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Friday, 31 October 2014

#Ukraine’s Economy Shrinks Despite Military Spending - WSJ - WSJ

Ukraine’s Economy Shrinks Despite Military Spending - WSJ - WSJ:



"Ukraine’s economy continued its rapid slide in the third quarter of 2014, gross domestic product data from the state statistics service showed Thursday. 




The war-torn country’s GDP declined by 5.1% in the third quarter compared with a year ago, as the hryvnia and industrial production declined amid a war in the eastern part of the country, and the ensuing military spending failed to mitigate the overall decline.



The economy shrank 4.7% in the second quarter and by 1.1% in the first."



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Qatar urged to build the UK’s Northern Powerhouse - Yorkshire Post

Qatar urged to build the UK’s Northern Powerhouse - Yorkshire Post:



"David Cameron has asked the Emir of Qatar to put billions of pounds into creating a Northern Powerhouse and east west High Speed Rail.



The Prime Minister met with the Emir on Wednesday night to look at how Qatar, which has ploughed some £20bn into the UK in recent years, could become an even bigger investor in the UK’s list of much-needed infrastructure projects.



Downing Street said the PM specifically highlighted the Conservative’s “Northern Powerhouse” proposal with a plea to invest in infrastructures and manufacturing."



'via Blog this'

Al Noor Hospitals profit up more than 20% as healthcare needs grow | The National

Al Noor Hospitals profit up more than 20% as healthcare needs grow | The National:



"Al Noor Hospitals has reported a 20.4 per cent increase in revenue for the third quarter, continuing to benefit from the healthcare needs of the UAE’s rapidly expanding population.



The Abu Dhabi-based healthcare group announced revenue of $101.2 million for the three months to the end of last month, up from $84m in the same period last year.



Al Noor described its gross margins as “stable”, giving no details regarding costs and profitability."



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The imponderables from the oil price slide | GulfNews.com

The imponderables from the oil price slide | GulfNews.com:



"It is often the basic concepts that can explain the most sophisticated and controversial of issues, like the current drop in oil prices.



Many op-eds talked about Economics 101, or 201, and how it’s crucial to understand that a surplus in supply would result in a continuous decline in price as long as demand stays stagnant, or it doesn’t increase in a way that meets increasing supply.



Once the two meet, prices will stop dropping, sure. This might be the case, but let’s explore the numbers a bit more and see where that will take us."



'via Blog this'

Bank Muscat’s Islamic unit plans maiden sukuk in Q1 2015 | GulfNews.com

Bank Muscat’s Islamic unit plans maiden sukuk in Q1 2015 | GulfNews.com:



"The Islamic unit of Bank Muscat, Oman’s largest lender, plans to tap the Islamic bond market in the first quarter of next year, in what would be the first sukuk sale by a bank in the country, a bank official said on Wednesday.



The lender has received regulatory approval for the issue, which would help fund its expansion, said Sulaiman Al Harthy, group general manager of Meethaq, Bank Muscat’s Islamic operation.



A size for the issue has yet to be determined, but it would fall under a 500 million rial ($1.3 billion) sukuk programme which the bank’s shareholders approved in March this year, Harthy told Reuters at an industry conference in Dubai."



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Russia Seen Raising Rates as Ruble Plunge Feeds Inflation - Bloomberg

Russia Seen Raising Rates as Ruble Plunge Feeds Inflation - Bloomberg:



"Russia’s central bank will probably increase its benchmark interest rate for the fourth time this year, bringing it to the highest level since it was introduced 13 months ago, to halt a currency run that’s stoking inflation.



The Bank of Russia will raise its key rate to 8.5 percent from 8 percent, according to 22 of 31 economists surveyed by Bloomberg. Two predict a move to 9 percent, with increases of a quarter-point and 75 basis points forecast by one analyst each. Five economists see no change. The central bank will announce its decision at about 1:30 p.m. in Moscow today.



Governor Elvira Nabiullina has moved to tighten policy since the crisis in Ukraine flared in March, increasing borrowing costs to cool inflation expectations and halt the largest capital outflows since the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. in 2008. The ruble gained the most among developing-nation currencies yesterday, rebounding from a record as speculation mounted that the central bank will raise rates."



'via Blog this'

Sinopec Buys Saudi Yanbu Refinery Stake for $562 Million - Bloomberg

Sinopec Buys Saudi Yanbu Refinery Stake for $562 Million - Bloomberg:



"China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. (386) will invest $562 million to buy its parent’s stake in an oil-processing plant in Saudi Arabia to consolidate its position as Asia’s biggest refiner.



The Beijing-based company, known as Sinopec, will hold 37.5 percent in Yanbu Co., it said in a filing yesterday to the Hong Kong stock exchange. Saudi Arabian Oil Co., known as Saudi Aramco, will owns the balance of 62.5 percent, Sinopec said.



China Petrochemical Corp., Sinopec’s state-owned parent, signed an agreement with Aramco in January 2012 to develop a refinery in the Saudi city of Yanbu at a cost of as much as $10 billion. The 400,000 barrel-a-day plant may start this year, Saudi Aramco Chief Executive Officer Khalid al-Falih said at the time."



'via Blog this'

No Guarantee Saudis to Repeat Price Cut That Drove Oil Lower - Bloomberg

No Guarantee Saudis to Repeat Price Cut That Drove Oil Lower - Bloomberg:



"Asian traders are split on whether Saudi Arabia will deepen the crude price cuts that propelled oil into a bear market this month.



State-run Saudi Arabian Oil Co. will announce official selling prices for supplies to buyers in Asia for December next week after cutting prices to the lowest in almost six years for a month earlier. The world’s biggest oil exporter will further discount supplies, according to seven respondents in a Bloomberg survey of traders. Six people forecast prices to be unchanged and two predict an increase.



Saudi Arabia’s decision may signal whether the biggest producers in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will offer bigger discounts to defend market share as the highest U.S. output in three decades boosts global supplies. After the most recent price cut on Oct. 1, Brent crude tumbled 9 percent and West Texas Intermediate slumped 11 percent amid speculation that OPEC won’t reduce production."



'via Blog this'

#Russia Agrees to Terms With #Ukraine Over Gas Supply - Bloomberg

Russia Agrees to Terms With Ukraine Over Gas Supply - Bloomberg:



"Russia agreed to terms for restoring natural-gas exports to Ukraine, laying the groundwork to prevent residents going without heat as temperatures drop.



The gas negotiations, brokered by the European Union, came as pro-Russian rebels stepped up attacks on Kiev government forces. They violated the wobbly truce 45 times in the past 24 hours, the Defense Ministry said on Facebook today. One civilian was killed by shelling, the Donetsk city council said on its website. European leaders said they hoped the agreement would help mend ties between the two countries.



“This breakthrough will not only make sure that Ukraine will have sufficient heating in the dead of the winter,” European Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger told a news conference in Brussels last night. “It is also a contribution to the de-escalation between Russia and Ukraine.”"



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US stays on course - YouTube

US stays on course - YouTube: ""



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Thursday, 30 October 2014

Abu Dhabi hires regulatory chief to oversee financial centre - FT.com

Abu Dhabi hires regulatory chief to oversee financial centre - FT.com:



"Abu Dhabi has hired Singapore Exchange’s chief regulatory officer to head up the oil-rich emirate’s new financial centre regulatory authority.



Richard Teng has been named by Abu Dhabi Global Market to oversee the development and administration of a regulatory framework to govern the centre.



Mr Teng has been with the Singapore Exchange for seven years, previously having worked with the Monetary Authority of Singapore.
"



'via Blog this'

StanChart faces US sanctions probe - FT.com

StanChart faces US sanctions probe - FT.com:



"US authorities have reopened an investigation into Standard Chartered to determine whether the UK bank hid transactions that flouted sanctions laws as it was settling a related action two years ago, people familiar with the matter said.



The inquiry is a blow for StanChart and its embattled management team. Peter Sands, one of the longest serving chief executives of any global bank, faces growing doubts about his future after this week announcing the group’s third profits warning of the year.



StanChart’s shares fell 5 per cent on Thursday. They are down more than 13 per cent since the start of the week and have halved in the past 18 months."



'via Blog this'

EM prospects in a post-QE world - YouTube

EM prospects in a post-QE world - YouTube: ""



'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Frontier fund selling weighs on UAE, Qatar | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Frontier fund selling weighs on UAE, Qatar | Reuters:



"Selling by foreign frontier funds sparked heavy profit-taking in the United Arab Emirates and Qatar on Thursday. Saudi Arabia also declined, but Egypt rose for a third day.



