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Thursday, 21 November 2013

Ukraine Stuns EU By Putting Association Deal On Ice Eurasia Review

Ukraine Stuns EU By Putting Association Deal On Ice Eurasia Review:

"Kyiv has decided to put its move for closer integration with the EU on hold in favour of talks to revive economic relations with Russia, one week before the country was expected to sign a landmark association agreement with the 28-country bloc in Vilnius.

EU diplomats made no secret of the fact that they were flabbergasted by developments in Kyiv today (21 November).

First, the Ukrainian parliament failed to pass laws that would allow jailed opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko to go to Germany for medical treatment. Her release was seen as a sine qua non condition for the signature of the association agreement (AA) in Vilnius.

Neither the Party of the Regions President Viktor Yanukovich, also the country’s president, and the Communist Party did not cast votes, the six draft laws failed to gather the required 226 votes to pass."

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Dubai: It’s bouncing back | The Economist

Dubai: It’s bouncing back | The Economist:

Not just a white elephant, after all
HIS may not be the last laugh, but Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum is certainly laughing loudly. Four years ago his high-flying emirate, Dubai, crashed in the wake of the world slump. Its property prices plunged by nearly 60%. A giant sand-dune of debt, worth at least $100 billion, looked set to suffocate the shiny city-state. “Bye Bye Dubai,” gloated the Daily Mail, a British newspaper, as Sheikh Mohammed humbly bargained for a bail-out from Abu Dhabi, Dubai’s neighbour and rival whose oil riches anchor the federation of seven statelets which make up the United Arab Emirates (UAE)."

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A correction this way comes? - YouTube

A correction this way comes? - YouTube:

"If there is a correction in the market, what will be the cause? The FT's John Authers asks Morgan Stanley's chief US Equities Strategist Adam Parker, who suggests momentum could be maintained, unless there is a recession.


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China’s reserves: enough is enough? | beyondbrics

China’s reserves: enough is enough? | beyondbrics:

"The chart below says it all. From 5 years ago to today, China’s foreign exchange reserves have doubled, going from $1.8tn to $3.6tn.

Unabated, and on current trend, it would hit $5bn by early 2017. Already, Chinese reserves are the equivalent size of Germany’s GDP. Time to stop accumulating? Maybe so.
Source: Bloomberg


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Witness tells UK trial that lawyers intimidated him | Reuters

Witness tells UK trial that lawyers intimidated him | Reuters:

"The chairman of Bahraini aluminium smelter Alba told a London court on Thursday that lawyers from a top British firm had sought to intimidate him before he gave evidence in a major criminal corruption trial.

Mahmood Al-Kooheji was appearing as a witness at the trial of Victor Dahdaleh, a British-Canadian businessman accused of paying over $65 million in bribes to former Alba managers in return for a cut of contracts with suppliers worth over $3 billion.

Dahdaleh, 70, has pleaded not guilty to eight charges brought by Britain's Serious Fraud Office related to events between 1998 and 2006.

The sums involved make it one of the biggest bribery trials seen in Britain for years, and it has a particular sensitivity because of alleged corruption by senior figures in Bahrain at a time of political unrest there."

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Putin victorious as Ukraine postpones ‘trade suicide,’ halts talks with EU — RT Business

Putin victorious as Ukraine postpones ‘trade suicide,’ halts talks with EU — RT Business:

"Facing its most important economic crosswords since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Kiev has aligned itself closer to Russia, and has suspended preparations to sign an EU trade deal.

Russia has warned a step west towards Ukraine would be "trade suicide" and result in billions in lost trade revenue and that joining the Russia-led Customs Union is more beneficial.

Ukraine will “restore an active dialogue” with the Customs Union and the CIS, as economic and foreign ministers proposed Ukraine, Russia, and the EU create a tri-party commission to improve and strengthen trade relations.

President's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia welcomed Ukraine's decision to actively develop ties with Moscow, and Putin added he wasn't completely against Ukraine's association with EU."

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Ukraine Suspends Preparations for Signing E.U. Deal |

Ukraine Suspends Preparations for Signing E.U. Deal |

"The Ukrainian government says it’s suspending its preparations to sign a landmark association agreement with the European Union.

Instead, the government said in a statement posted on its website Thursday that it was setting up a joint commission to work on boosting ties between Ukraine, Russia and the European Union.

The move follows the parliament’s refusal earlier today to pass a bill allowing the release of jailed former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, a key EU condition for signing the deal. It also dealt a harsh blow to Ukraine’s hope to integrate with the 28-member bloc and move out of Russia’s shadow."

