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Friday, 22 November 2013

▶ Gas price war rattles LNG market - YouTube

▶ Gas price war rattles LNG market - YouTube:

Liquefied natural gas projects around the world are being held up because Asian buyers of the fuel want to import cheaper US shale gas instead. The FT's Neil Hume and Guy Chazan discuss the consequences for the global energy market."

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Foreign Investment Over Three Quarters in Russia Hits $132Bln | Business | RIA Novosti

Foreign Investment Over Three Quarters in Russia Hits $132Bln | Business | RIA Novosti:

"Overall foreign investment into Russia’s economy in the first three quarters of 2013 grew by 15.7 percent year-on-year, rising to $132.4 billion, officials said Friday.
The Federal State Statistics Service said foreign direct investment into production or business increased by 51.6 percent over the same period, to $18.6 billion.
“As of late September 2013, accumulated foreign capital in Russia’s economy totaled $379.3 billion, or 7.3 percent more than in the same period last year,” the service said in a statement.
Russia sent $163.3 billion worth of investment abroad in the first nine months of the year, up by 49.2 percent year-on-year."

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Russian Investigators Charge Uralkali Head with Abuse of Office | Business | RIA Novosti

Russian Investigators Charge Uralkali Head with Abuse of Office | Business | RIA Novosti:

"Russian investigators said Friday that they have charged the head of Russia’s largest potash producer with abuse of office, just as he was brought to Moscow after spending several weeks under house arrest in Belarus.
The Investigative Committee said Uralkali chief executive Vladislav Baumgertner’s activities caused substantial losses for a joint Russian-Belarusian potash company and to Belarus’ state-owned fertilizer giant Belaruskali.
Baumgertner’s extradition could spell the end of a spat that flared up between Moscow and Minsk following his arrest and subsequent fraud charges in August."

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Introducing World Child Cancer | The World

Introducing World Child Cancer | The World:

"Introducing World Child Cancer
November 22, 2013 4:11 pm by Katie Carnie

The FT has chosen World Child Cancer as its partner in the 2013 Seasonal Appeal. In this video, Shawn Donnan introduces the charity, it’s model, and how it helps children with cancer in the developing world.

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Fitch: Ukraine-EU Deal Recedes, Impact Mixed, Ratings Neutral | Reuters

Fitch: Ukraine-EU Deal Recedes, Impact Mixed, Ratings Neutral | Reuters:

"Ukraine's announcement that it was halting preparations to sign an Association Agreement with the European Union threatens to leave in limbo a process that, if fully implemented, would strengthen Ukraine's credit profile, Fitch Ratings says. But the retreat may also reduce the more immediate risk of Russian economic retaliation, which has already affected Ukraine's exports in 2013. Ukraine could be offered another opportunity to sign the EU Association Agreement at some point. Its call for three-way talks involving the EU and Russia indicates that the government wants to keep an EU deal as an option and capitalise on the legislative preparations it has already made. However, European Parliamentary elections in May 2014, followed by Ukraine's presidential election in April 2015, mean reviving the process will probably take time. "

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Putin's Low Blows Drive Ukraine Away From Europe - Bloomberg

Putin's Low Blows Drive Ukraine Away From Europe - Bloomberg:

"Less that two months after Ukrainian heavyweight boxing champion Vladimir Klitschko defeated Russian challenger Alexander Povetkin in a packed Moscow arena, Russia took its revenge on Ukraine. The Eastern European nation's president, Viktor Yanukovich, bowed to pressure from his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, and signaled that his country won't sign a key agreement with the European Union next week, opting instead to stay within Russia's sphere of influence.
The decision has driven Ukrainian intellectuals to despair. To them, the EU agreement meant a democratic, prosperous future and siding with Putin's Russia signifies a retreat to the Soviet past, or worse.
The association agreement would have opened the nation's market to European goods and serve as the first step toward Ukraine's full membership in the EU. The signing of the deal was to be the key event of the common market's Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, on Nov. 26-27."

