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Monday, 10 February 2014

Germany's renewable energy revolution - YouTube

Germany's renewable energy revolution - YouTube: ""



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Yellen's deflationary challenge - YouTube

Yellen's deflationary challenge - YouTube: ""



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UPDATE 1-Kuwait approves $12 bln bids for clean fuels project | Reuters

UPDATE 1-Kuwait approves $12 bln bids for clean fuels project | Reuters:



"KUWAIT, Feb 10 (Reuters) - Kuwait has approved bids worth a total of $12 billion for major upgrades at two oil refineries, the state-run oil company said on Monday, in a sign it is moving ahead with large infrastructure projects.



The Clean Fuels Project is a specification upgrade and expansion of Kuwait's largest refineries as part of the Gulf state's economic development plan, which has faced delays partly due to political instability.



A consortium led by Japan's JGC Corp won a tender for work worth 1.361 billion dinars ($4.82 billion) at the 460,000-barrels-per-day (bpd) Mina Ahmadi refinery, a Kuwait National Petroleum Company spokesman said, citing a decision from the country's central tenders committee."



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The Peninsula Qatar - Qatar’s foreign reserves rise to $42.1bn

The Peninsula Qatar - Qatar’s foreign reserves rise to $42.1bn:



"Qatar’s international reserves rose by $9bn since end-2012 to  $42.1bn at end-2013, reflecting a strong current account surplus and lower capital outflows. The current account surplus is expected to have registered a strong surplus due to large hydrocarbon exports offsetting growing imports.



QNB’s “Qatar Monthly Monitor” noted yesterday that the country’s international reserves have been steadily rising over the years on large current-account surpluses. Going forward, QNB Group expects international reserves to continue rising gradually in 2014.



On the stock market performance, QNB noted: “After a strong performance in 2013, Qatar Exchange (QE) index exhibited another strong performance in January 2014. Furthermore, foreign investors remained bullish. In the first month of 2014, the QE witnessed net foreign portfolio investment inflow of $532.2m."



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The world’s most successful hedge fund is not a hedge fund | FT Alphaville

The world’s most successful hedge fund is not a hedge fund | FT Alphaville:



"Well done George Soros, who ended last year $5.5bn richer than he began it thanks to the performance of his Quantum Endowment Fund.



Each year LCH Investments tots the best hedge funds of all time as judged by actual dollar gains for their investors, after fees, and George is back in first place.

Don’t form an orderly queue with your cash, however. From the FT story:



The gains mark a return to stability for Quantum, which Mr Soros closed to non-family members at the end of 2011 to avoid regulatory scrutiny under the Dodd-Frank financial reforms."


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Money talks: February 10th 2014 - YouTube

Money talks: February 10th 2014 - YouTube: ""



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Uralkali: looking to jump the queue in Brazil | beyondbrics

Uralkali: looking to jump the queue in Brazil | beyondbrics:



"Russian potash producer Uralkali has decided to invest in port infrastructure in Brazil in a move to bolster its position in the world’s fastest growing fertilizer market.



In a statement on Friday, Uralkali said it had acquired a 25 per cent of Equiplan Participaceos, the main shareholder in Terminais Portuarios da Ponta do Felix, a terminal in the city of Antonina on Brazil’s southern coast.



“Brazil is traditionally one of the most active users of potash fertilizers,” said Oleg Petrov, Uralkali sales and marketing director. “This investment will enable us to make another step towards expanding operations in Latin America.”



Uralkali has not disclosed the terms of the deal. However, a source familiar with the transaction told Kommersant, that the Brazilian acquisition had cost $35m – roughly 2 per cent of Uralkali’s estimated 2013 earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation."



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EconoMonitor : EconoMonitor » The Prosecution That Isn’t Happening

EconoMonitor : EconoMonitor » The Prosecution That Isn’t Happening:



"People keep asking why no senior executive has gone to jail for the misdeeds that produced the financial crisis—and cost the United States more than $6 trillion, or $50,000 per household, in lost economic output. The usual answers are that no one did anything wrong (oh, come on) or, more realistically, that it’s too hard to convict individuals in complex financial fraud cases.



At the same time, however, the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York—the district that includes Wall Street—has amassed a 79-0 record in insider trading cases, including yesterday’s jury verdict against Mathew Martoma, a trader at the hedge fund firm SAC Capital Advisors. In Martoma’s case, he obtained confidential information about a clinical trial for a drug being manufactured by two pharmaceutical companies and, according to the jury, convinced his boss, Steven Cohen, to unload the firm’s positions in those two stocks."



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UPDATE 1-Qatar's CBQ posts third straight quarterly profit dip on provisions | Reuters

UPDATE 1-Qatar's CBQ posts third straight quarterly profit dip on provisions | Reuters:



"DUBAI, Feb 10 (Reuters) - Commercial Bank of Qatar , the Gulf Arab state's second-largest lender by assets, reported a third successive quarterly decline in net profit on Monday as higher provisions for bad loans once again hurt its earnings.



