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Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Emirates Adds Non-Dubai Flight and Enters Trans-Atlantic Fray - Businessweek

Emirates Adds Non-Dubai Flight and Enters Trans-Atlantic Fray - Businessweek:

"
Emirates is breaking out of Dubai. In what will be a curious experiment for one of the world’s fastest-growing and most respected airlines, Emirates will begin flying daily from New York’s JFK International Airport to Milan starting Oct. 1. It will be one of the very few routes in the company’s vast network that doesn’t touch its Dubai hub.

The JFK-Milan route is currently served with nonstop flights by Alitalia, Delta (DAL), and American, while United (UAL) flies directly from nearby Newark. Into that mix comes Emirates, which is touting the only first-class service on the route—its rivals offer only business class as the top level—as well as connections to the rest of Italy through a soon-to-be announced partnership with EasyJet, which has established a small domestic operation at Milan’s Malpensa Airport. Emirates already has three daily flights to Dubai from Milan and flies to 134 cities in 76 countries."

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BBC News - Government calls police over Serco prison escort fraud claims

BBC News - Government calls police over Serco prison escort fraud claims:

"The Ministry of Justice has asked the police to investigate alleged fraudulent behaviour by members of security firm Serco's staff.

The alleged behaviour relates to the management of Serco's Prisoner Escorting and Custodial Services (PECS) contract.

The PECS contract covers a range of services including transporting prisoners between court and prison.

Serco is responsible for delivering this in London and East Anglia."

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Ukraine must implement three tasks to sign agreement with EU, says Yatseniuk » Interfax News Wire

Ukraine must implement three tasks to sign agreement with EU, says Yatseniuk » Interfax News Wire :: Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Central Asia:

"The Ukrainian opposition hopes that Ukraine will sign the Association Agreement with the European Union this November and will do its best to make this a reality, the leader of the Batkivschyna parliamentary faction, Arseniy Yatseniuk, has said at a special meeting of the European Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs in Brussels on Wednesday.

According to Batkivschyna’s press service, Yatseniuk promised that the Ukrainian political opposition would support the bills that should be passed by the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament, for European integration. He added that the opposition has submitted a number of European integration bills and asked the Party of Regions and the president of Ukraine to support them in order to comply with the EU’s requirements.

Yatseniuk added that the Ukrainian government has to carry out three key tasks for the signing of the Association Agreement with the EU."

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Who Wants to Leave Forever? Emigration from EaP Countries | Eastbook

Who Wants to Leave Forever? Emigration from EaP Countries | Eastbook - blog on EU Eastern Partnership:

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Abramovich in $800M Real Estate Deal | Business | The Moscow Times

Abramovich in $800M Real Estate Deal | Business | The Moscow Times:

"Billionaire Roman Abramovich is close to buying one of the biggest top-end office complexes in Moscow for up to $800 million in what would be Russia's second-largest office deal, according to three sources.

White Gardens, a development comprising two buildings in Moscow's business district, is the second stage of the White Square complex recently bought by O1 Properties for about $1 billion.

The sellers, a consortium of developer AIG/Lincoln and Russian bank VTB Capital, are close to selling White Gardens to Abramovich's investment vehicle Millhouse, two sources close to the deal and a market source said.

The complex, offering 64,000 square meters of space of which one third is already leased, is due to be completed in 2014, according to Moscow property consultants. The tenants include law firm Baker & McKenzie and private equity firm Baring Vostok."

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MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets stabilise after plunging on Syria | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets stabilise after plunging on Syria | Reuters:

"* Retail selling fades as burst of margin calls eases

* Dubai fell 7.5 pct in early trade, ends down only 1.3 pct

* Syria escalation might have little real impact on Gulf

* Saudi Arabia rises as petrochemical shares gain

* Egypt triggers bearish head and shoulders pattern

By Andrew Torchia

DUBAI, Aug 28 (Reuters) - Gulf stock markets stabilised by the close on Wednesday after plunging in early trade on the prospect of an escalation of Syria's civil war, as the United States threatened a military strike on Damascus over the use of chemical weapons.

Stocks had also tumbled on Tuesday and selling resumed on Wednesday morning as local retail investors, who have dominated trade in recent weeks, scrambled to lock in some of the large gains posted this year. Margin calls caused selling to snowball.

But by Wednesday afternoon, the pressure from margin calls had eased and some investors were starting to buy back shares."

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Sberbank Raises Provisions as Economy Slows | Business | The Moscow Times

Sberbank Raises Provisions as Economy Slows | Business | The Moscow Times:

"Russia's largest bank, Sberbank, reported a big rise in provisions against bad loans Wednesday, highlighting concerns that households might struggle to keep up debt repayments in a slowing economy.

