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French Version

Business Scene

JORDAN (Star) - * The government is involved in fresh negotiations with the Paris Club to reschedule Jordan\'s debts to the club, currently estimated at approximately $4 billion.

These debts comprise 55 percent of Jordan\'s foreign debts. The rescheduling efforts intend to cut debt service and provide more aid for social and economic development projects inside the Kingdom. Jordan\'s foreign debts fell in December by JD 52 million to JD 4.7 billion ($6.8 billion).
* Non-Jordanian trading at the Amman Stock Exchange (ASE) reached a recent high at JD 500,000. According to recent ASE statistics the first five months of 2002 witnessed a JD 3 million decline in foreign investments due to foreign divestiture. Non-Jordanian investors bought shares worth JD 40 million, exchanged for shares sold at JD 43 million. Statistics reveal non-Jordanian investors own about 50 percent of the banking sector\'s shares. The ASE market evaluation stands at around JD 4.6 billion, equal to some 80 percent of the Kingdom\'s GDP. ASE\'s trading volume increased this year 146 percent to JD 387 million.

* The value of bounced checks in Jordan increased this year to JD 170.5 million as of 30 April. These checks comprise some 4.2 percent of overall circulated checks during the same period last year, worth an estimated JD 4.1 billion. Checks that were rejected for insufficient funds were worth JD 88 million. In April the value of bounced checks did decline JD 5 million from those rejected in March, estimated at JD 40.2 million. Sources at the Central Bank of Jordan said the bank is monitoring the issue but felt the problem was \"far from being detrimental to the local economy.\"

* Jordan\'s exports to Iraq in the first four months of this year were worth JD 82 million. The Kingdom imported JD 150 million in goods from Iraq. This makes Jordan Iraq\'s largest trading partner. Sources at the Ministry of Trade and Industry said the Kingdom is awaiting the ratification of the new UN Sanctions Committee trade agreements with Iraq, postponed recently for unknown reasons. International trade agreements with Iraq under the UN Food-for-Oil agreement for 2002 still unapproved by the UN committee are worth $7.68 billion.

* Trading volume between Jordan and Egypt is estimated at JD 51 million. About JD 30 million of this is Egyptian exports. Jordanian industrialists feel uneasy about the tariffs Egypt is imposing on Jordanian products to protect its own exports. Jordan pharmaceuticals are still not reaching for Egyptian markets.

* The agricultural sector is likely to slow in activity as water resources become scarcer. A recent report by the Central Bank of Jordan, however, indicates the sector is doing good business with exports increasing 16.5 percent this year. Agriculture still remains 3.3 percent of the Kingdom\'s GDP. Bank loans to Jordanian farmers declined this year by JD 22.5 million to JD 105.5 million.

* The Land and Survey Dept earned JD 82 million in profit in 2001. This is an increase of JD 16 million over 2000. Land sales provided the department JD 17 million in revenue. Saudis, Kuwaitis and Palestinians were the largest land purchasers last year. The department is developing future plans to install a new Internet to connect its offices throughout the Kingdom.

The Star

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