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Saturday, 31 August 2013

Familiar factors disturb Gulf stocks and bonds | GulfNews.com

Familiar factors disturb Gulf stocks and bonds | GulfNews.com:

"Gulf markets were naturally alarmed last week by the ramifications of the Syrian situation and pending international intervention.
At the same time, an element of profit-taking in stocks was present, with analysts referring to the elimination of some speculative froth. Clearly, it was a memo to all concerned that what goes up can come down again, even if the underlying trend is relatively assured.
As to bonds, their fate appears as captured by global benchmarks as has, in some places, been fully foreshadowed. That has made focusing on the policy and economic leadership of the US an imperative for investors."

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Saudi Arabian tourists drive UAE economy | GulfNews.com

Saudi Arabian tourists drive UAE economy | GulfNews.com:

"
  • Image Credit: Pankaj Sharma/Gulf News
  • Saudi tourists at The Dubai Mall. Saudis visit Dubai during the summer holidays, Eid Al Fitr and Eid Al Adha. They also come during the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) and Gitex Shopper.
Saudi Arabian tourists have played a role in boosting the UAE economy, which is led by trade and tourism.
While the majority of visitors from the kingdom come to Dubai, they also visit other emirates, such as Abu Dhabi and Ras Al Khaimah.
“Saudi Arabia is the biggest market for Dubai in terms of room occupancy,” said Philip Wooller, area director of STR Global for the Middle East and Africa. Last year, Saudi Arabia topped the source markets with 1,128,757 visitors to Dubai. The number was less in Abu Dhabi, with 70,765 visitors, says Wooller."

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Ukraine's economy far from perfection, but it's possible to work and develop in current conditions, Regions Party says

Ukraine's economy far from perfection, but it's possible to work and develop in current conditions, Regions Party says:

"Tax burden in Ukraine did not rise on the background of the economic crisis in contrast to some other countries, MP (the Party of Regions faction) Volodymyr Saldo has said.

"Unlike other countries that are also affected by the global economic crisis, tax burden in Ukraine was not increased. Yeah, it is too far to perfection, economic fluctuations are continuing. But figures are a stubborn thing, they indicate that it is possible to work and develop even in these conditions. And if there is imbalance in payments for services rendered, which is very noticeable locally, it should be eliminated," the press service said citing the deputy.

He noted that the course towards Ukraine's modernization proposed by President Viktor Yanukovych "gave a strong impetus to the development of our country," adding that the real proof of this are the adopted and, which is most important, "working Tax, Customs, Budget and Criminal Procedure Codes.""

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Moody's upbeat on Oman's new Islamic banking sector - Banking & Finance - ArabianBusiness.com

Moody's upbeat on Oman's new Islamic banking sector - Banking & Finance - ArabianBusiness.com:

"
Oman's new Islamic banking sector is likely to take a 6-8 percent share of the market over the next three to five years, according to a new report by rating agency Moody's.
It said the introduction of the Islamic Banking Regulatory Framework was "credit positive for the local banks", as expansion into Islamic banking has the potential to strengthen their franchises and diversify revenue generation.
The industry, however, will still need to manage various challenges to deliver the anticipated growth, Moody's added."

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The week ahead: Syria crisis



Can Dubai real estate head up again when financial markets are turning down? « ArabianMoney

Can Dubai real estate head up again when financial markets are turning down? « ArabianMoney:

"
Early in 2006 the Dubai Financial Market and Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange both crashed hard. But that did not prevent property prices in Dubai more than doubling over the next two-and-a-half years, before then also coming down like a stone.

Could it be the same story again this year with a major correction in local stock markets last month being followed by a renewed surge in the growing property boom in the UAE this autumn? It is certainly possible for history to repeat itself all over again."

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RIGZONE - Russia Lukoil Eyes Gas Production in Saudi Arabia in 2014

RIGZONE - Russia Lukoil Eyes Gas Production in Saudi Arabia in 2014:

"MOSCOW, Aug 30 (Reuters) - Russia's No.2 oil producer Lukoil plans to start natural gas production in Saudi Arabia next year, the company's vice president Leonid Fedun said on Friday.

"We made a discovery of 400 billion cubic metres... This would be large enough and the first gas-producing project in Saudi Arabia," he said during a conference call.

Lukoil secured a deal to find and pump gas in Saudi Arabia from the project known as Block A last decade.

The project is small by the standards of Saudi Arabia's immense hydrocarbon reserves, but it creates a potentially useful new link between producer cartel OPEC's leading member and Russia, the world's number one oil exporter."

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United Arab Shipping Company places Dh8.8b orders for 17 ships with South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries | GulfNews.com

United Arab Shipping Company places Dh8.8b orders for 17 ships with South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries | GulfNews.com:

"United Arab Shipping Company (UASC), the Gulf’s largest container shipping line, has placed orders for 10 large container ships with an option for additional seven vessels valued at Dh8.8 billion ($2.4 billion) to South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries.
The order, the largest in the GCC, involves the construction of five 18,000 twenty-feet-equivalent units (TEU) vessels and five 14,000 TEU vessels valued at around $1.3 billion (Dh4.8 billion). The order includes options for one 18,000 TEU and six 14,000 TEU vessels, with a potential value of $1.1 billion.
A contract to this effect was signed by Dr Abdul Aziz Al Ohaly, UASC Board Member and O.H. Kim, President and Chief Operating Officer of Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) on August 29 in Dubai. The ships are scheduled for delivery between 2014 and 2015."

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Times of Oman | News :: Saudi Arabian crude output soars to 24-year high: Survey

Times of Oman | News :: Saudi Arabian crude output soars to 24-year high: Survey:

"
Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) crude production climbed in August as Saudi Arabia pumped oil at the fastest pace in at least 24 years, a Bloomberg survey showed.

Output by the 12-member Opec increased 116,000 barrels a day, or 0.4 per cent, to an average 31.04 million from a revised 30.924 million in July, the survey of oil companies, producers and analysts showed on Thursday. The gain was the sixth in seven months.

Saudi output climbed 150,000 barrels to 9.95 million barrels a day in August, the sixth straight gain and the most for Opec's biggest supplier in monthly data going back to 1989. It was the largest gain of any Opec member this month."

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Yandex NV (YNDX): Yandex: A Russian Search Engine For Profit Seekers - Seeking Alpha

Yandex NV (YNDX): Yandex: A Russian Search Engine For Profit Seekers - Seeking Alpha:

"Our new stock idea is a speculation name, Yandex N.V., (YNDX), which is a Dutch company but really a Russian Internet search engine firm. Yandex trades on the Nasdaq exchange when it hasn't crashed, at around $33. Bank of America Merrill Lynch has a target price of $45. It is rated 'buy by 8 analysts, "strong buy" by 2, and "hold" by 2.

