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Tuesday, 30 September 2014

MidEast Stocks Mostly Rise, Qatar Slips on Positioning Ahead of Benchmark Index Changes - NASDAQ.com

MidEast Stocks Mostly Rise, Qatar Slips on Positioning Ahead of Benchmark Index Changes - NASDAQ.com:



"MidEast shares were mostly higher, but Qatar fell to a four-week low as investors adjusted positions ahead of changes in the benchmark composition.



Ezdan Holding and Mazaya Qatar will replace Al Khaliji Bank and Al Meera Consumer Goods Co, in the benchmar index on Wednesday.



Dubai's market rose. Emaar Properties subsidiary Emaar Malls Group said on Monday it had raised $1.58 billion in an IPO amid massive demand from investors, making it the largest stock offering in a Gulf Arab economy since 2008."



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Dubai IPOs Start With $43 Billion Bang as Buyers Line Up - Bloomberg

Dubai IPOs Start With $43 Billion Bang as Buyers Line Up - Bloomberg:



"Less than seven hours after Emaar Properties PJSC announced pricing for the largest initial public offering in Dubai since 2007, Chairman Mohamed Alabbar added another sale to the pipeline.



It may have to wait its turn.



A theme park operator, an Egyptian billionaire and a cell phone retailer are among those considering IPOs in the emirate, whose stock market is the second-best in the world this year. Amanat Holdings, a healthcare and education venture, announced plans today for a share sale next month. Many had plans under discussion even before Emaar got at least $43 billion in orders for 15.4 percent of its retail unit, raising $1.6 billion."



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Amanat Plans $374 Million IPO on Dubai’s DFM Next Month - Bloomberg

Amanat Plans $374 Million IPO on Dubai’s DFM Next Month - Bloomberg:



"Amanat Holdings, a healthcare and education company under formation, plans to raise 1.375 billion dirhams ($374 million) in an initial share sale on the Dubai Financial Market starting in October.



The company intends to sell 55 percent of its shares at 1 dirham each when it opens subscription in the second half of next month, it said in an e-mailed statement today. Amanat, which was founded by 37 investors, will use its capitalization of 2.5 billion dirhams to set up and incorporate companies working in the healthcare and education industries across the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council, according to the statement.



The success of IPOs from Marka PJSC and Emaar Malls Group has “increased the appetite” of companies to raise funds from the equity market, Wadah Al Taha, chief investment officer of Dubai-based Al Zarooni Group, said by phone. “There’s ample liquidity and conditions are favorable for existing businesses and the new ones with good prospects of success to raise finances now,” he said."



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Exxon’s difficult find - YouTube

Exxon’s difficult find - YouTube: ""



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Pimco -- what happens now? - YouTube

Pimco -- what happens now? - YouTube: ""



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A U-Turn for a Terminal Built in Texas to Import Natural Gas - NYTimes.com

A U-Turn for a Terminal Built in Texas to Import Natural Gas - NYTimes.com:



"The giant Golden Pass natural gas import terminal here, meant to bring Middle Eastern gas to energy-hungry Americans, sits eerily quiet these days, a sleepy museum to a bygone era.



Its 5,000 valves, 50 million pounds of steel and ship berth as big as 77 football fields — representing a $2 billion investment by Qatar Petroleum, Exxon Mobil and Conoco Phillips — have been dormant for nearly three years. The unexpected American shale fracking frenzy produced such a glut of domestic gas that the United States does not need Qatari gas anymore.



But the Golden Pass story is only beginning."



'via Blog this'

Abu Dhabi raises concern over EPF’s voting on three-way bank merger deal - The Malaysian Insider

Abu Dhabi raises concern over EPF’s voting on three-way bank merger deal - The Malaysian Insider:



"The Abu Dhabi government has formally reached out to the Malaysian government, expressing its concern about the Employees Provident Fund’s (EPF) right to vote in the proposed mega merger of RHB Capital Bhd (RHBCap), CIMB Group Holdings Bhd and Malaysia Building Society Bhd (MBSB).



“Sheikh Mansour (Zayed Al Nahyan) has sent a letter to the Malaysian prime minister on this,” a source familiar with the matter told The Edge Financial Daily. 




Sheikh Mansour is the deputy prime minister and minister of presidency affairs of Abu Dhabi."



'via Blog this'

Middle East youth jobs crisis ‘lures recruits to extremism’ | The National

Middle East youth jobs crisis ‘lures recruits to extremism’ | The National:



"Youth unemployment is spurring the spread of violent extremism across the region, a special meeting of the World Economic Forum heard yesterday.



Regional business and political leaders met here amid a backdrop of escalating military action in neighbouring Syria and Iraq.



“When extremism is the best paying job in town you have a big problem,” Tarek Sultan Al Essa, the chief executive of Agility, told the special meeting on unlocking resources for regional development."



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Heavy demand means reduced shares allocation for Emaar Malls investors | The National

Heavy demand means reduced shares allocation for Emaar Malls investors | The National:



"Investors will get a fraction of the shares they applied for in Emaar Malls Group, the retail business that owns The Dubai Mall, following a surge of interest from foreign institutions in the Dh5.8 billion initial public offering that begins trading on Thursday.



 The shares will start at the top of the price range set by the company and its advisers. At Dh2.9 per share, EMG will have a market capitalisation of Dh37.7bn on the Dubai Financial Market.



Foreign institutional interest in the IPO has been strong, according to a notice posted on the DFM."



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CapMan Russia Closes Fund II, Says Ukraine Crisis Had “Negative Impact” - Private Equity Beat - WSJ

CapMan Russia Closes Fund II, Says Ukraine Crisis Had “Negative Impact” - Private Equity Beat - WSJ:



"Amid cooling investor sentiment and the continuing political conflict in Ukraine, CapMan Russia has closed its latest private equity fund with 99.1 million euros. 




The final tally for Fund II is only marginally larger than the EUR97 million CapMan Russia said it gathered for a first close of the fund in April 2013. The firm raised EUR118 million for a predecessor fund, LBO Wire previously reported. 




CapMan Russia said in a release announcing the final close that it was “satisfied” with the size of the fund, but acknowledged that tensions in the region had complicated fundraising."



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Emirates NBD set to announce bond pricing | GulfNews.com

Emirates NBD set to announce bond pricing | GulfNews.com:



"Emirates NBD was supposed to price a bond offering denominated in New Zealand dollars on Monday.



Dubai’s largest lender has set initial price thoughts for the 100 million New Zealand dollar ($77.6 million or Dh288.67 million) issue of five years duration at 165 basis points over New Zealand midswaps, the document showed.



ANZ and Deutsche Bank have been picked to arrange the bond sale, which was supposed to price during London business hours."



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Bombing of Militants Roils Sukuk as Rally Fades: Islamic Finance - Bloomberg

Bombing of Militants Roils Sukuk as Rally Fades: Islamic Finance - Bloomberg:



"Islamic bonds are set for 2014’s first monthly loss as the battle against extremists in Syria and Iraq broadened to involve a coalition of Middle Eastern nations.



A Bloomberg index tracking dollar-denominated sukuk from 43 sovereign and corporate issuers fell 0.3 percent in September. That pared its quarterly return to 0.7 percent, half the 1.4 percent in the three months through June. Average yields on the debt climbed 11 basis points to 2.89 percent this month, the highest level since Aug. 12, according to a gauge compiled by Deutsche Bank AG.



