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Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Babbage: Fighting trolls

Qatar Holding picks ex-BofA banker for senior M&A role | Reuters

Qatar Holding picks ex-BofA banker for senior M&A role | Reuters:

"Qatar Holding, the investment arm of the Gulf state's sovereign wealth fund, has hired former Bank of America Merrill Lynch employee Michael Cho to take a senior role in its mergers and acquisitions (M&A) team.

Cho, who was co-head of Asia mergers and acquisitions at BofA Merrill until early last year, will be the point man for what is one of the world's most aggressive investors, an organisation tasked with building a portfolio of major assets, banking sources said.

One source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Cho would be heading the fund's M&A division, a post that has been empty since 2011. Two other sources said only he would be taking a senior role in the M&A team."

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Egypt’s Ultimatum | @REBELECONOMY

Egypt’s Ultimatum | REBEL ECONOMY:

"The US sent a strong message to Egypt yesterday.
Under the Senate’s proposal, funds sent to Egypt will be kept at current levels, but military aid will be divided into four parts with conditions set on it. A key condition is that the Egyptian government holds democratic elections.
While $1.55 billion a year is very little compared to the Gulf’s $12 billion splurge earlier this month, and considering Egypt needs roughly $11 billion to $12 billion a year to keep its deficit under control, politically, the aid retains a strong tie to Egypt’s army.  It also prevents the risk of further unrest."

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Turkey’s interest rate corridor: controversial but still effective | beyondbrics

Turkey’s interest rate corridor: controversial but still effective | beyondbrics:

Turkey’s use of a broad “interest rate corridor” as an instrument of monetary policy was controversial when it was first introduced in late 2010.

Two and a half years later, in spite of a broad consensus that this unconventional measure has been surprisingly effective, it remains no less controversial.

That is not least thanks to recent speeches by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in which he has blamed the recent violent protests against his government on a mysterious international organisation he dubbed “the interest rate lobby”."

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MIDEAST STOCKS-Egypt drops 1.7 pct on army call for mass rallies; Gulf mixed | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Egypt drops 1.7 pct on army call for mass rallies; Gulf mixed | Reuters:

"Egyptian shares tumbled on Wednesday after the army chief called for mass rallies at the weekend to give him a mandate to confront street violence following the overthrow of president Mohamed Mursi.

At least nine people were killed in Cairo on Tuesday during clashes between opponents and supporters of Mursi. The army chief called for the rallies this weekend in a public address; his strategy of bringing more of his supporters into the streets appeared to risk a further increase in violence, at least in the short term.

"What's driving the panic is the speech by the army - violence will probably escalate on Friday," said Amr Reda, assistant vice-president of the foreign sales desk at Pharos Securities in Cairo. "The Muslim Brotherhood will not stop easily and there will be blood spilt.""

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Polish shares: time to buy? | beyondbrics

Polish shares: time to buy? | beyondbrics:

As Poland’s sluggish economy shows signs of being on the road to recovery is it time for investors to re-discover an interest in the country’s equity market?

Poland was spared much of the impact of the recent sell off in EM equities, partly because its market didn’t go so high as those in Asia. The Warsaw Stock Exchange’s WIG-index fell by 10 per cent from the start of the year to its low at the end of April.

Since then investor sentiment has improved and the index is down less than 3 per cent year to date. It has gained more than 4 per cent over the past month alone, despite the market being spooked by a government announcement last month that it planned to reduce the role of private pension funds, the biggest investor in the local equity market. The government said it would unveil the details of its plan in August."

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Dubai’s the hottest place again for global investors this year « ArabianMoney

Dubai’s the hottest place again for global investors this year « ArabianMoney:

"With the Dubai Financial Market up 62 per cent in the year to yesterday’s close, housing rentals up the most in the world in the first half and house price gains also at the top of the league table, there is no doubt that Dubai is the standout investment hotspot of 2013.

Stellar gains on the S&P 500 pale into insignificance and the once mighty emerging stock markets of the BRICS have all stumbled badly this year. Only Dubai’s neighbor and capital city of the UAE federation, Abu Dhabi comes close with its bourse up 52 per cent."

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No economic agreements be achieved during Putin's visit to Ukraine, say experts

No economic agreements be achieved during Putin's visit to Ukraine, say experts:

"Ukrainian experts have predicted that no economic agreements will be achieved during the visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to Ukraine on July 27-28, on the occasion of the 1,025th anniversary of Christianization of the Kyivan Rus.

According to Director of the Ukrainian Policy Institute Kostiantyn Bondarenko, the visits of foreign guests to Ukraine to participate in these events will be significant, in particular, because they will be held during the year in which Ukraine hopes to sign an Association Agreement with the EU.

