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MEED
November 1999

View all stories from this issue.

  • Afghanistan may come under UN sanctions

    UN sanctions against Afghanistan seemed set to start on 14 November after the failure in early November of the Taleban Islamist movement ruling the country and the US to agree on the extradition of Saudi-born terrorism suspect Osama Binladin. As a first step, the Taleban's Ariana airline will be barred from foreign airports.
  • AIRPORTS: Pressure on capacity drives expansion

    SPECIAL REPORT AEROSPACE
  • AIRPORTS: Pressure on capacity drives expansion

    IN late November, the Gulf's newest airport will receive its first passengers. Located 50 kilometres northwest of Dammam, King Fahd International Airport (KFIA) is the new gateway to eastern Saudi Arabia and is ready to go with an initial capacity for 4 million passengers a year, although it could be expanded to handle up to 4 million.
  • Al-Ahli sets up financial consultancy joint venture

    Bahrain's Al-Ahli Commercial Bank has set up a 50:50 joint venture with Brisbane-based Infrastructure Project Group (IPG) that will provide financial consultancy services in the Middle East. The Bahrain-based venture,Al-Ahli Infrastructure Group, will target privatisation programmes and large private sector firms considering public offerings.
  • ALGERIA: Alenia Marconisigns airport deal

    NEWS
  • ALGERIA: Alenia Marconisigns airport deal

    Airport authority Entreprise Nationale de Navigation Aerienne (ENNA) has signed a AD 5,000 million ($74.3 million) agreement with Alenia Marconi Systems to supply five radar stations to local airports.
  • ALGERIA: BHP Petroleum closeto deal with Sonatrach

    NEWS
  • ALGERIA: BHP Petroleum closeto deal with Sonatrach

    State energy company Sonatrach and Australia's BHP Petroleum are in negotiations over a contract to develop the Ohanet oil field, a BHP spokesman confirmed on 2 November.
  • ALGERIA: Bids in for Oughroudoil development

    NEWS
  • ALGERIA: Bids in for Oughroudoil development

    Five companies and groups submitted technical bids by the 10 November deadline for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract on the Oughroud oil field development project.
  • ALGERIA: IN BRIEF

    Amerada Hess of the US has confirmed that it is in discussions with state energy firm Sonatrach over a contract for enhanced oil recovery in the El-Gassi field. 'We are very interested in the contract and are working on it,' a spokesman said. The deal is expected to be signed by the end of the year, and forms part of the government's drive to attract foreign companies back into the oil and gas sector, which market sources expect will also involve an improvement in the production-sharing terms
  • ALGERIA: IN BRIEF

    NEWS
  • ALGERIA: IN BRIEF

    NEWS
  • ALGERIA: IN BRIEF

    Opportunities for private investment in the power sector were on the agenda during President Bouteflika's visit to Italy from15-18 November, his first visit to an EU country since his election in April. Bouteflika and members of his delegation, including Energy Minister Youssef Yousfi, were reported to have met with officials of Italy's flagship energy company Eni, which has interests in the North, Southwest and West Bir Rebaa oil fields.
  • Al-Khalifa to head the BMA

    Sheikh Abdulla Bin Khalifa al-Khalifa was on 7 November appointed governor of the Bahrain Monetary Agency (BMA - central bank). He had been the acting governor since the previous governor, Abdullah Saif, was appointed Finance & National Economy Minister in a cabinet reshuffle on 31 May (MEED 11:6:99). Prior to that, Sheikh Abdulla served as the deputy governor at the BMA.
  • Al-Khalifa to head the BMA

    FINANCE
  • All for one and one for all

    'It does not make any sense for RasGas and Qatargas to compete,' says RasGas managing director Neil Kelly. 'We are Qatar LNG as opposed to two separate companies.' Full integration may be many years away but plans are afoot to pull the two companies closer together, both physically and commercially.
  • All for one and one for all

    COVER STORY
  • All set in the UAE

    The establishment of an official UAE stock market took a leap forward on 8 November after the federal cabinet approved a draft 42-article capital markets law, now to be endorsed by presidential decree. Once enacted, the legislation will allow Dubai's newly-built trading floor, located at the World Trade Centre, to open for business. In Abu Dhabi, a committee -comprising officials from the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Abu Dhabi Free Zone Authority and the Abu Dhabi Finance Departm
  • AL-ZAMIL: Pioneer looks far beyondthe family

    FROM his downtown Riyadh vantage point, Al-Zamil Group chairman Abdulrahman al-Zamil appears an unlikely revolutionary. Yet as the head of a major family-owned business in Saudi Arabia seeking to go public, his impact on the business culture of the Gulf is potentially immense. 'History has shown our group to be pioneers,' he says. 'But this is the only way forward. Many family firms have contacted me for advice and I urge them all to think very seriously about going public.'
  • Arafat and BG shake on gas deal

    Palestinian Authority chairman Yasser Arafat visited London on 9 November to ratify an agreement with BG International for oil and gas exploration off the coast of the Gaza Strip (MEED 12:11:99). The agreement was signed for BG International by president and executive director Frank Chapman. At least two exploration wells are to be drilled in the first 18 months. 'Based upon successful exploration and market development, BG International and partner Consolidated Contractors International Comp
  • Arafat, Barak set deadline for peace deal

    Israeli and Palestinian negotiators were due to start meetings from 8 November to agree a framework peace deal by mid-February. The two sides set the deadline at a summit meeting between their leaders and US President Clinton in Oslo on 2 November.
  • BAHRAIN

    NEWS
  • BAHRAIN

    Aluminium Bahrain (Alba) is due to receive bids by the end of November from several international companies for the masterplan and detailed feasibility study for the expansion of its smelter. Company officials say a consultant is expected to be selected by early next year for the estimated $1,000 million expansion, calling for a50 per cent increase in production capacity to 750,000 tonnes a year (t/y) from the existing 500,000 t/y. The masterplan will take 12 months to complete. Initial feasi
  • BAHRAIN

    SPECIAL REPORT TELECOMS
  • BAHRAIN

    THE provision of good telecommunications is a key ingredient in Bahrain's continued status as the financial centre of the Gulf. The government-controlled Bahrain Telecommunications Company (Batelco) holds sway over the market, which despite being small has shown a healthy demand for new and expanded services.
  • BAHRAIN

    NEWS
  • BAHRAIN

    NEWS
  • BAHRAIN

    Net profits at Bahrain Telecommunications Company (Batelco) rose by 14 per cent to BD 35.6 million ($93.7 million) in the first nine months of 1999 compared with the corresponding period of the previous year. Gross revenue went up by 8 per cent to BD 102 million ($268.4 million). 'During 1999, mobile telephony has witnessed a number of major developments, with the network capacity currently upgraded to 130,000 lines, work is in progress to increase capacity to 150,000 lines by the end of the
  • BAHRAIN: Dallah Albaraka toinvest in tourist resort

    The government on 9 November signed an agreement with Dallah Real Estate & Tourism Development Company, part of Saudi Arabia's Dallah Albaraka Group, to develop a tourism project along the southern coast of the Gulf. The project, Bahrain Gulf Pearl, will be set up as a 50:50 joint venture.
  • BAHRAIN: Dallah Albaraka toinvest in tourist resort

    NEWS
  • BAHRAIN: IN BRIEF

    NEWS
  • BAHRAIN: IN BRIEF

    The board of directors of Bahrain Maritime & Mercantile International (BMMI) has approved the acquisition of the company's 48 per cent stake, owned by Inchcape Marketing Services Middle East. BMMI has bought 31.4 million shares forBD 12.5 million ($32.9 million) from Dubai-based Cupola Group. 'In two to three weeks time, the company will be completely owned by Bahraini shareholders,' BMMI chairman Khalid Almoayed said. Existing shareholders will be offered 12 shares for each 13 shares held by
  • Banks pile in for Omangas pipeline loans

    Eighteen leading international and regional banks are working on financing proposals for the estimated $580 million Sohar and Salalah gas pipeline projects in Oman. The banks are working with the seven groups of international contractors that submitted technical bids for the project in October. The client is Oman Gas Company, which is being advised by HSBC. The commercial bids, including the financing proposals, are to be submitted by 12 December (MEED 29:10:99, Oman).
  • Banks queue up to enter Egypt

    FINANCE
  • Barclays sets up Islamic fund

    FINANCE
  • Beirut brightens

    The Beirut Stock Exchange (BSE) perked up after new chairman Fadi Khalaf officially took office on 11 November. Outgoing chairman Gabriel Sehnaoui said at a conference presided over by Finance Minister George Corm that his board had worked hard to turn the bourse around and put Beirut on the financial map. 'Five years ago, we took over a bourse with no headquarters, no trading, no brokerage firms or any resemblance of a bourse...The board started from scratch and now we're giving you an up-an
  • Beirut proposes Med-Gulf rail link

    Arab governments are discussing a proposal to create a rail link between Beirut and Dubai, to improve trade links between the Mediterranean and the Gulf, according to Elie Zakhour, chairman of the Lebanese international chamber of freight. He told a 3 November Arab transport conference in North Lebanon that such a link would enable vessels from Europe and the US to access the Gulf much more quickly than at present, and would give Beirut the status of a regional hub port.
  • Ben Ali promises better times

    TUNISIA
  • BUSINESS JETS: Boom timeas demand accelerates

    SPECIAL REPORT AEROSPACE
  • BUSINESS JETS: Boom timeas demand accelerates

    THERE IS one sure-fire way of determining the strength of the global business aircraft market: look for the emergence of exotic new high-technology business jet projects from serious aerospace companies.
  • Calm after the storm

    SPECIAL REPORT PETROCHEMICALS
  • Calm after the storm

    There is a tentative air of optimism over the prospects of the Middle East petrochemicals industry, and confidence is beginning to return after a tough 18 months. '1999 is far from being a vintage year,' says Florent Chevrier of Trichem Consultants. 'But things are looking a lot better than they were six months ago.'
  • Caspian project in doubt despite Istanbul deal

    Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey signed an agreement on 19 November apparently clearing the way for an oil export pipeline route from the Caspian Sea. However, within days of signing the deal, Kazakh President Nazarbayev said his country could not guarantee to supply the amount of crude considered necessary to make the project viable.
  • Damage limitation

    COVER STORY
  • Damage limitation

    TACKLING the budget deficit and the huge public debt burden inherited from the previous government has been the key priority for Finance Minister George Corm. Total public debt was equivalent to 113 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 1998, and the budget deficit for the year was 42 per cent of expenditure.
  • DEMAND: Region setto expand dramatically

    SPECIAL REPORT AEROSPACE
  • DEMAND: Region setto expand dramatically

    IN the fiercely competitive world of commercial aircraft manufacturing, the two industry giants, European consortium Airbus Industrie and The Boeing Company of the US, rarely have a kind word for each other. For years they have traded claim and counter-claim about market share, new orders and actual sales. But on one issue, at least, they do see eye to eye.
  • Dubai 2000 air show: the deals

    CONTRACTS totalling more than $350 million were announced on the first four days of the Dubai 2000 aerospace exhibition held from14-18 November. Business jet orders dominated proceedings, with the US' Raytheon Aircraft winning the largest, a $170 million contract from Saudi Arabia's National Air Service (NAS). With the exception of Dubai-based airline Emirates, which took on lease a fourth Boeing 777-300, none of the regional carriers announced any new orders. Over 500 companies drawn from 30
  • Dubai 2000 air show: the deals

    NEWS
  • ECONOMY: Oil drives a return to growth

    SAUDI Arabia can take some satisfaction that the gloomier predictions on the economy have not been realised. Most forecasts suggest that gross domestic product (GDP) will grow by about 1 per cent in real terms in 1999 and, if oil price strength is maintained beyond March next year, growth could accelerate to 2 per cent in 2000. Annual oil revenues at current production levels increase $2,700 million for every $1 rise in the price of a barrel of oil, leading to substantially higher earnings th
  • EGYPT

    WHEN the new Egyptian cabinet was announced on 9 October, a mood of quiet satisfaction spread through the Cairo business community. The sense of contentment was warmest among telecoms executives as finally the brooding, powerful figure of Soliman Metwalli, the minister in charge of transport and communications since 1982, was removed. 'At last we can breathe freely,' was the comment of one senior executive.
  • EGYPT

    SPECIAL REPORT TELECOMS
  • EGYPT: Arab Contractors winsGSDC utilities contracts

    The local Arab Contractors (Osman Ahmed Osman & Company) has been awarded the first two of five planned contracts for the construction of infrastructure in the industrial zone owned by Gulf of Suez Development Company (GSDC - MEED 24:9:99).
  • EGYPT: Arab Contractors winsGSDC utilities contracts

    NEWS
  • EGYPT: BG to set up LNGexport venture

    The UK's BG International has received preliminary approval from the Investment Authority for a plan to set up a company to export liquefied natural gas (LNG). The British firm is developing two large offshore gas fields in the Mediterranean to supply the domestic market, but has indicated that it is interested in the export option for other fields it has discovered (MEED 20:8:99).
  • EGYPT: BG to set up LNGexport venture

    NEWS
  • EGYPT: Bids in for Damiettaport project

    NEWS
  • EGYPT: Bids in for Damiettaport project

    Nine international companies, with local partners, bid by the 2 November deadline for the estimated $40 million contract to extend grain berth 13 at Damietta port (MEED 8:10:99).
  • EGYPT: BOT model proposedfor Cairo metro Line 3

    NEWS
  • EGYPT: BOT model proposedfor Cairo metro Line 3

    The government is considering a proposal to carry out the project for a third line of the Cairo metro system on a build-operate-transfer (BOT) basis, contractors following the scheme say. The third line will run from Cairo airport, northeast of the city, to the Imbaba district on the west bank of the Nile. The first phase is expected to run about 10 kilometres from the airport to the Al-Azhar district (MEED 3:7:99).
  • EGYPT: Boutros Ghali draws up new exchange rate policy

    The government is working on a new policy framework for the exchange rate, which will be announced soon, Economy & Foreign Trade Minister Youssef Boutros Ghali said in an interview published by the Cairo dailyAl-Ahram on 24 October. He said the new policy will aim to provide clarity and transparency, so as to ensure that the exchange rate problems that arose earlier this year are not repeated. The policy is being elaborated by a cabinet economic group headed by Boutros Ghali.
  • EGYPT: Boutros Ghali draws up new exchange rate policy

