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Thursday, 31 October 2013

Minting it: UK picks up Poland’s loose change | beyondbrics

Minting it: UK picks up Poland’s loose change | beyondbrics:

"
Poles complaining about the vast amounts of tiny change clogging their wallets and pockets will have to look abroad to vent – the National Bank of Poland announced on Thursday that three of the country’s smallest denomination coins will be made by the UK’s Royal Mint.

The Mint edged out competition from the Mint of Finland, the Royal Mint of Canada and Poland’s own Mennica Polska, a listed company that until now has supplied all the bank’s coins.

The Polish press reports that the Mennica plans to file a lawsuit alleging that the Royal Mint is price dumping to win the contract. Mennica’s bid was 61m zlotys, significantly less than its previous contract, but still well above the winning price.

The three-year contract worth 54m zlotys ($18m) came in significantly below the bank’s estimate of 107m zlotys – the savings are likely to end up bolstering the government’s budget."

'via Blog this'

Ukraine Vows to Curb Reserves Plunge as IMF Repeats Loan Demands - Bloomberg

Ukraine Vows to Curb Reserves Plunge as IMF Repeats Loan Demands - Bloomberg:

"Ukraine pledged to stem declines in its foreign reserves next year as the International Monetary Fund said it wouldn’t ease conditions for a new loan amid a third recession since 2008.
Borrowing will match or exceed the planned $7.1 billion of foreign-denominated debt repayments, Halyna Pakhachuk, head of the Finance Ministry’s department debt, said today at a Fitch Ratings conference in the capital, Kiev. If markets improve, Ukraine may sell $1 billion to $2 billion of Eurobonds in 2014 and may borrow as much as $1 billion from China, she said.
“It’s difficult for Ukraine to tap international markets now as yields exceed 10 percent, while we can borrow at no more than 9 percent,” Pakhachuk said. “That’s why we’re looking for other sources of financing.”"

'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Qatari shares at 6-week high, outperform regional gains | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Qatari shares at 6-week high, outperform regional gains | Reuters:

"Qatar's shares outperformed regional markets on Thursday, rising to a six-week high as bargain hunters returned to the overlooked market, while other bourses also edged higher.

Doha's index climbed 0.8 percent to its highest level since Sept. 19. The market has been trapped in a sideways range in recent weeks due to earnings that disappointed investors.

Large-caps Qatar National Bank and Industries Qatar were the main support, rising 2.1 and 1.9 percent respectively. Earlier this month, QNB posted a 14.3 percent rise in quarterly earnings which missed estimates, while IQ reported a six percent drop in nine-month profit.

UAE markets meanwhile, struggled to make gains ahead of a long weekend. Dubai's index added 0.2 percent, trading in a tight range since hitting a five-year peak earlier this week."

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African stock exchanges: making big strides | beyondbrics

African stock exchanges: making big strides | beyondbrics:

"
There is plenty of investment appetite for African stocks among institutional investors, and the continent’s financial markets are taking notice.

Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya and Angola have all recently pushed ahead with plans to deepen and improve their financial markets. But there is still a long way to go.

Recently the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) announced bold plans to target 500 companies for initial public offerings over the next five years. The Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) unveiled technology that will offer traders speedier access to the equity market. Kenya’s main bourse is making big strides. Angola, meanwhile, has introduced new laws to govern future financial markets."

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Ukraine s economy shows signs of improvement - IMF mission| Ukrinform

Ukraine s economy shows signs of improvement - IMF mission| Ukrinform:

"Ukraine's economy shows signs of improvement, but limited exchange rate flexibility, a large budget deficit and significant losses in the energy sector remain considerable challenges.
A respective statement was made on Thursday by IMF Mission Chief for Ukraine Nikolay Gueorguiev following the mission's work in Kyiv from October 17 to October 29, Ukrinform reported.
"Ukraine's economy shows signs of improvement, but considerable challenges remain. Limited exchange rate flexibility, a large budget deficit, and sizable quasi-fiscal losses in the energy sector have given rise to a large external current account deficit and a steady loss of foreign exchange reserves," reads the statement."

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Bears rule as Ukrainian stocks decline on three major exchanges - Business - News - Ukraine Business Online

Bears rule as Ukrainian stocks decline on three major exchanges - Business - News - Ukraine Business Online:

"Concorde Capital provides more on the downturn in its daily market comment:

“Bears invaded the Ukrainian stock market on Tuesday, October 30. The WIG Ukraine Index of Warsaw-traded stocks dropped 3.3%, weighed down by more selling in its most liquid stock, grain trader Kernel (KER PW -5.0%), which is at its lowest price in more than three years. Sugar producer Astarta (AST PW -4.8%) has fallen 8.4% in four consecutive negative sessions. Outside the Index, demand for the shares of Serinus Energy (SEN PW) surged 7.7%, or 8.7% in two sessions. In London, Cadogan Petroleum (CAD LN -3.7%) has declined 5.5% in two sessions, while JKX Oil & Gas (JKX LN +0.7%) has risen 5.7% in four straight advancing sessions. The Ukrainian Exchange (UX) Index of Kyiv-traded stocks dropped 1.0%, weighed down by oil producer Ukrnafta (UNAF -2.4%); Avdiivka Coke (AVDK UK -2.2%), which has fallen 6.0% in four straight negative sessions; and Alchevsk Steel (AMLK UK -2.0%), which has decreased 6.4% in four straight losing sessions.”"

'via Blog this'

Ukranian News - Fitch Predicts Hryvnia To Devaluate To 8.5 UAH/USD, FX Reserves To Shrink From USD 17.8 Billion To USD 12.9 Billion In 2014

Ukranian News - Fitch Predicts Hryvnia To Devaluate To 8.5 UAH/USD, FX Reserves To Shrink From USD 17.8 Billion To USD 12.9 Billion In 2014:

"Fitch Ratings, an international ratings agency, predicts the hryvnia will devaluate to 8.5 UAH/USD be the end of 2014 and the foreign-exchange reserves to shrink from USD 17.8 billion (as the agency forecasts by the end of 2013) to USD 12.9 billion (by the end of 2014), the agency has announced in a statement.
Fitch forecasts that the current account position of Ukraine's balance of payments will be negative at 7.3% of GDP in 2013 and negative at 6.2% of GDP in 2014.
Ukraine's total public-sector debt, as the agency supposes, will reach 35.7% of GDP by the end of 2013 and 41.6% of GDP by the end of 2014.
As Ukrainian News earlier reported, the hryvnia exchange rate in the interbank currency market fell by 1.4 kopeck to 8.1870 UAH/USD on Wednesday, after falling by 0.3 kopeck on Tuesday.
Since the beginning of 2013, the hryvnia has fallen by 1.7% from 8.0500 UAH/USD to 8.1870 UAH/USD in the interbank currency market.
Foreign-Exchange Reserves of the National Bank of Ukraine decreased by 0.1% or USD 16.54 million in September, amounting to USD 21,639.34 million as of September 30."

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Money mirage exposes emerging markets - FT.com

Money mirage exposes emerging markets - FT.com:

"The real problem for EM assets is illusion of abundant liquidity

If a shock was to hit Brazil, India, Indonesia – or any other emerging market country – tomorrow, how would investors react? Would asset values adjust smoothly, amid an explosion of trading flows? Or would markets instead freeze up, as liquidity evaporated?
It is not an academic question. Earlier this year, when investors started to speculate about an American “taper” – or wind-down from quantitative easing – this mere conjecture was enough to spark a dramatic gyration in the value of some emerging market assets, such as Indian or Brazilian equities."

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It’s the 80s all over again as London heads for boomtime | David McWilliams

It’s the 80s all over again as London heads for boomtime | David McWilliams:

"The 328 bus from Golders Green to Notting Hill is as much a journey through the changing ethnicities of London as it is a route home. Last night I hopped on it and watched the unfolding of the ethnic map of Europe’s biggest city and possibly the world’s most cosmopolitan metropolis, as each tribe got on an off, as we moved from area to area, from High Road to High Street.
As the bus left the predominantly Jewish Golders Green so too did the Jews who were on the bus. Indians and Chinese embarked.
The bus moved towards Kilburn. At Kilburn High Road, the bus filled up with older Irish people, immigrants from the 1950s and 1960s. Through the window, I could see the corner shops sold the ‘Limerick Leader’, the ‘Sligo Champion’, the ‘Leitrim Observer’ and, of course, ‘The Irish Post’."