The military offensive against Islamic State insurgents expanded this month as U.S. forces received help from the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Bahrain, Qatar, the U.K. and France. That increases the perceived risk of retaliatory attacks from militants in the countries involved, while some investors sold their existing sukuk to buy into debut Shariah-compliant bond offers from the U.K. and Hong Kong, Samer Mardini, vice president at SJS Markets Ltd. in Dubai, said in an interview yesterday."



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Monday, 29 September 2014

Paypal takes aim at Europe’s tech sector - YouTube

Paypal takes aim at Europe’s tech sector - YouTube: ""



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The Future of the City - YouTube

The Future of the City - YouTube: ""



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Gulf Region Is Stable and Secure: Al-Hammoury: Video - Bloomberg

Gulf Region Is Stable and Secure: Al-Hammoury: Video - Bloomberg: ""



'via Blog this'

Russian Bear Arrives as RTS Stock Index Slides  - Bloomberg

Russian Bear Arrives as RTS Stock Index Slides  - Bloomberg:



"Russia’s dollar-denominated RTS Index entered a bear market as a court ruling restricting AFK Sistema from receiving dividend payments from its OAO Bashneft unit wiped a quarter off the holding’s value.



The RTS dropped 2.6 percent to 1,126.21 by the close in Moscow, the lowest since April 25 and taking its decline from a June 24 high to 21 percent. The benchmark Micex Index fell 1.8 percent to 1,408.28. Sistema, controlled by the billionaire placed under house arrest in a probe into alleged money laundering, tumbled 25 percent to 12.68 rubles. The stock has lost 65 percent since Vladimir Evtushenkov’s Sept. 16 detention.



The RTS extended its worst quarter in three years as investors drew parallels with the 2003 arrest of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, which preceded the dismantling of his Yukos oil company. The ruling is linked to a civil claim against Sistema and Sistema-Invest in connection with alleged violations during the state’s sale of Bashneft, Sistema said in an e-mailed statement today."



'via Blog this'

Etisalat Said to Consider Sale of Stake in Tanzanian Unit - Bloomberg

Etisalat Said to Consider Sale of Stake in Tanzanian Unit - Bloomberg:



"Emirates Telecommunications Corp. (ETISALAT), the United Arab Emirates’ largest phone company by market value, is exploring a sale of Tanzanian unit Zanzibar Telecom Ltd., people with knowledge of the situation said.



Deutsche Bank AG is working with Etisalat on the sale of its 65 percent stake in Zantel, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private. Dar es Salaam-based Zantel, Tanzania’s largest Internet provider, has attracted interest from Vodacom Group Ltd. (VOD) and may also draw Millicom International Cellular SA (MIC) as a suitor, the people said.



An acquisition of Zantel would give a buyer access to spectrum in Tanzania, helping it cope with growing demand for mobile data. About 57 percent of people in Tanzania had wireless access in 2012, compared with a rate of more than 71 percent in neighboring Kenya and 131 percent in South Africa, according to data compiled by Bloomberg."



'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Egypt rebounds, profit-taking shifts to Kuwait | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Egypt rebounds, profit-taking shifts to Kuwait | Reuters:



"Egypt's stock market rebounded from a profit-taking bout on Monday after the Cairo government announced ambitious plans to develop the refining and petrochemicals sectors and awarded fresh licences to foreign energy companies.



The Cairo index rose 1.8 percent after oil minister Sherif Ismail told Reuters on Sunday that Egypt would spend $14.5 billion over the next five years to overcome an energy crisis that has led to near-daily power cuts and hit company profits.



He also said the government was considering floating stakes in some state-owned oil companies on the stock exchange."



'via Blog this'

Emaar Plans Hotel IPO After Dubai’s Biggest Sale Since 2007 - Bloomberg

Emaar Plans Hotel IPO After Dubai’s Biggest Sale Since 2007 - Bloomberg:



"Emaar Properties PJSC (EMAAR), Dubai’s only listed developer to survive the property crash without an annual loss, plans to sell shares in its hotel business after its malls unit became the emirate’s biggest public offering since 2007.



The company will announce the hotel sale “in the next few months,” Chairman Mohamed Alabbar said at a conference in Dubai today, less than seven hours after Emaar said it raised $1.6 billion from the share sale of its malls unit. Alabbar declined to provide more details on the IPO.



These companies “reflect the true contributing sectors of Dubai’s economy,” Tariq Qaqish, head of asset management at Dubai-based Al Mal Capital PSC, said by phone from Dubai. Because of high occupancy levels and “proximity to malls, Emaar Hotels translates to solid revenue per room,” he said.

"



'via Blog this'

In the shadow of Iran a new UAE oil port is transforming energy sector - Telegraph

In the shadow of Iran a new UAE oil port is transforming energy sector - Telegraph:



"In response to Iran’s strategic grip over oil passing through the Strait of Hormuz, a new export route for crude from the Persian Gulf is growing on the coast of the Arabian Sea, with the potential to transform global energy markets.



Giant tankers now queue in lines stretching for miles to load oil or refuel at Fujairah – a sleepy sheikhdom in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) – after the government invested billions of dollars into building a giant oil pipeline across the rugged Hajar mountains, with the aim of ending the potential stranglehold that Iran could place on the nation’s exports of crude.



The 21-mile-wide Hormuz channel handles a third of the world’s oil-tanker traffic and connects the Persian Gulf’s sheikhdoms to the Arabian Sea. Fears that Tehran could choke off exports shipped through it have been a concern weighing on oil markets for decades."



'via Blog this'

Ukraine Sparks Biggest Global Distressed Debt Losses Since 2011 - Bloomberg

Ukraine Sparks Biggest Global Distressed Debt Losses Since 2011 - Bloomberg:



"Emerging-market distressed debt fell for a second month in the biggest back-to-back retreat in three years as conflict in Ukraine persisted and coal producers from Europe to China slumped.



The securities tumbled 4 percent this month through Sept. 26, after a 5 percent loss in August, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s Distressed Emerging Markets Corporate Plus index. That’s set for the worst two-month performance since August-September 2011. It’s down 8.8 percent this quarter, the first drop since the three months ended June 2013.



The Ukraine crisis that erupted after Russia annexed Crimea in March is curbing eastern Europe’s growth prospects, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development said on Sept. 18, as sanctions on Russia increased. Ukraine farm group Mriya Agro Holding Plc led losses after missing bond payments in August, while European coal miner New World Resources Plc and Winsway Enterprises Holdings Ltd. slid as prices for the fuel fell 17 percent this year."



'via Blog this'

SG Group set for balance sheet growth in Gulf region | GulfNews.com

SG Group set for balance sheet growth in Gulf region | GulfNews.com:



"French banking behemoth Société Générale is ready to deploy more capital and resources in the Gulf region particularly in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the bank’s Chairman and Chief Executive, Frédéric Oudéa told Gulf News in an interview.



“We are very committed to the region. The Gulf market is going to be a key component of our growth strategy. Dubai, Abu Dhabi and the rest of the GCC are very important in our plans for balance sheet expansion in this region,” said Oudéa.



Société Générale which cleaned up its balance sheet and built up strong capital buffers following the global financial crisis and European sovereign crisis said, it is ready to deploy capital in the Gulf region which has significantly higher economic growth compared to many countries across the world."



'via Blog this'

Most Russian Stocks Gain Led by Energy Companies on Weak Ruble - Bloomberg

Most Russian Stocks Gain Led by Energy Companies on Weak Ruble - Bloomberg:



"Most Russian stocks climbed as the weaker ruble increased the earnings outlook for oil and gas exporters in the world’s biggest energy producer.



