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Wednesday, 4 December 2013

MidEast Stocks Mixed, Dubai Eases After Failing at Resistance - NASDAQ.com

MidEast Stocks Mixed, Dubai Eases After Failing at Resistance - NASDAQ.com:

"Middle East stocks were mixed, with Dubai slipping on some profit-taking after failing to pierce technical resistance at 3000.

However, investors were optimistic for the UAE. They expect government infrastructure spending in the United Arab Emirates to underpin earnings growth.

Kuwait firmed as investors wait for the government to restart delayed development projects to justify the early-year optimism."

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Saudi Arabia’s nonoil business activity growth accelerates | Arab News

Saudi Arabia’s nonoil business activity growth accelerates | Arab News — Saudi Arabia News, Middle East News, Opinion, Economy and more.:

"Growth in Saudi Arabia’s nonoil business activity accelerated in November, according to a survey.
The Saudi British Bank SABB has published the results of the headline SABB HSBC Saudi Arabia Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for November 2013 — a monthly report issued by the bank and HSBC.
It reflects the economic performance of Saudi Arabian nonoil producing private sector companies through monitoring a number of variables, including output, orders, prices, stocks and employment.
At 57.1 in November, up from a reading of 56.7 in October, the headline PMI signaled an improvement in overall operating conditions at Saudi Arabian nonoil producing private sector companies. "

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Iran names European, US firms it wants back to its oilfields — RT Business

Iran names European, US firms it wants back to its oilfields — RT Business:

"Iran named seven Western companies it wants back to explore oil in the country after international sanctions are lifted, including five European and two American firms. Contract terms will be announced in April 2014.

Total of France, Royal Dutch Shell, Italy's ENI, Norway's Statoil, Britain's BP and US companies ExxonMobil and ConocoPhillips will be welcome to work in the country, Reuters reported Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh as saying.

Speaking to reporters at an OPEC meeting, Zanganeh said he had already negotiated with some of the companies, but not yet with the American firms.

"We had no limitations for US companies. Twenty years ago there were limitations against them from their own administration. For doing projects in Iran, we have no limitations," Zanganeh said.

In reply to a question about whether Iran wants to see Chinese and Indian companies working in Iran, he said: "Yes, but now we are discussing with European [firms].""

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Video: financial woes worsen Ukraine crisis | beyondbrics

Video: financial woes worsen Ukraine crisis | beyondbrics:

"
FT eastern Europe editor Neil Buckley reports from Kiev on the unpredictable political situation following violent clashes between protestors and police at the weekend, the impact of economic recession on the country and the response of Russia and the west." 'via Blog this'

#Ukraine running out of options as tension mounts | beyondbrics - #EuroMaidan

Ukraine running out of options as tension mounts | beyondbrics:

"With protesters in Kiev apparently settling in for a long haul, the question that looms increasingly large is: what happens next? The status quo is looking increasingly unviable but, so far, Ukraine’s government appears to have no plan B.

Or rather, it appears to have three plan Bs, none of which stands much chance of success.

As the Kyiv Post reported, as of Wednesday Ukraine has three delegations scouring the world for support:

President Viktor Yanukovych left for China on Dec. 3, leaving the country when thousands continued to protest in the streets against the government policy and violence. First Deputy Prime Minister Serhiy Arbuzov went to Brussels to negotiate a road map to singing an association agreement with the European Union. And a deputy foreign minister went to Russia to prepare the ground for Yanukovych’s visit to Moscow at the end of the week."

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Egypt to Settle $1.5 Billion Owned to Oil Firms - NYTimes.com

Egypt to Settle $1.5 Billion Owned to Oil Firms - NYTimes.com:

"Egypt's prime minister says his government has committed to pay what amounts to 24 percent of the total arrears it owes foreign oil companies in a bid to restore investor confidence in an economy damaged by nearly three years of unrest.

Hazem el-Beblawi was speaking Wednesday at an investors' forum that brought to Cairo businessmen and officials from the Gulf countries. El-Beblawi said his government approved settling $1.5 billion it owed to foreign oil firms. Petroleum ministry spokesman Hamdy Abdel-Aziz said the latest figure for money owed to oil companies stood at $6.2 billion.

