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Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Heathrow airport overtaken by Dubai as world’s busiest | UK news | The Guardian

Heathrow airport overtaken by Dubai as world’s busiest | UK news | The Guardian:



"Heathrow has lost its crown as the busiest airport in the world for international passenger traffic. The oil-rich Gulf city of Dubai has knocked London off the top spot, figures from the Airports Council International show.



A total of 68.9 million passengers had passed through Dubai International compared with 67.8 million at Heathrow as of December 22, despite a late slowdown in traffic with one important destination, trouble-hit Russia.



The rise in passenger numbers at Dubai this year came despite only a single runway being usable for 80 days because of a refurbishment scheme, which caused a temporary decline in flights."



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EM portfolio flows suffer sharpest slump since “taper tantrum” | beyondbrics

EM portfolio flows suffer sharpest slump since “taper tantrum” | beyondbrics:



"Portfolio flows into emerging markets (EM) suffered their sharpest slump in December since the 2013 “taper tantrum” as the Russian currency crisis and sliding oil prices intensified risk aversion among both equity and debt investors, according to estimates by the Institute of International Finance (IIF), a global association of financial institutions.



The IIF’s EM Portfolio Flows Tracker, released on Tuesday, estimated total outflows from EM at $11.5bn during the month, with flows out of debt accounting for $7.8bn and flows out of equities reaching $3.7bn. The only EM area to register net inflows was emerging Asia, following foreign buying of Indian bonds and equity issuance throughout the region (see chart).



"



'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Background remains bleak for Gulf markets | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Background remains bleak for Gulf markets | Reuters:



"Gulf stock markets may consolidate with a weak tone on Wednesday after sharp drops in the previous session as weak oil, poor Chinese manufacturing data and the holiday lull dampen investor sentiment.



Brent crude oil is edging down towards $57.0 a barrel on Wednesday after China's factory sector shrank for the first time in seven months in December.



Oil's drop to a new 5-1/2-year low on Tuesday prompted a fresh sell-off on Gulf bourses. Saudi Arabia's main stock index tumbled 4.2 percent and Dubai lost 5.4 percent."



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Charts for Christmas: China - YouTube

Charts for Christmas: China - YouTube: ""



'via Blog this'

UAE markets tumble as regulator halts four prominent investors | The National

UAE markets tumble as regulator halts four prominent investors | The National:



"The UAE’s stock markets fell on Tuesday as oil prices continued to drop and the federal market regulator halted four prominent investors from trading on the country’s stock exchanges.



The Dubai Financial Market General Index fell 5.4 per cent to 3,752.79, while the Abu Dhabi Securities Market General Index lost 2.18 per cent to 4,444.03. The Dubai Index was the worst performer on Tuesday among more than 90 indexes tracked globally by Bloomberg.



The Dubai measure has lost 13 per cent of its value this month, while the Abu Dhabi market has shed 5 per cent. The panic selling started in mid-November as the rapid decline in oil prices triggered concerns over economic growth in the UAE."



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Where to buy property in Dubai as prices start to fall | The National

Where to buy property in Dubai as prices start to fall | The National:



"I see the sales prices on apartments in Dubai are falling now. Are they going to continue to fall? We are thinking of purchasing something as a starter home. I have been looking around several different neighbourhoods including Motor City, JVC, Sports City and even had a look at Remraam. Remraam seems very affordable, though the apartments are quite small. What is your opinion on this community? Are there other places I should also consider looking? AM, Dubai



All the areas you have mentioned are up and coming - especially JVC, Sports City and Remraam. Looking especially at Remraam, the one thing I can say is that at present there is little around in terms of amenities and facilities as this area is still very much developing. Having said that, this is the reason why the prices are cheaper. There is a lot of developing going on near/around the Umm Sequiem Road and ultimately, this in time, will be a thriving location as it is designed to cater for families and young professionals especially with the likes of Akoya, Arabian Ranches 2, Mudon and Sustainable City etc all under construction.



The real question is, if you can afford a bit more, then perhaps choosing more established areas such as Motor City or some parts of JVC and Sports City might be a better option. If you can handle living n or near a building site, then you can reap the future rewards of capital appreciation if you stick with Remraam."



'via Blog this'

Saudi Tadawul plunges as King Abdullah is hospitalised | The National

Saudi Tadawul plunges as King Abdullah is hospitalised | The National:



"The Saudi Tadawul index fell more than 5 per cent in midday trading today after the Saudi Arabia’s ruler, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz was admitted to hospital for medical checks.



King Abdullah was admitted to the King Abdulaziz Medical City of National Guard in Riyadh, Saudi’s press agency said, citing a royal statement.



The Tadawul index fell to 8,042.23, 5.03 per cent below its opening, at 1.33pm UAE time, before rallying slightly."



'via Blog this'

Ukraine Bonds Slide as Budget Fails to Ease Financing Concerns - Bloomberg

Ukraine Bonds Slide as Budget Fails to Ease Financing Concerns - Bloomberg:



"Ukrainian bonds slid the most in three weeks after approval of the 2015 budget failed to temper concern the financial crisis that’s dragged the country into a recession will worsen.



The price on the government’s dollar-denominated note maturing July 2017 dropped 4.6 cents, the most since since Dec. 10, to 60.03 cents on the dollar by 5:28 p.m. in Kiev. The yield on the notes rose 3.8 percentage points to 33.75 percent, approaching the record 34.17 percent close from Dec. 16. The hryvnia appreciated 0.2 percent to 15.7960 against the dollar, trimming its world-beating loss this year to 48 percent.



While the approval of next year’s budget yesterday marks a step toward unlocking future tranches of the International Monetary Fund-led $17 billion loan, Ukraine’s ability to ward off a default was curtailed as foreign-currency reserves halved in 2014 to $9.97 billion. The country’s economy is forecast to shrink 7.5 percent this year amid the conflict with eastern separatists and Russia’s takeover of Crimea."



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Russian ADRs Gain With Ruble as Stock Valuations Drop - Bloomberg

Russian ADRs Gain With Ruble as Stock Valuations Drop - Bloomberg:



"Russian stocks rose in New York, trimming a December retreat that has pushed their valuation to the lowest level since 2008, as the ruble gained.



A Bloomberg index of the most-traded American depositary receipts of Russian companies added 1.2 percent. The gauge, which trades at 4.4 times projected earnings for the next 12 months, has lost 24 percent this month and is on track for the worst annual slide in six years. The Market Vectors Russia ETF (RSX), the biggest exchange-traded fund tracking Russian equities, advanced 6.4 percent. The ruble, headed for its worst year since its 1998 default, strengthened 4.2 percent. 




Tuesday’s gains for stocks and the currency follow declines that have been fueled by a bear market in oil, the nation’s biggest export, and sanctions over the Ukraine conflict that have pushed Russia’s economy toward recession. The ruble has lost 41 percent in 2014, the most in the world after the Ukrainian hryvnia, while the Micex Index in Moscow posted the first decline in three years.

"



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Hedge Funds Surrender to Oil Rout as Bullish Bets Drop - Bloomberg

Hedge Funds Surrender to Oil Rout as Bullish Bets Drop - Bloomberg:



"Hedge funds finally pulled back from bets on higher oil prices as the market faces its worst year since 2008.



Speculators reduced their net-long position in West Texas Intermediate crude for the first time in four weeks, cutting their holdings by 5 percent in the week ended Dec. 23, Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed yesterday. Long wagers dropped the most since August.



Prices have tumbled to the lowest level in more than five years as U.S. output climbed and the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries refused to make production cuts. The International Energy Agency and U.S. Energy Information Administration cut their estimates of 2015 global fuel consumption this month amid expectations for slower economic growth outside the U.S."



'via Blog this'

Kellogg Set to Win Egypt’s Bisco Misr Bid as Abraaj Opts Out - Bloomberg

Kellogg Set to Win Egypt’s Bisco Misr Bid as Abraaj Opts Out - Bloomberg:



"Buyout firm Abraaj Group said it withdrew from bidding for Bisco Misr after U.S. rival Kellogg Co. (K) submitted a higher offer for the Egyptian biscuit maker. 




