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QATAR RULES IN FAVOR OF 7 OFWS IN LABOR CASE (Qatar/Philippines)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 3, 2009

01/03/2009

The Daily Tribune

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE DAILY TRIBUNE’ (Philippines)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE DAILY TRIBUNE’ (Philippines)

Posted in ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FOREIGN POLICIES, HUMAN RIGHTS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, JUDICIARY SYSTEMS, OUTSOURCED WORK FORCES, PHILIPPINES, QATAR, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, THE WORK MARKET, THE WORKING ENVIRONMENT | Leave a Comment »

SWEET VICTORY FOR PINOY WELDERS (Philippines)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 3, 2009

January 03, 2009 06:06 PM Saturday

by Cristina Lee-Pisco

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE JOURNAL ONLINE’ (Philippines)

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE JOURNAL ONLINE’ (Philippines)

Posted in ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FOREIGN POLICIES, HUMAN RIGHTS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, JUDICIARY SYSTEMS, OUTSOURCED WORK FORCES, PHILIPPINES, QATAR, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, THE WORK MARKET, THE WORKERS, THE WORKING ENVIRONMENT | Leave a Comment »

SAN MIGUEL EYES 60% OF LIBERTY TELECOM (Philippines)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 16, 2008

04:08:00 12/13/2008

by Elizabeth Sanchez-Lacson – With editing by INQUIRER.net – Philippine Daily Inquirer

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE INQUIRER’ (Philippines)

Philippine conglomerate San Miguel Corp. is negotiating to acquire up to 60 percent of publicly listed Liberty Telecom Holdings Inc., San Miguel vice chairman and president Ramon Ang confirmed to the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

Ang declined to disclose the status of the negotiations. He said San Miguel was prepared to comply with the tender offer rule, which requires an investor to offer to buy out minority shareholders if it buys at least 35 percent of a publicly held company.

Ang said the “very good frequency” in the congressional franchise of Liberty Telecom’s subsidiary was what attracted San Miguel to offer to acquire the firm.

Another favorable factor is that Liberty Telecom is partnering with Qatar Telecom (Qtel), the exclusive telecommunications service provider in Qatar, Ang added.

Liberty Telecom recently said it was increasing its authorized capital stock by P4.8 billion by issuing preferred shares.

It also said its board had approved the issuance of preferred shares to wi-Tribe Ltd. and White Dawn Solution Holdings Inc. as part of a plan to convert the two firms’ loans into equity. The preferred shares will be priced at P1.50 each.

wi-Tribe is a joint venture between Qtel and A.A. Tukri Group of Companies (Atco) of Saudi Arabia. Qtel has a 78-percent stake in the venture.

Liberty Telecom was incorporated on Jan. 14, 1994, primarily to engage in real and personal property business and to deal in stocks, bonds and other securities. It is the holding company of Liberty Broadcasting Network Inc. and Skyphone Logistics Inc.

Liberty Broadcasting has a congressional franchise, approved in 1956 and is valid until 2014, to operate radio broadcasting stations and television stations for international and domestic communications. Skyphone Logistics is the marketing and distribution partner of Liberty Broadcasting.

In April 2005, the management of Liberty decided to suspend its business operations due to lack of capital required to operate and grow the business. Four months later, Liberty filed before the Makati Regional Trial Court a petition for corporate rehabilitation as part of the company’s plan to continue normal operations. The court issued a stay order on all the company’s outstanding liabilities as of Aug. 15, 2005, effectively preventing creditors from foreclosing on its assets.

San Miguel recently initiated talks with Qtel on a possible joint venture partnership that will take advantage of opportunities in the wireless broadband, mobile and mobile broadband businesses in the Philippines.

