Energy & Utilities
BP boost Rumaila field investment
25 May 2013 at 3:42pm
British Petroleum (BP) has earmarked $2.85bn for the development of Iraq's Rumaila oilfield in 2013, up from $2.2bn last year, Reuters has reported. Under the 2013 development plan for Rumaila, BP plans to issue three tenders for the drilling of 150 new oil wells in the second half of this year with each tender covering 50 wells. "We have plans to drill new 300 oil wells in Rumaila over the next five years," said the head of the joint management committee for the field, Salah Mohammad.
SATORP's Jubail refinery to be ready by 2013-end
25 May 2013 at 3:42pm
Saudi Aramco Total Refining & Petrochemicals (SATORP) has said it is in the process of commissioning its refinery in Jubail, and expects it to be fully operational by the end of the year, Saudi Gazette has reported. “The commissioning is half-way through and crude oil is expected to enter the refinery in the coming weeks, first to test the unit and then to properly start operations to put the refinery on stream,” said SATORP’s president and CEO, Fawaz Nawwab. The SR36bn facility, a joint venture between state-owned Saudi Aramco and France’s Total, will have the capacity to convert 400,000 barrels a day of crude to refined products. “The refinery will process heavy and sour crude that is sold on the market at a discount as it is more difficult to treat. It is a high-conversion refinery, meaning we will not produce fuel oil which has less value,” said Nawwab.
Adma-Opcp awards Technip flare modification contract
25 May 2013 at 3:42pm
Abu Dhabi Marine Operating Co (Adma-Opco), unit of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Co (Adnoc), has awarded France’s Technip a lump-sum turnkey contract for a project at Das Island, 290km offshore Abu Dhabi. The deal is for the engineering, procurement, construction, pre-commissioning, commissioning and start-up assistance for flares modification and revamp project on the island. The project aims to mitigate the hazards due to the existing atmospheric flares on offshore associated gas and upcoming integrated gas development facilities, and the risk of gas exposure for personnel during operation and maintenance of these facilities in case of flame out. Technip’s operating centre in Abu Dhabi will execute the project, which is scheduled for completion in the first half of 2015.
QPI buys stake in Total's Congo oil operations
25 May 2013 at 3:42pm
France’s Total has said Qatar Petroleum International (QPI) is to take a financial stake in its Congo operations through a capital increase in Total’s 's Congo subsidiary, Kuna has reported. QPI is subscribing to a 15% capital increase for Total Exploration Production Congo, but Total did not put a financial value on the operation. The Qatari move "will contribute to the company's (Total) significant investment programme in Congo, specifically in the Moho North project,” said Total.
Sohar refinery expansion project attracts six bidders
24 May 2013 at 2:22pm
Oman Oil Refineries and Petrochemicals Co (Orpic) as said six international firms have submitted bids for the major engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract of Orpic’s Sohar refinery expansion project, Muscat Daily has reported. Around 50 companies had applied for pre-qualification in December 2011, and nine were pre-qualified in August 2012. The project, estimated to cost between $1.5 and $1.8bn, is expected to improve the Sohar refinery's product quality and increase refining capacity by more than 70% to add another 60,000 barrels per day of oil to its current capacity. The expansion is expected to be completed by the first half of 2016.
Tax seminar to focus on filing of returns
25 May 2013 at 10:01pm
MUSCAT -- Companies in Oman who follow the calendar year as their financial year are getting ready to file their first tax returns under the new Executive Regulations. The deadline for filing is June 30. The new Executive Regulations prescribe different tax return forms for different tax payers. The Tax Law upon which the Executive Regulations draw reference is itself only just over three years
What would a Dubai Expo mean for UAE professionals?
25 May 2013 at 9:42pm
Employees in the UAE should start positioning themselves now to take advantage of an expected jobs boom if Dubai is successful in its bid to host Expo 2020.
German firms among top Saudi employers
25 May 2013 at 8:13pm
Germany continues to be one of the top employers of Saudis in the Kingdom, a German official said yesterday at the Ninth German and Sixth Catalog Show at a local hotel.
Arab spring nations face delayed economic recovery -IMF
25 May 2013 at 5:14pm
Arab spring countries face rising social tensions that could thwart an early economic recovery from over two years of political turmoil that has worsened fiscal pressures and threatens macroeconomic stability, a senior IMF official said on Saturday.
