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Thursday, 29 August 2013

Ukraine should step up efforts to sign new IMF program, experts say » Interfax News Wire

Ukraine should step up efforts to sign new IMF program, experts say » Interfax News Wire :: Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Central Asia:

"Ukraine should step up efforts to sign a new Stand-By Arrangement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to stabilize the economic situation and resist pressure from Russia, say experts from the German Advisory Group, which is forming recommendations for the authorities of Ukraine.

“Ukraine has come under intense economic pressure from Russia three months before the expected signing of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area Agreement (DCFTA) with the EU. To stabilize the economic situation and resist pressure from Russia, Ukraine should intensify efforts to sign a new IMF program,” reads a statement by the group experts, the text of which has been sent Interfax -Ukraine.

The group experts believe that Ukraine should sign an agreement with the IMF in the near future, following the requirement to increase the flexibility of the currency exchange rate and raise energy tariffs: macroeconomic stability can be achieved only after these requirements are met."

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UAE-based rig maker Lamprell back into the black with $14.7m profit - The National

UAE-based rig maker Lamprell back into the black with $14.7m profit - The National:

"The UAE-based rig maker Lamprell swung into profit in the first half of the year, reversing losses incurred as the company ventured from its core oil and gas business.

Lamprell recorded a profit of US$14.7 million on revenues of $521m. The first-half figure contrasted with a net loss of $110.5m for the full year in 2012, when delays and cost overruns during the construction of an offshore wind-turbines carrier cost the company dear.

"After the challenges of 2012, I am pleased to be able to report a return to profitability for the group," said James Moffat, Lamprell's chief executive."

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Belarus to Prosecute Uralkali Owner | Business | The Moscow Times

Belarus to Prosecute Uralkali Owner | Business | The Moscow Times:

"The conflict around Uralkali's breakup with its Belarussian partner took another dramatic twist Thursday after Minsk announced their intention to open a criminal case into billionaire Suleiman Kerimov, the major owner of the potash giant.

The documents received by Belarus' Investigative Committee are a sufficient reason for opening the case and putting Kerimov on the international wanted list, the agency's spokesman Pavel Traulko said.

"One does not have to have a special legal background" to understand the essence of the possible charges against the businessman, Traulko said. He added that "other individuals, including Belarussian citizens" face similar sanctions but didn't specify names.

Traulko didn't comment on the possible timing for opening the case."

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Poland first to get gas from 'fracking' in Europe — RT Business

Poland first to get gas from 'fracking' in Europe — RT Business:

"
A shale gas fracking facility run by Poland's PKN Orlen company is seen on the outskirts of the village of Uscimow, south-eastern Poland, June 15, 2013. (Reuters/Peter Andrews)
Poland has begun a test extraction of shale gas in amounts not seen in Europe before. Eager to reduce energy dependency on Russia, Poland has succeeded after three international firms quit drilling in the country.

Lane Energy Poland, controlled by ConocoPhillips, is now extracting some 8,000 cubic metres of shale gas per day at a test well in the northern city of Lebork in Poland, Reuters quotes a polish newspaper. Although the productivity of the site is lower than at gas fields in the US or Canada, it is still a breakthrough and marks the first positive result for shale gas extraction in Europe, according to the Poland's Chief Geologist Piotr Wozniak.

Another Polish refiner PKN Orlen is also expected to announce the production results of tests at its well in Syczyn in eastern Poland, one of the most promising in the country."

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Saudi prince's swipe at tiny Qatar draws riposte | Reuters

Saudi prince's swipe at tiny Qatar draws riposte | Reuters:

"A U.S. media report quoting the Saudi intelligence chief as mocking Qatar over its small population has drawn a stinging rebuke from Doha, underlining tensions between the two Gulf Arab states over clashing foreign policies.

While both are in the Gulf Cooperation Council political-military bloc, Qatar and Saudi Arabia have strong differences with Doha backing Islamists in Arab Spring revolts elsewhere and Riyadh opposing them as a threat to regional stability.

Qatar had taken an especially robust lead in supporting Arab Spring revolutions in Syria, Egypt and Libya before Saudi Arabia earlier this year imposed itself as the main external backer of Syrian rebels fighting to topple President Bashar al-Assad."

