News – 2012.06.04

Published: June 4, 2012

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

 

Saudi PMI stays high, new orders surge

Growth of business activity in Saudi Arabia’s non-oil private sector stayed strong in May as new orders expanded at their fastest rate in almost a year, a survey of over 400 private companies published on Monday showed. The SABB HSBC Saudi Arabia Purchasing Managers’ Index, which measures …

Focus on Kingdom’s megaprojects

The growth and development of the Kingdom’s railway network was the focus of yesterday’s agenda of the two-day Kingdom Mass Transit Summit, organized by leading French business information company naseba, which opened Saturday at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Riyadh. In the first quarter of 2012, …

Key to the kingdom

2012 is likely to be the tipping point for the Gulf’s most ambitious real estate project. If the good results continue, and companies carry on signing up to take advantage of the transport infrastructure coming online in 2013, then KAEC looks set to snowball. But when will the city be fully …

Saudi Arabia: New Energy program gets a boost

Another encouraging step has been taken by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in its research work to find better performing alternative energy known as the New Energy Oasis (NEO) program. The university will now collaborate with First Solar in its research program to …

Syria on agenda as EU leaders meet Russia’s Putin

European leaders are expected to press the contentious issue of Syria at a European Union-Russian summit Monday in St. Petersburg, but few believe Russian President Vladimir Putin will agree to ramp up pressure on the Syrian government. Putin has made it clear that Moscow opposes more …

Syria rebels ‘kill 80 soldiers’ in weekend clashes

At least 80 Syrian soldiers were killed by rebels over the weekend in clashes and attacks on security forces checkpoints, an activist group says. Rebels told the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights that more than 100 soldiers had died in the suburbs of Damascus and Idlib province. The …

In Lebanon, a worrying sectarian spillover from Syria

Rival Sunni and Alawite factions fought on Saturday some of the heaviest gunbattles seen in Lebanon’s second largest city since the dark days of the the civil war which ended more than two decades ago. The latest bout of fighting here in Tripoli underlines Lebanese worries that the violence …

Oil Prices Fall Below Break-Even for Several Nations

Citibank expects that Russia will have a very turbulent next five years, given their estimate that Brent crude prices will likely settle close to $85 over that time period. Oil producers are beginning to feel the future threat of peak demand for oil caused by multiple factors — including …

Gulf union high on agenda in GCC ministerial talks

A report on the proposal to form a Gulf union will figure high on the agenda of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) foreign ministers’ meeting on Tuesday, the GCC secretary-general has said. The meeting, the first to be held since last month’s GCC consultative summit in Riyadh, will also review …

Crude Oil Output Is Soaring in Iraq, Easing Markets

Despite sectarian bombings and political gridlock, Iraq’s crude oil production is soaring, providing a singular bright spot for the nation’s future and relief for global oil markets as the West tightens sanctions on Iranian exports. The increased flow and vital port improvements have …

Political Clashes and Vow of Appeal in Mubarak Verdict

Egypt’s military-led government said Sunday that it would appeal the weak verdicts delivered by a court on Saturday against former President Hosni Mubarak, his sons and top security officials of his government — verdicts that have intensified the polarization gripping Egypt two weeks before the …

Bomb hits Shi’ite site in Baghdad, 23 killed

A suicide bomber detonated an explosive-packed car outside a Shi’ite Muslim office in central Baghdad on Monday, killing at least 23 people and wounding more than 100 in an attack bearing the hallmarks of Iraq’s al Qaeda affiliate. The bombing on a Shi’ite religious office comes at a …

Taxi Woe

Is there a country, no, a city anywhere in the world in which people do not bitch about taxis and taxi drivers? If there is, I’ve not been to it. Arab News reports on the situation in Saudi Arabia. It’s interesting to note that, even though taxis (called ‘limousines’ by most Saudis) have …

Private jets not just for the Saudis as carriers make a comeback in the region

The Middle East and North Africa region remains a key market for business jets despite economic slowdown and instability, the vice president of Embraer, the third-largest manufacturer of commercial aircraft, told The Daily Star Friday. “We have seen a slowdown in the MENA aviation market …

