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Monday, 5 August 2013

The Kremlin Tries Charm to Counter E.U. - NYTimes.com

The Kremlin Tries Charm to Counter E.U. - NYTimes.com:

"When President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia visited Ukraine last month, he said the historical ties between both countries mattered as much today as they had in the past.

“Our forebears lived for centuries together, worked together, defended their common homeland and made it strong, great and invincible,” Mr. Putin told Russian and Ukrainian naval forces in the port of Sevastopol. “Our blood and spiritual ties are unbreakable.”

He suggested that the armed forces of both countries be integrated. Ukraine’s president, Viktor F. Yanukovich, was less than noncommittal. He said there was scope for cooperating in modernizing the armed forces."

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UAE PMI rises as export market demand jumps | GulfNews.com

UAE PMI rises as export market demand jumps | GulfNews.com:

"Non-oil business activity in the United Arab Emirates increased in July, underpinned by new orders from abroad, a sign that the UAE economy remains in good health even as other emerging markets wobble, HSBC said on Monday.
The bank’s purchasing managers index, or PMI, inched up to 54.5 in July, from 54.1 in June. A reading above the neutral 50 level indicates the economy is expanding.
HSBC said the July data signalled further rises in output levels and new order intakes at non-oil producing private sector companies in the UAE."

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Romania: a surprise cut | beyondbrics

Romania: a surprise cut | beyondbrics:

"Worried about growth? Get cutting!

That was the message from Romania’s central bank as it surprised analysts and the market by cutting interest rates by 50 basis points to 4.5 per cent on Monday.

The bank noted in its statement (with our emphasis) that:"

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Business leaders in Dubai show high optimism | GulfNews.com

Business leaders in Dubai show high optimism | GulfNews.com:

"The overall business environment in Dubai has boost the expectation and confidence of business leaders across the emirate, however some are still concerned about the negative impact of short-stay visa validity and rising rent on cost of operations.
According to the Business Leaders’ Survey for Q3-2013 conducted by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, 48 per cent of the business leaders showed high optimism in the business environment while they called upon authorities to tackle the issues which have negative impact on their businesses.
Moreover, 26 per cent of the business leaders expected it to remain the same while other 26 per cent expected the conditions to worsen in the third quarter of the year."

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Dubai Land Department upgrading its legal infrastructure | GulfNews.com

Dubai Land Department upgrading its legal infrastructure | GulfNews.com:

"Upgrading the Emirate’s property laws is necessary to avoiding another property bubble in the Dubai, Director General of the Land Department Sultan Bin Butti Bin Mujren told Gulf News.
He added that Real Estate Investor Protection Law will be at the forefront of the forthcoming laws.
“The remarkable growth that real estate market is witnessing in Dubai requires serious modification and upgrading, aiming to avoid all previous obstacles, that the market experienced during the financial crisis in the last few years.”"

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Abu Dhabi National Takaful reports solid second quarter 2013 results | GulfNews.com

Abu Dhabi National Takaful reports solid second quarter 2013 results | GulfNews.com:

"Abu Dhabi National Takaful Company (Takaful) announced its financial results for the six months period ended 30 of last month, reporting a continued growth in net profit and other aspects.
Net profit during these six months was Dhs19.9 million compared to Dhs11.8 million for the same period last year with a growth of 69 per cent. The underwriting profit for the six months stood at Dhs16.4 million compared to Dhs11.3 million for the same period last year, which reflects a significant growth of 44 per cent , the company said on Monday.
Net claims incurred increased by 8 per cent against prior, in addition the basic and diluted earnings per share grew by 67 per cent ."

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▶ New London homes going overseas - YouTube

▶ New London homes going overseas - YouTube:

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Egypt Sees IMF Accord Crucial to Economic Rebound, Minister Says - Bloomberg

Egypt Sees IMF Accord Crucial to Economic Rebound, Minister Says - Bloomberg:

"Egypt’s interim government considers a loan agreement with the International Monetary Fund an “essential” part of efforts to revive economic growth, Planning Minister Ashraf El-Arabi said.
The timing of a resumption of talks on a $4.8 billion loan is still under discussion, El-Arabi said in a telephone interview today. The government is assessing Egypt’s financing needs based on the latest economic data, he said.
El-Arabi’s remarks come a day after Egypt’s government said it was told by visiting Deputy Secretary of State William Burns that the U.S., the IMF’s largest shareholder, supports the resumption of talks. Egypt’s negotiations with the IMF have been repeatedly disrupted since 2011, and have been on hold since the army deposed President Mohamed Mursi on July 3 following nationwide protests against his one-year rule."

