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Thursday, 12 March 2015

Exclusive: Major nations hold talks on ending U.N. sanctions on Iran - officials | Reuters

Exclusive: Major nations hold talks on ending U.N. sanctions on Iran - officials | Reuters:



"Major world powers have begun talks about a United Nations Security Council resolution to lift U.N. sanctions on Iran if a nuclear agreement is struck with Tehran, a step that could make it harder for the U.S. Congress to undo a deal, Western officials said.



The talks between Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States — the five permanent members of the Security Council — plus Germany and Iran, are taking place ahead of difficult negotiations that resume next week over constricting Iran's nuclear ability.



Some eight U.N. resolutions - four of them imposing sanctions - ban Iran from uranium enrichment and other sensitive atomic work and bar it from buying and selling atomic technology and anything linked to ballistic missiles. There is also a U.N. arms embargo."



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Lionel Barber on David Cameron - YouTube

Lionel Barber on David Cameron - YouTube: ""



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Euro's slide in 60 seconds - YouTube

Euro's slide in 60 seconds - YouTube: ""



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Housing hopes boost Saudi; Egypt rises before investment summit | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Housing hopes boost Saudi; Egypt rises before investment summit | Reuters:



"Stronger oil and hopes that the government will speed up its housing programme lifted Saudi Arabia's stock market to a four-month high on Thursday, while Egypt rebounded ahead of a long-awaited conference to attract investment. Most Gulf markets were soft.



The main Saudi index edged up 0.3 percent to 9,691 points, rising above major technical resistance on its 200-day average of 9,662 points. Another close above that level would confirm a break, suggesting the market's long-term uprend might be resuming.



Petrochemicals giant Saudi Basic Industries was the main support, gaining 1.3 percent after Brent oil rose more than a dollar to above $58 a barrel on a weakening dollar and fresh fighting in Iraq."



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Dollar illusion - YouTube

Dollar illusion - YouTube: ""



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Middle Eastern oil players lose out to Russia in Asia | Russia Beyond The Headlines

Middle Eastern oil players lose out to Russia in Asia | Russia Beyond The Headlines:



"Russia boosted oil supplies to China, Japan and South Korea by 10 million tons in 2014, increasing the proportion of oil exports to Asia from 7.2 percent to 8.7 percent. The additional supplies from Russia come at the expense of Saudi Arabia, whose share in the Asian oil market decreased from 26 percent to 24, Bloomberg reports.



Other Arab oil-producing countries have also reduced their shares in the Asian oil market of the Asia-Pacific Region (APR). Qatar has reduced its oil supplies by 7.4 percent, while supplies from Kuwait decreased from 7.2 percent to 7 percent.



In the next five years, the flow of Russian oil to China could increase by 15-20 million tons, according to experts."



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Did Gulf States Miss the Chance to Cut Their Oil Addiction? - Bloomberg Business

Did Gulf States Miss the Chance to Cut Their Oil Addiction? - Bloomberg Business:



"Salim Al Aufi, Oman’s undersecretary for oil and gas, likens attempts to cut the reliance on oil during a price slump to acting “with a gun pointed at your head.”



If you have to make decisions under pressure, “you will probably make the wrong ones,” he said March 3 in Muscat during a panel discussion on the impact of the oil shock. Oman relied too much on revenue from crude exports when prices were high, he said.



Oman isn’t alone. Most Gulf Arab nations did little to create alternative sources of revenue during the decade-long spending spree that filled their cities with glittering towers and trophy projects such as man-made islands. They may have missed their best chance to break out of the dependency trap, as Malaysia and Mexico did."



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U.S. Airlines vs. Arab Carriers: How Does the Battle Affect Fliers? - Bloomberg Business

U.S. Airlines vs. Arab Carriers: How Does the Battle Affect Fliers? - Bloomberg Business:



"If you have to fly from New York to New Delhi on April 1, you can book through one of the three big U.S. airlines for at least $1,100 round trip. Or you can take one of Emirates’ luxurious Airbus A380s for less than $900.



That choice is at the heart of the complaint raised by Delta, American, and United Continental with U.S. regulators. They say handouts from Persian Gulf governments let the region’s major carriers offer artificially low prices and flood the market with wide-body aircraft that have far more seats than could be filled from their home markets alone. 



