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Thursday, 28 May 2015

MIDEAST STOCKS-Qatar falls further on FIFA probe, MSCI profit-taking | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Qatar falls further on FIFA probe, MSCI profit-taking | Reuters:

"Qatar's bourse fell sharply on Thursday, driven by news of criminal investigations against FIFA soccer officials as well as by profit-taking after an upgrade of some stocks by index compiler MSCI. Most other Gulf markets were also soft.

The Doha index slid 2.7 percent, its biggest daily drop in five months, to 11,902 points, a five-week low, taking its losses to 4.1 percent since the announcement on Wednesday of high-profile arrests and corruption probes at world soccer's governing body.

It is unclear if Qatar's right to host the 2022 World Cup could eventually be revoked because of the investigations; Doha has denied any wrongdoing in its successful bid for the Cup."

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Ukraine takes ‘odious’ path to default -

Ukraine takes ‘odious’ path to default -

"Ukraine’s decision last week to grant its government the power to stop foreign debt payments marks a distinct shift in tone for the wartorn and recession-battered country.

As negotiations between Kiev and its creditors stall and full-blown bankruptcy nears, the rhetoric of government communiques is shifting from conciliation to accusation.

Spot the difference in sentiment. In March a presentation to investors noted that “a collaborative process is paramount . . . Ukraine is committed to undertake consultations with its creditors”. By May the government declared it “has the right . . . not to return loans borrowed by [a] kleptocratic regime”."

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Bahrain’s Mumtalakat sovereign wealth fund targets foreign acquisitions to fuel expansion | The National

Bahrain’s Mumtalakat sovereign wealth fund targets foreign acquisitions to fuel expansion | The National:

"Bahrain’s sovereign wealth fund is targeting more acquisitions this year as it seeks to double its assets in the next five years.

Mumtalakat, which posted net profit growth of 11 per cent last year to 91.6 million Bahraini dinars (Dh892.5m), plans to grow its assets, which reached US$7.2 billion at the end of June.

Profit rose despite a 64.6 per cent increase in impairments at 34.4m dinars, the wealth fund said. Revenue grew 11 per cent to 1.2bn dinars."

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Foreign investors set sights on UAE |

Foreign investors set sights on UAE |

"Foreign institutional investors on the UAE bourses have made a beeline ever since the UAE index was upgraded to emerging market from a frontier one.

Net investment flow from foreign investors during 2014 reached Dh4 billion, when UAE markets were upgraded to emerging market status by the MSCI, the global index provider. This compares with Dh1.7 billion worth of net investment in 2013. 

Foreign institutional investors on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange more than doubled to 791 in September 2014 over the previous year, and analysts feel that this has resulted in the bourse getting more stable money."

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Etihad Airways posts $73m profit for 2014 |

Etihad Airways posts $73m profit for 2014 |

"Etihad Airways reported on Thursday a 52.1 percent increase in profit for the financial year ending December 31, 2014 that it said was largely driven by its airline’s strategy of investing in other carriers.

The airline made $73 million in 2014 compared to $48 million a year ago. Revenue was $7.6 billion, up 26.7 per cent compared to the $6 billion in revenues for 2013, according to an emailed statement.

“A key driver of Etihad Airways’ growth in 2014 was its partnership strategy, based on wide-ranging codeshares and its unique approach of minority equity investments in strategically important airlines,” the airline said."

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Saudi Arabia: outta gas

Saudi Arabia: outta gas:

"Saudi Arabia has a problem. It burns as much as 1m barrels of oil per day, just to generate electricity. That is more than 15 per cent of its oil exports. It has little choice — it needs to meet the electricity demand of its growing economy. So far it has not found enough alternative sources of energy to offset this of its own main export.

Natural gas has been Saudi Arabia’s chosen energy source for power generation. The country produces slightly more gas than it consumes at almost four trillion cubic feet per year. Although it appears to already have a huge supply, worth 77 years of consumption, much of this gas can only be produced together with the oil that the country has in reserve. Only increasing oil production excessively would enable the extraction of this associated gas. But that is not an option for a so-called global swing producer of crude. So it will need to look elsewhere to meet its future consumption needs.

The country’s natural gas shortage has not come for lack of effort. Saudi Arabia, through its national oil company Aramco, has long searched for more natural gas resources to help expand its supply. With power demand growing at around seven per cent annually according to Aramco, it has increased its exploration efforts. The Baker Hughes gas rig count for Saudi Arabia has doubled to a near record 45 over the past two years."

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Inside America's largest asset manager - YouTube

Inside America's largest asset manager - YouTube: ""

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The Tanker Market Is Sending a Big Warning to Oil Bulls - Bloomberg Business

The Tanker Market Is Sending a Big Warning to Oil Bulls - Bloomberg Business:

"Four months into oil’s rebound from a six-year low, the tanker market is sending a clear signal that the rally is under threat.

A sudden surge in demand for supertankers drove benchmark charter rates 57 percent higher in the two weeks through May 20. OPEC will have almost half a billion barrels of oil in transit to buyers at the start of June, the most this year, while analysts say about 20 million barrels is being stored on ships in another indication the glut has yet to dissipate.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries is pumping the most oil in more than two years, determined to defend market share rather than prices. A record cut to the number of active U.S. drilling rigs and billions of dollars of spending reductions by companies since last year’s price plunge has yet to translate into a slump in barrels produced. The world is producing about 1.9 million barrels a day more crude than it needs, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc."

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Russian gas industry looks east to strengthen position - BBC News

Russian gas industry looks east to strengthen position - BBC News:

"Just two years ago, Gazprom spent a reported $1bn on its 20th birthday celebrations, with Sting and the Bolshoi ballet entertaining President Putin and company executives in a lavish gala dinner hosted at the Kremlin.

And there was much to celebrate. Russia was the undisputed king of gas - the world's biggest producer with the biggest reserves and the biggest exports.

But the party has since fallen rather flat."

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MIDEAST STOCKS-Qatar slides on FIFA probe, arrests; oil weighs on Gulf | Reuters

MIDEAST STOCKS-Qatar slides on FIFA probe, arrests; oil weighs on Gulf | Reuters:

"Qatar's bourse fell sharply on Wednesday after the United States and Switzerland launched criminal probes against FIFA officials, while other Gulf stock markets were weak as oil prices failed to recover from Tuesday's drop.

Swiss authorities opened criminal proceedings against individuals on suspicion of mismanagement and money laundering related to the award of rights to host the 2018 and 2022 soccer World Cups, which went to Russia and Qatar respectively. 

Meanwhile six high-ranking soccer officials, including two vice-presidents of world governing body FIFA, were arrested by Swiss police and detained pending extradition to the United States."

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