A number of companies from the UAE and Qatar remain part of MSCI's Frontier 100 benchmark even though the index compiler upgraded both countries to emerging market status in May.



MSCI's opted to gradually phase those stocks out of the frontier index through monthly weighting reductions and one of these takes effect on Nov.1. This prompted a wave of selling by passive funds tracking the index on the final trading day before this milestone."



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QEnds - YouTube

QEnds - YouTube: ""



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LSAPs, RIP - YouTube

LSAPs, RIP - YouTube: ""



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Markets slip as profit-taking continues - Yahoo Maktoob News

MIDEAST STOCKS-Markets slip as profit-taking continues - Yahoo Maktoob News:



"Stock markets in the United Arab Emirates and Qatar edged down in early trade on Thursday as investors continued to book profits and global markets fell following the shutdown of the U.S. Federal Reserve's bond buying programme.



Dubai's index fell 0.9 percent with most shares in the red and Abu Dhabi edged down 0.7 percent.



"We are still in a profit-taking mood," said Sebastien Henin, head of asset management at The National Investor in Abu Dhabi. "Markets had been strong in the past 10 sessions.""



'via Blog this'

Iran’s Oil Revenue Falls 30% Because of Global Price Decline - Bloomberg

Iran’s Oil Revenue Falls 30% Because of Global Price Decline - Bloomberg:



"Iran’s revenue from crude sales, the OPEC member’s biggest export, dropped 30 percent because of the recent decline in global oil prices, according to President Hassan Rouhani.



“International conditions are such that the country’s main source of income, i.e. oil revenues, has been cut by some 30 percent,” Rouhani said in remarks to parliament published yesterday on Shana, the Oil Ministry’s news website. “We have to deal with the new conditions and the global economic conditions.”



Brent crude, a benchmark for more than half of the world’s oil, has plunged more than 20 percent since peaking in June at about $115 a barrel as supply, boosted by U.S. shale production, outpaced demand. Iran needs to achieve a break-even sales price of $143 a barrel this year to maintain its fiscal balance, according to data compiled by Bloomberg."



'via Blog this'

Kingdom Holding Quarterly Profit Climbs 20% on Investment Gains - Bloomberg

Kingdom Holding Quarterly Profit Climbs 20% on Investment Gains - Bloomberg:



"Kingdom Holding Co. (KINGDOM) controlled by Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, said third-quarter profit jumped 20 percent as the value of its investments rose.



Net income increased to 265 million riyals ($71 million) from 220 million riyals a year earlier, the company said in a statement to the Saudi stock market today. The Riyadh-based company attributed the profit to investment gains and drop in finance charges, without giving further details.



Alwaleed, who owns 95 percent of Kingdom Holding, has built a fortune of about $32 billion amassing stakes in Citigroup Inc., News Corp., Twitter Inc. and Apple Inc., according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. He is the world’s 14th richest man, according to the index."



'via Blog this'

Saudi Arabia’s Petro Rabigh Said to Seek $8 Billion Funding - Bloomberg

Saudi Arabia’s Petro Rabigh Said to Seek $8 Billion Funding - Bloomberg:



"A joint venture of Saudi Arabian Oil Co. and Sumitomo Chemical Co. (4005) is seeking about $8 billion of loans to fund expansion, two people familiar with the plan said.



The financing for Saudi Arabia’s Rabigh Refining & Petrochemicals Co. (PETROR), known as Petro Rabigh, includes about $2 billion to $2.5 billion of 16-year bank loans in dollars and riyals, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. Petro Rabigh said in September its founders were seeking loans to expand its ethane cracker and build a new naphtha and aromatics complex.



The remaining funding for the expansion project will be raised from Saudi Arabia’s state-owned Public Investment Fund and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation, according to the people. HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA) and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. are advising Petro Rabigh on the financing, they said."



'via Blog this'

Emaar profits up by 21%, but misses analysts’ expectations | The National

Emaar profits up by 21%, but misses analysts’ expectations | The National:



"Emaar Properties reported a 21 per cent rise in net profit for the third quarter as it completed the share-sale of its retail business.



But net income missed analyst expectations as the Dubai developer, which hived off Emaar Malls Group this month, recorded a second consecutive quarter of declines in revenue.



“Revenues are down because of a slowdown in property deliveries during the quarter,” said Taher Safieddine, assistant vice president of equity research at Shuaa Capital, a Dubai-based investment bank. “The third quarter was very slow in terms of deliveries, especially in Dubai.”"



'via Blog this'

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Gulf SWFs Still Lag on Transparency, Report Says - Middle East Real Time - WSJ

Gulf SWFs Still Lag on Transparency, Report Says - Middle East Real Time - WSJ:



"

The sovereign wealth funds of the energy-rich Arab Gulf are some of the world’s largest pools of capital, collectively holding more than $1 trillion of assets. But their strategies, returns and approaches to risk aren’t often disclosed, something political risk consultancy GeoEconomica singles them out for in a new report. 




Gulf funds lag global peers in compliance with the so-called Santiago Principles, a voluntary set of guidelines funds agreed upon in 2008, the report says.



At that time, worry was growing that these huge funds might use their financial muscle to accomplish political objectives in foreign countries. The funds wanted to convince the international community that they were only seeking financial gain by more clearly spelling out their investment policies, financial information and governance structures"



'via Blog this'

Ukraine’s Largest Capital Market Shut Even as Vote Fuels Rally - Bloomberg

Ukraine’s Largest Capital Market Shut Even as Vote Fuels Rally - Bloomberg:



"The biggest rally in Ukrainian stocks in eight weeks masks the fact that the region’s largest capital market for the war-torn country’s companies, the Warsaw Stock Exchange, is shut for issuance in the foreseeable future.



Thirteen Ukrainian companies have sold 2.9 billion zloty ($871 million) of shares in neighboring Poland since 2006, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The index of Warsaw-listed Ukrainian stocks surged 3.3 percent yesterday, the most since Sept. 3, paring this year’s drop to 45 percent. It climbed a further 0.4 percent to a two-week high today.



Parties led by President Petro Poroshenko and Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk won a general election two days ago in a “victory for those supporting Ukraine’s westernizing agenda,” according to Standard Bank Group Ltd. While such prospects helped fuel stock gains, Ukrainian companies still face deteriorating economic conditions and must regain the trust of Warsaw investors, according to mutual fund KBC TFI SA."



'via Blog this'

Problems emerge for StanChart - YouTube

Problems emerge for StanChart - YouTube: ""



'via Blog this'

DP World volume container handling rises 9% | The National

DP World volume container handling rises 9% | The National:



"DP World, one of the world’s biggest port operators, said the volume of containers it handled in the first nine months of the year gained 9 per cent, boosted by growth in business in the Asia-Pacific, Indian subcontinent region, Europe and the UAE. In the third quarter, volumes grew 8.4 per cent, it said.



The port operator said it handled 44.8 million twenty foot equivalent units (TEU) across its global portfolio in the first nine months this year, up from 40.7 million in the same period last year. “It is evident that the significant investment of recent years is aiding in the delivery of stronger volume growth,” said Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, DP World’s chairman.



“Our flagship Jebel Ali port achieved yet another new record, with 4 million TEU handled in the third quarter. The port is operating at almost maximum utilisation and we are therefore pleased to announce that Terminal 3 is now operational, adding 2 million TEU capacity to Jebel Ali port,” he added. A further 2 million is expected to come on line in the second half of 2015, taking total Jebel Ali capacity to 19 million TEU, he said."



'via Blog this'

UK building infrastructure to develop it as western Islamic finance hub, official says | GulfNews.com

UK building infrastructure to develop it as western Islamic finance hub, official says | GulfNews.com:



"The United Kingdom is trying to build infrastructure to develop Islamic finance through regulations in insurance, sukuks, mortgages, taking it a step closer for it to become a western hub, United Kingdom’s economic secretary to the treasury department told Gulf News.



“UK aims to be a western hub for Islamic finance and build on our global importance as a financial centre, we think Islamic finance as a new potential growth market and so we want to be a part of it,” Andrea Leadsom, economic secretary to the treasury, United Kingdom told Gulf News.



“We think we have made quiet good strides towards developing our Islamic finance market,” said Leadsom said."



'via Blog this'

Russia ETF Swells as Valuations Lure Bargain Hunters - Bloomberg

Russia ETF Swells as Valuations Lure Bargain Hunters - Bloomberg:



"Investors are piling into the biggest exchange-traded fund tracking Russian equities at a record pace as the cheapest valuations in emerging markets and easing tension in Ukraine spur bets stocks will rebound.



