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Monday, 16 September 2013

Qatar looking less likely to bid for Versace: sources | Reuters

Qatar looking less likely to bid for Versace: sources | Reuters:

"Qatar is looking less likely to bid for the iconic Italian fashion house Versace despite holding talks with the group earlier this year, two sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

Versace, a brand worn by pop stars like Madonna and Lady Gaga, is putting a minority stake on the block to raise cash for investments, Donatella Versace said recently.

Several sources have told Reuters the family is prepared to sell 15-20 percent.

"There were bilateral discussions between Qatar Holding and Versace a while back but the fund has put a potential investment into Versace on hold," one of the sources told Reuters."

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Egypt’s Citadel Capital bids farewell to private equity | beyondbrics

Egypt’s Citadel Capital bids farewell to private equity | beyondbrics:

"Citadel Capital has taken another step away from its private equity roots on Monday after it obtained regulatory permission to go ahead with a $528m share issue.

The group, which has $9.5bn under investment in Egypt and across Africa, is in the process of transforming its business model to that of an investment company, as the fallout from the turmoil of the Arab Spring continues to bite.

Citadel said it wants to focus on five core areas; energy, transportation, agrifood, mining and cement. It added it plans an “orderly exit” from non-core investments over a minimum of three years.

Proceeds from the share sale, should it go ahead, will be used to fund the acquisition of majority stakes in most of its subsidiaries."

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World’s dependence on Saudi crude grows -

World’s dependence on Saudi crude grows -

"The US might be drowning in oil, but the world is still dependent on Saudi Arabia.
Indeed, Saudi Arabia is pumping out more crude than at any time since the 1970s. In neighbouring Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates meanwhile, oil production levels hit record highs.
These numbers reflect a profound but easily overlooked trend in the global oil market. In spite of the shale oil revolution in the US, the world has become, if anything, more dependent on a handful of Gulf producers to fill supply shortfalls elsewhere."

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China: leaving other Brics for dust in new index | beyondbrics

China: leaving other Brics for dust in new index | beyondbrics:

Every so often it is argued that one of the Bric (Brazil, Russia, India, China) countries really doesn’t belong in the group, due to an economic indicator or other measure.

Those suggesting that China is a Bric apart will only be encouraged by the latest Global Dynamism index from accountancy firm Grant Thornton in conjunction with the Economist Intelligence Unit. The country is not just ahead from the other Brics, it is out of sight.

In the ranking of 60 countries, looking at 22 business and economic indicators, China has surged 17 places in the ranking to 3rd place, behind only Australia and Chile. Meanwhile, Russia has fallen 3 places (to 43rd), India has dropped 6 places to 48th, and Brazil has tumbled 11 places to 42nd. South Africa – the extra “S” in Brics, has fallen 10 places to 52nd.

Where has China improved? After all, for most of the year the worry has been of economic slowdown."

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Belarus wanted businessman Kerimov sells his potash stake, shares up 6% — RT Business

Belarus wanted businessman Kerimov sells his potash stake, shares up 6% — RT Business:

"Global investors watching fertilizers are breathing again, after the sale of Suleiman Kerimov's stake in Russia’s potash giant Uralkalli was confirmed. Now the wanted Russian tycoon is exiting the company, a battle is unfolding among potential buyers.

Following weeks of rumors that Uralkali's key shareholder Suleiman Kerimov is going to sell his 21.75 percent stake, the head of law firm Alexander Dobrovinsky & Partners Alexander Dobrovinsky confirmed the purchase of Kerimov's stake on his Facebook page on Friday.

On Facebook Dobrovinsky also said that former banker Vladimir Kogan had paid Suleyman Kerimov $3.7 billion for up to 20% of his stake in the company.

Investors, who had been anticipating to have Kerimov out of Uralkali were cheered by the news, with the stock in the Russian fertilizer giant adding 6% on Monday on the news."

