World shares at 17-month high

Updated 19 December 2012
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World shares at 17-month high

NEW YORK: World shares rose to 17-month highs and the euro surged as hopes grew for a year-end budget deal in the US and for further monetary stimulus from the Bank of Japan.
Wall Street opened higher but soon faltered as top European company shares scaled fresh 18-month highs on expectations the US “fiscal cliff” will be averted.
“We’re starting to see signs that there will be a deal on the ‘fiscal cliff,’ but after two strong days and with a fair amount of uncertainty left, people are just taking money off the table,” said Peter Tuz, president of Chase Investment Counsel in Charlottesville, Virginia.
A key business survey in Germany bolstered investor sentiment by suggesting that Europe’s biggest economy was likely to bounce back quickly from a slowdown.
The growing confidence in the outlook lifted the euro to a 16-month high against the yen and an 8-1/2 month peak versus the US dollar, while Brent oil rose toward $ 110 a barrel.
Strong results from Oracle lifted US technology shares but the S&P 500 struggled to extend its best two-day run in a month.
“Continuing loose monetary policy from the major central banks and apparent progress in overcoming the (euro zone) debt crisis has prompted a significant improvement in sentiment,” said Bernd Hartmann, head of investment research at VP Bank.
The Dow Jones industrial average was up 4.91 points, or 0.04 percent, at 13,355.87. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was down 0.06 points at 1,446.73. The
Nasdaq Composite Index was up 4.88 points, or 0.16 percent, at 3,059.41.
The better tone in global markets was supported by the US Federal Reserve’s efforts to boost the US recovery, signs of growing momentum in China and talk that Japan is set for a policy shift to lift itself out of recession.
The latest German Ifo Institute survey of 7,000 firms bolstered this sentiment by finding that business confidence had improved for a second month running in December, in part because of better export prospects.
The brighter outlook has pushed MSCI’s all-country world equity index to levels last seen in July 2011. The index rose 0.5 percent on Wednesday, on track for its fifth straight weekly gain.
In Europe, London’s FTSE 100, Frankfurt’s DAX and France’s indexes rose by up to 0.5 percent. The FTSEurofirst 300 index rose 0.46 percent to 1142.69.
The euro rose 0.51 percent to 1.3293 to the dollar, a level not seen since April 2011, while against the yen, it gained 0.9 percent to 112.37, its highest since August 2011.
The dollar index fell to 79.077, after hitting a two-month low of 79.008.
Earlier, widespread expectations the Bank of Japan will expand its current asset-buying program at the end of a two-day policy meeting today had sent Tokyo’s Nikkei index up 2.4 percent and through the 10,000 point level for the first time since April.
The benchmark 10-year US Treasury note rose 6/32 in price to yield at 1.7996 percent.
Brent crude was up 62 cents to $ 109.46 a barrel as it headed toward its highest close in two weeks. US oil gained 18 cents to $ 88.11.


UAE to loosen visa rules for investors and innovators

Updated 21 May 2018
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UAE to loosen visa rules for investors and innovators

  • UAE cabinet announces the launch of an integrated visa system to attract talent and talent in all vital sectors of the national economy
  • The Council also announced changes in the system of foreign ownership of companies in the country, which allows the acquisition of 100% of the global investors by the end of the year

DUBAI: The United Arab Emirates, home to financial hubs Abu Dhabi and Dubai, is loosening its residency laws and will grant long-term visas for up to 10 years to investors and highly-skilled professionals.
The 10-year residency visas will be granted to specialists in science, medicine and research, and to “exceptional students.” The state-run WAM news agency says the plan aims to attract global investment and innovators.
The UAE Cabinet approved the new rules on Sunday, saying plans are also on track to allow foreign investors 100 percent ownership of their UAE-based companies this year.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum affirmed that the UAE will remain a global incubator for exceptional talents and a permanent destination for international investors. “The UAE has been open, governed by tolerance and contributed to by all who live on its land.
“Our open environment, tolerant values, infrastructure and flexible legislation offer the best opportunities to attract international investment and exceptional talent in the UAE,” he said. “Our country is the land of opportunity, the best environment for realizing human dreams and unleashing their extraordinary potentials.”
The new regulations include raising the percentage of global investors’ ownership in companies to 100% by the end of the current year. He directed the Ministry of Economy in coordination with the concerned parties to implement the decision and follow up on its developments and submit a detailed study in the third quarter of this year.
The new regulations approved by the Council of Ministers and the authorities concerned have also set the procedures for implementing them to grant investors residence visas of up to ten years for them and all members of their families, as well as granting residency visas of up to ten years for specialized competencies in the medical, scientific, research and technical fields.
The new regulations also include visas for students studying in the country for five years and a 10-year residency for exceptional students.
Under current laws, foreign companies must have an Emirati owning 51 percent of the shares, unless the company operates in a free zone. Major brands Apple and Tesla are believed to be exceptions to the rule.