El-Beblawi also urged investors to show patience with unrest-hit Egypt. He added that the government is on track to restore political and economic stability, and has realized a "milestone" by completing amendments to the country's constitution."

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▶ CrossTalk: Dividing Ukraine - YouTube

▶ CrossTalk: Dividing Ukraine - YouTube:

"Are we witnessing a second Orange Revolution in Ukraine? Is it a zero-sum game for all parties involved? Is it possible to work out a deal that the EU, Ukraine and Russia can be satisfied with? And is 'going West or East' too simplistic for a Ukraine divided? CrossTalking with Mark Sleboda, Jan Techau and Alexander Mercouris.


"

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Russian Banks Exposed in Ukraine's Political Crisis | Business | The Moscow Times

Russian Banks Exposed in Ukraine's Political Crisis | Business | The Moscow Times:

"The political crisis in Ukraine, sparked by an East-West power struggle in which Moscow has gained the upper hand, is increasing the risk to the country's financial system and creating a particularly acute headache for Russian banks.

As crowds took to the streets to protest after Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych rejected a trade and cooperation deal with the European Union last week in favor of closer ties with Russia, Ukraine's rattled central bank, low on reserves, appealed to people not to pull their deposits from the banks.

Ukraine has a "systemic" problem with bad loans but its interbank money market is functioning normally despite the upheaval of the past week, Russia's state development bank VEB said Wednesday.

Ukraine seems to have little immediate prospect of additional financial help to meet its big external deficits and financing needs, making it even less attractive to the foreign banks that flocked there before the 2008 collapse of Lehman Brothers triggered the worst of the global financial crisis."

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Kuwait's Global to hire ex-Barclays banker as investment bank head: Sources - The Economic Times

Kuwait's Global to hire ex-Barclays banker as investment bank head: Sources - The Economic Times:

"Global Investment House is set to hire Michael Helou, a former senior banker at Barclays, as its investment banking head, four banking sources said, as the Kuwaiti firm seeks to revive growth after a debt restructuring deal.

Global, one of the largest investment firms in the Middle East, was hit hard by the 2009 global financial crisis, which crippled debt markets and led to a sharp drop in asset values. It completed a $1.7 bln debt restructuring plan with creditors in July.

Global declined to comment on the appointment. Helou could no immediately be reached for comment. His appointment is awaiting regulatory approvals and will be effective by early 2014, one of the sources said.

The firm, which delisted from the Kuwait bourse and is currently debt-free post the restructuring, is now seeking to revamp its operations and the hiring is part of a plan to bolster key business lines, the sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity as the matter is not public. "

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UAE Business Activity Growth Hits Record High In Nov » Gulf Business

UAE Business Activity Growth Hits Record High In Nov » Gulf Business:

"Business activity growth in the United Arab Emirates’ non-oil private sector accelerated to a record high in November as both output and new orders increased sharply, a purchasing managers’ survey showed on Wednesday.

The HSBC UAE Purchasing Managers’ Index, which measures the performance of both manufacturing and services, rose to 58.1 points in November from 56.3 in the previous month.

The adjusted index remains above the 50-point mark which separates growth from contraction, the survey of 400 private sector firms showed.

“The reading is impressive, but not unexpectedly so,” said Liz Martins, senior economist at HSBC. “With the announcement that Dubai will host Expo 2020, and improved sentiment around the geopolitical situation, there is ample reason to believe that the strong performance seen in the UAE in 2013 will continue into 2014.”"

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EU fines 8 major banks record 1.7bn euro for rigging rates — RT Business

EU fines 8 major banks record 1.7bn euro for rigging rates — RT Business:

"
European Union Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia addresses a news conference at the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels December 4, 2013.(Reuters / Yves Herman)
The European Commission has slapped record fines of 1.7 billion euro on eight major banks for manipulating lending rates that play a key role in the global economy. The penalties will add to already escalating costs for leading global lenders.

The EU fines marks the latest to be levied on banks and financial institutions for making profits or masking their problems by fraudulently rigging the rates that reflect the cost of lending money to each other.

The banks fined are Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland, JPMorgan, Barclays, Societe Generale, UBS and RP Martin, the EC said in a statement.

