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Saturday, 31 May 2014

Abu Dhabi Investment buys Aurobindo shares worth Rs 99 cr - Moneycontrol.com

Abu Dhabi Investment buys Aurobindo shares worth Rs 99 cr - Moneycontrol.com:



"Abu Dhabi Investment Authority - Gulab has picked up a 0.5 percent stake (worth Rs 99 crore) in  Aurobindo Pharma  through a block deal on the National Stock Exchange on Friday.



Abu Dhabi Investment bought 14,75,687 equity shares at Rs 670.51 apiece while Morgan Stanley Asia Singapore Pte offloaded 0.6 percent stake ( out of 1.6 percent stake as of March 2014 ) in healthcare company.



Morgan Stanley sold 17,32,500 equity shares at Rs 669.92 apiece.



On Friday, Aurobindo Pharma stock closed at Rs 669.80, up 5.14 percent after hitting a record high of Rs 679.80. Market capitalisation of the company currently stands at Rs 19,521.79 crore."



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Ukraine’s GDP to drop by 5% in 2014 – Fitch — RT Business

Ukraine’s GDP to drop by 5% in 2014 – Fitch — RT Business:



"Fitch Ratings has predicted that Ukraine’s GDP will diminish by five percent in 2014, as the crisis will continue to weigh on the protest-torn country's economy. 




“We forecast GDP to contract by 5 percent this year,” Charles Seville, director for sovereigns at Fitch Ratings in London, said in an article titled 'New Ukrainian President Faces Major Challenges.'



“Ex-Crimea, industrial production shrank 6 percent year on year in April, and consumer spending is well down, especially in the east,” he continued.



While inflation in April was 3.3 percent, the agency predicts it will rise due to gas tariffs and pass-through of exchange rate depreciation.



“Public finances are under pressure but the government has increased tax collection and contained spending, narrowing the fiscal deficit,” the article states."



'via Blog this'

Al Tayyar Travel acquires Cooperative Travel Management | GulfNews.com

Al Tayyar Travel acquires Cooperative Travel Management | GulfNews.com:



"Saudi Arabia’s Al Tayyar Travel Group Holding has signed an acquisition agreement with UK-based Cooperative Travel Management (CTM) worth 85 million Saudi riyals, according to a statement on Thursday.



The deal was funded from the company’s revenues, and all legal procedures to finalise the deal will be completed accordingly, according to the statement.



Through the acquisition, the company aims to expand the scope of its businesses in Europe. The financial revenues from the deal are expected to begin in the third quarter of the year, the company said in the statement.



Earlier this year, Al Tayyar Travel Group acquired Elegant Resorts, Thomas Cook’s UK luxury travel tour operating entity."



'via Blog this'

Ukraine Edges Toward Russia Gas Deal as Eastern Clashes Persist - Bloomberg

Ukraine Edges Toward Russia Gas Deal as Eastern Clashes Persist - Bloomberg:



"Russia and Ukraine moved closer to a deal that would keep gas flowing between the countries even as they spar over Russian support for separatists seeking to break away from the government in Kiev.



After talks brokered by the European Union in Berlin, Ukraine made its first payment in months to Russia’s OAO Gazprom (OGZD), transferring $786 million to pay for gas received in February and March. While debts and future payments remain in dispute, EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger welcomed yesterday’s steps as “building blocks for a package that, given the evident goodwill of all parties today, doesn’t seem out of reach.” Talks are due to continue next week. 




In eastern Ukraine, the army is fighting to regain control from the pro-Russian separatists. Insurgents killed a Ukrainian soldier and wounded two in an attack on a military vehicle in the Kharkiv region, the National Guard said on its website yesterday. A group of about 80 rebels attacked a border post in Luhansk, Interfax-Ukraine said. A day earlier, the separatists downed a military helicopter, killing a general and 13 soldiers."



'via Blog this'

Polish Economy Grows at Quickest in 2 Years on Loan Costs - Bloomberg

Polish Economy Grows at Quickest in 2 Years on Loan Costs - Bloomberg:



"Poland’s economy grew at the fastest pace in two years in the first quarter as record-low borrowing costs stoked consumer spending and corporate investments.


Gross domestic product surged 3.4 percent from a year earlier last quarter, compared with 2.7 percent in the previous three months, according to a preliminary estimate published today by the Central Statistical Office in Warsaw. That exceeded the 3.3 percent preliminary estimate published May 14. GDP rose 1.1 percent from the previous quarter.



Borrowing costs, kept at a record low since July, will be maintained unchanged at least until the end of the third quarter, helping the European Union’s largest eastern economy gather pace, according to the central bank’s economic outlook. It predicts full-year growth of 3.6 percent, more than double last year’s rate."



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Friday, 30 May 2014

Total Sells $1.5 Billion Azeri Gas-Project Stake to Turkey - Bloomberg

Total Sells $1.5 Billion Azeri Gas-Project Stake to Turkey - Bloomberg:



"Total SA (FP) sold its 10 percent stake in Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz gas project to Turkey’s state oil company for $1.5 billion as part of an asset-sale plan.



TPAO Turkiye Petrolleri AO will buy Total’s stake in the field and South Caucasus pipeline, the French company said today in a statement. Total entered the Caspian Sea project in 1996.



After the deal, France’s largest oil company will have sold $16 billion of assets since 2012, pushing through its target of raising $15 billion to $20 billion through divestments, it said.



“The sale of our interest in Shah Deniz is in line with Total’s active portfolio management and the focus of its investment capability on more strategic assets,” Michael Borrell, senior vice president for continental Europe and central Asia, said in the statement."



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The week explained: May 30th 2014 - YouTube

The week explained: May 30th 2014 - YouTube: ""



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Is the Middle East the new hub of global aviation? - CNN.com

Is the Middle East the new hub of global aviation? - CNN.com:



"

After a decade of construction and almost four years behind schedule, the Middle East's latest airport destination began full operations earlier this week.



Hamad International Airport in Doha, Qatar, will eventually occupy 29 square kilometers (roughly a third of the size of Doha city itself) and comes in at a total cost of $15 billion.



The giant facility will have an annual capacity of 50 million passengers as well as public spaces for art exhibitions, a VIP terminal inspired by Arabian sailboats and an aquatic themed mosque.



Like an increasing number of oil and gas rich cities in the region, Doha is attempting to diversify its economy to make the most of new trade and tourism opportunities."



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DIFC unites litigation and arbitration bodies | The National

DIFC unites litigation and arbitration bodies | The National:



"The DIFC’s litigation and arbitration functions are to be consolidated under a new single dispute settlement umbrella body, under the terms of a new law issued by Dubai’s ruler.



Law No 7 of 2014, announced by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid on Wednesday, amends the DIFC’s founding law and mandates the establishment of a Disputes Resolution Authority within the centre.



The authority will consist of the DIFC Courts, an “arbitration body”, and “other subsidiary committees or institutions established under the laws and regulations of the DIFC”, according to a statement from the Dubai Media Office.



The new Disputes Resolution Authority will be headed by Chief Justice Michael Hwang, the current president of the DIFC Courts."



'via Blog this'

UAE bourse regulator backtracks on greenfield public offerings | The National

UAE bourse regulator backtracks on greenfield public offerings | The National:



"The UAE stock market regulator has reversed its opposition to greenfield IPOs and provided exemptions in a bid to win back any local companies considering a listing abroad, analysts and investors say.



Until this year, the UAE Securities and Commodities Authority’s (SCA) regulatory framework for initial public offerings was quite restrictive and even dissuaded some companies from looking to raise cash from local equity markets. 




“You have to raise 55 per cent and companies end up with a massive capital base that is exaggerated,” said Majd Maaiteh, the head of securities at National Bank of Abu Dhabi. “For founder shareholders, there’s no option to exit or cash out.”



A greenfield IPO is the process of raising cash to list a company that is neither in operation nor has a track record, as a shell or holding firm to then acquire existing businesses."



'via Blog this'

Strong fiscal position supports Sharjah’s credit strength | GulfNews.com

Strong fiscal position supports Sharjah’s credit strength | GulfNews.com:



"The credit strength of Sharjah is primarily supported by its very strong fiscal and government debt position, Moody’s Investors Services said in a report on Thursday.



Sharjah’s A3 rating is primarily supported by the emirate’s very strong fiscal and government debt position, characterised by small fiscal deficits, low levels of government debt and manageable wider public-sector debt.



