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Tuesday, 24 December 2013

FINANCE - Emerging debt sales hit surprise record in 2013

FINANCE - Emerging debt sales hit surprise record in 2013:

"Emerging market dollar bond sales hit record highs of $450 billion this year, surprising industry players who had predicted issuance to suffer from the threat of U.S. monetary stimulus withdrawal.

Worries about the squeezing of the U.S. lifeline that had fuelled demand for risky assets drove money from emerging market debt funds and hit returns in 2013, after several years of inflows and double-digit gains.

But low interest rates in historical terms and an absence of the expected tapering of U.S. stimulus kept borrowers coming, with only a relatively brief market freeze.

“The market was only really closed in June and July, that’s generally a very quiet part of the year,” said Marc Balston, emerging debt analyst at Deutsche Bank. “We probably only missed a month or six weeks. We saw a catch-up in September.”"

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In sending goods to Iran, Dubai weighs competing interests - The Washington Post

In sending goods to Iran, Dubai weighs competing interests - The Washington Post:

"After suffering steep declines in trade starting in 2012, seaborne transfer of goods between Iran and Dubai is picking up again, highlighting the U.A.E.’s delicate balancing act in maintaining important commercial ties and satisfying its Western allies.

A combination of economic factors in Iran — attributed to tough international sanctions over its contested nuclear activities — resulted in a decrease in trade with the U.A.E. from $24 billion in 2011 to $15 billion last year, threatening the livelihood of thousands of Iranian sailors."

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Are Saudi Arabia's OPEC oil tactics delusional or realistic? Why it's probably the former | Al Bawaba

Are Saudi Arabia's OPEC oil tactics delusional or realistic? Why it's probably the former | Al Bawaba:

"Saudi arabia did not play the role of Opec swing producer in Vienna and kept the output cap unchanged at 30 million barrels a day.

Oil Minister Ali Al Naimi refused to concede that the shale oil production in the US, the world’s largest energy consumer, was a strategic threat to the kingdom. He also ignored Iran’s pledge to raise output to four MBD even if prices fall by $20. The Saudis have the lowest production costs, highest spare capacity and are producing 10 MBD of the benchmark Arabian Light crude. The Saudi kingdom alone has the power to act as the Opec’s swing producer, to punish quota violators by causing oil prices to crash (a strategy Shaikh Zaki Yamani used to punish Nigerian quota cheating and respond to Britain’s North Sea offshore oilfields in the 1980s)."

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MIDEAST DEBT-Gulf issuance to surge in 2014, Abu Dhabi may return | Reuters

MIDEAST DEBT-Gulf issuance to surge in 2014, Abu Dhabi may return | Reuters:

"* Fed policy jitters, Abu Dhabi's absence cut activity this year

* New issuance could rise by a third or more in 2014

* Heavy Abu Dhabi obligations coming due may be refinanced

* Liquid loan market may divert some interest from bonds

* But more first-time corporate issuers expected in Gulf

By David French

DUBAI, Dec 24 (Reuters) - Bond issuance from the Gulf Arab region is set to surge next year on the back of heavy infrastructure spending and refinancing needs, while the Abu Dhabi sovereign may return to the market after an absence of nearly five years.

The region's issuance of conventional bonds and sukuk fell to $28.97 billion this year from $36.90 billion in 2012, according to IFR, a Thomson Reuters unit.

That was partly because of jitters about the U.S. Federal Reserve's plans to cut its monetary stimulus, which widened bond spreads globally, and partly due to both Abu Dhabi and its government-related entities (GREs) staying away from the market."

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ekathimerini.com | Eurobank Properties sells asset in Ukraine

ekathimerini.com | Eurobank Properties sells asset in Ukraine:

"Eurobank Properties announced on Tuesday the sale of one of its assets that is based in Ukraine.

The ground-floor store, with a basement, is in the capital Kiev and has a total surface of 541.6 square meters. It fetched the Greek blue-chip firm 3.3 million euros, which entailed capital gains of 280,000 euros given the price of its acquisition.

The listed property management company has in the last couple of months proceeded to the radical restructuring of its portfolio in order to reduce the contribution of the rents it gets from parent company Eurobank to its total revenues."

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MIDEAST STOCKS-Dubai's 2013 gains cross 100 pct; most of region rises | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Dubai's 2013 gains cross 100 pct; most of region rises | Reuters:

"* Real estate, banking stocks lead Dubai higher

* Factors such as MSCI upgrade to limit any pull-back

* Egypt's partial debt repayment boosts Dana Gas

* Saudi Arabia's Bawan Co up 10 pct limit on debut

* Egyptian market shrugs off major bomb attack on police

By Nadia Saleem

DUBAI, Dec 24 (Reuters) - Year-to-date gains by Dubai's main stock index rose above 100 percent on Tuesday as investors, positioning for full-year earnings, pushed real estate and bank stocks higher. Most other regional markets also rose.

