city of Volgograd, raising the security threat less than six weeks before Russia hosts the Winter Olympics. Stocks on the benchmark Micex Index trade at the cheapest valuations among 21 emerging-market economies monitored by Bloomberg, with the average multiple at 4.7 times forward earnings, less than half the 11.8 level for the MSCI Emerging Markets Index."

'via Blog this'

Turkey Biggest Loser in World Stocks as Crisis Persists - Bloomberg

Turkey Biggest Loser in World Stocks as Crisis Persists - Bloomberg:

"The mounting power struggle between Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the judiciary is turning the country’s stock market into the world’s worst performer and driving the currency to unprecedented lows.

The Borsa Istanbul 100 Index (XU100) has slumped 15 percent in dollar terms this month, the most among more than 90 benchmark gauges tracked by Bloomberg. The measure extended this year’s slide to 27 percent, as a corruption probe embroiled Erdogan’s cabinet and led to three ministerial resignations. Turkey’s lira has sunk 4.9 percent in December, second only to Argentina’s peso among emerging-market currencies, and traded at a record low of 2.1764 per dollar last week.

The crisis threatens to undo the economic gains Erdogan made in orchestrating a decade of almost uninterrupted growth that earned Turkey its first investment-grade credit ratings since the early 1990s. The investigation, which Erdogan labeled a coup attempt, is deepening the conflict between the government and followers of U.S.-based Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen, who are influential in the judiciary and police force."

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Hedge Fund Crude Wagers Climb to Highest Since September: Energy - Bloomberg

Hedge Fund Crude Wagers Climb to Highest Since September: Energy - Bloomberg:

"Hedge funds increased bullish bets on crude oil to the highest in three months as stockpiles dropped and the U.S. economy expanded more than forecast.

Money managers raised net-long positions, or wagers on rising prices for West Texas Intermediate crude, by 4.4 percent in the week ended Dec. 24, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data show. It was the fourth consecutive increase, the longest streak since July.

WTI topped $100 a barrel for the first time in two months on Dec. 27, propelled by falling inventories in the U.S., the world’s biggest oil-consuming country. The Federal Reserve cited prospects for improved growth for a reduction in its bond-buying program, and a government report showing that the domestic economy accelerated in the third quarter at a faster rate than previously estimated bolstered expectations for strengthening fuel demand."

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Monday, 30 December 2013

BBC News - Iranian billionaire Babak Zanjani 'arrested'

BBC News - Iranian billionaire Babak Zanjani 'arrested':

"The billionaire Iranian businessman Babak Zanjani has been arrested, state media report.

In September, Iran's parliament began investigating his business dealings after he was accused of withholding $1.9bn (£1.2bn) of oil revenue meant to be channelled through his companies.

Mr Zanjani, who claims he is worth $13.5bn, has denied the allegation.

The US and the EU have both blacklisted him for helping Iran's government and several firms evade an oil embargo.

The US and the EU have imposed crippling sanctions on Iran's oil industry since 2012 as part of a drive by the international community to put pressure on the government in Tehran over its controversial nuclear programme."

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Money talks: End of year edition

Mohammad issues decree setting up Dubai World’s board of directors | GulfNews.com

Mohammad issues decree setting up Dubai World’s board of directors | GulfNews.com:

"His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, issued Decree No. 46 of 2013 setting up Dubai World’s board of directors.
It would be set up under the chairmanship of Shaikh Ahmad Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of the Dubai Department of Civil Aviation and Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group.
Board members include Mohammad Ebrahim Al Sheibani, Director General of Dubai Ruler’s Court; Abdul Rahman Saleh Al Saleh, Director General of Dubai Department of Finance; Hamad Mubarak Bu Amim, Director General of Dubai’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Saadi Abdul Rahim Hassan Al Rais, an esteemed shipping industrialists in the UAE; and Dr Soon Young Chang, a veteran in the UAE with a long global tenure in the investment arena.
The decree comes into effect from the date of its issuance and is to be published in the official gazette.
Dubai World’s portfolio contains some of the world’s leading companies, including Drydocks World, Economic Zones World, Istithmar World and majority ownership of DP World."

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Qatar GDP growth quickens to 6.2 pct y/y in Q3 | Reuters

Qatar GDP growth quickens to 6.2 pct y/y in Q3 | Reuters:

"Growth in Qatar's gross domestic product, adjusted for inflation, accelerated slightly to 6.2 percent year-on-year in the third quarter of 2013, from 6.0 percent in the second quarter, the Qatar Statistics Authority said on Monday.

Third-quarter GDP expanded 4.3 percent from the previous quarter.

Output in the mining and quarrying sector, which includes oil and gas production and accounts for more than 40 percent of GDP, grew 1.8 percent from a year earlier and 3.5 percent quarter-on-quarter."

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2013 in review: currency winners and losers | beyondbrics

2013 in review: currency winners and losers | beyondbrics:

"Previously, beyondbrics looked at stock exchange winners and losers of 2013. Now it’s the turn of the EM currencies.

Which currencies felt the full force of the 2013 sell-off, and which survived unscathed?

The chart below shows the top and bottom 10 currencies in dollar spot terms, for the year. The pattern is pretty clear: central and eastern Europe did fine; the fragile five or Biits (Brazil, India, Indonesia, Turkey and South Africa) really were fragile.

At the top, if we take out the renminbi which is closely controlled, the four most solid currencies are all from the CEE region – the lev, leu, zloty and forint, which all strengthened against the dollar.


"

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Dubai Refreshments to open merger talks with Abu Dhabi Refreshments | Reuters

Dubai Refreshments to open merger talks with Abu Dhabi Refreshments | Reuters:

"Dubai Refreshments (DRC) said on Monday it would open talks with unlisted Abu Dhabi Refreshments Company about a possible merger.

Both firms are franchisee holders for the distribution of Pepsi Co products.

A working group would be set up to study a proposed tie-up between the two companies, which will report to the respective board of directors "in a few months", a statement to the Dubai bourse from DRC said.

No values were given in the statement. Dubai Refreshments has a market capitalisation of around $300 million."

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ECONOMICS - Turkish markets picks up pieces as cabinet meets amid crisis

ECONOMICS - Turkish markets picks up pieces as cabinet meets amid crisis:

"Turkey’s battered financial markets bounced back today as the cabinet met for the first time since a major reshuffle by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, battling a damaging political crisis over a high-profile graft probe.

The Turkish Lira rallied to 2.1396 against the U.S. dollar in morning trading, while the Istanbul stock exchange jumped 3.22 percent to reach 65,944.10.

The ongoing government and judiciary crisis have rattled markets, pushing the lira to a fresh record low of 2.1750 against the U.S. dollar, sending the stock market plummeting to its lowest in 17 months, while the Euro reached an all-time high by passing 3 liras for the first time."

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India in 2013: The Year in Investments - India Real Time - WSJ

India in 2013: The Year in Investments - India Real Time - WSJ:

"India’s gold devotees will be disappointed to learn that the yellow metal was one of the worst investments of 2013.

Gold lost value this year as global investors sold the commodity to invest in U.S. stocks and other assets which benefit more as the U.S. economy gains.