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Jordan's Economic Imbalance - Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East

Jordan's Economic Imbalance - Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East:

"
Supporters of Jordan's opposition parties shout slogans demanding freedom for political prisoners,
political and economic reforms, and access to government corruption cases during a demonstration after Friday prayers in Amman, Oct. 4, 2013. (photo by REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed)

When the state began to hand over a wide spectrum of its own services and businesses — such as mines, quarries, electricity, telecommunications, transport and mail — to the private sector, it opened the door for this sector to invest in the services the state is still providing, namely education, health and housing. This was followed by radical changes in the rules of labor, relationships with the state, the relationship between communities and companies on the one hand and between the state and companies on the other. These changes, in their entirety, have weakened communities, their ability to raise their voices, their influence on public decisions related to their lives and their political and public participation. Furthermore, the standard of living and revenues have slumped as well."

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Saudi Gazette - Jumeirah Group gets $1.4b loan

Saudi Gazette - Jumeirah Group gets $1.4b loan:

"Jumeirah Group, the global luxury hotel company and a member of Dubai Holding, announced today that it has successfully raised a $1.4 billion unsecured syndicated loan priced at 2.75 percent above LIBOR due 2019.

The facility was lead arranged by Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Dubai Islamic Bank, Emirates NBD, HSBC, Mashreq and Standard Chartered. Jumeirah Group was advised by Rothschild on the transaction.

The loan will be used for expansion plans as Jumeirah continues to grow in the years ahead as well as for general corporate purposes, at the parent level, for Dubai Holding Commercial Operations Group.

Gerald Lawless, President and Group Chief Executive Officer, Jumeirah Group, said “the pricing we have been able to achieve for this syndicated loan is a testament to the Company’s financial strength and future prospects.  This financing will support our focus on driving profitable revenues from the existing portfolio while giving us the headroom to continue our local and international expansion.  This is the first time we have raised funds through a syndicated loan and we are pleased to be supported by the highest caliber of international and local banks.”"

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Regulations must end property ‘boom and bust’ | GulfNews.com

Regulations must end property ‘boom and bust’ | GulfNews.com:

"Boom and bust economic cycles are a threat to the sustainable development of a country. The volatility makes it difficult for companies and consumers to budget and they become reluctant to spend and invest, which hinders growth. This is why the UAE Central Bank and the other relevant monetary and fiscal authorities are wary of asset bubbles, when prices increase sharply on the back of speculative demand and then collapse, often leaving people without savings or investments for later life.
To help prevent this, the Central Bank has increased the deposit required to purchase property with mortgage finance. From next month, purchasers will be required to deposit a minimum of between 20 and 25 per cent of the value of the property to secure finance. The Bank has also capped the amount that can be borrowed at between seven and eight times the borrower’s annual income."

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Arab countries need a collective will to change | GulfNews.com

Arab countries need a collective will to change | GulfNews.com:

"It is no secret the economies of Arab countries will continue to face major risks, in the short term, amidst continued regional political tensions and a slow global recovery, even among the new economic powers of the world like China. This is reflected in slow growth, high unemployment, especially among the youth, and difficult fiscal situations in many countries throughout the Middle East and North Africa.
Arab countries, particularly those in transition, face a difficult domestic and international environment, compelling them to maintain subsidies and increased wage and pension spending. This is despite the self-evident unsustainability and long-term harm to their economies such policies bring about.
Against this background, Arab countries must engage in serious and deep reforms that can set the foundation for future growth, job creation, correction of the deep distortions developed over decades of entitlement programmes, and a more competitive and merit-based environment for better private sector development."

'via Blog this'

Kuwait PM raises questions for region | The National

Kuwait PM raises questions for region | The National:

"When the prime minister of Kuwait warns Kuwaitis that the current welfare state is “unsustainable”, his words echo across the Arabian Peninsula. Speaking at the start of the week, Sheikh Jaber Al Mubarak Al Sabah said: “Everyone must understand that the existing welfare state that Kuwaitis are used to cannot continue. It’s necessary that Kuwaiti society shifts from a consumer of the nation’s resources to a productive people.”

Those words come after the International Monetary Fund warned last year that spending levels in the country would outpace revenues from oil by 2017. This in the country that is estimated to have the second largest oil reserves in the GCC and just over a million citizens.

As in Kuwait, so in the rest of the GCC. Every GCC country uses the cushion of energy reserves to provide a range of benefits for citizens. Even those countries, such as Oman, where oil production is modest compared to, say, Saudi Arabia, offer some subsidies."

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£100m fund unveiled for Islamic technology entrepreneurs in Britain | The National

£100m fund unveiled for Islamic technology entrepreneurs in Britain | The National:

"Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, yesterday announced the creation of a £100 million fund to attract Islamic technology entrepreneurs to set up in Britain.

Mr Johnson, regarded as a possible future prime minister, unveiled the plan at the World Islamic Economic Forum in London.

“Britain is a global hub for the tech industry, while the Islamic world has young entrepreneurs with ambitious ideas,” he said.

The funding will be provided partly by the British government, and also by other Islamic countries present at the London forum."

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Middle East oil production not threatened by US shale boom | The National

Middle East oil production not threatened by US shale boom | The National:

"Middle East oil producers can relax: North America’s rising output does not threaten their status as the world’s hydrocarbons hub.

So says the industry’s consumer watchdog, the International Energy Agency (IEA).

A bounty of shale oil and a decline in American fuel consumption have helped the United States to trim oil imports and have thrown into question the importance of the country’s partners in the Middle East, where special relationships have been forged amid the world’s longest-producing fields."

'via Blog this'

Ukraine’s Third Recession Since 2008 Confirmed on Industry Drop - Bloomberg

Ukraine’s Third Recession Since 2008 Confirmed on Industry Drop - Bloomberg:

"Ukraine’s economy slipped into its third recession since 2008 in the third quarter as industrial production plummeted.
Gross domestic product fell 0.4 percent from the previous three months after shrinking 0.5 percent in the second quarter, the state statistics committee, based in the capital, Kiev, said today on its website, citing preliminary data. GDP fell 1.5 percent from a year earlier, worse than the median estimate of 12 economists in a Bloomberg survey for 0.2 percent growth.
“The economy is in a protracted stagnation as it moves from one recession to another,” Alexander Valchyshen, head of research at Investment Capital Ukraine in Kiev, said by phone. “The government’s policy to boost economic growth has failed.”"

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Doha Bank Targets Tripling Overseas Profit Share on Asia Growth - Bloomberg

Doha Bank Targets Tripling Overseas Profit Share on Asia Growth - Bloomberg:

"Doha Bank QSC, Qatar’s fifth-largest lender by assets, aims to triple profit from overseas to as much as 30 percent of net income by 2015 as trade and investment between Persian Gulf states and Asia increase.
The bank’s expansion, excluding acquisitions, is expected to raise profit earned abroad from about 10 percent now, Chief Executive Officer Raghavan Seetharaman said in an interview in Hong Kong today.
Doha Bank joins Qatari lenders expanding overseas to compensate for limited growth prospects in a country of 2 million people. The lender is seeking branch licenses in India and China, which top its list of foreign markets to establish a foothold in, said Seetharaman."

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Doha Bank CEO on Business Outlook, China Strategy: Video - Bloomberg

Doha Bank CEO on Business Outlook, China Strategy: Video - Bloomberg: ""

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Etisalat Nigeria Says CEO Evans Resigned After Five Years - Bloomberg

Etisalat Nigeria Says CEO Evans Resigned After Five Years - Bloomberg:

"Emirates Telecommunications Corp. (ETISALAT)’s Nigerian unit said Chief Executive Officer Steven Evans resigned last month and returned home to the U.K. after leading the company for most of its five years in existence.
Chief Commercial Officer Matthew Willsher was appointed as acting CEO in his place, Chineze Amanfo, a Lagos-based spokeswoman for Etisalat Nigeria, as the company is known, said by phone today. Willsher didn’t immediately respond to an e-mailed request for comment and Evans’ Etisalat e-mail bounced back. Abu Dhabi-based parent Etisalat didn’t immediately respond to calls and e-mails seeking comment.
Evans was appointed in December 2008, two months after Etisalat began full commercial operations in Nigeria, according to Etisalat Nigeria’s website. Prior to that he was chief executive officer of London-based BT Group Plc (BT/A)’s mobile unit."

