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Wednesday, 20 August 2014

-- Norway oil fund sets out expansion plans - http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/d8efbeb4-2847-11e4-9ea9-00144feabdc0.html

Norway's Oil Fund Raises Exposure to Russia | News | The Moscow Times

Norway's Oil Fund Raises Exposure to Russia | News | The Moscow Times:



"Norway's $885 billion sovereign wealth fund increased its exposure to Russia in the first half of the year and also picked up government bonds of advanced economies, like the U.S., Japan, Italy, Germany and Britain, it said on Wednesday.




The fund, one of the world's biggest investors, also said it returned 3.3 percent in the second quarter, compared with 1.7 percent in the first quarter.



"Equity markets rose in the second quarter, and emerging markets performed best," Chief Executive Yngve Slyngstad said in a statement. "Considerable liquidity flowed into the markets, which pushed asset prices up. We noted reduced volatility in the markets, but we need to be prepared for fluctuation in the fund's value going forward.""



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#Ukraine Says Ready to Compromise on Gas Price With #Russia | News | The Moscow Times

Ukraine Says Ready to Compromise on Gas Price With Russia | News | The Moscow Times:



"Ukraine's energy minister on Tuesday said the country was prepared to pay an interim compromise price for Russian gas and criticized Russia's Gazprom for being unwilling to negotiate.



Last year, Russia supplied about half of the gas Ukraine used, but Gazprom cut supplies on June 16 in a row over pricing and after Moscow's annexation of Crimea.



Ukraine, which is sourcing more gas from the European Union and cutting consumption from last year's 50 billion cubic meters, is prepared to compromise on the price until a lawsuit it has filed against Gazprom is resolved, minister Yuri Prodan said."



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Rosneft Buys Stake in Pirelli Plus Some of Its Debt | News | The Moscow Times

Rosneft Buys Stake in Pirelli Plus Some of Its Debt | News | The Moscow Times:



"Italy's anti-monopoly committee has approved the sale of a 13 percent stake in tire manufacturer Pirelli to Rosneft, the Russian oil major told RIA Novosti on Tuesday.



Rosneft bought the stake through a consortium of banks comprising UniCredit, Intesa Sanpaolo and the Clessidra fund for 500 million euros ($670 million) and agreed to take on 250 million euros of Pirelli's debt obligations, the Vesti Finance news agency reported.



According to the company's financial reporting, Pirelli's total outstanding debt amounted to 2.5 billion euros as of June 30. Rosneft is burdened with almost 1.5 trillion rubles ($44 billion) of debt, according to its first-half report."



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Outpatients drive Abu Dhabi’s NMC Health profits 26% higher | The National

Outpatients drive Abu Dhabi’s NMC Health profits 26% higher | The National:



"Abu Dhabi’s NMC Health reported increased profits as outpatient numbers surged.




The group’s first half net profit grew 26.6 per cent to US$40.9 million, as net debt also grew by 56.4 per cent to $99.6m. Cash and cash equivalents touched $227.5m, declining by 15.3 per cent. 



Occupancy at its hospitals reached 70 per cent, up from 63.6 per cent, as the group added 16 beds in the period to touch 277. The revenue per patient increased marginally by 1.6 per cent to $113.8."



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Saudi Arabia heads towards emerging market status | The National

Saudi Arabia heads towards emerging market status | The National:



"Saudi Arabia is on a fast track route to emerging market status amid rising appetite for blue chips in the kingdom from foreign investors.



MSCI, whose indexes are tracked by investors managing US$9 trillion worth of assets, last month said it would review the inclusion of Saudi Arabia as a candidate to either of its emerging or frontier market indexes only after the reforms are officially approved.



“We rule out the likelihood of Tadawul’s addition to MSCI Frontier Markets,” said analysts at the equity research team at Bahrain’s Mubasher Financial Services in a strategy note to clients. “Rather, an inclusion in MSCI Emerging Markets is more likely given its relatively large market size and abundant liquidity.”"



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European Gas Reverses Biggest Drop Since 2009 on Ukraine - Bloomberg

European Gas Reverses Biggest Drop Since 2009 on Ukraine - Bloomberg:



"European natural gas prices are reversing their biggest slump in five years as concern mounts that tension between Russia and Ukraine will again disrupt flows to the region.



Gas for next-month delivery in the U.K. rallied 21 percent over the past six weeks as Ukraine said it may ban OAO Gazprom, Europe’s biggest supplier, from shipping the fuel across its territory because of Russia’s support of separatists. The Moscow-based company, which meets 15 percent of European gas demand through Soviet-era pipelines across Ukraine, halted supplies to its neighbor on June 16 in a debt and price dispute.



