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Saturday, 14 December 2013

Iran Cancels Pakistan Gas Pipeline Loan - NYTimes.com

Iran Cancels Pakistan Gas Pipeline Loan - NYTimes.com:

"Iran says it has canceled a planned $500 million loan to Pakistan to build part of a pipeline to bring natural gas from Iran.

Deputy Oil Minister Ali Majedi says Iran has no obligation to finance the Pakistani side of the project and also doesn't have the money. Majedi's comments were posted on the oil ministry's website, shana.ir, Saturday.

He said Tehran will demand compensation if Islamabad fails to take Iranian gas by end of next year.

Iran's former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had pledged the loan.

The Iran-Pakistan pipeline is designed to help Pakistan overcome its mushrooming energy needs. Pakistanis experience frequent blackouts.

But there are serious doubts about how Pakistan could finance the $2 billion needed to construct the pipeline, which also faces U.S. opposition."

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BHRRC: Businesses across the Middle East must put human rights above the bottom line | Bahrain Center for Human Rights

BHRRC: Businesses across the Middle East must put human rights above the bottom line | Bahrain Center for Human Rights:

"In December 2013, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre launched its first briefing on Business & Human Rights in the Middle East and North Africa.

Download full briefing in English [PDF]
Press release: "Businesses across the Middle East must put human rights above the bottom line"

New report lifts the lid on the business practices of dozens of companies operating across the Middle East"

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UAE bank market may be crowded, but ‘there’s room to grow’ | The National

UAE bank market may be crowded, but ‘there’s room to grow’ | The National:

"Andy Ripley, the new Dubai-based head of retail banking and wealth management at HSBC, answered the following questions posed to him by The National on consumer banking. HSBC entered the UAE market in 1959 when it bought the British Bank of the Middle East

Is the retail banking market in the UAE overcrowded?

I think it is widely recognised that there are a large number of banks in the country, and with over 50 operators in total, we have seen the market grow increasingly competitive over the last few years. This is clearly good news for banking customers but could also lead to consolidation in the industry.

Recently we have seen a few financial services firms selling their retail banking businesses in the country and this is reflective of the degree of competition in the market but also as international banks focus their capital deployment in their home markets. This is also beneficial for the wider industry, as banks are increasingly driven to innovate and improve their services to compete for an increasingly demanding customer base."

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Leonid Kuchma Ukraine on verge of bankruptcy - #EuroMaidan

Leonid Kuchma Ukraine on verge of bankruptcy:

"Speaking to journalists in the wake of the national roundtable today, erx-Pres Leoniod Kuchma said Ukraine is almost a bankrupt state.

“The cabinet expected a 3.5% GDP growth, while there is a 1.5% drop. Now the cabinet is sending envoys around the world to beg for money,” he said.

Kuchma believes the situation in Ukraine is so grave that Yanukovych won’t opt for joining the customs union with Russia.

He called both the government and opposition to find a consensus. Any procrastination will badly affect the country, he said.

Kuchma said he was disappointed by the government attempt to disperse the protesters on Wednesday night.

Asked to comment on the situation in Ukraine, Leonid Kuchma said, “If I tell you the truth I will have to leave Ukraine.”

Asked if he would have dismissed the interior minister if he was in Yanukovych’s shoes, he said,” Don’t try to drive me in the corner.”"

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