MONDAY, APRIL 2, 2012 Issue No. 1392
Salary increase ... Segmented
150 Fils with IHT
Increments: 20%- 50% for employees, 15% retirees and KD80 per child benefit Mohammed Al-Salman, Mohammed Al-Khaldi Staff Writers
KUWAIT: The Joint Parliamentary Committee which was assigned to examine the issue of salaries and allowances in the public sector is expected to segment wage increases and submit a proposal during a crucial meeting to be held on Monday in the presence of government’s representatives. Once the conclusions are endorsed by the government, the proposal will be urgently dispatched to the National Assembly. A member of the committee and the Chairman of the Parliament’s Legislative and Legal Affairs Committee Dr Waleed Al-Tabtabaie told Al Watan that he had finalized a bill that will be approved by the committee members. The draft law will contain a scheme to gradually make pay increases in a segmented manner. According to the lawmaker, the proposed scheme will achieve justice and equality, as it includes bonuses and allowances for government employees. Al-Tabtabaie went on to say that the proposal will remedy wage crisis permanently and finally, amid rising inflation and dwindling purchasing value of the
Kuwaiti dinar. The MP further noted that the proposal provides for an increase in basic salary so that they can make use of it until after retirement. Under the plan, First and Second Grade employees will receive an increase of 20 percent, while Third and Fourth Grades receive 30 percent. Fifth and Sixth Grades will get an increase of 40 percent whereas Seventh and Eighth Graders are to receive an increase of 50 percent. Al-Tabtabaie explained that retirees will receive a pension increase of 15 percent instead of 12.5 percent over the total salary. He also disclosed that child benefit will increase from 50 to 80 Kuwaiti dinars and that wife allowance will increase by 50 percent. The MP further pointed out that the regular annual allowance will be increased to KD 20 instead of KD10. The committee chairman equally revealed another proposal to be discussed by the committee which provides for a full salary for any employee to voluntarily retire after 30 years of service. However, whoever delays in retirement after a 30-year service they will receive 80 percent of the year’s salary. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
Kuwait announces new donation during ‘Friends of Syria’ conference
His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah is seen presiding over an extraordinary Cabinet meeting on Sunday, April 1, 2012. (KUNA)
Syria conference: Gulf countries to fund rebels
Kuwait and Qatar representatives seen as Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrives on April 1, 2012 for the opening session of the “Friends of Syria” conference in Istanbul. (AFP)
Tunisia extends state of emergency
TUNIS: Tunisia’s president Sunday prolonged a state of emergency imposed on January 14, 2011, the day the former regime fell, to the end of April, citing security risks, his office said. “This decision was made after consultations with the head of the national constituent assembly and the head of government,” President Moncef Marzouki’s office said in a statement. “Despite the improvement these recent weeks in the security situation of the country, there remain certain risks,” the statement added. This marks the fourth extension of the emergency provision, which bans demonstrations on major public roads and allows
ISTANBUL: The State of Kuwait pledged a new donation of one million US dollars for the Syrian people during a meeting of the ongoing “Friends of Syria” conference Sunday, announced Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Sheikh Sabah Al-Khalid Al-Hamad Al-Sabah. The Kuwaiti minister said this comes part of the State of Kuwait’s decision to assign priority to assisting the Syrian people by all means possible and aims to alleviate the suffering of the Syrians in deteriorating humanitarian conditions.
police to fire on any suspect who refuses to obey instructions from the authorities. Former strongman Zine El Abidine Ben Ali fled the country in January 2011 following a popular uprising that sparked similar movements across the Arab world. Marzouki’s latest move comes amid an uptick in demonstrations in central Tunis, some organized by Islamist groups demanding the creation of a religious state and others by liberal factions calling for a secular government. The head of the National Constituent Assembly, Mustapha Ben Jaafar, on Friday warned against the onset of “chaos” and “rebellion” in the country. -AFP
More on 2 & 4
31 companies prevented from trading for not providing quarterly results
KUWAIT: Some 31 companies listed in Kuwait’s Stock Exchange (KSE) have been prevented from trading their stocks on Sunday on the grounds that they did not announce their financial 2011 fourth quarter (Q4) results on time. In the investment sector, these include International Financial Advisers (IFA), Al-Ahlia Holding Company, Coast Investment and Development Company, The International Investor Company, Securities House (SECH), Industrial and Financial Investments Company, International Finance Company (IFC), Kuwait And Middle East Financial Invest-
Push to bring Sudan, South Sudan into crisis talks
More on 9
Suu Kyi ‘wins seat’ in Myanmar parliament
Egypt army pardons Brotherhood presidency nominee
CAIRO: Egypt’s military has dropped two court convictions against the Muslim Brotherhood’s new presidential candidate Khairat Al-Shater, clearing him to run in the elections to replace ousted leader Hosni Mubarak, the movement’s lawyer said on Sunday. In a policy reversal on Saturday, the Brotherhood opted to field a candidate to contest the votes in May and June and named Shater, a wealthy businessman, as its choice after deciding the other candidates were not worthy of its support. Shater, 61, was tried in a military court in 1995 and sentenced to five years in jail on charges of “reviving” the Brotherhood. He was also tried and convicted in 2007 on charges of providing university students with arms and training. He was jailed for seven years in the 2007 case but was freed with many other
Brotherhood members in 2011 after serving four and a half years of the sentence. Under Egyptian law, former convicts cannot occupy official posts. “All charges and cases against engineer Khairat alShater have been dropped,” the Brotherhood’s lawyer Abdel Moneim Abdel Maqsood told Reuters. “Shater now has all the civil rights he was deprived of and can now exercise his political rights including running for an official post in the country,” he said. The military would not confirm this but one army source said the Brotherhood would not publicly name any candidate of its own without prior clearance from the ruling military council. Abdel Maqsood said he had picked up presidential application papers on Shater’s behalf from the electoral committee. -Reuters
Hypnotherapist aims to make Hong Kong’s seven million residents laugh
A model wears a creation from Pierre Cardin at his Palais Lumiere - the City of Light fashion show at the Water Cube in Beijing, China, Sunday, April 1, 2012. (AP)
ment Company (KMEFIC), Aref Investment Group, Al Aman Investment Company, A’ayan Leasing Investment Company, Global Investment House, Kuwait Finance Investment Company (KFIC), Housing Finance Compnay, Almadar Finance and Investment, Al-Deera Holding Company, Al-Safat Investment Company, Al-Qurain Holding Company, Sokouk Holding Company, Noor Financial Investment Company, Amwal International Investment Company and Al-Masar Leasing Investment Company.
FRANCE: Hypnotherapist Dick Yu has a mission that seems unthinkable to some Hong Kong people: he wants to make the Asian financial hub’s seven million residents laugh. “Hong Kong people don’t laugh because they are under constant pressure to make more money, to make life better,” says Yu, who has founded 11 Laughter Clubs in the southern Chinese city since 2007. “People get worried easily because housing is so expensive, the cost of living is getting higher and people are concerned about whether they can keep their job.” The 35-year-old trained hypnotherapist set up Hong Kong’s first laughter club in 2007, after he discovered the concept of laughter yoga -- made popular as an exercise routine by Indian physician Madan Kataria in 1995. Since then hundreds of heavy-hearted Hong Kongers have signed up for the free classes, a sign, experts say, of the city’s underlying health and social problems. “When you laugh, you’re happier, you become positive and everything else will become better,” Yu says after a one-hour laughing session in a park. “Ho ho, ha ha ha,” the group of 30 students recite. They combine the exercise with deep yogic breathing, give each other high-fives, clap and waddle like penguins, all in the name of laughter. More on 16
Supporters of the National League for Democracy (NLD) party cheer holding a portrait of Myanmar pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi as they watch increasing votes on a screen at the roof of the NLD ofﬁce in Yangon April 1, 2012. Myanmar voted on Sunday in its third election in half a century. (Reuters) More on 5
Prostate cancer patients given hope by new drug
Titanic’s last lunch menu sells for $122,000 in Britain
LONDON: A menu for the last luncheon served to first class passengers on the doomed Titanic sold for £76,000 ($122,000, 91,000 euros) at a British auction on Sunday. The menu, dated April 14, 1912 - the night the biggest, most ambitious ship of the age hit an iceberg in the North Atlantic and sank, killing 1,514 people - was the star lot in an auction of Titanic memorabilia. A Britain-based collector bought the menu, which had been on the table of American banker Washington Dodge, at the Henry Aldridge and Son saleroom in Devizes, southwest England. The dishes on offer to the ship’s wealthiest passengers included chicken a la Maryland - otherwise known as fried
chicken with creamy gravy - and eggs Argenteuil, a plate of poached eggs with asparagus. “The menu carries the all-important date of April 14 and gives the reader a fascinating insight into the culinary life of Titanic’s elite passengers,” said auctioneer Andrew Aldridge. Other dishes on the menu, which included over 40 options in total over several courses, included galatine of chicken and grilled mutton chops. Dodge’s wife Ruth had slipped the paper into her handbag after lunch, unaware that she would be carrying it onto a lifeboat that evening. The couple and their son Washington Junior survived the tragedy, and the menu had stayed in the family ever since. -AFP
monDAY, april 2, 2012
Amir presides over extraordinary Cabinet meeting KUWAIT: His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah on Sunday presided over at Sief Palace an extraordinary Cabinet meeting. The meeting was attended by His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad AlJaber Al-Sabah, Acting Speaker of the National Assembly Khalid Sultan Bin Essa and Deputy Minister of Amiri Diwan Affairs Sheikh Ali Jarrah Al-Sabah. After the meeting, Information Minister and Acting Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah Al-Mubarak said that the Amir briefed the Cabinet with outcomes of his official visit to both Japan and the Philippines during the period from March 19-27. The Cabinet, Sheikh Mohammad said, took note of outcomes of positive talks that took place with His Majesty the Emperor of Japan Akihito, during which both countries noted the 50th anniversary for the establishment of diplomatic relations. HH the Amir was decorated the Imperial Medal by the Emperor. The Cabinet also took note of the talks between the Amir with the Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and senior state officials, which tackled means of fostering bilateral ties and the latest developments in the region. Then, the Amir briefed the Cabinet with outcomes of his visit to the Philippines, where he met with President Benigno Aquino III and senior officials, during which they discussed ways to develop bilateral cooperation in various fields. The Amir expressed deep appreciation for the hospitality he and his delegation received, which translated the high international status
His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah is seen presiding over an extraordinary Cabinet meeting on Sunday, April 1, 2012. (KUNA)
enjoyed by the State of Kuwait, expressing his satisfaction for the keenness of those countries to promote joint action. The Amir also briefed the cabinet about agreements that were signed during these visits in all sectors. Meanwhile, the Cabinet also held its weekly session, praising His Highness the Prime
Authority, labs soon established to test food: Official Shabib Al-Ajmi Staff Writer
KUWAIT: General Manager of Kuwait Municipality Ahmed Al-Subeih asserted that the municipality was very transparent when reporting about the expired foodstuff and took several steps to limit this problem, which include setting up labs to test food, and recommending the establishment of an authority in order to avoid the current overlapping of jurisdictions among government authorities. He added that the municipality has submitted a draft law to toughen penalties against merchants, such as increasing the fine from 1,000 Kuwaiti dinars to KD 100,000 and three years imprisonment, according to the draft law that awaits approval by the National Assembly. Regarding warehouses that work without health licenses, he explained that the municipality finds it challenging to issue health licenses without commercial licenses, which prompted the municipality to issue temporary health licenses in order to
prevent any violations that food warehouse owners may commit. When asked about the bad foodstuff that has been seized since 2011, but has neither been destroyed nor reshipped to the country that sent it, he mentioned that the papers of the municipality are clear and anyone can inspect them. He noted that the municipality has exerted sterling efforts in destroying bad food. Concerning the expired food report submitted by a Member of Parliament (MP) who accuses the municipality of being the main reason behind the large amounts of seized rotten food, due to its “corrupt” procedures, Al-Subeih stressed that the municipality shoulders its responsibilities based on regulations and laws. He stressed that the municipality cannot reveal the name of the company accused of selling bad food until there is a court sentence passed regarding that matter. He stated that the municipality is currently training its inspectors, and during the coming few years, those inspectors will cover all areas in Kuwait.
Good governance flourishes in democraatic societies: Lawmaker KAMPALA: Good Governance only thrives in truly democratic states whose rulers are widely backed by their citizenry, Kuwaiti MP Adel Al-Damkhi said here Sunday. “We, as parliamentarians, are doing all in power and using all constitutional and legal tools to promote good governance, but we are totally aware that this goal won’t materialize without a truly democratic system that is based on free and fair elections with wide popular participation,” Al-Damkhi said in the first session of the international peace and security committee of the InterParliamentary Union (IPU) 126th meeting. The session on the role of good governance in promoting peace and security in the Middle East and North Africa. He added that good governance requires measures to support transparency, graftfighting and allowing access to information and data. “Only people can determine the future of their nation based on the shared values and culture,” he said. The Kuwaiti MP, a member of the Kuwaiti delegation to the IPU meeting, harshly criticized Israeli illegal actions against Palestinians and occupied Palestinian
lands, as well as the world failure to press Israel to stop these actions. Al-Damkhi also lamented the bloody repression of Syrian people by their rulers after they took to the streets to demand freedom and democracy. He pointed out that the spread of corruption, repression and poverty, as well as lack of democracy, were the main causes of the recent revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen and Syria. Al-Damkhi lauded the Kuwaiti democratic life, citing the free and fair elections and separation between the executive, legislative and judiciary powers. The Kuwaiti parliamentary delegation to IPU assembly, held here from March 31April 5, is led by Speaker of the National Assembly (parliament) Ahmad Al-Saadoun. The six-day meeting tackles a large array of key issues on the international levels, including the democratic transformations in the Arab world in light of the radical changes in the region in the last two years. The Kuwaiti delegation also includes, along with Al-Damkhi, MPs Ammar AlAjmi, Hamad Al-Matar, Shay’e Al-Shay’e, Fallah Al-Sawwagh, Mohammad Al-Khalifa and Marzouq Al-Ghanem. -KUNA
MoH hosts 15 consultants for examinations, operations
KUWAIT: The Ministry of Health on Sunday announced that it will be hosting 15 visiting medical consultants of various specialties to conduct medical examinations for specific cases, operations and participate in improving performance program, which is within the ministry’s program of visiting doctors. In a press statement, Faisal Al-Dowsari, the Head of Public Relations at the Ministry, said that the consultants’ specialties vary between burns, plastic surgery, otolaryngology, dermatology, orthopedics, tumor and cancer surgery, pediatric hematology, genetics, and laboratories. During their visit, the consultants would exchange experience and expertise with their Kuwaiti counterparts, conduct medical examinations and perform specific surgeries, as well as participate in scientific meetings and programs of continuous medical education and improving performance, added Al-Dowsari. He explained that the visiting consultants would also contribute in updating diagnostic and therapeutic policies and protocols in accordance to latest international medical updates, noting that the ministry’s program for visiting consultants aims at hosting specialized competencies, allowing an opportunity for a continuous contact with international hospitals and distinctive medical centers. In addition, he praised the ministry’s keenness in improving the quality of medical performance at hospitals and specialized medical centers. -KUNA
Minister’s conduct in a recently-held grilling session at the National Assembly. “The Cabinet praises the elevated approach to the grilling, convincing responses and solid arguments delivered by the Prime Minister (Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah),” said Minister of Information and Acting Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Sheikh
Mohammad Abdullah Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah, speaking on behalf of the Cabinet. The March 28 public grilling session was held upon the request of MP Saleh Ashour, and came as part of the new government’s “open and transparent” efforts, added the statement. The statement described the session as an “enactment of true parliamentary prac-
tice, which requires fruitful cooperation and building between the executive and legislative branches of power” in the country. Separately, the Cabinet adopted a draft pardon decree for the remaining sentences of several convicts. Some 38 people were approved as Kuwaiti citizens as descendants of Kuwaiti fathers, who have recently acquired citizenship, while another 264 descendants of Kuwaiti widows were also granted citizenship. Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah will represent the Amir at an upcoming ceremony held in London to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II next month, the Cabinet added. On the international scale, a number of agreements were passed, after revision by the Cabinet’s legal affairs committee. These include agreements for air services with Bosnia and Herzegovina and Switzerland, industrial cooperation with Morocco and cooperation in the field of agriculture with Sudan. Others include a memorandum of understanding for the protection of the environment between Kuwait’s Environment Public Authority and the Environment Ministry of South Korea, a memorandum of understanding in the field of sports between Kuwait’s Public Authority for Youth and Sports and Oman’s Ministry of Sports’ Affairs, a memorandum of understanding on strategic dialogue between the Gulf Cooperation Council and China, and a memorandum of understanding in the field of investment with Sudan. The Cabinet went on to discuss political developments in the regional and international arenas. -KUNA
Iraq, Kuwait determined to resolve outstanding issues: Al-Maliki BAGHDAD: Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri AlMaliki said on Sunday that there is a joint IraqiKuwaiti political will to resolve outstanding issues between the two countries, thus contributing to mutual interests. Al-Maliki, at a press conference on Sunday, expressed great optimism for the development of bilateral relations, citing “positive atmosphere with Brethren Kuwaitis” and stressing that the two countries have strong political will to end outstanding issues. He expressed gratitude to His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah
for his participation in recently-concluded Arab Summit in Baghdad. He also pointed out that the Amir’s speech at the summit bore many positive messages to Iraq, stressing that the relationship between the two countries is progressing towards stability, mutual respect and support for common interests. In other news, Al-Maliki said on Sunday that the regime of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad will not “fall by force”, rejecting any notions of arming the Syrian opposition. “The Syrian regime will not fall by force,” he told a press conference here, warning that any
military intervention aimed at toppling the regime will result in a crisis in the region that could spread to surrounding countries. He noted that Iraq is opposed to arming all sides involved in the Syrian conflict in addition to being opposed to Western intervention, suggesting that “those who intervene today in Syrian affairs will intervene tomorrow in its internal affairs.” The Iraqi premier urged a national peaceful solution - between the Syrian government and its opposition - with support provided by the Arab League and the United Nations. -KUNA
Police extends detention of ‘Iran-flag burner’ KUWAIT: Police on Sunday extended the detention of a Kuwaiti arrested last week for allegedly burning an Iranian flag in protest at a Shiite tweeter’s apparent insult to the Prophet Mohammed, a legal source said. Nahar Al-Hajeri, who was arrested on Thursday, was questioned and then sent to the central jail for three weeks pending further investigation and trial, the source told AFP. A foreign ministry official onThursday voiced “rejection and condemnation of this irresponsible action.” The official said the action, “made by a deviant group,” is considered a “breach of the laws and norms and greatly undermines the distinguished relations between Kuwait and its (Shiite) neighbor Iran.” Dozens of activists led by Sunni Islamist MPs gathered outside the offices of the secret service police where Hajeri had been detained, demanding his release. The original protest was staged on Wednesday night by Sunni activists and several MPs a day after authorities arrested a Shiite alleged to have made remarks on the micro-blogging website Twitter that were deemed offensive to the prophet, his wife Aisha and some companions. The Shiite, identified in media reports as Hamad Al-Naqi, was in custody pending further investigation amid a frenzy of condemnation by Sunni preachers and MPs, some of them demanding the death penalty for the man. Shiite MPs also condemned the alleged
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FILE - People are seen gathered at a protest staged on Wednesday, March 28, 2012 by Sunni activists and several MPs after a Shiite is alleged to have made remarks on Twitter that were deemed offensive to the prophet, his wife Aisha and some companions. (Al Watan).
insults. Sectarian tensions have flared in Kuwait between the Sunni majority and Shiites, who form
about a third of the native population of 1.17 million, reflecting rising regional tensions between the two Islamic sects. -AFP
Salary increase ... Segmented
Meanwhile, Al-Tabtabaie affirmed that the committee has taken into consideration low income earners whose salaries should keep up with current living conditions. The MP stressed that the joint committee is keen to ensure that the task assigned to it by the Parliament regarding wage increases is finalized as scheduled without any delay. In other news, the parliamentary blocs have continued their meetings to discuss plans regarding a stream of interpellations. In this context, the spokesperson for the Development and Reform Bloc Dr. Faisal Al-Mislem reiterated his bloc’s ethical stance toward the agreement reached during a meeting by the parliamentary majority. He added that his bloc will not file any interpellation without submitting it to the Parliamentary Majority Bloc for coordination regarding it. Al-Mislem further pointed out that the Development Bloc will be involved in the interpellation of the Finance Minister Mustafa Al-Shamali unless the latter resigns during this month. The lawmaker also urged the Minister of Awqaf Jamal Shehab to strictly enforce the law by overseeing the mosques belonging to Sunnis and Shiites alike, and to to ward off legislative shortfalls. For his part, MP Dr Mohammad Al-Hatlani
Fifth – Sixth
Seventh – Eight
Retirees on total salary
announced that the Justice Bloc on Sunday discussed MP Mohammad Hayef’s interpellation against the Awqaf minister which contains allegations that his ministry has been slack in keeping an eye on places of worship. The MP stressed that the interpellation will remain in place unless executive decisions are taken toward maintaining national unity. In another development, MP Waleed Al-Tabtabaie stated that the Majority Bloc will treat MP
Mohammad Al-Juwaihel’s interpellation against the Minister of Interior Sheikh Ahmad Al-Humoud Al-Sabah exactly the same way as it handled the interpellation recently filed against the premier. The MP asserted that the majority does not prevent the minority from expressing their views. “For this reason, we are against deferring an interpellation or referring it to the Constitutional Court or discussing it in a closed door session,” the lawmaker was cited as saying.
mondAY, april 2, 2012
Initial multi-million deposits investigation not promising: MP Al-Barrak Staff Writer
KUWAIT: the Head of the investigative committee assigned to deal with the multi-million deposits MP Musallam Al-Barrak said that the Central Bank of Kuwait “is holding back some of the data and information related to this particular issue.” The MP added that the initial stage of the investigation with senior officials in the bank “is not promising”. MP Al-Barrak’s statement came following a meeting with the parliamentary committee, which he was chairing Saturday evening. The meeting lasted until midnight and the conclusion made by the lawmaker was that former prime minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad’s responsibility was not defined as of yet. The MP warned that in the absence of information and the persistence of the senior officials to hold important pieces of information lead to authorizing some of the committee members to deal directly with the Central Bank. “We have had two meetings with different people. The first meeting was conducted with Editor in Chief of Al-Qabas newspaper Waleed Al-Nisf, as it was the first newspaper to make the expose regarding multimillion deposits by some members of the Parliament. The issue of the multi-million deposits had become so alarming to the point some banks ended up con-
tacting the office of Public Prosecutor to alert them the scale of the situation,” he explained. The MP said that the investigative committee asked Al-Nisf several questions to which he provided sufficient answers, adding that Al-Nisf admitted that the expose was published against the tide as the newspaper suffered a tremendous pressure to do otherwise. As for the second meeting, it was set with representatives from the Central Bank of Kuwait. The MP added that there is one particular senior official in the bank who happens to be the Vice-President of the Investigation Unit set to look into this particular issue. “I believe that there were instructions specifically made to the representatives not to expand on their answers and feedback. Most often the answers were incomplete and unclear and sometimes confusing,” he remarked, adding that some bank officials asked for extra time to discuss certain topics among themselves. MP Al-Barrak said that he formally requested from the Vice-President of the Investigation Unit Abdulhamid Al-Awadhi to pass his investigation and findings to the committee and other peculiar information pertinent to the case. But Al-Awadhi asked for extra time to be able to furnish the committee with such data.
Kuwait announces new donation during ‘Friends of Syria’ conference ISTANBUL: The State of Kuwait pledged a new donation of one million US dollars for the Syrian people during a meeting of the ongoing “Friends of Syria” conference Sunday, announced Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Sheikh Sabah Al-Khalid Al-Hamad Al-Sabah.The Kuwaiti minister said this comes part of the State of Kuwait’s decision to assign priority to assisting the Syrian people by all means possible and aims to alleviate the suffering of the Syrians in deteriorating humanitarian conditions. The sums are directed to assist in the funding of the UN’s refugees commission efforts in Syria. The minister also stressed Kuwait’s full support of the mission of the Joint UN and Arab League Envoy Kofi Annan aiming to stem the bloodshed and end violence to allow entry of aid supplies and relief agencies into the country. “We all hope that the Syrian regime accepts fully what was stated in the Annan plan it agreed to recently.” The Kuwaiti minister added that the Syrian crisis enters
its second year leaving behind thousands of people dead, injured, or rendered homeless despite all the measures that had been taken by the Arab League to urge the Assad regime to stop the violence against its people. “Damascus failed to read the calling back of ambassadors to their home nations correctly; it failed to interpret the formation of the Arab Ministerial Committee to contact the Syrian leadership; it also failed to facilitate the work of the Arab observers mission, which had actually come under attack. “The scene transpiring in Syria is no longer an internal affair, due to the continued acts of violence and with the state of affairs now recognized as a humanitarian disaster that compels the international community to shed light on the Syrian crisis,” Sheikh Sabah Al-Khalid said. The official also stressed that safeguarding the unity and territorial sovereignty of Syria without disturbing peace and without any division of the country is the top priority to safeguard the stability of the region as a whole. He urged all those able to convince the Syrian par-
ties involved to consider solutions that would spare lives and protect property and ultimately allow for the start of a political process. Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Sheikh Sabah Al-Khalid Al-Hamad Al-Sabah is presiding the Kuwaiti delegation to the second “Friends of Syria” conference and takes part in the discussions along with foreign ministers and other representatives of 74 countries and organizations. The organizations taking part include the Gulf Cooperation Council, and Arab participants are Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia, Morocco, among other Arab Asian countries. The Kuwaiti delegation includes Foreign Ministry Arab World Department Director Ambassador Jamal Al-Ghanim, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Office Department Director Ambassador Sheikh Ahmad NasserAl-MohammedAl-Sabah, Kuwait’s representative to Arab League Ambassador Jamal Al-Ghunaim, and the Kuwaiti Ambassador to Syria Aziz Al-Daihani. -KUNA
Kuwaiti official calls for implementing Amir’s guidelines regarding youth JEDDAH: Kuwait’s top sports official has affirmed necessity of translating guidelines of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah to devote greater care for sports and youth issues into action. The Amir, since coming to power, has always affirmed his concern at the youth and calling for enlarging their role in the society, and that approach has been followed up with
several initiatives such the National Youth Program, said Chairman of the Public Authority for Youth and Sports (PAYS) Faisal Al-Jazzaf, in remarks to Kuwait News Agency (KUNA), after his arrival along with a delegation in the port city of Jeddah. His arrival, late on Saturday, was for taking part in the 26th meeting of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) ministers of youth and sports, due to begin later on
Chairman of the Public Authority for Youth and Sports (PAYS) Faisal Al-Jazzaf is seen among other GCC ministers during the 26th meeting of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) ministers of youth and sports, on Sunday, April 1, 2012. (KUNA)
Sunday. PAYS plays a major and effective role for realizing the outlook of the Amir, Al-Jazzaf said, expressing deep gratitude to Sheikh Sabah for his fatherly care for the national sports and youth affairs. HH the Amir personal care for this sector will be conveyed to the conferees of the GCC meeting today, he said, expressing hope to expand role of the youth in all the other GCC countries. Agenda of the meeting addresses a host of topics, namely a proposal to set an internet website for the GCC sports ministers, forming a GCC parliament for the youth and amending some laws. Al-Jazzaf called for greater efforts to make further progress in the field, but expressed satisfaction at level of cooperation among the GCC states as to swap of expertise, among other issues. At the Arab level, the Kuwaiti official expressed concern that political upheavals have affected youth activities and sports in the Arab countries, affirming significance of a meeting of the Arab sports and youth officials, due in Jeddah on Tuesday, adding that Kuwait would hold a conference for the Arab youth in December. On date of Kuwaiti clubs’ elections, he confirmed that the polls would be held in October, following the London Olympic Games. -KUNA
Al-Enezi: Industrial Environment Department to file cases against 10 factories in Asheerej Hamed Al-Sayyed Staff Writer
KUWAIT: The Manager of the Industrial Environment Department at the Environment Public Authority, Mohammad Al-Enezi, revealed that the authority is considering filing cases against 10 factories in Asheerej and will demand environmental compensations, as a result of the damage done to the environment in that area. He added that those cases will be filed after local and international experts finish conducting a study that will reveal the environmental damage caused by those factories. He noted that the government is
expected to issue a final decree to demolish this area, after the six months grace period expires, expecing that all factories will be demolished after submitting the report to the Cabinet within two months. He went on to say that demolishing those factories will have a positive effect on the environment in that area. He mentioned that the authority has gone a long way in constructing a new industrial city in Al-Salmi, as per the recommendations made by the authority. He stated that this step will mitigate pollution problems in south Kuwait. He noted that the new industrial city will occupy 100 kilometers in collaboration with Kuwait Municipality, addsing
that this project will solve numerous pollution problems in Ali Sabah Al-Salem area. He appealed to the members of the Municipality Council to allocate a piece of land for this vital project. Regarding inspections taking place in west Shuaiba area, he said that inspections and supervision in this area are regular, and stressed that he will discuss a report soon concerning environmental violations in Industrial Shuaiba and other areas. He revealed that this report includes recommendations to shut down some factories that do not comply with environmental terms for two weeks at least.
MP Musallam AlBarrak (left) and MP Mohammad Al-Dallal (right) during a parliamentary committee meeting held on Saturday, March 31, 2012. (Al Watan)
Justice Minister says no prejudice against Sunni, Shiite houses of worship KUWAIT: Minister of Justice and Minister of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs Jamal Al-Shihab said that according to the Amiri Decree, the Awqaf Ministry is responsible of overseeing houses of worship, particularly mosques, whether Sunni or Shiite, “without prejudice. The minister said in a statement to Kuwait
News Agency (KUNA) that such supervision also aims to facilitate worship in such houses to ensure moderation, preservation of national unity and to evade sedition. He said that since he assumed his responsibility as minister, he requested to review all circulates made in this respect to take proper action. -KUNA
MPs have no right to interfere over Iranian flag incident: Minister KUWAIT: First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Ahmad Al-Humoud Al-Jaber Al-Sabah said on Sunday that the incident of burning of the Iranian flag was a matter to be handled by the Ministry of Interior “alone”, noting that members of Parliament (MPs) should not interfere into the way the case was investigated. Sheikh Ahmad Al-Humoud affirmed that MPs could use their constitutional rights to grill any
minister in the government; however, such privilege should not be abused when investigations of such legal nature are concerned. The Minister said that he was in full support of the investigations into this incident, and affirmed that no individual was above the law. MP Waleed Al-Tabtabaie said, recently, that he would question the minister on the proceedings of the investigation, objecting to the way the case was handled by the ministry. -KUNA
Al-Mislem: Government needs to cooperate with investigation committee KUWAIT: The Head of the Parliamentary Committee assigned to conducting an investigation on the overseas money transfers Dr. Faisal Al-Mislem warned on Sunday the Assistant Undersecretary of the Diwan of the former prime minister and the Assistant Undersecretary of the Diwan of the current premier, Khalid Abdulsalam Al-Banay, from failing to attend Wednesday’s meeting, given that he failed to attend yesterday’s meeting. The lawmaker affirmed that the government
should cooperate with all parliamentary committees in general, and the investigation committees in specific. He indicated that the Managing Director of Kuwait Investment Authority Mohammad Al-Saad attended the last meeting and provided his testimony. The committee called the undersecretaries to attend the next Wednesday`s meeting at 1 p.m., emphasizing that they have to respond to the committee’s request since it is charged by Parliament to open an investigation on this issue.
