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Tuesday, 10 September 2013

More jailed Dubai debtors join hunger strike - FT.com

More jailed Dubai debtors join hunger strike - FT.com:

"More foreign businessmen have joined a hunger strike in a Dubai jail to protest at the “racial discrimination” they say they face as a result of Emiratis being exempted from the criminalisation of debt.
A group of western prisoners, including a Briton who joined last year’s hunger strike, have joined 12 inmates from India, Pakistan and the Gulf who have spent years behind bars and who started the protest earlier this week.
They are calling for release after being jailed for bouncing cheques – a criminal offence in the United Arab Emirates – on the basis that UAE nationals who did so have been pardoned and released."

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Saudi Startup Finding Women Jobs Acquired For $16M - Forbes

Saudi Startup Finding Women Jobs Acquired For $16M - Forbes:

"More than a third of Saudi Arabian women are unemployed compared to just 6% of males; three quarters of those unemployed women have a college degree. Saudi Arabia’s highly educated and untapped human resource costed the world’s largest oil producer approximately $1.5 billion last year, according to Khalid Alkhudair, the co-founder of Glowork, a startup which finds women jobs.

“Unemployment is very unsustainable for the government,” Alkhudair explained. “It pays 2,000 Saudi Riyals or $800 a month to anyone unemployed.”

Founded in 2011, Glowork matches women with jobs by creating opportunities in sectors previously inaccessible to females. So far it has put over 3,000 women in the workplace, and found work-from-home jobs for 500 women."

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MIDEAST STOCKS-Markets jump, Dubai soars 8.5 pct; Syria strike may be averted | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Markets jump, Dubai soars 8.5 pct; Syria strike may be averted | Reuters:

"* UAE markets make biggest gains for nearly four years

* Saudi market's rally more modest, up 2.9 pct

* Markets looked at worst case before, now best case

* May stay volatile for several more weeks

* Petrochemical shares underperform

By Nadia Saleem

DUBAI, Sept 10 (Reuters) - Middle East shares jumped on Tuesday, with Dubai soaring 8.5 percent, on hopes that a U.S.-led military strike on Syria might be averted after Russia offered to work with Damascus to cede control of its chemical weapons to international authorities.

U.S. President Barack Obama said that if Syria handed over the weapons used in an alleged poison gas attack on Aug. 21, it would be a 'significant breakthrough' in the crisis. Late on Tuesday, the Syrian government accepted the proposal, according to Russian news agency Interfax.

It was by no means clear that the proposal could in practice be implemented to Washington's satisfaction - just as it was never clear that any strike on Syria would cause Damascus or its allies to retaliate against Gulf Arab countries."

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Abu Dhabi fund buys TAHL assets for $800m | The Australian

Abu Dhabi fund buys TAHL assets for $800m | The Australian:

"GLOBAL investment heavyweight Abu Dhabi Investment Authority has provided a boost to the hotel industry with the record-breaking $800 million purchase of Australia's largest hotel owner, Tourism Asset Holdings.

The deal gives the Middle Eastern group, which is a major hotel investor around the world, ownership of a portfolio of 31 properties. It is also one of the largest leased property portfolios of its kind in the Asia Pacific.

The deal comes amid a surge of foreign investment in local hotels with South Korea's Mirae Asset Global Investments and Malaysia's Starhill real estate investment trust snapping up key five-star properties in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, as investors focus on hotels that cater to the business market rather than more risky resorts."

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WTI Falls as Russia’s Syria Proposal Eases Supply Concern - Bloomberg

WTI Falls as Russia’s Syria Proposal Eases Supply Concern - Bloomberg:

"West Texas Intermediate crude dropped for a second day on reports Syria agreed to a Russian plan to surrender its chemical weapons, easing concern of a U.S. strike that may reduce Middle Eastern oil shipments.
Futures fell as much as 2.7 percent as France said it will submit a proposal to confiscate Syria’s chemical weapons to the United Nations. Interfax reported that Bashar al-Assad’s government accepted the Russian plan. President Barack Obama told NBC News yesterday that Russia’s motion is a “potentially positive development.” Obama will outline his intentions on Syria in a speech at 9 p.m. tonight in Washington.
“Oil is taking a big hit because the Russian proposal has raised the prospect that the U.S. can avoid a military strike on Syria,” said Bob Yawger, director of the futures division at Mizuho Securities USA Inc. in New York. “The Russian proposal has had a dramatic impact. Everyone in the market is waiting to see what the president will say this evening.”"

