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Sunday, 31 August 2014

Dubai’s Emaar Plans Share Sale of Malls Unit Next Month - Bloomberg

Dubai’s Emaar Plans Share Sale of Malls Unit Next Month - Bloomberg:



"Emaar Properties PJSC (EMAAR), the Dubai-based developer, plans to sell at least 15 percent of its mall unit in September and distribute about 5.3 billion dirhams ($1.44 billion) of the proceeds to shareholders as a dividend.



The company, which raised 3.7 billion dirhams through an Islamic bond sale in June, will make the payment as part of plans to distribute about 9 billion dirhams to shareholders including Dubai’s government. While the IPO will take place next month, the listing is expected in October, an Emaar spokesman said, asking not to be identified under corporate policy.



Emaar, which built the world’s tallest tower, is focusing on recurring hotel and mall revenue to cushion itself from shocks in the emirate’s property market. The company’s prized asset is the Dubai Mall, which received 75 million shoppers last year, and features hundreds of stores as well as an underwater zoo, skating rink and the world’s most expensive cupcakes."



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Dubai residential price correction is ‘now under way’ | The National

Dubai residential price correction is ‘now under way’ | The National:



"Property brokers are warning that villa prices in Dubai could be starting to fall as new mortgage caps subdue the market for multi-million-dirham homes and as hundreds of new family houses are built across the city.



They say that new laws, which came into effect at the end of December, are making many potential buyers think again, subduing prices for villas in the city at a time when scores more are being built.



According to research from the property consultancy Phidar Advisory, prices for single-family homes in Dubai rose steadily over the first half of the year, but provisional figures for the six weeks to August 15 showed that they fell 4 per cent."



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Saturday, 30 August 2014

Tesco – time for a bargain buy? - YouTube

Tesco – time for a bargain buy? - YouTube: ""



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JPMorgan Sees ‘Lehman Moment’ for Russia If Ukraine Deteriorates - Bloomberg

JPMorgan Sees ‘Lehman Moment’ for Russia If Ukraine Deteriorates - Bloomberg:



"Russia’s equity markets may face a “Lehman moment” if the Ukraine conflict deteriorates further, according to Alexander Kantarovich, head of research for JPMorgan Chase & Co. in Moscow.



“With the significant deterioration in the Ukrainian situation, markets may treat this as a Lehman-style shock,” Kantarovich wrote in an e-mailed report today. “Revisiting the post-Lehman lows would imply downside of 50 percent from an index perspective.”



Russia’s ruble-denominated Micex Index has fallen 6.6 percent this year. The stock gauge posted the worst monthly drop in July since 2012 as the U.S. and the European Union escalated sanctions targeting Russia’s $2 trillion economy after the downing of a passenger jet on July 17 over Ukrainian territory controlled by pro-Russian insurgents."



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U.K. Wants EU to Block Russia From SWIFT Banking Network - Bloomberg

U.K. Wants EU to Block Russia From SWIFT Banking Network - Bloomberg:



"The U.K. will press European Union leaders to consider blocking Russian access to the SWIFT banking transaction system under an expansion of sanctions over the conflict in Ukraine, a British government official said.



The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, known as SWIFT, is one of Russia’s main connections to the international financial system. Prime Minister David Cameron’s government plans to put the topic on the agenda for a meeting of EU leaders in Brussels today, according to the official, who asked not to be named because the discussions are private.



“Blocking Russia from the SWIFT system would be a very serious escalation in sanctions against Russia and would most certainly result in equally tough retaliatory actions by Russia,” said Chris Weafer, a senior partner at Moscow-based consulting firm Macro Advisory. “An exclusion from SWIFT would not block major trade deals but would cause problems in cross-border banking and that would disrupt trade flows.”"



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Pakistan Army Chief Intervenes in Crisis as Stocks Surge - Bloomberg

Pakistan Army Chief Intervenes in Crisis as Stocks Surge - Bloomberg:



"Pakistan’s army chief intervened in the country’s political standoff by meeting the opposition leaders trying to oust Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, a move that sent stocks surging.



General Raheel Sharif met Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan and cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri in Islamabad yesterday. General Sharif met with the prime minister for the second time in two days as the premier sought the military’s help in ending two weeks of protests. The two are not related.



The two sides bickered over how the army entered the fray. Sharif told Parliament today that Khan and Qadri sought the intervention of the military, while Qadri said today that Sharif had made the request and that the army was reluctant to get involved."



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Friday, 29 August 2014

Europe′s approach to Russia′s gas power | Business | DW.DE | 28.08.2014

Europe′s approach to Russia′s gas power | Business | DW.DE | 28.08.2014:



"The Ukraine crisis has led to a rift between the West and Russia, with both sides imposing sanctions against each other. However, Russia's gas exports have so far remained untouched - for a number of reasons.



The sanctions imposed by the West are taking a toll on Russia, where the economy is now estimated to be growing by only 1 percent, half earlier forecasts, Russia's economy ministry announced earlier this week.



According to the ministry, the crisis in Ukraine is the reason for the drop in the pace of Russia's economic expansion. Moscow has also responded to the sanctions by announcing countermeasures that include a ban on Western food imports."



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#Russia and #Ukraine in Economic Race to the Bottom - The American Interest

Russia and Ukraine in Economic Race to the Bottom - The American Interest:



"The Ukrainian economy has been nosediving as a result of the war with pro-Russian separatists and Russian troops (who, according to the Kremlin official line, have popped in for a quick vacation invasion on their personal time). But the Russian economy isn’t far behind. The ruble has hit a record low compared to the U.S. dollar and the Euro, the FT reports:

Nato’s warning that Russia has “well over 1,000 troops” inside Ukraine raised fears of a big escalation of the crisis, and left the rouble exposed.  
The currency weakened 0.4 per cent on Friday, with as many as Rbs37.0280 required to buy a single dollar. The fresh slide took the rouble’s loss over the week to 2.6 per cent against the US currency. Against the euro the rouble fell 0.3 per cent to Rbs48.61."


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#Russia to restart gas supplies, if #Ukraine repays US2 bln debt - minister

Russia to restart gas supplies, if Ukraine repays US2 bln debt - minister:



"Russia is ready to resume natural gas supplies to Ukraine, if Kiev repays its $2 billion debt, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Friday.



Novak made this statement after talks with EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger who had arrived in Moscow on Friday to try to find a solution to the Russia-Ukraine gas price dispute.



The Russian energy minister said this figure included Ukraine’s $1.4 billion debt for Russian natural gas deliveries to the ex-Soviet republic in 2013 and partial repayment of the gas debt accumulated from April."



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Five chart history of post-colonial Asia – beyondbrics - Blogs - FT.com

Five chart history of post-colonial Asia – beyondbrics - Blogs - FT.com:



Few subjects matter more than the future nature of Asia’s economic rise. But what of it’s history? A bumper month of Asian independence days culminates this weekend with the anniversary of Malaysia’s handover from Britain, on August 31 1957. And what better excuse for beyondbrics to run a rule over the dramatically different economic trajectories of a selection of Asian countries that emerged from European colonial rule in the decades following the second world war.
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The chart above shows the relative performance of our seven case studies. True, they are all very different in size and history, so comparisons are fraught. Nonetheless the difference in growth from broadly similar starting points remains striking. The two smallest, Singapore and Hong Kong, have risen to become rich; one, Malaysia, is now firmly a middle-income nation; the remainder are more or less poor.
Explaining this divergence is tricky, but there is at least one obvious link: the quality of political and financial institutions. Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson’s widely discussed book Why Nations Fail focused on this as an important explanation for the weak performance of many resource-rich developing economies. But the theory holds, in general terms, for more successful nations too, as they began to develop post-colonial systems of governance.
“What really jumps out is that high-quality public institutions make a huge difference, whether that is political governance or in the development of financial markets,” says economist Eswar Prasad of Cornell University. “A country like Singapore put a huge amount of effort into creating a reliable institutional framework that was able to manage growth and investment. Others were much less successful.”
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Asia’s rise has been closely linked to export industries, and in particular with the ability to develop and advance manufacturing sectors. First Japan, and then Korea, are the most celebrated examples. But the same pattern is also shown in this second chart of merchandise exports for each country.
You’d expect total exports to rise as each grows larger. Nonetheless there is a sharp difference between the more successful exporters, bunched towards the top of the graph — such as Malaysia, and more recently (and most strikingly) Vietnam — and the rest. South Asia, in particular, has proved relatively much less successful, notably India, even though it is the largest of the economies in question.
Exports also provide a rough proxy for globalisation, but here the question of whether openness to trade and investment is a good thing remains contested, not least by Cambridge University economist Ha-Joon Chang.
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“The idea of simple openness succeeding and being closed as bad is quite misleading,” he says. “Countries like Japan and Korea maintained high levels of protection in the beginning, but always with the intention of bringing it down when they became world-class exporters”. Malaysia was more open to foreign investment, but has become “stuck” in middle-income status, he continues, while India spent decades closed off from the world, with disastrous results. The conclusion? “Drawing general patterns is quite difficult.”
And what of people? China and India have the world’s largest diasporas, but in the absence of successful manufacturing economies it has been south Asia that has come to rely in particular on capital flows of its own populations abroad. India was the world’s largest recipient of remittances last year, with $71bn, an influx that helped swing its balance of payments into surplus, even at a moment when the country was suffering yawning trade and current account deficits.
Such flows touch on a broader topic, namely the extent to which developing countries should rely on external sources of capital at all. Mr Prasad, along with India’s current central bank head Raghuram Research co-authored a widely-cited paper in 2007. It argued, against what economic intuition might suggest, that developing nations which rely on foreign sources of capital tend to grow more slowly than those which tapped domestic savings.
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That analysis was in turn part of a wider puzzle, in which capital has tended to flow from poorer to richer economies in recent decades — much of it because of the relationship between the US and China. But a reliance on internal savings can also make a country less susceptible to economic shocks and capital flight, of the sort that struck many financially globalised east Asian nations such as Malaysia in the 1990s, and also struck countries such as India last year.
Tanks on the streets, or in the barracks? The military can play an important role in explaining the economic fortunes of some emerging Asian economies, especially those, such as Pakistan, that have swung back and forth between civilian rule and various forms of dictatorship throughout their independent history. On the one hand, armies are expensive, and their role in politics can be destabilising. On the other, many analysts look at China, and feel military backing can speed investment, reducing the muddle of democratic politics.
New York University political science professor Adam Przeworski, one of the most celebrated contributors to academic debates on economic growth, backs the view that democracies, in broad terms, at least grow no slower than other types of regimes. “We did not find a shred of evidence that democracy need be sacrificed on the altar of development,” he wrote in one exhaustive comparative study, responding in particular to the notion that dictatorships make more efficient investment decisions.
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As the chart above shows, the trend amongst these Asian countries has actually been for reduced spending relative to their growing economies over recent years. Whether that remains the case in the coming decades, as all Asian countries cope with an increasingly volatile regional balance of power, is much less likely.
Ultimately growth matters for what it delivers: better health, more schooling, and so on. Often these things track each other closely. Asia as a whole has seen a striking decline in poverty over recent decades. More than 600m have ceased to be classified as poor in China alone since 1981, according to the World Bank. As this graph shows, falls in child mortality have been steady in every country, too, with the likes of Singapore now indistinguishable from western nations.
Yet this often hides a more complex picture, especially in South Asia. As economist Amartya Sen argues, India’s recent two decades of rapid economic growth has come alongside much patchier performance on important indicators of human progress, compared with less economically successful neighbouring countries at least. It is a trend you can see on the chart above, as Bangladesh overtakes its much larger neighbour in improvements in child mortality during the last decade. Both, however, outpace Pakistan, which now suffers one of the world’s highest rates of infant deaths.
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Ruble-Dollar Exchange Rate Plummets to 37 Over Threat of New Western Sanctions | Business | RIA Novosti

Ruble-Dollar Exchange Rate Plummets to 37 Over Threat of New Western Sanctions | Business | RIA Novosti:



"The ruble plummeted in early Friday trading on the currency exchange market in Moscow over the threat of possible new western sanctions because of the situation in Ukraine, dipping to 37 rubles to the dollar, according to Moscow Exchange statistics.



As of 10:22 a.m. Moscow time (06:22 GMT), the ruble dropped by 26 kopeks to 37.01 to the dollar. The exchange rate for the euro also dropped to 48.72 rubles to the euro.



US President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel believe that the United States and the European Union need to look at possibly introducing wider sanctions against Russia over the situation in Ukraine, the White House said Friday."



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Are we trusting central bankers too much? - YouTube

Are we trusting central bankers too much? - YouTube: ""



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Ukraine Invasion Claims Wipe Out Russia Bondholder Gains - Bloomberg

Ukraine Invasion Claims Wipe Out Russia Bondholder Gains - Bloomberg:



"U.S. assertions that President Vladimir Putin’s troops have crossed into Ukraine are rekindling the threat of sanctions and fanning a selloff in Russian assets. 




Benchmark government ruble bonds due in February 2027 tumbled the most since March yesterday, wiping out this month’s gains, while the Russian currency slumped to an 11-year low versus the dollar. The cost of insuring the sovereign’s dollar bonds against non-payment with credit-default swaps soared to a five-year high relative to the world’s largest emerging markets.



Sentiment turned after Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko said Russian troops have “de facto” entered his country, two days after he met Putin for talks. Russia is showing a “pattern of escalating aggression,” according to U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jan Psaki. The moves boost the case for sanctions, said Edwin Gutierrez of Aberdeen Asset Management Plc."



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Tel Aviv Switch to Monday-Friday Trade Backed by Brokers - Bloomberg

Tel Aviv Switch to Monday-Friday Trade Backed by Brokers - Bloomberg:



"Brokers in Tel Aviv favor a proposal to align the stock exchange’s trading days with markets abroad, a plan that may lure more funds and pave the way for inclusion in MSCI Inc.’s Europe Index, a bourse board member said.



Members of the exchange, including banks and brokers, need to present their views on the proposed switch to a Monday-to-Friday trading week within a month, according to Julien Assous, chief executive officer of IBI-Israel Brokerage & Investments Ltd. There is no target date yet for the change, said Assous, who is also the chairman of the TASE Brokers Association.



“The chances of the switch happening are good,” he said today in a phone interview from Tel Aviv. Assous said earlier this week the proposal is part of a larger campaign to be included in the Europe Index. “There is no strong objection to the move from any party,” he said."



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Thursday, 28 August 2014

These countries have the most to lose if Russia shuts the gas valve - MarketWatch

These countries have the most to lose if Russia shuts the gas valve - MarketWatch:



"As winter nears and tensions in eastern Ukraine mount, Russia is giving several European Union countries yet another reason to worry about the conflict between the two: natural gas.



Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania and Bulgaria receive 100% of their natural gas imports from Russia, the Energy Information Administration said Wednesday.



Romania and Bulgaria receive that gas through pipelines that cross Ukraine."



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Is DP World Eyeing New Investment Opportunities? - Middle East Real Time - WSJ

Is DP World Eyeing New Investment Opportunities? - Middle East Real Time - WSJ:



"After posting a decent set of numbers in the first half, a company can be excused if it sounds optimistic about its growth outlook.



In DP World’s case – the numbers are more than decent. The Dubai-based ports operator, one of the largest globally, reported a solid 26% jump in six-month earnings as it added new capacity amid a pick up in global trade.



