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Thursday, 18 September 2014

Alibaba Raises $21.8 Billion in Initial Public Offering - NYTimes.com

Alibaba Raises $21.8 Billion in Initial Public Offering - NYTimes.com:



"The Alibaba Group, the Chinese Internet juggernaut, will raise nearly $21.8 billion in its initial stock sale, people briefed on the matter said on Thursday, as investors flocked to buy a piece of the company that is poised to continue dominating China’s burgeoning e-commerce industry.



The company priced its shares at $68 each, at the top end of an already raised range. At that level, the online market operator will have a market value of about $168 billion — much more than eBay, Twitter and LinkedIn combined.



Though it did not claim the title of biggest initial public offering ever, Alibaba will still lay claim to having held one of the biggest stock sales on record, surpassing offerings from  Facebook and General Motors. It made its final decision about the price of its shares after a series of meetings at the Midtown Manhattan offices of Citigroup, one of its underwriters."



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Scotland – a Pandora’s box for Europe - YouTube

Scotland – a Pandora’s box for Europe - YouTube: ""



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MIDEAST STOCKS-UAE, Qatar up on FTSE index review; Medinet Nasr lifts Egypt | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-UAE, Qatar up on FTSE index review; Medinet Nasr lifts Egypt | Reuters:



"An influx of foreign funds due to changes in some FTSE indexes boosted stock markets in the United Arab Emirates and Qatar on Thursday, while Egyptian real estate developer Medinet Nasr surged after announcing an ambitious sales target. 




Dubai's main index rose 2.3 percent as Emaar Properties, the emirate's largest developer, jumped 5.0 percent to 11.60 dirhams.



Emaar had peaked at 12.00 dirhams this month after announcing the launch of the initial public offer of its subsidiary Emaar Malls Group (EMG). But the stock then came under pressure as retail investors sold some of their holdings in the parent company in order to raise cash for purchases of EMG. That wave of selling appears to have ended."



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Lex vs Gapper on Scotland's banking future - YouTube

Lex vs Gapper on Scotland's banking future - YouTube: ""



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Chicken Kiev | FT Alphaville

Chicken Kiev | FT Alphaville:

After Russia instituted its ban on western food imports in August, we noted there was a risk the measures could end up hurting average Russians just as much, if not more, than European farmers.
We also noted that propaganda dynamics could make it hard for westerners to discern the truth with regards to what was really going on.
With that in mind here’s some colour on the food ban’s consequences from Hugo Bain, Senior Investment Manager at Pictet Asset Management following a recent trip to Russia:
Inflation continues to be a problem – the country is likely to overshoot its inflation target of 5 per cent by a wide margin this year. Ironically, I found that it was more Russia’s own retaliatory measures, rather than Western sanctions, that have affected the economy the most: during the trip, I heard that Moscow’s ban on Western food imports in August has led to price increases of up to 20 per cent for chicken in rural areas. Inflation continues to be a problem – the country is likely to overshoot its inflation target of 5 per cent by a wide margin this year…
Call that Russia’s chicken Kiev cost, we suppose?
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Dubai Regulator Restricts Local Unit of Portugal's Espírito Santo Group - WSJ

Dubai Regulator Restricts Local Unit of Portugal's Espírito Santo Group - WSJ:



"The regulator overseeing Dubai's main financial center said Thursday it has restricted the ability of a local subsidiary of Portugal's Espírito Santo Financial Group to take or pay any deposits to protect the interests of its clients.



The Dubai Financial Services Authority said it imposed the restriction on ES Bankers Dubai because Switzerland-based Banque Privée Espirito Santo, one of the group's many holdings, is unable to honor its commitments and to repay deposits owed to the Dubai-based subsidiary. Banque Privée Espirito Santo is in voluntary liquidation, the Swiss financial regulator said earlier this month.



"The failure of [Banque Privée Espirito Santo] to honor its legal obligations has seriously compromised [ES Bankers Dubai's] operations and solvency," the regulator said."



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Mubadala Develoment Company H1 profit rises 23 per cent | The National

Mubadala Develoment Company H1 profit rises 23 per cent | The National:



"Mubadala Development Company, the Abu-Dhabi owned investment group, has reported a strong performance in its operational businesses in the first half of 2014, with operating income up to Dh2.3bn compared to Dh721m last year.