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Norilsk Profit Down 63% | Business | The Moscow Times

Norilsk Profit Down 63% | Business | The Moscow Times:

"Norilsk Nickel , the world's top nickel and palladium miner, said on Thursday first-half net profit fell 63 percent, year-on-year, due to write-offs mainly related to its investment in energy group InterRao.

Norilsk's six-month earnings fell to $545 million, impacted by $636 million of non-cash write-offs. Profit excluding the write-offs amounted to $1.2 billion, in line with analyst forecasts.

First-half revenue fell 6 percent to $5.6 billion, while earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) were down 8 percent at $2.3 billion, Norilsk said in a statement."

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`Epic' Buying Opportunity in Emerging Stocks

Mubadala Said to Join Trafigura in Batista’s MMX Buyout Race - Bloomberg

Mubadala Said to Join Trafigura in Batista’s MMX Buyout Race - Bloomberg:

"Mubadala Development Co. has joined Trafigura Beheer BV to bid for Eike Batista’s iron-ore unit, seeking to beat offers by Glencore Xstrata Plc and MRS Logistica SA, three people with direct knowledge of the matter said.
Mubadala and Amsterdam-based commodities trader Trafigura presented a joint offer for Batista’s stake in MMX Mineracao & Metalicos SA (MMXM3), the people said, asking not to be named as the talks are private. MMX, a part of Batista’s holding company EBX Group Co., is studying the bid together with offers from Glencore and Brazilian railway operator MRS, they said.
Batista, 56, is running against the clock to sell pieces of his commodities and logistics empire as the companies run out of cash amid ballooning debt. MMX, based in Rio de Janeiro, is in “advanced” negotiations to sell the company and has received interest from funds, miners and commodity traders, Chief Executive Officer Carlos Gonzalez said this month."

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MIDEAST STOCKS-Markets mixed, Syria concern prevents major rebounds | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Markets mixed, Syria concern prevents major rebounds | Reuters:

"* Some retail buyers return but momentum fails to build

* Dubai loses 6.6 percent over this week

* Saudi comes off high, some valuations called rich

* Egypt gains modestly after cabinet sets spending plan

* Doubts over whether plan will use Gulf money effectively

By Nadia Saleem

DUBAI, Aug 29 (Reuters) - Middle East stock markets were mixed on Thursday as heavy selling related to the Syrian war faded, but continued uncertainty over how and when the United States might strike Syria blocked solid rebounds.

President Barack Obama told Americans that a military strike against Syria would be in their interest, but there were signs that any action would be delayed at least several days while the case was laid out to U.S. and British lawmakers.

This encouraged some Gulf retail investors to buy stocks on Thursday as margin calls eased, but the markets' rebounds during the day lacked momentum."

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Saudi, Kuwait shelve Dorra gas field project | GulfNews.com

Saudi, Kuwait shelve Dorra gas field project | GulfNews.com:

"Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have shelved their project to develop the Dorra offshore gas field after disagreeing over how to share the gas back on land, a senior Kuwaiti energy source said.
Dorra has long been a bone of contention between Kuwait and Iran, which also lays claim to part of the field.
Kuwait agreed with Riyadh in 2000 to jointly develop the field they desperately need to satisfy their growing gas thirst."

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Summer maintenance affects North Sea crude oil production and prices - Today in Energy - U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)

Summer maintenance affects North Sea crude oil production and prices - Today in Energy - U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA):

"
North Sea Brent is an important global benchmark crude oil that is used to price many different crude oils produced around the world, such as Bonny Light from Nigeria and Sahara Blend from Algeria. Each summer, maintenance on offshore production platforms and pipelines in the North Sea temporarily reduces the supply of North Sea crude oil, which affects the price of the Brent benchmark. The spot prices for four distinct North Sea crudes—Brent, Forties, Oseberg, and Ekofisk—together determine the global benchmark Brent price, and a disruption to any one of these streams affects the overall Brent benchmark price and the price of any crude linked to the benchmark.

"

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UAIndex slides below 4,000 to lowest level in more than six months - Business - News - Ukraine Business Online

UAIndex slides below 4,000 to lowest level in more than six months - Business - News - Ukraine Business Online:

"KYIV, Aug. 29, 2013 (UBO/UkrAgroConsult) – Wednesday’s trading closed at 3,928.88, with the daily average down -1.33%, the weekly -3.02% and the 30-day -7.40%.