Senior executives reckon the company is well positioned to capitalise on the “significant” medium to long-term growth potential of the industry. It plans to substantially expand handling capacity at existing operations such as its flagship Jebel Ali port in the United Arab Emirates."



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Dubai World said to agree debt deal with main creditors - Business Intelligence Middle East - bi-me.com - News, analysis, reports

Dubai World said to agree debt deal with main creditors - Business Intelligence Middle East - bi-me.com - News, analysis, reports:



"Dubai World, the state-owned company at the center of the emirate’s 2009 financial crisis, reached a deal with its main creditors to extend the repayment of $10.3 billion of debt, two people with knowledge of the matter said.



The group, which owns the world’s third-largest ports operator, agreed with its creditor committee to repay in 2022, four years later than previously agreed on, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. Dubai World also agreed to repay $4.4 billion of loans due Sept. 2015 early if all creditors approve the deal, the people said.



Dubai’s accelerating economy is prompting companies to renegotiate loan terms and seek new deals as interest rates decline. Dubai World signed the debt deal with about 80 creditors to restructure about $14.7 billion in March 2011."



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Borsa Istanbul in talks with European, US giant for share sale - ECONOMICS

Borsa Istanbul in talks with European, US giant for share sale - ECONOMICS:



"Turkey’s sole stock exchange Borsa Istanbul is reportedly holding talks with one European and one American giant for the potential sale of a minority of the exchange’s shares only months after a landmark deal with U.S. stock exchange NASDAQ.



The stock exchange had clinched a landmark deal with NASDAQ in December, in which the U.S. exchange took a 5 percent share from Borsa Istanbul in a tie-up that allows Borsa Istanbul to use NASDAQ’s market technologies to attract new customers.



According to sources close to the matter, the Turkish stock exchange has neared the end of negotiations with the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), as well."



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Morgan Stanley gets in early over Saudi stock exchange reforms | The National

Morgan Stanley gets in early over Saudi stock exchange reforms | The National:



"Morgan Stanley has become the first international investment bank to initiate coverage on Saudi Arabian equities ahead of an expected opening of the kingdom’s stock exchange to foreign investors.



A report published by the Wall Street firm yesterday follows the publication of draft rules by the country’s Capital Markets Authority on foreign investment in Saudi stocks. That mapped out the criteria for eligible investors using a “qualified foreign investor” model.



Research analysts at Morgan Stanley rated Samba Financial Group and Al Rajhi Bank with “equal weight” while Riyad Bank was “underweight”."



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DP World reports $331.8m half year profit | GulfNews.com

DP World reports $331.8m half year profit | GulfNews.com:



"DP World, the Dubai government owned global port operator, reported on Thursday a half year profit of $331.8 million, 25.68 per cent higher than the same period a year earlier.



New capacity, a pick-up in global trade and a subsequent increase in volume growth were behind the numbers, said Chairman Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem in a statement.



Revenue for the six months ending June 30 was up 9.9 per cent to $1.659 billion, which DP World said explained the 12 per cent increase in containerised revenue and 10.2 per cent increase in non-container revenue."



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Sukuk Drought Poised to End on First-Time Sales: Islamic Finance - Bloomberg

Sukuk Drought Poised to End on First-Time Sales: Islamic Finance - Bloomberg:



"First-time sellers of bonds that adhere to Islam’s ban on interest are poised to revive an industry suffering its worst quarter in more than four years.



Luxembourg and Hong Kong aim to market debut offerings of sukuk next month, while Kenya, South Africa, Bangladesh and Tatarstan have announced plans for maiden issues. Islamic bond sales have fallen 82 percent to $2.6 billion this quarter compared with the previous three months, their lowest level since the first three months of 2010, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.



“All are seeking their share of fast-growing Islamic financial services activity,” Khalid Howladar, global head of Shariah-compliant finance at Moody’s Investors Service in Dubai, said in an Aug. 26 e-mail interview. “Initial sovereign issuances test and sometimes force the development of a legal environment conducive to Islamic finance.”"



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S&P 500 -- bull market beginnings? - YouTube

S&P 500 -- bull market beginnings? - YouTube: ""



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Petchems lift Saudi to 6-year high; Arabtec jumps on buyout hopes | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Petchems lift Saudi to 6-year high; Arabtec jumps on buyout hopes | Reuters:



"Expectations of strong global demand for petrochemicals supported the uptrend in Saudi Arabia's stock market on Wednesday, lifting the bourse to a fresh six-year high, while Dubai builder Arabtec jumped on hopes that a key shareholder would increase its stake.



Saudi Arabia's main index rose 0.8 percent to 11,030 points, closing above 11,000 points for the first time since January 2008.



Petrochemicals were among the main drivers; Saudi Basic Industries rose 1.2 percent, Saudi International Petrochemical Co (Sipchem) jumped 4.7 percent and Saudi Kayan Petrochemical Co added 2.5 percent."



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Blackstone, Fajr Said Near Deal for Stake in Dubai’s GEMS - Bloomberg

Blackstone, Fajr Said Near Deal for Stake in Dubai’s GEMS - Bloomberg:



"Blackstone Group LP (BX) is close to its first investment in the Middle East as the private-equity firm nears a deal to acquire a minority stake in Dubai’s GEMS Education, three people with knowledge of the matter said.



Blackstone, based in New York, has teamed up with Fajr Capital Ltd. to invest in the world’s biggest privately held schools operator GEMS through its Blackstone Tactical Opportunities unit, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private. A formal agreement to buy 20 percent of the company may be reached in the next couple of weeks, two of the people said. The deal may value the stake at about $350 million, they said.



GEMS, which operates more than 100 schools across 14 countries, may sell as much as 25 percent of the company to raise up to $500 million, Chief Operating Officer Dino Sunny Varkey said last year. The company hired Credit Suisse Group AG to help manage the sale, Varkey said. GEMS reported profit of $74.4m for the year ended March 31, in a statement to the Nasdaq Dubai stock exchange in July."



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Arabtec Ex-CEO Rejects Aabar 5-Dirham Offer for Shares - Bloomberg

Arabtec Ex-CEO Rejects Aabar 5-Dirham Offer for Shares - Bloomberg:



"Arabtec Holding Co. (ARTC)’s largest shareholder and former chief executive officer, Hasan Ismaik, rejected an offer from Aabar Investments PJSC to buy part of his stake for 5 dirhams ($1.36) a share.



Ismaik and Aabar, a United Arab Emirates government-linked investment company that wants to increase its stake in Arabtec, are still in talks about the sale, the former chief executive said by telephone today. The offer may involve as much as half of his holding, Ismaik said.



Arabtec’s shares climbed to a six-week high today on speculation a deal may be struck soon. The stock closed 4.8 percent higher at 4.79 dirhams after surging as much as 8.1 percent. A public-relations representative for Aabar declined to comment when reached by Bloomberg News today."



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Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Fractures in Arab Gulf alliance a greater threat to oil security than Islamic State - Telegraph

Fractures in Arab Gulf alliance a greater threat to oil security than Islamic State - Telegraph:



"In 1981 six Arab monarchies, which today control about a fifth of the world’s oil supply, formed the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC).



As the war between Iraq and Iran intensified, the Sunni Arab sheikhdoms of the Gulf peninsula - Saudi Arabia, Oman, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar - originally came together in theory to form a Middle Eastern version of the European Union. Although the group has no formal political charter like the EU, it still provides the only official forum where all six leaders of these oil-rich countries can sit down together to debate and agree on mutually beneficial policies in the region.



But the rise of Islamic extremism across the Middle East, America’s growing willingness to deal with Iran and lingering leadership succession issues amongst member states are now unpicking the ties that have bound the GCC together in a tectonic shift that could have profound implications for the security of the world’s largest oil fields."



