Russia : an Island of Stability Amid the Sea Of the Chaotic Markets

Exactly, like the young man who is leading his luxurious carriage, Russia does not feel that it is facing any danger because of the current chaos in the international money markets.
Despite the crushing crisis which hit the real estate finance sector in the U.S., which resulted in an international insurance crisis, Russia is not worried of the consequences of this crisis on its economy. Not only that, but also oil and gas prices have given the Russian economy, which is witnessing great prosperity due to the natural wealth, in addition to the strong big growth rate as a result of the consuming and investing expenditure, let alone the Russian banking system which seems relatively isolated from the international banking system which is facing the repercussions of the American crisis, all this have given the Russian economy more immunity.
At the same time, the averages of international deposits in Russia today make it in a better situation to deal with any economic crisis, like its crisis in 1998 when oil prices had dropped sharply.
Russia owns today huge cash reserves and also a huge surplus as a result of the increase of tax revenues as well as the revenues of oil which are being invested in a governmental investment fund known as "the Fund of Stability".

Syria Issues Coupons for Rationing Subsidized Gasoline

The Syrian government has issued a decision on distributing Coupons for subsidized gasoline for the Syrian families, in an ahead step which affirms the government’s intention to raise gasoline prices soon. The state-run "al- Thawra" newspaper has said that the Syrian Minister of Interior, "Bssam Abd al- Majid"
Was quoted as saying that the ones who are entitled to have the coupons are: the husband, and the widow who has children. He further added that the number of the families which will get benefit of the subsidized gasoline coupons is 5 million, 100000 Syrian and Palestinian families.

The Revenues of the Tunisian Tourist Sector Increase by 8, 7% in the First Quarter

The revenues of the Tunisian tourist industry have risen by 8, 7% during the first three months of 2008 compared to the same period of last year. Official statistics have shown that the revenues of the first quarter of 2008 have been estimated at $ 431 million. Moreover, the number of the tourists who visited Tunisia during this period has risen by 6, 2% compared to the first three months of last year , with a total number which exceeded 1,1 million tourists.

"Starwood" Intends to Expand the Trade Mark" Sheraton" World Wide

The International Starwood Company for Hotels and Resorts Management has announced an international expansion plan of the series of Sheraton hotels, its biggest trade mark.
"Starwood" said that Sheraton will open 54 new hotels, and that it will add 20000 rooms next year. It further added that Sheraton will open this year a hotel every 12 days in different parts of the world like: Dallas, Denver, Minneapolis, Fenix, Washington, Ireland Argentina, Egypt, and China. Moreover, Sheraton will host three resorts, two in China and a third in "Carlsbad" in California.

The Increase of the Capital of The Arab Banking Establishment" Jordan"

The General Commission of the Arab Banking Establishment" "Jordan" has adopted in its ordinary and extraordinary annual session the increase of the company’s capital from 560,062,500 million Diner to 64,471,875 Million Diner, i.e. with an average of 15% of the total capital.

Small Indexes

- The International Monetary Fund has estimated the costs of the current crisis of the international financial system by $ 945 billion, $ 565 billion of it is because of the real estate insurance crisis.
- The Newly-elected Russian president Dimitri Medvedev has said that Russia is ready to join World Trade Organization this year.
- Italy said that its trade volume with Algeria has risen by 17% this year, reaching 8, 1 billion Euro, 6,3 billion Euro of it were Algerian exports opposite to 1,8 Billion Euro of imports.

Companies Indexes

- The branch of the Japanese Mazda Company in Europe has announced that it achieved a hit record in terms of selling in the European markets during the fiscal year which ended on the 31st of Last March , with a total number of sold cars estimated at 327000 cars.
- The Saudi " al-Tuwakiri" Group has announced that it intends to invest $ one Billion in Yemen for building a mining factory, and an electricity generating station.

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.