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Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Abu Dhabi's Al Hilal Bank launches $500 mln debut sukuk | Reuters

Abu Dhabi's Al Hilal Bank launches $500 mln debut sukuk | Reuters:

"Abu Dhabi government-owned Al Hilal Bank launched its debut $500 million five-year sukuk issue, with the projected pricing much tighter than the initial guidance, a document from lead managers said on Tuesday, indicating healthy demand for the deal.

The transaction is set to price at 170 basis points over midswaps, the document said. Initial price thoughts on the deal, released on Sunday, indicated it would have a spread of 190 bps over the same benchmark.

Orders from investors had reached $2.75 billion, leads said on Monday, prior to the conclusion of roadshows.

The deal for Al Hilal, fully owned by state fund Abu Dhabi Investment Council, is being arranged by Citigroup, HSBC , National Bank of Abu Dhabi and Standard Chartered, along with Al Hilal itself. "

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All UAIndex parameters bounced back into positive territory on Monday - Business - News - Ukraine Business Online

All UAIndex parameters bounced back into positive territory on Monday - Business - News - Ukraine Business Online:

"Agrokultura AB, the Swedish successor to Landkom, shot up +9.61% in market capitalization as a result of Monday’s trading. That was no doubt welcome news for Agrokultura investors who realize the market cap of their shares remains down -66.67% on annual basis.


News and commentary from Ukraine Business Online

KYIV, Oct 1, 2013 (UBO/UkrAgroConsult) – Monday’s trading brought enough good news to pull all UAIndex parameters – daily, weekly and monthly averages – into positive territory. The close at 4,110.91 was up +0.19%.

Agrokultura AB topped the Best Performing list, followed by Agrogeneration [+4.51%] and KSG Agro [+3.04%]. Agrokultura was also Volume Leader for the day.

Agroton was most impressive on the Worst Performing list, down -3.00% on trade of 44,920 shares."

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Turkish exports: curb your enthusiasm | beyondbrics

Turkish exports: curb your enthusiasm | beyondbrics:

"Turkish exports are looking up, according to the latest data. That’s heartening news for a country that has boomed in recent years on the back of domestic consumption but which might not be able to do so in the near future. But some disconcerting subtrends lurk underneath the good overall figures, notably a striking slump in sales to the Middle East.

First comes the top line. According to the Turkish exporters association, September exports jumped up to $12.5bn, a big rise on the same month a year before.

Finance minister Memet Simsek, who also hailed a jump in PMI figures deep into positive territory, tweeted:
"

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UK shale gas could be exported to continental Europe, says Huhne

UK shale gas could be exported to continental Europe, says Huhne:

"Some shale gas extracted in the United Kingdom could probably be exported to Continental Europe, said former Energy Minister Chris Huhne on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme.

“It would certainly get used here”, said Huhne on Monday, adding that exportation is likely.

According to Huhne, the UK is linked in to world gas price much more than the Americans are, due to present state of the available infrastructures.

Huhne said that UK gas prices could decrease, in the wake of import of fracking gas from the United States. "

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India: current account deficit widens but outlook improves | beyondbrics

India: current account deficit widens but outlook improves | beyondbrics: "Are Indian policy makers delivering on their promises? Here’s one to watch.

India’s finance minister Palaniappan Chidambaram has vowed that the country’s unsustainable current account deficit will be brought down this year. So what do the latest figures, released by the central bank after markets closed on Monday, show?

India’s current account deficit grew to 4.9 per cent of GDP in the first three months of this financial year to $21.8bn, from $18.1bn and 4.0 per cent of GDP in the previous quarter. Although that might not look like progress, it’s better than a Bloomberg survey which was forecasting a $23bn deficit.

The culprit for the widening deficit? It was the usual suspect, gold. Leave out gold imports and the current account deficit stood at 3.2 per cent of GDP, or $14.5bn, in the quarter."

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Is The Excessive Borrowing In The UAE A Cause For Concern? - Forbes

Is The Excessive Borrowing In The UAE A Cause For Concern? - Forbes:

"Levels of consumer debt in the UAE are reaching extreme levels, with research showing it at US$95,000 per household. Periods of high growth in consumer lending, as we are seeing now, will almost always lead to temporary expansions (or inflation) but, as with any other demand shock, this is typically not sustainable.

If the expansion in household borrowing is driven by a combination of poor financial literacy and lack of regulation, then the new level of spending is not sustainable and households will find themselves needing to scale back their debt and/or default on loans. This not only causes a loss in private welfare for those households, but it also will lead to a reduction in aggregate demand and therefore in overall GDP growth.

