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Monday, 10 June 2013

Revising outlook: UAE, Qatar emerge to see $3 billion in gains | Al Bawaba

"The UAE and Qatar will see a gradual surge in foreign investment inflows of up to $3 billion if they get elevated to the emerging market status tomorrow, investment managers said.

The UAE and Qatar are for a fifth year under consideration by MSCI, whose gauges are tracked by investors managing about $7 trillion, for reclassification from frontier-market status to emerging market.

“The eagerly-awaited verdict, which is to be announced on June 11, will have a major impact on the two GCC countries’ market dynamics. An upgrade to emerging market status will sure open the floodgates of foreign investments,” said a Doha-based investment manager."

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Emirati hospital floats 34% of stocks in london, bid for $390 mln | Al Bawaba

"Abu Dhabi healthcare firm Al Noor Hospitals plans to raise between $320 million and $390 million by offloading up to 34 percent of the company's stock through a flotation in London, it said on Monday.

Al Noor, the largest private healthcare provider in the oil-rich emirate, set the price range for the initial public offering (IPO) at 5.25 and 7.25 pounds ($8.20-$11.00), a filing to the London Stock Exchange said.

Its free float - the percentage of the company's shares tradable by the public - will be between 31 and 34 percent. Of the total offering, $150 million will be from the issue of new shares, with the remaining shares sold by existing shareholders."

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Egypt Stocks Drop to 10-Month Low as Anti-Mursi Protests Loom - Bloomberg

"Egyptian shares fell to the lowest in more than 10 months on investor concern anti-government protests will gain momentum as President Mohamed Mursi marks the first anniversary of his election.
The benchmark EGX 30 Index lost 2.9 percent to 4,775.92, the lowest level since July 30, at the close in Cairo. The gauge tumbled 12 percent in the last seven days, the longest losing streak since November 2011. Commercial International Bank Egypt SAE, the country’s biggest publicly traded lender, fell 4.1 percent and EFG-Hermes Holding SAE plunged to the lowest in eight years. Benchmark dollar bonds dropped.
A group of mostly secular activists calling for the resignation of Mursi said it collected 13 million petitions for the cause, Al said. The group known as Tamarrod, the Arabic word for rebellion, is vowing nationwide demonstrations on June 30, the one-year anniversary of Mursi taking office, setting up a possible confrontation with his Islamist backers."

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Dubai Shares Drop Most in More Than Year Before MSCI Decision - Bloomberg

"Dubai’s shares fell the most in more than a year as investors await an MSCI Inc. (MSCI) decision on whether the United Arab Emirates will be upgraded to emerging-market status. Stocks in Abu Dhabi also declined.
Dubai Financial Market (DFM), the only publicly traded stock exchange in the Gulf Cooperation Council, fell the most in four months. Dubai Investments PJSC (DIC) posted its biggest drop in more than a year. The benchmark DFM General Index (DFMGI) decreased 2.3 percent, the largest retreat since March 2012, to 2,344.76. It was the world’s third-worst performer today among 94 indexes tracked by Bloomberg.
The U.A.E. and Qatar are under consideration for a fifth year for a possible upgrade from frontier market status at MSCI. Both countries could be promoted after they improved market accessibility, HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA) said in a report dated May 31. Indexes by MSCI, which is due to announce its decision June 11, are tracked by investors managing about $7 trillion."

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Private wealth in Gulf states rises 7% in year -

"Private wealth in the Gulf states has grown 7 per cent over the past year amid strong oil revenues and rebounding equity markets, but the region continues to harbour some of the world’s starkest wealth disparities, a new study shows.
Wealth in the broader Middle East and Africa has risen from $4.4tn in 2011 to a forecast $4.8tn in 2012, putting it in the “same ballpark” as global growth of 8 per cent in the same period, says Boston Consulting Group’s Global Wealth Report 2013."

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The 3 Worst Financial Predictions of the Last 5 Years - tks @cullenroche

"All this talk about the crisis and predictions got me thinking….We all know how difficult it is to forecast the future.  But every once in a while we see predictions that are so far off the mark that you have to wonder if the forecaster is working with a full deck.  Which is actually a great thing because it’s beneficial for the rest of us since we can study these kinds of predictions and understand why they were wrong and what can be learned from them.  I often say “it’s only in being wrong that we can learn to be right”.