Emirates Global Aluminium, the company jointly owned with the government of Dubai, made a big contribution to the result, as did the aerospace and energy businesses, the company said in its statement for the six months to June 30.



Profit for the period attributable to the owner of the group rose from Dh1.09bn to $1.34bn, an increase of 23 per cent."



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UAE banks credit may grow at 8-9% in 2014-15: S&P | GulfNews.com

UAE banks credit may grow at 8-9% in 2014-15: S&P | GulfNews.com:



"The UAE’s banking credit growth is expected to be around 8-9 per cent in 2014-15 due to healthy economic activity, Standard and Poor’s said in a report on Wednesday.



The ratings agency expects Dubai-based banks to grow faster than their peers in Abu Dhabi, as banks in Dubai have again focused on lending, with most of them improving significantly on their asset quality and funding profiles.



“The key risk if they were to re-visit their strategy of the aggressive credit growth, so far that has not been the case, which is a positive,” Timucin Engin, an analyst at Standard & Poor’s, told Gulf News."



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Ukrainian Conflict Is Infecting Regional GDP, EBRD Says - Bloomberg

Ukrainian Conflict Is Infecting Regional GDP, EBRD Says - Bloomberg:



"Five months of deadly fighting in Ukraine is curbing eastern Europe’s growth prospects, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development said.



Gross domestic product in the 31 emerging European economies where the bank lends will grow an average 1.2 percent this year as the recovery in the euro area with which many nations have strong trade and banking ties remains “fragile,” according to an e-mailed report released today. Growth will pick up to 1.5 percent in 2015, marking the fifth consecutive year with expansion of less than 3 percent, the lender said.



“The continuing crisis between Russia and Ukraine is weighing on the economies of the EBRD region, with only a modest recovery expected in 2015 after a sharp slowdown in growth this year,” the bank said. “The volatile security situation in Ukraine makes the forecasts exceptionally uncertain.”"



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OPEC Supply Risks Mount as Biggest Libyan Field Is Halted - Bloomberg

OPEC Supply Risks Mount as Biggest Libyan Field Is Halted - Bloomberg:



"A reduction in OPEC crude output deepened as Libya’s biggest producing oilfield stopped pumping amid supply cuts from Saudi Arabia and potential disruptions to Nigerian exports.



Libya halted the Sharara oilfield as a precaution after a rocket attack on the connected Zawiya refinery three days ago, closing down about 30 percent of national output. In Africa’s largest oil producer, state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corp. was in talks yesterday to prevent a strike that threatened to disrupt exports. Saudi Arabia told the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries that in August it made the deepest production cut in 18 months.



Brent crude futures declined 14 percent in the past three months, falling to a two-year low of $96.21 a barrel on Sept. 15. Global oil demand growth is the slowest since 2011, while the U.S. shale boom means oil production outside OPEC is rising by the most since the 1980s, according to the International Energy Agency. Brent rebounded to $99.05 a barrel on Sept. 16 after OPEC Secretary-General Abdalla El-Badri said the group may need to reduce output next year, and traded at $98.42 at 8:41 a.m. on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London."



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Interested in Emaar IPO But Short of Cash? Take a Loan - Bloomberg

Interested in Emaar IPO But Short of Cash? Take a Loan - Bloomberg:



"“Interested in Emaar IPO but short of cash?” asks a text message from a United Arab Emirates lender to customers. If so, there’s good news: local banks are making it easier to borrow money and invest in shares.



Mashreqbank PSC (MASQ), Dubai’s third-largest lender, is offering account holders loans of about $2,700 to take part in the initial public offering by the retail division of Emaar Properties PJSC (EMAAR), the country’s largest IPO since 2007. Emirates NBD, the second-biggest bank, greets customers with a message encouraging them to buy shares in the IPO through its automated teller machines or when they log in to their accounts online.



Emaar Malls Group PJSC is seeking to raise as much as $1.58 billion, with orders received for all the stock allocated to institutional investors within two days of the sale starting. Individuals can buy as much as 30 percent of the shares, giving them the chance to bet on the world’s second-best performing stock market this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg."



