News – 2012.02.09

Published: February 9, 2012

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

2.9.12 EDITION

Saudi Sukuk Success Boosts Bond Hopes: FINANCIAL TIMES

Tom Gara and Simeon Kerr | 2/8/12

Bankers expect a bumper year of bond sales in Saudi Arabia following the success of the country’s first sovereign-guaranteed sukuk in January. The 15bn riyal ($4bn) Islamic instrument, issued to finance the expansion of Jeddah’s international airport, was the largest single-tranche sukuk yet, says HSBC, which led the issuance. It was sold at a profit rate of 2.5 per cent and was 3.5 times oversubscribed.

Saudi Pumped Almost 10m Bpd In January: AME INFO


Saudi Arabia has produced some 9.87 million barrels per day (bpd) of oil in January, up by around 70,000 bpd from December’s daily average, Reuters has reported, citing an industry source familiar with the matter. “Demand continues to remain strong from Asia,” said the source. In December, Saudi Arabia produced around 9.8 million bpd, of which around 7.5 million was exported.

Saudi Director General at IMA voted ‘Arab Woman of the Year’: SAUDI GAZETTE


Saudi Director-General at the Arab World Institute, Mona Khazindar, has been elected “Woman of the Year 2012” by the Arab Women’s Forum, winning out over several prominent Arab women who have made the headlines in the past 12 months.

Is The West United With Its Gulf Allies Over Syria?: BBC NEWS

Mark Urban | 2/8/12

In the aftermath of the failed UN vote, the countries of the Saudi Arabian led Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have expelled Syrian diplomatic missions, and there is credible talk that leading members of that alliance intend to step up arms supplies to the Free Syrian Army. But do the UK and France, who have been vocal in support of the same Arab countries, share the same objectives? SYRIA: THE NEXUS OF REGIONAL POWER STRUGGLE: Recent, though futile, efforts to resolve the crisis in Syria have demonstrated the absence of leadership from global powers such as the U.S. and likely set the stage for possible contagion. The unwillingness of the major powers to intervene in crises such as in Syria — a marker of what Eurasia Group has called the G-Zero World — has allowed regional players to step into the breach, notably Qatar via the Arab League. But the League’s efforts have also exposed a regional power vacuum and tensions among Middle East nations that could potentially escalate into a proxy war in Syria, Ayham Kamel (Foreign Policy) writes. ALWALEED SAYS SYRIA MAY HAVE REACHED POINT OF NO RETURN: Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal said Syria may have reached a “point of no return” and criticized the blocking of a United Nations Security Council resolution calling for a political transition, Tamara Walid (BusinessWeek) reports.

Saudi Plans New Oil Power Plant: EMIRATES 24|7

Reuters | 2/9/12

State-controlled Saudi Electricity Co plans to build a new oil fired power plant in Jeddah over the next four years, two industry sources said on Wednesday. The 2,400-megawatt (MW), heavy fuel oil burning plant is expected to be completed by 2016 and will be called Jeddah South, an industry source said.

S-Oil Inks 20-Yr Deal With Aramco To Secure Oil Supplies: REUTERS


S-Oil said on Thursday it signed a 20-year contract to buy crude from Saudi Arabia as South Korea seeks to secure supplies and reduce dependence on Iran under pressure from the United States to halt doing business with the Islamic Republic.

Twitter Aflame With Fatwa Against Saudi Writer Hamza Kashgari: THE DAILY BEAST


A young Saudi blogger’s tweets about the Prophet Muhammad have inflamed Islamists, who are calling for his execution. Mike Giglio exclusively interviews Hamza Kashgari.

Saudi Cement Rises On Bullish Prospects: STEEL GURU


Saudi Cement Company rose to the highest in more than 3 years after the producer of the building material said cement companies are in talks to sell as much as 600,000 tonnes of extra clinker supplies.

UAE, Saudi Oil To Make Up For Shortfall: GULF NEWS


Iran’s oil industry was under renewed pressure last night as both the UAE and Saudi Arabia signaled that they planned to increase supply to Tehran’s key buyers of crude.