That said, what were the very worst predictions of the last 5 years and what can be learned from these bad calls?  I provide my views below:"

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Fight against Mideast corruption at risk, warns anti-graft group -

"Efforts to fight the corruption that contributed to uprisings throughout the Arab world two years ago may be falling by the wayside as new elites emerge and economic problems overshadow the drive for clean government, according to an anti-graft group.
Transparency International, the public advocacy group, convened a summit of officials and groups from across the Arab world in Tunisia last week to reinvigorate moves to halt the bid-rigging, bribery and kickbacks that plague commerce and government in the region."

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UPDATE 1-Bahrain picks banks for potential dollar bond issue | Reuters

"Bahrain has picked four banks to arrange investor meetings ahead of a potential sovereign bond issue, a document from lead managers said on Monday, with proceeds likely to be used to plug an expected budget deficit for 2013.

The International Monetary Fund said in May that it was forecasting a fiscal shortfall of 4.2 percent this year, up from the 2.6 percent deficit reported by the Bahraini government for 2012.

In recent years, the Gulf Arab kingdom, which is not as blessed as its neighbours in terms of hydrocarbon reserves and relies on an oil field it shares with Saudi Arabia for some 70 percent of its budget revenue, has typically issued one international debt offering a year to help manage its finances."

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Selective Justice Keeps Foreign Investment Out of Ukraine | Business | The Moscow Times

"Four years after British financier Neil Smith bought one of Ukraine's largest local vodka producers, it was listed by Forbes as one of the country's fastest-growing firms, with annual sales of $600 million. Then, a local court ruling nearly shut it down.

Such cases are one reason why Ukraine performs so poorly in attracting foreign investment, drawing just over $6 billion in FDI last year compared to over $10 billion each for its EU neighbors Poland and Czech Republic."

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Russia Holds Rates as Ignatiev Lays Ground for Heir to Ease - Bloomberg

"Russia’s central bank left its main interest rates unchanged at Sergey Ignatiev’s final meeting as chairman, signaling that his successor Elvira Nabiullina may have grounds to cut once inflation begins to slow.
The refinancing rate will remain at 8.25 percent for a ninth month, the central bank in Moscow said in a statement on its website today. That matched the prediction of 22 of 26 economists in a Bloomberg survey, with four forecasting a quarter-point cut. Some longer-term borrowing costs were cut for a third month, with the key lending and deposit rates kept unchanged."

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Dubai's Deyaar to launch two property projects this year | Reuters

"Dubai's second-largest property developer, Deyaar, plans to launch two new projects this year, its chief executive said on Monday, adding to a series of project announcements in the emirate as it recovers from a property market crash.

One of Deyaar's new projects, a residential development in the Business Bay area of Dubai, will be worth about 500 million dirhams ($136 million), Saeed Al Qatami said at the opening of the company's new office in the area.

He said the second project was still being finalised, and gave no details of it."

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Guest post: Kiev must get off the fence | beyondbrics - #Ukraine

"Ukraine must get off the fence when it comes to its relations with Russia and the European Union.

Hopes that an EU-Ukraine association agreement, including a deep and comprehensive trade agreement, might be signed at the November Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius are fading.

Meanwhile, Ukraine’s negotiations to become an observer in the Customs Union of Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus have just been concluded. Brussels sees any arrangement with Russia on trade as incompatible with the association accord, as it would hamper the proper implementation of crucial liberalisation provisions."

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Ukranian News - S&P: NBU Gold Currency Reserves To Shrink To USD 20 Billion, Hryvnia To Devaluate To 9.0 UAH/USD By End Of 2013

"Standard & Poor's, an international ratings agency, predicts that gold currency reserves of the National Bank of Ukraine will have dwindled to USD 20 billion (from USD 24.541 billion as of June 1) and the hryvnia will have devaluated to 9.0 UAH/USD (current official exchange rate 7.99 UAH/USD) by the end of 2013, reads S&P's review.
"We expect the amount of Ukraine's international reserves to lower to USD 20 billion in 2013... On our base scenario we use the assumption of reduction of the hryvnia to dollar exchange rate from 7.99 in 2012 to 9.0 in 2013," the review said.
S&P supposes, the NBU's imposition of the requirement on exporters for mandatory sale of 50% of foreign-currency earnings will relieved the pressure on the hryvnia rate just for a while."

