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Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Al-Futtaim plans $1bn investment in overseas drive -

"Al-Futtaim Group, one of the main pillars of Dubai’s economy, is set to invest up to $1bn in the next few years amid an overseas expansion drive.
The family-owned conglomerate, whose roots go back to the 1930s, has, like Dubai’s other major merchant families, grown in tandem with the city.
Al-Futtaim, best known as the UAE’s Toyota distributor, has over the past decade been charting an expansion from regional to global conglomerate. It now operates in 29 countries across the Middle East, Africa and Asia, with 44,000 employees. Having weathered the global financial crisis and regional revolts, helped by a diversified base, Al-Futtaim is now looking at as many as 40 acquisitions, five of which are advanced."

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Yanukovych: Issue on GTS privatization is a provocation - ForUm

"Ukraine during negotiations on gas issue has never supported privatization of the national transportation system, President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych said at a meeting with the leadership of the Verkhovna Rada and the heads of parliamentary factions, the press service of the head of state reports.

"Generally speaking, the word "privatization" has never been used during any negotiations with anyone. We did not use the word "privatization". It's all rumors or speculation, perhaps, even provocation," Yanukovych said.

According to the President, the Ukrainian gas transportation system is now being prepared for its modernization."

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Ruble Sinks Second Day on Economy Woes as Bond Auction Scrapped - Bloomberg

"The ruble slid for a second day on weaker-than-forecast economic data as Russia canceled its second bond sale this month and the central bank chairman warned capital outflow remains “abnormally high.”
The ruble dropped 0.6 percent against the central bank’s dollar-euro basket to 37.1181 by 6 p.m. in Moscow, nine kopeks off the weakest level this year, reached June 11. The Russian currency slid 0.6 percent against the dollar to 32.1975, making it the worst performing emerging-market currency after Indonesia’s rupiah among 24 tracked by Bloomberg.
The Finance Ministry scrapped a sale of 15-year ruble debt today, citing a lack of bids. Russian industrial production unexpectedly shrank 1.4 percent in May from a year earlier, missing the median estimate for a 0.6 percent gain among 22 economists surveyed by Bloomberg, data showed yesterday. U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke may shed more light on when the Fed plans to trim its bond buying today."

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Air Arabia Jumps as Recovery Boosts Profit Outlook: Dubai Mover - Bloomberg

"Air Arabia PJSC (AIRARABI) surged to the highest level in more than two weeks on bets Dubai’s tourism recovery will boost profit at the Middle East’s biggest no-frills airline.
Shares of the carrier advanced 2.7 percent to 1.16 dirhams, the highest level since June 2, at the close in the emirate. About 46 million shares were traded, more than double the three-month daily average. The stock was the second-biggest gainer on the benchmark DFM General Index (DFMGI), which rose 0.6 percent.
“The company is benefiting from the tourism recovery in Dubai,” said Tariq Qaqish, head of asset management at Dubai-based Al Mal Capital PSC. There are “expectations that second-quarter earnings will beat estimates” after first-quarter profit rose, he said."

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MIDEAST STOCKS-Dubai's Arabtec surges on contract wins; Gulf mixed | Reuters

"Dubai's Arabtec jumped to a near four-month high on Wednesday as recent contract wins boosted sentiment ahead of the builder's earnings, while Gulf Arab markets were mixed in muted trade.

Shares in Arabtec jumped 5.1 percent to their highest close since Feb. 28. The builder has secured a flurry of contracts under its new management, led by Abu Dhabi state fund Aabar Investments.

The latest is worth 4 billion dirhams ($1.09 billion) to build a mixed-use development project by Abu Dhabi's Aldar Properties in Kazakhstan."

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Bahrain lender faces concerns - The National

"Bahrain's BMB Investment Bank is battling to reassure investors after it was put on watch for potential downgrade by Fitch Ratings, following millions of dollars of losses from unauthorised trading.

BMB said this week that while the outlook had been lowered, the rating itself was unchanged. The bank is currently rated B- by Fitch, its second lowest rating. In a statement this week Fitch said the "most likely directional change" would be a downgrade."

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Qatar’s central bank shores up domestic lenders -

"Qatar’s central bank introduced sweeping regulations to bolster the financial sector as the country primes its lenders ahead of huge infrastructure spending demands before it hosts the World Cup in 2022.
The new rules – which follow a widening of central bank powers – may help to reassure international investors ahead of a likely borrowing spree by domestic banks as they take part in funding the emirate’s building plans.
“The project finance requirements over the next few years are very large. What the government wants to avoid is any uncertainty over the domestic banking framework,” says Tim Plews, partner and head of Middle East financial services and markets at Clifford Chance law firm."

