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Saturday, 8 February 2014

Russia presses Ukraine on gas debts as leaders meet | Reuters #EuroMaidan

Russia presses Ukraine on gas debts as leaders meet | Reuters:

"(Reuters) - Russia increased economic pressure on Ukraine on Saturday by drawing a link between disbursement of the next tranche of its $15 billion (9 billion pounds) aid package to Kiev with repayment of a hefty gas bill owed to Russian firms.

The linkage, made in comments by Russia's finance minister, came as the Kremlin confirmed President Vladimir Putin had held private talks with Ukraine's leader Viktor Yanukovich in Sochi on Friday before the opening of the Winter Olympics.

No details of the leaders' talks were disclosed.

Moscow agreed on credits and cheaper gas for Kiev in December to help it meet huge debt payments, gaining the edge over the European Union in a tug-of-war for influence in Ukraine, a former Soviet republic of 46 million people."

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Times of Oman | News :: Top brokerage of Dubai plans German foray

Times of Oman | News :: Top brokerage of Dubai plans German foray:

"Dubai's biggest equities brokerage plans to expand into Germany by July to tap growing investor appetite for UAE equities, the chief executive officer said.

Mena Corp Financial Services, which traded the most shares on the Dubai Financial Market among the 48 brokerages tracked by the exchange last year, plans to open a representative office in Frankfurt in the second half, Fathi Ben Grira, group chief executive, said in an interview in Dubai. The expansion into Frankfurt will also allow Mena Corp to serve institutional clients in Zurich and Liechtenstein, he said.

UAE equities have become more appealing to international investors since MSCI said in June it would upgrade the country to emerging-market status effective May this year. Dubai's DFM General Index more than doubled in 2013, the top performer among more than 90 indexes tracked by Bloomberg, while Abu Dhabi's benchmark gauge surged more than 60 per cent."

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Dubai raises the safeguards in project revivals |

Dubai raises the safeguards in project revivals |

"Investors buying up stalled projects in Dubai now have to clear off all outstanding payments originally associated with these ventures, according to market sources.

It means that if investors had bought property units when the project was launched by a developer and then it got stalled for any reason thereafter, they will now have to be first compensated by the new investor who wishes to acquire the project or the plot, the sources added. Only after these are cleared can the new investor revive the project.

“It’s just recently that the Dubai authorities have made this proviso stick for any project that new investors seek to revive,” said Samir Munshi, managing director at Orion Holdings, which has in the recent past been acquiring “sick” realty ventures. (The company also funds the original developers by committing to acquire bulk units within a project and thus have the funds come in for project work to start.) “The earlier requirement was that the new investor had to make the payments for the value of the land and related costs, and did not cover any property purchases made prior to the project getting stalled.”"

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Ukraine Capital Controls Boost Hryvnia as Crisis Roils Economy - Bloomberg #EuroMaidan

Ukraine Capital Controls Boost Hryvnia as Crisis Roils Economy - Bloomberg:

"Ukraine’s central bank reversed the hryvnia’s slide with capital controls, giving authorities a reprieve as they struggle with a deepening economic crisis amid a political stalemate stretching into its third month.

Limits on foreign-currency transactions boosted the hryvnia the most in more than four years yesterday. The Natsionalnyi Bank Ukrainy in Kiev said the measures will be temporary. Fitch Ratings downgraded the country’s foreign-currency debt to below Greece, citing a worsening financing outlook, while Ukraine’s reserves dropped to the lowest level since May 2006.

Ukrainian authorities are grappling to stabilize the economy, rocked by a political crisis that has crippled the country’s ability to raise funds. President Viktor Yanukovych traveled for the start of the Winter Olympics to Russia, which has halted payments of a $15 billion bailout after protests in Kiev and around the nation led to the cabinet’s collapse."

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Turkey Outlook Cut by S&P Citing ‘Hard Landing’ Risk - Bloomberg

Turkey Outlook Cut by S&P Citing ‘Hard Landing’ Risk - Bloomberg:

"Turkey’s credit rating outlook was cut to negative from stable by Standard & Poor’s, which said there’s a growing risk of a “hard economic landing” as reserves decline and policy makers spar over interest rates.

The lira reversed gains after the announcement late yesterday, falling 0.4 percent to 2.2195 per dollar at 11:30 p.m. in Istanbul.

The move by S&P, the only one of the three main credit rating companies that doesn’t classify Turkish debt as investment grade, comes after the country’s central bank reversed policy and raised interest rates to halt a currency slump. The government has been calling for borrowing costs to be kept low, and says it has alternative plans to revive the economy and the lira."

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