In India, investors were better off owning fixed deposits, that paid a guaranteed return of as much as 8.75%. However, that too failed to keep up with inflation which was more than 9% this year.

Individuals should not make or change investments based on one year’s returns.

They should invest in a mix of assets, so that if one investment doesn’t do well, another one which might have done better will help smoothen out the overall portfolio returns.

Here’s a look at how major investments fared in 2013:"

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Even the upturn in Dubai needs diligent handling | GulfNews.com

Even the upturn in Dubai needs diligent handling | GulfNews.com:

"The end of 2013 marks five years since the UAE entered a most difficult financial phase triggered by Dubai’s real estate slump. Five years is a reasonable timeframe, making it pertinent to ask if it is time to pronounce the crisis over. There is no official word yet, but the consensus seems to be we are almost there... but not quite.
The property market has come a long way since prices slumped by 60 per cent or more as the bubble of mindless speculation began to burst in 2008. Prices are not back to those dizzy levels, but have been climbing at a steady pace.
Dubai has, in fact, been named as one of the fastest growing property markets globally for 2013, with prices and rents touching the highest levels in five years. The awarding of Expo 2020 has provided further impetus, raising expectation about the likely course of the market and the economy in general.
The market rebound, coupled with the overall economic upturn, has been linked to a significant pick-up in the stock market, with Dubai emerging as one of the best performing globally this year. By end November, the Dubai stock index was up 82 per cent. Abu Dhabi gained 46 per cent during the same period."

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Iran Investment Monthly - Vol 8, No 87 - Dec 13.pdf - Google Drive

Iran Investment Monthly - Vol 8, No 87 - Dec 13.pdf - Google Drive:

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How to invest in the Dubai Financial Market if you think this rally still has legs « ArabianMoney

How to invest in the Dubai Financial Market if you think this rally still has legs « ArabianMoney:

"Sometimes it is fascinating to look back at how we saw the Dubai Financial Market less than two years ago when it had only just lifted off a seven-year low. It was hard not to be cautious after such a long period of disaster for investors in the DFM.

How different it all looks today with stocks up 113 per cent this year and 20 per cent in 2012. But listen to the warning in this video about past episodes of massive price increases on the DFM and what came next…


"

'via Blog this'

Gulf States Seek Food Security in Europe, U.S. After African Problems - NYTimes.com

Gulf States Seek Food Security in Europe, U.S. After African Problems - NYTimes.com:

"The desert states of the Gulf are changing tack in their multi-billion dollar search for food security.

With their farming projects in some of the poorest African nations sometimes arousing local hostility, wealthy Arab investors are turning to those developed countries that comfortably produce more food than they consume.

United Arab Emirates-based agricultural firm Al Dahra has chose this path in March, buying eight agricultural companies for $400 million in Serbia, a major food exporter where public attitudes to foreign-owned farming may be less sensitive."

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2014: US and Japan - YouTube

2014: US and Japan - YouTube:

"John Authers on whether equities in the US and Japan can match 2013
The S&P 500 in the US rose more than 30% in 2013. Can it repeat that while investors are being weaned off easy money? Japan's markets did even better but while it looks as if Abenomics can deliver inflation, can it really deliver growth? John Authers analyses


"

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China to stick with Middle East oil despite world’s largest shale reserves | The National

China to stick with Middle East oil despite world’s largest shale reserves | The National:

"Shale gas will not free China from Middle East oil imports, an investment vehicle of the Kuwaiti government said.

The world’s top fuel consumer is home to what is believed to be the world’s richest reserves of shale gas – 19 per cent of the global total, compared to the United States’ 13 per cent. But China’s efforts to play on its geological advantage to lessen its dependence on fuel imports will be hampered by limited expertise and water supply, one of the key ingredients of the mixture of sand and chemicals pumped into the ground to fracture shale formations."

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Twitter stake of Saudi Arabia’s Prince Alwaleed bin Talal worth more than $1bn | The National

Twitter stake of Saudi Arabia’s Prince Alwaleed bin Talal worth more than $1bn | The National:

"Saudi’s Prince Alwaleed bin Talal says the value of his stake in Twitter has quadrupled to more than US$1bn despite a 15 per cent stock slidelast week.

The micro-blogging launched its initial public offering last month, raising $1.82bn.

Prince Alwaleed’s Kingdom Holding Company (KHC) originally invested $300 million in Twitter, accounting for about 3 per cent of the company in December 2011.

When the IPO closed, the value of KHC’s shares soared to $600m."

'via Blog this'

Israel Gas Riddle Has Woodside, Gazprom Hanging: Israel Markets - Bloomberg

Israel Gas Riddle Has Woodside, Gazprom Hanging: Israel Markets - Bloomberg:

"Israel’s sputtering preparations for exporting offshore natural gas have postponed drilling and threaten a $2.3 billion investment from Australia’s Woodside Petroleum Ltd. (WPL)

Perth-based Woodside said it’s examining other options in case details of drilling at Israel’s Leviathan gas field aren’t settled in the first half of 2014. After taking two years to decide how much gas to export, the Israeli government hasn’t signed off on details such as where to build refineries. Partners are still discussing how to transport the fuel.

“It needs to be a compelling value case, given the amount of investment that would be involved and the significance of the decision,” Woodside’s Chief Executive OfficerPeter Coleman told analysts and reporters on a Dec. 10 call. Shares in the drilling partners sank in response."

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Sunday, 29 December 2013

Gulf countries take steps to achieve monetary unity - Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East

Gulf countries take steps to achieve monetary unity - Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East:

"The idea of a monetary union between the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries was proposed at the recent summit held in Kuwait on Dec. 10-11. The idea seems closer to being realized than ever before, especially after Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar agreed to establish a unified central bank that will issue a unified currency starting in early 2015. This ambitious project had faced many obstacles, and Oman and the United Arab Emirates decided to abstain. The sovereign debt crisis that affected the eurozone and its impact on the exchange rate for the unified European currency were food for criticism."

'via Blog this'

France tries to supplant US as Saudi Arabia's arms supplier - Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East

France tries to supplant US as Saudi Arabia's arms supplier - Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East:

"Three issues are on the desk of French President Francois Hollande and Saudi King Abdullah: Lebanon, Syria and Iran.

The top priority of the French president, who's visiting Saudi Arabia Dec. 29-30, is to conclude an unprecedented arms deal with Saudi Arabia, thus exploiting the chill in US-Saudi relations and entering the oil region’s largest arms market, which has spent more than $70 billion during in one decade to accumulate the region’s largest arsenal.

Hollande wishes to gradually supplant America in this market in case America keeps retreating from the crises of the Middle East and Central Asia, and if America’s nuclear understanding with Tehran is consecrated."

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Feeling US Snub, Saudis Strengthen Ties Elsewhere - NYTimes.com

Feeling US Snub, Saudis Strengthen Ties Elsewhere - NYTimes.com:

"Increasingly vocal in its frustration over United States policies in the Mideast, Saudi Arabia is strengthening ties elsewhere, seeking out an alignment that will bolster its position after it was pushed to the sidelines this year.

It may find a solution in France, whose president is ending the year with 24 hours of high-level meetings with the Saudi leadership in a visit intended to showcase commercial and diplomatic strength.

