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Thursday, 29 May 2014

Hotel occupancy dips across UAE | GulfNews.com

Hotel occupancy dips across UAE | GulfNews.com:



"Hotels in the UAE posted a decline in occupancy during the first quarter of the year compared to the same period a year ago, according to the latest report by global consultancy EY.



Properties in Dubai and Abu Dhabi saw occupancy drop one per cent to 88 per cent and 82 per cent respectively in the first three months of the year, while occupancy across Al Ain hotels touched 70 per cent, marking a two per cent drop.



In March, occupancy declined slightly in Dubai’s hotels (0.1 per cent) to 89.5 compared to the same period in 2013, while it rose one per cent to 86 per cent in Abu Dhabi’s properties.



While Yousef Wahbah, head of transaction real estate at EY for the Middle East and North Africa, did not provide reasons for the drop in occupancy during the first quarter, he said the decline in Dubai’s overall average occupancy in March was mainly due to “the drop in Dubai Beach hotels, which witnessed a decline in average daily rates of approximately 5.4 per cent, coupled by a slight decline in occupancy of on per cent.”"



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Lagarde cautious on Africa bonds - YouTube

Lagarde cautious on Africa bonds - YouTube: ""



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Capital flows: the EM push-me-pull-you – beyondbrics - Blogs - FT.com

Capital flows: the EM push-me-pull-you – beyondbrics - Blogs - FT.com:



"Some apparently contradictory data from the Institute of International Finance on Thursday: it reckons total net private capital flows to emerging markets have dropped sharply in the first half of 2014, while flows from foreign investors to EM bonds and equities are ticking sharply upwards.



What is going on?



One answer is the relative weight of push and pull factors. Real money investors, flush with QE cash, are buying more and more EM portfolio assets. But overall flows – including bank lending, FDI and so on – are being pushed down by two factors. Flows to China are seen slowing as the government moves to discourage short-term inflows in a bid to keep the renminbi from appreciating and – more significantly – flows to Russia are seen collapsing as cross-border bank lending and bond issuance grind to a halt because of the crisis in Ukraine."



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Gazprom Linking East, West Gas Pipes Seen Economically Unviable - Businessweek

Gazprom Linking East, West Gas Pipes Seen Economically Unviable - Businessweek:



"Russia’s plan to connect natural gas pipelines to Europe with those to Asia may be uneconomic because of the distances involved, according to Bloomberg Industries and East European Gas Analysis.



Transporting the fuel via pipeline is “often uneconomic” beyond 3,000 kilometers (1,800 miles), Elchin Mammadov and Philipp Chladek, analysts at Bloomberg Industries, said today. The link would boost OAO Gazprom’s spending and may increase fuel costs for European utilities including EON SE and Edison SpA, which will have to compete with China for the Russian fuel.



Gazprom has shipped fuel to Europe for decades and plans the South Stream link to the region. Last week it agreed with China National Petroleum Corp. to supply gas for 30 years via a yet-to-be built pipeline that would form part of its Eastern Gas Program. The deal marks the start of competition between Europe and Asia for Russian gas, Gazprom Chief Executive Officer Alexey Miller said at the time."



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Egypt’s Benchmark Index Drops Most in World on Capital Gains Tax - Bloomberg

Egypt’s Benchmark Index Drops Most in World on Capital Gains Tax - Bloomberg:



"Egyptian shares slumped the most globally after the government said it will tax investor profits a day after the presidential election concluded.



The benchmark EGX 30 Index declined 3.5 percent, the most in two months, to 8,242.94 at the close in Cairo. That made it the worst performer among more than 90 gauges tracked by Bloomberg. Telecom Egypt, the country’s monopoly fixed-line phone company, plunged 5.1 percent.



The North African country, which is struggling to cut the Middle East’s highest budget deficit, will tax net portfolio values at the end of the year, the stock exchange said today, citing the Finance Ministry. Former army chief Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi is expected to assume the presidency after initial results showed him winning more than 90 percent of this week’s vote."



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Abu Dhabi Index Jumps Most in Four Years Before MSCI Upgrade - Bloomberg

Abu Dhabi Index Jumps Most in Four Years Before MSCI Upgrade - Bloomberg:



"Abu Dhabi’s stock index rose the most since December 2009 as shares in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates gained before next week’s upgrade to emerging markets status by MSCI Inc.



