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Thursday, 7 November 2013

Government Cuts Long Term Forecast 35% | Business | The Moscow Times

Government Cuts Long Term Forecast 35% | Business | The Moscow Times:

"The government has cut its long-term growth forecast to 2030 by 35 percent due to lack of public and private investment in non-energy sectors, such as science, technology and transportation.

The Economic Development Ministry reduced the GDP growth forecast from 4.3 percent, which it predicted in April to 2.8 percent, Vedomosti reported, citing a ministry report.

In April, the government hoped for the so-called "innovative" scenario for the country's long-term development, which would fall between an accelerated and a "conservative" scenario, but in September it lowered the forecast to a "conservative" outlook.

Since September, the growth forecast has worsened even more."

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MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi index hits 5-yr high as blue chips rise | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi index hits 5-yr high as blue chips rise | Reuters:

"Saudi Arabia's bourse rose to a five-year high on Thursday in a new trend which signals the return of investor confidence in blue chips, while most other regional markets also advanced.

After most Saudi banks and petrochemical firms posted third-quarter earnings that beat analysts' forecasts, investors are pricing in a continued trend for the next quarter's results.

"The market will be looking for Q4 earnings as an indicator for where to go from here," said John Sfakianakis, chief investment strategist at Saudi investment firm MASIC. "If we do see an upward move before that, it could be an exaggeration."

Sfakianakis said the market was fairly valued at this point and was likely to trade sideways for the next two weeks or until there are fresh catalysts."

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BBC News - ECB cuts benchmark rate to 0.25%

BBC News - ECB cuts benchmark rate to 0.25%:

"The European Central Bank (ECB) has cut its benchmark interest rate to new record low of 0.25%, down from 0.5%.

The move has come as a surprise to many analysts.

Recent concerns over low inflation and the weakness of the eurozone economy had led many to suggest that further action from the ECB may be needed, but not until later in the year.

Inflation in the eurozone fell to 0.7% in October - its lowest level since January 2010."

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India telecoms auction: a bit more affordable | beyondbrics

India telecoms auction: a bit more affordable | beyondbrics:

"Watching India set its policy on telecoms auctions is like watching a game of tennis – there’s so much back and forth, you get a sore neck.

Although the country is one of the world’s largest and fastest growing telecoms markets, there were few takers at the last auction for 2G spectrum thanks to the high base price the government set. So what’s the latest volley (to prolong the tennis metaphor…)?

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) recommended reducing base prices drastically at the upcoming round and on Tuesday the Telecom Commission, which brings together different parts of the Indian government, announced its recommendations."

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Dubai economy on course to grow at fastest rate in six years | The National

Dubai economy on course to grow at fastest rate in six years | The National:

"Dubai’s economy is on course to grow at its fastest rate in six years, underpinned by trade, tourism and manufacturing.

It follows the release yesterday of official data showing GDP accelerated 4.9 per cent to reach Dh169 billion in the first half of the year.

Growth reached 4 per cent in the same period of last year, said Dubai Statistics Centre.

The strength of expansion in hospitality and manufacturing was a surprise, according to Khatija Haque, the senior economist of Emirates NBD."

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Russia Forecasts Losing Ground in Global Economy by 2030 - Bloomberg

Russia Forecasts Losing Ground in Global Economy by 2030 - Bloomberg:

"Russia’s share of the world economy will probably shrink during the next 20 years as growth trails the global average, Economy Minister Alexei Ulyukayev said.
Gross domestic product will rise at an average pace of 2.5 percent through 2030, less than the 3.4 percent to 3.5 percent global rate, materials provided today by the ministry show. That would reduce Russia’s share of world economic output to 3.4 percent by 2030 from 4 percent last year, the ministry said.
President Vladimir Putin’s government is struggling to stem the worst economic slowdown since a 2009 recession. The central bank, where Ulyukayev served previously as first deputy chairman, has been reluctant to reduce interest rates because consumer-price growth has held above its target this year."

