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Wednesday, 30 April 2014

IMF board approves $17 billion for Ukraine #EuroMaidan

IMF board approves $17 billion for Ukraine:



"The International Monetary Fund board on Wednesday approved a two-year, $17 billion loan package for cash-strapped Ukraine as it seeks to regain stability following Russia's annexation of Crimea.



The IMF assistance pledged in March was hinged on economic reforms in Ukraine, including raising taxes, freezing the minimum wage and raising energy prices — all steps that could hit households hard and strain the interim government's tenuous hold on power.



Ukraine's interim government finds itself caught between the demands of international creditors and a restive population that has endured decades of economic stagnation, corruption and mismanagement."



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Abu Dhabi and Soros got 'golden ticket' in Royal Mail sale - Telegraph

Abu Dhabi and Soros got 'golden ticket' in Royal Mail sale - Telegraph

Value of listed sukuk on Dubai capital markets tops $20b | GulfNews.com

Value of listed sukuk on Dubai capital markets tops $20b | GulfNews.com

MIDEAST STOCKS-UAE markets slide; Qatar, Egypt rebound | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-UAE markets slide; Qatar, Egypt rebound | Reuters:



"Stock markets in the United Arab Emirates remained weak on Wednesday while bourses in Qatar and Egypt rebounded after several days of losses.



Dubai's bourse edged down 0.5 percent with declines across the board. Lender Emirates NBD, down 2 percent, was the main drag.



Shares in Arabtec's, which soared 50 percent this month, fell 0.6 percent in early trade before trading was suspended for the rest of the day from 0700 GMT when its annual shareholder meeting opened."



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China economy set to overtake US - YouTube

China economy set to overtake US - YouTube: ""



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UPDATE 1-Bahrain's Batelco first quarter net profit rises 8 pct | Reuters

UPDATE 1-Bahrain's Batelco first quarter net profit rises 8 pct | Reuters:



"Bahrain Telecommunications Co (Batelco) posted an 8 percent rise in first-quarter profit on Wednesday as the operator added more domestic subscribers and revenue grew following its largest ever acquisition last year.



The former monopoly, which had reported declining profits in 16 of the previous 18 quarters and went nearly a year without a permanent chief executive, made a net profit of 14.5 million dinars ($38.46 million) in the three months to March 31, it said in an emailed statement.



This compares with a profit of 13.4 million dinars in the year-earlier period."



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Abu Dhabi fund IPIC posts 23.4 pct profit hike for 2013 | Reuters

Abu Dhabi fund IPIC posts 23.4 pct profit hike for 2013 | Reuters:



"International Petroleum Investment Co, an investment fund owned by the Abu Dhabi government, posted a 23.4 percent increase in 2013 net profit on Wednesday.



IPIC, which focuses on investments in the energy and related sector, made 7.9 billion dirhams ($2.15 billion) in 2013, according to a statement, up from 6.4 billion dirhams in the previous year.



Its total assets grew to 251.2 billion dirhams at the end of 2013, up from 239.3 billion dirhams on December 31, 2012."



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Ukraine's richest man says has faith in industrial east - chicagotribune.com #EuroMaidan

Ukraine's richest man says has faith in industrial east - chicagotribune.com:



"Ukraine's richest man, Rinat Akhmetov, said on Wednesday he had no plans to sell his businesses in the country's industrial east and his faith was unshaken in a region increasingly in the hands of pro-Russian separatists.



The 47-year-old tycoon said he would continue to invest in Ukraine, which must find a way to unite again as rebels seized more buildings across the Donbass coal and steel belt around the eastern Donetsk and Luhansk.



Most of Akhmetov's Ukrainian business empire, which runs from steel and metals to media and telecoms, is based in the Donbass area, where members of the self-declared "People's Republic of Donetsk" have called for a referendum on independence on May 11."



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Qatar’s Al Mirqab Agrees to Buy Heritage Oil for $1.5 Billion - Bloomberg

Qatar’s Al Mirqab Agrees to Buy Heritage Oil for $1.5 Billion - Bloomberg:



"Al Mirqab Capital SPC, a company controlled by Qatar’s royal family, offered to buy Heritage Oil Plc (HOIL) for 924 million pounds ($1.5 billion) in cash.



The 320 pence a share offer, recommended by Heritage’s board, is a 25 percent premium to yesterday’s closing price, Heritage said in a statement today.



Heritage holds stakes in oil fields in Nigeria. The company’s chief executive officer, Tony Buckingham, will retain a 20 percent holding in the company and serve as adviser for at least five years."



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Dubai sale still on as Ramadan nears | GlobalCapital

Dubai sale still on as Ramadan nears | GlobalCapital:



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Why the eurozone crisis is over - YouTube

Why the eurozone crisis is over - YouTube: ""



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Banks - prevention better than cure - YouTube

Banks - prevention better than cure - YouTube: ""



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Former DIFC governor tries Marka for size with investment stake | The National

Former DIFC governor tries Marka for size with investment stake | The National:



"Welcome back, Omar bin Sulaiman. The former governor of the Dubai International Financial Centre, who left that position at the height of the financial crisis as the Dubai authorities purged some of the top jobs in the Emirates, is back in the public eye, having kept a low profile for the past few years.



Mr bin Sulaiman appears in the prospectus for Marka, the investment vehicle that plans big things in the retail, luxury and restaurant business in the Arabian Gulf region. Marka recently got away with a hugely successful initial public offering, attracting some US$2.7 billion worth of interest for $75 million of shares on offer, or around 36 times oversubscribed."



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Strong recovery for Dubai Aerospace Enterprise as profit skyrockets | The National

Strong recovery for Dubai Aerospace Enterprise as profit skyrockets | The National:



"Net profit soared at Dubai Aerospace Enterprise more than 1,300 per cent last year as the company recovered from its financial woes.



The aircraft leasing company yesterday announced net profits of Dh410 million, compared with just Dh29m in 2012.



The rise in profits was attributable to the absence of one-off items, consisting principally of “litigation items” in its maintenance repair and operations business that negatively affected results in 2012, DAE said."



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MAF tightens pricing ahead of $500m bond sale | GulfNews.com

MAF tightens pricing ahead of $500m bond sale | GulfNews.com:



"Dubai-based shopping mall developer Majid Al Futtaim (MAF) has tightened price guidance on its planned 10-year $500 million (Dh1.8 billion) bond issue, which is due to be sold later on Tuesday, a document from lead arrangers showed.



High demand for the offering — the order book was currently north of $2 billion, arranging banks said — has helped MAF reduce the prospective cost of its borrowing.



The bond will price in the range between 195 basis points (bps) and 200 bps over midswaps, the document said. This is down from the 212.5 bps area over midswaps communicated earlier on Tuesday."



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Exxon’s $900 Billion Arctic Prize at Risk After Ukraine - Bloomberg

Exxon’s $900 Billion Arctic Prize at Risk After Ukraine - Bloomberg:



"Exxon Mobil (XOM) Corp.’s dream of drilling in the Russian Arctic may risk running aground on the politics of Ukraine.



The company plans to start drilling in August in the Arctic’s remote Kara Sea -- the centerpiece of Exxon’s global alliance with Russian state-controlled OAO Rosneft. (ROSN) The partnership, which includes shale exploration in Siberia and joint venture fields in Texas, will come under greater scrutiny after the U.S. placed sanctions on Rosneft’s Chief Executive Officer Igor Sechin.



“With Sechin being sanctioned it may complicate relations for Rosneft with Western companies,” said Mattias Westman, who oversees about $3.3 billion in Russia assets as CEO of Prosperity Capital. “Maybe some transactions will be threatened as a result and perhaps Russia will counter and they will be less keen for American companies to work on Arctic projects.”"



'via Blog this'

Saudi Oil Faces Summer Heat Challenge: Chart of the Day - Bloomberg

Saudi Oil Faces Summer Heat Challenge: Chart of the Day - Bloomberg:



"

Saudi Arabia will probably have to sustain production above 10 million barrels a day for the longest period in more than 30 years as it meets the summer surge in domestic demand and compensates for production losses in Libya.



