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Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Dubai Property Buyers From Subcontinent to U.K. Lead Deal Surge

Indians, Pakistanis and Britons were the biggest foreign buyers of Dubai property in the first half, leading a jump in investment by foreigners outside the Arab world, the emirate’s Land Department said.
Property sales totaled 53 billion dirhams ($14.4 billion) in the period, the government agency said without providing a year-earlier figure. Spending increased among all the regions described in the report, including a rise of 73 percent to 32 billion dirhams among buyers outside the Gulf region and the rest of the Middle East.
Dubai’s property market, which suffered one of the world’s worst real estate crashes in 2008, is rebounding after almost three years of standstill. The report indicates that the Arab Spring revolutions in countries such as Egypt, Syria, Yemen, Tunisia and Libya haven’t significantly changed the mix of investors in a property market long dominated by the U.K., India andPakistan.

BUSINESS - Turkey’s Garanti Bank profit rise to $461 mln

BUSINESS - Turkey’s Garanti Bank profit rise to $461 mln:

The net profit of Garanti Bank rose 23 percent to 886.6 million Turkish Liras (around $461 million) in the second quarter of 2013, the Turkish lender has announced.

The Istanbul-based bank, which is partly owned by Spain’s BBVA and Turkey’s Doğuş Holding, was expected by market analysts to post lower figures. In the same period last year, its net income was 719 million liras.

With the announcement of the second-quarter figures, the bank’s net profit for the first half of the year is 1.89 billion liras, good for a 19.6 percent rise. "

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Credit Default Swaps Introduced in Russia | Business | The Moscow Times

Credit Default Swaps Introduced in Russia | Business | The Moscow Times:

"Credit default swaps, the financial instrument whose abuse catalyzed the 2008 financial crisis, may soon be seen in the Russian marketplace.

A draft of an order detailing the concept of CDSs was distributed to Russian banks by the Federal Service for Financial Markets on Wednesday, Vedomosti reported.

CDSs are essentially financial swaps in which the seller is paid in installments for agreeing to pay off a buyer's debt if they default on the loan. Invented in America during the 1990s, they shot to widespread use in 2003 as the credit market grew."

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Large or mid-sized tablets?

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi rises to near 16-mth high; other mkts mixed | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi rises to near 16-mth high; other mkts mixed | Reuters:

"Saudi Arabia's bourse rose to a near 16-month high on Wednesday, close to last year's peak, as investors bought shares in companies that they believed would profit from increased consumer spending during Ramadan, the Muslim month of fasting.

The index climbed 0.7 percent to its highest close since April 2012. Trading volumes were above the 30-day average for a second consecutive session.

"This is unusually high activity especially ahead of Eid holidays - investors are building positions on a positive earnings outlook for the third quarter," said Asim Bukhtiar, head of research at Riyad Capital. Eid marks the end of Ramadan; the exchange will close for a week starting Aug. 6."

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UAE to award contracts for second phase of vast rail network -

UAE to award contracts for second phase of vast rail network -

"The United Arab Emirates will soon award contracts for the second phase of a vast railway project aimed at connecting the country’s industrial cities and boosting trade across the Gulf.
Etihad Rail – which is 30 per cent owned by the UAE’s federal government and 70 per cent by Abu Dhabi – will in the third quarter of this year grant tenders to build a network that will run to the Saudi Arabian border, the company’s chief executive said."

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Ukraine government statements and IMF realities - Opinion - News - Ukraine Business Online

Ukraine government statements and IMF realities - Opinion - News - Ukraine Business Online:

"The issue of a new International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan for Ukraine has been the subject of frequent discussion recently with various members of the Ukrainian government issuing optimistic statements that, taken at face value, would lead the casual observer to believe that another $15 billion loan program is a virtual certainty.

For example, the state news service UkrInform quotes Ukrainian First Deputy Prime Minister Serhiy Arbuzov as saying during a working visit to Vinnytsia region on Tuesday, "The issue concerns a new program where the amount of the loan is envisaged at about $15 billion. However, the discussions on this issue are ongoing. This autumn we expect the mission that will resolve everything. We are currently finalizing the issues that are important to the IMF, and I think that this autumn we should sign a long-awaited agreement.”"

