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Saturday, 28 June 2014

Times of Oman | News :: Economic fundamentals of Sultanate robust: Central Bank of Oman

Times of Oman | News :: Economic fundamentals of Sultanate robust: Central Bank of Oman:



"The Oman's gross domestic product (GDP) at current prices grew by 2.8 per cent during 2013, compared to 11.5 per cent in 2012, according to preliminary data regarding national accounts, the latest annual report of the Central Bank of Oman (CBO) revealed.



Nominal GDP contributed by the hydrocarbon sector registered a marginal decline of 1.0 per cent, primarily due to decline in crude oil prices, even though crude oil production increased during the year. The hydrocarbon sector accounted for around 50 per cent of the nominal GDP during 2013. The nominal GDP from non-hydrocarbon activities, key to the diversification process, witnessed a growth of 7.6 per cent during the year under review.



Within the non-hydrocarbon activities, the growth in GDP originating from the non-petroleum industrial activities slowed down from 5.5 per cent in 2012 to 2.8 per cent in 2013. Services sector with a share of around 37.3 per cent in nominal GDP during 2013 posted a growth of 10 per cent against 15.1 per cent in the previous year. The agriculture and fishing sector showed a growth of 8.6 per cent in 2013 as compared to 9.0 per cent in 2012, the CBO report stated."



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Moody's holds Russia's sovereign bond rating at Baa1, cuts outlook to 'negative' | Russia Beyond The Headlines

Moody's holds Russia's sovereign bond rating at Baa1, cuts outlook to 'negative' | Russia Beyond The Headlines:



"The review of Russia's government bond rating that Moody's Investors Service started two months ago amid the escalation of the Ukrainian crisis has ended up in a compromise solution: the rating outlook has been cut to 'negative' but the rating itself has been held at Baa1 level, although there were some signs back in March that it could be downgraded by one or even two levels.



Moody's reported on March 28 that Russia's Baa1 rating was put on review with the prospect of being downgraded because of the weakening economy and growing geopolitical risks. The agency said then that, if it decided to downgrade the rating, the most likely scenario would be its lowering by one level. It warned, however, that, if there were signs that the current events could cause serious turmoil, Russia's rating could be lowered by more than one level as well.



The agency said it could hold Russia's sovereign rating if the tension was alleviated or an anti-crisis decision was made capable of improving the prospects of the country's economic growth."



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Chief Investment Officer - Where in the World is the Kuwait Investment Authority?

Chief Investment Officer - Where in the World is the Kuwait Investment Authority?:



"“The Kuwait Investment Authority [KIA] has always been a black box. No one knows what goes in, what comes out, and what is going on inside. But it was here before everyone else; it is still here—and it is growing.”



I am on the 30th floor of one of the skyscrapers in Kuwait’s capital city which was constructed—painstakingly slowly—during the financial crisis. I am talking to a senior financier who deals with the small state’s largest national wealth fund. We are drinking sweet tea and overlooking the Arabian Gulf. He, like the others I have arranged to meet, has agreed to tell me what he knows about the KIA’s activity on the strict understanding that his identity will not be revealed.



“Many people work with the KIA: It is a huge investor in a very small country. But it is also a government agency and thus avoids any kind of publicity,” he says. “In Kuwait it takes years to build up a relationship, but it can be ruined in an instant—and no one wants that.”"



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GCC talking to UAE, Oman on monetary union: Kuwait - Emirates 24/7

GCC talking to UAE, Oman on monetary union: Kuwait - Emirates 24/7:



"Gulf oil produces who are members of the monetary union are talking to the UAE and Oman in a bid to persuade them to join the union, Kuwait’s finance minister said in press comments on Saturday.



Anas Al Saleh said the monetary union members — Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Bahrain — have been  involved in negotiations with the two countries to expand the union which was launched in 2010.



He told the Saudi Arabic language daily 'Al Eqtisadiah' that the four members are pushing ahead with the monetary union but said some “technical points” need to be cleared."



