Morning briefing: 2 Oct 2012

The top business stories from across the region


The Lebanese government may issue a dollar-denominated sovereign bond this month, the country’s Central Bank governor has said.

“The government and the Finance Ministry are thinking of going to the market again, maybe in October, with an issue of the Republic of Lebanon in dollars,” Riad Salameh said on the sidelines of a meeting of Arab central bankers in Kuwait.

He would not comment on details of the possible bond issue, saying it was up to the government to announce it.

More from The Daily Star


Egypt's negotiations for a $4.8 billion loan from the IMF have been delayed to give the government more time to draw up its economic reform program, the two sides said on Monday.

Egypt was due to receive a team from the International Monetary Fund at the end of September to discuss the terms of the loan. It urgently needs financial support to prop up state coffers weakened by economic turmoil since the popular uprising last year that ousted President Hosni Mubarak.

"The authorities are working on their economic program and have indicated that they need some additional time to advance their preparations and be ready to receive a mission," IMF spokeswoman Wafa Amr said in a statement.

More from Reuters


Iran has lifted restrictions imposed a week ago on the secure version of the Google email service and search engine.

Google's video-sharing site, YouTube, which has been blocked in Iran since 2009, remains unavailable.

Iran's telecommunications ministry committee said of the ban: "We wanted to block YouTube, and Gmail was also blocked, which was involuntary."

"We do not yet have enough technical know-how to differentiate between these two services," Mohammad Reza Miri said.

More from the BBC


Advertising spending in the Middle East and Africa have grown rapidly in 2012, a new study has shown.

The Nielsen report showed overall global advertising spend up just 2.4 percent to $139bn in the second quarter of 2012 but the Middle East and Africa recorded the highest growth at 19.6 percent.

June saw the most growth of the quarter, at 3.1 percent.

More from AME Info


Iran's currency, the rial, fell as much as 18 percent on Monday to a record low against the US dollar, according to media reports.

It dropped to as much as 35,000 to the dollar, according to agencies citing currency exchange sites in the country.

The currency has reportedly lost 80 percent of its value since the end of 2011.

The fall suggests economic sanctions imposed over its disputed nuclear program are hitting economic activity ever harder.

More from the BBC