According to the rating agency Sharjah’s credit strength is also supported by the relatively higher degree of economic diversification — compared to the rest of the UAE (UAE, Aa2 stable) and countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).



The emirate’s government finances benefit significantly from membership in the federation of the UAE, because the federal Ministry of Finance funds a large portion of public services for UAE nationals directly from its own budget, including defence and a basic level of education and health care. Sharjah’s competitive manufacturing sector and its relatively higher degree of economic diversification compared to other emirates in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) also provides credit strength."



'via Blog this'

Still no alternative to dollar - YouTube

Still no alternative to dollar - YouTube: ""



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Singapore Home Prices May Fall More: Standard Chartered - Bloomberg

Singapore Home Prices May Fall More: Standard Chartered - Bloomberg:



"Singapore’s home prices will probably fall further before the housing curbs introduced in the past five years are scaled back, Standard Chartered Plc (STAN)’s Southeast Asia head said.



“You would start to take away some of these measures if price growth reaches a certain level of equilibrium,” Lim Cheng Teck, chief executive officer for Asean or the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, said in an interview in Singapore yesterday. “I don’t think we are at an equilibrium yet.”



The city’s private home prices dropped by the most in almost five years following a campaign that started in 2009 to curb property market speculation, with government curbs ranging from taxes on property sales, additional levies on foreign buyers and mortgage limits."



'via Blog this'

Ukraine Leads Distressed Debt Rally as Poroshenko Election - Bloomberg

Ukraine Leads Distressed Debt Rally as Poroshenko Election - Bloomberg:



"Ukrainian corporate bonds helped lead the longest distressed-debt rally in more than a year among emerging markets as investors bet billionaire President-elect Petro Poroshenko will ease political tensions with Russia.



Notes sold by the eastern European nation’s riskiest companies rose 8.7 percent this month through yesterday, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s Distressed Emerging Markets Corporate Plus Index. The measure’s 3.4 percent gain capped a four-month, 12.5 percent, winning streak, the longest since the period ended February 2013.



‘Chocolate King’ Poroshenko, 48, pledged to visit eastern regions to end fighting with separatists, after Russia annexed the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea in March. The International Monetary Fund has meted out $3.2 billion in aid as part of a $17 billion loan to help Ukraine pay its debt, as the nation had its rating cut to nine levels below investment grade by Moody’s Investors Service."



'via Blog this'

Geneva, Dubai Rank as Priciest Cities in World for Hotels - Bloomberg

Geneva, Dubai Rank as Priciest Cities in World for Hotels - Bloomberg:



"World travelers looking for a cheap place to stay may want to avoid Geneva, Dubai and Miami.



The three cities rank among the most expensive markets for hotel rooms, according to an index compiled by Bloomberg. In Geneva, the average cost for a night is $308, followed by Dubai at $273, Kuwait City at $253 and Zurich at $250. Miami is next as the costliest place for lodging in the U.S., at $245 a night.



Room costs are pushed up in high barrier-to-entry markets where developable land is scarce and the number of hotels limited, as well as by a relatively affluent customer base. In cities such as Edinburgh, which ranks above London, a limited supply of lower-end rooms pushes up expenses for visitors.

"



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Thursday, 29 May 2014

Hotel occupancy dips across UAE | GulfNews.com

Hotel occupancy dips across UAE | GulfNews.com:



"Hotels in the UAE posted a decline in occupancy during the first quarter of the year compared to the same period a year ago, according to the latest report by global consultancy EY.



Properties in Dubai and Abu Dhabi saw occupancy drop one per cent to 88 per cent and 82 per cent respectively in the first three months of the year, while occupancy across Al Ain hotels touched 70 per cent, marking a two per cent drop.



In March, occupancy declined slightly in Dubai’s hotels (0.1 per cent) to 89.5 compared to the same period in 2013, while it rose one per cent to 86 per cent in Abu Dhabi’s properties.



While Yousef Wahbah, head of transaction real estate at EY for the Middle East and North Africa, did not provide reasons for the drop in occupancy during the first quarter, he said the decline in Dubai’s overall average occupancy in March was mainly due to “the drop in Dubai Beach hotels, which witnessed a decline in average daily rates of approximately 5.4 per cent, coupled by a slight decline in occupancy of on per cent.”"



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Lagarde cautious on Africa bonds - YouTube

Lagarde cautious on Africa bonds - YouTube: ""



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Capital flows: the EM push-me-pull-you – beyondbrics - Blogs - FT.com

Capital flows: the EM push-me-pull-you – beyondbrics - Blogs - FT.com:



"Some apparently contradictory data from the Institute of International Finance on Thursday: it reckons total net private capital flows to emerging markets have dropped sharply in the first half of 2014, while flows from foreign investors to EM bonds and equities are ticking sharply upwards.



What is going on?



One answer is the relative weight of push and pull factors. Real money investors, flush with QE cash, are buying more and more EM portfolio assets. But overall flows – including bank lending, FDI and so on – are being pushed down by two factors. Flows to China are seen slowing as the government moves to discourage short-term inflows in a bid to keep the renminbi from appreciating and – more significantly – flows to Russia are seen collapsing as cross-border bank lending and bond issuance grind to a halt because of the crisis in Ukraine."



'via Blog this'

Gazprom Linking East, West Gas Pipes Seen Economically Unviable - Businessweek

Gazprom Linking East, West Gas Pipes Seen Economically Unviable - Businessweek:



"Russia’s plan to connect natural gas pipelines to Europe with those to Asia may be uneconomic because of the distances involved, according to Bloomberg Industries and East European Gas Analysis.



Transporting the fuel via pipeline is “often uneconomic” beyond 3,000 kilometers (1,800 miles), Elchin Mammadov and Philipp Chladek, analysts at Bloomberg Industries, said today. The link would boost OAO Gazprom’s spending and may increase fuel costs for European utilities including EON SE and Edison SpA, which will have to compete with China for the Russian fuel.



Gazprom has shipped fuel to Europe for decades and plans the South Stream link to the region. Last week it agreed with China National Petroleum Corp. to supply gas for 30 years via a yet-to-be built pipeline that would form part of its Eastern Gas Program. The deal marks the start of competition between Europe and Asia for Russian gas, Gazprom Chief Executive Officer Alexey Miller said at the time."



'via Blog this'

Egypt’s Benchmark Index Drops Most in World on Capital Gains Tax - Bloomberg

Egypt’s Benchmark Index Drops Most in World on Capital Gains Tax - Bloomberg:



"Egyptian shares slumped the most globally after the government said it will tax investor profits a day after the presidential election concluded.



The benchmark EGX 30 Index declined 3.5 percent, the most in two months, to 8,242.94 at the close in Cairo. That made it the worst performer among more than 90 gauges tracked by Bloomberg. Telecom Egypt, the country’s monopoly fixed-line phone company, plunged 5.1 percent.



The North African country, which is struggling to cut the Middle East’s highest budget deficit, will tax net portfolio values at the end of the year, the stock exchange said today, citing the Finance Ministry. Former army chief Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi is expected to assume the presidency after initial results showed him winning more than 90 percent of this week’s vote."



'via Blog this'

Abu Dhabi Index Jumps Most in Four Years Before MSCI Upgrade - Bloomberg

Abu Dhabi Index Jumps Most in Four Years Before MSCI Upgrade - Bloomberg:



"Abu Dhabi’s stock index rose the most since December 2009 as shares in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates gained before next week’s upgrade to emerging markets status by MSCI Inc.



The benchmark ADX General Index jumped 5.5 percent to 5,253.41 at the close, the most among more than 90 gauges tracked by Bloomberg globally. National Bank of Abu Dhabi PJSC, the largest lender in the U.A.E., soared 15 percent, the most since 2005 and the maximum allowed in a day. Dubai’s main measure advanced 5 percent, the most since September, led by a 15 percent gain in shares of Dubai Financial Market, the only listed bourse in the region. Qatar’s QE Index (DSM) added 2.1 percent.



Stocks are rallying in the Gulf region on speculation the MSCI upgrade will lure investors managing about $8 trillion in assets. The change of status will promote nine U.A.E. companies and 10 from Qatar to MSCI’s developing-market gauge. The switch may attract about $905 million to markets in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, and $649 million to Qatar, HSBC Holdings Plc said in a note on May 12."