The U.S. food producer offered 89.86 Egyptian pounds a share for Bisco Misr on Dec. 24, the same day that Abraaj had offered 88.09 pounds a share. Kellogg’s offer values Bisco Misr at 1.03 billion pounds ($144 million).



The private equity firm’s decision ends a two-month takeover battle in which the offer price has increased about 22 percent from Abraaj’s initial bid of 73.91 a share in November. Bisco, which earlier turned down offers from Juhayna Food Industries and Saudi Arabia’s Halwani Bros., owns three factories, where it produces biscuit Luxe and a variety of cakes and wafers."



'via Blog this'

UPDATE 2-MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets mixed in thin trade; Kuwait's Boubyan rises | Reuters

UPDATE 2-MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets mixed in thin trade; Kuwait's Boubyan rises | Reuters:



"Gulf stock markets were mixed in low-volume trade around midday on Wednesday after tumbling in the previous session when oil prices hit fresh 5-1/2-year lows. 




Brent crude was just above $57 per barrel as Gulf bourses opened, roughly the same level that prevailed during Gulf trading hours on Tuesday.



Saudi Arabia's index fell 1.7 percent, dragged down by heavyweight banks and petrochemicals. National Commercial Bank , the kingdom's biggest lender, fell 0.9 percent and Saudi Basic Industries lost 1.5 percent."



'via Blog this'

FT predictions for 2015 - YouTube

FT predictions for 2015 - YouTube: ""



'via Blog this'

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Only reforms can help Ukraine cope with financial crisis – Gontareva

Only reforms can help Ukraine cope with financial crisis – Gontareva:



"Ukraine can only cope with the financial crisis by conducting reforms, Governor of the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) Valeriya Gontareva has said.



"There is a full-scale financial crisis in the country, and we can cope with it only by conducting very swift, I'd say, extreme reforms," she said at a press conference on the results of the year in Kyiv on Tuesday.



According to her, the NBU has drastically changed its approach to refinancing banks, and the regulator continues "clearing up" the banking sector by withdrawing insolvent banks and money-laundering banks from the market, and that the Central Bank itself is undergoing reformation."



'via Blog this'

Oil Drops to Lowest Since ’09 With Stockpiles at Year-End Record - Bloomberg

Oil Drops to Lowest Since ’09 With Stockpiles at Year-End Record - Bloomberg:



"Oil fell to the lowest since 2009 in New York and London amid speculation that U.S. crude inventories will stay at the highest for the time of year in at least three decades.



Futures dropped as much as 1.7 percent in New York. U.S. stockpiles are projected to remain at 387.2 million barrels last week, the highest for the period in data going back to 1982, a Bloomberg News survey shows before government statistics tomorrow. U.S. oil drillers idled the most rigs since 2012, Baker Hughes Inc. said on its website yesterday.



Oil has slumped 46 percent this year, set for the biggest annual decline since 2008, as the highest U.S. production in more than three decades contributed to a global surplus estimated by Qatar at 2 million barrels a day. Saudi Arabia, which is steering the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to resist cutting output, has said it’s confident that prices will rebound as economic growth boosts demand."



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NBU predicts 7.5% fall in GDP by this year : UNIAN news

NBU predicts 7.5% fall in GDP by this year : UNIAN news:



""The fall in GDP of Ukraine in 2014 will amount to 7.5%, amid the halving of the value of the national currency," Gontareva said.



Gontareva also said the NBU provided state oil and gas company Naftogaz Ukrainy with $8.6 billion from reserves in 2014, and she predicted a rise in inflation due to higher bills for gas.



"Inflation may be at 17-18% next year, as tariffs will be driven up to a market level," she said."



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Kellaway and Skapinker review 2014

Dec 30, 2014 : What has a year in the workplace taught us? From egg freezing in Silicon Valley to 3-day working weeks (with a detour through the mind of Russell Brand) FT columnists Lucy Kellaway and Michael Skapinker discuss their highs and lows of 2014.

A new paradigm for oil?


A kingdom fit for an oil price ordeal - FT.com

A kingdom fit for an oil price ordeal - FT.com:



"A
new battle is breaking out in the Middle East as 2014 draws to a close. Thankfully, no blood will be spilled in its name, and no widows and orphans will be left in its wake. It won’t involve lost territory or stranded refugees. And it won’t be fought over religion or ideology.



More than a conventional war, though, it represents a fundamental struggle for the future of the Middle East, and for its place in the world.



I’m referring to the tussle over oil, the resource that provides the region with its strategic underpinning. There might be more than oil in geopolitical considerations of this troubled region — but there is nothing more important than oil."



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Charts for Christmas: bear case for US equities - YouTube

Charts for Christmas: bear case for US equities - YouTube: ""



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Charts for Christmas: emerging markets - YouTube

Charts for Christmas: emerging markets - YouTube: ""



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UAE federal budget not swayed by oil drop | The National

UAE federal budget not swayed by oil drop | The National:



"Declining oil prices will not affect the federal budget, Younis Al Khouri, an undersecretary at the Ministry of Finance, said on Monday.



Mr Al Khouri said that there was no change in the “volume and value” of approved expenditures in the 2015 federal budget, according to The National’s sister newspaper Al Ittihad.



The decline in oil prices in the world market has “no effect on public expenditure”, Mr Al Khouri said."



'via Blog this'

Russian ADRs Drop on First GDP Contraction Since 2009 - Bloomberg

Russian ADRs Drop on First GDP Contraction Since 2009 - Bloomberg:



"Russian stocks traded in New York fell to the lowest level in a week as the economy shrank for the first time in five years and a court hastened the scheduled reading of a verdict in the case against opposition leader Alexey Navalny.



The Bloomberg Russia-US Equity Index dropped 4.5 percent to 50.41 in New York. The Market Vectors Russia ETF, the biggest exchange-traded fund tracking the country’s stocks, sank percent 8.7 percent to $14.61. The ruble tumbled 7.4 percent against the dollar.



Stocks slid and the ruble weakened after the government said gross domestic product shrank 0.5 percent in November. The economy is contracting as oil, the country’s top export, is trading at the lowest level in five years and sanctions linked to the Ukraine conflict stoke the country’s worst currency crisis in 16 years. A Moscow district court said it will hand down a verdict in Navalny’s case Tuesday, two weeks earlier than originally scheduled, as his supporters planned protests."



'via Blog this'

Dubai Shares Drop Most in World as Gulf Markets Slump on Oil - Bloomberg

Dubai Shares Drop Most in World as Gulf Markets Slump on Oil - Bloomberg:



"Dubai’s index declined the most in two weeks, leading a regional equity rout, as oil headed for its longest monthly losing streak since 2008.



The DFM General Index (DFMGI) tumbled 5 percent, the biggest retreat since Dec. 16, to 3,742.04 at 12:07 p.m. local time. It’s the worst performer among more than 90 indexes tracked globally by Bloomberg. The Tadawul All Share Index (SASEIDX) in Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest crude exporter, sank as much as 3.4 percent. Oil has fallen 19 percent so far in December, poised for its sixth straight monthly loss.



“Oil still remains the fundamental reason for the equity markets to move here” and the drop in crude prices is “affecting sentiment in regional markets,” Hisham Khairy, the Dubai-based head of institutional trade at Mena Corp. Financial Services LLC, said by telephone. If oil prices fall further, “we can see another ugly scenario,” he said."



'via Blog this'

Oil Drops From 5-Year Low as U.S. Stockpiles Seen Adding to Glut - Bloomberg

Oil Drops From 5-Year Low as U.S. Stockpiles Seen Adding to Glut - Bloomberg:



"Oil fell for a fourth day, extending losses from a five-year low amid speculation that U.S. crude inventories will stay at the highest level since June, offering no relief from a global glut.



Futures dropped as much as 1.2 percent in New York. Stockpiles in the U.S., the world’s largest oil consumer, are projected to remain at 387.2 million barrels last week, a Bloomberg News survey shows before government data tomorrow. Hedge funds pared bullish bets on Brent crude for the first time since before OPEC’s decision last month to maintain output quotas accelerated the market’s collapse. 




