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Thursday, 31 July 2014

Hold Bahraini Royal Family Member Accountable In The Alba Corruption Case | #Bahrain Center for Human Rights

Hold Bahraini Royal Family Member Accountable In The Alba Corruption Case | Bahrain Center for Human Rights:



"On July 22, 2014, a UK court announced decision to jail Bruce Hall, former CEO of Aluminum Bahrain's (Alba), the world's fourth-largest aluminum smelter, for conspiracy to corrupt, in relation to contracts for the supply of goods and services to Alba[1]. In contrast, Sheikh Isa bin Ali Al-Khalifa, a member of the Bahraini royal family and, at the time, Bahrain's minister of Industry and Alba's chairman, who was named co-conspirator, and who’s acts of bribery were recognized by the UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has faced no consequences in Bahrain.



The SFO has investigated and stated that Hall was engaged in a series of corrupt payments between 2002 and 2005, including 10,000 Bahraini Dinars from Sheikh Isa bin Ali Al-Khalifa who had paid Hall the money in return for Hall's agreement to allow the corrupt arrangements that Sheikh Isa had been involved in before Hall were to continue as CEO[2].



In this same conspiracy, Sheikh Isa was involved in a series of bribes with billionaire Victor Dahdaleh and former agent of American aluminum company Alcoa. In 2013, Dahdaleh admitted paying the then-Chairman of Alba, Sheikh Isa, USD 67 million dollars between 1998 and 2006 in exchange for a reduction in supply of contracts for companies including Alcoa, which were worth over USD 3 billion dollars. His defense said that the payments were part of Bahraini "custom and practice" and were approved by the Prime Minister Sheikh Khalifa bin Salman al-Khalifa, another royal family member. Isa bin Ali Al-Khalifa is also the son-in-law of Khalifa bin Salman AlKhalifa. Letters which show approval of Sheikh Khalifa on key business decisions were presented to the court.[3] Additionally, Jawad Salem Al-Arrayed, one of the five deputy prime ministers in Bahrain wrote a letter which confirmed that the authorities had known and approved of the payments made to the member of Bahrain’s royal family.[4]"



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Dubai Stocks Erase June Nightmare With Best Month Since 2007 - Bloomberg

Dubai Stocks Erase June Nightmare With Best Month Since 2007 - Bloomberg:



"Dubai shares gained the most in almost seven years in July, helping claw back some of the losses sustained in a bear market that wiped a quarter off the benchmark index.



Real estate-related companies led the rally. Arabtec Holding Co. (ARTC), which spurred the DFM General Index’s collapse in May and June, advanced 4.9 percent today to bring monthly gains to 63 percent. Emaar Properties PJSC, the company with the biggest weighting on the gauge, added 0.7 percent. Union Properties PJSC climbed 4.4 percent.



Dubai’s measure gained 2 percent to 4,833.24, bringing the monthly advance to 23 percent, the strongest since October 2007, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Nine of the regularly traded stocks in the 30-member index traded above their 50-day moving average price through yesterday, up from zero at the start of July."



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Damac’s Planned Back-Door Listing a Positive for Dubai’s Market - Middle East Real Time - WSJ

Damac’s Planned Back-Door Listing a Positive for Dubai’s Market - Middle East Real Time - WSJ:



"A company needs to sell at least 55% of its stock to list on the main U.A.E. bourses – a regulation that has been blamed in part for the weak IPO market in the Arab Gulf country.



After all, most big companies in the region are owned by local families who prefer retaining majority control over their assets. That is expected to change once a new companies law is enacted in the country that will likely ease the listing requirement to about 30%. But approval for the new law could still take some time, given it’s already been years in the making.



In this scenario, property developer Damac’s plan to convert its London-listed GDRs into shares and list them on the Dubai Financial Market makes sense."



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Tata $35bn expansion needs strategy - YouTube

Tata $35bn expansion needs strategy - YouTube: ""



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Russian banks hit by EU sanctions - YouTube

Russian banks hit by EU sanctions - YouTube: ""



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Damac will list on DFM in major boost for UAE stock markets | The National

Damac will list on DFM in major boost for UAE stock markets | The National:



"In a major boost for UAE stock markets, Damac, the luxury property developer, is to list shares on the Dubai Financial Market.



