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Friday, 25 July 2014

Capital plans: how Qatar's banks are shaping up - Banking & Finance - ArabianBusiness.com

Capital plans: how Qatar's banks are shaping up - Banking & Finance - ArabianBusiness.com:



"Qatari banks and growth in profits go hand in hand these days. That’s hardly surprising, given the booming state of the economy, backed by a strong hydrocarbon sector.



Multi-billion-dollar projects are currently transforming Doha into a modern city that will rival the Middle East’s best.



Driving much of the development has been the award of the FIFA 2022 World Cup, which has led to an estimated infrastructure spend of $205bn between now and 2018, which country officials say will act as a springboard for further work planned for Qatar’s 2030 National Vision."



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Ukraine gas deadlock poses latent threat to EU - FT.com

Ukraine gas deadlock poses latent threat to EU - FT.com:



"While markets have been focused on the latest geopolitical flashpoint involving Russia and Ukraine – the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 – an unresolved dispute between the two countries over natural gas has continued to simmer in the background.



Gazprom, the Russian gas exporter, cut deliveries for domestic use by Ukraine in June after a bitter row over unpaid bills. Ukraine has, so far, continued to send gas to EU member states through the pipelines that cross its territory.



But analysts are concerned that could change if a deal is not reached between the two countries soon – an increasingly likely prospect as the conflict in eastern Ukraine takes new turns."



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@AgronomyUkraine: Ukraine conflict harvest part 2

Agronomy-Ukraine: Ukraine conflict harvest part 2:



"The ongoing conflict in Ukraine is undoubtedly affecting farming but by how much?



Ukraine's Ag Minister estimated 500,000mt or more might be lost in the warring region; I estimated 1.1mmt could be at risk so between us we are probably not too far from the truth.



We do differ on if that grain is “lost” or “at risk”."



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EM liquidity: correlations breakdown – beyondbrics - Blogs - FT.com

EM liquidity: correlations breakdown – beyondbrics - Blogs - FT.com:



"We’ve written recently about the scarcity of liquidity on EM secondary markets caused by regulatory changes and loose monetary policies in developed economies since the crisis of 2008-09. We’ve noted that those developments have also delivered abundant liquidity on primary markets, where bonds and equities are first issued (unlike secondary markets, where they are subsequently traded). 




Flush with cash and hungry for yield, many investors have snapped up emerging market bonds and other assets they might well have sniffed at in more ‘normal’ times. Some analysts worry that this is driving a bubble. It may also be causing a related phenomenon: a breakdown in the correlation between risk and reward. If that is confirmed, a lot of EM investors face a nasty surprise.



The issue shows up in the relationship between economic growth and bond yields. In ‘normal’ times, bond yields – an indication of the risk of default – tend to rise as the rate of GDP growth declines, because in an environment of slower growth, issuers are seen as more likely to default."



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EU Sanctions on Russian Banks Would Stifle Investment, Lending | News | The Moscow Times

EU Sanctions on Russian Banks Would Stifle Investment, Lending | News | The Moscow Times:



"Russia's state-controlled banks would have to turn to the state, domestic borrowers or new regions such as Asia if EU sanctions shut off investment, hurting their ability to lend to local businesses and further damaging the country's fragile economy.



Under measures being considered by European Union governments in response to the Ukraine crisis, European investors would be banned from buying new debt or shares of banks owned 50 percent or more by the state.



While the Russian government would step in to meet banks' funding needs, longer-term financing could be hit, hurting the banks' ability to finance business projects and crimping the country's growth potential."



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DP World sets growth target as container throughput rises 9% in the first half | The National

DP World sets growth target as container throughput rises 9% in the first half | The National:



"DP World is aiming to outperform average annual market growth this year after reporting a 9.3 per cent rise in throughput in the first half of the year.



Gross container volumes that the Dubai-based ports operator handled rose to 29.4 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) during the period.



On a reported basis, gross volumes grew by 10.7 per cent, taking into account the extra volume provided by its new operations at London Gateway in the UK and Embraport in Brazil."



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Former Arabtec CEO Hasan Ismaik reduces shareholding at Dubai builder | The National

Former Arabtec CEO Hasan Ismaik reduces shareholding at Dubai builder | The National:



"The former Arabtec chief executive Hasan Ismaik has sold a small part of his shareholding in the construction company, according to data from Bloomberg. This is the first time he has sold shares since his departure in June.



