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Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Rosneft in $1.8bn Arctic gas deal | beyondbrics

Rosneft in $1.8bn Arctic gas deal | beyondbrics:

"Never mind the breathtaking debts Rosneft ran up buying TNK-BP this year, Russia’s state oil company is still out on an asset shopping spree. In a deal announced on Tuesday Rosneft will splash out $1.8bn to acquire a large stake in a Russian gas producing venture from Enel, the financially troubled European utility.

The move, which will see Rosneft take a 40 per cent stake in Arctic Russia BV from Enel, is expected to boost the former’s presence in the Russian gas industry. The deal will provide Rosneft with an indirect 19.6 per cent stake in SeverEnergiya, a gas exploration and production venture in the Yamal-Nenets region of Arctic Siberia that is jointly owned by GazpromNeft, Novatek and Italy’s Eni and Enel.

In a statement, Rosneft said the Arctic acquisition would provide a platform for the company to fulfill its goal to boost gas output to 100bn cubic meters a year by 2020 and emerge as Russia’s biggest independent gas producer."

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XE.com - EMERGING MARKETS-Ukraine bonds plunge, CDS surge on debt worries

XE.com - EMERGING MARKETS-Ukraine bonds plunge, CDS surge on debt worries:

"Ukraine's dollar bonds plunged more than 3 points on Tuesday and default insurance costs surged to 3-1/2-year highs on worries about the country's debt repayment schedule. Most other emerging markets also weakened.

Ukraine's bond yield spreads over U.S. Treasuries blew out 36 basis points to 935 bps on the main EMBI Global sovereign bond index, while its benchmark dollar bond maturing 2020 fell more than 3 points to 20-month lows.

Analysts said markets were reacting to the Moody's decision late last week to cut Ukraine's rating to Caa1, seven notches in junk territory.

The bond is trading 85 cents on the dollar, down 5 points this week, while a 2014 dollar bond issued by state-run oil firm Naftogaz also fell more than 3 points."

'via Blog this'

Libor lies: 13 giant lenders sued over the benchmark rate riggin — RT Business

Libor lies: 13 giant lenders sued over the benchmark rate riggin — RT Business:

"JPMorgan Chase, Barclays, Credit Suisse, and 10 other world’s biggest international lenders are being sued by a US regulator for causing millions of losses to credit unions by allegedly manipulating the Libor benchmark rate.

Five credit unions were forced to close after they received less interest income than they were entitled to because of the manipulated Libor rates, according to the statement released on Monday by the National Credit Union Associations (NCUA). The complaint was filed in Kansas in a US District Court, Reuters reports.

“We have a responsibility to pursue recoveries through every available avenue against those who caused billions of dollars in losses to credit unions,” NCUA Board Chairman Debbie Matz said the Monday night statement.

“Some firms were manipulating international interest rates in a way that cost the five corporates to lose millions of dollars. Just as we are doing in our other suits, we are seeking to hold responsible parties accountable for their actions,” Matz added. "

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Guest post: life after easing for Hungary? | beyondbrics

Guest post: life after easing for Hungary? | beyondbrics:

"
By Istvan Horvath

In recent years the most important central banks have been striving to offer predictability. Their major task has been to guide expectations. The Hungarian National Bank is trying to re-establish exactly this tradition after a near-silent transition phase following the changes in its leadership this spring.

Successfully riding a supportive external environment, since August 2012 it has managed to cut its base rate from 7 per cent to 3.60 per cent, an all time low, after a 20 basis point cut on Tuesday. But every good story must come to an end, and this easing cycle will end soon.

The MNB’s recent media communiques and the size of Tuesday’s cut – an unconventional 20 bp – show that the bank is well aware of that. Still, its desperate wish to achieve the lowest possible base rate is obvious.

Market players have questioned whether the bank has put aside its primary goal of achieving price stability. This is a charge firmly denied by MNB officials."

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Dubai working on rules to avert property bubble: official | Reuters

Dubai working on rules to avert property bubble: official | Reuters:

"
Buildings are seen under construction, along with rush hour traffic as a Dubai Metro 
train arrives at a station in Dubai October 31, 2011.
Credit: Reuters/Jumana El Heloueh
Dubai's government is working on new rules to protect its real estate market and prevent any excessive rise of property prices that could end in a crash, a senior official said on Tuesday.