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Tunisian economy rattled again | beyondbrics

Tunisian economy rattled again | beyondbrics:

Political turmoil in Tunisia has struck a heavy blow to the country’s economy. The assassination of opposition leader Mohamed Brahmi last Thursday and the killing of eight soldiers by militants near the Algerian border on Monday have shaken investors’ nerves once again.

The MSCI Tunisia stock index is down 3.7 per cent since last Thursday. On the broader market, consumer plays such as retailing, insurance and construction were hit hardest: supermarket chains Monoprix and Magasin Général each fell nearly 5 per cent on Tuesday alone, while reinsurer Tunis Re was down 4.3 per cent.

Houcine Dimassi, a former finance minister, says a general strike on Friday held in response to Brahmi’s assassination has cost the country 200m dinar (about $120m)."

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The money dried up, but at least Dubai’s celebrity investors are not left out of pocket - Middle East - World - The Independent

The money dried up, but at least Dubai’s celebrity investors are not left out of pocket - Middle East - World - The Independent:

"Dubai will liquidate many of its building projects and use the money to pay off investors, who are thought to include the Hollywood star Brad Pitt and footballers David Beckham and David James, it has been reported.

The state news agency WAM said ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum had ordered a committee to be set up to look at the emirate’s building bubble, which encouraged huge funding but was followed by huge losses when it burst. Many developers withdrew from the city when prices more than halved and a lot of their customers have never received the properties they paid to be built.

Among the projects that remain little more than building sites more than four years after the crash is Dubai World, a complex of islands arranged to resemble the world’s seven continents."

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Billionaire Saudi prince loses U.K. court battle over Gadhafi jet | News , Middle East | THE DAILY STAR

Billionaire Saudi prince loses U.K. court battle over Gadhafi jet | News , Middle East | THE DAILY STAR:

"A billionaire Saudi prince lost a London court battle on Wednesday when a judge ordered that he should pay a $10-million commission linked to the sale of a luxurious private jet to former Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi.

The High Court ruling is an embarrassment for Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, a nephew of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah, who gave evidence in person for two days at the trial earlier this month.

The prince was being sued by Daad Sharab, a Jordanian businesswoman who said she was not paid any commission for brokering the sale of the jet to Gadhafi, which was completed in 2006 for $120 million."

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The Abraaj Group exits investment in leading Ghanaian bank, HFC Bank -

The Abraaj Group exits investment in leading Ghanaian bank, HFC Bank - Business Intelligence Middle East - - News, analysis, reports:

"The Abraaj Group, a leading investor operating in growth markets, today announced the successful exit of its investment in Ghana based HFC Bank (Ghana) Limited (HFC). The Group sold its stake in HFC to Republic Bank Limited (RepBank), an independent Caribbean bank.

The Abraaj Group, through one of its Funds, acquired its initial stake in HFC in 2010 and made an additional investment in 2012. During Abraaj’s investment, HFC has become one of the leading domestic banks in Ghana and remained strongly capitalised, allowing it to increase its branch network. HFC currently has 27 branches across Ghana, and is working to open additional branches as it expands its reach.

With The Abraaj Group’s support, lending to businesses and consumers and deposits has grown significantly, with loans and advances to customers increasing over 100 per cent from  GHS160 million to GHS330 million, and deposits from customers growing over 150 per cent from GHS123 million to GHS312 million."

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Taqa Reports Second-Quarter Loss as Oil and Power Sales Slide - Bloomberg

Taqa Reports Second-Quarter Loss as Oil and Power Sales Slide - Bloomberg:

"Abu Dhabi National Energy Co. (TAQA), the state-controlled utility, reported a second-quarter loss as sales fell because of a cut in U.K. oil output and production halts at two power plants.
The company, known as Taqa, lost 172 million dirhams ($46.8 million) in the period, compared with a 447 million-dirham profit a year earlier, it said in a statement today to the Abu Dhabi stock market. Sales declined 3.1 percent to 5.86 million dirhams. The utility is 75 percent owned by the government of Abu Dhabi, the largest sheikhdom in the United Arab Emirates.
Taqa has stakes in businesses generating power and producing oil and natural gas in the Middle East, North Sea, India and North America. Last year, it expanded by adding oil-field operations in northern Iraq and buying U.K. crude deposits from BP Plc. (BP/)"