'via Blog this'

Is Russia really going to reignite a gas war with Ukraine? - Quartz

Is Russia really going to reignite a gas war with Ukraine? - Quartz:

"Russia’s government is urging state-owned oil firm Gazprom to collect an over-due $882 million bill from Ukraine’s state-owned oil firm Naftogaz, even as the former Soviet state moves to strengthen its ties to Europe next month.

The belligerent tone and the timing has some observers nervous that Europe might see another winter like 2009, when Russia turned off the spigot bringing gas to Ukraine and, from there, to Europe. This left energy markets scrambling for new sources of winter energy, and millions of chilled consumers paying more for their heat.

But 2013 is not 2009, and there’s a low probability of another crisis as a result of the fallout from the last one. Thanks to the cheaper natural gas that has been unlocked with the application of hydraulic fracturing techniques, Europe has been able to diversify its energy sources, and Gazprom has been losing market share there. A new crisis would hurt both Gazprom’s earnings and Ukraine’s reputation as a transit hub, an outcome neither party to the conflict is interested in, according to Eurasia Group senior analyst Alex Brideau."

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Statoil's Helge Lund on extracting Arctic oil - YouTube

Statoil's Helge Lund on extracting Arctic oil - YouTube:

"Statoil chief executive Helge Lund tells Richard Milne, the FT's Nordic and Baltic correspondent, why Arctic oil will be easier to extract in Norway and eastern Canada than other parts of the polar region.


"

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Russia and shale can solve Europe’s energy problem - FT.com

Russia and shale can solve Europe’s energy problem - FT.com:

"The sooner the region realises its energy policy is a mess, the sooner it can grow, says Paolo Scaroni

The aim of European energy policy should be to combine economic growth with environmental sustainability. However, we have ended up with energy costs that hamper growth – yet greenhouse gas emissions have not fallen despite the decline in energy consumption.
The problem is that we have, so far, failed to grasp the implications of the US shale revolution for Europe. Thanks to the rapid increase in efficient non-conventional gas production, US companies pay about $3.50 per million British thermal units (mBtu) for their natural gas. That is about a third of what Europeans pay."

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Polish cargo IPO: hot stuff | beyondbrics

Polish cargo IPO: hot stuff | beyondbrics:

"Carrying cargo may appear to be dull but worthy work, but there is also a lot of money in it, as investors in PKP Cargo, the Polish rail cargo carrier, found out during the company’s Tuesday IPO.

The share price closed up 19.4 per cent at 81.16 zlotys ($26.70), up from its initial offering price of 68 zlotys.

The IPO was the largest so far this year on the Warsaw Stock Exchange, and one of the largest in Europe. The WSE is hitting new highs despite ongoing worries that the government’s tinkering with the pension system could damage pension funds that have been a key price support over the last decade."

'via Blog this'

OGX files for bankruptcy – now what? [updated] | beyondbrics

OGX files for bankruptcy – now what? [updated] | beyondbrics:

"By Samantha Pearson and Pan Kwan Yuk

It’s the end of an era for Brazil’s Eike Batista – the end of charming investors with dazzling oil forecasts, the end of being the poster boy for Brazil’s economic promise and perhaps even the end of parking his sports car in his living room.

Batista’s oil company OGX finally filed for bankruptcy protection on Wednesday, triggering Latin America’s largest ever corporate default.

The timing of the move itself was not a surprise. After missing a $45m bond interest payment at the beginning of this month, OGX had until Thursday to renegotiate with creditors or automatically default. On Tuesday, OGX said it had failed to reach an agreement, making bankruptcy protection the inevitable next step."

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Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Qatar fund quietly builds $1bn Bank of America stake - FT.com

Qatar fund quietly builds $1bn Bank of America stake - FT.com:

"Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund has quietly built a stake worth about $1bn in Bank of America, the country’s second-biggest bank, as it seeks exposure to the US economic recovery, people familiar with the plans said.
Qatar Holding, the direct investment arm of Qatar Investment Authority, started to buy BofA shares about two years ago but bought more as the bank’s share price fell to $7-$8 last year, a person close to the fund said. The stock is now trading above $14.
Gulf sovereign wealth funds invested tens of billions of dollars in some of the world’s biggest banks at the height of the financial crisis. Five years later, however, some of those investments have performed poorly while others have been scrutinised for the way in which they were structured."

'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi telcos boost index; Egypt up after Islamist leader arrest | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi telcos boost index; Egypt up after Islamist leader arrest | Reuters:

"Saudi Arabia's bourse snapped a three-session losing streak on Wednesday after two of its top telecom operators posted estimate-beatings earnings and lifted sentiment, while Egyptian shares rallied in mixed regional markets.

Saudi Telecom Co (STC) jumped 7.4 percent to its highest since April 2010 after its third-quarter profit comfortably beat estimates.

The firm attributed a 73 percent rise in profit to a jump in cost savings.

"The main focus should be on cost efficiencies and if it can be sustained going forward," said Omar Maher, equity research analyst at Cairo's EFG Hermes."

'via Blog this'

UPDATE 1-Ukraine to sign $10 billion shale deal with Chevron | Reuters

UPDATE 1-Ukraine to sign $10 billion shale deal with Chevron | Reuters:

"Ukraine said on Wednesday it will sign a $10 billion shale gas production-sharing agreement with U.S. energy major Chevron next week - its second such deal this year.

Ecology Minister Oleh Proskuryakov said the deal for exploration and extraction at the Olesska site in western Ukraine, which follows one signed with Royal Dutch Shell earlier this year, would be signed next Tuesday at a regional economic forum in the capital Kiev.

Deputies in western Ukraine cleared the way for a deal when a majority voted in favour of the government's plans for exploration at Olesska, overcoming opposition from local lobby groups concerned at possible ecological damage from the project."

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Foot in the door: Russian retailer Obuv Rossii plans IPO | beyondbrics

Foot in the door: Russian retailer Obuv Rossii plans IPO | beyondbrics:

"A Siberian retailer that began selling mid-priced shoes in Russian regions a decade ago is growing so fast that there is local talk of the company becoming “the Magnit of footwear”. Obuv Rossii now plans to go public offering investors a foot in the door to one of Russia’s most buoyant consumer sectors.

Obuv Rossii announced plans on Wednesday to proceed with an initial public offering on the Moscow Exchange to raise funds to support further expansion.

Alor Invest, the Russian investment group, has been appointed lead bookrunner for the listing. Other members of the syndicate are being selected."

'via Blog this'

Want the best expat experience? Head for Asia | beyondbrics

Want the best expat experience? Head for Asia | beyondbrics:

"Beyondbrics is sometimes a little sceptical of surveys, but here’s one that caught our eye. Where is the best place to be an expat? A comfortable European capital perhaps?

Apparently not. Forget any worries of smog, monsoons or congestion: Thailand tops HSBC’s Expat Experience league table, with China close behind. Even India is in the top 10. What’s going on?

Apparently, the survey of 7,000 expats worldwide revealed that expats across Asia were more likely to enjoy a better social life, with 35 per cent of expats based in the region saying they have a more active social life since relocating, compared with the global average of only 26 per cent.

Leave your preconceptions at home, it would seem. China’s smog and India’s reputation for requiring tough stomachs seem to not have made a dent in the apparent good time had by expats."

'via Blog this'

Abu Dhabi's Aldar eyes rentals, smaller projects post-merger | Reuters

Abu Dhabi's Aldar eyes rentals, smaller projects post-merger | Reuters:

"Aldar Properties ALDR.AD, Abu Dhabi's biggest real estate developer, will focus on rental income and smaller projects instead of large developments in order to avoid the risk of becoming overstretched again, a senior executive said.

Majority state-owned Aldar piled on debt after being tasked with building trophy assets for the Abu Dhabi government, including a Formula One circuit, the Yas Island entertainment district and lavish waterfront developments.

Then the company and other developers were hit hard when a property bubble burst in 2008-2010, pushing real estate prices down by more than 50 percent. The government stepped in with a $10 billion rescue for Aldar and last year moved to merge Aldar with smaller rival Sorouh Real Estate to create a business with $13 billion of assets."

