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Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Dahdaleh Paid $64 Million in Bribes to Alba, U.K. SFO Says - Bloomberg

Dahdaleh Paid $64 Million in Bribes to Alba, U.K. SFO Says - Bloomberg:

"British businessman Victor Dahdaleh paid about 40 million pounds ($64 million) in bribes to the former chairman and chief executive officer of Bahrain’s state-owned aluminum producer, a prosecutor said.
Dahdaleh made corrupt payments to Bruce Hall, the former CEO of Aluminium Bahrain BSC, known as Alba, and to Sheikh Isa Bin Ali Al Khalifa, who was then chairman, to win contracts for companies he was acting for, Philip Shears, a prosecutor for the U.K. Serious Fraud Office, said today in the first day of trial in London.
Dahdaleh, a British and Canadian national who lives in London, had connections to about 15 companies that were international suppliers to Alba, Shears told jurors.
He had means “to generate funds from these contracts,” Shears said. “The rewards to Mr. Dahdaleh were enormous.”"

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MIDEAST STOCKS-Bluechips help Saudi hit 12-day high; Qatar up | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Bluechips help Saudi hit 12-day high; Qatar up | Reuters:

"Nov 5 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia's bourse surged to a 12-day high on Tuesday thanks to renewed investor confidence in bluechip petrochemical and banking shares following signs of recovery in third-quarter earnings.

The main index rose 1.2 percent to 8,170 points, its highest close since Oct. 24 and also its fifth consecutive gain.

Petrochemical shares index added 1.6 percent. Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC), the largest stock by market value in the region, climbed 2.2 percent.

Most of the sector's firms last month reported growth in third-quarter earnings and some numbers were above forecasts. This was a change from depressed growth in recent quarters where weaker global demand weighed."

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Ukraine signs $10 billion shale deal with Chevron - chicagotribune.com

Ukraine signs $10 billion shale deal with Chevron - chicagotribune.com:

"Ukraine signed a $10 billion shale gas production-sharing agreement with U.S. energy major Chevron on Tuesday in the country's second such deal this year.

"It's been signed," Energy Minister Eduard Stavytsky told journalists, referring to a deal for exploration and extraction of shale gas at the Olesska field in western Ukraine.

Last January, the ex-Soviet republic signed a deal with Royal Dutch Shell , at a similar level of investment, for exploration at Yuzivska in eastern Ukraine.

Ukraine, through shale, offshore and liquefied natural gas development, aims to ease its dependence on costly natural gas imports from its main supplier, Russia, which weigh heavily on its economy."

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UPDATE 1-UAE to impose watered-down exposure rules on banks | Reuters

UPDATE 1-UAE to impose watered-down exposure rules on banks | Reuters:

"The central bank of the United Arab Emirates has eased planned curbs on commercial banks' exposure to state-linked debt, giving them five years to comply after the banks complained that the rules could hurt their business.

As part of efforts to reduce risk for banks and prevent any repeat of Dubai's 2009-2010 corporate debt crisis, the central bank announced early last year that banks would have until the end of September 2012 to restrict their lending to the government and state-linked entities.

Each bank would have to cap such lending at 100 percent of its capital base, with lending to a single borrower limited to 25 percent.

The rules were suspended after lobbying by the banks, however, and central bank governor Sultan Nasser al-Suweidi on Tuesday outlined substitute rules that were much less harsh."

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Why’s Damac raising $500m in a London IPO and not in Dubai? « ArabianMoney

Why’s Damac raising $500m in a London IPO and not in Dubai? « ArabianMoney:

"It is not a particularly proud moment for the Dubai Financial Market to have local property developer Damac announce a $500 milliion global depository receipt issue for its stock on the London Stock Exchange rather than its home market.

UAE firms have been choosing London over their local bourses recently with the last two Abu Dhabi-based IPOs also happening in the City. Why is that? What could London offer invesors and sellers of stock over the UAE?

Liquidity and depth

A larger and more liquid pool of capital is the most obvious answer. There are also more specialist emerging markets analysts in London who in theory should be able to provide potential investors with better insight into their likely performance.

Damac can boast assets worth $2.3 billion and a profit of $332 million for the first six months this year, against $212.1 million for the whole of 2012. Gross profit margins have averaged 44 per cent over the past three full years and 64 per cent in the first half of this year. Its forward order book is impressive with tie-ups with Fendi Spa, Paramount Pictures Corp and Donald Trump."