YNDX also offers search engines in Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Belarus and with its latest deal Turkey. Ukraine and Russia currently have tense relations, Turkey and Russia are at loggerheads over Syria, and Belarus and Russia dispute pricing potash, so there are clear and present political risks. Yandex search is financed via advertising to computers, mobile phones and other digital devices. It also does money transfers in its homeland via a joint venture with Sberbank, called Yandex Money, of which it owns 75%."

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Friday, 30 August 2013

ENERGY - China oil giant buys into strife-hit Egypt for $ 3.1 billion

ENERGY - China oil giant buys into strife-hit Egypt for $ 3.1 billion:

"Chinese oil giant Sinopec is entering Egypt despite the country’s political strife, announcing Aug. 30 it is buying a $3.1 billion stake in an existing operation as China scours the globe for energy reserves.

State-owned Sinopec will buy a one-third share in the Egyptian oil and natural gas business of US firm Apache Corp., the companies said.

The deal, which is still subject to regulatory approval, marks Sinopec’s first entry into exploration and production for oil and gas in Egypt, Sinopec said.

It is the latest major Chinese resources acquisition abroad and comes after CNOOC, another Chinese state-owned energy giant, bought Canada’s Nexen in a $15 billion deal last year despite political opposition."

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Financial Mirror dot com - Alpha Bank profit beats forecasts; to sell Ukraine subsidiary

Financial Mirror dot com - Alpha Bank profit beats forecasts; to sell Ukraine subsidiary:

"Greece's third-largest bank Alpha swung to a net profit in the first half, helped by lower funding costs and rising income from lending.

The bank earned a net 2.73 bln euros ($3.6 bln) compared with a loss of 460 mln a year before, a result which topped an average 2.64 bln forecast in a Reuters poll and included a 2.6 bln accounting gain from its takeover of peer Emporiki.

Alpha would have swung to a profit even without the Emporiki gain, helped by lower funding costs, mainly due to reduced recourse to costly emergency funding from the Greek central bank. "

'via Blog this'

Strikes and lawlessness bring Libya’s oil industry to its knees - FT.com

Strikes and lawlessness bring Libya’s oil industry to its knees - FT.com:

"
A Libyan oil terminal burns during the civil war.
Security troubles continue to make life
difficult for business
Libya is facing its worst crisis since the fall of Colonel Muammer Gaddafi in 2011 as a growing malaise in the country’s oil industry sets regional and tribal groups against the government and starves the state of essential export revenues.
Oil production has fallen from 1.4m barrels a day at the start of the year to just 250,000 b/d, according to the government – and less according to independent consultants – as key infrastructure has been shut down.
In a country where petroleum export revenues accounted for three-quarters of gross domestic product last year, the implications are enormous."

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Oman sultan's Iran visit sparks hopes of progress in nuclear standoff | World news | theguardian.com

Oman sultan's Iran visit sparks hopes of progress in nuclear standoff | World news | theguardian.com:

"
Oman's Sultan Qaboos bin Said (left) meets Iran's president, Hassan Rouhani, in Tehran.
Photograph: Irna handout/Reuters
The first visit by a foreign leader to Iran since Hassan Rouhani assumed the presidency came earlier this week with the arrival of Oman's sultan, Qaboos bin Said Al Said. Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran's new foreign minister, officially greeted Sultan Qaboos at Tehran's Mehrabad Airport on Sunday, and then saw him off personally on Tuesday.

While the sultanate, which lies across the Gulf of Oman from Iran, has limited geopolitical importance, its ruler's trip received heavy coverage in the Iranian media – a level of attention no doubt amplified by the fact that it came amid the dog days of the Tehran summer. Stories spread that there was a secret agenda to his meetings with Iranian officials, involving claims that he came to convey messages from the United States and then to relay Iran's response to White House officials.

According to the principlist website Asr-e Iran, Qaboos is supposed to set the stage for indirect negotiations between Iran and the United States. Iranian media outlets, before and after the sultan's visit, have claimed that he has received provisional US approval for his proposals."

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How can Iraq attract investors?

How can Iraq attract investors?:

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Oman's ancient trade links

Egypt approves USD 3.2 billion economic stimulus package | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT

Egypt approves USD 3.2 billion economic stimulus package | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT:

"The Egyptian cabinet has approved an additional EGP 22.3 billion (USD 3.2 billion) in spending on investment projects in a bid to boost the economy over the forthcoming ten months, according to Deputy Prime Minister Ziad Bahaa El-Din.

The military-backed interim government in Cairo is seeking to restore confidence in the economy following two popular uprisings over the past three and a half years. Despite significant financial assistance from Gulf states following President Mohamed Mursi’s ouster earlier this year, the Egyptian economy remains troubled. The recent violence in the country has only made things worse, with a national curfew striking a severe blow to many businesses.

Bahaa El-Din said that the new investments will be aimed towards labor-intensive projects and services that help the poor. This will include building railways, roads and bridges, in addition to the construction of 131 potable water and sewage treatment plants. Cairo’s transportation networks, including the metro system are also set to be revamped."

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BUSINESS - Italian firm to bring Turkey ‘30 bln euros’

BUSINESS - Italian firm to bring Turkey ‘30 bln euros’:

"An Italian company is considering moving its 30 billion-euro assets from Switzerland to Turkey in a move that could help Turkey’s Central Bank governor’s pledge to protect the Turkish Lira, according to dailies Habertürk and Milliyet.

A company majorly owned by Italians with a minor Bulgarian partner has been in talks with Turkish Finance Ministry officials for over a week in Ankara.

According to reports, the company representatives are considering bringing their 30 billion euros to Turkey from Switzerland due to the Italian government’s recent inquiries, asking Switzerland to divulge its citizens’ banking data."

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Global house prices: Location, location, location | The Economist

Global house prices: Location, location, location | The Economist click thru for interactive chart

BRICS: Prospects for Ukraine - ForUm

BRICS: Prospects for Ukraine - ForUm:

"
Despite complicated global economic situation, a number of leading countries demonstrate stable economic growth even during the crisis. These are, first of all, the countries of BRICS group - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (since 2010). Thus, China remains the most dynamic economy of the world with 7.8% of growth in 2012. India is not so far behind (+5.4% in 2012); in Russia GDP growth made 3.6% last year, in South Africa - 2.6%, in Brazil - 1.3%.

