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Monday, 12 August 2013

Egypt-IMF agreement an elusive prospect --- by Hani Sabra

Egypt-IMF agreement an elusive prospect --- by Hani Sabra:

"As Egypt’s economy continues to waver, policymakers’ ability to manoeuvre will grow increasingly limited. Egypt’s new military-backed leadership is likely to see more funding from GCC states that were unfriendly to the Muslim Brotherhood-led government and as a result, this will provide a short term respite. Authorities still need to implement reforms to resuscitate a moribund economy. However, implementing reforms will prove tricky: the authorities want to benefit the poor but also attract domestic and international investment—two aims that are sometimes contradictory in the short term. The period between Hosni Mubarak’s ouster in February 2011 through Mohamed Morsi’s July 2013 ouster, the conventional view was that an IMF agreement was the basis for a solution to Egypt’s economic problems because it would have illustrated Egypt’s creditworthiness, leading to more assistance and investment. However, TahrirTrends’ recently collected polling data suggests the overwhelming majority of Egyptians are not receptive to an IMF agreement. "

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Nomos Bank to Float $500M Share Packet | Business | The Moscow Times

Nomos Bank to Float $500M Share Packet | Business | The Moscow Times:

"Nomos Bank will float 19.5 percent of its shares, worth an estimated 16 billion rubles ($500 million), on the Moscow Stock Exchange, Vedomosti reported Monday.

The offering, approved by the bank's board of directors, is planned for September, a representative of the bank said.

Otkritie Capital will oversee the offering, while the starting price will specified later.

"The funds attracted in the offering will be used to develop the bank," deputy chief executive Dmitry Romayev said in a statement, without going into specifics

Nomos is a part of Otkritie Financial Corporation.

(MT)"

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Saving Oil and Gas in the Gulf | A Chatham House Report - August 2013

PDF at headline
Executive Summary

The systemic waste of natural resources in the Gulf is  eroding economic resilience to shocks and increasing security risks. The six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries now consume more primary energy than the  whole of Africa. Yet they have just one-twentieth of that  continent’s population. Almost 100% of energy is produced  from oil and gas without carbon dioxide abatement. If the  region’s fuel demand were to continue rising as it has over  the last decade, it would double by 2024. This is a deeply  undesirable prospect for both the national security of each  state and the global environment. Output generated is not commensurate with energy used. Energy intensity regionally (units of energy per unit of GDP) is high and rising in  contrast to other industrialized regions, and this is driven  by systemic inefficiencies. The situation threatens sustainability on several levels, and is exacerbated by groundwater  depletion and an increasing reliance on oil- or gas-fuelled  desalination.

Between 2011 and 2013, Chatham House worked with partner institutions, policy-makers and technical experts  in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Oman,  Qatar and Kuwait to support practical strategies to reduce  energy intensity. This report is based on the discussions at  six workshops which included representatives of over 60  local institutions with a critical interest in and influence  over domestic energy. To our knowledge, this is the first  report to offer practical recommendations that address the
key challenges of governance, political commitment and  market incentives from a GCC-wide perspective.

Remarkable progress is evident in the clean energy  targets and efficiency strategies that have sprung up across the region since 2009. Recognizing the risks in  the current system and the economic potential from new sectors, GCC governments have dramatically scaled  up plans that emphasize ‘sustainable energy’ transition.  For Saudi Arabia securing future hydrocarbons export  capacity is a priority. Across the region, remaining ahead  in the energy industry and preparing for multiple resource  stresses and price volatility are common drivers. The  ballooning costs of subsidies – and in the case of the UAE  and Kuwait, gas imports – make a clear business case for  government-led efficiency interventions. Estimates by the International Monetary Fund of the energy subsidy  burden on individual governments ranged between 9%  and 28% of government revenue in 2011. This is more than  is being spent on either health or education, and highlights  a missed opportunity to improve the living standards of  those who need it most.

All GCC countries now have clean energy plans or  targets and there are several impressive steps towards conservation. These include Saudi Arabia’s emerging  efficiency master plan, Abu Dhabi’s comprehensive cooling  plan, the integration of energy strategy in Dubai, innovation in green buildings standards in the UAE and Qatar,  and Oman’s and Dubai’s work towards cost-reflective  utilities pricing. Comprehensive development strategies  that aim at a ‘low carbon pathway’ or ‘green growth’ are also emerging (in Qatar and the UAE).

