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Chase Bank Limits Cash Withdrawals, Bans International... Before you read this report, remember to sign up to for 100% free stock alerts Chase Bank has moved to limit cash withdrawals while banning business customers from sending...

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Richemont chairman Johann Rupert to take 'grey gap... Billionaire 62-year-old to take 12 months off from Cartier and Montblanc luxury goods groupRichemont's chairman and founder Johann Rupert is to take a year off from September, leaving management of the...

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Cambodia: aftermath of fatal shoe factory collapse... Workers clear rubble following the collapse of a shoe factory in Kampong Speu, Cambodia, on Thursday

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Spate of recent shock departures by 50-something CEOs While the rising financial rewards of running a modern multinational have been well publicised, executive recruiters say the pressures of the job have also been ratcheted upOn approaching his 60th birthday...

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UK Uncut loses legal challenge over Goldman Sachs tax... While judge agreed the deal was 'not a glorious episode in the history of the Revenue', he ruled it was not unlawfulCampaign group UK Uncut Legal Action has lost its high court challenge over the legality...

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Rob Arnott: Why I’ve had it with hedge funds

Category : Business

Funds have underperformed at a time when they are drawing more and more money from middle class retirement accounts.

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IMF keen to splash the cash in Egypt

Category : Business

The IMF is very interested in spreading its money and influence in Egypt, but concerns remain over US-style policies and Morsi’s legitimacy

Egypt is on the front line in the International Monetary Fund’s battle to remain relevant despite the rapidly shifting balance of power in the 21st century global economy. IMF officials are in Cairo, haggling with the Muslim Brotherhood government about the conditions of a proposed $4.8bn loan.

During the eurozone crisis, the IMF has frequently been regarded as a voice of reason, forcing Europe’s policymakers to face up to the scale of the financial disaster. But many ordinary Egyptians see the Washington-based institution as a stalking horse for the US-backed policies they sought to overthrow by occupying Cairo’s Tahrir Square during the Arab spring. Abolishing costly food and fuel subsidies is on the IMF agenda, for example – a controversial issue in a country with a history of “bread riots”.

Egypt desperately needs cash. Its foreign currency reserves are running low and it risks being unable to afford essential fuel and food imports. But some campaigners argue that the tax rises and subsidy cuts the government is negotiating with the IMF in return for a loan are strikingly similar to reforms drawn up by the reviled Mubarak regime.

IMF managing director Christine Lagarde said earlier this year: “The IMF needs to have the commitment of the political authorities that can actually endorse the programme, own it, and propose it to the population as theirs.”

But Mohga Kamal-Yanni, an expert on Egypt at Oxfam, disagrees: “The IMF prescription for the Egyptian economy is going to be really, really damaging. They don’t want to accept that there are other ways to raise government income.”

She argues that the cash squeeze is being caused by the fragile legitimacy of new president Mohamed Morsi, with the associated turmoil unsettling investors and markets. The IMF blames the crisis on the economic situation, she says, but it’s actually caused by the political situation. Egypt’s allies, including Qatar, have come to its aid with bilateral loans.

However, Sargon Nissan of the Bretton Woods Project thinktank says the IMF is determined to extend its reach in the countries where the Arab spring has brought democracy. “The IMF is desperate to lend to them,” he says. “Europe is a quagmire; eastern Europe is not a good place to lend; and the Middle East is a hugely significant region, in which the IMF’s major sponsor, the US, has major geopolitical interests. The IMF is very clearly prioritising support for this region, and Egypt is the key country.”

He argues that the IMF should be cautious about entering talks with a regime whose legitimacy has been widely questioned since Morsi granted himself sweeping new powers last year. These powers were later repealed, but elections under a new constitution are not due until later this year.

“The really disturbing thing is that they’re willing to work in Egypt and in a number of the transitional countries without those countries necessarily having a sufficient democratic mandate,” he says. He says the IMF should instead be making a short-term, emergency loan, with few conditions – an option the Egyptian government declined in 2011.

Advent Announces Additions to Senior Team in EMEA Region to Support Growth

Category : Stocks, World News

New Sales Positions Created in the Middle East and Europe in Response to Increasing Demand for Advent’s Solutions

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VIDEO: Washing cars without water in Dubai

Category : Business

Middle East Business report met two brothers who have shaken up the car-washing business in Dubai by doing away with the most obvious ingredient – water.

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Murray targets India and Middle East

Category : Business

Two major sports management firms team up to win more commercial endorsements in India and the Middle East for UK tennis player Andy Murray.

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VIDEO: World records boost for Middle East

Category : World News

Middle East Business Report examines the growing appeal of setting new world records in the Middle East.

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Arsenal dismiss takeover reports

Category : World News

Arsenal say owner Stan Kroenke “has no intention” of selling his shares following reports of interest from the Middle East.

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US faces huge job losses as Obama orders $85bn cuts

Category : Business

President says middle classes will suffer most and that Republican stance on taxation is ‘root cause’ of crisis

Barack Obama warned on Saturday of a “ripple effect” through the US economy that would cost hundreds of thousands of jobs after he reluctantly signed an order to begin a huge $85bn (£56bn) programme of government cuts.

The president even called the act “not smart” on the morning after the cuts officially became government policy, in a move that has been dubbed “sequestration” and has plunged Washington into another political crisis.

