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Sunday, 29 June 2014

Iran seeks closer trade ties with UAE as nuclear talks lift mood - FT.com

Iran seeks closer trade ties with UAE as nuclear talks lift mood - FT.com:



"Jamshid, a leading Iranian importer of basic commodities, was outraged when authorities in the United Arab Emirates refused to renew his residence permit, ending his decade-long business in Dubai.



It was in 2012 and US banking sanctions over Iran’s nuclear programme had been tightened. International banks closed accounts of Iranian nationals to protect their own interests."



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Gulf’s free zones help spur economic diversification - FT.com

Gulf’s free zones help spur economic diversification - FT.com:



"The Middle East has propelled the development of free zones in recent decades. In a region where red tape and complicated regulations deter investors, free zones, offering respite from usual tax regimes and operating under their own laws, have transformed trade and investment, spawning new industries and diversifying economies.



Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, is home to 22 free zones, more than anywhere else in the region, if not the world. The sector-specific enclaves have become hubs attracting 19,000 companies, from multinational banks to global media, creating some 200,000 jobs. Cementing its leadership in the sector, the UAE has established the World Free Zones Organisation to bring all free zones under one roof."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets slip as volumes drop with Ramadan | News by Country | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets slip as volumes drop with Ramadan | News by Country | Reuters:



"Most bourses in the Gulf declined on Sunday as many retail investors withdrew from the markets with the beginning of Ramadan and trading volumes plunged. 




Dubai was the biggest loser, sliding 2.4 percent as daily trading volume shrank 59 percent.



"The market is very slow, with very low trading volumes, which is expected" during Ramadan, said Ali Adou, portfolio manager at The National Investor in Abu Dhabi."



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Dubai Shares Head for Worst Quarter Since 2012; Qatar Drops - Bloomberg

Dubai Shares Head for Worst Quarter Since 2012; Qatar Drops - Bloomberg:



"Dubai stocks extended declines, heading for their worst quarter in two years, as some investors judged shares too expensive. Qatar’s index also dropped.



The DFM General Index (DFMGI) fell 1.3 percent to 4,168.95 at 11:18 a.m. in the emirate, bringing the retreat since the end of March to 6.3 percent and on course for the first quarterly loss since the three months ending June 2012. Arabtec Holding Co. (ARTC), the United Arab Emirates’ biggest listed construction company, lost 3.6 percent. Deyaar Development PJSC slid 2.9 percent. Qatar’s QE Index slipped 1.4 percent to 11,648.42, the lowest level since March 31.



Dubai’s index has tumbled 18 percent this month. It entered a bear market on June 23 after dropping 20 percent from a high in May. The losses cut its estimated price-earnings ratio to 14, from a peak of 19 in May. That compares with a ratio of 11 for the MSCI Emerging Markets Index, according to data compiled by Bloomberg."



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Still Long on UAE Stocks? Be on Guard, Says Citi - Middle East Real Time - WSJ

Still Long on UAE Stocks? Be on Guard, Says Citi - Middle East Real Time - WSJ:



"Dubai flaunts the world’s tallest building, man-made islands, glitzy resorts and giant shopping malls as calling cards to the world. But it seems to grab more eyeballs with the shocks it sends out every once in a while to international investors.



Last week, its stock market did it again. After a nearly 18-month rally, the benchmark Dubai Financial Market Index tumbled almost 7% on Tuesday, and has now lost 17% this month since being upgraded, as part of the U.A.E., to emerging status by index compiler MSCI. Small change lost, some would argue, given the market is still up a whopping 160% since early 2013.



It, however, raises a difficult question. Bubble?



MSCI UAE Index from 2012 and Nasdaq from 1998, rebased to 100 at peak.
 
Citi
"



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Abu Dhabi's Waha Capital buys into Dubai's National Petroleum Services | Reuters

Abu Dhabi's Waha Capital buys into Dubai's National Petroleum Services | Reuters:



"Abu Dhabi investment firm Waha Capital said on Sunday it had bought a 20.56 percent stake in Dubai-based oilfield services firm National Petroleum Services for $76 million, as part of an increased emphasis on the region's energy sector.



In April, a consortium of Gulf-based investors including Fajr Capital and Arab Petroleum Investment Corp (APICORP) agreed on a deal to acquire NPS; Fajr said at the time that the deal was worth over $500 million.



Waha said in its bourse statement on Sunday that it was part of the consortium and that the deal, with a total equity value of $370 million, had now closed. It did not explain the difference between its valuation of the acquisition and the figure given earlier by Fajr."



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BBC News - Britain should stay in EU to protect economy, CBI says

BBC News - Britain should stay in EU to protect economy, CBI says:



"The success of the UK economy depends on staying in the EU, the head of the country's biggest business group says.



Confederation of British Industry (CBI) director general John Cridland told the Observer EU membership supported jobs, growth and the UK's "competitiveness". 




His comments come after Prime Minister David Cameron lost a vote on the next president of the European Commission."



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UAE hotels off the pace as FDI grows | The National

UAE hotels off the pace as FDI grows | The National:



"Foreign direct investment in the UAE is growing, but the hotels sector is lagging.



“FDI in the hospitality sector is slower than the real estate sector because there is still a lack of transparency on transactions,” said Joe Sita, the chief executive of IFA Hotel Investments. Kuwait’s IFA has projects such as the Fairmont Palm, M√∂venpick Laguna in Jumeirah Lakes Towers and Kingdom of Sheba complex on the Palm.



“As long as we continue to face this issue, it will remain difficult for foreign and institutional investors to build a complete enough picture of the market to dive in, despite the fact that they know Dubai is certainly worth investing in.”"



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Five factors that can shore up debt markets in Dubai | The National

Five factors that can shore up debt markets in Dubai | The National:



"It is six years away, but already Expo 2020 is stimulating increased economic activity across Dubai. To anyone living and working in Dubai, the signs are apparent. Investment in infrastructure in advance of the Expo is already helping to accelerate Dubai’s resurgence as a regional trade hub and as a magnet for regional capital.



However, it is unlikely that Expo 2020 alone will drive the much-needed development of the local debt markets. Even though spending on new projects and initiatives to service the projected influx of visitors could require the issuance of high-yielding bonds, and even though limited funding from the debt markets is already under way, the Expo will not be the principal driver for the bond markets over the next couple of years.



Instead, five other factors will be central."



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EFG Hermes says Beltone-Sawiris bid 30% below fair share price | GulfNews.com

EFG Hermes says Beltone-Sawiris bid 30% below fair share price | GulfNews.com:



"EFG Hermes said on Saturday an independent financial adviser had set its fair share price at 22.93 Egyptian pounds ($3.21) whereas the price offered by Beltone and New Egypt Investment Fund for a stake in the bank was 30 per cent lower.



The bid for a stake in the Egyptian investment bank could help to revive deal making in Egyptian equities after more than three years of stagnation following the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak in 2011.



EFG Hermes appointed Cairo-based HC Securities & Investment this month to evaluate the fair value of its shares and help shareholders decide whether to accept an offer to acquire a 20 per cent stake in the bank at 16 pounds per share."



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