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Thursday, 31 July 2014

Hold Bahraini Royal Family Member Accountable In The Alba Corruption Case | #Bahrain Center for Human Rights

Hold Bahraini Royal Family Member Accountable In The Alba Corruption Case | Bahrain Center for Human Rights:



"On July 22, 2014, a UK court announced decision to jail Bruce Hall, former CEO of Aluminum Bahrain's (Alba), the world's fourth-largest aluminum smelter, for conspiracy to corrupt, in relation to contracts for the supply of goods and services to Alba[1]. In contrast, Sheikh Isa bin Ali Al-Khalifa, a member of the Bahraini royal family and, at the time, Bahrain's minister of Industry and Alba's chairman, who was named co-conspirator, and who’s acts of bribery were recognized by the UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has faced no consequences in Bahrain.



The SFO has investigated and stated that Hall was engaged in a series of corrupt payments between 2002 and 2005, including 10,000 Bahraini Dinars from Sheikh Isa bin Ali Al-Khalifa who had paid Hall the money in return for Hall's agreement to allow the corrupt arrangements that Sheikh Isa had been involved in before Hall were to continue as CEO[2].



In this same conspiracy, Sheikh Isa was involved in a series of bribes with billionaire Victor Dahdaleh and former agent of American aluminum company Alcoa. In 2013, Dahdaleh admitted paying the then-Chairman of Alba, Sheikh Isa, USD 67 million dollars between 1998 and 2006 in exchange for a reduction in supply of contracts for companies including Alcoa, which were worth over USD 3 billion dollars. His defense said that the payments were part of Bahraini "custom and practice" and were approved by the Prime Minister Sheikh Khalifa bin Salman al-Khalifa, another royal family member. Isa bin Ali Al-Khalifa is also the son-in-law of Khalifa bin Salman AlKhalifa. Letters which show approval of Sheikh Khalifa on key business decisions were presented to the court.[3] Additionally, Jawad Salem Al-Arrayed, one of the five deputy prime ministers in Bahrain wrote a letter which confirmed that the authorities had known and approved of the payments made to the member of Bahrain’s royal family.[4]"



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Dubai Stocks Erase June Nightmare With Best Month Since 2007 - Bloomberg

Dubai Stocks Erase June Nightmare With Best Month Since 2007 - Bloomberg:



"Dubai shares gained the most in almost seven years in July, helping claw back some of the losses sustained in a bear market that wiped a quarter off the benchmark index.



Real estate-related companies led the rally. Arabtec Holding Co. (ARTC), which spurred the DFM General Index’s collapse in May and June, advanced 4.9 percent today to bring monthly gains to 63 percent. Emaar Properties PJSC, the company with the biggest weighting on the gauge, added 0.7 percent. Union Properties PJSC climbed 4.4 percent.



Dubai’s measure gained 2 percent to 4,833.24, bringing the monthly advance to 23 percent, the strongest since October 2007, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Nine of the regularly traded stocks in the 30-member index traded above their 50-day moving average price through yesterday, up from zero at the start of July."



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Damac’s Planned Back-Door Listing a Positive for Dubai’s Market - Middle East Real Time - WSJ

Damac’s Planned Back-Door Listing a Positive for Dubai’s Market - Middle East Real Time - WSJ:



"A company needs to sell at least 55% of its stock to list on the main U.A.E. bourses – a regulation that has been blamed in part for the weak IPO market in the Arab Gulf country.



After all, most big companies in the region are owned by local families who prefer retaining majority control over their assets. That is expected to change once a new companies law is enacted in the country that will likely ease the listing requirement to about 30%. But approval for the new law could still take some time, given it’s already been years in the making.



In this scenario, property developer Damac’s plan to convert its London-listed GDRs into shares and list them on the Dubai Financial Market makes sense."



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Tata $35bn expansion needs strategy - YouTube

Tata $35bn expansion needs strategy - YouTube: ""



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Russian banks hit by EU sanctions - YouTube

Russian banks hit by EU sanctions - YouTube: ""



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Damac will list on DFM in major boost for UAE stock markets | The National

Damac will list on DFM in major boost for UAE stock markets | The National:



"In a major boost for UAE stock markets, Damac, the luxury property developer, is to list shares on the Dubai Financial Market.



The listing will put Damac in the top 10 of UAE listed companies, with a market capitalisation of about US$3.5 billion, and will give regional retail investors the opportunity to participate in one of the UAE’s most successful companies.



Damac announced yesterday that it was offering investors the opportunity to convert its global depository receipts (GDRs), currently listed on the London Stock Exchange, into ordinary equity and list them on the Dubai market. The move sparked a 5.9 per cent jump in the value of the London stock, to nearly $16.05 per GDR. They were floated in December in London at $12.25 each."



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Middle East cement sales spur Holcim first half profit rise | The National

Middle East cement sales spur Holcim first half profit rise | The National:



"Holcim, the Swiss company merging with Lafarge of France to create the world’s biggest cement company, said its first half profit increased 5.9 per cent as Middle Eastern, North America and European sales offset foreign exchange losses and restructuring costs.



The earnings missed analyst forecasts and the company’s stock plunged by more than 5 per cent in early trading.



Net income increased to 406 million Swiss francs (Dh1.6 billion) in the first six months of the year from 383m francs in the same period the previous year, the Jona, Switzerland-based company said."



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Full steam ahead for the Gulf’s rail network | GulfNews.com

Full steam ahead for the Gulf’s rail network | GulfNews.com:



"

Earlier this month, the committee charged with preparing the GCC rail network project put the final touches to the design in preparation to put it out for bid.



The 2,250-kilometre long rail network, which will link all the Gulf countries, is expected to be completed in 2018, after extending its timeline by one more year. It will run along the Gulf coast from Kuwait in the north, through Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf countries, to Oman in the south.



With construction to start soon, it will constitute a qualitative leap in the bloc’s infrastructure and have significant economic and environmental aspects reflecting positively on all the GCC States."



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Putin Sows Doubt Among Stock Bears Burned by 29% Rebound - Bloomberg

Putin Sows Doubt Among Stock Bears Burned by 29% Rebound - Bloomberg:



"Traders who sent wagers against Russian stocks to a record high in March before getting burned by a rebound of more than 20 percent are showing no interest in betting against President Vladimir Putin a second time.



Even with Russian equities poised for the worst month since May 2012 on Putin’s intensifying standoff with the U.S. and the European Union over Ukraine, investors profiting from declines are staying away from boosting their positions against the Market Vectors Russia ETF, the largest exchange-traded fund tracking the nation’s companies. Short interest on the $1.46 billion ETF was 6 percent of shares outstanding as of July 29, down from an all-time high 21 percent on March 3, according to data compiled by Markit.



After the U.S. and EU began imposing sanctions against Putin four months ago, a thaw in the conflict with Ukraine spurred a bull market in Russian stocks that forced short sellers to unwind more than 75 percent of all bearish wagers against the ETF in a month. The fund, which soared 29 percent between March and July, added 2.6 percent to $24.46 yesterday after a round of new international penalties which some investors saw as milder than anticipated."



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U.S. Could Move to Sanction Russia Derivatives, Short-Term Funds - Bloomberg

U.S. Could Move to Sanction Russia Derivatives, Short-Term Funds - Bloomberg:



"The U.S. might move to limit derivatives trading and short-term loans with Russian companies if sanctions already imposed fail to sway President Vladimir Putin to end support for rebels in eastern Ukraine.



U.S. citizens and businesses are still permitted to trade in outstanding debt of any maturity and new short-term debt and derivatives with sanctioned Russian companies. Restrictions on money-market financing and derivatives could be imposed if tougher penalties are necessary, said a Treasury Department official who asked not to be named because further options are still being discussed.



The U.S. has carefully calibrated a ban on certain transactions with Russian companies including VTB Group, OAO Novatek (NVTK), OAO Rosneft and OAO Gazprombank, to squeeze Putin while avoiding collateral economic disruptions in Europe and the U.S. That approach leaves room to intensify the sanctions regime, the Treasury official said in an interview with Bloomberg News yesterday."