Russian banks have piled into high-margin consumer lending as demand for credit has slowed at companies.

However, new Central Bank regulations require lenders to set aside more money to cover potential defaults on high-interest loans, potentially weakening their capital position, while a slowing economy has raised fears that more consumers will struggle to service their debts."

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Syria sends oil to 2-year high, $150 spike feared — RT Business

Syria sends oil to 2-year high, $150 spike feared — RT Business:

"Oil has jumped to a two-year high and could see Brent spike as high as $150 per barrel as US and western allies move towards a military strike on Syria.

Brent October futures are above $115 per barrel and West Texas Intermediate blend (WTI) hit $110 on speculation unrest in Syria will disrupt oil shipments and supplies in the Middle East. For WTI its the highest price since May 2011.

The US and Britain are gearing up in a coordinated military action against Syria, as both confirmed chemical weapons attacks were carried out against civilians, something the Assad government denies. "

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The golden rupee | FT Alphaville

The golden rupee | FT Alphaville:

"The Indian rupee’s plunge continues.

As the FT reported on Wednesday, consensus opinion is that the weakness is connected to India’s growing current account deficit and unimpressive attempts thus far to bring it back to reasonable levels.

But Bloomberg on Wednesday alluded to another interesting connection: India’s attempts to suppress gold consumption. For, as the currency weakens in international terms, the greater the cost of gold also becomes for Indians. Indeed, as Bloomberg noted, the price of gold has now hit a record price in rupee terms, threatening jewellery demand in the world’s largest gold consuming country."

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Oman utility firm launches $137m IPO

Oman utility firm launches $137m IPO:

"
Oman-based Sembcorp Salalah Power & Water Company, in which a unit of Singapore's Sembcorp Industries has a 60  per cent stake, has launched its IPO offering a total of 33.4 million existing ordinary shares at a fixed offer price of RO1.590.

A leading power and water company based in the Dhofar governorate, Sembcorp Salalah said the issue, which represents 35 per cent of the issued share, is open for subscription until September 26.

The offer is open to individual investors, juristic persons and institutions within Oman, and to non-Omani investors outside of US, Canada, Australia, South Africa, Republic of Ireland and Japan, said a company statement."

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Bleak times for coffee growers - video from Financial Times

Crude oil prices jump on Middle East fears - FT.com

Crude oil prices jump on Middle East fears - FT.com:

"Oil prices surged on Wednesday morning with US crude leaping to a two-year high as investors prepared for a possible western military strike on Syria.
Although Syria is not a major oil producer or transit point, investors fear that western intervention there could spill over into the rest of the region, potentially affecting oil supplies from other producers such as Iraq."

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Saudi shares rise at expense of real estate sector | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT

Saudi shares rise at expense of real estate sector | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT:

"Long-term investment is currently going through major changes within the Saudi stock market, according to experts who spoke to Asharq Al-Awsat yesterday. They confirmed that the country’s stock market has started to outperform the real estate market off the back of increased investment. This comes amid a noticeable stagnation in the Saudi real estate sector.

The experts also pointed out that many companies which are listed in the Saudi market have distributed annual profits of between 5 percent and 8 percent, amid expectation of a good return on capital, especially with the start of a new cycle of the Saudi stock market, which opened at 6,800 points at the start of the current year.

They added that investment in the real estate sector was risky at the current time. These comments came at a time when the Ministry of Housing has started to take effective measures to address the housing problem."

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JKX completes 10 stage frac operation in Ukraine | 28 August 2013 | Stock Market Wire

JKX completes 10 stage frac operation in Ukraine | 28 August 2013 | Stock Market Wire:

"JKX Oil & Gas has successfully completed the 10 stage multi-stage frac in well R-103 in Ukraine and the crew and equipment are now being demobilised.

The remaining plugs separating the frac stages are currently being drilled out and flow-back has begun. This flow-back phase is expected to take approximately 3 to 4 weeks with stabilised gas flow data expected in a further 4 to 5 weeks.

Chief executive Dr Paul Davies said: "We are very pleased to have successfully completed this 10 stage frac operation in Ukraine. Conditions have been difficult but overall the execution has been better than anticipated.

"Seven of the frac stages have achieved or exceeded design predictions, two were below expectations and only one was unsuccessful. The next few weeks of clean-up and flow stabilisation will be critical and we are encouraged that the well is already flowing gas to surface together with frac fluids."

