Ahmed Al-Dedy, a manager at Exova Company in Saudi Arabia, revealed in a whitepaper Monday (July 12th) that Saudi Arabia loses more than 41 billion riyals ($10.9 billion) as a result of commercial fraud.
In the first half of 2010, eight million counterfeit items were confiscated. Al-Dedy said thousands of traffic deaths each year are caused by counterfeit spare parts such as car tires and brakes which enter the country through customs.
Participants in the workshop, entitled 'Private Laboratories and Commercial Fraud and Counterfeiting', concluded that the kingdom needs to stop the flow of counterfeit products which are invading the marketplace. They stressed the importance of private sector support for the government's efforts in combating commercial fraud and counterfeiting.
GCC countries to spend $100 billion on oil projects
A report by MEED Projects published Saturday (July 10th) stated the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia will spend $60 billion on new projects for oil production and refining in the next five years. Kuwait and Qatar plan to spend $14 billion and $13 billion, respectively.
Gulf Cooperation Council countries will allocate more than $100 billion for the development of oil projects between 2010 and 2015. This amount represents one-third of the anticipated investments by OPEC member states to meet the rising demand for oil.
Retail trade in Qatar reaches $5.5 billion
In Doha, the Qatar Statistics Authority said the volume of retail trade reached $5.5 billion. The size of the retail workforce is 120,000, whose workers earn an average monthly income of $824.
A total of 250 major businesses are trying to revitalize retail by launching promotional campaigns with discounts of up to 75% below normal prices, amid an unprecedented increase in the country's population.
According to the Qatar Statistics Authority, the net added value to retail and wholesale sectors increased by approximately 3.5 times in six years, from 3.2 billion riyals in 2002 to 14.7 billion riyals in 2008.
The commercial, restaurant and hotels sector contributed 20.6 billion riyals ($5.7 billion) to the national economy in the past year, compared with 6.1 billion riyals in 2004.
Jordan says 1.3% of population below "absolute poverty line"
Dr. Haidar Fraihat, director-general of the Department of Statistics in Jordan, revealed Tuesday (July 13th) that 13.3% of Jordan's inhabitants fall below the "absolute poverty line," indicating that the general poverty line is 680 dinars ($962) per year, the amount necessary to cover expenses for food and services for one person.
The absolute or general poverty level represents the minimum income needed for an individual to buy food and other essential items such as housing, clothing, education, healthcare and transportation.
Fraihat pointed out that the severe poverty line for food is 292 dinars ($413), and 388 dinars ($549) for non-food expenses per person per year. He said that the absolute poverty line for a typical family (5.7 members) reached 3,876 dinars per year ($5,482), or 323 dinars ($457) per month.
Loans to companies in Kuwait investment sector reach $19.7 billion
In Kuwait, a report by Al-Juman Economic Consulting Centre indicated that the loans to companies listed in the investment sector in the Kuwaiti securities market during the first quarter, which include 51 companies, have reached around KWD5.7 billion ($19.7 billion).
Dar al-Istithmar ranked first among the most debt-ridden companies at 963 million dinars ($3.3 billion), followed by Kuwait Projects Company with 619 million dinars ($2.14 billion) worth of debt. Global Investment House recorded 588 million dinars ($2 billion) of debt.
The report said the least indebted companies were Damac Kuwaiti Holding Company with three million dinars ($10.3 million) in loans, followed by the Kuwait Syrian Holding Company and Manafea with five million dinars ($17.3) worth of debt each. Strategia Investment Company, Usul and Sukuk, had loans worth six million dinars ($20.7 million).
The report listed the indebted companies according to their debt-to-equity ratios. Kuwait Finance & Investment Company and Dar al-Istithmar topped the list with an 80% debt-to-equity ratio, followed by Iskan and Gulfinvest, with 77% and 78% debt-to-equity ratios, respectively.