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Dubai Index Rallies Most Since 2009 on Syria Strike Delay - Bloomberg

Dubai Index Rallies Most Since 2009 on Syria Strike Delay - Bloomberg:

"Dubai’s stock index surged the most since December 2009 after President Barack Obama said the U.S. would put a strike on Syria on hold if the nation followed through on a proposal to surrender its chemical weapons.
The DFM General Index (DFMGI) climbed 8.5 percent, the biggest gainer among 94 gauges monitored by Bloomberg globally, to 2,522.15 at the close in Dubai. Before today, the measure had plunged 15 percent from a five-year high on Aug. 25. Emaar Properties PJSC (EMAAR), the stock with the biggest weighting on the index, soared 8.5 percent, while discount carrier Air Arabia PJSC (AIRARABI) jumped 10 percent. Abu Dhabi’s measure gained 5.5 percent and Qatar’s 4.9 percent."

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Reduction in NBU gold and forex reserves to intensify talks with IMF| Ukrinform

Reduction in NBU gold and forex reserves to intensify talks with IMF| Ukrinform:

"Ukraine stands every chance of getting money from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in March 2014, if in October-November it intensifies talks with the IMF to launch a new Stand-By Arrangement. A decline of the international reserves of the National Bank of Ukraine will push the country to speed up negotiations.
Executive Director of the International Bleyzer Foundation Oleh Ustenko said this at a press conference in Kyiv on Tuesday.
"The reduction in gold and foreign currency reserves of the National Bank of Ukraine is a clear impetus to try to negotiate with the IMF more vigorously. If we had not seen the reduction of foreign exchange reserves, the Ukrainian side would feel much more comfortable," Ustenko emphasized."

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Baring Vostok Pockets $327M From Yandex Stake Sale | Business | The Moscow Times

Baring Vostok Pockets $327M From Yandex Stake Sale | Business | The Moscow Times:

"Private equity company Baring Vostok has made a huge profit after selling off a 3 percent stake in Yandex, a move that reflects a growing trend among the search engine's shareholders.

A notification sent to the Securities and Exchange Commission showed that the sale — worth $327 million to Baring Vostok — took place around Aug. 29, Vedomosti reported Tuesday.

The sale was managed by BC&B Holdings, a company that holds shares on behalf of funds advised by Baring Vostok.

Baring Vostok, Yandex's longest standing shareholder, has steadily reduced its stake in the Internet company from 16 percent on Dec. 31, 2012, to about 7 percent after the latest sale."

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Dubai Index Rallies Most Since 2009 on Syria Strike Delay - Bloomberg

Dubai Index Rallies Most Since 2009 on Syria Strike Delay - Bloomberg:

"Dubai’s stock index surged the most since December 2009 after President Barack Obama said the U.S. would put a strike on Syria on hold if the nation followed through on a proposal to surrender its chemical weapons.
The DFM General Index (DFMGI) climbed 7.7 percent, making it the biggest gainer among 94 gauges monitored by Bloomberg globally, to 2,503.94 at 12:59 p.m. in Dubai. Before today, the measure had plunged 15 percent from a five-year high on Aug. 25. Emaar Properties PJSC (EMAAR), Dubai’s biggest stock, soared 7.4 percent and discount carrier Air Arabia PJSC (AIRARABI) rose the most since 2009. Abu Dhabi’s measure added 5.4 percent and Qatar’s 4.7 percent."

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State statistics service revises Ukraine’s GDP fall in Q2, 2013 downwards from 1.1% to 1.3% » Interfax News Wire

State statistics service revises Ukraine’s GDP fall in Q2, 2013 downwards from 1.1% to 1.3% » Interfax News Wire :: Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Central Asia:

"Ukraine’s GDP in the second quarter of 2013 fell by 1.3% compared with the second quarter of 2012, the State Statistics Service has reported.

At the end of July, the State Statistics Service preliminary assessed the fall of GDP at 1.1%, which was the same as in the first quarter of 2013.

According to updated data, GDP in April-June 2013 fell by 0.5% compared to the first quarter of 2013, taking into account seasonal factors.

Nominal GDP in the second quarter of 2013 came to UAH 351.896 billion, and the deflator change was 2.1%, while in the first quarter the indicators were UAH 301.598 billion and 3.9%."

