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Saturday, 16 August 2014

Abu Dhabi's NCTH sees H1 hotel profits drop by 12% - Travel & Hospitality - ArabianBusiness.com

Abu Dhabi's NCTH sees H1 hotel profits drop by 12% - Travel & Hospitality - ArabianBusiness.com:



"The National Corporation for Tourism and Hotels (NCTH) in Abu Dhabi saw its profits from hotel operations fall by 12 percent in the first half of this year, due to a drop in revenues and increase in costs.



Chaired by Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, the company owns Intercontinental Abu Dhabi and through its Danat Hotels & Resorts division, operated properties including Tilal Liwa Hotel, Al Raha Beach Hotel and Sands Hotel.



According to its financial statements for the first half of the year, filed with Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, its operating revenues in its hotels segment were AED148.4 million ($40.4 million) in the six months to the end of June, down 2.5 percent on the same period in 2013."



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Marcus Lee opens fire on Matt Joyce after five years trapped in Dubai

Marcus Lee opens fire on Matt Joyce after five years trapped in Dubai:



"Marcus Lee, one of the Australian property executives trapped in Dubai for almost five years, has described jailhouse tensions with his fellow countryman and prisoner Matt Joyce, including the day that Mr Joyce confronted him in jail and said: “The only reason I’m not going to beat the shit out of you is that I don’t want another case against me.”



Mr Joyce was Mr Lee's boss on a Dubai Waterfront development that led to both of them landing in prison, accused of a plot to deceive the Australian developer Sunland into paying $14 million too much for a plot of land. Both men were exonerated after intense diplomatic pressure after nine months in jail and more than four more years under house arrest on fraud charges.



Mr Lee writes of the encounter in a new book, Trapped, which he has co-authored with his wife, Julie."



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Fitch Affirms Abu Dhabi at 'AA'; Outlook Stable | Reuters

Fitch Affirms Abu Dhabi at 'AA'; Outlook Stable | Reuters:



"LONDON, August 15 (Fitch) Fitch Ratings has affirmed Abu Dhabi's Long-term foreign and local currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDR) at 'AA'. The Outlooks are Stable. The issue ratings on Abu Dhabi's senior unsecured foreign and local currency bonds have also been affirmed at 'AA'. The Short-term foreign currency IDR has been affirmed at 'F1+'. The UAE Country Ceiling has been affirmed at 'AA+'; this Ceiling also applies to Ras al-Khaimah."



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Exclusive: UK nears decision on whether to charge ex-Barclays bankers over Qatar - sources | Reuters

Exclusive: UK nears decision on whether to charge ex-Barclays bankers over Qatar - sources | Reuters:



"Britain's fraud prosecutor could decide as soon as next month whether to charge former Barclays executives over undisclosed payments the bank made to Qatari investors in 2008, three sources familiar with the investigation said.



In a two-year investigation the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has interviewed former chief executives Bob Diamond and John Varley, former finance director Chris Lucas, former tax advisory boss Roger Jenkins and other Barclays staff.



Barclays and a spokesman for Diamond declined to comment."



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Emirates to see a drop in revenue after axing routes | GulfNews.com

Emirates to see a drop in revenue after axing routes | GulfNews.com:



"Emirates is likely facing a dent to its revenue this year after axing a number of routes because of imposing safety threats. But analysts say the airline should be able to mitigate the losses.



The airline has suspended services to Kiev, Ukraine, and Arbil, Iraq, while also announcing it will soon avoid flying over parts of Iraqi airspace in the wake of an increasing threat posed by rising instability in the two countries. The suspension of Ukrainian services was an immediate reaction to the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine last month.



“Many natural routes for a carrier located in the Gulf will require re-routing and extra time. That is costly, particularly if avoiding Iraq on flights to Europe [as this] requires an additional 45 minutes per flight. That’s about a 10 per cent increase in distance and about 5 per cent more fuel,” said US-based analyst Ernest Arvai, chief executive of The Arvai Group, in an email."



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Iraq Bonds Gain Most in 11 Months on Maliki Resignation Optimism - Bloomberg

Iraq Bonds Gain Most in 11 Months on Maliki Resignation Optimism - Bloomberg:



"Iraqi government bonds advanced, sending yields down the most in 11 months, on speculation Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s resignation will improve the country’s security situation.



The yield on the dollar-denominated debt maturing in January 2028 fell 27 basis points to 6.88 percent at 6:10 p.m. in London, the biggest decline since September 2013. The rate decreased 61 basis points in the past five days, the first weekly retreat this month. The ISX General Index of equities in Baghdad gained 3.6 percent yesterday.



Maliki’s move ends a political impasse and may enable Prime Minister-designate Haidar al-Abadi to pull together a more inclusive government better able to counter Islamist militants advancing in the north. Iraq is riven with sectarian and ethnic rifts that threaten to tear the country apart. Yields on the government’s 2028 securities have risen 59 basis points since fighters from the Islamic State captured the northern city of Mosul on June 10."



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Guest post: the big win for Ukraine – beyondbrics - Blogs - FT.com

Guest post: the big win for Ukraine – beyondbrics - Blogs - FT.com:



"There are so many moving parts involved in Ukraine that it is hard to gauge the situation with any certainty. But without doubt the most interesting event of the past 24 hours was the Russian military convoy crossing the border, witnessed and photographed by western and Russian media outlets. More remarkable has been the muted reaction from the west and indeed from the western media. If this had happened four or five weeks ago, the White House PR machine would have gone into overdrive and warned of new sanctions unless Russia “de-escalated”. Thus far we have seen next to nothing.



Officially, the Russian defence ministry has denied the convoy exists or crossed the border. But the evidence is as conclusive as it could be, with tweets/snaps from the Guardian, the Telegraph and Novy Vremya. I sense the denial was tongue in cheek. What is more important, I think the Russians wanted everyone to see this convoy crossing the border. Journalists were guided to it by the convoy of Russian white humanitarian trucks – and then the military convoy just appeared, turned right and crossed the border in front of the journalists. Russia wanted everyone to see that it has the capacity to cross the border into Ukraine at will – even with full Russian military regalia.



It would seem that Russia is goading or testing the west."



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