The Market Economy and Making "The Cheater" an Infidel

Everyone listens to economy news in more than one Arab country nowadays, will notice for sure that there are comments and articles in the newspapers which took about the rise of prices and peoples protest against it. What is strange is that the governmental statements in many of these countries are all similar. Officials agree on the necessity of "striking with a fist of Iron" to stop the rise of prices which is unjustified saying that the reason behind it is largely due to the greed of the merchants and other ugly distributions that reached in some of these statements issued by the governments to a point that can be described as a religious speech making the cheater an infidel. So are the mechanisms of the market economy, which the region’s countries took positively about, unable to create the sought balance?, what about these mechanisms? And are the attends by the government of threatening he who raises prices enough to change the daily life of the citizens? And can urgent decreases of the prices of the products of the public sector be useful to compete with the public sector? And finally, will the government be content with only making the cheater an infidel so that he becomes afraid and stop from worshipping money?!

Russia the US Compete on the Lead in the Weapons Market

A report issued by the American Congress said that the US is still ranked first world-wide in the trade of weapons selling, through acquiring 42% of the total volume of this market. The report pointed out that among the most prominent buyers of weapons in 2006 were Pakistan "$1.5 bn", India $5.3 bn, followed by Saudi Arabia by about $3.2 bn in 2006 only.

Granting a New License for a New Holding Company in Syria

The Syrian Commission of Investment has approved on granting "The Joint Stock Corporation of Construction Materials" a license with a capital estimated at 2 billions, and 170 million Syrian pounds. The company is the fifth holding company to be established in Syria during the last two years.

The Kuwaiti Investment Holding (Iraq) Company Negotiates for Selling its Share in Baghdad’s Bank

The Kuwaiti Investment Holding Iraq Company said that it holds talks for selling its share in the Iraqi Baghdad than estimated at 20%. In a statement published on Kuwait stock market web site, the company did not mentioned the name of the buyer, adding that it expects gaining profits of $1073 m.

The Establishment of Egyptian-Chinese Companies for Manufacturing Mobile Phones

China and Egypt signed many agreements for establishing a number of joint companies for manufacturing mobile phones for domestic use as well as for exporting with a total value estimated at $50 m, and with a total production capacity of 150.000 mobile phones daily.

Al-Arabi Bank Signs Two Agreements of $7 bn

Al-Arabi Bank signed two loaning agreements estimated at $7.33 bn with the participation of many international banks. The bank said that the first agreement was signed with one of the affiliated companies of "Sabic" with a total value of $6.1 bn for financing 70% of the value of the deal of acquisition of "Innovative Plastic" company affiliated by the American General Electric Company.

A 17.5% Increase of Non-Oil Exports from Iran to Iraq

Iranian Assistant Minister of Trade said that Iraq is considered the second partner of Iran after the UAE due to the increase of non-oil products to this country by 17.5% during the first month of this year compared to the percentage recorded last year.

Kuwait National Bank Expects Increase of its Profits

According to a survey made by Reuters news agency, which comprised analysts of 15 offices of mediation as well as investment banks, expected banks like the Kuwaiti National Bank the rise of the profits of loaning in the third quarter due to the increase of loaning of individuals and companies.

$76 bn, the Total Value of the Turkish Exports in 9 Months

The volume of the Turkish exports hit a record during the last ninth month reaching $76 bn, whereas the volume of exports for September has risen by 17% reaching $8.9 bn. In a report issued by the Turkish Council of Exporters, it said that cars sector came first in terms of the volume of exports in September with $1.8 bn followed by the ready made clothes sector with $1.3 bn and iron sector with $856 m.

Small Indexes

- The Governor of Emirat Central Bank said in a statement that it was unlikely that the Arab Gulf countries to deal with the unified currency by 2015.
- An Iranian official at oil sector said that Iran, the fourth biggest exporter of crude oil in the world, has gained more revenues of its oil exports by currencies other than US dollar with a total value of 85%.
- Statistics issued by the Jordanian Ministry of Tourism showed that the total number of the tourists between January and August of this year has reached 4.6 million tourists compared to 4.28 million tourists of the same period of last year with an increase of 6%.

Companies Indexes

- The National Commission of Telecommunications in Egypt has granted the holding "Orascom Telecom" telecommunications company a license for building, renting, managing a net work of marinal and infrastructure cables for international telecommunications in Egypt.
- Bahrain Central Bank has approved on concluding a deal for integrating al Baraka Bank with al-Amin Bank, affiliated by the banking group "Al-Baraka", becoming one bank with a total capital of $190 m under the name of "The Bahraini Islamic al-Baraka Bank".
- Libya Central Bank said that the financial authorities have decided to integrate two of the biggest banks in the country within the framework of the program of reforming the banking system.
- Abu Dhabi National Bank, the biggest Emirati Bank, said that it agreed on offering a loan of $128 m for financing building an administrative tower of the Gulf Gate Fund.

Exhibitions & Conferences

- The activities of the exhibition Orasea GABIT for the Technology of Information started in Istanbul, Turkey yesterday with the participation of more than 900 specialized company worldwide . The exhibition will last till next Friday.
- The activities of the week of the international Dubai National Center will concentrate on the growth of the Islamic Financial Sector, which is considered the biggest in terms of growth rate worldwide. The activities of the week will be held between 17-23 of November.
- Switzerland is to host the activities of the Islamic-International Forum in Europe between 29-1 November 2007 at the international trade center. The forum will discuss the role of the legislative authorities in the process of developing and increasing the Islamic financing within the traditional financial systems, as well as expanding the Islamic financing in Europe.

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.