Egypt, Lebanon discuss launching ro-ro line to boost trade

Egypt and Lebanon discussed Monday launching a ro-ro (roll-on/roll-off) line with the aim of increasing import/export trade between the two countries.

The proposal was tabled during a meeting between Egyptian Minister of Transport Kamel El-Wazir and Lebanese Minister of Public Works and Transport Ali Hamieh on the sideline of the 69th session of the Executive Office of the Council of Arab Transport Ministers in Alexandria.

Ro-ro cargo shipping describes a vessel transporting wheeled cargo, including cars, trucks, buses, trailers or industrial vehicles.

These kind of ships have built-in ramps on their bow or stern to make the loading and unloading of the wheeled cargo much easier than if it was done with a crane.

Both ministers agreed to hold intensive meetings in the near future between specialists from both countries to study the proposal, according to a statement by the Egyptian Ministry of Transport.

Monday’s meeting also tackled means of bolstering cooperation between the two sides in the various transport sectors.

Hamieh expressed his country’s interest in cooperation with Egyptian construction companies to execute infrastructure projects, underlining the Egyptian experience in the field.

El-Wazir emphasised that all Egyptian companies “are fully prepared to carry out all the work required by the Lebanese side as per the international quality standards,” the statement noted.

Lebanon ranked seventh among Arab countries as a destination for Egyptian exports in the first half of FY2022/23, according the Egyptian Central Agency for Public Mobilisation and Statistics (CAPMAS).

Egypt’s exports to the Arab country hit $220 million while its imports stood at $108.4 million during the six-month period.


Lozan Urban Development launches 2nd phase of Apex Business Mall at NAC

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“The second phase of the project comprises unique units in a variety of areas that meet the ambitions and desires of customers by providing a number of commercial units under the ‘franchise system’ to achieve the highest investment return for customers in its project,” said Adel Abdel Moneim — Chairperson of LUD’s Board of Directors.

Lozan Urban Development (LUD) announced the launch of the second phase of its Apex Business Complex in the Downtown area of the New Administrative Capital (NAC).

“The second phase of the project comprises unique units in a variety of areas that meet the ambitions and desires of customers by providing a number of commercial units under the ‘franchise system’ to achieve the highest investment return for customers in its project,” said Adel Abdel Moneim — Chairperson of LUD’s Board of Directors.

Abdel Moneim added that the new phase includes a variety of facilities and flexible payment systems provided by the company to its customers in accordance with their different needs.

He explained that the mixed-use project comprises administrative, commercial, and medical units on an area of 2,600 sqm with investments of approximately EGP 700m.

The project also includes a ground floor and 12 storeys with a variety of units, with areas starting from 35 metres up to 100 sqm.

The chairperson added that the company offers payment plans with 5% down payment and payment periods up to 12 years, and that it expects to fully deliver the project within four years of construction.

He also noted that LUD has contracted engineering consultant office HAFEZ Consultants for the project’s engineering designs, in addition to CAD — a business management company — as a management and operating consultant to ensure the operation and management of the Apex Business Mall.

LUD has succeeded in developing a number of various projects in Abu Dhabi, UAE, with investments that exceeded AED 250m, in addition to its strategic partnership with a number of companies operating in the NAC with investments of up to EGP 300m.

Moreover, the company is currently working on a number of administrative, commercial, residential, and tourism projects in the Delta’s governorates with investments amounting to EGP 350m.

Tethys oil production from Oman reaches 325,632 barrels in January

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Tethys Oil’s share of the production, before government, take, from Blocks 3&4 onshore the Sultanate of Oman, in January 2022 amounted to 325,632 barrels of oil, corresponding to 10,504 barrels of oil per day.

The Official Selling Price (OSP) for Oman Export Blend Crude Oil for January 2022 was $80.26 per barrel. The OSP, as published by Sultanate of Oman’s Ministry of Energy and Minerals, is the benchmark price for Tethys Oil’s monthly oil sales excluding trading and quality adjustments.

Tethys Oil, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Tethys Oil Block 3 & 4, has a 30 per cent interest in Blocks 3&4. Partners are Mitsui E&P Middle East B.V. with 20 per cent and the operator CC Energy Development (Oman branch) holding the remaining 50 per cent.
Tethys Oil is a Swedish oil company with a focus on onshore areas with known oil discoveries.

The company’s core area is Oman, where it holds interests in Blocks 3&4, Block 49, Block 56 and Block 58. Tethys Oil has net working interest 2P reserves of 26.2 million barrels of oil (mmbo) and net working interest 2C Contingent Resources of 15.6 mmbo and had an average oil production of 11,136 barrels per day from Blocks 3&4 during 2021.


Kuwait’s $33bn holding company appoints female CEO

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Kuwait Projects Co, the holding company with assets of about $33 billion, has appointed Sheikha Dana Nasser Sabah Al Ahmad as its CEO, in another senior appointment for a woman in the Gulf.

Sheikha Dana was previously the CEO of Al Futtooh Holding Co and on Kuwait Projects’ board since 2020, according to a statement.

