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Friday, 18 April 2014

Shell tells Putin gas project not derailed by Ukraine — RT Business

Royal Dutch Shell’s new CEO Ben Van Beurden met with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday, signaling Ukraine tension has not affected investment in Russia, and that energy contracts won't be derailed by international politics.
Chief executive Van Beurden met with the president at his residence outside of Moscow and reaffirmed the company’s commitment to develop Russia’s only liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant with Gazprom.
"We also know that this is going to be a project that will need strong support to succeed. So one of my purposes of meeting with you, Mr. President, is to also secure support for the way forward on this project," Van Beurden said.

Qatar’s LNG dominance challenged - The Washington Post

Qatar’s LNG dominance challenged - The Washington Post:



"

Fadi Al-Assaad/Reuters - The diplomatic area of Qatar’s capital, Doha. Liquid natural gas has helped make Qatar the richest nation in the world, with a per capita income for its citizens of $101,000 in 2012, according to International Monetary Fund data.
Blazing gas flares 230 feet into the night sky above Qatar’s Ras Laffan Industrial City. The 183-square-mile complex houses the world’s largest assemblage of liquefied natural gas plants and its biggest port for LNG exports. Ras Laffan chills to a fluid more gas in a year than Canada consumes. It then ships it to run electric plants and warm homes from Tokyo to Buenos Aires. The gas facilities within its grounds produce almost a third of the world’s LNG exports.



The government takes every precaution against sabotage. Entry to the Industrial City for those who don’t work there is severely restricted; photography inside the facility is forbidden. Ras Laffan makes Qatar the richest nation in the world, with a per capita income for its citizens of $101,000 in 2012, according to International Monetary Fund data."



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Opinion: Putin’s Next Hunting Ground « ASHARQ AL-AWSAT

Opinion: Putin’s Next Hunting Ground « ASHARQ AL-AWSAT:



"Having flexed his muscles in Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin is preparing to mark out the Caspian Basin as another zone of influence for Moscow. Next week, foreign ministers of the five littoral states—Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Iran and Azerbaijan—are scheduled to establish an agenda for a summit in Moscow in September.



With estimated oil reserves of 28 billion barrels (compared to the North Sea’s 16 billion barrels), the Caspian Basin is the world’s largest known oilfield after the Gulf. Anxious to reduce its dependence on oil from OPEC, Washington has been interested in the Caspian since the 1990s. In 2002 a “working paper” prepared for the administration of President George W. Bush even identified Russia as a “strategic partner” for the US in managing global energy supplies."



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Vimpelcom resolves Algeria row with $2.6 bn stake sale « ASHARQ AL-AWSAT

Vimpelcom resolves Algeria row with $2.6 bn stake sale « ASHARQ AL-AWSAT:



"Russia’s Vimpelcom has resolved a long-running dispute with the Algerian government by selling it a majority stake in the country’s biggest telecoms operator for 2.6 billion US dollars, while it will keep control and slash debt.



Orascom Telecom Algeria, also known as Djezzy, is a prized asset, which Vimpelcom bought in 2010 from Egyptian tycoon Naguib Sawiris as part of a more than 6 billion-dollar deal as it aimed to diversify outside of Russia.



Algeria that year made moves to nationalize Djezzy, hitting the business with back tax claims and restrictions on imports and foreign exchange transactions, creating uncertainty that has weighed on Vimpelcom’s shares.



On Friday, Russia’s third-largest mobile operator said that Global Telecom Holding (GTH), its 51.9 percent-owned subsidiary, had signed an agreement to sell a 51 percent stake in Djezzy to the Algerian National Investment Fund (FNI) for 2.6 billion dollars."



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GlobalFoundries partners with Samsung to produce next-generation chips for smartphones | The National

GlobalFoundries partners with Samsung to produce next-generation chips for smartphones | The National:



"An Abu Dhabi-owned chip maker will produce the fastest, most energy efficient, semiconductors, that will enable the next generation of mobile devices, after a deal with Samsung.



