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Monday, 17 February 2014

Oman Oil to Offer Shares in Businesses, Stock Market Head Says - Bloomberg

Oman Oil to Offer Shares in Businesses, Stock Market Head Says - Bloomberg:

"Oman Oil Co., the sultanate’s state-owned energy producer, plans to sell shares in some of its businesses to the public, the Muscat Securities Market said.

“We hope one of them will come to the market this year and others next year,” Ahmed Saleh Al Marhoon, director-general of the MSM, said in an Abu Dhabi interview, declining to identify the businesses or quantify the number involved. “There are so many subsidiaries of Oman Oil and they are diversified in oil-related sectors. Those are the companies coming to the market.”

Some countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council, a group of six oil-producing Arab monarchies, are selling shares in state-owned companies to spur stock-market trading and citizens’ participation in the economy. Oman Oil holds majority stakes in Oman Gas Co., Oiltanking Odfjell Terminals & Co., the Musandam power plant and Abraj Energy Services, among other businesses.

An official at the company, based in Mina al-Fahal, didn’t answer phone calls seeking comment."

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Money talks: February 17th 2014 - YouTube

Money talks: February 17th 2014 - YouTube: ""

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Abu Dhabi works to lure top investors to fledgling financial hub -

Abu Dhabi works to lure top investors to fledgling financial hub -

"Abu Dhabi’s new financial centre has appointed a veteran Dubai regulator to oversee its launch and lure top global banks to the wealthy capital of the United Arab Emirates.

Abu Dhabi Global Market, a financial free zone under formation in the capital, has appointed Jan Bladen as “executive adviser and programme lead for ADGM”, reporting to the free zone’s chairman, Emirati official Ahmed al-Sayegh.

Mr Bladen, former chief operating officer of the Dubai International Financial Centre’s regulatory authority, will co-ordinate the establishment of the ADGM’s regulatory authority, legal infrastructure and registrar as the capital seeks to boost its financial sector and diversify its economy."

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Guest post: central Europe’s golden decade | beyondbrics

Guest post: central Europe’s golden decade | beyondbrics:

"There will be two types of anniversaries in Europe this year. The ones related to 1914, will be all about the risks of complacency. At last December’s European Council, Angela Merkel felt compelled to quote from The Sleepwalkers, a history book about the First World War, to stress what the price of political failure could be. However, there will also be two heartening anniversaries, recalling 25 years of democracy in Central Europe and 10 years of the region’s membership in the EU."

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MIDEAST STOCKS-Industries Qatar hits 9-yr high on dividend; region mixed | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Industries Qatar hits 9-yr high on dividend; region mixed | Reuters:

"* Qatari conglomerate lifts bourse with generous dividend

* Saudi petrochemicals retreat in profit-taking

* Dubai firms rise on Q4 eranings bets

By Nadia Saleem

DUBAI, Feb 17 (Reuters) - Blue chip Industries Qatar surged to a nine-year high on Monday as a surprise hike in dividends attracted buyers even though the firm's fourth-quarter profit trailed estimates. 

Industries Qatar boosted Doha's measure while other regional markets were mixed.

Shares in the metals and petrochemicals conglomerate jumped 7.4 percent to 193.10 riyals, their highest since April 2005.

The firm's board proposed a dividend of 11 riyals per share or 110 percent of its nominal value, up from 8.5 riyals in 2012. Qatar's bourse is up 1.5 percent."

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UPDATE 1-Emaar net profit beats estimates as Dubai booms | Reuters

UPDATE 1-Emaar net profit beats estimates as Dubai booms | Reuters:

"* Q4 net profit rises 48 percent to 756 mln dirhams

* Quarterly revenue up 3 percent to 2.76 bln dirhams

* 2013 sales nearly triple

By Praveen Menon

DUBAI, Feb 17 (Reuters) - Emaar Properties, Dubai's largest listed property developer, posted a 48 percent increase in its quarterly profit from a strong upturn that boosted by growth in its malls, hotels and property business.

Dubai's safe haven status during the region's Arab Spring uprisings has fuelled trade and tourism over the last year.

A bellwether for Dubai's real estate market, Emaar has led a recovery in that sector, and most of the projects it launched in the last few months were sold out within hours, reminiscent of the period before the 2008 global financial crisis."

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Oman court postpones three corruption trials |

Oman court postpones three corruption trials |

"In the presence of Judge Yusif Al Fulati and representatives of the Public Prosecution, the Court of First Instance in Muscat yesterday postponed the trials in three corruption cases to March 16.

The first case involving bribery includes an engineer from the gas sector of state-owned oil Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) and the executive director and partner of Al Turki Enterprise, stood before the court yesterday. The Public Prosecution has charged the PDO engineer with taking a bribe of OMR 30,000 from Al Turki Enterprise so it can be granted contract for the Al Amal bloc project.

The public prosecution presented the evidence that the accused engineer accepted the amount from the Al Turki Enterprise official at his house in the Madinat Sultan Qaboos district of Muscat."