'via Blog this'

Ukraine Moves Toward Gas Debt Compromise with Russia - WSJ.com

Ukraine Moves Toward Gas Debt Compromise with Russia - WSJ.com:



"Ukraine took a step toward compromise over its huge gas debt to Russia Thursday, approving a measure that would allow the state gas company Nafotgaz to pay off $2 billion to Moscow this week as agreed in a tentative deal mediated by the European Union.



Kiev still hasn't officially confirmed it will make the payment, despite Moscow's threat to demand prepayment for future supplies starting next week, a move that could lead to a cutoff of shipments. Officials from Ukraine, Russia and the EU are scheduled to meet in Berlin Friday for more talks on a compromise.



The Ukrainian government on Thursday formally increased the charter capital of Naftogaz, a technical step necessary to allow the government to transfer the money to the company to make the payment. However, a Naftogaz spokesperson couldn't immediately comment on whether the payment would be made.



Moscow and the EU have pushed Kiev to pay off $2 billion of the debt--which Russia says now totals $4.5 billion--this week before beginning discussions on a lower price. Ukrainian officials have said they will only agree to begin repaying the debt if Moscow agrees to lower the price of gas, at least for the duration of negotiations on a permanent pricing compromise."



'via Blog this'

Ukraine Moves Toward Gas Debt Compromise with Russia - WSJ.com

Ukraine Moves Toward Gas Debt Compromise with Russia - WSJ.com:



"Ukraine took a step toward compromise over its huge gas debt to Russia Thursday, approving a measure that would allow the state gas company Nafotgaz to pay off $2 billion to Moscow this week as agreed in a tentative deal mediated by the European Union.



Kiev still hasn't officially confirmed it will make the payment, despite Moscow's threat to demand prepayment for future supplies starting next week, a move that could lead to a cutoff of shipments. Officials from Ukraine, Russia and the EU are scheduled to meet in Berlin Friday for more talks on a compromise.



The Ukrainian government on Thursday formally increased the charter capital of Naftogaz, a technical step necessary to allow the government to transfer the money to the company to make the payment. However, a Naftogaz spokesperson couldn't immediately comment on whether the payment would be made.



Moscow and the EU have pushed Kiev to pay off $2 billion of the debt--which Russia says now totals $4.5 billion--this week before beginning discussions on a lower price. Ukrainian officials have said they will only agree to begin repaying the debt if Moscow agrees to lower the price of gas, at least for the duration of negotiations on a permanent pricing compromise."



'via Blog this'

Belarus plans to bring back serfdom – beyondbrics - Blogs - FT.com

Belarus plans to bring back serfdom – beyondbrics - Blogs - FT.com:



"

Alexander Lukashenko is living up to his reputation as Europe’s last remaining dictator. The president of Belarus has decided to bring back serfdom on farms in a bid to stop urban migration.



 Lukashenko has announced plans to introduce legislation prohibiting farm labourers from quitting their jobs and moving to the cities. “Yesterday, a decree was put on my table concerning – we are speaking bluntly – serfdom,” the Belarus leader told a meeting on Tuesday to discuss improvements to livestock farming, gazeta.ru reported.



The serfdom decree would beef up the power of regional governors and “teach the peasants to work more efficiently,” Lukashenko said. Governors who failed to ensure timely and efficient harvests in their regions would get the sack, he added."



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Poroshenko says he wants to sign economic deal with EU immediately after inauguration | Russia Beyond The Headlines

Poroshenko says he wants to sign economic deal with EU immediately after inauguration | Russia Beyond The Headlines:



"Ukraine's president-elect, Petro Poroshenko, believes there should be no further delays in signing the economic part of the Association Agreement of Ukraine and the European Union.



Poroshenko was quoted as saying by his press service that this document could be signed as soon as he was officially sworn in as president of Ukraine.



"The signing and enactment of the [Association] Agreement, which, in fact, is part of Ukraine's modernization plan, as well as its implementation would help pursue anti-corruption measures and implement the reforms package within a very short period of time," Poroshenko said."



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Few hurt by eurozone earthquake - YouTube

Few hurt by eurozone earthquake - YouTube: ""



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Qatar, UAE about to get major investment upgrade - May. 29, 2014

Qatar, UAE about to get major investment upgrade - May. 29, 2014:



"


Think of Qatar and what probably comes to mind is the 2022 World Cup. For the United Arab Emirates, many Westerners likely think of Dubai, the world's tallest building or the setting for the film "Sex and the City 2".



But these two Persian Gulf countries are starting to make a name for themselves for their economies and stock markets.



Both countries will soon be upgraded to "emerging market" status, a step up from their classification as "frontier markets," a demarcation that's not too far off from the Wild West of the investing world.



The change in status by the MSCI will put Qatar and the UAE in the same league as countries like China and Brazil. It will also likely increase the flow of American investment dollars into these Gulf states."



'via Blog this'

Dubai and Abu Dhabi markets decline | GulfNews.com

Dubai and Abu Dhabi markets decline | GulfNews.com:



"Both Dubai and Abu Dhabi stock markets declined on Wednesday.



The Dubai Financial Market index (DFM) lost 3.26 per cent of its value to close at 4,845.78, with a total trade value of just over Dh2 billion. The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange index (ADX) closed 2.37 per cent down at 4977.67, with a total trade value of Dh1.3 billion.



Only three of the 30 stocks traded on the DFM made gains. The market’s property firms bore the brunt of the dip, with Arabtec — which had gained 9.18 per cent on Tuesday — dropping 5.41 per cent to close at Dh6.30, after trading worth 977 million — considerably less than the Dh1.6 billion that fuelled Tuesday’s gains.



Emaar lost 3.94 per cent to close at Dh9.75, after trades worth Dh427 million, and Union Properties losing 1.86 per cent to close at Dh2.11 after trades worth Dh170 million. Arabtec, Emaar and Union Properties were the three most-traded shares by value and volume."



'via Blog this'

Russia, Ukraine Fail to Agree on Gas Plan as Cut Looms - Bloomberg

Russia, Ukraine Fail to Agree on Gas Plan as Cut Looms - Bloomberg:



"Russia and Ukraine remain at loggerheads over natural gas deliveries after a possible compromise put forward by the European Union to help avoid supply disruptions as soon as next month failed to win support.



Russia is ready to discuss price changes and also may withdraw a demand for advance payments once Ukraine starts paying for deliveries, officials in Moscow said yesterday. The government in Kiev is prepared to pay up once Russia lowers prices.



“We are ready to pay the market price for gas, but never the political one,” Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said yesterday in Berlin."



'via Blog this'

Arabtec CEO Ismaik Almost Triples Stake in U.A.E. Builder - Bloomberg

Arabtec CEO Ismaik Almost Triples Stake in U.A.E. Builder - Bloomberg:



"Arabtec Holding Co. (ARTC) Chief Executive Officer almost tripled his stake in the United Arab Emirates’ biggest publicly traded construction company.



Hasan Ismaik, who is also Arabtec’s managing director, raised his stake to 21.5 percent from 8.03 percent through direct purchase from the market, the U.A.E.-based company said in an e-mailed statement.



“Investment in Arabtec should be strategic and long term,” the statement quoted Ismaik as saying.



Arabtec shares dropped 5.4 percent at the close in Dubai today to 6.30 dirhams, valuing the company at 27.7 billion dirhams ($7.5 billion.) The shares have gained 207 percent this year, almost five times as much as the benchmark DFM General Index. (DFMGI)"



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Dubai in Land of OPEC Gives Blessing to Going Green: Arab Credit - Bloomberg

Dubai in Land of OPEC Gives Blessing to Going Green: Arab Credit - Bloomberg:



"Dubai, better known for palm-shaped islands and the world’s tallest skyscraper than energy conservation, is on a mission to cut power and water use as the rising costs of fuel and desalination threaten future growth.



The utility leading the campaign for conservation is the one benefiting the most from soaring demand. Dubai Electricity & Water Authority, whose bonds have outperformed Persian Gulf companies on the strength of rising demand, created a unit to advise customers on ways to reduce consumption while the government may start a fund to help energy saving, Chief Executive Officer Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer said in an interview.



Dubai, part of the United Arab Emirates, the fifth-biggest member of OPEC, is targeting greater fuel efficiency because it relies on imported natural gas paid for at market prices to run power and water-purification plants. Concerned that its fuel bill will surge as energy consumption rises, the sheikhdom plans to cut projected power and water use 30 percent by 2030."



