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Thursday, 18 July 2013

Russia Stocks Drop as Putin Critic Gets Five Years - Bloomberg

Russia Stocks Drop as Putin Critic Gets Five Years - Bloomberg:

"Russian shares sank the most in a month after a court sentenced Alexey Navalny, an opposition leader who spearheaded the biggest protests against President Vladimir Putin’s 13-year-rule, to prison.
The benchmark Micex Index (INDEXCF) declined as much as 2.1 percent from its intraday peak today, reversing gains after the decision. The gauge slid 1.1 percent to 1,416.63 by the close in Moscow, the most since June 20. The volume of shares traded was 52 percent above the 30-day average, data compiled by Bloomberg show, while 10-day price swings rose to 20.501, the most since June 27."

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Abu Dhabi quietly cashes out of Barclays - FT.com

Abu Dhabi quietly cashes out of Barclays - FT.com:

"The exit of Abu Dhabi investors from Barclays has happened with far less fanfare than their dramatic arrival almost five years ago.
Back in October 2008, as the financial markets were reeling from the high-profile government bailouts of Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds, Barclays’ sealed a deal with Middle Eastern investors that saved it from the same fate.
Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, a member of Abu Dhabi’s ruling family, together with Qatari investors swept into the bank as part of a £7.3bn deal that gave the two Middle Eastern investors a 30 per cent stake."

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DUBLIN, Ireland, July 18, 2013: LNG Industry to 2017 | PRNewswire | Rock Hill Herald Online

DUBLIN, Ireland, July 18, 2013: LNG Industry to 2017 | PRNewswire | Rock Hill Herald Online:

"Australia to Overtake Qatar as Global LNG Leader

LNG has been embraced as a commercially attractive and eco-friendly fossil fuel, and the global industry is set to see the emergence of new gas giants, with Australia competing against traditional LNG exporters such as Qatar, states new research by energy experts GBI Research.

The report states that natural gas has experienced growing demand worldwide, having earned a reputation as a clean, safe and cheap source of energy, which is cost-efficient to transport as LNG and available in abundant reserves."

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Citigroup Boost for Iraqi Bond Amplified by UN Vote: Arab Credit - Bloomberg

Citigroup Boost for Iraqi Bond Amplified by UN Vote: Arab Credit - Bloomberg:

"Citigroup Inc. (C)’s decision to open in Iraq and the easing of United Nations sanctions dating back to the Saddam Hussein era are driving yields on the OPEC oil producer’s bonds down from a four-year high.
Yields on the Middle Eastern nation’s $2.7 billion security due January 2028 slid 137 basis points to 7.43 percent in the eight days from June 24 after Citigroup became the first U.S. lender to venture into Iraq since Hussein was toppled a decade ago. That compares with a 39 basis-point drop to 5.19 percent in the HSBC/Nasdaq Dubai Middle East Conventional Sovereign US Dollar Bond Index in the period. Iraq’s bonds yielded 7.4 percent at 4:20 p.m. today in Baghdad.
Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) and Standard Chartered Plc (STAN) are the latest international banks to expand in the second-largest producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. The UN Security Council added to investor confidence by voting on June 27 to remove the threat of military enforcement on the issues of Kuwaiti people, property and archives missing since Iraq invaded the country in 1990."

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MIDEAST STOCKS-Bluechips lift Qatar to near 5-yr high | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Bluechips lift Qatar to near 5-yr high | Reuters:

"Bluechips lifted Qatar's bourse to a near five-year high on Thursday as investors bet on long-term growth in key industries in the gas-rich Gulf state, as most regional markets gained.

Doha's benchmark climbed 0.8 percent to its highest close since September 2008. It has advanced in eight of the last nine sessions.

Large-caps have led the recent rally. Qatar National Bank (QNB) added 1.8 percent to hit a new all-time high. The lender last week posted a 24 percent rise in quarterly profit which beat analysts' expectations."

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Bank Sohar Gains on Bets Dhofar Merger to Succeed: Muscat Mover - Bloomberg

Bank Sohar Gains on Bets Dhofar Merger to Succeed: Muscat Mover - Bloomberg:

"Bank Sohar jumped to the highest level in almost three years on bets the lender will combine with Bank Dhofar SAOG to create Oman’s second-biggest bank.
Shares of the Muscat-based lender increased 2.8 percent to 0.218 rial, the strongest level October 2010, at the close in the Omani capital, taking its advance this week to 7.4 percent. Volume rose to 4.4 million shares, or 2.1 times the the stock’s three-month daily average. Bank Sohar was the biggest gainer on the benchmark MSM30 Index (MSM30), which climbed 0.6 percent.
Bank Dhofar will start talks with smaller competitor Bank Sohar “to explore the possibility of merger between,” the larger lender’s board said in a statement July 16, potentially creating an Omani bank with $10 billion in assets. The proposal is subject to interest of Bank Sohar, due diligence and regulatory approvals, it said. Bank Dhofar shares fell 0.3 percent, trimming this week’s gain to 1.9 percent."

