: Saudi Arabia Economical and other News


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08-10-11, 03:40 PM
Saudi Arriyadh fisnishes construction of Diriya square

Saudi property developer Arriyadh Development Company has announced that the construction of Prince Salman Square has been completed as part of its programme to develop the historical town of Diriya, Arab News has reported. A spokesman of the Riyadh-based company has said that the project, which was carried out by ADA's High Commission for the Development of Arriyadh (HCDA), is in harmony with the natural environment of the city and in accordance with its historical, architectural and environmental characteristics.

Source: Arab News

08-10-11, 03:42 PM
Mobily aims to secure $2.7bn laon refinancing

Banking sources have said that Saudi Arabia's Etihad Etisalat (Mobily) is aiming to secure SR10bn ($2.7 billion) loan refinancing from international banks, Reuters has reported. If the SR10.78bn Shari'ah-compliant debt financing deal is signed, it would be Mobily's largest syndicated loan. The Kingdom's second-largest mobile phone company will accept US dollars from potential European lenders, but is not wholly dependent on international participation.

Source: Reuters

08-10-11, 03:43 PM
Saudi cabinet approves GCC railway project

Saudi Arabia's Council of Ministers has given the green light to implement the $25bn Gulf Cooperation Council railway project, which aims to link the six GCC countries through a 2,117-km railway network, Arab News has reported. Culture and Information Minister Abdul Aziz Khoja has said that the Transport Ministry has received Cabinet approval to prepare engineering blueprint for the railway and follow up implementation of the project. The Finance Ministry is to allocate necessary funds for the railway, which will be completed in 2017.

Source: Arab News

09-10-11, 10:24 AM
Gold price came up a little bit

per gram in Saudi Arabia is SR 172.81

21 9 2011

09-10-11, 10:40 AM
Gold price per kilo in Saudi Arabia is

SR 197491.14

09-10-11, 10:44 AM
Gold price per aunce in Saudi Arabia is

1637.95 $

09-10-11, 10:54 AM
Primedia in strategic deal with Saudi firm

Bahrain-based media company Primedia International has tied up with Saudi consulting firm Joatha Business Development Consultants.
"This joint venture develops Primedia's presence in Saudi Arabia's booming business community," said Primedia's chief executive Mike Orlov.
"We are tremendously proud to have widened the doors for our advertisers to help them penetrate this market more effectively."
Joatha Consulting is a Riyadh-based firm licensed by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. The company provides services in three consulting and advisory practices, information technology, business development and strategy, and economic policy.
With presence in Riyadh and the Eastern Province, Primedia also has plans to open an office in Jeddah in the future. For operations in the Eastern Province, the company has appointed Mustafa Al Nasser as the new media manager.
"We welcome Mustafa on board and wish him all the best in his new role. He has worked for more than 15 years in the media, communications and marketing industry and brings valuable experience in the Saudi market," added Orlov.
Primedia also announced the opening of a call centre at its head office in Bahrain focusing on the Saudi market.
Source: Trade Arabia

09-10-11, 10:55 AM
Saudi Mercedes-Benz dealer offers checks

Juffali Automotive, the exclusive dealer for Mercedes-Benz cars in Saudi Arabia, is running a service week so that Mercedes-Benz owners may bring in their cars for a free vehicle check by factory-trained specialists.
German factory engineers will be flown in and will be on site to provide Mercedes-Benz customers with technical knowledge and advice on how to service and maintain their Mercedes-Benz.
Representatives from Mobil Oil and Michelin tyres will also be attending to give specialist technical advice.
With the harsh operating conditions we face, it is important that Mercedes-Benz owners have their cars checked regularly to avoid mechanical failures and ensure the highest levels of safety, said Safi Kobeissi, general manager.
In addition to the free service check, visitors to the service week at Juffali Automotive can take advantage of other offers including special discounts on spare parts and accessories.
They can even test drive a segment-leading Mercedes-Benz sedan or SUV and get a trade-in price for their current vehicle, a statement said.

Source: Trade Arabia

09-10-11, 11:10 AM
Airlines to be fined for delays in Haj flights

Saudi Arabia's General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) has said airline companies would be fined for any delays in Haj flights this year, Saudi Gazette has reported. The fines could reach up to SR150,000 for late flights, which will be doubled if the delay is more than 24 hours, GACA said. Airlines which allow flights to depart without obtaining a license will be fined more than SR30,000, it added.

Source: Ame Info

09-10-11, 11:11 AM
Shadhly first Saudi female to legally manage own business

Sawsan Sulaiman Shadhly, business woman and owner of Saudi International Center Group (SIC Group), is the first woman in the Kingdom to get a commercial license without a male legal representative.
Shadhly is actively involved in Saudi womens affairs. Born in Jeddah in 1974, she got her Masters degree in accounting with distinction from King Abdulaziz University, according to Al-Watan Arabic daily newspaper.
Shadhly is a member of several local and international business bodies including the Council of Dubai Businesswomen, Saudi Consumer Protection Association, and Meeting Professionals International (MPI) based in the United States.
Shadhlys SIC Group was among the top 20 companies owned by Saudi businesswomen in the Kingdom in 2008 and 2009 consecutively. She became popular among Saudi businesswomen when she presented papers in the United Arab Emirates, Syria and Malaysia about the challenges and difficulties facing Saudi businesswomen.
Her papers focused on the achievements of Saudi women without transgressing the boundaries of the Shariah.
She spoke at several local and regional conferences and forums including the Eighth Global Forum for Businesswomen in Dubai in 2006, the International Forum for Businesswomen in Syria in 2005 and the Fifth Global Conference for Independent Women in Malaysia in 2009.
Shadhly says that the economic and social developments in the Kingdom which were brought about by globalization pose new challenges to Saudi women and their contribution to economic growth. Over the past few years, more businesswomen have become interested in investment. Shadhly believes that investment is the real contribution to economic development and that women now have a great chance to invest their huge savings, estimated to be around SR15 billion.

Source: Saudi Gazette

09-10-11, 11:12 AM
Wealth of rich Saudi families falls 12%

Riyadh There has been a fall of 12 per cent in the wealth of 14 rich Saudi families during the first three quarters of the current year.
The overall value of their assets fell to 98.4 billion Saudi riyals (Dh96.34 billion) from 111.5 billion riyals during the period between January 1 and September 29, according to the latest figures released by Al Joman Centre for Economic Consultancy.
The Al Rajhi family is the kingdoms wealthiest non-royals. Among the 14 families that have so far declared their assets, Al Rajhi topped with a wealth of 46.3 billion riyals. This comprises 47 per cent of the total assets of these families. The Al Rashid family comes second with 5.8 billion riyals on the rich list. It is interesting to note that Al Rashids wealth is less than one-seventh that of Al Rajhi.
The decline in the wealth of the rich families was attributed mainly to the recent crash in the Saudi stock market. The shares plunged eight per cent during the three quarters of the year, the Sabaq website reported, quoting a statement by the Al Joman Centre. According to the report, there has been an increase in the wealth of four of the 14 families during the period.
The decline in the wealth of the rich was attributed to the crash in the Saudi stock market. The shares plunged eight per cent during the three quarters of the year.


Source: Gulf News

09-10-11, 11:13 AM
Saudi's Jarir reports 47.6% rise in profit

Saudi-based Jarir Marketing Co (JMC) has reported 47.6% increase in net profit for the third quarter of this year to SR152m, compared with a net profit of SR103m for the same period last year, and up 54.2% over SR98.6m in the previous quarter, Arab News has reported. The estimated net profit for the nine months stood at SR387.4m, an increase of 30.4% over the same period last year, JMC said.

Source: Ame Info

09-10-11, 11:14 AM
Saudi-Pakistani joint military exercise begins

On behalf of Prince Khaled Bin Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz, Assistant Minister of Defense and Aviation and Inspector General for Military Affairs, Prince Lt. Gen. Khaled Bin Bandar Bin Abdul Aziz, Commander of the Saudi Royal Land Forces, Thursday patronized the Saudi-Pakistani joint military exercise Al-Samsaam IV held in Jhelum district in Pakistan.
Gen. Ashfaq Kayani, Commander-in-Chief of the Pakistan Army, and a number of senior officers of the land force and the army of Pakistan also attended the event.
Gen. Kayani said that it was a great honor to have this exercise with the Saudi brothers, describing the event as yet another sign of close Saudi-Pakistani relations.
Gen. Kayani also praised Saudi forces for their bravery and valor.
For his part, Prince Khaled Bin Bandar conveyed the greetings of Crown Prince Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz, Deputy Premier, Minister of Defense and Aviation and Inspector General, and Prince Naif Bin Abdul Aziz, Second Deputy Premier and Minister of Interior, as well as Prince Khaled Bin Sultan, to the participants in the joint event.
Prince Khaled said the joint exercise is yet further evidence of the firm and deep-rooted cooperation between the two armies.
Speaking to the press following the exercise, Prince Khaled said this extraordinary exercise will help Saudi officers and soldiers develop skills in their fight against terrorism and in fighting in rugged terrain. He said the Kingdom will leave no stone unturned in combating the menace of terrorism

Source: Saudi Gazette

09-10-11, 11:16 AM
Huge opportunities in Saudi supermarket business: Tamimi Group

The owners of Tamimi supermarket on Alkhobar's Corniche on Thursday marked the opening of the expanded and renovated grocery store that has defined the company over the last four decades.
Since its launch in 1979 it has become a key landmark in the Eastern Province.
The supermarket revolutionized the grocery business. Before that Saudi Arabia had the ubiquitous baqalas. In a sense the opening of Tamimi's Alkhobar supermarket symbolized the beginning of modern commerce in Saudi Arabia.
Hundreds of customers attended the grand opening of the milestone store.
Soon after the launch, pictures were uploaded to Facebook and enthusiasts tweeted about it. Hundreds of expatriates in the US, Europe and Asia who resided in Saudi Arabia in the 1980s and 1990s commented on these photos recalling their memories of the store and its many items.
"How does that area look like now?" wrote Peter Isaak, an American who made Alkhobar his home in 1982, while commenting on the launch photo.

"I will never forget the many trips we would make to Tamimi supermarket to get stuff that we thought we would never get in Saudi Arabia."
"This particular store is our flagship ... This one led to the success of the Tamimi Group of Companies. We became a household name after this store," said Group President Tariq A. Tamimi, one of the sons of Ali Tamimi, the group founder.
"We have a special attachment with this store, and this is the reason why we have invested so much in it."
He says competition has not driven the investment.

"We have gone in for an aggressive strategy because this is still an untapped market," he added.
"Saudi Arabia is growing, and we think there are huge opportunities in the supermarket business. The population is growing; they have become quality conscious and brand conscious. Our priority is to provide them the best."
Tamimi is known for quality products, but it has lost business to hypermarkets that provide a range of products at lower prices.
"We are catering to a different segment altogether. We have organic food, and that comes at a high cost. Those who are health-conscious and are aware of what organic food is all about understand what we are talking about," said Tamimi.
"Our major focus now is the growing Saudi population; they form the bulk of our clientele."
To all those who have been Tamimi's loyal customers for years, the president's message is: "Come see for yourself what we have done for you. You will love shopping with us. We have got everything that you are looking for, and quality is our benchmark."
The new supermarket's ultimate selling point is its prime location and the fact that it is open 24/7. "We have taken into account the feedback from our regular customers and factored in their needs," said Mohsen S. Husain, food division general manager.
"We are now in the process of launching new stores in other places."
Tamimi supermarket was the only building in the area in 1979.
"I have been with this group for 35 years," said Mohammed Ilyas Khan, who is now vice president and managing director of Tamimi Global Co. Ltd.
"Across the road everything was part of the sea," he says pointing to the glitzy Alkhobar Corniche area that has now become the location for a number of coffeehouses, top brands and fast-food outlets.
"Most of this area was reclaimed from the sea," he said.
According to Khan, Tamimi Alkhobar is very dear to the owners.
"I remember Ustaz Ali Tamimi spending much of his time at this store. He took personal interest in this outlet and would listen to his customers patiently to ensure that they got what they wanted. A whole generation of Saudis and expatriates in Saudi Arabia grew up buying their daily products from in here. It is fitting that this superstore has been redone in such a fabulous way; it is the company's tribute and commitment to its customers."
"Such is our commitment to this store that we might close everything but not this one," quipped Fawaz T. Tamimi, head of the group's business development division.
"This is our life. This is our legacy."

Source: Arab News

09-10-11, 04:46 PM
The price of gold still the same as in the morning

SR 172.81 per gram

09-10-11, 11:20 PM
Allah bless u, hussan

10-10-11, 09:57 AM
Allah bless u, hussan


Thanks a lot Swyrs

10-10-11, 10:00 AM
Unfortunately the price of gold came up yesterday evening

this morning the price is


SR 174.25 per gram

10-10-11, 10:15 AM
Saudi developer gets $1bn loan for project

Saudi Arabia's biggest property developer Dar Al Arkan said the Public Investment Fund (PIF) approved a SR4bn ($1bn) facility to finance the Qasr Khozam development project in Jeddah.
"This funding will contribute to the project by accelerating the development operations and pushing ahead to the next phase of sending evacuation notifications, the compensation and transfer of ownership of the properties located in the project area," it said in a bourse statement on Saturday.
The Qasr Khozama project spans an area of 4 million square meters in the old downtown district of Jeddah, which includes historical landmarks and old buildings, many of which will be demolished and replaced with modern buildings.
The port-city of Jeddah, the second-largest in the kingdom, is undergoing many development projects to modernize infrastructure.

Source: Reuters

10-10-11, 10:16 AM
Saudi shares closed higher, boosted by oil price rise

Saudi shares closed higher on Saturday with gains in all sectors after oil prices rose on Friday.
The all-share gained 1.4 percent to 6,085 points and the petrochemical sector added 2.5 percent to 6,095 points.
Petrochemical giant Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) added 2.6 percent.
Banking stocks rose 0.5 percent, lifted by gains in heavyweight Al-Rajhi Bank which added 0.7 percent.

Source: Reuters

10-10-11, 10:17 AM
Saudi Aramco, Dow ink deal for "game changing" JV

A new joint venture project between Saudi Aramco and Dow Chemical, signed on Saturday, is expected to create $10bn in revenues within a few years, officials said.
Sadara Chemical Company will make three million tonnes of chemical products a year, making it the largest joint venture in the kingdom.
It will make chemical products that are new to the Middle East, the company said in a statement.
Sadara, which will be comprised of 26 manufacturing units, will be one of the world's largest integrated chemical facilities, and the largest ever built in one single phase.
Preparation work on the complex site has started with manufacturing units expected to come on line in the second half of 2015. All units are expected to be up and running in 2016, the statement added.
"Sadara is an extraordinary and unique venture that will build upon the strengths of both Dow and Saudi Aramco to deliver the diversified and specialty materials and chemicals needed to drive growth in the entire region and beyond," said Andrew Liveris, Dow's chairman and CEO.
"This premier partnership is truly unprecedented and is very well positioned to bring value creation on every front; transforming the Saudi economy, as well as the entire chemical industry, at the same time."
Sadara is expected to deliver annual revenues of approximately $10 billion within a few years of operation while contributing significantly to Saudi Arabia's industrial diversification.
Saudi Aramco president and CEO Khalid A Al-Falih added: "I am confident that Sadara will be a game-changer in the kingdom's petrochemical industry as it has all the needed ingredients for success."
The joint venture and related investments are expected to generate thousands of jobs, with hundreds of Saudi nationals set to be recruited by the end of 2011.
Sadara's manufacturing units are expected to come on line in the second half of 2015. All units are expected to be up and running in 2016.

Source: Arabian Business

10-10-11, 10:19 AM
Saudi's Almarai says Q3 profit rises 1.2%

Almarai Co, Saudi Arabias largest food producer by market value, said third-quarter profit advanced 1.2 percent even as production costs and capital expenditure increased.
Net income rose to SR429.7m ($115m) from SR424.5m a year earlier, the Riyadh-based company said in a statement on Saturday.
Analysts predicted profit of SR423m, according to the average of five forecasts compiled by Bloomberg. The median estimate was for net income of SR434m.
Profit growth in the third quarter was restrained by production cost increase and investments in production capacities and expansions to meet growing demand, the company said in the statement.
It added that capital expenditure reached SR2.2bn in the first nine months.
Almarais sales were SR2.1bn in the three months that ended September 30, up from SR1.8bn a year earlier, it said. Nine-month earnings a share rose to 4.41 riyals from 4.36 riyals.

Source: Bloomberg

10-10-11, 10:20 AM
Saudi Arabia to verify over 100,000 university degrees

The Saudi higher education ministry has hired an international firm to verify 100,000 scientific degrees in engineering, accountancy, economics, medicine and other specialisations, Saudi Gazette has reported, citing unnamed sources. The move comes after 9 government agencies and 30 private firms had suffered great financial and professional losses after employing 8,072 employees last year who were believed to hold fake certificates, the report said. The verification procedure covers the marked examination sheet, name of the university, and other measures to determine the authenticity of a certificate.

Source: Saudi Gazette

10-10-11, 10:21 AM
Saudi Arabia cuts output in September

Saudi oil minister Ali al-Naimi has said the kingdom has cut oil production to 9.39 million barrels per day (bpd) in September from around 9.8 million bpd in August, Reuters has reported. "Demand is always fluctuating but our position is that we will supply whatever our customers ask for," Naimi told reporters in Dhahran, adding that the global oil market is balanced.

Source: Reuters

10-10-11, 10:22 AM
Saudi Arabia awards water, sewage projects worth S$ 851m

Saudi Arabia's water and electricity ministry has awarded SR851m in contracts to specialised national firms to implement several water and sewage projects across the kingdom, Arab News has reported. The projects include channelling water from dams in Leeth to Al-Shoaibah Phase-2 desalination plant at a cost of SR565m to be completed in three years and a SR37.87m sewage network in Al-Rass governorate in Qassim province to be completed within three and half years. They also include construction of a water tank and distribution centre at Wadi bin Hashbal in Khamis Mushyat governorate in Asir province at a cost of SR26m to be completed within 18 months and a SR22m sewage network project at Uhud Rafeeda (Third Phase) in Asir province within three years.

Source: Arab News

10-10-11, 10:23 AM
Inflation in Saudi Arabia will continue to fall, says Al-Jaser

Muhammad Al-Jasser, Governor of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA), has said the country's inflation levels are not worrying and will continue to decline, Arab News has reported. "Inflation has become stable since the beginning of the year between around 4.6% and 4.9%... I expect it to continue its decline," Al-Jasser told reporters on the sidelines of a conference in Riyadh.

Source: Arab News

10-10-11, 02:18 PM
Gold price per kilo is SR 199136.95 as of October 10 at 8 AM of Saudi Arabia

11-10-11, 09:21 AM
Unfortunately the gold price comes up again

The price per gram is SR 177.3

8 AM
October 10, 2011

11-10-11, 04:34 PM
Saudi Arabia beheads eight Bangladeshis for murder

Saudi Arabia beheaded eight Bangladeshi nationals in public yesterday for the murder of an Egyptian citizen in 2007, the official Saudi Press Agency reported, citing an Interior Ministry statement.
The Egyptian was killed during a robbery of a warehouse in Riyadh, the news service said, citing the ministrys statement. Three other Bangladeshis were sentenced to prison terms and flogging for their roles in the crime.
Saudi Arabia, where religious police patrol shopping centres and cinemas are prohibited, enforces Islamic law. The kingdom usually beheads or sentences people to lashings for murder, rape and drug smuggling. The member of the Group of 20 nations has been criticised by international human rights groups.
Two other Saudi nationals were executed in the northern city of Tabuk yesterday, bringing the total number of executions to ten, London-based Amnesty International said in a statement on its website yesterday. At least 58 people have been executed in the country this year, including 20 foreign nationals, Amnesty said.
Court proceedings in Saudi Arabia fall far short of international standards for fair trial and news of these recent multiple executions is deeply disturbing, Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Amnestys Deputy Director for Middle East and North Africa, said in the statement.
The number of executions had been declining, dropping to 27 people in 2010 and 69 in 2009 from about 102 the year earlier and 158 in 2007, according to Amnesty.

Source: Bloomberg

11-10-11, 04:35 PM
Patients face long wait times in Saudi clinics, says survey

A recent survey by Saudi Arabia's National Guards' health affairs department has found one of the major problems patients face when visiting clinics and hospitals is the long waiting time before they see a doctor, Arab News has reported. While 59% of the 585 patients surveyed said they had to wait more than an hour, 22% said they had to wait more than half an hour before they could see a doctor and 14% said they had to wait only 15 minutes, while only 4% said they could always see the doctor as soon as they arrived at the hospital, according to the survey.

Source: Arab News

11-10-11, 04:35 PM
Adverts banned on pilgrim coaches by Haj ministry

Saudi Arabia's Haj ministry has banned all Haj service providers from placing advertisement stickers on buses transporting pilgrims, Arab News has reported. The ministry asked the Makkah municipality to select one of the specialised advertising agencies through a public tender. The winning agency will be asked to remove all posters that are randomly put up by Haj service companies, the ministry said.

Source: Arab News

11-10-11, 04:36 PM
Dar Alarkan gets funding for Jeddah project

Saudi Arabia's largest property developer, Dar Alarkan, has said the kingdom's Public Investment Fund has approved a SR4bn ($1bn) facility to finance the Qasr Khozam development project in Jeddah, Reuters has reported. "This funding will contribute to the project by accelerating the development operations and pushing ahead to the next phase of sending evacuation notifications, the compensation and transfer of ownership of the properties located in the project area," the company said.

Source: Reuters

11-10-11, 04:37 PM
Jeddah floods projects to be completed by Nov 27

All emergency flood projects underway in Jeddah will be completed before the November 27 deadline, a senior official has pledged.
Prince Mansour bin Miteb, Municipal and Rural Affairs Minister, said all work was progressing as planned as he visited a number of the work sites, Saudi daily Arab News reported on Friday.
Fourteen contracts were awarded in August to carry out emergency projects as part of a plan to prevent flooding in Jeddah.
A major ministerial meeting on tackling flooding in the city reviewed short and long-term projects planned to confront flashfloods that have destroyed the city in the past.
In November 2009, floods resulted in the deaths of more than 120 people and rendered about 10,000 people homeless while thousands of homes, buildings and vehicles were also destroyed.
Work on all short-term emergency projects are progressing as planned. The ministry gets weekly reports on the progress of the projects, Prince Mansour said while touring the sites of flood protection projects in Quwaisah, Umm Al-Khayr and other locations.
The prince added that the ministry wanted not only the completion of the projects on time but also insisted on the quality of the work, the paper said, citing a report in the Al-Madinah Arabic daily.
The projects visited by the minister included Qaus Check Dam 2, which has a capacity to hold 1.16m cubic meters of floodwater, and an underground pipe canal in the Mathoub valley.
In April, US-based Aecom Technology Corporation won a $171m order to work on a new long-term flood control system in Jeddah.
Aecom said it will provide project management services including a consultancy, engineering, and construction services contract for a citywide storm water, flood-control, and wastewater infrastructure improvement programme.
Under the contract, Aecom will supervise emergency and long-term solutions against natural disasters, especially flooding.

Source: Arabian Business

11-10-11, 04:38 PM
Intel to train teachers in Saudi Arabia

The Saudi education ministry has signed a memorandum of understanding with chipmaker Intel to train educators across the country on the use of classroom technologies, Saudi Gazette has reported. Under the agreement, 100,000 teachers and 10,000 principals are to be trained in technological programs at boys and girls schools, as well as expanding the use of Intel educational programs in schools.

Source: Saudi Gazette

11-10-11, 04:39 PM
Sadara chemical joint venture likely to tap debt market

The Sadara chemical joint venture being built by Saudi Arabian Oil Co and Dow Chemical Co may tap debt markets to help finance the project, Bloomberg has reported. The venture will explore all sources of funding as "it's a big project that needs a lot of debt", said Khalid Al Falih, chief executive of Saudi Aramco. The project will examine bond and sukuk markets. The plant will make three million tonnes of chemical products a year, generating about $10bn worth of sales per annum, within a few years, he said.

Source: Bloomberg

11-10-11, 04:40 PM
Al Hokair opens Garage store in Saudi Arabia

Saudi-based retailer Al Hokair Group has opened a Garage apparel store in Sahara Mall, Riyadh, following the signing of a partnership with the fashion brand. Under the agreement, Al Hokair is also to open two more stores over the next month in the largest malls in Saudi Arabia; one in Mall of Arabia in Jeddah and the other in Mall of Dhahran in Dhahran.

Source: Ame Info

11-10-11, 04:41 PM
Makkah in need of tour guides

Saudi experts have said the Holy City of Makkah suffers from the lack of educated and professional tour guides, Saudi Gazette has reported. Only 11 trained and experienced tour guides are employed in the Makkah region, which has 24 historical attractions visited by hundreds of thousands of visitors each month, according to Dr Mohammad Al-Omairi, Dean of the College of Management Sciences and Tourism at Um Al-Qura University in Makkah. A recent study by the ministry of Haj showed a 30% increase in Umrah pilgrims compared to last year.

Source: Ame Info

11-10-11, 04:41 PM
New cable car system planned for Makkah

The Saudi government is set to set up 12 cable car systems linking the parking areas in Kudai, Rusaifa and Taneem with the Grand Mosque in Makkah to facilitate transportation of pilgrims and reduce traffic congestion, Arab News has reported. The Centre of Research Excellence at Makkah's Umm Al-Qura University is working with the Transport and Crowd Management Centre in Toronto University to develop the system for the Holy City. In addition to the 2.3km cable car line from Kudai, there will also be two cable car lines from Rusaifa to the Haram, one with a length of 3.2km without any station and another 3.3km line parallel to the Makkah road with three stations.

Source: Arab News

12-10-11, 09:17 AM
The gold price per gram is SR 175.89
8 AM

October 12, 2011

12-10-11, 12:49 PM
Meeza wins Saudi Arabia VIP lounges contract

Saudi Arabia's General Authority for Civil Aviation (GACA) has signed a 15-year agreement with Meeza Co to develop and operate VIP lounges at airports across the kingdom, Arab News has reported. According to the contract, Meeza is to develop and operate special lounges and in 12 major airports. GACA is also to transfer services to Meeza within one year, starting with King Abdulaziz Airport in Jeddah.

Source: Arab News

12-10-11, 12:49 PM
Saudi Arabia aims to make bank financing easier for SMEs

The Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA) has launched a new system to help banks evaluate the performance of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) before providing loans with confidence, Arab News has reported. "The assessment system that was launched today removes one of the major obstacles facing the development of SMEs," he said. According to a study presented at the Riyadh Economic Forum, about 90% of companies in the kingdom are SMEs.

Source: Arab News

12-10-11, 12:50 PM
Saudi Aramco, Total Refinery JV Sukuk oversubscribed

Saudi Aramco Total Refining and Petrochemical Company's (SATORP) Islamic bond, or sukuk was 3.5 times oversubscribed, making the final offering size of $1bn, Dow Jones Newswire reported. The floating rate sukuk will have a tenor of about 14 years, the firm said in a statement. It was offered at six-month Saudi interbank offered rate, or SAIBOR, plus 95 basis points. The refinery was projected to cost about $14bn to construct capable of carrying 400,000 barrels per day exports. This is expected to be completed and active by the end of 2013.

Source: Dow Jones Newswire

12-10-11, 12:52 PM
Aramco, Dow Chemical to form petrochemical JV

Aramco and US Dow Chemical have agreed to form a $20bn petrochemical joint venture in Jubail, Reuters has reported. Saudi Aramco said the move is in line with plans aimed at balancing its energy portfolio by increasing exposure to downstream industries and maximising profits from existing oil and gas streams. The state-run firm is considering building three new joint venture refineries in Asia in order to increase its global refining capacity by 50% to over 6m barrels per day (bpd).

Source: Reuters

12-10-11, 12:53 PM
Saudi market rises the fourth day straight

The Tadawul All Share Index closed 0.61% higher at 6,136.97 points. The Riyadh-based benchmark was mainly lifted by advances in the financial and petrochemical sector. Sabic added half a percent and closed at SR92.25. Saudi Hotels & Resort Areas Co. closed up 0.35% at SR28.70. Earlier in the day, Saudi Hotels announced that net profit during the third quarter amounted to SR41.1m as compared to SR32.6m for the same quarter of the previous year with growth of 26.1 and compared to SR35.7m for the previous quarter with growth of 15.1%. "The major reason behind the profit increase is the improvement in the operating results of the most properties," the firm said in a statement posted on the Tadawul website.

Source: Ame Info

12-10-11, 12:54 PM
Saudi Safco's Q3 net profit doubles

Saudi Arabian Fertilizer Co (Safco) has said its third-quarter net profits have doubled after prices for its products rose globally, Reuters has reported. Safco, which produces urea and ammonia, made a net profit of SR1.2bn in the third quarter, compared with SR604m last year. Operational profit for the quarter surged 97% to SR1.1bn, Safco said.

Source: Reuters

12-10-11, 12:55 PM
Saudi Arabia set to build, assemble cars by 2021

Saudi Arabia plans to manufacture car parts by 2013 and to build two car models and assemble cars in about 10 years, said an official who is handling the development of countrys automotive industry.
Its a big challenge and that is why the government is involved in developing the automotive sector, Azzam Shalabi, president of the governments National Industrial Clusters Programme, said in an interview on Monday in the eastern coastal city of Dammam.
The kingdom, the worlds largest oil exporter, is trying to develop new conversion industries in areas around refineries and petrochemical plants that are being built by Saudi Arabian Oil Co and Saudi Basic Industries Corp.
The country is developing the clusters to diversify the economy and provide more jobs to its rapidly growing population. In those areas, Saudi Aramco and Sabic, as the companies are known, will provide petrochemical products to producers of finished goods used in making cars, solar-energy products, home appliances, and plastic and packaging products, Shalabi said.
The Sadara chemical joint venture of Saudi Aramco and the Dow Chemical Co will create a plastics-manufacturing park next to its complex, said Fayez al-Sharef, Aramcos chemical project director. The park will create businesses valued at $2bn, he said in Dammam on Monday.

We estimate that by developing a sustainable scale industry, the kingdom could create 100,000 direct jobs and add SR40bn ($11bn) to the GDP annually. He said that a sustainable industry will be producing about 500,000 cars a year.
Saudi Arabia will be developing two car models, to be called the Ghazal and Assilah, he said. The Ghazal is being developed by King Saud University, and the Riyadh Techno Valley Co. is conducting a project-feasibility study for it. The Assilah will be developed by King Abdulaziz City of Science and Technology, he said.
Saudi Arabia is also trying to convince large automotive companies to assemble cars in the kingdom. Japans Isuzu Motors Ltd. has a plant to assemble heavy and medium-size trucks in Dammam, where it will start production in 2012 with the aim of producing 25,000 vehicles a year, Shalabi said.
To attract foreign auto investors, Saudi Arabia is developing an automotive-zone master plan that will allow manufacturers to share some production facilities and logistics operations.
This zone concept is being discussed with auto companies to validate its feasibility and acceptability, Shalabi said.
The government is also giving financial incentives to investors. The state-owned funds will provide 75 percent of the project cost as a soft loan for 20 years in underdeveloped areas of the country, such as Najran in the south and Tabuk in the north, while it will finance 50 percent of the project for 15 years in other areas of the country, he said.

Source: Bloomberg

12-10-11, 12:58 PM
Saudi Telecom eyes new licences in MENA region

Saudi Telecom Co (STC) is targeting acquisitions and licences in the Middle East and North Africa and is confident of securing funding for any deals, the head of its international operations said on Monday.
STC, which owns 35 percent of Turkish group Oger Telecom, licences in Bahrain and Kuwait and a controlling stake in Indonesian firm Axis, wants to expand.
"Our future investments will continue to focus on the Middle East and North Africa predominantly and then Asia ... we thought there were not any opportunities (in the Middle East) a year ago, but looking at the region today the picture is changing," Ghassan Hasbani told Reuters in an interview.
"There are greenfield opportunities that will emerge or existing operations that are up for sale or potentially up for sale. There's a lot of hidden potential that will emerge in the next 18 to 24 months."
STC and Qatar Telecommunications (Qtel) were the two final bidders for Syria's third mobile licence, but the auction remains on hold as the government mounts a deadly crackdown against protesters demanding an end to President Bashar al-Assad's rule.
"We are waiting for new signals on that market (Syria) on where the process is going. Nothing has changed," said Hasbani.
Another target could be Iraq, with Saudi Arabia's northern neighbour aiming to auction a fourth mobile licence by year-end.
"When that process is underway we would look at it seriously," said Hasbani.
STC will be able to tap debt markets for acquisitions.
"Funding was more limited in 2008, but today for companies like STC I don't they think will have problems finding funding at good rates," said Hasbani.
"We only look to borrow money when there's an imminent opportunity. According to that opportunity we will look at our debt-equity mix."

Source: Reuters

12-10-11, 12:59 PM
Saudi, Sudan to explore Red Sea basin for gold and silver

Sudan and Saudi Arabia plan to produce within three years gold, silver and copper in large quantities from the bottom of the Red Sea, trying to execute a project in planning for almost four decades, a senior Sudanese official said.
Both Arab countries, which lie across each other in the Red Sea, have been sounding out since the mid-seventies on how to exploit large mineral deposits suspected to be 2,000 metres below sea levels.
A German firm first analysed in the seventies the Atlantis II basin which is located roughly half way between the Saudi port city of Jeddah and Port Sudan, the biggest port on the African country.
Using that data, both countries - which agreed long ago to jointly explore the potential of the Red Sea - now plan to start production in 2014 using special drill ships, said Abbas Al Sheikh, undersecretary in the Sudanese mining ministry.
Sudan will explore the basin with Saudi firm Manafa International which has formed a joint-venture with Canadian firm Diamond Fields International for the task.
"It's a lot," Sheikh said on Sunday on the sidelines of an industry conference in Port Sudan when asked how much both countries planned to produce from there.
Based on past estimates the basin stretching some 60 square kilometres contains 47 tonnes of gold, 3,750 tonnes of silver, 1.89 million tonnes of Zinc plus around 425,000 tonnes of copper, a Sudanese ministry study says.
The rock in the basin "indicates that sediments in some parts of the Atlantis basin may attain a total thickness of up to 160 metres," Diamond Fields says on its website.
Sheikh declined to say how much the project would cost, saying only it had now become viable after gold and copper prices have risen strongly: "It is very costly...but now gold and copper prices are high. It's expensive."
Diamond Fields said more than $70m had been spent to date by Saudi Arabia alone on research.
Industry experts said extracting the minerals from the sea bottom would be difficult and expensive, putting a question mark over the production date. Processing the minerals at a plant would cost $200 million or more.
"There are significant technological challenges," said Tucker Barrie, a Canadian mining consultant attending the conference.
The operation would need around 200 workers on rotation on sea plus 300-500 people working on land at a metallurgy plant.
Barrie said copper would be the most interesting mineral to extract from the deep-water basin: "Copper is the most value resource....From the size it is all copper."
Neither Saudi Arabia nor Sudan had a copper smelter to process the minerals, Barrie said. Building one would cost around $2bn which would make sense instead of taking the copper somewhere else for processing.
Sheikh said both governments had not yet decided where to process the extracted minerals.
Sudan is expanding its minerals and gold production to compensate for the loss of most oil reserves to newly-independent South Sudan.

Source: Reuters

14-10-11, 02:23 AM
The gold price per gram is SR 175.99


October 13, 2011

after mednight

14-10-11, 02:28 AM
Saudi's Aviation Link makes Airbus narrowbodies order

Saudi-based Aviation Link has signed an agreement to buy two Airbus aircraft, an ACJ319 corporate jet and an A319 airliner, Arabian Aerospace has reported. Set for delivery in the second half of next year, Aviation Link is to manage both aircraft on behalf of two undisclosed customers.

Source: Arabian Aerospace

14-10-11, 02:30 AM
Saudi Arabian Mining Co. declines as net profit dips quarter-on-quarter

The Tadawul market closed 0.3% lower at 6,118.62 points. Shares of Saudi Arabian Mining Co., also known as Ma'aden, fell 1.80% to SR24.55. Earlier in the day, Ma'aden reported net income attributable to the shareholders of the parent company, for the third quarter ended 30 September 2011 amounted to SR27.4m compared to the actual net loss for the same quarter of 2010 amounted to SR0.2m, and compared to the actual net income for the second quarter 2011 of SR62.5m representing a decrease of 56%. "

Source: Ame Info

14-10-11, 02:31 AM
Saudi to launch e-system to monitor infection diseases

The Saudi health ministry is set to launch an integrated electronic system to monitor infectious diseases and control epidemics in the kingdom, Saudi Gazette has reported. The programme, part of a national plan to promote the preventive health medicine, is also to cover immunisation of citizens and residents as well as the storage of vaccines and registering the follow-up date, according to ministry spokesman, Dr Khalid Al-Marghalani.

