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Saturday, 28 September 2013

Saudi Gazette - SABIC Capital planned bonds get high rating

Saudi Gazette - SABIC Capital planned bonds get high rating:

"Fitch Ratings has assigned SABIC Capital II B.V.'s proposed $1 billion 2.625 percent guaranteed bonds an expected senior unsecured 'A+ (EXP)' rating. The rating is in line with Saudi Basic Industries Corporation's (SABIC; A+/Stable/F1) senior unsecured 'A+' rating.

The bonds' final rating is contingent on the receipt of final documentation conforming to information already received and further details regarding the amount and tenor of the notes.

The bonds will benefit from a direct, unconditional, general and irrevocable guarantee from SABIC (the guarantor). The guarantee will be a senior unsecured obligation of SABIC and will rank at least pari passu with all its existing and future senior unsecured and unsubordinated obligations.

SABIC Capital II B.V. (the issuer) is an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of SABIC incorporated in the Netherlands as a private limited liability company."

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R Hotels targets Dubai’s booming tourism market with Dh1.5bn investment | The National

R Hotels targets Dubai’s booming tourism market with Dh1.5bn investment | The National:

"R Hotels is planning a Dh1.5 billion expansion in Dubai as it seeks to exploit the emirate’s rapid increase in tourist arrivals.

Next month, the Ajman-based hotel arms of investment firm R Holding will open a 175-unit hotel at The Walk at Jumeirah Beach Residence, among the emerging destinations for hotel properties in Dubai.

In its first year of operations, the new hotel is expected to achieve 80 per cent occupancy and an average room rate of Dh700 to Dh900.

R Hotels owns, manages and operates two properties in Ajman and one in Dubai – all Sharia-compliant – under the Ramada brand name that belongs to the US-based Wyndham Hotel Group."

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PressTV - UAE stopped expulsion of Iranian nationals: Deputy FM

PressTV - UAE stopped expulsion of Iranian nationals: Deputy FM:

"An Iranian deputy Foreign Minister says the expulsion of Iranian nationals from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has ceased following the measures taken by Tehran.

Iran Deputy Foreign Minister for Consular, Parliamentary and Iranian Expatriate Affairs Hassan Qashqavi said Saturday that the UAE has stopped expelling Iranian nationals as of September 24.

“Persistent follow-ups by the Foreign Ministry and Iran’s Embassy in Abu Dhabi as well as our country’s ambassador and the head of Iran’s Consulate in Dubai played an effective role in such a positive and constructive decision,” Qashqavi added.

The Iranian officials hailed the Abu Dhabi’s move to stop expulsions ahead of the eighth Iran-UAE Joint Consular Committee meeting which is scheduled to be held on October 22. "

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Dubai's Majid Al Futtaim says to wait for stability in Egypt, Syria before investing | Reuters

Dubai's Majid Al Futtaim says to wait for stability in Egypt, Syria before investing | Reuters:

"Dubai's Majid Al Futtaim Holding (MAF), the sole franchisee of hypermarket chain Carrefour (CARR.PA) in the Middle East, will not pursue investments in Egypt and Syria until stability returns to the two countries, a senior company official said on Saturday.

MAF, also the only Carrefour franchisee in North Africa and Central Asia, had been in advanced talks to buy Egypt's largest supermarket chain Metro from the family-owned Mansour Group, sources told Reuters in April.

"Egypt is still unstable, we are waiting for it to settle down but we are still in negotiations. As for Syria, any investor will hold back. It's not good to move forward now with the revolution going on," Younus al Mulla, MAF's senior vice president for retail international development, told reporters at the opening of a new Carrefour hypermarket near Abu Dhabi.

MAF had also been eyeing a major investment in Syria before the 2011 uprising, and one Carrefour store in Aleppo was shut down as a result of the violence."