If the government then has to intervene and bail out troubled households, banks or businesses, this will have its own additional cost on the economy."

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Gazprom: enjoying the European gas bounce, while it lasts | beyondbrics

Gazprom: enjoying the European gas bounce, while it lasts | beyondbrics:

"Russian gas exports to Europe jumped by 25 per cent in September, continuing a year-on-year rally that has been supporting sentiment towards Gazprom’s stock. While investors in Gazprom can expect fatter dividends this year on the back of rising export earnings, there’s a risk that the surge in European demand for Russian gas will be short-lived.

Russian gas exports rose by 25 per cent year on year to 13.5bn cubic metres in September, Reuters reported on Tuesday citing preliminary Gazprom Export data. This brings Russia’s January to September gas exports to Europe to 118.4bn cu m, a 15.5 per cent increase year on year.

The latest results sets Gazprom on course to reverse a decline in exports that occurred last year – and maybe even overshoot its 152bn cu m export target in 2013."

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CEE: PMIs point to further recovery | beyondbrics

CEE: PMIs point to further recovery | beyondbrics:

"
Central European economies are continuing to show signs to recovery, with the newest purchasing manager index reports released Tuesday surprising on the upside despite slightly worse numbers from Germany – the region’s largest export market.

In Poland, the largest CEE economy, PMIs jumped to 53.1 where anything above 50 marks an economic expansion. That is the highest level in two and a half years and was due largely to improvements in the employment picture.

That has some economists predicting that the economy may do better than expected once the recovery gathers a decent head of steam. Piotr Kalisz with Citi Research wrote:

for Poland we stick to our forecast of 2.8% economic growth in 2014 vs. consensus of ~2.5%. However, given increased fiscal space we see chances of Poland’s GDP accelerating above 3% next year."

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Prime cost of Ukrainian shale gas will be attractive for Europe - ForUm

Prime cost of Ukrainian shale gas will be attractive for Europe - ForUm:

"
The prime cost of shale gas, which can be produced in Ukraine, will be higher than in the U.S. but economically viable, expert of the Institute of Economic Policy EUROPEUM Olena Shultsova said during a press conference, ForUm correspondent reports.

"Yes, the prime cost of shale gas, which can be produced in Europe, particularly in Ukraine, will be higher than in the U.S., but it will be economically viable and very attractive for Europe," Shultsova said.

In her view, the key issue will be the time, during which the European countries will be able to start commercial production of shale gas. The expert recalled that it took only a few years in the U.S."

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Norilsk to Pay at Least $2Bln Dividend | Business | The Moscow Times

Norilsk to Pay at Least $2Bln Dividend | Business | The Moscow Times:

"Norilsk Nickel, the world's biggest nickel and palladium producer, has lowered its dividend target for 2013-14, its co-owner, aluminum giant RusAl, said Tuesday, as oversupply in its key market hurts prices.

Norilsk, which paid $1.9 billion in dividends for 2012, was expected to pay at least $3 billion for 2013 and 2014 but in September its co-owner Vladimir Potanin warned it would have to change its dividend policy due to falling prices.

RusAl said Tuesday that it and Potanin had agreed that Norilsk would now pay 2013 and 2014 dividends of not less than $2 billion per year. The annual payment is expected to be equal to 50 percent of its earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortization, or EBITDA.

Norilsk had $1.8 billion in cash and cash equivalents as of June 30, while its 2013 EBITDA is expected at about $4 billion, according to analysts' consensus estimate."

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Qatar Holding buys NYSE Euronext out of Qatar Exchange | Reuters

Qatar Holding buys NYSE Euronext out of Qatar Exchange | Reuters:

"Qatar Holding, the investment arm of the country's sovereign wealth fund Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), has bought NYSE Euronext's 12 percent stake in the Qatar Exchange, the Doha-based bourse said in a statement on Tuesday.

The deal, for which a price was not revealed, makes Qatar Holding the sole owner of Qatar Exchange, which operates the country's securities market.

QIA and NYSE Euronext signed a strategic partnership deal in June 2009 aiming to develop Qatar Exchange into a world-class market under which NYSE Euronext bought a 20 percent stake in Qatar Exchange for $200 million and brought in a Western chief executive.

The buyout coincides with the partnership's objectives being achieved, the statement said. Late last year, NYSE Euronext reduced its stake from 20 to 12 percent and Qatar Exchange named a new, local chief executive."

