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Monday, 15 July 2013

Rouhani Decides Honesty Best Policy On Iran's Economic Mess - Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East

"Appearing before parliament on Sunday, July 14, Iranian President-elect Hassan Rouhani did something that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad rarely did in his eight years in office and told the truth about the extent of Iran’s economic crisis.
Working groups Rouhani has set up to analyze Iran’s problems before he is sworn in next month found “very different” results from those provided by Ahmadinejad’s appointees, Rouhani said.
Inflation, for example, is 42% — the highest in the region “and perhaps even in the whole world,” he said, and 10 points higher than the current administration has acknowledged. The anemic Iranian economy has created only 14,000 jobs a year on average since 2005 and for the first time since the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war, Rouhani said, “Our economic growth has been negative for two consecutive years.”"

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Mediation In Ukraine: Gender Aspects - Litigation, Mediation & Arbitration - Ukraine

"When it comes to analysing obstacles for mediation developing in Ukraine, few people, even mediators themselves, consider the gender issue. This can probably be explained by the existence of de facto gender inequality in Ukraine, which is so obvious that no one really pays attention.

For thousands of years of Ukrainian history, the vast majority of Ukrainian society has considered the role of a woman as the ideal assistant and subordinate. Her place in public has been limited to meekly following the instructions of the male mastermind. Ukrainian men believe it is sufficient for a woman to lead at home. Indeed, Ukrainian women are the top managers in their families while men rule at work, perhaps compensating for this celebrated domestic discrimination. The result is that the majority of decision makers in Ukraine are men who only take male professionals seriously; most believe that listening to a woman is a waste of their precious time."

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Ukraine posts May trade surplus on lower imports - Xinhua | English.news.cn

"Ukraine recorded a trade surplus of 179.8 million U.S. dollars in May 2013, compared to a deficit of 1.327 billion dollars a year earlier, the State Statistic Service said Monday.

Imports in May plunged by 33.5 percent from a year earlier to 5.04 billion dollars, while exports amounted to 5.22 billion dollars, down 16.5 percent from the same month of 2012, the statistics agency said in a statement.

From January to May, Ukraine's trade deficit was almost halved to 2.433 billion dollars largely due to a 27-percent drop in natural gas imports, the statement said.

Last year, Ukraine has its worst trade performance in a decade, when trade deficit topped 9.027 billion dollars, rising 35.6 percent year-on-year."

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Kuwait discovers new oil and gas field: top official | GlobalPost

"The Gulf state of Kuwait has discovered a new oil and gas field in Kabed area close to the well-known Manageesh oilfield, Hashem Sayed Hashem, CEO of state-owned Kuwait Oil Co said on Monday.

Hashem gave no estimates of the reserves in the field located in western Kuwait but told the official KUNA news agency that more details would be released at a later date.

OPEC member Kuwait is pumping around 3.0 million barrels per day of oil and says it has about 100 billion barrels of crude reserves although the figure had been questioned in the past."

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Guest post: don’t write Poland off | beyondbrics

"In a sign of the breadth and depth of Europe’s economic crisis, Poland, once the continent’s star performer, is going through one of its roughest patches since the fall of communism.

But the country’s underlying strengths shouldn’t be ignored.

Having grown at a brisk annualised rate of 4.5 per cent as recently as the last quarter of 2011, Poland’s economy has ground to a halt. Growth in the first quarter of this year shrivelled to a meagre 0.5 per cent."

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Qatar’s foreign policy: Change of tack | The Economist

"
EVER the astute investor, Qatar is beginning to worry about throwing good money after bad. The tiny but mega-rich emirate had poured $8 billion in Egypt since the revolution two-and-a-half years ago and perhaps another $9 billion to bankroll Islamists in Libya, Syria and Gaza, the Palestinian enclave run by Hamas, an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood. But from Qatar’s point of view these places suddenly, since the fall of Egypt’s Islamist president, Muhammad Morsi, no longer look like the winning horses they once did. Loathe to see more money go to waste, Qataris now speak of a new mood of pragmatism among their leaders. Words like “reassessment”, “recalibration” and “corrections” pepper Qataris’ discussion of their foreign policy."

