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New structures are required, and participating bank numbers may be reduced, but the GCC’s syndicated loan market should hit its stride again in 2009, according to project financiers canvassed by GSN.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Issue 840 - 07 November 2008

France looks to export sales

Subscriber

The UAE is traditionally a critical partner for the French defence aerospace industry. In a noteworthy step, the French Armée de l’Air (ALA – air force) deployed three of Dassault Aviation’s Mirage 2000-5F combat aircraft and a Boeing C-135FR aerial tanker/transport aircraft to the UAE as part of Paris’ plans to establish a permanent presence in the emirates.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Issue 840 - 07 November 2008

GSN view: 'Military action' against Iran

Free

There was a lull in the speculation over the potential bombing of Iran by the United States or - more likely - its ally Israel, with the world transfixed by Barak Obama's victory in the US presidential election. Talk of significant offensive action against Tehran became intense during the late summer, with two theories circulating on the eventuality of a strike to knock out Iran's nuclear facilities and perhaps other targets. One theory was that the outgoing Bush administration would sanction a strike as its last neo-conservative hurrah; and, two, that Israel would be emboldened to act. In September, UK daily The Guardian, added to the debate by publishing details of documents showing how Washington had sought to rein in Israeli hawks who were ready to attack.

Iran
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The Saudi Eurofighter purchase has given the European consortium a vital lead in the long-term market for the RSAF’s eventual replacement of some 178 strike aircraft by around 2020. Boeing may yet sell F-15s to the RSAF, but if the United States is betting on major sales in the Gulf, it is to Iraq and the UAE, not the Kingdom. France is also a player, with its hopes for major combat aircraft sales analysed by GSN in an article below.

Saudi Arabia
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Addax Dubai office to tap Middle East market. Crescent Petroleum/Dana Gas launch ‘City’ projects.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
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In little over three years of rule, King Abdullah’s Saudi Arabia has steadily gained in diplomatic confidence. It’s not just because of its wealth that Riyadh is now a major destination on the foreign policy map for international leaders. Saudi Arabia has emerged as a partner that knows its own mind, able to forge policy that is in line with the government’s view of national self-interest but which also pushes a positive global and regional agenda.

Saudi Arabia
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Following the Eid holiday Crown Prince Sultan travelled to Tabuk, where he announced a donation of SR10m – to be given on an annual basis – to the Prince Fahd Bin Sultan University

Saudi Arabia
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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
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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
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Yemeni-based militants constitute one external threat to expatriates. Indeed, the prospect of establishing bases in Yemen has been mentioned prominently in militant communiqués and in Saudi government statements since 2006.

Saudi Arabia | Yemen
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Iraq is the other major source of advanced terrorist capability in Saudi Arabia, leading the Kingdom to quietly take steps to reduce potential blowback. The September announcement of a mutual extradition treaty between Saudi Arabia and Iraq received little media coverage but represents a significant development. The treaty stipulated “the exchange of convicted prisoners… so that they serve the rest of..

Saudi Arabia | Iraq
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The government’s alternative energy arm is teaming up with foreign players to lead the way in sustainable development. With Abu Dhabi’s enormous petrodollar wealth and its enthusiasm for renewable energy, its strategy to partner with foreign companies who can offer technical expertise looks set to create powerful partnerships that will bring

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
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When Qatar bought 12 Dassault Mirage 2000-5 combat aircraft in the late 1990s it was catapulted into pole position as the world’s highest per capita defence spender. Nearly ten years after the first Mirages

Qatar
Issue 839 - 25 October 2008

SWFs to the rescue

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As the crisis spreads, sovereign wealth funds are being called on to help rescue ailing institutions abroad and at home. Many have already done so: Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (Adia) invested in Citibank last year, followed by the Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA), which invested $5bn in Citi and Merrill Lynch. Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) has invested in

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Subscriber

Total has signed an agreement with Korea National Oil Corporation (KNOC) to take a 31% stake in onshore exploration Block 70 in Yemen’s Shabwa governorate. Bahrain-based Energy Alliance Company, which has an interesting set of Saudi and other Arab investors, has become involved in Eritrea.

Bahrain | Yemen