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Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Abraaj Group buys majority stake in South Africa's Libstar | Reuters

Abraaj Group buys majority stake in South Africa's Libstar | Reuters:



"Emerging market-focused private equity firm Abraaj Group has bought a majority stake in Liberty Star Consumer Holdings (Libstar), a South African food and personal care product manufacturer, it said on Wednesday.



Dubai-headquartered Abraaj bought shares in unlisted Libstar from its existing shareholders including Metier, Old Mutual Private Equity, Development Partners International and Lereko, it said in a statement.



Abraaj said it would continue to support Libstar's pan-African growth strategy, including in South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa. It did not disclose the size of the deal."



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Guest post: which EMs are vulnerable to US dollar strength? – beyondbrics - Blogs - FT.com

Guest post: which EMs are vulnerable to US dollar strength? – beyondbrics - Blogs - FT.com:



"It has been in easy in recent weeks to get carried away with big emerging markets (EM) currency movements. A range of them – including the Russian rouble, Turkish lira, Polish zloty, South African rand and Brazilian real – have hit their lowest point this year against the US dollar.



But this is mostly about the dollar’s recovery, the broader US recovery and assumptions that the US Federal Reserve is way ahead of the European Central Bank (ECB) in terms of policy normalisation. Indeed, the ECB seems still to be going the other way, loosening monetary policy; the Euro also appears to be on a hiding to nothing.



So who will be the winners and losers from the dollar’s recent ascent?"



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Former Leeds United managing director sues GFH from Dubai jail cell | Football | theguardian.com

Former Leeds United managing director sues GFH from Dubai jail cell | Football | theguardian.com:



"The former Leeds United managing director David Haigh, who has been held in a jail cell by Dubai police without charge for five months, has sued his former employers and Leeds owners, Gulf Finance House, for alleged deceit.



Haigh’s claim, issued in the high court in London, alleges that GFH, its Dubai subsidiary GFH Capital, the GFH directors Hisham Al Rayes and Jinesh Patel, and a Dubai-based lawyer, Peter Gray of the firm Gibson Dunn, lured him to Dubai in May with the “false” promise of a job.



Instead, Haigh claims, when he arrived at GFHC’s offices in Dubai on 18 May, he was arrested and detained by Dubai police."



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UAE business activity drops to 4-month low | Economy | Saudi Gazette

UAE business activity drops to 4-month low | Economy | Saudi Gazette:



"Business activity growth in the United Arab Emirates’ non-oil private sector fell to a four-month low in September as gains in new orders slowed despite increasing output, a survey showed on Tuesday.



The HSBC UAE Purchasing Managers’ Index, which measures the performance of the manufacturing and services sectors, dropped to 57.6 points in September from a record high of 58.4 points in August.



The adjusted index remains well above the 50-point mark which separates growth from contraction, the survey of 400 private sector firms showed."



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Court overturns Bahraini prince’s immunity from prosecution - FT.com

Court overturns Bahraini prince’s immunity from prosecution - FT.com:



"The High Court in London has quashed a decision by the director of public prosecutions that the son of the king of Bahrain enjoyed state immunity from prosecution over torture claims.



The case arose after the Bahraini citizen, known as FF, sought the arrest of Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad al-Khalifa after lodging allegations that he was involved in the torture of detained prisoners during the country’s pro-democracy uprising of 2011.



FF, who was granted asylum in the UK, was told by the DPP that the prince would be immune from prosecution in the UK because of his royal status, but FF sought to bring judicial review proceedings over the decision."



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Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority and GDF SUEZ achieve financial close of Mirfa Independent Water and Power Project in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi - Zawya

Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority and GDF SUEZ achieve financial close of Mirfa Independent Water and Power Project in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi - Zawya:



"Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority ( ADWEA ) and GDF SUEZ are pleased to announce that they have achieved financial close for the Mirfa Independent Water and Power Project (Mirfa IWPP) in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). ADWEA holds an 80% equity interest in the project with the remaining 20% held by GDF SUEZ . The water and electricity that will be produced by the Mirfa plant will be sold to the Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Company (ADWEC) under a Power and Water Purchase Agreement (PWPA) for a 25-year period.