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Russia Takes 5th Place in World GDP Rankings | Business | The Moscow Times

"Russia has been ranked as the world's fifth-largest economy by GDP based on purchasing power parity, winning praise from Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Monday.

The World Bank's new GDP rating, published last week, shows that Russia overtook Germany last year to rank fifth with $3.4 trillion, versus Germany's $3.3 trillion. In 2011, Russia's GDP based on purchasing power parity totaled $3.203 trillion, compared with Germany's $3.227 trillion.

The United States ranked as the world's largest economy by purchasing power parity last year with $15.7 trillion, followed by China with $12.5 trillion, India with $4.8 trillion, and Japan with $4.5 trillion.

"I don't know the methodology that the World Bank used, probably by purchasing power parity, but this is good news," Medvedev said."

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An Injection Of Rule Of Law For Ukrainian Business? Oligarch's Lawsuit Could Help Improve The Culture Of Business Dealings In The Post Soviet Space - Forbes

"
The last decade has been a difficult one for Ukraine. After the brief, hopeful days of its Orange revolution in 2004 and 2005, the country first saw the Orange leaders disappoint expectations and then self-destruct in a bitter feud. Ultimately, national affairs slid backwards into gridlock, authoritarianism and questionable government practices. Still, the potential signing of an association agreement with the EU in late 2013 could provide some hope. Can the rule of law and Western-style democracy take hold there? Oddly enough, a court case in England might provide some of the answer.

London is now home to another large-scale litigation suit between oligarchs from the former Soviet Union. Victor Pinchuk, the founder of the pipe and wheel producer Interpipe and the investment vehicle EastOne, is suing Gennadiy Bogolyubov and Igor Kolomoisky, business partners and co-founders of Privat Group. Why should Western societies care about this case? Because it carries significance beyond the dispute itself."

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Bullish Gulf petrostates send messages for tolerance in Egypt - FT.com

"The declaration was stirring – and uncompromising. The Egyptian people had made a “clear and powerful statement” for “moderation and tolerance”, through the protests that triggered the army’s removal of the Islamist president Mohamed Morsi this month. The ousting created a “momentous opportunity” to prevent “extremists” across the Middle East from “taking any more advantage of the Arab Spring”.
This rhetoric on the people’s will could have come straight from a liberal imperialist playbook in Washington or London. Yet its author was Anwar Gargash, minister of state for foreign affairs in the United Arab Emirates, a country normally reluctant to be seen as interfering abroad – and so distrustful of protest that it outlaws dissent against its hereditary rulers."

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Why “Smart” Cards Are Stupid | @REBELECONOMY

"This guest post is by Stefanie Heerwig, a freelance journalist and researcher at Openoil, a Berlin-based energy consultancy and publishing house.
As the dust settles after Egypt’s latest wave of fuel shortages, the conspiracy theories about why there was a sudden recovery in fuel supply after Mohammed Morsi’s ouster are also fading away, until the next time there are chronic shortages.
But one thing the interim government won’t be able to forget is how to get over the country’s addiction to energy subsidies, a system which has bred an entire parallel black market."

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Russian June Industrial Output Expands Less Than Forecast - Bloomberg

"Russian industrial output expanded less than economists forecast in June as manufacturing contracted for a second month.
Output at factories, mines and utilities advanced 0.1 percent in June compared with a year earlier, following a 1.4 percent drop the previous month, the Federal Statistics Service in Moscow said in an e-mailed report. The median estimate of 17 economists in a Bloomberg survey was for a 0.5 percent increase.
The world’s largest energy exporter has struggled to shelter its economy from slowing demand in China, its largest single trade partner, as sluggish capital spending and domestic sales limit the pace of factory output. The outlook is making it harder for companies like carmaker OAO AvtoVAZ to expand volumes, with Renaissance Capital last month calling Russia’s steel industry “uninvestable” and cutting the stock of steelmakers such as Evraz Plc and OAO Severstal to sell."