Oil has slumped 46 percent this year, set for the biggest annual decline since 2008, as the highest U.S. production in more than three decades contributed to a global surplus estimated by Qatar at 2 million barrels a day. Saudi Arabia, which is steering the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to resist cutting output, has said it’s confident that prices will rebound as economic growth boosts demand."



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Monday, 29 December 2014

Russian Economy Shrinks for First Time Since 2009 | News | The Moscow Times

Russian Economy Shrinks for First Time Since 2009 | News | The Moscow Times:



"Russia's economy shrank sharply in November and the ruble resumed its slide on Monday as Western sanctions and a slump in oil prices combined to inflict the first contraction in GDP since the global financial crisis.



The Economic Development Ministry said gross domestic product shrank 0.5 percent last month, the first drop since October 2009. With oil exports forming the backbone of the economy, analysts said the contraction is likely to worsen. 




The slide on the oil market accelerated this month after the exporters' group OPEC refused to cut output, and prices are down almost 50 percent from a peak in June. On top of this, the sanctions imposed over Moscow's role in the Ukraine crisis have deterred foreign investment and led to over $100 billion flooding out of the Russian economy this year."



'via Blog this'

UPDATE 2-MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets mixed, Saudi petchems rise as oil edges up | Reuters

UPDATE 2-MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets mixed, Saudi petchems rise as oil edges up | Reuters:



"Gulf stock markets were mixed in early trade on Monday after gaining strongly in the two previous sessions on the back of Saudi Arabia's 2015 budget, which maintained government spending at a high level.



Brent crude edged up early on Monday because of supply disruptions in Libya and traded just above $60.00 per barrel.



Although confidence in heavy state spending has made Gulf equities less exposed to moves in oil over the past week, the oil price remains important for the petrochemicals sector, whose products are often priced in relation to crude."



'via Blog this'

Putin’s Rate Wish Echoed by Market Stirs Skeptics: Russia Credit - Bloomberg

Putin’s Rate Wish Echoed by Market Stirs Skeptics: Russia Credit - Bloomberg:



"Some Russian traders are already betting on a reduction in the biggest interest-rate increase in 16 years.



While there are plenty of obstacles to lowering rates with inflation at a 3 1/2-year high and the ruble set for the biggest drop since 1998, derivatives used to predict future borrowing costs signal cuts are in store in the first quarter. Central bank Governor Elvira Nabiullina unexpectedly raised the benchmark to 17 percent from 10.5 percent two weeks ago, putting the economy at risk of a deeper recession to prop up the ruble.



“The rate increase was a stopgap measure to stabilize the situation on the FX market,” Dmitriy Gritskevich, an OAO Promsvyazbank analyst in Moscow, said by e-mail on Dec. 26. “We expect the central bank to start lowering rates as soon as the next three to six months.”"



'via Blog this'

Middle Eastern oil-producing countries need to avoid unwanted consortia | The National

Middle Eastern oil-producing countries need to avoid unwanted consortia | The National:



"In the 1970s, the president of Egypt, Anwar El Sadat, launched his “Infitah” – opening – to foreign investment. The 1990s brought Venezuela’s similarly-named Apertura in its petroleum sector. And during 1998’s price slump, all the oil exporting countries in the Middle East made plans to bring in foreign investment. Now, with the return of lower oil prices, the region should again seek international partners to meet the economic challenge.



There are four reasons a country might open up to foreign investment in its oil sector – to raise capital, find new resources, improve efficiency and gain value from linked investments. Qatar’s late 1990s opening succeeded because it had a clear idea of what it wanted – the world’s biggest liquefied natural gas industry – and allowed its foreign investors attractive returns in the process. Many other countries had either no clear objectives, or too many.



The UAE and Iran have made some progress, but deals in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia never got off the ground. Just as the bureaucratic machinery geared up, prices began to recover, and the incumbent national oil companies resisted. The bidding systems were apparently designed to be as convoluted as possible."



'via Blog this'

In 2015, Middle East to see rising interest in Exchange Traded Products | GulfNews.com

In 2015, Middle East to see rising interest in Exchange Traded Products | GulfNews.com:



"The Middle East market would witness growing interest in structured products like Exchange Traded products (ETP) in 2015, Standard & Poor’s Dow Jones Indices told Gulf News.



Currently there are about 6 ETP’s in the Middle East traded in the United States, and Blackrock, the world’s biggest money manager, plans to start an ETP for Saudi Arabian shares. The fund plans to hold 25 per cent or more of its total assets in a particular industry or group of industries to approximately the same extent that the underlying index is concentrated.



“In 2015, we expect the growing interest in ETPs to continue globally and notably in Latin America, Middle East and Africa. In terms of the types of ETPs investors are likely to be interested in, we continue to see a trend of people seeking yield, dividends, low volatility and factor-based passive funds,” John Davis, Global Head of ETP Licensing at S & P Dow Jones indices told Gulf News."



'via Blog this'

U.A.E. Regulator Said to Plan New Rules for Startup IPOs - Bloomberg

U.A.E. Regulator Said to Plan New Rules for Startup IPOs - Bloomberg:



"The United Arab Emirates’ stock market regulator is working on rules that would make it harder for startup companies to sell shares, according to four people with knowledge of the matter.



The regulator will only approve listing applications from startups if they intend to operate in an industry not represented on the U.A.E.’s stock exchanges and in an area of strategic importance to the economy, three of the people said, asking not to be identified as the plans are private. 




The proposed regulations follow several so-called greenfield IPOs in the U.A.E. this year, where companies with no operating track record raise money at a nominal value, usually 1 dirham a share, to start operations and fund business plans."



'via Blog this'

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Reading the flows - YouTube

Reading the flows - YouTube: ""



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Markets rise, Saudi budget helps them shrug off oil below $60 | News by Country | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Markets rise, Saudi budget helps them shrug off oil below $60 | News by Country | Reuters:



"Gulf stock markets rose on Sunday despite oil's weakness as Saudi Arabia's plan to maintain government spending at a high level boosted investor confidence.



The Saudi government released a 2015 state budget last Thursday that provides for a 0.6 percent increase in spending from this year's plan. That cheered the retail investors who dominate Gulf stock markets; they had feared falling oil revenues would trigger spending cuts across the region.



The new mood of optimism in the Gulf helped investors largely ignore the fresh decline in the price of Brent crude oil, which closed below $60 a barrel on Friday."



'via Blog this'

Russian tourists to Dubai down by half as rouble continues to fall | The National

Russian tourists to Dubai down by half as rouble continues to fall | The National:



"Fewer Russian tourists are expected to check into Dubai’s hotels and hotel apartments next month as a falling rouble takes its toll on middle-class visitors.



The biggest travel season for Russian guests is the first two weeks of January, when they take time off for Orthodox Christmas and the New Year that coincide with school holidays.



But as hotels and tour operators report, the demand is almost half compared to a year earlier."



'via Blog this'

Mashreq sees sobering of retail revenue growth in 2015 | GulfNews.com

Mashreq sees sobering of retail revenue growth in 2015 | GulfNews.com



"After achieving exceptional retail revenue and profit growth in 2014, Mashreq expects a moderation in the retail revenue growth rates in 2015, said Farhad Irani, Group Head of Retail Banking at Mashreq in an interview with Gulf News.



“In 2014 we exceeded all projections. All segments of our retail business such as our businesses in Qatar and Egypt beat the plan. The plan in itself was very aggressive to start with. In 2014, our revenues have grown close to 36 per cent year on year and the bottom line has doubled for the third time in three years,” said Irani.



The rate of growth in retail revenues is expected to drop by about 40 per cent in 2015 largely due to the already high denominator and some rationalisation in the wealth business."



'via Blog this'

Russia May Burn Wealth Funds in 3 Years Without Cuts - Bloomberg

Russia May Burn Wealth Funds in 3 Years Without Cuts - Bloomberg:



"Russia, poised to enter a recession, will burn through its rainy-day funds in three years if the government doesn’t change the budget structure, according to Finance Minister Anton Siluanov.



With oil prices at $60 a barrel, Russia’s economy may contract about 4 percent next year and have a budget deficit of more than 3 percent of output, Siluanov told reporters in Moscow today. The ministry will use these estimates and an exchange rate of 51 rubles per dollar to review the 2015 budget.