The bursting of a property bubble in 2009-2010 caused prices to plunge by more than 50 percent, pushing Dubai close to a debt default. The market is recovering strongly this year, with apartment prices up about 20 percent from a year earlier, and the International Monetary Fund has warned of the danger of another bubble.

"We didn't create the bubble, it was a global crisis. The real estate challenge is over now," Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al-Maktoum, chairman of Dubai's Supreme Fiscal Committee and uncle of the emirate's ruler, told reporters.

But he added, "We are working on our regulations. Sometimes I don't see that (high property prices) are a good thing. We don't want Dubai to become an expensive city.""

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EBRD Chief Sees Opportunity in 'Sluggish' Russia | Business | The Moscow Times

EBRD Chief Sees Opportunity in 'Sluggish' Russia | Business | The Moscow Times:

"EBRD president Suma Chakrabarti acknowledged Tuesday that Russia's sputtering economy combined with deeply ingrained problems such as corruption and a weak court system were deterring both foreign and domestic investors.

But he insisted that the opportunities continued to far outweigh the risks and said the Russian authorities were taking much-needed steps to improve the business climate.

"At the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development [EBRD], we are aware of how difficult it is to wheel around entrenched cultures. But we are optimistic about the longer term outlook," Chakrabarti told investors at the Russia-Singapore Business Forum in Singapore.

"Steps are already being taken to improve the investment climate,” he said, according to an e-mailed transcript of his remarks to a panel discussion. “We see a number of Russian regions successfully lowering administrative barriers and creating a climate that attracts both foreign and Russian investors.""

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MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf mkts little moved as retail investors dominate; Qatar drops | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf mkts little moved as retail investors dominate; Qatar drops | Reuters:

"Gulf markets were little moved on Tuesday as retail investors bet on small-cap stocks in thin cues ahead of third-quarter earnings, while Qatar's bourse dropped as news emerged that a state-run energy firm planned to list its unit.

Saudi Arabia's measure resumed trading after a two-session hiatus due to a national holiday. The index eased 0.3 percent after trading flat most of the session; an indication investors have little direction.

It held above the psychologically important level of 8,000 points and is up 17.7 percent year-to-date but analysts say it will need strong quarterly earnings to justify breaking above the August intraday peak of 8,223 points.

"We don't expect to see big surprises in Saudi's third quarter results," said Sleiman Aboulhosn, investment analysts at ING Investments. "Overall, results should be good but I doubt they'll be good enough to fuel the rally higher, especially with geopolitical threats in the background. We might see some more consolidation over the next few weeks.""

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MIDEAST WEEKAHEAD-Dubai stock investors place World Expo bets ahead of vote | Reuters

MIDEAST WEEKAHEAD-Dubai stock investors place World Expo bets ahead of vote | Reuters:

"* Site of 2020 Expo to be chosen in late November

* Speculators betting on firms such as Dubai Investments

* But some Expo-related firms may be fully valued

* History suggests market rally could be short-lived

* Other factors much more important for Dubai in long term

By Nadia Saleem

DUBAI, Sept 24 (Reuters) - Shares in Dubai Investments Co , a conglomerate with interests ranging from glass-making to edible oils and Islamic reinsurance, have more than doubled this year. But the rise has little to do with its business in those sectors.

Instead, investors are hoping Dubai will win the right to host the World Expo in 2020. Dubai Investments owns Dubai Investments Park, a big mixed-use real estate development next to the proposed Expo location, as well as land nearby.

The Expo may make the company's real estate holdings a lot more profitable in coming years - if, that is, Dubai gets to host the event.

Two months ahead of an international vote which will decide that question, Dubai's stock speculators are betting on the outcome. But it is by no means clear that the Expo can deliver as much of a boost to share prices as they are anticipating."

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China Buys 12.5 Percent Stake in Uralkali | Business | The Moscow Times

China Buys 12.5 Percent Stake in Uralkali | Business | The Moscow Times:

"China, the world's largest consumer of potash, has acquired a 12.5 percent stake in Russia's Uralkali, the leading producer of the soil nutrient, Uralkali said Tuesday.

The deal, a rare example of the Chinese acquiring direct ownership of Russian natural resource assets, took place amid speculation that tycoon Suleiman Kerimov might sell his large stake in Uralkali over a dispute between Russia and Belarus.