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MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi rises above 8,000; Egypt extends rally | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi rises above 8,000; Egypt extends rally | Reuters:

"Saudi Arabia's main stock index rose above the 8,000-point level on Monday for the first time in nearly five years, while Egypt hit a fresh five-month high on increasing hopes for a peaceful resolution to its political crisis.

The Saudi index advanced 1.3 percent to 8,072 points, its highest finish since September 2008; it has gained in five of the last six trading sessions.

The kingdom's bourse will close from Tuesday for Eid holidays and resume trading on Aug. 13; investors' willingness to hold stocks over the holidays is a bullish signal."

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Egypt: PMI drop shows extent of economic problems | beyondbrics

Egypt: PMI drop shows extent of economic problems | beyondbrics:

"Tough times in Egypt: on top of all the political turmoil, the latest manufacturing index has fallen off a cliff to its second-lowest since the numbers began.

The Markit/HSBC purchasing managers’ index came in at a lowly 41.7 in July, down from 47.5 in June (50 marks the border between expansion and contraction) The longer the political uncertainly goes on, the harder it will be for Egypt to recover.

The country’s non-oil manufacturing sector saw a decline in employment for the 15th consecutive month, while both output and new orders saw their second-sharpest drop in the 28-month history of the index.
"

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DUPD gives update on Arricano investment | 5 August 2013 | Stock Market Wire

DUPD gives update on Arricano investment | 5 August 2013 | Stock Market Wire:

"Dragon-Ukrainian Properties & Development has given an update on its investment in Arricano Real Estate which last week confirmed it intends to seek admission to AIM.

DUPD says Arricano and its subsidiaries are among the leading real estate developers in Ukraine and specialise in operating shopping centres.

Arricano is engaged in all cycles of retail real estate development, from acquisition of land plots for development to delivery and operation of shopping centres. DUPD's final results announcement for the year ended 31 December 2012, released on 2 May 2013, stated that Arricano was considering an IPO in 2013. DUPD holds a 16.67% direct interest in Arricano, equating to 10,770,000 ordinary shares. DUPD also holds a 20% interest in Weather Empire, which DUPD acquired last month. "

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Smart-holding signs framework agreement on purchase of Ukraine's BM Bank

Smart-holding signs framework agreement on purchase of Ukraine's BM Bank:

"Smart-holding and Russia's Bank of Moscow have signed a framework agreement to sign a contract for the sale and purchase of 100% in Kyiv-based BM Bank, which is a subsidiary of Bank of Moscow in Ukraine, according to the Web site of Smart-holding.

According to the report, the agreement is part of the strategy to develop the banking business of Smart-holding in Ukraine and will strengthen the position of each of the banks owned by the holding.

"We have passed through all the stages of negotiations with partners and documented our agreements. The transaction will be formally closed as soon as we receive a permit from the regulatory authorities. But now we have appointed a number of key managers and have the opportunity to deeply study the situation at the bank and influence key decisions," reads a statement, citing Smart-holding CEO Oleksiy Pertin."

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No restrictions on money transfer to Ukraine from abroad applied - ForUm

No restrictions on money transfer to Ukraine from abroad applied - ForUm:

"No additional restrictions on money transfer to Ukraine from abroad have been applied, deputy governor of the National Bank of Ukraine Vira Rychakovska told a press conference, ForUm correspondent reports.

"We considered the question of limiting cash payments up to 150 thousand UAH only in Ukraine. As for transfer of currency, the same rules operate. Here we plan no changes," Rychakovska said.

ForUm"

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WIG-Ukraine increases and UX declines to end mixed week for Ukrainian stocks - Business - News - Ukraine Business Online

WIG-Ukraine increases and UX declines to end mixed week for Ukrainian stocks - Business - News - Ukraine Business Online:

"Analysis of trends in Ukrainian stocks

Concorde Capital provides more on Friday’s trading in its daily market comment:

“Ukrainian equities concluded last week with mixed results in trading on Friday, August 2. The WIG Ukraine Index of Warsaw-traded stocks rose 1.6%, powered by a surge in demand for the shares of grain trader Kernel (KER PW +5.4%). Farmer Agroton (AGT PW -2.5%) extended its volatility of recent weeks, falling 8.9% in the last two sessions. Traders dealt a correction to Serinus Energy (SEN PW -4.4%), which had surged 15.6% in the prior two sessions after the company announced it found a potential oil deposit. In London, Cadogan Petroleum (CAD LN) jumped 5.8%, followed by real estate firm DUPD (DUPD LN +3.0%) and egg producer Avangard (AVGR LI +2.4%), which has risen 8.1% in two sessions. The Ukrainian Exchange (UX) Index of Kyiv-traded stocks slid 0.3%, weighed down by Unicredit’s Ukrsotsbank (USCB UK -1.5%), which has fallen 7.6% in six straight losing sessions.”"

