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Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Commercial Bank of Qatar net profit dips 5.6% | Arab News

Commercial Bank of Qatar net profit dips 5.6% | Arab News — Saudi Arabia News, Middle East News, Opinion, Economy and more.:

"Commercial Bank of Qatar, the Gulf Arab state's second-largest lender by assets, said on Tuesday its second-quarter net profit dropped 5.6 percent as the bank provisioned against a local real estate loan.
The bank made a net profit of 518 million riyals ($142.3 million) in the second quarter, it said in a bourse filing. This compared with 545.7 million riyals last year.
The figure missed the average forecast of analysts, who had expected a quarterly profit of 530.6 million riyals, according to a Reuters poll."

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Kuwaitis invested $37 billion abroad in 2012 - Kuwait Times | Kuwait Times

Kuwaitis invested $37 billion abroad in 2012 - Kuwait Times | Kuwait Times:

"Kuwaiti investors have invested $37 billion outside Kuwait in 2012 including $7 billion spent on touristic projects, the Leaders Group stated in its second monthly tourism report that was made available to the press yesterday. General Manager Nabila Al-Anjari said that this month’s report sheds light on “the terrible situation” of Kuwait’s tourism sector every summer when people mostly travel for vacation while nearby countries prepare to welcome visitors every year.

The report starts by holding the government responsible for failing to promote proper touristic projects that attract tourists to Kuwait which continues to fall down the ladder for the best touristic destination in the Arabian Gulf region. The report cites lack of marketing and organized tours, lack of lands allocated for tourism activities as well as high prices of lands that deter investors as the main reasons that make Kuwait unappealing to tourists despite having qualifications that could make the situation different."

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Gulf oil producers benefit from falling Iran sales - FT.com

Gulf oil producers benefit from falling Iran sales - FT.com:

"Gulf oil producers are benefiting from the sharp fall in crude exports from Iran through increased export revenues, according to analysis by the US government’s Energy Information Administration.
Excluding sanctions-hit Iran, members of the Opec cartel of oil producers earned $982bn in net oil export revenues last year, according to EIA estimates, the most since EIA data began in 1975.
The United Arab Emirates and Kuwait’s export revenues hit or were equal to post-2004 highs in real terms last year. Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter, and the de facto leader of Opec, earned an estimated $312bn, a nominal record, and just short of its peak in real terms in 2008."

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Masraf Heads for 2011 High as Profit Tops Estimates: Doha Mover - Bloomberg

Masraf Heads for 2011 High as Profit Tops Estimates: Doha Mover - Bloomberg:

"Masraf Al Rayan headed for the highest level since December 2011 after Qatar’s biggest Shariah-compliant bank by market value reported second-quarter profit that beat estimates.
The shares increased 1.3 percent, the most in a month, to 28.10 riyals at 12:08 p.m. in Doha. Volume climbed to 1.2 million shares, twice the stock’s three-month daily average. Masraf Al Rayan, which offers banking services that comply with Islam’s ban on interest, was the second-biggest gainer on the benchmark QE Index, which was little changed.
The Doha-based lender’s net income for the three months ended June 30 grew 13 percent to 421 million riyals, exceeding the 419 million-riyal average estimate of five analysts compiled by Bloomberg. Masraf Al Rayan’s profit has beat estimates in the last three quarters, data compiled by Bloomberg show."

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MIDEAST STOCKS-Dubai's Drake & Scull hits record high, UAE mkts rise | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Dubai's Drake & Scull hits record high, UAE mkts rise | Reuters:

"Shares in Dubai construction firm Drake & Scull surged to an all-time high on speculation that the firm might become a takeover target, while earnings optimism lifted United Arab Emirates markets in general on Tuesday. Other Gulf bourses were flat to higher in thin trading.

Drake, which specialises in mechanical work, engineering and plumbing, gained 8.4 percent. It has risen 64.8 percent year-to-date, partly on talk that that a strategic investor could buy a major stake, with builder Arabtec viewed by analysts as a possible buyer.

Drake did not immediately respond to a request for comment, while an Arabtec spokesman could not immediately be reached for comment. In May, Drake's chief executive Khaldoun Tabari, who owns about 44 percent of the company directly and through other firms, said he had no plans to sell his stake."