Together these countries take 26% of land, 43% of world population and more than 15% of global economy, or $16 trillion. So, what is the importance of this union for the world and Ukraine, in particular? "

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#Putin ‘deserves medal’ for pushing #Ukraine towards EU | EurActiv

Putin ‘deserves medal’ for pushing Ukraine towards EU | EurActiv:

"A Ukrainian opposition leader jokingly said yesterday (29 August) that by staging a trade war against Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin “deserved a medal” as he boosted the chances of Kyiv signing its Association Agreement with the EU in November.
Arseniy Yatsenyuk, leader of the party Batkivschchyna party of jailed former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, said that after the Vilnius Eastern Partnership summit on 28 and 29 November, when Ukraine is expected to sign its EU Association Agreement, he would ask that Putin be awarded for achieving this goal. Yatseniuk and two other parliamentary opposition leaders, Vitali Klitschko (UDAR) and Oleh Tiahnybok (Svoboda), spoke to the Brussels press yesterday together with Enlargement and Neighbourhood Commissioner Štefan Füle."   'via Blog this'

Non-cash operations growing in Ukraine - ForUm

Non-cash operations growing in Ukraine - ForUm:

"Pace of development of non-cash payments grows in Ukraine, deputy governor of the National Bank of Ukraine Vira Rychakovska told a briefing, ForUm correspondent reports.

"Over the past three years, the pace of development of cashless payments increased by almost five times," she said.

According to her, if in 2012 non-cash operations made up 92 billion UAH, only for the first half of this year it reached 72 billion UAH."

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Ukraine cannot avoid referendum to decide on accession to EU or Customs Union, says Yanukovych » Interfax News Wire

Ukraine cannot avoid referendum to decide on accession to EU or Customs Union, says Yanukovych » Interfax News Wire :: Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Central Asia:

"Kyiv, August 30 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has said that a national referendum is to be conducted if a decision to join the European Union (EU) or the Customs Union is made.

“Any decisions we make have to be far-sighted. Any decisions, from simple to serious and strategic, with which we are now concerned, can show what the choice of the Ukrainian nation is, via a referendum,” Yanukovych said in an interview with Ukrainian television channels broadcasted on the 1+1 TV channel on Friday.

“We don’t know when the referendum will be held. When the decision to join the European Union or the Customs Union is made, we cannot do without a referendum.”

As reported, Yanukovych gave an interview to Savik Shuster (Shuster Live, Inter TV Channel), Oleksandr Tkachenko (1+1 TV channel), Andriy Kulikov (IСTV) and Larysa Hubina (the Fifth Channel) on Thursday."

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WIG-Ukraine unchanged as UX declines - Business - News - Ukraine Business Online

WIG-Ukraine unchanged as UX declines - Business - News - Ukraine Business Online:

"Thursday’s trading left Warsaw stocks dancing in place, UX stocks in Kyiv down slightly with LSE-listed stocks becoming a disaster zone.

Concorde Capital provides more info in its daily market comment:

“Despite calming European markets, Ukrainian equities remained depressed in trading on Thursday, August 29. The WIG Ukraine Index of Warsaw-traded stocks was unchanged, with the biggest mover being farmer Agroton (AGT PW), whose shares bounced 10.2% after a three-session slump. Most other stocks were in the red: erratic Coal Energy (CLE PW) plunged 6.5% yesterday, KSG Agro (KSG PW -1.5%) has lost 9.6% in four straight declining sessions and sugar producer Astarta (AST PW -0.1%) has fallen 5.8% in three straight negative sessions. In London, the slaughter continued of poultry producer MHP (MHPC LI), which plunged 5.3% after it released disappointed 2Q13 earnings. Its shares have plummeted 18.3% in ten straight losing sessions. Mining firm Ferrexpo (FXPO LN -2.5%) has plunged 9.2% in three straight declining sessions. The Ukrainian Exchange (UX) Index of Kyiv-traded stocks slid 0.4%, pulled down by Ukrsotsbank (USCB UK -2.2%).”"

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EU Enlargement Czar Meets Divisive #Ukraine Opposition Leader - Real Time Brussels - WSJ @NaftaliBendavid

EU Enlargement Czar Meets Divisive Ukraine Opposition Leader - Real Time Brussels - WSJ:

"When Stefan Füle, the European commissioner for enlargement and European neighborhoods, emerged Thursday to talk to reporters about his meetings with Ukrainian opposition leaders, he was joined by three politicians.

The first was Arseniy Yatsenyuk, leader of the biggest opposition bloc. The second was Vitali Klitschko, a boxing champion and rising political star.

The third was Oleh Tiahnybok, leader of the Svoboda Party, which has been accused of antisemitism and homophobia. Some may have considered this a surprising choice for an event meant to showcase Ukraine’s prospects for joining the European family."

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The Wrap | @REBELECONOMY

The Wrap | REBEL ECONOMY:

"1) Egypt and Turkey – Bloomberg
It’s amazing how fickle Egypt’s government can be when it drops an old friend.
Egypt’s new government has made it clear it is not prepared to cooperate with Turkey, an ally and donor of the Muslim Brotherhood. Tensions have grown between the two countries since the army toppled Islamist president Mohammed Morsi and Turkey is suffering for it, with exports dropping as much as 30% since July 3, the day of the coup.
The Federation of the Egyptian Chambers of Commerce this week announced they will suspend all official trade relations with the Turkey after Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan described Morsi’s ouster as an “unacceptable military coup”.
But with the volume of trade between the two countries estimated at about $5 billion, excluding tourism and joint investment projects, Egypt will also end up paying a price for its bad diplomacy. "

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The options for emerging markets | FT Alphaville

The options for emerging markets | FT Alphaville:

"From a recent Citi presentation, a chart stressing the potential risk of negative-feedback loops in the options available to those emerging market countries now trying to stem capital outflows and defend their currencies:



The chart makes an important point and is self-explanatory, but it isn’t comprehensive.

Notably excluded is the imposition of capital controls on outflows, which thus far have been mostly resisted with the exception of some limited measures in India."

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Saudi Arabia studies report on Egypt’s financial needs | Arab News — Saudi Arabia News, Middle East News, Opinion, Economy and more.

Saudi Arabia studies report on Egypt’s financial needs | Arab News — Saudi Arabia News, Middle East News, Opinion, Economy and more.:

"
A salesman waits for customers in his souvenir shop in the Khan El-Khalili market in Cairo. (AP)
Saudi Arabia is studying a report submitted by Egypt detailing its financial needs to support its ailing economy over the coming year, the Kingdom’s ambassador to Cairo said.
Saudi Arabia pledged $5 billion in aid soon after the army, prompted by mass protests, ousted Muhammad Mursi on July 3.
The government has run a budget deficit of $3.2 billion a month since January.
Interim Prime Minister Hazem Beblawi has presented a “Marshall Plan” to Gulf states, seeking support that he hopes will relieve some of the pressure on the economy."

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Is a 50% Market Decline Possible?

Is a 50% Market Decline Possible?:

"Before we get stuck into today's Daily Reckoning, just a reminder to watch out for a special report from Gowdie Family Wealth editor Vern Gowdie tomorrow. Vern makes some pretty big claims. We won't go into it here, but if you think we're bearish, check out Vern's well-reasoned analysis for a comparison.