The Dubai index climbed 1.3 percent to its highest close since October 2008, extending its 2013 gains to 102.2 percent. Blue chip Emaar Properties gained 3.0 percent and Deyaar Development rose 6.5 percent. Heavyweight bank Emirates NBD climbed 1.5 percent.

"The play right now in the UAE is for earnings, more than dividends, which are more attractive in Saudi Arabia and Qatar," said Amer Khan, fund manager at Shuaa Asset Management.

"We are in a rally, but at the end of the day it depends on whether it has legs and this depends on earnings.""

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2013 in review: beyondbrics’ most popular guest posts | beyondbrics

2013 in review: beyondbrics’ most popular guest posts | beyondbrics:

"Alongside the various FT correspondents around the world, beyondbrics plays host to a wide range of guest writers, among whom you’ll find business leaders, academics, market insiders and politicians.

Here are the top 10 most read guest posts of 2013. It’s an intriguing list.

In reverse order (as of December 20):

In 10th place was Jin-Yong Cai of the International Finance Corporation, on how the private sector can help alleviate poverty.

9: Back in March, Aly-Khan Satchu of Rich Management wrote a fascinating peice on being an Afro-optimist, to go with the FT’s Africa Inc series."

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London court sentences Khoroshilov, accused of stealing over $770 mln from VTB in Russia, to 18 months - newspaper | Russia Beyond The Headlines

London court sentences Khoroshilov, accused of stealing over $770 mln from VTB in Russia, to 18 months - newspaper | Russia Beyond The Headlines:

"The London High Court has sentenced to 18 months former head of the Sibneft Siberian affiliate Fyodor Khoroshilov, accused of embezzling over $770 million from VTB Bank in Russia, the Kommersant newspaper reported.
"The London High Court returned the verdict to Khoroshilov on December 20 and found him guilty of violating the court order on freezing assets and of disrespecting the court," the newspaper reported.
In 2009 the same court arrested $245 million at Khoroshilov\'s accounts in various banks as well as shares of oil companies belonging to him, a restaurant in Tyumen, the Giant I yacht, the Boeing-737 plane, a Maybach, two villas in France and Italy (a mansion with 35 rooms at 7 hectares) etc. upon the lawsuit of the VTB bank, the newspaper reported."

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RPT-Qatar says can help Iran get more from world's biggest gas field | Reuters

RPT-Qatar says can help Iran get more from world's biggest gas field | Reuters:

"Qatar wants to help Iran to develop its share of the world's biggest gas field so both countries can reap the maximum long-term rewards, sources at state-run Qatar Petroleum (QP) say.

The Gulf state has offered its support in response to a request from Iran amid signs that western sanctions might ease after it signed a deal in November that offers more transparency over its nuclear programme.

The giant gas field beneath the waters of the Gulf, which Iran calls South Pars and Doha calls the North Field, accounts for nearly all of Qatar's gas production and around 60 percent of its export revenues.

Multi-billion dollar plants built with big Western energy companies have helped Qatar become the world's largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporter, while western sanctions have prevented Iran from mirroring that success."

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Uralkali Replaces Baumgertner as CEO | Business | RIA Novosti

Uralkali Replaces Baumgertner as CEO | Business | RIA Novosti:

"Uralkali has replaced its chief executive days after funds linked to two Russian billionaires completed the purchase of almost half the shares of the potash giant.
Uralkali’s board of directors announced Monday that it had appointed Dmitry Osipov, a deputy chairman of fertilizer producer Uralchem, to replace Vladislav Baumgertner as CEO. Osipov takes up the position effective Tuesday.
Baumgertner is currently under house arrest after being charged with abuse of office following Uralkali’s decision to end a pricing cartel. Uralkali has denied impropriety and Baumgertner was re-elected to its board of directors last month."

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‘Iran wants to rebuild relations with US, EU’ – Rouhani — RT News

‘Iran wants to rebuild relations with US, EU’ – Rouhani — RT News:

"Iran’s president Hassan Rouhani has for the first time openly acknowledged the Islamic Republic’s plans to mend relations with the US and other Western powers.

“We want to rebuild and improve our relations to European and North American countries on a basis of mutual respect,” Rouhani wrote in an editorial published by Germany’s Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper.

“We are striving to avoid new burdens on relations between Iran and the United States and also to remove the tensions that we have inherited,” he added.

Rouhani has declared a course of engagement with the West and finding compromise on the controversial Iranian nuclear program after claiming a confident win the presidential election this July. "

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Agrimoney.com | Extended autumn boosts health of Ukraine grains

Agrimoney.com | Extended autumn boosts health of Ukraine grains:

"A prolonged autumn supported the condition of Ukraine grain and rapeseed crops heading into the country's harsh winter, besides helping growers to catch up on sowings more significantly than initially thought.

