Saturday 27 December 2014

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FINANCIAL DEAL WITH KURDS
Iraqi cabinet approves $103bn budget for 2015

Iraq's cabinet has approved a draft 2015 budget worth 123 trillion dinars ($103 billion) which was made possible by better ties between Baghdad and the autonomous Kurdish region, but was constrained by plunging oil prices.

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1

DECLINING SALES
China's industrial profit plunges to two-year low

Chinese industrial profits dropped 4.2 per cent in November to 676.12 billion yuan ($108.8 billion), official data showed, the biggest annual decline since August 2012 as the economy hit major unexpected headwinds in the second half.

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2

LIBYA CLASHES HIT OUTPUT
Oil sinks below $60 amid strong dollar, US oversupply

Oil prices fell to $59.45 on Friday, tumbling as the dollar strengthened and as a supply glut in top consumer, the US, trumped worries about falling production from Libya.

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3

ANALYSIS
After turbulent 2014, next year may be no calmer

From Russian crisis to Korean cyber warfare, 2014 has generated new flashpoints right into its final days, setting 2015 up to be just as turbulent. All confrontations, such as battle against Islamic State and war on Ebola, will rumble on.

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4

SPECIAL REPORT
What's in store for markets in 2015?

Wall Street was calmer in 2014 than previous years, but that doesn't mean it was devoid of drama. Big selloffs in biotech stocks had strategists predicting doom in the spring and the oil plunge has clouded the outlook for the coming year.

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5

IMAGE OF THE DAY
Climate control

Artificial snow making machines operate on grass-covered slopes at the ski station at Les Gets in the French Alps on December 26. Meteo France weather service predicts snowfall in France over the weekend according to media reports.

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Top Trade News

icondown

Industry Sectors

Construction & Real Estate

Housing prices in Saudi to plunge 30pc

The housing prices in Saud Arabia will fall about 30 per cent due to falling oil prices, distribution of more low-cost homes and the imposition of Zakat on vacant land, said a report.

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Retail & Wholesale

Amazon’s prime service draws 10m members

Amazon.com said on Friday it drew more than 10 million new members to its Prime shipping and digital content service over the holidays and intends to offer one-hour shipping to more cities in 2015.

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Energy, Oil & Gas

Iraq says to start work on final Kurdish oil deal

Iraq's Kurdish region will continue to export its own crude oil under an initial deal with Baghdad until a comprehensive deal is reached, with work on a final pact expected to start within weeks, said Iraqi oil minister Adel Abdel Mehdi.

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Finance & Capital Market

Saudi minister says no need for sovereign wealth fund

Saudi Arabia's Finance Minister said there was no need for the kingdom to create a sovereign wealth fund to manage its oil wealth, rebuffing suggestions by prominent officials and businessmen.

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Analysis, Interviews, Opinions

Mideast smartphone sales surge 50pc in Q3

Emerging markets witnessed some of the highest sales in smartphones, with the Middle East and Africa achieving the highest increase in the third quarter of 2014, with sales growing almost 50 per cent year-over-year, a report said.

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Industry, Logistics & Shipping

RAK Ceramics to exit Sudan business, boost UAE capacity

United Arab Emirates-based RAK Ceramics, one of the world's biggest makers of floor and wall tiles, said on Thursday it would sell its Sudan business and use the cash raised to expand its sanitary ware production capacity in the UAE.

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Travel, Tourism & Hospitality

Etihad launches debut A380 service to London

UAE's national airline Etihad Airways has announced the launch of its first A380 service to London Heathrow. The double decker aircraft offers a level of luxury and privacy normally associated with private jet travel.

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IT & Telecommunications

Iran expands ‘smart’ Internet censorship

Iran is to expand what it calls "smart filtering" of the Internet, a policy of censoring undesirable content on websites without banning them completely, as it used to, the government said on Friday.

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Lifestyle

Rockwell Collins promotes new solutions

Rockwell Collins of the US showcased its new flight information solutions and cabin systems at the Middle East Business Aviation (Meba) show, in Dubai, UAE, recently.

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Motoring

Audi plans electric sports car, activity vehicle

Volkswagen's premium Audi division aims to bring two purely electric vehicles, including a sports car and a sports activity vehicle (SAV), to market by 2018 as it tries to catch up with rivals such as Tesla Motors and BMW.

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Health & Environment

$54m Zulekha hospital expansion begins in Dubai 


The construction work on Dh200 million ($54.4 million) expansion of Zulekha Healthcare Group's Dubai facility has started and is expected to be completed in the middle of 2017, according to a report.

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Media & Promotion

Best of musical talents lined up for DSF

Leading British, Arabic, Indian and Filipino musicians and singers have been signed up to enthrall the crowds at the “Journey of Celebrations”held as part of the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF).

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Education, HR & Training

Bahrain institute inks training deal with PMI

Bahrain Institute of Banking and Finance (BIBF) said it has signed an MoU with the Project Management Institute (PMI) – Arabian Gulf Chapter, to serve as the training arm for project management related courses.

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Miscellaneous

Indian celebrity chef opens restaurant in UAE

Celebrity chef Jumanah Kadri, a popular face on Malayalam television channels in India, has announced the launch of her first outlet, Jumanah Restaurant, in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

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