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UPDATE 1-Abu Dhabi's Watania says regulator approves 60.53 pct stake sale | Reuters

UPDATE 1-Abu Dhabi's Watania says regulator approves 60.53 pct stake sale | Reuters:



"Abu Dhabi-listed Islamic insurer National Takaful Co (Watania) said on Tuesday that United Arab Emirates regulators had approved the sale of 60.53 percent of the firm to MB UAE Investments and an affiliate of MB.



Watania said MB UAE Investments would acquire 51 percent and Al Madina Insurance Co would take 9.53 percent. The group would buy a total of 90.8 million shares.



The deadline for the purchase is next Feb. 24, Watania said in the statement, noting that the regulatory approval did not constitute a commitment by the buyers to actually execute the deal. It did not give details such as the purchase price or who would sell the shares."



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Dubai World in deal with creditors to extend repayment of $10 billion debt | The National

Dubai World in deal with creditors to extend repayment of $10 billion debt | The National:



"Dubai World has reached a deal with its main creditors to extend the repayment of US$10.3 billion of debt, two people with knowledge of the matter said.



The group, which owns the world’s third-largest ports operator, agreed with the creditor committee to repay in 2022, four years later than previously agreed on, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private. Dubai World also agreed to repay $4.4bn of loans due September 2015 early if creditors approve the deal, the people said.



Dubai’s accelerating economy is prompting companies to renegotiate loan terms and seek new deals as interest rates decline. Dubai World signed the debt deal with about 80 creditors to restructure $14.7bn of debt in March 2011."



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International bond issues from Gulf to draw big demand despite geopolitics | GulfNews.com

International bond issues from Gulf to draw big demand despite geopolitics | GulfNews.com:



"A revival of international bond issues from the Gulf is set to draw heavy demand from local and foreign investors, despite the latest geopolitical upheavals in the Middle East and the approach of higher US interest rates.



Gulf bond issuance has dried up since early July, because of a traditional summer lull in local investor activity as well as global market instability due to the crisis in Ukraine.



During that period, tensions in some parts of the Middle East have worsened dramatically. In June, Islamic State militants in Iraq stepped up a campaign that threatens to dismember the country; fighting in Libya has intensified, and Yemen’s government has moved closer to collapse. Israel has launched a war against Palestinian militants in Gaza."



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DFM index gains 0.09% as values remain high | GulfNews.com

DFM index gains 0.09% as values remain high | GulfNews.com:



"The Dubai Financial Market (DFM) index continued to incline slowly on Tuesday, moving up 0.09 per cent to 4974.51 as trade values remained relatively high at Dh927.4 million.



Meanwhile, the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) general index rose 0.72 per cent to reach 5,115.5.



While DFM trade values are considered some of the highest during this month, analyst Osama Al Ashry said that trade in Dubai remains unhealthy as it is dominated by the real estate sector alone."



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Kuwait replaces head of market regulator after political backlash | GulfNews.com

Kuwait replaces head of market regulator after political backlash | GulfNews.com:



"Kuwait is replacing the head of its securities regulator after a stormy four years during which he drew criticism from some investors for his attempts to clean up the bourse and for the stock market’s weak performance.



Kuwait’s freewheeling stock market has one of the worst reputations in the region for patchy corporate disclosure and illicit trade.



Wealthy individual investors dominate the $113 billion market, and some resented Saleh Al Falah’s efforts, as chairman of the Capital Markets Authority (CMA), to crack down on improper speculation. Long-standing tensions between Kuwait’s parliament and the cabinet made the dispute a political issue."



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WPP - on a winning streak? - YouTube

WPP - on a winning streak? - YouTube: ""



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Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Concerns grow over China's property market - YouTube

Concerns grow over China's property market - YouTube: ""



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More Dubai and Abu Dhabi companies should merge, says Al Ansari - ArabianBusiness.com

More Dubai and Abu Dhabi companies should merge, says Al Ansari - ArabianBusiness.com:



"More Dubai and Abu Dhabi corporate giants should consider merging, according to Sameer Al Ansari, one of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s former advisors has said.



“I don’t know about the politics of Dubai and Abu Dhabi but I think there are opportunities for Dubai and Abu Dhabi to do more things together,” Al Ansari told Arabian Business.



Al Ansari served as Group Chief Financial Officer for The Executive Office of Dubai Ruler Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and was the founding chairman and CEO of Dubai International Capital, the emirate’s defacto sovereign wealth fund."



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The future of investment banking in the GCC | The National

The future of investment banking in the GCC | The National:



"Investment banking in the UAE in particular and the GCC in general experienced an unprecedented jump in activity in the period 2003 through 2008.



After a couple of decades of basic boom-bust IPO activity, the explosion of business in the equity markets triggered a smaller but no less dramatic growth of investment banking that involved the deployment of investment banking teams in new standalone institutions, as well as branches of international banks and divisions in local commercial banks. The global financial crisis that was triggered in late 2008 ended the expansion era.



After six years in the doldrums, there are whispers about the rebirth of investment banking. The opportunities do indeed exist, but not where conventional wisdom is pointing."



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Saudi Aramco’s CEO trumpets investment plans for oil and gas amid falling prices | The National

Saudi Aramco’s CEO trumpets investment plans for oil and gas amid falling prices | The National:



"Saudi Arabia will maintain an ambitious rate of investment in its hydrocarbon sector to meet forecast global demand increases over the next decade, despite the weaker oil prices which have hit its economy this year, according to a leading Saudi oil executive.



Yesterday, the head of Saudi Arabia’s state-owned national oil company, Aramco, said it plans to invest US$40 billion a year over the next 10 years to keep its oil production capacity steady and double gas production.



The Aramco chief executive Khalid Al Falih said he expects more of the company’s capital spending to be directed towards offshore projects and expects rising costs across the oil sector to underpin oil prices, according to Reuters."



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Dubai regulator’s suspension of Depa shares is legacy of Arabtec troubles | The National

Dubai regulator’s suspension of Depa shares is legacy of Arabtec troubles | The National:



"Arabtec continues to cast a shadow over Dubai markets, months after the departure of its former boss. Now its influence over another listed construction company has attracted the scrutiny of regulators.



The Dubai financial regulator yesterday suspended the shares of the interiors specialist Depa in a row over the composition of its board of directors – half of whom came from Arabtec.



The Dubai Financial Services Authority halted trading in the stock on the Nasdaq Dubai from 10am Monday until further notice."



'via Blog this'

Norway Open to Rosneft Expansion as Offshore Spending Slides - Bloomberg

Norway Open to Rosneft Expansion as Offshore Spending Slides - Bloomberg:



"Norway is open to OAO Rosneft deepening its involvement in the Nordic country as western Europe’s largest oil and natural gas producer seeks to counter a slowdown in investments and output.



The expansion of Russia’s largest oil producer in Norway comes as the country followed the U.S. and the European Union in imposing sanctions over Russia’s support of separatists in eastern Ukraine. Restrictions include a ban on technology transfer for deepwater, Arctic and shale oil exploration and production, while U.S. sanctions limit Rosneft’s access to financial markets.



“The restrictive measures are directed toward export of goods for use in Russia, and will not be relevant for foreign companies’ participation in petroleum activities or licensing rounds” offshore Norway, Oil and Energy Minister Tord Lien said yesterday in an interview in Stavanger, Norway."



'via Blog this'

Kurds Get Seizure Order Thrown Out for Texas Oil Tanker - Bloomberg

Kurds Get Seizure Order Thrown Out for Texas Oil Tanker - Bloomberg:



"The Kurdistan Regional Government can bring $100 million of crude ashore in Texas after a U.S. judge threw out a court order that would have required federal agents to seize and hold the cargo for the Iraqi Oil Ministry until a court there decided which government owns it.



U.S. District Judge Gray Miller in Houston said he lacked authority under federal laws governing property stolen at sea to decide the dispute. Both Iraq’s central government and the regional government claim control of 1 million barrels of Kurdish crude waiting in a tanker moored in international waters off the Texas coast for almost a month.



