DOW JONES-ABQ ZAWYA PLAN NEWS SERVICE FOR M.E
Dow Jones Newswires, the world's leading
independent provider of real-time financial and business news, and
Middle East financial information group, ABQ Zawya have agreed in
principle to jointly produce a new regional news service covering the
Middle East's financial markets.
The new service will be included in a new
subscription product being developed for Zawya's premium business and
financial portal, www.zawya.com to be launched before the end of the
year. Targeted at the high-end professional investment community, the
regional newswire will initially be produced in English. Dow Jones
Newswires and ABQ Zawya are also exploring the potential for an Arabic
While detailed market research conducted by the two
companies among Zawya's clients will shape the new service, its main
focus will be on public and private companies and state-owned
enterprises joining the region's stock markets, as well as merger and
The Middle East's financial markets are evolving
rapidly and entering an extremely exciting new phase with the launch
of the Dubai International Financial Exchange this week. These
developments create an even greater demand for independent and
reliable financial news
Together with ABQ Zawya, DOW aims to create a
comprehensive real-time regional news service which will offer
financial professionals a valuable tool for their investment
This is going to be a unique news service in that
we will try harder to understand the inside stories moving the markets
and ultimately bring about greater transparency and disclosure. Simply
put, we are raising the bar," said Ihsan Jawad, chief executive
officer and managing director of ABQ Zawya LLC.
ASIAN GAMES IN DOHA
THE first World Broadcasting Meeting for the 15th
Asian Games Doha 2006 started with much enthusiasm between
participating international broadcasters.
Abdulla Khalid al-Qahtani, Director General of
DAGOC highlighted the remarkable qualitative leap the media sector in
Qatar has witnessed throughout the past years. "This conforms to
the country's prospective of the development process in line with the
national development plan", said al- Qahtani.
"Qatar is now making big achievements and is
receiving tremendous interest from the international media on all
aspects of development in the country, a normal result of the
collective efforts to positioning the country abroad."
Al-Qahtani assured the participants of the
intentions of the organizing committee to deliver the highest possible
standards of television coverage and broadcasting facilities and
services to broadcasting associates.
The 15th Asian Games Doha 2006, a unique platform
to promote the many opportunities such as offering over 2,000 hours of
live television coverage for the 39 sports on the current competition
schedule and high definition television (HDTV) coverage of some of the
major sports in the 15th Asian Games Doha 2006 to your audience",
said Mr al-Qahtani addressing the participating broadcasters.
"The Games is the major focal point for the
region over the next 15 months and will bring major benefits to our
country. The provision of a world-class standard of television
coverage of the Games will be a key aspect of our success", al-Qahtani
The production and broadcasting plans were released
to the participants who praised the role of DAGOC in organising such
meetings 15 months before the Games begin from December 1, 2006.
"The meeting is very well organized and the
preparations and opportunities in hand for the broadcasters are of
high efficiency", said Jiang Heping, Managing Director of China's
CCTV Sports Department.
"I am sure that with the efforts of DAGOC,
broadcasters would prevail and the Games will leave the best
impression for participants and the media".
Makoto Nakamura, Deputy Director of the Japanese
NHK Sports Department shared the same enthusiasm. "What is being
offered by DAGOC is much more of what we had in previous Asian
"We know that the coverage will be fantastic
and this will make it very hard for the coming Asian Games organisers."
DAGOC and the Doha Asian Games Broadcasting
Services (DAGBS), the contractor providing the broadcast services for
the Doha 2006 Games jointly presented the first edition of the Games'
Rate Card which marked the start of the International Broadcasting
Services and Facilities booking process.
"I would like to congratulate the Doha Asian
Games Organising Committee on this initiative as this is the first
time in the Asian Games history that an orientation for the
broadcasters is held way ahead of time of the Games", said
Hussain al-Musallam, Director General of the Olympic Council of Asia.
The Majlis economic commission has set a ceiling of
10 percent for interest rates in Iran that may be charged by banks
till the end of the Fourth Five-year Economic Plan (2005-2010).
