News – 2011.12.14

Published: December 14, 2011

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

12.14.11 EDITION

Business Forum: The Ties That Bind Us – Olayan: SUSRIS


The 2nd US-Saudi Business Opportunities Forum opened Monday in Atlanta with over 1100 participants meeting to explore the commercial potential in Saudi Arabia. The Forum organized under the guidance of Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry is a high-level gathering of senior officials and business leaders from Saudi Arabia and the United States. The three-day forum focuses on opportunities for greater economic collaboration between the two nations as well as provide an unparalleled business networking environment. On Monday workshops were organized to provide a baseline for “Doing Business in Saudi Arabia” and “Investing in Georgia. The plenary sessions started Tuesday morning with distinguished Saudi businesswoman Lubna Olayan, CEO and Deputy Chairperson, Olayan Financing, providing remarks that set the theme for participants. Ms. Olayan was introduced by Mr. Sam Williams, President Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce.

Aramco May Lead Saudi Chemicals Boom, Alix Partners’ Fabri Says: BLOOMBERG


Saudi Arabian Oil Co., the world’s largest crude exporter, may be the country’s vehicle of choice to expand its chemicals industry to produce more valuable products for export, Alix Partners’ Joerg Fabri said. ANOTHER GOOD YEAR FOR GULF PETROCHEM INDUSTRIES: Mohamed Al-Mady, SABIC Vice Chairman and CEO and Chairman of the Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association, has expressed optimism over 2012 being another positive year for the region’s petrochemical industries despite concerns over Europe slipping back into recession as a result of the ongoing sovereign debt crisis, 4-Traders reports.

Iran: Saudis Not Compensating If Tehran Sanctioned: BOSTON GLOBE

George Jahn | 12/14/11

OPEC agreed to keep crude output at a daily 30 million barrels Wednesday but left it up to its 12 members to voluntarily honor that ceiling without overshooting it. Ahead of Wednesday’s talks, Iran had sought lower production for the cartel, which would raise prices. But it apparently bowed to Saudi Arabia, which wanted to maintain levels and which effectively sets OPEC policy as its largest producer. VENEZUELA WANTS OUTPUT CUT FROM SAUDI: Venezuelan oil minister Rafael Ramirez called on OPEC countries which had boosted output to compensate for lost Libyan supply to reduce production now that Libyan volumes were rising, Platts reports. WEST WANTS HELP FROM SAUDI ON OIL: In a new effort to persuade Iran to halt its nuclear program, the Obama administration and its European allies are asking Saudi Arabia to help them squeeze Iran’s vital oil sector without driving up world energy prices and damaging the global economy, the LAT reports.

Coca-Cola Buys Stake in Saudi Beverage Company for $980 Million: REUTERS


The world’s largest soft-drink maker Coca-Cola Co acquired about half of the equity in the beverage business of Saudi Arabia-based Aujan Industries for $980 million to expand its presence in non-alcoholic beverages in the Middle East.

Carlyle Buys 42% of Saudi Arabia’s Alamar Foods: MARKET WATCH


U.S.-based private-equity firm The Carlyle Group Wednesday said it purchased a 42% stake in Alamar Foods, the franchise operator of Domino’s pizza and Wendy’s hamburgers in the Middle East, from Saudi Arabia Al Jammaz family.

Saudi Shares Advance First Time in Four Days on New Economy Team: BLOOMBERG


Saudi Arabian shares gained for the first time in four days after a new economy team was appointed to oversee a record spending plan aimed at reducing unemployment and reliance on crude exports. NEW TEAM NAMED FOR ARAB WORLD’S LARGEST ECONOMY: Saudi Arabia, the Arab world’s biggest economy, named a new central bank head and shuffled cabinet ministers amidst King Abdullah’s record spending plan to fight unemployment and lessen dependency on oil, BusinessWeek reports.

The Mystery of Unemployment in Saudi Arabia: AL ARABIYA

Dawood Al-Shirian | 12/14/11

According to the report issued by the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA), the surplus from this year’s budget is around 185.3 billion riyals, which constitutes 9.1 per cent of the total local production. Compare this to a surplus of only 87.7 billion last year.

Jabal Omar to Get 3 Bln Riyal Saudi Govt Loan: REUTERS


Saudi developer Jabal Omar has signed a loan agreement for 3 billion riyals ($800 million) with the finance ministry to complete some of its projects in Mecca, the company announced late on Tuesday.

Saudi Firms Gear Up For German Printing Fair: TRADE ARABIA


More than 45 leading firms from Saudi Arabia’s printing sector met with organisers of Drupa 2012, the leading printing trade fair in Germany, in order to identify and maximize business opportunities presented at the event.

Saudi Telecom Raise Stake in UAE Media Firm Intigral: KIPP REPORT


Saudi Telecom Co (STC) has bought a further 20 percent stake in United Arab Emirates digital media firm Intigral for 90 million riyals ($24 million), the telecoms operator said on Wednesday.


More News and Commentary from SUSTG


The investigation that led the United States to the Lebanese Canadian Bank, provides new insights into the murky sources of Hezbollah’s money. While law enforcement agencies around the world have long believed that Hezbollah is a passive beneficiary of contributions from loyalists abroad involved in drug trafficking and a grab bag of other criminal enterprises, intelligence from several countries points to the direct involvement of high-level Hezbollah officials in the South American cocaine trade, Jo Becker (NYT) reports.


Rival Islamist groups sought more gains in the second round of Egypt’s parliamentary election on Wednesday, with liberals also fighting for a voice in an army-led transition that began with the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak, Reuters reports.


Syria fixed the value of its exchange rate against global currencies as a nine-month uprising against the rule of President Bashar al-Assad undermines confidence in the pound and damages the economy, BusinessWeek reports. DEATH TOLL AT 500: Syria has reacted furiously after the UN human rights chief increased pressure on the regime of Bashar al-Assad by upwardly revising the death toll during the country’s uprising to 5,000, The Independent reports. 7 MORE KILLED BY GOVERNMENT: Syrian army defectors killed seven government security forces in an attack on a convoy Tuesday, a strike in response to the killings of 11 civilians, an activist group told CNN.

An arson attempt was made on a former mosque in downtown Jerusalem overnight as the Israeli government weighed new steps to deal with an outbreak of violence by activists in the West Bank settler movement, Calev Ben-David (Bloomberg) reports. HAMAS CELEBRATES 24 YEARS: Tens of thousands of Gazans turned out on Wednesday for an anniversary rally of the ruling Hamas, a demonstration of strength for the Islamic militant movement ahead of Palestinian general elections tentatively set for the spring, The Telegraph reports.

Police have rescued more than 50 boys, some in shackles, from a warren of rooms beneath a madrassa in Pakistan’s largest city, Karachi, Sydney Morning Herald reports.

Time magazine has named “The Protester” as its Person of the Year for 2011, citing a worldwide outburst of people-power from Tunisia to Moscow to Wall Street.


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