Ukraine's winter grains "have emerged almost on all the planted area", UkrAgroConsult, the Kiev-based consultancy said, estimating that only 6,000 hectares of crop has yet to appear, down from 328,000 hectares a year ago.

The extent of crop's progress comes despite a rain-hampered start to the sowing season, which prompted the country's farm ministry to forecast in early October that some 1.5m hectares of area earmarked for winter grains would go unplanted, leaving sowings at 6.2m-6.3m hectares."

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Nakheel remains committed to Palm Jebel Ali project in Dubai | The National

Nakheel remains committed to Palm Jebel Ali project in Dubai | The National:

"

The Nakheel chairman, Ali Rashid Lootah, said the Palm Jebel Ali project will be built – but not in the short term.

In an interview with Al Ittihad, Mr Lootah said that dropping the project was out of the question and the company was committed to completing all of its announced projects on a schedule that responds to market needs.

He said that as part of a restructuring of the company’s financial and commercial debt, the board has decided to categorise the company’s projects as those to be implemented in the short term, such as Al Furjan, Jumeirah Park, Jumeirah Village, Jumeirah Heights, Jumeirah Island and Badra, and those to be implemented in the long term such as Jebel Ali Palm."

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Banking review 2013: lenders shake off years of low growth | The National

Banking review 2013: lenders shake off years of low growth | The National:

"UAE banks continued to recover this year amid an economic rebound following years of low growth as jitters about defaulters subsided and more loans started to flow out of the bank’s vaults.

Jostling for business in a crowded market, lenders here have also ramped up the tempo to tap emerging markets for more growth.

National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD), the biggest lender by assets in the UAE, is among those that said this year they were focusing on capturing a slice of US$137 billion market in corporate lending in Asia and Africa."

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Iraq’s Kurds, Baghdad holds key of energy boom | GulfNews.com

Iraq’s Kurds, Baghdad holds key of energy boom | GulfNews.com:

"Just two decades ago, Erbil was a dangerous town, attacked on one side by Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussain and on the other by warring Kurdish tribes.
Today, this vibrant capital of Kurdistan, a semi-autonomous region in Iraq, is peaceful as expectations of an energy windfall are creating a boom and helping to refashion a traditional society and an ancient landscape.
Hoteliers including Hilton and Kempinski are erecting buildings that now soar above the city’s 7,000-year-old Citadel. New shopping malls compete with the medieval bazaar. And Erbil’s historic downtown is ringed by luxury villas, residential towers and commercial offices, driven by a 20-fold surge in property prices since US forces invaded Iraq in 2003.
“A decade ago, Erbil was more like a big village,” said Tahir Osman, deputy governor of Erbil Province who helped forge an urban development plan that calls for a Grand-Prix race track. “My dream is changing the Kurdish capital to make it into one of the most important cities in the world.”"

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Central Bank discusses operational strategy for 2014-2016 | GulfNews.com

Central Bank discusses operational strategy for 2014-2016 | GulfNews.com:

"Central Bank of the UAE held its high-level meeting on Saturday and Sunday at Mercure Grand Jebel Hafeet, Al Ain City to discuss Central Bank strategy.
The meeting was attended by the Governor Sultan Bin Nasser Al Suwaidi, the assistant governors, executive directors and senior officials including branch managers, examination team leaders and supervisory reviewers.
The meeting is aimed at discussing the Central Bank’s strategy and its operational plan for 2014-2016, projects of banking supervision department, monetary policy and financial stability department and banking operations department, which are linked to the strategy. In addition, the meeting would discuss other important topics of interest to the Central Bank. The meeting also aims at enhancing communication among officials of various departments and branches."

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Ukraine Upheaval Spurred by 28% Rates Limiting Buyers - Bloomberg #EuroMaidan

Ukraine Upheaval Spurred by 28% Rates Limiting Buyers - Bloomberg:

"On most days after work, Valentine Diatlenko joins the thousands of anti-government protesters in Independence Square who demand that Ukraine link its future to the European Union. His anger over the December bailout from Russia is stoked by a grim fact of life in the former Soviet Republic.

He has no chance of buying a home.

The political upheaval in Ukraine, suffering its third recession since 2008, is driven to a significant degree by a housing crisis, Oleksandr Abramovich, co-owner of Kiev-based real estate agency UA Property, said. Mortgage rates are so high that first-time buyers shun them and attempt to borrow cash from family and friends to make a deal in a tight housing market.

“The housing deficit is a huge problem and the main issue for many, many people,” Abramovich said. “Mortgages are very expensive, wages are low and the economy is not doing well.”"

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