Emirates President Tim Clark called the assertions “bluster and flimflam,” Etihad Airways said it’s reviewing the evidence, and Qatar Airways had no comment. Clark travels to Washington this month to present his rebuttal. All three Gulf airlines have long denied getting subsidies from their governments. "



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MIDEAST STOCKS-Major UAE banks ex-dividend; Saudi faces key chart barrier | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Major UAE banks ex-dividend; Saudi faces key chart barrier | Reuters:



"Stock markets in Dubai and Abu Dhabi may come under pressure on Thursday as some of the largest listed banks in the United Arab Emirates go ex-dividend, while Saudi Arabia is set to test a major technical barrier.



Shares in Emirates NBD, Dubai's largest bank by assets, no longer carry the 0.35 dirham dividend for 2014. Its smaller competitor Commercial Bank of Dubai has also gone past the registration date for a 0.20 dirham payout. Both stocks have limited liquidity and their movements can be choppy.



Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, the fourth-largest lender by assets in the UAE, will trade without a 0.40 dirham dividend attached and United Arab Bank has lost a 0.08 dirham payout."



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Qatar bourse considers share sale | The National

Qatar bourse considers share sale | The National:



"Qatar Exchange is considering selling shares in an initial public offering and held talks with its main shareholder Qatar Holding about a potential sale, according to chief executive officer Rashid Al Mansoori.



“The discussion is there yes, but there is no timeline,” Mr Al Mansoori said in an interview on the sidelines of a conference in Dubai on Wednesday. “It is something for the shareholders when they decide, but yes it has been discussed.” 




Qatar, owner of the world’s third-largest gas reserves, is seeking to expand its US$183 billion stock exchange after MSCI upgraded it to emerging-market status in June 2013. Shares on the exchange’s main index jumped 18 per cent last year and traded down 1 per cent at 12,148.42 early Wednesday morning."



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Amlak Finance registers net profit of Dh59 million in 2014 | GulfNews.com

Amlak Finance registers net profit of Dh59 million in 2014 | GulfNews.com:



"Amlak Finance, the Sharia-compliant mortgage lender, said on Wednesday it recorded a net profit attributable to its equity holders of Dh59 million in 2014 after completion of restructuring process in November as it disclosed the results for the first time in six years.



The company recorded a net profit attributable to equity holders of Dh240 million in 2008.



“The year 2014 was a significant turning point for Amlak Finance. Firstly, we achieved profits for our shareholders, marking a positive turnaround in our business,” said Ali Ebrahim Mohammad, Vice-Chairman of Amlak Finance, in a statement."



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What may convince UAE to impose VAT | GulfNews.com

What may convince UAE to impose VAT | GulfNews.com:



"The UAE remains one of the most tax-friendly destinations in the world for both expatriates and investors alike, according to a new study.



In the recently-released Paying Taxes 2015 Middle East report by World Bank Group and global auditing firm PwC, the Middle East maintains its position as the easiest place in the world in which to pay government levies, with the UAE and Qatar offering the lowest tax rates, at 14.8 per cent and 11.3 per cent, respectively.



However, analysts have said that things could change."



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Foreign investors return to Egypt after years of turmoil - FT.com

Foreign investors return to Egypt after years of turmoil - FT.com:



"Two heated battles between foreign investors for Egyptian assets have heartened Cairo officials hoping to relaunch their economy with a high-profile investment conference this week.



Bidding wars by European and regional groups for two food companies, Bisco Misr and Arab Dairy, both listed on the Cairo bourse, are the strongest signal yet that foreign investors are interested in returning to the 90m-strong market after four years of political turmoil following the revolution that ousted long-time president Hosni Mubarak, say analysts.



“The two deals are indicative that there is strong interest in Egypt,” said Ahmed Ozalp, managing director of Akanar Partners, a corporate finance advisory group. “There is recognition that Egypt is a more stable environment, even if it remains fragile and we have a long way to go. Consumer industries . . . are a big and easy play.”"



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Naguib Sawiris: the Egyptian tycoon with a sharp political edge - FT.com

Naguib Sawiris: the Egyptian tycoon with a sharp political edge - FT.com:



"It is not usual for Egyptian businessmen to court political controversy, and more so if they come from the country’s minority Coptic Christian community.



But Naguib Sawiris, the outspoken billionaire who built a telecoms empire extending from Algeria to Pakistan, before selling it to Vimplecom of Russia in 2011, has a history of making waves.



A man who does not shy away from risk — he invested hugely in Algeria and Iraq when both countries had barely emerged from war and he still operates a telecoms network in North Korea — he took what must have been the biggest gamble in his life when he vociferously opposed the rule of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt two years ago and played an active role in its downfall."



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European equities just catching up? - YouTube

European equities just catching up? - YouTube: ""



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