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Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Oil - stuck in a rut? - YouTube

Oil - stuck in a rut? - YouTube: ""

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Ruble Strengthens Above 35 to the Dollar as Crimea Fears Ebb | News | The Moscow Times

Ruble Strengthens Above 35 to the Dollar as Crimea Fears Ebb | News | The Moscow Times:

"The ruble strengthened to below 35 to the dollar on Tuesday for the first time since mid-February, before the escalation of the political crisis in Ukraine and the annexation of Crimea by Russia.

Since peaking at 36.6 rubles to the dollar on March 13, the Russian currency has gradually recovered. At 10:30 a.m. on the Moscow Exchange, the ruble dipped to 34.96 against the dollar, before rising again to trade slightly above the 35 mark throughout the day.

At 8 p.m. Moscow time the ruble was trading at 35.12 to the dollar. Against the euro the ruble was trading at 48.48, and the Russian currency was at 41.13 against the euro-dollar currency basket.

Behind the ruble's gain is the easing of tensions over the political situation in Ukraine, analysts said. Fears that Russia would send its military into eastern Ukraine have ebbed since the country's upper house of parliament approved the use of troops on March 1."

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Rosneft Says Joint LNG Plant Project With U.S. Partner ExxonMobile on Track | News | The Moscow Times

Rosneft Says Joint LNG Plant Project With U.S. Partner ExxonMobile on Track | News | The Moscow Times:

"Rosneft said Tuesday it was on track to start production at its first liquefied natural gas plant in the country's far east in 2018 to 2019, despite East-West tension over Ukraine.

The world's largest listed oil company by output signaled its partnership with U.S. ExxonMobil for building the plant — which will have an initial annual capacity of 5 million tons —would not be affected by the standoff.

"The project is fully targeting Asia-Pacific markets. At the moment, the project's implementation is going according to the plans that were announced," Rosneft head Igor Sechin, a long-standing ally of President Vladimir Putin, said in written replies to Reuters. 

"The launch is planned for 2018 to 2019," said the state-controlled company, almost 20 percent owned by British oil major BP."

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Credit ratings are weird, Crimea edition | FT Alphaville

Credit ratings are weird, Crimea edition | FT Alphaville:

"Ho ho Standard & Poor’s, very clever, but we saw right through your April Fool’s joke.

First, the parody of lifeless regulatory jargon here is just a little too carried away:

As defined in EU CRA Regulation 1060/2009 [EU CRA Regulation]), the ratings on Crimea are subject to certain publication restrictions set out in Art 8a of the EU CRA Regulation, including publication in accordance with a pre-established calendar (see “Calendar of 2014 Publication Dates for EMEA Sovereign, Regional, And Local Government Ratings,” Dec. 30, 2013, on RatingsDirect). Under the EU CRA Regulation, deviations from the announced calendar are allowed only in limited circumstances and must be accompanied by a detailed explanation of the reasons for the deviation. In this case, the deviation has been caused by Crimea’s failure to make a coupon payment on its outstanding UAH133 million bond."

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MIDEAST STOCKS-UAE, Qatar markets extend gains; Egypt rebounds | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-UAE, Qatar markets extend gains; Egypt rebounds | Reuters:

"* Qatar continues rally after record budget approval

* UAE stocks rise following Dubai World reassurances

* Investors make bets on Q1 results

* Egypt rebounds after three sessions of heavy profit-taking

* Small- and large-caps diverge in Kuwait

By Olzhas Auyezov

DUBAI, April 1 (Reuters) - Financial and property stocks lifted bourses in the United Arab Emirates and Qatar on Tuesday, while Egypt rebounded after three days of heavy profit-taking. 

Qatar's benchmark rose 1.8 percent to 11,849 points, extending a rally that begun this week after the government adopted a record $60 billion budget for the 2014/15 fiscal year.

The index, now at a four-week high, faces resistance at 11,900 points, the February peak.

Qatar National Bank and Islamic lender Masraf Al Rayan were among the top gainers, rising 2.9 and 3.2 percent respectively."

