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Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Aldar Properties chief executive resigns | GulfNews.com

Aldar Properties chief executive resigns | GulfNews.com:

"Aldar Properties, Abu Dhabi’s largest real estate developer by assets and market capitalisation, said on Tuesday that Sami Haidar Assad, its chief executive officer, has resigned, citing “personal reasons”.
In a statement to the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX), Aldar said Assad’s resignation was effective August 15 while adding details with regard to the appointment of a new company chief executive would be announced at a later date.
Aldar’s stock ended 2.55 per cent higher yesterday, closing at Dh2.82."

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UAIndex down again in spite of continuing sharp Agroton increases

UAIndex down again in spite of continuing sharp Agroton increases - Business - News - Ukraine Business Online:

"Now that Agroton has its bond default problems behind it, the stock is moving up daily. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the entire Index, which closed Monday down -0.60% at 4,257.28.

Agroton took Best Performing and Volume Leader honors on Monday, closing up a quite healthy +10.55% for the day on trading volume of 566,713 shares.

Agrokultura AB topped the Worst Performing list on a technical basis [-2.01% / 5,746 shares traded] but much more important was MHP’s second place, down -1.78% on 176,504 shares."

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Russian denies cyber attack on Abu Dhabi bank, Carrefour - The National

Russian denies cyber attack on Abu Dhabi bank, Carrefour - The National:

"A Russian man has pleaded not guilty to involvement in a string of cyber attacks targeting companies including Carrefour, Nasdaq, Visa Jordan and an unnamed Abu Dhabi bank.

US prosecutors have accused Dmitriy Smilianets of participating in the largest known data breach after breaking into more than a dozen companies alongside a gang of computer hackers.

Prosecutors charged five hackers based in Russia and Ukraine with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and unauthorised computer access over a seven-year period."

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MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi Arabia leads reopening Gulf markets higher | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi Arabia leads reopening Gulf markets higher | Reuters:

"* Saudi index rises 0.5 pct in active trade

* Buying across property, petrochem, telecom sectors

* Dubai bounces from short-term uptrend line

* Aldar Properties surges as CEO leaves

* Egypt edges up as political stalemate continues

By Andrew Torchia

DUBAI, Aug 13 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia led other Gulf markets higher on Tuesday as most reopened after long Eid holidays, while Dubai bounced from technical support, suggesting its bull run is not yet stalling.

After a week-long break, the main Saudi index climbed 0.5 percent to 8,115 points in active turnover.

Buying was seen across a wide range of sectors; property developer Dar Al Arkan, the most active stock, gained 1.4 percent while petrochemical firm Saudi Kayan rose 2.1 percent."

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UAE Federal Supreme Court rejects constitutional challenge arising from DIAC Arbitration - Business Intelligence Middle East - bi-me.com - News, analysis, reports

UAE Federal Supreme Court rejects constitutional challenge arising from DIAC Arbitration
Source: Clyde & Co , Author: Michael Grose and Bevan Farmer
Posted: Tue August 13, 2013 3:40 pm