Not that we've gone soft or anything. In fact, we're just putting the finishing touches to our latest issue, wherein we make the case that a 50% fall in the S&P500 is not only possible over the next few years, it's entirely probable.

That may sound extreme, but it's happened plenty of times before. It happened after the 2000 tech bubble and after the 2007 US housing bubble. It also happened after the long post-Second World War boom ended in the late 1960s."

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France wins Saudi Arabia defence contract: Report - The Economic Times

France wins Saudi Arabia defence contract: Report - The Economic Times:

"France has won a billion euro defence contract with Saudi Arabia to overhaul four frigates and two refuelling ships, sources said.

A source close to the matter confirmed a report on the La Tribune website saying negotiations that had dragged on for years were now over.

The upkeep deal involves French weapons and systems makers, Thales, DCNS and MBDA and would overhaul vessels that date back to the 1980s.

None of the companies involved wished to comment, but La Tribune reported that the launch of work could come as early as September and would precede a visit to the kingdom by French President Francois Hollande this autumn."

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Emirates to more than double US destinations in the next three to five years | GulfNews.com

Emirates to more than double US destinations in the next three to five years | GulfNews.com:

"Emirates Airline plans to more than double its network of US destinations in the next three to five years to a total of 15 US cities, up from seven currently, a company official said.
Emirates plans to add as many as three new US city destinations in the next 12 months, Thierry Antinori, chief commercial officer, said in an interview with Reuters.
The comments mark a further sign of the expansion aims of one of the fastest-growing Middle Eastern carriers."

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Julphar looks to a healthy future in the UAE and abroad - The National

Julphar looks to a healthy future in the UAE and abroad - The National:

"
The UAE pharmaceutical company Julphar is scouting for a larger market beyond the Middle East as part of its ambitious expansion plans.

Based in Ras Al Khaimah, it is among the few companies in the sector to grow out of the Arabian Gulf region and it is doing very well.

In the first half of this year, Julphar's sales grew to Dh696.4 million, up 10.5 per cent year-on-year. Gross profit was Dh412.1 million, an increase of 8.3 per cent."

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Egypt turns back on IMF and looks to Gulf for stimulus - The National

Egypt turns back on IMF and looks to Gulf for stimulus - The National:

"Egypt is betting on aid from its oil-rich Arabian Gulf neighbours to spur its ailing economy, ending a two-year pursuit of an IMF loan it had touted as vital to regaining investor confidence.

The government has announced approval of a 22.3 billion Egyptian-pound (Dh11.75bn) stimulus package after securing US$12 billion in aid pledges from the Gulf last month. Egypt doesn't "currently have the desire or the need to ask for assistance from the IMF," the finance minister Ahmed Galal said.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Kuwait rushed to aid Egypt following the military's removal of Mohammed Morsi from the presidency last month."

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DP World profits climb 9% despite fall in volumes - The National

DP World profits climb 9% despite fall in volumes - The National:

"
Improved margins and cost controls lifted profits at DP World, the UAE-based global ports operator, in the first half of this year despite challenging economic conditions in world markets.

Financial results for the first half, announced yesterday, showed a 9.1 per cent rise in net profits, against the background of a 5.8 per cent decline in volumes of goods at its 65 marine terminals from Sydney, Australia to Santos, Brazil.

The chairman, Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, said the figures represented "another strong set of results in spite of challenging market conditions". He added that conditions had improved in the second quarter and said he was optimistic that trend would continue for the rest of the year."

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UAE start-ups still need help on funds - The National

UAE start-ups still need help on funds - The National:

"While start-ups are benefiting from a more positive economic environment in Dubai, getting financing to grow their businesses remains an obstacle.

Economic growth and business sentiment are high according to three reports out this month. And earlier this year, the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business report ranked the UAE 26th among 183 countries, making it the forerunner in the Arab world.

These were also strong indicators for the small and medium enterprises (SME) sector that benefits most from a sound economic environment, said Neil Petch, the chairman of Virtuzone, a Dubai-based business that helps companies to set up."

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New Eastern Europe - Hashtags and Fan Pages vs.Trade Barriers

New Eastern Europe - Hashtags and Fan Pages vs.Trade Barriers:

"
When Russia openly started a trade war against Ukraine in August 2013, the reason for it was quite obvious – to hamper the eventual decision on signing the Association Agreement with the European Union during the upcoming Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius, and make those who influence the decisions of the Ukrainian authorities think more deeply about closer cooperation with Russia’s Customs Union project. The stake is thus quite high. These events have caused many comments.
What is often stressed is the assumption that Russia’s coercion will appear counterproductive because of the negative reaction of society. At the end of the day, ordinary people will stop buying Russian products, they say. Increased social media activity related to this problem is usually presented as the herald of the forthcoming fall in demand for Russian goods among Ukrainians."

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Saudi Gazette - GCC companies beginning to put reputation before profit – survey

Saudi Gazette - GCC companies beginning to put reputation before profit – survey:

"Once the sole remit of the marketing and PR departments, reputational risk is now seen as a critical company-wide concern, according to a global survey by the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) and the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA).

The survey of GCC finance leaders who hold the Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) designation, identified the demand for more transparency, competitor reputational failures and the rise in social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn as key contributing factors to the increased global interest on the topic.

Despite this, nearly 70 percent of organizations surveyed admitted to not always using feedback from these channels to help them anticipate and manage risk to their reputation. Similarly, 52 percent of those surveyed had no formal processes or models in place for calculating the financial impact of not managing reputational risk. "

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Thursday, 29 August 2013

Ukraine should step up efforts to sign new IMF program, experts say » Interfax News Wire

Ukraine should step up efforts to sign new IMF program, experts say » Interfax News Wire :: Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Central Asia:

"Ukraine should step up efforts to sign a new Stand-By Arrangement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to stabilize the economic situation and resist pressure from Russia, say experts from the German Advisory Group, which is forming recommendations for the authorities of Ukraine.

“Ukraine has come under intense economic pressure from Russia three months before the expected signing of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area Agreement (DCFTA) with the EU. To stabilize the economic situation and resist pressure from Russia, Ukraine should intensify efforts to sign a new IMF program,” reads a statement by the group experts, the text of which has been sent Interfax -Ukraine.

The group experts believe that Ukraine should sign an agreement with the IMF in the near future, following the requirement to increase the flexibility of the currency exchange rate and raise energy tariffs: macroeconomic stability can be achieved only after these requirements are met."

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UAE-based rig maker Lamprell back into the black with $14.7m profit - The National

UAE-based rig maker Lamprell back into the black with $14.7m profit - The National:

"The UAE-based rig maker Lamprell swung into profit in the first half of the year, reversing losses incurred as the company ventured from its core oil and gas business.