The CHART OF THE DAY shows how, over the past half decade, Saudi Arabian crude oil burning for power generation expanded by an average of 500,000 barrels a day in the six months through August as people turned up their air conditioners. A repeat this year would eat up about 5 percent of the kingdom’s current output at a time when Libya, the holder of Africa’s largest oil reserves, is all but offline.



“The summer this year will pose the real challenge, particularly if most Libyan production remains offline,” Robin Mills, the head of consulting at Dubai-based Manaar Energy Consulting and Project Management, said in an interview. To meet both international and domestic crude demand, the kingdom would have to raise production above 10 million barrels a day and sustain it for several months, he said."



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Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Ukraine to Ease Capital Controls as Bailout Buoys Hryvnia - Bloomberg #EuroMaidan

Ukraine to Ease Capital Controls as Bailout Buoys Hryvnia - Bloomberg:



"Ukraine plans to phase out capital controls as a potential $17 billion International Monetary Fund rescue buoys the hryvnia, a document obtained by Bloomberg News shows.



The Natsionalnyi Bank Ukrainy will draw up a plan by the end of July to gradually cancel curbs on foreign-currency sales imposed in February, according to an April 22 letter of intent to the Washington-based lender, obtained by Bloomberg. The bank won’t set new restrictions or expand the existing limits, according to the document, which covers economic policy and is signed by officials including Premier Arseniy Yatsenyuk.



“We aim to maintain the implementation of a flexible foreign-currency policy,” the Ukrainian officials said in a memorandum attached to the letter. “In exceptional cases, the NBU may sell a limited volume of foreign currency to help restrict devaluation expectations.”

"



'via Blog this'

UAE’s RAK Ceramics says big shareholder to sell 30.6% stake - Al Arabiya News

UAE’s RAK Ceramics says big shareholder to sell 30.6% stake - Al Arabiya News:



"Ras Al Khaimah Ceramics said on Tuesday that its founding shareholder had agreed to sell 30.6 percent of his stake in the company to Samena Limestone Co, a company incorporated under the laws of the Cayman Islands.



Sheikh Saud bin Saqr al-Qasimi, a member of the ruling family of Ras Al Khaimah, which is one of the seven United Arab Emirates, has agreed to sell 250 million shares in the company, RAK Ceramics said in a bourse statement.



The ruling family had been exploring a sale of shares in RAK Ceramics, sources had told Reuters in March. The sale still needs UAE regulatory approvals.

"



'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Most Gulf markets weak; Dubai gains in muted trade | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Most Gulf markets weak; Dubai gains in muted trade | Reuters:



"First-quarter results from large-cap companies weighed on bourses in Abu Dhabi and Qatar on Tuesday, while Dubai edged higher in muted trade.



Abu Dhabi's bourse slipped 0.4 percent as shares in National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) fell 1.7 percent. NBAD, UAE's largest lender by market value, reported a flat first-quarter profit on Monday and warned that competition was beginning to be squeeze margins.



Shares in another large lender, First Gulf Bank, slid 0.9 percent.



Food and beverage firm Agthia Group gained 2 percent after posting a 32 percent rise in first-quarter profit. The firm earned 49 million dirhams ($13.34 million) in the period, while EFG Hermes had forecast its profit at 42.3 million dirhams.

"



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Standard & Poor's Bombards Russia With Downgrades | News | The Moscow Times

Standard & Poor's Bombards Russia With Downgrades | News | The Moscow Times:



"After cutting Russia's credit rating to near-junk status last week, Standard & Poor's has turned its downgrade gun on the country's blue chips, major cities and regions, lowering ratings and slapping negative outlooks on companies including Gazprom, Rosneft and VTB bank.



Besides raising the cost of borrowing and damaging the Russian economy, S&P's offensive may end up undermining the position of Western ratings agencies in Russia, feeding a conviction among some that the system is rigged against Russia and energizing plans for a Russian credit rating agency.



Citing skyrocketing capital outflows, the hazards created by the crisis in Ukraine and Western sanctions and an oncoming recession, S&P on Friday cut Russia's foreign currency sovereign debt rating from BBB to BBB-, one notch above junk status. Applying a negative outlook, the agency hinted at further downgrades to come.

"



'via Blog this'

MENA military spending to reach $920 billion by 2020: study | Al Akhbar English

MENA military spending to reach $920 billion by 2020: study | Al Akhbar English:



"Military spending between 2014 and 2020 in the Middle East and North Africa will total $920 billion, IHS Global Insight said in a forecast Tuesday.



The US-based consulting firm did not give an overall breakdown at the end of a forum it hosted in Dubai, but said $27 billion will have been injected into the economies of the Arab nations of the Gulf by 2020 from defense deals via offsets.



Offsets are agreements in which a supplier agrees to buy products from the party to whom it is selling, in order to win the buyer as a customer and offset the buyer's outlay.



Guy Anderson, senior principal analyst at IHS Jane's Aerospace, Defence and Security, said Saudi Arabia will gain most from its offset program with $12.6 billion to be added to the OPEC kingpin's economy from such deals by 2020."



'via Blog this'

Turkey strategic transit route for European energy markets with Ukraine crisis - ENERGY

Turkey strategic transit route for European energy markets with Ukraine crisis - ENERGY:



"Turkey is emerging as a strategic transit route for natural gas due to the uncertainty surrounding Ukraine following the country’s internal upheaval, according to experts speaking at an April 28 energy conference in Washington.



Senior energy experts discussed Turkey’s energy policy, the importance of natural gas to the Turkish economy, the prospects for Turkey as a gas transit and emerging trading hub, and the energy dimensions of Turkish-U.S. relations, in a Brookings session entitled “Turkey’s Energy Security Calculus: Aspirations and Realities.”



Gareth Winrow, an independent energy expert and a former professor with Istanbul’s Bogaziçi University, said Turkey had become more important as an alternative energy route to Europe since the violent political turmoil engulfed Ukraine.



Turkey imports three-quarters of its energy and 98 percent of its natural gas, of which Russia supplies 60 percent. Turkey serves as a natural geographical bridge between Europe and Asia, and endeavors to become an energy hub, through which Eastern energy can be supplies to global markets – largely European."



'via Blog this'

MSCI to cut weightage of eight major Qatar, UAE stocks - Emirates 24/7

MSCI to cut weightage of eight major Qatar, UAE stocks - Emirates 24/7:



"International equity index compiler MSCI will cut the weightings of eight major Qatar and UAE stocks when it upgrades the countries to emerging market status in May, according to a document seen by Reuters.



The document, sent by MSCI to financial firms at the end of last week, said the weightings of those stocks – four in Qatar and four in the UAE – would be reduced “as they may pose accessibility issues to international institutional investors”.



Repeated calls to MSCI’s London offices for comment were not answered on Monday.



MSCI decided last year to lift Qatar and the UAE to emerging market from frontier market status at the end of May 2014. On May 14, it is to announce the final list of constituents of its revised emerging market index.



This is expected to attract fresh foreign money to the two countries; some analysts have estimated each country could draw over $2 billion. Significant amounts of new money have already started arriving."



'via Blog this'

UPDATE 1-China secures Abu Dhabi oil field deal | Reuters

UPDATE 1-China secures Abu Dhabi oil field deal | Reuters:



"China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) has secured the rights to produce and export oil from Abu Dhabi, helping China secure more fuel for its rapid economic growth.



State-run CNPC has expanded over the past decade to over 30 countries around the globe to help secure supplies of the oil and gas that China needs to sustain its economic growth.



Under the latest deal granted by the president of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), China's biggest energy company will help develop several onshore and offshore fields in Abu Dhabi and take a share of any oil produced, UAE state news agency WAM said.



"It's a typical concession, meaning you pay the royalty and then you get the JV (joint venture) share of production," a senior source at CNPC told Reuters."



'via Blog this'

BBC News - Has wealth made Qatar happy?

BBC News - Has wealth made Qatar happy?:



"


Oil and gas have made Qatar the richest country in the world - rich enough to be ready, apparently, to spend $200bn (£120bn) on stadiums and infrastructure for the 2022 World Cup. But has virtually limitless wealth brought the country happiness?