She holds board positions in Gulf Insurance Group, OSN and Kamco Invest and her Her appointment is effective January 1.

In neighbouring Saudi Arabia, Sarah Al-Suhaimi became the first woman to chair the Saudi Arabian stock exchange, known as Tadawul (pictured above), in 2017.

The kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund has also appointed Rania Nashar as head of compliance and governance, making her one of the most senior women at the kingdom’s $450 billion Public Investment Fund.

Kuwait Projects, also known as Kipco, said Faisal Al Ayyar will retire as an executive after more than 30 years with the company. He will, however, continue to be the vice chairman.


Saudi Arabia licenses 44 companies to open regional headquarters in Riyadh

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Saudi Arabia said on Wednesday it had licensed 44 international companies to set up regional headquarters in the capital Riyadh under the kingdom’s push to become a regional commercial hub and vie for foreign capital and talent.

Among the 44 companies are multinationals in sectors including technology, food and beverages, consulting and construction including Unilever, Baker Hughes and Siemens, a press release said.

The world’s top oil exporter and largest Arab economy in February said it would give foreign firms until the end of 2023 to set up headquarters in the country or risk losing out on government contracts.

The move, part of efforts by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to wean the economy off oil by creating new industries that also generate jobs for Saudis, has put the kingdom in competition with regional business hub the United Arab Emirates.

The new headquarter establishments would add 67 billion riyals ($18 billion) to the economy and provide around 30,000 job opportunities by 2030, the President of the Royal Commission for Riyadh City, Fahd al-Rasheed, said in a statement.

Rasheed told Reuters he expects the 44 firms to move to Riyadh within a year, adding that some had already done so. He said the target was for 480 companies by 2030.

The kingdom earlier this year said that 24 companies had signed agreements to establish main regional offices – including PepsiCo, Schlumberger, Deloitte, PwC and Bechtel – rather than oversee operations remotely from the UAE’s Dubai emirate.

European law firm DWF Group said on Wednesday that Riyadh would become its regional headquarters for business services.

Rasheed has said the move is not aimed at dismantling corporate operations elsewhere.

“We are simply saying – you need to have your regional headquarter here because this is not simply a contract economy that you come in and come out. We want to see you with us for the long term,” he told Reuters on Monday.

Rasheed defined regional headquarters as housing all major decision-making functions, but it was unclear how all firms themselves are defining Saudi headquarters.

Some people in the business community say companies are unlikely to shut operations in the UAE and may simply shift some operations to Saudi.

Danish wind turbine maker Vestas, not among the list of 44 firms, told Reuters in a statement that it was moving its Middle East sales h ..

Saudi Arabia has launched economic and social reforms aimed at making the kingdom an easier place to live and work in and has cut the red tape that long deterred companies.

source:Saudi Arabia has launched economic and social reforms aimed at making the kingdom an easier place to live and work in and has cut the red tape that long deterred companies.


Brunei – Market Opportunities

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Overview of best prospect sectors, major infrastructure projects, significant government procurements and business opportunities.
Brunei has an open economy favorable to foreign trade and FDI as it continues to diversify its economy away from its long-term reliance on oil and gas exports. Investment opportunities in Brunei are driven both by government planning and consumer demand.

FDI is important to Brunei as it plays a key role in economic and technological development. Brunei encourages FDI in the domestic economy through various investment incentives offered by the Ministry of Energy, Manpower and Industry and through activities conducted by the Ministry of Finance and Economy through the Brunei Economic Development Board (BEDB).

Formed in 2001, BEDB promotes Brunei as an investment destination to move its economy away from oil and gas revenue. BEDB is mandated to work with foreign and domestic investors to develop new economic opportunities where Brunei has competitive advantages, focusing on four key areas: attracting investments, strengthening local businesses, increasing Research and Development (R&D) and innovation, and delivering infrastructure projects.

BEDB has identified several industries as potential investment sectors in its efforts to diversify the economy, including life sciences, agri-business, information and communications technology (ICT), and services. Further information on BEDB is available at BEDB’s website.

The most attractive commercial sectors include:

Upstream and Downstream Oil and Gas
Commercial Aviation
Defense Equipment
Medical Equipment
Food and Beverage Franchises
In the agricultural sector, the following investment opportunities may offer lucrative investment opportunities:
Food Imports/Food Production
Fishing Industry/Aquaculture
Brunei’s ICT sector seeks to benefit from international expertise as Brunei continues to upgrade its national telecommunications infrastructure, and the financial sector seeks to modernize its banking industry with digital platforms.

Prepared by our U.S. Embassies abroad. With its network of 108 offices across the United States and in more than 75 countries, the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce utilizes its global presence and international marketing expertise to help U.S. companies sell their products and services worldwide. Locate the U.S. Commercial Service trade specialist in the U.S. nearest you by visiting


Mint Turbines Awarded Grant for Equipment and Workforce

Oklahoma’s Department of Commerce (ODOC) reached out to Mint Turbines, a 30 year old company who specializes in engine MRO services and engine repair/maintenance, to inform them that due to their industry sector, they can qualify for a grant from the Manufacturing Reboot Program that Governor Kevin Stitt rolled out. Under the Reboot Program, companies apply for a grant that is intended to assist in either retooling to develop products to help combat COVID-19 or to allow the company to expand current capabilities.

