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Tuesday, 8 October 2013

No rush on Abu Dhabi free zone timeline | The National

No rush on Abu Dhabi free zone timeline | The National:

"Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM)will map out the implementation of its strategy after talks with local and foreign stakeholders over the next eight weeks, says its chairman.

But Ahmed Ali Mohamed Al Sayegh said yesterday there was no fixed timeline for the formation of the financial free zone.

“The timeline will not be dictated by specific dates but rather a deliberate approach which will include within the next eight weeks a process for coordination and collaboration with local and international stakeholders on strategy and direction,” Mr Al Sayegh said without specifying which stakeholders would be involved in the talks.

A government decree was announced in February to establish the zone, where Abu Dhabi hopes to attract leading financial services companies to conduct business."

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Recent thaw in US-Iran relations could free up production in Iran, reboot Rhum field

Recent thaw in US-Iran relations could free up production in Iran, reboot Rhum field:

"As Western powers prepare to negotiate with Iran this month in Geneva, energy companies are watching closely for signs of a diplomatic breakthrough that could free up production in the petroleum-rich country.

The recent thaw in U.S.-Iranian relations -- culminating in President Obama's historic phone call with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani late last month -- isn't likely to ease oil and gas sanctions barring a radical shift from Tehran over its contentious nuclear program.

But the possibility of reconciliation has calmed oil futures and could even help reboot a shut-down BP PLC gas field shared 50-50 with a National Iranian Oil Co. subsidiary in the North Sea.

BP's Rhum field, capable of producing 200 million cubic feet of gas per day, was closed in 2010 as tougher sanctions on Iran threw the site into legal limbo.

If output starts again, the field could meet about 4 percent of the United Kingdom's daily gas consumption, based on 2012 data from the U.K. Department of Energy and Climate Change."

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As Dubai Rebounds, Hunger Strike Recalls the Crash |

As Dubai Rebounds, Hunger Strike Recalls the Crash |

"Outside Dubai’s Central Jail is a panoramic sweep of the city’s skyline, rising higher again amid an economic rebound. Inside the prison are scores of hunger strikers who claim they are paying an unfair price for the last spectacular boom-then-bust tumble.

The hunger strike started last month by a few prisoners — all convicted under the strict financial laws of the United Arab Emirates — has swelled to more than 50 inmates demanding authorities reconsider convictions that can bring years behind bars for a single bounced check.

It marks a rare stand in a country that effectively bans political activism and swiftly cracks down on sporadic labor protests, such as a strike in May by south Asian construction workers who were promptly forced to leave the Emirates. The hunger strike also touches highly sensitive issues of investor risk as Dubai tries to rebuild its high-flying image after a stunning financial crash landing more than four years ago.

“If we don’t succeed now in making our voices heard, we may never succeed,” said an Indian businessman who was sentenced to 10 years in prison for bouncing checks."

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Highlights from Cityscape 2013 | The Pan- @ArabiaEnquirer

Highlights from Cityscape 2013 | The Pan-Arabia Enquirer:

"With Cityscape Global in full swing in Dubai, we look at some of the most exciting projects from this year’s real estate extravaganza.

Bear-Baiting City
Initially earmarked for 2007, this luxury residential and blood sports multi-use complex was put on hold following pressure from animal right groups. But following a lengthy battle with the World Wrestling Federation, developers claim the $50 billion project is ready to break ground in Kuwait, offering the “ultimate in grizzly, black, polar and even panda bear tormenting” when it opens in 2014.

Bought out by Saudi investors earlier in the year, America’s bankrupt motor city is currently being shipped – bit by bit – to the desert near Dammam, where it will be reconstructed into a dazzling automotive theme park, mall and residential complex. But it’s worth buying early – you wouldn’t want to end up left with a property in one of the crime-ridden neighbourhoods!"

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Developers pour fuel on Dubai’s overheating property market -

Developers pour fuel on Dubai’s overheating property market -

"Dubai is pressing ahead with tens of billions of dollars worth of property launches, fuelling a property boom even as its regulator seeks to stem speculative buying and cool the market.
State and private developers are planning dozens of schemes, as Arabs seeking an investment bolt-hole from strife in Syria and Egypt, joined by South Asian and Russian buyers hoping to minimise their tax bills, ramp up the market.
They include an artificial extension of the city’s creek to the beach, as well as new towers with penthouse apartments with a price tag of $250m."

