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Tuesday, 3 June 2014

MIDEAST STOCKS-Most Gulf markets pull back, led by Qatar | Agricultural Commodities | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Most Gulf markets pull back, led by Qatar | Agricultural Commodities | Reuters:



"Most stock markets in the Gulf retreated on a wave of profit-taking on Tuesday, led by Qatar, where there was a pull-back in some of the top stocks that had shot up before joining MSCI's emerging market index last week.



The Doha benchmark fell 2.4 percent as all but one of its components slid. Islamic lender Masraf Al Rayan was the main drag on the index, sliding 3.4 percent.



It had been the top performer among the 19 stocks in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates that index compiler MSCI added to its emerging index. The stock had soared 28 percent between May 15, when the final list of index components was published, and June 1, the first day after the upgrade.



Qatar Islamic Bank, also among the top gainers in that period, fell 7.6 percent.

"



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Iron ore: Game of thrones - YouTube

Iron ore: Game of thrones - YouTube: ""



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Egypt amends new stock market law « ASHARQ AL-AWSAT

Egypt amends new stock market law « ASHARQ AL-AWSAT:



"The Egyptian government has taken measures to ease some of the provisions from a new stock market tax law announced last week after the Egyptian Exchange (EGX) recorded its biggest daily drop in almost a year on Sunday following the announcement.



The law, which imposes a 10-percent year-end tax on stock market dividends and capital gains, was announced on Thursday by Finance Minister Hani Kadri Dimian. The announcement led the country’s benchmark index, the EGX 30, to plunge 3.5 percent on the same day and by another 4.22 percent by the end of trading on Sunday following the weekend break, despite a half-hour suspension of trading to stem the losses.



The index rallied again by 1.53 percent on Monday, following the announcement of the amendments to the law which took place after a government meeting chaired by Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab and attended by a group of the country’s top finance officials, including central bank governor Hisham Ramez, Minister of Trade, Industry and Investment Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour, and the chairman of the EGX.

"



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Russian stocks: Abandon all hope, or time to buy? | Russia Beyond The Headlines

Russian stocks: Abandon all hope, or time to buy? | Russia Beyond The Headlines:



"Sanctions. Conflict in neighboring Ukraine. Sagging economic growth.



And let’s not forget capital flight.



These are just some of the reasons why Russia’s stock market is having a rough year.



Not too long ago, Russia was watching a rising tide lift most of its boats. Russian stocks returned at least 8 percent in 13 out of the past 18 years, and often more than 20 percent.



Not so in 2014. This year’s unpredictable political headlines have combined with longstanding concerns over a slowing, resource-dependent economy to push Russian companies’ valuations to among the lowest in emerging markets."



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Russian stocks: Abandon all hope, or time to buy? | Russia Beyond The Headlines

Russian stocks: Abandon all hope, or time to buy? | Russia Beyond The Headlines:



"Sanctions. Conflict in neighboring Ukraine. Sagging economic growth.



And let’s not forget capital flight.



These are just some of the reasons why Russia’s stock market is having a rough year.



Not too long ago, Russia was watching a rising tide lift most of its boats. Russian stocks returned at least 8 percent in 13 out of the past 18 years, and often more than 20 percent.



Not so in 2014. This year’s unpredictable political headlines have combined with longstanding concerns over a slowing, resource-dependent economy to push Russian companies’ valuations to among the lowest in emerging markets."



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Guest post: a new BRICS bank to mark global shift – beyondbrics - Blogs - FT.com

Guest post: a new BRICS bank to mark global shift – beyondbrics - Blogs - FT.com:



"Leaders of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) nations are committed to the creation of a new Development Bank for infrastructure and sustainable development. Details of the bank’s operations are expected at the forthcoming BRICS summit to be held in Brazil this July.



The bank is set to play an important role in helping to meet needs for an estimated US$1tn or more in annual investments in infrastructure and sustainable development. The future growth prospects of the BRICS countries will depend in large measure on these investments materialising.