UAE. On 19 February 2013 the Constitutional panel of the UAE Federal Supreme Court (FSC) rendered a judgment in case 4/2012, declining to rule on a constitutional challenge that was raised during arbitration proceedings as there is no procedure that permits constitutional challenges to be brought from arbitration proceedings.
In brief
The FSC held that courts, as an emanation of the state, must operate in a manner consistent with the UAE Constitution and, accordingly, courts and litigants have been given the right by the Federal Supreme Court Law to refer a constitutional challenge to the FSC for a ruling. Arbitral tribunals and parties to arbitration have not been granted the same right because arbitration operates not as part of the state apparatus but, instead, by private agreement of the parties.
Background
In 2005 a joint venture (JV), comprising three contractors, entered into a construction contract with a government department in Dubai.  The contract provided for disputes to be resolved by a three member arbitral tribunal under the Dubai International Arbitration Centre (DIAC) Rules. The contract was subject to the laws of Dubai and the UAE.
In 2007 the rights and liabilities of the government department were transferred by a Dubai law (the 2007 Dubai Law) to a newly formed statutory corporation as part of a restructuring and corporatisation of the relevant part of the public sector in the Emirate of Dubai.
A dispute arose over the amount due to the JV and in 2010, some three years after the 2007 Dubai Law came into effect, the JV commenced arbitration against the government department. An issue arose as to whether the government department was the proper respondent and whether the arbitration could continue as constituted notwithstanding that the rights and liabilities of the government department had been passed to the new statutory corporation.
The JV argued that the 2007 Dubai Law, by changing the parties to the contract, was in conflict with the UAE Constitution which provides, in general, that laws should not operate retrospectively. The claimants added that the 2007 Dubai Law was also in conflict with the Federal Civil Code, which by virtue of the UAE Constitution is a superior law to the 2007 Dubai Law, as a valid assignment requires consent from the JV which was not given. In consequence, the 2007 Dubai Law should not be given effect.
Federal Supreme Court
The Tribunal concluded that these were constitutional challenges over which the FSC has exclusive jurisdiction. In relation to constitutional challenges Article 33(4) of the Federal Supreme Court Law provides:
“The Supreme Court has exclusive jurisdiction to look into the following matters:
(4)       Examine the constitutionality of Laws, legislation, and regulations in general if such petition is referred to the Supreme Court by any court of the Federation or of any of the Emirate members during an action processed before said courts.”
The Tribunal ordered a stay of the arbitration to allow the JV to bring the constitutional challenges before the FSC. The JV proceeded to the FSC for a decision on the constitutional challenges, relying on Article 58 of the Federal Supreme Court Law which provides that:
“Requests for consideration of constitutionality arising during a case before the courts shall be referred to the Supreme Court by virtue of a reasoned decision from the court…”
The article goes on to provide that either a court or a litigant in a lawsuit may raise a question of constitutionality for a ruling by the FSC.
Before examining the merits of the constitutional challenge, the FSC found that it had to be satisfied that the plea had been properly referred to it. In that regard, the FSC held that Article 58 of the Federal Supreme Court Law provides for specific procedures which must be strictly followed in order to refer a matter to the constitutional court. The relevant procedures provide that a constitutional challenge can be referred to the FSC by a federal or local court or a litigant in such courts. An arbitral tribunal is not a court for this purpose.
The JV was not entitled to refer the constitutional challenge arising in the arbitration proceedings directly to the FSC as this was not contemplated under the terms of Article 58 of the Federal Supreme Court Law and the case was accordingly dismissed.   
Analysis
The FSC’s judgment is consistent with the wording of Articles 33(4) and 58 of the Federal Supreme Court Law.  These Articles expressly provide that referrals can be made by “courts” and must arise from an “action” or “case” “before [the] courts”. Furthermore, Article 58 refers to constitutional challenges raised by “litigants in the lawsuit”. The decision makes it clear that these terms will be narrowly construed and do not permit referrals to the FSC from decision making bodies under alternative dispute resolution procedures.
A distinction is drawn between the function of courts which, as part of the apparatus of state, must operate within the UAE Constitution and arbitral tribunals which are a private means of dispute resolution, in which the institutions of state and, therefore, the UAE Constitution are not directly engaged. The judgment is clear in its justification of why the power to refer constitutional challenges rests with the courts:
“The objective intended by the legislator of Article 58 of the Union Supreme Court is to protect the presumption of constitutionality attached to all legislative provisions, and to ensure stability of such legislative provisions so that they perform their social function.”
The opportunities for the UAE Constitution to be used to mount challenges to federal and local laws are purposely circumscribed in order to protect that presumption of constitutionality and to permit legislation to perform its intended social function. The FSC reinforced its reasoning in the context of arbitration:
“Arbitration is a consensual process operating within the scope of relationships established by private law. These relationships make parties comply with the provisions of a law even if they have doubts about the unconstitutionality of these provisions because the private interest dominates these relationships.”
As these passages highlight, there is a presumption that the laws of the UAE are constitutional. Accordingly, parties to arbitration are bound by the laws to which they have submitted by agreement, notwithstanding any doubts they may have as to the constitutionality of such laws.
If you would like further information on any issue raised in this update please contact Michael Grose.

