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Monday, 14 October 2013

Money talks: The end of the road? - YouTube

Money talks: The end of the road? - YouTube:

"Our correspondents discuss the changing face of manufacturing, the continued rise of carbon-fibre as an alternative to metal and the taxi business in the smartphone age

"

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Oman to the rescue, asks India to route Iran oil payments through Muscat - Indian Express

Oman to the rescue, asks India to route Iran oil payments through Muscat - Indian Express:

"In a confidential agreement that hopes to get around some of the crippling effects of sanctions, Iran has authorised Oman to collect crude oil payments due to it from buyers, including India, and keep in safe custody.

The pact, called the Memorandum of Understanding on Financial Cooperation and signed in July, also allows Oman to use the funds to finance Iran's import of food, agricultural commodities, medicines and medical devices.

Under the MoU, Iran's oil revenue frozen in foreign banks will be channeled by Oman and transferred to designated accounts agreed upon by the two."

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Weak economy may force Ukraine to shelve plans to cut corporate tax, VAT: minister | Reuters

Weak economy may force Ukraine to shelve plans to cut corporate tax, VAT: minister | Reuters:

"Ukraine, struggling with a weak economy, is considering shelving plans to cut corporate tax and VAT next year to prevent further pressure on its deteriorating public finances, its chief tax minister said.

Under tax legislation mapped out in 2010, the former Soviet republic was set to reduce corporate income tax to 16 percent, from 19 percent, and reduce the value-added tax (VAT) rate to 17 percent, from 20 percent.

The two taxes typically account for about two thirds of Ukraine's total state budget revenue. Revenue and Duties Minister Oleksandr Klymenko said the International Monetary Fund, Kiev's main international lender, had backed putting the tax cuts on hold given the deteriorating economy.

"We are now in discussion on this issue," Klymenko told Reuters in an interview in which he outlined the government's plans to boost public revenues by plugging tax loopholes and aligning Ukraine's taxation system with European standards."

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Iran stock market soars but much of economy remains stagnant - FT.com

Iran stock market soars but much of economy remains stagnant - FT.com:

"
Record highs have become routine at the Tehran Stock Exchange as hopes soar in Iran’s markets that the government of Hassan Rouhani will bring about an improvement in the economy and ease international sanctions over the nuclear programme.

The main index, the Tedpix, reached 7,1471.8 on Monday, the latest in series of daily rallies since late last month when Iran’s president attended the UN General Assembly and spoke directly to Barack Obama in the first conversation between presidents of the two countries since 1979. The index has risen by 12 per cent since the New York visit, and by 37 per cent since Mr Rouhani’s surprise victory in mid-June."

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Russia Opens Criminal Case Against Uralkali CEO | Business | The Moscow Times

Russia Opens Criminal Case Against Uralkali CEO | Business | The Moscow Times:

"
Andrei Makhonin / Vedomosti
The Russian Investigative Committee, by opening a criminal case against Uralkali CEO Vladislav Baumgertner, could be opening the way to his extradition from Belarus, where he had been held since August.
Russia has opened a criminal investigation into the chief executive of potash producer Uralkali, Vladislav Baumgertner, and will request his extradition from Belarus, federal investigators said Monday.

Belarus detained Baumgertner during a visit to Minsk on Aug. 26, about a month after Uralkali caused a row between Russia and Belarus when it unexpectedly pulled out of a sales cartel for fertilizer component potash with Belarus' major producer, Belaruskali.

Russia's Investigative Committee said in a statement that it had opened the investigation into Baumgertner on suspicion of abuse of power, the main charge he faces in Belarus."

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Egypt’s tourism minister faces uphill battle to attract visitors - FT.com

Egypt’s tourism minister faces uphill battle to attract visitors - FT.com:

"Hisham Zaazou has been Egypt’s tourism minister for 14 months, making him one of the longest serving members of the cabinet. By his own account, it has been a rollercoaster ride.
When appointed last year, his challenge was to convince potential visitors and international travel companies that the then-dominant Muslim Brotherhood had no plans to segregate men and women on beaches or to demolish the pyramids and Sphinx despite calls for such radical measures from some vocal Islamists outside official circles.
But now, after the military ousted Mohamed Morsi, the Brotherhood president, and embarked on a bloody crackdown which killed hundreds of his supporters, Mr Zaazou’s biggest hurdle is to persuade the outside world that Egypt is safe to visit."

