News – 2011.07.20

Published: July 20, 2011

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SAUDIBRIT Daily News – Excerpts from International Media Reports
/Provided as a service from the Saudi-US Trade Group, Washington, DC/

7.20.11 EDITION

Saudi Arabia’s Coming Oil and Fiscal Challenge: ARAB NEWS

7/19/11

“There is widespread understanding that with oil prices around $100 per barrel, Saudi Arabia’s oil wealth is providing vast revenue inflows, enabling a strong fiscal position with low government debt and high government savings. This wealth is particularly timely as the government has increased spending and cash transfers to Saudi citizens in the wake of the broader “Arab Spring”, according to a report prepared by Jadwa Investment Research Department.” SURGE IN SAUDI OIL BURN ADDS NEW DEMAND TWIST: Javier Blas (Financial Times) reports that, “Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil producer and exporter, which last month pumped 9.7m barrels a day, the second highest level in three decades, could soon become one of the top oil consumers.”  SAUDI EXPORTED 7.7MBPD OF CRUDE IN JUNE: “Saudi Arabia’s crude oil exports rose to at least 7.7 million barrels per day (bpd) when output by the world’s largest oil exporter hit record highs in June,” as reported by Trade Arabia.

Saudi Index Recovers from 5-Week Low, Investors Spot Market Strength: AL ARABIYA

7/19/11

Saudi Arabia’s petrochemical stocks recover in late buying and Mobily rises after its earnings narrowly beat estimates, pushing the kingdom’s index higher. Mobily gains 2.8 percent after posting a 29 percent rise in second-quarter net profit.”  PETROCHEM DIPS SLIGHTLY DESPITE A SHRINK IN HALF-YEAR LOSSES: “The Saudi Tadawul bourse rebounded 0.27% to reach 6,440.65 points on Tuesday. Market bellwether Sabic rebounded 0.72% to SR104.25. Shares of National Petrochemical Co., known as Petrochem, declined 0.46% to SR21.65,” reports AMEinfo. 

Spain Wins Saudi High-Speed Rail Contract: AFP

7/19/11

“A Spanish consortium has won a contract worth 7.0 billion euros ($10 billion) to build a high-speed rail network linking Medina, Jeddah and the Muslim pilgrimage site of Mecca in Saudi Arabia.”

Saudi Arabia To Establish Diplomatic Ties With South Sudan: RTT NEWS

7/19/11

“Saudi Arabia has formally recognized the Republic of South Sudan which came into being on July 9 after the bifurcation of Africa’s largest country into North and South Sudan.”

Housing Projects Worth Over SR300b Attracting Int’l Investors: SAUDI GAZETTE

Shahid Ali Khan | 7/19/11

“Saudi Arabia’s planned housing projects that are worth over SR300 billion have increasingly been the center of attraction for global suppliers and technology vendors. This is because of the sheer size of the construction market in the Kingdom.”

IEA Is Unlikely to Extend Emergency Fuel Release, Survey Shows: FUEL FIX

7/19/11

“International Energy Agency member nations are likely to decide against offering more oil after last month’s stockpile release failed to curb prices and Middle East output rose.”

Saudi’s Kingdom Holding Posts 21% Profit Rise: MARKETWATCH

Summer Said | 7/19/11

“Saudi Arabia’s Kingdom Holding Co. (4280.SA), run by billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, said Tuesday its second-quarter net profit rose 21% on year to 163.5 million Saudi riyals ($43.6 million), due mainly to higher income from investments.”

New Force to Protect Diplomats, Missions: SAUDI GAZETTE

Mansour Al-Shihri | 7/19/11

“The Ministry of Interior has established a new security sector, the Diplomats Protection Security Force, to protect embassies, consulates and diplomats in the Kingdom.”

Bright Students Wonder Why No Seats for Them At Varsities: ARAB NEWS

Fahad Al-Abri | 7/19/11

“Despite availability of seats in universities, students with good educational records in the Kingdom are finding it extremely difficult to get admission.”  EVEN GOOD PAY CAN’T ATTRACT YOUNG SAUDIS INTO DEFENSE INDUSTRY: The World Tribune writes that, Saudi industry sources said the Gulf Arab kingdom has fallen short in a program to recruit and train thousands of nationals to work in the defense industry.”