A member of the commission, Iraj Nadimi, said that
banks, in providing facilities, should give priority to private or
cooperative sector projects that have prospects for high technical and
economic benefits compared with state ones. He added that the goals of
encouraging competition, achieving specific goals and attaining the
highest benefits from bank facilities were among the reasons for the
HOSNI MUBARAK VOWS TO DELIVER ON PLEDGES
President Hosni Mubarak has vowed to deliver on
pledges for reform when he was sworn in for a fifth term in office
after sweeping to victory in Egypt's first contested presidential
poll. "I will work with the utmost determination towards the
implementation of the programme I proposed during the electoral
campaign," Mubarak said after taking the oath of office in a
ceremony in parliament.
"This election was not the end, what is
important now is to realise the aspirations of the people and march
forward. We will do this with an unalterable determination to pursue
Cannons were fired from the parliament compound
after Mubarak was sworn in, marking the beginning of his fifth
six-year term at the helm of the Arab world's most populous country
following the September 7 election.
Under pressure at home and abroad, the 77-year-old
Mubarak, the region's longest serving leader after Libya's Muammar
Gaddafi, has pledged to embark on greater democratic reform. It may be
mentioned that Gaddafi was in Cairo for Mubarak's swearing-in.
Mubarak, who has ruled under a state of emergency
imposed after the 1981 assassination of his predecessor Anwar Sadat,
swept to a landslide victory in the country's first multi-candidate
poll. Official results gave Mubarak 88.5% of the vote, but low turnout
meant that those who voted for the president represented less than 9%
of Egypt's overall population. "We will hold legislative
elections in November which will complete the experience of the
presidential election," Mubarak said, vowing to "pursue
democratisation and economic liberalisation." During a campaign
which for the first time saw rivals and newspapers openly attacking
his regime, Mubarak promised to lift the state of emergency and create
more than 4mn jobs. Critics of the veteran leader have pointed out
that unemployment is at least twice as high as the official 10% and
argued that his plan to create jobs and raise wages is unrealistic.
The Egyptian government handed in its resignation, but Mubarak issued
a decree asking the cabinet to continue until a reshuffle after the
parliamentary elections in November. Many of the nine defeated
candidates in the September vote challenged the results, complaining
of fraud and other irregularities, in protests which were backed by
local non-governmental organizations which had monitored the polls.
Even the reform that led to the opening up of the presidential contest
was criticized, with many candidates barred from standing while others
refused to put anyone forward saying the outcome was a foregone
conclusion. After meeting Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif , new US
Undersecretary for Public Diplomacy Karen Hughes reminded Mubarak of
his pledge to lift emergency laws, but Nazif told her it would take
time. When the government reshuffle takes place, pro-Western
reformists within the ruling National Democratic Party and headed by
Mubarak's son Gamal seem likely to get some key posts. Gamal's growing
influence within the ruling party prompted speculation that he was
being groomed to succeed his father, drawing criticism from opposition
leaders and activists. That position was echoed in the first issue of
the country's newest weekly newspaper, Al-Karama (Dignity), which
declared itself against hereditary power in Egypt. "We swear by
God Almighty that Gamal Mubarak will not inherit us," read a
banner headline in the paper, mouthpiece of the would-be Al-Karama
party of Nasserist MP Hamdeen Sabahi. Critics of the pace of reform
hope that the reported defects in September's vote will have been
ironed out by the legislative elections. "The parliamentary polls
will be free and fair," Mubarak promised in his speech. Many see
November's vote as more politically significant than the presidential
election, as the next People's Assembly will be tasked with discussing
wide-ranging reforms. The legislative polls kick off on November 8 for
a period of three weeks, with the NDP currently controlling 404 out of
SUZUKI MODELS IN DOHA
Global car maker Suzuki, in association with
Teyseer Motors, launched two new models, Swift and an All Purpose
Vehicle (APV) in Qatar. The Swift model, which has 1.5-litre engine,
comes in two variants with manual five-speed and automatic four-speed
gears, carrying a price tag of QR42,900 and QR46,900, said Adel al-Mannai,
managing director of Teyseer Motors, the sole agent for Suzuki cars.
Though a small car, al-Mannai said it had a
"significant" torque, enabling the car to reasonably cruise.
He added that already two-third of their stock has been sold out.
Asked whether the Swift model, which had become an
instant success in India, would eat into the market of another small
car Alto, he replied in negative. "Both are targeted at different
customer segments," he said.
