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Sunday, 1 September 2013

US interests under threat if Syria attacked: Iran | News , Middle East | THE DAILY STAR

US interests under threat if Syria attacked: Iran | News , Middle East | THE DAILY STAR:

"A senior Iranian official warned in Damascus on Sunday that US interests in the region would be at risk if Washington launched a military strike against his country's ally Syria.

Iranian officials have issued stern warnings against US-led military action targeting Syria and the latest came from the chairman of the foreign policy committee of Iran's parliament.

"I hope that the United States will not undertake any precipitated and irrational action, due to the sensitive situation in the region," Allaeddine Boroujerdi told reporters.

"The Americans cannot threaten the countries of the region and expect that their own interests will not be threatened," he said, a day after talks with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad."

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LUKoil Profit Doubles | Business | The Moscow Times

LUKoil Profit Doubles | Business | The Moscow Times:

"Russia's No. 2 oil producer, LUKoil, posted a doubling in second-quarter net income, just missing forecasts as a weaker ruble and higher-than-expected taxes dampened a rise in sales and the impact of an acquisition.

LUKoil said Friday that its second-quarter net income jumped to $2.1 billion, flattered by a weak performance in the same period last year when earnings were hit by a higher tax bill. However, that missed analysts' average forecast of $2.25 billion.

LUKoil has been struggling with a decline in oil production at its depleted fields in Western Siberia, which account for more than a half of its resource base.

LUKoil also said it planned to extract the first oil from the giant West Qurna-2 field in southern Iraq in November, the company's vice president said Friday."

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MIDEAST STOCKS-Dubai leads regional recovery as Syria strike put to vote | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Dubai leads regional recovery as Syria strike put to vote | Reuters:

"(Reuters) - Dubai's bourse led a regional recovery in shares on Sunday after U.S. President Barack Obama delayed an imminent military strike against Syria, saying he will seek congressional consent.

Dubai's index rose 3 percent, partly recouping losses from last week's heavy retail-driven sell-off. The market is dominated by short-term, momentum traders who have knee-jerk reaction to political concerns. It is still 150 points away from the five-year peak hit on Aug. 25.

"Dubai rebound from a sell-off today but you'll see a lot of indecisiveness until Congress vote on Syria," said Ahmed Shehada, head of trading at QNB Financial Services. "It's smart to reduce risk at this point for the short-term but not completely exit the market."

Abu Dhabi's measure rose 1.8 percent, snapping four sessions of losses and Qatar's benchmark climbed 0.5 percent."

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UAE lender RAKBANK confirms ex-CIMB executive as new CEO | Reuters

UAE lender RAKBANK confirms ex-CIMB executive as new CEO | Reuters:

"National Bank of Ras al-Khaimah RAKB.AD (RAKBANK) has named Peter England, previously a senior banker at Malaysia's CIMB Group (CIMB.KL), as its new chief executive, the bank confirmed in a statement on Sunday.

Reuters reported last month that England, who was the head of retail financial services business at CIMB, would replace current CEO Graham Honeybill, citing sources familiar with the matter.

Honeybill had initially been due to retire in July and be replaced by Ian Larkin, a former managing director of Lloyds TSB Commercial Finance, but Larkin quit before formally taking up the role, sources told Reuters in May.

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 BMAO.OM."

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Iran oil minister orders energy contract overhaul: Shana | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT

Iran oil minister orders energy contract overhaul: Shana | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT:

Iranian oil minister Bijan Zanganeh speaks during a news
conference at the oil ministry in Tehran in this March 8, 2005,
file photo. (REUTERS/Raheb Homavandi/Files)
Iran’s new oil minister has ordered the revision of energy project contracts to make them more attractive to foreign investors, a National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) executive told oil ministry news service Shana.
Iran’s long insistence on paying contractors with oil made projects unattractive to foreign investors long before Western sanctions made it almost impossible to work in the isolated Islamic republic.

Tehran began offering more attractive production-sharing contracts (PSCs) to some Indian companies earlier this year in the hope they would help revive its decaying energy sector.

Oil minister Bijan Zanganeh has ordered a wider review of Iran’s oil contracts because the buy-back deals are particularly unsuitable for the enhanced oil recovery projects NIOC needs to attract investors to revive its ageing oil fields."

