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Saturday, 26 April 2014

SCA shakes up UAE bond and sukuk market rules | The National

SCA shakes up UAE bond and sukuk market rules | The National:



"The Securities and Commodity Authority (SCA) has introduced rules aimed at modernising the country’s corporate bond and sukuk markets.



This forms part of a move to increase Dubai’s stature as a hub for Islamic finance.



The regulator’s new rules set a minimum value on issued sukuk of Dh10 million.



This represents a change from the 2005 law, which required issuers to post at least Dh50 million in debt securities, including Islamic bonds, to be eligible to list on an exchange in the UAE.



The new rules increase exchanges’ flexibility with regards to over-the-counter trading. Previously, firms involved in a trade had to notify the SCA of its terms within two days or the trade would be invalidated. This requirement has been dropped – the SCA now allows exchanges to set their own deadlines for the disclosure of this information."



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UAE Exchange considers IPO on Nasdaq New York | The National

UAE Exchange considers IPO on Nasdaq New York | The National:



"The remittance and currency exchange firm UAE Exchange is aiming to list on the Nasdaq stock market in New York in two years.



The company, which has 700 offices across more than 30 countries, is considering listing in the United States even though it is headquartered in Abu Dhabi. The Nasdaq would be the preferred stock market for the listing because it seemed to be a good option for finance companies, although Singapore would also be considered, said BR Shetty, the chief executive.



“In two years’ time we will expand enough,” he said. “We will be in 56 countries in two years’ time.”"



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UAE investor relations to become more important with MSCI upgrade | The National

UAE investor relations to become more important with MSCI upgrade | The National:



"The UAE’s accession to the MSCI Emerging Markets Index next month will expose the country’s listed entities to an unprecedented degree of scrutiny by international funds and investors entering the market.



This scrutiny will go far beyond an entity’s balance sheet and income statement. Listed entities with high corporate governance standards are set to be especially favoured by international funds investing in the UAE for the first time.



“If you’re investing in emerging markets you want to invest in companies that are best in class,” says Sameer Al Ansari, the chief executive of Hawkamah, a Dubai-based institute for corporate governance."



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As the European Union Reconsiders Russian Natural Gas, Qatar Waits in the Wings

As the European Union Reconsiders Russian Natural Gas, Qatar Waits in the Wings:



"Throughout the Ukraine crisis, European Union (EU) leaders have become more vocal about their interest in reducing Europe’s consumption of Russian natural gas.



Liquefied natural gas (LNG) tanker. Source: Bloomberg


As a result, Qatar — the world’s number-one provider of liquefied natural gas (LNG) — is well positioned to play a more influential role in Europe’s energy landscape. Although unlikely to replace Russia as Europe’s top natural gas provider, Qatar could assist in significantly decreasing the EU’s reliance on Russian energy resources while at the same time obtaining greater diplomatic leverage over European governments. Fortunately for the EU, Ukraine’s crisis did not erupt several years earlier. In 2006, 80 percent of Russia’s natural gas sales to the EU transited Ukraine. This was reduced to 50 percent by 2013 (two years after the Nord Stream pipeline came on line — connecting Vyborg, Russia to Sassnitz, Germany via the Baltic Sea)."



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Russia-Ukraine Crisis Spurring Azerbaijani-Turkmen Gas Export Partnership? | EurasiaNet.org

Russia-Ukraine Crisis Spurring Azerbaijani-Turkmen Gas Export Partnership? | EurasiaNet.org:



"The Russia-Ukraine crisis is creating an opportunity for two feuding Caspian-Sea energy powers, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan, to become export partners.



The latest signal that Azerbaijani-Turkmen relations might be heading for a thaw came on April 2, when Turkmen Foreign Minister Rashid Meredov paid an unexpected visit to Baku. The trip marked the first such mission by a high-ranking government official from either side since 2009.



Bilateral relations between the two states have never been great during the post-Soviet era. The two have haggled over three Caspian oilfields – Azeri/Omar, Chirag/Osman and Kyapaz/Serdar – and the disputes have hindered officials from finalizing a deal that would bring Turkmen gas to Western markets via a 100-kilometer-long Turkmen-Azerbaijani pipeline under the Caspian Sea.

