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French Version

Business Scene

JORDAN (Star) - Business scene * Jordan is to receive 20 million euros from the European Commission, to support the Kingdom's "Support Regulatory Reform and Privatization Program" (SRRPP).

The agreement was signed this week by the Minister of State for National Economy Dr Mohammad Al Halaiqah, Minister of Planning Dr Bassem Awadallah and the Head of the European Delegation in Amman Mr James Moran. The program aims at promoting regulatory reform and private-public partnership in key sectors of the Jordanian economy. The funds, all in grant form, are provided by the EU's MEDA assistance program. Apart from the SRRPP, a new EU national program worth 142 million euros for 2002-2004 was signed and is to begin later this year.
* The Housing Bank for Commerce and Finance is distributing JD 12 million to its shareholders. This is 12 percent of the Bank's capital. Chairman of the Housing Bank Mr Zuhair Khouri said despite the political turbulence in the region, the Bank has maintained its standing in the banking sector. He added the bank made gross pre-tax profits of JD 30 million in 2001. This is in comparison to JD 16.5 million made the previous year. This is also an 82 percent increase of operational profits. On the other hand, net profits hovered at JD 21.9 million, an increase of 86.7 percent over the year 2000.

* Ministry of Trade and Industry has agreed to the merger of two Jordanian companies according to the 1997 Companies Law. Alaa Al Din Industries and the Rum company will now become one company registered at a capitalization of JD 5 million. A further JD 1.456 million accrued from both companies is going to be set aside in reserve.

* The Jordan Iron Co made a profit of JD 900,000 in the first quarter of this year. This is as result of 23,800 tons of exports to Iraq and 14,000 tons to Lebanon. The company made a gross profit of JD 3.8 million in 2001. The executive board of the company has decided to distribute 18 percent among its shareholders.

* The general Assembly of the Arab Banking Corporation has decided to circulate its 2.19 million profits of the year 2001 to this year. The bank's executive chairman Dr Zeid Fariz said the reason not to distribute has to do with enabling the financial institution to strengthen and diversify its financial services.

* The Public Arab Insurance Co made a profit of 257,000 in 2001 compared to 192,000 the previous year. The company will be distributing eight percent of its capitalization to its shareholders. In the year 2000, the figure was seven percent.

* The International Cigarette and Cigar Co is to increase its capitalization by JD 15 million. Shares will be distributed free among the stockholders but this will be limited to 4.8 percent depending on shareholders rights. However, around 870.1 shares will be floated for public subscription at the Amman Stock Market.

* The construction market in Jordan has witnessed a boost since the beginning of this year. Last January the number of those applying for construction licenses increased to 1239 compared to 845 licenses in the same month of the previous year. Most of the licenses are for residential buildings.

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