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Monday, 29 July 2013

Dubai realty buyers get payback | GulfNews.com

Dubai realty buyers get payback | GulfNews.com:

"
Dubai has set up a judicial committee to liquidate the cancelled real estate projects and make settlements pertaining to them.
His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE, in his capacity as Ruler of Dubai, issued on Monday a decree setting up the committee.
The committee’s duties include reviewing and settling complaints between real estate developers and buyers of the projects that were cancelled."

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Rosneft Posts 1H Results | Business | The Moscow Times

Rosneft Posts 1H Results | Business | The Moscow Times:

"Rosneft reported 35 billion rubles ($1.07 billion) in second-quarter net income, beating analyst expectations of 31.3 billion rubles in its first fully integrated results after its buyout of TNK-BP.

However, second quarter net income was a third of the 102 billion rubles that Rosneft reported in the first quarter.

The drop was due to foreign exchange losses as a result of the ruble weakening, amounting to a 55 billion ruble forex loss on its debt obligations in the second quarter compared with an 11 billion rubles loss in the first."

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India and F1: time’s up? | beyondbrics

India and F1: time’s up? | beyondbrics:

"Three months before New Delhi stages India’s third grand prix, the country’s love affair with motorsport risks heading for a nasty collision. Bernie Ecclestone warned ominously at the weekend its place on the 2014 calendar was in jeopardy.

“Very political,” said the 82 year-old, chief executive of Formula One Management, when asked to explain the problem. It looks like the Indian government’s attempt to extract taxes on revenues and other red tape have riled the teams and made them wonder aloud whether the Indian market is worth it.

India was part of the Ecclestone masterplan to portray F1 as a truly global sport. Formula One Management likes the demographic profile of the Indian market – under 35, AB social class – though there is precious little detail from FOM on the penetration. “…over 400 hours of coverage served the Indian market, and, unsurprisingly, the most watched 2 hours was the Indian grand prix…” said FOM in its global broadcast support for 2012."

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Air Arabia Climbs as U.A.E. Passenger Traffic Jumps: Dubai Mover - Bloomberg

Air Arabia Climbs as U.A.E. Passenger Traffic Jumps: Dubai Mover - Bloomberg:

"Air Arabia PJSC (AIRARABI) gained the most in almost two weeks on bets the United Arab Emirates low-cost carrier will benefit from a jump in passenger traffic through the country’s airports.
Shares of airline, which is based in the U.A.E. emirate Sharjah, advanced 3.2 percent, the most since July 17, to 1.30 dirhams at the close in the emirate. Almost 34 million shares were traded. The stock was the second-biggest gainer on the benchmark DFM General Index (DFMGI), which rose 0.3 percent. The carrier is expected to report earnings on Aug. 8, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Dubai, which plans to double the number of visitors to 20 million by 2020, posted an 18 percent advance in passenger traffic through its airport in June, according to data released today. Air Arabia said last month it plans to start flights to the Armenian capital of Yerevan in August, the fifth new route this year and its 86th globally, from hub in Sharjah, which neighbors Dubai, as well as Egypt and Morocco."

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Terrifying Charts For Saudi Arabia - Business Insider

Terrifying Charts For Saudi Arabia - Business Insider:

"Billionaire Saudi Prince Alwaleed has sounded the alarm about the threat shale oil and gas development poses to the petro-kingdom's barely diversified economy.
It's taken awhile for such a prominent Saudi to acknowledge this fact.

But it's been pretty clear to the rest of the world.

Saudi Arabia needs high oil prices to function — Below $80 and the kingdom starts getting into trouble. There are some trends that could easily push prices much lower.
"

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The Abraaj Group announces sale of Turkish health insurance company Acıbadem Sigorta - bi-me.com

The Abraaj Group announces sale of Turkish health insurance company Acıbadem Sigorta - Business Intelligence Middle East - bi-me.com - News, analysis, reports:

"The Abraaj Group (“Abraaj”), a leading investor operating in growth markets, today announced that it has entered into an agreement to divest its 50 per cent shareholding in Acıbadem Sağlık ve Hayat Sigorta A.Ş. (“Acıbadem Sigorta” or “the Company”) to Khazanah Nasional Berhad (“Khazanah”), the Government of Malaysia's strategic investment fund.