What are the likely challenges this institution will face as it moves from the design to the operational stage?



The first involves the scale of lending. The BRICS bank needs to be large enough at the outset to make a meaningful impact. It has been reported that officials from Brazil, the Russian Federation, India, China and South Africa have agreed to an initial capital base of US$50bn of which 20 per cent or US$10bn would be paid-in. This is a good start but further scaling-up will be needed.

"



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Qatar Shares Decline Most Globally as World Cup Concern Grows - Bloomberg

Qatar Shares Decline Most Globally as World Cup Concern Grows - Bloomberg:



"Qatar’s stocks dropped the most in the world and bonds fell as concern deepened that the nation may lose the right to host the 2022 soccer World Cup, threatening as much as $200 billion of tournament-related investment.



The benchmark QE Index tumbled 2.4 percent, the most among more than 90 benchmarks tracked by Bloomberg globally, to close at 13,221.29. The yield on Qatar’s 5.25 percent bond due January 2020 rose four basis points, the most since March, to 2.41 percent at 4:19 p.m. in Doha. A panel looking into the awarding of the tournament said yesterday it will issue a report in July into the possibility of corruption in the process.



“There might be re-voting and that’s all very negative news,” Hisham Khairy, the Dubai-based head of institutional trade at Mena Corp. Financial Services LLC, said by telephone. “Everyone is worried about it and everybody is reducing their positions.”



Britain’s Sunday Times reported two days ago that payments were made to soccer officials in return for support for Qatar’s bid to stage the 2022 tournament. The country’s World Cup Bid Committee denied the allegations and said it won on merit."



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Li’s PineBridge to Spend $400 Million on Gulf Property - Bloomberg

Li’s PineBridge to Spend $400 Million on Gulf Property - Bloomberg:



"PineBridge Investments LLC, the money manager controlled by Hong Kong billionaire Richard Li, plans to invest about $400 million in real estate across countries including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.



A fund focused on the six Gulf Cooperation Council countries will target sale-and-leaseback deals for shopping centers, warehouses and infrastructure such as schools and hospitals, Talal Al Zain, PineBridge’s chief executive officer for the Middle East, said today in an interview. The fund plans to raise $200 million and borrow the rest.



PineBridge’s GCC Real Estate Fund is targeting a market benefiting from population growth, a growing middle class and government spending on education and health care. The International Monetary Fund predicts economic growth in the Middle East and North Africa region to reach 3.8 percent this year. The GCC countries are Saudi Arabia, the U.A.E., Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and Oman."



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Gazprom ready to complete South Stream without international finance — RT Business

Gazprom ready to complete South Stream without international finance — RT Business:



"Gazprom is ready for the worst case scenario and can complete the South Stream project without outside money, said Gazprom Deputy Chairman Alexander Medvedev. The EU is calling for the project to be halted as it hurts European energy security.



“If you ask me if I’m ready for the worst case scenario, I'd say 'Yes, we are ready," Medvedev told journalists on Tuesday in Moscow.



He said the company would use financing schemes similar to those used in the Nord Stream and Sakhalin-2 projects that turned out a success.



The statement comes on the day the European Commission told Bulgaria to suspend preparatory work on South Stream, as it could damage EU energy security."



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Abu Dhabi economy grows 5.2 pct in 2013, slower than expected | Reuters

Abu Dhabi economy grows 5.2 pct in 2013, slower than expected | Reuters:



"Abu Dhabi's economy expanded an inflation-adjusted 5.2 percent in 2013, its official statistics centre said on Tuesday, a much slower rate than the government had previously estimated but still higher than 4.8 percent in 2012.



The figure from the Statistics Centre Abu Dhabi (SCAD) was much lower than an estimate in February by the emirate's Department of Economic Development (DED), which said real GDP grew 7.4 percent last year compared with 5.6 percent in 2012.