“The pain will be real. Many middle-class families will have their lives disrupted in a significant way,” Obama said in his weekly address. He added that up to 750,000 jobs could be lost and half a percentage point knocked off America’s economic growth this year. “This will cause a ripple effect across the economy. Businesses will suffer because customers will have less money to spend … These cuts are not smart. They will hurt our economy and cost us jobs,” he said.

The sequester originates in a political crisis in 2011, when debates over deficit reduction almost saw the US government default on its debt payments. To avert that crisis, Democrats and Republicans agreed that, unless they struck a deal on shrinking the country’s debt, then the cuts to federal spending would begin.

The idea was that the prospect of cuts to social services would motivate the Democrats and hurting military spending would do the same for Republicans. Instead, despite the looming deadline last week, no grand bargain was ever struck and the cuts – which neither side had intended to happen – are now coming into force and spreading throughout the federal government. Over the next 10 years they will represent $1.2tn of slashed spending.

The hardest-hit part of the government will be the Pentagon, which has to make $40bn of cuts between now and September – about 9% of its budget. Defence chiefs have already said that the move will delay deployments – such as a recent move of an aircraft carrier to the Gulf – and hurt national security.

But almost every government department, from aviation to the park service, will be hit, with cuts amounting to about 5% of their overall budgets. Only Medicaid and welfare benefits such as food stamps are exempted. The Federal Aviation Authority has said that it will have to close scores of air traffic control towers and the National Labour Relations Board has already given staff 30 days’ notice that they could be suspended from their jobs. Over the next few weeks, more such letters will go out, threatening school services and the smooth running of scores of other government functions.

In his speech Obama blamed Republicans for inaction, saying that their hostility to any sort of extra tax revenues being generated from rich Americans was the root cause of the problem. In recent weeks, and since his victory over Republican challenger Mitt Romney in last year’s election, Obama has not shied away from attacking his opponents as defenders only of the wealthy.

“It’s happening because Republicans in Congress chose this outcome over closing a single, wasteful tax loophole that helps reduce the deficit. Only last week they decided that protecting special interest tax breaks for the well-off and well-connected is more important than protecting our military and middle-class families from these cuts,” Obama said.

But Republicans only want cuts on welfare spending, rather than defence, and have insisted on no new taxes. Republican House speaker John Boehner, at the end of the White House talks on Friday, was adamant that he will not contemplate any new taxes: “The discussion about revenue is over.” That hard line is popular with his party’s rightwing base but has left the party vulnerable to being attacked as being too entrenched in its ideology – especially after Obama’s resounding victory in 2012.

In seeking to lay the blame for the sequester at the doors of the Republicans, the Obama administration has run a carefully orchestrated image campaign aimed at focusing on the impact on middle-class American workers and their families. Obama continued that theme on Saturday, saying Republican leaders were out of touch with ordinary people and their own voters. “We just need Republicans in Congress to catch up with their own party and the rest of the country,” he said.

But on Saturday Republicans were holding firm. Washington congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers criticised out-of-control government spending and said there was no point in new taxes as the money would be wasted. “Instead of campaigning for higher taxes, the president should lead an effort to begin addressing our nation’s spending problem,” she said.

But for many observers the fiasco of the sequestration – which in effect means both parties are implementing a policy that neither wants and each thinks is damaging – has left many complaining about a broader American political dysfunction. Yet the sequester is only one of several rolling crises that are threatening the smooth running of the world’s biggest economy that is still stuttering to recover after the Great Recession.

If Congress does not reach an agreement on a budget for this year by 27 March, the federal government faces the prospect of shut-down. Soon after that, Congress has to approve an increase in the federal debt limit: the same move that two years ago created gridlock in Washington and resulted in the sequester. The House of the Representatives is due to vote next week on a deal to prevent a federal shutdown but there is a risk this could end up in a new standoff between the Republican-controlled House and the Democratic-controlled Senate

Emirates’ concourse for A380s is another staging post on new Silk Road

Category : Business

While the debate rages about airport expansion in Europe, the ambitious Gulf hubs are growing fast – and look set to become the global interchanges of the future

Multiplying lanes, stretching runways and new terminals in the sands may not be everyone’s idea of making the desert bloom. But in Abu Dhabi, where the aviation industry has grown up almost as spectacularly as the skyscrapers on the shoreline, the sheikhs who bankrolled the towering investment do not doubt that the fruits will come.

While London’s great and good grapple with the question of airport expansion, the world beyond is changing, as those running Britain’s biggest airport and airline know all too well – frequently expressing their frustration that rivals are “eating our lunch” and leapfrogging them to aviation’s top spot.

The announcements last week that Etihad Airways – based in Abu Dhabi – was splurging $70m (£47m) to secure three Heathrow slots, while British Airways saw its profits wiped out and its parent company, IAG, record a near-€1bn (£863m) loss, will not have made them much happier.

“In aviation,” says Jos Nuihuis, the boss of Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport, mischievously enjoying his role as the current chief beneficiary of Heathrow’s inability to build another runway, “you have to take the chance when it’s your

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VIDEO: Life for Indian workers in the Gulf

Category : Business, World News

The BBC’s Middle East Business Report programme met two of the 1.75 million Indians living in the United Arab Emirates to ask about their lives, and visited their families back home in India to find out how their money is being spent.

See more here: VIDEO: Life for Indian workers in the Gulf

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