Questions of Businessmen On Privatization

Head of the Society of Businessmen in Lebanon, Kamil Munasa, said that privatization has worsened the situation in Lebanon, as it turned from positive economic issues into a negative factor in the political bazaar.
Munasa’s statement came in a symposium organized by the society of businessmen on the privatization of telecommunications sector. Munasa added: “On the opposite side, those who opposed the project considered that there are deals behind it, and refuse the state to give up what it owns for the interest of the private companies what ever the conditions are. Is privatization the wish of all?, and is it the wish that the government owns general sectors like electricity for example in a way that it isn’t able to mange it and costs the budget an annual lose estimated at $1 bn? He continued by saying is reasonable that the insurance sector to be loose as it is the case today? And is it preferable that the state to own shares in a number of institutions like the Middle East airlines company and Intra Company to Invest through it in Lebanon Casino?. Are we gambling in the future of our economy in case we privatized the institutions which bear the burden of the states’ budget and which makes it under more pressure because of the General debt? Munasa concluded by saying: “These are questions that are raised usually and most often the answers given are according to our personal attitude as well as our political stands”.

The Integration of the Two Banks of Emirate and Khartoum and the Sudanese Bank

The two General Assemblies of the Two Banks: Emirate and Sudan, and Khartoum agreed yesterday on the integration of the two banks. The decision came after extensive discussion of the program prepared by the international experience house “Delwett”, raising the average of the contribution of the two banks by 50% for each after integration.

The Opening of the Second Cars Factory in Syria

The Syrian President Bashar al Assad has opened the second car factory in Syria with a total capital of $50 m. The factory is a Syrian-Iranian Joint Investment through the International Syrian-Iranian cars company. The factory will produce in the first phase 5000 cars, and it is expected the production to reach 15.000 cars annually next year.

The 11th Meeting of the Arab Society of Business in Damascus

Under the Auspices of President Bashar al Assad, the Syrian Society of Businessmen and Women, and in cooperation with the Union of Arab Businessmen, the 11 meeting of the Arab Society of Business will be held in Damascus under the motto: “The Arab investments shine in Syria”, in Four Seasons Hotel in Damascus between 14-16 of December.

Egypt’s Tourism Increases by 32% Till Last October

A report issued by the Central Apparatus of statistics in Egypt said that the number of tourists who visited Egypt has risen by 32% in Last October, compared to the same month of 2006. The report further added that the number of tourists has reached 1.13 m in October compared to 841.000 in September and 855.000 in October of last year.

The Inauguration of a Housing and Trade Phase in the International City in the UAE

Nakheel Company announced that it completed setting up a blue print for developing a new housing and trade phase in the project of the International City in the UAE, that comprises building 100 new housing units that were built along more than 1 phase. The total No. of the people who will live in these buildings will reach 100.000 by the mid of next year opposite to more than 20.000 at present.

Small Indexes

- A governmental report mentioned that Vietnam seeks to attract Omani investments for building a joint oil refinery. A report issued on the web site of the Vietnamese government quoted the Deputy Prime Minister as saying that he called Oman Oil Refinery to build the refinery in Vietnam.
- An official at al Fujaira Company for Oil Refinery said that al Fujaira Emirate resumed operating its only refinery after closing it for about four years.
- The fund of the African development has decided to offer the 38 African countries which are the least in terms of growth rate $8.9 bn, within the framework of the plan of 2008-2010 and with an increase estimated about 52% with regard to the plan of 2005-2007.

Companies Indexes

- Abu Dhabi National Company for Energy “Taqa” said that it is holding talks with Iran with the aim of importing natural gas, adding that it is considering selling more shares next year for financing acquisitions.
- The Gulf Financing House “Baiet al Tamweel” announced a plan for building Tunisia Financial Seaport with total costs of $3 bn, making it one of the biggest international investors in Tunisia.


- A trade source said that he Chinese Sinopec oil company has agreed on buying about 160.000 barrels daily of crude oil from the Iranian National Oil Company, raising the total volume of imports from Iran by more than 3 times compared to its present level.
- The American “Daw Chemical” Company and the Petrochemicals Industries Company, affiliated by the Kuwaiti Oil Establishment, announced the holding of a joint project for petro-chemicals that aims to reach $11 bn in terms of future selling.
- The Qatari Trade Center said that it bought a share of 14.7% in the Arab United Bank, based in al Sharjja, within the framework of plans to acquire about 40% of the bank.

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, English and Spanish. Also worth a read is Tendencies, the daily Near East political watch newsletter, available in Arabic, English, French, German, and Spanish languages.