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Is it time to buy Brazil? - YouTube

Is it time to buy Brazil? - YouTube:

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Ford Transit: UK’s loss, Turkey’s gain | beyondbrics

Ford Transit: UK’s loss, Turkey’s gain | beyondbrics:

"
The closure on July 26 of Ford’s Transit production plant at Southampton may spell the end of an era for vehicle manufacturing in the UK but the transfer of production to Turkey offers the Turkish automotive sector a valuable boost.

Turkey’s automotive manufacturers have been particularly hard hit by a drop in demand in key European markets that saw sales of new passenger cars falling to a 17-year low in June.

“About 75 per cent of our exports are still to Europe so this is a very positive move,” says Ercan Tezer, head of Turkey’s automotive manufacturers association, pointing out that while exports have been hit by the downturn in the European market Turkish manufacturers still continue to perform well in key niche areas."

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Egypt central bank says $3 billion in UAE aid has arrived - World | The Star Online

Egypt central bank says $3 billion in UAE aid has arrived - World | The Star Online:

"Egypt's central bank said it received $3 billion (1.97 billion pounds) in aid from the United Arab Emirates on Thursday, part of $12 billion that Gulf Arab states pledged after the military ousted Islamist President Mohamed Mursi early this month.

Central bank governor Hisham Ramez said in a text message to Reuters that the aid had arrived.

The UAE said last week that it would provide Egypt with $1 billion as a grant and a $2 billion loan in the form of an interest-free central bank deposit. Saudi Arabia pledged $5 billion and Kuwait, $4 billion."

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New Privatization Scheme Unveiled | Business | The Moscow Times

New Privatization Scheme Unveiled | Business | The Moscow Times:

"The Federal Property Management Agency is urging banks to give out loans to investors ready to purchase government assets as part of a new scheme to stimulate privatization, which has been slow to take off.
The loans provided by the banks will be backed by the privatized companies' shares, deputy head of the agency Ivan Aksenov told Vedomosti. He added that the agency is currently holding talks with top 20 banks on the details of loan agreements.
Under the proposed scheme the state does not aim to sell assets in large public companies but rather stakes in small and medium-sized businesses, Aksenov said."

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Cold Showers Expose Budget Pinch as Ukraine Coffers Run Dry (1) - Businessweek

Cold Showers Expose Budget Pinch as Ukraine Coffers Run Dry (1) - Businessweek:

"Ukrainians are used to a few days a year without hot water as sizzling summer temperatures give the nation’s state-run utilities a chance to fix leaky pipes. This year, the stoppages have stretched into months.

“It’s like living in the middle ages,” said Olga Tymofeyshyna, a 25-year-old bank worker from Kamyanets-Podilsky, about 50 miles from the border with Moldova. “Because of the government’s inability to pay its bills we’re suffering from a lack of basic services. We’re very angry.”

In addition to hot-water shortages, street cleaners in the western town of Stryi threatened to block one of the former Soviet republic’s busiest highways this month, complaining they hadn’t been paid since April. In nearby Lviv, Ukraine’s seventh-biggest city, the treasury has blocked cash for school renovations, including money donated by parents."

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Rosneft to spend $1.6 billion on Russia’s Far East | Russia Beyond The Headlines

Rosneft to spend $1.6 billion on Russia’s Far East | Russia Beyond The Headlines:

"Rosneft is planning to spend around 52 billion rubles ($1.6 billion) in 2013 on Far East development programs in the company’s key operating areas, Rosneft head Igor Sechin said during a videoconference led by Russian President Vladimir Putin, who had arrived in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk. Sechin was, at the time, on board Orlan — a drilling platform located in the Sea of Okhotsk.
According to the Prime news agency, Sechin specified that 27 billion rubles would be spent on oil exploration and production, 23 billion rubles on refining and upgrading the Komsomolsk Oil Refinery, and around 2 billion rubles on establishing oil product supplies.
According to Rosneft president, Rosneft’s investments in Eastern Siberia and the Far East could exceed 1 trillion rubles ($30 billion) over the next five years, under a conservative scenario."