Source: Saudi Gazette

14-10-11, 02:32 AM
Saudi King to undergo surgery in coming days

Saudi King Abdullah, who underwent surgery last year for back-related problems, will undergo an operation in the coming days, Saudi Arabia's state news agency reported on Tuesday.
The health of the ruler of the world's leading oil exporter is of keen interest, given his age - thought to be 88 - and uncertainty over how power would be transferred within Saudi Arabia's ruling royal family.
"In continuation of the scheduled medical follow up of King Abdullah, the king will undergo an operation in the coming days in Riyadh," news agency SPA reported, citing a statement from the royal court.
Details of the planned operation were not disclosed.
King Abdullah was absent for three months late in 2010 while he underwent treatment for a herniated disc that caused blood to accumulate around his spine. He underwent surgery in New York and convalesced in Morocco, leaving his brother Crown Prince Sultan in charge.
Sultan, who is slightly younger than Abdullah, has also been treated for health issues in the past few years and was in the United States in the summer for medical tests.
Interior Minister Prince Nayef is poised to step in if anything happens to indispose both Abdullah and Sultan. The king appointed Nayef second deputy prime minister in 2009 - a move that puts him in a strong position to one day take over.
So far only sons of the kingdom's founder, Abdul-Aziz Ibn Saud, have ascended to the throne, and eventually it will have to pass to a new generation. An "allegiance council" of sons and grandsons of the kingdom's founder was established to guide succession, but how it will work has not been made clear.
Nayef, who is in his late 70s, is considered to be a conservative who might put the brakes on some reforms introduced by Abdullah.
Last month, the king unveiled greater representation for women in Saudi Arabia, granting them the right to vote and stand in local elections. Women in Saudi Arabia are not allowed to drive and require a male relative's permission to work or leave the country.
Religious instruction is an integral part of education in the Sunni monarchy, but with a growing population, the kingdom is trying to create jobs for its 19 million people, of whom 70 percent are under the age of 30.
After returning to the kingdom in February, King Abdullah unveiled $130bn worth of job-creating projects for infrastructure, housing, security and other areas.
Despite the upheaval seen across the Arab world, and the toppling of autocrats in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, Saudi Arabia saw only small protests flare up in the oil-rich Eastern Province, where there is a higher concentration of Muslim Shi'ites. After relative quiet since March, protests erupted again last week but were quickly stamped out.

Source: Arabian Business

14-10-11, 02:59 AM
US says Iran backed plot to murder Saudi envoy

The United States on Tuesday accused Iran of sponsoring a plot to assassinate Saudi Arabias ambassador to the US in a conspiracy involving a secret Iranian military unit and a citizen of the Islamic Republic with a US passport.
Manssor Arbabsiar and Gholam Shakuri were charged with conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction, in this case plastic explosives, to murder Ambassador Adel Al-Jubeir and attack Saudi installations in the US in a plan hatched this year. Targets included foreign government facilities associated with Saudi Arabia and with another country, the US said in a complaint filed in Manhattan federal court.
The plotters also targeted Israels embassy in Washington, as well as the Argentina embassies of Israel and Saudi Arabia, according to a federal law enforcement official familiar with the matter.
US Attorney General Eric Holder said today that the US will hold Iran responsible for any terrorist actions tied to the plot, which he said was sponsored by the Iranian government. He called the conspiracy a flagrant violation of international law.
The US said Arbabsiar, who has dual US and Iranian citizenship, conspired with Shakuri, a member of Irans Qods Force, which is described as the most secret of the Iranian regimes numerous military organizations by the Iran Terror Database. Prosecutors called it a special operations unit of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps that is said to sponsor and promote terrorist activities abroad.
This was directed by senior members of the Qods Force, Holder said. While Shakuri remains at large, Arbabsiar was arrested Sept 29 at New Yorks John F. Kennedy International Airport. He appeared today in federal court in New York, where he was ordered held without bail. His lawyer, Sabrina Shroff, said he would plead not guilty and consented to detention.
US President Barack Obama was briefed on the alleged plot in June, said Tommy Vietor, a spokesman for the National Security Council.
The disruption of this plot is a significant achievement by our intelligence and law enforcement agencies, Vietor said in a statement.
Arbabsiar met on several occasions in Mexico with a confidential informant of the US Drug Enforcement Administration posing as an associate of the Zetas, a violent Mexican drug cartel, according to the federal law enforcement official, who declined to be identified because they arent authorized to publicly comment.
The informant had been charged by state authorities in connection with a narcotics offense, prosecutors said in the criminal complaint unsealed today. In exchange for his cooperation, the state charges were dismissed and he began to assist the US in narcotics seizures, according to the office of Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara.
The cartel the informant pretended to represent had access to military-grade weaponry, the US said, as well as explosives. Arbabsiar arranged with the informant and others posing as his criminal associates to murder the Saudi ambassador, according to the government.
Arbabsiar wired them $100,000 as a down-payment, to be followed by installments of $10,000, prosecutors said. The DEA informant said it would cost $1.5 million to carry out the attack.
At a May 24 meeting, Arbabsiar asked about the informants knowledge of explosives and said he was interested in attacking an embassy of Saudi Arabia. The informant mentioned he was familiar with C-4 plastic explosives.
That month, the informant told agents in the DEA Houston field division about requests being made by Arbabsiar to assist in terrorist attacks in the US and other countries, according to the law enforcement official.
During a July 14 meeting, Arbabsiar told the informant that his cousin in Iran had asked him to find someone to carry out the ambassadors assassination, according to the complaint. He also indicated his cousin was a big general in the Iranian military who focuses on matters outside Iran.
The two men met repeatedly in June and July, according to the government. The informant said he would need four men to carry out the murder, prosecutors said.
Arbabsiar had become friends with the informants aunt while living in the Corpus Christi, Texas, area where Arbabsiar worked as a used car salesman, the federal law enforcement official said.
Arbabsiar later told the informant that the primary target for the attack was the Saudi ambassador and that targets for subsequent attacks were the Israeli embassy in Washington and the Saudi and Israeli embassies in Argentina, according to the federal law enforcement official.
Arbabsiar also told the informant that the same Iranian sponsors behind the terror plot also controlled drug smuggling and could provide multi-ton amounts of opium, the federal law enforcement official said.
Federal agents became aware on Sept. 28 that Arbabsiar had left Iran and had already departed on a commercial flight from Frankfurt to Mexico. The DEA and FBI worked with Mexican government officials to deny Arbabsiar entry to Mexico, and he was placed on a commercial flight routed back to his country of origin by way of New York and was arrested upon arriving at JFK.
Though it reads like the pages of a Hollywood script, the impact would have been very real and many lives would have been lost, Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Robert Mueller Said of the alleged plot at a Justice Department press conference.
The US State Department said the Qods force conducted attacks against coalition forces in Iraq. In October 2007, the US Treasury Department designated it as having provided material support to the Taliban and other terrorist organizations.
Today, the Treasury Department sanctioned Arbabsiar and four Qods force officials allegedly tied to the plot.
After he was arrested and advised of his rights, Arbabsiar confessed to his participation in the murder-for-hire plot, prosecutors said. He told authorities that his cousin approached him in the early spring of 2011 while Arbabsiar was in Iran, and asked him to work with him on the plot.
He used code words during the plan, and called the plot Chevrolet, according to prosecutors.
Arbabsiar and Shakuri are charged with five counts including conspiracy to murder a foreign official and conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction. They may face as much as life in prison if convicted.
This is dangerous new territory for Iran, said Representative Mike Rogers, a Michigan Republican and chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. It is the latest in a series of aggressive actions -- from their nuclear program to state sponsorship of terrorism, from complicity in killing our soldiers in Iraq to now plotting hostile acts on US soil. This episode underscores the need for concerted international unity to confront Iran.
Mahdi Nourian, spokesman for the Iranian mission at the United Nations, didnt immediately respond to phone messages or e-mail seeking comment. Nail al-Jubeir, director of the information office at the Saudi embassy in Washington, wasnt immediately available for comment.
Irans Islamic Republic News Agency referred to the criminal charges as a propaganda campaign by the US government in a report on its website.
The alleged plot illustrates a trend since 2009 of a more aggressive, more anti-American, more risk-tolerant Iranian government, said Ken Pollack, director of the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution in Washington.
Pollack said the crushing of Irans pro-reform Green Movement protests in 2009 brought with it the purge by the hardliners of moderates in the Iranian government.
At the press conference today, Holder said there is no basis to believe any other co-conspirators are still present in the US
The charges were brought in New York because the wiring of the $100,000 payment was made through a bank in New York, Bhararas office said. In a statement, US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a Democrat from New York, said of the alleged plot that Iran has shown the world once again it poses an existential threat to the world community.

Source: Bloomberg

14-10-11, 03:18 AM
Saudi's Dar Al Arkan says to diversify portfolio

Dar Al Arkan , Saudi Arabia's biggest property developer, will diversify its sources of income over the next three years and will not need to issue more debt, its chairman told Reuters in an interview.
Dar Al Arkan chairman Yousef al-Shalash said the developer is expected to post better results toward the end of 2011 and during 2012 as sales and rents improve, both of which were negatively affected over the past three years.
"We hope to diversify our sources of income in order to have some stability in our revenue sources as we expand our rent portfolio to 40 percent from 10 percent of the firm's revenue," Shalash said.
DarAl Arkan also plans expand its housing unit sales to 20 percent of the portfolio from the current 10 percent, while halving its dependence on land sales to 40 percent from the current 80 percent.
"We hope to reach these levels within three years... We had already started working on that two years ago," Shalash said.
Some 80 percent of its assets of about SR23bn ($6.13bn) are land plots in the kingdom, where analysts say properties are hard to value. Dar Al Arkan also has SR6bn ($1.6bn) in debt.
"We are fully able to repay our coming obligations from the company's income, without resorting to debt... The debts do not exceed six billion riyals and it does not cause any concern for us as it only represents 35 percent of our total assets," he said.
The firm has a $1bn Islamic bond maturing in 2012 and last year it raised $450m from a sukuk issue that had a five-year maturity and was priced at 10.75 percent just in time to refinance a $600m sukuk maturing in March 2010.
Bankers said Dar Al Arkan raised less than it had targeted after a lengthy road-show.
On Saturday, Dar Al Arkan said the Public Investment Fund (PIF) approved a SR4bn facility to finance one of its biggest projects in Jeddah, the Qasr Khozam development which spans an area of 4m sq m.
The total cost of the project is estimated at SR12bn, Shalash said, declining to give details on when construction will start.
"There are difficulties (in financing) for development companies in the Saudi market, especially after the financial crisis... This affected the growth in projects and implementation plans," Shalash said.
The firm also plans to start building this month 500 new housing units in the capital Riyadh as the country faces a large housing shortage due to rapid population growth which reached 27 million people.
A report from Banque Saudi Fransi in March said Saudi Arabia needs 1.65 million new homes by 2015 but Shalash believes the shortage exceeds that amount.
"The Saudi housing market is the best... There is real demand for housing units, around 4.5-5 million houses in the next ten years," Shalash said.

Source: Reuters

14-10-11, 03:19 AM
Telco Zain Saudi's chief executive resigns

Saad al-Barrak has resigned as telecoms operator Zain Saudi's chief executive, the company said on Tuesday, two weeks after a consortium withdrew plans to buy a 25-percent stake.
Khalid Al-Omar will take over as acting chief executive, pending the appointment of Badr bin Nasser al-Kharafi as permanent CEO if shareholders approve, the company said in a statement to the Saudi bourse.
Bahrain Telecommunications Co and Kingdom Holding withdrew a joint $950 million bid for a 25 percent stake owned by Kuwait's Zain last month, while al-Barrak also tried to put together his own consortium to buy out Zain and allow him to remain in charge.
Barrak was also the former chief executive of Zain and was the architect of Zain's rapid expansion in the previous decade, when Zain claimed to be the fourth largest telecoms carrier globally, with operations in 23 countries.
Zain has since retrenched to become a seven-licence carrier, selling its African operations to India's Bharti Airtel for $9 billion in 2010, with indebted shareholder the Kharafi Group seen as the main driver for this change in strategy.
Kharafi also failed in two attempts to sell controlling stakes in Zain, first to an Indian-led consortium and then to UAE's Etisalat.
A condition of the proposed deal with Etisalat was for Zain to first sell its stake in Zain Saudi since Etisalat is already active in Saudi Arabia through its affiliate Mobily .
Zain Saudi shares closed 1.7 percent lower on the Saudi bourse on Tuesday.

Source: Reuters

14-10-11, 03:21 AM
Saudi cabinet OKs $10bn coast-to-coast railway

Saudi Arabia approved plans to build a freight and passenger railway connecting its western port of Jeddah with the eastern ports of Dammam and Jubail, president of the Saudi Railway Organisation said in a statement on Tuesday.
The 950km railway project, which is estimated to cost $10bn and will pass through Riyadh, was shelved after the financial crisis.
"This project will transport containers to the local and neighbouring gulf markets as a main activity... which will lower the cost for transporting goods," Saudi Railway Organisation President Abdul Aziz Al Hokail said, adding that it will also transport passengers.
The rail line will connect the Red Sea port city of Jeddah to the capital Riyadh, where it will connect to an existing network between Riyadh and Dammam.
The Saudi cabinet approved the funding from the state-run Public Investment Fund and will solicit bids to build out infrastructure, according to a statement on the state news agency.
The land-bridge project was originally offered as a Build Operate Transfer tender in 2007 but it was shelved for further study.
Kuwaiti logistics firm Agility entered a consortium in 2007 with US firm KBR Inc and General Electric to bid for the project, which was then estimated to be cost around $6bn.
Other firms that tendered bids in 2007 include Japan's Mitsui & Co and Germany's Siemens as well as Korea's Samsung Engineering and Construction.
The rail project is one of three main projects Saudi Arabia is planning to upgrade its transportation infrastructure. A high-speed (Haramain) railway linking Islam's holiest cities in Mecca and Medina to Jeddah is currently under construction.
Saudi Railway Organisation is studying bids for the second and final phase of the Haramain railway which includes construction of the railway tracks, installation of signal systems and telecommunications as well as procurement of rolling stock equipment.
The third rail project is the 2,400km north-south railway, which would be the kingdom's longest railway project, also financed by PIF.

Source: Reuters

15-10-11, 09:09 AM
Unfortunately the gold price came up

per gram is SR 177.38


October 15, 2011

8 AM

15-10-11, 09:39 AM
Votes for women is big 'small step' in Saudi

The right to vote in elections in a country that remains an absolute monarchy, where they still may not work nor travel without assent from a male relative nor drive a car, may seem a small step for the women of Saudi Arabia.
Yet King Abdullah's unexpected move was a momentous turn in the culture wars that have marked his reign. It may presage more change, not only for women but in the relationship between royal house and clergy upon which the state was founded, and among rivals within a ruling family that faces mounting demands from subjects who see other Arabs pushing closer to democracy.
The king's announcement on Sunday in the Shura Council that women would be allowed to join the hitherto all-male - and legally toothless - advisory chamber, and to vote in municipal elections, was welcomed as significant by women, who under Saudi law occupy an explicitly subordinate role to men in society.
"These are chances for women, who think they can help in pushing the wheel of development," said Lama al-Sulaiman, who as vice president of the Jeddah chamber of commerce is among the few Saudi women to hold such a prominent office.
Unique in the world, Saudi women may not drive. Concealing attire is obligatory in public. In court, their testimony counts for less than that of a man. And they must have a male guardian to endorse major life decisions, from choosing to marry to taking a job or travelling abroad.
Though Abdullah, who casts himself as a reformer, appointed a woman as a deputy minister in 2009 - for women's education - no woman has full cabinet rank nor serves as an ambassador.
But Hamida Alireza, a resident of the prosperous commercial hub of Jeddah, spoke for many Saudi women in saying that the rate of change had been satisfactory over the decade or so in which Abdullah has steered policy through an opaque political process in which other princes and clerics also have a big say.
"I think the pace, as long as we stay at this pace, is very good," she said. "Three years ago none of this was on the table."
The warm applause which greeted his five-minute speech in the Shura Council, and the silence from senior clerics who have voiced doubts in the past about women's rights, suggest that the king had paved the way for this latest reform.
"Any opposition on a religious basis does not have any legs to stand on because it was done according to Islamic teachings," said Hossein Shobokshi, a liberal Saudi newspaper columnist.
So far, the only opposition to the move has been in comments posted on social networking sites by individual conservatives convinced that Abdullah is corrupting their Islamic society.
"To Allah, to history and to our nation, King Abdullah's reign has seen the most corruption in the history of al-Saud with regard to women," Abdulrahman al-Luwaiheq posted on Twitter a few hours after the announcement.
It is unclear how far such sentiments are shared by more powerful clerics from the austere Wahhabi tradition, whose collaboration with the ruling al-Saud family lies at the heart of the Saudi kingdom, founded in its present form in the 1930s.
Previously stated positions among senior government-funded sheikhs, reveal profound misgivings about women's rights.
The most senior, the Grand Mufti, in an undated web posting, has warned that involving women in politics could mean "opening the door to evil".
Such conservatism is widespread in Saudi society, though state-sponsored restrictions on women have at times provoked broad disapproval - witness the popular outrage in 2002 when religious police blocked schoolgirls fleeing a fire because they were not fully dressed in the presence of men. Fifteen died.
Change - and reaction - are not new in Saudi Arabia, where clerics have conferred an aura of piety upon a dynasty that was quick to embrace the modern technologies its oil wealth bought, while accepting a religious model of society more in keeping with its tribal heritage than the gridlocked cities of 2011.
When King Faisal introduced education for girls in the 1960s, he suffered a conservative backlash. And when militants seized the Grand Mosque in Mecca in 1979 over perceived moral decline, some clerics were sympathetic to them.
T has been much resistance to giving women greater freedom. Women's rights activists faced criticism for campaigning for the right to vote in this week's municipal elections - the king's announcement will give them that right only at the next opportunity.
And when women campaigned for the right to drive this summer - some of them taking to wheel in defiance of the law - some conservatives set up a social media group encouraging physical attacks on any woman who dared to follow suit.
King Abdullah has countered resistance in various ways, employing both carrot and stick.
Last year he decreed that only members of the country's top religious council had the power to issue fatwas, or religious edicts, a move that tried to sideline his most vocal critics.
And in 2009 he fired a senior scholar from an important post after he criticised the first mixed-sex Saudi university and spoke out against the teaching of evolution as an alien idea.
This year, the king has also encouraged clerical favour by big spending on building mosques and on the morality police, as well as by banning media criticism of senior clerics.
In a year when Arab Spring revolts have unseated secular autocrats, the clergy remain a powerful support to the Saudi monarchy, even as it seeks popular favour, too. Votes for women are a significant development for Saudi society, but will not rapidly diminish clerical influence over its politics.

Source: Reuters

15-10-11, 09:54 AM
Zain court ruling 'will not deriail $ 950 million stake deal'

A court ruling against Kuwait's Zain will not derail a $950m deal to sell its quarter-stake in affiliate Zain Saudi, the chief executive of joint bidder Bahrain Telecommunications (Batelco) said on Monday.
Peter Kaliaropoulos said he was awaiting clarification from Zain on any implications from Sunday's court ruling.
The court ruled that Zain's April annual shareholders meeting was invalid, upholding a case brought by a former board member who opposed the election process.
"The court case was in Kuwait, not Saudi Arabia," said Kaliaropoulos. "If it was detrimental, we would have heard straight away. I can only judge that because we haven't heard at this point in time, it's not a material impact."
In March, Batelco and joint bidder Kingdom Holding agreed to buy the stake in indebted telecoms operator Zain Saudi, with the bidders poised to get management control.
Kaliaropoulos reiterated that he expected due diligence on the deal to be completed by the end of September.

Source: Reuters

15-10-11, 09:56 AM
Geerly Emgrand cars unveiled in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia's automotive distributor Haji Husein Alireza & Company has introduced China-made "Geely & Geely Emgrand" cars for the first time in the Kingdom, Saudi Gazette has reported. The managing director of the company, which launched three models in Jeddah, said that after an in-depth study on the marketing possibilities of Geely cars in the Kingdom, they found out the cars' sophistication, innovativeness and competitiveness suggest a "great future".
Source: Saudi Gazette

15-10-11, 10:08 AM
Saudi cement sector set to stay strong - report

A recent report by Saudi Arabia's NCB Capital has said the kingdom's cement industry is to continue to achieve high dividends, with expected yields for 2011 around 6%-7%. Yamamah Cement remains the bank's only overweight in the sector as it benefits from its high capacity and stock levels which should enable it to take advantage of the strong demand environment present in Saudi Arabia. The total sales volume for the nine listed stock increased by 15% y-o-y to 10,757 million tonnes, while for the four private cement companies volumes rose by 5% to 2,802 million tonnes in the second quarter of this year.

Source: Ame Info

16-10-11, 11:12 AM
The gold pirce stays as yesterday

per gram is SR 177.02 as of today morning

October 16, 2011

16-10-11, 11:33 AM
Saudi banks well positioned to withstand euro zone crisis


Saudi Arabias banks are well positioned to withstand the euro zone crisis, Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA) Governor Muhammad Al-Jasser told Reuters Saturday after a meeting of the Group of 20 countries in Paris, adding that the Saudi central bank is going to stick to its strategy in the light of the European debt crisis.
He said the Saudi banks were well positioned to deal with any upcoming shocks as well as the European debt crisis. Capital adequacy for banks was north of 17 percent with most of it Tier 1 capital.
"Thats very robust. Second, our banks sources of funding are predominantly domestic from domestic deposits which is a reasonably stable source of funding," he said.
"Most of the lending is domestic also so the exposure to the outside is very limited and therefore we are very confident that our banking system is well positioned to withstand any stress emanating from whats happening in Europe," he said.
Robust lending growth to the private sector of more than 9 percent in the first 10 months of the year indicated strong demand, while inflation has stabilized in a tight range of 4.6-4.9 percent and should begin trending down, Al-Jasser said.
"Our economy is doing very well and is expected to continue next year. This year, I have forecast that we will have at least 5 percent growth and probably something close to that next year," he said.
Moreover, Al-Jasser said interest rates settings were appropriate at the moment with no signs of inflation coming from monetary impetus.
"I still think it is an appropriate setting now until we see inflation due to monetary impetus," he said.
Asked whether that meant credit growth needed to be in double digits, Al-Jasser said: "Something like that. And it also depends on credit whether it is going to productive activities and leading to growth one would not worry too much about it, if it is going to finance speculative activities one has to worry."
The Saudi central bank has been keeping its repo rate at 2 percent since January 2009 and reverse repo rate at 0.25 percent since June 2009.
Asked if SAMA had considered buying European sovereign bonds such as Italian ones, Al-Jasser said: "We do not buy specific bonds at all. We have not done it."
"We always have a much more integrated reserve investment strategy which looks at it in a continuous and dynamic way that values security, safety and liquidity and therefore we do not look opportunistically at distressed assets or special assets that come up one way or the other," he said after a meeting of the Group of 20 countries in Paris.
Moreover, Al-Jasser said "we have gold in our reserves but we have not bought and we have not sold it in a very long time. It has become a very speculative asset and we do not get into any speculative assets."
The Saudi central banks net foreign asset reserves have climbed steadily to a record high of SR1.879 trillion ($500 billion) in August.
Gold reserves have been unchanged at SR1.556 billion since 2008, the central banks data show.
Al-Jasser also said US Treasuries continued to be "an important safe haven and major asset" in global financial markets, noting that "62 percent of global reserves are still in US assets. It is safe to say they are there to stay for a while."
The SAMA governor further said though the euro zones debt crisis had become the number one short-term challenge for the world economy, yet he felt the blocs leaders were determined to find a way out.
"Not only Saudi Arabia but members of the G20 are convinced that challenge facing the global economy is the European challenge in the short term," Al-Jasser further said.
"However, we felt from the interventions of our European colleagues that they appreciate the gravity of the situation and they are determined to do what it takes to safeguard the European economy and financial markets," he said.
"They told us that at the Oct. 23 summit decisions will be taken that will reassure Europeans first, and the rest of the world second, that Europe is not only able but also willing to do what it takes to safeguard the European markets. I take what they told us at face value and I have no reason to doubt their determination

Source: Saudi Gazette

16-10-11, 11:38 AM
Saudi banks to face 'little impact' from global slowdown

J P Morgan Securities has said Saudi lenders face limited impact from potential global slowdown risks and are likely to bounce back to healthy return-on-equity levels driven by lending growth and ample liquidity, Reuters has reported. The brokerage said lending growth is expected to be driven by higher economic growth levels and the $125bn government spending plan announced in the first quarter of this year.

Source: Ame Info

16-10-11, 12:29 PM
Samba, Riyadh bank post strong Q3 profits


Saudi's Riyadh Bank beat analysts' expectations after it posted a 30 per cent rise in its third quarter net profits, while Samba Financial Group posted a 2.9 per cent rise, in line with expectations, bourse statements said on Saturday.
Riyad Bank made 794 million riyals ($211.7 million) in the three months ending September 30, compared with 611 million riyals in the same period a year earlier, it said.
Analysts surveyed by Reuters expected the bank to post on average 784.6 million riyals in the third quarter.
"The rise in profit for the nine months ending September 30th compared with the same period a year earlier is due to the improved banking services income and foreign exchange income as well as lower operational costs," the statement said.
Riyad Bank's operational income increased by 5 percent to 1.6 billion riyals from 1.4 billion a year earlier.
Its profit from special commissions increased by 0.4 percent to 1.06 billion riyals.
Samba made a net profit of 1.13 billion riyals in the three months ending on September 30, compared with 1.1 billion riyals in the same period a year earlier.
Analysts surveyed by Reuters expected the firm to post, on average, 1.1 billion riyals in the third quarter.
"The rise in third-quarter net profit compared to the same period a year earlier is due to increased investments," the bank said in the statement.
The bank's operational income for the third quarter decreased by 0.9 percent to 1.7 billion riyals, while its profits from special commissions decreased by 9 percent to 1.05 billion from 1.1 billion riyals.
Last week, five major Saudi banks posted strong third quarter results, three of which beat analysts' forecasts, citing lower operational costs as well as increased income from banking fees.
Source: Reuters

16-10-11, 06:10 PM
The gold price still almost the same

per gram SR 177.30

in Saudi Arabia

17-10-11, 08:24 AM
The gold price still almost the same

per gram SR 177.34

in Saudi Arabia

October 16, 2011

afternoon time

17-10-11, 08:26 AM
Saudi house prices seen rising up to 5% to 2013

House prices in Saudi Arabia are likely to increase by up to five percent over the next two years, according to a new report by Rasmala.
The investment bank said it was "cautiously optimistic" on the kingdom's real estate market due to an uncertain global economy and inherent structural challenges facing the Saudi economy.
"We expect house prices to appreciate between 0-5 percent annually in the next two years," Rasmala said.
"We believe the Saudi real estate sector will experience sustained demand pressures, partially offset by affordability, financing, youth unemployment challenges and global macro uncertainty," it added in a report.
Saudi Arabia's real estate sector is the largest among the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), with about 4.6m residential units and pent-up demand for 0.4m units as of end-2009.
Although the industry view is positive on house prices in urban property markets such as Riyadh, Jeddah, Makkah, Madinah and the Eastern Province, Rasmala said it expected "structural challenges to hamper robust property growth in the next 12 months".
"We expect the government and the private sector to systematically provide an appropriate regulatory and financing framework to bridge the demand-supply gap while controlling potential speculative growth, although we believe this may take several years," the report added.
Saudi Arabia's real estate market has emerged relatively unscathed from the effects of the global economic slowdown which saw house prices in other parts of the GCC, particularly Dubai, nosedive.
Rasmala added: "We believe investors will find relatively promising risk-reward in property stocks exhibiting low gearing and cash flow risk coupled with higher value generation from recurring revenues."
In June, the head of Dubai-based developer Emaar's Middle East unit said Saudi Arabia will miss its goals for infrastructure and affordable housing unless it streamlines rules that are delaying projects.
Infrastructure and real-estate projects in Saudi Arabia are typically very slow due to regulations that are very time- consuming, Emaar Middle East chairman Ahmed Al Kulli said.
Saudi King Abdullah has pledged to spend more than $82bn on housing development to help meet the needs of a growing population.
The government is building four new metropolitan areas as part of a $400bn plan to invest in infrastructure and make the country less dependent on oil.

Source: Arabian Business

17-10-11, 08:27 AM
Saudi share index soars on higher oil gains

Saudi stocks gained 0.98 percent in Saturdays trading to close at 6,164.60 points, with gains in all sectors after oil prices rose Friday and five major banks posted strong third quarter profits. The all-share rose 0.6 per cent to 6,141 points.
Benchmark crude rose $2.57, or 3.1 percent, to end at $86.80 per barrel in New York. Thats the highest level since Sept. 20.
Brent crude, which is used to price oil from foreign countries, rose $3.57, or 3.2 percent, to finish at $114.68 in London.
The petrochemical index added 0.6 percent to 6,141 points, as Saudi Basic Industries climbed 0.8 percent.
The banking index also rose 0.7 percent to 14,336 points after five banks posted strong third-quarter net profits Wednesday.
Heavyweight Al Rajhi Bank added one percent.
"The market is gaining, supported by banks, many of whose earnings were released last weekend," said Turki Fadaak, head of research at Riyadh-based Albilad Investment Co. Eight of the 11 publicly traded banks reported third-quarter earnings on Oct. 12.
"Continuous positive international market performance and oil above 85 dollars, as well as good results by major Saudi banks are lifting the index," said Samer Darwiche, a financial analyst at Gulfmena Investments in Dubai.
Meanwhile, Saudi market lost 7.05 percent of its value in Q3, 11 as Tadawul declined to 7.68 percent in 9 months.
Tadawul All Share Index (TASI) shed 7.05 percent of its value in 3Q2011, bringing its 9M2011 loss to 7.68 percent, as it closed at 6,112.37 points.

Source: Saudi Gazette

17-10-11, 08:29 AM
Iqama on arrival at airport planned

The Passport Department (Jawazat) has plans to issue iqamas (residency permits) to expatriate workers on arrival at the airport, the department's chief said.
"This can be achieved by setting up an integrated electronic system," said Lt. Gen. Salim Al-Belaihed, adding that the move is planned as part of the government's efforts to expand electronic services.
"Our goal is to enhance services to citizens and expatriates and help them receive our services at their homes and offices without the need for visiting the Jawazat," he told Al-Watan Arabic daily.
Businessmen and company executives are happy over the news and said it would have a positive impact on their business activities.
We welcome this move by the Jawazat," said Rafeek Younus, managing director of Saudi Engineering Group International and vice president of Saihati Group. "It's good news for both expatriate workers and company owners," he added.
He said the issuance of iqamas at the airport would help expatriates report to work the next day of their arrival without delay, adding that the move would save thousands of work hours, which were wasted in the past, and boost the economy.

"Since medical examination of foreign workers is conducted by well-qualified health centers under the strict observation of Saudi missions abroad, there is no need for anther medical test in the Kingdom. This will allow Jawazat to issue iqamas at the airports on arrival of workers without delay," he said.
Younus also pointed out that some companies such as Saudi Aramco and Saudi Electricity Company would not issue IDs to foreign workers until they obtain iqamas.
In comments published on Thursday, Al-Belaihed said his department would punish its staff accused of misbehaving with the public. He agreed that Jawazat staff as well as other government employees should serve people with a smile. "But some employees may not do it for various reasons. We can see such employees even in Western countries."
Al-Belaihed launched a small card system for regular passengers to pass through the immigration quickly. "We have established five e-gates at King Khaled Airport in Riyadh and four at King Fahd Airport in Dammam," he said, adding that the system would be introduced in all other Saudi airports gradually.


Source: Arab News

17-10-11, 08:30 AM
Saudi businessmen to set up companies in Bahrain

A number of prominent Saudi businessmen are exploring the prospect of setting up a group of new companies in Bahrain as well as pump more investments into the neighboring country, according to a top official from the Saudi-Bahraini Business Council.
Speaking to reporters after presiding over the third meeting of the council's executive committee at the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry's headquarters, head of the Saudi side Khalifa Al-Dosary said the businessmen are interested in making more investments in Bahrain.
"We sought detailed information with regard to investment opportunities in the field of transport, especially in the leasing of vehicles, as well as in water plants in Bahrain in the wake of the recent Saudi ban on exports of water," Al-Eqtisadiah business daily, a sister publication of Arab News, quoted him as saying.
Al-Dosary said discussions were held about reopening the shipping route between Saudi Arabia and Bahrain connecting Manama and Alkhobar in addition to opening a wharf at the western port of Bahrain.
We have also extended invitations to Bahraini businessmen to take part in the grand economic forum, scheduled to be held in Riyadh next year," he said while stressing the need for further strengthening bilateral business and economic relations between the two countries.
Al-Dosary noted that there has been a steady growth in export and import activity between the two countries. He said all concerned government and private organizations and agencies in both countries are striving hard to take bilateral relations to new heights.

"There are about 896 Saudi joint stock companies in various fields such as travel, cargo, commerce and engineering. These companies can play a vital role in boosting bilateral business cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Bahrain," he said while noting that the King Fahd Causeway plays a significant role in boosting the traffic of both people and goods between the two countries.
According to Al-Dosary, there are 315 companies with Saudi investments in Bahrain, in addition to 43 Saudi companies registered in the country.


Source: Arab News

18-10-11, 05:12 PM
Good news

The gold pirce came down little

per gram is SR 173.13 as of today

October 18, 2011

19-10-11, 09:21 AM
The gold pirce came up

per gram is SR 174.68 as of yesterday

October 18, 2011

19-10-11, 09:32 AM
Orascom unit wins $552m Saudi stadium deal

A unit of Egypt's Orascom Construction Industries (OCI) won a SR2.07bn ($552m) contract to design and build a major sports stadium in Saudi Arabia's Jeddah, a source close to the deal said on Monday.
The contract for a 60,000-seat stadium at the King Abdullah Sports City was awarded to Six Construct - which is fully owned by Besix Group, itself a 50-50 joint venture between OCI and Belgian construction group Besix - in partnership with Al-Muhaidib Contracting Company.
The source said Six Construct with local company Al-Muhaidib had bid for the project against at least five other groups, confirming a report carried by the Middle East Economic Digest (MEED).
The King Abdullah Sports City, to be named after King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud, is planned to cover an area of 9 sq km, north of Jeddah.
Oil firm Saudi Aramco was given the task of developing the scheme on behalf of the government in 2009. It has since tendered road building and enabling works for the project.
OCI, Egypt's biggest listed firm, posted a 15 percent rise in second-quarter net profit and has said it expected construction orders to grow this year as governments in the Middle East try to create jobs by boosting infrastructure spending

Source: Reuters

19-10-11, 09:33 AM
Saudi Electric to sign $2.85bn power plant deal

State-controlled Saudi Electricity Co (SEC) will sign a SR10.7 billion ($2.85 billion) power deal with a consortium that includes South Korea's Samsung for construction of the Qurayyah plant, it said on Monday.
Al-Qurayyah, south of the eastern city of Khobar, would have a power generation capacity of around 3900 megawatts (MW), SEC said, adding it plans to sign the deal on Wednesday.
The plant is the third of the six planned Independent Power Projects (PPP, which involves the private sector and that would add around 11,000 megawatts of capacity in the kingdom.
Saudi Electricity will buy all the power produced by the plant from the winning consortium, which will run it on a build-own-operate basis.
The consortium also includes Acwa Power Projects Ltd and Mena Fund. The plant is expected to start production before the summer of 2014, SEC said

Source: Reuters

19-10-11, 09:37 AM
Saudi Arabia licenses 12 media firms for poll campaigns

Saudi Arabia has granted licenses to 12 media companies to organise and run the municipal election campaigns, which are scheduled to start Sunday and will last for 11 days, Saudi Gazette has reported. A General Committee for Municipal Elections spokesman has said that the licensed establishments, include seven in Al-Ahsa Governorate, three in Makkah region, one in Qassim region and one company has been licensed for all the other regions. The spokesman has expected the number of granted licenses to rise in the next few days.
Source: Ame Info

19-10-11, 09:40 AM
Lloyd's sues Saudi to recover $215m in 9/11 claims

A Lloyds insurance syndicate has launched a landmark legal case against Saudi Arabia, accusing the Gulf state of indirectly funding terror group al-Qaeda.
The Brighton-based Lloyd's 3500 syndicate is seeking the repayment of $215m it paid out to victims of the 9/11 attacks, alleging the Gulf state used agents and alter egos in the form of banks and charities to fund the right-wing Islamist group.
The case accuses nine defendants - including Saudis largest lender, National Commercial - of knowingly providing resources and funding to aid the Osama bin Laden-led terrorist group. Among those
The legal claim, filed in federal court in Pittsburgh, alleges this lavish sponsorship directly helped enable the 9/11 terror attacks, which killed nearly 3,000 people.
Al-Qaeda's development into a sophisticated global terrorist network was fueled primarily by the massive support it received from purported charities acting as agents and alter-egos of the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the document claimed.
Absent the sponsorship of al-Qaeda's material sponsors and supporters, including the defendants named therein, al-Qaeda would not have possessed the capacity to conceive, plan and execute the 11 September attacks.
Saudi Arabia has long denied offering any practical or financial support to al-Qaeda and a US government report on 9/11 found no evidence the Gulf states government had aided the terrorist cell.
The Gulf kingdom has arrested 11,527 people since the attacks for their alleged involvement in terrorism, the Saudi Ministry of Interior said on April 24. In July, a Saudi court started trials against 85 suspected al-Qaeda militants for their alleged roles in attacks against three housing compounds in Riyadh in May 2003.
The suit seeks recovery of amounts paid in settlement of 9/11 aviation cases. The families of about 600 people killed in the attacks sued National Commercial in 2002 seeking to freeze the assets of the bank.

