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Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Saudi an expensive alternative to Russia



Russia to Let Visa, MasterCard Sidestep Security Deposit | News | The Moscow Times

Russia to Let Visa, MasterCard Sidestep Security Deposit | News | The Moscow Times:



"The Russian government has officially declared the conditions that will allow international payment systems Visa and MasterCard to continue business in Russia without paying the massive security deposit that had threatened to shove them out of the country.



To avoid paying the security deposit and fines for interruption of service, the companies must find a Russian payment system deemed "of national importance" to process their transactions by Oct. 31, according to a decree signed by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on July 15 and published Tuesday on the government's website.



This solution to the standoff was floated by Central Bank chief Elvira Nabiullina at a banking conference earlier this month."



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Former Alba chief Hall sentenced to 16 months over Bahrain bribes - FT.com

Former Alba chief Hall sentenced to 16 months over Bahrain bribes - FT.com:



"A businessman who admitted receiving bribes of £2.88m while running Bahrain’s aluminium champion has been jailed for 16 months for what the judge called an “extremely serious case of corruption.”



Bruce Hall, former chief executive of Bahraini-owned Alba, one of the largest aluminium smelters in the world, had pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to corrupt. The charge related to an alleged multimillion pound bribery conspiracy involving Canadian-British billionaire Victor Dahdaleh and Bahraini minister Sheikh Isa bin Ali al-Khalifa.



Mr Hall made a deal with Britain’s Serious Fraud Office and last year appeared as a prosecution witness in the trial of Mr Dahdaleh, which collapsed due to the non-appearance of two key witnesses."



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Emerging Stocks Climb to 17-Month High as Russia, Saudi Advance - Bloomberg

Emerging Stocks Climb to 17-Month High as Russia, Saudi Advance - Bloomberg:



"Emerging-market stocks climbed to a 17-month high as Chinese shares rose amid bets the government will do more to bolster growth. Russian equities rebounded and Saudi Arabia jumped on plans to open the market to foreign investors.



China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. (386) rose the most since March in Hong Kong as the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index jumped 2.4 percent. Saudi stocks rallied 2.8 percent to their highest in more than six years. The Micex Index (INDEXCF) in Moscow ended its longest losing streak since January after rebels in Ukraine released bodies from the Malaysian jet crash site. The rupiah slid before the results of the presidential election today.



The MSCI Emerging Markets Index added 1.1 percent to 1,074.50 by 2:40 p.m. in London, the strongest level since February 2013. Russia is happy rebels handed over black boxes to Malaysian representatives, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in a website statement. Saudi Arabia will allow foreign investors into its stock market in the first half of 2015, providing greater access to the Arab world’s biggest exchange."



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5 Things to Know About Saudi Arabia’s Stock Market - WSJ

5 Things to Know About Saudi Arabia’s Stock Market - WSJ:



"Saudi Arabia is planning to give foreigners greater access to its stock market as it spends hundreds of billions of dollars weaning the Arab Gulf kingdom’s economy off its dependence on oil revenues. Here are five things that international investors should take note of regarding the country."



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Putin Says Russia Needs Steps to Protect Economy, Financial System | Business | RIA Novosti

Putin Says Russia Needs Steps to Protect Economy, Financial System | Business | RIA Novosti:



"Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday the country needs to think of additional steps to protect its national economy and financial system, including protection from external factors such as political risks.



“I believe that we need to think of additional steps to decrease the dependency of the national economy and its financial system from unfavorable external factors. I have in mind not just the instability on the global markets, but also possible political risks,” Putin said during a Security Council meeting.



Last week, the US Treasury introduced a so-called Sectoral Sanctions Identification List that targeted the defense, energy and banking sectors of the Russian economy. The West sees sanctions as an adequate response to Moscow’s alleged involvement in the Ukrainian crisis."



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BBC News - Iran attracts investors hoping for trade sanctions relaxation

BBC News - Iran attracts investors hoping for trade sanctions relaxation:



"Iran's nuclear talks have been extended until November.



But while the negotiations continue, many companies have been re-building business relations with their Iranian counterparts driven by the enormous potential the lifting of the trade restrictions would bring.