Lamprell recorded a profit of US$14.7 million on revenues of $521m. The first-half figure contrasted with a net loss of $110.5m for the full year in 2012, when delays and cost overruns during the construction of an offshore wind-turbines carrier cost the company dear.

"After the challenges of 2012, I am pleased to be able to report a return to profitability for the group," said James Moffat, Lamprell's chief executive."

'via Blog this'

Belarus to Prosecute Uralkali Owner | Business | The Moscow Times

Belarus to Prosecute Uralkali Owner | Business | The Moscow Times:

"The conflict around Uralkali's breakup with its Belarussian partner took another dramatic twist Thursday after Minsk announced their intention to open a criminal case into billionaire Suleiman Kerimov, the major owner of the potash giant.

The documents received by Belarus' Investigative Committee are a sufficient reason for opening the case and putting Kerimov on the international wanted list, the agency's spokesman Pavel Traulko said.

"One does not have to have a special legal background" to understand the essence of the possible charges against the businessman, Traulko said. He added that "other individuals, including Belarussian citizens" face similar sanctions but didn't specify names.

Traulko didn't comment on the possible timing for opening the case."

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Poland first to get gas from 'fracking' in Europe — RT Business

Poland first to get gas from 'fracking' in Europe — RT Business:

"
A shale gas fracking facility run by Poland's PKN Orlen company is seen on the outskirts of the village of Uscimow, south-eastern Poland, June 15, 2013. (Reuters/Peter Andrews)
Poland has begun a test extraction of shale gas in amounts not seen in Europe before. Eager to reduce energy dependency on Russia, Poland has succeeded after three international firms quit drilling in the country.

Lane Energy Poland, controlled by ConocoPhillips, is now extracting some 8,000 cubic metres of shale gas per day at a test well in the northern city of Lebork in Poland, Reuters quotes a polish newspaper. Although the productivity of the site is lower than at gas fields in the US or Canada, it is still a breakthrough and marks the first positive result for shale gas extraction in Europe, according to the Poland's Chief Geologist Piotr Wozniak.

Another Polish refiner PKN Orlen is also expected to announce the production results of tests at its well in Syczyn in eastern Poland, one of the most promising in the country."

'via Blog this'

Saudi prince's swipe at tiny Qatar draws riposte | Reuters

Saudi prince's swipe at tiny Qatar draws riposte | Reuters:

"A U.S. media report quoting the Saudi intelligence chief as mocking Qatar over its small population has drawn a stinging rebuke from Doha, underlining tensions between the two Gulf Arab states over clashing foreign policies.

While both are in the Gulf Cooperation Council political-military bloc, Qatar and Saudi Arabia have strong differences with Doha backing Islamists in Arab Spring revolts elsewhere and Riyadh opposing them as a threat to regional stability.

Qatar had taken an especially robust lead in supporting Arab Spring revolutions in Syria, Egypt and Libya before Saudi Arabia earlier this year imposed itself as the main external backer of Syrian rebels fighting to topple President Bashar al-Assad."

'via Blog this'

Norilsk Profit Down 63% | Business | The Moscow Times

Norilsk Profit Down 63% | Business | The Moscow Times:

"Norilsk Nickel , the world's top nickel and palladium miner, said on Thursday first-half net profit fell 63 percent, year-on-year, due to write-offs mainly related to its investment in energy group InterRao.

Norilsk's six-month earnings fell to $545 million, impacted by $636 million of non-cash write-offs. Profit excluding the write-offs amounted to $1.2 billion, in line with analyst forecasts.

First-half revenue fell 6 percent to $5.6 billion, while earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) were down 8 percent at $2.3 billion, Norilsk said in a statement."

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`Epic' Buying Opportunity in Emerging Stocks

Mubadala Said to Join Trafigura in Batista’s MMX Buyout Race - Bloomberg

Mubadala Said to Join Trafigura in Batista’s MMX Buyout Race - Bloomberg:

"Mubadala Development Co. has joined Trafigura Beheer BV to bid for Eike Batista’s iron-ore unit, seeking to beat offers by Glencore Xstrata Plc and MRS Logistica SA, three people with direct knowledge of the matter said.
Mubadala and Amsterdam-based commodities trader Trafigura presented a joint offer for Batista’s stake in MMX Mineracao & Metalicos SA (MMXM3), the people said, asking not to be named as the talks are private. MMX, a part of Batista’s holding company EBX Group Co., is studying the bid together with offers from Glencore and Brazilian railway operator MRS, they said.
Batista, 56, is running against the clock to sell pieces of his commodities and logistics empire as the companies run out of cash amid ballooning debt. MMX, based in Rio de Janeiro, is in “advanced” negotiations to sell the company and has received interest from funds, miners and commodity traders, Chief Executive Officer Carlos Gonzalez said this month."

'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Markets mixed, Syria concern prevents major rebounds | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Markets mixed, Syria concern prevents major rebounds | Reuters:

"* Some retail buyers return but momentum fails to build

* Dubai loses 6.6 percent over this week

* Saudi comes off high, some valuations called rich

* Egypt gains modestly after cabinet sets spending plan

* Doubts over whether plan will use Gulf money effectively

By Nadia Saleem

DUBAI, Aug 29 (Reuters) - Middle East stock markets were mixed on Thursday as heavy selling related to the Syrian war faded, but continued uncertainty over how and when the United States might strike Syria blocked solid rebounds.

President Barack Obama told Americans that a military strike against Syria would be in their interest, but there were signs that any action would be delayed at least several days while the case was laid out to U.S. and British lawmakers.

This encouraged some Gulf retail investors to buy stocks on Thursday as margin calls eased, but the markets' rebounds during the day lacked momentum."

'via Blog this'

Saudi, Kuwait shelve Dorra gas field project | GulfNews.com

Saudi, Kuwait shelve Dorra gas field project | GulfNews.com:

"Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have shelved their project to develop the Dorra offshore gas field after disagreeing over how to share the gas back on land, a senior Kuwaiti energy source said.
Dorra has long been a bone of contention between Kuwait and Iran, which also lays claim to part of the field.
Kuwait agreed with Riyadh in 2000 to jointly develop the field they desperately need to satisfy their growing gas thirst."

'via Blog this'

Summer maintenance affects North Sea crude oil production and prices - Today in Energy - U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)

Summer maintenance affects North Sea crude oil production and prices - Today in Energy - U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA):

"
North Sea Brent is an important global benchmark crude oil that is used to price many different crude oils produced around the world, such as Bonny Light from Nigeria and Sahara Blend from Algeria. Each summer, maintenance on offshore production platforms and pipelines in the North Sea temporarily reduces the supply of North Sea crude oil, which affects the price of the Brent benchmark. The spot prices for four distinct North Sea crudes—Brent, Forties, Oseberg, and Ekofisk—together determine the global benchmark Brent price, and a disruption to any one of these streams affects the overall Brent benchmark price and the price of any crude linked to the benchmark.

