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Friday, 31 January 2014

Ukraine: over for Yanukovich? Bondholders seem to think so | beyondbrics #EuroMaidan

Ukraine: over for Yanukovich? Bondholders seem to think so | beyondbrics:

This is Ukraine’s $1bn sovereign bond maturing on June 4:
Source: Thomson Reuters
As bond yields soared, the Ukrainian hyrvnia slumped and CDS spreads widened on Friday as the country’s political crisis entered a new phase.
An advisor to Vladimir Putin, Russia’s president, warned Viktor Yanukovich of Ukraine he must suppress protests in the country or risk losing power. The hard line from Moscow came as Yanukovich himself – who had gone on sick leave on Thursday – signed into law an amnesty for protesters and a repeal of anti-protest laws. Both moves had previously been rejected by opposition leaders as they were conditional on protesters giving up control of buildings in central Kiev.
Earlier, John Kerry, US Secretary of State, told reporters in Berlin that Ukraine’s opposition had the support of president Barrack Obama.
The hyrvnia – usually firmly controlled by Ukraine’s central bank – was trading at 8.61 to the dollar on Friday after closing on Thursday at 8.40. Against the euro, it weakened to as much as 11.68 from 11.38 on Thursday, reaching its weakest level since August 2011.
The spread on a 5-year CDS rose to 1,012 basis points, meaning the cost of insuring against default in the next five years was more than 10 per cent of the debt insured, approaching levels at the height of the first wave of Ukraine’s recent crisis in December.
The yield on Ukraine’s $1.25bn bond maturing in April rose above 10 per cent. The yield on its $1bn bond maturing on June 4 – barely four months from now – rose to 15.4 per cent, suggesting investors have lost confidence in a $15bn bailout from Moscow and in the survival of the Yanukovich administration.



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IMF Warns Dubai of Risk of Real Estate Bubble - NYTimes.com

IMF Warns Dubai of Risk of Real Estate Bubble - NYTimes.com:



"DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — The International Monetary Fund is warning that Dubai's megaprojects could increase the risk of a real estate bubble.



The city, part of the oil-rich United Arab Emirates, has long had a penchant for monumental buildings and development projects, notably a large area around a new airport with hotels, housing and a new conference center to host the world Expo 2020.



But the IMF cautioned that if these projects are not "implemented prudently" they could exacerbate the danger of a bubble and create additional risks for government-owned companies and the banking system, still recovering from a 2009 financial crisis.



The Thursday statement released after an IMF team visit said that economic growth in the UAE is expected to remain strong at 4.5 percent this year."



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Once troubled Bank of Cyprus leaves politically unstable Ukraine — RT Business

Once troubled Bank of Cyprus leaves politically unstable Ukraine — RT Business:



"Protests in Kiev are spooking investors, and the latest is Bank of Cyprus, which plans on selling its loss making Ukrainian subsidiary Alfa Group Ukraine Limited for 225 million euro by the end of March.



The Chairman of Bank of Cyprus Christis Hasapis announced the bank would be selling off its Ukrainian bank operations on Friday.



“The sale falls under the Group’s strategy of focusing on core businesses and markets, and disposing of operations that are considered as non-core and is being implemented at a faster pace than what is anticipated in the Restructuring Plan,” the statement said.



Bank of Cyprus has 42 branches operating in Ukraine. Branches in Russia, China, and South Africa will remain open. Focus on clients in Cyprus, where it operates 133 branches, will be made a priority. The bank has also sold its Greek subsidiary and now has 368 working branches."



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ECONOMICS - Turkish Central Bank's rate hike may hit growth: Moody’s

ECONOMICS - Turkish Central Bank's rate hike may hit growth: Moody’s:



"Turkey’s interest rate hike will alleviate some of the pressure on its sovereign creditworthiness and help curb lira volatility but will hurt its economic growth prospects, rating agency Moody’s said on Jan. 31.



“While the central bank’s action contains the country’s currency volatility, reduces financial stress in the economy and thus limits the likelihood of a balance-of-payments crisis, it comes at the cost of significantly weakening Turkey’s economic growth prospects,” Moody’s said in a statement.



Turkey’s Central Bank raised all its key interest rates at an emergency policy meeting on Jan. 29, ignoring opposition from Erdoğan as it battled to defend the lira following its fall to a series of record lows."



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Trade and financial-channel exposures to emerging markets | FT Alphaville

Trade and financial-channel exposures to emerging markets | FT Alphaville:



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The Peninsula Qatar - Mideast funds to raise weightings in Qatar

The Peninsula Qatar - Mideast funds to raise weightings in Qatar:



"Middle East-based investment funds have become much more bullish on Qatar’s stock market, citing heavy government spending and attractive valuations, the latest monthly Reuters survey of the region shows.



Fifty-six percent of 16 leading investment managers said they expected to raise allocations to Qatari equities in the next three months, while only 6 percent expected to cut them. That was the biggest positive change among the six major markets in the survey, and compared with 20 percent saying they would raise allocations to Qatari stocks in December’s survey.



Qatar’s government spending is expected to rise 11.6 percent in 2014 from the 2013 plan as the government boosts infrastructure construction, partly in preparation to host the 2022 soccer World Cup, the Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics said last month. "



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Ukrainian Bonds Tumble Second Day as Russia Threatens Aid Delay - Businessweek #EuroMaidan

Ukrainian Bonds Tumble Second Day as Russia Threatens Aid Delay - Businessweek:



"Ukrainian bonds slumped, pushing yields to a six-week high, as Russia threatened to delay an aid package and President Viktor Yanukovych refused to unconditionally pardon protesters.



Yields on dollar-denominated debt due in June surged 127 basis points to 13.25 percent at 2:48 p.m. in Kiev, the highest since Dec. 16 on a closing basis. The cost of insuring the country’s debt with credit-default swaps jumped 50 basis points to 1,004 basis points, Europe’s highest, according to CMA data.



Yanukovych went on sick leave today after he pushed through a law last night requiring activists to leave seized buildings before detained protesters can go free, prolonging a two-month standoff that prompted Premier Mykola Azarov to quit on Jan. 28. Russia, which lent Ukraine $3 billion last month to help it avoid a default, should withhold further aid until Azarov’s government is replaced, President Vladimir Putin said yesterday."



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Emerging opportunities

Uncertain future for Turkey

Norway fund blacklists Israeli firms with colony ties | GulfNews.com

Norway fund blacklists Israeli firms with colony ties | GulfNews.com:



"Norway’s huge sovereign wealth fund, the world’s largest, blacklisted two Israeli companies involved in construction of colonies in occupied East Jerusalem, the country’s finance ministry said on Thursday.



The ban on investing in the firms revived a three-year prohibition on them that the Government Pension Fund of Norway had dropped in August last year.



The companies are Africa Israel Investments, an Israeli real estate developer, and its construction subsidiary Danya Cerbus."



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Flydubai moving to DWC, General Civil Aviation Authority says | GulfNews.com

Flydubai moving to DWC, General Civil Aviation Authority says | GulfNews.com:



"Flydubai will be permanently moving from Dubai International to Al Maktoum International at Dubai World Central “in the next year,” the UAE’s top aviation official said on Thursday.



Saif Mohammad Al Suwaidi, Director General of the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority, said flydubai will not divide its operations between the two airports because “Dubai International has reached its maximum capacity [and] cannot offer more slots to newcomers.”



Al Suwaidi was speaking to the media on the sidelines of the Authority’s “2014 – 2016 Strategic Plan” launch event.



Earlier this week, a flydubai spokesperson speaking to Gulf News, denied that it had confirmed it will move its operations to Dubai’s newest airport."