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Dubai Debt Costs to Rise on $7.1 Billion Expo Spend: Arab Credit - Bloomberg

Dubai Debt Costs to Rise on $7.1 Billion Expo Spend: Arab Credit - Bloomberg:

"Dubai, which roiled markets with its request to delay $25 billion of debt payments in 2009, faces the prospect of rising borrowing costs if it succeeds in a bid to hold the Expo 2020 World Fair, Bank of America Corp. said.
The emirate needs about 26 billion dirhams ($7.1 billion) of infrastructure spending to host the event, HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA) analyst Patrick Gaffney said by phone. At the same time, Dubai has approximately $42 billion of debt coming due over the next two years, Charlotte, North Carolina-based Bank of America said.
“The possible increase in Dubai’s external borrowing needs if it’s awarded the Expo 2020 could put pressure on the emirate’s borrowing costs given the crowded maturity schedule across Dubai Inc.,” Jean-Michel Saliba, an economist at the U.S. lender in London, said yesterday in e-mailed comments.
Dubai’s credit risk has fallen in the past year amid a series of successful debt restructurings, while those of its regional peers increased. The yield on the emirate’s $750 million 7.75 percent bonds maturing in October 2020 fell 80 basis points last month to 4.58 percent yesterday."

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IMF urges Kuwait to contain spending, speed up reform - Economy - Business - Ahram Online

IMF urges Kuwait to contain spending, speed up reform - Economy - Business - Ahram Online:

"The International Monetary Fund has urged oil-rich Kuwait to contain public spending, which has trebled in seven years, to avoid risks from a drop in crude prices.

The IMF also urged the Gulf state to speed up structural reforms, put back on track a $110 billion (81 billion euros) development plan that is lagging behind schedule and cut public subsidies.

"Reflecting the recent sharp increases in current expenditures and relatively small non-oil revenues, government expenditure in the baseline would exceed oil revenues by 2017/18, thus increasing the fiscal risk from a sustained drop in oil prices," said a report released late Monday."

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Dubai property prices up again in third quarter but still 42% lower than 2008 - Business Intelligence Middle East

Dubai property prices up again in third quarter but still 42% lower than 2008 - Business Intelligence Middle East - bi-me.com - News, analysis, reports:

"Although Dubai property sales and rental prices have put in another robust performance over the past 12 months, average sales prices for apartments and villas are still 42% lower than in Q3 2008, with rentals lagging 38% and 31% for apartments and villas respectively over the same period.

And according to the Asteco Dubai Q3 2013 report, although prices will increase further, it is unlikely that they will hit their 2008 peaks in the short to mid-term.

The special report, which will be distributed at the Cityscape exhibition next week, highlights the fundamentals that have been driving the Dubai market. Political stability, trade links, a buoyant and diversified economy, regulatory infrastructure and an attractive tax environment have all contributed towards a resurgence in transactional activity over the past 12 months, which has led to a significant appreciation in sales and rental prices, said the report."

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Deficit of Ukraine's national budget comes to UAH 4.5 b in August, says Finance Ministry

Deficit of Ukraine's national budget comes to UAH 4.5 b in August, says Finance Ministry:

"
The deficit of Ukraine's national budget in August 2013 came to UAH 4.48 billion, compared to UAH 7.53 billion in July and UAH 4.25 billion in June, the Finance Ministry reported on Tuesday.

According to the report, the deficit of the general fund of the national budget in August grew by UAH 0.18 billion from July to UAH 6.96 billion.

Since the beginning of the year, Ukraine's budget deficit totaled UAH 34.75 billion, which is 2.1 times higher than that of the first eight months of 2012.

The law on the state budget for 2013 sets its revenues at UAH 370.05 billion, in particular those in the general fund - UAH 322.08 billion, and expenses - UAH 419.33 billion and UAH 370.48 billion respectively. The deficit is estimated at up to UAH 50.59 billion, in particular that of the general fund - UAH 44.53 billion."

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Rajasthan’s unfinished fracking bonanza | beyondbrics

Rajasthan’s unfinished fracking bonanza | beyondbrics:

"
They say timing is everything in business, and the Indian guar gum producers who invested in new capacity early last year – just as the US fracking business realised it needed thousands of tonnes of the stuff in a hurry – either got lucky or timed their market entry to perfection. But is the multi-billion dollar boom in this once obscure commodity now over?

Not according to Bheru Jain and S.N. Dhoot, chief executive and managing director respectively of Rajasthan Gum, a joint venture between the Dhoot family and Economy Polymers and Chemicals of Houston, Texas. Rajasthan Gum is one of India’s biggest exporters.