You can access related articles on the Clyde & Co website at www.clydeco.com.
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Doing Business: Moscow works on self-improvement | Russia Beyond The Headlines

Doing Business: Moscow works on self-improvement | Russia Beyond The Headlines:

"
Last year Russia ranked 112th among 185 countries with favorable conditions
for small and medium-sized businesses. This year the authorities are determined
to get the country into the top 100. Source: Reuters
In mid-July a Russian delegation held consultations with the World Bank on ways of improving the rating of Russia in the Doing Business rating. Representatives from the Federal Tax Service, the Federal State Service of Registration, Inventory and Mapping (Rosreestr), the Ministry of Economic Development, the Agency for Strategic Initiatives, and the government of Moscow City provided analysts from the World Bank with up-to-date information on the state of affairs in Moscow, as well as suggestions for adjusting the ratings’ methodology.

 Mikhail Pryаdilnikоv: "We simplified the procedure for supporting small businesses and made it more transparent". Source: Press Photo
Last year Russia ranked 112th among 185 countries with favorable conditions for small and medium-sized businesses. This year the authorities are determined to get the country into the top 100."

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Upgrade of Qatar, UAE to bring potential benefits | GulfNews.com

Upgrade of Qatar, UAE to bring potential benefits | GulfNews.com:

"The reclassification of Qatar and the UAE has created much excitement, but will take effect officially with the MSCI’s May 2014 semi-annual index review.
Significant potential benefits include an increase in portfolio flows with the entry of foreign institutional investors and passive or index-tracking investors. Many market participants are now anticipating windfall investment flows and research houses have been quick to calculate the expected flows into the UAE and Qatari exchanges. We believe it is premature to quantify the immediate effects due to several variables. However, we are encouraged by longer-term prospects and expected institutionalisation of these markets.
Hopes for the MSCI upgrades and entry of new investors helped boost stocks in Qatar and the UAE, currently among the world’s top performers year-to-date. We believe the long-term implications are even more meaningful. The upgrades could attract additional liquidity, providing policy makers with an ongoing impetus to reform."

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The Ukraine: Shifting Trends In Telecoms Sector - Media, Telecoms, IT, Entertainment - Ukraine

The Ukraine: Shifting Trends In Telecoms Sector - Media, Telecoms, IT, Entertainment - Ukraine:

"The Ukraine is gradually getting regulation in place for its fast growing telecoms sector, says partner Nazar Chernyavsky of Ukraine law firm Sayenko Kharenko.

The Ukrainian telecom market has been developing very fast over the past years and as a result has become one of the most advanced and innovative industries in Ukraine. The basic laws governing this sector are the Law of Ukraine "On Telecommunications" dated 18 November 2003, as amended (the "Telecommunications Law") and the Law of Ukraine "On Radio Frequency Resource" dated 1 June 2000, as amended (the "Radio Frequency Law") with the National Commission for State Regulation of Communications and Informatization (the "NCRCI") acting as principal regulator and developing the whole range of implementing instructions and regulations."

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Dubai Airport repairs to hit Qantas flights

Dubai Airport repairs to hit Qantas flights:

"Qantas faces a reduction in flights to Dubai during a three-month period next year due to urgent repairs to the runways at the world's second-busiest international airport.

It has emerged that Dubai Airport told Qantas in late April that it proposed halving the number of flights it could operate there while major construction work was carried out on two runways.

The runway closures also threaten to reduce the number of flights that Qantas' alliance partner, Emirates, can operate between its home base and Australia. Between them, Qantas and Emirates control more than half of the market share of passengers who fly between Australia and Europe."

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Exclusive: Barclays considers potential sale of UAE retail business | Reuters

Exclusive: Barclays considers potential sale of UAE retail business | Reuters:

"Barclays Plc (BARC.L) is conducting a strategic review of its retail banking operations in the United Arab Emirates which could lead to a sale of the business, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

Britain's fourth-largest bank by market value confirmed on Tuesday it was holding the review of the UAE retail business but did not provide any further comment. The sources spoke on condition of anonymity as the matter is not public.

Under Chief Executive Anthony Jenkins, Barclays is axing at least 3,700 jobs, reining in pay of senior bankers and closing businesses across the group in the face of new regulatory curbs on risk."