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British court quashes sanctions on Iranian bank - Your Middle East

"Britain's Supreme Court on Wednesday quashed government sanctions that had been imposed on Bank Mellat, Iran's largest private bank, due to its alleged links to Tehran's disputed nuclear programme.

The judges found the 2009 Treasury directive was "irrational" and "disproportionate". "I conclude that that it was unlawful," judge Jonathan Sumption wrote in a majority ruling.

The Treasury said it was disappointed but noted the order had been superceded by an European Union asset freeze on the bank, which remained in place."

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Poland ends forex mortgages | beyondbrics

"Poles seeking to buy a property will soon lose the option of taking out a mortgage in a foreign currency, a widespread practice before the financial crisis.

The Polish Financial Supervision Authority (KNF) has issued Recommendation “S” on good practice for mortgage banking, effectively killing any possibility of any return to forex lending by limiting such loans to people who actually get paid in Swiss francs or euros.

Most Poles considered taking out a mortgage in Swiss francs or euros beneficial until 2009 because of the lower interest rates. Between 2006 and 2011, about 60 per cent of all new mortgages were denominated in a foreign currency, mostly Swiss francs."

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Kal draws: Bubbles: Fit to burst

Abu Dhabi’s GDP up 7.7% on year in 2012 |

"The emirate of Abu Dhabi’s gross domestic product (GDP) at current prices rose 7.7 per cent on year in 2012 to reach a record Dh911.59 billion, latest data from Statistics Centre Abu Dhabi (SCAD) showed on Wednesday.
The non-oil activities and sectors contributed about 43.5 per cent of the emirate’s GDP at current prices last year.
“Oil accounted for 56.5 per cent of the Abu Dhabi’s GDP at current prices and only for 52 per cent of the GDP at constant prices in 2012 despite the considerable rise in oil prices during the past years,” SCAD said in a report."

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Russia trumps everyone in shale oil reserves | Russia Beyond The Headlines

       The U.S. Energy Information Agency estimates the total reserves of shale oil
at 375 billion barrels, of which Russia accounts for 75 billion,
the U.S. 58 billion and China 32 billion. Source: Reuters
"The U.S. Energy Information Agency (EIA) has published its first assessment of technically recoverable shale oil and gas resources in the majority of petroleum-producing countries, of which there are 42. It turns out that Russia has the largest reserves of shale oil and the ninth largest of shale gas. The shale oil in place could satisfy global demand for the next 10 years, according to The Financial Times.
The EIA estimates the total reserves of shale oil at 375 billion barrels, of which Russia accounts for 75 billion, the U.S. 58 billion and China 32 billion.
U.S. experts believe that nearly all Russia's shale oil resources are contained in the oil-bearing deposits of the Bazhenov play in Western Siberia, pointing out that they are hard to reach: The amount of recoverable reserves represent only a fraction (6 percent) of the total (1.24 trillion barrels), even ignoring the economic feasibility of producing them."

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Ukranian News - Unigran Eyeing IPO At Warsaw Stock Exchange

"The Unigran Group is eyeing holding of an IPO at the Warsaw Stock Exchange, president of the group Ihor Naumets said.
He said that despite a complex situation in the Polish stock exchange, and a number of scandals over the activity of some Ukrainian companies, whose shares are already quoted at the Warsaw Stock Exchange, Unigran is still eyeing an opportunity of an IPO in Warsaw.
Naumets noted that the interest of investors in the Polish stock market is very low at the moment, and the situation on the whole is unfavourable for IPO, however, the Polish market retains high level of liquidity and is still one of the optimal markets for the offering of shares of mid-sized companies."

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Times of Oman | News :: Qatar Diar to take Sama Dubai’s stake in Salam Yiti

"Qatar Diar Real Estate Investment Company (Qatar Diar) is planning to take a 70 per cent stake of Sama Dubai in Salam Yiti intergrated tourism comlex project, which was halted in the second half of 2009 due to global economic crisis.

The government is in talks with Qatar Diar for the Qatar firm to take Sama Dubai's 70 per cent stake in the project.

"We are in discussions with them and hope to reach an agreement soon. And the project, hopefully, will restart in a slightly different shape and positioning will be different. Today, the market is very different from 2007, when the project was conceived," explained the chief executive officer. 

The original plans for the 4.19 square kilometre development (with Sama Dubai) included three five-star hotels, more than 1,000 apartments, 720 townhouses, around 400 villas and a golf course. "

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Abu Dhabi accelerating diversification from oil as US shale booms - The National

"US shale gas and oil exploration is prompting Abu Dhabi, where the hydrocarbon industry accounts for more than half of the economy, to speed efforts to bolster non-oil output, a senior government official said.

