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Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Ukraine 2014 Bonds Gain Most in Two Weeks on Russia Aid Pledge - Bloomberg

Ukraine 2014 Bonds Gain Most in Two Weeks on Russia Aid Pledge - Bloomberg:



"Ukraine’s bonds due in June gained the most in two weeks as Russia pledged to resume a $15 billion bailout program that was halted amid political turmoil in Kiev.



The yield on the dollar notes fell 1.04 percentage points to 21.12 percent by 5:15 p.m. in Kiev. That’s the largest drop on a closing basis since Feb. 2. The rate is down from a record 22.99 percent on Feb. 14. The cost of insuring Ukrainian debt against non-payment for five years using credit-default swaps slid 21 basis points today to 1,175, CMA data show.



Russia’s government said yesterday it will purchase another $2 billion this week, after putting bond buying on hold last month until a new government was appointed following the resignation of Mykola Azarov as prime minister. President Viktor Yanukovych will submit his candidate for premier this week, parliamentary Speaker Volodymyr Rybak said yesterday."



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London's sprouting skyline: A tangled mess - YouTube

London's sprouting skyline: A tangled mess - YouTube: ""



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An EM credit crunch, not a sudden stop | FT Alphaville

An EM credit crunch, not a sudden stop | FT Alphaville:



"This post by Gavyn Davies has been cross-published at Gavyn’s own blog.



The crisis in the emerging markets’ “fragile 8″ , which threatened to sweep all before it a few weeks back, seems to have settled down almost as quickly as it erupted onto the scene. Investors are already asking whether it is now safe to enter the undoubted attractive valuations in the emerging world.



After the latest rally, emerging assets have performed almost in line with developed equities since the beginning of the year, and there has been little sign of the sudden jump in correlations between countries with good and bad fundamentals that is the hallmark of a genuine crisis in the emerging world. After all the hype, surely that cannot be the end of it, can it?"



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Egypt hits 5-yr high on election law talk; Q4 reports hurt Dubai | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Egypt hits 5-yr high on election law talk; Q4 reports hurt Dubai | Reuters:



"* Egypt lifted by expected progress towards civil rule



* Dubai falls from five-year high



* Air Arabia disappoints on dividends; shares tumble



* Du reports lower quarterly profit, flat year



* Emaar Q4 profit beats estimates but fails to lift index



By Nadia Saleem

DUBAI, Feb 18 (Reuters) - Egypt's bourse surged to a five-year high after a local newspaper reported that discussions over a new presidential election law would begin on Wednesday, while Dubai's shares fell in profit-taking after mixed earnings reports.



Cairo's Al-Ahram said an administrative court, under the mandate of the 2014 constitution, would start discussions on the draft law. It may also give details of potential presidential candidates and the timeframe of the elections.



"People are excited about the elections, they are building positions in anticipation of presidential election law," said Mohamed Radwan, director of international sales at Pharos Securities in Cairo.



Construction- and property-related shares led the trading. Palm Hills Development Co rose 3.9 percent and Egyptian Resorts jumped 4.7 percent."



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Hungary and interest rates: predictably unpredictable | beyondbrics

Hungary and interest rates: predictably unpredictable | beyondbrics:



"

Predicting what the Hungarian central bank is going to do is becoming something of a fools game. Last month, the bank cut rates for the 18th time in a row. So far, so predictable – except the bank changed from 20 basis point cuts (as it had used five times previously) to 15bp.



 On Tuesday, the bank cut again – a 19th consecutive cut – but confounded most analysts who had predicted that the weakened currency would give the MPC reason to reduce by a smaller margin. No chance – the bank stuck to its new 15bp reduction, dropping rates from 2.85 per cent to 2.7 per cent. Where will it end?"



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Central Bank Downgrades Medium-Term Economic Growth Forecast | Business | The Moscow Times

Central Bank Downgrades Medium-Term Economic Growth Forecast | Business | The Moscow Times:



"The Central Bank said Tuesday that the country's output may grow by 1.7 to 2.0 percent from 2015 to 2016, an outlook that underscores the weak state of the economy.



The forecast, in a quarterly monetary policy report, implies a downward revision compared with its earlier predictions. The bank said in the previous quarterly report that it saw Russia's medium-term growth potential as 2 to 2.5 percent.



The bank predicted growth of 1.5 to 1.8 percent this year, down from a forecast of 2 percent made last quarter.