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Vivendi In Talks To Sell Stake In Maroc Telecom To Abu Dhabi-Based Etisalat For $5.5B

Vivendi In Talks To Sell Stake In Maroc Telecom To Abu Dhabi-Based Etisalat For $5.5B:

"Vivendi SA (EPA: VIV), on Tuesday, said that it is in advanced talks to sell its majority stake in Maroc Telecom to Abu Dhabi-based Etisalat for 4.2 billion euros ($5.54 billion) in cash, as part of the Paris-based company's restructuring plan to focus on its media business.

Although Vivendi initially was hopeful of clinching a deal for 5 billion euros, Maroc’s disappointing performance in recent quarters and a delay in talks has prompted Vivendi to settle for a lower price, reports said.

"Despite the price disappointment (at a discount to the closing price), the deal is good news for the group, allowing it to begin its restructuring and the reduction of its debt ahead of a possible spinoff of SFR," analysts at CM-CIC said in a research note, Reuters reported."

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Magnit Profit Up 45.5% | Business | The Moscow Times

Magnit Profit Up 45.5% | Business | The Moscow Times:

"Russian retailer Magnit reported Tuesday a forecast-beating 45.5 percent rise in second-quarter net profit as it continued to gain market share by opening new stores.

Magnit, Russia's biggest food retailer by sales as well as store count, said net profit rose to $264.6 million from $181.9 million in the same period a year ago, above a media poll forecast of $223 million.

The company opened 341 stores in the quarter and 532 in the first half, bringing its total number of outlets to 7,416 and helping sales to increase by 30 percent to $4.5 billion.

Its earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortization grew 39 percent to $486 million, giving a 10.85 percent margin against 10.13 percent a year ago and an average analysts' forecast of 9.85 percent."

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How to start a small business in Russia | @RussiaBeyond The Headlines

How to start a small business in Russia | Russia Beyond The Headlines:

"
In Moscow, one can find bakers from France, a fashion boutique owner from Italy,
and even an architect from Morocco. Source: ITAR-TASS
Before the mid-2000s, people from developed nations had a widespread belief that doing business in Russia was possible only for international corporations, as rumors about its enormous corruption and local ways kept potential entrepreneurs away.
According to data provided by the Federal Tax Service of Russia (FTS), in 2005, less than 15 percent of small businesses registered by foreign citizens did not involve entrepreneurs from CIS countries, who were actively developing the trade market segment at that time.
In large cities and regions today, one can more and more often find services offered by entrepreneurs from almost every corner of the world."

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CEZ to delay nuclear contract in Czech political crisis | beyondbrics

CEZ to delay nuclear contract in Czech political crisis | beyondbrics:

"
CEZ, the Czech state-controlled utility, is to delay expansion of its Temelin nuclear power plant by a year, as the political crisis gripping the country prevents it from securing a final agreement to start the project.

Following the collapse of the centre-right government in June, the future of the estimated €8bn to €12bn project has been caught up in uncertainty over the interim administration installed by President Milos Zeman this month.

CEZ was due to choose between two remaining bidders – a Russian-Czech consortium of Skoda JS, Atomstroyexport and Gidropress, and the Japanese-US company Westinghouse – by the end of 2013."

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Trading volumes decline as August doldrums set in early - Business - News - Ukraine Business Online

Trading volumes decline as August doldrums set in early - Business - News - Ukraine Business Online:

"Concorde Capital provides more information on trading in Eastern Europe in its daily market comment:

“Investors spent the Monday, July 22 trading session bargain-hunting for Ukrainian stocks, which otherwise showed little movement. The WIG Ukraine Index of Warsaw-traded equities inched up 0.1%, led by Coal Energy (CLE PW +6.1%), which has otherwise lost 28.4% this month, car battery producer WESTA (WES PW +5.1%), which has risen 6.9% this month and KSG Agro (KSG PW +4.5%), which has improved 4.9% this month. As for the more liquid stocks, grain trader Kernel (KER PW -1.7%) has slid 4.5% in two sessions while sugar producer Astarta (AST PW +1.5%) has improved 6.6% in four straight advancing sessions. In London, the biggest Ukrainian mover was real estate firm DUPD (DUPD LN +2.5%). The Ukrainian Exchange (UX) Index of Kyiv-traded stocks dropped 0.4%, weighed down by Raiffeisen Bank Aval (BAVL UK -1.0%).”"