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Yup, it was worth the fuss: union reveals labour violations in Qatar | Al Bawaba

Yup, it was worth the fuss: union reveals labour violations in Qatar | Al Bawaba:

"
By day, they build the streets of one of the richest countries in the world. By night, many of them seek reprieve from what the Building and Wood Workers' International, a federation of labour unions, calls "crowded, squalid camps".
By day, they build the streets of one of the richest countries in the world. By night, many of them seek reprieve from what the Building and Wood Workers' International, a federation of labour unions, calls "crowded, squalid camps".

Cramped rooms, rows of bunk beds, and poor washroom facilities: Along the back streets of Al Khor, Qatar's second-largest city, thousands of migrant workers - mostly from South Asia - live in conditions far removed from the glamorous high-rises they've helped create.

Most workers come to the Gulf to escape a life of poverty but some say they are now disappointed and frustrated by their living and working conditions. "

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Turkey credit: making plastic a little less flexible | beyondbrics

Turkey credit: making plastic a little less flexible | beyondbrics:

"Credit card debt is the latest frontline in Turkey’s bid to make its economy less vulnerable. For several years, the country’s technocrats have fretted about rates of loan growth running at an average of about 30 per cent a year.

So the country’s banking watchdog took a dramatic step last week to get the phenomenon under control, with new rules limiting credit card borrowing limits.

Borrowing often boosts the country’s current account deficit and, with it, Turkey’s dependence on the kind of short term capital that will be in shorter supply across the world when the US Federal Reserve tapers back its $85bn of monthly asset purchases."

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Magnitsky, the libel courts, and sanctions | FT Alphaville

Magnitsky, the libel courts, and sanctions | FT Alphaville:

"On 16 November 2009 Sergei Magnitsky died in prison in Russia. Shortly before his arrest and imprisonment he had been investigating a substantial tax fraud committed against the Russian Federation by a criminal gang. I shall refer to this tax fraud as the Hermitage Fund fraud. 
Beyond this short summary, many of the facts in issue between the parties are unknown or controversial, and are subject to stark divisions of opinion…

So began Mr Justice Simon’s judgment in Pavel Karpov v William Felix Browder & Hermitage Capital Management Limited & others on Monday. And the rest is very much worth reading."

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Between regulation and the free market | Russia Beyond The Headlines

Between regulation and the free market | Russia Beyond The Headlines:

"Russia no longer has the command economy of the Soviet-era but equally has not yet evolved into the open and entrepreneurial style which is typical of a developed nation. State policies still create an important backdrop to economic activity, determines the course of industrial development and directly impacts on company profitability.
For some, so-called strategic industrial sectors, the state is the key determinant of how these sectors will grow and how profitable they will be for investors and businesses.
In almost every country there are industries which are highly regulated because they are deemed critical to the well-being of the economy and the population. Power and gas utilities in Russia are in this category and the state exclusively determines the tariff rates and competition issues."

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Fracking comes to Saudi Arabia despite limited water resources | The Raw Story

Fracking comes to Saudi Arabia despite limited water resources | The Raw Story:

"The U.S. shale gas boom will spread “far and wide,” the head of Saudi Aramco said Monday, announcing the state oil giant was set to supply gas to a massive Saudi power plant project.

The world’s largest oil exporter launched an unconventional gas program in northern Saudi Arabia two years ago, as it sought alternative domestic fuel supplies that would allow an expansion of lucrative oil exports.

“We are now ready to commit gas for the development of a 1,000 megawatt power plant, which will feed a massive phosphate mining and manufacturing center in the region,” company president Khalid al-Falih told the World Energy Congress underway in Daegu, South Korea."