The biggest winner! By Hossam Fathi Staff Writer
KUWAIT: A lot of people might be surprised by the announcement of the new candidate of the Muslim Brotherhood Movement - Khairat Al-Shater - for the coming presidential election! People might also be surprised by the stance change of the movement, which has announced that it would compete with other parties and movements over just about 30 percent of the parliamentary seats. Prominent leader of the movement, Osam Al-Aryan, said that the Brotherhood will participate with a small number of candidates which will not enable the movement to attain the majority of parliamentary seats, but the movement later on exerted all its effort to get as many seats as possible. The movement could obtain about 40 percent of the seats later on!! Anyway, competition is a legal factor but when people make promises they should abide by them. Some people believe that the candidate of the movement, Al-Shater, will be the winner. But such expected victory might not occur especially seeing as the Salafi Movement has a great number of supporters and even the youths of Muslim Brotherhood who called for free voting and election might vote for, Dr. Adbulmunem Abu Al-Fetouh, who belongs to the Salafi movement as the latter announced that he will never quit the presidential election competition even if his wife, Dr. Alya, will run. However, if the Islamic powers did not assign a certain candidate to vote for, then they might lose the competition and candidates of other parties might benefit from scattering their votes. firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter:@hossamfathy66
Iran backtracks on ‘engineers’ release in Syria
TEHRAN: Iran on Sunday backtracked on reports that five Iranian “engineers” abducted in Syria had been freed - the second time in months it retracted news of their liberation. Kazem Sajjadi, a foreign ministry official in charge of Iranians abroad, told state television that five Iranian pilgrims who had been kidnapped separately had been released, but that the five engineers remained captives. “We hope that negotiations (through Iranian embassies in Turkey, Qatar and Syria) can pave the way for the release of engineers,” Sajjadi said after he welcomed the five pilgrims upon their arrival in Tehran’s Imam Khomeini airport. He corrected reports last Thursday by state media that 12 Iranian nationals - the five engineers and seven pilgrims - had been freed in Syria after a months-long ordeal. The five nationals described by Iranian officials as engineers were said to have been working on an electricity plant near the city of Homs for Iran’s Power Plant Projects Management Company when they were taken in late December. Early reports said a total of seven Iranian engineers had been abducted near Homs – five initially, then two others who had gone to search for them. Iran previously said in February the seven had been freed before correcting the information and reporting that they remained captives. An unknown group calling itself the “Movement Against the Expansion of Shiism in Syria” claimed responsibility for the Iranians’ abduction in a statement received by AFP in Nicosia at the beginning of January. The rebel Free Syrian Army later said it was holding five Iranian Revolutionary Guards abducted in Homs, but it was not clear if it was referring to the “engineers” or to a different group of Iranians. In addition, 22 Iranian pilgrims travelling to holy Shiite sites in Syria were reported to have been kidnapped since late December. More than half of them have been released since early February. Syria, Iran’s principal ally in the Middle East, is roiled by a year-long uprising that has seen more than 9,000 people killed, according to UN estimates. Rebels accuse Iran of helping Syrian authorities in their deadly crackdown. -AFP
Iraq’s fugitive VP arrives for visit in Qatar DUBAI: Fugitive Iraqi Vice President Tariq AlHashemi traveled to Qatar on Sunday on what the Gulf nation’s state news agency called an “official visit.” The trip could intensify tensions between Baghdad’s Shiite-led government and the Sunni monarchies of the Gulf. The visit marks Al-Hashemi’s first foreign trip since he fled to Iraq’s semiautonomous Kurdish region to avoid an arrest warrant issued in December. Al-Hashemi is Iraq’s highest-ranking Sunni official. Iraqi officials accuse him of running death squads against Shiite pilgrims, government officials and security forces. He denies the charges, which he says are politically motivated. Al-Hashemi will stay for several days, the government-run Qatar News Agency said. He was greeted on arrival by the minister of state, Sheik Hamad bin Nasser bin Jassim Al Thani, a member of Qatar’s ruling family. While there was no immediate response from Iraq’s government, the high-level treatment is likely to irk authorities in Baghdad. Earlier in the day, before news of al-Hashemi’s trip emerged, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki warned other Arab states against affording him an official welcome. “They must know that the accused is wanted by a country which is a member of the Arab league ... so he is not supposed to be received as a vice president, which is a violation of the nature of the international relations,” he said. Al-Hashemi’s office said he plans to meet with Qatar’s emir and the prime minister during the visit. The statement said he plans to visit additional unnamed countries during the trip before returning to Iraq’s Kurdish region. -AP
monDAY, april 2, 2012
Syria conference: Gulf countries to fund rebels ISTANBUL: Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries are creating a multimillion-dollar fund to pay salaries to members of the rebel Free Syrian Army and soldiers who defect from the regime and join opposition ranks, participants at a meeting on Syria said Sunday. One delegate described the fund as a “pot of gold” to undermine President Bashar Al-Assad’s army. The large-scale plan to help Syria’s badly overmatched rebels offers a solution to the international divide over whether to arm the rebels or support them through only non-lethal or humanitarian means. It also reflects frustration with months of failed diplomacy aimed at pressuring Al-Assad to stop his crackdown on dissent, as well as hopes of forcing his ouster by shifting the military balance on the ground. Conference participants confirmed the plan on condition of anonymity because details were still being worked out. It was unclear how the fund would be set up and monitored, or how salaries would be guaranteed. A participant said the fund would involve millions of dollars every month. The Saudis and other Arab Gulf states have proposed giving weapons to the rebels, while the US and other allies, including Turkey, have balked out of fear of fueling an all-out civil war. Washington hasn’t taken any public position on the fund, but it appears that it has given tacit support to its Arab allies. The salaries would aim to entice reluctant servicemen in Al-Assad’s military to break ranks and join the insurgency. With Syria’s economy in a spiral, the Syrian opposition and US and Arab officials hope soldiers will desert in large numbers and accelerate the downfall of the Al-Assad regime. At the meeting in Istanbul, delegates from dozens of countries also sought to increase pressure on Al-Assad by pushing for tighter sanctions and increased diplomatic pressure, while urging the opposition to offer a democratic alternative to his regime. Absence of China and Russia
Yet the show of solidarity at the “Friends of the Syrian People” conference in Turkey’s largest city, Istanbul, was marred by the absence of China, Russia and Iran - key supporters of Al-Assad who disagree with Western and Arab allies over how to stop the bloodshed. A peace plan by UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan has so far failed to take hold amid fresh reports of deadly violence. “The Syrian regime should not be allowed at any cost to manipulate this plan to gain time,” Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in an opening address. Erdogan also indicated military options might have to be considered, if Syria does not cooperate with Annan’s plan and the UN Security Council fails to unite in opposition to Al-Assad. He referred to the vetoes of UN censure of Al-Assad by Russia and China, which fear the measures could lead to foreign military intervention. “If the UN Security Council fails once again to bring about its historic responsibility, there will be no other choice than to support the Syrian people’s right to self-defense,” Erdogan said. US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton also expressed skepticism that the Syrian government would observe Annan’s plans, which call for an immediate cease-fire and a Syrian-led negotiation process. “Nearly a week has gone by, and we have to conclude that the regime is adding to its long list of broken promises,” Clinton said. “The world must judge Al-Assad by what he does, not by
Lebanese and Syrian supporters of Sunni Muslim Salafist leader Ahmed Al-Asir chant slogans as they hold religious banners and a pre-Baath Syrian flag during an anti-Syrian regime demonstration in the northern town of Wadi Khaled on the Lebanese-Syrian border on April 1, 2012. (AFP)
what he says. And we cannot sit back and wait any longer.” Burhan Ghalioun, leader of the opposition Syrian National Council, called for the strengthening of Syrian rebel forces as well as “security corridors” inside Syria, a reference to internationally protected zones on Syrian territory that would allow the delivery of aid to civilians. However, the nations meeting in Istanbul have so far failed to agree on such an intervention, which could involve the risky deployment of foreign security forces. “No one should allow this regime to feel at ease or to feel stronger by giving them a longer maneuvering area,” he said, reflecting fears that Al-Assad would try to use the Annan plan to prolong his tenure. “It’s enough that the international community has flirted with the regime in Syria. Something has to change.” In a statement, the Syrian National Council said weapons supplies to the opposition were not “our preferred option” because of the risk they could escalate the killing of civilians, but it appealed for technical equipment to help rebels coordinate. “For these supplies to be sent, neighboring countries need to allow for the transfer via their sea ports and across borders,” the council said. Syria blasts conference
Syria blasted the conference, calling it part of an interna-
Seven troops killed in fresh Yemen attack ADEN: Militants killed seven Yemeni soldiers in an attack on their outpost in southern Yemen early on Sunday, the defense ministry said, a day after at least 20 troops were killed in a similar raid by Islamist fighters linked to Al-Qaeda. The defense ministry’s September 26 news portal said “seven soldiers were martyred in a treacherous terrorist attack on their outpost” near the city of Shibam, in the southern Hadramout province. The Yemeni defense minister was due to brief parliament on Sunday on a series of attacks that have killed nearly 200 Yemeni soldiers since President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi took office in February under a Gulf Arab deal with US backing. Officials have blamed an Al-Qaedalinked Islamist group that controls swathes of territory in southern Yemen for the attacks. The militants were emboldened by chaos in the armed forces following a year of political upheaval in Yemen that saw mass protests and split the armed forces as Yemenis demanded that President Ali Abdullah Saleh step down after 33 years in office. The United States and oil giant Saudi Arabia engineered the transfer of power that saw Hadi succeed Saleh. Hadi’s main task is to try to restore stability so that the militants have fewer opportunities to exploit central government weakness. Almotamar, an online website run by former President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s General People’s Congress party, said Sunday’s attack took place at dawn when militants stormed a military outpost. “The attack bears the fingerprints of Al-Qaeda,” it quoted a security source as saying without giving further details. The attack appeared to mirror Saturday’s, in which militants raided the alHurur military checkpoint in the southern Abyan province, killing at least 20
A militant suspected of being a member of Al-Qaeda sits at a checkpoint in Azan in the southern Yemeni province of Shabwa on March 31, 2012. (AFP)
soldiers, according to a senior military official. The Yemeni interior ministry put the death toll at 13 soldiers, while the militant Ansar Al-Sharia group, which claimed the attack, said about 30 soldiers had died, and seized military hardware. A local official in Abyan on Sunday said that a Yemeni warplane destroyed a tank captured by the militants during Saturday’s attack and killed an unknown number of gunmen. The Yemeni army has also surrounded the area around the checkpoint, the official added. Dozens of people have fled nearby villages, fearing artillery or other exchanges of fire in any further fighting. Ansar Al-Sharia, which controls
large swathes of land in southern Yemen, mainly in Abyan province, has escalated its attacks on the military since Hadi’s inauguration in February, vowing to fight militants. Hours after he was sworn in, a suicide attack at a military base killed 26 people. In their deadliest attack yet, militants killed at least 110 soldiers and took dozens hostage on March 4 in the Abyan provincial capital, Zinjibar. The government has responded with air strikes on suspected Islamist hideouts, and the United States has repeatedly used its drones to attack militants, who have seized several southern towns over the past year. -Reuters
Residents fear clashes as Somali rebel row worsens MOGADISHU: A senior Al-Shabaab figure has openly disagreed with the Somali militant group’s leader, in a sign of growing internal divisions that residents fear could lead to violence. The al Qaeda-aligned group wants to remove the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) of President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed to impose a strict version of Sharia or Islamic law. They control large areas of south and central Somalia. Sheikh Muktar Abu Zubeir, who has led Al-Shabaab since 2008, said in a statement last week that no other armed or unarmed Islamist group could be created in the country. But another senior figure told a local radio station that Muslims could carry out Jihad in as many groups as they pleased. “No one can limit Jihad to himself. It is better to have many Islamic groups and then unite later. This is how we have been
carrying out for the last two decades,” Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys, who merged his Hizbul rebel group with Al-Shabaab in 2010, told Radio Shabelle late on Saturday. “We are in Al-Shabaab but its operation is very wrong, we should correct it... Al-Shabaab and al Qaeda do not represent the Muslim world, they are only part of it.” Al-Shabaab officials declined to respond to the comments by Aweys. Under intense pressure from African Union (AMISOM) and Somali government troops, the group has been hit by sharp internal differences over ideology and strategy. An influential American fighter known as Omar Hamami or Abu Mansour Al-Amriki said last month his life was in danger due to disagreements with fellow fighters over Islamic law and strategy. Aweys’ comments followed a string
of losses for Al-Shabaab to AMISOM and the TFG. In recent weeks, they have lost key towns, bases and even regional capitals in central Somalia. Last Friday, both sides engaged in pitched battles as AMISOM tried to dislodge the Islamists from Mogadishu’s Daynile district, the rebels’ last position after they withdrew from the capital last year. Al-Shabaab managed to repel the attack in some positions like the airstrip at Daynile, although they lost some ground. AMISOM is keen to take Daynile so it can launch an offensive against the nearby towns like Elashe, Lafole and Afgoi, where many senior Al-Shabaab leaders live. Residents fled from those towns on Sunday morning, fearing that AMISOM might strike soon, or the row between Al-Shabaab’s leaders could turn violent. -Reuters
tional conspiracy to kill Syrians and weaken the country. A front-page editorial in the official Al-Baath newspaper called it a “regional and international scramble to search for ways to kill more Syrians, sabotage their society and state, and move toward the broad objective of weakening Syria.” In Istanbul, police used tear gas and batons to disperse a group of about 40 Al-Assad supporters who tried to approach the conference building. Many held portraits of the Syrian leader. One man waved Chinese and Russian flags. The delivery of humanitarian aid to Syria’s beleaguered civilians is a key provision of Annan’s plan. Clinton announced 12 million US dollars in additional aid for Syria’s people - doubling the total American assistance so far. Germany, whose foreign minister, Guido Westerwelle, attended the Istanbul meeting, said it was nearly doubling its humanitarian contributions to 5.7 million euros ($7.6 million). But a comprehensive solution did not appear imminent without the cooperation of the Syrian government, whose military assaults on towns and cities have forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes. Syrian rebels, including army defectors, are fighting regime forces, but have been unable to consolidate their hold on territory because they are heavily outgunned. -AP
Push to bring Sudan, South Sudan into crisis talks
ADDIS ABABA: African Union mediators Sunday redoubled their efforts to kickstart crisis talks between Sudan and South Sudan after fresh fighting that Khartoum accuses Juba of backing. Teams from both nations have been in the Ethiopian capital since Saturday, but so far there have been no bilateral Khartoum-Juba talks. Each team has met separately with the mediators headed by former South African president Thabo Mbeki, who has imposed a media blackout on proceedings. People close to the talks, held at a luxury hotel, said the aim was still to get a bilateral meeting going later Sunday. The talks were called amid international alarm and fears of return to a wider war following fighting between troops from the north and South last Monday and Tuesday in the oil-rich Heglig region close to the disputed border - the most serious clashes since South Sudan’s independence in July. The AU, UN Security Council and European Union have all called for an end to the fighting, with the US blaming Khartoum for most of it. The clashes led Sudan to call off a planned April 3 summit between the presidents of the two nations. Fresh fighting Friday over the strategic town of Talodi, which Sudan accused the South of backing, delayed the departure of the Sudan delegation and raised doubts as to whether the negotiations could proceed. Sources close to the talks confirmed technical-level meetings had been going on since Wednesday. Along with Foreign Minister Nhial Deng Nhial, Juba’s ministers of defense, justice and parliamentary affairs were at the meeting venue, as was their chief negotiator Pagan Amum. While the talks with the mediators went ahead here, the Sudanese army spokesman, Sawarmi Khaled Saad, alleged late Saturday that a battalion of South Sudanese troops had crossed the contested border and was moving towards Talodi. Philip Aguer, a spokesman for the South Sudanese army, denied the claim. “That is not true. We don’t have any SPLA (Sudan People’s Liberation Army) from South Sudan that have crossed to South Kordofan. If anyone is doubting us, let them send monitors,” he said, accusing Khartoum of wanting to “invade Unity state and take the oil fields.” This latest accusation followed the Sudanese army’s charge late Friday that South Sudan sent cannons and tanks to back a rebel attack on Talodi, in South Kordofan state about 50 kilometers (30 miles) from the nearest point on the unclear frontier. The army said it repulsed the attack but the rebels were building up forces elsewhere because their leaders “and South Sudan want to continue their attack on Talodi”. The Sudanese army also alleged South Sudan and rebels from another group, the Darfur-based Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), were building up forces south of Heglig in preparation for another attack. JEM rebels denied any involvement in the previous Heglig fighting. -AFP
mondAY, april 2, 2012
Suu Kyi ‘wins seat’ in Myanmar parliament NAYPYIDAW: Myanmar democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi has been elected to the country’s parliament in landmark by-elections, according to her National League for Democracy (NLD). A senior party member, speaking shortly after polls closed on Sunday, said that Suu Kyi, who spent years as a political prisoner, had secured more than 80 per cent of votes in the constituency of Kawhmu, south of Yangon. A total of 17 parties are competing in byelection, with four main contenders for the 45 seats on offer. The announcement prompted cheers and celebrations from crowds of NLD supporters, although official results are not expected for days. “Reports are coming through that Suu Kyi has won the polls in Kawhmu, a very poor, rural part of Myanmar ... That is a place where she spent the night on Saturday night, with the locals out there. She has been out there campaigning a couple of times, where she has received an incredible response,” said Al Jazeera’s Wayne Hay, reporting from Yangon. Sunday’s vote is seen as a key test of the military-backed civilian government’s commitment to recent democratic reforms. Hay said that provisional results from further north, an area near the city of Mandalay, where there were 10 seats up for grabs also suggested that NLD was ahead in eight of those seats. More than six million people were eligible to vote on Sunday, with a total of 160 candidates from 17 parties, including six new to the political stage, contesting for 45 parliamentary seats. The number of seats at stake is not enough to threaten the military-backed ruling party’s overwhelming majority, secured in full elections in 2010.
Pro-democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi (center) seeks place in parliament in vote seen as test of government’s commitment to reform. (Reuters)
Suu Kyi’s apparent victory had been widely expected, despite complaints by the NLD over alleged voting irregularities and campaign intimidation. She said she did not regret standing for parliament because the polls had boosted people’s interest in politics after decades of outright military rule ended last year. The government for the first time invited
teams of foreign observers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations [ASEAN], European Union and the US, and journalists to witness the elections. Since taking office a year ago, President Thein Sein has carried out reforms including releasing hundreds of political prisoners, easing media restrictions and welcoming the opposition back into mainstream politics.
Stricken cruise ship to reach Malaysia port later Sunday SANDAKAN: Emergency services and embassy officials are preparing help for 1,000 people on a partially disabled cruise ship headed for a Malaysian port after a fire left it adrift at sea for 24 hours. The Azamara Quest was stranded southern Philippine waters after a fire engulfed one of its engine rooms Friday night. It restored propulsion the next night and is expected to reach the harbor of Sandakan city in Malaysia’s eastern state of Sabah on Borneo island late Sunday. City police official Rudy Wiliding says authorities may have ambulances on standby, even though they have not received requests for assistance. The ship’s operator has said no passengers are hurt. But five crew members suffered smoke inhalation, including one who was seriously injured. Coast Guard Captain Perfecto Eden said the Azamara Quest, carrying 600 passengers and 411 crew and which made a port call in Manila on Wednesday, is now on its way to Sandakan port, in the eastern Malaysian state of Sabah after the fire was put out on Saturday. “All passengers are safe,” Eden told reporters about the status of the Azamara Quest, a vessel operated by Miamibased Azamara Club Cruises. A Philippine Navy ship is escorting the cruise until it crosses the Malaysian maritime border, Eden added. The rest of the cruise, carrying mainly Americans and Western Europeans, has been canceled the company said,
adding that “the captain deemed it necessary to muster all guests at their assembly stations.” “Unfortunately, five crew members onboard the ship suffered smoke inhalation during the fire,” the company, part of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., said in a website statement. “One crew member is more seriously injured and requires additional and urgent medical attention that can only be provided in a hospital.” The fire at sea was the latest in a string of cruise ship accidents. Thirty-two people died when the Costa Concordia ran aground and capsized off the western coast of Italy in January and a fire on the Costra Allegra left the ship stranded in waters patrolled by pirates in the Indian Ocean for three days in February. Both ships were run by Costa Crociere, SpA, a subsidiary of Carnival Corp., the world’s largest cruise operator. The Azamara Quest was on a 17-night journey and had departed Hong Kong on Monday with port calls to Manila, Balikpapan (Borneo), Palapo (Sulawesi), Benoa Bali, Semarang and Komodo in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. Azamara Club Cruises Chief Executive Officer Larry Pimentel is scheduled to fly to Sandakan to meet passengers, the company said. “Until then, we will be working with our guests to determine how we can best assist them with next steps and travel arrangements,” the company said. -Reuters
Mali coup leader reinstates old constitution BAMAKO: The junior officer who overthrew Mali’s democratically elected leader earlier this month and dissolved the nation’s constitution made a public U-turn Sunday, declaring amid enormous international pressure that he was reinstating the 1992 constitution and planning to hold elections. Capt. Amadou Haya Sanogo added that he would organize a national convention to organize free and fair elections. What he did not make clear is when the elections would be held, and if he would remain president during the transitional period. As he approached the podium to address reporters, his bodyguards shouted out, “The president is coming!”
A group of men visiting “The flame of Peace” built in 1995 with the weapons of the Touareg rebellion, in the northwestern Malian city of Timbuktu. Heavy weapons pounded the military base in Timbuktu, the only town still under government control in northern Mali, but the army appeared to have deserted the area, witnesses told AFP on April 1. (AFP)
Sanogo’s announcement came as Tuareg rebels penetrated the ancient northern city of Timbuktu, a move that deepens the crisis in the West African nation. The Tuareg rebels are taking advantage of the chaos surrounding last week’s coup in the faraway capital to take the town of Kidal, located 1,300 kilometers (800 miles) from Bamako on Friday. They seized the biggest northern city of Gao, located around 1,200 kilometers (745 miles) away on Saturday - cities that never fell in previous rebellions. A resident in Timbuktu said that the rebels entered the town after a heavy firefight, and were going house to house asking people to remain calm. Mali, once a model democracy, was plunged into crisis on March 21 when a mutiny erupted at the Kati military camp located around 10 kilometers (6 miles) from the presidential palace. The 30-something Sanogo was one of the few officers who didn’t flee the camp when the rank-and-file soldiers began rioting, and he quickly became their leader as they broke into the camp’s armory and grabbed automatic weapons and headed for the seat of government. His coup reversed 21 years of democracy, and President Amadou Toumani Toure sent into hiding. Toure was due to step down after a presidential election scheduled for this month. Mali’s neighbors had given the country a 72-hour deadline to restore constitutional order, or else face crippling sanctions, which expires Monday. Sanogo’s declaration appears intended to stave off the sanctions. Legal experts say that his declaration is contradictory. If the 1992 constitution is reinstated, said law professor Malick Sarr at the University of Bamako, then logically the ousted president should become head of state again. Sarr said the putschists may be leaning on one of the articles in the 1992 law, which says that in the event that the president is unable to carry out his functions, a 25- to 45-day transitional period will go into effect before new elections are held. However, the article clearly stipulates that the transition will be led by the head of the national assembly. When reporters asked the coup leader if he still considered himself president, he dodged the question, and turned to leave. -Reuters
Our correspondent, reporting earlier from Kawhmu, said: “There are international monitors on the ground, but they are not allowed inside the polling booths. They are certainly not allowed to oversee the counting when that starts later on Sunday.” “So, they are here to observe overall process, talk to voters about any irregularities that they might have seen,” he said. “What we are hearing is that some voters have complained that voting sheets have been tampered with. Some voters have complained that inside the polling stations some of the officials have been coercing voters into voting for a certain party. “So, not the best of starts, but certainly something the National League for Democracy and Suu Kyi were expecting.” Nyan Win, a spokesman for the party, told the AFP news agency on Sunday that his party had submitted a letter of complaint to the country’s election commission regarding alleged irregularities involving ballot papers that could potentially be invalidated without due cause. The NLD won a landslide election victory in 1990 but the ruling military never allowed it to take office. The party also boycotted the 2010 polls that swept the army’s political proxies to power and were marred by complaints of cheating and intimidation. Suu Kyi, who spent most of the past 22 years as a political prisoner, described the vote as “a step towards step one in democracy”, despite complaining on Friday that the polls were not “genuinely free and fair”. “What has been happening in this country is really beyond what is acceptable for a democratic election. Still, we are determined to go forward because we think that is what our people want,” the Nobel peace laureate said. -Agencies
Car bombs kill 14, over 500 injured in southern Thailand BANGKOK: A series of car bombs killed 14 people and injured more than 500 in the deadliest attacks to hit the insurgency-torn far south of Thailand in recent years, officials said Sunday. In an apparent escalation of their tactics, suspected militants Saturday attacked a hotel in Hat Yai, the largest city in southern Thailand and a popular destination for tourists from neighboring Malaysia and Singapore. A car bomb in the basement triggered a fire which spread to a shopping mall within the Lee Gardens Plaza Hotel and killed three people, including a Malaysian tourist, according to the police. Songkhla provincial governor Grisada Boorach said 416 people were injured, mostly suffering from smoke inhalation, and 140 were still in hospital Sunday. Until now Hat Yai and Songkhla province have been relatively untouched by the shadowy insurgency that has claimed thousands of lives in the neighbouring Muslim-dominated provinces of Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat since 2004. “There is no hint why they did this at this time,” Hat Yai police chief Colonel Khomgrit Srisong told AFP by telephone. “We’re questioning witnesses and the injured for more information.” The hotel bombing came about an hour after two car bombs minutes apart hit the town of Yala around midday as people were out shopping. “Right now we know in Yala there are 11 people dead,” a PR officer at the health ministry told AFP. Colonel Pramote Promin, spokesman for the southern army region, earlier gave a toll of 10 dead and 117 wounded. National police chief General Priewpan Damapong said the hotel bombing was linked to the Yala attack. “It was a car bomb and it’s related to the incident in Yala and I believe that it was the work of the same group,” he said in televised remarks. Colonel Pramote also said the attacks seemed similar. “In the south there are not many in-
surgent groups who operate like this,” he said on TNN24 television. Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said the security forces knew which group was responsible but she would not say in order to let them do their job. A complex insurgency, without clearly stated aims, has plagued Thailand’s far south near the border with Malaysia since 2004, claiming thousands of lives, both Buddhist and Muslim, with neardaily bomb or gun attacks. The insurgents are not thought to be part of a global jihad movement but are instead rebelling against a long history of perceived discrimination against ethnic-Malay Muslims by successive Thai governments. Struggling to quell the unrest, authorities have imposed emergency rule in the region, which rights campaigners say effectively gives the army legal immunity. Human Rights Watch researcher Sunai Phasuk said the attackers were looking for maximum impact as Thailand prepares for the new year holiday in mid-April. Sunai said such violent militants were a tiny minority among Muslims in the south “but they are ruthless, brutal, use violence and terror.” “The only way for the Thai authorities and Thai society to fight against these radical elements in the insurgent group is to make sure there are no conditions for them to justify their attacks,” he told AFP, adding that the authorities must hold officials accountable for abuses in the south. One of the region’s deadliest incidents occurred on October 25, 2004, when seven people were shot dead as security forces broke up a protest in the town of Tak Bai, and 78 more suffocated or were crushed to death in trucks while being transported to a detention centre. Rights groups have said the failure of Thai authorities to hold security forces to account over the deaths has fuelled further violence and alienation in the southern region. -Reuters
Afghanistan names general to run US prison, asserts control KABUL: Afghanistan named a three star general to take over Bagram prison from the US military and with him, final say over which prisoners are released, an issue with the potential to open another rift in relations between Washington and Kabul. The issue of the release of any of the 3,200 people held in the prison at the sprawling American base, north of Kabul, is sensitive to both countries as Afghanistan assumes full security responsibilities ahead of departure of most NATO combat forces in 2014. Washington fears the prisoners, most of whom it says are mid to high level members of the Taliban, might return to the battlefield as has happened in the past, citing the case of a Taliban commander transferred from Guantanamo Bay to Afghan custody in 2007 who ended up fighting coalition forces again. “They (the United States) can have a consultative role, but not a veto,” said Aimal Faizi, chief spokesman of President Hamid Karzai. “What’s the point of the transfer if we don’t have full control,” he said, in remarks that have become increasingly assertive following a string of incidents that have strained US-Afghan ties, notably the killing of 17 villagers blamed on a U.S. soldier and the burning of Qurans at the Bagram base. Afghan General Ghulam Farooq Barekzai - formerly in charge of policy at the defense ministry - has been named to take over the Bagram detention centre, a palace statement on Saturday said. -Reuters
NEWS IN BRIEF Taliban target Afghan security forces KUNAR: Mullar Dowran, a regional Taliban commander in eastern Afghanistan, has told Al Jazeera that the organization is now targeting Afghan security forces. “We announced we would forgive them many times. We showed them leniency many times in the fight. We tried to make American targets the priority, but the damage created by Afghan forces has become more and more every day. Now they are our priority,” Dowran said. The Taliban are not only targeting police and soldiers, but also seeking out their family members in a campaign to persuade them to defect. -AFP
Fiji fears further flooding SUVA: A State of Emergency has been declared in Fiji after flooding claimed the lives of three people in the South Sea island state. In an unprecedented move, the interim government has halted incoming passenger flights because the main road from the international airport is under water. On Sunday, Air Pacific, Fiji’s national carrier announced that inbound flights were cancelled and only a limited number of outbound flights were in operation for those passengers already checked in at Nadi airport. -AFP
Pakistan’s Zardari to make ‘personal’ visit to India ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari is expected soon to make the first visit to India by a Pakistani head of state since 2005, with relations between the nucleararmed rivals at their warmest in years. Zardari’s spokesman said on Sunday that the visit would be personal but held out the possibility that it could be official. Indian media quoted government sources there as saying they hoped there would be formal talks. “It has been on the cards, and now it is confirmed,” spokesman Farhatullah Babar told Reuters. “It was supposed to be a private visit. But what it turns out (to be) finally, whether, official, or private (and) official has yet to be confirmed,” he added. -Reuters
Warning over potential Falklands invasion LONDON: Britain would have to hold its air base on the Falklands unaided for at least a week in the event of another Argentine invasion, a defense pressure group warned Sunday. The UK National Defense Association, which campaigns on military matters, claimed the archipelago was more vulnerable than at any time since the 1982 Falklands War. In a report ahead of the 30th anniversary of the invasion on Monday, the body said Britain would find it difficult to “protect, reinforce or retake” the South Atlantic islands, largely due to the lack of aircraft carrier strike capability. “Even in the most favorable circumstances... the deployment of additional fighters and a reasonable war-fighting force would take approximately a week,” the report said. “In effect, this means that the British garrison would necessarily have to hold Mount Pleasant airfield and its environs for a week before help arrived. “There would be no fighter cover for the landing force and shipping. There is no carrier... There is no question of providing air support using Royal Air Force fighters. “There are no bases within range. In-flight re-fuelling, given the number of re-fuels required for a round trip of 8,000 miles from Ascension, would be impossible in the face of the threat posed by the Argentine air force. -AFP
monDAY, april 2, 2012
Arabs seek lesser devil for the absence of the best Fuad Al-Hashem
ince the Almighty Allah had created man, there has always been continuous quest for better things and hence constant changes and alternatives are always discovered. Primitive man realized that the cave is not really a good abode, so he decided to find something more appropriate as a good domicile. The cave was one of the many discoveries our ancestors found out and conditioned themselves to them according to their needs. Even their partners, the primitive man realized they could always seek better espouses and that they could always change when need be. There are many stories about middle aged men leaving their old wives and getting married to someone young enough to be his daughter. This is perfectly understandable because the human nature always seeks what is better for needs and requirements. So, if the wife gets saggy, then why not get married to a fresh tender wife with the parts in the right place. It is also the rationale of our ancestors that if they were no longer interested and tired of something they changed to something of more value and benefit for themselves. If they found something no longer proper and suitable for them, they always seek alternatives, better alternatives to meet their demands. This primitive man’s philosophy continues to be adopted by the western culture and world. The quest to look for something better and more appropriate is still practiced to this day with unmatchable vehemence because they understand and appreciate the value of such issue.