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Egypt seeks UAE funding for natural gas delivery | Economy | World Bulletin

Egypt seeks UAE funding for natural gas delivery | Economy | World Bulletin:

"Egypt has asked for a 1.3-billion pound funding from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to fund the delivery of natural gas to 800,000 Egyptian homes, head of the state-run Petroleum Authority Tarek al-Mula told Anadolu Agency on Saturday.
Al-Mula said the project is part of a package of projects presented by the Egyptian government to the UAE for funding in the future.
The delivery of natural gas to the 800,000 homes will cost 3.2 billion Egyptian pounds, according to the data of the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS)."

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Volume in UAE markets surge |

Volume in UAE markets surge |

"Last week the Dubai Financial Market General Index (DFMGI) gained 70.75 or 2.65 per cent to close at 2,736.89, just shy of the most recent 2,761.55 peak (less than one per cent away), and near the high for the week. Strength was seen in most issues with 26 advancing and only eight declining.
Volume surged to the second highest level in 10-years, yet the index was unable to advance above the recent peak. In addition, the gains in each of the past three weeks, since the rally off the most recent swing bottom, have declined sequentially, reflecting a slowing of upward momentum and overhead resistance. Three weeks ago the DFMGI gained 8.62 per cent, followed by 5.03 per cent, and then 2.65 per cent last week.
The near record volume and close near the recent peak are bullish signs, yet the decline in upward momentum a sign of uncertainty. Uncertainty as to whether the index can breakout to new highs and continue its ascent. This is similar to what happened with Emaar in early August. The stock broke out to new highs but subsequently failed to continue higher, and then dropped back down moving into a consolidation phase, where it remains."

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Russia’s GDP Shows Zero Growth, Outlook Grim – Minister | Business | RIA Novosti

Russia’s GDP Shows Zero Growth, Outlook Grim – Minister | Business | RIA Novosti:

"Russia’s GDP in the first eight months of the year grew 1.5 percent year-on-year, but seasonally adjusted month-to-month growth was zero, Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev said Saturday.
August has turned out to be “worse than July,” he told an international investment forum in the southern Russian city of Sochi. “There are no visible signs of change for the better.”
The minister also urged the Russians to prepare for a worsening unemployment situation next year due to economic stagnation.
Unemployment is expected to reach 6 percent in 2014, Ulyukayev said."

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Today's Best Emerging Market

Today's Best Emerging Market:

"What emerging market trades for less than six times earnings and pays 4%?

Here are a couple more clues about the country itself: Government debt is just 8% of the economy. (In the US, Japan and the EU, these percentages are over 100%.) And unemployment is only 6%.

The answer gets us to Rob Marstrand's favourite idea...

I met Rob in Uruguay at an investment conference where we were both speaking. We also sat on the same 'best ideas' panel, in which Rob opened with his mystery favourite emerging market.

He is the chief investment strategist for the Bonner Family Office. Marstrand is English and reminds me of Roger Moore circa 1973, when he played James Bond. Before joining the Bonner Family Office, Rob worked for 15 years at the Swiss banking giant UBS. (As with your editor, he's a former banker.)

The approach at the Family Office is pretty simple. It involves thinking 'ultra-long term' and applying a value approach. The office has an international focus, looks for big-picture trends and aims to keep costs low.

Rob favours emerging markets, but he likes one in particular. And it's the answer to the question up top.


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Gulf Daily News » Business News » UAE planning tax on remittances abroad

Gulf Daily News » Business News » UAE planning tax on remittances abroad:

"The UAE is considering whether to impose a tax on the billions of dollars which foreign guest workers send back to their home countries every year, government and banking sources said yesterday.

It is unclear whether authorities will proceed with the tax, which would mark a major shift of policy, potentially raising costs in the economy and reducing the supply of foreign labour on which much of the UAE's boom is based.

But the proposal reflects growing concern in the UAE and other Gulf countries that they may be becoming too dependent on foreign workers and are losing too much of their wealth in the form of remittances abroad.