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Saudi Arabia has potential for ratings upgrade, says Fitch - English | Front Page

Saudi Arabia has potential for ratings upgrade, says Fitch - English | Front Page:

"Saudi Arabia has the potential for a ratings upgrade during the next 18 months, a senior executive at Fitch told Al Arabiya.
The nation is currently rated ‘AA-’, but further labor-market reforms and diversification of the economy could prompt an upgrade, the credit-ratings agency said.
There is “some potential” for such a move over the next 18 months, said Tony Stringer, the Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer of Global Sovereigns and Supranationals at Fitch Ratings.
Credit ratings are used by investors to assess the risk of a particular market, and a better rating can lead to stronger economic growth."

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Iran’s double-digit inflation woes worsen | beyondbrics

Iran’s double-digit inflation woes worsen | beyondbrics:

Iranian shoppers are getting used to constantly rising prices, especially – and most worryingly – prices of basic commodities. Inflation over the past year has added to feelings of insecurity. Butter, for example, is increasingly scarce in Tehran and, where available, its price has doubled in the past few weeks, from 11,000 rials ($0.44) for 100 grammes to 22,000 rials.

“It is not only butter. It is almost all kinds of foodstuffs and everything else like shampoo, toothbrushes and clothes,” says Zohreh, a 45-year-old housewife. “Prices do not cease shocking me whenever I go shopping. You see prices are rising from yesterday to today and then tomorrow.”

Banafsheh, another housewife, said she bought a pair of shoes for her teenage daughter at 680,000 rials last year and bought the same pair at almost double the price this year."

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Qatar Airways the Biggest Loser in Doha Airport Delay - Middle East Real Time - WSJ

Qatar Airways the Biggest Loser in Doha Airport Delay - Middle East Real Time - WSJ:

"Qatar Airways embarked on a global advertising campaign in 2008 labelling itself ‘The world’s 5-star airline’. But flying with the Gulf carrier and transiting through its Doha hub is now more akin to a budget airline as passengers are ferried in a bus to and from the busy Doha International terminal, which creaks under the weight of over capacity. During the busy summer months, passengers were even being encouraged to turn up at least four hours before departure, just in case of any issues.

And just down the road is Qatar Airway’s saving grace – the shiny new Hamad International Airport, or New Doha International Airport, as it was previously known. This $15 billion new airport plans to manage about 28 million passengers, compared with the 21 million Doha International catered for last year. It is supposed to open with a public mosque, a health spa and two luxurious hotels, both believed to be 5-star. Though perhaps not quite like the airline.

But when will the airport open?"

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UPDATE 3-Barclays called reckless over $511 mln payments to Qatar investors | Reuters

UPDATE 3-Barclays called reckless over $511 mln payments to Qatar investors | Reuters:

"* UK regulator plans to fine bank 50 mln stg for disclosure failings

* Barclays says it will fight FCA's Qatar deal findings

* Barclays income down 500 mln stg July-Aug on weak investment bank

By Steve Slater

LONDON, Sept 16 (Reuters) - Barclays has been branded reckless by a British watchdog for failing to disclose payments of 322 million pounds ($511 million) in advisory fees to Qatari investors who helped bail it out during the financial crisis.

In its prospectus for a 5.95 billion pound ($9.4 billion) share issue, the British bank said the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) planned to fine it 50 million pounds for its failure to adequately disclose the fees that have been paid over the last five years.

The payments were made under "advisory service agreements" linked to Barclays' emergency fundraising with Qatari investors, which helped the bank avoid taking a taxpayer bailout in 2008."

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Poland’s PKN Orlen goes upstream in Canada | beyondbrics

Poland’s PKN Orlen goes upstream in Canada | beyondbrics:

Poles have long had a soft spot for Canada. For decades one of the country’s most popular books has been a colourful paean to the Canadian bush called “Canada, the Scent of Sap” – a title that sounds more evocative in Polish. Now that affection is spilling over into business.

PKN Orlen, Poland’s leading refiner, said on Monday it planned to spend C$240m ($233m) to buy TriOil Resources of Canada, marking its first significant venture in upstream exploration and production.