'via Blog this'

Egypt’s Real Challenge: Reviving the Economy - Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East

Egypt’s Real Challenge: Reviving the Economy - Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East:

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UAE bank profit rises just do not justify the huge hikes in share prices this year « ArabianMoney

UAE bank profit rises just do not justify the huge hikes in share prices this year « ArabianMoney:

"
The bellwether National Bank of Abu Dhabi posted its third quarter results yesterday with a below expectations 15 per cent fall in profits to $282 million. In the first nine months of the year NBAD increased its total profit by 14 per cent to almost $1 billion. But its share price is up by 40 per cent this year.

Do the profit increases now coming in at UAE banks actually justify the huge hikes in their share prices that we have seen on the Dubai Financial Market and Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange?"

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Unsettling times at UBS - YouTube

Unsettling times at UBS - YouTube:

"Third quarter numbers were ugly for UBS and there was more bad news from the regulators. Lex's Nikki Tait and Oliver Ralph discuss the latest developments at one of Europe's biggest banks.


"

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Chocolate Factory, Trade War Victim - NYTimes.com

Chocolate Factory, Trade War Victim - NYTimes.com:

"
Joseph Sywenkyj for The New York Times
Inspecting chocolate-covered hazelnuts at the Roshen factory in Kiev, Ukraine. The sweets are banned in Russia.
From the Baltic to the Black Sea, a chocolate wall has descended across the continent of Europe.

The output of the sprawling brick factory, formerly known as the Karl Marx chocolate works, has never before been so hard to sell in Russia. Since July, when Russian regulators banned all chocolate, cake, cookie and candy imports from its Ukrainian parent company, Roshen, ostensibly over health concerns, production at the plant here has plummeted 14 percent.

“It’s not pleasant at all to be in this situation,” Viacheslav Moskalevskyi, the president of Roshen, Ukraine’s largest confectionery company, said in an interview."

'via Blog this'

Mubadala GE Capital eyes bond sales, expansion | GulfNews.com

Mubadala GE Capital eyes bond sales, expansion | GulfNews.com:

"An $8 billion (Dh29.4 billion) commercial finance joint venture between General Electric Co. (GE) and Abu Dhabi’s government-owned development fund Mubadala is preparing to get a credit rating and sell bonds for the first time next year as the business transitions to a self-funded model and eyes expansion across the Middle East and Africa.
Mubadala GE Capital, as the venture is called, is a cornerstone of Abu Dhabi’s drive to develop its local financial sector and give training to citizens looking at careers in the field. It is also a crucial part of a broader effort to wean the emirate’s economy off oil by partnering with leading global companies to spur private sector activity.
The coming bond issue and geographic expansion represent the next major stage in Mubadala GE Capital’s evolution since it began operations almost four years ago. GE and Mubadala each allocated $4 billion of equity to the company when it launched."

'via Blog this'

Real estate shares take a beating on new UAE mortgage rules | GulfNews.com

Real estate shares take a beating on new UAE mortgage rules | GulfNews.com:

"Property developer’s shares took a beating on Tuesday after the new UAE Central Bank regulations on mortgage exposures on property purchases in bid to tame price increases.
Expatriates will get 75 per cent of the property value while the UAE nationals will get 80 per cent for first investment of less than Dh5 million. The regulatory bank has set the upper limit on mortgages for second purchases at 60 per cent of a property’s value.
The cap would ensure that speculation was brought down to manageable levels and more importantly, it would curb access to easy money."

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UAE’s new mortgage cap rules are welcome | The National

UAE’s new mortgage cap rules are welcome | The National:

"The UAE has learnt the lessons of the global economic crisis by introducing measures to protect its property market and prevent reckless borrowing. As The National reports today, after almost 12 months of negotiations with local lenders, the UAE Central Bank has issued its rules for mortgage caps, which will effectively restrict how much a homebuyer can borrow against the purchase price of a property.

The new rules will restrict loans to 80 per cent of the property’s value for UAE nationals and to 75 per cent for expatriates. In addition, loan repayments should not exceed 50 per cent of the borrower’s monthly income. The maximum loan that can be provided to those buying property off-plan is 50 per cent of the purchase price."

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Ports operator DP World handles record cargo volume | The National

Ports operator DP World handles record cargo volume | The National:

"DP World handled a record volume of cargo in the UAE during the third quarter.

The government-controlled company, the world’s third-largest ports operator, said 3.6 million TEU (twenty-foot equivalent units) was shipped through Jebel Ali, representing a 5.4 per cent increase, while volumes for the nine months to September exceeded 10 million TEU for the first time.

“Our flagship UAE operation has recorded the best quarter in its history, reflecting the continued growth in Dubai, the UAE and the wider region,” said the DP World chairman Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem."

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Just Falafel brings in Arqaam Capital for IPO guidance | The National

Just Falafel brings in Arqaam Capital for IPO guidance | The National:

"Just Falafel, the UAE-based fast-food chain, has hired Arqaam Capital as the lead adviser on its initial public offering on the Nasdaq Dubai.

“The valuation work is under process and we expect a listing by the end of the year,” said a source familiar with the deal.

Arqaam, the Dubai-based investment bank, and Just Falafel declined to comment when contacted by The National. The work on the share sale is also understood to involve Menacorp, an Abu Dhabi investment company. Menacorp also declined to comment."

'via Blog this'

Nasdaq Addition Seen Boosting VimpelCom: Russia Overnight - Bloomberg

Nasdaq Addition Seen Boosting VimpelCom: Russia Overnight - Bloomberg:

"VimpelCom Ltd. (VIP), Russia’s third-biggest mobile carrier, is poised for the biggest monthly gain since August 2012 on prospects its inclusion in the Nasdaq benchmark index will bolster demand for the shares.
American depositary receipts of VimpelCom have rallied 21 percent to $14.22 in October. The shares added 1.1 percent yesterday. The Bloomberg Russia-US Equity Index of the most-traded Russian companies in New York fell for a third day, led by OAO GMK Norilsk Nickel (NILSY), which settled at the narrowest premium to the Moscow-listed shares in four days. RTS stock index futures decreased 0.1 percent to 148,570 in U.S. hours."

'via Blog this'

Prague Stocks Jump Most in 21 Months as Election Halts Tax Push - Bloomberg

Prague Stocks Jump Most in 21 Months as Election Halts Tax Push - Bloomberg:

"Czech shares surged the most since January 2012 as political parties promising to raise company taxes failed to gain control of parliament in general elections.
The PX (PX) index jumped 2.7 percent, the biggest gain among 94 global gauges tracked by Bloomberg after Cyprus and Venezuela. Komercni Banka AS, a unit of Societe Generale SA, increased 4.1 percent to a record 4,690 by the close in Prague as Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Deutsche Bank AG recommended buying the stock. Power utility CEZ AS added 6.5 percent, its best day since 2009. Czech sovereign bonds gained while the koruna fell.
The Social Democrats, or CSSD, and Communists, who planned to increase taxes on utilities and banks, received a combined 88 of parliament’s 200 seats in the Oct. 25-26 election, after most opinion polls favored the two parties to get a majority. Having won the vote with 50 seats, the CSSD is now seeking to rule with the support of billionaire Andrej Babis’s pro-business ANO party, which rejects higher taxes, and the Christian Democrats."

'via Blog this'

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

New UAE mortgage regulations target property speculation | GulfNews.com

New UAE mortgage regulations target property speculation | GulfNews.com:

"The Central Bank of UAE has issued a new set of regulations on mortgage lending, defining the loan eligibility of various categories of borrowers based on the loan-to-value ratio (LTV).
The new regulations target to reduce the level of leverage and increase equity in property investments. The notification will be published in the UAE’s official gazette and will come to effect one month from the date of publication, the UAE Central Bank said in a circular issued to all banks and financial institutions operating in the country.
“In introducing these regulations, the central bank wishes to ensure that banks, finance companies and other financial institutions providing mortgage loans to UAE nationals, GCC nationals and expatriates do so in accordance with best practices,” Khalifa Mohammad Al Kindi, chairman of the board of the Central Bank of UAE, said."

'via Blog this'

Saudi Gazette - GCC at the start of a decade-long railway construction boom – MEED

Saudi Gazette - GCC at the start of a decade-long railway construction boom – MEED:

"A railway construction boom started this year in the GCC that is set to transform life and work in the region in the coming decade, said business intelligence service MEED.