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Outsider CEO Remakes Qantas Allying With Ex-Nemesis Emirates - Bloomberg

"Alan Joyce’s visit to the posh Wolgan Valley spa on a crisp day in May last year was no holiday. For the chief executive of Qantas Airways Ltd. (QAN) the exclusive resort, in a wilderness west of Sydney once explored by Charles Darwin, was hostile territory.
Wolgan Valley belongs to Emirates, a company former Qantas chairman Margaret Jackson once called aggressive and unfair. Over the past decade, the Dubai-based carrier had increased its share of traffic to and from Australia by a factor of more than 20, helping push Qantas into a A$450 million ($410 million) loss on international routes in the year ended June 2012."

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MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi falls from 15-mth high on weak earnings; Gulf mixed | Reuters

"Saudi Arabia's bourse slipped off a 15-month high on Monday as earnings misses from petrochemical firms spurred profit-taking, while other regional markets were mixed.

The kingdom's petrochemical sector index lost 0.9 percent, underperforming the wider benchmark, which declined 0.6 percent.

Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC), the world's largest chemicals producer, fell 1.3 percent after two of its units posted below-forecast net profit for the second quarter."

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Occidental Petroleum, partner to invest $3 bln to upgrade Qatar field | Reuters

"Occidental Petroleum Corp and Qatar Petroleum will spend more than $3 billion to upgrade the Idd El Shargi North Dome oil field offshore Qatar.

The Phase 5 development plan for the field includes drilling over 200 water injection wells to improve water-flooding practices in all the oil producing reservoirs, Occidental said.

The oil and gas producer said work has already begun and will continue to sustain oil production levels at about 100,000 barrels per day, through the next six years."

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The rocky road to Sochi: Counting the cost - YouTube

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Goldman Buy Rating Spurs Air Arabia to 5-Year High: Dubai Mover - Bloomberg

"Air Arabia PJSC (AIRARABI) surged to the highest level in almost five years as volume jumped after Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) upgraded the Middle East’s biggest no-frills carrier to buy.
Shares of the airline jumped 5.1 percent to 1.23 dirhams, the strongest since October 2008, at the close in Dubai as volume increased to 122 million shares, 4.9 times the stock’s three-month daily average. Air Arabia was the biggest gainer in percentage terms on the benchmark DFM General Index (DFMGI), which rose 0.7 percent, taking an eight-day rally to 8.7 percent.
Air Arabia’s stock has advanced 7.9 percent in the two days since Goldman Sachs raised the shares to buy from neutral with a price estimate of 1.54 dirhams, a 25 percent premium to today’s closing price. Nine out of 13 analysts have a buy rating on the carrier, which is based in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The U.A.E. and Qatar were upgraded to emerging-market status last month by MSCI Inc. (MSCI)"

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Governor Basci sticks his neck out | beyondbrics

"
Some respite for the Turkish lira on Monday after a surprise statement by Erdem Basci, governor of the central bank, saying the bank would not allow global monetary and fiscal policy uncertainty to have an impact on “price stability and financial stability in Turkey”.

Has Basci joined the “interest rate lobby” so despised by prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan?

As Daniel Dombey wrote last week, Erdogan is desperate not to hike interest rates and sees the struggle not to do so as part of an elemental battle against outside forces plotting against his country."

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New Egypt minister says no need for IMF aid now | THE DAILY STAR

"Aid from Arab states will carry Egypt through its transition period, and it does not need to restart negotiations with the IMF now, the man named planning minister in the interim government said on Monday.

Ashraf al-Arabi, a U.S.-educated economist who served in the same post under deposed President Mohamed Mursi until May, joins a government led by liberal economist Hazem el-Beblawi. Beblawi has named economists to several senior posts so far.

"The time is not appropriate to begin new negotiations with the IMF," Arabi told reporters, announcing that he had accepted the post of minister of planning. "Arab aid will enable Egypt to get through the transitional stage in a good way.""

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Ukraine, Russia discuss idea of creating grain again - ForUm

"Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov and his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev discussed the idea of creating a grain pool of Ukraine, Russia and Kazakhstan, the press service of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine reported.

"We have revisited the idea of creating a grain pool today," Azarov said on Friday.