The borrowing rates involved - the London interbank offered rate (Libor), the Tokyo and the euro area equivalents - are used to set price of trillions of dollars of financial products, ranging from mortgages to derivatives."

'via Blog this'

Are the Banksters Now Setting Up the Crash of 2016? | Alternet

Are the Banksters Now Setting Up the Crash of 2016? | Alternet:

"
Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com/JLRphotography
December 3, 2013  |    This article was first published on Truthout and any reprint or reproduction on any other website must acknowledge Truthout as the original site of publication.

As the great Yogi Berra once said, "it's déjà vu all over again."

Right now, millions of Americans are still struggling to recover from the 2008 financial collapse.

That collapse was fueled by the housing crisis, when Wall Street banksters were running around betting on risky mortgage-backed securities that they could sell to investors and make billions from.

They were able to do that because the Graham-Leach-Bliley Act and the Commodities Futures Modernization Act had blown up rational banking regulations, and, as a result, we saw things like the so-called mortgage "liar loans".

Banksters were able to turn billions of dollars in risky mortgages into trillions of dollars in derivatives.

And then everything went to hell."

'via Blog this'

#Dubai: A living miracle | Arab News

Dubai: A living miracle | Arab News — Saudi Arabia News, Middle East News, Opinion, Economy and more.:

"Dubai! I have never heard of it. Where is this country on the map? And who lives in it and what do they do for a living?
These were some of the questions my American classmates used to ask me in 1979. I vividly remember that in 1959, Egypt had dispatched a team of engineers to Dubai to assess how the overall infrastructure should be planned. Interestingly, on the basis of the team’s assessment Egyptian newspapers wrote that it was very difficult to develop Dubai.
At that time, Dubai didn’t even have any kind of government structure, no electricity, no airport, no schools, no roads and no running water. So, what did Dubai do that no other city was able to accomplish in such a short span of time?
It is true that the growth of many countries like Singapore is a miracle but Dubai achieved all this with limited resources and under a very competitive environment.
Now Dubai is known all across the world and has shown the world what a strong-willed leader could achieve. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum had a dream, an iron will and made a promise to transform Dubai into a city of miracles, and Sheikh Mohammed delivered on his promise."

'via Blog this'

Central Europe will continue to be a customer for Russian gas, says South Stream Hungary representative

Central Europe will continue to be a customer for Russian gas, says South Stream Hungary representative:

"In his appearance at South Stream: the Evolution of a Pipeline in Budapest, Hungary, György Harmati, Strategic Director and Chairman of the Board, South Stream Hungary, said a fundamental part of the Hungarian energy strategy was diversification.

He stated: “Both projects – South Stream and Hungarian – Slovakian interconnector – serve the purpose to diversify import routes and through this increasing the security of supply and reducing the cost and price of imports.”

Mr. Harmati, who is also Strategic Director at MVM, the Hungarian electricity company, pledged to only list the benefits of building South Stream specifically for MVM.

“First of all, we believe that it is a profitable investment. Usually, this alone should be enough to argue for participation. The second reason is that MVM, as the biggest gas importer, biggest gas wholesaler and the biggest gas storage company in Hungary, treats Gazprom as a partner on the Hungarian market."

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Crunch time looms for Middle East economy | GulfNews.com

Crunch time looms for Middle East economy | GulfNews.com:

"The series of recent events in some Arab countries have constituted an economic shock, apart from being a political jolt that has undermined many local and regional alliances.
This has exaggerated the political, economic and social impact in countries such as Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Yemen and Syria, while casting a long shadow on economic conditions in others.
Where political repercussions have been totally negative, the economic impact has varied between totally negative in those countries bore the brunt of it to between positive and negative in the rest of the region, including the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)."

'via Blog this'

Reports on single Gulf currency launch ‘false’ | GulfNews.com

Reports on single Gulf currency launch ‘false’ | GulfNews.com:

"The Gulf Monetary Council has dismissed media reports that it had set a date for the launch of a single currency for Arab Gulf countries.
“The Monetary Council affirms that the reports by some newspapers and websites over the date of the issuing of the single Gulf currency are completely false, not based on accurate information or reliable sources,” the council said in a statement, carried by the Kuwait News Agency (Kuna).
The Monetary Council is mandated with placing regulations for the establishment of the Gulf Central Bank and completing the establishment of the Monetary Union.
Media reports this week said that four of the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries would announce the introduction of a common currency by the end of December."