The Micex Index (INDEXCF) was little changed at 1,433.83 by 12:10 p.m. in Moscow as 30 of the 50 members advanced. OAO Lukoil gained 0.1 percent and OAO Novatek increased 1 percent. OAO Rosneft rose for a second day as the nation’s largest oil producer said it struck oil at a well drilled in the Kara Sea region of the Arctic Ocean. OAO Mostotrest jumped 2.1 percent after reporting better-than-expected first half earnings.



The ruble’s 17 percent retreat this year is boosting earnings prospects of exporters that earn money in dollars. Russia has discovered what may prove to be a vast pool of oil in one of the world’s most remote places with the help of Exxon Mobil Corp., America’s largest energy company."



'via Blog this'

Emerging Stocks Drop to Four-Month Low After Hong Kong Protests - Bloomberg

Emerging Stocks Drop to Four-Month Low After Hong Kong Protests - Bloomberg:



"Emerging-market stocks headed for a four-month low as clashes between police and pro-democracy protesters dragged Hong Kong-traded Chinese shares lower. Indonesia’s rupiah led a drop for developing-nation currencies.



China Construction Bank Corp. and PetroChina Co. (857) sank at least 2 percent as the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index (HSCEI) fell to a two-month low. The rupiah sank to a seven-month low versus the dollar as an election law spurred outflows. South Korea’s won dropped the most since January. The Russian ruble weakened to a record low and Turkey’s lira decreased 0.6 percent.



The MSCI Emerging Markets Index declined 0.6 percent to 1,017.86 at 9:03 a.m. in London. The gauge has lost 3.1 percent this quarter, set for the steepest slump since June 2013. Pro-democracy protesters vowed to press ahead with demonstrations unless Hong Kong’s top official steps down, with thousands of people surrounding government offices after violent clashes paralyzed the city center. Indonesia’s outgoing parliament passed a law last week scrapping direct regional elections."



'via Blog this'

Putin Ready to Borrow Above 9% Amid Bonds’ Worst Quarter - Bloomberg

Putin Ready to Borrow Above 9% Amid Bonds’ Worst Quarter - Bloomberg:



"After shunning bond auctions for nine weeks amid the worst quarter for ruble debt since 2011, Russia indicated it’s prepared to borrow at more than 9 percent for the first time in almost five years.



In its first auction since July 16, the Finance Ministry sold all 10 billion rubles ($262 million) of August 2023 notes on offer to a single bidder on Sept. 24 at an average yield of 9.37 percent. Current yields are “acceptable” and the finance ministry plans to fulfill this year’s bond sale plan, it said in an e-mailed response to questions on Sept. 26.



“The auction results and the ministry’s statement essentially say that it’s now prepared to pay more than 9 percent,” Roman Dzugaev, a fixed-income trader at OAO BFA Bank in St.Petersburg, said by e-mail the same day. “That means there will be more supply coming, though not necessarily with demand like we saw at this sale.”"



'via Blog this'

Qatar’s Doha Bank Acquires HSBC Bank Oman’s India Operations - Bloomberg

Qatar’s Doha Bank Acquires HSBC Bank Oman’s India Operations - Bloomberg:



"Doha Bank QSC agreed to acquire HSBC Bank Oman S.A.O.G’s operations in India as the Qatari lender expands in Asia to counter diminishing margins at home.



The bank’s board of directors yesterday approved the combination of HSBC Oman’s India operations with Doha Bank’s India unit, the lender said in a release today posted on the Qatar Exchange website. Financial details weren’t disclosed. 




Doha Bank is seeking to boost profits from overseas operations to as much as 30 percent of net income by next year, up from 10 percent in 2013. Doha Bank’s net interest margins dropped to 3.1 percent in the second quarter, from 3.8 percent three years earlier, according to data compiled by Bloomberg."



'via Blog this'

Emaar Taps Stock Boom in Dubai’s Biggest IPO in Seven Years - Bloomberg

Emaar Taps Stock Boom in Dubai’s Biggest IPO in Seven Years - Bloomberg:



"Emaar Properties PJSC (EMAAR), Dubai’s only listed developer to survive the property crash without an annual loss, raised $1.6 billion by selling shares in its mall unit, the emirate’s biggest initial public offering since 2007.



Emaar Malls Group shares were priced at the top of the range, with individual and institutional investors vying for stock even at its most expensive, the company said today in an e-mailed statement. There were more than 470 orders from institutions.



“There’s definite interest in Dubai’s retail sector, hence a lot of institutional interest from outside the region,” Saleem Khokhar, head of equities at NBAD Asset Management Group, which oversees about $2.5 billion, said by phone from Abu Dhabi. “I’m very confident that secondary market trading will be very positive.”"



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Gazprom Chief Warns of Disruptions to Europe's Supply of Russian Gas | News | The Moscow Times

Gazprom Chief Warns of Disruptions to Europe's Supply of Russian Gas | News | The Moscow Times:



"Alexei Miller, head of Russia's top natural gas producer Gazprom, has warned of possible disruptions of Russian gas flows to Europe via Ukraine next winter, due to low volumes of the fuel in Ukrainian gas storage facilities.



His comments, aired Saturday by Russian state-owned TV channel Rossia-24, a day after European Commission-brokered gas talks in Berlin, may indicate Moscow and Kiev are far from completely resolving their differences over conditions for gas supplies to Ukraine.



Miller also said Russia and Ukraine still differ over how and when payments for Russian gas should be made, despite some progress in Friday's talks."



'via Blog this'

Geneva Report warns record debt and slow growth point to crisis - FT.com

Geneva Report warns record debt and slow growth point to crisis - FT.com:



"A “poisonous combination” of record debt and slowing growth suggest the global economy could be heading for another crisis, a hard-hitting report will warn on Monday.



The 16th annual Geneva Report, commissioned by the International Centre for Monetary and Banking Studies and written by a panel of senior economists including three former senior central bankers, predicts interest rates across the world will have to stay low for a “very, very long” time to enable households, companies and governments to service their debts and avoid another crash.



The warning, before the International Monetary Fund’s annual meeting in Washington next week, comes amid growing concern that a weakening global recovery is coinciding with the possibility that the US Federal Reserve will begin to raise interest rates within a year."



'via Blog this'

Dubai Shares Lead Arab Gulf Markets Lower Amid Mideast Conflict - Bloomberg

Dubai Shares Lead Arab Gulf Markets Lower Amid Mideast Conflict - Bloomberg:



"Dubai shares dropped a third day, leading declines in most regional markets, as some Arab nations reiterated their commitment to a conflict in Syria that shows no sign of letting up.



The Dubai Financial Market General Index (DFMGI) slid 1.3 percent at the close, and Abu Dhabi’s ADX General Index declined 1 percent. Qatar’s QE Index retreated for a sixth day, the longest streak since June, while Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index lost 0.8 percent to 10,674.17 after the Arab world’s biggest bourse slumped 2.7 percent last week.



Stock rallies in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, among the best benchmarks in the world this year, are showing signs of faltering after the countries joined a U.S.- Arab coalition attacking Islamist militants in Iraq and Syria. The U.A.E. will be “active” in the coalition, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the country’s vice president, wrote in several local newspapers today."



'via Blog this'

Dubai Amlak's shareholders agree $572 mln convertible issue | Reuters

Dubai Amlak's shareholders agree $572 mln convertible issue | Reuters:



"Shareholders of Dubai's Amlak Finance have approved the issuance of a sharia-compliant instrument convertible into its stock worth up to 2.1 billion dirhams ($571.8 million), a statement from the mortgage provider said on Sunday.



The instrument is a key part of the company's $2.7 billion debt restructuring plan, agreed with creditors in August.



