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Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Will Ukraine crisis derail Russia's southern gas pipeline? - CSMonitor.com #EuroMaidan

Will Ukraine crisis derail Russia's southern gas pipeline? - CSMonitor.com:



"When completed, the South Stream pipeline will run from Russia, underneath the Black Sea to Bulgaria, and on to Western Europe. It will carry Russian natural gas to Europe while bypassing Russia’s neighbor Ukraine. Russia clearly finds this pipeline to be strategically important – the Kremlin would be able to operate with greater freedom when using natural gas to bully Ukraine, and it wouldn’t have to worry about angering its large customer base in Western Europe. However, the project is very much in doubt as the standoff between Russia and Ukraine has escalated once again."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Most Gulf mkts rise, China worries weigh on Saudi petchems | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Most Gulf mkts rise, China worries weigh on Saudi petchems | Reuters:



"* Saudi Alinma Bank drops after publishing Q1 results



* Saudi petrochemicals also edge down



* Some investors concerned about dependence on China -analyst



* Qatar National Bank rises before Q1 profit matches estimates



* Bank, construction stocks lift UAE bourses



By Olzhas Auyezov

DUBAI, April 9 (Reuters) - Banks and petrochemical stocks weighed on Saudi Arabia's bourse on Wednesday, in contrast to other Gulf markets where Qatar led regional gains.



The Saudi index slipped 0.2 percent to 9,543 points, despite recording its highest trading volume in two years.



Alinma Bank spearheaded turnover, dropping 2.1 percent after reporting its first-quarter results. Alinma's profit rose 33 percent to 293 million riyals ($78.13 million).



Petrochemicals were also in retreat. Saudi Kayan Petrochemical Co dropped 2.7 percent and Rabigh Refining and Petrochemical fell 2.2 percent."



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Live chart: Russian dolls - YouTube

Live chart: Russian dolls - YouTube: ""



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Can Dubai Become The Capital Of The Islamic Economy? » Gulf Business

Can Dubai Become The Capital Of The Islamic Economy? » Gulf Business:



"Marketing expert Prof Laurent Marliere considers challenges to make Dubai the hub of the emerging Islamic economy.



By Laurent Marliere



What is an Islamic economy?



An Islamic economy is a segment of the global economy, which focuses on Islamic consumers, regardless of location. The fact that large forums like the World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF) hold their annual gatherings in non-Muslim countries is evidence that the Islamic economy is a worldwide phenomenon. In Asia, people tend to refer to the ‘halal industry’ to describe the Islamic economy."



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REVIEW: Russian Banks Stick with Visa and MasterCard While Seeking Alternatives | Business | RIA Novosti

REVIEW: Russian Banks Stick with Visa and MasterCard While Seeking Alternatives | Business | RIA Novosti:



"MOSCOW, April 9 (RIA Novosti), Nikita Alentyev – Russian banks are reluctant to immediately divorce themselves from the Visa and MasterCard payment systems, but many are already looking into domestic and Asian alternatives.



Russian banks welcomed plans to establish a national card payment processing system, following the recent Ukraine-related sanctions that saw several Russian banks denied services by Visa and MasterCard. The move alarmed the general public and raised concerns about the security of the country’s financial system.



The current legal definition of a national payment system as a countrywide aggregate of payment agents and operations is too broad. A draft law offering a closed-loop for payment infrastructure and information has been submitted to the Russian parliament in light of the card service disruptions initiated by the West."



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How low can rates go? - YouTube

How low can rates go? - YouTube: ""



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Dubai airport must double up on runway use, says UAE aviation chief | The National

Dubai airport must double up on runway use, says UAE aviation chief | The National:



"Dubai International Airport will need to find a way to use both of its runways simultaneously if it is to avoid exceeding its capacity as traffic grows rapidly over the next few years, according to the UAE’s aviation chief.



“Dubai airport has some limitations on the number of planes coming within one hour, this causes the traffic in the air,” said Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi, director general, General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) at the Global Aerospace Summit in the capital.



“If they manage to solve the runway capacity there [they] won’t have a problem — to be able to utilise both runways simultaneously at the same time, because right now they cannot do it.”"



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Nasdaq Dubai chief in pole position on Islamic finance | The National

Nasdaq Dubai chief in pole position on Islamic finance | The National:



"The business of Nasdaq Dubai is business. After a period when little seemed to be happening at Dubai’s international exchange, it has suddenly become a blur of activity.



Hamed Ali, the exchange’s chief executive, is pleased at that. “Nasdaq Dubai was very quiet for a while, but now we have activity and potential. We’ve been very busy, but more important we’ve been successful at what we’ve been doing. That’s very important.”



