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Monday, 30 December 2013

BBC News - Iranian billionaire Babak Zanjani 'arrested'

BBC News - Iranian billionaire Babak Zanjani 'arrested':

"The billionaire Iranian businessman Babak Zanjani has been arrested, state media report.

In September, Iran's parliament began investigating his business dealings after he was accused of withholding $1.9bn (£1.2bn) of oil revenue meant to be channelled through his companies.

Mr Zanjani, who claims he is worth $13.5bn, has denied the allegation.

The US and the EU have both blacklisted him for helping Iran's government and several firms evade an oil embargo.

The US and the EU have imposed crippling sanctions on Iran's oil industry since 2012 as part of a drive by the international community to put pressure on the government in Tehran over its controversial nuclear programme."

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Money talks: End of year edition

Mohammad issues decree setting up Dubai World’s board of directors | GulfNews.com

Mohammad issues decree setting up Dubai World’s board of directors | GulfNews.com:

"His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, issued Decree No. 46 of 2013 setting up Dubai World’s board of directors.
It would be set up under the chairmanship of Shaikh Ahmad Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of the Dubai Department of Civil Aviation and Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group.
Board members include Mohammad Ebrahim Al Sheibani, Director General of Dubai Ruler’s Court; Abdul Rahman Saleh Al Saleh, Director General of Dubai Department of Finance; Hamad Mubarak Bu Amim, Director General of Dubai’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Saadi Abdul Rahim Hassan Al Rais, an esteemed shipping industrialists in the UAE; and Dr Soon Young Chang, a veteran in the UAE with a long global tenure in the investment arena.
The decree comes into effect from the date of its issuance and is to be published in the official gazette.
Dubai World’s portfolio contains some of the world’s leading companies, including Drydocks World, Economic Zones World, Istithmar World and majority ownership of DP World."

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Qatar GDP growth quickens to 6.2 pct y/y in Q3 | Reuters

Qatar GDP growth quickens to 6.2 pct y/y in Q3 | Reuters:

"Growth in Qatar's gross domestic product, adjusted for inflation, accelerated slightly to 6.2 percent year-on-year in the third quarter of 2013, from 6.0 percent in the second quarter, the Qatar Statistics Authority said on Monday.

Third-quarter GDP expanded 4.3 percent from the previous quarter.

Output in the mining and quarrying sector, which includes oil and gas production and accounts for more than 40 percent of GDP, grew 1.8 percent from a year earlier and 3.5 percent quarter-on-quarter."

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2013 in review: currency winners and losers | beyondbrics

2013 in review: currency winners and losers | beyondbrics:

"Previously, beyondbrics looked at stock exchange winners and losers of 2013. Now it’s the turn of the EM currencies.

Which currencies felt the full force of the 2013 sell-off, and which survived unscathed?

The chart below shows the top and bottom 10 currencies in dollar spot terms, for the year. The pattern is pretty clear: central and eastern Europe did fine; the fragile five or Biits (Brazil, India, Indonesia, Turkey and South Africa) really were fragile.

At the top, if we take out the renminbi which is closely controlled, the four most solid currencies are all from the CEE region – the lev, leu, zloty and forint, which all strengthened against the dollar.


"

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Dubai Refreshments to open merger talks with Abu Dhabi Refreshments | Reuters

Dubai Refreshments to open merger talks with Abu Dhabi Refreshments | Reuters:

"Dubai Refreshments (DRC) said on Monday it would open talks with unlisted Abu Dhabi Refreshments Company about a possible merger.

Both firms are franchisee holders for the distribution of Pepsi Co products.

A working group would be set up to study a proposed tie-up between the two companies, which will report to the respective board of directors "in a few months", a statement to the Dubai bourse from DRC said.

No values were given in the statement. Dubai Refreshments has a market capitalisation of around $300 million."

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ECONOMICS - Turkish markets picks up pieces as cabinet meets amid crisis

ECONOMICS - Turkish markets picks up pieces as cabinet meets amid crisis:

"Turkey’s battered financial markets bounced back today as the cabinet met for the first time since a major reshuffle by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdo─čan, battling a damaging political crisis over a high-profile graft probe.

The Turkish Lira rallied to 2.1396 against the U.S. dollar in morning trading, while the Istanbul stock exchange jumped 3.22 percent to reach 65,944.10.

The ongoing government and judiciary crisis have rattled markets, pushing the lira to a fresh record low of 2.1750 against the U.S. dollar, sending the stock market plummeting to its lowest in 17 months, while the Euro reached an all-time high by passing 3 liras for the first time."

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India in 2013: The Year in Investments - India Real Time - WSJ

India in 2013: The Year in Investments - India Real Time - WSJ:

"India’s gold devotees will be disappointed to learn that the yellow metal was one of the worst investments of 2013.

Gold lost value this year as global investors sold the commodity to invest in U.S. stocks and other assets which benefit more as the U.S. economy gains.

In India, investors were better off owning fixed deposits, that paid a guaranteed return of as much as 8.75%. However, that too failed to keep up with inflation which was more than 9% this year.

Individuals should not make or change investments based on one year’s returns.

