Business in Brief [Archives:2007/1037/Business & Economy]

March 29 2007

– Batelco buys 20 percent of Sabafon

Batelco of Bahrain has purchased 20 percent of Yemen's leading GSM mobile telecommunications provider Sabafon for $144 million. Batelco Chairman Sheikh Hamad bin Abdullah Al-Khalifa stated that a 20 percent share was bought from Sheikh Hamid Al-Ahmar, chairman and single largest shareholder in Sabafon.

– Cabinet approves forming anti-monopoly agency

The Yemeni Cabinet recently approved a draft law to promote competition and stop monopoly by issuing 2007 decree No. 19 authorizing forming an anti-monopoly government agency affiliated with the Ministry of Trade and Industry. The agency will detect potential instances of monopoly for the ministry to take corrective action.

– Yemen to allow gas exploration

The Ministry of Oil has modified draft agreements with the five multinational corporations that won the third bidding round to undertake exploration in eight Yemeni sectors. The modifications will allow the firms to perform gas exploration, in addition to oil exploration in allocated sectors.

– Arab Fund to finance agricultural project

The Arab Fund for Social and Economic Development has approved $41 million to finance an agricultural and fisheries development project on the Hadramout coast.

– U.S. firm interested in nuclear power generation in Yemen

A delegation from the American Power Corporation has begun negotiating with the National Committee for Nuclear Energy to discuss Yemen's aspirations in using nuclear power for peaceful purposes, including potential electricity generation by means of nuclear technology, which the U.S. firm can provide.

– Bureaucracy deprives Yemen of Japanese assistance

The Hodeidah customs authority refused entry of 20 Japanese vehicles brought to Yemen as a gift from the Japanese government on the grounds that the Japanese government should pay customs on them.

The customs authority also rejected official documents stating that the vehicles are considered foreign aid and therefore, should be exempt from taxation. The Japanese government therefore decided to forward the vehicles to a neighboring African country.

– DNO expects increased oil production

DNO of Norway has announced that it expects its production to increase to 26,000 barrels per day by the end of 2007. The company also announced that it will expand its operations and drill more oil wells to reach 22 wells by the end of this year.

– Yemenia signs code-sharing agreements with regional airlines

Yemenia Airways has concluded code-sharing agreements with Gulf Air, Middle East Airlines, Royal Jordanian Airlines and Syrian Arab Airlines. The agreements will open routes of these airlines to each other in respective networks, effective March 25.

– CAC Bank to install 50 ATMs in Sana'a

The Commercial and Agricultural Credit Bank has announced plans to install up to 50 automated teller machines in various parts of Sana'a in an effort to increase the convenience for its customers. The bank also announced plans to further expand into other governorates and introduce a wide range of services for its customers.