Source: Arabian Business

19-10-11, 09:41 AM
Saudi pumped 9.606m bpd in July

Leading oil exporter Saudi Arabia produced 9.606 million barrels a day (bpd) of crude in July, 207,000bpd less than in June, according to the latest official data published by the Joint Data Initiative (JODI).
Saudi crude production in June of 9.813 million bpd was the highest level since JODI records began in 2002 and came after Saudi Arabia's Oil Minister Ali Al-Naimi said the kingdom would produce all the oil customers wanted when Opec talks over production levels collapsed on June 8.
Saudi exported 7.189 million barrels per day in July, down from 7.378 million in June, the latest JODI data showed.

Source: Reuters

19-10-11, 09:42 AM
Saudi Arabia's spending on IT to hit $12bn by 2015

A Saudi official has said that the kingdom's spending on the information technology sector amounted to SR27bn ($7.2bn) in 2010 and is expected to hit SR46.3bn ($12bn) by 2015, KUNA has reported. President of King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology Dr. Mohammad Bin Ibrahim Al-Suwaiyel added that Saudi spending on information technology sector has been increasing steadily in recent years amid grown government and public demand on the IT products.
Source: Ame Info

19-10-11, 09:44 AM
Saudi Arabia pumps $63b into petrochem industry

Saudi Arabia is pumping nearly SR236 billion ($63 billion) into projects to boost its petrochemical industry and maintain its position as one of the worlds top chemicals producers, the National Commercial Bank (NCB) said in a new study
The study said the Saudi petrochemical sector would continue to hold a considerable global market share of product categories that lie not too far downstream of its pronounced feedstock advantage. "Producers low cost margins and recent profit growth will allow them to stay afloat during the supply glut and squeeze out higher-cost producers in Europe and North America," it noted, adding that "this will open up acquisition opportunities for Saudi producers, and encourage diversification into more sophisticated derivatives production."
The report said nearly 21 percent of the value of the 62 projects is in the execution stage while 33 percent is in the study phase and 18 percent is in the bidding stage, which shows that although capacity expansions are already being undertaken, larger industry growth and project development will be onstream after 2015. Projects "on hold" also form a significant share at 14.5 percent, it added.
"The value and volume of forecast petrochemical contract awards are significantly higher in 2012 than in previous years, at SR124 billion and 23 projects. These capacity additions will become operational from 2015 onwards, thereby asserting that the kingdom will not only ride out the environment of overcapacity in the medium term but also become the primary center of global production over the long-term," NCB study said.
The Saudi Ports Authority showed a decline in petrochemicals shipments for June, with exports down by 5.8 percent compared to May. However, year-on-year performance looked better. Saudi Arabias petrochemicals industry shipped 2.44 million tons of products in the sixth month of this year, up slightly from the 2.29m tons in June 2010.
However, despite the fall in June, Saudis overall petrochemicals export performance for the first six months of 2011 was far better than for the same term last year, with shipments of just under 15m tons versus 14 million.
Despite new expansion projects, the NCB study said the Saudi petrochemical industry is beset with challenges, including a shortage of skilled labor force in the medium term, scarcity of ethane and rising feedstock prices, sustainability of demand recovery in the Chinese market; and antidumping duties.
"A key challenge is the need for a well trained and flexible labor force further down the product chain. Hydrocarbons extraction and basic petrochemical production is heavily capital-intensive and is able to provide employment to only 0.6 percent of the total labor force," it said.
"However, downstream production requires skilled technical and craft personnel. The Kingdoms shortage of skilled personnel, particularly in petrochemicals, will not be remedied overnight, and will require the import of expatriate workers. This will create a long-term constraint on Saudi Arabias capacity rollout and hinder its goal of creating sustainable job opportunities for Saudi nationals."
The second and "most important" challenge of the sector is the scarcity of ethane, the report said. "With no guarantee of finding additional sources, policy makers are turning to liquid fuels. Naphtha is a more versatile feedstock, whose production opens up a broader range of aromatics and intermediates, and involves more manpower."
Furthermore, the additional labor costs and expensive maintenance of naphtha-fed crackers make the rate of return on its products lower than those of ethane-based products, according to the study. It said the recent surge in petrochemical prices and subsequent growth of domestic producers profits will offset the higher cost of naphtha in the short term. "However, in the long-term a more sophisticated feedstock mix involving both ethane and liquids will be required to encourage further foreign investment. This is why the trend towards refinery and petrochemical plant integration is on the rise another feedstock solution would be to increase the production of non-associated gas," NCB said, adding that Saudi Arabia is raising gas production from non-associated gas fields to cater for rising domestic demand, which has been growing at seven percent annually in recent years.
"The third challenge to producers is the sustainability of recovery in the Chinese market. China is Saudi Arabias largest importer of petrochemicals, and acts as a processing center for European and US demand. However, rising Chinese petrochemical capacities threaten to reduce its demand for foreign imports

Source: Saudi Gazette

19-10-11, 09:45 AM
Kingdom, UAE in talks over $5b Egypt bailout

Egypt is discussing financial packages for budgetary and other support with Saudi Arabia and the UAE that could exceed a total of $5 billion based on figures initially proposed, Egyptian Finance Minister Hazem El-Beblawi said Monday.
He said he was discussing financing packages offered by Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
"We have received $500 million from Saudi Arabia. They are proposing a package. We are still in discussions. The package is much bigger," he said.
"And also another package is being discussed with the UAE. There was a delegation from the Emirates here yesterday (Sunday), and we are finalizing. I would not discuss the exact proposal until approved by both parties," he added.
Asked about the value of the combined packages, he said: "When we were starting discussions we received ideas from different parties and the total amount was $5-7 billion." He then added it was "closer to $5 billion."
The packages would cover a mixture of budgetary support and other financing, but he did not give details.
"We will be negotiating very soon a facility from the Arab Monetary Fund," he said, adding that this was "closer to half a billion" US dollars. He said Qatar and Kuwait had also voiced support but said these offers had not progressed till now.
Moreover, he said that Cairo was open to "all sorts of cooperation" with the International Monetary Fund, which offered a $3 billion financing package earlier this year that Egypt then turned down in June.
The IMF package was negotiated and turned down when another minister was in office. The minister said at the time Egypt had revised its budget so it no longer needed the cash and also said army rulers were concerned about building up debts.
Beblawi said "We are open for all sorts of cooperation that will include everything ... we are considering the whole thing according to the needs of the country," he said before talks to be held during IMF and World Bank meetings in Washington this month.
"I dont want to give the impression that I am going to negotiate for a loan, but I am going with an open mind," the finance minister said, adding that he would listen to any proposals the institutions made.
The government forecasts its budget deficit for the year ending June 2012 will be 8.6 percent of gross domestic product. It had been forecast at 11 percent before it was revised down. Economists say the lower forecast may be optimistic.
Egypts economy grew by a slower-than-expected 1.8 percent in the year to June 2011, after the economy was disrupted by the uprising that drove Hosni Mubarak from office. The government expects growth of 3-3.5 percent in the current financial year, that runs July-June.

Source: Saudi Gazette, Reuters

19-10-11, 09:47 AM
Foreigners married to Saudis exempted from Nitaqat

Foreigners married to Saudi nationals and working in government departments will be exempted from Saudization laws.
The government will not terminate their contracts to replace them with Saudis, the Ministry of Civil Service has confirmed in response to a Ministry of Labors clarification demand, sources said Monday.
The law applies to both foreign men married to Saudi women and foreign wives of Saudi men.
The ministry said the exemption will apply only if the marriage was valid. Children of Saudis married to foreign nationals shall be treated in the same category.
They too will not be replaced by Saudi nationals. The foreign wife who has not been added to her Saudi husbands ID shall also be exempted from the Saudization regulation.
In June this year, the Kingdom approved a law regulating marriage between its citizens and foreigners. The law allowed Saudis to have foreign spouses but stipulated that they need prior approval by a new government committee which could take up to three months to decide whether to agree or reject the request.
A Saudi man or woman seeking to marry from outside the Kingdom or the GCC must submit an application to a government committee to be created shortly by the ministries of interior, foreign affairs, justice and social affairs.
The committee also comprises representatives from the Saudi Human Rights Commission. According to an annual report of the Ministry of Justice, 1,944 foreigners married Saudi women in 2008.
According to a Shoura member, around 700,000 Saudi women are married to foreigners.
Source: Saudi Gazette

19-10-11, 09:48 AM
Etihad Airways increases flights to Riyadh

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, will substantially boost flights to Riyadh from a daily service to 13 flights a week from 30th October. The extra services, to be operated by Airbus A320 and A330 aircraft, will offer greater access for business travellers to explore commercial opportunities in the two Arabian capitals.
Source: Ame Info

20-10-11, 02:49 PM
Good news

Price came down little bit

The gold pirce per gram is SR 171.06 as of today

October 20, 2011

20-10-11, 02:51 PM
Saudi Arabia Approves East-West Landbridge Rail

Saudi Arabia's cabinet has approved a plan to build Landbridge railway line ,which will connect the kingdom's east and west ports, and will be funded by state-run Public Investment Fund.
The Saudi Railway Organisation, or SRO, said in an statement that it will build a 950 km of a new line between Riyadh and Jeddah and another 115 km track between Dammam and Jubail as well as expansion of the current Riyadh-Dammam railway.
The project, which will primarily be a freight/container line, "will lower the cost for transporting goods," SRO President Abdul Aziz Al Hokail said. It will transport 700,000 containers in its initial phase.
The Saudis had originally planned to offer the project to investors as a Build Operate Transfer tender, but after four consortiums have been shortlisted, the project was shelved following a disagreement over the financial terms of the project, estimated to cost more than $10 billion.

Source: Dow Jones, Zawya

20-10-11, 02:52 PM
Saudi's Mobily posts 8% rise in Q3 net profit

Etihad Etisalat, the Saudi Arabian mobile telephone company also known as Mobily, on Tuesday posted an eight percent increase in third-quarter profit to SR1.2bn ($320m).
According to a statement to the Saudi bourse, net profit also rose five percent compared to the previous quarter.
It said net profit for the nine months period amounted to SR3.4bn, a growth of 23 percent.
Revenues for the third quarter amounted to SR4.6bn, up 16 percent on the same period in 2010 but down nine percent on the previous quarter.
Mobily said the drop in revenues was due to a reduction in sales of low-margin smart phones in the third quarter through its own sales outlets.
In addition, the company's sales of Apple's iPhone 4 declined with the customers anticipation of the new version of the device.
The company said data revenues increased by seven percent compared to the second quarter of this year, with the number of mobile broadband subscribers exceeding 6.3m by the end of the third quarter.
It added that despite the increasing competition in data services and international calls, the rise in net profit was "a result of the improved operational efficiencies.

Source: Zawya

20-10-11, 02:53 PM
MoH hotline to monitor epidemics

The Ministry of Health has set up a hotline, in cooperation with the World Health Organization, to act as a warning system for epidemics in the home countries of Haj pilgrims, said Dr. Fahd Gazzowli, Assistant Supervisor General for Preventive Medicine at the Control Health Centers at King Abdul Aziz International Airport.
He said the ministry has rules and precautionary measures to prevent epidemics in the Kingdom. The ministrys health centers at the airport have preventive, therapeutic and ambulance services ready for pilgrims if the need arises
Source: Saudi Gazette

20-10-11, 02:54 PM
Savola buys two Egyption companies

Saudi Arabia's Savola Group has signed an agreement to buy a 78 percent stake in two Egyptian firms for 557 million Egyptian Pounds ($98 million) as it expands its regional footprint in food products, it said on Tuesday.
The acquisition of the stakes in Egypt's Al-Malika and Al-Farasha firms will be self-financed, Savola said in a statement posted on the website of the Saudi bourse.
"These two companies are engaged in the field of manufacturing and marketing pasta inside and outside Egypt and have two factories in Egypt with production capacity of 120,000 tons per annum, with a market share of 30 percent," it said.
Savola, which owns the Middle East's biggest sugar refining business, posted a 307.9 million riyal third-quarter net profit on Monday, beating forecasts, and it maintained profit forecast of 1 billion riyals for the year, before capital gains.
Savola is the biggest shareholder in Almarai Co, the Middle East's largest dairy firm by market value, owning 29.9 percent

Source: Reuters

20-10-11, 02:55 PM
Almarai writes off Zain Saudi losses

Almarais writeoff of losses from the drop in the market value of Zain Saudi Arabia has been hailed as a professionally sound move.
Financial analyst Salman Al-Hawawi says it comes at the right time as the volume of these losses is estimated at SR135.7 million. "Almarais decision to delete the losses if Zain Saudi Arabia continues to incur losses represents a prudent financial philosophy," he said.
The decision is a good long-term strategy for shareholders considering the poor transparency of Zain. Almarai is Saudi Arabias largest dairy company by market value, operating dairy farms and processing juices.
Almarai made its investment in Zain telecommunications network based on solid accountancy criteria and its market value in the third quarter. The unrealized losses from the drop in the investment value by the end of the third quarter reached SR135.7 million, out of an original investment value of SR350 million - equivalent to 35 million shares representing 2.5 percent of Zain Saudi Arabias capital.
Al-Hawawi says "the current situation Zain is passing through does not show any signs of improvement and will not, until at least by the end of this year, despite the companys restructuring plans." He said Almarais decision means "Zain would record exceptional losses. Therefore, the measure removes a financial burden off the companys lists during the future financial periods."
Zain has faced financial difficulties since its establishment. The founding shareholders, including Almarai, refinanced its loans by mortgaging their shares to pay off the creditors until July 2012. They also extended the repayment period of the loans provided by the companys founders. Almarai had provided Zain with loans reaching a value of SR109.6 million. Zain shares are currently being traded at levels lower than their nominal value at just SR5.95 per share.
However, Almarai registered 1 percent increase in profit in the first nine month of this year at SR1.014 billion against the same period last year.

20-10-11, 03:45 PM
Kingdom's 12 banks log 37.5% profit rise in Q3

Saudi Arabias 12 commercial banks registered 37.5 percent increase in their aggregate net earnings in the third quarter of 2011.
The combined net profits of the Kingdoms 12 commercial bank stood at nearly SR8 billion in the third quarter and the income is projected to remain high through the year, the National Commercial Bank (NCB) said.
The banks maintained their growth, with their total assets expanding by nearly 0.6 percent YoY with NCB holding the biggest share at around SR307 billion.
Deposits continued to grow at a faster pace than loans validated by 3Q11s 11.3 percent and 9.7 percent YoY, respectively.
However, loans-to-deposits ratio stands at 75.4 percent against 76.5 percent during the same period last year.
All banks recorded gains, some with quadruple digit growth rates, except for Saudi Investment Bank, which suffered from a 9.7 percent percent due to lower fees income, which it said plunged by nearly 14 percent in the third quarter.
The Saudi banks balance sheets showed their consolidated net profits stood at around SR26.1 billion in 2010, slightly lower than the 2009 earnings of nearly SR26.8 billion.
Profits totaled SR29.9 bilion in 2008 and peaked at SR30.2 billion in 2007.
"As we end the third quarter of 2011, banks have announced their profitability with exceptional performances," NCB study said.
"We expect banks to continue growing their income levels as contract awards gained a staggering 156 percent during the first half of 2011 Y/Ythis will provide ample financing opportunities as projects in infrastructure, power, and real estate will seek local lending."
"Since the beginning of 2011, Saudi banks have netted nearly SR24 billion, a 19 percent increase over the same period of 2010," NCB said.
It added "Saudi banks will need to continue deploying their liquid assets through the rest of 2011 and into 2012 in order to maintain their profitable momentum."
The banks performance would improve further amid higher economic growth, with the Kingdoms GDP expected to grow 7.1 percent in 2011, Jadwa Investment said in its latest Saudi economic forecast.
Source: Saudi Gazette

20-10-11, 03:48 PM
1,000 Labor Ministry inspectors to carry out Nitaqat checks

The Ministry of Labor has announced plans to reinforce its branch offices in various regions of the Kingdom by appointing as many as 1,000 inspectors to ensure effective implementation of the Nitaqat program.
The ministry has also pledged to take stringent punitive action against general service offices allegedly involved in helping some companies and establishments to dodge Saudization targets, Al-Eqtisadiah business daily said in a report on Sunday.
The move came following reports that some companies in the yellow or red categories are attempting to upgrade their ranking to green with the help of these offices. Recently, some of these offices started advertising in print and electronic media and claiming they can help firms that come under the red category upgrade to green.
Speaking to Al-Eqtisadiah, ministry spokesman Hetab Al-Anzi said the Nitaqat program is meant to create more jobs for Saudis in the private sector as well as to put an end to malpractices taking place in the employment market.
If any firms are found hiring Saudi job seekers on a temporary basis with the sole objective of switching over to green status, stringent punitive action would be taken against them. If they dispense with Saudi employees at a later stage without genuine reasons, they would fall again into yellow or red categories, he said.
He added that employers must hire Saudis after providing them with a compulsory health insurance scheme. There should also be a work contract signed by both sides. The employers face punitive action if the contract contravenes provisions stipulated in the Kingdoms Labor Law. The ministry would take steps to ensure Saudis are given permanent jobs in private sector firms, he said.
Al-Anzi urged Saudis who have been dismissed from work to provide details of the employer to the ministry so that it can investigate the case.
If it was found that the dismissal was without any genuine reason, strict penal action shall be taken against the firm in addition to compelling it to give compensation to the sacked employee, he said, adding that the new inspectors would monitor whether any malpractices are taking place when giving jobs to young Saudi men and women.
The spokesman also said the ministry would follow up the implementation of Saudization in the private sector using an automatic system to identify any attempts to dodge the program.
Criticizing advertisements published by general service offices claiming to help firms in the red and yellow categories upgrade to green, Al-Anzi said: No service offices can upgrade the category of any companies. The classification is based on an automated system and there is no room for anybody to make any alterations. For example, no one can alter the provisions of the mandatory health insurance after gaining access to the General Organization for Social Insurances (GOSI) system, he said.
The spokesman said the ministry is closely monitoring such advertisements and will investigate the offices claims. If it is found that these offices are taking part in fraudulent practices to enable these firms to dodge Nitaqat regulations, stringent punitive measures would be taken against them, he added.
The ministry started implementing the Nitaqat program on Sept. 10. Those companies coming under the yellow and red categories are given a grace period of nine and six months respectively.Nitaqat is introduced to evaluate private companies based on their achievements in meeting Saudization goals.
Under the program, private firms are classified into excellent, green, yellow and red. Companies with high Saudization rates would come under the excellent and green categories, while those who fail to achieve the required rates or refuse to employ Saudis are respectively included in the yellow and red categories.
The red companies will not be allowed to renew work visas for their foreign employees. Yellow companies can renew work visas for up to six years for each foreign employee. Excellent and green companies are entitled to many benefits and strong incentives from the ministry.
Source: Arab News

20-10-11, 03:49 PM
Business optimism index 'at an all-time high': NCB

Undaunted by the instability in the region about 51 percent of the companies in the non-hydrocarbon sector have plans to invest in business expansion, said Dr. Said Al-Shaikh, Group Chief Economist and Senior Vice-President of National Commercial Bank (NCB) in Riyadh, Tuesday.
Addressing a press conference to reveal the findings of NCBs survey conducted in September to know the business optimism index (BOI ) for year end, he said about 51 percent of companies surveyed in the non-hydrocarbon sector have expressed their intention to invest in business expansion plans, as compared with 48 percent in Q3 2011.
However, Al-Shaikh said about 25 percent business units from non-hydrocarbon sector have expressed their concern over the shortage of skilled manpower in the Kingdom while 28 percent of the respondents from the hydrocarbon sector said they are concerned about the inflationary factors.
He said the NCB BOI revealed that 46 percent in the non-hydrocarbon sector do not anticipate any negative factors to influence their business operations in Q4 2011.
"The composite BOI in Saudi Arabia remains at an all-time high with a score of 63. The composite BOI gains were helped by government stimulus package," said Al-Shaik.
He said Saudi Arabia produced an average of 9.72 million bpd of crude oil in August, up from 9.068 million bpd in Q2 2011 and 8.732 million bpd in Q1 2011.
"This increase in production came to compensate for the oil disruption in Libya. However, oil production in Saudi Arabia will decline by 300,000 to 400,000 bpd as political stability in Libya restores by next year," he added.
This will have an effect on the countrys GDP growth of 5.8 percent in 2011 will slow down to 2.2 percent in 2012, he said.
He said the composite BOI in the manufacturing sector dropped by seven points to stand at 49. The transport and communications sector optimism marginally declines for Q4 to 56 while construction and trade and hospitality sectors posted strong gains, he said without giving figures.
Manjeet Singh Chhabra, General Manager of Dun and Bradstreet South Asia Middle East Ltd., said the survey was done taking into account six parameters on current business conditions.
He said 500 business owners and senior executives across business units were surveyed by D&B/NCB BOI, which is recognized the world over as an indicator that reflects the pulse of the business community.
Saudi firms remain quite optimistic about the business outlook for the fourth quarter; the hydrocarbon composite index is at an all-time high of 63 and non-hydrocarbon index is at 60. The construction sectors optimistic outlook reflects the boost in confidence from the governments planned expenditure in housing and other infrastructure projects, Chhabra said.


Source: Saudi Gazette

20-10-11, 03:50 PM
9% increase in Saudia flights

Saudi Arabian Airlines flights are up 8.81% over the past nine months compared with the same period last year. Operational performance standards and scheduled flights have increased while the number of delayed and cancelled flights have dropped.
The announcement came after a number of Saudia flights were grounded in Egypt due to strikes by ground staff.
We are reaping the benefits of operational efficiency and productivity with our new fleet of A330s, and our passengers love it too, said Khaled Almolhem, Director General of Saudi Arabian Airlines.

Source: Saudi Gazette

22-10-11, 12:50 PM
Bad news

Price of gold came up a little bit

The gold pirce per gram is SR 173.20 as of today

October 22, 2011

22-10-11, 03:46 PM
Shuaa buys land to build budget hotel in Jeddah

Investment bank Shuaa Capital said Monday its Saudi unit had acquired land in Jeddah to build a SR160m ($43m) budget business hotel, in a bid to tap into the kingdoms growing demand for low-cost travel.
The 254-room hotel, which will have 12,000 sq m of space, will be managed by Rotana Hotel Management Corp, the company said in an emailed statement.
Shuaa did not disclose the value of the land, or the contract with Rotana.
The plot was bought through the banks closed-end real estate fund, the Shuaa Saudi Hospitality fund.
Real estate consultancy Jones Lang LaSalle said in May that Saudi Arabia would lead a regional boom in high-quality low-cost hotels, in response to demand from money-conscious business travellers and pilgrims.
Shuaa, one of the Gulf Arab region's largest investment banks, was hit hard by the global financial downturn as impairments related to troubled assets erased profits.
In the first quarter, Shuaa said it would cut 10.7 percent of its staff, or 39 jobs, to reduce costs following the regional turmoil which hit its quarterly results.
The company posted a small second-quarter net profit of AED 0.6m in July.

Source: Arabian Business

22-10-11, 03:46 PM
Saudi Arabias thriving food manufacturing industry, urbanization and increasing industrialization in petrochemicals sector has spurred demand for the countrys packaging industry, according to a high-ranking Riyadh Exhibition Center (REC) official.
Kamil Al-Jawhari, RECs Project Manager for the forthcoming Saudi Printing, Packaging Sign and Graphics 2011 (Saudi PPSG 2011) said Saudi Arabia holds about 70 percent of the GCCs $2 billion packaging industry.
He said the Kingdoms local sector is expected to further expand at an average rate of 4.58 percent from 2011 to 2015. Saudi Arabias 70 percent hold on the Gulfs $2 billion packaging industry is expected to further expand at an average rate of 4.58 percent from 2011 to 2015, he said.
Quoting World Banks Doing Business 2011 report, he said Saudi Arabia ranked 11th out of 183 global economies in Ease of Doing Business and occupied top position in the Middle East.
The Kingdoms business-friendly environment has spurred strong demand for printing, packaging, signage and graphics over the past few years. A resilient advertising base is another growth factor, with ad spending in the Kingdom increasing eight percent to $643 million for first half of 2011.
Saudi Arabia and the UAE are perhaps the only countries in the Arab World where advertising expenditures have not dropped during the said period.
Al-Jawhari said REC will organize Saudi PPSG 2011, the 10th International Packaging, Printing, Sign and Graphics Technology Exhibition from Nov. 18 to Dec. 1 at Riyadh International Convention and Exhibition Center. The events participants will be introduced to local, regional and international visitors and the Kingdoms limitless business opportunities.
The bi-annual business event is the largest and longest-running of its kind in the region and will gather exhibitors and guests from across Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa.
The participants will have an opportunity to interact with industry leaders, view the latest products and services, and gain a better understanding of real growth opportunities available at both the domestic and regional level, said Al-Jawhari.
The event will showcase equipment such as commercial printers, package printing converters, paper production equipment, paper equipment materials and special printing applications. The exhibition will serve as platform for business-to-business participants and offer them opportunity to establish contacts with new and potential clients.
Saudi PPSG 2011 the 10th International Packaging, Printing, Sign and Graphics Technologies Exhibition will be held concurrently with Saudi Plastics & Petrochem 2011 - the 10th International Plastics and Petrochem trade fair.
Source: Saudi Gazette

22-10-11, 03:48 PM
Crown Prince Sultan, deputy premier and minister of defense and aviation, has died, according to a statement from the Saudi Royal Court early Saturday. He was 86.

Prince Sultan will be buried on Tuesday after his body is repatriated from the United States, state television reported.

Source: Arab News

22-10-11, 03:49 PM
Saudi Kingdom taps solar energy as alternative power source

Saudi Arabia has initiated a study to expand to 8 megawatts the 500-kilowatt solar power plant inaugurated early this month as part of the country's alternative energy source, an official of the Saudi Electric Co. (SEC) said in an interview published online Wednesday.
SEC's Eng. Hamed Al-Saggaf said in an interview with the Green Power Conferences that the Kingdom is selecting other locations and currently negotiating with contractors "to have hybrid solutions of diesel and solar production".
On October 1, Saudi Arabia inaugurated its first 500-kw Solar Power Plant on Farasan Island "using CIS Solar Thin Film Technology from Solar Frontier of Japan". The plant, which was started on July 5, 2011, was completed on August 18, 2011.
Al-Saggaf said Showa Shell Sekiyu built the plant on a build-own-and- transfer (BOT) basis, adding that the plant will be transferred to the SEC after 15 years or less.
The plant, which will be operated and maintained by SEC, is "directly connected to the SEC's distribution system", he added.
"Development of renewable energy in the KSA is one of the Saudi government's objectives, which has been seriously considered by SEC management for its future energy plans," he said.
"However, there are issues that need to be carefully studied before shifting to the use for large scale of solar power which requires connection with the transmission grid," he added.

"One major hesitation is the reliability of solar plants. Although there are new developments that would resolve such a problem, we believe that the available technology would be too expensive for now and may not be economical to implement within the few years from now. Other important issues are the financial support needed to construct these large scale solar projects."
Al-Saggaf said solar energy "is a must for a long-term" need, adding that the newly inaugurated solar power plant gave the SEC the experience to place the Saudi government "in a better position to negotiate on the terms and conditions for future projects".
Solar energy, which is environmentally friendly, will help meet the Kingdom's objective to provide alternative energy in the country, he said.
Source: Saudi Gazette

22-10-11, 03:50 PM
Saudi billionaire sued for $150 million in London court

Standard Bank sued Saudi billionaire Mohamed bin Issa al Jaber for $150m in a London court, saying loans made to companies in his MBI International & Partners group werent repaid.
The bank says al Jaber personally guaranteed three loans to JJW Hotels & Resorts and Ajwa for Food Industries in 2008, according to court papers outlining its claim.
Al Jaber, Saudi Arabias third-richest man according to Arabian Business, believes he has a claim against the bank over a $96.5m loss from unauthorized foreign-exchange trades, his lawyer Catharine Otton-Goulder said at a pre-trial hearing.
He blames Standard Bank, a unit of Johannesburg-based Standard Bank Group, for the trades from a personal account he held with the company and says the loans were provided to cover the foreign-exchange losses.
Al Jaber has fallen from 62nd to 136th in the Forbes list of the worlds wealthiest individuals. While MBI has assets of $9bn according to al Jabers website, the businessman has found himself without sufficient funds for personal expenses and has 5 million pounds ($8m) of debt to suppliers, Otton-Goulder said.
Al Jabers lawyers want to investigate the relationship between his personal adviser and the bank. They say the adviser was responsible for negotiating a deal with Standard Bank to settle the debt. There was a clear conflict of interest in undisclosed remuneration from the bank to the adviser, which should be fully investigated in evidence at trial, according to court documents filed by al Jabers attorneys.
Janice Garraway, a spokeswoman for Standard Bank in London, declined to comment on the case via e-mail on Thursday. Gary Pegg, an attorney for al Jaber, didnt respond to an e-mail requesting comment.
Source: Saudi Gazette

22-10-11, 03:51 PM
3m expats to be sent out gradually

Nearly three million expatriate workers will have to leave the Kingdom in the next few years as the Labor Ministry has put a 20 percent ceiling on the country's guest workers.
The ceiling has been set to help find jobs for Saudis andprotect the country's demographic structure.
"The maximum number of long-term expatriate workers in theKingdom should not exceed 20 percent of the Saudi population," Al-Eqtisadiahbusiness daily reported Thursday, quoting the Labor Ministry.
The ministry said the long-term plan to cut the number ofexpatriate workers was aimed at protecting the Kingdom's demographic structure.Currently, the number of expatriates (8.42 million) accounts for 31 percent ofthe Saudi population of 18.7 million.
"According to the new plan, about 2.9 million expatriateworkers would have to leave the Kingdom," the paper said. The ministry'sstatement came after a meeting of GCC labor ministers decided to step up theircampaign to replace expatriates with qualified GCC nationals.

Labor Minister Adel Fakeih, who led the Kingdom's delegation to the GCC meeting in Abu Dhabi, has been spearheading a Saudization campaignthrough the Nitaqat system -- instrumental in creating more jobs for Saudis inthe private sector.
Hesham Rowaihy, a management consultant, emphasized the needfor a national succession plan that would oversee a smooth transition of jobsfrom expatriates to Saudis.
"We need a national succession plan driven by theprivate sector with the support of the Labor Ministry and other governmententities. This will enable the ministry to gradually replace expatriate workerswith Saudis," Rowaihy said, adding, "We should strengthen our education andtraining system in order to supplant the guest workers."
Every company should have a succession plan to replace expatriates with Saudis, he said. "Elevation of the education system isessential to produce qualified Saudis capable of taking up important positions."

Rowaihy believed that the new plan would not affectconstruction projects that employ thousands of low-paid temporary workers.
The ministry's expat ceiling plan was announced during theAbu Dhabi meeting. "The plan targets long-term workers and exempts those whoare employed temporarily to carry out certain projects," a ministry officialsaid.
During the meeting, Deputy Labor Minister Ahmed Al-Humaidangave a presentation on the Kingdom's recruitment policy.
"We allow recruitmentof foreign workers after studying actual requirement of a company, includingits project size and economic activities."
Al-Humaidan said the ministry differentiates between foreignworkers who leave the Kingdom after completing certain projects and those whostay long in the Kingdom for various business activities. "Here's the need fora ceiling for long-term workers," he added.

Source: Arab News

22-10-11, 03:52 PM
Kingdom's GDP exceeds SR 1 trillion

Saudi Arabia's gross domestic product (GDP) exceeded the SR1 trillion ($273 billion) mark in the first half of this year compared to SR811 billion in the same period last year on the back of higher oil output and energy prices, the Central Department of Statistics and Information said in its report.
The GDP, unadjusted for inflation, jumped 26.1 percent from a year earlier. The statistics department said GDP of the oil sector alone soared 38.9 percent to SR573.4 billion.
The Kingdom received another boost with the annual report of the World Bank Group and the International Finance Corporation for 2012 acknowledging its regional top rank in the Middle East and North Africa region with regard to facilitating business. The report Doing Business 2012: Doing Business in a More Transparent World, which has been released in Washington, has ranked the Kingdom 12th in the domain of ease of doing business and other commercial transactions among 183 nations worldwide due to improvements introduced by the Kingdom concerning government procedures for corporate activities and making business easier for entrepreneurs.
The report also placed the Kingdom ninth with regard to research and studies on government regulations applied on local companies.
The report said 17 nations in the Middle East and North Africa region succeeded over the past six years in creating a better environment for business operations.
Commenting on the Saudi GDP report, Jarmo T. Kotilaine, chief economist at the National Commercial Bank, said: "The government data confirms the increasingly clear impression that the economic recovery has gathered significant momentum in the Kingdom during the year. Admittedly, the key driver has been the strength and remarkable resilience of oil prices, along with increased production, first in response to the disruptions in Libya but, with some volatility, even thereafter. Moreover, there is growing evidence that also the nonoil sector is gathering momentum with the government plans of increased spending which have begun to translate into concrete projects as well as the growing willingness of Saudi banks to lend to the private sector."
Kotilaine said these developments leave Saudi Arabia in a strong position even in an exceptional uncertain global economic environment. The troubles in the euro zone and beyond have the potential to prove disruptive to the financial markets and investor sentiment but the positive progress in Saudi Arabia looks likely to continue to be significantly underpinned by the active role of the government as well as the hydrocarbons sector, he added. Even though concerns about demand erosion have returned and will likely continue to do so, the aggregate oil demand is now firmly above pre-crisis levels and continuing to grow, albeit more slowly than previously projected, he said.
"In spite of the potential uncertainty facing the private sector as highlighted by the PMI both the oil sector and the government are well positioned to exercise considerable discretion in output and spending, respectively, so as to ensure a reasonably high degree of continuity in economic activity," Kotilaine added.
However, Paul Gamble, head of research at Jadwa Investment, said: "The GDP data is in nominal terms, meaning that it is the value of output and is therefore heavily influenced by changes in prices. The rise in the first half was driven by higher oil prices and, to a lesser extent, by higher prices of petrochemical products."
He said: "For nonoil sectors growth is much lower, as prices of these products have not risen by anywhere near as much as oil prices, but it is broadly in line with our expectations. Lower oil prices in the second half of the year mean that growth in nominal terms will slow. However, in inflation-adjusted terms, growth will remain healthy."
Apart from the Kingdom at No. 12, the new IFC and World Bank report put other Gulf Cooperation Counci countries such as the United Arab Emirates at (33), Qatar (36), Bahrain (38), Oman (49) and Kuwait (67).
Discussing the Kingdom's position in the list, Kotilaine said: "This ranking highlights the success with which the Saudi authorities have effectively transformed the business climate in the country by making it far simpler to set up and operate companies."
He said it is encouraging that further preparatory work in this regard is ongoing.
A sound business climate is critical for addressing the challenges in the areas of sustainable job creation and economic diversification that have come to dominate policy making in recent years, he said. He added success in boosting employment would be critically dependent on actively fostering entrepreneurship. In mature economies such as the US and the EU, SMEs (small and medium enterprises) account for the vast majority of all jobs, up to 70 percent, he said.
"In view of further unleashing the productive potential of the economy, continued efforts will be needed to address the regulatory environment, bureaucratic hurdles and access to capital and advice. It is encouraging that the Kingdom now appears to be making steady headway in all these areas," Kotilaine added.
This year, Singapore led on the overall ease of doing business, followed by Hong Kong SAR, China, New Zealand, the United States and Denmark.
Source: Arabian Business

22-10-11, 03:53 PM
Applebee's partnership with STC Qitaf program

Applebee's is the world's largest casual dining restaurant chain with more than 2,000 restaurants all over the world.
Currently there are 12 Applebee's restaurants in Saudi Arabia with ongoing expansion, the company said in a statement.
Applebee's is actively involved in business-to-business (B2B) partnering with some major companies in the country. Applebee's partnered with Saudi Telecom (STC) Qitaf program in 2009. The partnership has been successful ever since. Qitaf customers can redeem their loyalty points at any Applebee's restaurant in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. To celebrate the 2-year partnership, Applebee's hosted recently an event in Riyadh attended by top executives of STC and Applebee's.
Source: Saudi Gazette

22-10-11, 03:56 PM
Nitaqat to rein in coverup activities

Sharif, a Pakistani, has been working in Saudi Arabia for about 17 years. He always travels widely in between Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam, supervising a group of Pakistani mechanics.
Sharif runs three car maintenance workshops in Khudriya, Dammam. These workshops are in the name of a Saudi, who in turn receives a monthly amount of SR10,000 from Sharif, who is the real owner, according to Al-Riyadh Arabic newspaper.
I pay the rent of the buildings where the workshops are in addition to the utility bills. I also meet all other expenses, including wages and fees for the renewal of their residence permits (iqamas) and exit and re-entry visas. The sponsor only has to sign the concerned documents, Sharif said.
When an Al-Riyadh reporter approached Sharif disguised as a Saudi citizen wanting to sell a work visa for a private driver, he expressed interest in buying it. After negotiations, Sharif agreed to buy the visa for SR12,000.
Sharifs story is a typical example of what is happening in the Kingdoms employment market. Many foreigners are engaged in these coverup businesses and they hire workers mainly from their countries after colluding with some citizens, who find it a lucrative business. These Saudis manage to secure work visas and then sell them to foreigners for huge amounts. They also allow foreigners to start commercial ventures in theirs name in exchange for a fixed monthly fee.
Muhammad Safiyuddin, an Indian, runs a coverup business. There are more than 25 workers under my sponsorship. I keep the workers passports in my custody. I pay SR250 per worker to the sponsor every month, he said while noting that these foreigners are allowed to go out and do any type of work they can find, such as vehicle maintenance, selling fruit and vegetables, and working at cafeterias and grocery stores.
The illegal visa trade and coverup businesses have produced a negative impact on both the Kingdoms economy and efforts to address the unemployment problem.
According to experts, there are about 3 million foreigners who are actually not needed in the labor market. This situation has prompted the Ministry of Labor to take strict measures to put an end to this phenomenon and implement Saudization vigorously. One major objective of the ministrys newly launched Nitaqat program is to reorganize the employment market and put an end to coverup businesses and the visa black market.
Hateb Al-Anzi, spokesman of the ministry, said the provision to restrict foreigners stay in the Kingdom to six years would be applicable to those who work at firms that come under the red and yellow categories. It has also been pointed out that implementation of this directive would boost Saudization as well as crackdown on foreigners working for ghost companies.
Some businessmen in the Eastern Province claimed that the Nitaqat program has opened new vistas of job opportunities for young Saudis. These young men can enter the Kingdoms lucrative service sector, which is controlled overwhelmingly by illegal foreigners.
Abdul Rahman bin Rashid Al-Rashid, chairman of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the Eastern Province, said the ministrys decision to restrict the stay of foreigners if they were in the red or yellow bands would deal a severe blow to coverup businesses.
He also called on the authorities to rigorously Saudize firms in those sectors where coverup activities are rampant.
Abdul Razaq Al-Olyo, another prominent businessman, said effective implementation of Nitaqat would help put an end to coverup businesses and the visa black market in the long run. He called for forcing all companies and firms as well as various sectors to strictly implement the program.
Another businessman, Abdul Rahman Al-Barak, demanded that there should be strict monitoring of foreigners remittances.
No foreigner should be allowed to transfer any money that is higher than their monthly salary. Such a step would help crack down on coverup businesses, he added.
Source: Arab News

22-10-11, 03:57 PM
Awasser committees to help Saudi families living abroad

The Saudi Welfare Society to Sponsor Saudi Families Abroad (Awasser) will have 11 specialized committees to assist Saudi families in 24 countries and to facilitate their return to the Kingdom for those wishing to come home, according to the chairman of the societys board of directors, Tawfiq Abdul Aziz Al-Suwailem.
Awasser is a nongovernmental body that cares for Saudi children and family members abroad.
Al-Suwailem said the committees would implement and follow up on the activities of the society aimed at helping Saudi families abroad and boosting ties with government departments and charitable organizations to achieve this goal.
The society plans to visit nine countries in the coming days and, in collaboration with the Saudi embassies in those countries, will help stranded Saudis wishing to return home, Al-Suwailem said.
He revealed that through the help of the government, the society was able to extend financial and material assistance to Saudi families in 24 Arab, Islamic, Asian and American countries.
The director said the society would soon embark on a massive awareness campaign to enlighten Saudis about the risks of marrying foreign women in the countries they visit.
Sons and daughters of Saudis in a number of countries including Indonesia, Egypt, India, and the Philippines are demanding to be repatriated to Saudi Arabia the home of their fathers.