His Highness the Amir attends the Baghdad Summit
As for the oriental culture, Arab and Muslim, matters are sadly altogether different. They have no alternatives to choose and certainly they have no options to make. They have the “worse” and the “worst” but that is it. The so-called better option is not available for them. Take for example, the People of Persia, modern day Iran, who had suffered a great deal at the hands of the former Shah, Shahinshah Mohammad Reza Pehlavi and his wife Empress Farah Diba. The royal family was a corrupt one reminiscent of their ancestors who ruled Iran. The royal family along with the Iranian intelligence, SAVAK, ruled with an iron fist. The Iranian fortune was in the hands of the few, the elitists of the Iranian society. As for the rest of the people, they were in abject poverty. Poverty and tyranny don’t come hand in hand. The Iranians decided that it was time they change their form of leadership. When they looked around they had only the mullahs to deal with. Unfortunately, there was not third option. So, they opted for the lesser devil. The greater devil they were already familiar with. Similarly, the Libyan people cried and shouted against their former King Idris Al-Sannusi. They all chanted then
“Iblis but not Idris”. They had what they asked for and got Colonel Gaddafi instead. As it turned out, the colonel made sure that the Libyans would mourn the days they were ruled by the late king Al-Sannusi. The people of Libya realized that the colonel is worse than “Iblis”. Now the new regime in control of Libya is not much better. One was a former Bin Laden supporter and the other was concerned about how many times Libyan men can get married. Again, in Egypt the country was governed by the National Party for the past three decades. The people of Egypt demanded change and progress. They only ended up with the Muslim Brotherhood. This is because they had to make a choice between the worse off and the worst. They opted for the worse. In Syria, similar events are taking place. Several decades of despotic and a tyrannical system of government have been ruling the Syrians. Now the people are seeking alternatives. The only alternative they have however is the Muslim Brotherhood. The Syrian regime is without a doubt unique in many ways. For many years, the regime has been expounding a strange philosophy and that is Syria is a “interceptive’
country referring to the legend they had been propagating that they check in and intercept Israeli aggressive plans against neighboring Arab countries. This false ideology has also been propagated by the divinely-designated chief Hasan Nassrallah who continuously repeats such slogans wherever he can. It is interesting to note that the divinely-designated chief Hasan Nassrallah makes his revolutionary speeches to his crowd inside a basement. If we are to have a closer look at the true and real “interceptive” country in the Middle East, it has to be Israel. It is Israel who intercepted the Arab Initiative. It is Israel who intercepted the negotiation over Syria in Turkey. It is Israel who intercepted any rights for the Palestinians. It is Israel who intercepted just about everything. Soon Hasan Nassrallah would make Benjamin Netanyahu one of his “interceptive” allies. I had a bit of a laugh the other day when the Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov said that he fears that after the fall of the Baathist regime, a Sunni leadership governs Syria. I am not saying that Syria should be ruled by Sunnis. I am not saying that Syria should be ruled by Shiites. I am saying that Syria should be ruled by a Syrian patriot. Note that I didn’t say by a Syrian Arab because there are Kurds in Syria as well. The Kurds live in Syria, Iraq, Turkey and Iran. They deserve their rights and should be united instead of being divided by four countries. There was also a Kurdish president of Syria so we can hopefully witness a similar kind of president in Syria again.
BU QUTADA & BU NABIL
Dr. Esam Abdulatif Al-Fulaij
If we are to have a closer look at the true and real ‘interceptive’ country in the Middle East, it has to be Israel.
he attendance of His Highness the Amir to the twenty third Arab Summit in Baghdad can be considered as a great step for boosting political ties and tolerance between Kuwait and Iraq. Attendance also represents effectively Kuwaiti support to Iraq in order to renew its ties with the different Arab states particularly after its absence from the Arab League for 15 years. However, the Iraqi government still swings in terms of internal political, security and economic affairs and some Kuwaiti-Iraqi files are still pending such as the land border issue and detaining a Kuwaiti citizen although his Emirati companions were already released! Such things prove the international future vision that His Highness enjoys. The summit can be considered as a successful one because His Highness the Amir attended it as well as the importance of his historic speech that he delivered during the summit. He delivered a daring speech because the very speech revolves around neighboring states to Iraq and those states enjoy strong relations too. The speech dealt with the Syrian and Iranian file. Regarding the Syrian file which draws the attention of the different Arab, Islamic and international forums, the speech aims at stopping bloodshed in Syria and protecting Syria from being involved in civil war where the Syrian people will pay the price of such a war like what happened in Iraq. He also said that extending the period of the crises will make it more complicated and leads to further losses, therefore he called the Syrian government to be wise and to put an end to the violence against the unarmed Syrian people. The Amir asked during the speech the permanent members of the United Nations to abide to their responsibilities and unifying efforts to reach to convenient solutions to the crisis as soon as possible. In terms of the Iranian file, His Highness the Amir asked Iran to respond to the international calls that aim at reaching a political compromise about the Iranian nuclear program and he affirmed that Iran and all the other states have the right to benefit from the peaceful applications of nuclear energy according to the criteria of International Atomic Energy Agency. The Amir asked freeing all the states of the Middle East from all weapons of mass destruction including Israel. His Highness the Amir did not forget the Palestinian Cause as a lot of people and officials were about to forget the Palestinian cause because of the other heated issues in Syria and the Iranian nuclear program. He said that Israel still kills the poor Palestinian citizens and violates the simplest human rights that all people should enjoy everywhere. Meanwhile, he asked the leading powers to impose further pressures on Israel to force it to abide by the international decisions and to halt all settlement activities which destroy the peace process as well as demolishing the wall that Israel built in some areas. Anyway, a lot of political analysts affirmed that the biggest winner of this summit is Iraq itself and Iraq deserves such support which might contribute in stopping bloodshed there. The Iraqi people who are continuously killed are Muslims who are either Sunni or Shiite. We have to be more aware of that and exert serious efforts to avoid being involved in sectarianism which reached the degree of accusing the Deputy President of Iraq of certain things that he was not involved in.
Bu Mushal ..... Let’s discuss the national unity law
Yeah .... Sectarianism destroys the country
A good idea .... It helps us to avoid sectarianism
It interrupted the developmental projects
You are Shiite
National unity should be according to the Sunni doctrine
You are Sunni
No, no it should be according to the Shiite one
Mmmm .... Let’s be united
Yes.... That idea is also good to help our sons to avoid sectarianism too
W h at f i g h t i n a re t h e y f o r .... g e a c h o t h e r Ho m ai nta w w i l l the y i n n at i unit y onal
no, no observe just mosques
Oh man .... They might mean National unity “April fools”
Al-Faw Palace Ahmad Mohammad Al-Fahad
iddle East Newspaper has published a story about Al-Faw Palace- in the Iraqi capital Baghdad- where the last Arab summit was held. According to the story the palace was chosen for the summit for many reasons. The palace is the nearest one to Baghdad International Airport wherein the palace is just five kilometers far from the airport and most Arab leaders did not prefer to sleep in Baghdad whereas an Arab leader asked the captain of the plane not to turn off the engines of the plane!!!
Meanwhile, an informed Arab source told the newspaper that the palace fits the Arab summit in terms of size and the very palace received the Arab Summit that was held in Baghdad before invading Kuwait!! Another reason is that the Iraqi palaces in Jadriya and Karadah were seized by influential figures and politicians. This palace is the last palace that the former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein had built and Saddam decided to invade Kuwait in the very palace and he spent his last days there- during conviction. The decision of attending the summit at the very place by His Highness the Amir and a senior Kuwaiti del-
egation represents a significant political stance which cannot be understood by the prominent politicians and personalities alone. The pedestrian path which extends from the Scientific Center to the Sea Front, concerning the people who suffer from diabetes, are able to walk but they are usually annoyed by dogs that certain walkers bring with them. They question about policemen who used to observe that area by horses. We hope the Ministry of Interior would intervene to stop annoying people who suffer from illnesses. The Shiite Cleric Ali Ameen- who I hosted through a TV interview recently through the
TV program the Seventh Day- asked all Lebanese officials to announce that they oppose any Iranian interference in the Lebanese internal affairs!! It is a daring patriotic call. May God protect the cleric from any evil, Amen! Our cleric and teacher Dr. Ajeel Jassem Al-Nashmi has written on Twitter about something that we failed to write about in tens of newspaper articles. He said “the nation doesn’t rise by the thoughts of Nahda Forum or the thoughts of Dr. Tariq Al-Suwaidan as the latter released some strange thoughts which violate the religious instructions therefore we ask him to think well before releasing such thoughts”.
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monDAY, april 2, 2012
Fed policy and inflation risk Martin Feldstein Project Syndicate
uring the past four years, the United States Federal Reserve has added enormous liquidity to the US commercial banking system, and thus to the American economy. Many observers worry that this liquidity will lead in the future to a rapid increase in the volume of bank credit, causing a brisk rise in the money supply - and of the subsequent rate of inflation. That risk is real, but it is not inevitable, because the relationship between the reserves held at the Fed and the subsequent stock of money and credit is no longer what it used to be. The explosion of reserves has not fueled inflation yet, and the large volume of reserves could in principle be reversed later. But reversing that liquidity may be politically difficult, as well as technically challenging. Anyone concerned about inflation has to focus on the volume of reserves being created by the Fed. Traditionally, the volume of bank deposits that constitute the broad money supply has increased in proportion to the amount of reserves that the commercial banks had available. Increases in the stock of money have generally led, over multiyear periods, to increases in the price level. Therefore, faster growth of reserves led to faster growth of the money supply - and on to a higher rate of inflation. The Fed in effect controlled - or sometimes failed to control - inflation by limiting the rate of growth of reserves.
The massive substitution of reserves for longer-term securities during the period of ‘quantitative easing,’ and of Treasury bills for long-term securities in Operation Twist, has succeeded in reducing long-term interest rates. The Fed began an aggressive policy of quantitative easing in the summer of 2008 at the height of the economic and financial crisis. The total volume of reserves had remained virtually unchanged during the previous decade, varying between 40 billion US dollars and 50 billion US dollars. It then doubled between August and September of 2008, and exploded to more than 800 billion US dollars a year later. By June of 2011, the volume of reserves stood at 1.6 trillion US dollars, and has since remained at that level. But this rise in reserves did not translate into rapid growth of deposits at commercial banks, because the Fed began in October 2008 to pay interest on those reserves. Commercial banks could place their excess funds in riskless deposits at the Fed, rather than lending them to private borrowers. As a result, the money supply has grown by only 25 percent since 2008, despite the 40-fold increase in reserves since that time. During the past year, the Fed has further increased the liquidity of the banking system - and of the American economy - by a strategy called Operation Twist, buying 400 billion US dollars of long-term securities in exchange for short-term Treasury bills. The banks that hold these Treasury bills can sell them at any time, using the proceeds to fund commercial lending.
The massive substitution of reserves for longer-term securities during the period of “quantitative easing,” and of Treasury bills for long-term securities in Operation Twist, has succeeded in reducing long-term interest rates. The combination of low interest rates at every maturity and the substitution of short-term securities for longerterm assets has also succeeded in raising share prices. But it is not clear that the lower interest rates and higher share prices have had any significant effect on real economic activity. Corporations have a great deal of liquidity, and do not depend on borrowing to invest more in plant and equipment. Housing construction has not revived, because house prices are falling. Consumers temporarily increased their spending in response to the increase in the stock market at the end of 2010, but that spending has recently been much more sluggish. The risk is that the commercial banks could always decide to start using those excess reserves, forgoing the low rate of interest paid on deposits by the Fed (only 0.25 percent) and lending those funds to firms and households. Those loans would add to deposits and cause the money supply to grow. They would also increase spending by the borrowers, adding directly to inflationary pressures. When the economy begins to recover and companies
The Afghan endgame mirage
have the ability to raise prices, the commercial banks will want to increase their lending. This will be welcome, as long as it is not too much or too fast. The Fed will appropriately want to limit the expansion of bank lending. This is what the Fed used to talk about as its “exit strategy.” Essentially, it would mean raising interest rates on the deposits at the Fed and allowing interest rates more generally to rise. If this is done in a timely way and on an adequate scale, the Fed will succeed in preventing the current vast liquidity from generating higher inflation. Here is what worries me: the structure of US unemployment is very different in the current downturn than it was in the past. Nearly half of the unemployed have been out of work for six months or longer. In the past, the corresponding unemployment duration was only 10 weeks. So there is a danger that the long-term unemployed will be re-employed much more slowly than in previous recoveries. If the unemployment rate is still very high when product markets begin to tighten, the US Congress will want the Fed to allow more rapid growth in order to bring it down, despite the resulting risk to inflation. The Fed is technically accountable to Congress, which could apply pressure on the Fed by threatening to reduce its independence. So inflation is a risk, even if it is not inevitable. The large volume of reserves, together with the liquidity created by quantitative easing and Operation Twist, makes that risk greater. It will take skill - as well as political courage - for the Fed to avoid the rise in inflation that the existing liquidity has created. Martin Feldstein, Professor of Economics at Harvard, was Chairman of President Ronald Reagan’s Council of Economic Advisers and is a former president of the US National Bureau for Economic Research.
Chrystia Freeland Reuters
FILE- Afghan President Hamid Karzai speaks during the opening ceremony of Afghanistan’s educational year in Kabul, Afghanistan, March 24, 2012. (AP)
Carl Bildt Project Syndicate
n a recent visit to Afghanistan and Pakistan, I could not fail to notice the increasingly frequent international calls for an “endgame” in Afghanistan. But an endgame for that country is a dangerous illusion: the game will not end, and neither will history. The only thing that could come to an end is the world’s attention and engagement in Afghanistan, which could well lead to catastrophic consequences. Much international focus is now on the year 2014, the target date for completion of the gradual transfer of responsibility for security from international forces to the Afghan government. This process is not without challenges, but there is no reason to believe that it could not be finalized more or less according to plan and the current timetable. My belief is that there is another, far more critical challenge facing Afghanistan in 2014: the election of a new president. In a system where so much power - open and hidden, constitutional and traditional - is centered around the president, the election could well turn into an all-out battle for the country’s future. The presidential election of 2009 - in which Hamid Karzai gained a second term - was a highly contentious affair, and neither the Afghan political system nor the international community came through it with flying colors. Together with the battle over the Taliban’s future role in the country, the struggle for power in 2014 could reanimate divisions that take the country back to the brink of a wider civil war, with the liberal technocrats of Kabul crushed between a resurgent Northern Alliance and a wider “Pashtun Pact.” Such a scenario would, of course, spell disaster for Afghanistan. But the implications would be far broader. We must not ignore the grave dangers that it would pose for Pakistan, where a new round of jihadist rhetoric and mobilization could be fatal to hopes of building a stable and more secure country. We should have learned the lesson of the 1980’s: ignorance is not bliss. What, then, is the proper policy for the international community? First, we must focus on what is most important - a transition to a post-Karzai system that is seen as reasonably legitimate by all parts of Afghanistan. This is primarily a question of making the elections as free and as fair as possible, and here the United Nations’ role will be critical. But it is also imperative to establish a wide national consensus on the rules of the game. Karzai can leave no better legacy than an orderly transition, and has no interest in seeing all that he has achieved go up in flames. Second, we must encourage a true regional dialogue that prevents Afghanistan from becoming a battleground for devastating proxy wars. Here, the key will be to bridge the gulf between Pakistan’s government and the forces of northern Afghanistan.
Securing an orderly political transition and encouraging a deep and broad regional dialogue should now be at the top of the international agenda for Afghanistan. Pakistan must do whatever is necessary to convince everyone that it will not play a hidden game with the Taliban - assuming, of course, that it has no such intention. It is equally important that Pakistan and India engage in an open dialogue that can establish trust and transparency in their respective policies concerning Afghanistan. Today, this dialogue hardly exists, and their mutual maneuvering, fueled by mistrust, could easily destabilize their weaker neighbor. Finally, for reasons of history, geography, and culture, Iran’s role in Afghanistan cannot and should not be ignored. There is no reason why the West’s strategic objectives concerning Afghanistan should change fundamentally in the coming years. The key now is to get our priorities right. Securing an orderly political transition and encouraging a deep and broad regional dialogue should now be at the top of the international agenda for Afghanistan. Not only are these objectives important in themselves; they are also central in creating the right framework for a settlement between the various Afghan parties and the Taliban. Some now argue that large-scale engagement in Afghanistan was a mistake. But, in the mirror of history, we can see that the greater mistake has been to abandon the country altogether. Afghanistan connects Central and South Asia, and a breakdown of order there would pose grave risks in both directions. Moreover, the world - not just the West, but Russia and China as well - would risk global proliferation of drugs, weapons, and terror. The task now is not to seek an illusory endgame. The book is not finished; we are merely entering a new chapter.What we must do now is create the framework for a more stable Afghanistan, and for sustained international engagement in a region that is crucial for global stability. Carl Bildt is Foreign Minister of Sweden.
halk one up for continental Europe’s economic architects. For the past several decades, the Anglo-Saxon consensus was that state interference in the private-sector economy was a mistake. Government bureaucrats were in no position to pick economic winners and losers - and if standing aside meant letting the forces of creative destruction sweep away entire industries, so be it. The continental Europeans, most successfully the Germans, demurred. They were unconvinced that the shift from manufacturing to services was either good or inevitable, and they used the full might of the state to try to hang on to their industrial base. The financial crisis may have briefly felt like a vindication of this model - but the near collapse and continued frailty of the euro brought a quick end to that moment of schadenfreude. When it comes to manufacturing, though, the European approach is being embraced in the White House. In a speech this week, Gene Sperling, director of the National Economic Council and assistant to the president for economic policy, laid out the economic rationale for the US shift. When I spoke to him afterward, Sperling was careful to point out that the new approach did not amount to industrial policy, or an attempt by the government to pick winners and losers. But the White House has come to believe, Sperling said, that manufacturers more broadly should be first among equals. Giving manufacturers slightly lower taxes and more support for their research and development is a good idea, Sperling argues, for two reasons. First, because manufacturing has a particularly powerful spillover effect on the rest of the economy. The benign effect of manufacturing Sperling is most enthusiastic about is the connection with innovation. That link, he argues, has been drawn out in research by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s “Production in the Innovation Economy” initiative. Its premise, which Sperling embraces, is that in most new technologies, innovation happens most quickly and effectively when the inventors work close to the builders. Apple is today the most beloved - and financially successful - US manufacturer of physical stuff. But Sperling’s argument amounts to an assertion that the Apple approach - with designers and engineers in California and factories in China - works for the IT business, but not for much else. In most industries, Sperling contends, those who outsource manufacturing will soon find that they have outsourced their innovative edge, too. The second pillar of the White House approach is to insist that the decline of US manufacturing, and, by extension, manufacturing in the rich Western economies, is not inevitable. Manufacturing, Sperling argues, is not the agriculture of the 21st century, a sector fated to provide fewer and fewer jobs over time. Instead, Sperling believes that the United States has a chance to bring jobs back home. “The degree that the US is becoming more and more competitive in bringing manufacturing facilities and jobs back to our shores is very encouraging,” Sperling told me in an interview this week after he gave his speech.
The second pillar of the White House approach is to insist that the decline of US manufacturing, and, by extension, manufacturing in the rich Western economies, is not inevitable. This is clearly one of the administration’s talking points this season - on Wednesday, Vice-President Joe Biden trumpeted the rise of “in-sourcing” in a campaign-flavored speech in Iowa. This White House’s view that the government can - and must - support manufacturing relative to other businesses is a profound shift in the conventional wisdom of the Englishspeaking world. Since the days of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan, the received transatlantic wisdom has been that state intervention is an inevitable failure, that the decline of manufacturing is inevitable, too, and that servicesector jobs can be just as good anyway. The shiny towers of the City of London and the canyons of Wall Street are evidence of that last conviction and, at least for a while, seemed to be a vindication of it as well. Sperling is an earnest technocrat, and his speech this week was a determined effort to document the intellectual foundations of the White House’s pro-manufacturing tilt. “Let me begin by acknowledging upfront that this is an area where otherwise likeminded economists disagree,” Sperling said at the start of his remarks. His goal is not so much to convince his listeners that he is right as it is to assure them that his approach is intellectually respectable. But for all its nerdy leanings, the White House is not the Harvard faculty club, and an election is coming up. Manufacturing could be an area of strong contrast between President Barack Obama and his most likely challenger, Mitt Romney. Romney has more hands-on experience, but Obama may have a more deft popular touch. Unless you have a doctorate in economics, your intuition probably accords with Sperling’s point that building things is essential to a country’s economic well-being. Romney, who opposed the bailout of the Detroit carmakers, often finds himself on the other side of that argument. Inside the United States, the big political story this week is the Supreme Court’s deliberations on the legality of Obama’s healthcare overhaul. Elsewhere, that is a barely comprehensible local story - all other rich countries provide some version of universal coverage and spend less money and achieve better outcomes than the United States. But from Berlin to Beijing, the debate about manufacturing and whether governments have a duty to support it is a live issue. That is one more reason this US election campaign matters so much to the rest of the world. Chrystia Freeland is the editor of Thomson Reuters Digital. The views expressed are his own.
monday, april 2, 2012
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Apartment in Zahra, 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, living room and kitchene, KD360, Tel: 99725755 Apartment in Manqaf, 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, living room and kitchen.Tel: 90958689
Apartment in Mahboula, 4 master bedrooms with baths, living room, kitchen, maids room, laundry and storage room ,swimming pool, parking. Tel: 65563683
Apartment in Salmiya, 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, living room, kitchen, pool, DSL and kids playground, KD475.Tel: 66297171
Chevrolet Lumina V6 2008 model done 80000 km in good condition for KD 2800, single used. Tel: 99962456
Volkswagen Touareg 2005, navy exterior in a very good condition, KD 2500.Tel: 94404405
Toyota mini buss KD2900.Tel:24747418
Ford Lincoln, grey exterior. Tel: 99288558
Mercury Grand Marquis 2005, hardly used in great condition with valid insurance.Tel:97175533
Lexus IS400 1998, navy full option, KD 1900.Tel: 97803380 Hyundai 2000, green exterior, KD 500.Tel:99628345 BMW 2000, White exterior, beige interior, KD 1250 Tel: 97878183 Toyota Camry 2000, in great condition.Tel:99734995
Homemade Easter Eggs Available
Chocolate Easter eggs, Easter cookies, Easter cupcakes available. For further details,
please call 66052065
Learn French, Speak French! Private French lessons with an experienced teacher in all levels and with all age groups. Interested?
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A well known Bakala
located at Block 4 Mahaboula behind Alia and Galia Tower. Floor space 5mX5m, with bathroom, include 2 chillers, 2 freezers, cash register, vegetable scale, with stocks.
Laptop repairs, Formats, anti-virus program and games.
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Home service available
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Paints and wallpapers, professional work. Tel:99795097 SLR
I am an MBA holder with more then 23 years experience in Accounting, Analysis, and Business development. Responsibilities in India & Kuwait, now I am looking part time job after 6 pm from Sunday to Thursday, Friday & Saturdays full day free, if any suitable vacancies for me please contact 55710397.
Learn Arabic For foreigners to learn Arabic easily. Contact: 66972388
Packing and moving services.
Required Sales person for men’s textiles shop with sales experience (speaks Arabic). Salary KD 160 + commission. Tel: 66970789
Seeking qualified female Nail Technicians of Filipino Nationality. If interested please contact 99030565 or 25319812.
Required sales person with knowledge of using the computer. Tel:66292269
Egyptian babysitter, baby sit kids from 1 years old to 4. Tel:94996159
Required chef for Lebanese restaurant. Tel: 6509292697686366
Apartment in Abdullah Al Ahmad, 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, living room and kitchen. Tel:90958689.
Apartment in Salmiya, 2 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, maid room, living room and kitchen, KD400. Tel:67004704
Nissan Altima Tel:94915050
25/12 - 25-02
Apartment in Jabriya, 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, living and kictehen.Tel: 66256814
Studio in Salwa, block 1, street 6, house360, KD260. Tel:66143662
Apartment in Manqaf, private entrance, 3 bedrooms, 3
Super deluxe furniture apartment in Salmiya, 2 rooms, 2 baths, living room, kitchen and laundry room, KD500.Tel:25352200
Apartment in Hawalli, duplex furnished, great location, 2 master rooms, kitchen, living. Tel: 97720081
Apartment in Hawalli, 2 master rooms, kitchen, balcony and living room. Tel:60001848
Room available only for Filipino, single lady near Kuwait National English School, Hawally. Accessible to bus going to City and Sharq. New building with Pinoy TV Channel and large sala & dining area. Tel: 97197268
Investors looking to take advantage of EB-5 Investor Program to obtain US Citizenship, Investing US$ 500,000 in Approved Regional Center, investors receives “Green Card” within 4 months allowing permanent residency. Fund is placed on real estate investment for 5 years with up to 6% income per year. For appointment call: (965) 66834599, Email: nkoni@ konikonsultants.com / website: www.KoniKonsultants .com
25/12 - 25-01
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contact Mr. Khaled Ph: 99619998 & 55619998
Items for sale
TREADMILL excellent condition, high-tech screen, KD 35. Tel:90989840 Billiard table for sale in great condiditon.Tel:66666168
Kitchen Equipment repairs 24hours. Abu Mahmud: SLR
KD 50 KD 25 KD 60 KD 35 KD 10
Pictures and Information of all items available upon request…!!!
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Brand New Items…!!! 5) MOTHERCARE 2 position Baby Carrier – KD 5 (sold in MC for KD 10) 6) AVENT’s Award Winning ISIS Breast Pump Set (with 2 Bottles & Accessories) KD 20 (sold in MC for KD 30)
Mudarrib Nafais : Contact: 65553012
1) GRACO Baby Stroller (designed by Laura Ashley) 2) GRACO Baby Car Seat (designed by Laura Ashley) As a Set – both Stroller & Car Seat for 3) JUNIORS Car Seat (from Birth upto 18kgs) 4) JUNIORS Baby Tub + Stand
Tuitions available with a qualified /experienced teacher in Hawalli for students from Class 1 to Class 7 in all subjects except Arabic.
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Baby Items in “Excellent Condition” For Sale
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GMC Yukon 1999, spacious and clean. KD 1700, price is negotiable. Tel:66694310 Nissan Maxima 2008, 6VS, KD 3200. Tel: 99997494 Nissan Maxima KD1500. Tel: 66565511
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Iraq March oil exports hit highest level since 2003
MONdAY, APRIL 2, 2012
mar ket watc h KUWAIT 0.01% 6164
BAGHDAD: Iraq’s crude oil exports rose to their highest level since 2003 in March, at 2.317 million barrels per day (bpd) from 2.014 million bpd in February thanks to a new offshore export terminal, the State Oil Marketing Organization said on Sunday. Revenue from the exports totaled 8.4 billion US dollars, with each barrel of oil priced at $118, SOMO chief Falah Alamri said. Iraq opened a new offshore floating oil export terminal in the Gulf earlier this month, marking a major increase in the country’s export capacity.
