Will Oil Prices Reach $200?

Speculations have been many lately with regard to the rise of oil prices after they exceeded the limit of $100 per barrel due to a number of factors, which the decline of the value of the American dollar represents one of the most important factors, in addition to increasing tensions in the Middle East area.
The former Iraqi Minister of Oil Issam al Shalabi says that the possibility of the subjectivity of oil prices to factors related to a Turkish-Kurdish conflict at the border lines with Iraq is unlikely, but a possible conflict with Iran on the ground of its nuclear file will make oil prices exceed the limit of $200.
He further added that if Iran closed Hermoz route or if it responded to any strike by targeting some oil facilities in the Gulf, then this will lead to the shortage of oil at the markets by an average of 18-20 million barrels daily, and this will increase the prices of one barrel to $150-200.
Al-Shalabi refused the western reports which say that the decline of oil prices is a possibility due to the decrease of economic growth rate in a number of developed countries, pointing out that the Chinese and Indian markets will compensate for this difference.

The Holding “Bayan” Company Pumps more than $1 billion in Jordan

The Kuwaiti holding “Bayan” Company is implementing currently a number of important and big investment projects in Jordan. The company pumps through the two projects: “Jordan’s Gate” and the “Royal Village” investments estimated at $1.05 bn, according to what Dr. Haydar al Majali Member of the Administrative Board of Jordan’s Gate Company said recently.

Abu Dhabi Emirate Invests Half a Billion Dirhams in Maintaining Airplanes

Abu Dhabi Emirate said on Monday that it would invest $500 m throughout the coming five years in the field of airplanes maintenance, revealing the re-structuring “Gamko” Company working in this field, and which was owned previously by the Bahraini Gulf Airlines.

Signing an Agreement for Building a New Oil Refinery in Syria

The Syrian Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources and the Kuwaiti Nor Company for Financial Investment signed on Monday the agreement for studying the project of building petrochemical and oil refinery in Deir al Zor governorate with a total production capacity of 140.000 barrels daily. It is worth mentioning that the total cost of the project is estimated at $3 bn.

Al-Arabi Bank Launches Al-Arabi Capital Company in Dubai

Al-Arabi Bank has officially opened al Arabi Capital Company, one of the banks affiliated by al-Arabi Banking Group, following granting it a license by Dubai authorities for financial services, with the aim of working as a licensed body in the International Dubai Financial Center.

An Egyptian Real Estate Group Sells Shares to Allocate $950 million

A well informed source in Cairo has revealed lately that the Egyptian Tala’at Mustafa Group for Real Estate Development is planning to allocate $750 m through special subscription an initial general issuance with the aim of expanding regionally and inside Egypt, pointing out that the company will allocate between $400-500 m through the special subscription which is due to start next Saturday.

The Free Zones in Iran Attract Foreign Investors

The General Secretary of the Higher Council of Trade and Economic Free Zones in Iran Mahmud Salahi, said during his meeting with the former Head of the Chinese Shen Zen Frdee Zone that Iran is ready to get benefit from the experiences of the free trade zones in the world and specially the Chinese one. For his part, Head of the Kuwaiti Investors delegation Ahmad al Baghli expressed Kuwait’s readiness and a number of the Kuwaiti investors working in the fields of oil industry and mining to hold joint investments with the Iranian companies in the new free economic zones.

Small Indexes

- It is expected the volume of the joint investments between Singapore and Saudi Arabia in the field of Gas and Oil to increase by 50% reaching 5 billion riyals “$1.33 bn” till the end of 2009 opposite to $666 m at present.
- The Sultanate Oman has achieved an economic growth rate by 8.3% during the first half of 2007 backed by the increase of natural gas production and in other non-oil sectors.
- A Jordanian Economic official said that his country has been granted a European donation estimated at 78 million Euros for supporting a number of projects in different sectors.

Companies’ Indexes

- “Al-Mamlaka” Company for Hotel Investments, owned by the Saudi Billionaire Prince al Waleed Bin Talal said that it will spend $500 for financing projects in the field of hotel industry.
- “Rabgh” company for Refinery and Petrochemicals, which is a joint Saudi project with a total capital of $9.8 bn with the Japanese “Sometomo Chemical” company intends to sell a share of 25% next November.
- The Emarati Arab Airlines Company have achieved net profits during the third quarter of this year with an increase of 244%, reaching 165 million dirhams compared to 48 million dirhams during the same period of 2006.
- “Emaar” company has launched the project of building the complex “The Towers of Al-Hilal”, located within the project of “Bab Jeddeh” with a cost of six billion Saudi Riyals “$1.6 bn”.

Exhibitions & Conferences

- The Forum of “The Challenges of Shortage of Skills” by Executive Chairman in the governmental and economic sectors of the GCC countries is due to start next December in Dubai. The forum is organized by the national “Data Matix” company with the participation of a number of officials and decision makers in the governmental and private institutions.

Bids & Contracts

- “Qatar Steel” company said that it had been granted a share of 49.9% of the shares of the project “Qalab al Ouj” for Iron Raw Materials in Mauritania in return for $375m .
- The Iranian Bank for Exports Development and the Ministry of Economy in Guinea signed on Monday a memorandum of understanding stipulating on the bank’s readiness to offer financial facilitations with a total of $10 m for the Iranian goods and services.

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.