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Friday, 18 October 2013

Saudi Gazette - Qatar best prepared Arab country to tackle changes

Saudi Gazette - Qatar best prepared Arab country to tackle changes:

"Qatar is the most change-ready Arab country, according to the “Change Readiness Index tool (CRI), issued by the consulting and auditing firm KPMG. The survey assesses the capacity of 90 countries to undergo natural, technological and demographic change, measures their capacity to compete on a global level and attract investment, and long-term trends for these countries.

Out of the countries surveyed, Singapore was picked as the most change-ready, followed by Sweden, Qatar, New Zealand, Germany, Israel, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Australia and the United Kingdom. The study was conducted in partnership with Oxford Economics and assesses the countries’ change-readiness in three aspects: economic capabilities, governance capabilities, and social capabilities. In each of these areas, the sectors covered were infrastructure, fiscal and budget policy, food and energy security, access to information and health, and others.

In a communiqué about the study, the KPMG partner in Brazil for strategy, Augusto Sales, says a country’s capacity to respond to change is key to building a sustainable economy and a fairer economy."

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Ukraine this week: good for Tymoshenko, bad for investors | beyondbrics

Ukraine this week: good for Tymoshenko, bad for investors | beyondbrics:

"This has been a good week for Yulia Tymoshenko, Ukraine’s jailed opposition leader, and for the country’s chances for forging closer ties with the EU. But it was yet another bad one for investors and businesses on the ground, with Kiev’s cash-crunched central bank imposing fresh controls on foreign currency inflows.

But first the good news.

Tymoshenko is likely to be in relatively good spirits after hearing Thursday’s news that her bitter rival, President Viktor Yanukovich, will sign yet-to-be adopted legislation letting her go to Germany for medical treatment. The news was confirmed on the president’s website.

This, Yanukovich’s first public statement of his intention to let Tymoshenko travel abroad on certain terms, will have gone down well at the EU, too. Brussels has been critical of Ukraine’s “selective justice” since the former prime minister was convicted in 2011 on charges of abuse of office. It says a broader rollback of democracy jeopardizes Kiev’s chances of signing planned association and free trade agreements at a November summit."

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BUSINESS - Russia lets China in on East Siberia oil production

BUSINESS - Russia lets China in on East Siberia oil production:

"Rosneft will cede a share of its oil riches to China under a memorandum signed on Friday to jointly develop East Siberia deposits in the first such deal between China's largest oil company and Russia.

The world's top oil producer, Russia has previously preferred to sign long-term supply deals backed by loans with China, the biggest oil importer.

But with net debt of over $57 billion, pressure is growing on Rosneft to partner with Beijing."

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Oil firms step up exploration in Morocco's Atlantic waters | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT

Oil firms step up exploration in Morocco's Atlantic waters | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT:

"Oil companies are stepping up exploration in Morocco, attracted by its stability relative to other parts of North Africa and encouraged by advances in geology and technology that indicate its potential for reserves offshore.
Independent explorers have snapped up rights to explore offshore blocks over the past 18 months, and they are now making way for big players seeking acreage in a nation once dismissed as the energy-poor neighbor of OPEC members Algeria and Libya.

Damon Neaves, managing director of Australia’s Pura Vida Energy, said 10 exploration wells would be drilled off Morocco in the next 12 to 18 months, compared with only nine since 1990, according to analysts’ estimates."

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NBU puts foreign investments under compulsory currency sale rule - Business - News - Ukraine Business Online

NBU puts foreign investments under compulsory currency sale rule - Business - News - Ukraine Business Online:

"USUBC: “This latest move by the NBU, which effectively means that 50% of any investment dollar entering the country is immediately co-opted to support the hryvnia, is an FDI-killer and will mean more of the economy moves back into the shadows,” said USUBC President Morgan Williams.


KYIV, Oct 18, 2013 (UBO) - The National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) stated on October 17 that its recent foreign currency regulation tightening that involves a 50% mandatory foreign currency sale applies to foreign investments wired to Ukraine, Concorde Capital told its clients in an online advisory today.

Concorde analyst Alexander Paraschiy added: “The compulsory sale of foreign investment is a symbolic step, indicating a readiness for drastic measures.  For sure, the NBU's main target was the funds that local oligarchs return to the country as FDI. However, there are still numerous real foreign investors operating in Ukraine and this won't inspire optimism in them. In our opinion, the tightening will not solve the imbalance at the forex market anyway; instead, it will repel investors even more.”"

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Guest post: will Russia and China beat the other Brics? | beyondbrics

Guest post: will Russia and China beat the other Brics? | beyondbrics:

"By Marcus Svedberg of East Capital

As financial markets started to price in tapering over the summer, it became popular to “RIP the Bric” story in what turned out to be an almost comical coincidence with the departure of the acronym’s founder.