Under the terms of the agreement, Khazanah shall acquire a combined 90 per cent shareholding in Acıbadem Sigorta from both Abraaj and Turkey’s Aydınlar family in exchange for a cash consideration. Mehmet Ali Aydınlar will retain a 10 per cent stake in the Company and will remain as Chairman of Acıbadem Sigorta. Further financial details of the transaction were not disclosed."

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Cukurova Wins More Time to Buy Back Turkcell Stake From Alfa - Bloomberg

Cukurova Wins More Time to Buy Back Turkcell Stake From Alfa - Bloomberg:

"Cukurova Holding AS won more time to pay $1.56 billion to recover a disputed 13.7 percent-stake in Turkey’s biggest mobile-phone operator from Russian Alfa Group.
The U.K. Privy Council in London ruled today that Cukurova could take longer than 60 days to pay the sum to regain control of Turkcell Iletisim Hizmetleri AS. (TCELL)
Turkcell has been at the center of a dispute between its founder Mehmet Emin Karamehmet, who owns Cukurova, Nordic operator TeliaSonera AB (TLSN) and Mikhail Fridman, the Russian billionaire who controls Alfa Group. Alfa seized the Turkcell stake through its unit Altimo when it said Cukurova defaulted on a 2005 loan agreement for which the shares were pledged as collateral."

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Hungary to IMF: we don’t need you | beyondbrics

Hungary to IMF: we don’t need you | beyondbrics:

"Has campaigning already begun for Hungary’s elections in April next year?

News on Monday that the government is to repay in advance the remaining €2.2bn it owes to the IMF from its 2008 loan looks suspiciously like a political rather than an economical move.

News agencies said the economy ministry would make the payment by August 12, seven months before the March 2014 deadline. As Timothy Ash of Standard Bank noted, this is a big chunk of the government’s fiscal buffer, reducing its total FX reserves by about a third."

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India’s RBI: tightening or loosening? | beyondbrics

India’s RBI: tightening or loosening? | beyondbrics:

"The Reserve Bank of India, the country’s central bank, has been busy this month with all kinds of efforts to tighten liquidity and make currency speculation more expensive.

But the big ticket announcement comes on Tuesday when it sets its repo rate – the rate at which banks borrow from the RBI – and its cash reserve ratio – the proportion of deposits that banks must have in hand as cash.

The repo rate was cut three times between January and April, as policy makers tried to boost India’s waning economy."

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Putin piles pressure on Ukraine | beyondbrics

Putin piles pressure on Ukraine | beyondbrics:

"
Russian President Vladimir Putin may have physically left Ukraine on Sunday, after wrapping up a two-day visit during which he pressured Kiev to choose Moscow over the EU as a closer economic partner. But upon waking up the next day Ukrainian leaders were vividly reminded of what may follow if they ignore Putin’s words – most likely a trade war.

In an early Monday report, news agency Interfax revealed that Russian regulators decided to ban imports of chocolates and other sweets produced by Ukrainian confectionary giant Roshen.

It’s the newest of trade restrictions piled up upon Ukraine by Russia this year on goods spanning from steel pipes to cheese. And it eerily follows up upon the blunt message Putin delivered during a weekend visit to commemorate would-be brotherly Slavic ties through the 1,025th anniversary of the christening of Rus, a long gone empire to which Russia, Ukraine and Belarus trace their historical roots."

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Volumes remain muted as UAIndex continues slow climb - Business - News - Ukraine Business Online

Volumes remain muted as UAIndex continues slow climb - Business - News - Ukraine Business Online:

"Friday’s trading closed at 4,242.85, up +0.92% for the day, +1.25% for the week, and +7.22% for the last 30 days.

Best Performer for the day was MHP, up +5.06% on 49,439 shares traded.

Biggest player on the Worst Performing list and also Volume Leader was Kernel, down -2.27% on trade of 64,608 shares."