But in all GCC countries the effectiveness of plans  hangs in the balance, chiefly owing to governance challenges, lack of market incentives and unpredictable political support.

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Analyst says Agroton deal with bondholders leaves company seriously damaged

Analyst says Agroton deal with bondholders leaves company seriously damaged - Books/Stories - News - Ukraine Business Online:

"A bondholders meeting of Agroton’s (AGTPW) USD 50 mln notes maturing in 2014 approved the bond’s restructuring terms, the company stated in its August 9 release, Concorde Capital told investors today in an online communication.

The terms include extending the bond’s maturity by five years to July 2019, cutting its coupon to 8.0% from 12.5%, postponing its recent coupon payment (due July 14, 2013) by six months, and loosening its financial leverage covenants. Following the news, Agroton shares (AGT PW) increased 9.6% to PLN 2.52, the price before it had reported defaulting on its recent coupon."

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MIDEAST STOCKS-Blue chips drag down Dubai; political hopes support Egypt | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Blue chips drag down Dubai; political hopes support Egypt | Reuters:

"Dubai's stock market fell sharply on Monday as profit-taking hit Gulf bourses in general, while Egypt was supported by hopes that the army would soon act to quell anti-government protests.

The main Dubai index sank 1.7 percent to 2,623 points. Many analysts have been predicting a short-term pull-back for the market, which is still up 62 percent year-to-date, and technicals suggested that pull-back might be starting.

Fourteen-day momentum has dropped in recent days even as the market has risen, and Monday's close left the index testing support on its uptrend line from early July; any break would confirm an end to the bull run for now."

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Aldar Retreats for a Second Day After Earnings: Abu Dhabi Mover - Bloomberg

Aldar Retreats for a Second Day After Earnings: Abu Dhabi Mover - Bloomberg:

"Aldar Properties PJSC (ALDAR) had the biggest two-day drop since June as Abu Dhabi’s largest developer reported a drop in revenue and after the stock surged in July.
The shares fell 2.1 percent to 2.75 dirhams at the close in Abu Dhabi today, bringing the two-day retreat to 4.2 percent, the worst since June 24. Aldar surged 24 percent last month, almost three times as fast as Abu Dhabi’s benchmark index, which lost 0.6 percent today.
Aldar had a one-time gain of 2.6 billion dirhams ($708 million) from its merger with Sorouh Real Estate Co. as it posted second-quarter earnings on Aug. 7, the first day markets in the United Arab Emirates closed for an Islamic holiday. The company said revenue dropped 73 percent to 1.26 billion dirhams."

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UAE Central Bank lifts ban on loan transfers for Emiratis | GulfNews.com

UAE Central Bank lifts ban on loan transfers for Emiratis | GulfNews.com:

"The UAE Central Bank has lifted the three-month ban imposed on banks that prohibit them from purchasing and transferring the loans of Emiratis, provided the banks abide by three conditions.
The ban was lifted on August 6.
The Central Bank “will implement strict sanctions against banks that would not abide by its instructions”, the Central Bank said in a circular."

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KUNA : Burgan Bank announces KD 27.8m H1 2013 net profits - Economics - 12/08/2013

KUNA : Burgan Bank announces KD 27.8m H1 2013 net profits - Economics - 12/08/2013:

"Burgan Bank Group announced a KD 3.3 million drop in first half net profits for 2013 - representing KD 27.8 million in 2013 compared with KD 31.1 million a year earlier - despite gaining the highest quarterly net profits in three years.
In the announcement, Majed Al-Ajeel, Chairman of Burgan Bank Group described 2013 second quarter net profits, before precautionary provisions of KD 23.3 million, as "exceptional" "Operating income soared to KD 71 million registering a growth of 48pct compared to the same period last year. Operating Profits before provisions have also surged to reach KD 41.4 million, reflecting a growth of 41pct compared to the same period last year," he added.
The high quarterly performance has enabled the group to book KD 11.5 million in extra precautionary reserves to further support its growth plans and to strengthen the continuous improvements of its asset quality. Burgan Bank Group also achieved an annual growth of 5pct in loans and advances as well as a 13pct increase in customer deposits."

