News – 2011.12.12

Published: December 12, 2011

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

12.12.11 EDITION

IEA Economist Cheers Saudi Oil Output Rise: REUTERS

Rob Taylor | 12/12/11

The International Energy Agency (IEA) said a boost in Saudi oil output would provide welcome relief from the threat that high fuel prices pose to efforts to revive the global economy. OUTPUT POINTS TO HEALTHIER DEMAND: Saudi Arabia is by far the world’s largest oil exporter. Thus, when it raises its production, oil prices usually fall. Yet, when Ali Naimi, Saudi oil minister, said last week Riyadh was pumping more than 10m barrels a day, prices barely moved a few cents. Oil traders were in disbelief at the number. The International Energy Agency estimated that in October the kingdom pumped 9.45m barrels a day and Opec itself put Saudi production at 9.47 b/d in the same month. The level of production that Mr. Naimi stated suggested a huge increase, in only a few weeks. Moreover, the 10m b/d is a psychological barrier – a level the kingdom has not reached since the aftermath of the second oil crisis in 1979, Javier Blas (FT) writes.

A Quiet Revolution: Saudi Judicial System Tries Alternatives to Jail: MIDEAST POSTS

Rob Wagner | 12/12/11

A judge in Qatif, in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province, recently weighed the consequences of a young man’s theft conviction. The choice was either to send him to prison or to order him to perform 30 days of community service working in a hospital emergency room.

OPEC Members Try to Mend Fences: WALL STREET JOURNAL

Benoit Faucon And Summer Said | 12/12/11

When ministers from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries meet Wednesday, the suspense will be less over what they agree on than on whether they agree on anything at all.

At their last meeting, in June, members of the producers’ group failed to reach a deal—a rare outcome for an organization that prides itself on consensus. The meeting ended abruptly, after a debate that people who attended described as acrimonious.

Saudi Arabia to Be Among World’s Top 10 Real Estate Markets: ARAB NEWS

12/10/11

Saudi Arabia is forecast to become one of the best performing real estate markets in the world in 2012, according to the Middle East’s largest private developer DAMAC Properties. “The European debt crisis is likely to constrain real estate prices across the euro zone, the US market is still flat and with China and Hong Kong property prices tumbling, the Middle East is where investors are most likely to see growth in the New Year. We predict that Saudi Arabia, in particular, could easily edge into the world’s top-ten list next year” said Ziad El-Chaar, managing director of DAMAC Properties.

High Saudi Land Prices Slow Affordable-Housing Drive – Players: WALL STREET JOURNAL

Ellen Knickmeyer | 12/12/11

Land prices that are rising more quickly than housing prices are leading Saudi investors to hang onto their unbuilt land rather than develop it, slowing a government drive to greatly increase the kingdom’s housing stock, developers and financiers said Sunday at a conference addressing the country’s housing shortage.

Saudi’s Riyadh Airport to Triple In Size over 5 Yrs: REUTERS

12/12/11

Saudi Arabia plans to expand its capital’s airport three-fold in size within the next five years, a senior civil aviation official said on Monday, as passenger traffic rises rapidly. SUKUK FOR JEDDAH AIRPORT: Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Civil Aviation (GACA) will issue a sukuk, or Islamic bond, within one or two months to help finance its new 27-billion-riyal ($7.2-billion) airport in Jeddah, its president said on Al Arabiya television channel, KIPP Report reports.

Saudi Star Gets Ex-state Minister as New Chief: ADDIS FORTUNE

12/12/11

Saudi Star Agricultural Development Plc, a subsidiary company of MIDROC Ethiopia and perhaps the biggest agro industry firm in Ethiopia, has added a big name to its roaster. Mohammed Ali Al-Amoudi (Sheikh) has appointed Fikru Desalegn, former state minister for Capacity Building, as its executive director, replacing Haile Assegide, chief executive officer of Derba MIDROC and Tossa Steel Mill.

First Saudi Woman Set To Reach The South Pole: AL ARABIYA

12/12/11

Sahar al-Shamrani, who works with a TV production team on a show called “Good Morning Fellow Arabs” for MBC in Dubai, was inspired to take part in a South Pole adventure after meeting a guest on the program, Dana al-Hamadi, the first Emirati woman to place her country’s flag at Antarctica.

Enforcing Contracts In Saudi Arabia: ARAB NEWS

12/12/11

Arbitration law needs to be amended in order to keep pace with other judicial systems.

Causeway Expansion Plan Set: GULF DAILY NEWS

12/12/11

An ambitious plan to expand the King Fahad Causeway is in the pipeline, including the creation of new man-made islands.

Art Rocks In Saudi Arabia: PAST HORIZONS

12/12/11

“Jubbah is one of the most curious places in the world, and to my mind one of the most beautiful,” wrote Lady Anne Blunt. The granddaughter of Lord Byron had arrived in January 1879 with her husband, Wilfrid, at the oasis two-thirds of the way across the Nafud desert. En route to the city of Hail to see, and perhaps buy, some of the famous horses of Ibn Rashid, then ruler in Najd, they were among the first travelers from the West to set foot in Jubbah.

Although not geologists, they recognized that the plain, more than 16 kilometers long and five kilometers wide (10 x 3 mi)—”a great bare space fringed by an ocean of sand” and overlooked by a sandstone massif”—was the site of a former lake. Among the rocks, Wilfrid found inscriptions. They had been on the lookout for traces of ancient writing, but had “hitherto found nothing except some doubtful scratches, and a few of those simple designs one finds everywhere on the sandstone, representing camels and gazelles.”

More News and Commentary from SUSTG

SYRIA: SYRIANS CLOSE SHOPS, SCHOOLS HOPING TO RAISE ECONOMIC PRESSURE ON ASSAD

Syrians closed their businesses and kept children home from school in several parts of the country Monday in a show of civil disobedience against the regime as a new and fierce round of clashes between troops and army defectors spread, activists said, the Washington Post reports.

EGYPT: WHAT WILL SALAFIST ELECTION SUCCESS MEAN FOR EGYPT?

Ultraconservative Islamists, known as Salafists, have emerged from the first stage of Egypt’s parliamentary election as a powerful political force. They took 24% of the party-list vote, second only to the mainstream Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) which took 36%, BBC reports.

PAKISTAN: STATE DENIES TALKS WITH TALIBAN

Top officials in Pakistan have denied the government is engaged in a peace dialogue with homegrown Taliban, reiterating the militants will have to lay down their arms and surrender, before such talks are held. Taliban militants also have issued conflicting statements about entering into peace negotiations with the government, VOA reports. CIA VACATES BASE: The Central Intelligence Agency has vacated an air base in western Pakistan that it had been using for drone strikes against militants in the country’s tribal areas, the Pakistani military said on Sunday, NYT reports.

YEMEN: AL QAEDA JAIL BREAK HIGHLIGHTS DELICATE SITUATION

Islamist militants exploited months of protests against Saleh’s 33-year rule to seize control of swathes of land in southern Yemen. This fanned fears in Saudi Arabia and Washington that the Yemeni branch of al Qaeda may gain a foothold near key oil shipping routes. On Monday, at least 16 inmates, including members of al Qaeda, escaped from Aden central prison, a facility dating back to British rule which ended in 1967, through a tunnel they had dug underneath the compound, Reuters reports.

ISRAEL: ROCKET FROM LEBANON FALLS SHORT, HURTS LEBANESE WOMAN

A rocket fired from Lebanon toward Israel fell short, wounding a Lebanese woman, a senior Lebanese military official said Monday, TIME 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>