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Friday, 9 August 2013

The week ahead: Annual animosity - YouTube

The week ahead: Annual animosity - YouTube

New Market Study Published: Ukraine Oil & Gas Report Q3 2013

New Market Study Published: Ukraine Oil & Gas Report Q3 2013:

"Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 08/09/2013 -- Ukraine's gas dependence on Russia is continuing to feed a heated political debate. The large cost of gas imports associated to the supply monopoly of Russia is pushing officials to seek to maximise domestic production and diversify energy sources. New EIA estimates of technically recoverable shale gas confirm that Shell's move to enter Ukraine's unconventional plays in early 2013 could be a solution for the country. It remains that Ukraine will have to improve energy efficiency in order to reduce the detrimental impact of energy dependence on its economy.

The main trends and developments we highlight for Ukraine's oil and gas sector are:

View Full Report Details and Table of Contents
"

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Ukraine Opportunity Trust NAV up | Interactive Investor

Ukraine Opportunity Trust NAV up | Interactive Investor:

"The Ukraine Opportunity Trust's net asset value per share rose to $5.56 at the end of June - up from $5.54 at the end of December and $5.35 a year ago.

Assets attributable to shareholders stood at $20.33m - up from $20.24m at the end of December and $19.55m a year ago.

At 1:12pm: (LON:UKRO) share price was 0p at 2.15p"

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A smarter smartphone



U.S. to help Ukraine achieve energy independence - ForUm

U.S. to help Ukraine achieve energy independence - ForUm:

"
The U.S. is interested in Ukraine's energy independence, as well as in its European integration. This will be the main priority of the newly appointed U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt. He stated this in an interview.

"My main priority is to support the European choice of the Ukrainian people. I plan to pay special attention to this issue - until the beginning of the Vilnius summit. The U.S. Embassy continues to support democracy and human rights, economic development, improved health care and energy independence - so that Ukraine finds its future in a free and peaceful Europe. In the coming months Ukrainian leadership has an historic opportunity to move towards European integration, and I will call to take advantage of this opportunity," Pyatt said.

The ambassador also said that American companies are ready to help Ukraine to achieve energy independence."

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African oil: new producers, new data | beyondbrics

African oil: new producers, new data | beyondbrics:

"Africa’s extractive industry has its fair share of challenges, but that hasn’t stopped the oil industry from charging ahead. Alongside traditional suppliers Angola and Nigeria, countries like Ghana and Equatorial Guinea are rapidly boosting their output. The continent holds 12 per cent of the world’s crude oil reserves.

It’s also means analysts and data providers need to catch up. Last week global energy data supplier Platts announced it is expanding its portfolio of African oil coverage, publishing daily price assessments for five West African grades of crude oil.

The new price assessments provide end-of-day values on the open spot market for two Nigerian grades (Akpo and Bonga), two Angolan grades (Pazflor and Plutonio) and the Republic of Congo’s Djeno, a heavy-sweet crude produced onshore."

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Guest post: what explains the Chinese and Russian stock discount? | beyondbrics

Guest post: what explains the Chinese and Russian stock discount? | beyondbrics:

"By William Wilson

In recent years, both Chinese and Russian stocks have sold at astonishingly low discounts relative to other emerging markets. While the price-earnings multiple (PE) for the MSCI Emerging Stock Index is hovering around twelve, Chinese and Russian stock multiples have collapsed toward mid-single digits. For the other Brics, India and Brazil, investors have been willing to fork out twice as much money for each dollar of earnings.

After peaking at 26 in 2007, China’s PE ratio has fallen continuously since the financial crisis. China’s collapsing equity valuations appear perplexing given that economic growth remained strong over most of this period (until very recently).


Source: Datastream

After briefly resuscitating after the global recession, PE multiples for Russian stocks (market-weighted average) have fallen below six, making Russia one of the “cheapest” stock markets in the world.
"

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Guest post: how aid helped turn Egypt into a disaster | beyondbrics

Guest post: how aid helped turn Egypt into a disaster | beyondbrics:

"
By Dalibor Rohac of the Cato Institute

Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham might be personae non gratae in Egypt but their call to stop US aid to the Egypt is fully justified. The story of Egypt displays all the pathologies commonly described the critics of foreign aid: waste, unintended consequences and the emergence of a culture of dependence and policy inertia.

This should not come as a surprise given that the aid – coming from the US, Europe or from the Gulf – has not been motivated by economic reasons but rather by the political importance of Egypt as the most populous Arab country."