The number of outstanding shares in the Market Vectors Russia ETF (RSX) has soared 59 percent since early August to 94.5 million, the highest level since April 2011. The demand is building after the fund tumbled 12 percent in the last three months to trade near a five-year low.



The ETF is swelling as investors speculate that Russian stocks, which have dropped the most in the world this year as international sanctions curbed growth, will recover amid signs the seven-month conflict in Ukraine is easing. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said yesterday the country will recognize the results of parliamentary elections in the former Soviet republic as a cease-fire entered its eighth week."



'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Markets diverge on mixed results; Qatar, Egypt outperform | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Markets diverge on mixed results; Qatar, Egypt outperform | Reuters:



"Strong performances by property developers lifted Qatar's bourse on Tuesday, while Egypt rebounded after a pull-back prompted by violence in Sinai. Other markets in the region consolidated after mixed third-quarter earnings.



Dubai's index was nearly flat. Shares in logistics firm Aramex rose 0.3 percent after it reported a 16 percent rise in third-quarter net profit to 69.5 million dirhams ($18.95 million) on Monday.



Although the figure was lower than the average estimate of analysts polled by Reuters, who had expected 74.8 million dirhams, some analysts called it impressive. NBK Capital said in a note it was pleased with the numbers and maintained a "buy" recommendation on the stock."



'via Blog this'

Aabar Said to Plan Refinancing of UniCredit Stake - Bloomberg

Aabar Said to Plan Refinancing of UniCredit Stake - Bloomberg:



"Aabar Investments PJSC is planning to refinance a stake valued at $2.2 billion in UniCredit SpA, three people with knowledge of the matter said.



The investment firm, owned by Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund, is talking with lenders including Deutsche Bank AG, Bank of America Corp., BNP Paribas SA and HSBC Holdings Plc about refinancing the stake, two of the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private.



Aabar is the biggest shareholder in UniCredit, according to the bank’s website, with a stake of just over 5 percent."



'via Blog this'

Dubai Insists the Boom is Not a Bubble This Time Around - Bloomberg

Dubai Insists the Boom is Not a Bubble This Time Around - Bloomberg:



"Alongside the Dubai Mall, one of the world’s largest shopping centers, sits an ersatz version of what would be an authentic retail experience in most Persian Gulf cities: an Arab souk.



If, in the evening, you stroll through this air-conditioned, hassle- and haggle-free caricature of a market, staffed mostly by smiling South Asians, you can amble out onto the shores of man-made Burj Khalifa Lake, named after the world’s tallest building, which looms over it.



Here -- bumping elbows with a veritable United Nations General Assembly of residents and tourists decked out in everything from dishdashas to Dior -- you can gawk at the Dubai Fountain, Bloomberg Markets magazine will report in its December issue. Every half-hour, an array of computer-choreographed nozzles sends jets of water erupting from the lake’s surface 500 feet into the air, gyrating to Middle Eastern pop one minute and Andrea Bocelli singing “Con Te Partiro” the next."



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Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Goldman’s new improved view on the oil sell-off | FT Alphaville

Goldman’s new improved view on the oil sell-off | FT Alphaville:



"Earlier this month Goldman Sachs put out a note arguing that whilst their overall view was still bearish, the oil price sell-off thus far had been too much too soon.



The spot market fundamentals, they noted, were in balance — meaning that if anything was driving a “change” in demand it was curve repositioning, mostly by overly anxious speculators who had decided an exit was warranted despite the balanced fundamentals.



This, however, is no longer Goldman’s view."



'via Blog this'

Tallest Twin Towers Part of Emaar Megaproject on Dubai Lagoon - Bloomberg

Tallest Twin Towers Part of Emaar Megaproject on Dubai Lagoon - Bloomberg:



"The world’s tallest twin towers will be the centerpiece of a new residential and business project in Dubai being developed by Emaar Properties PJSC (EMAAR) and Dubai Holding LLC.



The first phase will start Nov. 1 with the sale of 350 apartments in two smaller 40-story towers, according to the companies. Those buildings will take about 2 1/2 years to build, Emaar chairman Mohamed Alabbar told reporters today.



The companies didn’t provide a cost or a timeframe for the entire 6 million square-meter (65 million square-foot) Dubai Creek Harbour project or the buildings set to break the record held by Kuala Lumpur’s 88-story Petronas Towers. The two apartment buildings being constructed first are set to cost around 3 billion dirhams ($817 million), Alabbar told Al Arabiya TV in an interview."



'via Blog this'

Dubai’s DIFC Investments Hires Banks for Potential Islamic Bond - Bloomberg

Dubai’s DIFC Investments Hires Banks for Potential Islamic Bond - Bloomberg:



"DIFC Investments LLC, the developer and operator of the Dubai International Financial Centre, hired banks for a possible sukuk sale, according to two people familiar with the matter.



The Dubai-based company appointed Dubai Islamic Bank PJSC, Emirates NBD Capital Ltd., Noor Bank and Standard Chartered Plc to arrange meetings with fixed income investors in Asia, the Middle East and Europe starting Oct. 30, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information isn’t public. It may sell a dollar-denominated, benchmark-sized sukuk, subject to market conditions, the people said. 




DIFC Governor Essa Kazim said last month the state-controlled company planned to raise about $700 million before the end of October. DIFC Investments joins a growing number of issuers seeking to tap Muslim investors in an industry that Ernst & Young LLP forecasts may almost double to $3.4 trillion in 2018."



'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Markets pull back as global equities dip, some earnings disappoint | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Markets pull back as global equities dip, some earnings disappoint | Reuters:



"Most stock markets in the Middle East fell on Monday after several companies reported poor third-quarter earnings and European equities edged down along with oil prices.



The index of top European shares dipped as the Ifo business climate index slipped to its lowest level in nearly two years, while Brent crude dropped towards $85 per barrel after Goldman Sachs slashed its price forecasts, citing abundant supply and lacklustre demand.



Dubai's bourse, which rose as much as 0.8 percent early in the session, gave up all its gains when European markets moved into negative territory. The benchmark fell 1.4 percent to 4,625 points, but remained above the 200-day average at 4,599 points, an important technical level."



'via Blog this'

Monday, 27 October 2014

Top Saudi banks post double digit net income growth in third quarter | GulfNews.com

Top Saudi banks post double digit net income growth in third quarter | GulfNews.com:



"Leading Saudi Arabia based banks reported double-digit growth in net profits in the third quarter of 2014.



While Banque Saudi Fransi (BSF), Arab National Bank (ANB) and Saudi British Bank (SABB) delivered more than 20 per cent year on year net income growth in the quarter, Samba, Riyad Bank and Saudi Hollandi Bank (SHB) saw high-single digit growth. Al Rajhi lagged peers with year-on-year contraction in both net-interest income and net income levels, according to first-quarter numbers compiled by Shuaa Capital.



“For the seven banks we cover, net income was 4 per cent below consensus on aggregate. However, net income growth accelerated to 12 per cent year on year compared to 7 per cent year on year in the second quarter of 2014 on the back of NIM [net interest margin] resilience, double-digit non-interest income growth and sharp provision declines,” wrote Suha Urgan and Taher Safieddine, analysts at Shuaa Capital in a recent note."



'via Blog this'

Gulf oil producers seen riding out price plunge | GulfNews.com

Gulf oil producers seen riding out price plunge | GulfNews.com:



"Energy kingpin Saudi Arabia and other wealthy Gulf states are set to resist pressure to tighten the taps significantly to shore up oil prices as the global economy stumbles, analysts say.



Oil prices have fallen by a quarter since June as excess supply and weaker demand create a glut on world markets, prompting some other exporters to call for cuts in output.



But while curbing production could help to arrest the price decline, it would also leave the Gulf states at risk of losing market share."



'via Blog this'

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Dubai Shares Rise After Global Stocks Rally; Saudi Arabia Climbs - Bloomberg

Dubai Shares Rise After Global Stocks Rally; Saudi Arabia Climbs - Bloomberg:



"Dubai shares advanced to the highest in almost two weeks after better-than-expected government data in the U.S. and the euro area spurred a global equity rally. Saudi Arabia’s main measure increased.



The Dubai Financial Market General Index (DFMGI) added 2.5 percent to 4,689.12 at the close, the highest since Oct. 13. Arabtec Holding Co., the biggest publicly-traded construction company in the United Arab Emirates, led gains with a 5.3 percent increase. Emaar Properties PJSC (EMAAR), the developer of the world’s tallest tower in Dubai, climbed 1.9 percent. Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index advanced 1.5 percent.