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Emaar Quarterly Apartment Revenue Doubles Amid Dubai Recovery - Bloomberg

Emaar Quarterly Apartment Revenue Doubles Amid Dubai Recovery - Bloomberg:

"Emaar Properties PJSC said second-quarter revenue from apartment and land sales doubled as the developer of the world’s tallest tower in Dubai benefits from a property market recovery in the Persian Gulf business hub.
Revenue from the sale of condominiums, commercial units and plots of land climbed to 1.63 billion dirhams ($443 million) in the three months ended June 30 from 815.6 million dirhams a year earlier, according to Emaar’s financial statement posted on Dubai’s stock market today. Income from villa sales dropped to 322.3 million dirhams from 325.7 million dirhams.
Emaar, Dubai’s biggest developer by market value, said on July 29 that second-quarter earnings rose 10 percent to 675 million dirhams, beating analysts’ estimates, as the company completed projects that were delayed by the 2008 property slump. Trade receivables fell to 413.9 million dirhams at the end of June from 958.6 million dirhams at the end of last year, the company said in its full financial results today."

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Cash transactions worry Dubai property regulators | GulfNews.com

Cash transactions worry Dubai property regulators | GulfNews.com:

"Dubai’s property market will continue to experience growth for the remainder of the year as expatriates look at the emirate as a safe haven for investment, experts say.
“There are a number of reasons people look to Dubai — the emirate has good capital growth compared to other markets,” Matthew Green, head of research at property consultancy CB Richard Ellis in Dubai, said.
But Green said that an increase in property transactions in 2013 leading to market growth had also contributed to increasing sales and rental prices."

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FINANCE - Large firms to lead Turkish bond market

FINANCE - Large firms to lead Turkish bond market:

"Turkey’s new international bond issuance for the rest of this year will be dominated by corporates with strong credit profiles.

After ports operator Mersin re-opened the market in early August following months of social unrest and global market instability, blue-chip issuers Coca Cola Icecek and Turk Telekom are the two big mandates in the country’s international deal pipeline, which is otherwise expected to be thin compared to the first half of the year.

Financial institutions are likely to be less active than usual, said market participants, although Akbank, Yapı Kredi and Ziraat Bank are known to have hired banks for potential deals."

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Kuwait Energy announces strong increases in revenue and production in Q2 2013

Kuwait Energy announces strong increases in revenue and production in Q2 2013 | Kuwait Energy Co (KEC) | AMEinfo.com:

"• Q2 revenue up 51.8%, year-on-year, to $77.6m (Q2 2012: $51.1m)
• Q2 production up 37.3% year-on-year, to 23,221 boepd (Q2 2012: 16,906 boepd)
• Q2 revenue up 21.2%, quarter-on-quarter, to $77.6m (Q1 2013: $64.0m)
• Q2 production up 7.6% quarter-on-quarter, to 23,221 boepd (Q1 2013: 21,568 boepd)
• Increases in revenue and production were primarily due to the new contributions from the Shahad SE field in ERQ, Egypt and the Company's 15% interest in Block 5, Yemen.
• Increased production also recorded at wells Yusr-38 ST and Yusr-60 in Area A, Egypt
• Short term debt facility with Kuwait International Bank for $25m was repaid during the quarter
• New short term facility of $15m with Qatar First Bank established"

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Russia will escape recession – Economic Minister — RT Business

Russia will escape recession – Economic Minister — RT Business:

"
Russian Minister of Economic Development Alexey Ulyukayev (RIA Novosti)
Russia will manage to avoid recession, says Aleksey Uluykaev, the country’s Minister for Economic Development. The official statement comes just days after Russia’s key statistics service said in 2Q the economy had expanded at the slowest pace since 2009.

“There’s no recession. And there won’t be one. Stagnation is probably a more appropriate term [to describe the Russian economy],” Uluykaev told Kommersant in his first interview since he was appointed to the position in June.

While poor investment and inefficient institutions remain huge drags on Russia, domestic demand and exports should help the country remain afloat, Ulyukaev added."

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Last week ends with big gains and losses in Kyiv and Warsaw - Business - News - Ukraine Business Online

Last week ends with big gains and losses in Kyiv and Warsaw - Business - News - Ukraine Business Online:

"Concorde Capital takes a look at Friday’s action in its daily market comment:

“Ukrainian equities concluded the week offering investors some big gains and losses in trading on Friday, August 9. The WIG Ukraine Index of Warsaw-traded stocks dropped 1.1%, concluding the week at a 0.9% gain. The biggest weight on the index was grain trader Kernel (KER PW -5.6%). On the flip side, investors scooped up Sadovaya Group (SGR PW + 12.9%) after reporting new sales and farmer Agroton (AGT PW +9.6%), which reported its debt restructuring plan was approved by shareholders. Its shares have risen 13.5% in two sessions, but have otherwise fallen 74.8% this year. In London, iron ore miner Ferrexpo (FXPO LN) jumped 5.9% on Chinese industry data, widening its August gain to 14.1%. Regal Petroleum (RPT LN) jumped 4.8% after eight consecutive unchanged sessions. Egg producer Avangard (AVGR LI +1.5%) has gained 4.7% in three straight positive sessions. The Ukrainian Exchange (UX) Index increased 0.3%, led by Raiffeisen Bank Aval (BAVL UK +1.2%). Ukrtelecom (UTLM -9.5%) has declined 12.3% this month.”"

