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Tuesday, 16 July 2013

A grim employment forecast for Europe - YouTube

A grim employment forecast for Europe - YouTube:
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Qatar police raid investment firm’s office and arrest CEO - Banking & Finance - ArabianBusiness.com

Qatar police raid investment firm’s office and arrest CEO - Banking & Finance - ArabianBusiness.com:

"Qatar has warned Singaporean authorities of an investment firm which has moved its headquarters to the Asian country days after Qatari authorities raided its Doha offices and arrested the CEO over false claims the firm was licenced to offer investment advice.
Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority (QFCRA) last week warned investors against dealing with investment firm Portable Fund, stating the company had falsely claiming it was licensed by the Qatar Financial Centre Authority (QFCA).
“The QFCRA took swift action after becoming aware that Portable was falsely claiming to be regulated by the QFCRA and licensed by the QFCA. In order to protect consumers and investors the QFCRA issued an alert and directed the company to remove these false claims from its website, as well as the false claim that it operated from Tornado Tower in Doha,” a QFCRA spokesperson said in a statement."

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Ukraine sells $207 mln, 3.4 bln hryvnias in bonds, dlr yields up - July 16 13 11:34 EDT - ForexTV.com

Ukraine sells $207 mln, 3.4 bln hryvnias in bonds, dlr yields up - July 16 13 11:34 EDT - ForexTV.com:

"Ukraine's Finance Ministry raised $206.5 million and 3.375 billion hryvnias (about $422 million) at a bond auction on Tuesday, it said in a statement.
The yield on two-year dollar bonds rose to 8.25 percent from 7.75 percent in the previous placement on June 4. The yield on three-year dollar bonds rose to 8.19 percent from 8.0 percent on June 4.
Five-year hryvnia bonds yielded 14.25 percent, unchanged from the previous placement on July 9. The yield on seven-year bonds was also unchanged at 14.30 percent.
Three-month bonds yielded 7.75 percent, same as a week ago."

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Kester quits as Abu Dhabi's private equity boss - The Term Sheet: Fortune's deals blogTerm Sheet

Kester quits as Abu Dhabi's private equity boss - The Term Sheet: Fortune's deals blogTerm Sheet:

"Jim Kester has stepped down as head of private equity investing for the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, Fortune has learned.
No one knows exactly how much money is managed by ADIA, a sovereign wealth fund, but recent estimates have been around $600 billion. Between 5% and 10% of that is allocated to private equity, including investments in private equity funds and co-investments with those funds.
Kester joined ADIA in late 2010 after having spent four years running private equity out of New York for Zurich Alternative Asset Management. Before that he was with Allianz Private Equity Partners in Germany."

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Poland suspends its budget law in favour of fiscal stimulus | beyondbrics

Poland suspends its budget law in favour of fiscal stimulus | beyondbrics:

"Buffeted by a slowing economy, Poland’s government on Tuesday said it would allow its budget deficit to rise sharply and temporarily suspend legal limits on public debt in order not to throttle what little growth remains.

Donald Tusk, the prime minister, said government revenues would be about 24bn zlotys ($7.4bn) lower than predicted in the 2013 budget, saying that “because of the crisis, consumption has fallen. That is why there is a shortfall of taxation revenues in the budget.”

The government is cutting spending by 8bn zlotys and allowing its deficit to rise by 16bn zlotys, or about 1 per cent of gross domestic product."

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Arab Economies Ignored | @REBELECONOMY

Arab Economies Ignored | REBEL ECONOMY:

"Ignore the economy at your peril. That is the lesson Arab leaders of transitional countries should learn from the Egyptian military’s removal of Mohammed Morsi from power, but one that continues to fall on deaf ears.
Rather than embrace the economic demands of protesters from across the “Arab Spring” countries in 2011, the new governments of Egypt, Tunisia and Libya have failed to address the key economic problems that brought people out to the streets in the first place.
Instead, they’ve done something much more uninspiring, which is to plaster over the status quo, and present it as a new package. "

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Daily chart: Toil and trouble | The Economist

Daily chart: Toil and trouble | The Economist:

How non-employment has changed since the financial crisis
SINCE 2007 the financial crisis, global recession and euro crisis have all taken their toll on rich-world labour markets. In its annual Employment Outlook report, the OECD predicts that the unemployment rate is likely to stay at around 8% of the labour force until the end of 2014 across the 34 member countries. But unemployment alone does not tell the full story since the jobless can stop looking for work, in which case they are classified as inactive. A more comprehensive measure of those not in work is “non-employment”, the sum of the unemployed and inactive as a share of the working-age population (15-64 year-olds). Worryingly, roughly half of the joblessness is now long-term (over a year), which is more difficult to escape as individuals lose confidence, their skills atrophy and they find themselves shunned by prospective employers. Over half of the unemployed in the troubled euro-zone economies of Greece, Ireland, Italy and Portugal have been out of work for more than a year. For several countries, however, inactivity changes have played a big part, mainly through declines that have reduced non-employment or tempered its rise. Such an effect is most notable in Turkey but is also marked in Poland and Hungary.

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MIDEAST STOCKS-Egypt rises to 6-wk high as cabinet forms | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Egypt rises to 6-wk high as cabinet forms | Reuters:

"Egypt's shares rose to a six week high on Tuesday as the interim president moves forward with forming a cabinet to restore full civilian rule despite deadly street clashes.

Cairo's main benchmark climbed 0.9 percent to its highest since June 2.

Former investment minister Osama Saleh said on Tuesday he would take up the same post in the country's transitional government."

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Ukraine's international reserves at least won't fall by late 2013, says NBU

Ukraine's international reserves at least won't fall by late 2013, says NBU:

"
The reduction of pressure from foreign debt payments could provide at least the keeping of Ukraine's international reserves at the current level until the end of 2013, the deputy director of the general economic department at the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU), Serhiy Nikolaichuk, has said.

"We see that everything done by the government and the NBU allows to predict that the reserves will at least remain at the current level, i.e. will not decrease," he told reporters on Tuesday.

According to Nikolaichuk, the bulk of payments for foreign obligations were conducted in the first half of the year: large payments to the International Monetary Fund remained, but their size will not present much difficulty for the government and the National Bank of Ukraine."

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U.A.E. Banks, RBI Fines, Danes’ Free-for-All: Compliance - Bloomberg

U.A.E. Banks, RBI Fines, Danes’ Free-for-All: Compliance - 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 are also seeking to exclude marketable bonds and sukuks from the proposal, according to an e-mailed statement yesterday from the U.A.E. Banks Federation.
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 by Sept. 30, 2012. There was no limit under previous rules. The central bank in December delayed implementing the regulations."

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As the Fed tightens, Russia launches its own QE programme | beyondbrics

As the Fed tightens, Russia launches its own QE programme | beyondbrics:

"
As the US Federal Reserve threatens to bring its quantitative easing programme to an end – and with it one of the drivers of EM growth in recent years – Russia is preparing to introduce its own brand of QE in an attempt to keep growth going.

The central bank plans to auction loans collateralised by non-marketable assets in a bid to inject liquidity into the economy and cut the cost of funding for banks and borrowers.

The first auction is set for July 29 with an offering of Rbs500bn ($15.4bn). The one-year facility will have a floating interest rate initially set at 5.75 per cent – or 25 basis points above the central bank’s 1 day repo rate of 5.5 per cent. If the repo rate changes, so will the interest rate on the loans."

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State budget of Ukraine gets 142 billion for six months - ForUm

State budget of Ukraine gets 142 billion for six months - ForUm:

"For the first six months of 2013, the general fund of state budget increased, director of the department for financial policy of the Finance Ministry Tatiana Sysoeva said during the roundtable, ForUm correspondent reports.

In particular, she said that for the first half of this year, the revenues of the general fund of state budget amounted to 142 billion UAH (an increase of 1.1 billion UAH or 0.8%).

She also stressed that for the first six months, the VAT tax was refunded by 27.5 billion UAH, which is by 4.5 billion UAH or by 19% more than during the same period in 2012.
ForUm"

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ECONOMICS - IMF says Eastern Europe probably past the worst of crisis

ECONOMICS - IMF says Eastern Europe probably past the worst of crisis:

"International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde on Tuesday praised Eastern Europe for its "courage" in addressing economic crises since 2008, stressing that "the worst is most likely behind" it.

"Five years after the start of the crisis the worst is most likely behind you, most countries have returned to positive growth," Lagarde told Romanian bankers and journalists.