Ruling out any promotional offers for the new Swift
model, he said the car was cheaper by at least QR5,000 than similar
models in the compact car market.
Teyseer Motors will organise a three-day open house
at its showroom in Airport Road to enable customers to explore the
qualities of the car and take a test drive both Swift and the APV
The Swift model, which is more spacious and has
airbag system, features a new chassis that has been refined through
track test and road testing across Europe.
The body is designed to resist impact force and
direct them away from the driver and passenger. Moreover, it also has
a special pedestrian protection mechanism that will minimise injuries
in the event of any car-to-pedestrian accident.
The APV model, which combines the space and
convenience of a passenger van and the comforts of a premium saloon,
also comes in two variants - manual and automatic gear, priced at
QR54,900 and QR52,900.
The APV derives exception output and torque from
its 1.6 litre, 16-valve aluminium engine and carry up to 8 passengers
and offers about 714 litres of cargo space.
"It (APV) comes with a variety of features
that makes it ideal choice for commercial transport, be it passengers
or goods. It comes in a Panel Van version that is designed to meet the
diverse cargo needs of various leaders," Teyseer Motors general
manager Medhat Greiss said.
Mannai assured efficient after sales services and
said it was an integral part of any transaction. Greiss said Teyseer
had spare parts of almost 95% of the components of the models. Mannai
said Teyseer imported all the brands of Suzuki, except for the Wagon-R
model, which, he said, was not suitable to Qatar market.
IRAN SLATES INDIA, BRITAIN OVER NUCLEAR RESOLUTION
"If the Europeans insist on the articles
included in the recently ratified resolution and go beyond the
regulations of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Iran will
suspend its observation of the additional protocol," Supreme
National Security Council Secretary Ali Larijani said.
He also criticized India and Britain for their
attitudes toward the resolution, noting that British Foreign Minister
Jack Straw had insisted on holding negotiations at the recent United
Nations General Assembly meeting in New York but Britain acted quite
differently afterwards. Iran did not expect such a behavior from
India, Larijani said, but added that India is an old friend of Iran
and one should not judge a friend by a single incident.
Nevertheless, Iran made some gains at the recent
IAEA Board of Governors session in Vienna since the United States had
focused all its energy on achieving a consensus on the resolution but
failed, he observed.
Larijani went on to say that the continuation of
negotiations with European Union countries is totally dependent on
their behavior, adding that Iran would insist on possessing the
nuclear fuel cycle, even if its nuclear dossier were to be referred to
the UN Security Council. He noted, "Acquiring nuclear technology
is to the benefit of the Iranian nation for various reasons. It is the
inalienable right of the Iranian nation because there is a power that
intends to classify nations in such a way that the 'second class'
nations should not be allowed to attain high technology. Although
there will certainly not be enough fossil fuel in the future to
sustain these nations, and there is also no international guarantee to
provide them with nuclear fuel. So, Iran's nuclear issue is a national
Meanwhile, in response to the frequent threats to
refer Iran's nuclear dossier to the United Nations Security Council,
Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi said on Tuesday that the
West would definitely suffer more losses if Iran's nuclear dossier
were to be referred to the UN Security Council. If the pressure on
Iran is increased, the Islamic Republic will resume uranium enrichment
activities, which have been voluntarily suspended, Asefi told
reporters at a press briefing.
Asefi also expressed the view that the IAEA
resolution is not enforceable.
He stated that the IAEA should correct its view of
the Islamic Republic, adding that if it does not, Iran would be forced
to cancel all its voluntary concessions, particularly the observation
of the additional protocol to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
Asefi said that President Mahmud Ahmadinejad's
proposal on the participation of foreign companies in Iran's nuclear
program was a real "objective guarantee", but instead of
offering an objective guarantee for their part, the EU called on Iran
to relinquish its nuclear fuel cycle program.
He also thanked Venezuela for its negative vote and
the other 12 countries for their abstentions in the vote on the IAEA
resolution, but added that Iran will send letters of objection to the
countries that voted for the resolution, adding that they will also
face economic consequences.
Expressing surprise about India's unusual decision
to support the resolution, Asefi said that Iran would definitely
revise its policy with countries depending on its relations with them
since Iran's economic and political relations are coordinated.