The prospect of creating a grain pool was discussed for the first time at the first World Grain Forum in St. Petersburg in June 2009. If formed, it would allow the three countries considered to be the world’s major grain exporters, to pursue an agreed-upon trade policy on the global market. But this idea has never been implemented, although the three countries continue the discussion, Interfax informed."

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Cbonds.Info - Fitch Affirms 7 Ukrainian Banks; Revises Outlooks to Negative on Sovereign Change

"Fitch Ratings has affirmed the Long-term foreign currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) of Ukraine-based Public Joint Stock Company UkrSibbank, Ukrsotsbank (Ukrsots), PJSC VTB Bank (Ukraine) (VTBU), ProCredit Bank (Ukraine), PJSCCB Pravex-Bank (Pravex) and PJSC Credit Agricole Bank's (CAB) at 'B', and revised their Outlooks to Negative from Stable. At the same time, the agency has affirmed the Long-term IDRs of PJSC Alfa-Bank (ABU) at 'B-' with a Stable Outlook. A full list of rating actions is at the end of this rating action commentary."

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Gulf Capital makes US$15 million loan investment in TurkNet - bi-me.com

"Gulf Capital, one of the leading and most active alternative investment firms in the Middle East based in Abu Dhabi, has successfully completed an investment in Turknet Iletisim Hizmetleri A.S. (“TurkNet”) through “Gulf Credit Partners”, its regional credit and mezzanine fund.

TurkNet is a prominent provider of broadband Internet services, long distance telephony services, and corporate telecom, wholesale and hosting services in Turkey. Gulf Credit Partners, provides financing facilities to growing companies in the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey through its flagship credit and mezzanine fund.

Dr. Karim El Solh, Chief Executive Officer of Gulf Capital, said: “The growth capital financing facility from Gulf Credit Partners will assist Turknet in its growth trajectory at an exciting time for the Turkish telecommunications sector. Turknet’s market leadership in this growing sector, its sound strategy and strong management are the precise ingredients that our credit and mezzanine fund is looking for in a business partner.”"

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UAE central bank asks lenders about exposure to Turkey | Reuters

"The United Arab Emirates central bank has asked local commercial banks in the country to provide details of their financial exposure to Turkey by Tuesday, two bankers said on Monday.

The central bank said in a circular its aim was to review the investments, the bankers said, declining to be named because they were not authorized to speak to media. One Dubai banker said it did not signal an attempt to curb the banks' exposure to Turkey.

A central bank spokesman declined to comment."

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SpiceJet shares surge over 8% as airline denies report of Kuwait Airways interest to pick up stake - The Economic Times

"Country's SpiceJetBSE 7.94 % Ltd shares surge 8.1 per cent even after the airline denied that Kuwait Airways was looking to pick up a nearly 25 per cent stake in the budget airline, according to a news report.

"The news report suggesting that a stake sale in SpiceJet is being considered to induct Kuwait Airways as a strategic partner is totally untrue and without any substance," SpiceJet said in an emailed statement.

SpiceJet had said in January it received some interest from potential investors, but it would be premature to discuss the possibility of any concrete investments."

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Omani Islamic lenders build interbank market with wakala - ArabianBusiness.com

"Islamic banks in Oman are building a counterparty network for wakala, a sharia-compliant agency agreement, to use as a major tool for their interbank funding needs.
A viable wakala market could help Omani banks' profitability and, if it is imitated elsewhere in the Gulf, challenge the dominance of commodity murabaha, a cost-plus-profit arrangement that is popular in other countries.
Last week, a bilateral wakala agreement was signed between Bank Nizwa, Oman's first full-fledged Islamic bank, and the Islamic unit of Bank Sohar which allows the lenders to place surplus funds with each other."

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WAM | Daman Funds declare Q2 cash dividends on back of strong quarter for UAE markets

"Daman Investments PSC, one of the leading UAE-based regional investment management companies, has announced a record 14th consecutive quarterly dividend for its flagship Daman Second Emirates Fund.