Russia is facing its first recession since 2009, and the contraction may last for two years, according to economists in a Bloomberg survey. Oil, its biggest export earner, is trading near a five-year low, compounding the effect of sanctions imposed by the U.S. and its allies over President Vladimir Putin’s annexation of Crimea in March. The deterioration puts Russia at risk of a downgrade to below investment grade, Standard & Poor’s said this week."



'via Blog this'

Dubai Investments Sees $2.7 Billion of Property Projects - Bloomberg

Dubai Investments Sees $2.7 Billion of Property Projects - Bloomberg:



"Dubai Investments PJSC plans 10 billion dirhams ($2.7 billion) of real-estate projects in the next five years as it seeks to benefit from resurgent property demand.



Developments include Mirdiff Hills, a 2.5 billion dirham project in Dubai that will include 1,500 homes, a 230-room hotel, shops and 200,000 square-feet of office space, Chief Executive Officer Khalid Bin Kalban said in an interview. The company’s Dubai Investment Real Estate Co. unit will start tendering for the development in the next two months, he said.



Dubai Investments, whose largest shareholder is state-owned Investment Corporation of Dubai ICD, is seeking to profit from a market recovery in the emirate after one of the world’s worst property crashes during the financial crisis in 2008. Local developers are reviving projects amid a surge in prices and new measures such as limiting mortgages and a doubling of transaction fees which have helped stabilize the market."



'via Blog this'

Dubai Shares Lead Gulf Stocks Higher as U.S. Confidence Grows - Bloomberg

Dubai Shares Lead Gulf Stocks Higher as U.S. Confidence Grows - Bloomberg:



"Shares in Dubai rose to the highest level in more than two weeks following a record close for U.S. stocks last week. Qatari shares also advanced.



The DFM General Index (DFMGI) climbed 2.5 percent to 3,984.64 at 12:22 p.m. local time, its highest since Dec. 9. Qatar’s QE Index and Abu Dhabi’s ADX General Index both added 1 percent, and Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index advanced 0.3 percent. The gauge has jumped almost 20 percent since a recent low on Dec. 16.



Data last week showed the world’s largest economy grew at the fastest pace since 2003 in the third quarter, spurring the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index to its highest close on record on Dec. 26. Dubai’s benchmark index recovered from a bear market with a 13 percent surge in the last five trading days, after markets in the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council collapsed amid plunging oil prices."



'via Blog this'

Saudi Arabia Said to Plan Bourse Opening to Foreigners in April - Bloomberg

Saudi Arabia Said to Plan Bourse Opening to Foreigners in April - Bloomberg:



"Saudi Arabia is seeking to open its $509 billion stock exchange to foreign investors in April, according to three people briefed on the country’s plans.



The Capital Market Authority informed brokers and fund managers of the timeline in London last month, two of the people said, asking not to be identified as the meeting was private. Saudi Arabia isn’t planning significant changes to draft rules published in August, the people said. The country announced in July that it would open the market in the first half of 2015.



The world’s biggest oil exporter is removing barriers to one of the world’s most-restricted major stock exchanges as it pursues a $130 billion spending plan to boost non-energy industries. Opening the market may prompt MSCI Inc. to include the bourse in its emerging market gauge by 2017, luring as much as $40 billion of foreign cash, Schroders Plc. said in July."



'via Blog this'

Saturday, 27 December 2014

A chance for GCC to speed up economic reforms | GulfNews.com

A chance for GCC to speed up economic reforms | GulfNews.com:



"There will not be a soft landing for the Gulf economies as the year closes, given the backdrop of the sharp slide in oil prices. Nevertheless, some sort of recovery in prices cannot be ruled out in 2015, led by factors such as global economic growth, the weather and sociopolitical developments.



The market psychology could change and with it feeling of participants, which could lead to the emergence of positives for the oil market.



Fortuitously, GCC states have the necessary cushion, as illustrated in the size of their sovereign wealth funds that can be called in to deal with adverse developments stemming from uncertainty in the oil sector. According to the Sovereign Wealth Institute, the GCC collectively controls a staggering $2.4 trillion of such funds, or 37 per cent of the world’s total. Clearly, there is no shortage of funds for dealing with declining oil revenues."



'via Blog this'

Friday, 26 December 2014

Qatar to match new A350 wide-body against A380 - FT.com

Qatar to match new A350 wide-body against A380 - FT.com:



"Qatar Airways will pit its new A350 wide-body jet against its fleet of giant A380s in a move which could step up pressure on Airbus’s flagging superjumbo programme.



Akbar Al Baker, chief executive of Qatar Airways, is to decide next year whether to exercise an option to buy three more A380s after comparing the two jets.



“I have to see how the two aircraft perform, what the difference is,” he told the Financial Times as he collected the first of 80 A350s on order. Mr Al Baker was also taking ownership of his fourth A380. Qatar has a firm order for 10 of the superjumbos, as well as the option for three more."



'via Blog this'

Potential UK club acquisition could help Qatar polish its image - Daily News Egypt

Potential UK club acquisition could help Qatar polish its image - Daily News Egypt:



"Qatar has booked two recent successes in what has become an uphill struggle to improve its tarnished image: a papering over of its rift with Saudi Arabia and the UAE sparked by Qatari support for the Muslim Brotherhood, and reports that it may be interested in acquiring London Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur. 




The successes come against the backdrop of a host of news reports that have done little to improve Qatar’s controversial image. The possible Tottenham acquisition could generate a counter dote but risks reviving debate whether Gulf states are in part using the purchase of high profile football clubs as a reputational management tool or in the words of human rights critics reputation laundering.



To be sure, Qatar’s reported interest in Tottenham is driven by more than its immediate reputational issues. Like its Gulf rival the UAE, which owns Manchester City, Qatar has long been believed to want an English Premier League presence. Efforts a couple of years ago to acquire Manchester United foundered on disagreement over pricing. Qatar’s most prominent European trophy is Paris Saint Germain (PSG) alongside sponsorships that include FC Barcelona."



'via Blog this'

Charts for Christmas: bull case for US equitiesquities - YouTube

Charts for Christmas: bull case for US equitiesquities - YouTube: ""



'via Blog this'

Russia's Defense of the Ruble Cuts Reserves by $15.7 Billion in Week - Bloomberg

Russia's Defense of the Ruble Cuts Reserves by $15.7 Billion in Week - Bloomberg:



"Russia’s international reserves plunged the most in six years, losing $15.7 billion last week as the government and central bank pledged measures to support banks and defend the currency.



The value of the stockpile, which includes the central bank’s reserves and two sovereign wealth funds, fell to $398.9 billion in the week through Dec. 19, the Bank of Russia said today on its website. That is 22 percent drop from January. 




Policy makers, led by central bank Governor Elvira Nabiullina, are fighting to stem the ruble’s worst slump since the 1998 default. With oil prices and sanctions over the Ukraine conflict pushing Russia toward recession, the authorities have raised rates and sought to ease dollar demand. The steps have helped stem the currency rout, after the ruble collapsed to a record low 80 against the dollar last week."



'via Blog this'

Iraq Says Oil Fair at $70-$80 as Lower Oil Will Need OPEC - Bloomberg

Iraq Says Oil Fair at $70-$80 as Lower Oil Will Need OPEC - Bloomberg:



"OPEC will need to “step in” amid further declines in oil prices, which are fair at about $70 to $80 a barrel, according to the group’s second-biggest producer.



The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries could still hold back from intervening in the market for one or two years, Iraq’s Oil Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi said in an interview. Brent oil dropped about 20 percent since OPEC decided to maintain output at its November meeting in Vienna.



Global oil supply is growing as the highest U.S. output in at least three decades led to a glut that Qatar estimates at 2 million barrels. Saudi Arabia’s Oil Minister Ali Al-Naimi said Dec. 21 high-cost producers will have to make cuts if oil prices keep falling while the United Arab Emirates Energy Minister Suhail Al Mazrouei urged producers from outside OPEC to trim output. Iraq’s 2015 budget assumes a $60 oil price."