    NEWS
  • EGYPT: Developers sought for solar/fossil power scheme

    NEWS
  • EGYPT: Developers sought for solar/fossil power scheme

    International power project developers have been invited for preliminary discussions about a project to set up a solar/fossil fuel power station on a build-own-operate-transfer (BOOT) basis. The joint clients are the New & Renewable Energy Authority and the Egyptian Electricity Authority. Germany's Lahmeyer International is working as consultant (MEED 28:5:99).
  • EGYPT: EIB finance sought for EdF power project

    The European Investment Bank (EIB) has been approached by Electricite de France (EdF) for a loan as part of the financing for the two independent power projects (IPPs) the French company is carrying out at Suez and East Port Said. The estimated $760 million build-own-operate-transfer (BOOT) contract for the two 680-MW plants was signed in Cairo on3 October (MEED 15:10:99).
  • EGYPT: EIB finance sought for EdF power project

    NEWS
  • EGYPT: Fahmy reshuffles oil andgas industry portfolios

    NEWS
  • EGYPT: Fahmy reshuffles oil andgas industry portfolios

    The newly appointed Petroleum Minister, Sameh Fahmy, has quickly made his presence felt through enacting a major shake-up of jobs within the sector. The first reshuffle of posts was announced in the second week of November, and is expected to be followed by other new appointments covering the entire spectrum of oil, gas, refining and petrochemicals companies.
  • EGYPT: Five consultants to be shortlisted for Asyut dam

    Five groups of international consultants are due to be shortlisted in the next few weeks to bid for a contract to prepare a feasibility study for the renewal of the Asyut barrage on the Nile. Work is also going ahead on a shortlist for the contract to build a new barrage at Naga Hammadi, upriver from Asyut. Both projects are being financed by Germany's Kreditanstalt fuer Wiederaufbau (KfW). The client for the two schemes is the Reservoirs & Grand Barrages Sector of the Public Works & Water Re
  • EGYPT: Five consultants to be shortlisted for Asyut dam

    NEWS
  • EGYPT: IN BRIEF

    NEWS
  • EGYPT: IN BRIEF

    The Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) has postponed the deadline for offers for four offshore Mediterranean exploration blocks offered to international oil companies in the bid round that closed at the end of October. They are Block A (Matruh Deep Water), Block C(El-Arish West), Block D (North West Mediterranean Sea Deep Water) and Block E (El-Arish East). Industry officials say the new deadline is expected to be the end of June 2000. The postponement will allow EGPC to improve th
  • EGYPT: IN BRIEF

    Midor (Egypt) has invited five international companies to apply by 28 October to prequalify for the contract to maintain the refinery it is building in Alexandria. Industry sources say the bidders are Foster Wheeler Corporation, Fluor Daniel, Raytheon Engineers & Constructors and Kellogg Brown & Root - all of the US - and Technip Italy. The refinery is due to start up in early 2001, with a capacity to process 100,000 barrels a day of crude oil. Foster Wheeler is already working as project man
  • EGYPT: IN BRIEF

    NEWS
  • EGYPT: IN BRIEF

    Redistribution of income to poorer elements in society and the promotion of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) were major themes developed by Economy & Foreign Trade Minister Youssef Boutros Ghali in his 8 November address to a four-day business event in London aimed at deepeningUK-Egyptian business ties. He said he was pressing ahead with changes to the banking and insurance laws that would help direct more investment to SMEs that make up 91 per cent of Egyptian industry. During the e
  • EGYPT: IN BRIEF

    NEWS
  • EGYPT: IN BRIEF

    NEWS
  • EGYPT: IN BRIEF

    Reports of plans by a number of leading international banks to build up a major stake in Commercial International Bank (Egypt - CIB) have no basis in fact, and are probably the result of brokers' misunderstandings, says the bank's deputy managing director Hisham Ezz al-Arab. The speculation has focused on Citibank and ABN AMRO. Analysts say brokers may have mistakenly concluded that the purchase of CIB shares by investors through Citibank's asset management arm may have been taken as a move b
  • EGYPT: ING Barings teams up with Concord, Banque Misr

    London-based ING Barings has taken a30 per cent stake in a new corporate finance venture along with Concord International Investments and members of the Banque Misr group. One of the first jobs to be undertaken by the venture will be to act as consultant for a new $100 million strategic investment fund targeted on Egypt.
  • EGYPT: ING Barings teams up with Concord, Banque Misr

    NEWS
  • EGYPT: Kellogg Brown & Root invests in ammonia venture

    NEWS
  • EGYPT: Kellogg Brown & Root invests in ammonia venture

    A new venture being set up by Kellogg Brown & Root (KBR) of the US has bought a plot of land in the new Suez industrial zone for the establishment of an export-oriented ammonia project.
  • EGYPT: Kohap to build polyester plant for Oriental Weavers

    NEWS
  • EGYPT: Kohap to build polyester plant for Oriental Weavers

    A new venture being set up by the local Oriental Weavers Group to make polyester is in advanced discussions with Kohap of South Korea about a contract to supply and install equipment, says group chairman Mohamed Farid Khamis.
  • EGYPT: Metcalf & Eddy of the US is the construction manager

    NEWS
  • EGYPT: Orascom Telecom makes a move on Africa

    The local Orascom Telecom has been awarded a global system for mobiles (GSM) licence in Congo-Brazzaville, the first of a series of deals the company is following in Africa.
  • EGYPT: Orascom Telecom makes a move on Africa

    NEWS
  • EGYPT: Polystyrene projecttakes shape

    NEWS
  • EGYPT: Polystyrene projecttakes shape

    The promoters of an estimated $180 million scheme to set up a styrene and polystyrene plant in Alexandria say they have received a positive response from prospective investors and suppliers (MEED 1:10:99).
  • EGYPT: Prices due for Alexandria sewerage

    The four US groups bidding for a contract to upgrade wastewater facilities in Alexandria have been invited to submit their commercial offers by 8 December. The project is being financed by a $70 million grant from the US Agency for International Development (USAID - MEED 23:7:99). Bids have also been invited by 17 January for a contract to install wastewater facilities in Luxor, as part of a USAID secondary cities utilities programme.
  • EGYPT: Prices due for Alexandria sewerage

    NEWS
  • EGYPT: Schedule slips on Nile Valley Gas project

    NEWS
  • EGYPT: Schedule slips on Nile Valley Gas project

    Evaluation of bids submitted in August for work on a major gas distribution scheme for Middle and Upper Egypt has yet to start because of differences between the various concerned parties about the proper procedure, industry sources say.
  • EGYPT: SNC Lavalin bids low for Suez water concession

    NEWS
  • EGYPT: SNC Lavalin bids low for Suez water concession

    Canada's SNC Lavalin is understood to have submitted the lowest tariff proposals for the contract to set up a system to supply water to the new Suez industrial zone on a build-own-operate-transfer (BOOT) basis.
  • ENERGY: Demand sits firmly ona plateau

    THE iron law about energy was quite straightforward. It stated that demand marches in close harmony with economic performance. It was observable that if an economy grew by 5 per cent, energy demand tended to expand by a similar amount. The simple formulation worked well enough during an earlier age when industrialisation was fuelled by ever increasing intakes of oil and gas. It works less well today. As the industrialised countries move into the information age and abandon whole sectors of lo
  • ENERGY: Demand sits firmly ona plateau

    SPECIAL REPORT JAPAN
  • Fair shares

    NEWS
  • Fair shares

    Fractional ownership schemes, where customers buy or lease a share in a jet or fleet of jets, were pioneered in 1986 by the US' NetJets and now account for about 10 per cent of all business jet sales. In the first three-quarters of 1999, 200 new orders and options have been placed by fractional operators, according to AlliedSignal.
  • FIBB launches equity fund with BNP

    Faysal Islamic Bank of Bahrain (FIBB) has launched an Islamic equity fund which it says is the first of its kind to offer investors such a high level of capital protection. FIBB has outsourced management of the fund to Banque Nationale de Paris (BNP). 'It's part of a strategy to launch a series of equity funds,' says FIBB vice-president for investment banking Khalid Nazir. He says the next two funds will target Europe/Asia-Pacific and technology respectively and FIBB is already in advanced ta
  • Flemings eyes Cairo as regional hub

    Flemings is looking to make its freshly launched Cairo operation a regional investment banking hub, says Rupert Wise, head of Flemings' Middle East operations. Flemings CIIC, the joint venture between the UK bank and Commercial International Investment Company (CIIC), was formally inaugurated on 24 October (MEED 5:11:99, Egypt).
  • Flemings eyes Cairo as regional hub

    FINANCE
  • GAZA/WEST BANK

    Bids are due in January for the construction of a new wastewater treatment plant for the city of Nablus. Companies that prequalified are E Pihl & Soen of Denmark and Wabag, Steinmueller, Lurgi, Dyckerhoff & Widmann and Josef Riepl International, all of Germany. Design is by a joint venture of Germany's Bertelsmann with the local Hijjawi Office. The project is financed by Germany's Kreditanstalt fuer Wiederaufbau.
  • GAZA/WEST BANK

    NEWS
  • GAZA/WEST BANK

    BG International of the UK announced on 24 November that it will start collecting seismic data off the Gaza coast by the end of 1999. Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat granted the company an offshore drilling licence during his visit to London in November. BG hopes to start drilling in 2000, once it has collected and analysed 1,000 kilometres of seismic data, and intends to spud two wells in 18 months.Any gas discovered will be sold to Palestinian power stations and industrial buyers (MEED 19:
  • GAZA/WEST BANK

    NEWS
  • GAZA/WEST BANK

    The European Investment Bank (EIB) is to provide Eur 8 million ($8.4 million) to the private sector through the Palestinian Banking Corporation (PBC). Trade & Economy Minister Maher al-Masri signed an agreement with the EIB in Ramallah on28 October for a Eur 6 million ($6.3 million) loan to be made available to PBC. The loans will be channelled as equity to small and medium-sized businesses in the industrial, agro-industrial, tourism and services sectors. In addition, the EIB is taking a Eur
  • GAZA/WEST BANK: Al-Jawwal gets roaming

    Local cellular phone company Palcel has signed an agreement enabling subscribers of its Al-Jawwal global system for mobiles (GSM) network to use the Orange GSM network of Israel's Partner Communications Company while in Israel.
  • GAZA/WEST BANK: Al-Jawwal gets roaming

    NEWS
  • GAZA/WEST BANK: IN BRIEF

    NEWS
  • GAZA/WEST BANK: IN BRIEF

    Saudi Arabia has agreed to provide a $20 million grant to finance the construction of two courthouses. The funds willalso be used for the training of judges and court personnel for the development of a legal information system. The World Bank has said that Saudi Arabia will provide further funding for rehabilitating and constructing roads in the Palestinian Authority areas. Some $406 million has been pledged to the Palestinians in the last five years, $140 million of which has been delivered.
  • GCC defence pactpostponed

    A proposal for the six member states of the GCC to form a common defence pact was discussed at a ministerial meeting in Dubai on 17 November, but it was agreed that the issue needs further study. 'The subject is so important that it must be studied well by the chiefs of staff and their men,' Saudi Defence & Aviation Minister Prince Sultan Bin Abdelaziz said after themeeting.
  • GCC talks with EU'not encouraging'

    The EU and GCC held another inconclusive round of their annual talks on setting up a free trade zone on 2 November in Dubai. A closing joint statement said talks will be intensified 'with a view to concluding a free trade agreement in the shortest possible time', but UAE Economy & Commerce Minister Sheikh Fahem Bin Sultan al-Qassimi described the meeting as 'not encouraging'.
  • GIC takes SR 600 million from Saudi banks

    Kuwait-based Gulf Investment Corporation (GIC) on 16 November signed a SR 600 million ($160 million) loan agreement with four Saudi banks. Riyad Bank acted as agent in the deal, with Arab National Bank, Al-Bank Al-SaudiAl-Fransi and Saudi British Bank all coming in as arrangers.
  • GIC takes SR 600 million from Saudi banks

    FINANCE
  • In Brief

    FINANCE
  • In Brief

    FINANCE
  • In Brief

    FINANCE
  • In Brief

    UK private bank Coutts & Co has established a representative office in Dubai, through which it will offer total wealth management services to both local and regional clients, says Werner Payer, Coutts' head of private banking. He says the office will have a staff of six by the end of the year, of which three will deal directly with clients. He says the office aims to expand the bank's regional client base, and has been set up in response to existing clients' demand for the bank to have a regi
  • In Brief

    The board of executive directors of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) on30 October approved a number of new financing facilities worth a total of $222 million. Of this, $121 million is for seven development projects, $22.1 million in grants to Muslim communities and $79 million for trade financing and technical assistance schemes.
  • IN THE AIR

    SPECIAL REPORT AEROSPACE
  • IN THE AIR

    SPECIAL REPORT AEROSPACE
  • IN THE AIR

    EGYPT
  • IN THE AIR

    JORDAN
  • IN THE AIR

    SPECIAL REPORT AEROSPACE
  • IN THE AIR

    TURKEY
  • IN THE AIR

    SPECIAL REPORT AEROSPACE
  • IN THE AIR

    ALGERIA
  • IN THE AIR

    UAE
  • IN THE AIR

    SPECIAL REPORT AEROSPACE
  • IN THE AIR

    SAUDI ARABIA
  • IN THE AIR

    ISRAEL
  • IN THE AIR

    SPECIAL REPORT AEROSPACE
  • IN THE AIR

    MOROCCO
  • IN THE AIR

    SPECIAL REPORT AEROSPACE
  • IN THE AIR

    SPECIAL REPORT AEROSPACE
  • Investments bear fruit for Agico

    The expansion of the investment activities of Arabian General Investment Company (Agico) has supported strong profit growth, says Kerim Mitri, Agico's finance and administrative manager. Nine-month earnings of AED 57.5 million ($15.7 million) have been posted, compared to losses of AED 8.8 million ($2.4 million) in the same period of last year.
  • Investments bear fruit for Agico

    FINANCE
  • IRAN

    SPECIAL REPORT TELECOMS
  • IRAN

    IRAN's ambitious plans to expand fixed and mobile telephone lines are moving ahead at a slow pace, with some targets well behind schedule. The sector has suffered over the past three years because of hard currency shortages and the failure to open it up to private investors.
  • IRAN: Alstom to supply100 locomotives