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World's 2nd-Tallest Skyscraper to Top 2,000 Feet


New groundbreaking law set to attract Foreign Direct Investments to Kuwait | Al Bawaba

New groundbreaking law set to attract Foreign Direct Investments to Kuwait | Al Bawaba:

"DLA Piper has welcomed the recently introduced Direct Investment Promotion Law in the State of Kuwait (Decree Law No. 116 for 2013), published in the Official Gazette (Kuwait Al-Youm) on 16 June 2013.

The new law will come into force six months from the date of issuance and is part of a number of legislative developments designed to install international best practices and further enhance the economic development of Kuwait, said a press release from DLA Piper.

Abdul Aziz Al-Yaqout, Regional Managing Partner, DLA Piper Middle East, said, "The new law is part of a number of recent, positive legislative developments in Kuwait's investment sector designed to encourage foreign investors as well as align it with international best practices.""

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US shale exports open the door to Asian chemicals makers | beyondbrics

US shale exports open the door to Asian chemicals makers | beyondbrics:

"For years, US chemical companies have benefitted from the Obama administration’s efforts to make the shale gas boom the saviour of US energy security. With US companies forbidden to export gas, the chemicals industry, for whom natural gas is a major ingredient, has enjoyed artificially low prices.

The administration’s decision to end the ban on exports of US shale gas will let Asian suppliers back into the market for valuable plastics.

Thanks to shale, the price of domestically produced natural gas in the US dropped from $12 per million British Thermal Units (MMBtu) in 2008 to $3.35 today. Asian chemical companies – such as PTT Global Chemical in Thailand, China Steel Chemical in Taiwan and LG Chem in South Korea – which produce valuable plastics such as ethylene (an ingredient for detergents) and methanol (a base product used in windshield fluids and gasoline additives) simply couldn’t compete."

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Rouhani has to justify his hopes for the new Iran - The National

Rouhani has to justify his hopes for the new Iran - The National:

"Despite months of speculation and outright guesswork about what the election of Hassan Rouhani will mean for Iran and for the region, his inauguration yesterday begins the era when his actions will determine whether the optimists or the pessimists will be proved right.

Both have been able to proffer plenty of material in their favour but with his presidency less than a day old, we suggest the starting point has to be one of cautious optimism.

The signals have so far generally been positive. Although no doubt triggered more by the effect of sanctions on the Iranian economy than by a sudden belief in international bonhomie, most of the statements coming from Mr Rouhani have been notably more open and conciliatory than the inflammatory rhetoric of his predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad."

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IP Global staying out of Dubai property market - The National

IP Global staying out of Dubai property market - The National:

"A leading property investment company has opted not to invest in the resurgence in Dubai's property market, citing the risk of fresh volatility.

IP Global manages more than US$1 billion of property assets owned by the company and clients in London, New York, Chicago, parts of Asia and South America.

But the company, which is active in more than 19 markets, says Dubai's property market does not fit its investment criteria at present."

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UAE financial shocks legislation reviewed - The National

UAE financial shocks legislation reviewed - The National:

"A draft law designed to boost the resilience of the UAE to financial shocks has been reviewed by Central Bank officials.

The planned Financial Services Law will overhaul existing rules on the regulation of banks and other financial institutions dating from 1980.

The Central Bank's board on Thursday discussed the latest amendments to the draft law, according to a press release from the regulator yesterday."

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Corporate governance in the Gulf can be a family affair - The National

Corporate governance in the Gulf can be a family affair - The National:

"Family firms are the engine of our global economy. Many of the largest multinational corporations began as family firms, and about 90 per cent of the world's businesses can be defined as such.

In the Arabian Gulf region, 80 per cent of GDP outside the oil sector is generated by family businesses, highlighting their utmost importance to the health of the region.

Most Gulf family firms have developed some form of governance procedures, but very few have a formalised structure robust enough to weather change, including generational transitions. Every family business is unique, and so it is important that governance frameworks are flexible. However, there are some intrinsically similar challenges that every business faces, and a strong governance framework is key to ensuring its long-term survival and success."

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New laws to curb Dubai property 'flipping' - The National

New laws to curb Dubai property 'flipping' - The National:

"Seven new laws in the next two years will regulate Dubai’s property market and ward off speculators.

The laws are aimed at maintaining the recovery in property values without a price bubble, protecting investors, increasing the flow of development finance and curbing the practice of rapid “flipping” of off-plan purchases.

Dubai’s property market has entered a new phase of growth and increased demand, said Sultan Butti bin Mejren, director general of the Dubai Land Department."