With an entourage of French executives from the lucrative defense and energy sectors, President Francois Hollande arrives Sunday in Riyadh for a flurry of accords and contracts that have been in the works for months. The two countries also find themselves unexpectedly aligned in resistance, if not outright opposition, to U.S. policy on Syria's civil war and Iran's nuclear program."

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Dubai Shares End 4-Day Rally on Bets Gains Overdone; Qatar Falls - Bloomberg

Dubai Shares End 4-Day Rally on Bets Gains Overdone; Qatar Falls - Bloomberg:

"Dubai’s benchmark index, the world’s best-performing stocks gauge this year, fell as investors sought to take advantage of a four-day rally to pocket gains. Qatari shares declined, while Abu Dhabi’s rose.

The DFM General Index dropped 0.5 percent to 3,291.52 at 12:57 p.m. in Dubai, trimming its advance this year to 103 percent. The measure is beating 93 benchmarks tracked by Bloomberg. Shuaa Capital PSC (SHUAA), the investment bank controlled by Dubai’s ruler, lost the most in almost two weeks and Emirates NBD (EMIRATES) PJSC, the second-largest lender in the United Arab Emirates, slid as much as 3.1 percent. Qatar’s QE Index (DSM) retreated 0.6 percent and Abu Dhabi’s ADX General Index gained 0.3 percent.

Shares in Dubai benefited from an economic recovery in the emirate, led by a resurgence in property prices, trade and tourism. Growth is set to average 4.6 percent a year between 2012 and 2015, more than twice the rate of the previous four years, according to government forecasts."

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The Peninsula Qatar - QCB announces setting up of Qatar Central Securities Depository Company

The Peninsula Qatar - QCB announces setting up of Qatar Central Securities Depository Company:

"Qatar Central Bank (QCB) has announced the establishment of the Qatar Central Securities Depository QCSD (a private QSC) to start its work as of next Thursday, January 2, 2014.

The company will hold all activities and tasks carried out by the Central Registration Department of the Qatar Exchange (QE).

QCB said in a press statement today that the Qatar Central Securities Depository (QCSD) is owned by Qatar Central Bank (QCB) and Qatar Exchange (QE), and obtained all the necessary permits from the official authorities in the State of Qatar, including the Qatar Financial Markets.

The QCSD will start work from its seat at the premises of the Qatar Credit Bureau."

'via Blog this'

Saudi Ma'aden Restarts Aluminium Plant Production Line » Gulf Business

Saudi Ma'aden Restarts Aluminium Plant Production Line » Gulf Business:

"Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Ma’aden) has restarted one of the two potlines at its new aluminium smelter in Saudi Arabia, the company said on Sunday.

The $10.8-billion aluminium plant at Ras al-Khair, a joint venture between Ma’aden and U.S.-based Alcoa, shut one of its smelting lines in mid October due to problems encountered during a ramp up of production.

“The ramp up and increase of the first potline production is expected to reach production capacity within the second quarter of 2014,” Ma’aden said in a Saudi stock market statement. It did not say when production resumed.

The other potline, a series of containers used to smelt aluminium, did not have to shut during its initial ramp up. The two lines have a combined production capacity of 740,000 tonnes a year of aluminium."

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Times of Oman | News :: Anti-dumping measures on UAE cement exports sought

Times of Oman | News :: Anti-dumping measures on UAE cement exports sought:

"Oman's leading cement producer Raysut Cement Company has urged the government to clamp strong anti-dumping measures on cement producers from neighbouring United Arab Emirates (UAE) to maintain prices in the domestic market.

The Sultanate's two cement producers — Oman Cement Co and Raysut Cement Co — have been complaining of dumping by UAE firms, after these firms faced a glut in demand in their domestic market four years ago in the aftermath of global financial crisis.

"There is a need to bring in restrictions on UAE exports to Oman. We have asked the government to introduce a ceiling on UAE company's exports to Oman. A truck should not have more than 5,000 tonnes of cement and total exports from the UAE should not exceed 30,000 tonnes per month," Ahmed Yusuf, board member of Raysut Cement Company, told Times of Oman, on the sidelines of an event to honour winners of HM Cup for best factors last week. "

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Aviation review 2013: Dubai Airshow puts Paris and Farnborough into the shade | The National

Aviation review 2013: Dubai Airshow puts Paris and Farnborough into the shade | The National:

"The Dubai Airshow last month was undoubtedly one of the major highlights of the year in aviation.

Airlines placed US$200 billion in orders for planes — smashing the previous record of $63bn set in 2011 — and the fast and furious pace of deals announced during the three-day event held for the first time at Dubai World Central cemented the show’s reputation as the place to do business, outranking the air shows in Paris and Farnborough in England. Boeing used the show to unveil its new 777X aircraft.

Arabian Gulf carriers were among the airlines buying: Etihad Airways placed orders worth $67bn, Emirates Airline for $99bn and flydubai for $11.4bn."

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Compliance costs hurt regional banks | GulfNews.com

Compliance costs hurt regional banks | GulfNews.com:

"While it may be the most common given name in the world, the global banking system seemingly can’t cope with Mohammed and its various different spellings.
When it comes to false positives — where a person or transaction is incorrectly flagged for contravening sanctions — the total at Middle Eastern banks is around twice that of many international lenders because of the high use of names like this, said John Garrett, chief compliance officer at National Bank of Abu Dhabi.
Rectifying these mistakes costs banks and their customers both time and money and highlights the rapidly increasing compliance costs which lenders in the Middle East and Africa must deal with.
Compliance teams face an increasing array of rules, both due to failings exposed by the financial crisis and as banks work with more partners around the world than ever before."

'via Blog this'

Overcoming anxiety is key to investment success | GulfNews.com

Overcoming anxiety is key to investment success | GulfNews.com:

"Investing requires objective fact gathering and subjective decision making. Ideally, subjective judgments are free from the deleterious effects of emotions. One emotion plaguing investors is anxiety. Recent regional research by CFA Institute showed investors were concerned about the potential for another bubble in the GCC region, especially following Dubai’s successful bid to host Expo 2020.
Aren’t emotional responses, such as anxiety, hardwired into our brains?
The evidence strongly suggests this is correct. Much research has demonstrated that the brain’s two amygdalae, located mid-brain, are the source of instinctual, hardwired responses, like “flight or fight.” These responses are almost instantaneous and do not involve analytical judgment. Anxiety is difficult to control as it operates subliminally. Any investor that has seen an investment decline significantly in just one trading session knows this response well: panic."

'via Blog this'

FutureChallenges » Ukraine at the crossroads of globalization - #EuroMaidan

FutureChallenges » Ukraine at the crossroads of globalization:

"Like the traveller in Robert Frost’s famous poem The Road Not Taken, Ukraine is now poised between two roads, one pro-European Union and the other pro-Russian. Ever since the collapse of the Soviet Union and its own independence, Ukrainian society has been divided, both historically and politically. The eastern, more pragmatic, part of the country wants to cooperate with Russia, while the western, more progressive, part favors cooperation with the European Union.