"The occasion itself, the 1,025th anniversary of the Christianization of the Kyivan Rus, could be considered as an additional possibility for the presidents of Ukraine and Russia to talk informally about the possibility of suspending the process of signing the Association Agreement," the expert said during a meeting of the club of political scientists in Kyiv on Wednesday."

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UPDATE 1- Abu Dhabi banks beat profit estimates, underscoring UAE recovery | Reuters

UPDATE 1- Abu Dhabi banks beat profit estimates, underscoring UAE recovery | Reuters:

"Abu Dhabi lenders First Gulf Bank (FGB) and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) beat forecasts with second-quarter net profits on Wednesday, underscoring a strong reporting season for lenders in the United Arab Emirates.

Both registered strong growth in income from fees and commissions, reflecting an improved environment for business as the region's economy picks up.

FGB, the second-largest lender by market value in the UAE, reported profit of 1.17 billion dirhams ($318.5 million), up 15 percent from the corresponding period in 2012, the company said in an emailed statement."

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EU grants and funding - the lack of information in Ukraine / EU Grants and financing - Lack of information in Ukraine - OdessaTalk

EU grants and funding - the lack of information in Ukraine / EU Grants and financing - Lack of information in Ukraine - OdessaTalk:

"After yesterday's very tired and short entry on EU grants for the culture in which the Ukrainian may address to the nation EaP partnership, I got a surprising number of emails asking what other grants provided by the European Union to which Ukrainian entities can apply.
Today, I spent many hours searching among too many websites for EU consolidated and comprehensive list of grants to which the Ukrainian organizations may apply - without such a list in English, German or French. It is therefore not surprising that there is nothing in the Ukrainian or Russian!
So you wonder why there are a huge number of grants available for Ukraine EaP as a nation, from culture to small and medium-sized businesses, innovation in education, etc., none of which are not consolidated in one place - or in the language that the majority of Ukrainians (and other EaP countries, partnerships) will understand."

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Kuwait's Global completes $1.7bn restructuring plan -

Kuwait's Global completes $1.7bn restructuring plan - Banking & Finance -

"Kuwait's Global Investment House said on Wednesday that it had completed a $1.7bn restructuring plan, the second at the firm since the global financial crisis.
Under the plan, Global separated its core fee business from other parts of the company which were spun off into special purpose vehicles (SPV).
Global was one of several Kuwaiti investment firms hit hard by the crisis. It used short-term debt to invest heavily in local real estate and stocks whose values later slumped."

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[video] Rapid Russian markets reform | beyondbrics

[video] Rapid Russian markets reform | beyondbrics: "It has been a dramatic year of structural reforms for Russian markets. Joseph Dayan, head of markets at BCS Financial Group, the largest broker on the Moscow exchange, explains to FT Trading Room editor Philip Stafford the impact for international investors of changes in clearing and settlement.

Ukraine is not yet dead, but it’s about to go bankrupt - Quartz

Ukraine is not yet dead, but it’s about to go bankrupt - Quartz:

Not a member of the EU, but adding to its economic woes. Reuters / Gleb Garanic
Ukraine’s national anthem, the famously morosely titled “Ukraine has not yet died,” gives a pretty good indication of the country’s troubled and tragic history. Unfortunately for Ukrainians, there is mounting evidence that another serious economic crisis is rapidly approaching, and that the country’s structural problems and persistent economic weakness are no closer to being solved. To the extent that Ukraine attracts attention in the West, it has usually been for its political regression under Viktor Yanukovych and his Party of Regions. However, Ukraine’s economy is deteriorating rapidly and if attempts to engineer a smooth landing fail, we could see a messy default at an extraordinarily inopportune time for the European economy."

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Household debt of US$114 billion in UAE poses growing risk -

Household debt of US$114 billion in UAE poses growing risk - Business Intelligence Middle East - - News, analysis, reports:

"UAE. Household debt poses a growing risk to the financial sector in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). As of June 2012, household debt totalled over US$114 billion, which translates to over US$95,000 in debt per household.

The problem of excessive lending is prevalent among youth, who feel social pressure to purchase luxury goods as status symbols in order to fit in.

A poll showed that 60% of UAE citizens spend a quarter or more of their monthly income on debt repayment obligations alone, posing a threat to consumption expenditures."

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Kuwait 'repellant' to investment, says report -

Kuwait 'repellant' to investment, says report - Politics & Economics -

"Kuwait’s economic and legal framework is “repellent” to investment, including from within the country, a damning independent report has found.
Kuwaitis invested about $37bn internationally in 2012 compared to only $398m domestically, according to the report by Leaders Group, a Kuwaiti consultancy and event management company.
“[The figures are] a clear indication that Kuwait’s environment remains repellent to investment,” the report says, according to Kuwait Times."

