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Sunday, 18 August 2013

Times of Oman | News :: Central Bank of Oman set to raise OMR100m via development bond

Times of Oman | News :: Central Bank of Oman set to raise OMR100m via development bond:

The Central Bank of Oman (CBO) yesterday announced issue of Government Development Bonds (GDB).

The size of the new issue is fixed at OMR100 million with a maturity period of four years and will carry a coupon rate of 2.75 per cent per annum, according to a press release from Central Bank of Oman.

The issue will be open for subscription between August 25 and September 2, 2013 while the auction will be held on September 3.  The issue settlement date will be on September 5, 2013.  Interest on the new bonds will be paid on March 5 and September 5, every year until maturity date on September 5, 2017. "

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Russian Investors Flock to Virgin Islands After Cypriot Crisis | Business | The Moscow Times

Russian Investors Flock to Virgin Islands After Cypriot Crisis | Business | The Moscow Times:

Road Town, Tortola, British Virgin Islands
President Vladimir Putin's calls for domestic companies to repatriate their funds back home from offshore jurisdictions have fallen on deaf ears, with almost half of the $67 billion investment by Russian residents abroad in the first quarter of this year settling in the British Virgin Islands, according to figures released by the Central Bank on Friday.

The British Virgin Islands saw $31.66 billion of direct investment by Russian residents during the first three months of 2013 in the wake of the banking crisis in Cyprus — previously Russians' favorite tax haven. The figure skyrocketed from just $2.1 billion in the first quarter of 2012 and $4 billion during the fourth quarter of last year.

The investments accounted for 47 percent of the $67.2 billion that Russian residents invested outside the country in January through March."

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Saudi Arabia and Iraq Cut Oil Exports in June: JODI Data - Bloomberg

Saudi Arabia and Iraq Cut Oil Exports in June: JODI Data - Bloomberg:

"Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter, shipped less crude in June and exports also slid in fellow OPEC members Iraq, Kuwait and Nigeria, according to official data.
The kingdom delivered 7.32 million barrels a day, down from 7.79 million in May, according to figures the governments filed with the Joint Organizations Data Initiative. Daily Saudi production fell by 20,000 barrels in June to 9.64 million.
Exports from Iraq, OPEC’s second-largest producer, slumped to 2.33 million barrels a day from 2.48 million in May, the data showed. Kuwaiti crude shipments dropped to 2.09 million barrels a day in June from 2.23 million in the prior month."

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MIDEAST STOCKS-Egypt tumbles 3.9 pct after bloodshed | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Egypt tumbles 3.9 pct after bloodshed | Reuters:

"* Largest one-day drop in four months

* Index breaks major technical support

* Petchems push Saudi Arabia to 59-month high

* Dubai's Union Properties soars 11 pct

* Oman posts eighth straight gain

By Nadia Saleem

DUBAI, Aug 18 (Reuters) - Egypt's bourse suffered its largest one-day drop in four months on Sunday after hundreds of people were killed in a crackdown by the army-backed government on supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Cairo's main index tumbled 3.9 percent to 5,335 points. It had dropped 1.7 percent on Wednesday, when security forces started taking action to disperse protesters, and was shut on Thursday because of the violence.

The market traded for three hours on Sunday instead of the usual four, to give time for people to return home before a curfew."

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Tighter Customs Prepared | Business | The Moscow Times

Tighter Customs Prepared | Business | The Moscow Times:

"Russia is preparing tighter customs controls with Ukraine in case Kiev makes the "suicidal" move of signing an association agreement with the European Union, an aide to President Vladimir Putin was quoted as saying on Sunday.

Russian border guards imposed new time-consuming checks on all Ukrainian cargo last week as Putin piles pressure on Kiev to join a Moscow-led regional trade bloc.

Ukraine has refused to join because it hopes to sign a free trade and political association agreement with the EU in November and the two deals are mutually exclusive."

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EU to consider suspension of €5bn in aid to Egypt -

EU to consider suspension of €5bn in aid to Egypt -

Egyptian army soldiers take their positions on
top and next to their armored vehicles while
guarding an entrance of Tahrir square
Brussels said it will “urgently review” relations with Egypt following an escalation in violence over the past week that has left EU leaders increasingly worried about the future of peace and stability in the Arab world.
EU officials said that the review was likely to recommend a suspension of various forms of aid and loans in total worth €5bn, which had been earmarked to help Egypt in its transition towards democracy following the popular revolution that ended the military regime of Hosni Mubarak two years ago. Suspension would require the backing of EU member states."