The total investment cost of the project is approximately USD 1.5 billion, funded by a mix of debt and equity. The debt requirement for the project will be met through funding from a consortium of thirteen local and international commercial financial institutions. Close to USD 500 million of Senior Debt was committed by domestic banks in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi (First Gulf Bank, National Bank of Abu Dhabi, Union National Bank and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank).



Located 120 km from Abu Dhabi city, the Mirfa plant project is the Emirate's tenth facility to be built under the public-private partnership IWPP model. The project will involve the acquisition of certain existing water and power facilities and the development, design, engineering and construction of new power and water facilities, as well as the operation of the plant. When finished, and with the existing and new facilities fully integrated, Mirfa IWPP will have a total power capacity of 1,600 MW and a seawater desalination capacity of 52.5 MIGD (238,665 m3/day)."



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POLL-Ukraine economic slide seen accelerating in Q3 to five-year low | Reuters

POLL-Ukraine economic slide seen accelerating in Q3 to five-year low | Reuters:



"Ukraine's economy is expected to have shrunk 9.5
percent year-on-year in the third quarter of 2014, a Reuters poll showed,
suffering its biggest contraction of the past five years as fighting between
government and rebel forces inflicts huge damage on the industrial east.



Economists in the survey estimated that the slide worsened rapidly in
July-September from the first and second quarters, when gross domestic product
shrank by annual rates of 1.1 percent and 4.7 percent respectively.



The analysts at 12 banks and brokerages also saw GDP dropping 7.8 percent
this year, according to the median forecast in the poll, a much more pessimistic
assessment than the 5.0 percent prediction in the previous survey in a June."



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Germany recession fears - YouTube

Germany recession fears - YouTube: ""



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What Rio and Glencore might do next - YouTube

What Rio and Glencore might do next - YouTube: ""



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Prime office rentals market in Abu Dhabi stirs back to life after six-year lethargy | The National

Prime office rentals market in Abu Dhabi stirs back to life after six-year lethargy | The National:



"For the first time in six years the capital’s stagnant office market is showing signs of returning to life.



Rents for prime office space in Abu Dhabi increased by an average of 6 per cent during the quarter ended September, said a report from JLL published yesterday. Rents rose to Dh1,640 per square metre from Dh1,540 per sq metre in June. 




Experts said that an increase in demand from private sector tenants prompted by boosts in government spending, coupled with a slowdown in the amount of new stock coming to the market, finally pushed up rents for the most expensive buildings."



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London continues to attract Middle East initial public offerings | The National

London continues to attract Middle East initial public offerings | The National:



"A boom in Middle East listings on the London Stock Exchange is set to continue next year as companies follow the likes of Damac and Gulf Marine Services to lure more international investors, according to an LSE executive.



“Given London’s credentials in certain markets, we’ve seen an increase in the number of companies looking to raise capital in London,” said Ibukun Adebayo, the co-head of emerging markets at the LSE’s primary markets division.



“We’ve seen a lot of oil and gas companies as well as oilfield services companies, for example. We’ve got to a point where we have had to create more resources in the London Stock Exchange to look after our Middle East business. We’re growing our part of the business. We’re hiring more people.”"



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Low oil prices might shelve Gulf mega projects | GulfNews.com

Low oil prices might shelve Gulf mega projects | GulfNews.com:



"Current sliding oil prices are not causing many economists to worry yet about the effects in the Arab Gulf region, and they do not perceive it as a prelude to a major oil price crash.



However, many of the economists and oil experts believe the continuous price falls could lead to a review of some mega projects in the region. They do not expect this to affect any ventures that generate job opportunities in the region, where nearly more than half of the population is under 25 years and youth unemployment is considered a major issue.