The fund paid out a dividend for the 2nd quarter of 2013 of AED 1.5 translating into an annualised dividend yield of 4.75% as at the end of June 30, 2013. The NAV of the fund was AED 115.69 Daman Fifth Fund also paid out a dividend of AED 1.50 for the 2nd quarter of 2013 which equates to an annualised dividend yield of 4.2% and finally Daman Islamic Fund also paid out AED 1.50 equating to an annualised yield of 2.7%."

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India: WPI inflation ticks up | beyondbrics

"Is this a worry for India?

Having fallen gradually over the past nine month, Wholesale Price Index inflation rose to 4.86 per cent in India this June. That’s up from 4.7 per cent in May but still below the 7.58 per cent inflation recorded in June last year. It was also under the average forecast of 4.90 per cent in a Reuters poll of analysts.
"

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U.A.E. Banks Seek 5 Years to Comply With Exposure Rule - Bloomberg

"Banks in the United Arab Emirates are seeking five years to comply with a central bank regulation to limit their exposure to government entities in the second-biggest Arab economy.
The banks seek to “exclude marketable bonds, sukuks from the proposal, and to apply means and purpose test in order to determine whether the large exposure regulation applies to an entity, and to consider five years term to fully comply with these regulations,” the U.A.E. Banks Federation said in an e-mailed statement today.
The central bank said in April 2012 that banks must not lend more than 100 percent of their capital to local governments and the same amount to government-related entities to help reduce risk, and must comply with the new regulations before by Sept. 30, 2012. There was no limit under previous rules."

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Abu Dhabi’s Etihad in first US sponsorship - Transport - ArabianBusiness.com

"UAE national carrier Etihad Airways has announced its first US sponsorship deal.
It is now the official airline sponsor of Nation’s Triathlon in the capital, Washington DC.
The airline has not revealed how much the sponsorship is worth or how long the contract is for."

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Coffey Legacy Haunts GLG Investors as Sibanthracite Pulls IPO - Bloomberg

"GLG Partners Inc.’s attempt to mitigate losses from former hedge-fund manager Greg Coffey’s bet on a Siberian coal mining company was dealt a blow after Sibanthracite Plc pulled its initial public offering.
The GLG Emerging Markets Growth Fund, a pool created to run down assets acquired by Coffey, had sought to raise as much as $214 million by selling its 25 percent stake in the IPO. The fund, now part of London-based Man Group Plc (EMG), will try to find an industrial buyer for the holding, its biggest asset, two people with knowledge of the matter said on July 12."

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Dana Gas Set to Gain on Egypt Payment Outlook: Islamic Finance - Bloomberg

"Dana Gas PJSC (DANA)’s Islamic bonds, which underperformed regional peers this month, are set to benefit as $12 billion of aid pledges to Egypt make it more likely the United Arab Emirates-based company will get paid.
The yield on Dana Gas’ $425 million of 2017 callable notes jumped 153 basis points in the past month to a record 10.56 percent on July 12. The average yield on Gulf Cooperation Council company sukuk tracked by HSBC/Nasdaq Dubai indexes climbed 13 basis points in the period to 4.47 percent.
Payment delays from Egypt and Iraq’s Kurdish region led the fuel producer to fail to redeem $920 million of sukuk in October. Egypt’s default risk has tumbled 270 basis points since hitting a record 925 on July 2 after the army’s ouster of Islamist President Mohamed Mursi prompted Saudi Arabia, the U.A.E. and Kuwait to offer grants, central bank deposits and petroleum products."

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Saudi Gazette - 5-day week in private sector from August

"The private sector will officially have a five-day week from next month, according to a source in the Ministry of Labor.

Like their public sector counterparts, private sector employees will now also have a two-day weekend without the need to put in extra hours during their working days. The source said that the working time per week will not exceed 40 hours.

The off-days will be decided by employers, said the source, adding that the law does not compel them to specify the off-days as in the government sector. "

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Private equity in India: reasons to be cheerful | beyondbrics

"Speak to people in Mumbai’s business community and it sounds like it’s about to go into pause mode, as investors wait for the general elections to bring some clarity before shelling out any cash.

PwC seems to think otherwise. In a new report, the consultancy says there are several business reasons for private equity funds to invest in India in the coming months.

The total value of incoming private equity deals in India rose 15 per cent year-on-year in the first half of the 2013 calendar year to $4.72bn."