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ECONOMICS - Turkey’s Central Bank raises interest rate to stop lira falling

ECONOMICS - Turkey’s Central Bank raises interest rate to stop lira falling:

"
The Central Bank had been expected to raise the rate in a
controlled manner, as it signaled that it may do so to
      stabilize a plunging lira, after intervening to shore
up the currency as it sank to record lows. DHA Photo
Turkey’s Central Bank raised its overnight lending rate from 6.5 to 7.25 percent with a 75 base point increase at a policy meeting July 23 to stop the lira falling, but the Bank kept its one-week repo policy rate at 4.5 percent and its borrowing rate at 3.5 percent.

“In order to support price and financial stability, the committee has decided to raise the upper boundary of the interest rate corridor,” the statement said.

The lira strengthened to 1.9081 against the dollar from 1.9153 before the statement. The Central Bank had been expected to raise the rate in a controlled manner, as it signaled that it may do so to stabilize a plunging lira, after intervening in the first half of July to shore up the currency as it sank to record lows."

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BUSINESS - Türk Telekom eyes buying seized Digiturk

BUSINESS - Türk Telekom eyes buying seized Digiturk:

"Türk Telekom has submitted a non-binding offer to buy a 53 percent stake of digital pay-TV operator Digiturk, one of 12 companies of the Çukurova group that was recently seized by Turkey’s state-run Savings Deposit and Insurance Fund (TMSF), the company announced to the Public Disclosure Platform July 23.

The Çukurova group owns a 53 percent stake in Digiturk, the broadcaster of Turkey’s football league, while Providence Equity Partners holds 47 percent. TMSF took over in May the management of 12 companies of Çukurova in return for its debts piled over $450 million.

However, Digiturk’s biggest rival D-smart said in the early July that it eyed acquiring Digiturk. There are other local and foreign companies interested in Digiturk, sources told Reuters. "

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Italy's Intesa Sanpaolo in talks to sell Ukrainian lender -source | Reuters

Italy's Intesa Sanpaolo in talks to sell Ukrainian lender -source | Reuters:

"Italy's biggest retail bank Intesa Sanpaolo is in talks to sell its Ukrainian subsidiary Pravex-bank, a source close to the talks told Reuters on Tuesday.

Ukraine's banking sector was hit hard by the 2008 devaluation of the hryvnia, which made it hard for many borrowers to repay loans denominated in foreign currency and prompted a number of western European lenders to sell operations there.

"They are actively looking for a buyer," the source said, without indicating how much the Italian bank expects to raise from selling Pravex-bank."

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Building the British brand - YouTube

Building the British brand - YouTube:
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EU and Gazprom have found common ground | Russia Beyond The Headlines

EU and Gazprom have found common ground | Russia Beyond The Headlines:

"
The law could be passed in September and may come into effect in November 2015, with auctions to run from March 2016.
Source: ITAR-TASS
Once again, the EU is changing the access scheme to its gas pipelines, which might significantly affect Russian gas exports. The introduction of auctions on the pumping capacities is now on the agenda, to boost competition among gas suppliers.
Russia is effectively suggesting the same scheme, to ensure full access for Gazprom to the OPAL gas pipeline that carries Nord Stream gas. The monopoly faces no competition here, while the auctions applied to the South Stream project might strip Gazprom of some of its capacities.
More about energy
According to Platts agency, the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Gas (ENTSOG) and the European Commission (EC) are currently working on a bill that will bind EU operators of gas transmission systems to sell the shipment capacities of the pipelines at annual auctions for up to 15 years."

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Poland’s economy: more signs of life | beyondbrics

Poland’s economy: more signs of life | beyondbrics:

"
Is Poland’s sluggish economy on the road to recovery? There were further signs that it might be on Tuesday, as retail sales in June showed a bigger than expected expansion of 1.8 per cent compared with the same month last year, and unemployment continued to edge down.