Source: Arab News

22-10-11, 03:58 PM
Saudi Arabia ranked first for doing business

Saudi Arabia is the top ranked country in the Middle East for the ease of doing business through regulatory reforms, a World Bank report has said.
Out of 183 economies around the world, the Gulf kingdom was ranked 12th in the Doing Business in a More Transparent World report.
It ranks the economies in 10 areas of business regulation, such as starting a business, resolving insolvency and trading across borders.
The report said that Gulf countries had introduced nine reforms between them during the past year - eight of which improved business regulation and one that made things worse.
Globally, the study showed that governments in 125 economies out of 183 measured implemented a total of 245 business regulatory reforms 13 percent more reforms than in the previous year.
While Singapore, Hong Kong, New Zealand, United States and Denmark were ranked the best five economies for doing business, all the Gulf nations were in the top 70.
The UAE was second in the Middle East region, coming 33rd up from 35th last year, Qatar was placed 36th from 38th in 2011, Bahrain 38th (33rd), Oman 49th (53rd) and Kuwait 67th up from 71st.
Oman was the most active Gulf economy in the past year with three reforms, according to the report.
It said the sultanate introduced an online company registration, reducing the time it takes to register a business.
It also improved its credit information systemby launching the Bank Credit and StatisticalBureau System, which collects historicalinformation on performing and nonperforming loans for both firms and individuals.
The report also said Oman enacted a new income tax law that redefined the scope of taxation.
Qatar made starting a business easier by combining commercial registration and registration with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the report said.
Qatar also improved its credit information system by starting to distribute historical data and eliminating the minimum threshold for loans included in the database.
But the Gulf state was guilty of making dealing with construction permits more difficult by increasing the time and cost to process building permits, the study said.
Saudi Arabia made starting a business easier by bringing together representatives from the Department of Zakat and Income Tax and the General Organisation of Social Insurance to register new companies with their agencies.
The report said the UAE also made starting a business easier by merging the requirements to file company documents with the Department for Economic Development to obtain a trade licence and to register with the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
The UAE also improved its credit information system through a new law allowing the establishment of a federal credit bureau under the supervision of the central bank.
Augusto Lopez-Claros, director, Global Indicators and Analysis, World Bank Group, said: At a time when persistent unemployment and the need for job creation are in the headlines, governments around the world continue to seek ways to improve the regulatory climate for domestic business.
"Small and medium businesses that benefit most from these improvements are the key engines for job creation in many parts of the world.
Against the backdrop of the global financial and economic crisis, more economies strengthened their insolvency regimes in 2010-11 than in any previous year.
Twenty-nine economies implemented insolvency reforms, up from 16 the previous year and 18 the year before.

Source: Arabian Business

22-10-11, 04:02 PM
Primedia in strategic deal with Saudi firm

Bahrain-based media company Primedia International has tied up with Saudi consulting firm Joatha Business Development Consultants.
"This joint venture develops Primedia's presence in Saudi Arabia's booming business community," said Primedia's chief executive Mike Orlov.
"We are tremendously proud to have widened the doors for our advertisers to help them penetrate this market more effectively."
Joatha Consulting is a Riyadh-based firm licensed by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. The company provides services in three consulting and advisory practices, information technology, business development and strategy, and economic policy.
With presence in Riyadh and the Eastern Province, Primedia also has plans to open an office in Jeddah in the future. For operations in the Eastern Province, the company has appointed Mustafa Al Nasser as the new media manager.
"We welcome Mustafa on board and wish him all the best in his new role. He has worked for more than 15 years in the media, communications and marketing industry and brings valuable experience in the Saudi market," added Orlov.
Primedia also announced the opening of a call centre at its head office in Bahrain focusing on the Saudi market.
Source: Trade Arabia

22-10-11, 04:03 PM
Saudi Mercedes-Benz dealer offers free checks

Juffali Automotive, the exclusive dealer for Mercedes-Benz cars in Saudi Arabia, is running a service week so that Mercedes-Benz owners may bring in their cars for a free vehicle check by factory-trained specialists.
German factory engineers will be flown in and will be on site to provide Mercedes-Benz customers with technical knowledge and advice on how to service and maintain their Mercedes-Benz.
Representatives from Mobil Oil and Michelin tyres will also be attending to give specialist technical advice.
With the harsh operating conditions we face, it is important that Mercedes-Benz owners have their cars checked regularly to avoid mechanical failures and ensure the highest levels of safety, said Safi Kobeissi, general manager.
In addition to the free service check, visitors to the service week at Juffali Automotive can take advantage of other offers including special discounts on spare parts and accessories.
They can even test drive a segment-leading Mercedes-Benz sedan or SUV and get a trade-in price for their current vehicle, a statement said.

Source: Trade Arabia

22-10-11, 04:05 PM
Airlines to be fined for delays in Haj flights

Saudi Arabia's General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) has said airline companies would be fined for any delays in Haj flights this year, Saudi Gazette has reported. The fines could reach up to SR150,000 for late flights, which will be doubled if the delay is more than 24 hours, GACA said. Airlines which allow flights to depart without obtaining a license will be fined more than SR30,000, it added.

Source: Ame Info

22-10-11, 04:07 PM
Shadhly first Saudi female to legally manage own business

Sawsan Sulaiman Shadhly, businesswoman and owner of Saudi International Center Group (SIC Group), is the first woman in the Kingdom to get a commercial license without a male legal representative.
Shadhly is actively involved in Saudi womens affairs. Born in Jeddah in 1974, she got her Masters degree in accounting with distinction from King Abdulaziz University, according to Al-Watan Arabic daily newspaper.
Shadhly is a member of several local and international business bodies including the Council of Dubai Businesswomen, Saudi Consumer Protection Association, and Meeting Professionals International (MPI) based in the United States.
Shadhlys SIC Group was among the top 20 companies owned by Saudi businesswomen in the Kingdom in 2008 and 2009 consecutively. She became popular among Saudi businesswomen when she presented papers in the United Arab Emirates, Syria and Malaysia about the challenges and difficulties facing Saudi businesswomen.
Her papers focused on the achievements of Saudi women without transgressing the boundaries of the Shariah.
She spoke at several local and regional conferences and forums including the Eighth Global Forum for Businesswomen in Dubai in 2006, the International Forum for Businesswomen in Syria in 2005 and the Fifth Global Conference for Independent Women in Malaysia in 2009.
Shadhly says that the economic and social developments in the Kingdom which were brought about by globalization pose new challenges to Saudi women and their contribution to economic growth. Over the past few years, more businesswomen have become interested in investment. Shadhly believes that investment is the real contribution to economic development and that women now have a great chance to invest their huge savings, estimated to be around SR15 billion.

Source: Saudi Gazette

22-10-11, 04:08 PM
Wealth of rich Saudi families falls 12%

Riyadh There has been a fall of 12 per cent in the wealth of 14 rich Saudi families during the first three quarters of the current year.
The overall value of their assets fell to 98.4 billion Saudi riyals (Dh96.34 billion) from 111.5 billion riyals during the period between January 1 and September 29, according to the latest figures released by Al Joman Centre for Economic Consultancy.
The Al Rajhi family is the kingdoms wealthiest non-royals. Among the 14 families that have so far declared their assets, Al Rajhi topped with a wealth of 46.3 billion riyals. This comprises 47 per cent of the total assets of these families. The Al Rashid family comes second with 5.8 billion riyals on the rich list. It is interesting to note that Al Rashids wealth is less than one-seventh that of Al Rajhi.
The decline in the wealth of the rich families was attributed mainly to the recent crash in the Saudi stock market. The shares plunged eight per cent during the three quarters of the year, the Sabaq website reported, quoting a statement by the Al Joman Centre. According to the report, there has been an increase in the wealth of four of the 14 families during the period.
The decline in the wealth of the rich was attributed to the crash in the Saudi stock market. The shares plunged eight per cent during the three quarters of the year.


Source: Gulf News

22-10-11, 04:10 PM
Saudi's Jarir reports 47.6% in profit

Saudi-based Jarir Marketing Co (JMC) has reported 47.6% increase in net profit for the third quarter of this year to SR152m, compared with a net profit of SR103m for the same period last year, and up 54.2% over SR98.6m in the previous quarter, Arab News has reported. The estimated net profit for the nine months stood at SR387.4m, an increase of 30.4% over the same period last year, JMC said.

Source: Ame Info

22-10-11, 04:11 PM
Saudi-Pakistani joint military exercise begins

On behalf of Prince Khaled Bin Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz, Assistant Minister of Defense and Aviation and Inspector General for Military Affairs, Prince Lt. Gen. Khaled Bin Bandar Bin Abdul Aziz, Commander of the Saudi Royal Land Forces, Thursday patronized the Saudi-Pakistani joint military exercise Al-Samsaam IV held in Jhelum district in Pakistan.
Gen. Ashfaq Kayani, Commander-in-Chief of the Pakistan Army, and a number of senior officers of the land force and the army of Pakistan also attended the event.
Gen. Kayani said that it was a great honor to have this exercise with the Saudi brothers, describing the event as yet another sign of close Saudi-Pakistani relations.
Gen. Kayani also praised Saudi forces for their bravery and valor.
For his part, Prince Khaled Bin Bandar conveyed the greetings of Crown Prince Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz, Deputy Premier, Minister of Defense and Aviation and Inspector General, and Prince Naif Bin Abdul Aziz, Second Deputy Premier and Minister of Interior, as well as Prince Khaled Bin Sultan, to the participants in the joint event.
Prince Khaled said the joint exercise is yet further evidence of the firm and deep-rooted cooperation between the two armies.
Speaking to the press following the exercise, Prince Khaled said this extraordinary exercise will help Saudi officers and soldiers develop skills in their fight against terrorism and in fighting in rugged terrain. He said the Kingdom will leave no stone unturned in combating the menace of terrorism

Source: Saudi Gazette

22-10-11, 04:13 PM
Huge opportunities in Saudi supermarket business: Tamimi Group

The owners of Tamimi supermarket on Alkhobar's Corniche on Thursday marked the opening of the expanded and renovated grocery store that has defined the company over the last four decades.
Since its launch in 1979 it has become a key landmark in the Eastern Province.
The supermarket revolutionized the grocery business. Before that Saudi Arabia had the ubiquitous baqalas. In a sense the opening of Tamimi's Alkhobar supermarket symbolized the beginning of modern commerce in Saudi Arabia.
Hundreds of customers attended the grand opening of the milestone store.
Soon after the launch, pictures were uploaded to Facebook and enthusiasts tweeted about it. Hundreds of expatriates in the US, Europe and Asia who resided in Saudi Arabia in the 1980s and 1990s commented on these photos recalling their memories of the store and its many items.
"How does that area look like now?" wrote Peter Isaak, an American who made Alkhobar his home in 1982, while commenting on the launch photo.

"I will never forget the many trips we would make to Tamimi supermarket to get stuff that we thought we would never get in Saudi Arabia."
"This particular store is our flagship ... This one led to the success of the Tamimi Group of Companies. We became a household name after this store," said Group President Tariq A. Tamimi, one of the sons of Ali Tamimi, the group founder.
"We have a special attachment with this store, and this is the reason why we have invested so much in it."
He says competition has not driven the investment.

"We have gone in for an aggressive strategy because this is still an untapped market," he added.
"Saudi Arabia is growing, and we think there are huge opportunities in the supermarket business. The population is growing; they have become quality conscious and brand conscious. Our priority is to provide them the best."
Tamimi is known for quality products, but it has lost business to hypermarkets that provide a range of products at lower prices.
"We are catering to a different segment altogether. We have organic food, and that comes at a high cost. Those who are health-conscious and are aware of what organic food is all about understand what we are talking about," said Tamimi.
"Our major focus now is the growing Saudi population; they form the bulk of our clientele."
To all those who have been Tamimi's loyal customers for years, the president's message is: "Come see for yourself what we have done for you. You will love shopping with us. We have got everything that you are looking for, and quality is our benchmark."
The new supermarket's ultimate selling point is its prime location and the fact that it is open 24/7. "We have taken into account the feedback from our regular customers and factored in their needs," said Mohsen S. Husain, food division general manager.
"We are now in the process of launching new stores in other places."
Tamimi supermarket was the only building in the area in 1979.
"I have been with this group for 35 years," said Mohammed Ilyas Khan, who is now vice president and managing director of Tamimi Global Co. Ltd.
"Across the road everything was part of the sea," he says pointing to the glitzy Alkhobar Corniche area that has now become the location for a number of coffeehouses, top brands and fast-food outlets.
"Most of this area was reclaimed from the sea," he said.
According to Khan, Tamimi Alkhobar is very dear to the owners.
"I remember Ustaz Ali Tamimi spending much of his time at this store. He took personal interest in this outlet and would listen to his customers patiently to ensure that they got what they wanted. A whole generation of Saudis and expatriates in Saudi Arabia grew up buying their daily products from in here. It is fitting that this superstore has been redone in such a fabulous way; it is the company's tribute and commitment to its customers."
"Such is our commitment to this store that we might close everything but not this one," quipped Fawaz T. Tamimi, head of the group's business development division.
"This is our life. This is our legacy."

Source: Arab News

23-10-11, 08:07 AM
The gold price in Saudi Arabia is almost the same

per gram SR 173.05

23-10-11, 08:09 AM
Makkah rail project construction to start in 2013

Construction of an urban mass rail transit system for the holy city of Makkah is slated to start in 2013, with operations beginning four years later, the company behind the project said on Saturday.
AlBalad AlAmeen Company (BAC) said it is working with an advisory team of Ernst & Young, Ashurst and Parsons Brinckerhoff to develop the procurement packages for the first stage of the system, including rail infrastructure, railway systems, rolling stock, depot and operations.
The company said in a statement that expressions of interest for stage 1 are anticipated by the end of this year.
Makkah faces significant congestion and transportation challenges as a focal point of the Hajj, the Islamic pilgrimage, which attracts millions of visitors to the city every year.
The city's own population is also growing rapidly and is estimated to double to three million by 2035.
The Makkah Mass Rail Transit project (MMRT) is a key aspect of the Municipality's strategy to address these growth challenges and the current public transport deficit.
The project will involve the construction of four new rail lines.
Stage 1 will include the construction of sections of Lines B and C. Line B section will be 10km long, with six new stations and will mainly be underground.
It will be an extension of the existing Al Mashaaer Al Mugaddassah rail line, serving the holy shrines of Arafat, Muzdalifah and Mina, and will connect to the new Haramain high-speed rail station west of Makkah city.
Line C will be 29 kilometres long with 14 new stations, and will be constructed in a combination of tunnels and viaducts.
The other two Lines, A and D, will be constructed in future stages.

Source: Arabian Business

23-10-11, 08:10 AM
Petrochem shares drive Saudi market upwards

Saudi shares closed 1.9 percent higher on Saturday led by gains in the petrochemical and banking sectors.
The all-share closed at 6,156 points, its highest close since August 3 when the market closed at 6,424 points.
The petrochemical sector added 2.3 percent to 6,273 points and petrochemical giant Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) closed 2 percent higher.
The banking index ended 2.2 percent higher to 14,790 points, lifted by gains in heavyweight Al-Rahji Bank which ended 3.3 percent higher.

Source: Reuters

23-10-11, 08:11 AM
Saudi contracts exceed SR 84 bn in first half

Saudi Arabia awarded contracts worth more than SR84 billion in the first half of this year and their total value through 2011 will likely surpass that in 2010, the Gulf kingdom's largest bank said on Sunday.
Around SR34.5 billion worth of government contracts were awarded in the second quarter of 2011, bringing the total value to SR84.2 billion ($22.5 billion) in the first half, National Commercial BankNational Commercial Bank (NCBNCB) said.
In a study sent to Emirates 24/7, NCBNCB said the high value of contracts awarded in the first half was a result of increasing spending on infrastructure within the country's latest five-year development plan.

"The value of awarded contracts reached SAR84.2 billion by the end of the first half of the year, indicating that 2010's total value of awarded contracts is likely to be surpassed this year," the study said.
"The government's focus to fulfill its citizen's demands for improved infrastructure capabilities played a significant role as more than 31 per cent of the value of
awarded contracts during the second quarter were directed towards infrastructure related sectors. However, the residential real estate and power sectors garnered the highest percentage of the value of awarded contracts, accounting for 26 and 23 per cent respectively."
The report said that though the total value of awarded contracts fell compared to last quarter, the value at which the contracts are being awarded is "staggering."
The figures showed that the SR34.5 billion in awarded contracts during the second quarter represents a 43 per cent increase compared to the second quarter of 2010 when the value was SR24.2 billion.
Furthermore, the SAR84.2 billion in awarded contracts during the first half represents a whopping156 per cent increase over the first half of 2010 when the value was around SR33 billion, the report added.

NCBNCB said the surge boosted its Construction Contracts Index (CCI) to a staggering 205.3 points at the end of the first half of this year from 90.36 points at the end of the first half of 2010.
"This reflects the robustness of the country's construction industry over the past six months in particular as the initiatives from the annual budget and King Abdullah's royal decrees are currently being implemented."
In terms of geographical break-up, Riyadh accounted for the highest portion of awarded contracts by value with a 26 per cent share, the report showed.
It attributed this to a significant residential real estate contract which will cover an area of four million square kilometers.
The Eastern Province had 25 per cent of the value of contracts as a considerable portion of industrial, water and urban development contracts were awarded.
The Makkah and Madinah regions accounted for 16 and 15 per cent, respectively. The main contract awards in those regions were residential real estate projects in Jeddah and a power contract in Yanbu.
"The rate at which contracts have been awarded during the first half of this year has brought numerous opportunities for both, large and SMEs players. The demand for improved services in infrastructure, power, and real estate sectors were the main drivers of high value contract awards," NCBNCB said.
"This frenzied pace is expected to continue through the second half as there are numerous high value projects that are in the bidding phases and are expected to be awarded in the third quarter."
NCBNCB said one such bid that is expected to be awarded is phase two of the Haramain high-speed railway project at an estimated value of SR30 billion. Additionally, King Abdullah's royal decree regarding the 500,000 housing units to be constructed is expected to commence during the second half.
"With oil prices projected to average at $95 in 2011, the surplus in state revenues will increase capital expenditures in construction in the medium-term."


Source: Emirates 24/7

23-10-11, 08:13 AM
Saudi King approves setup of electronic university in Riyadh

Saudi King Abdullah has approved plans to establish a world-class electronic university in Riyadh which will provide intensive courses to help prepare Saudi students for roles in business and industry as well as research and development, Arab News has reported. The Saudi Minister of Higher Education has said the multimillion dollar Saudi Electronic University will be the first of its kind in the Arab world.
Source: Ame Info

23-10-11, 08:16 AM
Saudi Arabia: King keen on Jeddah flood porjects

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah is very much concerned about ongoing projects to prevent recurrent Jeddah floods, said Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal on Saturday.
"He follows these projects earnestly and asks me about their new developments in minute detail and with utmost interest," he said while addressing the executive committee for carrying out rainwater drainage projects in the city.
The prince said the king had instructed him to continue work on the project around the clock and seven days a week. "I have promised him that it will be done."

Prince Khaled hoped that the Jeddah flood projects would bring about a total change in the methodology of implementing giant projects in the country.

"Citizens and residents are looking forward to this project with great hope and are following its every detail and development," the governor said.
He stressed the need for implementing the city's eastern ring road within three years. "The government has already allocated funds for this road project and there is no excuse for any delay," he added.
Top officials including Jeddah Gov. Prince Mishaal bin Majed, Jeddah Mayor Hani Aburas, and CEO of National Water Company Luay Al-Musallam attended the meeting.


Source: Arab News

23-10-11, 08:22 AM
SR5bn to be exchanged by end of season

MAKKAH: Pilgrims exchange between SR35 million and SR45 million every day in Makkah, Madinah and Jeddah during the Haj season, Makkah chief of exchequers Adel Maltani told Arab News sister paper Al-Eqtisadiah on Friday.
He added by the end of the season a total of SR5 billion will have been exchanged. This is 20 percent less than last years Haj season, he said.
Maltani attributed the drop in the number of exchanges to the Arab Spring. The number of pilgrims has dropped due to the ongoing political upheavals in a number of Arab countries, he explained.
Maltani noted that though pilgrims have assembled in the Kingdom for about a month now, exchange operations have not yet picked up.
He, however, hoped that large amounts of money would enter the Kingdom during this years Haj season so that the exchange market would flourish.
Asked about the possibility some exchange offices might take advantage of the ignorance of some pilgrims and offer them uncompetitive rates, Maltani admitted that this trend existed about two years ago.
He said at that time authorities closed down a number of exchange offices, encouraging the establishment of illegal businesses run by foreigners who would not hesitate to cheat on pilgrims.
I do not think that this phenomenon exists any more especially as there is now a large number of legitimate exchange offices, he said.
Maltani asked the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA) to allow the establishment of exchange offices in all regions. The regulations do not permit this now, he noted.
SAMA has warned bank branches and exchange offices along the borders and at entry points to be watchful for forged currency. It said anyone caught exchanging forged currency would be imprisoned and fined.

Arab news

23-10-11, 08:26 AM
Saudis say Sultans death has created a deep void

DAMMAM: Saudis described Crown Prince Sultan as a source of strength and a statesman and described his death as a big loss for the Kingdom. Talking to Arab News, they said it has created a big void.
Well-known political analyst and columnist Hussein Shobokshi said he was saddened by the death of Prince Sultan. Saudis were aware that his health was failing. He was looking frail in his last years ... so the death has not come as a shock but it has saddened us, he said. He was a statesman.
According to Shobokshi, the Saudis are now looking in anticipation at the next step. This is the first time that a crown prince has departed before a king. This is a unique situation. Also, we have a structure (of succession). In times past the king was the sole authority to name his crown prince. Now there is a body called the Allegiance Council which will recommend the new crown prince.
Khalid A. Al-Abdulkarim, CEO of the Alkhobar-based Al-Abdulkarim Holding, described his death as a big loss for Saudi Arabia and especially for people of the Eastern Province.
He was always at hand whenever we needed him. He had close contact with this area for a long time. He knew our parents and always paid special attention to the needs of the local population.
According to Al-Abdulkarim, Prince Sultan nurtured this region with his frequent contacts and visits. His passing away is sad news.
Khaled Almaeena, editor at large at Arab News, said Crown Prince Sultan's death has left a deep void in the heart of many people. He was a kind and generous man, and cared deeply for the underprivileged, he said.
His presence was always a source of strength for the Kingdom.
Educationist Abdul Aziz M. Al-Jezairy said Crown Prince Sultan was among the architects of modern Saudi Arabia.
He played a significant role is making Saudi Arabia a strong nation. Together with his brothers he helped this nation achieve glory and confidence in the last four decades, said Al-Jezairy. He was a pillar of strength.
Suleiman Fahd Al-Shammari, a commercial pilot, said Crown Prince Sultan would be remembered for his unparalleled contribution in fortifying the country's borders.
As defense minister he saw to it that the Kingdom dealt with external challenges with an iron hand. He played a key role during many battles and helped Saudi Arabia emerge victorious, said Al-Shammari. He was a master strategist.

Arab news

23-10-11, 08:30 AM
Businessmen, officials laud contributions

MaKKAH/JEDDAH: Government officials, businessmen, citizens and foreigners have expressed deep sorrow and profound sadness over the death of Crown Prince Sultan, deputy premier, minister of defense and aviation and inspector general.
Maj. Gen. Ibrahim Al-Hamzi, director of police in Makkah, conveyed through Arab News his sincere condolences to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah, Second Deputy Premier and Minister of Interior Prince Naif, Prince Sultan's brothers, sons and Saudi citizens. Prince Sultan has a great record in charitable deeds inside the Kingdom and abroad, he said.
Al-Hamzi recalled that Prince Sultans charitable actions have been institutionalized through his charity foundation and his special relief committee.
Director of Civil Defense in Makkah Brig. Jameel Arbaeen said Prince Sultan had dedicated his life to the service of his religion, homeland and the king. The whole world has mourned the death of Prince Sultan because he was a man of noble deeds both locally and externally, he said.
Arbaeen said the Prince Sultan Charitable Foundation has a number of welfare programs that benefit the poor and needy people everywhere in the world as well as programs for financing scientific research for universities, colleges, hospitals and others.
The foundation has provided medicines and medical equipment to people of special needs, dug wells to provide clean water to the needy people in Saudi Arabia and abroad, encouraged thinkers and researchers by printing their books and publications and helped the old men and women, Arbaeen said.
Assistant Director General of Health Affairs in Makkah Dr. Hussain Ghannam said the good deeds of Prince Sultan would outlive him. History will always remember Prince Sultan as a charitable man, he said.
Ghannam recalled that Prince Sultans Relief Committee began its work in Niger in 1998 and extended to Mali next year. In 2000, the committee extended its welfare assistance to Chad, Ethiopia, Malawi, Djibouti and other countries in Africa, he said.
He said the committee also organized medical caravans to combat endemic diseases such as malaria in a number of Third World countries.
Ghannam said Prince Sultans charity work included the digging of wells and construction of schools, hospitals, kidney dialysis centers and mosques. The entire Saudi society and the world community were saddened by the death of Prince Sultan, he said.
Talking to Arab News, a number of businessmen expressed sadness over the death of Prince Sultan and conveyed their condolences to the king, Prince Sultan's brothers, sons and members of the royal family.
Prince Sultan was a man of charity. He extended humanitarian assistance for the sake of God without awaiting thanks or appreciation from anyone, said Sheikh Saleh Kamel, chairman of the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI).
Deputy chairman of the chamber Mazen Batterjee said Saudi businessmen, businesswomen and the entire economic sector were saddened by the death of Prince Sultan. The country will never forget Prince Sultan's welfare deeds. His charitable foundation has extended relief aid and humanitarian assistance both inside the Kingdom and abroad, he said.
JCCI Secretary-General Adnan bin Hussain Mandoura expressed his deep sadness over the death of Prince Sultan and said his humanitarian actions and welfare deeds would speak for him.
Zuhair bin Ali Al-Marhoumi and Ahmad bin Ali Saeed Al-Marbaie, who are members of the chambers board of directors, also expressed deep sadness and said Prince Sultan had left a remarkable legacy in humanitarian work.
Chairman of the National Committee for Land Transport at the Saudi Council of Chambers Saeed bin Ali Al-Bassami said he was shocked when he heard the news. The death of Prince Sultan did not shock the Kingdom alone but entire Arab and Muslim communities, he said.
Deputy chairman of the chamber's building and construction committee Khalaf bin Housan Al-Otaibi said Prince Sultan was a man who dedicated his life to the service of his country and his people. His contributions to the process of nation building and sustainable development will ever speak for him, he said.
President of the Madinah Islamic University Muhammad bin Ali Al-Aqla on Saturday said the saddening loss had put the Kingdom's people and leaders in a state of deep sorrow.
The departure of our dear father the crown prince creates an unbridgeable void because he was a true patriot, loyal to the king and devoted to the service of his people, country and religion over the past 60 years or more. Since the time of the Kingdom's founder King Abdul Aziz, the prince has been holding a number of key positions in the government, Al-Aqla said.
The prince made vital contributions to achieving and maintaining the Kingdom's security, people's prosperity and keeping up the momentum of economic growth of the country, he added.
King Abdul Aziz had such a deep trust in the young prince that he appointed him at the head of the Royal Guards. Other positions he held before taking the command of the Ministry of Defense and Civil Aviation included the governorship of Riyadh, the ministers of agriculture and transport, he said. He was promoted to the position of crown prince and deputy premier when then Crown Prince Abdullah became the king. Devoted service to the religion and the country was the hallmark of the prince's career, he added.
A noted achievement of the prince as the defense and aviation minister is the

fortification of the countrys defenses.

Arab news

23-10-11, 08:37 AM
Kuwait is considering to buy assets in Europe

ABU DHABI: Kuwait is considering to buy assets in Europe after prices fell in response to the region's
debt crisis, but it has not made specific decisions, the country's finance minister told Reuters.
"We haven't defined any sector investing in Europe, but all sectors are open for us to go through. The sectors that we get some benefit out of, yes we'll go for it."
"All that is now presented to us, we have to think it over, study it well, and then decide," Finance Minister Mustapha Al-Shamali said in an interview late on Friday before a meeting of Gulf Arab finance ministers and central bank governors in the United Arab Emirates.
He said Kuwait was aware of potential investments in "a lot of things, different sectors" across a wide range of countries in Europe, but did not elaborate.
Kuwait, the world's No. 6 crude oil exporter, is one of the richest countries globally with its sovereign wealth fund, Kuwait Investment Authority, managing over $290 billion of assets. It has stakes in Citigroup, Daimler AG and Agricultural Bank of China among others.
The European crisis "will have an impact but it is not that much for us. We are just waiting for the Europeans, what they are to do with their economy," Al-Shamali said.

Spending
But the minister said Kuwait expected to increase government spending moderately in the next fiscal year that will start on April 1. Officials are now beginning to study next year's budget.
"It will be increased, especially...where the capital expenditure will be more," he said, referring to infrastructure and development projects.
In the current fiscal year, the budget was based on a global oil price of $60 per barrel and the breakeven oil price the price at which Kuwait posts a budget surplus is over $85, Al-Shamali said. Brent crude oil is currently around $110.
Next year's budget oil price hasn't been decided yet "but it will be increased from the previous year," he said. On next year's breakeven price, "We hope it will be the same but we don't know. We have to study it."
Last month, Al-Shamali said Kuwait had no plans to boost budget spending in the next fiscal year. He did not explain on Friday why the policy outlook had shifted towards slightly higher spending.
Since 2004, Kuwait's budget spending has tripled to a record 19.4 billion dinars ($71 billion) planned for the current fiscal year.
Asked if the government was considering whether to issue bonds, Al-Shamali said it was not, and that an issue next year was unlikely. The only reason that an issue might occur would be to stabilize the money market through the central bank, he said.

Arab news

23-10-11, 08:56 AM
'GCC may become engine of growth in the Arab world'

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Qatar have the opportunity to become engines of growth in the Arab world in the aftermath of the Arab Spring, said Nasser Saidi, chief economist at the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and executive director of the Hawkamah-Institute for Corporate Governance.
He was speaking at an exclusive forum hosted by the Capital Club Dubai, the region's private business club and a member of the ENSHAA group of companies, to discuss the need for policy reforms, institutional change and extensive investment in the region in the wake of the Arab Spring.
"The GCC has big incentive to do it," said Saidi, who is a member of the IMF's regional advisory group for MENA and co-chair of the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development's MENA Corporate Governance Working Group.
He said that the idea goes back to Egypt of 1953. But Egypt couldn't become the engine of growth. That opportunity has come to the GCC countries now.
"The GCC member states should take more active role, economically. They should widen the net and include countries like Egypt, Yemen, Jordan and Morocco into the GCC fold," he said.
He suggested that the GCC countries should prepare a roadmap for countries like Egypt and Yemen and present it to their governments while making it clear that they would have to follow the roadmap if they want to join the group.
Saidi, who was also named among the 50 most influential Arabs in the world by The Middle East magazine for the third time, this year, suggested privatization and more public-private partnerships to develop infrastructure in the countries torn by war and violence.
He also suggested setting up a MENA bank dedicated to reconstruction and development of the region. He pointed out that the US, Asia, Africa and Europe all have their own financial organizations for reconstruction and development. But MENA is the only region that doesn't have a bank for the cause.
Stressing upon the need for setting up the bank, Saidi said: "This is the time when we need an institution like this, because the transition is going to take years and we have to address all the challenges and vulnerabilities."
He said that the oil exporting countries in the GCC might be the main stakeholder in the bank. "We the Arab countries have to do it on our own. We cannot wait for people from other parts of the world to come and resolve our problems. This is the time that the Arab countries play their role in transformation, build their own institutions and bring the change.
"Although it seems very challenging at the moment, we need to realize that we are very rich, and have the natural resources. The potential is also certainly there," he added.
In the wake of the looming fear of global sovereign debt crisis, Saidi said that the increasing stature of Asian countries like China and India are the saving grace for the MENA region.
He said that the UAE has benefited from the recent political turmoil in the Arab region because of its political stability. The UAE remains an important hub for India and China to enter the GCC countries and the MENA region.
The economist said that Dubai recovered from the financial crisis much faster because of its strong links to India and China. He pointed out that Dubai's multinational companies like Dubai World, Emirates and Dubal are doing well in the emerging markets and tourist flow from Asia has increased substantially.
He suggested the GCC countries should benefit from the growth of India and China because they are growing much faster. The growth rate of the emerging markets is 2-3 times faster than the advanced economies of the world.
"The trade policies as well as economic and investment policies should be reoriented toward Asia, because that is where the growth is coming from. If you strengthen your links to the Asian giants, you will be less vulnerable than you were 5-10 years ago to what is happening in Europe and the United States," he added.

