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French Version

Business Scene

JORDAN (Star) - * Jordan's trade with Iraq went down $49 million this year from 2001. This was due primarily to the decline in oil prices.

Jordanian officials predict an increase in Iraqi imports of Jordanian products to cover the gap in the protocol. Last year trade between the two nations was worth an estimated $309 million. The Jordanian-Iraqi Follow-up Committee has agreed on mechanisms to make this year's agreement more efficient.
* Bounced checks are on the increase in Jordan now reaching some JD 130.4 million. This is 4.3 percent of the overall value of checks written for the first quarter of 2002-estimated at JD 40 billion. Checks returned for insufficient credit made up 70 percent of the total, JD 68.5 million. The remaining portion was due to other factors such as improper signatures, etc. Statistics indicate the number of bounced checks in Jordan is gradually increasing, especially in March where 43,000 checks were rejected. This is an increase of 8000 checks from February 2001. In March alone Jordanians spent JD 1 billion via check.

* More Ukrainian investments are expected to be employed in the Kingdom soon. Many Ukrainian businessmen accompanying President Leonid Kuchma on his visit to Jordan last week expressed interest in the Disi water project and the oil pipeline between Iraq and Jordan. Trade volume between Jordan and the Ukraine is estimated at JD 57 million, tipping wholly toward the Ukrainian side. Ukrainian officials said the Kingdom could be a regional base for their business interests in the Middle East.

* The government sold its final shares of the Jordan Cement Factories last week to the Social Security Corp for JD 30.2 million. The sale, which took place at the Amman Stock Exchange, was comprised of 8.6 million shares. Half of the JCFC's shares are owned by the French company, Lafarge. The Palestinian National Authority has failed thus far to buy shares of the company due to the current political instability in the Occupied Territories. JCFC earned JD 9.1 million in profits last year.

* Jordan Broadcloth Factories Co earned JD 3 million in profit last year. The company increased sales for 2001 by JD 3.8 million to JD 15.5 million. Chairman Yousef Muasher said the company succeeded in overcoming the financial problems that it faced in 2000 thanks in large part to the government's support of the local economic sector. The company holds assets worth an estimated JD 24.8 million.

* Approximately 24 percent of Jordan's population is part of the Kingdom's work force. Studies made by the General Statistics Dept indicate 39.5 percent of Jordanian males are in the work force, versus 7.6 percent of the females. The studies indicate 52 percent of the Jordanian work force does not have university degrees.

* Jordan Electricity Co increased its profits last year to JD 13.3 million. Power consumption in Jordan also increased 5.2 percent, pushing the company's earnings to JD 160 million. Company assets witnessed a JD 22 million increase in 2001 to JD 228.3 million. The company will distribute profit dividends on 10 percent of its capital to its shareholders.

* Profits in 2001 for the Arab Pharmaceuticals Co increased 2 percent to JD 6.7 million. The company sold goods worth JD 28.2 million, a 4 percent increase over 2000, bringing JD 12.6 million in revenue to the company. Assets at the company declined, however, by 1.7 percent to JD 49.8 million.

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