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Why UAE And Qatar Have The World's Best Airlines

Why UAE And Qatar Have The World's Best Airlines:

"On a business class flight from Rome to Boston, there is no leg rest. The seat does not recline all the way. There is no separation between the passengers.  The dinner is not bad, sort of like an Applebees. In the same class cabin on a trip from New York to Abu Dhabi, tiny lights illuminate the ceiling of an Etihad flight like stars. There’s a leg rest. The seat reclines flat.  The dinner is Spago’s.  My passport fell out of my front chest pocket while sleeping, wrapped in a thick blanket. A flight attendant proceeded to rip apart the entire seat until he found it, which he did, in about a minute. On a São Paulo bound Delta flight out of Boston in the rain, a missed connection means I’m sleeping on the floor in the airport because there’s no room at the local Inn. Fair comparison? Industry experts think so."

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EconoMonitor : EconoMonitor » The IMF and Ukraine #EuroMaidan

EconoMonitor : EconoMonitor » The IMF and Ukraine:

"The International Monetary Fund last week announced an agreement with Ukraine on a two year Stand-By Arrangement. The amount of money to be disbursed depends on how much other financial support the country will receive, but will total at least $14 billion. Whether or not this IMF program will be fully implemented (unlike the last two) depends on the government’s response to both the economic crisis and the external threat that Russia poses. There is also the interesting display of the use of the IMF by the U.S., the largest shareholder, to pursue its international strategic goals even though the U.S. Congress will not approve reforms in the IMF’s quota system."

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EconoMonitor : EconoMonitor » Emerging Markets or Emancipating Economies?

EconoMonitor : EconoMonitor » Emerging Markets or Emancipating Economies?:

"As for the so called emerging markets, not only should we not get too easily excited by this seemingly attractive concept, which, sadly, happens to too many economists but, on the contrary, we need to defy it. The term “emerging markets” was proposed not so much in relation to a society that allocates its resources as in reference to a very narrow category of financial markets in those economies. So it is a very objectifying approach: it’s not people that matter but their money. A neoliberal economist will probably even applaud it but somebody oriented towards a social market economy must oppose. Looking at countries that are trying to narrow the gap in development level, one needs to treat them as subjects and see the people while counting the money."

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Dubai may gain on Dubai World debt optimism - Al Arabiya News

Dubai may gain on Dubai World debt optimism - Al Arabiya News:

"Dubai’s bourse may rise after an executive at Dubai World, the conglomerate at the centre of the emirate’s 2009 debt crisis, told Reuters the firm was confident about its ability to make upcoming repayments.

Mohammed al-Shaibani, chief executive of sovereign wealth fund Investment Corp of Dubai, said Dubai World had the means to make its first big repayment, a $4.4 billion loan maturity in May 2015, and expected to pay off more of its debt ahead of schedule.

This would likely be good news for Dubai banks, especially Emirates NBD, which has major exposure. Dubai World creditors are to meet this week and a high-level delegation of Dubai executives and officials will visit London next week for a roadshow with international investors; a positive creditor meeting would help Dubai attract more foreign money."

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Emerging market equities and the state - YouTube

Emerging market equities and the state - YouTube: ""

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Russia's Gazprom announces big gas price rise for Ukraine - ENERGY #EuroMaidan

Russia's Gazprom announces big gas price rise for Ukraine - ENERGY:

"Russian natural gas producer Gazprom announced a more than 40 percent increase in the price Ukraine must pay for gas on Apr. 1, stepping up economic pressure on Kiev in its  political standoff with Moscow.

Ukraine will now have to pay $385.5 per 1,000 cubic metres of gas in the second quarter, an increase form $268.5 that was agreed in December, before the ouster of Ukraine's Moscow-backed  president and Russia's annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.

Gazprom's Chief Executive Officer, Alexei Miller, said the increase was needed because Ukraine's debt for unpaid gas bills now stood at $1.7 billion. "

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UAE stocks share in the first quarter but face IPO test in the second quarter | The National

UAE stocks share in the first quarter but face IPO test in the second quarter | The National:

"After a stellar first quarter for UAE stocks, traders and investors say that future initial public offerings will test the appetite for equity markets.

The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index jumped 14.0 per cent in the period ended yesterday to close at 4,894.42 points.

The Dubai Financial Market General Index surged 32.0 per cent over the same period to close at 4,451.00 points."

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Dubai's Emirates Airline the clear winner in Qantas partnership | The National

Dubai's Emirates Airline the clear winner in Qantas partnership | The National:

"A year ago yesterday, Emirates Airline and Australia’s Qantas launched their partnership with a breathtaking double-A380 fly-by over Sydney Harbour.