'via Blog this'

Saudi Arabia Seen by Former Adviser Assuming $80 Oil - Bloomberg

Saudi Arabia Seen by Former Adviser Assuming $80 Oil - Bloomberg:



"Saudi Arabia’s 2015 budget is probably assuming an oil price of $80 a barrel, and will be seen as a sign of confidence in the market, according to a former economic adviser to the country’s government.



The assumption is down from $103 a barrel for this year, John Sfakianakis, who used to be chief economic adviser to Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Finance, said by phone after the budget was announced yesterday. The world’s biggest crude exporter set 2015 spending at 860 billion riyals ($229 billion) with revenue falling to 715 billion riyals from 1.046 trillion riyals in 2014, the Finance Ministry said. Oil accounted for 89 percent of its 2014 revenue.



Brent oil tumbled into a bear market this year as the U.S. pumped the most crude in more than three decades, leading the United Arab Emirates Energy Minister Suhail Al Mazrouei to urge producers from outside the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to trim output. Iraq, the second-biggest producer in OPEC, said this week its 2015 budget is based on $60 oil."



'via Blog this'

Thursday, 25 December 2014

​Ruble’s ‘perfect storm’ over – finance minister — RT Business

​Ruble’s ‘perfect storm’ over – finance minister — RT Business:



"The weak period of the ruble is over; there is now a strengthening trend in the national currency Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said.



"The ruble has found a balance and begins to strengthen," Siluanov said at a Federation Council meeting Thursday.



The ruble strengthened in Thursday trading, reaching 52 against the dollar, the highest since December 2. The euro exchange rate improved by 1.77 rubles compared to the previous close, at 63.75 rubles."



'via Blog this'

Saudi projects huge deficit as oil price drop bites - Business Insider

Saudi projects huge deficit as oil price drop bites - Business Insider:



"Saudi Arabia announced a 2015 budget with a huge deficit Thursday as the world's largest crude exporter begins to feel the impact of its own decision not to shore up oil prices.



The government announced the $38.6 billion deficit in a statement read on state-run television, adding that it would nonetheless boost projected spending by tapping its vast financial reserves.



The lead producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Saudi Arabia has insisted the cartel will not move to strengthen global oil prices despite a drop of nearly 50 percent since June."



'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Markets rise as Saudis maintain spending in 2015 budget | News by Country | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Markets rise as Saudis maintain spending in 2015 budget | News by Country | Reuters:



"Gulf stock markets rose on Thursday as Saudi Arabia released a 2015 state budget that will keep spending high, reassuring the region that economic growth is unlikely to be hurt much by the plunge of oil prices.



The Saudi budget envisions state spending at a record 860 billion riyals ($230 billion) next year, up 0.6 percent from the 2014 budget plan.



That would be the smallest rise in over a decade, but much better than the possible spending cuts that the markets were worrying about early this month. A 145 billion riyal budget deficit would be covered by the government's huge reserves."



'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets may lose steam on retreating oil price | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets may lose steam on retreating oil price | Reuters:



"Gulf stock markets may lose steam on Thursday after global oil prices pulled back overnight, with Brent crude again testing the psychologically important $60 a barrel level.



Bourses rose strongly on Wednesday on anticipation that the Saudi Arabian 2015 state budget, expected to be announced on Thursday, possibly during Saudi market trading hours, would keep spending high.



The country's Al-Madina newspaper, quoting unnamed sources, reported earlier this week that the budget would actually contain a marginal rise in spending, with the government using its huge fiscal reserves to cover a deficit."



'via Blog this'

Year in review 2014: Opec’s oil-price strategy anyone’s guess | The National

Year in review 2014: Opec’s oil-price strategy anyone’s guess | The National:



"The headlines at the end of November, following the meeting in Vienna of Opec’s oil ministers, were to varying degrees quite hysterical. There were declarations that it was “the end of Opec’s power” and much talk of crisis and disarray in the previously all-powerful oil cartel, which once held the world to ransom over the price of a barrel of oil. Also, there was triumphalism about the coming of energy independence for the United States based on shale oil and gas. The abundant new supplies in North America have become available because of new technology that enables companies to get the stuff out of previously impossible-to-reach rock formations.



There were myriad dissections and analysis about what Saudi Arabia, Opec’s de facto leader, was up to with its strategy to keep pumping oil at the same rates even though production is – and will continue to be into next year – at least a million barrels a day more than the world demands. Was it aiming to defend market share and to let prices slide even lower to force off the market some of those more expensive-to-produce supplies, especially US shale oil? Did Riyadh have some foreign policy aims in mind with its low-oil-price strategy, such as keeping pressure on Iran and, in support of its US ally, on Russia, both of which have been suffering from sanctions?



It is at times like this that some historical perspective is needed. Oil prices have indeed seen one of their most precipitous declines since last summer, when the price of world benchmark North Sea Brent crude was above US$115 (Dh422) a barrel. By early December, the decline was about 40 per cent, with Brent trading either side of $70."



'via Blog this'

No cause of concern in the UAE | GulfNews.com

No cause of concern in the UAE | GulfNews.com:



"The UAE At this point, resilient to the drop in oil prices, given a relatively diversified economy, excellent infrastructure, a more transparent and better regulated banking system, political stability, and ample foreign assets, said Garbis Iradian, Deputy Director of IIF.



The IIF expects monetary and fiscal policies to remain broadly accommodative. The consolidated fiscal balance is projected to remain in small surplus through 2016 given the UAE’s relatively low fiscal break even price of $74/bbl and external current account break even price of about $60/bbl in 2014.



The recent sharp increase in the power and water tariffs are expected to lower current public spending, while the real non-hydrocarbon GDP growth would remain strong at 4.8 per cent in 2015. The relatively low fiscal and external current account break-even prices of oil and ample foreign assets will enable the UAE to maintain its high level of spending on infrastructure and major projects and this will support growth in credit by banks. About $700 billion worth of infrastructure projects are expected to be implemented over the next 15 years."



'via Blog this'

GCC growth to continue despite oil decline and market volatility | GulfNews.com

GCC growth to continue despite oil decline and market volatility | GulfNews.com:



"The recent sharp fall in oil prices and significant volatility in capital markets are not likely to impact the economic growth prospects of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries according to the Institute of International Finance (IIF), a Washington based global association or trade group of financial institutions.



While large foreign exchange assets underpin the dollar peg regime in the GCC, the region has been subject to volatility in asset prices, with the MSCI GCC index still down more than 20 per cent from its peak despite paring back some losses.



“The GCC countries are much better positioned to cope with a slump in oil prices today than they were in the 1980s and 1990s. Ample public foreign assets and low debt in most of these countries will mitigate the adverse impact of low oil prices on economic activity and allow continued robust public spending, particularly on infrastructure,” said Garbis Iradian, Deputy Director of IIF."



'via Blog this'

S&P’s Russia Junk Warning Shows Ruble Rebound Comes Late - Bloomberg

S&P’s Russia Junk Warning Shows Ruble Rebound Comes Late - Bloomberg:



"For all of the progress Russia has made over the past week in stabilizing the ruble and quelling its financial crisis, Standard & Poor’s delivered a reminder of just how precarious the situation remains.



S&P said it’s considering cutting Russia’s credit-rating to junk, or below investment grade, for the first time in a decade as the looming recession spurs concern that the nation’s banks will face mounting bad loans. Hours before S&P released its statement yesterday, lawmakers sought to address that very concern, pushing through legislation that will allow President Vladimir Putin’s government to bail out struggling lenders.



While the move was anticipated -- bond investors have been trading the country’s debt as if it were junk-rated for weeks -- the timing was odd. Policy makers have orchestrated a 47 percent rebound in the ruble since it plunged to a record-low 80.10 a dollar Dec. 16 by pushing exporters to bring money back into the country and by creating a credit crunch that cut off some investors from the local currency needed to buy dollars."



'via Blog this'

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets rise ahead of Saudi budget | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets rise ahead of Saudi budget | Reuters:



"Gulf stock markets resumed rising on Wednesday ahead of the release of Saudi Arabia's 2015 state budget, which is expected to be announced on Thursday and show the government keeping spending at high levels despite the plunge of oil prices.