Ukraine’s geographical position makes it a crucial boundary and natural bridge between Russia and the European Union while its huge territory and population makes it important for both strategic military  and economic reasons. Such reasons make it equally attractive to the EU and Russia who are both assiduously paying court to the country."

'via Blog this'

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Qatar Signs Aid Deal Worth $1.25 Billion for Morocco - NYTimes.com

Qatar Signs Aid Deal Worth $1.25 Billion for Morocco - NYTimes.com:

"Qatar and Morocco have signed an aid deal worth $1.25 billion, part of a five-year package of financial assistance extended by wealthy Gulf states to the North African kingdom to help it weather 'Arab Spring' protests.

Four Gulf states - Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates - agreed in 2012 to provide aid worth a total $5 billion to Morocco in the period 2012-2017 to build up its infrastructure, strengthen its economy and foster tourism.

Each of the four countries has committed $1.25 billion to Morocco for the whole five year period."

'via Blog this'

UAE’s strong fiscal position to support growth | GulfNews.com

UAE’s strong fiscal position to support growth | GulfNews.com:

"The UAE’s hydrocarbon reserves are very large, both in absolute and per capita terms. According to the 2013 BP Statistical Review of World Energy, the UAE’s proven oil and gas reserves approximated 138 billion barrels of oil equivalent in 2012, which would last about 88 years at the current rate of production, slightly lower than Kuwait and Qatar. Per capita, the UAE had the fourth highest level of oil and gas reserves globally, at about 15,000 barrels of oil equivalent.
Credit rating agency Moody’s expect Brent benchmark oil prices remaining firm at an average of about $109/barrel (Dh400) in 2013 to $105/barrel in 2015.Even if the oil prices were to fall due to a supply glut, it would be limited by the unconventional oil producers’ high breakeven oil price, which is approximately $60-$70 per barrel for the US shale oil fields.
The UAE’s fiscal breakeven oil price is coming down, a unique feature among GCC countries. Because of extraordinary fiscal support programmes in 2009-2011, the UAE’s fiscal breakeven oil price rose sharply."

'via Blog this'

The Ukraine-Russia Deal - Analysis Eurasia Review #євромайдан #euromaidan

The Ukraine-Russia Deal - Analysis Eurasia Review:

"
UKRAINE'S VIKTOR YANUKOVYCH
As the price to deter a westward move of Ukraine, Russia has made an offer that the Ukrainian president has found impossible to turn down, if he ever contemplated seriously tying his country to the EU. This is generally hailed as a master coup by President Putin and a great relief for President Yanukovych. In fact, this coup is likely to end in tears for both countries.

For many years now, Ukraine has been on a lifeline from the IMF. Severe policy mismanagement has left the country teetering on the brink of default. IMF programmes have been on and off, as commitments were not kept. Most recently, Ukraine has been negotiating a new loan but never closed the deal because it was unwilling to accept the associated policy conditions. The Russian loan means that Ukraine does not have to agree to an IMF programme, at least for the time being."

'via Blog this'

Israel and Egypt to enter a gas deal

Israel and Egypt to enter a gas deal:

"
Israel and Egypt are discussing a natural gas deal. An energy collaboration is not new between the two
countries except that this time, the natural gas flow will be in the opposite direction, from Israel to Egypt. Historically, Israel has been reliant on Egyptian gas to satisfy 40% of its domestic natural gas needs. An agreement was signed in 2005 stipulating that Egypt would supply Israel with 7 bcm of Egyptian natural gas every year and for a 20 year period. The deal was an economic annex to the 1979 peace treaty between the two countries —the first between Israel and an Arab state. Egypt's state-run gas company terminated this controversial natural gas agreement with Israel in 2012 in the aftermath of the uprising in Egypt that put an end to the Mubarak regime. The pipeline that carried natural gas from Egypt to Israel and Jordan across the Sinai desert was bombed at least 15 times, effectively cutting off supply at normal levels ever since the start of the revolution in Egypt. The disruptions forced Israel to import fuel products with a very high price tag prompting a severe increase in Israel’s energy bill and as a result a jump in electricity prices."

'via Blog this'

2014: bonds - YouTube

2014: bonds - YouTube:

"The Federal Reserve will begin tapering its bond purchases in 2014, but has also guided the market that the year will see no rise in target interest rates. John Authers analyses the outlook for capital markets as the US exits the greatest monetary experiment in history.


"

'via Blog this'

Banking on longevity - YouTube

Banking on longevity - YouTube:

"Our correspondents discuss the extraordinary clout of the Federal Reserve, a century after its founding


"

'via Blog this'

Etihad builds global airline through investments | GulfNews.com

Etihad builds global airline through investments | GulfNews.com:

"Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways PJSC is attempting a feat that many airlines have tried and none has managed to achieve: building a global network through investments in foreign carriers.
Etihad has snapped up stakes in seven airlines from Australia to Ireland over its 10-year existence. It is currently assessing whether to invest in Italy’s troubled Alitalia SpA, according to people familiar with the talks. Etihad’s goal is to quickly boost traffic and cut costs on its own network without buying hundreds of planes and expanding globally, company officials say.
European airlines including British Airways and Scandinavia’s SAS AB tried similar expansions in the 1990s but later exited their unsuccessful investments. Swissair gobbled up European airlines, collapsed under the weight of its deals and was liquidated in 2001. Last year, Singapore Airlines sold its 49 per cent stake in Britain’s Virgin Atlantic Airways at a loss after a 14-year partnership."

'via Blog this'

GCC can connect Africa with rest of the world | GulfNews.com

GCC can connect Africa with rest of the world | GulfNews.com:

"Swift changes are taking place in relationships between countries which requires them to restructure their economic, political and security alliances. These, in turn, have led to significant changes in the global balance of power and created a new dynamic, reflected in the structures within recently created blocs.
The economy occupies the core of this shared interests as future conflicts will be economic in nature and success in this field will determine gains in others, including the political and military. Since the UAE and GCC are emerging markets with a greater role to play in global economy, they are required to work on two parallel approaches to occupy an advantageous position to defend their interests.
The first lies in enhancing Gulf-wide integration and completion of a common market, while the second requires a restructuring of relations to better suit new global power equations."

'via Blog this'

Friday, 27 December 2013

Dubai optimism fails to mask concerns on overheating risk - FT.com

Dubai optimism fails to mask concerns on overheating risk - FT.com:

"Four years after a sovereign debt crisis thrust Dubai on to the front pages for all the wrong reasons, the Gulf city-state is celebrating a trade and tourism-led renaissance.
Last month’s decision to award the World Expo 2020 to the United Arab Emirates’ commercial hub gave the once-bruised city a much-needed international stamp of approval. Hosting the event is expected to deliver a two per cent boost to GDP.
Mohammed al-Shaibani, chief executive of the state holding company Investment Corporation of Dubai, said the emirate is in an “extremely comfortable” position. “Things look very, very positive,” he told the Financial Times in an interview."

'via Blog this'

United Arab Emirates FM in plot against Turkish government: Daily Yeni Şafak

LOCAL - United Arab Emirates FM in plot against Turkish government: Daily Yeni Şafak:

"United Arab Emirates is plotting against the Turkish government, Abdülkadir Selvi, Ankara Bureau Chief of pro-government daily Yeni Şafak claimed Dec. 27.