It's still cool enough to sit outside in Qatar's capital, Doha. In another few weeks it will be too hot and most people - those who don't have to work outside - will be retreating indoors to the comfort of air-conditioning.



For now, though, families relax in the afternoon sun on the waterfront Corniche. The view has changed beyond recognition in the last few years. Glass and steel towers rise like an artificial forest from what was once a shoreline of flat sand."



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IHS report says a Chinese economic slump could drop oil price to $50 | The National

IHS report says a Chinese economic slump could drop oil price to $50 | The National:



"A hard landing for the Chinese economy would crimp growth in the Middle East through a fall in oil prices, new research has found.



IHS, a US-based information and analytics provider, said there was a one in four chance that Chinese growth would fall as low as 3 or 4 per cent a year in the coming three to five years, dragging oil prices down to as low as US$50 per barrel.



“A hard landing in China would mean the Middle East would experience weaker exports, lower tourism and business activity and probably a resurgence of risk aversion by global companies due to this new deterioration of the global economic situation, just at the moment when they thought the situation was finally improving,” said the IHS chief economist, Nariman Behravesh."



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NBAD first quarter profit down but ‘momentum continues’ | The National

NBAD first quarter profit down but ‘momentum continues’ | The National:



"National Bank of Abu Dhabi, the biggest publicly traded bank in the UAE, said its first-quarter profit dropped 0.3 per cent year-on-year as interest rates at an eight-year low and competition for consumer clients lowered margins.



While NBAD has had the biggest profit among banks in the first three months of the year, the growth has bucked the trend of what has been buoyant quarterly advances for banks including First Gulf Bank and Emirates NBD, Dubai’s biggest bank.



NBAD’s net income fell to Dh1.406 billion from Dh1.409bn in the first quarter of last year, the Abu Dhabi-based lender said."



'via Blog this'

Etihad to inject fresh capital into Air Berlin | GulfNews.com

Etihad to inject fresh capital into Air Berlin | GulfNews.com:



"Etihad Airways is to inject fresh capital into Air Berlin as it tries to stem the losses of its troubled equity partner.



In a statement on Monday, Etihad said it will purchase €300 million (Dh1.5 billion) in convertible bonds from Air Berlin, while the German carrier will issue another €150 million bond for “general corporate financing purposes.”



Etihad said it supports Air Berlin’s restructuring plans, which includes the appointment of a Chief Restructuring Officer, and reaffirmed that it is investing in the German carrier for the long-term."



'via Blog this'

DP World gross volumes up 10.5% in Q1 | GulfNews.com

DP World gross volumes up 10.5% in Q1 | GulfNews.com:



"DP World handed 14.3 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) in the first quarter of 2014 across its global portfolio of container volumes, marking a 10.5 per cent year-on-year growth, the ports operator said in a statement on Monday.



It added that gross volumes grew by 11.6 per cent on a reported basis as new volumes from London Gateway and Embraport in Brazil contributed to the portfolio.



“First-quarter growth was largely driven by an improved performance from our Asia Pacific, India and UAE terminals, with Europe continuing to show signs of improvement. The UAE delivered a very strong quarter handling 3.6 million TEU, representing growth of 17 per cent,” stated DP World chairman Sultan Ahmad Bin Sulayem."



'via Blog this'

Russia Recession Risk Seen Rising on Sanctions - Bloomberg

Russia Recession Risk Seen Rising on Sanctions - Bloomberg:



"Russia faces a fifty-fifty chance of recession, the highest since Bloomberg started to track the measure, as the crisis in Ukraine raises the risk of further sanctions, according to a survey of economists.



The probability of a recession over the next 12 months rose to 50 percent, the highest since the first such Bloomberg survey in June 2012, according to the median estimate of eight economists surveyed before the U.S. and the European Union announced their latest salvo of sanctions yesterday. The gauge was at 45 percent last month.



Russia’s annexation of Crimea a month ago prompted the U.S. and EU sanctions, threatening to tip the $2 trillion dollar economy into a recession. Capital outflow amounted to $50.6 billion in the first three months of 2014 from $27.5 billion a year earlier. That compares with $63 billion in all of 2013."



'via Blog this'

Brain Drain Blights Iran’s Economy as Investors Wait in Wings - Bloomberg

Brain Drain Blights Iran’s Economy as Investors Wait in Wings - Bloomberg:



"Drawing on a cigarette at his flat in central Tehran, Araz Alipour counts on one hand his college friends who have chosen to build a career in Iran.



“Easily 90 percent of them have gone overseas,” the 29-year-old software developer said, reflecting on a middle-class flight that has seen many of the nation’s best scientists and engineers leave. “Of my 45 university classmates, I guess maybe five are left.”



Photographs of new cars, homes and expanding families posted on Facebook and Instagram document some of the tens of thousands of Iranian lives transplanted each year, mainly to Europe and North America. Seyyed Hassan Hosseini, deputy chief of Iran’s National Elites Foundation, said on April 20 that over the past two years at least 40 percent of top-performing students in science and engineering left the Persian Gulf nation."



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Davis’s X2 Said to Study BHP Assets Bid With Abu Dhabi Support - Bloomberg

Davis’s X2 Said to Study BHP Assets Bid With Abu Dhabi Support - Bloomberg:



"Former Xstrata Plc Chief Executive Officer Mick Davis is studying making a bid for BHP Billiton Ltd. thermal coal and nickel assets after raising funds from investors including Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.



Davis’s X2 Resources is weighing an offer for the BHP assets after raising as much as $3.75 billion from five investors last month, said the person, who asked not to be named as the information isn’t public. 




There is no certainty that X2 will make an offer to BHP, and the world’s largest mining company hasn’t said it has identified any operations that it wishes to sell."



'via Blog this'

Monday, 28 April 2014

Roubini: Ukraine Could Tip Europe Back to Recession: Video - Bloomberg #EuroMaidan

Roubini: Ukraine Could Tip Europe Back to Recession: Video - Bloomberg: ""



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Money talks: April 28th 2014 - YouTube

Money talks: April 28th 2014 - YouTube: ""



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Ukraine's Russian Bonds - A Gazprom Clause? - Credit Slips #EuroMaidan

Ukraine's Russian Bonds - A Gazprom Clause? - Credit Slips:



"About a month ago, smart folks zeroed in on a single clause in Russia's two-year $3 billion loan to Ukraine. The December 2013 loan was documented as an ordinary-looking eurobond, apart from a promise by Ukraine to keep its debt under 60% of its GDP. No other Ukrainian bond had the debt/GDP clause, which naturally looked awkward when the sole bondholder started hacking at the denominator of the debt/GDP fraction (Crimea, about 3% of GDP; east and south, about 45%).



Since then, I have communed a bit with Ukrainian bond prospectuses, and stumbled on another clause only found in the Russian bond. All of Ukraine's state and state-guaranteed foreign bonds cross-default to one another: if Ukraine skips a bond payment due in 2014, holders of the bond due in 2021 can accelerate. However, the Russian bond also cross-defaults to "any indebtedness ... owed to the Noteholder or to any entity controlled or majority-owned by the Noteholder". Compare the cross-default provision in this Ukrainian bond to this one  (search "Events of Default", "Indebtedness of Ukraine" and "Relevant Indebtedness")."



'via Blog this'

Sanctions Round 3: Fresh batch targets Russian politics, energy & aviation players - YouTube #EuroMaidan

Sanctions Round 3: Fresh batch targets Russian politics, energy & aviation players - YouTube: ""



'via Blog this'

Guest post: investing in MENA markets – why plain vanilla is not enough – beyondbrics - Blogs - FT.com

Guest post: investing in MENA markets – why plain vanilla is not enough – beyondbrics - Blogs - FT.com:



"

By Hashem Montasser of Frontlane Capital



On a recent visit to the beach, my three year old son asked for some ice cream. I escorted him to the parlour and before I had a chance to order his usual choice of vanilla, his eyes lit up over the myriad of flavours and he promptly decided it was time to up the ante: why settle for plain vanilla if he can choose between many more flavours and even add chocolate sauce on top?