Mark Lobel reports from Dubai on the firms eager for a deal to be done."



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Saudi Stocks Jump to 2008-High on Foreign Access, MSCI Prospect - Bloomberg

Saudi Stocks Jump to 2008-High on Foreign Access, MSCI Prospect - Bloomberg:



"Saudi shares climbed to a six-year high after the country’s market regulator said it would open the Arab world’s biggest bourse to international investors by the middle of 2015. MSCI Inc. said the exchange may be classified as emerging markets by 2017 at the earliest.



The Tadawul All Share Index (SASEIDX) rose 2.5 percent to 9,994.56 at 1:11 p.m. in Riyadh, after climbing to 10,068.63, the highest since May 2008. Saudi Basic Industries Corp., the world’s biggest petrochemicals producer, led the gains with a 6.2 percent advance. Etihad Etisalat Co. added 4.8 percent, while Al Rajhi Bank climbed 1.8 percent. 




“International investors have been eager to accumulate blue-chip stocks in Saudi for the longest time,” Tariq Qaqish, head of asset management at Dubai-based Al Mal Capital PSC, said by e-mail. Many of the companies have a “solid track record,” he said."



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Guest post: the free ride to convergence is over; EMs must boost productivity – beyondbrics - Blogs - FT.com

Guest post: the free ride to convergence is over; EMs must boost productivity – beyondbrics - Blogs - FT.com:



"The year 2010 was a turning point. What we didn’t know at the time – but what new data just released have shown us – was that 2010 was the year when the share of non-OECD countries in the global economy surpassed that of OECD countries, at purchasing power parity. The rate of this shift has been remarkable: just 10 years earlier these countries accounted for 40 per cent of the global economy. The shift is being led by China and India, which together account for almost a quarter of the global economy.



However, there has recently been a slowdown in the rate of growth of emerging economies, including China. At their average growth rates during 2000-2012, several lower middle-income countries such as India, Indonesia and Vietnam, but also countries in the upper middle-income bracket such as Brazil, Colombia, Hungary, Mexico and South Africa, will fail to converge with the average OECD income level by 2050. Their challenge is deepened by the slowdown in China, whose rapid growth in the past has benefited its overseas suppliers, especially natural-resource exporters. The free-ride towards convergence for many developing countries, based on China’s growth, is over.



These trends add to concerns about emerging countries being unable to make the transition to high income levels and better living standards – what some refer to as the ‘middle-income trap’. What we know is that sustained growth slowdowns can be linked with significant slowdowns in productivity growth. Boosting productivity must therefore be at the heart of boosting economic growth in middle-income countries, and is what the OECD Development Centre has been examining in this year’s Perspectives on Global Development report."



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5 Things to Know About the New BRICS Bank - WSJ

5 Things to Know About the New BRICS Bank - WSJ:



"Meeting in the Brazilian city of Fortaleza last week, leaders of the five BRICS nations – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – finally put some flesh on the bones of a long-awaited plan to set up a new development bank to rival the World Bank.



The World Bank’s original purpose was to make loans at concessional rates for big infrastructure projects, though recently it has focused more on poverty alleviation, resource management and policy advice. The bank aims to cover its costs, but not to turn a profit.



Here are five observations to put the BRICS alternative in perspective."



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ht @AgronomyUkraine: Life on MARS

Agronomy-Ukraine: Life on MARS:



"The latest EU crop monitoring MARS bulletin is pitching EU-28 H14 cereal yields as good and a positive outlook for summer crops.



They are forecasting cereal yields at 5.31mt/ha which is at the same level as H13 and compares favourably with the five year average of 5.09mt/ha.



In Ukraine they state meteorological conditions are optimal and cereal yields are expected to reach nearly the same level as last year although there are a couple of significant points that might dent this bullish position."



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Investment returns boost Kingdom Holding’s second-quarter profit by 16% | The National

Investment returns boost Kingdom Holding’s second-quarter profit by 16% | The National:



"An increase in returns from investments and dividends income helped Kingdom Holding to a 16.8 per cent rise in net profit during the second quarter of the year. 




