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French Version

Business Scene

JIC expands role
• The Jordanian Investment Corporation (JIC) established a new department called “Investment Assessment Unit” which will evaluate the profitability of investments carried out by the government. Minister of Finance, Mohammad Abu Hammour, who also chairs JIC, noted the new department would also review the functioning of the government’s representatives in the privatized companies so as to avert any future financial wrongdoings within these companies. JIC is the government’s vital arm in conducting investments in the Kingdom through partnerships with local and international investors. JIC today has investments in 35 Jordanian firms worth JD 189 million, covering industry, commerce, agriculture and real estate.


Top banks score good on profits
• Fifteen local banks made JD 184.4 million in pre-tax profits during the first half of 2004. According to a study conducted by Ad Dustour daily, these profits increased by 34.4 percent over the same period of last year. The study indicated that the operational revenues of the concerned banks rose by 10.7 percent to JD 420.8 million. The Arab Bank was the biggest among the listed banks, with profits soaring to JD 104.3 million during the first half of 2004. The Housing Bank for Trade and Finance came second with JD 20 million, followed by the Jordan Kuwait Bank at JD 12.2 million.


JTC, France Telecom partnership under review
• A ministerial revision committee was formed last week to review the partnership between Jordan Telecom Co (JTC) and France Telecom, which began in January 2000. The government, then, sold 40 percent of its shares in JTC to the French company at $508 million. Minister of Information and Communications Technology, Dr Fawaz Zu’bi said the partnership agreement ends in January 2005, and the government wants to review this agreement together with all the concerned parties on whether to renew it. Once the renewal is sanctioned, it must take place three months before the closing date. Shabib Ammari, JTC’s chairman, was exempted from his membership in the committee upon his request. Wadi Rum train on track soon • The projected railway line between Aqaba and Wadi Rum is expected to start operation by April 2005, according to Hussein Kreishan, director general of the Aqaba Railway Corporation. He said that studies for the JD 3.7 million project are underway and tender papers will be issued soon. The railway line is expected to stretch for 56 km, from the city of Aqaba to Shakiriyah station in Wadi Rum. The two-engine train will have a capacity of 120 passengers. Consumption of Sugar, coffee and tea up • Jordanians consume about 150,000 tons of sugar and 7000 tons of tea per year, according to the Amman Chamber of Commerce. The chamber said in its report last week that the national consumption of rice has increased in recent years by 5 percent to over 110,000 tons a year. The ACC’s report noted that the price of sugar rose to JD 260, from JD 220 since June. It attributed the rise to the gradual price hike in world sugar markets. Meanwhile, the General Statistics Department indicated this week that Jordanians spend annually about JD 40 million on coffee, with estimates of JD 45 million for this year.


Vocational area in north Amman
• A JD 3.2 million project is expected to take place at the Ain Al Basha area, north of Amman, to enhance the vocational training in the Kingdom. The project aims at building a massive training area where Jordanians can learn different vocations and handicrafts and practice them. The project brings together the private and public sectors, and is expected to start early next year. It will serve more than 250,000 people living in Ain Al Basha and neighboring areas.

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