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Sunday, 30 June 2013

Kuwait plans $5bn investment for the UK - FT.com

"The Kuwait Investment Authority is seeking to invest as much as $5bn directly over the next three to five years in infrastructure assets mostly in the UK, echoing a similar move by Qatar, as sovereign wealth funds look for ways to boost returns amid low interest rates.
The pledge, which highlights the fund’s positive view on UK investment conditions, comes just weeks after a failed £5.3bn takeover offer for British water utility Severn Trent by the KIA and partners Borealis of Canada and Britain’s Universities Superannuation Scheme."

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Both best and worst of times for UAE stock and bond markets - The National

"It is rare that a single six-month period contains some of the best market performance in years, and also the very worst. The first half of this year meant both for some traders.

Spreads tightened dramatically in the early months of the year, allowing the Dubai Government to raise a 10-year sukuk at a cheaper rate than Italy paid at the time.

Last month, the UAE and Qatar secured a long-anticipated upgrade to MSCI Emerging Markets status, which is expected to bring at least US$800 million in inflows from passive funds that are compelled to track the index."

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Dubai's RTA abolishes Dh24 daily Salik cap from July 15 - Emirates 24/7

"Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) announced in a media statement sent to Emirates 24|7 today that it has decided to do away with the Dh24 daily cap on the Salik toll gate system from July 15, 2013.

In the statement, RTA highlighted that the decision will only affect a small segment of Salik users, and that the average tollgate user will not be impacted by this decision as 95 per cent of private vehicles do not usually pass under Salik gates more than six times a day (Dh4 per crossing).

The RTA pointed out that the aim of the resolution is to encourage motorists to use alternative routes such as Al Khail Road and Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road, and relieve pressure on the main highways under the Salik toll system."

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US Car Makers Look to Saudi Arabia | Crossroads Arabia

"The big-three American car makers — Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler — are looking at the possibility of setting up assembly plants in Saudi Arabia, Arab News reports. The plants would serve to feed the regional Gulf market. American companies are far from the only ones looking at vehicle assembly in the Kingdom. Isuzu is moving forward on assembly plants for light trucks. The Indian giant Tata is as well. Even Jaguar-Land Rover see potential in local assembly.

I think this is going to happen. But I also think it will be interesting to see if any sort of market develops for electric vehicles. The potential for solar power generation in Saudi Arabia is considerable, to say the least, but it’s not online yet. Given the strain already being placed on the Saudi electrical grid, I suspect these vehicles are still quite some way away from becoming popular."

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UAE ranks 14th in AT Kearney FDI Confidence Index - bi-me.com

"The UAE moves up one place to claim 14th position in the latest A.T. Kearney Global Foreign Direct Investment Confidence Index (FDICI).

A cautiously optimistic outlook based on realigned expectations, as well as the United States returning the top of the rankings, are the themes of the 2013 A.T. Kearney FDICI, a regular measure of senior executive sentiment at the world’s largest companies.

Conducted regularly over the last 15 years by global management consulting firm A.T. Kearney, the Index provides a unique look at the present and future prospects for international direct investment flows."

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VTB Predicts $3Bln Profit | Business | The Moscow Times

"VTB expects to achieve net profit of more than 100 billion rubles ($3 billion) in 2013, the bank's deputy CEO, Herbert Moos, said at the annual shareholders meeting on Friday, Interfax reported.

"We have confirmed a plan that presupposes an increase in profit. Judging by the first quarter results, we expect that our corporate credit portfolio will grow by about 4 percent and our retail credit portfolio by 7 percent. This is profitable growth, delivering basic income," said Moos.

Previously, VTB had forecast a rise in net profit in 2013 of up to 140 billion rubles."

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Fund Outflow Leaps | Business | The Moscow Times

"The capital outflow from funds dealing in Russian shares was $285 million in the week from June 20 to 26, up from $34 million the week before, Interfax reported, citing data from Emerging Portfolio Fund Research.

This is the fifth consecutive weekly outflow after three weeks of inflow. Since the beginning of the year, $1.823 billion has been removed from such funds.

Global funds, focused on emerging markets, are also losing money, according to Uralsib Capital. Last week, these funds lost $3.7 billion, versus $1.7 billion the week before."

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A Year In Office: Morsi’s Economic Mistakes | @REBELECONOMY

"“I have made many mistakes,” conceded Egypt’s President Mohammed Morsi in a major speech last week after just one year in office.
While not elaborating on what exactly went wrong, Morsi will today be haunted by his mismanagement as thousands take part in anti-government demonstrations across the country.
Rebel Economy is glad to shed light on the economic disasters of the last year:"

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Kingdom Executive Director for Private Equity Halawani Resigns - Bloomberg

"Ahmed Reda Halawani, who steered private equity investment for Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, has resigned from the billionaire royal’s Kingdom Holding Co. (KINGDOM)
Halawani stepped down as a member of the board and the investment committee “due to personal obligations and commitments,” Kingdom Holding said in a statement on the Saudi bourse. His resignation after 17 years at the company is effective today, it said.
Halawani worked for more than 10 years as chief executive officer of Al Azizia Commercial Investment Company, one of Saudi Arabia’s best-known investment firms and a Kingdom subsidiary. Previously, he worked in private sector development for the World Bank and for Procter & Gamble Co. (PG), according to Kingdom’s website. He was one of nine board members at Kingdom."

