Energy & Utilities
Saipem awards Oceaneering Egypt offshore deal
21 May 2013 at 3:55pm
Italian oil and gas industry contractor Saipem has awarded Oceaneering International the contract to supply umbilicals for the Burullus West Delta Deep Marine Phase IXa development located offshore Egypt. The order includes 10 subsea production control umbilicals totalling approximately 84km in length and two electrical power cables totalling around 55km in length. The project is set to be completed in the third quarter of 2014.
Aramco selects L&T for Midyan gas deal
21 May 2013 at 3:55pm
Saudi Aramco has awarded Larsen & Toubro (L&T) a contract to build facilities including a gas processing plant for its Midyan gas field, Reuters has reported. Under the contract, L&T is to build a plant with a processing capacity of 75 million standard cubic feet per day (scfd) of non-associated gas and 4,500 barrels of condensate per day, said the executive director of project management at Aramco, Fahad al-Helal. The project is due to be online mid-2016.
Chevron close to offloading downstream assets in Egypt
21 May 2013 at 3:54pm
Chevron Corp is in advanced talks to sell its downstream assets in Egypt and Pakistan, with the planned disposals seen raising around $300m for the US energy firm, Reuters has reported. The energy firm has received at least three non-binding bids for the assets from interested parties, which include regional and international energy companies, one of the sources said, declining to provide details of the bidders. "They are small assets but are profitable and gaining a lot of interest in the auction process,” the source said. “There are lots of buyers for whom owning these businesses makes perfect sense."
Aramco seeking bids for Jazan power plant
21 May 2013 at 3:53pm
Saudi Aramco is seeking bids for the construction of a 2,400 megawatt (MW) power plant in Jazan, near a 400,000 barrel-per-day oil refinery which it is currently building, Reuters has reported, citing two industry sources. The plant will use integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) technology to convert vacuum residue fuel from the refinery into a synthetic gas, the oil company said in a description of the project distributed at a signing ceremony for the refinery, which is due to come on line in 2016. Bids are invited by mid-August and the gas produced is expected to help power Saudi Arabia’s west coast cities.
Egypt, KSA to sign joint power line deal
20 May 2013 at 3:48pm
Egyptian electricity and energy minister Ahmed Imam is expected to sign an agreement with his Saudi counterpart for the construction of an electrical power line between the two countries, Daily News Egypt has reported. The total cost of the project is set to reach $1.6bn, with each side to bear the cost of construction on its own side of the border, which for Egypt is estimated at $600m. The line is expected to transport upwards of 3,000 megawatts of energy per day. The minister said all consulting, reviewing and planning aspects of the project have already been conducted and completed, including maritime survey operations, the demarcation of the Red Sea floor, and the identification of accurate geographic coordinates.
Egyptian factories, hit by subsidy cuts, highlight Cairo's fiscal dilemma
22 May 2013 at 7:00am
* Brick, cement makers hit first by govt drive to cut energy subsidies* Cairo needs to cut spending but austerity risks more social unrest* Analysts urge Cairo to move quickly to secure IMF loanBy Asma AlsharifAL-SAFF, Egypt, May 22 (Reuters) - Hundreds of soot-stained factory chimneys dot the horizon in the industrial city of al-Saff, south of Cairo, but only a few spew black smoke.Two years afte
Qatar PM says Assad departure a must for Syria peace
22 May 2013 at 5:23am
Qatar's prime minister said that President Bashar al-Assad's must step down if a political end to Syria's civil war is to be achieved, echoing similar remarks from Britain.
Iran denies link to group arrested for spying in Saudi Arabia
22 May 2013 at 4:56am
Iran denied on Wednesday any link to members of a spying ring detained by its Sunni Muslim regional rival Saudi Arabia, according to Iranian media.
Syria opposition calls for reinforcements in embattled Qusair
22 May 2013 at 4:04am
Syria's leading opposition group called on Wednesday for rebels across the country to send reinforcements to the strategic border town Qusair.
Jordan says SNB committed to franc cap, could adjust if needed
22 May 2013 at 3:00am
FRANKFURT, May 22 (Reuters) - The Swiss National Bank is committed to the cap it imposed on the franc in 2011 but could adjust the level of 1.20 per euro if necessary, said its Chairman Thomas Jordan. Jordan also told a Frankfurt journalist club the...
Syria opposition calls for humanitarian corridors for Qusayr
22 May 2013 at 1:36am
Acting opposition chief George Sabra urged rebels across Syria to "rush to the rescue" of rebel stronghold Qusayr under assault by regime troops backed by Lebanon's Hezbollah fighters.
