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Thursday, 3 October 2013

MIDEAST WEEKAHEAD-Dubai IPOs signal recovery but market wants bigger listings - Yahoo News

MIDEAST WEEKAHEAD-Dubai IPOs signal recovery but market wants bigger listings - Yahoo News:

"* At least three Nasdaq Dubai IPOs in preparation

* But big listings still not in prospect

* Fund managers cite regulatory difficulties

* Political decision to sell state assets is key

* Possible Dubai-Abu Dhabi exchange merger could help

By Nadia Saleem and Mirna Sleiman

DUBAI, Oct 3 (Reuters) - A slew of IPO plans in Dubai shows the stock market is finally regaining its role as a fund-raising source for companies. But big new listings - the kind that could stimulate turnover and attract fresh foreign money - are still some distance away.

Over the past several weeks, at least three relatively small companies have been laying plans for initial public offers of shares on Nasdaq Dubai, which could start as soon as this month.

That is a sign that the wounds of the global financial crisis, and Dubai's real estate crash of 2009-2010, have largely healed. The most recent listing on either of Dubai's stock two markets occurred in early 2009, when construction firm Drake & Scull listed."

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MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf mkts mostly lower on caution ahead of holidays; Egypt up | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf mkts mostly lower on caution ahead of holidays; Egypt up | Reuters:

"Most Gulf bourses retreated on Thursday in cautious investor sentiment ahead of an extended public holiday in mid-October, while strong retail activity lifted Egypt's bourse.

Kuwait's index led Gulf declines, losing 1.2 percent to 7,647 points, slumping to its lowest level since Sept. 12.

Bluechips faltered from their recent strong footing - the sub-index Kuwait 15 dropped 0.6 percent. Bourse trading volumes however fell to a one-month low.

Gulf markets will close during the week of Oct. 13 for Eid al-Adha, the Muslim holiday marking the end of the Hajj, the holy pilgrimage to Mecca."

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Ukraine: EU beckons, but investors still getting a rough ride | beyondbrics

Ukraine: EU beckons, but investors still getting a rough ride | beyondbrics:

"
Ukraine stands a chance to achieve much more than a pivotal westward shift away from Moscow’s grip by signing historic association and free trade agreements with the EU at a Vilnius-based summit in late November.

In setting course for EU convergence, it could rise up on the global investment radar, portraying itself as following Poland’s economic success, and in turn luring in much needed FDI. At least, that’s the theory.

The EU has set conditions before it will sign the landmark agreement, saying Kiev must undertake reforms that include improving its democracy and freeing jailed opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko. But even if it does sign up, Ukraine faces massive domestic homework if free trade with the EU is to provide big benefits, reversing a 90 per cent plunge in FDI to a tiny $224m in the first half of 2013."

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Asean funds: have passport, could travel? | beyondbrics

Asean funds: have passport, could travel? | beyondbrics:

"Asian fund passport plans, to borrow the old cliché, are like London buses: you wait ages for one and then three come at once.

Wednesday’s announcement between the regulatory bodies of Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand to create a system for cross-border distribution of mutual funds was the third in the region this year.

For years, Asian fund managers and regulators have pondered the idea of mimicking Europe’s UCITS (Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities) scheme: a harmonised framework of product regulation that allows funds from one member state to be distributed in another. According to the European Fund and Asset Management Association (EFAMA), total net assets in UCITS stood at €6.5tn at the end of June 2013; they logged net inflows of a record €132bn in the first quarter alone."

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UAE business activity at two-year high but HSBC issues inflation warning | The National

UAE business activity at two-year high but HSBC issues inflation warning | The National:

"Business activity in the UAE private sector reached its highest level in more than two years last month, according to HSBC.

But the bank also warned inflation was likely to become a growing headache next year after releasing its latest purchasing managers’ index, a monthly gauge of the performance of the non-oil private sector.

“It’s extremely strong reading that shows the UAE economy continuing to build speed,” said Simon Williams, chief economist for Middle East and North Africa at HSBC."

