Correspondent, Beirut
Sylvia's Feed
Jan 15, 2014

Kuwait pledges $500 million in Syria aid at donor conference

KUWAIT (Reuters) – Kuwait’s emir promised $500 million on Wednesday for U.N. humanitarian efforts in Syria, devastated by almost three years of civil war.

Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed al-Sabah made the pledge at an international donor conference intended to help the world body reach a $6.5 billion aid target for the crisis in 2014.

Jan 6, 2014

Kuwait appoints Islamist MP as oil minister in reshuffle

KUWAIT, Jan 6 (Reuters) – Major oil producer Kuwait
appointed an Islamist lawmaker as oil minister on Monday as part
of a government reshuffle triggered by political tensions,
although the move is unlikely to affect energy policy.

Ali Saleh al-Omair, who replaces Mustapha al-Shamali as oil
minister, is part of a group of Salafi Islamist politicians who
are generally cooperative with the government. He was elected as
a member of parliament in July.

Jan 5, 2014

Kuwait 6-mth budget surplus down 15 pct as spending jumps

KUWAIT, Jan 5 (Reuters) – Kuwait’s budget surplus narrowed
in the first six months of its fiscal year as spending soared
over 50 percent, partly thanks to increased outlays on public
sector wages, while oil revenues fell, figures from the Finance
Ministry showed.

The budget surplus for April to September was 10.72 billion
Kuwaiti dinars ($37.9 billion), a Reuters calculation based on
official data showed. That was down 15 percent from 12.65
billion dinars during the same period a year earlier.

Dec 18, 2013

National Bank of Kuwait CEO to retire after 30 years at helm

KUWAIT, Dec 18 (Reuters) – Ibrahim Dabdoub, one of the
longest-serving bank executives in the world, will retire from
National Bank of Kuwait next year after leading the
Gulf Arab state’s largest commercial lender for three decades.

Dabdoub, who guided the bank through Iraq’s invasion of
Kuwait in 1990-1 as well as a number of local and global
financial crises, leaves the institution as one of the biggest
and most respected lenders in the Middle East.

Nov 27, 2013

StanChart begins Iraq banking as petrodollars boost economy

BAGHDAD, Nov 27 (Reuters) – British lender Standard
Chartered launched banking operations in Iraq on
Wednesday, saying it hoped to benefit from large infrastructure
projects in a country trying to rebuild after years of conflict.

Standard Chartered is one of a small number of foreign banks
with operations in Iraq, which is seeing rapid economic growth
fuelled by oil production but also its worst upsurge in
sectarian violence in at least five years.

Nov 26, 2013

Tug-of-war erupts over planned return of Jewish archives to Iraq

BAGHDAD/LONDON (Reuters) – Jewish books and documents found by U.S. soldiers in the flooded headquarters of ousted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein and sent to the United States for restoration have touched off a dispute between Baghdad and Iraqi Jews who fled the country.

After a $3 million restoration, the collection has been put on display at the Washington-based National Archives. But bowing to demands from Iraq’s Shi’ite Muslim-led government, the United States says it will return the collection next summer. Some of the artifacts date to the 16th century.

Nov 26, 2013
via FaithWorld

Saudi Arabia and Kuwait tighten controls on clerics amid regional crises


(Muslim pilgrims pray atop Mount Thor in the holy city of Mecca ahead of the annual haj pilgrimage October 11, 2013. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa)

Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have been quietly reining in their clerics on concerns that preachers could use their influence to stir up trouble and inflame sectarian divisions at a time of high tension over the crises in Syria and Egypt.

Nov 25, 2013

Saudi Arabia, Kuwait tighten controls on clerics

DUBAI/KUWAIT (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have been quietly reining in their clerics on concerns that preachers could use their influence to stir up trouble and inflame sectarian divisions at a time of high tension over the crises in Syria and Egypt.

Authorities in Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam and home to a powerful conservative clergy, have declined to respond to local media reports in recent months which said nearly 20 clerics had been sacked or suspended.

Oct 31, 2013

Kuwaiti MP to question prime minister over housing

KUWAIT (Reuters) – A Kuwaiti lawmaker has filed a request to question the prime minister in parliament over housing and graft, in a sign of renewed political discord in the major Gulf oil producer.

The move against Sheikh Jaber al-Mubarak al-Sabah, a senior ruling family member, comes just two days after the opening of parliament, where officials have said tackling a shortage of government-funded housing is a priority.

Oct 31, 2013

Bahraini bank AUB seeks to complete Gulf jigsaw with M&A

MANAMA (Reuters) – Bahrain-based Ahli United Bank AUBB.BH (AUB) is looking for acquisitions in its existing markets and in new ones as it tries to build a network across the Middle East, its chief executive said.

Its desire to expand across borders reflects a trend among Gulf banks, which are increasingly outgrowing their home markets. Rising trade and travel among the six nations of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) are also pushing the region’s banks to become more international.

    • 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."
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