Miller ruled yesterday that Iraq’s national oil ministry lost control of the crude when the Kurdish government pumped it without authorization from oilfields in the northern part of the country. Iraq failed to convince Miller that the oil was misappropriated when it was loaded into a tanker in the Mediterranean Sea after being pumped across Turkey in an Iraq-owned pipeline."



'via Blog this'

Ukraine moves step closer to default - Fitch — RT Business

Ukraine moves step closer to default - Fitch — RT Business:



"The Fitch ratings agency has downgraded Ukraine one step closer to default grade, as the Ukrainian currency the hryvnia hits a record low, and the economy balances on the brink of a collapse.



Fitch cut the long-term local currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) of Ukraine from B-,signifying a default risk, to CCC, where default is a real possibility, and affirmed its long-term foreign currency IDR at CCC, it said in a statement on Friday.



The downgrade came amid deteriorating economic outlook due to the ongoing military conflict in Ukraine."



'via Blog this'

Stock News: Banks Support Qatar, Most Markets Edge Up » Gulf Business

Stock News: Banks Support Qatar, Most Markets Edge Up » Gulf Business:



"Conventional and Islamic lenders lifted Qatar’s bourse in early trade on Monday while stock markets in the United Arab Emirates rose slightly on the back of mid- and small-cap stocks, and Egyptian property developers continued their uptrend. 




Qatar’s benchmark rose 0.6 per cent, led by Islamic lender Masraf Al Rayan and Qatar National Bank, up 1.1 per cent each.



Qatar Islamic Bank added 1.6 per cent and Qatar International Islamic Bank was up 2.7 per cent."



'via Blog this'

BBC News - How Norway has avoided the 'curse of oil'

BBC News - How Norway has avoided the 'curse of oil':



"Hugged by mountains and perched on a stunning coastline of fjords, Bergen, Norway's second-largest city, has picture-postcard views.



As the centre of Norway's booming oil and gas industries, it is also a very wealthy place.



Yet there are few displays of ostentatious spending - there are no supercars with tinted windows, no designer handbag shops, and no queues of people outside exclusive nightclubs."



'via Blog this'

Saudi Stocks Decline Most Since June Led by Bank Albilad - Bloomberg

Saudi Stocks Decline Most Since June Led by Bank Albilad - Bloomberg:



"Shares in Saudi Arabia dropped the most in more than eight weeks, led by banking stocks, after some investors capitalized on gains as the Arab world’s biggest bourse prepares to open to foreigners.



The Tadawul All Share Index (SASEIDX) declined 0.6 percent, the most since June 29, to close at 10,842.78. The benchmark measure has advanced 11 percent since the country announced plans to allow investors outside the Gulf Cooperation Council to access the bourse. Bank Albilad tumbled 4.6 percent, the most since March 17. Alinma Bank erased an increase of 9.5 percent to close 1.7 percent lower as more than 120 million shares changed hands, accounting for about a quarter of all shares traded.



“Retail investors are heavily invested in Alinma Bank,” Khaled Albraikan, head of asset management at NCB Capital, said by phone. “When there’s profit taking in a stock that has been rallying,” it affects the whole market, he said. Alinma Bank advanced 21 percent in the six days through yesterday."



'via Blog this'

UPDATE 3-MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi bourse pulls back on profit-taking; turnover rises | News by Country | Reuters

UPDATE 3-MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi bourse pulls back on profit-taking; turnover rises | News by Country | Reuters:



"Saudi Arabia's main stock index pulled back because of profit-taking on Monday after earlier in the day breaking through the psychologically important level of 11,000 points for the first time since January 2008.



The main Saudi index was nearly flat in the early afternoon after rising 1.4 percent to 11,051 points and then dipping as much as 0.4 percent. The benchmark had gained in the six previous sessions.



"It's normal profit-taking," said Maged Ali Hasan, head of brokerage EFG Hermes in Riyadh."



'via Blog this'

S&P 500 reaches new milestone - YouTube

S&P 500 reaches new milestone - YouTube: ""



'via Blog this'

Monday, 25 August 2014

Russia in Negative Economic Stage, Should Invest in Development – Economy Minister | Russia | RIA Novosti

Russia in Negative Economic Stage, Should Invest in Development – Economy Minister | Russia | RIA Novosti:



"Russia has entered a negative stage in the economic cycle and should invest in its own development, Alexei Ulyukayev, Russia’s minister of Economic Development, said in his article published in the Vedomosti newspaper Monday.



“It could be said that we have entered a negative stage of the economic cycle. Lack of demand is a significant obstacle on the way to restoring steady growth. In these circumstances, a decrease in government spending will only intensify the negative trend in the national economy, which, in turn, will hinder improving fiscal performance,” Ulyukayev said.



The Russian economy began stagnating in 2012 due to weak domestic growth rather than the changing geo-political environment. However, the minister also noted that now is a good time to invest in the country’s development."



'via Blog this'

Overheating risks arising in Dubai’s real estate market | Economy | Saudi Gazette

Overheating risks arising in Dubai’s real estate market | Economy | Saudi Gazette:



"While China is consolidating its state-led moderation, prices continue to climb in Dubai, Asiya Investments said in its latest weekly analysis.
 



The recent economic slowdown in China is having a profound effect in many of its sectors. The property market in China, which has been showing clear signs of cooling down in recent months, is one of those in which the slowdown is expected to be more intense. Price growth peaked late last year, reaching a yearly rate of 9.9 percent, and has been trending down ever since. In fact, the month-on-month growth rate has been negative since May, reaching monthly declines of nearly a full percentage point. Second-hand house prices contributed the most to the moderation of property prices, failing to grow in 19 out of the 70 most prominent cities in China.
 



Chinese authorities have been trying to moderate overheated real estate prices while meeting the large demand arising from urbanization. A heterogeneous set of measures such as a tax on capital gains, ownership restrictions for residents and mortgage rate hikes have already had a noticeable impact on the market. "



'via Blog this'

New era in energy relations between China and Middle East | The National

New era in energy relations between China and Middle East | The National:



"China has stepped up its engagement in the Middle East over the past decade as the Asian giant seeks to safeguard and diversify crucial energy and commodities needed for long-term economic growth. From developing some of the world’s biggest oilfields in Iraq to constructing a large-scale refinery in Saudi Arabia, Chinese companies are broadening their footprint across the region, channelling billions of US dollars into sectors such as energy and commodities.



The energy needs of China and the Middle East are closely intertwined. On an industry level, it paves the way for a new breed of Chinese energy companies — characterised no longer by low-cost and substandard quality and service offerings but by considerably upgraded technological, human and financial capabilities — to play a much greater role in a sector that in the past was almost exclusively dominated by western firms, in particular international oil companies.



On a political level, China’s deepening engagement in the Middle East provides the world’s second-largest economy with long-term access to strategic hydrocarbons and other raw materials, while at the same time opening up downstream opportunities for producing countries seeking to cement relationships with their customers and ensure long-term demand security. It is also strengthening bilateral relations between regional governments and China, thus adding a new strategic dimension to the region’s political dynamics that may have greater weighting in the aftermath of the Arab Spring."



'via Blog this'

Etihad is ‘comfortable’ over second review of its stake in Swiss-based Darwin | The National

Etihad is ‘comfortable’ over second review of its stake in Swiss-based Darwin | The National:



"Etihad Airways said yesterday that it was “comfortable” with a second review by Switzerland’s federal office of civil aviation of its acquisition of a 33.3 per cent stake of the Swiss-based airline Darwin.



The Swiss Federal Office of Civil Aviation (Foca) said last week that the deal currently gives effective control to Etihad over Darwin Airline, which was rebranded to Etihad Regional in January.