    NEWS
  • IRAN: Alstom to supply100 locomotives

    France's Alstom has received a Eur 192 million ($180 million) order for100 diesel electric locomotives. The agreement with the State Railways Organisation was signed on 26 October, on the eve of President Khatami's visit to Paris (see below). Financing for the order has yet to be finalised, Alstom said on 27 October.
  • IRAN: Bids in for $1 billionolefins plant

    Three international consortia are competing for construction of the 8th olefins facility, a turnkey project worth up to $1,000 million, sited in the Bandar Khomeini special zone. Bids were due to be opened by the National Petrochemical Company (NPC) on 10 November.
  • IRAN: Bids in for $1 billionolefins plant

    NEWS
  • IRAN: Coface may expandexport cover

    NEWS
  • IRAN: Coface may expandexport cover

    The French state export credit guarantee agency Coface plans to renew and perhaps expand a large insurance line for exporters of grains and other goods in 2000. The issue was discussed during President Khatami's October visit, government sources in Paris say.
  • IRAN: Danieli steel contractawaits finance line

    Italy's Danieli & Company has been awarded the job of setting up a big facility in Khuzestan to build steel sheet for oil and gas pipelines. The $232 million contract signed on 25 October requires a separate financing deal being negotiated with Mediocredito Centrale.
  • IRAN: Danieli steel contractawaits finance line

    NEWS
  • IRAN: ECGD plans return toIranian market

    The UK's Export Credits Guarantee Department (ECGD) is reviewing its policy on Iran with a view to possibly easing insurance cover rules for UK exporters. The decision coincides with a political rapprochement which will see an exchange of ministerial visits around the turn of the year.
  • IRAN: ECGD plans return toIranian market

    NEWS
  • IRAN: Foreign money will fund anew giant

    IRAN's petrochemicals industry has had a good year. Many projects awarded in recent years finally received clearance in 1999 from financing banks, and the National Petrochemical Company (NPC) was able to move to the next stage of development based on buy-back investments.
  • IRAN: Foreign money will fund anew giant

    SPECIAL REPORT PETROCHEMICALS
  • IRAN: French bank does$370 million prefinance deal

    The French bank Credit Agricole Indosuez has arranged a $370 million prefinancing line for the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) based on supplies of condensates to a UAE refinery. Also taking part in the deal is KBC Bank.
  • IRAN: French bank does$370 million prefinance deal

    NEWS
  • IRAN: IN BRIEF

    International investors were on 19 October offered more than $10,000 million worth of mining and metals projects at a mining conference in Tehran. Some 100 projects were listed, including 25 in steel and related industry, 12 in copper, 13 in aluminium, seven in lead and zinc, nine in iron alloys and 40 in mines and chemicals. Mines & Metals Minister Eshaq Jahangiri said the ministry is also offering to sell 60 state mining firms and six incomplete state projects.
  • IRAN: IN BRIEF

    NEWS
  • IRAN: IN BRIEF

    NEWS
  • IRAN: IN BRIEF

    A parliamentary committee has approved a government proposal to reduce state holdings in the state-owned commercial banks to 51 per cent. It is not known when the majlis will take up the issue, but Bank Markazi (central bank) says the government wants to partially privatise the banks in order to make them more efficient. The majlis has still to approve a proposal to set up a 'Co-operatives Bank', which would be the first non-government bank since 1979. All banks were nationalised after the re
  • IRAN: IN BRIEF

    The US Treasury Department on 28 October removed bureaucratic red tape which has blocked financing of US grain sales to Tehran, according to Byron Dorgan, Democratic senator from the farm state of North Dakota. Details were not available. The Clinton administration earlier this year exempted food, medicine and medical equipment sales from economic sanctions against Iran, as well as Libya and the Sudan. However, regulations issued by the Office of Foreign Asset Control tightly controlled finan
  • IRAN: IN BRIEF

    NEWS
  • IRAN: Iran Air confirms planto buy Airbus

    National carrier Iran Air has confirmed plans to buy four A330 passenger aircraft from the European consortium Airbus Industrie. Talks are taking place between the two sides on establishing Iranian requirements and arranging financing for a deal that would be worth $300 million-400 million.
  • IRAN: Iran Air confirms planto buy Airbus

    NEWS
  • IRAN: Khatami secures French connection

    President Khatami paid a three-day state visit to France in late October to cement special economic and political ties between the two countries and to expand bilateral trade. There was speculation Paris might announce a $1,500 million loan or finance line during the 27-29 October visit.
  • IRAN: Khatami secures French connection

    NEWS
  • IRAN: Oil swap deal proposedwith Venezuela

    NEWS
  • IRAN: Oil swap deal proposedwith Venezuela

    Iran and Venezuela have agreed an innovative deal to supply each other's crude customers in selected markets. The arrangement, proposed by Venezuela in March and agreed by Tehran recently, still has to be negotiated in detail.
  • IRAN: Shell bags Soroush, Nowruz oil development contract...

    NEWS
  • IRAN: Shell bags Soroush, Nowruz oil development contract...

    The contract to redevelop the offshore Soroush and Nowruz oil fields was signed on 14 November by Shell Exploration, an affiliate of the Royal Dutch/Shell Group, and the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC). The agreement may be judged to be in violation of secondary US sanctions legislation, but industry sources say that the US is not expected to act.
  • IRAN: Snamprogetti seeks finance for methanol plant

    NEWS
  • IRAN: Snamprogetti seeks finance for methanol plant

    A group led by Italy's Snamprogetti has been chosen as the winning bidder for the turnkey construction of a methanol plant. The Italian firm is now trying to put together a financing package for the estimated $200 million project, before the end of 1999.
  • IRAQ

    NEWS
  • IRAQ

    Baghdad has told the UN Security Council it will reject a proposed resolution to ease economic sanctions, Deputy Prime Minister Tareq Aziz said on 9 November. The document shaping up will demand the impossible from Iraq, Aziz said. The five permanent Security Council members were expected to come up with the text of a draft plan before mid-November to lift any ceiling on how much oil Baghdad can sell and end sanctions on exports and imports. However, the proposal will make the measures condit
  • IRAQ

    The exiled opposition Iraqi National Congress (INC) elected a new leadership on 1 November to boost its campaign to overthrow President Saddam Hussein. Meeting in New York at a four-day conference sponsored by the US government, more than 300 delegates elected a 65-member central council and a seven- member leadership group. The INC meeting was the first in seven years and follows a new US effort to strengthen Baghdad's opponents. The US Congress in 1998 made available $97 million to the oppo
  • IRAQ

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  • IRAQ

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  • Iraq rocks the boat

    The suspension of oil exports by Iraq has increased the upward pressure on prices, sending them to their highest level for nine years on 23 November before they fell back the following day on profit-taking. The benchmark Brent for January delivery peaked at $25.78 a barrel and the February contract rose to $24.72. A prolonged stoppage by Iraq is likely to drive prices higher unless OPEC acts to relax its quotas, for which there are no plans at present.
  • IRAQ: Oil exports suspendedin new UN rift

    A decision to suspend oil exports has sent oil prices to their highest level since the invasion of Kuwait in 1990 and reopened the dispute with the UN over sanctions. The stoppage removes 2.2 million barrels a day (b/d) from world markets and was imposed in protest at UN delays in extending the oil-for-food deal, which is reviewed every six months, into a seventh phase.
  • IRAQ: Turkish gas pipeline project back on the agenda

    NEWS
  • IRAQ: Turkish gas pipeline project back on the agenda

    The government is taking steps to revive a planned natural gas export pipeline to Turkey, Oil Minister Emir Muhammed Rasheed was reported as saying on16 November.
  • Islamic indexes launched by TII, FTSE

    FTSE International and Kuwait-based The International Investor (TII) have jointly launched a stable of equity indexes for Islamic investors. 'The indexes have been built by TII's sharia board screening the 2,000 or so stocks covered in the FT/S&P-Actuaries World Index,' says FTSE's Stephen Vale. 'Just over 1,000 stocks are covered by the FTSE Global Islamic Index Series.'
  • Islamic indexes launched by TII, FTSE

    FINANCE
  • ISRAEL

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  • ISRAEL

    ISRAEL's telecommunications sector is relatively mature by regional standards. Mobile phone and long-distance communications services have been opened up to competition and domestic fixed line calling - the last monopoly enjoyed by the state's Bezeq Israel Telecom - is expected to be liberalised in 2000.
  • Israel, Palestinians start final-status talks

    Israel and the Palestinians started final-status talks on 8 November in what are likely to be at least twice-weekly meetings leading to a hoped- for framework agreement by mid-February. The talks were preceded by bomb attacks in Israel. On 10 November, Israeli soldiers evicted Jewish settlers from a rogue outpost in the West Bank.
  • ISRAEL: Africa Israel to float contracting subsidiary

    Real estate giant Africa Israel Investments plans to transfer construction work on the Cross-Israel Highway project to its contracting subsidiary Denya Cebus before floating it in early 2000.
  • ISRAEL: Africa Israel to float contracting subsidiary

    NEWS
  • ISRAEL: BG strikes gas

    NEWS
  • ISRAEL: BG strikes gas

    The UK's BG International on 1 November announced that it had discovered natural gas in the first well it drilled off the coast of Israel. The discovery came just two weeks after BG acquired controlof the rights to explore the concession (MEED 29:10:99).
  • ISRAEL: Bidders line up for Ashdod port expansion

    The Ports & Railways Authority (PRA) says 10 international groups have submitted applications to prequalify for expansion work at the Ashdod Port. 'We hope to shortlist all of the groups,' says Dan Halber, head of the PRA's ports development project administration.
  • ISRAEL: Bidders line up for Ashdod port expansion

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  • ISRAEL: C&W pulls out of Bezeq

    The UK's Cable & Wireless (C&W) has agreed to sell its entire stake in state-controlled Bezeq Israel Telecom to local holding company Zeevi Communications for $630 million.
  • ISRAEL: C&W pulls out of Bezeq

    NEWS
  • ISRAEL: Cross-Israel Highway achieves financial close

    NEWS
  • ISRAEL: Cross-Israel Highway achieves financial close

    The Derech Eretz consortium on 28 October announced financial closure for the Cross-Israel Highway project. The country's first build-operate- transfer (BOT) infrastructure development, to cost$1,250 million, will form a benchmark for further local concessions under consideration, sources say.The financing consists of an $850 million facility from a local banking consortium led by Bank Hapoalim, and a $300 million US private placement organised by Newcourt Capital, the corporate finance busin
  • ISRAEL: Frenkel goes, tightmoney policy stays

    NEWS
  • ISRAEL: Frenkel goes, tightmoney policy stays

    The departure of Jacob Frenkel from the Bank of Israel (BoI - central bank) is unlikely to lead to significant change in monetary policy, analysts say.
  • ISRAEL: IN BRIEF

    NEWS
  • ISRAEL: IN BRIEF

    State-owned Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) said on 17 November that a Nigerian delegation had visited the company to evaluate possible joint projects and to assess ways IEC could assist in improving the country's energy systems. IEC said it might also be asked to help establish a gas turbine power plant in Nigeria. The African nation, the most populous country in the continent, is in the process of deregulating its energy sector and privatising state power company National Electric Power A
  • ISRAEL: IN BRIEF

    NEWS
  • ISRAEL: IN BRIEF

    Shares in Partner Communications Company were due to start trading on the Nasdaq National Market and London Stock Exchange on 2 October following completion of the company's initial public offering. The 38.98 million American depositary shares were priced at $13.50 apiece, at the upper end of the $11-14 range, generating expected proceeds of $525 million (MEED 29:10:99).
  • ISRAEL: IN BRIEF

    NEWS
  • ISRAEL: IN BRIEF

    The government on 9 November presented a draft proposal for the sale of its 76 per cent stake in the country's sole refining company, Oil Refineries (ORL). ORL's plant in Ashdod will be sold to Israel Corporation, which owns 26 per cent of the refiner. In return, Israel Corporation will relinquish any shares and rights connected to ORL and to its refinery in Haifa. The government says it will maintain control of ORL's operations in Haifa until it decides how and when to privatise them. The tw
  • ISRAEL: IN BRIEF

    NEWS
  • ISRAEL: Oxygen cable dealexcites investors

    There has been significant interest from prospective investors to join Bezeq International and Elbit Medical Imaging (EMI) in $15,000 million global underground cable project Oxygen, says Eitan Ajchenbaun, vice-president of international relations at Bezeq International.
  • ISRAEL: Oxygen cable dealexcites investors

    NEWS
  • ISRAEL: Suari recommends closing PAMA

    NEWS
  • ISRAEL: Suari recommends closing PAMA

    Accountant Yitzhak Suari has recommended winding up most of the activities of PAMA (Energy Resources Development) and continuing only with the company's model electric power plant.
  • JORDAN

    A decision is close on the sale of a 40 per cent stake in the Jordan Telecommunications Company (JTC). Of the three groups bidding, the UAE's Al-Ain Investment Group with GTE of the US, and France Telecom in a consortium with National Bank of Kuwait and the local Arab Bank both offered $508 million and the government is now looking closely at their technical offers.
  • JORDAN

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  • JORDAN

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  • JORDAN: Abu Dhabi fund supports dam projects

    NEWS
  • JORDAN: Abu Dhabi fund supports dam projects

    The Abu Dhabi Fund for Development is to extend loans totalling $20 million for two irrigation projects, and is considering a request to provide an additional $10 million for the planned Wihdeh dam on the Yarmouk river.
  • JORDAN: Bids invited for Mujibdam works

    NEWS
  • JORDAN: Bids invited for Mujibdam works

    Bids have been invited by 30 November for further work on the Mujib dam. The contract is part of the Southern Ghors development project which is being financed by the Kuwait-based Arab Fund for Economic & Social Development.
  • JORDAN: Eight prequalify for water connection project

    NEWS
  • JORDAN: Eight prequalify for water connection project

    Eight companies have been prequalified for work on the construction of a pipeline between the King Abdullah Canal at Deir Alla, the Zai water treatment plant and the Dubouq reservoir.
  • JORDAN: France Telecom pickedfor JTC sale talks

    The government has decided to call a group led by France Telecom for negotiations about the sale of a 40 per cent stake in Jordan Telecommunications Company (JTC). The group was one of three bidders who submitted offers for the stake on2 October (MEED 29:10:99).
  • JORDAN: France Telecom pickedfor JTC sale talks