Global stocks rallied after companies from Caterpillar Inc. to Yahoo! posted better-than-estimated earnings and government data signaled a strengthening economy. Fewer Americans filed applications for unemployment benefits over the past month than at any time in 14 years. Data in the euro area showed manufacturing unexpectedly revived in October, and a gauge of Chinese factory activity rose, exceeding analysts’ estimates."



'via Blog this'

Masdar first large-scale wind farm in the GCC set | Economy | Saudi Gazette

Masdar first large-scale wind farm in the GCC set | Economy | Saudi Gazette:



"Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company, signed on Oct. 22 a joint development agreement with the Rural Areas Electricity Company (RAECO) to build the first large-scale wind farm in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). The $125 million, 50-megawatt wind farm in the Sultanate of Oman will be constructed in the country’s Dhofar Governorate.



The project is estimated to generate enough clean electricity to power 16,000 homes and mitigate 110,000 tons of CO2 per year. The project will consist of up to 25 wind turbines and construction begins the final quarter of 2015.



The first-of-its-kind wind project is a result of strong bilateral ties between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Oman. The project also reflects the increasing trend by GCC nations to invest in renewables as a means to diversify the energy mix and address long-term resource security. "



'via Blog this'

Real Madrid set to announce sponsorship deal with Abu Dhabi-based IPIC - Lifestyle - ArabianBusiness.com

Real Madrid set to announce sponsorship deal with Abu Dhabi-based IPIC - Lifestyle - ArabianBusiness.com:



"Real Madrid are set to announce a new sponsorship deal with Abu Dhabi-based International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) this week, according to local media reports in Spain.



Daily sports newspaper Marca, which last month revealed plans to rename Real Madrid’s home ground Abu Dhabi Santiago Bernabeu, reported the club will announce its new sponsorship agreement with IPIC on Tuesday.



The initial sponsorship deal is believed to be worth in the region of €20 million ($15.4 million) a season, similar to the amount the club’s shirt sponsor, Emirates, pays for its deal."



'via Blog this'

Gulf states need to reform spending as oil price slips | GulfNews.com

Gulf states need to reform spending as oil price slips | GulfNews.com:



"Gulf Arab oil exporters will have to reform their state spending and make cuts in some areas because of weak oil prices, Kuwaiti Finance Minister Anas al-Saleh said on Saturday.



“We must undertake comprehensive economic reforms including the reform of imbalances in public finances,” Saleh told a meeting of Gulf Arab finance ministers, central bank governors and the International Monetary Fund in Kuwait.



“This must be undertaken through strengthening of efforts to diversify away from oil and decrease dependence on oil revenue, which is now inevitable.” Global oil prices tumbled to four-year lows below $83 per barrel this month, threatening — if current levels are sustained for a long period — to push the state budgets of some of the six members of the Gulf Cooperation Council into deficit after several years of big surpluses."



'via Blog this'

Mobius Says Blindfolded Investor Can Find Value in Russia Stocks - Bloomberg

Mobius Says Blindfolded Investor Can Find Value in Russia Stocks - Bloomberg:



"Russian stocks are such good value that almost anyone could find some bargains, according to Mark Mobius.



“You could almost be blindfolded and throw a few darts and you’ll hit something that’s cheap,” Mobius, who overseas about $40 billion as chairman of Templeton Emerging Markets Group, said in an interview today. Still, he’s not buying because of sanctions imposed on the nation over the conflict in Ukraine.



Russian equities offer “tremendous value now, but the problem is this inexorable march towards more and more sanctions, particularly from the U.S.,” he said in an interview with Bloomberg TV’s Guy Johnson and Francine Lacqua from Hong Kong. “We talk to our Russian analysts and every day they are coming up with new bargains. But we won’t put money in because of these sanctions.”"



'via Blog this'

Sabic Quarterly Net Drops 4.5% as Sales Fall, Missing Estimates - Bloomberg

Sabic Quarterly Net Drops 4.5% as Sales Fall, Missing Estimates - Bloomberg:



"Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC) posted a 4.5 percent decline in third-quarter profit, missing analysts’ estimates, as the world’s biggest petrochemicals maker suffered from lower sales.



Net income fell to 6.18 billion riyals ($1.65 billion) from 6.47 billion riyals a year earlier, the Riyadh-based company known as Sabic said in a statement to the Saudi Stock Exchange today. The mean estimate of eight analysts was for a profit of 6.61 billion riyals, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.



“The decrease in net income is attributable to lower quantities sold and other income, despite lower financial charges,” according to the company. It didn’t provide further details."



'via Blog this'

Dubai Shares Rise After Global Stocks Rally; Abu Dhabi Advances - Bloomberg

Dubai Shares Rise After Global Stocks Rally; Abu Dhabi Advances - Bloomberg:



"Dubai shares climbed to the highest in almost two weeks after better-than-expected government data in the U.S. and the euro area spurred a global equity rally. Abu Dhabi’s index increased.



The Dubai Financial Market General Index (DFMGI) added 1.6 percent to 4,645.00, the highest since Oct. 14 at 11:54 a.m. local time. Arabtec Holding Co., the biggest publicly-traded construction company in the United Arab Emirates, led gains with a 3.1 percent increase, followed by Emaar Properties PJSC, the developer of the world’s tallest tower in Dubai. Abu Dhabi’s ADX General Index climbed 0.4 percent.



Global stocks rallied after companies from Caterpillar Inc. to Yahoo! posted better-than-estimated earnings and government data signaled a strengthening economy. Fewer Americans filed applications for unemployment benefits over the past month than at any time in 14 years. Data in the euro area showed manufacturing unexpectedly revived in October, and a gauge of Chinese factory activity rose, exceeding analysts’ estimates."



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London's luxury houses lose shine - YouTube

London's luxury houses lose shine - YouTube: ""



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Saturday, 25 October 2014

Cheaper oil: Winners and losers | The Economist

Cheaper oil: Winners and losers | The Economist:



"IN EARLY October the IMF looked at what might happen to the world economy if conflict in Iraq caused an oil-price shock. Fighters from Islamic State (IS) were pushing into the country’s north and the fund worried about a sharp price rise, of 20% in a year. Global GDP would fall by 0.5-1.5%, it concluded. Equity prices in rich countries would decline by 3-7%, and inflation would be at least half a point higher.



IS is still advancing. Russia, the world’s third-biggest producer, is embroiled in Ukraine. Iraq, Syria, Nigeria and Libya, oil producers all, are in turmoil. But the price of Brent crude fell over 25% from $115 a barrel in mid-June to under $85 in mid-October, before recovering a little (see chart). Such a shift has global consequences. Who are the winners and losers?



The first winner is the world economy itself. A 10% change in the oil price is associated with around a 0.2% change in global GDP, says Tom Helbling of the IMF. A price fall normally boosts GDP by shifting resources from producers to consumers, who are more likely to spend their gains than wealthy sheikhdoms. If increased supply is the driving force, the effect is likely to be bigger—as in America, where shale gas drove prices down relative to Europe and, says the IMF, boosted manufactured exports by 6% compared with the rest of the world. But if it reflects weak demand, consumers may save the windfall."



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Judgment of €1m awarded against developer over failed Dubai deal

Judgment of €1m awarded against developer over failed Dubai deal:



"A businessman has obtained a €1 million judgment against a developer arising out of a failed deal to purchase several apartments in Dubai.



James Byrne (56), a native of Waterford now living in Dubai, claimed he gave €633,000 to Caoimhin McGeever, otherwise known as Kevin McGeever and his company KMM International Ltd, in 2006 to purchase three studio apartments and a duplex apartment close to the centre of Dubai.



Mr Byrne said he neither got ownership of the properties nor return of his investment and later learned one of the properties was sold to another party."



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Aabar seeks hefty premium for its minority stake in Malaysia bank | GulfNews.com

Aabar seeks hefty premium for its minority stake in Malaysia bank | GulfNews.com:



"Aabar Investments is demanding a hefty premium for its minority stake in Malaysia’s No. 4 bank, sources say, as the Abu Dhabi state fund leverages on its amplified role in a $22 billion merger that will create Southeast Asia’s fourth-largest lender.



When the Malaysian stock exchange last week barred the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) from voting on a plan to merge CIMB Group Holdings, RHB Capital Bhd and Malaysia Building Society Bhd (MBSB) due to the state pension fund’s majority ownership in the three lenders, the spotlight was suddenly thrown onto secondary shareholders.



Aabar, which owns 21 per cent of RHB, wants its stake in the bank to be valued at 11-12 ringgit per share, sources familiar with the deal said. That would be as much as 11 per cent more than what Aabar paid three years ago for its RHB holding and above the value placed on RHB of 10.03 ringgit per share in the proposed merger."



