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Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Kuwait investment firm Global says management withdraws resignations | Reuters

Kuwait investment firm Global says management withdraws resignations | Reuters:

"Global Investment House said its executive management team, including Group Chief Executive Maha al-Ghunaim, had withdrawn their resignations after resolving certain unspecified issues with the board.

The Kuwait-based firm's management team comprising Group CEO Ghunaim, CEO Bader al-Sumait, and executive vice presidents Khawla al-Roumi and Nawal Mulla-Hussain had resigned prior to its general meeting held on Sept. 14.

The investment bank has not disclosed the issues that led to the resignations, either in Tuesday's statement nor in a separate filing on Sept. 17."

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Iran trying to position as an alternative to Russian gas for Europe

Iran trying to position as an alternative to Russian gas for Europe:

"The European Union is looking for alternative gas supply sources as a result of Russian involvement in the Ukrainian crisis and it now seems that it may be looking towards Iran to fulfil this need. Russia is the largest supplier of gas for the EU but after the sanctions enacted by the EU against the country, based on its annexation of Crimea and support for separatists in eastern Ukraine, the EU runs the risk of falling victim to Russia’s use of gas as a political weapon.

An anonymous source from the European Commission that is involved in the development of EU energy strategy told Reuters that the EU is considering, first of all, lifting its sanctions on Iran over its disputed nuclear programme and, second, discussing the pipeline infrastructure that is needed to transport Iranian gas to Europe. The EU had tightened sanctions on Iran in 2012 by imposing an oil embargo and restricting the country’s access to financial services and energy technologies.

A paper prepared for the EU's Directorate-Generale for External Policies of the Union following Russia's annexation of Crimea stated, "High potential for gas production, domestic energy sector reforms that are underway, and ongoing normalisation of its relationship with the West make Iran a credible alternative to Russia". The document also indicated that current sanctions and large infrastructure deficiencies inhibit Iran’s ability to act as an alternative supplier in short term. "

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Inside the Beijing Watch factory - YouTube

Inside the Beijing Watch factory - YouTube: ""

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DIFC regulator calls for winding up of ES Bankers | The National

DIFC regulator calls for winding up of ES Bankers | The National:

"The Dubai International Financial Centre’s regulator has called for the winding-up of ES Bankers (Dubai) Ltd (ESBD), after the Portuguese bank’s manager attested that it was unable to continue as a going concern.

The DIFC Courts have appointed administration specialists Philip Bowers and Neville Kahn of Deloitte as joint provisional liquidators of ESBD, following a petition made on September 24 by the freezone’s regulator the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA).

“The primary function of the joint provisional liquidators is to protect ESBD’s assets and those of its clients in the period until a formal winding-up hearing,” said the regulator in a statement."

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Investment Corporation of Dubai explores opportunities with Dangote Group | The National

Investment Corporation of Dubai explores opportunities with Dangote Group | The National:

"Investment Corporation of Dubai is exploring further investment opportunities with African conglomerate Dangote Group, the chief executive of the emirate’s fund said on Wednesday.

“We have been looking at Africa for a long time. We are looking to do more business with Mr Dangote and we have some things that we are exploring at the moment together,” Mohammed al-Shaibani told an Africa-focussed investment event in Dubai.

Mr Shaibani was speaking alongside Aliko Dangote, head of the Dangote Group."

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Dana Gas reaches deal with Egypt to recover millions in back payments | The National

Dana Gas reaches deal with Egypt to recover millions in back payments | The National:

"Dana Gas has struck a deal with Egypt’s government that it expects will help it recover hundreds of millions of US dollars in back payments for gas and related products which it has been owed since the Arab Spring turmoil in 2011.

However, the Sharjah-based company must first finalise details on the financing of a new drilling programme, and the results will not show up in the company’s cash flow until the year after next.

Nevertheless, the Dana Gas chief executive, Patrick Allman-Ward, said the deal provides a way for it to invest in a new drilling programme, which in turn will increase production, and eventually enhance its cash flow substantially. A highlight of the deal is that allows Dana Gas to keep a substantially larger share of gas-related products — including LPG — which it can sell on the international markets to generate cash independent of the Egyptian government."

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Russia Stocks Rise Second Day as VTB Rebounds From Losses - Bloomberg

Russia Stocks Rise Second Day as VTB Rebounds From Losses - Bloomberg:

"Russian stocks gained for a second day as VTB Group and OAO Sberbank partially recouped losses sparked by concern the government may introduce capital controls if outflows rise.

The dollar-denominated RTS Index (RTSI$) rose 0.3 percent to 1,126.85 by 10:47 a.m. in Moscow. The Micex Index (INDEXCF) climbed 0.3 percent to 1,414.98. VTB, the nation’s second-biggest lender, jumped 2 percent, after dropping 3.1 percent yesterday, while Sberbank added 0.4 percent. AFK Sistema, which had lost two-thirds of its market value last month, gained 5.1 percent, while preferred shares of OAO Bashneft climbed 3.2 percent.

The central bank is weighing temporary capital controls if the flow of money out of the country intensifies, according to two officials with direct knowledge of the discussions. Russian shares, under pressure from U.S. and European sanctions, retreated last quarter, with the RTS entering a bear market, as Sistema’s owner Vladimir Evtushenkov was put under house arrest Sept. 16 amid a probe into alleged money laundering."