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Emaar Earnings Beat Analysts’ Estimates as Property Sales Climb - Bloomberg

Emaar Earnings Beat Analysts’ Estimates as Property Sales Climb - Bloomberg:

"Emaar Properties PJSC (EMAAR), Dubai’s biggest developer by market value, said second-quarter earnings rose 10 percent, beating analysts’ estimates, as property sales increased.
Net income climbed to 675 million dirhams ($184 million) from 614 million dirhams a year earlier, the Dubai-based company said in a statement today. The average estimate of six analysts was 529 million dirhams, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Emaar, the builder of the world’s tallest tower in Dubai, is starting projects in the city where many developments stalled after the property market collapsed in 2008. The company is expanding its Dubai Mall, already the world’s largest by area, and it’s in talks over a $2 billion resort development in Iraq’s oil-rich Kurdish region.
Revenue climbed 48 percent in the second quarter to 3.11 billion dirhams, Emaar said. Real estate sales for the first half reached 6.3 billion dirhams, almost four times the amount for the year-earlier period, the company said."

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[video] Can Putin maintain his iron grip? | beyondbrics

[video] Can Putin maintain his iron grip? | beyondbrics:

"Russia’s president Vladimir Putin has been clamping down on dissent more decisively than before. FT comment and analysis editor Frederick Studemann, James Nixey of Chatham House’s Russia and Eurasia Programme and the FT’s Eastern Europe editor Neil Buckley discuss the future of Putinism.
"   'via Blog this'

Russia hopes to sign visa relaxation accord with EU before yearend | Russia Beyond The Headlines

Russia hopes to sign visa relaxation accord with EU before yearend | Russia Beyond The Headlines:

"Moscow hopes to sign a visa relaxation agreement with the European Union before the end of 2013, Russian Foreign Ministry Ambassador at Large Anvar Azimov said.
"We expect the signing of the updated agreement before the end of this year. This will require political will to be demonstrated by EU member states. Russia has demonstrated its will and the ball is in now in Brussels' court," he told Interfax on Monday.
"Russia met its partners halfway in their proposals regarding unsettled issues in official passport categories. We are waiting for a final answer from Brussels," Azimov said."

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Prince Alwaleed right to warn on future oil prices « ArabianMoney

Prince Alwaleed right to warn on future oil prices « ArabianMoney:

"Never one to avoid controversy billionaire investor Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Al Saud has put the cat among the pigeons again with his warning to the Saudi Government that it is too overconfident about the future outlook for the oil price.

His Highness cites US shale gas as a real competitor as a source of ultra-cheap energy going forward, and a slowdown in China is a more immediate worry with the implications for energy demand across Asia."

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UAE long-running banking saga gets closure | GulfNews.com

UAE long-running banking saga gets closure | GulfNews.com:

"An unsavoury chapter in the annals of UAE banking, depicting the pursuit of a grandiose dream gone terribly wrong, has finally ended. The four-decade-old drama involving the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) has had its surfeit of passion, design and deceit before the inevitable denouement came in the form of liquidation.
The curtains came down this month when a Luxembourg court announced the closure of the liquidation process after verifying that all the available assets have been distributed to the beneficiaries and that the liquidators had been granted release from their responsibilities.
The English, Scottish and Isle of Man liquidations had already been closed in May. Similarly, the UAE Central Bank announced completion of the liquidation process after the liquidators submitted a final report to the regulator, the UAE Ministry of Economy and the Abu Dhabi Department of Finance. According to the announcement, the term of office of the UAE liquidators will continue for a couple of months more, by which time their responsibilities will also be finally discharged."

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Last week ended with UX gain and WIG-Ukraine loss - Business - News - Ukraine Business Online

Last week ended with UX gain and WIG-Ukraine loss - Business - News - Ukraine Business Online:

"“Ukrainian equities continued to offer investors some big gainers and decliners in trading on July 26, 2013. The WIG Ukraine Index of Warsaw-traded stocks slid 1.3%, pulled down by typically volatile Coal Energy (CLE PW -4.7%), KSG Agro (KSG PW -3.0%) and grain trader Kernel (KER PW -2.3%), which has declined 4.1% in two  sessions. The Index’s top gainer was egg producer Ovostar (OVO PW +3.9%), which has advanced 14.8% in three straight positive sessions. Farmer Agroton (AGT PW +1.1%) has gained 18.8% in four straight winning sessions. In London, JKX Oil & Gas (JKX LN +6.8%) has risen 17.9% in five straight positive sessions. Poultry producer MHP (MHPC LI) jumped 5.2% while iron ore miner Ferrexpo (FXPO LN) increased 2.1%, improving its monthly gain to 26.6%. In Kyiv, the Ukrainian Exchange Index of Kyiv-traded stocks rose 0.8%, led by power generator Centrenergo (CEEN UK +2.5%), which has advanced 9.0% in three straight winning sessions, and Raiffeisen Bank Aval (BAVL UK +2.5%), which has risen 4.8% in three straight positive sessions."