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MIDEAST STOCKS-Egypt falls after deadly car bombing, Dubai hits resistance | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Egypt falls after deadly car bombing, Dubai hits resistance | Reuters:

"* Cairo index was near resistance at 6,500 points

* Dubai fails to overcome chart barrier

* Saudi Arabia edges up after correction

* Qatar continues to consolidate

* Bahrain's Ahli United Bank rebounds

By Olzhas Auyezov

DUBAI, Nov 21 (Reuters) - Egypt's main stock index ended a week-long rally on Thursday, falling 0.6 percent after a suicide car bombing killed at least 10 soldiers in the Sinai Peninsula and four policemen were wounded by a hand grenade at a checkpoint near Cairo.

Egyptian stocks have been on the rise since the ouster of former president Mohamed Mursi in July, driven largely by local retail investors who support the new army-backed government - but are wary of any escalation of violence.

"Yesterday was a dramatic day and the country has entered a period of mourning," said Cairo-based independent financial analyst Osama Mourad."

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Mobius Sells TNK-BP Stake to Rosneft | Business | The Moscow Times

Mobius Sells TNK-BP Stake to Rosneft | Business | The Moscow Times:

"Investment fund Templeton Emerging Markets Group has sold its stake in RN Holding, formerly TNK-BP holding, to state oil corporation Rosneft, the company's CEO Mark Mobius announced Thursday.

He did not say when the sale took place or the size or price of the stake sold, Vedomosti reported.

Mobius has been an active critic of Rosneft's policy toward minority shareholders of TNK-BP following its absorption by the state giant in March. In October 2012 Rosneft president Igor Sechin referred to the dividend pool of RN Holding by saying, "It is all our money."

When Rosneft proposed to buyout RN Holding's minority shareholders in October at a price of 67 rubles ($2.06) per privileged share, Mobius said it was too low and requested a meeting with Sechin to try reach a compromise. Mobius later confirmed he met with Sechin but refused to provide details on the outcome."

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Gulf Arabs Face Mixed Blessing From an Iran Accord: Arab Credit - Bloomberg

Gulf Arabs Face Mixed Blessing From an Iran Accord: Arab Credit - Bloomberg:

"A nuclear deal between Iran and countries including the U.S. and Russia could prompt sovereign upgrades of Persian Gulf Arab nations even as it may cut their revenue by causing oil prices to fall, according to IHS (IHS) Inc.
“The reduction in geopolitical risk would serve as a key trigger for a sovereign ratings review for the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council, and potentially an upgrade,” Bryan Plamondon, an economist specializing in the Middle East at energy consultant IHS, said yesterday by e-mail from Lexington, Massachusetts. “Countries would then likely see benefits in the form of lower borrowing costs and greater foreign investment.”"

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Nokia asks Indian authorities to “work constructively and with the utmost urgency” as Microsoft deadline approaches | beyondbrics

Nokia asks Indian authorities to “work constructively and with the utmost urgency” as Microsoft deadline approaches | beyondbrics:

"Nokia, the Finnish telecoms group, asked the Delhi High Court on Thursday to release factory assets frozen by tax authorities this year, as it prepares to hand its mobile devices unit to Microsoft.

Back in September Microsoft announced plans to buy the loss-making business from cash-strapped Nokia for €5.4bn. But in India, the deal faces a small complication: a $321m tax dispute in which Nokia’s local assets were frozen. Bank accounts have subsequently been released but fixed assets – including a factory in Chennai – remain stuck in limbo.

As James Crabtree wrote in the FT last month:..............."

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Belarus to extradite Uralkali CEO Baumgertner | Russia Beyond The Headlines

Belarus to extradite Uralkali CEO Baumgertner | Russia Beyond The Headlines:

"The Belarusian authorities have agreed to extradite potash miner Uralkali CEO Vladislav Baumgertner, a Russian Prosecutor General's Office spokesman told Interfax on Thursday.
"The Prosecutor General's Office of Belarus has informed us that a decision was made in favor of Baumgertner's extradition," he said.
"Baumgertner will be transferred to representatives of Russian law enforcement agencies shortly," he said.
The decision concerning Baumgertner's extradition was made by the Belarusian authorities on November 20, the spokesman said."

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Iran - Easing Oil, Banking Sanctions Part of Talks -

Iran - Easing Oil, Banking Sanctions Part of Talks -

"A senior Iranian envoy says nuclear talks have included possible ways to reduce sanctions on oil sales and banking in exchange for curbs in Tehran's atomic program.

The remarks by negotiator Abbas Araghchi on Iranian state TV reflect the scope of the possible first steps in a deal aimed at easing Western concerns that Iran could one day make a nuclear weapon — an assertion Iran strongly denies.

Iran seeks a rollback in U.S.-led sanctions on oil exports and access to international banking systems. Envoys for the U.S. and other world powers want to trim Iran's uranium enrichment."