Amlak, whose shares have not traded on the Dubai Financial Market since November 2008, also agreed to convene a shareholder meeting to approval the resumption of trading, provisionally scheduled to take place in the first quarter of 2015, the statement added."



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Sunday, 28 September 2014

Interview: Damas CEO On The Jeweller's Re-Rise In The UAE - Gulf Business

Interview: Damas CEO On The Jeweller's Re-Rise In The UAE - Gulf Business:



"When Damas CEO Anan Fakhreddin last appeared in Gulf Business in 2011, it was under altogether different circumstances. His first year in the job had seen Damas mired in the biggest scandal to hit a UAE- listed company to date.



The family business’ three Abdullah brothers were convicted of withdrawing $167 million in unauthorised transactions by the Dubai Financial Standards Authority, its share price had plummeted, and it owed hundreds of millions to the banks. 




Now some three years later and under new ownership, Fakhreddin appears much less tense, describing the firm’s transition from the crisis years as a beautiful journey."



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UAE seems ready for age of asset management | The National

UAE seems ready for age of asset management | The National:



"Andrew Haldane, a director at the Bank of England, referred to the “age of asset management” in a speech he gave in London in April. His point was that although asset managers do not carry many of the risks – for example, credit, market and liquidity – faced by banks, the regulators are attuned to the risks posed to the financial system by non-banks, including asset managers, following the shrinking of the banking sector.



This has thrust asset management to the heart of global capital flows. Assets under management are estimated at US$60 trillion to $70tn and growing across the countries in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and could grow bigger yet globally as incomes and wealth increase across thinly penetrated developing economies.



According to last year’s KPMG Investment Management Industry Outlook Survey, the world’s biggest investment management firms overwhelmingly believe that political and regulatory uncertainty pose the biggest threat to their business models. Understanding and complying with regulations has been painful and, for many firms, has entailed material cost. The regulatory focus on asset management firms brings additional costs of compliance at a time when margins are under pressure because of greater competition from new channels and products. This is causing firms to reorganise themselves with combined compliance and data management programmes while keeping costs competitive through the outsourcing of selected back office functions and direct marketing to consumers."



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Ratings on Qatar affirmed At ‘AA/A-1+’ | GulfNews.com

Ratings on Qatar affirmed At ‘AA/A-1+’ | GulfNews.com:



"Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services affirmed its ‘AA’ long-term and ‘A-1+’ short-term foreign and local currency sovereign credit ratings on the State of Qatar. The outlook is stable.



The agency also affirmed the ‘AA’ long-term issue ratings on the bonds issued by Qatari Diar Finance Q.S.C. and SoQ Sukuk A Q.S.C.



The ratings reflect S&P’s view of Qatar’s high economic wealth and strong fiscal and external balance sheets. The ratings are constrained by Qatar’s limited monetary policy flexibility, still-nascent public institutions, and limited disclosure, particularly with respect to government assets and investment income."



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Saturday, 27 September 2014

Bill Gross goes - YouTube

Bill Gross goes - YouTube: ""



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Ukrainian Bonds Slump as Russia Mulls Seeking Early Repayment - Bloomberg

Ukrainian Bonds Slump as Russia Mulls Seeking Early Repayment - Bloomberg:



"Ukrainian bonds extended the third week of declines after Russia said it may demand an early repayment of a $3 billion bailout loan it gave its neighbor before relations before the two countries disintegrated.



The yield on Ukraine’s Eurobonds due July 2017 climbed 14 basis points to 15.41 percent at 4:51 p.m. in Kiev, approaching a record 16 percent reached on Feb. 19. Russia has an option to call early its bailout bonds, which mature in December 2015, if Ukraine’s debt tops 60 percent of gross domestic product.



The weakness of the hryvnia, which lost 36 percent against the dollar this year, indicates the debt threshold has been breached, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov told reporters in Moscow today. Russia is awaiting third-quarter data before deciding whether to trigger the early payback clause, he said. His Ukrainian counterpart, Oleksandr Shlapak, said on Sept. 23 his country may ask the International Monetary Fund for additional aid next year."



'via Blog this'

Banks Face Pass-the-Parcel Debt Limit in Writedown Rule - Bloomberg

Banks Face Pass-the-Parcel Debt Limit in Writedown Rule - Bloomberg:



"The world’s largest banks face curbs on how much they can rely on selling debt to each other to meet a planned international standard on their ability to absorb losses in a crisis.



The Financial Stability Board reached a provisional deal last week on the plan for so-called total loss-absorbing capacity in a bid to take taxpayers off the hook when banks fail. The plan requires banks to have capital and other loss-absorbing securities, such as subordinated debt, equivalent to 16 percent to 20 percent of their risk-weighted assets by 2019, said three people familiar with the matter.



A global bank’s liabilities held by other lenders won’t fully count toward this target under the rules, according to the people, who requested anonymity because the talks are private. Banks must also have a loss-absorbing buffer equivalent to 6 percent of total assets, the people sai"



'via Blog this'

Saudis Said to Maintain Oil Output After Biggest Cut Since ’12 - Bloomberg

Saudis Said to Maintain Oil Output After Biggest Cut Since ’12 - Bloomberg:



"Saudi Arabia, the largest crude producer in OPEC, plans to keep output steady until the end of the year, a person with knowledge of the country’s oil policy said. It made the biggest cut in 20 months in August.



Output through the end of the year won’t differ much from August, when the country pumped 9.597 million barrels a day, according to the person, who isn’t allowed to be identified. The nation reduced production by 408,500 barrels a day last month, the most since December 2012, according to its most-recent submission to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. Demand will rise by the end of the year because of northern hemisphere winter, the person said.


Oil demand growth was the weakest since 2012 in the second quarter and industrialized nations’ stockpiles in August rose by more than twice the normal amount for the time of year, according to the International Energy Agency. Brent, the world’s most-active crude contract, is close to a two-year low. OPEC may cut its output target next year, the group’s secretary general said Sept. 16."



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Friday, 26 September 2014

Time for a toast to Ireland? - YouTube

Time for a toast to Ireland? - YouTube: ""



'via Blog this'

Listening closely as Abu Dhabi Global Market slowly takes shape | The National

Listening closely as Abu Dhabi Global Market slowly takes shape | The National:



"Al Maryah Island, the home of the Abu Dhabi Global Market, is like a huge swan floating on the Arabian Gulf waters: tranquillity and grace on the surface, energetic activity beneath.



Not much has been publicly heard about the plans for the UAE’s new financial free zone for some time; the last public announcement was a the publication of a memorandum of understanding with the Central Bank back in April.



However, the absence of any public activity does not mean lack or progress. The message always was that the ambition to build a world-class financial free zone in the capital would be a gradual, cautious and painstaking task. Ahmed Al Sayegh, the chairman of the ADGM whose job it is to oversee its construction, has taken that message to heart."



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A phased approach to a renewable future | GulfNews.com

A phased approach to a renewable future | GulfNews.com:



"A new thread is weaving its way into the media’s energy coverage. In addition to the oil and gas market reporting, stories about Gulf states’ energy consumption and the need to better manage our fossil fuel resources are growing in prominence.



As these issues move from the realm of government policy into the arena of public debate, they bring with them important questions about our desire for clean, affordable energy. Clean energy is typically shorthand for renewable energy, power generated without fossil or nuclear fuels. Renewable energy has the advantage of being both free of the greenhouse gas emissions common to fossil fuels, and — as the name suggests — comes from what is in practical terms infinite sources.