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Wednesday, 28 May 2014

BBC News - Why did UKIP do less well in London?

BBC News - Why did UKIP do less well in London?:



"How much of the rise in Europe's anti-establishment parties of right and left is cyclical and how much is long-term and secular?



Is the new popularity of anti-EU parties in the UK, France, Greece and Spain a hangover from the crash of 2007-8, the euro crisis of 2010-13 and long years of squeezed living standards - a protest from those who feel dispossessed in an economic sense?



Or does the surge of UKIP, the Front National and Syriza, inter alia, reflect a more profound sense that the mainstream parties and conventional political institutions no longer serve the interests of millions of people?"



'via Blog this'

Ukraine Short Sellers Bail on Losing Bond Market Wagers - Businessweek

Ukraine Short Sellers Bail on Losing Bond Market Wagers - Businessweek:



"Bearish bets against Ukrainian dollar bonds are backfiring as a thaw in the country’s conflict with Russia spurs the longest winning streak in four years. 




Money managers more than doubled short positions on Ukrainian dollar debt in the first part of the year, sending them to $846 million on April 30, according to Markit. Investors have since pared back the wagers by 23 percent to $655 million as the bonds surged an average 7.3 cents this month to 93 cents on the dollar. 




Bearish investors are absorbing losses as the election of President Petro Poroshenko, who has pledged to visit Ukraine’s eastern regions to end fighting with rebels, and signs from Russia it’s seeking to defuse tensions helped sustain bond gains for a 10th straight day yesterday. Investors had pushed up bets Ukraine’s debt would tumble as escalating conflict with separatists in the country’s east fueled concern the country was on the verge of civil war."



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Live chart: Military spending - YouTube

Live chart: Military spending - YouTube: ""



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Larry Summers on inequality and Piketty - YouTube

Larry Summers on inequality and Piketty - YouTube: ""



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Can capitalism be reformed? - YouTube

Can capitalism be reformed? - YouTube: ""



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U.A.E. Islamic Bank Asks What’s in a Name After Barclays - Bloomberg

U.A.E. Islamic Bank Asks What’s in a Name After Barclays - Bloomberg:



"Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank PJSC (ADIB), which bought the local retail assets of Barclays Plc (BARC) last month, is weighing whether to change its name as it targets more non-Muslim customers beyond its home market.



The second-biggest Islamic lender in the United Arab Emirates may change to Abu Dhabi International Bank outside the nation to lure customers drawn to ethical banking, Tirad Mahmoud, chief executive officer of ADIB, said during a conference in the emirate last week. This could help capture a loan market that’s about 200-times the size of Shariah lending.



With 60 percent of U.A.E. residents already holding bank accounts, faster growth opportunities for ADIB may need to come from international markets, according to Shabbir Malik at EFG-Hermes Holding SAE. The lender’s purchase of the Barclays asset was a rare chance to secure 110,000 new customers at home."



'via Blog this'

Opinion: emerging markets and the Euros – beyondbrics - Blogs - FT.com

Opinion: emerging markets and the Euros – beyondbrics - Blogs - FT.com:



"It has been a reliable guideline for governments doing business with the EU that elections to the European Parliament can safely be ignored. Yet given that the parliament has been given powers of disruption over trade and investment, two of the areas in which the EU has some authority, blissful ignorance of the legislature may be a luxury that emerging market governments can no longer afford.



The conventional wisdom is that the successes of Euroscepticism and the radical right in this week’s election results represent a further shift towards general hostility to free trade and to trade deals. While this is largely true, the Parliament’s likely willingness to veto parts of agreements with which it is unhappy may in fact make such pacts more palatable to emerging markets years down the line. Moreover, the resolution of disputes between the EU and big emerging markets like China is likely to remain the same series of bilateral stitch-ups it has increasingly become."



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Sberbank, Abu Dhabi’s Invest AD clinch “strategic” deal | EmergingMarkets.me

Sberbank, Abu Dhabi’s Invest AD clinch “strategic” deal | EmergingMarkets.me:



"Russia’s biggest lender Sberbank and Abu Dhabi’s state-owned Invest AD investment management firm have signed a preliminary deal on “strategic” cooperation in asset management in Russia, the Commonwealth of Independent States, and the Middle East, Sberbank said.



The Memorandum of Strategic Cooperation was signed by Anton Rakhmanov, chief executive of Sberbank Asset Management, and Nazem Fawwaz Al Kudsi, chief executive of Invest AD, at last week’s annual St Petersburg International Economic Forum, the Russian bank said in a statement."



'via Blog this'

Dubai property for sale or rent tops 192,000 units on leading website as oversupply grows, where next for prices? « ArabianMoney

Dubai property for sale or rent tops 192,000 units on leading website as oversupply grows, where next for prices? « ArabianMoney:



"

Two years ago we noted a sudden fall off in the number of housing units for sale or rent in Dubai on the listings website Dubizzle.com, down from 100,000 at the start of the year to 77,000. That we concluded was a clear sign of a serious market recovery.







Today the same website lists 192,000 homes for sale or rent in Dubai. This is a massive oversupply that has held back price advances this year and threatens to lower prices in the near future.

"



'via Blog this'

Demand stampede for Investment Corporation of Dubai bonds | The National

Demand stampede for Investment Corporation of Dubai bonds | The National:



"Bonds sold earlier this month by the Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD) sparked demand three times in excess of what was offered, signalling that investors have put debt woes behind them as the UAE’s economy flourishes.



ICD’s sale, the first for the Dubai government investment giant, also comes amid renewed interest in emerging market debt, an asset class that has been battered by the tapering of the US Federal Reserve’s monetary stimulus and political and economic instability in countries such as Russia, Brazil and Indonesia.



The spectre, however, of a sustained period of low interest rates in the US and Europe has attracted investors looking for higher-yield and longer-bond tenures. 




ICD, which owns stakes in companies including Emaar Properties and Emirates Airline, said it sold US$700 million of sukuk with a 10-year tenor and profit rate of 3.508 per cent and $300 million of conventional 10-year bonds with a coupon of 4.625 per cent. More than 150 investors took part in the sale on May 14."



'via Blog this'

Jet Airways reports record loss, appoints new CEO | GulfNews.com

Jet Airways reports record loss, appoints new CEO | GulfNews.com:



"India’s Jet Airways reported its biggest ever quarterly loss of $366.5 million on Tuesday as it announced the appointment of a former Etihad executive as its new CEO.



The standalone net loss is for the fourth fiscal quarter that ended March 31. It a reported a $84 million loss for the same period a year earlier.



The record loss was attributed to higher fuel costs and taxes with high competition restricting fare increases for India carriers."



'via Blog this'

Ukraine Natural Gas Price Risk Premium Remains for Europe - Bloomberg

Ukraine Natural Gas Price Risk Premium Remains for Europe - Bloomberg:



"The European Union still faces the threat of natural gas disruptions this winter after helping forge a draft deal to settle a debt dispute between Russia and Ukraine, which carries about 15 percent of the bloc’s gas needs.



The premium of U.K. winter gas over the day-ahead contract widened 3.1 percent yesterday, its biggest increase in more than 10 days in a sign that supply concerns remain, broker data compiled by Bloomberg show. The risk of transit interruption, as in previous disputes between the eastern European nations in 2006 and 2009, persists as long as no definite agreement is signed between the parties, according to Societe Generale SA.



Ukraine’s state energy company NAK Naftogaz Ukrainy would pay Russia’s OAO Gazprom (GAZP) $2 billion by May 30 and a further $500 million by June 7, the European Commission, the 28-nation bloc’s regulatory arm, said May 26 after talks between the three parties. Ukraine will give its answer on the commission’s proposal today, Energy Minister Yuri Prodan said."



'via Blog this'

Dubai’s Union Properties Plans Cheaper Hotels Amid Luxury Glut - Bloomberg

Dubai’s Union Properties Plans Cheaper Hotels Amid Luxury Glut - Bloomberg:



"In Dubai, a city known for some of the world’s most luxurious hotels and penthouses, developer Union Properties PJSC (UPP) is looking to tap demand from people who want to visit the sheikhdom without breaking the bank.



The company plans to build around 1,000 hotel rooms in the next five years to address a shortage in the middle- and lower-end of the market, managing director Ahmad Al Marri said in an interview.