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Dubai Nakheel to restart scaled-back palm-shaped island - Business News | The Star Online

Dubai Nakheel to restart scaled-back palm-shaped island - Business News | The Star Online:

"Dubai developer Nakheel will restart work on part of one of the three palm-shaped islands that came to symbolise the excesses of the emirate's boom years, the company chairman said, in a sign Dubai is bouncing back from its financial crisis.

Nakheel, which was taken over by the government as part of a $16 billion rescue plan completed in 2011, will change the manmade island group's name to Deira Island from Palm Deira, chairman Ali Rashid Lootah told reporters on the sidelines of Dubai's property exhibition show Cityscape.

Deira Island will have about 1,400 retail units and restaurants including a night market, plus a 250-room hotel, a 30,000 capacity amphitheatre and other attractions.

A company-supplied photo of the revamped project does not show any of the palm fronds that defined the original project's shape, indicating it will be significantly smaller than Palm Deira was envisaged."

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Dubai’s new investor law will have lots of bite |

Dubai’s new investor law will have lots of bite |

"One of the key pieces left in Dubai’s real estate regulations — an investor protection law — will soon slot into place. Top officials from the Dubai Land Department late last month made it clear that the Law (also known as Tanweer) and its provisos was on the cusp of being issued and that all options to “safeguard investor rights” have been incorporated.
With Dubai’s property values being where they are right now, the authorities are on much firmer ground when it comes to effecting sweeping laws on investor protection. Auctioning off distressed properties and plots as well as disposing off stalled projects is a lot easier now than would have been the case if, say, the law had come into effect a year or two ago."

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IMF: crunching the Brics slowdown | beyondbrics

IMF: crunching the Brics slowdown | beyondbrics:

"The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook makes pretty grim reading for emerging markets. The Fund has cut half a percentage point from its projection for overall EM growth for 2013, and 0.4 percentage points off its 2014 forecast – they are now 4.5 and 5.1 per cent, respectively.

And it’s not all China. The big downward revisions for 2013 are India (-1.8 percentage points), Mexico (-1.7), and Russia (-1.0). But the real meat of the IMF’s report is a big section entitled “What Explains the Slowdown in the BRICS?”. The answer isn’t very pretty.

Explore the Fund’s report away from the headline figures, and as the chart below shows, the drop in growth levels since 2010 for EMs as a whole are largely Bric-led. The Fund notes that “Emerging market and developing economy growth rates are now down some 3 percentage points from 2010 levels, with Brazil, China, and India accounting for about two-thirds of the decline.”

Source: IMF

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Tinkov’s bank assessed at up to $3 billion | Russia Beyond The Headlines

Tinkov’s bank assessed at up to $3 billion | Russia Beyond The Headlines:

"The bank Tinkoff Credit Systems (TCS-Bank) will hold an initial public offering of Global Depositary Receipts in London, with the seller being the parent company of the bank — the Cypriot TCS Group Holding PLC. The London Stock Exchange announced that they plan to raise $750 million. The bank will receive $150–200 million, and the rest will go to the shareholders.
The main owner, Oleg Tinkov, and the management of the bank have undertaken not to sell shares for one year after the IPO; other shareholders undertook not to sell for six months after the IPO. The organizers and bookrunners are Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Sberbank CIB; the  bookrunners are JP Morgan and Renaissance Capital, and the agent is Pareto Securities AB.
One financier who saw the documents of the offering says the listing will be placed in late October. The start of the roadshow is scheduled for Oct. 14, the pricing is scheduled for Oct. 25, and the bank is assessed at $2.5–3 billion."

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Polish State Rail Seeks Up to $518 Million From Cargo IPO - Bloomberg

Polish State Rail Seeks Up to $518 Million From Cargo IPO - Bloomberg:

"Polskie Koleje Panstwowe SA, the Polish state railway, seeks to raise as much as 1.6 billion zloty ($518 million) from the sale of its cargo unit in central Europe’s biggest initial public offering in almost a year.
The railway is selling as many as 21.7 million shares of PKP Cargo SA, the European Union’s largest rail freight company after Deutsche Bahn AG. The maximum IPO price was set at 74 zloty a share and bookbuilding will end on Oct. 22, according to a prospectus published today. Cargo will start trading on the Warsaw Stock Exchange on Oct. 31, becoming the EU’s first listed rail freight company.
“The sale should attract solid demand as the company is a good proxy for an economic revival in Poland and there are no companies of this kind listed on the bourse,” Dawid Czopek, who helps manage the equivalent of $2.1 billion at Warsaw-based BRE Wealth Management SA said by phone today. “PKP Cargo is also a restructuring story with an upside potential.”"

