Privatization in Egypt Equals Economic Colonialism

It is not strange for someone who experienced the negative results of privatization for tens of years, to refuse them completely now, and to describe as a modern colonialism through the economic gate.
The Egyptian economy is experiencing nowadays a state of fear as a result of the announcement of the Egyptian government that it intends to sell 80% of the governmental Cairo Bank, especially after the publication of many articles in the newspapers during the last two weeks that refuse the decision of selling, in addition to news circulated about the fear of the depositors which pushed them to withdraw their deposits from the bank which owns 220 branches in different parts of the country.
The issue of privatizing the banks is very sensitive because there is a lot of national feelings towards the bank affiliated by the private banks which are: “Al-Ahlia Bank, Egypt Bank and Cairo Bank”, which are considered main financial institutions in the country.
The decision of selling “Cairo Bank” came after the selling of “Alexandria Bank” last year. So will the Egyptian government pays attention to its people’s feelings or does the dollars have irresistible temptation, and will it go forward in the agenda of privatization?.

Decline of Tourism Figures in Lebanon in June

The number of tourists coming to Lebanon during June reached 69.303 tourists compared to 171.091 tourists in June 2006 with decline of 59.49%. A report issued by statistics department in the Lebanese Ministry of Tourism showed that the Arab tourists came first in the first six month of 2007 with a total number of 154.507 tourists, i.e. 37.5%, whereas the number of tourists coming from Europe during July only reached 21.318 tourists.

Iraq Launches the Initiative of Agricultural Development for Achieving Self-Sufficiency

Iraq launched an initiative for supporting the Iraqi farmers in an attempt to achieve (Self-sufficiency) in the agricultural field within the next ten years. The initiative includes providing the farmers with seeds, buying the production of the strategic corps by the market prices, and monitoring the livestock and agricultural diseases, and offering financial aids.

Warning of Increase of Agricultural Goods and Products in Gaza

Ministry of Agriculture in the dismissed Palestinian government warned of the increase of prices of goods and agricultural products in Gaza Strip. This comes as the strip is witnessing a tight economic embargo carried out by many parties.

A German Company Donates for Palestinian Establishments

Berlin Company for Importing and Exporting, the agents of the international German “Meffert AG” company for Water and Oil Paints and Construction Materials and Decoration donated a quantity of paints materials for a number of Palestinian institutions in many regions in the West Bank.

The Dubai Islamic Bank, the Fastest in Growth in the World

The Dubai Islamic Bank has occupied for the second year an advanced position on the list of the fastest growing banks in the world, in terms of capital and reserves within a list of 1000 international banks, issued annually by The Banker magazine affiliated by the international Financial Times.

Profits of the Kuwaiti “Kibko” Jumps to 151%

“Mashree al Kuwait” – “Kibko” company, the biggest holding company in the country in terms of market value, announced that its net profits increased by 151% in the second quarter of this year reaching 27.6 million dinars which equals 96.20 million dollars.

59% million Dinars, the Value of Plastic Industries Investments in Jordan

The total value of the capitals registered in the sector of plastic and rubbery industries in Jordan reached 59 million dinars which equals 2.4% of the total value of the capitals registered in the industrial sector.

New Licenses for Establishing Cement Factories in Egypt

The Egyptian Minister of Industry and Trade Engineer Rachid Mohamed Rachid announced the ministry’s intention to hold a bid for 14 new licenses for the establishment of cement factories.

Big Growth for Investment in Casablanca During the First Half of this Year

A report issued by the regional bureau for investment in Casablanca said that the volume of investments in the governorate reached 15.4 billion dirhams during the first half of this year compared to 4.7 billion dirhams during the same period of last year.

The Bankruptcy of Algerian Construction Companies due to Legal Restrictions

Activists in the construction sector in Algeria revealed in a press conference that the sector is witnessing the state of recession in the time being. Chairman of the Union of Construction Materials Companies said that 50% of the companies in the sector disappeared because legal restrictions, which is a development, according to his point of view, might expose the government’s plans of building one billion houses to a great danger.

The Indian “Geel” Company Intends to Negotiate on the Project of Gas Pipeline Via the Desert

Reuters news agency said that the Governmental Indian Company “Gail”, which hold lately negotiations to buy a big share of the deal of exporting natural gas with the Algerian company “Sonatrach”, expressed its interest in buying shares with a total value of 13 billion dollars from the project of gas pipeline via the desert which “Sonatrach” owns a share in it.

The Iranian (S.H Kish) Company Exports its Products to the U.A.E

The Iranian Free Zone Establishment in “Kish” island pointed out last Tuesday that the textile company “S.H Kish” will export its products to the U.A.E after inaugurating the production line of high technological experience.

Companies Indexes

- The Gulf Air Company announced that it appointed Director of Operations of the Airline in the Company. “Björn Näf” has been appointed as an executive chairman as a predecessor of the Swiss “André Dosé” who resigned.
- The German “Mercedes-Benz” company affiliated to “Daimler-Chrysler” Group for Cars Production announced that its profits have doubled in the second quarter of this year after overcoming the crisis, which it witnessed during the past period.
- “Microsoft Corporation”, the giant company in Software industry in the world achieved a big increase in the value of its profits during the first quarter of the current fiscal year which reached 3.04 billion US$.

Small Indexes

- Prices of the future contracts of oil declined following statements issued by the American government which showed a decline in the reserves of crude oil with an increase of operating percentage in the refineries in the US.
- Prices of the European shares dropped to their lowest levels since the 8th of June, on the top of which the share of the industrial “Siemens” group with the increase of fears about financing possessions operations and the weakness of housing markets in the US.
- Exports of petrochemicals products in Iran recorded an increase by 47.4% during the last four month of this year compared to the same period of last year, reaching 1 billion and 383 million dollars.

Bids & Contracts

- The Indian “Infosys” company for Information Technology announced that it concluded a contract with a total value of several millions with the Royal Philips Electronics of the Netherlands.
- The American General Electric Company “G.E” said that it has concluded three new contracts in the Middle East with a total value of 1.8 billion US$.
- The “Export Development Bank of Iran” announced last Tuesday of the financial insurance for the two projects of the construction of the parliament building and a trade center in Djibouti. The value of the contract is 23 million Euro.

Exhibitions & Conferences

- Under the Motto: “We Are Looking For An Inventor”, the Educational Establishment “Al-Nayzak” in Jerusalem has launched the exhibition of supporting and developing the innovations of the youth. It is worth mentioning that this exhibition is held for the third year consecutively.

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.