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Emerging Markets Growing at Quickest Pace in 7 Months, HSBC Says - Bloomberg

Emerging Markets Growing at Quickest Pace in 7 Months, HSBC Says - Bloomberg:

"Emerging-market economies grew last month at the quickest pace since March as global demand for manufacturing and services improved, HSBC Holdings Plc said, citing a survey of purchasing managers.
The HSBC Emerging Markets Index, which is compiled by London-based Markit Economics and tracks conditions at more than 5,000 companies, rose to 51.7 in October from 50.7 in September, HSBC said today in a report. A value of more than 50 indicates expansion, while less than 50 signals contraction.
While the International Monetary Fund cited weakness in emerging-market economies as it cut its global growth forecast for this year and next on Oct. 8, the U.S. Federal Reserve’s decision last month to maintain monetary stimulus has provided a boost to developing nations."

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Guest post: the real meaning of Poland’s pension reform | beyondbrics

Guest post: the real meaning of Poland’s pension reform | beyondbrics:

"In a famous joke from the communist era, a listener sends in a question to a Soviet radio station: “Is it true that cars are being given out for free on Moscow’s Red Square?”. “Generally speaking, yes – it’s true”, was the initial response. But then came a more detailed answer: “It’s happening in Leningrad, not Moscow; it’s bicycles, not cars; and they’re being stolen, not given out.”

The same can be said of some articles published recently about Poland’s plans to reform its pension system. Generally speaking, yes – part of the assets will be transferred to a pay-as-you-go system. But the rest of the picture painted by the authors of those texts is about as true as the great car giveaway in Red Square."

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Oman's NGC plans $19m rights issue - Energy -

Oman's NGC plans $19m rights issue - Energy -

"Oman’s National Gas Co is planning a RO7.54m ($19.59m) rights issue to strengthen its balance sheet and support long-term growth, it said in a statement to the stock market.
The statement, reported by the Muscat Daily, said the board of directors resolved at its November 4 board meeting to recommend an increase in the issued and paid-up share capital of the company through a rights issue of shares.
It said it would offer 20m shares at a price of 377bz ($0.98) per share, including an amount of 275bz ($0.71) as share premium and 2bz ($0.05) as issue expenses, aggregating to RO7.54m ($19.59m).
“The rights issue shall be subject to receipt of all necessary regulatory approvals as may be necessary,” the company said."

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Diwali: more online shopping, less noise | beyondbrics

Diwali: more online shopping, less noise | beyondbrics:

Tech worship
For the last week, the streets of Mumbai have been lit up – by brightly coloured posters loudly announcing Diwali sales and by spectacular fireworks that left the dogs howling. It seemed like typical festival fever.

But if celebrations this Diwali are anything to go by, India is developing fast: two reports from the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) show that online shopping grew, and sales of firecrackers fell this Diwali.

A survey of over 1,o00 students and 200 traders over a 25-day period found that sales of fireworks fell by as much as 25 per cent this Diwali, after a drive from urban schools to educate young people about the harmful effects on human and environmental health."

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▶ Jakarta's middle class - YouTube

▶ Jakarta's middle class - YouTube:

"With a young and growing population of over 200m, Indonesia is hugely attractive to international companies seeking to take advantage of the country's rising affluence and spending power. But who are the people who make up Indonesia's increasingly influential middle class? The FT's Tom Griggs talks to three young people trying to build careers in the capital city, Jakarta


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Ukraine’s Yanukovich: corruption talks, EBRD walks | beyondbrics

Ukraine’s Yanukovich: corruption talks, EBRD walks | beyondbrics:

"Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich sounded deadly serious during a passionate speech he gave on his administration’s commitment to fighting corruption on Wednesday.

Himself accused of corrupt practices for the way he managed to occupy a lavish estate in a Kiev suburb, it was delivered at a World Economic Forum event in Kiev, a gathering to discuss the nation’s future as the EU summit nears in later this month in Vilnius. But hang on: wasn’t the EBRD supposed to be in town to sign a new anti-corruption pledge? What happened to that?

