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Thursday, 17 April 2014

Gulf states agree deal to end Qatar tensions | News , Middle East | THE DAILY STAR

Gulf states agree deal to end Qatar tensions | News , Middle East | THE DAILY STAR:



"JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia: Gulf foreign ministers on Thursday agreed on a deal to end months of unprecedented tension between Qatar and other members of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council, a statement said.



At an extraordinary meeting in Riyadh, the ministers agreed that the policies of GCC member states should not undermine the "interests, security and stability" of each other.



Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain recalled their ambassadors from Qatar last month, accusing it of meddling in their internal affairs and supporting the Muslim Brotherhood.



The other GCC member states are Kuwait and Oman."



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Sovereign and quasi-sovereign issuers drive global primary sukuk market in first quarter - bi-me.com

Sovereign and quasi-sovereign issuers drive global primary sukuk market in first quarter - Business Intelligence Middle East - bi-me.com - News, analysis, reports:



"According to a newly released report “Global Sukuk Report 1Q2014” by Kuwait Finance House Research Limited (KFHR), the global sukuk market saw a modest volume of USD31.14bln in new sukuk issuances in 1Q2014.



This volume represents a drop of 15.2% as compared to the USD36.73bln in issuances during 4Q13 and 9.82% short of the USD34.53bln worth of issuances in 1Q13.



The drop in issuance volume stems from a noteworthy slowdown in the GCC sukuk issuances in 1Q14, particularly in the month of March when the only GCC sukuks issued were the short-term liquidity management sukuks by the Central Bank of Bahrain. The volume of sukuk issuances in the GCC fell by 12.5% in 1Q14 as compared to the volume in 1Q13."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Qatar touches 8-year high, Ahli United Bank boosts Bahrain | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Qatar touches 8-year high, Ahli United Bank boosts Bahrain | Reuters:



"* Qatar index stops at major chart barrier on 2008 peak



* Rumours of potential large investments lift Islamic banks



* Dubai, Abu Dhabi rise but remain below this month's peaks



* Ahli United Bank lifts Bahrain's bourse on merger talk



* Saudi's Dar Al Arkan gains after Q1 results beat estimates



By Olzhas Auyezov

DUBAI, April 17 (Reuters) - Qatar's bourse continued to outperform the region on Thursday but failed to break through major technical resistance. Ahli United Bank lifted Bahrain's stock market on news it might be sold or merge.



The Doha bourse closed up 0.8 percent at 12,551 points, retreating from an intra-day peak of 12,679 points, the highest level since September 2005. It faces chart resistance at 12,637 points, its 2008 peak. 




Islamic lenders contributed most to the increase: Masraf Al Rayan rose 5.8 percent, Qatar International Islamic Bank added 3.1 percent and Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB) gained 2.7 percent.



The shares rose on speculation that Ezdan Holding Group might look to buy stakes in more sharia-compliant businesses, a fund manager investing in Qatar said."



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Russia had revenues of $191-$194 bln from oil, $28 bln from gas in 2013 - Putin | Russia Beyond The Headlines

Russia had revenues of $191-$194 bln from oil, $28 bln from gas in 2013 - Putin | Russia Beyond The Headlines:



"Russia's budget had revenues of $191-$194 billion from oil and $28 billion from gas in 2013, Russian President Vladimir Putin said during his hotline on Thursday.



"This is a significant part of Russia's budget revenues," he said.



Putin said main revenues in this sector come from oil, not gas. "Last year, revenues from oil were $191-$194 billion; revenues from gas - around $28 billion. Do you feel the difference?" he said.



The drop in oil prices from $90 to $85 per barrel is not critical for the Russian economy, Putin said.



Russian President Vladimir Putin said he thought the European Union would not be able to stop buying Russian gas."



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Qatar and Turkey, new business allies - ERSU ABLAK

Qatar and Turkey, new business allies - ERSU ABLAK:



"Last week I wasn’t able to write an article as I was attending the Turkish Festival in Doha. Qatar has been on my radar ever since Pozitron (now a part of Monitise) opened an office there.



Ever since Middle Eastern countries began their transformation, Dubai has been the first city that comes to mind, but I was curious to see whether Doha could replace Dubai, and after seeing the city, I can safely say that in the coming years, Doha will present a strong challenge to Dubai in terms of attracting foreign talent and investments.



The Turkish Festival organized by the Katara Cultural Village Foundation and supported by Turkish Ambassador to Doha Ahmet Demirok was held between April 9 and 12 in Doha. Qataris showed great interest in the festival, the biggest Turkish festival organized in the region. The festival is slated to be held every year as an annual event.



Traditional and modern Turkish art pieces were exhibited and special shows were held during the festival, which aims to promote Turkish culture in the region."



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Abu Dhabi's Mubadala 2013 profit jumps on financial investments | Reuters

Abu Dhabi's Mubadala 2013 profit jumps on financial investments | Reuters:



"Mubadala, the Abu Dhabi state-owned investment fund with a mandate to develop the emirate's economy, said on Thursday its 2013 net profit tripled as it benefited from a strong performance by its financial investments.



Mubadala, which has stakes in General Electric and private equity firm Carlyle, made a profit attributable to equity owners for 2013 of 1.45 billion dirhams ($395 million) compared with 470 million dirhams in the previous year, according to its financial statement.



Total comprehensive income, which comprises all forms of income, jumped to 5.3 billion dirhams in 2013 from 1.6 billion dirhams in the previous year, which the fund attributed to growth in its financial investments."



