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Wednesday, 18 June 2014

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf rebounds, Arabtec up as CEO quits | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf rebounds, Arabtec up as CEO quits | Reuters:



"Most stock markets in the Gulf rebounded on Wednesday after an Iraq-related sell-off ended, although stocks directly exposed to the country continued to suffer. Dubai's Arabtec rose after its chief executive resigned.



The gains by insurgents in Iraq triggered a run on global and regional equities earlier this week that dragged down most stocks in the Gulf. However, the selling subsided on Tuesday, and on Wednesday most bourses in the region edged up, though trading volumes were modest.



Abu Dhabi's bourse led gains, rising 0.7 percent on the back of National Bank of Abu Dhabi, which jumped 4.3 percent."



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tks @AgronomyUkraine: #Ukraine's common agricultural policy?

Agronomy-Ukraine: Ukraine's common agricultural policy?:



Ukraine has a new President after the previous one raided the country’s finances and ran away.

It also has a new Minister of Agriculture who presumably is in the process of determining the new agricultural policy.

The Ukrainian agricultural policy has never been that clear to me - to be fair which country’s is - but it seemed to consist of centralizing power in Kyiv, recreating (did it ever really go away) a command led system with the local administration barking commands, directives, orders and threats at farmers.

As an example, for the last three or four years I have frequently and consistently been ordered to start milking cows as this is what the Ministry of Agricultural has decided must be done therefore I must implement it immediately if I didn't want problems with my current business.

To be fair again, the domestic dairy herd has been in free fall from around eight million cows in the mid-nineties to less than three million today and most of what’s left appear to be house cows.

So an agricultural policy to encourage investing in dairy herds to increase productivity and efficiency of the national herd would appear to make sense.

It would take advantage of the increasing consumption and demand for dairy products in Ukraine and elsewhere; it would reduce the need for imports and create export opportunities; it would create jobs (particularly in the rural areas) and livestock always compliment crop based farming systems.

All in all its probably not a bad idea.

But by creating an almost untenable business environment and doing nothing to control corruption then commanding foreign investment projects start milking cows immediately and demanding to see business plans, that was never really going to work.

The problem with command led systems is those at the top start to believe that only they have the knowledge and the wisdom to see the big picture and they then patronize and expect those beneath them to respond accordingly.

This might have worked in former times (it never really did) but in today’s developing economic structure demanding to see the business plan for a new 1000 cow dairy unit from a private and often foreign investor is just not going to work now is it.

Let’s hope the new Ministers of Agriculture and the new administration recognize the importance of agriculture and what it has to offer in enabling Ukraine to get on its feet economically and support and help farmers accordingly.

I sincerely hope it’s not just a case of “meet the new boss, same as the old boss.”
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The gold 'fix' in less than 60 seconds - YouTube

The gold 'fix' in less than 60 seconds - YouTube: ""



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Arabtec CEO resigns after its shares crash by 48% this month « ArabianMoney

Arabtec CEO resigns after its shares crash by 48% this month « ArabianMoney:



Arabtec CEO Hasan Ismaik has resigned with immediate effect after a tumultuous month for the group’s share price in which Mr. Ismaik accumulated much of his controversial 28.8 per cent stake. Mohammed Ali Al Fahim, a board member from major shareholder Abu Dhabi’s International Petroleum Investment Company, is expected to be confirmed as his replacement.
It’s not known why or how Mr. Ismaik came to buy the stake. At first impression it just looks a case of incredibly bad timing or may be he is genuinely convinced that the business will turnaround far more quickly than others realize.

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Man Behind “BRICS” Says it Should Now Be Just “CI” for China and India - India Real Time - WSJ

Man Behind “BRICS” Says it Should Now Be Just “CI” for China and India - India Real Time - WSJ:



"Former Goldman Sachs executive Jim O’ Neill, who coined the BRICS term referring to fast-growing emerging markets countries, is rooting for the “B” in that acronym to win the World Cup.



“Brazil symbolizes everything that’s beautiful about football,” the British economist said Monday evening in a telephone interview.



An avid Manchester United fan — but not a big supporter of England’s national team — O’Neill said he plans to travel to Brazil to watch several games in person and to wear his two Brazil jerseys for at least some of them."



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Smart beta relies on the dumb - YouTube

Smart beta relies on the dumb - YouTube: ""



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‘Property booms are good for UAE economy’, says Damac boss | The National

‘Property booms are good for UAE economy’, says Damac boss | The National:



"Property booms are good for the UAE’s economy and for its residents, says the boss of one of the region’s biggest developers.



Ziad El Chaar, the managing director of Damac Properties, told The National: “Property booms lift economic activity and are good for personal wealth levels. They generate income for the government and stimulate the multiplier effect for more investment in the property market.”



His comments come after warnings from the UAE’s Central Bank and from the IMF of the dangers of “overheating” in the UAE property market, which resulted in prices rising by nearly 28 per cent last year, according to official figures."



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Market analysis: UAE exchanges should remain strong despite latest correction | The National

Market analysis: UAE exchanges should remain strong despite latest correction | The National:



"The UAE stock markets have had a sharp correction in the past few weeks, but could well bounce back in September or October, after a trading lull during Ramadan and the traditionally slow summer months of July and August.



The markets have rallied strongly since the beginning of 2013, making up ground following a five-year period of essentially treading water, while other markets around the world recovered from the global financial crisis.