Saudi Fund to Help Finance Congo Republic-Cameroon Road Project: BLOOMBERG


The Saudi Fund for Development will provide as much as 5 billion CFA francs ($10.1 million) of funding for a road linking the Congo Republic town of Ouesso with Sangelima in neighboring Cameroon, Congo’s government said.

Saudi Prince Who Funded Harvard Program Visits: HAVARD CRIMSON

Michelle M. Hu And Justin C. Worland | 2/8/12

Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud of Saudi Arabia—who donated $20 million to create the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Islamic Studies Program at Harvard in 2005—discussed the future of the Middle East at a panel on Wednesday.

Saudi, Bahraini Kings Discuss Improving Gulf Unity, BNA Reports: BLOOMBERG


Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa discussed with his Saudi counterpart today ways to implement a plan to make the Gulf Cooperation Council a united entity, state-run Bahrain News Agency said.

“May 1st, 1939″ – Part 3 of Video Series “Distant Arabia”: ARAMCO EXPATS

Six years after the oil concession was signed the first tanker load of oil was shipped at Ras Tanura on this date. King Abdul Aziz ibn Saud arrived to celebrate the occasion. The tanker D.G. Scofield awaits offshore. At 0:53 Crown Prince Saud arrives. At 1:37 various bodyguards of the royal retinue collect near the pier. At 2:57 Emir Hamad bin Khalifa of Bahrain arrives. At 3:00 King Abdul Aziz arrives at the pump house. At 3:12 in the company of Floyd Oligher, Aramco’s General Manager, the King tours the tank yard. At 3:35 Ibn Saud is smiling with great satisfaction at the success of a venture many years in the making. At the pump house, beginning at 4:50 the king turns the valve that sends the oil to the tanker. 5:11 the King and Shaikh Hamd leave the ceremony, Crown Prince Saud behind them. Saudi Arabia’s future has begun.

More News and Commentary from SUSTG


US officials say the assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists have been carried out by an Iranian opposition group with logistical and financial support from the Mossad, NBC News reported Thursday, JPost reports. The report was based on a testimony by one of Iranian Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s senior advisers who detailed the intimate relationship between Israel and the opposition group MEK, which “two senior US officials” confirmed as accurate. US AND ISRAEL ARE SPLIT ON IRAN THREAT: Amid mounting tensions over whether Israel will carry out a military strike against Iran’s nuclear program, the United States and Israel remain at odds over a fundamental question: whether Iran’s crucial nuclear facilities are about to become impregnable, NYT reports.


Syrian rights activists say government forces have continued their assault on the central city of Homs, killing at least 24 people in an escalated wave of violence against an 11-month opposition uprising, VOA reports. ‘APALLING BRUTALITY’: Baba Amr has been blasted by the fiercest shelling with entire areas destroyed in an apparent bid by the regime to pave the way for a tank-backed ground assault, ABC reports. UN-ARAB OBSERVER MISSION?: As violence in Syria reportedly raged anew on Thursday, the United Nations and the Arab League were considering sending a joint observer mission to the war-ravaged Middle Eastern nation, LAT reports.


John McCain has said he will join a group of senators travelling to Egypt as early as next week after the State Department expressed frustration over charges against American pro-democracy workers, SMH reports.


The U.S. State Department’s top human rights envoy is urging Bahrain’s Sunni monarchy and Shiite-led opposition to resume talks aimed at ending yearlong unrest in the strategic Gulf nation, Atlanta Journal Constitution reports.


Both the UK and US remain committed to a timetable for withdrawal of combat troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2014, the Foreign Secretary has told MPs, Google News/Press Assn reports.


Yemeni security forces shot dead two southern Yemeni activists during a demonstration Thursday in Daleh against presidential elections to be held later this month, witnesses and activists said, AFP reports.


Iran’s seaborne trade is withering as sanctions are stepped up against the Islamic Republic, freezing bank finance and deterring many international trade and shipping companies from getting involved in deals, industry sources say, Reuters reports.

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