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June, 30, 2016

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Business > Middle East
Saudi Arabia unveils far-reaching plan to steer economy away from oil
Saudi Arabia said Monday it would create the world's largest sovereign investment fund and sell shares in state energy giant Aramco under a vast plan unveiled to transform its oil-dependent economy.
 
Kuwait's state oil firm said Wednesday that it expects to restore full production within three days after staff ended a strike in a surprise about-turn that triggered a renewed slide in world prices.
 
Israel's military said Monday it had located and destroyed a tunnel extending from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory, in the first such discovery since a devastating 2014 conflict.
 
Afghan mineral wealth being looted by strongmen
The brilliant blue stone lapis lazuli, prized for millennia, is almost uniquely found in Afghanistan, a key part of the extensive mineral wealth that is seen as the best hope for funding development of one of the world's poorest nations.
 
World oil producers gathered in Qatar on Sunday to negotiate an output freeze to boost prices but a lingering dispute between crude kingpin Saudi Arabia and Iran threatened to overshadow the talks.
 
Ecuador's Hydrocarbons Minister Carlos Pareja said in Doha Sunday that his country supports a reported draft agreement among major crude producers that would freeze output at January levels until October.
 
Thousands of oil workers in Kuwait began an open-ended strike on Sunday to protest against a government proposal to cut their wages, the head of their union said.
 
Turkey's government on Monday appointed the deputy chief of the Turkish central bank as its new governor, ending weeks of uncertainty and relieving markets who feared an untested choice.
 
A leading Arab satellite operator cut transmission of Hezbollah's television channel Al-Manar on Wednesday amid rising tensions between the Lebanese Shiite group's backer Iran and Sunni powerhouse Saudi Arabia.
 
Iraq's food business booms despite problems
Iraqi businessman Zaid Nazo has always been sure of his nation's deep passion for food and wasn't afraid to dream big when he transformed his small Baghdad coffee shop in 1999 into a casual dining and takeaway restaurant. Today, the 41-year-old father of two has opened four branches and his chain is one of the most popular in Iraq.
 
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