    NEWS
  • JORDAN: IN BRIEF

    NEWS
  • JORDAN: IN BRIEF

    The Amman Planet Hollywood restaurant is due to open in the first week of November. The restaurant is the first of a series planned by Kingdom Planet Hollywood whose major shareholder is Saudi Arabia's Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal. Kingdom Planet Hollywood holds a major franchise for the restaurant chain in the Middle East and a number of European countries and is due to open outlets in Beirut and Sharm el-Sheikh before the end of 1999. The Amman venture, located in the upmarket Abdoun area of t
  • JORDAN: Monenco Agra provides engineering for bromine project

    NEWS
  • JORDAN: Monenco Agra provides engineering for bromine project

    The Jordan Bromine Company signed a contract with Canada's Monenco Agra on1 November for detailed engineering and preparation of tender documents for its planned $120 million Dead Sea plant. Tender documents are due to be completed by May 2000.
  • JORDAN: Tractebel bids low forAl-Samra power plant

    NEWS
  • JORDAN: Tractebel bids low forAl-Samra power plant

    Belgium's Tractebel is understood to have submitted the lowest tariff proposals for the Kherbet al-Samra build-own-operate (BOO) power station project. The only other bidder was ABB Energy Ventures, part of Zurich- based ABB Asea Brown Boveri (MEED 30:7:99).
  • JORDAN: Zara projects move ahead

    Egypt's Rami Dahhan & Suheir Farid Architects & Engineers has been appointed by the local Zara Investment Company for design work for a 70-100-room hotel and spa complex at the Himmeh hot springs in the north. Zara took a 45 per cent stake in Jordan Himmeh Mineral Company, which manages the spa complex, in October 1997 (MEED 24:10:97).
  • JORDAN: Zara projects move ahead

    NEWS
  • Koch-Weser tippedfor top IMF job

    Caio Koch-Weser, who was head of World Bank operations in the Middle East and North Africa in the mid-1990s, has been strongly tipped for the post of managing director of the IMF, following the decision of Michel Camdessus to step down. Koch-Weser is now Germany's deputy finance minister.
  • KUWAIT

    KUWAIT has a surplus of fixed telephone lines, and so the main focus of new investment in telecoms is mobiles and internet services.
  • KUWAIT

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  • KUWAIT: Bids in for drainagenetwork expansion

    Bids are being evaluated at the Public Works Ministry for two contracts involving the modification and expansion of drainage networks in Rumaithiya and Salmiya. Contracts 2-A and 3-A are part of phase four of the drainage network expansion programme being carried out by the ministry.
  • KUWAIT: Bids in for drainagenetwork expansion

    NEWS
  • KUWAIT: Bids in for KOC waterinjection works

    NEWS
  • KUWAIT: Bids in for KOC waterinjection works

    Evaluation of bids is under way at Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) for the engineering, procurement, installation and commissioning (EPIC) contract on the effluent water transfer system and Minagish water injection plant project. Four international contractors bid for the contract by the late-October deadline with a group headed by Italy's Snamprogetti just undercutting its nearest South Korean competitor, Shinwa, by an estimatedKD 100,000 ($333,000).
  • KUWAIT: Bids invited for threemore substations

    Thirteen prequalified firms have been invited to bid by 19 December for the supply and installation of three more 132/11-kV substations in the Jahra area. Companies prequalified for the Ministry of Electricity & Water (MEW) contract are Siemens and AEG, both of Germany, Zurich-based ABB Asea Brown Boveri, Hitachi Corporation, Mitsubishi Electric and Toshiba Corporation, all of Japan, Cogelex, Alstom and Merlin Gerin, all of France, Italy's Ansaldo Trasmissione & Distribuzione, Hungary's Trans
  • KUWAIT: Bids invited for threemore substations

    NEWS
  • KUWAIT: EPC bids invitedfor GOD plant

    NEWS
  • KUWAIT: EPC bids invitedfor GOD plant

    Eleven international firms have been invited to bid by 23 January for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) of a gas oil desulphurisation (GOD) plant at the Mina al-Ahmadi refinery. The contract is worth an estimated $125 million. Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC) has added South Korea's Hyundai Engineering & Construction Company and Technip Italy to the list of prequalified companies (MEED 19:3:99).
  • KUWAIT: Foster Wheeler tostudy new refinery plan

    NEWS
  • KUWAIT: Foster Wheeler tostudy new refinery plan

    Refinery operator Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC) has appointed US-based Foster Wheeler Corporation as consultant to carry out a detailed feasibility study for a new refinery in the south. Foster Wheeler beat off competition from International Bechtel of the US and ABB Lummus Global, alsoUS-based (MEED 8:10:99).
  • KUWAIT: IN BRIEF

    NEWS
  • KUWAIT: IN BRIEF

    Bidders for the Sulaibiya wastewater treatment plant project have been officially notified of a two-month bid extension. Proposals are now due from the five prequalified groups on 22 February. The extension, announced after the pre-bid meeting, was accompanied by a request from the Finance Ministry for bidders to submit two prices. The first will be for the 250,000- cubic-metre-a-day treatment plant and related reverse-osmosis facility. The other will be for the associated pipelines and pumpi
  • KUWAIT: IN BRIEF

    NEWS
  • KUWAIT: IN BRIEF

    The local Sief Engineering, working with Hyder Consulting Middle East, part of the UK's Hyder group, has been appointed consultant to upgrade the Kuwait stormwater drainage masterplan. The Ministry of Public Works contract is scheduled to take 18 months. Other bidders included Montgomery Watson and Babtie, both of the UK, and Germany's Dorsch Consult.
  • KUWAIT: IN BRIEF

    NEWS
  • KUWAIT: IN BRIEF

    Italy's Ansaldo Trasmissione & Distribuzione has signed a KD 7.9 million ($25.5 million) contract to supply and install the Salwa C and Qortaba substations. Ansaldo was low bidder for the two 132/11-kV substations when bids were returned by international contractors in late May (MEED 11:6:99). The contract is the latest in a series awarded by the Ministry of Electricity & Water (MEW) in its programme to substantially upgrade and expand the 132-kV power distribution network (MEED 12:11:99).
  • KUWAIT: IN BRIEF

    NEWS
  • KUWAIT: KFH to set up Gulf investment venture

    NEWS
  • KUWAIT: KFH to set up Gulf investment venture

    Local Islamic institution Kuwait Finance House (KFH) is to set up a new joint venture investment company within the next six months, Nabil Ameen, KFH's deputy general manager told MEED in a 13 November interview. 'The company will be owned 50 per cent by KFH and 50 per cent by investors from the UAE, Oman and other GCC states,' Ameen said.
  • Kuwait: oil recovery restores growth

    ECONOMIC BRIEFING
  • Kuwait: oil recovery restores growth

    Prospects for Kuwait's economy have improved dramatically in recent months. Figures contained in the latest edition of the Central Bank of Kuwait's quarterly bulletin indicate that the oil price recovery since the spring has removed the threat of a serious financial crisis. Growth should recover this year and continue well into 2000. The budgetary situation is improving and monetary fundamentals are strong. In the longer term, efforts to liberalise the economy and introduce reform should boos
  • KUWAIT: Stock market sinkson selling spree

    NEWS
  • KUWAIT: Stock market sinkson selling spree

    Investors at the Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) ran for shelter in mid-November as the KSE index sank to its lowest level since May 1996. The index closed on 17 November at1,413 points as major investors continued to offload their holdings to avoid further losses. 'Investors would rather stay home than come here for heartache,' said one broker.
  • LEBANON

    Credit Libanais said on 24 November that it will be forming a joint venture with Data Management, a local internet provider, to help businesses in the region establish virtual shops and obtain a share of the increasing worldwide web business. NetCommerce hopes to attract businesses locally and from Jordan and Syria to sign up to its sites. Credit Libanais has 7,000 businessmen among its clients, said the bank's chairman Joseph Torbey.
  • LEBANON

    Standard Chartered Bank says it is in the final stages of negotiations to acquire a majority stake in the local Metropolitan Bank for about $20 million (MEED 1:10:99, Finance). Standard Chartered is expected to acquire a 67 per cent stake, and Metropolitan's chairman Mershid Baaklini is set to retain 33 per cent. The deal is expected to be completed by the end of this year. Metropolitan was established in 1979 and had total assets at the end of 1998 of$98 million. It has six branches.
  • LEBANON

    THE Posts & Telecommunications Ministry has drawn up a four-year plan to restructure Lebanon's telecommunications sector. This will include drawing up new regulations, establishing a regulatory authority to oversee the sector, corporatising the state operator Ogero and, possibly, partially privatising Ogero. At present, the fixed-line network is state owned and substantial investment has been pumped into the upgrade and expansion of the system since the early 1990s. By the end of 1998, there
  • LEBANON

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  • LEBANON

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  • LEBANON: Banks welcomelonger-term CDs

    NEWS
  • LEBANON: Banks welcomelonger-term CDs

    Bankers have welcomed the announcement by Banque du Liban (central bank) of plans to issue certificates of deposit (CDs) with maturities of six months and one year in addition to the 45-day and 60-day CDs that are currently issued. The new CDs are expected to absorb excess local currency liquidity resulting from a recent reduction in treasury bill (t-bill) placements by the central bank.
  • LEBANON: Cement import ban approved

    The cabinet on 20 October approved a proposal to ban the import of grey cement for five years to protect the interests of local producers. In return, producers have agreed to maintain cement prices at the current levels of $60 a tonne for bulk sales and$68 a tonne for bagged cement for the same period.
  • LEBANON: Cement import ban approved

    NEWS
  • LEBANON: Draft privatisationlaw clears first hurdle

    NEWS
  • LEBANON: Draft privatisationlaw clears first hurdle

    The sell-off of state assets has moved a step closer with the 2 November approval by the parliamentary Administration & Justice Committee of a draft law that contains guidelines for privatisation. The bill defines privatisation as 'the partial or total transfer of a utility or its management from the public to the private sector through legal procedures'.
  • LEBANON: Four Seasons tender expected in early 2000

    The first tender for construction work is expected to be issued in the first quarter of 2000 on an estimated $250 million hotel, residential and commercial complex alongside the planned marina in the Beirut central district. Saudi Arabia's El-Seif Engineering & Contracting Company is co-ordinating the design and engineering work with a group of local consultants.
  • LEBANON: Four Seasons tender expected in early 2000

    NEWS
  • LEBANON: IN BRIEF

    Broadcast & Communications Systems (BCS), the local representative of Japan's Sony Broadcast & Professional, has a contract valued at more than $500,000 to supply Beirut-based terrestrial and satellite broadcaster Future TV with equipment for the upgrade of its production facilities. BCS will supply 20 camcorders, two portable field edit recorder pairs, a fully configured edit station, four edit controllers, 11 video tape recorders and a tape drive.
  • LEBANON: IN BRIEF

    NEWS
  • LEBANON: IN BRIEF

    Nine-month net profits at Banque du Liban & d'Outre Mer (BLOM) rose 20 per cent to $52.6 million from $43.9 million in the same period of 1998. The bottom line was boosted by a 30 per cent increase in net interest income to $83.5 million. Loans and advances were 8 per cent higher at$1,052 million and customer deposits rose 12 per cent to $4,098 million. Total assets stood at $4,741 million on 30 September.
  • LEBANON: MECG lands prestige Egypt equity deal

    The contract to act as adviser and placement agent for the private placement of shares in Egypt's Golden Pyramids Plaza Company has been won by Beirut finance house Middle East Capital Group (MECG). The deal is the first to be lead managed by MECG in Egypt and forms part of the company's strategy to become a regional investment bank.
  • LEBANON: MECG lands prestige Egypt equity deal

    NEWS
  • LIBYA

    NEWS
  • LIBYA

    France's Technip is understood to be in negotiations for a contract to provide project management and front end engineering and design (FEED) services on a $5,500 million gas field development and pipeline project which will transport gas to Italy. The client is Agip Gas, a joint venture between the Agip division of Eni and the National Oil Corporation. Sources close to the project say negotiations have been complicated by the fact that no orders of this kind have been signed in Libya recentl
  • LIBYA

    Libya has handed over compensation to the UK government for the shooting of a London policewoman in 1984, signalling a return to full diplomatic relations, UK Foreign Secretary Robin Cook said on22 November. A British ambassador is expected to take up his post in Tripoli before the end of the year, some 15 years after diplomatic relations were cut off. 'The government of Libya has handed over compensation for the killing of WPC Fletcher, so removing the last obstacle to the restoration of ful
  • LIBYA: Bids invited for ironand steel plant upgrade

    NEWS
  • LIBYA: Bids invited for ironand steel plant upgrade

    Bids have been invited for two contracts to carry out expansion and reconstruction work at the Misurata iron and steel plant, which is owned by Libyan Iron & Steel Company (Lisco).
  • LIBYA: First US wheatpurchase concluded

    Libya has made its first purchase of US wheat for 15 years, the North Dakota Wheat Commission said on 5 November.
  • LIBYA: First US wheatpurchase concluded

    NEWS
  • LIBYA: Power expansion project moves ahead

    NEWS
  • LIBYA: Repsol signs newexploration agreement

    A new oil exploration agreement has been signed between the National Oil Corporation and a four-strong European consortium headed by Spain's Repsol. Other members are Austria's OMV, France-based TotalFina and Saga Petroleum of Norway, OMV announced on 10 November.
  • LIBYA: Repsol signs newexploration agreement

    NEWS
  • Market highlights

    Turkey. The Istanbul Stock Exchange (ISE) National-100 index gained 4 per cent despite a bout of profit taking following news that the government had prepared a draft letter of intent for a three-year standby loan deal with the IMF, worth $4,000 million. The size of the deal was well short of expectations of between$5,000 million-10,000 million (see Turkey). While analysts remain bullish on the market's long-term prospects, they say further losses could be sustained in the short term. 'We bel
  • Market highlights

    Saudi Arabia. The Saudi share market staged a spectacular performance, the NCFEI index rising almost 5 per cent. Boosting the market was the government's recent decision to allow non-Saudis to invest in local shares through established mutual funds (MEED 12:11:99). The upcoming consolidation of the kingdom's electricity companies was also behind the rise: Saudi Consolidated Electric Company for the Western Region and Saudi Consolidated Electric Company in the Eastern Province put on some 14 p
  • Market highlights

