Regional Business in Brief [Archives:2007/1047/Business & Economy]

May 3 2007

– Japan & Saudi agree to enhance economic ties

Prime Minister of Japan and King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia have declared that their two countries will establish strategic economic alliances that strengthen Japan's connection with the region. Although most of the current economic ties are still Oil-based, the two countries are drawing plans in order to expand their economic ties to include a free trade agreement and mutual investments.

– UAE is the world leader in promoting tourism

A Report by the World Economic Forum ranked the United Arab Emerties to be the world leader in terms of promoting tourism to the country. UAE was also ranked to have the top rank in terms of the competitiveness of the tourism industry among Arab countries, followed by Tunis.

Experts: Islamic Financial

Institutions in need of expertise

Regional Experts on Islamic Banks and Financial Institutions have indicated that these institutions are facing severe difficulties in getting the required Islamic expertise in order to justify and provide the technical assistance for their operations, adding that the banks are in now in a dilemma with regards to expanding their Islamic product range and investments portfolios.

Gulf Financing House profits reach 27 percent in the first quarter of 2007

Bahrain-based Gulf Financing House has achieved 27 percent net profits in the first quarter of 2007, reaching US$ 72.2 million. Sources at the company indicated that the profit surge was sparked by an infrastructure-construction deal in a regional underdeveloped country.

Shamil Bank's profits increase 151 percent in the first quarter of 2007

Bahrain-based Shamil Bank has achieved a record profit of US$ 28.39 million, compared to US$ 11.32 million in the first quarter of 2006. The bank indicated that its investment decisions proved most lucrative resulting in the aforementioned profits.

Study: Arab women are more optimistic about career advancement

A recent study undertaken by has indicated that Arab women involved within the workforce are more optimistic about their career advancement opportunities within the Arabic business environment. The study also points out that Female Workers have an increased tendency to expand its span of operations and have a positive attitude to overcome whatever obstacles faced on the course of their job.

Family companies should not

depend on short-term loans

Experts advise Family Businesses to avoid short-term bank loans, indicating that evidence supports the argument that short-term loans limit growth potential and increase risks for these companies, advising such companies to resort to Islamic Financing and stock exchanges to raise funds for long-term growth.

– Muscat Bank profits increase by 43.8 percent in the first quarter of 2007

uarterly profits of Muscat Bank increased by 43.8 percent in the first quarter of 2007, exceeding 19 million Omani Riyals, compared to 13.25 million Omani Riyals of the first quarter of 2006.

– Al-Dar Profits skyrocket 79 percent in the first quarter of 2007

UAE-based Al-Dar constructions have achieved a record profit exceeding 450 million Dirhams, with a growth rate of 79 percent compared to the last quarter. The growth was sparked by capital gains, along with the boom in the constructions industry of the region.

– 90 Companies to participate in Qatar's International Real Estate Expo

Scheduled to be held on the 21st of May, 90 Major Real Estate, constructions, and other corporations have decided to participate in the Qatar International Real Estate and Investment Exhibition. The Exhibition will display many models of state-of-the-art buildings, and also models of massive construction projects to be located in several countries in the region.

– Dubai Ports may be listed in London or New York

Dubai Ports International is likely to be listed at an International Stock Exchange, with speculation that it will be listed in London or New York, in order to raise over one billion Sterling Pounds to be reinvested in the company's operations and expansion plans in the region and beyond.