Author Archives: Executive Staff

Business briefing: 5 Nov 2013

Economics and Policy Egypt returned a $500 million deposit to Qatar at the start of November after Qatar refused to renew it upon its maturity. More from Reuters   The United Nations estimates that around 9.3 million people in Syria, or about 40 percent of the population, need humanitarian assistance due to the country's 2-1/2-year

Business briefing: 1 Nov 2013

Economics and Policy Intent on supplying his government with arms, oil and food, Syrian President Bashar Assad has turned to Russian banks to access world markets, and the lenders could open more doors to him, despite a risk of isolation from the U.S. banking system. More from Reuters   Lebanon’s impoverished class will suffer the

Business briefing: 31 Oct 2013

Economics and Policy Lebanon's caretaker Finance Minister Mohammad Safadi has warned that growth was unlikely to exceed 1.5 percent in 2013 – and it could flatline next year. More from The Daily Star   China is moving further into Iraq, increasing its investments in the country's oil. More from Reuters   Oman plans to launch

Business briefing: 29 Oct 2013

Economics and Policy The London-based Institute of International Finance has revised downward its projection for Lebanon’s 2013 GDP growth from 1.1 percent to 0.7 percent, a further indication that many international agencies do not share the government’s forecast of 2 percent. More from The Daily Star   Libya’s efforts to end a three-month stranglehold on

Business briefing: 28 Oct 2013

Economics and Policy Lebanese caretaker Energy Minister Gebran Bassil said new estimates for nearly half of Lebanese waters suggested the country’s reserves of natural gas and oil might be larger than previously thought. More from Reuters   Egypt's closure of tunnels used to smuggle goods into the Gaza strip has caused monthly losses of $230

Business briefing: 25 Oct 2013

Economics and Policy Iraq plans to sell bonds for the first time since 2006 as surging oil revenue pushes borrowing costs lower even as sectarian violence in the troubled nation escalates. More from Bloomberg   European governments have taken preliminary steps to reimpose sanctions on Iran’s main cargo-shipping line, potentially complicating a new diplomatic push

Business briefing: 24 Oct 2013

Economics and Policy Egypt is not interested in importing gas via pipeline from Israel and instead is focusing on a plan to import liquefied natural gas, a top state executive said Wednesday. More from Reuters   Kuwait is trying to persuade Saudi Arabia to take up the UN Security Council seat that Riyadh has spurned

Business briefing: 23 Oct 2013

Economics and Policy Saudi Arabia’s unprecedented rejection of a U.N. Security Council place has pushed the world body into uncharted territory, but fellow Gulf nation Kuwait is emerging as an early front-runner to fill the seat. More from Reuters   Saudi Arabia's intelligence chief has said the kingdom will make a "major shift" in dealings

Business briefing: 22 Oct 2013

Economics and Policy Cairo will begin repaying the more than $6 billion it owes to foreign oil firms within two months, the chairman of state-run Egyptian General Petroleum Company has said. More from Reuters   Lebanon's Caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati cannot call for a Cabinet session to discuss oil and gas licensing without political