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Czech pensions: unravelling | beyondbrics

Czech pensions: unravelling | beyondbrics:

"
Six months into its launch, the Czech Republic’s reformed pensions system is sputtering and could be headed for a tail spin. People aren’t buying into the system, and the second collapse of the government in as many months has made any bolstering of the reform unlikely.

The reform was introduced in January by the centre-right administration of then premier Petr Necas. It added a second, private-funded “pillar” to the existing pay-as-you-go system. The hope was that half a million Czechs would subscribe to the second pillar in its first six months and that eventually 2.5m, in a population of 10m, would join. But by July, barely 80,000 had joined up.

Necas resigned in June under a cloud of scandal, and on his way out blamed the negative publicity from the left for the second pillar’s subpar results."

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Emerging Europe looks to infrastructure to help spur growth | beyondbrics

Emerging Europe looks to infrastructure to help spur growth | beyondbrics:

"
By Nicholas Watson of bne

Europe may be in the doldrums, but some large infrastructure projects, crucially backed by multilateral lenders and export credit agencies, look set to give Emerging Europe’s economies a fillip over the next couple of years.

“The outlook for infrastructure projects is better, definitely we’ve seen a better start in 2013 and that will continue in 2014,” says Werner Weihs-Raabl, head of infrastructure finance at Erste Bank Group. “Romania and Croatia, for example, are building realistic projects; a few years ago it was rather castles in the sky.”

The better outlook for financing and building infrastructure in the region is a combination of various factors."

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Qatar builds its investments and its influence in a stormy Middle East - The Washington Post

Qatar builds its investments and its influence in a stormy Middle East - The Washington Post:

"
EGYPTIAN PRESIDENCY / HANDOUT/EPA - Egypt's Vice President Mohamed ElBaradei (R) talks with Qatari foreign minister Khalid bin Muhammad al-Atiyah (C), during a meeting at the presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt, Aug. 5
Tamim Bin Hamad al-Thani had just turned 15 the summer his father overthrew his grandfather. It was June 1995. While Sheik Khalifa Bin Hamad al-Thani, the emir of Qatar, was traveling in Switzerland, Tamim’s father deposed him in a bloodless coup.

Two months later, Tamim donned a straw boater and dark morning suit, the uniform of the elite English boarding school Harrow. Within two years, he was enrolled at Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, where British army officers are trained and Arab leaders have groomed their offspring for decades."

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Prepping for a bank bailout in China | FT Alphaville

Prepping for a bank bailout in China | FT Alphaville:

"A very intriguing little exclusive from Reuters on Friday:

(Reuters) – China is developing a new trading platform to enable banks to sell off loans to a wider range of investors, in a move that could pave the way for a government bailout of lenders or distressed asset sales to private investors.
The trading platform, now in the testing phase, is designed to introduce banks to a new class of investors, including non-bank financial institutions and large companies.
Currently, the lack of well-established precedents for asset disposals effectively leaves banks only two options: sell non-performing loans in private deals, mostly with big state-backed asset management firms, or keep rolling them over indefinitely to avoid booking a loss."

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Hungary: Wizz takes aim at new airline | beyondbrics

Hungary: Wizz takes aim at new airline | beyondbrics:

"
Solyom Hungarian Airways, the new Hungarian airline that is promising to serve 96 destinations with a fleet of 50 jets by 2017, has barely launched its website, let alone a fully loaded aeroplane – before coming under attack.

And from an unusual source: Wizz Air, a low-fare airline in Central and Eastern Europe, is normally a low-key player when it comes to commenting on rivals – certainly it eschews the headline-grabbing verbal fireworks associated with Ryanair. But a statement by Wizz on Thursday was a little more spiky than usual.

Despite it’s position that it “usually does not comment the activity of competitors…. as the development and the future of the Hungarian civil aviation is important for the airline, we decided to share the thoughts of our experts with the public,” Wizz declared, stressing that, with Solyom still firmly on the tarmac, it preferred only to discuss “general questions raised in connection with the current initiatives.”"

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Rate wait: Russia's main lender keeps benchmark unchanged at 8.25% on inflation fears — RT Business

Rate wait: Russia's main lender keeps benchmark unchanged at 8.25% on inflation fears — RT Business:

"The Central Bank of Russia (CBR) has decided against cutting their interest rate, instead deferring until inflation falls within target of 5 to 6 percent.