Ukrproduct topped the Best Performing list, up +4.65% on trade of 19,756 shares.

Most impressive on the Worst Performing list was Agroton, down -3.71% on trade of 49,350 shares.

Volume Leader was Kernel, down -0.13% on trade of 97,034 shares."

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The Wrap | @REBELECONOMY

The Wrap | REBEL ECONOMY:

"After several months hiatus (and readers saying they are having sleepless nights without it) the daily wrap is back!
I’ll be linking to a handful of the most important economic stories from the transitioning countries of the Arab world, namely Egypt, Syria and Libya, and to a lesser extent Tunisia, Yemen, Jordan and Morocco. (The Gulf is there in the background too, but only because of its connections to these countries)."

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Emerging Markets Are In Trouble

Emerging Markets Are In Trouble:

"Emerging markets are in all sorts of trouble, and with the oil price preparing for another Middle Eastern war, centred this time in Syria, their problems are about to get worse. A collapsing currency combined with a rising US dollar oil price is a big tax on economic growth, and it comes at precisely the wrong time for the global economy.

But we do feel slightly assuaged that UK Prime Minister David Cameron tells us that the coming conflict is not actually about the Middle East or even Syria, and Gareth Evan's opinion piece in today's Financial Review also provides comfort when he explains that a strong moral case justifies war even though international law doesn't.

That's good to know.

What's also handy to know (especially for these power hungry warmongers) is that the last place where there was an overwhelming moral justification to wage war (based on the suspicion of the presence of chemical weapons, which were never found) was Iraq.

And how's that going? Yesterday, explosions killed 80 people in Bagdad as sectarian violence continues a decade after the West felt morally compelled to improve the prospects of a country that, among other wicked deeds, threatened to price their oil in euros.

"

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UAE Central Bank to control money laundering | GulfNews.com

UAE Central Bank to control money laundering | GulfNews.com:

"In a bid to control money laundering in the UAE, the Central Bank’s Anti- Money Laundering and Suspicious Cases Unit issued a circular on Tuesday asking all national banks, main branches of foreign banks, foreign exchanges, investment and finance companies to search for and freeze any accounts, deposits or investments of some clients.
Circular 246/2013 reads: “Based on the decision of Dubai Public Prosecution dated August 6, 2013, you are requested to search for and freeze any accounts or deposits or investments and inform us of any credit facilities or safe deposit boxes and deny access to the safe deposit boxes and stop any financial transfers of three suspects.”
The circular carries three names: Samar Elyas Assaf, a Lebanese, Armin Esmail, a US citizen. and Haseeb Khan Israfeel Khan, a Pakistani, and ordered banks to fill a special form and send it to the unit within four working days from August 27."

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UAE is world smartphone leader | Spot On PR | @AlexanderMcNabb

UAE is world smartphone leader | Spot On PR | Digital | Communications | Marketing | Public Relations | Media | Social Media | Middle East | Arab World:

"
Call that a headline? "UAE is world smartphone leader"
- now that's a headline!
The United Arab Emirates leads the world in smartphone penetration, with 74% of mobile subscribers carrying one of the natty little devils in their pockets. The Emirates is closely followed by South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Singapore and Norway in the ranking, compiled by Statista from the results of Google’s ‘Our Global Planet’ survey.

Amazingly, the US comes 13th on the list – and apart from Saudi Arabia, none of the other GCC countries – legendary for their adoption of the latest mobile technologies – feature in the top 15 countries Statista lists."

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Kuwait Energy makes new oil discovery in Egypt | Arab News

Kuwait Energy makes new oil discovery in Egypt | Arab News — Saudi Arabia News, Middle East News, Opinion, Economy and more.:

"Kuwait Energy, one of the fastest growing independent oil and gas exploration and production companies in the Middle East, announces an oil discovery at its El Salmiya-2 well, located in its Abu Sennan concession in the Western Desert, Egypt.
Kuwait Energy is the operator of the Abu Sennan concession and holds a 50 percent working interest. The remaining working interest is held by Beach Petroleum (Egypt) Pty Ltd., which holds a 22 percent working interest, and Dover Investments Ltd. with a 28 percent working interest with their main partner the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC).
The El Salmiya-2 well encountered oil in Kharita Formation and initial tests showed a production flow rate of 3,530 barrels of oil per day (bopd). This is the sixth exploration success in the Abu Sennan concession and the 21st discovery in Egypt for Kuwait Energy since 2008."