    Iran. The Tehran Stock Exchange (TSE) rose 1 per cent to take its gains for the year to 24 per cent. TSE secretary-general Ahmad Mir-Motahhari announced in an interview with state television on 16 November new rules to fight insider trading and increase transparency. 'Under these regulations, stock deals by persons with access to corporate information will be scrutinised...Violators will be prosecuted if any unconventional transactions have been carried out,' he said. Speculative dealings and
  • Mobil sees surgein LNG demand

    World demand for natural gas is expected to grow by 3 per cent a year over the next 10 years, with liquefied natural gas (LNG) showing the fastest growth at 6 per cent, according to Mobil Corporation of the US. The increases compare with a projected annual growth rate of 2 per cent for oil.
  • Mobile revolution

    In 10 years' time, it is likely that the number of mobile phone subscribers worldwide will overtake fixed line subscribers, according to projections by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU)*. Many, if not most of those mobile subscribers will be using third generation technology, which will allow the phone to be used for a bewildering array of functions, including e-commerce, video, remote medical services and even karaoke. How widely this new technology will spread in the Middle Ea
  • Mobile revolution

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  • MobiNil climbs tonew highs

    The Cairo & Alexandria Stock Exchanges (CASE) continued to advance following gains for cellular telephone operator MobiNil, which closed the week at a record high of £E 107.72 ($31.59). The stock is now trading at nearly four times its level at the end of 1998, and analysts forecast further upside potential. The target price for the stock at ABN AMRO is £E 120 ($35.19). 'The company has outstanding growth prospects and is one of the few stocks in the region to offer entry into one of the fast
  • MOROCCO

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  • MOROCCO

    Proposals for the privatisation of renamed state-run telephone company Maroc-Telecom were lodged with the Public Sector & Privatisation Ministry by the end of October. No announcements have yet been made by the ministry which is still reviewing the options put before it by two groups of banks. They are made up of JP Morgan & Company and Banque Centrale Populaire, and Merrill Lynch, Banque Paribas and Banque Commerciale du Maroc. It is understood that the proposals are based on the sale of a m
  • MOROCCO

    MOROCCO has recently hit the headlines with its record-breaking $1,100 million GSM deal. The contract for the country's first private mobile licence was won in July by the international Medi Telecom consortium led by Spain's Telefonica, with Portugal Telecom and the local BMCE Bank and Afriquia Group.
  • MOROCCO

    NEWS
  • MOROCCO: Bids invited for BOTwind power scheme

    NEWS
  • MOROCCO: Changing the guard

    The abrupt dismissal of Interior Minister Driss Basri on 9 November has been greeted with relief and enthusiasm both domestically and in the international business community. 'This is an extremely good sign,' says one analyst. 'King Mohammed is signalling a new direction pointing towards liberalisation. This will be good for investors and good for business.' Ahmed Midaoui, 51, has been appointed as the new Interior Minister. He was made chief of national security in 1993, but was replaced by
  • MOROCCO: Changing the guard

    NEWS
  • MOROCCO: Wafabank chiefslates Moody's

    Abbad Andaloussi, chief finance officer of Wafabank, says concerns cited about the bank's financial strength by Moody's Investors Service are unfounded.
  • MOROCCO: Wafabank chiefslates Moody's

    NEWS
  • Nazareth mosquegets green light

    The cornerstone of a controversial new mosque in Nazareth was laid on 23 November, amid growing tensions between Muslims and Christians in the northern Israeli city. The four-storey mosque is due to be built next to the Basilica of the Annunciation, revered by Christians as the spot where the Angel Gabriel revealed to the Virgin Mary she would bear the son of God.
  • Nine join Q-Chem financing during syndication

    FINANCE
  • Oil hits new highs

    Continuing their recent rebound, oil prices surged to new highs in the second week of November as supplies continued to tighten. In a sudden spurt on 10 November, Brent futures soared to $24.43 a barrel, recording a $1.50 gain in the week and reaching the highest level since January 1997.
  • Oil holds steady

    Oil prices have held close to their recent highs in the absence of any strong influences. Markets are now paying extra attention to stock figures but the evidence from the main monitoring agencies is proving inconsistent and contradictory. Stocks of crude and gasoline in the US have been particularly volatile, with increases recorded instead of the widely expected decline. The Paris-based International Energy Agency has also reported trends that run counter to the expectation of a sharp decli
  • OMAN

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  • OMAN

    THE government took the first step towards privatisation in July with the establishment of the Oman Telecommunications Company (OTC), which replaces the General Telecommunications Organisation (GTO). The new company will initially be wholly owned by the government. Shares are expected to be offered for public subscription at a later date, with10-15 per cent of the capital being sold off at a time.
  • OMAN

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  • OMAN: Atkins wins housingcontract

    The contract to design and supervise the first phase of the construction of a new residential community for the Qalhat industrial area in Sur has been awarded to the UK's WS Atkins International. The client is the localAl-Sharqiya Investment Holding Company, a private sector company which was established in 1997 to promote projects in the Al-Sharqiya governorate.
  • OMAN: Atkins wins housingcontract

    NEWS
  • OMAN: Bank America winsrefinery mandate

    NEWS
  • OMAN: Bank America winsrefinery mandate

    The contract to provide financial consultancy services on a planned 75,000- barrel-a-day oil refinery at Sohar is understood to have been awarded to BankAmerica (MEED 17:9:99).
  • OMAN: Bank Muscat, Industrial Bank of Oman in merger talks

    NEWS
  • OMAN: Bank Muscat, Industrial Bank of Oman in merger talks

    The prospect of further consolidation in the banking sector was raised on 1 November with the announcement by BankMuscat that it was in talks with Industrial Bank of Oman (IBO) about a possible merger.
  • OMAN: Companies prequalifyfor water projects

    NEWS
  • OMAN: Companies prequalifyfor water projects

    Seventeen groups and companies have prequalified for the construction work on the Al-Masarrat and Sharqiyah Sands water supply projects (MEED 24:9:99; 3:9:99).
  • OMAN: Hyundai wins Sohardredging contract

    The contract for the dredging and reclamation package on the Sohar port development was awarded on 15 November to South Korea's Hyundai Engineering & Construction Company. Its bid of RO 9.8 million ($25.5 million) for option A was the lowest of 10 bids opened in September (MEED 24:9:99).
  • OMAN: Hyundai wins Sohardredging contract

    NEWS
  • OMAN: IN BRIEF

    Bids have been submitted by six local contractors for the construction of the first phase of a 16.4-kilometre road linking the Bilad Sur roundabout with the Quriyat to Sur track road. The bidders are Consolidated Contractors Company (Oman), Shanfari Trading & Contracting Company, Galfar Engineering & Contracting, Desert Line Projects, Strabag Oman and Hassan Juma Baqer Company.
  • OMAN: IN BRIEF

    WS Atkins International of the UK has been awarded a contract to refurbish the Al-Bustan Palace Hotel in Muscat. The scope of works includes creating new restaurants and a health spa and upgrading 120 guest suites and back- of-house areas. The refurbishment package is expected to cost£6.5 million($10.5 million), and an Atkins spokesman said the work may be completed by the end of 2000. The 300-room hotel is managed by the Inter-Continental hotel chain.
  • OMAN: IN BRIEF

    NEWS
  • OMAN: IN BRIEF

    NEWS
  • OMAN: Majan International Bank enters the merger fray

    The merger plans announced on1 November by BankMuscat and Industrial Bank of Oman (IBO) have been thrown into doubt by the 7 November announcement by Majan International Bank (MIB) that it is also seeking to merge with IBO (MEED 12:11:99).
  • OMAN: Majan International Bank enters the merger fray

    NEWS
  • OMAN: Road contract awarded

    The programme to construct some700 kilometres of roads in the Al-Wusta region moved further ahead on 7 November with the signing of a letter of intent for the construction of a 74-kilometre road linking Mahout and Shanna. The road is to be built by the local Galfar Engineering & Contracting and the client is the Communications Ministry.
  • OMAN: Road contract awarded

    NEWS
  • OPEC urged toease output curbs

    Oil industry analysts are urging OPEC to start planning for an increase in output before the second quarter of 2000. Otherwise, they warn, the market could be heading for serious instability, punctuated by price spikes of up to $35 a barrel. The warnings came as prices surged following calls from OPEC hawks, led by Kuwait, for the present production cuts to be extended. Brent rose above $25 a barrel on 16 November.
  • PAKISTAN: Bidders line up for Karachi road project

    Eleven companies have submitted prequalification bids to construct the Karachi northern bypass on a build-operate-transfer (BOT) basis.
  • PAKISTAN: Bidders line up for Karachi road project

    NEWS
  • PAKISTAN: Doubts loom overEurobond note exchange

    The government's Eurobond exchange offer has been greeted with caution by analysts who express concern about its likely success.
  • PAKISTAN: Doubts loom overEurobond note exchange

    NEWS
  • PAKISTAN: General Musharraf outlines government programme

    New ruler General Pervez Musharraf on1 November affirmed his earlier stand that the timetable for a return to democracy would be determined by the pace of reforms. He also hinted at the possibility of a referendum to gauge public opinion.
  • PAKISTAN: General Musharraf outlines government programme

    NEWS
  • PAKISTAN: General Musharraf revises cabinet portfolios

    NEWS
  • PAKISTAN: General Musharraf revises cabinet portfolios

    The military regime of General Pervez Musharraf on 8 November revised the portfolios of seven of 10 cabinet ministers who were sworn in two days earlier. The ministers and their new portfolios are:
  • PAKISTAN: Habib Bank streamlines UK operations

    NEWS
  • PAKISTAN: Habib Bank streamlines UK operations

    State-owned Habib Bank (HBL) is streamlining its UK operations as part of efforts to enhance profitability and service quality. HBL general manager for UK operations Jamil Khan says that 10 of the 16 branches will be closed by 31 December.
  • PAKISTAN: IN BRIEF

    NEWS
  • PAKISTAN: IN BRIEF

    National Highway Authority (NHA) project manager Raja Nowsherwan says that prequalification for two build-operate-transfer (BOT) road projects will be reopened over the coming weeks. The roads to be built are the 160-kilometre Rawalpindi-Peshawar expressway and the 72-kilometre Hasanabdal- Abbottabad highway. Companies had been invited to apply for prequalification by the end of October (MEED 6:8:99). 'The prequalification process has been called off for the time being, but will be initiated
  • PAKISTAN: IN BRIEF

    A pilot project to cultivate tea near Mansehra has been launched by Lever Brothers Pakistan following a series of successful experiences in nearby Shinkiari. The project is being undertaken with local farmers, with Lever Brothers providing technical assistance and guaranteeing all offtake. 'Weather conditions in the north are suitable for tea cultivation and we are hopeful of results. We will start with just a few acres initially and will expand upon success,' a company spokesman says. The lo
  • PAKISTAN: IN BRIEF

    NEWS
  • PAKISTAN: Privatisation setfor relaunch

    NEWS
  • PAKISTAN: Privatisation setfor relaunch

    Privatisation is likely to be relaunched in December once the restructuring of the Privatisation Commission (PC) is completed, bankers say.
  • PAKISTAN: Stricter borrowing requirements welcomed

    NEWS
  • PAKISTAN: Stricter borrowing requirements welcomed

    The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP - central bank) has introduced new regulations making it tougher to borrow money using shares as collateral.
  • PAKISTAN: Top banker namedas finance minister

    NEWS
  • PAKISTAN: Top banker namedas finance minister

    Shaukat Aziz, a vice-president at Citibank New York, was appointed finance minister on 26 October by Chief Executive General Pervaiz Musharraf.
  • People

    Following the death of Salaheddin Mohamed Mahmoud, the chairman of Egyptian Gulf Bank (EGB), the bank's board has been reorganised. 'An extraordinary board meeting held on 7 November resulted in the appointment of Jawad Bukhamseen as the new chairman,' says managing director Mohamed Barakat. Barakat himself has replaced Bukhamseen as vice-chairman, but will continue in his executive role. EGB has recently reported nine-month net profits of £E 28 million($8.1 million), a 17 per cent decline on
  • People

    Bruno Martorano has been appointed deputy chief executive officer (CEO) for private banking and asset management at London-based United Bank of Kuwait (UBK). Martorano, 41, joins UBK from Banque Nationale de Paris (BNP), Hong Kong, where he was head of private banking. Before that, he was regional private banking manager and head of credit product development for the Middle East and Africa at BNP in Paris. He has also worked for the bank in New York. He joins a senior management team headed b
  • People

    David Hodgkinson has been appointed managing director of Saudi British Bank. He joined the HSBC group in 1969 and has previously worked at Saudi British, serving as area general manager for the central province between 1989-91. Hodgkinson replaces Sandy Flockhart who has been general manager of Saudi British since January 1995. HSBC owns a 40 per cent stake in Saudi British, with the remaining 60 per cent held by private sector investors.
  • People

    Andrew Buxton has been appointed as an adviser to Turkey's Akbank, part of the Sabanci group, and will also act as an adviser to London-based Sabanci Bank. Buxton, 60, has long had an interest in the Middle East, and on 1 November took up a position as an independent director to the board of London-based United Bank of Kuwait (MEED 20:8:99). Last April, Buxton retired from his position as group chairman of Barclays Bank after six years, and is currently a non-executive director of the Court o
  • People

    FINANCE
  • People

    FINANCE
  • People

    FINANCE
  • PETROCHEMICALS: New ventures start to make their mark

    THIS year could prove a decisive turning point for Saudi Arabia's petrochemicals sector. With a series of new ventures either initiated or developed in 1999, the prospect of privately-run projects to rival those in the Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic) firmament is no longer the stuff of fantasy.
  • POWER: Promised changes are taking time

    THE formation of the Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) has been trailed with more fanfare than a Hollywood blockbuster. A year since gaining cabinet approval for its establishment, ministerial announcements promising its imminent arrival continue to flood the news wires. Though pressure is growing on policy makers to approve its incorporation before the end of the year, there is little consensus among power industry executives as to when SEC will be operational. A Riyadh-based consultant sugges
  • Profits up as ABC enters Egypt

    FINANCE
  • Profits up as ABC enters Egypt

    The expansion of Arab Banking Corporation (ABC) into Egypt is moving ahead rapidly, says Taher Makkiyah, ABC's chief banking officer. 'We expect the transfer of ownership of EAAB [Egypt Arab African Bank] to be completed on 16 November, and ABC Securities is entering the final stages of regulatory approval,' says Makkiyah.
  • Profits up at TII, as business lines expand