'via Blog this'

Russia Credit Rating Kept Above Junk by S&P on Reserves - Bloomberg

Russia Credit Rating Kept Above Junk by S&P on Reserves - Bloomberg:



"Russia’s investment-grade credit rating was affirmed by Standard & Poor’s yesterday, easing concern that a downgrade to junk may deepen a selloff in the ruble and other assets.



S&P held Russia’s ranking at BBB-, according to a statement, while retaining the country’s negative outlook. The grade puts Russia on par with Brazil and South Africa. S&P last cut the rating in April, downgrading Russia for the first time in five years.



“The ratings are supported by the economy’s net external asset position and the Russian government’s modest net debtor position,” S&P said in the statement. “The ratings remain constrained by our view of the structural weaknesses in Russia’s economy, in particular the strong dependence on hydrocarbons and other commodities.”"



'via Blog this'

Friday, 24 October 2014

Dubai fund DIC expects Doncasters, Almatis sales in 18 months: CEO | Reuters

Dubai fund DIC expects Doncasters, Almatis sales in 18 months: CEO | Reuters:



"Dubai International Capital (DIC) should complete the sale of the two main assets remaining in its portfolio within 18 months, which will provide it with cash to cover its outstanding debt well ahead of scheduled repayment in two years. 




Proceeds from the divestment of the five remaining assets should also give the private equity firm surplus funds to pass to its parent firm, Dubai Holding, to help finance its ambitious projects in the emirate, chief executive David Smoot said. 




Part of the investment vehicle of Dubai's ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, DIC rose to prominence in the mid-2000s as it took stakes in global brands including Daimler and Sony, and at one point was heavily linked with a takeover of one of England's biggest soccer clubs, Liverpool FC."



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Opec resists falling oil prices action - YouTube

Opec resists falling oil prices action - YouTube: ""



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US earnings season - YouTube

US earnings season - YouTube: ""



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Warning from DFSA over Star-Dubai real estate scam | The National

Warning from DFSA over Star-Dubai real estate scam | The National:



"The Dubai Financial Services Authority has issued a warning pertaining to a real estate scam promoted by Star-Dubai, a company that displays what it claims is a Certificate of Incorporation from the regulator on its website.



The DFSA advises that it does not issue such certificates, and the yields offered of between 120-224 per cent profit per month by Star-Dubai are unrealistic.



“The DFSA strongly advises prospective investors in Dubai real estate not to respond to Star-Dubai Ltd or any other person or company representing the firm.” it said on Thursday."



'via Blog this'

Dubai businessman says bribery in Middle East commercial life ‘swept under the carpet’ | The National

Dubai businessman says bribery in Middle East commercial life ‘swept under the carpet’ | The National:



"Mishal Kanoo, the outspoken Dubai-based businessman, has called for stricter measures against bribery and corruption in commercial life in the region.



Speaking at a forum of the Alternative Investment Management Association in Dubai, Mr Kanoo spoke out against the problems, which he said had “been swept under the carpet in this part of the world”.



Mr Kanoo, whose family firm is one of the biggest diversified conglomerates in the UAE, said that “white collar crime” was a persistent problem in the region, and penalties against it are not severe enough."



'via Blog this'

WTI Heads for Weekly Drop as Saudi Policy Seen Unchanged - Bloomberg

WTI Heads for Weekly Drop as Saudi Policy Seen Unchanged - Bloomberg:



"West Texas Intermediate retreated from the biggest gain since September amid speculation a drop in Saudi Arabian oil supplies isn’t a signal that OPEC’s largest producer has decided to cut production. Brent slid in London.



Futures fell as much as 1 percent in New York and are poised for a fourth weekly decline. Saudi Arabia’s crude supplies to the market declined last month even as production increased, a person familiar with the kingdom’s oil policy said yesterday. A New York City doctor tested positive for Ebola after returning from aid work in West Africa, spurring demand for haven assets including U.S. Treasuries.



The market’s reaction to the fall in Saudi supply underscores the focus on the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries before the group’s meeting next month. The highest U.S. crude output in almost 30 years helped drive oil futures into a bear market. While Libya’s OPEC governor called for the group to reduce output, producers including Kuwait signaled the slump in prices doesn’t warrant immediate cuts."



'via Blog this'

MIDEAST STOCKS-Strong results, steady Europe buoy most markets | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Strong results, steady Europe buoy most markets | Reuters:



"Most stock markets in the Middle East continued rebounding on Thursday on the back of generally positive third-quarter corporate earnings and resilient European equities.



Bourses in the region continued to imitate global markets, falling in line with U.S. and Asian indexes in the morning but then recovering after European stocks and oil prices steadied.



Dubai's index rose 0.6 percent on the back of lenders Emirates NBD (ENBD) and Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB), both of which reported strong profit growth and beat analysts' estimates on Wednesday."



'via Blog this'

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Rosneft Asks for $49 Billion From State Welfare Fund to Survive Sanctions | News | The Moscow Times

Rosneft Asks for $49 Billion From State Welfare Fund to Survive Sanctions | News | The Moscow Times:



"State-owned oil major Rosneft has requested more than 2 trillion rubles ($49 billion) from one of Russia's oil-revenue-funded, rainy-day reserves to help it weather Western sanctions, Finance Minster Anton Siluanov told news agency RIA Novosti on Wednesday.



The sum amounts to over half the cash stored in Russia's National Welfare Fund, a sovereign wealth fund that was created as a backstop to Russia's pension system and held 3.2 trillion rubles ($83.2 billion) as of Oct. 10.



Major Russian companies and banks have queued up for access to financial aid from the fund in recent months after Western sanctions on Moscow over Ukraine locked them out of overseas capital markets, leaving many with multi-billion-dollar debts to international lenders that they cannot roll over."



'via Blog this'

Dubai’s Borrowings from its Biggest Bank Surpass 100 Billion Dirhams - Middle East Real Time - WSJ

Dubai’s Borrowings from its Biggest Bank Surpass 100 Billion Dirhams - Middle East Real Time - WSJ:



"The Dubai government has borrowed more than 100 billion U.A.E. dirhams ($27.24 billion) from Emirates NBD as of the end of the third quarter, according to the bank’s most recent financial statements, underscoring the extent to which the emirate has come to rely on its biggest lender for financing after the global recession.



Emirates NBD, which is majority-owned by the Dubai government through the Investment Corporation of Dubai, has long been disclosing the loans as a related-party transaction in its quarterly financial statements. They have almost tripled since the financial crisis set in at the end of 2008, when the bank reported AED34.8 billion on its books.



The sharp rise shows how Dubai’s government has leaned increasingly on Emirates NBD for financing since the crisis, when many global financial institutions packed up their bags and left amid concerns that the emirate and its over-leveraged companies were on the verge of a debt default. Today, Emirates NBD’s AED102.4 billion worth of loans to Dubai constitute nearly half of its AED213.7 billion of overall loans and receivables."



'via Blog this'

Middle Eastern debt issuance plunges 68% to $6.3 billion in Q3 | Economy | Saudi Gazette

Middle Eastern debt issuance plunges 68% to $6.3 billion in Q3 | Economy | Saudi Gazette:



"The value of Middle Eastern  mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity  reached $11.8 billion during the third quarter of 2014, an 18 percent decline from the value registered during the previous quarter, Thomson Reuters/Freeman Consulting said, 60 percent less than the value recorded during the previous quarter.



Nadim Najjar, Managing Director, Middle East & North Africa, Thomson Reuters, said: “Middle Eastern equity and equity-related issuance during the first nine months of 2014 totaled $5.1 billion, a 43 percent increase in activity from the same period in 2013 ($3.6 billion).”



He added: “Middle Eastern debt issuance reached $6.3 billion during the third quarter of 2014, down 68 percent from the record-breaking second quarter total of $19.7 billion.  Boosted by the strong second quarter, bonds issued so far during 2014 increased 5 percent from the same period last year, to $32.8 billion.”"



'via Blog this'

Good bargains in UAE equities as market stabilises | GulfNews.com

Good bargains in UAE equities as market stabilises | GulfNews.com:



"The Dubai index, which shed about 14 per cent last week, has thrown up good bargains in select sectors, even as markets stabilise.



On Wednesday, the Dubai Financial Market General Index rose as much as 2.8 per cent before ending 2.34 per cent higher to be at 4,545.91. That adds to previous session’s 1.5 per cent gains.



“We expect market to stabilise. There are good bargains to buy in the market and the volatility should ease a bit,” said Sebastien Henin, head of asset management at The National Investor."