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BBC News - #Bahrain struggles to get economy back on track

BBC News - Bahrain struggles to get economy back on track:

"Bahrain Financial Harbour (BFH) is a striking landmark built on seafront reclaimed from the Gulf - two elegant towers in the capital, Manama, that leap into the sky, green clad and shimmering in the heat.


Bahrain Financial Harbour commands the Manama skyline
The Financial Harbour was supposed to kick-start a bid to locate Bahrain as a key hub for the multi-billion dollar regional banking industry.

The project, begun in 2004 and completed five years later, was controversial from the beginning. It was built at a cost of $1.5bn (£980m) on land that the Prime Minister Sheikh Khalifa bin Salman al-Khalifa had allegedly acquired for 1 Bahraini dinar."

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JKX operating profits up | 29 July 2013 | Stock Market Wire

JKX operating profits up | 29 July 2013 | Stock Market Wire:

"JKX Oil & Gas posts operating profits of $9.4m for the six months to the end of June - up from $0.5m last time.

Average production rose 21% to 9,040 barrels of oil equivalent per day (2012: 7,481 boepd) but revenues fell to $91.3m from $103.0m.

Chief executive, Dr Paul Davies said: "These are a solid set of half-year results which underpin our ability to continue the transformation of JKX over the full year.

"In Russia we have established sustainable gas production with potential for substantial growth. We are making good progress with expansion of the plant capacity.

"Development drilling and the workover programme in Ukraine has been relaunched after a pause of seven months. The increased investment in Ukraine has already yielded first results and we have continued to benefit from strong oil, gas and LPG realisations which are expected to remain firm throughout 2013."

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Report: UK fraud office to probe Barclays, Qatar Holding dealings - Alarabiya.net

Report: UK fraud office to probe Barclays, Qatar Holding dealings - Alarabiya.net English | Front Page:

"Britain’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) is expected to receive about 2 million pounds ($3.07 million) from the UK Treasury to support its criminal probe into the dealings between Barclays Plc. and Qatar Holding, the Financial Times reported on Sunday.
Barclays is being investigated by the SFO and Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) for an allegation that the bank lent Qatar Holding, a part of the Qatar Investment Authority, money to invest in it as part of a rescue fundraising at the height of the 2008 financial crisis.
UK rules forbid a public company from giving financial assistance in order to acquire its shares or those of a parent company."

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Yanukovych regime pushes economy back towards USSR, expert says

Yanukovych regime pushes economy back towards USSR, expert says:

"In Q4 of 2013 or later, the Ukrainian government may declare a default due to its inability to repay the country’s debts, Volodymyr Lanovy, president of the Center for Market Reform, told The Tyzhden July 27. -AAA+
“The default is expected in the West. Understandably, if the cabinet offers for privatization some sizable asset and earns several billion dollars, the default will happen later. However, even this will not help settle the abominable debt,” Lanovy says.
In the coming year, Ukraine is to repay $30 bn of domestic and foreign debts.
 “Now the cabinet deals with its current commitments by building up the foreign debt,” he says.
 “The investors have definitely turned their backs on Ukraine. Assessments of Ukraine’s attractiveness are low and the foreign capital is quitting the country. The new investment comes, as a rule, from Ukrainian owners acting under the disguise of off-shore companies,” Lanovy says.  "

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Russia bans imports of output of major Ukrainian confectionary producer - Onishchenko

Russia bans imports of output of major Ukrainian confectionary producer - Onishchenko:

"
The Russian sanitation authority has banned imports of the output produced by Roshen, a major Ukrainian confectionary company, head of the authority and Russia's Chief Sanitation Doctor Gennady Onishchenko told Interfax on Monday.

"Unfortunately, our apprehensions have proved true, a fact which we sincerely regret. The identified irregularities give us reason to raise the issue of banning the imports of all products of this company," he said.

