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Saturday, 4 January 2014

UPDATE 2-Dubai's Nakheel plans early debt repayments as property rebounds | Reuters

UPDATE 2-Dubai's Nakheel plans early debt repayments as property rebounds | Reuters:

"* Developer to repay 2.35 bln dirhams to banks in Q1

* No need for more govt financial help -chairman

* No problems in repaying Islamic bond due 2016 (Recasts, adds debt repayment details, comments)

By Praveen Menon

DUBAI, Jan 4 (Reuters) - Dubai developer Nakheel plans to repay nearly a third of its total bank debt in the first quarter of 2014, well ahead of maturity in 2015, as it benefits from a rebound in the emirate's property sector.

Nakheel, the builder of a palm tree-shaped island off Dubai's coast, was the most high profile casualty of the Gulf state's property market collapse in 2009 and was taken over by the government as part of a $16 billion rescue plan in 2011.

The property market rebounded in 2013, with prices rising around 22 percent from 2012. In the crash, they had plummeted more than 50 percent from their 2008 peak."

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5 Arab businesswomen to keep an eye on - Your Middle East

5 Arab businesswomen to keep an eye on - Your Middle East:

5 Arab businesswomen to keep an eye on
Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi (bottom left), Lubna Olayan (right), Fatima Al Jaber (top middle), Sheikha Al Bahar (top left), Nayla Hayek (middle bottom) © YME
From nascent entrepreneurs to corporate powerhouses, an increasing number of women have been assuming pivotal roles in MENA’s private and public sector. This trend has been in part attributed to a widened provision of schooling for the gender – most MENA countries have managed to close approximately 90% of the gap in that metric, making Arab women more likely to attend university than Arab men.

Despite these positive developments, however, challenges remain pervasive. Common difficulties, such as the availability of capital or lackluster economic growth, are not exclusive to women. The presence of prejudice and alleged sexism, however, is a commonly cited impediment throughout the supply chain.

As the business world implements the appropriate adjustments to eliminate these barriers, with the assistance of several prominent NGOs and local governments, select icons in the region mark another lucrative and inspirational year. These women, among numerous others, represent significant contributions to the MENA’s economies and serve as a pathway to success for Arab businesswomen."

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The BRICs: The backlash against the BRICs backlash | The Economist

The BRICs: The backlash against the BRICs backlash | The Economist:

"IT HAS been ten years since Goldman Sachs published "Dreaming with BRICs", their first audacious attempt to project the growth of Brazil, Russia, India and China out as far as 2050. The BRICs term has prospered: it is possibly the most successful acronym ever to emerge from the desk of an investment banker. But the economies it describes have lost some of their cachet. As China has slowed and the other three countries have stumbled, the BRICs thesis has attracted a growing backlash. In the new issue of Foreign Affairs, Ruchir Sharma of Morgan Stanley declares that "the BRICs are crumbling" and that all the acronyms seem "woefully out of date".

The backlash is not without foundation. Growth in the biggest emerging economies has disappointed the high expectations generated by their swift rebound from the 2008 financial crisis. In July 2012, we noted that a dream decade was ending badly for the emerging economies.


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Turkish markets slip, nervous about graft probe, inflation |

Turkish markets slip, nervous about graft probe, inflation |

"Turkey’s lira weakened on Friday as markets concluded a higher-than-expected inflation reading was not enough to trigger an interest rate hike, with investors remaining uneasy about a festering corruption scandal.
The weakness of the lira and higher-than-expected global oil prices have driven inflation higher in recent months, prompting the central bank in October to raise its inflation forecasts for the full year.
Data on Friday showed inflation was slightly higher than expected in December. The lira rose immediately after the release but as analysts concluded price pressures were still not enough to persuade the central bank to hike rates, gains were erased.
“The mix of [a] weaker [lira], higher rates and higher political risk premium suggests there’s a significant downside risk to our 3.5 per cent GDP growth forecast for 2014,” a note from Bank of America Merrill Lynch said."

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Emerging Market Shares Drop With Metals After China Data - Bloomberg

Emerging Market Shares Drop With Metals After China Data - Bloomberg:

"Emerging-market stocks fell to a four-month low and industrial metals dropped as data showed China’s service industries weakened last month. U.S. shares erased gains in the last hour of trading.

The MSCI Emerging Markets Index lost 1.2 percent as of 4 p.m. in New York, extending its two-day slump to 2.4 percent, its worst drop since August. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (SPX) was little changed after yesterday sliding the most in three weeks. Zinc, lead and aluminum lost at least 1.7 percent to lead commodities lower. Oil retreated 1.6 percent, capping the biggest weekly decline since June 2012. Ten-year Treasuries yielded 2.99 percent, near a two-and-a-half year high.

Economic data from China this week showed two measures of factory output declined while the non-manufacturing gauge fell to a four-month low in December. The U.S. is poised for faster growth amid a “combination of financial healing, greater balance in the housing market, less fiscal restraint, and, of course, continued monetary policy accommodation,” Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said in prepared remarks for a speech in Philadelphia."

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Egypt Outlook Raised to Stable by Fitch on Gulf Aid - Bloomberg

Egypt Outlook Raised to Stable by Fitch on Gulf Aid - Bloomberg:

Egypt’s credit classification was raised to stable from negative by Fitch Ratings, which cited financial aid from the Persian Gulf and the country’s efforts to restore democratic rule.

Fitch affirmed Egypt’s long-term foreign-currency grade at B-, or six levels below investment grade, in line with the rating by Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s Investors Service. The yields on the nation’s benchmark 5.75 percent Eurobonds due in April 2020 were little changed at 6.7 percent as of 4:51 p.m. in London.

Gulf nations have pledged about $15 billion in financial aid for the country after political turmoil that toppled two presidents and five prime ministers in the space of three years hammered Egypt’s economy. Egypt’s military-backed interim government has been cracking down on the Muslim Brotherhood after the ouster of Islamist President Mohamed Mursi in July, calling the movement a terrorist group last month."

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