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UAE rides the aviation boom |

UAE rides the aviation boom |

"The UAE has attained impressive breakthroughs in the civil and military aviation industry in recent years, as represented by the development of components for use in modern aircraft produced by Europe’s ‪Airbus and America’s‪ Boeing.
This is on top of the achievement by the Adco System Company, which made the first Emirati unmanned aircraft. Also in the space is Al Ain-based Strata Manufacturing and Dubai Aerospace Enterprise.
The common belief is that the UAE has only succeeded in establishing world-class airlines through Emirates and Etihad as well as Air Arabia, and that it has become the biggest buyer of modern aircraft."

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WIG-Ukraine up Tuesday as UX dances in place - Business - News - Ukraine Business Online

WIG-Ukraine up Tuesday as UX dances in place - Business - News - Ukraine Business Online:

"Tuesday trading has a number of winners including Agroton (+11.9%); Astarta (+5.4%); Regal Petroleum (+5.9%); and even Coal Energy (+1.9%). Another major winner, Ferrexpo (+3.0%) has surged 29.6% this month."

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Reserve Bank of India tightening squeezes lenders -

Reserve Bank of India tightening squeezes lenders -

"Indian bank stocks fell heavily again on Wednesday in the aftermath of moves by the Reserve Bank of India to tighten liquidity, hit by concerns about a rise in the cost of funding.
Private institution Yes Bank was the hardest hit by plans announced late on Tuesday by the central bank to augment last week’s measures aimed at siphoning money from India’s economy to underpin the rupee, which has fallen to record lows."

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Abu Dhabi Boosts Oil Output in $40 Billion Plan - Bloomberg

Abu Dhabi Boosts Oil Output in $40 Billion Plan - Bloomberg:

"Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. is pumping about 1.5 million barrels of crude a day from its main onshore fields and is halfway through a planned $40 billion investment plan, company officials said.
The state-owned energy producer has boosted capacity at its largest land-based deposits to about 1.6 million barrels daily from 1.4 million before the expansion, Fareed Abdulla, senior vice president at Abu Dhabi Co. for Onshore Oil Operations, the partnership which operates the fields, said in Abu Dhabi late yesterday. The ADCO venture will raise overall capacity to 1.8 million barrels a day by the end of 2017, he said.
Abu Dhabi is in the middle of a five-year, $40 billion plan aimed at boosting oil and natural gas output and expanding petrochemical and refining facilities, said Mohammed Sahoo Al Suwaidi, head of the gas directorate at Adnoc, as the state producer is known. Both spoke at a media reception in Abu Dhabi."

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Bahrain sets early price guidance for 10-yr benchmark-sized bond | Reuters

Bahrain sets early price guidance for 10-yr benchmark-sized bond | Reuters:

"The kingdom of Bahrain plans to issue a benchmark-sized U.S. dollar bond carrying a 10-year maturity, arranging banks said on Wednesday, and has set early price guidance.

Initial price thoughts for the deal, which is open to U.S. institutional investors, were given in the 6.5 percent area. Benchmark-size is typically at least $500 million for investment-grade credits.

Bahrain is rated BBB by Standard & Poor's and Fitch Ratings.

BNP Paribas, Citigroup Inc, Gulf International Bank and JP Morgan Chase & Co are bookrunners on the deal."

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Major worries of Ukrainians are unemployment and corruption

Major worries of Ukrainians are unemployment and corruption:

"Half of Ukrainians believe their major problems are corruption and unemployment, says the poll run by the Rating agency, UNIAN reports July 24. 53% of Ukrainian named unemployment as a major problem, 51% - corruption, and 45% - low production.
The number of those naming corruption as a major problem has grown from 37% in 2012 to 51% this year, low production from 40% in 2012 to 45%, cabinet’s incompetency from 13% to 22% and political instability from 16% to 21% this year. 
The poll indicates that the major problems for Ukrainians are in the economy, Rating says. "

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Walmart in India: a little less local? | beyondbrics

Walmart in India: a little less local? | beyondbrics:

Yet another glitch in the Indian government’s attempt to attract foreign direct investment.

Walmart, the world’s biggest retailer, has said it will not be able to use local suppliers for 30 per cent of its sourcing, one of the conditions on FDI in multi-brand retailing in India.

The US company has said it will only be able to use local businesses for 20 per cent of its procurement, according to the Press Trust of India."

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UAE banks accused of abusing personal loan rules - Emirates 24/7

UAE banks accused of abusing personal loan rules - Emirates 24/7:

"The UAE Central Bank has accused banks in the country of violating personal loan regulations it enforced nearly two years ago.

The Central Bank said it had also issued instructions to the country’s 23 national banks and 28 foreign units not to give credit cards to clients unless they deposit enough funds or have their salaries transferred to the issuing bank.

