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Sunday, 21 July 2013

The Gul Alternative to Erdogan - Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East

The Gul Alternative to Erdogan - Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East:

"
Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (2nd R) and President Abdullah Gul (2nd L), accompanied by their wives Emine Erdogan (R) and Hayrunnisa Gul (L), attend a groundbreaking ceremony for the third Bosporus bridge linking the European and Asian sides of Istanbul, May 29, 2013. (photo by REUTERS/Murad Sezer)
One of the questions frequently asked about balances in established politics and their future is whether an alternative could emerge from the Justice and Development Party (AKP) ranks to their hard-line leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and whether the balance that the opposition cannot come up with could originate from inside the AKP.
Of course, one immediately remembers the divergences between Erdogan and Turkish President Abdullah Gul, which have been going on for a while. At the root of those divergences are the personal political career disagreements between the AKP co-founders.
The contradiction originates from the Cankaya Presidential Palace calculations of Gul and Erdogan. Erdogan wants to take over the palace, but Gul does not want to leave it unless a satisfactory alternative is offered for his post-presidency.
Gul wants another term after his curren"

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Oman's Bank Dhofar Q2 net profit slips 21 pct | Reuters

Oman's Bank Dhofar Q2 net profit slips 21 pct | Reuters:

"Bank Dhofar, Oman's second-largest bank by market value, posted a 20.8 percent drop in second-quarter net profit, according to Reuters calculations, missing the average forecast of analysts.

The lender made 8.36 million rials ($21.71 million) of net profit in the three months to June 30, Reuters calculated based on the bank's financial statements. The figure is down from the 10.1 million rials made in the same period of last year.

An average of three analysts polled by Reuters forecast a net profit for the period of 9.05 million rials."

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MIDEAST STOCKS-Egypt rises to 7-wk high on constitution rework; Dubai rallies | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Egypt rises to 7-wk high on constitution rework; Dubai rallies | Reuters:

"Egypt rose to a seven-week high on Sunday as work began to amend the country's constitution, with sentiment also buoyed by weekend protests less violent than feared, while Dubai's bourse hit a near five-year high on quarterly earnings expectations.

Legal experts in Egypt were due to begin meeting on Sunday to study changes to the constitution, with an amended version having to be in place before Egypt can hold parliamentary elections.

The constitution, which was suspended earlier this month, was drawn up last year by an Islamist-dominated assembly that was boycotted by liberals and Christians, who said it failed to properly protect human rights and social justice."

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Saudi deposit arrives to the Central Bank of Egypt - Daily News Egypt

Saudi deposit arrives to the Central Bank of Egypt - Daily News Egypt:

"Saudi Arabia has transferred $2bn to the Central Bank of Egypt in the form of a five year interest-free deposit. This comes as a part of the $5bn aid package that Saudi pledged to Egypt after the ouster of president Mohamed Morsi.

In a sign of support to Egypt’s economy, which continues to reel from more than two years of unrest, Gulf states have pledged $12bn aid, $3bn from the United Arab Emirates, $4bn from Kuwait and $5bn from Saudi, in form of cash grants, deposits and petroleum products.

Saudi’s aid breaks down into $1bn as a grant and $2bn in the form of fuel petroleum products. Meanwhile, the UAE’s aid is a $1bn grant and $2bn interest free deposit with the central bank. Kuwait’s combined package includes a $2bn deposit, a $1 grant and $1bn oil products."

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Transactions surge in Dubai realty not a bubble more a symptom of the regional crisis « ArabianMoney

Transactions surge in Dubai realty not a bubble more a symptom of the regional crisis « ArabianMoney:

"
The one third surge in the value of real estate transactions in Dubai to $29.4 billion in the first half of 2013 has brought worries about a new property bubble in the emirate.

In the first half 30,469 properties changed hands against 18,953 for the same six months last year. House prices are up 20-25 per cent in 12 months."