Asefi stated that the Islamic Republic of Iran has
tried to strengthen the status of the IAEA more than any other country
in the world and believes that the independence of the IAEA should be
respected while other IAEA member states are weakening the agency.
He also noted that the IAEA is not authorized to
make extraordinary regulations for the Islamic Republic because such
measures would probably lead to anarchy in the international arena.
Asefi pointed to IAEA Director General Mohammad
Elbaradei's expressions of satisfaction for Iran's cooperation with
the agency's inspectors and said that there is no legal reason for
referring Iran's nuclear dossier to the UN Security Council.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Asefi stated that one
should not confuse the Safeguards Agreement and the additional
protocol to the NPT with confidence building measures since Iran
observed the terms of these documents and also made confidence
building measures. In conclusion, he said, "Quitting the NPT
depends on the future decisions of the agency. If the agency and
Europe act harshly, they will push us to take retaliatory
The IAEA's 35-nation board of governors on Saturday
adopted a resolution that accused Iran of "non-compliance"
with the IAEA Safeguards Agreement.
IRAN'S PETROCHEMICAL EXPORTS HIT $1B MARK
Iran's exports of petrochemicals during the first
six months of the year (Iranian year started March 21, 2005) hit $1b.
The figure is expected to increase to over $1.5b by yearend, the
managing director of the National Petrochemical Company (NPC) Mohammad
Reza Nematzadeh said in Tehran. In response to a question asked by the
reporters that whether Iran would reconsider its economic relations
with other states -in particular, India- that voted against the
Islamic Republic in the recent resolution drafted by the United
Nations Atomic Watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Board of Governors, the official noted, "We have not had any
problem with any country regarding our deals on petrochemicals and the
same also applies to India."
He was obviously referring to the adoption of a
resolution by the IAEA Board of governors on Saturday that paves the
way for referring Iran to the UN Security Council for possible
sanctions over its alleged covert nuclear activities. The official
also maintained that India is a friend of Iran and the differences of
views between Iran and India do not affect the cooperation between the
two countries. He added, "Our petrochemical agreements with India
will definitely be implemented in the due time."
Elaborating on Iran's projected petrochemical
deals, the managing director of the NPC said that Iran hopes to close
deals on a large number of petrochemical development projects in the
current year. He added that six petrochemical projects are nearly
finalized and several others are to come on stream by the end of the
Elsewhere in his comments, he alluded to the
importance the government has attached to the issue of self-reliance
on the domestic resources and expertise and said that, fortunately,
NPC is a pioneer in making optimum use of the existing capacities and
added that the new government is also paying due attention to
"The petrochemical products exported from Iran
in the past year included polymers, aromatics, melamine, PTA and
PET", Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA) quoted the official as
IRAN OFFERS ELECTRICITY
Iran and Tajikistan have offered to substantially
help Pakistan in meeting its growing energy requirements in the
absence of any decision on big dams.
Initially Iran had promised to export power to
various parts of Baluchistan Province. As a first step, Iran is
supplying 30 megawatt of electricity to the coastal areas of the
province. The Iranian government, the daily added, had offered to
provide an additional 20-megawatt to meet the requirements of Gwadar
area, for which negotiations are expected to conclude soon.
The Islamic Republic is to supply electricity to
Baluchistan's areas, where it is not feasible for the State-owned
Water and Power Development Authority to provide power. These are
located close to Pakistan-Iran border.
The Pak government has signed a memorandum of
understanding with Tajikistan to explore the feasibility of importing
electricity from that country, which has sizeable surplus, currently
being supplied to other states, including Russia, the daily pointed
The newspaper added that Tajikistan energy minister
would visit Pakistan possibly in November to finalize modalities for
the power export to Pakistan. Pakistan will face up to 5,000 megawatt
power shortage in three years and has yet to announce the much-awaited
decision to build two big reservoir dams. The government wants a
consensus decision on Kalabagh Dam and Bhasha Dam.
Feasibility report of the former is ready while the
latter's being finalized, reports say here. Kalabagh Dam proposal,
floated in mid-50s could so far not be translated into reality because
of lack of consensus among the four federating units. The dam, if
built, will have over 6 million-acre water storage capacity. The dam
will not only meet irrigation needs but also be instrumental in
production of electricity.