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Record Cash Leaves Emerging Market ETFs on Lira Drop - Bloomberg

Record Cash Leaves Emerging Market ETFs on Lira Drop - Bloomberg:



"Investors are pulling money from exchange-traded funds that track emerging markets at the fastest rate on record, as China’s slowing growth and cuts to central-bank stimulus sink currencies from Turkey to Brazil.



More than $7 billion flowed from ETFs investing in developing-nation assets in January, the most since the securities were created, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF has seen its assets shrink by 11 percent, while the Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets ETF is poised for the biggest monthly redemption since the fund was started in 2005. The WisdomTree Emerging Markets Local Debt Fund is on track for an eighth straight month of withdrawals.



Investors accelerated redemptions after data showed Chinese manufacturing contracted and Argentina’s unexpected devaluation of its peso dented confidence in Latin America. Surprise rate increases by central banks in Turkey and South Africa failed to boost their currencies, while the U.S. Federal Reserve opted to press on with reductions to its monetary stimulus."



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Goldman Made $350 Million on ‘Worthless’ Trades, Libya Says - Bloomberg

Goldman Made $350 Million on ‘Worthless’ Trades, Libya Says - Bloomberg:



"Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) made about $350 million on “worthless” derivatives trades after exerting “undue influence” on managers of the Libyan Investment Authority, according to the sovereign-wealth fund, the second-largest in Africa.



LIA sued Goldman Sachs on Jan. 21 in London over investments of about $1 billion made in 2008. The fund said in court documents released today that its executives, who were given gifts of chocolate and after-shave by the bank, never understood the transactions.



“The unique circumstances allowed Goldman Sachs to take advantage of the LIA’s extremely limited financial and legal experience to deliberately exploit its position of influence and to take advantage in a way that generated colossal losses for the LIA but substantial profits for Goldman Sachs,” LIA Chairman AbdulMagid Breish said in an e-mailed statement."



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BlackRock Bets on Recovery as Turkish Banks’ Value Falls - Bloomberg

BlackRock Bets on Recovery as Turkish Banks’ Value Falls - Bloomberg:



"BlackRock Inc. (BLK), the world’s biggest money manager, said it favors investments in Turkish financial firms as the country’s 16-company bank index fell below book value for the first time in five years.



The book value of Turkish banks included in the index fell to 0.98 at 3:07 p.m. in Istanbul, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The last time the ratio fell below 1 was the first quarter of 2009, when it sank to 0.96. The Borsa Istanbul 100 Index added 0.9 percent to 62,633.17.



Pressure on Turkey’s lenders is growing after the central bank increased the one-week repo rate to 10 percent from 4.5 percent at an emergency meeting this week and limits on consumer credit were introduced earlier this year. The rate increase will restore investor confidence in the bank and the country, according to BlackRock."



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Thursday, 30 January 2014

Shell: comforting times

Qatar Energy Profile: Largest Exporter Of Liquefied Natural Gas In World - Analysis Eurasia Review

Qatar Energy Profile: Largest Exporter Of Liquefied Natural Gas In World - Analysis Eurasia Review:



"Qatar is the largest exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the world, and the country’s exports of LNG, crude oil, and petroleum products provide a significant portion of government revenues.



Like many of its neighbors, Qatar relies on its energy sector to support its economy. According to the Qatar National Bank (QNB), Qatar’s earnings from its hydrocarbons sector accounted for 60% of the country’s total government revenues over the past five fiscal years (through fiscal year 2012-13). The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates that Qatar earned $55 billion from net oil exports in 2012, and QNB estimates that the oil and natural gas sector of Qatar accounted for 57.8% of the country’s gross domestic product in 2012."



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EconoMonitor : Thoughts From Across the Atlantic » Turkish Monetary Policy at the Crossroads

EconoMonitor : Thoughts From Across the Atlantic » Turkish Monetary Policy at the Crossroads:



"The Turkish lira has been declining in value for eight months, and the drop has accelerated recently. The decline of the lira has been part of a broader decline in emerging market currencies. However, the depreciation of the Turkish lira has been more extreme. Following the latest drop in the value of the lira, the Turkish central bank made a surprisingly large increase in interest rates on January 28th. The increase was publicly opposed by Prime Minister Erdogan, who has attributed attempts to raise rates to a vague “interest rate lobby”. The disagreement on interest rate policy between the central bank and the prime minister can be interpreted as an attack on central bank independence, although Mr. Erdogan publicly acknowledged the Bank’s independence. The move by the central bank also illustrates the limits on central bank influence imposed by the Policy Trilemma."



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Dubai Back To Being Islamic Capital Of Real Estate - Forbes

Dubai Back To Being Islamic Capital Of Real Estate - Forbes:



"We’ve all seen pictures of the man-made palm tree island off the coast of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.  It sticks out into the Persian Gulf like a spectacle, or better yet a reminder of what oil wealth and human ingenuity can accomplish.



The palm is known as Palm Jumeirah Island, built by Dubai government-owned real estate developer Nakheel in 2005, is not for the middle class.  A house on the “trunk” of that island will cost over $1 million.  A two bedroom, 1,700-square-foot apartment in the Tiara Residences will set you back a cool $1.44 million. 




Supposedly this is what can happen when your government is so rich, it’s main objective — to create jobs, bring in foreign talent, create a multi-cultural futuristic city — is more important than making money.  At least at first."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi, Abu Dhabi bourses buck Gulf downtrend | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi, Abu Dhabi bourses buck Gulf downtrend | Reuters:



"* Saudi banking index up 2.6 pct



 * Abu Dhabi lender FGB climbed 3.1 pct, lifting bourse



 * Global cues weigh on other Gulf mkts



 By Nadia Saleem

DUBAI, Jan 30 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi bourses bucked a downbeat Gulf trend as earnings and dividend disclosures lured buyers, while other markets tracked a sell-off across global equities.



Saudi banking shares rallied, moving the sector's index up 2.6 percent - its biggest one-day gain in more than four months - after Riyad Bank proposed to double its capital to 30 billion riyals ($8 billion) through bonus shares issued.



Shares in Riyad Bank surged 9.2 percent to their highest since June 2008."



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UAE and Qatar set for a new challenge after MSCI markets upgrade | The National

UAE and Qatar set for a new challenge after MSCI markets upgrade | The National:



"When it kicks in operationally in May, the upgrade of the stock exchanges of the UAE and Qatar to emerging market status will mark a long-awaited milestone for both nations – exposing them to billions of dollars of assets under management from across the world.



But it will also be a milestone for the listings body MSCI. This country and Qatar are the first markets to be upgraded from frontier to emerging since the former status was established in 2007. In this way, the Dubai Financial Market (DFM), Abu Dhabi Stock Exchange and Doha Securities Market are trailblazers.



There has been much speculation on how the upgrade will affect the markets of Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Doha but on the surface the numbers look good. While MSCI Frontier attracts US$2.7 billion worth of funds, MSCI Emerging tracks some $1.4 trillion and the UAE and Qatar will now be ranked alongside such economic giants as Brazil, Russia, India and China."



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Saudi Arabia to give Egypt up to $4 bln in additional aid-report | Reuters

Saudi Arabia to give Egypt up to $4 bln in additional aid-report | Reuters:



"Saudi Arabia is expected to give Egypt up to $4 billion in additional aid in the form of central bank deposits and petroleum products, state-run Al Ahram newspaper reported on Thursday.



Citing an unnamed ministerial source, the newspaper said the package would be worked out during a visit next week to the kingdom by Egypt's interim prime minister Hazem el-Beblawi."