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Dubai Shares Gain Most Since 2012 as Obama Delays Syria Strike - Bloomberg

Dubai Shares Gain Most Since 2012 as Obama Delays Syria Strike - Bloomberg:

"Dubai shares gained the most in 18 months, rebounding from the worst weekly slump since 2011, after U.S. President Barack Obama put off a military strike against Syria.
The Dubai Financial Market General Index (DFMGI) advanced 3 percent, the biggest jump since March 2012, to 2,599.35 at the close in Dubai. The measure slid 6.6 percent last week amid concern a military strike was imminent and will hurt tourism and investments in the emirate. Emaar Properties PJSC (EMAAR), the developer of the world’s tallest tower in Dubai, gained the most in almost four weeks and Deyaar Development PJSC (DEYAAR), a builder of home and office towers, surged 13 percent.
Obama said yesterday he’ll seek authorization from Congress before ordering the strike against Syria for using chemical weapons, delaying military action to at least Sept. 9. Dubai’s benchmark index had the biggest weekly slump since March 2011, leaving the gauge at an average price-to-book ratio of 1 compared with 2 in neighboring Saudi Arabia and 1.7 in Qatar."

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Dubai's ENOC loses deal to fuel U.S. military jets | Reuters

Dubai's ENOC loses deal to fuel U.S. military jets | Reuters:

""ENOC was not awarded a contract because ENOC was not the lowest price offerer," a spokesman for the U.S. Department of Defense said in an e-mail when asked if the deal was not renewed because of ENOC's ongoing use of Iranian oil.

Chevron, whose UAE offices are housed within the ENOC complex in Dubai, declined to comment on commercial agreements or its relationship with ENOC.

The United States has urged other users of Iranian oil to slash their imports over the last two years as Washington tries to starve Tehran of funds for its disputed nuclear activities.

U.S. officials have asked ENOC to reduce its imports of light Iranian oil, but close U.S. ally Dubai is still importing large quantities, according to shipping data, because its refinery is designed to run on it."

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Kuwait's Warba Bank to list on stock market Sept. 3 | Reuters

Kuwait's Warba Bank to list on stock market Sept. 3 | Reuters:

"Kuwait's Warba Bank, an Islamic lender set up three years ago, will be listed on the country's stock exchange on Sept. 3 after a restriction on public trading of the stock ended, an analyst and an industry source familiar with the matter said.

Warba Bank was not immediately available for comment.

A majority of the shares in the lender, set up with a capital of 100 million dinars ($351 million), were gifted to Kuwaiti nationals as part of the state's wealth sharing, with each citizen receiving 684 shares."

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Etihad expects to seal $600m Indian deal 'imminently' - Banking & Finance -

Etihad expects to seal $600m Indian deal 'imminently' - Banking & Finance -

Etihad Airways expects a $600m investment in Jet Airways to be cleared by Indian authorities imminently, as it further extended a deadline for regulatory approval that ended on Aug 31, the Abu Dhabi carrier said on Sunday.
Etihad's plan to buy a 24 percent stake in Jet had been delayed by regulators and by concerns from some politicians an April bilateral accord on air services between India and the United Arab Emirates was hurting Indian airlines' interests.
A potential stake purchase would be the first by an overseas operator in an Indian airline since ownership rules were relaxed and provides India's largest carrier with a deep-pocketed global partner as well as cash to pay down debt."

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Iraqi oil exports rebound in August - Your Middle East

Iraqi oil exports rebound in August - Your Middle East:

"Iraq's oil exports rebounded in August from a 16-month low, as increased sales and rising prices lifted revenues to their highest level this year, a spokesman said on Sunday.

Daily exports averaged 2.579 million barrels per day (bpd) and brought in revenues of $8.3 billion (6.3 billion euros), Oil Ministry spokesman Assem Jihad said in a text message, representing the highest level of income from oil exports since October 2012.

In particular, Iraq was buoyed by rising oil prices, which at one point touched their highest level in 18 months on fears of an imminent US-led military strike on Syria over its alleged use of chemical weapons."

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Expo chiefs give Dubai thumbs-up for 2020 - The National

Expo chiefs give Dubai thumbs-up for 2020 - The National:

" Inspectors who assessed Dubai's bid to stage Expo 2020 were impressed by the theme, the level of public support and the plans for financing the project.