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Egypt to buy 65 percent of oil product imports from UAE - Al Arabiya News

Egypt to buy 65 percent of oil product imports from UAE - Al Arabiya News:



"Egypt will buy 65 percent of its oil product imports for the next year from the United Arab Emirates, in the latest Gulf lifeline to an economy rocked by three years of turmoil.



The deal, approved by the Egyptian government on Wednesday and announced in a statement, covers gasoline, diesel, heavy fuel and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) that is used in homes.



Egypt has struggled to curb its swelling budget deficit while meeting soaring energy demands, resulting in daily electricity cuts around the country of 86 million people."



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Guest post: the trials of banking the unbanked in India – beyondbrics - Blogs - FT.com

Guest post: the trials of banking the unbanked in India – beyondbrics - Blogs - FT.com:



"On 28th August, an ambitious programme on financial inclusion – Jan Dhan Yojana (People’s Wealth Scheme) – was rolled out across India amid much fanfare. The government claims that on the inaugural day, a record 15m zero-balance bank accounts were opened across the country under the program. Nowhere else in the world has such a large number of bank accounts been opened on a single day. This is undoubtedly a big achievement for the new government. 




The JDY should be viewed as financial inclusion 3.0 – as two major initiatives were launched previously with mixed results. The first initiative was launched in 1969 when 14 of the largest privately-owned banks were nationalized and the banking network was widened through brick-and-mortar branches. The second initiative was launched in 2005 with a greater emphasis on opening zero-balance bank accounts for poor Indians through the branchless business correspondent (BC) model. A BC is a representative of bank who provides doorstep banking services through the use of smart card handling devices which are connected to the main servers of the bank.



Like financial inclusion 2.0, the JDY also relies heavily on the cheaper BC model to deliver banking services in both rural and urban areas – allowing it to make inroads into unbanked locations. Close to 117m zero-balance accounts have been opened up by nearly 248,000 BCs as on March 31, 2014. These are pretty impressive numbers. But empirical evidence suggests that access to bank accounts has not translated into use. More than 80 per cent of zero-balance bank accounts opened by BCs are dormant."



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European firms vie for Iranian gas project - Zawya

European firms vie for Iranian gas project - Zawya:



"Informed sources told Fars News Agency that Switzerland had recently approached the Iranian Oil Ministry officials for starting negotiations about importing gas.



Also, Greece had indirectly called for Iran's gas exports since the European country's officials believed that Iran could transfer its gas to Greece through Turkey and then to other countries across the Europe.



Other countries which have entered direct gas talks with Iran include Germany (a member of the world powers negotiating with Tehran over its nuclear program), Poland, Japan, Austria, Oman, Turkey and Iraq."



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Zain Bahrain extends IPO subscription period by two weeks | GulfNews.com

Zain Bahrain extends IPO subscription period by two weeks | GulfNews.com:



"Zain Bahrain said on Wednesday it was extending the subscription period for its initial share sale on the kingdom’s bourse by two weeks.



No reason was given in the statement for the extension, which moves the closing date for investors to buy shares in the initial public offer to September 30.



The IPO, the first in Bahrain since 2010, was originally due to end subscriptions on September 16 and aimed to sell 15 per cent of the unit of Kuwaiti telecommunications firm Zain Group at 0.19 dinars (Dh2.44, $0.50) per share."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi rises on economic reform plans; better global mood boosts region | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Saudi rises on economic reform plans; better global mood boosts region | Reuters:



"Saudi Arabia's stock market led the region higher on Wednesday because of optimism over the government's economic reform efforts, while other markets were buoyed by a more positive global mood.



The main Saudi index gained 0.8 percent to 11,081 points, with major mining company Ma'aden rising 3.1 percent.



The Capital Market Authority said on Wednesday that it would permit off-market trading of shares in companies which had been suspended or delisted from the exchange."



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Diamond production to decline from 2020 - YouTube

Diamond production to decline from 2020 - YouTube: ""



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EM slide - is next taper tantrum starting? - YouTube

EM slide - is next taper tantrum starting? - YouTube: ""



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