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A Russia investor's wish list for 2014 | Russia Beyond The Headlines

A Russia investor's wish list for 2014 | Russia Beyond The Headlines:



"Russia suffered a poor economic performance in 2013 and the government is desperate to avoid a repeat in 2014. Realizing the goal of returning growth back towards the 3% level will require fiscal and monetary policy changes and faster progress with the reform agenda. With that in mind, an investor’s wish list from the government for 2014 would include:



• Greater efficiency in budget spending, and a shift of resources towards growth-boosting projects and away from nonproductive areas such as defense spending;



• The initiation of cuts to the Central Bank’s benchmark interest rate, and a big cut in the commercial bank’s average lending rate to small businesses;



• An increase in infrastructure spending;



• Greater determination to meet OECD membership conditions, which means improving investors’ perception of Russia, of risk and of the business environment;



• An improvement in corporate governance, especially among state-run companies."



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Vodafone Qatar Q3 Net Loss Narrows » Gulf Business

Vodafone Qatar Q3 Net Loss Narrows » Gulf Business:



"Vodafone Qatar, an affiliate of Vodafone Group, reported a narrowing third-quarter loss on Thursday, Reuters calculations show, helped by a growth in its customer base.



Vodafone, which ended Ooredoo’s domestic monopoly in 2009, made a net loss of QAR53.2 million ($14.61 million) in the three months to Dec. 31, Reuters calculated based on nine-month figures provided by the company. That compares with a loss of QAR87.1 million in the prior-year period. The operator’s financial year starts April 1.



Analysts polled by Reuters on average forecast Vodafone Qatar would make a quarterly loss of QAR72.7 million."



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Gulf carriers like Emirates, Qatar Airways and Etihad slash fares to draw hub traffic from India - The Economic Times

Gulf carriers like Emirates, Qatar Airways and Etihad slash fares to draw hub traffic from India - The Economic Times:



"Gulf carriers which aggressively increased flights to the west in the last two years are now undercutting each others' ticket prices to get the biggest chunk of their hub traffic from India.



For instance, Emirates started this year with discounted ticket fares up to travel in June on destinations as Zurich, London, New York and Houston from Mumbai. The economy class fares under the scheme were Rs 42,099, about a 5%-7% cut on its earlier fares.



The announcement was the premium carrier's seventh since February 2013. Other offers during the year included Mumbai-Dubai business class tickets as low as Rs 57,590. "



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Frankfurt Gas Forum session on commercial prospects and geopolitical risks of East Med gas

Frankfurt Gas Forum session on commercial prospects and geopolitical risks of East Med gas:



"Exactly what will the Vasilikos LNG terminal mean for Cyprus? That question was answered by Nicos Kouyialis, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Cyprus, at the Frankfurt Gas Forum in a session dedicated to the commercial prospects and geopolitical risks of Eastern Mediterranean deep offshore gas. 



“Of course we'd like to see Cyprus become an energy hub," he said. "We've taken an important decision, the only one so far, which is the construction of the LNG plant, and this will be the first step in our strategy of becoming an energy hub."
 



Mr. Kouyialis conceded that Cyprus' internal market was very small for the consumption of natural gas. “So we definitely have to look to the external markets – the European market and others in the rest of the world.”"



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Arrest of Billionaire Highlights Political Divisions in Iran - NYTimes.com

Arrest of Billionaire Highlights Political Divisions in Iran - NYTimes.com:



"While international sanctions have made life a struggle for many Iranians, they were a big break for businessman Babak Zanjani, who made a fortune helping the government evade the restrictions on oil sales. He also made enemies.



A $40,000 watch on his wrist and a Tehran football club for a plaything, Zanjani shuttled to meetings on private jets, arranging billions of dollars of oil deals through a network of companies that stretched from Turkey to Malaysia, Tajikistan and the United Arab Emirates, he said last autumn.



"This is my work - sanctions-busting operations," he told Iranian current affairs magazine Aseman.



Under the conservative presidency of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the 39-year-old Zanjani was good enough at his work to amass a fortune of $10 billion - along with debts of a similar scale, he told Aseman - until he was arrested late last month."



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Russell Napier on the implications of Turkey's troubles

Arabian Gulf energy still vital to the US, says former CIA director David Petraeus | The National

Arabian Gulf energy still vital to the US, says former CIA director David Petraeus | The National:



"The US may be becoming an energy superpower but it still considers oil and gas from the Arabian Gulf as vital, according to the former director of the US Central Intelligence Agency.



David Petraeus, the chairman of the KKR Global Institute and former commander of the US Central Command, said that while the energy boom had extended to Canada and Mexico, the Arabian Gulf’s oil and gas still fuelled the US’s trade partners and would for the foreseeable future.



He was speaking at a lecture on the forthcoming North American decades at the Emirates Centre for Strategic Studies and Research last night."



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Bumper UAE bank dividends may be on the way | The National

Bumper UAE bank dividends may be on the way | The National:



"UAE bank shareholders are set to reap bumper dividends after the country’s biggest banks added billions of dirhams in fourth-quarter profits.



A slew of double-digit earnings increases from the UAE’s largest lenders has capped a year defined by rebounding consumer confidence, rising spending and surging property prices.



The Abu Dhabi-based lender First Gulf Bank said yesterday it planned to distribute a 100 per cent dividend, which translates to Dh1 a share, after its profit gained 15 per cent in 2013."



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Regional blocs urged to play positive role in trade promotion | GulfNews.com

Regional blocs urged to play positive role in trade promotion | GulfNews.com:



"Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansouri, UAE Minister of Economy, on Wednesday called upon regional trade blocs across the world to contribute positively towards the promotion of trade and investment.



Speaking at a session on the ‘Emergence of New Mega-Trading Blocks and their Impact on Global Trade’ at the Partnership Summit 2014 here, Al Mansouri said bilateral and regional trade arrangements should be complementary to the multilateral trading system, adding that they can never be a substitute to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) regulations.



He added that the UAE is pursuing a trade policy based on economic openness and trade liberalisation that has elevated its position from being a regional player to becoming a major international contributor to trade and investment."



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Dubai’s debt management will be key to sustainable growth | GulfNews.com

Dubai’s debt management will be key to sustainable growth | GulfNews.com:



"Finding appropriate funding options and managing the debts of Dubai government and government-related entities (GREs) will not only be key to the success of Expo 2020 but will result in longer term economic benefits from the event, Monica Malik, chief economist of EFG Hermes said.



Private-sector credit growth in the UAE is expected to accelerate between 2014 and 2020. Between 2014 and 2020 both consumption and investment demand will drive the credit growth with larger credit demand coming from the corporate sector.



With already high levels of credit exposures many GREs have, and new credit exposure limits set for these entities by the central bank, analysts say many GREs will have to look for alternative funding options outside of the banking system."



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Yale Grad Trusts in Bank of Baghdad to Help Deliver Iraq Returns - Bloomberg

Yale Grad Trusts in Bank of Baghdad to Help Deliver Iraq Returns - Bloomberg:



"For Grant Felgenhauer, a money manager whose hedge fund owns $110 million of Iraqi equities, the 15 explosions that reverberated across the country in a single day earlier this month weren’t a reason to stop buying.




“The Iraq that is unfolding in Baghdad is not the Iraq you read about in the headlines,” Felgenhauer, a portfolio manager at Euphrates Iraq Fund Ltd., said in a Jan. 16 phone interview from the nation’s capital. “The opportunities offered by Iraqi equities overshadow anything else we see in the world today.”