August marks the eleventh month the rate remains unchanged. In the official statement the CBR said, “the decision was based on the assessment on inflationary risks and perspectives for economic growth.”

"In July and at the beginning of August the rate of inflation declined, but remained above the target range and as of 5 August 2013 was estimated at 6.5% over a year ago,” the CBR said in justification of leaving the rate unchanged. "

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Russian steel town reels in billionaires | beyondbrics

Russian steel town reels in billionaires | beyondbrics:

"
Russia’s far flung steel producing regions are feeling the pinch as industrial growth slows down, reducing the income regions get from corporate income tax. So it’s heartening to see that the billionaire co-founders of Evraz have decided to register as tax payers in the remote Siberian town that is home to the Russian steel group’s biggest rolling mill, hoping their own mammoth personal tax payments will make up some of the shortfall.

Alexander Abramov, chairman of Evraz, and Alexander Frolov, the steel group’s chief executive, abandoned their official domicile in Moscow a year ago and re-registered, on paper at least, in the Siberian city of Novokuznetsk where they are paying taxes into the local budget, Vedomosti, the Russian business daily, reported on Thursday. The two men who own a combined 32.4 per cent of Russia’s biggest steel producer made the move in recognition of Evraz’ corporate social responsibility, a source at the company told the newspaper."

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WIG-Ukraine rises 1.2% while UX remains unchanged - Business - News - Ukraine Business Online

WIG-Ukraine rises 1.2% while UX remains unchanged - Business - News - Ukraine Business Online:

"As for current realities on a regional basis, Concorde Capital provides analysis of yesterday’s results:

“Ukrainian equities in Warsaw rode the positive momentum on the European markets in trading on Thursday, August 8. The WIG Ukraine Index of Warsaw-traded stocks rose 1.2%, led by the thinly traded shares of car battery maker WESTA (WES PW +10.0%). The other leading gainers were farming companies Agroton (AGT PW +3.6%), Kernel (KER PW +3.0%) and KSG Agro (KSG PW +1.1%), which has advanced 8.9% in three straight positive sessions. Beyond the index, Serinus Energy (SEN PW) increased 2.7%, breaking a four-session skid in which it lost 10.6%. In London, traders dealt a correction to iron ore miner Ferrexpo (FXPO LN -1.5%) after its prior-session surge of 13.2% on strong second-quarter earnings. JKX Oil & Gas (JKX LN +1.1%) has improved 6.0% in four straight winning sessions. The Ukrainian Exchange (UX) Index of Kyiv-traded stocks was unchanged, with the biggest mover being Avdiivka Coke (AVDK UK +0.8%). Beyond the index, Ukrtelecom (UTLM UK) slid 2.9%.”"

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Ukranian News - S&P Affirms Dnipropetrovsk At 'В/uaA-'

Ukranian News - S&P Affirms Dnipropetrovsk At 'В/uaA-':

"Standard & Poor's Ratings Services, an international ratings agency, has affirmed its 'B' long-term issuer credit and 'uaA-' Ukraine national scale ratings on the Ukrainian City of Dnipropetrovsk, the agency has announced in a press release.
The outlook is negative.
The ratings on Dnipropetrovsk reflect Ukraine's "volatile and underfunded" public finance system, resulting in the city's low financial flexibility and predictability, what we regard as "negative" financial management, material contingent liabilities related to municipal utilities, and a poor and concentrated economy. These constraints are mitigated by Dnipropetrovsk's low debt burden, strong financial support from the central government, moderate budgetary performance, and a "neutral" liquidity position. The rating on the city is capped by the sovereign rating on Ukraine.
As Ukrainian News earlier reported, in September 2012 S&P affirmed Dnipropetrovsk at 'B'.
Before, S&P said it regarded inappropriate assigning Ukrainian municipalities ratings higher than the sovereign one.
In mid-May, S&P affirmed Ukraine's long-term and short-term ratings at 'B/B'.
Later, S&P announced possible downward revision of the country's ratings."

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Ukraine: a tough autumn ahead | beyondbrics

Ukraine: a tough autumn ahead | beyondbrics:

"
Kiev is bracing for a shaky autumn, hoping its finances and economy can hold up.

Figures this week reveal that central bank reserves continued their steady two-year decline, falling to $22.7bn, the lowest level since 2006, 7.4 per cent down year to date, and just below 2.7 months of imports (three months is considered the safe threshold).

