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Monday, 24 November 2014

The London lobbyists spinning for UAE

The London lobbyists spinning for UAE:



"Last month, the UK Defence Secretary called the United Arab Emirates "one of our closest allies and partners." His statement comes from a long tradition of sucking up to the oil rich Kingdom.



But why is the UK partnering so closely with what Nick McGeehan, Human Rights Watch researcher on the Gulf, recently called "a black hole" for human rights?" (He, and his organisation, were later permanently banned outright from entering the country).



Another human rights watchdog, Amnesty International, used the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix this weekend to release their own report into the moral depravity of the ruling Bin Zayed family. The autocrats are blessed that nearby Saudi Arabia and Iran take most of the criticism over human rights issues. Many are aware of the regional superpowers disdain for freedom of expression, but aside from occasional furores over UAE's mistreatment of migrant labourers – almost no Western coverage demonstrates the Bin Zayed's silent capacity to viciously take out their political opponents. Dubai and Abu Dhabi are the dirty secret of the Gulf, where freedom of expression is little more than a sick joke."



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What the Opening of the Saudi Market Means for Investors: Video - Bloomberg

What the Opening of the Saudi Market Means for Investors: Video - Bloomberg: ""



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Barclays Said to Hire RBS Corporate Bankers in Dubai Expansion - Bloomberg

Barclays Said to Hire RBS Corporate Bankers in Dubai Expansion - Bloomberg:



"Barclays Plc (BARC) hired two corporate bankers from Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc (RBS) in Dubai as it expands in the region, people with knowledge of the matter said.



The U.K.’s second-largest bank by assets hired Sahibzada Masroor Ali and Joaquin Eliason, the two people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. Ali was most recently the head of network client coverage for the Middle East and Africa, according to his LinkedIn profile.



Barclays plans to increase the number of corporate bankers in the Gulf by more than 10 percent this year as economic growth improves, Rezwan Mirza, head of the business in the United Arab Emirates and Gulf countries, said in a May 26 interview in Dubai. RBS is weighing the sale of its Middle East corporate loan book as it reviews its international business, people familiar with the plan said Nov. 5."



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Most markets slip, Omani telecoms drop on tax proposal | News by Country | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Most markets slip, Omani telecoms drop on tax proposal | News by Country | Reuters:



"Middle East stock markets mostly lost ground on Monday, while shares of Oman-based telecommunications companies tumbled after an advisory body to its government proposed taxing them at a higher rate.



Oman's index fell 1.2 percent as Ooredoo Oman and Oman Telecommunications (Omantel) lost 4.8 and 4.0 percent respectively.



Among measures aimed at reducing the 2015 budget deficit, the Shura Council has proposed increasing the royalty rate for telecoms to 12 percent from 7 percent and said the hike should not be passed on to subscribers."



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Petrofac's co-operating concerns - YouTube

Petrofac's co-operating concerns - YouTube: ""



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Shadow currency trade points to new Ukraine financial crisis - FT.com

Shadow currency trade points to new Ukraine financial crisis - FT.com:



"A stone’s throw from this weekend’s candlelight vigils in Kiev marking a year since the start of the demonstrations that toppled Viktor Yanukovich as president, a different kind of Ukrainian was out on the street: the black market currency traders.



“Selling dollars? I’ll give you more, I’ll give you 18,” said one man outside a foreign exchange booth offering 15.50 Ukrainian hryvnia to the US currency.



The re-emergence of shadow traders last seen after the Soviet Union collapsed is a sign that – a year after the Kiev protests in which 100 people died in the hope of securing a prosperous, European future – the war-torn country is sliding once again into a financial crisis."



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Higher MSCI weightings lift UAE shares | The National

Higher MSCI weightings lift UAE shares | The National:



"UAE shares inched higher yesterday as fund managers increased positions in Emaar Properties, FGB and Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB) after MSCI lifted its weightings in the three stocks.



Investors who benchmark against MSCI’s Emerging Markets Index have until Wednesday to replicate the changes.



“It’s going to be effective in three days from today, so they have to be building positions ahead of the deadline,” said Nabil Farhat, a partner at Al Fajer Securities."



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Trader profile: GCC governments unlikely to scale back spending | The National

Trader profile: GCC governments unlikely to scale back spending | The National:



"Vijay Harpalani, assistant fund manager at Al Mal Capital, says Mena countries are unique and each requires a different investment approach.



What is the asset class and geography you are focused on? 




We are a Mena-focused asset manager and I am involved in managing long-only equity funds and fixed-income mandates. I started my career in 2006 during the bull market phase, and I have been fortunate to have experienced both bull market and bear market cycles in a short period of time. Although Mena appears to be one region, each geography requires a different investment approach. My investment process is based on a combination of top-down and bottom-up approach."