The Yale University graduate, who formerly traded Russian stocks at Bill Browder’s Hermitage Capital Management in Moscow, returned 28 percent last year with bets on Iraqi shares such as Bank of Baghdad, compared with a 9.5 percent decline for Iraq’s ISX General Index. That helped make New York-based Euphrates the fourth-best performing emerging-market fund managing more than $50 million in 2013, outpacing gains at rivals such as BlackRock Inc., according to data compiled by Bloomberg."



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Russia Raises Stakes for Ukraine as Yanukovych Digs In - Bloomberg | #EuroMaidan

Russia Raises Stakes for Ukraine as Yanukovych Digs In - Bloomberg:



"Russia ramped up pressure on Ukraine with a threat of withholding aid until it forms a new cabinet as President Viktor Yanukovych refused to drop conditions for pardoning protesters, prolonging the country’s crisis.



As President Vladimir Putin warned that Russia would hold aid to Ukraine until the country has a new government, lawmakers in Kiev haggled for 12 hours over amnesty proposals after a string of concessions by the administration. A day after accepting his prime minister’s resignation, Yanukovych pushed through a bill that requires activists to relinquish seized buildings before their comrades in custody are freed.



Yanukovych, 63, is facing calls to resign in protests that have spread from the capital to other cities since his rejection of a European Union association pact in November. The demonstrations turned deadly last week and the turmoil has reignited a tug-of-war between Russia and Europe for influence in the nation of 45 million people. The opposition vowed to stay on the streets."



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Wednesday, 29 January 2014

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi shares rise; most Gulf mkts up on global cues | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi shares rise; most Gulf mkts up on global cues | Reuters:



"* Saudi index climbs 0.6 pct, recovers losses from the week



* Abu Dhabi measure rose to 65 month high



* Dubai slips on profit-taking



By Nadia Saleem and Raya Atallah

DUBAI, Jan 29 (Reuters) -



Saudi Arabia's shares rose on Wednesday, buoyed by a recovery in global markets as investor focus returned to local fundamentals, while most other regional markets also gained.



Asian and European shares rebound and Turkey's lira saw its biggest jump in five years on Wednesday after the central bank stunned investors with a huge rate hike designed to staunch and reverse a major flight from risk."



'via Blog this'

Qatar Pivots to Energy Investment Abroad as Home Projects Shrink - Bloomberg

Qatar Pivots to Energy Investment Abroad as Home Projects Shrink - Bloomberg:



"Qatar is buying oil and gas fields from Brazil to the Congo as the biggest liquefied natural-gas producer sees fewer energy developments at home.



Qatar Petroleum International Ltd.’s $1 billion purchase of 23 percent of the Parque das Conchas oilfield off Brazil from Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA) is the latest of three foreign deals in the past year. It completed the acquisition of 15 percent of Total E&P’s Congo unit in December, injecting $1.6 billion.



QPI also teamed up with Centrica Plc (CNA) in April to buy gas fields in Canada from Suncor Energy Inc. for $981 million.



Qatar, which became the richest country per capita from gas sales, doesn’t plan to boost exports amid a moratorium on more development of its North Field, the largest gas reservoir in the world. Slowing domestic energy investment comes as the country needs to fund $200 billion in infrastructure before hosting soccer’s 2022 World Cup amid weaker economic growth."



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Abu Dhabi's Waha Capital Seeks $700m Loan » Gulf Business

Abu Dhabi's Waha Capital Seeks $700m Loan » Gulf Business:



"Abu Dhabi’s Waha Capital, the largest shareholder in New York-listed aircraft leasing firm AerCap Holdings, plans to raise a $700 million loan mainly to refinance existing debt, three banking sources aware of the matter said.



Waha, in which Abu Dhabi government investment fund Mubadala owns 16 per cent, has picked HSBC Holdings and First Gulf Bank to help arrange the five-year loan, the sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity as the information is not yet public.



Most of the cash will be used to refinance a $505 million debt facility maturing in June, with the remainder to be used by the company for corporate purposes, two of the sources said.



Waha plans to complete the loan by the end of February, they said."



'via Blog this'

Expats Face Challenges Finding Work In United Arab Emirates, Despite Buoyant Economy And Strong Job Growth

Expats Face Challenges Finding Work In United Arab Emirates, Despite Buoyant Economy And Strong Job Growth:



"However, will the buoyant economy in the UAE attract white-collar professional foreign workers? MRI Worldwide UAE, an affiliate of leading executive search and recruitment organization, MRINetwork, characterizes the job climate in the UAE as “complex” and which poses “challenges” for both expatriates and private companies. One of the many confounding ironies of the labor market in the UAE is that many jobs are restricted to local citizens – but many such positions go unfilled as there are not enough qualified people available from domestic sources, while some firms are limited in hiring by strict quota systems."



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Qatar buys stake in Brazil oil field for $1 billion - Your Middle East

Qatar buys stake in Brazil oil field for $1 billion - Your Middle East:



"Anglo-Dutch energy giant Royal Dutch Shell said on Wednesday that it has sold a large stake in an offshore Brazilian oil field to Qatar for about $1.0 billion.



 Shell said it has agreed to offload a 23-percent interest in the Parque das Conchas (BC-10) project offshore Brazil to new partner Qatar Petroleum International.



 The deal, which will leave Shell with a 50-percent stake, remains subject to regulatory approval in Brazil.



 The London-listed group will continue to operate the oil field, which currently produces 50,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.



 Shell added that it will retain a "significant" upstream presence in Brazil."



'via Blog this'

Dubai Airport Has Heathrow in Its Sights After Eclipsing Paris - Bloomberg

Dubai Airport Has Heathrow in Its Sights After Eclipsing Paris - Bloomberg:



"Dubai International airport attracted more passengers than Paris Charles de Gaulle and Frankfurt last year as Gulf carriers bleed long-haul transfer traffic away from Europe’s leading hubs.



The airport, home base of Emirates, the biggest airline by international traffic, lifted customer numbers to 66.4 million from 57.7 million a year earlier. The 15 percent gain took Dubai past European No. 2 Charles de Gaulle, which attracted 62 million passengers, and the No. 3 Frankfurt, with 58 million.



A similar growth rate at Dubai in 2014 would allow the hub to surpass London Heathrow, which while growing passenger numbers 3.4 percent to 72.3 million last year is already operating close to the limits of its two runways. The Gulf hub is being expanded to serve 90 million travelers annually, even as Dubai builds the new Al Maktoum base designed to handle 150 million people and with a potential capacity for 200 million.

"



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[chart] Turkish lira turnaround | beyondbrics

[chart] Turkish lira turnaround | beyondbrics:



After hitting all-time lows against the dollar, the lira has staged a big comeback. Here’s the essential reading:


'via Blog this'

Gulf Navigation sells two tankers for $98 million | The National

Gulf Navigation sells two tankers for $98 million | The National:



"Gulf Navigation has struck an agreement to sell its two oil tankers for $98 million (Dh360m), providing some relief to the beleaguered company.



The Dubai-based shipping company announced today that it had signed a memorandum of understanding with DHT Holdings of Bermuda for the sale of its Gulf Sheba and Gulf Eyadah tankers.



The agreed price comes in higher than the Dh312.4m that Gulf Navigation had estimated that it could recover for the vessels in its third-quarter results published in November.



DHT expects to take delivery of the vessels next month, according to a statement on its website."



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A bribe-free new year awaits China's public servants

Obama pledges to go it alone

Emerging Currencies Rise With Stocks as Turkey’s Lira Rallies - Bloomberg

Emerging Currencies Rise With Stocks as Turkey’s Lira Rallies - Bloomberg:



"Emerging-market currencies rallied with stocks after Turkey’s emergency interest-rate increase triggered the lira’s biggest gain since 2008, spurring optimism that central banks will take steps to stem capital outflows.