“The Central Bank has discovered many violations by banks regarding its rules about personal loans, mainly regulations stipulating that such loans must not exceed 20 times the client’s monthly salary and that banks must not take 50 per cent of the debtor’s salary,” said Khaled Al Kharji, head of the banks’ control division at the Central Bank."

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Debt fears mount as lending growth doubles in UAE - The National

Debt fears mount as lending growth doubles in UAE - The National:

"Consumer lending growth has doubled across the Emirates as a wave of credit-fuelled spending triggers warnings over excessive borrowing.

Credit cards and borrowing to buy cars drove up profits for UAE banks reporting earnings this week after consumers took out loans worth Dh9.8 billion more during the first five months of the year, already matching the increase for the whole of 2012. If present rates of growth continue, 2013 is on track to record twice as much new borrowing as last year."

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Bank results good news for UAE |

Bank results good news for UAE |

"In many ways, the financial services industry is a bellwether of the health of the economy. Financial institutions allocate money from those who have savings or capital, to those who need it to invest in growing businesses. Demand for financing is often an indication that companies are investing and expanding their activities. Demand for mortgages can be an indication that the property market is strengthening, while an increase in demand for consumer financing might be good news for retailers and others in services industries.
This is why the good second-quarter results released by Emirates NBD are an indication of the strength of the UAE economy — although analysts correctly warn against reading too much into it, for now. The National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) has also reported good results for the first half of the year, as has Rakbank for the second quarter. There are expectations that other UAE financial institutions will follow suit. If they do so, it will be an important signal that the economy is continuing to cope with the global economic and financial volatility."

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Proposed bill would impose 10% currency exchange charge in Ukraine - Ukraine

Proposed bill would impose 10% currency exchange charge in Ukraine - Ukraine - News - Ukraine Business Online:

"The possibility floated by some Party of Regions members appears nothing more than a bit of gamesmanship with almost zero chance of becoming law

KYIV, July 24, 2013 (UBO) - Members of Ukraine’s parliamentary majority said they are drafting a bill that would impose a 10% charge on foreign currency operations, the RBK-Ukrayina news site reported on July 22, citing an anonymous source.

Alerting its clients via an online communication yesterday, Concorde Capital said the charge is planned for Jan. 1, 2014 and wouldn’t be imposed on deposits and interest income in foreign currencies, repayments of foreign currency loans and remittances."

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Saudi Gazette - OPEC oil revenue to decline from 2012’s record high: EIA

Saudi Gazette - OPEC oil revenue to decline from 2012’s record high: EIA:

"OPEC, excluding Iran, made $982 billion from exporting oil in 2012, the most in 38 years of data, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported Monday. It forecast that sales will drop in 2013 and 2014.

Net oil export revenue by the 12-member organization climbed 5.4 percent last year from 2011, according to the EIA, the Energy Department’s statistical arm. Sales will tumble by 4.3 percent to $940 billion this year and by 3.9 percent to $903 billion next year, the agency said.

Demand for OPEC’s crude will slip by 300,000 barrels a day next year to 29.6 million barrels, or 2.6 percent less than the group is pumping now, OPEC said July 10 in its first set of forecasts for 2013. Exports to North America face growing competition from a surge in production from shale basins in the US and Canada. US crude output reached 7.35 million barrels a day at the end of April, up 17 percent from a year earlier."

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Investment by Ukrainian steel, mining giant boosts Black Iron's flagging stock - Brandon Sun

Investment by Ukrainian steel, mining giant boosts Black Iron's flagging stock - Brandon Sun:

"Black Iron Inc. (TSX:BKI) was one of Canada's most active stocks Tuesday after it announced Ukraine's largest mining and steel company is making a significant investment in the company's development subsidiary BKI Cyprus.
More than three million Black Iron's shares traded by midmorning, following an announcement that Metinvest BV had committed to invest between US$20 million and US$536 million to fund development in Ukraine.
The stock closed up 5.5 cents at 21.5 cents. However, that's still below Black Iron's 52-week high of 49 cents, set in January. It has since traded as low as 12 cents on July 9."

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Ukraine telecom revenues down 0.5% in H1 - Telecompaper

Ukraine telecom revenues down 0.5% in H1 - Telecompaper:

"Revenues from telecommunications and postal services in Ukraine declined by 0.5 percent year-on-year in the first half of 2013 to UAH 25.691 million, reports from a study by the State Statistics Committee. DLD telephony revenues dropped by 21.9 percent to UAH 1.158 billion, while IP telephony grew by 10.1 percent to UAH 83 million, and local telephony revenues increased by 5.1 percent to UAH 2.798 billion. Internet access revenue grew by 4.3 percent to UAH 2.396 billion, and cable TV revenues rose by 4.7 percent to UAH 789.2 million. Mobile telephony revenues declined by 1.8 percent to UAH 15.269 billion."

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Poverty's new address in America - YouTube

Poverty's new address in America - YouTube:
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