They should invest in a mix of assets, so that if one investment doesn’t do well, another one which might have done better will help smoothen out the overall portfolio returns.

Here’s a look at how major investments fared in 2013:"

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Even the upturn in Dubai needs diligent handling | GulfNews.com

Even the upturn in Dubai needs diligent handling | GulfNews.com:

"The end of 2013 marks five years since the UAE entered a most difficult financial phase triggered by Dubai’s real estate slump. Five years is a reasonable timeframe, making it pertinent to ask if it is time to pronounce the crisis over. There is no official word yet, but the consensus seems to be we are almost there... but not quite.
The property market has come a long way since prices slumped by 60 per cent or more as the bubble of mindless speculation began to burst in 2008. Prices are not back to those dizzy levels, but have been climbing at a steady pace.
Dubai has, in fact, been named as one of the fastest growing property markets globally for 2013, with prices and rents touching the highest levels in five years. The awarding of Expo 2020 has provided further impetus, raising expectation about the likely course of the market and the economy in general.
The market rebound, coupled with the overall economic upturn, has been linked to a significant pick-up in the stock market, with Dubai emerging as one of the best performing globally this year. By end November, the Dubai stock index was up 82 per cent. Abu Dhabi gained 46 per cent during the same period."

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Iran Investment Monthly - Vol 8, No 87 - Dec 13.pdf - Google Drive

Iran Investment Monthly - Vol 8, No 87 - Dec 13.pdf - Google Drive:

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How to invest in the Dubai Financial Market if you think this rally still has legs « ArabianMoney

How to invest in the Dubai Financial Market if you think this rally still has legs « ArabianMoney:

"Sometimes it is fascinating to look back at how we saw the Dubai Financial Market less than two years ago when it had only just lifted off a seven-year low. It was hard not to be cautious after such a long period of disaster for investors in the DFM.

How different it all looks today with stocks up 113 per cent this year and 20 per cent in 2012. But listen to the warning in this video about past episodes of massive price increases on the DFM and what came next…


"

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Gulf States Seek Food Security in Europe, U.S. After African Problems - NYTimes.com

Gulf States Seek Food Security in Europe, U.S. After African Problems - NYTimes.com:

"The desert states of the Gulf are changing tack in their multi-billion dollar search for food security.

With their farming projects in some of the poorest African nations sometimes arousing local hostility, wealthy Arab investors are turning to those developed countries that comfortably produce more food than they consume.

United Arab Emirates-based agricultural firm Al Dahra has chose this path in March, buying eight agricultural companies for $400 million in Serbia, a major food exporter where public attitudes to foreign-owned farming may be less sensitive."

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2014: US and Japan - YouTube

2014: US and Japan - YouTube:

"John Authers on whether equities in the US and Japan can match 2013
The S&P 500 in the US rose more than 30% in 2013. Can it repeat that while investors are being weaned off easy money? Japan's markets did even better but while it looks as if Abenomics can deliver inflation, can it really deliver growth? John Authers analyses


"

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China to stick with Middle East oil despite world’s largest shale reserves | The National

China to stick with Middle East oil despite world’s largest shale reserves | The National:

"Shale gas will not free China from Middle East oil imports, an investment vehicle of the Kuwaiti government said.

The world’s top fuel consumer is home to what is believed to be the world’s richest reserves of shale gas – 19 per cent of the global total, compared to the United States’ 13 per cent. But China’s efforts to play on its geological advantage to lessen its dependence on fuel imports will be hampered by limited expertise and water supply, one of the key ingredients of the mixture of sand and chemicals pumped into the ground to fracture shale formations."

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Twitter stake of Saudi Arabia’s Prince Alwaleed bin Talal worth more than $1bn | The National

Twitter stake of Saudi Arabia’s Prince Alwaleed bin Talal worth more than $1bn | The National:

"Saudi’s Prince Alwaleed bin Talal says the value of his stake in Twitter has quadrupled to more than US$1bn despite a 15 per cent stock slidelast week.

The micro-blogging launched its initial public offering last month, raising $1.82bn.

Prince Alwaleed’s Kingdom Holding Company (KHC) originally invested $300 million in Twitter, accounting for about 3 per cent of the company in December 2011.

When the IPO closed, the value of KHC’s shares soared to $600m."

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Israel Gas Riddle Has Woodside, Gazprom Hanging: Israel Markets - Bloomberg

Israel Gas Riddle Has Woodside, Gazprom Hanging: Israel Markets - Bloomberg:

"Israel’s sputtering preparations for exporting offshore natural gas have postponed drilling and threaten a $2.3 billion investment from Australia’s Woodside Petroleum Ltd. (WPL)

Perth-based Woodside said it’s examining other options in case details of drilling at Israel’s Leviathan gas field aren’t settled in the first half of 2014. After taking two years to decide how much gas to export, the Israeli government hasn’t signed off on details such as where to build refineries. Partners are still discussing how to transport the fuel.

“It needs to be a compelling value case, given the amount of investment that would be involved and the significance of the decision,” Woodside’s Chief Executive OfficerPeter Coleman told analysts and reporters on a Dec. 10 call. Shares in the drilling partners sank in response."

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