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‘Challenging market’ weighs on DP World -

‘Challenging market’ weighs on DP World -

Dubai’s DP World said on Wednesday that cargo throughput was down 5.8 per cent in the first half of 2013 on lower volumes in Asia, Europe and the Middle East and it expected tough market conditions to continue throughout the year.
The government-controlled ports operator said in a statement that it handled 26.6m 20ft equivalent units (TEUs) in the first six months of 2013, a decline of 2.1 per cent when its divestment of operations in the UK, Australia, Yemen, Russia and Hong Kong are taken into consideration.
DP World has been selling assets to refocus on its strength in emerging markets."

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The Future is Here at London's Design Museum: New ways of making

JKX reveals good progress in Ukraine | 31 July 2013 | Stock Market Wire

JKX reveals good progress in Ukraine | 31 July 2013 | Stock Market Wire:

"JKX Oil & Gas reports good progress on a complex programme in Ukraine with the first three of nine stages of the well R-103 frac being completed successfully.

An interim flow back has been performed for preliminary clean-up of the formation, and work has now started on stages four to six of the programme.

Each stage covers approximately 100m of the sub-horizontal 1,000m reservoir section.

Chief executive Dr Paul Davies said: "Operationally this complex programme has made very good progress and we now have three fracs completed successfully.

"We are seeing variability in the rock properties as we progress along the well bore, and we may encounter sections where the pump pressure to frac the rock exceeds the safe working limit of the equipment.

"We have, therefore mobilised additional equipment which should help us partially overcome the high break-down pressures encountered. I look forward to reporting progress with the next three stages of the programme." "

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5. Market comment: Stocks stay on upward path - Wed, 31 Jul - BUSINESS NEW EUROPE

Ukraine daily - Wed, 31 Jul - BUSINESS NEW EUROPE:

"The key Ukrainian index UX extended gains into the fifth session Tuesday, closing yesterday's trading 0.45% higher. The positive sentiment on local bourses was supported by corporate earnings from prominent companies in Europe, while investors looked into a two-day policy meeting of the U.S. Federal Reserve. Growth leaders in the index basket included Ukrnafta (UNAF, +1.67%), Raiffeisen Bank Aval (BAVL, +2.04%) and Donbasenergo (DOEN, +1.58%), followed by Alchevsk Steel (ALMK, +0.25%), Avdiyivka Coke (AVDK, +0.09%), Azovstal (AZST, +0.45%), Yenakiyevo Steel (ENMZ, +0.52%) and Motor Sich (MSICH, +0.11%). Centrenergo (CEEN) and Ukrsotsbank (USCB) lost 0.64% each. The WIG-Ukraine index also added 0.65% owing to Coal Energy (CLE, +14.57%), Agroton (AGT, +10.61%), Sadovaya Group (SGR, +8.16%), Milkiland (MLK, +2.08%), Ovostar Union (OVO, +1.32%) and Astarta (AST, +0.68%). In London, MHP (MHPC) gained 0.84%, Ferrexpo (FXPO) dropped 2.29%, while Avangard (AVGR) surged 5.77% (see below).

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EM and DM: converging? | beyondbrics

EM and DM: converging? | beyondbrics:

"A fascinating series of posts over at Aswath Damodaran’s Musings on Markets. Damodaran has been looking at risk and equity valuations in emerging and developed markets. He began with a round up of risk in emerging markets, where he found investors believe emerging markets are getting riskier. He concluded by using three different multiples to look at how investors price risk and return – and found he had much to learn.

But it’s the second of his three recent posts that caught our eye, where he looks at the thorny issue of convergence or divergence between EM and DM.

We warmly recommend clicking through to the post. But for a speed read, he looks at PE ratios, price to book equity ratios and return on equity for 24,429 EM companies and 36,067 DM ones to conclude that the two markets are indeed converging, for three reasons: declining profitability at DM companies relative to EM ones, declining differential equity risk premiums between the two, and declining differentials in real growth."

