When the Arctic Breaks Out

It seems that the battle between Russia and the West has had a new front in the Arctic Ocean. Following the step taking by Russia in planting its flag in the seabed of the Arctic, Europe and Canada joint Washington which said that: “Planting the Flag dos not give Russia the Right in the resources of the Arctic”, but Russia’s response by its Foreign Minister was decisive. He said that the goal behind sending the explorational expedition to the Arctic was to prove that the rights of Russia extend to the Arctic.
Statements said by the spokesman of the State Department showed that the US intends to respond to Moscow’s challenge, and this means that the Arctic will become a new front for a battle between the West and Russia. But the question is: Why all this dispute on a frozen ocean?
According to information by geology commission in the USA, about 25% of world reserve of oil and gas lies in the bottom of the active, in addition to huge reserves of diamond, gold, platinum, nickel, lead, and magnesium. Indeed, A huge mineral resources capable of igniting the Arctic.

Energy is the Center of the New Encounter between the New Tigers and America

An International report prepared lately by “Goldman Sachs” and published by CNN said that the group of the economic “New Tigers” comprising Brazil, Russia, India and China have entered a new path in its economic competition with the US through controlling world energy sector.

The “Compagnie nationale algérienne de navigation” (Algeria) Intends to Buy 12 New Ships

The Compagnie nationale algérienne de navigation announced that it intends to buy 12 new ships, three of them are dedicated for the branch of the company specialized in transporting goods “The Mediterranean” and to its other branch “Al Shamal” (The North).

“Mauritel” Mobile: $6 bn and 700.000 Subscribers

Mr. Abdeslam Ahizoune, Chairman of the administrative board of “Maroc Telecom” said in a press conference yesterday that the volume of his company’s dealings in the network of mobile phones in Mauritania, “Mauritel”, reached 217 million dirhams, with an increase of 75.2% compared to the first half of this year.

Egypt Tries to Stop Canceling the Contracts of Exporting the Syrian Wheat to Egypt

An Egyptian trade delegation is holding intensive talks with the Syrian Ministry of Economy in an attempt to stop canceling the contracts of exporting 700.000 tons of the Syrian wheat to Egypt.
It is worth mentioning that Syria had already cancelled contracts for exporting wheat to Egypt, Iraq, Italy and Tunisia with a volume of about 400.000 tons.

“International Bank of Qatar” May Fail to Buy a Share of the Bahraini “Ahli United Bank”

International Bank of Qatar” said that its talks to buy a share in the Bahraini “Ahli United Bank” have reached a deadlock which might put an end to concluding the deal.
“Qatar International Bank” affirmed in a statement that it is holding talks with a number of contributors in the “Ahli United Bank”, adding that these talks did not reach a satisfactory conclusion.

An Emirati Study Reveals the Volume of Direct Foreign Investment to the Gulf Countries

Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry” has issued a study on direct foreign investment in the GCC. Unfortunately, few number of reports have been issued on direct foreign investment in the Gulf countries without making overall researches in this field. Yet the study revealed that between 1997-2006 the average of annual flew of direct foreign investments reached 31% in Bahrain, 26% in Qatar, 17% in the UAE, and less than 1% in Kuwait.

Russian Touristic Companies are preparing for Tourist Promotion in Syria

A Group of Russian Tourist Companies expressed their readiness to develop cooperation with Syria in the touristic field in addition to making an extensive promotion in cooperation with the Syrian Airlines for promoting tourism by the Russians to Syria.

Figures of Volume of Trade Exchange between Iran and Spain

The “Instituto Español de Comercio Exterior” (Spain) announced last Saturday that Spain’s imports of Iranian Oil reached more than $351.899 m during the first half of 2007.
In return, Iran imported goods from Spain with a total value of 223.000 Euro during the same period, according to the Iranian Press TV channel.

Iran Looks for Enhancing its Economic Ties with New Zealand

The Iranian ambassador to New Zealand said during the economic and trade meeting between his country and New Zealand in Oakland city held yesterday with the participation of more than 80 businessmen in the different sectors in the two countries, pointed out that New Zealand can benefit from enhancing the relations between the two countries in the fields of oil, gas and investment in the Iranian infrastructure.

Turkey Denies Russia’s Refusal to Supply it with Gas

Officials at the Turkish gas pipeline company denied a report issued lately by a Turkish newspaper talking about a notification by the Russian authorities to Turkey stating that Russia will not increase quantities of gas in case gas supplies faced a shortage this winter. For its part, officials at the Russian “Gazprom” company denied also these allegations.

Companies Indexes

- The Egyptian Holding Company for Chemical Industries achieved net profits of 1.258 billion Egyptian pounds during the fiscal year 2006-2007 compared to 889 million pounds during the same period of last year.
- “IFA Hotels & Resorts” announced that it launched a joint project with “Indian Ocean Resorts” company. Project comprising a hotel, housing units on Ste Ann Island.
- Chairman of the “Export Development Bank of Iran” accompanying the Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad in his visit to Algeria, said that the president will discuss with the Algerian officials the possibility of opening the first Iranian Bank in Algeria.

Small Indexes

- Mauritania occupied the 92th position on the indicator of competition specialized in tourism and traveling according to a report issued lately by World Economic Forum.
- The volume of the Egyptian non-oil exports to Italy reached 405 million Euro during the first quarter of this year.
- Prices of the American crude oil dropped on Friday from 1.38$ to 45.48$ per barrel, following a rise estimated by 78.77$ last Wednesday. On the other hand, Brent mix prices dropped from 1.01 to 74.75$.

Bids & Contracts

- The Spanish “Acciona” company said on Monday that the unit of water projects affiliated to it has signed new contracts for water treatment in the UAE and Algeria.
- The Belgian-Dutch Financial “Fortis” Group has been granted a preliminary approval by contributors for giving it 13 billion Euro ($18 bn) for financing an offer it presented with another banks to buy “ABN Amro” company.

Exhibitions & Conferences

- The activities of the exhibition of Chinese products is due to take place on the 14th of this month in the Jordanian capital Amman. The exhibition will last for 4 days, and for the fourth time during this year.

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.