Zurich Seeks Emerging Markets

Switzerland’s Zurich Insurance Group is in talks to enter the potentially lucrative Saudi Arabian market as it seeks to grow its life and nonlife insurance businesses in the global emerging markets, according to a senior company executive. Zurich has been in talks for 18 months about getting …

Benomar discusses Yemen with Saudi king

Jamal Benomar, U.N. envoy to Yemen, traveled to Saudi Arabia Saturday in search of a diplomatic solution to Yemen’s political stalemate. Ahead of a U.N. Security Council resolution on Yemen and after warning sanctions would fall upon ‘those who continue to hinder Yemen moves toward …

Saudi Arabia to liberalise aviation

Saudi Arabia plans to open its skies gradually, phasing in new airlines to avoid an abrupt crowding of the sector, according to a senior official at the kingdom’s top aviation authority. The Middle East’s biggest economy is in the process of vetting applications for new airline licences to …

The Gulf Cooperation Council Turns 31 – Part 4 – A Question of Union

It prompted a couple of questions from colleagues of mine in the building as to what were the conditions 31 years ago that created the GCC the first time around? What is similar and what is different today. So I thought it would be interesting to go back to some of the …

Saudi girls find freedom in cleats

While they are still forced to practice and play largely in secret – no males, not even fathers, can attend their games – the trend is part of the growing momentum for women’s rights here. It is cultivating their ability to excel not only on the field but in school, society, and the workplace – …

Karzai Family Moves to Protect Its Privilege

The looming withdrawal of American and NATO troops by 2014 from the still unresolved war, along with President Karzai’s coming exit, is causing anxiety among the Afghan elite who have been among the war’s biggest beneficiaries, enriching themselves from American military contracts, insider …

Stuxnet was work of U.S. and Israeli experts, officials say

A damaging cyberattack against Iran’s nuclear program was the work of U.S. and Israeli experts and proceeded under the secret orders of President Obama, who was eager to slow that nation’s apparent progress toward building an atomic bomb without launching a traditional military attack, say …

TASI: 6/4/2012

Saudi Arabian Shares Drop Most in 10 Months After Oil Tumbles

Shares in Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s biggest oil producer, slumped the most in 10 months after crude fell to the lowest since October as employment reports in the U.S. and Europe signalled fuel demand may tumble. Al Rajhi Bank (RJHI), the kingdom’s largest bank by market value, retreated to the …

Oil sell-off wipes $15bn from Saudi stock prices

More than US$15 billion (Dh55.09bn) was wiped off the value of Saudi Arabian stocks yesterday after a sell-off on oil markets pushed European crude prices below $100 per barrel for the first time in two years. The Saudi Tadawul All-Share Index fell 4.2 per cent to 6,681.18, the biggest …

Saudi Arabia’s Al Kifah raises $160 mln from Islamic facility

Al Kifah Holding, a family-owned Saudi firm, raised 600 million riyals ($159.99 million) from a syndicated Islamic loan facility, mandated lead arranger, Gulf International Bank (GIB) said in an e-mailed statement. GIB, National Commercial Bank, Samba Financial Group and Banque Saudi Fransi …

US Drone Strike Kills 15 Militants in Pakistan

Security officials say missiles were fired into a village in North Waziristan, along the Afghan border. The tribal region has become a hub of al-Qaida and Taliban activity. Monday’s reported drone strike would be the third in three days and the seventh in two weeks in Pakistan, despite …

Saudi crown prince in ‘good health’

Saudi Crown Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz, who has been undergoing medical tests abroad, is in ‘good health’ and will ‘soon’ return to the kingdom, local media reported on Sunday. Prince Nayef is ‘well and in good health… and he will soon return’ to Saudi Arabia, his brother and one of the …

Saudi Arabia widens domestic help rule

Saudi Arabia has allowed domestic helpers from new Asian countries, including Vietnam, to work in the kingdom, the head of the recruitment chambers committee has said. The decision aims to reinvigorate the business of recruiting domestic helpers that was severely stalled following the ban …

/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/</pre>