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Thursday, 10 April 2014

MIDEAST STOCKS-Abu Dhabi hits 8-yr high as investors chase MSCI index picks | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Abu Dhabi hits 8-yr high as investors chase MSCI index picks | Reuters:



"* Three banks, property developer Aldar lift Abu Dhabi



* Dubai, Qatar bourses also rise



* QNB pulls back from chart barrier after Q1 earnings



* Saudi Arabia's Sipchem falls after weak Q1



* Egypts extends recovery from profit-taking bout



By Olzhas Auyezov

DUBAI, April 10 (Reuters) - Abu Dhabi's bourse rose to its highest level in eight years on Thursday, largely on the back of four stocks that look likely to be included in the MSCI emerging markets index.



Most other markets in the region also gained, but several weak first-quarter earnings reports and other negative news dragged down Saudi Arabia's stock market.



Abu Dhabi's index rose 2.0 percent to 5,172 points, surpassing its 2008 peak of 5,159 points and reaching its highest level since January 2006. If the break is confirmed next week, there will be no major technical resistance left before the record high of 6,238 hit in 2005.



First Gulf Bank rose 3.8 percent, National Bank of Abu Dhabi climbed 3.5 percent, Aldar Properties was up 3.3 percent and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank added 1.9 percent."



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Dr. Michael Hasenstab in Kiev, Ukraine - YouTube #EuroMaidan

Dr. Michael Hasenstab in Kiev, Ukraine - YouTube: ""



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Ukraine’s Eurobonds Snap Decline as Templeton Praises Government - Bloomberg #EuroMaidan

Ukraine’s Eurobonds Snap Decline as Templeton Praises Government - Bloomberg:



"Ukraine’s dollar debt due in 2023 gained for the first time in four days after Franklin Resources Inc., the biggest holder of the notes, said it was encouraged by the government’s policies to deal with an economic crisis.



The yield on bonds due April 2023 fell seven basis points to 9.47 percent by 12 p.m. in Kiev, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Sovereign debt maturing June 4 rose 0.61 cents to 97.53 cents on the dollar. 




Franklin Templeton Investments (BEN) boosted holdings of Ukrainian bonds in the fourth quarter even as the nation faced insolvency and civil unrest, leading to the installation of a new government in February. While Ukraine remains at the center of the biggest confrontation between Russia and the U.S. since the Cold War, Templeton is focusing on its “long-term potential” and the “encouraging” measures of the new administration, the fund manager said on its website yesterday."



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Iran Investment Monthly - Vol 8, No 90 - Mar 14.pdf

Iran Investment Monthly - Vol 8, No 90 - Mar 14.pdf:





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Dubai Grows as a Tea Trading Hub, But Innovation Lags - Middle East Real Time - WSJ

Dubai Grows as a Tea Trading Hub, But Innovation Lags - Middle East Real Time - WSJ:



"Imports and exports of tea through Dubai doubled last year to 129,000 tons, by the reckoning of the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre, further solidifying the emirate’s reputation as an important point of transit and processing for the aromatic leaves.



Tea producers say they’re using Dubai as a place to gather leaves from Africa to the west and Asia to the east before blending, packaging, shipping and marketing them elsewhere. The DMCC has a tea center with facilities for them, while Dubai offers tax-free living and air connections to most of the world’s major cities.



While DMCC statistics saying Dubai was responsible for 60% of the world’s tea re-exports seemed “a bit high,” Christian Dinkler of Germany’s Martin Bauer Group, a teas and botanicals company, said the emirate was a logical place for tea-industry players to set up given its geographical position and ease of doing business.



“They have a perfect setup here,” he said."



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EconoMonitor : Ed Dolan's Econ Blog » Ukraine or Russia? How Would Economic Factors Influence a Vote? #EuroMaidan

EconoMonitor : Ed Dolan's Econ Blog » Ukraine or Russia? How Would Economic Factors Influence a Vote?:



"Last month residents of Crimea voted to secede from Ukraine and join the Russian Federation. Although many in the West have questioned the freedom and fairness of the referendum, which was held in the intimidating presence of Russian troops, no one doubts that many Crimean residents did have a true preference for the Russian option. Historical, linguistic, and cultural considerations were presumably decisive for many voters, but according to reports, economic factors also played a role.



By conventional indicators, Russia is a much wealthier country than Ukraine. According to the latest data from the IMF, Russia’s per capita GDP, measured at purchasing power parity, was $17,884 in 2013. That is nearly two-and-a-half times higher than the $7,423 per capita for Ukraine. Russian wages and pensions are correspondingly higher. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev made a point of flying to Crimea soon after the vote to announce in person the decision to raise pensions and wages for government employees to Russian standards."