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Barwa sells $2.5bn Commercial Avenue stake as bailout continues - Doha News

Barwa sells $2.5bn Commercial Avenue stake as bailout continues - Doha News:



"One of Qatar’s largest real estate firms continued to sell off its assets to the country’s sovereign wealth fund this week with the offloading of a massive retail development near the Industrial Area.



Barwa Real Estate Co. said in a regulatory filing that it had sold its 95-percent stake in Barwa Commercial Avenue for QR9.02 billion (US$2.45 billion) to Labregah Real Estate Co., a wholly owned subsidiary of the Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Co. The other 5 percent is owned by the Qatar government.



The move was part of an existing debt payment plan that required Barwa to sell QR20 billion ($5.49 billion) worth of assets to the Diar. It has helped expand the government’s already extensive influence on the local real estate market in the process."



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Betting on big data - YouTube

Betting on big data - YouTube: ""



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Dark pools ... in 60 seconds - YouTube

Dark pools ... in 60 seconds - YouTube: ""



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ICD hopes to cap year with mandate for $1b Pakistan sukuk | GulfNews.com

ICD hopes to cap year with mandate for $1b Pakistan sukuk | GulfNews.com:



"The private sector arm of the Islamic Development Bank announced a flurry of initiatives this week and hopes to advise on the mandate for Pakistan’s $1 billion (Dh3.67 billion) Islamic bond, which would cap a landmark year for the Jeddah-based institution.



The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) and Karachi-based Burj Bank have applied to be advisers on the sovereign deal, meeting with Pakistan’s finance ministry earlier this week.



A ministry statement also said that it would review the applications starting next week.
"



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Russian Stocks Advance as Gazprom Gains Before Payout; TMK Falls - Bloomberg

Russian Stocks Advance as Gazprom Gains Before Payout; TMK Falls - Bloomberg:



"The Micex Index (INDEXCF) rose for the first time in three days as investors bought energy company stocks OAO Gazprom and OAO Surgutneftegas to qualify for dividends.



The equity gauge gained 0.3 percent to 1,477.32 by the close in Moscow, giving a 0.6 percent drop in the week. Gazprom added 1.3 percent, while Surgutneftegas increased 0.4 percent. OAO TMK slumped 4.8 percent, the biggest loss since March 13, on concern approval by the Russian pipemaker’s board to sell new stock may dilute the stakes of existing shareholders.



The dividend cutoff dates for Gazprom and Surgutneftegas, which have a combined 19 percent weighting in the index, come on July 16 and July 15, respectively. The Micex slid 3 percent in the two previous days as the U.S. and European Union raised pressure on Russia to help end violence in eastern Ukraine."



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Emerging Markets Show Biggest Premium Since ’12 With ETFs - Bloomberg

Emerging Markets Show Biggest Premium Since ’12 With ETFs - Bloomberg:



"Nobody likes missing a bull market, even if it’s happening half a world away. 




With stocks rising from Sao Paulo (IBOV) to Moscow to Istanbul, asset managers have piled almost $11 billion into developing-nation exchange-traded funds listed in the U.S. this quarter, the most since 2012, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That’s sent the premium of the biggest -- Vanguard Group Inc.’s FTSE Emerging Markets ETF -- to an average 0.2 percentage-point over its underlying assets, the widest gap in two years.



Investors are returning to developing-nation ETFs after pulling $31 billion from them in the year through March on concern that the end of easy-money policies from central banks and flare-ups of violence from Thailand to Ukraine would destabilize markets. Stocks in emerging economies are outperforming developed for the first time in six quarters, climbing 5.2 percent, while all but three of 296 emerging-market sovereign dollar bonds tracked by Bloomberg gained in the first half, the broadest rally in at least three years, the data show.

"



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Putin Defends South Stream Pipeline « Caspian Research Institute

Putin Defends South Stream Pipeline « Caspian Research Institute:



"Russian President Vladimir Putin is pushing back against Western opposition to his country’s planned South Stream pipeline that would allow Moscow to ship natural gas to European countries without going through Ukraine.



The Russian president spent six hours earlier this week in Vienna where he signed an agreement for the pipeline’s construction in that country.



Putin defended Austrian and Bulgarian cooperation on the pipeline project against political attacks from the West."



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