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Kremlin advisors say Ukraine shifting focus from Russia to Europe - Ukraine Business Online

Kremlin advisors say Ukraine shifting focus from Russia to Europe - Opinion - News - Ukraine Business Online:

"
A close analysis by a group of Kremlin advisors of a message to the Verkhovna Rada by Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych in whom Moscow has placed so much hope shows that Kyiv no longer views itself as part of the Russian cultural world, defines itself in European terms, and cooperates with Moscow only when and because it has to.

Tamara Guzenkova, the deputy director of the Russian Institute for Strategic Research which often provides studies for the Kremlin, says that Yanukovych’s 576-page message released a month ago (for its full text, see president.gov.ua/docs/poslannia2013.pdf) represents the triumph of the pro-Europe party in Ukraine (riss.ru/index.php/analitika/1890-o-vneshnepoliticheskikh-prioritetakh-i-tsennostyakh-ukrainy-v-ezhegodnom-poslanii-v-yanukovicha-verkhovnoj-rade#.UeUcFW00EUN)."

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Ukraine’s tax law: a minister responds | beyondbrics

Ukraine’s tax law: a minister responds | beyondbrics:

"
From Oleksandr Klymenko, Minister of Revenues and Duties of Ukraine

In response to the article Ukraine: will new tax law hit the oligarchs? published in the FT on July 10, 2013, I would like to clarify a few points about Ukraine’s new transfer pricing control legislation.

Amendments to the Law on Transfer Pricing adopted by the Parliament do not distort the original intent of the initiative; the “place of profit” for transnational corporations who have production facilities in Ukraine should correspond to the location of these facilities and product manufacture.

In other words, the law aims to remedy the situation when Ukrainian subsidiaries of financial and industrial groups are operating on the verge of bankruptcy while all the profits are transferred to the so-called jurisdictions of preferential taxation, a practice also known as offshore profit shifting."

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Guest post: the Navalny case and Russian capital flows – what’s happening | beyondbrics

Guest post: the Navalny case and Russian capital flows – what’s happening | beyondbrics:

"
By Timothy Ash of Standard Bank

Russia’s finance ministry has claimed that net private capital outflows may stop in 2014. It is interesting that the ministry should be pushing this idea just as a guilty verdict has been handed down to Alexei Navalny.

I would hazard a guess that negative global headlines on this kind of case will likely subdue foreign inflows and encourage Russians to stash more of their money overseas.

The net private sector capital flow data published by the Central Bank of Russia is certainly interesting. It is generally taken to be a proxy for capital flight, and it is true that the figures have moderated in the second quarter."

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How Middle East oil must adapt to new realities - The National

How Middle East oil must adapt to new realities - The National:

"Like it or not - but the world's thirst for energy isn't going to let up any time soon. On the contrary, according to the Paris-based International Energy Agency, global energy demand will roughly double by 2050, driven largely by the expanding economies in Asia but also in Africa and parts of South America.

As the world demands more energy, the oil industry is taking on new, harder-to-access hydrocarbon reserves - including unconventional ones such as North American shale that have become economically feasible to develop in recent years - while at the same time seeking to extend the working life of existing assets to maintain output. This, in turn, has put a firm focus on asset integrity, making it a top priority for many operators around the globe."

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JKX heralds successful recompletion of NN-71 well in Ukraine - Ukraine Business Online

JKX heralds successful recompletion of NN-71 well in Ukraine - Ukraine - News - Ukraine Business Online:

"Embattled JKX Oil & Gas plc announces positive results with one of its wells

LONDON, July 18, 2013 (UBO) – In an online communication to shareholders and the public, JKX Oil & Gas plc told its shareholders and the public of the successful recompletion of its well NN-9."

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Egyptian magnate promises heavy investment | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT

Egyptian magnate promises heavy investment | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT:

"
Egyptian Naguib Sawiris, chairman of the Orascom Telecom Holding, looks on during the St. Gallen Symposium at the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland, 02 May 2013. EPA/GIAN EHRENZELLER
Egyptian businessman Naguib Sawiris, whose family control the Orascom business empire, has said he and his brothers intend to inject investment into Egyptian economy “like never before,” following the ouster of Mohamed Mursi.
Sawiris, who criticized Mursi in an interview with Reuters, said: “The president’s [Mursi's] government tried to either appeal to senior company officials or impose heavy taxes on them,” as they did with his family’s business, because he was on the side of the opposition.

The eldest of three wealthy brothers, Sawiris spent time outside Egypt in self-imposed exile, and returned in May after a compromise was reached with Orascom Construction Industries, which is managed by his brother Nasif Sawiris, in relation to tax evasion allegations."