With equity markets in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) staging a comeback led by a 45 per cent rally since 2013, a decidedly “feel good” factor is hear again. But it is only a matter of time before MENA market sympathizers reach a similar conclusion to my three year old’s: why invest in Middle East markets if other emerging markets are offering an expanded menu of options? While the recent rally feels good and will undoubtedly attract the odd punting hedge fund here or there, it is neither sufficient to excite the global investment community nor would it occupy their mindshare over the long term. Here’s why."



'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets dip as retail investors book profits | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets dip as retail investors book profits | Reuters:



"Most stock markets in the Gulf declined on Monday as retail investors booked profits in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Qatar after strong gains lifted those bourses to multi-year peaks earlier this month.



The three markets are the top performers in the region: Dubai has gained 51 percent, Abu Dhabi is up 19 percent and Qatar has added 22 percent.



"Given the run-up year-to-date, it is natural to see them (retail investors) book a little bit of profit," said Amer Khan, senior executive at Shuaa Asset Management.



Also, all three markets have been boosted by expectations of increased foreign investment since index compiler MSCI said last June it would upgrade them to emerging market status at the end of May 2014."



'via Blog this'

​Russia and Iran strike $10bn energy deal — RT Business

​Russia and Iran strike $10bn energy deal — RT Business:



"Iran and Russia are negotiating a power deal worth up to $10 billion. The negotiations include the construction of new thermal and hydroelectric plants and a transmission network.



Iran’s Energy Minister Hamid Chitchian met his Russian counterpart Alexander Novak in Tehran to discuss the power deals, according to the Mehr news agency. They include the possibility of Russia exporting 500 megawatts of electricity to Iran.



Moscow is discussing with Tehran the trade of 500,000 barrels a day of Iranian oil for Russian goods. The deal could be worth as much as $20 billion, and has rattled Washington because it could bring Iran's crude exports above a one million barrels a day which is the threshold agreed upon in the nuclear deal."



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Emaar Properties mulls early Dubai-only malls IPO to cash in on surging local liquidity « ArabianMoney

Emaar Properties mulls early Dubai-only malls IPO to cash in on surging local liquidity « ArabianMoney:



"Emaar Properties is rumored to be considering a rapid initial public offering for its malls and retail business in Dubai rather than a dual listing with London as reported last month. This would allow the IPO to go ahead very quickly and cash-in on the surging liquidity of the Dubai Financial Market whose valuation is up 52 per cent this year after more than doubling in 2013.



Last week the first DFM IPO in five years for a retail start-up Marka attracted a 36-times over-subscription for a $75 million share sale with $2.7 billlion chasing the stock. That amount is roughly what Emaar hopes to raise from the sale of its malls and retail business."



'via Blog this'

Ukraine bond poses dilemma for banks | Reuters #EuroMaidan

Ukraine bond poses dilemma for banks | Reuters:



"Arrangers of a potential US government-guaranteed bond from Ukraine face a delicate decision about whether to get involved in such a politically charged transaction, according to bankers.



Ukraine could issue a bond after the US Treasury signed a US$1bn loan guarantee with Kiev earlier this month as part of an internationally co-ordinated effort to support the troubled country. US banks are expected to lead any transaction.



But as the stand-off between Ukraine and Russia threatens to turn into a full-blown military conflict, some bankers say the decision to work on the deal is far from straightforward."



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The South Stream “pipeline” and Bulgarian syntactical gynmastics – beyondbrics - Blogs - FT.com

The South Stream “pipeline” and Bulgarian syntactical gynmastics – beyondbrics - Blogs - FT.com:



"

When is a pipeline not a pipeline? When it’s a highly-controversial Russian energy project that would cut Ukraine out of the European gas supply equation – at least according to Bulgaria’s parliament.



The EU member state is at loggerheads with the European Commission, the EU’s executive body, over the South Stream gas pipeline that would carry Russian gas from Bulgaria through Serbia to central Europe and Italy.





Since the outbreak of the Ukraine crisis, the EC has rallied against the Gazprom-led project, which would allow the Russian energy giant to supply its customers in Europe without sending exports through troublesome Ukraine. But Bulgaria, which stands to benefit both from improved energy security and from gas transit fees, has continued to back South Stream, including through a piece of legislative syntactical gymnastics that would be amusing were so much not at stake."



'via Blog this'

#Slavyansk mystery dispelled: Russia is fighting for vast shale gas deposits - Charter'97 : #EuroMaidan

Slavyansk mystery dispelled: Russia is fighting for vast shale gas deposits - Charter'97 :: News from Belarus - Belarusian News - Republic of Belarus - Minsk:



"Slavyansk has become a hot stop due to shale gas deposits. 




This follows from a TSN news piece. 




Journalists did their own investigation of the mystery of the so-called “Yuzov project”, which is reluctantly discussed in Ukraine, because it implies significant resources, which can change the world’s energy map. 




The circumstances point at that there is no fight for humane ideals, for federalization or protection of Russian-speaking population and Slavic patriots and against the mythical “Banderists” in Donbas, NEWSru.ua reports.



These are all made up images, created in the Kremlin offices and put in the heads of common Donbas residents, in order to cover the true goal of Russia’s special operation.



Thus, there are no important enterprises in the town of Slavyansk, neither mines, nor military bases or scientific institutions. However, it stands in the very center of the territory of the “Yuzov project”, where the deposits are located of the energy source of the 21st century are located - of the tight sandstone natural gas also known as shale gas."



'via Blog this'

Dubai Overtakes Heathrow as Busiest Airport for International Passengers - WSJ.com

Dubai Overtakes Heathrow as Busiest Airport for International Passengers - WSJ.com:



"

An Emirates airline passenger jet taxis on the tarmac at Dubai International airport in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Associated Press
Dubai International became the busiest airport globally for international passengers in the first quarter, overtaking London's Heathrow, and illustrating the stellar growth of Emirates Airline in less than 30 years of operations.



Dubai's main hub, the home of Emirates, handled 18.36 million international passengers in the first quarter of the year, Dubai Airports said in a statement Monday. Heathrow saw a total 16.1 million people pass through the airport in the same period, according to statements on the airport's website.



Heathrow pipped Dubai last year to the top spot for international traffic, followed by Hong Kong and Paris, according to official figures from Airports Council International, a global trade body, which hasn't released first quarter figures yet."



'via Blog this'

UPDATE 1-Abu Dhabi government fund backing Etisalat's Maroc Tel buy - sources | Reuters

UPDATE 1-Abu Dhabi government fund backing Etisalat's Maroc Tel buy - sources | Reuters:



"An Abu Dhabi state-owned fund is financing a quarter of Etisalat's 4.2 billion euro purchase of Vivendi's stake in Maroc Telecom, said three bank sources with knowledge of the deal, adding it should close this week.



The identity of the fund is a closely-guarded secret. The banks that will provide the remaining 3.15 billion euros of loan finance have not been told which of the emirate's state-owned entities is supplying the cash. 




The fund is most likely to be Mubadala, two of the banking sources and one industry source said, given that it already has telecommunications assets and an existing partnership with Etisalat in Africa."



'via Blog this'

Ukraine crisis: Britain to host talks over looted assets - Telegraph #EuroMaidan

Ukraine crisis: Britain to host talks over looted assets - Telegraph:



"Britain will on Tuesday host international talks aimed at recovering Ukrainian assets believed to have been looted under the regime of deposed president Viktor Yanukovych.



The international Ukraine Forum on Asset Recovery (UFAR) - led by Britain and the United States - unveiled details of the talks on Monday, calling them "a landmark for Ukraine".



UFAR hopes to mobilise the international community in order to track down and recover stolen assets, in the process sending "a strong message that there is no impunity for those who carry out such illegal actions"."



'via Blog this'

Keep it simple, stupid - YouTube

Keep it simple, stupid - YouTube: ""



'via Blog this'

Dubai sovereign debt pushed up to $54.8bn but ‘stabilising’ | The National

Dubai sovereign debt pushed up to $54.8bn but ‘stabilising’ | The National:



"The Dubai government’s recent sukuk sale has pushed up sovereign debt to US$54.8 billion but general indebtedness is “stabilising”, says Bank of America Merrill Lynch.