A six-strong team from the Bureau International des Expositions, which oversees world expos, spent five days in Dubai gathering information about the bid and holding high-level talks."

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Mapping mortgages - The National

Mapping mortgages - The National:

"With the latest figures for consumer debt in the UAE showing that the amount owed is equivalent to more than Dh30,000 for every man, woman and child, there has rarely been a better time for initiatives that improve financial literacy. It is important to break this down into so-called "good debt", such as taking out a mortgage to buy property, compared to spending on ephemeral luxuries of life like fine meals, expensive cars and lavish holidays.

Even within the realms of good debt, there are dramatic differences between the deals on offer, as has been demonstrated just one day after the launch of a nationwide mortgage map created by The National in collaboration with pecunia. me to crowdsource mortgage deals.

Two mortgages, taken out in Al Reef and in Raha Gardens, tell a dramatic story. One is paying 4.5 per cent over 20 years and the other is paying 6.25 per cent over 25 years. By the end of the mortgages the latter will have paid nearly twice as much in interest as the former.

This kind of information was hitherto known only to the banks. Any move that increases transparency must be applauded for saving consumers money while also improving their leverage."

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Another tear in Brazilian billionaire Eike Batista's pocketbook - The National

Another tear in Brazilian billionaire Eike Batista's pocketbook - The National:

"OGX Petroleo e Gas Participacoes, one of the companies owned by Brazil's former richest man, Eike Batista, has been rated worthless, the latest chapter in the crumbling of the magnate's industrial empire.

Analysts at Deutsche Bank and Bank of America estimated the stock to be worth about 4 cents, while Marcos Elias, a partner at the Sao Paulo-based brokerage Gradual Investimentos, said on Friday the company's value was close to zero.

The decline of OGX, once Brazil's second-biggest oil company by market value, further dials down the clock on Mr Batista's race to offload parts of his oil and gas, mining and ports businesses before they run out of cash. Several potential investors, including Mubadala Development, the strategic investment company owned by the Abu Dhabi Government, are reportedly circling."

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Standard Chartered chief gives warning over UAE asset bubbles - The National

Standard Chartered chief gives warning over UAE asset bubbles - The National:

"Standard Chartered's local chief executive has warned that preventing asset bubbles will be the biggest challenge facing UAE authorities as the local economy expands.

Research from the British bank, which generates most of its income from emerging markets, said consumer leverage now represents a bigger proportion of the UAE economy than before the financial crisis and added that some measures to protect consumers would be welcome.

With the property crash and attendant financial crisis now firmly in the past, maintaining the current pace of economic growth required attention from the Government, said Jonathan Morris, the bank's chief executive for the UAE."

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Asian partners could replace UAE on Turkey plants | Economy | World Bulletin

Asian partners could replace UAE on Turkey plants | Economy | World Bulletin:

"Turkey could hand over power plants in its Southeast to a South Korean or Chinese firm, thus unilaterally terminating a contract with the UAE after the Gulf country delayed the project, the government signaled on Thursday.
Energy Minister Taner Yıldız told reporters in Ankara on Thursday that his ministry spoke with South Korean officials about possible cooperation on the project, worth as much as $12 billion, to build several power plants that will use the lignite coal reserves of Turkey's Afşin-Elbistan region.
“We are discussing possible cooperation here with Chinese or South Korean firms. … Details will come in the following days,” Yıldız said. Turkey is already partners with both Asian countries on separate energy programs. Turkey's state-owned Electricity Generation Co. and the Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (TAQA) -- the state-owned oil explorer and power supplier -- agreed in January to go ahead with the project. However, TAQA announced earlier this week that it will postpone the project until 2014, citing other spending priorities"

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Times of Oman | News :: Industrial investments in Oman top OMR25.4b

Times of Oman | News :: Industrial investments in Oman top OMR25.4b:

A view of Sohar industrial estate located near Sohar in Al Batinah governorate.
Photo - Klaus Ottes via Flickr under Creative Commons License
A total of 109 new industries were registered in the first half of 2013, according to records at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. The number of industrial facilities reached 2,539 by the end of August 2013, with investments totalling OMR25,469,987,623.

