150 Tourist Projects Awaiting the Infra-Structure

Syria has offered mote than 150 tourist projects for investment for Arab and foreign investors according to new conditions and facilities aiming at attracting more investments for developing the tourism industry which is considered the alternative for the decreasing oil revenues due to the decline of production. Syrian Minister of Tourism, Sadallah Agha al-Qala was quoted as saying that he estimates what the Syrian government had offered of tourist investment projects by more than $ 5, 2 billion.
He further added that that the number of the tourists who visited Syria has exceeded 5,4 million last year, but the investors, especially the Syrian expatriates, who have expressed their wish to come and invest in Syria, said that they have many observations and questions with regard to the poor infra structure of the tourist industry ,describing that as a factor that would make Syria less able to compete with its neighbors in the region like Turkey, Lebanon, and Cyprus in specific in terms if tourist services and competition on prices, although Syria enjoys great tourist potentials. Moreover, those investors have said that the infra- structure can not wait for the private tourist investment to take part because it is the government’s responsibility first and foremost.

Activities of "Buildex" Exhibitions Start In Damascus

The 14th session of the International Construction Exhibition "Buildex" was opened on Monday at the Fairgrounds in Damascus with the Participation of 1795 companies and trade marks from 54 countries distributed among 580 pavilions.
The exhibition, to last till the 16th of this month, will witness the participation of many specialties related to construction materials and its accessories like ceramic, bathrooms, pipes, water treatment, heating, air –conditioning in addition to machines of constructions, stone , marble, granite and their instruments and tools.]

Agility Considers Selling a Share to Foreign Investors

The Kuwaiti Agility company, the biggest supplies and provision company in the Gulf in terms of market value, has said that it aims at attracting more foreign investments within its expansion abroad.
Tarek Sultan, the Executive Chairman of the company said on the sideline of the meeting of the contributors that the company might sell between 1- 30 % upon the request of the investors, but he did not mention whether the selling will be carried out through increasing the capital of the company . It is worth mentioning that the Kuwaiti Al-Kabas newspaper had said earlier that an American company is interested in buying 15% of Agiliti’s shares . For his part, Sultan abstained from commenting on that.

The Real Estate "Nakhil" Concludes a Deal with "Al-Jaber" for Developing 740 Villas in "Vinito" Project

The real estate "Nakhil" company said that it concluded a deal with " Al-Jaber" Group for building 740 luxurious villas at "Vinito" project, on the exclusive housing complexes in the project of the marine front with a total cost estimated at 2 billion Dirham.
The project comprises about 1400 villas and village houses in addition to 1200 flats in low- height buildings. It is expected the project to include. About 14000 persons arte expected to live in these buildings when the project is completed.

HSBC Cancels $3, 2 Billion of its Debts

HSBC Bank, the biggest European banks, has cancelled $ 3, 2 billion of its debts during the first three months of 2008 as a result of the crisis of real estate insurance in the U.S.
The volume of the debts cancelled by the bank have come in accordance with its expectations, which is less than the volume of debts which had been cancelled in the last quarter of 2007. It is worth mentioning that HSBC comes after City Bank, UBS, and Merrill Lynch banks with regard to the volume of debts it had cancelled.

Revenues of Unicorn Bank Increases by $ 20 Million

Unicorn Bank for Investment has announced that it achieved strong results during the last quarter of 2008, adding that it succeeded in increasing its revenues by $ 20,2 million, i.e. with an average estimated at 83%, from $ 24 million during the first quarter of 2007 to $ 44,0 million in 2008.
Moreover, the net profits of Unicorn’s contributors have reached $ 15, 6 million, from $ 4, 4 million in 2007 to $ 20 million during the first quarter of this year.
It is worth mentioning that these strong results have contributed in improving the basic profitability of the bank and standards of the investor’s revenues.

Small Indexes

- The Egyptian Suez Canal achieved last April the highest monthly revenues ever estimated at $ 449 million , with an increases of about 22% of the revenues of the same month of last year.
- A minister at Kurdistan-Iraq has said that three new oil fields have been discovered in the province with reserves estimated at two billion barrels.

Companies Indexes

- The European Airbus company has said that the production of the new giant model A-380 will take longer time than that set within the time schedule.
- The giant American super markets series, Wall Mart has announced that its profits during the first quarter of this year have risen by 6, 9 %, reaching $ 3,02 billion.
- "Al-Markaz Al-Mali" (The Financial Centre) company has announced its financial results for the first quarter which ended on the 31st of March- 2008, saying that its net profits have reached 6,32 million Diner.

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.