Dubai to get Adnoc and
Obeid bin Saif Al Nasiri, UAE Minister of Petroleum and Mineral
Resources, confirmed that both the Abu Dhabi National Oil Co (Adnoc) and the proposed
Dolphin project of the UAE Offsets Group (UOG) will supply natural gas to Dubai over the
long-term to meet the emirate's burgeoning demand.
The demand for natural gas in Dubai is proiected to increase from 800
million cubic feet per day (cfpd) in 1996 to 1,500 million cfpd by 2001.
"We hope both will come through. These types of projects are
long-lead and their nature is such they take time to be completed. Studies are on for the
projects and work is ongoing," said Nasiri.
He made these comments after inaugurating the 9th Arab Oil and Gas
show, which will run till October 19.
In February last year, Adnoc and the Dubai Supply Authority (DSA)
signed a gas cooperation agreement to supply 500 cfpd commencing late 2000 and increasing
to 800 million cfpd over the next two years.
The gas will be sourced from onshore fields in Abu Dhabi.
DSA signed an MoU in June 1999 with the UOG (Dolphin initiative) to buy
between 200 and 700 million cfpd of natural gas to be piped from Qatar's North Field.
"The Dubai Government and UOG agree to cooperate in identifying
and maximising opportunities for investment arising out of gas provisions. The MoU
provides for the signing of a detailed gas sales agreement by the end of the year," a
UOG statement has said.
It has not been made clear whether the Dolphin project will have to do
anything with Adnoc on proposed gas supplies to Dubai.
Ipic acquires 50pc stake in Hyundai Oil
The Abu Dhabi government-owned International Petroleum Investment Co
(Ipic) announced it has reached an agreement to acquire a 50 per cent shareholding and
controlling interest in the Hyundai Oil Refining Co (HDO), crude refining and marketing
arm of the South Korean business group Hyundai, through the purchase of new shares.
The deal worth Dhl.87 billion ($510 million), will ensure an increase
in HDO's offtake of crude from the Abu Dhabi National Oil Co (Adnoc), on standard Adnoc
terms and conditions.
To maintain a 50 per cent shareholding, Hyundal shareholders will
invest a further Dh279 million into the company.
UAE Central Bank plans to raise capital
The UAE Central Bank is planning to raise its capital substantially
while the minimum capital of commercial banks in the UAE will also be raised once the new
banking law comes into force.
Presently, the authorised, issued and paid-up capital of the Central
Bank is Dh300 million while the minimum paid-up capital of commercial banks is Dh40
As per the UAE's new banking law, the authorized capital of the Central
Bank will be raised to Dh2 billion while the minimum capital for commercial banks will be
raised to Dh100 million, Sultan bin Nasser Al Suwaidi, the UAE Central Bank governor,
The new banking law is in the hands of the higher committee and once it
is approved, the Central Bank and commercial banks will raise their capital. "Once it
is decided, the capital will be raised," Al Suwaidi said without specifying how the
capital will be raised.
$1b offered for
William Daley, U.S. Secretary of Commerce, said the Export/ Import Bank
(Exim bank) has proposals for U.S.-UAE projects worth $1 billion.
Daley gave a speech at an Emirates International Forum-Dubai Chamber of
Commerce and Industry joint event.
He said UAE and Gulf views on patents and property rights will be taken
to the USTR representative and claimed limited efforts was made on patents although
concerned ministries, as earlier announced, are working on patent amendments prior to
possible implementation in 2000.
A GCC committee was also formed for a similar purpose.
Daley's speech caused a stir among attendees and Juma Al Majid, a
prominent UAE businessman, asked him about the U.S. insistence on imposing quotas on UAE
textiles although the country opens its doors for various products.
"The textile quota system is related to a specific schedule and we
are the most global open markets. Our textile industry looses millions of jobs because of
exports" said Daley.
When asked why the U.S. obstructs UAE traders' deals under the UN
food-for-oil agreement, Daley claimed the entire issue is within the UN job tasks.
Morocco's economy is expected to shrug off this year's stagnation in
2000 and leap by 8.4 per cent as measured by the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the
country's leading independent research centre said.
"Most of the indicators are satisfactory. Therefore Morocco's
economy is expected to return to an upward trend and grow by an average 8.4 per cent in
GDP next year, from zero growth in 1999," Ahmed Laboudi, head of the Centre Marocain
de Conjoncture (CMC) saidl.
Saudi Prince weighs Ghana gold venture
Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal mentioned Tuesday he was considering
investing in Ghana's Ashanti Goldfields Co Ltd, which is battling for survival in the face
of huge losses on gold derivatives.
Ghana's acting Mines and Energy minister, Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, said
Alwaleed had written formally offering help.
People in London familiar with the situation said a lifeline of $400
million was being talked about.
Saudi to encourage foreign investment
Saudi Crown Prince Abdallah bin Abdel Aziz has announced a package of
legal reforms to encourage foreign investment and said privatisation was now a
"strategic option" for the oil-rich kingdom.