At 8:34am: [LON:JKX] JKX Oil & Gas share price was +1p at 67.5p"

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Has the Shale Bubble Already Burst? « naked capitalism

Has the Shale Bubble Already Burst? « naked capitalism:

"Just like the famous Gold Rushes of the 19th century, US shale gas development is turning out to be a limited and regional market opportunity. Across the Atlantic, the high financial and human costs to fracking also mean that Europe should forget any fantasies about repeating the US shale boom.

Many US shale companies that have been beating the drums of shale “revolution” are now facing oil and gas well depletion. In February 2013 the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) warned that “diminishing returns to scale and the depletion of high productivity sweet spots are expected to eventually slow the rate of growth in tight oil production”. It was a cautious but intriguing statement.

Arthur Berman, a prominent shale skeptic who runs Labyrinth Consulting firm in Sugarland, Texas, is not surprised. “The shale gas phenomenon has been funded mostly by debt and equity offerings. At this point, further debt and share dilution are less feasible for many companies” – he wrote in The Oil Drum blog several months ago."

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Robust financial sector taking shape in capital - The National

Robust financial sector taking shape in capital - The National:

"Anyone who regularly visits Abu Dhabi's Tourist Club Area or Reem Island will know that Al Maryah Island is beginning to burst into life. Yesterday marked the opening of The Galleria, the city's latest upmarket retail space, joining the new Rosewood Abu Dhabi hotel and a range of companies and law firms already operating on the island. Cleveland Clinic, the health care facility, is also moving towards completion.

From the point of view of the city's development, the centrepiece will be the establishment of the financial free zone on the island. Yesterday, The National reported that its board of directors had been appointed - an important step, because the board will lead the drafting of modern regulations to a rapidly developing section in the emirate, as well as appointing a management team. The free zone will be exempt from the federal laws of the UAE and the civil and commercial laws of Abu Dhabi, embracing global standards and regulations."

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Petrofac optimistic despite decline in earnings - The National

Petrofac optimistic despite decline in earnings - The National:

"Petrofac has reiterated its target to double its profits in the five years to 2015, even as earnings declined in the first half of the year.

Net profit in the six month to June fell by a quarter to US$243 million, as revenue dropped by 13 per cent to $2.8 billion.

But the oil and gas construction company, which has a subsidiary in Abu Dhabi, is confident that earnings will rebound in the second half of the year."

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Online job adverts fall in the UAE - The National

Online job adverts fall in the UAE - The National:

"Online job postings in the UAE fell sharply last month despite a slew of positive economic data and growing consumer confidence.

Job postings fell 30 per cent compared with July 2012 as recruitment experts speculate that the Government's Emiratisation programme is starting to affect the way employers hire staff.

According to the employment website monster.com, which puts together a monthly gauge of tens of thousands of online job postings, the index for the UAE fell from 127 points in July 2012 to just 89 a year later - the greatest decline in all countries measured in the Middle East."

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Turkish energy minister fires back over Taqa power project delay - The National

Turkish energy minister fires back over Taqa power project delay - The National:

"The Turkish energy minister has fired back at Abu Dhabi National Energy (Taqa) over delaying an investment decision on a US$12 billion coal megaproject over what he called "political reasons."

This week Taqa said it would not make a final investment decision on the coal mining and power plant development, expected this summer, until 2014 because of "spending priorities."

Taner Yildiz, the Turkish energy minister, told local reporters that Ankara had launched discussions with other potential investors to take Taqa's place and would not change its political views in Egypt and Syria."

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Dubai is front-runner to win World Expo 2020 bid | GulfNews.com

Dubai is front-runner to win World Expo 2020 bid | GulfNews.com:

"
  • Image Credit: Arshad Ali/Gulf News
  • The banner of Expo 2020 Dubai UAE on DIFC Building.
Few visitors to Disneyland have a world exposition on their minds as they embark on the 15-minute ‘It’s a Small World’ boat ride. But it was for the 1964 New York World’s Fair, as the expo was known, that Walt Disney designed the ride.
The Eiffel Tower and the Atomium in Brussels are other legacies of the world expos that have showcased technology, architecture and culture every five years since London’s inaugural Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations in 1851.
Today, though, hosting an expo means much more than buildings. Bidders count on an economic boost and a higher international profile as benefits from staging the six-month event. “An expo marks a certain ‘coming of age’ for a city,” Urso Chappell, an expo historian, said. “It can aid a city’s physical redevelopment as well as the nation’s image abroad.”"