"We expect only two countries of the region to be in recession in 2013 - Croatia and Slovenia - compared to eight last year," she added during a speech on "Eastern Europe and Romania: The Road Ahead." First-quarter average growth in the region was positive. The top performers were Latvia, growing 1.4 percent and Lithuania 1.3 percent."

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Abu Dhabi-backed investor group suing Norway government - Energy - ArabianBusiness.com

Abu Dhabi-backed investor group suing Norway government - Energy - ArabianBusiness.com:

"
Norway exports gas via an 8,000-kilometre-long network to receiving terminals
in Britain, France, Belgium and Germany.
Abu Dhabi is part of a group of investors in Norway's offshore gas pipeline system which is suing the Oslo government over a plan to reduce tariffs for using the network.
Companies representing several international investment funds, such as the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, the Canadian Pension Fund and German insurer Allianz, have spent $5.1 billion in recent years acquiring stakes in Norwegian pipelines, then considered a safe and steady investment bet.
The government said at the end of June it would stick to an earlier announced plan to lower the tariffs by 90 percent for new gas contracts, a move it said was intended to encourage higher production in mature fields and exploration in the frontier areas of the Arctic."

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Guest post: Ignore the naysayers – EM’s long-term prospects are still strong | beyondbrics

Guest post: Ignore the naysayers – EM’s long-term prospects are still strong | beyondbrics:

"
It has been a difficult year for emerging market economies, policy makers and investors. A slowdown in the global economy has dented activity across many emerging economies. But despite the recent headwinds, there is an impressive long-term growth story that shouldn’t be ignored, especially when set against the challenges other regions have faced in recent years.

Many commentators have been quick to point to the overall slowing of emerging market growth as evidence of fragility. Even China, the world’s largest commodity importer, appears to be in the doldrums with rampant credit creation and the activities of the shadow banking sector creating significant structural challenges.

Like other emerging markets, China is also transitioning from an investment-led economy to one driven by domestic consumption. This has proved a bumpy road at a time when the middle income trap and loss of the demographic dividend looms large. And the authorities seem wary of implementing large-scale fiscal stimulus for fear of stoking inflation in an economy where the credit to GDP ratio stands at a dangerous 200 per cent."

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DIB Drops as Banks Seek Time to Comply With Curbs: Dubai Mover - Bloomberg

DIB Drops as Banks Seek Time to Comply With Curbs: Dubai Mover - Bloomberg:

"Dubai Islamic Bank PJSC (DIB) retreated the most in two weeks after United Arab Emirates lenders asked the central bank for five years to comply with requirements to reduce their exposure to the government.
Shares of Dubai Islamic, the U.A.E.’s biggest Shariah-compliant lender, fell 1.7 percent, the most since July 2, to 3.38 dirhams at the close in Dubai. The stock was the biggest decliner by index (DFMGI) points on the benchmark DFM General Index, which ended an eight-day winning streak, decreasing 0.5 percent. Emirates NBD PJSC (EMIRATES), Dubai’s biggest bank, lost 2 percent.
The U.A.E. Banks Federation said yesterday it was seeking an extension to comply with a central bank directive requiring banks to lend no more than 100 percent of their capital to local governments and the same to government-related entities, known as GREs. The rules were introduced more than a year ago after many banks suffered from an increase in bad loans linked to debt restructuring by GREs during Dubai’s property crash."

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Ukraine's Agroton says can't pay bond coupon after Cyprus blow | Reuters

Ukraine's Agroton says can't pay bond coupon after Cyprus blow | Reuters:

"Ukrainian agricultural firm Agroton said on Tuesday it lacked cash to pay an upcoming coupon on a $50 million bond after most of its funds were frozen in a Bank of Cyprus account and it said it may try to amend the terms of the bond.

Under an international bailout agreed in March, heavily indebted Cyprus froze deposits of more than 100,000 euros at the Bank of Cyprus, its largest lender, and indicated that depositors would lose some of their money.

Agroton said in a statement that out of about $4.5 million it had had in the bank at the end of March, $1.6 million had been converted into equity, $1.0 million had been written off and $1.9 million remained frozen."

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India moves on current account gap at expense of growth | beyondbrics

India moves on current account gap at expense of growth | beyondbrics:

"
After long discussion, a battle in India’s government between the imperatives of boosting the economy and supporting the currency has been decided.

