The Sought Investment in Culture

Dr. Hanan Kassab-Hassan, the General Director of the Festivity of Damascus as the Capital of Arab Culture in 2008, has called today morning upon the local economic activities to support the various activities of the festivity.
This invitation, with all the importance the festivity of Damascus as the Capital of Culture represents, not only on the cultural level, has opened the door once again to ask about the role of companies, and private economic activities in the cultural field, on specific, and in the social field, in general, and what are the hopes and expectations, especially with more talk about putting more emphasis on the social role of the private companies amid Syria’s official transition to what it calls “The Social Market Economy”.
A quick review of what the private economy activities are doing in Syria, shows that there are still very far from carrying out the sought role, as those who are still seeking to attract funds and sponsorship for holding huge popular concerts by famous singers and artists find their way much quicker than those who are looking for a financier to launch a voluntarily cleaning campaign, or a campaign to raise awareness among people of the importance of development.

“Western Oil Sands”: Its Unity in Iraq May Produce One Billion Barrels of Oil

Western Oil Sands”, which agreed on a buying proposal offered by “Marathon Oil” in return for $5.56 bn, said that its unit, which will be transformed to shares holders, may produced about 1 billion barrels of oil.

Two Turkish Cities Offer 81 Projects for Investment in Syria

“Özgür Tekbaş”, the coordinator of projects of the Syrian-Turkish regional cooperation program, said that the program aims at developing the economic, social, cultural, and scientific relations between the two countries. He announced that new projects for developing the technical cooperation, as well as preparing the infrastructure in the cultural and touristic fields between the two countries will be carried out soon.

Nablus Markets Witness Active Trade Activities

Nablus markets are witnessing active trade activities following distributing the incomes of the employees during the last two months. The Palestinian Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (The New Life) magazine quoted a big number of merchants in the city as saying that the trade activities have been very active lately specially during July and August.

Turkey’s Exports of Gold Increase by 17.1% in Seven Months

The exports of gold from Turkey, one of the biggest exporting countries of metals, have increased by 17.1%, reaching 51.5 tons during the first seven months of this year.

The “National Bank of Kuwait” Increases its Share in the “AlWatany Bank of Egypt” by 10%

National Bank of Kuwait”, which won the offer for buying the “AlWatany Bank of Egypt”, said that it wishes to increase its share in the Egyptian Bank by 100%. It is worth mentioning that the Kuwaiti Bank has offered the price of 77 Egyptian pounds for each share. In a statement published on the stock market web site, the bank said that it is possible to increase its share by 100% in return for $1.023 bn.

A Decline of the Indicator of Emirate’s Financial Market by 0.15%

The indicator of Emirate’s financial market dropped yesterday by 0.15% closing at 4.427.08 points, after dealings with about 420 million shares with a total value of 1 billion and 130 million dirhams through 8.215 deals.

“National Bank of Kuwait” Wins a Deal for Buying the “AlWatany Bank of Egypt”

National Bank of Kuwait” has won over its competitors after it managed to buy the “AlWatany Bank of Egypt” in a deal that it considered a unique transition in the expansion strategy of the national bank on the region level and with a total value of about $5.16 m.

World Trade Organization Expects a Slow of the Growth of Economy and Trade in 2007

In its annual report for 2007 issued yesterday, World Trade Organization expected a slow of the growth of international economy and trade as a result of the chaos of the markets and huge imbalances in the whole economy.
[Download the complete report : see below]

Insurance Sector in Algeria Occupies Position No. 8 in “Mina” Region

The annual report prepared by the international insurance company “Swiss Re”, revealed that Algeria occupied position No. 8 in the Arab world in terms of granting insurances on the level of “Mina” region, comprising the Middle East and North of Africa.
[Download the complete report : see below]

“Iran Khodro” Exhibits a New Car in the International Cars Exhibition in Moscow

“Auto Drog” company, the representative of the Iranian “Iran Khodro” complex for producing cars in Russia, said in a report that Iran Khodro will take part in the tenth international exhibition for cars in Moscow through exhibiting new car of “Sorn” model.

The Iranian Kish Island is selected as a Free Zone for World Investment

The international organization of the Chinese multi national companies said that Kish island, located south of Iran, is one of the free trade zones ready for world investment. According to the Iranian News Agency, the General Director of the Trade Kish Establishment said that selecting Kish as a free trade zone for world investment is a proof of what it enjoys of security and ability to attract the foreign investments.


- 80 Syrian companies specialized in clothes industry will take part in “AF” exhibition in Istanbul in Turkey between 23-25 of August on a total space area of 1200 square meters.
- Dubai is due to host the conference of leaders-the forum of business-2007, which will be held at Dubai International Center for Conferences and Exhibitions between 18-20 of next November.
- The activities of the first Arab real estate exhibition started yesterday in Cairo with the participation of experts specialized in Arab real estate sector. It is worth mentioning that the exhibition will last for three days.

Bids & Contracts

- A well-informed source said that the banks which are financing Qatar’s offer to buy the series of “J. Sainsbury” stores in return for 10.4 billion sterling ($20.81 bn), are negotiating on concluding financing agreements due to the suspension of talks of possession activity.
- Flight International magazine quoted anonymous sources specialized in aviation industry as saying that the American Boeing Company is about to win the order of Emirates airlines to buy 8 planes of 747-8a model.

Companies Indexes

- The series of “Wal Mart” stores, the biggest stores in the world, announced that its seasonal profits have increased compared to the same period of last year by $3.1 bn.
- The Brazilian National Oil Company “Petrobras” said that it intends to spend $112.4 bn till 2012 with an increase of 29% of its investment plan during the past four years.
- The Kuwaiti-Egyptian (Al-Qabeda) Company said that its net profits have reached $46.9 m during the first half of this year with an increase of 140% compared to the same period of 2006.
- The Egyptian holding “Raya” company specialized in technology and telecommunications equipment has revealed lately that its net profits have increased by 7 times during the second quarter of this year reaching 11.8 million Egyptian pounds which equals $2.1 m.

Attached documents

WTO Annual Report 2007

(PDF - 1.9 Mb)

Swiss Re Second Quarter 2007 Report

(PDF - 255.3 kb)

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.