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Thursday, 26 December 2013

Turkish scandal moves closer to Erdogan - FT.com

Turkish scandal moves closer to Erdogan - FT.com:

"
Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was fighting for his political survival on Thursday, as a court-led corruption investigation looked set to spread from government ministers to members of his own family.
“It’s clear that I am the real target,” the prime minister told reporters on Thursday. He said prosecutors were planning a second wave of investigations, including one into an education foundation run by members of his family, and complained that the judicial investigation was a second “war for independence” designed to overthrow his government."

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Qatar Petroleum International Enters Into Share Capital Of Total E&P Congo Eurasia Review

Qatar Petroleum International Enters Into Share Capital Of Total E&P Congo Eurasia Review:

"Further to the signing of a framework agreement in early May, Total said Thursday that Qatar Petroleum International (QPI) is now a shareholder of Total E&P Congo, holding 15% of its capital.

“The conclusion of this agreement, which is an important milestone, builds on Total’s already well-established partnership with Qatar and at the same time strengthens our commitment to the development of the Congolese petroleum industry,” commented Christophe de Margerie, Chairman and CEO of Total.

This transaction, whilst demonstrating the quality of Total E&P Congo’s assets and the expertise within its organization, is also in line with the Group’s strategy of active portfolio management.

The 1.6 billion dollar increase of Total E&P Congo’s capital will consolidate its financial capacity at a time when it is progressing the development of the Moho Nord deep offshore project."

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Abu Dhabi on course with diversification as non-oil economy records expansion | The National

Abu Dhabi on course with diversification as non-oil economy records expansion | The National:

"Abu Dhabi’s non-oil economy grew at a compound rate of 6.9 per cent a year in the five years to 2012.

The growth lifted the share of the emirate’s economy unrelated to hydrocarbons to 48 per cent, according to the Department of Economic Development.

The emirate’s 2030 Economic Vision calls for the non-oil sector to reach 64 per cent of the economy by 2030, compared with 44 per cent in 2010.

The emirate’s economic activity unrelated to oil and gas rose to US$88.5 billion by the end of 2012, increasing its share of the total economy by 5 percentage points to 48 per cent, the department said."

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Ukraine to start negotiations on gas consortium in January - ForUm #euromaidan #євромайдан

Ukraine to start negotiations on gas consortium in January - ForUm:

"Ukraine will begin negotiations on creation of a consortium to control the gas transportation system in January of 2014, energy and coal industry minister Eduard Stavytsky told a briefing in the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, ForUm correspondent reports.

"We will begin these negotiations in January. As for the agreements that were reached earlier with investors and European banks concerning investments into our GTS, we will not stop on this. In the first quarter, I hope we will start the implementation of these agreements," Stavytsky said.

He also noted that the work on assessment of the Ukrainian GTS has been already completed. "In the near future the company conducting the assessment will submit the documentation, and then the amount will be made public," he promised."

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Ukraine, ExxonMobil delay signing of PSA on Black Sea field - Natural Gas | Platts #euromaidan #євромайдан

Ukraine, ExxonMobil delay signing of PSA on Black Sea field - Natural Gas | Platts News Article & Story:

"Ukraine and an ExxonMobil-led consortium postponed by at least a month until January 2014 the signing of the production sharing agreement on tapping a Black Sea natural gas field, Energy and Coal Industry Minister Eduard Stavytskiy said.

The agreement, which was expected to be signed by the end of November, targets the offshore Skifske gas field that is expected to produce between 8 billion cubic meters and 10 billion cu m of gas annually.

'The agreement is ready,' Stavytskiy said at a press conference late Wednesday. 'We have moved [the signing] to January by mutual consent.'

Stavytskiy did not disclose the reason for the delay, but the government had been facing a major political crisis and massive street protests since November 21.

The protesters took to the streets after the government had refused to sign political association and free trade agreements with the European Union on November 29. Instead, President Viktor Yanukovych went to negotiate $15 billion bailout package and lower natural gas prices from Russia in a deal signed on December 17."

