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Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Christopher Davidson | The Coming Collapse of the Persian Gulf | Foreign Affairs ht @angryarabnews

Christopher Davidson | The Coming Collapse of the Persian Gulf | Foreign Affairs:

"
Low level clouds float over Dubai's Marina area as the sun sets on Dubai, December 31, 2008 (Steve Crisp / Courtesy Reuters)
Since their modern formation in the mid-twentieth century, Saudi Arabia and the five smaller Gulf monarchies -- Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) -- have been governed by highly autocratic and seemingly anachronistic regimes. Nevertheless, their rulers have demonstrated remarkable resilience in the face of bloody conflicts on their doorsteps, fast-growing populations at home, and modernizing forces from abroad.

One of the monarchies’ most visible survival strategies has been to strengthen security ties with Western powers, in part by allowing the United States, France, and Britain to build massive bases on their soil and by spending lavishly on Western arms. In turn, this expensive militarization has aided a new generation of rulers that appears more prone than ever to antagonizing Iran and even other Gulf states. In some cases, grievances among them have grown strong enough to cause diplomatic crises, incite violence, or prompt one monarchy to interfere in the domestic politics of another."

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Russia could limit real estate deals for foreigners - newspaper | Russia Beyond The Headlines

Russia could limit real estate deals for foreigners - newspaper | Russia Beyond The Headlines:

"The Russian Ministry of Economic Development is drafting a bill, in accordance with which an authorized agency will decide on selling or renting real estate to foreign citizens, the Izvestia newspaper reported on Tuesday citing representative of the Ministry of Economic Development Vladimir Zatomsky.
"The bill will be drafted within two weeks. It is planned that it will come into effect in Q1 2015," the newspaper quoted Zatomsky as saying.
The purpose of this bill is to prevent the formation of ethnic enclaves, the newspaper reported."

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Poland: swiss franc loans come back to bite | beyondbrics

Poland: swiss franc loans come back to bite | beyondbrics:

"
When Tomasz Sadlik took out his mortgage in 2007 to buy a Krakow office for his translation business he needed to borrow 600,000 zlotys ($193,000).

He now owes 1.1m zlotys, because he took the loan not in the Polish currency but in Swiss francs, something that was very popular before the crisis because of the lower interest rates charged on franc-denominated loans.

But Sadlik, along with about 700,000 other Poles made a terrible mistake because he didn’t properly calculate the risk of the zloty losing value against the franc, something that happened when the crisis hit and investors around the world fled to the safety of the franc, sending it soaring against other currencies."

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Poland: swiss franc loans come back to bite | beyondbrics

Poland: swiss franc loans come back to bite | beyondbrics:

"
When Tomasz Sadlik took out his mortgage in 2007 to buy a Krakow office for his translation business he needed to borrow 600,000 zlotys ($193,000).

He now owes 1.1m zlotys, because he took the loan not in the Polish currency but in Swiss francs, something that was very popular before the crisis because of the lower interest rates charged on franc-denominated loans.

But Sadlik, along with about 700,000 other Poles made a terrible mistake because he didn’t properly calculate the risk of the zloty losing value against the franc, something that happened when the crisis hit and investors around the world fled to the safety of the franc, sending it soaring against other currencies."

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ICBC bond: latest step on London’s road to RMB dominance | beyondbrics

ICBC bond: latest step on London’s road to RMB dominance | beyondbrics:

"



So, ICBC is to become China’s first mainland bank to issue an offshore renminbi bond in London. The launch, which should take place next month, is a further milestone in the development of the renminbi as an international currency, and demonstrates London’s growing role as the European time zone centre for renminbi trading.

The dim sum bond market, which refers to renminbi-denominated bond issues outside the mainland, began and flourished in Hong Kong, which remains the home of the vast majority of offshore issuance. However, in April 2012, HSBC issued the first London-listed dim sum bond, raising Rmb2bn ($328m), 60 per cent of it placed into Europe. Several other London issues have followed, from issuers as diverse as Banco de Brasil and Australia’s ANZ."

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Plan B: Central banks getting ready for financial Armageddon — RT Business

Plan B: Central banks getting ready for financial Armageddon — RT Business:

"If the US debt-ceiling debate goes past the eleventh hour, and the default of the world’s largest economy becomes a reality, leading central banks around the world are gearing up to minimize losses and keep the world economy functioning.

Follow RT's LIVE UPDATES on the US budget crisis

If US lawmakers don’t reach a budget consensus and raise the debt ceiling by Thursday October 17, the US will become the first Western power to default since Nazi Germany in 1933, and will send markets into uncharted territory.

The rest of the world is bracing itself for what would happen if the bill is rejected, and the US inches closer to defaulting on its debts, which are largely foreign- held in the form of US Treasury Bonds. "

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Wait what, the enormous unnoticed collapse in London property prices | FT Alphaville

Wait what, the enormous unnoticed collapse in London property prices | FT Alphaville:

"So, we may have been a little distracted by the boom in estate agents, dark inventory, and London houses earning more than their occupants to see what was really going on.

