Middle East Business News Review – 17 May

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A look at today’s important financial news and business updates from the Middle East region:

UAE govt-related firms to repay $30bn debts due in 2012 – IMF

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said in its latest report that around $30 billion of maturing loans have to be repaid by government-related companies in the United Arab Emirates. The global financial institution added that companies also face a “significant” amount of debt due in 2014 and 2015. Click here to read more…

UAE 2011 current account surplus records four fold increase

The United Arab Emirates’ central bank announced on Thursday current account surplus quadrupled to AED112.7 billion ($30.7bn) in 2011 thanks to an increase in crude and non-oil exports. Click here to read more…

Saudi Arabia next to scrap sponsorship system

Deputy Labour Minister for workers affairs Ahmad Al-Humaidan announced on Thursday the government is taking practical steps aimed at scrapping the individual sponsorship (kafala) system. Click here to read more…

Iran buying loads of Turkish gold to beat US-led sanctions

Gold transactions between Turkey and Iran soared over 30 times in March as Iranians are turning to gold for savings and trade amid tightening Western sanctions. Click here to read more…

Lebanon seeks $2bn in eurobonds after record drop in borrowing costs

Lebanese Finance Minister Mohammad Safadi announced plans to raise $2 billion in eurobonds this year after borrowing costs of the most indebted Arab country registered a record drop. Click here to read more…

Dubai Courts to hear Nakheel disputes

Investors embroiled in legal disputes with developer Nakheel will have their cases heard at Dubai Courts and not at the specifically-formed Dubai World Tribunal (DWT), Dubai’s Legal Affairs Department has confirmed. Click here to read more. (Source – ArabianBusiness.com)

Kuwait suspends 31 firms from bourse

The Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) suspended trading on 31 listed companies on Wednesday after they failed to report their first quarter financial results on time. Click here to read more. (Source – ArabianBusiness.com)

Embraer Sells Jets to Saudi Firm

Embraer announced on Sunday  the sale and delivery of the first unit of the Legacy 650 for FAL Aviation, a subsidiary of the FAL Group, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Click here to read more. (Source – Nuqudy.com)

Kuwait’s ruler blocks MPs’ Islamic law proposal

Kuwait’s ruler has blocked a proposal by 31 of the 50 elected members of parliament to amend the constitution to make all legislation in the Gulf Arab state comply with Islamic law, an MP said on Thursday. Click here to read more. (Source – Reuters via Maktoob Yahoo!)

IMF: Lebanon Growing Below Potential

Lebanon is not in as poor a financial condition as other Middle Eastern countries, but nonetheless faces several challenges.  This was the message from Vice Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Nemat Shafik after a three-day visit to the country last week, during which she met with local authorities. Click here to read more. (Source – Nuqudy.com)

Jordan Implements Austerity Measures

Jordan recently revised its estimates in the 2012 state budget law due to the newfound revelation of a jump in public spending and falling revenues, which could as much as double the previously expected budget deficit. Click here to read more. (Source – Nuqudy.com)

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