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Oman's great transformation: expanding rail networks to form ME transportation hub | Al Bawaba

Oman's great transformation: expanding rail networks to form ME transportation hub | Al Bawaba:

"Oman is ramping up its efforts to build a 2,244-kilometre rail network that is expected to link major ports and neighbouring countries. The country’s Tender Board has already announced 13.582 million Omani riyals (Dh129 million) worth of Preliminary Design Consultancy services contract but in line with longstanding practice did not name the successful bidder.

Meanwhile, a government-owned English daily has reported that the country’s national railway project will be formally known as Oman Rail’. The official naming of the project comes against a flurry of developments confirming that the Sultanate’s maiden foray into rail-based passenger and freight transportation services is now well and truly underway. Oman Rail principal brief is to implement domestic railway infrastructure linking the major ports, industrial areas and free zones at Sohar, Salalah and Duqm, and potentially the Yemeni border as well, with a wider GCC network. Passenger trains will link major passenger hubs, including Muscat city and major airports."

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Operator Cancels Summer Tours Due to Poor Demand | Business | The Moscow Times

Operator Cancels Summer Tours Due to Poor Demand | Business | The Moscow Times:

"The low demand for summer vacations to Europe may leave Russian tour operators with grounded planes, a news report said Friday.

One of the oldest Russian tour operators, Ascent Travel, specializes in tours to Croatia and Montenegro but has canceled all its summer programs, causing about 16,000 of its clients who had already bought tours to the Balkan countries to adjust their vacation plans, Kommersant reported.

Yesterday the company's management announced the suspension of all charter programs for the summer after announcing Wednesday that they had seen a 60 percent reduction. The tour operator has already refunded 4.5 million rubles ($138,700) to its clients with departure dates this weekend and it will have to refund at least 16 million more, the company's CEO Yevgeny Sudbin said."

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Central Bank to Limit Shady Transactions | Business | The Moscow Times

Central Bank to Limit Shady Transactions | Business | The Moscow Times:

"The Central Bank is trying to limit lenders depositing money with their foreign counterparts by reclassifying the transactions as high-risk, which would make them more expensive and less attractive, Kommersant reported Friday.

A recent amendment to the instructions for the statutory requirements of banks reclassifies cross-border transactions as high risk, regardless of how reliable the foreign recipient bank is.

The reclassification focuses on transactions that require the involvement of a third party, but also operations with non-resident banks that lend to offshore companies and are then unable to return the money to the Russian bank when the debtor defaults on repayments."

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Global banks eye Iraq but questions remain - Your Middle East

Global banks eye Iraq but questions remain - Your Middle East:

"Interest by Citibank and Standard Chartered to expand into Iraq highlights the vast potential of the country's banking sector, but the experience of a global rival points to the many pitfalls they must navigate.

With tens of millions of potential customers, few of whom have bank accounts, the country could provide a windfall for firms that manage to grab a foothold.

Iraqis are on the hunt for a full range of services, from current accounts to insurance and mortgages, little of which is currently on offer."

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U.A.E. Shares Rally to 5-Year High on Earnings; Saudi Climbs - Bloomberg

U.A.E. Shares Rally to 5-Year High on Earnings; Saudi Climbs - Bloomberg:

"United Arab Emirates stock indexes rallied to the highest levels in almost five years on bets the economic recovery will spur company earnings. Saudi Arabian shares rose after Saudi Basic Industries Corp. reported results.
Dubai’s benchmark DFM General Index (DSM) gained 1.8 percent to 2,541.52, the strongest since November 2008, at the close in the emirate, as Dubai Investments PJSC (DIC) jumped 6.1 percent, taking its three-day advance to 16 percent. Abu Dhabi’s ADX General Index increased for an 11th day, its longest stretch of gains in two months, climbing 0.9 percent to 3,857.52, the highest since September 2008.
Dubai’s economy, which is recovering after a property market crash, is set to grow 4.6 percent, on average, between 2012 and 2015, more than twice as fast as in the prior four years, government forecasts show. Tamweel PJSC (TAMWEEL), a mortgage provider based in the emirate, jumped 3.6 percent to 1.16 dirhams, the highest close in a month, after reporting a 40 percent increase in second-quarter profit."