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UAE banks cash situation good |

UAE banks cash situation good |

"The UAE banks are flush with depositors’ cash once again as the country’s political stability and sustainable economic growth embellish its safe haven appeal to regional and global investors at a time when the geopolitical tensions in the region are rising, particularly in Egypt, say financial experts.
They also say that much of this cash would eventually find its way into the country’s realty and stock markets which have seen a resurgence in recent months after a long lull following the global financial crisis.
“As long as there’s turbulence outside, the UAE banks are going to benefit. Interest rate offered by the banks is not the driver, it’s the stability of the UAE banking sector and the safety of the funds deposited in its banks, which is attracting the depositors,” Tariq Qaqish, head of asset management at Dubai-based Al Mal Capital told Gulf News."

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Qatar rules out change in riyal’s peg to US dollar

Qatar rules out change in riyal’s peg to US dollar:

Qatar has reiterated there is no going back on its currency’s peg to the US dollar and said the riyal’s rate to the greenback is to be maintained at QR3.64.
Local banks and exchange houses involved in foreign exchange dealings must use this rate with a margin of 0.24 percent. While converting the riyal to other currencies, they must use the above riyal-dollar rate as the basis of those conversions.
“The riyal’s peg to the dollar is the cornerstone of the country’s monetary policy,” said banking regulator, Qatar Central Bank (QCB)."

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Printed Atlas of the World Wide Web Will Wow You

Toyota among foreign firms in Egypt shutdown - The National

Toyota among foreign firms in Egypt shutdown - The National:

"The German chemical manufacturer BASF and the Japanese car maker Toyota are among a growing group of foreign multinationals to shut down operations in Egypt as the violence escalates, further hampering the country's efforts to stimulate economic growth.

They also joined those companies that have put their staff on alert in Egypt, restricting travel.

One of the world's largest chemical companies, BASF halted production on Thursday. It has a factory in Sadat City that makes construction chemicals. Its 100 staff members also work out of offices in Cairo and Alexandria."

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Global recognition for GCC economies |

Global recognition for GCC economies |

"The economies of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries are undergoing exceptional experiences. This is demonstrated through sustained growth levels of the gross domestic product (GDP) of the six-nation grouping.
The IMF projects real, adjusted for inflation, GDP growth level above 4 per cent in 2013 thanks primarily to developments in non-oil sectors. Suffice to say that Saudi Arabia and Qatar are using oil proceeds to develop local metro systems at the cost of billions of US dollars.
To be sure, combined value of GCC economies is outstanding by global standards. The GDP of GCC is estimated at $1.5 trillion. This is a sizable amount by virtue of representing just above 2 per cent of the worldwide GDP."

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ADX achieves 98.5% in disclosure compliance |

ADX achieves 98.5% in disclosure compliance |

"Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) on Saturday announced that it has succeeded in achieving a compliance rate of 98.5 per cent regarding the disclosure of the financial statements of its listed public joint stock companies in the 2nd quarter of 2013 within the deadline of 45 days from the end of the financial period.
64 ADX listed companies out of 65, local and foreign, disclosed their financial statements for the 2nd Quarter of 2013 within the 45 days period given. Sudatel Telecom Group Limited did not disclose its financial statement for the 2nd Quarter of 2013, according to the exchange’s press release today.
ADX noted that the combined net profit of all listed companies as of 30th of June 2013 has shown an increase of 8 per cent in comparison to the same period in 2012. The highest recorded increase was in the Investment & Financial services sector with an increase of 336 per cent, followed by the Real Estate sector with an increase of 63 per cent."

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Saudi Arabia inflation likely to remain steady in coming years |

Saudi Arabia inflation likely to remain steady in coming years |

"Inflation in Saudi Arabia, the region’s largest economy, is likely to remain steady at around 3.5 per cent -4.0 per cent over the coming years, a study by London-based research firm Capital Economics shows.
“Saudi inflation has eased over the course of this year, in spite of fairly robust domestic demand. And looking ahead, we think price pressures are unlikely to become a major cause for concern. The fall in the headline rate appears to have been driven by easing core price pressures. Our measure of core inflation, which is our best attempt to strip out volatile food and energy prices, stood at 2.0% year-on-year in July, down from 3.1 per cent year on year at the start of the year,” said Capital Economics."

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Gulf Daily News » Business News » Kuwait construction sector to be probed

Gulf Daily News » Business News » Kuwait construction sector to be probed:

"Kuwait is estimated to be awarded $16 billion worth of projects by the year-end.

This was revealed by MEED, a business intelligence service provider and official knowledge partner of The Big 5 Kuwait expo.

A 60 per cent increase from 2012, MEED estimates that the largest sector to benefit from this investment is likely to be the construction industry, dominated by the newly-sanctioned hospital projects and infrastructure in Kuwait."

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Britain is fast turning into a Banana Republic, wilfully blind to corruption | @Ian_Fraser

Britain is fast turning into a Banana Republic, wilfully blind to corruption | Ian Fraser:

Prince Andrew does not believe in tackling corruption.
Picture via CS Monitor
You may remember that, back in November 2010, it emerged that a “cocky” Prince Andrew appeared to welcome and endorse bribery and corruption — or at least that he abhors those who would seek to get in its way, including anti-corruption regulators and investigative journalists (by the way, we only know this thanks to the efforts of the recently convicted U.S. army private Bradley Manning, WikiLeaks and The Guardian).

