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Friday, 15 November 2013

Ukraine: gas war averted, but is EU deal on? | beyondbrics

Ukraine: gas war averted, but is EU deal on? | beyondbrics:

"Ukraine has stepped back from the brink of another gas war with Russia and resumed gas imports from its powerful neighbour after a one week lull.

It’s a relief for the EU that relies on Ukraine as a transit hub for most of its Russian imports. But reconciliation of the latest gas spat could be part of a poker game that Moscow and Kiev are playing in the run up to the EU summit in Vilnius.

Naftogaz, Ukraine’s state energy company, has resumed gas imports from Russia in accordance with its contract, Alexei Miller, chief executive of Gazprom, told reporters on Friday."

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Egypt: S&P upgrade, with help from friends | beyondbrics

Egypt: S&P upgrade, with help from friends | beyondbrics:

A bit of good news for Egypt: rating agency Standard and Poor’s upgraded the country’s credit rating on Friday on foreign long-term borrowings to ‘B-’ from ‘CCC+’.

In other words, Egypt is considered as now having the capacity to meet its financial oblogations, as opposed to being “vulnerable”. Up is the way to go.

What’s changed? Well, S&P seems impressed enough by the support of Middle East donors – the GCC countries. It said “The upgrade reflects our view that the Egyptian authorities have secured sufficient foreign currency funding to manage Egypt’s short-term fiscal and external financing needs. We expect support from bilateral lenders to continue over the medium term as the Egyptian authorities try to address the country’s political and economic challenges.”"

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Shell Begins Development Of Shale Gas Deposits In Turkey Eurasia Review

Shell Begins Development Of Shale Gas Deposits In Turkey Eurasia Review:

"Shell has started the development of shale gas deposits in the Turkish province of Diyarbakir, Shell Turkey director Ahmet Erdem said, Sabah newspaper reported on Nov.12.

According to him, over a thousand meters were drilled for the development of shale gas deposits in the province of Diyarbakir

Earlier Turkey’s Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Taner Yildiz said Turkey is searching for local and foreign partners for joint exploration and development of shale gas deposits in the country.

According to the Minister, Turkey is already cooperating with Shell in the development of shale gas deposits in the province of Diyarbakir."

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It’s Open Season For Defense Sales To UAE

It’s Open Season For Defense Sales To UAE:

"Two years ago, the Dubai Airshow was the scene for an unprecedented dressing-down of Dassault by the air show's host and the region's second-largest defense customer, the United Arab Emirates government.

Despite the support and lobbying of France's then-president, Nicolas Sarkozy, Gen. Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and deputy supreme commander of the UAE Armed Forces, took a very public opportunity to throw cold water on the prospect of an early Rafale sale, saying: “Regrettably, Dassault seems unaware that all the diplomatic and political will in the world cannot overcome uncompetitive and unworkable commercial terms.”

The presence of two Super Hornets at the 2013 air show indicates that the UAE still has an open fighter requirement, probably the biggest single order in play in the region. Dassault remains a leading candidate, but Boeing and Eurofighter are also very active."

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Britain's Cameron to visit Gulf as UAE ponders $9 billion Eurofighter deal | Reuters

Britain's Cameron to visit Gulf as UAE ponders $9 billion Eurofighter deal | Reuters:

"British Prime Minister David Cameron will urge Gulf Arab countries to buy the Eurofighter jet system when he visits this week, sources said, as BAE Systems hopes to clinch a $9 billion deal with the United Arab Emirates.

The UAE, which is preparing to host the Dubai Airshow, is choosing between the Eurofighter and France's Dassault Systems Rafale aircraft for an order of at least 60 jets.

The Gulf state had been expected to finalise an agreement for the Rafale last year, but talks faltered following visits by Cameron and after the UAE said the terms were unworkable and uncompetitive.

Industry sources familiar with the Eurofighter said they were hopeful for a step towards the 6 billion pound ($9.6 billion) deal at the air show, such as the signing of a memorandum of understanding or contract."

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Dubai emerges as new hub for India’s super-rich | Business Line

Dubai emerges as new hub for India’s super-rich | Business Line:

"Move over, Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore. Dubai has emerged as a favourite residential destination of India’s super rich. Nine per cent of the 141 persons, each with over $300 million (Rs 1,890 crore) in assets, now reside in the Gulf emirate, up from just one person last year, according to the China-based Hurun India Rich List 2013.

