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Saturday, 20 September 2014

Jafza profit soars after debt is cut | The National

Jafza profit soars after debt is cut | The National:



"Dubai’s Jebel Ali Free Zone yesterday reported that profit rose by more than 40 per cent in the first half of 2014 after the industrial zone operator paid down a big chunk of debt last year.



Net income jumped more than 44 per cent to Dh449 million in the six-month period to June 30, from Dh311m a year earlier.



The increase is “primarily due to lower finance cost resulting from prepayment of bank facility and cost optimisation,” the chairman Hisham Abdullah Al Shirawi said in a regulatory disclosure posted on the Nasdaq Dubai website."



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Tusk’s Successor Signals Softer Polish Stance on Ukraine - Bloomberg

Tusk’s Successor Signals Softer Polish Stance on Ukraine - Bloomberg:



"Polish Prime Minister-designate Ewa Kopacz promoted rival Grzegorz Schetyna to run foreign policy and signaled her government will moderate the country’s stance toward Russia in the crisis ravaging neighboring Ukraine.



The new cabinet should approach the conflict between Russia and Ukraine like “a reasonable Polish woman,” making security at home its top priority, Kopacz said at a news conference in Warsaw today. Schetyna, head of parliament’s foreign affairs committee, will replace Radoslaw Sikorski, who spearheaded Poland’s policy on Ukraine under former Premier Donald Tusk.



“We shouldn’t rush to become part of this military conflict,” Kopacz said as she presented her cabinet. “When the big European family decides that we want to help” Ukraine, “then we should take part in providing help, but together with other countries.”"



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Emerging-Market Stocks Post Weekly Decline as Micex Retreats - Bloomberg

Emerging-Market Stocks Post Weekly Decline as Micex Retreats - Bloomberg:



"Emerging-market stocks posted a second straight weekly loss amid concern China’s economic slowdown will damp demand for equities and higher U.S. interest rates will lure money away from developing-nations’ assets.



OAO Novatek, the Russian natural-gas producer, led a gauge of emerging-nation energy producers lower. The Micex Index fell for a third day in Moscow. The Ibovespa declined 1 percent in Sao Paulo. A gauge of Chinese technology companies advanced after Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. raised a record-breaking $21.8 billion in an initial public offering.



The MSCI Emerging Markets Index fell 0.2 percent to 1,054.08, pushing this week’s loss to 0.7 percent. China boosted cash in the financial system as data this week showed foreign direct investment into the country slid in August. The Federal Reserve raised by 25 basis points its median estimate for where the fed funds rate will be by the end of 2015."



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Arab Bank Assailed at Trial for Serving Terrorism ‘Stars’ - Bloomberg

Arab Bank Assailed at Trial for Serving Terrorism ‘Stars’ - Bloomberg:



"Arab Bank Plc, Jordan’s biggest lender, was the “bank of the stars” for the terrorism world and willingly aided the Palestinian militant group Hamas, a lawyer told New York jurors in a bid to recover damages on behalf of hundreds of victims of the group’s attacks.



The bank was sued in a potentially landmark case for allegedly doing business with more than 150 Hamas leaders and operatives linked to two dozen attacks in Israel, mostly suicide-bombings.



The plaintiffs, victims of the attacks or their relatives, seek to hold the Amman-based lender responsible for assaults which occurred in the early 2000s amid a wave of violence, including deadly explosions in buses and restaurants."



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Hryvnia Declines Most Since 2009 on Wagers Sale Falls Short - Bloomberg

Hryvnia Declines Most Since 2009 on Wagers Sale Falls Short - Bloomberg:



"Ukraine’s currency weakened the most in more than five years to a record amid speculation that a planned foreign-currency auction failed to meet demand by banks.



The hryvnia slid 11 percent to 14.40 per dollar by 3:31 p.m. in New York, the biggest decline since January 2009, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The currency has tumbled 43 percent this year, the most among more than 170 peers tracked by Bloomberg. The yield on government Eurobonds due in July 2017 increased 1.55 percentage points this week. 




The central bank called the foreign-currency auction to “meet the needs of clients,” according to a statement on its website dated yesterday. Foreign-exchange reserves have tumbled 22 percent this year as policy makers defended the hryvnia. Citizens have sought the safety of international currencies amid a conflict with pro-Russian separatists in the country’s east that’s pushing the economy deeper into recession."



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Energy in Europe: The gasman cutteth | The Economist

Energy in Europe: The gasman cutteth | The Economist:



"NAPOLEON and Hitler both succumbed to the bitter Russian winter in their efforts at territorial expansion in Europe. Now, Vladimir Putin seems to be exporting a bit of Russian chill as part of his strategy to shift Europe’s borders in his favour. In recent days there have been ill-explained reductions in the flow of gas that Gazprom, a Russian state firm, supplies to Poland, Austria and Slovakia—possibly to warn them off re-exporting any of it to Ukraine. 




Russia provides one-third of the gas that other European countries rely on to heat their homes, generate electricity and feed industry. So far the assumption among western European governments and industrial gas users is that even if relations with Russia worsen further, there is little danger of a complete and long-term cut in supplies, since Russia’s government is so dependent on the revenues from gas exports.



However, a short-term interruption in the coming months, as winter descends, is not so unthinkable. Fortunately, most European countries would be able to struggle through. Their gas-storage facilities are about 90% full, since last winter was mild and they did a bit of further topping-up over the summer. Last year Europe imported 155 billion cubic metres (bcm) of Russian gas; stocks currently stand at 75bcm. So European energy distributors would have a few months’ grace to find alternative supplies."



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