Chinese sovereign wealth fund China Investment Corp, or CIC, received the stake in Uralkali in a bond exchange deal with Wadge Holdings Ltd.

Wadge, owned by Uralkali's main shareholders, sold the exchangeable bonds to Chengdong Investment Corp, a subsidiary of CIC, last November."

'via Blog this'

Qatar set to adopt more consensual foreign policy - FT.com

Qatar set to adopt more consensual foreign policy - FT.com:

"Qatar is set to adopt a more consensual approach in its foreign policy under its new emir after the gas-rich Gulf nation rattled some of its neighbours with controversial support for Mohamed Morsi, the ousted former Islamist president of Egypt, and its backing of rebels in Syria.
As part of a global quest for recognition, Qatar has spent as much as $3bn over the past two years supporting the rebellion in Syria and has been the biggest donor to the political opposition. But its support for Islamist groups in the Arab world, including Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, has put it at odds with its neighbours."

'via Blog this'

Dubai ‘not in talks on $20bn Abu Dhabi debt’

Dubai ‘not in talks on $20bn Abu Dhabi debt’:

"Dubai is not currently in negotiations with Abu Dhabi to refinance $20 billion of crisis-related debt that will come due in 2014, a top Dubai official said on Tuesday.

As its real estate market crashed and state-linked companies struggled with their debt in 2009, Dubai borrowed a total of $20 billion from Abu Dhabi and the federal government of the United Arab Emirates.

This comprised $10 billion from the UAE central bank and $5 billion each from two state-owned banks in Abu Dhabi, National Bank of Abu Dhabi and Al Hilal Bank. The central bank debt is due to mature in February 2014, and the commercial bank debt in November 2014.

"Dubai companies are doing well and can take care of their own debt," Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al-Maktoum, chairman of Dubai's supreme fiscal committee and uncle of Dubai's ruler, told reporters.

Asked if the two parties were holding discussions to refinance the Abu Dhabi debt, he said, "No, we are not talking to Abu Dhabi." He did not elaborate.

Debt market analysts believe Abu Dhabi may quietly roll over the debt if Dubai is not ready to pay it back next year. – Reuters"

'via Blog this'

EU agrees to speed up Ukraine deal amid Russian pressure | GlobalPost

EU agrees to speed up Ukraine deal amid Russian pressure | GlobalPost:

"European Union states agreed on Monday to implement a free trade accord with Ukraine immediately after it is signed, amid Russian pressure on Kiev against the landmark deal.

Lithuania, which currently holds the rotating EU presidency, said envoys from member states agreed Monday that most of the deal could be applied without a lengthy ratification process.

"Once it is signed, it will be possible to implement around 90 percent of the free trade agreement, without a ratification process," the Baltic state's foreign minister Linas Linkevicius told AFP late Monday.

He said this would ensure the process could not be reversed, and that reforms continued in Ukraine."

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Hungry China wants to 'borrow' land from 'bread basket' Ukraine for 50 years — RT Business

Hungry China wants to 'borrow' land from 'bread basket' Ukraine for 50 years — RT Business:

"However, in Kiev the proposal has caught officials by surprise.

Sergey Kasyanov, Chairman of KSG agro, explained the misunderstanding.

"We are not going to sell or transfer a lease or sublease to the Chinese. The project pertained to installing a drip irrigation system in those 3 million hectares in the next year,” Kasyanov told Vesti 24 in a TV interview.

China’s reported ‘land grab’ would include eastern territories near the Dnieper river, Kherson, and Crimea, well-known for its coastal beaches.

Ukraine lifted a ban on foreigners buying land last year.

“I don’t have any information on the subject, unfortunately. I know that Chinese companies occasionally show interest,” Igor Livin, the Chairman of the Association of the Ukrainian-Chinese Cooperation told Vesti 24."

'via Blog this'

Guest post: privatisation as litmus test for Slovenia | beyondbrics

Guest post: privatisation as litmus test for Slovenia | beyondbrics:

"
By Jean-Marc Peterschmitt of the EBRD

Slovenia is facing its most serious economic crisis since it joined the European Union in 2004 – a crisis that has shattered previous convictions and conventions about how the country ran its economy. This is welcome. Even more welcome is the determination of the current government to implement decisive measures that aim to put the country on a path of sustainable and stable growth.

