Middle East Business News Review – 31 May

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

UAE one of the top Middle Eastern countries in ‘world competitiveness rankings’

The UAE managed to climb 12 places in the 2012 World Competitiveness Yearbook (WCY) rankings, thanks to its reliable infrastructure, business-friendly environment and a dynamic economy. Click here to read more…

Facebook opens Dubai office amid IPO debacle

Facebook opened an office in Dubai on Wednesday and announced it will help boost advertising sales across the region with a user base of more than 45 million people. The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) office inauguration comes at a time when its performance on the Nasdaq is coming under intense scrutiny. Click here to read more…

Etisalat Nigeria vows $1 billion investment over next two years

Etisalat Nigeria said it is committed to spending $1 billion on its telecoms infrastructure over the next two years, despite getting slapped with a ban by the local regulator due to poor quality of service, its chief executive said. Click here to read more…

Jordanian MPs vote to suspend ‘expensive’ nuclear reactor

The Jordanian lower house of the parliament adopted a resolution on Wednesday demanding the suspension of the construction of the nuclear reactor. An international nuclear organisation recently warned that rising construction costs will push the price of Jordan’s first nuclear reactor to around $10 billion. Click here to read more…

Tehran cancels $2bn China dam deal

Iranian Energy Minister Majid Namjou announced on Thursday the cancellation of a $2 billion deal with a Chinese contractor to construct a hydroelectric dam and ceded it to its Revolutionary Guard Corps, official news agency Mehr reported. Click here to read more…

Qatar-based directors quit Syrian bank

The Qatar-based directors of Syria International Islamic Bank (SIIB) resigned their roles at the behest of the Gulf Arab state’s central bank, to comply with US Treasury sanctions against the lender. Click here to read more. (Source – Reuters via Alrroya.com)

Syrian bank faces US sanctions

The US Treasury on Wednesday imposed sanctions on Syria International Islamic Bank in an attempt to limit the Bashar al-Assad government’s access to the global financial system. Click here to read more. (Source – Reuters via Alrroya.com)

GE eyes up to US$10bn revenue from Libya

General Electric, the biggest maker of power-generation equipment, expects to generate as much as US$10bn in revenue from Libya, as the North African country vies to rebuild its economy, infrastructure, and institutions, and respond to the demands of its population, the company’s regional President and CEO Nabil Habayeb said in an interview with Arabian Business. Click here to read more. (Source – ArabianBusiness.com)

Yamli-Yahoo! deal signals interest in Arab startups

Habib Haddad says when he needed money three years ago to fund Yamli, an online Arabic transliteration service, he had to sell his furniture. His deal with Yahoo! Inc. this week is a sign investors are more willing to put money into Middle East startups. Click here to read more. (Source – Bloomberg via Daily Star Lebanon)

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