A DED official told Reuters that the big difference in the two growth figures for last year - equivalent to more than $4 billion - was partly due to a difference in the two institutions' estimates of oil prices. SCAD officials were not immediately available to comment."



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Abu Dhabi economy grows 5.2 pct in 2013, slower than expected | Reuters

Abu Dhabi economy grows 5.2 pct in 2013, slower than expected | Reuters:



"Abu Dhabi's economy expanded an inflation-adjusted 5.2 percent in 2013, its official statistics centre said on Tuesday, a much slower rate than the government had previously estimated but still higher than 4.8 percent in 2012.



The figure from the Statistics Centre Abu Dhabi (SCAD) was much lower than an estimate in February by the emirate's Department of Economic Development (DED), which said real GDP grew 7.4 percent last year compared with 5.6 percent in 2012.



A DED official told Reuters that the big difference in the two growth figures for last year - equivalent to more than $4 billion - was partly due to a difference in the two institutions' estimates of oil prices. SCAD officials were not immediately available to comment."



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Abu Dhabi's TDIC secures financing to repay $2 bln bonds in 2014 | Reuters

Abu Dhabi's TDIC secures financing to repay $2 bln bonds in 2014 | Reuters:



"Abu Dhabi's Tourism Development & Investment Co (TDIC), which reported on Monday that its losses had narrowed in 2013, has secured full financing to repay $2 billion in maturing bonds this year, the state-owned firm said.



TDIC, which is building iconic museums such as the Louvre and Guggenheim in Abu Dhabi, has a $1 billion conventional bond repayable on July 2 and a $1 billion sukuk (Islamic bond) due for payment in October.



"We have completed 100 percent of our refinancing activities to ensure there is no risk to TDIC or our shareholders in regards to maturing debt," TDIC said in a statement to Reuters."



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Waiting for US employment numbers - YouTube

Waiting for US employment numbers - YouTube: ""



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Gulf airlines have double advantage, says Swiss airline chief | The National

Gulf airlines have double advantage, says Swiss airline chief | The National:



"Arabian Gulf carriers benefit from an aero-political strategy that their European counterparts lack, according to the chief of the Swiss flag carrier.



Such political support and access to capital give them two key advantages over European carriers struggling amid cut-throat competition.



“The Gulf carriers have a fantastic situation because they have a government which is following an aero-political strategy, which is missing in Europe,” said Harry Hohmeister, the CEO of Swiss International Air Lines, on the sidelines of the annual general meeting of the International Air Transport Association [Iata], in Doha yesterday.



“Then of course they have a lot of capital available This is a second advantage they have. Therefore, they are of course performing with high growth rates, which of course are not related to the market itself,” he added."



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Dubai International outgrowing itself faster than expected | The National

Dubai International outgrowing itself faster than expected | The National:



"Rampant passenger growth through Dubai International Airport (DIA) could create congestion problems within three years, according to the chief of Emirates Airline.



That is because passenger growth of 14 per cent is outpacing earlier projections.



It could also hasten plans to move operations to the new Dubai World Central hub.



“At the moment we have issues. Already DWC (Dubai World Central) is being used, during the runway shutdown period, but if you look at the April figures [for Dubai International] they are up 14 per cent again,” said Tim Clark, the president of Emirates.



“When we did our planning for Dubai International Airport, we worked on growth of 10-11 per cent, but we have been running 14-16 per cent steady for the last two to three years,” he added."



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Saudi Arabia uses loans to keep foreign currency reserves untouched | The National

Saudi Arabia uses loans to keep foreign currency reserves untouched | The National:



"Loans to the public sector in Saudi Arabia accelerated in April as the government opted to fund spending by bank borrowing rather than dipping into its foreign reserves.



Annual growth in government borrowing jumped to 35.9 per cent in April from the year earlier, up from 21.2 per cent the previous month, data from the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (Sama) showed. Bank claims on the government rose 10.6 per cent month-on-month.