"

'via Blog this'

UAIndex slides below 4,000 to lowest level in more than six months - Business - News - Ukraine Business Online

UAIndex slides below 4,000 to lowest level in more than six months - Business - News - Ukraine Business Online:

"KYIV, Aug. 29, 2013 (UBO/UkrAgroConsult) – Wednesday’s trading closed at 3,928.88, with the daily average down -1.33%, the weekly -3.02% and the 30-day -7.40%.

Ukrproduct topped the Best Performing list, up +4.65% on trade of 19,756 shares.

Most impressive on the Worst Performing list was Agroton, down -3.71% on trade of 49,350 shares.

Volume Leader was Kernel, down -0.13% on trade of 97,034 shares."

'via Blog this'

The Wrap | @REBELECONOMY

The Wrap | REBEL ECONOMY:

"After several months hiatus (and readers saying they are having sleepless nights without it) the daily wrap is back!
I’ll be linking to a handful of the most important economic stories from the transitioning countries of the Arab world, namely Egypt, Syria and Libya, and to a lesser extent Tunisia, Yemen, Jordan and Morocco. (The Gulf is there in the background too, but only because of its connections to these countries)."

'via Blog this'

Emerging Markets Are In Trouble

Emerging Markets Are In Trouble:

"Emerging markets are in all sorts of trouble, and with the oil price preparing for another Middle Eastern war, centred this time in Syria, their problems are about to get worse. A collapsing currency combined with a rising US dollar oil price is a big tax on economic growth, and it comes at precisely the wrong time for the global economy.

But we do feel slightly assuaged that UK Prime Minister David Cameron tells us that the coming conflict is not actually about the Middle East or even Syria, and Gareth Evan's opinion piece in today's Financial Review also provides comfort when he explains that a strong moral case justifies war even though international law doesn't.

That's good to know.

What's also handy to know (especially for these power hungry warmongers) is that the last place where there was an overwhelming moral justification to wage war (based on the suspicion of the presence of chemical weapons, which were never found) was Iraq.

And how's that going? Yesterday, explosions killed 80 people in Bagdad as sectarian violence continues a decade after the West felt morally compelled to improve the prospects of a country that, among other wicked deeds, threatened to price their oil in euros.

"

'via Blog this'

UAE Central Bank to control money laundering | GulfNews.com

UAE Central Bank to control money laundering | GulfNews.com:

"In a bid to control money laundering in the UAE, the Central Bank’s Anti- Money Laundering and Suspicious Cases Unit issued a circular on Tuesday asking all national banks, main branches of foreign banks, foreign exchanges, investment and finance companies to search for and freeze any accounts, deposits or investments of some clients.
Circular 246/2013 reads: “Based on the decision of Dubai Public Prosecution dated August 6, 2013, you are requested to search for and freeze any accounts or deposits or investments and inform us of any credit facilities or safe deposit boxes and deny access to the safe deposit boxes and stop any financial transfers of three suspects.”
The circular carries three names: Samar Elyas Assaf, a Lebanese, Armin Esmail, a US citizen. and Haseeb Khan Israfeel Khan, a Pakistani, and ordered banks to fill a special form and send it to the unit within four working days from August 27."

'via Blog this'

UAE is world smartphone leader | Spot On PR | @AlexanderMcNabb

UAE is world smartphone leader | Spot On PR | Digital | Communications | Marketing | Public Relations | Media | Social Media | Middle East | Arab World:

"
Call that a headline? "UAE is world smartphone leader"
- now that's a headline!
The United Arab Emirates leads the world in smartphone penetration, with 74% of mobile subscribers carrying one of the natty little devils in their pockets. The Emirates is closely followed by South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Singapore and Norway in the ranking, compiled by Statista from the results of Google’s ‘Our Global Planet’ survey.

Amazingly, the US comes 13th on the list – and apart from Saudi Arabia, none of the other GCC countries – legendary for their adoption of the latest mobile technologies – feature in the top 15 countries Statista lists."

'via Blog this'

Kuwait Energy makes new oil discovery in Egypt | Arab News

Kuwait Energy makes new oil discovery in Egypt | Arab News — Saudi Arabia News, Middle East News, Opinion, Economy and more.:

"Kuwait Energy, one of the fastest growing independent oil and gas exploration and production companies in the Middle East, announces an oil discovery at its El Salmiya-2 well, located in its Abu Sennan concession in the Western Desert, Egypt.
Kuwait Energy is the operator of the Abu Sennan concession and holds a 50 percent working interest. The remaining working interest is held by Beach Petroleum (Egypt) Pty Ltd., which holds a 22 percent working interest, and Dover Investments Ltd. with a 28 percent working interest with their main partner the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC).
The El Salmiya-2 well encountered oil in Kharita Formation and initial tests showed a production flow rate of 3,530 barrels of oil per day (bopd). This is the sixth exploration success in the Abu Sennan concession and the 21st discovery in Egypt for Kuwait Energy since 2008."

'via Blog this'

Dubai and Saudi bourses see heavy buying | GulfNews.com

Dubai and Saudi bourses see heavy buying | GulfNews.com:

"After Tuesday’s massive sell off in UAE and Saudi Arabia’s stock markets, which was triggered by concerns over possible military action against Syria, selling pressure in both somewhat abated yesterday as investors stepped in to take advantage of the fall in share prices and buy bluechip stocks.
As a result, Dubai’s benchmark DFM General Index ended 1.30 per cent down to 2516.48 and Saudi Arabia’s TASI Index in fact added 0.37 per cent to end at 7751.32. The Bahrain All Share Index was also up 0.30 per cent.
The remaining Gulf markets declined with Abu Dhabi’s ADX General Index slipping 2.22 per cent, Oman closing three per cent lower, Qatar 2.29 per cent and Kuwait 0.76 per cent. Emaar Properties, the biggest developer of the region, had the highest turnover of Dh243.25 million and remained unchanged at Dh5.70. Emirates NBD, Dubai’s biggest bank, was up 1.66 per cent. Air Arabia and logistics company Aramex advanced 0.75 per cent and 2 per cent respectively. The number of decliners still was in a majority, with 24 stocks retreating, three advancing and four remaining flat."

'via Blog this'

GCC has a historic opportunity to lend a hand | GulfNews.com

GCC has a historic opportunity to lend a hand | GulfNews.com:

"Have the repercussions of the economic crisis reached the Brics nations and Turkey? Their currencies have certainly started regressing in a manner that seems like a breakdown. Or are there other factors unrelated to the crisis?
These questions also have a bearing on other countries, especially the Gulf, as both India and China occupy top ranks among the GCC’s trading partners. They are the biggest importers of oil, petrochemicals and aluminium from the Gulf.
This means that any major economic changes in these countries will leave an imprint on this region as well. This calls for a certain amount of readiness to avoid repercussions if the economic situation in the Brics countries deteriorates further."