In the Gulf states, solar is the most common form of renewable energy, although attention is also being given to wind. The total value of renewables projects and master plans, either completed or under execution, in the GCC states is $4.5 billion (Dh16.52 billion)."



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Brent Crude Heads for Weekly Decline on Ample Supplies - Bloomberg

Brent Crude Heads for Weekly Decline on Ample Supplies - Bloomberg:



"Brent crude headed for a third weekly loss this month amid speculation that plentiful oil supplies will buffer the market from unrest in the Middle East. West Texas Intermediate was steady in New York.



Futures were little changed in London, down 1.5 percent this week. The broadest Arab-U.S. military coalition since the 1991 Gulf War struck Islamic State targets in Syria, while in Iraq, fighting has largely spared the south, home to three quarters of supply from OPEC’s second-largest crude producer. Libya’s output has risen to 925,000 barrels a day, according to National Oil Corp.



“Although the conflict in Syria hasn’t been completely solved, it looks like the issues are now having less impact on crude prices,” Will Yun, a commodities analyst at Hyundai Futures Co. in Seoul, said by phone today. “With ample supplies, we may see a further decrease in prices.”"



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Thursday, 25 September 2014

Russia's Sanctioned VEB Bank Gets Huge State-Funded Capital Boost | News | The Moscow Times

Russia's Sanctioned VEB Bank Gets Huge State-Funded Capital Boost | News | The Moscow Times:



"Russian state development bank VEB will get 30 billion rubles ($780 million) from the state to boost its capital, the bank's chairman Vladimir Dmitriyev told reporters Thursday.



The European Union and United States imposed sanctions on VEB over Moscow's role in the Ukraine crisis, limiting the bank's ability to raise funds on Western markets.



Dmitriyev told reporters last week VEB was expecting to be recapitalized by 100 billion rubles a year till 2020."



'via Blog this'

SOCAR discusses energy projects with Turkmenistan

SOCAR discusses energy projects with Turkmenistan:



"After eyeing business opportunities in Greece and Bulgaria, Azerbaijan confirmed its commitment to increase ties with Turkmenistan. 



‘President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov received Socar President. He emphasized the importance of bilateral friendly ties and neighborhood relations between Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan,’ reads a note released on Wednesday.



The parts discussed opportunities in the energy sector, reviewing joint projects."



'via Blog this'

Dubai’s Marka Retail Start-up Spikes as Trading Starts - Middle East Real Time - WSJ

Dubai’s Marka Retail Start-up Spikes as Trading Starts - Middle East Real Time - WSJ:



"Shares of Marka, a brand-new retail and hospitality company in the United Arab Emirates, began trading at a huge premium to their initial public offering valuation on the Dubai Financial Market Thursday, underscoring both a revival of confidence and what could be a sign that this booming desert bourse is overheating again.



Marka raised about $75 million in the IPO despite not having significant assets or operations. Investors put in bids for 36 times the shares on offer, and the stock started trading Thursday at a premium of 77% above the 1 U.A.E. dirham ($0.27) issue price.



Investors are banking on Marka’s plan to open three retail stores in the U.A.E. early next year, entering a crowded local luxury-retailing market. Marka has agreements with six brands, including a line of shoes being introduced by Portuguese soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo, to market their products across the Arab Gulf."



'via Blog this'

Lex on Sports Direct's Tesco punt - YouTube

Lex on Sports Direct's Tesco punt - YouTube: ""



'via Blog this'

MidEast Shares Mixed, Dubai Firms Ahead of IPO of Emaar Properties' Malls Unit - NASDAQ.com

MidEast Shares Mixed, Dubai Firms Ahead of IPO of Emaar Properties' Malls Unit - NASDAQ.com:



"MidEast stocks were mixed, with Dubai slipping as Thursday is the last day investors can sell stock and subscribe to the IPO of Emaar Properties' malls business.



Subscription closes on Friday and sources familiar with the matter told Reuters on Wednesday that the institutional tranche had been subscribed 7.5 times at the top end of the 2.50-2.90 dirham price range. Institutional investors were net sellers of stocks on Thursday, according to bourse data.



Meanwhile, Saudi shares rebounded a bit after two days of declines on news National Commercial Bank will float in October."



'via Blog this'

U.S. Allies’ Stock Rallies Dented in Middle East - Bloomberg

U.S. Allies’ Stock Rallies Dented in Middle East - Bloomberg:



"The stock rallies in Saudi Arabia, Dubai and Qatar, among the best in the world this year, are showing signs of faltering amid the escalating conflict between a U.S.-Arab coalition and Islamist militants.



The Saudi Tadawul All Share Index (SASEIDX) slumped the most since August 2013 during trading yesterday as investor concern mounted that Gulf Cooperation Council members aiding U.S. airstrikes on the Islamic State in Syria may be at risk of retaliatory attacks. The measure finished at the lowest in a month. Dubai’s DFM General Index dropped 1.2 percent, the most in two weeks, while Qatar’s QE Index slid for a fourth day.



The losses curb gains this year that have put the three gauges among the 10 best performers in dollar terms out of more than 90 tracked globally by Bloomberg. Dubai’s is the second-best, having advanced about 50 percent in the period. The United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain and Jordan all joined the first wave of U.S.-led airstrikes against the Islamic State in Syria Sept. 23."



'via Blog this'

Saudi Arabia poised to tip into deficit

Saudi Arabia poised to tip into deficit:



"Saudi Arabia risks falling into a budget deficit next year and may have to tap its reserves, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned.



One sign that Saudi Arabia is in danger of dipping into deficit is its "break-even oil price" – the price oil would need to be for the country to balance its budget. The IMF, in its annual consultation paper released Wednesday, notes that Saudi Arabia's break-even price has risen to $89 a barrel in 2013 from $78 a barrel in 2012.



It would be the first time since 2010 that the Middle East's largest economy records a deficit for its government finances. Apart from domestic expenditures such as ambitious infrastructure outlays, pressure on government finances is also coming from substantial aid pledges to countries across the Arab World."



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EconoMonitor : EconoMonitor » What Went Wrong? #Russia Sanctions, EU, and the Way Out

EconoMonitor : EconoMonitor » What Went Wrong? Russia Sanctions, EU, and the Way Out:



"Without a diplomatic solution, the sanctions against Russia will have an adverse impact on its economy, but could also push Europe to a triple-dip recession. 



Last March – after months of escalation in the Crimea and Eastern Ukraine – President Obama initiated sanctions against Russia in financial services, energy, defense and related materials sectors.



New sanctions ensued in July, when Washington launched unilateral restrictions targeting powerful interests in Russia’s financial, energy, and military technology sectors. After Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down in Ukraine and 300 people perished, Brussels joined in the sanctions against Russia."



'via Blog this'

#Ukraine — call the sovereign debt cops | FT Alphaville

Ukraine — call the sovereign debt cops | FT Alphaville: "

. . .Which is an announcement by the Ukrainian Security Service on Thursday that it has opened an criminal investigation into just how Ukraine managed to sell $3bn of some curious bonds to Russia in the last months of Viktor Yanukovych’s government.



The bond was the first part of a $15bn bailout which the Maidan protests quickly interrupted. One allegation against the previous administration is that a payment of $450k to Russia’s VTB Capital — the bond’s sole lead manager — was illegal. 




