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Jul 6, 2014

Saudi’s Almarai Q2 net profit rises 8.8 pct on higher sales

DUBAI, July 6 (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia’s Almarai,
the Gulf’s largest dairy company, reported an 8.8 percent
increase in second-quarter net profit on Sunday as sales rose.

Almarai made a profit of 433.3 million riyals ($115.5
million) in the three months to June 30, up from 398.2 million
riyals in the year-earlier period, according to a statement to
Riyadh’s bourse.

Jul 1, 2014

Iraq lifts social media ban, some websites still blocked

DUBAI, July 1 (Reuters) – Iraq has lifted a 17-day social
media ban imposed to disrupt the communications of armed
militants who have seized much of its west and north, although
about 20 news websites remain blocked, industry sources said on
Tuesday.

One source said that Iraq had come under pressure from
foreign non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to end the ban but
the state telecoms company did not explain why it had done so.

Jun 30, 2014

Saudi Telecom due windfall if govt pays mkt rate for seized land

DUBAI, June 30 (Reuters) – A plot of land seized by Saudi
Arabia’s government from Saudi Telecom Co (STC) is
probably worth multiple times its book value, property
consultants estimate, potentially putting the company in line
for a huge compensation.

Earlier this month, the telecom operator announced the
government had seized a 1.05 million square metre plot in the Al
Faisaliah district of Riyadh, stating the land’s book value was
105.3 million riyals ($28.08 million).

Jun 17, 2014

Egypt extends slump as Iraq worries weigh; Gulf stabilises

DUBAI, June 17 (Reuters) – Egypt’s stock index fell for a
third straight session on Tuesday as worries over the crisis in
Iraq spurred Cairo investors to lock in some of this year’s
gains. But Gulf markets generally stabilised after losses
earlier this week.

The Cairo benchmark dropped 1.5 percent to 8,397
points, taking its losses to 4 percent since June 12′s two-week
high. The measure is still up 23.8 percent in 2014.

Jun 16, 2014

Iraq widens Internet blocks to disrupt insurgent communications

DUBAI, June 16 (Reuters) – Iraq widened a clampdown on
social media on Monday, blocking secure private communications
channels to prevent Sunni militants from using them in their
stunning sweep that is threatening to dismember the country.

In addition to banning virtual private networks (VPNs), it
has also recently instructed mobile telephone operators to stop
mobile data including instant messaging services, a mobile
operator and an industry source said on Monday.

Jun 9, 2014

Mobile firm Viva Kuwait full-year profit jumps six-fold

DUBAI, June 9 (Reuters) – Viva Kuwait reported a more than
six-fold rise in annual profit on Monday as the mobile
telecommunications operator increased its customer base by a
third.

The Saudi Telecom Co (STC) affiliate made a net
profit of 24.25 million dinars ($86 million) in 2013, up from
3.87 million a year earlier, according to its website.

Jun 8, 2014

Pakistan sees Etisalat resolving $799 mln dispute soon -minister

DUBAI, June 8 (Reuters) – Pakistan expects Etisalat
to soon settle the $799 million it owes from a 2006
investment in the country’s former telecom monopoly, the finance
minister told Reuters.

Settlement would provide vital funds for the cash-strapped
government.

Etisalat, the United Arab Emirates’ largest telecom operator
by revenue and subscribers, led a consortium that bought a
26-percent stake in Pakistan Telecommunication Co
(PTCL) for $2.6 billion.

Jun 4, 2014

Amnesia, not admiration for Israel’s 1964 heroes

DUBAI (Reuters) – Fifty years ago this week, a group of mostly blue-collar workers and army conscripts led Israel to its only senior international soccer title, winning the 1964 Asian Cup in front of rapturous home crowds.

The achievements of those amateur players, who would skip work to train for the national team, was part of a golden age of Israeli football that culminated in the country’s solitary World Cup appearance in 1970, yet is largely forgotten at home.

Jun 4, 2014

Soccer-Amnesia, not admiration for Israel’s 1964 heroes

DUBAI, June 4 (Reuters) – Fifty years ago this week, a group of mostly blue-collar workers and army conscripts led Israel to its only senior international soccer title, winning the 1964 Asian Cup in front of rapturous home crowds.

The achievements of those amateur players, who would skip work to train for the national team, was part of a golden age of Israeli football that culminated in the country’s solitary World Cup appearance in 1970, yet is largely forgotten at home.

Jun 2, 2014

Saudi Mobily cuts profit by $90 million after rival scraps tie-up

DUBAI (Reuters) – Mobily, Saudi Arabia’s No.2 mobile operator by subscriber numbers, has cut its stated first-quarter profit by 338.7 million riyals ($90.3 million) after fixed-line rival Etihad Atheeb scrapped a deal between the two companies, it said on Monday.

The announcement to the Riyadh bourse sent Mobily’s shares down by 4.1 percent to a 16-week low.