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‘Unsustainable’ Dubai Home Price Gains to Slow, Broker Says - Bloomberg

‘Unsustainable’ Dubai Home Price Gains to Slow, Broker Says - Bloomberg:

"Dubai home-price increases will slow in the next 12 months after rising at an “unsustainable rate” as speculators returned to the market, Jones Lang LaSalle Inc. said in a report today.
Values rose 17.9 percent through August from a year earlier, the broker said. Residential rents climbed 14.9 percent on average. While the market has fundamentally improved, the return of confidence has sparked renewed speculation, Jones Lang said.
“While residential prices and rents will continue to increase over the next 12 months, the rate of increase will decline somewhat,” the broker said. “An extended period of slower and more subdued growth would be far more beneficial for the overall market than a continuation of the current rates of increase followed by another severe correction.”"

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Oil and Gas Companies Battle for Control of SeverEnergia | Business | The Moscow Times

Oil and Gas Companies Battle for Control of SeverEnergia | Business | The Moscow Times:

"Novatek and Gazprom Neft want to buy Eni's stake in Russian gas company SeverEnergia in a battle that pitches oil and gas barons against state-controlled oil company Rosneft, Kommersant reported Thursday.

The contest for gas resources and markets has come to a head as the government reviews a proposal for a partial lifting of Gazprom's export monopoly for tanker-shipped liquefied natural gas from the start of next year.

Sources close to the matter were quoted as saying that the country's No. 2 gas producer Novatek and Gazprom Neft, the oil arm of the country's top gas producer Gazprom, are looking to increase their stakes in SeverEnergia by acquiring the 29.4 percent held by Italian energy group Eni.

That would help the Russian duo to counter the influence of state-owned Rosneft, which last month agreed to purchase Enel's indirect stake in SeverEnergia."

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Ukrainian stocks mostly up as European stocks decline on Wednesday - Business - News - Ukraine Business Online

Ukrainian stocks mostly up as European stocks decline on Wednesday - Business - News - Ukraine Business Online:

"Ukrainian stocks

Concorde Capital provides more in its daily market comment:

‘‘Ukrainian and European equities switched roles from the previous session, this time with Ukrainian stocks rising while their counterparts slid in trading on Wednesday, October 3. The WIG Ukraine Index of Warsaw-traded stocks rose 0.4%, led by car battery maker WESTA (WES PW +5.7%); egg producer Ovostar (OVO PW +4.0%), which has increased 7.3% in two sessions; and farmer Agroton (AGT PW +3.1%), which has gained 7.8% in two sessions. The Index’s most liquid stock, grain trader Kernel (KER PW), rose 1.8%. In London, Regal Petroleum (RPT LN) jumped 5.9% while Cadogan Petroleum (CAD LN -2.3%) has lost 5.1% in two sessions. The Ukrainian Exchange (UX) Index of Kyiv-traded stocks improved 1.0%, led by Unicredit’s Ukrsotsbank (USCB UK +13.0%), which continues to be the target of a speculative drive. ‘‘"

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Guest post: 3 popular myths of India’s economy | beyondbrics

Guest post: 3 popular myths of India’s economy | beyondbrics:

"
By Saurabh Mukherjea and Ritika Mankar Mukherjee

It is hard to read a newspaper these days, whether in India or abroad, without running into opinion pieces criticising the performance of the Indian economy. Whilst the critics differ in their targets – some focus on the incumbent administration’s incompetence, others on India’s institutional shortcomings such as endemic corruption – as the tide of cheap American money recedes, India’s shortcomings are clear for all to see. Not only is the currency battered, the economy too will slide towards low single digit growth.

We disagree not so much with India’s economic predicament – the weak economic growth and the sliding rupee are matters of fact – but with the portrayal of a cyclical downturn as a structural crisis. This, to our mind, is one of the three myths regarding India that are being perpetuated at present."