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Kuwait’s Global Said to Hire Osmansoy for Distressed Assets - Bloomberg

Kuwait’s Global Said to Hire Osmansoy for Distressed Assets - Bloomberg:

"Global Investment House KSCC (GI5B), the Kuwaiti bank that restructured $1.7 billion of debt, hired Orhan Osmansoy to head its $600 million distressed asset-management business, two people with knowledge of the matter said.

Osmansoy, a former chief executive officer of Abu Dhabi-based The National Investor, will lead the so-called special situations asset-management business at Global, dealing with distressed assets and restructuring, the people said, declining to be identified as the information isn’t public.

He’s the latest of several senior hires at the Kuwait City-based bank as it focuses on its brokerage, asset management and investment-banking businesses. The firm said Jan. 7 that it appointed Michael Helou to head its investment-banking business, and in September named Raul Biancardi to lead its wealth and asset-management unit."

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EM crises: get used to them | beyondbrics

EM crises: get used to them | beyondbrics:

"If the recent recovery in emerging markets has calmed your nerves somewhat, then steel yourself: EM crises are here to stay. That’s according to Joseph Capurso, currency strategist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

The good news? EM crises don’t always mean a regional or global recession. In fact, they are rather common, and their impact can be limited. So here are the five facts you need to remember in the next EM crisis (which should be rather soon, in fact)."

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Iranian bank sues UK govt for $4 billion over sanctions | Al Akhbar English

Iranian bank sues UK govt for $4 billion over sanctions | Al Akhbar English:

"Iran's largest private bank is suing the British government for almost $4 billion in damages after the Supreme Court quashed sanctions imposed against it over alleged links to Tehran's nuclear program.

Bank Mellat wants compensation for the "significant pecuniary loss" it sustained as a result of the sanctions that were placed in 2009, according to a claim filed in London's High Court and seen by Reuters on Monday. 

Britain's Supreme Court ruled last June that the government was wrong to have imposed sanctions in 2009, arguing that the government had been "irrational" to single out Bank Mellat.


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Ukraine foreign direct investment slumps 31% in 2013 - Business - News - Ukraine Business Online

Ukraine foreign direct investment slumps 31% in 2013 - Business - News - Ukraine Business Online:

"Analyst: “To make matters worse, 75% of the reported FDI (USD 2.2 bln out of USD 2.9 bln) came from well-known offshore financial havens (Cyprus, the British Virgin Islands and the Netherlands). So these are the repatriated funds of Ukrainian oligarchs, not foreign investments.”

KYIV, Feb 17, 2014 (UBO) - Ukraine’s Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflow plunged 30.7% yoy to USD 2.9 bln vs. USD 4.1 bln a year ago, according to state statistics released on February 14, Concorde Capital told clients in an online advisory today."

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The Gulf's employment crisis. Part Two: The iniquities of kafala | tks @brian_whit

The Gulf's employment crisis. Part Two: The iniquities of kafala:

"THE KAFALA ("sponsorship") system lies at the heart of employment policies in the Arab Gulf states. Introduced in the 1950s, it was intended to speed economic development by providing a plentiful but easily dispensable supply of foreign labour without the complicating factor of permanent immigration. Citizenship, and the privileges that come with it, would not be extended to foreigners since they would eventually leave and the traditions and values of Gulf society would remain intact. That, at least, was the theory.

What this meant in practice was that workers seeking to enter the country would require a sponsor – either an individual citizen or a locally-based company – and the sponsor would assume legal and financial responsibility for them for the duration of their employment contract. When the contract expired (typically after a couple of years) it was also the sponsor's duty to ensure that the worker left the country, even to the extent of paying the fare to return home."

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UPDATE 1-EMERGING MARKETS-Ukraine bonds firmer; emerging stocks hit 3-1/2-wk high | Reuters #EuroMaidan

UPDATE 1-EMERGING MARKETS-Ukraine bonds firmer; emerging stocks hit 3-1/2-wk high | Reuters:

"By Natsuko Waki
LONDON, Feb 17 (Reuters) - Ukraine's sovereign bonds rose on
Monday after opposition protesters ended a two-month occupation
of Kiev's city hall, while emerging market stocks hit a
3-1/2-week high after upbeat Chinese lending data.

Ukrainian opposition protesters opened a road to limited
traffic, meeting an amnesty offer aimed at easing a stand-off
over President Viktor Yanukovich's rule. The authorities
withdrew riot police from a flashpoint district of the capital.

Ukraine's dollar bonds maturing in 2014, 2020 2023 all rose
around 1-2 points.

But the country's hryvnia currency quickly
erased gains to stand 0.6 percent down on the day at 8.82 per
dollar in trading thinned by a market holiday in the
United States."

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The week ahead: February 16th 2014 - YouTube

The week ahead: February 16th 2014 - YouTube: ""

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Revealed: UAE’s top 50 companies -

Revealed: UAE’s top 50 companies -

"Telecommunications giant Etisalat is the UAE’s largest company, with a current market capitalisation of more than $25bn, Arabian Business can reveal.

Our latest countdown of the Gulf state’s top companies was dominated by firms from the banking, real estate and transportation sectors, all of which have registered significant gains in dollar value over the past year.

Backed by a surging stock market and resurgent property sector, industry heavyweights including Emaar Properties, DP World and First Gulf Bank all bulked up in market capitalisation."