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LNG vessel from Qatar still anchored off Kochi port - The Hindu

LNG vessel from Qatar still anchored off Kochi port - The Hindu:

"Wilenergy, the LNG vessel carrying natural gas from Qatar to Kochi, is still anchored off Kochi port. The vessel will be berthed at the offloading terminal after completion of desilting operations under way there. The desilting, being carried out by two dredgers, will continue on Tuesday, officials of Petronet LNG Limited said.

The vessel could not berth at the LNG facility owing to the large-scale deposit of silt brought by heavy monsoon rain and rough seas. The desilting operations will ensure adequate depth for the 283- metre-long vessel, with a width of 50 metres and draught 11.2 metre, to be berthed.

The vessel has arrived in accordance with the supply arrangement as per an agreement signed between Petronet LNG Limited and RasGas, the natural gas supplier based in Qatar. Wilenergy, built in 1983, and carrying the Marshall Island flag, has a gross tonnage of 10,2390 and dead weight of 7,055 tonnes. It had left Ras Laffan port, Qatar, five days ago."

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President instructs check Ukraine’s readiness for signing Association - ForUm

President instructs check Ukraine’s readiness for signing Association - ForUm:

"
President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych instructed the Justice Ministry to study the issue of readiness of bills, required to sign the Association Agreement with the European Union in November of this year at the summit of "Eastern Partnership" in Vilnius.

"On the eve of the active political season and the start of work of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, the President instructed to study the readiness of legislation necessary for the signing of the Association Agreement with the European Union in November," justice minister Olena Lukash said after a meeting with the President.

According to her, Yanukovych stressed the need to take into account position of the international experts while finalizing the bills.

ForUm"

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Agronomy-Ukraine: The problem with Ukraine is...

Agronomy-Ukraine: The problem with Ukraine is...:

"
Ukraine has land, lots of it; 32 million hectares of large flat arable fields.

Ukraine has a great climate; an intense growing season that turns the country from drab winter greys to a vibrant green jungle inside of a week and allows all the major commodities to flourish.

Ukraine has soil; deep, fertile, easily worked stuff, even the Nazis, not best known for their agronomy skills, recognised the potential, shovelled it in to wagons and carted it back to Berlin."

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Why Gold Has an Interesting Tale to Tell

Why Gold Has an Interesting Tale to Tell:

"If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again. That’s probably what Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is thinking right now on the news that Japan's economy grew much less than expected in the second quarter. The expectation was that nominal economic growth would come in at an annual rate of 3.6%. Instead, the economy expanded by just 2.6%.

That’s quite a difference. Perhaps everyone is getting a little too excited by ‘Abenomics’, the revolutionary economic policy that basically involves Japan printing its way to prosperity. Or perhaps this is just how a formerly lumbering economy warms up. A few numbers below expectation and then, wham! an inflationary explosion of economic growth.

One thing is for sure, it certainly won’t deter Japan’s policymakers from continuing on their current course. It’s inflate, or fall into a deflationary trap. Fire or ice.
"

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A Strong Contrarian Signal That the US Market is Toast

A Strong Contrarian Signal That the US Market is Toast:

"It’s still sum… sum… summertime. Still lazy, hazy and crazy. And still not much action in the financial markets. The Dow sold off a little on Friday. Gold went nowhere.

You’ve already heard our guess: investors are marking time… waiting… procrastinating… maybe even thinking things over. The serious action won’t begin until summer ends. Then, they’ll return to their desks… and PANIC.

Panics are rare. Crashes are rare. And we’re not going to predict something with small odds. Most likely, it won’t happen."

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An Economic Recovery Where'd You'd Least Expect It, Dubai.

An Economic Recovery Where'd You'd Least Expect It, Dubai.: "
‘I get calls weekly asking if I will sell my home. I finally stopped one to ask, ‘Does anybody actually say yes?’ And he said, ‘Of course. Otherwise, why would we do this?’’

You might guess such cold-calling for houses is now happening in some hot U.S. market, like San Francisco. But no, this is actually going on in Dubai.

This little city-state in the United Arab Emirates, on the Persian Gulf (or the Arabian Gulf, as it is called there), is enjoying a spectacular recovery. Yet there is still a long way to go. And there are ways to take advantage of the trend."

