Monday, March 20, 2006

Dude - where's my bourse?

Yesterday was the day that the Iranians were supposed to have launched their Petroleum Bourse. This was supposed to shift demand from US dollars to euros, bankrupting the Great Satan's treasury and bringing our evil economy to their knees.

Except it hasn't happened yet and I haven't been able to find out why.

There's this from the Globe and Mail: Iranian Oil Bourse hits the wall - opening postponed.

Iran Daily News has a little bit more info - saying that the Iranian bourse will be up and running by April;

The country, which also holds the world’s second largest gas reserves after Russia, has planned to put an end to the greenback monopoly on oil trades by expediting efforts to establish an oil bourse by April.
Once the much-publicized oil bourse is established, the long-sought objective of replacing the US dollar with the euro in OPEC transactions will come one major step closer to reality. The oil bourse, which will be established as envisaged in the Fourth Five-Year Plan (2005-2010), has received support from both the Parliament and the government in Iran. It will enable oil-rich Iran to regulate prices at home without having to follow other countries’ dollar-pegged trading system.
There's this from The Age that pretty much lays out the Iranian plan to economically destroy the US, although in typical LLL fashion it is all George W Bush's fault. (Rove you magnificent bastard!) Bush's Iran plan a timebomb with explosive results

The Final Call, the mouthpiece of the Louis Farrakhan organization, has put their own spin on the bourse, blaming the US evildoers, of course and siding with the poor widdle UN. Shocka!
UNITED NATIONS ( - Phyllis Bennis, senior fellow, Middle East/UN Affairs expert for the Washington-based Institute of Policy Studies, told the Inter Press service back in December that “2006 would be the crucial year” in determining whether the United Nations could “reclaim its role as an independent actor on the world scene, or whether the virulent United States choice of either sidelining or undermining the global organization would prevail.”

But a funny thing has happened on the way to the bourse - Middle Eastern financial markets are the ones that are in turmoil, not the Great Satan's.

For years Middle Eastern financial markets have outperformed many in the world. Over the last few weeks they have taken a hit. The Dubai Financial Market has lost about 40% of its value since since the beginning of the year. Saudi Arabia's Tadawul index fell 5% on Tuesday, bringing it down about 20% since it's February high. Kuwait has seen it's stock exchange fall 7% last week and is down about 13.2% since December, causing investors to take to the streets.

Some ME governments have intervened in limited ways, for example, Saudi allow Expats to invest in their stock market The article neglects to mention that Prince Alaweed bin Talal, a close bud of the country's ruling elite, has also pledged to inject as much as 10 billion Saudi riyals ($2.7 billion) into the market to help stabilize it.

You won't feel so sorry for the investors though when you take a look at the run up these guys have been having. The Tadawul has risen nearly 600% since 2002. It doubled in value last year. Kuwait's price index has risen 749% since 2000. In the UAE, the Abu Dhabi Securities Market and the Dubai Financial Market have more than quintupled.

Can you say valuation problems? Can you say fundamentals?

Good thing the Iranians have another trick up their financial sleeve...are you ready for it????

This will take the world markets by storm- Iranians plan Persian Carpet Bourse.
Update: From the Asia Times:
TEHRAN - March 20 was to have been the day that Iran was attacked by either the United States or Israel, according to countless doomsday predictions. The fateful date has come and gone, and there has been no replay of "shock and awe". March 20 was also meant to see the inauguration of the Kish oil bourse, on which Iranian oil will be traded in a basket of currencies, including the euro. But because of "technical glitches", according to the Ministry of Petroleum, the launch has been postponed, with no new date set.

This too, just in from the Asia Times:
According to a March 14 story in The Independent of London, the United Arab Emirates, which includes Dubai, said it was looking to move a tenth of its dollar reserves into euros, and the governor of the Saudi central bank condemned the US move blocking Dubai Ports World from taking over the US ports as ''discrimination''.

As an example of the dollar's imperviousness to reports of petro-switches, the UAE announcement had almost no effect on world currency markets, whose traders are skittish enough to respond to slight rumors of wheat blight in the Caucasus to shift in and out of currencies with lightning speed. The US dollar, which spent last week strengthening against the euro before the threats by the Middle Eastern central bankers, fell slightly against the European currency by a quarter of a percentage point to a one-week high of $1.1945 - before it retreated later.