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Friday, 20 December 2013

Iranian gold stars in Turkish corruption scandal - Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East

Iranian gold stars in Turkish corruption scandal - Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East:

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The year's most absurd stories - FT Markets - Markets & Investing Video - FT.com

The year's most absurd stories - FT Markets - Markets & Investing Video - FT.com:


"FT Alphaville continues its tradition of grumpy Christmas videos with a look back at some of the year's ludicrous events.

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Ukraine Devaluation Bets Still On After Russian Aid Pledge - Bloomberg

Ukraine Devaluation Bets Still On After Russian Aid Pledge - Bloomberg:

"Ukraine’s hryvnia stands an even chance of depreciating 11 percent to a record low in a year, even as a $15 billion bailout pledged by Russia this week boosts the government’s ability to avoid default.

There is a 52 percent probability the currency will within 12 months drop beyond 9.29 per dollar, the weakest close set in February 2009, according to derivatives data compiled by Bloomberg yesterday. The probability fell from 84 percent on Dec. 16 as Russia’s bailout plan reduced the cost of insuring Ukraine’s debt against non-payment to a five-month low yesterday.

While Russian President Vladimir Putin’s aid is enough to cover Ukraine’s financing needs through next year, the country is still grappling with a record current account deficit and an economy mired in a third recession since 2008. Foreign-currency reserves dropped to a seven-year low as street protests opposing the government’s ties with Russia roiled Kiev for four weeks."

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▶ Three steps to consumption - YouTube

▶ Three steps to consumption - YouTube:

"There is still no end in sight to monetary easing in Japan. Martin Wolf, chief economics commentator, explains to John Authers that Abenomics has succeeded in raising inflation expectations, but that other arrows must be fired to release trapped funds into the economy.


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Daimler to take stake in Kuwait-backed Aston Martin - Banking & Finance - ArabianBusiness.com

Daimler to take stake in Kuwait-backed Aston Martin - Banking & Finance - ArabianBusiness.com:

"Germany's Daimler said it will receive up to a 5 percent stake in luxury sports carmaker Aston Martin in exchange for supplying engines and electronic components to the 100-year-old British firm.
Aston Martin will team up with the German car maker's high-performance Mercedes-AMG GmbHdivision to develop a new generation of bespoke V8 engines for its sports cars.
The deal will help Aston Martin, the only global luxury carmaker not attached to a larger manufacturer, spread the cost of developing new fuel-efficient vehicles.
Daimler will receive non-voting shares in Aston Martin, owned by Kuwaiti and private equity investors, in several steps as the technical partnership progresses, the companies said on Thursday. They began negotiating the deal in July."

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National Bank of Abu Dhabi chief wants to awaken sleeping giant | The National

National Bank of Abu Dhabi chief wants to awaken sleeping giant | The National:

"National Bank of Abu Dhabi is planning a major push to boost its branch business in a bid to catapult the lender to the top ranks of retail banking.

That would involve “significant” investments to rebrand its branches and offer better e-banking services to its customers in the UAE over the next two years, said the chief executive Alex Thursby in an interview yesterday.

“We really want to assert ourselves in the retail space in the next three to four years,” he said. “We’re a good player but we’re not an outstanding player. We’re number five. I want to be higher than that. I think we can do a better job in the Arab expatriate segment. I think we can do a better job in the UAE national segment and I think to an extent the non-resident Indian segment.”"

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Volume of Gulf investments in Egypt at $50b , says minister | GulfNews.com

Volume of Gulf investments in Egypt at $50b , says minister | GulfNews.com:

"The volume of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) investments in Egypt has reached $50 billion while European investments reached $45 billion, according to Dr. Ashraf Al Arabi, Egyptian Minister of Planning and International Cooperation.
He said on Thursday in an interview that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan to Egypt is not on the government’s current agenda. He further explained that the backing of the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait has resulted in the Egyptian government’s non-interest in receiving a loan from the IMF.
According to Al Arabi, Egypt needs to attract annual foreign investments of $50 billion to step up the Egyptian economy and 850,000 annual job opportunities to absorb the labour market, which is the biggest challenge facing the government."

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Etihad in stake talks with Alitalia | GulfNews.com

Etihad in stake talks with Alitalia | GulfNews.com:

"Etihad Airways said yesterday it’s in talks with Alitalia, the ailing Italian airline that’s seeking a new international partner after shareholder Air France-KLM Group said it won’t inject fresh funds.
“Etihad Airways is in discussions with Alitalia,” the Abu Dhabi carrier told Gulf News in a statement. “We have no further comment at this time.”
The carrier is reportedly involved in discussions that could see it take up to a 49 per cent stake in Alitalia and make a capital injection as high as €350 million.
A majority stake in cash-strapped Italian carrier, Alitalia, will give Etihad access to one of the most important international traffic markets in Europe feeding more eastbound passengers through its Abu Dhabi hub, aviation experts say."

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Russian Billions to Buoy Yanukovych as Ukraine’s Economy Decays - Bloomberg #EuroMaidan

Russian Billions to Buoy Yanukovych as Ukraine’s Economy Decays - Bloomberg:

"President Viktor Yanukovych’s rush to buoy his popularity with handouts after securing $15 billion of Russian aid risks exacerbating Ukraine’s economic tailspin.

A day after the Russian deal, Premier Mykola Azarov vowed to raise social spending such as minimum wages and child benefits, and increase public paychecks three times before 2015 presidential elections. Yanukovych trails opposition leaders including ex-heavyweight boxer Vitali Klitschko in polls.

The president is battling the biggest street protests since the Orange Revolution almost a decade ago as his government struggles to revive an economy stuck in its third recession since 2008. Before accepting the Russian cash, Ukraine snubbed an International Monetary Fund deal that would have narrowed the budget gap and stemmed central bank support for the hryvnia."

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Rouhani Takes on Revolutionary Guards in Iran Power Test - Bloomberg

Rouhani Takes on Revolutionary Guards in Iran Power Test - Bloomberg:

"Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, a business empire as well as the country’s most powerful military force, have been a vocal critic of recent nuclear diplomacy. President Hassan Rouhani is fighting back, setting up a contest that may shape his presidency.

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps expanded under Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, benefiting from multi-billion-dollar contracts to build Iran’s nuclear facilities and develop the world’s biggest natural-gas field at South Pars in the Persian Gulf. Former officers, who made up more than half of Ahmadinejad’s cabinet, are down to four out of 18 ministerial jobs under Rouhani.

Guards leaders, in their role as defenders of the Islamic revolution, have denounced the new president’s breakthrough phone call with Barack Obama and sniped at Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif as he negotiated a nuclear accord with world powers in Geneva last month"

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