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Friday, 25 April 2014

First Dubai IPO in five years sees surge of interest as economy booms | Reuters

First Dubai IPO in five years sees surge of interest as economy booms | Reuters:

"The first initial public offer of shares on Dubai's main stock market for five years was 36 times subscribed, a sign of massive interest in equities among retail investors as the emirate's economy booms. 

Investors subscribed 10 billion dirhams ($2.7 billion) to the fixed offer of 275 million shares in Marka IPO-MARK.DU, which were priced at 1 dirham each, Jamal Al Hai, chairman of the company's founders committee, said in a statement on Friday. The excess money will be returned to investors.

IPOs dried up in Dubai when its financial crisis erupted five years ago, and since then restrictive listing requirements have encouraged several United Arab Emirates companies to list in London rather than at home.

But the Dubai economy is now healthy again, and the Dubai Financial Market's (DFM) main index .DFMGI is up 51 percent year-to-date, making it the world's strongest major market. Marka's IPO may pave the way for more IPOs in coming months."

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Russia unexpectedly raises interest rates — RT Business

Russia unexpectedly raises interest rates — RT Business:

"The Central Bank of Russia has unexpectedly raised its key interest rate to 7.5 percent, despite earlier saying it wouldn’t change until June. Aimed at trimming inflation, it means more expensive loans and slows an economy that’s already losing steam.

The rate went up 50 basis points. The last time it was bumped up was in March to 7 percent, a 1.5 rise from the previous 5.5 percent rate.

Bank Chair Elvira Nabiullina previously said the institution would refrain from changing rates until the June meeting."

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Lukoil signs deal to produce gas in Iraq | Russia Beyond The Headlines

Lukoil signs deal to produce gas in Iraq | Russia Beyond The Headlines:

"The Russian company Lukoil and the Oil Exploration Company of Iraq have signed a memorandum on gas exploration in the Western Euphrates block in Iraq. Until now, the Russian company has participated only in oil extraction projects in Iraq.

The decision on signing a final contract will be made ​​after a thorough evaluation of the block, said Lukoil. The company hopes to find major reserves there.

By comparison, on the neighboring Akas plot, being developed by the Kogas Company from Korea, the gas reserves are estimated at 160 billion cubic meters."

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Guest post: Making a non-western payment card system, in Russia | FT Alphaville

Guest post: Making a non-western payment card system, in Russia | FT Alphaville:

In late March, MasterCard and Visa froze service to cards issued by Bank Rossiya, after it was named in US sanctions. President Putin declared that Russia should limit its exposure to political risks in the financial system and build its own national system supporting electronic card payments.
Last week, the government decided to establish a Russian national clearing system as a separate corporation controlled by the Central Bank of Russia (CBR). The National Payment Card System (NPCS) would process all card payments inside the country; it is also likely that NPCS would serve as a central processing hub supporting all international card payments, which would allow Russia to bypass international payment systems.
More than twenty years after the breakdown of the command economy, Russia remains a cash-based society in transition to a financialised capitalism: 81 per cent of operations with plastic cards are cash withdrawals. Only 19 per cent are for card purchases. Card payments also account for 59 per cent of total transaction volumes, with the remainder paid for in cash.
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EU's merchant fleet aims to run on LNG by 2025

EU's merchant fleet aims to run on LNG by 2025:

"The EU is setting in motion its project of providing incentives and provisions for the shipping fleets of its member states to run on LNG from 2025 onwards.

This signals great growth of the gas commodity and already major players such as Qatar are moving forward into acquiring positions and making deals, by starting off from Greece which boasts the largest commercial marine fleet in the world.

Greece's Ministry of Maritime Affairs has already assured local ship owners that the transformation of their engine fuel that comes with a significant cost can be initially subsidized from available EU funds during the course of the next decade."

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Conference in Belgium sheds light on complexities over Ukraine

Conference in Belgium sheds light on complexities over Ukraine:

"The Russia-Europe jigsaw will take time to unravel, as the European slow approach reflects clashing interests of various natures. Economy and diplomacy are the two main factors leading the game, but the most interesting aspect is that the European Union is looking for solutions probably more in line with Russia than with the United States. In short, confusion is the main message coming from an international conference on European energy policy held in Bruges on Thursday. 

To make it even more complicated, Turkey was said to potentially turn out to be an equally important player of this Sudoku in the near future. In this sense, while international delegations were shouting out loud their resolutions in Bruges, the solution seemed pushed even further. Given the difficulties, the standoff over Ukraine could be very difficult to solve, despite the good intentions. 


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BBC News - Iran petrol prices surge as subsidies cut

BBC News - Iran petrol prices surge as subsidies cut:

"Iran has cut state subsidies on petrol in a move that saw prices rise at midnight by up to 75%.

Reports said Iranians rushed to fill up their cars before the deadline.

The government of President Hassan Rouhani hopes the move will bolster an economy battered by Western sanctions.

Petrol in Iran is still among the cheapest in the world but analysts say the increase will be unwelcome in a country where a quarter of adults are jobless or under-employed.

The subsidies have been blamed for making petrol cheaper than bottled mineral water."

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Cautionary note from Taqa as it begins bond roadshow | The National

Cautionary note from Taqa as it begins bond roadshow | The National:

"Tough competition for the most qualified Emiratis could hamper Abu Dhabi National Energy, the oil, gas and power producer warned in a bond prospectus yesterday.

Taqa launched meetings yesterday with global fixed-income investors for a planned bond that would be used to pay off a US$1.2 billion bond maturing in September. It secured a $200 million samurai loan earlier this month to go towards the refinancing.

The company issued a 180 million euro, 10-year bond in a private placement arranged by Societe Generale, Taqa confirmed yesterday. The coupon was 2.75 per cent.

Among the risks Taqa outlined in the new prospectus was keeping up with Emiratisation targets."

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Dana Gas 2013 profits drop to Dh571m |

Dana Gas 2013 profits drop to Dh571m |

"Dana Gas, one the Middle East’s largest regional private sector natural gas companies, reported net profit of Dh571 million for 2013, marking a drop from the Dh605 million of 2012. Meanwhile, its total revenue hit Dh2.39 billion, marking an increase from 2012’s Dh2.32 billion.

In a statement issued by the company on Thursday, the drop in net profit was attributed to the lower sales of LPG in the Kurdistan region of Iraq, along with an increase in royalty payments, and higher depreciation, depletion, and amortisation expenses in Egypt.

The growth in revenues was driven principally by an eight per cent increase in gross production, reaching 64,700 barrels of oil equivalent per day. The increase was led by Egypt, which increased production by 14 per cent, and contributed Dh1.5 billion to gross revenue. In 2012, Egypt contributed Dh1.4 billion to revenue."

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Russia’s Rating Cut to BBB- by Standard & Poor’s - Bloomberg

Russia’s Rating Cut to BBB- by Standard & Poor’s - Bloomberg:

"Russia’s sovereign rating was cut to BBB- by Standard & Poor’s, the lowest investment grade, as the conflict in Ukraine escalates, hurting the country’s economy.

Standard & Poor’s cut Russia’s rating from BBB after lowering its outlook to negative in March. S&P last downgraded Russia in December 2008.

“The tense geopolitical situation between Russia and Ukraine could see additional significant outflows of both foreign and domestic capital from the Russian economy and hence further undermine already weakening growth prospects,” S&P said in the statement."

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