The lira surged 4.1 percent versus the dollar, while South Africa’s rand advanced 1.2 percent before an interest-rate decision. South Korea’s won jumped the most in four months after data showed the nation’s annual current-account surplus widened to a record. Indonesian shares surged 1.8 percent after Morgan Stanley upgraded the country’s equities.



The MSCI Emerging Markets Index climbed 1.2 percent to 944.90 at 1:27 p.m. in Singapore, poised for the biggest gain since Nov. 18. Turkey more than doubled interest rates to stem capital outflows in a decision announced at midnight local time. It came after India’s surprise rate increase yesterday as a rout in developing-nation currencies helped fuel a $1.87 trillion selloff in global stocks in the week through Jan. 27. The U.S. Federal Reserve ends a two-day meeting today with economists projecting a further cut to stimulus."



'via Blog this'

Qatar, China Top Ranking of Frontier and Emerging Markets - Bloomberg

Qatar, China Top Ranking of Frontier and Emerging Markets - Bloomberg:



"Amer Khan says he could sense a stock market rally in late 2012 just from the street scene in Dubai, the financial capital of the United Arab Emirates. Tourists were once again jostling for a spot from which to watch the dancing fountains that adorn the downtown area. Recurring traffic jams, increasing retail sales and a rise in airport passengers were other signals for Khan, the senior executive officer at Dubai-based Shuaa Asset Management.



“The signs in the economy were visible before the market took off,” says Khan, whose firm had 780 million dirhams ($212 million) under management at the end of September. “We waited for the pop and eventually it happened.”



Dubai’s benchmark stock index, in the doldrums for two years, rose 117 percent in 2013, including reinvested dividends, leading the world, Bloomberg Markets magazine will report in its March issue. That helped Khan’s Arab Gateway Fund, which invests throughout the Middle East and North Africa, return 39 percent."



'via Blog this'

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Tehran Stock Exchange plunges, baffling investors - Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East

Tehran Stock Exchange plunges, baffling investors - Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East:
An Iranian official works at her desk in the main hall of the Tehran Stock Exchange, Aug. 3, 2010. (photo by REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl)

The Tehran Stock Exchange (TSE) is making news in Iran for all the wrong reasons. It's falling, and fast. Its main index peaked at 89,500 points on Jan. 5 of this year. Then it started to fall. By Jan. 26, it had fallen to 81,905 points. At one point, its dive was described as "historic."
A loss of 7,595 points within three weeks (almost 7%) is a lot for any stock exchange, especially the TSE, one of the fastest rising in the world. In mid-August 2010, it crossed the 16,000 points threshold and that was considered major news. Now, despite the recent falls, its value is almost 400% higher than then.
What has been particularly amazing about the TSE is that over the last several years its rise has defied many laws of economic gravity.
'via Blog this'

UPDATE 2-Bahrain's Batelco profits fall, buys back bond | Reuters

UPDATE 2-Bahrain's Batelco profits fall, buys back bond | Reuters:



"Telecom operator Batelco , which is battling a sustained profit slump, reported a 61 percent drop in fourth-quarter earnings on Tuesday and the Bahrain-based group said it had begun buying back a $650 million bond, taking advantage of a fall in its value.



Bahrain is one of the Gulf's most competitive telecom markets, with three mobile operators, including Kuwait's Zain and about 10 internet providers vying for business among its 1.3 million people.



Declining domestic income pushed Batelco to expand abroad which led to a deal with Cable & Wireless Communications in April to buy its Monaco and Islands Division for $570 million.



But some aspects of the deal ran into regulatory problems and as a result CWC returned the $100 million Batelco paid for a stake in a holding company that ultimately owned part of Monaco Telecom."



'via Blog this'

Emaar Remains The Best Play on Dubai Property Recovery, Say Analysts - Middle East Real Time - WSJ

Emaar Remains The Best Play on Dubai Property Recovery, Say Analysts - Middle East Real Time - WSJ:

"For a bellwether, Emaar Properties — builder of the world’s tallest tower — has done quite well for itself in the past year: reflecting Dubai’s meteoric real estate sector recovery with a 104% gain in 2013 that underpinned the stock market’s stellar performance.

On Tuesday, Emaar’s stock rallied another 6.3% to 8.24 dirhams ($2.25) – its highest closing level since early September 2008, when Dubai’s much celebrated property story went from boom to bust in the wake of the global financial crisis.
Zawya.com
Emmar shares are trading at levels last seen in September 2008.

"



'via Blog this'

UAE island rises from sand

UAE island rises from sand:





'via Blog this'

S&P lowers Ukraine’s rating | ForexLive #EuroMaidan

S&P lowers Ukraine’s rating | ForexLive:



"S&P cuts Ukraine to CCC+ from B- with a negative outlook.



The situation appears to be stabilizing there but the risks are high."



'via Blog this'

Russian Economic Power And The Ongoing Protests In Ukraine Amid EU-Russia Summit - Eurasia Review

Eurasia Review:



"On December 17th, Kiev obtained important concessions from Moscow through an agreement between Ukraine and Russia. Accordingly, the parties have reached a consensus on certain economic issues. One of these compromises is that Ukrainian companies experiencing difficulties in exporting to Russia will create collaborative working areas with Russian companies for high-tech products, and thus develop trade. Apart from this there were two further fundamental matters of importance for Ukraine."



'via Blog this'

EM stocks tumble into bear territory - FT.com

EM stocks tumble into bear territory - FT.com:



"Emerging market stocks have tumbled back into bear market territory after days of turmoil in currencies as central banks stepped up efforts to limit the slide and head off the threat of sharply higher inflation.



The MSCI EM gauge – the most widely followed emerging market index – has fallen by just over 22 per cent from a previous cyclical peak hit in early 2011 that marked a rebound for emerging markets from the lows reached during the global financial crisis."



'via Blog this'

Dubai excited as investment appetite returns | GulfNews.com

Dubai excited as investment appetite returns | GulfNews.com:



"The Dubai International Financial Centre’s (DIFC) chief executive, Jeffrey Singer, is taking the view that Dubai and the DIFC are poised to make rapid strides in the coming years, benefiting from the superior returns of stock markets, high level of debt issuance and various projects lined up in the country and the region.



Singer said this is going to lead to more creative financial products and services by professionals based in the centre.



He cites numbers that point to the return of high investment appetite and strong investor sentiment to buttress his argument in order to make a case that the DIFC will reap the benefits of outsized returns that are expected of Dubai.



In 2013, the Dubai Financial Market (DFM) stock market had a staggering return of almost 108 per cent and is seeing current trading of almost Dh2 billion daily."



'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Egypt surges after Sisi cleared for presidency vote; UAE mkts rebound | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Egypt surges after Sisi cleared for presidency vote; UAE mkts rebound | Reuters:



"* Egypt market shrugs off killing of senior official



* Index rises above January 2011 peak



* EFG-Hermes jumps after saying it's arranging IPOs



* Dubai bounces 3.2 pct, back near 5-year high



* Emaar soars after upgrade by EFG-Hermes

 By Nadia Saleem

DUBAI, Jan 28 (Reuters) -



Egypt's stock market climbed to a 44-month high on Tuesday after the army chief was given the green light to run for president, while markets in the United Arab Emirates snapped a two-session decline.



The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces cleared Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to run in upcoming elections, which he looks sure to win. Many Egyptians see him as the best chance for political stability.