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Dubai and Saudi bourses see heavy buying | GulfNews.com

Dubai and Saudi bourses see heavy buying | GulfNews.com:

"After Tuesday’s massive sell off in UAE and Saudi Arabia’s stock markets, which was triggered by concerns over possible military action against Syria, selling pressure in both somewhat abated yesterday as investors stepped in to take advantage of the fall in share prices and buy bluechip stocks.
As a result, Dubai’s benchmark DFM General Index ended 1.30 per cent down to 2516.48 and Saudi Arabia’s TASI Index in fact added 0.37 per cent to end at 7751.32. The Bahrain All Share Index was also up 0.30 per cent.
The remaining Gulf markets declined with Abu Dhabi’s ADX General Index slipping 2.22 per cent, Oman closing three per cent lower, Qatar 2.29 per cent and Kuwait 0.76 per cent. Emaar Properties, the biggest developer of the region, had the highest turnover of Dh243.25 million and remained unchanged at Dh5.70. Emirates NBD, Dubai’s biggest bank, was up 1.66 per cent. Air Arabia and logistics company Aramex advanced 0.75 per cent and 2 per cent respectively. The number of decliners still was in a majority, with 24 stocks retreating, three advancing and four remaining flat."

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GCC has a historic opportunity to lend a hand | GulfNews.com

GCC has a historic opportunity to lend a hand | GulfNews.com:

"Have the repercussions of the economic crisis reached the Brics nations and Turkey? Their currencies have certainly started regressing in a manner that seems like a breakdown. Or are there other factors unrelated to the crisis?
These questions also have a bearing on other countries, especially the Gulf, as both India and China occupy top ranks among the GCC’s trading partners. They are the biggest importers of oil, petrochemicals and aluminium from the Gulf.
This means that any major economic changes in these countries will leave an imprint on this region as well. This calls for a certain amount of readiness to avoid repercussions if the economic situation in the Brics countries deteriorates further."

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North America's shale boom a threat for GCC fertilizer producers - The National

North America's shale boom a threat for GCC fertilizer producers - The National:

"North American shale gas threatens to erode a core market for the Arabian Gulf's fertilizer industry, warned an industry association.

GCC members export half of their fertilizer production abroad, and North America is their second biggest market after Asia with orders totalling 1.7 million tonnes a year.

Those trade flows could shift against the region's favour as North American competitors take advantage of cheap raw materials unlocked by fracking, said the Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association, an industry group based in Dubai."

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Dubai's battle with London's Heathrow to be the world's busiest hots up - The National

Dubai's battle with London's Heathrow to be the world's busiest hots up - The National:

"Passenger traffic at Dubai International increased by more than 6 per cent last month as the airport continued to inch closer to the title of the world’s busiest hub for international travel.

Passenger traffic at the airport, which became the world’s second busiest for global travellers in March upon leapfrogging Paris Charles de Gaulle, rose by 6.1 per cent to 5.3 million people last month compared with the same month last year.

By comparison, Heathrow, the world’s busiest international hub, recorded a 5.5 per cent rise in passengers in the period to 6.9 million. The airport said the growth was largely attributable to lower traffic in July last year as a result of the timing of the Olympics, which started at the end of the month."

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Weak rupee dents Dubai tourism - The National

Weak rupee dents Dubai tourism - The National:

"Dubai hotels are reporting cancellation rates of up to 25 per cent as tour operators organising package trips for Indians to the UAE grapple with the weak rupee.

"It's the tour agencies that are taking the hit - lots are cancelling their packages," said Russel Sharpe, the chief operating officer of the hotel division at Landmark Hospitality, which operates two Citymax properties in Dubai. "We have had a 25 per cent reduction in group business."

The rupee has lost about a third of its value against the US dollar in the past two years - and its decline has accelerated since the start of May, with the currency reaching a record low of 68.825 yesterday."