'via Blog this'

Dubai index jumps nearly 3 per cent to hit over 1-week high | GulfNews.com

Dubai index jumps nearly 3 per cent to hit over 1-week high | GulfNews.com:



"The Dubai index, which has been fluctuating in recent ranges, jumped as much as 2.8 per cent on Wednesday to hit its highest level in more than a week buoyed by strength in global markets. The Abu Dhabi index also ended higher led by Arkan Building Materials.



The Dubai Financial Market General Index ended 2.34 per cent higher to be at 4,545.91, after hitting a high of 4.568.18. Arabtec, the biggest publicly traded construction in the UAE, jumped 5.70 per cent, while Emaar Properties, which has the highest weightage on the index, ended 1.47 per cent higher.



“They are still taking cues from international markets. The focus will remain on global economies and euro zone’s impact on the global economy,” Marwan Shurrab, fund manager and head of trading at Vision Investments & Holdings said."



'via Blog this'

Oil slump could have growth implications for GCC | GulfNews.com

Oil slump could have growth implications for GCC | GulfNews.com:



"Until a few months ago, any suggestion of a potential economic slowdown in GCC region could have been scorned by even the most seasoned economists. But the rapid pace at which oil price are falling have prompted some to reconsider their regional outlook.



Oil prices have declined sharply since June on concerns about weaker global growth and increased supply. The Opec reference oil price has declined nearly 23 per cent since its June peak, reaching $85 per barrel.



“Despite progress on economic diversification in the GCC over the last decade, regional budgets remain highly reliant on oil revenues and are thus vulnerable to sustained changes in oil prices,” said Khatija Haque, Head of MENA Research at Emirates NBD."



'via Blog this'

Libya OPEC Governor Calls for Output Cut Amid Oil Plunge - Bloomberg

Libya OPEC Governor Calls for Output Cut Amid Oil Plunge - Bloomberg:



"Libya’s OPEC governor called for the group to reduce oil output by at least 500,000 barrels a day as its biggest members discount supplies to defend market share rather than cut production to boost prices.



The market is oversupplied by about 1 million barrels a day, Libya’s Samir Kamal said by e-mail yesterday. His comments reflected personal views, not the official Libyan position, he said. They mark the first time a member nation representative is suggesting how much production needs to be reduced after prices entered a bear market.



Brent crude, a benchmark for more than half of the world’s oil, has tumbled about 25 percent since June, as producers including Saudi Arabia cut export prices to stimulate demand amid the highest U.S. output in almost 30 years. Banks including BNP Paribas SA and Bank of America Corp. predict the price rout may be over, in part because they expect the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to reduce supply."



'via Blog this'

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Commercial Bank Of Kuwait Slashes Bad Loans As Settlements Reached - Gulf Business

Commercial Bank Of Kuwait Slashes Bad Loans As Settlements Reached - Gulf Business:



"Commercial Bank of Kuwait (CBK), the Gulf state’s fifth-largest lender by assets, has reached a string of debt settlements with clients that have helped to slash its non-performing loans, the bank’s acting chief executive said.



Kuwaiti investment companies were hit hard by the global financial crisis in 2008-2009 and many were forced to enter debt restructuring talks. This has pressured Kuwait’s banking sector over the last several years.



CBK’s success in reaching debt settlements with such firms suggests the banking sector is now leaving that problem behind."



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Russia's Gas Monopoly Is Over | Opinion | The Moscow Times

Russia's Gas Monopoly Is Over | Opinion | The Moscow Times:



"The position of Russian natural gas in Central and Eastern Europe seems unshakeable: 100 percent market share in Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania and Belarus, 90 percent in Bulgaria, 80 percent in Hungary and Slovakia, and 60 percent in the Czech Republic, Poland and Ukraine. Yet these figures disguise crucial vulnerabilities. In the coming years, Russia's export volumes will remain high, even as its position in the European energy markets erodes. Often, discussion of the shale revolution's impact on Russia focuses on the prospect of American LNG displacing gas flowing through Russia's transcontinental pipelines.



Such analysis is misleading. Increasing global supplies damage Russian interests. It is important to remember that, as recently as 2005, projections favored the U.S. to become the largest net buyer of natural gas in the world. But in the years since, domestic production rose 34 percent, making the country functionally independent of offshore suppliers.



The closure of the U.S. LNG import market is forcing producers in the Middle East and Africa to look for customers elsewhere. This exerts downward pressure on prices and is making LNG from all sources more economical for European consumers."



'via Blog this'

Hong Kong And Abu Dhabi Investors Want To Buy Reebok From Adidas

Hong Kong And Abu Dhabi Investors Want To Buy Reebok From Adidas:



"A group of investors from Hong Kong and Abu Dhabi plan to offer about 1.7 billion euros ($2.2 billion) to buy Reebok from Adidas AG, which acquired the company eight years ago but has since lost market share to Nike Inc.



Jynwel Capital, the investment vehicle of the billionaire Low family of Asia, and funds affiliated with the government of Abu Dhabi plan to send a letter to Adidas directors with the offer, the Wall Street Journal reported Sunday. The two investment groups are expected to argue that Reebok would operate better independently.



Representatives for Adidas and Jynwel Capital declined to comment on the speculation, according to Bloomberg."



'via Blog this'

Emerging markets jittery as UAE bourses back in the red | The National

Emerging markets jittery as UAE bourses back in the red | The National:



"UAE bourses fell on Monday as worldwide stock market jitters continued to hit emerging markets.



The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange fell 1.54 per cent, while the Dubai Financial Market fell 0.95 per cent. Thirty-day volatility on both bourses reached its highest level since Arabtec’s crash in June this year.



Price fluctuations savaged global markets for most of last week after the IMF downgraded its global economic growth forecasts and central banks offered mixed messages on interest rate rises and quantitative easing."



'via Blog this'

First Gulf Bank plans bond issue, to establish China office | GulfNews.com

First Gulf Bank plans bond issue, to establish China office | GulfNews.com:



"First Gulf Bank, the second largest lender by market capitalisation in the UAE, plans to make a benchmark foreign currency bond issue in the next 12 months, chief executive Andre Sayegh said on Monday.



“There will be a bond issuance in the coming 12 months. It is for balance sheet management,” Sayegh told reporters.



He also said the bank expected to post double-digit loan growth in the next 12 months. “Loan growth is picking up and some major projects are coming up.” Sayegh said FGB aimed to open a representative office in China in the coming 12 months. The office is expected eventually to be upgraded to a branch, he added."



'via Blog this'

Emirates airline growth to slow amid airport capacity constraints | GulfNews.com

Emirates airline growth to slow amid airport capacity constraints | GulfNews.com:



"Emirates airline’s growth will slow until the end of the decade as the Dubai government invests billions of dollars in further developing the emirate as a global aviation hub.



“The expansion plan we have over the next seven years is going be a lot less [than recent years],” Anand Lakshminarayanan, Divisional Vice-President for Route Planning at Emirates airline, said on Monday.



Lakshminarayanan declined to state what growth the airline will be targeting."



'via Blog this'

ETFs Lag $2.3 Trillion Market as Options Scarce: Islamic Finance - Bloomberg

ETFs Lag $2.3 Trillion Market as Options Scarce: Islamic Finance - Bloomberg:



"Almost a decade since the Islamic world’s first exchange-traded fund started operating, assets account for less than one percent of the total $2.3 trillion ETF market, according to Falah Capital LLC.



The U.S. fund manager set up its inaugural Shariah-compliant ETF this month as it seeks to tap growth in Islamic banking assets. Investment products conforming to Koranic principles that pool mainly stocks, bonds or commodities into single share units amount to $11.6 billion, Thom Polson, chief executive officer at Seattle-based Falah Capital, said in an Oct. 18 e-mail.



“The absence of such a major investment vehicle is surely a deficiency for Islamic investors,” Resat Karabiyik, managing director at Istanbul-based Bizim Menkul Degerler AS, which pioneered Shariah-type ETFs in 2006, said in an Oct. 17 e-mail. “Since their first inception, ETFs have become one of the major globally accepted investment vehicles that suit both institutional and individual investors.”"



'via Blog this'

Iran Shuns Image as OPEC Hawk While Seeking Sanctions End - Bloomberg

Iran Shuns Image as OPEC Hawk While Seeking Sanctions End - Bloomberg:



"Iran, eager for an end to sanctions that have restricted its oil exports, is shunning its image as OPEC’s price hawk by avoiding calls for an emergency session of the group to support prices.



Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh consulted with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani about political and economic reasons for the price collapse, the ministry’s news website Shana reported yesterday. No emergency meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries is necessary to discuss the slide, Shana said. Rouhani told Zanganeh to use the “oil diplomacy tool” to try to prevent a further decrease, the state-run Mehr news agency said Oct. 19, without elaborating.



“They have their wings clipped a bit at the moment because they can’t really produce any more than they do,” Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank A/S, said in an interview in Dubai yesterday. “It’s difficult for them to call for any strict action when they know that when sanctions are lifted, they’re the ones that are going to ramp up production.”"



'via Blog this'

Monday, 20 October 2014

Oil Prices Have a Bit More Room to Fall: Mahesh: Video - Bloomberg

Oil Prices Have a Bit More Room to Fall: Mahesh: Video - Bloomberg: ""



'via Blog this'

Islamic State Earns $800 Million a Year From Oil Sales - Bloomberg

Islamic State Earns $800 Million a Year From Oil Sales - Bloomberg:



"The Islamic State is earning about $2 million a day, or $800 million a year, selling oil on the black market, according to one estimate.



The terrorist group is producing 50,000 to 60,000 barrels a day, according to a report released today by Englewood, Colorado-based IHS Inc. (IHS) It controls as much as 350,000 barrels a day of capacity in Iraq and Syria.



The Islamic State has been targeted by U.S.-led airstrikes after posting videos showing the beheadings of journalists and aid workers. Extremist groups typically rely on foreign donations that can be squeezed by sanctions, diplomacy and law enforcement. Today’s report echoes U.S intelligence officials and anti-terrorism finance experts interviewed by Bloomberg News in August, who also determined the group was selling oil at $25 to $60 a barrel, creating a group that resembles Taliban with oil wells."



'via Blog this'

Saudi Arabian Airlines Plans IPOs of Three Service Units - Bloomberg

Saudi Arabian Airlines Plans IPOs of Three Service Units - Bloomberg:



"Saudi Arabian Airlines plans to raise at least 10 billion riyals ($2.7 billion) through the sale of shares in its ground-handling, cargo and maintenance units.



An initial public offering of the ground-handling unit valued at 2 billion riyals will take place “in weeks,” Saudi Arabian Airlines’ Chief Financial Officer Muhammad Albakri told reporters in Dubai. The sale of shares in the cargo unit is planned for next year, while the maintenance section of the business will IPO in 2017, he said. Saudi Arabian Airlines will sell 30 percent of both at “at least” double the value of the ground-handling division, he said.



IPO activity in Saudi Arabia, home to the Gulf region’s largest stock market, is quickening after markets rallied and valuations improved. Subscription opened for National Commercial Bank’s share sale this week, which at 22.5 billion riyals will be the second-largest IPO in the world in 2014 after Chinese e-commerce business Alibaba."



'via Blog this'

UPDATE 2-MIDEAST STOCKS-Markets give up gains as European stocks slip | Reuters

UPDATE 2-MIDEAST STOCKS-Markets give up gains as European stocks slip | Reuters:



"Middle East markets gave up gains made in early trade on Monday after European bourses once again weakened, but strong third-quarter earnings supported some names in Saudi Arabia.



Dubai's index, which was up as much as 2.5 percent early in the session, fell 0.4 percent by mid-day as the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index edged down 0.6 percent.



Bourses in Abu Dhabi and Qatar, both of which had opened on a positive note, also changed direction and were down 1.1 and 1.2 percent respectively. Egypt's index fell 0.6 percent."



'via Blog this'

Saudi Arabia keeps the oil market guessing - FT.com

Saudi Arabia keeps the oil market guessing - FT.com:



"As oil prices have tumbled, one question has reverberated around the market: what is Saudi Arabia up to?



Little restraint has been shown by some energy market watchers in their commentary on the recent sell-off and the role played by Opec’s biggest producer.



The 25 per cent fall in the price of Brent crude since mid-June, to almost four-year lows, they say, is the result of a deliberate strategy by the Gulf nation to test the mettle of rival producers from Russia, to fellow Opec member Iran and US shale producers."



'via Blog this'

Morgan Says Buy Russia Stocks Seven Weeks After Sell Call - Bloomberg

Morgan Says Buy Russia Stocks Seven Weeks After Sell Call - Bloomberg:



"Morgan Stanley advised clients to buy Russian stocks seven weeks after cutting the country to sell, the latest sign of how volatile the market has become as the conflict in neighboring Ukraine approaches its eighth month.



The Oct. 17 upgrade to what Morgan Stanley equity strategist Ronan Carr described as “tactically overweight” came on the same day JPMorgan Chase & Co. said Russian stocks are likely to extend declines. The bank cut its recommendation to sell in late July, just a month after raising it to buy.



The brisk market-call reversals have come amid steep swings in Russian stocks as investors react to developments in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. The Russian Market Volatility Index, a gauge of traders’ projections for price fluctuations in equities, peaked at 65.4 percent in March after President Vladimir Putin moved to annex Crimea. It reached a six-week high last week."



'via Blog this'

Dubai Stocks Rise Most Since July on Global Rally; Tadawul Jumps - Bloomberg

Dubai Stocks Rise Most Since July on Global Rally; Tadawul Jumps - Bloomberg:



"Shares in Dubai climbed the most in more than three months after global equity markets rallied with oil and as some investors speculated the selloff last week was overdone. Saudi Arabia’s shares advanced.



The Dubai Financial Market General Index (DFMGI), gained 3.5 percent to close at 4,419.36, the most since July 6. The gauge last week posted its steeped slump since December 2008, dragging its 14-day relative strength index to 23.4, the lowest since May 2012. A level below 30 indicates to some investors a measure is oversold. It climbed to today 32.7. Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index rose 2.4 percent after its RSI dropped to the lowest since March 2011 on Oct. 16.



“Our markets were oversold as we had the worst of the selloff last week,” Ramez Merhi, director of asset management at Dubai-based Al Masah Capital, which manages $545 million, said in e-mailed comments. “Oil and global stocks have rallied and the bounce we are seeing today was practically inevitable.”"



'via Blog this'

IBM Paying Globalfoundries $1.5 Billion to Take Unit in Retreat From Chips - Bloomberg

IBM Paying Globalfoundries $1.5 Billion to Take Unit in Retreat From Chips - Bloomberg:



"International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) agreed to pay Globalfoundries Inc. $1.5 billion to take an unprofitable chip-manufacturing unit off its hands, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.



IBM will also receive $200 million worth of assets, making the net value of the deal $1.3 billion, said the people who asked not to be identified because the agreement is private. The companies plan to announce the deal today, the people said. IBM put out a statement yesterday saying it planned to make a “major business announcement” today.



After months of on-again, off-again talks, IBM Chief Executive Officer Ginni Rometty finally struck a deal to jettison the chipmaking unit, which has been a drag on earnings. Globalfoundries, owned by an investment arm of the government of Abu Dhabi, is taking on the unit to tap the expertise of its engineers in the fundamentals of semiconductor design and manufacturing."



'via Blog this'

Qatar Fund to Pay $616 Million for Stake in Hong Kong Retailer - Bloomberg

Qatar Fund to Pay $616 Million for Stake in Hong Kong Retailer - Bloomberg:



"Qatar Investment Authority agreed to pay about HK$4.78 billion ($616 million) for a stake in a Hong Kong department store operator as the sovereign wealth fund diversifies its global portfolio.



QIA, the owner of the Harrods department store in London, agreed to buy 20 percent of Lifestyle International Holdings Ltd. (1212) for HK$14.75 a share, according to a statement from the Hong Kong-listed company. Lifestyle shares fell as much as 7.3 percent to HK$13.54 in the city as they resumed trading today after being halted on Sept. 24.



The deal adds to QIA’s investments this year including an European e-commerce company and global business travel through a joint venture with American Express Co. Lifestyle runs a SOGO shopping mall in Hong Kong and four in China."



'via Blog this'

No Alibaba Bonus as Banks on NCB IPO Split $7 Million - Bloomberg

No Alibaba Bonus as Banks on NCB IPO Split $7 Million - Bloomberg:



"Banks and advisers working on the $6 billion initial public offering of Saudi Arabia’s National Commercial Bank (NCB), set to be the world’s second-largest share sale this year, will receive about $6.7 million in fees.



That represents about 0.1 percent of the 22.5 billion riyal offering, according to the deal prospectus on NCB’s website. HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA) and Gulf International Bank Bsc are financial advisers to the lender and will share the fees with eight other banks, three accountancy firms, and a media agency.