The Department of Finance last week issued a $750 million, 15-year sukuk priced at 5 per cent, the first bond sale by the emirate in more than a year.



BAML said the proceeds would be used to help repay a $1.9bn sukuk due in November.



“Dubai sovereign debt appears to be stabilising, in line with our view that the growth recovery would ease deleveraging trends at the sovereign level,” wrote Jean-Michel Saliba, a BAML economist and author of the research note, released yesterday."



'via Blog this'

Dubai Financial Market takes its show on the road to London | The National

Dubai Financial Market takes its show on the road to London | The National:



"The Dubai stock exchanges will showcase their recent spectacular performance for global investors as the emirate’s latest international roadshow hits London.



Dubai Financial Market and Nasdaq Dubai are bringing representatives of their 14 biggest companies to the biggest market in the European trading zone with the message – there is more to come.



Essa Kazim, the chairman of Borse Dubai, which owns both markets, will lead the delegation. “We have a good story to tell, so why should we not brag about it? The indices are among the best performing in the world, but we still want to encourage more institutional investors,” he said."



'via Blog this'

Rouhani honeymoon over as Iran’s economy bites | GulfNews.com

Rouhani honeymoon over as Iran’s economy bites | GulfNews.com:



"Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani was elected on hopes that he could revive the country’s sanctions-neutered economy, but the public’s goodwill towards him is showing the first signs of fading.



Having raised expectations of more moderate rule and wider engagement after eight years under the acerbic leadership of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Rouhani has established a cautious détente with the West since taking power last August.



At home he has started to slow the inflation rate that stemmed from his predecessor’s spending programmes which, though meant to keep the economy going as Iran became more isolated because of sanctions, ultimately deepened its difficulties."



'via Blog this'

Etisalat Group’s revenues touch Dh9.9 billion | GulfNews.com

Etisalat Group’s revenues touch Dh9.9 billion | GulfNews.com:



"Innovation has driven Etisalat Group’s consolidated revenues to reach Dh9.9 billion and subscriber base to touch 145 million in the first quarter of the year, the company announced yesterday.



The telecommunication services provider, which operates in 15 countries including the UAE, reported that its overall subscriber base expanded by 4.5 million during the last 12 months ending March 31, 2014, while its consolidated income jumped by 3 per cent year over year.



The company’s consolidated net profit after Federal Royalty increased year over year by 11 per cent to 2 billion. Benefiting from the positive growth, Etisalat shareholders were granted dividends amounting to 70 fils per share for the year 2013."



'via Blog this'

Magnit Rout Shows Russian Consumer Fading as Rates Rise - Bloomberg

Magnit Rout Shows Russian Consumer Fading as Rates Rise - Bloomberg:



"OAO Magnit (MGNT), last year’s Russian stock-market darling, is turning into one of this year’s laggards.



The country’s largest retailer dropped to a 12-month low last week as a surprise interest-rate increase by Bank Rossii sparked concern that a slowdown in consumer spending will deepen. After a resilient retail industry formed one of the few bright spots last year for an economy that grew at its slowest pace since 2009, higher lending costs are sapping consumer demand just as the nation struggles to contain the economic and political fallout from its push into neighboring Ukraine.



Magnit’s global depositary receipts fell 3.8 percent to $45.50 on April 25 in London, extending its worst weekly decline since 2011 to 13 percent. The stock is down 31 percent this year after soaring 65 percent in 2013. The Bloomberg Russia-US Equity Index sank 7.9 percent last week as the truce forged to ease tension in eastern Ukraine unraveled, fueling concern that President Vladimir Putin faces stiffer international sanctions."



'via Blog this'

Russian Billions Scattered Abroad Leave Trail to Putin Circle - Bloomberg

Russian Billions Scattered Abroad Leave Trail to Putin Circle - Bloomberg:



"Outside a Moscow stadium one night in 2006, deputy central bank chief Andrei Kozlov was walking to his car after playing soccer when two men opened fire, pumping bullets into his head and neck and killing his driver.



Days before the murders, the man leading Russia’s fight against money laundering had shut down a scheme used to funnel $1.6 billion of dirty funds abroad, including at least $112 million via Vienna-based Raiffeisen Zentralbank Oesterreich AG, according to Russian and Austrian investigators.



It was a trickle in a flood of illegal outflows that would reach $52 billion in 2012 alone, according to former central bank Chairman Sergey Ignatiev. Such flows are now in the cross hairs of President Barack Obama’s efforts to penalize Vladimir Putin for annexing Crimea and to halt his incursions into Ukraine. Obama signed a law on aid to Ukraine this month that includes a clause that allows the U.S. to go after assets of Russian officials and their allies who are deemed complicit in “significant corruption.”"



'via Blog this'

Industries Qatar Profit Misses Estimates Amid Plant Shutdowns - Bloomberg

Industries Qatar Profit Misses Estimates Amid Plant Shutdowns - Bloomberg:



"Industries Qatar QSC, the Persian Gulf nation’s biggest petrochemicals company, posted a bigger-than-expected 38 percent drop in first-quarter profit.



Net income fell to 1.59 billion riyals ($420 million) from 2.55 billion riyals a year earlier, according to an e-mailed statement from the company. The mean estimate of six analysts surveyed by Bloomberg was for a profit of 1.81 billion riyals, data compiled by Bloomberg show.



Plant shutdowns for maintenance “was a driver” of the financial results, said Bobby Sarkar, head of research at Qatar National Bank Financial Services, who predicted a first-quarter net income of 1.68 billion riyals, according to Bloomberg data. “This quarter had significant scheduled shutdowns, especially in urea,” he said in a phone interview."



'via Blog this'

DP World Said to Seek 33% Price Cut on Five-Year Debt Facility - Bloomberg

DP World Said to Seek 33% Price Cut on Five-Year Debt Facility - Bloomberg:



"DP World Ltd. (DPW), the world’s third-biggest port operator, asked lenders to cut the price on a five-year credit facility by a third to benefit from falling interest rates, two bankers familiar with the request said.



The port operator, owned by Dubai World, one of the emirate’s three main state-controlled holding companies, is seeking a reduction to 150 basis points, or 1.5 percentage points, over the London interbank offered rate, the bankers said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. That’s down from 225 basis points when the loan was raised in 2012, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.



The Dubai-based company also asked lenders to triple the revolving credit facility’s size to $3 billion as it seeks to benefit from lenders’ excess cash, according to the bankers. DP World undertakes an annual review of its banking facilities as part of active financial management, it said in an e-mail today. Reuters reported DP World’s request on April 24."



'via Blog this'

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Why the European Parliament matters - YouTube

Why the European Parliament matters - YouTube: ""



'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Most Gulf markets weak but Dubai, Saudi rise | Agricultural Commodities | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Most Gulf markets weak but Dubai, Saudi rise | Agricultural Commodities | Reuters:



" Dubai, lifted by property-related stocks, and Saudi Arabia, supported by food producer Almarai, were the only gaining share markets in an otherwise weak Gulf on Sunday.



The main Dubai index climbed 0.6 percent, largely on the back of real estate developer Emaar Properties and builder Arabtec Holding.



Trading volume was moderate, however, and fell by about 40 percent from Thursday's level - possibly a sign that some investors have started withdrawing from the market in anticipation of a downward correction after this year's huge gain of 52 percent.



Shares in Emaar, which fell 1.4 percent in the previous session after the firm's annual shareholder meeting did not hike the 2013 dividend beyond the board's proposal as some investors had hoped, closed up 1.9 percent. At 11.00 dirhams, the stock came close to the six-year high of 11.15 dirhams which it hit last week."



'via Blog this'

Turkey to become global energy hub: World Bank director - ENERGY

Turkey to become global energy hub: World Bank director - ENERGY:



"Turkey has a good chance of becoming an energy hub if it maintains the historical gains it made in the last decade, Martin Raiser, country director for Turkey of the World Bank, said on Friday.



“Turkey has taken major steps in the past decade and nearly half of them were to implement independent regulatory institutions to strengthen the rule of law to improve business opportunities,” Raiser told Anadolu Agency during the International Energy and Environment Fair and Conference in Istanbul.