"Sisi still didn't officially announce his bid for presidency, but all roads are leading in that direction because of popular demand," said Mohamed Radwan, director of international sales at Pharos Securities in Cairo."



'via Blog this'

If Iran is able to revive oil exports, could gas be next?

If Iran is able to revive oil exports, could gas be next?:



"The appearance by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at the World Economic Forum has raised this intriguing possibility: that the country that sits astride the world's second-largest pool of natural gas will emerge from diplomatic and economic purgatory to begin tapping this largely neglected resource.



Rouhani was the first Iranian leader to address the annual business summit in the Swiss resort of Davos in a decade. It came three days after the United States and the European Union began a rollback of economic sanctions in exchange for Iran's halt in high-level uranium enrichment and international inspections of its nuclear facilities.



The president's public message was: Iran has no intention of building nuclear weapons, and it wants a comprehensive deal that will permanently lift crippling economic sanctions."



'via Blog this'

Exclusive: Abu Dhabi investor seeks to exit Mongolia bank after governance row | Reuters

Exclusive: Abu Dhabi investor seeks to exit Mongolia bank after governance row | Reuters:



"A foreign investor has moved to sever ties with Mongolia's largest private lender, Golomt Bank, because of its concerns over the lender's weak corporate governance standards, according to documents and a source familiar with the matter.



The Abu Dhabi Investment Council (ADIC), which lent Golomt $25 million in 2010, is seeking to call in the loan after a turbulent 15 months inside the bank, in which auditors identified serious management failings, according to the source and an external audit report reviewed by Reuters.



ADIC and Golomt are currently in dispute over whether the sovereign investor can redeem its five-year loan before maturity and the matter has gone to confidential arbitration proceedings in London, the source said, declining to give details.



ADIC's accusations of mismanagement inside Golomt, which holds a quarter of Mongolia's deposits, underline wider concerns voiced by credit rating agencies and the World Bank in recent months about poor corporate governance among the nation's banks."



'via Blog this'

Money talks: Crude awakenings

A new outlook for mining in the UK

Emirates set to fly A380 superjumbos into India | GulfNews.com

Emirates set to fly A380 superjumbos into India | GulfNews.com:



"Emirates looks set to deploy part of its Airbus A380 fleet into India following the removal of a ban restricting the aircraft from flying into the country.



The decision to allow airlines to fly the double decker superjumbo to India was announced in a statement on Monday by Ajit Singh, India’s Union Minister for Civil Aviation.



But Emirates won’t be adding capacity to the route anytime soon as the A380 services will be subject to traffic entitlements within bilateral agreements."



'via Blog this'

S&P agency says credit rating interest is growing among UAE firms | The National

S&P agency says credit rating interest is growing among UAE firms | The National:



"Standard & Poor’s is seeing an uptick in interest from UAE companies in gaining a credit rating as new caps on bank lending encourage government-linked firms to turn to bond markets.



Separate draft rules on debt issuance by the Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA) were also encouraging companies to consider bond sales, said Stuart Anderson, the managing director and regional head of the Middle East at S&P.



“We are seeing a strong level of inquiry from previously unrated corporates,” he said yesterday. “Markets are positive in terms of trajectory, there appear to be strong interest from existing and potential issuers.”"



'via Blog this'

Arabian Gulf’s oil exporters should embrace hedging | The National

Arabian Gulf’s oil exporters should embrace hedging | The National:



"Is it better for countries to plunge and soar with the oscillations of global markets? Or to buckle themselves in as they ride the roller coaster?



Both oil exporters and importers are now taking the second option – and trying to protect their massive energy revenues and expenditures. But is it time for major oil sellers in the Arabian Gulf to consider hedging their exposure?



Oil makes up about 70 per cent of the Qatari government budget, 90 per cent of Saudi Arabia’s, and 95 per cent of Iraq’s."



'via Blog this'

Iraq to welcome two foreign banks | The National

Iraq to welcome two foreign banks | The National:



"Iraq’s central bank will be approving licences for two foreign banks to operate in the country.



The bank has received “several applications” but so far only two have been approved.



“We are going to give approval for two, they are from the region but not the Gulf. One of them will immediately open seven branches,” said Abdul Bassit Turki, the governor of the Central Bank of Iraq and chairman of the Federal Board of Supreme Audit."



'via Blog this'

Nabiullina Says No ‘Black List’ of Russian Banks - Bloomberg

Nabiullina Says No ‘Black List’ of Russian Banks - Bloomberg:



"Bank Rossii Governor Elvira Nabiullina said she doesn’t have a “black list” of Russian banks she aims to shut down after closing 30 small lenders in her first seven months on the job.



“There is no black list of Russian banks; it’s nonsense,” Nabiullina said in an interview with Russia’s Channel One TV yesterday. “Withdrawing a license is always a measure of last resort for the central bank. We will always work with a bank first.”



Since taking office as Bank Rossii governor on July 1, Nabiullina has stepped up efforts to tighten regulation of banks and curtail net capital outflows that were forecast at about $55 billion last year. The central bank canceled the licenses of AKB Novokuznetsk Municipal Bank OAO earlier this month, saying the Siberian lender made high-risk loans and allowed its owners to borrow from the company. Master-Bank had its license revoked in November for money-laundering violations."



'via Blog this'

Lira Leads Emerging Currency Gain; India Moves on Rates - Bloomberg

Lira Leads Emerging Currency Gain; India Moves on Rates - Bloomberg:



"The Turkish lira and South Korean won led a rebound in emerging-market currencies, while U.S. stock-index futures advanced before the Federal Reserve reviews its record stimulus. Indian shares erased their gain after the central bank unexpectedly raised its benchmark interest rate.



The lira rallied 0.6 percent to 2.27 per dollar as of 2:50 p.m. in Tokyo, advancing for a second day from an all-time low. The won rose 0.3 percent to 1,080.80 per dollar from a four-month low. Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (SPX) futures added 0.3 percent as the MSCI Asia Pacific Index of stocks fell 0.2 percent. India’s S&P BSE Sensex erased a 0.4 percent advance. Silver increased from the lowest level in more than two weeks as copper rose 0.3 percent"



'via Blog this'

Monday, 27 January 2014

OPEC producer UAE considers importing North American gas - BNN News

OPEC producer UAE considers importing North American gas - BNN News:



"The United Arab Emirates, a Gulf OPEC oil producer, said it was looking at the possibility of importing natural gas from North America, in what would be one of the most striking developments since the start of the U.S. shale boom.



 The United States and Canada are producing record amounts of gas from shale rock formations, pulling down North American prices to levels that have attracted the interest of foreign buyers.



 Around a dozen long-term deals, each worth billions of dollars, have recently been signed behind closed doors between U.S. producers and buyers in China, Japan, Taiwan, Spain, France and Chile as global demand for gas increases.



 "We may follow the same trend of considering investments in the United States and Canada to bring some of that gas back home," UAE Oil Minister Suhail bin Mohammed al-Mazroui said on Monday at an energy conference in London."



'via Blog this'

Egypt holes BG production

UPDATE 2-ENBD CEO happy with bank's Dubai exposure, rules out acquisitions | Reuters

UPDATE 2-ENBD CEO happy with bank's Dubai exposure, rules out acquisitions | Reuters:



"* Nelson comfortable with Dubai exposure



 * Will wind down some to meet new central bank rules



 * 2014 loan growth forecast 7-8 pct - CFO



 * No plans for acquisitions until mid-2015 at least - CEO



 * Q4 net profit 673 mln dhs vs 626 mln dhs yr-ago



 * Misses forecast as provisions jump 40 pct y-o-y"



'via Blog this'

Ukraine’s bondholders: getting nervous | beyondbrics #EuroMaidan

Ukraine’s bondholders: getting nervous | beyondbrics:

"Among the reasons to be jittery about emerging markets on Monday is the deteriorating situation in Ukraine.

