News – Saudi Arabia – 2012-01-30

January 30, 2012

ARABIALINK Daily News – Excerpts from International Media Reports
/Provided as a service from the Saudi-US Trade Group, Washington, DC/

1.30.12 EDITION

Saudi Arabia’s Central Bank Eyes Bigger Role: ARABIAN BUSINESS

Reuters | 1/29/12

Saudi Arabia’s central bank will play a bigger role in the supervision of the country’s financial sector as the kingdom weighs opening up its stock market to direct investments by foreigners.

Saudi Bourse Opening To Boost Foreign Share of Stocks, RBS Says: BLOOMBERG

Arif Sharif | 1/30/12

Foreign investors’ share of trades on Saudi Arabia’s stock market, the Arab world’s biggest, may increase fivefold in two years after the bourse allows direct purchases, a banker at Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc said. SAUDI ARABIA’S CENBANK, CMA TO COORDINATE SUPERVISION: Saudi Arabia’s central bank will play a bigger role in the supervision of the country’s financial sector as the kingdom weighs opening up its stock market to direct investments by foreigners, Business Recorder reports.

Saudi Arabia to Remain Reliable Supplier of Crude Oil to Markets: PLATTS

1/30/12

Saudi Arabia’s growing domestic energy consumption will have no impact on Saudi oil exports “now or in the future” and the kingdom will continue to be a reliable supplier of oil to world markets with capacity to handle future supply shortages, Saudi Oil Minister Ali Naimi said Monday.

Nitaqat Generates 300,000 Jobs: ARAB NEWS

1/28/12

The Nitaqat Saudization program was instrumental in generating more than 300,000 job opportunities in the private sector, according to Ibrahim Al-Moaiqel, director general of the Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF).

Saudi Arabian Inflation to Average 4.3% This Year, Al Rajhi Says: BLOOMBERG

Wael Mahdi | 1/29/12

Saudi Arabian inflation will average 4.3 percent this year as global commodity prices fall, Al Rajhi Capital, the investment arm of the country’s largest lender by market value, said today in an e-mailed report.

Economic Imperatives – Prince Turki: SUSRIS

William Ryan | 1/29/12

This week the 6th Annual Global Competitiveness Forum in Riyadh addressed the theme, “The Entrepreneurship Imperative.” Organized by the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA), the GCM2012 featured a keynote address by Prince Turki Al Faisal on the second day of the three day event.  In his remarks he touched on entrepreneurship including the implications of risk and failure and a comprehensive examination of the Saudi and global economic environments.

Pilgrim’s Progress: Journey To the Heart of Islam: INDEPENDENT

Arifa Akbar | 1/30/12

Hajj: Journey to the Heart of Islam at the British Museum attempts to distil a spiritual experience into an art exhibition. Arifa Akbar, who has travelled to Mecca, is impressed.

Afghan govt, Taliban to hold talks in Saudi Arabia: Diplomat: PAKISTAN TRIBUNE

1/30/12

Afghan government officials and representatives of the country’s former Taliban rulers are to hold peace talks in Saudi Arabia, a Riyadh-based Afghan diplomat said on Monday.

Report: Saudi Women Will Be Allowed To Attend Soccer Matches In 2014 In New Stadium: WASHINGTON POST

1/28/12

A government-run Saudi Arabian newspaper reports that for the first time in the conservative Muslim country, women will be allowed to attend soccer matches in one of the country’s stadiums.

Charity Begins At Home For Saudi Arabia: FINANCIAL TIMES

Roula Khalaf | 1/30/12

Executives from around the world descended on Riyadh last week, days before they moved on to the main January event in Davos. Saudi Arabia’s annual Global Competitiveness Forum has become a necessary stop for those hoping to cash in on an economy flush with oil revenues at a time of financial turmoil in the west.

Saudi Warns Of Mideast Nuclear Race: ASHARQ ALAWSAT

1/26/12

An influential member of the Saudi royal family warned Wednesday that unless the Middle East becomes a nuclear weapon-free zone, a nuclear arms race is inevitable and could include his own country, Iraq, Egypt and even Turkey. Prince Turki Al Faisal said the five permanent U.N. Security Council members should guarantee a nuclear security umbrella for Mideast countries that join a nuclear-free zone — and impose “military sanctions” against countries seen to be developing nuclear weapons.

Saudi Shura Council Asks to Oversee Aramco Income, Riyadh Says: BLOOMBERG

Wael Mahdi | 1/30/12

Saudi Arabia’s consultative body, the Shura Council, voted yesterday seek the right to oversee and review the income and activities of Saudi Arabian Oil Co., al- Riyadh newspaper said, citing members of the council.

Aramco to Host CSR Forum on Feb. 1: ARAB NEWS

1/30/12

Saudi Aramco will host and organize the first corporate social responsibility (CSR) forum in Dhahran on Wednesday.

Kingdom, Iraq Not To Execute Each Other’s Prisoners: ARAB NEWS

1/28/12

Saudi Arabia and Iraq have agreed in principle to put on hold execution of prisoners on death row in the two countries for at least two months until a final agreement to swap prisoners is reached.

