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Thursday, 4 September 2014

MIDEAST STOCKS-Egypt, Qatar hit new highs, UAE markets retreat | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Egypt, Qatar hit new highs, UAE markets retreat | Reuters:

"Dubai's bourse fell 1.0 percent after hitting resistance near its June high of 5,192 points.

Heavyweight developer Emaar Properties slid 1.3 percent. The stock had surged 12.7 percent earlier this week after the firm said it would float its malls in September, a move that will reward Emaar shareholders with priority allotment and a special dividend.

"Spinning off...will most likely raise the value of the Emaar Malls Group and if it is a success it could be the start of other Emaar operations also listing separately to maximise their valuations," Sachin Mohindra, senior vice president and portfolio manager at Invest AD Asset Management, said in a note."

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EconoMonitor : EconoMonitor » The Russia Sanctions Cul-de-Sac

EconoMonitor : EconoMonitor » The Russia Sanctions Cul-de-Sac:

"The Russia sanctions are likely to have an adverse impact on Russian, U.S. and Chinese economy and could push Europe to a triple-dip recession. A diplomatic solution could deter diminished global prospects.

Last March, President Obama initiated and expanded sanctions against Russia in financial services, energy, defense and related materials sectors. Meanwhile, China’s Ambassador to Germany Shi Mingde cautioned the West against sanctions, saying such measures could “trigger a spiral with unforeseeable consequences.”

In May, Russia signed a 30-year gas deal with China. The agreement between Russia’s Gazprom and China National Petroleum Corp (CNBC) was estimated to be worth over $400 billion. Moscow diversified its energy markets from the West to the East."

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TANAP project of Azerbaijan, Turkey attracts world attention

TANAP project of Azerbaijan, Turkey attracts world attention:

"The Turkish-Azerbaijani ties stand at the highest level, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said in Baku on Sept. 3 at a joint press statement ceremony with the Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

"Today, during a bilateral meeting as well as a joint meeting with the delegations, we mulled all areas in our bilateral relations, and once again got convinced that the Turkish-Azerbaijani ties stand at their peak," the Azerbaijani president said.

Aliyev went on to add that Azerbaijan-Turkey ties are built upon friendship and fraternity, and today both countries build their friendship and brotherhood on this solid foundation."

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Goldman Sachs Said to Hire Banks for Debut Islamic Bond Sale - Bloomberg

Goldman Sachs Said to Hire Banks for Debut Islamic Bond Sale - Bloomberg:

"Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) is planning its first foray into Islamic capital markets three years after starting a sukuk program that it never used.

Five banks including the New York-based lender will manage the dollar-denominated offering via JANY Sukuk Co., four people with knowledge of the deal said. A benchmark-sized sale may follow, they said, asking not to be identified as the plan is private. Goldman Sachs in 2011 created a $2 billion program that faced criticism from some Islamic advisers for not ensuring debt would be traded at par value, as required by Shariah.

Goldman Sachs is joining a growing number of issuers seeking to tap demand among Muslim investors in an industry that Ernst & Young LLP forecasts will double in the five years through 2018 to $3.4 trillion. The U.K. became the first non-Muslim country to issue Islamic bonds in June with a sale that lured bids for more than 10 times the amount offered. Luxembourg and Hong Kong are also planning investor meetings for similar offerings."

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Russia Stocks Drop After Rally as Sanctions Threat Offsets Truce - Bloomberg

Russia Stocks Drop After Rally as Sanctions Threat Offsets Truce - Bloomberg:

"Russian stocks fell after jumping the most since March yesterday as investors weighed whether President Vladimir Putin’s peace plan for Ukraine would go far enough to avert new sanctions.

The benchmark Micex Index (INDEXCF) declined 0.4 percent to 1,442.89 by 1:41 p.m. in Moscow. The measure rallied 3.5 percent yesterday, the biggest advance since March 18, as Putin agreed with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on steps toward a cease-fire in his neighbor’s eastern region. OAO Sberbank, the nation’s biggest lender, dropped 1.3 percent today following’s yesterday’s 6.4 percent surge.

Currencies and stocks across emerging markets climbed as Putin’s seven-point plan to achieving peace boosted optimism that fighting will end between pro-Russian rebels and government forces in Kiev. The European Commission will continue preparations for the next round of Russia sanctions, spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic said yesterday. U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron threatened tougher penalties if the crisis worsens."

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Telecom Egypt Jumps to Four Month High on Vodafone Sale Plan - Bloomberg

Telecom Egypt Jumps to Four Month High on Vodafone Sale Plan - Bloomberg:

"Telecom Egypt shares rallied to the highest close since April after the government said it will sell the company’s stake in a local unit of Vodafone Group PLC (VOD), allowing it to offer mobile services.

The stocks climbed 4.7 percent, the most since June 5, to 14.84 Egyptian pounds at the close in Cairo, giving the company a market value of 25.3 billion pounds ($3.5 billion). The benchmark EGX 30 Index added 0.2 percent to 9,650.43.

