In Wednesday's Middle East papers

20 August 2008 05:30  [Source: ICIS news]


Front Page

HM arrives in Qatar
His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said arrived in Doha on a three-day private visit to Qatar on Tuesday afternoon.

Simi activist confesses his role in blasts
Mufti Abu Bashir, the alleged mastermind of the serial blasts here, has admitted that he was involved in the July 26 bombings that left 55 people dead, Crime Branch sources said on Tuesday.


Stocks plunge on credit fears, dollar rally pauses
Concern about the health of the financial sector drove global stocks to their lowest in nearly two years on Tuesday, while the dollar ran out of puff after rising to its highest this year against a basket of major currencies.

Gulf States told to think of dollar depegging to narrow inflation gap
Arab states in the Gulf should aim to narrow the gap in their inflation rates before a 2010 target for monetary union, a report said on Tuesday, proposing a depegging from the US dollar.


Front Page

Dubai issues new mortgage law to regulate sector
His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai has issued a new mortgage law as part of moves to regulate Dubai's booming real estate sector, the chief executive of the Real Estate Regulatory Authority said.

Russia starts Georgia pullout, West urges speed
Russian troops will pull back from Georgia's heartland by the end of this week, the Kremlin said Tuesday, but NATO said it was freezing contacts with Moscow until all Russian forces were out of the country.


Record inflation ‘threat to GCC currency union’
Record high inflation in the UAE and Qatar is the main stumbling block to achieving the much-vaunted Gulf Monetary Union (GMU) goal by 2010, a top government economist said on Tuesday.

Insolvency laws untested in the UAE
A report published yesterday by Standard and Poor’s (S&P) has found that laws and regulations relating to creditors’ rights in the event of a debtor insolvency remain untested in the UAE, leaving the insolvency process in the event of default unpredictable.


Front Page

India places $2bn missile order
The Indian army has placed a $2bn (€1.36bn) order for cruise missiles from the Russo-Indian company BrahMos, the Interfax news agency said on Tuesday.

Pakistan paceman Asif's B sample positive
Pakistani fast bowler Mohammad Asif is facing a two-year ban from cricket after his 'B' sample tested positive for the banned steroid nandrolone, his lawyer said on Tuesday.


Opec may cut output as oil set to drop further: CGES
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries may decide to cut the cartel’s oil output quota as the price of crude risks falling under $100(€68) /bbl, energy consultancy CGES said on Monday.

Kuwait cautions against illegal stock subscriptions
Subscriptions and deeds for stocks obtained through violation of regulations in this regard would be considered null and void if detected and members of the public are strongly advised to avoid such breach of law to escape legal consequences


Front Page

Grand mufti rejects Al-Oadah’s fatwa
Celebrating birthdays and wedding anniversaries has no base in Islam, Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Alsheikh has said.

Makkah city braces for huge influx of pilgrims
Municipal authorities have made all arrangements for the huge influx of pilgrims and visitors to holy city during Ramadan, Mayor of Makkah Osama Al-Bar announced yesterday.


Dubai introduces mortgage law to regulate sector
The ruler of Dubai has issued a new mortgage law as part of moves to regulate the Gulf business hub’s booming real estate sector, the chief executive of the Real Estate Regulatory Authority said.

OPEC’s reserves put at 900bn barrels
More than three-quarters of the world’s oil reserves are located in OPEC countries. The bulk of OPEC oil reserves is located in the Middle East, with Saudi Arabia, Iran and Iraq contributing 55% to the OPEC total. According to current estimates, OPEC proven reserves currently stand well above 900bn barrels.


Front Page

Iran picks firms to find nuclear plant sites
Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) has signed agreements with six local companies to search for locations to build new nuclear power plants, the AEOI deputy director said on Tuesday.

Iranian envoys visit Natanz nuclear site
Iranian envoys to foreign states alongside Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki visited Natanz nuclear facility on Tuesday.


Sanctions hit EU rather than Iran
Economic sanctions imposed by the EU are hitting exports from the 27-member states and not Iranian exports, according to the latest trade figures from Eurostat obtained by IRNA.

Russian July output rises 3.2%, less than forecast
Russian industrial production grew at a slower pace than economists forecast in July as oil and gas production fell and manufacturing growth remained weak.


Front Page

Russia: Nato aids 'criminal regime'
Russia has accused Nato of trying to "whitewash a criminal regime" in Tbilisi and seeking to rearm Georgia's leaders.

Blast highlights Pakistan tensions
A suicide blast outside the emergency ward of a hospital crowded with Shia Muslim mourners in Pakistan's volatile northwest has left at least 27 people dead.


US woes rattle Asian stock markets
Asian stocks have fallen to a two-year low, due mainly to fears the US government will have to bail out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, two troubled US mortgage giants.

Vital oil route 'set to reopen'
A vital oil pipeline from the Caspian Sea oilfields, through Georgia, to Turkey's west coast is set to reopen soon, according to Turkey's energy minister.


Front Page

Politicians debate dialogue, security appointments
The country's top politicians engaged in tense debate on Tuesday over the two controversial issues of military appointments and the upcoming national dialogue sessions to be chaired by President Michel Sleiman.

Salafist groups 'freeze' agreement with hizbullah
Salafist groups announced on Tuesday their decision to "temporarily freeze" a memorandum of understanding they signed with Shiite group Hizbullah one day earlier.


Fneish tries to mediate minimum wage dispute
The long-running debate between the private sector and the General Labour Confederation (GLC) over the minimum wage has reached another dead-end with both parties insisting on their demands, according to Labour Minister Mohammad Fneish.

BLC-Fransabank posts net profits of $13m
BLC Bank Fransabank Group announced consolidated net profits of $13.4m (€9.1m) in the first half of 2008. Net interest income amounted to $21.5m, while net commission earnings reached $2.7m over the same period. Net financial income stood at $30m in the first half of 2008, while staff and general operating charges totalled $13.4m, of which staff expenses equalled $8.6m, and general and administrative expenses came to $4.9m.


Front Page

Future Bright
Bahrain's economy is soaring and there is even better to come, says a global monitor.

Kidney donor promised free medical care
A Filipino who gave a kidney to save a 16-year-old Bahraini girl has been promised free medical care for as long he lives here.


Bahrain's 'economic growth is sustainable'
Bahrain's economic growth is surging ahead of the rest of the GCC thanks to diversification, a massive increase in labour productivity and a well-educated local workforce, says an international monitor.

UAE clamp on Ramadan price rises
The UAE economy ministry said it would step up efforts to ensure that retailers do not raise food prices arbitrarily during Ramadan. "Some traders tend to take advantage of the situation and increase prices," economy ministry's planning sector under-secretary Mohammed Al Shihhi said.

By: Staff Reporter
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