A critical element in this is the country’s future approach to privatisation and the role it is prepared to give to foreign direct investment. The privatisation agenda is now being closely monitored internationally as a test of the government’s resolve to reform.

Historically, the role of FDI in Slovenia has been marginal compared with elsewhere in the region. This worked for a time because the country was able to count on many of its traditional strengths and benefitted from a benign economic environment."

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Mubadala and Gulf Related refinance US$67.4 million The Galleria debt with National Bank of Abu Dhabi - Business Intelligence Middle East

Mubadala and Gulf Related refinance US$67.4 million The Galleria debt with National Bank of Abu Dhabi - Business Intelligence Middle East - bi-me.com - News, analysis, reports:

"Mubadala Real Estate & Infrastructure (‘MREI’), a business unit of Mubadala Development Company PJSC, and Gulf Related, a regional real estate development company focused on high-end retail, residential and mixed-use real estate developments in the Middle East, today announced that they have successfully refinanced the debt of their signature joint project, The Galleria on Al Maryah Island, with the National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD).

The AED 248 million (USD 67.4 million) refinancing facility will help The Galleria to further strengthen its capital structure, reduce its borrowing cost and generate over 50% in annual interest expense savings.

The loan refinancing was signed following the successful opening and full leasing of The Galleria mall in August of this year."

'via Blog this'

Bahrain state telco hit by exit of more top executives | Reuters

Bahrain state telco hit by exit of more top executives | Reuters:

"Two more top executives at Bahrain's Batelco BTEL.BH have quit the firm, leaving lower level staff to run the former telecom monopoly as it tries to arrest a sustained profit slump and integrate its largest ever acquisition.

The company - formally called Bahrain Telecommunications Co - vies domestically with units of Kuwait's Zain (ZAIN.KW) and Saudi Telecom Co 7010.SE (STC) as well as about 10 internet providers on an island of 1.3 million people.

The competition has helped push down Batelco's net profit in 12 of the past 13 quarters.

The low-key summer departures of chief financial officer Marco Regnier and company veteran Peter Kaliaropoulos follow the abrupt resignation of former chief executive Sheikh Mohamed bin Isa al-Khalifa in May."

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Ukrainian stocks follow the European trend into negative territory - Business - News - Ukraine Business Online

Ukrainian stocks follow the European trend into negative territory - Business - News - Ukraine Business Online:

"“Ukrainian equities followed European markets in extending losses in trading on Monday, September 23. The WIG Ukraine Index of Warsaw-traded stocks dropped 1.9%, pulled down by the erratic shares of car battery maker WESTA (WES PW -4.7%) and Coal Energy (CLE PW -4.4%), which has fallen 12.5% in three straight declining sessions. The Index’s most active stock, grain trader Kernel (KER PW), dropped 3.9%, or 6.2% in two sessions. The Index’s top advancers were KSG Agro (KSW PW +1.8%), which has risen 6.5% in two sessions, and dairy producer Milkiland (MLK PW +1.7%), which has gained 16.6% in four straight positive sessions. In London, Regal Petroleum (RPT LN) surged 8.1% (12.7% in two sessions) after Russia’s Alfa Group announced it will buy a 24.4% stake. Real estate firm DUPD (DUPD LN) improved 2.5%. The Ukrainian Exchange (UX) Index of Kyiv-traded stocks fell 1.6%, weighed down by engine maker Motor Sich (MSICH UK -3.1%).”"

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China-Ukraine: no massive farm deal… yet | beyondbrics

China-Ukraine: no massive farm deal… yet | beyondbrics:

"
Contrary to a flurry of Monday news reports, China has not inked a massive agriculture investment giving it ownership of some 5 per cent of land in Ukraine, itself home to some of the world’s richest soil. As reported, it would have handed China a chunk of Ukrainian land the size of Belgium.

Yet it’s only a matter of time before China, with its surging population and consumption, completes a major farming deal in Ukraine. Just not this one.

Reuters reported on Sunday that China, through its Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, had an agreement with Ukraine’s KSG Agro to purchase an immediate 100,000 hectares of farming land, eventually increasing its presence in Ukraine’s agriculture sector to a whopping 3m ha. The report cited a news story in the South China Morning Post.