The offier consists of C$184m to be spent on 100 per cent of TriOil’s shares and C$56m in outstanding debt. It has been accepted by TriOil’s board but must still be approved by shareholders."

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MIDEAST STOCKS-Investors book profits in UAE; Egypt hits 4-wk high | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Investors book profits in UAE; Egypt hits 4-wk high | Reuters:

"Gulf bourses were mixed on Monday with investors opting to book gains in United Arab Emirates' markets, while Egypt rose to a four-week high as retail players targeted lagging stocks.

Dubai's measure retreated 0.5 percent, halting a four-session rally. The market made a sharp recovery last week and is less than 100 points away from August's five-year peak.

"The momentum going forward in the UAE will be positive but with limited upside," said Ali Adou, portfolio manager at The National Investor in Abu Dhabi. "The market is very volatile and dominated by retail investors. I think it will be difficult to break the year's highs with current volatility."

Shares in Drake and Scull International bucked the trend and gained 1.7 percent after the firm said its unit won a 1.28 billion dirham ($350 million) construction contract in Algeria."

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Corny relations: Iowa celebrates Khrushchev - ht @Ukroblogger #Ukraine

Ukraine hopes to cash in on massive corn harvest -

Ukraine hopes to cash in on massive corn harvest -

"Fifty years ago, inspired by a visit to the US cornbelt, Nikita Khrushchev’s grand plan to grow corn across the Soviet Union resulted in devastating crop failures and food shortages. Today, however, in one ex-Soviet state, his vision may be realised.
This year, Ukrainian farmers are harvesting their largest corn crop, and as Serhiy Didyk, who farms on the steppes of central Ukraine, said: “Khrushchev’s dream of producing vast quantities of corn on our land is finally becoming reality.”"

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Venture capital done Russian-style | Russia Beyond The Headlines

Venture capital done Russian-style | Russia Beyond The Headlines:

Igor Agamirzian: "Almost all leading venture capital funds today are showing interest in Russia."
Russia Beyond the Headlines: How would you describe the venture capital market in Russia? What changes have occurred in the last 10 years?
Igor Agamirzian: Ten years ago, this market simply did not exist. After perestroika, we saw only a few isolated transactions. However, at the beginning of the new millennium, the first foreign funds started coming to Russia and, later, private investment companies appeared. They were the first to invest in some of the projects that are being talked about today.
A classic example of a Russian venture project is Yandex. However, the active growth of the market started only two or two and a half years ago, and, in terms of the availability of venture capital and the number of transactions, the last two years saw growth rates of more than 100 percent."

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Lindner Depa Interiors files $250m claim against New Doha airport

Lindner Depa Interiors files $250m claim against New Doha airport:


Lindner Depa Interiors (LDI), a joint venture between Dubai-based Depa Ltd and Germany's Lindner AG, is seeking 900 million dirham or $250 million in compensation from New Doha International Airport for what it called the unjust cancelling of a contract.

The launch of the $15.5 billion airport in the Qatari capital has been put back several times due to delays in construction.

It missed a revised launch date of April 1 this year and is not expected to open until next year."

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Libya and international oil groups pay the price for unrest -

Libya and international oil groups pay the price for unrest -

"International oil companies are counting the cost of months of unrest in Libya that has reduced the country’s production to a trickle and cast renewed doubt on the attractiveness of the North African country for investment.
Militias and striking workers have combined to close a series of export terminals and oilfields, cutting output from 1.4m barrels a day at the start of the year, to less than 200,000 b/d today, according to analysts."

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RPT-Fitch Downgrades Interpipe to 'CCC' | Reuters

RPT-Fitch Downgrades Interpipe to 'CCC' | Reuters:

"Fitch Ratings has downgraded Ukrainian-based Interpipe Limited's (Interpipe) Long-term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) and senior secured rating (applicable to the company's 2017 Eurobonds) to 'CCC' from 'B-'. The bond's Recovery Rating is 'RR4'.