Arab news

23-10-11, 09:04 AM
UAE plans $3bn in aid to Egypt

ABU DHABI: The United Arab Emirates plans to provide $3 billion in financial aid to Egypt but is still discussing the mechanism to deliver it, a senior UAE official said on Saturday.
"The UAE has approved an assistance of $3 billion to Egypt, but the mechanism is still subject to discussion," Obaid Humaid Al-Tayer, minister of state for financial affairs, told reporters.
Al-Tayer was speaking at a meeting of Gulf Arab finance ministers and central bankers in Abu Dhabi. He did not elaborate on the nature of the aid to Egypt.
The aid would be part of billions of dollars in financing support which Egypt is seeking to cope with an economic crisis since the ousting of President Hosni Mubarak in February.
Qatar has given a grant of $500 million, according to Egyptian officials, and Egypt is also considering loans from the International Monetary Fund which it previously turned down.

Arab news

23-10-11, 09:11 AM
IMF is not seeking more funds from Gulf

ABU DHABI: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is not seeking more funds from Gulf Arab oil exporters to bolster its resources, and the region faces no major danger from the euro zone debt crisis, the IMF's Deputy Managing Director Nemat Shafik said on Saturday.
Some emerging economies, fearing the euro zone crisis could destabilize them, suggested giving the IMF more firepower to cope with threats to the global financial system when policymakers from the Group of 20 nations met in Paris last week. China, Brazil and India all favored bolstering the IMF's capital, G20 sources said. But they ran into resistance from the United States and other big economies, burying the idea for now.
Asked whether the IMF was seeking more resources from Gulf Arab countries, Shafik, visiting Abu Dhabi for a meeting of finance ministers and central bankers from the region, told reporters: "No, at the moment, it is not our objective."
Saudi Arabia's central bank governor told Reuters last week that the IMF did not need more funds now and that he doubted any consensus on increasing IMF members' quotas for contributions to the Fund was likely in the near future.
Shafik also said the impact of the euro zone crisis on the Gulf had been small so far as its exposure to Greece and Portugal was "very limited".
"There is no major danger for the Gulf financial markets," she said after the meeting. "The only concern is when there is any impact in the future on the price of oil."
Brent crude oil prices have retreated from more than two-and-half year highs of $127 per barrel seen in April to nearly $99 earlier this month. They closed above $109 per barrel on Friday.
United Arab Emirates Finance Minister Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al-Maktoum told the Saturday meeting that Gulf countries were able to fill any shortage of oil on international markets to keep prices stable.
Gulf Arab economies rely on oil for most of their government spending. Governments across the region have boosted social spending this year as unrest swept much of the Arab world, including Bahrain, Oman and Yemen, which made budgets more vulnerable to a sudden fall in crude prices.

Arab news

23-10-11, 09:15 AM
Oman spending to rise slightly next year

By REUTERS
Published: Oct 22, 2011 22:42 Updated: Oct 22, 2011 22:42
ABU DHABI: Oman's government spending will rise slightly next year, after a sharp increase this year as the country boosted social spending, Finance Minister Darwish Al-Balushi told Reuters on Saturday.
Al-Balushi said budget spending this year would total about 9.1 billion rials ($23.7 billion), up from an original plan of 8.1 billion rials. The country increased spending after a wave of social unrest prompted by Arab Spring political protests across the region.
Next year's spending will be "a little more" than 9.1 billion rials, Al-Balushi said, speaking on the sidelines of a meeting of Gulf Arab finance ministers and central bankers.
Protests demanding jobs and an end to corruption prompted Sultan Qaboos bin Said, a US ally who has ruled Oman for 40 years, to promise a $2.6 billion spending package in April. He also announced plans to create 50,000 new jobs.

BOND
Speaking to Reuters at the same meeting, the head of Oman's central bank said the non-OPEC oil producer would issue a bond to fund development projects.
"The government is issuing a government development bond before the end of this year in the range of 150 million rials," Hamood Sangour Al-Zadjali said. "It is meant for the local market and issued by the government through the central bank."
Oman's commercial banks are set to boost profits by about 10 percent this year, driven by growth in loans and other core businesses, Al-Zadjali said.
"The 0man banking system is resilient, strong and comfortable. Looking at Q3 profits, we will see upward growth in the region of about 10 percent for 2011."
Al-Zadjali added that banks' loan books were growing at an annual rate of about 8 to 10 percent at the end of the third quarter of this year, with deposits showing similar expansion.
He said the sultanate's first two fully fledged Islamic banks would be operational in early 2012. The two banks will raise 40 percent of their capital through initial public offers of shares, he said.
Bank Nizwa and Al Izz International Bank, sponsored by local investors in Oman, have received licenses from the central bank to operate as wholly Islamic financial institutions but have not yet opened their doors.
Other banks in Oman are free to open Islamic windows, Al-Zadjali added.

EURO ZONE
He said Oman's banking sector had no "direct" exposure to the euro zone debt crisis. "Our banks have not borrowed funds nor kept large sums with them. Our banks are conservative," he said.
Al-Balushi said the Oman Investment Fund, the country's main sovereign wealth fund, would not alter its investment strategy to buy European assets made cheaper by the euro zone crisis.
"They (the fund) have a strategy where they invest in a sort of balance between the local investments and the foreign investments. And I think we will continue with that...It is something like 60 percent in local and 40 percent in foreign investments," Al-Balushi said.

23-10-11, 09:21 AM
UAE has no exposure to euro debt

By REUTERS
Published: Oct 21, 2011 21:54 Updated: Oct 21, 2011 21:54

ABU DHABI: The United Arab Emirates' central bank has no exposure to euro zone debt in its reserves and it only invests in countries and corporates rated AAA as required by law, a senior central bank official said on Friday.
Gulf Arab oil exporters such as the UAE mainly invest in dollar assets since most peg their currencies to the US dollar with crude oil, priced in dollars, accounting for a majority of budget revenue.
Asked whether the UAE central bank held any euro zone debt in its reserves, Saif Hadef Al-Shamsi, senior executive director at its treasury department, said: "Currently, no."
"It is very much prescribed in a law, we only invest in AAA-strong countries," he told reporters after a meeting of Gulf central bank governors in the UAE capital. when asked if investing in troubled European assets was an option.
Authorities in the Gulf, the world's top oil exporting region, rarely comment on investment strategies.
Al-Shamsi also said the central bank invested in diversified and liquid instruments: "Problem countries? No. Investments...in securities is through a careful examination, survey."
The central bank's foreign currency assets edged down to a three-month low of 199.1 billion dirhams ($54.2 billion) in June. But within that total, holdings of foreign securities rose to 86 billion dirhams in June, the highest level since at least 2007, its data show.
Asked about the central bank's gold holdings, Al-Shamsi said: "We do not have any gold. We used to have.
"When it was there it was available on the balance sheet. Now, it's not there so it is not available," he said.
The central bank held 333 million dirhams worth of gold in December 2002, the last year when gold holdings appeared on its balance sheet, according to its annual reports.
Saudi Arabia's central bank governor told Reuters last week that the Saudi monetary authority was not interested in buying distressed or speculative assets such as troubled European debt and gold.
UAE banks should not feel any major pain from the euro zone debt crisis, UAE central bank governor Sultan Nasser Al-Suweidi told a news conference at the event on Friday.
"It should not have a big impact," he said.
Banks in the world's No. 4 oil exporter were hit by Dubai's $25 billion debt restructuring last year, which followed a local property market crash and the global financial crisis. But since then, banks have been building up capital levels, which were already high by international standards, and earnings have partially recovered.

24-10-11, 11:28 AM
The gold price in Saudi Arabia is almost the same

per gram SR 173.26 as per yesterday, October 23, 2011

24-10-11, 04:30 PM
3m expats to be sent out gradually

Nearly three million expatriate workers will have to leave the Kingdom in the next few years as the Labor Ministry has put a 20 percent ceiling on the country's guest workers.
The ceiling has been set to help find jobs for Saudis andprotect the country's demographic structure.
"The maximum number of long-term expatriate workers in theKingdom should not exceed 20 percent of the Saudi population," Al-Eqtisadiahbusiness daily reported Thursday, quoting the Labor Ministry.
The ministry said the long-term plan to cut the number ofexpatriate workers was aimed at protecting the Kingdom's demographic structure.Currently, the number of expatriates (8.42 million) accounts for 31 percent ofthe Saudi population of 18.7 million.
"According to the new plan, about 2.9 million expatriateworkers would have to leave the Kingdom," the paper said. The ministry'sstatement came after a meeting of GCC labor ministers decided to step up theircampaign to replace expatriates with qualified GCC nationals.

Labor Minister Adel Fakeih, who led the Kingdom's delegation to the GCC meeting in Abu Dhabi, has been spearheading a Saudization campaignthrough the Nitaqat system -- instrumental in creating more jobs for Saudis inthe private sector.
Hesham Rowaihy, a management consultant, emphasized the needfor a national succession plan that would oversee a smooth transition of jobsfrom expatriates to Saudis.
"We need a national succession plan driven by theprivate sector with the support of the Labor Ministry and other governmententities. This will enable the ministry to gradually replace expatriate workerswith Saudis," Rowaihy said, adding, "We should strengthen our education andtraining system in order to supplant the guest workers."
Every company should have a succession plan to replace expatriates with Saudis, he said. "Elevation of the education system isessential to produce qualified Saudis capable of taking up important positions."

Rowaihy believed that the new plan would not affectconstruction projects that employ thousands of low-paid temporary workers.
The ministry's expat ceiling plan was announced during theAbu Dhabi meeting. "The plan targets long-term workers and exempts those whoare employed temporarily to carry out certain projects," a ministry officialsaid.
During the meeting, Deputy Labor Minister Ahmed Al-Humaidangave a presentation on the Kingdom's recruitment policy.
"We allow recruitmentof foreign workers after studying actual requirement of a company, includingits project size and economic activities."
Al-Humaidan said the ministry differentiates between foreignworkers who leave the Kingdom after completing certain projects and those whostay long in the Kingdom for various business activities. "Here's the need fora ceiling for long-term workers," he added.

Source: Arab News

24-10-11, 04:32 PM
Saudi Kingdom taps solar energy as alternative power source

Saudi Arabia has initiated a study to expand to 8 megawatts the 500-kilowatt solar power plant inaugurated early this month as part of the country's alternative energy source, an official of the Saudi Electric Co. (SEC) said in an interview published online Wednesday.
SEC's Eng. Hamed Al-Saggaf said in an interview with the Green Power Conferences that the Kingdom is selecting other locations and currently negotiating with contractors "to have hybrid solutions of diesel and solar production".
On October 1, Saudi Arabia inaugurated its first 500-kw Solar Power Plant on Farasan Island "using CIS Solar Thin Film Technology from Solar Frontier of Japan". The plant, which was started on July 5, 2011, was completed on August 18, 2011.
Al-Saggaf said Showa Shell Sekiyu built the plant on a build-own-and- transfer (BOT) basis, adding that the plant will be transferred to the SEC after 15 years or less.
The plant, which will be operated and maintained by SEC, is "directly connected to the SEC's distribution system", he added.
"Development of renewable energy in the KSA is one of the Saudi government's objectives, which has been seriously considered by SEC management for its future energy plans," he said.
"However, there are issues that need to be carefully studied before shifting to the use for large scale of solar power which requires connection with the transmission grid," he added.

"One major hesitation is the reliability of solar plants. Although there are new developments that would resolve such a problem, we believe that the available technology would be too expensive for now and may not be economical to implement within the few years from now. Other important issues are the financial support needed to construct these large scale solar projects."
Al-Saggaf said solar energy "is a must for a long-term" need, adding that the newly inaugurated solar power plant gave the SEC the experience to place the Saudi government "in a better position to negotiate on the terms and conditions for future projects".
Solar energy, which is environmentally friendly, will help meet the Kingdom's objective to provide alternative energy in the country, he said.
Source: Saudi Gazette

24-10-11, 04:34 PM
School owners fume over minumum wage for teachers

Following a June 2011 decision by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah, the Ministry of Education will issue a new contract that forces private schools to pay Saudi teachers a minimum of SR5,600 a month.
The law, in cooperation with the Human Resources Fund, will come into force in the new Hijra year 1433 (Nov. 26).
According to the ministry, the new contract will ensure the rights of Saudi teachers and increase job opportunities for more than 39,000 Saudi teachers.
The Human Resources Fund will equally share the payment of teachers with private schools during the first five years. Arab News spoke to a number of private school owners who despite this compensation expect big losses.

"The Human Resources Fund will pay 50 percent of teachers' salaries only for the first five years," observed Rabiha Attar, owner of Rawdat Al-Sighar private school in Jeddah.
"Some schools will be able to pay the new minimum wage for teachers, but others will not. At my school, I pay teachers with significant experience more than SR5,000; teachers without experience receive SR3,000. We will save money as long as the Human Resources Fund contributes to the wages, but when they stop their participation we will lose a lot," she said.

There should be a mechanism to distinguish between schools. High-class schools should implement this decision, but not the low-income ones, she added.
According to Attar, schools that lease their buildings will hardly implement this decision due to the steep rent increases every year.
Rashed Al-Shirmbi, owner of Al-Sahel private school, confirmed that the decision would lead to the shutdown of many private schools.
"Some private schools only receive SR6,000 per student. These schools will never be able to pay 50 percent of the SR5,600 salary for their teachers. This decision should only cover high-class schools that take SR20,000 per student," he said.

"It would be better if the ministry hired the teachers and paid their salaries than sharing the payment with the Human Resources Fund," Al-Shirmbi added.
Other school owners find the decision the perfect way to save money as long as the Human Resources Fund pays half of their teachers' salary. "If a school used to pay SR3,000 to their teachers, it would only have to pay SR2,800 now," said Abdulqader Al-Bakri, owner of Green Hills International School in Jeddah.
He added, "Schools that were paying only SR1,500 will suffer, as they will have to pay almost double for their teachers. Such schools will face financial problems and will not be able to continue, especially when the Human Resources Fund stops paying its share after five years," he said.
Um Adnan, who preferred not to mention the name of the school she owns, confirmed that the decision would force many private schools to increase their fees.
"Most schools will try to benefit from the decision and ask for dramatic fee raises. Low-class schools that receive SR5,000 per student will not be able to pay 50 percent of the SR5,600 salary," she said.
Um Adnan expressed her worry that experienced teachers who already receive more than SR5,000 would ask for a raise, as they would not accept the same salary as their inexperienced colleagues.
According to Um Adnan, if schools raise their fees, the number of illegal schools that hire teachers with low salaries will go up too. "Many middle-class families will withdraw their children from recognized schools and send them to illegal schools that charge low fees," she said.

Source: Arab News

24-10-11, 04:52 PM
The gold price in Saudi Arabia cam up

per gram for 21 is SR 174.95

October 24, 2011

25-10-11, 11:20 AM
Method of awarding projects is flawed, say contractors

A number of contractors have criticized some government departments for directly awarding projects to contractors with the lowest offer instead of announcing the project publicly for competition.
Article 22 of the competition and government purchase system clearly states that offers should not be excluded because of their low price, unless the offer is 35 percent below the estimation of the government department. The contractors also called to review legislation to guarantee professional competition between all contractors.
Contractors agreed that greed and ignorance drives many contracting companies to get projects by offering the lowest bids, even if the projects were greater than their financial, administrative and logistical abilities. They try to get as many projects in hand as possible, without realizing the consequences.
Abdul Hakeem Al-Sihli, an investor in the construction sector, said that the local market lacked the vision needed for long-term investment. Al-Sihli added that contractors should move away from the idea of getting as many projects as possible, saying that this led to the delay of many development projects. He called for the Ministry of Housing to place contracts for competition instead of awarding them to certain contracting companies.
He also called for government departments to decrease the time slot in which contracts are awarded. Often as long as one to two years, many contractors enter more than one contracting bid. This often leads to companies overextending themselves as they are awarded multiple contracts.
Abdullah Al-Ammar, deputy chairman of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the Eastern Province, called for a change to several practices at government departments, including changing the criteria of awarding projects from the cheapest offer to the best offer. He said other variables should also be taken into consideration such as if projects are finished on time, quality and safety standards.
Source: Arab News

25-10-11, 02:38 PM
Southern Air operates 747 freighter for Saudi Cargo

Southern Air Holdings, based in Norwalk, Connecticut, US, has announced the addition of Saudi Airlines Cargo Company to its list of blue chip global clients.
Southern Air and Saudi Cargo Company have signed a definitive agreement under which Southern Air will operate one Boeing 747 freighter on behalf of Saudi cargo on an ACMI basis (aircraft, crew, maintenance and insurance). The aircraft will begin to be operated for SACC in July 2011 and will be painted in its livery.
Fahad Hammad, chief executive officer of Saudi cargo, said: We welcome Southern Air to our roster of ACMI providers. Southern Air's offers the widest selection of wide body freighters with their 747-200s and B777LRF programme and the introduction of the 747-400s will be an important attraction for us. We look forward to working with the Southern team."
Southern Airs chief executive officer, Daniel J. McHugh, commented: Leading carriers continue to recognise the value that our outstanding operating platform and decades of global experience can bring to their own businesses. We look forward to establishing a long-term relationship with Saudi cargo and are committed to exceeding their expectations by delivering excellent results and service.
With a network of more than 225 domestic and international stations and sub-stations, Saudi Airlines Cargo now has a strong presence in most world markets with improved airfreight services being rendered with its fleet of 12 cargo aircraft fleet and cargo space available on board 125 passenger aircraft of Saudi Arabian Airlines.
Source: Trade Arabia

25-10-11, 02:40 PM
Saudi terminate contracts of female teachers without guardian

Saudi Arabia's education ministry has said it will cancel the recent appointments of female teachers if it is discovered that they do not have a male guardian or (mahram) living in the area where they work, Saudi Gazette has reported. If a female teacher does not live in the area where she teaches or if she does not show up for work within 15 days of her appointment, her contract will also be terminated, the ministry said.

Source: Ame Info

25-10-11, 02:44 PM
Saudi Arabia's Prince Nayef tipped to be heir

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Sultan has died, the royal court said on Saturday, and Interior Minister and reputed conservative Prince Nayef was expected to become the new heir to the throne in the world's biggest oil exporter.
Sultan, whose age was officially given as 80 and who died in New York of colon cancer early on Saturday Saudi time, had been a central figure in Saudi decision-making since becoming defence minister in 1962 and was made crown prince in 2005.
Saudi analysts predicted an orderly transition at a time when much of the Middle East is in turmoil after mass uprisings against autocratic leaders by citizens demanding democracy.
Saudi King Abdullah reacted to the "Arab Spring" by ordering spending of $130 billion on social benefits, housing and jobs, but he and his new crown prince face challenges from al Qaeda militants, a restless Shi'ite minority and civil conflict in neighbouring Yemen.
Saudi Arabia is also locked in a confrontation with Shi'ite Muslim power Iran, accused by the United States of plotting to kill the kingdom's ambassador to Washington.
Earlier this month, the Saudi Interior Ministry accused an unnamed foreign power, widely assumed to mean Iran, of instigating protests by the Saudi Shi'ite minority in which 14 people, including 11 security officers, were injured.
Sultan's health had declined in recent years and he spent long periods outside the kingdom for medical treatment. A 2009 US diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks described him as "for all intents and purposes incapacitated".
King Abdullah is now likely to summon the untested Allegiance Council of the ruling al-Saud family, set up in 2006 to make the succession process more transparent, to approve his preferred heir. In the past, the succession was decided in secret by the king and a coterie of powerful princes.
Most analysts believe the new crown prince will be Nayef, who was appointed second deputy prime minister in 2009, a position usually given to the man who is third-in-line to rule.
"The problem is (the Allegiance Council) is a secret organisation that consists of members of the royal family and Saudi society has no say," said Madawi al-Rashid, author of A History of Saudi Arabia and critic of the ruling family. "Some sections of Saudi Arabia are worried. Nayef is known for security solutions. His rhetoric always invokes the sword.
Source: Reuters

25-10-11, 02:46 PM
The gold price in Saudi Arabia cam up a little bit


per gram for 21 is SR 175.27


October 25, 2011

26-10-11, 08:04 AM
The gold price in Saudi Arabia cam up again about 3%


per gram for 21 is SR 179.47


October 25, 2011

26-10-11, 08:13 AM
Saudi Telecom plans overseas acquistions in 2012

Saudi Telecom Co (STC) plans major acquisitions in the Middle East next year to take advantage of a buyer's market to expand its regional presence, the chief executive of its international operations said on Sunday.
"I see 2012 as a year of potential acquisitions. We are now in more acquisitions mode than before," said Ghassan Hasbani, chief executive of STC's international division, on the sidelines of a World Economic Forum conference.
STC was late to expand abroad compared with regional rivals such as the UAE's Etisalat and Qatar Telecom, but now owns 80 percent of Indonesia's Axis, 35 percent of Turkey's Oger Telecom and a one-quarter stake in Malaysia's Maxis Bhd .
"The market value of those assets is remarkably higher than the value that was paid for it three and a-half years ago. We have created a lot of value in the operations and assets through synergies," Hasbani said.
STC also has mobile licenses in Kuwait and Bahrain.
The foreign push comes amid stiffening competition at home from rivals Mobily and Zain Saudi. STC said on Wednesday that third-quarter net profit more than halved, falling well short of forecasts as it made unexpected foreign exchange losses and took provisions following an adverse government ruling.
"We are not doing due diligence but we are analysing potential opportunities. Given market conditions and the global economic situation, it is a buyer's market, no doubt," he said.
"We are looking at opportunities that complement our current footprint and strengthens our investment portfolio and we are looking to focus on the Middle East region in markets where there is a good opportunity and a reasonable outlook on stability," he said.
Financing would not pose a problem for the group.
"We have a lot of access to cheap funding and capital that would not be an impediment as long as we maintain a good level of rating and we maintain a good level of dividend payout," Hasbani said. "We look at debt financing usually and that is available for a company like us at good rates."
Hasbani said broadband and data services were driving double-digit demand in the Saudi market.
"We see the group expanding into the area of broadband. This is where the growth is coming from, mobile and fixed broadband on all fronts," Hasbani added.
"In general in the telecom market in Saudi Arabia, we are seeing double-digit demand on data and capacity and in terms of utilisation of internet. This is going to be the main area of growth in the future," he said.
Saudi Arabia's mobile penetration ranks third in the world at 188 percent, according to the International Telecommunication Union, with the Kingdom's conservative rules restricting mixing of the sexes and spurring demand for alternative ways to communicate.
Finnish handset maker Nokia says Saudi Arabia is in the top five countries globally for downloads, accounting for nearly one-in-four of these on its platforms in the Middle East and Africa.
The three Saudi operators are betting on data demand to offset slumping voice margins, analysts say.
The "mobile market is still experiencing some growth, sometimes it stops, it shrinks, but it is levelling off from a voice basic telephony perspective, but we are seeing growth coming from broadband and data internet usage which is phenomenal," he said.

Source: Reuters

26-10-11, 08:14 AM
Taif set for new airport

Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, the governor of Makkah region has announced plans to build a new airport in the city of Taif to serve millions of Haj pilgrims and boost tourism in the region, Saudi Gazette has reported. The proposed airport will be the city's second airport, Taif Regional Airport, currently served by Egypt's Almasria and Saudia.

Source: Saudi Gazette

26-10-11, 08:44 AM
Tadawul exchange advaces 0.45%

The Saudi equity benchmark Tasi closed at 6,136.4 points (up 0.45%). Petrochemical giant Sabic ended up 1.08% at SR94.00. Solidarity Saudi Takaful Co. lost the most (off seven per cent at SR23.80). Shares of Knowledge Economic City or KEC jumped 10%, closing at SR7.70. KEC in Madinah was launched in 2006 by HH King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz and aims to attract research centres on Islam, technology, languages and software development. KEC is the third of Saudia Arabia's six Economic Cities and shall on completion comprise of 150,000 inhabitants.

Source: Ame Info

26-10-11, 08:47 AM
Al marai likely to take $36m writedown on Zain stake

Saudi Arabia-based Almarai, a founding shareholder in Zain Saudi, is likely to take a $36m impairment on its stake in the telecoms carrier at the end of 2011 if the shares remain stuck near current levels, Reuters has reported. The dairy firm owns a 2.5% stake initially valued at SR350m ($93m). Almarai has also lent SR109.6m to Zain Saudi, according to the latter's first-quarter results.

Source: Reuters

26-10-11, 08:48 AM
Saudi's Dar al-Arkan posts 21% drop in Q3 profit

Saudi-based Dar al-Arkan has posted a 21.4% fall in its third-quarter net profit due to falling sales, Reuters has reported. The kingdom's largest property developer made a net profit of SR227.5m ($61m) in the three months ending September 30, compared with SR289.6m in the same period a year earlier. "The decline in third quarter net profit... is due to declined sales as the company seeks to improve profit margins for its land bank, in addition to declining sales of housing units due to the shortage in completed units for sale," Dar al-Arkan said.

Source: Reuters

26-10-11, 08:50 AM
Applebee's announces partnership with Saudi Telecom

Global restaurant chain, Applebee's has renewed its partnership deal with Saudi Telecom (STC) Qitaf program, Saudi Gazette has reported. The agreement allows Qitaf customers to redeem their STC loyalty points at any Applebee's 12 restaurants in the kingdom.

Source: Saudi Gazette

26-10-11, 08:51 AM
STC's Q3 profit fall more than 50%

Saudi Telecom Co (STC) has said its third-quarter net profit declined by more than 50%, as it made unexpected foreign exchange losses and took provisions following an adverse government ruling, Reuters has reported. STC made a net profit of SR1.56bn ($415.96m), compared with a profit of SR3.3bn in the same period a year ago. The former monopoly made foreign exchange losses of SR780m in the quarter and also took SR134m in provisions, following a state decree saying it should pay additional costs. Revenues for services climbed to SR14bn in the quarter from SR13.2bn a year earlier, STC said.

Source: Reuters

26-10-11, 02:22 PM
The gold price in Saudi Arabia cam up again


per gram for 21 is SR 180.50


October 26, 2011

04-11-11, 12:45 AM
so no chance to buy!

14-11-11, 02:28 PM
I think there is a chance to buy at this level, but not big amount

It is expected to be more higher

14-11-11, 02:37 PM
Gold 21 gram price is SR 189.13

November 14, 2011

at 2 PM

14-11-11, 03:24 PM
Aramco refining capacity to reach 3.5 mbpd in 2016

Saudi Aramco, increasingly looking to expand in downstream activities, will raise its domestic refining output capacity to 3.5 million barrels per day (bpd) by 2016 with the start-up of new plants, an Aramco executive said Monday.
"Soon we will see additions to this picture," Mohammed Al-Omair, vice president of refining and natural gas liquids (NGL) fractionation at Saudi Aramco told an industry conference, referring to the seven refineries Aramco operates, alone and with other partners.
"We can see that total current in-Kingdom refining capacity is 2.26 million bpd. With the addition of the three facilities, the capacity will have increased...in 2016 to almost 3.5 million bpd."
Omair said the additions will come from the three refineries whose development is now under way and which will have a capacity of 400,000 bpd each.
"The first is our joint venture in Jubail with Total (Satorp), it will begin commissioning in 2012. Red Sea refining in Yanbu will begin commissioning in 2014, and Jizan refinery in 2016, while each of the new refineries will be designed keeping petrochemical products such as benzene, xylene and paraxylene in mind. Sasref (Aramco-Shell Jubail refinery) is already producing benzene."
The 550,000 bpd Ras Tanura refinery alone supplies more than 30 percent of the kingdoms fuel demand. Aramco is upgrading the refinery to produce cleaner fuels as part of a wider plan to meet environmental regulations.
The Kingdoms domestic fuel consumption has been booming on the back of rising population and economic growth.
Aramco also considers building three new joint venture refineries in Asia as part of plans to boost its global refining capacity by 50 percent to more than 6 million barrels per day (bpd), the chief executive of Aramco, Khalid Al-Falih, said in April. Asia is Aramcos largest and fastest growing oil market.
"We continue talks about expansions. I am sure it will yield results, but investments in the international (market) do take a lot of time before we get to see things happening in reality but these are part of the portfolio Saudi Aramco has as plans for the downstream investments," Omair said when asked about an update on investments in Vietnam, Indonesia and another refinery project in China.
Aramco operates refineries in the United States, South Korea, Japan and in China - the Fujian refining and petrochemical company (FREP).
Aramco plans to balance its energy portfolio by increasing exposure to downstream industries in its energy mix, while maximizing its profits from existing oil and gas streams, its chief executive said this month when signing a giant petrochemical joint venture with US Dow Chemical, called Sadara.
"According to a recent study by Morgan Stanley in Europe we see that many premier companies integrate their refining products, one as much as 90 percent. We too, within Aramco, are striving to do the same within the Kingdom," Omair said, citing plans of Rabigh II and the Sadara project.
Aramco plans to use gas liquid and refined products as feedstock in its new ventures. It is raising gas and NGL output to cater for rising domestic demand for petrochemical feedstock.
Source: Reuters

14-11-11, 03:25 PM
Strong growth in Saudi construction predicted

Jadwa Investment sees strong growth in the Saudi construction sector from the Kingdoms massive building plans but predicts a slowdown in the key export-driven petrochemicals industry as global growth weakens.
It will be the theme of following government spending so I think building and construction, industrial investment and cement are areas that can not fail to benefit from the huge government investment and spending program, Jadwas head of research Paul Gamble told the Reuters Middle East Investment Summit.
Saudi Arabia has pledged to spend an estimated $130 billion on housing and other social measures.
It is also spending $400 billion on infrastructure projects in the five years to 2013, making the construction and building sector among the most appealing in the country for Gamble over the next few years.
With a growing population of 27 million people, the country is currently facing a shortage in housing and will need around 1.65 million new homes by 2015, according to a report from Banque Saudi Fransi in March. That will be there not just through 2012 but go on for probably the next five to six years. They, for us, are pretty attractive sectors, Gamble said.
Gamble said he expected the petrochemical sectors growth to come off because it was dependent on product prices holding up.
Petrochemicals are slightly more difficult because they are driven by product prices.

Source: Agencies

14-11-11, 03:27 PM
SR 10bn steel plant coming up in Jazan

A major steel plant is being constructed in the Jazan Economic City in the Kingdom's southern region at a total cost of SR10 billion. The plant's first phase will be ready by the end of this year and start production early next year to support the region's construction boom.
"This is first such project in the southern region," said Faiz Nasser Al-Dossary, executive director of South Steel. He disclosed plans to establish a number of related plants inside the complex.
"We have completed the first phase of the project covering a million square meters at a cost of SR1.3 billion," Al-Dossary said, adding that its steel mill would produce a million ton/year of steel billets and 500,000 tons of rebar. The company is owned by Pan-Kingdom Investment and Qatar Steel Company.
The project is being implemented by South Korean STX group, which has established steel plants in many countries. STX Heavy Industries provides full-scale engineering and construction services for rolling mill plants, especially for long products such as round bars and rebars.
Saudi Industrial Development Fund (SIDF) is the major source of funding while the balance has been raised from commercial loans and share capital. Major shareholders are PKI, with Qatar Steel also having a substantial holding. Other investors include Dubai Investment, Al-Jedaie Group, Hamed Bin Hamed Al-Mutabakani.
The plant comes ahead of an expected big construction boom in the southern region, the company said in a statement. The project is geographically located near neighboring and consuming countries like Yemen and North African countries.

South Steel will produce steel through the EAF-CC route, and therefore, depend on import of raw materials like DRI/ HBI & steel scrap. It will supply 1 million tons of liquid steel, 1 million tons of billets of sizes 130x130 mm sq. and 150X150 mm sq, at casting speeds of 4.5 and 3.8 m/min respectively, and 0.5 million tons of construction quality rebars.
South Steel's five-year plan includes construction of a new rolling mill by 2012 to supply 0.5 mt of rebars, a Cut-to-length & Bending Process Unit to process 100,000 tpa, & an Epoxy coating unit to process 60,000 tpa at a total investment of SR450 million.
The plan includes construction of a new melt shop of 1 million tpa to produce billets, rebars and rods at a total investment of SR1.6 billion by 2014.
A palletizing plant to produce 6 million tons of green pellets and an Iron Ore Hub to handle 12 million tons to produce billets, rebars and rods at a total investment of SR2 billion by 2015, the company said. Beyond 2015 it intends to establish a new melt shop and DRI plant to produce 1 million tons of slabs and blooms, 2.6 mta of DRI a total investment of SR4 billion.