The World Bank has offered to support Pakistan in
the construction of big reservoir dams and warned the country could
face severe water shortage in next few years.
S ARABIA READY TO RAISE OIL PRODUCTION
Saudi Arabia said it was ready to increase oil
production capacity from its current 11 million barrels per day to
12.5 million bpd in 2009 to meet demand.
Speaking at the World Petroleum Congress, Saudi Oil
Minister Ali al-Nuaimi also said that the world's top oil exporter was
making contingency plans for expanding production capacity to 15
million barrels per day if necessary.
"Saudi Arabia is at the forefront of efforts
to expand capacity across the supply chain," Nuaimi said.
"These efforts include expanding our
production capacity from the current 11 million barrels per day to
12.5 million barrels per day by 2009 to meet future demand and
maintain spare capacity of at least 1.5 to 2 million barrels per
day," he told delegates at the congress.
"Other projects have been identified and can
be advanced if necessary to meet additional supply requirements. Saudi
Arabia has prepared a production capacity scenario of 15 million
barrels per day which can be implemented in response to growing market
demand," he said.
Saudi Arabia's proven oil reserves are
"conservatively" estimated at more than 264 billion barrels
despite having produced over 91 billion barrels in the past 35 years,
said the oil minister.
Using the latest state-of-the-art technology, Saudi
Arabia will "soon be able to boost our proved oil reserves by 200
billion barrels," he said. But the oil minister warned that Saudi
Arabia cannot meet the supply challenges on its own and called on the
world oil industry to "find ways to remove bottlenecks that
constrain our ability to achieve greater market stability."
The country currently produces about 9.5 million
barrels per day.
The oil minister also proposed that the
International Energy Forum conduct a study of the global oil supply
system to offer recommendations on delivering petroleum products at
IRAN, IRAQ TRADE BODIES SIGN MOU
A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed on
Monday between the chambers of commerce of the Iranian province of
Ilam and Iraq's Karbala Province. Based on the MOU, in addition to
direct and strict supervision over the export of goods between the two
countries, chambers of commerce of the neighboring states will oversee
conclusion of all the trade agreements reached between Iranian and
Also, holding exhibitions in the two countries on
industrial, trade, technical and engineering services as well as
paving grounds for setting up permanent exhibitions in Karbala,
providing better services for tradesmen from both countries, and
granting them the six-month and one-year visas are among the main
issues focused upon in the MOU.
According to involved Iranian officials,
establishing a committee to resolve possible financial disputes
between the businessmen would help flourish the trade relations
between Iran and Iraq, Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA) reported.
NO PULL OUT OF BRITISH TROOPS FROM IRAQ
British Prime Minister Tony Blair let it be known
that he will not pull out of Iraq soon, or rush to pass the reins of
power to his finance minister and heir apparent Gordon Brown.
In what aides called a 'policy rich' speech to the
Labour Party's annual conference, Blair said that after eight years in
government, the time was ripe to "change again" and reapply
Labour values to a changing world.
"This is a country today that increasingly
sets the standard," he said. "Not for us the malaise of
France or the angst of Germany... Occasionally it's worth saying:
Britain is a great country and we are proud of it."But on the two
big questions hanging over the Labour conference in seaside Brighton
this week - Iraq and his own future in Downing Street - Blair gave no
sign of a U-turn. Despite the ongoing insurgency in Iraq, he said
there would be no pullout of the 8,500 British troops deployed mainly
in the south of country, at least until nationwide elections planned
He called Iraq the "fiercest" front in a
"global struggle" against terrorism that has allied itself
"with every reactionary element in the Middle East".
"The way to stop the innocent dying is not retreat, to withdraw,
to hand these (Iraqi) people over to the mercy of religious fanatics
or relics of Saddam, but to stand up for their right to decide their
government in the same democratic way the British people do," he
said. In a clear reference to the London suicide bombings in July, he
said terrorists were "using 21st century technology to fight a
pre-medieval religious war that is utterly alien to the future of
humankind". Blair also declared that Britain should remain the
"strongest ally" of the United States, while remaining
engaged with the European Union. On his own future, Blair - bolstered
by Labour's re-election in May - held back from saying when exactly he
would exit Downing Street, after having declared immediately after
last year's party conference that he would, if re-elected, serve a
full third term and then go.