The rating action reflects the operational and financial uncertainty created by two current trade matters involving the export of pipes to the Customs Union involving Russia, Kazakstan and Belarus - Interpipe's largest pipe export market accounting for approximately 25% of total pipe sales in 2012 - and the US respectively. The Customs Union matter relates to the non-renewal of the previous quota for Ukrainian pipe imports for H213. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev indicated in July 2013 that the quota would not be extended.

Exports above the quota are subject to a customs duty of at least 19% customs duty, making sales into Russia only marginally profitable. Interpipe requested a reduction in applicable customs duties in April 2013."

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FERREXPO PLC (FEEXF.PK): Ferrexpo - Do You Trust Ukraine? - Seeking Alpha

FERREXPO PLC (FEEXF.PK): Ferrexpo - Do You Trust Ukraine? - Seeking Alpha: "In this article I'll have a closer look at Ferrexpo (FEEXF.PK), a Switzerland-based iron ore producer with operations in Ukraine. I'll start with an overview of the company's main projects, move over to the H1 results and its balance sheet. Thereafter I will talk about the risks of doing business in Ukraine and determine whether or not Ferrexpo's current valuation compensates for geopolitical risks. This will result in my investment thesis at the end of this article.

As trading on the US exchange is very light I'd recommend to trade in Ferrexpo shares on the London Stock Exchange where the company has an average daily volume of 1.5 million shares. Ferrexpo is also part of the FTSE 250-index."

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Friday results mixed with WIG-Ukraine up and UX down - Business - News - Ukraine Business Online

Friday results mixed with WIG-Ukraine up and UX down - Business - News - Ukraine Business Online:

"“Ukrainian equities offered some substantial gains and losses in trading on Thursday, September 12. The WIG Ukraine Index of Warsaw-traded stocks increased 1.3%, extending its win streak to five straight sessions at an 8.1% gain. Egg producer Ovostar (OVO PW +4.6%) has advanced 8.4 % in three straight positive sessions, while the Index’s most popular stock, grain trader Kernel (KER PW +3.8%), has surged 12.7% in five straight winning sessions. KSG Agro (KSG PW +3.1%) has improved 5.9% in three straight advancing sessions. In London, egg producer Avangardco (AVGR LI) jumped 3.3%, while traders dumped their shares of Regal Petroleum (RPT LN -6.7%) and JKX Oil & Gas (JKX LN -2.9%). The Ukrainian Exchange (UX) Index of Kyiv-traded stocks slid 0.7%, weighed down by engine maker Motor Sich (MSICH UK -1.9%), which snapped its six session win streak at a 9.6% gain.”"

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Barclays Braced For Fine Over Qatar Deals

Barclays Braced For Fine Over Qatar Deals:

"Barclays is braced for another major financial penalty over the deals that enabled it to escape British taxpayers' clutches by raising billions of pounds from private investors five years ago.

Sky News has learnt that the bank is negotiating a settlement with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) that could involve it paying tens of millions of pounds, according to people close to the talks.

A final agreement with the City watchdog, which could involve a fine of about £50m, is still being thrashed out and the size and nature of the penalties facing Barclays could still vary, they said."

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Islamic bank BLME says to seek Nasdaq Dubai listing | Reuters

Islamic bank BLME says to seek Nasdaq Dubai listing | Reuters:

"Bank of London and The Middle East (BLME), Britain's largest standalone Islamic bank, plans to seek a listing on the Nasdaq Dubai bourse, the bank said on Monday.

BLME said it would offer 195.7 million shares and expected a listing price of $2.57 each, implying a share sale worth $503 million. No new shares would be offered; the shares would be sold by existing holders.

Chief executive Humphrey Percy said he expected the listing to occur in October this year. The last listing in either of Dubai's stock markets occurred in early 2009, when construction firm Drake & Scull listed."

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UAE banks' lending to govt 'tops $42 billion'

UAE banks' lending to govt 'tops $42 billion':

"United Arab Emirates banks' exposure to government-related entities is at its highest level as a percentage of capital since the 1970s, and there is little chance of authorities enforcing strict exposure limits, analysts at Bank of America Merrill Lynch said.

