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Friday, 4 October 2013

Russian IPOs: what works, what doesn’t | beyondbrics

Russian IPOs: what works, what doesn’t | beyondbrics:

The Russians are coming: Alrosa, the state diamond miner, and Tinkoff Credit Systems both announced plans to go public this week and there is a long line of other Russian companies waiting to list. So as investors weigh up the all too familiar Russian risks, it’s worth tallying up how recent Russian IPOs have panned out.

Alrosa plans to sell a 16 per cent stake as part of the Russian government’s $15bn privatisation programme. The world’s biggest diamond producer by volume expects to raise up to $1.5bn in a listing on the Moscow stock exchange.

Tinkoff, one of Russia’s largest credit providers, has chosen London as the venue for its IPO, which it hopes will raise up to $750m.

Demand for the issues will depend on Alrosa and Tinkoff avoiding the trap that some other Russian IPO hopefuls have fallen into by overvaluing their stock at closing. That said, investors’ appetite for Russia risk is definitely returning, says Chris Weafer, senior partner at Macro-Advisory, a Moscow-based research consultancy."

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▶ Cases: The "UAE 94" Case, Reports of Systematic Torture - YouTube

▶ Cases: The "UAE 94" Case, Reports of Systematic Torture - YouTube:

"The show CASES, produced by Aly Sleem and hosted by Farah Atoui, deals with human rights violations regardless of any political affiliation/agenda. We stand by oppressed people everywhere so we aim to tackle their cases professionally from both humanitarian and legal perspectives. Our objective is to raise awareness and to speak out for those who have no voice.

We were glad to host:
In our Studio: Hussein Mehdy, Human Rights Activist and Journalist
By Skype from London: Rori Donaghy: Emirates Center for Human Rights
By Phone from London: Nicholas McGeehan: UAE Researcher at HRW
By Phone from Geneva: Noemie Crottaz: Human Rights Officer at AlKarama
By Phone from Toronto: Yusur Al-Bahrani: Director at Large at Amnesty International Toronto Organization


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Iran thaw warms Western oil company interest | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT

Iran thaw warms Western oil company interest | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT:

"The tempting taboo of Iran’s oil and gas riches has moved a step nearer for Western oil companies, lining up to woo Tehran if sanctions finally succumb to a diplomatic thaw.

US oil firms—barred by Washington from Iran for nearly two decades—planned to meet Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh last week at the United Nations, encouraged by the new tone in Tehran, industry sources said.

“We’re willing to talk: Iran’s got tremendous potential,” said a senior executive from a major US oil company who requested anonymity while preparing for exploratory talks."

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Ukranian News - Italian Eni Expects To Begin Exploration Of Shale-Gas Deposits In Volyn Region In 2014

Ukranian News - Italian Eni Expects To Begin Exploration Of Shale-Gas Deposits In Volyn Region In 2014:

The oil and gas concern Eni SpA (Italy), which owns 50.01% of the shares in the Zakhidgazinvest company, expects to begin exploration of shale-gas deposits in the Volyn region in the period of June-August 2014, the Volyn regional administration announced in a statement.
The Volyn region's Governor Borys Klymchuk held a meeting with representatives of the Zakhidgazinvest company on October 3 to discuss the possibility of developing shale-gas deposits in Volyn.
"We are looking for opportunities to ensure energy independence of our country, and the projected reserves of shale gas in Ukraine are the fourth largest in the world," said Klymchuk.
The general director of Zakhidgazinvest asked for the regional administration's assistance in conducting laboratory research involving studying the environmental state of the region."

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Twitter’s EM uphill battle | beyondbrics

Twitter’s EM uphill battle | beyondbrics:

As Twitter’s IPO cranks into action, there is one big question that is puzzling beyondbrics and many others: where are the non-US users based?

In its SEC filing, Twitter admitted that “users outside the US constituted 77 per cent of our average MAUs [monthly active users] in the three months ended June 30, 2013″. Just who are the 77 per cent? And can Twitter make money out of them?

Unlike Facebook, which had very explicit country by country data, Twitter doesn’t require users to declare their location, and the publically available stats are patchy at best. But beyondbrics has made a stab at working out where the users are.

We’ve been here before, of course – last year there was a lot of debate over whether China was actually Twitter’s biggest market. That was based on a survey by GlobalWebIndex which put China top, with 35.5m users, ahead of the US."

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Daily chart: Just do it | The Economist

Daily chart: Just do it | The Economist:

"Entrepreneurship differs wildly among countries

AMERICA is an engine of innovation, as attested by the upcoming public listing of Twitter, which aims to fetch a cool $1 billion. How do other countries rank in terms of entrepreneurship? Sadly, not so well. Around one in 13 people in America are entrepreneurs. That is three times more than in Germany, which is vying to become a startup haven, as we explain this week (see article). To fund those innovators, when the level of venture capital as a share of the overall economy is considered, the differences are even starker. Sweden and France have the same share of entrepreneurs but Sweden's cash spigot is more open. And even though the Netherlands has twice as many entrepreneurs as a share of its population, as either of those countries, its venture capital is as paltry as France's. As for Germany, it may face difficulties in fostering a startup culture: its venture capital investment is around ten times less than in America.

