Israel Launches an Electronic War

Once again Isreal enters an electronic dispute with Google company, opposing the writings by a Palastinian who presented information on Kiryat Shmona town which says that it was built on the ruins of an Arab town following the war of 48, and this comes within the program of "Google Earth".Officials in the city complain about this to the police to force Google on changing these information, but the company refused to erase the historical information, which someone put on the website indicating that the city is an Arab one with the name of Gwarina, asserting that the Israeli opposition is illegal, and does not go in line with the company’s policy which does not exclude the comments of the participants because they reflect their contributions and their interaction with the program. This is not the first time the company enters in a dispute with Google about Google Earth program. Previously, Yedeot Ahronot newspaper mentioned that this developed program of the company which comprises an archive of satellite pictures reveals important Israeli military and security posts which threatens the Israeli national security, but these oppositions did not got the expected response. So will Israel launch a new electronic war this time, or will it resort , as it does always, to hide behind its great ally. A question to be answered in the coming days, for sure.

The Kuwaiti Trade Bank Acquires 70% of Yemen and the Gulf Bank Company

The Kuwaiti newspaper, al-Qabas quoted an official in the Kuwaiti trade bank as saying that that the bank is seeking to acquire 70% of Yemen and the Gulf bank, adding that this decision will be determined following concluding the additional study being carried out by the strategic partner of the bank. The newspaper further added that this deal , when concluded, will increase the capital of the bank to $30,19 million.

Lebanon Authorizes Two Banks for Issuing International Bonds

Credit Swiss and Aouda banks have started to receive the requests of subscription with regard to issuing sovereign international bonds for Lebanon’s interests with an expected outcome estimated at $ 869 million. The aim of this issuance is to restructuring Lebanon’s debts which amount to $42,07 billion, representing 171% of the GDP.

Jordan Criticizes the International Competitiveness Indicator

Officials at the Jordanian tourist sector criticized sharply the figures presented by the ionternational competitivness report issued by the world economic forum, as it pointed out that the kingdom witnessed decline in terms of competition in the tourist sector . Chairman of the Jordanian Committee for Tourism and Heritage, Akel Biltaji , said that the report does not reflect the reality of the tourism sector for this year. It is worth mentioning that the report said that Jordan came 53 among 130 countries in terms of the competitivness indicator compared to 46 among 124 countries last year.

Small Indexes

- The net profits of Al-Itihad national bank for 2007 have risen by 16,8%, reaching more than 1,179 billion dirhams opposite to 1,010 billion dirhas achieved in 2006.
- The Iraqi Minister of Oil , Bian Jaber Solagh, has said that Tehran is ready to grant Iraq a second loan with a value estimated at $ one billion for investing it in the reconstruction of Iraq.

Companies’ Indexes

- The International Financing Instituation announced that AL-Ittihad bank has joined the program of financing the international trade, adding that the bank will be the third bank in Jordan to join this program after Capital and Jordan Banks
- A Saudi-Emarati-Yemani coalition has announced that a new company has been established under the name " Kasab For Real Estate" , based in the three countries.

Bids

- The Saudi General Commission for investment has signed a Memorundum of understanding with Daem Bong Luide for limited construction contracting within the program of partnership between the private sedctor and the General Commission of Investment.

Exhibitions

- About 600 American businessmen have taken part in Eastern China18th Exhibition for Goods which lasted for 5 days. The exhibition witnessed concluding deals estimated at $ 583 million between the Chinese companies and The American businessmen with a decline estimated at 1,5% compared to 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.