Unsurprisingly, Emirates is already a bigger winner in an alliance that resulted in a switch of the stopover for Qantas long-haul flights to Dubai from Singapore, helping to boost passenger traffic at Dubai International Airport by 11.7 per cent in February compared to a year earlier.

Government data last week also showed that Australasia was the fastest-growing market for passenger traffic at Dubai International, increasing by 30.5 per cent on the back of the tie-up."

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Damac plan for $500m sukuk seal of confidence in Dubai property market | The National

Damac plan for $500m sukuk seal of confidence in Dubai property market | The National:

"Damac is poised to benefit from Dubai’s property revival as the developer that offers free sports cars to luxury apartment buyers plans its first sale of Islamic bonds.

The company, which in January promised Lamborghinis, BMWs and Mini Coopers to lure home buyers, this week completes meetings in Singapore, the United Arab Emirates and London seeking to attract investors to its sukuk sale. Standard & Poor’s rated the proposed notes BB, two levels below investment grade, and expects a US$500 million issue."

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Majid Al Futtaim posts Dh1.9 billion in 2013 profit |

Majid Al Futtaim posts Dh1.9 billion in 2013 profit |

"Dubai-based Majid Al Futtaim (MAF) Holding recorded a profit of Dh1.9 billion in 2013 compared to Dh1.6 billion in 2012, the company said in a statement on Monday.

“2013 was a year of solid top line growth for the business,” stated Iyad Malas, MAF Holding’s Chief Executive Officer.

The company’s revenue reached Dh23 billion in 2013, up 10 per cent over 2012, while net profit from continuing operations declined 0.6 per cent to Dh1.9 billion.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) touched Dh3.3 billion, marking an 11 per cent increase over 2012.

Also, total assets reached more than Dh39 billion, while net debt touched Dh7 billion."

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Middle East investors keep snapping up trophy assets |

Middle East investors keep snapping up trophy assets |

"High net worth investors and institutions from the Middle East were generous in spreading their wealth across Europe’s commercial property in 2013-21 of the transactions valued at €100 million and over were conducted by them during the year.

Asian buyers, led by the Chinese, accounted for a further 22 such transactions, according to new figures released by the global consultancy CBRE, which also found that London topped the list of European investment destinations with €32.2 billion worth of commercial realty transactions. In all, European cities recorded €165.6 billion in commercial property deals last year.

The priciest deal was a £1.7 billion deal in London by St. Martins, owned by the Kuwaiti sovereign wealth fund (SWF). In fact, there was another deal valued at the same level, this one engaged in by Singapore’s SWF, GIC. Both transactions were done late last year."

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GCC economies vulnerable to emerging markets slowdown |

GCC economies vulnerable to emerging markets slowdown |

"The strong economic linkages that have been developed between Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and Asian emerging markets over the last decade makes the GCC vulnerable to economic slowdown in Asia, according to Standard & Poor’s economists.

During the last decade the trade relations between the GCC countries and Asia (excluding Japan), grew substantially at the expense of Europe, the US, and Japan. This is mainly because of the big surge in emerging Asian countries’ demand for oil.

“GCC exports of goods to the EU, the US, and Japan fell to less than 30 per cent in 2012 from 51 per cent in 1995. Meanwhile, Asia is now the GCC’s largest export destination, accounting for 57 per cent of total foreign sales,” said Sophie Tahiri, an economist at S&P."

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Record Natural Gas Need Keeps Bulls Betting on Advances: Energy - Bloomberg

Record Natural Gas Need Keeps Bulls Betting on Advances: Energy - Bloomberg:

"The cold snap in the Eastern U.S. persuaded hedge funds and other speculators to keep betting on rising natural gas prices, accumulating the most bullish position for this time of year since at least 2010.

The polar vortex that sent temperatures tumbling across the country in January boosted consumption by households and power plants to all-time highs. Waves of frigid weather through March pushed stockpiles to the lowest level in 11 years.

Almost 3 trillion cubic feet of gas will need to go into storage during the warm-weather months to cover winter demand, something that’s never been done before. Bank of America Corp. and BNP Paribas SA say stockpiles may rise to less than 3.5 trillion cubic feet by the end of October, about 300 billion short of last year’s high. It will take the record production forecast for this year to get there, said Francisco Blanch, commodities research head at Bank of America in New York."

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