4.2 million Iraqi Refugees in the World

The number of the Iraqi refugees inside and outside Iraq might be much bigger than the official announced estimates. The Higher Commission for Refugees announced that it has been granted a donation of $10 m by the UAE for helping the Iraqi refugees in Syria. The Iraqi Red Crescent and the UN Higher Commission for Refugees estimated the number of those who left Iraq to neighboring countries by 4.2 million persons. This figure includes about 2 million Iraqis who left their country before the American-British invasion against their country in 2003 as a result of the campaigns launched by the late Iraqi President Saddam Hussein against the Iraqi opposition. The number of the Iraqis who submitted their papers to have the right to travel to North America, Europe, and Australia during the first six months of 2007 is estimated by 19.800 persons, in addition to that the US has granted about 1600 refugees visas since the beginning of October 2006.

Kurdistan al Iraq Agrees on Four New Oil Deals

The Regional Government of North of Iraq Region said in a statement that it agreed on four new oil and gas deals that attract about $500 m of investments. The government of Kurdistan said it signed a cooperation agreement of production with a unite affiliated by "Heritage Oil and Gas" company registered in Toronto and another agreement with a unite affiliated by the French "Perenco" for exploring and producing oil.

66%, the Total Increase of the Selling of the Kuwaiti Real Estate

"National Bank of Kuwait" said yesterday that the value of the selling of real estates in Kuwait has risen by 66% last August compared to the value recorded a year ago.

"Arab Bank Group" Grants "Sabic" and "Mesaieed" two Loans

A group of regional and international banks led by Al-Bank al-Arabi has granted two loans estimated at $7.24 bn for the Saudi "Sabic" and the Qatari "Mesaieed Power Company". Al-Bank al Rabai said in two press statements that the total value of the two loans were $6.1 bn granted for "Innovative Plastic" company affiliated by the Saudi Sabic Company, and $1.23 bn for the Qatari "Mesaieed".

Turkey Invests $3.5 billion in an Iranian Gas Project

Reuters news agency quoted senior officials at the Turkish Ministry of Energy as saying that the volume of the Turkish investments estimated at $3.5 bn at a gas field South of Iran will be financed by the state-owned TPAO company.

A Donation of $20 million for 1600 Industrial Projects in Baghdad

The Iraqi Minister of Industry and Mining said that easy-paid loans have been granted for more than 1600 industrial projects in 38 industrial area in Baghdad. He further said that the total value of these loans is estimated at about $20 million, pointing out that these projects will create 17.000 job opportunities in these projects.

Algeria’s External Bank Increases the Capital of One of its Branches in the UAE

The Algerian Public Bank said in a statement that Algeria external bank has started lately to increase the capital of Al-Arab Bank for External Investment and Trade which is considered one of its branches in Abu Dhabi.

Naguib Sawiris Holds Talks for Selling a Share at "Weather"

The Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris said yesterday that he was holding talks for selling a minority share at "Weather Investments", which is a holding telecommunications company controlled by him and two other investment companies which are "BlackStone Group" and "Apax Partners" companies.

"Sivoy" Signs an Agreement with the Authority of the Private Economic Al-Aqaba Zone

The Center of "Al-Sultan Sivoy", the biggest and the oldest trade center in Jordan , said that it signed an agreement with the authority of the private economic al-Aqaba zone for implementing an expansion plan aiming at increasing the number of the branches of the trade center in the kingdom.

Small Indexes

- The volume of the Russian stability fund has increased in September by 110 billion roubles after reaching 3.519 trillion roubles "$141.05 bn" on the first of October .
- The American Congress has approved the draft law of the military budget of the US for the year 2008, with a total value of $648.8 bn.
- The Azeri Minister of Industry and Energy Natiq Aliyev said that his country is planning to produce 30 billion cubic meters of Gas annually by 2020.
- The total volume of goods exports in the Sultanate of Oman has risen by 0.2% compared to 2006.
- The Ukraine President Victor Yushenko said that Ukraine and the state-owned "Naftogaz" are not indebted to the Russian "Gazprom" company.

Conferences & Exhibitions

- The Syrian Ministry of Industry and the Arab Organization for Industrial and Mining Development will hold the third Arab conference for industrial information and net works between 29-31 of this month under the moto: "The Industrial Information for Competitiveness, Exchange, and Investment"

Companies’ Indexes

- The Unified Russian Aluminum "Rossal" said that it is studying the possibility of building an aluminum factory in the Middle East and North of Africa.
- Egypt’s aluminum company has achieved an increase of net profits by the year which ended on the 30th of June with 18.4% reaching 800.4 million Egyptian pounds.
- "Amlak" financing company has achieved net profits of 67 million dirhams with an increase of 98% of profits in the third quarter of 2006.
- Fox Soft Net company, the leading company in the field of developing software in the Middle East, said that its participation at Gitex week for technology was a successful one recording 28% increase of selling "Fox Reach Program" compared to 2006.


- Al-Bank Al-Arabi Group (Arab Banks Group) has signed a loan agreement estimated at $6.1 bn in participation with a number of international and regional banks for the interest of "Sabic Innovative Plastic Company", to be used in financing 70% of the total value of a deal for acquiring "General Electric Plastic" 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 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.