Alongside the strong revival in the emirate’s economy, Nasdaq Dubai is at last showing signs of fulfilling the potential envisioned when it was set up nine years ago."



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New UAE investment law to boost GDP | GulfNews.com

New UAE investment law to boost GDP | GulfNews.com:



"The upcoming release of UAE Investment Law by the end of this year is expected to boost the UAE’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) between three to four per cent, according to Sultan Al Mansouri, UAE Minister of Economy.



On the sidelines of the Annual Investment Meeting 2014, Al Mansouri told Gulf News that the new law will enhance the overall investment and business environment across the UAE.



“Major changes have been made in the new version of the Investment Law which will help the UAE markets become more favourable for foreign investments in most non-oil sectors, especially tourism, real estate and financial sectors,” Al Mansouri said."



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Dubai’s Limitless asks creditors for more time to repay $1.2b debt | GulfNews.com

Dubai’s Limitless asks creditors for more time to repay $1.2b debt | GulfNews.com:



"Property firm Limitless is asking creditors for more time to repay a $1.2 billion debt facility, its chairman said on Tuesday.



“We are revising our business plan. We need some more time. We are in discussion with banks and they are very cooperative,” Ali Rashid Lootah told Reuters.



“We have been talking to the banks for a while now and they know the situation. There will be delays. We have a payment plan but this may just be shifted slightly from the earlier schedule.”



While Lootah wouldn’t elaborate on why the company was seeking a new repayment timetable, he said it was “still healthy and still in good shape”."



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Emerging-Market Stocks Rise to Four-Month High on China - Bloomberg

Emerging-Market Stocks Rise to Four-Month High on China - Bloomberg:



"Emerging-market stocks rose to a four-month high on speculation China will take further steps to bolster growth. South Africa’s rand erased its 2014 decline.



The MSCI Emerging Markets Index added 0.7 percent to 1,011.49, increasing for a third day. The Shanghai Composite Index climbed to a six-week high as China Petroleum & Chemical Corp., Asia’s largest refiner, jumped 2 percent. Brazil’s Ibovespa (IBOV) reversed an earlier advance as state-controlled oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA sank. The rand paced gains among 20 out of 24 developing-nation currencies tracked by Bloomberg.



All 10 industries in the gauge for emerging-market stocks rose, led by consumer and financial shares. The Chinese government outlined a package of measures to support the expansion last week after easing funding restrictions for financial companies earlier this year. Premier Li Keqiang is under pressure to address weakening economic growth amid concern the nation will miss its 7.5 percent target for this year."



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Libyan Rebels Holding Key to Brent Crude Curve - Bloomberg

Libyan Rebels Holding Key to Brent Crude Curve - Bloomberg:



"

Armed militias have blocked exports from several oil terminals in Libya, once North Africa’s biggest producer, since July. The structure of Brent crude futures, used to price at least half the world’s supplies, is also in their hands. 




Rebels seeking self-rule for Libya’s eastern regions agreed to surrender two oil ports to the government on April 6. The two remaining export facilities they control will be handed over in two to four weeks, according to the country’s government. Speculation last week that such a deal was brewing flipped the front-month Brent contract in London into a discount to the second month for the first time since November. Whether this price structure, known as contango, is sustained depends on whether the deal in Libya holds.



The CHART OF THE DAY shows that the last extended period of contango in Brent ended with the uprising against former Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi in early 2011, which removed about 1.6 million barrels a day of oil from the market. Recoveries in the country’s supplies have corresponded to moves back into contango. Conversely, the premium on immediate deliveries, called backwardation, has climbed when Libyan output has faltered."



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IMF Raises U.A.E. GDP Forecast After Property Boom, Expo 2020 - Bloomberg

IMF Raises U.A.E. GDP Forecast After Property Boom, Expo 2020 - Bloomberg:



"The International Monetary Fund increased its growth forecast for the United Arab Emirates, citing rising real estate prices and Dubai’s World Expo 2020 win.



The Washington-based IMF said the U.A.E. is set to grow 4.4 percent this year, compared with an estimate of 3.9 percent in October. With real estate prices rising at a fast pace “the award of World Expo 2020 has further strengthened growth prospects,” the fund said in its World Economic Outlook released today.



Real estate prices in Dubai climbed 33 percent in the first quarter of this year from the same period in 2013, according to Jones Lang LaSalle. Dubai, whose economy is forecast to expand about 4.7 percent this year, won the bid to host Expo 2020 in November. The Arab world’s second-biggest economy expanded 4.8 percent last year, according to IMF data."



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