"Instructions have been given to customs bodies to ban the importation of confectionary products of Roshen company into this country," he said."

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Qatari property projects have transformed London's skyline - The National

Qatari property projects have transformed London's skyline - The National:

"The Shard dominates the skyline of central London, and has also dominated thinking about Qatar's involvement in the British capital's property business.

The tallest skyscraper in western Europe, which cost US$2.3 billion to build and in which Qatar is the main shareholder, has been criticised on aesthetic and commercial grounds, partly because of the apparent lack of enthusiasm from big-name tenants to sign up for the building.

The 95-storey building would largely pass unnoticed in Dubai or Abu Dhabi, but in London, against the city's mainly low-level skyline, it does seem incongruous."

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Qatar's assets in UK come under scrutiny - The National

Qatar's assets in UK come under scrutiny - The National:

"Since the government changes in Doha a couple of weeks ago, one issue has been at the front of minds in the London banking community: will Qatar's aggressive global investment philosophy be curtailed under the new regime?

Qatari investors have stakes in British companies ranging from the supermarket group Sainsbury's to the London Stock Exchange, and from Barclays Bank to BAA, the organisation that owns London's Heathrow and other airports in the United Kingdom.

Added together, those holdings represent about US$10 billion of current equity value."

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Gut instinct guides a steady hand - The National

Gut instinct guides a steady hand - The National:

"Abdul Kadir Hussain is the chief executive of Mashreq Capital, the asset management arm of Mashreq that has US$930 million of assets under management.

The best-performing fixed income fund manage6r last year, his fund has delivered lower returns this year after a credit market sell-off sparked by indications the US Federal Reserve may start to scale back on stimulus measures in the coming months.

Nevertheless, Mr Hussain is still outperfoming other credit-focused fund managers in the UAE this year."

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Qatar passion and funds make a mark on London - The National

Qatar passion and funds make a mark on London - The National:

"It is 5pm on a hot Friday afternoon in London's swanky Knightsbridge, and Harrods is mobbed.

It's shoulder-to-shoulder in the "top people's store" as shoppers cram in, moving past the green-liveried doorman, and through to the delights of the best-known department store in Britain, perhaps in the world.

They linger in the food halls for a while, maybe buy a tin or two of some Harrods-branded item like English tea or strawberry jam, and then head through to ogle the fine jewellery and watches."

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Extreme fluidity in benchmark pricing | GulfNews.com

Extreme fluidity in benchmark pricing | GulfNews.com:

"For the first time in nearly three years, major benchmark crude oils resumed some normalcy in their pricing, as those of the American West Texas Intermediate (WTI) and the North Sea Brent converged towards their historic relationship.
In fact, WTI posted higher prices in the futures market on July 19 at just above $108 while Brent settled lower. Strong demand in the US among other factors brought about this change.
Historically, WTI being the better crude with respect to both API gravity and sulphur content trades at a premium of $1 to $2 a barrel over Brent. The short periods where Brent posted higher prices were either attributed to strong demand in the US or a temporary reduction in North Sea production or both."

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UAE: Spring-loaded | Analysis | The Lawyer

UAE: Spring-loaded | Analysis | The Lawyer:

"After the Arab Spring Dubai and Abu Dhabi are booming again, with infrastructure and energy work drawing in international law firms

In the wake of the Arab Spring the traffic has returned to Dubai. Where, for a few years the streets were relatively quiet and hotels and restaurants not booked out, amid the baking heat of Ramadan business life is returning to normal.

Among those coming into the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) financial centre are a host of international law firms. In the past year a number of US and UK firms have opened offices in the UAE or expanded existing presences."

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Letter from Dubai: Market rebound fails to capture local IPOs

Letter from Dubai: Market rebound fails to capture local IPOs:

"The signs of revival are everywhere in Dubai: on its crowded roads, in its jam-packed malls, in the long lines of investors clamouring to buy into new real estate projects and on its stock market, which has had a banner year, writes Asa Fitch.

Dubai’s main index is up 53% so far this year – and there’s little sign of enthusiasm evaporating. Neighbouring Abu Dhabi is also reaping the rewards of being a relatively stable place in which to live and invest in a region rife with political turmoil. Its market has climbed 44%.

