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Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Dubai slips on profit-taking but Abu Dhabi advances for second day |

"UAE shares traded cautiously on Tuesday and booked some profits, especially Dubai, as traders await greater clarity on US monetary policy.
The US Federal Open Market Committee completes its policy meeting on Wednesday.
The Dubai index ended 0.14 per cent down at 2379.49 per cent while Abu Dhabi index ended slightly on the positive side at 3659.54 points."

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Halyk to Sell Fund | Business | The Moscow Times

"Kazakhstan's Halyk Bank, the Central Asian nation's largest lender, said Tuesday that it expected to sell its pension fund by the end of 2013, making clear it preferred cash to the government's offer of shares in state-run Bank BTA.

J.P. Morgan Chase has valued Halyk's private pension fund, Kazakhstan's largest pension fund by assets, at between $576 million and $715 million, Halyk Board Chairman Alexander Pavlov told reporters.

He said the bank was now expecting the government to give its own estimate of the fund's value.

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev ordered the government in January to nationalize the country's pension system by merging the assets of private pension funds into a single state-owned fund to support fast economic growth."

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MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi real estate extends rally to lift index; mkts mixed | Reuters

"A real estate stock rally extended in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, helping lift the bourse for a third consecutive session, while foreign investors bought Egyptian bluechips battered by recent political turbulence.

The Saudi index rose 0.8 percent. Saturday's sharp drop, that wiped out nearly all the gains of the past four weeks on regional political tension, has brought back fresh buyers.

Real estate stocks outperformed the market, extending a rally driven by upbeat sentiment towards the sector; Makkah Construction and Taiba Holding jump 7.1 and 2.9 percent respectively."

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Siluanov Seeks Weaker Ruble to Promote Growth | Business | The Moscow Times

"Staring down the barrel of the slowing economy and falling tax revenue, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov on Tuesday rejected proposals to lay responsibility for growth on the Central Bank and offered his way out of the government's predicament — devalue the ruble.

Siluanov's ministry will use oil revenue destined for the Reserve Fund to buy currency on the market and weaken the ruble by 1 to 2 rubles ($0.03 to $0.06), he told Bloomberg.

Insisting that strictly "market mechanisms, rather than administrative methods," would be used, he said the measure would make exports more competitive, while a 1 ruble drop in the exchange rate could bring an additional 190 billion rubles ($6 billion) into the budget. The scheme may be launched as early as August."

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The trends shaping the future of commerce in Dubai: Globalisation, urbanisation, digitisation - Business Intelligence Middle East

"Globalisation, urbanisation and digitisation are the key trends shaping the future of Dubai as it develops into a global city, according to Atiq ur Rehman, CEO Citi – Middle East division.

Speaking to an audience of over 100 graduating Executive MBA students and alumni at London Business School’s ‘Spring Celebration Event’, Mr. Rehman discussed the international appeal of Dubai that is fuelling its competitiveness as a global city.

His keynote address on ‘Dubai – a global city’ was delivered on the eve of Morgan Stanley Capital International Inc’s. (MSCI) announcement that the United Arab Emirates has been promoted to emerging market status, a move Mr. Rehman believes will bring significant benefits to Dubai."

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Ukraine: $40m DuPont seed plant to boost quality and yields | beyondbrics

"Ukraine’s vast potential to feed a hungry world has long been held back by outdated farming techniques – including the use of poor quality seeds – which keep agricultural yields far below those of EU countries.

But now DuPont is doing something about the problem – at least as far as seeds as concerned. The US chemicals group this month launched a $40m seed plant in Poltava region to support the increasing domestic demand for quality maize, sunflower and oilseed rape hybrid seeds.

Already a market leader in Ukraine through imported seeds, Dupont says the new plant, producing seeds to be sold under its Pioneer brand, will add a new dimension to its business."

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Sibanthracite, Tinkoff Approaching IPOs | Business | The Moscow Times

"Niche coal miner Sibanthracite is to go public in London and plans to offer 25 percent of its share capital, the company said in a statement Tuesday.

Siberian Anthracite mines a rare form of coal in the central Siberian region of Novosibirsk — Ultra High Grade anthracite, or UHG — which can be used as a substitute in steelmaking for more expensive coke made from baked coking coal.

An export-oriented company, Sibanthracite is "well positioned to benefit from rising demand for high-quality anthracite," its CEO Dmitry Shatokhin said in a statement."

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Ukraine ready to reconsider special duties on cars at EU request - ForUm

"Ukraine is ready to discuss and reconsider special duties on car imports, if it is one of the conditions for signing a free trade area with the European Union, deputy foreign minister of Ukraine Viktor Maiko told a press conference in Kyiv.

According to him, it is possible that Ukraine will have to revise approaches to the definition of special duties.

However, he noted that the European Union has already offered to discuss the issue on special duties, while it is not positioned as a problem on the way to sign a free trade area.

However, according to him, this issue is very sensitive, and it is necessary to think how to compensate for these measures."

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Aston Martin Owner Said to Seek 50% Debt Cut With Lenders - Bloomberg

"Investment Dar Co., a shareholder in luxury British carmaker Aston Martin, is asking creditors to take a 50 percent writedown on the Kuwaiti company’s debt as it seeks to meet repayments after defaulting on a loan three years ago, according to three people familiar with the matter.
Under the optional plan, creditors will receive a cash payment totaling 5.7 percent of their outstanding debt and a portion of a new Islamic loan equal to about 44 percent of their current exposure, the people said, asking not to be identified as details aren’t public. Investment Dar’s stake in Aston Martin and real estate holdings will be among assets backing the new credit facility, according to the people.
Investment Dar, which defaulted on a $100 million Islamic bond in 2009, restructured about $5 billion of debt in 2011 after the global credit crisis reduced the ability of some Kuwaiti companies to repay loans. The firm, which has a 50 million Kuwaiti dinar ($176 million) repayment due on June 30, said its proposed settlement-in-kind plan, announced last month, “tremendously enhances” its ability to repay debt on time."