San Miguel has been aggressively expanding, acquiring the stake of state-run pension fund Government Service Insurance System in power retailer Manila Electric Co. and agreeing to buy a 51-percent interest in oil refiner and retailer Petron Corp. from British investment fund Ashmore group.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE INQUIRER’ (Philippines)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEMS, COMMUNICATION INDUSTRIES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ELECTRIC / ELECTRONIC INDUSTRIES, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRIES, FOREIGN POLICIES, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, JUDICIARY SYSTEMS, PHILIPPINES, QATAR, RECESSION, SAUDI ARABIA, STOCK MARKETS, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

QATAR LOOKS TO GROW FOOD IN KENYA -THE GULF STATE HAS JOINED A GROWING LIST OF RICH COUNTRIES THAT WANT TO GROW FOOD IN POOR COUNTRIES

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 5, 2008

Tuesday December 2 2008 16.58 GMT

Xan Rice in Nairobi – guardian.co.uk

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE GUARDIAN’ (UK)

Qatar has asked Kenya to lease it 40,000 hectares of land to grow crops as part of a proposed package that would also see the Gulf state fund a new £2.4bn port on the popular tourist island of Lamu off the east African country.

The deal is the latest example of wealthy countries and companies trying to secure food supplies from the developing world.

Other Gulf states, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, have also been negotiating leases of large tracts of farmland in countries such as Sudan and Senegal since the global food shortages and price rises earlier this year.

The Kenyan president, Mwai Kibaki, returned from a visit to Qatar on Monday. His spokesman said the request for land in the Tana river delta, south of Lamu, in north-east Kenya was being seriously considered.

“Nothing comes for free,” said Isaiah Kabira. “If you want people to invest in your country then you have to make concessions.”

But the deal is likely to cause concern in Kenya where fertile land is unequally distributed. Several prominent political families own huge tracts of farmland, while millions of people live in densely packed slums.

The country is also experiencing a food crisis, with the government forced to introduce subsidies and price controls on maize this week after poor production and planning caused the price of the staple “ugali” flour to double in less than a year.

Kibaki said that Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani was keen to invest in a second port to complement Mombasa, which serves as a gateway for goods bound for Uganda and Rwanda and is struggling to cope with the large volumes of cargo.

By building docks in Lamu, Kenya hopes to open a new trade corridor that will give landlocked Ethiopia and the autonomous region of Southern Sudan access to the Indian Ocean. Kabira said that if the financing was agreed, construction of the port would begin in 2010.

Qatar, which has large oil and gas revenues, imports most of its food, as most of its land is barren desert and just 1% is suitable for arable farming. It has already reportedly struck deals this year to grow rice in Cambodia, maize and wheat in Sudan and vegetables in Vietnam.

Much of the produce will be exported to the Gulf. Qatar’s foreign ministry in Doha did not return calls today, but Kabira said that its intention was to grow “vegetables and fruit” in Kenya.

The area proposed for the farming project is near the Tana river delta where the Kenyan government owns nearly 500,000 hectares (1.3m acres) of uncultivated land.

But a separate agreement to allow a local company to grow sugarcane and build a factory in the area has attracted fierce opposition from environmentalists who say a pristine ecosystem of mangrove swamps, savannah and forests will be destroyed.

Pastoralists, who regard the land as communal and rear up to 60,000 cattle to graze in the delta each dry season, are also opposed to the plan.

“We will have to ensure that this new project is properly explained to the people before it can go ahead,” said Kabira.

The sudden rush by foreign governments and companies to secure food supplies in Africa has some experts worried. Jacques Diouf, director general of the UN’s food and agricultural organisation (FAO), recently spoke of the risk of a “neo-colonial” agricultural system emerging.

The FAO said some of the first overseas projects by Gulf companies in Sudan, where more than 5 million people receive international food aid, showed limited local benefits, with much of the specialist labour and farming inputs imported.

A deal struck last month by Daewoo Logistics and Madagascar to grow crops on 1.3m hectares of land also attracted strong criticism. While the South Korean firm has promised to provide local jobs and will have to invest in building roads and farming infrastructure, it is paying no upfront fee and has a 99-year lease.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE GUARDIAN’ (UK)

Posted in 'DOHA TALKS', AGRICULTURE, BANKING SYSTEMS, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRIES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT, FARMING SUBSIDIES, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FOOD PRODUCTION (human), FOREIGN POLICIES, FRUITS AND FRESH VEGETABLES, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, KENYA, MACROECONOMY, NATIONAL WORK FORCES, QATAR, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, ROAD TRANSPORT, SOUTH KOREA, THE ARABIAN PENINSULA, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE UNITED NATIONS, THE WORK MARKET, THE WORKERS, TRANSPORT INDUSTRIES, WATER | Leave a Comment »

