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Sunday, 8 December 2013

Economic scorecard for Rouhani's first 100 days - Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East

Economic scorecard for Rouhani's first 100 days - Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East:

"On Nov. 26, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani appeared on live television to present a progress report on his government’s performance in its first 100 days in office. Evidently, the president was content that the Geneva agreement had been signed, drawing a road map for the resolution of the nuclear file. In fact, the country’s business community and economic commentators had reacted positively to the Geneva deal — a fact that was underlined in the appreciation of the Iranian rial on the free market.

Nonetheless, it seemed that Rouhani had decided to use the televised interview to present the depth of the economic crisis that the country was facing. The most significant economic passages of the president’s communication include:

Challenges faced when his government took office:"

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Venture Capital: How Chinese Yuan has overtaken Euro (E19) - YouTube

Venture Capital: How Chinese Yuan has overtaken Euro (E19) - YouTube:

"Katie Pilbeam explores how the Chinese Yuan has overtaken the Euro as the second most widely used currency in this week's episode of Venture Capital. David Kuo from The Motley Fool offers his view on the changing role of China in global trade. Also, as the political situation in Ukraine intensifies so does the risk of an economic default -- we ask economist Daniel Bruno from First National Innovation Brokers if Kiev was right to turn away from the EU Free Trade zone. Plus -- Russia welcomes the first ever home grown smartphone and we find out if our in-house investor Sean Thomas chooses caution or throws caution to the wind.


"

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Emirates: In a sweet spot - FT.com

Emirates: In a sweet spot - FT.com:

"

To understand the sheer might of Emirates Airline, you have to go to its Dubai hub at midnight. Between 10pm and 1am, Emirates’ airliners rain down on Dubai International airport – 90 land during this frenetic three-hour period, flying in mainly from Asia, Europe and elsewhere in the Middle East.
These long-range aircraft – Emirates is the world’s largest operator of the Airbus A380 superjumbo and Boeing 777 jet – are then rapidly prepared for their next flights. About 60 jets roar out of Dubai between 2am and 4am.
The waves of aircraft highlight how Emirates’ Terminal 3 at Dubai International has become a hub for millions of passengers criss-crossing the world. Rush hour happens in the middle of the night as bleary-eyed passengers spend a few hours in the airport’s duty free shopping malls between their incoming and outgoing flights."

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Iran President Rouhani targets stagflation in first budget | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT

Iran President Rouhani targets stagflation in first budget | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT:

"
Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani delivering his speech to
parliament before presenting the proposed annual budget to
Parliament on December 8, 2013. (AFP PHOTO/HO/IRANIAN PRESIDENCY)
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani presented his first budget to parliament on Sunday, vowing to bring down inflation and boost growth to lift an economy reeling from sanctions and what he says was mismanagement by predecessor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Inflation has soared for two years and productivity has slumped as ever tougher economic sanctions imposed to counter Tehran’s nuclear program have taken their toll.

Rouhani says Ahmadinejad squandered vast oil revenues on cash handouts and housing projects during his two terms in office from 2005 and racked up enormous government debt.

Gross domestic product had contracted by 6 percent over the past year, Rouhani told lawmakers, while inflation was running at 44 percent when he took office in August, a situation he described as “very worrying.”"

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Dubai foreign trade crosses Dh1 trillion - Emirates 24/7

Dubai foreign trade crosses Dh1 trillion - Emirates 24/7:

"

Dubai’s non-oil foreign trade crossed Dh1 trillion mark by the end of Q3 2013 compared to Dh918 billion for the same period in 2012.

The emirate’s rising position on the world trade map owing to the increasing growth in its foreign trade volume qualifies it to occupy a prominent position in the economic scene.

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, expressed satisfaction over the strong results and the steady increase in the volume of Dubai’s foreign trade exchanges, considering the achievement a solid evidence of the effectiveness of the Emirate’s economic policies.

He underlined the importance of the announced trade results for the first three quarters of 2013 as a new starting point towards further achievements which boost UAE status as a global hub for trade, and reinforce Dubai's position as a focal gateway for international trade exchanges."