“Saudi Arabia has quite a lot of projects they want to get under way,” said Khatija Haque, the head of Middle East and North Africa research at Emirates NBD. “This data seems to imply they are relying more on bank loans so far this year to pay for this rather than oil revenues.”"



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Arabtec to float unit’s shares in Egypt | GulfNews.com

Arabtec to float unit’s shares in Egypt | GulfNews.com:



"Construction firm Arabtec Holding aims to float half of its Egyptian unit on the Cairo stock exchange in 2016 or 2017 in an initial public offer that would value the unit at around $10 billion (Dh36.7 billion), the firm said on Monday.



In response to questions from Reuters, Arabtec also said it planned to invest about $60 billion in Egypt over the next three years in sectors such as real estate development, infrastructure, trains, airports, and oil and gas.



The company did not give details of its plans, which will depend heavily on factors outside its control, such as Egypt’s political and economic stability in the wake of its 2011 revolution."



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Europe bank chiefs on second pay tier - YouTube

Europe bank chiefs on second pay tier - YouTube: ""



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Ukraine, Russia agree to hold off on gas dispute lawsuits — RT Business

Ukraine, Russia agree to hold off on gas dispute lawsuits — RT Business: "



In another round of tripartite talks between Moscow, Kiev, and the EU over gas supplies via Ukraine, the sides have finally come to some agreements – namely not to seek a gas price dispute settlement in the Stockholm-based arbitration court just yet.



“Both sides agreed that neither one nor the other will go to a Stockholm court,” Gazprom CEO Aleksey Miller told Ria Novosti, adding that the parties plan to resolve the gas price dispute before the next round of talks will begin sometime before June 9. “If the parties settle all the issues in the negotiations, it may not be necessary to go to the Stockholm court. "



As a result of Kiev's substantial gas debt to Russia, gas prices for Ukraine surged from US$268.50 to $485.50 per 1,000 cubic meters in April, when Russia annulled two earlier agreed discounts. Kiev keeps rejecting the full price, saying it is ready to repay its debt if Moscow fixes its price at the lowest rate."



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Gazprom’s Ukraine Talks Fuel Russian Energy Stock Rally - Bloomberg

Gazprom’s Ukraine Talks Fuel Russian Energy Stock Rally - Bloomberg:



"Russian energy stocks rallied in U.S. trading amid speculation that OAO Gazprom’s deadline extension for natural-gas payments from Ukraine is a signal that tension is easing between the two countries.



The Bloomberg Russia-US Equity Index of the most-traded Russian companies in the U.S. rose 1 percent to 88.55 from a one-week low. OAO Surgutneftegas, the oil producer known as Surgut, was the best performer on the gauge. OAO Lukoil rallied the most in three weeks. Gazprom added 0.9 percent following a 1.7 percent rise in Moscow.



Energy stocks gained as state-controlled Gazprom extended the deadline for Ukraine to pay an estimated $1.7 billion bill after the country made its first gas payment in months. The company had demanded that the former Soviet republic pay bills up front or risk being cut off from supplies. Russia and the European Union resumed talks with Ukraine to resolve a dispute over prices."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Qatar slips on profit-taking, World Cup concern | Markets | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Qatar slips on profit-taking, World Cup concern | Markets | Reuters:



"Qatar's bourse fell because of profit-taking and soccer World Cup concerns on Monday, while property stocks lifted Dubai and Egypt partially rebounded after a sharp drop caused by the government's plans to tax stock market investors.



The Doha index fell 1.1 percent from Sunday's all-time closing high, underperforming the region. Stocks that had jumped as they became part of MSCI's emerging market index last week were among the main drags.



Islamic lender Masraf Al Rayan dropped 3.9 percent, Qatar Islamic Bank fell 3.7 percent and Qatar National Bank was down 1.4 percent.



"The market had gone up because of the MSCI inclusion and there is profit-taking now," said Shakeel Sarwar, head of asset management at Securities & Investment Co (SICO) in Bahrain."



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