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U.S. Gas Boom Turns Global as LNG Exports to Shake Up Market - Bloomberg

U.S. Gas Boom Turns Global as LNG Exports to Shake Up Market - Bloomberg:

"The U.S. natural gas boom is poised to go global as the government approves projects that will export the fuel to buyers from Tokyo to New Delhi.

Dominion Resources Inc.’s Cove Point terminal in Maryland won authorization Sept. 29 from the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to ship liquefied natural gas around the world. It’s the fourth export project to win permission and the first outside the Gulf of Mexico. Construction will cost between $3.4 billion and $3.8 billion, Dominion said yesterday.

Advances in drilling techniques including hydraulic fracturing have pushed U.S. natural gas output to a record every year since 2011 and made the country the world’s largest producer. U.S. supplies will compete with cargoes from Qatar and Australia, two of the biggest exporters, shifting global movements of the super-chilled fuel."

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Worst Seen Over for Crude Prices as Saudis Cut Production - Bloomberg

Worst Seen Over for Crude Prices as Saudis Cut Production - Bloomberg:

"The worst is over for global oil prices, according to UBS AG and Barclays Plc. After the biggest quarterly drop in more than two years, Brent is set to recover as Saudi Arabia cuts output and demand climbs, they said.

“Supply is the important thing and Saudi Arabia is in the process of rebalancing the market,” Giovanni Staunovo, an analyst at UBS in Zurich, said by e-mail yesterday. “The weakness in crude oil prices should come to an end.”

Brent fell yesterday by the most since Jan. 2 to $94.67 a barrel. It extended a quarterly drop to 16 percent, the largest since the three months ended June 2012. The benchmark grade for more than half the world’s oil will average $105 from October to December, according to the median estimate of 15 analysts compiled by Bloomberg since Sept. 11. It gained as much as 0.5 percent to $95.17 today."

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Al Jaber Group completes Debt Restructuring Agreement - Zawya

Al Jaber Group completes Debt Restructuring Agreement - Zawya:

"Al Jaber Group announced today the successful completion of its debt restructuring agreement with its lending banks.

Al Jaber Group Chairman, H.E. Obaid Khaleefa Al Jaber Al Marri said, "I am pleased to announce that Al Jaber Group has successfully completed the debt restructuring agreement with its creditors. This is a great milestone for both the Group and the banks, and is a testimony to the solid market positioning of Al Jaber Group and an outcome of its long history of its achievements in the UAE and the region."

Throughout the negotiations period with the lending banks, Al Jaber Group has continued to successfully operate, and has been winning major projects and new business in the UAE, the region and Asia. The Group has secured multi-billion Dirham projects in the first three quarters of 2014, and will announce further new project wins in the fourth quarter of this year."

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State-Owned Dubai Development Seeks Merger, Acquisition Options - Gulf Business

State-Owned Dubai Development Seeks Merger, Acquisition Options - Gulf Business:

"Dubai Development, a partially state-owned real estate developer that is listed on the Dubai Financial Market (DFM), announced that it is currently seeking offers for merger or acquisition.

The company, which developed the Mirdif residential area of Dubai, said that the move followed a strategic review and has received approval from its shareholders and board.

Formed in 1975 to support the residential development of Dubai, and listed on the DFM in 2007, the company is partly owned by Dubai Government, the Al Mulla Group, and the Al Owais family.


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MIDEAST STOCKS-Most markets rise; Qatar slips ahead of index changes | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Most markets rise; Qatar slips ahead of index changes | Reuters:

"Most markets in the Middle East edged up on Tuesday with the region emerging from a wave of profit-taking, but Qatar's index dipped as investors adjusted their portfolios ahead of changes in the benchmark composition.

The Doha index fell 0.8 percent to a four-week closing low of 13,728 points and most stocks declined.

Trading focused on property developer Ezdan Holding , which added 1.4 percent. The stock is not part of the main index but will join it on Wednesday along with Mazaya Qatar , which added 0.2 percent."

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The Russian budget: Economic pain, caused by Ukraine | The Economist

The Russian budget: Economic pain, caused by Ukraine | The Economist:

"TODAY Russia submitted its budget to the Duma, the lower house of the parliament. After three rounds of discussions, Vladimir Putin, the president, will sign it into law. The budget shows how much trouble the Russian economy is in—and how unwilling the government is to face up to reality. 

It’s an austere affair: 700 billion roubles ($17.8 billion) of previous spending plans have been axed. New taxes on tobacco and alcohol will probably come in. These measures are partly to do with Russia’s poor economic growth, which has crimped tax revenues. The World Bank has cut its forecast for Russian economic growth to 0.3% in 2015 and 0.4% in 2016, down over 1% point on previous projections. The ruble has lost about 20% of its value against the dollar since October 2013. There are rumours that the central bank will soon enact controls on capital outflows, which in the first quarter were about $50 billion. 

But among the austerity there are some winners. Mr Putin wants to make good on an electoral promise to hike social spending (say, in the form of higher public-sector wages). Defence, with a 20% rise, is another. According to Julian Cooper, of Birmingham University, this largesse is little to do with the recent Ukraine crisis, but rather part of a long-term plan to modernise the military. Spending on defence will rise by 85% between 2012 and 2017."

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