Gas storage in Ukraine is less than half full and the nation began this month to limit domestic use to conserve fuel. U.K. prices, the regional benchmark, fell to their lowest since 2010 last month after a mild winter left storage sites across the 28-nation European Union at their fullest for this time of year since 2008. Wholesale costs next quarter will be 11 percent higher than what companies are paying for that period now, according to a forecast by Societe Generale SA in Paris."



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Why John Burbank’s Betting Big on Saudi Arabia: Video - Bloomberg

Why John Burbank’s Betting Big on Saudi Arabia: Video - Bloomberg: ""



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Ukraine to Iraq Fail to Dent Record Emerging Bond Sales - Bloomberg

Ukraine to Iraq Fail to Dent Record Emerging Bond Sales - Bloomberg:



"Political crises from Ukraine to Iraq have failed to stop emerging-market issuers from selling bonds at an unprecedented pace this year as investors shift their focus to Asia and Latin America.



Borrowers from developing nations have sold $800 billion of bonds in 2014, the most on record for the period and up 12 percent from the same time last year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Asia-Pacific offerings surged 22 percent. Sales in emerging Europe, the Middle East and Africa had the poorest showing since 2011 as the U.S. launched airstrikes against Islamic militants in Iraq and imposed sanctions on Russia for its backing of separatists in Ukraine. 




“Investors haven’t pulled out of emerging markets, but reallocated away from the Russia-Ukraine risk,” Michael Ganske, the head of emerging markets at Rogge Global Partners Plc in London, said by e-mail today. “In a fixed-income world with historical low yields, investors are looking for carry, and risk premia in emerging markets seem attractive.”"



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Putin Turns Poles Into Cider Lovers Amid Russia Food Ban - Bloomberg

Putin Turns Poles Into Cider Lovers Amid Russia Food Ban - Bloomberg:



"When Tomasz Porowski helped pioneer branded Polish apple cider three years ago, the beverage barely registered in a nation of beer and vodka drinkers.



Today his company, Cydr Ignacow, is helping the nation spite Vladimir Putin’s ban on apple imports.



Faced with losing the country’s largest market -- as much as 677,000 metric tons in apples meant for Russia and more than half of last year’s shipments -- some of the nation’s biggest newspapers are urging citizens to eat more fruit and drink more cider. Poland is the world’s top apple exporter and growers are among the most affected by Russia’s ban on an array of food products from the European Union, U.S. and other countries that supported sanctions against it over the conflict in Ukraine."



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Pimco Sees Risk of Turkey Outflows on Possible Downgrade - Bloomberg

Pimco Sees Risk of Turkey Outflows on Possible Downgrade - Bloomberg:



"Pacific Investment Management Co., the world’s biggest bond manager, said Turkey is on the cusp of an investor exodus should credit rating companies downgrade the nation’s debt amid warnings on political risk.



Turkey, which in 2013 moved from junk for the first time in two decades, risks losing its Baa3 debt rating with Moody’s Investors Service, which has a negative outlook on it. Two-year note yields have surged by 111 basis points to 9.36 percent over the past month, the second-biggest leap after Ukraine, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.



“Turkey is particularly exposed to global turbulence as it has a substantial current account deficit, and continues to run unorthodox monetary policy,” Michael Gomez, head of emerging markets portfolio management at Newport beach-based Pimco, said in an e-mail. “Following the upgrades to investment grade, substantial funds flowed into Turkey, and there is a risk that these could revert if they are downgraded to sub-investment grade.”"



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Bahrain firm wins Suez Canal hub project contract - Construction - ArabianBusiness.com

Bahrain firm wins Suez Canal hub project contract - Construction - ArabianBusiness.com:



"Egypt's Suez Canal Authority announced on Tuesday that a Bahrain-registered firm is to develop a huge industrial and logistics hub around the canal, but gave no details of the project itself.



The Egyptian army is a local partner in Dar Al-Handasah Egypt through the Armed Forces Engineering Authority, army and government sources have told Reuters.



A plan to develop the canal was announced under former President Mohamed Mursi last year but opponents accused him of attempting to sell public land to foreigners and the project was shelved for many months. Thearmy ousted Mursi in July last year following mass protests."



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Dubai creates new fund class to lure asset managers | Reuters

Dubai creates new fund class to lure asset managers | Reuters:



"Dubai is changing its financial rules in an effort to attract more asset managers - particularly those serving the richest and most risk-tolerant investors, such as hedge funds and private equity funds - to base themselves in the emirate.



The rules create a new class of funds that can be domiciled in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), facing less stringent regulation and thus lower costs than existing funds.



Authorities hope this will boost the DIFC's growth as a domicile for funds, which has lagged other areas of the emirate's rapid financial development over the past decade."



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