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Russian May Industry Output Unexpectedly Shrank as Slump Spreads - Bloomberg

"Russian industrial production unexpectedly shrank for the first time in three months, reflecting a slump in foreign demand and weak domestic spending.
Output at factories, mines and utilities declined 1.4 percent in May from a year earlier after a 2.3 percent increase in April, the Federal Statistics Service in Moscow said today in an e-mailed statement. The median estimate of 22 economists in a Bloomberg survey was for a 0.6 percent increase.
Struggling industry suggests sluggish growth is extending into the second quarter after the $2 trillion economy of the world’s biggest energy exporter expanded in the first three months at the weakest pace since a slump ended in 2009, with mining and utilities output contracting on an annual basis. That’s hurt valuations of steelmakers including Evraz Plc (EVR), Russia’s biggest, which has plunged 55 percent this year in London while OAO Severstal (SVST) has lost 42 percent."

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RPT-Fitch: Kuwait court ruling may cause short-term delay to reforms | Reuters

"Some short-term delay in public investment and economic reform may result from Sunday's ruling by the Kuwaiti constitutional court and the consequent dissolution of the government-friendly parliament, Fitch Ratings says. However, the approval of the change in the electoral law to one person-one vote means that the next parliament should remain relatively cooperative - and continue to work with the executive to implement key reforms and projects, as has been the case so far in 2013."

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Bahrain: protests, rating review, oil price worries? Time to borrow… | beyondbrics

"Strife-torn Bahrain is looking to tap debt markets a week after Moody’s placed the Gulf kingdom on review for a possible downgrade.

If all goes according to plan, this will be the second time the Gulf state has raised sovereign bonds since widespread unrest struck the islands in the wake of the Arab spring.

Backed militarily and financially by its larger and financially more secure neighbour Saudi Arabia, yield-seeking bankers were keen on last July’s $1.5bn 10-year bond."

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Syria's Economic Collapse - Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East

"A Syrian academic study has shown that the total losses of the war up until the first quarter of this year amounted to $85 billion, which means that the losses of this first quarter are nearly equal to those of last year. Simultaneously, the prices of hard currencies, including the dollar, have tripled in comparison to the initial prices recorded three years ago. Thus, the government was driven to lay out a rationed import-export policy, limiting the role of the private sector."

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Foreign investment in Arab states rises despite unrest - Your Middle East

"The flow of foreign direct investment into Arab states, including those hit by uprisings, rose by 9.8 percent last year despite the unrest but remained well below their 2010 level, a report said on Tuesday.

Arab states attracted FDI worth $47.1 billion in 2012 compared with $42.9 billion the previous year, the Arab Investment and Export Credit Guarantee Corporation said in its annual report.

However, the investment rate was 28.5 percent lower than its level of $66.2 billion in 2010, the year when the Arab Spring uprisings first erupted, said the Kuwaiti-based organisation."

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Lenta supermarket chain eyes a London IPO

The retailer is planning an offering of around $1.5 billion worth of depositary receipts in 2014

Moody’s Amplifies Bahrain’s Bad Timing on Bond Sale: Arab Credit - Bloomberg

"Bahrain, the Persian Gulf kingdom planning to sell bonds as early as this week, faces rising borrowing costs after its yields jumped to a nine-month high.
The island kingdom is set to conclude investor meetings today before what may be its first international sale since issuing $1.5 billion of Eurobonds almost a year ago. The yield on the 6.125 percent 2022 debt has jumped three times more than Middle East peers this month, climbing 103 basis points to 5.54 percent at 10:13 a.m. in Manama. It rose to 5.67 percent last week, the highest since Aug. 30."

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Prodi: EU should build its Ukraine relations ‘with Russia, not against’ | EurActiv

"Former European Commission President Romano Prodi and former Austrian Chancellor Alfred Gusenbauer co-chaired a public event in Brussels yesterday (17 June), with both arguing that agreement of the EU-Ukraine Association agreement at the Vilnius summit in November would serve the EU’s interests.
Prodi’s main message to the conference, organised by a lobbyist working for the Ukrainian government and hosted by the Brussels Press Club, was that the EU needed to build relations with Kiev taking account of the special Ukraine-Russia relationship.

The former Commission President, who served from 1999 to 2004 - a time when the biggest wave of enlargement in the EU’s history took place - concluded that much confidence building had taken place between the EU and Ukraine since those times."

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Qatar Airways buys up to nine Boeing 777-300ER | Reuters

"Qatar Airways has signed an agreement to buy up to nine Boeing (BA.N) 777-300ER aircraft valued at $2.8 billion at list prices, the airline said at the Paris Airshow on Monday.

Two of the aircraft on firm order will be delivered in early 2014, airline Chief Executive Akbar Al-Baker said.

Options for the other seven are likely to be firmed up shortly after, and the delivery schedule will be decided then, he added."

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Islamic banking still in a high-growth phase says Standard Chartered « ArabianMoney

"With $2 trillion now under management Islamic banking is a rare growth spot in global banking these days. Is this just the start of a new cross border banking phenomenon?

Standard Chartered’s Wasim Saifi discusses the appeal of Islamic banking with Rishaad Salamat on Bloomberg Television’s “\’On The Move Asia’.."

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