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UAIndex back on the road to recovery - Business - News - Ukraine Business Online

UAIndex back on the road to recovery - Business - News - Ukraine Business Online:

"Thursday trading ended with the UAIndex composite capitalization at 4,103.64 up +0.44% for the day and +4.35% for the last 30 days.

Best Performer for the day was Agrokultura AB, up +4.52% on trade of 150,687 shares.

The day’s bottom feeder was the ever-erratic Agroton, down -1.88% on trade of 148,212 shares.

Thursday’s Volume Leader was the poultry giant – and Ukraine’s highest market cap listing – MHP, up +1.09% on trade of 246,838 shares.

In ag sector news of particular interest, Ukraine’s largest bank, Privatbank said it will increase its already quite substantial financing for the agrarian sector by 25%."

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Fund flows: hold your horses | beyondbrics

Fund flows: hold your horses | beyondbrics:

"Last week’s foray into positive territory didn’t last long. EM dedicated bond funds saw net outflows in the week to Wednesday according to EPFR, the Boston-based fund monitor, making 18 weeks of outflows out of 19 and reversing four weeks of what looked like improving sentiment towards EM issuers.

Flows to EM equity funds went negative, too, after three weeks of inflows.

EPFR said flows out of EM bond funds were worth about $240m in the week, or about 0.1 per cent of assets under management. Market economists say EPFR’s sample is equal to about a sixth of the fund industry’s total AUM."

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Soybeans Drop After Biggest Gain in Three Weeks as Rain Subsides - Bloomberg

Soybeans Drop After Biggest Gain in Three Weeks as Rain Subsides - Bloomberg:

"Wheat for December delivery was little changed at $6.89 a bushel after climbing to $6.98 yesterday, the highest level for a most-active contract since June 24. Prices rose on speculation that excess rain will reduce harvests in the Black Sea region, boosting demand for the grain from the U.S., the top exporter.
Ukraine’s winter-wheat planting may be 30 percent less than targeted after record rainfall, said the national weather center in Kiev Sept. 27. In Russia, winter-grain sowing may be as low as 13 million hectares (32 million acres), less than the intended area of 16.4 million, the Grain Union said the same day.
Corn for December delivery was little changed at $4.3975 a bushel, heading for a 3.1 percent decline this week."

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Ukraine and the European Union: West or east? | The Economist

Ukraine and the European Union: West or east? | The Economist:

ITS very name means “borderland”. Ukraine has long been on the edge between east and west. Now this country of 46m people is poised to tilt westward by signing an association agreement with the European Union next month that also promises freer trade. But Vladimir Putin, Russia’s president, is putting pressure on Ukraine instead to join Belarus and Kazakhstan in a Eurasian customs union that has become his pet project.

The Russian sales pitch is simple. Russia remains the single biggest market for Ukrainian exports. Ukraine would get cheaper gas (Belarus, which has also sold its gas distributor to Russia’s Gazprom, pays less than half as much). Russia would ease the country’s huge debt burden, much of it owed to Gazprom. Mr Putin was also the main backer of Ukraine’s president, Viktor Yanukovych, in November 2004, when his rigged election was overturned in the orange revolution. Most alluring of all, the Russians, unlike the EU, would not make pesky demands for human rights, the rule of law, an end to corruption and a proper democracy."

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Qatar's World Cup Fiasco - Bloomberg

Qatar's World Cup Fiasco - Bloomberg:

"It requires a rare sort of organizational incompetence to turn an event that’s almost a decade away into a public-relations disaster today, but FIFA has proved itself equal to the task, and then some. Because that’s what FIFA does. No matter how low your opinion of Sepp Blatter and his bloated apparatchiks, they never fail to squeeze under the bar.
How hard can it be, really, to preside over the most popular international tournament in all of sports? A tournament that countries across the globe dream of hosting, that literally half the world watches on TV?"

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Saudi Gazette - GACA second IPO proves to be a big draw

Saudi Gazette - GACA second IPO proves to be a big draw:

"Prince Fahad Bin Abdullah, Chairman of the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) said the second launch of initial public offering has reached SR15,211,000,000. The IPOs, which are Shariah-compliant, are guaranteed by the Ministry of Finance .

Prince Fahad said in a press statement issued on Tuesday that when the GACA went public the first time, many Saudi financial and investment corporations subscribed. “In the second offering, over 31 companies subscribed compared to 25 last year. This reflects how strong the Saudi economy is and the trust investors have in this economy.”

