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Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Public spending leads to Gulf construction boom | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT

Public spending leads to Gulf construction boom | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT:

"The Gulf construction sector has witnessed significant growth over the past year, primarily as a result of state-sponsored projects, economic experts informed Asharq Al-Awsat.

One expert said: “The construction sector in the Gulf region has recorded noticeable growth in the past year, mainly due to large construction projects undertaken by regional governments,” adding, “This has helped the industry recover from last year’s decline.”

Experts predicted that the value of regional construction projects over the next 5 years will stand at approximately USD 800 billion.

These construction projects will include infrastructure and services, which in turn will support the growth of related sectors, such as construction equipment and materials."

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Egypt: EGX30 party time | beyondbrics

Egypt: EGX30 party time | beyondbrics:

"The news out of Egypt may seem unremittingly bad of late but here’s something to cheer equity investors: the benchmark Cairo index, the EGX30, is back above 6,000 points this week, a level not seen since before the toppling of former president Hosni Mubarak way back in January 2011.

In fact, the EGX30 was one of the best performing indices worldwide in the third quarter this year, rising 20.5 per cent. Nevertheless, its new high may be little more than symbolic.
Source: Bloomberg
"

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Kuwait gov't in corruption rap over $2.6bn power plant - Energy - ArabianBusiness.com

Kuwait gov't in corruption rap over $2.6bn power plant - Energy - ArabianBusiness.com:

"Kuwait's government has been accused of corruption over the awarding of contracts for a $2.6bn power plant.
A consortium of French, Japanese and Kuwaiti companies were awarded contracts to develop the North Al Zour plant in 2011 despite strong protests by the then-parliamentary opposition, which insisted the process had been illegal.
Former finance minister Mustafa Al-Shamali, now oil minister, was grilled over the issue in the National Assembly at the time.
As the newly-elected government prepares to resume parliament next week, MP Riyadh Al Adasani said he would question the prime minister over the project."

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MIDEAST STOCKS-Regional shares weak on profit-taking, fewer bets on Q3 earnings | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Regional shares weak on profit-taking, fewer bets on Q3 earnings | Reuters:

"Regional markets were muted on Wednesday with profit-taking weighing on some bourses following strong early-week gains and dim global backdrop adding pressure as investors await cues from earnings.

Saudi Arabia's Jarir Marketing jumped 6.4 percent to an all-time high after the firm's board recommended a total dividend payout of 150 million riyals ($40 million) for the third quarter and one bonus share for every two held.

Saudi Arabia's benchmark edged up 0.09 percent to a fresh two-month high; gains in retail shares were offset by profit-taking in petrochemical and banking shares.

Elsewhere, Cairo's benchmark index retreated 0.6 percent, snapping a six-session winning streak. It dipped from a 33-month high hit in the previous session after the government announced plans to increase spending in an economic stimulus package by a third to 29.6 billion Egyptian pounds ($4.3 billion)."

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Barroso urges Ukraine to fulfill conditions for association with EU| Ukrinform

Barroso urges Ukraine to fulfill conditions for association with EU| Ukrinform:

"European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso has urged Ukraine to fulfill in the next few weeks the criteria required to sign the Association Agreement with the EU and use the assistance of the Cox-Kwasniewski mission.
He said this at the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Wednesday, a Ukrinform correspondent reported.
"I therefore launch from here an appeal to Ukraine to fulfill the remaining benchmarks and seize the opportunity of the extension of the Cox-Kwasniewski mission. I believe the next weeks are critically important for Ukraine and I make a strong appeal for us and for Ukraine to reach progress in that process," Barroso said."

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Shale revolution hits Russian exporters | Russia Beyond The Headlines

Shale revolution hits Russian exporters | Russia Beyond The Headlines:

"
Drawing by Niyaz Karim
Recently, more and more analysts and experts have begun wondering how long Russia can remain one of the world’s leading global exporters of raw hydrocarbons. The latest trends in the development of the petrochemical sector indicate that competitors are emerging where they were least expected.
The biggest importers are declaring that they are prepared, at least in part, to refuse imports of oil and gas.
The so-called shale revolution could become a threat to the Russian market. The United States began to invest in developing shale oil and gas extraction technology around 15 years ago, and today they have partly succeeded in replacing imports and reducing the price on the internal market."

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Heineken’s profit warning: all about EM | beyondbrics

Heineken’s profit warning: all about EM | beyondbrics:

"
Is Russia the world’s toughest beer market? It’s beginning to look that way, after Heineken said on Tuesday it would see a 10 per cent decline in volumes sales there this year. That’s even worse than a recent gloomy assessment by Carlsberg, that volume had slumped by 7 per cent in the first half.

“Russia is a very, very difficult market,” RenĂ© Hooft Graafland, Heineken’s chief financial officer, said on a conference call, warning that profits were likely to fall this year “in the low single digits”, sending the brewer’s shares down 5 per cent by mid morning in Amsterdam.

As the FT’s Tony Barber wrote this month, brewers face especially hard conditions in Russia because of government measures including a new beer tax, advertising restrictions and the forced closure of Russia’s dingy beer kiosks. Graafland said the weather had played its part too in September, when “autumn came a month early”."