Launching the MENA Rail and Metro Summit 2013 on Tuesday the Beach Rotana Hotel in Abu Dhabi, MEED said that about $194 billion worth of rail projects are currently planned or underway in the GCC.

MEED said that about $30 billion of major rail project contracts had been awarded in the region so far in 2013 out of total project contract awards of about $108 billion across all sectors making rail the biggest segment of the regions capital projects market in 2013.

“This year has seen a turning point in the regional rail market,” says MEED editorial director Richard Thompson. “Over the past 10 months, we have seen the region’s ambitions to build metro systems and main line rail networks start to become a reality, with more than $30 billion-worth of rail construction contracts awarded so far this year And there is a lot more to come.”"

'via Blog this'

Western Australia supports fracking | Positions and Promotions

Western Australia supports fracking | Positions and Promotions:

"
The government of Western Australia (WA) is supporting strongly the development of gas reserves using the fracking technique in a bid boost economic activity.


Developing shale gas could unlock billions for the WA economy, helping to create a wave of long term jobs, according to WA's Mining and Petroleum Minister Bill Marmion. He is trying to allay concerns about potential environmental damage as a result of fracking, especially the pollution of water supplies, reports mining.com.

"I strongly believe we can achieve this without compromising the environment or safety. They need to be honest and up-front about their real objective, it is not about fracking... it is to prevent natural gas becoming a major fuel source for the generation of energy as opposed to renewable energy," said Mr. Marmion."

'via Blog this'

Lower net investment gains weigh on National Bank of Abu Dhabi profit | GulfNews.com

Lower net investment gains weigh on National Bank of Abu Dhabi profit | GulfNews.com:

"National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD), Abu Dhabi’s biggest bank by assets and market capitalisation said yesterday its fiscal third quarter net profit fell 8 per cent on year to Dh1.04 billion, although the net income for the first nine months this year rose 13.8 per cent on the year to Dh3.66 billion.
In a statement, NBAD said its revenue in the third quarter fell 2.5 per cent on year as stronger fee and net interest income was offset by lower net investment gains and other operating income. The bank’s loans increased 5.2 per cent in the quarter ended September to Dh182.5 billion while customer deposits rose 18.5 per cent to Dh229.5 billion from the same quarter a year ago.
NBAD said its total assets in January-September period increased 14.8 per cent to Dh345.1 billion, while loans increased 10.9 per cent to Dh182.5 billion and customer deposits rose 20.6 per cent to Dh229.5 billion."

'via Blog this'

India getting back on track - YouTube

India getting back on track - YouTube:

"After a run of bad news for the Indian economy over the summer when the world's investors started to turn their back on emerging markets and the rupee went into freefall, the world's second largest country is showing signs of having weathered the storm. The central bank has raised interest rates to counter inflation and the Sensex index is trading close to its all time high. The FT's James Crabtree seeks to explain why some parts of the corporate sector appear to be doing well in spite of the country's economic problems.


"

'via Blog this'

Occidental Petroleum Third Quarter Core Income $1.6 Billion Vs $1.4 Billion Year Ago Eurasia Review

Occidental Petroleum Third Quarter Core Income $1.6 Billion Vs $1.4 Billion Year Ago Eurasia Review:

"Occidental Petroleum Corporation said Tuesday that core income for the third quarter of 2013 of $1.6 billion ($1.97 per diluted share), compared with $1.4 billion ($1.70 per diluted share) for the third quarter of 2012. Net income was $1.6 billion ($1.96 per diluted share) for the third quarter of 2013, compared with $1.4 billion ($1.69 per diluted share) for the third quarter of 2012.

In announcing the results, Stephen I. Chazen, President and Chief Executive Officer, said, “Domestic production was 476,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (BOE), an increase of 7,000 BOE from the third quarter of 2012 and 6,000 BOE higher than the second quarter of 2013. Our domestic liquids production increased by 8,000 barrels per day on a sequential quarter over quarter basis. On a year-to-date basis, our domestic liquids production increased by 18,000 barrels per day, or nearly 6 percent."

'via Blog this'

Daily chart: Getting down to business | The Economist

Daily chart: Getting down to business | The Economist:

"The rich world shoulders the lightest regulatory burden

SINGAPORE is the best place to do business in the world, according to an annual report by the International Finance Corporation and World Bank. New companies can be formed in just two and a half days in the city-state, compared with six months in Suriname, one of the worst performers of the 189 countries surveyed. Rwanda, Georgia and Belarus continued to scythe their way through red tape. Together they have introduced almost 100 pro-business reforms since 2005. In almost all areas, however, rich countries perform best, as the chart below shows. Only two types of regulation—starting a business and registering a property—are easier to do elsewhere. Entrepreneurs from parts of Central Asia face a frustrating predicament—they can buy land easily yet struggle to get licenses to develop it. Azerbaijan, for instance, ranks among the 15 countries where it is easiest to register property and the 15 worst for getting construction permits.

"

'via Blog this'

CORRECTED-REUTERS SUMMIT-Credit Suisse sees Qatar fund in emerging markets push | Reuters

CORRECTED-REUTERS SUMMIT-Credit Suisse sees Qatar fund in emerging markets push | Reuters:

"* Credit Suisse has close ties to Qatar sovereign fund

* Sees it diversifying investments beyond U.S., Europe

* May put more focus on real estate, infrastructure, commodities

* Attractive as inflation hedge

* Asset management venture to launch second MENA fund

By Mirna Sleiman

DOHA, Oct 28 (Reuters) - Qatar's sovereign wealth fund is looking at more investments in emerging markets in order to diversify beyond developed nations, said a senior executive of Credit Suisse who is one of the top advisors to the fund.

With assets estimated by analysts at about $100-200 billion, and over a dozen potential deals on its radar every week, Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) is courted by bankers and politicians around the world.

While the fund will continue to take large minority stakes in well-established firms, it may in future place more emphasis on tangible assets such as real estate, infrastructure and commodities rather than merely financial instruments, said Aladdin Hangari, head of Credit Suisse's Qatar operations."

'via Blog this'

Rosneft Sells 10% of TNK-BP | Business | The Moscow Times

Rosneft Sells 10% of TNK-BP | Business | The Moscow Times:

"State-owned oil giant Rosneft sold a 9.9 percent stake in TNK-BP to unnamed third-party buyers for 97 billion rubles in the third quarter of this year, according to a report released by the company, Vedomosti reported.

The world's biggest listed crude oil producer saw its third-quarter net income rise to 280 billion rubles ($8.77 billion), slightly missing analyst forecasts, after its acquisition of smaller rival TNK-BP in March.

Net income at Rosneft, which accounts for 40 percent of Russia's oil production, was up from 35 billion rubles in the previous quarter and just short of a consensus analyst forecast of 284 billion rubles. It included a 167 billion ruble upwards revaluation of TNK-BP.

Adjusted free cash flow stood at 84 billion rubles in the July to September quarter, up from 35 billion rubles in the previous quarter, Rosneft said."

'via Blog this'

London and sukuk: the lessons of Malaysia | beyondbrics

London and sukuk: the lessons of Malaysia | beyondbrics:

"
The UK’s decision to launch an Islamic bond has been a long time coming. For a decade the prospect has been raised at the many Islamic finance conferences that have been held in London; Ed Balls, when he was City of London minister, announced the first Shariah-compliant government bonds from the UK Treasury back in April 2007.

The rationale then, as now, was to bolster London’s standing as an international financial centre. The logic then, as now, was that London ought to offer everything it can to financial markets, and that if launching a sovereign sukuk bond helps to create a benchmark for others to issue against, then that’s what it should do so as not to miss out.

As David Cameron said on Tuesday: “When Islamic finance is growing 50 per cent faster than traditional banking and when global Islamic investments are set to grow to £1.3tn ($2.1tn) by 2014, we want to make sure a big proportion of that new investment is made here in Britain.”"

'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-UAE mkts falls after mixed earnings; Saudi extends fall | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-UAE mkts falls after mixed earnings; Saudi extends fall | Reuters:

"Mixed earnings in UAE triggered marginal profit-taking on Tuesday while Saudi Arabia's bourse declined for a third consecutive session after its largest-listed firm reported earnings that disappointed investors.

Abu Dhabi's telecom operator Etisalat weighed on the bourse and dampened sentiment after it reported an 18 percent drop in third-quarter profit and fell short of analysts' forecast.

Large-cap First Gulf Bank fell 1.5 percent after reporting earnings that matched estimates.