True, the tenfold increase in prices in 2012 has been mostly reversed but, in rupees, guar gum still sells at three times the old price that prevailed for two decades until 2010 and the US fracking bonanza."

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Mercuria Energy invest $50 million in Romania’s Amromco Energy

Mercuria Energy invest $50 million in Romania’s Amromco Energy:

"
(Source: Amromco Energy)
Switzerland’s Mercuria Energy Group has completed a $50 million investment in Amromco Energy, the largest upstream gas producer in Romania.

“The investment from Mercuria will enable Amromco to accelerate growth, through increasing production from existing assets and the acquisition of additional opportunities in Europe”, Amromco CEO Ron Carpenter commented in a note.

According to the Romanian company, the equity will be used to accelerate growth in the country and across Eastern Europe.

“The agreement also places the company in a good position to execute on additional strength to its proven operational track record and ability to offer mutual beneficial marketing and off-take arrangements”, Carpenter said."

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INSIGHT-As Ukraine looks west to Europe, Russia's shadow looms | Reuters

INSIGHT-As Ukraine looks west to Europe, Russia's shadow looms | Reuters:

"* Ukraine hopes for association with EU at end of next month

* Russia threatens to retaliate with protectionist measures

* Former PM's imprisonment obstacle to Ukraine-EU pact

By Luke Baker and Justyna Pawlak

BRUSSELS, Oct 1 (Reuters) - When Russia wants to get its point across, it tends not to leave room for misunderstanding.

Put out by Europe's efforts to build closer relations with six countries in east Europe and the Caucasus - former Soviet republics that Russia regards as in its sphere of influence - Moscow has been steadily turning up the heat.

Armenia was the first to cave, turning its back on an "association agreement" with the European Union and agreeing instead to join Russia's customs union - a trade zone with Belarus and Kazakhstan launched in 2010."

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Dubai Could Shut 90 Million-Passenger Airport to Boost Super-Hub - Bloomberg

Dubai Could Shut 90 Million-Passenger Airport to Boost Super-Hub - Bloomberg:

"Dubai International airport, which is being expanded to handle 90 million passengers a year, could be shut to boost traffic at a new super-hub under construction in the sheikdom with as much as twice that capacity.
Dubai Airports won’t retain the existing base if owning two hubs hampers the take up of flights at its new Al Maktoum site, and could find “alternative purposes” for the prime real estate, Chief Executive Officer Paul Griffiths said in an interview.
The airport authority is accelerating construction of Al Maktoum in a push to persuade main customer Emirates to move in before 2025, and could lift capacity to 200 million passengers a year to boost its appeal, Griffiths said. Talks are under way with at least three more prospective customers for the facility, which opens this month and has so far attracted only Hungarian discount carrier Wizz Air Ltd. as a firm client, he said."

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Mideast funds bullish on Saudi, cautious on UAE

Mideast funds bullish on Saudi, cautious on UAE:

"Fund managers in the Middle East are set to pump more money into Saudi Arabia over coming months but may withdraw some funds from Dubai because of concern its red-hot market has risen too fast, a Reuters survey showed.

The survey of 16 leading Middle East-based investment institutions, the first of its kind in the region, was conducted over the past 10 days by Trading Middle East, a Reuters forum for market professionals. The survey was launched in September and will be published monthly.

Half of the institutions said they expected to increase their overall equity allocations to the Middle East over the next three months, while only 13% said they would decrease them."

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IEA analysis both praises achievements and highlights weaknesses of the Estonian energy sector

IEA analysis both praises achievements and highlights weaknesses of the Estonian energy sector:

"Ahead of Estonia’s joining by the end of the year the International Energy Agency (IEA), its director Maria van der Hoeven has visited the Estonian capital, Tallinn, and introduced the findings of an IEA analysis of the Estonian energy sector.

Although the report praises the smallest Baltic country’s achievements in pursuing energy security and liberalization, it also has pointed out to Estonia’s three major energy sector weaknesses: dependency on Russian Gazprom gas, electric power market’s poor integration with Western Europe and reliance on oil shale.

While the IEA findings have seemingly already had a sobering effect on Estonian lawmakers, some of whom tend to believe in the endless abundance of the country’s natural gas, another “wake-up” call has come from the least anticipated source, Estonia’s state energy company Eesti Energia’s CEO Sandor Liive, whose comments in Estonian media, following the IEA report, that if the EU continues to stiffen its climate policy, the value of the Estonian oil shale may plummet to zero in 30 to 40 years has caused quite a stir."

