Monday, November 30, 2009

Mottaki: Iran-Russia cooperation helps restore regional tranquility

Tehran, Nov 30, IRNA -- Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said on Monday that constructive cooperation between Iran and Russia helps restore peace and tranquility to the entire region.
Mottaki made the remarks in the 8th meeting of Iran-Russian Joint Economic Commission in Tehran.

He said that ties between Iran and Russia have developed in various fields after the triumph of the Islamic Revolution.

"Iran and Russia with huge natural and energy resources would play leading role in the globe and boost cooperation."

Mottaki called for enhanced level of trade in light of high potentials in various fields the two countries possess.

Mottaki gave a proposal to adopt monitoring system for foreign trade or barter trade to save national economies of both Iran and Russia from the current global financial crisis.

The Russian Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko, for his part, thanked the Iranian foreign minister for hosting the 8th Iran-Russia Joint Economic Commission and said the two countries reviewed all regional developments and ways to expand economic and commercial ties.

Iran and Russia should try to increase current level of cooperation in energy, electricity, oil and gas to a satisfactory level, he said.

The two sides have decided to enhance level of mutual cooperation in gas and oil sectors, he pointed out.

The two sides inked four documents in 17 chapters and 120 articles at the joint economic commission.

Source : IRNA

WTO urged to speed up key trade negotiations

GENEVA: European businesses, growing frustrated at slow progress in the World Trade Organisation's Doha round, yesterday called for the WTO to speed up negotiations.

The WTO is holding a ministerial conference from tomorrow until Wednesday, but negotiations on Doha, launched eight years ago to open markets and help developing countries grow through trade, are off the agenda.

Instead ministers will review the WTO's work and its contribution to economic recovery and tackling problems such as climate change. Doha is likely to be discussed on the sidelines.

Economists argue about precise benefits of a Doha deal but political leaders and the WTO believe it would boost business confidence by removing uncertainty from the world economy.

"At some point of time all WTO members will have to make up their minds on the conclusion of the round," said Carsten Dannoehl, senior adviser for international relations at BusinessEurope, the EU business lobby.

BusinessEurope is expected to issue a call during the conference for the WTO's 153 members to focus on concluding a Doha deal, which would cut industrial and agricultural tariffs, slash farm subsidies and open up trade in services.

WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy says a Doha agreement is 80 per cent complete. But mindful of previous WTO conferences that broke up in acrimony, he wants to avoid submitting an incomplete proposal to ministers.

Political leaders have called on WTO members to reach a Doha agreement in 2010, but Lamy has said negotiations will have to speed up to meet that new deadline.

Members will take stock and decide whether 2010 is realistic early next year.

Poverty action group Oxfam said completing the Doha round would not solve all development challenges but would at least remove some of the worst trade distortions.

"The very fact that the Doha round is not even on the agenda of this week's Ministerial shows that the round is moribund," said Oxfam International representative Celine Charveriat.

Meanwhile, more than 3,000 demonstrators protested in Geneva on Saturday at WTO policies that they say promote poverty, but the march was called off after some 200 protesters rampaged through the city centre smashing windows and setting fire to cars.

Source : Gulf Daily News

Double digit growth for Islamic banking assets in 2009

by Soren Billing

Islamic banking assets posted double-digit growth this year despite the global economic slowdown, according to a new report.

Assets held by fully Shariah-compliant banks or Islamic banking windows of conventional banks rose by 28.6 percent to $822bn from $639bn in 2008, according to The Banker’s “Top 500 Islamic Financial Institutions” survey.

The London-based magazine found in a July survey that the world’s conventional banks posted annual asset growth of just 6.8 percent.
“A conservative approach to risk and a close link between the financial sector and real assets has helped shield the sector from the worst of the credit crisis,” said editor Brian Caplen.

“But finding improved ways to manage liquidity at Islamic banks, as well as harmonising Shariah and prudential compliance between institutions and markets, remain significant hurdles.”

GCC states accounted for $353.2bn or 42.9 percent of the global aggregate, while Iran remained the largest single market for Shariah-compliant assets, accounting for 35.6 percent of the total.

Source : Arabian Business

Double digit growth for Islamic banking assets in 2009

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Moscow, Nov 29, IRNA – Russian Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko headed for Tehran Sunday to disRussia energy minister off to Tehran for bilateral talks

Moscow, Nov 29, IRNA – Russian Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko headed for Tehran Sunday to discuss bilateral gas, oil and energy cooperation with Iranian officials.
Shmatko, heading a delegation, is to attend Tehran-Moscow Joint Economic Commission session.

During his two-day stay in Iran, the Russian energy minister is planned to meet with Iran’s Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki, Oil Minister Masoud Mir-Kazemi and his counterpart Majid Namjou.

Meanwhile, Shmatko told IRNA on Friday that Moscow enjoyed unique relations with Tehran.