A circular discussing the proposal and requesting feedback was sent to some banks and financial institutions in the UAE, the sources said.

"It is a pilot project, in the initial stages. Based on the feedback from banks and others, a decision will be taken," said a Finance Ministry source."

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Daily chart: Give it back! | The Economist

Daily chart: Give it back! | The Economist:

"When bosses face pressure to return their lucre upon leaving

AFTER selling his ailing company to Microsoft, Nokia's boss, Stephen Elop, is facing calls to return some of his €18.8m ($25m) pay-off. Finns are furious; the prime minister calls the compensation "outrageous". But compared to other controversial golden handshakes–in which the bosses were under pressure to voluntarily give some of the money back–it is rather tame. The boss of UnitedHealth, William McGuire, was awarded a whopping $286m when he stepped down in 2006 (though regulators forced him to return it and about $150m more). Many bosses have had to pay back some or all of their pay-offs. For example, Stan O'Neal of Merrill Lynch eyed $216m but settled for a mere $162m. Novartis' Daniel Vasella took $3m in cash and around $2m in shares–though initially expected $78m. Wendelin Wiedeking of Porsche was pressed to give half his pay-off to charity. In Mr Elop's case, he has reportedly refused to return his compensation because he is going through a divorce.

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The other Yalta conference: A global elite gathering in the Crimea | The Economist

The other Yalta conference: A global elite gathering in the Crimea | The Economist:

NEARLY seventy years ago Joseph Stalin, Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt sat at the round table in Yalta’s Livadia’s palace (pictured) and carved up the map of Europe. Last weekend, their ghosts must have been disturbed by the pow-wow of politicians, thinkers and businessmen who gathered in the same palace for the annual meeting of Yalta European Strategy, trying to reshape Europe one more time.

The elegant white palace combines Neo-Renaissance style with the light subtlety of Moorish architecture. Loaded with symbolism, it is the place Viktor Pinchuk, a Ukrainian tycoon with a taste for intellectual debate, chose to set up his conference ten years ago. Hardly any speaker did not reflect on Yalta’s history. But never before have these reflections been as fitting as this year. The future of Ukraine, a country of 48m people, and of Europe was being decided in real time. The Yalta conference, now in its tenth year, was a display of fierce diplomacy, formidable brain power and the precarious position of the European Union."

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At a Qatar Project Overseen by Americans, Workers Die Almost Daily - Businessweek

At a Qatar Project Overseen by Americans, Workers Die Almost Daily - Businessweek:

Photograph by Qatar 2022 via Bloomberg
An artist illustration of Lusail City stadium, designed for the Qatar 2022 World Cup final
Apple (AAPL) and Nike (NKE), among American companies, have been held responsible for labor conditions at overseas factories where their products are made. Should American construction and engineering groups also be called to account for worker mistreatment at offshore projects they manage?

Britain’s Guardian newspaper reports that immigrant workers on a massive construction project in Qatar are being treated inhumanely and dying at a rate of almost one per day from on-the-job accidents and heart failure.

Parsons Corp., in Pasadena, Calif., is managing construction of the $45 billion Lusail City project near the capital city, Doha, that’s being built by Qatar’s sovereign-wealth fund to accommodate the 2022 soccer World Cup. A British unit of CH2M Hill, in Meridian, Colo., is listed on Lusail City’s website as one of three key contractors on the project. The two others are Hyder Consulting (HYC:LN) of Britain and Denmark’s Cowi."

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Guest post: Ukraine’s European challenge | beyondbrics

Guest post: Ukraine’s European challenge | beyondbrics:

By Vasyl Filipchuk of the ICPS and Amanda Paul of the EPC

The Yalta conference in Crimea, Ukraine, left a clear feeling of a geopolitical shift in Europe. Not the one 68 years ago at this Black Sea resort but the annual Yalta European Strategy conference organised last weekend by Ukrainian philanthropist Victor Pinchuk with the participation of Tony Blair, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Karl Bildt, Stefan Fule and many other European and global leaders and opinion makers.