Afterwards, reports about the alleged deal spread across the internet like wildfire, claiming that China had sealed its single largest overseas farming operation, and is to become the largest farmer on some of the world’s richest land – the so-called “breadbasket of Europe.”"

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Statoil finds gas in Barents Sea while looking for oil

Statoil finds gas in Barents Sea while looking for oil:

"Statoil, Eni Norge and Petoro made a gas discovery in the Iskrystall prospect in the Barents Sea while looking for oil.

“Our main goal was to find oil in Iskrystall, but unfortunately it did not materialize. We still believe we can prove more oil resources in the Johan Castberg area,” said Gro Haatvedt, senior vice president exploration Norway, in a note released on Monday. 

Statoil estimates the volumes in Iskrystall to be between 6 and 25 million barrels of oil equivalents. The well has proved an approximately 200 metre gas column.

Statoil is operator for production licence 608 with an ownership share of 50%. The licence partners are Eni Norge (30%) and Petoro (20%). "

'via Blog this'

Ukraine: Regal Petroleum announces interim results - updates Ukraine operations

Ukraine: Regal Petroleum announces interim results - updates Ukraine operations:

"AIM-listed Regal Petroleum has announced its unaudited results for the six months ended 30 June 2013. Regal is the operator of two significantly under-developed gas and condensate fields (GOL-MEX) and (SV), located in the prolific Dneipner-Donets basin in the north east of Ukraine.

Principal Developments

Operations


  • Average production over the six month period to 30 June 2013 at 199,984 m3/d of gas and 44 m3/d of condensate (1,525 boepd in aggregate)
  • Well SV-53 to undergo hydraulic fracturing
  • Well SV-59 drilled to depth of 4,957 metres, towards target depth of 5,470 metres
  • Upgrading of gas processing facility underway to improve efficiency and quality of gas produced, and provide for recovery of LPG"


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Cabinet extends deadline for signing shale gas contract with Chevron till Nov 24

Cabinet extends deadline for signing shale gas contract with Chevron till Nov 24:

"The cabinet extended till Nov. 24 the signing of a product division contract with the US-based Chevron Corp.

Sept. 20, the local council in the Ivano-Frankivsk has approved the contract. Now Lviv lawmakers need to give a green light to extract shale gas at the Olesko field, Radio Svoboda reports Sept. 24.

Ukraine is eager to diversify its gas supplies to stop its dependance on Moscow."

'via Blog this'

UAE among top countries moving away from cash - Khaleej Times

UAE among top countries moving away from cash - Khaleej Times:

"The UAE is among those economies most rapidly moving away from being predominantly cash-based society, says a MasterCard report.

The study, entitled “The Cashless Journey”, which identifies Belgium (where an estimated 93 per cent of the value of consumer spend was cashless), France (92 per cent), Canada (90 per cent) and the UK (89 per cent) as countries where cashless payments are nearly ubiquitous, said with a trajectory indicator of 65, the UAE is among the faster changing payments ecosystems of those countries studied.

“The main reason for reduced cash share appears to be a substantial share shift from cash to debit cards between 2006 and 2011. The UAE’s share indicator score is 26, which indicates that only 26 per cent of consumer payments by value were made by non-cash methods,” MasterCard said in a statement."

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Romania's Petrom eyes 1 billion euro investment next year, shale gas | Reuters

Romania's Petrom eyes 1 billion euro investment next year, shale gas | Reuters:

"
The logos of OMV and its Petrom unit are seen at their headquarters in Bucharest 
February 23, 2012.
Credit: Reuters/Radu Sigheti
Romania's top oil and gas company Petrom ROSNP.BX plans to earmark about 1 billion euros ($1.35 billion) for investment next year and could move into shale gas exploration if feasible, Chief Executive Mariana Gheorghe said on Monday.

Petrom is regarded as an indicator of the Balkan country's financial health and a robust investment program suggests the European Union's second poorest member is on track to achieve economic growth of more than 2 percent this year and next.

"To continue to stabilize production or to capture the growth, we really need to continue to invest," Gheorghe said at the Reuters Investment Summit."

'via Blog this'

foreign notes: Will Kharkiv Accord be denounced?

foreign notes: Will Kharkiv Accord be denounced?:

"Yanukovych realised long ago he was 'shafted' by Putin when he signed the Kharkiv Accords - the 2010 Ukrainian–Russian Naval Base for Natural Gas discount treaty. Ukraine continues to pay an exorbitant price for Russian gas.