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Wednesday, 30 July 2014

BP production drops as Abu Dhabi concession expires | The National

BP production drops as Abu Dhabi concession expires | The National:



"The oil and gas producer BP has reported a 6 per cent drop in production in the second quarter following the end of its Abu Dhabi concession in January.



The company produced 2.1 million barrels of oil equivalent a day in the period and said that production in the third quarter was “expected to be lower due primarily to turnaround and seasonal maintenance activities”.



BP said that underlying replacement cost profit, which takes into account non-operating items and accounting changes, rose 34 per cent in the period to US$3.6 billion, from $2.7bn in the year-earlier quarter. That beat the $3.4bn average estimate of 13 analysts in a Bloomberg News survey."



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Mideast holds 43.2% of world’s natgas | Economy | Saudi Gazette

Mideast holds 43.2% of world’s natgas | Economy | Saudi Gazette:



"



The Middle East, with 80.3 trillion cu/m, is home to 43.2 percent of the total natural gas deposit in the world, according to a new report.



A BP Statistical Review of World Energy June 2014 report said Qatar currently contains the highest deposit of natural gas with 24.7 trillion cu/m with Saudi Arabia next in line containing 8.2 trillion cu/m in the region.



Bob Dudley, group chief executive of BP, said “the data in this review shows a flexible global energy system adapting to a changing world. It demonstrates how the world’s quest for secure and fairly-priced energy can be met through competitive industries driving innovation and smart government policies that amplify the creative energy.”"



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Smaller Mideast carriers losing against giants | Economy | Saudi Gazette

Smaller Mideast carriers losing against giants | Economy | Saudi Gazette:



"Royal Jordanian and Saudi Arabian carrier flynas have announced they are dropping routes due to the stresses facing smaller Middle East carriers compared with the region’s giants.



The Jordanian national airline, which has suffered increased costs from having to route flights around neighboring Syria due to the ongoing civil war there, will cease services to Mumbai (Sept. 10), Lagos (Oct. 10) and Delhi  (Oct. 31). This follows a series of service suspensions to Accra, Alexandria, Colombo and Milan in April and May. Additionally, it has transferred its Sharm El Sheikh scheduled service to charter subsidiary Royal Wings.



Announcing the route closures, Royal Jordanian chairman, president and CEO Nasser Lozi said the move was due to the “aggressive growth of regional competition,” as well as increased operating costs."



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Business fears Russia sanctions war - YouTube

Business fears Russia sanctions war - YouTube: ""



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Richard Lambert wary of bankers’ oath - YouTube

Richard Lambert wary of bankers’ oath - YouTube: ""



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JBF RAK under investigation by US for avoiding dumping duty | The National

JBF RAK under investigation by US for avoiding dumping duty | The National:



"US authorities are investigating a UAE-based packaging company for allegedly bypassing anti-dumping rules by exporting its goods through Bahrain.



JBF RAK, which is based in Ras Al Khaimah, is accused of shipping polyethylene terephthalate (PET) film, sheet and strip from its plant in the emirate and its affiliate in India to its subsidiary facility in Bahrain. From there the goods were exported to the United States, according to a US commerce department report dated July 18.



The US producers Polyplex USA and Flex USA claim the moves are allowing JBF RAK to circumvent an anti-dumping duty of 9.8 per cent slapped on the company’s shipments from the UAE in March last year. The US government imposed the tariff after a previous investigation said JBF RAK was selling its products too cheaply in the country."



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Russia ETF Drops Amid Tougher International Sanctions - Bloomberg

Russia ETF Drops Amid Tougher International Sanctions - Bloomberg:



"Russian stocks fell in New York after the U.S. and the European Union announced tougher sanctions to penalize President Vladimir Putin over his backing of rebels in Ukraine.



The Market Vectors Russia ETF (RSX), the largest U.S. exchange-traded fund tracking the nation’s companies, slid 2.1 percent to an almost three-month low of $23.85. Futures on the dollar-denominated RTS index dropped 0.8 percent after climbing as much as 1.9 percent. Contracts on OAO VTB Bank, a target of American sanctions, tumbled 2.9 percent in U.S. hours. The Bloomberg Russia-US Equity Index fell for a fourth day and the ruble weakened 0.7 percent.



The Obama administration announced penalties on VTB Bank, Bank of Moscow and the Russian Agricultural Bank along with United Shipbuilding Corp., which has ties with the Russian military. EU governments had earlier in the day agreed to bar Russian state-owned banks from selling shares or bonds in Europe and restricted the export of equipment to modernize the oil industry."



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Siemens to BP Prepare for Downward Russia Business Spiral - Bloomberg

Siemens to BP Prepare for Downward Russia Business Spiral - Bloomberg:



"BP Plc (BP/), Siemens AG (SIE) and Renault SA (RNO) are among European companies preparing for a downward turn in their Russian business following the European Union’s decision to impose its widest-ranging sanctions yet over President Vladimir Putin’s involvement in eastern Ukraine.



EU leaders announced plans yesterday to restrict the export to Russia of equipment to modernize the oil industry and forbid the sale of machinery, electronics and other civilian products with military uses. New arms contracts are also not allowed.



The sanctions will have a direct impact on companies like Siemens, which may no longer be able to sell oil equipment to Russia, and an indirect affect on many others like Renault, which expects the country’s auto market to contract more than 10 percent in 2014 as consumers hold back purchases. BP, owner of 20 percent of state-backed OAO Rosneft (ROSN), yesterday warned of risks to its profit and production due to the crisis."



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Emerging-Market Stocks Drop as EU, U.S. Toughen Russia Sanctions - Bloomberg

Emerging-Market Stocks Drop as EU, U.S. Toughen Russia Sanctions - Bloomberg:



"Emerging-market stocks fell as the European Union and U.S. said they’re imposing tougher sanctions against Russia to punish President Vladimir Putin for supporting Ukrainian rebels.



The Ibovespa fell the most in a month after Brazilian industrial production declined. India’s S&P BSE Sensex Index dropped for a second day as motorcycle manufacturer Hero MotoCorp Ltd. slid 1.6 percent. Stocks in South Korea and China advanced as automakers and technology companies gained.



The iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF fell 0.6 percent to $44.82 in New York. The Market Vectors Russia ETF, the largest U.S. dedicated exchange-traded fund tracking the nation’s companies, tumbled 2.1 percent to $23.85. Developing-market stocks erased gains as EU governments agreed to prevent Russian state-owned banks from selling shares or bonds in Europe and restricted the export of equipment to modernize the oil industry. The U.S. expanded sanctions to include more lenders."



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Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Forever blowing bubbles - YouTube

Forever blowing bubbles - YouTube: ""



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McDonald's in China runs out of meat - YouTube

McDonald's in China runs out of meat - YouTube: ""



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Do pharma and healthcare go together? - YouTube

Do pharma and healthcare go together? - YouTube: ""



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Yukos case in 60 seconds - YouTube

Yukos case in 60 seconds - YouTube: ""



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Saudi market reforms invite access to oil growth | GulfNews.com

Saudi market reforms invite access to oil growth | GulfNews.com:



"Saudi Arabia’s decision to open up its stock market to foreign investors should direct further inflows into the region’s biggest and most active stock market next year, helping propel the kingdom further down a path of economic reform.



The long-anticipated move has set regional fund managers abuzz with excitement about gaining direct access to the Middle East’s largest economy, underpinned by large hydrocarbon resources and the Gulf states’ largest population.



Mohammad Al Tuwaijri, the Saudi chief executive of HSBC in the Middle East and North Africa, describes the move as “one of the most important moments in the history of Saudi financial markets.”"



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Russia Eyes Banning U.S. Chicken And Some European Fruit - Bloomberg

Russia Eyes Banning U.S. Chicken And Some European Fruit - Bloomberg:



"Facing tougher sanctions over Ukraine, Russia said yesterday it may ban imports of chicken from the U.S. and fruit from Europe and is investigating McDonald’s Corp. (MCD) cheese for safety.



While Russia and the U.S. have long sparred over agricultural trade, the actions fueled speculation they could be retaliatory. The 28-nation European Union and the U.S. plan to impose stiffer sanctions to punish Russian President Vladimir Putin’s government.