The domestic banking sector has extended a whopping $42 billion in credit to the government and government-related enterprises (GREs) since the 2008 banking crisis.

As a result, exposure to the government and non-financial public enterprises as a percentage of bank capital is at 104 percent, the highest ratio since the late 1970s, the researchers said in a note."

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Work on first rail link by 2014 | Oman Observer

Work on first rail link by 2014 | Oman Observer:


His Highness Sayyid Asaad bin Tareq al Said, Representative of His Majesty the Sultan, officially opened the much-awaited two-day Investment Opportunities Forum — Railway Project, in the presence of Dr Ahmed bin Mohammed al Futaisi, Minister of Transport and Communications, at the Al Bustan Palace Hotel yesterday. In his opening speech, Dr Al Futaisi said: “This great national project aims to promote economic and social benefits. There is no doubt that today’s transport system represents the vital nerve of any modern economy and that the development and integration of this system, as well as emphasising the availability of alternatives and enhancing competitive opportunities, is a must if we want to reserve for ourselves a place at the forefront."

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Saudi Arabia Top Middle East Billionaire List Eurasia Review

Saudi Arabia Top Middle East Billionaire List Eurasia Review:

"Saudi Arabia tops the list of Middle East’s billionaires, with 64 highly wealthy individuals possessing $204 billion in 2013, the Wealth-X and UBS World Ultra Wealth Report said.

“There are 1,360 rich people in the Kingdom with a total wealth of $285 billion,” the report pointed out.
The UAE came second with 1,050 billionaires with a total wealth of $190 billion, followed by Kuwait with 845 wealthy persons having $145 billion.

The report said that 37 highly rich Emiratis possessed $45 billion. About 5,300 rich people in the Middle East have a wealth of $880 billion."

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US to Surpass Russia in Liquid Fuel Production – Report | Business | RIA Novosti

US to Surpass Russia in Liquid Fuel Production – Report | Business | RIA Novosti:

"The United States will overtake Russia in liquid fuel production this quarter, strengthening a US return to prominence as a global fuel powerhouse after years of decline, US media reported this week, citing an energy industry report.
Russia currently produces more liquid oil and gas, pumping out 10.81 million barrels per day (bpd) versus America’s 10.28 million bpd this quarter, Reuters said, citing the monthly Oil Market Report from the Paris-based International Energy Agency.
But when US production of biofuels like ethanol and biodiesel are taken into account then the US total is forecast to reach 11.2 million bpd this quarter, it added."

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Expert: Shale gas could employ 300,000 in Bulgaria - Стандарт Нюз

Expert: Shale gas could employ 300,000 in Bulgaria - Стандарт Нюз:



The exploration of shale gas in Bulgaria could boost investment and create 300,000 new jobs, prof. Nikolai Vulkanov stated on the "Geology and carbon potential of the Balkan - Black Sea Region" conference, Standert reported.

The conference, initiated by the professor, was held in the Black sea resort of St. Constantine.

With USD 120 per ton, shale gas extracted in Bulgaria would be 3-4 times cheaper than the current USD 500/ton exports from Russia, Vulkanov noted."

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Saudi Gazette - Alwaleed to keep shares in Twitter

Saudi Gazette - Alwaleed to keep shares in Twitter:

"Prince Alwaleed bin Talal said he will not sell any of his shares in microblogging site Twitter Inc when it goes public, and expects the firm’s IPO to hit the market later this year or in early 2014.

The prince invested $300 million in the social media giant in late 2011.

“Clearly the speed they’re moving with shows that they would like to IPO sooner than later. I believe it will happen either this year or early next year,” Alwaleed told Reuters in a telephone interview on Sunday.

“Twitter is a very strategic investment for us. We believe that it is just beginning to touch the surface. We have invested $300 million in the company. We will be selling zero, nothing, at the IPO.” He did not say whether he might buy new shares in the offer."