OIL M A RKE TS
EGYPT 1.4% 4947
SAUDI 0.9% 7907
US Crude $103.10 $0.08 London Brent $122.88 $0.49 Kuwait Crude $121.42 $0.00 Information Courtesy: KAMCO
CURRE NCIE S US Dollar
Buy 0.2775 Sell 0.2778 Buy 0.3702 Sell 0.3708
31 companies prevented from trading for not providing quarterly results KSE ends trading at 6,164.1 points, in redzone
KUWAIT: Some 31 companies listed in Kuwait’s Stock Exchange (KSE) have been prevented from trading their stocks on Sunday on the grounds that they did not announce their financial 2011 fourth quarter (Q4) results on time. In the investment sector, these include International Financial Advisers (IFA), Al-Ahlia Holding Company, Coast Investment and Development Company, The International Investor Company, Securities House (SECH), Industrial and Financial Investments Company, International Finance Company (IFC), Kuwait And Middle East Financial Investment Company (KMEFIC), Aref Investment Group, Al Aman Investment Company, A’ayan Leasing Investment Company, Global Investment House, Kuwait Finance Investment Company (KFIC), Housing Finance Compnay, Almadar Finance and Investment,Al-Deera Holding Company, Al-Safat Investment Company, Al-Qurain Holding Company, Sokouk Holding Company, Noor Finan-
FILE - A Kuwaiti man sits on a bench outside the Kuwait Stock Exchange in this file photo. Some 31 companies listed on the bourse have been prevented from trading their stocks on Sunday, April 1, 2012, on the grounds that they did not announce their financial 2011 fourth quarter results on time. (Reuters)
cial Investment Company, Amwal International Investment Company and AlMasar Leasing Investment Company. In the real estate sector, Grand Real
Estate Projects, Munshaat Real Estate Projects Company and Kuwait Business Town Real Estate Company In the industrial sector, Mena Holding Group and
the MENA region is below $100, compared with $900 in the United States and Europe. The sector is witnessing 12 percent growth in the region, compared with 2 percent in Europe, Nabilsi said. Hikma, whose shares are a constituent of London’s FTSE 250 midcap index, is a generic drug and injectables specialist and generates almost 50 per cent of its revenue from the MENA region. It operates in 17 countries in MENA and has plants in countries including Morocco, Egypt, Tunisia and Sudan. It also has plants in Europe and the United States. Nabilsi said he was expecting a strong performance in 2012, with revenue growth expected to be about 20 percent, driven by opportunities in MENA and in the global injectable drugs market. The company is now eyeing expansion in Iraq,Turkey and North Africa, and Nabilsi said Turkey was a big market while South Africa was an “interesting opportunity.” -Reuters
Salbookh Trading Company. In the services sector, Kuwait Commercial Market Complex Company and National Ranges Company (Mayadeen). In the parallel market sector, Al-Shamel International Holding Company. Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) closed Sunday in red with the price index reading 6,164.1 points at a loss of 0.9 points, while the weighted index came to 417.27 points, down of 2.94 points. Trades came to 2,895 transactions, worth 18,163,330 Kuwaiti dinars, and volume reached 242,315,000 shares. Within the sectors, the top gainer was real-estate while the biggest loser was the banking sector. Gainer share of the day was AlMowasat Health Care Company, while the biggest loser was Flex Resorts and Real Estate Company. The top volume stock went to the Al-Safwa Group Company Holding. Trading began at Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE), Sunday, with the scale tipping to red in general, and the price index came to 6,147.1 points at a slip of 17.9 points, while the weighted index came to 418.88 points, down 1.33 points. Trades came to 754 transactions by the time with value of KD 5,210,840 and involving 54,217,500 shares. -KUNA
US dollar exchange rate stabilizes against Kuwaiti dinar
KUWAIT: Exchange rate of the US dollar against the Kuwaiti dinar stabilized, standing at KD 0.277, the euro also stood at KD 0.370, compared to Thursday’s figures, said the daily bulletin of the Central Bank of Kuwait (CBK) on Sunday. Exchange rate of the Sterling pound increased to record KD 0.444, and the Japanese yen also remained unchanged, at KD 0.003. Meanwhile, the Swiss franc slightly went up to KD 0.307. -KUNA
Moody’s bank review may mark new era of lower ratings NEWYORK: The largest US banks including Morgan Stanley, Bank of America and Citigroup are facing what could be a historic shift to lower credit ratings which could increase their cost of funding and reduce competitiveness in their capital markets businesses. Moody’s Investors Service is reviewing 15 of the world’s largest banks for possible credit ratings downgrades in midMay, and broad cuts could send banks on average to their lowest historical levels. In the US Morgan Stanley could see the largest cut after being warned of a possible three-level downgrade to the Baa category, a rating that has traditionally been associated with more speculative risk than some investors and trading partners have been comfortable with. Bank of America and Citigroup, which are currently lower rated than Morgan Stanley, are also under review for downgrades to the same ‘Baa2’ level, and all three-banks are under review to lose their top tier short-term debt rating which would effectively cut their access to some short-dated funding markets. Moody’s action is unlikely to spark funding stress at the banks. Many banks have been dramatically scaling back their reliance on short-term and ratings-sensitive funding since 2008, when fears over exposure to risky mortgage-backed debt caused shortterm debt investors to pull back from lending to the firms. The banks have also increased deposits and capital cushions, making them less vulnerable to the type of client runs that felled banks including Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers. Nevertheless, new downgrades may disrupt some short-dated debt markets and have knock-on effects for municipal issuers, who sell debt that is backed by the strong bank ratings. Downgrades may also hurt the lowest-rated banks relative to competitors including JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs which are expected to maintain ratings in the more solid single-A category. “You’re definitely seeing a segmentation between the potentially lower rated institutions and the higher
rated ones,” said John Guarnera, a US bank credit analyst at Societe Generale in New York. “The biggest issue is the factors that Moody’s is focused on are more structural in nature and so it’s pretty hard for any institution to do much to offset that.” A Baa rating is less than ideal for brokers over the longer-term as many investors and trading partners remain highly sensitive to the credit risk of bank counterparties and often invest less and trade less with Baa-rated firms than those in the single-A category. That means they may push more business to higher rated banks, rather than disclose to their own investors a higher exposure to riskier counterparties. A counterbalancing effect may be that investors will be reluctant to reduce their pool of counterparties in what may end up a very limited number of A-rated institutions remaining. Downgrades could also increase the collateral needed to post against trades in the US 300 trillion US dollars privately-traded derivatives markets and may increase the cost of funding their capital markets activities. Moody’s said the review reflects remaining vulnerabilities in the business model of dealers, even as firms restructure their business to reduce risk. “When you look at some of the industry characteristics, the competition, the overcapacity, the lack of recurring revenues, it gets very hard to argue that there aren’t some speculative characteristics that are more consistent with ratings in the Baa range,” said Peter Nerby, senior vice president in the financials group at Moody’s in New York. Winners and losers
There are already some signs that Moody’s review is impacting the investment decisions of ratings-sensitive investors. A JPMorgan analysis of US prime money fund flows in February, when Moody’s announced its review, showed some shift away from unsecured commercial paper and certificates of deposits of banks that face possible downgrades, and into banks that had their short-term rat-
ings affirmed. There was also a decline in lending to US banks through the repurchase agreement market, where banks usually borrow to fund asset purchases. UK banks that are unaffected by the review, by contrast, saw an increase in loans. A lower rating could mean a lender in the repo market requires more collateral to back the loan, or is more averse to taking riskier collateral. That could make the loan more costly, or make it harder to finance purchases of less liquid securities. “I don’t think it’s a funding problem in aggregate. It decreases funding flexibility, it may take away or limit certain avenues of borrowing,” said Alex Roever, a money market analyst at JPMorgan. For the worst rated firms, it also leaves them more vulnerable to any further unexpected shocks. “In some cases the rating agency may walk a bank up to the edge of what many investors view as investible,” Roever said. “Then if something were to happen, another down leg in the economy or another crisis, then the bank has little room for error.” Ratings reliance
Buy 0.4443 Sell 0.4449
Buy 0.003349 Sell 0.003356
Buy 0.074 Sell 0.0741
Buy 0.07555 Sell 0.07564
Buy 0.07631 Sell 0.07619 Buy 0.736 Sell 0.73691
Buy 0.005461 Sell 0.005454 Buy 0.006478 Sell 0.006457
Prices in Kuwaiti fils As of April 1, 2012 Courtesy: KAMCO
How to recognize the ‘right’ customers for your business
Dr. John P. Hayes Exclusive to Al Watan Daily
KUWAIT: Just joining us? Catch up with this series in the archives at alwatandaily.com. Has your business attracted any ‘wrong’ customers? You know who they are. They are the people who create havoc for you and your employees.They’re demanding, even sometimes obnoxious. They don’t abide by your regulations; they want what they want when they want it, the way they want it. And, to them, your prices are always too high! Do you know those customers? In every possible way, they are wrong for your business. They are the reason your business is killing you financially and literally. Can retailers fire customers?
Now, back to the client who inspired this series of articles. As a retailer, it wasn’t easy for him to fire customers. Hundreds of customers daily walked into his store. “What do you expect me to do?” he asked, still miffed because I had told him to fire customers. “Stand at the door and tell certain customers not to enter?” “Could you do that?” I said, and smiled. “Because if you could, look how much money you would earn. Your wrong customers spend nine US dollars after you spent 100 US dollars to attract them. It would be better to bar them from entering and save the money you’re losing.” Avoid wrong customers
Hikma Pharmaceuticals to spend $300 million on expansion DUBAI: London-listed Hikma Pharmaceuticals plans to spend nearly 300 million US dollars on acquisitions and expansion initiatives in 2012 amid strong growth prospects in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), its chief financial officer said. “In terms of acquisitions we can do $150-$200 million this year through debt. We are also planning to invest $90 million on expansions at the group level financed by the internal cash generation,” Khalid Nabilsi told Reuters. “Our focus in 2012 is going to be on product acquisitions that complement our own businesses,” he added. Jordan-based Hikma, which sells branded drugs and also has an injectable drugs business in Europe and the United States, expects to benefit from people demanding a better quality of life as a result of the Arab spring uprisings. “The new regimes and governments believe more in social services; they are committed to invest billions on healthcare and education,” Nabilsi said. Healthcare spending per capita in
See page 10
Banks, investors and users of derivatives and other ratings sensitive products have been reducing their use of ratings to govern investment decisions since the crisis, when the major rating agencies were criticized for having awarded top ratings to risky mortgage-backed debt that later turned out to be worthless. The ratings of Moody’s and its largest competitors including Standard & Poor’s (S&P) and Fitch Ratings nonetheless continue to be used to restrict investments including those in the $2.6 trillion money market industry and remain embedded in some derivatives contracts, where downgrades can trigger higher collateral postings. Morgan Stanley said in a securities filing that it would need to post an additional $6.52 billion in derivatives collateral if Moody’s cuts the firm a full three notches. Morgan Stanley spokesman Mark Lake noted that the ratings trigger affects
only 8.0 percent of its over-the-counter contracts and said the bank has been meeting with clients and counterparties and is prepared for any downgrades. Bank of America has disclosed that a one notch rating downgrade may require additional collateral of $5.4 billion, though this may require cuts from more than one rating agency. The bank has already posted $2.9 billion of the potential new requirements. Bank of America has disclosed that after ratings cuts last year it entered into talks with clients that involved transferring some derivatives to its bank subsidiary from its lower-rated holding company. A bank spokesman declined comment. Citigroup said last year that a twonotch downgrade would require around $5.4 billion in additional collateral. “Our clients tend to be more sophisticated in their analysis than to rely solely on ratings from a single agency. While some clients might note any changes in ratings from Moody’s, we don’t believe the impact would be material,” said spokesman Jon Diat. A cut of Bank of America’s short-term rating could also cause ripples in the $3.7 trillion municipal bond market, where the bank is a large provider of liquidity and letters of credit used to back debt sold by states, cities, hospitals and others. A downgrade of the bank’s shortterm rating would mean that these issuers in turn may be cut, or they would need to find an alternative bank to provide the credit backstop. Money market funds that are rated by Moody’s are unable to hold short-term debt that does not hold the highest rating from the agency. JPMorgan estimates that these funds hold around $76 billion in debt from banks facing possible downgrades, though this represents less than 1 percent of their total liabilities. Deborah Cunningham, chief investment officer of money markets at Federated Investors, which oversees $352 billion in assets, said downgrades would require the fund manager to stop investing in the short-term debt of downgraded banks in its Moody’s rated funds. -Reuters
By the way, a student asked me if I think business is always about earning more money (because she did not). Most clients contact me because they want to earn more money. They’re tired of working so hard for so little return. They don’t know what’s wrong, and what’s wrong is usually their customers. But it’s too late to do much about that when the wrong customers show up at your door. It’s better to avoid them from the outset. Don’t invite them to do business with you! “I didn’t invite them,” my client argued. “But you did,” I argued back. “They learned about your business when you advertised. With better target marketing, you can avoid the wrong customers.” Who’s the right customer?
The challenge for business owners is to recognize their ‘right’ customers. Who are they? That’s simple. They are the customers who like the way you do business, who pay without complaining, and who return repeatedly, cheerfully, to spend more money in your business. “So anyone who complains is a wrong customer?” asked my client. “No. It’s healthy for customers to complain. That’s how they let you know what they want. But if you can’t deliver what they want - maybe you don’t want to, or maybe you can’t afford to - and they continue to complain (taking your time, possibly even abusing your staff), that’s a wrong customer.” “Do the right customers have special characteristics?” my client wanted to know. What do you think? We’ll talk about that next week. How can you improve your business? Dr. John Hayes will help you discover points of opportunity. Free analysis for qualifying businesses. Send a paragraph describing your business; selected businesses may be featured in Business Matters. Dr. Hayes has worked with franchisors, franchisees and small business owners internationally. He is a professor in the College of Business at GUST. Contact him at email@example.com, or via Twitter @drjohnhayes. Disclaimer: Please note that the views and opinions presented in the column are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of Al Watan Daily and its staff.
Fourth batch of NBK Academy students graduate
KUWAIT: National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) recently celebrated the graduation of its fourth batch of students completing the NBK Academy for newly hired employees. This was mentioned in a press release on Sunday. NBK Academy trains and develops the professional skills of young Kuwaitis, as part of NBK’s strategy to attract and hire highly qualified nationals. NBK organized a special ceremony for the 25 NBK Academy graduates. The ceremony was attended by Mazin AlNahedh, NBK General Manager Consumer Banking Group, Adel Hechme NBK General Manager Human Resources Group and Emad Al-Ablani NBK Assistant General Manager Human Resources, along with a group of senior leaders from the bank. NBK General Manager Consumer Banking Group Mazin Al Nahedh said, “NBK Academy is the first initiative of its kind in the private sector in Kuwait, and is part of NBK’s strategy to attract young Kuwaitis by offering them a range of career and professional development opportunities.” “I congratulate the graduates of NBK Academy and call on them to exert every effort in order to continue their path of professional excellence,” NBK Assistant General Manager Human Resources, Emad Al Ablani said. “This program marks the start of what will be a continuing process to nurture and grow our young talent.” NBK Academy programs run for five months and are specially tailored to provide trainees with theoretical and practical skills covering the different aspects of the banking industry.
monDAY, april 2, 2012
Iraq March oil exports hit highest level since 2003
TGN-Gulf cable to speed internet connections in growing Gulf markets Darlynn Amara Staff Writer
FILE - A worker walks at Zubair oilfield in Basra, 420 kilometers (260 miles) southeast of Baghdad May 23, 2011. Iraq’s crude oil exports rose to their highest level since 2003 in March, at 2.317 million barrels per day (bpd) from 2.014 million bpd in February. (Reuters)
BAGHDAD: Iraq’s crude oil exports rose to their highest level since 2003 in March, at 2.317 million barrels per day (bpd) from 2.014 million bpd in February thanks to a new offshore export terminal, the State Oil Marketing Organization said on Sunday. Revenue from the exports totaled 8.4 billion US dollars, with each barrel of oil priced at $118, SOMO chief Falah Alamri said. Iraq opened a new offshore floating oil export terminal in the Gulf earlier this month, marking a major increase in the country’s export capacity. “This is the highest (export) figure that Iraq has managed to achieve after 2003,” Falah Alamri told Reuters. “The floating terminal will help us to increase oil exports for this month and next month.” The second of four new single-point mooring (SPM) terminals is expected to come on line in April.
A shipper in the south said the fourth ship had been loaded with two million barrels at the terminal on Saturday and was due to leave on Sunday. Alamri said Iraq shipped 1.917 million bpd from the southern oil hub of Basra in March versus 1.639 million bpd in February. Shipments from the northern fields around Kirkuk were about 400,000 bpd, up from 375,000 bpd in February, he said. Last week, Iraq’s central government has approved payment of close to $560 million to oil producers in the autonomous Kurdish region, its finance minister said, after Kurdish authorities threatened to halt exports due to a lack of payments from Baghdad. The central government has a longstanding dispute with the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) in the north over the control of oil in the region, which has throttled payments. Baghdad
maintains it alone has the right to export oil. Iraq approved a $100 billion budget for 2012 in February, based on an average oil price of $85 per barrel and 2.6 million bpd in crude exports. Iraq, which has the fourth-biggest oil reserves in the world, aims to boost its oil production capacity to 8-8.5 million bpd by 2017, which could vault it into the top echelon of world producers. Officials in Baghdad have said the country could have the ability to produce up to 12 million bpd by 2017, though the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said this target is too ambitious. As much as a third of the oil extracted in northern Iraq is refined locally for domestic use, partly due to late payments from Baghdad for crude pumped into the major pipeline to Turkey and in part because it reduces the costs of producers. -Agencies
Falling exports to EU hit S. Korea trade surplus
CAPITALS: South Korea’s trade surplus fell in March from a year earlier due to a sharp fall in exports to debt-hit Europe and slowing sales to China, according to the government. The trade surplus was 2.33 billion US dollars, compared with $2.48 billion in March 2011. Exports fell to $47.36 billion, down 1.4 percent year-onyear, while imports also dipped 1.2 percent to $45.03 billion on falling purchases of products including memory chips, it said. “Sales to the EU have dramatically dropped in the aftermath of its fiscal crisis and sales to China have considerably slowed, limiting our export growth,” the Knowledge Economy Ministry said. Exports to the European Union, South Korea’s secondlargest trading partner after China, fell 20 percent, while sales to China grew only 0.7 percent in the same period, it said. In March 2011, exports to China posted year-on-year
KUWAIT: Tata Communications recently announced the launch of its TGN-Gulf subsea cable system that will connect the Gulf to the rest of the Tata Global Network (TGN). The broadband cable promises faster, more reliable connections, with business-critical capacity for broadband data and high quality voice services. The link which lands in Dubai and Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), is the last piece of the puzzle tying in the Gulf to the company’s 800 million US dollar wholly owned, world-wide fiber optic cable ring. The company now owns and operates the world’s largest subsea cable network which reaches countries representing 99.7 percent of the world’s gross domestic product (GDP), covering 20 percent of the world’s internet routes. Tata Communications has signed agreements with partners across the region with the likes of Nawras of Oman, Etisalat of the UAE, Qtel of Qatar, Bahrain Internet Exchange of Bahrain, and Mobily of Saudi Arabia, providing carriers and businesses with a direct route into the emerging markets of the Gulf region. Vinod Kumar, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) explained that there is a significant focus on the region. “We are deeply invested in the Middle East,” he said. Kumar expressed that the new routes will cater to the increasing demand for voice, video and data services in and out of the Gulf region. The key-note speaker stated, “There is a strong demand in the Middle East for higher broadband speeds and I believe out cable
will facilitate that.” According to him, the region has been lacking and the cable is to provide diversity, enhancing the experience of speed. Kumar stated that he expects clients in the Middle East to account for 10-15 percent of the total capacity on the global network. Tata Communications has invested to-date more than $240 million in the region over the last three years in terms of infrastructure, including the undersea cables, stated Radwan Moussalli, Managing Director, Middle East and North Africa (MENA), Tata Communications. He explained that sub-sea cables often run the risk of damage which causes disruptions in internet services. The TGN-Gulf however, is unique in that it avoids the hazards of the Strait of Hormuz. “The strait has shallow waters and has historically been known for cable cuts. We wanted to avoid that area, and it seems like it was a good move, given what has been happening there nowadays,” he said in reference to Iran’s closing of the strait - one of the most important oil routes of the world - in response to international sanctions over its nuclear program. “In the next phase we aim to extend the cable further into Kuwait and Iraq,” he stated. “There is much to work on in terms of licensing procedures.” The TGN-Gulf subsea cable system will act as the foundation for growth and technological innovation for businesses in one of the fastest growing emerging markets in the world, said Moussalli. Tata Communications is a $2.56 billion global company - the telecoms arm of the $83.3 billion Tata Companies. The company achieved annual revenues for the fiscal year 2011 of $2.56 billion with 73 percent of this revenue generated outside India, its home market.
Landing partners with Vinod Kumar, (first from left), Managing Director and CEO Tata Communications Limited and Radwan Moussalli (first from right), Managing Director, MENA Tata Communications.
growth of 9.2 percent. Overseas sales of South Korea’s flagship mobile devices dropped 32 percent from March 2011, it said. Exports of ships also tumbled 27.6 percent as demand from major European shipping operators slowed. Exports of home appliances including TVs also dipped 14.1 percent. “TV exports slowed as flat-panel TV markets in advanced countries are increasingly saturated.... Exports to China also fell as China’s domestic firms expand presence,” the ministry said. However crisp overseas sales of cars, which jumped 35 percent, helped offset the drop in overall exports, said the ministry. But the surplus, an increase from $1.52 billion posted in February, was better than expected. The median forecast of nine economists polled by Dow Jones Newswires was for a trade surplus of $1.8 billion. -AFP
Brazil spots new oil leak as safety worries rise CAPITALS: Brazilian authorities identified a small oil leak off the shores of Rio de Janeiro on Saturday, the latest in a series of spills that has raised safety concerns over the development of some of the world’s largest petroleum reserves. The latest oil leak comes days after a Brazilian prosecutor said he is widening a probe into offshore oil operations in the wake of a 3,000-barrel spill in an offshore field run by Chevron in November. The new leak, which stretches for 1.2 miles, is estimated at 1,600 liters of oil (14 barrels) and remains far away from the coast, Rio de Janeiro’s state Environmental Institute said in a statement. Officials were due to test the oil to try to determine its origin, but the leak is believed to have come from a ship in a sea route heavily transited by oil tankers.
The leak was in the Campos Basin, which extracts about 80 percent of the country’s output of more than 2.6 million barrels of oil per day. The area is believed to hold to some of the world’s top oil reserves and that has attracted major producers such as Petrobras, Anglo Dutch Shell UK-based BP and Spain’s Repsol YPF. A small leak in Chevron’s Frade field two weeks ago led the company to shut down production at the field, which has produced as much as 80,000 barrels per day. That leak and the November spill prompted criminal charges against the US number two oil company, its drilling contractor Transocean and 17 of their employees. Chevron and Transocean dispute the charges, which have cast a shadow over the development of Brazil’s booming oil industry. -Reuters
Saudi summer oil burn should decline this year
CAPITALS: Saudi Arabia is likely to burn less crude in its power plants this summer thanks to rising output from dedicated gas fields and gas that would be associated with any increase in oil output to make up for lower Iranian production. Last summer the world’s leading oil exporter burned an average of 730,000 barrels a day (bpd) of crude for electricity to keep the population cool in the hottest months from July to the end of September, official figures indicate. Hundreds of thousands of barrels of the kingdom’s biggest export will again go up in smoke at power plants each day this summer, but the volume of oil used for power is likely to fall. More supply from the Karan gas field and a likely rise in crude output, which would bring a bonus benefit of more gas as well, should save at least 100,000 bpd in crude use. “We have spent a lot of money on gas ... and we have many tricks in our pocket in the summer. When we peak in summer, we will surge our gas,” Saudi Oil Minister Ali Al-Naimi said last week. Al-Naimi said some 500 million cubic feet a day (mcfd) more gas, or around 90,000 barrels of oil equivalent (boed), would be made available for three or four months. “So don’t think we are just saying, ‘OK, the crude demand is going to go up’,” he told reporters in Doha. “We are far more concerned about crude burn. Not because we want to export it, but because it is a shame to burn it.” Most countries outside the Middle East cut back oilfired power generation long ago in favor of gas, nuclear and renewable energy sources. But in a country sitting on the world’s largest oil reserves, the consumption of oil for power rose by an implied 260 percent from 2004 to 2010, official figures available through the Joint Oil Data Initiative (JODI) indicated. While crude output from Saudi oilfields is constrained by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting countries
(OPEC) production limits, state-run Saudi Aramco aims to find gas that can be pumped independently to supply rapidly rising demand for electricity. Saudi Aramco now manages known gas reserves of 279 trillion cubic feet, the fourth largest in the world, and hopes to increase its gross gas production from 10.2 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) in 2010 to over 15 bcfd by 2015. While it has raised output significantly over the past few years, the company has not been able to keep up with a six percent per year increase in demand, driven by population growth and a boom in petrochemicals and other industries. “Whenever there is gas, we are utilizing it. We are always trying to use gas rather than other types of fuel. Gas is cleaner, cheaper and more efficient,” Ali Bin Saleh AlBarrak, the chief executive of Saudi Electricity (SEC), told Reuters. “We are expecting more gas to come this year and in the future.” About half of Saudi power demand is now met with gas, but in a sign SEC does not expect to obtain enough gas to replace oil soon, SEC announced plans this month to build another big fuel oil plant. Low fixed gas prices paid by industry of just 0.75 US dollars per million British thermal units are the major impediment to the unlocking of gas reserves. Oil burn
After rising from an average of 145,000 bpd in 2004 to 526,000 bpd in 2010, implied Saudi oil burning was little changed at 522,000 bpd in total last year, according to an analysis of JODI data by Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC). Implied crude burning - or crude that cannot be accounted for after exports, refinery intake and changes in stocks - doubled from 2008 to 2009 as a 1 million bpd fall in crude production at the height of the global financial crisis cut the availability of associated gas.
A 1.15 million bpd rise in average daily crude production from 2010 to 2011 - as Riyadh filled a Libyan oil supply drop - would have added roughly 70,000 boed of gas, HSBC’s Saudi energy sector analyst John Tottie estimated. “Crude burning was unchanged in 2011, but there was some more diesel and gasoil in the power sector mix,” Tottie said. “Higher associated gas and Karan probably contributed.” Last summer, record imports of diesel, gasoil and fuel oil, which is used to generate power in parts of the country far from oil or gas fields, contributed to the first hiatus in the rise of crude burning since 2003. Tightening western sanctions on Iranian oil sales, particularly a European ban from July 1, offers Riyadh a chance to pump even more oil and associated gas this summer. Because the kingdom holds most of the world’s spare oil capacity, it will be the biggest source of alternative supply. Last year’s 9.31 million bpd average Saudi crude production could be surpassed this year. Production averaged 9.84 million bpd in the first two months of 2012, Saudi industry sources have told Reuters, compared with 8.77 million bpd in the same period of 2011, according to JODI data. As 50 to 60 percent of Saudi gas comes from oilfields, another one million bpd increase in crude production above current levels could increase associated gas output by five to six percent, which could further increase the amount of crude for export by reducing the amount burnt in power plants. “Burning crude oil is a crime,” independent Kuwaiti energy analyst Kamel Al-Harami said. “This summer, I think Saudi will depend more on gas and buying oil products and less on burning their own crude.” Vital to this effort will be the ramp-up of Karan, Saudi Aramco’s first non-associated offshore gas field, which is expected to lift raw gas production from 400 mcfd last
summer to 1.5 bcfd by June to 1.8 bcfd in summer 2013. “Gas supplies coming from Karan this year are very important as a substitute for crude oil burning,” Sadad AlHusseini, a former top executive at Aramco said. Of Karan’s 1.1 bcfd output increase since last summer, industry observers estimate about 75 percent (or 146,000 boed) could go to power plants after removing liquids and sulphur. Karan might not be the only addition to Saudi gas supplies. Oil minister Al-Naimi said last week a little-known gas field in the Gulf, called Rabib, could boost supplies by 500 mcfd, or nearly 90,000 boed, sometime this year. Information about Rabib is scarce, but Naimi said its gas could be pumped into turbines with minimal treatment. An industry analyst said as much as 95 percent of Rabib’s gross gas output could be usable by power plants. With Rabib and Karan both running flat out and sending all usable output to power plants, which is far from certain, that would mean around 236,000 boed could be saved. A one million bpd crude output rise could add roughly another 73,000 boed of associated gas, allowing for a 25 percent reduction for removal of liquids and impurities. The overall impact on Saudi oil consumption is impossible to predict accurately because power demand is tightly bound to temperatures; it is unclear how much oil it will pump; and the power generation mix will change as these variables shift. Nearly half the potential increase from the two dedicated gas fields could be canceled out by the annual increase in Saudi demand for power generation, which HSBC estimated in a March study would amount to 100,000 boed, or 600 mcfd. “There are competing demands for that gas, and the power sector has been last in line,” Tottie said. “This means that Saudi Aramco may need to meet its 15 bcf per day target just to avoid burning even more oil ... It’s a moving target.” -Reuters
"Press Release" ALWATAN DAILY
MONDAY, APRIL 2, 2012
GCC Outperforms World Markets, Led by Saudi Arabia
Mixed signals from China’s factories in March BEIJING: China’s big factories were surprisingly busy in March as a stream of new orders lifted activity to an 11-month high, but credit-constrained smaller manufacturers struggled, suggesting that the economy is still losing steam. The pickup in production at large factories was attributed to an expected bump as winter ends, and economists cautioned not to read too much into the stronger-than-expected figure. That left intact a view that China’s economy, while not crashing, likely suffered its worst quarter in three years between January and March, and requires at least some monetary policy easing this year to ensure the cool down stays mild. Still, hopes for a turnaround were kept alive on Sunday when the official Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) that highlights large factories jumped to an 11month high of 53.1 in March, up from February’s 51 comfortably beating forecasts of 50.5. The number will likely cheer financial markets on Monday by dispelling talk that China is sliding towards a “hard landing”, although Nomura economist Zhang Zhiwei said the figure is not as impressive after accounting for seasonal changes. “I don’t think the economy has improved a lot,” he said. “If you take out the seasonality factor, this year’s jump is less than the historical average. From that perspective, it’s not a very strong signal.” Inflation and growth
Data between 2005 and 2010 showed the PMI climbing at least three points each year in March from February, a trend Zhang attributed to factories revving up production when winter ends. “The pressure for the government to loosen monetary policy is still building up,” said Zhang, who forecasts China will this year cut interest rates by 25 basis points and reduce the cash banks hold as reserves by 100 basis points. “Loan demand is very weak. It’s not a supply issue but a domestic demand issue. Domestic demand is weak.” Beijing has set a 7.5 percent growth target for 2012, which would be the slowest pace in more than a decade, aiming for a more sustainable economy that is less vulnerable to inflation and gentler on the environment. The question is whether policymakers can orchestrate a mild slowdown. Sunday’s data left that unanswered. One clue will come in bank lending data for March, due in mid-April, on whether Beijing can relax stiff do-
7.4% in February. Gains were led, for the third consecutive month, by Saudi Arabia, which was up 8.39% for the month while Kuwait’s Weighted Index gained 2.61%. Losses were seen in the UAE, with Abu Dhabi and Dubai declining 1.69% and 2.73%, respectively, while Oman was down 2%.
mestic credit conditions in time to shore up growth. If it succeeds, analysts say China’s economy may have seen the worse in the first quarter. Slowdown at smaller factories
But a private survey of smaller factories by HSBC showed a worsening slowdown. The HSBC PMI fell to 48.3 in March from February’s 49.6, largely in line with a flash PMI reading of 48.1 released in March. It was fifth successive month that the HSBC PMI has missed the 50-point level that separates expansion from contraction in activity, pushing the PMI into its worst quarter in three years between January and March, HSBC said. The HSBC PMI showed fewer new orders in March for small private factories, which unlike state-owned companies, have less access to bank loans and have borne the brunt of the latest economic slowdown. Worryingly, HSBC’s figures also showed factory inflation picking up too. Slower growth and rising inflation would be the worst of both worlds. “Final (HSBC) PMI results confirm a further slowdown of growth momentum, weighed by weakening new export orders,” said Qu Hongbin, an economist at HSBC. “Weaker export growth is likely to prompt further easing measures.” A Reuters poll in March showed analysts expect China’s central bank to lower the ratio of cash banks must hold as reserves by another 150 basis points this year. Disparity
A breakdown of the official PMI - which focuses on large state-owned factories - showed a broad rebound in production, with seemingly buoyant domestic demand pushing the new orders sub-index to 55.1 in March, from February’s 51. Demand overseas was markedly more muted, with the sub-index for new export orders rising to 51.9, from February’s 51.1. China’s vast factory sector, which accounted for 40 percent of its economy in 2010, had cooled steadily in the past year as tight domestic monetary conditions aggravated waning global demand. Output hit 2-1/2-year lows in January and February. “Judging from market demand and the state of economic growth, the economy is still likely to slow in the future,” said Zhang Liqun, a researcher with the Development Research Center of the State Council. “We would need to analyze the discrepancy between the PMI and the actual state of the economy.” -Reuters
National Bank Gulf Bank Commercial Bank Ahli Bank Ahli United Bank International Bank Burgan Bank Kw Finance House Boubyan Bank
1,060 450 810 255 425 770 530
Kw Investment Commercial Facilit. Int'L Financial Adv. National Invest. Kw Projects Ahlia Holding Coast Invest. Int'L Investor Securities House Ind. & Fin. Inv. Securities Group Int'L Finance MARKAZ KMIFIC Aref Inv. Group Al AMAN Inv. ALOLA Inv. ALMAL Inv. Gulf Inv. House A'ayan Leasing Bayan Inv. GLOBAL Inv. Osoul Inv. KFIC KAMCO Nat. Int'l Holding Housing Finance MADAR Al Deera Holding Al Safat Inv. Al Salam Group Ekttitab Holding Al Qurain Holding Sokouk Holding Al-Madina Finance NOOR Tamdeen Inv. Int'll Exch KW BH Int Exch.