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Arabs must come up with action plan to end regional conflicts | GulfNews.com

Arabs must come up with action plan to end regional conflicts | GulfNews.com:



"Following months of talks aimed at bridging the gaps between its member states, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is back on track.



At an extraordinary summit hosted by Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz, an agreement was reached to end an eight-month dispute over foreign policy differences, especially with regards to Egypt and the Muslim Brotherhood, between Qatar on one side and the kingdom, the UAE and Bahrain on the other.



This saw the three countries recalling their ambassadors from Doha. The agreement, reached last week, means that the six members of the GCC have chosen to close ranks in the face of the increasingly multiplying regional threats, stemming from the civil strife in a number of countries in the Arab world, such as Syria, Libya, Yemen and Iraq."



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Opening up of Saudi markets a strong catalyst for MSCI or S&P review | GulfNews.com

Opening up of Saudi markets a strong catalyst for MSCI or S&P review | GulfNews.com:



"The Saudi equity market could be a strong candidate for an upgrade by the global indices provider like the MSCI or the S&P depending on its size and liquidity after it opens up for foreign investors, industry participants said on Sunday.



The Tadawul All Share Index has gained 14.8 per cent so far in the year, lagging behind the performance of its regional counterparts like Dubai, which has already been upgraded by the MSCI.



Foreign institutional investors are expected to begin direct trading of Saudi Arabian stocks before April next year, a news report said, quoting unnamed sources."



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Ukraine Shrugged Off as Russia ETF Swells to Record - Bloomberg

Ukraine Shrugged Off as Russia ETF Swells to Record - Bloomberg:



"As oil fell into a bear market, the ruble traded at record lows and NATO said President Vladimir Putin is stoking conflict in Ukraine, bets on the biggest exchange-traded fund tracking Russian stocks surged to a record.



Demand for shares in the Market Vectors Russia ETF has held up as investors look beyond the Ukraine conflict and position themselves for a rebound in stocks trading at the cheapest valuations in emerging markets. Investors began piling in about four months ago amid signs the crisis was moving toward a resolution, easing concern that the U.S. and its allies, who say Russia’s helping rebels in the former Soviet republic, may toughen sanctions that have pushed the economy toward a recession.



“The decline in oil and a plunge in the ruble can’t be permanent, and at a time when U.S. stocks are at a record high, investors are getting interested in cheap Russian assets,” Sergei Pigarev, an analyst at Rye, Man & Gor Securities in Moscow, said by e-mail on Nov. 21. “There is a chance of double dipping: investors may cash in on the gains in the Russian market and get additional profit when the ruble strengthens.”"



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OPEC's Easy Days Setting Oil Production Are Over, Veteran Says; You Need Russia, Norway, Mexico - Bloomberg

OPEC's Easy Days Setting Oil Production Are Over, Veteran Says; You Need Russia, Norway, Mexico - Bloomberg:



"The days when OPEC members could all but guarantee consensus when deciding production levels for oil are long gone, according to a veteran of almost two decades of the group’s meetings.



The global glut of crude, which has contributed to a 30 percent decline in prices since June 19, has left the organization disunited and dependent on non-members to shore up the market, said former Qatari Oil Minister Abdullah Bin Hamad Al Attiyah. The 12-member Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries is scheduled to meet in Vienna on Nov. 27.



“OPEC can’t balance the market alone,” Al Attiyah, who participated in the group’s policy meetings from 1992 to 2011, said in a Nov. 19 phone interview. “This time, Russia, Norway and Mexico must all come to the table. OPEC can make a cut, but what will happen is that non-OPEC supply will continue to grow. Then what will the market do?”"



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Dubai Shares Gain Most in Week After Stimulus, Oil; Saudi Rises - Bloomberg

Dubai Shares Gain Most in Week After Stimulus, Oil; Saudi Rises - Bloomberg:



"Dubai shares advanced the most in more than a week, led by Emaar Properties PJSC (EMAAR), as central banks from China to Europe take additional stimulus measures and oil gained. Saudi Arabia’s stocks gauge rose.



The Dubai Financial Market General Index (DFMGI) added 1.5 percent, the most since Nov. 13, to close at 4,630.13. Emaar, the developer of the world’s tallest tower, climbed 3.7 percent before tomorrow’s shareholders’ meeting on its dividend payment. Dubai Islamic Bank PJSC (DIB) added 1.6 percent. Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index rose 1.1 percent, the most since Oct. 26.



China, the world’s second-largest oil consumer, cut interest rates last week for the first time since July 2012, and European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said he will do what’s necessary to raise inflation, sending the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index to an all-time high. Brent crude climbed 1.2 percent last week to $80.36 a barrel. The Middle East is home to some of the world’s biggest oil producers."



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