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NBU reduces discount rate to 6.5%, says source » Interfax News Wire

NBU reduces discount rate to 6.5%, says source » Interfax News Wire :: Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Central Asia:

"The National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) for the second time this year has decided to reduce the discount rate, continuing a policy of stirring up crediting thanks to the low pace of prices.

A well-informed source in the governmental circles told Interfax-Ukraine that the NBU decided to cut the discount rate by 0.5 percentage notches, to 6.5% per annum.

The NBU on Monday morning announced a briefing of the director of the monetary and credit policy department, Olena Scherabkova, scheduled for 1400 on the discount rate."

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Experts downgrade forecast of Ukraine’s GDP growth in 2014, says ministry » Interfax News Wire

Experts downgrade forecast of Ukraine’s GDP growth in 2014, says ministry » Interfax News Wire :: Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Central Asia:

"Experts in August downgraded the forecast for growth of Ukraine’s real GDP in 2014 by one percentage notch compared to April’s forecasts, to 2.3%, reads a posting on the Web site of the Economic Development and Trade Ministry of Ukraine under the aegis of which their consensus forecast was drawn up.

“The consensus assessment of the pace of growth of real GDP in 2014 is 2.3%… The average growth of consumer prices (December on December) is predicted at 5.5% (varies from 3.4% to 9.3%), that for industrial prices – 7.7% (varies from 4.1% to 12%) compared to the expected growth in consumer prices of 3.8% and industrial prices of 6.7%,” reads the report.

According to the report, the consensus forecast for Ukraine’s economic growth in 2015-2016 on average is anticipated at 4.3%, while the variation in the smallest and biggest figure is 2.5 percentage notches, from 3% to 5.5%."

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Abu Dhabi Bank Sees Retail Demand After Revolts: Islamic Finance - Bloomberg

Abu Dhabi Bank Sees Retail Demand After Revolts: Islamic Finance - Bloomberg:

"Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank PJSC (ADIB) plans to expand in North Africa as the lender controlled by the emirate’s ruling family seeks to access more-populous markets.
The bank applied for licenses in Algeria and Libya and is considering Tunisia and Morocco, Chief Executive Officer Tirad Mahmoud, said in an Aug. 4 interview. Interest in Shariah-compliant banking has increased since 2011, when revolts in North Africa catapulted Islamists to power.
We are seeking to expand in nations with “a critical mass in terms of population and economic activity,” Mahmoud said. The bank wants to be better placed to serve companies, such as Dubai-based mall operator Majid Al Futtaim, which operate across the Middle East and North Africa and rely on global lenders such as HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA) and Citigroup Inc., he said."

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Economic Growth Slows Again, Sparking Recession Fears | Business | The Moscow Times

Economic Growth Slows Again, Sparking Recession Fears | Business | The Moscow Times:

"Russia has recorded another quarterly decline in its economic growth rate, fueling concerns about a possible recession and casting doubt on President Vladimir Putin's hopes to attain annual growth of 5 percent over the next few years.

The negative dynamic could intensify pressure on the government and the Central Bank to loosen the current fiscal policy, analysts said.

The economy expanded by 1.2 percent in the period from April to June, compared with the same quarter last year, down from 1.6 percent in the first quarter of 2013, according to the figures released by the State Statistics Service on Friday."

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Market Buzz: Russian stocks set to grow despite disappointing GDP, rate freeze — RT Business

Market Buzz: Russian stocks set to grow despite disappointing GDP, rate freeze — RT Business:

"Driven by recovering crude, Russia’s stocks are expected to continue their Friday positive into Monday session. Better-than-estimated Chinese industrial output should come as another market trigger.

Markets will “most likely, continue Friday's positive progress, and markets will keep on rising amid higher prices for commodities,” according to Andrey Shenk, an analyst at Investcafe.

