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Monday, 5 May 2014

U.A.E. Asset Bubble Unlikely as Credit Growth Slows, IIF Says - Bloomberg

U.A.E. Asset Bubble Unlikely as Credit Growth Slows, IIF Says - Bloomberg:



"A surge in United Arab Emirates property values probably won’t lead to an asset-price bubble because credit growth remains relatively modest, according to the Institute of International Finance.



Loan growth in the second-biggest Arab economy may slow to 11 percent in 2014 from 13 percent last year, the IIF said today in a report.



Property prices in Dubai climbed 35 percent in 2013, according to broker Knight Frank LLP, fueling concern that the U.A.E.’s second-biggest sheikhdom is at risk of another bust after the 2008 property crash that almost pushed it to default. 




“There are major differences between the current boom and the previous, which was more driven by speculative excesses,” Garbis Iradian, deputy director for Africa and the Middle East at the Washington-based IIF, said in the statement. “The strong rebound in housing prices has been driven by a significant improvement in the underlying economic fundamentals.”"



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France's Peugeot and Iran's Khodro meet on resuming ties - Your Middle East

France's Peugeot and Iran's Khodro meet on resuming ties - Your Middle East:



"The boss of French carmaker Peugeot Citroen has held talks with his Iranian joint venture partner to consider returning to the country, the official IRNA news agency reported Monday.



According to IRNA, the 10-hour meeting between Peugeot Citroen chief executive Maxime Picat and Hashem Yeke Zare, the boss of car manufacturer Iran Khodro, was aimed at exploring "new scope for cooperation".



"Fulfilment of the previous commitments, transferring the technical know-how, mutual production of cars as well as selling Iran Khodro's vehicles through the French exporting network were discussed and reviewed during the meeting," the report said.



The meeting took place last week, a source close to the talks told AFP."



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France's Peugeot and Iran's Khodro meet on resuming ties - Your Middle East

France's Peugeot and Iran's Khodro meet on resuming ties - Your Middle East:



"The boss of French carmaker Peugeot Citroen has held talks with his Iranian joint venture partner to consider returning to the country, the official IRNA news agency reported Monday.



According to IRNA, the 10-hour meeting between Peugeot Citroen chief executive Maxime Picat and Hashem Yeke Zare, the boss of car manufacturer Iran Khodro, was aimed at exploring "new scope for cooperation".



"Fulfilment of the previous commitments, transferring the technical know-how, mutual production of cars as well as selling Iran Khodro's vehicles through the French exporting network were discussed and reviewed during the meeting," the report said.



The meeting took place last week, a source close to the talks told AFP."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Banks lift UAE, Qatar mkts; Saudi Arabia retreats | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Banks lift UAE, Qatar mkts; Saudi Arabia retreats | Reuters:



"Banking stocks helped Qatar close at a fresh all-time high on Monday and lifted the markets in the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, while Saudi Arabia pulled back after two days of strong gains.



The Doha benchmark gained 1.0 percent and closed at 12,988 points, above previous closing high of 12,940 hit last month. It may face resistance at the psychologically important 13,000 point level or the historical intra-day high of 13,069 points reached in 2005.



"Once the market breaks that, we may see some more upside," said Shakeel Sarwar, head of asset management at Securities & Investment Co (SICO) in Bahrain.



Qatar National Bank was the main support, gaining 1.8 percent. Among other contributors were Industries Qatar , up 1.7 percent, and Qatari Investors Group, which rose 6.4 percent.

"



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Gold industry shifts east as Dubai plans huge refinery, spot contract | Reuters

Gold industry shifts east as Dubai plans huge refinery, spot contract | Reuters:



"In the desert on the outskirts of Dubai, one of the world's biggest gold refineries is under construction. When completed next year, it will help to alter the balance of power in the global gold industry.



Growth in demand for the precious metal is shifting east, to Asia's fast-growing economies. But key industry activities such as refining and clearing - matching investors' buy and sell orders - remain dominated by Europe and the United States.



The $60 million refinery being built by Kaloti Precious Metals in Dubai is part of efforts to change that pattern, as is a plan by the Dubai Gold and Commodities Exchange to introduce a spot gold contract this June.



"Dubai is already a top global centre for gold trading," Tarek El-Mdaka, chief executive of Kaloti Precious Metals, said in an interview. "The refinery is part of the next stage, making Dubai a top centre for physical gold refining and clearing.""



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Qatar Airways chief confirms airline now government-owned - Doha News

Qatar Airways chief confirms airline now government-owned - Doha News:



"

Qatar’s national carrier became wholly government-owned following last year’s leadership transition, the company’s CEO has said.



The airline has previously alluded to the change in Arabic signage around Qatar, and confirmed the move to Doha News last fall. But this is the first time Akbar Al Baker has publicly spoken about the restructuring.



Before the new Emir assumed power from his father, Qatar Airways was half-owned by the country’s former prime minister, Hamad Bin Jassim Al Thani (also known as HBJ) and other stakeholders."



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Etisalat to sell W.African units to Maroc Telecom for $650 mln | Reuters

Etisalat to sell W.African units to Maroc Telecom for $650 mln | Reuters:



"Etisalat has agreed to sell its operations in several West African countries to Maroc Telecom for $650 million, the United Arab Emirates operator said in a statement on Monday.



Maroc Telecom will buy Atlantique Telecom, Etisalat's wholly-owned West African subsidiary, which has mobile operations in Benin, Central African Republic, Gabon, Ivory Coast, Niger and Togo.



"The total consideration in return for Etisalat’s equity in and receivables, including shareholder loans, from these seven companies amounts to $650 million," Etisalat said in the statement.



