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Sunday, 29 December 2013

Gulf countries take steps to achieve monetary unity - Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East

Gulf countries take steps to achieve monetary unity - Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East:

"The idea of a monetary union between the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries was proposed at the recent summit held in Kuwait on Dec. 10-11. The idea seems closer to being realized than ever before, especially after Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar agreed to establish a unified central bank that will issue a unified currency starting in early 2015. This ambitious project had faced many obstacles, and Oman and the United Arab Emirates decided to abstain. The sovereign debt crisis that affected the eurozone and its impact on the exchange rate for the unified European currency were food for criticism."

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France tries to supplant US as Saudi Arabia's arms supplier - Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East

France tries to supplant US as Saudi Arabia's arms supplier - Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East:

"Three issues are on the desk of French President Francois Hollande and Saudi King Abdullah: Lebanon, Syria and Iran.

The top priority of the French president, who's visiting Saudi Arabia Dec. 29-30, is to conclude an unprecedented arms deal with Saudi Arabia, thus exploiting the chill in US-Saudi relations and entering the oil region’s largest arms market, which has spent more than $70 billion during in one decade to accumulate the region’s largest arsenal.

Hollande wishes to gradually supplant America in this market in case America keeps retreating from the crises of the Middle East and Central Asia, and if America’s nuclear understanding with Tehran is consecrated."

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Feeling US Snub, Saudis Strengthen Ties Elsewhere - NYTimes.com

Feeling US Snub, Saudis Strengthen Ties Elsewhere - NYTimes.com:

"Increasingly vocal in its frustration over United States policies in the Mideast, Saudi Arabia is strengthening ties elsewhere, seeking out an alignment that will bolster its position after it was pushed to the sidelines this year.

It may find a solution in France, whose president is ending the year with 24 hours of high-level meetings with the Saudi leadership in a visit intended to showcase commercial and diplomatic strength.

With an entourage of French executives from the lucrative defense and energy sectors, President Francois Hollande arrives Sunday in Riyadh for a flurry of accords and contracts that have been in the works for months. The two countries also find themselves unexpectedly aligned in resistance, if not outright opposition, to U.S. policy on Syria's civil war and Iran's nuclear program."

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Dubai Shares End 4-Day Rally on Bets Gains Overdone; Qatar Falls - Bloomberg

Dubai Shares End 4-Day Rally on Bets Gains Overdone; Qatar Falls - Bloomberg:

"Dubai’s benchmark index, the world’s best-performing stocks gauge this year, fell as investors sought to take advantage of a four-day rally to pocket gains. Qatari shares declined, while Abu Dhabi’s rose.

The DFM General Index dropped 0.5 percent to 3,291.52 at 12:57 p.m. in Dubai, trimming its advance this year to 103 percent. The measure is beating 93 benchmarks tracked by Bloomberg. Shuaa Capital PSC (SHUAA), the investment bank controlled by Dubai’s ruler, lost the most in almost two weeks and Emirates NBD (EMIRATES) PJSC, the second-largest lender in the United Arab Emirates, slid as much as 3.1 percent. Qatar’s QE Index (DSM) retreated 0.6 percent and Abu Dhabi’s ADX General Index gained 0.3 percent.

Shares in Dubai benefited from an economic recovery in the emirate, led by a resurgence in property prices, trade and tourism. Growth is set to average 4.6 percent a year between 2012 and 2015, more than twice the rate of the previous four years, according to government forecasts."

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The Peninsula Qatar - QCB announces setting up of Qatar Central Securities Depository Company

The Peninsula Qatar - QCB announces setting up of Qatar Central Securities Depository Company:

"Qatar Central Bank (QCB) has announced the establishment of the Qatar Central Securities Depository QCSD (a private QSC) to start its work as of next Thursday, January 2, 2014.

The company will hold all activities and tasks carried out by the Central Registration Department of the Qatar Exchange (QE).

QCB said in a press statement today that the Qatar Central Securities Depository (QCSD) is owned by Qatar Central Bank (QCB) and Qatar Exchange (QE), and obtained all the necessary permits from the official authorities in the State of Qatar, including the Qatar Financial Markets.

The QCSD will start work from its seat at the premises of the Qatar Credit Bureau."

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Saudi Ma'aden Restarts Aluminium Plant Production Line » Gulf Business

Saudi Ma'aden Restarts Aluminium Plant Production Line » Gulf Business:

"Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Ma’aden) has restarted one of the two potlines at its new aluminium smelter in Saudi Arabia, the company said on Sunday.