The Dubai-based Indian millionaires include Micky Jagtiani of the Landmark Group, Ravi Pillai of the Ravi Pillai Group, the Chhabria family of the Jumbo Group, Sunny Varkey of Gems Education, Tony Jashanmal of the Jashanmal Group and Joy Alukas of Joyalukas Jewellery.

Yogesh Mehta of Petrochem ME, Rizan Sajan of Danube Group, Deepak Babani of Eros, Azad Moopen of DM Healthcare, Ramesh S Ramakrishnan of the Transworld Group, Santosh Joseph of Dubai Pearl and Lachmandas Pagarani of the Al Maya Group are also on the list of Indian millionaires living in Dubai.

On the other side, the share of India's super rich living in Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore has dwindled by 3 to 7 per cent, according to the list."

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Cold winter ahead for EU, Ukraine over Russian gas war — RT Business

Cold winter ahead for EU, Ukraine over Russian gas war — RT Business:

AFP Photo/Sergei Supinsky
The EU could be caught in the crossfire of Ukraine’s gas gamble with Russia, as a shortfall in supply could mean a cold winter not only for Kiev, but also for the EU, which receives 25 percent of Russian gas via Ukraine.

In October, Ukraine's national oil and gas company Naftogaz said it had 17 billion cubic meters of gas in storage, but Russia’s state-owned energy giant Gazprom says it won’t be enough to heat Ukraine through the winter.

However, Ukraine will require 21.5 billion cubic meters, Deputy Chief Executive Officer Vitaly Markelov said on Thursday. Meanwhile, by the time Ukraine's chilly winter comes, storage will be drained to 14 billion cubic meters, according to Markelov.

“It’s a catastrophe,” Bloomberg quotes Markelov. “In these conditions, the winter transit of Russian gas won’t be possible because storage won’t be enough to compensate for Ukrainian consumer draw downs.”"

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Pension funds | The Economist

Pension funds | The Economist:

A pension is a claim on the earnings of future workers. Some countries choose to pay these claims out of future taxes; others set up special funds to invest in financial assets. But these assets (equities, bonds and property) will be able to pay pensions only because future workers generate the income to make them valuable. So it is not necessarily disastrous for France and Greece that they have barely any pension-fund assets, whereas the Netherlands and Switzerland have accumulated funds worth more than their GDP. Still, pension funds may make matters plainer: Dutch and Swiss workers have clear claims to the assets, but French and Greek workers have to rely on the promises of politicians."

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Mechel collapse pushes MICEX down | Russia Beyond The Headlines

Mechel collapse pushes MICEX down | Russia Beyond The Headlines:

Mechel's financial position has been unsteady since July 1. The company is due to pay $965 million
this year to creditors, and $2.48 billion in 2014. Source: ITAR-TASS
Russia’s Central Bank will audit the transaction involving the shares of mining and metals giant JSC Mechel, which mysteriously collapsed by 41 percent during auctions on Nov. 13.
The company’s shares on the New York Stock Exchange lost 19.9 percent on the same day.
Reduced rates on the Moscow Stock Exchange continued from the start of trading, but after 17:00 Moscow time it accelerated sharply. By 18:09 shares had fallen by 47 percent to 50.7 rubles. The Micex index fell to 1,466.82, the lowest in three months."

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Saudi Arabia and its labourers: Go home, but who will replace you? | The Economist

Saudi Arabia and its labourers: Go home, but who will replace you? | The Economist:


MILLIONS of pious pilgrims flock to Mecca every year, but the Muslim holy city’s newest, biggest hotel serves a different clientele. Just months after opening, the Shumeisi Deportation Centre already holds more than 20,000 Egyptians, Ethiopians, Indonesians, Yemenis and citizens of other nationalities, nearly half of them women. They will not be there for long. Nearly all will soon be packed off home, joining an exodus that has seen perhaps one in ten of Saudi Arabia’s estimated 9m foreign workers leave the kingdom in little more than a year.