“It is very important for the government to restore the confidence that investors have in the quality of the regulatory framework and the independence of the regulatory agencies, whether it is the EMRA [Energy Market Regulatory Authority] in energy sector, or the BRSA [Bank Regulation and Supervision Agency] in the banking sector, or the Central Bank in monetary policy,” he said. "



'via Blog this'

BR Shetty: The return of the prodigal son | The National

BR Shetty: The return of the prodigal son | The National:



"BR Shetty cuts a fine figure as he strides into the lobby of the Taj hotel in Mangalore dressed in an elegant gold-coloured kurta.



The hotel manager immediately recognises Mr Shetty and rushes to greet him before I get the chance to introduce myself to the chief executive and managing director of the remittance firm, UAE Exchange, and the founding partner and chief executive of the healthcare company, NMC, based in Abu Dhabi.



According to this year’s Forbes rich list, Mr Shetty is one of eight billionaires in the UAE, with a wealth of US$1 billion."



'via Blog this'

UAE should be concerned about property flipping, says Emaar chairman | The National

UAE should be concerned about property flipping, says Emaar chairman | The National:



"The Emaar chairman, Mohammed Alabbar, has warned about off-plan sales as the Government and other developers take steps to reduce speculation on property prices.



“We need to learn from the mistakes of the past,” Mr Alabbar said at Emaar’s annual general meeting last week in Dubai. “We need to be concerned about flipping.”



Flipping was in part blamed for the extent of the housing market crisis in 2008 – when speculators bought unfinished properties and sold them on to third parties within a short time, inflating property prices."



'via Blog this'

Etihad waiting to affirm position in Virgin Australia | GulfNews.com

Etihad waiting to affirm position in Virgin Australia | GulfNews.com:



"Etihad Airways took a 3.96 per cent stake in Virgin Australia almost two years ago on the open market. The move signalled a series of “creep investments”, which took Etihad to eventually hold a 19.9 per cent stake in the Australian carrier.



Today, (Saturday), the Abu Dhabi government-backed airline is waiting on regulatory approval from Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) to lift its stake past 20 per cent. It has been waiting several months as the FIRB completes its due diligence processes.



Equity stake partnership are not unique for Etihad, it has stakes in six other airlines. But the Virgin Australia partnership is different from the others."



'via Blog this'

Etihad waiting to affirm position in Virgin Australia | GulfNews.com

Etihad waiting to affirm position in Virgin Australia | GulfNews.com:



"Etihad Airways took a 3.96 per cent stake in Virgin Australia almost two years ago on the open market. The move signalled a series of “creep investments”, which took Etihad to eventually hold a 19.9 per cent stake in the Australian carrier.



Today, (Saturday), the Abu Dhabi government-backed airline is waiting on regulatory approval from Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) to lift its stake past 20 per cent. It has been waiting several months as the FIRB completes its due diligence processes.



Equity stake partnership are not unique for Etihad, it has stakes in six other airlines. But the Virgin Australia partnership is different from the others."



'via Blog this'

Aster working its way towards mid-sized IPO | GulfNews.com

Aster working its way towards mid-sized IPO | GulfNews.com:



"Aster DM Healthcare is looking at a mid-sized IPO in the range of $200-250 million (Dh734-918 million) with the listing to be decided among three candidates — Nasdaq Dubai, a stock exchange in India or on the London bourse. A decision on the likely date to go public will be decided within the company’s current financial year, which ends March 31, 2015.



“A lot of positive energy will get generated on the Indian stock exchange if a clear verdict emerges post the current general elections there,” said Dr Azad Moopen, chairman and managing director at Aster. “Market multiples in India for health care entities are getting better and likely to go up further.



“At the same time, a listing in London gives an international profile; and there’s also Nasdaq Dubai whose prospects can only go up with all that’s happening within the UAE/Gulf.”"



'via Blog this'

Saturday, 26 April 2014

SCA shakes up UAE bond and sukuk market rules | The National

SCA shakes up UAE bond and sukuk market rules | The National:



"The Securities and Commodity Authority (SCA) has introduced rules aimed at modernising the country’s corporate bond and sukuk markets.



This forms part of a move to increase Dubai’s stature as a hub for Islamic finance.



The regulator’s new rules set a minimum value on issued sukuk of Dh10 million.



This represents a change from the 2005 law, which required issuers to post at least Dh50 million in debt securities, including Islamic bonds, to be eligible to list on an exchange in the UAE.



The new rules increase exchanges’ flexibility with regards to over-the-counter trading. Previously, firms involved in a trade had to notify the SCA of its terms within two days or the trade would be invalidated. This requirement has been dropped – the SCA now allows exchanges to set their own deadlines for the disclosure of this information."



'via Blog this'

UAE Exchange considers IPO on Nasdaq New York | The National

UAE Exchange considers IPO on Nasdaq New York | The National:



"The remittance and currency exchange firm UAE Exchange is aiming to list on the Nasdaq stock market in New York in two years.



The company, which has 700 offices across more than 30 countries, is considering listing in the United States even though it is headquartered in Abu Dhabi. The Nasdaq would be the preferred stock market for the listing because it seemed to be a good option for finance companies, although Singapore would also be considered, said BR Shetty, the chief executive.



“In two years’ time we will expand enough,” he said. “We will be in 56 countries in two years’ time.”"



'via Blog this'

UAE investor relations to become more important with MSCI upgrade | The National

UAE investor relations to become more important with MSCI upgrade | The National:



"The UAE’s accession to the MSCI Emerging Markets Index next month will expose the country’s listed entities to an unprecedented degree of scrutiny by international funds and investors entering the market.



This scrutiny will go far beyond an entity’s balance sheet and income statement. Listed entities with high corporate governance standards are set to be especially favoured by international funds investing in the UAE for the first time.



“If you’re investing in emerging markets you want to invest in companies that are best in class,” says Sameer Al Ansari, the chief executive of Hawkamah, a Dubai-based institute for corporate governance."



'via Blog this'

As the European Union Reconsiders Russian Natural Gas, Qatar Waits in the Wings

As the European Union Reconsiders Russian Natural Gas, Qatar Waits in the Wings:



"Throughout the Ukraine crisis, European Union (EU) leaders have become more vocal about their interest in reducing Europe’s consumption of Russian natural gas.



Liquefied natural gas (LNG) tanker. Source: Bloomberg


As a result, Qatar — the world’s number-one provider of liquefied natural gas (LNG) — is well positioned to play a more influential role in Europe’s energy landscape. Although unlikely to replace Russia as Europe’s top natural gas provider, Qatar could assist in significantly decreasing the EU’s reliance on Russian energy resources while at the same time obtaining greater diplomatic leverage over European governments. Fortunately for the EU, Ukraine’s crisis did not erupt several years earlier. In 2006, 80 percent of Russia’s natural gas sales to the EU transited Ukraine. This was reduced to 50 percent by 2013 (two years after the Nord Stream pipeline came on line — connecting Vyborg, Russia to Sassnitz, Germany via the Baltic Sea)."



'via Blog this'

Russia-Ukraine Crisis Spurring Azerbaijani-Turkmen Gas Export Partnership? | EurasiaNet.org

Russia-Ukraine Crisis Spurring Azerbaijani-Turkmen Gas Export Partnership? | EurasiaNet.org:



"The Russia-Ukraine crisis is creating an opportunity for two feuding Caspian-Sea energy powers, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan, to become export partners.



The latest signal that Azerbaijani-Turkmen relations might be heading for a thaw came on April 2, when Turkmen Foreign Minister Rashid Meredov paid an unexpected visit to Baku. The trip marked the first such mission by a high-ranking government official from either side since 2009.



Bilateral relations between the two states have never been great during the post-Soviet era. The two have haggled over three Caspian oilfields – Azeri/Omar, Chirag/Osman and Kyapaz/Serdar – and the disputes have hindered officials from finalizing a deal that would bring Turkmen gas to Western markets via a 100-kilometer-long Turkmen-Azerbaijani pipeline under the Caspian Sea.

