A Strategy, a Thousand Times

A few days ago, the Syrian Minister of Industry announced that the Ministry has set up an industrial strategy that comprises a vision for the different sectors till 2015. The strategy includes five basic points specialized with engineering industry: preserving the profitable industries and developing them, developing the industry of steel in al Basil factory, developing the industry of spare parts of cars and cement, developing the electronic industries, and finally changing the activity of the losing companies. It is a good step to set up a national strategy for developing industry, but fears remain that this strategy would face a similar end to those strategies which preceded it, specially that this strategy is not the first with regard to national industry, in the sense that Syria has been setting up industrial development strategies since the 1990s, but they were neglected always, or at least they were not implemented at all, and the proof is that the bad condition the national industry is facing, in addition to the fact that reforming the industrial sector without paying any attention to other economic sectors would not lead to the sought results at all.

Decline in the Profits of Kuwait National Bank

Kuwait National Bank and the Kuwaiti Financing House, the two biggest banks in the country, have scored contradicting results during the last quarter. The net profits of the Islamic Kuwaiti Financing House, the biggest among the two banks in terms of market value by three doubles almost, have risen to 98,39 million dinars during the last quarter, whereas Kuwait National Bank, the biggest traditional bank in the country, has recorded the first decline in its seasonal profits within three years at least and the least seasonal profits since 2005. the net profits of Kuwait National Bank have declined during the last quarter by 16%, reaching 53.07 million dinars.

Othman al Aidi Invest in Algeria

The General Director of the series of al Cham Hotels in Syria, Othman al Aiedi, has revealed that the Algerian Ministry of Industry would announce its approval on granting the concession of operating Algeria Hotel for thirty years next week.
Al Aidi said that he would create a new tradition in hotels field in Algeria that would be represented by granting 10% of the profits of the hotel to workers annually within the framework of the different promotional initiatives granted workers.

A Tourist Project Estimated at 1 billion and 800 million Syrian Pounds in the Syrian City Homs

The Municipality of the Syrian City of Homs has signed a contract for investing the land of the old Garage for holding a tourist project estimated at 1 billion and 800 million Syrian pounds. It is worth mentioning that the total space area of the project is 170.000 square meters and the implementation period is four years and half.

RWI Company Commits to Spain $76 m for Gas Exploration in Libya

The Libyan National Oil Company said that it agreed with the German Energy Company RWI to spend $76 m and drilling two wells for exploring gas after it has won concession for oil and gas exploration in the area. The Libyan National Oil Company that the share of RWI in the private agreement of project is estimated at 30% whereas the remaining share will be for the Libyan National Oil Company.

Small Indexes

- Oil prices have declined reaching less than $88 per barrel with the continuation of the decline of shares prices, following a temporary quiet which came after a great decline in the prices of the American interest.
- The Council of Tourism in Singapore said on Wednesday the Singapore has hit a record in the revenues of tourism reaching $9.5 bn.


- The Lebanese Blom Bank said that it is about to establish a company for offering services of financial mediation and the management of wealth as well as other investment services in Saudi Arabia. Blom has been granted a license for establishing the company with a capital estimated at $26.7 million.

Companies’ Indexes

- The Libyan National Oil Company has signed with the German RWI Company an agreement for exploring gas and dividing production with regard to block 58 in Barqa, east of Libya with a total value of $76 m.
- The Real Estate al Dar Company has announced its financial results for the fiscal year which ended on the 31st of December 2007. It is worth mentioning that the revenues of the company have reached 1226.8 million dirhams compared to 187.5 million dirhams achieve last year.
- Kuwait National Bank and the Kuwaiti Financing House, the biggest two banks in the country, have scored contradicting results during the last quarter of the year, along side with expansion abroad in compensation for competition inside.


- The Real Estate Royal House Company said that it will take part in Abu Dhabi Real Estate and Investment Exhibition – 2008 to be held in Abu Dhabi Center for Exhibition between 30 of January till the second of next February. The exhibition is expected to attract the biggest real estate companies in the country.

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, 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.