Crude prices are recovering, even though the International Energy Agency has lowered its 2014 oil demand growth estimate by 100,000 barrels per day. WTI is up 0.01 percent at $105.98 per barrel, and Brent slid 0.15 percent to $108.06 a barrel. Oil prices are an integral part to Russia’s economy, as oil and gas account for nearly 50 percent of budget revenue. "

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Turkey divided over military trial



Qatar Airways keen on a tie-up with India low-cost carrier GoAir - Business Today

Qatar Airways keen on a tie-up with India low-cost carrier GoAir - Business Today:

"Cash-rich Qatar Airways is keen on a tie-up with the country's low-cost carrier GoAir as it does not want to be left behind archrival Etihad in the race for bilateral traffic rights, which provide Gulf carriers access to the huge Indian aviation market.

GoAir is expected to get approval to fly outside India sometime this year gaining access to a substantial share of bilateral traffic rights, a top government official said.

With close to 80,000 more seats per week still available with the government for bilateral traffic rights for Gulf destinations, civil aviation ministry sources said that a good share of these seats could go to GoAir. According to sources, GoAir and Qatar Airways representatives have sounded ministry officials on the issue in informal discussions held at Rajiv Gandhi Bhavan. "

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Saudi Arabia: Rising Gold Prices Threaten Some Factories With Closure Eurasia Review

Saudi Arabia: Rising Gold Prices Threaten Some Factories With Closure Eurasia Review:

"The rising prices of gold during the past two weeks caused stagnation in the Saudi market, and pushed gold merchants to activate sales because factories didn’t halt their production, according to the National Committee for Precious Metals.

The price of the precious metal has registered the second weekly decline, while the dollar has recovered from its lowest value since seven weeks ago.

Speculation about the US Federal Reserve to reduce the bonds purchase program with a value of $85 billion a month was triggered by the low price of gold, which reached its lowest levels this week."

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London's breweries bounce back



KSA ‘lifted oil output to 10m bpd in July’ | Arab News

KSA ‘lifted oil output to 10m bpd in July’ | Arab News — Saudi Arabia News, Middle East News, Opinion, Economy and more.:

"Saudi Arabia produced around 10 million barrels per day (bpd) of oil in July, up from 9.6 million bpd in June, an industry source told Reuters.
Saudi Arabia supplied a total of 9.99 million bpd to the domestic and export markets, the report quoted him as saying.
When Saudi output is higher than supply, the difference typically goes into storage."

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Aeroflot plans budget airline revolution in Russian skies | GulfNews.com

Aeroflot plans budget airline revolution in Russian skies | GulfNews.com:

"A Russian budget airline? The thought may fill some travellers with dread but Russia’s flag carrier Aeroflot is now taking serious steps to launch the country’s first sustainable low-cost airline.
Aeroflot has made huge strides in recent years to lay to rest its image as a disaster-plagued Soviet carrier, becoming a member of the Sky Team alliance and winning international awards for its service.
And now it wants to take another step by creating a Russian equivalent to EasyJet or Ryanair, whose success transformed travelling habits and the aviation industry in Europe."

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UAE markets drop on first day after Eid weekend | GulfNews.com

UAE markets drop on first day after Eid weekend | GulfNews.com:

"Abu Dhabi and Dubai indices fell on Sunday, the first day after the long Eid holiday weekend, amid a drop in trading volumes and a dry news spell globally at the end of last week.
The Dubai stock benchmark DFM General Index fell 0.24 per cent to close at 2667.65. The total volume traded stood at 257.69 million, and was valued Dh419.29 million, which was more than 37 per cent less than the daily average of Dh668 million over the last three months, according to data collected by zawya.com.
Of the 26 stocks traded on Sunday, 16 declined, eight gained and two remained unchanged."

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Ahead of Bahrain protests, a sweep against citizen journalists - CSMonitor.com

Ahead of Bahrain protests, a sweep against citizen journalists - CSMonitor.com:

"
Anti-government protesters in Bahrain on Aug. 10.
Hasan Jamali
Forget Egypt - Bahrain is about to experience another round of large countrywide protests and chances are, you might not hear about them.

A tiny island nation, Bahrain sits near Saudi Arabia in the Persian Gulf and is important to US interests in the region because it hosts the Navy's Fifth Fleet, responsible for patrolling the oil-rich region's waters.