“Most of the demand is at the three- and four-star level, because the majority of existing affordable hotels tend to be located in the older part of Dubai,” Al Marri said. “We can’t invite people to visit the city just to have them come and find it very expensive.”"



'via Blog this'

Iraq Oil Revival Stalls Again as Violence Pinches Growth: Energy - Bloomberg

Iraq Oil Revival Stalls Again as Violence Pinches Growth: Energy - Bloomberg:



"The revival in Iraqi oil output has stalled. Again.



Production forecasts for 2014 are getting less optimistic. The Oil Ministry’s official target is 4 million barrels a day by the end of the year. More likely it will be 3.75 million, Thamir Ghadhban, an adviser to the prime minister, said in an interview May 14. Or perhaps 3.4 million, about the same as last month, according to the average of six analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg News.



Violence and conflict are pinching growth for OPEC’s second-biggest member. While Iraq added about 2 million barrels to daily production since 2003, the year of Saddam Hussein’s ouster, attacks on pipelines and an oil-revenue dispute with the semi-autonomous Kurdish region are diminishing the country’s dependability as a supplier. They’re also contributing to making oil more expensive, VTB Capital said."



'via Blog this'

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Lionel Barber on inclusive capitalism - YouTube

Lionel Barber on inclusive capitalism - YouTube: ""



'via Blog this'

Saudi Banks Beating JPMorgan Urged to Boost Capital: Arab Credit - Bloomberg

Saudi Banks Beating JPMorgan Urged to Boost Capital: Arab Credit - Bloomberg:



"Saudi Arabia is urging lenders to boost capital reserves, which are already above those of global peers including JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Citigroup Inc, to support lending growth.



Lending in the oil-rich country is expected to increase more than 10 percent a year until 2017, according to Arqaam Capital Ltd. National Commercial Bank this year raised $1.3 billion through bonds, making it the strongest start to a year for bank issuance since 2007, as Central Bank Governor Fahad Al Mubarak seeks higher capital ratios.



“Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency continues to encourage Saudi banks to build up higher levels of capital adequacy,” Al Mubarak said May 21 in response to e-mailed questions. “Banks should anticipate that current and future economic growth will lead to increased credit demand.”"



'via Blog this'

Qatar Increases Foreign Ownership Limits Before MSCI Upgrade - Bloomberg

Qatar Increases Foreign Ownership Limits Before MSCI Upgrade - Bloomberg:



"Qatar raised the foreign ownership limit for shares listed on Doha’s stock exchange, less than a week before an MSCI Inc. upgrade to emerging market status. The benchmark index rose.



Investors outside the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council will be able to hold as much as 49 percent of a company listed on the Qatar Stock Exchange after Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani gave instructions to raise the limit from 25 percent, state-run Qatar News Agency reported late yesterday. The Ministry of Economy and Commerce and the Qatar Financial Markets Authority will take necessary measures to put directives into effect, the news agency said.



“Clearly, it’s done with the MSCI in mind,” Julian Bruce, head of institutional trading at EFG-Hermes U.A.E. Ltd. in Dubai, said by phone. “If normal convention is followed, each individual company has to hold an extraordinary general meeting to approve the change in its structure. With the MSCI event right upon us, you would assume that it might not be able to go through in time.”"



'via Blog this'

A Chinese Silk Road Runs Now Through Crimea - Analysis | Eurasia Review

A Chinese Silk Road Runs Now Through Crimea - Analysis | Eurasia Review:



"The Silk Road as a concept is a network of trade routes which sought to connect China and Europe. Its alignment from a geostrategic standpoint has been influenced by geopolitics, security considerations and the availability and viability of transportation routes. Over the last few years various proposals on regional integration of Eurasia (China-Central Asia-Europe) have been put forth.



US proposed its “New Silk Road Initiative” in 2011; Russia promoted the eco-political Eurasian Economic Union. Beijing’s initiative, the “Silk Road Economic Belt” was announced by President Xi Jinping in the fall of 2013. Of the three proposals, the Chinese proposal is considered closest to the ancient version of the Silk Road and most pragmatic vision for Eurasia’s 18 Central Asian and European countries along the route, including Russia. Consequently it has resulted in tangible infrastructure projects, and “Silk Road Economic Belt” agreements have been signed with 24 cities from eight countries along the Silk Road till November 2013.



This article looks at the impact of the Ukraine crisis on the Chinese Silk road initiative and China-Russia relations."



'via Blog this'

After Travelex Buy, UAE Exchange Founder Eyes India Expansion - Middle East Real Time - WSJ

After Travelex Buy, UAE Exchange Founder Eyes India Expansion - Middle East Real Time - WSJ:



"Bavaguthu Raghuram Shetty moved to the United Arab Emirates from India nearly 40 years ago and made his fortune by building a hospital chain and money exchange group from scratch. Last week, he bought Travelex, the foreign exchange operator, for an undisclosed sum but what is likely the biggest investment of his career.



In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Shetty said he plans to grow Travelex in tandem with developing his UAE Exchange’s India franchise, pouring back some of the money he made into his country of origin.



UAE Exchange last year applied for a banking license in India which Mr. Shetty expects to obtain soon. Once the license is awarded, Mr. Shetty plans a significant upgrade of his exchange business’ network there, reaching out to areas where people lack access to basic banking services.



“As and when the Reserve Bank of India reopens the licensing process, I’m very confident I will get the license. We will go to the market and go to the under-banked people, the remote areas of India for the customers,” Mr. Shetty said, adding India was gradually opening up and becoming more successful in tackling issues like bureaucracy and corruption. UAE Exchange, which says it handles about 10% of all remittances flowing into India, already has 350 branches in the country, a number that it wants to expand to 850 in the next 5 years."



'via Blog this'

Adia takes 13 per cent stake in German apartment owner Deutsche Annington | The National

Adia takes 13 per cent stake in German apartment owner Deutsche Annington | The National:



"Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (Adia) has a 13.4 per cent stake in Deutsche Annington, Germany’s largest publicly traded owner of apartments.



The Abu Dhabi government-owned sovereign wealth fund was required by German financial rules to make the disclosure after a change in Deutsche Annington’s investment structure. Deutsche announced the disclosure yesterday in a statement.



Adia was one of the largest investors in the €2.1 billion (Dh10.52bn) Terra Firma Deutsche Annington Fund, set up in 2006 to hold the majority interest in Deutsche Annington.



Terra Firma, the UK-based private equity company that managed the fund, announced last week it was transferring ownership of its shares in Deutsche Annington to investors in the fund, giving them a direct shareholding in the property group."



'via Blog this'

GCC countries looking for economic integration | GulfNews.com

GCC countries looking for economic integration | GulfNews.com:



"The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries are moving in the right direction ahead of the implementation of the GCC customs union on January 1, according to Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansouri, the UAE’s minister of economy.



“One of the biggest challenges is the issue of the customs,” he said. “I think they have made practical steps in addressing these issues and how to redistribute the custom fees between the GCC countries.”



He was speaking on the sidelines of the 15th edition of the GCC Joint Exhibition and Conference, which was opened at Expo Centre Sharjah on Monday by Shaikh Abdullah Bin Salem Bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Deputy Ruler of Sharjah."



'via Blog this'

Ajman builds new airport and two ports | GulfNews.com

Ajman builds new airport and two ports | GulfNews.com:



"Ajman is allocating 40 per cent of its 2014 budget to increase work on new development, economic and social projects, that aim to boost tourism in the emirate.



In an exclusive interview with Al Khaleej, an Arabic daily newspaper, Shaikh Ammar Bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, Crown Prince of Ajman, said that the plan is part of Ajman’s 2021 strategy, which expects a greater influx of tourists in the emirate in the future.



The plans follow a directive from President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, to enable projects that will increase the number of airports and ports in the UAE, and enhance the country’s development."



'via Blog this'

A Europe Hooked on Russian Gas Debates Imposing Sanctions - Bloomberg

A Europe Hooked on Russian Gas Debates Imposing Sanctions - Bloomberg:



"European leaders, while calling Ukraine’s May 25 presidential election a success, are still facing a deeper dilemma: how to free their countries from an addiction to Russian energy.



Pro-European billionaire Petro Poroshenko’s victory has relieved the immediate pressure on the U.S. and the European Union to impose tougher sanctions against Russia.



