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Saturday, 21 December 2013

Saudi Gazette - Gulf remains key source market for Swiss tourism

Saudi Gazette - Gulf remains key source market for Swiss tourism:

"The number of Gulf arrivals in Switzerland increased by 24 percent to 38,441 between January and October this year compared to the same period last year with Kuwait (43 percent+), Saudi Arabia (27 percent+) and the UAE (23 percent+) contributing the largest increases, Switzerland Tourism said.

The number of combined overnight stays from the Gulf to Switzerland increased by 20.5 percent to 98,446, suggesting Gulf visitors have developed an appetite for Swiss tourism.

Gulf airlines are seeing growth to Switzerland with Emirates and Etihad Airways flying more combined total passengers. Emirates had flown 168,660 passengers on the Dubai-Geneva route compared to 148,748 passengers in the whole of 2012."

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GCC Economies And The Challenges Ahead In 2014 - OpEd Eurasia Review

GCC Economies And The Challenges Ahead In 2014 - OpEd Eurasia Review:

"The International Monetary Fund (IMF) recently published its annual assessment of GCC economies and their outlook in 2014. It makes clear how fast GCC economies have been growing since the global financial crisis. However, it points out to the challenges they face in the near and medium run, if appropriate precautions are not taken now to face those challenges.

First the good news: Since 2009, GCC combined GDP, or the total value of goods and services provided, has grown by over 68 percent during the past four years, from $955 billion in 2009 to an estimated $1.6 trillion in 2013. Current account balance, which has been enviably positive for a long time, has grown even faster during those four years, from $108 to $361 billion in 2013 (estimate), an overall increase of 235 percent."

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OPEC Cut Not Needed in 2014, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Iraq Say - Bloomberg

OPEC Cut Not Needed in 2014, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Iraq Say - Bloomberg:

"Ministers from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Iraq said OPEC needn’t cut production next year to make room for additional supplies from Iran, Libya and U.S. shale oil.

“I am optimistic the market will stay balanced and stable next year,” Saudi Oil Minister Ali Al-Naimi said today in a speech at a meeting of Arab oil exporters in Doha, Qatar. “Shale oil is not posing any threat to Saudi Arabia and OPEC,” he told reporters.

Commerzbank AG said in a Dec. 10 report that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries would need to cut output should Iranian and Libyan production return to the market. OPEC, content with current oil price levels, agreed at a Dec. 4 meeting to keep the group’s crude output ceiling unchanged at least until June.

Iran is seeking to raise oil output to 4 million barrels a day, the country’s oil minister, Bijan Namdar Zanganeh, said at the OPEC meeting, after a Nov. 24 agreement over its nuclear program opened the door to an easing of sanctions"

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Emirates boosts superjumbo fleet to 44 planes - Your Middle East

Emirates boosts superjumbo fleet to 44 planes - Your Middle East:

"Dubai's Emirates Airline announced it has boosted its fleet of Airbus A380s to 44 planes, taking delivery of another two of the superjumbos which went straight into service on Saturday.

"Emirates has received delivery of its 43rd and 44th A380 aircraft with a double delivery from Airbus’ Finkenwerder facility in Hamburg, Germany," the company said in a statement.

"From an operator standpoint, the A380 is still one of the most fuel-efficient aircraft per seat," said the airline's president, Tim Clark.

The fast-growing airline announced during the Dubai Air Show last month that it has ordered 50 Airbus A380s for $23 billion.

The order cemented its status as the single largest operator of the double-deckers."

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Saudi Gazette - Africa’s oil refining ambitions fade

Saudi Gazette - Africa’s oil refining ambitions fade:

"Africa’s efforts to supply more of its booming demand for fuel are being dashed by fierce competition from foreign oil refiners and traders flooding the $80 billion market with imports.

African governments want more oil refineries to cut fuel import bills and get better value from the continent’s own crude.

But the investors they so badly need are either withdrawing or shifting their focus to trading or storage to take advantage of the region’s demand growth of around 5 percent, higher than China and India.

For many distributors, it is cheaper to import fuel from refiners in India or the US Gulf, and even China, than to source from old, often unreliable local plants.

“Our view is that growing African demand will by and large be met by imports,” said CITAC’s David Bleasdale."

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The week ahead: December 20th 2013 - YouTube

The week ahead: December 20th 2013 - YouTube:

"The Fed reaches its 100th birthday, the centenary of the crossword is celebrated, Tie Rack closes its doors and Stonehenge welcomes visitors for the winter solstice


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▶ Christmas sales - YouTube

▶ Christmas sales - YouTube:

"Big retailers on both sides of the Atlantic are offering discounts in order to get shoppers through the door. Lex's Vincent Boland and Oliver Ralph discuss what is driving the trend.


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Oman rides well on its budget surpluses |

Oman rides well on its budget surpluses |

"Oman’s economy heads into 2014 on a positive note, brought on by steady budgetary spending, new gas exploration efforts and renewed efforts to stamp out corruption. The authorities recently brought to trial nine officials from the private sector on charges of trying to bribe for lucrative oil and infrastructure projects.
The move signals a new-found drive to do away with corrupt practices in both public and private entities. More than anything, the initiative burnished the country’s image on transparency parameters.
Currently, Oman lags behind three other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member countries on perceived corrupt practices in the public sector. The Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), brought out by Transparency International, ranks the Sultanate at No. 61 worldwide, being the UAE (ranked 26), Qatar (28) and Bahrain 57). The Index looks into malpractices such as bribing public officials, kickbacks in public procurement deals and embezzlement of public funds."

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Khodorkovsky Pardon Won’t Reverse Putin’s Stock Rout - Bloomberg

Khodorkovsky Pardon Won’t Reverse Putin’s Stock Rout - Bloomberg:

"While Mikhail Khodorkovsky has gained his freedom, he won’t get back the $36 billion oil company that was taken from him and minority shareholders a decade ago. The memory of those losses lingers for investors who pulled $3.5 billion from Russian equity funds this year.

Russia’s benchmark Micex stock index gained less than 1 percent yesterday, after President Vladimir Putin announced the pardon, and just 0.3 percent today following his release. The arrest of the former Yukos Oil Co. owner 10 years ago had sent the Moscow index down as much as 15 percent.

“Anyone changing their perception of Russia on the back of this Khodorkovsky pardon would be naive in the extreme,” said William Browder, the founder of Hermitage Capital Management, who shut his Russia fund in March after being tried in absentia for tax evasion. “The investment climate in Russia has been thoroughly destroyed in the last 10 years,” said Browder, who denies the charges."

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Turkey’s Lira Weakens to Record as Erdogan Fights Graft Probe - Bloomberg

Turkey’s Lira Weakens to Record as Erdogan Fights Graft Probe - Bloomberg:

"Turkey’s lira tumbled to a record against the dollar and euro while bonds fell as Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government purged police leadership in a fight back against a probe into official corruption.

The lira dropped as much as 1.2 percent to 2.0982 per dollar, the weakest since at least 1981, before trading 0.9 percent lower at 5:55 p.m. in Istanbul. The currency also fell as much as 1.2 percent to a record low of 2.8681 per euro. Yields on two-year benchmark notes increased 25 basis points to 9.61 percent, the highest since Sept. 3.

“Political risk has increased considerably,” Melih Onder, chairman of Logos Portfoy Yonetimi AS, which manages about 180 million liras ($86 million), said by phone from Istanbul. “It took a few days for foreign investors to digest what has happened. This selloff could continue for as long as 10 days.”"

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