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Wednesday, 24 September 2014

UBS to close Representative Office in Dubai |

UBS to close Representative Office in Dubai |

"UBS announced on Wednesday that it will close its representative office in
Dubai and transfer the operations to its representative office in Abu Dhabi as part of the bank’s effort to optimise its local operations.

The representative office in Abu Dhabi will be the appointed legal entity in the UAE to receive all legal liabilities concerning the RO Dubai, the bank said in an emailed statement.

“UBS is committed to its presence and franchise in the Middle East where it has been present for half a century. Through its Advisory Office in Dubai, UBS will maintain the same level of market coverage and strengthen its footprint in the UAE out of the Dubai Financial Centre (DIFC),” the statement said."

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Abu Dhabi's 'Zero-Carbon City' is a Stalled-Out Ghost Town - Video Interlude - Curbed National

Abu Dhabi's 'Zero-Carbon City' is a Stalled-Out Ghost Town - Video Interlude - Curbed National:

A new video has surfaced of Masdar City, a planned community outside Abu Dhabi once touted as the world's first zero-carbon city, looking stalled out and nearly abandoned. Not much seems to have been developed there in the past few years: little of the four-square-mile, Norman Foster-designed plan has been built aside from a huddle of mostly empty buildings. There's a library, a few retail outlets, and a small graduate institute, populated mostly by security guards and the handful of students in attendance. Looking out from the complex, there's little to be seen aside from a white fence demarcating the area, punctuated by signs reading "Masdar City, the city of possibilities."
With a planned investment of $18B, Masdar was supposed to attract some 50,000 workers, along with hundreds of startups, of which there are only a few present in the development stage. There's a Siemens office and General Electric showroom, as well as an organic supermarket; ironic in a place where the inhabitants have to drive miles to get anything else.
Julien Eymeri, who made a recent trip to Masdar City, does a great jobexplaining the tone of the place to Co.Exist. The accompanying video is almost comically eerie; what Eymeri describes as the "omnipresent, even oppressive" drone of a wind tower" sounds uncannily like the low, droning soundtrack of a quiet but ominous stretch of a modern action film, giving Masdar the feel of a Neill Blomkamp techno-dystopia. When the cameraman plays with a touch-screen display praising the city's sustainability, the segment starts to feel very "future cosmonaut discovers a failed utopia." (But surprise! It was Earth the entire time.)
Eymeri describes the reaction of an official asked about the future of Masdar City: "a representative remains cautious, asking for patience--a surprising statement in a state which makes a claim on all street corners to be the fastest and first--and finally admits that it is--politically--unthinkable to abandon such a project." Visit Co.Exist for the full account.
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Masdar Buys Half Statoil Stake in U.K. Offshore Wind Farm - Bloomberg

Masdar Buys Half Statoil Stake in U.K. Offshore Wind Farm - Bloomberg:

"Masdar Abu Dhabi Future Energy Co. agreed to buy half of Statoil ASA’s stake in the 402-megawatt Dudgeon wind project off the coast of eastern England as it steps up its investments in wind power.

The purchase will leave Masdar with a 35 percent stake in the project valued at 525 million pounds ($860 million), the Abu Dhabi government’s renewable-energy company said today in an e-mailed statement. Statoil, which will operate the plant, retains a 35 percent stake, and fellow Norwegian company Statkraft AS owns the remainder.

Dudgeon is the second offshore wind investment for Masdar in the U.K., where it also owns a 20 percent stake in the 630-megawatt London Array. For Statoil, Norway’s state-controlled oil company, the sale adds to divestments of about $20 billion since 2010 as it reins in spending and focuses on its most profitable projects."

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Damac Withdraws GDR for Share Swap as Time Runs Out for Listing - Bloomberg

Damac Withdraws GDR for Share Swap as Time Runs Out for Listing - Bloomberg:

"Damac Real Estate Development Ltd. (DMC) withdrew an offer to swap its London-listed global depositary receipts for Dubai shares, saying the developer needed more time to arrange its United Arab Emirates listing.

The company, whose GDRs started trading in the U.K. in December, said in a regulatory filing yesterday it intends to make a new exchange offer to eligible holders “on substantially the same terms as the previous offer.” The original swap was subject to the admission of Damac shares to trading on the Dubai Financial Market (DFMGI) on or before Oct. 6, but “DFM admission is now likely to occur later than was expected,” it said.

