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Saturday, 2 August 2014

PROs in the UAE clueless on new visa rules

PROs in the UAE clueless on new visa rules:

"The new system for visas and their respective fees starts today but service personnel dealing with this sector are in the dark about the changes.

Early this week, the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs at the Ministry of Interior (MoI) announced that the new visa regime will amend and streamline the regulations on foreigners’ entry and residence, and will be implemented across the country. These include multiple entry visit permits, reactivation of student visas, permits for medical treatment, conferences and penalties for violators.

“We did not receive any update on this regard; we are waiting for the immigration (to) update their website tomorrow or next week.  We keep contacting them but because of the holidays… perhaps we’ll know more by Sunday or Monday,” said  Faisal Thariyeri, a PRO for Online Services in Dubai. Faizan Asad, manager of AB Typing Centre in Mussafah in the capital which processes residence and employment visas, said he is also not aware of the changes."

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Arbitration awards: Now try collecting | The Economist

Arbitration awards: Now try collecting | The Economist:

"RUSSIA breached its obligations under an energy treaty when it seized the assets of Yukos in 2006; so it must pay the former oil giant’s majority shareholders $50 billion. The award, made on July 28th by an international arbitration court in The Hague, was 20 times the previous record for such a case. The investors’ lead lawyer, Emmanuel Gaillard of Shearman & Sterling, says it shows that arbitration is “a mechanism with teeth”.

Russia has until next January to pay up, after which interest will start to accrue. It is unlikely to do so voluntarily. It called the award “politically biased”, implying it was motivated by Russia’s conflict with the West over Ukraine. Although it cannot appeal against the award itself, it may ask the Dutch domestic courts to rule that it was based on an incorrect reading of the law. In a separate case brought on behalf of all Yukos shareholders, on July 31st the European Court of Human Rights awarded them €1.9 billion ($2.6 billion) in compensation.

If Russia does not pay, the shareholders will have to persuade courts in some of the 150 countries that are signatories to a 1958 convention on the recognition of arbitral awards to “attach” any Russian assets in their jurisdictions—that is, declare that they can be seized. National sovereign-immunity laws ensure that things like embassies and military hardware are off-limits, but assets that are both part of the state apparatus and used for “commercial activity” are fair game. Yukos’s lawyers could thus take aim at the foreign refineries and pipelines of partly state-owned Russian energy firms such as Rosneft (which bought a lot of Yukos’s assets) and Gazprom."

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Chinese oil and gas puzzle - YouTube

Chinese oil and gas puzzle - YouTube: ""

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Mideast funds bullish on Kingdom, bearish on UAE | Arab News

Mideast funds bullish on Kingdom, bearish on UAE | Arab News — Saudi Arabia News, Middle East News, Opinion, Economy and more.:

"Middle East funds are heavily bullish toward Saudi Arabian stocks after news the market will open to direct foreign investment, while they are bearish on the United Arab Emirates because of concern about high valuations.

The latest Reuters survey of 15 leading investment managers, conducted over the past 10 days, showed two-thirds expected to raise their equity allocations to Saudi Arabia in the next three months, up from 40 percent in the last survey a month ago. The ratio of bullish managers was the highest since September 2013.

“The opening of the Saudi market is definitely a huge positive and should attract a lot of active money,” said Naveed Ahmed, senior portfolio manager at Securities and Investment Co. of Bahrain."

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Azerbaijan Energy Profile: One Of Region's Most Important Export Routes - Analysis | Eurasia Review

Azerbaijan Energy Profile: One Of Region's Most Important Export Routes - Analysis | Eurasia Review:


Azerbaijan, one of the oldest oil producing countries in the world, is an important oil and natural gas supplier in the Caspian Sea region, particularly for European markets.

Although traditionally it has been a prolific oil producer, Azerbaijan’s importance as a natural gas supplier will grow in the future as field development and export infrastructure expand.

The conflicting claims over the maritime and seabed boundaries of the Caspian Sea between Azerbaijan and Iran continue to cause uncertainty, with Iran challenging Azerbaijan’s hydrocarbon exploration in offshore areas claimed by both sides."

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Dubai’s Luxury Property Price Growth Slows Sharply In Q2 » Gulf Business

Dubai’s Luxury Property Price Growth Slows Sharply In Q2 » Gulf Business:

"Growth in prices of residential luxury properties in Dubai fell to 6.3 per cent year-on-year in the second quarter of 2014 from 11.7 per cent in the previous quarter, according to the prime global cities index released by property consultancy Knight Frank.

“The mortgage cap and doubling of transfer fees at the end of 2013 influenced buyer activity more than forecast,” said Kate Everett Allen, international residential research, Knight Frank.

“New research by Knight Frank revealed that 25 to 35 per cent of purchases are mortgage financed in the emirate, more than previously thought.”"

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Some lenders eye exit as Dubai World seeks to revise $25 bln debt deal | Reuters

Some lenders eye exit as Dubai World seeks to revise $25 bln debt deal | Reuters:

"Economic recovery in Dubai is pushing both creditors and debtors to weigh new strategies in the $25 billion restructuring of state-owned Dubai World, one of the Middle East's largest ever debt deals.

The conglomerate has begun talks to adjust a restructuring plan originally signed in 2011: it would make its first big repayment early, in exchange for more time before a second and much larger obligation needs to be repaid, two sources with knowledge of the matter said.

At the same time, some foreign banks are seeking to divest parts of their exposure to Dubai World as improved confidence in the emirate raises debt values to levels which make offloading favourable."

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