Questions on the Investment Conference

Is the Syrian Government go high in its aspirations, whereas the reality on the ground is very far from them? And does the Syrian government depends on the investment conference in the eastern region, hoping that the private sector will contribute completely in the process of development without providing it with the suitable environment with regard to infrastructure and other supporting services?. Moreover, does the government depend on its private investments, and at least as a first step before depending on the Arab and international private sector, and before saying: "The eastern region will be an alternative for the Gulf countries with regard to the Syrian Labor", whereas there are more than 81.000 unemployed in Deir al Zour alone. At last did not least, will organizing committee of the conference be able to find solutions for problems and obstacles facing the success of the conference, or will it go on in the investment policy through the automization of the projects and making others be acquainted with them through presenting their web sites without solving what these sites hide of problems with regard to the infrastructure and the many complexes and difficulties?

Global Buys a Share in Bahrain and Kuwait Bank in Return for $545 m

The Kuwaiti International Investment House Company "Global" said that it agreed on buying about 205 million Bahraini dinars "$544.5" m in return for a share estimated at 40% in Bahrain and Kuwait Bank. Deputy Executive Chairman of Global, Omar al Kouka, said that the company intends to increase its share in the Bahraini Bank to reach 8.81%.

A Coalition Between the Islamic Noor Bank and Mohammad Bin Rashid Foundation

The Islamic Noor Bank has signed a cooperation agreement with Mohammad Bin Rashid Foundation for Supporting Youth Projects in Dubai with the aim of getting benefit from the mutual experiences between the two sides and promoting and strengthening the growth rate of the small and medium sized projects in the region.

Sony Ericsson Company, the Fourth in the World and the third in Kuwait

Sony Ericsson Company has announced that the volume of the market in one year has reached $1.1 bn, 9% of it is the company’s share. This means that Sony Ericsson Company has taken the fourth position world wide and the third position in the Kuwaiti market after Nokia and Samsung. It is worth mentioning that Sony Ericsson Company has sold 120 million mobile phones that includes music programs and 56 million mobile phones with walkmans.

Suffix Exhibition – 2008 in Jordan

Suffix Exhibition – 2008 is due to be held in Jordan between the 31st of March and the third of April with the participation of about 70 countries. The exhibition will exhibit the latest technologies and military equipment and the field of private operations around the world, as well as it will offer the opportunity for the Jordanian, Regional and International participants to exhibits the latest in the field of defence industry.

Small Indexes

- The Venezuelan Minister of Energy, Rafael Ramirez was quoted as saying that Venezuela is ready to stop supplying the US with his country’s oil.
- The Ukrainian and Russian Presidents announced yesterday that Ukrain and Russia have reached an initial agreement on their gas despite which threatened to decrease the quantity of the Russian Gas to Kiev.

Companies’ Indexes

- The Executive Chairman of the Saudi Aramco Company Abdullah Jouma said in a conference on energy held in Saudi Arabia that the kingdom intends to increase its capacity for oil production with the aim of reaching 12 million barrels a day by the end of 2009.
- Statements of 2007 showed that General Motors Company lost during the last fiscal year $38.7 bn, in what was considered the worst result in the history of cars manufacturing and production. The company moreover said that it intends to cancel about 74.000 jobs.

Exhibitions & Conferences

- The activities of the international conference for the systems of mobile phones (Mobile World Congress) have started in the Spanish city Barcelona with the participation of a number of the biggest telecommunications companies in the world, among them ten companies from five Arab countries: Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Lebanon, Jordan, and Kuwait.
- The Turkish Tourism Commission and Istanbul Municipality are due to organize with the participation of about 2000 exhibitors and fifty five countries the activities of the exhibition of east of Mediterranean for Tourism and Travel in Istanbul City on the 14th of this month.

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.