Source: Arab News

14-11-11, 03:29 PM
Saudi Alhokair eyes plans for 400 new shops

Saudi Arabia-based retailer Fawaz Abdulaziz Alhokair Co plans to open 400 new stores within the next two years both at home and abroad and does not see demand in the kingdom declining anytime soon, its top executive said on Monday.
Speaking at the Reuters Middle East Investment Summit, Abdulmajeed Alhokair, whose firm has 75 franchises in the Middle East and 1,300 stores worldwide, said he expected its growth this year and next year to be stronger than in 2010.
"The Saudi market has not been affected by the crisis in the past and we don't expected to be affected," Alhokair said.
"We don't expect a great effect in other countries either," he added, noting that the company's focus is on emerging markets which are less exposed to the financial crisis than Europe.
While 90 percent of Alhokair's sales are from stores in Saudi Arabia, Alhokair said he expected foreign sales to grow by 30 percent next year as more shops opened.
Alhokair also operates in Jordan, Egypt, Morocco and Kazakhstan, and plans to expand into Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries, aided by a $50m loan from the International Finance Corporation.
"We will start operations in Azerbaijan next month and in Georgia in the first-quarter of next year," Alhokair said.
The firm posted a 16 percent rise in net profits to SR201.8m ($53.6m) for the second quarter of its financial year, ending March 30, on higher sales and the addition of new stores.
Alhokair's franchises include international brands such as Zara , Marks & Spencer's , Gap , Aldo, Monsoon, Accessorize and Topshop.
In March, the firm announced plans to set up a joint venture with Burberry to market and sell the British luxury goods group's products. Alhokair will hold a 40 percent stake in the Riyadh-based company.
Source: Reuters

14-11-11, 03:31 PM
Saudi Telecom Company (STC) plans acquisitions in 2012

Saudi Telecom Company (STC) plans major acquisitions in the Middle East next year to take advantage of a buyer's market to expand its regional presence, a senior company official said.
"I see 2012 as a year of potential acquisitions. We are now in more acquisitions mode than before," Ghassan Hasbani, chief executive of STC's international division, told Reuters on the sidelines of a World Economic Forum conference.
STC was late to expand abroad compared with regional rivals such as the UAE's Etisalat and Qatar Telecom, but now owns 80 percent of Indonesia's Axis, 35 percent of Turkey's Oger Telecom and a one-quarter stake in Malaysia's Maxis Bhd.
"The market value of those assets is remarkably higher than the value that was paid for it three and a-half years ago. We have created a lot of value in the operations and assets through synergies," Hasbani said.
STC also has mobile licenses in Kuwait and Bahrain.
The foreign push comes amid stiffening competition at home from rivals Mobily and Zain Saudi. STC said on Wednesday that third-quarter net profit more than halved, falling well short of forecasts as it made unexpected foreign exchange losses and took provisions following an adverse government ruling.
"We are not doing due diligence but we are analysing potential opportunities. Given market conditions and the global economic situation, it is a buyer's market, no doubt," he said.
"We are looking at opportunities that complement our current footprint and strengthens our investment portfolio and we are looking to focus on the Middle East region in markets where there is a good opportunity and a reasonable outlook on stability," he said.
Financing would not pose a problem for the group. "We have a lot of access to cheap funding and capital that would not be an impediment as long as we maintain a good level of rating and we maintain a good level of dividend payout," Hasbani said. "We look at debt financing usually and that is available for a company like us at good rates."
Hasbani said broadband and data services were driving double-digit demand in the Saudi market. "We see the group expanding into the area of broadband. This is where the growth is coming from, mobile and fixed broadband on all fronts," Hasbani added.
"In general in the telecom market in Saudi Arabia, we are seeing double-digit demand on data and capacity and in terms of utilisation of internet. This is going to be the main area of growth in the future," he said.
Saudi Arabia's mobile penetration ranks third in the world at 188 percent, according to the International Telecommunication Union. Finnish handset maker Nokia says Saudi Arabia is in the top five countries globally for downloads, accounting for nearly one-in-four of these on its platforms in the Middle East and Africa.
The three Saudi operators are betting on data demand to offset slumping voice margins, analysts say. The "mobile market is still experiencing some growth, sometimes it stops, it shrinks, but it is levelling off from a voice basic telephony perspective, but we are seeing growth coming from broadband and data internet usage which is phenomenal," he said.
Source: Reuters

14-11-11, 03:32 PM
No need to tap reserves says Saudi

Saudi Arabia will not need to tap into its reserves this year to finance additional budget spending but it is considering whether to issue Islamic or conventional bonds to help fund specific projects, the country's Finance Minister Ibrahim Alassaf told Reuters.
The world's top oil exporter pledged early this year to spend an estimated $130 billion, or nearly 30 percent of its economic output, on housing and other social measures for its citizens over an unspecified period.
That came on top of a record 2011 government budget of 580 billion riyals ($154 billion), raising the possibility that Saudi Arabia might have to dip into its fiscal reserves, estimated by analysts at about $280 billion, to fund spending.
But Alassaf said he saw no need for this, since robust oil prices had helped to fill state coffers. 'We have 2-1/2 months until the end of the year and lots of things can happen, but I would expect that we wouldn't need to tap into our reserves,' Alassaf said.
'Yes we have higher expenditure than projected, but we have higher revenues than projected,' he said on the sidelines of a meeting of Gulf Arab finance ministers and central bankers in Abu Dhabi. The interview was conducted on Friday but embargoed for release until Monday.
Analysts polled by Reuters in September predicted Saudi Arabia would book a big budget surplus of 11 percent of gross domestic product this year. But its fiscal position is very sensitive to the level of oil prices and it has run large deficits in the past when prices have been weak.
On average, analysts estimated the country would need a Brent crude oil price of $75 per barrel to balance its budget this year; the price is now well above that, at about $110. If Saudi Arabia continues its heavy spending plans, however, the breakeven price could rise near $90 next year, analysts say.
The Saudi government has little debt; the International Monetary Fund has estimated gross public debt will fall as low as 7.1 percent of GDP this year. Jadwa Investment has calculated that the kingdom could run a budget deficit of 10 percent of GDP for the next decade without issuing any debt and still have substantial reserves.
But there has been speculation in financial markets that the government could resume issuing debt, in order to prepare markets for the possibility of heavier issuance if it needs to raise funds in the future.
Alassaf said debt issuance to help cover expanded budget spending was not on the cards. But he said issues of Islamic or conventional paper for specific projects were being considered by the ministry.
'We are considering specific project sukuk or bonds -- a productive project that could issue sukuk. For example, the airports which are a very good investment,' he said.
'We can issue sukuks to be financed from the receipts of the airport or this specific project. If there is a need for government guarantees, then we will look into it.'
Saudi Arabia plans to spend over $400 billion in the five years to 2013 on infrastructure and development projects; it is working on three major railway projects and upgrading some of its airports.
Asked whether Saudi Arabia was interested in investment opportunities in debt-stricken Europe, Alassaf said: 'When it comes to investment of official resources, we are different from other countries because we don't invest long-term. We invest our surplus resources in semi-liquid assets with low risk.
'We don't invest them in direct investment. When it comes to the resources of our Funds, especially Public Investment Fund, we are continuing to focus on local investments.'
Alassaf also said he was surprised by a proposal from some emerging countries in the Group of 20 nations to boost the resources of the International Monetary Fund.
'I was surprised to read and listen to the proposal for increasing the resources of the IMF...I think the current resources, including those that are under process in the quota, would be sufficient to cover needs,' he said. Saudi Arabia is the only Arab member of the G20.
Some emerging economies, fearing the euro zone crisis could destabilise them, suggested giving the IMF more firepower to cope with threats to the global financial system when G20 policymakers met in Paris this month. China, Brazil and India all favoured bolstering the IMF's capital, G20 sources said. But they ran into resistance from the United States and other big economies, burying the idea for now.
'If we think of the huge demand on IMF resources, one expects it to be from Europe this time, so the main source of those resources will be the Europeans. Yet the IMF of course should be ready to supplement those resources and also be ready to help other member countries,' Alassaf said.
Saudi Arabia will provide aid worth $3.75 billion to Egypt, whose economy has suffered from social turmoil in the wake of this year's uprising, he said.
'It was announced: $3.7 billion and it is not all budget support. It is a mix of different items including budget support, bonds, and deposits in the central bank as well as concessionary assistance from the Saudi Fund for Development.'
In June, the kingdom gave a $400 million cash grant to Jordan, and it pledged to participate in a $20 billion Gulf aid package for Oman and Bahrain in March.
'Saudi Arabia has been active in helping other Arab countries, and other friendly countries...We will continue to help them in their development process,' Alassaf said

Source: Reuters

14-11-11, 04:31 PM
Saudi oil exports see threat from within

The world may have to live on a lot less Saudi Arabian crude towards the end of this decade as rampant internal demand eats into oil exports and the kingdom's alternative energy plans may prove too little too late.
The top crude exporter is already burning more than 10 percent of its output in power plants on hot summer days. Meanwhile huge fuel subsidies, which have helped sedate Saudi social unrest throughout the Arab Spring, are exacerbating a demand boom that is lapping up the world's largest oil reserves.
Faced with ever increasing quantities of its biggest export earner being consumed at home, Riyadh is banking on a massive nuclear plant building programme to drastically reduce oil use from around 2020, with solar power bridging the gap.
But that may not be quick enough to avert a supply crunch by the end of the decade for a world economy still hooked on abundant Saudi crude.
"Domestic consumption has been growing very fast as a result of rapid demographics, steady economic growth and heavy subsidies, with the latter leading to excess demand," said Ali Aissaooui, head of economic research at Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation in Saudi Arabia.
"With the ongoing turmoil in parts of the region, social demands are featuring prominently on top of governments' policy agenda. In this context phasing out subsidies to rein in excess demand growth has become extremely tricky," he said.
"Excess demand could affect the capacity of some countries, such as Saudi Arabia, to maintain the spare capacity needed to provide flexibility to the global oil market."
Thanks to huge subsidies, which the International Energy Agency (IEA) warned last week encourage waste, Saudi energy demand has been growing much faster than its non-oil economy in the last few years, while the rest of the world has become more efficient in its energy use.
According to analysts at Riyadh-based Jadwa Investment, oil demand in the kingdom rose by 22 percent between 2007 and 2010, out pacing the Chinese oil demand growth rate despite China's economy expanding almost three times faster.
Official data shows Saudi oil consumption rose by more than 5 percent a year from 2003-2010 to an average of 2.4 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2010. BP statistics put it closer to 2.8 million bpd last year, up 7.1 percent from 2009.
The head of state oil firm Saudi Aramco admitted last year that unless internal demand is controlled the amount of oil left for export could fall by 3 million bpd to less than 7 million bpd by 2028.

Source: Arabian Business

14-11-11, 04:33 PM
Al watania Steel to build plants in Saudi Arabia and Qatar

Qatar-based Al Watania Steel has announced its own production facilities in Qatar and Saudi Arabia are to be commissioned in 2012 and 2013, as the firm seeks to boost its presence in the steel product market. The firm's plant in Qatar, which is set to start commercial production of structural steel next January, will comprise an induction furnace, a ladle furnace and a billet conticaster, as well a long product mill. In 2013, Al Watania's Saudi plant is planned to start supplying the local market with merchant square billet, the firm said.

Source: Ame Info

14-11-11, 04:45 PM
Saudi real estate supply demand gap narrowing

Real estate consultancy Jones Lang LaSalle has said the gap between housing demand and supply in Saudi Arabia is narrowing, as banks start to lend and government support boosts sector development, Reuters has reported. Housing supply in the biggest Arab economy had been restricted over the past three years, with investors and banks reluctant to invest in real estate projects after the global financial crisis, said director of Jones Lang LaSalle in Saudi Arabia, John Harris. "I can't quantify how far we closed the gap but if we had a shortfall by half, maybe it is only a quarter now; the gap is closing," he said.
Source: Ame Info

armino
14-11-11, 09:04 PM

16-11-11, 04:26 PM
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16-11-11, 04:32 PM
The gold price per gram on November 16, 2011


gram 24 is SR

212.68


gram 22 is SR

194.95


gram 21 is SR

186.09

The gold price per Kello is SR 212,671.31

16-11-11, 04:34 PM
Saudi Arabia, S. Korea ink nuclear cooperation deal


Saudi Arabia has signed a bilateral agreement with South Korea for cooperation on the development of nuclear energy as the world's top oil exporter seeks to diversify its energy mix to meet rising power demand, the Saudi government said on Tuesday.
The agreement calls for cooperation in research and development, including building nuclear power plants and research reactors, as well as training, safety and waste management, said the statement by King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (K.A.Care).
This is the third nuclear agreement Saudi Arabia signed following similar deals with France and Argentina.
The city, established in 2010, also said it is currently in talks with China, Russia, Czech Republic, Britain and the United States to negotiate "further cooperation".
Although it sits on the world's biggest oil reserves, Saudi Arabia is struggling to keep up with rapidly rising power demand expected to triple by 2032 requiring additional energy plants with total installed power production capacity of around 80 gigawatts (GW).
The kingdom plans to turn to solar and eventually nuclear energy to reduce its need to burn fuel oil for electricity and preserve oil for lucrative export markets. It may build up to 16 nuclear power reactors by 2030, an official at K.A.Care said in June.
Meanwhile, South Korea aims to increase its reliance on nuclear energy, undeterred by Japan's nuclear disaster, its deputy minister for energy and resources policy said in April.
South Korea has 21 reactors in operation with nuclear power accounting for 31.3 percent as of end-2010, according to latest data from the South Korean government. In December 2009, the United Arab Emirates awarded a South Korean consortium a contract to build four nuclear power plants worth $20.4bn.

Source: Reuters

16-11-11, 04:36 PM
Saudi set to overtake Russia as top oil producer

Saudi Arabia will overtake Russia as the world's largest crude oil producer in about 2015 as output at new Russian fields fails to offset fast decline at mature deposits, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Wednesday.
In its World Energy Outlook the IEA also said Russia would eventually start to supply natural gas to China, becoming a major source of the fuel despite gas export monopoly Gazprom's failure so far to secure a supply deal after five years of talks.
Russia overtook Saudi Arabia as the top producer of oil when the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries cut crude output during the economic crisis in 2009.
But while Russia's output will plateau at 10.5 million barrels per day, Saudi Arabia's will rise to match Russia's in roughly 2015, and hit 14 million bpd by 2035.
Until the end of last year, OPEC members agreed a series of targets for their own production in an effort to stabilise the world oil market. However, these production limits have largely been abandoned this year since Libyan output was interrupted.
Russia will see output fall to 9.7 million barrels per day by that date, provided it implements new stimulus measures for upstream production, the IEA said.
The government forecasts steady output of roughly 10 million barrels per day until 2020. IEA figures are likely to be higher due to a difference in the basis for its calculations.
Russia - where production peaked at 11.41 million barrels per day (bpd) in 1988 under Soviet rule - has driven output to post-Soviet highs above 10 million barrels per day by bringing new fields on stream but these will not prevent decline from setting in later this decade.
"Russian fiscal policy is a key determinant of when and how quickly Russian production will decline. Current terms limit the incentive to invest when prices rise; our projections assume sympathetic evolution of taxation," the IEA said.
By 2035, Russia will still be the world's largest gas producer and natural gas exports should more than double to 330 billion cubic metres (bcm) due to new deliveries to China.
Russia aims to start gas export to China by 2016 of as much as 68 bcm per year, equal to nearly half of Europe's intake.
But Gazprom officials have conceded that an agreement on Chinese supplies will not be concluded this year, implying a delay to the planned start to deliveries.
Analysts say Russia has a capacity reserve in the form of energy efficiency improvements, which are taking place as the hydrocarbon dependent country tries to diversify away from commodi.
But the IEA said Russia needs to pick up the pace of change.
"If Russia increased its energy efficiency in each sector to the levels of comparable (developed) countries, it could save almost 1/3 of its annual primary energy use, an amount similar to the energy used in one year by the United Kingdom," it said.
"Faster implementation of efficiency improvements and energy market reforms would accelerate the modernisation of the Russian economy and thereby loosen its dependency on movements in international commodity prices."
Energy efficiency in Russia, although improved in recent years, remains low due to poor infrastructure and harsh climate.
Total energy demand in Russia is projected to rise 28 percent by 2035 to 830 million tonnes of oil equivalent at a 1 percent average annual rate, with transportation growing the fastest, followed by industry and power sectors.

Source: Reuters

16-11-11, 04:40 PM
Saudi Arabia sees inflationary pressures in Q4

Saudi Arabia's central bank expects inflationary pressures in the biggest Arab economy to continue in the fourth quarter due to increased spending from the pilgrimage season, it said in a report on Tuesday.
Spending usually increases during the annual Hajj pilgrimage season, which ended last week, as more than 2.8 million pilgrims visit Makkah and Madinah.
"The available (information) indicates... the expectation of continued inflation pressures, especially in products and services, during the fourth quarter of 2011," according to a report published on its website.
"As Hajj season fell in the fourth quarter of 2011 that could lead to a rise in inflation pressures due to increased consumer spending," it said.
Inflation in the top oil exporter had hovered below 5 percent for most of 2011 but had climbed to an eight-month high of 5.3 percent in September.
Analysts expected consumer prices to gain momentum this year after the government pledged early in 2011 to spend an estimated $130 billion, or nearly 30 percent of annual economic output, on housing, job creation and other measures to improve social welfare.
But Saudi central bank governor Muhammad al-Jasser said in October that he was "not worried" about inflation levels and expected them to continue to decline.
A Reuters poll of analysts in September forecast average inflation of 5.1 percent for all of 2011, slightly down from 5.3 percent in 2010.

Source: Reuters

16-11-11, 04:41 PM
Lacklustre Saudi Stock Exchange dips 0.16%

The Tadawul bourse's benchmark index ended off 0.16% Tuesday, closing at 6,227.79 points. Sabic, the petrochemical and metals producer ended 0.78% lower at SR96.75. Shares of Al-Rajhi Company for Cooperative Insurance finished even at SR56.25. Earlier in the day, Al-Rajhi announced the receipt of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency's acceptance of temporary approval for Personal Accident Group Takaful Product on Tuesday for six months.

Source: Ame Info

16-11-11, 04:47 PM
Saudi Arabia named among top G-20 emissions offenders

Saudi Arabia was named on Monday as one of the worst performers in the G-20 for its level of carbon emissions in relation to economic growth.
A report published by Price waterhouseCoopers said the kingdom's emissions grew almost twice as fast as its GDP.
The PwC Low Carbon Economy Index showed that carbon emissions in the Gulf kingdom grew by seven percent in 2010 while GDP grew by 3.8 percent and had a -3.2 percent decarbonisation rate.
The analysis said only Brazil had a higher rate of 3.5 percent as its emissions in 2010 rose by more than 11 percent amid economic growth of 7.5 percent.
The report said global emissions were increasing faster than economic growth, reversing a slow, but gradual, reduction in carbon emissions intensity seen since 2000.
In June, Saudi Arabia's oil minister Ali Al-Naimi said the kingdom plans to generate solar electricity equalling the amount of its energy from crude exports.
Saudi Arabia, the worlds largest oil exporter, has the potential to produce enough solar power to meet more than four times global demand for electricity, al-Naimi said in a speech.
Saudi Arabia and other Gulf oil producers are boosting power supplies to service growing economies and populations. They are also looking for ways to use less of their exportable oil and gas as fuel for power stations.
The PwC findings showed that for the first time since 2000, no improvement has been made in reducing the carbon intensity (which reflects the fuel mix, energy efficiency and the balance of industry and services) of the G20, despite modest economic recovery globally.
The results call into question the likelihood of global decarbonisation ever happening rapidly enough to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius.
During the recession, many countries saw carbon emissions fall quicker than GDP, because manufacturing output fell.
But that trend was reversed during 2010, when global GDP growth was 5.1 percent but emissions growth was higher at 5.8 percent.
The increase in carbon intensity of 0.6 percent was the first time in many years that carbon intensity has risen, the report said.
It warned that unless the tie between economic and emissions growth is severed, the prospect of achieving the 2 degrees goal appears remote.
Leo Johnson, partner, sustainability and climate change, PwC said: The results are the starkest yet. The G20 economies have moved from travelling too slowly in the right direction, to travelling in the wrong direction.
Jonathan Grant, director, PwC sustainability and climate change added: The economic recovery, where it has occurred, has been a dirty one. Even where there has been growth in OECD countries during the global financial crisis, it is too carbon intensive, and hasnt increased carbon productivity.

Source: Arabian Business

16-11-11, 04:48 PM
Social media platforms reshaping Saudi broadcasting

Advanced communications event in Riyadh to highlight massive growth potential distributing content to IPTV and smart mobile devices in Kingdom
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is undergoing unprecedented and extensive growth within its media broadcast and communications sector. With fast-paced technological advancements there is also massive growth potential in accessing information via social and new media channels.
The opportunities and challenges faced by government ministries and regulatory authorities, content providers, satellite and mobile operators as well as media buyers and advertising agencies will be addressed at the four-day Saudi Broadcasting Business Forum, which is due to take place at the Holiday Inn, Al Qasr, Riyadh on 4-7 December 2011.
"Broadcasters are now facing a new and rapidly evolving communications landscape. Distributing content onto new platforms, such as Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) and smart mobile devices could provide a revenue windfall," said Raj Parmar Forum Director from IQPC, the organisers of the event.
"However, new and social media platforms have become increasingly sophisticated and now play a pivotal role in how and when we can access information. Add to that censorship and regulatory issues, rights to content and pricing and it soon becomes clear why the Saudi broadcasting market is still an enigma to many industry players," added Parmar.
The Saudi Broadcasting Business Forum will provide delegates with the opportunity to learn not only about market-leading technological advancements, but will also give participants an insight into the future direction and shape of broadcasting and communications within the Kingdom.
The four-day forum kicks-off on Sunday 4 December with a day dedicated to strategy - business objectives, market size and trends, revenue forecasting and market share issues. On the subsequent days, the main conference will address topics such as the quality of content, understanding new market dynamics, digital rights management, the complex relationship between new internet and traditional TV, pay to view, piracy and the future of HDTV and 3DTV.
Providing the keynote speech on day one of the conference will be Abdul Rahman Al Hazzaa, Advisor, Supervisor of TV and Official Spokesperson at the Ministry of Culture and Information. He will address delegates about the great potential for delivering effective broadcast in TV and communications across new media and social media platforms. On the final day of the conference, Hasan Sayed Hasan, Head, twofour54 will examine the challenges of HDTV in the Arab World.
The Saudi Broadcasting Business Forum has attracted leading expert speakers such as Alan Musa, General Manager & VP Africa, Middle East and Pan Region, Turner Broadcasting; Caroline Faraj, CNN Arabic Digital Services Director, Hossam El-Sokkari, Yahoo-Maktoob Middle East; Dr. Ali Shwel Algarni, President, Saudi Association for Media and Communications and Saad Al Qahtani, CEO, Arabtech TV.

Source: Zawya

19-11-11, 01:32 PM
Saudi Maaden JV awards $ 32.7m contract to Kentz

The aluminium joint venture comprising Maaden and Alcoa has awarded a $32.7m electrical and instrumentation contract to Saudi Arabian Kentz Co, Arab News has reported. Under the terms of the deal, Kentz is to install 30km of power cable, low voltage and control cables, lighting fixtures, small power distribution system, instrument field devices and control equipment. The work also includes pre-commissioning testing through to mechanical completion, procurement of electrical and instrumentation equipment and bulk materials. The contract is scheduled to be complete in November 2013.


Source: Arab News

19-11-11, 01:42 PM
Saudi Arabia unveils plans to build 33 new hospitals

Saudi Arabia's health minister, Dr Abdullah Al-Rabeeah has revealed plans to build 33 new hospitals across the kingdom, 5 of which will be ready within two years, Arab News has reported. The new 500-bed hospitals are to be located in East Riyadh, North Jeddah, Makkah, Baljurashi and Tabuk. Other major hospitals with 200 to 300 beds are being set up in South Riyadh, Jazan, Hafr Al-Baten and Abha, he said. Al-Rabeeah also said the ministry has started operations of about 800 of newly planned 1,414 primary health care centres in different parts of the country.


Source: Arab News

19-11-11, 01:50 PM
Saudi uncovers 16 fake Haj companies

Saudi Arabia's health minister, Dr Abdullah Al-Rabeeah has revealed plans to build 33 new hospitals across the kingdom, 5 of which will be ready within two years, Arab News has reported. The new 500-bed hospitals are to be located in East Riyadh, North Jeddah, Makkah, Baljurashi and Tabuk. Other major hospitals with 200 to 300 beds are being set up in South Riyadh, Jazan, Hafr Al-Baten and Abha, he said. Al-Rabeeah also said the ministry has started operations of about 800 of newly planned 1,414 primary health care centres in different parts of the country.


Source: Arab News

19-11-11, 01:55 PM
Riyadh hotel seas 40% increase in occupancy rates

According to data by STR Global, hotels in the Saudi capital, Riyadh have seen strong occupancy growth in September with a 40% rise in occupancy rates, average daily rate (ADR) and revenue per available room (revPAR) in September compared to the same month in 2010, Saudi Gazette has reported. Riyadh also reported the only double-digit ADR increase in the Middle East and Africa region, rising 12.6% to $267.06. The capital also reported a 58.2% jump in revPAR to $157.27, STR Global said.


Source: Saudi Gazette

19-11-11, 02:24 PM
good news hassan

19-11-11, 02:53 PM
Thanks a lot Swyrs for visiting this subject

hope see you often here

19-11-11, 02:56 PM
The gold price for 24 gram is SR 207.9 for November 19, 2011


Good news

It came down this week comparing to last week

The Aunce came down about 60 dollars per aunce

which is around 9 Saudi riyals per gram

21-11-11, 10:11 AM
The gold price per aunce in US dollar is 1722 around 6 AM this morning (Riyadh time)

November 21, 2011

21-11-11, 10:32 AM
Rolls-Royce reports $500m Saudi Airlines order

Rolls-Royce has won an engine order worth up to $500m from Saudi Arabian Airlines, the British company said on Sunday.
The deal, announced at the opening of the Dubai Airshow, is to provide engines and support for four Airbus A330 mid-sized aircraft already on order, plus four options.
Sales of the A330 have been boosted by delivery delays of Boeing's new 787 Dreamliner, boosting Rolls-Royce which claims an A330 market share of 75 percent for its Trent 700 engine.
The aircraft is sold with a choice of engines from Rolls-Royce, General Electric and Pratt & Whitney.
The Saudi government has been trying to privatise Saudi Arabian Airlines, one of the largest in the Middle East, for many years. It launched the process in 2006 by dividing up the company into six units, with a view to selling each separately. These include catering, cargo, maintenance, airlines, flight academy and ground handling.
Saudi Airlines Cargo has been privatised, with 30 percent now owned by Tarabut Air Freight Service, while the ground handling services unit was merged last year with National Handling Services and Attar Travel Company.
The airline, which has 137 aircraft in its fleet, said earlier this year it hopes to hold a much-delayed initial public offer of its catering unit estimated to be worth up to $540m by end of 2011.

Source: Reuters

21-11-11, 10:35 AM
Prince Alwaleed keen to 'Activate' Nigeria investments


Saudi Arabia's Prince Alwaleed bin Talal al Saud is looking to "activate" investments in Nigeria, and has told the country's president that "funds are not a constraint".
The Gulf kingdom's richest man, who is the largest individual stakeholder in Citigroup, said he wanted to begin a "strong relationship with Nigeria".
Alwaleed, who was named as the worlds richest Arab by Arabian Business magazine in December 2010 with assets of $20.4bn, said he was attracted by Nigeria because the market was large, adding that any investor in Africa who does not come to Nigeria has not started and has a long way to go.
He said his company, Kingdom Zephyr Africa Management Company has interests in most African countries in hotels, banking, cement production, oil and charity projects.
I want to activate a strong relationship with Nigeria, in whatever area we may find suitable, and funds are not a constraint, he told the President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan during a meeting on Thursday.
Jonathan told Prince Alwaleed that Nigeria is essentially a green field, in the areas of hotels, real estate, infrastructure, energy and agriculture, adding that the consensus of the participants at the Nigeria Economic Summit Group was that the country would become Africas largest economy in the medium term.
The president directed the Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission to provide the "necessary support to further facilitate investment relations between Kingdom Zephyr Africa Management Company and Nigeria".
Earlier this week, Prince Alwaleed inaugurated the $100m Movenpick Ambassador Hotel in Accra, a joint venture between his Kingdom Holding Company and the government of Ghana.

Source: Arabian Business

21-11-11, 10:38 AM
Finland mulls review of $204m Saudi weapons deal

Finland is reviewing a 150m euro weapons deal with Saudi Arabia as some politicians are worried the weapons could eventually be used by authorities against their own citizens, an online newspaper reported on Friday.
The Verkkouutiset news website, affiliated with the ruling National Coalition, said the weapons deal by state-controlled arms producer Patria would provide Saudi Arabia with mortars worth 150m euros ($204m), the biggest arms deal for Finland in over a decade.
An official at Finland's defence ministry confirmed the government was reviewing the Patria mortar deal and would soon decide whether to allow it. It would not confirm the value of the sale or which country was buying the mortars.
Verkkouutiset said politicians from the Social Democrats and the Green party had raised questions about whether the mortars could at some stage be used against civilians, as pro-democracy uprisings continue to sweep across the Arab world.
It did not say if any minister would oppose the deal and quoted one Social Democrat member as saying it should be approved.
Patria, in which European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS) owns a 26.8 percent stake, announced last year it signed a deal to deliver 36 mortar systems, but did not disclose the customer or the value of the agreement.
Saudi Arabia, a key ally of the United States, is ruled by an absolute monarchy which applies an austere version of Sunni Islam. Finland's foreign ministry website says Saudi Arabia's human rights situation is "poor".
Source: Reuters

21-11-11, 10:46 AM
Jeddah rents rise 14% so far in 2011, says JLL

Residential rents in Jeddah have increased by an average of 14 percent so far this year, real estate consultants Jones Lang LaSalle said on Sunday.
Its Jeddah Real Estate Market Overview for Q3 2011 said the city's residential sector had seen an "robust upward trend" between July and September.
Soraka Al-Khatib, co-head of Jones Lang LaSalle Saudi Arabia said: "The Jeddah market has seen a continued increase in land sales during 2011 as trading volumes and sale prices have picked up further during the last quarter.
"There is strong interest from developers to deliver additional residential supply to meet the city's growing requirements.
"Rental levels have also increased with a 14 percent increase in average rents being recorded over the year to date."
King Abdullah's announcement of additional funding for the affordable housing sector has had a positive impact on the Jeddah residential market, the report added.
Following this announcement, government related entities such as JDRUC and PPA are now planning to deliver more than 30,000 additional residential units across Jeddah over the next few years.
The report said there was also strong continued interest in the luxury segment of Jeddah's residential market.
Al-Khatib added: "The strength of the Jeddah residential market is confirmed by the fact that most of the 16,000 units coming to the market over the remainder of 2011 have already been sold."
The limited future supply pipeline and the city's growing population is expected to drive prices and sustain demand throughout the remainder of 2011 and into 2012, he said.
Saudi Arabia has a fast growing population of 27 million people, most of whom are under the age of 30. Real estate service company Jones Lang LaSalle estimates annual demand for housing to be between 150,000 and 200,000 units per year.
The JLL report also said office rents are likely to reduce in 2012 once additional supply is released to the market.
The expected CBD supply pipeline will provide approximately 60,000 sq m of additional space to the current stock of 445,000 sq m by the end of 2012.
"As a consequence, the office market is expected to remain tenant favourable during the next two years," the report said.
Jeddah's retail centres continue to benefit from high occupancy rates and the majority of the new supply has already been preleased, JLL added.
Its report said retail sales have increased by more than 30 percent during the last eight months which demonstrates strong consumer spending.
The first three quarters of 2011 also showed a marked improvement in Jeddah's hotel occupancies with rates increasing five percent year-on-year, the report added.
JLL said growth in business travel is expected to fuel hotel demand in the city.
Craig Plumb, head of research at Jones Lang LaSalle MENA said: "The SR500m economic stimulus package announced earlier in 2011 has sustained the Jeddah real estate market during 2011.
"With Saudi Arabia's oil output having been boosted to offset lower supply from other MENA producers and oil prices remaining relatively stable over recent months, there is likely to be increased investment in the infrastructure and real estate sectors of the economy over the next 12 months."

Source: Arabian Business

21-11-11, 10:48 AM
No permits for firms supplying domestic workers: Ministry

The Ministry of Labor has said that no permits have been issued to companies specialized in supplying domestic workers.
Hattab Bin Saleh Al-Enezi, official spokesman of the Ministry of Labor, said the ministry has not issued licenses to new recruitment companies till now. Only preliminary registration for obtaining the licenses has taken place, the official said in a statement.
Al-Enezi stressed that the service seeker must verify the official license of the company he is going to deal with so as to prevent being a deception victim.
The official denied media reports that companies specializing in supplying domestic workers have been issued licenses. He warned that some of the advertisements are for bogus unlicensed companies.
The ministry carried out inspection tours of the locations mentioned in the advertisements. Shockingly, the companies did not have anything to do with the advertisements, he said.
Al-Enezi warned people not to deal with such offices and bogus entities that exploit the needs of Saudi families. The ministry, he said, is closely monitoring these entities and would penalize those found guilty.

Source: Saudi Gazette

21-11-11, 10:49 AM
Saudi Arabia plans move to modernise armed forces

Saudi Arabia has prepared a plan to rebuild and modernise its armed forces as the kingdom confronts regional risks, military Chief of Staff General Hussein al-Qubail said.
The Saudi military is closely following the successive developments in the Middle East and is fully aware of and understands the risks surrounding our country and which may pose a threat to its national security, al-Qubail said in a speech, according to the official Saudi Press Agency. With the support of our government they will be able to address those risks.
Deputy Defence Minister Prince Khalid bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz oversaw the preparation of the plan, which will be presented to Defence Minister Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz al Saud at a later date, the Riyadh-based news service cited al-Qubail as saying.
Saudi Arabia, the Arab worlds largest oil supplier, hasnt experienced the popular uprisings in the Middle East that led to the toppling of leaders in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya this year.
Saudi Arabia sent troops into Bahrain in March to crush a mainly Shiite-led uprising after accusing Iran of interfering in the affairs of the Gulf country. Iran denies the allegation and accuses Sunni rulers in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia of discriminating against Shiites.

Externally, the Saudis see their greatest threat as Iran, with its potential nuclear bomb capability and aggressive goals in the region, Paul Sullivan, a political scientist specializing in Middle East security at Georgetown University in Washington, said in an e-mailed response to questions. The Saudis see a potentially more violent Iraq as also a problem. The Arab Spring is threatening to them.
King Abdullah appointed Prince Salman as defense minister on November 5 after naming Nayef bin Abdulaziz al Saud, 78, as the crown prince. The appointments followed the death of Prince Sultan on October 22. Sultan was formerly both crown prince and defense minister.
Sultan, who was appointed minister of defense and aviation in 1963, oversaw the expansion and modernisation of the Saudi military into a force that participated in the US-led war to oust Iraqi forces from Kuwait in 1991.
Saudi troops also fought Houthi rebels along the nations southern border with Yemen in a three-month battle that ended in February 2010.

Saudi Arabia has 233,500 active military personnel under arms, including 75,000 in the army and 13,500 in the navy, according to data from the International Institute of Strategic Studies. The Arab worlds biggest economy allocated SR170bn ($45.2bn) for defense spending in 2010, according to data from the institute.
A new defense strategy will take lessons learned from the Houthi war in Yemen, events in Bahrain, Egypt, and Syria, as well as the continued threat from Iran, Theodore Karasik, director of research at the Institute for Near East and Gulf Military Analysis, said in response to e-mailed questions. The armed forces will likely seek to modernize in such a way that brings technological advancement and better defensive capabilities.
Saudi Arabias military policy has involved relying on the US for protection in return for stable oil supplies. The kingdom spent $11.2bn on US weapons between 2005 and 2008, making it the biggest foreign buyer of US arms during the period, according to the Congressional Research Service in Washington.

The US Defence Department told Congress in October 2010 that it wanted to sell as much as $60bn in weapons to Saudi Arabia, including F-15 fighter jets, attack helicopters, and satellite-guided smart bombs to counter Iranian military ambitions in the Persian Gulf and regional extremists. The weapon sales, if approved, could occur during a 10-year period.
Tensions between predominantly Sunni Muslim Saudi Arabia and Shiite-led Iran have escalated this year. On October 11, the US accused Iran of plotting to assassinate Adel Al-Jubeir, the Saudi ambassador in Washington.
A week earlier, Saudi Arabia accused an unidentified foreign country of seeking to undermine the stability of the kingdom after an attack on security forces in the Shiite village of Awwamiya.
The surrounding circumstances require increasing efforts so that the Saudi armed forces be in the highest degree of combat readiness, al-Qubail was cited as saying by the news service.
Source: Bloomberg

21-11-11, 10:54 AM
Saudi Acwa power raises $300m

Saudi Arabia's water and power project developer Acwa Power has signed an increase to its debut corporate facility, taking the final amount to the $300 million target, a statement from the company said on Sunday.
JPMorgan Chase and Malayan Banking BHD joined the upsized deal, the statement said, taking the murabaha facility from the $210 million size that was announced in June.
A Murabaha is a cost-plus-profit arrangement which complies with Islamic law.
In June, Acwa Power said the company was talking to two banks to increase the amount to $300 million, although the latest statement didn't clarify whether these were the pair which eventually signed up.
Four banks - Standard Chartered, Citi, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Mizuho - provided the remainder of the financing

Source: Reuters

22-11-11, 10:39 AM
Good news

Gold price came down yesterday evening around 50 dollars

Price this morning per aunce US dollar is 1679

22-11-11, 12:41 PM
Saudi oil minister says market balanced at $ 100 oil

The global oil market looks balanced, Saudi oil minister Ali al-Naimi indicated on Sunday, while the head of the International Energy Agency (IEA) said stubbornly high oil prices could harm economic growth.
When asked how he sees the balance between global supply and demand, the oil minister of the world's largest crude exporting country asked the reporter's view of the oil market. The reporter replied that he believed the market was balanced, to which Naimi said: "I agree with you."
"Everything is fine now," he said on the sidelines of a conference in the Saudi capital Riyadh when asked about the outlook for oil demand.
About 60 percent of Saudi crude is exported to Asia, where demand for fuel remains strong despite growing concern about the euro-zone crisis eroding demand in Europe.
Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates have raised their production over the last few months to compensate for the loss of Libyan supplies and prevent high prices dampening economic growth after failing to convince the 12-member Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to lift its production target in June.
Libyan oil output has since resumed and risen more rapidly than many expected, prompting OPEC price hawk Iran to call for Gulf Arab OPEC producers to cut to pre-Libya crisis volumes.
Naimi said on Sunday it was too early to predict what might happen when OPEC next meets in Vienna on Dec. 14. But in the past Saudi Arabia has not changed its production policy when Naimi has said he sees the market as balanced.
The head of the International Energy Agency (IEA) said at the same conference on Sunday that high oil prices - which have remained above $100 a barrel for benchmark Brent crude since February - could hurt the fragile world economy.
When asked whether he shared the UAE oil minister's view that prices of $80-$100 a barrel are "reasonable", Naimi said crude prices are determined by the market and that Saudi Arabia accepted them.
ICE Brent crude prices settled at $107.56 a barrel in London on Friday, down from $118 during OPEC's June meeting, but on course for an all-time record high for the year.

Source: Reuters

22-11-11, 12:42 PM
Two teachers die in Saudi school blaze tragedy

Two teachers died and more than 40 other people were injured in a blaze at a private school in Jeddah, Saudi health officials confirmed on Sunday.
Dr Sami Badood, director of health affairs in Jeddah, said 23 people were still being treated in hospital on Sunday following the fire which broke out on Saturday morning.
He described as "stable" the health status of the teachers and students who were being treated, while confirming that two teachers had died.
Dr Badood said in comments published by state news agency SPA that the total number of cases received by the hospitals in Jeddah amounted to 46.
He added that 23 of the fire injured had already left hospital following treatment.
Earlier, the Makkah region principality said in a statement that Prince Khalid Al-Faisal bin Abdulaziz, governor of Makkah region, had ordered the formation of a committee to investigate the incident.
Source: Arabian Business

22-11-11, 12:44 PM
2012 cutoff for Saudi lingerie shops to employ women

The Saudi labour ministry has announced employment of Saudi women at lingerie shops would be completed next year after providing them with necessary training in sales, Arab News has reported. "We are going ahead with the program aimed at restricting jobs at lingerie shops to women, mostly Saudis," said Assistant Deputy Minister for Development Ali Al-Tukhaify. He said those who violate the law in this respect would be punished.