The holder of 6 per cent of the world's proven oil reserves "isn't underestimating the potential impact" of higher US hydrocarbon output, Mohammed Omar Abdullah, undersecretary of the emirate's Department of Economic Development, said in an e-mailed response to questions. The government "is accelerating its efforts toward the more diversified economy," he said."

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Dubai Buyout Firm Abraaj Agrees to Buy West Africa’s Fan Milk - Bloomberg

"The Abraaj Group, a Dubai buyout firm managing $7.5 billion of assets, agreed to buy dairy company Fan Milk International as it boosts Africa investments.
The acquisition of Fan Milk, a West African manufacturer and distributor of frozen dairy products and juices, is expected to close by the end of November, Abraaj said today in a statement. Financial details of the deal weren’t given.
Abraaj has invested about $2.2 billion in sixty-nine companies across Africa as the firm seeks to profit from growth rates outpacing those in many developed nations. The Nigerian economy is set to grow 7.2 percent this year according to the International Monetary Fund, compared with an estimated 5.6 percent growth rate for sub-Saharan Africa."

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Kuwait telco Viva signs $270m financing deal - Banking & Finance -

"Kuwaiti telecoms operator Viva, part-owned by Saudi Telecom Co (STC) and the Kuwaiti government, has secured $270m to help fund plans to upgrade its network and expand in Kuwait.
The multi-currency financing agreement was signed with National Bank of Kuwait Group (NBK Group). The deal includes $70m funding from Boubyan Bank, a member of NBK Group, and is for a five year period.
“Today marks the start of a new era for VIVA. This strategic partnership will help VIVA to further expand and develop its operations by allowing additional investment in its network, services and people and most importantly, diversify the funding sources for its operations and expansions, while preserving its financial strength,” said Salman Al Badran, VIVA CEO."

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Falling rupee: a headache for overseas Indian depositors | beyondbrics

"When Indian policy makers held rates steady last week, their main concern was over the current account deficit and the weakening rupee.

But there is another group of people who will be watching those two numbers closely – who just happen to be the same folk that have been quietly helping reduce the current account deficit for a while now: non-resident Indians (NRIs) with deposits in Indian banks.

The bank deposits of NRIs have been doing more and more to narrow India’s balance of payments. In the 2010 fiscal year, when the country ran a current account deficit of $38.2bn, NRI deposits totalled $2.9bn. In 2011, those numbers were up to $45.9bn and $3.2bn, respectively. Then there is a big jump in 2012 when, with the current account deficit at $78.2bn, NRI deposits came to $11.9bn."

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Ukrainian president hails cooperation with EBRD : Ukraine News by UNIAN

"Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych said Tuesday that his country is satisfied with the level of bilateral cooperation with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), according to Xinhua.
"Despite the current economic slowdown, Ukraine has been successfully cooperating with the EBRD," Yanukovych said when meeting with First Vice President of the EBRD, Philip Bennett.
Kiev and the EBRD have made great achievements in implementing projects aimed at Ukraine's European integration, Yanukovych said, calling on the two sides to cooperate further."

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Qatar bails out Germany's Solarworld

"German solar panel manufacturer Solarworld announced Tuesday a capital injection by Qatar, a move which will save the company from bankruptcy as the German sector struggles against Asian competition.
Solarworld said in a stock exchange statement that it had agreed several measures with its biggest creditors, including the injection by Qatar Solar in return for a 29-percent stake in the troubled company.
Solarworld founder and chief Frank Asbeck will also end up with a 19.5-percent share in the restructuring, according to the statement."

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Gulf Daily News » Oman is urged fiscal reforms

"Oman should consider fiscal reforms as a priority because continued growth in public spending may be unsustainable in the long run, its central bank said yesterday.

"Fiscal policy reforms aimed at diversifying, broadening, and rationalising the sources of government revenues need to be considered as a matter of priority," the central bank said in its annual report, published on its website (

The GCC oil exporter has raised its planned budget spending for 2013 by nearly 29 per cent compared to last year's plan, to 12.9 billion rials ($33.5bn)."

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Abu Dhabi's financial sector ramping up after MSCI upgrade - The National

"The trading floor of the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange is the busiest it has been in years.

It may not be quite full, but the deep leather chairs that were once a comfortable spot to fall asleep are now filling up with day traders.

Investment firms and exchange officials in Abu Dhabi are gearing up for the next phase of growth after MSCI's upgrade of the UAE and Qatar to "emerging market" status last week."

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