There is now fresh speculation that if the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement is signed in Vilnius in November, the Kharkiv Accords could be denounced soon after, and I imagine, an new gas deal negotiated.

Much political capital would be accrued by Yanukovych by such a move.

One writer suggests that during his current brief stay at the UN, support will be offered to the president by the EU and USA on this issue."

'via Blog this'

Why China Just Bought One-Twentieth Of Ukraine: Kiev Ukraine News Blog

Kiev Ukraine News Blog:

"China has inked a deal to farm three million hectares, or about 11, 583 square miles of Ukrainian land over the span of half a century—which means the eastern European country will give up about 5% of its total land, or 9% of its arable farmland to feed China’s burgeoning population.


China likes the look of this red star, in this field in Ukraine.

Under the deal between China’s Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, or XPCC, and KSG Agro, an Ukrainian agricultural company, crops and pigs raised in the eastern region of Dnipropetrovsk will be sold at preferential rates to two Chinese state-owned grain firms.

The project will launch with 100,000 hectares and eventually expand to three million."

'via Blog this'

New president for Qatar Foundation

New president for Qatar Foundation:

"
Engineer Saad Al Muhannadi and (right) Rashid Al Naimi 
H H Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF), has announced the appointment of Engineer Saad Al Muhannadi as its new President and Rashid Al Naimi as CEO of Qatar Foundation Investments, as the organisation moves forward in its mission to unlock human potential.
Sheikha Moza said: “In Engineer Saad Al Muhannadi we could not wish for a more capable president to continue advancing our mission. As one of the founding members of QF, he is steeped in the esteemed traditions of our organisation.
“It is now 18 years since QF was founded. From humble beginnings it has grown to become the world-class institution that we see today, spearheading the nation’s efforts on our journey towards a knowledge economy. Engineer Al Muhannadi has been with us throughout this incredible journey, leading the ongoing development of the organisation’s infrastructure, and I have the utmost confidence in his ability to provide the necessary leadership as QF continues its exciting mission to unlock human potential. "

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Saudi Gazette - Middle East carriers to post highest ever profit next year

Saudi Gazette - Middle East carriers to post highest ever profit next year:

"

Middle East carriers are expected to post profits of $1.6 billion in 2013, which is marginally ahead of the $1.5 billion previously forecast, International Air Transport Association (IATA) said Monday in its revised 2013 global industry outlook.

The region’s efficient hubs continue to support strong performance on long-haul markets. And the impact of the Syrian crisis has been limited. Passenger demand is expected to grow by 10.5 percent, the strongest among all regions. But this will be slightly outstripped by capacity growth of 11.3 percent.

IATA revised its 2013 global industry outlook downwards to $11.7 billion on revenues of $708 billion. Airline performance continued to improve in the second quarter; however at a slower pace than was expected with the previous projection (in June) of $12.7 billion. This reflects the impact on demand of the oil price spike associated with the Syrian crisis and disappointing growth in several key emerging markets."

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Saudi Gazette - GCC gearing up for regional rail network as trade volume soars

Saudi Gazette - GCC gearing up for regional rail network as trade volume soars:

"The recently awarded multi-billion dollar contracts for two of the Gulf’s biggest rail schemes signals a turn of fortune for the planned GCC rail network that hopes to address mounting urban mobility issues confronting the region.

Qatar Railways Company awarded design and build contracts worth $8.2 billion for phase-one of its Doha Metro project, while Saudi Arabia’s Arriyadh Development Authority (ADA) signed more than $22bn of contracts for the delivery of the Riyadh Metro.

According to MEED, these rail developments represent two of the region’s biggest metro schemes. In Riyadh, contractors will build 176 kilometers of metro lines within five years – an undertaking that even seasoned metro builders say has never been taken on before. The Doha Metro also involves the construction of multiple tracks. Both schemes face a multitude of challenges ranging from land acquisition to traffic management and manpower to financing."

'via Blog this'

Dubai Islamic bonds are world’s best performer as economy gains traction | The National

Dubai Islamic bonds are world’s best performer as economy gains traction | The National:

"Dubai’s Islamic bonds are the world’s best-performing sovereign dollar sukuk this quarter as the economy of the Arabian Gulf business hub gathers steam, with bank profits, tourist numbers and property prices rising.