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UAE Exchange India says confident of getting bank license - The Economic Times

UAE Exchange India says confident of getting bank license - The Economic Times:

"Exuding confidence that it would get a banking licence in India, global forex remittance major UAE Exchange says it has already initiated work for an 800-branch network in the country and would focus mostly on rural areas.

Pitted against some of the biggest names of India Inc in seeking a bank licence, UAE Exchange's Managing Director and CEO B R Shetty said that his competitors may be "very big", but his group was also not a small one and is serving one lakh customers a day globally.

Born in Karnataka and a clinical pharmacist by education, Shetty first set up a healthcare business in the UAE in early 70s and later established UAE Exchange in 1980. "

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Man does not tolerate violence!: Zusmanovich: experience in combating corruption in Ukraine

Man does not tolerate violence!: Zusmanovich: experience in combating corruption in Ukraine: (Google translate)

"Dmitry Zusmanovich: "I struggle with corruption mercilessly. Still hope to win. "
Dmitry Zusmanovich - an unusual businessman from Zaporozhye, owner and director of the Transnational Corporation "ceramist", successfully operating in the open spaces of Russia, Ukraine, the Baltic States and Eastern Europe, the Vice-President for law enforcement fund "Kremlin strategy", the chief consultant of the Verkhovna Rada Ukraine in the fight against organized crime and corruption, an honorary member of the Senatorial Club of Russia, member of the board of trustees of IPEC: "The European Union: East-West." He runs a charity, not for public relations and believes that spirituality will save the state, and the beauty"

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#MarteDeborahDalelv, Alleged Norwegian Rape Victim, Sentenced To 16 Months Jail In Dubai For Sex Outside Of Marriage

Qatar said to bid for Saks Fifth Avenue - Retail - ArabianBusiness.com

Qatar said to bid for Saks Fifth Avenue - Retail - ArabianBusiness.com:

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Qatar is believed to be the Middle East sovereign wealth fund among the bidders hoping to buy US luxury department store chain Saks Fifth Avenue, according to reports in the US media.
The unnamed fund, which the New York Post newspaper said was most likely to be Qatar, is part of three investors which are aiming to gain ownership of the popular chain.
The report said the Qataris were interested in buying rival chain Neiman Marcus earlier this year but the deal fell through."

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The Latest Census of Global Fortunes: Mo' Money for the 1% | Alternet

The Latest Census of Global Fortunes: Mo' Money for the 1% | Alternet:

"
For the global economy, notes the just-released  17th annual World Wealth Report from the Capgemini wealth consultancy and the Royal Bank of Canada, 2012 turned out to be one real downer.

“The myriad crises of 2011 cast a shadow into 2012,” the study relates, “and widespread fiscal austerity exerted a palpable drag, resulting in sluggish GDP growth for the global economy throughout the year.”

But the world’s wealthy —the “high net worth individuals” among us — didn’t let this “palpable drag” get them down in the least. Their fortunes soared in 2012."

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London Gateway 'a game-changer' - The National

London Gateway 'a game-changer' - The National:

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"We are really going back to London's roots," enthuses Simon Moore, the chief executive of DP World's London Gateway project.

"This is what the Romans did 2,000 years ago, they had a deep-sea port next to the most important market in the land," he adds.

Mr Moore's historical perspective is relevant, but he is quick to point out the more immediate inspiration for his work at Gateway: the years he spent working for the P&O container shipping business in Jebel Ali in the 1990s."

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Property in Dubai gives economy timely lift - The National

Property in Dubai gives economy timely lift - The National:

"
Property and construction contributed 21 per cent of Dubai's growth in the first quarter.
Pawan Singh / The National


Dubai's rebounding property market is helping to boost the economy once again after several years as a dead weight on growth, a government report suggests.

The emirate's rebounding property market - combined with a strong performance in trade, manufacturing, transport and finance - lifted the emirate's GDP to more than 4 per cent in the first half of the year, estimate officials.

Together, property and construction contributed 21 per cent of Dubai's growth in the first quarter, second only to wholesale and retail trade, which accounted for 28 per cent of the expansion, a report released yesterday by the Dubai Economic Council showed."

