HEADLINES
KSA                 King sends messages to Kuwait, UAE & Bahrain leaders (Dar Hayat). Heir to Health Minister: ascended services & develop potential (Alwatan). Halt bloodshed now, Arab League tells Syria (Arab News).

UAE                Khalifa & Beatrix discuss promotion of friendly relations & cooperation (Alwatan, Albayan, Dar Khaleej). Mohammed bin Rashid issues decree to cut facilities fines & law of humanities (Albayan). Granting of observers in Syria time & support (Dar Khaleej). US threatens action if Iran closes Hormuz (Gulf News).

Qatar               Sheikha Moza: children are most important investment for family & nation (Alsharq). Hamad Bin Jassem: Arab resolution against Syria if it doesn’t commit to cessation of violence (Alraye). 10 civilians, 11 troops die in Syria violence: activists (Gulf Times). Arab League Syria mission has failed to stop bloodshed: PM (Qatar Tribune). Monitors stay, Syria told to comply fully (The Peninsula).

Bahrain            Cabinet approves improving private sector salaries for Bahrainis (Akhbar Alkhaleej). ‘More wages’: 21,000 private sector Bahraini employees to benefit from scheme (Daily Tribune). Crown Prince meets King Abdullah in Amman (Alayam). Economists: violence & opposition chaos hurts citizen before investors (Alwatan).

Iraq                 Deputy: Iraqi List to dismiss any minister or deputy that attends Parliament or govt mtgs (Almutumar). Deputy: Kurdistan to hand over Hashemi if demanded by Interior Ministry (Almashreq). Stock Exchange director: 2012 plan anticipates hiring successes (Alsaabah).

Kuwait                         PM tells cabinet he’s referring buying votes cases to Public Prosecutors (Alanba).

Lebanon           Arabs hang on, while Syrian opposition says ‘stop’ (L’Orient Le Jour). Sleiman calls for independent body to monitor elections (Daily Star).

Egypt               Egypt awaits & prepares for 25th Jan Revolution first anniversary (Alahram). President of freedom & justice party tells Chambers of Tourism: party has a complete vision for tourism development (Almasri Alyoum) Cabinet meeting chaired by Dr. Ganzouri: withdrawal of west of Suez from un-serious investors & re-offering them to serious  investors (Akbar Alyoum). Islamist seen winning near 2/3 of seats following final round results (Daily News Egypt).

 
ECONOMY
GCC                 Bahrain Chamber of Commerce & Industry says Gulf Union to benefit Bahrain by unifying capital markets, doubling bilateral trade, supporting private sector, improving domestic & foreign investment conditions, strengthening legal & regulatory environment, completing infrastructure for Gulf countries & increasing size of investment with outside world (Akhbar Alkhaleej). Annual report from General Secretariat for GCC Federation of Chambers says GCC public spending grew 32% in 2011 & account balance achieved  surplus of 9.7%. Positive performance expected to continue in 2012 (Akhbar Alkhaleej, Alayam, Alwasat, Alwatan).

Budgets            Egypt’s minister of finance issues executive law regulations to amend law linking budget to rationalization of public expenditure in budget 2011/2012 (Alahram, Almasri Alyoum). Egypt Cabinet to discus national separate budget for Sinai development, owning land & property only for Egyptians, as well as inadmissibility of arbitration in contracts during its next meeting (Alahram). Bahraini Minister of Industry & Trade reveals Ministry's strategy to raise industrial sector's contribution to GDP to 25% by 2020 (Alwatan).

Bahrain                        Bahrain all set for economic upswing, says Energy Minister Dr. Abdul Hussein Mirza - says Kingdom will host many energy events & organize & hold high profile business events (Daily Tribune).

UAE                UAE non-oil foreign trade records growth of 22 % in 1st 8 months of 2011 bringing it to $163bn (Dar Hayat).  UN Development Program says UAE ranked 1st among Arab countries & 30 in world for human development (Albayan, Alitehad).

Misc                 Iraqi Central Bank to support opening of branches of Rafidain & Rasheed in Kurdistan (Alsabah). Kuwait’s Awqaf & Housing Affairs minister to submit a letter to cabinet to raise marriage loan value to 6,000 dinars (Alanba).


ENERGY
Strait of Hormuz          UAE Energy Minister say UAE building pipeline to avoid passing in Strait of Hormuz which will start operation by June (Albayan) - UAE- built oil pipeline bypassing Strait of Hormuz to be ready by June, a/c to Energy Minister Mohamed ben Dhaen al-Hamili (L’Orient Le Jour).

GCC oil supplies           Intl Finance Institute study says GCC oil revenues to increase by $1 trillion by 2015 (Alayam). General Secretariat for GCC Federation of Chambers in its annual report says GCC plays vital role in stability of world oil markets. GCC countries have 40% of oil reserves & 23% of world gas reserves (Akhbar Alkhaleej). KSA assistant Minister of Petroleum & Mineral Resources says GCC doesn’t consider free trade agreement with Turkey as a support project because of lower oil prices (Alwatan, Alanba). Saudi Arabia ready to fill any oil supply gaps if needed, says Saudi source (Al-Sharq al-Awsat). Kuwaiti govt renews its contract with Egypt to supply it with 50,000 crude oil barrels of $2.3bn total value (Akhbar Alkhaleej).