The monopoly fixed-line phone company, majority-owned by the government, will sell its holding in Vodafone Egypt by the end of 2015, the Egyptian Cabinet said in an e-mailed statement yesterday. Officials also approved the issuance of a license that lets Telecom Egypt become the fourth mobile services provider and allows local units of Vodafone, Orange SA (ORA) and Emirates Telecommunications Corp. (ETISALAT) to sell land lines."

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European banks – Work those ABS - YouTube

European banks – Work those ABS - YouTube: ""

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Russian Finance Ministry Considers Regulating System for SWIFT, Bloomberg, Reuters | Business | RIA Novosti

Russian Finance Ministry Considers Regulating System for SWIFT, Bloomberg, Reuters | Business | RIA Novosti:

"The Russian Finance Ministry has decided to introduce a legislative project that would regulate the SWIFT payment system, as well as regulate the news agencies Bloomberg and Reuters, clumping them together as “operators of critical infrastructure services,” according to a notification published on the country’s legal acts portal Thursday.

“The understanding of ‘operator of critical infrastructure services’ and ‘operator of critical-significant infrastructure services’ are nonexistent in Russian legislation, and setting up the requirements for performing the activity and responsibility for inadequate purveyance of informational services of the aforementioned operators are not regulated,” the Finance Ministry noted.

According to the ministry the lack of regulation could cause risk of actual damage from the operators of cash transfers or operators of payment systems. The ministry suggests amendments to the law on national payment systems to include the definition of “operators of critical infrastructure services,” which SWIFT, Bloomberg, Reuters, and a range of other systems fall into."

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The Cost of War: Ukraine’s economy to pay heavy price for offensive in the east — RT Business

The Cost of War: Ukraine’s economy to pay heavy price for offensive in the east — RT Business:

"Financing the military offensive in eastern Ukraine is now proving to be a major economic headache for Kiev. The cost of rebuilding conflict-torn eastern Ukraine may reach $8 billion, Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk has indicated.

As long as the military offensive in the east continues, Ukraine has to further dig into its fast-depleting state coffers to support the operation. If the war continues through next year, it could cost the country more than $1.5 billion, or $6 million per day.

“According to preliminary estimates we’ve ran, if the anti-terror operation continues at its current level, next year we will need 20 billion hryvnia ($1.6 billion),” Ukraine’s Deputy Minister of Finance Vladimir Matvychuk said last week."

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Shutting Off Gas Supplies to EU Would Be Huge Blow to Gazprom | News | The Moscow Times

Shutting Off Gas Supplies to EU Would Be Huge Blow to Gazprom | News | The Moscow Times:

"The unspoken threat to leave Europeans shivering in the cold next winter may be Moscow's trump card in its confrontation with the West over Ukraine.

But for both technical and financial reasons, the world's biggest gas exporter would be badly hurt by any decision to cut off its main customers in Europe. 

Twice in the past decade, Moscow responded to natural gas price disputes with Ukraine by cutting off supplies, affecting its European clients further down its pipelines. As tensions between the West and Russia have escalated in recent weeks, the EU has begun drafting emergency measures to brace itself for another potential energy supply crisis."

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Oman To Issue $1.3bn Of Bonds, Sukuk In Early 2015 -Banker - Gulf Business

Oman To Issue $1.3bn Of Bonds, Sukuk In Early 2015 -Banker - Gulf Business:

"Oman is expected to issue OMR500 million ($1.3 billion) worth of conventional and Islamic sovereign debt early next year, and aims to choose the arranging banks in October, said the head of the country’s first full-fledged Islamic bank.

Last month, the finance ministry received applications from banks to arrange the issuance, with plans to raise OMR300 million via conventional bonds and OMR200 million with sukuk, said Jamil Al Jaroudi, chief executive of Bank Nizwa.

“We expect it to be in the market in the first quarter of 2015,” Jaroudi told Reuters on the sidelines of the Global Islamic Finance Forum."

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Big week at the end of summer - YouTube

Big week at the end of summer - YouTube: ""

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Martin Wolf - lessons from the crisis - YouTube

Martin Wolf - lessons from the crisis - YouTube: ""

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Taqa taps advisers for asset sales as Kurdish drilling restarts | The National

Taqa taps advisers for asset sales as Kurdish drilling restarts | The National:

"Abu Dhabi National Energy Company, known as Taqa, has mandated the Australian investment bank Macquarie and the consultant group McKinsey to evaluate proposed asset sales as part of an ongoing review by the company. 

Separately, the Canadian oil company ShaMaran Petroleum said drilling operations at the Chiya Khere-8 development in the Taqa-operated Artrush block in Kurdish Iraq had resumed. Drilling had been suspended for a total of 21 days by Taqa as a precautionary measure following recent regional developments, ShaMaran said.

Taqa declined to comment on either development."