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Value of shares bought by foreign investors on Dubai Financial Market hits record high in four years | GulfNews.com

Value of shares bought by foreign investors on Dubai Financial Market hits record high in four years | GulfNews.com:

"Dubai Financial Market (DFM) announced today that the value of shares bought by foreign investors during last week (July 14 -18) hit the highest in four years, a record. It surged to Dh1.345 billion, comprising 39.5 per cent of the total value of stocks traded during the period.
The value of stocks sold by foreign investors during the same period reached Dh1.308 billion comprising 38.5 per cent of the total value of stocks traded during the period. Net foreign investment on the market reached Dh35.4 million during the same period, as aggregate buy.
The value of stocks bought by institutional investors during last week reached AED 741.2 million comprising 21.8 per cent of the total value of stocks traded during the period. The value of stocks sold by institutional investors during the period reached Dh646 million which constituted 19 per cent of the total value of stocks traded during the period. Net institutional investment on the market reached Dh95.2 million during the period, as aggregate buy."

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India’s gamble spooking the markets | GulfNews.com

India’s gamble spooking the markets | GulfNews.com:

"It’s time to tighten the seat-belts and brace for a roller-coaster ride in Indian shares as a bumbling government, caught off guard by the rupee’s slump, shifts its priority to salvage the currency by tightening the availability of short-term funds.
In an unexpected move the Reserve Bank of India raised the short-term borrowing cost by a whopping 200 basis points to 10.25 per cent on Monday under a margin standing facility and initiated moves to drain cash from the banking system, both aimed at restricting speculation on the currency.
The measures spooked financial markets, sending bond yields soaring, and pulled stocks down. The rupee momentarily strengthened in the immediate aftermath but by the week’s end it remained vulnerable to another bout of weakness, suggesting there were more fundamental factors than speculation in play."

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Russian Aggression And Ukrainian Accession: Lessons From History - OpEd Eurasia Review

Russian Aggression And Ukrainian Accession: Lessons From History - OpEd Eurasia Review:

"
In the wake of the Cold War, the EU acted decisively and brought a group of fragile, newly-independent states into the European Community in a geopolitical gamble that paid off big. Now, as Ukraine finds itself between an increasingly menacing Russia and a lethargic Brussels, it is time to act once again.

Back in the day

When the Berlin wall fell under joyful cries in 1989 and the Iron Curtain that had for so long divided a continent was dramatically drawn back, the fate of the former-USSR countries was far from certain. Indeed, a frightening uncertainty gripped the East European states and many Western commentators were at best sceptical that countries having lived so long in the Soviet shadow could make the transition into liberal market-based democracies."

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Azerbaijan: When It Comes To Pipelines, It’s Not Personal, It’s Strictly Business Eurasia Review

Azerbaijan: When It Comes To Pipelines, It’s Not Personal, It’s Strictly Business Eurasia Review:

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AZNEFT SQUARE IN DOWNTOWN BAKU, AZERBAIJAN,NAMED AFTER HISTORICAL AZNEFT (AZOIL) TRUST
Just like the protagonist in the eponymous opera, the Nabucco pipeline, the one-time leading option for carrying natural gas from Azerbaijan to Europe, has been outmaneuvered and knocked from its preeminent perch.

In the opera, Nabucco is a king of Babylon who is outwitted by a group of palace conspirators and temporarily loses his throne. After undergoing a spiritual conversion, he thwarts his enemies and regains his crown. But the happy opera ending is one thing. In the Caspian energy-export game, it is far from certain whether the pipeline formally known as Nabucco-West will be able to make a comeback. That’s because the simple pursuit of profits, not diplomatic scheming appears to have been the primary reason Nabucco-West lost out among the multiple bids to export gas from Azerbaijan’s largest natural-gas field, Shah Deniz."