The benchmark ADX General Index jumped 5.5 percent to 5,253.41 at the close, the most among more than 90 gauges tracked by Bloomberg globally. National Bank of Abu Dhabi PJSC, the largest lender in the U.A.E., soared 15 percent, the most since 2005 and the maximum allowed in a day. Dubai’s main measure advanced 5 percent, the most since September, led by a 15 percent gain in shares of Dubai Financial Market, the only listed bourse in the region. Qatar’s QE Index (DSM) added 2.1 percent.



Stocks are rallying in the Gulf region on speculation the MSCI upgrade will lure investors managing about $8 trillion in assets. The change of status will promote nine U.A.E. companies and 10 from Qatar to MSCI’s developing-market gauge. The switch may attract about $905 million to markets in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, and $649 million to Qatar, HSBC Holdings Plc said in a note on May 12."



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Ukraine Moves Toward Gas Debt Compromise with Russia - WSJ.com

Ukraine Moves Toward Gas Debt Compromise with Russia - WSJ.com:



"Ukraine took a step toward compromise over its huge gas debt to Russia Thursday, approving a measure that would allow the state gas company Nafotgaz to pay off $2 billion to Moscow this week as agreed in a tentative deal mediated by the European Union.



Kiev still hasn't officially confirmed it will make the payment, despite Moscow's threat to demand prepayment for future supplies starting next week, a move that could lead to a cutoff of shipments. Officials from Ukraine, Russia and the EU are scheduled to meet in Berlin Friday for more talks on a compromise.



The Ukrainian government on Thursday formally increased the charter capital of Naftogaz, a technical step necessary to allow the government to transfer the money to the company to make the payment. However, a Naftogaz spokesperson couldn't immediately comment on whether the payment would be made.



Moscow and the EU have pushed Kiev to pay off $2 billion of the debt--which Russia says now totals $4.5 billion--this week before beginning discussions on a lower price. Ukrainian officials have said they will only agree to begin repaying the debt if Moscow agrees to lower the price of gas, at least for the duration of negotiations on a permanent pricing compromise."



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Ukraine Moves Toward Gas Debt Compromise with Russia - WSJ.com

Ukraine Moves Toward Gas Debt Compromise with Russia - WSJ.com:



"Ukraine took a step toward compromise over its huge gas debt to Russia Thursday, approving a measure that would allow the state gas company Nafotgaz to pay off $2 billion to Moscow this week as agreed in a tentative deal mediated by the European Union.



Kiev still hasn't officially confirmed it will make the payment, despite Moscow's threat to demand prepayment for future supplies starting next week, a move that could lead to a cutoff of shipments. Officials from Ukraine, Russia and the EU are scheduled to meet in Berlin Friday for more talks on a compromise.



The Ukrainian government on Thursday formally increased the charter capital of Naftogaz, a technical step necessary to allow the government to transfer the money to the company to make the payment. However, a Naftogaz spokesperson couldn't immediately comment on whether the payment would be made.



Moscow and the EU have pushed Kiev to pay off $2 billion of the debt--which Russia says now totals $4.5 billion--this week before beginning discussions on a lower price. Ukrainian officials have said they will only agree to begin repaying the debt if Moscow agrees to lower the price of gas, at least for the duration of negotiations on a permanent pricing compromise."



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Belarus plans to bring back serfdom – beyondbrics - Blogs - FT.com

Belarus plans to bring back serfdom – beyondbrics - Blogs - FT.com:



"

Alexander Lukashenko is living up to his reputation as Europe’s last remaining dictator. The president of Belarus has decided to bring back serfdom on farms in a bid to stop urban migration.



 Lukashenko has announced plans to introduce legislation prohibiting farm labourers from quitting their jobs and moving to the cities. “Yesterday, a decree was put on my table concerning – we are speaking bluntly – serfdom,” the Belarus leader told a meeting on Tuesday to discuss improvements to livestock farming, gazeta.ru reported.



The serfdom decree would beef up the power of regional governors and “teach the peasants to work more efficiently,” Lukashenko said. Governors who failed to ensure timely and efficient harvests in their regions would get the sack, he added."



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Poroshenko says he wants to sign economic deal with EU immediately after inauguration | Russia Beyond The Headlines

Poroshenko says he wants to sign economic deal with EU immediately after inauguration | Russia Beyond The Headlines:



"Ukraine's president-elect, Petro Poroshenko, believes there should be no further delays in signing the economic part of the Association Agreement of Ukraine and the European Union.



Poroshenko was quoted as saying by his press service that this document could be signed as soon as he was officially sworn in as president of Ukraine.



"The signing and enactment of the [Association] Agreement, which, in fact, is part of Ukraine's modernization plan, as well as its implementation would help pursue anti-corruption measures and implement the reforms package within a very short period of time," Poroshenko said."



