American Confessions about The Stumbling of Construction Activities in Iraq

Federal Investigators revealed that half of the projects of reconstruction in Iraq, executed by one of the biggest American contracting companies, i.e. “Bechtel National” have been cancelled. These projects were a part of a 1.8 billion US$ contract for reconstruction which was signed at the beginning of 2004.
The report prepared by the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, which is an independent body, put the blame on the government’s supervisors in the US Agency for international development who supervised the contract and its implementation, especially that the agency had appointed before two persons only in Iraq for supervising the execution of the giant project which comprised 24 big projects and 150 secondary contracts that included projects in the sector of water and its purification, electricity, oil, transpiration and telecommunications .
Despite the importance of this confession, as it is uttered from within, yet the question about how much these reports would affect Bush’s policies in Iraq remains a main and primary question when reading such reports.

Increase of the Capital of Syrian Bankers in the Commission of Stock Market

The Council of Commissioners in the Commission of the Syrian Stock Market approved the request of Syria Bank and the Gulf to increase its capital by 1.5 billion Syrian pounds, raising its capital to three billion Syrian pounds.

6 billions US Dollars, the Value of the Kuwaiti Investments in Syria

The Kuwaiti minister of Finance, Badr Mishari al-Humaydai, said that the value of the Kuwaiti investments in Syria is 6 billion US$, considering that the Kuwaiti investors “Found in Syria Security and Profitability”. It is worth mentioning that Kuwait is the third country in terms of investments in Syria after Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

A Chinese Company wins a Contract for Executing the First Fixed Wireless Network in Iraq

The Emirati “Kalemat” (Words) telecommunications company, which is the first company to be granted a national license for offering a fixed wireless net work in Iraq, announced that it granted the Chinese “Hawaii Technologies’ company a contract for building the infrastructure of the first fixed wireless net work in Iraq with a total value of 275 million US$.

715 million dollars, the Volume of the Lebanese Industrial Exports in the first Quarter of the Year

The Lebanese Industrial Exports continued their ascending line overcoming all the crises that engulf the country. A report issued by the Lebanese Ministry of Industry recorded an increase in the industrial exports during the first four months of this year by 28% compared to the same period of 2006 with a total value of 715 million dollars compared to 558 million dollars till April 2006.

A Complex for Cement Industry in Amman with a Value of 65 million dollars

The Bahraini “Venture Capital Bank” and the Jordan Phosphate Mines Company and the Arab-Jordanian company of fertilizers and chemicals have signed an agreement for the establishment of a complex of chemicals fertilizers industry in Jordan with a total value of 65 million US$.

Egypt Comes First on the List of the Most Loaning Countries

A report issued by the Center of the American Banks Information pointed out that Egypt comes first on the list of the most loaning countries in the Middle East and North Africa.
The report further said that Egypt has been granted 25% of the loans by the foreign banks for the governments of the organization of the Middle East and North Africa.

Profits of “Arabtec” Increases by 53%

The Holding “Arabtec” Company gained net profits of 173.4 million dirhams of the first half of this year compared to 113.5 million dirhams of the same period of last year with an increase of 53%.

A Call for Reconsideration in Telecommunications Sector in Bahrain

The Executive Chairman of “Batelco”, the integrated telecommunications company in Bahrain, Peter Kaliaropoulos, said that the current stage is characterized by rapid changes in the markets especially with the rising of new technologies and developed work methods. He said also that telecommunications companies in the region must adopt these changes with the aim of preserving the customers’ loyalty and increasing levels of profitability.

Algeria Grants 27 New Licenses in the Sector of Small and Medium Minings

The Algerian Agency for Mining heritage granted 27 mining licenses for the exploration and exploitation of the small and medium mines with a total value of the bids by 131.34 million dinars.
The granted licenses cover 21 governorates.

The Foreign Companies Will Stay in Iran Although the Western Embargo

The General Director of the Oil and Gas Company in Bars field South of Iran for Petrochemicals, Abass Tarkan, said that most of the foreign companies are still working in Iran, adding that the Western embargo has not led to paralyze in executing these projects.

The Revenues of the Iranian Rationing of Petrol for the Infrastructure and Social Insurance

The Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said last Wednesday that the revenues of rationing petrol and creasing the level of its consuming will be used for laying 700 kms of railways in the country within three years and building refineries for petrol production, as well as developing the net work of railways for transporting gas.

A Sharp Decline in the Turkish Stock Markets due to Abstention of Investors to take Risk

The Turkish Lira and shares have dropped sharply on Thursday due to fears of possible tensions between the governing “Justice and Development” party and the secular establishment about choosing a new President of the country. Prices of the Turkish currency dropped by 1.2870 liras opposite to the US$ recording a decline by 3.5% at closing session on Wednesday. Moreover, the index of Istanbul stock market declined by 5.1%, whereas banks’ shares dropped by 5.3%.

Russia Hopes to Conclude Talks of Joining the World Trade Organization by the End of the Year

Chief of Russian’s Negotiators in the talks of joining the World Trade Organization “WTO”, Maxime Medvedkov, said that Russia looks for concluding the talks by the end of this year.

Companies Indexes

- The quarterly profits of “Sony” company increased by 3 times following big sellings of digital cameras and decline of yen prices. “Sony” adhered to its expectations of achieving net profits estimated by 440 billion Yens “3.7” billion US$ in the year to be ended in March 208.
- Reuters Group for News and Information announced that its profits increased by 13% in the first half of this year.
- Profits of the Emirati “Al-Mashreq al Arabi” company for Insurance reached 63.53 million dirahms during the first half of this year compared to 42.822 million dirhams of last year.

Small Indexes

- Inflation percentage in Algeria during the first half of this year reached 2.6% compared to the same percentage recording in the same period of last year.
- The European Union and Libya have signed an agreement for strengthening the work on establishing a European-Libyan partnership in many domains.
- The Japanese Ministry of Finance pointed out that the trade surplus has increased by 53.4% compared to last year, recording 10.2 billion US$, adding that the country’s exports increased by 16.2%.

Bids & Contracts

- The Algerian Public Establishment, in charge of supervising technical monitoring of the cars, abandon 76.96% of its capital for the Swiss General Establishment in accordance with an agreement signed between the two parties.

Exhibitions & Conferences

- The exhibition of Yeber Arabia” 2007 for paper industry is due to be held in Dubai between 1-3 of next September.
- The activities of Kuwait International Exhibition for Cars 2007 is due to be start on the 28th of next November.

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