Four dead as clashes rage in Lebanon's Tripoli
22 May 2013 at 1:08am
At least four people have been killed in clashes in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli, a security source told AFP, as fighting raged into a fourth day Wednesday.
Gaza-Egypt crossing at Rafah reopens - witnesses
22 May 2013 at 12:48am
The Rafah border crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip reopened on Wednesday, five days after its closure by Egyptian police angered by the kidnapping of seven colleagues, witnesses said.
Iran's Ahmadinejad says will challenge ally's ban from election
22 May 2013 at 12:12am
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Wednesday he would take up the ban of his close aide from the June 14 presidential election with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iranian media reported.
Seven kidnapped Egyptian security officers released -army spokesman
21 May 2013 at 10:19pm
Seven members of Egypt's security forces who were kidnapped in Sinai last week have been released and are on their way to Cairo, army spokesman Ahmed Ali said on his Facebook page on Wednesday.
Middle East struggling to provide work for youth, says IMF report
21 May 2013 at 9:57pm
The Middle East has hit a brick wall in its efforts to provide jobs for its rapidly expanding number of young unemployed.
Politics halt Guinea bauxite growth
21 May 2013 at 9:23pm
The African nation hopes to capitalize on its huge ore reserves, but experts say reforms have to be made.
Arab countries in transition face risk of further economic deterioration -IMF
21 May 2013 at 8:49pm
The economies of Arab countries in transition could deteriorate further should their political and security situations worsen, the International Monetary Fund said on Tuesday.
Qatar's GDP expected to grow 5.2% in 2013
21 May 2013 at 8:42pm
Since 2011, Qatar has successfully completed its 20-year investment plan to commercialize its natural gas reserves, the third largest globally with 25 trillion cubic meters or 13.0% of the world's total proven reserves.
KSA heading for 7.6% nonoil growth in 2013
21 May 2013 at 8:37pm
Inflationary pressure is likely to continue to remain subdued in the Kingdom this year in the absence of external shocks to food prices, says a top Riyadh-based economist.
Samba soars after Fitch afffirms Saudi bank's investment grade rating
22 May 2013 at 6:02am
The Saudi Stock Exchange consolidated at a 1-year high, closing 0.11% higher at 7,363.13 points. Samba Financial Group gained 0.44% to reach a 3-week high at SR45.90. Earlier in the day, Capital Intelligence (CI), the international credit rating agency, today announced that it has affirmed the ratings of Samba. "n view of the Bank's very strong capital ratios, strong liquidity and continually improving asset quality, the Financial Strength Rating is maintained at 'AA-'", said Fitch. At year-end 2012, Riyahd-based Samba ranked as KSA's third-largest bank, with total assets of SR199bn (equivalent to $53.1bn and a market share of about 12%). By total capital (SR31.7bn) the Bank ranked fourth in size among Saudi banks. At the close of the year, Samba operated a network of 72 branches and employed 3,329 full-time direct staff (2011: 3,057).
Bahrain Bourse gains on IMF's GDP growth forecast
22 May 2013 at 4:36am
The Bahrain All-Share Index finished the trading session on Wednesday with a gain of 0.14%, closing at 1,168.86 points. In its spring update on the Middle East and North Africa, the IMF uograded real GDP growth prospects fro the Bahrain to 4.2% for 2013 from 2.8% amid increased political stability in the Kingdom. In 2014, the IMF said Bahrain's econmy would grow by 3.3%. Shares of Inovest surged 8.93% to reach $0.305. Islamic bank Gulf Finance House hit a 1-year year, closing at $0.175.
Qatari shares gain across the board
22 May 2013 at 3:25am
The QE 20 Index added 0.54% to close at 9,085.90 points Wednesday. Qatar National Bank (up 0.35%), Industries Qatar (0.36% higher) and Ooredoo (gainiing 1.35%) led the gauge's advance. Islamic Holding posted the biggest decline (down 2.87%).
Etisalat advances as firm reinforces Nigeria operations
22 May 2013 at 3:16am
The Abu Dhabi market index ADXGI slipped 0.10% to 3,503.38, mostly due to losses in the bankig sector. Shares of Etisalat rose 0.85% to finish at Dhs11.85. The UAE's first telecom provider said its subsidiary Etisalat Nigeria (in which the mother company holds 40%), signed a $1.2bn medium term syndicated loan facility. The loan will be used to refinance an existing $650m term debt and to ensure the firm's network rollout across the West-African country. Etisalat, the ADX market bellwether, operates in 18 countries across the Middle East, Asia and Africa.
