September 30, 2010

Kazakhstan continues economic recovery

Kazakhstan's economy has responded strongly to the return of international demand for its energy, mining and manufacturing exports, growing at an 8% rate during the first half from the equivalent period in 2009. That is helping to fuel optimism that Astana looks like weathering the global financial crisis in much better shape than many other countries.

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September 23, 2010

Turkmenistan signals Nabucco intentions

"We are currently constructing the East-West Pipeline [across southern Turkmenistan, which] will be laid along the coast of the Caspian Sea. … Nabucco is associated with this project." Thus spoke Turkmenistan's President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow at a press conference last week, as reported by many international sources, including Azerbaijan's Trend News Agency, despite the fact that these words did not appear in the official transcript of his remarks as cited by his government's news agency.

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September 17, 2010

Sri Lankan economy powers on

Whatever doubts Sri Lanka's local and overseas investors had about constitutional amendments reinforcing President Mahinda Rajapaksa's already appreciable powers, they did not show up in the stock market in the week since parliament approved the changes.

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September 9, 2010

Turkish strength fragile in referendum run-up

The Turkish government's hopes for a victory in this weekend's closely fought referendum on changes to the constitution are being strengthened by an economic performance that in the first six months was possibly second only to China, after expansion of nearly 12% in the first quarter.

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Copper Tells the Story

The world price of copper both reflects and drives the hopes and fears of economic recovery and disaster.

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September 3, 2010

Malaysia reaps reform benefits

When Najib Razak took over as Malaysia's prime minister at the beginning of April last year, following the election victory of the United Malays National Organization (UMNO), the country's main stock exchange index KLCI stood at 901.

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September 1, 2010

Turkmenistan Confirms Export Shift Away From Russia

In mid-August, BP Azerbaijan announced that oil from Turkmenistan is now entering the BTC in Azerbaijan and will constitute between four and five percent of its present throughput of 800,000 barrels per day (bpd), which is being upgraded to 1.2 million bpd with a view towards eventual inclusion of oil from Kazakhstan’s offshore Tengiz field. These practical steps of cooperation with Azerbaijan, combined with the mid-August announcement in Ashgabad of new directions in Turkmenistan’s gas export policy, point the way towards a European direction for future Turkmenistani production, not forgetting China and the possibility of South Asia, while Iran is given only marginal reference and Russia is ignored.

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August 26, 2010

Indonesia to keep shining

Jakarta's principal stock market index has more than doubled since President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono won the July 2009 presidential elections with a margin that made a run-off unnecessary. Yudhoyono's comfortable victory came three months after his Democratic Party coalition won 314 of the 560 seats up for election to the People's Representative Council, the country's legislature. The stage was set for a period of political stability that has encouraged investment by local and overseas companies, including South Korean steel giant POSCO, and consumer spending.

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August 19, 2010

The Black Sea’s West Coast Weighs In On Caspian Sea Basin Pipelines

Bulgaria and Romania have over the course of the summer been setting down their markers as regards the Nabucco and South Stream pipeline projects in an on-again, off-again manner. What they finally decide may determine which pipelines from the South Caucasus and Turkey get built where in Southeast Europe. Major investment decisions are also on the line in coming months. It is consequently little exaggeration to say that the next year, if not the next half-year, will set the main lines of the blueprint for Caspian/Black Sea hydrocarbon development for the better part of the oncoming decade.

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Golden period ahead for Taiwan

A "golden decade" lies ahead for Taiwan equities, according to CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets in a report published a day after the island's parliament approved an historic trade agreement with the mainland.

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August 13, 2010

Singapore shows its strengths

Singapore's breathtaking economic growth, an annualized 24% compared with the previous three months, is unlikely to continue at the same pace as key trading partners such as the United States and the European Union struggle to maintain recovery momentum, according to the government.

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August 10, 2010

Belgium Guides New EU Course

Belgium’s presidency of the European Council will not suffer from domestic Belgian political turmoil; indeed, the EU’s adjustment to the Lisbon Treaty’s new framework will likely be eased the fact that the Council’s new president is Belgian.

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August 6, 2010

Seoul questions recovery stamina

South Korea's recovery from the crisis of 2007-08 was impressive in its speed, but the country's Finance Ministry this month acknowledges that the economy still faces "downside risks" because of a possible slowdown in the economies of its principal trading partners. Consumer prices rose 2.6% in July over July 2009, within the government's target range, and industrial output was up 16.9% year-on-year, after a revised 21.7% increase in May, according to the national statistics office.

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Stress-Testing European Banks

The results of the bank stress test in Europe have been greeted with widespread skepticism; even though financial markets seem calmer, the system is not yet out of the woods.

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July 28, 2010

Nazarbaev faults Europe on Nabucco

President Nursultan Nazarbaev of Kazakhstan publicly endorsed the Nabucco natural gas pipeline earlier this month, then criticized Europe for putting too much talk into the project and not enough action.

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July 26, 2010

US-China Economic Conflict: Not Dead, but Asleep

Political friction over economic issues between the US and China has faded for the time being, but its sources remain and may reappear at any time.

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July 22, 2010

China on a razor's edge

Investors are pouring money back into China's stock markets, helping to reverse a plunge of more than 27% this year, on signs that the government's efforts to cool the economy are having their effect and on the hope that policy tightening measures may thus be relaxed.