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Global index ranks Qatar as top financial centre in Mideast

Global index ranks Qatar as top financial centre in Mideast:

"Qatar has been ranked the top financial centre in the Middle East region with its standing moving six places up to 24, according to the latest Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI).

Qatar’s rating rose by 11 points, driven by the economy’s  growth prospects, improving infrastructure, international connectivity, low employee taxation and commitment to human development, said GFCI that covers 80 financial centres.

London-based Z/Yen Group published the GFCI 14 Index yesterday, according to a  statement released on behalf of Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) Authority."

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Iran Staggers as Sanctions Hit Economy - NYTimes.com

Iran Staggers as Sanctions Hit Economy - NYTimes.com:

"
Kaveh Kazemi
A currency exchange office in Tehran displaying rates in a window. Sanctions over nuclear efforts have starved Iran of cash.
The owner of a bus manufacturing company here admits that he is a man who likes his routines, and so every day he continues to commute to his downtown office. There he orders cups of tea, barks orders to his factory foremen over the phone and signs a steady flow of papers his employees put on his desk.

“It looks like I’m working, right?” the owner, Bahman Eshghi, said, folding his hands. “No. In reality I am praying, either for a miracle to save our economy or for a fool to come in and buy my factory.”"

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Is there value in European banks?



Dubai top pick for Expo 2020 bid, says Alliance survey | GulfNews.com

Dubai top pick for Expo 2020 bid, says Alliance survey | GulfNews.com:

"Cultural diversity has positioned Dubai as the top pick to host Expo 2020, according to a survey developed by Alliance Business Centres, a global business server provider that operates over 650 business centres with 15,000 companies worldwide.
The survey in based on information from 1,000 executives from the Alliance Business Centres Network (ABCN) across 28 countries in Europe, the Americas, Asia and Australia.
The result of the survey showed that 57 per cent of the participants (including 570 executives) voted in favour of Dubai, while 18 per cent saw Russia’s Yekaterinburg as the best candidate to host Expo 2020."

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GCC-Turkish tension to ‘temporarily’ hit businesses | GulfNews.com

GCC-Turkish tension to ‘temporarily’ hit businesses | GulfNews.com:

"Despite their opposing positions on developments in Egypt, the tension in the economic relations between Turkey and the Arab Gulf counties is expected to be “very short”, a Turkish economic analyst said.
At the end of the day, “politics is politics and business is business,” said Ahmet Kayhan, Founder and CEO of Reiden.com, an international real estate information company focusing on emerging markets.
“If you think about the relationship between Turkey and GCC, they are very strong. There has never been a direct clash,” he added in an interview with Gulf News."

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UAE bank officials say possible remittance tax a bad idea | The National

UAE bank officials say possible remittance tax a bad idea | The National:

"A tax on remittances to overseas countries has been dismissed as neither feasible nor advisable.

Hamad Buamim, chief executive of Dubai Chamber of Commerce and a member of the UAE Central Bank board, said he he had heard that the levy was being considered by the Dubai government.

But imposing a tax solely in Dubai would be pointless, since expatriates would simply transfer money home from other emirates, said Ali Al Nuaimi, a Federal National Council member for Ajman and a former bank chief."

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Dubai fines Lebanese banker for overstating client’s wealth | The National

Dubai fines Lebanese banker for overstating client’s wealth | The National:

"Dubai’s financial regulator has fined a private banker Dh27,525 for overstating the wealth of a client in 2009.

Tareck Fouad Farah, a Lebanese national, was chief executive of FFA private bank at the time and “issued a bank reference letter on behalf of a client containing false information that was addressed to another financial institution”, the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) said yesterday.

“The bank reference letter stated that the client held a portfolio of securities valued at approximately Dh18.3 million”, whereas the actual value was only Dh697,000. No person suffered a financial loss as a result of Mr Farah’s actions."

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RAK Government considers first Islamic bond issue since 2009 | The National

RAK Government considers first Islamic bond issue since 2009 | The National:

"The Government of Ras Al Khaimah plans to test the waters for its first sukuk issuance since 2009, taking advantage of stable capital markets to refinance its existing debt.

The northern emirate’s Government announced yesterday morning that it would conduct a series of meetings with fixed income investor meetings in Asia, the Middle East and Europe, and an Islamic bond sale may follow under its US$ 2 billion sukuk programme.

Investor meetings will be held in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Abu Dhabi, Dubai and London, between tomorrow and Monday. The meetings will be arranged by Citigroup (acting as global coordinator), Mashreq, Al Hilal, Standard Chartered and National Bank of Abu Dhabi."

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Hong Kong: the great mall of China



Brazil's troubled economy: Stumbling up the hill