March 8th, 2013
05:40 PM GMT
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(CNN) – Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, who died this week, built his support on a populist platform of sharing the country's oil wealth with the poor.

Yet Venezuela's economy, and the future of its oil industry, remains deeply vulnerable.

CNN's John Defterios talks with Fereidun Fesharaki, the chairman of FACTS Global Energy, who says the country's oil industry is in a "shambles." So what challenges a new leader face?



February 28th, 2013
04:24 PM GMT
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Former U.S. Secretary of State James Baker says the country's debt problem is a "ticking time bomb." He describes the U.S. as "broke" and says if it wasn't for the dollar as the global reserve currency the U.S. would be "Greece."



February 20th, 2013
03:05 PM GMT
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(CNN) - The Moscow Stock Exchange is the latest company to trade on its own platform.

It comes after the company sold its shares at an Initial Public Offering last week - at the low end of the IPO range.

The stock began trading Friday , providing a valuation of more than $4 billion.

John Defterios sat down with Kirill Dmitriev, the chief executive of the Russian Direct Investment Fund and asked him why, despite the lukeman response, he sees potential in the exchange.



February 14th, 2013
03:39 PM GMT
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(CNN) - Former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown tells CNN’s John Defterios that protectionism has “taken over” in global trade, while advocating an agreement between developed economies in the West and emerging markets in the East.

Brown, who was UK premier from 2007 to 2010, said the problem that Europe and the U.S. face is that both do not have a big enough share of each other’s markets.

His comments come after the U.S. and European Union announced talks will begin later this year on a multi-trillion dollar free-trade pact to boost economic growth.

On the UK’s membership in Europe, Brown said British jobs depend on the EU and the idea that Britain could leave “offends” the country’s history, economics and culture.

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July 4th, 2012
12:53 PM GMT
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(CNN) – The room was filled with a certain buzz and not an empty seat could be found in the grand ballroom. I counted 14 television cameras lined up across the back of the room, and the center table where I was sitting had chief executives representing about a dozen sectors from advertising to power transmission.

A few minutes later a young, dapper man in a cobalt blue suit, matching suede loafers and a crisp white shirt - minus a tie - takes the center seat to my right. All eyes fix their gaze on Greece's rising star, 38 year-old Alexis Tsipras.

With a calm demeanor, but electric smile, the leader of the far left Syriza party and now the official opposition in the Greek parliament greets the host of the conference Daniel Franklin, executive editor of the Economist magazine. He turns and offers the same warm handshake to me and the first public policy address to the Greek business community gets underway.

Moments later, Tsipras takes the stage and wastes little time accusing the newly elected coalition government, made up of leaders from a previous generation, of rolling over in Brussels since it "could not negotiate to obtain oxygen that was given to others without a fight". FULL POST



June 12th, 2012
02:16 PM GMT
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Vienna, Austria (CNN) – It is shaping up to be an intriguing two days in Vienna. Ministers with some of the largest oil reserves in the world will gather Thursday to determine if the more than $25 slide in global energy prices requires urgent action.  Ahead of the ministerial meeting, they will meet with their counterparts from the private sector and air their views at the OPEC seminar Wednesday at the Hofburg Palace, before an audience of 1,200 energy executives.

Uprisings throughout North Africa - which shut down 90% of Libya's oil production for months - military exercises in the Strait of Hormuz, and rising demand from China kept markets on edge and drove prices higher last year and through the first quarter of 2012.
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May 23rd, 2012
02:12 PM GMT
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(CNN) – Fifteen months ago Tahrir Square was the site of a tsunami that swept President Hosni Mubarak and his entire government from office.

In the most populous country in the Middle East and North Africa, only the military apparatus has been left intact from the Mubarak era. The world is getting very familiar with the name and face of Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, head of Egypt's ruling military council.

This week marks a historic opportunity to break from that past. There are a dozen candidates vying for the top job, a third of them labelled as front runners.

In geo-political circles, Egypt is described as a pivotal power, an emerging market economy and potential political power that can sway the outcome in the region.
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April 2nd, 2012
01:49 AM GMT
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(Image: Getty Images)

(CNN) – It was a storybook finish at the world’s richest horse race. After a six-year drought on his home turf (actually a synthetic surface called Tapeta), Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum watched with a royal smile that could light up the Meydan Grandstand at the racing venue he built on the outskirts of his emirate Dubai.

Monterosso, ridden by the French jockey he personally picked, Mickael Barzalona, cruised to victory in the $10 million Dubai World Cup. In a CNN interview right off the winner’s circle at Meydan, the Ruler of Dubai and Prime Minister and Vice President of the United Arab Emirates told me, “My heart was in my throat at that time and I didn’t know what to say but thank God we won it and everybody has won - all of the country - I’m double happy now!” FULL POST



March 5th, 2012
12:14 PM GMT
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Abu Dhabi (CNN) – He was president for two terms, prime minister for one and is now in place for another stint in the top job. The question investors are asking of Vladimir Putin as he moves back to into the presidency is: What will be different the second time around?

Russian oligarchs and top policy makers within the country refer to this era as “Putin 2.0,” which has taken on a new sense of urgency since the protests from a young middle class after the parliamentary vote in December.

Viktor Vekselberg is president of Renova, a major shareholder in the TNK-BP joint venture, and a driving force in the country’s “Skolkovo” innovation project outside Moscow. In a recent interview with CNN, he said: “We don’t have time, three, five or 10 years for a slow restructuring.”

FULL POST



January 24th, 2012
12:07 PM GMT
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Davos, Switzerland (CNN) - Four years ago, the halls of Davos buzzed with excitement nine short months before the near-collapse of the Western banking system. Oil was above $100 a barrel, while sovereign funds from China to the Middle East started to flex their muscles on the global stage of the World Economic Forum.

There is now a bitter aftertaste that lingers after the recent upheaval of that financial crisis. The debt burdens in Europe and the U.S. still need to be reckoned with, giving those from the emerging markets the space to bask in the limelight here at this now fabled mountain retreat.

The central theme at the gathering of power brokers is transformation. That could simply be defined as the rise of the developing world – which is clearly transforming business as we know it today.

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