Jordans Arab Bank wins Libya Tender

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					 Business                                                      12 North Africa Times                                 Sunday 17-23/2/2008

City of the Roses:
A UAE's Latest Mega Project
        nited Arab Emirates (UAE)                                                                              and Boukhater’ s “Tunis Sports
        Company announced the                                                                                  City” . In a press conference held
        building of new 10 mil-                                                                                on Tuesday in Tunis , Mr Youssef
lion dollar real-estate project on                                                                             Al Nowis, Al Maabar’s CEO, said
the outskirts of the Tunisian capi-                                                                            that the first part of the project,
tal.The project , unveiled by the                                                                              will be completed within 5 years,
UAE’s Al Maabar Group, will be                                                                                 and that the remainder will be built
built in a city North West of Tu-                                                                              in stages over 20 years, at a cost
nis, on the vast stretch currently                                                                             of 13 billion dinars (10 billion dol-
known as the Ariana salt lake area                                                                             lars). He added that land develop-
(Sebkha).                                                                                                      ment studies will be entrusted to
    The new city which has been                                                                                Tunisian companies. The building
dubbed “City of the Roses” (Bled                                                                               of the project is expected to gener-
El Ward), will include residential                                                                             ate some 10,000 jobs.
areas, hotels, commercial centres,                                                                                The new project which was
leisure and recreational premises,                                                                             presented to President Ben Ali on
as well as a state of the art interna-                                                                         Monday, during a ceremony at-
tional health centre.                                                                                          tended by UAE Minister of For-
    “Bled El Ward”, the former                                                                                 eign Affairs, Sheikh Abdallah Ibn
name of the current city of Ari-                                                                               Zayed Al -Nahyane and the CEO
ana, will cover some 5,000 hec-                                                                                of Al Maabar Group , is the latest
tares , including 2,600 hectares of                                                                            of a series of major Emirati invest-
water courses and artificial lakes                                                                              ment ventures in Tunisia .
and will boast a canal linking it                                                                                 The UAE Foreign Minister is
to the Mediterranean .The project                                                                              currently leading an important
will also include the develop-                                                                                 Emirati delegation to Tunisia to
ment of 50 kilometres of beaches,                                                                              attend the 5 th Tunisia-UAE Joint
within the city, and marinas for                                                                               Commission. In 2007, Sheikh Mo-
large luxury yachts, making it the                                                                             hamed Ben Rached Al Maktoum,
‘ Venice of the South’.The new                                                                                 the Vice President of the UAE and
“City of the Roses” project fol-                                                                               the President of the Council of
lows the announcement last year                                                                                Ministers, paid a work and friend-
of two other mega projects: Dubai                                                                              ship visit to Tunisia at the invita-
Holding’s “City of the century”                                                                                tion of President Ben Ali.

Algeria not Ready to End Foreign Exchange Curbs
       lgeria has yet to satisfy all the conditions for end-                           vertible for all current account transactions but not for all
       ing foreign exchange controls, Finance Minister                                 capital movements. The guide says the authorities take a
       Karim Djoudi was quoted as saying.                                              micro-management approach to the movement of foreign
   "For convertibility to be total there are three funda-                              exchange, scrutinising each outflow and inflow individu-
mental conditions," he pointed out.                                                    ally under a system which until recently produced long
   There should be good macroeconomic indicators,                                      delays. The process has speeded up slightly under reforms
which we have, but they should be confirmed over a                                      granting more latitude to commercial banks in processing
much longer period of several years; there should be a                                 transactions, it says.
much larger diversification of domestic and foreign rev-                                   Algeria has built up large foreign exchange reserves
enues, and lastly there should be greater confidence in                                 of $110 billion thanks to high oil and gas prices. Energy
the national dinar currency," he added. According to a                                 exports account for 97 percent of its foreign exchange
KPMG guide to investment in Algeria, the dinar is con-                                 earnings.

Jordan’s Arab Bank wins Libya Tender
        rab Bank has won a tender for 19                                                             ing Corporation and Morocco’s Attijariwafa
        percent of the capital of Libya’s Al-                                                        Bank.The powerful Libyan Fund for Social
        Wahda bank for 210 million euros                                                             and Economic Development held 73 per-
(305 million dollars), a source at Rothschild                                                        cent of Al-Wahda Bank from which the 19
bank in charge of the privatisation said.                                                            percent was being transferred.
   Three other foreign banks had been left in                                                           Winning the tender gives the Arab Bank
competition after the troubled Societe Gen-                                                          the possibility of lifting its participation to
erale of France pulled out at the last minute                                                        51 percent in the medium term, according to
for “technical reasons”.                                                                             the Central Bank of Libya.
   Its withdrawal followed its exposure in                                                              Al-Wahda is Libya’s fifth biggest bank in
the subprime crisis and the loss of seven bil-                                                       terms of assets, at 1.7 billion euros. It has 20
lion euros blamed by Societe Generale on                                                             percent of the local market and 71 agencies
rogue trader Jerome Kerviel.                                                                         throughout the North African country.
   The three banks left in the bid apart from                                                           Last September, in another banking priva-
Amman-based Arab Bank were: Italy’s Inte-                                                            tisation, the French bank BNP Paribas took
sa Sanpaolo, the Bahrain-based Arab Bank-                                                            over 19 percent of Libya’s Sahara Bank.

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