One of the main drivers of this rally was MSCI’s decision to reclassify the UAE as an emerging market, an upgrade from frontier market, putting the Dubai and Abu Dhabi exchanges on a par with markets such as Brazil, Egypt, South Africa, China, India and South Korea."



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Saudis to keep reserve management strategy, says Central Bank | GulfNews.com

Saudis to keep reserve management strategy, says Central Bank | GulfNews.com:



"Saudi Arabia’s central bank will keep its current strategy for managing the country’s foreign reserves, central bank governor Fahad Al Mubarak said on Tuesday, indicating a continued emphasis on US dollar assets.



The country’s net foreign assets, swelled by high oil prices, are currently worth about $730 billion, and have been growing at an annual rate of about 9 per cent.



The central bank is believed to have placed over half of that amount in conservative US dollar assets such as US Treasury bonds and bank accounts."



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Asian oil importers cannot be sanguine over Iraq | GulfNews.com

Asian oil importers cannot be sanguine over Iraq | GulfNews.com:



"Have Asia’s oil buyers and traders become so inured to supply disruptions that the potential disintegration of the world’s fourth-largest crude exporter barely causes a ripple in regional markets? The stunning victories of the hardline Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in capturing Iraq’s second city Mosul and advancing on the capital Baghdad have grabbed headlines and moved prices, yes, but do not yet appear to have raised long-term supply worries.



Global oil benchmark Brent gained 3.2 per cent from June 10 to close at $113.02 a barrel last Thursday, indicating some level of concern about developments in Iraq. The key Middle East marker, the Dubai Mercantile Exchange’s Oman futures, rose by 2.8 per cent over the same period.



The DME contract is more relevant for Asian crude buyers, given their reliance on heavier, more sour grades from the Middle East, as opposed to light, sweet crudes such as Brent. And with the forward DME curve remaining in “backwardation”, it seems evident that there is little concern in Asia that supplies from Iraq will be at risk in months to come."



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Putin Talks Peace With #Ukraine’s Leader After Gas Pipeline Blaze - Bloomberg #EuroMaidan

Putin Talks Peace With Ukraine’s Leader After Gas Pipeline Blaze - Bloomberg: "



The Russian and Ukrainian presidents discussed a possible cease-fire for southeastern Ukraine hours after a pipeline fire blamed by the government in Kiev on sabotage threatened natural gas flows to Europe.



Presidents Vladimir Putin of Russia and Petro Poroshenko of Ukraine talked last night about bilateral relations between the countries and about the death of Russian journalists working in Ukraine, according to a Kremlin statement.



“The issue of possible cease-fire in the area of a military operation in Ukraine’s southeast has been touched upon,” the Kremlin said after the leaders’ phone call."



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Ukraine Facing Backlash From FX Borrowers Sunk by Hryvnia - Bloomberg

Ukraine Facing Backlash From FX Borrowers Sunk by Hryvnia - Bloomberg:



"As central Kiev burned amid deadly street protests in February, Ukraine’s currency dived and Alex Bukovetskiy stopped paying his dollar-based mortgage. 




The 41-year-old joined hundreds of angry borrowers at parliament last week to demand the authorities provide relief after the hryvnia lost a third of its value in two months. Payments to Universal Bank on his flat in the capital’s suburbs have jumped 40 percent to $1,250 since President Viktor Yanukovych was toppled.



“I don’t have that kind of money,” Bukovetskiy, who’d been dipping into savings to pay his mortgage after losing his marketing job last autumn, said June 5 by phone. “I’m not hiding from my bank. I’m ready to pay but I want a compromise.”"



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Egyptian Twinkies Maker Said Set to Hire Goldman Sachs for IPO - Bloomberg

Egyptian Twinkies Maker Said Set to Hire Goldman Sachs for IPO - Bloomberg:



"Edita Food Industries, the Egyptian snacks maker part-owned by buyout firm Actis LLP, is close to hiring Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) to help manage its initial public offering, three people with knowledge of the matter said.



The company, whose products include the Twinkies cake in Egypt, may appoint a second bank to assist on the expected share sale in Cairo, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private. The IPO may be valued at about $300 million, according to the people.



Egyptian companies are reviving share sales as they seek to benefit from a more than 20 percent gain in Egypt’s benchmark EGX 30 index this year. A $110 million IPO of Arabian Cement last month, the country’s first since the 2011 uprisings, received $1.5 billion in bids from institutional and individual investors, according to EFG-Hermes Holding SAE."



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Qatar’s CBQ, U.A.E.’s RAKBank Raise $1.25 Billion From Bonds - Bloomberg

Qatar’s CBQ, U.A.E.’s RAKBank Raise $1.25 Billion From Bonds - Bloomberg:



"Commercial Bank of Qatar QSC, the Persian Gulf state’s second-biggest lender, and the National Bank of Ras Al-Khaimah PSC are raising a combined $1.25 billion from the sale of five-year bonds as they seek funds to expand.



CBQ is selling $750 million of securities that will be priced to yield 117 basis points over the benchmark midswap rate, according to two people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. RAKBank, the United Arab Emirates’ most-profitable listed lender last year, sold $500 million of notes priced to yield 160 basis points over five-year midswaps, the people said.



Bond sales from the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council, which includes the U.A.E. and Qatar, have surged in June as average yields in the region are near their lowest, according to JPMorgan Chase indexes. Emirates Telecommunications Corp. (ETISALAT) raised more than $4.2 billion in the region’s biggest ever corporate bond issue to fund its acquisition of Maroc Telecom."



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