The reforms will allow foreign investors to own property and amend the
system of local sponsorship for foreigners doing business in the Gulf state, he said in a
speech late Tuesday in Medina, western Saudi Arabia.
Iran optimistic on oil cut compliance
OPEC power Iran said on Tuesday that compliance with global production
cuts, a key element behind the cartel's success in driving up oil prices, was
Iran's OPEC Governor, Hussein Kazempour Ardebili, told Reuters in a
telephone interview that producers were committed to maintaining strict adherence to a
supply restraint pact that rescued the market from last year's crisis levels.
Some independent surveys which showed OPEC production discipline had
slipped in September drove down prices by $3.50 during the first week of October. They
have since rebounded.
Egypt stocks overshadowing bond market
A boom in the Egyptian stock market over the last two weeks has
captured investor interest and overshadowed trade in the bonds market, bankers and bond
traders said on Monday.
Dalia Sultan, fixed income trader at EFG-Hermes Brokerage, said there
was some foreign interest in the bonds market but most investors had switched to the
highly active stock market instead.
"There is nothing new in the bonds market," said one trader.
"All the attention has been drawn to the stock market."
Foreign investors have regained confidence in the local equity market
after the appointment of a new government headed by former privatization chief Prime
Minister Atef Obeid.
Any activity in the bond market is centered on government bonds with
shorter maturities, such as the May 2000 and October 2003 contracts, traders said.
They said bonds dated 2000 were at a yield of 9.8 percent, while 2003
were at a yield between 10.2 and 10.3 percent.
Qatar central bank to free IR on riyal
Qatar Central Bank (QCB) governor Abdallah bin Khalid Al-Attiyah said
that the Central Bank will soon "free interest rates on the riyal in a comprehensive
manner, " the Qatar Gulf Times daily reported Sunday.
"QCB has applied the policy of freeing interest rates on a gradual
basis and in the near future there will be a comprehensive freeing of the interest
rate," the Central Bank governor told reporters shortly after opening the Q-Money '99
exhibition at the Qatar International Exhibition Centre, the paper said.
Iraq-Indonesia to strengthen ties
Iraq and Indonesia signed an agreement overnight to expand their
economic cooperation, particularly in oil exploration, the official Iraqi news agency INA
The accord was signed by the two countries' respective trade ministers,
Mahamed Mahdi Saleh and Rahardi Ramelan, at the end of the fifth round of meetings of
their joint economic commission.
INA said the agreement pledged increased efforts to widen cooperation
in petroleum, industrial, agricultural, health.
Japan offers new deal on Saudi oil concessions
Saudi Arabia and Japan have been haggling for some time over renewed
Japanese oil concessions in the Kingdom.
Japan's latest bid at breaking the dead-lock over the issue came in the
form of a new proposal through joint production with Saudi and Kuwait of a new type of
fuel from natural gas.
The deal would be in return for extending a Japanese oil developer's
concession there, a report said Thursday.
The Japanese proposal, is estimated to cost more than 100 billion yen
(940 million dollars), aimed at breaking a stalemate in talks on a concession owned by
Tokyo's Arabian Oil Co. Ltd., the Nihon Keizai Shimbun said.
The company however stopped short of confirming it was in talks on the
joint fuel production.
"In fact, our company has been considering an effective use of
natural gas in the concession. But we have not reached a stage where we can announce the
contents of such an idea," a spokesman for Arabian Oil said.
"We cannot say anything at this stage as there are various people
and partners concerned," he said when asked if the reported joint project was an
option for the company.
Arabian Oil is Japan`s biggest oil producer with the Saudi government
and Kuwait Petroleum Corp. the two largest shareholders each with a 10.9 percent stake.
The 40-year concession in oil fields in the Saudi-Kuwait border area is
due to expire next February.
Saudi Arabia is seeking large scale Japanese investment, particularly
in construction of railway links to mining regions, in return for the extended concession,
the leading economic daily said.
Meanwhile Japan, which depends on the Middle East for more than 80
percent of its crude oil imports, had been reluctant about involvement in the railway plan
which was seen as unlikely to be profitable, the report said.
Opec chief: oil curb revision too early
president said on Wednesday that it was too early for the oil producers' group to explore
the possibility of extending a global supply curb pact beyond March, the Oman Daily
Observer reported Thursday. "It would be premature to speculate whether a decision
will be a rollover or otherwise," Abdallah al Attiyah, also Qatar's oil minister,
said in an interview, according to the paper.
The cartel, which is enjoying renewed clout in sensitive world oil
markets since it cut a supply restraint deal with non-Opec producers in
March, is trying to build on the success of the agreement, the paper said.
Opec kingpin Saudi Arabia and Iran have suggested that the cuts could
be extended beyond their expiry in March if market conditions warrant, the paper added.