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What to Know About NRI Accounts - India Real Time - WSJ

What to Know About NRI Accounts - India Real Time - WSJ:

"India is likely to go ahead with a plan to issue rupee-denominated bonds overseas for the first time, in an effort to bring in capital and arrest the rapid fall of its currency against the dollar, a senior government official told The Wall Street Journal last week.

Details about the bond are patchy and it’s unclear when they might be issued. But according to the official, the bonds under consideration will protect overseas investors from currency fluctuations, an attractive proposition given that the rupee has fallen around 22% against the U.S. dollar since May and reached another new low Wednesday of 68.75 rupees against the greenback.

The proposed bonds would be targeted at investors who have an interest in India, such as Indians living abroad and companies which need rupees at a future date to expand their operations in the country, according to the government official."

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Saudi Gazette - GCC countries to face gas shortage by 2015

Saudi Gazette - GCC countries to face gas shortage by 2015:

"Gas shortage in the GCC “will become more acute” – despite forecasts for slower economic growth due to the recession, as well as current investments in exploration and production intended to increase supply, global consultancy firm Booz & Company said in a recent report titled “Gas Shortage in the GCC – How to Bridge the Gap”. The gas shortage will unfold according to either of the following scenarios – an enduring recession or the regional economies’ return to pre-recession growth levels.

If recession persists through 2015 or beyond in the GCC, then shortage will ensue, as this scenario assumes that the recessionary environment in the GCC economies go beyond 2015. 

In second scenario, if gas demand growth returns to 2008 levels, prior to the recession, then the International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicts that the GCC economies, after a contraction in 2009, should revert to pre-recession growth rates by 2012 with only a marginal decline. This implies that gas demand could return to 2008 growth rates by 2012."

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Abu Dhabi's financial free zone to launch global talent hunt - The National

Abu Dhabi's financial free zone to launch global talent hunt - The National:

"Abu Dhabi will soon start scouring the globe for the sharpest financial and legal minds to head up the management of its new financial free zone.

Recruitment for Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) will be a priority for the zone's new directors when they hold their first board meeting in the coming weeks, according to Mahmood Ebraheem Al Mahmood, the chairman of ADS Holding, the lead and strategic consultant for the project.

The directors will be looking to fill positions to lead the zone's three pillars: the Global Market's Registration Bureau; the Financial Services Regulations Bureau; and the Global Market's Courts."

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Saudi Gazette - Middle East investors drive European real estate market

Saudi Gazette - Middle East investors drive European real estate market:

"Middle East and North American investors are the major drivers of increased activity in the European commercial real estate market and buyers from outside the region now account for more than a quarter of all transactions in H1 2013, according to the latest data by CBRE, the global real estate consulting firm.

Investors from the Middle East increased investment activity, accounting for 9 percent of the entire market and 21 percent of cross-border transactions in H1 2013.

Capital from the Middle East is generally institutional in nature, with nearly half of the total coming from the region’s sovereign wealth funds. "

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Germany’s RWE to start pumping gas to Ukraine's underground storages in September < News < Home

Germany’s RWE to start pumping gas to Ukraine's underground storages in September < News < Home:

"
“The first batches will go from September,” the minister said. He reminded that gas is pumped to Ukraine under an agreement signed between Ukraine’s national joint-stock company Naftogaz and the German enterprise. “Now, we’re working on the new agreement, which will take effect from the second ten-day period of December,” the minister said. Eduard Stavytsky also informed that in 2013, Ukraine plans to import around two billion cubic meters of gas from Europe and 5-6 billion cubic meters of gas in 2014."

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Ukraine tells Russia to ‘accept reality’ of new trade deal with EU | euronews, world news

Ukraine tells Russia to ‘accept reality’ of new trade deal with EU | euronews, world news:

"Ukraine’s prime minister, Mykola Azarov, has told Russia to accept its new trade relationship with the EU as a “reality”.

Moscow is angry at plans by Kiev to sign a new trade deal with the EU, and has been turning up the pressure on its neighbour.

One of the companies to have found itself caught up in a trade war between the two countries is Ukraine’s largest industrial chocolate maker, Roshen."

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