Late on Monday, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) announced a package of measures to tighten liquidity. It hopes to stem the depreciation of the rupee and prevent its current account deficit from spiralling out of control – but it has done so at the risk of limiting India’s already meager economic growth.

And it hasn’t done it half-heartedly, surprising observers with a set of four announcements:"

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Bank Dhofar Considers Merger to Create $10 Billion Omani Lender - Bloomberg

Bank Dhofar Considers Merger to Create $10 Billion Omani Lender - Bloomberg:

"Bank Dhofar SAOG is exploring the possibility of combining with its smaller competitor Bank Sohar as it seeks to create the second-biggest Omani lender with about $10 billion in assets. The banks’ shares climbed.
The board at its meeting yesterday “expressed interest and resolved to commence discussion with Bank Sohar to explore the possibility of merger between the two banks,” Bank Dhofar said in a statement posted on Muscat stock exchange, without giving further details. The proposal is subject to interest of Bank Sohar, due diligence and regulatory approvals, it said.
The possible merger follows HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA), Europe’s biggest bank, merging its Omani operations last year with Oman International Bank SAOG to create a lender with about $6 billion in assets. HSBC Bank Oman SAOG is currently third-biggest lender by assets after BankMuscat SAOG, which had $21 billion in assets at the end of last year, and National Bank of Oman SAOG."

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Investment in Tver grows, portfolio at $5 billion | Russia Beyond The Headlines

Investment in Tver grows, portfolio at $5 billion | Russia Beyond The Headlines:

"Not too long ago, Tver Region, which lies to the northwest of Moscow, was synonymous with the creepy backwoods—despite its ideal location on the road connecting the country’s two capital cities of Moscow and St. Petersburg. In 2009, Foreign Direct Investment accounted for only 1.8 percent of the local economy, and many motorists argued that Tver had the worst roads in Central Russia.
Two years ago, the region overhauled its administration, and former paratrooper Andrei Shevelev became the new governor. Although one could have expected the former commando to keep to the conservative track, the new team of managers actively pursued a closer collaboration with foreign investors."

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Ukrainian stocks mixed as WIG-Ukraine inches up and UX declines

Ukrainian stocks mixed as WIG-Ukraine inches up and UX declines - Business - News - Ukraine Business Online:

"On the regional scene, Concorde Capital provides analysis in today’s market comment:

“Ukrainian equities joined their European counterparts in surfing a positive wave from Chinese GDP growth data on Monday, July 15. The WIG Ukraine Index inched up 0.2%, led by miner Sadovaya Group (SGR PW +4.0%) and sugar producer Astarta (AST PW +2.2%). Farmer and food producer Agroton (AGT PW +2.0%) has risen 5.5% in two sessions and farmer Industrial Milk (IMC PW +0.7%) has gained 4.8% in four straight positive sessions. In London, miner Ferrexpo (FXPO LN) increased 1.2% while Regal Petroleum (RPT LN) slid 2.8%. The Ukrainian Exchange (UX) Index of Kyiv-traded stocks fell 1.2% as investors dealt Donbasenergo (DOEN UK -4.9%) a correction after its 13.6% surge in the prior session. Unicredit’s Ukrsotsbank (USCB UK +1.0%) has steadily advanced 8.7% in seven straight positive sessions.”

For charts of last session top-3 map, last session performance and more, link below:
www.concorde.ua"

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Shell, Ukraine may cooperate on conventional, shale gas deposits

Shell, Ukraine may cooperate on conventional, shale gas deposits:

"Shell is interested in developing both conventional and shale gas deposits in Ukraine, the company's executive said at a meeting with the country's prime minister, the government said.

Shell and Ukraine could cooperate in developing both conventional and shale gas reserves, Shell's upstream international director, Andrew Brown, is cited as saying by the government's website.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov invited Shell to develop "not only shale gas, but also gas from conventional reserves."

Ukraine, which holds Europe's third largest shale gas reserves, sees the development of its energy resources as vital for reducing its dependence on Russian gas imports. The former Soviet republic in January signed a production sharing agreement with Shell for the Yuzovka shale gas area, which is expected to eventually provide Ukraine with 20 Bcm of gas a year. But so far, Shell hasn't been involved in the exploration or development of traditional gas deposits in Ukraine.