Foca wants to ensure that the deal complies with its rules which stipulate that the majority of the airline’s shares should be owned by Swiss or EU citizens. The same applies to the question of control over the airline."



'via Blog this'

GCC corporates headed to capital markets for longer term funding | GulfNews.com

GCC corporates headed to capital markets for longer term funding | GulfNews.com:



"Post global financial crisis, corporates from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries are increasingly seeing benefits of seeking longer term funding through both debt and equity capital issuance, said Stuart Anderson, Managing Director & Regional Head Middle East of Standard& Poor’s.



The overall positive economic environment in these countries, combined with the lessons learned during the financial crisis and recent market reforms are encouraging many corporates in the region to seek capital market funding.



While government-related entities [GREs] are looking at diversifying their funding sources through capital market issuance, Anderson expects medium-size corporates to be the big game changers in terms of debt and equity issuance from the region."



'via Blog this'

Hedge Fund Crude Bets Tumble Amid Surging Global Supply - Bloomberg

Hedge Fund Crude Bets Tumble Amid Surging Global Supply - Bloomberg:



"Speculators are the least bullish on U.S. crude oil prices in 16 months as refinery maintenance weakens demand at a time when Libya and Iraq are swelling global supplies.



Futures dropped a fifth consecutive week after money managers reduced net-long positions in West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. benchmark grade, by 14 percent in the seven days ended Aug. 19, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission said.


Prices sank below $95 on Aug. 19 for the first time in seven months as U.S. air strikes in Iraq helped reverse the advance of Islamic State fighters and the country’s Kurds work to increase oil shipments. Libyan output climbed last week and exports resumed from the port of Es Sider. Refineries in the U.S. typically schedule work for September and October, when demand for gasoline declines after the summer peak, and before consumption of heating fuel picks up during winter."



'via Blog this'

Brent Extends Drop as Mideast Oil Supply Stays Safe; WTI Steady - Bloomberg

Brent Extends Drop as Mideast Oil Supply Stays Safe; WTI Steady - Bloomberg:



"Brent fell for a second day amid speculation that turmoil across the Middle East won’t threaten crude supplies. West Texas Intermediate was steady in New York after a technical issue disrupted electronic trading.



Futures dropped as much as 0.6 percent in London. Libya’s production increased even as Islamist militias seized Tripoli’s international airport, while supply from Iraq remained uninterrupted by its struggle to form a new government. CME Group Inc., the world’s largest futures market, halted most of its Globex platform for about four hours, suspending contracts including oil and commodities.



“The region is in chaos but production continues to rise,” Robin Mills, the head of consulting at Manaar Energy Consulting and Project Management, said by phone from Dubai. “Brent’s been pretty weak. Global demand is still sluggish.”"



'via Blog this'

China’s ICBC Leasing Said to Seek $300 Million Gulf Bank Loan - Bloomberg

China’s ICBC Leasing Said to Seek $300 Million Gulf Bank Loan - Bloomberg:



"ICBC Leasing, a unit of Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd., hired Dubai-based Emirates NBD and Commercial Bank International (CBI) to arrange a $300 million loan, according to three people familiar with the matter.



The facility will be priced at 2.1 percent above the London interbank offered rate and syndication is expected to be completed by the end of this month, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private.



ICBC agreed to buy Turkey’s Tekstil Bankasi AS in April as the Beijing-based lender seeks to boost earnings from the Middle East by 50 percent this year, Zhou Xiaodong, chief executive officer for the region, said in a February interview."



'via Blog this'

Singapore Shooting-Range Maker’s Stock Doubles on Mideast - Bloomberg

Singapore Shooting-Range Maker’s Stock Doubles on Mideast - Bloomberg:



"Starburst Holdings Ltd. (STARB), a Singaporean builder of shooting ranges, expects revenue to rise fivefold as Middle East defense spending surges following the Arab Spring uprisings.



The company is pursuing as many as six contracts to provide firearms-training facilities to countries including the United Arab Emirates, Executive Chairman Edward Lim said. Projects in the region may drive sales in five to six years to S$100 million ($80 million) from S$21 million in 2013, he said. Starburst is Singapore’s best-performing stock since listing shares on July 10, soaring 139 percent as of the last close. The benchmark Straits Times Index rose 1.5 percent in that span.



“After the Arab Spring, countries in the Middle East are starting the implementation of compulsory military services,” Lim said in an interview on Aug. 21. “They need to build new shooting ranges to accommodate the increase in the military personnel.”"



'via Blog this'

Occidental Talks to Mubadala on $3 Billion Asset, PIW Says - Bloomberg

Occidental Talks to Mubadala on $3 Billion Asset, PIW Says - Bloomberg:



"Occidental Petroleum Corp. (OXY) is in talks to sell a $3 billion stake in a gas field to Abu Dhabi-owned Mubadala Development Co., Petroleum Intelligence Weekly reported, without saying where it got the information.



The companies are discussing the sale of as much as 30 percent of the $10 billion Shah natural gas project in the United Arab Emirates, the newsletter reported. Two officials at Mubadala’s media department didn’t immediately respond to voice messages seeking comment. Melissa Schoeb, a spokeswoman for Occidental, declined to comment when contacted by e-mail.



Oxy, as the U.S. oil producer is known, is working with state-run Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. to develop the Shah field, with production to begin at the end of the year. The U.A.E. is tapping the reserve of sour gas, fuel with a high content of deadly sulfur dioxide, to meet domestic demand for the hydrocarbon used to run power plants and feed chemical facilities."



'via Blog this'

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Gazprom looks to strengthen ties with Vietnam

Gazprom looks to strengthen ties with Vietnam:



"Gazprom continues to focus eastward, with the company led by Alexey Miller stepping up efforts to strengthen ties with Vietnam. 



Miller met Fam Suan Shon, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam to Russia, to discuss Russian-Vietnamese cooperation in the energy sector.



‘In particular, the parties praised the results of the joint exploration and production activities on the Vietnamese shelf and in Russia as well as expressed their satisfaction with the progress of a Vietnamese project for natural gas use as a vehicle fuel. In addition, the participants confirmed their willingness to arrange the Russian LNG supply to Vietnam,’ Gazprom said on Friday."



'via Blog this'

Bahrain Bourse closes in on tighter GCC market integration | GulfNews.com

Bahrain Bourse closes in on tighter GCC market integration | GulfNews.com:



"Shaikh Khalifa Bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa took over as the chief executive of Bahrain Bourse (BHB) in mid-May this year. Prior to his current role Shaikh Khalifa was the deputy chief executive and chief operating officer of the bourse. He joined BHB in 2010 as the deputy director of settlement, central depository and Information Technology. Shaikh Khalifa was also responsible for implementing the bourse development strategy that was approved by the board in 2011. In an exclusive interview with Gulf News, he outlines the outlook for Bahrain Bourse in the context of capital market reforms across the GCC.
 



Gulf News (GN): You took over as the chief executive in May this year, what is your outlook for the exchange’s trading activity this year in the context of regional capital market developments?



Shaikh Khalifa Bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa: We see Bahrain’s economy and financial markets very much part of the GCC economy and markets. In the context of the strong regional economic growth we see robust outlook for all the regional markets."



'via Blog this'

Saudi Firms That Could Feature on Qualified Investors’ Wish Lists - Middle East Real Time - WSJ

Saudi Firms That Could Feature on Qualified Investors’ Wish Lists - Middle East Real Time - WSJ:



"The Wall Street Journal lists the top 10 companies by market value that might interest foreign investors once the market is opened up for direct investment.



Of course, foreigners would still need to qualify to invest in the market. And the regulator also plans to impose foreign ownership limits that could be restrictive – such as an aggregate cap of 10% by market value, which includes any interests under swaps as well.