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From Washington, With A Slap | REBEL ECONOMY

From Washington, With A Slap | REBEL ECONOMY:

"News that Washington will suspend a sizeable chunk of military aid to Egypt was met with little more than a shrug from Egypt watchers and analysts who said the decision was unsurprising.
The move to trim part of the $1.3 billion in military aid to Egypt had been in question since the US issued a warning in July when the military ousted Islamist president Mohammed Morsi.
For many, it was all talk not action."

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Case of the Day: In re Application of Pinchuk | Letters Blogatory

Case of the Day: In re Application of Pinchuk | Letters Blogatory:

"by Ted Folkman on October 14, 2013
The case of the day is In re Application of Pinchuk (S.D. Fla. 2013). Victor Mikhaylovich Pinchuk was the claimant in an LCIA arbitration against Igor Valeryevich Kolomoisky and Gennadiy Borisovich Bogolyubov. The three had been joint venturers in the ferroalloy business. Pinchuk sought to take discovery under 28 U.S.C. § 1782 from several third parties supposedly controlled by Kolomoisky and Bogolyubov, namely Georgian American Alloys, Inc., Felman Production, Felman Trading, and Mordechai Korf. The judge granted the motion in a short decision."

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The geopolitics of Ukraine’s gas supplies: the EU, Russia and Gazprom’s mysterious meters | beyondbrics

The geopolitics of Ukraine’s gas supplies: the EU, Russia and Gazprom’s mysterious meters | beyondbrics:

"
Foreign media coverage of Ukraine has been dominated over the past year by the European Union’s repeated warnings: the signing of historic bilateral association and free trade agreements is conditional on the release of jailed opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko.

But lost in the Tymoshenko buzz is a desperate plea from Kiev to Brussels: help us import more gas from EU markets at lower prices than those charged by Gazprom, the Russian gas giant.

Like the proposed free trade agreement, Kiev’s determination to break its dependence on increasingly costly Russian natural gas is part of a bigger ambition: to anchor this former Soviet republic to the EU, breaking it free of Moscow’s geopolitical pull."

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U.A.E. Looks to Gas, Nuclear Power to Diversify, Minister Says - Bloomberg

U.A.E. Looks to Gas, Nuclear Power to Diversify, Minister Says - Bloomberg:

"The United Arab Emirates, OPEC’s fourth-largest crude producer, is investing in nuclear power, renewable energy and liquefied natural gas terminals to reduce its reliance on oil, according to its energy minister.
“We are making our energy-supply portfolio more robust,” Suhail Mohammed Al-Mazrouei said in Daegu, South Korea, today. “We are committed to being a reliable supplier of hydrocarbons to the world,” he said, adding that the nation is operating a cross-country crude pipeline to facilitate exports.
Abu Dhabi, holder of most of the U.A.E.’s crude reserves, plans to raise output capacity to 3.5 million barrels a day in 2017 to meet export demand and feed an expanded local refinery. The emirate supplies parts of the country with gas imported from Qatar and from its own fields and provides electric power to other emirates. Abu Dhabi and Dubai, the second-biggest emirate, are also investing in renewable energy."

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WIG Ukraine index unchanged but individual stocks shine - Business - News - Ukraine Business Online

WIG Ukraine index unchanged but individual stocks shine - Business - News - Ukraine Business Online:

"“Ukrainian equities offered investors some big gains in trading on Friday, October 11. The WIG Ukraine Index of Warsaw-traded stocks was unchanged. The biggest returns were offered by car battery maker WESTA (WES PW +7.6%), dairy firm Milkiland (MLK PW +4.0%) and coal miner Sadovaya (SGR PW +3.7%). In London, optimism on the U.S. government’s debt-ceiling stalemate boosted certain risk-sensitive spheres, such as real estate firm DUPD (DUPD LN +7.0%) and iron ore miner Ferrexpo (FXPO LN +4.0%), which has jumped 8.2% in two sessions. JKX Oil & Gas (JKX LN +3.6%) has improved 9.5% in two sessions while Regal Petroleum (RPT LN +2.6%) has advanced 9.1% in three straight positive sessions. The Ukrainian Exchange didn’t calculate its index on Thursday and Friday since the shares of its components changed their depositor. It should return to normal working mode in the second half of Monday.”"

