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Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Shell floats hull for world’s largest floating LNG facility

Shell floats hull for world’s largest floating LNG facility:

"Shell launched the world’s biggest vessel on Tuesday. The Prelude floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) facility is potentially a game changer for the industry, as it paves the way to more ambitious projects.

According to a note released by the company, the 488-metre-long hull of the FLNG facility has been floated out of the dry dock at the Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) yard in Geoje, South Korea, where the facility is currently under construction.

After unveiling its intention to work on facilities compatible with more extreme environments, Shell presented the facility that will allow the company to produce natural gas at sea, turn it into LNG and then transfer it directly to the ships that will transport it to the customers."

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Hungary on the upswing but corruption remains a problem | beyondbrics

Hungary on the upswing but corruption remains a problem | beyondbrics:

"Hungary has been pumping out the positive spin on economic news for over a year now.

Back then it was surely premature, but with inflation and the base rate at record lows and economic growth finally appearing – some independent analysts forecasting around 1 per cent expansion this year – there is some evidence to support claims of success.

So Tuesday’s news from Transparency International (TI) that Hungary’s ranking in the annual Corruptions Perceptions Index (CPI) is virtually unchanged from last year would appear, if not good news, at least avoiding further bad headlines of sliding down the slippery slope. After all, the country slipped just one place, to 47 out of 177 states examined, with 54 points on a scale of 100, also just one less than 2012.

Not so fast, warns Jozsef Peter Martin, TI executive director in Budapest."

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Ukraine Faces Prospect of Economic Collapse: Ash: Video - Bloomberg

Ukraine Faces Prospect of Economic Collapse: Ash: Video - Bloomberg:


Timothy Ash, chief economist of emerging markets at Standard Bank, discusses the economic troubles in Ukraine that have prompted hundreds of thousands to take to the streets in protest against the government and the role of Russian President Vladimir Putin in finding a solution to the crisis. He speaks on Bloomberg Television’s “The Pulse.”"

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Political chaos rattling investor confidence - #EuroMaidan - Ukraine Business Online

Political chaos rattling investor confidence - Business - News - Ukraine Business Online: "“Investors sold off their Ukrainian equities in line as local social unrest magnified European equity declines on Monday, December 2. The WIG Ukraine Index of Warsaw-traded stocks plunged 2.8%, weighed down by Coal Energy (CLE PW -5.0%), which hit its lowest price since its August 2011 IPO. Farmer Industrial Milk (IMC PW) dropped 4.6% while dairy firm Milkiland (MLK PW) slid 3.8%. Coal miner Sadovaya (SGR PW -1.5%) has lost 14.1% in two sessions, falling to its lowest price since its December 2010 IPO. In London, falling metal prices pulled down iron ore miner Ferrexpo (FXPO LN -3.9%). Regal Petroleum (RPT LN) plummeted 8.8%. Real estate firm DUPD (DUPD LN -3.4%) has dropped 8.9% in four straight losing sessions. The Ukrainian Exchange (UX) Index of Kyiv-traded stocks lost 0.4%, weighed down by Raiffeisen Bank Aval (BAVL UK -1.8%), which has slid 6.6% in four straight losing sessions. Investors found a bargain in Ukrsotsbank (USCB UK +2.6%), which had plummeted 11.4% in three sessions.”"

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UPDATE 2-Dubai's DAMAC gets muted response for London share sale | Reuters

UPDATE 2-Dubai's DAMAC gets muted response for London share sale | Reuters:

"DAMAC sells 28.39 mln GDRs at $12.25 each

* Dubai firm valued at $2.65 bln post offering

* DAMAC initially planned to raise $500 mln from sale

* Property market in Dubai recovering from crisis

By Praveen Menon and David French

DUBAI, Dec 3 (Reuters) - Dubai luxury real estate developer DAMAC got a lukewarm response to its share offering in London on Tuesday, a sign that international investors are still wary of the emirate's property market despite a recent recovery in prices.

Property prices in Dubai have rebounded by over 20 percent this year having slumped more than 50 percent from a 2008 peak when a real estate market crash sparked a debt crisis.

But some analysts have said the recovery has been driven by speculative buying, with the International Monetary Fund warning of another possible bubble.

DAMAC, which gave away yachts and sports cars to buyers of its luxury properties during the downturn, said it raised $348 million from the sale of 28.39 million global depositary receipts (GDRs). It had originally hoped to raise $500 million but reduced the size last week, with the final price set at $12.25 per GDR - bottom of the initial range."

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MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi shares drop on real estate concerns; Gulf mixed | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi shares drop on real estate concerns; Gulf mixed | Reuters:

"Saudi Arabia's bourse dropped on Tuesday as concerns over local real estate sector triggered a market-wide sell-off that analysts say could be the start of investors shifting to more attractive opportunities in neighbouring property sectors.

Shares in Dar Al Arkan tumbled 7.5 percent and its peers also fell, which pushed the real estate sector index down 3.2 percent.

The main benchmark, which hit a five-year high on Nov. 18, fell 1.3 percent to trim year-to-date gains to 21 percent and it's lowest closing level since Nov. 6.