The listing will put Damac in the top 10 of UAE listed companies, with a market capitalisation of about US$3.5 billion, and will give regional retail investors the opportunity to participate in one of the UAE’s most successful companies.



Damac announced yesterday that it was offering investors the opportunity to convert its global depository receipts (GDRs), currently listed on the London Stock Exchange, into ordinary equity and list them on the Dubai market. The move sparked a 5.9 per cent jump in the value of the London stock, to nearly $16.05 per GDR. They were floated in December in London at $12.25 each."



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Middle East cement sales spur Holcim first half profit rise | The National

Middle East cement sales spur Holcim first half profit rise | The National:



"Holcim, the Swiss company merging with Lafarge of France to create the world’s biggest cement company, said its first half profit increased 5.9 per cent as Middle Eastern, North America and European sales offset foreign exchange losses and restructuring costs.



The earnings missed analyst forecasts and the company’s stock plunged by more than 5 per cent in early trading.



Net income increased to 406 million Swiss francs (Dh1.6 billion) in the first six months of the year from 383m francs in the same period the previous year, the Jona, Switzerland-based company said."



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Full steam ahead for the Gulf’s rail network | GulfNews.com

Full steam ahead for the Gulf’s rail network | GulfNews.com:



"

Earlier this month, the committee charged with preparing the GCC rail network project put the final touches to the design in preparation to put it out for bid.



The 2,250-kilometre long rail network, which will link all the Gulf countries, is expected to be completed in 2018, after extending its timeline by one more year. It will run along the Gulf coast from Kuwait in the north, through Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf countries, to Oman in the south.



With construction to start soon, it will constitute a qualitative leap in the bloc’s infrastructure and have significant economic and environmental aspects reflecting positively on all the GCC States."



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Putin Sows Doubt Among Stock Bears Burned by 29% Rebound - Bloomberg

Putin Sows Doubt Among Stock Bears Burned by 29% Rebound - Bloomberg:



"Traders who sent wagers against Russian stocks to a record high in March before getting burned by a rebound of more than 20 percent are showing no interest in betting against President Vladimir Putin a second time.



Even with Russian equities poised for the worst month since May 2012 on Putin’s intensifying standoff with the U.S. and the European Union over Ukraine, investors profiting from declines are staying away from boosting their positions against the Market Vectors Russia ETF, the largest exchange-traded fund tracking the nation’s companies. Short interest on the $1.46 billion ETF was 6 percent of shares outstanding as of July 29, down from an all-time high 21 percent on March 3, according to data compiled by Markit.



After the U.S. and EU began imposing sanctions against Putin four months ago, a thaw in the conflict with Ukraine spurred a bull market in Russian stocks that forced short sellers to unwind more than 75 percent of all bearish wagers against the ETF in a month. The fund, which soared 29 percent between March and July, added 2.6 percent to $24.46 yesterday after a round of new international penalties which some investors saw as milder than anticipated."



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U.S. Could Move to Sanction Russia Derivatives, Short-Term Funds - Bloomberg

U.S. Could Move to Sanction Russia Derivatives, Short-Term Funds - Bloomberg:



"The U.S. might move to limit derivatives trading and short-term loans with Russian companies if sanctions already imposed fail to sway President Vladimir Putin to end support for rebels in eastern Ukraine.



U.S. citizens and businesses are still permitted to trade in outstanding debt of any maturity and new short-term debt and derivatives with sanctioned Russian companies. Restrictions on money-market financing and derivatives could be imposed if tougher penalties are necessary, said a Treasury Department official who asked not to be named because further options are still being discussed.



The U.S. has carefully calibrated a ban on certain transactions with Russian companies including VTB Group, OAO Novatek (NVTK), OAO Rosneft and OAO Gazprombank, to squeeze Putin while avoiding collateral economic disruptions in Europe and the U.S. That approach leaves room to intensify the sanctions regime, the Treasury official said in an interview with Bloomberg News yesterday."



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