Business 12 North Africa Times Sunday 17-23/2/2008 City of the Roses: A UAE's Latest Mega Project U 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 A 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 A 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.