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Dubai mega-projects are back but laced with realism |

Dubai mega-projects are back but laced with realism |

"A number of us who have been in the region over the past decade associate the UAE and, more specifically Dubai, with mega-projects, some really successful and some not. Development activity has returned to the UAE over the past 18 months initially starting with Dubai, then Abu Dhabi and, more recently, in the northern emirates.

A number of real estate industry experts, including JLL, had raised the issue of unsustainable price rises and irrational exuberance during the latter part of 2013 and first quarter of 2014. Thankfully, measures taken by the authorities have resulted in some cooling down of the market with reduced growth in sale and rental values, as per JLL’s recent Dubai Q2 Market Report. (Albeit, rental growth in Abu Dhabi continues after the removal of the rent cap.)

It is interesting to note some of the differences between large-scale projects before and after the financial crisis. Based on our involvement in several high-profile projects, it is clear that lessons have been learnt."

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Dubai’s brokerage firms feel the squeeze |

Dubai’s brokerage firms feel the squeeze |

"For the many independent — big and small — real estate brokerage firms in Dubai, they have a fight on their hands. It could be a tussle where many of them will find they are not favourably placed.

Of late, Dubai’s leading developers are showing an inclination to sell direct through their in-house sales teams rather than appoint a handful of third-party brokerage firms to do so. Some, like Dubai Properties, have upgraded this side of their operations to offer a holistic set of solutions to clients, while, just recently, Nakheel entered a strategic partnership with Engel and Völkers to set up a company to sell and lease properties. Deyaar for its signature launch, The Atria, earlier in the year handled most of the transactions in-house and a top official said this side of the business will be developed to its full potential.

More developers, as they prepare to launch off-plan launches in the months ahead, plan to take a similar approach. A leading investment company with real estate development interests has just expanded its sales team and in the process hand-picked agents from one of the leading local brokerage firms."

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Global sukuk issuance projected reaches $70 billion in 2014 |

Global sukuk issuance projected reaches $70 billion in 2014 |

"Global sukuk issuance is expected to exceed $64 billion last year to reach around $70 billion in 2014 largely driven by increased issuance from governments.

“We expect sovereigns to issue approximately $30 billion of sukuk in 2014, increasing the size of the sovereign market to around $115 billion by year-end 2014. We forecast this strong growth momentum to be sustained as both Islamic and non-Islamic governments increasingly tap or newly enter the market,” said Khalid Howladar, Moody’s Global Head for Islamic Finance.

The last three years have seen the global sukuk market double, with a compounded annual growth rate of 30 per cent for the previous 10 years. The stock of sukuk outstanding almost quadrupled during that period as annual issuance rose sharply from less than $32 billion in 2010 to a record $83 billion at year-end 2012. Worldwide offerings fell to $64 billion in 2013 due to heightened perceptions of credit risk in emerging markets caused by the announcement of the tapering policy of the US Federal Reserve."

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Sberbank Leads Russia ADR Rally on Ukraine Peace Prospect - Bloomberg

Sberbank Leads Russia ADR Rally on Ukraine Peace Prospect - Bloomberg:

"OAO Sberbank (SBRCY), the lender that has been pinched by international financing restrictions linked to the Ukraine war, led a surge in U.S.-traded Russian stocks after steps toward a cease-fire in the conflict were agreed upon.

American depositary receipts of Sberbank, the worst performer on the Bloomberg Russia-US Equity Index this year, rallied 8.6 percent to $8.86 in New York, the biggest advance since November 2011. Trading volume of 1.5 million shares was 2.4 times the daily average of the past three months.

The gauge of the country’s most-traded stocks in the U.S. rallied 4 percent, reducing this quarter’s loss to 6.4 percent, as Russian President Vladimir Putin outlined a peace plan for Ukraine after agreeing with Ukraine’s Petro Poroshenko to move toward a cease-fire in the conflict that has raged for more than five months. The agreement eased concern that the U.S. and European Union will take further steps to harm Russia’s $2 trillion economy after they had stepped up sanctions in July, targeting the banking and energy industries."

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Saudi Arabia Oil Sales to U.S. Imperiled by Shale Boom - Bloomberg

Saudi Arabia Oil Sales to U.S. Imperiled by Shale Boom - Bloomberg:

"After years of keeping the price of crude sold to the U.S. low enough to maintain market share, Saudi Arabia is losing ground as the shale boom leaves U.S. refiners with ample supplies of inexpensive domestic oil.

Arab Light crude for sale in the U.S. averaged 48 cents a barrel less than Light Louisiana Sweet, a Gulf Coast benchmark, in August, the narrowest discount in data compiled by Bloomberg back to 1991. The U.S. imported 878,000 barrels of Saudi crude a day in the first four weeks of August, the least since 2009.

Shale drilling has boosted U.S. oil output to the highest level since 1986. As refineries turn to lower-priced domestic oil to make fuel at a record pace, the Saudis and other foreign suppliers are left with dwindling slices of the market. In June, imports from Saudi Arabia accounted for the smallest share of crude processed at U.S. refineries since February 2010."

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