Regional bourses collapsed in early December because of fears that reduced oil export revenues would prompt Gulf governments to scale back economic development projects, hurting corporate profits.



But it has become clear in the past week that sharp cut-backs are unlikely, with the possible exception of the two smallest and fiscally weakest countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council, Bahrain and Oman."



'via Blog this'

UPDATE 2-MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi stocks resume rise before budget; SABB rockets on bonus shares | Reuters

UPDATE 2-MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi stocks resume rise before budget; SABB rockets on bonus shares | Reuters:



"Saudi Arabian stocks resumed rising ahead of the announcement of the kingdom's 2015 state budget, which is now expected to be released on Thursday and to show the government maintaining spending at high levels despite the plunge of oil prices.



The main Saudi index rose 1.0 percent to 8,629 points in early trade on Wednesday, nearing technical resistance around 8,700 points, where its downtrend line from September comes in.



The rise was broad-based; property developer Dar Al Arkan , the most heavily traded stock, climbed 1.0 percent, while the biggest bank, National Commercial Bank, gained 1.1 percent."



'via Blog this'

Markets in for a stormier 2015 - YouTube

Markets in for a stormier 2015 - YouTube: ""



'via Blog this'

‘No plans' for taxes in the UAE next year | GulfNews.com

‘No plans' for taxes in the UAE next year | GulfNews.com:



"The UAE’s Ministry of Finance on Tuesday ruled out any plans to impose any taxes next year as a result of falling oil prices.



“Our economy is robust ... our 2015 budget is balanced ... we don’t have any deficit and there are no plans for imposing any taxes next year as a result of the falling oil prices,” Obaid Humaid Al Tayer, Minister of State for Financial Affairs, told Gulf News yesterday.



Al Tayer spoke following the Federal National Council’s passing of the federal budget for 2015. The estimated budget is Dh49.1 billion, an increase of Dh2.9 billion (6.3 per cent) from last year."



'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets' rebound stalls after oil pulls back | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets' rebound stalls after oil pulls back | Reuters:



"Most Gulf stock markets fell on Tuesday, ending a rally of several days, after the Brent oil price pulled back to near $60 a barrel, dampening sentiment among retail investors.



The bourses have been closely correlated to oil over the last several months because of concern that lower oil export revenues could cause Gulf governments to cut back spending, particularly in the countries with relatively weak state finances, Bahrain and Oman.



Major spending cuts look unlikely in big economies such as Saudi Arabia. The kingdom's Al-Madina newspaper, quoting unnamed sources, reported that the 2015 Saudi budget - set to be announced this week - was expected to rise marginally from the 2014 plan to a record 860 billion riyals ($229 billion), with the government using its huge fiscal reserves to cover a deficit."



'via Blog this'

Russia-Tied Structured Note Buyers See Profits in Volatile Ruble - Bloomberg

Russia-Tied Structured Note Buyers See Profits in Volatile Ruble - Bloomberg:



"Buying securities tied to anything Russian looks increasingly risky. The ruble crashed to a record low on Dec. 16. The price of oil, a main export, has plunged. The cost to buy credit swaps to protect against a Russian debt default has jumped 250 basis points this year to 413 basis points.



Santiago Braje, head of emerging markets credit trading at ING Groep NV in London, agreed to talk about what all that means for credit-linked note investors, who have bought $1.01 billion of securities linked to the country or one of its companies in 2014. ING has sold $427.5 million of notes tied to Russian entities this year, the most of any bank, Bloomberg data show.



Q: Who’s been buying these notes? What’s the appeal? A: Demand for the CLNs in rubles tends to be from local markets, primarily from institutional investors. There is also interest and demand from private banks globally. Those tend to be more in hard currency."



'via Blog this'

Dubai’s Silent Fur Market Signals Winter Without Russians - Bloomberg

Dubai’s Silent Fur Market Signals Winter Without Russians - Bloomberg:



"Russian-speaking clerks sit idle in the dozens of shops that line Dubai’s Deira fur market, waiting for someone to come in and look at the racks stuffed with mink, sable and ermine coats. This was supposed to be the busiest time of the year.



“We knew the storm was coming, but we didn’t realize how strong it would be,” said George, a shopkeeper who says sales have dropped by about 70 percent this year. The store hasn’t sold any coats at the top price of $100,000 after several were bought in 2013, he said, asking that his last name not be used to avoid helping his competitors.



The Russians aren’t coming and that means pain for the retail, tourism and real estate markets that underpin Dubai’s foreigner-driven economy. Russia’s economic turmoil means Dubai is losing one of its biggest sources of customers at a time when events such as the falling oil price and mortgage-lending restrictions are already putting pressure on those markets."



'via Blog this'

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Opec leader vows not to cut oil output even if price hits $20 - FT.com

Opec leader vows not to cut oil output even if price hits $20 - FT.com:



"Opec will not cut production even if the price of oil falls to $20 a barrel, the cartel’s de facto leader said, spelling out a dramatic policy shift that will have far-reaching implications for the global energy industry.



In an unusually frank interview, Ali al-Naimi, the Saudi oil minister, tore up Opec’s traditional strategy of keeping prices high by limiting oil output and replaced it with a new policy of defending the cartel’s market share at all costs.



“It is not in the interest of Opec producers to cut their production, whatever the price is,” he told the Middle East Economic Survey. “Whether it goes down to $20, $40, $50, $60, it is irrelevant.”"



'via Blog this'

Russia faces full-blown crisis, says Kudrin - FT.com

Russia faces full-blown crisis, says Kudrin - FT.com:



"Russia faces a “full-blown economic crisis” next year that will trigger a series of defaults and the loss of its investment-grade credit rating, a respected former finance minister has warned.



Real incomes will fall by 2-5 per cent next year, the first decrease in real terms since 2000, said Alexei Kudrin, a longtime ally of President Vladimir Putin and widely tipped to succeed Dmitry Medvedev as prime minister.



His warning came as Russia’s central bank was forced to prop up a midsized lender in a sign of the strains on the banking system."



'via Blog this'

On a ten-year view - Authers' Note - Markets & Investing Video - FT.com

On a ten-year view - Authers' Note - Markets & Investing Video - FT.com:


'via Blog this'

Oil fall hits Nigeria’s banks - YouTube

Oil fall hits Nigeria’s banks - YouTube: ""



'via Blog this'

UAE markets mixed amid recovering crude | GulfNews.com

UAE markets mixed amid recovering crude | GulfNews.com:



"The Dubai index traded choppy in early trade on Tuesday, after gaining more than 25 per cent in the past three sessions, amid rising crude oil.



The Dubai Financial Market general index was down 0.73 per cent at 3,723.78 at 10.52am, after moving in the positive and negative territory. The Abu Dhabi Securities Market General Index was 0.11 per cent higher at 4,483.36.



Oil advanced for the second time in three days as investors weighed a projected decline in US crude inventories against signs that Iraq is joining other OPEC members in defending market share. "



'via Blog this'

Bank of Russia Pledges to Rescue Trust as Ruble Crisis Hits - Bloomberg

Bank of Russia Pledges to Rescue Trust as Ruble Crisis Hits - Bloomberg:



"Russia’s central bank provided a 30 billion-ruble ($531 million) bailout for National Bank Trust, its biggest rescue since the ruble crisis began this month.



The Deposits Security Agency will take control of National Bank Trust, one of the country’s top 15 lenders by retail savings, while the central bank selects an investor to help shore up the company, the Bank of Russia said in a statement today.



The ruble has depreciated 38 percent against the dollar since June and volatility has soared to the highest since Russia defaulted on local-currency debt 16 years ago, stoking concern that Russian lenders’ asset quality has deteriorated. Russian banks’ willingness to lend to each other is declining. The Mosprime overnight rate hit 27.3 percent on Dec. 18, the highest since Bloomberg started compiling the data in 2006."



'via Blog this'

Russia Crisis Makes East European Firms Fret Over 1998 Redux - Bloomberg

Russia Crisis Makes East European Firms Fret Over 1998 Redux - Bloomberg:



"Shedding communism and embracing the European Union was supposed to shield the former eastern bloc from Russia’s economic pains. A quarter of a century later, there are companies that remain vulnerable.