GlobalFoundries, wholly owned by Mubadala’s Advanced Technology Investment Company, and the Korean smartphone and TV manufacturer yesterday announced a partnership to mass produce the chips by the end of year. 




The process, developed by Samsung and licensed to GlobalFoundries, utilises a three-dimensional design and results in chips that are 20 per cent faster, 35 per cent more efficient and 15 per cent smaller than those produced with the current industry standard “20nm planar” platform."



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Etihad toughens stance on Alitalia deal but talks continue-sources | GulfNews.com

Etihad toughens stance on Alitalia deal but talks continue-sources | GulfNews.com:



"Etihad Airways has toughened its stance on conditions for investing in Italy’s struggling Alitalia airline but talks are continuing, sources said on Thursday.



“The position of the Arab group has hardened, some problems have been more markedly underlined than before,” a source close to the matter said.



But a government source said developments could be overcome.



“The government is counting on finding a solution,” the source said.



Italian daily Il Messaggero reported on Thursday that a deal between the two airlines was off since the conditions were not in place."



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Asian Shares Advance on Ukraine as Won Strengthens - Bloomberg

Asian Shares Advance on Ukraine as Won Strengthens - Bloomberg:



"Asian stocks (SHCOMP) climbed, with the Topix index set for its biggest weekly advance this month, amid easing tension in Ukraine. South Korea’s won rose, while credit risk in Japan fell and rubber dropped to the lowest since 2012.



The MSCI Asia Pacific Index added 0.3 percent to 139.10 at 3:20 p.m. in Tokyo as the Topix rose 0.6 percent. South Korea’s Kospi Index increased 0.6 percent. The won appreciated 0.1 percent while the yen was little changed. Rubber futures declined 3.9 percent in Tokyo. Financial markets in the U.S., U.K., Germany, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand are among those that are closed for a holiday.



Four-way talks on the crisis in Ukraine ended with an accord aimed at taking the first steps toward de-escalating the conflict after President Vladimir Putin said he hopes he won’t have to send in troops. New home prices in China rose in 56 of 70 cities last month, statistics bureau data showed. U.S. jobless claims increased less than forecast yesterday, signaling the world’s largest economy is holding up and adding to speculation the Federal Reserve will pare stimulus this year."



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Abu Dhabi’s Taqa Arranges Samurai Loan in Step to Bond Refinance - Bloomberg

Abu Dhabi’s Taqa Arranges Samurai Loan in Step to Bond Refinance - Bloomberg:



"Abu Dhabi National Energy Co. took a $200 million yen-denominated loan as it makes its first step to repaying a bond due this year.



Taqa, as the state-owned power producer is known, will pay 60 basis points over the London Interbank Offered Rate for yen for the five-year loan, it said in a statement today to the Abu Dhabi stock exchange. The so-called samurai loan, of 20.4 billion yen, was arranged by Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd. and swapped into U.S. dollars.



“This is the first part of our 2014 refinancing operation,” Chief Financial Officer Stephen Kersley said in the statement. “The Samurai loan brings in a new pool of liquidity at extremely competitive rates.”"



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Goldman Sachs to Seek Early Dismissal of Libya Wealth Fund Suit - Bloomberg

Goldman Sachs to Seek Early Dismissal of Libya Wealth Fund Suit - Bloomberg:



"Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) will seek to have a $1 billion lawsuit by the Libyan Investment Authority thrown out before trial.



The bank will ask a London judge to decide whether the case has a realistic chance of success and issue a so-called summary judgment, according to court documents released this week. Libya’s sovereign wealth fund says Goldman made about $350 million selling investments that turned out to be worthless.



The LIA said in a statement it “considers this application to be misconceived and looks forward to full and proper determination of all issues by the English court.”



Libya’s sovereign wealth fund is one of dozens of small companies and government agencies that have sued lenders over deals the investors claim were too complicated to understand. It also sued Societe Generale SA (GLE) in a $1.5 billion lawsuit, saying that the French bank paid about $58 million to a friend of the Qaddafi family to secure investments."



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