Middle East Business News Review – 23 May

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

UAE lifts ban on British beef imports

The UAE Ministry of Environment and Water announced on Tuesday it is lifting the ban on the import of British beef and British beef products with immediate effect. Click here to read more…

Bahrain Central Bank mulls issuing $1.25bn bond in June

A Bahraini central bank official said on Wednesday it is planning to issue a $1.25 billion bond in the second or third week of June. The official told Reuters on condition of anonymity that the conventional bond will have a tenor between seven and 10 years. He hoped that this will appeal to institutional international investors who tend to favour longer-dated paper. Click here to read more…

Japan to throw Iranian oil imports lifeline by offering insurance

The government of Japan is considering proposals to provide cover for tankers bringing in Iranian oil once a European Union ban on insurance takes effect in July, Japanese officials said on Wednesday. Click here to read more…

Up to 20% MENA banks need capital injection – report

A research report said on Wednesday that up to 20% of banks in the Middle East and North Africa may need fresh capital to safely meet requirements under the global Basel III banking rules. Click here to read more…

Venezuela delivers much-needed fuel supplies to Syria

Syrian oil minister Sufian Alao announced on Wednesday a Venezuelan oil tanker with 35,000 tonnes of diesel arrived in Syria while another was on its way. Click here to read more…

UAE eyes revamp of financial regulation

A UAE government committee chaired by the finance minister has proposed that the central bank and bourse regulator be given joint duties to regulate the financial industry and safeguard it from global crises. Click here to read more. (Source – ArabianBusiness.com)

UAE Central Bank: No Exemptions From Banks’ New Lending Limit

The United Arab Emirates central bank will not exempt any bank from a newly passed regulation that caps banks’ lending to local governments and government related entities, or GREs, a central bank official said Wednesday. Click here to read more. (Source – Zawya.com)

Deloitte Report: Major construction opportunities valued at $ 500 billion in GCC

Despite grappling with challenges and delivery issues related to current projects, major opportunities in the construction sector remain prevalent in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Abu Dhabi and Iraq in 2012, according to the newly released Deloitte Middle East’s annual report on the sector: ‘GCC Powers of Construction: Five Lessons to Learn From’. Click here to read more…

Qatar stakes in Siemens, Shell reflect drive to step up development

Qatar’s purchase of stakes in engineering group Siemens and oil giant Shell follow a pattern of the Gulf Arab state investing to accelerate its domestic development and, in the case of Shell, underlines its long-term faith in commodity prices. Click here to read more. (Source – Reuters via Alrroya.com)

Top 100 Saudi firms earn SR92 billion in profits

Annual profits for the 100 largest Saudi companies reached about 92 billion riyals ($24.5 billion), while their revenues exceeded SR536 billion.  The list of largest companies was topped by SABIC, Saudi Telecom Company, Saudi Electricity Company, Al Ahli Bank, Al Rajhi Bank, Samba Bank, Riyad Bank, Rabigh Company, Saudi-Fransi Bank, and the Saudi-British Bank. Click here to read more. (Source – Nuqudy.com)

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