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Egypt Stocks Rise Amid Protests After June Slump; Kuwait Drops - Bloomberg

"Egyptian shares climbed to the highest in almost three weeks on investor bets the steepest monthly drop since November was overdone even as the government faces nationwide protests.
Commercial International Bank Egypt SAE, the nation’s largest publicly traded lender, jumped 3.8 percent and Orascom Telecom Holding rose the most in a month. The EGX 30 Index advanced 1.4 percent to 4,752.22, the strongest close since June 11 and trimming this month’s retreat to 13 percent. About 45 million shares traded compared with a one-year daily average of almost 124 million."

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Construction boost for Dubai economy - The National

"Riding on the back of resurgent construction and manufacturing sectors, Dubai's economy grew by 5.3 per cent in the last quarter of 2012, as compared with the same period in the previous year.

These sectors along with transport, storage, wholesale and retail trade, property and financial enterprises contributed about 90 per cent of Dubai's GDP.

The consumer price index during the quarter fell 0.14 per cent."

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Arqaam Capital focus shifts to deals on the continent - The National

"Arqaam Capital is preparing to start making deals in Africa as it looks to become the first call for emerging and frontier market firms seeking to deal in equities, commodities and derivatives.

The Dubai-based investment bank, which has grown its staff from four to 110 personnel within the past four years, is shifting its focus to the continent as it prepares for up to 15 mergers and acquisitions deals across its growing global business.

"Within the next six to 12 months my expectation is that we'll be announcing deals in sub-Saharan Africa," said Riad Meliti, Arqaam's chief executive. "The firm currently is running 15 mandates in M&A [mergers and acquisitions]," he said. "Normally we lead in with corporate finance and then we follow up with sales, trading and research," he said."

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New laws needed for proposed Gulf Derivatives Exchange - The National

"A planned exchange for the trading of derivatives in the UAE will need new legislation to ensure adequate regulation of the industry, the head of Abu Dhabi's stock market said.

Derivatives inspire about as much fear and anxiety among financial firms and regulators as they do giddy conversations of the growth potential of an industry that is approaching a quadrillion dollars in size and growing fast.

The global financial crisis has forced years of reflection by regulators on how best to oversee the potentially combustible industry."

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Foreign listing for Abu Dhabi's Gulf Marine Services - The National

"Gulf Marine Services, the Abu Dhabi oil equipment operator, is targeting a foreign listing next year that could value the company at up to US$500 million.

The region's biggest owner of jack-up barges - rigs that can move on their own and service either an oilfield or a wind turbine - is meeting with investment banks and aims to make a final decision this week, said Duncan Anderson,the chief executive. GMS is 79 per cent owned by Gulf Capital, the local private equity firm.

"We're choosing, but we'll probably go that way to get a listing because we've got too big for our peers for a trade sale," he said in an interview at the company's headquarters in Mussafah. "The scale we've got to very much lends itself to a listing and we're looking at stock markets.""

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Middle East will feel effect as Federal Reserve turns off the tap - The National

"As the United States Federal Reserve gets ready to gradually ease off its fire hoses, governments and businesses in the Middle East and North Africa are hoping it won't lead to an outbreak of financial wildfires.

The signal from the central bank's chairman Ben Bernanke earlier this month that the Fed may start to taper off quantitative easing (QE) this year, triggered a sell-off across equities, government bonds and emerging market assets. The Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region was no exception. The general index of the Dubai Financial Market slumped the most in a year and yields on UAE credit spiked to their highest in 18 months.

While the Fed has said the stimulus withdrawal depends on the performance of the US economy, the prospect of an end to almost five years of cheap money sloshing around the global financial system is enough to strike fear into the hearts of investors."

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On the line: UAE markets look over the edge | GulfNews.com

"The Dubai Financial Market General Index (DFMGI) plunged 138.13 or 5.85 per cent last week to close at 2,222.46, its largest one-week decline since March 2012, and a six week low. Emaar Properties, the largest index component, contributed to the fall with its biggest drop since March 2012, ending 6.14 per cent lower. Volume fell to a nine-week low but remained in the upper range of the past several years. Weakness was widespread with 27 declining issues and only four rising.
Earlier in the week the index tested a weekly support zone at 2,182 and managed to hold above it the remainder of the week with barely a bounce. That low was 12.7 per cent off the high of 2,500.56 from a month ago.
Downward pressure remains with the DFMGI likely to see further weakness given the intensity of recent selling and the overall bearish technical picture. Of course there will be short-term rallies but the immediate trend is down."

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Gulf states can do more to attract FDI | GulfNews.com

"The scale of foreign direct investments (FDI) attracted by the six-nation GCC grouping has by and large remained the same over the past two years. The GCC attracted some $26.5 billion (Dh97.3 billion) worth of FDI in 2012.
This was highlighted in the World Investment Report 2013 released last week by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad). The report focuses on the value of investments in trade and development.
Among other things, the report cites the increasing share of the GCC in global FDI flows — from 1.7 per cent in 2011 to almost 2 per cent in 2012. However, this partly reflects a drop in worldwide capital flow, from 2011’s $1.652 trillion to $1.351 trillion last year, in large part reflecting the uncertainties in the global economy."

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BBC News - Qatar: A country of seemingly illogical contrasts

"The Emir of Qatar did something almost unheard of this week when he abdicated in favour of his son. What kind of state has 33-year-old Sheikh Tamim Al-Thani - the Middle East's youngest ruler - inherited?

"So let me get this straight," I said to Qatar's Prime Minister, at the start of our interview.

"You disapprove of many of America's policies in the Middle East, yet you are hosting the Pentagon's biggest military base in the region?""

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