Even in the Gulf, the Crown of the US Dollar is shaking

Amid the decrease witness by the exchange rate of the American dollar opposite to all other currencies, and after the Syrian experience in disengaging its pound with the dollar in return for engaging it with a package of different currencies, the Kuwaiti economic and oil expert, Hajjaj Boukhadour, called in an article published by Al-Hayat newspaper issued in London, to the disengagement between the Gulf currencies and the dollar. He pointed out that the increase of oil prices would increase the revenues of the Arab Gulf countries which their G.D.P.s depend considerably on oil export, whereas the decline of the dollar exchange rate decreases the value of oil revenues. Although Boukhadour’s call is based on the necessity of fixing prices of oil exports based on the unified Gulf currency, which as it seems would not see light soon amid differences among the Gulf states, the call for the disengagement between the Gulf currencies and the dollar is considered, undoubtedly, an unprecedented step within the Gulf economic policy to face the dominating US dollar.
The question is: will this call see light soon?

The Opening of Arab Real Estate Exhibition amid an Emarati Domination

The exhibition of the Arab real estates, which is considered the first of its kind in Syria, has been opened yesterday in the New Fair Grounds in Damascus with the participation of 50 exhibitors.
The exhibition witnessed a lot of visitors but it was characterized with the absence of many countries among them: Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, and Libya, with a clear domination of the Emirate companies, which made the ambassador of Emirates to Syria to described the exhibition by saying that it is great exhibition in terms of organization and participation.

A-11% Increase in the Deficit of the Lebanese Trade Balance in May

A report issued by the Lebanese Trade Ministry said that the volume of importing increased by 10% till last May reaching 4 billion and 577 million US dollars. The report added that an increase in exporting has been achieved by 5% till May of 2007 reaching 1 billion and 86 million US dollars, whereas exporting volume in last May declined by 18%. The report further said that a-11% increase in the deficit of the Lebanese trade balance till May 2007 reaching 3 billion and 491 million US dollars in return for 3 billion and 146 million US dollars in the same period of last year.

A Touristic Project in Syria with a Cost of 125 million US Dollars

The Founding Stone of the Project of Yafour Gardens near Damascus has been laid with a total cost of 125 million US$ and with a total space area of 59.000 square meters. The Syrian news agency Sana said that the project which is being carried out by the Syrian construction development company consists of a four star hotel, a commercial complex, a health club, and four housing units which include 200 apartments, in addition to 80-flats in chalet style and commercial buildings, restaurants and coffee houses.

The Syrian Government Grants Adonis Insurance Company a License

The Syrian cabinet approved to grant a private insurance company a license as a Syrian a joint stock corporation by the name “Adonis for Insurances-Syria”, with a capital of 1 billion and 250 million Syrian pounds.

The Selling of 74% of the Shares of the “Royal Jordanian Airlines”

The Jordanian cabinet approved on selling 74% of the shares of the “Royal Jordanian Airlines” as a maximum rate. The Arab news network Moheet said on its web site that the process of selling which was supposed to be carried out late of this year, will be carried out through the operation of (I.P.O).

The American Consul Says: The Coming Days will Witness an Active Resumption of Development Projects in the Palestinian Territories

The American consul in Jerusalem, Jack Wallace, expected the coming days to witness an active resumption of development projects in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, as the donors stopped financing these areas since the last legislative elections in January of last year.

Operating New Oil Station South of Iraq

The General Director of “Naft al-Janoub” (South Oil) company announced that the company has started operating a new oil station for producing crude oil in “al-Rumaila” field south of al Basra with a production that ranges between 150.000-180.000 barrels per day.

The Bahraini “Al-Salam Bank” Gains Profits 37.2 billion US Dollars

Al-Salam Bank in Bahrain gained net profits during the first half of this year by 37.2 million US dollars. A statement issued by the bank said that this strong performance was the result of the policy adopted by the bank in varying sources of income which include commercial banking services, investment, and the treasury operations.