Oil trade           Saudi Arabia & Japan pledge to boost cooperation in energy sector & propose to provide more oil to Tokyo in case of a shortage or supply disruptions following fresh sanctions imposed on Iran (Arab News).

Oil/private       Aramco says KSA to sign a final agreement for establishment of a new refinery in Yanbu with capacity of 400,000 barrels per day with China's Sinopec Group (Alwasat, Alwatan, Arab News, Daily Star, Daily News Egypt). EQUATE Petrochemical Company launches new regulations for its trademark as part of its integrated strategy (Alanba).

Gas                   Lebanon to invite tenders to explore offshore gas within three months, says energy minister Jibran Bassil.  He downplays risk of conflict with Israel despite dispute over maritime border, saying, “I believe Israel has no interest in threatening our oil resources” (Daily Star, L’Orient Le Jour, The Peninsula). Jordanian Minister of Energy & Mineral Resources says govt to import LNG from Qatar (Almasri Alyoum).

Other energy    Kuwaiti source in Kuwait Petroleum Corp reveals end of development of 1st natural gas well in Alsura in 2011 & will continue drilling 2nd well confirming start of production in2014 (Alsiyaseh). Meed Insight research department expects power generation capacity in Gulf to increase to 170,000MW by 2020, requiring $66 -70bn investment (Alayam).

 
INDUSTRY, TRANSPORT

Trade               Egypt’s Minister of Industry & Foreign Trade & Czech Republic ambassador meet in Cairo discuss activating trade & economic relations between 2 countries (Alahram). Iraqi Ministry of Municipalities & Public Works sign agreement with 23 UAE companies to work in Iraq on implementation of strategic projects during 2012 (Almashreq).

 

Qatar & Japan to strengthen & develop bilateral cooperation to new areas including culture, infrastructure, science & renewable energy & existing cooperation in energy (Alsharq). UAE Foreign Trade Minister while meeting Korean parliament delegation discusses development of bilateral relations especially in fields of economy, trade & explore investment opportunities in non-traditional areas as new energy technology & power generation (Alitehad).

Minerals Egypt’s Cabinet Information Centre announces 38% rise in iron production & 24% decline in passenger traffic at airports (Alahram). Analysts & gold dealers rule out price increases in 2012 in anticipation of growing tensions between Iran & West (Alwatan).

Transport/Tourism      Iraqi economist says investment & entry of foreign companies is only solution to activate country’s tourism sector (Almutumar). Oman Air appoints Wayne Pearce as CEO (Arab News).

Investment      Ernst & Young announces launch of E&Y Entrepreneur Competition 2011 in Qatar (Alraye).

 
BANKING & FINANCE

Lending            Analysts say Gulf Arab banks set to boost lending in 2012 (Qatar Tribune).
 
Saudi Arabia     Arab Petroleum Investments tries to raise $533m from Saudi local banks to fund a loan used to finance lending activities (Akhbar Alkhaleej). Capital Market Authority approves increasing capital of Saudi Dutch Bank, Saudi British Bank & Yamama Cement Company & also agrees to sell 5% stake ownership of Eastern Company for supplying & operating to Public Pension Agency (Alwatan).

ABC Intl Bank Bahrain’s Arab Banking Corp appoints William Playle as new CEO for its London unit ABC Intl Bank (Al-Sharq al-Awsat).

Markets           Information Centre Direct statistics show decline in performance of majority Kuwaiti telecommunications services sector shares leading to loss of 2.7bn dinars (Albayan).                        
 

POLITICS
Iran nuclear      Al-Khayan reports Iran has begun uranium enrichment at new underground site of Fordo (Al-Sharq al-Awsat, Ha’aretz, Yedioth Ahronoth).
 US Defense Sec Leon Panetta says US would act if Iran were to develop a nucl weapon or close Strait of Hormuz. He tells CBS  "I think they need to know that - that if they take that step - that they're going to get stopped" (Ha’aretz, Yedioth Ahronoth, L’Orient Le Jour, Gulf Times). Reports say UK’s HMS Daring will be deployed to Persian Gulf later this month following Iran’s threats to close Strait of Hormuz (Yedioth Ahronoth). Reports say Israel preparing to shut down its Dimona nucl reactor for fear of a missile attack from Iran (Gulf News).

Syria                Arab League urges Syrian govt to stop its violence against protesters and allow Arab monitors to work more independently, but stops short of asking for UN experts to bolster its peace mission (The Peninsula). Arab League repeats its demand Sunday for Syrian govt to immediately stop all violence and allow more monitors in. Meanwhile, activists report at least 10 more civilians killed by regime forces (Arab News).

Misc                 Russian naval force arrives at Syrian port of Tartus, in what Assad regime is calling a show of "friendship" (Ha’aretz). Turkish diplomatic chief Ahmet Davutoglu calls on Syrain opposition to continue its protest using ‘peaceful’ means (L’Orient Le Jour).

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 © Copyright 2012 Hillingdon Cresswell