Damac’s London sale was the first by a Dubai developer since the sheikhdom’s real-estate market crashed in 2008, and tested the appetite of global investors for the city’s recovering property market. The GDRs have climbed almost 60 percent since the offering priced at the bottom of its target range, according to data compiled by Bloomberg."

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Saudi Stocks Lead Mideast Drop on Concern for Islamist Reprisals - Businessweek

Saudi Stocks Lead Mideast Drop on Concern for Islamist Reprisals - Businessweek:

"Saudi Arabian shares retreated the most in more than three months, leading declines in the Middle East amid investor concern that Arab nations may be at risk of retaliatory attacks by Islamic State militants.

The Tadawul All Share Index (SASEIDX) lost the most since June 16, sliding 1.4 percent to close at 10,720.51. It was the second-worst performer among more than 90 gauges tracked globally by Bloomberg. Dubai’s DFM General Index slipped 1.2 percent, while Qatar’s QE Index fell 0.5 percent.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar and Jordan all joined the first wave of U.S.-led airstrikes against the Islamic State in Syria yesterday, the broadest Arab-U.S. military coalition since the 1991 Gulf War. The latest conflict in the region may threaten security in some of the Middle East’s biggest economies. Gauges in Dubai, Qatar and Saudi Arabia are among the top 10 best performing indexes in the world this year, Bloomberg data show."

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More problems for Pimco - YouTube

More problems for Pimco - YouTube: ""

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Al Habtoor revives plans for initial public offering valued at $2.5 billion | The National

Al Habtoor revives plans for initial public offering valued at $2.5 billion | The National:

"Al Habtoor Group, the Dubai conglomerate, is reviving plans for a multibillion dollar initial public offering (IPO) and could be ready to come to market early next year.

With a possible value of about US$2.5 billion, the IPO would be the biggest since 2007, although the valuation process is still at an early stage.

The hotels, property and car-dealing conglomerate pulled out of a planned IPO in late 2102, but it is believed the buoyant economic and market conditions in Dubai have persuaded Khalaf Al Habtoor, the founder and chairman of the group, to think again."

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Putin Freeze Eases After Nine Bond Auction Cancellations - Bloomberg

Putin Freeze Eases After Nine Bond Auction Cancellations - Bloomberg:

"The freeze in Russian bond markets is starting to thaw, with the government planning its first debt auction after nine cancellations amid the cease-fire in Ukraine.

The Finance Ministry is offering 10 billion rubles ($259 million) of securities due in August 2023 today in the first sale since U.S. and European Union sanctions in July drove up the nation’s borrowing costs by the most in emerging markets. Russian corporates are also returning, with OAO Alfa Bank and OAO Gazprombank among companies issuing bonds in September at the fastest pace in three months.

Russia’s borrowers are coming to terms with the higher price they need to pay to access cash after escalating penalties choked off their access to Western funds, according to UralSib Asset Management. Signs a Sept. 5 truce between the government in Kiev and pro-Russian separatists is holding has pushed yields lower by fueling speculation among investors that sanctions won’t be expanded."

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FIFA Rattles Qatari Sukuk Mired in Worst Month This Year - Bloomberg

FIFA Rattles Qatari Sukuk Mired in Worst Month This Year - Bloomberg:

"Prospects for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar are unsettling bond investors already rattled by political turmoil between the country and its neighbors, with its sukuk on course for its worst month in more than a year.

The yield on Qatar’s Islamic notes due January 2018 rose 20 basis points in September, on course for the biggest monthly increase since August 2013, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The average yield for Middle East Shariah-compliant securities jumped 12 basis points in the period, JPMorgan Chase & Co. indexes show.

FIFA Executive Committee member Theo Zwanziger told Germany’s Bild this week that Qatar probably won’t host the world’s biggest soccer event in 2022 because of the summer heat. While Qatar dismissed his comments, it’s creating more market turbulence for the country, which has been at odds with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates over its support for the Muslim Brotherhood in the region."

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Investors Flock to Dubai IPO in Bet on Biggest Mall - Bloomberg

Investors Flock to Dubai IPO in Bet on Biggest Mall - Bloomberg:

"After seeing a newspaper ad for the share sale by Emaar Malls Group, Haidar Al Hadrani jumped in his car and drove the 120 kilometers (75 miles) from Abu Dhabi to Dubai to register as an investor at the stock exchange.