Abu Dhabi's measure slipped 0.7 percent, but it lacks direction as it remains in a 100-point range for the last four weeks."

'via Blog this'

U.K. Prime Minister Unveils Plans for Islamic Market Index | TIME.com

U.K. Prime Minister Unveils Plans for Islamic Market Index | TIME.com:

"Prime Minister David Cameron is taking strides to tap the burgeoning interest in Islamic finance, announcing the launch of a new Islamic Market Index in London and plans for Britain to be the first non-Muslim country to issue an Islamic bond.

Describing London as “already the biggest center for Islamic finance outside the Islamic world,” Cameron said Tuesday that the U.K.’s ambition is to go further.

“I don’t just want London to be a great capital of Islamic finance in the Western world,” he told an audience of international political and business leaders in London. “I want London to stand alongside Dubai as one of the great capitals of Islamic finance anywhere in the World.”

The market in Islamic investments has grown quickly since 2006, and its value is expected to hit 1.3 trillion pounds ($2 trillion) next year. Malaysia’s capital, Kuala Lumpur, is regarded as its hub, but London has been courting the industry aggressively."

'via Blog this'

Oil-rich Kuwait warns citizens: Major budget cuts are coming | The Raw Story

Oil-rich Kuwait warns citizens: Major budget cuts are coming | The Raw Story:

"Oil-rich Kuwait said Monday that the generous cradle-to-grave welfare system provided to its 1.2 million citizens was “unsustainable” and it was time for change.

“The fact everyone must be aware of … is that the existing welfare state system that Kuwaitis are used to is unsustainable,” Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Mubarak Al-Sabah said, presenting his government’s four-year programme to parliament.

The programme up to the 2016/2017 fiscal year aims to review subsidies, charges and prices of public services, besides imposing a taxation system in a country that generates 94 percent of its income from selling oil and where individuals and corporates pay no taxes.

The government has also promised to cut public expenditure, especially current spending which includes wages, subsidies and defence spending."

'via Blog this'

End of week downturn for Ukrainian stocks continues on Monday - Ukraine Business Online

End of week downturn for Ukrainian stocks continues on Monday - Business - News - Ukraine Business Online:

"“An ongoing selloff in Kernel stock cast a pall over Ukrainian equities on Monday, October 28. The WIG Ukraine Index of Warsaw-traded stocks dropped 3.3%, or 9.5% in two sessions. The biggest factor has been grain trader Kernel (KER PW -7.3%), which has plummeted 21.0% in two sessions after reporting disappointing FY2013 earnings and a negative outlook for next year. The second most liquid Ukrainian stock has reached its lowest price in more than three years and ten months. Investors were also dumping their shares of farmer Industrial Milk (IMC PW -7.3%), which hit their lowest price since July. In London, JKX Oil & Gas (JKX LN +2.5%) has gained 3.5% in two sessions. The Ukrainian Exchange (UX) Index of Kyiv-traded stocks slid 1.3%, pulled down by Centrenergo (CEEN UK -2.5%) and Azovstal (AZST UK -2.4%), which has fallen 4.3% in two sessions. Raiffeisen Bank Aval (BAVL UK +0.7%) has advanced 14.8% in five straight positive sessions.”"

'via Blog this'

UAE Central Bank issues mortgage rules | GulfNews.com

UAE Central Bank issues mortgage rules | GulfNews.com:

"The UAE Central Bank has issued new rules governing the amount of financing banks can provide, the so-called loan-to-value (LTV) ratio, for buying real estate.
For home loans valued under Dh5 million, financing should not exceed 80 per cent for nationals and 75 per cent for expatriates.
Mortgages cannot exceed 25 years and the monthly installments should not exceed 50 per cent of the total monthly income of the borrower.
The new real estate mortgaging system encompasses strict lending and guarantee rules as well as an assessment of the client’s credit rating amongst other conditions which are aimed to further bring stability and regulate the property and banking sectors."

'via Blog this'

Ukraine becomes world leader in regulatory reform - World Bank| Ukrinform

Ukraine becomes world leader in regulatory reform - World Bank| Ukrinform:

"Ukraine became the world leader in conducting regulatory reform last year, jumping from 140th to 112th spot in the Ease of Doing Business ranking.
This is stated in an annual joint report by the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation, entitled Doing Business 2014, which was released in Washington on Monday, Ukrinform reported.
According to the document, this year Ukraine showed itself as a world leader in regulatory reform. Nevertheless, the problems requiring a solution still remained. Ukraine occupies 112th place among 189 countries in the Ease of Doing Business ranking.
Ukraine was the top improver in 2012/2013, implementing reforms in eight of the ten areas measured by Doing Business. Ukraine topped the list of countries that improved the most in previous years. Apart from Ukraine, the top five also includes Rwanda, Russia, Philippines and Kosovo."

'via Blog this'

Oman appoints Bank Muscat for 19 pct sale in state telco | Reuters

Oman appoints Bank Muscat for 19 pct sale in state telco | Reuters:

"Oman has appointed the Gulf state's top lender Bank Muscat to arrange a secondary share sale of a 19 percent stake in its biggest mobile telecommunications operator, Oman Telecommunications Co (Omantel).

The government plans to sell the stake, which is expected to raise around $600 million, to help boost its non-oil income and fund rising public spending.

"Ministry of Finance has decided to appoint Bank Muscat as the financial advisor for selling 27 percent of its shares in Oman Telecommunication Company, equivalent to 19 percent of the company's share capital," Omantel said in a bourse statement on Tuesday."

'via Blog this'

U.A.E.’s GEMS Plans Perpetual Bond Sale for School Expansion - Bloomberg

U.A.E.’s GEMS Plans Perpetual Bond Sale for School Expansion - Bloomberg:

"GEMS Education Ltd., the world’s biggest privately-owned operator of schools, plans to raise about $500 million from a debut sale of perpetual Islamic bonds to fund expansion and tap demand for Shariah-compliant assets.
Morgan Stanley (MS), Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank PJSC and Credit Suisse Group Inc. will help Dubai-based GEMS manage the sale of the bonds without a maturity date, Chief Financial Officer Nicholas Guest said in a phone interview. The company will begin meetings with fixed-income investors this week, he said.
GEMS will seek to raise between $650 million to $1 billion from different sources as part of a plan to build 21 new schools, including in the U.S. and U.K., over the next three years and boost capacity at 10 existing institutions, Chief Operating Officer Dino Varkey said in March. About 130,000 students attend its network of 100 schools in 11 countries."

'via Blog this'

Qatar bank Masraf al-Rayan posts 19.7 pct Q3 net profit gain | Reuters

Qatar bank Masraf al-Rayan posts 19.7 pct Q3 net profit gain | Reuters:

"Masraf al-Rayan, Qatar's largest sharia-compliant bank by market value, posted a 19.7 percent increase in its third-quarter net profit, Reuters calculations show, beating the average forecast of analysts.

Net profit for the three months to Sept. 30 was 429 million riyals ($117.8 million), compared with 358.3 million riyals in the same period a year ago, Reuters calculated based on the bank's previous financial statements.

Six analysts polled by Reuters, on average, had forecast a net profit of 415.2 million riyals for the quarter."

'via Blog this'

Russia's Gazprom says concerned over Ukraine gas payments | Reuters

Russia's Gazprom says concerned over Ukraine gas payments | Reuters:

"Russian gas export monopoly Gazprom said on Tuesday it was concerned about neighbouring Ukraine's ability to pay for gas after it failed to pay for deliveries.

Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said in a statement: "We are exceedingly worried about the current situation with Ukrainian payments for Russian gas supplies.""

'via Blog this'

Opportunity Europe - YouTube

Opportunity Europe - YouTube:

"Europe is shedding its moniker of sick region of the world. David Kelly, chief global strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management, explains to economics correspondent Sarah O'Connor why the eurozone is now an opportunity, despite its structural problems.


"

'via Blog this'

Osborne to launch Islamic bond plan - FT.com

Osborne to launch Islamic bond plan - FT.com:

"George Osborne, the chancellor, will on Tuesday announce plans for Britain to issue the first Islamic bond outside the Muslim world, as he seeks to turn the City of London into the “unrivalled western centre for Islamic finance”.
Mr Osborne hopes that £200m bond or sukuk will act as a catalyst for the City to become a leading player in the sharia-compliant finance market, which is worth $1tn globally."

