A Lebanese Encouragement for the Lebanese Banks to Enter the Syrian Market

The banking activities in Syria are going in the right direction, and there is a considerable progress in the banking sector and baking activities. With these words, the Governor of the Lebanese Central Bank, Mr. Riyad Salama described the banking sector in Syria, during the 31th meeting of the council of the governors of the central banks and the Arab financial establishments which was held in Damascus at the end of last week. Mr. Salama further added that due to the developments witnessed by the Syrian banks. We have encouraged the private banks in Lebanon to entre the Syrian market after granted the required approvals by the concerned bodies in Syria. This encouragement came as a result of the potentials and abilities that these banks enjoy to take part in the Syrian market because it is a promising market. With the fact that the Syrian market hosts today more than 8 000 private banks, more than half of them are Lebanese, the attestation of Mr. Salama comes to assert the fact that the Syrian-Lebanese economic relations and interests are closely related regardless of what is going on nowadays to split between the two brotherly countries.

Syrian – Iranian Industrial Agreements and a 5-10 years of Work Program

The Syrian and Iranian have signed a memorandum of understanding. Sana news agency said that the memorandum includes the agreement of holding an industrial meeting and holding specialized mutual exhibition. The two sides agreed on studying the possibility of establishing a financial fund with a capital of $200 m in six month. The memorandum also included a work program that lasts between 5-10 years.

The Distribution of Foodstuff Packages in Gaza Strip by $150.000

Dr. Mohammad Ashte, the Governor of the Islamic Bank for Development in Palestine said that al Aqsa fund has allocated, on the anniversary of Ramadan, a humanitarian donation of $150.000 for financing buying and distributing food stuff among the poor families in Gaza Strip.

A-Three-Step Economic Plan by the Palestinian Government

The Palestinian Minister of Telecommunications, Kamal Hasouna said that the Palestinian government has an economic plan of three stages. The first is represented by pumping $1 bn in the market through paying the incomes and which ends by 31-12-2007. The second is represented by making available and investment environment and solving the problems of the private sector, and the third one which lasts for three years is represented by contributing in the national income so that the Palestinian economy does not remain dependent on the donor countries.

Quetel Holds Talks for Buying the Share of the Jordanian "France Telecom" Company

A well informed source said that Qatar telecommunications company "Qtel" has started talks with the French telecommunications company "France Telecom" for buying its share completely or a part of it in the Jordanian telecommunications group company, according to the Jordanian Al-Dustor newspaper.

Qatari and Lebanese Investors Establish the Biggest Factory of Granite in the Gulf

Qatari and Lebanese investors announced in al Doha the establishment of "Marblo-Qatar" company for building the biggest marble and granite factory in the Gulf area with a total capital of $16.48 m.

The Establishment of a new Qatari Real Estate Company

A new Qatari company under the name "Makin for Real Estate Investment and Development" has been established last Wednesday in Qatar with a total capital of 100 million riyals.
The activities of the company comprise selling and buying housing and trade real estate, as well as lands inside and outside Qatar.

The Emarati "Aldar Properties" Expands its Activities Towards Kazakhstan

The Real Estate "Aldar Properties" said that it is about to hold big projects in Kazakhstan and maybe in Hong Kong and Singapore. The executive chairman of "Aldar" company, Ronald Barrott, said that the company intends to hold housing and trade project in "Astana", the capital of Kazakhstan.

Germany Plans to Finance a Program for Backing Ventures in Algeria

The Algerian Contracting Ministry has revealed that Germany and Algeria agreed on implementing a program estimated by 8.7 million Euro for the sustainability of economic development in Algeria, according to La Tribune newspaper. The program aims at encouraging holding small and medium-sized ventures in Algeria which will be financed and managed by the German agency for technical cooperation within a period of 8 years.

An Increase of 37% of Iran’s Reserves of Foreign Currencies

In a statement it issued, the Iranian Central Bank said that Iran’s preserves of foreign currencies in the external banks have reached $65 bn by the end of June of this year, according to the Iranian Hamshari newspaper. This figure represents an increase of the Iranian reserves by 37% compare to the same period of 2006, as a result of the increase of crude oil prices, which Iran considers the fourth biggest exporter in the world and the second exporter after Saudi Arabia within OPEC.

Small Indexes

- Prices of crude oil for future dealings have risen to their highest levels ever reaching $80.20 per barrel last Thursday.
- Prices of the American dollar declined last Thursday to their lowest levels in 15 years opposite to a package of main currencies for the fifth consecutive day, whereas investors are expecting a possible decline of the American interest next year.
- Well informed sources said yesterday that Dubai Electricity and Water Establishment intends to circulate Islamic bonds with a total value of $2.5 bn.
- Anatoly Chubais, Chairman of the Russian Electricity Establishment expressed Russia’s readiness to buy about 25% of the Russian electricity sector to "Foreign Strategic Partners" pointing out that Russia needs investments estimated by $15 bn for modernizing its electrical generating stations.
- The Chinese Trade Ministry said that the volume of the direct foreign investments in the country has reached $41.95 bn during the first 8 months of this year, with an increase of 12.8% compared to the same period of 2006.

Companies Indexes

- The Kuwaiti news agency Kuna said on Thursday that Abu Dhabi National Company for Energy "Taqa" expressed interest in taking part in energy sector in Kuwait.
- "Risma", the Moroccan branch of "Accor", the biggest hotel groups in Europe has achieved an increase of 96% of net profits during the first half of this year in addition to a post in its activities due to the decline of costs and the increase of the number of tourists.
- The South Korean "SA Telecom" telecommunications company said that it signed a cooperation agreement with one of the German establishments working in the field of telecommunications equipment with the aim of a rapid implementing of its plans which aims at expanding its activities abroad.
- "Samsung" company for electronics industry said that it preserved its first position in the market of electronic screens in China during the first month of 2007, acquiring 32.4% of the volume of screens market.

Bids & Contract

- Two well informed sources said on Thursday that Dubai Electricity and Water Establishment intends to circulate Islamic bonds with a total value of $2.5 bn.
- The shares of the United Arab Bank have risen on Thursday by 10%, after the directors of the bank offered its administration the details of a proposal by the Qatari trade bank for buying the United Arab Bank.

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.