The ruble’s decline is reviving memories of the 1998 default. Moscow’s former satellites have tied their economic fortunes to western Europe and the proportion of exports to Russia is less than 5 percent, yet the financial turmoil is aggravating the pain caused by the trade confrontation between the 28-member EU bloc and Russia.



“A successful year is becoming unsuccessful,” said Miroslav Student, the commercial director at Abovalve, a Czech producer of butterfly and check valves for industrial applications. “The weak ruble is a headache for us. It’s causing financial problems, since our branch there has to pay more rubles for euros, and it’s also complicating trade.”"



'via Blog this'

Egypt Debt Rally Missed by Outsiders Shows El-Sisi Challenge - Bloomberg

Egypt Debt Rally Missed by Outsiders Shows El-Sisi Challenge - Bloomberg:



"For all of the gains in Egypt’s financial markets since President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi took over this year, one trend exposes the fragility of the economy: Foreigners want no part of the country’s domestic debt.



Non-Egyptians have cut their holdings in the $67 billion Treasury-bill market to less than 0.2 percent from 21 percent in 2010, according to central bank data. Investors say yields are too low to compensate for the risks in an economy weakened by almost four years of political turmoil.



T-bill rates have continued to plunge in the most indebted Arab nation behind Lebanon, even without foreign buyers, as local banks sought safety in government securities over loans to customers or companies. Without international investors, Egypt is reliant on handouts from Gulf allies that Citigroup Inc. says may start to dry up with falling oil revenue."



'via Blog this'

Rosneft Feels Sanctions’ Chill in Failed Oil-Unit Deal - Bloomberg

Rosneft Feels Sanctions’ Chill in Failed Oil-Unit Deal - Bloomberg:



"Morgan Stanley (MS)’s failure to complete the sale of its oil storage, trading and transport unit shows the chilling effect U.S. sanctions are having on Russian companies including OAO Rosneft. 




The U.S. bank and Rosneft, the Russian state-owned oil giant, said Monday that their deal, for an undisclosed amount, had expired after the companies failed to win regulatory approval. Morgan Stanley had warned in October that the agreement might not be completed.



U.S. sanctions against Rosneft explicitly prohibit selling certain oil-exploration equipment to the company or giving it long-term debt financing. The sale of Morgan Stanley’s oil-trading unit didn’t appear to trigger those prohibitions. Even so, such a sale would have undercut the broader U.S. goal of isolating the energy company."



'via Blog this'

The upcoming petrodollar bifurcation risk? | FT Alphaville

The upcoming petrodollar bifurcation risk? | FT Alphaville:



"

One of the still to be appreciated side-effects of falling oil prices is a reduction in so-called petrodollar recycling by oil producers.



As we’ve already noted, there are analysts who believe petro-induced liquidity shortages may already be impacting certain eurodollar markets. Furthermore, there’s also the fact that as liquidity shortfalls manifest in external markets, the opposite could become true for internal US markets. So, just as the dollar liquidity tap gets switched off externally, it gets turned on with gusto back at home.



But Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s Jean-Michel Saliba gets to the same point somewhat differently."



'via Blog this'

Rout of the rouble hits Thai tourism | beyondbrics

Rout of the rouble hits Thai tourism | beyondbrics:



"Half a world away from snowy Moscow, Russia’s deepening economic crisis is reverberating upon the palm-fringed beaches and castaway islands of Thailand. The droves of holidaymakers from Russian cities visiting Thai resorts are dwindling, deterred not so much by the southeast Asian nation’s military coup earlier this year as by the rout of the rouble.



As the chart below shows, Russians seeking a warm refuge from the prolonged winter of home were relatively unfazed in early 2014 by the mounting political tensions in Thailand that led to the May military coup.



They flocked to favoured resorts such as Pattaya and Phuket during January, February and March, with year-on-year visitor increases in those months rising 26 per cent, 21 per cent and 8 per cent respectively. This hardy attitude was in contrast to that of tourists from other parts of the world, many of whom decided to stay away in early 2014 (see chart).

"



'via Blog this'

Monday, 22 December 2014

Bear-to-Bull Lurch Nothing New in Dubai Amid Record Stock Swings - Bloomberg

Bear-to-Bull Lurch Nothing New in Dubai Amid Record Stock Swings - Bloomberg:



"In July, Dubai’s benchmark stock index jumped 21 percent in about two weeks, an advance that qualified it as a bull market. This month, after a brush with a bear market, it repeated the feat in two days.



The turnaround is testament to a market in which volatility is fueled by fluctuations in oil prices and attempts by banks and brokerages to offload stocks to pay back some borrowed money that was used to buy them, according to Abu Dhabi-based Nabil Rantisi, managing director of Mena Corp. Financial Services. Dubai’s DFM General Index soared 24 percent in the past two days, more than double the gain in stocks in Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil exporter.



“It’s a roller-coaster ride which we haven’t seen since the second half of 2008,” Rantisi said by phone. “It’s not a market for guys with weak hearts. You really require courage to be in this market at this time and make the right decisions.”"



'via Blog this'

Emerging markets outlook for 2015 - YouTube

Emerging markets outlook for 2015 - YouTube: ""



'via Blog this'

Active managers' terrible year - YouTube

Active managers' terrible year - YouTube: ""



'via Blog this'

Russia will not get a second miracle out of this oil slump | The National

Russia will not get a second miracle out of this oil slump | The National:



"Russia seems to experience an oil-triggered economic crisis every decade or so. The 1986 price slump led to the fall of the USSR, US$10 per barrel oil in 1998 derailed the tentative post-Soviet recovery and brought the unknown Vladimir Putin to prominence, while Russia scraped through the short price slump following the 2008-9 recession.



This year, both the oil price and the rouble have beaten Mr Putin to 63 – his birthday is next October, while Brent crude was $60.70 per barrel on Friday and the rouble touched lows of 77 to the dollar on December 16.



It is worth recalling what happened after 1998. The Russian economy rebounded surprisingly quickly. Elected president in 2000, Mr Putin initially followed a prudent and orthodox macroeconomic policy, improved tax collection and accumulated “rainy day” savings. Helped by rising oil prices and lower domestic costs because of the weaker rouble, the oil industry revived and grew strongly up to 2004. Apart from 2008’s economic crisis, production has increased every year since 1999."



'via Blog this'

Dubai index choppy after rebound | GulfNews.com

Dubai index choppy after rebound | GulfNews.com:



"The Dubai index was choppy in early trade on Monday even as recovering crude post the positive comments from Saudi Arabia and Qatar limited the downside.



The Dubai Financial Market General Index was up 0.04 per cent at 3,766.91, after moving in the tight range of 3,719.16 - 3,823.75. The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange general index was down 0.20 per cent at 4,507.74.



Oil rose as much as 2 per cent for a second day, extending the biggest rally since October 2012 after Saudi Arabia said it was confident that crude will rebound as world economic growth boosts demand. A global glut that has driven prices lower was created by a lack of cooperation from producers outside the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, according to Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Ali Al-Naimi."



'via Blog this'

Bahrain Sukuk Mauled as Oil Drop Imperils Plans: Islamic Finance - Bloomberg

Bahrain Sukuk Mauled as Oil Drop Imperils Plans: Islamic Finance - Bloomberg:



"Tumbling oil prices are battering Bahrain’s Shariah-compliant bonds.



The Gulf nation’s dollar-denominated sukuk that mature in 2018 have dropped 1.3 percent since the end of September, compared with an average 0.8 percent gain for more than 30 Islamic sovereign dollar bonds tracked by Bloomberg. Only the five-year $1 billion sukuk issued by Pakistan, where Islamic militants have killed more than 50,000 people since 2001, have performed worse.



The decline underscores how oil’s 45 percent slide since last year is hurting a country where Standard & Poor’s estimates crude accounts for 65 percent of fiscal revenue and yet has oil reserves that are less than 0.1 percent of neighboring Saudi Arabia’s. The retreat threatens to jeopardize some of the $30 billion of infrastructure projects the government is planning to sustain economic growth and becalm protests by the majority Shiite population, according to Commerzbank AG."