104 285 168 340 114 140 54 36.5 38.0 -
455 810 255 425 780 540
Global Index - Banking
Taiba Kuwaiti Holding
Kuwait Syrian Strategia Kuwait China Inv. Manafae Inv. Gulf North Africa Amwal Al Masar Al-Imtiaz
178 66 52 128
104 285 162 335 114 138 50 36.5 35.0 260.0 100.0 176 66 52 126
Global Index - Investment
Kuwait Insurance Gulf Insurance Ahlia Insurance Warba Insurance Kuwait Re-Ins. First Takaful Ins. Wethaq Insurance
Global Index - Insurance
Kuwait R.E. United R.E. National R.E. Salhia R.E. Pearl R.E. Tamdeen R.E. Ajial R.E. Massaleh R.E. Arab R.E. Union R.E. ERESCO Mabani INJAZZAT RE Inv. Holding Grp Int'L Resorts Commercial R.E Sanam R.E. Aa'yan R.E Aqar Kuwait R.E Holding AL Mazaya Al Dar National R.E Themar Int'L Holding Grand R.E Projects Tijara & R.E Invest Al Tameer Arkan Al-Kuwait R.E Al Argan Int'L Abyaar Munshaat First Dubai KBT Manazel REAM Mena Real Estate Al Moudon Intl. R.E Markaz Real Estate Kuwait Remal R.E
58 114 132 236 91 35.0 98
73 59.0 90 58 71 78 18.5 38.0 45.5 33.0 20.5 51 360
Global Index - Real Estate
Nationl Ind. Group Pipes Ind. & Oil Kuwait Cement Refrigeration Ind. Gulf Cables & Elec. Heavy eng. & Ship. Marine Services Portland Cement Shuaiba Industrial Metal Collecting Kuwait Foundry
ź ź ŷ ŷ ŷ ź ź ź ź
860 108 355
ź Ÿ ŷ Ÿ ŷ ŷ ŷ ŷ ŷ ŷ ŷ ŷ ŷ ŷ ŷ ŷ Ÿ Ÿ ŷ ŷ Ÿ ŷ ŷ ŷ ŷ ŷ ŷ ŷ Ÿ ŷ ŷ ź ŷ ŷ ŷ ŷ ź ŷ ŷ ŷ ŷ ŷ ŷ ź ŷ ŷ ŷ Ÿ
ŷ ŷ ŷ
56 114 132 226 91 34.0 98 1,040 73 56.0 90 58 67 78 17.5 34.5 42.5 33.0 20.5 51 350
Ÿ ŷ ź Ÿ ŷ ŷ ŷ Ÿ Ÿ ŷ ź Ÿ ź ŷ Ÿ ź ŷ Ÿ ŷ ŷ ź Ÿ ŷ ŷ ŷ ŷ ŷ ŷ Ÿ ŷ Ÿ ŷ ŷ ŷ ŷ ŷ ź ŷ Ÿ
224 1,360 860 108 355
Ÿ ŷ ŷ ŷ ŷ ŷ ŷ ź ŷ ź ź
1060 455 790 650 810 255 425 770 530 318.83
104 285 52 168 340 13.0 55 25.0 130 25.0 230 99 114 50 52 26.0 140 54 26.5 71 36.5 48.5 64 26.0 242 52 38.5 51 38.0 100 265.0 100.0 22.0 22.5 63.0 29.0 178 255 114 28.50 80 66 56 52 64 42.50 128 83.25
300 560 520 148 220 122 40.50 44.67
58 114 132 236 32.5 248 118 91 35.0 110 98 1,060 73 12.5 58.0 90 58 71 79 36.0 78 18.5 87 17.5 37.0 57 80 174 45.5 28.5 33.0 17.5 20.5 134 134 220 51 355 57.34
230 126 455 126 1,360 305 158 860 216 108 355
Previous Close Change 183.20 -3.06 -0.90 6,165.00 Trading Activity Tran. Value(KD) Chng Volume
DTD -1.67% -0.01%
MTD YTD -1.67% 0.46% 6.02% -0.01% Div. Annual Close High Low P/E Yield
15 6 1 11 4 56 13 106
235,800 58,600 4,050 178,500 46,750 756,450 164,550 1,444,700
1,060 450 620 810 255 420 770 530
1,080 455 650 820 260 425 780 540
3.8% 0.0% 1.9% 3.1% 1.7% 0.0% 0.0% 2.6% 0.0% 2.0%
1,220 510 800 680 920 260 480 900 590 326.42
1,060 450 700 630 790 236 425 770 530 317.17
15.34 32.77 90.92 18.50 29.70 24.25 11.90 23.69 100.83 18.71
20,000 310,000 2,380,000 130,000 220,000 9,720,000 6,760,000 80,000 12,000,000 1,450,000 4,440,000 60,000 840,000 240,000 1,120,000 39,770,000
1 13 59 8 4 87 83 1 109 65 109 2 14 6 38 599
2,080 88,350 397,400 43,600 25,080 1,341,400 354,200 2,920 438,360 377,650 452,760 10,640 55,440 12,480 142,040 3,744,400
104 280 168 335 114 138 53 35.5 65.0 38.0 260.0 100.0 174 27 65 51 51 126.0
108 285 170 340 230 116 140 54 36.5 69.0 240 56 265.0 102.0 180 31 67 55 52 128.0
0.0% 7.7% 0.0% 0.0% 5.9% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 8.8% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 3.4% 5 1% 5.1% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 9.6% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 2.4%
112 285 67 182 345 18.5 69 25.0 130 36.0 230 122 120 50 52 35.5 140 65 35 71 44.0 48.5 70.0 26.0 244 62 39 51 47.5 104 270.0 130.0 25.0 33.5 96.0 29.0 190 255 114 32 89 73 60 59 64 42.5 140.0 85.99
104 255 40 158 295 11.5 50 25.0 130 21.0 230 99 102 50 52 24.0 106 47 21 71 28.5 48.5 64.0 26.0 242 51 36 51 26.0 61 99.0 19.5 19.0 16.0 38.0 29.0 154 255 114 26 58 50 51 47 64 42.5 112.0 74.96
Ex-D Ex-D Ex-D -
255 520 500 -
300 570 550 144 43.0
6.7% 4.5% 4.8% 6.8% 2.7% 0.0% 0.0% 4.6%
325 610 540 148 220 134 40.5 44.91
280 550 450 102 220 102 40.5 42.22
15.67 12.90 10.62 23.37 296.83
57 114 142 226 32.5 248 118 90 34.5 110 99 1,040 74 12.5 57.0 91 58 69 79 36.0 80 17.5 87 17.5 37.0 57 80 174 43.5 28.5 32.5 17.5 20.5 134 134 220 53 355 57.07
1 -10 10 1 0.5 -1 20 -1 1.0 -1 2 -2 1.0 2 0.5 -2 0.27
760,000 100,000 280,000 2,740,000 40,000 400,000 160,000 120,000 40,000 14,240,000 120,000 320,000 520,000 40,000 3,680,000 7,440,000 46,640,000 80,000 240,000 80,000 1,610,000 79,650,000
14 1 3 87 1 5 3 15 1 170 1 6 13 1 41 70 278 1 3 2 58 774
43,160 11,400 36,960 634,920 3,640 13,760 15,680 125,400 2,920 817,400 10,800 18,560 35,560 3,120 66,080 273,880 2,058,720 2,640 4,920 4,080 574,000 4,757,600
57 114 236 108 90 34.5 98 1,040 72 57.0 90 57 67 78 18.0 87 36.5 75 166 45.0 32.5 20.5 30 50 355
58 116 132 242 35.5 99 1,060 76 58.0 91 59 71 78 80 18.5 37.0 62 85 184 45.5 33.5 21.0 34 53 360
0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 8.5% 0.0% 4.0% 0.0% 5.5% 0.0% 6.4% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 5.7% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 3.7% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 1.0%
63 118 152 236 37.5 250 130 100 52.0 120 104 1,060 85 20.0 67.0 94 75 73 90 38.0 92 23.0 91 17.5 45.0 59 80 174 52.0 39.5 39.0 28.5 25.5 134 34 220 70 480 57.82
47 97 108 200 32.5 224 114 77 27.0 108 94 840 62 11.0 35.0 77 56 52 79 33.0 59 13.5 87 17.5 31.0 57 64 116 27.5 22.0 25.0 17.5 15.0 134 31 220 49 270 49.06
44.95 14.63 23.64 21.04
228 126 455 126 1,360 305 158 870 216 114 360
2 -10 -6 -5
2,080,000 7,500 20,000 20,000 10,000
52 2 3 1 1
470,280 10,200 17,200 2,160 3,550
228 445 124 1,340 295 860 106 340
230 455 126 1,360 310 156 870 216 110 360
0.0% 0.0% 2.2% 4.0% 4.8% 3.3% 3.2% 11.6% 4.6% 0.0% 5.6%
260 136 470 158 1,480 345 222 920 216 120 495
214 120 415 126 1,360 305 146 660 180 102 355
106 280 52 164 340 13.0 55 25.0 130 25.0 230 99 116 50 52 26.0 138 51 26.5 71 35.5 48.5 64 26.0 242 52 38.5 51 35.5 100 265.0 102.0 22.0 22.5 63.0 29.0 180.0 255 114 28.50 80 66 56 53 64 42.50 128 82.96 300 560 520 148 220 122 40.50 44.67
-20 -5 -5 -5 -10 -10 3.96-
-2 5 4 2 3 1
2.5 2.02.0-1 0.29
Monthly Return %
Saudi (TASI) Kuwait SE WT.INDEX Qatar(Doha SM) Abu Dhabi (ADI) Dubai (DFMGI) Bahrain (BAX) Oman(Muscat SM) 264 105 S&P GCC Composite Index Source: Excerpt from Markaz ‘Daily Morning Brief’
KUWAIT: Gulf Cooperation Council lay oil price concerns during the month, Risk in the GCC (as measured by the (GCC) markets were up again in March, stating that there is adequate supply Markaz Volatility Index - MVX) was up in theafter region included: gaining News 4.6 percent surging 7.4 pershould exports from Iran halt; the min11 percent in March, but was up 2x in cent in February. Gains were led, for the ister expects production in March/April Q1, 2011. Risk in Saudi was up 26 perthird consecutive month, by Saudi Ara-thattoabe at roughly million per banks cent for the month MVX Kuwait - Moody’s has stated decrease in 9.9 lending bybarrels European could cause while short-term bia, which was up 8.39 percent for the day. shed 38 percent. tightening in liquidity to a2012-2013 “longer-term shortfall”. According to the month while Kuwait’s Weighted Index in addition * Kuwait’s draftstructural fiscal agency, European bankbudget lending to GCC banks approximately $237 gained 2.61 percent. Losses were seen expects a deficit of totals $28.7 billion, Globalbn. markets review in the UAE, with Abu Dhabi and Dubai with a 13 percent rise in spending to $80 World markets were mixed due to tendeclining 1.69 percent and 2.73 percent, billion while Revenues are expected at tative economic signals. Crude oil edged The Saudi Minister aimed to allay oil price concerns during thepercent month, stating per thatparrel as respectively,-while Oman was oil down two $51 billion. up 1.15 to $124.07 there is adequate supply should exports fromExchange Iran halt; minister expects production percent. * The Qatar Stock an-the Iran tension continued, CRB Commodnounced 9.9mn the launching in March/April to be at roughly b/day.of two new in- ity index was also up 1.67 percent while News in the region included: dices in April; the first is a Total Return CBOE Vix tumbled 16 percent. * Moody’s has stated that a decrease index which factors in dividend distribuThe World broad index edged up 1.1 Kuwait’s banks 2012-2013 fiscal expects 13% rise in continin lending -by European could draft tions whilebudget the other is a set aofdeficit revisedof $28.7bn, percent in with Marchamainly due to cause short-termspending tighteningto in $80bn liquiditywhile criteria for the sector indices. ued strength from Japan. The Nikkei 225 Revenues are expected at $51bn. in addition to a ‘longer-term structural Volume was up 11 percent in the GCC gained another 3.8 percent after surging shortfall’. According to the agency, Eurowhile Value Traded expanded 40 percent 10.5 percent in February. Losses were pean bank lending to Qatar GCC banks to $90 billion; liquidity was led by Saudi seen indices across Emerging and Asia; - The Stocktotals Exchange announced the launching of two new in April;Markets the first approximately 237 dollars. index Arabia monthly value traded was Shanghai lost other the most of is billion a TotalUSReturn whichwhere factors in dividend distributions while the is with a seta decline of * The Saudi oil Minister aimed to alup 46 percent to $81.6 billion. seven percent while Europe was flat.
revised criteria for the sector indices.
Date of Closing Prices:
220,000 130,000 5,000 700,000 110,000 980,000 305,000 2,450,000
1080 460 790 650 810 260 430 780 540 322.79
05 / 01 / 2012
For more Information please contact "Global" at (+965) 180 42 42 or www.globalinv.net
For more Information please contact "Global" at (+965) 180 42 42 or www.globalinv.net Last Close 180.13 6,164.10 Last Prev. Close Close
M. Cap (USD Bn)
Trading Prices of Kuwait Stock Exchange Date of Closig Prices: 1/04/2012
Date of Closing Prices: 01 / 04 / 2012 For more information please contact “Global” at (+965) 180 42 42 or www.globalinv.net ź
Market Indicators Indicators
Trading Prices of Kuwait Exchange Trading Prices of Kuwait StockStock Exchange
Global General Index KSE Price Index
GCC outperforms world markets, led by Saudi Arabia
Kuwait April 1st 2012– GCC markets were up again in March, gaining 4.6% after surging
87.88 13.75 1.39 0.00
0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 30.41 0.00 119.09 0.00 0.00 0.00
0.00 9.33 22 77 22.77 11.92 50.59
0.00 5.19 12.74
17.94 5.87 15.57 40.05 26.74 0.00 16.80 34.60
5.48 23.20 12.99 7.55 45.99
23.07 18.82 0.00 0.00 19.30
18.59 6.21 7.30 144.46 114.85 13.09 24.04 20.66
Last Close Previous Close DTD MTD YTD 214 - Change 214 4.7% 224 196 24.68 208 214 - ŷ -0.40% -1.55% 177.24 -0.7053,320 -1.55% 88 176.5389 -1 600,000 14 89 88 0.0% 102 88 31.98 89 88 źź 6105,726.90 610 - -27.30 - 5,754.20 610 5.7% 620 550 86.98 - źŷ -1.50% -0.47% 620 -1.50% 1,100 1,100 Gulf Glass 1,400 1,100 16.54 3.6% - ŷ Last Prev. Trading Activity Div. Annual Close Last Last 216 216 HilalCompany Cement 216 206 11.21 226 4.6% - ŷ Close Close High Low Volume Tran. Value(KD) Bid Ask Yield High Low P/E Chng 340 340 Al Kout Ind. Project 350 340 7.54 5.9% 365 - ŷ 3,796,050 - 1,120 1,140 - 1,120 - ŷŷ - 1120 1120 69 3,377,500 National 1,140 1,120 14.74 275 275 K-PAK Bank 300 1,100 275 13.23 250 300 3.6% 7.3% 20 495 495 830,000 407,950 490 - ŷ Gulf BankMaterial 495 490 495 - 0.0% 510 490 33.95 224 Ex-D 224 Building 228 224 27.09 0.0% 770 770 10,000 1 7,700 - Commercial 770 770 - ŷŷ 770 780 790 770 88.62 300 300 Nat. Ind.Co.Bank 325 260 19.25 295 310 1.9% 2.7% 640 -20-2 278 6,400 660 10,000 640 Ahli Bank 640 640 660 660 64051 17.34 248,480 108 110 2,260,000 Equipment Holding 106 źź 110 51.76 106 110 3.1% 0.0% 114 800 50 850 350,000 23 282,700 Ahli United Bank 850 840 850 1.6% 850 790 29.68 800 Ÿ 33 33 Mena Holding 33 33 0.00 - ŷ 0.0% 16 248 248 700,000 173,600 248 ŷ International Bank 246 248 0.0% 255 248 23.59 248 102 102 Consumer Industries 102 93 0.0% - ŷ 460 465 -5 500,000 10 229,750 460 460 465 0.0% 475 460 12.26 Burgan Bank 455 ź 128 128 Ex-D Kuwait Gypsum 128 128 17.06 9.4% 890 -10 880 1,280,000 66 1,127,050 890 880 2.3% Kw Finance House 880 ź 900 880 25.07 870 212 106,960 212 500,000 214 212 ŷŷ Qurain Bank 222 210 112.24 8.55 214 0.0% 0.0% 212 590 590 607,850 - 1,035,000 3316 580 Boubyan 590 590 580 590 590 44 44 Salbookh Trading 51 41 - ŷ 0.0% 319.37 319.54 8,092,500 6,639,050 2.0% 319.54 318.41 18.61 0.17240 ź Global Index - Banking 208 140,000 3 29,120 208 IKARUS 208 208 ŷ 206 214 162 12.21 208 0.0% 106 106 -1 - Kw Investment 10272 10677 0.0% 10688 10670 40.56 - ŷŷ 74 74 40,000 2,960 0.0% Boubyan Int'L Ind. 74 74 260 265 -5 250,000 14 65,750 265 260 265 8.5% 265 260 12.09 260 źź Commercial Facilit. 168.48 168.50 0.025,677,500 171 944,230 174.76 163.04 10.79 2.7% Global Index - Industrial ACICO
Global General Index United Industries Boubyan Petroch. KSE Price Index
41 40 ź Int'L Financial Adv. NationalInvest. Cinema 174 National 170 - źŷ KwProjects Hotels 300 - Ÿŷ Kw 300 400 ŷŸ Agility 410 12.5 Ahlia Holding 13.5 Coast Invest. 53 52 - źŷ Market Complexes -800 -790 ŷ Int'L Investor ZAIN Securities House - ŷź 75.0 73.0 Safat Energy Ind. & Fin. Inv.Group Educational - ŷŷ -Securities Group - - ŷŷ Indep. Petroleum Int'L Finance National Cleaning 144 140 ŷź 110 MARKAZ 108 112 Sultan Center 110 ŷź KMIFIC - ŷŸ 114 Arabi Group 106 Int'L Inv. Group City Group - ŷŷ Aref Inv. Group - ŷ 2,200 2,180 Ÿ Wataniya Tele. Investment Dar - ŷ 110 Kw Gulf Link 106 ź Al AMAN Inv. ŷ Kw Cable ALOLA Inv.Vision 110 108 - ŷŷ Automated ALMAL Inv. System 50 49 - źŷ NAPESCO -Gulf Inv. House - - ŷŷ KCPC Leasing 285 285 - ŷź A'ayan K.S.HInv. 32.5 - 31.0 - ŷŷ Bayan Eyas - ŷŷ GLOBAL Inv. Hits Telecom -108 -102 ŷź Osoul Inv. Al Safwa Holding 19.5 -17.5 ŷź GULFINVEST - ŷŷ KFIC Human Soft KAMCO - ŷŷ 79 Privatization Holding 80 Int'l Leasing & Inv. - ŷź 91 Nafaaes Holding 91 - - ŷŷ Nat. Int'l Holding -National Slaughter - ŷź Housing Finance 108 110 Aref energy MADAR -- - ŷŷ Safwan 26.5 Al Deera Holding 26.5 70.0 ŷź 73.0 Gulf Petroleum Al Safat Inv. - ŷź 21.5 Gulf Franchising 22.5 122.0 Al Salam Credit & Group Collection - 114.0 - Ÿŷ 39.0 ź 41.0 Ekttitab Holding National Ranges ŷ Al Qurain Holding ŷ - ŷ Burgan Well Drilling 16.5 Sokouk Holding 16.5 ŷ 425 425 IFA H&R ź Al-Madina Finance 40.0 38.5 ź 1,600 1,580 Combinted Group ź NOOR ŷ Jeeran Holding Tamdeen Inv. 160 158 źŷ 116 112 Palms KW BH Agro Int'l Exch. - ŷŸ 73.0 78.0 SafatKuwaiti TEC Holding Taiba - ŷź 88 88 Mushrif Trading Kuwait Syrian - ŷź UPAC -Strategia - - ŷŷ ALAFCO 300 305 53 53 ŷŷ Kuwait China Inv. 160 Al-Muwasat 160 - ŷŸ Manafae Inv. Gulf NorthHolding Africa - ŷŸ Mashaer 270 265 Amwal - ŷŷ Oula Fuel 280 275 Al MasarComm. - ŷŷ Future 124 Al-Imtiaz 132 82 źŸ 82 Hayat Comm.