The bank made a net profit of 300 million riyals ($82.4 million) for the final three months of the year, a drop of 32.9 percent compared with 447.3 million riyals a year earlier, it said in a statement.



Five analysts polled by Reuters had, on average, expected a 5.6 percent decline in quarterly profit to 422.3 million riyals."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Dubai surges above 4,000 level; Egypt hits new 45-mth high | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Dubai surges above 4,000 level; Egypt hits new 45-mth high | Reuters:



"* Retail investors push Dubai index above key level



* Emirate's contractors clinch fresh deals



* Commercial Bank of Qatar falls as earnings fall, miss forecast 




* Egypt rally continues but growth slows down



* Official move by Sisi to run for president could boost stocks



By Nadia Saleem

DUBAI, Feb 10 (Reuters) - Dubai's shares surged above a psychologically important level on Monday as heavy retail activity continued amid positive earnings expectations, while other Gulf bourses were mixed and Egypt climbed to a new 45-month high.



Dubai's index rose 1.3 percent to 4,026 points, closing above the 4,000 level for the first time in five years and adding to the bullish retail investor sentiment.



"The market is driven by retail; foreign investors will get more active and chase blue chips but maybe (only) after the MSCI inclusion," said Sebastien Henin, head of asset management at The National Investor.



Index compiler MSCI has upgraded UAE and Qatar to emerging market status, which will be implemented in late May and potentially bring in about $500 million worth of passive funds to each country."



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Worse than Greece: Fitch says Ukraine's default risk high — RT Business #EuroMaidan

Worse than Greece: Fitch says Ukraine's default risk high — RT Business:



"The worsening political and economic circumstances in Ukraine has prompted the Fitch Ratings agency to downgrade Ukrainian debt from B to a pre–default level CCC. This is lower than Greece, and Fitch warns of future financial instability.



“Intensification of political and economic stress is such that default on government debt becomes probable,” Fitch said in an e-mail.



On the brink of default, the Ukrainian economy has taken a further beating as protests drag on in the capital Kiev. Foreign debt is $140 billion, nearly 80 percent of the country’s gross domestic product."



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Draghi's deflation dilemma - YouTube

Draghi's deflation dilemma - YouTube: ""



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JLL: Not a Real Estate Bubble in Dubai - Middle East Real Time - WSJ

JLL: Not a Real Estate Bubble in Dubai - Middle East Real Time - WSJ:



"It’s an interesting time for the real estate market in the United Arab Emirates. Some analysts have warned of “unsustainable” growth in Dubai, where property consultancy Jones Lang Lasalle says house prices rose 22% last year, while some peers estimate they increased more than 30%. And in Abu Dhabi, higher quality residential villas and apartments have also grown at a hefty rate of about 25%.



So, the big questions on everyone’s lips for 2014 are: Will prices increase at a similar level again this year? And is the bubble back?



In its annual predictions report released on Monday in Dubai, JLL tried to address the issue head on. “Not a bubble in 2014,” was the simple message from Craig Plumb, its head of research for the Middle East. Here, we lay out some of JLL’s top predictions for the U.A.E. market this year – forecasts that go further than looking at just the hot residential market."



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Kremlin-Linked Billionaire Rotenberg Creates Realty Developer | Business | RIA Novosti

Kremlin-Linked Billionaire Rotenberg Creates Realty Developer | Business | RIA Novosti:



"MOSCOW, February 10 (RIA Novosti) - A Russian billionaire known to be close to President Vladimir Putin has set up a new property development company, the businessman's representative said in a statement Monday.



Arkady Rotenberg, a childhood friend and former judo partner of Putin's, will operate in real estate construction through his new RG Development company, the statement said.



The company will focus mainly on projects in Moscow and the surrounding region, from investment, engineering and building to management of completed property.



Rotenberg's fortune was estimated by Forbes magazine at $3.3 billion last year, ranking him 31st among the richest Russians."



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UAE-led group expects to sign $2 bn India power deal soon: Sources - The Economic Times

UAE-led group expects to sign $2 bn India power deal soon: Sources - The Economic Times:



"Abu Dhabi National Energy Co (TAQA), leading a consortium that plans to invest around $2 billion to acquire hydropower assets in India, expects to close the deal this quarter, three sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.



TAQA, majority-owned by the Abu Dhabi government, is buying two hydropower plants owned by Jaiprakash Power VenturesBSE in the northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh.



The plants have a total capacity of 1,300 megawatts. TAQA plans to take a majority stake in the plants while India's IDFC Alternatives and PSP Investments, a Canadian pension fund manager, will hold minority stakes, the sources said. "



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Dubai food investment fund to focus on food and beverage businesses in the Arabian Gulf | The National

Dubai food investment fund to focus on food and beverage businesses in the Arabian Gulf | The National:



"A Dubai-based investment group is putting its money where its mouth is, creating the country’s first private fund focused on food and beverages.