    FINANCE
  • QATAR

    SPECIAL REPORT TELECOMS
  • QATAR

    IT has been all change for Qatar's telecommunications monopoly over the past 12 months. Its transformation into a joint stock company under a new name paved the way for the biggest shake-up in the sector's history, when the government successfully sold off a 45 per cent stake in Qatar Telecom (Q-Tel) to GCC investors last December. Six months later, it was the turn of international investors to be offered an interest in the company through a global depositary receipt (GDR) listing on the Lond
  • QATAR

    Qatar Liquefied Gas Company (Qatargas) has announced that it has signed an agreement to sell a further seven cargoes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to the US' CMS Energy Corporation. The first deliveries in the 500,000- tonne deal are due to begin in January. Qatargas has also taken delivery of its ninth LNG carrier, Al-Bidda, from Japan's Kawasaki Heavy Industries. The 10th and final vessel, to be named Al-Jasra, is scheduled to be delivered in mid-2000.
  • Qatar Islamic prepares international funds

    FINANCE
  • Qatar Islamic prepares international funds

    Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB) is preparing to launch two new funds early next year, says Nadif Jama, the bank's executive for international investment. 'We are looking at establishing a real estate fund that will invest in the UK property market, mainly in London,' says Jama. 'We are also looking to establish a global equity fund at some point in the early months of next year.'
  • Qatar LNG arrives

    It has taken nearly a quarter of a century from the initial gas find to the first exports of LNG from Qatar. Until a market could be found and developed, the tiny Gulf state was obliged to sit on its huge natural asset, tapping it only for domestic use. Finally, in the closing years of the century, a vast potential market for the clean burning fuel has opened up. And, as it expands, Qatar is finally cashing in its endowment.
  • Qatar LNG arrives

    COVER STORY
  • QATAR: FEED award approacheson RasGas expansion

    The award of the front end engineering and design (FEED) contract is expected in the next four-six weeks on the Ras Laffan Liquefied Natural Gas Company (RasGas) expansion project. Speaking at the 23 October inauguration of RasGas' first phase development, officials said that the expansion schedule calls for work to begin on the FEED by the end of the year and for the award of the main engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contracts in the first quarter of 2001. The timetable indica
  • QATAR: FEED award approacheson RasGas expansion

    NEWS
  • QATAR: FEED awards imminenton RasGas expansion

    The local/foreign Ras Laffan Liquefied Natural Gas Company (RasGas) denied on 11 November that it had awarded the two main front end engineering and design (FEED) packages on its expansion programme, but said that it expected to make a decision by the third week of November. 'No awards have so far been made,' a company official said. 'The process is pretty straightforward. The target is to get a final decision by the middle of the month.'
  • QATAR: FEED awards imminenton RasGas expansion

    NEWS
  • QATAR: IN BRIEF

    The consortium headed by the US' Arco has been given further time to secure customers for gas from its North Field concession. Local officials have confirmed that the group has been granted an extension of time up to July 2000. The consortium signed in July 1997 the concession agreement with Qatar General Petroleum Corporation, granting it the rights to develop and market the gas by pipeline to regional customers. It held extensive negotiations with Dubai in 1997 and 1998 about a possible gas
  • QATAR: IN BRIEF

    NEWS
  • QATAR: IN BRIEF

    NEWS
  • QATAR: IN BRIEF

    NEWS
  • QATAR: IN BRIEF

    NEWS
  • QATAR: IN BRIEF

    Qatar General Petroleum Corporation (QGPC) has invited bids by 26 December for the design and construction of a new service berth at Ras Laffan. The 18-month contract, due to be awarded in early March, calls for the engineering, procurement, installation and commissioning of a new berth capable of servicing seven vessels at any one time and more than 10 through double berthing. The contract involves a concrete block quay wall, bund wall, road works, drainage, a fendering system and all associ
  • QATAR: IN BRIEF

    The local Mannai Corporation has signed a memorandum of understanding with India's Oil & Natural Gas Corporation to set up a local joint venture. Due to be formally established within six months, the venture will pursue business opportunities in the local energy sector.
  • QATAR: IN BRIEF

    The majority of the main subcontract packages have been issued for tender on the Qatar Chemical Company (Q-Chem) petrochemicals project at Mesaieed. Prequalified companies have been given until 29 November to price the subcontracts, which cover onshore civils, mechanical, and electrical and instrumentation. The main contractor, the US/French venture of Kellogg Brown & Root (KBR) and Technip, has opted to divide the packages into two for tendering purposes. As a result, prequalified firms have
  • QATAR: S&P assigns ratingfor NGL-4 financing

    NEWS
  • QATAR: S&P assigns ratingfor NGL-4 financing

    US credit ratings agency Standard & Poor's (S&P) assigned on 4 November its BBB+ preliminary foreign currency rating for the $800 million export receivable-backed notes due in 2010 and issued by QGPC Finance (Cayman). The outlook is stable, S&P added.
  • QATAR: Snamprogetti headsfor Dukhan award

    NEWS
  • QATAR: Snamprogetti headsfor Dukhan award

    State-owned Qatar General Petroleum Corporation (QGPC) began final negotiations in late October with Italy's Snamprogetti for the estimated$200 million engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract on the Dukhan gas lift project. Discussions began after Snamprogetti was recommended for the contract on account of being the low bidder in the final repricing exercise. Only one other bidder, a group headed by Stork Engineers & Contractors of the Netherlands, was invited to submit a fin
  • QATAR: TDI project takes another step forward

    State-owned Qatar General Petroleum Corporation (QGPC) announced on 17 November that it had signed an interim agreement with Italy's Enichem for the proposed 100,000-tonne-a-year toluene di-isocyanate (TDI) project at Mesaieed. The agreement came after the two parties completed a pre-feasibility study on the estimated $300 million-400 million development. QGPC and Enichem signed in late February a memorandum ofunderstanding for the TDI project (MEED 12:3:99).
  • QATAR: TDI project takes another step forward

    NEWS
  • Rabin 'pledged full Golan pullout'

    Israel and Syria have been drawn into a new diplomatic battle over claims by a UK author that he has documentary proof that the assassinated Israeli premier Yitzhak Rabin committed Tel Aviv to handing back the entire Golan Heights if Damascus satisfied its terms for peace.
  • Rising demand

    The two-day conference, held on 27-28 October, saw 16 speakers addressing the crucial aspects of project finance in the region from a number of perspectives.
  • SAUDI ARABIA

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  • SAUDI ARABIA

    SAUDI Telecommunications Company (STC) has placed expansion firmly on the agenda with ambitious plans for both fixed and GSM capacity growth. Bids from seven companies were expected to be submitted by an end-October deadline for the supply of an additional 1 million GSM lines, to meet rising demand for mobile services in Saudi Arabia.
  • Saudi Arabia welcomes market reform

    The Saudi share market gave a warm welcome to the 31 October announcement by Finance & National Economy Minister Ibrahim al-Assaf that non-Saudis will be allowed to invest in local shares through established mutual funds. Stock prices advanced in anticipation of fresh foreign capital, although later slipped back in profit-taking as investors recognised that benefits to the market could take time to filter through. The minister also announced that the government is in the final stages of prepa
  • SAUDI ARABIA: Aramco lets project management contracts

    NEWS
  • SAUDI ARABIA: Aramco lets project management contracts

    Contracts for project management and engineering services on two major new Saudi Aramco gas processing and condensate handling schemes have been let to US-based companies.
  • SAUDI ARABIA: Bids in for Berri NGL plant

    Technical evaluation has begun of five bids for a contract to build a natural gas liquids (NGL) recovery unit at the Berri gas processing plant for Saudi Aramco. Bids were received by a 25 October deadline from US- based ABB Lummus Global, the UK's AMEC-BKW with France's Technip, JGC Corporation and Toyo Engineering Corporation, both of Japan, and Italy's Snamprogetti (MEED 22:10:99).
  • SAUDI ARABIA: Bids in for Berri NGL plant

    NEWS
  • SAUDI ARABIA: Bids invited for Yanbu power plant

    NEWS
  • SAUDI ARABIA: Bids invited for Yanbu power plant

    International companies have been invited to bid for the construction of a fifth steam turbine power unit in the Yanbu industrial city. The contract will also involve the supply of emission controls for the existing unit no. 3. The client is the Royal Commission for Jubail & Yanbu, which has yet to specify a closing date (see Tenders).
  • SAUDI ARABIA: Consultants torevise PP-9 bids

    The eight bidders for the design and engineering services contract on the proposed 1,800-MW expansion of the PP-9 power station outside Riyadh have been invited to revise their offers by a 23 November deadline. Financial offers were originally submitted at the end of October. However, the client, Saudi Consolidated Electric Company for the Central Region (Sceco-Central), granted an extension after companies requested a number of technical clarifications over the scope of the work. Most of the
  • SAUDI ARABIA: Consultants torevise PP-9 bids

    NEWS
  • SAUDI ARABIA: Enelpower signs Yanbu power contract

    NEWS
  • SAUDI ARABIA: Enelpower signs Yanbu power contract

    Italy's Enelpower has signed a contract valued at IL 200,000 million ($107 million) to build a 130-MW steam turbine generating unit in Yanbu Industrial City. The client is the Royal Commission for Jubail & Yanbu. The steam generators and turbines will be supplied by Ansaldo Energia, also of Italy. The Italian team submitted the lowest price for the contract in mid-1998, and has been in contract discussions for several months (MEED 6:8:99).
  • SAUDI ARABIA: Equities opened toforeign investors

    Local and international bankers have welcomed the announcement by Finance & National Economy Minister Ibrahim Bin Abdulaziz al-Assaf on 31 October that non-Saudis will be allowed to invest in local shares through established mutual funds. 'This is a very positive move,' says Nemir Sabbagh, managing director of Arab National Bank. 'The openingof the market will create many opportunities.'
  • SAUDI ARABIA: Equities opened toforeign investors

    NEWS
  • SAUDI ARABIA: Foster Wheeler tipped for Haradh contract

    NEWS
  • SAUDI ARABIA: Foster Wheeler tipped for Haradh contract

    The project management contract on the $2,000 million gas processing plant planned at Haradh by Saudi Armaco is expected to be awarded to the US' Foster Wheeler Corporation. Project sources say the company is the frontrunner of four companies shortlisted for the contract. The other three are: Fluor Daniel, Kellogg Brown & Root and ABB Lummus Global, all US-based. The award was expected to be concluded by mid-November (MEED 29:10:99).
  • SAUDI ARABIA: Four groups vie for private petrochemicals project

    The newly-formed Saudi International Petrochemical Company (SIPC) is considering offers from four international companies to provide project management services on a planned methanol and acetic acid plant at Jubail. The companies are The Parsons Corporation, Foster Wheeler Corporation and Fluor Daniel,all of the US, and UK-based Kvaerner Process.
  • SAUDI ARABIA: Four groups vie for private petrochemicals project

    NEWS
  • SAUDI ARABIA: Government to relaxrules on joint ventures

    NEWS
  • SAUDI ARABIA: Government to relaxrules on joint ventures

    Local bankers have welcomed an announcement from Industry & Electricity Minister Hashem Yamani that new capital investment regulations under study will allow non-Saudis to acquire equity up to75 per cent and still remain eligible for a series of concessions. At present, joint ventures in which foreigners own more than 50 per cent of the equity are unable to qualify for 10-year tax holidays, soft loans from the Saudi Industrial Development Fund (SIDF) and equal treatment with local groups for
  • SAUDI ARABIA: IN BRIEF

    NEWS
  • SAUDI ARABIA: IN BRIEF

    NEWS
  • SAUDI ARABIA: IN BRIEF

    Four local banks on 16 November signed an agreement with Kuwait-based Gulf Investment Corporation (GIC) for the provision of a SR 600 million ($160 million) loan. Riyad Bank acted as agent in the deal, with Arab National Bank, Al-BankAl-Saudi Al-Fransi and Saudi British Bank all coming in as arrangers (see Finance).
  • SAUDI ARABIA: IN BRIEF

    Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic) and Japan's Mitsui Chemical Company have agreed a commercial exchange contract to market each other's products. Under the 27 October agreement, the two companies will reduce their sales expenditure by saving transportation and logistical costs, according to Ibrahim al-Shweir, president of Sabic's Chemical Intermediaries Group. 'The contract provides for Sabic to source up to 30,000 tonnes per year of mono-ethylene glycol (MEG) from Mitsui to supply J
  • SAUDI ARABIA: IN BRIEF

    Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic) signed a three-year contract on7 November to supply Saudi Aramco with 400,000 tonnes a year (t/y) of methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE). Sabic has majority shareholdings in the three local companies that produce the country's 2.7 million-t/y MTBE output: Saudi-European Petrochemical Company (Ibn Zahr), Saudi Petrochemical Company (Sadaf) and National Methanol Company (Ibn Sina). The sale reflects the changed international market for MTBE following th
  • SAUDI ARABIA: IN BRIEF

    NEWS
  • SAUDI ARABIA: IN BRIEF

    Net profits at National Commercial Bank (NCB) for the first three quarters of 1999 fell by 5 per cent to SR 873.6 million ($233 million) from SR 920.6 million($245.5 million) in the same period of the previous year. Total assets fell by 7 per cent to SR 85,858 million ($22,895 million).
  • SAUDI ARABIA: IN BRIEF

    NEWS
  • SAUDI ARABIA: IPP may be launched by 2000

    Private financing arrangements might be used to execute some of the country's largest power projects in 2000, despite the poor track record of independent power projects (IPPs) in Saudi Arabia. Senior Western power consultants say private options are being considered for both the 750-MW second phase expansion of the Shuaiba power station for Saudi Consolidated Electric Company for the Western Region (EWR) and on the 1,800-MW second phase expansion of the PP-9 power station outside Riyadh for
  • SAUDI ARABIA: IPP may be launched by 2000

    NEWS
  • SAUDI ARABIA: NPC to build new pipe mill

    Al-Khobar-based National Pipe Company (NPC) is to build a new mill to meet growing demand for heavier duty pipelines in the gas industry in Saudi Arabia and the rest of the GCC. The company is to invest $80 million in the project, which will double its capacity, and expects to award the equipment supply and construction contracts by early next year.
  • SAUDI ARABIA: NPC to build new pipe mill

