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Latest in Opinion


View from the region’s western frontier

By John Defterios If vibrant colors, sights and sounds were rated as indicators to attract business and foreign direct investment, Marrakech and Morocco in general would win that competition hands down. Entering the giant market square Jemaa El Fna a half hour before sunset takes one to a bygone era. Traders, craftsmen and the odd purveyor …

DNE

Why this Zionist opposed Israel’s loyalty oath

By Moriel Rothman MIDDLEBURY, Vermont: In October, the Israeli cabinet approved a new law that will require all non-Jewish immigrants applying for citizenship to declare their loyalty to Israel as a Jewish State. Israelis across the political spectrum voiced outrage. Carlos Strenger in Ha’aretz wrote that the bill will only make “Arabs feeling even less at …

DNE

Canadian Muslims erect first minaret in Arctic

OTTAWA: Canadian Muslims have erected the Arctic’s first minaret, atop a little yellow mosque which serves as spiritual home to the area’s fledgling Islamic community. The mosque arrived in Inuvik last month to serve a growing Muslim population in Canada’s far north, after traveling 4,000 kilometers (2,485 miles) over land and water. The minaret — …

AFP

Nour calls on EU to oversee Egypt’s elections

CAIRO: Political dissident and head of Al-Ghad Party Ayman Nour called on the European Union (EU) to oversee parliamentary and presidential elections, requesting that the European Commission “play a greater role” in supporting human rights in Egypt. Nour visited the European Commission headquarters in Brussels during a recent tour of a number of European countries. …

Essam Fadl

Visa hosts security forum in Cairo

Visa Inc. held its 2010 Payment Security Forum in Cairo, bringing 250 card industry professionals from across the Middle East, Africa, South East Europe, Russia and the CIS region together to address the latest payment technology innovations as well as the identification and application of best practices on payment security relevant to markets and businesses …

Daily News Egypt Authors

Emir of Qatar welcomed to Britain with state banquet

WINDSOR: Queen Elizabeth II hosted a lavish state banquet to welcome the emir of Qatar to Britain, as her husband showed off his charming side to the Gulf ruler’s wife. Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani was the guest of honor for the banquet Tuesday in regal surroundings at Windsor Castle, which was also attended by …

AFP

Ailing Ivory Coast economy waits on election result

ABIDJAN: After a decade of political and military crisis, the economy of Ivory Coast has taken many setbacks, but the country’s people hope that Sunday’s presidential election will bring an improvement. "The crisis is not just politico-military, it is also economic and social," stresses the president of the West African country’s chamber of commerce and …

Daily News Egypt

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank plans 5-yr benchmark sukuk

DUBAI/LONDON: Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank plans to issue a five-year benchmark dollar Islamic bond which will price by this week, one of the lead bankers on the deal told Reuters on Tuesday. ADIB, the second largest Islamic lender in the United Arab Emirates, has mandated Barclay’s Capital, HSBC and Standard Chartered, for the Islamic bond, …

Daily News Egypt

Africa’s tech explosion holds promise of economic growth – Feature

JOHANNESBURG: Ask web entrepreneur Stefan Magdalinski why he moved from London to Cape Town two years ago, and he points to a map that illustrates the technological revolution reshaping Africa. The map shows the 14 undersea fiber-optic cables that will link the continent’s Internet service providers to the servers of Europe and Asia by mid-2012, …

AFP

Dubai’s ENBD Q3 profit falls on bad loans, Dubai World

DUBAI: Dubai-based Emirates NBD said its third-quarter net profit more than halved, undershooting analysts’ forecasts, due to a spike in bad loans and a provision for its exposure to debt-laden Dubai World. Emirates NBD, the Middle East’s largest bank by assets, reported 424 million dirhams ($115.5 million) in third-quarter net profit compared with 1.05 billion …

Reuters

Egyptian clothing guide: Top local brands

Given Egypt’s international fame for its high-quality cotton, it seems natural that the local fashion industry would be a flourishing one. Think again. The local obsession with imported fashion in recent years hasn’t helped home-grown fashion labels, but a few smart businesspeople and local designers have managed to successfully tap into the potential of the …

Daily News Egypt

Banks in Saudi Arabia struggle to find talent

RIYADH: Foreign banks are flocking to Saudi Arabia as the emirate opens up its bourse and rolls out the world’s biggest stimulus package but they face challenges recruiting, training and ultimately retaining local staff. Speakers at the Reuters Middle East Investment Summit this week said the Gulf Arab state offers plenty of opportunities for banks …

Reuters

Blom bank sees 2010 growth, Mideast expansion

BEIRUT: Blom Bank, one of the top two banks in Lebanon, expected its 2010 results to be a "major improvement" as the country’s economy improves and said it was looking to expand in the Middle East. The strong growth in the Lebanese economy and in retail and corporate loans was driving the bank’s growth in …

Daily News Egypt

Kuwait’s Gulf Bank expects turnaround in Q3

KUWAIT: Kuwait’s Gulf Bank expects the third quarter of this year to be a turnaround quarter as it executes a two-year plan to rebuild itself, its chief executive said on Tuesday. "What everybody expects is that this (third quarter) will be the turnaround quarter… and going forward every quarter should be slightly better than the …

Reuters

US will one day beg Iran for ties, says Ahmadinejad

TEHRAN: Iran’s President claimed the United States will one day apologize and beg Tehran that the two countries resume diplomatic relations, the official IRNA news agency reported. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad also said the US administration has allegedly become so weakened that it can’t harm Iran in any way. US-Iran relations were cut after the US Embassy …