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Arab Unrest to Cost $800 Billion as U.A.E. Benefits, HSBC Says - Bloomberg

Arab Unrest to Cost $800 Billion as U.A.E. Benefits, HSBC Says - Bloomberg:

"Political turmoil that started in Tunisia in 2011 and swept across the Arab world will cost the seven most-affected countries about $800 billion by the end of next year, according to HSBC Holdings Plc.
The unrest that toppled two leaders in Egypt, removed Muammar Qaddafi from power in Libya, unsettled Bahrain’s monarchy and plunged Syria into civil war will lower cumulative economic output in the nations to just above $2 trillion from $2.9 trillion over the four years, Dubai-based economists with HSBC estimated in a report released today. The other two countries included in the study are Jordan and Lebanon.
“Such a long period of sub-trend growth offers scope for a period of more rapid expansion as troubled economies bounce back,” Simon Williams and Liz Martins said in the report. “But the capacity of policy makers to deliver a meaningful turnaround in fortunes remains constrained” as public finances deteriorate, they said."

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RPT-Fitch: Ukraine's external finances are key weakness for rating | Reuters

RPT-Fitch: Ukraine's external finances are key weakness for rating | Reuters:

"The continued pressure on Ukraine's FX reserves and a fall in the price of its sovereign debt highlight the risk posed by its weak external finances, Fitch Ratings says. Ukraine has one of the lowest external liquidity ratios among 'B' rated sovereigns and this is a key credit weakness.

A re-pricing of Ukrainian sovereign risk that saw yields on 10-year dollar-denominated bonds move above 10% at the end of September will make rolling over external public sector borrowing more difficult. The need to meet external debt repayments has already contributed to another fall in reserves, which dropped by USD1.1bn in August, to USD21.7bn, pushing them further below three months of imports. In September, reserves were relatively stable, at USD21.6bn. The government borrowed USD750m in a two-year syndicated loan. However, we expect gross international reserves to continue to fall."

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MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf mixed as turnover shrinks; Sembcorp Salalah shines | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf mixed as turnover shrinks; Sembcorp Salalah shines | Reuters:

"* Turnover falls before long Eid holidays

* But Oman's Sembcorp Salalah jumps 25 pct in debut

* Saudi banks mixed after Q3 earnings

* Dubai bounces from near technical support

* Egypt's EFG Hermes falls after co-CEO resigns

By Andrew Torchia

DUBAI, Oct 8 (Reuters) - Gulf markets were narrowly mixed on Tuesday as turnover shrank with the approach of next week's long Eid holidays, but a new listing in Oman soared in heavy turnover.

Sembcorp Salalah Power and Water, a unit of Singapore's Sembcorp Industries, jumped 24.5 percent from its initial public offer price to close at 1.98 rials, after touching a high of 2.00 rials.

A total of 11.03 million shares change hands; the company sold 33.4 million shares or 35 percent of its share capital in the IPO. GBCM Research had previously calculated a weighted fair value of 1.78 rials for Sembcorp Salalah."

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▶ South Africa on US tapering - YouTube

▶ South Africa on US tapering - YouTube:

"South Africa's minister of finance, Pravin Gordhan, says the knock-on effect of announcements by the Fed on it's tapering programme has taught both the US and emerging economies important lessons. He talks to Andrew England about what governments must do to navigate markets more smoothly.


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Moody’s: a downgrade for India? | beyondbrics

Moody’s: a downgrade for India? | beyondbrics:

"It was not a downgrade but Moody’s decision to cut its outlook on Brazil’s sovereign rating was something of a blow for Latin America’s largest economy.

Given the problems that India has been having with its plunging rupee and widening fiscal deficit, is there any reason to think that India could be next in the firing line? Beyondbrics spoke to Atsi Sheth, a senior credit officer at Moody’s, to hear her views on Asia’s third largest economy.

Moody’s upgraded its foreign currency government bond rating for India in 2004 to Baa3, the lowest investment grade rating. The rating has stayed unchanged since then."

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Iranian rial rises against dollar on back of Obama–Rouhani phone call | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT

Iranian rial rises against dollar on back of Obama–Rouhani phone call | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT:

"Iran’s turbulent currency market has reacted cautiously but positively to Iranian president Hassan Rouhani’s recent visit to New York and his telephone conversation with his American counterpart, US president Barack Obama.
Domestic media reported a rise in the Iranian rial against the US dollar on the open market only a few hours after news of the historic phone call between Rouhani and Obama was announced.

Reports indicated that the dollar was traded at below 30,000 rials on September 28, the day after Rouhani returned to Tehran, while only a week before that it was trading at 32,000 rials.