DOHA TALKS MAKE HEADWAY

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 29, 2008

Nov 28, 2008 1:19 PM

PUBLISHED BY ‘TVNZ’ (New Zealand)

Talks to unstick the Doha Flag Raising Ceremony The United Nations flag is raised outside the Doha Sheraton Convention Centre, as representatives of the Government of Qatar turn over the facilities to United Nations authorities in preparation for the opening of the Follow-up International Conference on Financing for Development to Review Implementation of the Monterrey Consensus. Representing the Government of Qatar - Mohamed Abdullah Al-Rumaihi Deputy Minister, Ministry of Foreign Affairs -  Representing the United Nations - Shaaban M. Shaaban Under-Secretary-General for General Assembly and Conference Management - Sha Zukang Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairsworld trade round have made some headway, ambassadors to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) said on Thursday.

New Zealand ambassador Crawford Falconer, who chairs the WTO negotiations on agricultural products, said that countries have begun to budge from their positions in the wake of a high-level political push for an agreement.

“I have seen some material change, but not all the things I would like to have seen have happened,” he told reporters after an evening meeting at the WTO’s Geneva headquarters.

US President George Bush and other leaders have been pushing for a breakthrough in the seven-year-old WTO talks as a means to bolster the troubled global economy.

A new WTO agreement would cut subsidies and tariffs on a wide range of traded goods and cross-border services, prying open food, fuel, transportation and other markets and therefore encouraging global economic activity.

WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy has been looking for signs of movement in technical talks between diplomats before inviting trade ministers to Geneva to hammer out a deal in agricultural and manufactured goods – the two main areas of the Doha accord.

Talks earlier on Thursday skated over sensitive issues such as the levels of US subsidies on cotton, and a controversial facility to let poor countries shield subsistence farmers during crises, envoys said.

“We had more positive discussions than we had before,” Brazil’s WTO ambassador Roberto Azevedo said of those talks.

A dispute about the “special safeguard mechanism” for farmers caused a meeting of ministers in July to fail, with India squaring off against the United States and other countries who said the facility could actually close off existing markets instead of opening up new ones.

Azevedo told journalists that in Thursday’s talks on that mechanism “there wasn’t exactly convergence or agreement, but there was no clear-cut rejection.”

“You learn in these negotiations to read between the lines,” he said. “There was certainly more engagement, more interaction than there was before.”

Diplomats that a ministerial meeting next month could start around December 13, though no dates are expected to be set until Sunday or later.

Estimates of the benefits of the WTO accord vary widely. A recent study from the US-based International Food Policy Research Institute said more than $US1 trillion of trade was at stake.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘TVNZ’ (New Zealand)

Posted in AGRICULTURE, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FOREIGN POLICIES, G20, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, NEW ZEALAND, QATAR, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, THE PRESIDENCY - USA, USA, WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION | Leave a Comment »

OPEC REDUX: RESPONDING TO THE RUSSIAN-IRANIAN GAS CARTEL

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 15, 2008

Published: November 14, 2008

Ariel Cohen (Middle East Times) by Ariel Cohen (Middle East Times) (*)

MOSCOW – Steadily and stealthily, a natural gas cartel has emerged over the last seven years. On Ariel Cohen, the usually obnoxious 'scarecrow' with a PhD ...Oct. 21 in Tehran, the Gas Exporting Countries’ Forum (GECF) agreed to form a troika which will direct the future cartel. Russia, Iran, and Qatar announced they will form a yet-unnamed group “to coordinate gas policy.” The troika will meet to coordinate and control close to two-thirds of the world’s gas reserves and a quarter of its gas production.

Russia prefers to coordinate energy policies with Tehran, recognizing that together they control roughly 20 percent of the world’s oil reserves and about half of global gas reserves, offering tremendous geo-economic power.

The United States should create an international coalition of energy consumers to oppose energy cartels. The U.S. Congress should also allow energy exploration in the Arctic, the Rocky Mountains, and along the continental shelves and expand cooperative gas ties with Canada.

Russia’s Global Gas Strategy

In the tight global energy market, Russia clearly appreciates the bargaining power that its energy resources provide, as it attempts to control energy exports from the New Independent States, such as Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. Russia also has strengthened its ties to Iran, Venezuela, Libya, and other energy exporters. Recently, Moscow also launched a “charm offensive” on OPEC.