    NEWS
  • SAUDI ARABIA: Offset venture set up to repair oil equipment

    NEWS
  • SAUDI ARABIA: Offset venture set up to repair oil equipment

    A new joint venture company has been set up, specialising in the repair and calibration of instrumentation used in the oil, petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals and energy industries. Rezayat-Flover has been formed under the Al-Yamamah offset programme by the local Rezayat Trading Company, a member of the Alireza Group, and the UK's Flover.
  • SAUDI ARABIA: Oil investment plans tobe outlined in 2000

    NEWS
  • SAUDI ARABIA: Oil investment plans tobe outlined in 2000

    Crown Prince Abdullah is unlikely to unveil detailed plans outlining which areas of its oil and gas sector will be opened to foreign investment until early next year, oil industry sources in Riyadh say (Oil & Gas, MEED Special Report, 29:10:99).
  • SAUDI ARABIA: Oil ministers meetingurges OPEC vigilance

    Oil ministers of Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and Mexico meeting in Riyadh on 17 November reiterated their countries' commitment to the agreed production cuts until the end of March 2000. A joint statement issued following talks also called on OPEC and non-OPEC producers to continue compliance to bring sustained stability to the market.
  • SAUDI ARABIA: Oil ministers meetingurges OPEC vigilance

    NEWS
  • SAUDI ARABIA: Private jet company boosts capital four-fold

    The local National Air Service (NAS), which has pioneered a fractional ownership programme for executive jets in Saudi Arabia, has increased its capital fromSR 60 million ($16 million) to SR 240 million ($64 million) as part of an effort to tap growing demand in the regional private aviation market. The recapitalisation will be achieved through a cash injection from NAS' owners, which include Saudi Arabian Airlines.
  • SAUDI ARABIA: Private jet company boosts capital four-fold

    NEWS
  • SAUDI ARABIA: Refinancings move aheadat Sabic subsidiaries

    The refinancing of $1,260 million worth of loans to Saudi Iron & Steel Company (Hadeed) was completed on 31 October, and progress is being made in the negotiations for new deals for Saudi European Petrochemical Company (Ibn Zahr) and Arabian Industrial Fibers Company (Ibn Rushd - see Finance).
  • SAUDI ARABIA: Refinancings move aheadat Sabic subsidiaries

    NEWS
  • SAUDI ARABIA: Seven bid for GSMexpansion

    Seven international companies have submitted bids to Saudi Telecommunications Company (STC) to expand the cellular phone system. The expansion project will add another 1 million global system for mobiles (GSM) lines to the network, nearly doubling capacity. The closed offers were delivered to STC on 30 October and the bidders expect contract discussions to begin early next year. Prices were not opened but industry representatives say an order of this magnitude could be worth $400 million-600
  • SAUDI ARABIA: Seven bid for GSMexpansion

    NEWS
  • SAUDI ARABIA: Sultan urges France toboost offset investment

    NEWS
  • SAUDI ARABIA: Sultan urges France toboost offset investment

    The government is increasing pressure on France to increase its investments agreed under offset commitments with Saudi Arabia, French defence sources say. This follows comments by Defence Minister Prince Sultan Bin Abdel- Aziz during a visit to Paris on 9 November that France had so far invested just 4 per cent of the technical value of deals signed with Saudi Arabia under its offset programme, against the35 per cent previously agreed.
  • SAUDI ARABIA: Three to be short listed for PDH/PP project

    NEWS
  • SAUDI ARABIA: Three to be short listed for PDH/PP project

    Three companies are expected to be shortlisted by the local National Industrialisation Company (NIC) for a propane dehydrogenation (PDH) and polypropylene (PP) scheme in Jubail after the bidders were invited to submitrepriced offers in November. The favoured groups are expected to be US- based ABB Lummus Global, and Chiyoda Corporation and Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding Company, both of Japan (MEED 22:10:99).
  • Saudi loan revamps: one down, two to go

    FINANCE
  • Saudi loan revamps: one down, two to go

    Bankers say the rescheduling of loans to three subsidiaries of Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic) is proceeding smoothly with an agreement reached with Saudi Iron & Steel Company (Hadeed) on 31 October. 'The first of the three packages has been dealt with, and progress is being made on the other two,' said a London-based banker involved in one of the deals (MEED 17:9:99).
  • Saudi makes GM truffle breakthrough

    A Saudi Arabian agriculture scientist claims to have developed a method that would allow white truffles to be produced all year round. Truffles only grow underground at certain times of the year and are normally only available in the wild.
  • Stuck in neutral

    Long-term observers of Japan's economic odyssey were struck with deja vu in early November. In yet another attempt to spirit the sluggish economy back to sustainable growth, the government unveiled an enormous economic stimulus package to the Diet (parliament). It was the ninth such package of measures to reflate the economy since the asset price bubble burst in 1991. Few economists expect it to be the last.
  • Stuck in neutral

    SPECIAL REPORT JAPAN
  • SUDAN

    Calgary-based Talisman Energy has welcomed a Canadian government initiative to investigate the political situation in Sudan to determine what role, if any, the oil company is playing in the domestic conflict. Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Lloyd Axworthy announced the decision to send an envoy to Sudan after US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright during a 23 October visit to Nairobi criticised the involvement of Canadian firms in the oil sector. Axworthy said penalties would be considere
  • Synthetic acquisition for Investcorp

    FINANCE
  • Synthetic acquisition for Investcorp

    Investcorp is to acquire US-based Synthetic Industries in a structured transaction valued at about $533 million, it was announced on6 November. A legal acquisition vehicle wholly-owned by Investcorp, called SIND Holdings, is to buy the outstanding shares in Synthetic for cash at $33 a share.
  • SYRIA

    SPECIAL REPORT TELECOMS
  • SYRIA

    SYRIA prides itself on doing things differently. In its approach to developing a mobile phone system, it has been true to type. It has come up with a unique formula which offers distinct benefits to the Syrian Telecommunications Establishment (STE), but is not so obviously attractive to foreign suppliers and operators, or to customers.
  • SYRIA

    The UK's Serck Heat Transfer has a contract to supply cooling systems for engines in 30 locomotives being supplied to the General Establishment for Syrian Railways. The FF 350 million ($55 million) contract for the AD 33 CoCo locomotives was signed with France's Alstom in 1997 (MEED 20:6:97). The RK215 diesel engines are being supplied by the UK's Alstom Engines Ruston Division.
  • SYRIA

    NEWS
  • SYRIA

    The evaluation of offers for the substructure contract on the Damascus Four Seasons Hotel is entering the final stages, project sources say. Seven international companies are understood to be bidding for the estimated $3 million-4 million contract. The project is said to have attracted strong interest from international construction companies looking to work on the superstructure package. The client, Syrian Saudi Company for Tourism & Investment, is expected to issue tender documents for this
  • SYRIA

    NEWS
  • SYRIA: Abu Dhabi fund lends$148 million

    NEWS
  • SYRIA: Abu Dhabi fund lends$148 million

    The Abu Dhabi Fund for Development has agreed to lend a total of $148 million for four development projects.
  • SYRIA: Combined cycle conversionfor Tishreen power station

    NEWS
  • SYRIA: Combined cycle conversionfor Tishreen power station

    International companies are to be invited in early 2000 to bid for an estimated $60 million contract to add a combined cycle conversion to the Tishreen power station in Damascus. The Abu Dhabi Fund for Development has agreed to lend $30 million for the project, and the remaining $30 million is expected to come form either the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development or the Arab Fund for Economic & Social Development (MEED 12:11:99).
  • SYRIA: IN BRIEF

    Bashar Asad, the president's son, was received by President Chirac of France in Paris on 7 November. They held talks on Middle East political issues. It was Asad's first official meeting with a Western leader.
  • SYRIA: IN BRIEF

    NEWS
  • Taking off

    SPECIAL REPORT AEROSPACE
  • Taking off

    This year's aerospace showcase in the Middle East promises to be bigger and better than ever. When the Dubai international air show opens its doors to visitors on 14 November, the cream of the global industry will be represented and an array of its latest hardware will be on display. Dubai's Civil Aviation Authority has put up a purpose-built hall for the show and its claim to be the largest industry event between Europe and the Far East is now secure.
  • Tankers loan closes oversubscribed

    A $120 million loan for Kuwait-based Arab Maritime Petroleum Transport Company (AMPTC) to finance the purchase of oil product tankers has closed heavily oversubscribed, says ANZ Investment Bank, one of three senior arrangers for the deal. The other two are Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation (Apicorp) and Gulf International Bank(GIB - MEED 6:8:99).
  • TELECOMS: Limbering up for launch ofa new era

    THE next phase of Saudi Arabia's mobile phone expansion scheme is shaping up as a battle royal. With seven international companies bidding to supply a further 1 million global system for mobiles (GSM) lines to the estimated 800,000 installed capacity, tensions are mounting between the global communications giants as they eye the prize of access to one of the Middle East's biggest markets.
  • The giant stirs

    Saudi Arabia's economy is growing again amid much talk of market friendly reforms. Next year will be a test of whether the government's reformist rhetoric can be turned into a reality that accords with the expectations raised by the flurry of ministerial pronouncements in recent months. James Gavin reports
  • The Saudi quickstep

    The dance of Saudi economic reform has often resembled a waltz: slow, slow, quick, quick, slow. The flurry of announcements made since mid-October suggest that the reforms are now well into the fast phase. Ministers have issued a succession of statements on new initiatives and proclaimed renewed enthusiasm for more familiar policies. The mutual fund market has been opened to foreign investors, and non-Saudis will be allowed to own real estate and take unpenalisedmajority stakes in local joint
  • The Saudi quickstep

    COVER STORY
  • TUNISIA

    THE telecoms sector has been expanding slowly in Tunisia but the promise of greater things to come lurks just around the corner. Plans are afoot to raise fixed line penetration rates to 14 per cent by the end of 2001 from the current 9.5 per cent and President Ben Ali has called for 2 million fixed line subscribers in the next few years. This compares to a fixed line coverage of only 3 per cent in 1987.
  • TUNISIA

    NEWS
  • TUNISIA

    SPECIAL REPORT TELECOMS
  • TUNISIA: Bids in for bank merger advisory role

    NEWS
  • TUNISIA: Bids in for bank merger advisory role

    Bids were received on 1 November for the contract to advise three state- owned banks on their merger. The bidders are understood to include a leading French bank.
  • TUNISIA: Cement privatisation on track

    The closing date for bids to buy a controlling stake in the Societe des Ciments de Gabes (SCG) cement plant has been set for 17 December, says a source close to the deal. Only after the SCG transaction is completed will bids be invited for the other plants included in this second privatisation phase: Societe des Ciments Artificiels de Tunis (CAT) and Societe des Ciments d'Oumel-Kelil (CIOK - MEED 8:10:99).
  • TUNISIA: Cement privatisation on track

    NEWS
  • TUNISIA: EIB to lend Eur 83 million

    NEWS
  • TUNISIA: EIB to lend Eur 83 million

    The European Investment Bank (EIB) is to extend loans totalling Eur 83.1 million ($85.7 million) for private sector development and transport projects.
  • TUNISIA: Ghannouchi appointed prime minister

    President Ben Ali on 17 November appointed Mohamed Ghannouchi as prime minister. Ghannouchi, an economist, replaces Hamed Karoui, who had held the office since September 1989. The appointment follows the president's election in October for a third term (MEED 5:11:99, Cover Story).
  • TUNISIA: Ghannouchi appointed prime minister

    NEWS
  • TUNISIA: IN BRIEF

    President Ben Ali scooped 99.44 per cent of the vote on 24 October in the country's first contested presidential election since independence. His party, the Constitutional Democratic Rally (RCD), won 148 out of182 seats in the parliament. Under a 1998 amendment in the electoral law, the remaining 34 seats, constituting 20 per cent of the chamber, were reserved for the six legal opposition parties, one of which, the Progressive Socialist Rally, failed to win a single seat.
  • TURKEY

    THE Turkish telecommunications market is dominated by Turk Telekomunikasyon, which was formed at the end of 1995 when the state's Posts, Telegraphs & Telephones Administration was split into two separate entities. With18.6 million fixed lines and more than 48,000 employees, Turk Telekom is among the largest telecommunications companies in Europe. Moreover, it has two communication satellites which provide the company with a competitive advantage over many of its global peers.
  • TURKEY

    SPECIAL REPORT TELECOMS
  • TURKEY: ASKI invites bids for drainage system

    The Ankara Water & Sewerage Administration (ASKI) has invited applications by 22 November to prequalify for work on the city's drainage system.
  • TURKEY: ASKI invites bids for drainage system

    NEWS
  • TURKEY: Consultant sought forIsparta solid waste plant

    NEWS
  • TURKEY: Consultant sought forIsparta solid waste plant

    Isparta Municipality is to retender consultancy services for the construction of a solid waste facility in Isparta. 'We agreed with the municipality to invite bids for prequalification immediately,' said Renner Haeberle of Germany's Kreditanstalt fuer Wiederaufbau (KfW) after a visit to Turkey in the third week of October.
  • TURKEY: Consultants bid for Antalya water supply project

    NEWS
  • TURKEY: Consultants bid for Antalya water supply project

    The Antalya Water & Sewerage Authority (ASAT) is evaluating four bids to consult on work being carried out on the $245 million Antalya water supply project.
  • TURKEY: Consultants shortlisted for Tarsus wastewater project

    Tarsus Municipality has issued tender documents to three German-led consortia to provide consultancy services for a wastewater treatment plant.
  • TURKEY: Consultants shortlisted for Tarsus wastewater project

    NEWS
  • TURKEY: Deutsche Bank fixes loanfor gas pipeline

    State-owned Botas has received a loan of $75.6 million arranged by Deutsche Bank to help finance the construction of a gas pipeline between Kayseri and Ankara.
  • TURKEY: Deutsche Bank fixes loanfor gas pipeline

    NEWS
  • TURKEY: Diski moves ahead with wastewater projects

    NEWS
  • TURKEY: Diski moves ahead with wastewater projects

    The Diyarbakir Water & Sewerage Administration (Diski) is finalising two deals to develop the city's wastewater and sewage system.
  • TURKEY: Eximbank steps in onBOT power project

    The US' Export-Import Bank (Eximbank) has taken over $225 million in loans extended by commercial banks to finance the Trakya electric power station.
  • TURKEY: Eximbank steps in onBOT power project