But the financial death of Brazil, Russia, India, China and (sometimes also) South Africa was, of course, exaggerated.

The performance since the end of June, roughly when the tapering scare had been priced in, is telling, as the Brics have gained between 5 and 20 per cent since then. The real irony, however, is that by dismissing the group as whole, the critics miss the finer point of the inherent differences within the group.

The differences are pronounced in terms of resilience towards an external capital freeze as well as in terms of equity market valuations. Both factors should have great importance for the near term outlook.
Source: East Capital
"

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Washington settlement helps Ukrainian stocks in Kyiv, Warsaw and London - Business - News - Ukraine Business Online

Washington settlement helps Ukrainian stocks in Kyiv, Warsaw and London - Business - News - Ukraine Business Online:

"Trading in Ukrainian stocks Thursday

Concorde Capital provides analysis in its daily market comment:

“Ukrainian equities surged following the emergence of a temporary resolution to the U.S. government’s budget conflict in trading on Thursday, October 17. The WIG Ukraine Index jumped 2.0% after a three-session slump, led by dairy producer Milkiland (MLK PW +7.4%). The Index’s most popular stock, grain trader Kernel (KER PW), gained 1.7%. Coal miner Sadovaya (SGR PW -4.3%) fell 5.1% in two sessions. The most gains were in London, where egg producer Avangard (AVGR LI) jumped 4.9% and poultry producer MHP (MHPC LI) advanced 3.6% to drive UXagro index 2.6%. All three oil and gas companies drew demand: Cadogan Petroleum (CAD LN +2.6%), JKX Oil & Gas (JKX LN +2.5%) and Regal Petroleum (RPT LN +2.5%). The Ukrainian Exchange (UX) Index of Kyiv-traded stocks increased 0.7%, led by Azovstal (AZST UK +2.5%).”"

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China's rebound looks unsustainable - YouTube

China's rebound looks unsustainable - YouTube:

"China's growth rate rose back to 7.8 per cent in the third quarter, but according to Liu Li-Gang, ANZ's chief China economist, that growth still relies on investment more than consumption and the rebound is unlikely to continue.

He tells the FT's Josh Noble that local government debt is a big potential problem and that he expects reforms to come out of next month's political gathering in Beijing.

"

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Kuwait said to bid $2.4bn for London development - Property - ArabianBusiness.com

Kuwait said to bid $2.4bn for London development - Property - ArabianBusiness.com:

"Kuwait has made a bid of £1.5bn ($2.42bn) to buy a London real estate development that includes City Hall, an amphitheatre, offices and shops and restaurants, it was reported on Friday.
The Gulf state is keen to buy the More London complex next to Tower Bridge in what could be Britain’s biggest property deal, The Times reported.
It said that St Martins, the property division of the Kuwaiti Government, is in discussions to buy the 13-acre site."

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fastFT: Market-moving news and views, 24 hours a day - FT.com

fastFT: Market-moving news and views, 24 hours a day - FT.com:

"One of the most successful recent banking start-ups in Europe has hit a serious bump.

Shares in Poland's Alior Bank plunged by as much as 22 per cent on Friday morning on the Warsaw Stock Exchange following a profit warning released Thursday evening due to a change in accounting standards for insurance fees by the country's banking sector regulator, reports the FT's Jan Cienski.

Alior's management estimated that the change will have a negative impact of 105m zlotys ($34m) on third quarter net profit and will lower its core equity tier one capital ratio from 14.54 per cent to 12.24 per cent."

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Australian man Matthew Joyce convicted in Dubai over property deal calls on Sunland to undo monstrous injustice - Yahoo!7

Australian man Matthew Joyce convicted in Dubai over property deal calls on Sunland to undo monstrous injustice - Yahoo!7:

"An Australian man jailed in Dubai has appealed to the Sunland Group to "undo this monstrous injustice" after the developer abandoned its bid to overturn a series of judgements that blasted its damages case against him.

Matthew Joyce was found guilty by a Dubai court in July of conspiring to mislead Sunland and defraud it of $15 million.

Sunland sought damages from Joyce and another Australian businessman, pursuing them in the Victorian Supreme Court.

However, the judge dismissed the case, leading Sunland to begin work on a High Court appeal of the decision, which they've now abandoned.

The businessman said the company's case against him "was now over"."