INTERVIEW-Arab spring nations face delayed economic recovery -IMF
25 May 2013 at 4:59pm
* IMF official says rising social tensions hurts prospects of early recovery * Reducing hefty subsidies key to containing mounting fiscal pressures -IMF By Suleiman Al-Khalidi AMMAN, May 25 (Reuters) - Arab spring countries face rising social tensions...
International Finance Corp plans USD400m SME lending facility in MENA
25 May 2013 at 4:10am
International Finance Corp, a unit of the World Bank, is launching with several partners an investment facility worth up to USD 400 million for the Middle East and North Africa as it tries to spur lending to the region's large pool of small-and-medium-sized businesses, its chief executive said.
Riyal-dollar peg 'serves interests of Saudi Arabia'
24 May 2013 at 8:28pm
The Saudi riyal peg to the US dollar will continue as it serves the national economic interest of the Kingdom as well as of those which have chosen to keep the peg like Qatar and others in the GCC, says a senior Riyadh-based economist.
Syria opposition unity talks face spectre of collapse
24 May 2013 at 7:28pm
Syrian opposition talks aimed at presenting a coherent front at an international peace conference to end the civil war faced the prospect of collapse after President Bashar al-Assad's foes failed to cut an internal deal, opposition sources said.
Tackling economic failure
24 May 2013 at 12:07pm
Two years after the exhilarating surge of hope after the revolutions of the Arab Spring, much of the Arab world is bogged down in political miasma and economic failure. This daunting atmosphere is the backdrop to the Middle East World Economic Forum.
UAE's USD3bn aid for Egypt "will take time" - UAE finmin
24 May 2013 at 8:14am
T he USD 3 billion in aid that the United Arab Emirates pledged for Egypt in 2011 will "take time" to be transferred, the UAE Finance Minister and Dubai Deputy Ruler said.
24 May 2013 at 6:19am
Does the new budget help the down and out? Sherine Abdel-Razek sees what's in store for the downtroddenMore than 25 per cent of Egyptians are classified as poor and the percentage doubles in Upper Egypt governorates. The rate was on the rise during the last years of the ousted Mubarak regime despite the increasing growth rates back then. A promised trickle-down effect through which frui
Labor shortage in Saudi Arabia to up expat pay
23 May 2013 at 9:17pm
A labor shortage caused by the departure of thousands of illegal foreign workers, along with increasing commercial activity in Saudi Arabia, is likely to see a rise in the salaries of expatriates, according to analysts and business leaders.
Job offers in KSA
23 May 2013 at 11:43am
A new push to recruit local candidates in Saudi Arabia has meant it's become an uphill struggle for foreigners to move in, but expat expertise is still required in some sectors.
Egypt T-bills yields rise on c.bank decree, tight liquidity
23 May 2013 at 7:54am
Egyptian treasury bill yields rose at an auction on Thursday and the central bank cut the offering size as the market continued to adjust to new rules that limit the amount banks can channel into money market funds to buy T-bills.
Dubai fund ICD may raise USD2bn loan target after heavy demand
23 May 2013 at 7:00am
Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD), the holding company for some of the emirate's best-known companies, may increase the size of a USD 2 billion loan after significant interest in the deal from lenders, banking sources said.
Dubai, Qatar in 'better position' to be upgraded to MSCI status
25 May 2013 at 3:45pm
US investment firm T Rowe Price Group has said Dubai and Qatar deserve to be upgraded to emerging-market status at MSCI next month, after failing to satisfy the index provider’s requirements for four years, Bloomberg has reported. “I see no reason why they shouldn’t be upgraded and don’t understand why they haven’t been previously,” Oliver Bell, London-based money manager at T Rowe Price’s Africa & Middle East Fund, said. “Both Dubai and Qatar are in a better position and meet more of the criteria than other countries that have been upgraded before,” he said.
BBK Geojit Securities to launch operations in Kuwait soon
25 May 2013 at 3:45pm
A joint venture between Bank of Bahrain and Kuwait (BBK) and India’s Geojit BNP Paribas is set to launch operations in Kuwait, PTI has reported. BBK Geojit Securities KSC will be the first company in Gulf country to offer over 500,000 non-resident Indians (NRIs) a wide range of services including equity trading, mutual fund advisory, real estate advisory and PAN card processing facilities.