    NEWS
  • TURKEY: IN BRIEF

    NEWS
  • TURKEY: IN BRIEF

    France's Alcatel announced on 9 November that it had won a two-yearEur 140 million ($145.8 million) contract to provide switching equipment to Turk Telekom. The contract covers the supply of initial and digital exchanges, ISDN applications, line and trunk extensions and maintenance. Alcatel says it controls 40 per cent of the local switching market with an installed base of more than 5 million ports with 260 exchanges.
  • TURKEY: IN BRIEF

    Germany's Flughafen Frankfurt/Main (FAG) has set up a 50:50 joint venture with the local Bayindir Holding to operate the international airport terminal in Antalya. Opened in 1998, the terminal was built by Bayindir Holding as a nine-year build-operate-transfer (BOT) project. Bayindir Holding president KamuranCortuk said in late October that tenders for BOT contracts for Izmir, Ankara and Bodrum airports were expected in the coming months. 'We will bid for all these three BOT projects with our
  • TURKEY: IN BRIEF

    The government plans to import 10,800 million cubic metres (bcm) of natural gas and 5 bcm of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in 2000 to meet increased demand of 15.8 bcm, Energy Minister Cumhur Ersumer told a parliamentary commission on15 November. He said that total gas consumption in 1999 was forecast at 13 bcm, and that natural gas needs were seen rising to 22 bcm in 2010 and 83 bcm in 2020. The government is negotiating supply agreements with several natural gas exporters (see Iraq).
  • TURKEY: IN BRIEF

    NEWS
  • TURKEY: IN BRIEF

    NEWS
  • TURKEY: IN BRIEF

    The Privatisation Administration has invited bids by 1 November for the purchase of wood products manufacturer ETAG Etimesgut Agac Sanayii Ticaret. The company, which was added to the privatisation portfolio in August 1998, has capital of TL 250,000 million ($525,760). It posted losses of TL 327,000 million ($687,697) in the first half of 1998 and sales of TL 661,000 million ($1.4 million).
  • TURKEY: Mixed response fortourism tenders

    The sale of tourism assets by the Privatisation Administration (OIB) received a mixed response when bids were opened on 27 October.
  • TURKEY: Mixed response fortourism tenders

    NEWS
  • TURKEY: Second earthquake strikes east of Istanbul

    NEWS
  • TURKEY: Second earthquake strikes east of Istanbul

    At least 550 people died and more than 3,200 were injured when an earthquake measuring 7.2 on the Richter scale hit northwest Turkey on 12 November.
  • Two steps back

    COVER STORY
  • Two steps back

    The high ethical tone set by President Emile Lahoud in his inauguration speech last November struck a cord with most Lebanese. The country's political system has long been associated with corruption and nepotism, and Lahoud's arrival and the subsequent appointment of political veteran Salim al-Hoss to replace Rafiq Hariri as prime minister ushered in a new phase in Lebanon's regeneration. Hariri's style of government, in which his business associates held key posts, smacked of cronyism, and h
  • UAE

    THE telecommunications sector in the UAE is growing at a rapid pace on the back of rising demand for fixed and mobile telephones, and internet services both from the public and the private sector. Emirates Telecommunications Corporation (Etisalat), the sole service provider in the federation, is constantly trying to improve and expand its services, in part to justify its continuing monopoly.
  • UAE

    SPECIAL REPORT TELECOMS
  • UAE: Abu Dhabi cancels EDC project

    The three bidders for the Ruwais ethylene dichloride (EDC) contract were notified in the last week of October that the project had been cancelled. The notification, in the form of a letter from Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), gave no reason for the decision, except to say that it had been taken in light of a change in strategy and planning. The letter coincided with the expiry of bid validity bonds for the project's licensing, engineering, procurement and construction contract (MEED 2
  • UAE: Abu Dhabi cancels EDC project

    NEWS
  • UAE: ADNOC signs up for Dolphin

    State-owned Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) and the UAE Offsets Group (UOG) on 26 October signed a joint declaration to work together for the development of the Dolphin gas project, being promoted by UOG, in Abu Dhabi and the region. The two-point joint declaration states:
  • UAE: ADNOC signs up for Dolphin

    NEWS
  • UAE: ADWEA picks consultantsfor Mussafah networks

    Three international consultants have been issued letters of intent by Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Authority (ADWEA) for preparing masterplans and detailed designs for water and power distribution and transmission networks in the Mussafah industrial area.
  • UAE: ADWEA picks consultantsfor Mussafah networks

    NEWS
  • UAE: Al-Ghurair centrepackage goes for bid

    NEWS
  • UAE: Al-Ghurair centrepackage goes for bid

    The largest package on the estimated AED 1,100 million ($300 million) Al-Ghurair retail city project in Dubai was issued for bid in early November. Twelve contractors have been given until the first week of January to price the contract, which covers the structural and finishing works for the complex known as the Mashreq Bank adjacent building. The client, the local Al-Ghurair Group, has already awarded a series of contracts on the retail city for work associated with the new north garage and
  • UAE: Al-Ghurair sets upaluminium venture

    The local Al-Ghurair Group and a group of international investors, known as Alupromoters, announced on 26 October the formation of a new company, Aluminium Gulf Company (AluGulf), to build a$180 million aluminium rolling mill at Jebel Ali. The 22,400-tonne a- year plant is expected to be completed in July 2002 and will produce aluminium foil for use in the food, pharmaceuticals and industrial packaging sectors.
  • UAE: Al-Ghurair sets upaluminium venture

    NEWS
  • UAE: Bidders prepare forSharjah gas grid work

    Bids are due to be submitted on 13 November for the second phase of the Sharjah gas distribution project, following a one-week bid extension by the client, Sharjah Electricity & Water Authority (SEWA). Five local and international contractors are expected to price the three-year contract, which will involve connecting a further 35,000 customers in Sharjah city. The phase one network, due to be completed next June, is being carried out by the local/Canadian joint venture of SS Lootah Contracti
  • UAE: Bidders prepare forSharjah gas grid work

    NEWS
  • UAE: Bidding under way onnew Shuweihat IWPP

    The tender process for a major new private water and power project in Abu Dhabi has got under way with the issue to international developers of an invitation to prequalify. Financial and legal advisers have also been appointed.
  • UAE: Bidding under way onnew Shuweihat IWPP

    NEWS
  • UAE: Bids in for Taweelah A-1 IWPP

    NEWS
  • UAE: Bids in for Taweelah A-1 IWPP

    Proposals were submitted on 15 November by four international developers for the takeover and expansion of the Taweelah A-1 power and desalination complex in Abu Dhabi. Sources close to the project said that according to the bid opening prices, the two lowest tariff proposals came from the US' CMS Energy Corporation and the Belgian/French group of Tractebel and Total. They were followed by Japan's Marubeni Corporation and the UK's National Power (MEED 12:11:99).
  • UAE: Borouge considerscommercial loan options

    NEWS
  • UAE: Borouge considerscommercial loan options

    The local/European Abu Dhabi Polymers Company (Borouge) is to seek a commercial loan of between $200 million-500 million to finance its grassroots polyethylene complex at Ruwais, although a decision has still to be taken by the board about how it will be sourced. In an interview with MEED in Abu Dhabi on8 November, Borouge chief executive Joost Schrevens said that a mixture of shareholders' equity, a shareholders' loan and a commercial borrowing would be used to finance the estimated $1,200 m
  • UAE: Borouge is a platformfor growth

    A new star will appear in the Gulf petrochemicals firmament in late 2001. In December of that year, the 600,000-tonne-a-year (t/y) cracker, owned by Abu Dhabi Polymers Company (Borouge), is scheduled to enter production. It will then be followed in a matter of days by two 225,000-t/y polyethylene units, in a step that will mark the UAE's entry into the world of polyolefins manufacturing.
  • UAE: Borouge is a platformfor growth

    SPECIAL REPORT PETROCHEMICALS
  • UAE: Central bank hits back at police criticism

    NEWS
  • UAE: Central bank hits back at police criticism

    THE Central Bank of the UAE on 8 November reacted angrily to comments attributed to Dubai Police Chief Dhahi Khalfan Tamim that the regulatory authority was helping fraud through lax regulations, 'absent-mindedness' and leniency towards enforcing banking laws. 'The UAE economy is sound and does not need any protection,' the central bank said in a statement.
  • UAE: Cert evaluates consultancy bids

    Abu Dhabi-based Centre of Excellence for Applied Research & Training (Cert) is evaluating bids from four consultants for the design of a new technology park complex to be built at the men's campus of the Higher Colleges for Technology in Abu Dhabi city.
  • UAE: Cert evaluates consultancy bids

    NEWS
  • UAE: Dubai Internet Cityunveiled

    Dubai Crown Prince and UAE Defence Minister Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid al-Maktoum announced on 29 October the establishment of the Dubai Internet City. Described as the world's first free trade zone for electronic business (e-business), Sheikh Mohammed said that the free zone, Dubai's third, would be located opposite the Emirates golf club, close to Jebel Ali. It would be built in phases, with phase one due to be completed in one year, and initially cost an estimated$200 million, he said.
  • UAE: Dubai Internet Cityunveiled

    NEWS
  • UAE: IN BRIEF

    Dubai Investments announced on6 November that it had signed a joint venture agreement with Swiss-based CAM Group to set up a 450,000-tonne-a-year oil seed crushing plant. The estimated $50 million project will be implemented by The Edible Oil Company (Dubai), a new venture in which Dubai Investments will hold a 70 per cent stake and CAM the remaining 30 per cent. CAM has agreed to supply all the plant's seed requirements, purchase all its output and supply the plant's equipment on a turnkey b
  • UAE: IN BRIEF

    NEWS
  • UAE: IN BRIEF

    Evaluation of seven bids is under way at Al-Ain Municipality for contract M-16A/1, the construction of internal roads, stormwater drainage and street lighting in Mezyad and Al-Dhaher. For the phase one contract, the local Bin Hafeez General Contracting & Transport Establishment is low bidder at AED 137 million ($37.3 million), followed by Al-Jaber Transport & General Contracting at AED 147.7 million ($40.2 million) and a local joint venture of BRICC and Bin Ham General Contracting Company at
  • UAE: IN BRIEF

    The General Headquarters of the UAE Armed Forces is understood to be close to finalising a deal for the supply of maritime reconnaissance aircraft with France's Thomson CSF and Canada's Bombardier. Sources say the deal involves up to four aircraft and will replace the $150 million contract announced in March 1998 involving the purchase of four CN-235/200 aircraft from Indonesia's ITPN. Thomson is working as the main contractor and will supply the electronic systems, while Bombardier will supp
  • UAE: IN BRIEF

    Bids went in on 13 November for the second phase of the Sharjah gas grid project. Sources close to the project said that Sharjah Electricity & Water Authority (SEWA) did not immediately open the bids and that it was unclear whether all five prospective bidders submitted quotes for the three-year contract. The prequalified companies included the local/Canadian joint venture of SS Lootah Contracting Company and BC Gas International, India's Dodsal, Germany's RWB, and McNicholas Construction and
  • UAE: IN BRIEF

    NEWS
  • UAE: IN BRIEF

    NEWS
  • UAE: IN BRIEF

    NEWS
  • UAE: Local/US venture wins$2.8 billion medical contract

    NEWS
  • UAE: Local/US venture wins$2.8 billion medical contract

    Abu Dhabi-based Emirates Palomar Medical Services, a 51:49 joint venture between the local Al-Amir International Group and North Carolina-based Eagle Technology,has won a $2,800 million contract from the General Headquarters of the UAE Armed Forces.
  • UAE: NBAD floats dirhambond for BMW

    NEWS
  • UAE: NBAD floats dirhambond for BMW

    The launch of the UAE's first dirham-denominated bond was announced on2 November by National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD). The AED 350 million ($95.3 million), three-year bond has been issued by BMW US Capital Corporation, a subsidiary of the German car manufacturer BMW, and offers a fixed annual rate of return of 6.71 per cent. It is understood that BMW will use the funds to finance the expansion of one of its European plants.
  • UAE: Rapco bids lowfor truck road

    The local Rapco is low bidder at AED 68 million ($18.5 million) for the third package on the Al-Faya-Seh Shuaib truck road project in Abu Dhabi. Rapco's bid is 1.6 per cent lower than it nearest rival, Al-Jaber Transport & General Contracting Establishment, atAED 69.1 million ($18.8 million).
  • UAE: Rapco bids lowfor truck road

    NEWS
  • UAE: Summit plans $100 million ship leasing company

    NEWS
  • UAE: Summit plans $100 million ship leasing company

    The UK's Summit Corporate Services is finalising plans to set up a joint venture ship leasing company in Abu Dhabi. The company will have a paid- up capital of $100 million and will buy a fleet of10 offshore work and production vessels from Intership, a shipping venture based in St Vincent.
  • UAE: TII sets up joint venture Islamic finance company

    NEWS
  • UAE: TII sets up joint venture Islamic finance company

    Kuwait's Islamic finance company The International Investor (TII) has been given the go-ahead by the Central Bank of the UAE to set up a joint venture Islamic finance company in Dubai. TII Emirates is being set up with a paid-in capital of AED 35 million ($9.5 million) of which55 per cent will be owned by prominent UAE investors and the remaining 45 per cent by TII.
  • US talks up Baku-Ceyhan oil line

    The US is pushing hard for inter-governmental agreements to be signed to allow work to start on an oil pipeline from Baku in Azerbaijan to the Turkish Mediterranean oil terminal of Ceyhan. However, US officials say the project still faces a battle to secure financing.
  • West Bank pull-out delayed

    The scheduled hand-over of more West Bank land on 15 November was postponed due to disagreements between Israeli and Palestinian officials.
  • YEMEN

    NEWS
  • YEMEN

    NEWS
  • YEMEN

    Adair International Oil & Gas of the US has a memorandum of understanding with the Oil Ministry to carry out exploration in block 20, located between the governorates of Marib and Shabwah. The ministry said on 5 November that Adair will invest more than $16 million in two phases over five years. Work will include a seismological survey and drilling six wells. Block 20 is outside the list of blocks under tender for March 2000 (MEED 15:10:99). Adair officials could not be contacted for comment.
  • YEMEN: Delma/CCC in talkson IPP contract

    NEWS
  • YEMEN: Delma/CCC in talkson IPP contract

    The Ministry of Electricity & Water is understood to have held discussions with a partnership of Delma Power of the US and Athens-based Consolidated Contractors International Company (CCC) about a contract to carry out the country's first independent power project (IPP).
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