'via Blog this'

Age of Plenty Seen Over for Gulf Arabs as Oil Tumbles - Bloomberg

Age of Plenty Seen Over for Gulf Arabs as Oil Tumbles - Bloomberg:



"The boom that adorned Gulf Arab monarchies with glittering towers, swelled their sovereign funds and kept unrest largely at bay may be over after oil prices dropped by almost 50 percent in the last six months.



The sheikhdoms have used the oil wealth to remake their region. Landmarks include man-made islands on reclaimed land, as well as financial centers, airports and ports that turned the Arabian desert into a banking and travel hub. The money was also deployed to ward off social unrest that spread through the Middle East during the Arab Spring.



“The region has had 10 years of abundance,” said Simon Williams, HSBC Holdings Plc’s chief economist for central and eastern Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. “But that decade of plenty is done. The drop in oil prices will hurt performance in the near term, even if the Gulf’s buffers are powerful enough to ensure there’s no crisis.”"



'via Blog this'

Saudi Arabia Confident in Oil Rebounding on Global Growth - Bloomberg

Saudi Arabia Confident in Oil Rebounding on Global Growth - Bloomberg:



"Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter, is confident that crude prices will rebound with global economic growth boosting demand.



Prices will recover from a slump due to a glut created by a lack of cooperation from producers outside the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, Saudi Arabia Oil Minister Ali Al-Naimi said at a conference in Abu Dhabi yesterday. Al-Naimi ended his speech showing the confidence as he jumped off the stage and smiled.



Brent oil tumbled into a bear market this year as the U.S. pumped the most crude in more than three decades and economic growth slowed from China to Germany. The increase in global crude demand was about 700,000 barrels a day this year, below the projected 1.2 million barrels a day, Al-Naimi said."



'via Blog this'

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Dubai Shares Enter a Bull Market as Oil Rise Fuels Gulf Rally - Bloomberg

Dubai Shares Enter a Bull Market as Oil Rise Fuels Gulf Rally - Bloomberg:



"Dubai’s stocks entered a bull market in the biggest two-day gain in the gauge’s history as oil prices rebounded and global equities rallied. Qatar’s main index also rose.



The DFM General Index climbed 9.9 percent to 3,765.35 at the close, advancing 24 percent since Dec. 17. The measure entered a bear market less than two weeks ago when the gauge plummeted 22 percent from a peak in September. Emaar Properties PJSC led gains with a 14 percent surge. Qatar’s QE Index rallied 7.6 percent, the most in more than five years. Abu Dhabi’s ADX General Index added 3.5 percent.



“The rout has stopped for now,” Julian Bruce, the head of institutional trading at EFG-Hermes U.A.E. Ltd. in Dubai, said by telephone. “We have seen off the bottom in the short term and we will have a bit more upside now on increased volatility. With the backdrop that we have now of global equities and oil rally, there has been a sea-change in the sentiment.”"



'via Blog this'

Non-Opec producers blamed for oil slide - FT.com

Non-Opec producers blamed for oil slide - FT.com:



"The oil ministers of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have blamed the rout in oil prices on producers outside Opec and reaffirmed their stance to hold output at current levels.



Ali al-Naimi, Saudi Arabia’s oil minister, said a lack of co-operation from countries outside of the cartel was a key contributor to the near 50 per cent slide in crude prices since the middle of June.



“The kingdom of Saudi Arabia and other countries sought to bring back balance to the market, but the lack of co-operation from other producers outside Opec and the spread of misleading information and speculation led to the continuation of the drop in prices,” he said at a conference in Abu Dhabi on Sunday, according to Reuters."



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How far down will oil’s descent take the UAE economy? | The National

How far down will oil’s descent take the UAE economy? | The National:



"The UAE will be in recession next year. How can it be otherwise, when oil prices are cut in half and oil revenue makes up a third of the national GDP? You might hope that non-oil growth will compensate for the loss of oil revenue, but then how can that happen when most of the non-oil revenues are from trade with countries even more dependent on oil income? I’ve lived through two recessions here, so this will be my third.



This does not look like a rerun of events in 2009-10. Abu Dhabi prevented that happening by putting a brake on the housing boom late last year. True, Dubai is still busy putting a canal under Sheikh Zayed Road. But this is not like 2009, when hundreds of billions’ worth of projects went ahead simultaneously then stopped suddenly, leaving a pile of debts.



Sure, the debts are still there, albeit refinanced at much lower interest rates on longer tenures. A repeat of the Dubai World US$25 billion debt standstill is highly unlikely – the bankers have made sure of that. Dubai will be able to carry on building, although some projects will go slow and some actually stop for a period. Abu Dhabi will probably follow the same path with its pharaonic public works."



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UAE markets extend rebound on crude | GulfNews.com

UAE markets extend rebound on crude | GulfNews.com:



"The Dubai index extended gains on Sunday buoyed by recovering crude oil led by Arabtec and Emaar Malls Group.



The Dubai Financial Market General Index jumped 8.12 per cent to be at 3,705.04, while ADX general index up 2.68 per cent at 4,482.12.



The gains on DFM was led by Emaar Malls, Arabtec and National Central Cooling company, which zoomed up 15 per cent in early deals."



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Dubai realty market cool-off forces investor rethink | GulfNews.com

Dubai realty market cool-off forces investor rethink | GulfNews.com:



"Master-developers and those with proven track record of delivery will have the edge if investor sentiments in Dubai’s property markets were to tighten further, according to the findings of an industry survey complied by the law firm Hadef & Partners. This will force non-Tier A developers with having to “get more innovative and offering something more” to win over buyer confidence.



That could even mean sacrificing on their offer pricing. As high as 70 per cent of respondents in the survey believed that sub-developers need to come up with “better payment plans, lower prices and more balanced contracts” to get into their off-plan projects. This could have ramifications for the entire industry as a raft of new off-plan projects were launched by private developers recently, both in established locations and, more so these days, in newer locations further away from the city centre.



“There’s an undercurrent of caution, which could be eased if investors see the government sustaining the significant spending on wider infrastructure projects,” said Brent Baldwin, Partner at Hadef & Partners. “This will also be expressed by investors putting more faith in government-owned or backed developers."



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Alkhabeer Starts Venture Fund for Saudi Startup Companies - Bloomberg

Alkhabeer Starts Venture Fund for Saudi Startup Companies - Bloomberg:



"Saudi Arabia’s Alkhabeer Capital is setting up a venture capital fund to invest in technology start-ups.



Alkhabeer Ventures will target mobile, e-commerce, news media and social media startups and new technologies like 3D imaging in Saudi Arabia, the company said today in a statement. Alkhabeer will seek companies in their first-round of fundraising and exit through trade sales or initial public offerings. The company didn’t disclose the size of the fund. 




Alkhabeer is seeking to capitalize on high-levels of social media and other technology usage in Saudi Arabia. The country has the third highest smartphone penetration levels in the world, behind the United Arab Emirates and South Korea, according to the Our Mobile Planet survey by Google. It also has the highest number of YouTube views per internet user in the world, according to the video hosting site. Riyad Capital said in June that is was planning to launch a $270 million venture capital fund also targeting Saudi technology startups."



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Non-OPEC Producers Called on to Cut Oil Output After Rout - Bloomberg

Non-OPEC Producers Called on to Cut Oil Output After Rout - Bloomberg:



"Oil producers outside of OPEC should cut their “irresponsible” output with excess supplies harming the market, the United Arab Emirates energy minister said.



The oil market is oversupplied by 2 million barrels a day, Mohammed Al Sada, Qatar’s energy minister, told Bloomberg at a conference in Abu Dhabi. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries has produced about 30 million barrels a day since January 2013 while global output climbed more than 2 million barrels a day to 93.6 million barrels, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. 




“We call on all other producers to stop the increase because the increase is harming the market,” U.A.E. Energy Minister Suhail Al Mazrouei told Bloomberg at the conference. “If the increase stops, and they follow OPEC’s lead, OPEC’s decision is to fix production, if production stabilizes in 2015 things will stabilize much faster.”"



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