Arabtec stabilises after workers' strike ends
22 May 2013 at 3:01am
The DFM General Index rose 0.17% to close at 2,323.34 points Wednesday. All eyes were on Arabtec Construction which closed flat higher at Dhs2.37. Arabtec said the strike by some building workers in Dubai and Abu Dhabi was resolved trhough an amicable resolution "with no impact on any of its projects." Arabtec added those employees who participated in the stoppage of works will be held accountable for their actions.
After Union Properties lost 15% in value in the last 7 dasy, Dubai's second developer rebounded by 1.91% to reach Dhs0.426. Market bellwether Emaar Properties ended unchanged at Dhs5.87. Around 652m shares were traded, valued at 684m.
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.
Arabtec projects 'unaffected' by strike
21 May 2013 at 4:00pm
Dubai-based Arabtec has said the delivery of projects was unaffected by what it called a partial labour stoppage, adding it was working with authorities in the UAE to resolve the issue, Reuters has reported. "Arabtec reiterates that project delivery timelines have and will not be affected," the company said in a bourse filing yesterday. "Arabtec has been working closely with the UAE Ministry of Labour, the Dubai Police and the concerned security authorities to resolve as soon as possible a partial workers stoppage by a limited number of Arabtec labour employees," it said.
Oman warns firms against violating midday break rule
21 May 2013 at 4:00pm
Oman’s manpower ministry has warned of legal action against private sector companies who are found to be flouting norms regarding the midday break for construction workers during the months of June, July and August, Muscat Daily has reported. “Work should be stopped for three hours, from 12.30pm to 3.30pm, during these three months,” said the director general of labour welfare at the ministry, Salim bin Said al Badi. The ministry will send inspection teams to work sites, and those found violating the system would be dealt with sternly, al Badi added. “Article 118 of the Labour Law states that violators would be penalised either with a fine not less than OR100 and not more than OR500, or a jail term of not more than one year or both,” he said.
Kharafi awarded $930m in damages for Libyan project cancellation
20 May 2013 at 3:56pm
Kuwaiti group M A Kharafi and Sons has been awarded $930m in damages in arbitration proceedings via the Arab League from Libya for the cancellation by former leader Muammar Gaddafi's of the construction of a vacation resort, Reuters has reported. The Kuwaiti group signed a contract in 2006 with late leader Gaddafi's government to build the resort in Tripoli, which would have included hotel accommodation, villas and a shopping mall. The company said it spent money on feasibility studies, design and management contracts up until 2010, when Libya cancelled the deal.
Dar Al Arkan planning a series of sukuk to fund projects
20 May 2013 at 3:55pm
Saudi Arabia's Dar Al Arkan Real Estate Development Co has unveiled plans to sell dollar-denominated Islamic bonds to fund projects, Bloomberg has reported. The issue would be the first of a series over the next 12 months, the company said.
Opinion & Region Specific
IAF: We're Set for Surprise Syria War Scenario
22 May 2013 at 9:45am
IAF Commander Eshel says IAF could face all-out war if Assad falls, can deal with all weapon systems.
Rock Attacks Up Threefold, Firebombs Fourfold
22 May 2013 at 8:53am
Arab marauders' terror attacks in Judea and Samaria have spiked in 2012 and 2013, Knesset told.
Israel's History in Pictures: A Math Lesson
22 May 2013 at 8:42am
Israel's 2013 Maths matriculation exam took place yesterday. Here's how a math class looked before the state was established.
LA Elects First Jewish Mayor
22 May 2013 at 8:28am
Eric Garcetti won the race to be the 42nd mayor of Los Angeles, as Wendy Greuel conceded defeat.
'IDF Arrests Murderers of Ben Yosef Livnat'
22 May 2013 at 7:48am
Report: IDF arrested three PA security men who murdered yeshiva student at Joseph's Tomb in 2011.
Judea & Samaria Terror Doubles in 6 Months
22 May 2013 at 7:22am
IDF Judea and Samaria commmander avoids settler leaders in Knesset debate on terror situation.
National Insurance Leads in Public Complaints
22 May 2013 at 5:46am
Ombudsman reports on 2012 complaints. Bituach Leumi faces most complaints, followed by police.
Electric Company: PA Residents Not Forced to Pay
22 May 2013 at 5:33am
Palestinian Authority Arabs who do not pay for electricity are not cut off.
Seven Abducted Security Personnel in Sinai Released
22 May 2013 at 5:08am
Seven Egyptian security personnel who were abducted by suspected Islamic fundamentalists in Sinai have been released, says army spokesman.
NJ Designated 'Palestinian Day', Hoists Flag Over City Hall
22 May 2013 at 5:07am
The mayor of Paterson, NJ, had designated Sunday, May 19 as ?Palestinian-American Day? in the city, as PA flag hoisted over City Hall.