The European and American reluctance to escalate in the wake of an election that was at least a partial success, a U.S. official said yesterday, suggests that by finally tempering his actions and rhetoric, Russian President Vladimir Putin may have achieved much of what he sought in Ukraine."



'via Blog this'

Easing Egypt Debt Risk Shows Investors Favoring El-Sisi Victory - Bloomberg

Easing Egypt Debt Risk Shows Investors Favoring El-Sisi Victory - Bloomberg:



"To gauge how Field Marshal Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi’s likely victory in this week’s Egyptian presidential election is winning over investors, look no further than the country’s creditworthiness.



The cost of insuring the nation’s debt fell to the lowest since July 2011 this month, according to data provider CMA. It was at 350 at the end of last week, about half its level in the run-up to the 2012 presidential race, in which the Islamist Mohamed Mursi beat 12 contenders into office. 




Since Mursi was ousted July 3, the military-backed interim government has attracted billions of dollars in aid from the Persian Gulf and has promised reforms to cut the Middle East’s highest budget deficit and boost investment. Egypt’s default-swap contracts, now priced at about half for those of similarly-rated Pakistan, may signal improving investor sentiment and better prospects for the most populous Arab state to tap international capital markets."



'via Blog this'

Avoiding Ukraine Pipelines Would Hurt Gazprom: Chart of the Day - Businessweek

Avoiding Ukraine Pipelines Would Hurt Gazprom: Chart of the Day - Businessweek:



"Avoiding Ukrainian natural-gas pipelines would cut OAO Gazprom shipments to Europe by more than a third because there isn’t enough alternative capacity, hurting revenue for the world’s largest gas producer.



The CHART OF THE DAY shows Gazprom shipped 89 billion cubic meters of gas, or 55 percent of its total exports to Europe, through Ukraine last year. About a third of Ukrainian flows could be replaced immediately with added pumping through the Nord Stream and Yamal pipelines, leaving Gazprom with 59 billion cubic meters of gas unable to reach Europe until the South Stream transit system comes on line in five years.



The Ukrainian-Russian conflict revived concerns that European gas supplies are at risk after Gazprom raised prices for Ukraine 81 percent last month and threatened to halt supplies in June unless the country pays past-due bills. Gazprom can’t afford to completely circumvent Ukraine because European sales are about 56 percent of revenue, said Leslie Palti-Guzman, an energy analyst at Eurasia Group (ALEUA) in New York."



'via Blog this'

Bonds and shares tell different tales - YouTube

Bonds and shares tell different tales - YouTube: ""



'via Blog this'

Monday, 26 May 2014

Turkey-Azerbaijan pipeline offers alternative for Russian gas - Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East

Turkey-Azerbaijan pipeline offers alternative for Russian gas - Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East:



"Russia-Ukraine tension is being monitored particularly closely by Europe because of the continent’s dependence on Russian natural gas and Ukraine’s signing of a partnership agreement with the European Union.



Russia’s west Europe natural gas pipeline passes through Ukraine. Experience shows that at times of high tension, service through the pipeline can be disrupted, so developing an alternative to Russian natural gas is of vital importance for Europe.



Alternative natural gas resources are also important for the United States, as natural gas, in addition to being a commercial commodity, has also emerged as an effective instrument of political gamesmanship.

"



'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-MSCI stock picks lead rebound in Qatar, UAE | Agricultural Commodities | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-MSCI stock picks lead rebound in Qatar, UAE | Agricultural Commodities | Reuters:



"Stocks about to join the MSCI emerging market index supported bourses in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Qatar on Monday while Saudi Arabia posted gains across various sectors as it hit a new six-year high.



Abu Dhabi's bourse led the region, rising 2.5 percent and again surpassing the psychological barrier of 5,000 points as it continued to recover from a slump caused by profit-taking last week. The index closed at 5,049 points.



Three large lenders, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, National Bank of Abu Dhabi and First Gulf Bank , were the main drivers, posting gains of 7.6, 4.9 and 3.2 percent respectively.



All three banks will become part of the MSCI emerging market index at the end of this week as MSCI upgrades the United Arab Emirates and Qatar from frontier market status. So will developer Aldar Properties, whose shares added 4.3 percent."



'via Blog this'

Etisalat given $500 million grant by Abu Dhabi for Maroc Telecom deal - The Economic Times

Etisalat given $500 million grant by Abu Dhabi for Maroc Telecom deal - The Economic Times:



"Abu Dhabi gave Etisalat a $500 million grant towards its 4.14 billion euro ($5.64 billion) purchase of 53 percent of Maroc Telecom, the company's prospectus for a planned bond issue shows.



The grant provides further evidence of the emirate's support for its companies' foreign expansion and could attract complaints from rival operators.



Fellow Abu Dhabi-based company Etihad Airways benefited from a $3 billion interest-free loan from the emirate's ruling family, the Australian Financial Review newspaper said last week, leading to complaints from rival airlines about state subsidies distorting competition. "



'via Blog this'

Poroshenko promises to cleanse Ukraine's gas industry of corruption | Russia Beyond The Headlines

Poroshenko promises to cleanse Ukraine's gas industry of corruption | Russia Beyond The Headlines:



"Ukraine's gas industry will be cleansed of corruption, Petro Poroshenko, who leads the presidential race in Ukraine, said.



"Gas was an object of corruption for many years at all levels, including the highest levels of the prime minister and president. It's not going to happen again," he told a press conference in Kiev on Monday.



Poroshenko also reiterated that Ukraine will fight for its energy independence.



"We are looking to turn gas from Russia's 'energy club' into a commodity," he said."



'via Blog this'

Why the go ahead for the Emaar Malls Group IPO risks accelerating the DFM correction « ArabianMoney

Why the go ahead for the Emaar Malls Group IPO risks accelerating the DFM correction « ArabianMoney:



"Emaar Properties today announced that it has recieved permission to go ahead with the listing of 25 per cent of the equity in its Emaar Malls Group with the money mainly to be returned to shareholders as dividends. Existing shareholders will also be allocated shares ahead of the general public and financial institutions in the IPO.



However, this circa $1 billion fund raising is going to be bad news for the Dubai Financial Market that underwent a 13 per cent correction last week. Dumping large volumes of new shares onto a falling market is the classic way to accelerate selling. Basically many players will sell their current shares to buy the new ones, undermining a market which already has less demand than supply.

"



'via Blog this'

Gulf construction boom is back and just the start of another phenomenal upturn « ArabianMoney

Gulf construction boom is back and just the start of another phenomenal upturn « ArabianMoney:



"

This summer the main road through Dubai will be moved to one side to make way for the construction of a new billion dollar canal from the Business Bay to the sea (artist’s impression left). It’s symbolic of the boom that again places Dubai No1 city in the world for construction activity. But it is not just Dubai that is booming. 






Head off to Doha, capital of Qatar and World Cup 2022 fever is already in progress. Yesterday contracts were awarded to build the Doha Festival City that will rival the Dubai Mall as the world’s biggest."



'via Blog this'

Zim finally gets Dubai diamond cash

Zim finally gets Dubai diamond cash:



"ZIMBABWE has finally received full payment for diamond auctions conducted in Dubai in March and is lining up more sales in the emirate, Mines Minister Walter Chidhakwa said last Friday.



However the government is looking for alternative brokers after those who facilitated the UAE trades reportedly held onto payments.



Earlier this month, Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa told state media that the Dubai Diamond Exchange “had failed the test” following its inability to timeously remit payment of proceeds from the March auctions."



'via Blog this'

The importance of statistics in the UAE | The National

The importance of statistics in the UAE | The National:



"With its palm tree-lined avenues, sea-facing views and blend of apartments, villas and shops, Mina Al Arab is one of the prime new residential complexes to spring up in Ras Al Khaimah.



Catering partly for the influx of people seeking refuge from surging rents in Dubai, the development has proven popular since opening last year. About 65 per cent of the 2,000 apartments and villas are already occupied, reckons RAK Properties, the developer.



Other property schemes are planned too as the emirate seeks to tap into growing interest from investors and renters. Such projects are an indication that RAK’s population and economy are on the up."



'via Blog this'

Robin Mills: Russia keeps gas options open despite Chinese deal | The National

Robin Mills: Russia keeps gas options open despite Chinese deal | The National:



"On a map, Siberia looks quite close to China. It isn’t. A gas pipeline from East Siberia to Shanghai would run about 5,000 kilometres, almost as far as Alaska to New York or London to Dubai. But last Wednesday, Russia and China signed a gas export deal that has been a decade in the making.



