Unemployment among the Arab Youth is the Highest in the World

Arab Labor Organization has said in a report it issued that the percentage of unemployment among the Arab Youth is the highest in the world, pointing out that the Arab homeland needs to create new job opportunities for those who are entering labor market by more than 70.000 million job opportunities during the two decades: 2000-2020.
The increase of the percentage of Arab man power during the current decade has reached 30% annually, exceeding the increase of the percentage of population which has reached 2.1%, but it is less than the average of the GDP during the last five years which is 5.1%. The report further said that there is an increase of 24-31% with regard to women participation in the economic activities, which represents double the average of men participation.
The report did not deny the fact that some Arab countries have witnessed a decline in the of percentage of unemployment, yet these were few like: Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Bahrain.

Similar Factors for the Crisis of Real Estate in the US and Jordan

Economic experts have said that similar factors led to the crisis of real estate in the US and Jordan.
Among the most important factors were the continuous increase of banking interests which led to the inability of the loaners to re-pay the value of the loans representing 50% of income.

Syria Expects a Growth Rate of 6.5% in 2007

Syrian Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs Abdallah al Dardari expected an increase of growth rate by 6.2-6.5% during this year.
In a press conference, Dardari said that: “It was the first time the Syrian economic growth rate didn’t rely on oil, rather on agriculture, industry, trade, services, and investment”.

“Syria Gulf Bank” Calls for a Closed Subscription to Double its Capital

Syria Gulf Bank” is due to start at the end of this week to prepare for calling its contributors to take part in subscription with the aim of doubling its capital from one billion and a half Syrian pounds to three billion Syrian pounds.
According to Issam Nashwati, the General Director of the Bank, the subscription will last for two weeks, adding that it is a closed subscription only for shares holders.

The Russian “Lukoil” Affirms its Readiness to Start to Produce Oil in Iraq

The Russian Oil Company “Lukoil” affirmed that the project of the fields of “Western Kurna-2 ” was ready to start the production process, adding that it was able to start the production process in these fields quicker than the other companies.

“Millennium Challenge Corporation” Grants Morocco $697.5 m to Combat Poverty

“Al-Maghrib al Arabi” news agency said that the administrative board of “Millennium Challenge Corporation” establishment has approved to grant a loan of $697.5 m for development and combating poverty purposes in Morocco.
It is expected that about 6.000 Moroccan families to get benefit from this donation, which would contribute in increase the national GDP by about $118 annually.

Malaysia, the Center of Industrial and Electronic Production in Eastern Asia

Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said that Malaysia is able to become the biggest center for production in the industrial and electronic sectors in the South Eastern part of Asia. In a statement, Badawi said that Malaysia seeks to become the biggest center for production in South Eastern Asia, taking into consideration the country’s a human resources which are able to deal with all kinds of modern machines and equipment.

Tunisia Decides to Increase Prices of Cereals Products

The Tunisian Ministry of Trade has decided to increase prices of cereal products except prices of bread. The Ministry said that this increase was due to the sharp increase of cereals at world markets which exceeded 50% since the beginning of this year as a result of a drop of world production and the increase of supply of this food stuff.

“Beituka” (Your Home) – Turkey and “Bahrain” Banks Arrange for Concluding a Contract

The Kuwaiti Financing House “Beituka” (Your Home) that it included a deal for the interest of the Turkish “Fone Lising” company, one of the group of “Olkar” companies for food stuff with a total value of $60 m for three years, through “Beituka” (Your Home) – Turkey and “Beituka” (Your Home) – Bahrain, with the participation of many Gulf and European Banks.

Iran Execute 1.300 Projects for Re-Construction Lebanon

Lebanon started yesterday with an Iranian aid, the construction of a high-way connecting Baalbek with Tofeiqeyeh area east of Lebanon. It is worth mentioning that Lebanon started last Saturday also with Iranian aid, the re-construction of five bridges destroyed by the Israeli army during the war of last summer. Irna news agency said that the Iranian Committee for the Re-Construction of the Destroyed Areas in Lebanon has executed to-date 1.300 projects in Lebanon.

Exploring a Big Gas Field in Iran

The Governor of the Iranian Fars governorate, Mohammad Rida Zada, said last Saturday that a big gas field had been discovered near to Qir-Karzin city in this governorate.
Irna news agency quoted Rida Zada as saying that the newly - explored field contains 11.6 trillion cubic meters of gas.

