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Friday, 12 December 2014

Qatar firm buys 50 percent of London's storied Savoy Hotel | Middle East Eye

Qatar firm buys 50 percent of London's storied Savoy Hotel | Middle East Eye:



"

A firm owned by the Gulf emirate of Qatar has acquired a 50 percent stake in London's legendary Savoy Hotel, its Saudi-based partner said on Thursday.



Katara Hospitality Company purchased its share of the hotel, formally known as Fairmont Hotel the Savoy, from Lloyds Banking Group in 2005. 



Between 2008 and 2010, the hotel underwent a $360 million renovation during which time its 268 rooms were closed, according to an Arabian Business report."



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Dubai Financial Market suffers worst day since 2008 | The National

Dubai Financial Market suffers worst day since 2008 | The National:



"Billions of dirhams were wiped off the value of some of the UAE’s largest companies on Thursday after the country’s stock markets each suffered their worst day of trading in more than five years.



Investors’ fear over the falling price of oil intensified after Opec lowered its forecasts for world crude demand for the coming year, sparking a mass sell-off of shares by small and large investors.



The Dubai Financial Market benchmark was the world’s worst-performing, plumetting 7.4 per cent to 3,594.95. It was the bourse’s worst day of trading since October 2008, recalling the darkest days of the emirate’s real estate driven crash."



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Persuading Songbird investors to accept bid may be beyond Our Ken - FT.com

Persuading Songbird investors to accept bid may be beyond Our Ken - FT.com:



"Build it and they will come. Few developments have fulfilled that promise better than Canary Wharf, whose control the Qataris are seeking via a £2.6bn takeover offer. The east London business district, home to banks such as HSBC and Citi, hums with commerce. When visionary developer Paul Reichmann began building in the eighties, critics derided the Wharf as a white elephant.



That description now applies more aptly to the ownership structure than the place. Ken Costa, a veteran banker, has been parachuted in as a representative of the Qatar Investment Authority. The wealth fund’s bid in conjunction with Brookfield could reduce the muddle, if it is successful.



“Ken knows the Qataris well and the UK system backwards,” says a fellow grandee, “The QIA may also figure he’s so close to God that will get the deal over the line.”"



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ASIA FRONTIER CAPITAL – Country Snapshot – Iraq - EmergingMarkets.me

ASIA FRONTIER CAPITAL – Country Snapshot – Iraq - EmergingMarkets.me:



"Despite being plagued by armed conflict for most of the last decade, Iraq’s economy is rebounding and showing promising signs for surging growth in the future. Iraq is an enormously wealthy country, devastated by over 30 years of terrible conflicts and crippling sanctions, and almost torn apart by civil strife. 





Energy lies at the heart of the Iraq investment story, and the country is home to the world’s 5th largest proven oil reserves (143 billion barrels), as well as the 13th-largest proven gas reserves. However, much of Iraq is underexplored, especially in comparison to major oil producers in the region, and industry estimates suggest it could have an additional 100-150 billion barrels of reserves. Iraq’s oil industry is extremely competitive, with the lowest extraction costs in the world at around USD 5 a barrel.



The development of these resources can fuel its social and economic development in the next few years. This is in addition to the wholesale reconstruction of the country whose infrastructure was destroyed or at best deteriorated following the traumatic events of the last 30 years. The petroleum-rich nation has attracted investment not only from US companies, but also from firms in South Korea and China, which invested USD 12 billion and USD 3 billion respectively in Iraq in 2012."



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The case for an independent London - YouTube

The case for an independent London - YouTube: ""



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A chance for West’s oil giants to do a rethink | GulfNews.com

A chance for West’s oil giants to do a rethink | GulfNews.com:



"The 40 per cent plunge in oil prices since July, when Brent crude peaked at $115 a barrel, is almost certainly good news for the world economy; but it is surely a crippling blow for oil producers. Oil prices below $70 certainly spell trouble for US and Canadian shale and tar-sand producers and also for oil-exporting countries such as Venezuela, Nigeria, Mexico and Russia that depend on inflated oil revenues to finance government spending or pay foreign debts.



On the other hand, the implications of lower oil prices for the biggest US and European oil companies are more ambiguous and could even be positive.



In fact, the shareholders of oil majors such as Exxon, Chevron, Shell, BP and Total could be among the biggest beneficiaries of the price slump, if it forces their corporate managements to abandon some of the bad habits they acquired in the 40-year oil boom when Opec first established itself in January, 1974."



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Putin in ETFs Hits Investors as Assets Plunge - Bloomberg

Putin in ETFs Hits Investors as Assets Plunge - Bloomberg:



"Investors are abandoning WisdomTree Investments Inc.’s flagship emerging-markets exchange-traded fund at the fastest pace ever, and the fund provider has President Vladimir Putin to blame.



Asset managers have pulled a record $1.59 billion from the WisdomTree Emerging Markets Equity Income Fund in the past year, the sixth-most among more than 1,000 U.S. ETFs tracked by Bloomberg. Russian companies, which have plunged an average 43 percent this year in dollar terms, make up 17 percent of the ETF’s holdings, five times as much as in MSCI Inc.’s industry benchmark. WisdomTree’s Emerging Markets SmallCap Dividend Fund, where Russian stocks comprise 0.1 percent, posted an outflow of less than $270,000. 




The Russia-heavy ETF’s biggest holdings, from oil producer OAO Rosneft (ROSN) to lender OAO Sberbank, have sunk as tumbling oil prices and a plunging ruble further pressured an economy already crimped by international sanctions linked to Putin’s annexation of Crimea in March. Russia’s central bank raised benchmark borrowing costs for the fifth time this year on Dec. 11 in an attempt to stabilize the country’s financial markets."



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Oil Extends Drop Below $60 as Producers Tussle for Market Share - Bloomberg

Oil Extends Drop Below $60 as Producers Tussle for Market Share - Bloomberg:



"Oil extended losses below $60 a barrel amid speculation that OPEC’s biggest members will defend market share against U.S. shale producers. Brent also slid after closing at the lowest price since July 2009.



West Texas Intermediate futures fell as much as 1.9 percent in New York and are down almost 10 percent this week. Iraq, the second-largest producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, said its decision to widen a discount for January sales to Asia isn’t proof of a price war. Crude will decline further next week, according to a Bloomberg News survey of analysts and traders. 




Oil is headed for the 10th weekly drop since October after OPEC decided against reducing its output, even as the highest U.S. production in more than three decades exacerbates a global glut. Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Kuwait, the group’s three biggest members, this month widened discounts on shipments to Asia, bolstering speculation that they’re fighting for market share."



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