Movers and shakers from both the EU and Ukraine left Yalta confident that the EU’s third Eastern Partnership summit to be held in Vilnius in November will see the signature of an EU/Ukraine association agreement.

This will not open a new round of EU enlargement but it may well alter the shape of Europe’s political and economic architecture, with the integration of former Soviet republics with the EU at the level of the European Economic Area or similar.

Predictably, but still surprisingly, Russia has reacted to Europe’s approaches to its strategic neighbour by engaging in tough rhetoric, a chocolate war and threats of trade sanctions."

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XXI Century Investments Subsidiary Extends Bank Guarantee For Ukraine Project - Finance News - London South East

XXI Century Investments Subsidiary Extends Bank Guarantee For Ukraine Project - Finance News - London South East:

"XXI Century Investments Public Limited Friday said its subsidiary Mriya-Invest has extended its exchange of bank guarantees with a subsidiary of Auchan SA, a supermarket retail chain based in France and an unnamed French DIY operator.

Mriya-Invest and Auchan SA signed an investment agreement regarding the development of the Vyrlitsa Project in Kyiv, Ukraine last year.

Earlier this year Mriya-Invest signed a separate investment agreement with a French DIY operator, established in Ukraine, also regarding the development of the Vyrlitsa Project.

XXI Centruy said the parties to the two agreements have agreed to further extend the exchange of bank guarantees up to 31 December 2013.

The stock closed at 1.75 pence Friday, down 0.12 pence or 6.7%."

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Ukraine teeters on the brink again | Reuters

Ukraine teeters on the brink again | Reuters:

"Ukraine has muddled its way through several debt crises in the past, but investors and traders are concerned that default may finally be round the corner as the country's finances deteriorate and its relations with Russia worsen.

When it was downgraded to Caa1 from B3 by Moody's on September 20, it gained the dubious honour of joining the Triple C club alongside Cuba, Ecuador, Egypt and Pakistan.

Some observers, however, are playing down the risk of default, saying the country can still find a way to make its debt payments, which amount to more than US$10bn in hard currency in the coming year.

"Fears of default and devaluation in Ukraine are almost seasonal in nature and usually peak at the end of Q3 or beginning of Q4 and get forgotten as the winter holidays approach," said Peter Attard Montalto and Dmitri Petrov, analysts at Nomura. The actual risk of default is still only moderate, they said."

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Back to the future in Yalta -

Back to the future in Yalta -

Walking around the Italian garden in the Livadia Palace in Yalta last weekend, I could not help but feel the weight of history. It was here that Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill were photographed in February 1945 as they worked out who got what at the end of the second world war.

These days Yalta continues to make history, albeit with fewer far-reaching consequences. The annual Yalta European Strategy Meeting, a sort of mini Davos with better architecture, is hosted here by businessman and philanthropist Victor Pinchuk. The Ukrainian billionaire founded the event in 2004, when he persuaded 30 people to come together to discuss and plan Ukraine’s best approach to joining the EU. These days the meeting is quite a bit bigger."

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The week ahead: Relics of war

Chance for a historic recasting of ties |

Chance for a historic recasting of ties |

"The void left by the Eastern bloc since the early 1990s in terms of political, economic and military clout was well felt. Such a situation created an imbalance in geo-political equations. But Russia has since regained its influence and while China consolidated its status as an economic powerhouse.
After overtaking France and Britain earlier, the Chinese economy moved past Germany and Japan last year to occupy the second spot after the US. It will not stop at that as it seeks to overcome the US and march towards that goal one careful step after the other. In 2012 it became the biggest oil importer in the world.
India is also treading in the same direction, having achieved high growth rates (until recently). Traditional economic supremos such as the US and the EU now seem to be trying to impede this repositioning of global influence."

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