The move reflects the stability of demand for staples amid regional turmoil – a stability that home-grown companies have seized on.



Al Mal Capital said it was raising Dh60 million for the new fund, which is to invest in casual dining, bakeries, food processing and catering opportunities across the Middle East."



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Former Union Properties chief executive joins Majid Al Futtaim | The National

Former Union Properties chief executive joins Majid Al Futtaim | The National: "Majid Al Futtaim is set to welcome Simon Azzam, a former chief executive of Union Properties, as chief executive of its Communities business unit.



This puts Mr Azzam in charge of expanding MAF’s residential projects division, which is currently working on three projects. A spokesman said that the company wanted to expand beyond malls and hotels, which account for the majority of MAF’s real estate business, and sees scope for growth in residential property.



Mr Azzam resigned from Union Properties soon after the global financial crisis. In 2009, the company posted losses of Dh227 million."



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UAE companies looking to expand internationally | GulfNews.com

UAE companies looking to expand internationally | GulfNews.com:



"Consumer product companies in the UAE expect the most expansion internationally in the next one to two years as businesses in Middle East and Emerging Europe are planning to do the same amid some common challenges of achieving sales growth, changing economic environment and managing working capital, according to a new Citi Corporate Survey.



That companies in the consumer sector in the UAE are most likely to expand beyond the national border is not surprising, especially in products where there is no value addition and the competition is severe, said Vincent Valladares, Middle East Head at Citi Commercial Bank.



“Companies in this segment also look at markets like Saudi Arabia and North and East Africa as these markets have a large population base, ideal for consumer products,” he told Gulf News in an exclusive interview."



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Dark clouds hover over Indian mogul Vijay Mallya’s empire | GulfNews.com

Dark clouds hover over Indian mogul Vijay Mallya’s empire | GulfNews.com:



"More than a year after one of India’s top airlines, Kingfisher, stopped flying, its flamboyant owner Vijay Mallya is battling against losing control of his $2.2-billion (Dh8 billion) corporate empire.



Mallya, once the self-proclaimed “King of Good Times”, made his fortune in the liquor business and controls a conglomerate spanning beer, airlines, fertilisers and engineering.



But in several firms in his United Breweries Group, 58-year-old Mallya’s ownership has substantially shrunk, while in others, large portions of his holdings are pledged with banks — and in some cases are starting to be sold off."



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Dubai to focus on Islamic economy and Expo 2020 in 2014 | GulfNews.com

Dubai to focus on Islamic economy and Expo 2020 in 2014 | GulfNews.com:



"Dubai’s ambitions of becoming the capital of the Islamic economy and Expo 2020 will be the focus for Dubai in the future, Hamad Bu Amim, president and CEO of Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI), said.



Bu Amim was speaking at the 4th Dubai-Hamburg business forum on Wednesday.



According to him, Dubai will focus this year on developing its core sectors, such as food and beverage , finance, travel, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, clothing, media and recreation."



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Singapore Stocks to Extend Region’s Biggest Rout: Southeast Asia - Bloomberg

Singapore Stocks to Extend Region’s Biggest Rout: Southeast Asia - Bloomberg:



"Baring Asset Management Co. and Bank Julius Baer & Co. expect a deepening slump in Singapore stocks, the worst performers this year among Southeast Asian markets.



The benchmark Straits Times Index dropped 4.9 percent from Dec. 31 through last week, trailing gauges of Thai, Indonesian, Malaysian and Philippine equities by at least 1.8 percentage points. Stocks sank as data showed home purchases tumbled last year to a four-year low and retail sales dropped, while manufacturing growth weakened in China, Singapore’s biggest export market.



“The Singapore selloff is due in large part to the sputtering domestic economy,” said David Ross, Maryland, Washington-based managing director of Chevy Chase Trust Co., which oversees about $15 billion. “The weakening consumer economy portends weakness in the property segment that could send ripples through the financial system. While not the most likely scenario, the odds of a bursting property bubble are increasing.”"



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Alwaleed’s Kingdom Beats Buffett on Twitter, Four Seasons - Bloomberg

Alwaleed’s Kingdom Beats Buffett on Twitter, Four Seasons - Bloomberg:



"A five-month rally by Kingdom Holding Co. (KINGDOM) is giving lift to the investment record of Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Al Saud, the world’s 18th-richest person and self-proclaimed “Warren Buffett of Saudi Arabia.”



Alwaleed’s recent bets on San Francisco-based microblogging company Twitter Inc. (TWTR) and Beijing-based online retailer JD.com Inc., as well as potential public offerings of hospitality companies Four Seasons Hotels Inc. and Fairmont Hotels & Resorts Inc., have helped reverse a slump that has weighed down his publicly traded holding company since the 2008 global financial crisis.



“We have hidden treasures, lots of rich assets that aren’t publicly traded,” Alwaleed, 58, said by phone from Crans-Montana, Switzerland, where he was vacationing with his family. “They are worth more than $11 billion to $12 billion, and the market could value them at more than double that.”"



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