“All of our efforts are to turn Turkey into Egypt,” Foreign Minister of United Arab Emirates Abdullah Bin Zeyid said in a narrow-scoped meeting. “Dec. 17 attempted a coup and gave clues of an operation,” Selvi said in his column.

As Hürriyet Daily News approached the allegation, a Turkish Foreign Ministry official said they do not have any information regarding such a meeting.

The United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) $12 billion investment in a coal-based energy project was suspended in September after Turkey reacted strongly against the ministry coup which ousted the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi.

“I hope their decision is not based on political reasons. I want to believe the decision is not political, but developments in Egypt and Syria seem to be affecting their energy decisions,” Turkish Minister of Energy Taner Yıldız said at the time."

'via Blog this'

LOCAL - Prominent Turkish businessmen among arrest list in second corruption probe: Report

LOCAL - Prominent Turkish businessmen among arrest list in second corruption probe: Report:

"Prominent businessmen were among the 41 suspects who were issued arrest orders in the second corruption probe, daily Hürriyet reported Dec. 27.

The list of names contained in the official prosecution documents obtained by the daily included Nihat Özdemir, the chairman of Limak group, who is part of a consortium which has won the contract to build Istanbul’s third airport, Saudi businessman Yasin al-Qadi, who has been accused of financing terrorism in the past and the owner of the BIM discount retailer, Mustafa Latif Topbaş.

The second graft probe, reported to be larger than the first one that has shaken the government, was made public with great controversy after the head prosecutor of the case announced the investigation files were “taken from his hands.”"

'via Blog this'

Russia faced ‘year of lost opportunities’ in 2013 — RT Business

Russia faced ‘year of lost opportunities’ in 2013 — RT Business:

"Economically 2013 was a year of broken illusions for Russia. GDP added just 1.3 percent, while everybody expected an average growth of 4 percent.

“This was a year of lost opportunities,” as Deputy Minister for Economic Development Andrey Klepach put it.

Despite some progress in terms of improving the investment climate , infrastructure bottlenecks and a lack of domestic demand weighed down Russian growth in 2013, says Vedomosti newspaper.

The year ends with investment contracting and industrial production decreasing. December marked the continuing fall of manufacturing activity as the HSBC Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI), which serves as a barometer of business conditions, had its sharpest fall since December 2009."

'via Blog this'

2013 in review: stock exchange winners and losers | beyondbrics

2013 in review: stock exchange winners and losers | beyondbrics:

"If you had $100 at the start of 2013, and took a punt on a few emerging market exchanges, which ones would have made you a fast buck, and which would have reduced you to tears?

Beyondbrics takes a look at the best and worst performers in 2013.

Source: Bloomberg | Data to Dec 20 2013



































"

'via Blog this'

▶ A financial markets overhaul - YouTube

▶ A financial markets overhaul - YouTube:

"Over-centralisation and a lack of human interaction has led economist Amar Bhidé to conclude it is time to rewind the clock on financial markets. In the first of a video series, he talks to John Authers about his reasoning for illiquid markets and a more personalised approach to finance.


"

'via Blog this'

Hello 2014: don’t be afraid of slower Chinese growth | beyondbrics

Hello 2014: don’t be afraid of slower Chinese growth | beyondbrics:

"The 6th in our series of guest posts on the outlook for 2014 is by Michael Pettis

November’s Third Plenum proposed significant economic reforms to rebalance China’s economy and reduce its addiction to debt, in large part by reversing many of the processes that drove growth in the past three decades. Of course this potentially radical shift in China’s development model will make predicting economic performance in 2014 more difficult than ever.

And we have already seen how difficult reform is likely to be. The past four years were characterised by a stop-and-go process of decelerating growth, in which periodic attempts by the regulators to constrain credit caused the economy to slow sharply but, as policy makers backed off each time, both GDP and credit growth subsequently reignited, although at gradually declining paces. We will see this even more sharply in 2014, with a continued unstable balance between attempts to constrain credit growth and attempts to keep the economy from slowing too quickly."

'via Blog this'

Thursday, 26 December 2013

Turkish scandal moves closer to Erdogan - FT.com

Turkish scandal moves closer to Erdogan - FT.com:

"
Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was fighting for his political survival on Thursday, as a court-led corruption investigation looked set to spread from government ministers to members of his own family.
“It’s clear that I am the real target,” the prime minister told reporters on Thursday. He said prosecutors were planning a second wave of investigations, including one into an education foundation run by members of his family, and complained that the judicial investigation was a second “war for independence” designed to overthrow his government."

'via Blog this'

Qatar Petroleum International Enters Into Share Capital Of Total E&P Congo Eurasia Review

Qatar Petroleum International Enters Into Share Capital Of Total E&P Congo Eurasia Review:

"Further to the signing of a framework agreement in early May, Total said Thursday that Qatar Petroleum International (QPI) is now a shareholder of Total E&P Congo, holding 15% of its capital.

“The conclusion of this agreement, which is an important milestone, builds on Total’s already well-established partnership with Qatar and at the same time strengthens our commitment to the development of the Congolese petroleum industry,” commented Christophe de Margerie, Chairman and CEO of Total.

This transaction, whilst demonstrating the quality of Total E&P Congo’s assets and the expertise within its organization, is also in line with the Group’s strategy of active portfolio management.

The 1.6 billion dollar increase of Total E&P Congo’s capital will consolidate its financial capacity at a time when it is progressing the development of the Moho Nord deep offshore project."

'via Blog this'

Abu Dhabi on course with diversification as non-oil economy records expansion | The National

Abu Dhabi on course with diversification as non-oil economy records expansion | The National:

"Abu Dhabi’s non-oil economy grew at a compound rate of 6.9 per cent a year in the five years to 2012.

The growth lifted the share of the emirate’s economy unrelated to hydrocarbons to 48 per cent, according to the Department of Economic Development.

The emirate’s 2030 Economic Vision calls for the non-oil sector to reach 64 per cent of the economy by 2030, compared with 44 per cent in 2010.

The emirate’s economic activity unrelated to oil and gas rose to US$88.5 billion by the end of 2012, increasing its share of the total economy by 5 percentage points to 48 per cent, the department said."

'via Blog this'

Ukraine to start negotiations on gas consortium in January - ForUm #euromaidan #євромайдан

Ukraine to start negotiations on gas consortium in January - ForUm:

"Ukraine will begin negotiations on creation of a consortium to control the gas transportation system in January of 2014, energy and coal industry minister Eduard Stavytsky told a briefing in the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, ForUm correspondent reports.

"We will begin these negotiations in January. As for the agreements that were reached earlier with investors and European banks concerning investments into our GTS, we will not stop on this. In the first quarter, I hope we will start the implementation of these agreements," Stavytsky said.

He also noted that the work on assessment of the Ukrainian GTS has been already completed. "In the near future the company conducting the assessment will submit the documentation, and then the amount will be made public," he promised."