Located halfway between Tulsa and Oklahoma City, Mint Turbines is facilitated in Stroud where they operate as an turbine engine maintenance, repair and overhaul facility. “The state is very proactive in helping business grow here in Oklahoma,” said Chris Van Denhende, CFO of Mint Turbines. Van Denhende always stated that within 10 short days of applying for the grant, they were notified of acceptance.

As an awardee of the grant money, the company received $150,000. Additionally, a coordinate-measuring machine, typically known as CMM equipment, was sought after. CMM machine, typically weighing in at an astonishing 20,000 pounds, uses smart technologies to decrease measurement cycle time. A single CMM cost around $250,000 and with $100,000 of the Reboot funds going to this important purchase – $50,000 is left to be assigned to employee growth. With 45 current employees, Mint Turbine expects to see their employment double within the next three years. With labor intensive hands-on roles needing to be fulfilled, a pipeline of highly skilled individuals are sought after. The CMM machinery will also allow Mint Turbine to bid for work.

Furthermore, the funds allow Mint Turbines to expand on their product offerings while simultaneously boosting the quality of life in their city by filling numerous positions at the manufacturing facility.


Bahrain’s Investcorp inks $286m deals for US residential property

Bahrain’s Investcorp has invested in four US residential apartment complexes and a student housing facility for a total purchase price of $286 million, the company announced on Monday.

The communities include a 660-unit property in Atlanta, a 408-unit property in Chicago, and two properties with a total of 505 units in Dallas.

The student housing property, located in Orlando, has over 800 bedrooms.

Additionally, Investcorp invested in four industrial portfolios, comprising 2.7 million square feet and over 40 buildings for a total purchase price of approximately $206 million.

The four portfolios comprise nine buildings totalling 552,370 sq. ft. in Phoenix, Arizona, 11 buildings totalling 833,193 sq.ft. in Minneapolis, Minnesota, 7 buildings totalling 440,013 sq.ft. in Austin, Texas and 15 buildings totalling 876,955 sq.ft. in Chicago.

“These investments are a continuation of our real estate investment strategy and our commitment to growing our U.S. real estate portfolio,” said Investcorp Co-CEO Mohammed Al Shroogi. “Investcorp has been a leader in this market since we entered over 20 years ago, and it remains a key part of our long-term strategy.”


Production surges in Iran’s car industry

Iran's car industry

Iran’s car industry is the second biggest sector in country after the energy sector accounting for more than 10 percent of its GDP.
Over 700,000 people are working in this industry which is equal to four percent of workforce of Iran, according to the 2015 data.

With a contribution of about $9.1 billion, the country’s carmakers accounted for 2.2 percent of Iran’s economic growth over the last fiscal year (ended March 20, 2016). The automotive industry is projected to form at least four percent of Iran’s economic growth by 2025.

The WB estimates show that Iran’s GDP in 2015 stood at $393.7 billion. This is while Iran’s car industry in 2015 witnessed a downward trend as the industry’s share in the country’s GDP was 0.5 percent lower than in preceding year.

However, the latest statistics on the output of the country’s automotive industry suggest a huge surge. The industry made more than 946,000 vehicles over the first nine months of the current fiscal year — indicating a 38.7-percent growth year-on-year.

A surge was observed in interest among multinational companies in investing in Iran following the nuclear deal signed in January 2015, while one sector attracting attention is Iran’s automotive industry.

Iranian car manufacturers reestablished cooperation with European companies, including Peugeot, Citroen and Renault. This resulted in a strong growth of nearly 151 percent for automotive sector, which ended 2016 as the top performing sector on the Tehran Stock Exchange.

At least two European carmakers had earlier announced that they experienced a considerable surge in their sales in Iran over 2016.

Traditional export markets for Iranian automobiles include Algeria, Azerbaijan, Cameroon, Ghana, Egypt, Iraq, Pakistan, Senegal, Syria, Sudan and Venezuela.

Recently, the Islamic Republic presented certificates to foreign car manufacturers willing to open sales offices in the country.

Some 40 foreign carmakers have already obtained the certificates, while the number can be increased in future. Companies may get licenses facing no limit in terms of the number of cars they would like to import. However, the companies are required to have a 10-year customer services experience in Iran, to be able to sell the production in the market.

The auto giant PSA Peugeot Citroen became the first foreign company since the implementation of the JCPOA to receive a license from the Iranian government to invest in Iran Khodro Co. (IKCO) — the country’s biggest car manufacturer.

The country imported some 49,331 motor cars in March-December 2016, while some 89 percent of the of the figure fell to a share of 5 countries, including the UAE, South Korea, Germany, Spain, Turkey. Imported cars had only a five-percent share in Iran’s total car market in the period.