Seven of the top 10 best-performing government sukuk this quarter are from Dubai, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Dubai’s US$650 million of notes due May 2022 returned 5.3 per cent, the most among 33 Sharia-compliant sovereign bonds tracked by Bloomberg. The average return was 1.3 per cent."

'via Blog this'

Kuwaiti telco Zain mulls investment targets in North Africa | The National

Kuwaiti telco Zain mulls investment targets in North Africa | The National:

"The Kuwaiti telecoms firm Zain is eyeing new opportunities in North Africa, having expressed an interest in Tunisia and a possible third telecoms licence in Libya.

Zain is also looking to acquire smaller companies, such as internet service providers and media companies, in neighbouring markets in an effort to become an “integrated” company, not just merely a telecoms player.

“We still want to grow inorganically and we are looking at opportunities in the Middle East and North Africa. There are some opportunities that strategically make sense,” said Scott Gegenheimer, the chief executive."

'via Blog this'

Dubai’s financial regulator bans fraudulent banker for six years, levies fine of Dh73,400 | The National

Dubai’s financial regulator bans fraudulent banker for six years, levies fine of Dh73,400 | The National:

"
The Gate, the hallmark building in DIFC. Lee Hoagland / The National
Dubai’s financial regulator has found a private banker guilty of defrauding a client, and has banned him from working in the Dubai International Financial Centre for six years. He was fined Dh73,400.

The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) enforced the penalty against the banker, who has the initials ND, for forging a client’s signature, falsifying account information and making two unauthorised transactions amounting to more than Dh30.82 million.

An investigation led by the DFSA revealed that between July last year and January this year, ND executed two separate transactions worth Dh12.48m and Dh18.35m without obtaining his client’s consent. The client, however, did not suffer any financial loss as a consequence of ND’s actions"

'via Blog this'

UAE GDP forecast to expand 4.5% this year amid economic recovery | The National

UAE GDP forecast to expand 4.5% this year amid economic recovery | The National:

"The UAE Economy Minister Sultan Al Mansouri said yesterday he expected GDP to expand as much as 4.5 per cent this year amid a recovery in Dubai’s property sector and growth in non-oil related trade and industry.

In March, Mr Al Mansouri had said that the economy is expected to sustain an annual growth rate of above 4 per cent in 2013.

“We have been optimistic about what we have been seeing in the UAE in the last 18 months,” said Simon Williams, the chief Middle East economist at HSBC, based in Dubai. “It’s a growth story that has substance and it’s gaining momentum. It’s a mix of the export-orientated service sector in Dubai coming back to life and also a slower but a significant recovery in infrastructure spending in Abu Dhabi.”"

'via Blog this'

Dubai Financial Market hosts conference, Dana Gas suspends trading for board meeting | GulfNews.com

Dubai Financial Market hosts conference, Dana Gas suspends trading for board meeting | GulfNews.com:

"The Dubai Financial Market (DFM) is hosting the 18th conference of The Africa & Middle East Depositories Association (AMEDA) for the first time from September 22 to 25 September with the participation of more than 50 senior delegates and experts representing 29 member depositories.
Essa Kazim, Managing Director and CEO of DFM, said: “We look forward to have a fruitful participation for various participants thanks to Dubai’s position as a dynamic capital markets hub in the region.”
Dana Gas, listed on Abu Dhabi stock market, has informed the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange chief executive that it will hold a Board of Directors meeting from 11 am on September 25. So trading on Dana Gas shares will remain suspended from 10.45 am until the results of the meeting are sent to the stock exchange."

'via Blog this'

GCC still reliant on foreign agriculture despite investments | GulfNews.com

GCC still reliant on foreign agriculture despite investments | GulfNews.com:

"Gulf Cooperation Countries (GCC) will continue to rely on foreign agriculture for food security despite significant investments made by regional fertilizer companies.
Dr Abdulwahab Al Sadoun, Secretary General of the Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemical Association (GPCA) said that fertilizer companies in GCC countries were investing a total of $10 billion (Dh36.730 billion) in current or planned expansion and planned projects.
He said that these projects would significantly enhance capacity however the lack of water supply within the region meant that food security would be dependent on foreign agriculture for the foreseeable future."

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With new colours, the iPhone becomes an accessory