The Tadawul, as the market is known as, boasts of some of the biggest companies listed in the region. Not surprisingly, the list is headed by Sabic – with a market cap of about $103 billion, the petchem giant on its own dwarfs several other regional markets by value."



'via Blog this'

Saudi Stocks Jump to 6-Year High on Ownership Rules; Dubai Gains - Bloomberg

Saudi Stocks Jump to 6-Year High on Ownership Rules; Dubai Gains - Bloomberg:



"Stocks in Saudi Arabia advanced to the highest since January 2008 after the world’s top oil producer proposed shareholding caps as it prepares to grant foreign investors access to the bourse. Dubai’s gauge also rose.



The Tadawul All Share Index (SASEIDX) climbed 1.6 percent to close at 10,903.04. Banking stocks led the advance, with Alinma Bank surging 9.7 percent to the highest level on record. Al Rajhi Bank, the largest traded Islamic lender globally, rose 2 percent. Dubai’s DFM General Index (DFMGI) climbed 1.1 percent.



Saudi Arabia, the Middle East’s biggest economy, is removing barriers to one of the world’s most restricted stock markets as the kingdom pursues a $130 billion spending plan to boost non-energy industries. The country’s bourse may be added to MSCI Inc.’s emerging-markets gauge by 2017 at the earliest, Sebastien Lieblich, executive director at MSCI Index Research, said in July. That may translate into about $35 billion to $40 billion of inflows, John Burbank, founder of Passport Capital LLC, wrote in an e-mail on Aug. 21."



'via Blog this'

Exclusive: MAF Properties CEO George Kostas On Dubai's Retail High » Gulf Business

Exclusive: MAF Properties CEO George Kostas On Dubai's Retail High » Gulf Business:



"With 17 operational malls across the MENA region, UAE-based Majid Al Futtaim Properties (MAF Properties) is firmly established as one of the foremost mall operators in the region.



But the company is aspiring for much more, with plans to diversify and be recognised as one of the leading property players across the MENA region within the next few years, with operations in malls, hotels, mixed-use developments and project management.



The plan is part of the wider $5 billion expansion strategy revealed by MAF Properties’ parent conglomerate, Majid Al Futtaim Holding (MAF) late last year. Under the five-year plan, Dubai-based MAF aims to double its business to $12 billion by 2018, driven by new malls opening in Saudi Arabia and Egypt, residential projects in Lebanon, hypermarkets, cinemas and family entertainment centre openings."



'via Blog this'

Dubai is back in business and ready to get going | GulfNews.com

Dubai is back in business and ready to get going | GulfNews.com:



"All large Dubai-owned companies suffered in the financial downturn of 2009 and 2010, and some were found so severely lacking in liquidity that their survival was in doubt. Under a barrage of hysterical international news coverage, many assumed that Dubai would never recover again.



But in the event, Dubai quietly got on with the business of becoming one of the world’s major commercial and transport hubs, and as its excellent infrastructure helped the economy recover, its companies also recovered.



Dubai’s economic recovery has been so marked that Nakheel, the government-owned property developer, has announced that it will repay its entire outstanding Dh7.9 billion bank debt almost four years ahead of schedule. A few months ago its chairman, Ali Rashid Lootah, said, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way. We will keep looking at ways to cut costs.”"



'via Blog this'

Some of Dubai’s ‘big names’ should have been allowed to fail, says Al Ansari - Politics & Economics - ArabianBusiness.com

Some of Dubai’s ‘big names’ should have been allowed to fail, says Al Ansari - Politics & Economics - ArabianBusiness.com:



"Some of the big name Dubai companies that ran up massive debts during the downturn should have been allowed to fail, but the culture was that bankruptcy was seen as a taboo option, a close former advisor of Dubai’s Ruler told Arabian Business.



“There were a lot of the discussions in 2009 and 2010 where with some companies it actually made sense to let them go through a bankruptcy liquidation process because frankly it would have cost the shareholders less and cost the bank less,” said Sameer Al Ansari, who served as Group Chief Financial Officer for The Executive Office of Dubai Ruler Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and was the founding chairman and CEO of Dubai International Capital, the emirate’s defacto sovereign wealth fund.



Dubai’s rapid growth and investment in overseas assets and lavish local projects meant it was one of the locations hardest hit by the global recession as property prices fell by nearly 60 percent, around half of projects were put on hold and it was faced with billions of dollars in debt repayments."



'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Conservative ownership rules may slow Saudi uptrend | News by Country | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Conservative ownership rules may slow Saudi uptrend | News by Country | Reuters:



"The rise of Saudi Arabia's bourse may pause on Sunday after the kingdom's stock market regulator published on Thursday restrictive draft rules for direct foreign ownership of shares - though the market had largely expected a conservative approach.



The Capital Market Authority proposed limiting total foreign ownership of the market's value to 10 percent, and to cap it for each listed company at 5 percent for a single foreign investor and 20 percent for all foreign institutions combined.



The draft rules also require foreign funds to have at least $5 billion of assets under management, and investment experience of no less than five years in order to buy Saudi stocks."



'via Blog this'

Will Gulf fortunes be hampered by Mena turbulence? | GulfNews.com

Will Gulf fortunes be hampered by Mena turbulence? | GulfNews.com:



"It’s clear that the immediate geopolitics of the Middle East have become no less relevant now than when mentioned last week.



In one of those examples where minimal change hides the tensions of offsetting forces, benchmark Brent oil prices have deceptively hovered around the $100 (Dh367) mark.



To some extent it has to be imagined that prices, and therefore receipts to the exporting states of the Gulf, have been upheld by a certain risk premium for some time."



'via Blog this'

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Battle over North Sea’s black gold | Economy | Saudi Gazette

Battle over North Sea’s black gold | Economy | Saudi Gazette:



"North Sea oil has been at the center of fierce debate over Scotland’s future ahead of an independence vote next month, with both sides wrangling over the outlook for the region’s treasure trove of black gold.



Around 42 billion barrels of oil and gas have been extracted from the North Sea since the early 1970s, providing a welcome boost to the British government’s coffers — and Scotland’s economy.



Now, with Scotland heading to the polls on September 18 in a referendum that could spell the end of the 300-year-old union with England, its lucrative energy resources are in sharp focus."



'via Blog this'

China banks: Big Four bets - YouTube

China banks: Big Four bets - YouTube: ""



'via Blog this'

Can Russia feed itself? - YouTube

Can Russia feed itself? - YouTube: ""



'via Blog this'

Central Bank challenges Standard Chartered over SME account closures | The National

Central Bank challenges Standard Chartered over SME account closures | The National:



"Standard Chartered’s woes deepened yesterday.



The Central Bank of the UAE said that StanChart’s plans to close the majority of its small and medium enterprise (SME) accounts in the country, as part of a $300 million settlement with US authorities, would be subject to legal action from affected account holders.



In a statement yesterday, the Central Bank said that StanChart’s closure of SME accounts in the UAE, a key part of its settlement with the New York State department of financial services (DFS), “means that the bank will be liable to prosecution by those companies due to the material and moral damage which is falling on them”."



'via Blog this'

Bank Sarasin-Alpen to appeal DIFC court ruling on miss-selling | GulfNews.com

Bank Sarasin-Alpen to appeal DIFC court ruling on miss-selling | GulfNews.com:



"The Dubai International Financial Centre Court (DIFC Court) on Thursday ruled in favour of Al Khorafi, a prominent Kuwait-based business family in its case against Bank Sarasin-Alpen and its Swiss parent Bank Sarasin over a case relating to investment losses.



The court found Sarasin sold unsuitable investments to Al Khorafi family members in 2007 and 2008, and should pay compensation to the family, deputy chief justice John Chadwick ruled on Thursday.



A Bank Sarasin-Alpen official said it is studying the ruling for further action. “We are looking at all aspects of the court ruling and an appeal will be the natural course of action,” Rohit Walia, Chief Executive Officer of Bank Sarasin-Alpen Middle East (BSAME), told Gulf News."