Central Bank governor Elvira Nabiullina said last week that the bank had revised down its forecast because it was surprised by last year's poor growth rate of 1.3 percent.



In its report, the Central Bank said it expected annual growth in household consumption to fall to 3.1 to 3.3 percent in 2014 from 4.7 percent in 2013. Fixed-investment growth was forecast at 1.4 to 1.6 percent in 2014, up from 0.3 percent in 2013."



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From Brics to blocs: a new matrix for EM investing | beyondbrics

From Brics to blocs: a new matrix for EM investing | beyondbrics:



"The Brics acronym has captured investors’ imagination like few others. But has it really helped us understand the intrinsic nature of the risks and rewards in the emerging market (EM) asset class, thereby allowing us to profit from investing in it? I have long had my doubts and recent turmoil in the asset class has only confirmed them. So is there a better way of understanding this asset class? My conclusion is that we should move away from the prism of Brics – and indeed some of the other acronyms now flavouring this alphabet soup – and instead think of EMs in terms of blocs.



There is a pressing need to do this: the paradox of investing in EMs is that whilst the structural case for doing so is overwhelming, it remains an asset class that is still both cyclically risky and very volatile. This suggests the right question to ask is no longer “whether” to invest in EMs, but “how”. And in answering this “how”, we must above all acknowledge that not all EMs were born alike."



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Egypt: back to 2008 levels | beyondbrics

Egypt: back to 2008 levels | beyondbrics:



"

Bloomberg
Who says military rule is bad for stock markets? The EGX30, Egypt’s main stock index, is now over 7,700 – a level not seen since mid-2008.



The index has surpassed the previous post-Lehman high before the removal of president Mubarak, which was just over 7,600 in April 2010.



The pre-Lehman peak of nearly 11,000 is still some way off. And the last time the index was at this level, it was on the way down, not up, of course. But it’s still another milestone.



The strange thing is that Egypt isn’t exactly in great shape. General Sisi, who is likely to run for president in elections later this year, is something of an unknown quantity. And although the violence and unrest has calmed down, the deadly attack on a bus carrying tourists last weekend was a reminder that it is not that far away."



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$2 Billion in Russian Aid Fails to Help Ukrainian Currency | Business | The Moscow Times #EuroMaidan

$2 Billion in Russian Aid Fails to Help Ukrainian Currency | Business | The Moscow Times:



"Russia's promise to release the next payment on a promised $15 billion loan to the government of Ukraine's President Viktor Yanukovych failed to help the country's hryvnia currency, which fell by up to 1.6 percent against the dollar on Tuesday.



Monday's announcement by Finance Minister Anton Siluanov that Moscow will purchase $2 billion worth of Ukraine's bonds was followed by the hryvnia's fall on the first day of the week U.S. markets were open, though as of Tuesday afternoon the currency avoided a five-year low seen earlier this month, Reuters reported.




Moscow scored a victory when Ukraine's government pulled out of a planned association deal with the European Union last November in favor of closer ties with Russia, but the hryvnia currency has been under pressure after the move sparked anti-government protests centered in the Ukrainian capital Kiev.



The Russian aid is part of a $15 billion package that was offered — and then suspended — amid a back and forth between the Yanukovych administration and the pro-Western opposition."



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Russian privatisation: it’s back, sort of | beyondbrics

Russian privatisation: it’s back, sort of | beyondbrics:



"Investors look to Dmitry Medvedev to champion the cause for privatization. But Russia’s prime minister hardly sounded overly confident as he reviewed the government’s plans to sell off state assets on Monday.



“We have quite serious plans to raise around Rbs200bn ($5.7bn) from privatisations this year and I hope the plan will be fulfilled,” Medvedev told a government meeting. “We should not drag it out, but at the same time we should consider the economic circumstances in the world and in the country.”



Back in 2010 when Medvedev was serving as president, the Kremlin launched sweeping plans for the state to exit the economy. But many of the planned sales have been delayed by adverse market conditions or disagreements between rival interest groups and officials.



Medvedev, who stood down in 2012 to make way for Vladimir Putin to return for a third term as president, now leads a weak government where liberals advocating privatisation battle with conservatives who extol the virtues of state control over the economy."



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Are shares in Dubai’s Emaar Properties now a buy or a sell? « ArabianMoney

Are shares in Dubai’s Emaar Properties now a buy or a sell? « ArabianMoney:



"Profits at Emaar Properties grew by 21 per cent last year to almost $700 million as the Dubai developer cashed in on a real estate recovery and tourism boom. Annual sales were up 25 per cent to $2.8 billion with a 33 per cent surge in property sales driving the boost in revenues.