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Putin: EU blackmailing Ukraine over halt in trade deal — RT News

Putin: EU blackmailing Ukraine over halt in trade deal — RT News:

"Russian President Vladimir Putin has accused the EU of "blackmailing" and “pressuring” Ukraine over its decision to suspend preparations for a trade pact with the bloc. He added that Ukraine’s decision will be clear in the next few days.

"When we heard (I just found out yesterday) that Ukraine has suspended – not canceled but suspended – negotiations with the EU and wants to review everything, we heard a threat from the EU to Ukraine up to the point of holding mass protests. This is pressure and blackmail," Putin said at a joint press conference with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in St. Petersburg.

Putin reiterated Russia's readiness to hold three-way talks with the EU and Ukraine on trade and the economy.

“President Yanukovych suggested that we should have three-way talks on these problems,” Putin said. “We are ready to participate in such talks, and this is in a way a test of how serious our European partners’ intentions are. It’s a test of how ready our European friends are to conduct negotiations on an equal basis, or the absence of such readiness.” "

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Appetite wanes for EM assets | beyondbrics

Appetite wanes for EM assets | beyondbrics:

"More signs that taper jitters have returned for emerging markets investors.

In a fascinating new survey released by Société Générale on Thursday, the bank found that while short-term appetite for EM assets are at their highest level year-to-date, investors are proving reluctant to invest.

The monthly survey – which involved 97 accounts across Asia, Europe and in the US and is split between hedge funds and real money (RM) investors – showed that a majority (71.1 per cent) are bullish on emerging markets in the short term (2 weeks horizon).

Source: SocGen

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BBC News - MPs question UK relations with Saudi Arabia and Bahrain

BBC News - MPs question UK relations with Saudi Arabia and Bahrain:

Calls for reform and democracy in Bahrain have not gone away
The government can no longer ignore claims of hypocrisy over its relations with Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, a report by a group of MPs has said.

The Foreign Affairs Committee (FAC) said concerns over human rights were being juggled with the UK's lucrative trade and other strategic interests.

MPs said the Gulf region was critical to the UK, yet many states were among the "least democratic in the world".

But campaign Against the Arms Trade said the report was a whitewash.

In a statement, the pressure group accused the committee of "giving cover to the UK government as it continues the policy of pandering to despicable regimes in its desire to drum up sales for [the defence manufacturer] BAE Systems".

The controversial issue came under scrutiny in a 260-page report."

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Global fund flows and supportive fundamentals to benefit Gulf markets |

Global fund flows and supportive fundamentals to benefit Gulf markets |

"Equity markets in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) will continue to benefit from increased global investment inflows, and specifically from active global emerging market funds, Bank of America Merrill Lynch officials said in Dubai on Thursday.
Sound economic fundamentals combined with strong earnings growth in 2013 have put many markets in the region in a strong position.
“The UAE has emerged as the world’s second-best performing market with year-to-date [YTD] increase of 61 per cent and 2013 earnings growth estimates rising by around 100 basis points to 9.6 per cent. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia was ranked as a top 10 market performer with YTD increase of 21 per cent, and similarly Qatar performing equally well with YTD increase of 22 per cent,” said Michael Harris, Managing Director and Head of EEMEA Equity Strategy."

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Bank chief warns of economic stagnation caused by aid to transitioning Arab states | The National

Bank chief warns of economic stagnation caused by aid to transitioning Arab states | The National:

"Emergency aid packages from Arabian Gulf states to new democracies created by the Arab Spring are impeding market reforms and could cause economic development to founder, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has warned.

The bank said funding for “unsustainable” subsidy regimes was among factors contributing to a stagnation of growth in living standards, which could take several decades to recover from, in countries transitioning to democracy.

The bank, established by the European Union after the collapse of the Soviet Union to assist new democracies towards economic development, says many of those countries and their Middle Eastern neighbours are at risk of slipping as reforms stagnate."

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Emaar Chairman Says Now Is Good Time to Weigh Retail Spinoff - Bloomberg

Emaar Chairman Says Now Is Good Time to Weigh Retail Spinoff - Bloomberg:

"Emaar Properties PJSC (EMAAR) said the “current environment” makes it a good time for the Dubai property developer to consider spinning off its retail business into a separate company to increase investor returns.
“These units are doing extremely well. We probably in the future will have to look at it again and see if we should entertain that and what that would bring in value to our shareholders,” Chairman Mohamed Alabbar said in a Bloomberg Television interview yesterday. “I haven’t taken any decision yet.”


