The Dollar and The Gulf

With the increase of the dangers facing the American economy represented by recession, investors in the Gulf observe the situations fearing this would be reflected in their markets. Despite many experts said that there was no real possibility that the Gulf economy would be affected directly by the world insurance crisis, nevertheless, they stressed the fact that the nature of the economic challenges facing the Gulf have changed drastically from what the U.S. and the West , in general, are witnessing. This will, eventually, result in the complete freedom of the Banks of the central area with regard to activate their fiscal mechanisms, on the top of which the disengagement with the Dollar .
For his part, “Marious Marthvits”, the economic expert in Standard Chartered Bank said that :” the Gulf area is witnessing a big economic jump, but it must be careful in order to remain in control of things. He further added that :” what we need is to impose some restrictions and refuse the interest rate, because we are not facing the danger of recession”. For realizing this view, Marthvits says: time has come for the Gulf countries to disengage their currencies with the Dollar. In order to prove that his view is right, he says:” the decrease of the interest rate to 1% might be good for the U.S., but sure it will not good for the economies of the region, especially if this policy is accompanied with a great weakness of currency.

The Kuwaiti ”Iwaa’ ” Invests $4 Billion in Yemen

The General Commission for Investment in Yemen and the Kuwaiti real-estate “Iwaa’” company have signed a preliminary agreement estimated at 4 billion for establishing real estate and tourist projects in a number of the Yemeni cities.
Chairman of the Yemeni commission was quoted as saying that this agreement is very important in terms of attracting the Kuwaiti investments, pointing out that the commission will work on facilitating the procedures for the Kuwaiti company so that it will be able to carry out the project within the period set. He went on to say that amid the new legislations in the country aiming at attracting the foreign investments, the Kuwaiti investors will find promising investment opportunities with great profitability for both sided.

The Opening of “World Insurance Forum “ in Dubai

The Governor of Dubai International Financial Centre, opened on Monday “ TheWorld Insurance Forum-2008”. Taking part in the forum , which is held for the first time outside Bermuda and which will last till Thursday, senior officials of insurance and re-insurance companies, financial mediation companies, and money markets, in addition to prominent lecturers and experts .
It is worth mentioning that the UEA is considered one of the biggest insurance markets in the Middle East, which witnessed a growth rate in 2006 estimated at 27%, as the total volume of the installments has reached $2,7 billion.
Moreover, it is expected that the sector of the world guaranteeing to increase by a 15-20% by 2015.

Syria Takes Part in Cairo International Exhibition

Syria will take part in the Cairo International Exhibition between 18-28 of this month. Sources at the Syrian General Establishment for Exhibition and International Markets , which supervise the Syrian participation, have said that the Syrian pavilion will occupy 570 square meters, including a wide variety of Lingerie, weeding cloth and accessories, men and women clothes, handicrafts, electrical and household equipment.
The source further added that many Public and Private sectors have expressed their wish to take part in the exhibition which witnesses every year a great turn out by Arab, Egyptian, and Foreign visitors.

Small Indexes

- Saudi Arabia was ranked 82nd world wide and the 9th position in the Arab world among 130 countries chosen by the International Economic Forum for the best tourist destinations in terms of the infra-structure of the tourist facilities.
- The number of the tourist who visited Syria in 2007, regardless of the one-day-tourists, has reached 4,6 million, whereas the number of the non-Syrian tourists with hotel occupancy has reached 1,8 million, according to statements of the Syrian Minister of Tourism.
- Oil prices have dropped below the hit record of yesterday amid big purchasing of the raw materials which resulted from worry on the biggest economy in the world.

Companies’ Indexes

- Press sources have said that the real estate “Imaar” company intends to enter the Kuwaiti market through different real estate investments
- The German Industrial Group “Linda” has announced that it achieved an increase by more than 10% in terms of purchasing and profits last year, adding that it is expecting a bigger growth rate this year.
- The Kuwaiti Mobile Telecommunications Company “Zain’ has said that dealing in its Saudi unit, which exceeded subscription in its first general bid by 183%, will start on Saturday.


- The Syrian General Establishment of Telecommunications has contracted with two operators for providing services of installing, operating, and investing public phone booths in Syria with an average of 3000 booths for each contractor on condition that the new booths will be under investment before the end of this year.
- Iran has signed a gas agreement with Switzerland through the Swiss company “ Electric Gesellshaft Lowen burge” , according to which Iran will supply the Swiss company with 5,5 billion cubic meters of gas annually as of 2011.

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.