The Reform of the International Monetary Fund

The meeting of the main committee of the policies of the International Monetary Fund started in Washington last Saturday for three consecutive days, to discuss issues related to the main task of the fund represented by preserving world financial stability. Issues related to fears of the current international economic situation due to the crisis of the real estate mortgage in the US, as well as the increase of oil prices will be discussed during the meeting. Moreover, makers of the policies of the International Monetary Fund have an important task, i.e. making reforms with regard to two pivotal points impose by changes witnesses by international economy.
The first point is the demand of the developed countries to have a role that matches its contribution in the economic field, specially that these countries form the main propeller of the international economic growth rate during the last years. Thus, their call to have greater and bigger authorities and more democratic representation is a real one.
The second point which the efforts of the International Monetary Fund should concentrate on, is the financial shortage due to the decrease of interest of loans, because the possible loaners resort to loaning bodies that apply easier and more just terms. This in itself cause a crisis of trust between the fund, represented by the countries controlling the fund’s current policies and the other countries that are looking for a supporter and a just partner to realize development in their countries instead of becoming dependent countries that apply the conditions of the countries that control the policies of the International Monetary Fund.

$45.7 bn, the Total Value of Investments in the Gulf in Electricity Sector

Experts expect the volume of investments in the sector of electricity generating in the GCC countries to reach $45.6 bn during the coming ten years. Nill Walker, the expert on energy affairs at the international "Panwell" company said that the UAE and Saudi Arabia might acquire most of these projects, pointing out that about $8 bn will be invested in the UAE to increase production capacity by about 7000 megawatt.

The Profits of the Gulf Bank are on Rise

The Gulf Bank announced that it achieved considerable growth rate during the first nine months of 2007. The bank further said that increase of its profits reflect the excellent financial performance of all sectors of banking activities. The net profits of the bank have reached on the 30th of September 2007 105.1 million Kuwaiti dinars, with an increase of .38% compared to the same period of 2006.

The Moroccan Government Sets the Budget of 2008

Al-Maghrib al-Arabi news agency quoted a statement by the Minister of Economy and Finance as saying that the Moroccan government has concluded forming the project of the budget of 2008. The minister was quoted as saying that project of the budget calls for controlling the deficit of the budget by 3% out of the total GDP with enhancing and increasing investments as well as creating more job opportunities.

“Pioneer” Company Increases Production of Oil Crude in Tunisian

The international news agency quoted "Pioneer Natural Resources" company as saying that the company expects an increase of production of crude oil in Tunisia by 80% in 2007, and 90% in 2008 following the new explorations.

The Iranian Businessmen in the UAE Call for Rapid Privatization of the Iranian Economy

Chairman of the Council of the Iranian Businessmen resident in the UAE, Hadi Moutamani, asserted yesterday in a statement to Irna news agency that the privatization of the economic and industrial sectors after 28 years in Iran is considered a very positive step, adding that it needs a suitable ground. Mr. Moutamani’s statement came before holding the meeting of privatization and investment opportunities in Iran to be held today in Dubai.

Small Indexes

- The Algerian Minister of Energy said that the current dispute between Algeria and Spain with regard to gas problem has become a "Political" one, adding that this despite will not affect the excellent relations between the two countries.
- The Algerian Ministry of Industry announced that it intends to increase phosphate production to 30 million tons by 2020, with the aim of reaching a production value by $8 m per year.
- Prices of the American crude oil have risen throughout the last week by 5.9%, which is considered the highest level of crude oil prices since the 23th of March, exceeding the limit of $90.

Bids

- The Kuwaiti Al-Qabas newspaper quoted well informed sources as saying that "Aya’an" company for renting and investment on the one hand, and the Kuwaiti Financing House have agreed on a formula for cooperation to take part in the Turkish market, with the form of establishing a company that works in the field of financing and renting.

Companies Indexes

- The real estate "Emaar" company has announced its first joint project with the holding "Dubai Company" through "Bawadi", the member company in "Tatweer", affiliated by the holding Dubai company for implementing a joint project on a total space area of 70 million cubic meters within "Bawadi".
- The net profits of "Arkan" company for construction materials, registered in Abu Dhabi financial market have reached about 143.7 million dirhams during the first nine months of 2007.
- The American General Motors Company for Cars Manufacturing said that the total volume of its selling has increased by 4% during the third quarter of this year, adding that it expects a decline of its selling in the US during the last quarter of this year.

Exhibitions & Conferences

- The working banks in the UAE will take part in the 14th annual international conference of Islamic banks 2007 to be held in al Manama-Bahrain on the 8th of next December, with the participation of about 1000 persons representing various financial institutions in more than 35 countries with the support of Bahrain Central Bank.
- The exhibition of the Saudi "Construction Materials – 2007" will start in al Riyadh city next week. The exhibition will comprise most companies working in the field of warning systems and equipment, aluminum products, air condition, construction materials, glass, and heating systems.

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.