/Provided as a service from the Saudi-US Trade Group, Washington, DC/
“The new economic data is consistent with our view that a global recession will be avoided and that the global economy is set for a period of slow growth. High government spending should enable the Kingdom’s economy to prosper despite this weakness. We do not foresee oil prices declining to a level that would jeopardize government spending.” THE KINGDOM OF MAGICAL THINKING: Robin Mills (Foreign Policy) writes, “Although the temptation of overspending has repeatedly undermined oil-rich governments from Caracas to Tehran, Saudi Arabia avoided this trap over the last decade through fiscal discipline that has kept its expenditures below its swelling oil receipts. But in a recent report striking for the candor of its unpalatable conclusions, Saudi investment bank Jadwa laid out the kingdom’s inexorable fiscal challenge: how to balance soaring government spending, rapidly rising domestic oil demand, and a world oil market that gives little room for further revenue increases. And that was before the recent economic turmoil knocked $20 per barrel off oil prices.”
Oil Constraints: ZAWYA
“Even as hopes arise of a quick resumption of Libyan oil, a whole host of new supply-side worries will ensure that crude production remains tight.” OIL TRADES NEAR ONE-WEEK HIGH IN LONDON ON FED SPECULATION, U.S. SUPPLIES: Grant Smith and Ben Sharples (Bloomberg) report, “Oil traded near its highest in a week in London on speculation that the Federal Reserve may announce new measures to stimulate the economy, and after U.S. crude inventories declined.” SAUDI OIL EXPORT TO SEOUL UP: “Saudi Arabia was the top crude supplier to South Korea in July from a year earlier, with imports from the Kingdom rising 6.9 percent from a year earlier to 842,000 bpd,” reports Saudi Gazette.
Saudi Arabia gives $50 million to the World Food Programme: CPI FINANCIAL
“Saudi Arabia has given $50 million to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) which will be used to feed more than half a million Somalia children suffering from malnutrition.”
“Saudi Arabia remains the only driver of GCC cement sector profitability with the net profit increasing by 13.5 percent year-on-year in H1 2011, Global Investment House (GIH) said in a research note. The other member countries were expected to continue an erosion in their profitability.”
Gold Meltdown Tests Miners’ Nerve: THE NATIONAL
Gregor Hunter | 8/26/11
“Saudi Arabian Mining Company, also known as Ma’aden, had difficulties in making money from its gold-mining operations even when the price of bullion was rising. Famously, Ma’aden recorded a loss of 9.19 million riyals last year, despite the price of gold surging 27.8 per cent that year. But what now for the company’s stock after gold plunged as much as US$208 per troy ounce in a three-day period?”
Frances Romero | 8/25/11
“Delta issued a statement indicating that it will not comply with a discriminatory policy that its new partner, Saudi Arabian Airlines, follows.”
Only Mad Dogs and Englishmen Go Out In the Saudi Arabian Sun: THE TELEGRAPH
Stuart Burt | 8/25/11
“This is my third summer in Saudi and living with extreme heat has become a part of my life. Much to the utter astonishment of my mother, I have acclimatised to the point that I see 38C as “mild”. I know it sounds ridiculous and I would scarcely have believed I would ever say that back in Staines in 2003. That’s not to say I’m blasé about the heat. In truth, the summer heat in the Arabian Peninsula is brutal, murderous”
Petchem Trade Challenges to Be Analyzed: ARAB NEWS
“Prince Faisal bin Turki, adviser, Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, will be the keynote speaker at the sixth annual Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA) Forum.”
Aramco, Total Refinery JV Names Banks for Sukuk: SAUDI GAZETTE
“Saudi Aramco Total Refining and Petrochemical Co. (Satorp), has selected three banks to arrange a planned Islamic bond, or sukuk, issue that will help it finance a large refinery complex at Jubail.”
The wife of ailing Saudi Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz has died in a hospital in Paris, the royal court said.
LIBYA: NATO JOINS IN ATTACKS ON GADDAFI COMPOUND
“British Tornado jets fired precision-guided missiles against a large bunker in Libyan leader Col Muammar Gaddafi’s hometown of Sirte, the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has said,” BBC News reports. GADDAFI REMAINS ELUSIVE: “Libyan leader Moammar Kadafi in a TV broadcast calls on followers to drive out rebels who now control most of the capital, which is returning in some areas to a semblance of normal life,” Borzou Daragahi (LAT) writes. $1.5 BILLION FOR REBELS: “Even with Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi still on the run, the nations that aided Libya’s rebellion moved swiftly Thursday to release billions of dollars of cash needed for the difficult — and, for some foreign companies, potentially lucrative — task of rebuilding the country after six months of fighting,” the NYT reports. SOME EXPORTS MAY RESUME IN 2 WEEKS: “The Libyan rebel government hopes to restart oil exports within two weeks and reach full volumes in about a year, Ali Tarhouni, the official in charge of financial and oil matters said,” Reuters reports.
IRAN: HOW IRAN KEEPS ASSAD IN POWER IN SYRIA
“For Iran, Assad’s Syria is the front line of defense against the United States and Israel. Without his guaranteed loyalty, the second line of defense — Hezbollah and Hamas — would crumble. According to U.S. estimates, Hezbollah receives $100 million in supplies and weaponry per year from Tehran, which is transported through Syria. It would become all the more difficult to use Iran as a proxy against Israel if the Syrian borders were suddenly closed,” Genieve Abdo (Foreign Affairs) writes. SYRIAN FORCES TIGHTEN GRIP ON DAMASCUS: “Syrian security forces killed four people after stepping up security around Damascus before Friday prayers, which have been followed by protests against President Bashar al-Assad’s government for the last five months,” Bloomberg reports.
EGYPT: ‘EGYPT-ISRAEL PEACE TREATY IS NOT AS SACRED AS THE KORAN’
The Secretary-General of the Arab League, Nabil Elaraby, told Al-Arabiya TV that the Egypt-Israel peace treaty is not as sacred as the Koran, Haaretz reports. In an interview with Al-Arabiya TV, Elaraby, who served as Egypt’s Foreign Minister before his appointment to the Arab League in July this year, said that if one of the sides breached the treaty, signed in 1979, the other side reserves the right to amend or annul it, according to an Israel Radio report.
ISRAEL: CAN TAHRIR SQUARE COME TO TEL AVIV?
“Few of the protest leaders would flinch at acknowledging the inspiration they drew from the Arab Awakening, but it is a new, challenging and often uncomfortable feeling for many Jewish Israelis to consider the surrounding Arab world as providing a spark worth emulating. Now Israel’s governing coalition has to add a domestic social challenge to the already considerable headache posed by the regional upheavals of 2011,” writes Daniel Levy (The Nation).
BAHRAIN: E.U. MAY PROBE SPY GEAR ABUSES
European Union legislators asked the EU to investigate whether companies have aided human rights violations by selling surveillance gear to repressive governments, Bloomberg reports
IRAQ: POLICE TARGETED IN ATTACKS
“At least 13 people have been killed in a series of attacks across Iraq – in Basra, Falluja and Baghdad,” BBC News reports.
YEMEN: AIRSTRIKE KILLS 8 IN SOUTH
“Militants have taken control of several areas in southern Yemen during the six-month uprising pressing for President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s resignation. Mr. Saleh remains in Saudi Arabia, where he is recovering from injuries sustained in a June attack on his presidential compound,” VOA 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>