'via Blog this'

Villeroy & Boch: a lesson in opening in India | beyondbrics

Villeroy & Boch: a lesson in opening in India | beyondbrics:

"
Last year the Indian government eased the rules on FDI into single-brand retail, allowing 100 per cent foreign ownership. Yet Villeroy & Boch, the German-owned porcelain manufacturer, has chosen to come to India in a joint venture with a local partner.

It raises questions about the policy reform and whether foreign stores will set up alone in India – even if they are now allowed to.

Having attempted to enter India a few years ago with a distribution agreement that didn’t work out, Villeroy & Boch established a 50-50 joint venture in June this year with Genesis Luxury, which also works with fashion brands such as Burberry and Paul Smith. By August the first Villeroy & Boch store had opened in Mumbai’s high-end Palladium Mall."

'via Blog this'

FM: Azerbaijan - a reliable partner, playing an important role in enhancing of energy security - Trend.Az

FM: Azerbaijan - a reliable partner, playing an important role in enhancing of energy security - Trend.Az:

"Minister of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan Elmar Mammadyarov addressed Monday the meeting of the UN Security Council, which discussed strengthening the partnership synergy between the United Nations and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, said in the message of Press Service of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan.
In his speech, the minister noted that many of the issues on the Security Council agenda relate to the Islamic world, and the OIC is naturally seized of them.
According to him, The OIC is the second largest intergovernmental organization after the United Nations, with 57 Member States and this fact necessitates the closer cooperation and coordination between the Security Council and the OIC in order to benefit from global, regional and local approaches in addressing those issues."

'via Blog this'

A look at Turkey's shale gas future

A look at Turkey's shale gas future:

"
image: oilandgas-investments.com
A growing economy, increasing energy demand, and limited domestic reserves have challenged the sustainability of Turkey’s rising star. To overcome this risk, Ankara is facilitating foreigner investments’ penetration into the market with new regulations. In this favorable environment and due to the Energy Information Agency (EIA)’s optimistic estimations on technically recoverable shale oil and gas, Turkey has become a frequent flyer destination for energy investors, opening the debate on if the future holds a shale gas boom or, conversely, a bubble.

Energy hungry Turkey has a vulnerable energy balance. More than 30 percent of energy consumption comes from natural gas and another 30 percent from oil, while the country's reserves don’t constitute any considerable part of this consumption. Thus, the market remains import dependent. To adjust for this balance, Turkey at first decided to diversify its supply portfolio and has invested over the last decade in the southern energy corridor project. This first investment brought joint investment with Azerbaijan, resulting in the Trans-Anatolian pipeline (TANAP), which will bring 16 billion cubic meters of gas per year to Europe."

'via Blog this'

Profits fall 40% at Qatar’s bailed-out Barwa Real Estate - Alarabiya.net English | Front Page

Profits fall 40% at Qatar’s bailed-out Barwa Real Estate - Alarabiya.net English | Front Page:

"
Qatar’s Barwa Real Estate has been cutting staff and selling assets to pay down its debts. (File photo: Reuters)
Struggling Qatari property firm Barwa Real Estate, given $7.1 billion in support by the state in June, posted a 40 percent drop in net profit for the first nine months of 2013.
The company, Qatar’s largest listed developer, made a net profit of 467.5 million riyals ($128.4 million) for the nine months ending Sept. 30, down from 779.1 million riyals a year earlier, it said in a statement to Doha's bourse on Monday.
No quarterly figures were provided by the company."

'via Blog this'

Red tape threat to fund managers - YouTube

Red tape threat to fund managers - YouTube:

"The flurry of new regulation that has hit the UK asset management sector in the past few years has left the industry fearful about the effect on returns. David Oakley reports.


"

'via Blog this'

Diamonds: Investor's best friend? - YouTube

Diamonds: Investor's best friend? - YouTube:

"Alrosa priced its share offering on Monday at 35 roubles a share, valuing the world's largest rough-diamond producer by volume at $8.1bn. Lex's Nikki Tait and Julia Grindell discuss the latest developments at the state-owned diamond miner.


"

'via Blog this'

Deyaar announce profit surge | GulfNews.com

Deyaar announce profit surge | GulfNews.com:

"Dubai-based commercial and residential developer Deyaar reported a net profit surge in third quarter profit on Monday amid renowned confidence in Dubai’s property market.
According to a Deyaar press release the developer recorded Dh40.5 million in the third quarter of 2013, significantly higher than the Dh5.1 million the company reported in the same 2012 period.
The company is performance in 2013 has outstripped recent years since the financial crisis. For the first nine months of 2013 Deyaar has recorded Dh87.1 million total net profit, which accumulates to 162 per cent growth when compared to the Dh33.2 recorded over the same 2012 period."

'via Blog this'

First Gulf Bank posts Dh1.19 billon Q3 net profit | GulfNews.com

First Gulf Bank posts Dh1.19 billon Q3 net profit | GulfNews.com:

"First Gulf Bank (FGB) on Monday reported third quarter net profit at Dh1.19 billion, up 12.8 per cent compared to Dh1.05 billion in the same period last year.
The bank’s operating income increased by 13.3 per cent to Dh2.05 billion. Net interest and Islamic financing income stood at Dh1.52 billion in the third quarter of 2013, up 8.6 per cent year-on-year as the net interest margins improved to 3.68 per cent, from 3.62 per cent as of June-end 2013 and 3.58 per cent in March 2013.
“During the third quarter, FGB continued to witness notable growth in its core businesses, confirming its strategy to primarily develop its business based on solid organic growth."

'via Blog this'

Dubai consumers very optimistic about labour market | GulfNews.com

Dubai consumers very optimistic about labour market | GulfNews.com:

"Dubai’s consumers are very optimistic about labour market anticipating better job opportunity in the coming 12 months, according to the quarterly consumer confidence survey conducted by the Department of Economic Development (DED) during the third quarter of 2013.
While 83 per cent of the participated consumers rated current job prospects as excellent or good, 92 per cent showed strong confidence in the job market.
A major driver of the growing optimism is the tourism boom and the increase in rentals and property prices across Dubai."

'via Blog this'

Expo 2020 success for Dubai could trigger bond market bonanza | The National

Expo 2020 success for Dubai could trigger bond market bonanza | The National:

"There could be a flurry of high-yielding debt sales on local bond markets if Dubai is successful in its bid to host World Expo 2020, analysts say.

Spending on new projects such as hotels needed to cope with the influx of visitors to the exhibition will probably require the issuance of new higher-yielding bonds, analysts said.

Bonds and sukuk of property developers such as Emaar Properties have rebounded this year amid improving economic fortunes for the UAE. Demand for real estate from investors in countries torn by violence in the region such as Egypt and Syria, as well as local demand, have boosted home values. Dubai has estimated that it would need to invest about $7 billion in infrastructure projects. Its existing debt load is more than 100 per cent of its GDP."

'via Blog this'

Call for Arab states to re-evaluate relationship with oil and end energy subsidies | The National

Call for Arab states to re-evaluate relationship with oil and end energy subsidies | The National:

"Arab states have been urged to re-evaluate their relationship with oil, phase out energy subsidies and invest heavily in renewable energy.

Revenue from oil and gas will continue to be crucial but governments should use the funds to develop renewable resources and focus on energy efficiency.

Energy subsidies should be phased out, private investment encouraged and national energy strategies established, the Arab Forum for Environment and Development says in a new report.

“Oil and gas are important, they will continue to be important,” said Najib Saab, the forum’s secretary general. “We call for more careful use of oil and gas and for more serious development of renewable energy.”"

'via Blog this'

Long-delayed Rosewood hotel in Dubai back on track as Rosewood Abu Dhabi officially opened | The National

Long-delayed Rosewood hotel in Dubai back on track as Rosewood Abu Dhabi officially opened | The National:

"The long-delayed project to build a Rosewood hotel in Dubai International Financial Centre should be back on track within three months, according to the group’s president.

The luxury property, which is to be located opposite the Ritz-Carlton hotel, stalled as a result of the global financial crisis. It was originally scheduled to open in 2009, then in mid-2013. However, it could now be completed by late 2015, said Radha Arora, president of Rosewood Hotels and Resorts.

“We are just finalising some some details with some partnerships. If everything goes well, [it will be open] 18 months following the kick start of the project, so it will be the end of 2015,” he said."

