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Friday, 30 August 2013

ENERGY - China oil giant buys into strife-hit Egypt for $ 3.1 billion

ENERGY - China oil giant buys into strife-hit Egypt for $ 3.1 billion:

"Chinese oil giant Sinopec is entering Egypt despite the country’s political strife, announcing Aug. 30 it is buying a $3.1 billion stake in an existing operation as China scours the globe for energy reserves.

State-owned Sinopec will buy a one-third share in the Egyptian oil and natural gas business of US firm Apache Corp., the companies said.

The deal, which is still subject to regulatory approval, marks Sinopec’s first entry into exploration and production for oil and gas in Egypt, Sinopec said.

It is the latest major Chinese resources acquisition abroad and comes after CNOOC, another Chinese state-owned energy giant, bought Canada’s Nexen in a $15 billion deal last year despite political opposition."

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Financial Mirror dot com - Alpha Bank profit beats forecasts; to sell Ukraine subsidiary

Financial Mirror dot com - Alpha Bank profit beats forecasts; to sell Ukraine subsidiary:

"Greece's third-largest bank Alpha swung to a net profit in the first half, helped by lower funding costs and rising income from lending.

The bank earned a net 2.73 bln euros ($3.6 bln) compared with a loss of 460 mln a year before, a result which topped an average 2.64 bln forecast in a Reuters poll and included a 2.6 bln accounting gain from its takeover of peer Emporiki.

Alpha would have swung to a profit even without the Emporiki gain, helped by lower funding costs, mainly due to reduced recourse to costly emergency funding from the Greek central bank. "

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Strikes and lawlessness bring Libya’s oil industry to its knees - FT.com

Strikes and lawlessness bring Libya’s oil industry to its knees - FT.com:

"
A Libyan oil terminal burns during the civil war.
Security troubles continue to make life
difficult for business
Libya is facing its worst crisis since the fall of Colonel Muammer Gaddafi in 2011 as a growing malaise in the country’s oil industry sets regional and tribal groups against the government and starves the state of essential export revenues.
Oil production has fallen from 1.4m barrels a day at the start of the year to just 250,000 b/d, according to the government – and less according to independent consultants – as key infrastructure has been shut down.
In a country where petroleum export revenues accounted for three-quarters of gross domestic product last year, the implications are enormous."

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Oman sultan's Iran visit sparks hopes of progress in nuclear standoff | World news | theguardian.com

Oman sultan's Iran visit sparks hopes of progress in nuclear standoff | World news | theguardian.com:

"
Oman's Sultan Qaboos bin Said (left) meets Iran's president, Hassan Rouhani, in Tehran.
Photograph: Irna handout/Reuters
The first visit by a foreign leader to Iran since Hassan Rouhani assumed the presidency came earlier this week with the arrival of Oman's sultan, Qaboos bin Said Al Said. Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran's new foreign minister, officially greeted Sultan Qaboos at Tehran's Mehrabad Airport on Sunday, and then saw him off personally on Tuesday.

While the sultanate, which lies across the Gulf of Oman from Iran, has limited geopolitical importance, its ruler's trip received heavy coverage in the Iranian media – a level of attention no doubt amplified by the fact that it came amid the dog days of the Tehran summer. Stories spread that there was a secret agenda to his meetings with Iranian officials, involving claims that he came to convey messages from the United States and then to relay Iran's response to White House officials.

According to the principlist website Asr-e Iran, Qaboos is supposed to set the stage for indirect negotiations between Iran and the United States. Iranian media outlets, before and after the sultan's visit, have claimed that he has received provisional US approval for his proposals."

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How can Iraq attract investors?

How can Iraq attract investors?:

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Oman's ancient trade links

Egypt approves USD 3.2 billion economic stimulus package | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT

Egypt approves USD 3.2 billion economic stimulus package | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT:

"The Egyptian cabinet has approved an additional EGP 22.3 billion (USD 3.2 billion) in spending on investment projects in a bid to boost the economy over the forthcoming ten months, according to Deputy Prime Minister Ziad Bahaa El-Din.

The military-backed interim government in Cairo is seeking to restore confidence in the economy following two popular uprisings over the past three and a half years. Despite significant financial assistance from Gulf states following President Mohamed Mursi’s ouster earlier this year, the Egyptian economy remains troubled. The recent violence in the country has only made things worse, with a national curfew striking a severe blow to many businesses.

Bahaa El-Din said that the new investments will be aimed towards labor-intensive projects and services that help the poor. This will include building railways, roads and bridges, in addition to the construction of 131 potable water and sewage treatment plants. Cairo’s transportation networks, including the metro system are also set to be revamped."