A Memorandum of Understanding between Tunisia and Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development

Tunisia and the Arab Fund for Development have signed a memorandum of understanding and an agreement for financing for the interest of the second installment of the project of roads and countryside routes in a number of governorates.

A-34% Decline in the Surplus of the Kuwaiti Budget

The Kuwaiti Ministry of Finance announce lately that the surplus of the Kuwaiti budget in the year which ended in 31 of March came less than 34% of the government’s expectations due to the increase of expenditure, but it remains the second biggest surplus ever.

The Iranian Private Sector is willing to buy the Shares of the Pakistani Banks

Chairman of the Iranian Trade, Industry and mining Chamber of Commerce, Mohammad Nahawandyan, said yesterday during his meeting with the Pakistani ambassador to Tehran that the Iranian private sector is calling for participation abroad, adding that the Iranian private sector is ready to buy the shares of the Pakistani banks in case they wanted that.

The Russian Industry Grows Like Tigers

Official statistics showed that the industrial sector in Russia achieved a growth rate of 10.9% in June and 7.7% in the first half of 2007, a growth rate that is witnessed by “The Asian Tigers”, and which has not been witnessed in Russia till now.

Turkey Attracts Foreign Investments for Building Dams and Sells Energy for Greece

The Commission of the Turkish governmental water expected Turkey to attract 12 billion US$ of foreign investments for building new units of electricity generation of water falls which would contribute in decreasing the shortage of water supplies in summer in the big cities.

Companies Indexes

- The South Korean “Honam” company for petrochemicals, said that it would build a petrochemical facilitations with a total cost of 2.6 billion US$ in Qatar in participation with a unit affiliated by Qatar for Oil.
- Mass media reports pointed out that “Crackle” web site specialized in the activities of participating film materials on the internet, which is affiliated by “Sony Company for Electronics”, would start financing professional film makers instead of amateurs with a some of money between 2000-20.000 US$.
- “Do” the new telecommunication company in the U.A.E celebrated its client number half a million. The Executive Chairman of the Company presented the client with an instant paying line and a special number, in addition to half a million seconds of a free charge calls.

Small Indexes

- Russia’s reserve of Gold and hard currencies increased by 2.8 billion US$ in one week. It reached on the 13th of July 411.2 billion US$ in return for 408.4 billion US dollars on the sixth of July.
- The Israeli G.D.P recorded a growth rate by 6.3% in the first quarter of this year.
- South Korea’s imports of oil from the Middle East countries increased by 13.4%.
- The Iranian minister of Energy, Parviz Fatah, said last Wednesday, that his country is witnessing a rise in dams construction adding that 85 dams are being executed all over the world. He further said that 15 dams with a capacity of 2 billion cubic meters will be inaugurated this year.
- W.F.O announced that a shortage in cereals production in the world will lead to a food stuff prices in 28 of the world’s countries this year.

Bids & Contracts

- The Saudi Bank for Investment and the holding “Dalla al-Baraka” company have signed today a memorandum of understanding according to which the bank will possess 50% of the shares of the banking “Al-Baraka Group”.
- The Tunisian government has concluded a contract with “Sama Dubai” company one of the biggest investment projects in the country with a total value of 14 billion US$, and with a space area of 830 hectares at the Southern suburb of the capital.
- The Saudi Bank for Investment said that it agreed on buying half of the share of “Dalla al-Baraka” group in the group of the banking “Al-Baraka” bank, the third biggest bank in Bahrain in terms of market value, in a deal for exchanging shares.

Exhibitions & Conferences

- The Palestinian Trade Center “Pal-Trade” concluded its cooperation for the launching of the Palestinian Food Stuff Productions Fair “Kaduna” due to be opened on the seventh of next August for three days.
- The Moroccan capital, al Rebat is due to host between 26-28 of next October the activities of the fourth session of the international exhibition for renewable energies and water technologies, organized by Chamber of Trade, Industry, and Services in al Rabat, with the participation of Chamber of Trade, Industry and Aviation in Almuria in Spain.

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.