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Time For Investors To Hunker Down - OpEd Eurasia Review

Time For Investors To Hunker Down - OpEd Eurasia Review:

"It’s time to step out from my ‘normal’ role as the ‘energy expert’ and make a comment or two on the markets in general, just as a professional trader who’s seen quite a bit in his almost 3 decades of daily experience with capital markets and the way they act. Patterns emerge that aren’t foolproof, but they’ve served well over the years and they are making some very visceral noises to me, even observing the action at longer range on vacation.

Here’s something that won’t be news to you – the markets look terrible.

It’s not just the fundamental information that most of the ‘regular’ equity analysts have been filling you full of on every media outlet around: There’s the lowering of expectations on earnings, not just the disappointments of 2nd quarter results (which were uninspiring). It’s not just the continued bad indications from the emerging markets, whose growth rates continue to be guided downward. It’s not the continuing bleat of ‘taper talk’ which (for those who believe this has been a totally fed-inspired rally) would be a total death knell for stocks."

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Iran voices eagerness to work with Qatar to boost gas output | Business , Middle East | THE DAILY STAR

Iran voices eagerness to work with Qatar to boost gas output | Business , Middle East | THE DAILY STAR:

"Iran wants to work with Qatar to improve gas production from the giant field they share under the Gulf, Iran’s new oil minister said Tuesday.

Multibillion-dollar sales of liquefied natural gas have made tiny Qatar one of the world’s wealthiest countries, while strict Western sanctions have prevented Iran from making the most of its share of the world’s biggest gas field.

Western companies supplied the technology Qatar needed to ship LNG from the vast North Field around the world, while their governments banned them from selling that technology to Iran."

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Abu Dhabi appoints board for new financial free zone | Reuters

Abu Dhabi appoints board for new financial free zone | Reuters:

"Abu Dhabi named a chairman and the board for a new financial free zone it hopes will attract top global banks and financial firms when it launches in the fourth quarter.

The oil-rich emirate outlined plans in May for the zone on an island near its downtown area that will have its own administration, court system and tax incentives.

The zone is seen as a challenge to neighbouring city state Dubai, which has prospered as the top financial centre in the region for nearly a decade."

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The Qatar Airways sky-high contract - MARCA.com (English version)

The Qatar Airways sky-high contract - MARCA.com (English version):

"

Barcelona has officially announced its agreement with Qatar Airways for a €100 million sponsorship deal for the next three years - €30, 32 and 33.5 million for each one, and a €5 million bonus if the club qualifies for the Champions League. In the ceremony attended by club president Sandro Rosell, finance vice-president Javier Faus, and Qatar Airways president Akbar Al-Baker, it was announced that the airline company's advertising would appear on the façade of the Camp Nou stadium, on the seats and will also have a place in the club's museum.

According to Rosell, Barça and Qatar Airways have in common "a search for excellence", and assured that the deal was "indirectly sponsoring Catalunya as well as Barcelona". At the event, the club president also assured that there was no offer for Pedro from PSG, as Radio MARCA had previously announced."

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MIDEAST STOCKS-Dubai sinks 7 pct, most since 2009; leads regional drop on Syria | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Dubai sinks 7 pct, most since 2009; leads regional drop on Syria | Reuters:

"* Escalation of Syria war unlikely to affect Gulf much

* But markets ripe for profit-taking after recent surges

* Margin calls hit local retail investors in Dubai

* Foreigners are net buyers of stocks

* Saudi Arabia suffers biggest loss since 2011

By Nadia Saleem

DUBAI, Aug 27 (Reuters) - Dubai's stock market tumbled 7.0 percent on Tuesday, its heaviest one-day loss since the emirate's corporate debt crisis in November 2009, as it led a regional sell-off on worries about an escalation of Syria's civil war.

Western powers told the Syrian opposition to expect a Western strike against President Bashar al-Assad's forces within days, after determining his government was responsible for the use of chemical weapons, sources told Reuters.

It is by no means clear that an escalation of the fighting in Syria would have any impact on Gulf economies. Although it is possible that Damascus and its allies could mount covert action against the Gulf, such action would probably not change positive long-term economic prospects."

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BBC News - Asia markets hit as Syria fears spark global sell-off

BBC News - Asia markets hit as Syria fears spark global sell-off:

"Asian stock markets have fallen, extending a global sell-off sparked by growing fears of a military strike against Syria.

Japan's Nikkei 225 index dipped 2.3%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng was down 1.3% while Australia's ASX 200 fell 1.1%.

This follows declines in US and European markets on Tuesday.

Speculation of a strike against Syria, also triggered fears over global oil supplies pushing up crude prices to an 18-month high."

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