You might suppose a criminal case like this (and the recent invasion of its country) would suggest Ukraine treat the Russian bond as odious debt. But, as far as we’re aware, Kiev still intends to pay it in full…"



'via Blog this'

Gulf Petrochem acquires Shell’s bitumen plant in India | GulfNews.com

Gulf Petrochem acquires Shell’s bitumen plant in India | GulfNews.com:



"UAE-based Gulf Petrochem on Wednesday announced its acquisition of the Royal Dutch Shell Specialties Bitumen plant at Savli, near Vadodara in Gujarat, India. The acquisition, through a direct purchase, will complement the construction of a high capacity storage terminal for various petroleum products at Pipavav in Gujarat and meet the ever increasing demand for Bitumen Specialty products in West and North India, the company said in a statement.



Gulf Petrochem will begin to manufacture 30,000 MT per annum of Bitumen Specialty products that includes Bitumen Emulsions, Micro-surfacing Emulsions, Crumb Rubber Modified Bitumen, Polymer Modified Bitumen and various other Cold Mix road construction products.



The company will also upgrade the plant to manufacture Bitumen products that adhere to new specifications laid down by Indian Roads Congress."



'via Blog this'

#Ukraine PM says likely to readjust IMF programme | Reuters

Ukraine PM says likely to readjust IMF programme | Reuters:



"Ukraine will probably have to readjust its $17-billion (10.41 billion British pound) loan programme with the International Monetary Fund due to the country's costly conflict with pro-Russian separatists in the east, the prime minister said on Wednesday.



"Probably, We do understand that we have to readjust the programme," Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk said, according to a webcast of his speech at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.



"Because when we started the programme with the IMF, it was a peace programme," he said. "For today, this is a wartime government and a wartime programme.""



'via Blog this'

Sushi Bubble Pops for Moscow Middle Class as Ruble Drops - Bloomberg

Sushi Bubble Pops for Moscow Middle Class as Ruble Drops - Bloomberg:



"Vladimir Putin’s first decade in power came to be known in Moscow as the “sushi years,” so totally had raw fish become a dining staple for the rising consumer class in his capital.



The sushi bubble is deflating now, hastened by the plunge in the ruble and the trade war triggered by Putin’s intervention in Ukraine that has foodies complaining about substitutes from as far away as Chile.



“The black swan event for our industry has been the confrontation with the West,” Rostislav Ordovsky-Tanaevsky Blanco, founder and chairman of OAO Rosinter, Russia’s largest restaurant holding company, said in an interview. “It’s hit costs on the foods that we had imported from Europe and the U.S., and the full effects have yet to be felt.”"



'via Blog this'

Investors Flock to Russia ETF as Ukraine Tension Eases - Bloomberg

Investors Flock to Russia ETF as Ukraine Tension Eases - Bloomberg:



"Investors betting on a rebound in Russian stocks are piling into the benchmark exchange-traded fund for the market at the fastest pace in six months.



They poured $183 million into the Market Vectors Russia ETF (RSX) in the eight days through Sept. 23, the longest streak of daily inflows since March, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The shares gained 2.3 percent to $23.98 yesterday, reducing their decline to 1.9 percent since President Vladimir Putin moved to annex the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea in late February.



The ETF and the Bloomberg Russia-US Equity Index rallied amid mounting speculation that Ukraine will reach a peace accord with rebels as a cease-fire entered its 20th day. NATO said on Sept. 22 that Russia, which denies involvement in the conflict, has embarked on a “significant” withdrawal of its forces from the former Soviet republic."



'via Blog this'

Barclays Probe of Qatar Deal Said to Turn to Disclosure, FT Says - Bloomberg

Barclays Probe of Qatar Deal Said to Turn to Disclosure, FT Says - Bloomberg:



"A U.K. probe into Barclays Plc (BARC)’s dealings with Qatar’s sovereign-wealth fund during the financial crisis has shifted to look at whether transactions were properly disclosed, the Financial Times reported.



The Serious Fraud Office has moved away from looking for corruption in the bank’s push to get funding from the Qataris, the newspaper said, citing unidentified people with knowledge of the inquiry. Instead investigators are examining whether the firm or certain former directors breached general disclosure rules against false or misleading statements, the paper said.



The probe has centered on fees the London-based bank paid the Qatar Investment Authority while raising 7 billion pounds ($11.4 billion) in 2008 from investors, including the Qataris, to help the firm avoid a bailout during the financial crisis. The investigators, who haven’t made any decision on charges, have questioned former executives and directors and now are seeking information from additional members of the board who served during the fundraising, the Financial Times said."



'via Blog this'

Marka Jumps on Trading Debut in DFM’s First IPO Since 2009 - Bloomberg

Marka Jumps on Trading Debut in DFM’s First IPO Since 2009 - Bloomberg:



"Marka PJSC (MARKA), a Dubai-based retail operator, rose 80 percent on its first day of trading in Dubai.



Marka shares jumped to 1.8 dirhams at 10:01 a.m. local time, as 11.7 million shares were traded. There are no limits on how much a stock can rise or decline on its first day of trading. The DFM General Index advanced 0.2 percent to 5,074.23. 




“Commencing trading is a major achievement for both Marka and our shareholders,” Khaled AlMheiri, vice chairman of Marka’s board of directors, said in e-mailed comments yesterday. “The company is currently looking at prospective acquisition opportunities that will reflect positively on the company’s revenues and profitability, in the near term.”"



'via Blog this'

Abraaj Said to Plan Raising $500 Million Fund for Turkey Deals - Bloomberg

Abraaj Said to Plan Raising $500 Million Fund for Turkey Deals - Bloomberg:



"The Abraaj Group Ltd., a buyout firm focused on emerging markets, is raising a $500 million fund to invest in Turkey, two people with knowledge of the matter said.



Abraaj, which has about $7.5 billion in global assets under management, according to its website, plans to reach its fundraising target by the end of the year, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information isn’t public. The private-equity firm is already talking to potential acquisition targets in Turkey, one of the people said.



Private-equity investors including Carlyle Group LP, BC Partners Ltd. and KKR & Co. LP (KKR) are seeking to benefit from economic growth in Turkey that’s exceeded an annual average of five percent during Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s decade-long rule as prime minister."



'via Blog this'

Abraaj Said to Plan Raising $500 Million Fund for Turkey Deals - Bloomberg

Abraaj Said to Plan Raising $500 Million Fund for Turkey Deals - Bloomberg:



"The Abraaj Group Ltd., a buyout firm focused on emerging markets, is raising a $500 million fund to invest in Turkey, two people with knowledge of the matter said.



Abraaj, which has about $7.5 billion in global assets under management, according to its website, plans to reach its fundraising target by the end of the year, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information isn’t public. The private-equity firm is already talking to potential acquisition targets in Turkey, one of the people said.



Private-equity investors including Carlyle Group LP, BC Partners Ltd. and KKR & Co. LP (KKR) are seeking to benefit from economic growth in Turkey that’s exceeded an annual average of five percent during Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s decade-long rule as prime minister."



'via Blog this'

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

UBS to close Representative Office in Dubai | GulfNews.com

UBS to close Representative Office in Dubai | GulfNews.com:



"UBS announced on Wednesday that it will close its representative office in
Dubai and transfer the operations to its representative office in Abu Dhabi as part of the bank’s effort to optimise its local operations.



The representative office in Abu Dhabi will be the appointed legal entity in the UAE to receive all legal liabilities concerning the RO Dubai, the bank said in an emailed statement.



“UBS is committed to its presence and franchise in the Middle East where it has been present for half a century. Through its Advisory Office in Dubai, UBS will maintain the same level of market coverage and strengthen its footprint in the UAE out of the Dubai Financial Centre (DIFC),” the statement said."