Source: Arab News

22-11-11, 12:45 PM
SCTA to introduce new Umrah tourism plan

The Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA) has revealed plans to introduce a new tourism programme for the millions of pilgrims who come to the kingdom for Umrah, Arab News has reported. The SCTA would announce details of this programme after developing museums that display artefacts from the Islamic history. "The government has already endorsed this 'After-Umrah Tourism Program' as many Muslims who come for pilgrimage from different parts of the Islamic world want to stay on in the Kingdom to visit our historical places and tourist attractions," said SCTA president, Prince Sultan bin Salman.

Source: Arab News

22-11-11, 12:46 PM
Oman-Saudi road link to boost trade

Jamal Aziz, CEO of Oman's Freezone Sohar has announced the road link between the Sultanate and neighbouring Saudi Arabia, which is expected to be ready in the next 12 months, will open up the biggest consumer market in the GCC directly to the Port of Sohar and its neighbouring free zone, Muscat Daily has reported. Nearing completion on the Omani side, the Sultanate is set to begin construction on its border post and customs office at the point where the 1,400km road, which runs directly to Riyadh through Oman's Dhahirah region, crosses into Saudi Arabia.

Source: Muscat Daily

22-11-11, 12:49 PM
Gama Aviation announces expansion into Saudi Arabia

Gama Group MENA FZE, part of the Gama Group, the global business aviation services company, announced today during the Dubai Air Show that it is to expand its services into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. With Imitiaz Company for Aviation Services LLC as a strategic partner in Saudi Arabia, the new joint venture company, to be known as Gama Aviation, plans to be operational in 2012 from Jeddah, Saudi's second largest city and a vital centre for commerce and tourism.
The Imitiaz Company, headquartered in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia is headed by some of the Kingdom's most experienced aviation professionals.
This is an expansion in the Middle East for the Gama Group, a long established aircraft charter, management and maintenance business company now in its 29th year, which set up in Sharjah and Dubai three years ago. The company will specialise in aircraft management and aims to operate charter services under its own Saudi GACA Part 135 Air Carrier certificate. The next step will be to add aircraft maintenance and consultancy services, replicating the company's expertise in Europe, USA and the Middle East. Gama's first base will be at Jeddah's King Abdulaziz International Airport where it will employ around five people in the start up phase. Gama Aviation in Saudi Arabia will be overseen by Gama's Regional Managing Director, Dave Edwards.
"This is a significant announcement for Gama and is the culmination of a substantial period of planning and negotiation," said Gama CEO Marwan Abdel Khalek. "We are delighted to have Imitiaz LLC as our strategic partner in this venture, which will bring to Gama many years of experience in the Kingdom. Breaking into the important Saudi market, the biggest market for business aviation in the Middle East, is a huge achievement and a long held wish of Gama. This milestone reflects a considerable amount of hard work by the team at Gama and our ability to demonstrate how the Gama culture and business model could be adopted in Saudi. "

Gama Aviation obtained its UAE GCAA Air Operator's Certificate in February 2010 and now supports 25 staff and five managed aircraft at both Sharjah International and Dubai International Airports, including an Airbus ACJ318 which joined the fleet last month. Gama is on track to obtain its UAE GCAA CAR 145 maintenance approval and is working to develop a new 12,000 sqm hangar facility at Sharjah which will provide hangarage and maintenance facilities for business jet aircraft in the region. It will also be home to a new Fixed Based Operation.

Source: Zawya

22-11-11, 12:58 PM
King lauds health ninister over epidemic-free Haj

RIYADH: Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah commended on Saturday Health Minister Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah and his team of health officials for their untiring efforts in maintaining a Haj season free of epidemic diseases.
The king said the excellent health facilities and services provided by the Ministry of Health enabled the pilgrims to perform their Haj rituals with ease and comfort and free of major health issues.
Responding to the commendation, Al-Rabeeah thanked the king for the support and assistance given to the ministry to complete this season without any epidemic diseases and other quarantine problems in the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah.
During Haj, the Ministry of Health provided specialized services for the welfare of the guests of Allah. Besides 3,500 pilgrims making use of the health services and facilities in the holy cities, a total of 538 cardiac catheterization and 25 open-heart surgeries were performed on pilgrims.
The ministry deployed more than 20,000 people from various medical, technical, administrative categories for the Haj season this year. He said the manpower from the Kingdom and abroad stood at 441 people in rare medical disciplines, including intensive care, breathing catheter and treatment as well as nursing intensive care and emergencies.
The Health Ministry took preventive measures against all epidemic diseases that were likely to be brought into the Kingdom by the pilgrims. It deployed officials at all 14 ports of entry to monitor the health condition of pilgrims, who came for Haj. Fully equipped 175 ambulances were made available for the health services for the pilgrims.

The ministry officials at the ports of entry gave preventive doses against meningitis to 365,777 pilgrims, oral polio vaccines to 532,400 pilgrims and yellow fever vaccines to 200,000 pilgrims.
Twenty-four hospitals and 141 primary health-care centers with a total of 4,000 beds were ready to attend to the pilgrims' health needs. Besides these facilities, there were 450 beds in the intensive care units of these hospitals and 500 more beds were made available for emergencies.
Of the PHCs, 80 primary health-care centers were in Arafat, Mina and Muzdalifah. They included 28 in Mina, 46 in Arafat and six in Muzdalifah. Besides these clinics, the minister said, there were seven hospitals -- three in Arafat and four in Mina.
The minister said health officials in the holy city of Madinah were increased to ensure uninterrupted health services to the pilgrims who visited the Prophet's Mosque in Madinah. The health facilities and services in the holy cities were modernized according to WHO standards at an expense of SR50 million this year, the minister said.

Source: Arab News

22-11-11, 02:05 PM
Gold price in Saudi riyals for 24 gram is 204.20

As at 1:21 this afternoon in Saudi Arabia

November 22, 2011

23-11-11, 04:58 PM
Gold price in Saudi riyals for 24 gram is 204.23

As at 4:33 this afternoon in Saudi Arabia

November 23, 2011

26-11-11, 09:28 AM
Ranger International enters Saudi deal

Saudi-based holding company, Ranger Saudia, has entered into strategic partnership with Ranger International Services Group, a private equity consolidator from the US specialising in aerospace/defence services.
The teaming agreement between the two companies was arranged for the purpose of competitively responding to solicitations and tenders in Saudi and in other member nations of the GCC in the broad field of aerospace/defense projects in that region, a statement from the company said.
Initial contracting pursuits have already commenced with various Saudi aircraft service companies for aircraft equipment calibration, and with the Royal Saudi Air Force for bidding on future airfield equipment projects and aircraft technical support programs.
Ranger International already has a multi-site presence in the Gulf States region through its subsidiaries such as CAV International (airfield services) and US Logistics (tactical vehicle overhaul & RESET).
Initial projects that are in-work with Ranger Saudia will be undertaken through Ranger TechWorks, the engineering services subsidiary of Ranger International, the statement said.
Steve Hanvey, president and CEO of Ranger TechWorks, said: 'Our initial projects stem directly from the core strengths and past performance of Ranger TechWorks and other Ranger subsidiaries. I envision that we will have a substantial and growing presence on aerospace/defense projects throughout Saudi and the GCC States in the coming years.
Steve Townes, Ranger Aerospace founder and CEO of Ranger International Services Group, said: 'It is our privilege to co-invest with strong partners on behalf of a whole new array of international customers. Acting primarily as a subcontractor to Ranger Saudia or other Saudi-controlled companies, this venture will yield potentially dramatic growth in the next few years for our total enterprise.

Source: TradeArabia

26-11-11, 09:32 AM
Gold price in Saudi riyals for 24 gram is 202.78

As at 9:00 AM in Saudi Arabia

November 25, 2011

26-11-11, 09:36 AM
Saudi Arabian construction sector on track

Dubai New project awards are starting to emerge from the project pipeline in Saudi Arabia, helped by the kingdoms twin emphasis on social housing and mega-sized industrial clusters. I think that the amount of construction in Saudi Arabia is rather relevant seeing the rest of the GCC countries, said a spokesman for Nesite, an Italian company specialising in raised floorings.
Construction activity in the UAE has taken a dip, and especially in the wake of Abu Dhabis recent announcement to scale down some of its large-scale and long-term developments. But the cautious approach is not readily apparent in Saudi Arabias construction sector.
We were expecting a faster growth for Abu Dhabi, but our feeling
is that we still have to wait a little longer before seeing projects taking a spike.
The company recently won a $10.5 million order from Saudi Arabia to provide its flooring solutions for phase one of the mammoth $667 million Information Technology and Communications Complex (ITCC) being developed by the Rayadah Investment Company in Riyadh. It will be the biggest tech-specific complex in the kingdom.
Design infrastructure

We will complete the [flooring] project by the end of May 2012 and Saudi Arabia is definitely our biggest market for 2011 and 2012, the spokesman added. Nesite, part of Transpack Group Service, has a production facility in Sharjahs Hamriyah Free Zone since 2009 to add to the one in Italy.

Source: Gulf News

26-11-11, 10:25 AM
Does the future of the Kingdom's IT industry lie in the cloud?

Riyadh, November 17th 2011 - With the Saudi Arabian information technology industry expected to invest US$13 billion in hardware, software, expertise and infrastructure in the next two years, the Kingdom's IT sector appears ready to make a technological leap. Areas of priority for the country are seen as cloud computing, virtualisation and e-Government. Concepts such as virtualisation are a relatively new phenomenon in Saudi Arabia, primarily because of challenges with infrastructure. Yesser, reponsible for implementing the e-government programme throughout the country, is committed to continuous improvement and innovation and has so far been the catalyst for the Kingdom's IT industry in moving towards the implementation of cloud computing. Indeed, virtualisation is the theme of day two of the upcoming 2nd Annual CIO Strategies Saudi Arabia Forum in Riyadh - taking place on November 21st and 22nd. The two-day platform is organised by French business group naseba, with day one focusing specifically on the role of the Chief Information Officer under the theme of: 'Empowering CIOs to thrive and not just survive.' ZTEZTE Corporation, a platinum sponsor of the forum, is showcasing their latest innovations which include the iMarket - a cloud-based applications store which is already in commercial use with the world's largest WCDMA operator, China Unicom.
"Cloud computing has revolutionised traditional resource provision and user application methods. We see it as a strategic growth area for the company, with plenty of scope for innovation. This summit allows CIOs from all over the region to discuss and examine the future potential for virtualisation in Saudi Arabia," explained Wang Fan, CEO, ZTEZTE (HK) Limited Saudi Arabia at ZTEZTE Communications. Attending the forum are regional experts including Dr Jarrallah AlGhamdi, Chief Information Officer of Ministry of Education; Yahya Ibrahim Abdulrahman, Chief Information Officer of Saudi Electricity Company, and Dr Ayman G Fayoumi, Vice Dean of IT Deanship of King Abdulaziz University. Dr Ayman is using the forum to educate attendees on 'Smart IT-based on cloud computing.' Managing Director at naseba, Nic Watson commented: "Participation from regional experts and leading solution providers including ZTEZTE Corporation and Hitachi Data Systems only enhances the technologically advanced nature of the forum. It enables the forum to bring together all regional experts to shape the future of the industry in the kingdom."

Source: CIO Saudi

26-11-11, 10:26 AM
Saudi Private Aviation to be word's largest 7X fleet operator

Saudi Arabian Airlines' subsidiary, Saudi Private Aviation, is to receive its fourth Dassault Falcon 7X by the end of the year to become the largest 7X operator in the world, Arabian Aerospace has reported. The trijet can connect New York to Dubai and Jeddah to Recife, as well as accessing challenging airports such as London City Airport. The Gulf region accounts for 7% to 10% of Dassault's business jet sales. There are 60 Falcons in service in the Middle East

Source: Ame Info

26-11-11, 10:30 AM
Saudi, Shell gas JV to assess Kidan

Saudi Arabia's South Rub al-Khali Co (SRAK) has said the government has given its approval to a joint venture between Royal Dutch Shell and Saudi Aramco to conduct an appraisal plan for Kidan, a field located in Saudi Arabia's Empty Quarter, Reuters has reported. Kidan, which contains sour gas, is near the 750,000 barrels per day (bpd) Shaybah oilfield, one of the biggest fields in the world's top oil exporter. SRAK will be drilling up to three appraisal wells and conducting extensive studies, the firm said, adding that it would complete the appraisal of Kidan by end-2013.

Source: Ame Info

26-11-11, 10:32 AM
Samsung Engineering wins $4bn Saudi projects

Samsung Engineering has won three new projects in Saudi Arabia worth about $4bn, Arab News has reported. The recent projects include Shaybah NGL (Natural Gas Liquid) and Wasit power plant from Saudi Aramco, and an aluminum complex from Maaden. H. P. Kong, Samsung Engineering's executive vice president and chief marketing officer has said that these contracts mark the diversification of its traditional hydrocarbon business into the upstream, industrial and infrastructure sectors.
Source: Ame Info

26-11-11, 10:38 AM
Saudi Arabia's bourse falls for a fourth straight session

Saudi Arabia's bourse fell for a fourth consecutive session, weighed mainly by petrochemicals and banking stocks, following drops in oil prices and global stocks.
The petrochemicals sector index lost 0.8 percent as heavyweight Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) closed 0.8 percent lower.
The banking sector index ended 0.8 percent lower.
Samba Financial Group dropped 1.7 percent and Al Rajhi Bank slipped 0.7 percent.
The general index closeds 0.3 percent lower at 6,199 points.
Oil fell on Friday as a bout of profit-taking following big moves in spreads this week overtook early euro zone optimism.
World stocks fell on Friday as many investors continued to fear a spread of the region's debt crisis into core European economies. Wall Street indexes ended mixed, capping the worst week for U.S. stocks in two months.
Saudi Arabian Refineries Co (Masafi) surged the maximum 10 percent allowed after saying in a bourse statement on Wednesday that a court would hear on December 18 its SR1.2bn ($320m) lawsuit against state oil company Aramco following a dispute over Masafi taking a stake in a refining firm.

Source: Reuters

26-11-11, 10:39 AM
Saudi's Prince Talal resigns from Allegiance Council

A prominent half-brother of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah has resigned from the Allegiance Council, the body responsible for overseeing succession in the world's top oil exporter, according to his website.
Prince Talal bin Abdulaziz, father of billionaire Alwaleed bin Talal, is considered one of the most vocal supporters of reform in the ruling Al Saud family.
His resignation comes three weeks after Prince Nayef, perceived as a conservative who has blocked reforms in the past, was named heir to the throne.
Prince Talal's website gave no reason for his resignation. "After informing King Abdullah, Prince Talal bin Abdulaziz announced his resignation from the Allegiance Council," it said on Wednesday.
His resignation means one of his sons might take his position in the council.
The Allegiance Council was created by King Abdullah five years ago to represent each branch of the Al Saud family in the selection of future heirs to the throne.
In 2009, Prince Talal objected to the royal court's announcement that Prince Nayef had been promoted to second deputy prime minister, a position that meant he was second in line to the throne. He said the council should have been consulted before the decision was taken.
"I call on the royal court to clarify what is meant by this nomination and that it does not mean that he [Prince Nayef] will become crown prince," Prince Talal said in a faxed statement in 2009.
Saudi authorities revoked Prince Talal's passport in the early 1960s when he pressed for a constitutional monarchy and allied himself to late Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser, the arch-foe of the Saudi monarchy.
Prince Talal was later allowed to return to the kingdom after toning down his rhetoric.
Source: Reuters

26-11-11, 10:41 AM
Saudi university aims to produces space scientists

A major programme to help innovative students to do research works at US labs has been launched by the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST), as part of efforts to create a new generation of Saudi space scientists, Arab News has reported. The Saudi students would design and develop scientific research projects using CubeSat; a miniaturised satellite developed by California Polytechnic State University and Stanford University for space research that usually has a volume of exactly one litre and a mass of no more than 1.33kg.

Source: Arab News

26-11-11, 10:45 AM
Saudi Arabia to develop SR 100bn infrastructure projects in Mecca

Osama Al Bar, the mayor of Makkah has said the Saudi government plans to spend an estimated SR100bn ($26.66bn) on implementing mega infrastructure and housing projects in the holy city of Mecca, Arabic al-Riyadh daily has reported. The infrastructure projects include the construction of roads and restroom complexes, and the expansion of open areas, roads and streets, he said. The Holy City's municipality has also handed over a plot of land with an area covering more than 300 million sq m in the southern part of the city to the housing ministry that will be used for residential projects, Al Bar said. The municipality also plans to deliver additional sites to the ministry, he added.

Source: Al-Riyadh Daily

26-11-11, 10:51 AM
Najran governor warns of strict action against negligent officials

JEDDAH: Najran Gov. Prince Mishaal bin Abdullah warned public and private agencies on Friday that he would monitor service projects that have been carried out in the province and take punitive action against negligent companies and officials.
The governor made this comment following a surprise inspection tour of some welfare projects in the region.
Well continue these inspection tour of every service project and take action against those who are found negligent in their duty.
Prince Mishaal expressed his hope that all companies and officials would carry out their duties in the best manner, realizing the hopes and aspirations of the leadership and people.
He said Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah and Crown Prince Naif, deputy premier and minister of interior, want quick implementation of projects passed by the government.
The governor began his tour from Najran-Asir Expressway and urged officials to complete installation of lights along the road from Bier Askar to the College of Technology as quickly as possible.
Prince Mishaal also inspected another project to develop Prince Naif Road into a two-way road, an official statement said, adding that the prince expressed his satisfaction over the progress of work at one of the busiest roads in the Najran city.
The tour also covered King Abdullah Bridge, Prince Sultan Road, Jarba police station and King Khaled Hospital. He met with patients at the hospital and asked them to give their observations about the quality of services there, the statement said.
Najran has witnessed tremendous progress during the past two years following the appointment of Prince Mishaal as governor in March 2009, replacing Prince Mishaal bin Saud.
King Abdullah visited the region in November 2006, a year after he ascended to the Saudi throne in August 2005, and launched a number of welfare projects as part of his plan to achieve balanced development in all parts of the country.
The king laid the foundation for a SR600 million complex of four university colleges in Najran and instructed higher education officials to convert the complex into an independent university. The project, spread over 18 million sq. meters east of Najran city, will accommodate 12,000 students.
The newly established Najran regional airport, which is designed to operate international flights, is one of the new generation airports in the Kingdom with an annual capacity of 1.4 million passengers. It was carried out at a cost of SR400 million.

Source: Arab News

26-11-11, 10:53 AM
Housing for singles and workers: A new hot property investment

RIYADH: Real estate sources in Riyadh claim a new and widespread trend among property investors is to focus on building apartments especially for single men, male students and workers as there is a huge gap in the market.
It is predicted their prices will increase faster than other property types, particularly as there is evidence of an increase in commercial shops concentrated in areas where single men live.
A 2011 study conducted by the Organization of Business Opportunities in Riyadh showed that in general, property investment is considered the best investment sector in the long run. It is safe, with limited risks involved, and is a constant source of income, more so than stock market investments.
The study also pointed out that property prices in areas local to universities and where workers are concentrated have increased in the last five years by 85 percent. This increase has led to such properties surpassing the average prices of other property types in the Saudi market, especially in Riyadh and Jeddah.
The study advises those who wish to invest in this type of real estate to carefully study property sites in each city and investigate the costs involved beforehand because they are considered long-term investments.
It also points out that real estate financiers do offer reasonable rates for real estate loans, including buy to rent products that are especially for investors who buy properties to rent out and not for personal housing.
These types of property are in great demand not just for manual laborers, but also expatriate employees who are either single or who are in Saudi without their families. Also, the apartment buildings currently available are not affordable enough and not designed for housing single males.
Faisal Al-Dakhiel, a local property realtor, said construction companies in Riyadh have started looking for housing for their workers as near to the construction sites as possible regardless of the rent costs, which have on average increased recently.
Al-Dakhiel said they preferred buildings that were as close as possible because of the long distances between the north and south of Riyadh in addition to the lack of transport services between these two areas.
Al-Dakhiel confirmed most investors have converted their residential buildings into worker apartments to overcome the low demand for family apartments and to demand more rent from construction companies.
Ali Al-Wada'ani, a real estate expert, said demand for these types of buildings increased by about a half this year. He added that real estate owners are trying to profit greatly from the high demand for apartments for single men and workers, which is why they increased the rent to SR22,000 per year for a two room flat.
Muhammad Al-Abdullah, a real estate expert, said accommodating singles and workers in family neighborhoods is an old problem and is exacerbated by the fact the east and west of Riyadh is expanding. Such problems required a quick solution, which is to allocate special areas for workers and singles apartments.
A real estate study revealed that the Kingdom would need 1 million extra homes over the next five years to cope with demand for housing.

Source: Arab News

26-11-11, 03:15 PM
Gold price in Saudi riyals for 24 gram is 202.58

As at 2:28 PM in Saudi Arabia

November 26, 2011

03-12-11, 07:14 PM
Gold price in Saudi riyals for 24 gram is 202.58

As at 2:28 PM in Saudi Arabia

November 26, 2011


hassan from where u get ur news?

04-12-11, 08:56 PM
hassan from where u get ur news?

Several sources Swyrs

04-12-11, 09:02 PM
Saudi fear climate talks will hurt OPEC oil income

Saudi Arabia, OPECs largest crude producer, will seek to ensure climate talks starting this week in Durban, South Africa, wont unfairly limit the exporter groups income, the kingdoms envoy to the negotiations said.
Saudi Arabia and its OPEC partners are being asked to bear too much of the burden of cutting greenhouse-gas emissions because their economies depend on oil and natural-gas revenue, Mohammed al-Sabban, said in a speech at the Energy Dialogue conference in the capital Riyadh on Nov 21.
Climate change talks are at a stalemate because richer nations want emerging nations to be included in a global deal. Poorer countries are seeking more effort from states that have emitted the most heat-trapping gases in the past. Members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, which supply 40 percent of the worlds crude, oppose emission-reduction targets that threaten oil demand, al-Sabban said in an interview.
Any package adopted at Durban should include a detailed decision on how to minimize the adverse impact of climate policies on developing countries in general and OPEC nations in particular, he said.
Saudi Arabia hasnt asked for compensation for the loss of income from oil sales as consumers look to obtain energy from cleaner fuels such as natural gas or renewable energy, al-Sabban said. Rather the kingdom wants technological assistance from developed countries and more direct investment to diversify its economy, he said.
It is very crucial to include provisions to this effect in any balanced comprehensive package we adopt in Durban, said al-Sabban, who is also a senior economic adviser to the minister of petroleum.
UN climate negotiators gather in South Africa on Nov. 28 for two weeks of talks aimed at agreeing a successor to the present commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, which obliges developed countries to cut greenhouse gas emissions by about 5 percent below 1990 levels in the five years through 2012.
Saudi Arabia thinks that a second commitment period for the Kyoto Protocol is a must, and without having unconditional emission reduction numbers from developed countries for the period beyond 2012, it will be impossible to have any agreement in Durban, he said.
Saudi Arabia and other developing countries wont agree to renegotiate the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, known as the UNFCCC, al-Sabban said.
The Gulf state wants carbon capture and storage, or CCS, to be included in the Clean Development Mechanism, the second- biggest CO2 market that was set up by the Kyoto Protocol in 1997. CCS is an experimental technology that siphons off carbon dioxide emissions from power plants and factories and pumps it underground for permanent storage.
OPECs members are Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Venezuela.

Source: Arabian Business

04-12-11, 09:05 PM
Saudi plans first tender for nuclear plant by 2012 end

Saudi Arabia, which plans to build 16 nuclear reactors by 2030, will begin the tendering process to construct the first station by the end of next year, according to the King Abdullah Center of Atomic and Renewable Energy.
The site of the reactor will be announced by March, Saleh Al Shubaili, a spokesman, said in response to e-mailed questions on Monday.
The bidding will be of a gradual pace rather than one award, Al Shubaili said, referring to the construction of all the proposed reactors.
Saudi Arabia and the UAE are investing in nuclear power to help meet rising domestic demand for electricity.

Source: Bloomberg

04-12-11, 09:06 PM
Saudi's Maaden signs $1bn deal for project finance

A unit of the Saudi Arabian Mining Company, also known as Maaden, has signed a $1bn financing agreement with the Public Investment Fund (PIF) for the second phase of its aluminium project.
Consisting of a bauxite mine at Al Ba'itha and an alumina refinery at Ras Al Khair the second phase of the project by Ma'aden Bauxite and Alumina Company, will cost $3.585bn.
The PIF loan will be repaid over a period of 16 years starting in 2017, the company said in a statement.
The project, a joint venture between Maaden (74.9 percent) and Alcoa (25.1 percent) is being built in two phases, both of which are now under construction.
The first phase consists of an aluminium smelter and rolling mill, both situated at Ras Al Khair which will begin operating in 2013.
The mine and refinery are due to come on stream in 2014.
Mansour Al Mayman, secretary general of the PIF, said: "This financing clearly shows the Public Investment Fund's commitment to supporting sustainable industrial projects in Saudi Arabia."
Khalid Al Mudaifer, Maaden's president and CEO, added: "The impact of this new industry will be highly significant in terms of job creation, regional development and economic diversification."
Maaden's aluminium project is the only one in the Middle East with an integral supply of alumina and its rolling mill will be one of the most technologically advanced in the world and the only one in the region capable of producing food grade can sheet

Source: Arabian Business

04-12-11, 09:07 PM
Kingdom keen on fostering foreign ties: Salman

RIYADH: Defense Minister Prince Salman on Sunday received foreign ambassadors accredited to the Kingdom and reiterated Saudi Arabias desire to strengthen its relations with their countries.
The ambassadors came to Prince Salmans office in Maader to congratulate him on his new appointment as defense minister following the death of Prince Sultan.
There are clear instructions from Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah and Crown Prince Naif to strengthen the Kingdoms relations with other countries of the world, the minister said.
Prince Salman said the Saudi government is keen on taking care of foreign residents from different countries. We in Saudi Arabia are very keen to honor our guests and taking care of their comfort, he added.
He said the government established the Diplomatic Quarter in Riyadh as part of its efforts to care for foreign ambassadors and diplomats in the country.
Ambassador Omar Diawara of Burkina Faso, head of the diplomatic cadre, spoke on behalf of the diplomats and congratulated Prince Salman on his new appointment as the Kingdoms defense minister. He wished him every success in his new career.
The reception was attended by Deputy Defense Minister Prince Khaled bin Sultan and other senior officials.

Source: Arab News

04-12-11, 09:08 PM
Women lawyers call for expediting rules to streamline their practice

JEDDAH: Saudi women lawyers have launched a campaign to urge the Justice Ministry to expedite the issuance of rules and regulations to professionalize their work.
They said the ministry has been studying these regulations for too long.
Bayan Zahran, the Saudi lawyer leading the campaign, told Arab News the lawyers were not accusing the ministry of any slackness but were hoping that it would issue the rules very soon.
Saudi women lawyers have been working in the courts for many years. They have been doing this work through representation but without formal licenses, she said. Working in this way and without official licenses is detrimental to the profession, she added.
Zahran said women who graduate from law schools could not find any place for training, unlike their male counterparts.
Women lawyers cannot open legal offices as such a step would require a formal license to practice law in addition to three years of experience, she explained.
Bayan said there were more than 2,000 women graduates from law colleges in addition to a large number of students.
All these graduates are not able to find legal jobs because the government departments with legal sections are not yet ready to employ them, she said.
Bayan hoped the new rules professionalizing the work of women lawyers would include steps to find employment for them in government departments, especially those with a large number of women employees such as the health and education ministries.
Director of the ministrys department of lawyers Sheikh Abdullah Al-Juwair said a study on the organization of the work of female lawyers had been completed and would soon be approved.
He said under the new regulations, women lawyers would be allowed to open offices for legal and Shariah consultancy and to appear before courts, especially in cases involving women.
Many women would shy away from going to legal offices manned entirely by men, so opening women legal offices would solve their problem, he said.

Source: Arab News

04-12-11, 09:09 PM
Go-ahead given to launch labor import company

JEDDAH: The Ministry of Labor issued Sunday preliminary approval to launch the first large manpower import company.
The Saudi Company for Labor Import (under the process of establishment) is licensed to supply foreign labor to private and public sectors including domestic workers.
The ministry, however, stipulated in the order that the company should not start its services until obtaining a final license.
The ministry also urged other investors involved in launching manpower supply companies to complete their formalities within the prescribed time limit.
Deputy Minister of Labor Mufrij Al-Haqabani said the ministry has already issued the statutes governing the establishment of labor import companies.
The ministry decided to permit the entry of large companies with a minimum investment of SR50 million because it wanted to regulate the labor supply market and guarantee that the employers get professionally and educationally qualified workers, the minister said.

Source: Arab News

04-12-11, 09:20 PM
Crisis looms in transport sector as companies unable to hire Saudis

DAMMAM: A large number of companies in the transport sector say they are facing the prospect of either winding down or incurring huge losses as they struggle to adhere to the Nitaqat program.
About 90 percent of companies in this vital sector are listed in the red category, meaning they are far below their Saudization targets. The Labor Ministry had given these companies Nov. 26 as the deadline to comply with the regulation or face penal action.
Several investors in the road transport sector said Saudis were reluctant to take up jobs in the field, especially to work as heavy vehicle drivers because the job is considered tough and hard, Al-Eqtisadiah business daily said in a recent report.
Fahd Al-Shuraie, chairman of the land transportation committee at the Asharqia Chamber, said the ministry's insistence on implementing Nitaqat in the transport sector would result in most companies failing to meet their targets.
"This may force many companies to halt their operations. Transport companies are struggling to hire Saudi drivers to adhere to the Nitaqat program," he said. "We did not receive any positive response from citizens. We placed advertisements seeking Saudi drivers in various media. Moreover, we contacted labor offices across the Kingdom in search of qualified Saudi hands but with no luck," Al-Shuraie said while pointing out that there was a lukewarm response even after promising a salary of about SR5,000 for Saudi drivers.
Al-Shuraie admitted that some companies tried to bypass the Nitaqat program by employing people with special needs, as hiring one disabled person is equal to four able-bodied Saudi workers.

"Moreover, the Nitaqat program not only stops issuing recruitment visas for companies in the red category but also allows companies in the green band (meeting Saudization targets) to hire workers without permission from those not meeting Saudization targets," he said, describing this as another obstacle.
Al-Shuraie said an overwhelming majority of companies in this sector would be forced to wind down their business.
He pointed out that transport companies have an adequate number of Saudi employees in ministerial positions such as administration, service and finance.
"However, these companies lack the required number of Saudis to work as drivers. Some of these companies have around 2,000 trucks and other vehicles. Under Nitaqat, they need to employ at least 250 Saudi drivers but they are struggling to find locals to take up these jobs," he said.

Al-Shuraie urged the ministry to revise its Nitaqat policy for the land transportation sector by reducing the Saudization quota, as was the case with the contracting sector.
He also pointed out that a large number of transport companies had signed contracts to operate freight services for crucial government departments and companies such as the Ministry of Defense, Saudi Aramco and SABIC.
Al-Shuraie noted that some transport companies in the red category also faced a potential situation where a large number of employees would seek to be hired by companies in the green band.
Saeed Ali Al-Bassami, deputy chairman of the transportation committee at the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said it is very difficult to find Saudis to work as heavy drivers. "Finding workers to operate heavy vehicles is quite difficult compared to other sectors. This is mainly because of the tough nature of the job. Therefore, Saudi drivers are very rare in this sector," he said.
Al-Bassami recalled that some investors in the transportation field had a meeting with Labor Minister Adel Fakeih in Makkah earlier.
"During that meeting, we urged the minister to review the decision to implement Nitaqat in this sector considering the reluctance of Saudis to take the jobs. I drew the minister's attention to a proposal urging the ministry to implement a program in cooperation with technical institutes aimed at training Saudis to work as truck drivers. I also told him transport companies are ready to employ such drivers by giving them attractive salaries and allowances."
According to Al-Bassami, the transport sector faces several other handicaps such as drivers leaving to join companies undertaking big projects. "Nearly 90 percent of transport companies are listed in the red category. More than 700 trucks from some companies are on standby due to nonavailability of drivers," he said.

Source: Arab News

04-12-11, 09:22 PM
Saudi bourse to remian steady in coming weeks

Arab stock markets moved sideways last week as investors monitored steps being taken by European policymakers to come to grips with the euro zone debt crisis, financial analysts said Friday.
Saudi stocks closed week higher as the government of the world's largest exporting country prepared to declare its 2012 budget, while Egyptian shares rebounded strongly on the ruling military council's successful conduction of the first round of general elections, they added.
"I believe regional stocks will be under diminishing pressure from the euro zone debt problem as the attention of investors turns to yearly corporate earnings within the coming couple of weeks," Wajdi Makhamreh, CEO of the Amman-based Noor Investments, told Arab News.
He expected the geopolitics of the standoff over the Iranian nuclear file and the Arab Spring uprisings to continue to have an impact on Middle East markets.
"The movement of oil prices will also have its fallout on regional stock exchanges particularly those of the Gulf countries," Makhamreh said.
Saudi shares scored modest gains last week, led by the petrochemical and banking sectors.

The Tadawul All-Share Index (TASI) gained 0.3 percent on weekly basis, closing at 6,104.56 points.
Abdullah Baeshen, CEO of the Saudi TeamOne Consulting, expected the Saudi market to remain "steady" in the coming couple of weeks, given the conflicting factors of the euro zone debt crisis, the imminent declaration of the Saudi government budget, oil prices and the regional political situation.
"As far as the euro zone problem is concerned, the signals do not appear positive and I don't think there will be a solution until the start of January," he said.
He expected the government's macroeconomic figures and public spending to boost the Saudi stock exchange.

"There is a chance for Saudi stocks to go up if the benchmark breaks the 6,135-point area," Baeshen said.
Kuwaiti stocks rebounded at the end of the week apparently due to the easing political tension following the resignation of the government as demanded by the opposition.
Kuwait's KSE all-share index gained 0.9 percent on weekly basis, closing at 5,835 points.
However, the Kuwaiti benchmark lost 1.82 per cent in November, due to "external and internal factors, mainly the domestic political turmoil", according to a report by Kuwait's Bayan Investment Co.
The benchmarks of the United Arab Emirates stock exchanges of Dubai and Abu Dhabi closed week 2.2 percent and 1.1 percent in the green, respectively at 1,379 points and 2,445 points.
Qatar's index gained 1.1 percent last week closing at 8,663 points, while Bahrain's benchmark closed 0.3 percent in the red, at 1,158 points.
The all-share index of the Amman Stock Exchange (ASE) shed 1 percent last week, closing at 1,978 points, mainly due the absence of moving factors, analysts said.
Egyptian shares were the main gainer in the Middle East last week, reflecting optimism on the part of investors over the success of the polling process, analysts said.
Egypt's AGX 30 index, which measures the performance of the market's 30 most active stocks, gained 2.5 percent on weekly basis, closing at 4,088 points.
Egyptian analyst Mustafa Adel, CEO of the Tycoon for Investment Management, attributed the Egyptian bourse's gains mainly to "the security stability that emerged during the ballot process and the steep plunge that preceded the elections on fears of violence".
However, he said that foreign investors could be thwarted by reports that Islamists were emerging triumphant in the first round of polls.

Source: Arab News

04-12-11, 09:24 PM
Saudi Kingdom's furniture market fast expanding

JEDDAH - Furniture sales in Saudi Arabia has rapidly grown over the past years on the back of rising affluence, influence of Western culture and tourism development, the SBWire said on Thursday.
Despite the economic slowdown, the industry has posted growth rate, SBWire online said, adding that furniture sale is anticipated to grow at around 12 percent in 2011-2013. That makes the Kingdom one of the most attractive furniture markets in the Middle East, it said.
Citing its own research, SBWire said the Kingdom's hotel industry has emerged as "one of the flexible pillars of economic development" in the country. "Institutional investors are increasingly focusing on stable, secure and more predictable income streams as opposed to short-term capital gains, which favor the hotel sector," it said.
The Kingdom's Central Region is considered to be a major hub for the country's furniture manufacturing industry with Riyadh, Qassim ad Hail as the most preferred places making furniture, SBWire said.
Qassim and Kharj, famous for agricultural activities, are also know for woodworks and, with their favorable regulatory policies, have shown "notable developments in the furniture industry."

Source: The Saudi Gazette

05-12-11, 07:43 AM
Saudi Arabia to exploit solar energy for desalination plants

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia intends to depend heavily on solar energy to operate desalination plants instead of oil and gas as part of its efforts to make use of alternative and renewable energy sources.
Water and Electricity Minister Abdullah Al-Hussayen has disclosed plans to set up a new solar-powered desalination plant within 18 months.
On Wednesday, the Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC), which runs more than 30 desalination plants on the Kingdom's western and eastern coasts, signed an agreement with Hitachi Zosen Corporation of Japan to conduct research on making use of solar power for desalination purpose.
"This agreement reflects SWCC's intent to execute the initiative of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah on exploiting solar energy to operate desalination plants," said Fehaid Al-Sharief, governor of SWCC, who signed the deal with Minoru Furukawa, chairman and president of Hitachi Zosen.
Al-Sharief said the move supports SWCC's strategy to cut down on production expenditures by conducting research on using renewable energy sources to operate its plants. "This three-year agreement aims at exchanging expertise and knowledge on exploiting renewable energy," the governor said, adding that it includes setting up of a solar energy complex by the Japanese company.
Meanwhile, Minister Al-Hussayen, accompanied by Al-Sharief, inspected the progress of work at the desalination-cum-power generation plant in Ras Al-Khair in the Eastern Province on Wednesday. "The project will meet full requirements of Maaden company," the minister said, adding that the plant would supply water to Riyadh during the first quarter of 2013.
The Ras Al-Khair desalination plant is considered the largest in the world with a daily capacity of more than a million cubic meters of water and 2400MW electricity. The project is being implemented at a total cost of SR25 billion ($6.66 billion) and the contract was awarded in November 2010.