Global Index - Investment 61 Mubarrad Transport
52.0 690 -470 112 246 --285 92 Al Nawadi Global Index - Insurance Alrai Media Kuwait R.E. 48 Zima Holding United R.E. 100 -
KuwaitInsurance Resorts Kuwait Advanced Technolgy Gulf Insurance Yiaco Medical Ahlia Insurance Al Jazeera Airways Warba Insurance Al Soor Fuel Kuwait Re-Ins. First Takaful Future Kid Ins. Wethaq K G L Insurance
61 52.0 690 -460 108 244 --275 92 48 100 -
Global R.E. Index - Services 118 National 126 200 Salhia R.E. Trans. 204 LiveStock 186 182 - 95 Pearl - 98 DanaR.E. Al-Safat 224 224 Tamdeen R.E. United Poultry Ajial R.E. Kw FoodStuff Massaleh R.E. United Food Arab R.E. 30.0 30.0 Kout Food 580 580 Union R.E. Global Index - Food 98 96 ERESCO 860 840 Mabani Sharjah Cement 75 74 INJAZZAT RE 99 Gulf Cement 95 Inv. 71 11.5 70 UmHolding QuwainGrp Cement 12.0 Int'L Resorts Fujaira Cement 78 77 Commercial R.E Ras AlKheimah 70 65 Sanam R.E. ARIG 54 53 Aa'yan R.E United Gulf Bank 208 202 Aqar Egypt Kw Holding Kuwait R.E Holding Bahrain Kw Ins. 59 AL Mazaya 60 Gulf Fin. House 63.0 61.0 14.0 Al Dar National R.E 14.0 57 Inovest Int'L Holding 60 Themar -172 Grand R.E Projects -172 Ahli United Bank -25.0 Tijara & R.E Invest Ithmaar Bank 26.0 Al Tameer Global Index - Non-Kuwaiti Arkan Al-Kuwait R.E 70 70 Markaz Real Estate Safat Global Al Argan Int'L Funds Investment 28.5 28.0 Abyaar Al-Bareeq Holding 23.5 23.5 Munshaat AFAQ 25.5 First Dubai 26.0 Al-Shamel KBT 27.0 27.0 Al-Safat Real Estate 16.5 Manazel 15.5 31 31 Ajwan Real Estate REAM Specialities Group 375 390 Mena Real Estate Masaken Al Moudon Inter. Intl. R.E --Dulaqan R.EEstate Markaz Real 57 56 Eid Food Kuwait Remal R.E 295 285 Maidan Index Clinic - Real Estate Global Flex
Nationl Ind. Group 232 Dar Al-Thuraya Real E 242 Pipes Ind. & Oil 128 126 Kw Medical Services Kuwait Cement 455 450 Amar For Fin. & Leas. 60 60 Refrigeration Ind. 1,420 1,420 Total Parallel Market Gulf Cables & Elec. Heavy eng. & Ship. Total Services Market Marine 720 Portland 720 Global Cement Special Indices Shuaiba Industrial Global Index - Kuwaiti Co.'s 104 Metal Collecting 110 Global Index - 10 Large- Cap. Kuwait Foundry
Global Index - Islamic
źŷ ź ŷ Ÿ ŷ ŷ ŷ źŸ Ÿ ŷ ŷ ŷ ź źŸ ŷ ź Ÿŷ Ÿź źŸ ŷ Ÿ ź ŷ ŷ ŷ ŷ ź ź ŷ źź Ÿŷ ŸŸ źŷ ŷ ŷ Ÿ ŷ ź ŷ ź ź ŷ ŷ ŷ ź źŸ Ÿ ŷ ŷ ź ŷ ŷ ŷ ź ź ŷ ŷ ŷ ź ŷ ź ŷ ź ŷ ŷ ź ź ŷ ź ŷ ŷ ŷ źŷ Ÿŷ źŷ ź ŷ ŷ ŷ ź
ź ŷ ź ŷ ŷ ŷ ŷ ź ŷ
40 960 170 280 300 405 12.5 52 52 25.0 790 130 75.0 31.0 110 230 340 102 144 108 110 50 110 44.0 550 52 2,200 74 106 28.5 63 108 300 49 370 23 285 71 255 31.0 260 48.5 106 68 17.5 20.5 270 26.0 244 80 94 91 51 154 36 110 51 600 26.5 71.0 75 21.5 120.0 120 39.5 15.0 19.0 260 16.5 425 38.5 1,600 29.0 85 158 116 255 74.0 114 88 26.00 335 68 305 53 160 60 46.5 270 64 275 42.50 285 128 82 75.90 61
52.0 325 690 560 370 485 470 110 246 220 114 98 40.50 280 92 43.43
114 48 96 100 750.06 124 200 184 37.5 98 224 130 120 1,440 82 340 30.0 580 108 351.42 97 860 86 75 99 11.5 70 38.0 93 78 120 65 102 54 208 90 300 38.0 455 59 63.0 14.0 91 59 17.5 172 31.0 25.5 59 43.29 70 122 48.5 124 28.0 144 23.5 106 25.5 250 27.0 22.0 15.5 31 134 390 134 51 220 345 57 106 295 2,260 49.73 40.5
232 93.0 128 65 450 60 150 1,420 335 212 720 180 ź 104 ź 460 ź
41 960 172 280 295 400 12.5 53 52 25.0 870 130 76.0 31.0 110 230 340 102 146 112 120 50 104 44.0 550 52 2,180 74 108 28.5 63 108 300 49.5 370 23 290 71 255 31.0 260 48.5 108 68 20.0 20.5 270 26.0 244 80 94 96 51 154 36 112 51 600 26.5 73.0 75 24.0 112.0 120 41.5 15.0 19.0 260 16.5 450 39.0 1,600 29.0 85 160 114 255 78.0 114 90 26.00 335 68 305 53 130 60 46.5 265 64 275 42.50 285 130 81 76.02 61
53.0 325 640 560 370 485 465 118 242 220 114 98 40.50 285 88 43.63
114 49 96 99 785.55 120 204 182 37.5 96 234 130 120 1,440 82 340 30.5 610 108 352.00 98 850 86 73 97 12.0 70 38.0 93 77 120 70 102 55 212 90 300 38.0 455 63 62.0 14.5 91 58 17.5 174 31.025.5 59 43.54 74 122 48.5 124 28.5 144 24.5 106 26.0 250 27.0 22.0 16.5 33 134 400 134 51 220 345 58 106 290 2,260 49.75 48.0
-1 -2 5 -
1,680,000 1,040,000 110,000 1,680,000 7,040,000 1,280,000 1,230,000 2,760,000 - - 1,100,000 680,000 1,240,000 1,620,000 7,500 1,120,000 500,000 320,000 - 60,000 1,840,000 - 8,480,000 59,280,000 - 1,880,000 40,000 - 200,000 - 240,000 13,920,000 400,000 11,180,000 1,920,000 480,000 30,000 10,640,000 55,000 80,000 80,000 3,480,000 80,000 - 490,000 200,000 20,000 280,000 20,000 - 1,240,000 200,000 40,720,000 240,000
13 20 5 4654 22 81 30 - - 38 1836 57 3 34 14 4 - -3 22 - 116 261 - 39 -1 - -9 - 2 139 -3 212 24 5 3 93 10 4 -3 51 -2 - 214 -1 11 -2 - 38 2 558 4
5 -1 Ex-D 1.0--2.0-10 -6 20 -2 - -1 - --5 - - -2 - -3 - --5 - --2 - - 2.02.58.0 2.0-25 0.5- -25 2.0- 2 4.02.0-- 30 -5 - - -1.0 2 0.12- 1.080,000 -2 5,000 50.0 -1 - - - 80,000 5 -8 120,000 64 40,000 Ex-D 4 -2 - - - --5 35 720,000 80,000 0.19-4 120,000 62 1 -1 80,000 9 1 920,000 1,053 35.48100,997,500 4 105 3,100,000 12 -4 2 520,000 4 80,000 -2 -5 240,000 3 10.0100,000 Ex-D 1 80,000 0.510,000 2 30 330,000 0.58-1 320,000 811 -
10 1,935,000 57 27 120,000 22 280,000 1511 0.5- 2,000,000 800,000 - 3 1 240,000 17 1,000,000 -5 4 -1 200,000 -4 60,000 3 - Ex-D 11 440,000 -4 5,880,000 76 1 1 80,000 0.51 20 960,000 - -2 -9 180,000 -55 5,280,000 13,440,000 181 0.25-4 320,000 2 - - - - 12 0.5- 2,720,000 1.080,000 1 0.5240,000 3 Ex-D 35,040,000 4 1,200,000 8 1.0320,000 3 4 110,000 - -10 -4 - - - -1 240,000 6 47 5 2,110,000 0.02- - 53,085,000 - 332 -
242 -10 13,220,000 93.0 - 154 128 140,000 6 65 470 -20 50,000 2 40,000 65 150 --5 -1 710,000 1,460 -40 2,500 111 335 2,895 212 - 242,315,000720 Close 230,000 19 Prev Close Prev. 180 189.81 193.17 106 -2 80,000 3 190.28 460 185.00 -
67,160 40 910 177,720 168 33,000 295 684,850 90,920 400 12.5 67,280 51 - 790 972,100 202,880 74.0 - - 315 156,080 142 73,920 106 136,440 177,720 108 16,450 2,200 121,440 106 27.0 54,920 108 285 15,840 49 - 21 17,100 280 58,760 31.0 - 887,520 104 64.0 1,096,360 - - -79 148,640 - 3,640 - - 21,840 108 - 560 6,360 26.0 995,360 70.0 8,800 22.0 1,305,280 - 118.0 77,080 18.0 7,920 16.0 12,750 419,440 38.5 87,750 1,600 12,680 156 9,160 112 257,480 -7,040 -88 320 - 63 149,250 305 10,600 52 3,200 122 74,250 265 5,550 275 - - 260 157,920 16,400 124.080 2,702,550 14,640 60
4,160 3,450 - 37,000 13,200 9,800 - 200,100 7,360 13,200 3,840 92,000 6,546,560 383,920
104,680 14,760 22,920 22,400 2,400 5,800 43,480 31,160 1,656,950 8,960 27,240 23,960 56,120 - 18,520 67,400 10,720 12,240 - 26,160 364,880 1,120 55,920 30,960 135,000 682,360 22,400 - - 76,880 1,880 6,160 946,080 19,240 9,760 42,250 - 13,520 610,850 4,151,200 -
49.0 300 510 360 460 460 108 242 - - 275
88 106 48 99 -
122 200 182 - 97 126 110 1,460 112 95 860 71 11.597 35.569 77 89 120 53 - 208 - 13.5 9062 - 58 30.0 172.0 70 116 28.0 23.5 25.0 24.5 19.5 15.5 -31 385 29 218 55 290 -
3,111,120 -17,800 122 22,550 455 2,400 15060 64,130 1,420 3,550 310 18,163,330 165,600 Change 710 178 -3.35 8,480 104 -5.28 435
4.2% 1,020 172 0.0% 0.0% 300 - 6.7% 405 0.0% 9.9% 13.0 52 - 0.0% 0.0% - 800 0.0% 25.3% 0.0% 0.0% 75.0 33.5 - 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 345 8.8% 0.0% 144 0.0% 110 110 9.3% 0.0% 0.0% 110 0.0% 550 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 2,220 2.3% 0.0% 108 0.0% 29.5 0.0% 0.0% 11068 0.0% 310 8.3% 50 0.0% 5.4% 24 - 0.0% 290 1.8% 0.0% 6.1% 32.5 - 0.0% - 0.0% 3.8% 0.0% - 106 0.0% 0.0% -17.5 0.0% - 0.0% 0.0% 23880 0.0% 0.0% -98 0.0% 0.0% 54 184 0.0% 5.2% 0.0% 110 0.0% 0.0% 590 3.7% 0.0% 27.0 71.0 0.0% 0.0% 22.5 0.0% 120.0 130 0.0% 0.0% 39.0 0.0% 0.0% 20.0 0.0% 270 0.0% 16.5 0.0% 0.0% 435 0.0% 39.0 4.4% 1,620 0.0% % 0.0% 16088 3.8% 118 5.1% 6.9% 270 0.0% 74.0 0.0% 0.0% 2789 0.0% 9 0% 330 0.0% 9.0% 73 3.3% 310 0.0% 53 4.4% 61 - 0.0% 47 270 10.8% 0.0% 69 280 0.0% 0.0% - 280 0.0% 8.8% 128.083 0.0% 12.2% 62 2.4% 0.0% 53.0 6.2% 0.0% 325 0.0% 610 4.5% 2.7% 380 5.2% 500 470 9.1% 0.0% 114 248 0.0% 2.7% 110 106 0.0% 0.0% 43.0 280 0.0% 1.8% 92 4.7% 5.4% 116 0.0% 49 0.0% 0.0% 100 - 0.0% 12.1% 126 0.0% 202 186 10.0% 0.0% 37.598 0.0% 5.1% 224 - 4.5% 0.0% 0.0% 130 1,480 4.5% 6.1% 85 365 1.5% 0.0% 31.5 3.4% 620 6.5% 118 4.0% 0.0% 98 870 - 0.0% 5.8% 76 - 0.0% 10.1% 12.099 0.0% 0.0% 37.071 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 79 93 8.3% 0.0% 65 122 7.4% 0.0% 54 0.0% 0.0% 91 222 10.0% 0.0% 40.5 7.7% 60 - 0.0% 0.0% 14.5 0.0% 0.0% 9463 5.5% - 59 0.0% 5.8% 33.5 174.0 0.0% 0.0% 57 0.0% 4.2% 74 0.0% - 0.0% 126 0.0% 28.5 - 0.0% 0.0% 25.0 0.0% 0.0% 25.5 0.0% 3.2% 28.0 0.0% 0.0% 24.0 0.0% 16.0 0.0% 32 3.7% 130 1.8% 390 0.0% 32 50 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 57 - 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 295 - 1.1% 0.0%
232 93.0 130 70 465 -65 1,440 340 216 720 DTD 190 -1.74% 108 -2.78% -
0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 2.2% 8.3% 3.3% 0.7% 4.6% 3.0% 4.70% 2.4% 13.9% 5.6% 0.0% 4.3%
42 40 960 1,120 174 170 280 280 305 295 430 340 13.5 12.5 5465 5241 25.0 25.0 900 790 130 130 81.0 45.0 36.0 31.0 110 110 230 230 295 345 102 102 152 110 116 108 108 136 50 5084 110 44.0 44.0 530 550 52 52 1,920 2,280 74 74 95 126 28.5 28.5 11268 10863 230 350 51 49 340 395 23 22 260 305 71 71 255 260 31.5 31.0 260 260 48.5 48.5 132 68.0 68.054 14.0 23.5 20.5 20.5 26.0 26.0 270 280 24484 24461 94 9490 104 51 51 154 154 36 3691 120 51 51 520 710 26.5 27.5 30.0 74.0 75 75 16.0 28.5 99.0 120.0 120 140 19.5 41.5 19.5 12.0 19.0 19.0 275 198 17.0 16.5 490 395 39.0 38.0 1,620 1,500 29.0 29.0 15673 16289 118 25586 255 78.0 57.0 114 114 104 2680 28 340 270 68 68 280 315 53 55 130 160 60 60 47 47 172 280 64 64 305 265 42.5 42.5 300 265 132.089 128.070 76.32 72 75.90 51
44.0 62.0 325 325 690 640 560 560 345 390 520 485 410 485 118 110 270 236 220 220 134 11498 114 40.5 40.5 295 218 44.80 92 43.43 80
114 156 49 48 110 100 9996 791.90 744.62 120 128 200 208 182 222 37.5 37.590 114 234 224 126 130 130 120 1,420 1,500 82 82 340 390 30.5 30.0 500 610 108 108 365.22 345.74 100 96 86095 84044 76 7355 108 12.573 11.543 38.0 38.0 122 46 78 77 126 118 75 65 132 102 54 55 232 188 90 90 330 250 38.0 38.0 455 455 63 59 74.0 40.5 14.5 14.0 91 91 17.5 17.5 31.0 31.0 59 59 47.16 40.74 78 70 1,220 1,220 48.5 48.5 144 124 29.0 28.0 24.5 23.5 26.0 25.5 28.5 27.0 16.5 15.5 134 134 32 32 220 220 57 60 295 270 49.8649.73-
232 260 130 128 470 450 158 150 1,460 1,420 340 335 212 222 710 740 MTD 180 -1.74% 180 104 116 -2.78% 460 460
16.44 88.93 12.13 13.48 1.33 0.00 12.10
23.89 0.00 19.39 0.00 27.19 0.00 55.09 0.00 14.24 0.00 0.00 0.00
14.98 7.04 9.92 0.00 11.74 9.19 391.37 32.31 0.00 13.80
0.00 116.80 9.60 0.00 0.00 14.91
0.00 73.05 92.71 17.50 0.00 3.52 8.28 9.92 22.77 11.92
62 41 62.41 43.00
5.09 9.60 8.91 23.31 0.00 17.39
3.64 16.97 27.01 12.90 11.90 9.91 8.38 17.37 17.18 296.83 10.92 7.39
10.18 37.20 12.83 11.94 22.21 17.83 16.20
5.72 11.40 22.14 10.76 15.28 11.20 39.65 5.29
32.50 6.82 8.10 41.95 4.15 9.21
11.37 0.00 5.38 27.28
20.67 9.93 23.07
18.82 63.06 0.00 11.03 0.00 16.27
12.70 6.49 8.02 14.48 193.84 96.15 YTD 10.91 0.14% 23.15 -2.68% 26.77
STOCKS WITH NBK CAPITAL
ALWATAN DAILY monday, april 2, 2012
April 21, 2009 April 01, 2012
1% 6% Oman
GCC Best Performers
95 1-Jan-12 85
MENA Best Performers
S&P Pan 3-Feb-09 Arab Large/ 18-Feb-09 Mid Composite S&P 20-Mar-09 GCC Large/ Mid Composite 19-Jan-09 5-Mar-09 4-Apr-09 19-Apr-0
1 Period's Liquidity 1 Ratio (PLR x)
MENA Indices Highlights Country (Index)
Sa Saudi Arabia (Tadawul All Share Index) Country (Index)
Index 7,907 Level
UASa UAE (ADX Index) Saudi Arabia (Tadawul All Share Index)
Ku Kuwait (KSE Weighted Index)
UAE (DFM(KSE Index) Ku Kuwait Weighted Index)
QaUAUAE Qatar (DSM Index) (ADSM Index) OmOman UAE(MSM (DFMIndex) Index)
Ba Bahrain (BSE Index)
Le Lebanon (Beirut SE Index)*
Jo Jordan (Amman General Index)
Pa Palestine (Al-Quds Index)
M Morocco (Casa All Shares Index)*
Tu Tunisia (Tunis SE Index)*
Le Lebanon (Beirut SE Index)* *Market Closed
Pa Palestine (Al-Quds Index) * Market Closed
Tu TunisiaClosed (Tunis SE Index)* * Market
Eg Egypt (Hermes Egypt Index (HFI))*
5,722 1,745 4,947
52 Wk 7,835 High
Jo Jordan (Amman General Index)
M Morocco (Casa All Shares Index)*
0.9% % Chg.
OmOman (MSM Index)
BaQa Bahrain Qatar (BSE (DSMIndex) Index)
Eg Egypt (EGX 30 Index)
52 Wk High
MENA Worst Performers
SAUDI ARABIA *Market Closed
KWD 0.132 SAR 22.95
225 Saudi Industrial Inv. Grp.
101 Riyad Bank
201 Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (KSA)
343,553,085 144,330,699 119,955,261 98,592,530
115 430Alinma Dar AlBank Arkan(KSA) Real Estate Dev. Co. (KSA)
NBKNational Bank of Kuwait (KUW)
Market Cap. (SAR '000)
20Saudi Basic Industries Corp.
S&P GCC Large/Mid Composite
1 Alinma Bank
2310.SSE Saudi International Petrochemical Co.
2050.SSE Savola Group Co.
Turnover (SAR) 1,292,764,527 7030.SSE Zain - Saudi Arabia 1,002,013,406 4300.SSE Dar Al Arkan Real Estate Dev. Co. 877,778,854 1030.SSE Saudi Investment Bank
23Saudi Kayan Petrochemical Co.
70Zain - Saudi Arabia
2350.SSE Saudi Kayan Petrochemical Co.
201 Basic Industries 115Saudi Alinma Bank (KSA) Corp. (KSA)
Turnover (SAR '000)
235 Saudi Kayan Petrochemical Co. (KSA)
7,835 / 5,916 7020.SSE Etihad Etisalat Co.
Tadawul Index 52 week High / Low
MENA Highest Turnover
703 Zain - Saudi Arabia (KSA)
93% 2290.SSE Yanbu National Petrochemicals Co.
% of stocks trading above 1yr avg. price
KWD 0.425 SAR 48.00
GCC Highest Turnover
Tadawul Index (% Chg.)
QAR 17.59 -13.1% -7.7% KWD 0.265
EMAEmaar Properties (UAE) Best Performers
KWD 0.110% Chg. -8.3% Close
KFI Kuwait Finance House (KUW)
SULSultan Center Food Products Co.
ZAI Zain Kuwait
0.88 201 IFASaudi IFA Hotels Resorts Corp. 1.74 Basic & Industries
GCC Worst Performers
1.93 FAC AHC Aamal Co. Facilities Co. 1.37 Commercial 1.56 NR National Real Estate Co. 0.88 238 Rabigh Petrochem.
QGTQatar Gas Transport Co.
KWD 0.236 QAR 6.35
702 Etihad Etisalat Co.
SAR 21.10 OMR 0.703
SRESalhia Real Estate Co. KCB Al Khaliji Commercial Bank
SAR5.60 54.75 SAR
235Galfar SaudiEngineering Kayan Petrochemical Co. GEC & Contracting
Mkt.414,062 Cap. USD million
Mkt. Cap. USD million
Turnover 3,691 USD million
525,916 Wk Low
Turnover USD million
52 Wk Low
AED 4.51% Chg. 10.0% Close
229Kingdom Yanbu National Petrochemicals Co. 3 428 Hldg. Co.
Period's Liquidity Ratio (PLR x)*
MENA Indices Highlights
4 NBFNational Bank of Fujairah
Abu Dhabi Abu Dhabi
Return DailyDaily Return (%)(%)
Dubai Abu Dhabi Dubai
DailyIndex Index Performance Snapshot Daily Performance Snapshot
Bull/Bear Indicator Bull/Bear Indicator
Rebased RebasedPerformance Performance
43Dar Al Arkan Real Estate Dev. Co.
1120.SSE Al Rajhi Bank
4280.SSE Kingdom Holding Co.
Quotes Company Name 1 Al Rajhi Bank
1 Alinma Bank 2 Almarai Co.
1 Arab National Bank
1 Bank AlBilad
1 Bank Al Jazira
1 Banque Saudi Fransi
2 National Industrialization Co.
2 Rabigh Refining & Petrochemical Co.
1 Riyad Bank
1 Samba Financial Grp.
2 Saudi Arabian Fertilizer Co.
1 Saudi Arabian Mining Co.
2 Saudi Basic Industries Corp.
3 Saudi Cement Co.
5 Saudi Electricity Co.
1 Saudi Hollandi Bank
22 Saudi Industrial Investment Grp.
2 Saudi International Petrochemical Co. 1 Saudi Investment Bank 2 Saudi Kayan Petrochemical Co. 7 Saudi Telecom Co. 2 Savola Group Co. 0 3 Southern Province Cement Co. 0 1 SABB 3 Yamama Saudi Cement Co.
2 Yanbu National Petrochemicals Co.
7 Zain - Saudi Arabia
29.30 25.10 24.20
4 Kingdom Holding Co.
4 Jarir Marketing Co.
7 Etihad Etisalat Co.
Turnover (SAR '000)
4 Jabal Omar Development Co.
4 Dar Al Arkan Real Estate Dev. Co. 4 Emaar the Economic City
% Change YTD
165.00 24.25 87.75
Market Cap. (SAR '000)
STOCKS WITH NBK CAPITAL
ALWATAN DAILY monday, april 2, 2012
KUWAIT Rebased Performance
Best Performers 6,164 (0.0%)
KSE General Index (% Chg.)
KSE Weighted Index (% Chg.)
% of stocks trading above 1yr avg. price
Worst Performers Turnover (KWD) 972,100
Zain Kuwait ZA
S&P GCC Large/Mid Composite
MABANEE. Mabanee Co.
Market Cap. (KWD '000)
NINV.KSE National Investments Company
Turnover (KWD '000)
467 / 396 AGLTY.KSEAgility
KSE Weighted Index 52 week High / Low
Salhia Real Estate Co.
6,523 / 5,694 FACIL.KSE Commercial Facilities Co.
KSE General Index 52 week High / Low
K Kuwait Finance House
S Salhia Real Estate Co.
N National Industries Grp. Holding
ZAIN.KSE Zain Kuwait
SULTAN.KSSultan Center Food Products Co.
IFAHR.KSEIFA Hotels & Resorts
National Real Estate Co.
Kuwait International Bank
KSE Weighted Index
Quotes Company Name
T Al Themar Intl. Holding Co.
A AREF Energy Holding Co.
A Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait
A Alafco Aviation Lease and Fin. Co. B Boubyan Bank
B Boubyan Petrochemical Co. B Burgan Bank
K Kuwait Projects Co. (Holding)
P Kuwait Portland Cement Co.
N National Industries Grp. Holding
N National Real Estate Co.
N National Industries Co.
N National Investments Company O Oula Fuel Marketing Co.
A Qurain Petrochemicals Industries Co. S Salhia Real Estate Co.
S Sultan Center Food Products Co. T Tamdeen Real Estate Co.
A The Commercial Real Estate Co. S The Securities House N Wataniya
Z Zain Kuwait
0.300 0.168 0.275 0.236
N National Bank of Kuwait
M Mena Holding
M Mabanee Co.
K Kuwait International Bank
K Kuwait Finance House F Kuwait Food Co.
Market Cap. (KWD '000)
K Kuwait Cement Co.
IK Ikarus Petroleum Industries Co.
K KIPCO Asset Management Co.
IF International Finance Co.
C Gulf Cable and Electrical Industries Co.
IF IFA Hotels & Resorts
G Gulf Bank
G Global Investment House
C Commercial Bank of Kuwait
Turnover (KWD '000)
F Commercial Facilities Co.
A Burgan Co. for Well Drilling
C Combined Grp Contracting Co.
UAE Rebased Performance
Best Performers 1,662 (0.8%)
DFM Index (% Chg.)
ADSM Index (% Chg.)
DFM Index 52 week High / Low
A Arabtec Holding
S&P GCC Large/Mid Composite
1-Mar-12 Abu Dhabi SE
A ALDAR Properties
Turnover (AED) 48,533,299 ARMX.DFM Aramex 29,182,027 CBD.DFM Commercial Bank of Dubai 25,759,703 UNB.ADSM Union National Bank
D Dubai Financial Market
E Emaar Properties
Market Cap. (AED '000) 107
Turnover (AED '000)
2,775 / 2,293 DANA.ADS Dana Gas
ADSM Index 52 week High / Low
77% ADCB.ADS Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank 3.20 ARTC.DFM Arabtec Holding 1,754 / 1,301 DFM.DFM Dubai Financial Market
% of stocks trading above 1yr avg. price
NBF.ADSM National Bank of Fujairah
AIRARABIA Air Arabia DIB.DFM
Dubai Islamic Bank
Quotes Company Name
A Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank
T Abu Dhabi National Energy Co.
A Air Arabia
A Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank
A Abu Dhabi National Hotels A ALDAR Properties A Amlak Finance
A Arabtec Holding A Aramex
1.22 1.02 3.03
N National Bank of Abu Dhabi N National Bank of Fujairah
N National Bank of Umm Al Qaiwain S Sharjah Islamic Bank
S Sorouh Real Estate Co. T Tamweel
5,383 3,972 1,153
7,273 5,105 -
22.0% 22.4% 3.7%
U United Arab Bank
* Closing Prices, Turnover and Market Cap. in USD
U Union National Bank U Union Properties
E Emirates NBD
Market Cap. (AED '000)
G Gulf Cement Co.
D Dubai Islamic Bank
F First Gulf Bank
D Dubai Financial Market
E Emaar Properties
Turnover (AED '000) 5,771
D Dana Gas
D Deyaar Development Co.
A Arkan Building Materials Co. C Commercial Bank of Dubai
STOCKS WITH NBK CAPITAL
ALWATAN DAILY monday, april 2, 2012
QATAR Rebased Performance
Best Performers 8,852 (0.7%)
DSM Index (% Chg.)
DSM 52 week High / Low
56% QNBK.DSMQatar National Bank 4.33 QGTS.DSMQatar Gas Transport Co. 8,892 / 8,071 BRES.DSMBarwa Real Estate Co.
Market Cap. (QAR '000)
% of stocks trading above 1yr avg. price
Turnover (QAR '000)
S&P GCC Large/Mid Composite
Q Qatar National Bank
QIBK.DSM Qatar Islamic Bank
Turnover (QAR) 36,846,690 AHCS.DSMAamal Co. 34,091,217 QEWS.DSMQatar Electricity & Water Co. 17,945,213 QTEL.DSM Qatar Telecom
Q Qatar Gas Transport Co. 1-Feb-12
MMasraf Al Rayan
IQCD.DSM Industries Qatar
B Barwa Real Estate Co.
MARK.DSMMasraf Al Rayan
Quotes Company Name
A Aamal Co.
C The Commercial Bank of Qatar
E Ezdan Real Estate Co.
D Doha Bank
Q Qatar Electricity & Water Co.
M Masraf Al Rayan
Q Qatar Gas Transport Co.
Q Qatar International Islamic Bank Q Qatar Islamic Bank
Q Qatar National Bank
Q Qatar Telecom
Q Qatar Navigation
V Vodafone Qatar
Volume ('000) 425
K Al Khalij Commercial Bank B Barwa Real Estate Co.
Turnover (QAR '000)
% Change YTD
Market Cap. (QAR '000)
1,325 1,017 128
-4.8% 6.7% 3.2%
OMAN Rebased Performance
Best Performers 5,722 (0.6%)
MSM Index (% Chg.)
32% RNSS.MSMRenaissance Services
% of stocks trading above 1yr avg. price
Advance/Decline Ratio Turnover (OMR '000)
Market Cap (OMR '000)
O Oman Telecommunications Co. 1-Mar-12
S&P GCC Large/Mid Composite
N National Bank of Oman
Turnover (OMR) 891,796 BKDB.MSMBank Dhofar 117,989 NBOB.MSMNational Bank of Oman
R Raysut Cement Co.
B Bank Muscat
OTEL.MSMOman Telecommunications Co.
6,406 / 5,419 OCOI.MSM Oman Cement Co. 5,420 RCCI.MSM Raysut Cement Co.
MSM 52 week High / Low
R Renaissance Services
OTEL.MSMOman Telecommunications Co.
RCCI.MSM Raysut Cement Co.
OCOI.MSM Oman Cement Co.
Quotes Company Name
B Bank Dhofar
N National Bank of Oman
O Oman Telecommunications Co.
R Renaissance Services
B Bank Muscat
O Oman Cement Co.
R Raysut Cement Co.
Turnover (OMR '000)
0.2% 0.5% 2.1%
1.295 0.955 0.580
% Change YTD
Market Cap. (OMR '000)
BAHRAIN Rebased Performance
Best Performers 1,152 (0.0%)
BSE Index (% Chg.)
32% BATELCO.BBahrain Telecommunications Co. #N/A #N/A
% of stocks trading above 1 yr avg. price
1,419 / 1,129
BSE 52 week High / Low
Turnover (BHD '000)
Market Cap. (BHD '000)
A Ahli United Bank
S&P GCC Large/Mid Composite
Turnover (BHD) 10,208 BATELCO.BBahrain Telecommunications Co. 1,094 AUB.BSE Ahli United Bank
IT Ithmaar Bank
B Bahrain Telecommunications Co. 90 1-Jan-12
Quotes Company Name
A Ahli United Bank*
A Arab Banking Corp.*
B Albaraka Banking Grp.* B Bahrain Islamic Bank
B Bahrain Telecommunications Co. B BBK
IN Investcorp Bank* IT Ithmaar Bank*
N National Bank of Bahrain U United Gulf Bank
* Closing Prices, Turnover and Market Cap. in USD
Turnover (BHD '000)
0.599 0.857 0.420 0.082 0.380 0.390 797
-11.3% -14.6% -26.3% -22.4%
% Change YTD
Market Cap. (BHD '000)
10.2 8.0 6.4
Stay calm and focused with meditation
Studies of Buddhist monks have found that if you meditate daily, these brain waves can stay ramped up permanently -- particularly in the region where you think happy thoughts. Meditation helps with stress, sleep, blood pressure, staying young, and finding calm in the middle of chaos. With each deep, steady breath you take, you generate alpha brainwaves that let you relax and mentally move away from things that are bothering you. -Find a quiet place where you won’t be interrupted for 10 to 20 minutes.-Close your eyes to help you stay focused.-Pick a simple word to help clear your mind (om really is a good one), and slowly repeat it as you breathe in and out, deeply and regularly. -Redirect your focus to the rhythmic pattern of your breathing if odd thoughts or little twinges crop up (they will).
monDAY, april 2, 2012
Prostate cancer patients given hope by new ‘triple-whammy’ drug LONDON: A new drug that tackles advanced prostate cancer in three different ways has passed its first hurdle towards being approved, reports The Guardian. Scientists reported promising early trial results using galeterone, which is designed to treat cancer that no longer responds to hormone therapy. However, researchers counseled caution as tests on the “triple whammy” drug have been carried out on only a small number of patients. In their tests, scientists based at Harvard University reported that galeterone reduced levels of prostate specific antigen (PSA), a prostate cancer blood marker, by 30% or more in about half of patients. Eleven patients had PSA reductions of 50% or more, and in some there was significant shrinkage in tumor size. A total of 49 patients took part in the phase one study, which primarily looked at safety and dosing levels. All had “refractory” or “castration resistant” cancer that had ceased to respond to hormone therapy. Currently there is little doctors can do to help prostate cancer patients who progress to this stage. Galeterone works in three ways: by blocking “receptor” proteins that respond to testosterone; by reducing the number of receptors in tumors; and by targeting an enzyme that is linked to hormone pathways involved in the cancer. Trial leader Dr Mary-Ellen Taplin described the galeterone study as “exciting for those of us in the medical community treating this life-threatening cancer”. The findings were presented at the annual meeting of the American Association
NEWYORK: The universe is filled with high-energy radiation, much of which is made of gamma rays belched out by strange pulsing stars and the remnants of supernova explosions. But a new study of some of most extreme objects has turned up a mystery: nearly one-third of all gamma-ray emitting objects seen to date defy identification, reports SPACE. The objects were spotted by NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, which scans the entire sky over the course of three hours, mapping the powerful spectrum. When stacked together, the surveys create an extremely precise view of the gamma-ray universe. Scientists then match these images to other observations to identify each source. But the identities of some gammaray sources in space still continue to elude the astronomers. “There’s some that, despite all our efforts, we really do not know what they are,” David Thompson, Fermi’s deputy project scientist, told SPACE.com. “They do not seem to be any of the usual suspects.” The cosmic detective
FILE-Tests showed galeterone reduced levels of prostate specific antigen, a prostate cancer blood marker, by 30% or more in about half of patients. (Agencies)
for Cancer Research in Chicago. A larger phase two trial, focusing on the drug’s effectiveness, is planned later this year. The results were welcomed by Dr Kate Holmes, head of research at the Prostate Cancer Charity. “This very early stage research, conducted among a small group of men, indicates that galeterone shows potential as a new treatment for
men with advanced prostate cancer. “This new drug is in its infancy and full results have yet to be published, meaning that it is simply too soon to tell whether or not this drug is capable of living up to its early promise. “Men in the final stages of prostate cancer have very few options available to them and we desperately need to increase
the number of effective treatments,” she said. “The researchers have plans to test the drug in a further trial, to fully investigate the full side-effects and safety of treatment. We look forward to reading the full publication of this study in due course, and await with anticipation the results of further trials.”
Shorter, more intense workouts may be healthier WASHINGTON: A short, intense exercise session may be healthier than a longer, more moderate session that burns the same number of calories, a new study suggests, reports LiveScience. Researchers found that the people who engaged in the most vigorous exercise reduced their risk of developing metabolic syndrome by two-thirds, compared with those who did no vigorous exercise, even when the total amount of calories per pound of body weight the participants burned while exercising was the same. Vigorous exercise includes activities such as running and jumping rope; moderate exercise might consist of walking or going for a leisurely bike ride. People with metabolic syndrome may have excess weight around the waist, difficulty controlling blood sugar levels, high blood pressure and low levels of “good” cholesterol. Having the condition puts
Strange gamma-ray objects in deep space perplex scientists
people at heightened risk for heart disease, stroke and diabetes. The research showed an association, not a cause-and-effect link, and more work is needed to confirm the results. Still, the findings suggest that vigorous physical activity should be emphasized as a component of public health guidelines regarding exercise, the researchers from Queen’s University in Ontario wrote in their conclusion. Current guidelines, including those from the US Department of Health and Human Services, recommend doing at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise each week, based on the idea that vigorous exercise burns about twice as many calories per minute as moderate exercise, according to the study. But such recommendations imply that there are few health benefits of exercising vigorously,
except that your workout may take less time, according to the researchers. In the study, the researchers used data collected from 1,841 adults who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which is an ongoing study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For seven days, participants wore an accelerometer on their right hip during their waking hours. The devices provided data on participants’ movements and exercise intensity. In all, about a third of the participants had metabolic syndrome. The researchers found that the more active people were in general, the lower their risk of having metabolic syndrome. But vigorous exercise seemed to be more beneficial than moderate exercise. Those who did 150 minutes of moderate exercise were about 2.4 times more likely
Dating violence common by 7th grade: Survey
CAPITALS: Psychological and physical abuse is a common facet of dating for America’s adolescents, a new survey reveals, reports HealthDay News. Researchers who polled more than 1,400 seventh graders found that more than 37 percent of 11- to 14-year olds had been the victim of some form of psychological violence, and almost one in six said they had fallen prey to physical violence while in an ongoing relationship. “Issues of dating abuse among young teens are much more pervasive than I imagine many families believe,” said Peter Long, president and CEO of Blue Shield of California Foundation, which co-sponsored the survey with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the organization Futures Without Violence. Long said he was startled to see that three-quarters of the students reported they had a boyfriend or girlfriend by their middle-school years. “That’s a big number, and it means that this is the age when many kids are forming their views of what it is to have a relationship,” Long said. This indicates that this is the appropriate age to intervene, he added, saying, “High school may even be too late.” The finding that 31 percent of these middle school kids is “experiencing some kind of electronic aggression or pressure such as provocative or insistent texting should be a warning sign for us,” Long said, “as is the fact that 15 percent have experienced some kind of physical abuse while dating.” According to US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention questionnaires, 10 percent of American high school students say they have been physically abused by their boyfriend or girlfriend. But clear insight regarding younger teens has been less well investigated, the researchers said. To address that issue, between 2010 and 2012 surveys were conducted in eight middle schools in five US cities: Los Angeles; Bridgeport, Conn.; Indianapolis; San Diego, and Saginaw, Mich. The average age of the 1,430 students polled was 12, and boys and girls were equally represented. About one-quarter was white; 30 percent, black; 34 percent, Hispanic and 12 percent were a combination of other races. The survey defined teen dating violence as any form of physical, sexual or emotional violence occurring within the context of dating. Psychological violence includes control-
ling behaviors, such as not allowing a girlfriend or boyfriend to do things with other people. Electronic violence covers bullying and name-calling online or via texts, and physical violence includes pushing, grabbing or kicking one’s partner. Asked about these and other behaviors in the previous six months: Thirty-seven percent said that they had seen boys or girls being physically abusive towards their dating partner. About one-quarter had a male or female friend who was physically violent to a partner, and more than 20 percent had a friend whose partner was physically violent to him or her. Forty-nine percent said they had been sexually harassed, either physically or verbally, by being touched inappropriately or joked about. Seven percent strongly agreed that it was okay for a boy to hit his girlfriend under certain circumstances, such as “a girl who makes her boyfriend jealous on purpose.” Interestingly, 50 percent strongly agreed that it was OK for a girl to hit her boyfriend in the same situation. Sixty-three percent agreed with what the pollsters considered a “harmful stereotype” about gender, such as “girls are always trying to get boys to do what they want” or “With boyfriends and girlfriends, boys should be smarter than girls.” “But the good news,” Long said, “is that nearly threequarters of the students reported that in the last six months they have talked to their parents about dating. Not necessarily about dating abuse, but about dating. Which means the door is open for parents to talk to their children about relationships. So, on the one hand we have real serious issues here. But, on the other hand, we also have a real opportunity for parents to engage.” A California mother of two, Alexandra Preston, 35, encourages parents of teens to take the survey findings to heart. “There’s a tendency to read about a study like this and think, ‘That can’t be true.’ Because we want our kids to be safe and happy, and we don’t want it to be true, right?” “But I think it’s important that parents acknowledge that understanding and establishing and respecting boundaries is something all of us have to struggle with throughout life, at every age,” said Preston, who added that she herself was a victim of domestic violence in a prior marriage.
to develop metabolic syndrome than those who did 75 minutes a week of vigorous exercise weekly, according to the study. The researchers took into account other factors that could affect the results, such as participants’ sex, ethnicity, smoking and drinking. The researchers noted that the general public has an “apparent distaste” for doing intense exercise. In the study, 70 percent of participants did no intense exercise whatsoever, and even among those who followed current exercise guidelines, fewer than 20 percent met the guideline by exercising intensely. The study was limited in that the accelerometer could not be worn in water, so participants who swam may not have their exercise accurately measured. The devices may also not have captured intense exercise requiring little movement, such as stationary biking.