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Billionaire Alwaleed Weighs IPOs for Four Seasons - Bloomberg

Billionaire Alwaleed Weighs IPOs for Four Seasons - Bloomberg:

"Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, the Saudi billionaire with stakes in companies including Citigroup Inc., is weighing options including an initial public offering for Four Seasons Holdings Inc. and Fairmont Hotels & Resorts Inc.
The founder and Chairman of Saudi Arabia’s Kingdom Holding Co. (KINGDOM), who took a 95 percent stake in the Four Seasons chain with Bill Gates, said in an interview with Bloomberg TV’s Erik Schatzker in Chicago yesterday he’s considering strategic options for the two companies including an IPO or merger."

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The Economist/FT survey: Global business barometer | The Economist

The Economist/FT survey: Global business barometer | The Economist:

"Our interactive business-confidence graphic

THE outlook for business has become much brighter, according to the latest Economist/FT survey of over 1,500 executives(updated November 21st 2013). The balance of respondents who expect business conditions to improve over those who think they will worsen has risen from +2 percentage points three months ago to +28, the highest since the survey began in May 2011. Overall, 42% of executives reckon conditions will improve in the next six months and only 14% think they will get worse. Sentiment in North America has turned positive after two subdued quarters. As for guidance from the Federal Reserve, 48% of executives believe it has been “clear enough”, but 35% think it has been “not clear at all”.
The Economist/FT global business barometer is a survey conducted four times a year by the Economist Intelligence Unit in order to gauge trends in business confidence. Based on the responses of more than 1,500 senior executives, it measures overall confidence by looking at the balance of those who think global business conditions will improve over the next six months against those who expect them to worsen. Our interactive barometer allows you to track business sentiment over time. You can look at the results by region or industry. The "in focus" section highlights responses to topical supplementary questions each quarter. Note: Percentages may not add to 100 due to rounding."

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‘Deep disappointment’: Ukraine criticized for halting EU integration, ‘bowing to Kremlin’ — RT News

‘Deep disappointment’: Ukraine criticized for halting EU integration, ‘bowing to Kremlin’ — RT News:

Special EU envoys Aleksander Kwasniewski (L) and Pat Cox react after voting in the parliament in Kiev on November 21, 2013. (AFP Photo /Sergei Supinsky)
The EU is utterly disappointed by Ukraine’s decision to align itself closer to Russia and halt its preparations for signing a European trade and political agreement, effectively killing the country’s chances to eventually join the bloc.

“This is a disappointment not just for the EU but, we believe, for the people of Ukraine,” EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said in a statement, claiming that “the most ambitious” pact ever offered to a partner by the EU would have helped the country’s economy.

The decree signed by Prime Minister Mykola Azarov's government on Thursday orders the “halt of the process of preparing the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the European Union.” "

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Potash war concluding? Belarus extradites Uralkali CEO to Russia — RT Business

Potash war concluding? Belarus extradites Uralkali CEO to Russia — RT Business:

"Belarus has extradited the CEO of Russia's Uralkali, the world’s largest potash producer, to Moscow in what may be a final step to bring an end to the Russia-Belarus ‘potash war’, state TV said.

Prosecutors have handed over Vladislav Baumgertner to Russian authorities, the national television channel Belarus 1 reported. Uralkali’s chief was being held under house arrest after being detained on August 26.

The decision to extradite Baumgertner was made on Wednesday, the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office said in a statement on Thursday. In Russia, the businessman will be investigated for cutting out its Belarusian fertilizer partner, Belaruskali.

Earlier President Lukashenko said Baumgertner could return to Russia if he repays damages to Belaruskali. "

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▶ How to spot a bubble - YouTube

▶ How to spot a bubble - YouTube:

"Vinny Catalano, president and global investment strategist of investment research firm Blue Marble, tells John Authers that while there are metrics one can follow to identify a bubble, all measures are largely tied to subjective valuation models."

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