“It’s a troubling continuation/expansion of trade as a geopolitical tool,” Gary Blumenthal, president of World Perspectives Inc., a Washington-based agricultural consulting firm, said in a phone interview."



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Sberbank Drops as EU Sanctions on Russian Lenders Loom - Bloomberg

Sberbank Drops as EU Sanctions on Russian Lenders Loom - Bloomberg:



"OAO Sberbank (SBRCY), which has lost the most market value among the world’s major lenders this year, fell in New York trading as representatives of the European Union meet to discuss sanctions that may target Russian banks. 




American depositary receipts of the country’s biggest bank, which is controlled by the government and holds about half of Russia’s deposits, slumped 3 percent to $8.45 yesterday to extend this year’s plunge to 33 percent. The Bloomberg Russia-US Equity Index of the most-traded Russian shares on U.S. exchanges retreated 1.2 percent to 84.14, heading for the biggest monthly drop since January.



EU ambassadors will meet again today to weigh banning Russia’s state-owned lenders from its capital markets after the U.S. enacted another round of penalties against the former Soviet republic over the fighting in Ukraine. BCS Financial Group cut its price estimate on Sberbank by about 15 percent yesterday, saying reduced international funding and a weaker economy will lead to lower profitability."



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Iraq Gets Court Order Seizing Kurdish Crude Off Texas - Bloomberg

Iraq Gets Court Order Seizing Kurdish Crude Off Texas - Bloomberg:



"The Iraqi Oil Ministry persuaded a U.S. judge to issue an order for the seizure of more than $100 million of oil in a tanker waiting off Galveston, Texas, that it claims was illegally pumped from wells in Kurdistan.



Kurdish officials “misappropriated” more than 1 million barrels of oil from northern Iraq and exported it through a Turkish pipeline, according to a complaint filed yesterday in federal court in Houston.



U.S. Magistrate Judge Nancy Johnson of Galveston hours later issued an order and arrest warrant authorizing U.S. marshals to seize the cargo and have it moved ashore for safekeeping until the dispute is resolved."



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Emerging Stocks Advance as Shares in Hong Kong Enter Bull Market - Bloomberg

Emerging Stocks Advance as Shares in Hong Kong Enter Bull Market - Bloomberg:



"Emerging-market stocks rose as as a gauge of Chinese mainland shares traded in Hong Kong entered a bull market, outweighing declines in Russia and Brazil. 




China Coal Energy Co. climbed to a seven-month high after the nation’s industrial-profit growth accelerated. Hyundai Steel Co. gained 5.3 percent in Seoul as earnings exceeded analyst estimates. Oil producer Petroleo Brasileiro SA led the Ibovespa lower in Sao Paulo. The ruble declined and the Micex Index sank to an 11-week low on concern Russia will face new sanctions over the Ukraine conflict. 




The iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF advanced 0.7 percent to $45.09 after climbing 1.4 percent last week. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index has risen more than 20 percent from this year’s low as government stimulus boosts investor confidence in the world’s second-largest economy. Satellite photos show Russia has shelled across the border into Ukraine, the U.S. said, while the European Union considers its strongest sanctions yet."



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Monday, 28 July 2014

Tadawul opening may dampen IPOs | Economy | Saudi Gazette

Tadawul opening may dampen IPOs | Economy | Saudi Gazette:



"Saudi Arabia's decision to open its stock market to direct foreign investment could slow down initial public offerings (IPOs) in the country by making local companies wary of giving up stakes in their business to foreign control.



“There are a lot of family conglomerates with, say, 20 percent on the Tadawul  (Saudi stock exchange),” said Khalid Murgian, managing director of Neuberger Berman in Dubai. “It will be anathema to them that some foreign manager(s) can come and tell them how to manage their business. It may have a perverse effect of having fewer companies come to market.”



The opening of the Saudi stock market, which is planned for the first half of 2015, could spur the development of vocal shareholders in the Kingdom, as qualified foreign institutions will be able to exercise voting rights for the first time. Previously, investors outside the Gulf region could only access the Saudi market through swap arrangements, with no voting rights."



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GCC equities shed $21b in Q2 | Economy | Saudi Gazette

GCC equities shed $21b in Q2 | Economy | Saudi Gazette:



"

GCC equity markets experienced a strong correction in the second quarter of 2014, triggered primarily by the deteriorating situation in Iraq, according to a report by National Bank of Kuwait (NBK).



As of the end of June, GCC markets’ capitalization stood at $1.06 trillion, having shed $21 billion in Q2, the report found. The S&P GCC index was off by 1.percent during the quarter, reducing gains from the beginning of the year to eight percent.



GCC markets had seen strong rallies in the first five months of 2014, led especially by gains in UAE and Qatar. The decision by MSCI to upgrade the UAE and Qatar to “emerging market” status from “frontier markets”, which took effect in June, gave a strong boost to regional markets. In addition to that, the outlook for the GCC economies remained favorable especially when compared to emerging markets that continued to show signs of weakness. "



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Russia hit by $50 bn Yukos ruling , amid sanctions squeeze - ECONOMICS

Russia hit by $50 bn Yukos ruling , amid sanctions squeeze - ECONOMICS:



"Russia has been ordered to pay Yukos shareholders a record $50 billion in compensation over its seizure of the defunct oil giant, lawyers said on Monday, in a new blow on top of sanctions over the Ukraine crisis.
      



An arbitration court in The Hague ruled that Russia forced Yukos -- formerly owned by ex-tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky -- into bankruptcy with excessive tax claims and sold its assets to state-owned businesses led by energy giant Rosneft for political purposes.
      



Russia was defiant in the face of the judgement with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov vowing that the state would "use all of its legal options to defend its position", with the claimants who now face a further battle to claw back their cash."



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#Iran Working on Large-Scale Plans to Export Gas to Europe - Farsnews

Farsnews:



"The Iranian oil ministry has large-scale programs underway to export natural Gas to European nations, a senior energy official announced on Saturday.



"We have macro-scale plans to supply gas to Europe," Iranian Deputy Oil Minister Ali Majedi told FNA on Saturday.



He noted that Europeans have shown deep interest in importing Iran's gas in a bid to relieve themselves from Russia's monopoly over supplies to Europe."



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Dubai builder Arabtec posts major cash deficit for second quarter | The National

Dubai builder Arabtec posts major cash deficit for second quarter | The National:



"Arabtec is likely to need a capital injection or new debt financing after its second-quarter earnings figures showed a significant worsening of its cash position, analysts said yesterday.



Despite a year-on-year improvement of 51 per cent in second-quarter revenues, which jumped to Dh2.41 billion from Dh1.59bn, Arabtec ran a cash deficit of US$340 million (Dh1.244bn) in the first half of this year. It had a net cash surplus a year earlier of about $26m. 




The company’s $50bn backlog, compared to six-month revenues of $1.24bn, increases the risk that Arabtec may run out of cash during completion of major projects, analysts said. The backlog stood at about $6bn at the end of last year."



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Abu Dhabi-listed Watania says majority shareholders to sell stakes | GulfNews.com

Abu Dhabi-listed Watania says majority shareholders to sell stakes | GulfNews.com:



"Abu Dhabi-listed Islamic insurer National Takaful Company (Watania) said on Sunday its majority shareholders had agreed to sell stakes to strategic investors from the Gulf region, but did not name the selling or buying parties.



In a short bourse filing, Watania said the deal was subject to regulatory approvals. It did not disclose the value of the deal, nor the size of the stake being sold.



Among Watania’s shareholders are Abu Dhabi Investment Council, Ajman Bank and Abu Dhabi National Insurance Co, all with around 15.75 per cent of the firm."



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Sunday, 27 July 2014

Qatar state spending up 13 pct last FY, slowest in 11 yrs | Reuters

Qatar state spending up 13 pct last FY, slowest in 11 yrs | Reuters:



"Qatar's state spending increased 12.7 percent last fiscal year, the lowest rate in 11 years, as slow growth in current expenditure offset a sharp rise in funds spent on infrastructure projects, data showed on Sunday.