This from Katarzyna Rzentarzewska of Erste Group:

This is more good news this month, as the [retail sales] reading is above market expectations of 1.2% y/y. After the positive surprise from industry, which grew by 3.0% y/y in June (well above market expectations of 1.0% y/y), retail sales suggest that the downward trend finally seems to be reversed."

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Etisalat reports 6% rise in second quarter profit - bi-me.com

Etisalat reports 6% rise in second quarter profit - Business Intelligence Middle East - bi-me.com - News, analysis, reports:

"Etisalat Group, a leading telecoms operator in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, today announced strong results for the second quarter of 2013, with an increase of quarterly consolidated revenues and subscribers across its operating markets.

Key Highlights for Q2 2013:
• Interim dividend of 35 fils per share, up 40% from the prior year.
• Revenue grew 20% per cent to AED 9.9 billion
• Revenue from international operations grew by 50%
• Aggregate subscribers grew to 143 million;
• Maintained financial flexibility with net cash balance of AED 10.9 billion.

Etisalat Group reported strong consolidated revenues during the second quarter of FY2013 reached AED 9,882 million representing an increase of 20% in comparison to the same period of last year and an increase of 3% in comparison to the first quarter of 2013."

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NBAD Second-Quarter Profit Climbs 16% as U.A.E. Lending Picks Up - Bloomberg

NBAD Second-Quarter Profit Climbs 16% as U.A.E. Lending Picks Up - Bloomberg:

"National Bank of Abu Dhabi PJSC reported a 16 percent increase in second-quarter profit as the lender benefited from a recovery in the United Arab Emirates.
Net income rose to 1.21 billion dirhams ($330 million) from 1.05 billion dirhams a year earlier, the bank said in a statement. The mean estimate of six analysts was for a profit of 1.27 billion dirhams, according to a data compiled by Bloomberg.
Banks in the U.A.E. are recovering from a real-estate crash in Abu Dhabi and Dubai after the 2008 global credit crisis triggered an increase in debt defaults. NBAD, which hired Alex Thursby from Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. (ANZ) as the chief executive officer, reported results after Emirates NBD PJSC, (EMIRATES) Dubai’s biggest lender, posted a 50 percent jump in profit. Thursby started at the bank this month."

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UPDATE 1-Kuwait's NBK reports rise in Q2 net, misses estimates | Reuters

UPDATE 1-Kuwait's NBK reports rise in Q2 net, misses estimates | Reuters:

"National Bank of Kuwait reported a 19 percent rise in second-quarter net profit on Tuesday, missing analysts' estimates, but the Gulf Arab state's largest lender was upbeat on the outlook for the local economy.

Net profit was 47.2 million Kuwaiti dinars ($165.7 million)in the three months to the end of June, compared to 39.8 million dinars a year ago. Six analysts in a Reuters poll had predicted 79 million dinars of net profit on average.

Shares in NBK, which had been briefly halted on the stock exchange before the results, were trading flat at 0820 GMT."

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Alaska to invest $750m in Abu Dhabi-backed equity firm - Banking & Finance - ArabianBusiness.com

Alaska to invest $750m in Abu Dhabi-backed equity firm - Banking & Finance - ArabianBusiness.com:

"
Alaska has agreed to invest $750m in funds managed by the Carlyle Group, the US private-equity firm in which Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Development Company owns a 7.5 percent stake, with the focus mainly on investments in the natural resource, metals, energy and agricultural sectors.
The Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation, an independently managed, state-owned company with an estimated capital of around $46.8bn, will invest in a number of funds through the Carlyle Group.
“The focus of the program will be global natural resource investment strategies,” APFC said in a statement."

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India clamps down on gold imports | beyondbrics

India clamps down on gold imports | beyondbrics:

"
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has put new restrictions in place to limit gold imports, in an attempt to control the country’s unsustainable current account deficit and ease pressures on the depreciating rupee.

The central bank announced late on Monday that 20 per cent of imported gold must be set aside for export with the remainder going to the jewellery industry.

The new restrictions come into force with immediate effect and require that 20 per cent of imported gold is held in customs bonded warehouses – overseen by the customs authority, like a deposit scheme – and only when 75 per cent of that stock has been exported can a further round of imports take place."

