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Iran’s Oil Exports Set To Hit $100Bn in 2011, Despite Crippling Sanctions Iran’s Oil Exports Set To Hit $100Bn in 2011, Despite Crippling Sanctions(0)

With a string of impressive economic policies, Iran has ensured that it remains a major energy supplier, despite various restrictions imposed by the western international community.

But while Iran has benefited from high oil prices, lack of major investments in the country’s energy sector could hamper growth and continue to handicap the country’s economic prosperity. Add to this dynamic, is Tehran’s controversial nuclear programme and its divisive role in regional politics, which makes it a target for many countries around the region that are eager to hurt Iran’s economy. READ MORE HERE
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Troubled Tunisians Wonder If Grassroots Revolution Will Not Raise Their Living Standards, What Will? Troubled Tunisians Wonder If Grassroots Revolution Will Not Raise Their Living Standards, What Will?(0)

As Tunisia prepares for elections in October, the chronic and fundamental weaknesses in the country’s political and economic structures are becoming evident.

While long-standing structural issues will take some time to address, external factors – such as economic problems in key trading partner Europe, and civil war in neighbouring Libya _ are further straining fragile economic growth. This has left many Tunisians wondering if a grassroots revolution will not help alleviate their lot, what will? READ MORE HERE

 

McKinsey Explains Why Markets Are Tanking: Western Governments Amassed Debts Of $9.4Trillion McKinsey Explains Why Markets Are Tanking: Western Governments Amassed Debts Of $9.4Trillion(0)

Don’t blame Standard & Poor’s for the market meltdown, or the Tea Party for its guerrilla tactics, or even U.S. President Barack Obama for his ineffectual negotiations with the Republican-led Congress.

S&P was merely the messenger – no matter how misguided it may have been – and the Tea Party jingoism mere symptoms of a greater underlying crisis in the western world.
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Why The Arab Spring May Yet Come To Saudi Arabia Why The Arab Spring May Yet Come To Saudi Arabia(1)

It was an unlikely public display of affection. Close to 2,000 Syrian expatriates gathered on the streets of Jeddah, carrying Saudi flags and pictures of the Saudi King to thank him for criticising Syrian President Bashar Al Assad and demanding an end to his wretched violence against his own people.

In an unusually frank criticism, the King demanded that Al-Assad end the violence against his own people, breaking the silence in the Arab World over one of the biggest atrocities being committed within the region.

But, “as a number of Saudi youths started joining the gathering [of Syrian expatriates], police intervened and dispersed the people peacefully,” reported Arab News. READ MORE HERE

Middle East’s Q3 Economic Prospects Look Dim On Global Slowdown Middle East’s Q3 Economic Prospects Look Dim On Global Slowdown(0)

As the global economy lurches from one crisis to the next, we look at the prospects for the regional economies in troubling global conditions which could slash domestic growth.

Another quarter, another headache. Gulf governments have suffered a tumultuous first two quarters of the year and were hoping for some semblance of sanity in the third quarter. At the very least, regional governments were hoping that tragic developments within the Middle East had remained isolated – Syria, Yemen and Libya  – leaving other countries in relative safety and peace.
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Reactions To S&P Downgrade Reactions To S&P Downgrade(0)

Barclays, Citibank and Goldman Sachs analysts weigh in on what the S&P downgrade means for the global economy and the U.S. dollar. Plus, that $2-trillion S&P calculation error.

The Middle East markets got an opportunity ahead of other markets to respond to the Standard & Poor’s downgrade of the United States’ sovereign ratings, and they made their nervousness felt loud and clear. READ MORE HERE

SPECIAL COMMENT: Antidote to Anti-Shariah Movement SPECIAL COMMENT: Antidote to Anti-Shariah Movement(0)

The article below expresses the personal views of the author

A recent article in The New York Times, Behind an Anti-Shariah Push, showcased the crusading efforts of Mr. David Yerushalmi, a 56 year old Hasidic Jew. His circle of support include like minded prominent visionaries, thought leaders and presidential candidates like Newt Gingrich, Michelle Bachmann, Sara Palin, Pamela Geller, Frank Gaffney all alleged experts on culture, financial systems, history and religion.

Mr. Yerushalmi has been taught Arabic and Shariah by two Islamic scholars, but won’t reveal their identities. The premise of his position is that Islamic law, or Shariah, ‘presents the greatest threat to American freedom since the cold war,’ whereby USA would eventually stand for United States of Afghanistan!

[Actually the biggest threat to America may be S&P recently downgrading US debt, from AAA to AA+, with the insulting negative outlook, and stating ‘… America’s governance and policymaking [is] becoming less stable, less effective, and less predictable than what we previously believed…’]
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Deutsche Bank Forecast $2,000 For Gold, Says Not A Bubble Deutsche Bank Forecast $2,000 For Gold, Says Not A Bubble(0)

Gold may have risen 521% since 2001,  but Deutsche Bank thinks gold prices will need to rise a good $550 more before it will be considered a bubble.

“In our view, the prospect of powerful rally in gold reflects ongoing stress in the financial system and the maintenance of super low interest rates. The popularity of physically backed gold ETFs have also changed  the relationship of the gold price to the US dollar such that gold can now rally in both rising and falling US dollar environments,” says  Deutsche Bank.

The bank has a target price of $2,000 for a Troy ounce of gold, before it expects the market would be ‘considered a bubble’.

READ MORE HERE

Dubai Plans Bold Bid For 2024 Olympics With One Eye On Huge Debt Pile Dubai Plans Bold Bid For 2024 Olympics With One Eye On Huge Debt Pile(0)

Dubai’s bold bid to host the 2024 Olympics is just the tonic for the emirate to regain its mojo, although the emirate’s huge debt pile could come in the way of its investment plans to prepare for the Games. READ MORE HERE

After Losing $33B in H1, Gulf Markets Hope For Better Second Half After Losing $33B in H1, Gulf Markets Hope For Better Second Half(1)

Gulf markets have lagged other global emerging and developed markets for years. Even as the S&P 500 and other emerging market indices rescaled their pre-Lehman levels, Gulf markets have stayed listless, drifting lower and lower until they have plumbed new depths. But have the markets finally bottomed out? With the Gulf economies seeing major improvement in their fortunes, thanks to government stimulus, will it rub off on the markets as well in the second half of the year? Gulf markets lost USD33.4-billion in market capitalization in the first half of the year due to a number of factors that conspired to negatively impact investor sentiment.

READ MORE HERE

Saudi breakeven oil price to hit $321, if spending pattern continues: analyst Saudi breakeven oil price to hit $321, if spending pattern continues: analyst(0)

Forget Arab Spring. If Saudi Arabia’s spending patterns and economic policies don’t change, it could be staring at a breakeven oil price of an astonishing $320 a barrel by 2030, says Jadwa.

With $562-billion in net foreign asset, the second largest oil reserves in the world after Venezuela (according to the latest Opec bulletin), and the second largest oil output in the world after Russia – Saudi Arabia’s future looks rosy and solid. READ MORE HERE

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AlifArabia aims to provide analysis on Middle East and Africa business and political issues. It wants to see a thriving and dynamic Middle East that encourages corporate and government transparency, investments and policies that allow the economies to grow.

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