Russia is playing a sophisticated game to maximize its advantage as the leading gas producer with the largest reserves on the planet as well as the second largest oil exporter.

Russia’s approach was gradualist. Moscow had never openly shown enthusiasm about a gas cartel but waited for an opportunity to launch one. Yet, the cartel reportedly was a brainchild of the Russian prime minister and former president, Vladimir Putin.

Russia’s approach was also stealthy. Instead of announcing the cartel prematurely and spooking consumer countries, it quietly put the component parts into place. Until the Tehran declaration, Russia was able to appear reasonable.

At the Doha meeting in April, members of the GECF agreed to discuss dividing the consumer markets between them, particularly in Europe. Russia and Algeria are already major players there, and Iran may join them in the next decade. This will clearly challenge the European Union’s energy liberalization and gas deregulation policy, which took effect on July 1.

Geopolitical Clout

The troika and GECF members are planning to “reach strategic understandings” on export volumes, schedules of deliveries, and the construction of new pipelines. They plan to explore and develop gas fields and coordinate startups and production schedules. Despite protestations to the contrary, the GECF has all the trappings of a nascent cartel, and the troika includes its founding members. These founders will expand cooperation beyond their relationship through the GECF and drag other gas producers with them.

The new group will provide its three leaders with greater geopolitical advantage. If this new cartel expands, Russia and Iran will gain clout over Eurasian gas suppliers, such as Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan.

Major gas producers such as Iran, Russia, Qatar, Turkmenistan, Brunei, and Venezuela have one feature in common: a democracy deficit. All three members of the new cartel share this dubious quality. Just like OPEC, the gas cartel will be a force that can be used to challenge and possibly weaken market–based democracies through energy prices and wealth transfer. Such a cartel may cut deals with undemocratic large-scale consumers, such as China, while forcing the West to pay full price.

Coordinated Global Action Needed

The U.S. George W. Bush administration barely reacted to the Tehran and Doha meetings. Officials express concern, but only in private. The European Commission merely stated that it opposed price-fixing cartels in principle.

As the case of OPEC demonstrates, closing markets to competition, promoting national oil companies, and limiting production results in limited supply and higher oil prices. Gas will not be different.

What the U.S. Can Do

The United States should open its vast natural gas resources onshore and offshore to further exploration and production and encourage its neighbors in Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean to do the same.

The next administration should work with the European Union, Japan, China, India, and other countries to prevent the cartelization of the gas sector. This can be accomplished through cooperation with the International Energy Agency, which China and India should be invited to join, and by applying anti-trust legislation worldwide against state-owned companies that are actively involved in cartel-like behavior in energy markets.

Finally, the United States should work closely with those within GECF who oppose Russian-Iranian domination, including Azerbaijan, Canada, the Netherlands, and Norway. The National Security Council and the National Economic Council should take the lead in developing this policy. Unless buyer solidarity is translated into action, energy consumers and economic growth will suffer worldwide.

(*) – Ariel Cohen, Ph.D., is senior research fellow in Russian and Eurasian Studies and International Energy Security in the Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign Policy Studies, a division of the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for International Studies, at The Heritage Foundation.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘MIDDLE EAST TIMES’ (Egypt)

Posted in COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, COMMONWEALTH OF INDEPENDENT STATES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENERGY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FUELS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, IRAN, LYBIA, NATURAL GAS, OPEC, PETROL, QATAR, RUSSIA, THE ARABIAN PENINSULA, THE EUROPEAN UNION, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, VENEZUELA | Leave a Comment »

INVESTOR LAWSUIT CLOSES KUWAITI BOURSE, GULF MARKETS PUMMELED

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 15, 2008

Published: November 14, 2008

by Sana Abdallah (Middle East Times, with agency dispatches)

AMMAN – The global financial crisis continued to pummel the oil-rich Arab Gulf markets this week, Panic-stricken Kuwaiti traders have been demanding a halt to trading for weeks, demonstrating outside the stock market (Kuwait's bourse shown here) and the Kuwaiti parliament, and seeking the emir's intervention - Sipa Press via Newscomprompting an unprecedented and controversial court order that closed down the Kuwaiti bourse after an investor sued government and finance officials for compensation for his heavy losses.