In fact, London is in the grip of a terrible and deep housing bust that has only just begun to turn. Greater London house prices, adjusted for inflation, are fully 27 per cent below their peak in the summer of 2007.



The chart uses ONS quarterly data for the Retail Price Index (which doesn’t include housing costs), and the Halifax regional house price index for Greater London.

We were inspired to put it together by the Nobel Prize for Professor Robert J. Shiller, who was always one to look at assets like house prices in a calm and rational long term context."

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Moscow Has No Plans to Dissuade Kiev from Signing EU Deal | Business | The Moscow Times

Moscow Has No Plans to Dissuade Kiev from Signing EU Deal | Business | The Moscow Times:

"Moscow has no plans to dissuade Kiev from signing a free-trade deal with the European Union, a Russian government spokesman said ahead of Tuesday's meeting between Russian and Ukrainian premiers.

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev will meet with his Ukrainian counterpart Mykola Azarov in Kaluga, a city some 150 kilometers southwest of Moscow.

"Russia is not going to dissuade Ukraine from signing an association agreement and a free trade zone deal with the European Union, it is [Ukraine's] sovereign right," a government spokesman said. "We are just calling to thoroughly analyze all pros and cons of such a move."

"Russia is not pulling anyone into the Customs Union by force," he added."

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Agri.EU | Ukraine harvests 44.5 mln T grain as of Oct.14 - Crops - Agri.eu

Agri.EU | Ukraine harvests 44.5 mln T grain as of Oct.14 - Crops - Agri.eu:

"
Ukrainian farms harvested 44.5 million tonnes of grain in bunker weight as of Oct.14 or 16.5 percent more than on the same date in 2012, the agriculture ministry said on Monday.

The grain yield averaged 3.47 tonnes per hectares versus 2.92 tonnes last year, the ministry said in a statement.

Ukraine's government has said favourable weather could allow farmers to harvest all-time-high grain crop of about 60 million tonnes this year.

The harvest totalled 46.2 million tonnes in 2012. According to the ministry data, 2.0 million hectares of maize, or 41 percent of the sown area, were harvested as of Oct.14. Farms harvested 11.4 million tonnes of the commodity. The former Soviet republic plans to harvest 26-29 million tonnes of maize this year compared with 20.9 million tonnes in 2012."

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Peugeot's big fall - YouTube

Peugeot's big fall - YouTube:

"Peugeot's dependency on the European market and the suggestion that Peugeot may be preparing a €3bn rights issue, supported by Dongfeng, has driven the French carmaker's share price sharply lower. Lex's Vincent Boland and Nikki Tait discuss the fall

"

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BT and big data - YouTube

BT and big data - YouTube:

"Clive Selley, chief information officer at the London-based communications provider, speaks to Paul Taylor, Connected Business editor, about monetising big data, cyber security and whether the government should be more involved in regulating the use of personal data

"

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DIFC breaks legal precedent with freeze enforcement order | The National

DIFC breaks legal precedent with freeze enforcement order | The National:

"For the first time in its nine-year history, a DIFC court has granted a freeze enforcement order on the basis of a ruling in a foreign court.

Dubai International Financial Centre Courts granted an application brought by the government of Djibouti against a Dubai-based businessman, Abdourahman Boreh, to freeze assets worth more than US$5 million in the emirate’s financial free zone. Mr Boreh assented to the order.

Sir David Steel, the DIFC judge in the case, said there was “a real risk of dissipation of assets”. A London court last month issued a worldwide freezing order on Mr Boreh, covering assets to the value of $111.5m."

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Iran-US thaw could prove a bonanza for UAE | GulfNews.com

Iran-US thaw could prove a bonanza for UAE | GulfNews.com:

"A successful 2020 Expo would be the best thing that can happen to Dubai. And by all indications so far, it is a foregone conclusion.
The next best thing for Dubai would be the re-establishment of fully-fledged trade between Dubai and Iran, always a prime driver of Dubai’s trading hub status. Going by the thaw in Iran’s relations with the western world in the wake of President Rouhani’s and President Obama’s outreach towards each other, even this has become a clear possibility.
Both scenarios are a tantalising prospect for Dubai’s businessmen and the country’s economy as a whole. Trade with Iran has been a major plank of Dubai’s success as a trading hub."

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Dubai Financial Hub Eyes ‘Astronomical’ Growth in Africa, Asia - Bloomberg

Dubai Financial Hub Eyes ‘Astronomical’ Growth in Africa, Asia - Bloomberg:

"Dubai International Financial Centre, the tax-free business park, is relying on economic growth prospects in Africa and South Asia as it adds buildings with a value of 15 billion dirhams ($4.1 billion) over a decade.
DIFC, whose clients include global banks such as Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS), is seeing a surge in demand from Asian companies and from clients who are using Dubai as a platform to expand into Africa, Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Singer said. Dubai is home to one of the world’s busiest airports and owns Emirates Airlines, which flies to more than 120 destinations.
“Dubai is perfectly poised to take advantage of what’s going to be an astronomical growth” rate in the two regions over the next decade, Singer said in an interview in Washington. “We will grow along with that.”"

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