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Qatar tightens grip on lending

Qatar tightens grip on lending:

"Qatar is requiring state companies to obtain Finance Ministry approval before borrowing from banks as the world’s richest country per capita seeks to rein in debt.

The central bank informed lenders last month of the new rule for government bodies and state-owned businesses, said a Finance Ministry official. The new rule excludes state-run Qatar Petroleum and its subsidiaries.

Qatar’s gross debt reached 36% of gross domestic product as of last year, the highest among the six Gulf Co-operation Council members and more than Iraq’s 34%, according to the International Monetary Fund.

The country wants to trim public debt as it invests $200bn in stadiums, roads, commuter trains and a new port in preparation for the 2022 soccer World Cup."

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Oman property developer sells country's first sukuk - Banking & Finance - ArabianBusiness.com

Oman property developer sells country's first sukuk - Banking & Finance - ArabianBusiness.com:

"Omani real estate developer Tilal Development Co has sold the country's first Islamic bond, a OR50m ($130 million) sukuk that could pave the way for similar issues by other companies in the sultanate.
Tilal's five-year sukuk, offering a profit rate of 5 percent and based on an ijara structure, a leasing arrangement commonly used in other Islamic markets, was privately placed with investors, arranger Al Madina Investment said on Tuesday.
Oman began to introduce Islamic finance last year, becoming the last of the six Gulf Cooperation Council states to do so. The government has been laying plans to issue a sovereign sukuk, and the sale could occur next year.
Tilal will use proceeds from its sukuk, rated BBB+ by Cyrpus-based Capital Intelligence, to expand the Tilal Complex in Muscat, a flagship project which includes the Muscat Grand Mall as well as residential and office space."

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▶ Debt and overcapacity in China - YouTube

▶ Debt and overcapacity in China - YouTube:

"To maintain its high levels of GDP growth in the wake of the global financial crisis, China instigated a huge financial stimulus. That money was meant to go on infrastructure but in reality, most of the spending went on industrial capacity. CLSA's China strategist Francis Cheung tells the FT's Josh Noble that the problem of excess capacity is only going to get worse


"

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London's Chinatown feels the squeeze of rising rents - YouTube

London's Chinatown feels the squeeze of rising rents - YouTube:

"Chinese communities worldwide are feeling the threat of rising rents and gentrification. Two restaurant managers in London's Chinatown explain to Amie Tsang why they feel that high rents and immigration policies make it harder for them to survive


"

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French retailers rattle their chains - YouTube

French retailers rattle their chains - YouTube:

"Retail business leaders in France are protesting against what they say are muddled and economically damaging laws regarding opening times for the country's shops. Paris bureau chief Hugh Carnegy reports on the fight to change the rules.


"

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Etisalat Agrees to Buy Vivendi’s Maroc Stake for $5.7B - Bloomberg

Etisalat Agrees to Buy Vivendi’s Maroc Stake for $5.7B - Bloomberg:

"Emirates Telecommunications Corp. (ETISALAT), the Abu Dhabi-based phone operator, agreed to acquire Vivendi SA’s controlling stake in Maroc Telecom SA for 4.2 billion euros ($5.7 billion) in cash.
The purchase price for the 53 percent holding includes a 7.4 dirham-per-share dividend to be paid to Vivendi after the transaction, Etisalat said today in a statement to the Abu Dhabi stock exchange. In a separate statement, Vivendi said it expects the deal to be completed early 2014.
Selling its telecommunications assets is a key part of Paris-based Vivendi’s plans to transform into a new entity built around music, pay-TV, European cinema and Internet in Brazil. Vivendi, (VIV) bowing to investor pressure to overhaul its structure, is also conducting a study to separate its French phone unit SFR as it assembles the remainder of its businesses into a new international media group based in France."

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Egypt central bank returns $500 million deposit to Qatar | Reuters

Egypt central bank returns $500 million deposit to Qatar | Reuters:

"Egypt returned a $500 million deposit to Qatar at the start of November after Qatar refused to renew it upon its maturity, a central bank official told Reuters on Monday.

The central bank expects to return a further $500 million in early December, the official, who declined to be named, added.

Qatar had deposited the funds with the central bank in late 2012.

Relations between the two countries deteriorated after the army ousted Islamist President Mohamed Mursi in July. Qatar had been a firm backer of Mursi's Muslim Brotherhood and lent or gave Egypt $7.5 billion during the year he was in power."

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