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Sunday, 28 July 2013

EUROPE - Opposition wins Turkish Cyprus elections, Denktaş earns key role

EUROPE - Opposition wins Turkish Cyprus elections, Denktaş earns key role:

"
The prime minister of the interim government, Sibel Siber,
casts her vote in Nicosia. AA Photo
The opposition Turkish Party-United Front (CTP-BG) has earned the majority of votes cast in the Turkish Cypriot elections held today.

The party, headed by Özkan Yorgancıoğlu, received 38 percent of the votes, followed by the National Union Party (UBP), which received 27 percent of the votes.

The list of Democrat Party-Nationalist Powers (DP-UG) led by Serdar Denktaş, son of the late former President Rauf Denktaş, came third with 21 percent and is likely to be key in changing the balance during the coalition negotiations."

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Alba’s net income drops 42 per cent in Q2

Alba’s net income drops 42 per cent in Q2:

"Aluminium Bahrain (Alba) has posted a net income BD20.7 million ($55 million) for the second quarter of the year, a drop of 42 per cent from BD35.6 million of Q2 2012, driven by unrealised derivative gains as well as lower metal prices.

The company posted a net income of BD61.2 million ($163 million) for the first half of 2013, up by 7 per cent from BD56.9 million for the same period in 2012 due to strong overall operational performance, which was partially offset by lower LME (London Metal Exchange) prices.

Alba’s sales for the first six months of 2013 were BD382.6 million versus BD 383 million in H1 2012, down by 9 basis points on the back of lower LME prices. Sales for the second quarter of 2013 reached BD195.5 million, down by 53 basis point as compared to BD196.5 million for the same period in 2012."

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Emerging economies: The Great Deceleration | The Economist

Emerging economies: The Great Deceleration | The Economist:

"

WHEN a champion sprinter falls short of his best speeds, it takes a while to determine whether he is temporarily on poor form or has permanently lost his edge. The same is true with emerging markets, the world economy’s 21st-century sprinters. After a decade of surging growth, in which they led a global boom and then helped pull the world economy forwards in the face of the financial crisis, the emerging giants have slowed sharply.

China will be lucky if it manages to hit its official target of 7.5% growth in 2013, a far cry from the double-digit rates that the country had come to expect in the 2000s. Growth in India (around 5%), Brazil and Russia (around 2.5%) is barely half what it was at the height of the boom. Collectively, emerging markets may (just) match last year’s pace of 5%. That sounds fast compared with the sluggish rich world, but it is the slowest emerging-economy expansion in a decade, barring 2009 when the rich world slumped."

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Russia Increases Gold Reserves | Business | The Moscow Times

Russia Increases Gold Reserves | Business | The Moscow Times:

"Russia, Ukraine and Azerbaijan are among eight countries that increased their gold holdings in June, data from the International Monetary Fund shows, reflecting strong interest on the part of emerging economies to own gold as part of their reserves.

Data showed Russia's gold reserves climbed 0.3 tons to a total of 996.4 tons in June for its ninth consecutive monthly increase. Russia has the world's seventh-largest bullion holdings excluding the IMF's.

Turkey, Germany and seven other countries, however, shed some of their bullion holdings that month."

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MIDEAST STOCKS-OCI pulls Egypt down after violence; most Gulf mkts soft | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-OCI pulls Egypt down after violence; most Gulf mkts soft | Reuters:

"Egypt's bourse fell on Sunday but the main reason was a tumble in the shares of heavyweight Orascom Construction Industries, not the deaths of dozens of supporters of ousted president Mohamed Mursi.

Cairo's index opened higher but then retreated to close 0.7 percent lower in thin turnover. Last week it hit a two-month high after rallying 20 percent since late June because of hopes for better economic management under Mursi's successor.

Security forces shot dead dozens of people at the weekend, and there was potential for more bloodshed as thousands more Mursi supporters continued to protest on the streets. But analysts and traders said many investors were willing to accept such violence as long as they thought it would not derail Egypt's transition to civilian rule in coming months."

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Bank of Sharjah net profit up 15% | GulfNews.com

Bank of Sharjah net profit up 15% | GulfNews.com:

"Bank of Sharjah recorded a half yearly net profit of Dh144 million, an increase of 15 per cent compared to the corresponding period last year, the bank said in a statement on Sunday.
The increase in the bank’s net profit is a result of “the strength of its balance sheet and the soundness of its asset quality,” the bank said.
Varouj Nerguizian, executive director and general manager of the Bank of Sharjah, said the bank was expanding “its branch network and augmenting its private banking and wealth management services during 2012. This approach has given the bank a competitive edge and has helped it benefit from the recent growth in the economy and enhance its profitability.”"