“I have never invested before,” Al Hadrani, a 28-year-old engineer who works for Abu Dhabi National Oil Co., said as he filled in application forms at the Dubai Financial Market. “Everybody worries about losing money, but as long as I don’t invest too much I am not worried about it.”

Individual investors like Al Hadrani can together buy as much as 30 percent of the shares in the initial public offering, with the rest earmarked for institutions. Demand for the United Arab Emirates’ biggest IPO since 2007 is high: Emaar received orders for all the stock allocated to institutional investors two days after the sale began, it said on Sept. 16."

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Kudrin: Russian economy needs big reforms but govt cannot deliver -

Kudrin: Russian economy needs big reforms but govt cannot deliver -

"Russia’s economic model is a bigger obstacle to the country’s economic growth than the Ukraine-related sanctions but the government is incapable of fundamental reforms, Reuters cited former Russian finance minister Alexei Kudrin as arguing. 

The government lacks both political will for major reforms and people capable of carrying them out, Kudrin told the Reuters Russia Investment Summit this week, predicting that the country was in for years of stagnation and balancing on the edge of recession.

To make matters worse, oil, one of the main pillars of Russia’s economy, is likely to go down in price after steadily going up for about a decade, he said."

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Keeping track of the EM sell-off – beyondbrics - Blogs -

Keeping track of the EM sell-off – beyondbrics - Blogs -

"As beyondbrics noted early this month, the recent “dollar surge” and rising US interest rates are already having an impact on EM currencies. Two weeks later and the effects are becoming more pronounced, as the charts below show.

First, US interest rates. This is the yield on 10-year US Treasury bonds this year.

Source: S&P Capital IQ

From 3 per cent at the start of the year, the rate fell to a low of 2.34 per cent on August 28. But it then changed direction and reached a high of 2.63 per cent on September 18 before relaxing to 2.55 per cent today."

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Emirates Global Aluminium to build new $3bn Abu Dhabi refinery | The National

Emirates Global Aluminium to build new $3bn Abu Dhabi refinery | The National:

"Emirates Global Aluminium, the world’s fourth biggest aluminium producer, says it is building a US$3 billion alumina refinery as a boom in regional infrastructure projects spurs demand.

The company, born from the recent merger of Emirates Aluminium (Emal) and Dubai Aluminium (Dubal), is also gearing itself to profit from the shift to the metal among major car manufacturers that are seeking to improve fuel efficiency, said EGA’s chief executive Abdulla Kalban. Prices for the metal have gained almost 10 per cent this year, giving EGA more reason to expand as quickly as possible to help the country seek other forms of revenue apart from oil.

“Middle East expansion of smelters is being driven by demand from the massive infrastructure projects in the region,” Mr Kalban said at a conference in Abu Dhabi."

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U.A.E. to Start Market for Private Joint Stock Companies - Bloomberg

U.A.E. to Start Market for Private Joint Stock Companies - Bloomberg:

"United Arab Emirates exchanges will start a platform listing private joint stock companies as the second-biggest Arab economy seeks to develop its financial markets.

The start of the so-called second market was approved by Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum who said trading should begin over the next few months, state-run WAM news agency reported. The market is open to local companies and those from other Arab countries and will help address inadequate financing, it said.

“There are a lot of such companies in the region and I expect a good response to listings,” Wadah Al Taha, chief investment officer of Dubai-based Al Zarooni Group, said by telephone today. “There will be no cannibalization” of available liquidity as only existing company shareholders can trade, he said."

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MIDEAST STOCKS-Emaar lifts Dubai ahead of pricing malls unit IPO | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Emaar lifts Dubai ahead of pricing malls unit IPO | Reuters:

"Emaar Properties, Dubai's largest listed developer, helped lift the emirate's market on Tuesday on expectations that it would float its malls unit at the upper end of the announced price range because of strong demand.

Other regional markets were mixed. There was no impact from the news that the United States and Arab allies including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar had participated in or supported the first joint bombing of Islamic State fighters in Syria.

Credit default swaps and currency forwards in the region did not move significantly; most investors decided weeks ago that the Gulf economies were able to insulate themselves from the turmoil in Iraq and Syria."

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