The number awaiting deportation has swollen dramatically. An amnesty meant to allow migrant workers to conform to new, stricter employment rules expired on November 4th. Since then, Saudi police have mounted sweeps of worksites and the districts where foreigners live. Thousands have turned themselves in voluntarily, some camped out in public, luggage in hand, awaiting arrest and a free flight home. But others prefer to resist: on November 10th two people died when a police raid targeting Ethiopian residents of a slum in Riyadh, the Saudi capital, sparked a minor riot."

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EU gives up hope on Ukraine deal at Vilnius summit - NEWSEUROPE

EU gives up hope on Ukraine deal at Vilnius summit - NEWSEUROPE | NEWSEUROPE:

"EU diplomats have given up hope Ukraine will sign an association and free trade treaty at the Vilnius summit later this month.

The rupture comes after Ukrainian authorities on Monday (11 November) charged Serhiy Vlasenko, the lawyer of jailed former PM Yulia Tymoshenko, with domestic violence in a case which could see him also jailed for three years.

The move came 48 hours before a European Parliament mission on Wednesday in Brussels gives a final verdict on whether Ukraine has stopped “selective justice.”

It also came one week before EU foreign ministers next Monday decide whether to sign the pact at an EU summit with former Soviet states in the Lithuanian capital on 27 November."

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Vodafone advances in Qatar market, eroding Ooredoo’s stake | Doha News

Vodafone advances in Qatar market, eroding Ooredoo’s stake | Doha News:

"Based on its latest financial figures, Vodafone Qatar has continued to gain ground on its local rival Ooredoo, but four years after launching operations, remains a distant second in the country’s mobile market.

In a press conference announcing its first-half numbers yesterday, the company reported another loss, but the QR160 million (US$43.95 million) is an improvement over the QR240 million (US$65.92 million) in red ink the company shed a year earlier.

Vodafone officials yesterday also offered a glimpse into where it currently stands with residents, and discussed plans for the future."

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Abu Dhabi to list government bonds on own exchange |

Abu Dhabi to list government bonds on own exchange |

"Abu Dhabi’s government said it would list its bonds on its own Securities Exchange as well as in London, in a sign of growing competition among financial centres for the region’s business.
Many Gulf governments and companies have traditionally listed their bonds in London, because of its deep market and respected legal framework. Abu Dhabi government bonds currently outstanding have been quoted on the London Stock Exchange since 2009.
But the emirate’s Department of Finance (DOF) said on Thursday that it would now obtain dual listings for the bonds in Abu Dhabi, and expected the procedures to be completed soon."

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Abu Dhabi, Singapore wealth funds invest in trophy property |

Abu Dhabi, Singapore wealth funds invest in trophy property |

"Abu Dhabi and Singapore’s sovereign wealth funds will join developer Related Companies to acquire the Manhattan headquarters of media group Time Warner, the latest large property deal to be struck by foreign investors in New York.
Time Warner is selling its trophy 1.1m square foot offices at its namesake complex at Columbus Circle for $1.3 billion (Dh4.8 billion) as it seeks to move to a new skyscraper planned on the city’s far west side.
Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and Singapore’s GIC will each invest just more than $300 million, with additional equity from Related, people familiar with the matter said. Debt investors will also help finance the deal."

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Poland Defies Power Slump in $3.7 Billion Gamble: Energy Markets - Bloomberg

Poland Defies Power Slump in $3.7 Billion Gamble: Energy Markets - Bloomberg:

"Poland is seeking to avoid a looming power shortage by forcing the nation’s biggest utility to build a $3.7 billion coal plant its chief executive officer says will be unprofitable after prices fell to a five-year low.
PGE SA, majority-owned by the government, can afford to expand the Opole utility in the southwest because it is making money elsewhere, Deputy Prime Minister Janusz Piechocinski told reporters in Warsaw on Nov. 6. Electricity prices need to rise by about 50 percent to make it viable, according to Krzysztof Kilian, the Warsaw-based utility’s CEO."

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Emirates Widens Gap as Record Order Builds Dominance - Bloomberg

Emirates Widens Gap as Record Order Builds Dominance - Bloomberg:

"Emirates is preparing to draw a line in the sand of this year’s Dubai Air Show.
The carrier is set to place the biggest order yet in aviation history in coming days, in a commitment the company has called “enormous,” for as many as 150 upgraded Boeing Co. (BA) 777X planes. Already the largest long-haul airline, such a purchase would set Emirates further apart from rivals and secure its position as the dominant carrier for the next generation."

