News – 2011.09.26

Published: September 26, 2011
SUSRIS Daily News – Excerpts from International Media Reports
/Provided as a service from the Saudi-US Trade Group, Washington, DC/

9.26.11 EDITION

Saudi King Gives Women Right to Vote: REUTERS

Asma Alsharif | 9/25/11

“Saudi Arabia’s king announced on Sunday women would be given the right to vote and stand in elections, a bold shift in the ultra-conservative absolute monarchy as pressure for social and democratic reform sweeps the Middle East.”  SAUDI SOCIETY TO CHANGE FOREVER: Arab News writes, “Chairman of the Municipal Election Commission Abdul Rahman Al-Dahmash said the participation of women in the next election as voters and candidates would strengthen the Kingdom’s electoral experience. He hoped the spirit of the National Day would encourage all Saudis to participate actively in the Sept. 29 elections.”

Saudi Industries Draw SR500 Billion Investment: ARAB NEWS

P.K. Abdul Ghafour | 9/24/11

“Investments in the Kingdom’s industrial sector have reached more than SR500 billion, bringing the total number of operating industries in the country to 4,952, according to a statistical report carried by the Saudi Press Agency on Saturday.”

Saudi Legal Action Sets Off Storm In Canada: ARABIAN BUSINESS

Ed Attwood | 9/25/11

“A Saudi move to prevent the airing of a television advertisement that speaks out against imported oil from the kingdom to Canada has caused a storm of protest in the North American country.”

Global Woes, Oil Weigh on Gulf Bourses: ARAB NEWS

9/25/11

“Saudi Arabia’s petrochemical stocks pushed the index to its largest one-day decline in two weeks as investors worried about a squeeze on margins for chemical companies. Crude fell to a six-week low on Friday on fresh concerns about Europe’s ability to manage debt and a possible banking crisis. US November crude fell 66 cents to settle at $79.85, its lowest close since Aug. 9.”  ARE CRUDE MARKETS IN FOR A FREE FALL?: Syed Rashid Husain (Arab News) writes, “When seen in the background of the worsening global, economic fundamentals, a free fall in oil prices cannot be ruled out altogether. There are definite ominous clouds on the crude horizon — one can’t deny. Indeed when the economy slows, so does demand for oil. And this carries price repercussions.” OAPEC: OIL EXPANSION PLANS HINGE ON SECURITY: “The 10-member Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (Oapec) said that the current unrest in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) has led to disruption of crude supplies from some regional producers, adding that pirate attacks on tankers in the Red Sea have aggravated the problem, Saudi Gazette reports.

Influx Of Pilgrims a Boost for Developer: THE NATIONAL

Hadeel al Sayegh | 9/26/11

“A Medina property developer looks set to benefit from increasing numbers of pilgrims visiting Islam’s second-holiest city. The number of foreign pilgrims visiting the city during Ramadan rose 35 per cent compared with the holy month last year, NCB Capital said.”

Contractors Keen to Hire Saudis Despite Low Localization Target: ARAB NEWS

Ibrahim Naffee | 9/25/11

“Expatriate engineers at construction companies have claimed their employers intend to lay off foreigners and replace them with locals in a bid to fulfill the requirements of the Nitaqat program, which aims to improve employment opportunities for citizens.”

Saudi SEC to be Split under New Power Sector Deregulation: ZAWYA

Lara Zankoul | 9/25/11

“Saudi Arabia’s Electricity and Cogeneration Regulatory Authority, or ECRA, will separate the generation, transmission and distribution of power into distinct companies as it takes strides to deregulate the sector and attract private-sector investment.”

Saudi Cement Sector Outlook Remains Positive: AL BAWABA

9/26/11

NCB Capital, Saudi Arabia’s largest investment bank and leading GCC wealth manager, expects the outlook for the Saudi cement industry to remains strong for the remainder of 2011 with good demand growth and stable prices, despite the normal seasonal slowdown seen in July and August. NCBC continues to believe that a key positive of the sector remains the high dividends, with expected yields for 2011 around the 6-7% mark.