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EURASIA - Ukraine parliament rejects bills to release Former PM Tymoshenko

EURASIA - Ukraine parliament rejects bills to release Former PM Tymoshenko:

Leaflets with a picture of former Ukrainian Prime Minister
Yulia Tymoshenko and a text reading "Freedom for Yulia"
fly over the heads of Ukrainians lawmakers in
Kiev, Ukraine, Tuesday, Nov. 19. 2013 after an opposition
activist tossed the leaflets from a balcony for press. AP Photo
Ukraine's parliament on Thursday voted against bills that would have allowed jailed ex-premier Yulia Tymoshenko to go abroad for treatment, dealing a potentially fatal to blow to the chances of signing an association deal with the EU this month.

The Verkhovna Rada rejected all six bills put forward on the treatment of convicts abroad, after they failed to gain the support of President Viktor Yanukovych's ruling Regions Party. Opposition lawmakers, who had supported all the legislation, shouted "shame" as the bills were rejected. MPs from Yanukovych's Regions Party, as well as their Communist allies, did not cast their votes in the voting on any of the six bills. All six bills received 200 votes in favour out of 450 MPs in parliament, short of the 226 votes needed for the legislation to be passed. EU leaders have made clear that Ukraine will only be able to sign the Association Agreement -- a first step to membership -- at the November 28-29 summit in Vilnius if it allows some form of release to Tymoshenko who was jailed in 2011 in a controversial abuse of authority case."

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Dubai’s Shuaa Capital Weighs Partner or Debt in Quest for Growth - Bloomberg

Dubai’s Shuaa Capital Weighs Partner or Debt in Quest for Growth - Bloomberg:

"Shuaa Capital PSC (SHUAA) may seek a joint-venture partner or raise debt to boost growth at its lending unit as the investment bank controlled by Dubai’s ruler rebuilds the business after five years of losses.
The company, which this year reported two straight quarters of profit for the first time since the financial crisis, is seeking to almost double the loan book at its Gulf Finance Corp. unit, Chairman Sheikh Maktoum Hasher Al Maktoum said in an interview in Dubai yesterday. The bank is seeking to boost lending to about 1.4 billion dirhams ($381 million), from about 800 million dirhams, according to a company presentation.
Options for growth are “either a partnership, or a partial sale, or a bond,” Al Maktoum said. “We would like cheap funding, we would like more deal flow and there are many routes to get to those things” which Shuaa is now exploring, he said."

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Ukraine: backing out from EU deal, or bluffing? | beyondbrics

Ukraine: backing out from EU deal, or bluffing? | beyondbrics:

"Stefan Fuele, the EU’s enlargement commissioner, is racing back to Kiev on Thursday, making his second visit to the Ukrainian capital this week. His mission: to rescue historic association and free trade agreements that both sides say they hope to sign in Vilnius during an Eastern Partnership Summit next week.

His chances: slim. Or perhaps that is just what Viktor Yanukovich, Ukraine’s president, wants him to think.

According to two western diplomats in Kiev, Yanukovich told Fuele this week that he would not sign the landmark agreements – nor meet EU demands to release jailed opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko – unless Brussels and the west at large put more money on the table, most likely through a bailout from the IMF or direct EU funding.

His worlds were matched by deeds on Thursday morning when Ukraine’s parliament – where Yanukovich’s ruling party has a majority – voted not to adopt legislation that would have let Tymoshenko travel to Germany for medical treatment."

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BBC News - Dubai Air Show: Plenty of planes, but is there enough airspace?

BBC News - Dubai Air Show: Plenty of planes, but is there enough airspace?:

No fly zones have made the airspace even more crowded in the Middle East
New airports, hundreds of billions of dollars worth of new aircraft: some of the big-spending Gulf states and their airlines seem to have limitless resources and ambition.

But the countries have so far been unable to resolve a problem that now threatens their aviation growth.

All those new aircraft ordered at the Dubai Air Show will need space to fly. Trouble is, the airspace above the Gulf is already worryingly congested.

The authorities and the airlines know there is a problem. It's just not clear if anything can be done about it.

"Delays are becoming common place. And delays will only grow as operations grow," warns Hussein Dabbas, regional director of the International Air Transport Association."

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Goldman Sachs: 10 Themes for 2014 | PRAGMATIC CAPITALISM

Goldman Sachs: 10 Themes for 2014 | PRAGMATIC CAPITALISM:

"Just passing this along.  Some good macro thoughts here via Goldman Sachs (via Business Insider):"

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EconoMonitor : EconoMonitor » The Next Shale Revolution—Probably Russia

EconoMonitor : EconoMonitor » The Next Shale Revolution—Probably Russia:

"More than 400 shale oil and gas wells will be drilled outside of the US in 2014, most of them in China and Russia, while Europe largely sits on the sidelines of the so-called revolution, according to energy consulting firm Wood Mackenzie Ltd. The geological conditions—not to mention the public support—for a shale revolution don’t exist in Europe on the level that they do in the US, but Russia, China, Algeria and Argentina, among others are gaining shale momentum.