The Fermi space telescope has spotted nearly 500 powerful gamma-ray sources in deep space over the last three years. Before its launch in 2008, scientists only knew of four such objects. “We’re not looking for the ordinary things,” Thompson said. “We’re looking for the extraordinary; powerful things that might produce gamma rays.” Of the newly discovered bodies, more than half are active galaxies. Pulsars and supernova remnants each make up about 5 percent of the sources, with high-mass binary stars and other galaxies contributing just a smidge more, the researchers said. Yet a large collection of objects remains unidentified, they added. In some cases, the readings themselves helped scientists to classify the sources. By looking for changes in energy levels or studying the objects’ shapes, astronomers could identify pulsars and galaxies. But gamma-ray targets without these distinctions remain a mystery. In many cases, the problem may simply be one of not enough data. “Deeper observations at other wavelengths could find counterparts to some Fermi sources in the future,” Pascal Fortin, at the Ecole Polytechnique’s Laboratoire LeprinceRinguet in France, told SPACE.com in an email. Fortin was one of the leaders of the international team that produced Fermi’s hard-source list. A tantalizing mystery
Despite their mysterious origins, the sheer number of unidentified sources is promising. “The fact that there are so many of these suggests to us - maybe this is wishful thinking - that there may indeed be something new out there,” Thompson said. “What we’d really like to find is something new and exotic.” One potential cause of the baffling readings could be black holes that are interacting in a new and unexpected way, he added. If the strange objects reveal nothing else, they highlight how much of space is still a mystery. “We still have a lot to learn about high-energy processes in the universe,” Fortin said. Over its decade-long mission, Fermi will continue to gather information about the gamma-ray emitters, and may help answer some of the questions it is creating. “It’s an exciting field to work in,” Thompson said. “The fact that we have so many of these, I think is very promising in terms of future discoveries.”
US army recruits ‘Animal Bots’ WASHINGTON: Three of the US military’s newest recruits reported for duty this week at the Army Test and Evaluation Command. These troops are different from normal soldiers in several ways-for starters, each has six feet. And they are robots designed to look and move like cockroaches. Aside from those details, the Army is hoping its new Boston Robotics RHex bots will soon join grunts in Afghanistan, reports LiveScience. RHex furthers the US military’s ongoing efforts to deploy aerial drones and land robots to assist troops in the field. Weighing 13.5 kilograms, the cameraequipped RHex is designed to be carried in a backpack until it is needed to provide reconnaissance in rough terrain areas such as rocky inclines, riverbanks, mud and loose sandy soil. A fully charged robot can operate via remote control for six hours at a distance of up to 600 meters from its controller. The key to RHex’s mobility is the shape of its feet, which resemble apostrophes and swing in circles, slapping the ground to propel the bot forward. The feet can also serve as paddles in water. RHex moves much like a similar, four-legged robot developed a few years ago by a team of Georgia Institute of Technology, Northwestern University, and University of Pennsylvania researchers. The Army Rapid Equipping Force plans to deliver four RHex robots for testing in Afghanistan once safety evaluations are completed stateside. These bots could be joined shortly by nine Boston Dynamics so-called Sand Flea reconnaissance robots, expected to undergo similar tests later this year. Sand Flea is a fourwheel, five-kilogram dynamo that drives like a remote-control car on flat surfaces but can jump as high as nine meters to overcome obstacles. The robot, which
The Cheetah is a four-footed robot that gallops at 18 mph, which is a land speed record for legged robots. (Agencies)
can pop up about 25 times on a single charge, uses gyro stabilization to stay level while airborne both to provide clear recon from its onboard camera and to ensure a smooth landing. Earlier versions of Sand Flea were developed by Sandia National Laboratories with funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the Army’s Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO). Boston Dynamics has several other robots in the works for the military, including its Legged Squad Support System (LS3) and a fleet-footed newcomer called Cheetah that can run nearly 30 kilometers per hour, breaking the 21 kph land speed record for legged robots set in 1989 at the Leg Laboratory, part of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab.
Like its namesake in the animal kingdom, the mechanized Cheetah increases its stride and running speed by flexing and un-flexing its metallic spine on every step. The Cheetah is confined to a laboratory treadmill for now because it is connected to a hydraulic pump for power and tethered to a boom like device overhead to keep it running in the center of the mill. Boston Dynamics designed the treadmill to move at speeds up to more than 80 kph-child’s play for a real cheetah, which can run upward of 120 kph, faster than any other land animal. It is too early to tell exactly when Cheetah, (or Sand Flea and RHex, for that matter) might see action alongside troops and how it will be utilized, but one idea is to use it as a robotic scout that can move swiftly through rougher terrain than today’s wheeled or tracked robots.
monDAY, april 2, 2012
PEOPLE honors distinguished businesswomen from Kuwait and Pakistan Michael A. Kolarov Staff Writer
KUWAIT: The Pakistani Executives Organization for Promotion of Leadership & Entrepreneurship (PEOPLE) held their first quarter event in Kuwait on Friday March 30 with the goal of promoting excellence and entrepreneurship within the Pakistani professionals’ community in Kuwait and the GCC. Kashif Khan, President of PEOPLE stated in his opening remarks that “We now live in an age of globalization, and it’s time for communities to network together” regarding the many business ties between Kuwait and Pakistan. According to a press release issued at the event, PEOPLE was officially launched in 2011, under the patronage of Shaukat Aziz, the former prime minister of Pakistan. PEOPLE is a voluntary non-profit organization that works with the goal of providing a platform for networking and enhanced business opportunities in Kuwait for leaders, entrepreneurs, and professionals of Pakistani heritage residing in the GCC. The organization covers the span of all GCC countries, including Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). It was stated that the event falls in line with PEOPLE’s vision to strive in creating and enhancing the image of Pakistan and its people across the GCC countries through its endeavors and initiatives. The event was attended by many distinguished women, among them was Her Highness Sheikha Hessa Al-Sabah who is the chairperson of the National Development Projects, Dr. Amani Bourislee, former Minister of Commerce and National Development Projects. Atiqa Odho, Pakistan TV artists, entrepreneur and philanthropist, Dr. Hala Al-Humaidi, and Dr. Amani Bourislee, former Minister of Commerce. Speaking at the event, Al-Humaidi explained that due to the recent scandals, the government and parliament have been replaced with conserva-
Lifting the veil on Afghanistan’s female addicts KABUL: Anita lifted the sky-blue burqa from her face, revealing glazed eyes and cracked lips from years of smoking opium, and touched her saggy belly, still round from giving birth to her seventh child a month ago. “I can’t give breast milk to my baby,” said the 32-year-old Anita, who like other women interviewed for this story, declined to give her full name. “I’m scared he’ll get addicted. She was huddled with other women at the UN-funded Nejat drug rehabilitation center in the old quarter of Kabul, having sneaked out of her home to avoid being stopped by her husband from going outside alone. With little funding and no access to substitution drugs such as methadone, treatment is rudimentary at Nejat for a problem that is growing in a dirt-poor country driven by conflicts for more than three decades. Afghanistan is the source for more than 90 percent of the world’s opium, which is used to make heroin, and more of it is being grown than ever before. While it is not uncommon to see men shooting up along the banks of the dried of up Kabul riverbed in broad daylight, women in the ultra-conservative culture of Muslim Afghanistan are expected to stay out of public view for the most part. They often have to seek permission from a male relative or husband to leave their home, and when they do they are encased in the head-to-toe burqa. “I am not allowed to leave home for medical checks. What can I do? I am a woman,” Anita said matter of factly. Like many of Afghanistan’s female drug users, Anita picked up the habit from her husband. Consumption on rise
Sheikha Hessa Al-Sabah addressing the audience on March 30 at the first quarter event held by PEOPLE. (Al Watan)
tives, and said “a conservative government is an obstacle to women,” pointing out the complete lack of any female ministers or MPs. By the end of the evening, all the speakers had agreed that more needed to be done to empower women. Later, Dr. Bourislee gave a presentation about her career and explained some of the difficulties she faced in establishing the Capital Markets Authority (CMA). She stated that at the time, there was very strong resistance to change and a deep fear of the unknown. “Between the years 1983 to 2006, there was no regulation of the stock market.” She also stated that there was “some corruption in
the public and private sector” and also went on to accuse the media of allegedly changing the facts and went on to say the media allegedly distorted any initiative for the nation’s development. Speaking on behalf of the organization, Khan stated, “It is our great pleasure to be able to host these honorable ladies today as we are gathered to applaud women not only in Pakistan, but across the GCC and world, for their commitment and contributions in the fields of commerce, finance, and entertainment which unquestionably helps to progress a society through economical and social means.”
Philippine International English School holds 13th commencement exercises
Opium poppy cultivation in a country that has been growing the plant for a thousand years increased 7 percent in 2011 from the year before, due to a spike in prices and worsening security, according to a survey sponsored by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. In 2011, the farm-gate value of opium production more than doubled from 2010 to $1.4 billion and now accounts for 15 percent of the Afghan economy, the UNODC says. Opiate consumption in Afghanistan, where it has long been a medication but in recent years has been used increasingly for recreation, is also on a sharp rise. The UNODC says Afghanistan has around one million heroin and opium addicts out of a population of 30 million, making it the world’s top user per capita. No estimates are available on how many women are addicted to opium or heroin. Nejat estimates around 60,000 women in Afghanistan regularly take illegal drugs, including hashish and marijuana. “There has been a definite increase amongst women drug users over the last decade,” said Arman Raoufi, director of harm reduction for women at Nejat. Smoking opium costs around 200 Afghanis a day ($4), a very expensive habit in a country where a third live beneath the poverty line. Women send their children to collect scrap and bottles to help pay for their habit, or resort to begging, extending a hand to cars from beneath their burqa on busy streets when their husbands have left home. “My husband took on a second wife and began to ignore me, so I started to smoke his powder (opium) and now must beg,” said Fauzia, 30, a petite mother of five sitting in the corner of Nejat, her embroidered floral slippers poking out from under her baggy trousers. She said she was terrified that her husband and male relatives might discover she was seeking treatment on her own at the center. Treatment options are sorely limited. A pilot project launched two years ago by Medecins du Monde, which gives methadone to drug addicts, is the only one in the country. Iranian connection
With her five-year-old son tugging on her unwashed burqa, 30-year-old Najia said she has smoked opium for nine years. “It is so hard for me. I have kids. I’m poor. I’m not able to work -- my husband won’t allow me,” said the raven-haired mother of four. Najia said she picked up the habit from her husband after he returned from his job as a laborer in neighboring Iran. Raoufi at the Nejat center says the return of migrant workers and refugees, who fled to Iran and Pakistan during the Soviet occupation of the 1980s, and the bloody civil war and Taliban rule that followed, is the main reason behind the rise in female drug addicts. Increased street prostitution since the fall of the Taliban, which policed the trade more rigorously than the government does today, has also contributed, he said. Iran has the second highest heroin abuse rate in the world after Afghanistan, according to UNODC. Afghan addicts among the 1 million refugees in Iran have become such an issue Tehran has started to expel them. “Our relatively open borders are not doing us any favors,” said Feda Mohammad Paikan, who heads the NACP working under the Afghan Ministry of Public Health. “Most addicts get hooked in Iran, and many of these men have wives.” -Reuters
Hypnotherapist aims to make Hong Kong’s seven million residents laugh The graduates of PIES singing their farewell song during the 13th commencement exercise held Saturday night at the school premises in Fahaheel. (Al Watan Daily) Ricky Laxa Staff Writer
KUWAIT: The Philippine International English School (PIES) held its 13th annual commencement exercises Saturday afternoon at its school premises in Fahaheel. The graduates, who received their secondary education diplomas, were bound for the Philippines to pursue their college education. Al Watan Daily senior journalist Ricky Laxa was the guest of honor and key speaker at the occasion. The event commenced with the traditional graduation march and received applause and a standing ovation from parents and guests invited to the occasion. Principal of the school Antonio Casupang delivered a brief yet inspirational mes-
sage to the graduates addressing the importance of determination, discipline and the need for education to build an effective and progressive nation. The speech was followed by the awarding of the diplomas and special awards earned by students in various educational and extracurricular activities during the year 2012. Salutatorian honoree Mary Claire Gatchalian delivered her inspirational message to the crowd thanking her school, family and teachers who have inspired her to earn the second highest place in secondary education. Owner of the school Sheikh Faizal Al-Humoud Al-Malek Al-Sabah graced the occasion and delivered brief remarks addressing the graduates the need to finish their education with hopes that in the future they will return to Kuwait and secure
Valedictorian Honoree of PIES batch 2012 Leand Villanueva and parents with Sheikh Malek Al-Sabah and Principal of the school, Antonio Casupang. (Al Watan Daily)
employment. The Sheikh paid tribute to the Filipinos and their enthusiasm and determination to succeed. He finished his speech by extending his congratulations and warm wishes and addressed them as his children. Senior journalist of Al Watan Daily Ricky Laxa later presented his speech that questioned the graduates; So you are graduating, what now? Have you made your choice? And are you ready for the challenge? The speech also presented two clips, one of which was of Nick Vuijic that brought tears to the audience’ eyes. The speaker’s wit and humor also took the audience to the edge of their seats with his hilarious anecdotes and personal experiences. Laxa’s speech ended with a video, which he prepared personally that, showed the current situation in the Philippines which the new graduates will have to deal with and scuffle daily. Such occurrences include traffic, typhoon, floods, calamities, crimes and more. He finally imposed the question to the graduates that should they graduate from college, they will need to make the change in the country. The speaker’s presentation was well applauded and inspired the graduates. Valedictorian of the class and multi awarded student Leand Villanueva delivered his speech that focused on gratitude to those responsible for his achievements. Villanueva perked his speech with reminiscing past experiences with his colleagues that brought laughter to graduates and parents. He wished everyone the best of luck with hopes that someday they can come together to reminisce such remarkable moments shared. The event culminated with a farewell song rendered by the graduates to the crowd and each went down the stage to hand a rose to their parents as sign of gratitude. The crowd was emotional as each graduate approach their parents. Finally the “Alma Mater” song was sung by the graduates and followed by the exit of colors and the students. A reception followed at the Crown Plaza Hotel. Local and foreign media graced the occasion including an exclusive coverage by the hosts of The Morning Talk, The Filipino Channel and GMA 7 Philippines.
FRANCE: Hypnotherapist Dick Yu has a mission that seems unthinkable to some Hong Kong people: he wants to make the Asian financial hub’s seven million residents laugh. “Hong Kong people don’t laugh because they are under constant pressure to make more money, to make life better,” says Yu, who has founded 11 Laughter Clubs in the southern Chinese city since 2007. “People get worried easily because housing is so expensive, the cost of living is getting higher and people are concerned about whether they can keep their job.” The 35-year-old trained hypnotherapist set up Hong Kong’s first laughter club in 2007, after he discovered the concept of laughter yoga -- made popular as an exercise routine by Indian physician Madan Kataria in 1995. Since then hundreds of heavy-hearted Hong Kongers have signed up for the free classes, a sign, experts say, of the city’s underlying health and social problems. “When you laugh, you’re happier, you become positive and everything else will become better,” Yu says after a one-hour laughing session in a park. “Ho ho, ha ha ha,” the group of 30 students recite. They combine the exercise with deep yogic breathing, give each other high-fives, clap and waddle like penguins, all in the name of laughter. The fake laughter very soon breaks into the real thing, demonstrating one of the core principles of laughter yoga: laughter has physiological benefits whether it is fake or real. As the adage “laughter is the best medicine” goes, researchers credit belly laughs as a recipe for a healthy heart. It helps expand blood vessel linings to increase blood flow, reduces stress hormones and boosts the immune system. A British study last year showed 15 minutes of laughter increased the level of pain tolerance by around 10 percent, as the action helps to trigger the release of endorphins, the body’s naturally produced pain killers. “It was a bit awkward in the beginning when we tried to fake the laughter
with the ‘ho ho, ha ha ha’, but after a while you can tell the difference and you feel more relaxed,” said Kaman Wong at one of Yu’s classes. The 37-year-old student joined the laughter club two years ago when he was a supervisor at a food processing firm. “The work was stressful. There was a lot of overtime work, I had to deal with many workers. If anything went wrong I was responsible, but I’ve learned how to laugh away all the stress,” he says. But on top of his work problems, he said the pressure-cooker atmosphere of Hong Kong itself was getting him down. “Everyone is like a balloon that is about to explode in Hong Kong. If you smile at me, I wouldn’t know how to react to that. I think there are just a lot of barriers among Hong Kongers that we need to break,” he says. Social scientists say the laughter club boom highlights the stress issue faced by many residents of a densely populated city which groans under extremes of inequality, soaring property prices and cramped living spaces. The number of people seeking psychiatric treatment at Hong Kong’s public hospitals leapt 20 percent between 2007 and 2011 to 184,087, according to the Hospital Authority. Hong Kong’s suicide rate rose from 11.5 deaths per 100,000 people in 1990 to 14.6 in 2009, World Health Organization figures show. That’s higher than in the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia, but lower than South Korea. Paul Yip, director of the University of Hong Kong’s Centre for Suicide Research and Prevention, says material success means more to many Hong Kongers than physical well being. “Hong Kong is a very fast-paced society. People walk fast... They have to work long hours not because it is their choice but because they have to survive,” he says. Sky-high property prices fuelled by the entry of rich mainland Chinese tycoons into the local market mean families often have to squeeze into tiny apartments. -AFP
entertainment Song Of The Day
Fahad AlSabah Staff Writer
monDAY, april 2, 2012
Bieber, Berry slimed at Kids’ Choice Awards
Actor Will Smith hosts Nickelodeon’s 25th annual Kids’ Choice Awards in Los Angeles, California March 31, 2012. (Reuters)
Host Will Smith performs at Nickelodeon’s 25th Annual Kids’ Choice Awards on March 31, 2012 in Los Angeles. (AP)
Song: Every Time Artist: Ameriie Album: The Prelude Genre: R&B In short: Since her hit single “1 Thing,” Amerie, or, Ameriieas she styles her name currently-has been struggling to find her place among the plethora of artists that keep emerging every hour of every day. After two albums that failed to make an impact worthy of her name, Ameriie has decided to go back to her roots with her upcoming EP, titled The Prelude. Produced by Focus, “Every Time” is a throwback to the early 2000’s. Yes, music has developed rapidly the last few years that now the term throwback wouldn’t look out of place next to the noughties. Enjoy the great song, as it gets better and better with each listen. To listen to the song visit www.alwatandaily.com E-mail your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org
The Buzz Taylor Swift’s date for ACM Awards hospitalized The New Jersey teen who is fighting cancer and scored a date with Taylor Swift to The Academy of Country Music Awards is in the hospital and won’t make the show. A Facebook post Saturday says 18-year-old Kevin McGuire was admitted to the hospital Friday night and can’t keep his date with Swift. It was not clear why McGuire was hospitalized. “Just talked to Kevin McGuire,” Swift said in a tweet. “He’s not well enough to join me at the ACMs. Please keep him in your thoughts. I’ll make it up to you, Kevin!” Swift asked the Somerdale, N.J., resident to Sunday’s ACMs after his sister started a campaign to get her to attend his prom. The reigning ACM entertainer of the year couldn’t make the prom, but offered to go on the date instead. -AP
Country star George Jones remains hospitalized A publicist for country star George Jones is knocking down a rumor that he is suffering from pneumonia. Kirt Webster said Friday night that Jones remains hospitalized in Nashville with an upper respiratory infection. He is receiving antibiotics and doctors expect him to stay until Tuesday. The 80-yearold singer was admitted Thursday. Jones released a statement saying “thanks to all my fans and friends for their prayers and support during this time.” The Saratoga, Texas, native is known for several classic country hits, including “White Lightning” and “He Stopped Loving Her Today.” -AP
Elizabeth Banks returns to 30 Rock in May At last, Jack Donaghy may get Avery Jessup back from North Korea: TheWrap has confirmed that “Hunger Games” star Elizabeth Banks will return to “30 Rock” in May. But while Banks’ Avery lives, “TGS” – the “Saturday Night Live”-ish sketch comedy show-within-the-show – is in danger of becoming a taped series. In the April 26 live episode of “30 Rock,” Kabletown bosses decide to save some cash and film “TGS.” Liz Lemon (Tina Fey) and Donaghy (Alec Baldwin) realize taping the show would make their lives easier, but TV-loving Kenneth (Jack McBrayer) rallies his co-workers to try to save the show’s live format. The April 26 episode will be the series’ second live installment. “30 Rock” aired a live episode on October 14, 2010, and the episode’s director, Beth McCarthy-Miller, will return to direct the season six live show. As the network did with the 2010 live episode, NBC will air two versions of the April 26 episode, one of the East Coast and one for the West Coast. -Reuters
Twins sequel in the works, Murphy may co-star Eddie Murphy, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito could be sharing some brotherly love - or at least humor - on the big screen soon. A sequel to the 1988 comedy “Twins” is in the early stages of development, a spokesman for Universal Pictures told TheWrap. The plan would be for Schwarzenegger and DeVito to reprise their roles from the Ivan Reitman-directed original with Eddie Murphy coming aboard to play a third character - presumably, a triplet sibling to Schwarzenegger and DeVito. Though the project is in the early stages of gestation, it’s possible that Reitman could be involved in some capacity. “Twins” starred Schwarzenegger as Julius Benedict, the product of a genetic experiment to create the perfect child. Bred and raised to be intellectually and physically superior but spiritually pure, he tracks down his long-lost sibling, the street-wise, criminally inclined Vincent (played by DeVito). -Reuters
Nick Cannon, Bam Margera join hip-hop Hollywood Squares Nick Cannon and Bam Margera are about to find out if it truly is hip to be square. Actor-musician Cannon, “Jackass” prankster Margera and singer-songwriter Kat Graham are among those participating in the new MTV2 offering “Hip Hop Squares,” a revamp of the iconic game show “Hollywood Squares” that places the competition in a hip-hop context. The original series was essentially a tic-tac-toe game with contestants attempting to win by determining if celebrities, who occupied squares on the game grid, had answered trivia questions correctly. MTV2 said the new offering “stays true to the tic-tac-toe format of the original game show, while infusing it with some of the biggest and most charismatic personalities in hip hop culture today.” Peter Rosenberg, a DJ on New York hip-hop radio station Hot 97, will host the proceedings. “Hip Hop Squares” will premiere on Tuesday, May 22 at 11 p.m. -Reuters
Justin Bieber gets slimed after accepting the award for favorite male singer onstage at Nickelodeon’s 25th Annual Kids’ Choice Awards on March 31, 2012 in Los Angeles. (AP)
NEW YORK: At the 25th annual Kids’ Choice Awards, the slime runneth over. Host Will Smith opened the 25th annual Kids’ Choice Awards promising a record amount of the show’s trademark green gunk. Though some 20 awards are presented at the KCAs, the real suspense isn’t who will take home a “Blimp” (the show’s Oscar), it’s when and on whom the slime will spill. It’s like a baptism into kid-dome that can come at any moment: from a hidden bucket, dumped from the rafters or exploded from little orange blimps. “No one is safe from the slime!” screamed Smith. “You have to earn the slime! It’s an honor.” Halle Berry was the first to be covered, but she was far from alone. She was joined by “Twilight” star Taylor Lautner (who won favorite “buttkicker”), “Glee” star Chris Colfer and male singer winner Justin Bieber, who was utterly drenched along with Smith at the end of the show. The KCAs are Nickelodeon’s annual celebration for kids, and it’s often the most-watched children’s program of the year. They draw a considerable roster of stars looking to thank their smallest fans and cater to their youngest demographics. “This is, like, the coolest award show ever,” said “Twilight” star Kristen Stewart, accepting the award for favorite movie actress. Smith, himself a 10-time Blimp winner, started the show with an elaborate, digitally-animated skydive from Nickelodeon’s trademark blimp. Smith was then hoisted from the rafters to the stage of the Galen Center at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, where thousands of glow-stick waving fans cheered him - including first lady Michelle Obama. Obama later presented “the big help” award for charity work to Taylor Swift. Upon receiving the award, the pop star said, “I am freaking out.” Nickelodeon introduces many kid-friendly quirks to the usual award show festivities. It rolls out an orange carpet, rather than a red one, and envelopes are the last way winners are announced. Saturday night’s choices came by way of a sword eater, a statue impersonator and giant heads held aloft from the crowd. Winners are chosen from voting online. Selena Gomez won for both favorite TV actress and female singer. Adam Sandler took home the award for favorite movie actor. And Katy Perry, shortly after performing, was given the award for favorite voice in an animated movie for “Smurfs.” More than 7.3 million watched last year’s awards. This year, Nickelodeon badly needs the KCAs to continue such a success. In March, for the first time, the Disney Channel beat out Nickelodeon in average total daily viewers - a title Nickelodeon had held every month since 1995. Nickelodeon’s own series “Victorious” won best TV show. Jake Short, star of the Disney Channel’s “A.N.T. Farm,” won best TV actor. But the most ceremonious moment of the KCAs is the slimey finale. The honor - which Smith said had been chosen by online votes - went to Bieber, who made a surprise appearance late in the show. Smith clutched Bieber as fountains of slime poured out across the stage, while Obama - splattered by a few drops - danced in the seats. -AP
Heidi Klum, left, and Chris Colfer get slimed as they present the award for favorite TV actress at Nickelodeon’s 25th Annual Kids’ Choice Awards on March 31, 2012 in Los Angeles. (AP)
US first lady Michelle Obama (left) presents The Big Help award to singer Taylor Swift at Nickelodeon’s 25th annual Kids’ Choice Awards in Los Angeles, California March 31, 2012. (Reuters)
Selena Gomez accepts the award for favorite TV actress onstage at Nickelodeon’s 25th Annual Kids’ Choice Awards on March 31, 2012 in Los Angeles. (AP)
Taylor Lautner accepts the award for favorite buttkicker onstage at Nickelodeon’s 25th Annual Kids’ Choice Awards on March 31, 2012 in Los Angeles. (AP)
Chris Rock, (center left) and Jada Pinkett Smith, (center right) present the award for favorite movie actress at Nickelodeon’s 25th Annual Kids’ Choice Awards on March 31, 2012 in Los Angeles. (AP)
Discovering hope amidst grief is the dominant theme of Iraqi selection at the 5th GFF
KUWAIT: Ten films from Iraq will debut to the world at the Gulf Film Festival next month in the UAE, offering a rare look inside the country by its people and their hopes, lives and happiness. In all, the Festival will screen at least 15 films from the strife-torn nation, including two international premieres and two UAE premieres, according to a press release. The Gulf Film Festival, held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Majid Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid AlMaktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), runs from April 10 to 16, 2012 at Dubai Festival City; and from April 12 to 14 at the Abu Dhabi Theatre in the capital. Taha Karimi’s ‘I Am A White Mercenary’ is a biography on Saeid Jaf, a mercenary commander of the Iraqi Baath Party standing trial in the new Iraqi court. Jaf is accused
of being part of the Al-Anfal campaign, when more than 180,000 Kurds were killed and many more villages and families were displaced over a three-year long offensive. The film, which aims to present a new perspective of the incidents, is competing in the Festival’s official Gulf competition. Ja’far Abd al-Hamid’s feature film ‘Mesocafe’, also in competition, explores the life of an Iraqi underground blogger who travels to London to campaign against UN sanctions on his country and highlight their consequences on the nation. Five short films from Iraq are also competing for awards at GFF2012: Director Rezgar Hussein’s ‘Bicycle’, on its surface, is a simple story of a poor boy’s aspiration to have a bicycle. At a more sublime level, it is about his craving for freedom, away from his mundane existence of digging through landfills to sell metal. His dream is about to come
true when he meets a rich boy who owns a bicycle. The other short films in competition include Shaxawan Abdullah Qazi’s ‘Dalia’, a short film about a nation defined by stress and explosions; Hawraz Mohammed’s children’s film ‘Mirror’, about a boy and girl who find each other in the future; and Jassim Mohammed Jassim’s ‘What If’, a silent film that asks what civilization would be like if there were not symbols, labels and identities to divide people. The Festival previously announced its in-competition selection of ‘Red Heart’, Halkawt Mustafa’s love story that delves into the challenges young women face in contemporary Kurdish society. Spectacularly shot against the backdrop of the Kurdish mountain ranges, the film follows Shirin, who discovers her widowed father’s plans to trade her in exchange for a new wife. She escapes to the big city with her boyfriend Soran, who is arrested.
