“Al Masna” Crossing Point, an Economic and Humanitarian Bridge

Many questions are being raised nowadays about what if Syria had, for security reasons, to close “Al-Masna” crossing point, the last land crossing point with Lebanon?, What are the results of this closure?, and what are the possible alternatives, especially that “Al-Masna” crossing point receives daily between 300-700 trucks in addition to the other trucks coming from the Gulf and the neighboring countries?.
As costs of other means of transportation (by sea or by air) are on rise, in addition to their inconvenience for transporting all kinds of goods, what it seems to be certain is that the closure of the crossing point will cause confusion and a big economic crisis. Despite the insurances given by the Syrian Vice President Farouk al Shara, that Syria has no intention to close the crossing point at the present time, Lebanese New TV mentioned in its bulletin yesterday evening that there is a plan set up by the UN’s forces in cooperation with al-Saniora’s government to build a road that connects Lebanon with Jordan to avoid the confusions of closing “Al-Masna” crossing point. But building this road, although of its inconvenience, geographically speaking, as well as the long time needed to finish building it, it will not be more important than “Al-Masna” land crossing point, from an economic point of view, and above all, it will not be more important from a humanitarian point of view because it represents a bridge between the two brotherly and neighboring countries.

Algeria Floats on a Sea of Oil, and its Trade Surplus Declines

Algeria announced that its trade surplus declined to 10.56 billion US$ in the first 5 months of this year, compared to 15.04 billion US$ of the same period of last year.
Economic expert Abdul Hamed al Omairi said that Algeria’s exports other than fuels, which is almost 2%, don’t reflect the real potentials of the Algerian market, taking into consideration the wealth and production of the country.
Despite Algeria floats on a sea of oil, and despite its exports of fuel are estimated by 98% of the total value of its exports, Algeria remained for so many years dependent on this nonrenewable fortune without depending on other alternative industries.

“Areeba” Prepares to Change its Trade Mark

The Management of “Areeba Syria” company has announced Johannesburg, South Africa’s capital to be the General Headquarter of the Group after it integrated with “MTN” group.
Trade marks, and the logo designs will be changed and become united in one trade mark that belongs to “MTN” to reflect the new nature of the group.

Syria Export new 100.000 tons of Grains to Jordan

Syria signed an agreement with Jordan to sell it 100.000 tons of grains. The General Director of the Establishment of Grains in Syria said that this deal is an implementation of the protocol signed in 2007 to sell Jordan 500.000 tons during this year with the world price of grains.

The Jordanian (Al-Itihad) bank Increases its Capital

The Jordanian (Al-Itihad Bank for Saving an Investment) announced that it concluded an agreement in first letters with the World Investment House and the United Arab Investors Company to participate in the banks capital with 29 million shares raising its capital into 95 million dinars.

The Percentage of Tourists visiting Lebanon Declines

The percentage of tourists visiting Lebanon declined during last May by 33.59% compared to the same month of last year.
The number of tourists who visited Lebanon last May reached 72.000,676 tourists, compared to 109.000,441 tourists of the same month of last year.

Al-Quds’ Index Drops at Palestine Stock Market

A report issued by “Al-Arabi” group (Invest) said that the volume of exchange at Palestine stock market dropped yesterday by 1.02 million shares with a total value of 2.92 million US$ in 639 deals.
“Al-Quds’” index declined by 0.88% to 509.69 points.

4 billion US$, the Revenues of Suez Canal

Statistical estimations in Egypt mentioned that the revenues of Suez Canal exceeded the limit of 4 billion US$ with a rise of 20% of the revenues of the last financial year, which is the highest record in the history of Suez Canal.

The United Arab Emirates is the
Fifth Worldwide in the number of Women Milliners

An economic report prepared by the American banking group “Merrill Lynch” and “Kapjimini” company for economic studies has put the United Arab Emirates in the fifth position world wide in terms of world wide the increase of the number of millionaires. The report said that the number of women millionaires in the U.A.E has increased in 2006 by 15.4%.

The Qatari Airlines keeps Silent
about an Order of 30 Boeing 787 Planes

Chairman of the Qatari Airlines refused to reveal whether the company has offered an order to buy 787 Boeing planes. Well informed sources said that the Qatari airlines is the one who will buy the planes, but no assertion has been announced by the company.

Life Insurance for Professors of the Iraqi Universities

The Iraqi national insurance company announced that it intends to accept to include the professors at the Iraqi universities of life insurance against the danger of the terrorist activities which they are exposed to in Iraq.

Algeria Prepares to Join World Trade Organization

In a statement to the reporters, the Algerian Prime Minister said that what remains for Algeria to join the World Trade Organization is to solve some issues related to technical aspects and others related to entering into the markets.

Morocco and Germany Sign two Cooperation Agreements with a Value of 48 million Euros

Morocco and Germany have signed two cooperation agreements with a value of 48.1 million Euro for financial and technical cooperation, according to al-Maghrib al-Arabi news agency.
The value of the first agreement is 36.3 million Euro to be granted to the Moroccan national bureau of electricity, whereas the value of the second project is 11.5 million Euro to be spent mainly on environment protection and improving the quality of agricultural and food stuff productions, as well as promotion of women’s rights.

“The Iranian for Oil and Gas” and the
Malaysian “Bukhari” Build an Oil Refinery in Indonesia

The Iranian ambassador to Indonesia said yesterday that the Iranian Company for Oil and Gas will build an oil refinery in the Indonesian Bogonigra area for filtering 300.000 barrels of crude oil which Iran provides Indonesia with daily.

Companies Indexes

“Look Oil”, one of the largest Russian oil companies has achieved net profits of 7.4 billion US$ in 2006.
“MacDonald’s” branch in China is facing sharp criticism because of its exploitation of workers and the cut of their salaries by 50% annually.

Small Indexes

The Iranian hand made carpet occupies number one world wide in terms of designing which is being set up by more than 300.000 expert designers.
The Syrian banking sector has currently about 300 branches, i.e. one branch for 54.000 persons compared to a regional average of one branch for 20.000 persons.

Bids & Contracts

The Moroccan government has offered a-4%-share of the Moroccan company for telecommunications to be sold for local and foreign investors, keeping a-30%-share of the company.
“Istithmar” company affiliated to Dubai Emirate intends to buy a-80%-share in the project of building a hotel with a total cost of 130 million US$ in Bangkok.

Conferences & Exhibitions

With the participation of 32 Iranian companies for production goods, the fourth exhibition of the Iranian “Caspian” (Qazouin) governorate was opened yesterday in Kyrgyzstan’s capital “Bishkek”. The activities of the exhibition will last five days.
The family fair (Expo-Family) is due to be held on the New Fair Grounds in Damascus between 1-4 of next August with the participation of many bodies specialized in producing food stuff, electrical equipment, furniture, services, and other family necessities.

Indicators is a daily economic watch newsletter about the Near East, issued by New Orient News agency in Beirut, Lebanon. It is available on Voltairenet.org in Arabic and English. Also worth a read is Tendencies, the daily Near East political watch newsletter, available in Arabic, English and French languages.