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Qatar, UAE banks show strongest growth in Gulf | Economy | Saudi Gazette

Qatar, UAE banks show strongest growth in Gulf | Economy | Saudi Gazette:



"The banking industry in the Middle East returned to double digit revenue growth in 2013 with a 10.7 percent increase, stemming largely from international acquisitions, a new study by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) said.



Based on the banks’ 2013 annual results released in the first quarter of 2014, the newest study is part of BCG’s annual banking performance indices measuring the development of banking revenues (operating income) and profits for leading Middle East banks.



BCG launched the first edition of the banking performance index in the Middle East in April 2009, creating a customized index specifically for the regional banking markets, with 2005 revenues and profits as starting benchmarks. The index covers the largest banks in Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and in the UAE."



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UK housing's bust without a boom - YouTube

UK housing's bust without a boom - YouTube: ""



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Dubai rent rises ‘unsustainable’ as first quarter figures revealed | The National

Dubai rent rises ‘unsustainable’ as first quarter figures revealed | The National:



"The cost of renting in the UAE is rising by “unsustainable” levels pushing residents to move out to cheaper locations, property brokers say.



Average annual apartment rents for new tenants in Dubai increased by 5 per cent over the three months to the end of March, while villa rents rose 3 per cent, Asteco reported yesterday.



It said that at International City on the outskirts of Dubai there were some of the biggest rent rises, with average rents up by 11 per cent during the first quarter of 2014 to Dh50,000 for a one-bedroom flat – equating to an 80 per cent increase over the year."



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Three-way split with restructuring at Dubai Properties Group | The National

Three-way split with restructuring at Dubai Properties Group | The National:



"Dubai Properties Group (DPG), the developer behind Business Bay, is restructuring its business into three main units.



DPG will become a holding company under the new structure, with three businesses focused on property development, leasing and facilities management.



It is the latest move by a major Dubai developer to reorganise its business to better tap an industry-wide rebound.



“We are confident that this strategy will give DPG the flexibility to take advantage of the market opportunities,” said the chairman Abdulla Al Shamsi."



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N.Y. court dismisses claims over Saudi billionaire’s alleged fraud | GulfNews.com

N.Y. court dismisses claims over Saudi billionaire’s alleged fraud | GulfNews.com:



"New York’s highest state court has ruled that a lawsuit by the Al Gosaibi family conglomerate, claiming that a Saudi billionaire who married into the family committed a $150 million (Dh550 million) fraud, should be heard in Saudi Arabia.



In the lawsuit, Ahmed Hamad Algosaibi & Brothers Co claimed that Maan Al Sanea, the billionaire head of the Saad Group, used its accounts with Mashreq to commit fraudulent foreign exchange trades executed in New York.



The suit is part of a global legal battle in which the Al Gosaibi family claims that Al Sanea, who married into the family 30 years ago, defrauded it of billions of dollars after he was put in charge of its financial businesses.



Al Sanea and the Saad Group have denied wrongdoing."



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Putin Threatens Ukraine’s Imports to Turn Economic Screw - Bloomberg #EuroMaidan

Putin Threatens Ukraine’s Imports to Turn Economic Screw - Bloomberg:



"President Vladimir Putin told his government to develop plans to replace imports from Ukraine and said Russia can’t subsidize its neighbor permanently, increasing economic pressure as the government in Kiev battles separatists.



Russia “continues to provide economic support and subsidize Ukraine’s economy with hundreds of millions and billions of dollars,” Putin told a cabinet meeting outside Moscow yesterday. “This situation, of course, can’t go on forever.”



Putin urged talks before possibly requiring Ukraine to make advance payments for natural gas, and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said the country owes Russia $16.6 billion in energy debts. Ukraine’s government, which is trying to accelerate approval for an international bailout, said yesterday it may use force to remove pro-Russian activists from official buildings in the east."



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Etihad’s Hogan Weighs Alitalia Deal to Cap Empire - Bloomberg

Etihad’s Hogan Weighs Alitalia Deal to Cap Empire - Bloomberg:



"From Serbia to the Seychelles, Etihad Airways Chief James Hogan is being greeted as a savior for his willingness to bail out cash-strapped carriers.



Since 2011 the Australian has acquired stakes in seven companies spanning Aer Lingus on Europe’s western fringe to Virgin Australia (VAH) Holdings Ltd. on the shores of the Pacific, feeding more traffic via Abu Dhabi, Etihad’s desert hub with a population of less than 1 million. His next move may be the boldest yet: Alitalia SpA, a carrier dogged by bloated payrolls, state meddling and chronic losses.



Hogan’s investment in a clutch of ailing airlines over which he has limited control comes a decade after a similar strategy led to the collapse of Swissair and as top industry players eschew partial holdings in favor of global alliances. What sets Etihad apart is funding from an oil-rich state eager to match the growth of Qatar Airways Ltd. and Emirates, the No. 1 international carrier based less than 100 miles away in Dubai."



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