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Issue 841 - 21 November 2008

The big gas ‘troika’

Subscriber

It remains to be seen if anything concrete will emerge out of mid-November talks between Iran, Qatar and Russia about developing the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) as an organisation to co-ordinate gas projects and pricing world-wide, and to develop schemes between the three country ‘troika’.

Iran | Qatar
Issue 841 - 21 November 2008

Abdullah Bin Hamad: Jacko case

Subscriber

King Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa’s second son Sheikh Abdullah Bin Hamad Al-Khalifa is suing pop star Michael Jackson in London’s Royal Courts of Justice for $7m over alleged breach of contract

Bahrain
Subscriber

Iran has ambitious plans for developing its huge gas reserves, including exporting gas to GCC member states and Europe and a $4bn Pars pipeline, but bureaucracy and US sanctions remain significant challenges.

Iran
Subscriber

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

Kuwait
Issue 840 - 07 November 2008

Bahrain: violence points to confrontation

Subscriber

Street violence flared in Bahrain during late September and October, leading to another major security hunt for a group of Shia protestors who were allegedly involved in a serious assault on three men. The crowd threw a Molotov cocktail at a car that contained three Bahraini Shia male civilians who escaped with light injuries. Bahraini security insiders told GSN the attackers believed the vehicle carried a Bahraini Secret Intelligence Service (BSIS) surveillance team. Whatever the truth - no completely independent witnesses are yet available - the incident should be seen against the background of growing tension in Bahrain, as the authorities maintain a firm line which leading opposition figures fear will only deepen disenchantment among young Shiite men.

Bahrain
Subscriber

For long a significant player in project finance and emerging markets, BNP Paribas (BNPP) has become a bigger force still on the Africa and Middle East energy scene with the acquisition, announced on 6 October, of Belgian/Dutch giant Fortis Bank NV/SA and some of its affiliates.

Qatar
Subscriber

An increasingly assertive Abu Dhabi is looking to draw in international partners and assets, to consolidate its traditional position as the UAE’s federal capital and engineering hub, and to emerge as the Gulf city that uses its wealth to plan development with respect for social traditions and environmental constraints while emerging as a significant new international player. GSN examines the oil-rich emirate’s growth strategy and attitudes towards spending money – at home and on less wealthy emirates.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Free

International Petroleum Investment Company chairman and serial entrepreneur Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan has again hit the headlines with his investment of some £3.5bn ($5.5bn) in Barclays Bank

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Free

In a sign of changing times, the UK Conservative Party’s Middle East Council (CMEC) hosted a forum on 28 October in London to highlight the achievements of Middle Eastern women, and discuss what remains to be done to improve their rights.

Issue 840 - 07 November 2008

UAE banks may be forced to consolidate

Subscriber

Despite good asset quality, profitability, and capital positions, the strained liquidity positions are clearly visible,JP Morgan Securities said of the outlook for UAE banks in a report published on 29 October (visit the Subscriber Reference Library). Analysing the financials of Emirates-National Bank of Dubai (ENBD), National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD)

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Subscriber

Spontaneous celebrations began in Najran as news broke that hard-line governor Prince Mishaal Bin Saud Bin Abdelaziz had been removed by King Abdullah Bin Abdelaziz after years of discrimination against the local Ismaili community. "The King has answered our calls for change and this is just the beginning. Najran has been celebrating since last night, firing guns in air and dancing in the streets," reported local resident Mohammed Al-Askar. The official Saudi Press Agency said Mishaal had been relieved of the governorship by royal decree "at his own request," the political signal was clear.

Saudi Arabia
Issue 840 - 07 November 2008

Emir and HBJ: Global financial crisis

Subscriber

Following early November meetings with UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jabr Al-Thani (HBJ) said Qatar was willing to tackle the global financial crisis.

Qatar
Subscriber

While the Abu Dhabi economy diversifies, with an expanded private sector role, the traditionally critical role of government remains centre stage when it comes to development strategy and the senior emirate’s undisguised ambition to present itself as a model for environmentally aware development in the Middle East. The Urban Structure Framework Plan – called Plan Abu Dhabi 2030 – is spectacularly ambitious, and also a significant turning point in its attempt to shift the balance of development away from the present coastal waterfront.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Subscriber

King Abdullah: Pakistani talks, CP Sultan: Return to Kingdom, Salman Bin Abdelaziz and sons: Meetings, Turki Al-Faisal: Speaking out in the States, Nayef Bin Abdelaziz: Iraq defence fence, Nayef Bin Abdelaziz: Pakistan hunting land, Mohammed Bin Yousef Al-Saud: Marriage

Saudi Arabia
Subscriber

Adnoc signs E&P agreement with Shell; Bahrain invites IOCs for deep onshore gas exploration and signs a memorandum of understanding with Iran for gas supply. Iran state company offers 14 fields for development

Iran | United Arab Emirates (UAE) | Bahrain