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January 10, 2012

"If for any reason the strait were closed it would have a huge impact on the economy in the Middle East and would cause a systematic restructuring of flows of goods around the world," Manners-Bell said
17:31 GMT
Iran has said it would block oil exports through the strait, a global chokepoint for crude shipments, if sanctions are imposed on its crude exports. Such a move could also force companies including Ford Motor, BASF and Caterpillar to seek safer routes for transporting items.
The projected price increase is due to the shortage of raw materials as production remains sluggish in the economic slowdown
17:16 GMT
“Prices of raw materials like steel, petroleum by-products and other metals, can only go up, easily by eight to 12 percent,” said R.N. Mathew, Managing Director of Tools, a welding, lifting and industrial supplies company.
The agency said that it could raise the ratings in case of a decline in political risks and if there is a significant improvement in government finances
14:52 GMT
Moody’s indicated that it would downgrade Lebanon’s ratings in the case of a substantial and sustained withdrawal of bank deposits from the country, which would threaten the banks’ willingness and ability to finance the government.
Almost 61% of employers consider the hiring practices in their company to be sophisticated
14:04 GMT
An employer poll conducted by Bayt.com has revealed that 28.8% of employers in the Middle East look for ‘hunger, drive and ambition’ as the most important factors when making a hiring decision.
If oil trades between $85-$95 per barrel range over the next decade, it will provide an adequate economic incentive for producers such as the UAE to continue investing in long-term sustainable production capacity, energy minister Mohammad Bin Dha’en Al Hameli said
13:44 GMT
“On a standalone basis, MENA region will be asked to invest over $100 billion every year,” said Al Attiyah, a former Qatar energy minister.

January 9, 2012

Going into cash for the short-term never made more sense. Inflation is already moving up and interest rates cannot lag behind for long
17:47 GMT
Because Gulf interest rates have not fallen like most dollar areas we should feel less of the impact of rising interest rates.
Syria's reserves are suffering, although earlier in the year, they were reported at $18 billion
17:04 GMT
Although some countries objected to the measures, most of them-surprisingly including Lebanon-have said that they will apply them to doing business with Syria.
Fayez stressed that the tourism industry will continue to be among the most important sectors in enhancing the local economy in the future
17:03 GMT
"The instability the region has witnessed and protests in Jordan were one of the factors that affected the sector in 2011," Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Nayef Al Fayez remarked.
Iran is always very reluctant to take action that would cripple its own economy
08:06 GMT
In the meantime oil prices stay high when a recession in the EU ought to be lowering them. This is good news for the Gulf Oil States, although they are always weary of being too offensive to Iran just in case the Western powers one day leave them on their own.
Demand will remain strong and rental rates steady for warehousing in the Muscat and Batinah areas, as supply of warehousing in the rental market remains constrained
07:43 GMT
Average tenant budgets have fallen over recent years while, conversely, the expectations of tenants have risen as they seek greater quality and value for money.
“We were expecting a more active start of the year after the holidays, but so far it’s been disappointing,” said Carole Sassine
07:23 GMT
Total shares traded reached 214,382 this week, as average daily trading dropped by half to 71,461 shares compared to 143,480 shares in the final week of 2011.

January 8, 2012

Companies that are domestically focused, defensive, and less correlated to global demand; the retail would be perfect for their investments
17:48 GMT
Saudi Arabia's retail sector is expected to grow fast, driven by a rising population, improving education and changing lifestyles.
According to a study conducted by the Union of Arab Banks last year on 'SMEs Bank Loans in the (MENA) region,' revealed that the percentage of loans provided by banks to the SMEs does not exceed 8 percent
17:28 GMT
Accelerating growth SMEs are not provided funds for many reasons, and therefore they lose great opportunities to boost their market share. This study covered 139 banks in 16 countries in the MENA region.
"It is a known fact now that there is division in our society. We cannot live in a half-divided country and need to take that difficult step to move forward," Al Kooheji said
17:25 GMT
It is important that all groups move on rather than jeopardise the country's future, says Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry vice-chairman Abdulhameed Al Kooheji.
Last year, the Gulf nations were found to have lower inflation, and a higher current account balance and gross national savings — both relative to GDP
14:00 GMT
The six GCC countries stand up well compared with the economic transition of the four key Asian markets 20 years ago, according to the research company Arabia Monitor.