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Where is long-term value? - YouTube

Where is long-term value? - YouTube: ""

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NBAD in place to capitalise on expected IPOs | The National

NBAD in place to capitalise on expected IPOs | The National:

"National Bank of Abu Dhabi expects as many as six UAE companies to go public this year, raising as much from Dh8 billion in share sales.

The country’s biggest bank by market capitalisation is positioning itself to pick up lucrative fees from advising on some of these planned offerings.

It hopes to fill a void left by the retrenchment of some western investment banks in the wake of the financial crisis.

“NBAD has been investing in its investment banking capacity, knowing who is ready first will be capturing the market share,” said Majd Maaiteh, the head of securities at the Abu Dhabi-headquartered bank."

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Citadel Capital completes investment purchases |

Citadel Capital completes investment purchases |

"Citadel Capital (CCAP.CA on the Egyptian Exchange) disclosed on Sunday that it has now completed its planned purchases of additional stakes in its platform companies totalling 3.7 billion Egyptian pounds (Dh1.94 billion) as part of its ongoing transformation into an investment company that will hold majority stakes in its subsidiaries in five core industries: energy, transportation, agrifoods, mining and cement.

The asset purchases disclosed Sunday cover the platform companies and subsidiaries outlined in Citadel Capital’s form 16 submission on use of proceeds from the capital increase, as approved by the EFSA.

At a meeting held on Thursday, Citadel Capital’s Board of Directors accepted a report by its independent auditor (KPMG) certifying the EGP3.7 billion in liabilities to co-investors and shareholders arising from these securities’ purchases. These liabilities will be capitalised during the second subscription round for the capital increase, thereby resulting in full subscription to the share issuance."

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Etihad in the spotlight over Jet deal |

Etihad in the spotlight over Jet deal |

"Etihad Airways has been issued with a ‘please explain’ over its minority acquisition of Jet Airways by the regulator of India’s securities market.

According to a report by Reuters, The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) issued a show cause notice on Wednesday.

SEBI is questioning if Etihad violated takeover rules when it acquired a 24 per cent stake in Jet Airways last year. It has reportedly asked Etihad why it should not make a tender offer to Jet Airways public shareholders as part of takeover rules. Etihad has 21 days to respond."

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Middle East, Africa key markets for Standard Chartered |

Middle East, Africa key markets for Standard Chartered |

"Standard Chartered, which prides itself to be referred as an Emerging Market bank, has been a huge beneficiary of economic boom in China and other key Asian emerging markets in the last decade. The bank’s focus on emerging markets has helped it steer through the financial crisis relatively unscathed while it reported nearly a decade long uninterrupted growth in profits and revenue.

Talk of a slowdown in emerging markets as a result of the Federal Reserve scaling back asset purchases has raised questions on the bank’s revenue and profit growth. To combat a potential slowdown in growth the bank in January announced a major reorganisation leading to the merger of the wholesale and consumer banking divisions.

On a recent visit to Dubai, Peter Sands, Standard Charterd’s CEO dismissed the talk of a sharp slowdown in emerging markets as “really overblown.” He believes the West’s obsession with China means it is overlooking the opportunities in Asean, a massive trading bloc that is forging closer economic ties with each other."

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Ukraine Opposition Plans March on Parliament After Merkel Talks - Bloomberg

Ukraine Opposition Plans March on Parliament After Merkel Talks - Bloomberg:

"Ukrainian opposition groups plan to march on parliament to push lawmakers to curb President Viktor Yanukovych’s powers, risking renewed conflict with police even as they offer some concessions to end three months of deadlock.

Arseniy Yatsenyuk, a lawmaker and former central banker, told the tens of thousands of people gathered in Kiev’s Independence Square yesterday that the march will take place after he and fellow opposition leader Vitali Klitschko return from talks today with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin. Earlier in the day, they agreed to cede control of five government buildings in exchange for a vow by the Prosecutor General’s Office to drop criminal charges against hundreds of demonstrators now under house arrest.

“Let’s form columns here at 8 a.m. on Tuesday and march to parliament,” another lawmaker, Oleh Tyahnybok, who heads the nationalist Svoboda party, yelled from the stage in the Ukrainian capital. “We need you to press them.”"

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China’s ICBC Weighs Middle East Acquisitions to Boost Profit - Bloomberg

China’s ICBC Weighs Middle East Acquisitions to Boost Profit - Bloomberg:

"Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd., the world’s most profitable lender, said it will consider acquisitions in the Middle East as part of plans to boost earnings from the region by 50 percent this year.

“We’re looking to see if there are acquisition opportunities,” Zhou Xiaodong, chief executive officer for the Middle East, said in an interview from the lender’s Dubai offices. “It’s a good strategy. Part of the reason why ICBC grew so fast in Hong Kong is because of acquisitions.”

ICBC is seeking to triple overseas earnings by 2016 and targeting more business with Middle Eastern companies after previously focusing on the local units of Chinese firms in the region, Zhou said. Profit from the Middle East amounted to $33 million in 2013, he said, and the bank plans to open retail branches in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates."

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