According to Ali bin Saif al-Hadi, Secretary to the Industrial Registrar at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the industrial facilities are exempted from customs duties on imports, and income tax. Moreover, the labour required to run these is determined according to the size of the projects and actual needs.

Oman witnessed a significant development in the manufacturing sector and Omani products succeeded in attracting foreign investment into the industrial sector. The industrial activities contributed 16.5 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP) at OMR4,967.0 million in 2012, while the figure stood at OMR3,883.5 million in 2011, with basic chemicals and oil products sector attracting the bulk of fund inflows."

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Value of Saudi projects stands at $956bn | Arab News

Value of Saudi projects stands at $956bn | Arab News — Saudi Arabia News, Middle East News, Opinion, Economy and more.:

"The current value of the Saudi projects market stands at $956 billion, local media said quoting MEED GCC Projects Index.
According to the report, the Saudi projects market was the sole one to have registered a decline among the GCC projects market at 0.1 percent during August 2013 due to the cancellation of a petrochemical project.
Kuwait and Bahrain registered the highest rate of the GCC projects in the week ending on Aug. 13 at 0.6 percent, the report said."

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Oman LNG merges with Qalhat LNG - Oman Tribune

Oman Tribune - the edge of knowledge:

"Oman LNG and Qalhat LNG will jointly start operations on Sunday after the merger of the two liquefied natural gas companies.

The integration capitalises on a number of existing operational efficiencies and potent synergies such as production and export from common facilities at the three-train plant in Sur, one source of gas supply in Petroleum Development Oman, same shipping provider in Oman Shipping Company and almost similar destinations of LNG cargoes, the company said in a press release.

It will also take advantage of the combined knowledge of highly skilled workforce in the country’s LNG industry and offer greater flexibility to deploy a larger portfolio of cargoes and vessels in the global LNG market."

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UAE free zones begin to woo int'l firms as high season arrives - BUSINESS -

UAE free zones begin to woo int'l firms as high season arrives - BUSINESS -

"As the business high season kicks off, the United Arab Emirate (UAE)'s 38 economic free trade zones start to woo international firms.

The beginning of September, when executives return from their annual leaves and conference, marks the beginning of the " corporate high season" in the emirate, which promotes the authorities of Dubai's over 20 industrial free zone reasons to re- launch their marketing campaigns in order to deliver the message to the world that despite the ongoing turmoil in some Arab countries, the UAE remains a harbor of stability and economic openness.

As the diminishing oil reserves contribute only 2 percent of Dubai's gross domestic product (the bulk of Emirati oil is located in neighboring Abu Dhabi), the ruling Al-Maktoum family was motivated to build a number of free trade zones."

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Dubai in danger of new real estate bubble - property CEO - Property -

Dubai in danger of new real estate bubble - property CEO - Property -

Dubai is in danger of creating another artificial real estate price bubble if speculators continue to flip assets, the CEO and founder of Dubai-based has said.
"Speculators are not helping the market and if cash-rich investors continue to acquire assets and flip units, the market will be led to another artificial price bubble. Ultimately, prices will inflate so much that the end users we are looking for will not be able to buy,” said Michael Lahyani.
His comments came in a statement responding to recent news that the Dubai government is to set up a judicial committee to oversee the liquidation of stalled property projects in the emirate."

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Saudi Gazette - Geopolitical tension imperils oil stability

Saudi Gazette - Geopolitical tension imperils oil stability:

"IS another oil shock just round the corner? If elements in the current global crude balance are viewed closely, the scenario is very much a possibility. The US Energy Information Administration reported last month that global supply disruptions reached 2.7 million barrels per day (bpd) in July. And analysts now say these outages have in fact risen since then.

Geopolitical situation in the Middle East is one major influence on the global crude markets. Middle East accounted for 35 percent of global oil production in the first quarter of this year, according to data from the International Energy Agency.

News pouring in from the entire region is disturbing. And this is impacting the crude sentiments. Libya's oil output has crashed to a near standstill over the past year as warlords and strikes have paralyzed the country, tightening the screws on global crude supply. Output has fallen from 1.4 million bpd to just 250,000 bpd after protesters shut oilfields and export ports. “We are currently witnessing the collapse of state in Libya, and the country is getting closer to local wars for oil revenues,” said the Swiss-based group Petromatrix."

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