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New Economic Zones to spur non-hydrocarbon growth in Qatar

New Economic Zones to spur non-hydrocarbon growth in Qatar:

"Qatar’s ongoing policy to diversify its economy into non-hydrocarbon sector is expected to get a huge boost with the opening of three proposed Economic Zones scheduled in 2016-2017. With a projected 7.6 percent growth in the non-oil sector for the current year, Qatar is already ranked as the country with highest growth rate in the real non-oil sector in the region.
The three economic zones coming up in various locations will be mainly dedicated to the start-ups, innovations and SMEs in the non-hydrocarbon sectors.
Covering an estimated four square kilometres Zone One, under development near the  Hamad International Airport, is expected to target companies that produce high-value technology and manufacturing, as well as regional and domestic logistics services. This zone will also be assigned to air freight, electronics, pharmaceutical industries and global warehouses. "

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Russia worried as Ukraine creeps closer to EU - The Times of India

Russia worried as Ukraine creeps closer to EU - The Times of India:

"Ukraine is moving closer to finally agreeing a key first step towards joining the European Union, sparking concern from Russia that Kiev is decisively shifting away from the Kremlin, analysts said.

There are mounting signs that Kiev will finally ink an Association Agreement with the European Union at a summit in November, in a historic first step for the ex-Soviet republic towards joining the bloc, analysts said.

"The train is moving. There is a 90 percent probability that Ukraine will sign an Association Agreement with the European Union in November," said Oleg Ustenko, executive director of the Blazer International Fund in Kiev."

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UAE Central Bank under pressure to break mortgage impasse - The National

UAE Central Bank under pressure to break mortgage impasse - The National:

"The Central Bank is under pressure to break the regulatory impasse in its negotiations with the financial industry after eight months with little to show for its latest efforts.

Rules tightening mortgage critera and banks' exposure to government entities were postponed during the past year after resistance from the sector, while rules intended to help to sustain bank liquidity and transition payment cards to chip and PIN security systems were also delayed.

The banks might argue that they are in a comfortable position, having been encouraged to build up large capital buffers since the global financial crisis, but the IMF said in a report on the UAE economy last month that regulation to protect against future asset bubbles was vital."

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Why UAE oil reserves are so attractive for IOCs - The National

Why UAE oil reserves are so attractive for IOCs - The National:

"
A map detailing Adnoc's commitments in the Arabian Gulf.
The UAE has long held the belief that IOC partnerships are beneficial.
Jaime Puebla / The National

It is not easy for International Oil Companies (IOCs) to decide what country is good for oil investments. Oil industry partnerships are long-term and capital intensive.

The amount of reserves alone is not enough to judge whether a country is better than another; nor whether political stability alone is a good indicator of a country's attractiveness. Oil investment partnerships between IOCs and oil-rich countries are complicated, requiring an assessment of many eclectic factors.

Amount of reserves, geology certainty, political stability, infrastructure, sector governance and oil prices are crucial elements of oil investment assessments. Combining the aforementioned factors with the capital-intensive and long-term nature of oil investment leads to a high level of unpredictability. The main objective of IOCs in oil partnerships is a handsome return on investment. This is how they push their stock price up and keep their shareholders happy."

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Ex-CIMB Executive Takes Helm At UAE Lender RAKBANK - Business News | The Star Online

Ex-CIMB Executive Takes Helm At UAE Lender RAKBANK - Business News | The Star Online:

"National Bank of Ras al-Khaimah has appointed Peter England, previously a senior banker at Malaysia's CIMB Group, as its new chief executive, two sources familiar with the matter said.

England, who was the head of retail financial services business at CIMB takes charge on Sept. 1, one of the sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity as the matter has not been made public. RAKBANK officials were not available for comment.

RAKBANK was one of the two banks named in a massive global bank card fraud in May which saw nearly $45 million stolen from the UAE lender and Oman's Bank Muscat."

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Gulf Daily News » Business News » Dubai property market to be probed at forum

Gulf Daily News » Business News » Dubai property market to be probed at forum:

"With all sectors of the Dubai property market now gaining momentum in making a healthy recovery, industry experts are debating whether the emirate is entering another bubble and what needs to be done to maintain a sustainable growth path.

That will be one of the many hot issues at the upcoming Global Real Estate Summit, to be held alongside Cityscape Global - the Middle East's largest and most influential international real estate event - from October 8 to 10 at the Dubai World Trade Centre.