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ECONOMICS - Britain's manufacturers insist on EU membership: poll

ECONOMICS - Britain's manufacturers insist on EU membership: poll:

"Britain must remain part of the European Union, the nation's manufacturers have insisted according to a survey published on Monday and ahead of a referendum on membership.

British manufacturing lobby group, EEF, said 85 percent of its members who expressed a view said they would vote for Britain to remain in the EU.

"The UK must remain part of the European Union with 'no ifs or buts', Britain's manufacturers have told the Prime Minister (David Cameron) and party leaders in a major report and survey published today," the EEF said."

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Poland: at the dawn of a golden age? | beyondbrics

Poland: at the dawn of a golden age? | beyondbrics:

"Most people looking at a global economy buffeted by five years of crises and turmoil would be loath to call this a “Golden Age”. But that is just what Poland is experiencing, according to a new World Bank paper.

Marcin Piatkowski, a World Bank economist, makes the fairly convincing argument that central Europe’s largest economy is enjoying its greatest period of stability since the country appeared on the map of European history more than a thousand years ago.

The reason is the dramatic economic reforms undertaken by Poland after the end of communism in 1989 – some of the most brutal but effective changes seen in any post-communist country – which unleashed a wave of private enterprise and economic expansion that has seen Poland grow every year since 1992. That makes it the only European economy not to fall into recession over the last two decades."

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Taleb's fragile world, Part Two - YouTube

Taleb's fragile world, Part Two - YouTube:

"Funding government locally rather than nationally is key to fixing the fragility in the global economy, says Nassim Nicholas Taleb, author of 'The Black Swan' and 'Antifragile'. He also discusses with John Authers the risks in Syria and Saudi Arabia

"

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Taleb's fragile world, Part One - YouTube

Taleb's fragile world, Part One - YouTube:

"Attempts to remedy flaws that led to the Lehman crisis in 2008 have only rendered the system more fragile and vulnerable to further crises, says Nassim Nicholas Taleb, author of 'The Black Swan' and 'Antifragile'. He explains his theories to John Authers

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▶ Shutdown leaving its mark - YouTube

▶ Shutdown leaving its mark - YouTube:

"In Bergen County, New Jersey, just outside New York City, local party leaders say the federal government shutdown is starting to leave its mark

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JKX confirms Ukraine appraisal well success | 14 October 2013 | Stock Market Wire

JKX confirms Ukraine appraisal well success | 14 October 2013 | Stock Market Wire:

"JKX Oil & Gas has confirmed the successful completion and testing of appraisal well Z-05 in the Zaplavskoye exploration licence at Poltava, Ukraine.

Following clean-up, the well flowed at a stabilised rate of 4.6 MMcfd and 328 bpd of condensate through a 50/64" choke with a flowing wellhead pressure of 652 psi. The well is now flowing to the production facility."

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US Rust Belt Boom: Oil Investing for the Next 100 Years

US Rust Belt Boom: Oil Investing for the Next 100 Years:

"
I just spent two solid days at a conference on energy development in regional shale plays of Pennsylvania-Ohio-West Virginia, called Marcellus and Utica.

Let me tell you, investment opportunities near where I live in Pittsburgh are eye-popping! Today I want to give you a hint of what's coming.

Like the man says, 'Follow the money.'

According to a room full of geologists, lawyers, business executives, bankers, land-men, drillers, engineers, state regulators and more, oil and gas resources of just these two rock formations are beyond astounding. I'm talking about the Utica and Marcellus shale formations."

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Iran Warns Family Subsidies Budget Facing Enormous Shortfall Eurasia Review

Iran Warns Family Subsidies Budget Facing Enormous Shortfall Eurasia Review:

"The deputy head of budgets and planning for the Rohani government says the budget for paying family subsidies is facing a shortfall in the trillions.

Mohammadbagher Nobakht said the government is looking at stopping payments to families in the top three income tiers. Currently, the subsidies are given out to all families irrespective of income.