'via Blog this'

Abu Dhabi's 'Zero-Carbon City' is a Stalled-Out Ghost Town - Video Interlude - Curbed National

Abu Dhabi's 'Zero-Carbon City' is a Stalled-Out Ghost Town - Video Interlude - Curbed National:

432807432807847230.jpg
A new video has surfaced of Masdar City, a planned community outside Abu Dhabi once touted as the world's first zero-carbon city, looking stalled out and nearly abandoned. Not much seems to have been developed there in the past few years: little of the four-square-mile, Norman Foster-designed plan has been built aside from a huddle of mostly empty buildings. There's a library, a few retail outlets, and a small graduate institute, populated mostly by security guards and the handful of students in attendance. Looking out from the complex, there's little to be seen aside from a white fence demarcating the area, punctuated by signs reading "Masdar City, the city of possibilities."
With a planned investment of $18B, Masdar was supposed to attract some 50,000 workers, along with hundreds of startups, of which there are only a few present in the development stage. There's a Siemens office and General Electric showroom, as well as an organic supermarket; ironic in a place where the inhabitants have to drive miles to get anything else.
Julien Eymeri, who made a recent trip to Masdar City, does a great jobexplaining the tone of the place to Co.Exist. The accompanying video is almost comically eerie; what Eymeri describes as the "omnipresent, even oppressive" drone of a wind tower" sounds uncannily like the low, droning soundtrack of a quiet but ominous stretch of a modern action film, giving Masdar the feel of a Neill Blomkamp techno-dystopia. When the cameraman plays with a touch-screen display praising the city's sustainability, the segment starts to feel very "future cosmonaut discovers a failed utopia." (But surprise! It was Earth the entire time.)
Eymeri describes the reaction of an official asked about the future of Masdar City: "a representative remains cautious, asking for patience--a surprising statement in a state which makes a claim on all street corners to be the fastest and first--and finally admits that it is--politically--unthinkable to abandon such a project." Visit Co.Exist for the full account.
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Masdar Buys Half Statoil Stake in U.K. Offshore Wind Farm - Bloomberg

Masdar Buys Half Statoil Stake in U.K. Offshore Wind Farm - Bloomberg:



"Masdar Abu Dhabi Future Energy Co. agreed to buy half of Statoil ASA’s stake in the 402-megawatt Dudgeon wind project off the coast of eastern England as it steps up its investments in wind power.



The purchase will leave Masdar with a 35 percent stake in the project valued at 525 million pounds ($860 million), the Abu Dhabi government’s renewable-energy company said today in an e-mailed statement. Statoil, which will operate the plant, retains a 35 percent stake, and fellow Norwegian company Statkraft AS owns the remainder.



Dudgeon is the second offshore wind investment for Masdar in the U.K., where it also owns a 20 percent stake in the 630-megawatt London Array. For Statoil, Norway’s state-controlled oil company, the sale adds to divestments of about $20 billion since 2010 as it reins in spending and focuses on its most profitable projects."



'via Blog this'

Damac Withdraws GDR for Share Swap as Time Runs Out for Listing - Bloomberg

Damac Withdraws GDR for Share Swap as Time Runs Out for Listing - Bloomberg:



"Damac Real Estate Development Ltd. (DMC) withdrew an offer to swap its London-listed global depositary receipts for Dubai shares, saying the developer needed more time to arrange its United Arab Emirates listing.



The company, whose GDRs started trading in the U.K. in December, said in a regulatory filing yesterday it intends to make a new exchange offer to eligible holders “on substantially the same terms as the previous offer.” The original swap was subject to the admission of Damac shares to trading on the Dubai Financial Market (DFMGI) on or before Oct. 6, but “DFM admission is now likely to occur later than was expected,” it said.



Damac’s London sale was the first by a Dubai developer since the sheikhdom’s real-estate market crashed in 2008, and tested the appetite of global investors for the city’s recovering property market. The GDRs have climbed almost 60 percent since the offering priced at the bottom of its target range, according to data compiled by Bloomberg."



'via Blog this'

Saudi Stocks Lead Mideast Drop on Concern for Islamist Reprisals - Businessweek

Saudi Stocks Lead Mideast Drop on Concern for Islamist Reprisals - Businessweek:



"Saudi Arabian shares retreated the most in more than three months, leading declines in the Middle East amid investor concern that Arab nations may be at risk of retaliatory attacks by Islamic State militants.



The Tadawul All Share Index (SASEIDX) lost the most since June 16, sliding 1.4 percent to close at 10,720.51. It was the second-worst performer among more than 90 gauges tracked globally by Bloomberg. Dubai’s DFM General Index slipped 1.2 percent, while Qatar’s QE Index fell 0.5 percent.



Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar and Jordan all joined the first wave of U.S.-led airstrikes against the Islamic State in Syria yesterday, the broadest Arab-U.S. military coalition since the 1991 Gulf War. The latest conflict in the region may threaten security in some of the Middle East’s biggest economies. Gauges in Dubai, Qatar and Saudi Arabia are among the top 10 best performing indexes in the world this year, Bloomberg data show."



'via Blog this'

More problems for Pimco - YouTube

More problems for Pimco - YouTube: ""



'via Blog this'

Al Habtoor revives plans for initial public offering valued at $2.5 billion | The National

Al Habtoor revives plans for initial public offering valued at $2.5 billion | The National:



"Al Habtoor Group, the Dubai conglomerate, is reviving plans for a multibillion dollar initial public offering (IPO) and could be ready to come to market early next year.



With a possible value of about US$2.5 billion, the IPO would be the biggest since 2007, although the valuation process is still at an early stage.



The hotels, property and car-dealing conglomerate pulled out of a planned IPO in late 2102, but it is believed the buoyant economic and market conditions in Dubai have persuaded Khalaf Al Habtoor, the founder and chairman of the group, to think again."



'via Blog this'

Putin Freeze Eases After Nine Bond Auction Cancellations - Bloomberg

Putin Freeze Eases After Nine Bond Auction Cancellations - Bloomberg:



"The freeze in Russian bond markets is starting to thaw, with the government planning its first debt auction after nine cancellations amid the cease-fire in Ukraine.



The Finance Ministry is offering 10 billion rubles ($259 million) of securities due in August 2023 today in the first sale since U.S. and European Union sanctions in July drove up the nation’s borrowing costs by the most in emerging markets. Russian corporates are also returning, with OAO Alfa Bank and OAO Gazprombank among companies issuing bonds in September at the fastest pace in three months.



Russia’s borrowers are coming to terms with the higher price they need to pay to access cash after escalating penalties choked off their access to Western funds, according to UralSib Asset Management. Signs a Sept. 5 truce between the government in Kiev and pro-Russian separatists is holding has pushed yields lower by fueling speculation among investors that sanctions won’t be expanded."



'via Blog this'

FIFA Rattles Qatari Sukuk Mired in Worst Month This Year - Bloomberg

FIFA Rattles Qatari Sukuk Mired in Worst Month This Year - Bloomberg:



"Prospects for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar are unsettling bond investors already rattled by political turmoil between the country and its neighbors, with its sukuk on course for its worst month in more than a year.



The yield on Qatar’s Islamic notes due January 2018 rose 20 basis points in September, on course for the biggest monthly increase since August 2013, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The average yield for Middle East Shariah-compliant securities jumped 12 basis points in the period, JPMorgan Chase & Co. indexes show.



FIFA Executive Committee member Theo Zwanziger told Germany’s Bild this week that Qatar probably won’t host the world’s biggest soccer event in 2022 because of the summer heat. While Qatar dismissed his comments, it’s creating more market turbulence for the country, which has been at odds with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates over its support for the Muslim Brotherhood in the region."