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Qatar fund QIA to invest $300 million in realtor RMZ in one of largest investment deals - The Economic Times

Qatar fund QIA to invest $300 million in realtor RMZ in one of largest investment deals - The Economic Times:

"In one of the largest investment deals in the Indian real estate sector, sovereign wealth fund Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) is investing $300 million ( Rs 1,800 crore) in Bangalore-based real estate developer and South India's largest office space builder RMZ Corp, said three people with direct knowledge of the development.

"The deal is in advance stage. QIA has committed to give money, and it will be based on project requirements. The investment will be equally split into a combination of equity and debt," said the first person.

The money will come into the same special purpose vehicle (SPV) where private equity fund Baring Private Equity Partners (BPEP) had invested 500 crore last year. BPEP has a 28% stake in the SPV, which is a group company of RMZ, while the rest is held by the builder. In 2012, BPEP backed the builder to buy 50-acre or 6 million sq ft space for office development in Bangalore. "

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Ukraine mulls incentives to woo budget airlines : Ukraine News by UNIAN

Ukraine mulls incentives to woo budget airlines : Ukraine News by UNIAN:

"Kiev was working on financial incentives to attract more low-cost airlines to the Ukrainian market, Deputy Infrastructure Minister Konstantin Efimenko said Monday, according to Xinhua.
"We are willing to introduce incentive programs for newcomers, which will provide significant discounts of up to 80 percent on passenger fees, as well as on take-off and landing charges in Ukrainian airports," Efimenko told an international aviation forum in Ukraine's eastern city of Donetsk.
Civil aviation was booming in Ukraine and more airlines meant more intense competition in the market, which would benefit passengers, Efimenko told the Routes CIS 2013 forum.
Along with standard carriers, nine low-cost airlines are now operating in Ukraine, and budget flights currently account for about 22 percent of the local market."

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Russian Railways invests $18.7 billion in Far East | Russia Beyond The Headlines

Russian Railways invests $18.7 billion in Far East | Russia Beyond The Headlines:

"On July 18, Russian Railways and the Ministry for Development of the Russian Far East signed a cooperation agreement.
The agreement encompasses the reconstruction of the railroad infrastructure in the district—in particular, the construction of a bridge to Sakhalin Island, the modernization of the Baikal-Amur Mainline, the reconstruction of the Trans-Siberian Railway, and the connection of the Trans-Korean Mainline to the network of Russian railroads.
According to Vladimir Yakunin, president of Russian Railways, executing the top-priority development and modernization measures for the Far East railroad infrastructure by 2018 will cost around 562 billion rubles ($18.7 dollars)."

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Ukrainian Tycoon Firtash Sued in NYC | Business | RIA Novosti

Ukrainian Tycoon Firtash Sued in NYC | Business | RIA Novosti:

"
Ukrainian businessman Dmitry Firtash
One of Ukraine’s most powerful tycoons, Dmitry Firtash, has been sued in New York over claims he used fraud and coercion to obtain control of a $50 million soybean plant in Ukraine Courthouse News Service reported Monday.
The lawsuit, filed by New York-based brothers Ilya and Vadim Segal, the former owners of the plant, alleges that Firtash got control of the plant through “a campaign of fraud, physical threats, coercion and corruption,” according to the report.
The suit accuses Firtash, owner of Ukraine’s Nadra bank, of seizing their assets via “sham lawsuits” over debt, and of using his connections to the government of President Viktor Yanukovich to guarantee the outcomes in court cases."

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UPDATE 1-Italy's Risanamento says no bid from Qatar/Hines | Reuters

UPDATE 1-Italy's Risanamento says no bid from Qatar/Hines | Reuters:

"Italian property developer Risanamento has not received a bid from Qatar Holding and Hines Development, it said on Monday, after a newspaper report that the duo were looking at its assets sent its shares higher.

Italy's Il Sole 24 Ore said on Sunday the Qatari sovereign wealth fund had approached shareholders in Risanamento, which is struggling to return to profitability after avoiding bankruptcy in 2009, about buying assets in France and Italy.

