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Saturday, 18 January 2014

Sanctions Eased, Iran Gets Feelers From Old Trading Partners - NYTimes.com

Sanctions Eased, Iran Gets Feelers From Old Trading Partners - NYTimes.com:

"For critics of the interim nuclear agreement with Iran, Hossein Sheikholeslami might seem to embody their worst fears.

Mr. Sheikholeslami has been busy in recent weeks, since the deal was agreed to in principle, shuttling back and forth between the capital and the airport to welcome all the guests: parliamentary missions from old European trading partners like Germany, Italy and Finland, which are eager to renew contacts.

Excitement over the interim agreement, which will ease some provisions of the American-led sanctions on Iran but essentially leave all of them in place, has not extended to American companies. They remain extremely wary.

Nonetheless, critics of Iran in the United States Congress and elsewhere, who are pushing for even stiffer sanctions, have expressed dismay over the European trade missions. They see them as a signal that Iran is open for business, leading to an end of the Islamic republic’s international isolation, which they say is what brought the Iranians to the negotiating table in the first place."

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Wealthy Ukrainians selling posh apartments due to political stand-off | #EuroMaidan

Wealthy Ukrainians selling posh apartments due to political stand-off:

"In January, the number of high-end apartments and houses offered for sale has grown twice since the fall of 2013, Gazeta.ua reports Jan. 18.

Most of the offers are in Kyiv and Kyiv oblast. Many homes and apartments are also on sale in Odesa, Crimea, Donetsk and Dnipropetrovsk.

Analysts link the trend with the growing uncertainty of Ukrainians in their future. Many want to convert their real estate into cash as the political situation remains very tense.

Experts even expect a downfall on the market and the resulting drop in prices.

Meanwhile, a year ago the trend was reverse, with wealthy Ukrainians eager to invest in Kyiv real estate ahead of the signng of the association agreement with the EU."

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Shares in emerging markets: Scarce | The Economist

Shares in emerging markets: Scarce | The Economist:

"
Investors love the promise of high returns from emerging-market equities, but there are not many of them to buy. Especially if you exclude stakes held by governments, the market capitalisation of bourses beyond the rich world is tiny. Just how tiny is apparent from the map below: in many emerging markets, the value of all the freely traded shares of firms that feature in the local MSCI share index (which typically tracks 85% of local listings) is equivalent to a single Western firm. Thus all the shares available in India are worth roughly the same as NestlĂ©; Egypt’s are equal to Burger King. This suggests that emerging economies need deeper, more liquid markets-and investors need more perspective."

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Cleared Nakheel fraud executive Marcus Lee told he cannot board plane home to Australia as he does not have clearance | The National

Cleared Nakheel fraud executive Marcus Lee told he cannot board plane home to Australia as he does not have clearance | The National:

"A former Nakheel executive cleared of charges in a Dh44 million fraud case has been stopped at Dubai airport from boarding a plane home to Australia because of red tape, his lawyer said.

Marcus Lee and his wife Julie, who have been unable to leave the emirate for five years, were hoping to return to Sydney after their long court battle but were held for two hours at Dubai airport on Friday before being told more paperwork was needed.

The couple heard that they needed clearance from State Security before they could leave, they said.

“This is just another devastating blow,” said Ms Lee. “Despite being unequivocally cleared in courts, we have been forced to suffer this further indignity. Words cannot describe how we and our families, who are waiting for us in Australia, feel.”"

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Emirates launches daily flight to Ukraine | GulfNews.com

Emirates launches daily flight to Ukraine | GulfNews.com:

"Emirates marked its entry into Ukraine on Thursday as it launched a daily service to Kiev. With this the airline expects to add between 130,000 to 150,000 additional passengers, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer Thierry Antinori told media at the launch press conference held at Fairmont Grand Hotel in Kiev.
“The daily air link will further stimulate growing business and tourism opportunities between Kiev and Dubai,” Antinori said.
The value of trade between the two countries saw a 27 per cent rise in the first half of 2013 to $429 million (Dh1.6 billion)."

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Emerging Stocks Trim Weekly Advance on India Drop as Lira Slumps - Bloomberg

Emerging Stocks Trim Weekly Advance on India Drop as Lira Slumps - Bloomberg:

"Emerging-market stocks fell, trimming the first weekly gain this month, as India’s most-valuable company missed sales estimates and China resumed initial public offerings. Turkey’s lira slumped to a record.

Tata Consultancy Services Ltd., India’s largest software-services exporter, slid 5.8 percent in Mumbai. The Shanghai Composite Index retreated 0.9 percent while Neway Valve (Suzhou) Co. surged 43 percent in its debut as China ended a 15-month freeze on new share sales. The lira weakened 1.2 percent against the dollar and the Borsa Istanbul 100 Index (XU100) fell to a three-week low. The Ibovespa posted a third straight weekly decline as homebuilders fell.

The MSCI Emerging Markets Index slipped 0.2 percent to 972.27 in New York, paring the weekly gain to 0.2 percent. Tata Consultancy was the biggest drag on the gauge after its results pulled the S&P BSE Sensex Index down the most since Jan. 2. Better-than-expected U.S. retail sales data this week and a drop in initial jobless claims backed the case for less monetary stimulus from the Federal Reserve."

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HSBC, Citigroup Said to Suspend Traders on Currency Probe - Bloomberg

HSBC, Citigroup Said to Suspend Traders on Currency Probe - Bloomberg:

"The world’s seven biggest currency traders have fired, suspended or put employees on leave as officials probe alleged foreign-exchange benchmark manipulation.

HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA) suspended two London-based foreign-exchange traders, according to a statement yesterday. Citigroup Inc. (C) put two spot traders who specialized in G-10 currencies on leave, according to a person with knowledge of the matter who asked not to be identified because the matter is private.

That brings the total number of traders known to be fired, suspended or put on leave to at least 17 since Bloomberg News reported in June that employees at some firms said they shared information about their positions with counterparts at other banks to try and manipulate the WM/Reuters rates, a key benchmark in the $5.3 trillion-a-day currency market."

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Metals, Currency Rigging Is Worse Than Libor, Bafin Says - Bloomberg

Metals, Currency Rigging Is Worse Than Libor, Bafin Says - Bloomberg:

"Germany’s top financial regulator said possible manipulation of currency rates and prices for precious metals is worse than the Libor-rigging scandal, which has already led to fines of about $6 billion.

The allegations about the currency and precious metals markets are “particularly serious because such reference values are based -- unlike Libor and Euribor -- typically on transactions in liquid markets and not on estimates of the banks,” Elke Koenig, the president of Bonn-based Bafin, said in a speech in Frankfurt yesterday.

Koenig is the first global finance regulator to comment publicly on the investigations as probes into the London interbank offered rate, or Libor, expand into other benchmarks. Joaquin Almunia, the European Union’s antitrust chief, said this week that its preliminary probe into possible foreign-exchange manipulation covers similar practices as in the regulator’s probe into Libor-rigging."

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