'via Blog this'

Investors Flock to Dubai IPO in Bet on Biggest Mall - Bloomberg

Investors Flock to Dubai IPO in Bet on Biggest Mall - Bloomberg:



"After seeing a newspaper ad for the share sale by Emaar Malls Group, Haidar Al Hadrani jumped in his car and drove the 120 kilometers (75 miles) from Abu Dhabi to Dubai to register as an investor at the stock exchange.



“I have never invested before,” Al Hadrani, a 28-year-old engineer who works for Abu Dhabi National Oil Co., said as he filled in application forms at the Dubai Financial Market. “Everybody worries about losing money, but as long as I don’t invest too much I am not worried about it.”



Individual investors like Al Hadrani can together buy as much as 30 percent of the shares in the initial public offering, with the rest earmarked for institutions. Demand for the United Arab Emirates’ biggest IPO since 2007 is high: Emaar received orders for all the stock allocated to institutional investors two days after the sale began, it said on Sept. 16."



'via Blog this'

Kudrin: Russian economy needs big reforms but govt cannot deliver - EmergingMarkets.me

Kudrin: Russian economy needs big reforms but govt cannot deliver - EmergingMarkets.me:



"Russia’s economic model is a bigger obstacle to the country’s economic growth than the Ukraine-related sanctions but the government is incapable of fundamental reforms, Reuters cited former Russian finance minister Alexei Kudrin as arguing. 




The government lacks both political will for major reforms and people capable of carrying them out, Kudrin told the Reuters Russia Investment Summit this week, predicting that the country was in for years of stagnation and balancing on the edge of recession.



To make matters worse, oil, one of the main pillars of Russia’s economy, is likely to go down in price after steadily going up for about a decade, he said."



'via Blog this'

Keeping track of the EM sell-off – beyondbrics - Blogs - FT.com

Keeping track of the EM sell-off – beyondbrics - Blogs - FT.com:



"As beyondbrics noted early this month, the recent “dollar surge” and rising US interest rates are already having an impact on EM currencies. Two weeks later and the effects are becoming more pronounced, as the charts below show.



First, US interest rates. This is the yield on 10-year US Treasury bonds this year.




Source: S&P Capital IQ



From 3 per cent at the start of the year, the rate fell to a low of 2.34 per cent on August 28. But it then changed direction and reached a high of 2.63 per cent on September 18 before relaxing to 2.55 per cent today."



'via Blog this'

Emirates Global Aluminium to build new $3bn Abu Dhabi refinery | The National

Emirates Global Aluminium to build new $3bn Abu Dhabi refinery | The National:



"Emirates Global Aluminium, the world’s fourth biggest aluminium producer, says it is building a US$3 billion alumina refinery as a boom in regional infrastructure projects spurs demand.



The company, born from the recent merger of Emirates Aluminium (Emal) and Dubai Aluminium (Dubal), is also gearing itself to profit from the shift to the metal among major car manufacturers that are seeking to improve fuel efficiency, said EGA’s chief executive Abdulla Kalban. Prices for the metal have gained almost 10 per cent this year, giving EGA more reason to expand as quickly as possible to help the country seek other forms of revenue apart from oil.



“Middle East expansion of smelters is being driven by demand from the massive infrastructure projects in the region,” Mr Kalban said at a conference in Abu Dhabi."



'via Blog this'

U.A.E. to Start Market for Private Joint Stock Companies - Bloomberg

U.A.E. to Start Market for Private Joint Stock Companies - Bloomberg:



"United Arab Emirates exchanges will start a platform listing private joint stock companies as the second-biggest Arab economy seeks to develop its financial markets.



The start of the so-called second market was approved by Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum who said trading should begin over the next few months, state-run WAM news agency reported. The market is open to local companies and those from other Arab countries and will help address inadequate financing, it said.



“There are a lot of such companies in the region and I expect a good response to listings,” Wadah Al Taha, chief investment officer of Dubai-based Al Zarooni Group, said by telephone today. “There will be no cannibalization” of available liquidity as only existing company shareholders can trade, he said."



'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Emaar lifts Dubai ahead of pricing malls unit IPO | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Emaar lifts Dubai ahead of pricing malls unit IPO | Reuters:



"Emaar Properties, Dubai's largest listed developer, helped lift the emirate's market on Tuesday on expectations that it would float its malls unit at the upper end of the announced price range because of strong demand.



Other regional markets were mixed. There was no impact from the news that the United States and Arab allies including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar had participated in or supported the first joint bombing of Islamic State fighters in Syria.



Credit default swaps and currency forwards in the region did not move significantly; most investors decided weeks ago that the Gulf economies were able to insulate themselves from the turmoil in Iraq and Syria."



'via Blog this'

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Tesco’s off-balance sheet wheeze, courtesy of Goldman Sachs | FT Alphaville

Tesco’s off-balance sheet wheeze, courtesy of Goldman Sachs | FT Alphaville:



"This is not new, but bears revisiting, given recent events.



Between 2009 and 2013, as part of its sale and leaseback plan, Tesco used a series of six special purpose vehicles to issue close to £4bn worth of property bonds. Structured with the help of Goldman Sachs, the programme even won Tesco an award — Risk Magazine’s 2012 Corporate risk manager of the year.



But Nigel Stevenson, a former M&A banker at Kleinworts who now runs his own research shop, reckons the effect of this off-balance sheet financing has been to artificially reduce Tesco’s net debt by around £2bn."



'via Blog this'

Mechel Sinks 30% as Russia Expects Bankruptcy - Bloomberg

Mechel Sinks 30% as Russia Expects Bankruptcy - Bloomberg:



"OAO Mechel (MTL) sank 30 percent to a record low as Russia’s economy minister said he saw no alternative but bankruptcy for the mining company after nine months of unsuccessful efforts to refinance its debt.



Mechel, Russia’s biggest producer of coking coal, tumbled to $1.02 in New York yesterday as trading volume surged to 8 times the average of the past three months. The stock has plunged 60 percent this year after falling prices for the steel-making ingredient led to a record loss in 2013. The company has about $8.7 billion of bonds and loans due in the next seven years, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Analysts estimate the company will lose $591 million in 2014. 




The stock tumbled after Economy Minister Alexei Ulyukayev, speaking to reporters at a banking forum on Sept. 20, said “if the company is bankrupt, we should legally acknowledge it” and that he sees “no other way out.” While Russian banks own most of Mechel’s debt, international sanctions linked to the Ukraine war have virtually blocked them from tapping U.S. and European markets for refinancing."



'via Blog this'

Raiffeisen Predicts Loss as Ukraine Causes Bad-Debt Rise - Bloomberg

Raiffeisen Predicts Loss as Ukraine Causes Bad-Debt Rise - Bloomberg:



"Raiffeisen Bank International AG (RBI), the foreign bank with most at risk in Ukraine and Russia, predicted its first annual loss this year as the conflict in Ukraine causes bad-debt charges to rise faster than expected.



Raiffeisen’s loan loss provisions will rise to 1.5 billion euros to 1.7 billion euros ($2.2 billion) this year, compared with 1.15 billion euros in 2013, the Vienna-based bank said in a statement late yesterday. It’s the second time this year the bank has raised the provisioning forecast as the escalating conflict takes a bigger toll on Ukraine’s economy. Loan losses in Hungary will also be higher than expected, Raiffeisen said.



“As a consequence of the latest developments, a negative result for 2014 is to be expected,” Raiffeisen said in the statement. That’s “primarily due to higher expected risk costs in Ukraine in light of ongoing political tensions in the region"



'via Blog this'