The seven markets of the Gulf states closed on Thursday, the last day of the trading week in most of these countries, with a total loss in excess of $100 billion in share values in just one week, to about $650 billion, or 42 percent down from $1.116 trillion last year.

The administrative court in Kuwait on Thursday morning ordered the Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) to shut down until Nov. 17 in an attempt to curb the hemorrhaging of the market, which has seen a $100 billion loss, or 44 percent, since June 24.

The court justified its ruling, the first of its kind in the Gulf, as an intervention on behalf of investors, it said, after the market’s management failed to take measures to boost the declining bourse.

The court said it would convene again on Nov. 17 to continue looking into the case, in reference to a lawsuit filed on behalf of an investor seeking compensation for his heavy losses incurred at the Kuwait market. He filed the lawsuit against the prime minister, the commerce minister, who heads the bourse committee, and the director general of the KSE.

The bourse abided by the verdict and stopped trading as soon as it received the order, drawing cheers from investors gathered on the trading floor, but warnings from the government and lawmakers that shutting down the market was more detrimental to investors.

The unusual verdict came as a relief to panic-stricken traders who have been in recent weeks demanding a halt to trading, demonstrating outside the market and the Kuwaiti parliament, and sought the emir’s intervention.

The government has tried, but failed, to deflect the domino effect of the international financial crunch and curb the meltdown at home.

The central bank injected billions of dollars into banks last month after the near-collapse of the Gulf Bank, Kuwait’s fourth-largest lender. Parliament passed a bill to guarantee deposits at national and foreign banks. The emirate’s Investment Authority, Kuwait’s sovereign wealth fund with foreign investments of $300 billion, pumped hundreds of millions of dollars into buying stocks.

The government is still working out a rescue plan, but Kuwait became the first Gulf state to announce it would set up a fund to buy assets from investment firms.

Some Kuwaiti financial analysts said while suspending trade in the KSE was unorthodox, there was no other choice at this point when there are desperate sellers and no one wants to buy shares until they drop far enough.

But some Kuwaiti politicians saw the court order as setting a bad precedent that further weakens confidence in the stock market.

All other Gulf bourses have also taken a strong beating from the international financial fallout, and this week was no exception, owing to panic over the proliferation of the global crisis and ensuing plunge in oil prices.

Although the governments of the world’s other oil-rich nations have announced measures to prop up their respective markets and financial systems, they have not yet found the need for a bailout or to resort to the drastic measure of suspending trade, as in Kuwait.

The Dubai Financial Market dropped to its lowest point in more than four years on Thursday, down 4.9 percent in the day’s trading, and 24.7 percent over the week in its worst losses ever. Its share values fell 56 percent in the past three months, and 64.5 percent on the year.

The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange index slumped 16.8 percent over the week, and 45 percent since June.

The financial markets in Qatar, Oman and Bahrain also had their share of heavy losses during the week.

The largest Arab market, Tadawul in Saudi Arabia, closed its week on Wednesday with a 10 percent drop, with its index down 44 percent since June.

Analysts predicted the financial downward spiral in the region will continue as huge losses in the United States, Europe and Asia plunge the world’s economies into recession.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘MIDDLE EAST TIMES’ (Egypt)

Posted in CENTRAL BANKS, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, INTERNATIONAL, KUWAIT, QATAR, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, SAUDI ARABIA, STOCK MARKETS, THE ARABIAN PENINSULA, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

QATAR PLANS $1BN JORDAN INVESTMENT

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 14, 2008

Vol XXXI – NO. 239 – Friday, 14th November 2008

AMMAN: Qatar is ready to set up a fund worth at least $1 billion to acquire diversified investments in Jordan's Prime Minister Nader DahabiJordan spanning real estate to industrial projects.

Jordan’s Prime Minister Nader Dahabi, who visited Doha earlier this week, said senior Qatari officials were ready to bolster investments in the kingdom and raise at least $1bn to take advantage of any attractive opportunities available from tourism, real estate, agriculture, industry to services.

“We learnt from the Qataris they would put in this proposed investment fund an amount that is not less than $1bn,” Dahabi said.