AP

GB Auto may soon shop around for Hyundai replacement

CAIRO: Ghabbour (GB) Auto, one of the Middle East’s biggest automobile manufacturers, may watch its contract with Hyundai to assemble its Verna model go unrenewed. “This would be a big loss for GB Auto,” stated Kamal Khedr, a research analyst at Beltone Financial, a Cairo-based investment firm. In a note from Naeem Brokerage, based in …

Christopher Le Coq

Egypt panel advises higher TMG contract value-paper

An Egyptian legal committee advising the government on drafting a new contract for Talaat Moustafa’s (TMG) flagship Madinaty project recommended valuing the land at a higher price, a newspaper said on Monday. TMG’s flagship Madinaty development has been mired in a legal row since a court in June said the contract for the sale of …

Reuters

National Bank of Oman Q3 profit climbs 16 pct

DUBAI: National Bank of Oman (NBO), the third-largest lender in the sultanate, saw its third-quarter net profit rise 16 percent but the results fell short of analyst expectations. The bank’s net profit climbed to 7.1 million rials ($18.44 million) based on Reuters calculations, from 6.12 million a year ago, missing analysts’ average expectations. An estimate …

Reuters

OPEC has agreed to keep output steady, says delegate

VIENNA: OPEC ministers meeting in Vienna on Thursday were "100 percent" in agreement to keep output unchanged, a delegate told Reuters on Thursday. The ministers had yet to conclude the policy-setting conference, but had made a decision to keep supplies steady, the delegate said. OPEC has been widely expected to stick with a policy in …

Reuters

When marijuana is legal

BRISBANE: What will happen if Californians votes this November to legalize marijuana use by any adult over the age of 21 years? Let’s ignore for the moment the vexed constitutional issues that will be raised if a US state enacts legislation that conflicts with federal law. Let’s focus instead on what may happen if the …

Daily News Egypt

UAE retailer Axiom to float 35 pct in IPO

DUBAI: UAE retailer Axiom Telecom plans to list a 35 percent stake on the Nasdaq Dubai and use the proceeds partly to repay bank debt, in what would be the first initial public offering (IPO) from the Gulf state in two years. Axiom, which is 40 percent owned by a unit of conglomerate Dubai Holding, …

Reuters

Saudi has no plans to extend capacity for now, says paper

KHOBAR: There are no projects in hand to extend Saudi Arabian oil capacity, which stands at 12 million barrels per day (bpd), Saudi-owned al-Hayat newspaper reported on Wednesday, citing an unnamed high level source. The capacity figure places the kingdom level with Iraq’s ambition to reach 12 million bpd output capacity this decade. Iraq raised …

Reuters

Oil slips on stronger dollar

LONDON: Oil prices slipped for a second day on Tuesday, falling towards $81 a barrel after Saudi Arabia signaled OPEC would maintain current production levels at the group’s meeting and as the dollar rallied against the euro. US crude for November slid 60 cents to $81.61 a barrel by 1130 GMT, off an earlier session …

Daily News Egypt

Dexia sets 2014 goals with retail, Turkey growth

BRUSSELS: Franco-Belgian financial group Dexia expects retail banking, particularly in fast-growing Turkey, to propel it to new goals for 2014 after its emergence from crisis and restructuring. Dexia, which was the world’s largest lender to public bodies before the credit crunch, said income would face pressure this year and next from balance-sheet reduction and higher …

Daily News Egypt

Cr. Agricole sees $3bln in Islamic bond issuance

ABU DHABI: Credit Agricole expects to close two or three Islamic bond deals worth up to $3 billion in the next six months, the head of its Islamic finance unit said on Monday. Simon Eedle said the deals will include the long-awaited $1 billion Islamic bond, or sukuk, to finance the Jubail refinery — a …

Reuters

UAE Central Bank to launch Islamic CDs by yr-end, says StanChart

ABU DHABI: The United Arab Emirates’ central bank will launch Islamic certificates of deposit by the end of the year to help the Gulf state’s Islamic banks manage cash, a senior banker at Standard Chartered Saadiq said on Monday. Afaq Khan, chief executive of StanChart’s Islamic banking unit, said test transactions could take place as …

Reuters

Iran sees no change in OPEC target, says Khatibi

TEHRAN: The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries is not likely to lower its supply target when its members meet this week, Iran’s OPEC governor said on Monday. "In the forthcoming OPEC meeting, most member states are calling for compliance with quotas and it does not seem there will be any decision on lowering OPEC’s …

Reuters

Government ups budget by LE 3-3.5 bln

Egypt’s government has approved an additional LE 3-3.5 billion in the budget to cover the country’s food bill, Solidarity Minister Aly Moselhi stated. In its daily market report, Beltone Financial said that this increase, in addition to previously mentioned increases by the Ministry of Trade ranging between LE 2.5-4 billion, “are expected to increase the …

Daily News Egypt Authors

Qtel’s bond issue oversubscribed more than 10 times

DOHA: State-controlled Qatar Telecommunications Co (Qtel) on Thursday said its $1.5 billion bond sale was more than ten times oversubscribed, as bids exceeded $15 billion. The company this week launched a $500 million six-year bond and a $1 billion 10-year bond priced at 3.375 percent and 4.75 percent respectively. Appetite for bond issues from the …

Reuters

UAE’s Emaar Q3 outlook positive, Aldar woes to continue

DUBAI: Dubai’s Emaar Properties remains a lone bright spot in a gloomy outlook for UAE developers, but woes are set to continue for Abu Dhabi’s Aldar Properties with an expected third-quarter loss. Real estate firms across the Gulf state have been hit hard by the global financial crisis and the pain is set to continue …

Reuters