Both got a further boost last month, when index provider MSCI decided to promote the United Arab Emirates and Qatar into its emerging markets international benchmark. The decision doesn’t take effect until next May, but it’s thought that the move will bring billions of passively invested dollars into a couple of the Gulf’s fastest-growing markets."

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Strengthening economy underpins Dubai airports capacity expansion plans

Strengthening economy underpins Dubai airports capacity expa..:

"Dubai is planning to ramp up the passenger handling capacity at its airports as the Gulf emirate anticipates traffic to grow at a faster clip in coming years, helped by a resurgent economy and flag carrier Emirates Airline’s increasing success at funnelling customers through its hub.

Stronger trade and tourism have revitalised Dubai after its economy was left struggling in the aftermath of the global financial crisis in 2008. The emirate is also benefiting from a safe-haven status amid political unrest in the region.

Its credentials as a transport hub played a key role in Dubai’s recovery and the emirate is now looking to further increase capacity at its two international airports as it eyes economic expansion, according to the chief executive of Dubai Airports Co, which manages the facilities."

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Foreign selling pressure drags Qatar shares down

Foreign selling pressure drags Qatar shares down:

"The Qatar Exchange opened the week weak yesterday, mainly due to net selling pressure from foreign institutions.

Realty, banking and telecom counters witnessed more profit-booking as the 20-stock Qatar Index (based on price data) settled 0.41% lower at 9,654.55 points.

QNB, Commercial Bank, Masraf Al Rayan, Qatari Investors Group, United Development Company (UDC), Barwa, Vodafone Qatar and Nakilat were among influential losers, while Doha Bank and Gulf International Services outperformed key indices."

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Saudi Gazette - Gulf Air’s restructuring cuts losses 50%

Saudi Gazette - Gulf Air’s restructuring cuts losses 50%:

"Gulf Air, the national carrier of Bahrain, said Saturday that its restructuring strategy was on track following a robust financial and operational performance in the first half of the year, ending June 2013.

In the first two quarters of 2013, Gulf Air reduced its overall losses by over 50 percent compared to the same period in 2012. This achievement was realized primarily through a 26 percent reduction in year-on-year costs across the organization and bolstered by sound revenue results aided by a second quarter yield increase of over 6 percent.

Gulf Air performed 15 percent ahead of its financial target in the first six months of the year. It expects to realize additional improvements as it continues to remove excess operational cost from the organization and renegotiate contracts. — SG/Agencies"

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Saudi Gazette - Kuwait Zain Q2 net profit falls 14%

Saudi Gazette - Kuwait Zain Q2 net profit falls 14%:

"Kuwaiti telecom operator Zain reported a 14 percent fall in its second-quarter net profit on Sunday to 61 million dinars ($214 million), mainly because of a currency loss in Sudan, according to Reuters calculations based on its first-half earnings statement.

Zain said it made a first-half net profit of 113 million dinars. The company had reported a first-quarter profit of 52 million dinars.

Consolidated revenues totaled 612 million dinars in the first half."

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Saudi Gazette - Moody’s cuts junior debt ratings of 12 GCC banks

Saudi Gazette - Moody’s cuts junior debt ratings of 12 GCC banks:

"Moody’s Investors Service has downgraded the subordinated debt ratings of 12 banks in the GCC countries.

The banks affected are: Arab National Bank, Banque Saudi Fransi, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Emirates NBD, First Gulf Bank, Mashreqbank, Commercial Bank of Qatar, Doha Bank, Qatar National Bank, Bank Muscat, Burgan Bank and BBK, Moody’s said in a statement issued recently.

All other ratings and outlooks for the 12 banks remain unaffected."

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Putin courts Ukraine ahead of planned EU deals

Putin courts Ukraine ahead of planned EU deals:

"
Russian President Vladimir Putin urged Ukraine to weigh carefully the benefits of joining Russia's regional trade bloc against its plans for closer ties with the European Union on a visit to Ukraine to attend a religious festival.
Putin used references to common history to remind Ukraine of the potential benefits of a closer alliance with Russia, just four months before a summit in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius where Kiev hopes to sign landmark deals with the European Union.
"There is tough competition going on for the global markets. And I am sure most of you realise that only by joining forces we can be competitive and win in this rather tough struggle," Putin told a conference in Kiev on Saturday."

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