A top-level investment team would be sent soon to Qatar to discuss specific investment projects, including those that could be set up in the country’s free trade industrial zones, Dahabi added.

Qatar already has millions of dollars of investments in Jordan, including a 33.2 per cent stake in the country’s second largest lender, Jordan Housing Bank for Trade and Finance.

Jordan had been seeking to attract Gulf financial funds along with strategic investors seeking regional opportunities.

Many Gulf states have already invested hundreds of millions of dollars in the Jordanian property market, attracted by relatively lower prices with other regional markets.

But officials are worried the global financial crisis will reduce the large inflows of remittances and investments from the oil rich region which had contributed to booming economic growth in recent years.

Bankers already cite a drop in investments but officials hope they can still attract select bargain hunting by savvy Gulf investors hit by turbulence in Western markets and now turning to regional opportunities that are perceived safer.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘GULF DAILY NEWS’ (Bahrain)

Posted in ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, JORDAN, QATAR, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

‘GAS TROIKA’ PLANS LNG JOINT VENTURE, PAPER SAYS

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 14, 2008

November 13, 2008

by Eric Watkins – Oil Diplomacy Editor

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 13 – Russia’s state-owned OAO Gazprom, Qatar Liquefied Gas Co. Ltd., and PETRON - GASOLINE STATION - FUEL - PETROLEUM - OIL - KEROSENE - DIESELNational Iranian Oil Co. plan to establish a joint venture to produce gas from Iran’s South Pars field and liquefy it at Qatar’s Ras Laffan.

Each founder will get 30% in the project and the remaining 10% will go to the trader, probably to China’s CNPC or Korean Kogas, according to a report in Moscow’s Kommersant newspaper.

Participation by Qatar—a key US ally in the region — will level political risks triggered by the sales of Iranian gas, experts told the paper.

The plans are to set up the gas production infrastructure in South Pars, lay a pipeline across the Persian Gulf to Qatar, and construct an LNG facility at Ras Laffan.

The Kommersant report came as a Russian delegation led by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin arrived in Doha, Qatar, for talks with Qatari and Iranian officials on cooperation in natural gas exports.

Ahead of the meeting, Putin sought to allay the fears of gas consumers who viewed a meeting in Tehran last month as the start of a process that would eventually lead to the formation of an OPEC-like group of natural gas exporters.

At the time, Alexey Miller, chairman of OAO Gazprom’s management committee, said their discussions “may contribute greatly to developing the agenda for the Gas Exporting Countries Forum…,” which could be rapidly transformed “into a permanent organization promoting steady and reliable fuel supplies around the globe (OGJ Online, Oct. 24, 2008).”

Following the announcement, the European Union — Russia’s biggest gas customer — warned it could reconsider its energy policy if Russia, Iran, and Qatar formed a “gas OPEC.”

Putin said Nov. 11 that there were “absolutely no grounds for such fears,” adding, “We are not establishing a cartel; we are not striking any cartel deals.”

Putin said, “Energy producers, as well as consumers, have the right to— and in my view must —coordinate their decisions, exchange information, and do their best to ensure uninterrupted hydrocarbon supplies on global markets.”

Contact Eric Watkins at hippalus@yahoo.com.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘OIL & GAS JOURNAL’

Posted in CHINA, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, COMMONWEALTH OF INDEPENDENT STATES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENERGY, EUROPE, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, IRAN, NATURAL GAS, QATAR, RUSSIA, SOUTH KOREA, THE ARABIAN PENINSULA, THE EUROPEAN UNION, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

PUTIN SAYS RUSSIA IS NOT SEEKING TO FORM GAS CARTEL IN COORDINATING WITH OTHER EXPORTERS

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 12, 2008

Last update: November 11, 2008 – 4:07 PM

Associated Press

MOSCOW – Russian President Vladimir Putin sought to ease fears about his planned talks with other VLADIMIR PUTINnatural gas exporters, saying Tuesday that Russia was not forming a gas cartel.

Putin plans Wednesday to hold cooperation talks with Iran and Qatar, which together with Russia account for nearly a third of world natural gas exports.

