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Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Guest Post: Parsing Putin’s thinking on Ukraine | beyondbrics #EuroMaidan

Guest Post: Parsing Putin’s thinking on Ukraine | beyondbrics:

"For investors exposed to Russia and the wider market fall-out from Russia’s military move in the Crimea, it may be helpful to recall the lessons of a previous shock that threatened to undermine the investment case for Russia. The analogy I have in mind is the Yukos affair.

Then, as now, President Putin perceived a paramount interest that he decided to pursue regardless of the high costs to business and financial market confidence.

In the Yukos case, the interest in question was to stop an oligarch who was using his controversially acquired wealth to make a challenge for power. The result was extensive collateral damage to the investment climate centered on concerns about the security of property rights."

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CORRECTED-UAE's Mubadala to focus more on U.S., European markets: deputy CEO | Reuters

CORRECTED-UAE's Mubadala to focus more on U.S., European markets: deputy CEO | Reuters:

"Abu Dhabi investment fund Mubadala Development Co plans to focus more on U.S. and European markets this year as those economies slowly recover, its deputy CEO said on Tuesday.

Mubadala, which has stakes in General Electric and private equity firm Carlyle, shifted some of its focus to emerging markets such as Brazil, Russia, China and Indonesia after the global financial crisis hit the United States and Europe.

"We are seeing 2014 as a time of significant growth for Mubadala's international portfolio as we move ahead our footprint in markets where we see long-term potential," Waleed al Muhairi told Reuters.

"We're of course looking at emerging markets, but also to markets like the U.S. and Europe in particular, as recession is being replaced by signs of recovery," he said without elaborating."

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Europe less reliant on Russian gas through Ukraine | Financial Post

Europe less reliant on Russian gas through Ukraine | Financial Post:

"A mild winter and improved infrastructure mean Europe is less reliant on Russian natural gas pumped through Ukraine than in past years, easing worries that the escalating crisis in Ukraine could hurt supplies. 

Russia is Europe’s biggest gas supplier, providing around a quarter of continental demand, which at current daily flows of 270 million cubic metres (mcm) is worth almost US$100-million a day. Around a third of Russia’s gas is exported through Ukraine.

Fears for the stability of supply to Europe increased over the weekend when Russian forces took control of Ukraine’s Crimea region and President Vladimir Putin said he had the right to invade his neighbour to protect Russians there after the overthrow of ally Viktor Yanukovich.

Moscow has in the past cut supplies to Ukraine when negotiating prices with Kiev, causing shortages especially in central Europe, which gets most of its supplies from Russia."

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MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf shares rebound as Russia-Ukraine tensions ease | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf shares rebound as Russia-Ukraine tensions ease | Reuters:

"* Softer rhetoric from Russia calms down markets

* But volatility likely to persist

* Saudi Arabia's SABIC up on new plant project

* Aldar helps lift Abu Dhabi after raising merger synergy estimates

 * Egypt rallies as Sisi indicates will run for president

By Nadia Saleem

DUBAI, March 4 (Reuters) - Most regional markets bounced back on Tuesday after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered troops back to base and said he saw no need to use force in Crimea for now, and retail investors jumped at hopes of conflict easing in Ukraine.

 Putin said, however, that Russia reserved the right to use force in the Crimea region as a "last resort".

 The comments calmed jittery investor nerves in the Gulf, sending Saudi Arabia's measure up 1.4 percent in its biggest one-day gain in more than four months. The market recouped losses from the previous day and rose to a new five-year high.

 Trading volumes on the Saudi exchange surged to a near six-month high, taking traded value to almost 9 billion riyals ($2.4 billion)."

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UAE’s February PMI gains on stronger output |

UAE’s February PMI gains on stronger output |

"The UAE’s purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for February gained to 57.3 from 57.1 in January, signalling further solid expansions in output and new orders at the UAE’s non-oil private sector companies.

The index, compiled by HSBC and Markit Economics is a composite indicator of UAE’s non-oil economy based on data compiled from purchasing executives in approximately 400 private sector companies in the UAE.

The PMI data for February showed new export business rose at the quickest pace in the survey history and input costs increased at the slowest pace for six months. The data also showed that new export orders increased at the fastest pace since data collection began in August 2009, with more than one-in-four panelists reporting strengthening demand from foreign markets."

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Ukrainian bonds: back, but not from the brink | beyondbrics #EuroMaidan

Ukrainian bonds: back, but not from the brink | beyondbrics:

There has been a relief rally in Ukrainian assets with the uneventful passing of Tuesday morning’s rumoured deadline for Ukrainian troops in Crimea to surrender to the peninsula’s Russian occupiers. Vladimir Putin appeared to pull further back from armed conflict in a mid-day press conference, so the rally may have more legs.
But yields are still at the brink.
Source: Thomson Reuters
The chart above shows Ukrain’s $1bn sovereign bond maturing on June 4. Those with the stomach can still get a yield of 40 per cent for just three months (on Monday, they could have got 51 per cent).
Source: Thomson Reuters
In the past few days, the 2014 bond has been under even more stress than the $1.6bn bond maturing on September 30 from Naftogaz, Ukraine’s state gas utility caught at the sharp end of the price agreement with Gazprom, its Russian counterpart. As the chart above shows, its yield has relaxed to a mere 37 per cent, down from a peak of 47 per cent on Monday.
The stress level may have subsided a bit but it is still near the top of a painful spike.
And here to complete the picture is the yield on Ukraine’s $1.25bn sovereign bond maturing in April 2013, back into single figures in Tuesday from its peak of just under 11 per cent on February 20.
Source: Thomson Reuters

