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Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Securitisation: It’s back | The Economist

Securitisation: It’s back | The Economist:

"GIVEN their role in the 2008 meltdown, and their subsequent branding as toxic sludge, it is not surprising that “securitised” financial products have had a quiet few years. Yet the transformation of mortgages, credit-card debt and other recurring cashflows into new marketable securities is enjoying something of a resurgence. Once apparently destined for the financial history books, the alphabet soup of ABSs (asset-backed securities), MBSs (their mortgage version), CLOs (collateralised loan obligations) and others had a bumper year in 2013. More growth is expected this year (see article).

Not everybody is thrilled. Some observers argue that the risks securitisation poses are too grave. But its revival should be welcomed, for it is probably essential to continued economic recovery, particularly in Europe."

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The richest Indian in Oman and Managing director of Galfar quits board over graft conviction |

The richest Indian in Oman and Managing director of Galfar quits board over graft conviction |

"The founder and managing director of Galfar, one of Oman’s biggest construction companies, has resigned after being convicted by an Omani court in a high profile corruption case.
P. Mohammad Ali, an Indian national, who was convicted by the Muscat Court of First Instance in a graft case, resigned as the managing director of Galfar Engineering and Contracting SAOG, according to the company’s posting on Muscat Securities Market (MSM) on Wednesday.
Galfar is reportedly Oman’s single largest private sector employer, and P. Mohammad Ali is known as being the richest Indian in Oman."

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Deyaar announces divestment of Turkey joint venture - Business Intelligence Middle East

Deyaar announces divestment of Turkey joint venture - Business Intelligence Middle East - - News, analysis, reports:

"Deyaar Development PJSC (Deyaar), a customer-focused, trusted and valued developer with in-depth market intelligence and property management expertise, today announced the sale of its 50 per cent stake in a joint venture (JV) in Turkey,  Alarko Deyaar Gayrimenkul Gelistirme A S, to the second party in the undertaking, Alsim Alarko, a subsidiary of Alarko Holding.

The Dubai-based developer confirmed that the decision was a strategic move in a bid to shift its focus towards opportunities in Dubai. According the proceeds will be reinvested in the developer’s Dubai projects pipeline.

Saeed Al Qatami, Chief Executive Officer, Deyaar Development PJSC, said: “The move to sell Deyaar’s 50 per cent interest in Alarko Deyaar is in line with our strategy to strengthen Deyaar’s portfolio with high-value developments in accelerated markets such as Dubai. That said, we will continue to evaluate opportunities in new markets that have the potential to add value to our existing investment portfolio.”"

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QNB Group reports net profit increase of 13.7% to US$2.6 billion - Business Intelligence Middle East

QNB Group reports net profit increase of 13.7% to US$2.6 billion - Business Intelligence Middle East - - News, analysis, reports:

" The capital adequacy ratio stood at 15.6% as at 31 December 2013, higher than the regulatory requirements of Qatar Central Bank and the Basel Committee. The Group is keen to maintain a strong capitalisation in order to support future strategic plans.

QATAR. QNB Group, the World’s Strongest Bank and the leading bank in the Middle East and North Africa, continued to record robust growth in profitability, with Net Profit for 2013 amounting to QR9.5 billion (USD2.6 billion), up by 13.7% compared to 2012.

These results include the financial results of QNB ALAHLI in Egypt, in which the Group concluded the acquisition of a controlling stake amounting to 97.12% in March 2013."

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Russia: it’s official – the car boom is over | beyondbrics

Russia: it’s official – the car boom is over | beyondbrics:

"Auto sales in Russia dropped 5.5 per cent in 2013 in another sign that the consumer boom is over.

A total of 2.78m new passenger cars and light and commercial vehicles were sold in Russia last year, 5.5 per cent below the record level set in 2012, the Association of European Businesses, a business lobby group, said on Wednesday.

The AEB originally forecast that auto sales in Russia, after reaching a peak of 2.935m units in 2012, would be flat in 2013, but later downgraded its forecast two times as the market contracted during the course of the year.

Retail trade and private consumption in Russia have decelerated over the last six quarters reflecting an economic slowdown. Some improvement is expected this year."

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Gazprom: lots of gas, nowhere to go? | beyondbrics

Gazprom: lots of gas, nowhere to go? | beyondbrics:

"Gazprom boosted gas exports to Europe to record levels last year, as customers negotiated price discounts and competition from rival international gas producers fell away.

But the rebound in sales to Europe was not matched in the domestic market where Russia’s natural gas monopoly continued to lose ground to local independent gas producers.

Gazprom increased gas exports to European markets – including Turkey – to a record 162.7bn cubic metres last year, bolstering its position as the biggest supplier to the region. Russian gas deliveries – up 16 per cent from 138bn cubic metres in 2012 – exceeded the previous 160bn cubic metres record set in 2008.

Gazprom faced a fall in profits in 2012 as gas consumption slumped in debt stricken Europe and LNG producers undercut the price of Russian gas on the spot market."