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Few hurt by eurozone earthquake - YouTube

Few hurt by eurozone earthquake - YouTube: ""



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Qatar, UAE about to get major investment upgrade - May. 29, 2014

Qatar, UAE about to get major investment upgrade - May. 29, 2014:



"


Think of Qatar and what probably comes to mind is the 2022 World Cup. For the United Arab Emirates, many Westerners likely think of Dubai, the world's tallest building or the setting for the film "Sex and the City 2".



But these two Persian Gulf countries are starting to make a name for themselves for their economies and stock markets.



Both countries will soon be upgraded to "emerging market" status, a step up from their classification as "frontier markets," a demarcation that's not too far off from the Wild West of the investing world.



The change in status by the MSCI will put Qatar and the UAE in the same league as countries like China and Brazil. It will also likely increase the flow of American investment dollars into these Gulf states."



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Dubai and Abu Dhabi markets decline | GulfNews.com

Dubai and Abu Dhabi markets decline | GulfNews.com:



"Both Dubai and Abu Dhabi stock markets declined on Wednesday.



The Dubai Financial Market index (DFM) lost 3.26 per cent of its value to close at 4,845.78, with a total trade value of just over Dh2 billion. The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange index (ADX) closed 2.37 per cent down at 4977.67, with a total trade value of Dh1.3 billion.



Only three of the 30 stocks traded on the DFM made gains. The market’s property firms bore the brunt of the dip, with Arabtec — which had gained 9.18 per cent on Tuesday — dropping 5.41 per cent to close at Dh6.30, after trading worth 977 million — considerably less than the Dh1.6 billion that fuelled Tuesday’s gains.



Emaar lost 3.94 per cent to close at Dh9.75, after trades worth Dh427 million, and Union Properties losing 1.86 per cent to close at Dh2.11 after trades worth Dh170 million. Arabtec, Emaar and Union Properties were the three most-traded shares by value and volume."



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Russia, Ukraine Fail to Agree on Gas Plan as Cut Looms - Bloomberg

Russia, Ukraine Fail to Agree on Gas Plan as Cut Looms - Bloomberg:



"Russia and Ukraine remain at loggerheads over natural gas deliveries after a possible compromise put forward by the European Union to help avoid supply disruptions as soon as next month failed to win support.



Russia is ready to discuss price changes and also may withdraw a demand for advance payments once Ukraine starts paying for deliveries, officials in Moscow said yesterday. The government in Kiev is prepared to pay up once Russia lowers prices.



“We are ready to pay the market price for gas, but never the political one,” Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said yesterday in Berlin."



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Arabtec CEO Ismaik Almost Triples Stake in U.A.E. Builder - Bloomberg

Arabtec CEO Ismaik Almost Triples Stake in U.A.E. Builder - Bloomberg:



"Arabtec Holding Co. (ARTC) Chief Executive Officer almost tripled his stake in the United Arab Emirates’ biggest publicly traded construction company.



Hasan Ismaik, who is also Arabtec’s managing director, raised his stake to 21.5 percent from 8.03 percent through direct purchase from the market, the U.A.E.-based company said in an e-mailed statement.



“Investment in Arabtec should be strategic and long term,” the statement quoted Ismaik as saying.



Arabtec shares dropped 5.4 percent at the close in Dubai today to 6.30 dirhams, valuing the company at 27.7 billion dirhams ($7.5 billion.) The shares have gained 207 percent this year, almost five times as much as the benchmark DFM General Index. (DFMGI)"



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Dubai in Land of OPEC Gives Blessing to Going Green: Arab Credit - Bloomberg

Dubai in Land of OPEC Gives Blessing to Going Green: Arab Credit - Bloomberg:



"Dubai, better known for palm-shaped islands and the world’s tallest skyscraper than energy conservation, is on a mission to cut power and water use as the rising costs of fuel and desalination threaten future growth.



The utility leading the campaign for conservation is the one benefiting the most from soaring demand. Dubai Electricity & Water Authority, whose bonds have outperformed Persian Gulf companies on the strength of rising demand, created a unit to advise customers on ways to reduce consumption while the government may start a fund to help energy saving, Chief Executive Officer Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer said in an interview.



Dubai, part of the United Arab Emirates, the fifth-biggest member of OPEC, is targeting greater fuel efficiency because it relies on imported natural gas paid for at market prices to run power and water-purification plants. Concerned that its fuel bill will surge as energy consumption rises, the sheikhdom plans to cut projected power and water use 30 percent by 2030."



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