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Thursday, 3 July 2014

Pipeline problems cloud Kashagan oil outlook « Caspian Research Institute

Pipeline problems cloud Kashagan oil outlook « Caspian Research Institute:



"A YEAR ago, one of the world’s biggest oil and gas projects, the massive Kashagan field in Kazakhstan’s part of the Caspian Sea, was on the verge of starting production after more than a decade of development and US$40 billion in costs.



Its backers, a combination of international oil companies ExxonMobil, Shell, Total, Eni, Japan’s Inpex, the China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) and Kazakhstan’s state-owned KazMunaiGas, had every expectation Kashagan would be producing as much as 8 million tonnes of oil this year, equivalent to 170,000 barrels a day.



But a series of gas leaks from pipelines soon after production started in mid-September last year brought the operation to a halt on October 9. Now, nine months later, instead of the expected cash flow, the partners are awaiting the results of a long and complex investigation into the pipeline failures."



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Russian central bank partially sells out of Moscow Exchange | EmergingMarkets.me

Russian central bank partially sells out of Moscow Exchange | EmergingMarkets.me:



"Russia’s central bank has sold an 11% stake in Moscow Exchange in partially fulfilling its obligation to divest all its interest in the bourse by January 1, 2016. 




“We are delighted to be leading the way in reopening Russia’s capital markets with a ground-breaking transaction for Moscow Exchange,” a statement from Moscow Exchange quoted its chief executive Alexander Afanasiev as saying. 




“This follows on from a number of successful equity placements on our exchange over the past year, and once again demonstrates the quality and depth of the local market, and the potential for companies to carry out large transactions in local shares,” Afansiev said."



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HSBC: Russia enters technical recession, as Ukraine’s drag weighs — RT Business

HSBC: Russia enters technical recession, as Ukraine’s drag weighs — RT Business:



"Russia has slipped into a technical recession, as the growth has been negative for the past two consecutive quarters, and stagflation could be on the horizon, a new HSBC report reveals. Political tension in neighboring Ukraine is being blamed.



“In June, the Russian economy showed zero growth, and slipped into a technical recession in the first half of 2014”, HSBC analyst Artem Biryukov commented in a Thursday note.



“Unfortunately, the recent spike in geopolitical tensions amid the Russia-Ukraine standoff will likely have long lasting negative effects on private fixed investment growth in Russia. This will hamper economic recovery in Russia in 2014-15, despite large investments further to the signing of the Russia Chinagas deal,” Biryukov said."



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Ukraine inflation could be 17-19% in 2014 - NBU chief

Ukraine inflation could be 17-19% in 2014 - NBU chief:



"Ukrainian inflation in 2014 could speed up to 17-19% due to the hryvnia devaluation and the rise in regulated tariffs, said Valeriya Gontareva, the head of the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU).



The NBU is switching to flexible exchange rates with inflation targeting, a policy that is new for the country, she said via video link at an investment conference in London organized by Concord Capital, an investment firm.



At the same time, Gontareva said that flexible-rate policy should not be confused with hryvnia's real convertibility, the prospect of which is measured by years, and the transition to the inflation-targeting policy will be gradual, taking approximately 12 months."



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Russia to Sell 19.5% Stake in Oil Giant Rosneft | News | The Moscow Times

Russia to Sell 19.5% Stake in Oil Giant Rosneft | News | The Moscow Times:



"The Russian government has backed the sale of a 19.5 percent stake in the state oil producer Rosneft next year, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov told reporters on Thursday.




The Russian government owns a 69.5 percent in Rosneft via Rosneftegaz, with almost 20 percent belonging to BP."



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Qatar rally loses steam; PMI rebound lifts Egypt | GulfNews.com

Qatar rally loses steam; PMI rebound lifts Egypt | GulfNews.com:



"End-of-week profit-taking ended rallies in the Qatar stock market on Thursday, while strong economic data and plans to cut fuel subsidies lifted investors’ mood in Egypt.



Qatar, which had jumped 7.8 per cent in the same period, slipped 0.1 per cent on Thursday. Islamic lenders, which had led the brief rally, became the main drags on the index.



Shares in Masraf Al Rayan fell 2.3 per cent, Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB) edged down 1.6 per cent and Qatar International Islamic Bank (QIIB) slipped 0.7 per cent."



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Arabtec Gains After Aabar Weighs Stake Increase: Dubai Mover - Bloomberg

Arabtec Gains After Aabar Weighs Stake Increase: Dubai Mover - Bloomberg:



"Arabtec Holding Co. (ARTC) rose after its second-biggest shareholder Aabar Investments PJSC said it may increase its stake in the company that helped build the tallest tower in the world.



Shares in the United Arab Emirates’ largest listed construction company jumped 6.3 percent to 3.52 dirhams at the close, bringing its three-day advance to 35 percent, the most since February 2009. Khadem Al Qubaisi, chairman of both companies, said at a press conference after close of trading yesterday that Aabar was considering buying more shares in the builder.