Dow Jones Newswires"

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WAM | DGCX H1 volumes up 101 percent year-on-year

WAM | DGCX H1 volumes up 101 percent year-on-year:

"Trading volumes on the Dubai Gold and Commodities Exchange (DGCX) in the first half of 2013 registered a substantial year-on-year growth of 101 percent, a total of 7,716,340 contracts valued at $268.85bn.

The significant increase was led by currency volumes, which were up 112 percent from H1 2012.

First half currency volumes were driven mainly by the consistent growth of Indian Rupee futures. The contract registered a strong performance, jumping 95 percent from the same period last year to aggregate a value of $242.5bn. Euro futures also saw considerable growth of 280 percent ."

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[video] Ethiopia’s big Nile dam battle | beyondbrics

[video] Ethiopia’s big Nile dam battle | beyondbrics:

"The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam will be the largest hydroelectric power plant in Africa when completed, delivering 6,000MW. The cost and the potential impact of diverting the Blue Nile have created controversy in the region. The FT’s East Africa correspondent Katrina Manson reports.
"   'via Blog this'

Industry Groups Oppose U.S. Customs Clearance at Abu Dhabi | Aviation International News

Industry Groups Oppose U.S. Customs Clearance at Abu Dhabi | Aviation International News:

 "
 A U.S. customs pre-clearance facility meant to
                                ease travel through Abu Dhabi International                                  
Airport would give Etihad Airways an unfair
advantage, industry groups allege.
(Photo: Abu Dhabi Airports Company)
Aviation industry groups in the U.S. and Europe oppose a U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) plan to establish a customs pre-clearance facility at Abu Dhabi International Airport that would spare passengers the inconvenience of waiting at a customs checkpoint upon arrival in the U.S. A bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers also questions the plan and has requested more information from the DHS.

In a letter sent earlier this month, seven U.S. industry groups asked DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano to forgo an agreement that would enlist the UAE government to fund the facility, saying that it would “set a dangerous and unauthorized precedent” for the department to shift its sources of funding to include foreign governments. Although they do not mention it by name, the organizations also contend that customs pre-clearance would help Etihad Airways, Abu Dhabi’s government-owned carrier, attracting passengers by facilitating their travel to the U.S. through its home airport."

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Note on Indo-UAE air traffic pact to be ready in 7-10 days - CNBC-TV18

Note on Indo-UAE air traffic pact to be ready in 7-10 days - CNBC-TV18:

"In a move that could be important for Jet-Etihad deal; the Cabinet note on India-UAE bilateral air traffic enhancement will be ready in seven to ten days. Sources have told CNBC-TV18’s Sumit Jha that the cabinet note will note will not go for inter-ministerial comments.

As per the agreement, in 2013, there has to be a hike of 11,000 seats from over and above what India and United Arab Emirates (UAE) were operating. It is also important in light of airlines and operators making use of the hike in the winter schedule itself. The winter schedule starts from the end of October. There was a fear that if this bilateral pact does not get approval from the cabinet, operators might not have enough time to operationalise this hike in seats."

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Qatar's Barwa wins judgement over Bahrain firms | ConstructionWeekOnline.com

Qatar's Barwa wins judgement over Bahrain firms | ConstructionWeekOnline.com:

"Qatar-based real estate company Barwa International has won a legal battle against two Bahraini companies who invested funds on its behalf in a project in Saudi Arabia without obtaining the appropriate licenses from the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB).

As part of a judgement by the Bahraini Chamber of Dispute Resolution (BCDR), Bahrain-based Inovest and Al Khaleeji Development Company have been ordered to repay Barwa’s it investment of QR61m ($16.9m). They were also ordered to pay Barwa compensation of 1.5%, plus additional costs and expenses.

According to a statement released by Barwa, it has presented an order to the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) to instruct all banks in Bahrain to freeze both companies’ accounts to the value of the amount of the judgement."

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Emal and Dubal union helps lift merger fees 28% - The National

Emal and Dubal union helps lift merger fees 28% - The National:

"The value of Middle East and North African mergers and acquisitions rose by 30 per cent to US$14.7 billion in the first half of the year, aided by the merger of two UAE aluminium producers.