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Damac 2013 full-year profit triples as Dubai real estate booms -

Damac 2013 full-year profit triples as Dubai real estate booms - Business Intelligence Middle East - - News, analysis, reports:

"Real Estate Development Ltd., the Dubai-based developer that started trading in London in December, said full-year profit tripled as sales climbed and margins widened.

Net income rose to $641.5 million from $212.5 million a year earlier, the company said today in its first earnings report since the listing. Revenue increased 77 percent to $1.22 billion. Bookings jumped to $2.46 billion from $661 million a year earlier.

Damac, headed by founder Hussain Sajwani, started projects including Hollywood-themed apartment towers and a Trump International golf course last year. The company in November said it generated a first-half profit of $332 million and had assets valued at $2.3 billion."

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Russian markets recovering on Putin's speech — RT Business #EuroMaidan

Russian markets recovering on Putin's speech — RT Business:

"Russia’s key indices have bounced back on Tuesday, as President Vladimir Putin gave his first news conference since President Yanukovich of Ukraine was ousted. Putin insisted the market turmoil on Monday was a "tactical, temporary" decision by investors.

The MICEX was up 5.19 percent at 16.00, Moscow time, with the RTS adding 5.93 percent. This marks a major turnaround from Monday, when the ruble-based MICEX dropped 10.79 percent on Monday, and the dollar-based RTS index fell 12.01 percent, the lowest level since September 2009. On the same day the ruble hit an all-time low against both the dollar and euro. Most analysts attributed the fall to the growing tension over Ukraine.

In his address Putin insisted the Ukraine crisis wasn’t a key hindrance to Russian markets; the fundamental factor was an overall crisis in emerging markets."

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Ukraine Crisis Has Spill Over Effects Beyond Russia, Deutsche Bank Says - #EuroMaidan

Ukraine Crisis Has Spill Over Effects Beyond Russia, Deutsche Bank Says:

"Ongoing tensions between Ukraine and Russia have serious implications for investors, particularly Russian equities. But Russian investors won’t be the only ones to take a hit.

Deutsche Bank said on Monday that the entire situation “bodes bad for all Russian assets, but also for the entire region of Eastern Europe, including Turkey.” As it is, Ukraine political woes have pushed oil futures higher today. Brent crude closed at its highest levels all year to $111.20, with West Texas Intermediate oil rising 2.3% to $104.92 for the April futures contract.

In equity markets, the Market Vectors Russia (RSX) exchange traded fund settled 6.8% lower, while the ruble returned some of its losses against the dollar today after a rough opening session.

The iShares MSCI Turkey (TUR) ETF underperformed the benchmark MSCI Emerging Markets Index by nearly 100 basis points to settle 2.8% lower."

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Investment on a grand scale - YouTube

Investment on a grand scale - YouTube: ""

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Du borrows $1.17bn to fund equipment and refinance debt | The National

Du borrows $1.17bn to fund equipment and refinance debt | The National:

"Dubai-based telecoms operator du has secured a $1.17bn loan in three separate deals to refinance existing debt facilities. The company is looking to save $9m in total with the new package.

The deal includes a $720m package from Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB), National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) and Saudi Arabia’s Samba Financial Group. This five-year facility will be used to replace two existing debt facilities.

Du has also secured a $300m five-year loan from the UK’s Standard Chartered Bank to fund equipment purchases. It includes the refinancing of the existing £100m (Dh611.1m) facility held with the bank plus an additional $200m of new facilities."

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flydubai 2013 net profit up 47 per cent at Dh222.8m |

flydubai 2013 net profit up 47 per cent at Dh222.8m |

"flydubai said on Monday it posted a full-year net profit of Dh222.8 million for 2013, up 47 per cent from 2012 on new routes and the launch of its business class services.

The budget carrier reaped revenue worth Dh3.7 billion on the back of launching 17 new routes during 2013 bringing the network to 66 destinations, it said in a statement.

Operating an average of 1,100 flights a week coupled with a continued demand resulted in an increase in passenger numbers to 6.82 million a 38 per cent increase over the previous year.

Fuel remained the wild card with expenses constituting the carrier’s single largest operating cost — 39.5 per cent of total cost. flydubai stated that 29 per cent of its total fuel requirements for 2014 have been hedged, following the hedging programme it adopted in the last quarter of 2013."

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Dubai cautioned on credit growth |

Dubai cautioned on credit growth |

"Economic growth has picked up in Dubai, lowering the contagion risks from highly-leveraged government related entities (GREs) to the Dubai government, Moody’s analysts said yesterday.