AROUND TOWN / TIME OUT
MONDAY, APRIL 2, 2012
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Marina Hotel Kuwait observes ‘Earth Hour’
KUWAIT: Marina Hotel Kuwait recently participated in the Earth Hour, by turning off the lights of the hotel on March 31 at 07:00 pm to contribute in the worldwide initiative organized for Earth Hour. Marina Hotel Kuwait went dark for one full hour and several measures were taken to save electricity to lend support for Earth Hour. This is an annual initiative where Marina Hotel Kuwait joins the growing list of supporting businesses that are committed to take a stand on climate change and create a cleaner, safer and more secure future. As a symbolic gesture to warn against global warming the hotel turned off lights in the lobby and public areas. Employees turned off nonessential electrical devices and guests were invited to participate in the initiative further underscoring the Hotel’s commitment to environmental sustainability. Nabil Hammoud - General Manager of Marina Hotel said “We look forward in participating annually in the “Earth Hour” initiative and make sure not to miss
Month a t
this event organized for a great cause. We need to make sure that we use our resources wisely by not wasting energy and also encourage people to partake in this recurring event. We must make every effort to leave as minimal a footprint as possible on the environment for future generations.” “Earth Hour is not just about one day in the year and Marina Hotel has committed to partnering in long term actions and initiatives to promote environmental awareness on a continuing permanent basis” further concluded Hammoud. The Earth Hour is an annual international event created by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), to raise awareness towards the need and take action on climate change. And even with the challenges of the global economy, leaders and people worldwide remain focused on the growing threat of climate change and place a high priority on environmentally-friendly solutions as one of the ways to overcome those challenges.
General A n n o u n c e m e n t s
a glance ic narrative of life experiences on luminous and luxurious enamel weaves.
Diwaniya presentation April 3/ 7 p.m. / AWARE Center: The AWARE Center cordially invites you to its diwaniya presentation next Tuesday entitled, “Similarities and differences between Arabs and Westerners,” by Iman Martin. Westerners visiting Kuwait or the Middle East for the first time find many cultural differences in the society, at work and within the local customs. Culture shock, to some degree, will be experienced by all. In this Diwaniya, we would like to share the similarities and differences between Arabs and Westerners. For more information, call 25335260/80
K’S PATH invites applicants for the adoption of pets Sepp is a Domestic Long Haired (DLH) male cat. He will be 2-years-old April 2012. This friendly, laid-back boy loves a good cuddle and likes a high vantage point in a cat tree or ledge to look out from. He would do best in a home with children over 12 years of age. To adopt, contact +965 67006122 or visit the website www.kspath.org
Golden era club Kuwaiti cuisine March 15-April 5/6 p.m. - 8 p.m./TIES Center: TIES Ladies Club invites you to our Kuwaiti cuisine classes which will start soon. Join us for a one month cooking program where you will learn to cook real Kuwaiti food. All ladies are invited to join our classes and let your family enjoy the mouth watering Kuwaiti cuisine. For more information/registration, contact 25231015/6.
Arabic course March 11-April 19/ TIES Center: TIES Center is glad to announce the start of Arabic courses. We offer classes for all levels, from beginners to advance and also introduced new classes called Kuwait dialect. TIES Arabic classes are intended for all expatriates who wish to learn Arabic for whatever purpose- business, basic communication, as a second language or simply as a hobby. For more information/registration, contact 97228860/97793440.
Dar Al Funoon hosts artist Karim Ghidinelli April 2- 19/ 4 p.m. - 8 p.m. / Dar Al Funoon: Born in Italy in 1976, Karim spent his childhood in this city; he went to middle school and high school in African countries. His body of work consists of a central iconic image that of a finger imprint, within each thumb impression he has formulated a pseudo-calligraph-
April 13/ 5 p.m. -7 p.m. /Rumaithiya: Join the Golden Era club for a fascinating Earth Day activity. Come armed with old newspapers, a pair of scissors and a bottle of glue. You also get to join Dr. Leos on a fascinating journey through a jewel nestled in central Europe, ranking high in human development. Seniors (60+) don’t miss out on the adventure! Venue- House #34, next to Abu-Tammam Intermediate School for Boys, Sate Alhusari St., Block 2, Rumaithiya. For details call 97172788/ 66208183 or drop a line to firstname.lastname@example.org
Mario is a gentle and affectionate 6-years-young Spitz male. This friendly boy does great with people and dogs of all ages.
New Toastmasters Club
South African Embassy closure
Second and fourth Tuesday/ 7 p.m. - 9 p.m. / Jabriya: A new Toastmasters Club is being formed and encouraging new members to join. Toastmasters International is a world leader in communication and leadership development. It is a non-profit international organization dedicated to improve member’s communication and leadership skills by attending and participating toastmasters meetings. For more information, please contact Khaled Al-Hashem at 65588824.
On the occasion of Easter Sunday, the South African Embassy will be closed from Sunday, April 8, 2012 to Monday, April 9, 2012. The Embassy will resume its normal working hours on Tuesday, April 10, 2012, from Sunday to Thursday. Please note that the working hours will be from 8h00 to 16h00 and the Consular Section operation hours will from 8h30 to 12h30.
The Embassy of India will remain closed on April 5, 2012 on account of “Mahavir Jayanti”.
October 7-April/ 11:45 a.m. -1:45 p.m. /Salmiya: BRAINBANG, the creative arm of Friends of CRY Club (FOCC) invites all students aged 11 and above, to join us fortnightly on Fridays. The areas of development are: Creativity in learning, tools and techniques to empower your mind, profile based learning, activity, fun, games and worksheet based assignments, practical experiments, mind gymnastics and application of learning techniques to conventional study. E-mail: email@example.com or call 25660835/25618471/97677820.
Embassy of India
Embassy of Korea The Embassy of the Republic of Korea wishes to inform that it has moved to Mishref, Block 7A, Diplomatic Area 2, Plot 6. Contact: 25378621/2/3/4/5. The embassy also wishes to inform that it will be opened to the public on the following office hours: Morning: 8 a.m. 12:30 p.m. Lunch break: 12:30 p.m. - 1 p.m. Afternoon: 1 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Horoscopes Aries: March 21 - April 19
Money matters could have you descending into a state of pure gloom, Aries. On the surface it might seem like you’ll never be able to sort through all the paperwork, but you will. Don’t give up. Stay focused on the task and take one step at a time. Before you know it, your efficiency and practicality should have it sorted out and behind you. Cheer up, and plan a great evening! Taurus: April 20 - May 20
Is your sweetheart out of town, Taurus? If so, you’re probably feeling a bit lonely and insecure. You need to ignore those fantasies of your beloved out on the town having a great time with lots of glamorous people. Your friend is most likely as bored as you are, either transacting business or fulfilling family obligations. Relax, find something to do, and the time will pass before you know it. Gemini: May 21- June 21
You probably won’t feel like working today, Gemini.You may not be tired, but you’re probably bored, restless, and unable to focus. It’s best to concentrate on routines or mundane chores you can do automatically on days like this. Put on your headphones. Take a long, leisurely lunch or perhaps brunch with friends.
Cancer: June 22 - July 22
Love matters could appear to be moving far more slowly than you’d like, Cancer. Both you and your romantic interest may be overloaded with responsibilities now and unable to see each other much. It’s frustrating, but you’ll get through it. In the meantime, don’t let your insecurities get the better of you. Just because your friend is busy doesn’t mean that your relationship is on the rocks. Leo: July 23 - August 22
Today’s planetary configuration will give you a strong urge to be out and about, Leo, but responsibilities could keep you at home or the office. Perhaps you’re waiting for a delivery or an important phone call or visitor. This could be boring and rather tedious for you today. Find something to do that engrosses you, even if it’s only reading or catching up on paperwork. Virgo: August 23 - September 22
Are your views about certain intellectual or spiritual matters slowly changing, Virgo? If so, you may not be all that comfortable with the changes. Traditional values and ideas could seem especially attractive to you today, so your resistance could be greater than normal. Yet you know you can’t stay the same way forever.
Libra: September 23 - October 22
Business success may have come your way, Libra, but today you could find yourself feeling a little sad and wondering why, since there’s no real reason to feel this way. What’s going on is probably, first of all, a letdown, since your brain is no longer churning out the endorphins. Second, you may be wondering where you go from here. Only you can decide that. Set a new goal and move on. Scorpio: October 23 - November 21
Today you could feel torn between the desire to get a little exercise and a powerful inclination to curl up in your favorite chair and catch up on some reading, Scorpio. There isn’t any reason why you can’t do both. Go out for a brisk walk and then reach for a favorite book when you return. The key isn’t giving up on one, but attaining a balance between the two. Sagittarius: November 22 - December 21
Do you have the uncomfortable feeling that you’ve forgotten something but you have no idea what it is, Sagittarius? Are you haunted by the memory of a seemingly insignificant past event, but can’t figure out why? It isn’t a good idea to obsess over either. You’ll remember whatever it is eventually.
Capricorn: December 22 - January 19
If you’ve been thinking about starting a new creative project, Capricorn, don’t try to do it today. Friends and family could vie for your attention and distract you. Other responsibilities could interfere with your desire to get going on it now. Don’t hesitate to try to come up with ideas, but you might have to wait until tomorrow to start the work. Tomorrow you should be raring to go. Aquarius: January 20 - February 18
Business might be going very well for you, Aquarius, but intense changes on the job could have you feeling stressed. Delays in starting new projects could prove frustrating. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that this is going to be a trend. All should be brought back into focus tomorrow. Go to the gym tonight and work off some frustration. You’ll be fresh in the morning. Hang in there! Pisces: February 19 - March 20
Have you been planning a vacation to a distant place, Pisces? Unexpected, discouraging glitches could interfere with your plans, which could have you thinking that you’ll just cancel the trip. You might be tempted to pick up the phone and do it. Take no action today. The entire situation should be straightened out by tomorrow.
monDAY, april 2, 2012
Radwanska beats Sharapova to win Miami title KEY BISCAYNE, Florida: Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska used her wits to defeat world number two Maria Sharapova 7-5, 6-4 to win the Sony Ericsson Open final on Saturday and once again deny the Russian. Sharapova has now lost all four finals she has featured in at the Miami tournament and all three she has played in this year. Radwanska’s victory was her second of the year following a triumph in Dubai and her ninth WTA title, arguably her most valuable one. “I’m just very, very happy that I have been able to play my best tennis since the beginning of the year. Let’s hope that I can continue,” said Radwanska, who is aiming this year to push for a first grand slam title. The Pole, ranked fourth in the world, won the tournament without losing a set and she showed exactly why with a classy display that left Sharapova scurrying around the court at times. There was characteristically little emotion from Radwanska, beyond a timid half-raising of her arms, when Sharapova went long on the final point to hand her victory. But that was typical of the businesslike and strategic way Radwanska went about beating the Russian. In the first set, Radwanska, in control of her service game despite lacking a powerful first serve,
survived break point in the fifth game but that was a rare opening for her opponent. The set was heading to a tie-break when Sharapova, down 6-5, suddenly lost her previously solid service game. Sharapova, sometimes overly-aggressive, produced two loose shots and then a volley into the net to leave her trailing 0-40 in the game and although the Pole wobbled with two tame returns into the net, Sharapova failed to clear the net herself to hand her opponent the set. It was a similar story in the second set -- both players solid on serve but Radwanska coming out on top when it mattered at the conclusion of the set. Radwanska fought back from 0-30 down to go 6-5 up and force Sharapova to hold serve to stay in the match. The Russian looked agitated and was let down by some reckless strokes, twice going long on returns, as the opportunistic Radwanska lured her into defeat. “I thought she played extremely well today, was very consistent, got that extra ball back and I made that extra mistake,” said Sharapova. “She didn’t give me many errors. When I had my chances at break point, I didn’t take them.When she had them, she did,” said the Russian. -Reuters
Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland and Maria Sharapova of Russia hold their trophies after Radwanska won the Sony Ericsson Open tennis tournament in Key Biscayne, March 31, 2012. (Reuters)
Sri Lanka seek series win in landmark Test
On lackluster night Bryant shines when it counts
FILE - Sri Lankan cricket captain Mahela Jayawardena attends a practice session ahead of their first test cricket, March 24, 2012. (AP)
Colombo: Sri Lanka hope to celebrate 30 years in Test cricket by toppling England from the number one ranking when the second and final Test starts in Colombo on Tuesday. Sri Lanka, who won the first Test in Galle by 75 runs, are determined to scalp the tourists again at the P. Sara Oval and clinch their first series victory since 2009 when they beat New Zealand 2-0 at home. Andrew Strauss’s spin-wary England will slip to number two behind South Africa if they lose or draw the Test on a traditionally sporting Oval wicket that offers assistance to both batsmen and bowlers. It was at the same venue that Sri Lanka played their inaugural Test in February 1982 against an England side led by Keith Fletcher, which won by seven wickets inside four days. Strauss will look for a similar result from the tourists, but his Sri Lankan counterpart Mahela Jayawardene wants to settle for nothing less than a win in the landmark Test. It was a morale-boosting win for sixthranked Sri Lanka, who have struggled in recent times in Test cricket following the retirement of their world bowling record holder Muttiah Muralitharan. The Galle victory was only their second, and the first at home, in 18 Tests since Muralitharan quit in July 2010 with a record 800 Test and 534 one-day wickets.
The other win came in December, when Tillakaratne Dilshan’s men thumped South Africa by 208 runs in Durban, but went on to lose the series 2-1. Left-arm spinner Rangana Herath, who claimed nine wickets against South Africa, destroyed England in Galle with six wickets in each innings to earn the man of the match award. Jayawardene was delighted with the way 34-year-old Herath has shaped up and was confident the spinner will continue to build on his 132 wickets from 36 Tests so far. Sri Lanka will be bolstered by the return of all-rounder Angelo Mathews, who missed the first Test with a calf injury, but left-arm seamer Chanaka Welegedara has been ruled out with a groin strain. England, meanwhile, were left to ponder a new bowling combination after Stuart Broad returned home for assessment on a calf injury he sustained in the first Test. Tim Bresnan and Steven Finn are standing by to replace Broad, but both could play if England decide to drop spinner Monty Panesar and leave Samit Patel to share the spin attack with Graeme Swann. England are desperate for a turnaround after their fourth consecutive Test defeat in Galle, following the 3-0 series hammering by Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates earlier this year. -AFP
LOS ANGELES: As long as there’s time left on the clock, Kobe Bryant can still work wonders even when he’s having a horrible game. Bryant burnished his reputation as one of the NBA’s greatest closers, hitting a 3-pointer with 20 seconds left after missing his first 15 shots, to help the Los Angeles Lakers hold off the lastplace New Orleans Hornets 88-85 on Saturday. It was just the third field goal of the game for Bryant, who finished with 11 points on 3 of 21 shooting as the Lakers ended a two-game skid at home. Pau Gasol had 21 points and 11 rebounds, and Bynum added 19 points and 10 rebounds, while Ramon Sessions had 10 points and 10 assists for the Lakers. Bryant was 0 for 7 on 3-pointers before making his only one. He had five assists, three rebounds and four fouls in 39 minutes. He endured the worst start to a game in his career, having previously missed his first 13 shots against San Antonio on Dec. 28, 2010. Jack had 18 points and 10 assists playing with a sprained right ankle for the Hornets, but he missed a go-ahead bank shot with 4.9 seconds left. Jason Smith added 17 points and 10 rebounds, and former Clipper Al-Farouq Aminu had 10 points for the Hornets, who lost while playing their second straight game with just eight players available because of injuries. The Lakers’ anemic bench still got outscored by the Hornets’ three reserves, 26-19. As a team, the Lakers went 32 of 77 from the floor, playing poorly for much of the game until being rescued by Bryant’s late heroics. The Lakers trailed 75-65 before he hit a 17-foot jumper over Marco Belinelli with 7:52 remaining for his first field goal. Bryant followed on the next possession with a fadeaway jumper and got fouled, making the free throw to get his team within seven after sitting out the first four minutes of the fourth. Bryant stepped to the line with 58 seconds left after Jack was called for a blocking foul. He made the first and missed the second, leaving the Lakers trailing 85-83 and the fans in agony. Their voices rose in a cheer when he finally made his first basket after groaning on his earlier misses.
New Orleans Hornets guard Xavier Henry (right) attempts to bet by Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, during an NBA basketball game on Saturday, March 31, 2012. (AP)
Greivis Vasquez missed a 3-pointer with 31 seconds to go, setting up another signature closing moment by Bryant that Jack couldn’t defend. Bryant was 0 for 7 in the first half, missing four 3-pointers while dishing out five assists. The Lakers opened the game on a 20-6 run
before New Orleans scored the final eight points to trail 20-14. Steve Blake sparked the Lakers’ bench with three 3-pointers in the second while Matt Barnes scored four in a row to extend their lead to 41-30. But the Hornets closed with a 9-2 run and trailed 43-39 at halftime. -AP
Knicks shake off Lin injury news, beat Cavs NEW YORK: A playoff spot is there for the New York Knicks, if they stay healthy enough to get it. With Jeremy Lin heading for knee surgery and joining Amare Stoudemire on the injured list, that will only happen if someone steps up to be the No. 2 scorer behind Carmelo Anthony. JR Smith is the most obvious candidate. Smith scored 20 points, Anthony had 19, and the Knicks shook off more bad injury news before beating the Cleveland Cavaliers 91-75 on Saturday night. Already without Stoudemire, the Knicks announced before the game that Lin would have surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee and could miss six weeks. That leaves them with-
out their second- and third-leading scorers as they try to hold onto a playoff spot. But they showed they still may have enough. Tyson Chandler had 14 points and 12 rebounds for the eighth-place Knicks, who bounced back from a loss in Atlanta on Friday to win for the ninth time in 11 games. They have won seven in a row at home and moved 2 1/2 games in front of Milwaukee, which lost to Memphis. Antawn Jamison scored 13 for the Cavaliers, who played without injured rookie Kyrie Irving and have lost seven straight and 10 of their last 11 games. They committed 20 turnovers that led to 28 points. The victory ended a difficult week for the
Knicks, who learned Monday that Stoudemire had a bulging disk in his back. They said he could be back in two to four weeks, making it possible he could play again this season. But the Knicks will have to go on without Linsanity, and more performances like this from Smith will help. The streaky shooter is a career 12.5 points per game scorer, but hasn’t had enough good streaks since joining the Knicks after playing in China, and was just 2 of 10 in Friday’s loss. Smith had a 3-pointer and two jumpers in a 14-0 run late in the first quarter as the Knicks turned a 13-11 deficit into a 25-13 lead. New York was ahead by eight after the period and led 46-38 at halftime. -AP
Uncertainty over Indian league’s inaugural edition
NEW DELHI: Uncertainty over the inaugural edition of India’s Premier League Soccer (PLS) increased on Saturday when organizers disputed a claim from the All India Football Federation (AIFF) that the competition had been cancelled. The six-team league, featuring a host of international players in the twilight of their careers, was launched with the hope of replicating the success of the Indian Premier League Twenty20 cricket tournament. However, denied grounds by the West Bengal state government, the PLS missed its original March 24 start
and AIFF secretary general Kushal Das said the first edition had been shelved. “It has been cancelled, this is what IFA (Indian Football Association) has told us,” Das told Reuters. “We sanctioned the event long back but AIFF is not managing it, IFA is. It’s for them to decide.” IFA is the West Bengal unit of the Indian FA and its secretary general Utpal Ganguli insisted the competition would go ahead. “It will happen this year and we will make an announcement soon,” Ganguli told Reuters from Kolkata.
Ganguli was backed by Dharamdutt Pandey, chief executive of the Celebrity Management Ground (CMG), which came up with the idea for the league. “The IFA secretary is in touch with the West Bengal sports minister and grounds are likely to be available from August.We are now looking at October-November,” Pandey told Reuters. If that does not materialize, PLS would suffer the fate of the i1 Super Series, an IPL-style motor racing league which had its first edition deferred to next year because of logistic issues. Many expect PLS to succeed in West Bengal, an east-
ern Indian state with a passion for soccer unmatched in an otherwise cricket-crazy country. Franchises spent nearly $7 million in the Jan. 30 auction of PLS players and coaches where Argentine Hernan Crespo proved the league’s hottest property, fetching $840,000. Italy’s 2006 World Cup-winning captain Fabio Cannavaro ($830,000), former France international Robert Pires ($800,000), Nigerian Jay-Jay Okocha ($550,000) and Liverpool great Robbie Fowler ($530,000) were also auctioned among the franchises based in different cities in West Bengal. - Reuters
moNdAY, april 2, 2012
Sports Editors Highlight
LEVERKUSEN, German: Bayer Leverkusen fired Robin Dutt as coach on Sunday following the side’s fifth consecutive loss. Former Leverkusen defender Sami Hyypia and the Bundesliga club’s under-19 coach Sascha Lewandowski will take over until the end of the season. It was Leverkusen’s fourth Bundesliga loss in a row and the latest in a disastrous run that started with a 7-1 thrashing by Barcelona in the Champions League. Dutt had taken over after his predecessor, Jupp Heynckes, who led Leverkusen to second place last season, left for Bayern Munich last summer. Dutt is the seventh Bundesliga coach to be fired this season following the sackings of Markus Babbel and Michael Skibbe at Hertha Berlin, Marcus Sorg at Freiburg, Michael Oenning at Hamburger SV, Holger Stanislawski at Hoffenheim and most recently Marco Kurz at Kaiserslautern. -AP
Cisse double adds to Liverpool’s league woes
Newcastle forward Papiss Cisse scores the second Newcastle goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Newcastle United and Liverpool, April 1, 2012. (AFP)
NEWCASTLE: Papiss Demba Cisse scored both goals as Newcastle inflicted fresh Premier League misery upon 10-man Liverpool with a 2-0 victory at St James’ Park on Sunday. The Senegal striker made it seven goals in as many Premier League games for Newcastle with a 19th minute header and a close range-finish just shy of the hour mark to boost their challenge for a Champions League place. Liverpool were reduced to 10 men with eight minutes remaining as goalkeeper Pepe Reina was sent off after he appeared to headbutt Newcastle’s James Perch. By then Liverpool had used all their substitutes, so full-back Jose Enrique, one of several former Newcastle players in the visitors’ team, had to go between the posts. The result condemned Liverpool to a sixth defeat in seven league matches and left them in eighth place, one position below Merseyside rivals Everton-and 11 points adrift of Newcastle.
Cisse’s dislay was in marked contrast to that of Andy Carroll, the former Newcastle striker signed by Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish for £35 million in January last year. Carroll, who has scored only five league goals since arriving at Anfield, was booked for diving when, with the game still goalless, he went to ground after rounding Magpies’ keeper Tim Krul rather than shoot at his old home ground. Victory left Newcastle in sixth place but level on points with Chelsea (fifth) and just two behind Tottenham Hotspur, currently occuping the fourth and final Champions League place on offer to English clubs. Tottenham will draw level with third-placed north London foes Arsenal if they beat Swansea at White Hart Lane later Sunday. Meanwhile Premier League leaders and reigning champions Manchester United will go five points clear of second-placed local rivals Manchester City, with seven games remaining, if they beat Blackburn Rovers at Old Trafford on Monday. -AFP
Di Matteo eyes upbeat end to troubled season LONDON: Chelsea’s interim manager Roberto Di Matteo believes his team are gaining momentum at just the right time as they enter a pivotal period in their season. The Blues’ 4-2 win at Aston Villa on Saturday was their sixth victory in eight matches since Di Matteo took over from Andre Villas-Boas. They gave up a two-goal lead within the space of three minutes late on at Villa Park but showed impressive spirit to hit back and take the points. Chelsea are now two points behind fourth placed Tottenham, have an FA Cup semi-final against Spurs to look forward to and hold a 1-0 lead over Benfica ahead of the second leg of the Champions League quarter-final on Wednesday. Di Matteo, who was Villas-Boas’ assistant, took over from a far from promising position, but the Italian is pleased with the way his side have picked up their form and he believes they can enjoy a successful end to a troubled campaign. “We knew our schedule was difficult but for us it’s just good that we keep this positive momentum and spirit. Every game and win helps us
continue and believe,” he said. “After they drew level we could have capitulated but you saw the spirit and desire to win the game and reacted in a positive way. Every game is so huge because of the situation we’re in, so that’s all we’re concentrating on.” However, Di Matteo admits he has fitness concerns over Didier Drogba and David Luiz ahead of Benfica’s midweek visit to Stamford Bridge. Drogba was absent from the squad at Villa Park and Luiz, who has been struggling with an ankle injury, limped off just before half-time. Di Matteo is still unsure whether the pair will be available to face the Portuguese side. Di Matteo has constantly defended Fernando Torres, who has struggled for goals since joining in a £50 million deal from Liverpool in January 2011. And the Spaniard responded by scoring his first Premier League goal since September to round off Chelsea’s win.Chelsea surged into a strong early advantage at Villa Park thanks to goals at the start of each half from Daniel Sturridge and Branislav Ivanovic. -AFP
Chelsea’s Spanish striker Fernando Torres celebrates scoring his goal during the English Premier League football match between Aston Villa and Chelsea, March 31, 2012. (AFP)
Roma close in on Lazio with 5-2 win over Novara ROME: Roma romped to a 5-2 win over Novara on Sunday to keep alive their hopes of qualifying for next season’s Champions League. They trail city rivals Lazio, who lost 3-1 at Parma on Saturday, by just four points in the race for third place and the final berth in Europe’s premier club competition. Novara took the lead early on through Andrea Caracciolo but after that there was only ever going to be one winner. Brazilian Marquinho and Pablo Osvaldo hit back before half time while another Brazilian Simplicio and Bojan Krkic struck in the second period. Japan forward Takayuki Morimoto scored a late consolation for the struggling visitors, who remain second bottom and nine points from safety, before Erik Lamela put the icing on the cake deep into injury time. Roma stayed sixth with Napoli and Udinese between them and Lazio but as well as homing in on a top three finish, they also increased the gap to the teams behind chasing the final Europa League spot, which they currently occupy. Things started badly at the Stadio Olimpico in the capital, though, as Caracciolo got across makeshift centre-back Daniele De Rossi to send a diving header beyond goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg and in off the post on 17 minutes. The lead didn’t last long before Marquinho rose to head home Osvaldo’s left-footed cross from the right. Argentine-born Italy international Osvaldo completed a hat-trick of first-half headed goals when he rose to meet Francesco Totti’s corner, although goalkeeper Samir
AS Roma defender Jose’ Angel Valdes(right) is challenged by Novara midfielder Filippo Porcari during a Serie A soccer match between AS Roma and Novara, April 1, 2012. (AP)
Ujkani probably should have done better as he seemed to have the time to get across his goal to reach the bouncing ball. It could have been even better for Roma before the break but Osvaldo hit the bar with another header. Novara had a couple of early chances after the restart but the game was over by the hour mark. Simplicio jinked through the defense and fed Marquinho whose shot was saved by Ujkani only for a defender to fluff his clearance and Simplicio’s snap shot took
a wicked deflection before looping over the goalkeeper. Marquinho then released Bojan down the left and he scampered away from the defence before slipping the ball past Ujkani. Morimoto kept Roma on their toes with a late consolation as he snuck the ball under Stekelenburg after Caracciolo slipped him in behind the defense. But Lamela curled home from just inside the box in stoppage time after being fed by Osvaldo. -AFP
Ronaldo eyes title as Real smash 100-goal barrier MADRID: Cristiano Ronaldo took his La Liga season goal tally to 37 on Saturday as Real Madrid smashed through the 100-goal barrier to move closer to the Spanish title. Ronaldo, who scored twice in the 5-1 demolition of Osasuna, is now just three shy of his own record of 40 league goals set last season and there are still eight matches left. More importantly, his team maintained their six-point lead over bitter rivals Barcelona who stayed in touch with a 2-0 win over Athletic Bilbao, a match which saw fellow freescorer Lionel Messi grab his 36th league goal. Saturday’s win in Pamplona took Real to 100 goals scored in 30 league games against just 27 conceded. Karim Benzema set Real on their way with a delightful volley in the seventh minute before Ronaldo, on 37 minutes, and Gonzalo Higuain, three minutes later, made it 3-0 at the interval. Higuain’s strike took the Argentina international to 100 goals in his Real career. While Osasuna threatened a brief comeback after the break through a Juan Francisco ‘Nino’ header, Ronaldo struck again after 69 minutes and Higuain wrapped up the scoring in the 77th. “We scored from the first chance that we had with a goal which was out of this world and the second was also fantastic,” said Real coach Jose Mourinho. “We adapted well against a tough side like Osasuna and we continued to play our attacking style which involved looking for our strikers. Even when we conceded the goal we knew how to respond and did not panic at 3-1. It was a good performance by us.” At Camp Nou, Barca went ahead five minutes before the break against Bilbao through Andres Iniesta. In the 58th minute, Messi scored his 36th league goal of the season after Cristian Tello was felled in the box. The Argentine star now has 56 goals in all tournaments, nine more than his great rival Ronaldo. “We were very strong at the back and much better than we have been for a long time, if not we would have been in a lot of trouble as this was one of the toughest games that we had left,” said Barca coach Pep Guardiola. “The match was decided by the quality of the players.” -AP
Real Madrid’s Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo shoots to score his team’s fourth goal during the Spanish league football match Osasuna vs Real Madrid, March 31, 2012. (AFP)
Title race back in our hands, beams Bayern boss MUNICH: Bayern Munich’s director of sport Christian Nerlinger insisted the German league title race is back in their hands. Bayern’s 1-0 win at Nuremberg on Saturday was enough to trim Borussia Dortmund’s lead down to just three points after the defending champions drew 4-4 at home to VfB Stuttgart on Friday night. With six games to go, Bayern are back in the hunt and the title could well be decided by Munich’s visit to Dortmund on April 11. Dutch winger Arjen Robben scored the winning goal in the 69th minute as Bayern kept up their pursuit of a treble of Bundesliga, German Cup and Champions League titles. “The summary of the weekend is that it’s all back in our own hands, in all three competitions,” said Nerlinger. “I have great faith in this team. They’re showing they can cope with a match every three days and that they’re physically in great shape. I’m looking forward to the run-in.” A factor which could count against Bayern is their contined involvement in the Champions League as they host Marseille on Tuesday with a 2-0 lead from the first-leg of their quarter-final.A place in the last four beckons, but Germany star Bastian Schweinsteiger, who is returning to fitness after damaging ankle ligaments, is backing the Bavarians to find the extra energy to overhaul Dortmund in the league. “We’re playing every three days, so winning was all that mattered,” he said. “We’re not concerned with what Dortmund do, we’re just aiming to win our matches. At the moment, there’s total desire in the team, and all credit for that.We obviously want to win the title, but first of all we have to make the most of our good going in position in the Champions League on Tuesday thanks to the 2-0 victory in Marseille. I’m not 100 percent fit yet, but every minute I play is good.” Munich’s Allianz Arena hosts this year’s Champions League final on May 19 and with Bayern
facing Dortmund in the German Cup final on May 12, the Bavarians have potentially a busy few weeks ahead. “We’ve said all along we have to win all our matches, and that remains the case,” said match-winner Arjen Robben. -AFP
Arjen Robben, Dutch forward of Bayern Munich celebrates his winning goal after their German first division Bundesliga soccer match against FC Nuremberg in Nuremberg, March 31, 2012. (Reuters)