The $7.5bn merger of Emirates Aluminium (Emal) and Dubai Aluminium (Dubal), announced last month, helped the regional M&A market to enjoy its best first half since 2008, according to the investment banking analysis released by Thomson Reuters yesterday.

"The UAE was the most active Middle Eastern country, being both the most targeted and the most acquisitive country in the region so far this year," said Russell Haworth, the managing director, Middle East & North Africa at Thomson Reuters. "India was the most popular target for outbound Middle Eastern M&A transactions, while the United States registered the highest value of inbound M&A deals targeting the Middle East.""

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Emirates flies onwards and upwards on LinkedIn | GulfNews.com

Emirates flies onwards and upwards on LinkedIn | GulfNews.com:

"Emirates airline has become the first in the global airline industry to reach 100,000 followers on LinkedIn.
Already an employer of choice for professionals around the world, Emirates’ presence on the social media website has also helped strengthen their employer brand. Emirates has more than 40,000 employees from 138 nations working across various disciplines. With nearly 200 new aircraft on order, the airline will look to increase that workforce over the next years.
“Following our achievements on other social networks, LinkedIn is another social media success story for Emirates,” said Sophia Panayiotou, Senior Vice-President of Human Resources at Emirates. “We are very proud to become the first airline to reach the milestone of 100,000 followers on the professional network.”"

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UAE Banks Federation proposes exposure limit | GulfNews.com

UAE Banks Federation proposes exposure limit | GulfNews.com:

"After its decision in September 2012 to postpone introducing restrictions on commercial banks’ exposure to state-linked debt and requirements for them to hold liquid assets following complaints from the banks, the UAE Banks Federation on Monday raised the final proposal on percentage limits that form the large exposure to the UAE Central Bank.
The UAE Banks Federation recommended the exclusion of marketable bonds and sukuks from the proposal and to apply means and purpose tests to determine whether the large exposure regulation applies to an entity, asking the Central Bank for a five-year term to fully comply with these regulations.
Giyas Gokkent, Group Chief Economist at NBAD, told Gulf News: “With regard to the large limit exposure: Bonds and sukuk are tradeable and, therefore, potentially liquid instruments.”"

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UAE banks agree $245 mln loan for three-tower Dubai development | Reuters

UAE banks agree $245 mln loan for three-tower Dubai development | Reuters:

"Two banks in the United Arab Emirates have signed a 900 million dirham ($245 million) loan facility to fund construction of a three-tower real estate project adjacent to Dubai's main thoroughfare.

Dubai's real estate sector has been showing signs of recovery in recent months, with prices rising and new projects being announced. Prices had tumbled by more than 50 percent from their 2008 peak at the height of the property boom.

Monday's statement from Dubai lender Emirates NBD (ENBD) said that ENBD and Abu Dhabi's First Gulf Bank had provided the funding to local developer Abdulsalam Al Rafi Group to build Burj Al Salam Towers."

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Dubai Frozen Yoghurt Firm Feels Iran Sanction Chill - Middle East Real Time - WSJ

Dubai Frozen Yoghurt Firm Feels Iran Sanction Chill - Middle East Real Time - WSJ:

"
A Canadian frozen yogurt franchise might seem like an entirely unusual conduit for Iran to evade hardening U.S. government sanctions. But among several companies the U.S. sanctioned in May for illicit dealings with Iran was a cold outlier: Niksima Food and Beverages, a firm based in Dubai that runs local outlets of Yogen Fruz, the Canadian frozen yogurt purveyor.

While the ties between Iran’s energy industry and frozen yogurt may appear tenuous at first glance, Niksima, the U.S. state department said, had accepted payments on behalf of Jam Petrochemicals Complex, a major petrochemical facility on Iran’s southern coast that it is targeting as part of a new strategy aimed at curbing Iran’s income from things like plastics and lubricants."

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Morocco: Dance with the deep state - FT.com

Morocco: Dance with the deep state - FT.com:

"
Flying the flag: the February 20 movement brought together liberals, leftists and Islamists 
The Moroccan capital’s jet set was still slumbering after a late-night Rihanna concert a few weeks ago. The king was abroad, where he had been spotted wearing a collarless shirt and sports jacket in a chic district of Paris.
But at the Rabat headquarters of the country’s governing Islamist political party, dozens of the organisation’s lieutenants were up early, smartly coiffed and nibbling croissants ahead of an all-day Saturday strategy session. The topic: the continuing attempt by one of their coalition partners, the Istiqlal party, to bring down their government.
Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane, the ruling Justice and Development party’s (PJD) charismatic leader, urged his lieutenants to remain steadfast."