The Iranian government is said to be dealing with a budget shortfall of 700 to 800 trillion rials.

The next round of family subsidies is set to be deposited in recipients’ accounts on Monday October 14."

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London’s Oracle Capital takes control of Moscow’s Third Rome | EmergingMarkets.me

London’s Oracle Capital takes control of Moscow’s Third Rome | EmergingMarkets.me:

"Oracle Capital Group, a global multi-family office and wealth consultancy, has bought a blocking stake in Third Rome, a Moscow-based wealth manager.

“Third Rome will continue to operate under the Third Rome Group name and brand as a self-managed group of companies.  In cooperation with Oracle Capital Group, Third Rome will pursue its growth strategy,” the two companies said in statements without disclosing the sum for which the London-headquartered consultancy bought the stake.

The deal, described as a “strategic alliance” by both firms, has involved a top-tier management reshuffle.

Danilo Lacmanovic, former president of Third Rome, was appointed the firm’s chief executive, replacing Andrei Movchan. Movchan and Oracle chairman Martin Graham became co-chairmen of Third Rome’s board of directors."

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Time to catch up: Saudi Arabia taking the fast track to shale production | Al Bawaba

Time to catch up: Saudi Arabia taking the fast track to shale production | Al Bawaba:

"Saudi Arabia is pushing to boost its oil production capacity by 1.75 million barrels per day by 2017 and is fast-tracking shale gas exploration, analysts say.

Producers outside the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will increase 2014 output by a near-record 1.7 million barrels a day to 56.4 million, the International Energy Agency said earlier.

OPEC’s 12 members will need to pump an average 29 million barrels a day in 2014, about 100,000 less than the IEA had predicted last month and almost 1 million a day less than the group is currently producing, the agency said.

Analysts said  there are indications that Saudi Arabia  is cranking up production already at a 32-year-high of more than 10 million barrels per day to cover shortfalls in crude exports by trouble-plagued Libya."

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Gulf oil production hits record - FT.com

Gulf oil production hits record - FT.com:

"
The Gulf states are producing more oil than ever before, defying expectations that the US shale revolution would break their 40-year grip on the global oil market and diminish their importance to the world’s consuming nations.
Surging production in North America is expected to eat into the market for oil from Opec. But the quartet of Gulf kingdoms that dominate the cartel of oil exporters have so far emerged unscathed. Instead, they have expanded their share of the world market as political and social factors have reduced production from a number other members."

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Fiscal sustainability: Breaking BRIC piggy banks | The Economist

Fiscal sustainability: Breaking BRIC piggy banks | The Economist:

"
SINCE 2009 the word “austerity” has not been too far away from the lips of finance ministers across the globe. Deficits and debt-to-GDP ratios around the world surged due to the financial crisis, and it was felt that they were fast becoming unsustainable. Once the immediate danger of the global recession passed politicians across the globe rushed to reduce their budget deficits (often using, as an excuse, the publication of a now infamous paper written in 2010 by Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff, suggesting that growth slows down in countries with debt-GDP-ratios of over 90%).

Some countries had extraordinary success in tightening their fiscal balances. America, for instance, managed to cut its budget deficit from over 12% of GDP in 2010 to an estimated 4% in 2013. Others still have much more work to do. International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecasts suggest that the developed world, as a whole, will not have a balanced fiscal position until 2018, even before paying interest on government debt.
"

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Qatar real estate loan book reaches QR80bn

Qatar real estate loan book reaches QR80bn:

"The real estate sector loan book in Qatar has touched a whopping QR80bn at the end of the first half of 2013. The country’s contract financing sector loan book has reached QR19bn during the period, said a lead banker.
“The Qatari contract financing sector has been growing steadily at the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 27 percent in 2005-2012 and is set to benefit hugely from the World Cup-related infrastructure spending”, the latest issue of the “Banker” magazine quoted Doha Bank Group CEO DR R Seetharaman as saying.
The magazine that features Dr Seetharaman on the cover noted that Doha Bank had a market share of 8.9 percent of the total real estate sector loan book in Qatar. The loans portfolio is approximately 90 percent completed real estate projects vs. 10 percent Greenfield or underconstruction. The bank has a 29.8 percent market share in the contract financing."

