News – Saudi Arabia – 2011-09-27

Published: September 27, 2011

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ARABIALINK Daily News – Excerpts from International Media Reports
/Provided as a service from the Saudi-US Trade Group, Washington, DC/

9.27.11 EDITION

‘Surprise and Excitement’: Saudi Women React To Voting Rights Decision: NPR

Ahmed Al Omran | 9/27/11

This past Sunday something surprising happened. King Abdullah addressed the consultative Shoura Council and said women will be allowed for the first time to join the unelected parliament, vote and run for municipal councils. The announcement represents the biggest change for women in the conservative Kingdom since the introduction of girls’ education in 1960. SAUDI WOMEN GET THE VOTE, BUT REAL POWER IS ELUSIVE: “On Sunday, Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah granted women the right to vote and run in the next set of municipal elections, scheduled for 2015. That’s good news. But not as good as you might think,” writes Emily Rauhala (Time).  SHOURA RECONSIDERING WOMEN DRIVING ISSUE: The Saudi Gazette reports, “In view of the popular campaign for allowing women to drive in the Kingdom, the Shoura Council is thoroughly reconsidering the issue, said Dr. Misha’l Mamdooh Al-Ali, Chairman of the Council’s Human Rights Committee.” ACTIVIST WHO BROKE DRIVING BAN WILL BE BROUGHT TO TRIAL: A Saudi lawyer and rights advocates say authorities will bring a Saudi activist to trial for defying the kingdom’s female driving ban. The attorney, Waleed Aboul Khair, says Najalaa Harrir was summoned for questioning by the prosecutor general in the port city of Jeddah on Sunday, the same day that Saudi King Abdullah introduced reforms giving women the right to vote and run in local elections four years from now, the Washington Post reports.

Saudi Arabia Urges World To Accept Palestinians’ U.N. Bid: REUTERS


Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal urged the United Nations on Monday to accept the Palestinians’ request for full membership in the world body and to recognize it as an independent state.

Saudi Mega-Projects To Boost Islamic Bond Market: ARABIAN BUSINESS

Reuters | 9/27/11

Project Islamic bonds are expected to pick up steam in Saudi Arabia with the launch of the first project sukuk this month as issuers seek to diversify sources of funding following global financial woes that may dry up lending from international banks.

Saudi Arabia’s Notable Performance: GULF NEWS

Jasim Ali | 9/26/11

“Numerous indexes and reports released in the recent past give high marks to Saudi economy in recognition of its exceptional performance — and for good reasons. This is true of the recently released Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) and a forecast by the International Monetary Fund.”  GULF BETTER PREPARED FOR NEW GLOBAL CRISIS: Reuters in Arab News reports, “Meeting early this month, Gulf finance ministers insisted their economies could cope comfortably with the looming global slump. During the world’s last economic crisis, their optimism proved mistaken — but this time, they are on firmer ground.”  GCC ‘YOUTH BULGE’ CAN HELP BOOST GROWTH: “This presents GCC governments with an opportunity to propel their nations forward: These young people can bring creativity, energy, and productivity to the GCC national and regional economies,” Trade Arabia writes.

The Magic Number to Understanding Oil is 40 Per Cent: THE NATIONAL

Robin Mills | 9/27/11

“The International Energy Agency (IEA) and the US’s energy information administration forecast Opec’s share of output to increase steadily – but, in complete contrast, Mr. El Badri mentioned that, as far off as 2035, the organisation would keep its share of world oil production at about 40 per cent. This 40 per cent is the magic number – the key to understanding the past decade in oil, and the next.”

Cost to Tap Gas Still Too High: Saudi Aramco: ARAB NEWS


“Saudi Aramco is keen to develop its unconventional gas resources to meet rising domestic demand but production prices are still too high, Amin Nasser, senior vice president for upstream at the company said.”

Saudi Arabia Offers Most Construction Opportunities: SAUDI GAZETTE


“Saudi Arabia has the most opportunities for construction firms in the GCC countries amid a fresh wave of infrastructure spending.”  SAUDI CEMENT SECTOR STAYS STRONG: Trade Arabia reports, “The outlook for the Saudi cement industry will remain strong for the remainder of 2011 with good demand growth and stable prices.”

Tadawul Bounces Back: ARAB NEWS

Nadia Saleem | 9/26/11

“In Saudi Arabia, insurance stocks led gains, lifting the Kingdom’s Tadawul All-Share Index (TASI) from Sunday’s 11-day low, up 0.34 percent to 6,103.78.  The insurance index climbed 3.31 percent to 934.98 and the banking sector gained 0.2 percent to 14,248.08.”

Banking System Sound, Resilient: SAMA Stress Test: SAUDI GAZETTE


“A stress test conducted by the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA) on commercial banks says that the Saudi banking system is very sound and resilient. The test was to ensure Saudi banks have sufficient reserves to cope with shocks such as the 2008 credit crunch that led to massive unemployment in Europe and America.”

More News and Commentary from SUSTG


Yemen’s defense minister survived an assassination attempt on Tuesday in the volatile southern port city of Aden when a suicide attacker exploded a car bomb next to his convoy, Laura Kasinof (NYT) reports.


Israel’s prime minister has ruled out a freeze on settlement construction — a stance that is expected to further stall the resumption of peace talks with Palestinians, CBS News reports. UPHILL BATTLE FOR PALESTINIANS: The Palestinians are pushing back against “tremendous pressure” at the United Nations by the veto-wielding U.S. and will seek a Security Council vote on membership in a “few weeks,” a Palestinian envoy said, Bloomberg reports.


Not so long ago, the foreign policy of Turkey revolved around a single issue: the divided island of Cyprus. These days, its prime minister may be the most popular figure in the Middle East, its foreign minister envisions a new order there and its officials have managed to do what the Obama administration has so far failed to: position themselves firmly on the side of change in the Arab revolts and revolutions, Anthony Shadid (NYT) reports.


Dubai’s hotel, retail and residential real estate sectors are enjoying a boost from the emirate’s “safe haven” status amid unrest elsewhere in the Arab world, a report said on Monday, Reuters/Al Arabiya reports.


Suspected Islamist militants on Tuesday attacked a gas pipeline in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula that transports fuel to neighboring Israel and Jordan, officials said, USA Today reports.


Anti-Gaddafi fighters have breached the former Libya leader’s hometown of Sirte from the east for the first time, as their three-day long assault continues, BBC News reports. GADDAFI LOYALISTS ASK FOR TRUCE: An elder from Muammar Gaddafi’s tribe inside the besieged city of Sirte has asked government forces for a truce, a local commander said on Tuesday, but there was no let-up in fighting in one of its districts, Reuters reports.


The West is trying to create “total chaos” to break up Syria, the country’s foreign minister has said. Speaking at the UN General Assembly, Walid Moualem blamed months-long anti-government demonstrations on “foreign intervention,” BBC News reports.


An Afghan embassy worker killed an American employee of the Central Intelligence Agency and wounded another at the agency’s offices in Kabul, Western security officials said Monday. The attack renewed attention to U.S. security concerns over local partners, the WSJ reports.



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