Expenditure rose to a record high of 231.7 billion riyals ($63.6 billion) in the year that ended in March, from 205.6 billion riyals in 2012/13, preliminary finance ministry data released by the central bank showed.



Last year's spending was 10 percent more than initially planned. But the margin by which actual spending overshot the plan was the lowest in five years, suggesting the government has begun reining in excesses of the previous four years, when on average it spent almost a quarter more than originally planned."



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Dubai Stocks Gain Most in a Week on Emaar Bets; Qatar Declines - Bloomberg

Dubai Stocks Gain Most in a Week on Emaar Bets; Qatar Declines - Bloomberg:



"Shares in Dubai ended a three-day losing streak amid investor bets second quarter earnings at Emaar (EMAAR) Properties PJSC, the developer of the world’s tallest tower, will exceed expectations. Stocks in Qatar fell.



The DFM General Index (DFMGI) advanced 2.1 percent to 4,747.95, the biggest jump since July 21, at 1:26 p.m. local time. Emaar, the stock with the biggest weighting on the gauge, climbed 2 percent. Dubai Islamic Bank PJSC., the largest Shariah-compliant lender in the United Arab Emirates, added 5.3 percent. Qatar’s QE Index dropped 0.7 percent to 12,861.25. 




Emaar is forecast to report second-quarter net income of 936 million dirhams ($255 million), up from 675 million dirhams a year earlier, according to the median estimate of four analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. The company doesn’t say when it will release earnings. Nakheel PJSC, developer of the man-made islands off Dubai’s coast, said on July 9 first-half profit surged 54 percent to 1.85 billion dirhams."



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Dubai Stocks Gain Most in a Week on Emaar Bets; Qatar Declines - Bloomberg

Dubai Stocks Gain Most in a Week on Emaar Bets; Qatar Declines - Bloomberg:



"Shares in Dubai ended a three-day losing streak amid investor bets second quarter earnings at Emaar (EMAAR) Properties PJSC, the developer of the world’s tallest tower, will exceed expectations. Stocks in Qatar fell.



The DFM General Index (DFMGI) advanced 2.1 percent to 4,747.95, the biggest jump since July 21, at 1:26 p.m. local time. Emaar, the stock with the biggest weighting on the gauge, climbed 2 percent. Dubai Islamic Bank PJSC., the largest Shariah-compliant lender in the United Arab Emirates, added 5.3 percent. Qatar’s QE Index dropped 0.7 percent to 12,861.25. 




Emaar is forecast to report second-quarter net income of 936 million dirhams ($255 million), up from 675 million dirhams a year earlier, according to the median estimate of four analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. The company doesn’t say when it will release earnings. Nakheel PJSC, developer of the man-made islands off Dubai’s coast, said on July 9 first-half profit surged 54 percent to 1.85 billion dirhams."



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Wary of Sanctions, Foreigners Reduce Russian Holdings | News | The Moscow Times

Wary of Sanctions, Foreigners Reduce Russian Holdings | News | The Moscow Times:



"Foreign equity and bond investors who had tentatively ventured back into Russia after a huge early-2014 selloff are again slashing their holdings for fear of being caught in the crossfire of Western sanctions.



Russia has fared worst among the big emerging equity markets this year, with dollar-based losses of 13 percent.



The ruble is down 5 percent against the dollar, second only to the Argentine peso, and investors are demanding a 2.8 percentage point premium to U.S. Treasuries to hold Russian dollar bonds, 80 basis points higher than January."



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Saturday, 26 July 2014

Abu Dhabi SWF says 'ready' to buy more hotel assets - Banking & Finance - ArabianBusiness.com

Abu Dhabi SWF says 'ready' to buy more hotel assets - Banking & Finance - ArabianBusiness.com:



"The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority is ready to purchase more real estate hotel assets as the right opportunities appear, according to its head of hospitality.



ADIA, one of the world's largest sovereign wealth funds, continues to see the United States as a viable investment option, but is also looking elsewhere around the globe, said Mike Goodson in comments published by Hotelnewsnow.com.



Speaking during the HotelsWorld Australia New Zealand conference, Goodson was quoted as saying: “We’re always very likely to be a net investor as long as our overall fund keeps growing. Given the world situation, that should happen."



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A Gulf economy that is on the up and up | GulfNews.com

A Gulf economy that is on the up and up | GulfNews.com:



"A strong set of fundamentals coupled to abundant resources, the Saudi economy is undergoing an upbeat phase. So states new findings from the International Monetary Fund in its recently-concluded Article IV consultations.



The IMF projects a real GDP growth, adjusted for inflation, of 4.6 per cent in 2014 and up from last year’s 4 per cent. This is partly attributed to the relatively steady oil production levels, the spending on housing and other large-scale infrastructure projects plus a notable performance on the part of the private sector.



The private sector benefits from the kingdom’s economic might as reflected in the GDP of $750 billion (Dh2.7 trillion). Other gains are derived from economic activities related to the annual Haj and the spending made by pilgrims through the year."



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Friday, 25 July 2014

Capital plans: how Qatar's banks are shaping up - Banking & Finance - ArabianBusiness.com

Capital plans: how Qatar's banks are shaping up - Banking & Finance - ArabianBusiness.com:



"Qatari banks and growth in profits go hand in hand these days. That’s hardly surprising, given the booming state of the economy, backed by a strong hydrocarbon sector.



Multi-billion-dollar projects are currently transforming Doha into a modern city that will rival the Middle East’s best.



Driving much of the development has been the award of the FIFA 2022 World Cup, which has led to an estimated infrastructure spend of $205bn between now and 2018, which country officials say will act as a springboard for further work planned for Qatar’s 2030 National Vision."



'via Blog this'

Ukraine gas deadlock poses latent threat to EU - FT.com

Ukraine gas deadlock poses latent threat to EU - FT.com:



"While markets have been focused on the latest geopolitical flashpoint involving Russia and Ukraine – the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 – an unresolved dispute between the two countries over natural gas has continued to simmer in the background.



Gazprom, the Russian gas exporter, cut deliveries for domestic use by Ukraine in June after a bitter row over unpaid bills. Ukraine has, so far, continued to send gas to EU member states through the pipelines that cross its territory.



But analysts are concerned that could change if a deal is not reached between the two countries soon – an increasingly likely prospect as the conflict in eastern Ukraine takes new turns."



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@AgronomyUkraine: Ukraine conflict harvest part 2

Agronomy-Ukraine: Ukraine conflict harvest part 2:



"The ongoing conflict in Ukraine is undoubtedly affecting farming but by how much?



Ukraine's Ag Minister estimated 500,000mt or more might be lost in the warring region; I estimated 1.1mmt could be at risk so between us we are probably not too far from the truth.



We do differ on if that grain is “lost” or “at risk”."



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EM liquidity: correlations breakdown – beyondbrics - Blogs - FT.com

EM liquidity: correlations breakdown – beyondbrics - Blogs - FT.com:



"We’ve written recently about the scarcity of liquidity on EM secondary markets caused by regulatory changes and loose monetary policies in developed economies since the crisis of 2008-09. We’ve noted that those developments have also delivered abundant liquidity on primary markets, where bonds and equities are first issued (unlike secondary markets, where they are subsequently traded). 




Flush with cash and hungry for yield, many investors have snapped up emerging market bonds and other assets they might well have sniffed at in more ‘normal’ times. Some analysts worry that this is driving a bubble. It may also be causing a related phenomenon: a breakdown in the correlation between risk and reward. If that is confirmed, a lot of EM investors face a nasty surprise.



The issue shows up in the relationship between economic growth and bond yields. In ‘normal’ times, bond yields – an indication of the risk of default – tend to rise as the rate of GDP growth declines, because in an environment of slower growth, issuers are seen as more likely to default."



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EU Sanctions on Russian Banks Would Stifle Investment, Lending | News | The Moscow Times

EU Sanctions on Russian Banks Would Stifle Investment, Lending | News | The Moscow Times:



"Russia's state-controlled banks would have to turn to the state, domestic borrowers or new regions such as Asia if EU sanctions shut off investment, hurting their ability to lend to local businesses and further damaging the country's fragile economy.