Is this is a geopolitical master stroke that cements a Russo-Chinese alliance and undermines western attempts to isolate Russia over the Ukraine crisis? A move of desperation in conceding to Chinese demands? Or a straightforward commercial decision?



Russia has long been seeking to diversify its gas markets. The European market is lucrative and Russia’s existing gas export pipelines, long paid for, run west. But it is not sensible to rely solely on Europe – an anaemic economy, which is seeking both to find other gas suppliers, and to reduce its overall dependence on fossil fuels."



'via Blog this'

Middle East could raise its game in LNG dynamics | GulfNews.com

Middle East could raise its game in LNG dynamics | GulfNews.com:



"I was asked, in a television interview a few years ago, whether natural gas demand will ever overtake that for crude oil. My answer was in the affirmative, though I said that the time frame maybe more difficult to define, which is still the case.



However, given current forecasts and the fact that annual growth in gas demand is almost double that of oil, it is possible that the important event may happen around 2050. It may even come earlier if environmental policies are further intensified.



According to a survey by Hydrocarbon Processing Magazine, the growth in new gas processing project announcements within the past year indicates a 76 per cent increase. The number of active projects around the world in the last three years averaged 839, while annual projects announcements in the last three years averaged 114 as the growth of both supply and demand drives industry expansion. There should be no wonder as gas is the fuel of choice now, especially in the largest consuming sector of power generation.
"



'via Blog this'

Billionaire Poroshenko Triumphs in Ukrainian Elections - Bloomberg #EuroMaidan

Billionaire Poroshenko Triumphs in Ukrainian Elections - Bloomberg:



"Ukrainian billionaire Petro Poroshenko was set to win presidential elections, handing him the task of stemming deadly separatist violence that’s threatened to rip the former Soviet republic apart.



Poroshenko received 54.26 percent of yesterday’s vote with 20.42 percent of ballots counted, according to Ukraine’s central electoral commission in Kiev, set to gain the simple majority needed to avoid a runoff election. Ex-Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko was second of the 21 candidates with 13.16 percent. Those counts were in line with two exit polls. While most in Ukraine’s easternmost regions didn’t vote, Poroshenko’s success was welcomed in the U.S. and Europe. 




“The first-round victory shortens the period of uncertainty and stabilizes the system of governance,” Yuriy Yakymenko, head of political research at the Razumkov Center, said by phone from Kiev. “Ukraine gets a legitimate president and the tools to influence the situation in the east.”"



'via Blog this'

El-Sisi Looms Over Egypt Vote Billed as Step to Restore Order - Bloomberg

El-Sisi Looms Over Egypt Vote Billed as Step to Restore Order - Bloomberg:



"Egyptians vote today to elect a president in a race widely seen as preordained for the former army chief who toppled the country’s first-ever freely elected civilian leader.



Posters of Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, whose fame among Egyptians has rocketed since he led President Mohamed Mursi’s ouster in July, plastered Cairo’s streets on the eve of the two-day vote. He faces off against Hamdeen Sabahi, a former lawmaker who came third in the last election in 2012.



The winner takes the helm of a polarized nation struggling since the 2011 uprising against President Hosni Mubarak to recover from political unrest battering the economy, as a surge in violence deters tourists and investors. El-Sisi, 59, has pledged to restore order and improve living standards with the help of aid from oil-rich Gulf monarchies seeing Egypt as too important to be allowed to fail. His critics say he has offered little details on how he will achieve his targets."



'via Blog this'

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Gazprom's global moves at work

Gazprom's global moves at work:



"

The Russian natural gas conglomerate Gazprom has been in the spotlight, especially in Europe for quite some time, often trying to shed the negative features from its image, as portrayed often by the press and segments of the public. As of late, and in the midst of the Ukrainian crisis that has gradually evolved into an energy crisis. Gazprom is orchestrating a set of moves that could be classified as counter offensive on multiple fronts, so as to solidify its position amidst intense international pressure and competition but also Russian calls for a reduction of its role in favor of other energy players such as Rosneft and Novatek."



'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Qatar hits record high before MSCI move; Egypt up before vote | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Qatar hits record high before MSCI move; Egypt up before vote | Reuters:



"Qatar's main share index surged to a record close on Sunday as investors targeted stocks that will be included in MSCI's emerging market index, while Egypt hit a 69-month peak before this week's presidential vote.



MSCI will upgrade Qatar, along with the United Arab Emirates, from frontier market status at the end of this week, adding 10 Doha-listed stocks to its emerging market benchmark.



Masraf Al Rayan will be Qatar's lead stock in the index, accounting for about a quarter of the country's weighting; the Islamic lender's shares jumped 10 percent on Sunday to its daily limit-high.



Industries Qatar and Qatar Electricity and Water , which MSCI will also add to its emerging market index, climbed 3.8 and 3.5 percent respectively."



'via Blog this'

Egypt Stocks Advance to Six-Year High Before Poll; Qatar Gains - Bloomberg

Egypt Stocks Advance to Six-Year High Before Poll; Qatar Gains - Bloomberg:



"Egypt’s benchmark index climbed to the highest since 2008 on bets tomorrow’s presidential election will be peaceful. Qatar’s measure surged to a record.



The EGX 30 Index increased 0.4 percent to close at 8,762.86 in Cairo, the highest since August 2008. The gauge has advanced 29 percent this year, more than seven-times the gains for MSCI’s emerging markets index. About 836 million Egyptian pounds ($117 million) of shares traded, compared with a one-year daily average of 579 million pounds. Ezz Steel, the country’s largest publicly traded manufacturer of the metal, rose the most since May 20. Qatar’s QE Index jumped 2.6 percent. 




Former Defense Minister Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi is widely expected to win the vote, and investors are speculating the military’s tightening grip on power will help restore order and boost the economy after three years of unrest. The North African country’s benchmark index, the fourth-best performing this year among more than 90 tracked by Bloomberg, has advanced in nine of the last 11 trading days."



'via Blog this'

Qatar Investment Authority allocates $2bn to Russian fund - Doha News

Qatar Investment Authority allocates $2bn to Russian fund - Doha News:



"Amid ongoing tensions with the Ukraine and subsequently, the United States and European Union, Russia has been forging deeper business ties with Qatar, whose sovereign wealth fund has recently agreed to invest $2 billion there.



The Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), one of the world’s biggest wealth funds, has been increasingly focusing on emerging markets like Russia, China and India. 




In this latest deal, the QIA is forging a joint development with state-backed private equity fund Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF). The news was confirmed by RDIF CEO Kirill Dmitriev at a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and foreign investors, the Gulf Times reports.



The $10 billion fund works with international partners to invest in projects in Russia, with the aim of lowering some of the risk involved by the foreign companies as they are partnering with the state."



'via Blog this'

Russian Strategy To Buy Up Europe’s Refineries Exposed | Eurasia Review

Russian Strategy To Buy Up Europe’s Refineries Exposed | Eurasia Review:



"Russia’s strategy of buying up oil refineries in Europe could compromise the bloc’s energy security, EU officials said in a draft report prepared for the region’s leaders.



Europe’s refining sector has been weakened by a combination of high oil prices, slack demand and poor profit margins, prompting many companies to sell off refining units, which Russia has been buying.



Russia’s Lukoil, for instance, owns refining operations in Italy, the Netherlands, Bulgaria and Romania. Gazprom through its oil arm Gazprom Neft also owns refineries.



In a report prepared ahead of a summit meeting of EU leaders in June, the European Commission is expected next week to make public its vision of how to improve energy security in response to the crisis in Ukraine, the transit route for roughly half the gas Russia exports to the European Union."



'via Blog this'

Dubai workers for British firm beaten by police over strike - Middle East - World - The Independent

Dubai workers for British firm beaten by police over strike - Middle East - World - The Independent:



"A major British building contractor has been accused of handing striking construction workers over to Dubai police who then beat, imprisoned, and deported them.



Workers helping to build a new university campus were attacked after going on strike asking for an increase to their salary of £121 a month, according to eyewitnesses spoken to by The Independent on Sunday.