'via Blog this'

Ukraine, ExxonMobil delay signing of PSA on Black Sea field - Natural Gas | Platts #euromaidan #євромайдан

Ukraine, ExxonMobil delay signing of PSA on Black Sea field - Natural Gas | Platts News Article & Story:

"Ukraine and an ExxonMobil-led consortium postponed by at least a month until January 2014 the signing of the production sharing agreement on tapping a Black Sea natural gas field, Energy and Coal Industry Minister Eduard Stavytskiy said.

The agreement, which was expected to be signed by the end of November, targets the offshore Skifske gas field that is expected to produce between 8 billion cubic meters and 10 billion cu m of gas annually.

'The agreement is ready,' Stavytskiy said at a press conference late Wednesday. 'We have moved [the signing] to January by mutual consent.'

Stavytskiy did not disclose the reason for the delay, but the government had been facing a major political crisis and massive street protests since November 21.

The protesters took to the streets after the government had refused to sign political association and free trade agreements with the European Union on November 29. Instead, President Viktor Yanukovych went to negotiate $15 billion bailout package and lower natural gas prices from Russia in a deal signed on December 17."

'via Blog this'

Central Bank Allows Trading of Foreign Shares | Business | The Moscow Times

Central Bank Allows Trading of Foreign Shares | Business | The Moscow Times:

"The Central Bank has decided to alter its policy and allow trading of foreign stocks in Russia without direct consent of their issuers, as long as the broker offering the shares takes responsibility for providing full disclosure, Vedomosti reported Thursday.

"Admitting first-class foreign issuers to the Russian market can give momentum to the development of the Russian financial market and the creation of a financial center in Moscow," a spokesman from the regulator's Service for Financial Markets said.

A law that went into force on Sept. 30 had required stock exchanges to sign agreements with issuers before permitting trades of foreign stocks.

The restriction prevented the Saint Petersburg stock exchange from launching trade of 108 foreign securities. At that time, 40 issuers spoke out against their stocks being traded in Russia, while Goldman Sachs registered a complaint about the exchange with the Central Bank."

'via Blog this'

Russian economy showed mixed results in 2013 | Russia Beyond The Headlines

Russian economy showed mixed results in 2013 | Russia Beyond The Headlines:

"The Russian economy started to stagnate at the end of the year. Throughout December, Russian and foreign experts lowered their forecasts of most key indicators.
A review of forecasts shows different expectations, however, they all agree that the domestic situation, rather than external factors, was the biggest influence on 2013.
President Vladimir Putin reiterated this point during his annual address to the Federal Assembly in December.

"


'via Blog this'

Why Iran Is the Country to Watch in 2014 | Alternet

Why Iran Is the Country to Watch in 2014 | Alternet:

"The big story of 2014 will be Iran. Of course, the big story of the early 21st century will never stop being US-China, but it's in 2014 that we will know whether a comprehensive accord transcending the Iranian nuclear program is attainable; and in this case the myriad ramifications will affect all that's in play in the New Great Game in Eurasia, including US-China.

As it stands, we have an interim deal of the P5+1 (the UN Security Council's five permanent members plus Germany) with Iran, and no deal between the US and Afghanistan. So, once again, we have Afghanistan configured as a battleground between Iran and the House of Saud, part of a geopolitical game played out in overdrive since the US invasion of Iraq in 2003 along the northern rim of the Middle East all the way to Khorasan and South Asia. "

'via Blog this'

Iranian stock market surges 133% in 2013 beating the Dubai Financial Market’s 113% jump « ArabianMoney

Iranian stock market surges 133% in 2013 beating the Dubai Financial Market’s 113% jump « ArabianMoney:

"Two of the hottest stock markets in the world are in the Gulf of Arabia this year. Among the Arabian Gulf States their commercial capital Dubai stands out with the Dubai Financial Market General Index up 113 per cent year-to-date. But across the water of the Persian Gulf the Tehran Stock Exchange can boast a 133 per cent surge in value this year.

This is actually the third year of strong gains in the TSE. Last year the index closed up 55 per cent and the gain in 2011 was 24 per cent. Not surprisingly Iranians have been abandoning real estate and gold in favour of a stock market that seems to head only north."

'via Blog this'

Boom in legal gold smuggling by Indian expatriates from the UAE replacing official imports « ArabianMoney

Boom in legal gold smuggling by Indian expatriates from the UAE replacing official imports « ArabianMoney:

"On paper imports of gold into India this year are dramatically down due to penal tax rates of 10 per cent. But in reality the gold is still getting into the country by a perfectly legal backdoor: expatriate Indians returning after more than six month’s absence are legally permitted to bring in one kilogram of the precious metal.

Eighty passengers on a Dubai to Calicut flight brought 80 kilograms of gold, an Indian newspaper reported last week week. They still have to pay import duty in convertible foreign currency of six per cent per cent ad valorem plus a three per cent tax. But that still leaves a tidy profit on an AED142,250 kilo bar."

'via Blog this'

Hello 2014: Russia has woken up to its problems, but can it find a solution? | beyondbrics

Hello 2014: Russia has woken up to its problems, but can it find a solution? | beyondbrics:

"The 5th in our series of guest posts on the outlook for 2014 is by Chris Weafer of Macro-Advisory

In economic terms 2013 was Russia’s Annus Horribilis. From growth of 3.4 per cent in 2012, and early expectations of a repeat performance this year, the economy is much more likely to report growth of only 1.3 per cent. That is still a good number in global terms but a long way off the 4 to 5 per cent growth that the country actually needs. A second consecutive year of poor growth will feel like stagnation and lead to a raft of earnings forecast downgrades in companies exposed to the domestic economy.

The good news is that the President and his Kremlin advisors are finally starting to pay attention."

'via Blog this'

S&P improves Ukraine ratings outlook to stable from negative

S&P improves Ukraine ratings outlook to stable from negative:

"Standard & Poor's has changed the outlook on its "B-" long-term foreign- and local currency ratings assigned to Ukraine to stable from negative, the agency said in a press release.

The outlook on the ratings was revised following the announcement of a financial support package from Russia.

"In our view, Ukrainian external and fiscal funding challenges have been significantly reduced by the announcement of a financial support package from Russia," reads the press release.

The stable outlook reflects S&P's view that the $15 billion (about 8% of 2014 GDP) in direct financing, which Russia announced on December 18, 2013, that it would provide to the Ukrainian government, should cover the government's external financing needs over the next 12 months."

'via Blog this'

The Peninsula Qatar - Qatar expects budget surplus of QR80bn

The Peninsula Qatar - Qatar expects budget surplus of QR80bn:

"Qatar is expected to post a budget surplus of over QR80bn ($21.97bn) in the current fiscal year as the budget was based on an oil price of $65 per barrel while the average crude prices in the international markets have been ruling at $105, financial experts and economists told Al Sharq yesterday.

The surplus estimates were actually QR7.4bn (based on an oil price of $65 per barrel) in the current financial year, while in the previous budget the surplus estimated was QR27.7bn. "

'via Blog this'

DIB to let foreigners buy more shares | The National

DIB to let foreigners buy more shares | The National:

"The board of Dubai Islamic Bank, the emirate’s biggest Sharia-compliant lender, yesterday approved a plan to increase the amount of the bank’s shares that foreign investors can buy – to 25 per cent from 15 per cent.

The move comes amid demand by global institutions to hold more shares in UAE companies.

