The Gulf’s Economies and a New Developmental Bet

The economies of the GCC countries will gain an exceptional economic power next year, as a result of the financial surplus and huge reserves achieved by these economies due to the rise of oil prices. It is worth noticing that these economies have not been affected by the economic storms witness by the international economy during the past months.
The huge cash money owned by the GCC countries played a main role in stopping the effects of the international economic crisis on their countries respectively. The expectation of the presence of $445 bn as reserves next year is in itself a financial dam in front of the waves of the external as well as internal crisis. The bit of the GCC countries now is on the style and the way through which these acclimated billions will be invested. In other words the bit is on the developmental dimension of the exceptional financial cash money. So will these money will invested inside or will they continue their way outside so that they will be added to the $130 bn as Gulf investments abroad?

The European Union and Iraq are Close to Concluding a Trade Agreement

The European Union and Iraq announced that they have made a great progress towards reaching a trade and cooperation agreement. The Iraqi Deputy Foreign Minister Mohammad Hamoud Bedian said that the talks have been concluded by 90% adding that the continuous improving security conditions in Iraq open wider prospects for investment.

Orascom Achieves a Growth Rate in its Profits by 40% in 9 Months

The Egyptian Orascom Company for Construction and Industry said that it achieved a growth rate in its profits estimated at 40%, reaching $491.8 m in nine months opposite to $359.3 m for the same period of last year.

Libya Announces Investment Project with a Total Value of $123 bn

Jana news agency quoted a Libyan governmental official as saying that Libya intends to invest about $123.4 bn during the coming five years in building schools and renewing systems of water purifications. The program also intends to rehabilitate sea ports and airports, and allocating $12.5 bn for enhancing the sector of telecommunications.

Abu Dhabi Emirate Invests $7.5 bn in City Group

City Group announced yesterday that Abu Dhabi Emirate will invest $7.5 bn in the first American banking group through buying shares of the company that reach 4.9% of its capital.

Global Acquires 12% of Al Sharq al Arabi Investment Company

The World Investment House Company “Global” announced its intension to acquire a share of 12% of al Sharq al Arabi Investment Company with the aim of increasing the capital of the Jordanian Company to reach 40 million Jordanian dinars compared to 35 million dinars.

Small Indexes

- Morocco intends to invest 20 billion dirhams ($2.61 bn) for laying a railway of high speed that connects Tanja city with the trade capital of Morocco, i.e. Casablanca.
- The Chinese Prime Minister said on Wednesday that China will allow the powers of the market to play a bigger role in defining the exchange rate of the Yuwan.
- The Russian Minister of Finance Alexi Khordain said in a press conference yesterday that the surplus of the federal budget for this year will reach 1 trillion and 728 bn rubels which equals 7% of the GDP.

Companies’ Indexes

- The limited Taqa North Company, owned completely by Abu Dhabi National Company for Energy has concluded all procedures related to acquiring the Canadian Pioneer Natural Resources Company.
- Google Company for Internet Services affirmed that it intends to spend million of dollars to help decreasing the cost of electricity production from the new energy sources compared to prices of its production by using cool.
- The Giant Russian Oil Group Gas Prom said on Tuesday that Turkmenistan has decided starting from 2008 to increase gas prices that is being sold to Russia, which according to analysts, might reflect on the increase of prices of the Russian Gas to Ukraine.

Conferences & Exhibitions

- Al Khaleej Exhibition for Education and Training – Jetex has concluded a memorandum of understanding with the international society of technology, with the aim of hosting the international forum of technology and creativity in education. This world event will be held between 1-3 April, 2008 at Dubai International Trade Center.

Bids

- The Palestinian Company for Renting and Financing Renting “Pal Lease” has concluded a contract with the international Qarsh Agency of Cars and Vehicles for importing 44 cars with a total value of $1.25 m for the interest of Fatouh Company for Renting Touristic Cars.
- France and China have signed in Beijing trade agreements for selling 160 Airbus airplanes to China, most of them of A-320 model with a total cost of 20 billion Euros.

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.