Energy & Utilities
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.
Egypt in talks with Qatar, Iraq over energy imports
24 May 2013 at 2:21pm
Egyptian oil minister Sherif Haddara has said negotiations with Qatar over a gas swap deal and Iraq over oil imports are ongoing and will "soon" be finalised, Ahram has reported. "Communications are open with them," Haddara said. "These are big deals and need time. Soon we will hear that they are done."
OPWP selects APR Energy to build 32MW power plant
22 May 2013 at 3:23pm
Oman Power and Water Procurement Co (OPWP) has awarded US-based APR Energy a contract to build a 32MW power station in the sultanate, Muscat Daily has reported. The solution will comprise a turnkey power plant consisting of diesel reciprocating engines, APR said. The 32MW power will be injected into the Sur33 132kV grid sub-station. The plant is expected to start generating power in the second quarter of this year, it said.
SEC awards Siemens SR1bn in contracts
22 May 2013 at 3:23pm
Saudi Electricity Co (SEC) has awarded Siemens two contracts valued at around SR1bn, Saudi Gazette has reported. The first contract includes the supply of five SGT6-2000E gas turbines, which will add 388 megawatts (MW) to the country’s electricity grid. The turbines will be used to supply power to the Rafha, Qurayyat and Arar areas, while the second deal is for a turnkey project to build the ‘Al-Kharj 2’ 380 kV substation. Under the contract, Siemens will supply all key components such as gas insulated switchgear, transformers, line reactors, switchgear, protection systems, telecoms systems, and will also build the substation.
Shell expects Majnoon greenfield project production within 2-3 months
22 May 2013 at 3:23pm
Simon Henry, the chief financial of Royal Dutch Shell has said the company aims to start production from a greenfield project in Iraq's Majnoon oil field within the next two to three months, Dow Jones has reported. The ramp up in output from the field was delayed while Shell resolved operational and legislative issues relating to the project such as cost recovery and importing equipment, Henry said. Total output from Majnoon is expected to reach 175,000 barrels a day by the end of the year, he said.
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.
MARKET TALK: Egypt's 3% Growth Not Enough, Could Lead to Unrest - CE
23 May 2013 at 6:03am
Thursday, May 23, 2013 1302 GMT [Zawya Dow Jones]--A first-quarter GDP growth of 3% year-on-year for Egypt is not enough to help the country's high unemployment rate, London-based Capital Economics says in a report. Notes Egypt's 1Q GDP data is not due...
HSBC UAE: Output Levels and Rate of Job Creation Rise in Non-Oil Producing Pr...
23 May 2013 at 1:43am
DUBAI, UAE, May 23, 2013 /PRNewswire/ According to the HSBC United Arab Emirates PMI™, the UAE's non-oil producing private sector companies reported a further increase in output levels in April. While new orders continued to rise sharply, the rate of increase eased to the slowest in a year. Meanwhile, employment levels rose at the fastest pace in two years.
Enterprise Qatar's USD100m fund targets SMEs
23 May 2013 at 1:26am
Enterprise Qatar (EQ), a corporation established in 2008 backed by the Qatari government, is set to launch a QAR 364 million (USD 100 million) fund aimed at financing small and medium enterprises (SMEs), a top-level official from the company told Zawya.
France backs call to put Hezbollah armed wing on EU terror list
22 May 2013 at 11:39pm
France is ready to support a British initiative to put the armed wing of Hezbollah on the European Union's list of terrorist organisations, an official said on Thursday, confirming comments by Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius.
World Bank announces USD150m 'special package' to Jordan
22 May 2013 at 11:03pm
The World Bank (WB) announced it will provide a special package of USD 150 million in financial support to the government to assist with the economic burdens of hosting more than half-a-million refugees.
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.
Abu Dhabi's General Holding plans IPO
24 May 2013 at 2:23pm
Abu Dhabi-based General Holding Corp (Senaat), which has nearly $7bn in assets, has approached banks with a proposal for a potential share listing, as part of plans to spur listings on the local stock market, Reuters has reported, citing three sources familiar with the matter. "The Abu Dhabi stock market needs a kick start with a big listing. Somebody has to take the initiative as the markets recover," a source at Senaat said, who confirmed there were plans for a listing without elaborating further. Senat’s revenues totalled Dhs12.3bn ($3.4bn) in 2012, up 7.2% over the previous year. But net profit was lower at Dhs1.3bn compared with Dhs1.5bn in 2011, mainly due to higher depreciation, the company said in April.
DP World shares stuck below $16
23 May 2013 at 5:42am
The FTSE NASDAQ Dubai UAE 20 Index closed at 2,555.38 points, down 1.25% from the previous close. Shares of Dubai Ports (DP) World lost 0.40% to $15.55. Since April 4, the share has been trading in a narrow range between $15 to $15.72.
Doha Bank jumps on UAE's SME bandwagon
23 May 2013 at 5:29am
The QE 20 Index closed 0.41% lower at 9,048.62 points on Thursday. Doha Bank fell 0.21% to close at QR47. Ealier in the day, the globally operating lender announced its intentions to support Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and corporate clients in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) through the Doha Bank’s branches in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, "including support for companies in the infrastructure development and construction sectors." Doha Bank Group CEO Dr. R. Seetharaman said in Dubai the Bank was seeking to participate in the resurgence of the UAE which is building its commercial economic platforms at a steady pace after the property market bubble which impacted the UAE. Dr. R. Seetharaman also added that Doha Bank is earmarking $12bn for lending to high-potential clients in the GCC between Qatar, UAE and Kuwait.
Abu Dhabi bourse loses the fourth day straight
23 May 2013 at 5:11am
The ADX General Index suffered from another session of profit booking, finishing 1.23% lower at 3,460.36 points on Thursday. Aldar Properties was the most liquid shares declined 2.06% in value, ending at Dhs1.90. Shares of Fujeirah Cement Industries hit a near limit up (14.42% higher) at Dhs1.19.
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.
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.