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Sberbank Accused of Plagiarizing Research | Business | The Moscow Times

Sberbank Accused of Plagiarizing Research | Business | The Moscow Times:

"Sberbank's corporate and investment business has been accused of plagiarizing research and has withdrawn a presentation to American clients, Vedomosti reported Friday.

Sberbank CIB circulated a report on Monday entitled "Russian Corporate Governance: How to Seize the Moment" to American clients, which has since been withdrawn as it bears a striking resemblance to a report entitled "Corporate Governance: the Price of Additional Risks," compiled by investment bank Aton Capital in July 2012.

The similarities were obvious, said one investment banker, citing the example of an identical table in which the structured equity market performance of the BRIC countries appeared in both reports. The figures in the Sberbank CIB report had not been updated since 2012."

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Rosneft Seeks Azeri Gas Field Stake | Business | The Moscow Times

Rosneft Seeks Azeri Gas Field Stake | Business | The Moscow Times:

"Oil major Rosneft is seeking a stake in Azerbaijan's Absheron gas project, sources close to the talks said, in the latest move that may help it become a competitor of gas exporter Gazprom.

Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin discussed a possible role in Absheron with Azeri President Ilham Aliyev during a visit to Baku this month and has also been in discussions with the project's leader, France's Total, the sources said.

Azeri state oil company SOCAR and the French oil company each hold 40 percent of the project to develop Absheron, a shallow-water offshore field on the Caspian Sea, under production-sharing agreements. The remainder is held by GDF Suez."

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UAE top banks show healthy growth in second quarter profits | GulfNews.com

UAE top banks show healthy growth in second quarter profits | GulfNews.com:

"The second-quarter earnings of top UAE banks last week, pointed towards a healthy growth in profits and a sustainable recovery in their loans growth, say banking industry experts.
“The second quarter earnings for the three major UAE banks, Emirates NBD, National Bank of Abu Dhabi and First Gulf Bank displayed solid loan growth that is currently pacing at 10 per cent, year-on-year, and looks set to continue if not accelerate for the rest of the year as the risk appetite from banks keeps increasing, reflecting the improving macro environment in the UAE,” a Dubai-based analyst told Gulf News.
He added: “It remains to be seen how the Central Bank reacts as the loan growth outpaces their objectives suggesting potential overheating.”"

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Yandex co-founder Ilya Segalovich dies at 48 in London | Russia Beyond The Headlines

Yandex co-founder Ilya Segalovich dies at 48 in London | Russia Beyond The Headlines:

"
Segalovich created the Yandex company in 2000 with Arkady Volozh. Source: RIA Novosti
Arkady Volozh, the other founder of Yandex, announced the sad news on the official company blog on July 28. “The changes in the blood were no longer compatible with life. He had to be given a chance to leave with dignity. The doctors turned him off yesterday, his heart stopped," Volozh wrote.
Early reports indicated that Segalovich had died on July 25, following the publication of another blogpost by Volozh. A friend of Segalovich since high school, Volozh was succinct: "Tonight, he left. It all happened too quickly and unexpectedly."
It was later revealed that Segalovich, in a coma and brain-dead since 1.30 am on Thursday, was still attached to life support."

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Arabtec Drops Most in Month After Rights Issue: Dubai Mover - Bloomberg

Arabtec Drops Most in Month After Rights Issue: Dubai Mover - Bloomberg:

"Arabtec Holding PJSC fell the most in more than a month after the biggest publicly traded construction company in the United Arab Emirates sold new shares at a discount.
The stock dropped 3.1 percent, the most since June 24, to 2.18 dirhams at 12:47 p.m. in Dubai as volume climbed to 52 million shares, or 1.8 times the three-month daily average, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Arabtec was the biggest decliner on the benchmark DFM General Index, which decreased 0.2 percent, trimming this month’s advance to 13 percent.
Dubai-based Arabtec raised 2.4 billion dirhams ($653 million) by selling 1.56 billion new shares at 1.5 dirhams each in a rights issue, according to an e-mailed statement yesterday. Proceeds from the offering, which was 30 percent oversubscribed, will be used to fund an expansion plan announced this year, the company said. Arabtec is winning new building contracts as the U.A.E. economy recovers following a property-market crash."