The fees compare with the $300 million earned by advisers working on the IPO of Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (BABA), which last month raised $25 billion in this year’s biggest offering. Banks including Credit Suisse Group AG and Morgan Stanley took about 1.2 percent of proceeds, or more than ten times the amount NCB is paying on a percentage basis."



'via Blog this'

Sunday, 19 October 2014

US oil production marches on while Iran wildcard looms | The National

US oil production marches on while Iran wildcard looms | The National:



"The steady rise in US oil production continues as the dominant supply side issue for the market, while the big wildcard for Opec policymakers is how to accommodate additional exports from Iran if there is a breakthrough in talks over its nuclear programme.



These two issues, together with the weakening in the global economy, are putting immense pressure on Opec to agree at least the semblance of an export quota-cutting deal in time for the oil ministers’ meeting at the end of next month.



The latest oil status report from the US energy information agency on Friday provided no relief."



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Saudi Arabia tests US ties with oil price | GulfNews.com

Saudi Arabia tests US ties with oil price | GulfNews.com:



"By starting a new oil price war, Saudi Arabia is taking a calculated gamble in its already strained relationship with the US, hoping that the potential damage to America’s shale industry will be offset by the geopolitical and economic prizes on offer to Washington.



At a time when the US and Saudi Arabia are fighting a new war together in Iraq and Syria, the Saudis have taken the bold step of asserting their pivotal role in the oil market and subtly squeezing the finances of some of America’s fledgling shale companies.



Yet, at the same time, the falling oil price will deliver a de facto tax cut for American consumers and — if sustained — will hit both Russia and Iran at a time when Washington is trying to pressure both countries."



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Suez Canal Heralds Revival of Egypt’s Syndicated Loans, CIB Says - Bloomberg

Suez Canal Heralds Revival of Egypt’s Syndicated Loans, CIB Says - Bloomberg:



"The biggest expansion of Egypt’s Suez Canal since it opened in 1869 will boost syndicated loan deals in North Africa’s biggest economy, according to the nation’s largest publicly traded bank.



Syndicated lending in Egypt rose 61 percent in the first nine months to $2.9 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, after a $1.4 billion deal on Sept. 30 boosted what was the lowest total since 2003. The market will grow 25 percent next year, Commercial International Bank Egypt SAE said in an e-mailed response to questions Oct. 15.



Banks are preparing for a surge in lending as the government spends about $8.4 billion digging a second waterway to ease congestion at the canal and develop the area to offer logistic services, CIB’s Managing Director Hisham Ezz Al Arab. Lenders have relied on high yielding government debt to bolster earnings as demand for corporate credit dried up in the aftermath of the 2011 ouster of President Hosni Mubarak."



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Saturday, 18 October 2014

A week of market turmoil explained - YouTube

A week of market turmoil explained - YouTube: ""



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Sukuk: An asset class goes mainstream | GulfNews.com

Sukuk: An asset class goes mainstream | GulfNews.com:



"Islamic finance, particularly fixed income instruments known as Sukuk, has come of age and is now an integral component of the mainstream global financial system. A decade ago, the Sukuk market was valued at $9.6 billion, issues were generally small in nature, and the market was concentrated amongst a handful of issuers; in 2013, the market topped US$269.4 billion, with an exponential growth in the number of large deals and increasing diversification of issuers. The Islamic finance industry is expected to continue growing at nearly 20 per cent per year, and the pool of investors interested in Shariah-compliant securities is expected to rise along with it. And while Islamic investors are the natural buyers of Sukuk, the appeal of Sukuk now extends far beyond the Islamic world. Some estimates suggest that conventional investors may account for as much as 40% to 60% of any individual Sukuk offering.



In our view, Sukuk may be attractive options for both Islamic and non-Islamic investors seeking to diversify their investment portfolios. Not only are the returns attractive relative to traditional fixed income assets, the volatility of Sukuk has historically been more subdued—something that could prove important in a rising interest-rate environment. Moreover, Sukuk provide exposure to some of the fast-growing and most financially sound economies in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and Southeast Asia, countries that are often underrepresented in many traditional bond indexes and funds. Due to their unique structure and market dynamics, Sukuk returns also tend to be less correlated with other parts of the global fixed income market. All of these factors, we believe, may make Sukuk an appropriate complement to investors’ existing equity or global bond allocations."



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Russia Rating Cut by Moody’s on Sluggish Economic Growth - Bloomberg

Russia Rating Cut by Moody’s on Sluggish Economic Growth - Bloomberg:



"Russia’s credit rating was cut to the second-lowest investment grade by Moody’s Investors Service, which cited sluggish growth prospects worsened by the crisis in Ukraine and international sanctions.



Moody’s downgraded the government one level to Baa2 from Baa1 and kept a negative outlook on the country’s rating. It is in line with Fitch Ratings Ltd.’s credit grade and one notch above that at Standard & Poor’s, which lowered Russia to BBB- in April.



Russia has spent $13 billion from its foreign reserves this month to bolster the ruble as tumbling oil prices add to the woes of the economy that is teetering toward recession amid the sanctions by the U.S. and European Union. President Vladimir Putin and European negotiators are struggling to hold together a six-week truce in eastern Ukraine, inching forward in talks to prevent the fighting from escalating."



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Ruble Rout Forcing $13 Billion of Support Eases as Crude Gains - Bloomberg

Ruble Rout Forcing $13 Billion of Support Eases as Crude Gains - Bloomberg:



"The ruble pared its sixth straight week of declines after Russia spent $13 billion to support the currency this month and oil prices rose from a four-year low.



The ruble advanced to 0.1 percent to 45.9288 against the central bank’s basket of dollars and euros by 6 p.m. in Moscow, paring the weekly retreat to 1.9 percent. Brent oil rallied by 2 percent in London to $86.17 per barrel, its second day of gains.



Brent crude’s 25 percent tumble from a June peak has worsened the outlook for Russia, which derives more than half of its budget revenue from energy. The economy is teetering on the brink of recession as sanctions over the Ukraine crisis spur capital outflows and a domestic dollar shortage. Policy makers have stepped up efforts to buttress the ruble, and the central bank announced yesterday that it will offer as much as $3.5 billion of foreign currency repurchase agreements at debut auctions this month."



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Saudi, Kuwait Seen Curbing Oil Output at ’Opportune Time’ - Bloomberg

Saudi, Kuwait Seen Curbing Oil Output at ’Opportune Time’ - Bloomberg:



"Saudi Arabia and Kuwait halted production at a jointly run oil field late this week, a move that could help ease a supply glut that has pushed global prices down 25 percent.



The 300,000-barrel-a-day Khafji field, located in the neutral zone between the two countries, was being shut because of environmental concerns, a person familiar with Saudi Arabian oil policy said yesterday, who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public.



The shutdown comes as Saudi Arabia and other OPEC members face increasing pressure to scale back production while supply expands from the U.S. and other countries and demand growth slows. Asia’s oil market has become particularly flooded as the U.S. imports fewer cargoes."



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Friday, 17 October 2014

Dubai market down 14% this week, throws silver lining in select stocks | GulfNews.com

Dubai market down 14% this week, throws silver lining in select stocks | GulfNews.com:



"Some large cap stocks in Dubai are looking attractive over a medium to long-term perspective, analysts said, after the Dubai index shed more than 14 per cent in the week.



“Stocks are attractive on a medium to long term perspective; we would wait for the fear factor to dissipate before entering stocks that have attractive valuations. I would stick to the large cap liquid stocks,” said Saleem Khokhar, head of equities at National Bank of Abu Dhabi’s asset management group told Gulf News.



On Thursday, Dubai index led the Gulf markets lower as a further decline in crude oil and global growth concerns continued to rattle investors."



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Egypt’s bold reforms start to bear fruit – beyondbrics - Blogs - FT.com

Egypt’s bold reforms start to bear fruit – beyondbrics - Blogs - FT.com:



"Stability and bold new reforms after a period of political and economic turmoil will yield Egypt GDP growth of 3.5 per cent in the year to 2015 and 5 to 6 per cent thereafter, according to Renaissance Capital.



Last week, Egypt posted GDP growth of 2.2 per cent for the year to June 2014. That is inadequate for a country with high unemployment and a youthful population. But the GDP figures also hinted at substance behind the hope that has surged through Egypt since President Fattah al-Sisi came to power earlier this year: in the three months to June, GDP rose 3.7 per cent.



Al-Sisi was elected in May 2014 with 97 per cent of the vote (in a two-candidate election from which the previous governing party was banned from competing). He has since used his sway to introduce much needed reforms. Renaissance Capital said it expected his reforms – primarily to cut energy subsidies, raise taxes and attract investment – to be sustained over the next two to three years."



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