"



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Four years later, lenders are sitting pretty | The National

Four years later, lenders are sitting pretty | The National:



"More than four years on from a debt crisis that hampered their earnings, UAE banks have for the most part rebounded to stronger health.



Still, the latest challenges they face relate to combating money laundering and complying with new global and local rule changes.



Here, Bill Michael, the regional head of financial services at KPMG in London, and Austin Rudman, a partner in Dubai at the professional services company, talk about state of the banking industry."



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Kuwait 2013 current account surplus shrinks 8% to $72b | GulfNews.com

Kuwait 2013 current account surplus shrinks 8% to $72b | GulfNews.com:



"Kuwait’s current account surplus shrank by nearly 8 per cent to 20.3 billion dinars ($72.2 billion) in 2013 compared with the previous year, preliminary central bank data showed on Thursday, in line with market expectations.



The 2013 surplus was equivalent to 39.6 per cent of 2012 gross domestic product, down from 43.0 per cent, according to Reuters calculations based on the latest official data. Kuwait has not yet released 2013 GDP data. Analysts polled by Reuters in January estimated Kuwait’s 2013 current account surplus was 40.0 per cent of GDP, and forecast it would fall further to 37.8 per cent in 2014."



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Gulf states gain from Russia’s debt freeze | GulfNews.com

Gulf states gain from Russia’s debt freeze | GulfNews.com:



"A handful of oil-rich monarchies in the Gulf have become the unexpected beneficiaries of the crisis in Ukraine, attracting a helping of the global money frozen out of Russia’s debt markets.



Two bond sales planned for this week told the tale of changing fortunes within emerging markets.



Russia, which remains mired in a geopolitical dispute, was forced to cancel an issue of government debt when investors demanded a borrowing rate that the country deemed too high.



Dubai, meanwhile, was being congratulated for its $750m (Dh2.7 billion) sale of sovereign debt, the emirate’s first for 18 months."



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Russian Markets Have Worst Week Since Crimea as S&P Cuts Rating - Bloomberg

Russian Markets Have Worst Week Since Crimea as S&P Cuts Rating - Bloomberg:



"Russian bonds and stocks suffered their worst weekly rout since mid-March as the truce forged to ease tension in eastern Ukraine unraveled, fueling concern that President Vladimir Putin faces stiffer international sanctions.



Benchmark ruble bond yields climbed to the highest since March 14, prompting the Finance Ministry to abort plans to return to the local debt market on April 23, two days before Standard & Poor’s cut Russia’s credit rating to one level above junk. The central bank’s surprise half-point interest-rate increase yesterday failed to stem the ruble’s weekly retreat, the biggest among 24 emerging markets after South Africa’s rand.




“The past few days have been particularly painful for Russian fixed income,” Benoit Anne, the London-based head of emerging-market strategy at Societe Generale SA, said by e-mail yesterday. The failed debt auction “badly damaged investor confidence. In addition, the geo-political situation continues to deteriorate with a war of words and a tougher rhetoric employed between various parties,” he said."



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Norway Oil Fund Reassessing Risk on Significant Russian Holdings - Bloomberg

Norway Oil Fund Reassessing Risk on Significant Russian Holdings - Bloomberg:



"Norway’s $850 billion sovereign wealth fund, the world’s biggest, is reviewing risk in Russia, where it has “significant” holdings, Chief Executive Officer Yngve Slyngstad said.



“We observe that there’s a different risk profile,” Slyngstad told reporters in Oslo yesterday, after testifying to lawmakers on the fund’s investment strategy. “We are at any given time also considering conditions that have dimensions of geopolitics and geopolitical risk.”



Russia unexpectedly raised interest rates yesterday as policy makers in Moscow struggle to stop capital flowing out of the country amid western condemnation of a standoff with Ukraine. The rate rise followed a downgrade by Standard & Poor’s, which cut Russia’s credit rating one step to BBB-, one level above junk. S&P cited the tense situation between Russia and Ukraine, which it said could spur significant outflows and “undermine already weakening growth prospects.”"



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