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Abu Dhabi lender UNB's Q2 profit rises 7.2 pct | Reuters

Abu Dhabi lender UNB's Q2 profit rises 7.2 pct | Reuters:

"Abu Dhabi's Union National Bank on Sunday reported a 7.2 percent percent rise in second-quarter profit helped lower provisions and reduced funding costs, beating analysts' expectations.

The lender, jointly owned by the governments of Abu Dhabi and Dubai, posted a profit of 488.3 million dirhams ($132.95 million) in the second quarter to June 30, up from 455.7 million dirhams in the prior-year period, it said in a bourse statement.

Analysts had forecast average profit of 474.23 million dirhams for the quarter in a Reuters poll."

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‘Looking east’ strategy of Qatar is a promising move

‘Looking east’ strategy of Qatar is a promising move:

"The recent announcement that Qatar’s Foreign Ministry will set up a special unit to nurture relations with the 10-member bloc of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations is good news, both for Gulf investors as well as for Asean companies looking for broader opportunities in the Gulf Co-operation Council states. Inside Investor since 2011 has been dedicated to foster such relations and has been quite successful.

For example, the signing of the free trade agreement between the GCC and Malaysia was arranged during the Invest Malaysia event held in Abu Dhabi in 2011. This was followed by the largest foreign direct investment inflow ever into the country from the GCC.

Furthermore, Inside Investor arranged over $5bn investment from Qatar into Sarawak during several business events held in Kuching, the state’s capital – with the latest one under participation of Masraf Al Rayan and the Qatar Chamber, as well as the signing of several memorandums of understanding with the government of Thailand."

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ECONOMICS - What left to sell after $54 billion of privatization

ECONOMICS - What left to sell after $54 billion of privatization:

"
The government aims to get $3-4 billion of yearly
               revenues from privatizations. Energy enterprises are the
   first to be sold, followed by highways and bridges.
DAILY NEWS photo, Emrah GÜREL
Many assets were privatized in May and June in a very quiet way. In the first half of 2013, $8 billion worth of privatizations were held. Seyitömer Thermic Plant was sold for $2.2 billion, BEDAŞ, which is responsible for power distribution for the Anatolian side in Istanbul, for $2 billion, and Başkent Gas in the capital Ankara for around $1.2 billion, among others.

Balance sheet

The privatization wave got started in Turkey in 1985, but a majority of them took place during the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government in the last decade. The AKP government has sold state-owned companies for over $54 billion over the last 10 years, and $8 billion in the first half of 2013. "

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HSBC and Standard Charter find cleaning up their acts expensive - The National

HSBC and Standard Charter find cleaning up their acts expensive - The National:

"Last summer, the biggest international banks in the UAE were facing fines totalling billions over failed anti-money laundering practices and even the loss of their licences to operate in the United States.

A year later, and the costs of putting things right are almost as severe. The entire sector is feeling the change - and few are happy about it.

HSBC was censured last July by the US Senate for lax anti-money laundering practices. The bank acknowledged its services were used by Iranian companies subject to sanctions and Mexican drug cartels and made a fulsome apology."

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Russia's Lukoil chooses Dubai for its overseas unit headquarters move - The National

Russia's Lukoil chooses Dubai for its overseas unit headquarters move - The National:

"
Lukoil, the Russian energy producer, is to move the headquarters of its overseas division from Moscow to Dubai, The National can reveal.

The relocation, which will involve about 400 employees moving to the UAE, is intended to put executives and operational staff closer to Lukoil's major assets in Iraq's West Qurna 2, one of the biggest undeveloped oilfields in the region.

A spokesman for Lukoil in Moscow said: "We will establish the headquarters of Lukoil Overseas in Dubai in order to be closer geographically to our main projects. We already have between 600 and 700 employees in Dubai, many of whom are working on the Iraq project.""