The country’s justice minister threatened to declare a state of emergency as protests spread beyond Kiev and the pro-western parts of the country to the eastern heartlands of president Viktor Yanukovich.

Unsurprisingly, CDS spreads and bond yields have been rising, as our charts show.





Source: Thomson Reuters
"



'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Dubai extends losses; Saudi petchems track lower oil prices | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Dubai extends losses; Saudi petchems track lower oil prices | Reuters:



"* No sense of panic in Dubai



 * But local retail investors may continue taking profits



 * Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank rises on strong Q4 earnings



 * Saudi petchems dampened by China worries



 * Egypt rises on hopes for Sisi presidency



 By Nadia Saleem

DUBAI, Jan 27 (Reuters) -



United Arab Emirates shares fell further on Monday as retail investors took the flight from emerging markets elsewhere as a cue to book profits, while lower oil prices weighed on Saudi petrochemical shares.



 In contrast to the hardest-hit emerging markets, there was no sense of panic in Dubai. But local retail investors have dominated the market in the past year and their selling snowballed on Monday; the index lost 1.2 percent, adding to Sunday's 2.2 percent drop as the market pulled back from last week's five-year high. 




Dubai recorded a whopping rise of over 100 percent in 2013 and it is still up 9.4 percent so far in 2014. Much of the buying in recent weeks was on expectations for fourth-quarter earnings and annual dividends, but traders and analysts say the market was due for a breather."



'via Blog this'

Worries Over Russian Assets Cloud BP's Post-Spill Comeback | Business | The Moscow Times

Worries Over Russian Assets Cloud BP's Post-Spill Comeback | Business | The Moscow Times:



"In the two months after April 20, 2010, when an explosion at the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico caused the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history, BP shares lost nearly two-thirds of their value as the scale of the disaster threatened to sink the company.



BP sold $40 billion worth of prime assets to stay afloat — and spent $42.5 billion on the spill clean-up, fines and provisions for future costs.



As part of that sell-off, BP extracted about $12 billion from the company's troublesome Russian investment, THK-BP. Of that, it has given about $8 billion of it back to shareholders."



'via Blog this'

EM sell-off: whatever happened to differentiation? | beyondbrics

EM sell-off: whatever happened to differentiation? | beyondbrics:



"For all the talk of differentiation, emerging markets are having a bad Monday. Major currencies, such as the Turkish lira and Indian rupee have been hit; equity and bond markets are falling. As Benoit Anne of Société Générale put it, “global emerging markets are now trading in full-blown panic mode”.



But the recent message to investors from analysts was to look beyond emerging markets as a single asset class. “The real lesson from recent events is that the need for investors to discriminate between individual EMs has never been greater,” said Neil Shearing of Capital Economics. Clearly, the lessons are not being heeded.



EM currencies are feeling the pinch across the board. The biggest faller is the Turkish lira, which has continued to slide. It is now at 2.37 lira to the dollar, another 2 per cent plus depreciation, and another record low. Other currencies that have been under recent pressure have fallen: the rand is down around 1 per cent to 11.2 to the dollar. The Indian rupee, which had a torrid 2013, is down 0.6 per cent to over 63 to the dollar, a 2-month low."



'via Blog this'

[video] Emerging market sell off spreads across Asia | beyondbrics

[video] Emerging market sell off spreads across Asia | beyondbrics:



"Following on from the sharp fall in the Argentinian Peso last week, the Emerging Markets sell off has spread to Asia. Mitul Kotecha, head of global equities Asia at Crédit Agricole CIB says problems in Thailand and upcoming elections in India and Indonesia are making investors uncomfortable, especially now that tapering is causing capital outflows from the region."




'via Blog this'

Mashreq reports Dh1.8 billion net profit | GulfNews.com

Mashreq reports Dh1.8 billion net profit | GulfNews.com:



"Mashreq on Sunday reported Dh1.8 billion net profits for 2013, largely driven by significant growth in net interest income and net fee and commission income.



The bank’s total operating income for the period grew to Dh4.8 billion, an increase of 18.4 per cent compared to a year earlier.
“Our annual financials reflect solid and sustainable growth.



We are constantly innovating to give our customers what they need,” AbdulAziz Al Ghurair, Mashreq’s CEO, said."



'via Blog this'

Etihad blocked from code-sharing with Air Serbia into the US | GulfNews.com

Etihad blocked from code-sharing with Air Serbia into the US | GulfNews.com:



"Etihad Airways’ bid to carry Air Serbia’s flight code on services to the US was blocked by US Department of Transport last week.



US carriers led by the Airlines for America, a lobbying group, successfully petitioned the US DoT against a proposal for Air Serbia to codeshare on Etihad flights from Abu Dhabi to New York, Chicago and Washington DC. Air Serbia would have connected services to Belgrade. The US carriers argued that the proposal was impractical for the consumer with the Belgrade to New York via Abu Dhabi route adding more than 8,000 kilometres to the round trip.



According to aviation analysts, CAPA – Centre for Aviation, Delta argued that “it is highly unlikely that a rational consumer would seek out itineraries via Abu Dhabi unless fares were artificially low”."



'via Blog this'

Emirates NBD reports Dh3.3b net profit | GulfNews.com

Emirates NBD reports Dh3.3b net profit | GulfNews.com:



"Emirates NBD on Monday reported a net profit of Dh3.3 billion, up 27 per cent from 2012 with its operating porfit surging 20 per cent to Dh2.9 billion.



Bank’s total income for 2013 amounted to Dh11.85 billion, an increase of 16 per cent compared with Dh10.21 billion in 2012.



“As a leading bank in the region, we are well placed to take advantage of future growth opportunities in Dubai, the UAE and the Gulf region. In light of the good performance by the bank, we are proposing to maintain the cash dividend at 25 per cent per share,” said Shaikh Ahmad Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman, Emirates NBD."



'via Blog this'

Harvard tops 2014 MBA rankings

Martin Wolf strikes note of caution | #Davos

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Abu Dhabi Prince to Ensure Stability as U.A.E. Ruler Recovers - Businessweek

Abu Dhabi Prince to Ensure Stability as U.A.E. Ruler Recovers - Businessweek:



"A stroke suffered by the president of the United Arab Emirates may cement a process that has already seen his brother assume greater responsibility in running the oil-rich nation.



Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, born in 1948, underwent surgery on Jan. 24 and “his health is now stable,” the state-run WAM news agency reported, citing a statement from the Ministry of Presidential Affairs.



Even before the incident, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, 52, had been running the daily affairs of the country’s wealthiest emirate, according to U.A.E.-based political analysts. The crown prince is also the deputy supreme commander of the military, while Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum heads the federal cabinet."



'via Blog this'

Davos focus on Iran, Japan and China - YouTube

Davos focus on Iran, Japan and China - YouTube:




'via Blog this'

Google warns on tech disruption - YouTube

Google warns on tech disruption - YouTube:




'via Blog this'

UPDATE 1-Abu Dhabi lender ADCB Q4 net jumps 40 pct, beats estimates | Reuters

UPDATE 1-Abu Dhabi lender ADCB Q4 net jumps 40 pct, beats estimates | Reuters:



"Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB), the UAE's third largest lender by market value, posted a 40 percent rise in fourth-quarter net profit on Sunday, beating analysts' forecasts, as impairment allowances more than halved.



