Correspondent, Beirut
Sylvia's Feed
Apr 10, 2013

Politics trumps economics as govt bails out indebted Kuwaitis again

KUWAIT, April 10 (Reuters) – At a parliamentary debate on
consumer debt relief in Kuwait last week, lawmakers described
how thousands of Kuwaitis were struggling to make ends meet in
one of the world’s richest countries per capita.

Citizens had taken out personal loans, often more than one -
perhaps to buy a car or renovate a house – and were unable to
pay the money back. They were victims of high interest rates and
punishing repayment schedules, the lawmakers said.

Apr 7, 2013

Kuwait telco Zain says Iraq unit to complete IPO by end 2013

KUWAIT, April 7 (Reuters) – Kuwait’s No.1 telecom operator
Zain on Sunday said its Iraqi unit would complete an
initial public offering by the end of 2013, signally a further
delay in the sale process.

Zain’s 2012 earnings release states Zain Iraq would likely
launch an IPO in the first half of 2013, but the company’s
chairman now appears to have extended that target date.

Apr 3, 2013

Kuwait’s parliament approves personal debt relief law

KUWAIT, April 3 (Reuters) – Kuwait’s parliament approved a
law on Wednesday to buy some citizens’ personal loans and write
off the interest after lawmakers argued that banks had
overcharged Kuwaitis for credit.

Kuwait is one of the world’s richest countries per capita
and many lawmakers elected in a new parliament in December had
made debt relief a priority of their campaigns and put pressure
on the new cabinet to approve a plan.

Mar 27, 2013

Among Egypt firms, dollars and optimism in short supply

CAIRO, March 27 (Reuters) – After two years of political
upheaval and weakness in the economy, companies in Egypt are
struggling with a sinking currency and a shortage of foreign
exchange, forcing some to make painful changes to their business
plans.

The central bank’s foreign currency reserves have tumbled to
$13.5 billion, covering little more than two months’ imports, as
tourism and investment have waned. So the central bank is
rationing U.S. dollar supplies in auctions, making it hard for
firms to get hold of dollars through the banking system.

Mar 25, 2013

Wheat stocks dwindling, Egypt seen locked out of big buys for months

CAIRO/LONDON, March 25 (Reuters) – Despite dangerously low
stockpiles of wheat, Egypt is unlikely to be able to buy more at
international tenders until at least the end of June, industry
sources say, and its plans to grow record harvests at home to
replace imports are unrealistic.

Industry sources spoken to by Reuters in recent days painted
a darker picture than previously understood about the ability of
the most populous Arab state to continue to feed its 84 million
people with the cheap subsidised bread that they expect.

Mar 13, 2013

RPT/FEATURE-Food price rises put restive Egypt on edge

CAIRO, March 13 (Reuters) – With croissants, baguettes and
bagels spilling off metal trolleys at the bakery where Mohammed
Alif works in central Cairo, food is not scarce, but profits
certainly are.

The Egyptian pound has lost more than 8 percent of its value
against the U.S. dollar since the end of December as concern
deepens about the state of the economy, which is being
undermined by political instability and rioting.

Mar 13, 2013

Food price rises put restive Egypt on edge

CAIRO, March 13 (Reuters) – YDBWith croissants, baguettes
and bagels spilling off metal trolleys at the bakery where
Mohammed Alif works in central Cairo, food is not scarce, but
profits certainly are.

The Egyptian pound has lost more than 8 percent of its value
against the U.S. dollar since the end of December as concern
deepens about the state of the economy, which is being
undermined by political instability and rioting.

Mar 7, 2013

Bedouin kidnap and quickly release Egypt Exxon boss

CAIRO (Reuters) – Bedouin gunmen in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula seized and briefly held the country boss of U.S. oil major ExxonMobil and his wife on Thursday, in an attack that highlights increasing risks oil firms face across North Africa and the Middle East.

Exxon said Andy Wills, chairman and managing director of its Egypt and Cyprus operations, and his wife were both unhurt.

Feb 13, 2013

After big delays, Kuwait moves ahead on infrastructure

KUWAIT, Feb 13 (Reuters) – Freight trucks trundle down the
dusty, potholed roads of Kuwait’s busiest port, running into
traffic jams as they emerge into the surrounding streets. But
after years of inaction, the government is finally moving to
ease the congestion.

It is pushing ahead with a $2.6 billion plan to build a 36
km (22 mile) causeway, one of the longest in the world,
connecting Shuwaikh port and densely populated southern Kuwait
with the north of the country, near the Iraqi border.

Feb 6, 2013

Arab Spring shows need to tackle graft in military – watchdog

KUWAIT (Reuters) – Governments in North Africa and the Middle East rocked by Arab Spring revolts must listen to citizen demands for accountability by cracking down on corruption in the armed forces, an anti-graft watchdog said on Wednesday.

Defence and security bodies had a significant role in the regional upheaval and should use the momentum of the changes to reform from within, a Transparency International report said.

    • About Sylvia

      "Sylvia is based in Beirut, covering Lebanon and Syria. She joined Reuters as a graduate trainee in 2006 and has been based in London, Berlin, Frankfurt, Vienna and Kuwait and has reported from South Korea, Tunisia, Egypt and Iraq. She moved to Beirut in 2014."
      Joined Reuters:
      2006
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