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EFG-Hermes Third-Quarter Profit Climbs After Real Estate Sale - Bloomberg

EFG-Hermes Third-Quarter Profit Climbs After Real Estate Sale - Bloomberg:

"EFG-Hermes Holding SAE, the biggest publicly traded Arab investment bank, said third-quarter profit rose 43 percent, boosted by the sale of its former headquarters.
Net income for the period through Sept. 30 rose to 63.8 million Egyptian Pounds ($9.3m) from 44.5 million pounds a year earlier, the Cairo-based bank said today in a statement. Investment bank revenue rose to 191 million pounds, boosted by a one-time gain of 24 million pounds from the real estate sale.
The bank, whose merger with Qatar’s Qinvest LLC collapsed earlier this year, is focusing on operations in Gulf Cooperation Council countries after saying political turmoil in its home market discouraged foreign investors."

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Damac IPO Will Value Homebuilder at as Much as $3.7 Billion - Bloomberg

Damac IPO Will Value Homebuilder at as Much as $3.7 Billion - Bloomberg:

"Damac Real Estate Development Ltd. said its U.K. initial public offering will create a homebuilder with a market value of as much as $3.7 billion.
Al Firdous Holding and Sahira Co., controlled by Damac founder Hussain Sajwani, will offer depositary receipts in Damac for $12.25 to $17.25 each, according to a statement today. The sale of as much as 18.8 percent of the company will raise at least $500 million and the market value will be a minimum of about $2.7 billion, the statement showed.
The IPO will be the first by a Dubai-based developer since the sheikhdom’s property market started to recover from one of the world’s worst property crashes in 2008. Damac was valued by analysts at $3.9 billion to $5.4 billion, three people briefed on the process said on Nov. 4."

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Ukraine’s shale gas lures western companies -

Ukraine’s shale gas lures western companies -

Ukraine's President Yanukovich meets with
businessmen and investors in Kiev
The shale gas revolution has been slow to gain momentum in Europe – held back by environmental concerns, political caution and tricky geology. But one country where it may be taking off is Ukraine.
Last week, Kiev signed a potentially $10bn production-sharing agreement with Chevron of the US – its second of the year – to explore for and produce shale gas in the 6,300 sq km Oleska field in western Ukraine. In January, Royal Dutch Shell signed a similar deal covering the nearly 8,000 sq km Yuzivska field in the east of the country.
But Ukraine is not solely doing deals for “unconventional” gas exploration. It is in talks on a production-sharing agreement (PSA) with an ExxonMobil-led consortium to exploit a field off the western coast of the Black Sea, expected to be signed by the year-end. This field is next to the Romanian-controlled Neptun Block, where Exxon and Austria’s OMV discovered a large gasfield in 2012."

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Russia-Korea SWF tie up: win-win? | beyondbrics

Russia-Korea SWF tie up: win-win? | beyondbrics:

Partners in wealth
Wednesday’s announcement that Russia and South Korea would work together on an economic project in North Korea slightly overshadowed another significant announcement linked to Putin’s Seoul visit: a new cross-border investment fund between Korea Investment Corporation and its Russian sovereign wealth fund counterpart, the Russian Direct Investment Corporation.

The fund will start out at $500m, with commitments of $250m apiece, but is expected to reach $1bn in time. It also gives an illustration of how the two sovereign wealth funds are evolving.

Both are young institutions. The Korea Investment Corporation was founded in July 2005 and began investing in November 2006. The RDIF is newer still, founded in 2011."

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MINT: the new BRIC on the block? | beyondbrics

MINT: the new BRIC on the block? | beyondbrics:

Move over BRIC, here comes…MINT?!

Jim O’Neill, the former Goldman Sachs economist who coined and popularised the BRIC concept as an investment thesis, caused quite a stir this week when he talked up the prospects of the “MINT” economies.

Having predicted in a 2003 report that the BRIC countries – Brazil, Russia, India and China – would become an increasingly important driver of the world economy, O’Neill said in a column for Bloomberg View on Tuesday that it may be time to take a closer look at Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey."

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