Ministry Moves to Ensure Women’s Inheritance Rights: ARAB NEWS

Galal Fakkar | 7/18/11

“The Justice Ministry has warned those who deprive women of their right to inheritance that they could face imprisonment and other punishments. The ministry made the call Sunday while launching its special “Mawarith” (inheritance) program on its website.”  NO AGE BAR FOR WOMEN WORKERS: “There is no age restriction on employing women in factories and lingerie shops, Labor Minister Adel Fakeih said in a press statement on Monday.

Fakeih said media reports that the ministry had set a particular age restriction for those wanting to work in lingerie shops were not correct,” writes MD Al-Sulami (Arab News).

Zardari to visit Saudi Arabia Wednesday: THE NATION (PAKISTAN)

7/20/11

President Asif Ali Zardari will embark on a two-day official visit to Saudi Arabia on Wednesday.

British Museum to Stage Exhibition Dedicated To Hajj Pilgrimage: GUARDIAN UK

Riazat Butt | 7/19/11

“The British Museum is to stage a major exhibition dedicated to the hajj, the Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca.”

More News and Commentary from SUSTG

YEMEN: SOLDIERS KILL 20 MILITANTS

“Yemeni government forces shelled a southern town overrun by radical Islamists, killing at least 20 militants in the past two days, residents said yesterday,” AP reports.

LIBYA: FRANCE SUGGESTS WAY FOR GADDAFI TO STAY

“France’s foreign minister suggested Wednesday that a possible way out of Libya’s civil war would be to allow Moammar Gadhafi to stay in the country if he relinquishes power,” Sylvie Corbet (AP) reports. “Gadhafi insists he will neither step down nor flee the country he has led for four decades. With the NATO-led air campaign against Gadhafi’s forces entering its fifth month and the fighting in a stalemate, the international community is seeking exit strategies.”

AFGHANISTAN: TALIBAN DENIES MULLAH OMAR IS DEAD

“The Afghan Taliban has denied that its leader Mullah Omar has died, saying a text message announcing his death was a fake,” VOA reports. POLICE AND INSURGENTS IN FIERCE GUN BATTLE: “A fierce gun battle between Afghan police and insurgents in Kandahar has left at least three police dead,” BBC News reports. DEATH OF ANOTHER POLITICIAN RAISES QUESTIONS ABOUT GOVERNMENT COLLAPSE: The assassination of a close ally and mentor of Hamid Karzai a week after the killing of the president’s powerful half-brother has raised new questions over whether Afghanistan’s precarious power structure could collapse even before the departure of western combat troops in 2014, the Guardian reports.

UNITED STATES: PAKISTAN LOBBIED U.S. ON KASMIR ISSUE WITH CASH, FBI SAYS

“Pakistan’s military, including its powerful spy agency, has spent $4 million over two decades in a covert attempt to tilt American policy against India’s control of much of Kashmir — including funneling campaign donations to members of Congress and presidential candidates, the F.B.I. claimed in court papers unsealed Tuesday,” Charlie Savage and Eric Schmitt (NYT) reports.

 

IRAN: LAWMAKER SAYS IRG SHOT DOWN U.S. DRONE

“An Iranian lawmaker says Iran’s Revolutionary Guard has shot down an unmanned U.S. spy plane that was attempting to collect information about an underground uranium enrichment site,” VOA reports. IRAN MAY DEPLOY WARSHIPS IN ATLANTIC OCEAN: “The Iranian navy plans on deploying warships to the Atlantic Ocean as part of a programme to ply international waters, Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayari said in statements published Tuesday,” AFP reports.

SYRIA: WARNINGS FOR U.S., FRENCH AMBASSADORS

“Syria warned the American and French ambassadors Wednesday not to travel outside the capital without permission, two weeks after they angered the regime by visiting a city that has become the center of the country’s four-month-old uprising,” Bassem Mroue (AP) reports.

/The daily news is provided as a service of the Saudi-US Trade Group, Washington, DC. Visit www.SUSTG.org for more information and to get a free email subscription to the News Review./</h4></div>