Correspondent, Beirut
Sylvia's Feed
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.

Oct 29, 2013

Housing shortage poses a dilemma for Kuwait

KUWAIT, Oct 29 (Reuters) – Kuwait, one of the world’s
richest countries per capita, must make tackling a shortage of
government-funded housing its top priority, officials in the
Gulf Arab state said at the opening of parliament on Tuesday.

Accustomed to a welfare state which is generous by
international comparisons, Kuwaitis say they may have to wait
for up to 20 years on the housing list.

Oct 28, 2013

Kuwait’s PM says welfare state is “unsustainable”, calls for cuts

KUWAIT, Oct 28 (Reuters) – Kuwait’s prime minister has
called the Gulf Arab state’s welfare system unsustainable and
said the major oil producer needs to cut spending and the
consumption of its natural resources.

In some of the strongest comments yet from a senior
government official on Kuwait’s rising spending bill, Sheikh
Jaber al-Mubarak al-Sabah said a “transformation” was needed to
avoid future problems.

Oct 27, 2013

Kuwait telco Zain looks to expand into North Africa

KUWAIT (Reuters) – Mobile telecommunications group Zain (ZAIN.KW: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) wants to expand in North Africa by taking controlling stakes in companies or winning management contracts in the region, the Kuwaiti group’s chief executive said.

Expanding abroad would appear to mark a reversal of Zain’s strategy after it sold most of its Africa assets to India’s Bharti Airtel (BRTI.NS: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) for $9 billion in 2010, and attempted unsuccessfully to offload its stake in Saudi affiliate Zain Saudi 7030.SE in 2011.

    • 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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