Low Number of Banks in Syria Despite the Expansion

Despite the many private banks that was established in Syria four years ago, yet we found that the number of banks in Syria is limited compared to the number of population and compared to the neighboring countries. In Syria, there is only one bank for almost 50.000 inhabitants, whereas the number in Lebanon is one bank for 5600 inhabitants, and in Jordan it is one bank for 12.000 inhabitants. But it is fair to say that the branches of the private banks in Syria have started to increase in considerably in most of the Syrian governorates, as the number of the private banks has increased from ten banks in 2004 to 66 in 2007, and in return for that, the number of public banks has also witnessed an increase raising from 264 branches in 2003 to 275 in 2007. Despite these developments, yet the figures remain very low and the Syrian economy still needs more of banks.

An Agreement to Increase the Production Capacity of Ra’as Tanoura Refinery to 950.000 Barrels Daily

The Saudi Services Company Aramco has signed an agreement with Warrly Parsons Resources and Energy) Company for Developing and expanding Ra’as Tanoura Refinery within the project of expanding the production of heavy crude oil. The agreement will start the first phase of the project for increasing the production capacity of the refinery from 550.000 barrels to 950.000 barrels by 2012.

France Prepares for Receiving 100 million Tourists in 2015

Secretary of the State for Tourism Affairs in France said that his country is taking currently measures for developing the industry of tourism and looking forward to increase the number of the foreign tourists annually to 100 million in 2015. He further asserted that France received last year about 80 million tourists.

The Real Estate al Dar Company Launches the Project of “Al Zena”

The Real Estate al Dar Company said that the project of al Zena is considered the strategic gate of Al Raha Coast. The project comprises luxuries flats in addition to private seaports for boats and a public road dedicated for luxuries supermarkets. The project comprises 10.32 housing units, 137 villa, 116 neighboring flats, and 779 flats to be ready all in the due time.

The Second Session of Abu Dhabi Economic Forum

The activities of the second session of Abu Dhabi Economic Forum is due to be held next Sunday in “Qaser al Emarat Hotel” more than 1000 prominent figures in the financial, industrial sectors as well as the sector of business and projects in 30 countries among them the GCC countries would take part in the forum.

Small Indexes

- The Egyptian Telecommunications Company said that the cable of telecommunications in the Mediterranean has been cut which led to the cut off of 70% of the internet web in the country.
- The number of German tourists who visited Tunisia during 11 months declined in 2007 to 500.000 with an average of 6.3% compared to the last period of last year.

Companies’ Indexes

- The net profits of the real estate Souroh Company in 2007 have reached about 1.26 billion dirhams, with an increase of 29% gained since the establishment of the company in July 2005 till the end of 2006 and estimated at 597 million dirhams.
- KGL company for International Seaports said that it is planning to invest $250 m for expanding Saker seaport in Ra’as al Khaiyma with the aim of expanding the seaport to receive 1.7 million containers.

Bids

- A banking source said that ABN Amro Bank and a unit affiliated by Dubai Islamic Bank as well as “Standard Charted Bank” consider granting the commission of water and electricity in Dubai an Islamic loan estimated at $1 bn next February.
- The Academy of Telecommunications and the Pakistani limited telecommunications company have signed a memorandum of understanding for launching a series of programs and integrated training solutions that the academy would contribute through in re-structuring training in all training centers in the company’s location in Islamabad city.

Conference & Exhibitions

- Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Bin Khalifa al Nahiyan opened yesterday the activities of the fourth session of Abu Dhabi exhibitions for real estates and investment “Ires 2008” which will last till the second of next February with the participation of more than 83 exhibitor on the total space area estimated at 10.000 square meters, with an increase of 45% compared to the previous session held last year.

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.