Under measures being considered by European Union governments in response to the Ukraine crisis, European investors would be banned from buying new debt or shares of banks owned 50 percent or more by the state.



While the Russian government would step in to meet banks' funding needs, longer-term financing could be hit, hurting the banks' ability to finance business projects and crimping the country's growth potential."



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DP World sets growth target as container throughput rises 9% in the first half | The National

DP World sets growth target as container throughput rises 9% in the first half | The National:



"DP World is aiming to outperform average annual market growth this year after reporting a 9.3 per cent rise in throughput in the first half of the year.



Gross container volumes that the Dubai-based ports operator handled rose to 29.4 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) during the period.



On a reported basis, gross volumes grew by 10.7 per cent, taking into account the extra volume provided by its new operations at London Gateway in the UK and Embraport in Brazil."



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Former Arabtec CEO Hasan Ismaik reduces shareholding at Dubai builder | The National

Former Arabtec CEO Hasan Ismaik reduces shareholding at Dubai builder | The National:



"The former Arabtec chief executive Hasan Ismaik has sold a small part of his shareholding in the construction company, according to data from Bloomberg. This is the first time he has sold shares since his departure in June.



Mr Ismaik sold 3.5 million shares on Wednesday, reducing his holding to 28.77 per cent of the company.



The shares have a value of about US$4 million at current market prices."



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Key Dubai banks beat profit estimates | GulfNews.com

Key Dubai banks beat profit estimates | GulfNews.com:



"Leading Dubai based banks exceeded analyst’s expectations to report strong 2014 first half results on Thursday.



While Emirates NBD reported a net profit of Dh2.35 billion in the first half of 2014, up 30 per cent compared to the same period last year, its second quarter net profits were up 35 per cent at Dh1.3 billion compared to the same period last year.



The strong operating performance for the first half of 2014 was helped by solid revenue growth in both retail banking & wealth management and Islamic banking subsidiary, Emirates Islamic."



'via Blog this'

Lack of activity drags UAE indices down | GulfNews.com

Lack of activity drags UAE indices down | GulfNews.com:



"UAE bourses ended lower on Thursday due to lack of activity as traders are preparing for a long weekend due to Eid Al Fitr holidays.



Dubai’s benchmark index ended down 0.34 per cent to 4,651.75 points and Abu Dhabi’s ADX index by 0.23 per cent to 4,952.96, dragged down by real estate, finance and investment shares.



“Even though today’s [Thursday] volume is better than Wednesday, it is still below average. The main reason is due to low trading on Arabtec shares, considerably lower than the two previous trading sessions. It now represents about 30 per cent of trading volume compared to 60 per cent couples of weeks back,” said Mohammad Ali Yasin, managing director of NBAD Securities in Abu Dhabi."



'via Blog this'

Russia ETF Gains as New EU Sanctions Seen to Be Moderate - Bloomberg

Russia ETF Gains as New EU Sanctions Seen to Be Moderate - Bloomberg:



"An exchange-traded fund of Russian stocks gained in New York as the European Union’s proposed sanctions to punish the country for its support of separatists in Ukraine weren’t as deep as some investors had expected.



The Market Vectors Russia ETF (RSX), the largest U.S. dedicated ETF tracking the nation’s companies, increased 0.4 percent to $25.03 in New York yesterday. American depositary receipts of OAO Mechel advanced 3 percent while OAO GMK Norilsk Nickel gained 1.5 percent. The Bloomberg Russia-US Equity Index slipped 0.1 percent to 86.58, reversing an earlier gain of as much as 0.4 percent. 




The ETF advanced as a draft document obtained by Bloomberg showed the EU is preparing to sanction top Russian security officials and didn’t mention targeting any major companies. The 28-member bloc is also considering a ban on European purchases of bonds or shares sold by Russia’s state-owned banks among the options for stepped-up measures against the Kremlin, according to a proposal presented to member states."



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Goldman, ADIA Said to Weigh Joining Gavea in Snagged Fleury Deal - Bloomberg

Goldman, ADIA Said to Weigh Joining Gavea in Snagged Fleury Deal - Bloomberg:



"Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS)’s private-equity arm and Abu Dhabi Investment Authority are considering joining Gavea Investimentos Ltda. in a bid for Brazilian medical-services company Fleury SA (FLRY3), people with knowledge of the matter said.



In joining Gavea, the two investors would be wading into a bid for a company that has been on the market for more than six months. Fleury, which has a market value of about 2.6 billion reais ($1.2 billion), said in March that it was in exclusive talks with Gavea.



The deal has been held up, as Gavea’s partners in Instituto Hermes Pardini Ltda. -- a closely held medical lab company that would be merged with Fleury -- have sought a greater role in the combined company, three people said, asking not to be identified discussing private information. It’s still possible that a deal won’t be reached, the people said."



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Emerging ETFs Turn Positive for 2014 as Outflows Reversed - Bloomberg

Emerging ETFs Turn Positive for 2014 as Outflows Reversed - Bloomberg:



"Emerging-market exchange-traded funds are officially back in favor.



Flows into the funds turned positive for the year yesterday, by $109 million, reversing investor flight that had drained as much as $13.9 billion in the first 2 1/2 months of the year amid financial crises in Ukraine, Argentina and Turkey.



Now, money managers are being lured back into developing-nation ETFs by optimism that new leaders in India, Indonesia and potentially Brazil will take measures to bolster flagging economic growth. BlackRock Inc. has attracted about $2 billion into its developing-nation products this year, the most among fund providers."



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Thursday, 24 July 2014

Nokia revived after mobile spin off - YouTube

Nokia revived after mobile spin off - YouTube: ""



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Saudi Stocks Jump as Mobius Says Market Access a ‘Game Changer’ - Bloomberg

Saudi Stocks Jump as Mobius Says Market Access a ‘Game Changer’ - Bloomberg:



"Saudi shares climbed, making their biggest weekly gain in 10 months after the Arab World’s largest exchange said it will allow foreign investors direct access next year.



The Tadawul All Share Index (SASEIDX) rose 0.5 percent to close at 10,214.73, the strongest weekly advance since September. The gauge crossed the 10,000 level for the first time in six years on July 22. Saudi Electricity Co. led the advance with a 5.8 percent gain to 17.42 riyals, the highest close since October 2006. Riyad Bank climbed to the strongest level since June 2008.



Saudi’s capital markets are “very well developed, but if they open it up to foreign investors, that will be a game changer,” Mark Mobius, who oversees more than $40 billion as executive chairman of Templeton Emerging Markets Group in Singapore, said in a Bloomberg Television interview in Hong Kong today. “If we can invest freely, of course we’ll be able to put more money in.”"



'via Blog this'

Russia Loses Over 1% in Expected 2014 GDP Growth After IMF Revision | Business | RIA Novosti

Russia Loses Over 1% in Expected 2014 GDP Growth After IMF Revision | Business | RIA Novosti:



"The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Thursday lowered its outlook for Russia’s GDP growth this year from 1.3 percent to just 0.2 percent citing increased capital flight and sluggish investment activity threatened by geopolitical tensions.



“Our largest downward revision, relative to our WEO April forecast, is for Russia, where we have revised growth for 2014 from 1.3% to 0.2%, and for 2015 from 2.3% to 1%,” IMF Economic Counsellor Olivier Blanchard said, presenting the revisions in Mexico.



“This reflects mainly a deterioration of business confidence, which has been aggravated by geopolitical tensions. The result has led to large capital outflows, and a near freeze in investment decisions,” Blanchard stated in his opening remarks at the launch of IMF's World Economic Outlook (WEO) Update."



'via Blog this'

Turkey says times are good, interest rates can fall – beyondbrics - Blogs - FT.com

Turkey says times are good, interest rates can fall – beyondbrics - Blogs - FT.com:



"

Investors could be forgiven for being confused by the signals coming out of Turkey’s central bank on Thursday.



Governor Erdem Başçi (pictured) suggested that rate cuts were likely to continue. Speaking at a press conference in Ankara, he said the markets were pricing in a cut in the key policy rate of about 50 basis points and that any further interest rate cuts would be “measured”.