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WIG-Ukraine and UX bounce back in Monday trading - Business - News - Ukraine Business Online

WIG-Ukraine and UX bounce back in Monday trading - Business - News - Ukraine Business Online:

"“Ukrainian equities took Moscow’s lead in recouping losses in trading on Monday, September 9. The WIG Ukraine Index of Warsaw-traded stocks jumped 2.0%, led by miner Coal Energy (CLE PW +5.7%), which fell 8.3% in the prior four sessions; sugar producer Astarta (AST PW +4.2%), which dropped 6.8% in the prior three sessions; and miner Sadovaya Group (SGR PW +4.0%), which lost 4.8% in the prior four sessions. Outside the Index, Serinus Energy (SEN PW +2.1%) gained 4.4% in two sessions. In London, Regal Petroleum (RPT LN +3.4%) has surged 16.2% in two sessions after plummeting 23.9% in the prior three. Egg producer Avangardco (AVGR LI +3.4%) has improved 6.0% in three straight winning sessions. Bank of Georgia (BGEO LN) rose 3.1%, while poultry producer MHP (MHPC LI) plunged 4.5%. The Ukrainian Exchange (UX) Index of Kyiv-traded stocks increased 1.0%, led by Unicredit’s Ukrsotsbank (USCB UK +2.5%). Engine maker Motor Sich (MSICH UK +2.1%) has improved 5.2% in four straight positive sessions.”"

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UPDATE 1-First Gulf Bank of Abu Dhabi to cut 10 pct of workforce -sources | Reuters

UPDATE 1-First Gulf Bank of Abu Dhabi to cut 10 pct of workforce -sources | Reuters:

"First Gulf Bank (FGB), the United Arab Emirates' third largest bank, is cutting about 300 jobs, equivalent to nearly 10 percent of its workforce, as part of a restructuring, sources familiar with the matter said.

FGB, controlled by Abu Dhabi's ruling family, informed employees about the plan last week and the cuts will mainly affect its consumer banking business, the sources said. They were speaking on condition of anonymity as the matter has not been made public.

Abu Dhabi-based FGB is among a number of UAE banks which are seeking to expand their overseas operations and lower reliance on their home market, where more than 50 local and international banks compete to win retail, commercial and investment banking businesses in a country of about 8 million people."

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The Wrap: Egypt Labour Disputes Threaten Recovery, Syria Tries to Close Import Gap | REBEL ECONOMY

The Wrap: Egypt Labour Disputes Threaten Recovery, Syria Tries to Close Import Gap | REBEL ECONOMY:
"

  • EGYPT

- This morning the government statistics agency, CAPMAS, published figures that show annual consumer inflation slowed to 9.7% in August, from 10.3% in July reflecting easing pressure on the currency. The pound has actually been appreciating slowly in the last month but as Rebel Economy has signalled before, that doesn’t mean the currency is strong.
- BG Group Drops Most in 10 months on Egypt Delays - Bloomberg
Remember that good news yesterday on BP’s gas discovery in Egypt? Well news that another British oil company, BG Group, is suffering project delays in Egypt shows how fragile the country’s energy sector can be."

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Middle Eastern economic boom could follow a peaceful solution on Syria « ArabianMoney

Middle Eastern economic boom could follow a peaceful solution on Syria « ArabianMoney:

"As four $1.8 billion US warships closed in on Syria last week ArabianMoney was minded to think that the cost of these ships was far from immaterial in the context of the tiny $75 billion Syrian economy.

Indeed if the many trillions spent by the US and its allies on wars in the Middle East since 9/11 could have been spent on peaceful economic projects then the region would have been transformed into a 21st century version of the fabled Hanging Gardens of Babylon."

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Eike Batista and the mysterious OGX put option | beyondbrics

Eike Batista and the mysterious OGX put option | beyondbrics:

"OGX shareholders should be used to violent swings in the market by now. Shares in Eike Batista’s oil company are down more than 90 per cent this year. However, even by OGX standards, the last few days have been a rollercoaster for investors.

The stock gained as much as 49 per cent on Friday after OGX exercised a put option under which Batista would begin to pump as much as $1bn into the company via the purchase of new shares. On Monday shares fell over 17 per cent after Batista contested the decision to exercise the put.

So what on earth is going on?

