Will the Russian Bear Rise?

The Russian economy is witnessing a post indicated by its different performing indicators. In addition to the increase of growth rate, the decrease of an employment rate, and other positive results, Russia is witnessing, Russian Minister of Finance, Aleksey Leonidovich Kudrin, said that Russia’s reserve of gold and hard currencies has increased in the first half of this year by 33.6% rising to 405.8 billion US$.
He added that inflation growth in Russia during the same period reached 5.7% opposite to 6.2% of the same period in 2006.
These positive indicators are looked upon by many who are interested in the economic affairs as the pillar, which as expected, a strong will will rely on to reformulate the economic and political equations world wide, and may be they are the reasons which made the American administration be alert, starting from Bush who talked about “the strategic plan 2007-2012 to face what he called “the negative attitude of Russia”, and ending with Rice who appeared on “C.N.B.C TV” channel on Sunday describing Russia’s turn towards expanding its participation in oil and gas industry, and carrying out alterations on the conditions of the contract as bad on the international community.

The Bahraini Al-Baraka Bank Opens a New Branch in Syria

The Banking “Al-Baraka” Group located in Bahrain said that it will open a new branch in Syria expressing its hope in collecting 100 million US$ through selling shares in the new branch. Al-Baraka Group said that the affiliated branch will be called “Al-Baraka-Syria” bank, adding that it would start work at the end of the year.

The Iraqi Minister of Petroleum Calls for Reconsidering the Oil Contracts

The Iraqi Minister of Petroleum Husayn al-Shahristani said that the oil contracts concluded must match the new controversial oil law adopted by the government.
In an interview with Al-Arabiya Channel, Shahristani asserted that there is a clear and plain article in the draft law stipulating that the contracts concluded by the former regime or concluded in Kurdistan must be rechecked and adjusted according to the new oil and gas law.

The Private Sector Builds 12 Dams in Iran

Iranian Assistant Minister of Energy for Water Affairs, Rasoul Zarkar, announced on Saturday that 12 dams will be built by the private sector adding that the agreement of building the first dam will be carried out in the coming two months.

Three Million US$, the Total Loses of Gaza’s Importers

A statistical study carried out by the Palestinian carriers council estimated the importers’ looses in Gaza governorates by 3 million US$ as a result of the seizure of their containers at the Israeli sea port. The study pointed out that the total number of the containers is more than 1600 containers with a value of more than 130 million US$.

Egypt Circulates International Bonds with Local Currency in Europe

The Egyptian government said that it intends to circulate bonds with the Egyptian pound by a total value of 5 billion pounds (860 million US$) in the international markets, within a group of steps taken by the Egyptian government for more interaction with international investors and assuring the power of the Egyptian currency, in addition to forming new ways for long term financing which would help in decreasing the public debt.

Jordan Imports Oil from Kazakhstan

The Jordanian government intends to sign an agreement soon for importing oil and gas from Kazakhstan after importing special pipelines for this purposes.
The Jordanian Al-Ghad newspaper said that the choice of laying oil and gas pipeline from Iraq is also possible.

The Holding “Sham” Company Opens the Tourist Complex “View”

The tourist complex “View”, the first project carried out by the holding “Sham” company was opened in Lattakia. The project is a series of restaurants which were built in Lattakia and to be completed in Damascus and Aleppo governorates with a total investment value of 10 million US$.

An Algerian Plan with 12 billion US$ to Develop Railways and Oil Transportation

Algeria decided to launch a plan with a total value of 12 billion US$ with the aim of modernizing the railways network in addition to linking the desert oil fields with the sea ports coastal cities.

Kuwait Signs a-2.1 billion US$ Agreement with Boeing

The Kuwaiti company for Financing Planes Buying and Renting “Alafco” announced today that it signed an agreement to buy 10 Boeing 787 planes with a total value of 2.1 billion US$. The delivery of the planes will start in 2015 in the sixth big deal the company signs since the beginning of this year.