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BUSINESS - Italian firm to bring Turkey ‘30 bln euros’

BUSINESS - Italian firm to bring Turkey ‘30 bln euros’:

"An Italian company is considering moving its 30 billion-euro assets from Switzerland to Turkey in a move that could help Turkey’s Central Bank governor’s pledge to protect the Turkish Lira, according to dailies Habertürk and Milliyet.

A company majorly owned by Italians with a minor Bulgarian partner has been in talks with Turkish Finance Ministry officials for over a week in Ankara.

According to reports, the company representatives are considering bringing their 30 billion euros to Turkey from Switzerland due to the Italian government’s recent inquiries, asking Switzerland to divulge its citizens’ banking data."

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Global house prices: Location, location, location | The Economist

Global house prices: Location, location, location | The Economist click thru for interactive chart

BRICS: Prospects for Ukraine - ForUm

BRICS: Prospects for Ukraine - ForUm:

"
Despite complicated global economic situation, a number of leading countries demonstrate stable economic growth even during the crisis. These are, first of all, the countries of BRICS group - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (since 2010). Thus, China remains the most dynamic economy of the world with 7.8% of growth in 2012. India is not so far behind (+5.4% in 2012); in Russia GDP growth made 3.6% last year, in South Africa - 2.6%, in Brazil - 1.3%.

Together these countries take 26% of land, 43% of world population and more than 15% of global economy, or $16 trillion. So, what is the importance of this union for the world and Ukraine, in particular? "

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#Putin ‘deserves medal’ for pushing #Ukraine towards EU | EurActiv

Putin ‘deserves medal’ for pushing Ukraine towards EU | EurActiv:

"A Ukrainian opposition leader jokingly said yesterday (29 August) that by staging a trade war against Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin “deserved a medal” as he boosted the chances of Kyiv signing its Association Agreement with the EU in November.
Arseniy Yatsenyuk, leader of the party Batkivschchyna party of jailed former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, said that after the Vilnius Eastern Partnership summit on 28 and 29 November, when Ukraine is expected to sign its EU Association Agreement, he would ask that Putin be awarded for achieving this goal. Yatseniuk and two other parliamentary opposition leaders, Vitali Klitschko (UDAR) and Oleh Tiahnybok (Svoboda), spoke to the Brussels press yesterday together with Enlargement and Neighbourhood Commissioner Štefan Füle."   'via Blog this'

Non-cash operations growing in Ukraine - ForUm

Non-cash operations growing in Ukraine - ForUm:

"Pace of development of non-cash payments grows in Ukraine, deputy governor of the National Bank of Ukraine Vira Rychakovska told a briefing, ForUm correspondent reports.

"Over the past three years, the pace of development of cashless payments increased by almost five times," she said.

According to her, if in 2012 non-cash operations made up 92 billion UAH, only for the first half of this year it reached 72 billion UAH."

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Ukraine cannot avoid referendum to decide on accession to EU or Customs Union, says Yanukovych » Interfax News Wire

Ukraine cannot avoid referendum to decide on accession to EU or Customs Union, says Yanukovych » Interfax News Wire :: Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Central Asia:

"Kyiv, August 30 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has said that a national referendum is to be conducted if a decision to join the European Union (EU) or the Customs Union is made.

“Any decisions we make have to be far-sighted. Any decisions, from simple to serious and strategic, with which we are now concerned, can show what the choice of the Ukrainian nation is, via a referendum,” Yanukovych said in an interview with Ukrainian television channels broadcasted on the 1+1 TV channel on Friday.

“We don’t know when the referendum will be held. When the decision to join the European Union or the Customs Union is made, we cannot do without a referendum.”

As reported, Yanukovych gave an interview to Savik Shuster (Shuster Live, Inter TV Channel), Oleksandr Tkachenko (1+1 TV channel), Andriy Kulikov (IСTV) and Larysa Hubina (the Fifth Channel) on Thursday."

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WIG-Ukraine unchanged as UX declines - Business - News - Ukraine Business Online

WIG-Ukraine unchanged as UX declines - Business - News - Ukraine Business Online:

"Thursday’s trading left Warsaw stocks dancing in place, UX stocks in Kyiv down slightly with LSE-listed stocks becoming a disaster zone.

Concorde Capital provides more info in its daily market comment:

“Despite calming European markets, Ukrainian equities remained depressed in trading on Thursday, August 29. The WIG Ukraine Index of Warsaw-traded stocks was unchanged, with the biggest mover being farmer Agroton (AGT PW), whose shares bounced 10.2% after a three-session slump. Most other stocks were in the red: erratic Coal Energy (CLE PW) plunged 6.5% yesterday, KSG Agro (KSG PW -1.5%) has lost 9.6% in four straight declining sessions and sugar producer Astarta (AST PW -0.1%) has fallen 5.8% in three straight negative sessions. In London, the slaughter continued of poultry producer MHP (MHPC LI), which plunged 5.3% after it released disappointed 2Q13 earnings. Its shares have plummeted 18.3% in ten straight losing sessions. Mining firm Ferrexpo (FXPO LN -2.5%) has plunged 9.2% in three straight declining sessions. The Ukrainian Exchange (UX) Index of Kyiv-traded stocks slid 0.4%, pulled down by Ukrsotsbank (USCB UK -2.2%).”"