"



'via Blog this'

Four years later, lenders are sitting pretty | The National

Four years later, lenders are sitting pretty | The National:



"More than four years on from a debt crisis that hampered their earnings, UAE banks have for the most part rebounded to stronger health.



Still, the latest challenges they face relate to combating money laundering and complying with new global and local rule changes.



Here, Bill Michael, the regional head of financial services at KPMG in London, and Austin Rudman, a partner in Dubai at the professional services company, talk about state of the banking industry."



'via Blog this'

Kuwait 2013 current account surplus shrinks 8% to $72b | GulfNews.com

Kuwait 2013 current account surplus shrinks 8% to $72b | GulfNews.com:



"Kuwait’s current account surplus shrank by nearly 8 per cent to 20.3 billion dinars ($72.2 billion) in 2013 compared with the previous year, preliminary central bank data showed on Thursday, in line with market expectations.



The 2013 surplus was equivalent to 39.6 per cent of 2012 gross domestic product, down from 43.0 per cent, according to Reuters calculations based on the latest official data. Kuwait has not yet released 2013 GDP data. Analysts polled by Reuters in January estimated Kuwait’s 2013 current account surplus was 40.0 per cent of GDP, and forecast it would fall further to 37.8 per cent in 2014."



'via Blog this'

Gulf states gain from Russia’s debt freeze | GulfNews.com

Gulf states gain from Russia’s debt freeze | GulfNews.com:



"A handful of oil-rich monarchies in the Gulf have become the unexpected beneficiaries of the crisis in Ukraine, attracting a helping of the global money frozen out of Russia’s debt markets.



Two bond sales planned for this week told the tale of changing fortunes within emerging markets.



Russia, which remains mired in a geopolitical dispute, was forced to cancel an issue of government debt when investors demanded a borrowing rate that the country deemed too high.



Dubai, meanwhile, was being congratulated for its $750m (Dh2.7 billion) sale of sovereign debt, the emirate’s first for 18 months."



'via Blog this'

Russian Markets Have Worst Week Since Crimea as S&P Cuts Rating - Bloomberg

Russian Markets Have Worst Week Since Crimea as S&P Cuts Rating - Bloomberg:



"Russian bonds and stocks suffered their worst weekly rout since mid-March as the truce forged to ease tension in eastern Ukraine unraveled, fueling concern that President Vladimir Putin faces stiffer international sanctions.



Benchmark ruble bond yields climbed to the highest since March 14, prompting the Finance Ministry to abort plans to return to the local debt market on April 23, two days before Standard & Poor’s cut Russia’s credit rating to one level above junk. The central bank’s surprise half-point interest-rate increase yesterday failed to stem the ruble’s weekly retreat, the biggest among 24 emerging markets after South Africa’s rand.




“The past few days have been particularly painful for Russian fixed income,” Benoit Anne, the London-based head of emerging-market strategy at Societe Generale SA, said by e-mail yesterday. The failed debt auction “badly damaged investor confidence. In addition, the geo-political situation continues to deteriorate with a war of words and a tougher rhetoric employed between various parties,” he said."



'via Blog this'

Norway Oil Fund Reassessing Risk on Significant Russian Holdings - Bloomberg

Norway Oil Fund Reassessing Risk on Significant Russian Holdings - Bloomberg:



"Norway’s $850 billion sovereign wealth fund, the world’s biggest, is reviewing risk in Russia, where it has “significant” holdings, Chief Executive Officer Yngve Slyngstad said.



“We observe that there’s a different risk profile,” Slyngstad told reporters in Oslo yesterday, after testifying to lawmakers on the fund’s investment strategy. “We are at any given time also considering conditions that have dimensions of geopolitics and geopolitical risk.”



Russia unexpectedly raised interest rates yesterday as policy makers in Moscow struggle to stop capital flowing out of the country amid western condemnation of a standoff with Ukraine. The rate rise followed a downgrade by Standard & Poor’s, which cut Russia’s credit rating one step to BBB-, one level above junk. S&P cited the tense situation between Russia and Ukraine, which it said could spur significant outflows and “undermine already weakening growth prospects.”"



'via Blog this'

Friday, 25 April 2014

First Dubai IPO in five years sees surge of interest as economy booms | Reuters

First Dubai IPO in five years sees surge of interest as economy booms | Reuters:



"The first initial public offer of shares on Dubai's main stock market for five years was 36 times subscribed, a sign of massive interest in equities among retail investors as the emirate's economy booms. 




Investors subscribed 10 billion dirhams ($2.7 billion) to the fixed offer of 275 million shares in Marka IPO-MARK.DU, which were priced at 1 dirham each, Jamal Al Hai, chairman of the company's founders committee, said in a statement on Friday. The excess money will be returned to investors.



IPOs dried up in Dubai when its financial crisis erupted five years ago, and since then restrictive listing requirements have encouraged several United Arab Emirates companies to list in London rather than at home.



But the Dubai economy is now healthy again, and the Dubai Financial Market's (DFM) main index .DFMGI is up 51 percent year-to-date, making it the world's strongest major market. Marka's IPO may pave the way for more IPOs in coming months."



'via Blog this'

Russia unexpectedly raises interest rates — RT Business

Russia unexpectedly raises interest rates — RT Business:



"The Central Bank of Russia has unexpectedly raised its key interest rate to 7.5 percent, despite earlier saying it wouldn’t change until June. Aimed at trimming inflation, it means more expensive loans and slows an economy that’s already losing steam.



The rate went up 50 basis points. The last time it was bumped up was in March to 7 percent, a 1.5 rise from the previous 5.5 percent rate.



Bank Chair Elvira Nabiullina previously said the institution would refrain from changing rates until the June meeting."



'via Blog this'

Lukoil signs deal to produce gas in Iraq | Russia Beyond The Headlines

Lukoil signs deal to produce gas in Iraq | Russia Beyond The Headlines:



"The Russian company Lukoil and the Oil Exploration Company of Iraq have signed a memorandum on gas exploration in the Western Euphrates block in Iraq. Until now, the Russian company has participated only in oil extraction projects in Iraq.



The decision on signing a final contract will be made ​​after a thorough evaluation of the block, said Lukoil. The company hopes to find major reserves there.



By comparison, on the neighboring Akas plot, being developed by the Kogas Company from Korea, the gas reserves are estimated at 160 billion cubic meters."



'via Blog this'

Guest post: Making a non-western payment card system, in Russia | FT Alphaville

Guest post: Making a non-western payment card system, in Russia | FT Alphaville:

In late March, MasterCard and Visa froze service to cards issued by Bank Rossiya, after it was named in US sanctions. President Putin declared that Russia should limit its exposure to political risks in the financial system and build its own national system supporting electronic card payments.
Last week, the government decided to establish a Russian national clearing system as a separate corporation controlled by the Central Bank of Russia (CBR). The National Payment Card System (NPCS) would process all card payments inside the country; it is also likely that NPCS would serve as a central processing hub supporting all international card payments, which would allow Russia to bypass international payment systems.
More than twenty years after the breakdown of the command economy, Russia remains a cash-based society in transition to a financialised capitalism: 81 per cent of operations with plastic cards are cash withdrawals. Only 19 per cent are for card purchases. Card payments also account for 59 per cent of total transaction volumes, with the remainder paid for in cash.
'via Blog this'

EU's merchant fleet aims to run on LNG by 2025

EU's merchant fleet aims to run on LNG by 2025:



"The EU is setting in motion its project of providing incentives and provisions for the shipping fleets of its member states to run on LNG from 2025 onwards.



This signals great growth of the gas commodity and already major players such as Qatar are moving forward into acquiring positions and making deals, by starting off from Greece which boasts the largest commercial marine fleet in the world.



Greece's Ministry of Maritime Affairs has already assured local ship owners that the transformation of their engine fuel that comes with a significant cost can be initially subsidized from available EU funds during the course of the next decade."



'via Blog this'

Conference in Belgium sheds light on complexities over Ukraine

Conference in Belgium sheds light on complexities over Ukraine:



"The Russia-Europe jigsaw will take time to unravel, as the European slow approach reflects clashing interests of various natures. Economy and diplomacy are the two main factors leading the game, but the most interesting aspect is that the European Union is looking for solutions probably more in line with Russia than with the United States. In short, confusion is the main message coming from an international conference on European energy policy held in Bruges on Thursday. 