Source: NBU, IMF, Bloomberg, Dragon Capital estimates & forecasts
"

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Canada needs to nudge Ukraine toward EU - Winnipeg Free Press

Canada needs to nudge Ukraine toward EU - Winnipeg Free Press:

"
Supporters of former Ukrainian prime
minister Yulia Tymoshenko release white
 birds at a rally Aug. 5, the
second anniversary of her being held in prison.
(CP)
Europe is waiting to hear whether its largest country, Ukraine, will join the EU or Russia on a free-trade agreement. If recent exchanges between President Viktor Yanukovych and his Russian counterpart are indicative, there is a definite turn towards the EU. But there's a hitch.
The EU needs Ukraine to comply with some key conditions before the association agreement is signed. Among these demanded reforms are a fix of improper elections and, most importantly, the release of jailed ex-premier Yulia Tymoshenko.
There's been progress, but ensuring free elections is not one of them. Last fall's parliamentary elections saw serious vote tampering in five decisive ridings. Opposition party winners were replaced by the president's Party of Regions. Re-elections have yet to take place."

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Market Buzz: Russian equities await Central Bank decision — RT Business

Market Buzz: Russian equities await Central Bank decision — RT Business:

"Equities Friday will be focused on the Central Bank of Russia’s decision on the refinancing rate, which will stay put at 8.25 percent according to most analysts, as officials wait for inflation to drop below 6 percent before decreasing the benchmark.

If left unchanged, stocks will likely continue their five-day losing streak.

“Bank shares are sensitive to the stimulus speculation; the market would receive a boost if the central bank cut its main rates,” Stanislav Kopylov, an asset manager at told Bloomberg. "

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India’s Jet Airways shows $58m quarterly loss | GulfNews.com

India’s Jet Airways shows $58m quarterly loss | GulfNews.com:

"Indian carrier Jet Airways, which is set to sell a minority stake to Abu Dhabi-based Etihad, on Thursday posted its second straight quarterly loss, hit by lower income and high fuel prices.
The carrier reported a consolidated net loss of 3.55 billion rupees ($58 million) in the three months to June, against a profit of 247 million rupees in the same period last year.
Revenues fell 12.3 per cent to 40.64 billion rupees, from a year earlier, the airline said in a statement."

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Du's backdown is a consumer victory - The National

Du's backdown is a consumer victory - The National:

"Even for UAE residents inured to less-than-stellar standards of customer service, du's response to a complaint about its sudden price rise this week was remarkable.

To a gripe on Twitter by a disgruntled Du customer, someone at the telecoms company's official Twitter account replied: "Hey! If you don't want to continue with the services, you can cancel your account at one of our stores."

The tweet has since been deleted and the company has apologised for it and, as The National reported yesterday, du has even partially backed down on the 38 per cent price increase for its most basic internet and phone package."

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The Bouteflika era is ending and uncertainty lies ahead - The National

The Bouteflika era is ending and uncertainty lies ahead - The National:

"Algeria, a major exporter of oil and gas with a youthful population of 37 million, is led by a 76-year-old who claims he fought in the war of independence. Abdelaziz Bouteflika thus belongs to a generation that legitimises its hegemony over the country on the basis of its valour in the 1962 war of independence from France.

Mr Bouteflika, who is now clinging to power, was named minister of youth, sport, and tourism at the age of 26 under President Ahmed Ben Bella. He became foreign minister in mysterious circumstances after the 1963 murder of the incumbent, Mohamed Khemisti, the first of a long series of assassinations after independence.

Mr Bouteflika was the schemer behind the bloodless 1965 coup that toppled Ben Bella and brought Houari Boumediene to power."

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Inspiring trip to South Korea for female Emirati pioneers - The National

Inspiring trip to South Korea for female Emirati pioneers - The National:

"Before Eiman Ghanem and Mouza Shabeeb visited South Korea as part of their Jeda Al Jiouin initiative in May they never thought the trip would be so successful.

The two Emirati women, both from Abu Dhabi, who in March 2012 set up Jeda Al Jiouin with the aim of empowering and informing female entrepreneurs in the UAE, spent three days in Gangnam, Seoul, with the Emirates Business Women Council from May 28-30.

The trip was sponsored by the company they work for - Invest AD, which has also backed their business initiative."

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Oil minnow GS Energy has become a player in Abu Dhabi's coveted fields - The National

Oil minnow GS Energy has become a player in Abu Dhabi's coveted fields - The National:

"Surrounded by bulgogi restaurants and convenience stores plying rice patties and yogurt, the headquarters of GS - South Korea's eighth-biggest conglomerate by assets - seem somewhat humble.