“Amlak Finance” is a Contributor in the “Egyptian Mortgage Refinance Company”

Amlak Finance”, the leading company in real estate financing in the Gulf, said that it intends to become an establishing contributor in “Egyptian Mortgage Refinance Company (EMRC)” , through “Amlak Finance & Real Estate Investments (Amlak Egypt)”.

$68 m, the Profits of “Bank of Alexandria” in the First Half of 2007

Bank of Alexandria”, affiliated to the Italian “Intesa Sanpaolo”, has achieved net profits of 382.8 million Egyptian pounds during the first half of this year, whereas the profitability of shares during the first half of 2007 reach 2.39 Egyptian pounds, according to a statement issued by the bank yesterday.

815.000 Dinars, the Profits of “Emaar” for Real Estate Development and Investment

The profits of “Emaar” for Real Estate Development and Investment have reached about 815.000 dinars during the first half of this year compared to about 788.000 dinars during the same period of last year. The total value of the company’s assets reached by the end of June of this year about 41.2 million dinars compared to about 32.1 million dinars by the end of last year.


- The International Exhibitions Company in Tehran said yesterday that 25 Iranian companies will take part in the 54th session of Damascus International Fair due to be held between 15-22 August in the Syrian capital Damascus.
- The Secretary General of the First International Conference for the re-construction of Iraq “Sadek Sayed Babe” said yesterday that this conference is due to be opened in Tehran on the ninth of next September for three days, for discussing opportunities of investment, exporting, and ensuring the return of the exporters’ capitals. It is worth mentioning that an exhibition is due to take place on the sideline of the conference of Iranian investors and exporters to exhibit their products that can be exported to Iraq.

Companies Indexes

- “OMX” company for stock markets north of Europe and the Baltic, said that it will hold a meeting with representative of Dubai stock market company which bought last week a major share in the company, raising speculations of a war of offers with “Nasdaq”.
- The General Director of Bank of Palestine, Hashem al Shawa, said that the bank has achieved net profits that exceeded $8 m during the first half of this year.
- The profits of “Kamaz” company, one of the biggest Russian companies in the field of gas manufacturing, have increased during the first half of this year by 3.7% compared to the same period of last year, reaching 40.2 billion rubles.
- The E -Economic Al-Eqtisadiah newspaper said that the Saudi telecommunications company has decreased the fees of its international calls to Pakistan, India, and Indonesia by 50% per minute.
- The net profits of the Jordanian Company for Producing Paper and Cartoon have reached about 476.000 dinars during the first half of this year compared to about 568.000 dinars during the same period of last year.

Small Indexes

- Times newspaper mentioned that London stock market has lost more than 10% of its value during last month.
- The volume of foreign investments in Thailand during the first seven months of this year have reached $5.4 bn compared to $4.5 bn during the same period of last year.
- The European Central Bank pumped yesterday 47.66 billion Euro ($65 bn) in the European banking system for one day only for securing a sufficient cash flow, following a similar step by Central Bank of Japan.
- The Israeli Bureau of Statistics announced yesterday that Israel’s deficit has increased to $1.5 bn last July, raising from $724 m a year ago, and from $885 m last June.
- Central Bank of Japan decided yesterday to pumped $5.07 bn at stock markets in an attempt to end fears by the investors because of the insurance crisis resulted in the losses at real estate financing sector in the United States.
- The Iranian Minister of Agriculture, Mohammad Rida Iskandari said yesterday that his country exported one million tons of wheat during this year, adding that the total amount of Iran’s production of wheat has reached 15 million tons in 2007.

Bids & Contracts

- The Group of the Companies: Cert and Albine Capital has denied that it concluded an investment deal with the Egyptian group “Artoc Group For Investment and Development” in the fund of creativity affiliated by the center of “Al-Tafaouk” for applicable researchers and training “Centre of Excellence for Applied Research and Training (CERT)”.
- The Kuwaiti-Egyptian “Al-Qabeda” company said on Monday that its net profits have reached $46.9 m during the first half of this year.
- Sources well-informed with the plans of the “International Petroleum Investment Co. (IPIC)”, the main contributor in the South Korean “Hyundai Oilbank Co” for all refineries that the company will choose a preferential group of companies wishing to buy a share of 35% to compete on it.

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.