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China set to leap up wine buying table

Chinese wine tasterChina is set to become the world’s second biggest wine market by 2020 when sales of still and sparkling wine are expected to reach $21bn, with the value of retail sales growing by 39.8% over the next three years, according to the CEO of the VINEXPO wine and spirit exhibition Guillaume Deglise. 
China is already (more…)

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Gazprom’s Asian charm offensive struggles to excite investors

Singapore Stock ExchangeAs their board considers the possibility of a share placement on one of Asia’s major stock exchanges – most likely Hong Kong – executives from Russian energy giant Gazprom flew into Singapore and Hong Kong this week for the first time since 2015 in a bid to drum up interest; but even after last year’s commodities rally and a revival in Russian stocks, Asian money managers have yet to be persuaded that Gazprom is worth adding to their portfolio.
Deputy Chief Executive Officer Andrey KruglovNews that Gazprom (more…)

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Tehran agrees to sell $1.5bn in bonds to develop communal oil and gas fields

South ParsThe Iranian parliament has given the country’s oil ministry permission to sell more than $1.5bn in bonds to raise funds for the development of some of the oil and gas fields that it shares with its neighbours in the Gulf. In an open session of the parliament on Saturday, the Iranian lawmakers approved the relevant clause in next year’s budget that begins on March 21.
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Brexit could help EU-India FTA but report scotches hopes of UK side deal

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Saudi Aramco to woo Chinese with IPO

Saudi Aramco compound DahranSaudi Aramco has asked JPMorgan Chase & Co and Morgan Stanley to help with what, at $100bn, is expected to be the world’s biggest IPO, according to the Wall Street Journal, while HSBC has emerged as the leading contender for a role among a list of five banks that could provide a pipeline to Chinese investors. (more…)
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Turkish Stream #2 gets sign-off

Gazprom and Switzerland’s Allseas are reported to have signed an agreement for the construction of a second, 900km Turkish Stream pipeline running from its Siberian gas fields along the the bed of the Black Sea to Turkey.
The two companies (more…)

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GCC investors buy stake in Russian Helicopters

Russian HelicoptersA consortium set up between the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and a group of GCC investors has bought a 12% stake in Russian Helicopters, it announced yesterday. The deal entails an up-front investment of $300m with a further $600m to follow at a later date.
The cash injection (more…)

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EU investigates Chinese plans for Belgrade to Budapest rail link

Belgrade to Piraeus rail linkChina’s plans to build a 350km, $2.89m high-speed railway between Belgrade and Budapest are under investigation by the authorities in Brussels on the grounds that they may fall foul of EU laws which stipulate that transport projects of this magnitude should be put out to public tender.
An MoU (more…)

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India and Russia close to reviving two-year Kamov helicopter JV deal

Kamov Ka 226 helicopterNew Delhi and Moscow are finally getting close to signing off on the $1bn joint venture for the construction of Kamov-226 helicopters after the idea was revived two years after it was first suggested by President Vladimir Putin. 140 of the 200 helicopters in the initial order will be built in India as part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s drive (more…)

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Amazon facing penalties over Iran

Amazon CEO Jeff BezosE-commerce giant Amazon could be facing penalties from the US Treasury, it has emerged, after it told both the Office of Foreign Assets Control and the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security that it had sold a variety of consumer products to individuals and unspecified groups controlled or owned by the Iranian government.
The goods ranged from apparel to software to pet products and cost $50 to about $2,400, according to the filing, and mean that Amazon has in all probability contravened the Iran Threat Reduction Action signed by former President Barack Obama in 2012 to strengthen trade restrictions on Iran and try to persuade it to stop its nuclear activities. In January 2016, the U.S. lifted some of the economic sanctions tied to the nuclear program.
US President Donald TrumpThe transactions appear to have came to light during an internal review which a spokesperson described as “ongoing” and which highlights the nervousness currently sweeping corporate America about the Trump administration taking an increasingly hard line towards companies doing business with Iran.

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