ADCB, nearly 60-percent owned by the Abu Dhabi government, reported a net profit of 879 million dirhams ($239.5 million) for the three months to December 31, it said in a statement. That compares with a profit of 628 million dirhams in the prior-year period.



Five analysts polled by Reuters had estimated an average fourth quarter profit of 783.50 million dirhams for the quarter."



'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Dubai shares lead regional losses after global sell-off | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Dubai shares lead regional losses after global sell-off | Reuters:



"* Dubai trading volume falls, market ends well off low



* Some see pull-back as healthy



* Saudi petchem index recovers to close higher



* Qatar falls on local selling; foreigners are buyers



* Egypt drops marginally after political violence



By Nadia Saleem

DUBAI, Jan 26 (Reuters) -



Shares in Dubai and Abu Dhabi tumbled on Sunday, leading a region-wide decline following a sharp sell-off in U.S. and emerging markets on fears of slowing growth in China and reduced support from U.S. monetary policy.



Dubai's bourse, which has been driven to hefty gains by local retail investors, fell 2.2 percent - recording its biggest one-day loss in more than two months as it came off Thursday's five-year high.



Trading volumes were lower than they were during last week's gains and the market closed well above the day's low, suggesting buyers are ready to step in on dips."



'via Blog this'

Relationship capital: Drilling down into Davos man | The Economist

Relationship capital: Drilling down into Davos man | The Economist:



"THE point of attending the World Economic Forum is to make connections. Yet most of the delegates already know each other from other affiliations. The company Relationship Science makes a business of compiling, measuring and monitoring these social networks—or "relationship capital," as the firm calls it.



The company produced interactive charts on behalf of The Economist that show the links among a handful of attendees. First is Muhtar Kent, the boss of Coca-Cola who is the most connected attendee. Next is Steve Schwartzman of Blackstone, a big investment fund, who is the second-most connected. Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook, Bill Gates of Microsoft and LLoyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs are much lower on the list, but interesting to see.



Roll over the gray bubbles to see how delegates are tied to organisations or other attendees on the basis of board affiliations, employment and the like. Among the findings that the data-visualisation reveals is the degree to which Catalyst, a New York-based charity that helps women in the workplace, has links to many Davos goers."



'via Blog this'

Kuwait Wealth Fund Favours Infrastructure Sector In West » Gulf Business

Kuwait Wealth Fund Favours Infrastructure Sector In West » Gulf Business:



"Kuwait’s sovereign wealth fund, one of the world’s largest, will focus on increasing its infrastructure investments in British, U.S. and European markets and is also looking at the international real estate sector, its managing director said.



Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) managing director Bader al-Saad also told pan-Arab channel al-Arabiya that growth in capital and real estate markets was unlikely to carry on.



“It is difficult for this growth to continue because the actual circumstances aren’t likely to align again,” he said in an interview on Thursday, according to al-Arabiya’s website."



'via Blog this'

U.A.E. President in Stable Condition After Suffering Stroke - Bloomberg

U.A.E. President in Stable Condition After Suffering Stroke - Bloomberg:



"The president of the United Arab Emirates, the second-biggest Arab economy, is in stable condition after having a stroke, according to state-run WAM news agency.



Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan suffered a stroke on the morning of Jan. 24, WAM reported yesterday, citing a statement from the Ministry of Presidential Affairs. “He immediately underwent a surgical operation. His health is now stable.”



Born in 1948, Sheikh Khalifa is the eldest son of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, one of the founders of the seven-emirate U.A.E. and ruler of oil-rich Abu Dhabi. He became president in 2004 after his father’s death."



'via Blog this'

Could Qatar’s Stock Market Trump Dubai’s in 2014? - Middle East Real Time - WSJ

Could Qatar’s Stock Market Trump Dubai’s in 2014? - Middle East Real Time - WSJ:



"Dubai’s stock market has bolted out of the blocks again this year, and while it kept up the pace to clinch the region’s best performer tag in 2013, Qatar might just pip it to the post this time around.



Dubai’s benchmark DFM index is already up some 13% this year, after piling on a whopping 108% in 2013. Qatar, its Persian Gulf neighbour, isn’t far behind with its main stocks gauge up 9% in January following a relatively modest 24% gain last year.



Last year was mostly about investors re-rating Dubai, after a global economic crisis-induced slump there, on the back of a strong revival in trade and tourism and a sharp pickup in its real estate sector – a key component of the emirate’s growth plans. Its safe haven status amid unrest elsewhere in the region helped, while Dubai winning the right to host the World Expo in 2020 added to the attraction."



'via Blog this'

Dubai Shares Drop Most in 2 Months on Global Rout; Israel Falls - Bloomberg

Dubai Shares Drop Most in 2 Months on Global Rout; Israel Falls - Bloomberg:



"Dubai’s benchmark stock index retreated the most in more than two months, joining a global equities selloff. Abu Dhabi’s gauge tumbled the most in almost five months.



The DFM General Index (DFMGI) dropped 2.1 percent, the most since Nov. 11, to 3,737.33, at 1:52 p.m. in Dubai. The measure, which rose 3.6 percent on Jan. 23, has still more than doubled in the past 12 months. Emaar Properties PJSC (EMAAR), the emirate’s biggest real-estate developer, had the biggest decline in more than a week and Dubai Islamic Bank lost as much as 6.8 percent. Abu Dhabi’s gauge slid 1.7 percent, the most since Sept. 9, as the United Arab Emirates’ government said the country’s president is recovering from a stroke.


Today’s declines follow a broader retreat in global markets last week, when China spurred concern that global growth will slow. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index lost 2.3 percent last week, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index posted the largest weekly slump since June 2012.

"



'via Blog this'

Friday, 24 January 2014

Beyond Kiev: government struggles to keep control | beyondbrics | #EuroMaidan

Beyond Kiev: government struggles to keep control | beyondbrics:



"Ukraine’s embattled president, Viktor Yanukovich, found himself facing a second front on January 23 as anti-government protesters stormed regional administrations across the west and centre of Ukraine. Ironically, the development came on a day when a ceasefire held between protesters and police in Kiev. While clashes in Kiev are spectacular but largely theatrical, overthrowing state administration in the regions could signal the start of the crumbling of Yanukovich’s power.



Attention has been focused for a week on an acre of ground in central Kiev where police and protestors have fought out a fierce battle – becoming one of the most photographed sites in the world, according to geotagging swarm trackers. But Ukraine is a vast expanse of territory and is notoriously divided between the Ukrainian-speaking west and centre and Russian-speaking east and south – making the country a handful to rule at the best of times."



'via Blog this'

United Arab Emirates: An Emerging Market Melting Pot #MarkMobius

United Arab Emirates: An Emerging Market Melting Pot:



"The investable Middle East/North Africa region known as “MENA” encompasses 11 diverse countries, extending from Oman to Morocco, and also includes Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). I recently had the pleasure of returning to Dubai, the largest city in the UAE, a truly striking and cosmopolitan city with a diverse population from around the world. Even though geopolitical issues have plagued some MENA countries over the past couple years, the UAE has drawn investor interest due to its relative stability compared with some other frontier markets in the region, and because of its generally good economic prospects. The UAE is a compelling investment destination and proof that you can’t paint the region with the same brushstroke."



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China comes in to land - YouTube

China comes in to land - YouTube:



"Estimated purchasing managers index from HSBC for China suggests a shrinking manufacturing sector. James Kynge, emerging markets editor, and John Authers wonder if the risks of a shadow banking default will turn a managed slowdown into a hard landing






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