The WEF event that Yanukovich spoke at certainly included friends in attendance: it was sponsored by Group DF, owned by gas and energy tycoon Dmytro Firtash, who recently sponsored another event to spread Ukrainian culture throughout London; System Capital Management, owned by the nation’s richest man Rinat Akhmetov who hails from the president’s native region of Donbas; and Smart-Holding, owned by newly-minted Ukrainian citizen Vadim Novinsky who was recently elected to the pro-presidential Party of Regions."

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Exclusive: Qatari fund invests in BlackBerry debt offer - source | Reuters

Exclusive: Qatari fund invests in BlackBerry debt offer - source | Reuters:

"Qatar Holding LLC is among a handful of investors that have put money into BlackBerry's $1 billion convertible debt offering, a source familiar with the financing plan said on Wednesday.

The Qatari sovereign wealth fund bought as much as $200 million of the offering, in which Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd, BlackBerry Ltd's largest shareholder, has itself put in $250 million.

The embattled smartphone maker abandoned plans on Monday to sell itself and replaced its chief executive, sparking a 16 percent drop in its share price. It said it would raise $1 billion by issuing convertible notes to a small group of long-term investors, including Fairfax, which is run by investment guru Prem Watsa.

The source said the Qatari fund was attracted to invest in the offering because of the size of the coupon offered."

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Emerging Stocks Drop Amid Low Volatility Before Economic - Bloomberg

Emerging Stocks Drop Amid Low Volatility Before Economic - Bloomberg:

"Emerging-market stocks slid for a sixth day as price swings in the benchmark gauge fell to the lowest level in five months before U.S. economic reports and the European Central Bank’s policy meeting.
Inventec Corp. lost 6.9 percent in Taipei after Fubon Securities recommended investors sell the stock. Fosun International Ltd. (656) sank the most in five months in Hong Kong after announcing a plan to sell convertible bonds. HTC Corp. (2498) rose 4.5 percent after KGI Securities Co. said the company and China Mobile Ltd. will form an alliance. Indonesia’s rupiah and the Philippine peso rose at least 0.1 percent versus the dollar.
The MSCI Emerging Markets Index slipped 0.3 percent to 1,013.63 of 1:04 p.m. in Hong Kong, poised for its lowest level since Oct. 9. The measure’s 50-day historical volatility dropped to 12.2, the lowest level since June 10. U.S. growth data today and payrolls figures tomorrow may help investors assess the outlook for Federal Reserve policy after two papers from central bank officials said the level of slack in the world’s biggest economy justifies an accommodative stance. The ECB is projected to keep its main interest rate on hold."

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Iran Talks Resume as U.S. Backs Initial Deal on Sanctions - Bloomberg

Iran Talks Resume as U.S. Backs Initial Deal on Sanctions - Bloomberg:

"Talks to end a 10-year stalemate with Iran will resume in Geneva today with U.S. negotiators favoring an initial deal halting the Islamic republic’s nuclear program and easing some sanctions while a broader accord is worked out.
The U.S. is ready to offer limited, targeted relief from sanctions in return for Iranian agreement to suspend its nuclear work, an American official said, asking not to be identified because the negotiations are confidential. That would be a first step toward a comprehensive accord, and any concessions to Iran could be reversed and would leave the major trade curbs in place, the official said."

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Aldar Says Third-Quarter Profit Doubles on Land Sale, Revenue - Bloomberg

Aldar Says Third-Quarter Profit Doubles on Land Sale, Revenue - Bloomberg:

"Aldar Properties PJSC (ALDAR), the Abu Dhabi developer that took over competitor Sorouh Real Estate Co. this year, said third-quarter profit almost doubled on higher rental income from investment properties and a land sale.
Net income rose to 407.5 million dirhams ($111 million), or 5 fils a share, compared with 205.7 million or 5 fils a share, the company said in a statement today. Revenue decreased 27 percent to 1.17 billion dirhams, while general and administrative costs more than doubled to 73.1 million dirhams.
Aldar completed the Sorouh acquisition on June 30, creating a developer with $13 billion of assets. The company has about 12 billion dirhams of its total debt of 14 billion dirhams due by the end of next year, Chief Financial Officer Greg Fewer said Aug. 7. Aldar’s $1.2 billion bond matures in May 2014."

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