Latest stories
Fransabank to Boost Stakes in Syria

Lebanon’s Fransabank won regulatory approval to raise the stakes in its Syrian unit from the current 49 percent, Syria’s state-run news agency, SANA, reported.

Fransabank SAL, with headquarters in Beirut, will boost the stake in its local business to 59.7 percent, SANA said.

W140 Full Story
Oil Spikes Above $102

World oil prices crept higher on Wednesday, after spiking above $102 on the back of stubborn fears about political turmoil in Egypt and potential knock-on effects in the oil-rich Middle East.

Brent North Sea crude for delivery in March delivery rose by just three cents to $101.77 a barrel, one day after spiking to $102.08 -- which was the highest level since September 29, 2008.

W140 Full Story
Samsung Offers Full Refund for Intel Chip

Samsung Electronics, the world's largest maker of memory chips, said Tuesday it would fully refund customers who had bought its personal computers built with a flawed chipset from Intel Corp.

U.S. giant Intel said recently it had discovered a design problem in the new chipset that is expected to cost it $1 billion in repairs and lost revenue while also delaying the release of computers using its new microprocessors.

W140 Full Story
BP Posts 3.1 Billion Pounds Annual Loss

BP on Tuesday posted a loss of $4.914 billion (£3.1 billion) for 2010, the group's first annual shortfall since 1992, and raised its estimate of costs arising from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill to $40.9 billion (£25.5 billion).

The loss compared with a profit of $13.955 (£8.7 billion) in 2009, while the costs estimate was lifted from the previous forecast of $40 billion (£24.9 billion).

W140 Full Story
Report: Travel to Lebanon, Israel to Be Hurt Over Regional Turmoil

Lebanon's recent political turmoil is likely to scare off Western travelers although Beirut has repeatedly proven its resilience, emerging from civil war and conflict with Israel to rebuild and live up to its image as the "Switzerland of the Middle East," the Associated Press reported.

"People's memories are surprisingly short," says Janet Moore, owner of Distant Horizons, a Long Beach, California, travel agency specializing in the Middle East.

W140 Full Story
Kingdom Offers to Buy Zain Telecom Saudi Stake

Kingdom Holding said Monday it has offered to buy the Saudi operations of Zain, opening a way for the UAE's Etisalat to acquire a majority stake in the Kuwaiti-based mobile telecoms operator.

The Saudi investment group said it has sent the board of directors of Mobile Telecommunications Company K.S.C (Zain) a "non-binding offer and a preliminary expression of interest" to acquire the Saudi side of Zain's business.

Full Story
World Stocks Fall Amid Concerns Over Egypt Unrest

World stock markets sank Monday as investors sought less risky investments amid anti-government riots in Egypt that are damaging the economy of the Arab world's most populous country and threaten to spread instability elsewhere in region.

Oil prices rose to near $90 a barrel as fears escalated that protests in the city of Suez at the mouth of the strategic waterway — a key route for oil tankers and cargo ships — could interrupt the flow of oil. In currencies, the dollar was higher against the yen but lower against the euro.

Full Story
France Says Troubled Euro is Back on Track

The beleaguered Eurozone has put the worst of its debt crisis behind it, France's finance minister told global elites at Davos Saturday, as Germany vowed to defend the stability of the euro.

Christine Lagarde said the success of Tuesday's landmark five-year bond auction worth five billion Euros ($6.8 billion) to raise funds for Ireland and help calm financial markets had boosted confidence in the 17-member bloc.

Full Story
World Markets Plunge as Protests Escalate in Egypt

Escalating protests in Egypt jarred world financial markets on Friday. Stocks fell while the dollar, Treasuries and gold rose as investors sought to reduce their exposure to risk.

The Egyptian government's response to widespread street protests unnerved investors. The military was deployed in an effort to quell the protests and the headquarters of the ruling party was on fire. Thousands of people defied a curfew, and Internet and cell phone service has been cut off.

Full Story
Dubai's Emaar Raises $500 Million Through Foreign Bonds

Dubai's leading property develop, Emaar, said Thursday it has raised $500 million through an offering international bonds aimed mainly at refinancing debt, raising hopes for eased finance for Dubai firms.

The company behind the building of the world's tallest tower, Burj Khalifa, said its first international fixed-income offering, in the form of sukuks, or Islamic bonds, was "very well received."

Full Story