"

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Eastbook.eu | How Russia Bullies the EU’s Eastern Neighbors

Eastbook.eu | Partnerstwo Wschodnie | Eastern Partnership (EaP):

In the run-up to the EU’s Eastern Partnership summit in Vilniusthis November, Russia is piling on the pressure on its western neighbors to prevent them from moving closer to the EU.
Through a combination of threats and incentives, the Kremlin is trying to keep Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova—all members of the Eastern Partnership—from signing an association agreement with the EU in Vilnius. That accord would offer the region substantial trade, economic, and investment benefits linked to political reforms.
The EU offers Western values and the perspective of greater access to the EU’s internal market but not the prospect of membership. The Kremlin’s cards, however, are very powerful: through energy and trade, Russia has a strong hold over all four countries.
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Saudi Gazette - Kuwait may defer plan to acquire Airbus fleet

Saudi Gazette - Kuwait may defer plan to acquire Airbus fleet:

"Kuwait Airways may delay a plan to buy 25 new aircraft from Airbus, a Kuwaiti newspaper reported on Monday, saying the state-owned carrier would prioritize leasing planes instead.

Kuwait Airways signed an initial agreement with Airbus in May to buy 15 A320neo narrow-body jets and 10 of Airbus's new A350-900 XWB, in the biggest overhaul of its fleet since the 1990 Iraqi invasion. It also agreed to lease a further 22 Airbus jets as part of the deal.

Under the plan, the new planes are expected for delivery in 2019."

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Saudi Gazette - Saudi inflation highest in GCC: Report

Saudi Gazette - Saudi inflation highest in GCC: Report:

"Saudi Arabia recorded the highest rate of inflation with 3.7 percent, followed by Bahrain 3.6 percent, Qatar 3.1 percent, Kuwait 2.87 percent, Oman at 1.5 percent compared to 2.9 percent, United Arab Emirates at 1.26 percent, compared with the same month last year, Oman’s the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI) said.

The consumer monthly price indices in the GCC countries in July recorded its highest level in the Sultanate by 1.2 percent, followed by Bahrain 0.8 percent, Saudi 0.4 percent and Kuwait 0.16 percent. The index declined in the UAE by 0.04 percent and showed no change in Qatar.

The projections issued in a report of the World Economic Outlook Update in July indicate that the inflation in 2013 would reach about 6 percent in the economies of the emerging and developing markets, while it will reach 1.5 percent in the developed economies. For July, the Inflation rate in the Sultanate’s most important trading partners was 2.8 percent in the United Kingdom, 2.6 percent in China, 2 percent in the United States."

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Saudi Gazette - Saudi foreign investment, financial market promising

Saudi Gazette - Saudi foreign investment, financial market promising:

"Saudi Arabia’s foreign investment and financial market remain promising, panelists at the 2nd Annual Saudi Securities Forum which concluded in Riyadh Monday concurred.

For instance, Robert B. Gray, chairman of HSBC Saudi Arabia Limited, said his institution has had a ringside seat as the Saudi capital market has evolved over the last decade, during which time, there was impressive achievements in the market.

“This is a market characterized by top quality regulation and supervision,” he said. “ The Saudi Capital Authority has led the way within the GCC in areas such as disclosure and market conduct,” he added."

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Egyptian Chronicles: And This is Why #Egypt Needs A Real Revolution - tks @zeinobia

Egyptian Chronicles: And This is Why #Egypt Needs A Real Revolution:

"The world economic forum issued its annual Global Competitiveness index for year 2013 –2014 . Read it and you will know how Egypt needs a real revolution in every aspect in order to survive this ongoing world race.
First here is the ranking of the Middle East countries arranged  “as well other countries I found interesting in the report” as they appear in the report.
CountryRank “Out of 148”Score “1-7”Rank among “2012-2013” economiesGCI “2012-2013”
Qatar135.241311
UAE195.111924
KSA205.102018
Israel274.942726
Oman334.643332
Kuwait364.563637
Bahrain434.454335
Turkey444.454443
Jordan684.206864
Iran824.078166
Tunisia834.06n/an/a
Algeria1003.7998110
Lebanon1033.7710191
Libya1083.73106113
Egypt1183.63115107
Mauritania1413.19137134
Yemen1452.98140140
Chad1482.85143139

Here is an info graph for the top ten Arab countries in the report. Of course all of them are rich oil gulf states.

Nevertheless you will find Israel after Qatar, UAE and KSA in the ranking when it has no oil.
Here is also an info graph about top ten Sub Saharan African countries.

Shamelessly Egypt comes in the 118th rank. It went down from 115 in 2012-2013 to 118 in 2013-2014. We used to be in the 94th rank in 2011-2012.


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Qatar has delivered nearly 2,000 LNG cargoes to Japan since ..

Qatar has delivered nearly 2,000 LNG cargoes to Japan since ..:

"Qatar has safely and successfully delivered nearly 2,000 LNG cargoes to Japanese customers since 1997, HE the Minister of Energy and Industry Dr Mohamed bin Saleh al-Sada said.