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Alkhabeer Capital named Best Islamic Fund Manager | Arab News

Alkhabeer Capital named Best Islamic Fund Manager | Arab News — Saudi Arabia News, Middle East News, Opinion, Economy and more.:

"Alkhabeer Capital has has been awarded the Best Islamic Fund Manager accolade at the Banker Middle East Industry Awards.
The ceremony, which was held in Dubai, celebrated achievements of leading Islamic financial institutions across the region and was attended by more than 450 senior financiers from around the MENA region. Attendees representing top financial institutions got together during the awards ceremony and exchanged views on their long-term plans and strategic objectives.
Nominees for the awards were short-listed from hundreds of top Islamic institutions. Tens of thousands of votes were cast by registered readers of the Banker Middle East, Islamic Business & Finance, FinanceME, WEALTH Arabia magazines as well as users of www.cpifinancial.net"

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Shiites main losers in Kuwait polls as liberals gain | Fox News

Shiites main losers in Kuwait polls as liberals gain | Fox News:

"
Judges and their aides count the ballots at a polling station in Kuwait City on July 27, 2013. Kuwait's Shiite minority lost more than half of their seats and liberals made slight gains in the Gulf state's second polls in eight months. (AFP)
Kuwait's Shiite minority lost more than half of their seats and liberals made slight gains in the Gulf state's second polls in eight months.

The final results, released by judicial authorities, showed Shiite candidates winning just eight seats in the 50-member parliament.

Shiite candidates had won a record 17 in the previous house elected in December but scrapped in a court ruling last month. Shiites form around 30 percent of Kuwait's native population of 1.23 million."

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Saudi Gazette - OPEC oil revenues destined to go down

Saudi Gazette - OPEC oil revenues destined to go down:

"The Energy Information Administration, the US Department of Energy's analytic arm, said all members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, except Iran, earned nearly $982 billion in net oil export revenues in 2012. That's a 5.4 percent increase from 2011. After adjusting for inflation with 2005 dollars as a constant, OPEC's revenue increased by 3.2 percent to $835 billion in 2012, the EIA added.

And Riyadh remained the kingpin, accounting for 32 percent of the total OPEC revenues in 2012 with $311 billion, the EIA said. In its July market report, the OPEC had reported Saudi Arabia producing 9.7 million barrels of oil per day last year, a 4.3 percent increase from 2011.

 However, the EIA also points out that in the wake of the market trends, OPEC sales revenue will tumble by 4.3 percent to $940 billion in 2013 and by further 3.9 percent to $903 billion in 2014."

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Saudi Gazette - Saudi traders liquidate 30% of equities as Eid approaches

Saudi Gazette - Saudi traders liquidate 30% of equities as Eid approaches:

"Traders in the Saudi stock exchange are set to liquidate 30 percent of their equities ahead of the Eid break over concerns of geopolitical events in the region, reported a local Arabic paper.

Despite large confidence in Saudi Arabia’s economy, and its stability in facing current events, added the newspaper, traders to remember the sharp drop witnessed by the Saudi market prior to Eid in 2008, in light of the financial crisis, severely impacting the price index when trading resumed, added the newspaper.

The Saudi stock exchange lacks the confidence of its traders, according Dr. Salem Baajaja, professor of accountancy at Taif University."

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Saudi Gazette - Turkey exempts GCC investors from tax

Saudi Gazette - Turkey exempts GCC investors from tax:

"The Turkish government announced exclusion of GCC investors from paying taxes, according to Turkey’s Consul General in Saudi Arabia, reported Al-Yaum newspaper.

Turkey witnessed a notable surge in projects by Saudis and other investors from the GCC, which led to the decision that primarily aims at maintaining a welcoming environment for investors in Turkey, Fikret Ozer, Turkey’s consul general in Saudi Arabia, told the newspaper.

Many Saudi investors refrain from foreign investments because of the taxes imposed by foreign governments, Ahmed Al-Marbai, member of the Industrial Committee at the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, who invests in Turkey, told Al-Yaum as he welcomed the decision."

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TAMUQ, Qatar Shell boost collaboration

TAMUQ, Qatar Shell boost collaboration:

"Texas A&M University at Qatar (TAMUQ) and Qatar Shell Research & Technology Centre (QSRTC) signed a memorandum of understanding ( MoU) last week  to strengthen their ongoing partnership in the field of technology, science, research and development.
Dr. Mark H. Weichold, dean and CEO of TAMUQ, and Wael Sawan, managing director and chairman of Qatar Shell, signed the agreement at a ceremony held at the university’s engineering building.
The MoU will encourage future collaboration in innovative technology solutions and provide wider prospects for the development of exciting research opportunities that will engage students and faculty. A joint steering committee, co-chaired by Dr. Weichold and Sawan will be established to manage, facilitate and implement  various programmes. The committee will have representatives from both organisations.  "

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