The $10.8-billion aluminium plant at Ras al-Khair, a joint venture between Ma’aden and U.S.-based Alcoa, shut one of its smelting lines in mid October due to problems encountered during a ramp up of production.

“The ramp up and increase of the first potline production is expected to reach production capacity within the second quarter of 2014,” Ma’aden said in a Saudi stock market statement. It did not say when production resumed.

The other potline, a series of containers used to smelt aluminium, did not have to shut during its initial ramp up. The two lines have a combined production capacity of 740,000 tonnes a year of aluminium."

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Times of Oman | News :: Anti-dumping measures on UAE cement exports sought

Times of Oman | News :: Anti-dumping measures on UAE cement exports sought:

"Oman's leading cement producer Raysut Cement Company has urged the government to clamp strong anti-dumping measures on cement producers from neighbouring United Arab Emirates (UAE) to maintain prices in the domestic market.

The Sultanate's two cement producers — Oman Cement Co and Raysut Cement Co — have been complaining of dumping by UAE firms, after these firms faced a glut in demand in their domestic market four years ago in the aftermath of global financial crisis.

"There is a need to bring in restrictions on UAE exports to Oman. We have asked the government to introduce a ceiling on UAE company's exports to Oman. A truck should not have more than 5,000 tonnes of cement and total exports from the UAE should not exceed 30,000 tonnes per month," Ahmed Yusuf, board member of Raysut Cement Company, told Times of Oman, on the sidelines of an event to honour winners of HM Cup for best factors last week. "

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Aviation review 2013: Dubai Airshow puts Paris and Farnborough into the shade | The National

Aviation review 2013: Dubai Airshow puts Paris and Farnborough into the shade | The National:

"The Dubai Airshow last month was undoubtedly one of the major highlights of the year in aviation.

Airlines placed US$200 billion in orders for planes — smashing the previous record of $63bn set in 2011 — and the fast and furious pace of deals announced during the three-day event held for the first time at Dubai World Central cemented the show’s reputation as the place to do business, outranking the air shows in Paris and Farnborough in England. Boeing used the show to unveil its new 777X aircraft.

Arabian Gulf carriers were among the airlines buying: Etihad Airways placed orders worth $67bn, Emirates Airline for $99bn and flydubai for $11.4bn."

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Compliance costs hurt regional banks | GulfNews.com

Compliance costs hurt regional banks | GulfNews.com:

"While it may be the most common given name in the world, the global banking system seemingly can’t cope with Mohammed and its various different spellings.
When it comes to false positives — where a person or transaction is incorrectly flagged for contravening sanctions — the total at Middle Eastern banks is around twice that of many international lenders because of the high use of names like this, said John Garrett, chief compliance officer at National Bank of Abu Dhabi.
Rectifying these mistakes costs banks and their customers both time and money and highlights the rapidly increasing compliance costs which lenders in the Middle East and Africa must deal with.
Compliance teams face an increasing array of rules, both due to failings exposed by the financial crisis and as banks work with more partners around the world than ever before."

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Overcoming anxiety is key to investment success | GulfNews.com

Overcoming anxiety is key to investment success | GulfNews.com:

"Investing requires objective fact gathering and subjective decision making. Ideally, subjective judgments are free from the deleterious effects of emotions. One emotion plaguing investors is anxiety. Recent regional research by CFA Institute showed investors were concerned about the potential for another bubble in the GCC region, especially following Dubai’s successful bid to host Expo 2020.
Aren’t emotional responses, such as anxiety, hardwired into our brains?
The evidence strongly suggests this is correct. Much research has demonstrated that the brain’s two amygdalae, located mid-brain, are the source of instinctual, hardwired responses, like “flight or fight.” These responses are almost instantaneous and do not involve analytical judgment. Anxiety is difficult to control as it operates subliminally. Any investor that has seen an investment decline significantly in just one trading session knows this response well: panic."

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FutureChallenges » Ukraine at the crossroads of globalization - #EuroMaidan

FutureChallenges » Ukraine at the crossroads of globalization:

"Like the traveller in Robert Frost’s famous poem The Road Not Taken, Ukraine is now poised between two roads, one pro-European Union and the other pro-Russian. Ever since the collapse of the Soviet Union and its own independence, Ukrainian society has been divided, both historically and politically. The eastern, more pragmatic, part of the country wants to cooperate with Russia, while the western, more progressive, part favors cooperation with the European Union.

Ukraine’s geographical position makes it a crucial boundary and natural bridge between Russia and the European Union while its huge territory and population makes it important for both strategic military  and economic reasons. Such reasons make it equally attractive to the EU and Russia who are both assiduously paying court to the country."

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