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Babbage: Is big data bullshit? - YouTube

Babbage: Is big data bullshit? - YouTube: ""



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‘In banking, go big or go home’, says ADIB chief behind turnaround | The National

‘In banking, go big or go home’, says ADIB chief behind turnaround | The National:



"

When Tirad Al Mahmoud was offered the post of chief executive of Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank in 2007, Sharia-compliant lenders had the reputation of being more ethical than their conventional counterparts but lagging behind in customer service. A veteran Citibank executive, Mr Al Mahmoud saw the challenge as too good to pass up.



“I saw that opportunity at ADIB and I said, “wow I could do this here and dramatically enhance the bank’s performance,” Mr Al Mahmoud told The National in an exclusive interview. “When I came here, we ranked number 23 in terms of service in a survey that was done for 24 banks. And number 24 was a bank that had been in the country for six months only. So basically we were the worst bank in service. Today we are the best customer service bank three years running across all banks.”"



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NBF Capital sets up shop in DIFC | The National

NBF Capital sets up shop in DIFC | The National:



"The National Bank of Fujairah’s (NBF) financial advisory service arm has opened an office in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). NBF Capital is seeking to fill a gap left by international investment banks that have reduced their presence there in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.



“We have always wanted to carve a niche as a bespoke service for companies seeking to grow in the local marketplace and serve as a credible alternative to the multinational investment banks and consultancy firms that predominate the financial advisory space,” PB Das, a senior executive of NBF Capital, said in a statement.



“Our progress in this short span of time certainly shows that we are on the right track.”"



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140 new hotels to open in Dubai by 2016 | GulfNews.com

140 new hotels to open in Dubai by 2016 | GulfNews.com:



"The hotel development pipeline in the Middle East and Africa includes 573 hotels with 137,193 rooms as of March this year, according to the latest report by STR Global, a hotel research firm.



This year is expected to see the opening of 125 hotels with 27,775 rooms, as per the report. The unaffiliated segment is likely to add 7,803 rooms in 30 hotels, followed by the upper upscale segment (6,559 rooms) and the luxury segment (5,980 rooms), as per the firm’s estimates.



STR Global forecasts 130 hotels with 32,142 rooms to open by next year. The majority of the rooms is likely to be in the upper upscale segment (12,507 rooms), followed by the upscale segment (7,689 rooms) and the luxury segment (4,575 rooms)."



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UAE inflation hits highest level since 2010 | GulfNews.com

UAE inflation hits highest level since 2010 | GulfNews.com:



"The annual inflation in the UAE climbed to 1.9 per cent in March from 1.8 per cent in February, the highest level since October 2010, according to the data released by National Bureau of Statistics on Wednesday.



Inflation statistics for Dubai showed the consumer price in the emirate was 3 per cent in March. On a month-on-month basis, Dubai’s inflation declined -0.4 per cent in March from 3.4 per cent in February. For the first quarter of 2014, inflation rate in Dubai rose to 2.59 per cent compared to 0.13 per cent in the same period of 2013.



Housing cost was the key driver of consumer inflation in the UAE. At the national level, housing and utility costs, which account for over 39 per cent of consumer expenses, rose 2.4 per cent from a year earlier in March. Food and soft drink prices, representing nearly 14 per cent of the basket, increased 2 per cent."



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Russia Sees Euro, Dollar Investments at Risk in Ukraine Backlash - Bloomberg

Russia Sees Euro, Dollar Investments at Risk in Ukraine Backlash - Bloomberg:



"Sanctions over Ukraine may threaten Russia’s investments in assets denominated in euros and U.S. dollars, Economy Minister Alexei Ulyukayev said, urging the use of the nation’s wealth funds for domestic projects.



“We should now very attentively study the risks of investing into dollar and euro securities, given the geopolitical situation we have right now,” Ulyukayev told lawmakers in Moscow today when questioned on whether returns on foreign securities are too low.



U.S. and European sanctions triggered by President Vladimir Putin’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine last month stoked capital outflows and raised the specter of a recession as economic growth stumbled to a four-year low. With tensions escalating in the worst standoff since the Cold War, the U.S. and its European allies are threatening a new round of penalties against Russian interests if the crisis continues."



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Forcing Russia Out of Markets Seen as Ukraine Leverage - Bloomberg

Forcing Russia Out of Markets Seen as Ukraine Leverage - Bloomberg:



"Forcing Russia out of global financial markets is the strongest tool at U.S. President Barack Obama’s disposal if he wants to stop Vladimir Putin’s territorial ambitions, according to former government officials and sanctions specialists.



Secretary of State John Kerry is meeting with Russian, Ukrainian and European Union officials in Geneva today to discuss the situation in eastern Ukraine.



An administration official warned yesterday that if the talks fail, the U.S. is ready to take further steps, targeting people in the Russian president’s inner circle and entities they oversee. Industry-specific sanctions are also an option, according to the official, who spoke about private talks on condition of anonymity. Experts say these may produce more significant results."



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Morocco’s OCP Raises $1.55 Billion in Debut Sale of Bonds - Bloomberg

Morocco’s OCP Raises $1.55 Billion in Debut Sale of Bonds - Bloomberg:



"OCP Group, which controls the world’s largest phosphate reserves, raised $1.55 billion in its debut international bond sale to help finance a $17 billion investment plan.



State-controlled OCP, based in Casablanca, sold $1.25 billion of 10-year bonds yesterday to yield 5.75 percent, or about 3.1 percentage points more than similar-maturity U.S. Treasuries, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. OCP also issued $300 million of 30-year debt to yield 7.375 percent, or 3.9 percentage points more than Treasuries.



OCP, the world’s biggest phosphate exporter, said in October it would invest 140 billion dirhams ($17 billion) to increase its market share of fertilizers to 40 percent by 2020. Its market share currently stands at 21 percent, OCP Chairman Mostafa Terrab told Le Matin newspaper last week."



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