Mr Ismaik sold 3.5 million shares on Wednesday, reducing his holding to 28.77 per cent of the company.



The shares have a value of about US$4 million at current market prices."



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Key Dubai banks beat profit estimates | GulfNews.com

Key Dubai banks beat profit estimates | GulfNews.com:



"Leading Dubai based banks exceeded analyst’s expectations to report strong 2014 first half results on Thursday.



While Emirates NBD reported a net profit of Dh2.35 billion in the first half of 2014, up 30 per cent compared to the same period last year, its second quarter net profits were up 35 per cent at Dh1.3 billion compared to the same period last year.



The strong operating performance for the first half of 2014 was helped by solid revenue growth in both retail banking & wealth management and Islamic banking subsidiary, Emirates Islamic."



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Lack of activity drags UAE indices down | GulfNews.com

Lack of activity drags UAE indices down | GulfNews.com:



"UAE bourses ended lower on Thursday due to lack of activity as traders are preparing for a long weekend due to Eid Al Fitr holidays.



Dubai’s benchmark index ended down 0.34 per cent to 4,651.75 points and Abu Dhabi’s ADX index by 0.23 per cent to 4,952.96, dragged down by real estate, finance and investment shares.



“Even though today’s [Thursday] volume is better than Wednesday, it is still below average. The main reason is due to low trading on Arabtec shares, considerably lower than the two previous trading sessions. It now represents about 30 per cent of trading volume compared to 60 per cent couples of weeks back,” said Mohammad Ali Yasin, managing director of NBAD Securities in Abu Dhabi."



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Russia ETF Gains as New EU Sanctions Seen to Be Moderate - Bloomberg

Russia ETF Gains as New EU Sanctions Seen to Be Moderate - Bloomberg:



"An exchange-traded fund of Russian stocks gained in New York as the European Union’s proposed sanctions to punish the country for its support of separatists in Ukraine weren’t as deep as some investors had expected.



The Market Vectors Russia ETF (RSX), the largest U.S. dedicated ETF tracking the nation’s companies, increased 0.4 percent to $25.03 in New York yesterday. American depositary receipts of OAO Mechel advanced 3 percent while OAO GMK Norilsk Nickel gained 1.5 percent. The Bloomberg Russia-US Equity Index slipped 0.1 percent to 86.58, reversing an earlier gain of as much as 0.4 percent. 




The ETF advanced as a draft document obtained by Bloomberg showed the EU is preparing to sanction top Russian security officials and didn’t mention targeting any major companies. The 28-member bloc is also considering a ban on European purchases of bonds or shares sold by Russia’s state-owned banks among the options for stepped-up measures against the Kremlin, according to a proposal presented to member states."



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Goldman, ADIA Said to Weigh Joining Gavea in Snagged Fleury Deal - Bloomberg

Goldman, ADIA Said to Weigh Joining Gavea in Snagged Fleury Deal - Bloomberg:



"Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS)’s private-equity arm and Abu Dhabi Investment Authority are considering joining Gavea Investimentos Ltda. in a bid for Brazilian medical-services company Fleury SA (FLRY3), people with knowledge of the matter said.



In joining Gavea, the two investors would be wading into a bid for a company that has been on the market for more than six months. Fleury, which has a market value of about 2.6 billion reais ($1.2 billion), said in March that it was in exclusive talks with Gavea.



The deal has been held up, as Gavea’s partners in Instituto Hermes Pardini Ltda. -- a closely held medical lab company that would be merged with Fleury -- have sought a greater role in the combined company, three people said, asking not to be identified discussing private information. It’s still possible that a deal won’t be reached, the people said."



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Emerging ETFs Turn Positive for 2014 as Outflows Reversed - Bloomberg

Emerging ETFs Turn Positive for 2014 as Outflows Reversed - Bloomberg:



"Emerging-market exchange-traded funds are officially back in favor.



Flows into the funds turned positive for the year yesterday, by $109 million, reversing investor flight that had drained as much as $13.9 billion in the first 2 1/2 months of the year amid financial crises in Ukraine, Argentina and Turkey.



Now, money managers are being lured back into developing-nation ETFs by optimism that new leaders in India, Indonesia and potentially Brazil will take measures to bolster flagging economic growth. BlackRock Inc. has attracted about $2 billion into its developing-nation products this year, the most among fund providers."



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