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MIDEAST STOCKS-Earnings lift Saudi to new five-yr high; regional shares gain | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Earnings lift Saudi to new five-yr high; regional shares gain | Reuters:

"Upbeat earnings in Saudi Arabia helped lift the market to a new five-year high on Wednesday, while other regional shares also gained.

Saudi Arabia's Etihad Etisalat (Mobily) rose 2.9 percent to 88.5 riyals and trading volumes jumped to their highest in three years after the firm beat analysts' forecasts with an 8.6 percent rise in fourth-quarter net profit.

The stock jumped to a seven-year intraday high of 90 riyals but failed to break resistance from 88.50 and 89 riyals - the peaks of November and August 2013 respectively.

Mobily cited the profit growth on increased revenue from corporate customers along with data income.

"We believe the corporate segment will provide the next phase of growth for Mobily with the segment expected to contribute 28 percent of total revenues by 2018," Abdulelah Babgi, analyst at NCB Capital, said in a note. "Moreover, Mobily expects the revenue from the data segment to continue growing and contribute 32 percent of the total revenues in 2014.""

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Live chart: Financial crises

Russia Takes the Lead in Gas Competition With Norway | Business | The Moscow Times

Russia Takes the Lead in Gas Competition With Norway | Business | The Moscow Times:

"Russia widened its lead over Norway as Europe's biggest gas supplier in 2013, with demand bolstered by a bitterly cold winter helping sales of its discounted gas while production problems trimmed Norwegian output.

Russia, whose capacity to supply gas to Europe far outweighs that of Norway, lured back customers after issuing multi-billion euro price discounts.

It is also boosting production from its huge Bovanenkovo gas field.

In 2012, Norway spooked its Russian rival with an aggressive pricing policy selling gas to European buyers at cheaper spot-indexed prices and forcing the gas export giant to react.

Fired up to defend its dominant position in Europe, Russian exporter Gazprom agreed to loosen its pricing policy and paid more than $4 billion in the first half of 2013 to European clients who had complained about expensive gas prices linked to the oil market."

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Dubai Ruler Sets Out Ambitious U.A.E. Growth Strategy - Middle East Real Time - WSJ

Dubai Ruler Sets Out Ambitious U.A.E. Growth Strategy - Middle East Real Time - WSJ:

"A national agenda, outlining key economic and social priorities over the next seven years, was launched with much fanfare this week in the seven-member United Arab Emirates.

Lacking in details, the agenda, which is the brainchild of Dubai ruler and the country’s Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, sets out objectives across education, healthcare and the economy.

“If our performance over the past years was 100%, then we need 200% during the upcoming seven years,” Sheikh Mohammed said as he announced the agenda on Tuesday.

One of the Dubai ruler’s most ambitious goals is to grow GDP per capita by 65% in seven years, which roughly equates to an annual growth rate of 7%, a lofty level for any country around the world. For instance, the International Monetary Fund forecasts GDP per capita of $43,423 in 2014 in the U.A.E., only up ever so slightly on $43,184 last year."

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Ukraine gas imports: calling Slovakia | beyondbrics | #EuroMaidan

Ukraine gas imports: calling Slovakia | beyondbrics:

"Ukraine’s cash-strapped government may have secured short-term relief for its ailing economy by landing a 30 per cent discount on Russian natural gas imports prices late last month through a broader $20bn bailout agreement.

But recognising that Russia’s leadership could hike prices up again in the future, the administration of President Viktor Yanukovich does not appear to be dropping long-term plans to diversify gas supplies, crucial in breaking the energy inefficient economy’s longstanding heavy dependence on Russian fuel.

A week after revealing that Ukraine had halted imports of gas from EU markets, Energy Minister Eduard Stavytsky on Wednesday said that his government had nonetheless signed an agreement that could – with Slovakia’s approval – allow for larger volumes of European spot market gas to be imported in the future."

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2014 to be a strong year for MENA IPOs -

2014 to be a strong year for MENA IPOs - Business Intelligence Middle East - - News, analysis, reports:

"MENA IPO activity is expected to remain on firm footing in 2014 following a strong uptick in listings in the last quarter of 2013, to close the year with a total of seven deals raising around US$726.2m, according to EY MENA IPO Update: Q4 2013.

Better market fundamentals are expected to support a solid start to 2014 for new offerings.

Phil Gandier, MENA Transaction Advisory Services Leader, EY, says: “The MENA IPO market is rebounding and recovering. The improving macro-economic backdrop driving up stock market valuations and rising investor confidence in key markets saw the IPO year end on a high. Q4 has seen an increase in both volume and value compared to 2012, registering the highest value of IPOs since 2008.”"