“Oil prices are not expected to stabilise or go upwards,” Dubai-based economist Nasser Al Saidi told Gulf News. “Most of the reports and forecasts predict that the prices would range between $85 and $95 [per barrel] in the next three years.”"



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Islamic finance industry global assets up $1.6b | GulfNews.com

Islamic finance industry global assets up $1.6b | GulfNews.com:



"Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) said the Islamic finance industry is growing rapidly, with global assets increasing by an estimated 16 per cent last year to $1.6 billion (Dh5.9 billion) last year.



The bank convened a high-level workshop in the UAE last week to discuss the current status of the Islamic finance industry and how innovation can sustain its rapid growth.



Speakers at the workshop suggested that better alignment of standards across the industry would allow Islamic banks to compete more effectively with conventional banks and take greater market share."



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IMF cuts Arab growth forecast, but sees Gulf still strong | GulfNews.com

IMF cuts Arab growth forecast, but sees Gulf still strong | GulfNews.com:



"A UAE based economist said that the International Monetary Fund’s report that has lowered its economic growth forecasts for most Arab countries over unrest in the region but predicted strong growth in the oil rich Gulf states is on expected lines.



Saleem Khokhar, head of equities at NBAD’s asset management group said the report makes good sense. “They are cutting the overall growth outlook for the region leaving certain countries which will perform well partly because of export of oil and petrochemical products and reinvesting the money into the infrastructure projects.”



He said Gulf states have become a safe haven due to unrest in other parts of the Middle East. “Money has been flowing into the UAE because of its safe haven status.”"



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Russian Hardship on Display at Delis as Sausages Shrink - Bloomberg

Russian Hardship on Display at Delis as Sausages Shrink - Bloomberg:



"There are many ways to measure the deepening financial crisis spreading across Russia. The ruble is sinking more than any other currency in the world, policy makers have burnt through some $55 billion of foreign reserves and the economy is teetering toward recession.



Galina Mityaeva measures it in centimeters.



The half stick of braunschweiger sausage that the 69-year-old retiree used to buy for her husband each week is now just too expensive. Cut it a little shorter, she instructs the deli counter clerks at the supermarket she shops at outside of Moscow -- a quarter stick will have to suffice."



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Goldman Bankers Threatened by LIA Executive in ‘Tirade’ - Bloomberg

Goldman Bankers Threatened by LIA Executive in ‘Tirade’ - Bloomberg:



"A Libya Investment Authority executive threatened two Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) bankers at a 2008 meeting in Tripoli, telling them the lender had “screwed” the sovereign wealth fund, according to the LIA’s evidence at a London court hearing yesterday.



Former LIA executive Mustafa Zarti was so angry about bad investments that he cursed at the two bankers, Youssef Kabbaj and Nick Pentreath, in English and Arabic after questioning some of the fund’s 2008 trades with Goldman, according to Catherine McDougall, a lawyer at a London law firm who was temporarily assigned to the LIA at the time.



“Get out of my country,” McDougall recalled Zarti as saying in a witness statement she prepared for the LIA in a $1 billion lawsuit against Goldman. The bankers gathered their things and left quickly, she said."



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Shale Boom Tested as Sub-$90 Oil Threatens U.S. Drillers - Bloomberg

Shale Boom Tested as Sub-$90 Oil Threatens U.S. Drillers - Bloomberg:



"The U.S. shale boom is producing record amounts of new oil as demand weakens, pushing prices down toward levels that threaten to reduce future drilling.



Domestic fields will add an unprecedented 1.1 million barrels a day of output this year and another 963,000 in 2015, raising production to the most since 1970, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The Energy Department’s statistical arm forecasts consumption will shrink 0.2 percent to 18.9 million barrels a day this year, the lowest since 2012.



More supply from hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, and less demand, are contributing to the tumble in West Texas Intermediate crude. The U.S. benchmark is down 17 percent since June 20 and fell below $90 a barrel on Oct. 2 for the first time in 17 months."



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