'via Blog this'

North America's shale boom a threat for GCC fertilizer producers - The National

North America's shale boom a threat for GCC fertilizer producers - The National:

"North American shale gas threatens to erode a core market for the Arabian Gulf's fertilizer industry, warned an industry association.

GCC members export half of their fertilizer production abroad, and North America is their second biggest market after Asia with orders totalling 1.7 million tonnes a year.

Those trade flows could shift against the region's favour as North American competitors take advantage of cheap raw materials unlocked by fracking, said the Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association, an industry group based in Dubai."

'via Blog this'

Dubai's battle with London's Heathrow to be the world's busiest hots up - The National

Dubai's battle with London's Heathrow to be the world's busiest hots up - The National:

"Passenger traffic at Dubai International increased by more than 6 per cent last month as the airport continued to inch closer to the title of the world’s busiest hub for international travel.

Passenger traffic at the airport, which became the world’s second busiest for global travellers in March upon leapfrogging Paris Charles de Gaulle, rose by 6.1 per cent to 5.3 million people last month compared with the same month last year.

By comparison, Heathrow, the world’s busiest international hub, recorded a 5.5 per cent rise in passengers in the period to 6.9 million. The airport said the growth was largely attributable to lower traffic in July last year as a result of the timing of the Olympics, which started at the end of the month."

'via Blog this'

Weak rupee dents Dubai tourism - The National

Weak rupee dents Dubai tourism - The National:

"Dubai hotels are reporting cancellation rates of up to 25 per cent as tour operators organising package trips for Indians to the UAE grapple with the weak rupee.

"It's the tour agencies that are taking the hit - lots are cancelling their packages," said Russel Sharpe, the chief operating officer of the hotel division at Landmark Hospitality, which operates two Citymax properties in Dubai. "We have had a 25 per cent reduction in group business."

The rupee has lost about a third of its value against the US dollar in the past two years - and its decline has accelerated since the start of May, with the currency reaching a record low of 68.825 yesterday."

'via Blog this'

What to Know About NRI Accounts - India Real Time - WSJ

What to Know About NRI Accounts - India Real Time - WSJ:

"India is likely to go ahead with a plan to issue rupee-denominated bonds overseas for the first time, in an effort to bring in capital and arrest the rapid fall of its currency against the dollar, a senior government official told The Wall Street Journal last week.

Details about the bond are patchy and it’s unclear when they might be issued. But according to the official, the bonds under consideration will protect overseas investors from currency fluctuations, an attractive proposition given that the rupee has fallen around 22% against the U.S. dollar since May and reached another new low Wednesday of 68.75 rupees against the greenback.

The proposed bonds would be targeted at investors who have an interest in India, such as Indians living abroad and companies which need rupees at a future date to expand their operations in the country, according to the government official."

'via Blog this'

Saudi Gazette - GCC countries to face gas shortage by 2015

Saudi Gazette - GCC countries to face gas shortage by 2015:

"Gas shortage in the GCC “will become more acute” – despite forecasts for slower economic growth due to the recession, as well as current investments in exploration and production intended to increase supply, global consultancy firm Booz & Company said in a recent report titled “Gas Shortage in the GCC – How to Bridge the Gap”. The gas shortage will unfold according to either of the following scenarios – an enduring recession or the regional economies’ return to pre-recession growth levels.

If recession persists through 2015 or beyond in the GCC, then shortage will ensue, as this scenario assumes that the recessionary environment in the GCC economies go beyond 2015. 

In second scenario, if gas demand growth returns to 2008 levels, prior to the recession, then the International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicts that the GCC economies, after a contraction in 2009, should revert to pre-recession growth rates by 2012 with only a marginal decline. This implies that gas demand could return to 2008 growth rates by 2012."

'via Blog this'

Abu Dhabi's financial free zone to launch global talent hunt - The National

Abu Dhabi's financial free zone to launch global talent hunt - The National:

"Abu Dhabi will soon start scouring the globe for the sharpest financial and legal minds to head up the management of its new financial free zone.

Recruitment for Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) will be a priority for the zone's new directors when they hold their first board meeting in the coming weeks, according to Mahmood Ebraheem Al Mahmood, the chairman of ADS Holding, the lead and strategic consultant for the project.

The directors will be looking to fill positions to lead the zone's three pillars: the Global Market's Registration Bureau; the Financial Services Regulations Bureau; and the Global Market's Courts."

'via Blog this'

Saudi Gazette - Middle East investors drive European real estate market

Saudi Gazette - Middle East investors drive European real estate market:

"Middle East and North American investors are the major drivers of increased activity in the European commercial real estate market and buyers from outside the region now account for more than a quarter of all transactions in H1 2013, according to the latest data by CBRE, the global real estate consulting firm.

Investors from the Middle East increased investment activity, accounting for 9 percent of the entire market and 21 percent of cross-border transactions in H1 2013.

Capital from the Middle East is generally institutional in nature, with nearly half of the total coming from the region’s sovereign wealth funds. "

'via Blog this'

Germany’s RWE to start pumping gas to Ukraine's underground storages in September < News < Home

Germany’s RWE to start pumping gas to Ukraine's underground storages in September < News < Home:

"
“The first batches will go from September,” the minister said. He reminded that gas is pumped to Ukraine under an agreement signed between Ukraine’s national joint-stock company Naftogaz and the German enterprise. “Now, we’re working on the new agreement, which will take effect from the second ten-day period of December,” the minister said. Eduard Stavytsky also informed that in 2013, Ukraine plans to import around two billion cubic meters of gas from Europe and 5-6 billion cubic meters of gas in 2014."

'via Blog this'

Ukraine tells Russia to ‘accept reality’ of new trade deal with EU | euronews, world news

Ukraine tells Russia to ‘accept reality’ of new trade deal with EU | euronews, world news:

"Ukraine’s prime minister, Mykola Azarov, has told Russia to accept its new trade relationship with the EU as a “reality”.

Moscow is angry at plans by Kiev to sign a new trade deal with the EU, and has been turning up the pressure on its neighbour.

One of the companies to have found itself caught up in a trade war between the two countries is Ukraine’s largest industrial chocolate maker, Roshen."

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Emirates Adds Non-Dubai Flight and Enters Trans-Atlantic Fray - Businessweek

Emirates Adds Non-Dubai Flight and Enters Trans-Atlantic Fray - Businessweek:

"
Emirates is breaking out of Dubai. In what will be a curious experiment for one of the world’s fastest-growing and most respected airlines, Emirates will begin flying daily from New York’s JFK International Airport to Milan starting Oct. 1. It will be one of the very few routes in the company’s vast network that doesn’t touch its Dubai hub.