The lobby is furnished with hard plastic chairs tucked against the walls, and it lacks the flashy LCD screens and demonstration tablets of more ostentatious rivals like Samsung, whose base is down the road in Gangnam, Seoul.

Yet this minnow among South Korea's chaebol, as the nation's family-controlled conglomerates are called, has managed to lay its hand on some of the world's most coveted oilfields in Abu Dhabi."

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DM Healthcare Group in Kuwait expansion - The National

DM Healthcare Group in Kuwait expansion - The National:

"DM Healthcare Group, which operates hospitals in the UAE under the Medcare and Aster brand names is planning an initial public offering by the first quarter of 2015 to fund expansion beyond its current markets of the Arabian Gulf and India.

The hospital, clinic and pharmacy group is looking at the London, Dubai and Indian stock exchanges for the IPO, and is not ruling out a dual listing.

DM Healthcare, which also currently operates in Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, is in talks to open pharmacies and clinics in Kuwait. The company is also exploring opportunities in Jordan."

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Competition is key in UAE telecoms sector - The National

Competition is key in UAE telecoms sector - The National:

"Greater competition, or at least the hope of more competition, took prominence in the UAE's telecoms sector in the first half of this year.

The Mubadala Development-owned satellite company Yahsat launched its commercial broadband service in the country, effectively becoming the third internet service provider in the UAE. Mubadala is an Abu Dhabi Government strategic investment company.

While most customers are unlikely to switch, for those who fall outside the coverage areas of du and Etisalat's fibre broadband coverage, Yahclick presents the opportunity to access high-speed internet."

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Iraq’s faltering oil resurgence raises price fears - FT.com

Iraq’s faltering oil resurgence raises price fears - FT.com:

"When Iraq surpassed Iran last year as the second-largest Opec producer for the first time since the late 1980s, it was heralded as a sign of the recovery of Baghdad’s energy industry a decade after the US-led invasion.
But less than 12 months later, Iraq has gone from being a leading source of growth in global oil supplies to an uncertain one – a development that is putting pressure on prices and posing challenges for policy makers in Baghdad, Washington and Riyadh."

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Saudi Gazette - Saudi borrowers may turn toward riyal bond mart

Saudi Gazette - Saudi borrowers may turn toward riyal bond mart:

"
Two Gulf Arab borrowers have attracted heavy investor demand for international bond sales in the past two weeks, but higher yield premiums are prompting many other potential issuers in the region to seek alternative funding sources.

In the case of Saudi Arabia, companies that might have issued bonds in the international market may now choose to issue in the country’s liquid riyal-denominated bond market.

In May, a senior executive at Almarai dairy firm hinted at a preference for an international bond issue, but last month the company appointed banks to structure a hybrid bond which, sources familiar with the situation said, is likely to be riyal-denominated."

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Saudi Gazette - Investors undeterred by ME crises

Saudi Gazette - Investors undeterred by ME crises:

"
Looking beyond the problems of a region beset by regime change in Egypt, a security crisis in Yemen and civil war in Syria, international investors are seeking out well-run businesses in Middle Eastern and even some North African stock markets.

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is a diverse investment universe which includes both energy importers and exporters, and surplus and deficit economies, but enjoys cross-border trade, investment and even aid links.

Investors have focused on young populations across the region, which they believe will provide future workers and therefore opportunities for business growth. They say businesses are often able to carry on, regardless of political instability."

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Ukraine's FX reserves to fall further, adding to debt pressures | Business Recorder

Ukraine's FX reserves to fall further, adding to debt pressures | Business Recorder:

"Ukraine's foreign currency reserves are likely to fall this year to their lowest level since 2006 because of its trade deficit and external debt repayments, a Reuters poll shows, contradicting the official forecast. The former Soviet republic's shrinking reserves have made creditors concerned about its ability to meet its debt obligations without International Monetary Fund support.

In June the reserves shrank to $23.2 billion, hardly covering three months of imports, from $24.5 billion, after the government repaid a $1 billion Eurobond without borrowing fresh money abroad. The poll predicts reserves will fall by 16 percent this year to $20.7 billion. "In August-December the government and the central bank must repay $4 billion in foreign-currency debt. If the government fails to refinance it, the money will be withdrawn from reserves," said Olexiy Blinov of Alfa Bank (Ukraine). "

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