Interpreting Middle East Economic News and Analyzing Market Trends

Archive for May, 2013

Tourists return to Egypt

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Tourists in Luxor, Egypt

With so much bad news coming out of Egypt, it’s good to hear some good news.  Morsi’s government is struggling to get the economy moving again since it was handed a mess of a country.  Now that Egyptians have their first elected president, instant miracles were expected to fix the country’s ills.  The slow pace has hurt Morsi’s party with the public, but he’s doing the right things and moving in the right direction.  Democracy takes time and patience, something many of the countries poor do not have.  One good sign, however, is tourism.  The numbers are on the rise…

 

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World’s top oil exporter set to import record amount of diesel

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Source:  The Telegraph

Saudi Arabia, the world’s top oil exporter and key OPEC member, is set to import a record amount of diesel fuel as local demand continues to rise.  This is nothing new for Saudi Arabia or the rest of the oil exporting countries.  These countries face two issues, which they have been slow to address; above average energy consumption and slow investment into expanding local refining capacity.

 

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Saudi Arabia’s decision to tax expat labor will prove to be a bad decision down the road

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Photo: Construction Week Online

  Saudi Arabia’s decision last year to impose a levy of SR 2,400 ($640) per year, per expat worker, will prove to be a very poor decision in the years to come.  The main justification for this levy is to discourage Saudi companies from bringing in low skilled labor and help reduce the rising unemployment problem in the country.

 

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US shale ‘revolution’ over-hyped as Saudi Arabia considers getting in the game

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Source: Global Research

Not a week goes by without another exciting story about the shale revolution taking place in the US and how it’s going to change the world.  There is also talk of the US becoming in independent for the first time in decades.  However, a closer look at this revolution and you will see that it’s all hype.

 

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Islamic Banking in Libya: putting the cart before the horse

Even before the fall of Gadhafi, Libyan rebels were busy launching a central bank.  Never before in the history of revolutions have rebels setup a central bank before gaining control of the government.  This is strange enough in its own right and brings up many questions, but that’s another story.

 

One of the first items on the agenda for Libya’s new government was to convert all banks in the country into Islamic banks.  The main problem with this decision is that the government failed to come up with Islamic bankinh regulations before putting this law forward.  Now banks are stuck in limbo trying to figure out their way through this.

 

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