The bank has already cut interest rates three times this year."



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Dubai’s “house bank” on a roll – beyondbrics - Blogs - FT.com

Dubai’s “house bank” on a roll – beyondbrics - Blogs - FT.com:



"Emirates NBD, Dubai’s biggest bank, reported a 30 per cent increase in net profit in the first half as the emirate’s economy grows amid regional unrest.



But its main shareholder, the indebted Dubai government, continues to raid its piggy bank. In the past six months, Dubai borrowed an extra Dh7bn from the lender, in which it holds a 55.6 per cent stake, extending its overdraft to Dh98.6bn ($26.8bn.)



Five years on from its sovereign debt crisis, Dubai’s economy has recovered and is booming again. But the emirate’s debt burden remains at around $130bn."



'via Blog this'

tks @AgronomyUkraine: Ukraine: the feed trough of the Soviet Union

Agronomy-Ukraine: Ukraine: the feed trough of the Soviet Union:



"

It's a fact that every article ever written about Ukraine agriculture starts off with the assertion that the country was once the bread basket of the Soviet Union.



Except it wasn't.



It did produce a lot of grain but my local reliable sources tell me that at time quality was low and most was used for animal feed."



'via Blog this'

Q&A: MSCI Talks on the Future of Saudi Arabia’s Stock Market - MoneyBeat - WSJ

Q&A: MSCI Talks on the Future of Saudi Arabia’s Stock Market - MoneyBeat - WSJ:



"With a market capitalization of more than half a trillion dollars, Saudi Arabia’s plan to allow foreigners direct access to its listed companies early next year has sparked strong international interest from investors.



After all, it’s the biggest economy in the region – with plans to spend hundreds of billions of dollars in the coming years to diversify away from its dependence on oil revenue. Investors would be hard pressed to come up with reasons not to partake in the potential growth it offers. Especially if the country is added by MSCI Inc. to its indexes, which are tracked by streams of global cash seeking returns.



Sebastien Lieblich, the Geneva-based executive director of index research at MSCI, tells The Wall Street Journal that the potential opening up of the market could lead to the creation of a Saudi Arabia index, and its potential inclusion in a major composite benchmark such as the emerging markets index. Here are some key excerpts."



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UAE's TAQA pulls out of $1.6 billion deal with Jaiprakash Power Ventures - The Economic Times

UAE's TAQA pulls out of $1.6 billion deal with Jaiprakash Power Ventures - The Economic Times:



"Abu Dhabi National Energy Co (TAQA) is pulling out of a $1.6 billion deal to buy two hydroelectric power plants of Jaiprakash Power Ventures because of "a change in strategy", a senior TAQA official said on Thursday.



The official, who declined to be named under briefing rules, did not give further details of the decision.



In March, TAQA said a consortium led by it had agreed to buy the two power plants. The consortium was to spend $616 million on equity in the plants, and in addition take over their non-recourse project debt, bringing the total enterprise value to around $1.6 billion, a TAQA spokesman said at the time. "



'via Blog this'

Boeing in deal to provide plane parts to Iran - Your Middle East

Boeing in deal to provide plane parts to Iran - Your Middle East:



"Boeing has struck a deal with Iran Air to provide plane parts, the first time the US firm will be doing business with Iran since the US embargo of 1979.



According to a regulatory filing published Wednesday, Boeing will supply goods and services "related to the safety of flight" to Iran Air, the country's flag carrier. 




The filing says that the agreement, reached in the second quarter, includes the provision of airplane parts, manuals, navigation charts and data to the airline, in line with the US company's recommendations to customers for such things as an aircraft modification, a parts replacement or inspection."



'via Blog this'

StanChart ends Asian expansion - YouTube

StanChart ends Asian expansion - YouTube: ""



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The new Nokia - YouTube

The new Nokia - YouTube: ""



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Iran Energy Profile: Fourth In Crude Oil Reserves, Second In Natural Gas - Analysis | Eurasia Review

Iran Energy Profile: Fourth In Crude Oil Reserves, Second In Natural Gas - Analysis | Eurasia Review:



"Iran holds some of the world’s largest deposits of proved oil and natural gas reserves, ranking as the world’s fourth-and second-largest reserve holder of oil and natural gas, respectively. Iran also ranks among the world’s top 10 oil producers and top 5 natural gas producers. Iran produced 3.2 million barrels per day (bbl/d) of petroleum and other liquids in 2013 and more than 5.6 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of dry natural gas in 2012.



The Strait of Hormuz, on the southeastern coast of Iran, is an important route for oil exports from Iran and other Persian Gulf countries. At its narrowest point, the Strait of Hormuz is 21 miles wide, yet an estimated 17 million bbl/d of crude oil and oil products flowed through it in 2013 (roughly one-third of all seaborne traded oil and almost 20% of total oil produced globally). Liquefied natural gas (LNG) volumes also flow through the Strait of Hormuz. Approximately 3.9 Tcf of LNG was transported via the Strait of Hormuz in 2013, almost all of which was from Qatar, accounting for about one-third of global LNG trade.



Effects of recent sanctions



Iran’s oil production has declined substantially over the past few years, and natural gas production growth has slowed, despite the country’s abundant reserves. International sanctions have stymied progress across Iran’s energy sector, especially affecting upstream investment in both oil and natural gas projects. The sanctions have prompted a number of cancellations and delays of upstream projects, resulting in declining oil production capacity. The United States and the European Union (EU) enacted measures at the end of 2011 and during the summer of 2012 that have affected the Iranian energy sector more profoundly than any previously enacted sanctions. The sanctions impeded Iran’s ability to sell oil, resulting in a 1.0-million bbl/d drop in crude oil and condensate exports in 2012 compared with the previous year.

"



'via Blog this'

Saudi Arabia: The next big thing for investors - Jul. 22, 2014

Saudi Arabia: The next big thing for investors - Jul. 22, 2014:



"

Get ready for the next big emerging market opportunity: Saudi Arabia.



The oil giant is set to open its stock market to direct foreign investment for the first time, giving outsiders access to the biggest bourse in the region.



The Saudi market -- worth an estimated $530 billion -- is more than double the size of the Tel Aviv stock exchange in Israel."



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Will the DFM see a post-Ramadan recovery this year? « ArabianMoney

Will the DFM see a post-Ramadan recovery this year? « ArabianMoney:



"Today the sun sets on the holy month of Ramadan for the Dubai Financial Market and participants head off for their nine-day Eid holiday.



It’s not been a good month for the DFM with volatility second only to Venezuela and a huge sell-off followed by a recovery and then another crash with stocks down a thumping six per cent in one day last week."



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India’s wealthy and how they spend it – beyondbrics - Blogs - FT.com

India’s wealthy and how they spend it – beyondbrics - Blogs - FT.com:



"Jimmy Choos under your sari and an African safari for the Diwali long weekend?


A new report by Kotak Wealth Management and Ernst & Young – Top of the Pyramid 2014 – finds that India’s super rich are “ready for change” as a strong new government comes to power in New Delhi – and they’re spending to prove it.


The researchers spoke to 150 Indian “ultra high net worth individuals” – members of households with a minimum net worth of Rs250m ($4.17m) mapped over ten years – and to members of the luxury and wealth management industries. They began work early this year, as consumer sentiment centered on the general elections and the prospects of a change in government."



'via Blog this'

When History Repeats Itself: The EU Shift in Energy Partnerships to the South

When History Repeats Itself: The EU Shift in Energy Partnerships to the South:



"

2014 will arguably be the most important year of the decade when it comes to energy security in the European Union (EU). No other year in the recent past has seen such an imposing shake up in Europe’s energy geopolitics; one which will inevitably see the build up to the coming and going of significant energy partners for the EU in the future.



Several factors have been at play so far: political tensions in Ukraine and Russia, new participants in the gas supply market, plans for reinforcement of existing pipelines as well as for the construction of several new trans-continental gas pipelines, and lastly the heavy internal pressure for reform of energy security policy from several member states of the EU.