“We know about the concerns and even fears expressed by some energy consumer countries,” Putin said after a meeting with Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif. “There are absolutely no grounds for such fears. We are not establishing a cartel, we are not striking any cartel deals.”

Russia, Iran and Qatar agreed last month to coordinate their actions more closely, raising concerns that Moscow could expand its influence over energy markets. The European Commission said the European Union would have to rethink its energy policy if the three form an OPEC-style natural gas cartel.

Nazif also met with the chairman of Russia’s state-controlled gas monopoly OAO Gazprom, Alexei Miller, and they agreed that both nations favor the creation of a permanent structure bringing together gas exporters, the company said.

Putin insisted that the goal of closer cooperation was to provide stable supplies.

“Energy producers, as well as consumers, have the right to — and in my view must — coordinate their decisions, exchange information and do their best to ensure uninterrupted hydrocarbon supplies on global markets,” he said.

Putin said Monday that Russia — the world’s second-largest oil exporter but not an OPEC member — should assume a greater role in influencing oil prices.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE STAR TRIBUNE’ (USA)

Posted in COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, EGYPT, ENERGY, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, IRAN, NATURAL GAS, QATAR, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

ABU DHABI, QATAR BUY STAKE IN BARCLAYS BANK

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on October 31, 2008

Friday, 31 October 2008

by Steve Slater

GULF INVESTORS - Barclays Bank to raise $12 billion from Abu Dhabi and Qatar - Getty Images - British British bank Barclays Plc is to raise 7.3 billion pounds ($12.1 billion) from investors from Qatar and Abu Dhabi and others to allow it to avoid taking government rescue cash, it said on Friday.

Britain’s second biggest bank said it is raising up to 3.5 billion pounds from Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, a member of Abu Dhabi’s royal family. That could give him a 16.3 percent stake in the bank.

It is raising up to 2 billion pounds from Qatar Holding and 300 million from Challenger, an investment vehicle of a member of Qatar’s royal family.

That could leave Qatar Holding with a 12.7 percent stake and Challenger with 2.8 percent.

Barclays shares initially jumped after the news as investors welcomed the bank’s ability to raise cash in tough markets and an adequate trading update, but later eased back. At 1.30pm Dubai time they were unchanged at just over 205 pence after touching 228p.

The bank said group profit in the first nine months of this year was “slightly ahead” of the same level a year earlier.

It took a net writedown of 129 million pounds from credit market writedowns for the third quarter, but said 1 billion pounds of gains on debt it carries were reversed in October.

Barclays’ investor base has been transformed in the past two years, as it has raised funds from investors in China, Singapore and Japan as well as the Middle East and the bank expects to benefit commercially from the links as well as getting cash.

“There has been a significant shift in the availability of capital and economic power in the world over the last five years and we’re ensuring we’re aligned with those changes,” said John Varley, Barclays chief executive.

The bank is seeking to raise up to a further 1.5 billion pounds from the sale of MCNs (mandatorily convertible notes) with existing and other investors.

Asked on a conference call whether Barclays has enough capital to avoid more fundraising, Varley said: “Yes, we have what we need.”

Barclays earlier this month turned down an offer of government funds under Britain’s 400 billion bailout package and said it would raise capital privately.

Rivals Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds TSB and HBOS have agreed to take up to 37 billion pounds of taxpayers’ funds to help rebuild balance sheets hit by the credit crisis and prepare for possible recession.

Barclays said when the government’s recapitalisation plan was announced that it planned to raise about 6.5 billion pounds, with 3 billion from the sale of preference shares and the rest from selling ordinary shares. It had until the end of March to raise funds.

Those sales were expected to increase the bank’s core tier 1 capital ratio to about 8 percent, analysts estimated, up from 6.3 percent after a 4.5 billion pounds fundraising in July. It will lift its overall tier 1 ratio to above 11 percent from July’s 9.1 percent.

Barclays has lost billions of pounds from credit-related asset writedowns and is faced with a sharply slowing UK housing market and economy, but it has fared better than many rivals.

It has raised funds from investors in China, Singapore and Japan as well as Qatar.

The bank expects to gain a competitive advantage by raising capital privately, while RBS and others will have the government as a major shareholder. (Reuters)

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PUBLISHED BY ‘ARABIAN BUSINESS’ (Abu Dhabi)

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