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Issue 845 - 16 January 2009

Cabinet choices fail to impress

Free

Following weeks of negotiations and delays – which prompted talks of a walkout by parliamentarians and fresh grilling threats against the prime minister – Kuwait has a new government, albeit one with only two new faces. Many MPs have responded angrily to what is in effect a minor reshuffle rather than a new government, with 12 parliamentarians staging a walkout at the National Assembly ceremony to swear in the new cabinet.

Kuwait
Free

The breakdown of the deal between The Dow Chemical Company and Petrochemical Industries Company – in which the Kuwaiti state-owned PIC would take a 50% stake in the United States’ largest chemicals group for around $9bn in return for the Americans developing the emirate’s downstream value-added via the KDow joint venture – is unsurprising.

Kuwait
Subscriber

While Kuwait’s latest government crisis keeps the headline writers busy (see Politics, below), major oil companies are worrying that their hopes of developing the emirate’s huge reserves seem as elusive as ever. Some IOCs will struggle to make a profit even

Kuwait
Subscriber

Mere survival is not enough: supporters of Sheikh Nasser Mohammed want to see the prime minister give decisive leadership in overcoming family rivals and parliamentary opponents. Sheikh Nasser Mohammed Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Kuwait’s embattled reformist prime minister, continues to face down conservative

Kuwait
Subscriber

KAF Apache support deal for DynCorp BAE Systems in Eurofighter Typhoon talks with Oman. Qatar-India defence co-operation

Kuwait | Oman | Qatar
Subscriber

Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Mohammed’s administration is feeling the heat from defenders of traditional politics.

Kuwait
Subscriber

One of the region’s strongest financial systems has weaknesses to address despite its successful management of last month’s mini-crisis.

Kuwait
Subscriber

Finance Minister Mustapha Al-Shamali and Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) managing director Bader Al-Saad have reportedly been asked by Kuwaiti investment companies to set up a fund worth KD300m ($1.1bn) to help settle their debt in the wake of the global financial crisis.

Kuwait
Subscriber

Nouriya Al-Sabeeh looks far from safe, as Islamists gear up for another ministerial grilling, but the wider reform drive should continue as the parliamentary opposition lacks coherence on most non-social policy issues.

Kuwait
Subscriber

As Kuwait prepares for the 21 October start of the parliamentary session, Islamist assembly members are preparing to campaign for the amendment of Article 2 of the constitution to bring all legislation into compliance with Islamic principles.

Kuwait
Issue 837 - 27 September 2008

Court annuls two MPs’ election

Subscriber

MPs have called for an investigation into procedures at the 17 May legislative elections, after a Constitutional Court ruling annulled the election of two MPs over discrepancies with the vote count. The court ruling means that tribal, independent candidates Mubarak Al-Waalan Al-Mutairi

Kuwait
Issue 837 - 27 September 2008

Sponsorship: a labour organiser’s view

Subscriber

John Leonard Monterona, Middle East co-ordinator for Migrante, a leading independent organisation representing Filipino expatriate workers, told GSN his group would like to see sponsorship completely abolished.

Kuwait | Saudi Arabia | Jordan | United Arab Emirates (UAE) | Lebanon
Subscriber

Kuwait Energy Company has purchased Oil Search’s assets in Egypt and Yemen, and announced an agreement with the Somali government, underlining chief executive Sara Akbar’s determination to make the Kuwait-based indie a significant player in emerging hydrocarbons frontiers. A London listing is expected in 2009

Kuwait | Egypt | Yemen
Issue 835 - 02 September 2008

Al-Sabah politics hinder Beirut rebuild

Subscriber

The Holiday Inn in Beirut, ravaged during the 1975-90 civil war when it was used by militias as a base for fighting, remains a ruin due to differences within Kuwait's ruling family, sources in the Lebanese capital told GSN.

Kuwait
Issue 835 - 02 September 2008

Al-Zour refinery further delayed

Subscriber

The 615,000 b/d Al-Zour oil refinery, expected to be one of the world’s largest, is facing further delays after the cabinet agreed to refer the project to the State Audit Bureau of Kuwait (SABK) for investigation in response to protests against signing the final contracts by opposition members in the Popular Action Bloc. In May, state-owned Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC) awarded four construction contracts worth $8.3bn to one Japanese and four South Korean companies. An estimated $2bn fifth contract was awarded to US project manager Fluor. Oil, Electricity and Water Minister Mohammed Al-Olaim had already gained support from a parliamentary committee to award the contracts after investigating claims that some contracts were not awarded to the lowest bidder.

Kuwait