He was speaking at a reception organised in Tokyo by Qatargas in honour of Japanese officials and senior executives from Japanese partners, shareholders, financial institutions, buyers, contractors and service providers working with Qatar Petroleum and its subsidiaries.

Al-Sada outlined the strong foundations of the historic relationship between Qatar and Japan and said, “HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani was keen to develop them in all fields.”"

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Banks still wary of giving mortgages to overseas buyers of Dubai property - The National

Banks still wary of giving mortgages to overseas buyers of Dubai property - The National:

"As the Dubai property market heats up and real estate prices surge at the steepest rate in the world, international investors are eager for a piece of the action.

Topic Mortgage cap Financial literacy Central Bank of the UAE Emirates NBD Personal finance
But there is just one small problem: getting a mortgage.

Bryan Ong, the director of a private tuition company in Singapore, said he began looking for bank financing this year to fund investments in Dubai's property market, which he said looked attractive."

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UAE loans expected to multiply in spite of mortgage cap plan - The National

UAE loans expected to multiply in spite of mortgage cap plan - The National:

"Expectations that the Central Bank will impose a mortgage cap this year are unlikely to dent a surge in the number of new home loans, according to property agents.

Topic Mortgage cap Financial literacy Central Bank of the UAE Personal finance Tamweel Amlak
Estate agents in Dubai and Abu Dhabi are reporting an increase in the number of residents taking out mortgages, as the property market continues to recover despite expectations that the Central Bank is may limit borrowing.

According to the property valuer Cluttons, the number of mortgage valuations it has been asked to carry out over the past 12 months has increased by 40 per cent compared with the same period the previous year."

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Oil dependence is South Sudan's boon – and bane - The National

Oil dependence is South Sudan's boon – and bane - The National:

"With a long track record of broken promises and dishonoured agreements, many South Sudanese are very sceptical about the durability of the recent oil agreement between South Sudan and Sudan.

Yet, because of the indispensability of oil to the economies of the two countries, particularly South Sudan, most people in the country welcomed the announcement to reverse the threatened closure by Khartoum of a pipeline South Sundan relies on to export its oil via Port Sudan.

South Sudan now plans to increase crude output by 20 per cent to 200,000 barrels a day after reaching the agreement, the foreign affairs spokesman Mawien Makol Arik said last week."

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End of party has emerging markets on the skid | GulfNews.com

End of party has emerging markets on the skid | GulfNews.com:

"Syria today, the taper tomorrow — emerging market policymakers are learning that once the market becomes concerned with a current account deficit, most news is bad news.
Having enjoyed easy funding and massive inflows for much of the post-financial crisis period, the prospect of structurally higher global interest rates has made the world suddenly a much less welcoming place for emerging markets. Expectations that a US-led military strike against Syria would cause oil to spike in cost, driving up current account deficits for non-oil-producing countries, helped spur the latest weakness.
And any bit of good US economic news, bringing with it higher chances of a Federal Reserve cutback on bond purchases, have only made it worse."

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Economic diversification helped UAE cope with global crisis | GulfNews.com

Economic diversification helped UAE cope with global crisis | GulfNews.com:

"Economic diversification certainly has helped UAE to survive the world economic crisis, Hamad Buamim, Director General, Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, told Gulf News in a special interview.
He said: “the UAE effectively coped with the global economic downturn by promoting the diversification of the UAE economy across many sectors.”
Most of the businesses sectors have been affected from the global downturn, he added, however, trade and logistic proved to be the main pillar of economic during that time."

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Lehman collapse remarked a turning point in UAE legal structure | GulfNews.com

Lehman collapse remarked a turning point in UAE legal structure | GulfNews.com:

"
  • Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News Archives
  • The economic fallout from Lehman Brothers collapse led to the UAE recognizing the need to upgrade and revised a number of laws and legislations addressing issues such as commercial regulations and arbitration, promoting efficiency, transparency, and investor confidence in the business sector
The direct effect of Lehman Brothers collapse was not dramatic in the UAE, but the bank’s collapse was a turning point in the emirate’s financial, business and legal structure.
The UAE had witnessed an unprecedented boom before 2008, and the world economic crisis came as a wake up call to the local market.
The economic fallout from Lehman Brothers collapse led to the UAE recognizing the need to upgrade and revised a number of laws and legislations addressing issues such as commercial regulations and arbitration, promoting efficiency, transparency, and investor confidence in the business sector."

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