This step comes in line with the government’s policy to enable the private sector to take part in financing development projects that can bring about huge profits."

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▶ S&P climbs on hot air - YouTube

▶ S&P climbs on hot air - YouTube:

"The US government has been shut down. The risk of a debt default looms. Simon Derrick, chief forex strategist at BNY Mellon, explains to John Authers that Washington's political dysfunction could be the trigger for investors to realise that climbing US stock markets are no longer supported by international fund flows.


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London's Ukrainian Oligarch Court Battle Is Getting Explosive - Business Insider

London's Ukrainian Oligarch Court Battle Is Getting Explosive - Business Insider:

Victor Pinchuk (right top) is the Ukrainian oligarch who last month hosted Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Tony Blair, Dominique Strauss-Kahn and other political wannabes or has-beens, to promote himself as the champion of Ukrainian independence. This week he stands in the UK High Court charged by two other Ukrainian oligarchs with bribery, corruption, theft of state assets, election-rigging, racketeering, extortion, embezzlement, fraud, conspiracy, and perjury, compounded by nepotism and sex with the only child of ex-President Leonid Kuchma (left). Holy Moly!"

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Traders Concerned by Kiev Debt Burden | Business | The Moscow Times

Traders Concerned by Kiev Debt Burden | Business | The Moscow Times:

"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 honor 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 could still find a way to make its debt payments, which amount to more than $10 billion 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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▶ Paul Collier on migration and diversity: Movements of the people - YouTube

▶ Paul Collier on migration and diversity: Movements of the people - YouTube:

"The author of "Exodus" explains why debates about immigration should really be about estimating the value, and limits, of diversity in society.


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London faces new legal challengers - YouTube

London faces new legal challengers - YouTube:

"The legal sector has emerged nimbler following the recession. Yet with signs of a nascent economic recovery, a new order is emerging, which threatens to usurp London's mantle as global legal centre. Reena SenGupta, CEO of RSG Consulting, and FT's Special Reports Editor Michael Skapinker join FT's Hugo Greenhalgh to discuss changes in the legal landscape.


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Has EU got a case against Gazprom? - YouTube

Has EU got a case against Gazprom? - YouTube:

"The European Union could fine Gazprom 10 per cent of its annual revenue as punishment for the Russian oil and gas major's alleged abuse of market in central and eastern Europe. Lex's Julia Grindell and Vincent Boland discuss the strength of the Commission's case and the effect of a possible fine.


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▶ Lionel Barber on US shutdown - YouTube

▶ Lionel Barber on US shutdown - YouTube:

"The US government shutdown this week and thousands of Americans were told not to go to work. With a debt ceiling debate days away, Financial Times editor Lionel Barber talks to investigations editor Christine Spolar about what Washington is thinking.


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Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala signs up range of deals with Serbia | The National

Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala signs up range of deals with Serbia | The National:

Advanced Technology Investment Company (Atic), a Mubadala subsidiary, will explore the
feasibility of a research and development facility in Serbia for the semiconductor industry.
Jeff Topping / The National

Mubadala Development signed numerous agreements with the Serbian government yesterday to seek out areas for investing across semiconductors, renewable energy, telecoms and aerospace manufacturing.

The deals are the latest sign of a rapid warming in relations between Abu Dhabi and Belgrade that has already yielded millions of dollars of investment for Serbia’s struggling economy.

“Mubadala is delighted to increase collaboration with Serbian entities, and we are confident these agreements will enable us to identify investment opportunities,” said Waleed Al Mokarrab Al Muhairi, Mubadala’s chief operating officer."

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Shares fall as Dubai Financial Market Company ‘cannot confirm or deny’ merger talks with Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange | The National

Shares fall as Dubai Financial Market Company ‘cannot confirm or deny’ merger talks with Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange | The National:

"Dubai Financial Market Company’s stock fell almost 6 per cent yesterday after the region’s only listed bourse said it “cannot confirm or deny” a report that its controlling shareholder had hired banks to advise on a merger with the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange.

Speculation over such a deal first surfaced in May 2010, but no progress has been made public since the initial announcements from both bourses.

The UAE has three stock exchanges: ADX, DFM, and Nasdaq Dubai. The latter has been incorporated into DFM.

“As DFM Company, we are not directly involved in any discussions about the subject, if any and their outcome,” Essa Abdul Fattah Kazim, DFM’s chief executive, said on Wednesday after the market closed."

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Big pension funds eye Dubai property market | The National

Big pension funds eye Dubai property market | The National:

Investors from around the world are watching to see whether Dubai is set to be
the centre of a second property bubble. Jaime Puebla / The National Newspaper 

Dubai property is expected to attract a wave of Asian money as big pension funds are forecast to seek US$150 billion in global real estate investments.