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Saudi nonoil exports forge ahead, with little support | Arab News

Saudi nonoil exports forge ahead, with little support | Arab News — Saudi Arabia News, Middle East News, Opinion, Economy and more.:

"Saudi Arabia has been the largest oil exporter for decades. However, there is a growing niche for nonoil exports, which account for approximately (12) percent of all its exports, but nonoil exporters complain about the limited support they receive compared to oil exports and to importers.
For Saudi Arabia to achieve its goal of diversification away from oil, it has to adopt a more proactive approach toward export promotion.
Last year, Saudi Arabia nonoil exports reached a record $51 billion, a five-fold increase over the 2003 level of $11 billion. Since 2003, nonoil exports have grown by an average annual rate of (20) percent. While those numbers are impressive, there has been a considerable degree of volatility and uncertainty. For example, last year, nonoil exports grew by a relatively modest (8) percent and in 2009, they shrank by (11) percent because of the global financial crisis."

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EUISS Issue Alert: Ukraine’s gas loop - Ukraine Business Online

EUISS Issue Alert: Ukraine’s gas loop - Opinion - News - Ukraine Business Online:

"The EUISS updates Ukraine’s natural gas situation in a new issue alert that points out: “It is now interesting to see how some of the same instruments that were once used to consolidate Russian influence have been turned against Gazprom: by the logic of the market, by some of Gazprom’s German partners, and by Ukraine itself.”


PARIS, July 21, 2013 (UBO) – The European Union Institute for Security Studies on July 15, 2013 issued a new Issue Alert by Senior Analyst Nicu Popescu entitled: “Ukraine’s gas loop”.
 "

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Partnerships with private oil companies: Advantage, Abu Dhabi - The National

Partnerships with private oil companies: Advantage, Abu Dhabi - The National:

"Before the Second World War, partnerships between the resource-rich governments of this region and international oil companies (IOCs) were established through concessions. Abu Dhabi was no exception. It has two major concession agreements with IOCs, one for onshore oil operations and another for offshore. The concessions were lucrative deals for the IOCs as they received the property rights of massive untouched areas for which they had to give a fixed amount of money per tonne of oil produced.

After the Second World War, this type of agreement was difficult to sustain, as many newly independent countries were demanding a more equitable deal under the banner of a New International Economic Order through the newly established United Nations."

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Saudi Gazette - Is OPEC nearing a historic crossroads?

Saudi Gazette - Is OPEC nearing a historic crossroads?:

"The world needs less oil from OPEC!

With non-OPEC crude production on the rise – expanding at the fastest rate in two decades – the call on OPEC crude is getting lower. “The 2014 outlook . . . should give oil bulls some cause for alarm. Non-OPEC supply growth looks on track to hit a 20-year record next year, surpassing the 1.3 million barrels per day high reached in 2002,” the Paris-based IEA underlined in its just released July Monthly Oil Report.

This growing, conventional and non-conventional, output outside the OPEC meant that the demand for OPEC crude will be about 1million bpd lower than the volumes it is currently pumping. As per IEA estimates, the need for OPEC crude would be just 28.85 million barrels a day in the first half of 2014, and about 29.4 million barrels a day for the whole year. Compared to the current OPEC production of 30.61 million bpd, this is almost 1.2 million bpd less. Simple mathematics indeed!"

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Qatar’s Emerging Market status to benefit asset managers

Qatar’s Emerging Market status to benefit asset managers:

"The MSCI’s decision to elevate Qatar from Frontier Market to Emerging Market status will significantly benefit Asset Management companies. A survey, jointly conducted by strategic research company “Insight Discovery” and Zawya in June/July2013, shows that the global Index compiler’s decision to enhance Qatar Indices to its universe of Emerging Markets is a very positive development.
Almost all of the 141 investors and other market participants surveyed think that flows of funds to Qatar and UAE (another market elevated along with Qatar) will increase.
However, there is a diversity of views as to which asset management companies will benefit the most from the elevation. Some 58 percent of survey respondents believe that the main beneficiaries will be international asset management companies that have a local presence in the GCC countries and which offer regional funds. Another 33 percent identify local/regional asset management companies. The remaining 9 percent think that the main winners will be international asset management companies which do not have a regional presence but which can offer regional funds. "

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