'via Blog this'

Taqa to sell stake in Morocco's Jorf Lafar Energy Company | The National

Taqa to sell stake in Morocco's Jorf Lafar Energy Company | The National:

"Abu Dhabi National Energy (Taqa) will for the first time list shares in one of its foreign subsidiares, with an IPO of its Moroccan operations.

The announcement came on the same day that the company confirmed its plans to boost its presence in northern Iraq by investing in new and existing power plant projects.

Taqa is set to raise 1.5 billion Moroccan dirhams (Dh667 million) by selling off 3.4 million new shares in Jorf Lasfar Energy Company (JLEC), its wholly owned Moroccan subsidiary.

JLEC yesterday announced that it had received approval from the Conseil Déontologique des Valeurs Mobilières Morocco’s financial markets authority, to increase its capital by 3.4 million shares, priced at 447.5 Moroccan dirhams each."

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For Ukraine, Russia Serves Up a Familiar Entrée - The Market Now

For Ukraine, Russia Serves Up a Familiar Entrée - The Market Now:

"Here’s an irony: For many months in the depths of the European financial crisis observers around the world were treated to images of protesters in Greece and Spain demanding an exit from the Euro zone. And now? Ukrainians have massed in numbers even greater than those of the Orange Revolution to protest President Viktor Yanukovych’s refusal to … yes, move toward joining the European Union.
Ukraine’s situation is not the same as that of Greece or Spain. It faces a much starker set of alternatives, as Bloomberg’s Daryna Krasnolutska and Kateryna Choursina report: Ukraine can turn toward Europe, or toward Russia. Yanukovych, Russia’s preferred Ukrainian chief, chose the second.
The graph of per capita income below sums up the problem with that approach. You can click through to a Google chart with full details.

"

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A golden opportunity? - YouTube

A golden opportunity? - YouTube:

"


The price of gold has fallen sharply in recent years, while shares in gold miners have fallen even more. Frank Holmes, chief investment officer of US Global Investors, tells John Authers investors should take some profits from the S&P 500 and put them into gold stocks"

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Emerging-Market Stocks Fall for Third Day as Rupiah Weakens - Bloomberg

Emerging-Market Stocks Fall for Third Day as Rupiah Weakens - Bloomberg:

"Emerging-market stocks slid for a third day, led by consumer discretionary companies. Rupiah forwards dropped to a four-year low.
HTC Corp. (2498) sank 3.3 percent in Taipei after a London judge blocked the Taiwanese company from selling its One Mini phone in the U.K. PT Bank Mandiri (BMRI) paced declines by Indonesian banks as a weakening rupiah raised speculation of more interest rate increases. India’s stock index retreated for a second day as higher oil raised concerns about the nation’s inflation. The Shanghai Composite Index jumped to a six-month high as shares linked to Shanghai’s free-trade zone rallied.
The MSCI Emerging Markets Index fell 0.3 percent to 1,000.25 as of 1:42 p.m. in Hong Kong, poised for the lowest level since Nov. 14. U.S. jobs and new home sales data today may provide clues as to when the Federal Reserve will cut stimulus. Indonesia raised interest rates last month to sustain overseas demand for its currency."

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Poland Will Probably Leave Benchmark Interest Rate at Record Low - Bloomberg

Poland Will Probably Leave Benchmark Interest Rate at Record Low - Bloomberg:

"Poland’s central bank will probably leave its benchmark interest rate at a record low for a fifth month today as a recovery in the European Union’s largest eastern economy poses no risk for inflation.
The Narodowy Bank Polski in Warsaw will keep the reference rate at 2.5 percent, according to all 37 economists in a Bloomberg survey. Governor Marek Belka will comment on the decision at a news conference at 4 p.m.
“Today’s meeting raises no doubts whatsoever,” Piotr Bujak, an economist at Nordea Bank in Warsaw said on Dec. 2. “Next year’s decisions though are becoming increasingly uncertain, considering monetary easing in the euro zone.”"

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