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Ukraine billionaire accused of fraud and coercion in US lawsuit - BUSINESS NEW EUROPE

Ukraine billionaire accused of fraud and coercion in US lawsuit - BUSINESS NEW EUROPE:

"Ukrainian billionaire Dmitry Firtash and his bank seized a soybean oil plant through "a campaign of fraud, physical threats, coercion and corruption," according to a lawsuit brought by businessmen Vadim and Ilya Segal. But the case may bear not so much on ownership of the plant, as on a massive bank fraud in Ukraine committed nearly five years ago at the height of the global financial crisis – and could spark revelations about the reach of organised crime in post-Soviet banking.

Brothers Ilya and Vadim Segal, the owners of Cyprus company Dancroft Holdings, in turn the former owner of Ukrainian company Kakhovka Prom Agro, have filed a complaint against one of Ukraine's richest and most furtive men Firtash and Nadra Bank, currently the Ukraine's 11th largest lender, in New York County Supreme Court."

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Ukranian News - GDP Down 1.1% In Q2

Ukranian News - GDP Down 1.1% In Q2:

"In April-June 2013, real gross domestic product went down by 1.1% against April-June 2012 (in constant prices of 2007), the State Statistics Service said.
As against January-March 2013, the GDP decreased by 0.4% in compliance with the season factor.
The State Statistics Service specified indicators of real gross domestic product during the year.
As Ukrainian News earlier reported, in October-December 2012, the gross domestic product slid by 2.5% against October-December 2011 (in constant prices of 2007) to UAH 378.564 billion (in actual prices).
In 2012, the GDP increased by 0.2% against 2011.
Nominal GDP in 2012 made up UAH 1,408.889 billion."

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Azerbaijan: Consortium Formed To Build Trans-Adriatic Pipeline Eurasia Review

Azerbaijan: Consortium Formed To Build Trans-Adriatic Pipeline Eurasia Review:

"Azerbaijan’s Socar has announced its alliance with Western oil companies to construct the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), which is planned to carry Azerbaijani gas to Europe via a European Union-backed route.

The state-owned Socar said on July 30 that it was forming a consortium with Britain’s BP, Norway’s Statoil, France’s Total, Belgian company Fluxys, Germany’s E.ON, and Switzerland’s Axpo to build the roughly 870-kilometer pipeline.

When it reaches full capacity, TAP is expected to carry some 20 billion cubic meters of gas from Azerbaijan’s offshore Caspian Sea Shah Deniz field to Europe.

The pipeline route runs through Greece and Albania, across the bottom of the Adriatic Sea, and ends in Italy."

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Bahrain's Batelco suffers slump in H1 net profit - Technology -

Bahrain's Batelco suffers slump in H1 net profit - Technology -

"Bahrain Telecommunications Co (Batelco) posted a 22 percent fall in net profit in the first half of the year weighed down by one-off expenses related to acquisitions and related financing, it said in a statement on Tuesday.
The former monopoly, which has reported declining profits in past several quarters, said first-half net profit fell to $71.6m compared with $91.8m for the same period last year.
"Profits for the period were impacted by a number of one off expenses associated with the acquisition and related financing," Batelco said in the statement."

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Analyst: Ukraine offers more reasons for optimism than Russia - Opinion - News - Ukraine Business Online

Analyst: Ukraine offers more reasons for optimism than Russia - Opinion - News - Ukraine Business Online:

"Neither Ukraine nor Russia has it easy as a result of their Soviet pasts and the collapse of Western moral leadership, but nevertheless, Ukraine by virtue of its pluralism, regionalism and more honest dealing with the past offers far more reasons for optimism than does the Russian Federation, according to Liliya Shevtsova.

Speaking to a group of journalism students in Kyiv, Shevtsova, an associate of the Moscow Carnegie Center and a prominent Russian commentator, offered praise for what Ukraine has achieved but only concern about what is happening in the West and in Russia (

The Moscow analyst began by noting that Ukraine and Russia share many problems, not just the familiar ones of their common Soviet past but the especially critical ones caused by “the deep and prolonged crisis” of the international system and especially of the absence of leaders and leadership from Western civilization."

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