The amalgamation of these is forcing the EU to reconstruct its energy policies as well as its security policies. Essentially, what can be witnessed by the end of the decade is a transference in EU geopolitical energy partnerships towards the south."



'via Blog this'

Jet deal opens up the skies to India and beyond for Etihad | The National

Jet deal opens up the skies to India and beyond for Etihad | The National:



"Jet is looking to operate non-stop flights to Europe, China, Australia, the Middle East, South East Asia and neigbouring Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, said Naresh Goyal, the Jet chairman.



 “Our focus remains to develop hubs in Mumbai and Delhi,” he said.



Jet will also link more points in India to Abu Dhabi, for onward connections, besides operating its own flights beyond Abu Dhabi to North America and the Middle East, and increase frequencies to Abu Dhabi. New routes will be introduced between Abu Dhabi and Goa, Ahmedabad, Pune and Lucknow by the year-end."



'via Blog this'

Emirates Reit profits up 194 per cent in first half as office rents grow | The National

Emirates Reit profits up 194 per cent in first half as office rents grow | The National:



"Emirates Reit has reported a threefold increase in first-half profits as rents and prices grew in Dubai’s long-stagnant office market.



The Sharia-compliant real estate investment trust said that net profits for the first six months of the year increased to US$34.15 million from $11.6m – a gain of 194 per cent – as rents in Dubai grew.



The news comes as the property agent CBRE reported that average prime office rents in Dubai’s central business district – an area around Downtown Dubai – rose 3 per cent in the three months to the end of June and by a total of 25 per cent compared to a year earlier to stand at an average of Dh1,884 per square metre per year."



'via Blog this'

Weak volumes mark trade on DFM, ADX | GulfNews.com

Weak volumes mark trade on DFM, ADX | GulfNews.com:



"The Dubai Financial Market (DFM) index fell 0.24 per cent on Wednesday to reach 4,667.58 as Arabtec continued its decline that started with the beginning of this week. The construction giant dropped 1.65 per cent.



Meanwhile, the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) general index went down 0.26 per cent to reach 4,964.15.



Both markets were marred by low trade volumes as DFM ended the day with a total trade value of Dh627.7 million — a plunge from previous sessions when values exceeded Dh2 billion."



'via Blog this'

World’s Biggest Wealth Fund Reviews $8 Billion Russian Holdings - Bloomberg

World’s Biggest Wealth Fund Reviews $8 Billion Russian Holdings - Bloomberg:



"Norway’s $890 billion sovereign wealth fund, the world’s biggest, is reassessing its holdings in Russia as the European Union considers expanding sanctions against the country.



Since the July 17 downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 by a missile that the U.S. says was probably supplied by the Russian military, sentiment toward assets based in Russia has soured further. The government of Norway, which isn’t an EU member, said it’s ready to adjust the fund’s holdings to reflect the changing geopolitical climate. The European Commission will present proposals for more “targeted measures” to national officials today.



“If the oil fund’s investments become affected by economic sanctions against Russia that Norway supports,” the fund “will need to make the necessary adjustments to accommodate the new situation,” Runar Malkenes, a Finance Ministry spokesman, said in an e-mailed response to questions."



'via Blog this'

JPMorgan to HSBC to Gain From $531 Billion Saudi Bourse Opening - Bloomberg

JPMorgan to HSBC to Gain From $531 Billion Saudi Bourse Opening - Bloomberg:



"HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA) and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) are among the banks set to profit after the Riyadh-based Capital Market Authority announced plans this week to open Saudi Arabia’s bourse to foreign investors.



The CMA said on July 22 that it would open up the oil-producing kingdom’s $531 billion stock market to foreigners next year. That may attract inflows of about $35 billion to the Arab world’s largest bourse, according to Aleksandar Stojanovski, a Dubai-based research analyst at Deutsche Bank AG.



Morgan Stanley, Standard Chartered Plc (STAN), and Credit Suisse Group AG (CSGN) have joined HSBC and JPMorgan in building local teams, partly in anticipation that the world’s biggest oil exporter and de facto leader of OPEC would lift barriers to one of the world’s most-restricted major stock exchanges. King Abdullah, the 90-year-old monarch, is seeking to lure capital to the $745 billion economy that has withstood political turmoil elsewhere in the Middle East."



'via Blog this'

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

US influence in Middle East fades - YouTube

US influence in Middle East fades - YouTube: ""



'via Blog this'

Putin’s Ukraine Woes Compounded by $103 Billion Yukos Claim - Bloomberg

Putin’s Ukraine Woes Compounded by $103 Billion Yukos Claim - Bloomberg:



"Russia will discover next week how much it may be asked to pay for the confiscation a decade ago of Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s Yukos Oil Co., then the country’s biggest oil producer.



The Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague will rule on July 28 on a $103 billion damages claim the company’s former owners filed against Russia in 2007, Tim Osborne, head of GML Ltd., former holding company of Yukos, said by e-mail. Court official Willemijn van Banning said by phone she couldn’t comment on the date for the ruling.



The potential multibillion-dollar punitive award comes as Russian President Vladimir Putin risks further U.S. and European sanctions after the downing of a Malaysian passenger jet in eastern Ukraine that killed 298 passengers and crew. The Obama administration has blamed the plane’s downing on pro-Russian rebels, who deny any involvement."



'via Blog this'

Are Russians leaving London? | Russia Beyond The Headlines

Are Russians leaving London? | Russia Beyond The Headlines:



"Russian visitors are spending considerably less in London than a year ago, according to Bloomberg, which cited a study by Global Blue, a leading operator in tax-refund points. "London seeks new spenders" capable of replacing the Russians, the news agency concluded. 



When Mikhail Gorbachev celebrated his 80th birthday party in the lavish surroundings of the Royal Albert Hall in 2011, there were thousands of guests, most of them Russian, to see performances by Paul McCartney, Bono and George Michael, with Kevin Spacey and Sharon Stone acting as hosts. Even Queen Elizabeth II was expected to attend, but she was unwell.



Naturally, the party did not go unnoticed in Russia. Yet, reports from it focused not so much on the former Soviet leader whose birthday was celebrated as on the price of the tickets for the best seats, which reached £100,000. Those reports, however, failed to mention that there were tickets for the event at £75 too and most of the guests came to the Royal Albert Hall not in their Rolls-Royces but on the London underground."



'via Blog this'

Opinion: domesticating Russia – beyondbrics - Blogs - FT.com

Opinion: domesticating Russia – beyondbrics - Blogs - FT.com:



"

Of course, it all goes back to Peter the Great at the turn of the eighteenth century. On the one hand, the Russian Tsar worked in the Dutch shipyards incognito to import modern boatbuilding techniques to his empire. On the other, he systematically seized the estates of unhelpful nobles in a manner which suggested that western European notions of property rights had yet to sink in.



Russia’s traditional simultaneous fascination with and repulsion towards foreign ideas and institutions, the latter generally winning out at times of stress, is reflected in the difficulties the EU and US have encountered in trying to shift Moscow’s behaviour in Ukraine.



Washington and the European capitals have been casting about for economic tools to force Moscow to withdraw its support for the rebels in Donetsk, a challenge enormously intensified by the downing of Flight MH17. Yet Russia subscribes to few international norms of economic behaviour or institutional engagement which can be used to this end, and its status as a petrostate has given it the freedom to do so."



'via Blog this'

Moody's: Russia Sanctions Hamper Rosneft, Gazprom Debt Refinancing | News | The Moscow Times

Moody's: Russia Sanctions Hamper Rosneft, Gazprom Debt Refinancing | News | The Moscow Times:



"Russian companies, including oil giant Rosneft, may face challenges refinancing $112 billion in debt due to mature over the next four years, a report by Moody's Investors Service said.



Moody's said there was a very significant bank and bond debt maturity hurdle for Russian companies concentrated among Rosneft and state-controlled gas company Gazprom in 2015.



Russian companies are facing tougher conditions to refinance international loans since the West imposed sanctions on some of them over Russia's involvement in Ukraine. On top of this, the country's economy has slowed and is expected to grow just 0.5 percent this year."