“With the improved overall economic climate as well as the spectacular performance of DFM [Dubai Financial Market] over the last year, we were under increasing pressure to allow greater liquidity for foreign investors, particularly the institutional funds,” said Adnan Chilwan, the bank’s chief executive.

When it comes into force next year, the MSCI upgrade of UAE stock markets to emerging status from frontier status is expected to attract Dh1 billion in investments into listed companies."

'via Blog this'

Saudis to slow spending to lowest pace in a decade | The National

Saudis to slow spending to lowest pace in a decade | The National:

"Saudi Arabia plans to slow its spending to the lowest pace in more than a decade next year as the government responds to warnings that high expenditure risks running down oil wealth for future generations.

The impact of the budget, announced by the finance ministry this week, is likely to be closely watched by regional contractors as the kingdom scales back the pace on large building projects.

The 4 per cent rise in total budgeted spending to 855 billion riyals (Dh837.4bn) compares to a 5.9 per cent increase in actual expenditure during the current fiscal year.

The budget’s 248bn riyals earmarked for capital expenditure is around 13 per cent down from this year, the first time in 12 years that the government has trimmed planned spending in that area."

'via Blog this'

Iranians Pile Into Stocks as Detente Triggers 133% Rally - Bloomberg

Iranians Pile Into Stocks as Detente Triggers 133% Rally - Bloomberg:

"For evidence of how Iranians are embracing President Hassan Rouhani’s pledge to re-establish ties with the world economy after decades of crippling sanctions, take a look at the Tehran Stock Exchange.

While daily trading equals only about 22 seconds worth of stock transactions in the U.S., Iran’s market has been booming. The benchmark index soared 133 percent this year through Dec. 24 to a record, beating returns posted by the 93 major global equity gauges tracked by Bloomberg. Most of the rally followed the June election of 65-year-old Rouhani, who delivered an initial accord with global powers just five months into office.

One morning last week, a 23-year-old college graduate named Samira was standing with hundreds of others inside the bourse in downtown Tehran, preparing to plunk down $600 in her first investment in the market. As stock prices flashed on screens one flight above the trading floor, Samira said she was excited to buy her first shares, something she never would have considered under Rouhani’s predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad."

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

FINANCE - 2014 to be toughest year for Turkish banks: Garanti CEO

FINANCE - 2014 to be toughest year for Turkish banks: Garanti CEO:

"A tough year lies ahead for Turkish lenders because of the challenges expected to erupt with the U.S. Fed’s plan to taper its stimulus plan and macroeconomic conditions in the country, the CEO of Garanti Bank has said.

“I think 2014 will be hardest of the past 10 years for banking sector,” Garanti CEO Ergun Özen has told Anadolu Agency in a wide-ranging interview yesterday.

Özen said there were two main structural worries ahead of the economy: repercussions from the uncertainty arising from the U.S. Federal Reserve’s monetary exit strategy and reflections of measures taken for balancing growth components into banks’ balance sheets."

'via Blog this'

Saudi Gazette - Ma’aden wins $4.2b funding

Saudi Gazette - Ma’aden wins $4.2b funding:

"Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Ma'aden) has commitments from banks for financing worth up to SR15.75 billion ($4.2 billion) for a $7 billion phosphate project in Saudi Arabia, it said on Wednesday.

The project in the northern city of Waad Al-Shimal is a joint venture between Ma'aden, Saudi Basic Industries Corp and Mosaic and is part of the government efforts to create a stronger industrial base beyond oil refining and export.

The rest of the funding should come from two Saudi government funds – the Public Investment Fund (PIF) and Saudi Industrial Development Fund (SIDF) - as well as some export credit agencies (ECA)."

'via Blog this'

UAE stocks have more room for growth | GulfNews.com

UAE stocks have more room for growth | GulfNews.com:

"The UAE stock market is capable of growing by around 15-20 per cent next year while the short- to medium-term outlook is bullish, industry experts said.
“Real estate shares are recovering due to the recovery in real estate market, Dubai in particular. Abu Dhabi realty sector still has room for growth in 2014. The recovery in Abu Dhabi real estate market has not reached the same level as in Dubai,” Mohammad Ali Yasin, managing director at NBAD Securities, told Gulf News.
Emirates NBD, Emaar, Waha Capital, DIB and Dubai Investments have done pretty well this year.
The best performers on Dubai bourse for the year are Union Properties with 206.33 per cent, DIC with 187.56 per cent, Deyaar with 183.24, DIB with 164.68 per cent and GGICO by 150.86 per cent.
The bellwether Emaar rose 100.53 per cent year to date while Emirates NBD by 117 per cent."

'via Blog this'

Russia Micex Index Trims 2013 Gains as Mechel to Gazprom Drop - Bloomberg

Russia Micex Index Trims 2013 Gains as Mechel to Gazprom Drop - Bloomberg:

"Russian shares dropped, curbing this year’s advance, as OAO Mechel to OAO Gazprom retreated on bets gains this month were overdone.

The Micex Index (INDEXCF) lost 0.4 percent to 1,501.12 by the close in Moscow, trimming the 2013 increase to 1.8 percent and the advance in December to 1.5 percent. Mechel, the nation’s biggest coking coal producer, which has slumped 67 percent this year, fell 2 percent to 67.90 rubles. Gazprom decreased 0.6 percent to 140.80 rubles.

The Micex reversed some gains it’s made since the Federal Reserve announced plans on Dec. 18 to cut its monthly bond purchases by $10 billion to $75 billion, citing an improved outlook for the U.S. employment market. Stocks were also boosted by President Vladimir Putin’s decision to pardon imprisoned former Yukos Oil Co. owner Mikhail Khodorkovsky last week. U.S. and most global markets are closed for the holidays today."

'via Blog this'

Top Sukuk Manager Sees New Issuers Aiding Sales: Islamic Finance - Bloomberg

Top Sukuk Manager Sees New Issuers Aiding Sales: Islamic Finance - Bloomberg:

"Debut Islamic bonds from governments and companies seeking to cut financing costs will drive sukuk sales next year, according to HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA), with issuance probably rebounding to a record.

Growth will be boosted as borrowers follow governments from Dubai to Malaysia, which are seeking to promote Shariah-compliant bonds and become centers for Islamic finance, said Mohammed Dawood, global head of sukuk financing at HSBC, the bank that managed the most sukuk sales in 2013. The London-based lender is also working to introduce new instruments to help the securities compete with conventional bonds, he said by phone Dec. 22.

Islamic bond sales fell 9.5 percent in 2013 to $42 billion after reaching a record $46.4 billion last year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, in a market dominated by repeat borrowers. About $60 billion of sukuk will be sold in 2014, primarily by Malaysia and the Gulf countries, Moody’s Investors Service said in a report last month."

'via Blog this'

Turkey Stocks Slump With Lira as Minister Urges Erdogan to Quit - Bloomberg

Turkey Stocks Slump With Lira as Minister Urges Erdogan to Quit - Bloomberg:

"Turkey’s stock index slid to the lowest in four months and the lira fell after a third minister implicated in a corruption probe resigned, saying Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was responsible and should quit.

