Asma's Feed
Dec 5, 2012

Saudi businesses fear impact of new fees for foreign workers

JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia, Dec 5 (Reuters) – Glancing through the
newspapers one morning last month Saudi Arabian businessman
Ihsan al-Naeem was stunned by a government announcement that he
fears will threaten the survival of his family’s 30-year-old
contracting business.

In the latest and most aggressive of a series of labour
reforms, the government has started imposing fees on companies
that hire more foreign than local workers. The requirement
covers everyone from expat professionals to hospital workers and
labourers on construction sites and is in addition to quotas
already in place to limit foreign staff numbers.

Nov 28, 2012

Saudi king appears for first time since November 17 surgery

JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia (Reuters) – Saudi King Abdullah has appeared on state television on Wednesday for the first time since his 11-hour operation to tighten a back ligament on November 17, helping assuage fears over his health.

In footage broadcast on state television, the monarch, who is in his late 80s, appeared to be in good health as he sat in a chair receiving members of the royal family and officials at the National Guard’s King Abdulaziz Medical City in the capital Riyadh.

Nov 19, 2012

Saudi developer looking to buy foreign properties

RIYADH (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia’s largest listed real estate developer, Dar Al Arkan 4300.SE, plans to buy assets in Asia as part of its strategy to diversify revenue streams, its chairman Youssef al-Shelash told Reuters on Monday.

Shelash said the company owned just under 35 million square meters (8,650 acres) of land, and in the past it has relied heavily for revenue on sales of land within Saudi Arabia.

Nov 19, 2012

Saudi bookstore Jarir plans expansion drive

RIYADH, Nov 19 (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia-based bookstore
chain Jarir Marketing Co plans to expand the number of
its stores by at least 70 percent in the next five years to take
advantage of the Gulf region’s rapid population growth.

The kingdom’s largest listed retailer plans to spend 120-150
million riyals ($32-40 million) a year, or about 20 percent of
retained earnings, on the expansion, chairman Muhammad al-Agil
told the Reuters Middle East Investment Summit on Monday.

Nov 14, 2012

Russia’s Lavrov in Saudi seeking progress on Syria

RIYADH, Nov 14 (Reuters) – Russian Foreign Minister Sergei
Lavrov condemned the bloodshed in Syria as “outrageous” on
Wednesday and urged opponents of President Bashar al-Assad
inside and outside the country to form a united front to end the
crisis.

Lavrov met with foreign ministers of the six-member Gulf
Cooperation Council (GCC) for more than two hours in Riyadh but
failed to reach common ground on how to end the bloodshed that
has claimed more than 38,000 lives in Syria.

Nov 6, 2012

Accor to rebalance away from Europe, seeks acquisitions

JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia (Reuters) – Accor, Europe’s largest hotel group, is seeking to add around 5,000 rooms annually through acquisitions worldwide as it shifts focus away from weaker markets in Europe, its chief executive has told Reuters.

Chairman and Chief Executive Denis Hennequin said he had effectively unlimited capital available along with 1.7 billion euros in credit and would for example take any opportunities that arise to expand its midscale and upscale brands in the United States.

Oct 14, 2012

Results, global cues weigh on Saudi; UAE drops

DUBAI, Oct 14 (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia’s stock market
declined for a second straight day on Sunday as disappointment
over third-quarter corporate earnings weighed.

Having recorded its biggest one-day drop in over four months
on Saturday, a slide of 1.8 percent, the Saudi bourse
fell once more, by 0.3 percent, to a fresh 11-week low.

Oct 10, 2012

Vague state policies frustrate Egypt business leaders

CAIRO (Reuters) – Business leaders voiced frustration with Egypt’s government at an investment conference in Cairo this week, where officials pledged to revive an economy battered by political turmoil but offered few details on policy.

The new Islamist-led administration that emerged from last year’s popular uprising has secured some aid from foreign governments to head off a fiscal and balance of payments crisis.

Sep 12, 2012

Feature: Saudi steers citizens away from Syrian ‘jihad’

JEDDAH/DUBAI (Reuters) – Loath to foster a new generation of militant Islamists, Saudi Arabia is trying to stop its citizens from joining what some of them see as a holy war against the Syrian government.

The Saudi public has grown incensed at the bloody images continuously broadcast of Syria’s violence alongside reports of government forces massacring civilians, and $140 million was raised for Syrian refugees in the first two weeks of a government-organised campaign in August.

Sep 12, 2012

Saudi steers citizens away from Syrian ‘jihad’

JEDDAH/DUBAI, Sept 12 (Reuters) – Loath to foster a new
generation of militant Islamists, Saudi Arabia is trying to stop
its citizens from joining what some of them see as a holy war
against the Syrian government.

The Saudi public has grown incensed at the bloody images
continuously broadcast of Syria’s violence alongside reports of
government forces massacring civilians, and $140 million was
raised for Syrian refugees in the first two weeks of a
government-organised campaign in August.