"The correction is across the board - the market was reading into talks about property projects being cancelled since 2010 in Saudi Arabia," said John Sfakianakis, chief investment strategist at Saudi investment firm MASIC."

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How to increase awareness of Russian markets | Russia Beyond The Headlines

How to increase awareness of Russian markets | Russia Beyond The Headlines:

"Russia Beyond the Headlines: What key sectors are you, as the head of international listings at NYSE Euronext, looking at outside of oil and gas? What kind of Russian companies do you hope will list in the future?
Albert Ganyushin: Beyond oil and gas, we are looking at companies in technology, Internet, media, telecoms, retail, financial institutions and transport. Companies from these high growth sectors are likely to be coming to list and IPO on the NYSE in the near future.
Another category of companies that we expect to welcome in the future are larger, established Russian companies that are looking to improve their access to US-based investors and drive valuation and liquidity of their stock.
RBTH: What type of Russian companies are listed now?
A.G.: The NYSE has two companies listed from Russia - Mobile TeleSystems OJSC (NYSE: MBT) and Mechel OAO (NYSE: MTL). A third company, Luxoft has a significant footprint in Russia and is headquartered in Switzerland. We are delighted that since its IPO in June this year, Luxoft's share price nearly doubled making it one of the best performing companies this year."

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Naftogaz, Gazprom agree Oct-Dec gas payment deferral

Naftogaz, Gazprom agree Oct-Dec gas payment deferral:

"Ukraine's national oil and gas company Naftogaz Ukrainy and Russian gas giant Gazprom have agreed that that payment for gas supplied to Ukrainian consumers in October-December will be deferred until next spring, Naftogaz Chief Yevhen Bakulin said.

"As concerns payment, we have agreed to shift the payments from October, November, and December to the spring," Bakulin told the press in Kyiv on Tuesday.

Bakulin said Ukraine needed the deferral so that problematic issues in the regions were not made more difficult by paying for gas."

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Belarus: can it make a comeback to eurobond market? | beyondbrics

Belarus: can it make a comeback to eurobond market? | beyondbrics:

"As pressure grows on public finances, the government of Belarus is mulling a return to the international debt market with a new eurobond issue. But what are its chances of success, given that the country’s credit ratings have been downgraded and concern is increasingly widespread over the stability of the Belarusian economy?

Nikolai Snopkov, minister of the economy, said during last week’s EU Eastern Partnership sumit in Vilnius that Belarus hoped market conditions would be more favourable at the beginning of 2014, and the government would be able to get a eurobond issue away.

“Currently, we have some technical difficulties in approaching the eurobond market. We will make one more attempt at the beginning of the year. If the market is active and positive, the issue will be a success,” he said."

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Bribes galore. Five Arab states among world's 10 most corrupt countries | @brian_whit

Bribes galore. Five Arab states among world's 10 most corrupt countries:

"Five Arab League countries – Somalia, Sudan, Libya, Iraq and Syria – are among the bottom ten in the latest Corruption Perceptions Index issued by Transparency International.

The United Arab Emirates, in 22nd position worldwide, is narrowly ahead of Qatar as the least corrupt Arab country. Both, incidentally, are ahead of Israel which ranks 36th.

Countries are ranked in the annual survey according to a points scoring system, with 100 as the maximum score. The least corrupt countries this year – Denmark and New Zealand – both scored 91 points. Apart from the UAE and Qatar, all Arab countries scored below 50 points.

In the table below I have compared the rankings of Arab countries in the 2013 survey with 2009, to show changes over the last five years.

Saudi Arabia
Note: The 2009 survey covered 180 countries – three more than the 2013 survey. This is why Somalia, for example, appears to have improved its ranking while actually remaining at the bottom in both surveys. Neither survey included the Palestinian territories.

- See more at:"

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UAH you wanna convert? | FT Alphaville - #EuroMaidan

UAH you wanna convert? | FT Alphaville:

"For those lucky enough not to recognise the FX shorthand… that’s a weak pun involving the overvalued and pegged Ukrainian hryvnia.

It’s alluding to the idea that Ukrainian households might, as protests over the rejection of an EU free trade deal last month continue, decide to start converting their deposits into FX. They have form.

That would put a whole load of pressure on already skimpy FX reserves — which at $20bn are down to covering about two and a half months of imports, below the fairly arbitrary three months that makes the IMF all sweaty."

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Abu Dhabi energy fund IPIC H1 net profit up 6.7 pct | Reuters

Abu Dhabi energy fund IPIC H1 net profit up 6.7 pct | Reuters:

"Abu Dhabi's International Petroleum Investment Co (IPIC), the state-owned fund with a main mandate to invest in energy-related assets, on Tuesday reported a 6.7 percent rise in its first-half net profit helped by a recovery in global equity markets.

IPIC, which owns stakes in companies such as Spain's Cepsa and Austria's OMV, made a net profit of 3.2 billion dirhams ($872 million) during first half of this year, compared with 3.0 billion dirhams in the year-ago period, it said in a statement on its website.