To make it even more complicated, Turkey was said to potentially turn out to be an equally important player of this Sudoku in the near future. In this sense, while international delegations were shouting out loud their resolutions in Bruges, the solution seemed pushed even further. Given the difficulties, the standoff over Ukraine could be very difficult to solve, despite the good intentions. 

"



'via Blog this'

BBC News - Iran petrol prices surge as subsidies cut

BBC News - Iran petrol prices surge as subsidies cut:



"Iran has cut state subsidies on petrol in a move that saw prices rise at midnight by up to 75%.



Reports said Iranians rushed to fill up their cars before the deadline.



The government of President Hassan Rouhani hopes the move will bolster an economy battered by Western sanctions.



Petrol in Iran is still among the cheapest in the world but analysts say the increase will be unwelcome in a country where a quarter of adults are jobless or under-employed.



The subsidies have been blamed for making petrol cheaper than bottled mineral water."



'via Blog this'

Cautionary note from Taqa as it begins bond roadshow | The National

Cautionary note from Taqa as it begins bond roadshow | The National:



"Tough competition for the most qualified Emiratis could hamper Abu Dhabi National Energy, the oil, gas and power producer warned in a bond prospectus yesterday.



Taqa launched meetings yesterday with global fixed-income investors for a planned bond that would be used to pay off a US$1.2 billion bond maturing in September. It secured a $200 million samurai loan earlier this month to go towards the refinancing.



The company issued a 180 million euro, 10-year bond in a private placement arranged by Societe Generale, Taqa confirmed yesterday. The coupon was 2.75 per cent.



Among the risks Taqa outlined in the new prospectus was keeping up with Emiratisation targets."



'via Blog this'

Dana Gas 2013 profits drop to Dh571m | GulfNews.com

Dana Gas 2013 profits drop to Dh571m | GulfNews.com:



"Dana Gas, one the Middle East’s largest regional private sector natural gas companies, reported net profit of Dh571 million for 2013, marking a drop from the Dh605 million of 2012. Meanwhile, its total revenue hit Dh2.39 billion, marking an increase from 2012’s Dh2.32 billion.



In a statement issued by the company on Thursday, the drop in net profit was attributed to the lower sales of LPG in the Kurdistan region of Iraq, along with an increase in royalty payments, and higher depreciation, depletion, and amortisation expenses in Egypt.



The growth in revenues was driven principally by an eight per cent increase in gross production, reaching 64,700 barrels of oil equivalent per day. The increase was led by Egypt, which increased production by 14 per cent, and contributed Dh1.5 billion to gross revenue. In 2012, Egypt contributed Dh1.4 billion to revenue."



'via Blog this'

Russia’s Rating Cut to BBB- by Standard & Poor’s - Bloomberg

Russia’s Rating Cut to BBB- by Standard & Poor’s - Bloomberg:



"Russia’s sovereign rating was cut to BBB- by Standard & Poor’s, the lowest investment grade, as the conflict in Ukraine escalates, hurting the country’s economy.



Standard & Poor’s cut Russia’s rating from BBB after lowering its outlook to negative in March. S&P last downgraded Russia in December 2008.



“The tense geopolitical situation between Russia and Ukraine could see additional significant outflows of both foreign and domestic capital from the Russian economy and hence further undermine already weakening growth prospects,” S&P said in the statement."



'via Blog this'

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Kasyanov Talks Russia's Economic Fragility - YouTube

Kasyanov Talks Russia's Economic Fragility - YouTube: ""



'via Blog this'

The week explained: April 24th 2014 - YouTube

The week explained: April 24th 2014 - YouTube: ""



'via Blog this'

2,500 years of financial crises - YouTube

2,500 years of financial crises - YouTube: ""



'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-UAE markets pull back; Bahrain hits 3-year high | Agricultural Commodities | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-UAE markets pull back; Bahrain hits 3-year high | Agricultural Commodities | Reuters:



"Stock markets in the United Arab Emirates retreated from multi-year peaks on Thursday, while Saudi Arabia edged up and Bahrain's benchmark hit its highest level in three years.



Dubai's main index slid 0.9 percent in a volatile session during which was down as much as 4.0 percent. Emaar Properties was the main drag after its annual meeting on Wednesday dashed some investors' hopes for a 2013 dividend hike beyond the board's proposal; the stock fell 1.4 percent.



Other property and construction stocks also fell, with the exception of builder Arabtec Holding, whose shares were extremely volatile but closed up 0.3 percent.



Arabtec soared 10.7 percent on Wednesday after the company outlined ambitious expansion hopes and presented new projects at a major real estate exhibition in Abu Dhabi. But analysts said the stock's dynamics had become unpredictable and it had surpassed some major brokers' fair value estimates."



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Poland Pushes Coal on Europe as Putin Wields Gas Weapon: Energy - Businessweek

Poland Pushes Coal on Europe as Putin Wields Gas Weapon: Energy - Businessweek:



"Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk says the country’s giant coal fields should become a cornerstone in Europe’s defense against a newly aggressive Russia.



Because the fossil fuel supplies 90 percent of Poland’s power it has less need of Russian natural gas than other Eastern European nations, burning half as much per capita as the neighboring Czech Republic, for example. As politicians wrestle with how to respond to the crisis in Ukraine, Tusk argues Europe needs to “rehabilitate” coal’s dirty image and use it to break Russia’s grip on energy supply.



“In the context of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, the overriding objective is to lessen the dependence on Russia,” said Mujtaba Rahman, an analyst at Eurasia Group in London. “Climate objectives will be absolutely secondary to that.”"



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Abu Dhabi Said to Complete Technical Review of Oil Bids in Weeks - Bloomberg

Abu Dhabi Said to Complete Technical Review of Oil Bids in Weeks - Bloomberg:



"Abu Dhabi’s state oil producer is almost finished reviewing technical aspects of international companies’ bids to develop the biggest onshore crude deposits in the emirate, two people with knowledge of the situation said.



Evaluating expansion plans and output targets proposed by 11 companies from the U.S., Europe and Asia seeking the concessions may take about two weeks more, said the people, who asked not to be identified since the process is confidential. Picking the best commercial terms among the offers, including how much companies would like to be paid for the work, should be finished this year, they said.



Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates and holder of most of the country’s crude reserves, is seeking new partners to help expand oil output. Exxon Mobil Corp., BP Plc, Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Total SA in January lost rights as partners in the company operating Abu Dhabi’s onshore fields when their joint venture agreement expired after seven decades."



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Sterling work - YouTube

Sterling work - YouTube: ""



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UAE stock market operator DFM profit surges 696% in the first quarter | The National

UAE stock market operator DFM profit surges 696% in the first quarter | The National:



"Dubai Financial Market, the only publicly listed stock exchange in the Arab world, reported a 696 per cent increase in first-quarter net profit amid a surge in trading volumes.



“DFM is witnessing thriving activity since the beginning of this year,” said the chairman Essa Kazim.



Net income for the period ended March 31 rocketed to Dh215.1 million, compared with Dh27m in the year earlier period. Revenue rose to Dh255.6m in the quarter, compared with Dh65.7m in the year earlier period.



Traded value jumped 428 per cent to Dh110 billion, compared with Dh20.8bn in the same period last year. Trading commissions are the bread and butter for the exchange."



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Al Etihad Credit Bureau delayed as UAE banks fail to provide data | The National

Al Etihad Credit Bureau delayed as UAE banks fail to provide data | The National:



"Banks have not supplied sufficient credit information to Al Etihad Credit Bureau, holding up the launch of a major tool in the UAE’s efforts to strengthen the financial system.



National Bank of Fujairah was yesterday named as the only lender to have provided adequate credit data on its retail customers for the past 24 months, the bureau said yesterday.



The UAE Banks Federation was not immediately available for comment.



The revelation from the Al Etihad Credit Bureau comes just weeks after it said the majority of banks had supplied it with credit information that exceeded international data quality standards."



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