Middle East Business News Review – 9 May

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

GCC to impose heavy taxes on soft drinks, tobacco products

Soft drink addicts would have to pay 50% more for their favourite beverage as authorities in the Gulf are pondering to impose a tax on these products, media reports suggested on Tuesday. Click here to read more…

Saudi private sector considering 2-day weekend – report

Media reports coming from Riyadh suggest Saudi Ministry of Labour is considering a two-day weekend for the private sector that will come into effect from next year. Click here to read more…

Prince Alwaleed moves Rotana, Alarab news channel HQ to Bahrain

Bahraini government has signed agreements with Saudi tycoon Prince Alwaleed bin Talal paving the way to move his Rotana news and entertainment company from Cairo to the Gulf island state, the official Bahrain News Agency reported on Wednesday. Click here to read more…

Jordan monarch sets up much demanded ‘independent’ election commission

Jordan’s King Abdullah II has approved an Independent Election Commission to oversee the upcoming polls, a week after Prime Minister Awn Shawkat al-Khasawneh resigned in a surprise move. Click here to read more…

Algerians find hard to trust in political system

While Algerian authorities insist a parliamentary election on Thursday would consolidate democracy in the country, many people are skeptical about such statements and do not expect any major changes. Click here to read more…

Kuwait to launch new trading system on 13 May

The Kuwait Stock Exchange will start using on 13 May trading systems provided by Nasdaq OMX Group Inc to improve volumes in the Gulf’s fourth-largest bourse by market value, said director general Faleh al-Raqabah. Click here to read more. (Source – Bloomberg via ArabianBusiness.com)

Abu Dhabi National Hotels Posts AED 477m Operating Revenues in Q1

Abu Dhabi National Hotels PJSC ( ADNH ), the leading diversified UAE-based hospitality company with interests in hotels, catering and contract, transport and retail, today announced its financial results for the first quarter of this year, ending 31st March 2012. Click here to read more. (Source – Zawya)

New Egypt budget would boost spending by 15%

Egypt’s Finance Ministry has submitted a draft budget to the cabinet that would increase spending by 15 percent in the year beginning on July 1, state-run al-Ahram newspaper reported on Wednesday. Click here to read more. (Source – Reuters via Daily Star Lebanon)

Aabar signs $2bn deal with Chinese

Aabar has signed a $2 billion deal with China to develop 30 properties in Abu Dhabi. China State Construction Engineering Corporation has an agreement with Aabar, an Abu Dhabi Government investment vehicle, to develop the projects including office buildings, hotels and apartments, the Chinese company said. Click here to read more. (Source – The National.ae)

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