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KSA economic strategies pay off | Arab News — Saudi Arabia News

KSA economic strategies pay off | Arab News — Saudi Arabia News, Middle East News, Opinion, Economy and more.:

"Saudi Arabia has a true opportunity today to keep on diversifying its economy and taking the right steps toward addressing the labor, housing and productivity issues, says a top Riyadh-based economist. “Very few countries around the world have been able to maintain such a healthy roster of macroeconomic accomplishments during the post financing crisis,” said John Sfakianakis, chief investment strategist at Masic in Saudi Arabia.
He was commenting on the IMF’s latest assessment of the Kingdom’s economic strength.
The International Monetary Fund said in a report this week that considerable progress had been made in improving economic statistics but saw scope for further improvement. "

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Saudi Gazette - Mideast M&A transactions valued at $14.7 billion in H1

Saudi Gazette - Mideast M&A transactions valued at $14.7 billion in H1:

"Middle Eastern investment banking fees reached $356.6 million during the first half of 2013, while equity issuance by Middle Eastern companies raised $3.2 billion from 12 issues, Thomson Reuters said Monday in its investment banking analysis for the Middle East region for the first half of 2013.

According to the report, Middle Eastern debt issuance reached $26.0 billion during the first half of 2013, a 40 percent increase over the same period last year.

Russell Haworth, managing director, Middle East & North Africa at Thomson Reuters, said: “The value of announced M&A transactions with Middle Eastern targets reached $14.7 billion during the first half of 2013, 30 percent more than the $11.3 billion witnessed in the region during the same period last year, and marking the best first half since 2008. "

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Saudi Gazette - OPEC may cut oil output for first time in five years

Saudi Gazette - OPEC may cut oil output for first time in five years:

"
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) may move to slash its oil production for the first time in five years when it meets in December, responding to the surge in US shale oil.

According to The Wall Street Journal, OPEC could reduce production by half a million barrels a day.

The group’s latest report signaled that the US shale oil boom will cut into its share of the world market in 2014 even as world demand grows at its fastest clip in four years. The International Energy Agency also released a report last week that showed demand for OPEC oil next year will fail to meet its current production of around 30 million barrels a day."

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Saudi Gazette - Al Rajhi Capital ‘Best Asset Management Firm’ in Mideast

Saudi Gazette - Al Rajhi Capital ‘Best Asset Management Firm’ in Mideast:

"Al Rajhi Capital, one of the leading asset managers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, announced the receipt of a prestigious award from Banker Middle East, a CPI Financial publication, as part of its Banker Middle East Industry Awards 2013 naming Al Rajhi Capital “Best Asset Management Firm” in the Middle East region.

Organized by CPI Financial, this year’s awards ceremony brought together over 450 top financiers and 200 institutions from across the GCC to celebrate the achievements of the banking industry. In total, 49 awards were announced across a variety of financial services including private banking, asset management, corporate, retail, investment, and fund management. "

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Annual Review 2013 - Finance and Banking - Ukraine

Banking & Finance - Annual Review 2013 - Finance and Banking - Ukraine:
"Q: COULD YOU PROVIDE A BRIEF OVERVIEW OF RECENT BANKING AND FINANCE ACTIVITY IN UKRAINE? ARE BANKS IN GENERAL DEMONSTRATING A STRONG APPETITE TO LEND, PARTICULARLY IN SUPPORT OF CORPORATE TRANSACTIONS?

OLSHANSKY: In recent years, the growth of the Ukrainian banking sector has slowed considerably. Pre-financial crisis, many international banking groups entered the Ukrainian market, mostly by purchasing majority stakes in local banks. That trend has now reversed, and Western banks are selling their Ukrainian assets en masse. At the same time, a number of Russian banks are maintaining a strong presence in the market via their subsidiaries. Lending growth rates have never quite recovered after the crisis. According to the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU), the Ukrainian central bank, the principal amount of loans extended to businesses as at 1 January 2013 was only 5 percent higher compared to 1 January 2012. The principal amount of long-term loans to businesses shrank by 5 percent in the same period."

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