'via Blog this'

EFG-Hermes Targets Gulf Banking Deals as Egypt Falters - Bloomberg

EFG-Hermes Targets Gulf Banking Deals as Egypt Falters - Bloomberg:

"EFG-Hermes Holding SAE, the Egyptian investment bank whose merger with Qatar’s Qinvest LLC collapsed in May, said it’s seeking deals in the Persian Gulf as political turmoil at home discourages foreign investors.
The Cairo-based bank is advising Dubai Group LLC on the $164 million sale of Dubai First to First Gulf Bank and Al-Futtaim Group on the $90 million acquisition of CMC in Kenya, Karim Awad, chief executive officer of the investment bank at EFG-Hermes, said in an e-mailed response to questions. It also worked on the listing of BLME Holdings PLC (BLME) on Nasdaq Dubai. (DPW)
The Arab world’s most populous country, which has yet to hold presidential and legislative elections following the ouster of former President Mohamed Mursi, has experienced its worst economic slowdown in two years amid the political upheaval. That comes as Gulf countries such as Saudi Arabia, the U.A.E. and Qatar report accelerating growth."

'via Blog this'

Monday, 28 October 2013

Oil-rich Kuwait warns welfare state unsustainable - Your Middle East

Oil-rich Kuwait warns welfare state unsustainable - Your Middle East:

"Oil-rich Kuwait said Monday that the generous cradle-to-grave welfare system provided to its 1.2 million citizens was "unsustainable" and it was time for change.

"The fact everyone must be aware of ... is that the existing welfare state system that Kuwaitis are used to is unsustainable," Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Mubarak Al-Sabah said, presenting his government's four-year programme to parliament.

The programme up to the 2016/2017 fiscal year aims to review subsidies, charges and prices of public services, besides imposing a taxation system in a country that generates 94 percent of its income from selling oil and where individuals and corporates pay no taxes.

The government has also promised to cut public expenditure, especially current spending which includes wages, subsidies and defence spending."

'via Blog this'

Iran tries to lure back western oil groups - FT.com

Iran tries to lure back western oil groups - FT.com:

"Iran plans to convince international companies to invest in its oilfields by offering them more lucrative contracts as part of efforts to repair its battered economy and improve the Islamic Republic’s relations with the western world.
The move comes as Tehran and Washington engage in the most constructive negotiations for several years about curbing Iran’s nuclear programme, which could pave the way for the loosening of sanctions that have crippled the oil industry, the engine of the Iranian economy."

'via Blog this'

The Russian bellwether now pointing toward reality? | @OdessablogBlogger

The Russian bellwether now pointing toward reality? | Odessablog's Blog:

"There are several bellwethers worthy of watching when it comes to Ukraine’s possible meeting of EU conditions for the signing of the Association Agreement in exactly a month.

Naturally the first, and naturally the least clear, are the actions of the Ukrainian leadership, particularly in respect to the circumstances around Ms Tymoshenko.

That said, those of us who live in Ukraine – rather than those watch from outside and currently seem in some form of semi-controlled panic – are well aware that Ukraine is a nation that does things “just in time”."

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UPDATE 1-Dubai Holding arm plans to sell stake in Swatch-backed retailer -sources | Reuters

UPDATE 1-Dubai Holding arm plans to sell stake in Swatch-backed retailer -sources | Reuters:

"* DIC in talks with Saudi-based Al Rajhi Capital - sources

* Rivoli sale seen by year-end - sources

* Dubai has been stepping up asset sales

By Dinesh Nair and Mirna Sleiman

DUBAI, Oct 28 (Reuters) - The private equity arm of Dubai Holding, which is owned by the emirate's ruler, is planning to sell its minority stake in a luxury retailer backed by Swatch, four banking and industry sources aware of the matter said.

The unit, Dubai International Capital (DIC), is in exclusive negotiations to sell its 18 percent stake in Rivoli Group to Saudi-based Al Rajhi Capital, the investment banking and private equity arm of the kingdom's top listed lender, Al Rajhi Bank , the sources said.

The sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, did not provide a potential value for the deal."

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Abu Dhabi gives China encouragement on oil concession | The National

Abu Dhabi gives China encouragement on oil concession | The National:

"The Supreme Petroleum Council, Abu Dhabi’s highest oil policy body, is to evaluate the possibility of awarding China a concession after “very good” progress in talks, said the UAE Minister of Energy.

China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) has evaluated a set of seven undeveloped blocks in the west of Abu Dhabi, its first tentative step towards accessing hydrocarbon reserves dominated for the greater part of the century by the western supermajors.

A concession, if awarded, would follow a strategic cooperation agreement signed by the Chinese state-owned giant and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) last year."

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Russia’s Alrosa: an investor’s best friend? | beyondbrics

Russia’s Alrosa: an investor’s best friend? | beyondbrics:

"
Alrosa might be considered the king of diamonds. It is the world’s largest rough diamond producer by volume, with almost 1bn carats of resources.

It’s certainly the king of privatisations, as far as 2013 is concerned. A stake of 16 per cent stake in the company was sold for $1.3bn in an IPO on Monday, making it Russia’s first state privatistion of the year.

The Russian government and the regional government of Yakutia each contributed 7 per cent to the IPO, with a further 2 per cent from the company itself."

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UK visa: Oman asks citizens to wait for official announcement from UK | GulfNews.com

UK visa: Oman asks citizens to wait for official announcement from UK | GulfNews.com:

"Sayyid Badr Bin Hamad Al Bu Saidi, Secretary-General at Oman’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has urged citizens to wait for an official announcement regarding the easing of UK visa procedures for citizens of the country.
According to reports in London, the British government has decided to significantly ease visa application procedures for Omanis intending to visit the country for medical treatment or tourism purposes. Those who wish to study or work in the country will still need to follow the conventional procedures.
Media reports said Omanis travelling to the UK for tourism or treatment will need to send an email to the website of the British embassy in Muscat and wait for approval within 48 hours. The traveller then has to take a printout of the approval, which will be considered as a visa, when travelling to the UK. Upon arrival at any of the UK airports, fingerprints will be taken."

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MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi extends losses as earnings disappoint; most mkts dip | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi extends losses as earnings disappoint; most mkts dip | Reuters:

"Saudi Arabia's shares extended losses on Monday as earnings disappointed investors, while most other Middle East bourses retreated in profit-taking.

Saudi's retail and telecom sectors led declines after key companies' profits missed analysts' expectations.

Fawaz Abdulaziz Alhokair posted an 11.8 percent rise in second-quarter profit to 282.08 million riyals ($75.21 million), trailing a forecast average of 299.9 million riyals, despite higher sales.

Analysts blamed Alhokair's lower-than-expected profit growth on ebbing revenue growth.

NCB Capital said Alhokair's 13.5 percent revenue growth year-on-year was the lowest quarterly growth in 15 quarters."

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Morgan Stanley sees worst over for Middle East banking | Reuters

Morgan Stanley sees worst over for Middle East banking | Reuters:

"Morgan Stanley Inc (MS.N) is seeing a resurgence in investment banking activity in the Gulf Arab region and expects an end to large-scale retrenchments by global lenders as financial markets improve, senior executives at the bank told Reuters.

As the market for mergers and acquisitions (M&A), equity and debt offerings in the Middle East picks up after years of sluggish activity, the bank is targeting clients looking for advice on complex transactions that require global expertise, more than just a financial commitment such as underwriting.

"We want to lead with ideas rather than with the price of our balance sheet, and try to bring real value in areas that involve complexity - especially across international borders," said Sammy Kayello, chairman and chief executive for Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and a veteran at the bank."

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Credit Suisse sees Qatar fund in emerging markets push | Reuters

Credit Suisse sees Qatar fund in emerging markets push | Reuters:

"Qatar's sovereign wealth fund is looking at more investments in emerging markets in order to diversify beyond developed nations, said a senior executive of Credit Suisse (CSGN.VX) who is one of the top advisors to the fund.

With assets estimated by analysts at about $100-200 billion, and over a dozen potential deals on its radar every week, Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) is courted by bankers and politicians around the world.

While the fund will continue to take large minority stakes in well-established firms, it may in future place more emphasis on tangible assets such as real estate, infrastructure and commodities rather than merely financial instruments, said Aladdin Hangari, head of Credit Suisse's Qatar operations."

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