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Central Bank Allows Trading of Foreign Shares | Business | The Moscow Times

Central Bank Allows Trading of Foreign Shares | Business | The Moscow Times:

"The Central Bank has decided to alter its policy and allow trading of foreign stocks in Russia without direct consent of their issuers, as long as the broker offering the shares takes responsibility for providing full disclosure, Vedomosti reported Thursday.

"Admitting first-class foreign issuers to the Russian market can give momentum to the development of the Russian financial market and the creation of a financial center in Moscow," a spokesman from the regulator's Service for Financial Markets said.

A law that went into force on Sept. 30 had required stock exchanges to sign agreements with issuers before permitting trades of foreign stocks.

The restriction prevented the Saint Petersburg stock exchange from launching trade of 108 foreign securities. At that time, 40 issuers spoke out against their stocks being traded in Russia, while Goldman Sachs registered a complaint about the exchange with the Central Bank."

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Russian economy showed mixed results in 2013 | Russia Beyond The Headlines

Russian economy showed mixed results in 2013 | Russia Beyond The Headlines:

"The Russian economy started to stagnate at the end of the year. Throughout December, Russian and foreign experts lowered their forecasts of most key indicators.
A review of forecasts shows different expectations, however, they all agree that the domestic situation, rather than external factors, was the biggest influence on 2013.
President Vladimir Putin reiterated this point during his annual address to the Federal Assembly in December.

"


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Why Iran Is the Country to Watch in 2014 | Alternet

Why Iran Is the Country to Watch in 2014 | Alternet:

"The big story of 2014 will be Iran. Of course, the big story of the early 21st century will never stop being US-China, but it's in 2014 that we will know whether a comprehensive accord transcending the Iranian nuclear program is attainable; and in this case the myriad ramifications will affect all that's in play in the New Great Game in Eurasia, including US-China.

As it stands, we have an interim deal of the P5+1 (the UN Security Council's five permanent members plus Germany) with Iran, and no deal between the US and Afghanistan. So, once again, we have Afghanistan configured as a battleground between Iran and the House of Saud, part of a geopolitical game played out in overdrive since the US invasion of Iraq in 2003 along the northern rim of the Middle East all the way to Khorasan and South Asia. "

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Iranian stock market surges 133% in 2013 beating the Dubai Financial Market’s 113% jump « ArabianMoney

Iranian stock market surges 133% in 2013 beating the Dubai Financial Market’s 113% jump « ArabianMoney:

"Two of the hottest stock markets in the world are in the Gulf of Arabia this year. Among the Arabian Gulf States their commercial capital Dubai stands out with the Dubai Financial Market General Index up 113 per cent year-to-date. But across the water of the Persian Gulf the Tehran Stock Exchange can boast a 133 per cent surge in value this year.

This is actually the third year of strong gains in the TSE. Last year the index closed up 55 per cent and the gain in 2011 was 24 per cent. Not surprisingly Iranians have been abandoning real estate and gold in favour of a stock market that seems to head only north."

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Boom in legal gold smuggling by Indian expatriates from the UAE replacing official imports « ArabianMoney

Boom in legal gold smuggling by Indian expatriates from the UAE replacing official imports « ArabianMoney:

"On paper imports of gold into India this year are dramatically down due to penal tax rates of 10 per cent. But in reality the gold is still getting into the country by a perfectly legal backdoor: expatriate Indians returning after more than six month’s absence are legally permitted to bring in one kilogram of the precious metal.

Eighty passengers on a Dubai to Calicut flight brought 80 kilograms of gold, an Indian newspaper reported last week week. They still have to pay import duty in convertible foreign currency of six per cent per cent ad valorem plus a three per cent tax. But that still leaves a tidy profit on an AED142,250 kilo bar."

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Hello 2014: Russia has woken up to its problems, but can it find a solution? | beyondbrics

Hello 2014: Russia has woken up to its problems, but can it find a solution? | beyondbrics:

"The 5th in our series of guest posts on the outlook for 2014 is by Chris Weafer of Macro-Advisory

In economic terms 2013 was Russia’s Annus Horribilis. From growth of 3.4 per cent in 2012, and early expectations of a repeat performance this year, the economy is much more likely to report growth of only 1.3 per cent. That is still a good number in global terms but a long way off the 4 to 5 per cent growth that the country actually needs. A second consecutive year of poor growth will feel like stagnation and lead to a raft of earnings forecast downgrades in companies exposed to the domestic economy.