According to the Dubai Statistics Centre, Dubai’s real GDP grew 4.9 per cent in the first half of 2013, catching up with Abu Dhabi’s growth rate. Dubai’s accelerated growth will help strengthen cash flows at GREs and raise non-oil public revenue; although the UAE’s narrow tax base limits the direct windfall for public finances."

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GCC to remain stable despite oil price decline |

GCC to remain stable despite oil price decline |

"In the GCC, economic growth will remain firm overall in 2014 despite gradual decline in oil prices.

The growth will be largely driven by the non-oil sector, but inflation is expected to rise, according to the latest macro economic forecast from Economists and analysts at Moody’s Investors Service.

Moody’s forecast for 2014-15 shows that oil prices will gradually decline but is expected to remain above $100 per barrel (pb) for Brent crude. “Hydrocarbon prices will continue to display relative stability, with additional output from countries that are members of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) offsetting additional demand from emerging markets; while unconventional oil has a high breakeven point that acts as a floor on oil prices,” said Lucio Mauro Vinhas de Souza, Managing Director — Sovereign Chief Economist of Moody’s said in Dubai yesterday."

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Goldman Sees Russia Taming Ruble Losses After Plunge to Record - Bloomberg #EuroMaidan

Goldman Sees Russia Taming Ruble Losses After Plunge to Record - Bloomberg:

"Goldman Sachs Group Inc. predicts Russia will contain losses in the ruble as policy makers pledge to curb volatility after ratcheting up interest rates and selling billions of dollars in the currency market yesterday.

Bank Rossii, which ING Groep NV estimates sold as much as $12 billion yesterday, said it will start setting ruble intervention parameters daily, a move that will give the central bank more room to ease swings. Goldman Sachs analysts anticipated a change in tack, writing in a note to clients before the move that Bank Rossii may favor a policy that allows for “discretionary interventions” while predicting the ruble has limited “downside” after sinking to a record low.

Central bankers are stepping up efforts to shore up the ruble as investor demand for Russian assets plummets after President Vladimir Putin’s military forces took over parts of neighboring Ukraine. The ruble weakened 2 percent to 36.5809 per dollar, the biggest decline in 29 months and the worst slump in the world yesterday. Bond yields soared after Bank Rossii raised its key rate 1.50 percentage points."

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Ruble Strengthens With Micex While Europe Futures Climb - Bloomberg #EuroMaidan

Ruble Strengthens With Micex While Europe Futures Climb - Bloomberg:

"The yen slid against major peers while oil, wheat and gold fell and U.S. and U.K. equity futures rallied after a report that Russian President Vladimir Putin had ordered troops back to bases after military exercises concluded amid tensions in Ukraine’s Crimea region.

The yen weakened 0.3 percent to 101.76 to the dollar by 3:45 p.m. in Tokyo after its highest close since Feb. 5. Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (SPA) futures jumped 0.6 percent while contracts on the FTSE 100 Index surged 0.7 percent. A measure of stocks in emerging markets erased declines as Russia’s Micex Index (INDEXCF) climbed 2.5 percent after $55 billion was wiped from the country’s equities yesterday. The ruble strengthened 0.4 percent from a record low versus the greenback and Poland’s zloty surged. Gold fell as much as 1 percent from a four-month high."

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WTI, Brent Oil Fall as Supply Concerns Over Ukraine ‘Overblown’ - Bloomberg

WTI, Brent Oil Fall as Supply Concerns Over Ukraine ‘Overblown’ - Bloomberg:

"West Texas Intermediate and Brent crude fell for the first time in three days amid speculation supply concerns because of tension between Russia and Ukraine may be exaggerated.

Futures dropped as much as 1 percent in New York, declining from the highest price since September. Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered troops back to bases from military tests in the Leningrad region, Interfax newswire reported, citing Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov. Investor fears of a supply disruption are misplaced, according to Societe Generale SA. WTI’s rally was unsustainable, a technical indicator shows.

“What’s happening in Russia was hyped up, a bit overblown,” Soeren Bo Duvier Nielsen, a senior energy sales manager at Nordea Markets in Singapore, said by phone. “We still need to see if this news about the military exercise is news or just some garbage people are reacting to.”"

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Deyaar’s ex-CEO loses appeal in Dh30m graft case |

Deyaar’s ex-CEO loses appeal in Dh30m graft case |

"Dubai’s highest court on Monday overturned the acquittal of Deyaar’s ex-CEO in the case of abusing his office and causing Dh30 million of losses in public funds by pushing through an illegal tender.

The Dubai Cassation Court’s presiding judge Mohammad Nabeel Riyadh referred the case of the 48-year-old American-Lebanese Z.S. back to the appeal court.

In November 2013, the Appeal Court scrapped a 15-year jail term and a Dh30 million fine against Z.S. and acquitted him of abusing his position and helping Thermo, a construction services company, to win a tender illegally so he could make a personal gain of Dh20 million.

The Public Funds Prosecution appealed the acquittal before the Cassation Court."

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