Shmatko reiterated that Tehran-Moscow energy cooperation would benefit both countries.

The two countries' bilateral cooperation on Bushehr nuclear power plant has paved the way for further expansion of all-out ties between the two sides, he added.

The Russian minister announced that the Bushehr plant would become operational according to the schedule, adding that there is no obstacle on the way of putting into operationof the power plant.
Source : IRNA

Islamic banks should target female market - report

by Gavin Davids

EMERGING MARKET: Islamic banks should target female customers as part of their future growth, a new report says. (Getty Images)
Islamic banks in the Middle East are "extremely well positioned" to take capture a share of women's rapidly growing demand for top-notch banking services, says a new publication from the Boston Consulting Group (BCG).

With an estimated $5 trillion in incremental earnings to spend, educated, ambitious, working women represent a commercial opportunity for goods and services providers that eclipses the rise of the consumer economies of both China and India, the management consulting firm said.

It said Islamic banks were in pole position to play a role in the women's banking arena, because they offer unique elements in the sector including a pre-disposed distribution network with some Islamic banks already off women's sections/branches due to Islamic traditions surrounding privacy.
It also said halal products were important for women, especially as they think about setting money aside for their children. It is important for money that is passed down to the next generation to be 'clean'.

BCG said the growing demand by women for financial services should prompt Islamic banks to systematically target this emerging market, work to understand women's dissatisfaction and change their offerings to profit from, and help boost this most important commercial opportunity.

The Middle East in particular was a rapidly growing market for banks to explore as more Arab women are entering the workforce and making important financial decisions, it added.

Companies should view Arab women as a fast-growing consumer segment and be prepared to adapt their offerings accordingly.

BCG estimated that women in UAE control approximately AED250 billion in household assets, with 70 percent of them owned by Emirati women or Arab women expats. Some of this is family owned wealth, but with female earning power growing stronger, women will continue to earn more money from their jobs. Currently, women in the UAE have an annual income of AED2 billion.

Michael J Silverstein and Kate Sayre, authors of BCG's Women Want More: How to Capture Your Share of the World's Largest, Fastest-Growing Market, said: "This 'female economy' will be replete with opportunities for companies to capture new consumers, increase market share, and open new markets.

"This is because surveys show that women are dissatisfied with the products and services available to them in many catagories, largely because companies misunderstand women's issues and fail to answer their needs. The areas with the most expressed dissatisfaction are three of today's most important consumer-goods categories: financial services, health care and consumer durables."

Dr Mohammed Badi, principal in BCG's Dubai and New York offices added: "Women want someone to walk them through the facts and help them understand their financial options, with clear information, educational materials and more engagement with advisors. Additionally, there is a strong business case for improving the quality of financial services for women in the Middle East, given the growth of female incomes and purchasing power."
Source : Arabian Business

Saudia back in business after glitch

By Roger Harrison

JEDDAH: The South Terminal at King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah was back in business on Saturday after last week’s flash flooding knocked out Saudia’s computer network.

The departure board Saturday afternoon showed one canceled and one delayed domestic flight. The level of traffic was, however, very low, with no queues at either the domestic or international departure desks.

Certainly there were few passengers at the inquiries and customer services desk. A senior Saudia official with responsibility for operations within the terminal said a couple of days ago there had been some problems. “Today however, there are no problems, everything is running normally,” he said.

Passengers told Arab News that there had been few if any problems traveling and others confirmed the official’s observation. Two German travelers bound for Dammam said they had checked the status of their flight early in the day at the main Saudia office. “Everything seemed to be operating normally and the systems appeared to be in order,” said one traveler.

The testing time for the airport ground handling staff will be in a few days as pilgrims flock to Jeddah for their return flights.

Source : Arab News

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

New Qatar tax law for companies, not individuals

by Inal Ersan
TAX LAW: The Qatar News Agency had earlier not specified specifying the type of income it would tax.(Getty Images)
Qatar's new income tax law would apply to revenues of corporations and not that of individuals, a government official said on Tuesday, clarifying a report on the official news agency.

The official Qatar News Agency said earlier on Tuesday the new income law would take effect as of Jan. 1, without specifying the type of income it would tax.

"This law will apply to companies ... not people," the official, who declined to be identified, told Reuters by telephone.

"Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, the emir's deputy and crown prince, issued today... the income tax law," QNA had reported. "The law stipulates that it would be enacted as of the first of January 2010 and publication in the official gazette." (Reuters)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Each company should develop their own policies regarding the brand of eye products in the same line. Brand is a combination of names, words, symbols or designs that give the identity of the product. As discussed above, that the advertised product but not the brand. Brand economic role if the brand is mass produced, so achieving economies of scale and a successful brand can hamper the memeperkenalkan competitors who want the same brand. Brand also has a strategic role with a difference between the brands offered by the company with its competitors brand. From the consumer perspective, a trusted brand is a guarantee of consistency of performance of a product and provide consumers the benefits sought when buying a particular product or brand. Brand also is a promise to consumers that by just saying his name, comes the hope that the brand will provide the best quality, comfort, status and other considerations when consumers make a purchase. Learn more Designing Brand Identity: An Essential Guide for the Whole Branding Team

Brand consists of private brands (private brand / store brand / distributor of brand / private label), brand-specific / individual (specific / individual brand), brand lines / families (line / family brand), brand companies (corporate brand), brand combination (cobination brand). Private brand is a brand-sponsored by the distributor, for example on large traders and retailers. Alfa pulled out of sugar with the supermarket brands but do not have the sugar factory, the Alpha uses the private brand of sugar distributor permission. Allows private brand wholesalers or retailers provide lower prices and allow for higher profit. Bahakan many overseas companies ranging from clothing in upscale real Indonesian production, but given the brand overseas. Similarly, Indonesian-made shoes, branded ordering from abroad. Although made in Indonesia, but with foreign brands were able to sell a good price. Because the sale was not a product but the brand.
Another strategy is to build a brand with a specific brand which is a strategy to provide the brand name of a specific product. Unilever uses this strategy, for example Ax for brand deodorant, for Blue Band margarine, Domestos for mosquito, for Omo detergent, Pepsodent toothpaste and for for Sunsilk shampoo. Similarly, P & G, for Camay soap brands, for Crest toothpaste, Duracell batteries, Gillette for razors, Head & Shoulders for shampoo and Pampers for diapers. Learn more Brand Portfolio Strategy: Creating Relevance, Differentiation, Energy, Leverage, and Clarity

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Burj Dubai to open on Jan 4 - Alabbar

By Soren Billing

Burj Dubai, the tallest building in the world, will not open until January 4 next year, it was announced on Wednesday.
NEW DATE: The Burj Dubai will now open on Jan 4 2010. (Getty Images)

The opening will coincide with the four-year anniversary of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum becoming the ruler of Dubai, official news agency WAM reported.

"We decided to inaugurate the world's highest tower during an anniversary that is dear to the hearts of everyone," Emaar chairman Mohammed Alabbar said in a statement.
Learn more City of Gold: Dubai and the Dream of Capitalism

Source : Arabian Business

Hilal sukuk to be listed

MANAMA: Hilal Sukuk Company's IFC Hilal Sukuk will be listed on the Bahrain Stock Exchange (BSE).

BSE acting director Ebrahim Al Aradi yesterday issued a resolution in this regard.

The size of the issue is $100 million and the duration five years until November 3, 2014.

It pays a fixed rate of 3.037 per cent every six months on May and November 3 every year during the issuance period.

Following the listing of IFC Hilal Sukuk, the number of Islamic sukuk and conventional bonds listed on the exchange reached 14 issues with an approximate total value of $ 3.33 billion.

Learn more Islamic Bonds: Your Guide to Structuring, Issuing and Investing in Sukuk

Source : Gulf Daily News

Washington shifts focus on Jerusalem

CAIRO: Middle East peace talks must include the disputed city of Jerusalem, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in Cairo on Wednesday, stressing Washington is determined to push for a Palestinian state.

“There is no doubt that moving toward a state that reflects the aspirations and the rights of the Palestinian people must include all of the issues that have been discussed and mentioned by President Barack Obama, and that includes Jerusalem,” she said.

“We want to assure you that our goal is a real state, with a real sovereignty,” she added at a joint press conference with Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit.

“Nothing can interfere with our commitment and our resolve to move forward, and there are impediments, yes, but we cannot let anything deter us,” she said. Clinton extended a regional trip at the last minute to meet Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak after creating a storm by praising an Israeli plan to restrict settlement construction on the occupied West Bank.

The secretary of state said on Wednesday that the settlements were illegitimate but again described the plan as “unprecedented.” “Our policy on settlement activity has not changed. We do not accept the legitimacy,” she said, adding that the Israeli offer, which would allow a limited expansion of the settlements, was “not what we prefer.”

But “what we have received from the Israelis ... is unprecedented,” she said. “It’s a positive movement ... just like the Palestinians made progress on security,” she said.

Aboul Gheit, who had said Cairo wanted Clinton to clarify her remarks on the settlements during her visit, described his and Mubarak’s meetings with her as “very useful.” He blamed Israel for stalling the peace process but appeared to suggest a softening of Egyptian support of the Palestinians’ refusal to resume talks in the absence of a settlement freeze. “Israel is putting conditions to start negotiations by continuing to hold on to settlement activity,” the foreign minister told reporters. Learn more
Witness in Palestine: A Jewish American Woman in the Occupied Territories

Source :Agencies