Source: Arab News

05-12-11, 07:44 AM
Saudi buyers take to Twitter over Alshaya refund rules

Twitter users in Saudi Arabia have launched a social media backlash against Gulf retail giant M.H. Alshaya, after the company rolled out new rules to restrict cash refunds to customers.
Staff in five Alshaya stores in Dubai said in September that buyers returning faulty or unwanted goods could no longer receive cash or credit card refunds, but would instead receive store credit under new company-wide rules governing returns.
Buyers have 12 months to spend their store credit - but the ruling ensures money is kept within the conglomerates network of shops, which includes Debenhams, H&M and Topshop.
The policy appears to have been implemented in Saudi Arabia, where Twitter users are using the hashtag #noshaya to call for a boycott of the retailers stores until the policy is changed.
Its so sad that its funny that no one really cares that the Saudi consumer gets ripped off on a daily basis! said Tweeter @sara_alhaidar. I told the guy @H&M the policy was silly [and] he said management have their reasons! Really? Is it to make sure no SR [Saudi riyals] leave the register?
Other Tweeters flagged up how the big brand names owned by Alshaya in the Gulf, such as H&M, offered more favourable returns policies on their own, domestic websites.
A tweet from @Raiyola accused the firm of hiding behind a silly policy that is equal to theft.
In a statement to Arabian Business in September, Alshaya said it would offer cash refunds for faulty goods in line with Dubai consumer protection laws, but would not offer refunds for any other reason.
It is not clear whether consumer protection laws in Saudi Arabia also require stores to offer a cash or credit card refund for faulty or damaged items.
Referring to the decision to offer store credit rather than cash or credit returns, a spokesperson said: We believe this is something that our customers will love and appreciate, and that they will recognise that our policy is one of the most flexible and generous in the region.
A spokesperson for Alshaya was not immediately available to comment on Sunday.
A report by Dubais consumer protection agency in June showed the majority of disputes between retailers and shoppers arise from refunds and exchanges.
According to the DED, complaints from consumers soared in the first quarter of 2011, with 2,900 shoppers registering complaints against retailers, up from 2,300 last year.
Alshaya manages more than 55 brands across the Middle East and operates 2,000 outlets in 15 countries. Brands include a range of household names such as Debenhams, H&M, The Body Shop, Starbucks, Boots, River Island, Oasis and Mothercare.

Source: Arabian Business

05-12-11, 07:45 AM
Ford set to expand operations in Saudi Arabia

US car giant Ford has announced plans to expand its operations in Saudi Arabia in a bid to build on sales growth expected to reach 60 percent in 2011.
Ford said it will be opening a new branch office in Riyadh, which is expected to open in mid-2012.
Sales of Ford and Lincoln vehicles in Saudi Arabia have grown rapidly and are the strongest of all the dealers in the Middle East.
Ford expects to close 2011 with an unprecedented 47,000 sales in the kingdom, representing nearly 60 percent year-over-year growth from 2010 through its partner Al Jazirah Vehicles Agencies.
"Al Jazirah has proven to be a great partner for Ford," said Stephen Odell, chairman and CEO, Ford of Europe, during a visit to Saudi Arabia. "We look forward to an even stronger collaboration once the new office opens."
In 2011, Al Jazirah opened six new or renovated facilities and added 150 service bays throughout the kingdom.
"As we look to 2012 and beyond, we will be relentless in our efforts to provide service excellence and enhance the ownership experience for Ford and Lincoln customers," said Odell.
Two weeks ago, Ford celebrated the opening of a Middle East parts distribution centre in Dubai that will improve parts availability and significantly reduce the time dealers and customers will need to wait for parts to complete vehicle service repairs.
The $53m parts centre is Ford's largest single investment in the region to date.

Source: Arabian Business

05-12-11, 07:46 AM
Saudi broadcasting forum tackles opportunities, challenges

JEDDAH - The inaugural four-day "Saudi Broadcasting Business Forum" kicks off today (Sunday) focusing on key opportunities and challenges facing the Kingdom's broadcasting industry.
Dr Abdulaziz Khoja, Saudi Minister of Culture and Information, will inaugurate the event at Holiday Inn Al Qasr, in Riyadh.
The gathering will also address the business objectives, market size and trends, revenue forecasting and market share issues.
Event organizers IQPC said experts will address the massive growth potential in accessing information via social and new media channels within the Kingdom.
Topics such as the quality of content, understanding new market dynamics, digital rights management, the complex relationship between new Internet and traditional TV, pay to view, piracy and the future of HDTV and 3DTV, are also high on the agenda in the subsequent days of the forum.
Raj Parmar, IQPC forum director. said "we have provided a 'strategy' day for broadcasters to gain a greater understanding of upcoming projects, government goals and initiatives which will offer industry professionals a first class networking opportunity to discuss commercial opportunities in the Kingdom."
Dr. Riad Najm, assistant deputy minister of engineering, Ministry of Culture and Information, Riyadh, will discuss how the MENOS (Multimedia Exchange Network over Satellite) project has hugely benefited the broadcasting industry in the Middle East region.
Dr. Tarek Riri, general manager, Eqtisadia TV will be holding a keynote panel discussion on understanding the relationship between the government's role in communications and Saudi Arabia's economic development.
The forum has attracted leading expert speakers such as Alan Musa, GM & VP Africa, Middle East and Pan Region, Turner Broadcasting; Caroline Faraj, CNN Arabic digital services director, Hossam El-Sokkari, Yahoo-Maktoob Middle East; Dr Ali Shwel Algarni, president, Saudi Association for Media and Communications and Faisal Al-Saif, Saudi TV Channel 2

Source: Saudi Gazette

05-12-11, 07:51 AM
Unfortunately gold comes up again at the end of last week

It is now 1746 US dollar per aunce

06-12-11, 07:36 AM
Saudi Arabia needs 1,65m new homes by 2015 - study

Saudi Arabia needs 1.65 million new homes by 2015 to meet growing demand in the world's largest oil exporter, Banque Saudi Fransi said in a report on Sunday.
Saudi Arabia, the biggest Arab economy, is facing a massive housing problem due to rapid population growth and an inflow of expatriate workers coming to the kingdom which is rolling out a $400bn infrastructure spending plan.
"We estimate private and public developers will need to build about 275,000 units a year through 2015 for a total of 1.65 million homes over six years," the report said.
This figure would "cater to demands of a population that has doubled in size since 1988 and grows more than 2 percent annually" it added.
Last Friday, Saudi King Abdullah offered $93bn in handouts which included SR250bn to ($66.7bn) be spent on 500,000 new homes.
"Considering the housing supply-demand gap and the impending boom in youth demand for homes, we are bullish on the housing sector and confident the mortgage law will widen the scope of home ownership in the long term.
"Still, reforms to address the market's structural deficiencies will need to compliment the law. Developers must focus on building supply of affordable housing since prevailing salaries are largely not high enough to support a mortgage finance boom," the report said.
Saudi Arabia's long-awaited mortgage law has been in the planning stages for almost a decade.
The kingdom's annual inflation slowed to a 10-month low of 4.9 percent in February, with growth in housing and transport costs subsiding, data showed on Sunday.
Saudi Arabia's population is expected to reach 30 million in 2017, double the figure just 30 years ago, new research by Euromonitor International has revealed.
Its analysis of the kingdom's population growth to 2030 also shows the number will hit 36.5 million by the end of the period under review, representing a near-40 percent rise compared to 2010.

Source: Reuters

06-12-11, 07:38 AM
Gold price cames down yesterday

It is 1718 US dollar per aunce at 5 AM this morning

December 6, 2011

06-12-11, 07:46 AM
2011 M&A activity in Middle East lowered

As a result of the dramatic events currently taking place across the Middle East, investment bankers across the region are now describing 2011 as "a year of anticipation", the "M&A Barometer - Special Situation Update" prepared by financial PR advisers M:Communications and business information provider Zawya, said Monday.
The report said the revised activity levels will now remain "flat to down" compared to 2010. In earlier predictions made as recently as January 2011, bankers predicted a 20 percent increase in M&A volumes.
Interviews with 12 of the regions leading investment bankers revealed that economic activity in 2011 will be highly disrupted.
A potential pick up in the latter half of the 2011 will be almost wholly dependent on the outcomes of the political upheavals across the region with some bankers feeling gloomy about regional M&A prospects for 2012 as well.
According to a majority of bankers, the previous estimate of an increase of 20 percent in M&A activity during 2011 no longer remains realistic.
However, although disruptive in the short term, there is general consensus that the political changes that have taken place over the past weeks will in the long term have positive effects on economic activity in the Middle East, the report noted.
As a result of the political unrest, bankers now expect to see increased government investments directed toward domestic economies in sectors such as infrastructure, healthcare and education. "This is regarded as a strategic move by regional governments in order to more effectively manage the expectations of national populations," it said.
Moreover, sovereign wealth funds are expected to revisit their investment strategies and redirect capital flow to investments within national and regional borders.
Despite the fact that Egypt has seen some of the most dramatic political events, bankers still believe that the Egyptian economy has the potential to see very high levels of economic activity once the situation stabilizes.
Other findings also showed that financial services is the sector most likely to suffer, mainly due to loss of credibility and confidence.

Source: Saudi Gazette

09-12-11, 10:16 PM
Gold price cames down yesterday

It is 1710 US dollar per aunce at 5 PM this evening

December 9, 2011

09-12-11, 10:20 PM
Saudi Prince Turki urges nuclear option after Iran

Former Saudi intelligence chief Prince Turki al-Faisal, voicing alarm about Iran's nuclear programme, has said the leadership should consider acquiring nuclear weapons to counter threats from Tehran, and from Israel.
The prince, seen as influential though no longer holding public office, noted that Israel is widely assumed to have a nuclear arsenal and that Iran, Riyadh's arch-rival in the Middle East, is believed by many to be developing such weaponry.
"If our efforts, and the efforts of the world community, fail to convince Israel to shed its weapons of mass destruction and to prevent Iran from obtaining similar weapons, we must, as a duty to our country and people, look into all options we are given, including obtaining these weapons ourselves," he told a conference in Riyadh on Monday.
The remarks were covered in the Saudi press on Tuesday.
Prince Turki has argued for a nuclear-free Middle East in previous speeches, but is now also pushing the idea that the conservative Islamic kingdom might enter an atomic arms race if Iran, its bitterest regional rival, became a nuclear power.
Few analysts believe Riyadh, the world's top oil exporter and a key ally for the United States, is likely to embark upon a weapons programme in defiance of US calls for restraint. But Turki's remarks signal the extent of concern over non-Arab Iran's military ambitions among Arab Gulf countries.
In his speeches, the prince has always repeated Saudi Arabia's official policy that the crisis over Iran's nuclear programme can only be solved through diplomacy and he has repeatedly warned against a military confrontation.
However, Turki has been more outspoken in public than other leading Saudis against what Riyadh sees as Iranian expansionism in the Middle East. US diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks showed the kingdom's leaders discreetly urging Washington to take stronger measures, including military action, against Iran.
In June, a British newspaper quoted Turki as telling NATO officials that Saudi Arabia would have to develop nuclear weapons if Iran, its adversary in a confrontation that opposes Shi'ite and Sunni Muslim forces, succeeded in acquiring them.
Iran, like Saudi Arabia a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), insists its nuclear programme is exclusively for generating electricity. It has suffered heavy sanctions from international powers demanding it halt activities that they believe are intended for military purposes.
Israel, which has a policy of neither confirming nor denying that it has nuclear weapons, says it would not sign up to a ban until there were a comprehensive regional peace that included Iran, Saudi Arabia and others. That is a position effectively endorsed by Washington, Israel's most important ally.
Saudi Arabia is estimated to spend as much as 10 percent of national income on its armed forces. It is also exploring the possibility of setting up its own nuclear power programme to reduce its consumption of oil, freeing up more crude for export.

Source: Arabian Business

09-12-11, 10:21 PM
Saudi buyers take to Twitter over Alshaya refund rules

Twitter users in Saudi Arabia have launched a social media backlash against Gulf retail giant M.H. Alshaya, after the company rolled out new rules to restrict cash refunds to customers.
Staff in five Alshaya stores in Dubai said in September that buyers returning faulty or unwanted goods could no longer receive cash or credit card refunds, but would instead receive store credit under new company-wide rules governing returns.
Buyers have 12 months to spend their store credit - but the ruling ensures money is kept within the conglomerates network of shops, which includes Debenhams, H&M and Topshop.
The policy appears to have been implemented in Saudi Arabia, where Twitter users are using the hashtag #noshaya to call for a boycott of the retailers stores until the policy is changed.
Its so sad that its funny that no one really cares that the Saudi consumer gets ripped off on a daily basis! said Tweeter @sara_alhaidar. I told the guy @H&M the policy was silly [and] he said management have their reasons! Really? Is it to make sure no SR [Saudi riyals] leave the register?
Other Tweeters flagged up how the big brand names owned by Alshaya in the Gulf, such as H&M, offered more favourable returns policies on their own, domestic websites.
A tweet from @Raiyola accused the firm of hiding behind a silly policy that is equal to theft.
In an emailed statement to Arabian Business, a spokesperson for Alshaya said:
"Customers returning faulty or damaged goods are entitled to a full cash refund within the specified period and with proof of purchase, and we always comply with local laws.
"All other refunds are credited onto the Alshaya Card to the full value of the purchase and can then be redeemed at any participating Alshaya outlet over the following 12 month period."
A report by Dubais consumer protection agency in June showed the majority of disputes between retailers and shoppers arise from refunds and exchanges.
According to the DED, complaints from consumers soared in the first quarter of 2011, with 2,900 shoppers registering complaints against retailers, up from 2,300 last year.
Alshaya manages more than 55 brands across the Middle East and operates 2,000 outlets in 15 countries. Brands include a range of household names such as Debenhams, H&M, The Body Shop, Starbucks, Boots, River Island, Oasis and Mothercare.


Source: Arabian Business

09-12-11, 10:22 PM
Redouble efforts to realize welfare goals: Naif

JEDDAH: Crown Prince Naif, deputy premier and minister of interior, has commended a comprehensive report prepared by the Makkah governorate highlighting the progress of development projects in the region during the period 2007-2010.
He said it was an important step on the road to activate the role of the Provincial Council and local councils in other areas.
"I would like you to double your efforts in achieving the aspirations of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah for the welfare and prosperity of all citizens," Prince Naif said in a cable to Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal.
He thanked Prince Khaled and all those who participated in the preparation and compilation of the report and said it contained detailed information about development projects in Makkah.
Prince Naif chaired a meeting of the Makkah Provincial Council on June 19, where he witnessed a presentation on the implementation of the development projects in the region. The presentation included information about delayed projects, the reasons behind the delay, and means of rectifying it.
Prince Khaled had asked Abdul Aziz Al-Khodairy, undersecretary at the governorate, to lead a work team consisting of 1,700 people to carefully study the implementation of the projects during the first phase of his tenure. The team consisted of representatives from the government and private sector in addition to civil society organizations, university teachers and qualified young men and women.
The report also revealed the future development projects that will focus on the development of human resources in the province during the next four years. It said a center for the follow-up of projects would be established at the governorate in addition to a permanent team consisting mainly of Saudi citizens.
According to the report, a total of 3,600 projects were scrutinized to check whether they were being implemented perfectly or delayed. It said there were 880 municipal projects constituting about 39 percent of the total number of projects followed by the educational sector, which had 469 projects with a ratio of 21 percent.
According to the report, there were 238 service projects, 233 health projects, 114 basic infrastructure projects, 60 transport and 44 economic projects.
The report said the execution of 319 projects, worth SR44 billion and representing about 13 percent, was delayed, while work on about 5 percent of the projects valued at SR600 million was halted. It said most of the unfinished projects were in the sectors of health and education.


Source: Arab News

09-12-11, 10:23 PM
Saudi Arabia makes gas discovery in Empty Quarter

Saudi oil minister Ali al-Naimi has revealed commercially viable quantities of natural gas have been discovered in the Red Sea and Empty Quarter, but ruled out plans to immediately start production, Reuters has reported. "Although we continue to explore the kingdom's oil and gas potential and resources, this does not mean we will immediately start production from the newly discovered fields, it only means determining resources available in the kingdom for future use when needed," according to a speech read by Naimi's advisor Ibrahim Muhanna in Riyadh.
Source: Ame Info

09-12-11, 10:24 PM
Saudi Arabia could export power when nuclear reactors are built

King Abdullah City of Atomic and Renewable Energy (KACARE) has said Saudi Arabia may export electricity to its neighbours after building nuclear reactors planned over the next 20 years, Bloomberg has reported. "We are not ruling that out, once our nuclear project is complete and we have satisfied the kingdom's demand for electricity," Khalid Al-Sulaiman, vice president of renewable energy at KACARE said at a forum in Jeddah.
Source: AME Info

09-12-11, 10:25 PM
Saudi to set up real estate authority soon

The Saudi cabinet is considering setting up a special authority to oversee the real estate sector in the kingdom, Saudi Gazette has reported. The proposed authority is to define the rules and responsibilities governing the sector's activities. The demand for housing in the country is among the highest in the world because of the wide gap between supply and demand in the real estate market. It is expected that SR1.3trn will be injected in the real estate sector in the kingdom during the next 10 years in order to secure over two million residential units.
Source: AME Info

11-12-11, 08:28 PM
Tadawul bourse 'takes a break' ends flat

Ahead of the new trading week in the West, starting on Monday, Saudi investors left the Tadawul market index Tasi unchanged at 6,169.23 points. Sabic dipped half a per cent to SR93.25. In line with the market, the largest Islamic bank Al-Rajhi Bank ended flat at SR68.50. According to the DIFC weekly economic commentary, "The Saudi banking system will be able to comply with Basel III regulatory and compliance requirements, given the current supervision environment,' as the commentary quotes Dr. Abdurrahman A. Al-Hamidy, Deputy Governor of the Saudi Arabia Monetary Agency.

Source: Ame Info

11-12-11, 08:30 PM
Saudi's Extra set for share sale in gloomy IPO market

Saudi Arabia is set for its worst IPO year since 2004 after political unrest and the global economic slowdown crimped companies expansion plans.
Todays sale by United Electronics Co wont change that.
The share sale by the electronics retailer, also known as eXtra, is the fourth this year after Saudi Integrated Telecom Co, United Wire Factories Co and Hail Cement Co. raised a combined $312m. Companies in Saudi Arabia sold shares valued at $655m last year compared with $9.6bn in 2008.
Political uprisings that ousted leaders in Tunisia and Egypt and investor concern that global growth is faltering hurt regional financial markets in 2011. Saudi Arabias Tadawul is down 6.8 percent this year compared with a 4.9 percent gain in the same period in 2010.
You wouldnt see a lot of people willing to sell their companies at low valuations even if the local economy is doing well, said Fadi al Said, head of equities at ING Investment Management (Dubai). Investors are being deterred by risk aversion and uncertainty in global economies, he said.
The six-member Gulf Cooperation Council, comprising Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, generated $219m from two IPOs in the third quarter, according to PwC Capital Markets Middle East. By contrast, the pace of IPOs in Europe has remained relatively stable despite the market turmoil, with 121 share sales raising $12.7bn in the period, PwC said in a report dated Nov 20.
Debt restructuring in the Middle East also dented investor confidence and slowed transactions. Saudi Arabias Saad and Algosaibi business groups defaulted on at least $15.7bn of loans in 2009 and Dubai World roiled global markets after seeking to delay payments on $25bn of debt.
Debt restructuring was an ongoing theme since the initial crisis back in 2008 and 2009, and obviously didnt help matters, said Shehzad Janab, the head of asset management at Dubai-based Daman Investments. Depressed valuations in the market is not exactly the best of times to be selling equity, which by definition is the costliest form of raising finance.
Regional companies that delayed share sales this year include Qatar Airways, the Middle Easts second-biggest carrier. Topaz Energy & Marine, a Dubai-based oil and gas services provider, pulled an IPO in London, citing market conditions.
Still, Saudi Arabia has outperformed the Gulf in share sales in 2011. The kingdoms economy may expand 7.5 percent this year, almost double last years pace, the International Monetary Fund said in April. Protests earlier this year in the eastern Shiite region failed to gain traction after King Abdullah announced a $130bn plan to build homes and create jobs.
You wouldnt see a lot of people willing to sell their companies at low valuations even if the local economy is doing well, said Fadi al Said, head of equities at ING Investment Management (Dubai). Investors are being deterred by risk aversion and uncertainty in global economies, he said.
The six-member Gulf Cooperation Council, comprising Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, generated $219m from two IPOs in the third quarter, according to PwC Capital Markets Middle East. By contrast, the pace of IPOs in Europe has remained relatively stable despite the market turmoil, with 121 share sales raising $12.7bn in the period, PwC said in a report dated Nov 20.
Debt restructuring in the Middle East also dented investor confidence and slowed transactions. Saudi Arabias Saad and Algosaibi business groups defaulted on at least $15.7bn of loans in 2009 and Dubai World roiled global markets after seeking to delay payments on $25bn of debt.
Debt restructuring was an ongoing theme since the initial crisis back in 2008 and 2009, and obviously didnt help matters, said Shehzad Janab, the head of asset management at Dubai-based Daman Investments. Depressed valuations in the market is not exactly the best of times to be selling equity, which by definition is the costliest form of raising finance.
Regional companies that delayed share sales this year include Qatar Airways, the Middle Easts second-biggest carrier. Topaz Energy & Marine, a Dubai-based oil and gas services provider, pulled an IPO in London, citing market conditions.
Still, Saudi Arabia has outperformed the Gulf in share sales in 2011. The kingdoms economy may expand 7.5 percent this year, almost double last years pace, the International Monetary Fund said in April. Protests earlier this year in the eastern Shiite region failed to gain traction after King Abdullah announced a $130bn plan to build homes and create jobs.
The plans of more Saudi companies to sell shares may hinge on the performance of eXtra. HSBC Holdings is managing the sale of 7.2 million shares, which have been priced at SR55 after an institutional book-building process and will open to the public today.
Saudi Integrated has surged 42 percent since it started trading June, while Hail Cement gained 16 percent and United Wire Factories, a metal-wire producer that began trading in August, advanced 11 percent.
Saudi Enaya Cooperative Insurance Co seeks to offer shares from Dec. 19, while Najran Cement Co. may sell stock in the first quarter. ACWA Power International, a Saudi investor in utilities, plans an IPO by 2013.
There are many family offices who in light of the global crisis prefer to refocus on their core business and avoid dilution, said Ahmed Talhaoui, head of asset management at Abu Dhabi-based Royal Capital.

Source: Bloomberg

11-12-11, 08:32 PM
Saudi media industry opening up, says Al Watan boss

Saudi Arabia's media environment is growing more open despite changes to press laws that have been criticised as restrictive by international rights groups, the prince who runs a leading pro-reform Saudi newspaper said on Sunday.
"The laws with respect to media have been in evolution for the past 40-odd years and just in the 10 years that I've been involved in this industry I've seen it move forward tremendously," Prince Bandar bin Khaled al-Faisal, who is chairman of the daily Al Watan newspaper, said.
Watan is seen by analysts as being towards the progressive end of the kingdom's media spectrum, featuring editorials that broadly support economic and social reforms pushed by King Abdullah and sometimes challenge conservative thinking.
Amnesty International said last week in a report that the world's top oil exporter was cracking down on freedom of expression in the wake of uprisings across the Arab world.
The report cited changes announced in April, when state news agency SPA reported that publications that jeopardised national stability or offended clerics faced fines or even closure under a royal decree.
"The media is severely constrained and those who express dissent face arrest and imprisonment, whether political critics, bloggers or academics," said the report, which also criticised a draft of an anti-terrorism law leaked to the press in June.
The Saudi embassy in London said Amnesty's report was based on inaccurate information.
A 2009 US diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks said the kingdom's press had grown steadily bolder over the past decade, thanks partly to Abdullah's efforts to push media owners to report more openly on social issues.
Prince Bandar, a son of the governor of Mecca Province and a great-nephew of King Abdullah, said he believed there was no campaign under way to clamp down on media.
"What you need to focus on is what is approved and what is implemented. And if you look at the track record over the past four or so decades, every single (change) that comes in has been a refinement in my point of view that has been positive," he told Reuters in Dubai.
"I have no reason to suspect it would go in any other direction and, honestly, you can't take it in any other direction."

Source: Reuters

11-12-11, 09:42 PM
Work begins in on giant power plant project in Saudi Arabia

Saudi water and power project developer Acwa Power has announced commencement of work on the world's largest independent power generation project in Qurayyah on the eastern coast of the kingdom. The project will deliver 3,927 MW of electricity to state-controlled Saudi Electricity Co (SEC) under a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) commencing on June 30, 2014. Once completed, the plant will be operated by The First National Operation and Maintenance Co (Nomac), a subsidiary of ACWA Power, under a long-term operation and maintenance contract, with Siemens providing parts and services for the gas turbines.

Source: Ame Info

11-12-11, 09:43 PM
Saudi looks to tourism to creat 230,000 jobs over next five years

The Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA) has said the country's tourism sector is expected to offer 230,000 job opportunities to Saudis over the next five years, Arab News has reported. "The tourism sector has achieved 26% Saudization which is higher than the achievement of any other sector in the kingdom," SCTA president, Prince Sultan bin Salman said.

Source: Arab News

11-12-11, 09:44 PM
FAMCO acquires Volvo equipment dealership in Saudi Arabia

Dubai Al Futtaim Auto and Machinery Co (FAMCO), the Al Futtaim Groups distributor of commercial vehicles and industrial equipment, has announced the acquisition of 100 per cent shareholding of Al Rehab Equipment and Machinery Company in Saudi Arabia, the exclusive distributor for Volvo Construction Equipment in the kingdom.
Support was provided by Emirates Investment Bank in Dubai, acting as financial advisers to the buyer.
FAMCO, which is already the Volvo Construction Equipment distributor for the UAE, has made this move as part of its wider regional expansion programme. FAMCOs entry into Saudi Arabia will position the construction equipment distributor to play a significant role in the kingdoms infrastructure development.
The acquisition will extend FAMCOs reach in Saudi Arabia across five locations, with the main branch in Jeddah.
New standards
Len Hunt, President of Al Futtaim Automotive said: FAMCO already has an enviable reputation in the region, but this has come solely from its development in the UAE. Now it has the opportunity to take its excellent standards to a new audience.
Volvo Construction Equipment awarded FAMCO with its Silver Partnership award last May recognising the high dealer standards in the organisation. Jonas Gardetun, Vice-President, said, We are looking forward to working with FAMCO in Saudi Arabia, as we look to grow and increase our market share in what is a rapidly expanding market.
Paul Floyd, Managing Director of FAMCO said, We are known in the UAE as a company that takes pride in working closely with fleet operators, providing high levels of customer service and expert advice. Now we can bring these qualities to the Saudi market where we believe we have much to offer.

Source: Gulf News

11-12-11, 10:01 PM
Saudi Arabia responds to Canada in kind, slows down in visa processing

JEDDAH: The Kingdom's decision to apply equal treatment to Canadians requesting visit visas to Saudi Arabia has taken its toll on the country.
The Canadians will now have to wait for 30 to 45 days to get their passports stamped with a Saudi visa while in the past they used to get the entry visas in a matter of hours, local daily Al-Watan reported Thursday, quoting Canadian magazine "Embassy."
A manager of a Canadian company that processes entry visas to Saudi Arabia said the Saudi decision to delay the granting of entry visas to Canadians has made things more complicated.
"In the past, we used to deliver the passports to the Saudi Embassy at about 10 a.m. and get them back stamped with the visa at about 2 p.m. Now we have to wait for five to six weeks to obtain the Saudi visa," he said.
Saudi Arabia implemented the new visa policy in September. Canada used to grant Saudi citizens entry visas on the spot, but when it decided to increase its turnaround times, the Kingdom replied in kind.
The magazine said the Saudi Ambassador to Canada Osama bin Hamad Al-Sanousi had been liaising with the department of migration in Canada to ease the granting of entry visas to the Saudi citizens but to no avail.

Source: Arab News

12-12-11, 02:10 PM
Gold price came down

It is 1691 US dollar per aunce at 8:35 AM this morning as of Riyadh time

December 12, 2011

12-12-11, 02:13 PM
Haia's intent on improving its image

JEDDAH: The Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (Haia) has said it was intending on promoting the communication skills of its members with a view to improving their behavior so as to be able to clear the negative perspective especially with the youth.
Concluding its seventh annual meeting in Tabuk on Thursday, the Haia said it would take into account the social, cultural and technical changes that have taken place in the Saudi society when dealing with the citizens.
Directors of branch offices and main departments of the Haia participated in the meeting that was held under the sponsorship of the Tabuk Gov. Prince Fahd bin Sultan.
President of the Haia Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Humain Al-Humain attended the meeting which was held under the title: The Haia and the Society.
The meeting discussed two main issues, which were: The relationship between the Haia and the society and the enhancement of its performance.
A number of working papers dealing with the two issues were discussed after which a number of recommendations were issued with a view to creating a positive image of the Haia.
Among others, the recommendations included:
The need to use modern communications means in Haias activities.
The enhancement of ties with various civic societies.
The participation in public events, festivals and conferences so as to ensure communications with all the sectors of the society.
Highlighting the achievements of Haia in favor of the society.
Praising the media for contributing to strengthening ties between the Haia and the society.
The scientific committee of the meeting will be studying all working papers and the recommendations with a view to strengthen ties between the Haia and the society.

Source: Arab News

12-12-11, 02:14 PM
Body needed to tackle child abuse

JEDDAH: There are calls to set up a commission to protect children and unify the efforts of all authorities combating rising numbers of child abuse cases across the Kingdom. There are at least 10 departments that deal with such incidents.
The Ministry of Social Affairs has set up a telephone hot line (Tel. 1919) to handle calls about family abuse. Its general administration for social protection aims to quickly resolve cases involving potential victims of abuse in collaboration with related departments.
Studies conducted by the ministry attributed the rise in the number of abuse cases to the increasing number of divorces and quarrels between parents as well as poverty and lack of awareness.
A solution recommended by the study is to remove an abused child from his or her family.
However, Princess Muneerah bint Abdul Rahman recommended after conducting a study on the issue that close coordination was needed between police and departments responsible for protecting childrens interests such as hospitals, schools and childrens homes.
She also stressed the need for regulations to help deal with such situations with clear definitions of what child abuse is.
Islamic teachings basically banned violence to children, but if a child commits a serious crime he should be punished only in a controlled manner and after educating him, legal and psychology consultant Saleh Al-Lehaidan told Al-Madinah daily.
He attributed incidents of child abuse to parents ignorance of the fundamentals of child care, absence of a role model in the family, issues related with divorce and reacting to a childs mistake without thinking, among others.
Judge at a Qatif court Matraf Al-Bashar said issues of child abuse mostly come to the court as part of disputes between couples. The judge also noted that some fathers abused their daughters sexually.
We have observed that drug addiction is sometimes caused by sexual harassment from fathers and in such cases child custody is granted to mothers, he added.
Sociologist Adil Al-Malki, who demanded stern action against child abusers, said a victim of child abuse is influenced by such painful memories. That is why we find most child abusers suffered abuse themselves in their childhoods, Al-Malki said, adding that there should be a commission to take care of children.
An official source at the National Family Security Program said the program planned to set up child protection centers attached to health departments and prepare a nationwide electronic register to record all child abuse cases reported in hospitals and link them to a center at the King Faisal Specialist Hospital in Riyadh. The center will link up with related committees of the Social Affairs department, the source said.
The source added that 15 cases of suspected serious child violence were registered in hospitals in 2010. The records showed that 80 percent of them died because of severe head injuries. The explanations given by parents in these cases were identical. They said the children either fell from their beds or down the stairs. However, the source stressed the need to conduct detailed investigations into the cases.
Sociologist Al-Hanouf Al-Dossary said neglecting childrens education was a worse abuse than the physical kind. He said the failure of a father to obtain the mandatory national identity card for his son or daughter causes a lot of difficulties to the child, including being unable to take advantage of school education.
Meanwhile, member of Shoura Council Talal Bakri said the council passed a child abuse bill and submitted it for approval to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah three months ago.
The bill bans child labor besides guaranteeing a childs right to national identity documents, compulsory education and protection from family abuse. He added that the council is currently considering a bill for the comprehensive protection of a family from physical, sexual, psychological and other forms of abuse.

Source: Arab News

12-12-11, 02:16 PM
Saudi to green light some foreign ownership of stocks

Saudi Arabia's plans to open up its stock market will limit direct foreign ownership to investors with at least $5bn under management and allow each to hold a maximum 5 percent of a stock's issued share capital, two industry sources said.
Saudi Arabia's Capital Market Authority (CMA) and Tadawul, the largest Arab bourse, have indicated to market participants the details of the proposed framework of foreign ownership.
Total direct ownership of each stock would not be allowed to exceed 20 percent of the issued share capital, a source familiar with the matter said.
Currently, foreigners have only very limited opportunities to invest through indirect ownership and exchange traded funds that track indexes.
Under the new framework, total foreign investment in a listed firm, including swap notes, non-Gulf Arab foreigners and expatriates in Saudi Arabia, will not be allowed to exceed 49 percent, the source added.
"The market operator has highlighted some issues for foreign investor trading," the source said.
"The main problem is how the custody landscape will look like. Tadawul is proposing three custody models to facilitate it." The types of models are currently confidential.
The source also said that there is still no indication of how much the fees or commissions for trading would be.
Saudi Arabia has been considering a wider opening of its market for several years.
The chief executive of the kingdom's exchange, Abdullah al Suweilmy, told reporters earlier this week that it has yet to finalise a timeframe for when it would open up its market, but industry sources say it could happen as early as mid to late first quarter of 2012.
CMA was not immediately available to comment when contacted by Reuters.

Source: Reuters

12-12-11, 02:18 PM
Saudi market adances after Euro zone tightens fiscal discipline

The Saudi Tadawul bourse closed 0.89% higher at 6,302.84 points. Bellwether shares Sabic climbed to a six-week high, finishing at SR97.50 (up 1.36%). Shares of Wataniya Insurance Company declined 4.10% to SR64.25.

Source: Ame Info

12-12-11, 02:19 PM
Saudi Arabia to build 30 new electricity plants in 10 years

Ali Al-Barrak, CEO of the Saudi Electricity Co (SEC) has said the government plans to build at least 30 electricity plants over the next 10 years, Saudi Gazette has reported. "The plan is to create stiffer competition between companies. This will ensure competitive prices and better execution of the future projects," he said.

Source: Saudi Gazette

12-12-11, 02:20 PM
Indian firm cancels Saudi crude deal

India's Essar Oil has decided to cancel its annual term crude deal with Saudi Arabia from 2012, as the refiner is not getting the grades it wants, Reuters has reported, citing a source with direct knowledge of the deal. Essar has an agreement to import 20,000 barrels per day (bpd) oil from the kingdom. "Essar wanted Arab Medium and Arab Heavy grades while Saudi Aramco was offering Arab Super Light and Arab Extra Light," the source said. "As the volumes are less, so Essar decided against renewing the deal for next year."

Source: Reuters

12-12-11, 02:22 PM
SR 13b unspent in Saudi due to delayed public projects

The Saudi General Auditing Bureau has said the government has returned a total of SR13bn to the treasury because of 555 delayed service projects across the country, Saudi Gazette has reported. The contracts of 472 of the projects had inadequate technical specifications and poor financial potential, GAB said. In addition, the responsible government agencies had failed to provide proper oversight over the public contracts and procurement system, the report said.

Source: Saudi Gazette

12-12-11, 02:23 PM
Saudi commission wants to shut down erring hotels

The Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA) has sent official letters to the Civil Defence, Police Department and Saudi Electricity Co to help it enforce orders to shut down hotels and furnished apartments that violate safety requirements and pose dangers to guests, Saudi Gazette has reported. "We found some hotels and furnished apartments that were in violation of safety requirements, besides they did not have licenses to operate the business," Ahmad Al-Issa, director of the licenses and quality department at SCTA, said. The violators should be penalized because the SCTA takes compliance with safety requirements very seriously. We need the help of several governmental agencies to enforce the law."

Source: Saudi Gazette