CBRE found that Asian institutional investors are looking to invest more than $150bn in property markets around the world over the next five years as they look to increase their exposure to global real estate, with Dubai one of their potential targets.

“Dubai’s strategic location between the East and the West, and its rapidly developing real estate market is gaining strong investor appetite from Asia, specifically from China, Malaysia and South Korea,” said Nick Maclean, the managing director of CBRE’s Middle Eastern operation."

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UAE’s PMI posts a 29-month high in September |

UAE’s PMI posts a 29-month high in September |

"The UAE’s purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for September shows a sharp improvement in operating conditions across the UAE non-oil private sector economy.
The index, compiled by HSBC Holdings and Markit Economics posted a 29-month high of 56.6 in September, up from August’s 54.5.
The index is based on data compiled from monthly replies to questionnaires sent to purchasing executives in approximately 400 private sector companies in the UAE representing manufacturing, services, construction and retail."

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India Cabinet clears Jet-Etihad deal |

India Cabinet clears Jet-Etihad deal |

"India on Thursday approved Jet Airways (India) Ltd.’s plan to sell a 24 per cent stake to Etihad Airways, removing the last barrier to the $339 million deal.
The stake sale had been delayed for close to six months on concern from Indian regulators that Etihad would use its stake to gain control of the Indian airline.
India’s Cabinet Committee of Economic Affairs approved the deal late yesterday, a government official said.
A Jet spokeswoman declined to comment. Thomas Clarke, a spokesman for Etihad, didn’t respond to a phone call."

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Citigroup Buy Swells Yandex Jump to 78%: Russia Overnight - Bloomberg

Citigroup Buy Swells Yandex Jump to 78%: Russia Overnight - Bloomberg:

"Yandex NV (YNDX), Russia’s biggest Internet company, rallied to a two-year high in New York after Citigroup Inc. initiated coverage of the stock with a buy.
The shares climbed 1.7 percent to $38.38 yesterday, the highest close since July 2011. The gains sent valuations to 34 times estimated earnings, a 68 percent premium over the multiple for Google Inc. (GOOG) The Bloomberg Russia-US Equity Index was little changed at 99.02 yesterday, while RTS stock-index futures increased 0.3 percent to 142,980.
Yandex’s share of Internet searches in Russia increased to 62.2 percent in September from 60.5 percent a year ago, while Google’s portion shrank to 26 percent from 26.7 percent, data by LiveInternet show. Yandex has increased its annual sales forecast twice this year as it benefits from rising demand in Russia for Internet advertising, which is set to jump 26 percent a year through 2015, according to ZenithOptimedia. Citigroup said it expects shares to rally 20 percent in 12 months."

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Azeri Leader Tied to U.S. Taps Oil Cash to Avoid Assad Fate - Bloomberg

Azeri Leader Tied to U.S. Taps Oil Cash to Avoid Assad Fate - Bloomberg:

Olivier Hoslet/EPA
Aliyev, 51, is seeking to extend his family’s rule in an Oct. 9 election, his third since succeeding his father in a disputed vote a decade ago.
Less than 500 miles northeast of Syria, another secular Muslim dynasty is clinging to its fifth decade in power amid increasing calls for greater freedom and less corruption.
What Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev has that his counterpart Bashar al-Assad doesn’t is strong U.S. relations and a steady stream of oil cash to temper the opposition.
Aliyev, 51, is seeking to extend his family’s rule in an Oct. 9 election, his third since succeeding his father in a disputed vote a decade ago. Bordering Turkey and Iran, the former Soviet province of 9 million mostly Shiite Muslims is what the U.S. ambassador calls a “steadfast” ally, handling about 30 percent of all non-military NATO shipments into Afghanistan and operating the only non-Russian outlet for Caspian oil flows to world markets.
With the opposition united for the first time behind a single challenger, Camil Hasanli, thousands of people rallied in the capital Baku on Sept. 22 to demand Aliyev’s resignation. That was the largest demonstration against the government since 2005, when the opposition tried to replicate Ukraine’s Orange Revolution after disputed parliamentary elections."

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ACWA Power Plans to Raise Funds From Sukuk to IPO for Solar Push - Bloomberg

ACWA Power Plans to Raise Funds From Sukuk to IPO for Solar Push - Bloomberg:

"ACWA Power International plans to sell shares and Islamic bonds as the Saudi Arabian developer of generation facilities joins Middle East companies seeking to raise funds for expansion.
The company may offer $800 million from the sale of sukuk this year before an initial public offering on the Saudi exchange at the end of 2014, Chief Executive Officer Paddy Padmanathan told reporters in Dubai today. ACWA aims to start its first solar project in the kingdom this year, he said.
Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest crude oil exporter, plans to invest $100 billion in solar expansion. The kingdom is looking to renewable energy to help meet power demand, that Padmanathan says is growing nearly 10 percent a year, and to save crude for export."

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