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Dubai realty pulls in emerging market investors |

Dubai realty pulls in emerging market investors |

"We are often asked why the Dubai real estate market attracts so much interest from investors in emerging markets relative to investors from more mature western markets. Our data shows this continued to be the case in 2013, with almost all sales during the year being either to local investors or those from emerging markets in the region and beyond. So, why is this?
The Dubai real estate sector has attracted vast investments from overseas players since it was first opened up around 10 years ago and the ability of foreign parties to purchase freehold properties remains one of the major attractions. Data from the Dubai Land Department show a total of Dh151 billion of land and completed property was transacted over the first 11 months of 2013, an increase of more than 30 per cent compared to the same period in 2012.
While no breakdown of this by nationality is yet available, data for the first-half suggests that foreign purchasers accounted for around 60 per cent of sales. Indian investors were the largest foreign purchasers accounting for 27 per cent of sales, followed by the British (17 per cent), Pakistanis (15 per cent), Saudi Arabians, Russians and Iranians."

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GCC entities need to factor in new US tax regime |

GCC entities need to factor in new US tax regime |

"The 2008 financial crisis changed many of the principles that had steered the global economy for years and imposed fiscal policies that could not even have been thought of earlier. The repercussions were many, not just for the economies of a few countries but the global economy as a whole, prompting lawmakers in the West to take on new systems to help get things back on track.
The US, one of the countries to have effected tough resuscitation measures, revised its tax structure to pull in higher collections and turn around the deteriorating financial situation. In an unprecedented move, the US decided to implement the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) law with effect from January, with the stated aim of having all funds and assets of Americans abroad subjected to taxes and tight control.
The law targets American taxpayers with foreign accounts and assets to pay taxes to their home country even if they pay taxes in countries where they work and live. The law also obliges banks and foreign financial institutions in various countries to provide details about Americans’ funds and accounts, otherwise they will face penalties, as was the case with the Swiss Bank Uzbizas in 2009."

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▶ Deflationary danger of hitting targets - YouTube

▶ Deflationary danger of hitting targets - YouTube:

"UK inflation is finally on target at 2 per cent. But this may not be good news. John Authers fears deflation is around the corner and considers how the world's main economies can avoid this


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East Europe State-Debt Managers See ‘Easy’ 2014 for Sales - Bloomberg

East Europe State-Debt Managers See ‘Easy’ 2014 for Sales - Bloomberg:

"Eastern European state-debt managers expect an “easy” year in bond sales as improving economies boost the lure of the region’s securities and reduce the potential impact of reducing stimulus in the U.S.

The European Union’s former communist members accelerated issuance at the beginning of 2013 before the Federal Reserve reduces its asset-purchase program further. Romania raised $2 billion yesterday, while Slovakia and Poland also sold benchmark issues in euros last week.

“This year seems to be quite easy for Poland to finance borrowing needs,” Bogdan Klimaszewski, Poland’s deputy director at the Finance Ministry’s debt department, said at a Euromoney conference in Vienna yesterday. “It seems that 50 percent” of borrowing “can be completed by the beginning of February.”"

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Abu Dhabi Fund Said to Buy Time Warner Building With GIC - Bloomberg

Abu Dhabi Fund Said to Buy Time Warner Building With GIC - Bloomberg:

"Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, one of the world’s biggest sovereign wealth funds, is investing alongside Singapore’s state fund GIC Pte in the headquarters of Time Warner Inc. (TWX) in New York City, according to a person with direct knowledge of the transaction.

The person, who asked not be identified because the deal is private, declined to disclose the Abu Dhabi fund’s share of the project or the amount invested. New York-based Related Cos., the lead developer of Time Warner Center, is in talks to buy the media company’s 1.1 million square feet (102,193 square meters) of space for $1.3 billion and bring in partners including GIC, people with knowledge of the transaction said in November.

“The sovereign wealth funds have deep, deep pockets,” said Song Seng Wun, an economist at CIMB Group Holdings Bhd. (CIMB) in Singapore. “Partnerships make sense rather than competing with each other. It’s the practical reality of investment opportunities that are sizable.”"

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Leeds United Stake-Sale Plan Pushes Gulf Finance to 8-Month High - Bloomberg

Leeds United Stake-Sale Plan Pushes Gulf Finance to 8-Month High - Bloomberg:

Gulf Finance House EC (GFH) climbed to the highest in almost eight months as the investment company signed an agreement with a group of British investors for a partial sale of its stake in soccer club Leeds United.
The shares gained 5.5 percent to 58 fils, the highest level since May 28, at 10:17 a.m. in Kuwait. They soared 10 percent, the most since 2005, yesterday as the number of shares traded surged to more than twice the three-month daily average.
The Manama, Bahrain-based company that obtained creditor approval in May 2012 to restructure $110 million of debt said the investors are in the final stages of completing the stake sale, according to a statement today. The transaction requires approval from the English Football Association.
GFH took over Leeds, a three-time British Premier League champion, through its Dubai-based unit GFH Capital in 2012. The unit sold 10 percent of its holdings in the soccer club to another Bahrain-based financial institution, International Investment Bank, in March for an undisclosed amount.
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