Saudis Look to USA for Towed Light Artillery: DEFENSE INDUSTRY DAILY

9/25/11

The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency announces Saudi Arabia’s formal request for up to $886 million of equipment to augment the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s existing light artillery capabilities. The Royal Saudi Land Forces already have towed 155mm and 105mm howitzers and support vehicles and systems, and DSCA says they will have no difficulty absorbing these additional howitzers into their armed forces. If a contract is negotiated, implementation of this sale will not require the assignment of any U.S. Government or contractor representatives to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia Shows Biggest Increase in Savings Sentiments: ARAB NEWS

9/25/11

Residents of Qatar show the biggest decrease in savings sentiments, while Saudi Arabia shows the biggest overall increase, closely followed by Oman and Kuwait, according to the results of the 2011 National Bonds GCC Savings Index.”

More News and Commentary from SUSTGYEMEN: SALEH GIVES FIRST PUBLIC ADDRESS SINCE RETURNING HOME

President Saleh has, in the past, agreed three times to the Gulf initiative, which would see elections in the country and his resignation within a period of three months, but he has backed away from signing it.

This has lead to a lack of trust between him, the opposition and many Yemenis, The Telegraph reports. IN BASE ATTACK, TRIBESMEN KILL COMMANDER: Yemeni officials say anti-government tribesman have attacked troops loyal to President Ali Abdullah Saleh, killing a commander and capturing 30 soldiers, VOA reports.

LIBYA: 1200 BODIES FOUND IN TRIPOLI MASS GRAVE

A mass grave believed to contain up to 1,270 bodies has been found in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, says the National Transitional Council (NTC). The remains are thought to be those of inmates who were killed by security forces in 1996 in the Abu Salim prison, BBC reports. RIVALRIES IN TNC HOLD UP GOVERNING: As the former rebels in Libya try to assemble a government to replace the toppled Qaddafi government, the quiet hoarding of weapons and detainees illustrates the fissures of regional rivalry and mutual distrust that continue to impede progress, the New York Times reports. TANKS STRIKE REMAINING GADDAFI LOYALISTS IN SIRTE: Tanks manned by fighters for Libya’s interim government shelled loyalists holding out in Muammar Gaddafi’s hometown on Monday as NATO jets circled overhead, ready to renew air strikes on the besieged coastal city of Sirte, Reuters reports. STOCK TRADING RETURNS NEXT MONTH: Libya’s stock market will be ready to resume trading in about one month and hopes to attract more foreign investors, the head of the exchange’s Benghazi branch told Reuters on Sunday

PAKISTAN: GOVERNMENT REFUSES TO BATTLE HAQQANI NETWORK

Pakistan’s top military commanders announced Sunday that they will not take action against the Haqqani network, the Pakistan-based militant group that the US suspects in two brazen attacks on Western targets in Afghanistan’s capital this month.

SYRIA: IN SYRIA, DEFECTORS FORM DISSIDENT ARMY IN SIGN UPRISING MAY BE ENTERING NEW PHASE

A group of defectors calling themselves the Free Syrian Army is attempting the first effort to organize an armed challenge to President Bashar al-Assad’s rule, signaling what some hope and others fear may be a new phase in what has been an overwhelmingly peaceful Syrian protest movement,” writes Liz Sly (Washington Post).

IRAQ: 4 BOMBS STRIKE HOLY CITY

More than a dozen people were killed Sunday in the Shiite holy city of Karbala when four successive explosions struck outside a passport office, Tim Arango (NYT) reports.

AFGHANISTAN: RABBANI DEATH SHUTS ‘AFGHAN DOOR OF STABILITY’

The killing of chief peace negotiator Burhanuddin Rabbani has robbed Afghanistan of the only figure with the range of international contacts to end the conflict there, an influential Arab colleague said on Saturday, William Maclean (Reuters) writes.

ISRAEL: PEACE NO CLOSER AS LEADERS RETURN TO HERO WELCOMES

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas emerged from their showdown at the United Nations buttressed domestically though no closer to peace talks, Calev Ben-David (Bloomberg) reports. ‘LONG ROAD AHEAD,’ SAYS ABBAS: Abbas spoke to thousands of cheering people gathered at his headquarters in the city of Ramallah today after returning from New York, where he formally requested full membership in the United Nations. “Dear brothers, we are realistic,” he told the crowd. “Our international journey has begun and a long journey lies ahead,” Bloomberg reports.

 

/The daily news is provided as a service of the Saudi-US Trade Group, Washington, DC. Visit www.SUSTG.org for more information and to get a free email subscription to the News Review./</h4></div>