In Thursday's Middle East papers

30 April 2009 05:00  [Source: ICIS news]


Front page

GCC-EU direct talks on FTA soon
There is a distinct possibility of resumption of direct talks over the next three months between the European Union (EU) and the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) on the currently suspended Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations.

Sohar Aluminium smelter opened
The 360,000-tonne Sohar Aluminium smelter, one of the biggest industrial projects in the Sultanate, built at a cost of RO925m ($2.4bn) was on Wednesday opened by HH Sayyid Shihab Bin Tariq Al Said, Adviser to His Majesty the Sultan.


Sohar smelter will produce 360,000t primary aluminium
The 360,000-tonne Sohar Aluminium smelter, one of the biggest industrial projects in the Sultanate, built at a cost of RO925m ($2.4bn) was on Wednesday opened by HH Sayyid Shihab Bin Tariq Al Said, Adviser to His Majesty the Sultan.

‘Muscat Declaration’ signed as ADFIAP conference concludes
The 32nd Annual Meeting of the Association of Development Financing Institutions in Asia and the Pacific (ADFIAP) concluded on Wednesday on a positive note.


Front page

Pakistan still conflicted over battling Taliban
Pakistan’s offensive to push Taliban militants from a district near the capital drew little criticism from local politicians and clerics a sign that insurgents may have gone too far in trying to expand their reign in the region.

WHO raises flu threat level, warns pandemic imminent
The World Health Organisation said on Wednesday the world is at the brink of a pandemic, raising its threat level as the swine flu virus spread and killed the first person outside of Mexico, a toddler in Texas.


UAE sweeps ‘Best Employer’ awards
Eight UAE-based organisations were among the 12 companies that have been named as "best employers in Middle East" in a study released on Wednesday.

Emirates NBD posts 5% rise; BoS, ADIB profits up
Emirates NBD, the country’s biggest bank by assets, expects its annual profit this year will surpass what it earned in 2008, after it announced a 5% rise in its first-quarter earnings.


No new updates


Front page

Swine flu surveillance to start in 48 hours: Official
Thermal cameras are to be installed at all entry points to the Kingdom to monitor passengers and these digital surveillance machines will be operational within the next 48 hours, the Ministry of Health announced yesterday.

‘We have begun remaking America’
Barack Obama marked 100 days as president yesterday, claiming his ambitious agenda of "remaking America" had begun to take hold.


Bulls returning to domestic market
News over last few days has created the impression that the world is out of the woods, the financial crisis is over and that the combined action of governments at the global level has finally triggered a recovery.

Mubarak describes economic crisis as ‘tornado’
Egypt’s president yesterday said he was "struggling" with the government to provide anticipated salary bonuses for public sector workers, offering some of the strongest indications yet about how the global recession was affecting the Arab world’s most populous nation.


No new updates


Front page

Swine flu nears pandemic level
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has raised its pandemic alert for swine flu to the second highest level, warning that "all countries should immediately now activate their pandemic preparedness plans".

Obama reiterates anti-torture stand
Barack Obama has reiterated his belief that he considers the waterboarding of so-called terror detainees to be torture as he marked his first 100 days in office.


No new updates


Front page

Special Tribunal orders release of four detained generals
The Special Tribunal for Lebanon ordered on Wednesday the release of four Lebanese generals held without charge since 2005 on suspicion of involvement in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, although officials say the men can still be indicted at a later date.

Saad Hariri hails Tribunal's move as 'step toward achieving justice'
Future Movement leader MP Saad Hariri said on Wednesday that the Special Tribunal for Lebanon's decision to release four generals held for four years on suspicion of involvement in the assassination of his father, former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, was a step toward achieving justice.


'Lebanon's ability to sidestep crisis does not guarantee sound future'
The positive economic indicators prevailing in Lebanon after the eruption of the global financial crisis do not provide a guarantee for the future of the country with the presence of a public debt that is increasing year after year, president of the World Union of Arab Banks Joseph Torbey said on Wednesday.|

Lebanon launches 4-month prepaid phone cards
Telecommunication Minister Jebran Bassil on Tuesday announced the launching of a prepaid card for land lines that have four months duration.


Front page

Quantum leap
Bahrain is poised for a quantum leap in political, economic and social development, Prime Minister Shaikh Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa declared yesterday.

Girl in coma after mystery accident
A teenage girl was in a coma yesterday after a mystery accident at school.


Liquidity crunch 'may hit credit profile of banks'
The credit profile of Gulf banks will likely deteriorate this year, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said in a report yesterday.

BMI Bank posts $1.4m net profit in first quarter
Bahrain-based BMI Bank, an associate of BankMuscat, yesterday posted a net profit of $1.4m for the first quarter.

By: Staff Reporter
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