Going Back to the Wall of Protection

The European Commission intends to take measures for protecting the industry of the European energy from foreign acquisitions, according The Financial Times.
An internal memorandum of the commission contained proposals among them checking the records of the investors in energy companies, and also the announcement of the energy sector as a strategic sector that cannot be entered by foreign investors.
The report is published at a time when a number of industrialized countries which adopt the open market economy and which are calling for more of free trade, have started to protect its strategic industries from undesired acquisitions by investment funds owned by governments and specially Chinese, Russian, and Middle Eastern Funds, following the financial surplus as a result of the oil boom which led to big acquisitions.
It seems that the protection wall might get higher in the countries which have always called for pulling it down, so long as the economic current goes opposite to their interests.

$2780 bn, The Volume of World Integrations and Acquisitions in Six Months

The volume of the integrations and acquisitions all over the world have increased by 50% reaching $2780 bn during the first six months of this year despite increasing worry by the companies of a possible shift at insurance market . It is worth mentioning that the Middle East, Europe, Africa regions have formed 44% of the total volume of the deals during the first six months estimated by $1230 bn.

“Shell” and “Dow” Companies Discuss Renewing An Iraqi Chemical Factory with the Total Value of $1.2 bn

The Iraqi minister of Industry Fawzi al Hariri said that “Royal Dutch Shell” and “Dow Chemical” are holding talks with the Iraqi government for renewing and expanding a chemical factory South of Iraq with a total cost of $2.1 bn.

The Kuwaiti “Alafco” Company Holds Successful Talks for Renting 19 Planes

Well informed sources told the Kuwaiti Al-Watan newspaper that “Aviation Lease and Finance Company (Alafco)” has managed to hold advanced talks for a renting 19 planes, which were refused by “Kuwait Airways” last Tuesday to American and international companies. The source expected the contracts to be concluded soon adding that the renting period might last for seven years. He pointed out that the expected revenues of renting the planes during these seven years might reached $500 m.

3.5 billion dinars, the Total Value of the Bahraini “Sico”’s Profits

Securities & Investment Company (SICO)” said yesterday that its net profits have reached 3.581 million dinars during the first half of this year, with an increase of 77% compared to profits achieved during the first half of 2006 which reached 2.023 million dinars.

“Eqarat.com” Company Starts its Activities in Jordan

The Emirate “Eqarat.com” has started its activities in Jordan, represented by the real estate company “Eqarat.com” – Jordan through enabling the company’s customers and clients to hold sellings and buyings in the real estate sectors in the whole region via the internet.

Italy Supports Turkey’s Joining the European Union

Italian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Massimo D’Alema has renewed his country’s support for Turkey in the negotiations to join the European Union, and praising the results Ankara achieved in the course of political and economic reforms uptil now. D’Alema asserted that Italy is aware of the big efforts required for achieving these reforms during the coming years.

Iran is Still Far Away From Producing Nuclear Fuel

The International Agency for Atomic Energy said that the Iranian Program for Uranium Fertilization is working below its expected capacity, adding that Iran is still far away from producing nuclear fuel of considerable amounts. The Iranian response to the report of the agency was positive. Mohammad Saidi Deputy Chairman of the Iranian Organization for Atomic Energy said that: “Once again, the agency affirms the correctness of Iran’s stand”, pointing out that the US deluded the world about the Iranian nuclear activities through claiming that Iran is producing platinum.

“Optimiza” Offers the Service of Advanced Information at Gitex Exhibition

“Optimiza->http://www.optimizasolutions.com/]” regional company, the leading company in the field of system of information technology and consulting services will offer for the first time for the visitors and participants at the technological “Gitex” exhibition and information service based on distributing 24 information kiosks-touch screen that covers all the space area of “Dubai International Exhibition Centre”.

Tourism in Tunisia Records $1.4 bn

Statistics issued by the Tunisian Ministry of Tourism last Wednesday revealed that 4.4 million tourists have entered Tunisia between the beginning of this year and the 20th of August. It further said that the revenues of tourism sector have reached $1.4 bn during the same period, with an increase of 9% compared to the same period of last year.

Small Indexes

- The American Minister of Agriculture said that the American farmers might face the danger of using important shares of the market for the interest of foreign compotators in the absence of new agreements of free trade.
- The American reserve of crude oil has dropped from 3.5 million barrels to 333.6 million barrels at the end of last week which ended by the 24th of this month.
- The volume of the Jordanian imports of wheat has reached about 220 million tons annually, according to statements issued by the directorate of foodstuff industry in the Jordanian Ministry of Agriculture.
- The growth rate of the GDP in India has reached, according to official statistics, 9.3% annually during the second quarter of this year, contrary to expectations which pointed out that there will be an increase in the growth rate from 9.1% to 8.9%.

Companies Indexes

- “LG Electronics” has said that it hit records of sales around the world that reached $11.2 bn, with an increase estimated by 12.6% during the second quarter of 2007.
- The “China National Offshore Oil Company Limited (CNOOC)” said that the net profits of the company have dropped by 10.6% compared to the profits achieved last year, reaching 14.55 billion Yuan during the first half of 2007.
- Chairman of “Microsoft-Indonesia” establishment, Tony Chen said that the volume of the market of the Malaysian software has reached $489 m, the market of the Singapore software market has reached $659 m, and the Indian market, by $1.3 bn.

Exhibitions & Conferences

- The exhibition of “Paper Arabia 2007” is due to start today at Dubai International Exhibition Centre. The latest on the technology of paper industry and transformational industries will be exhibited for the first time in the Middle East region. 100 companies from 25 countries will take part in the exhibition due to last till the third of this month.
- More than 4.000 professionals in the field of photography are due to take part in the 19th session of the international festival of journalistic photo due to take place in Perpignan, to the South West of France. It is worth mentioning that the exhibition is held under the motto: “Passport for the Picture” (Visa pour l’Image).

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.