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Wednesday, 23 July 2014

US influence in Middle East fades - YouTube

US influence in Middle East fades - YouTube: ""

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Putin’s Ukraine Woes Compounded by $103 Billion Yukos Claim - Bloomberg

Putin’s Ukraine Woes Compounded by $103 Billion Yukos Claim - Bloomberg:

"Russia will discover next week how much it may be asked to pay for the confiscation a decade ago of Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s Yukos Oil Co., then the country’s biggest oil producer.

The Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague will rule on July 28 on a $103 billion damages claim the company’s former owners filed against Russia in 2007, Tim Osborne, head of GML Ltd., former holding company of Yukos, said by e-mail. Court official Willemijn van Banning said by phone she couldn’t comment on the date for the ruling.

The potential multibillion-dollar punitive award comes as Russian President Vladimir Putin risks further U.S. and European sanctions after the downing of a Malaysian passenger jet in eastern Ukraine that killed 298 passengers and crew. The Obama administration has blamed the plane’s downing on pro-Russian rebels, who deny any involvement."

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Are Russians leaving London? | Russia Beyond The Headlines

Are Russians leaving London? | Russia Beyond The Headlines:

"Russian visitors are spending considerably less in London than a year ago, according to Bloomberg, which cited a study by Global Blue, a leading operator in tax-refund points. "London seeks new spenders" capable of replacing the Russians, the news agency concluded. 

When Mikhail Gorbachev celebrated his 80th birthday party in the lavish surroundings of the Royal Albert Hall in 2011, there were thousands of guests, most of them Russian, to see performances by Paul McCartney, Bono and George Michael, with Kevin Spacey and Sharon Stone acting as hosts. Even Queen Elizabeth II was expected to attend, but she was unwell.

Naturally, the party did not go unnoticed in Russia. Yet, reports from it focused not so much on the former Soviet leader whose birthday was celebrated as on the price of the tickets for the best seats, which reached £100,000. Those reports, however, failed to mention that there were tickets for the event at £75 too and most of the guests came to the Royal Albert Hall not in their Rolls-Royces but on the London underground."

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Opinion: domesticating Russia – beyondbrics - Blogs -

Opinion: domesticating Russia – beyondbrics - Blogs -


Of course, it all goes back to Peter the Great at the turn of the eighteenth century. On the one hand, the Russian Tsar worked in the Dutch shipyards incognito to import modern boatbuilding techniques to his empire. On the other, he systematically seized the estates of unhelpful nobles in a manner which suggested that western European notions of property rights had yet to sink in.

Russia’s traditional simultaneous fascination with and repulsion towards foreign ideas and institutions, the latter generally winning out at times of stress, is reflected in the difficulties the EU and US have encountered in trying to shift Moscow’s behaviour in Ukraine.

Washington and the European capitals have been casting about for economic tools to force Moscow to withdraw its support for the rebels in Donetsk, a challenge enormously intensified by the downing of Flight MH17. Yet Russia subscribes to few international norms of economic behaviour or institutional engagement which can be used to this end, and its status as a petrostate has given it the freedom to do so."

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Moody's: Russia Sanctions Hamper Rosneft, Gazprom Debt Refinancing | News | The Moscow Times

Moody's: Russia Sanctions Hamper Rosneft, Gazprom Debt Refinancing | News | The Moscow Times:

"Russian companies, including oil giant Rosneft, may face challenges refinancing $112 billion in debt due to mature over the next four years, a report by Moody's Investors Service said.

Moody's said there was a very significant bank and bond debt maturity hurdle for Russian companies concentrated among Rosneft and state-controlled gas company Gazprom in 2015.

Russian companies are facing tougher conditions to refinance international loans since the West imposed sanctions on some of them over Russia's involvement in Ukraine. On top of this, the country's economy has slowed and is expected to grow just 0.5 percent this year."

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Saudi an expensive alternative? - YouTube

Saudi an expensive alternative? - YouTube: ""

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Will equities outperform in Q3? - YouTube

Will equities outperform in Q3? - YouTube: ""

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Alitalia union boss philosophical about job losses ahead of Etihad stake sale | The National

Alitalia union boss philosophical about job losses ahead of Etihad stake sale | The National:

"Giovanni Galiotto says that 71 members of his union stand to lose their jobs when Etihad Airways buys its stake in Alitalia – but all things considered, that’s a fair outcome.

Roughly five years ago, Alitalia was privatised and 850 pilots lost their jobs. This time, Mr Galiotto thinks he has snatched a better deal for the scores of pilots he represents as the president of Anpac, the Associazione Nazionale Piloti Aviazione Commerciale.

