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Monday, 24 March 2014

Getting physical - YouTube

Getting physical - YouTube:



"The Crimea crisis may mean regulators look much more closely at Russian companies investing in the US. Lex's Alan Livsey and Joseph Cotterill discuss what this means for Morgan Stanley's plans to sell its oil trading unit to Rosneft.



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Dubai ends rally; Bahrain drops on banks | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Dubai ends rally; Bahrain drops on banks | Reuters:



"* Dubai edges down after six-day rally



* Bahrain pulled down by banks after merger called off



* Arab Banking Corp plunges as it goes ex-dividend



* Foreign institutions buy into Qatar's weakness



 * Kuwait's Agility jumps after 2013 earnings



By Olzhas Auyezov

DUBAI, March 24 (Reuters) - Dubai's bourse ended a six-day rally on Monday as retail investors took profits, while banks dragged down Bahrain after a merger in the sector fell apart. The rest of the region was mixed.



The main Dubai market index opened higher but then moved into the red as heavyweight Emaar Properties slid 0.8 percent in low-volume trading. Other property-related names and small-cap stocks favoured by retail investors followed suit, and the index closed down 0.7 percent.



Some of Dubai's real estate names were still in the black, however; Union Properties rose 1.0 percent and Deyaar gained 0.8 percent."



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Oman to privatise airline, telecoms company

Oman to privatise airline, telecoms company:



"Oman plans to privatise its loss-making national carrier Oman Air and continue selling chunks of telecoms company Omantel to local investors, Finance Minister Darwish al-Balushi has announced.



Both operations would come be part of a broader plan of privatising some 60 companies in which the state holds an interest, he said.



As a first step, Oman Air will be broken up into three companies, one for freight, one for ground services and one for passengers.



"A decision on privatisation will be taken subsequently in light of the results at each of the companies," said Balushi, who is also chair of the airline."



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Souq.com, Dubai-based E-commerce Site, Raises $75 Mln - Middle East Real Time - WSJ

Souq.com, Dubai-based E-commerce Site, Raises $75 Mln - Middle East Real Time - WSJ:



"The Arab world’s answer to Amazon.com has raised $75 million in funding from South African media giant Naspers, another milestone for e-commerce in a region traditionally averse to transacting online.



The deal for a stake in Souq.com, which means “marketplace” in Arabic, values the e-commerce company at more than $500 million, according to Naspers financial statements and Souq chief executive Ronaldo Mouchawar.



The deal is the biggest publicized in the Internet space in the Arab world since Yahoo Inc. bought Arabic web portal Maktoob in 2009 for $165 million, according to industry executives and investors involved.



“Things are happening here,” said Mr. Mouchawar, who would not disclose the size of the new stake but said Naspers remains a minority shareholder. “More deals need to come, but we have seen you can create a lot of value here out of the Internet,” he added."



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Bahrain's Khaleeji Commercial, Bank Al Khair drop merger plans | Reuters

Bahrain's Khaleeji Commercial, Bank Al Khair drop merger plans | Reuters:



"Bahrain's Khaleeji Commercial Bank and unlisted Bank Al Khair have dropped their plan to merge after failing to agree on terms, Khaleeji said in a bourse statement on Monday.



"The primary reason for this decision is due to the non-agreement on the structure and the valuation of the deal," it said.



The two lenders had been in talks since June last year. The decision to call off the merger was mutual and the two banks will continue to maintain a close business relationship, Khaleeji said without elaborating.



Bahrain's central bank has been encouraging local banks to merge to strengthen them after a real estate crash and the island kingdom's political unrest in 2011."



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Middle East funds breathe new life into European property market | The National

Middle East funds breathe new life into European property market | The National:



"Middle East funds are helping to drive European commercial property yields lower as they join a rush of international investors snapping up real estate on the continent.



The spending spree, which is approaching pre-financial crisis levels, dominated the annual gathering of European property professionals at the MIPIM conference in Cannes last week.



The volume of commercial property deals across Europe last year was the highest recorded since 2007, according to the property agent CBRE.



Last year about €165.6 billion (Dh838.99bn) of deals were transacted across the continent – a 30 per cent rise on 2012."



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Billionaire Sought by U.S. Holds Key to Putin Gas Cash - Bloomberg #EuroMaidan

Billionaire Sought by U.S. Holds Key to Putin Gas Cash - Bloomberg:



"A detained billionaire who made a fortune as a middleman in Russia’s murky gas trade with Ukraine may hold the key for U.S. lawmakers seeking harsher sanctions against President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle.




Ukrainian Dmitry Firtash, arrested in Vienna this month on an American warrant for bribery and other charges, may hand over a treasure trove of information about deals involving Russian state gas exporter OAO Gazprom (GAZP) that the U.S. would consider corrupt, said Mikhail Korchemkin, a former analyst for the Soviet Union’s Gas Ministry in Moscow and founder of Malvern, Pennsylvania-based East European Gas Analysis.



After Putin seized Ukraine’s southern Crimea region, a U.S. Senate panel approved a bill on emergency funding for the country that would widen the scope of sanctions to include any Russian involved in “significant” corruption.



“This law would enable the U.S. to go after any member of Putin’s entourage,” Masha Lipman, an analyst at the Carnegie Moscow Center, said by phone. “The point is to deepen the fractures within the Russian elite. The idea is to weaken Putin so he can be contained.”"



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Russia Staring at Recession on Sanctions - Bloomberg

Russia Staring at Recession on Sanctions - Bloomberg:



"Western sanctions are pushing Russia toward recession and the pain could intensify if U.S. and European leaders turn the screw over tensions in Ukraine.



Banks including state-run VTB Capital say the world’s ninth-biggest economy will shrink for at least two quarters as penalties for annexing Crimea rattle markets, curb investment and raise the cost of borrowing. Sanctions that have so far focused on individuals via visa bans and asset freezes may be expanded to target specific areas of the economy.



President Vladimir Putin sent his popularity surging to a five-year high by making Crimea a part of Russia again after 60 years and says he won’t be swayed by foreign retaliation. Even so, the costs of the decision are starting to unfold, with Russian stocks this year’s worst performers and the economy set to suffer more than the West, Mircea Geoana, Romania’s government representative for diplomacy and economic projects."



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First Gulf Bank Follows NBAD With Middle Eastern Kangaroo Bond - Bloomberg

First Gulf Bank Follows NBAD With Middle Eastern Kangaroo Bond - Bloomberg:



"First Gulf Bank PJSC (FGB) is offering its first Kangaroo bond following another Middle Eastern sale earlier this month by National Bank of Abu Dhabi PJSC. (NBAD)



Abu Dhabi-based First Gulf is planning to issue Australian dollar-denominated notes maturing in five years, according to an e-mailed statement from Nomura Holdings Inc., which is managing the transaction along with Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. (ANZ) and HSBC Holdings Plc. The securities are being marketed at a yield of about 155 basis points more than the swap rate, according to two people familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified because the terms aren’t set.



National Bank of Abu Dhabi became the first Middle Eastern issuer in the Australian bond market when it placed A$300 million ($272 million) of 5 percent 2018 securities in February 2013, before returning to the market two weeks ago with a A$400 million five-year deal. NBAD, rated Aa3, two levels above First Gulf by Moody’s Investors Service, priced its 2019 4.75 percent securities at a spread of 125 basis points on March 12. The gap has since narrowed to 119 basis points, ANZ prices show."



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