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Business Middle East

  • ACRE, Israel-- Orthodox Jewish Israelis, the driving force of the West Bank settlement movement, have begun to turn their attention inward to Israel itself, moving into Arab areas of mixed cities in an attempt to cement the Jewish presence there.

  • DUBAI, Oct 4- Dubai's index hit a fresh five-month high on Thursday after the market regulator announced reforms aimed at boosting liquidity. "These reforms have been long-awaited and should increase liquidity in the medium term," said Kanaga Sunder, Gulf Baader Capital Markets head of research in Muscat.

  • WASHINGTON-- President Barack Obama and Republican rival Mitt Romney spun one-sided stories in their first presidential debate, not necessarily bogus, but not the whole truth.

  • *HSBC to focus Islamic business on Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and Indonesia. *Some job cuts at Amanah unit, rest to be merged into HSBC By David French. DUBAI, Oct 4- HSBC Holdings is to significantly scale back its global Islamic banking operations, it said on Thursday, as part of a wider restructuring at the U.K.- based bank.

  • The ECB's decision was widely expected and the market was more focused on what ECB president Mario Draghi will say in his post-meeting news conference about Spain and the prospect that it will trigger the bank's new bond buying programme. "What is key for euro/dollar going forward is going to be Spain," said Michael Sneyd, FX strategist at BNP Paribas.

  • BAGHDAD, Oct 4- Oil exports from Iraqi Kurdistan have risen to 170,000 barrels per day and will reach 200,000 "within days", following a recent deal between Baghdad and the autonomous region over payments, Oil Minister Abdul-Kareem Luaibi said on Thursday.

  • *Parliament approves military operations outside Turkey. ISTANBUL, Oct 4- Turkish assets weakened on Thursday on investor concerns about increasing tension with Syria, after a mortar bomb hit a residential district in southeast Turkey, killing five people.

  • DUBAI, Oct 4- HSBC Holdings is to significantly scale back the presence of its global Islamic banking operations, it said on Thursday, as part of a wider restructuring at the U.K.- based bank.

  • SANAA, Yemen-- Yemen's electricity company said Wednesday protesting tribesman blew up main pylons a day earlier, cutting off power to the capital, Sanaa, and plunging it into darkness. The officials said the tribesmen are protesting a death sentence against one of their members convicted of belonging to al-Qaida and killing security agents.

  • HERAT, Afghanistan, Oct 4- Afghanistan has imposed a cap on U.S. dollar flows across the border with Iran amid clashes there between Iranian police and protesters prompted by a collapse in the rial currency, Afghan police said on Thursday.

  • HERAT, Oct 4- Afghanistan has imposed a cap on U.S. dollar flows across the border with Iran amid clashes there between Iranian police and protesters prompted by a collapse in the rial currency, Afghan police said on Thursday.

  • By Saeed Azhar and Kelvin Soh SINGAPORE/ HONG KONG, Oct 4- Standard Chartered's.

  • DUBAI, Oct 4- Abu Dhabi family-owned conglomerate Al Jaber Group, in talks to restructure at least $1 billion in debt, has proposed to extend repayment by five years, two sources familiar with the company's plans said on Thursday.

  • *UK gas network undersupplied by 12 mcm/day. LONDON, Oct 4- British prompt gas prices rose on Thursday after a power failure temporarily halted output from Norway's Kollsnes gas processing plant that feeds pipelines supplying the UK.

  • *Morgan Stanley in commodities talks with Qatar for a year. DUBAI/ LONDON, Oct 4- Morgan Stanley's talks with Qatar's sovereign wealth fund over the sale of its commodities business have run into difficulty, and the deal may need to be reworked if it is to go ahead, banking sources said.

  • NEW YORK, Oct 4- PwC, the world's largest accounting firm, reported a record $31.5 billion in revenues in 2012 and forecast a big shift in business to developing markets in the next five years. North America and the Caribbean reported $11.2 billion in revenues, up from $9.9 billion.

  • DUBAI, Oct 4- Shops in Tehran's Grand Bazaar stayed shut and police patrolled the area on Thursday as authorities struggled to restore normalcy a day after security forces clashed with anti-government protesters angered by the collapse of the currency.

  • *Unrest in Turkey- Syria raises regional security worries. LONDON, Oct 4- Brent crude oil rose above $109 per barrel on Thursday as escalating tensions between Syria and Turkey raised more concerns over the security of oil supplies from the Middle East.

  • DUBAI, Oct 4- Qatar International Islamic Bank. HSBC, Standard Chartered and QNB Capital. will arrange the investor meetings in the Middle East, Asia and Europe after which a dollar-denominated Reg S sukuk may follow, subject to market conditions.

  • *Hungary increases bond sale, yields rise as demand weakens. Hungary, whose bonds have been rallying in recent months, increased its bond sale to 47.5 billion forints from 45 billion, but average yields rose by 4-11 basis points from the previous auction two weeks ago.