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NewsDaily: UniCredit eyes Poland's BGZ, might leave Ukraine: CEO

NewsDaily: UniCredit eyes Poland's BGZ, might leave Ukraine: CEO:

"UniCredit , Italy's largest bank by assets, has submitted a preliminary offer to buy Poland's Bank BGZ and is sounding investors out on the possibility of selling its Ukrainian unit, Chief Executive Federico Ghizzoni said.

Ghizzoni, who earlier this year sold Unicredit's Kazakh operation, said this was part of the bank's strategy to strengthen its presence in countries it considers "core" and leave those markets where it sees little opportunity for growth.

"We made an offer on a Polish bank, we are still in the early stages," Ghizzoni told a group of foreign reporters in comments embargoed for Thursday morning. He later identified the bank as BGZ, which is owned by Dutch lender Rabobank and could be worth around $1 billion."

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▶ Income anomaly: Europe beware - YouTube

▶ Income anomaly: Europe beware - YouTube:

"The search for yield after the financial crisis drove investors to high-dividend companies. But, as John Authers explains, taper talk raised bond yields and triggered a sell-off of such stocks in the US. So why has there been no such retreat in Europe?

"

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Another oil major pulls out of Venezuela | beyondbrics

Another oil major pulls out of Venezuela | beyondbrics:

The revolving door at Venezuela’s oil sector continued to spin on Tuesday after Lukoil, Russia’s second largest oil producer, said it was withdrawing from a multi-billion dollar oil project in the country’s heavy oil rich Orinoco basin.

The news comes just a month after Malaysia’s Petronas pulled out of another big project.

“We made an offer to the consortium to buy out our stake,” Vagit Alekperov, Lukoil’s president told reporters. “This is not a project of a high priority for us.”

Lukoil is part of a consortium led by Rosneft – but which also includes Gazprom Neft – that is developing the Junín 6 block in the Orinoco Belt alongside Venezuela’s state company, PDVSA. Surgutneftegas and TNK-BP, now part of Rosfnet, have also decided to leave the group, citing a similar reason, according to Reuters."

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Salary gap between Western and Asian expats in UAE is shrinking - Emirates 24/7

Salary gap between Western and Asian expats in UAE is shrinking - Emirates 24/7:

"Your country of origin or the passport that you hold has long been a topic of discussion in the UAE, with a general consensus on the theory that expats from Western nations get higher salary compared with those from Asian countries because of factors that go beyond qualification and experience.

Online fora see people engage in heated debate that country of origin determines salaries, but post-recession, this factor has become less important.

Breaking from the past traditions, pay hikes for expat professionals in the UAE are expected to be more on performance than mere nationality, say experts in the recruitment industry."

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Saudi Gazette - High Saudi loan growth sustainable, says SABB

Saudi Gazette - High Saudi loan growth sustainable, says SABB:

"High loan growth to the private sector in Saudi Arabia is likely to continue in the next two to three years as government spending supports a surging economy, Saudi British Bank (SABB) Managing Director David Dew told Reuters.

According to central bank data, bank lending to the private sector was up 15 percent in August against the same period in 2012, growth that will likely push SABB to raise its own capital as it loan book grows, Dew said.

“We do see that range (of loan growth) in the mid-teens as sustainable over the next two-three years because of the underlying growth of the economy and government revenues,” he said in a rare interview with a head of a Saudi bank."

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▶ Sequester hits America's atomic city - YouTube

▶ Sequester hits America's atomic city - YouTube:

"Los Alamos has become the heart of America's nuclear programme and has become a national center of scientific research -- but as one of the largest recipients of federal money, the lab, and the town that depends on it are now grappling with budget uncertainty and the across-the-board cuts of the sequester.

"

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Abu Dhabi’s onshore fields to continue pumping after deal with oil majors expires | The National

Abu Dhabi’s onshore fields to continue pumping after deal with oil majors expires | The National:

"
Adco's concession to run Abu Dhabi's onshore fields will continue to run after
the deal with big oil companies runs out in January. Rich-Joseph Facun / The National

Abu Dhabi’s onshore oil partners will stay on until the emirate re-awards a landmark concession, even if that comes after the formal January expiry, said the head of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc).

