The Ice Bomb

The conflict is still going on between America and Russia on the Arctic. Following planting the Russian flag in the seabed of the Arctic, a team of American scenarists left Barrow seaport in Alaska state, on the board of the most American ice sweeper heading toward Chukchi Cap sea, which the Russian Chukchi Cap island overlooks, with the aim of launching scientific research of the north seabed of the Arctic, in an attempt to prove that a large space of the seabed of Chukchi Cap sea is connected with the American rig, which means that they belong to the US’s territories.
The American deny in the official statements any relations with regard to this step to the Russian expedition which aroused Washington’s worry, but one of the most prominent figures of the American expedition Larry Mayer, pointed out that the ice sweeper "USCGC Healy" does not set sail but at emergency cases because any such step costs the American government $100.000.
In this respect, the American government said that it was ready to announce a bid for oil and gas exploration from the bottom of Chukchi Cap sea at blocks that are 40-23 km away from Alaska’s shores.
The American experts estimate the reserves of Chukchi Cap sea of hydro carbonic materials by 15 billion barrels of oil and 76 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.
So will the Arctic witness another war between Washington and Moscow?

Jordan: 17.6 billion dinars, The Market Value of the Biggest 30 Corporations

A report issued by "Capital Investment" said that the total market value of the biggest 30 corporations in Jordan has reached till the end of last Thursday 17.6 billion dinars, representing 79.4% of the total market value of Amman stock market. The Arab bank acquired 7.6 billion dinars of the total market value, closing by 21.2 dinars, a price for one dinar, with an increase of 0.94% compare to the prices reached the previous day. Moreover, the total profits achieved by the Arab bank during the first half of this year have reached 159.6 million dinars compared to 137.6 million dinars of the same period of last year.

The First Islamic Bank Opens in Syria

Al Sham Islamic Bank was opened yesterday in Damascus with the aim of offering services in the Syrian market as the first Islamic Bank with a total capital of $100 m. Deputy Chairman of the Administrative Board of the Bank, Dr. Faisal al Khatieb said that the bank seeks to take the lead in the Islamic financial services industry through using the knowledge and creative abilities for contributing in the economic and social development.

"Korek Telecom" Seeks to Buy the Assets of "Orascom" in Iraq

Deputy Executive Chairman of the Iraqi "Korek Telecom" has revealed that his company is holding talks with the Egyptian holding "Orascom telecom company" for buying its assets with a total value estimated by $1 bn.

77 Hotels Only in the Occupied Territories

The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics has issued a report in which it published the results of the survey of hotels activities in the Palestinian territories during the second quarter 2007.
The report showed that the number of the hotels working in the Palestinian territories by the end of the second quarter of 2007 has reached 77 hotels only. It also showed that the average of the number of workers in these hotels during the second quarter of 2007 has reached 1268 workers.

Dubai Enhances the Economic Cooperation with Hong Kong

Engineer Hamad Buamim, the General Director of Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry discussed yesterday with a delegation from Hong Kong headed by Mr. Vincent Fang G. Kang, Chairman of the Administrative Board of Trade and Development Council in Hong Kong, means of enhancing economic cooperation between Dubai and Hong Kong .

10.000 dinars from "Cape Vest" for Developing the Banking and Financial Sector

"Cape Vest" Bank has donated 10.000 dinars for the Fund of Human Resources Development, seeking to support the programmes proposed by the fund for developing and enhancing the capabilities of the Bahrini employees in the financial and banking sector.

Turkey Will Decrease the Taxes of Telecommunications

The Turkish Minister of Transportation, Ismet Yilmaz, said that the governing "Justice and Development Party" will decrease taxes of telecommunications in the country which is considered the highest in the world.

Felix Resorts Studies Building an Integrated Health Center in Cairo

Chairman of the Administrative Board of the Emirati "Felix Resorts", Khalid al Saigh said that the company studies the project of building an integrated health center with a total space area of 100 hectares at the heart of the Egyptian capital Cairo, in addition to holding talks with local companies for buying specialized centers in this field in Egypt.

The French "Speedy" is in Algeria

The French establishment "Speedy" for Cars maintenance said that it will open its first branch in Algeria at the beginning of next September.
Officials at "Speedy" said that the center will be dedicated for maintaining the touristic cars and offering equipment that would contribute in maintaining touristic cars owned by small and medium-sized companies as well as the big ones.

The Development of 90 Touristic Sites in Iran with a Total Cost of $6.5 bn

Hassan Musawi, The Assistant Chairman of Cultural Heritage Establishment and Hand-Made, and touristic industries at the Iranian Investment Ministry, said during the first international meeting for investment opportunities in the Iranian industry of tourism, that an agreement was signed with the private sector with a total cost of $6.5 bn for investing in 90 touristic sites in Iran.

Giant Arab Companies Seek to Invest in Turkey

Sources at the Turkish Union Chamber of Trade and Stock Markets said last Saturday that Chairman of the Arab Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Adnan Qassar will take shoulder coordinating and organizing the visit of representatives of 100 giant Arab companies to Turkey, with the aim of pumping investments estimated by more than $500 bn in Turkey during the few coming months.

Small Indexes

- A specialized economic report said that Kuwait has achieved the second biggest surplus in its budget in the last fiscal; year 206-2007, which reached 5.2 billion dinars before cutting 10% to be paid for the fund of "The Coming Generations".
- Iran’s exports to Iraq have reached in 2006 about $1.2 bn. Iran said that it seeks to increase the volume of its exports to Iraq to reach $1.8 bn by the end of this year.
- The Egyptian Minister of Trade and Industry Engineer Rashid Mohammad Rashid expected the value of industrial investments in his country to rise from 32 billion Egyptian pounds to 40 billion including in the local and foreign investments.
- The volume of trade exchange of Azerbaijan with 131 countries has reached between November-July 2007 more than $6.266 bn, with an increase of 6.2% compared to the same period of last year.

Companies Indexes

- The Arab "Gelfar" company for Medical Industries has started to produce Insulin with competitive prices in accordance with the strategy of the GCC announced in Kuwait last February.
- The touristic "Loulou" company intends to start its promotional campaign by exhibiting a mini model of the project of "Reef" island. It is worth mentioning that the cost of this model which is equipped with developed technologies for movement by $2 m.

Bids & Contracts

- The Giant Taiwan "Acer" company, the fourth biggest company for computer selling in the world, said on Monday that it concluded deal estimated by $710 m for acquiring (Get Way), the third biggest computer company in the US.
- The Kuwaiti holding "Al Ahlia" company seeks to allocate 87.9 million dinars ($343.4 m) through offering Islamic bonds that can be transformed into shares in an affiliated real estate company.

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.