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EU Enlargement Czar Meets Divisive #Ukraine Opposition Leader - Real Time Brussels - WSJ @NaftaliBendavid

EU Enlargement Czar Meets Divisive Ukraine Opposition Leader - Real Time Brussels - WSJ:

"When Stefan Füle, the European commissioner for enlargement and European neighborhoods, emerged Thursday to talk to reporters about his meetings with Ukrainian opposition leaders, he was joined by three politicians.

The first was Arseniy Yatsenyuk, leader of the biggest opposition bloc. The second was Vitali Klitschko, a boxing champion and rising political star.

The third was Oleh Tiahnybok, leader of the Svoboda Party, which has been accused of antisemitism and homophobia. Some may have considered this a surprising choice for an event meant to showcase Ukraine’s prospects for joining the European family."

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The Wrap | @REBELECONOMY

The Wrap | REBEL ECONOMY:

"1) Egypt and Turkey – Bloomberg
It’s amazing how fickle Egypt’s government can be when it drops an old friend.
Egypt’s new government has made it clear it is not prepared to cooperate with Turkey, an ally and donor of the Muslim Brotherhood. Tensions have grown between the two countries since the army toppled Islamist president Mohammed Morsi and Turkey is suffering for it, with exports dropping as much as 30% since July 3, the day of the coup.
The Federation of the Egyptian Chambers of Commerce this week announced they will suspend all official trade relations with the Turkey after Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan described Morsi’s ouster as an “unacceptable military coup”.
But with the volume of trade between the two countries estimated at about $5 billion, excluding tourism and joint investment projects, Egypt will also end up paying a price for its bad diplomacy. "

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The options for emerging markets | FT Alphaville

The options for emerging markets | FT Alphaville:

"From a recent Citi presentation, a chart stressing the potential risk of negative-feedback loops in the options available to those emerging market countries now trying to stem capital outflows and defend their currencies:



The chart makes an important point and is self-explanatory, but it isn’t comprehensive.

Notably excluded is the imposition of capital controls on outflows, which thus far have been mostly resisted with the exception of some limited measures in India."

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Saudi Arabia studies report on Egypt’s financial needs | Arab News — Saudi Arabia News, Middle East News, Opinion, Economy and more.

Saudi Arabia studies report on Egypt’s financial needs | Arab News — Saudi Arabia News, Middle East News, Opinion, Economy and more.:

"
A salesman waits for customers in his souvenir shop in the Khan El-Khalili market in Cairo. (AP)
Saudi Arabia is studying a report submitted by Egypt detailing its financial needs to support its ailing economy over the coming year, the Kingdom’s ambassador to Cairo said.
Saudi Arabia pledged $5 billion in aid soon after the army, prompted by mass protests, ousted Muhammad Mursi on July 3.
The government has run a budget deficit of $3.2 billion a month since January.
Interim Prime Minister Hazem Beblawi has presented a “Marshall Plan” to Gulf states, seeking support that he hopes will relieve some of the pressure on the economy."

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Is a 50% Market Decline Possible?

Is a 50% Market Decline Possible?:

"Before we get stuck into today's Daily Reckoning, just a reminder to watch out for a special report from Gowdie Family Wealth editor Vern Gowdie tomorrow. Vern makes some pretty big claims. We won't go into it here, but if you think we're bearish, check out Vern's well-reasoned analysis for a comparison.

Not that we've gone soft or anything. In fact, we're just putting the finishing touches to our latest issue, wherein we make the case that a 50% fall in the S&P500 is not only possible over the next few years, it's entirely probable.

That may sound extreme, but it's happened plenty of times before. It happened after the 2000 tech bubble and after the 2007 US housing bubble. It also happened after the long post-Second World War boom ended in the late 1960s."

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France wins Saudi Arabia defence contract: Report - The Economic Times

France wins Saudi Arabia defence contract: Report - The Economic Times:

"France has won a billion euro defence contract with Saudi Arabia to overhaul four frigates and two refuelling ships, sources said.

A source close to the matter confirmed a report on the La Tribune website saying negotiations that had dragged on for years were now over.

The upkeep deal involves French weapons and systems makers, Thales, DCNS and MBDA and would overhaul vessels that date back to the 1980s.