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DGCX reports 69% growth in third quarter | GulfNews.com

DGCX reports 69% growth in third quarter | GulfNews.com:

"Year-to-date volumes on the Dubai Gold and Commodities Exchange (DGCX) registered a growth of 69 per cent over last year, with a total of 11,357,329 contracts traded until the end of the third quarter of 2013.
The growth was supported by a two per cent year-on-year rise in monthly volumes in September, which saw 988,269 contracts worth $28 billion being traded.
DGCX’s precious metals segment was a key performer in September. Volumes in gold futures climbing 23 per cent from last month, driven by increased price volatility in precious metals. Silver futures grew 53 per cent from August."

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Arqaam Capital to expand into sub-Saharan and East Africa nations | GulfNews.com

Arqaam Capital to expand into sub-Saharan and East Africa nations | GulfNews.com:

"Arqaam Capital, the Dubai-based regional investment bank, is targeting opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa and East Africa markets along with its business activities in Middle East and North Africa (Mena) and other emerging and frontier markets, CEO Riad Meliti told Gulf News in a recent interview.
“There are huge untapped opportunities in Africa. The story is true about most of Africa. There is huge demand for funding. But there are big funding gaps related to structural issues. This is where we think Arqaam can effectively intermediate,” Meliti said."

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Private equity firms in Arabian Gulf eye Egypt acquisitions | The National

Private equity firms in Arabian Gulf eye Egypt acquisitions | The National:

"
An aerial view of Cairo. The most populous country in North Africa, Egypt was rocked by civil uprisings in January 2011 that toppled the president Hosni Mubarak after three decades of authoritarian rule. iStockphoto
 

Private equity firms in the Arabian Gulf are targeting acquisitions in Egypt as opportunities created by that country’s fast-expanding middle class overcomes security fears.

Abu Dhabi-based Gulf Capital, which manages assets exceeding US$2.5 billion, said it was eyeing purchases in Egypt.

“There is a huge middle class that is bigger than the middle class of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates combined, and it’s growing,” said Karim El Solh, the chief executive of Gulf Capital."

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Jobs for lawyers in the UAE on the rise, but not salaries | The National

Jobs for lawyers in the UAE on the rise, but not salaries | The National:

"The UAE’s return to economic growth has led to an increase in legal hiring for both in-house and private practices, according to legal recruitment specialists. Such an increase, however, has not led to a large rise in salaries, with new opportunities largely filled by lawyers on the ground rather than new arrivals.

After a sustained period of layoffs and limited hiring, law firms are once again boosting their legal teams, said Essam Al Tamimi, a senior partner at Al Tamimi & Company.

“The trend has shifted a lot in the past 18 months, and particularly since the start of this year,” he said. “There’s much more hiring from both local and international firms. We’re all hiring and looking for talent.”"

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DIFC Courts plans to offer cost-free trials | The National

DIFC Courts plans to offer cost-free trials | The National:

"
The DIFC Courts’ consultation on the new rules will run until October 26.
Sarah Dea / The National

Dubai International Financial Centre Courts plans to expand its pro bono programme to offer potential claimants the opportunity to avoid paying legal fees for respondents, even if they lose their case.

Pro bono claimants are currently liable to pay respondents’ legal fees if they are unsuccessful. The scheme was launched in 2009.

The courts have launched a consultation on proposed amendments to the rules governing court procedures, which include significant changes to its rules on costs orders in favour of a party represented pro bono."

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Dubai feels the pain from India’s gold taxes | The National

Dubai feels the pain from India’s gold taxes | The National:

"Exports to India by members of Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry fell 18 per cent in the first eight months this year after New Delhi capped inflows of gold and other precious metals.

Exports and re-exports to India dropped to Dh3 billion, according to data from the chamber.

It follows the Indian government raising the duty on gold bullion this year to 10 per cent and setting the import duty on gold jewellery at 15 per cent."

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