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India: rupee at all-time low | beyondbrics

"The rupee dipped to an all-time low of 57.9 the dollar on Monday, depreciating by over 1.5 per cent amid renewed concern about the end of quantitative easing in the US.

The root cause was data showing weakness in the Chinese economy and optimistic US jobs data out on Friday. Both pieces of news supported expectations that the US Federal Reserve may soon being reeling in its QE programme.

But A Prasanna, an economist at ICICI Securities, told beyondbrics that the market is also responding to recent signals from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) that it will not intervene in the currency market."

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Luh Invest wants to increase stakes in pharmaceutical company, pharmacy chain operator

"Luh Invest LLC (Zaporizhia) plans to increase its stake in private joint-stock company Viola Pharmaceutical Factory (Zaporizhia region) and the operator of the Narodnaya Apteka pharmacy chain –private joint-stock company Apteki Zaporizhia."

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Turkey: Erdogan attacks put investors on the defensive | beyondbrics

"By a curious coincidence, the Istanbul stock exchange’s opening on Monday was delayed by an hour just as investors were steeling themselves for another torrid day.

Just as conspiracy theorists were wondering whether it might be the first attack in the assault on “speculators” promised by premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan, officials announced it was all due to “a technical problem” with index calculation.

However, any relief was short-lived. The BIST 100 opened 2.4 per cent down and still trading 1.8 per cent lower an hour later. Meanwhile the lira fell more than 1 per cent against the dollar."

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Egypt’s Biggest Oil Debts | REBEL ECONOMY

"Egypt’s state oil company, the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation, is in big trouble.
It has racked up billions of dollars of debt in the last decade with some estimating its dues to banks and oil companies is as high as $20 billion.
The magnitude of EGPC’s debts is such that it would be rare to find an oil company in Egypt which is not owed money.  The growing debt pile highlights the government’s struggle to meet its rising energy bills while trying to keep subsidised prices to avoid public unrest."

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Dubai's Arabtec-led consortium wins $629 mln Jordan project | Reuters

"Dubai construction firm Arabtec said on Sunday that a consortium led by the company had won a $629 million contract to build the first phase of a tourism project in Jordan.

The contract to build Saraya Aqaba was awarded to a consortium of Arabtec, Dubai contractor Drake and Scull and Consolidated Contractors Co, Arabtec said in a statement on Dubai's bourse.

The project comprises 634,000 square metres of development around a man-made lagoon, with about 1.5 kilometres (0.9 miles) of beachfront. The project's total cost will be $1 billion, the statement added."

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Abu Dhabi trains already running behind schedule as Doha Metro awards $8bn contracts « ArabianMoney

"According to the 2009 original masterplan the Abu Dhabi Metro should be opening in 2015. But that launch date is already running behind schedule with revised plans now aiming for 2016-17, a pretty wide window and a longer wait than expected for passengers.

This week bidders for the $2 billion metro and tram system will submit their statements of intent, reports the Middle East Economic Digest. Those in the running for the job include Siemens, Bechtel and Samsung. Prequalified companies will then be invited to submit a full bid by next March."

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Australia Quietly Swats Ukraine Bank-stealing Software

"Microsoft and the FBI's attack on the Citadel botnet has put a dint in one of the largest threats on the internet, but it's only one nasty piece of crime-ware from eastern Europe that is affecting Australians.

Citadel, known primarily as a banking trojan, is also one of the driving forces behind the surge in "ransomware" in the US, Europe and Australia, which present messages that pose as local law enforcement and lock down the infected PC until a payment is made. But it's only one platform for attacks that rely on a network of contracted developers who help spawn new variants of the same threat.

Australia's banks have been quietly working with a Russian security and forensics firm Group-IB to swat Carberp, a nasty piece of banking malware crafted in the Ukraine that has infected 150,000 Australian PCs since last year."

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Ukraine's central bank cuts key interest rate to 7 pct : Ukraine News by UNIAN

"The Ukrainian National Bank (NBU) decided on Friday to reduce the key interest rate by 0.5 percentage point to 7.0 percent starting from June 10, the bank's press service said, according to Xinhua.
This is the first time for the central bank to cut interest rates this year. The previous one was in March 2012 when the interest rate was lowered by 0.25 point.
Since the beginning of the year, the inflation rate in Ukraine has risen 0.2 percent."

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