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Commentary: Releasing Yulia Tymoshenko would help anchor Ukraine inside Europe | GlobalPost

"US and European policymakers are fatigued by two decades of Ukraine’s inability to decide whether it will go West or East and the cliché “at the crossroads” has been used many times to describe Ukraine’s unwillingness to choose.

Time is slipping for the West to decide whether it should give Ukraine a helping hand to alleviate its perennial indecisiveness.

Perhaps this year is a golden opportunity to do so."

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Koreans to drill for oil in UAE soon - The National

"The South Korean joint venture exploring for oil in Abu Dhabi aims to start drilling within months, the first stage of a US$500 million spending plan for the next five years.

Korea National Oil Corporation (Knoc) and GS Energy - companies that last year made South Korea the first new country to partner in an Abu Dhabi oil concession in four decades - are securing rigs for three appraisal wells planned at the Haliba field on the Omani border.

If the drilling is successful, the Korean partners and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) hope to start producing a few thousand barrels of oil per day to start generating a modest income while they proceed with full-field development, a five-to-six-year process."

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Topaz sold two years after aborted share sale - The National

"Oman's Renaissance Services has sold Topaz Energy and Marine for US$46 million, two years after it pulled a $500m flotation of its UAE-based unit on the London Stock Exchange.

The sale caps a turbulent two years for the Omani company, which had to absorb losses accumulated by the unit, refinance debt and even deal with an investigtation into corporate fraud at Topaz.

The UAE company, which supplies specialised boats to the offshore oil and gas industry and runs an engineering arm, was bought by the United Kingdom-based Interserve at a fraction of Topaz's valuation at the time of the planned initial public offering. A flotation in 2011 would have implied a total market value between $1.5 billion and $1.9bn."

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IPO activity to slow down amid Ramadan lull | GulfNews.com

"Initial public offerings (IPOs), which have recently slowed down due to unstable political conditions and volatile global equity markets, are expected to decline further in the next several weeks owing to the lull during Ramadan, experts told Gulf News.
The holiest month of the Islamic calendar, which this year kicked off on July 10, is traditionally a sleepy period for businesses in the Muslim world.
The regional stock exchanges typically see trading volumes decline as work hours are reduced and both investors and companies hold off any major decisions until after the month of fasting is over. And with Ramadan now falling smack bang in the middle of summer, companies are even more hesitant to make a new offer to sell their shares publicly."

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Egypt’s Real Disaster: Away From Political Turmoil, an Economy in Free Fall | TIME.com

"As interim Egyptian Prime Minister Hazem al-Beblawy works to fill out his fledgling Cabinet and return the country to something resembling stability, one of his most immediate challenges will be a task he, in theory, should be ably qualified to handle.

Al-Beblawy, a career economist and former Finance Minister, has assumed the reigns of a country in economic free fall. The value of the Egyptian pound has plummeted to record lows, foreign-currency reserves have dropped to less than half of the $36 billion held by the regime of former dictator Hosni Mubarak before he was ousted in February 2011. "

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Saudi Gazette - Sale and rental prices rise in Dubai

"
Sale and rental price of property in Dubai continued to rise during Q2 2013. The effects of selective recovery seen in Dubai’s posh localities last year still linger in the market and luxury property continues to see increases in its sale and rental prices. According to Bayut.com’s Q2 2013 report, meticulously prepared by Bayut.com, the luxury property has emerged as the top performer of the second quarter. Other independent reports such as those prepared by JLL also indicate the same and say that many investors in Dubai like to invest in Palm Jumeirah and Dubai Marina.

According to Bayut.com’s data, the Q2 2013 ended by registering a price hike 24.50 percent for studio apartments in Dubai Marina. With a 14.70 percent quarter on quarter increase, studio apartments remained the best performing apartments in Dubai. On the downside, the average sale price of 4+ bedroom apartment in the same locality dropped 3.8 percent. It was observed throughout the state that the sale price of 4+ bedroom apartments in Dubai dropped uniformly. In Dubai Marina and Palm Jumeirah, sale price of 4+ bedroom apartments experienced a drop of 3.80 percent and 2.57 percent respectively."