The emirate’s oldest concession, a family of onshore fields that contribute half of all output, is due to expire at the start of next year after a 75-year-run.

Bids are due later this month for rights that are currently held by BP, Total, ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell and Portugal’s Partex."

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Meydan links up with Indian developer on Dubai mega project | The National

Meydan links up with Indian developer on Dubai mega project | The National:

"With just days to go before Cityscape and property prices soaring, Meydan, the private developer behind the world’s largest horse racing complex, and the Indian developer Sobha are gearing up their efforts to market the first phases of a Dh21 billion mega project in Dubai.

The pair which are jointly developing 1,500 luxury villas set in 1,100 acres of parkland around the world’s biggest man-made lagoon, known as District One, are hoping they can take advantage of Dubai’s current property boom to launch an off-plan sales push.

The joint venture partners announced yesterday that they had completed construction of 80 per cent of the nine show villas they will be using to showcase the scheme. Full completion is expected in November."

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UAE investors look east as growth of developed economies slows, HSBC says | The National

UAE investors look east as growth of developed economies slows, HSBC says | The National:

"Retail investors in the UAE are increasingly looking to Asian markets to park their cash.

Sluggish growth in some developed economies is encouraging more investors to look east, says Dan Rudd, HSBC Global Asset Management’s head of the Middle East and North Africa.

HSBC yesterday unveiled a series of Asia-focused investment products for UAE investors.

The move follows local investors’ growing demand for investment opportunities in Asia."

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EFG expects Gulf economies to strengthen in Q4 | GulfNews.com

EFG expects Gulf economies to strengthen in Q4 | GulfNews.com:

"Real growth in the Gulf is likely to strengthen in the fourth quarter, especially after economic activity held up better than normal in the traditionally quieter summer and Ramadan period, says EFG Hermes. Notes there were signs of an increase in Saudi project awards in 3Q, after a deceleration in the value of awards since mid-2012. “We also see a pickup in the pace of project implementation in the UAE, alongside rising confidence and broadening economic depth.” Says with the higher project awards in 2Q (Qatar and UAE) and expected in 3Q (Saudi), EFG forecasts a pickup in investment growth in 4Q, and particularly in 2014. Reckons a successful 2020 Expo bid for Dubai would add further impetus."

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UAE has clear strategy for oil and gas, says Energy Minister | GulfNews.com

UAE has clear strategy for oil and gas, says Energy Minister | GulfNews.com:

"Suhail Bin Mohammad Faraj Faris Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy, has said that the UAE retains a global leading position in the oil and gas industry, and its government has put in place a clear strategy for this vital sector.
Making his remarks at the launch ceremony of the Oil and Gas Year Magazine 2013 on Tuesday, Al Mazrouei noted the need for the youth of the UAE to engage in this industry by pursuing specialised studies so as to best serve the national energy sector.
“The UAE continues its efforts towards achieving sustainability based on a clear vision and solid infrastructure that is attractive for investments, and looks forward to a promising future,” the Energy Minister added."

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Ooredoo mulls secondary listing | GulfNews.com

Ooredoo mulls secondary listing | GulfNews.com:

"Ooredoo, the biggest telecommunications operator in Qatar, is considering a secondary stock market listing in London as the company looks to diversify its investor base and improve the liquidity of its shares, bankers familiar with the matter said.
The telecom firm has sent out a request for proposals to banks to study the merits of such a move. “It’s becoming more interesting for a lot of people trying to raise money and diversify their investor bases,” said one banker, who didn’t want to be named because the issue is not yet public. Regional stock markets have rebounded across the Arabian Gulf this year after declining in the years that followed the financial crisis. But analysts say trading in Ooredoo shares are still constrained by low levels of liquidity in the local Doha market."

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