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The week ahead: Dec 9-13 | beyondbrics

The week ahead: Dec 9-13 | beyondbrics:

"The week ahead in emerging markets: Trans-Pacific Partnership trade talks continue. Chile holds the second round of its presidential elections. The trial of several Muslim Brotherhood officials starts. Plus the Bank of Korea and Bank Indonesia hold monetary policy meetings.

Monday, December 9
Trade talks continue in Singapore on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement. Until December 10.
The trial of three senior officials of the Muslim Brotherhood begins in Cairo. They face charges of inciting members to kill rioters in the final days of Mohamed Morsi’s regime."

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MIDEAST STOCKS-Egypt rallies on rate cut and constitution; most Gulf shares up | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Egypt rallies on rate cut and constitution; most Gulf shares up | Reuters:

"Egypt's bourse rallied 2.4 percent on Sunday as a draft constitution gained traction and an interest rate cut boosted sentiment, while most Gulf shares also rose.

Egypt's Nour Party, the second-largest Islamist political group, said it would support a new constitution in an upcoming referendum in order to spare the country "more anarchy".

"Sentiment has improved in the market over the voting process of the constitution - it seems there is a coalition forming," said Islam Batrawy, a Cairo-based trader.

Separately, the country's central bank on Thursday reduced its key interest rates by 50 basis points each, saying it was more concerned about boosting growth than taming inflation."

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LUKoil in Talks to Sell Out of Venezuela Oil Project | Business | The Moscow Times

LUKoil in Talks to Sell Out of Venezuela Oil Project | Business | The Moscow Times:

"The country's second-largest oil producer, LUKoil, has been in talks with international majors about selling its stake in a consortium developing a large oil project in Venezuela, Kommersant reported Friday, citing sources.

LUKoil declined immediate comment.

The company said in October that it wanted to sell its 20 percent stake in the Russian Junin-6 consortium developing heavy oil in the Orinoco basin to focus on other projects. The group is led by Russian state oil major Rosneft and also includes Gazprom Neft.

Rosneft's head, Igor Sechin, has said it is considering buying LUKoil's stake in the group."

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Russia to Pump Record 520 Million Tons of Oil in 2013, Minister Says | Business | The Moscow Times

Russia to Pump Record 520 Million Tons of Oil in 2013, Minister Says | Business | The Moscow Times:

"Energy Minister Alexander Novak said Saturday that Russia would pump more than 520 million tons of crude oil in 2013, a post-Soviet record.

Already the world's biggest producer, Russia has boosted oil production this year on the back of high prices.

"This year we expect oil [output] to be about 520 million tons, despite setting a goal of pumping between 505 to 510 million tons," Novak told reporters during a trip to the U.S. for meetings with his U.S. counterpart.

In 2012 Russia produced 518 million tons of oil, up from 511.4 million tons in 2011."

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The week ahead: Empty shelves, empty stomachs - YouTube

The week ahead: Empty shelves, empty stomachs - YouTube:

"SINGAPORE hosts trade talks, the wheels turn on the Iranian nuclear deal, Venezuela's president faces an Electoral test and a portrait of Jane Austen is auctioned


"

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ENERGY - Libya loses $7 billion to oil strikes, must find new buyers

ENERGY - Libya loses $7 billion to oil strikes, must find new buyers:

"Libya has lost more than $7 billion and faces new competition from Algeria and Nigeria in oil markets due to strikes at oilfields and ports drying up exports, Oil Minister Abdelbari al-Arusi said on Dec. 7.

A mix of militias, tribesmen and civil servants have seized most oil ports and fields to demand more political power or higher pay, throttling Libya’s oil export lifeline.

The OPEC producer is facing turmoil as Prime Minister Ali Zeidan’s government struggles to control dozens of former militias which helped oust Muammar Gaddafi two years ago but which have refused to give up their arms."

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From Stressed to Success: A Middle East Bank’s Turnaround - Your Middle East

From Stressed to Success: A Middle East Bank’s Turnaround - Your Middle East:

"Since the global financial crisis, banks world-wide have struggled to rebuild balance sheets with a focus on openness and risk management strategies. One surprising success story comes from the Middle East, a region where corporate governance is still in its infancy.