Qatar approves $98.9bn health, education fund
25 May 2013 at 3:44pm
The Qatari cabinet has approved a proposal to set up a QR360bn ($98.9bn) health and education fund, the Peninsula has reported. The fund aims to take care of the two key sectors during budgetary deficits caused by oil price volatilities in future. The capital for the fund is to be set aside from budgetary surpluses every year over the next 10 years as decided by the Emir.
Qatar, Tunisia in talks over central bank deposit
25 May 2013 at 3:44pm
Tunisia has said it is in talks with Qatar over a deposit in Tunis' central bank "with easy conditions," Reuters has reported. "Qatari officials have shown their willingness to support us," said Tunisian prime minister, Ali Larayedh, without giving details on the amount being discussed, but some officials sources said it could be around $1bn.
Banque Saudi Fransi rises as capital arm launches real estate fund
25 May 2013 at 10:14am
The Saudi Arabian Tadawul All-Share Index lost 0.40% to close at 7,333.83 points Saturday. Banque Saudi Fransi ended up 0.33% at SR30. Earlier in the day, Arab news reported Saudi Fransi Capital, an investment bank fully owned by Banque Saudi Fransi, has launched the Saudi Fransi Real Estate Fund. "The new fund seeks to achieve capital growth, by developing lands and real estate projects." Due its fast growing and young population, the Kingdom has a housing gap of 5 million units. Tadawul market heavyweight Sabic slipped 0.80% to SR93.50.
India's Essar secures 3 contracts in Abu Dhabi
25 May 2013 at 3:47pm
Indian EPC contractor Essar Projects (EPL) has secured three new orders totalling $80m in Abu Dhabi, Gulf Today has reported. EPL has been selected by Takreer for engineering, procurement, construction works, commissioning and start-up for a Spent Caustic Treatment Plant at Abu Dhabi Refinery. Samsung Engineering also awarded a contract to EPL for Civil Works for the Carbon Black & Delayed Coker (CBDC) project for the Ruwais refinery, while GS Engineering awarded construction of two inter refinery pipelines (IRP).
Bahrain's GPZ in deal with 1,800 workers to end strike
24 May 2013 at 2:24pm
Bahraini labour ministry has said around 1,800 workers at G P Zachariades (GPZ) contracting firm who went on strike last week, claiming they hadn't been paid for the past two months, have returned to work, Gulf Daily News has reported. “There was an agreement that the company would pay one and a half months salary and the balance would be paid in a couple of days,” said the ministry’s inspections and labour unions director, Ahmed Al Haiki. "This is a good company, which is developing major new projects in Bahrain. It never delays paying its workers, but had issues receiving money from clients,” said Al Haiki.
Aldar selects Greek contractor for Bani Yas infra project
22 May 2013 at 3:31pm
Abu Dhabi-based Aldar Properties has awarded Athena, a subsidiary of Greek firm J&P-AVAX, a €125m contract for the construction, operation and maintenance of marine works, along with roadworks, infrastructure and soft landscaping on Yas Island. The infrastructure works include excavations and earth-moving, roadworks, sanitary and storm water networks, pumping stations, tap water, irrigation and fire-fighting networks, design and construction of natural gas network, high- and low-voltage power networks, fibre optics and telecoms networks, street and traffic lighting, and their connection to Abu Dhabi’s existing infrastructure systems. The project has a 28-month deadline, with an additional 24-month period for the operation and maintenance of all constructions.
Kuwait's ASCO secures $342.2m in financing for Al Amiri Hospital expansion
22 May 2013 at 3:31pm
A joint venture led by Kuwait’s Associated Construction Co (ASCO) has signed a financing agreement with the National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) to finance the KD98m ($342.2m) Al Amiri Hospital expansion project, Kuna has reported. The hospital expansion project involves the construction, maintenance and provision of medical equipment for a new tower at the hospital, doubling the existing capacity by adding an additional 460 beds and a multi-storey parking block.
DSI awarded $460m contract in Saudi Arabia
21 May 2013 at 4:00pm
Dubai-based Drake & Scull International has announced its general contracting unit has won a SR1.73bn ($460m) contract from Lamar Investment and Real Estate Development Co in Saudi Arabia, Zawya Dow Jones has reported. DSC Saudi Arabia will oversee and undertake construction work on the Lamar Towers project in Jeddah, the company said. The project, halted in 2009, was restructured and refinanced in 2013 and is now expected to be completed by the end of 2015, it said.