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Ukraine's Naftogaz may post 2.25 bln USD losses in 2013 : Ukraine News by UNIAN

Ukraine's Naftogaz may post 2.25 bln USD losses in 2013 : Ukraine News by UNIAN:

"Ukrainia's state-run energy company Naftogaz will likely suffer an annual loss of about 2.25 billion U. S. dollars in 2013, Coal and Energy Minister Eduard Stavytsky said here Wednesday, according to Xinhua.
"The Ukrainian government has approved the Naftogaz draft financial plan for 2013 with projected losses of 2.25 billion dollars," Stavytsky told a briefing.
The figure represents a substantial decrease as the government in mid-June estimated the budget gap of the financially troubled company at 4 billion dollars."

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National Bank of Oman posts flat Q2 net profit; beats estimates - Alarabiya.net

National Bank of Oman posts flat Q2 net profit; beats estimates - Alarabiya.net English | Front Page:

"National Bank of Oman, the sultanate’s fourth-largest lender by market capitalization, posted a near-flat second quarter net profit, Reuters calculated, beating analyst estimates.
The lender made a second-quarter net profit of 10.17 million rials ($26.4 million) compared with 10.3 million rials in the corresponding period in 2012.
Net profit for the first half of the year was 18.77 million rials compared with 19.92 million rials in the prior year period, NBO said in a statement on Oman’s bourse.
Five analysts polled by Reuters had on average expected the bank to post a net profit of 9.53 million rials for the second quarter. ($1 = 0.3850 Omani rials)"

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EU more beneficial to Ukraine than Moscow-led Customs Union in grain trade

EU more beneficial to Ukraine than Moscow-led Customs Union in grain trade < News < Home:

"It is more advantageous for Ukraine to join the European Union than the Russia-Belarus-Kazakhstan Customs Union in terms of trade in grain crops, according to Volodymyr Klymenko, President of the Ukrainian Grain Association.

"It's more advantageous for Ukraine to be in the EU... If we join the Customs Union, the national grain growers and traders won't get any benefits," Klymenko said at a press conference in Kyiv on Wednesday. He said that in the 2012-2013 marketing year the European Union accounted for 38% of Ukrainian grain exports."

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Ukraine’s Energy Security - Ukraine’s gas loop | EastBook.EU


For many years, most countries in central and eastern Europe - from Bulgaria to Latvia, from Ukraine to Hungary - have complained of their dependence on Russian gas. All have tried to reduce this dependence through a combination of the development of new infrastructure (interconnectors, compressor stations for reverse gas flow), frantic searches for alternative gas suppliers (Nabucco, Norway), antitrust procedures against Gazprom (as launched by the European Commission), and regulatory changes affecting the sale of gas in Europe (the ‘third package’).
An interesting sideshow of this struggle is now occurring in Ukraine. While most analysts assumed
that a decreased dependence on Russia would come from access to non-Russian resources - in the form of shale gas, liquefied natural gas (LNG) or Norwegian gas - Ukraine and the German energy giant RWE seem to have found a way to limit Gazprom’s sway over Kiev, while continuing to consume Russian gas.

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Saudi Gazette - KSA economic slowdown ‘has bottomed out in Q2’

Saudi Gazette - KSA economic slowdown ‘has bottomed out in Q2’:

"Saudi Arabia’s economic slowdown may have bottomed out in the second quarter after it slowed sharply in the first quarter this year with oil sector being the main drag on growth, Capital Economics said in a report Tuesday.

“Our Saudi GDP tracker, which is based on hard monthly data, suggests that growth bottomed out, and may even have turned the corner, over the first two months of Q2. In particular, the contraction in oil production seems to have eased a little compared to Q1,” the report said.

Saudi Arabia’s real GDP is projected to expand by around 4.2 percent this year with growth fuelled by the non-hydrocarbon sector. The Kingdom’s oil production is also expected to fall to 9.6 million barrels per day (bpd) after reaching its highest annual average of around 9.8 million bpd in 2012."

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Saudi Gazette - Savola Group net widens by 17% in H1

Saudi Gazette - Savola Group net widens by 17% in H1:

"The Savola Group achieved a net profit of SR683 million for the first six months of 2013, or an increase of 17 percent compared to the same period last year, the company said in a statement Wednesday. The gross profit for the period covered amounted to SR2.6 billion, an increase of 19 percent compared to the same period last year.

The Group operating profit for the first six months amounted to SR1.36 billion, an increase of 30 percent compared to same period last year. Earnings per share (EPS) were SR1.37 against SR1.17 in the period covered.

The Group’s net profit for the second quarter ended June 30, 2013 amounted to SR387.8 million, an increase of 13.6 percent compared to SR341.3 million for the same quarter last year. "

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