Despite the support of massive oil revenues, U.A.E. banks were not immune to the tidal impact of the U.S. sub-prime mortgage fallout. In 2008, after a period of incredible growth, the Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB), the country’s third largest lender, suffered a spectacular collapse. How it pulled itself out of the quagmire of bad loans and high risk investments is a lesson for financial institutions everywhere.

When it formed in 1985 from the merger of three “stressed’ government-owned banks, ADCB, like many financial institutions around the world, viewed risk as second to the mantra of “let’s just grow!”."

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Will Gulf Investment Return To Egypt? - OpEd Eurasia Review

Will Gulf Investment Return To Egypt? - OpEd Eurasia Review:

"I write this week from Cairo, where the Egypt-Gulf Investment Forum was held to discuss investment opportunities in Egypt. The meeting was timely, because Egypt has suffered greatly over the past two years as investment flows slowed down and investors became apprehensive about returning to Egypt waiting for the dust to settle.

Given those circumstances, it was surprising to see how well attended the forum was. Organizers estimated that 1,400 businesspeople took part, including about 400 from the GCC countries. Egypt’s Prime Minister Hazem Al-Biblawi and most of his cabinet members were also in attendance.

There was an upbeat mood at the forum, which was held in a resort just outside the hustle and bustle (and daily demonstrations) of Cairo. The conclusion of the constitutional conference, known as the “Committee of 50,” the day before the forum opened buoyed the mood. The committee agreed to a draft constitution, which will be put for referendum in coming weeks. Its chairman was at the forum to celebrate that milestone."

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Dubai Index Climbs to Five-Year High on Real Estate; Qatar Gains - Bloomberg

Dubai Index Climbs to Five-Year High on Real Estate; Qatar Gains - Bloomberg:

"Dubai’s benchmark stock index rose to the highest in more than five years as the emirate starts regulating the holiday home rental market and construction company Arabtec (ARTC) Holding PJSC won a contract.
The DFM General Index (DFMGI) advanced 0.6 percent to 3,031.80, the highest since November 2008, at 12:13 p.m. in Dubai. The measure has surged 87 percent this year, making it one of the world’s best performers tracked by Bloomberg. Arabtec increased as much as 1.5 percent after a venture led by its unit won a $900 million deal to build a hospital. Emaar Properties PJSC (EMAAR) was poised for the strongest close since October 2008. Qatar’s QE Index (DSM) gained 0.4 percent to the highest since Nov. 20.
Dubai’s property companies are benefiting from an economic recovery and a rebound in construction as the emirate won the right to host the World Expo in 2020. The Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing will start issuing licenses to owners and investors planning to rent furnished properties on a daily, weekly or monthly basis, state-run WAM reported."

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Dubai house prices rise at fastest global rate, Knight Frank says | The National

Dubai house prices rise at fastest global rate, Knight Frank says | The National:

"

House prices in Dubai were the fastest-growing in the world in the year to September, helping to push the global average to a new pre-crisis peak.

According to Knight Frank, house prices in Dubai rose by 28.5 per cent in the first nine months of the year – the biggest increase of any of the global markets the estate agent tracks.

However, the report, published on Friday, found that prices in the emirate were showing some signs of cooling down; rising by 4.5 per cent in the third quarter of the year after a 7.3 per cent rise over the previous three months."

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Trading system go-ahead for ADX | The National

Trading system go-ahead for ADX | The National:

"Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) will migrate to its new trading system – X-stream – at the end of January following a successful trial, Wam reported yesterday.

The mock session was conducted to ensure brokerages and their internal systems were prepared for X-stream. The implementation of the system will allow ADX to take a big step towards modernising the stock market and improving its performance.

The new system is said to offer “multiple functionality and flexibility”.

“We are committed to becoming one of the most innovative exchanges in the region and across the world,” said Ghanem Hamad Al Dhaheri, the deputy chief executive of ADX."

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