Kingdom Holding, which owns stakes in several international businesses including Citigroup, Four Seasons, Apple and Twitter, reported net earnings in the three months to June 30 of 211.6 million Saudi riyals (Dh207.2m), up from 181.2m riyals in the same period a year earlier, it said in a statement on the Saudi bourse website.



The rise was thanks to an “increase in gains on investments and dividends income, in addition to decrease in financial costs”, the company said in a statement without elaborating."



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UAE stock markets bounce back as DFM gains 2.5 per cent | GulfNews.com

UAE stock markets bounce back as DFM gains 2.5 per cent | GulfNews.com:



"The UAE stock markets bounced back on Monday as the Dubai Financial Market (DFM) index gained 2.5 per cent to end trade at 4,724.95, while the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) general index rose 1.48 per cent to reach 4,987.83.



The figures mark a quick recovery from Sunday when the DFM index fell 5.99 per cent on the back of a 9.9 per cent plunge by powerhouse, Arabtec.



On Monday, Arabtec fell 1.79 per cent but remained the most traded stock in terms of value. With over Dh1.5 billion worth of trade, the company accounted for 54 per cent of the total value of trade on DFM."



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Surgut Leads Russian ADRs Rout on Sanctions Speculation - Bloomberg

Surgut Leads Russian ADRs Rout on Sanctions Speculation - Bloomberg:



"OAO Surgutneftegas (SGTPY) plunged the most in four months, leading Russian stocks lower in U.S. trading as President Vladimir Putin rebuffed calls to end the war in Ukraine after the downing of an airliner, stoking concern that new sanctions could cripple the economy.



ADRs of Russia’s third-largest oil producer sank 7 percent in New York yesterday to the lowest since May 30. It was the worst performance on the Bloomberg Russia-US Equity Index, which dropped 3.4 percent to a two-month low.



The benchmark Micex index (INDEXCF) has tumbled 3.9 percent in Moscow since Malaysian Air’s flight MH17 went down on July 17 in an area of eastern Ukraine controlled by pro-Russian separatists, who have denied they shot it down. The crash killed all 298 people aboard. Stocks sank yesterday as Putin resisted growing calls from world leaders to end the war in the former Soviet republic."



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Saudi to Open Up $531 Billion Stock Market to Foreigners - Bloomberg

Saudi to Open Up $531 Billion Stock Market to Foreigners - Bloomberg:



"Saudi Arabia will open up its stock market to international investors, giving foreigners greater access to the Arab world’s biggest bourse as the oil-rich kingdom seeks to diversify its economy.



The nation’s cabinet authorized overseas financial institutions to trade equities in the Tadawul All Share Index (SASEIDX) and gave the Capital Market Authority scope to determine timing, according to the official news agency, SPA. The $531 billion market is currently limited to domestic investors and foreigners from the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council.



Saudi Arabia is removing barriers on one of the world’s most-restricted major stock exchanges as the government pursues a $130 billion spending plan to boost non-oil industries. King Abdullah, the nation’s 90-year-old monarch, has kept the economy expanding at an average rate of 6.4 percent in the past four years even as Middle Eastern neighbors from Egypt to Iraq and Dubai grappled with political and financial-market turmoil."



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Dubai Haven Status Frays as CDS Follow Iraq Higher: Arab Credit - Bloomberg

Dubai Haven Status Frays as CDS Follow Iraq Higher: Arab Credit - Bloomberg:



"Dubai is losing the trust of debt investors faster than any nation in the Middle East except Iraq as regional turmoil threatens its haven status.



The cost of insuring the emirate’s bonds against non-repayment using credit-default swaps climbed to 165 basis points on July 20, the highest level since May 5, according to prices compiled by CMA. Swaps gained 30 basis points since June 9, compared with an increase of 93 basis points for Iraq, where militants from Islamic State, an al-Qaeda offshoot formerly known as ISIL, have taken control of parts of the country.



The turmoil in Iraq, violence in the Gaza strip and conflict in Syria are shaking investor confidence in the Middle East just as Dubai revives a construction and spending spree to cement its role as the region’s business and tourism hub. Swaps are gaining after last month falling to the lowest level since before Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc’s collapse."



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