Russia alone has the technology, infrastructure, water and political will to be the next revolutionary shale venue—not to mention a lot of sparsely-populated space in which to drill without public backlash. The key venue here is the oil-bearing deposits of the Bazhenov shale place in Western Siberia.

For China, the shale revolution is already underway—at least on paper. Late last year, Beijing released a Cabinet-level White Paper calling for the production of 6.5 billion cubic meters of natural gas from shale formations by 2015, and 100 billion cubic meters by 2020."

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Etihad-Jet tie gets final approval |

Etihad-Jet tie gets final approval |

"Etihad Airways’ long-awaited tie-up with Indian full-service airline Jet Airways has received final approval by Indian authorities. Etihad is now set to take its 24 per cent equity stake in the Indian airline and subsequently expand its network.
In a joint press release, the two airlines announced on Wednesday they had received “all requisite Indian regulatory approvals”.
Due to stringent foreign investment laws in India, the deal had been subject to Indian government cabinet and other regulatory approvals.
Under the new agreement, which sees Etihad Airways take a 24 per cent equity stake in Jet Airways, Etihad Airways President & Chief Executive Officer James Hogan, and its Chief Financial Officer James Rigney have been appointed as additional directors on the Jet Airways board."

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Expat reliance to heighten unemployment in Gulf |

Expat reliance to heighten unemployment in Gulf |

"Gulf Arab oil exporters may see unemployment among their citizens rise in coming years unless they change a decades-old habit of relying on cheap foreign labour, the International Monetary Fund said on Wednesday.
Since the 1970s, millions of mainly low-skilled workers from south and southeast Asia have supported rapid economic growth in the Gulf states.
But this model is unlikely to be sustainable in the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states — Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman and Bahrain — because of young, growing populations and high public wage bills, the IMF warned.
“With a rapidly rising youth population, private-sector job creation for GCC nationals has become a challenge and unemployment could rise in the coming years unless more nationals find jobs in the private sector,” the IMF said."

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Emirates’ Tim Clark: We cannot split the hub |

Emirates’ Tim Clark: We cannot split the hub |

"With Emirates having announced a $99 billion order at this year’s Dubai Airshow, its President, Tim Clark, has a lot of seats to fill, a lot of destinations to touch and most importantly, continue the fight with global markets for additional rights. In an exclusive interview with Gulf News, Clark lines out Emirates’ tough fight for more flying rights into markets like India, Europe and Canada besides discussing the airline’s plans for Dubai World’s Central’s Al Maktoum International airport.
Gulf News: Will you look to jointly negotiate plane orders in the future as well, like you did with Qatar Airways for the Boeing 777-X?
Tim Clark: In the area of the assessment of the Boeing 777-X, we were quite happy to work with Qatar Airways, because they asked us to. They respect us for the work that we have done, not just in assessing aeroplanes but having a significant input to the design of the planes. All he [Akbar Al Baker, CEO of Qatar Airways] said was ‘if you can get me a spec that you are happy with, I know I will be happy with that’. And he wrote to Boeing saying whatever Emirates does, I will buy it."

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Dubai economic boom set to drive IMF growth forecast for UAE | The National

Dubai economic boom set to drive IMF growth forecast for UAE | The National:

"The IMF may raise its economic growth forecasts for the UAE this year, helped by a rebounding Dubai economy.

“When you look at the most recent data that has come in, including data for Dubai for the first six months of the year, those figures are showing relatively high growth rates for Dubai … which is just under 5 per cent,” said Masood Ahmed, the director of the Middle East and Central Asia department, said. “Im sure this will feed through into the end of year numbers for the UAE as a whole and will end up being revised upwards.”

Dubai is recovering from a 65 per cent decline in property prices. Home values rose 22 per cent in the second quarter from a year earlier, the broker Knight Frank said in September."

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Deutsche Bank to Rogue Financiers Targeted by Dubai Enforcement - Bloomberg

Deutsche Bank to Rogue Financiers Targeted by Dubai Enforcement - Bloomberg:

"Dubai, which teetered on the brink of default in 2009, is cracking down on misconduct at its financial center to safeguard its position as a business hub.
The Dubai Financial Services Authority, which regulates the Dubai International Financial Centre, is taking Deutsche Bank AG (DBK) to court for not providing information relating to a probe into its wealth management unit, according to a Nov. 17 statement. A day later the regulator, known as the DFSA, said it fined Dubai-based Middle East Auditing Office 55,000 dirhams ($15,000) for auditing a DIFC company’s accounts without being registered.
The investigations follow a string of fines by the regulator against professionals earlier this year at the DIFC. Those ranged from a BNP Paribas SA private banker who executed $8.4 million worth of transactions without his client’s consent to the chief executive officer of a Lebanese bank’s Dubai unit who overstated by about 26 times the net worth of a client."

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