A Third License for Operating and Installing Mobile Phones in Saudi Arabia

The Union of the Mobile Telecommunications Company “M.T.C” and its partners announced that it received an official notification concerning the financial offer presented by the union in return for granting the license of operating and installation the third network of mobile telecommunications in Saudi Arabia for 25 years.
The value of the financial offer is worth 6.109 billion US$.

“The City of Gold” is opened officially in Turkey

The biggest tourist project east of the Mediterranean was opened yesterday in Turkey the total of the project is 150 million Euro and it is called “The City of Gold” which is considered the biggest Irish investment in Turkey extending along 175.000 square meters on the bottom of the Turkish “Alanyia” mountains. The project comprises a-five-star 950 villas in addition to 35 swimming pools and 478 flats, restaurants and Irish bars.

“Gazprom” Seeks to Raise its Shares in the Stock Market to a Trillion US$

Deputy Chairman of the Giant Russian “Gazprom” gas company, Alexander Medvedev, expected the value of the company’s shares in the stock markets to reach 1 trillion US$ making it the first company in the world. In a press interview published by Sunday Times newspaper Medvedev did not set a time limit for realizing this goal, but the newspaper quoted other officials in the company as a saying that this goal could be realized between 5-7 years.

Companies Indexes

- The Algerian Minister of Energy revealed that “Sonatrach” company is about to conclude negotiations with the American company “Kellog Brown And Root” (Halliburton Group) to buy the share of the American company in the joint company BRC which the American side owns 49% of it.
- The Chairman of the German “Volkswagen Group” expected that cars sells of the group for this year would exceed 6 million cars.
- The German “MAN” trucks company expressed its hope to integrate with the Swedish “Scania” company before the end of this year.
- The Kuwaiti “Al-Qaren” company for Petro-Chemicals industry said that it aims to expand and grow through concluding deals of possession and buying shares in companies and projects in the Middle East, North America, North of Africa, and Asia.

Small Indexes

- A team of Tunisian students won the first prize in the first world championship, which was held in France, for designing robots.
- The General Director of the French Agency for Development announced that the agency would increase the value of its aids to Morocco to reach 150 million Euro during 2007-2009.
- The volume of deposits in Syria reached 15 billion US$ in 2005, representing 56% of the G.D.P compared to 220% in Lebanon.
- The volume of trade exchange and transit between “Khorasan al-Radawia” governorate in Iran and Turkmenistan reached 9.6 billion US$ annually.
- The Executive Chairman of the Emirati “Dana Gas” company said that the Middle East includes more than 40% of the world gas reserve adding that the production does not exceed 10% of the total world production.
- The Egyptian exports to the United Kingdom in the first quarter of this year reached 245 million Euro with a-39% increase compared to the same period of last year.

Bids & Contracts

- The Algerian Company for Fuels “Sonatrach” and the American “KBR” are have concluded a contract for laying a new liquid natural gas pipeline at “Skakeda” area with a total value of 2.85 billion US$.
- The Kuwaiti stock market said on its web site that “Al-Dar” investment company and affiliated branches have increased their shares in “Bobian” bank to 11.4%. “Al-Dar” company said that it has been granted the approval of the central bank to buy a share of 20% in “Bobian”.
- The investment “Mashare’e al-Kuwait” (Kuwait’s Projects) company for assets management “Kipko” said that its affiliated branch (Kamko) would sign on Tuesday a loan agreement for three years with a total value of 75 million US$ for paying some of the accumulated loans and financing the company’s projects.
- The Iraqi oil marketing commission said that Iraq seeks to buy 15.000 tons of Kerosene.
- The American Boeing Company announced that it received an order by the Kuwaiti “Alafco” company for planes renting to buy 10 planes of 787 dream liner planes.

Exhibitions & Conferences

- The Chinese Shanghai City will host on Tuesday the International Exhibition For Filling and Packaging Industry which comprises 500 exhibitors companies. It is expected for the exhibition to attract millions of visitors.
- The 10th Arab German Economic Meeting organized by the joint Arab-German Chamber of Commerce and Trade and in cooperation with the General Union of Trade, Industry and Agricultural Chambers in the Arab World, is due to be held in Berlin between 11-13 of this month.

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.