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Oman Shuns Hedge Funds as Sovereign Investor Targets Equities - Bloomberg

Oman Shuns Hedge Funds as Sovereign Investor Targets Equities - Bloomberg:

"Oman, the largest oil producer in the Arabian Peninsula that’s not a member of OPEC, said it’s shunning hedge funds and alternative assets to invest directly in emerging market equities and real estate in stable countries.
Oman Investment Fund, the sovereign wealth fund, manages almost all its assets internally and would only consider external managers because it could be “resource-intensive” to follow hundreds of stocks on a daily basis, Chief Executive Officer Hassan Al Nabhani said in an e-mailed response to questions, his first such interview in at least seven years.
“The bulk of our portfolio comprises direct private equities investments,” Al Nabhani said. “Hedge funds are not transparent enough in their strategies and the risk they take do not compensate for the returns and the fees they charge.”"

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Are Investors Pinning Too Much On a Dubai Expo Win? - Middle East Real Time - WSJ

Are Investors Pinning Too Much On a Dubai Expo Win? - Middle East Real Time - WSJ:

"
Reuters
A booth on a beach in Dubai carries the Expo 2020 logo.
Talk these days in sunny Dubai centers mostly on the emirate hosting the world expo in 2020 – and the potential economic windfall such an event would bring.

It still of course has to win the right to host the exposition in a vote scheduled for end-November. And to push its case, the emirate is rolling out the red carpet this week for representatives of some 167 member nations of the organisation that oversees the expo – Bureau International des Expositions.

The mood in the desert state however is buoyant amid expectations that Dubai — flaunting its regional trade and tourism hub credentials — is a front-runner to win among bids from the cities of Ekaterinburg in Russia, Izmir in Turkey and Sao Paulo in Brazil."

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Eastern Europe’s North-South divide - authers note - markets - FT.com

Eastern Europe’s North-South divide - authers note - markets - FT.com:

"Oct 23, 2013 : Eastern Europe weathered the financial crisis better than expected but was buffeted by the eurozone crisis. Neil Buckley, east Europe editor, explains how the northern countries of eastern Europe look more attractive than their southern neighbours" 'via Blog this'

India: looking for the big bang bond effect | beyondbrics

India: looking for the big bang bond effect | beyondbrics:

"What do you do if you are an emerging market country that is suffering from a widening current account deficit, has a battered currency and is pretty much being shunned by foreign investors at the moment?

Well if you are India, you can try joining an international benchmark index.

According to Reuters, India is in talks with JP Morgan Chase to join the bank’s GBI-EM local bond index. The index is tracked by almost $250bn in global funds. So inclusion into the index should result in significant capital inflows as funds that track the index add Indian debt to their holdings.

“If it happens, it will be a pretty big deal,” Denise Simon, an emerging-market fixed income manager at Lazard Asset Management, told beyondbrics."

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Investment banking fees surge as capital market activity picks up | GulfNews.com

Investment banking fees surge as capital market activity picks up | GulfNews.com:

"Middle Eastern investment banking fees reached $535.9 million during the first nine months of 2013, up 22 per cent over the same period last year, and the best first nine months for fees in the region since 2009, according data compiled by Thomson Reuters.
“This is the best first nine months for fees in the region since 2009. Fees from completed M&A transactions fees totalled $150.2 million, up 37 per cent from the first nine months of 2012,” said Russell Haworth, managing director, Middle East & North Africa at Thomson Reuters.
Fees from debt capital markets (DCM) underwriting in the region hit $112.7 million, up 75 per cent from $64.5 million during the same period last year, and marking the best first nine months for DCM fees in the Middle East of all time."

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UAE judges get training on finance and bankruptcy law by US Chamber of Commerce in strategic partnership | The National

UAE judges get training on finance and bankruptcy law by US Chamber of Commerce in strategic partnership | The National:

"Four judges recently received training in Washington on financial restructuring and bankruptcy laws by the US Chamber of Commerce.

The joint initiative by the Ministry of Justice and Dubai Economic Council (DEC) was aimed at improving business regulations and laws in the UAE.

“It is all about developing the regulatory and legal framework of the UAE and aligning the global best practices,” said Hani Al Hamli, the DEC secretary general.

“Especially in the field of financial restructuring and bankruptcy and their applicability in the UAE, taking into account the particularities of the local economic, social and legal environment.”"

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Uralkali Shareholder Kerimov Said to Get New Approach for Stake - Bloomberg

Uralkali Shareholder Kerimov Said to Get New Approach for Stake - Bloomberg:

"Billionaire Suleiman Kerimov received a new approach for his stake in potash producer OAO Uralkali from Russian property investor Alexey Khotin, according to four people with knowledge of the matter.
Khotin contacted Kerimov about the 33 percent stake he shares with two partners, the people said, asking not to be identified because the discussions are private.
The lack of an agreement to buy Kerimov’s stake is delaying a revival of a potash marketing partnership with Belarus, destroyed by Uralkali’s withdrawal in July. Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko has said a reconciliation of the venture that accounted for 40 percent of global exports can only be considered if Uralkali’s ownership changes."

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