Abu Dhabi state-run Aabar cut its holdings in Arabtec to about 19 percent in June from almost 22 percent, stoking speculation the company was losing government backing. Arabtec was at the heart of Dubai’s selloff last month, as Chief Executive Officer Hasan Ismaik resigned and it dismissed staff. Dubai’s gauge, the world’s best performing in dollar terms this year, entered a bear market on June 23 and posted its worst month in more than five years, losing 22 percent of its value."



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BNP to Standard Chartered Toppled as Deals Go Local - Bloomberg

BNP to Standard Chartered Toppled as Deals Go Local - Bloomberg:



"International banks retreating from the Middle East cleared the way for Arab lenders to take over as the region’s biggest dealmakers in the first half.



Saudi Arabia’s Samba Capital replaced HSBC (HSBA) Holdings Plc as the region’s top syndicated loan arranger in the period, while Standard Chartered Plc dropped to 17th place from second and BNP Paribas SA slid to 19th from third, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Banks based in the Gulf Cooperation Council nations provided 77 percent of the loans, their biggest share since Bloomberg began compiling the data in 1999.



While pressure from regulators has forced international banks to sell assets and boost capital reserves, local lenders in the oil-rich region, flush with cash, have driven borrowing rates to the lowest in more than seven years and hired loan arrangers. That’s putting them on a level footing with international banks, said Chris Sutcliffe, head of loan syndication for Standard Chartered in the Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan."



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Recent equity selloff in Dubai not reflective of broader macroeconomic systemic issues, says Bofa Merril Lynch - bi-me.com

Recent equity selloff in Dubai not reflective of broader macroeconomic systemic issues, says Bofa Merril Lynch - Business Intelligence Middle East - bi-me.com - News, analysis, reports:



"UAE: don’t sell Dubai 



 "We do not view the sharp equity selloff as reflective of broader macroeconomic systemic issues. Dubai’s economic recovery has become more entrenched, and the 2020 Expo bid provides upside potential. Vulnerabilities remain around maturing restructured debt from 2015 onward and potential for real estate overheating. The EXD curve is steep; ample local liquidity supports a MW stance. 




Equity selloff not justified by changed macro fundamentals



The Dubai stock market recent sharp selloff in the past week extended the market’s losing streak and brought the market about 25% off its May highs. On our side, the selloff raises the question as to whether the selling is justified on the basis of changed macroeconomic fundamentals or acute vulnerabilities. Our views were last expressed here and we see no reason to depart from our constructive stance. The poor equity performance was not matched in the credit space, as Dubai 5-yr CDS widened by just 20bps over mid-June levels, while sovereign bond prices held steady. Also, equities rebounded strongly yesterday.



Our equity strategy team is now turning more constructive on both the UAE and Qatar within the framework of positioning, valuations and macro catalysts. The team notes that the selloff in the UAE and Qatar has come about as the catalyst of MSCI inflows waned while GEM and Frontier investors cut positioning in markets trading at extreme valuations with little support from key macro drivers."



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CCEE Policy Brief: Turkmenistan and the European energy dynamic

CCEE Policy Brief: Turkmenistan and the European energy dynamic:



"In the past month, the international spotlight has been on the 400 billion USD gas deal reached between Russia and China. In the context of broader geo-political and economic developments, though, this focus has neglected to properly account for the ambitious announcement made by the Turkmen President during his visit to China, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow stated that the country would boost its natural gas exports to China to 65 billion cubic meters per year by 2020.



During the past month, Turkmenistan has also been busy engaging in high-level consultations with Azerbaijan and Turkey. These talks have taken place at not only the bilateral and trilateral levels – among Turkish, Azerbaijani and Turkmen foreign ministers, but also multilaterally via the Cooperation Council of Turkic-speaking States.



In light of these important developments, this policy brief will explore the significance of Turkmenistan’s engagement with China and the likely impact of such an agreement on the Russia-China deal. The potential consequences of a Turkmen pivot to Asia in the context of the opportunities represented by the European gas market will also be evaluated."



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Renminbi opportunities - YouTube

Renminbi opportunities - YouTube: ""



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SCA to investigate brokers suspected of overextending credit | The National

SCA to investigate brokers suspected of overextending credit | The National:



"The Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA) is investigating brokers suspected of giving excess margin trading facilities to investors, identified as exacerbating the bear run of the Dubai Financial Market.



The country’s stock exchange regulator made the announcement after The National reported on Monday that a number of brokers had extended credit facilities in excess of that permitted by SCA regulations, with resulting margin calls extending the sell-off of shares in Arabtec and other listed entities.



Many brokers had provided investors with aggressive margin accounts with two-to-one and even three-to-one ratios, as reported."