For ordinary Iranians, even this modest gain in the value of their currency is a promising sign. For many years, Iranians have thought war over their country’s disputed nuclear program likely, and have not been hopeful that the economic situation will improve."

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UAE waits on global recovery | The National

UAE waits on global recovery | The National:

"The UAE Minister of Economy said yesterday that higher rates of growth would not be possible until struggling countries around the world resolve their financial crises.

Sultan Al Mansouri said if the UAE was to hit its growth target of 4 per cent this year, it needed positive momentum in overseas economies.

“To be able to grow at a much higher rate, we feel the rest of the world must solve their problems,” he said. “Firstly, looking from outside there has been a lot of misfortune in terms of trying to resolve the financial crisis from countries and places we expected to be more professional in how they address these issues.”"

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Etihad soars through $1bn revenue barrier in third quarter of 2013 | The National

Etihad soars through $1bn revenue barrier in third quarter of 2013 | The National:

"Etihad Airways generated more than US$1 billion in revenues from passenger services for the first time in the third quarter.

Passenger revenue increased 10 per cent in the period to just over $1.03bn as passenger numbers passed 3 million.

Cargo revenue rose 39 per cent to $244 million as Eithad Cargo registered a 41 per cent increase in volumes during the period to 132,448 tonnes. Total revenue climbed 11 per cent to $1.4bn, compared with $1.3bn in the same period in 2012."

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Key question for Cityscape 2013: Is Dubai again moving into a bubble? | The National

Key question for Cityscape 2013: Is Dubai again moving into a bubble? | The National:

"No show better reflects the mood of an industry than Cityscape.

The annual property industry gathering is the ultimate barometer of confidence in Dubai bricks and mortar.

For the first time in five years there is a palpable sense of a recovery in the market. That is why this year’s event promises to be so fascinating.

The signs may have been there last year. But the evidence can be seen in the double-digit gains of recent months.

Dubai has led worldwide property prices this year.

Significantly, apartment rates have outpaced villas for the first time – rising by about 42 per cent year to date, according to Asteco data."

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Oil output helps Abu Dhabi economy grow 5.6% last year | The National

Oil output helps Abu Dhabi economy grow 5.6% last year | The National:

"Growth in oil output helped Abu Dhabi’s economy to expand 5.6 per cent last year, according to the latest data.

Manufacturing and property were the other big drivers of overall growth during the year, showed data released yesterday by Statistics Centre Abu Dhabi (Scad).

It followed growth of 9.3 per cent the year before, according to the data.

Abu Dhabi’s economy has been supported in the past two years by higher oil output as production was ramped up to compensate for cuts to Libyan output in 2011 and last year for the dip in Iran’s exports as a result of international sanctions."

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Ukrainian Integration With The European Union: Economic Convergence Or Economic Collapse? - Forbes

Ukrainian Integration With The European Union: Economic Convergence Or Economic Collapse? - Forbes:

"The 10th  annual meeting of Yalta European Strategy (YES) was this past weekend in the gorgeous but sometimes surreal confines of the Livadia Palace (i.e. the same palace where Churchill, Stalin, and Roosevelt met in 1945 to determine the postwar fate of Europe). The event is organized by the charitable foundation of Ukrainian businessman and politician Viktor Pinchuk, and featured a bewildering array of politicians, diplomats, businessmen, journalists, and others. Attendees at this year’s conference included Shimon Peres, Tony Blair, Larry Summers, David Petraeus, and Bill and Hilary Clinton. It was quite the gathering.

But while the presence of A-list members of the global elite was definitely entertaining, there was some very serious business. Since 2008, Ukraine has been negotiating a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA) with the European Union. I don’t want to get into the technical particulars, those who are curious are welcome to consult the previous link, but very basically the DCFTA is a treaty that would massively liberalize Ukraine’s trade regime with Europe."

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Money talks: Losing faith - YouTube

Money talks: Losing faith - YouTube:

"Our correspondents discuss America's looming debt-ceiling deadline, the mood of the markets and the progress of global trade talks.


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Royal Mail sale price questioned - YouTube

Royal Mail sale price questioned - YouTube:

"Will the share sale of UK state-owned postal operator Royal Mail be underpriced as the Labour Party claims? FT business and employment editor Brian Groom and David Jones, IG Index chief market strategist, discuss with the FT's Josh de la Mare.


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EM crisis postponed? - YouTube

EM crisis postponed? - YouTube:

"The emerging markets crisis that many feared in August has since abated. Jonathan Wheatley, deputy emerging markets editor, discusses with John Authers whether the crisis has been averted or merely postponed.


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