Risanamento said it had received some expressions of interest in its Parisian holdings from international investors in the recent past, but had not considered selling the assets."

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Dana Gas facility in Iraq repaired - The National

Dana Gas facility in Iraq repaired - The National:

"Dana Gas and its parent company, Crescent Petroleum, have repaired their liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) facility in the Kurdish region of Iraq.

The Kor Mor plant was damaged when a tanker smashed into it last year, halting its production of up to 900 tonnes of oil equivalent a day.

LPG is used as fuel in vehicles and for heating, and the Kor Mor product was sold into the domestic Kurdish market. The repairs should boost revenues out of Iraq, Dana said in a statement."

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Mubadala unit taps plane parts demand - The National

Mubadala unit taps plane parts demand - The National:

"Sanad Aero Solutions, Mubadala's aircraft engine and components financing and leasing company, has grown its assets under management by more than 50 per cent to US$700 million in the past 18 months as global demand builds for spare parts.

The latest chapter in the company's expansion emerged yesterday when it announced its partnership with Abu Dhabi National Leasing (ADNL), the wholly owned lease financing arm of National Bank of Abu Dhabi, had reached more than $400m in sales. The two companies have worked together on components and financing deals for a number of airlines, most recently Etihad Airways."

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Saudi Telecom to quit Indonesia - The National

Saudi Telecom to quit Indonesia - The National:

"Saudi Telecom Company (STC) has started talks with a potential buyer to sell PT Axis, its Indonesian subsidiary, to combat a decline in profit.

Foreign exchange losses and valuation adjustments have resulted in a 41 per cent drop in the company's net profit for the second quarter of this year.

Despite a 4 per cent increase in revenue for the first six months of the year, STC recorded a net profit of 1.4 billion Saudi riyals (Dh1.36bn) for the second quarter, down from 2.4bn riyals a year earlier. The decline has also been attributed to a non-cash charge of 1.1bn riyals for a fair valuation of its investments in PT Axis and India's Aircel."

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Qatar plays both sides of LNG power market

Qatar plays both sides of LNG power market:

"

Qatar is making a renewed push to invest in electric power.

Photograph by: PATRICK BAZ , AFP/GettyImages



Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/business/resources/Qatar+plays+both+sides+power+market/8691982/story.html#ixzz2Zpzle15T
Qatar’s acquisition of a 25 per cent stake in Greece’s Heron II power plant “kicks off” a drive by the world’s biggest exporter of liquefied natural gas to invest in electric power abroad, the country’s energy minister said.

“The power sector is growing steadily worldwide,” Mohammed Saleh Al Sada said at a press conference in Doha late yesterday. “We have already built capacity internally here in Qatar, but we are interested in extending our investment elsewhere.”

The push to invest in power production abroad will last for the “coming few years,” he said, after state-controlled Qatar Petroleum International Ltd., called QPI, signed the agreement yesterday with GEK Terna SA securing its stake in Heron II. The deal came two months after Qatar created Nebras Power, a $1 billion fund that will invest in water and power assets abroad. The Heron II purchase was made by QPI because negotiations started before Nebras was created, Al Sada said."

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Saudi Gazette - STC’s net profit dives 40% in H1

Saudi Gazette - STC’s net profit dives 40% in H1:

"Saudi Telecom Company (STC) announced the company’s preliminary financial results for six months ending June 20, 2013.

Net profit for the 1st half of 2013 amounted to SR2.98 billion compared to SR4.93 billion for the corresponding period last year, a decrease of 40 percent, and for the 2nd quarter net profit reached SR1.43 billion compared to SR2.41 billion for the corresponding period last year, a decrease of 41 percent, and a decrease of 8 percent compared with the immediately prior quarter.

The decrease in net profit for the 1st half of 2013 compared to the same period last year (despite the 4 percent increase in gross profit during the 1st half of 2013), Is attributed to the booking of one-time, non-recurring and non-cash charge of SR1.10 billion resulting from fair valuation of its investments in Asia (Aircel and Axis) and unrealized FX losses of SR601m due to the sharp depreciation of Turkish lira, Indian rupee and Indonesian rupiah (despite the 4 percent increase in gross profit for the period due to the increase in services revenue)."

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