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Qatar in ‘net external creditor’ position of near $50bn: S&..

"Qatar is in a “net external creditor” position of about $50bn despite the country’s total external debt rising steadily in recent years, a new report has shown.

According to Standard & Poor’s, Qatar’s total external debt was estimated at $166bn in 2012.

“However, this debt is more than offset by external assets — largely those accumulated by Qatar Investment Authority (QIA),” S&P said in a country assessment yesterday."

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Dubai airport targets 75m passengers by 2015 and become 'world's busiest and biggest' - The National

"Dubai International will handle 75 million passengers by 2015, helping it to leapfrog London Heathrow to become the world's busiest and biggest airport, according to the emirate's new civil aviation strategy plan.

"This figure will help Dubai International Airport to top the list of the busiest and biggest airports in the world in terms of international passenger capacity, overtaking London Heathrow," said Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the president of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority.

He is also the chairman of Dubai Airports and the chairman and chief executive of Emirates Airline."

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News Analysis: Dubai loses ground to London in battle of banking - Xinhua | English.news.cn

"In its ambition to rise to a global financial center, Dubai suffered a number of setbacks in recent months, which have proven the might of London as a hub for Middle Eastern banking.

Although Dubai established almost a decade ago the Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC), which, as a "state in a state," is governed by laws similar the British financial regulations, the sheikhdom is still struggling to lure capital and attract financial experts.

Earlier in the year, London, on the other hand, attracted two stock listings from the United Arab Emirates (UAE). New Medical Clinics (NMC) and Al Noor Hospitals opted for the London Stock Exchange instead of the stock markets in Dubai."

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Geopolitical Implications of the Nabucco Defeat | Caspian Research Institute

"
The decision to select the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline as the export route for gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz field has opened the way for Azerbaijan to become a serious player in Europe’s gas market. Speculation has now turned towards the geopolitical implications of the choice – some of which are rather different from what’s being claimed.

The choice of TAP was somewhat unexpected. Admittedly its rival, Nabucco West, had been looking less and less watertight over the past couple of years but its aim of taking gas through the Balkans and into central Europe, rather than to Italy like TAP, was still seen as a strategic asset. Both the EU and Azerbaijan itself had expressed support for a central European route, in order to diversify the region’s gas supply away from Russia and to diversify Azerbaijan’s customer base."

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Emirates, Qatar may ask for more flying rights - The Economic Times

"The recent grant of additional flying rights to Abu Dhabi may lead to similar demand being raised by other Gulf carriers like Emirates and Qatar. Top aviation ministry sources said being one country, individual demands of the UAE's seven emirates or principalities for more bilateral for their airlines are difficult to be considered favourably.

"Abu Dhabi and Dubai are barely 100 km apart. Some years back, substantial flying rights were given to Emirates of Dubai. Now 36,670 more weekly seats over three years have been allowed to Abu Dhabi's Etihad. Demand for more capacity from one region has to be measured and seen in context what Indian carriers and India gets in return," said a top ministry source. While Emirates is learnt to be seeking about 24,000 more weekly seats, Qatar wants double of that. "

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UAE stock market sentiment positive despite correction - The National

"Last month, UAE markets corrected in line with global equities on concerns of tapering of the US bond repurchase programme and weak data coming out of emerging economies.

According to the World Equity Index Rankings by Bloomberg, as of the end of June, Dubai - up 39.2 per cent - is ranked third and Abu Dhabi - up 35.48 per cent - is ranked fourth among primary world indexes by US dollar adjusted year-to-date performance.

On June 11 the UAE and Qatari markets were upgraded to emerging market status by the international index provider MSCI, and this will become effective next year."

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IMF: Kingdom among top G20 performers | Arab News

"
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has welcomed the continued strong performance of the Saudi Arabian economy and the systematic and stabilizing role that the country plays in the global oil market.
Its executive directors also acknowledged Saudi Arabia’s role as an important source of financial assistance and remittances for many developing countries.
They, however, stated that implementation of labor market policies to boost Saudi employment should be carefully coordinated with macroeconomic policies."

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