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Saudi Aramco close to becoming majority stakeholder in South Korea’s S-Oil | The National

Saudi Aramco close to becoming majority stakeholder in South Korea’s S-Oil | The National:



"Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest oil producer, is close to finalising a US$1.95 billion deal to become a majority stakeholder in the South Korean refinery firm S-Oil.



Aramco Overseas, which is owned by Aramco, said yesterday that it had agreed in principle to buy the South Korean firm Hanjin Group’s 28.4 per cent stake in S-Oil, which will give Aramco a 63.4 per cent share in the company.



As part of the deal,Aramco will buy 32 million shares in S-Oil from Hanjin Energy, a member of the Hanjin Group."



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The Arabtec saga: how we got here, and who paid the price | The National

The Arabtec saga: how we got here, and who paid the price | The National:



"It was a month that every stockbroker would like to forget. As screens turned red and losses mounted, some investors were left wiped out.



One company was the trigger for the sell-off in Dubai.



Arabtec, under the leadership of a 38-year-old chief executive from Jordan named Hasan Ismaik, had big plans. His abrupt departure on June 18 put a big question mark over all of them.



Yesterday, Arabtec had the opportunity to answer some of the questions. Khadem Al Qubaisi, the chairman of the accident-prone company, faced UAE and international media at the Abu Dhabi headquarters of International Petroleum Investment Company, the government-owned group that has a big say in Arabtec affairs via its control of Aabar."



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Arabtec denies terminating any projects | GulfNews.com

Arabtec denies terminating any projects | GulfNews.com:



"Arabtec, is set to move forward with all its projects inside and outside the UAE, and maintains the support of major shareholder, Aabar Investments, chairman Khadem Al Qubaisi confirmed.



At a press conference held on Wednesday, Al Qubaisi said that Arabtec’s project in Egypt that aims to build one million homes, is in the design phase, and is progressing smoothly.



Arabtec’s projects in the UAE and internationally are valued at Dh26.2 billion."



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Russian ADRs Advance on Ukraine Truce Talks in Berlin - Bloomberg

Russian ADRs Advance on Ukraine Truce Talks in Berlin - Bloomberg:



"Russian stocks traded in the U.S. rebounded from a two-week low as talks in Berlin to resolve the Ukraine crisis ended with political leaders from the two countries agreeing on the outline for a sustainable truce.



The Bloomberg index of the most-traded Russian companies in the U.S. rose 1.1 percent to 93.35 yesterday, the first gain in six days. American depositary receipts of oil producer OAO Lukoil increased 2.3 percent to $61.19, while OAO Mobile TeleSystems, the nation’s biggest mobile phone company, jumped 3.4 percent. RTS stock-index futures added 0.2 percent to 134,650 in U.S. hours.



Foreign ministers from Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France started negotiations in Berlin yesterday in an attempt to ease the four-month regional crisis. The bloodshed in eastern Ukraine reached a “dramatic climax” in the past few days, prompting the four countries to pledge to work for a comprehensive cease-fire in another round of talks by July 5, said German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who is brokering the process with his French counterpart."



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Occidental Talks for Middle East Unit Stake Sale Said to Falter - Bloomberg

Occidental Talks for Middle East Unit Stake Sale Said to Falter - Bloomberg:



"Occidental Petroleum Corp. (OXY)’s effort to raise as much as $8 billion by selling a stake in its Middle Eastern business has ended without a deal, people with knowledge of the matter said, and the company is now seeking to shop smaller pieces.



Occidental had been trying to sell 40 percent of the operations to a group comprising the governments of Oman, Abu Dhabi and Qatar, people have said, to raise cash for drilling and share buybacks.



The company now plans to sell some assets piecemeal, which will likely yield smaller proceeds than originally envisioned, two of the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private. Occidental may fetch as much as $1 billion for smaller, partial sales, one of the people said."



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Oil Falls as Libyan Supply Seen Rising, Iraq Output Remains Safe - Bloomberg

Oil Falls as Libyan Supply Seen Rising, Iraq Output Remains Safe - Bloomberg:



"West Texas Intermediate fell for a sixth day, the longest losing streak since May 2012, while Brent slid amid speculation that crude supplies will increase after Libyan rebels agreed to hand over two export terminals.



Futures dropped as much as 0.5 percent in New York. Libya is reopening the Es Sider and Ras Lanuf facilities after reaching an agreement yesterday with a group that blockaded ports in the country’s east in the past year, said Ahmed al-Amin, a government spokesman. Fighting in Iraq, OPEC’s second-largest producer, still hasn’t spread to the south, home to more than three-quarters of its crude output. 




“Libya will just add more supply, and the world is awash with oil,” Jonathan Barratt, the chief investment officer at Ayers Alliance Securities in Sydney, said by phone. “There’s nothing new from Iraq and investors are starting to realize that there’s not going to be a major affect in terms of supply.”"



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