'via Blog this'

Russia Stocks Halt Best Rally Since 2005, Ruble Drops on Convoy - Bloomberg

Russia Stocks Halt Best Rally Since 2005, Ruble Drops on Convoy - Bloomberg:



"Russian stocks ended their longest stretch of gains in almost nine years and the ruble weakened on concern an aid convoy will stoke more tension with Ukraine. Mail.Ru (MAIL) Group Ltd. tumbled after cutting its sales forecast.



The Micex Index (INDEXCF) sank 1 percent to 1,446.60 at the close in Moscow. OAO Gazprom, the nation’s biggest oil company, dropped 1.1 percent, falling for a second day to become the biggest decliner on the index. Mail.Ru fell 11.8 percent in London after the operator of a social networking site cut its 2014 sales forecast amid a slowdown in advertising spending as sanctions against Russia threatened to exacerbate an economic slowdown. The ruble weakened 0.3 percent to 36.1350 per dollar by 6 p.m. in Moscow, when the central bank stops its market operations.



The Micex halted a 10-day advance as Valentyn Nalyvaychenko, the head of Ukraine’s security council, said on TV5 that Russia is invading the country under the cover of aid trucks. Ukraine said the convoy moved into the country without its consent. The dollar-denominated RTS Index (RTSI$) fell 1.2 percent."



'via Blog this'

Ukraine Rating Cut by Fitch as East Conflict Hurts Growth - Bloomberg

Ukraine Rating Cut by Fitch as East Conflict Hurts Growth - Bloomberg:



"Ukraine’s credit rating was cut by Fitch Ratings, which cited a worsening economic outlook as the military conflict with pro-Russian separatists in the nation’s east curbs business activity.



The company lowered its assessment to CCC from B-, which signals a high risk of default. Only Argentina, which failed to make an interest payment last month, is rated lower than Ukraine among 104 countries Fitch tracks.



While the government has recaptured territory from the rebels, conflict may persist or intensify, delaying economic revival and damaging productive assets, Fitch wrote in a statement yesterday. Ukraine and its allies say the war is being fueled by Russian support for the insurgents, which President Vladimir Putin has denied."



'via Blog this'

Hryvnia Weakens to Near Record as Ukraine Says Russia Invading - Bloomberg

Hryvnia Weakens to Near Record as Ukraine Says Russia Invading - Bloomberg:



"The hryvnia extended its fifth weekly depreciation and Ukrainian bonds fell as the government said Russia is invading the country under the cover of aid.



The currency slumped 2.5 percent to 13.55 per dollar by 4:43 p.m. in Kiev, within 0.17 hryvnia of a record low reached on Aug. 12. It lost 9.4 percent this month, the most among all currencies tracked by Bloomberg, and is down 39 percent in 2014. 




Russian trucks with aid for eastern Ukraine crossed the border without consent from the government in Kiev, representing a “direct invasion,” Valentyn Nalyvaychenko, the head of Ukraine’s security council, said on TV5. More than 150 trucks entered without a Red Cross escort through a border checkpoint in a rebel-held area and headed for the city of Luhansk. Russia warned against attempts to disrupt the convoy."



'via Blog this'

Friday, 22 August 2014

ITAR-TASS: Economy - Ukraine’s president prepares to sell assets via Rothschild-report

ITAR-TASS: Economy - Ukraine’s president prepares to sell assets via Rothschild-report:



"KIEV, August 22. /ITAR-TASS/. Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko has started preparations for selling assets and he has chosen investment company Rothschild as agent for sales, the company’s Managing Director Giovanni Salvetti told Friday to local correspondents of radio station Radio Svoboda.



“We’ve received good news today and we are glad that we have been chosen for this important transaction. Our company is one of the leading world advisors on merger and acquisition agreements,” Salvetti told RFE/FL’s Ukrainian Service.



The company will begin selling Poroshenko’s assets next week, he said."



'via Blog this'

Russia’s Rosneft, Norway’s NADL Sign Asset Swap Deal | Business | RIA Novosti

Russia’s Rosneft, Norway’s NADL Sign Asset Swap Deal | Business | RIA Novosti:



"Russian state energy giant Rosneft said Friday it had agreed to swap assets and purchase shares in Norway's North Atlantic Drilling (NADL).



In a statement posted on its website, the top Russian crude producer said the agreement it had signed with NADL and an offshore drilling company, Seadrill, foresaw “the acquisition by Rosneft of NADL shares through an exchange of assets and investments in NADL charter capital.”



It also said the accord left open the possibility of Rosneft's increase in its NADL stake “according to the development of the cooperation.”"



'via Blog this'

Ukraine Economy Minister Pavlo Sheremeta Resigns | News | The Moscow Times

Ukraine Economy Minister Pavlo Sheremeta Resigns | News | The Moscow Times:



"Ukrainian Economy Minister Pavlo Sheremeta said Thursday he had tendered his resignation and voiced frustration at not being able to push ahead with much-needed economic reform.



After months of fighting in its eastern regions following the toppling of a government blighted by corruption and economic mismanagement, Ukraine's economy has contracted sharply, even with a multi-billion dollar financial lifeline from the International Monetary Fund.



Sheremeta had vowed to slash red tape and eliminate corrupt practices that have helped to virtually bankrupt Ukraine when he was appointed soon after the ousting of Moscow-backed president Viktor Yanukovych in February."



'via Blog this'

US bank regulators in the spotlight - YouTube

US bank regulators in the spotlight - YouTube: ""



'via Blog this'

Did the system work? - YouTube

Did the system work? - YouTube: ""



'via Blog this'

Russia Said to Forgo $6.7 Billion of Oil Revenue for Investment - Bloomberg

Russia Said to Forgo $6.7 Billion of Oil Revenue for Investment - Bloomberg:



"Russia may lose as much as 240 billion rubles ($6.7 billion) of oil revenue next year after the government chose a three-year tax plan favored by crude producers, according to two state officials.



Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich picked the lower of two proposed oil output tax rates, leaving an additional 55 billion rubles in producers’ pockets, the officials said, asking not to be identified because discussions were confidential. Dvorkovich, who made his choice to encourage investment, met today with government and business representatives to set the rates before the budget is sent to parliament.



Russia, the world’s biggest energy exporter, is trying to balance the interests of producers and the budget with the $2 trillion economy on the brink of recession amid a standoff with the U.S. and Europe over Ukraine. Oil taxes provide about 45 percent of the country’s budget revenue."



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Russia Stocks Post Longest Rally Since 2005 as Ruble Gains - Bloomberg

Russia Stocks Post Longest Rally Since 2005 as Ruble Gains - Bloomberg:



"The Micex Index (INDEXCF) rose for a 10th day in the longest winning streak in nine years on bets President Vladimir Putin’s meeting with his Ukrainian counterpart next week will reduce tension. The ruble strengthened.



The gauge added 1 percent to 1,461.75, bringing the 10-day advance to 9.6 percent, the biggest stretch of gains since the 11 days ended Sept. 2, 2005. The ruble appreciated for the first time in three days, strengthening 0.2 percent to 36.24 per dollar by 6 p.m. in Moscow, when the central bank stops its market operations.




President Petro Poroshenko andPutin agreed to meet in Minsk on Aug. 26 to discuss de-escalation, triggering bets the standoff over Ukraine may be closer to a resolution. U.S.-based exchange-traded funds investing in Russian shares have had inflows of $110 million since Aug. 7, equivalent to 4.9 percent of their market value, data compiled by Bloomberg show."



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BofA's $16.65B Bank Settlement Is Worth More Than Murdoch: Video - Bloomberg

BofA's $16.65B Bank Settlement Is Worth More Than Murdoch: Video - Bloomberg: ""



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