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Kuwait's foreign currency deposits drop significantly

[YASSER AL-ZAYYAT/AFP/Getty Images] Kuwait Central Bank Governor Sheikh Salem al-Sabah says foreign currency deposits have dropped.

[YASSER AL-ZAYYAT/AFP/Getty Images] Kuwait Central Bank Governor Sheikh Salem al-Sabah says foreign currency deposits have dropped.

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Sheikh Salim Abdul Aziz al-Sabah, governor of the Central Bank of Kuwait, announced Wednesday (June 9th) that private sector foreign currency deposits declined significantly.

The money supply declined in April by 293 million dinars ($1 billion) , a 1.1% fall. As a result, the annual growth rate decreased by 1.7%.

Al-Sabah said that the volume of loans provided rose to 47 million dinars ($160.6 million) in April, a 2% increase, compared with the previous month, thereby ending the crisis that overshadowed the first quarter of the year.

The global recession exposed problems in some of Kuwait's local investment companies.

Saudi real estate developer seeks mortgage law

Aayed al-Qahtani, CEO of Somow Real Estate Development Company, called for the rapid enactment of the mortgage law, which developers and citizens hope will enable developers to provide housing units for middle-income households.

Al-Qahtani said that Saudi Arabia will need around 1.2 trillion riyals ($320 billion) during the next 10 years to meet the shortage in housing units, which is estimated at 200,000 annually, most of which are for those in the middle- and low-income brackets. Sixty percent of the population in Saudi Arabia is under 40 years old.

Al-Qahtani spoke during a forum organised in conjunction with the Cityscape real estate exhibition being held in Jeddah, which was opened Monday (June 7th) by Prince Mishal bin Majed, governor of Jeddah.

Egypt attracts more foreign direct investments

Mahmoud Mohieldin, the Egyptian minister of investment, said the value of foreign direct investments reached $3.9 billion in 2009-2010, compared with $509 million during 2004-2005.

He spoke during an investment conference held Wednesday (June 9th). The minister noted that Egypt's ranking in the World Bank Group's "Doing Business "rose from 165th in 2007 to 106th in 2010.

Real estate transactions in Jordan increase

Statistics from the Department of Land and Survey in Jordan published Monday (June 7th) indicated an increase in the volume of trade in the Jordanian real estate market during the first five months of 2010, reaching 1.88 billion dinars ($2.65 billion) compared to 1.6 billion dinars ($2.25 billion) for the same period in 2009.

The statistics showed that the market value of land and apartment sales to non-Jordanian investors in the past five months reached $170.3 million, of which $95.9 million were spent on apartments and $73.4 million on land sales.

The trade volume in real estate for May reached $522.2 million.

Regional aviation sector anticipates strong growth

The Kuwait Finance House Research Ltd economic report published Monday (June 7th) anticipated an 11% growth rate in aviation in the Middle East region in the next three years.

Air travel and cargo are growing steadily during 2010, which enhances the upward movement seen during the second half of 2009.

The report said the aviation sector will grow by 15.2% in 2010, which is a more rapid growth rate than the overall growth rate of the global travel and cargo industry, which is estimated at 7.3%.

Urban CPI index drops in Egypt

The Central Agency for Public Mobilisation and Statistics (CAPMAS) in Egypt announced Thursday (June 10th) that the urban Consumer Price Index (CPI), stood at 147.1 points in May compared with 133.1 in May 2009.

The agency noted a drop in the annual inflation rate to 10.5% in May, its lowest level since August 2009. The central bank can maintain the current interest rate.

Analysts attributed the fall to the drop in the price of foodstuffs and drinks, which constitute more than 40% of the consumer basket used to calculate the CPI.