Managers at BK Gulf, a joint venture company run by UK-based construction firm Balfour Beatty, alerted police to the strike at a site where New York University is being built. The eyewitnesses, most of whom were working on the new Abu Dhabi campus of New York University, described officials at BK Gulf videotaping striking workers last October before police kicked down doors and arrested dozens. Others were tricked into meetings with management, only to find police waiting for them."



'via Blog this'

Institutional investors may have an edge in Emaar listing | The National

Institutional investors may have an edge in Emaar listing | The National:



"Some retail shareholders in Emaar Properties fear they will be frozen out of the forthcoming initial public offering of its malls business by international institutions favoured by the company’s army of advisers.



Emaar
Emaar will employ eight investment banks as advisers or book runners on the Dh8 billion to Dh9bn IPO, now scheduled for September on the Dubai Financial Market. The marketing of the issue will be heavily skewed towards US and European investors, one adviser said on condition of anonymity.



“It will be listed only on DFM but the focus will be on institutions. There will be no special pre-emption arrangement for existing Emaar shareholders and [there is] a risk there will not be enough shares to go around for retail investors. The allocation between institutions and retail has not been finally decided, but it will be far more towards institutions,” the adviser said."



'via Blog this'

Mubadala unit joins with Rosneft in energy deal | The National

Mubadala unit joins with Rosneft in energy deal | The National:



"Mubadala Petroleum and Rosneft have agreed to cooperate in the exploration and production of oil and gas assets in Siberia and elsewhere, as the Russian state-owned producer looks to mitigate US and European sanctions through new trade links and diversified business.



The Rosneft chief executive, Igor Sechin, and the UAE Energy Minister Suhail Al Mazroui signed the non-binding agreement yesterday in the presence of the Russian president Vladimir Putin at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum.



It provides for the participation of Mubadala Petroleum in the development of Rosneft assets in Eastern Siberia and Rosneft participation in international projects carried out by Mubadala Petroleum.

"



'via Blog this'

UAE markets find support, at least for now | GulfNews.com

UAE markets find support, at least for now | GulfNews.com:



"Last week the Dubai Financial Market General Index (DFMGI) dropped to a seven-week low before bouncing to close at 4,864.03, down 317.11 or 6.12 per cent for the week. Not surprisingly, market breadth was bearish with 27 declining issues and six advancing, while volume declined slightly to reach a three-week low.



This was the worst weekly performance for the index since the first week of September 2013. More importantly some key short-term technical levels were surpassed to the downside. In addition to reaching a seven-week low, the DFMGI fell below its 12-week exponential moving average (ema) (55-day ema on daily chart) for the first time since early-September 2013. However, it did not close below it, which would be a stronger bearish indication. These moving averages are another way of identifying support for the 36-week uptrend. The 12-week ema and 55-day ema are now at 4,738.41 and 4,761.74, respectively."



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Saturday, 24 May 2014

A dose of reality for UAE markets as MSCI upgrade draws near | The National

A dose of reality for UAE markets as MSCI upgrade draws near | The National:



"When it was announced last June by MSCI that UAE stocks would be upgraded to emerging markets status, excitement built about the prospect of many billions of dollars of foreign capital washing into local bourses.



With MSCI’s emerging market index tracked by an estimated US$1.5 trillion in international funds, it was hoped that at least a portion of that amount would find its way to the UAE.



To date, the inflows have been smaller than many investors had anticipated. Last month Abu Dhabi and Dubai experienced net inflows from foreigners of $155 million and $44m, respectively, according to data provided by EFG-Hermes, an Egyptian investment bank. It was the first time foreigners were net buyers this year."



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Oman Gas Pipeline Back In Favour - Analysis | Eurasia Review

Oman Gas Pipeline Back In Favour - Analysis | Eurasia Review:



"An underwater gas pipeline project connecting Oman with India’s west coast is being resurrected. Several factors explain the renewed interest, including the relaxing of sanctions against Iran and India’s need to counter-balance geopolitical and security considerations dogging other land-based projects.





In February 2014, India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) suddenly disinterred a long-forgotten infrastructure project from the seabed – an underwater pipeline connecting Oman with India’s west coast, which will transport natural gas from Iran, Oman and, perhaps, Qatar. India already has a long-term gas supply agreement with Qatar and is looking to finalise similar deals with Iran and Oman."



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Is UAE business mogul Dr. Shetty getting his market timing wrong again in buying Travelex for $1.4bn? « ArabianMoney

Is UAE business mogul Dr. Shetty getting his market timing wrong again in buying Travelex for $1.4bn? « ArabianMoney:



"It’s just over two years ago that NMC Health was listed on the London Stock Exchange, completing the rescue by Abu Dhabi private equity concern Centurion that followed some widely publicized top-of-the market Dubai property investments by its founder Dr. B.R. Shetty, one of the legendary business pioneers of the UAE who started his business empire 40 years ago from scratch.



Today Dr. Shetty and equity partners associated with Centurion have announced that they are acquiring Travelex Holdings, the world’s leading foreign exchange specialist from funds advised by Apax partners and the founder and chairman of Travelex, Lloyd Dorfman who will keep a very small shareholding as president."



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Iranian currency on downward trend - Al-Monitor

Iranian currency on downward trend - Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East:



"When analyzing economic trends, the free market exchange rate of the Iranian rial is viewed as an indicator of the general business confidence in the country. Reviewing the initial effect of President Hassan Rouhani’s election on the rate in 2013, one can feel the overall positive impact that the new government had on the business climate. Indeed, in April 2013, the rate stood at about 35,000 rials to the dollar and then rose to a peak of about 39,000 before the June 2013 elections, but fell to 29,700 in January 2014. However, the fact that the rial has lost about 10% of its value (it's now trading at about 33,000 to the dollar) since the beginning of the current Iranian year (March 21, 2014) is not a positive sign for a government that pledged to stabilize the country’s economy."



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Dr Shetty and Centurion to acquire Travelex | GulfNews.com

Dr Shetty and Centurion to acquire Travelex | GulfNews.com:



"UAE based entrepreneur Dr. B.R. Shetty and equity partners associated with Centurion Investments (Centurion), a UAE investment company on Friday announced that they have entered into an agreement to acquire Travelex Holdings Limited (Travelex), a leading foreign exchange specialist.



The proposed acquisition will be effected through BRS Ventures & Holdings Limited, a company owned by Dr Shetty and equity partners associated with Centurion. The acquisition is subject to customary regulatory and other approvals and consents.



Travelex is currently owned by Apax Partners, Lloyd Dorfman (Founder and Chairman of Travelex) and other shareholders. Following completion of the transaction, Lloyd Dorfman will be Founder and President of Travelex and remain a shareholder. Peter Jackson, Chief Executive Officer of Travelex, together with the existing management team, will continue to lead the company."



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Total Agrees to Lukoil Shale Deal, Brushing Off Russia Sanctions - Bloomberg

Total Agrees to Lukoil Shale Deal, Brushing Off Russia Sanctions - Bloomberg:



"Total SA (FP) agreed to seek shale oil in Western Siberia with OAO Lukoil (LKOD), brushing off U.S. and European sanctions against Russia over its annexation of Crimea.



Chief Executive Officer Christophe de Margerie signed the deal at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in a demonstration of Total’s commitment to Russia, after officials from companies including Citigroup Inc., Morgan Stanley and ASA Statoil withdrew from the meeting. 




Total and Moscow-based Lukoil will set up a venture to seek so-called tight oil in the Bazhenov area of Siberia under their agreement, the French company said in a statement. Siberian shale has “huge potential,” de Margerie said. Investment in the venture will be $120 million to $150 million in the first two years, according to Lukoil CEO Vagit Alekperov."



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Kazakhstan’s $2.7 Billion Offer Lures International Lenders - Bloomberg

Kazakhstan’s $2.7 Billion Offer Lures International Lenders - Bloomberg:



"Kazakhstan is providing 500 billion tenge ($2.7 billion) tapped from its oil fund to attract co-financing from international lenders for an economic overhaul.



The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development today joined the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank in signing an agreement in the capital, Astana, with the Kazakh government allowing them access to state funds to co-finance projects that promote industry, diversification and competitiveness, according to a statement issued today.



Kazakhstan, the largest energy producer in the former Soviet Union after Russia, devalued it currency by 19 percent in February, a move that President Nursultan Nazarbayev called an instrument for economic growth. Nazarbayev, who has ruled the country of 17 million people since 1989, later ordered the oil fund to lend 1 trillion tenge to businesses through 2015."



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