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July 16, 2010

BP set to remain in the Caspian

Embattled oil giant BP, which is looking for ways to meet bills arising from the Deepwater Horizon blowout in the Gulf of Mexico, has numerous assets it could sell to meet its obligations, but reports that these could include Caspian Sea projects appear to be unfounded.

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July 9, 2010

Volatility Returns to World Stock Markets

Adjusting the arcane rules governing exchange trading execution will not remedy broader financial-system problems and global macroeconomic mismanagement that are producing a new wave of volatility in the world's securities markets.

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July 8, 2010

Turkmenistan Diversifies Gas Export Routes

Turkmenistan has broken Russia’s stranglehold on its gas exports by opening a pipeline through Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan to China. The country’s president Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov has just made his first trip to New Delhi where the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India natural gas pipeline project was discussed. Earlier this year a short pipeline was opened in order to increase exports to Iran, and gas is in the process of being identified for eventual export to Europe via a Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline and the EU’s Southern Corridor. The era of Russian control over the country’s exports is over, and Ashgabat is taking care to make certain that it is not squeezed between Moscow and Beijing.

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Россия пробует "любовь втроем"

В столице Казахстана Астане под несколько приглушенные звуки фанфар было заключено очередное многостороннее соглашение об экономическом сотрудничестве между некоторыми из стран-наследниц Советского Союза. На встрече Евроазиатского экономического сообщества (ЕврАзЭС) три его члена (Белоруссия, Казахстан и Россия) из пяти (остальные — это Таджикистан и Киргизия) подписали договор о вступлении в Таможенный союз.

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Russia tries a ménage à trois

With moderate fanfare, yet another multilateral economic cooperation agreement was signed among a limited number of the Soviet successor states this month, in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan. Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia signed up to a customs union in the margin of a meeting of the EurAsian Economic Community (EurAsEC), which also counts Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan as members.

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July 2, 2010

Turkey's markets on hold

Despite recent improvements in Turkey's economic performance, political uncertainty is weighing on the country's stock markets, with little prospect of relief until the outcome is known of a September 12 referendum on proposed constitutional amendments.

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July 1, 2010

Interviu cu "Petroleum Industry Review" (Ploiesti)

Petroleum Industry Review: Cum evaluaţi evoluţia pieţei internaţionale de energie, având în vedere cererea crescută (în Uniunea Europeană şi în SUA consumul energetic a crescut cu peste 40% din 1970, în Japonia acesta s-a dublat, iar în China este de peste patru ori mai mare), dar şi declinul resurselor mondiale de hidrocarburi? Care este opinia dvs. cu privire la resursele alternative? Reprezintă energia regenerabilă o soluţie pentru economia mondială în perioada de criză? Dar pentru viitor?

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Interview by "Petroleum Industry Review" (Ploiesti, Romania)

Petroleum Industry Review: In your opinion, how will the international energy market change, given the high energy demand (in the EU and the U.S. energy consumption increased by more than 40% since 1970, in Japan it doubled and in China it is more than four times higher) but also the decrease of the world hydrocarbons resources? What is your opinion concerning alternative energy sources? Is renewable energy a solution for the world economy during this time of crisis? Is it a solution for the future?

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June 22, 2010

Nekünk Azerbajdzsán kell

Robert M. Cutler amerikai politológus-tanácsadó szerint a közép-európai országoknak muszáj együttműködniük az orosz befolyás csökkentéséért. Az oroszok a gázt politikai fegyverként használják, és a nagy nemzetközi vezetékekért folyó küzdelem akár fegyveres konfliktusok kitörésében is szerepet játszik. Az azeri gázmezők válthatják meg térségünket a moszkvai nyomástól.

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June 10, 2010

Chinese exports surge, for now

Tensions created by China's tearaway economic growth emerged on full display Thursday, when figures showed an almost 50% gain in exports in May and a near-record rise in house prices in the same month. The data kept pressure on the government to raise the value of the yuan, stoked fears of more moves to cool the economy, and sent stock prices sharply up - and then down.

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China's labor unrest and the world economy

Labor unrest in China has reached the headlines of the Western media. The suicides at Foxconn and the strike at Honda have led to significant percentage wage increases that have been widely publicized. This will eventually increase somewhat disposable income and consumer spending in the country, encouraging a shift to production for the domestic market rather than for export. With the expected appreciation of the yuan during the course of this year, the wage hikes will inevitably make China’s exports more expensive for consumers in the developed countries, where they will consequently contribute to an increase in inflation.

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June 4, 2010

Nabucco spurs Caspian projects

Energy conferences in the Caspian Sea region have come so fast and furious in recent years that some industry and government figures consider them a dime a dozen. In fact, the organizers are sometimes the ones who draw most advantage from them, in view of steep fees for participation. Nevertheless, the current International Oil and Gas Conference and Exhibition looks to be an exception. It is the seventeenth in the series hosted in Baku.

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Трубопровод Nabucco подстегивает каспийские проекты

Энергетические конференции в регионе Каспийского моря в последние годы сменяют друг друга с такой головокружительной скоростью, что некоторые представители отрасли и правительственные чиновники перестали относиться к ним серьезно. Правда, иногда сами организаторы получают от них больше пользы, если принимать во внимание резко возросшие сборы за участие. Тем не менее, проходящая в настоящий момент Международная конференция и нефтегазовая выставка, судя по всему, может стать исключением их этого правила. Эта семнадцатая по счету из серии подобных конференций и пройдет она в Баку.

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