UAE real estate and business conglomerate Tharaa Holding chairman Tariq Ramadan, a headline panellist at the three-day summit, said some speculation has returned to the market, while the large amount of cash transactions continue to cause headaches for regulators looking to curb sharp price increases."

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El-Erian guest post: More to encourage the Fed to taper | FT Alphaville

El-Erian guest post: More to encourage the Fed to taper | FT Alphaville:

"Mohamed El-Erian, chief executive and co-chief investment officer at PIMCO, submits this guest post to FT Alphaville.

The bond market reacted to today’s research note from the San Francisco Fed with an immediate bear steepening.

In the August 12th FRBSF Economic Letter, Vasco Curdia and Andrea Ferrero summarize their recent work estimating the stimulative impact of large-scale asset purchases by the Federal Reserve. They find that the impact on growth and inflation is quite limited; and it would have been even smaller if QE were not supported by forward policy guidance. Indeed, “forward guidance is essential for quantitative easing to be effective.”"

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Saudi Gazette - Indian banks expropriate Kingfisher’s chief assets

Saudi Gazette - Indian banks expropriate Kingfisher’s chief assets:

"Indian banks have begun seizing assets controlled by Indian business mogul Vijay Mallya who could lose his luxury Goa holiday home over debts run up by his failing airline, a report said Monday.

Lenders to his Kingfisher airline took possession of one of the group’s corporate offices, Kingfisher House, in suburban Mumbai, the Economic Times said, quoting an unnamed bank official.

Mallya’s parent firm, United Breweries, is in a battle with the lenders, seeking damages of around 45 billion rupees ($730 million) and arguing they have no right to sell the assets."

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Saudi Gazette - GCC inflation to stabilize to 3% in near term: Study

Saudi Gazette - GCC inflation to stabilize to 3% in near term: Study:

"
GCC inflation is forecast to stabilize at a moderate level around the three percent mark in the near term as higher increases in housing costs are offset by lower food price rises, QNB Group report said.

“Overall, inflation in the GCC is likely to stabilize at around three percent,” QNB Group said. Strengthening non-oil growth and expanding populations will give prices, particularly rents, some upward impetus.

“However, this is likely to be counterbalanced by falling global food prices, which will make food imports cheaper and hold back inflation. Additionally, oil prices are expected to be slightly lower in 2014, which tends to ease inflationary pressures in the GCC as it results in less oil revenue flowing into the economy, weakening demand.”"

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Singapore emerges strategic ‘hub for Qatar LNG exports’

Singapore emerges strategic ‘hub for Qatar LNG exports’:

"Qatar and Singapore have explored various “synergistic opportunities” in recent years resulting in surge in bilateral trade and development, according to Doha Bank Group CEO R Seetharaman.

Highlighting that Qatar is Singapore‘s 21st largest trading partner with total trade at S$9.8bn, he said bilateral trade has increased by more than 26% during 2010-12 mainly on account on increase in exports by Qatar.

“Singapore has emerged as a strategically important hub for Qatar’s LNG exports to the region,” Seetharaman said at a recent knowledge sharing session hosted by the bank on “Opportunities in Qatar and the GCC (Gulf Co-operation Council)” at Ritz Carlton, Singapore."

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The Tech Trailblazers Awards reaches tech startups across Ukraine, Russia and Kazakhstan with iHUB - Watch List News

The Tech Trailblazers Awards reaches tech startups across Ukraine, Russia and Kazakhstan with iHUB - Watch List News:

"The Tech Trailblazers Awards, the online enterprise technology startup awards is partnering with iHUB Ukraine to reach out to the finest in enterprise technology startups in Eastern Europe including Russia and Kazakhstan.

iHUB, of Seed Forum Ukraine, is a non-profit ICT startup incubator funded by a grant from the Norwegian Government and located in the centre of Kiev. iHUB is run as a Public Private Partnership between Seed Forum Ukraine Foundation, Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Kiev City Government. Its physical premises houses eighteen selected startups and virtually it spans another twenty startups located all across Ukraine. They provide hands-on training, consulting, business education and networking opportunities to its resident startup entrepreneurs. Currently they are one of only four active incubators in Ukraine."

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India's booming newspaper industry