Residential property sales tripled to $2.3 billion with a raft of off-plan launches: The Address Residence Fountain Views I, II and III; The Address Residence Sky View and Burj Vista in Downtown Dubai; The Hills and Vida Residence in Emirates Living; and Palma and Rosa villas in Arabian Ranches.



Diversification



Retail and hospitality helped Emaar to remain very profitable even after the 2009 property crash in Dubai. But they are making a lesser contribution to the recovery, albeit revenues here were up 17 per cent to $1.3 billion. There’s talk of splitting off this division but that would undermine the benefits of diversification."



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Asset backed securities back in vogue - YouTube

Asset backed securities back in vogue - YouTube: ""



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Abu Dhabi’s Gulf Marine Services seeks to raise $100 million from London IPO | The National

Abu Dhabi’s Gulf Marine Services seeks to raise $100 million from London IPO | The National:



"Abu Dhabi’s Gulf Marine Services (GMS) plans to raise more than US$100 million via a share float on the London Stock Exchange.



The company, majority owned by regional private equity firm Gulf Capital, expects to generate $100m from the issue of new shares, it said yesterday.



In addition, four of the company’s shareholders – including two Gulf Capital investment vehicles – are each expected to sell an undisclosed proportion of their shareholdings as part of the offer.



The float, which is expected to be completed before the end of next month, will value the company in excess of $1 billion, according to a source close to the process."



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UAE a step nearer on secondary listings platform | The National

UAE a step nearer on secondary listings platform | The National:



"The UAE’s stock exchanges are moving a step closer to setting up a platform for secondary listings targeting as many as 135 private joint stock companies.



The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) and Dubai Financial Market (DFM) this year will launch separate screens for investors to trade shares currently bought and sold over the counter, according to the federal stock market regulator.



“We are targeting not only the local market, but regional and then the wider Middle East,” said Abdullah Al Turaifi, the chief executive at the Securities and Commodities Authority."



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UAE economy ‘crippled’ if cheques are scrapped, says banks chief | The National

UAE economy ‘crippled’ if cheques are scrapped, says banks chief | The National:



"Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair, the head of the UAE Banks Federation, said that the current system of reliance on post-dated cheques was the best available to the country, and if it were suddenly scrapped “it would cripple the economy”.



Mr Al Ghurair, who is also the chief executive of Mashreq, said that the cheques system should only be reconsidered if a “holistic solution” to the present practice was found. “We don’t want to unplug a system that’s working. The whole country is dependent on the cheque system."



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Air Arabia posts profit rise for 2013 | GulfNews.com

Air Arabia posts profit rise for 2013 | GulfNews.com:



"Air Arabia announced on Monday a net profit of Dh435 million for the 2013 financial year, a 2 per cent increase compared to the same period in 2012.



The Sharjah-based budget carrier said the slight increase in profit was due to its network expansion strategy, having launched eight new destinations in 2013.



Turnover for the full year ending December 31, 2013, was Dh3.2 billion, up 14 per cent on the same period in 2013.



However, in the last quarter of the year, Air Arabia reported a Dh94 million net profit for the 2013 fourth quarter, up 12 per cent compared to the Dh84 million reported in the same 2012 period. The airline’s turnover for the 2013 fourth quarter was Dh811 million, an 8 per cent increase compared to Dh753 million reported in 2012."



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FX Traders Facing Extinction as Computers Replace Humans - Bloomberg

FX Traders Facing Extinction as Computers Replace Humans - Bloomberg:



"A widening probe of the foreign-exchange market is roiling an industry already under pressure to reduce costs as computer platforms displace human traders.



Electronic dealing, which accounted for 66 percent of all currency transactions in 2013 and 20 percent in 2001, will increase to 76 percent within five years, according to Aite Group LLC, a Boston-based consulting firm that reviewed Bank for International Settlements data. About 81 percent of spot trading -- the buying and selling of currency for immediate delivery -- will be electronic by 2018, Aite said.



“Foreign-exchange traders are much like stock floor traders: a rapidly dying breed,” said Charles Geisst, author of “Wall Street: A History” and a finance professor at Manhattan College in Riverdale, New York. “Once the banks realize they are costing them money, the positions will dwindle quickly.”"



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