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Saudi Gazette - Alkhabeer Capital buys stake in Anchor Allied

Saudi Gazette - Alkhabeer Capital buys stake in Anchor Allied:

"MASHARIE LLC, an investments subsidiary of Dubai Investments PJSC, sold a strategic equity stake in Anchor Allied Factory LLC to Alkhabeer Capital, Saudi Arabia.

The investment is another cross-border M&A which has seen the flow of funds between the Arab countries and is testimony to the potential partnership opportunities existing in the region for investors and entrepreneurs. The investment was made through Alkhabeer’s Asset Management Private Equity division. This acquisition will help Anchor Allied further expand its footprint within Saudi Arabia and also focus on growth opportunities through vertical as well as horizontal integration.

Our partnership with the Nalwala family was very successful; Anchor Allied has become one of the leading sealants and adhesives manufacturers in the Middle East with tremendous growth potential."

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Saudi Gazette - Investcorp buys 25% stake in Leejam

Saudi Gazette - Investcorp buys 25% stake in Leejam:

"Investcorp, a global provider and manager of alternative investment products, and Leejam Sports Company, Saudi Arabia’s leading health and fitness club management company managing the brand “Fitness Time”, announced Sunday that Investcorp’s Gulf Opportunity Fund has acquired a 25 percent minority stake in the Leejam business. As part of the agreement, the Fund will be represented on Leejam’s Board and will play an active role in its strategic choices and growth opportunities.

Mohammed Al Shroogi, Investcorp's President, Gulf Business, said: “Leejam is the Fund’s third investment in the Kingdom and ninth in the wider region. This investment reaffirms our commitment to supporting regional businesses that are committed to grow and expand. We are happy to partner with Leejam and we believe that our combined efforts will result in even more success for the company.”"

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Qatar public spending jumps to 160 percent

Qatar public spending jumps to 160 percent:

"Qatar’s public expenditures has jumped to a whopping 160 percent during the period 2008-13, to reach $683bn. Qatar’s import coverage ratios of the region’s foreign exchange (FX) reserves are comfortably higher than the threshold coverage ratio of 3 months of imports. As for 2013, it ranges between 10 months in Qatar, according to a new report.
The Gulf Investment Corporation’s (GIC) monthly GCC Markets report for September has placed Qatar in the upper tiers of investment grade in terms of sovereign credit ratings. The country’s credit ratings, like other GCC countries, are on a par with most developed economies. These high credit ratings are mainly a result of strong macroeconomic fundamentals as GCC countries enjoys large fiscal surpluses, low  level of public debt and robust non-oil GDP growth. "

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MIDEAST - Middle Eastern investors switch focus to lower tier European clubs

MIDEAST - Middle Eastern investors switch focus to lower tier European clubs:

"Middle Eastern investors have adopted a new strategy of buying low and selling high with a series of acquisitions of second and third tier European football clubs.

In the most recent acquisition, Saudi Prince Abdullah bin Mosaad, the billionaire former president of Saudi Arabia’s most successful club Al Hilal and founder and chairman of the publicly-listed Saudi Paper Manufacturing Group, the largest paper tissue manufacturer in the Middle East, bought a 50 percent stake in Sheffield United with the aim of helping the club graduate from the third league to England’s Premier League.

“This is the best way to make profit if the club rises to League One and then the premiership,” the prince, the first member of the Saudi ruling family to invest in a foreign football team, said."

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UAE’s role as banking hub on the agenda at Sibos in Dubai | The National

UAE’s role as banking hub on the agenda at Sibos in Dubai | The National:

"The growing importance of the UAE as a global financial transactions hub for emerging market trade will be among the key topics of discussion at this year’s Sibos conference, which opens today in Dubai.

The worldwide shifts of transaction banking flows towards developing markets, increased regulatory and compliance requirements and technical excellence will be the three main areas of discussion at the four-day conference, said Sven Bossu, the head of Sibos.

Up to 7,500 international delegates, including about 1,000 from the Middle East and Africa, are expected to attend the 35th annual conference, organised by the international banking services provider Swift, he said. The conference, to be held in the Dubai World Trade Centre, is the first Sibos staged in the Middle East."

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