The sale is dependent on Etisalat completing a prior-agreed deal to buy Paris-listed Vivendi's 53 percent stake in Maroc Telecom. Etisalat expects that transaction to be completed by the end of May."



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EconoMonitor : Ed Dolan's Econ Blog » Ukraine’s Heavy Industry : Glittering Prize or White Elephant?

EconoMonitor : Ed Dolan's Econ Blog » Ukraine’s Heavy Industry : Glittering Prize or White Elephant?:



"According to some accounts, the conflict in Eastern Ukraine is a tug of war over the region’s mines, steel mills and other heavy industry. The website European Dialog, for example, tells us the region is “crucial to Russia,” which “values Ukraine because of industries, like steel and agriculture, that have served as vital inputs for Russia’s economy from the Soviet era to the present.”



Others view Eastern Ukraine’s heavy industry as more of a liability than a prize, and see the current conflict as a geopolitical one that can have no good outcome for the population. Speaking to a reporter from The Guardian, coal miner Igor Yefremov expressed his fear that “If we join the European Union our mines and factories will shut down.” At the same time, he acknowledged, “Already the orders from Russia are drying up. Russia doesn’t want us because of the chaos in Kiev.”"



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Mugabe backed Dubai has failed, minister

Mugabe backed Dubai has failed, minister:



"

Partnership sealed in diamonds ...
President Mugabe with Dubai Multi-Commodities
Centre chairman, Ahmed Bin Sulayem
A CABINET minister has said the Dubai Diamond Exchange (DDE) has failed to be a trustworthy market for Zimbabwean diamonds after delaying to remit proceeds from a March sale.



Early last month President Robert Mugabe, accompanied by his wife Grace, travelled to the United Arab Emirates and visited the Dubai Exchange as the government sought new markets for the country’s diamonds.



Speaking during the visit, Mugabe was full of praise for DDE, saying: “It is encouraging to see how Dubai has developed tailor-made strategies to an industry which was new to them only 12 years ago."



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The Peninsula Qatar - QE launches NY, London roadshows

The Peninsula Qatar - QE launches NY, London roadshows:



"Qatar Exchange (QE), in collaboration with QNB Financial Services commenced a week-long roadshow to support QE listed companies’ investor relations, ahead of the bourse’s forthcoming upgrade by MSCI.



The forums will be hosted by Bank of America Merrill Lynch in New York and Deutsche Bank in London. 



The event is designed to complement the companies’ ongoing investor relation activities through providing an opportunity for the management of listed companies to meet key decision makers from a number of world’s largest international fund managers. "



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EU -- flawed by design? - YouTube

EU -- flawed by design? - YouTube: ""



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Analysts bullish on Dubai’s prime office space as rents rise | The National

Analysts bullish on Dubai’s prime office space as rents rise | The National:



"Rents for Dubai’s most prestigious offices could rise by 20 per cent this year and another 10 per cent next year, property experts predict.



Rent increases for the best offices in prime Dubai locations will be driven by demand from corporates and small businesses, the property agent Knight Frank estimates.



Having rocketed to a high of Dh4,000 per square metre during the boom years and languished at a low of just over Dh1,500 in the crash, rents for the best areas of Dubai under sole ownership (excluding Dubai International Financial Centre) rose last year for the first time since the crisis and reached Dh1,950 per sq metre during the first three months of this year, Knight Frank said."



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Singapore’s Temasek tweaks global portfolio | GulfNews.com

Singapore’s Temasek tweaks global portfolio | GulfNews.com:



"As it approaches its 40th year, Singapore investment giant Temasek is stretching its legs, moving away from its finance-based comfort zone into sectors such as retail and African resources to ensure future growth, analysts say.



With worldwide holdings worth 215 billion Singapore dollars (Dh630 billion, $171 billion) as of end March 2013, Temasek is listed as one of the top 10 global players by the US-based Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute.



Its wide spectrum of interests spans banking, telecoms, transport, life sciences and property, while more than 70 per cent of its investments are in Asia."



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Iraq oil exports rebound but sales hit by attacks | GulfNews.com

Iraq oil exports rebound but sales hit by attacks | GulfNews.com:



"Iraq’s oil exports rebounded last month, government figures released on Sunday showed, despite militant attacks that forced the authorities to stop pumping crude through northern pipelines bound for Turkey.



The country exported more than 75 million barrels of oil in April, an average of over 2.5 million barrels per day, bringing in overall revenue of more than $7.5 billion (Dh27.5 billion), a statement issued by the oil ministry said.



All of those sales were made via export terminals in southern Iraq leading to the Gulf, the ministry said, because militant attacks forced the suspension of exports via northern pipelines to the Turkish port of Ceyhan."



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Russian Stock Rally Fades as Ukraine Conflict Reignites - Bloomberg

Russian Stock Rally Fades as Ukraine Conflict Reignites - Bloomberg:



"Russian stocks trading in New York pared the best weekly gain in a month as the conflict in Ukraine escalated while U.S. and European leaders set a May 25 trigger for possible economic sanctions.



The Bloomberg index of the most-traded Russian shares in the U.S. fell 1 percent on May 2, trimming its five-day gain to 2.5 percent. Futures on the benchmark RTS Index dropped in U.S. hours on concern President Vladimir Putin will send troops into Ukraine after the government in Kiev engaged separatists in the nation’s east.



Stocks rose earlier in the week as the U.S. and the European Union stopped short of imposing sanctions on Russia that would have a broader economic impact. Investor concerns were reawakened on May 2 after Ukraine sent armored vehicles and artillery to retake Slovyansk, a separatist stronghold, and President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned they’re ready to impose more measures against Russia.

"



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