“Seventy one pilots will be made redundant. But they will have the chance to apply for a job with Etihad. We were officially told that Etihad will have a short recruitment process for Alitalia pilots. They will have the chance to relocate to Abu Dhabi and fly with Etihad,” Mr Galiotto said at his office near Fiumicino Airport in Rome."

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Abu Dhabi banks’ profits soar on loan growth and fee incomes |

Abu Dhabi banks’ profits soar on loan growth and fee incomes |

"Three leading Abu Dhabi banks led by National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) on Tuesday showed strong growth in profits supported by rising interest and non-interest incomes and consistently declining non-performing loans (NPLs).

All three institutions, NBAD, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) and First Gulf Bank (FGB) reported significant balance sheet growth with consistent pick up in lending and deposits growth underlined by robust improvement in asset quality matrixes.

NBAD reported a net profit of Dh2.82billion, up 7.9 per cent for the first half of the year as its second quarter profit surged 17.5 per cent to Dh1.424 billion year on year. Bank’s total assets were up 6.7 per cent year-over-year. Net loans and advances increased 4.8 per cent year-over-year and 1.8 per cent sequentially."

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Waha Capital Q2 net profit jumps on AerCap deal |

Waha Capital Q2 net profit jumps on AerCap deal |

"Abu Dhabi-based investment firm Waha Capital said on Tuesday its net profit for the second quarter of 2014 jumped on the back of a one-off gain from its investment in AerCap Holdings.

Waha, whose shareholders include Abu Dhabi government entities, made Dh1.14 billion ($310.4 million) in the three months to June 30, up from Dh38.4 million in the year-ago period, it said in a bourse filing.

AerCap Holdings, in which Waha was its largest shareholder, bought American International Group’s aircraft leasing business in a $5.4 billion cash and share deal that was completed in May."

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Saudi Market Surprise Sparks Speculation of Sukuk Access - Bloomberg

Saudi Market Surprise Sparks Speculation of Sukuk Access - Bloomberg:

"Saudi Arabia’s plan to open its $531 billion stock market to foreigners is prompting speculation that Islamic bonds will be next.

The government’s approval of overseas financial institutions to trade equities may herald a similar relaxation of rules in the local-currency primary debt market, according to Mashreq Capital DIFC Ltd. and Rasmala Investment Bank Ltd. The nation’s Capital Market Authority said yesterday that the stock-market change would take place in the first half of next year.

“Capital markets are a package, you can’t have one part without the other,” John Sfakianakis, chief investment strategist at Riyadh-based investment company MASIC, said by phone yesterday. “The fact is that Saudi sukuk eventually should also be open to everyone.”"

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Saudi Stock Opening Is Closed to Some as Hot Money Unwanted - Bloomberg

Saudi Stock Opening Is Closed to Some as Hot Money Unwanted - Bloomberg:

"Saudi Arabia is keeping as much as $40 billion of foreign investor capital waiting as it decides which institutions can participate in the Arab world’s biggest stock exchange.

The regulator will publish rules next month allowing participation for the first time by qualified foreign financial institutions starting in the first half of 2015, the Capital Market Authority said on its website yesterday. The announcement sent the benchmark Tadawul All Share Index to its highest level since May 2008.

The world’s biggest crude exporter is opening one of the most restricted major stock exchanges as King Abdullah pushes to diversify the economy from oil and create new jobs. Entry to MSCI Inc.’s benchmark emerging-markets index could mean $40 billion of inflows to Saudi stocks, said Rami Sidani, the head of frontier markets investing at Schroder Investment Management in Dubai. Buying shares may be restricted initially to long-term institutional investors, according to Shuaa Asset Management."

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OPEC’s Two-Decade Ride on Global Growth Stalls: Chart of the Day - Bloomberg

OPEC’s Two-Decade Ride on Global Growth Stalls: Chart of the Day - Bloomberg:

"For the past two decades, growth in the global economy spelled higher revenues for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. Not any more.

The CHART OF THE DAY shows how last year was the first since 1993 that the value of OPEC’s total crude exports didn’t track the direction of global gross domestic product. The bottom panel shows how the group supplying about 40 percent of the world’s oil fetched lower average prices and also shipped fewer barrels year on year.

Production among OPEC’s 12 members fell 2.5 percent to average 31.6 million barrels a day last year, data from OPEC’s Annual Statistic Bulletin showed on July 18. Libya’s output slumped 31 percent amid political protests at oilfields and export terminals. Output from Iran, whose exports are subject to international sanctions, fell by 4.4 percent. The group’s members also consumed about 1 percent a day more domestically."

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