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Issue : June 2005

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  • Khartoum bombs Eastern rebelsSubscription

    News24 June, 2005

    The Sudanese airforce dropped bombs on rebel positions in eastern Sudan for the second day running on 24 June, a spokesman for the Eastern Front rebel group reported. Salah Barqueen said the bombings occurred in the Barka Valley near the town of Tokar, south of Port Sudan on the Red Sea. 'They are using the same [means] as they used in Darfur,' Barqueen said in reference to the conflict between rebel factions and Khartoum there. 'Still the bombing is going on. You know why this happened ...

  • Settler anarchy in Gaza likelySubscription

    News24 June, 2005

    Israel's attorney-general Menachem Mazuz warned on 24 June of anarchy when Tel Aviv withdraws from Gaza. 'The transition from violent protest to complete anarchy could be not only quick, but completely uncontrollable,' Mazuz said in an interview published in Israeli Makor Rishon newspaper. Mazuz said he understood the feelings of Israeli settlers forcibly evacuated from their homes but hoped protesters 'realise when they are going to far'. 'These are people whose world has been destroyed,' ...

  • Damascus wants to mend relations with BaghdadSubscription

    News24 June, 2005

    Syrian Foreign Affairs Minister Farouq al-Shara called on 23 June for a new era in Syria-Iraq relations. Damascus is 'ready to co-operate and open a new page with Iraq,' Al-Shara said. He questioned Washington's claims that foreign fighters crossed into Iraq from Syria to participate in the insurgency. 'We want to confirm by words and deeds how accurate these accusations are and what solutions can be found,' he said. Damascus will ask Baghdad for documents and evidence on insurgent ...

  • Islamic Malaysia Index to attract Gulf investmentSubscription

    News24 June, 2005

    Malaysia's RHB Securities and Dow Jones Indexes launched the Islamic Malaysia Index on 23 June to draw investment from GCC states. The Kuala Lumpur Sharia Index already operates in Malaysia, but the new listing meets Gulf nations' interpretation of Islamic financial law, Lebanon's Daily Star reported. '[Kuala Lumpur] is going to be the springboard for Gulf money for not only here, but into the region,' said Rushdi Siddiqui, global director of the Dow Jones Islamic Index Group.Siddiqui ...

  • Mikati announces economic planSubscription

    News24 June, 2005

    Interim Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati said on 23 June that the new government should take advantage of international support to implement economic reform. Internal political disagreements have contributed to the failure of several reform strategies, he said, including the Paris II agreement. 'The country's economic development is hampered by political conflicts and its politicians' desires to serve their own interests at the expanse of national ones,' he said.Mikati ...

  • Jaafari wants US troops to leave IraqSubscription

    News24 June, 2005

    Iraqi's Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari wants US troops to leave Iraq, but would not set a date for the withdrawal, US daily the Washington Post reported on 24 June. Jaafari was in Washington for talks with US President Bush.'We would like to see the withdrawal of American forces as quickly as possible, because the presence of any foreign troops on our land means there is a weakness and we cannot by ourselves control the security situation,' Jaafari said. He said he ...

  • Oil price hits record high but demand stays strongSubscription

    News24 June, 2005

    The oil price spiked to nearly $60 a barrel on 24 June, almost 40 per cent higher than prices at the beginning of 2005. US crude futures hit $59.88 a barrel and London Brent crude rose to $58.39 a barrel but demand for oil remained strong. Tight refining capacity is likely to sustain the price. Distillate demand was almost 7 per cent higher than a year ago, while the demand for gasoline was up 2.5 per cent on 2004.OPEC president Sheikh Ahmad al-Fahad al-Sabah said on ...

  • Big budget, grand ideasSubscription

    Analysis (Features)24 June, 2005

    With high oil prices set to maintain the Gulf's economic boom for the foreseeable future, governments find themselves grappling with the challenge of providing the infrastructure needed to sustain this growth. Nowhere is this challenge more pronounced than in Qatar, whose enormous gas reserves have underpinned economic growth of 20 per cent in each of the past two years.

  • The wings and the spearSubscription

    Analysis (Features)24 June, 2005

    Few investment banks have websites detailing the history of thoroughbred horses. The site of recently created Unicorn Investment Bank (UIB) is an exception, helpfully informing visitors that all such animals are descended from three lines of Arabian stallions, brought to Europe from the Middle East in the seventeenth century. Customers of the debut full-service international Islamic bank seeking sharia-compliant finance are set to become increasingly familiar with the mythical beasts.

  • Pets deals approach marketSubscription

    News24 June, 2005

    The market sounding exercise concluded on 17 June for the financing of the Rabigh integrated refining and petrochemicals development, a 50:50 joint venture between Saudi Aramcoand Japan's Sumitomo Chemical Company, with early indications suggesting that the sponsors received a strong response. The overall size of the debt package is likely to be about $5,500 million, reflecting engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) costs increases, which have pushed the price tag ...

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