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Achieving clarity and restoring trust | GulfNews.com

Achieving clarity and restoring trust | GulfNews.com:

"The global financial crisis continues to have a painful impact on investors around the world. A cursory glance at any daily newspaper, evening news bulletin or popular blog sustains a general public perception that blame falls to the financial community. If a viable return to growth is to be achieved, it will be largely dependent on rebuilding public confidence in the credibility of the world’s financial systems.
In emerging markets, such as in the Middle East, the financial impact of the crisis has been more muted. However, rapid economic development and the impact of the Arab Spring have compounded the demand for stronger financial systems and processes, to promote transparency and good corporate governance, to tackle corruption and promote international best practice.
In both cases, trust is the fundamental building block. The challenge is how we go about delivering it."

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UAE stocks rise on property rally | GulfNews.com

UAE stocks rise on property rally | GulfNews.com:

"Dubai stocks climbed yesterday on last week’s positive global cues as investors also position themselves betting a rise in share prices after Eid.
“The DFM rose in line with global market moves towards end of last week,” said Amer Khan, fund manager at Shuaa Asset Management. “Its been unusually well bid through the summer, the results thus far have lent further support to that sentiment. So, today was likely continued investor positioning ahead of post-Eid markets.”
Construction and property stocks led the rally as investors gain increasing confidence in the emirate’s real estate recovery that is reflected in the increasing prices in various segments."

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Dubai needs safeguards against property bubble

Dubai needs safeguards against property bubble:

"Dubai’s economic recovery is gaining momentum, riding on the back of a dramatic upturn in the property market.

The real estate sector, which has rebounded from a 50% drop in home sales prices after the 2008 financial crisis, has seen average residential rentals grow by over 30% over the past 12 months, consultancy CBRE said last week. And bellwether Emaar Properties, the emirate’s largest developer and builder of the Burj Khalifa, has posted a 10% growth in second-quarter net profit. The buoyancy is reflected in a booming stock market, which has gained 37% in the first half, making it one of the best-performing exchanges in the world.

In the last few months, state-linked Dubai companies (GREs) have announced a slew of mega projects. Last month, Emaar said it would form a venture with Dubai Holding to build Dubai Creek Harbour, a 6.5mn sq m district including business, shopping, sporting and entertainment facilities. Emaar separately formed a venture with Meraas Holding to build a residential and commercial area near the city’s downtown area. The Meydan Group and the Sobha Group have announced plans to develop a leisure, retail and residential complex."

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Times of Oman | News :: National Investment Funds sees good response for its Sharia-compliant fund

Times of Oman | News :: National Investment Funds sees good response for its Sharia-compliant fund:

"National Investment Funds Company (NIFCO) expects good response to its recently concluded Sharia-compliant open-ended investment fund — Al Kawthar Fund.

"The minimum size of the fund is OMR2 million and we believe that we are going to exceed this benchmark," National Investment Funds Company Chief Executive Officer, Sheikh Rashid Saif Al Saadi, told Times of Oman. "Positive response has been received from potential investors." The issue closed initial subscription on August 1."

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Times of Oman | News :: Omantel’s H1 revenue rises 2.1%

Times of Oman | News :: Omantel’s H1 revenue rises 2.1%:

"Oman Telecommunications Company (Omantel) yesterday said its revenue for the first half of 2013 rose 2.1 per cent to OMR239.3 million, while net profit for the six month period showed a marginal decline.

Omantel's revenue has for the first six months increased to OMR239.3 million from OMR234.5 million the same period of 2012 while the net profit stood at OMR60.5 million against OMR62 million in 2012. Its domestic customer base has grown by 9.3 per cent while the group customer base has also grown by 6.6 per cent year-on-year. Omantel board approved distributing interim dividend of 40 per cent of the share nominal value to be paid to registered shareholders by the end of trading hours of Thursday August 29, 2013."

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Ukraine: The Energy To Change Course

Ukraine: The Energy To Change Course:

"Twenty-two years after breaking free from the USSR, Ukraine is now attempting to do the unthinkable and permanently shake Russia’s hold on the country. The plan? Looking westward to the European Union and building an energy hub that might just revolutionize the region’s geopolitical status quo.

When Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych came to power after a vigorous election race in February 2010, the country had just spent 5 years under their most avowedly pro-Europe President so far, Viktor Yushchenko, and yet had made few concrete steps to edging out of the Soviet shadow. While Yushchenko rode the wave of the Orange Revolution into office promising integration with the EU, relations with Brussels subsequently grew cold, half due to his inaction and half to the EU’s preoccupation with its own economic crisis."

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