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Dubai could scrap dual-airport setup to leave sole super hub

Dubai could scrap dual-airport setup to leave sole super hub:

"Dubai International airport, which is being expanded to handle 90mn passengers a year, could be shut in coming decades to focus traffic on a new super-hub under construction with as much as twice that capacity.
Dubai Airports won’t retain the existing base if owning two hubs hampers the take up of flights at its new Al Maktoum site, and could find “alternative purposes” for the prime real estate, chief executive officer Paul Griffiths said in an interview.
The airport authority is evaluating plans to accelerate construction of Al Maktoum and make room for top client Emirates to move in before 2025, and could lift capacity to 200mn travellers a year to boost its appeal, Griffiths said. Discount carriers Jazeera Airways of Kuwait and Wizz Air Ltd of Hungary have agreed to use the facility, which opens October 27, and talks are ongoing with at least two more possible users, he said."

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Chevron halts Romanian shale gas development amid protest

Chevron halts Romanian shale gas development amid protest:

"Chevron Corp. took a step back from development of shale gas Romania, announcing that it would suspend operations following the fifth day of protests by villagers from Pungesti at a development site in the northeast of the country.

Priests and school children were amongst those who formed a living chain in front of Chevron vehicles shouting “We want to live” and “We don’t want to die”, according to Vremea Noua website.

The local town Council of Pungesti decided that the issue of shale gas development in the village area should be put to a referendum."

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Saudi Gazette - MENA private equity to pick up in 2014

Saudi Gazette - MENA private equity to pick up in 2014:

"Around 65 percent of private equity professionals investing within the MENA region expect an increase in investment activity over the next year, according to a Deloitte private equity confidence survey.

Convergence of the buyer-seller valuation gap and higher levels of free cash in both corporate and family offices were found to be driving optimism for growth in regional investment activity.

Around two-thirds of respondents said they would be looking to raise a new fund within the next 12 months owing to low cash reserves."

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ENERGY - Turkey eyes more Iran gas, ‘can’t cut off oil’

ENERGY - Turkey eyes more Iran gas, ‘can’t cut off oil’:

"Turkey is importing 10 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas a year from Iran but would buy more if it were available, Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yıldız said yesterday in a briefing during the World Energy Congress in South Korea.

The country will also take at least the same 5 million tons (100,000 barrel per day) of Iranian crude in 2014 that it is taking this year, as any more cuts in the volumes from Iran would “threaten” its economy, Yıldız said.

The European Union and the United States believe Iran is developing nuclear weapons, while Tehran says its program is for power generation. Western sanctions over Iran’s nuclear program have cut its oil exports in half from pre-2012 levels and cost it billions of dollars a month in lost revenue."

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Saudi Gazette - Russia, North America set sights on Asia’s rising oil, gas demand

Saudi Gazette - Russia, North America set sights on Asia’s rising oil, gas demand:

"Fast-growing oil and gas producers Russia and North America are spending billions of dollars on pipelines and port facilities to supply energy to Asia, intent on grabbing a bigger share of the world’s fastest growing fuel market from Middle East suppliers.

China has driven global oil demand growth for a good part of the past decade, galloping ahead of the United States as the world’s top net oil importer last month. The Asian superpower’s surge in consumption has kept prices supported despite a rise in North American shale output and a weak economy in the West.

That pivot in growth away from the West has meant producers such as Canada have had to look further from home to find a market. At the same time, Russia, its Central Asian neighbors and other exporters are also queuing up at Beijing’s door to sell their oil and gas."

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Arabian Gulf and others take heed – it is time to end energy subsidy | The National

Arabian Gulf and others take heed – it is time to end energy subsidy | The National:

"Smothered by the hullabaloo over the US government shutdown was an important call to action: Let’s end the staggering giveaway of nearly US$2 trillion in energy that goes to people who need it least.

The IMF managing director Christine Lagarde said at the United Nations this month that she opposed fossil fuel subsidies for solid economic reasons, but also because of the big climate benefits from eliminating them. “The IMF is not an environmental organisation, but we can help here.”

Subsidies on petrol, electricity and other fossil-based energy sources ate up “a whopping 2.5 per cent of global GDP that could have been used more wisely”, she added. “Taking action on this issue alone — energy subsidies — would be good for the budget, good for the economy, and good for the planet.”"

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Gas: Ukraine looks west to curb reliance on Russia - FT.com

Gas: Ukraine looks west to curb reliance on Russia - FT.com:

Seismology exploration trucks, operated by Vikoil Ltd
Dig deep: experts hunt for Ukrainian shale gas sites (Bloomberg)

"Russia continues to dominate natural gas supply in Ukraine and across the central and eastern Europe markets that were closed to outsiders in the days of the communist bloc.
But its hold is loosening, partly because Ukraine – a big market and transit zone for Russian fuel – looks westward towards closer economic and energy ties with the EU.
Kiev is taking strides to break its dependence on increasingly expensive – discriminatively pricey, say local officials – fuel imports from Gazprom, the Russian gas company."

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