In an October 2008 U.S. embassy cable Tatiana Gfoeller, the U.S. ambassador to Kyrgyzstan, revealed that during a 2008 engagement at a hotel in the central Asian republic’s capital, Bishkek, a “rude” Prince Andrew — who for some inexplicable reason is a UK trade representative — attacked the Serious Fraud Office for what he called “idiocy”."

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Skies grow crowded in Dubai as air traffic increases 7% - The National

Skies grow crowded in Dubai as air traffic increases 7% - The National:

"The number of aircraft in Dubai's skies increased by more than 7 per cent in the first half of this year, the emirate's aviation authority has revealed.

The Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA) forecasted 375,000 aircraft movements for both Dubai International Airport and Dubai World Central (DWC) in 2013, rising to 665,000 in 2020.

"A growth rate of 8.6 per cent of aircraft movement clearly suggests that Dubai International Airport and DWC are on a curve of exponential growth that will see a massive surge in aircraft movement in already-crowded skies. In the first half of 2013, the aircraft movement increased by 7.4 per cent compared with the corresponding period last year," Mohammed Ahli, the DCAA director general, wrote in the August issue of the DCAA's monthly newsletter, Via Dubai."

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Enterprises are buoyant over outlook for Dubai - The National

Enterprises are buoyant over outlook for Dubai - The National:

"Small and medium businesses in Dubai are the most positive they have been in five years amid a resurgence of the emirate's commerce, tourism and property sectors helped by its bid to host Expo 2020 and plans to become a hub for Islamic finance, the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry said.

In a recent survey, the chamber found that 73 per cent of its 150,000 members - 95 per cent of which are SMEs - expected business to stay the same or improve in the third quarter.

The survey found that SMEs were more optimistic than larger businesses, with 27 per cent expecting an improvement, compared with 21 per cent of the bigger players."

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Saudi Gazette - Saudi petrochem companies ‘attractively valued’: Al Rajhi

Saudi Gazette - Saudi petrochem companies ‘attractively valued’: Al Rajhi:

"Barring few bright spots, economic conditions worldwide remained downcast, which resulted in subdued demand for petrochemical products in Q2, Al Rajhi Capital said in its “Saudi Petrochemical Sector” report this month.

It said product prices moved south toward pre-maintenance levels as companies restarted operations. “We expect product prices to remain range bound during H2 2013 on account of demand uncertainty. However, we expect Saudi producers to perform better compared to global peers on the back of feedstock cost advantage and strong fundamentals. We believe companies with broad product portfolio can weather the challenges better than pure-play producers,” Al Rajhi sad.

It further noted that “despite near term headwinds, petrochemical companies are attractively valued compared to global peers as well as domestic sectors in Saudi Arabia such as retail.”"

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Qatar takes over the world - Aug. 15, 2013

Qatar takes over the world - Aug. 15, 2013:

As I stepped out of the car on my first full day in Qatar, the 120-degree heat made me feel as if someone had suctioned the oxygen out of my lungs, then pressed down on my chest.
But through the front door of a small building lay another world: a cool, dark screening room in which no ambition for this tiny country seemed too big, improbable, fanciful -- or expensive. As I sank into an armchair, an ice-cold soda in my hand, a 3-D surround-sound video sprang to life from 34 projectors on a three-sided screen, showing the Qatar of the near future. Arab nomads in white robes rode camels over the sand dunes before melting into a cityscape of high-rise towers, air-conditioned soccer stadiums, vast airport terminals, and spotless high-speed electric trains. "It will be spectacular ... unlike anything seen," the narrator cooed as two words fluttered across the screen: "Expect Amazing.""

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Saudi Gazette - Global aluminum output cuts seen

Saudi Gazette - Global aluminum output cuts seen:

"Aluminum prices have extended to the downside and in doing so the trend has turned from a sideways rangebound market to a downward one, the Aluminum Analysis and Forecast Q2 2013 report said.

Given the market has been in a supply surplus since 2007 and stocks have built up accordingly, the report noted that prices to be under pressure is not a surprise. In recent years, banks, producers and traders have done their utmost to hold the surplus aluminum off market as they tried to out-run the global economic slowdown, but it now looks as though the recovery has not come about as fast as expected.

In the first five months of 2013, primary aluminum production recorded by the International Aluminum Institute (IAI) showed global production of 10.313 million tons, which was down 0.1 percent on the 10.409 million tons produced in the same period in 2012. The daily average rate of production in the January to May period was 68,300 tons, which was higher than the 67,900tpd seen over 2012 as a whole, so the picture is somewhat mixed as to how much more production there will be this year, compared with last year."

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