'via Blog this'

Saudi an expensive alternative? - YouTube

Saudi an expensive alternative? - YouTube: ""



'via Blog this'

Will equities outperform in Q3? - YouTube

Will equities outperform in Q3? - YouTube: ""



'via Blog this'

Alitalia union boss philosophical about job losses ahead of Etihad stake sale | The National

Alitalia union boss philosophical about job losses ahead of Etihad stake sale | The National:



"Giovanni Galiotto says that 71 members of his union stand to lose their jobs when Etihad Airways buys its stake in Alitalia – but all things considered, that’s a fair outcome.



Roughly five years ago, Alitalia was privatised and 850 pilots lost their jobs. This time, Mr Galiotto thinks he has snatched a better deal for the scores of pilots he represents as the president of Anpac, the Associazione Nazionale Piloti Aviazione Commerciale.



“Seventy one pilots will be made redundant. But they will have the chance to apply for a job with Etihad. We were officially told that Etihad will have a short recruitment process for Alitalia pilots. They will have the chance to relocate to Abu Dhabi and fly with Etihad,” Mr Galiotto said at his office near Fiumicino Airport in Rome."



'via Blog this'

Abu Dhabi banks’ profits soar on loan growth and fee incomes | GulfNews.com

Abu Dhabi banks’ profits soar on loan growth and fee incomes | GulfNews.com:



"Three leading Abu Dhabi banks led by National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) on Tuesday showed strong growth in profits supported by rising interest and non-interest incomes and consistently declining non-performing loans (NPLs).



All three institutions, NBAD, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) and First Gulf Bank (FGB) reported significant balance sheet growth with consistent pick up in lending and deposits growth underlined by robust improvement in asset quality matrixes.



NBAD reported a net profit of Dh2.82billion, up 7.9 per cent for the first half of the year as its second quarter profit surged 17.5 per cent to Dh1.424 billion year on year. Bank’s total assets were up 6.7 per cent year-over-year. Net loans and advances increased 4.8 per cent year-over-year and 1.8 per cent sequentially."



'via Blog this'

Waha Capital Q2 net profit jumps on AerCap deal | GulfNews.com

Waha Capital Q2 net profit jumps on AerCap deal | GulfNews.com:



"Abu Dhabi-based investment firm Waha Capital said on Tuesday its net profit for the second quarter of 2014 jumped on the back of a one-off gain from its investment in AerCap Holdings.



Waha, whose shareholders include Abu Dhabi government entities, made Dh1.14 billion ($310.4 million) in the three months to June 30, up from Dh38.4 million in the year-ago period, it said in a bourse filing.



AerCap Holdings, in which Waha was its largest shareholder, bought American International Group’s aircraft leasing business in a $5.4 billion cash and share deal that was completed in May."



'via Blog this'

Saudi Market Surprise Sparks Speculation of Sukuk Access - Bloomberg

Saudi Market Surprise Sparks Speculation of Sukuk Access - Bloomberg:



"Saudi Arabia’s plan to open its $531 billion stock market to foreigners is prompting speculation that Islamic bonds will be next.



The government’s approval of overseas financial institutions to trade equities may herald a similar relaxation of rules in the local-currency primary debt market, according to Mashreq Capital DIFC Ltd. and Rasmala Investment Bank Ltd. The nation’s Capital Market Authority said yesterday that the stock-market change would take place in the first half of next year.



“Capital markets are a package, you can’t have one part without the other,” John Sfakianakis, chief investment strategist at Riyadh-based investment company MASIC, said by phone yesterday. “The fact is that Saudi sukuk eventually should also be open to everyone.”"



'via Blog this'

Saudi Stock Opening Is Closed to Some as Hot Money Unwanted - Bloomberg

Saudi Stock Opening Is Closed to Some as Hot Money Unwanted - Bloomberg:



"Saudi Arabia is keeping as much as $40 billion of foreign investor capital waiting as it decides which institutions can participate in the Arab world’s biggest stock exchange.



The regulator will publish rules next month allowing participation for the first time by qualified foreign financial institutions starting in the first half of 2015, the Capital Market Authority said on its website yesterday. The announcement sent the benchmark Tadawul All Share Index to its highest level since May 2008.



The world’s biggest crude exporter is opening one of the most restricted major stock exchanges as King Abdullah pushes to diversify the economy from oil and create new jobs. Entry to MSCI Inc.’s benchmark emerging-markets index could mean $40 billion of inflows to Saudi stocks, said Rami Sidani, the head of frontier markets investing at Schroder Investment Management in Dubai. Buying shares may be restricted initially to long-term institutional investors, according to Shuaa Asset Management."



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OPEC’s Two-Decade Ride on Global Growth Stalls: Chart of the Day - Bloomberg

OPEC’s Two-Decade Ride on Global Growth Stalls: Chart of the Day - Bloomberg:



"For the past two decades, growth in the global economy spelled higher revenues for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. Not any more.



The CHART OF THE DAY shows how last year was the first since 1993 that the value of OPEC’s total crude exports didn’t track the direction of global gross domestic product. The bottom panel shows how the group supplying about 40 percent of the world’s oil fetched lower average prices and also shipped fewer barrels year on year.



Production among OPEC’s 12 members fell 2.5 percent to average 31.6 million barrels a day last year, data from OPEC’s Annual Statistic Bulletin showed on July 18. Libya’s output slumped 31 percent amid political protests at oilfields and export terminals. Output from Iran, whose exports are subject to international sanctions, fell by 4.4 percent. The group’s members also consumed about 1 percent a day more domestically."



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Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Saudi an expensive alternative to Russia



Russia to Let Visa, MasterCard Sidestep Security Deposit | News | The Moscow Times

Russia to Let Visa, MasterCard Sidestep Security Deposit | News | The Moscow Times:



"The Russian government has officially declared the conditions that will allow international payment systems Visa and MasterCard to continue business in Russia without paying the massive security deposit that had threatened to shove them out of the country.



To avoid paying the security deposit and fines for interruption of service, the companies must find a Russian payment system deemed "of national importance" to process their transactions by Oct. 31, according to a decree signed by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on July 15 and published Tuesday on the government's website.



This solution to the standoff was floated by Central Bank chief Elvira Nabiullina at a banking conference earlier this month."



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Former Alba chief Hall sentenced to 16 months over Bahrain bribes - FT.com

Former Alba chief Hall sentenced to 16 months over Bahrain bribes - FT.com:



"A businessman who admitted receiving bribes of £2.88m while running Bahrain’s aluminium champion has been jailed for 16 months for what the judge called an “extremely serious case of corruption.”



Bruce Hall, former chief executive of Bahraini-owned Alba, one of the largest aluminium smelters in the world, had pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to corrupt. The charge related to an alleged multimillion pound bribery conspiracy involving Canadian-British billionaire Victor Dahdaleh and Bahraini minister Sheikh Isa bin Ali al-Khalifa.



Mr Hall made a deal with Britain’s Serious Fraud Office and last year appeared as a prosecution witness in the trial of Mr Dahdaleh, which collapsed due to the non-appearance of two key witnesses."



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Emerging Stocks Climb to 17-Month High as Russia, Saudi Advance - Bloomberg

Emerging Stocks Climb to 17-Month High as Russia, Saudi Advance - Bloomberg:



"Emerging-market stocks climbed to a 17-month high as Chinese shares rose amid bets the government will do more to bolster growth. Russian equities rebounded and Saudi Arabia jumped on plans to open the market to foreign investors.



China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. (386) rose the most since March in Hong Kong as the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index jumped 2.4 percent. Saudi stocks rallied 2.8 percent to their highest in more than six years. The Micex Index (INDEXCF) in Moscow ended its longest losing streak since January after rebels in Ukraine released bodies from the Malaysian jet crash site. The rupiah slid before the results of the presidential election today.



The MSCI Emerging Markets Index added 1.1 percent to 1,074.50 by 2:40 p.m. in London, the strongest level since February 2013. Russia is happy rebels handed over black boxes to Malaysian representatives, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in a website statement. Saudi Arabia will allow foreign investors into its stock market in the first half of 2015, providing greater access to the Arab world’s biggest exchange."



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