Business in Brief [Archives:2007/1103/Business & Economy]

November 19 2007

– Government expects US$ 2 billion deficit in 2008 budget

Minister of Finance Noman Al-Sohibi told the parliament that the government expects of a deficit of 8 percent of the total budget for FY 2008, of 399.34 billion Riyals. This deficit in financing can be overcome if the record-high Oil prices are maintained, as the budget estimates income from oil prices basing the price of oil at an average of US$ 55 per barrel.

– Government allocates 407 billion Riyals as Oil subsidies

The government of Yemen stated that 407 billion Riyals has been allocated as Oil subsidies in 2008, compared to 424 billion Riyals as Oil subsidies in 2007. The decrease comes inline with government policy to reduce all subsidies and liberalize the national market. This decrease also confirms rumors that the increasing local consumption of Oil will result in a price hike in the retail prices of Oil and Gas products in the local market towards the middle of 2008.

– Yemen Speeds up compatibility reforms with GCC

Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs Al-Arhabi stated that Yemen has accelerated the compatibility reforms which will allow the various government agencies to be more compatible with their counterpart in the Gulf Cooperative Council Countries, towards enhancing economic and business partnerships and establishing strong regional integration in the Arabian Peninsula.

– Greek company wins bid to restructure Yemen Construction Bank

A Greek Banking Information Systems (BIS) company has won the bid to restructure the banking system of the Yemeni Bank for Construction. The proposed BIS will ensure that the banking standard of the bank meets European standards, as well as implement the T-24 bank management system for administration, monitoring and control functions of the bank's operations.

– Arab Small Industries Conference: Expect a milestone

Minister of Trade and Industry Al-Mutawakel has stated that over 18 working papers will be discussed in the upcoming Arab Small Industries Conference, to be held in Sana'a on November 25-26. The papers will discuss the transformation of the Small and Micro Enterprises in the region towards creating Small Industries which can attract large investments in turn creating an industrial backbone for the Arab economies in the longterm.

– IFC's investments reach US$ 132 million in 2007

Country Director of the IFC in Yemen Sa'ad Sabra has told media sources that IFC's investment in Yemen has reached US$ 132 million in 2007, compared to the initial US$ 12 million when the corporation started operation in Yemen in 2005. He stated that the most recent investment agreements included Cement, Health, and Infrastructure, as well as providing technical assistance to the government of Yemen to help reform the business environment.

– New Islamic Bank to be formed in Yemen

Yemen Commercial and Agricultural Credit Bank (CAC Bank) has announced plans to form a joint Islamic bank with Qatar's Al-Doha Bank, with an initial paid-up capital of US$ 100 million. CAC bank also announced that Al-Doha bank intends to buy 9 percent of CAC Bank's shares from the Yemeni Government.

– 3 companies to establish Petrochemical Industry in Yemen

Three regional companies have made joint plans to establish a petrochemical industry within the Aden Free Zone, with an initial capital of US$ One billion. Yemen businessman Saleh Al-Surayma stated that the alliance was announced after consultations with a number of officials and President Saleh who gave his blessing to the project.