The JFK-Milan route is currently served with nonstop flights by Alitalia, Delta (DAL), and American, while United (UAL) flies directly from nearby Newark. Into that mix comes Emirates, which is touting the only first-class service on the route—its rivals offer only business class as the top level—as well as connections to the rest of Italy through a soon-to-be announced partnership with EasyJet, which has established a small domestic operation at Milan’s Malpensa Airport. Emirates already has three daily flights to Dubai from Milan and flies to 134 cities in 76 countries."

'via Blog this'

BBC News - Government calls police over Serco prison escort fraud claims

BBC News - Government calls police over Serco prison escort fraud claims:

"The Ministry of Justice has asked the police to investigate alleged fraudulent behaviour by members of security firm Serco's staff.

The alleged behaviour relates to the management of Serco's Prisoner Escorting and Custodial Services (PECS) contract.

The PECS contract covers a range of services including transporting prisoners between court and prison.

Serco is responsible for delivering this in London and East Anglia."

'via Blog this'

Ukraine must implement three tasks to sign agreement with EU, says Yatseniuk » Interfax News Wire

Ukraine must implement three tasks to sign agreement with EU, says Yatseniuk » Interfax News Wire :: Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Central Asia:

"The Ukrainian opposition hopes that Ukraine will sign the Association Agreement with the European Union this November and will do its best to make this a reality, the leader of the Batkivschyna parliamentary faction, Arseniy Yatseniuk, has said at a special meeting of the European Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs in Brussels on Wednesday.

According to Batkivschyna’s press service, Yatseniuk promised that the Ukrainian political opposition would support the bills that should be passed by the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament, for European integration. He added that the opposition has submitted a number of European integration bills and asked the Party of Regions and the president of Ukraine to support them in order to comply with the EU’s requirements.

Yatseniuk added that the Ukrainian government has to carry out three key tasks for the signing of the Association Agreement with the EU."

'via Blog this'

Who Wants to Leave Forever? Emigration from EaP Countries | Eastbook

Who Wants to Leave Forever? Emigration from EaP Countries | Eastbook - blog on EU Eastern Partnership:

'via Blog this'

Abramovich in $800M Real Estate Deal | Business | The Moscow Times

Abramovich in $800M Real Estate Deal | Business | The Moscow Times:

"Billionaire Roman Abramovich is close to buying one of the biggest top-end office complexes in Moscow for up to $800 million in what would be Russia's second-largest office deal, according to three sources.

White Gardens, a development comprising two buildings in Moscow's business district, is the second stage of the White Square complex recently bought by O1 Properties for about $1 billion.

The sellers, a consortium of developer AIG/Lincoln and Russian bank VTB Capital, are close to selling White Gardens to Abramovich's investment vehicle Millhouse, two sources close to the deal and a market source said.

The complex, offering 64,000 square meters of space of which one third is already leased, is due to be completed in 2014, according to Moscow property consultants. The tenants include law firm Baker & McKenzie and private equity firm Baring Vostok."

'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets stabilise after plunging on Syria | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets stabilise after plunging on Syria | Reuters:

"* Retail selling fades as burst of margin calls eases

* Dubai fell 7.5 pct in early trade, ends down only 1.3 pct

* Syria escalation might have little real impact on Gulf

* Saudi Arabia rises as petrochemical shares gain

* Egypt triggers bearish head and shoulders pattern

By Andrew Torchia

DUBAI, Aug 28 (Reuters) - Gulf stock markets stabilised by the close on Wednesday after plunging in early trade on the prospect of an escalation of Syria's civil war, as the United States threatened a military strike on Damascus over the use of chemical weapons.

Stocks had also tumbled on Tuesday and selling resumed on Wednesday morning as local retail investors, who have dominated trade in recent weeks, scrambled to lock in some of the large gains posted this year. Margin calls caused selling to snowball.

But by Wednesday afternoon, the pressure from margin calls had eased and some investors were starting to buy back shares."

'via Blog this'

Sberbank Raises Provisions as Economy Slows | Business | The Moscow Times

Sberbank Raises Provisions as Economy Slows | Business | The Moscow Times:

"Russia's largest bank, Sberbank, reported a big rise in provisions against bad loans Wednesday, highlighting concerns that households might struggle to keep up debt repayments in a slowing economy.

Russian banks have piled into high-margin consumer lending as demand for credit has slowed at companies.

However, new Central Bank regulations require lenders to set aside more money to cover potential defaults on high-interest loans, potentially weakening their capital position, while a slowing economy has raised fears that more consumers will struggle to service their debts."

'via Blog this'

Syria sends oil to 2-year high, $150 spike feared — RT Business

Syria sends oil to 2-year high, $150 spike feared — RT Business:

"Oil has jumped to a two-year high and could see Brent spike as high as $150 per barrel as US and western allies move towards a military strike on Syria.

Brent October futures are above $115 per barrel and West Texas Intermediate blend (WTI) hit $110 on speculation unrest in Syria will disrupt oil shipments and supplies in the Middle East. For WTI its the highest price since May 2011.

The US and Britain are gearing up in a coordinated military action against Syria, as both confirmed chemical weapons attacks were carried out against civilians, something the Assad government denies. "

'via Blog this'

The golden rupee | FT Alphaville

The golden rupee | FT Alphaville:

"The Indian rupee’s plunge continues.

As the FT reported on Wednesday, consensus opinion is that the weakness is connected to India’s growing current account deficit and unimpressive attempts thus far to bring it back to reasonable levels.

But Bloomberg on Wednesday alluded to another interesting connection: India’s attempts to suppress gold consumption. For, as the currency weakens in international terms, the greater the cost of gold also becomes for Indians. Indeed, as Bloomberg noted, the price of gold has now hit a record price in rupee terms, threatening jewellery demand in the world’s largest gold consuming country."

'via Blog this'

Oman utility firm launches $137m IPO

Oman utility firm launches $137m IPO:

"
Oman-based Sembcorp Salalah Power & Water Company, in which a unit of Singapore's Sembcorp Industries has a 60  per cent stake, has launched its IPO offering a total of 33.4 million existing ordinary shares at a fixed offer price of RO1.590.

A leading power and water company based in the Dhofar governorate, Sembcorp Salalah said the issue, which represents 35 per cent of the issued share, is open for subscription until September 26.

The offer is open to individual investors, juristic persons and institutions within Oman, and to non-Omani investors outside of US, Canada, Australia, South Africa, Republic of Ireland and Japan, said a company statement."

'via Blog this'

Bleak times for coffee growers - video from Financial Times