The good news is that the President and his Kremlin advisors are finally starting to pay attention."

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S&P improves Ukraine ratings outlook to stable from negative

S&P improves Ukraine ratings outlook to stable from negative:

"Standard & Poor's has changed the outlook on its "B-" long-term foreign- and local currency ratings assigned to Ukraine to stable from negative, the agency said in a press release.

The outlook on the ratings was revised following the announcement of a financial support package from Russia.

"In our view, Ukrainian external and fiscal funding challenges have been significantly reduced by the announcement of a financial support package from Russia," reads the press release.

The stable outlook reflects S&P's view that the $15 billion (about 8% of 2014 GDP) in direct financing, which Russia announced on December 18, 2013, that it would provide to the Ukrainian government, should cover the government's external financing needs over the next 12 months."

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The Peninsula Qatar - Qatar expects budget surplus of QR80bn

The Peninsula Qatar - Qatar expects budget surplus of QR80bn:

"Qatar is expected to post a budget surplus of over QR80bn ($21.97bn) in the current fiscal year as the budget was based on an oil price of $65 per barrel while the average crude prices in the international markets have been ruling at $105, financial experts and economists told Al Sharq yesterday.

The surplus estimates were actually QR7.4bn (based on an oil price of $65 per barrel) in the current financial year, while in the previous budget the surplus estimated was QR27.7bn. "

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DIB to let foreigners buy more shares | The National

DIB to let foreigners buy more shares | The National:

"The board of Dubai Islamic Bank, the emirate’s biggest Sharia-compliant lender, yesterday approved a plan to increase the amount of the bank’s shares that foreign investors can buy – to 25 per cent from 15 per cent.

The move comes amid demand by global institutions to hold more shares in UAE companies.

“With the improved overall economic climate as well as the spectacular performance of DFM [Dubai Financial Market] over the last year, we were under increasing pressure to allow greater liquidity for foreign investors, particularly the institutional funds,” said Adnan Chilwan, the bank’s chief executive.

When it comes into force next year, the MSCI upgrade of UAE stock markets to emerging status from frontier status is expected to attract Dh1 billion in investments into listed companies."

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Saudis to slow spending to lowest pace in a decade | The National

Saudis to slow spending to lowest pace in a decade | The National:

"Saudi Arabia plans to slow its spending to the lowest pace in more than a decade next year as the government responds to warnings that high expenditure risks running down oil wealth for future generations.

The impact of the budget, announced by the finance ministry this week, is likely to be closely watched by regional contractors as the kingdom scales back the pace on large building projects.

The 4 per cent rise in total budgeted spending to 855 billion riyals (Dh837.4bn) compares to a 5.9 per cent increase in actual expenditure during the current fiscal year.

The budget’s 248bn riyals earmarked for capital expenditure is around 13 per cent down from this year, the first time in 12 years that the government has trimmed planned spending in that area."

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Iranians Pile Into Stocks as Detente Triggers 133% Rally - Bloomberg

Iranians Pile Into Stocks as Detente Triggers 133% Rally - Bloomberg:

"For evidence of how Iranians are embracing President Hassan Rouhani’s pledge to re-establish ties with the world economy after decades of crippling sanctions, take a look at the Tehran Stock Exchange.

While daily trading equals only about 22 seconds worth of stock transactions in the U.S., Iran’s market has been booming. The benchmark index soared 133 percent this year through Dec. 24 to a record, beating returns posted by the 93 major global equity gauges tracked by Bloomberg. Most of the rally followed the June election of 65-year-old Rouhani, who delivered an initial accord with global powers just five months into office.

One morning last week, a 23-year-old college graduate named Samira was standing with hundreds of others inside the bourse in downtown Tehran, preparing to plunk down $600 in her first investment in the market. As stock prices flashed on screens one flight above the trading floor, Samira said she was excited to buy her first shares, something she never would have considered under Rouhani’s predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad."

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