None of the companies involved wished to comment, but La Tribune reported that the launch of work could come as early as September and would precede a visit to the kingdom by French President Francois Hollande this autumn."

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Emirates to more than double US destinations in the next three to five years | GulfNews.com

Emirates to more than double US destinations in the next three to five years | GulfNews.com:

"Emirates Airline plans to more than double its network of US destinations in the next three to five years to a total of 15 US cities, up from seven currently, a company official said.
Emirates plans to add as many as three new US city destinations in the next 12 months, Thierry Antinori, chief commercial officer, said in an interview with Reuters.
The comments mark a further sign of the expansion aims of one of the fastest-growing Middle Eastern carriers."

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Julphar looks to a healthy future in the UAE and abroad - The National

Julphar looks to a healthy future in the UAE and abroad - The National:

"
The UAE pharmaceutical company Julphar is scouting for a larger market beyond the Middle East as part of its ambitious expansion plans.

Based in Ras Al Khaimah, it is among the few companies in the sector to grow out of the Arabian Gulf region and it is doing very well.

In the first half of this year, Julphar's sales grew to Dh696.4 million, up 10.5 per cent year-on-year. Gross profit was Dh412.1 million, an increase of 8.3 per cent."

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Egypt turns back on IMF and looks to Gulf for stimulus - The National

Egypt turns back on IMF and looks to Gulf for stimulus - The National:

"Egypt is betting on aid from its oil-rich Arabian Gulf neighbours to spur its ailing economy, ending a two-year pursuit of an IMF loan it had touted as vital to regaining investor confidence.

The government has announced approval of a 22.3 billion Egyptian-pound (Dh11.75bn) stimulus package after securing US$12 billion in aid pledges from the Gulf last month. Egypt doesn't "currently have the desire or the need to ask for assistance from the IMF," the finance minister Ahmed Galal said.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Kuwait rushed to aid Egypt following the military's removal of Mohammed Morsi from the presidency last month."

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DP World profits climb 9% despite fall in volumes - The National

DP World profits climb 9% despite fall in volumes - The National:

"
Improved margins and cost controls lifted profits at DP World, the UAE-based global ports operator, in the first half of this year despite challenging economic conditions in world markets.

Financial results for the first half, announced yesterday, showed a 9.1 per cent rise in net profits, against the background of a 5.8 per cent decline in volumes of goods at its 65 marine terminals from Sydney, Australia to Santos, Brazil.

The chairman, Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, said the figures represented "another strong set of results in spite of challenging market conditions". He added that conditions had improved in the second quarter and said he was optimistic that trend would continue for the rest of the year."

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UAE start-ups still need help on funds - The National

UAE start-ups still need help on funds - The National:

"While start-ups are benefiting from a more positive economic environment in Dubai, getting financing to grow their businesses remains an obstacle.

Economic growth and business sentiment are high according to three reports out this month. And earlier this year, the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business report ranked the UAE 26th among 183 countries, making it the forerunner in the Arab world.

These were also strong indicators for the small and medium enterprises (SME) sector that benefits most from a sound economic environment, said Neil Petch, the chairman of Virtuzone, a Dubai-based business that helps companies to set up."

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New Eastern Europe - Hashtags and Fan Pages vs.Trade Barriers

New Eastern Europe - Hashtags and Fan Pages vs.Trade Barriers:

"
When Russia openly started a trade war against Ukraine in August 2013, the reason for it was quite obvious – to hamper the eventual decision on signing the Association Agreement with the European Union during the upcoming Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius, and make those who influence the decisions of the Ukrainian authorities think more deeply about closer cooperation with Russia’s Customs Union project. The stake is thus quite high. These events have caused many comments.
What is often stressed is the assumption that Russia’s coercion will appear counterproductive because of the negative reaction of society. At the end of the day, ordinary people will stop buying Russian products, they say. Increased social media activity related to this problem is usually presented as the herald of the forthcoming fall in demand for Russian goods among Ukrainians."

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Saudi Gazette - GCC companies beginning to put reputation before profit – survey

Saudi Gazette - GCC companies beginning to put reputation before profit – survey:

"Once the sole remit of the marketing and PR departments, reputational risk is now seen as a critical company-wide concern, according to a global survey by the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) and the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA).

The survey of GCC finance leaders who hold the Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) designation, identified the demand for more transparency, competitor reputational failures and the rise in social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn as key contributing factors to the increased global interest on the topic.

Despite this, nearly 70 percent of organizations surveyed admitted to not always using feedback from these channels to help them anticipate and manage risk to their reputation. Similarly, 52 percent of those surveyed had no formal processes or models in place for calculating the financial impact of not managing reputational risk. "

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