OBG Report Focuses On Saudi Developments: TRADE ARABIA

1/30/12

The massive investment Saudi Arabia is making in major developments across the sectors of its economy, including housing, transport and oil refinery projects, is given wide-ranging coverage in a new report published by Oxford Business Group (OBG).

More News and Commentary from SUSTG

IRAN: WILL ISRAEL REALLY ATTACK IRAN?

The real answer is no, they will not. But you would never figure that out by reading the New York Times. The sensationalist article in the Sunday New York Times Magazine (Jan. 29) adds to the hysteria surrounding U.S. and Israeli relations with Iran. Ronen Bergman, a columnist with the leading Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth, concludes that Israel will probably attack Iran this year, Gary Sick (Gary’s Choices) writes. GROWING ELITE OPPOSITION TO STRIKE IRAN: Like the imminent prospect of one’s hanging, to paraphrase the 18th century British essayist Dr (Samuel) Johnson, the suddenly looming possibility of war can concentrate the mind wonderfully. If that aphorism didn’t apply in the run-up to the United States invasion of Iraq nearly 10 years ago, it appears to be the case now for key sectors of the US foreign-policy elite – notably, liberal hawks who supported the Iraq war – with regard to the sharp rise in tensions between Iran and both the US and Israel earlier this month, Jim Lobe (Asia Times) writes. ATTACK COULD CAUSE GREAT RECESSION: This week renowned economist Nouriel Roubini told the Associated Press that a military conflict with Iran could lead to a global recession. Roubini was interviewed at the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland, Jasmin Ramsey (Lobelog) writes.

SYRIA: ASSAD TROOPS FIGHT BACK AGAINST SYRIA REBELS

Street battles raged at the gates of the Syrian capital on Monday as President Bashar al-Assad’s troops sought to consolidate their grip on suburbs that rebel fighters had taken only a few miles from the center of government power, Reuters reports.  END OF OBSERVER MISSION OPENS DOOR TO MORE CONFLICTS: Just a day after the Arab League suspended its monitoring mission to Syria, the nation has erupted into what some observers have called the “fiercest violence” in months, CSM reports. EU LEADERS PRESS FOR UN RESOLUTION ON SYRIA: British and French foreign ministers say they are heading to New York to press for a United Nations resolution aimed at halting Syria’s violent crackdown, USA Today reports.

IRAQ: SUNNI-BACKED LAWMAKERS END PARLIAMENT BAN

An official with Iraq’s Sunni-backed political alliance says its leaders have decided to end a parliament boycott, but the bloc’s ministers will stay away from Cabinet meetings to protest arrests and prosecution of Sunni officials, Asharq Alawsat reports. DOZENS KILLED IN ATTACK ON FUNERAL PROCESSION: Dozens of people were killed and wounded when a suicide car bomber attacked a funeral procession in Baghdad on Friday, days after an al Qaeda-linked insurgent group warned it would step up its fight against Iraq’s government, security forces and Shiite majority, WSJ reports.

AFGHANISTAN: ANOTHER TIFF BETWEEN US, KARZAI?

News of the meeting in Saudi Arabia comes weeks after the Taliban agreed to open an office in Qatar and has raised some concern that Karzai could create the appearance of a disjointed negotiation effort that could undermine peace efforts and threaten relations between the Afghans and the West, Tom A Peter (CSM) writes. AFGHANISTAN TO PRESS PAKISTAN FOR ACCESS: Afghanistan will press Pakistan for access to Taliban leaders during a one-day visit to Kabul by Pakistan’s foreign minister, with Afghan officials hoping to ease cross-border strains and lay the ground for peace negotiations with the insurgents, Reuters reports.

EGYPT: CONSENSUS UNLIKELY ON EARLY POWER TRANSFER

The head of Egypt’s Islamist Nour party, whose bloc came second in parliamentary elections, said he doubts political groups will united behind calls for the ruling generals to cede power earlier than a June deadline, Bloomberg reports.

PALESTINE: PA SUSPENDS PLANS TO RAISE TAXES

The Palestinian Authority announced on Sunday it was suspending plans to raise income tax that have sparked widespread protests but said it was still seeking ways to cut costs in 2012 to plug a gap resulting from lower-than-expected foreign aid revenues, Reuters reports. LEADER OF HAMAS MAKES RARE TRIP TO JORDAN: Khaled Meshal, the leader of Hamas, made a rare and pointedly low-key visit to Jordan on Sunday, days after Hamas officials signaled that he had effectively abandoned the group’s base in Damascus, the Syrian capital, Stephen Farrell (NYT) reports.

EUROPE: EXTREMIST JAILED FOR PLANNING ATTACKS ON NEWSPAPER

Two men accused of plotting to attack a Danish newspaper that published cartoons depicting the prophet Muhammad have been found guilty in the first convictions under Norway’s anti-terror laws, The Guardian reports.

/The daily news is provided as a service of the Saudi-US Trade Group, Washington, DC. Visit www.SUSTG.org for more information and to get a free email subscription to the News Review./</h4></div>

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