On August 14, protesters have promised to take to the streets once more to demand democratic reform in the latest installment of a two-year long protest movement. The response of the government of King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa to the protest wave has been repression, and the government has made it almost impossible for foreign reporters to cover the turmoil."

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Business - UAE realty gains ground

Business - UAE realty gains ground:

"
Skyscrapers are seen at Dubai Marina in Dubai. The Land Department recorded total 30,469 transactions worth Dh108 billion during January to June period. — Bloomberg
Further improvements in sentiment in both the occupier and investment segments of UAE real estate market show that the tone in the property industry is continuing to gain ground, reversing the negative pattern that characterised the market from the back end of 2009 through till the middle of last year, according to the survey.

“The latest numbers demonstrate that the recovery story is continuing to gain traction in both the UAE and Japan and that real estate markets across much of Asia and in the US remain generally positive,” RICS chief economist Simon Rubinsohn said in a statement.

Specially, Dubai recorded huge investment in property market as foreign and Arab investments in the Emirate’s real estate market recorded a significant upswing in the first half. Value of transactions reached Dh53 billion on the back of mounting investor confidence spurred by attractive market environment, sustained economic stability and diversification, the Government of Dubai Land Department announced last month. During January to June period, the Land Department recorded total 30,469 transactions worth Dh108 billion."

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A good month for UAE banks - The National

A good month for UAE banks - The National:

"Most UAE banks reported their second quarter earnings last month and overall numbers beat market expectations.

The aggregate profit of all banks rose 21 per cent year on year and 4 per cent quarter on quarter.

The growth in fee income was strong across the board as economic growth boosted trade finance and other fees related income."

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Fenwick Elliot to launch in Dubai following profit rise | News | The Lawyer

Fenwick Elliot to launch in Dubai following profit rise | News | The Lawyer:

"Construction and energy specialist Fenwick Elliot will launch an office in Dubai early next year, after announcing dramatic increases in profit and revenue.

The firm will open the associate office in conjunction with Ibrahim Law Firm, a new UAE disputes and arbitration practice founded by partners Heba Osman, formerly of Freshfields’ Dubai office, and Ahmed Ibrhaim.

The firm said last year that it was considering launching in Doha but managing partner Simon Tolson said cited South Korean and Australian clients as a major factor behind the firm’s decision to open in Dubai instead."

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Can Mars and Venus Talk About Ukraine? - Carnegie Moscow Center

Can Mars and Venus Talk About Ukraine? - Carnegie Moscow Center:

"Russia and the European Union have never admitted that they have a problem. Unlike NATO, the EU has no history of hostility with Moscow. Economic integration and good neighborly relations are hard to dislike. In line with some Americans, much of the Russian elite regard Brussels with faint contempt: a project built on renouncing force and sharing sovereignty does simply not fit the Russian world-view.

Now confrontation of some kind looks inevitable. The issue, of course, is the struggle for the soul—or at least the political-economic model—of Ukraine, and to a greater or lesser degree, the other five Eastern European countries of the so-called Eastern Partnership.

At the Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius in November, the Ukrainians are likely to be offered an EU Association Agreement and the prospect of deeper European economic integration. But there will be strings attached—one of which is that the government in Kiev will be told that the deal is incompatible with Vladimir Putin’s Eurasian Customs Union. Armenia is facing the same dilemma on a smaller scale."

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Abu Dhabi builds property stock, but will cheaper rents follow? - The National

Abu Dhabi builds property stock, but will cheaper rents follow? - The National:

"Sixty five storeys above the sandy ground in Reem Island workers are putting the finishing touches to what is soon to become the world’s highest sky bridge.

Workmen have tidied up the final cables hanging down from the 245 metre structure containing 16 penthouse apartments and are now hard at work inside fitting electric cables and plumbing.

Developer Aldar says it has now completed more than 98 per cent of the entire 3,533-flat The Gate project next to Sun & Sky Towers and will finally complete the long-awaited project by the end of next month."

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Some Egypt businesses thrive in crush of economic downturn | Reuters

Some Egypt businesses thrive in crush of economic downturn | Reuters:

"Egypt's smaller companies have struggled since the uprising that pushed aside Hosni Mubarak in 2011. But in a few corners of the economy, businesses are doing just fine.

Against a background of unrest, access to credit and foreign currency has dried up. Government officials have stopped taking decisions and security has all but disappeared from the streets.

Factories and workshops have been hit by interruptions in subsidized diesel and gasoline and by regular power outages as the government runs low on the dollars it needs to import petroleum products from abroad."

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