Revenue fell to 95.7 billion dirhams versus 96.7 billion dirhams in first half last year. Total assets dropped to 233.1 billion UAE dirhams ($63.46 billion) for the first-half of 2013, compared with 239.3 billion dirhams in December 2012 largely due to unwinding of derivative positions, IPIC said."

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Curtailing China's credit - YouTube

Curtailing China's credit - YouTube:

"China recently announced political reforms, but what's worrying markets is rising credit. George Magnus, senior economic adviser to UBS, discusses with John Authers the easing of the one-child policy and encouraging credit even as it needs to be kept in check


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Bahrain PM's role in disputed aluminium deals probed at UK trial | Reuters

Bahrain PM's role in disputed aluminium deals probed at UK trial | Reuters:

"A British court saw documents on Monday purporting to show that Bahrain's prime minister had direct influence over the affairs of aluminium smelter Alba when it was making deals now at the heart of a major corruption case.

The documents were shown by a lawyer for British-Canadian businessman Victor Dahdaleh, who is on trial accused of paying some $67 million (40.9 million pounds) in bribes to former Alba managers in return for a cut of contracts with suppliers worth more than $3 billion.

One of Britain's biggest corruption cases for years, the trial has opened a rare window onto business practices normally shielded from public view in secretive Bahrain and comes at a sensitive time of political unrest in the tiny Gulf kingdom."

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Qatar shares snap 3-day winning run despite strong local buy..

Qatar shares snap 3-day winning run despite strong local buy..:

"The Qatar Exchange yesterday snapped a three-day bull-run despite strong buying support from local retail investors.

Profit booking – especially in transport, telecom and banking sectors – dragged the 20-stock Qatar Index (based on price data) by 0.28% to 10,366.21 points.

The key index has been remaining above the 10,000 mark since November 11.

Amidst an overall bearish overhang, the index that tracks Shariah-principled stocks extended marginal gains in the market, which is up 24.01% year-to-date."

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Pilot shortage hits regional airlines on 'unprecedented' demand |

Pilot shortage hits regional airlines on 'unprecedented' demand |

"The demand for pilots in the Middle East is soaring after estimates showed that 40,000 will be needed over the next 20 years, mainly because of recent orders of over 500 aircrafts by some of the leading airlines in the region.
Abdullah Al Hammadi, the manager for the Pilot and National Cadet Pilot Programme at Emirates Airlines, said earlier forecasts of the shortage had come two years ago but figures are continuing to increase.
“They rang the bell a long time back but no one was listening because we could not see [the shortage] but now we can see it in China,” Al Hammadi said. “The shortage has already come to life in China where they started grounding aircraft because they don’t have pilots... and now we can feel the shortage coming to us.”"

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Merged Bahraini Islamic lenders rebranded as Ibdar Bank | The National

Merged Bahraini Islamic lenders rebranded as Ibdar Bank | The National:

"Three Bahrain-based Islamic banks which merged in January have been re-branded as Ibdar Bank.

Elaf Bank, Capivest and Capital Management House said that the new bank had US$300 million of paid-up capital, $329m in equity, and an asset base of $360m on its balance sheet.

After nearly a year of negotiations with the Bahraini authorities as well as a period of consolidation and integration, the bank said that it planned to engage in the private equity, capital markets and real estate sectors and expand in the GCC, North Africa and South East Asia."

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Damac GDRs begin trading on the London Stock Exchange | The National

Damac GDRs begin trading on the London Stock Exchange | The National:


The luxury property developer Damac begins trading on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) today in the largest listing by a UAE company in more than half a decade.

Advisers working on the offer said Damac’s global depositary receipts (GDR) would be priced at US$12.25 per unit – at the bottom of analysts’ valuation range.

At that price, Damac is valued at $2.65 billion, the biggest offering by a UAE firm since DP World sold 20 per cent of its equity for $4.96bn on the Nasdaq Dubai exchange in November, 2007."

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Gazprom Slumps on Ukraine Protests: Russia Overnight - Bloomberg

Gazprom Slumps on Ukraine Protests: Russia Overnight - Bloomberg:

"OAO Gazprom declined to a three-month low in New York amid the biggest political protests since 2004 in Ukraine, a key route for natural gas shipments to the European Union.
American depositary receipts of Gazprom, Russia’s natural-gas export monopoly, fell 3 percent to $8.41, after dropping in Moscow 1 percent to 141.5 rubles, the lowest level since Sept. 5. The Bloomberg Russia-US Equity Index of the most-traded Russian companies in New York dropped 0.9 percent to a two-month low of 97.21, led by OAO Mechel. (MTL) RTS Index futures expiring in December decreased 0.7 percent to 138,760 in U.S. hours.
Russia will offer cheaper natural gas to Ukraine if the government in Kiev opts to join a Moscow-led economic bloc after halting free-trade talks with the EU, according to First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov. While Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych reiterated that the country’s goal is European integration, his about-face on the EU agreement has sparked the biggest street protests since the 2004 Orange Revolution."

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