Middle East Business News Review – 20 May

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

UAE govt announces settlement, restructuring of debts held by Emiratis

UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has ordered the settlement of defaulting personal loans of citizens whose debts are less than AED5 million, be they in detention, pending trial or convicted, or settling their debts through installment schedules set by the courts, WAM said in its report. Click here to read more…

Saudi Arabia edges Russia to snatch world’s top oil producer slot – report

Saudi Arabia overtook Russia as the world’s largest oil producer as it boosted its crude oil production to record levels in March. According to the Joint Organization Data Initiative (JODI), Saudi crude exports rose 3% in March, reaching the highest level in five years. The Gulf kingdom has been ramping up its oil production to make up for the Iran crude supplies due to US-led sanctions. Click here to read more…

Airports clinch bulk of GCC transport contracts worth $2bn

Airports throughout the Gulf region managed to clinch the bulk of transportation contracts worth $2bn awarded during the first five months of 2012, a report said on Sunday. The new research suggested road construction stood second with contracts worth $1.6bn followed by port projects valued at $1.2bn. Rail contracts awarded reached $424m. Click here to read more…

Iran approves revised 2013 budget, higher at $453 bn

The government of Iran on Sunday revised and approved its annual budget taking into consideration the rise of oil prices that have appeared to mitigate the impact of US-led sanctions on its economy. The Islamic Republic’s elite Guardian Council gave its approval to the budget for Iran’s fiscal year to March 2013 at 5,560,000 billion rials ($453 billion at the official rate), the official IRNA news agency reported. Click here to read more…

Kurdistan to go ahead with oil export plans despite Baghdad pressure

Officials of the Kurdistan regional government, Iraq’s autonomous northern region, said on Sunday exporting of crude oil production along a new pipeline to the Turkish border is expected to start by August 2013. The statement comes in open defiance of Baghdad which opposes any control of the regional government on the country’s oil exports. Click here to read more…

Abu Dhabi to launch incentives to lure movie makers

Twofour54, the media and creative industries hub, and its Abu Dhabi Film Commission unit is set to launch the region’s first incentive scheme to lure international film makers to the UAE capital. Click here to read more. (Source – ArabianBusiness.com)

Over 2,000 new businesses licensed in Abu Dhabi in the first quarter

Abu Dhabi issued more than 2,000 new commercial licences in the first quarter of the year. But the number of licences issued each month decreased between January and March. Click here to read more. (Source – Albawaba.com)

AED500m fund set up for Emirati entrepreneurs

A newly created Dh500 million SME fund will be launched to provide equity funding for Emirati entrepreneurs and possibly third party investors in various sectors. The Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development (KFED) and the National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) plan to launch the Imtiyaz SME Development Fund, they announced on Sunday. Click here to read more. (Source – Gulf News)

European bank targets Middle East with €1 billion fund

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is widening its scope to the Middle East with a €1 billion (Dh4.7bn) investment fund for Arab states. Click here to read more. (Source – The National)

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