The Borsa Istanbul 100 Index fell 4.2 percent to 66,096.57 at the close in Istanbul, the lowest level since Aug. 28. The currency weakened 0.4 percent to 2.0861 per dollar at 5:40 p.m., after gaining as much as 0.7 percent earlier. The 10-year bond yield rose one basis points, or 0.01 percentage point, to 10.05 percent.

Environment and Urban Works Minister Erdogan Bayraktar said in an interview with NTV television that Erdogan should step down as well because all of his actions were done with the prime minister’s approval. Economy Minister Zafer Caglayan quit earlier today after police detained his son on Dec. 17 in probes into bribery, money laundering, corruption in government tenders and gold smuggling, his office said in a statement. Interior Minister Muammer Guler, whose son was jailed too, also resigned, NTV said. Bayraktar’s son was also detained, then released in the investigation."

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Russia can call in Ukraine loan if situation warrants - Shuvalov #EuroMaidan

Russia can call in Ukraine loan if situation warrants - Shuvalov:

"Russia can demand early repayment of the loan it is making to Ukraine if the situation warrants, First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov said.

"The financial assistance agreement gives us the right to demand that the Ukrainian government repay this loan at any time, backed by the most severe legal consequences," Shuvalov said in an interview with the Rossiya 24 television network when asked if Kyiv, having secured multi-billion dollar financial assistance from Moscow, might turn around and sign the EU association agreement after all.

"Russia has fully secured its rights on the legal plane," Shuvalov said.

Following talks with Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych last week, President Vladimir Putin announced that Russia would use money from the National Welfare Fund to buy $15 billion in Ukrainian sovereign Eurobonds, including $3 billion before year-end. The coupons on the bonds, being placed on the Irish Stock Exchange, will pay 5% annually."

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Dana Jumps Most in 8 Years After Egypt Payment: Abu Dhabi Mover - Bloomberg

Dana Jumps Most in 8 Years After Egypt Payment: Abu Dhabi Mover - Bloomberg:

"Dana Gas PJSC (DANA), a United Arab Emirates natural gas producer, rose the most in eight years after a $53 million payment from the Egyptian government stoked bets the company’s cashflow is improving.

The stock surged 15 percent, the most since December 2005, to 86 fils at the close in Abu Dhabi. More than 311 million shares traded, almost nine times the three-month average daily volume. Egypt has paid Dana $130 million this year of a total $330 million owed, according to a statement to Abu Dhabi bourse. Dana led a 0.6 percent advance on the ADX General Index, which rose for a fifth day.

Egypt delayed payments for energy supplies after the 2011 popular uprising slowed economic growth and as local gas output declined, putting pressure on the government’s price-cap policy. Dana, based in Sharjah, UAE, restructured about $1 billion of Islamic bonds last year because of remittance holdups caused by political unrest in Egypt and Iraq."

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Hello 2014: factors to titillate EM investors in 2014 | beyondbrics

Hello 2014: factors to titillate EM investors in 2014 | beyondbrics:

"The 4th in our series of guest posts on the outlook for 2014 is by Jan Dehn of Ashmore Group Head of Research, Ashmore Group

The outlook for Emerging Markets (EM) going into 2014 is dramatically better than at the start of 2013. Better fundamentals, stronger technicals and attractive valuations after a sharp technical sell-off in 2013 will lure investors. Tapering also poses less risk now, while many EM countries are now taking reforms very seriously. The way to approach this opportunity is through active management, because credit stories and elections feature prominently in the 2014 outlook."

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Qatar’s international reserves may scale up to $485bn by 201..

Qatar’s international reserves may scale up to $485bn by 201..:

"
Qatar’s international reserves are likely to scale up to $485bn by 2017 even as the country continues to “build large financial buffers against adverse global shocks”, shows a new report.

Qatar, according to Beltone Financial, has the “appropriate policy mix to manage domestic and external risks”.

Qatar continues to build large financial buffers against adverse global shocks. Despite large external debt, Qatar has foreign exchange reserves of more than 100% of GDP.

It has been the government’s practice in recent years to transfer up to 50% of LNG export earnings to the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) as part of a strategy to diversify hydrocarbon income abroad, Beltone said. “Reflecting the buildup in foreign exchange reserves”, external assets by the QIA are estimated to have reached $175bn (90% of GDP) in addition to official reserves of around $39bn (20% of GDP) at Qatar Central Bank as of end-October in 2013."

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Dubai developer Nakheel mulls IPO once liabilities are cleared | The National

Dubai developer Nakheel mulls IPO once liabilities are cleared | The National:

"Nakheel, the property group behind some of Dubai’s most glamorous projects, is considering a stock market flotation once its financial restructuring has been worked through.

Ali Rashid Lootah, the chairman of the company behind the Palm Jumeirah and The World developments, revealed in an interview with The National that an initial public offering could go ahead once the company’s liabilities hd been cleared in 2018.

“At the moment we are looking at meeting commitments to lenders and investors, but we will look at an IPO in the future."

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Nakheel CEO talks Dubai construction and growth | The National

Nakheel CEO talks Dubai construction and growth | The National:

"Back in 2009, Nakheel was the barometer of the Dubai economy, and the pressure was falling fast.

As the company responsible for some of the emirate’s most jaw-dropping properties, most notably the Jumeirah Palm and The World archipelago, Nakheel had done a good deal to create Dubai’s global image.

Nakheel executives do not like the word bling, but that was the image often associated with the company, and with the emirate, and Nakheel was the bling merchant par excellence.

But at the height of the financial crisis, there was little glamorous in what was happening at Nakheel. The develper was responsible for the lion’s share of debts owned by Dubai World, which threatened the health of the Dubai financial system."

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Dana Gas Receives US$ 53 million from Egypt | GulfNews.com

Dana Gas Receives US$ 53 million from Egypt | GulfNews.com:

"Dana Gas announced on Tuesday that it has received from the Egyptian Government authorities the payment of Dh194 million ($53 million) from the current total outstanding receivables of Dh1,210 million ($330 million).
Payment of $42 million has been received in US dollars and the balance in equivalent Egyptian pounds. Including this tranche, during 2013, Dana Gas has received a total of Dh476 million ($130 million) from the Egyptian Government authorities. The Egyptian Government has committed to work with the Company on a plan to repay the remainder of the outstanding receivables over an agreed time frame."

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Tuesday, 24 December 2013

FINANCE - Emerging debt sales hit surprise record in 2013

FINANCE - Emerging debt sales hit surprise record in 2013:

"Emerging market dollar bond sales hit record highs of $450 billion this year, surprising industry players who had predicted issuance to suffer from the threat of U.S. monetary stimulus withdrawal.

Worries about the squeezing of the U.S. lifeline that had fuelled demand for risky assets drove money from emerging market debt funds and hit returns in 2013, after several years of inflows and double-digit gains.

But low interest rates in historical terms and an absence of the expected tapering of U.S. stimulus kept borrowers coming, with only a relatively brief market freeze.

“The market was only really closed in June and July, that’s generally a very quiet part of the year,” said Marc Balston, emerging debt analyst at Deutsche Bank. “We probably only missed a month or six weeks. We saw a catch-up in September.”"

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