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Saturday, 25 October 2014

Cheaper oil: Winners and losers | The Economist

Cheaper oil: Winners and losers | The Economist:



"IN EARLY October the IMF looked at what might happen to the world economy if conflict in Iraq caused an oil-price shock. Fighters from Islamic State (IS) were pushing into the country’s north and the fund worried about a sharp price rise, of 20% in a year. Global GDP would fall by 0.5-1.5%, it concluded. Equity prices in rich countries would decline by 3-7%, and inflation would be at least half a point higher.



IS is still advancing. Russia, the world’s third-biggest producer, is embroiled in Ukraine. Iraq, Syria, Nigeria and Libya, oil producers all, are in turmoil. But the price of Brent crude fell over 25% from $115 a barrel in mid-June to under $85 in mid-October, before recovering a little (see chart). Such a shift has global consequences. Who are the winners and losers?



The first winner is the world economy itself. A 10% change in the oil price is associated with around a 0.2% change in global GDP, says Tom Helbling of the IMF. A price fall normally boosts GDP by shifting resources from producers to consumers, who are more likely to spend their gains than wealthy sheikhdoms. If increased supply is the driving force, the effect is likely to be bigger—as in America, where shale gas drove prices down relative to Europe and, says the IMF, boosted manufactured exports by 6% compared with the rest of the world. But if it reflects weak demand, consumers may save the windfall."



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Judgment of €1m awarded against developer over failed Dubai deal

Judgment of €1m awarded against developer over failed Dubai deal:



"A businessman has obtained a €1 million judgment against a developer arising out of a failed deal to purchase several apartments in Dubai.



James Byrne (56), a native of Waterford now living in Dubai, claimed he gave €633,000 to Caoimhin McGeever, otherwise known as Kevin McGeever and his company KMM International Ltd, in 2006 to purchase three studio apartments and a duplex apartment close to the centre of Dubai.



Mr Byrne said he neither got ownership of the properties nor return of his investment and later learned one of the properties was sold to another party."



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Aabar seeks hefty premium for its minority stake in Malaysia bank | GulfNews.com

Aabar seeks hefty premium for its minority stake in Malaysia bank | GulfNews.com:



"Aabar Investments is demanding a hefty premium for its minority stake in Malaysia’s No. 4 bank, sources say, as the Abu Dhabi state fund leverages on its amplified role in a $22 billion merger that will create Southeast Asia’s fourth-largest lender.



When the Malaysian stock exchange last week barred the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) from voting on a plan to merge CIMB Group Holdings, RHB Capital Bhd and Malaysia Building Society Bhd (MBSB) due to the state pension fund’s majority ownership in the three lenders, the spotlight was suddenly thrown onto secondary shareholders.



Aabar, which owns 21 per cent of RHB, wants its stake in the bank to be valued at 11-12 ringgit per share, sources familiar with the deal said. That would be as much as 11 per cent more than what Aabar paid three years ago for its RHB holding and above the value placed on RHB of 10.03 ringgit per share in the proposed merger."



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Russia Credit Rating Kept Above Junk by S&P on Reserves - Bloomberg

Russia Credit Rating Kept Above Junk by S&P on Reserves - Bloomberg:



"Russia’s investment-grade credit rating was affirmed by Standard & Poor’s yesterday, easing concern that a downgrade to junk may deepen a selloff in the ruble and other assets.



S&P held Russia’s ranking at BBB-, according to a statement, while retaining the country’s negative outlook. The grade puts Russia on par with Brazil and South Africa. S&P last cut the rating in April, downgrading Russia for the first time in five years.



“The ratings are supported by the economy’s net external asset position and the Russian government’s modest net debtor position,” S&P said in the statement. “The ratings remain constrained by our view of the structural weaknesses in Russia’s economy, in particular the strong dependence on hydrocarbons and other commodities.”"



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