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French Version

Business Scene

JORDAN (Star) - * Government's revenues from the privatization of Jordan Telecom Co (JTC) in 2001 went down 76 percent to JD 13.5 million from JD 55.5 million in 2000. JTC sources said the reduction was due to the reclassification of JTC remittances to the Treasury.

JTC now separately distributes "privatization income" to the Income Tax, Sales Tax Dept, and the Jordan Telecommunications Regulatory Commission. Since the government sold 48 percent of its JTC shares in January 2000, the company's has witnessed stable profits. Before privatization the government earned JD 114 million and JD 111.5 million in 1998 and 1999 respectively.
* The Housing Bank for Trade and Finance (HBTF) earned JD 22 million in profits in 2001. This is an 87 percent increase over 2000. Bank assets increased JD 85.6 million to JD 1.7 billion. Shareholdings also went up to JD 256.5 million. HBTF's sources indicated the bank is working on plans to open branches in Syria and Algeria by June of this year. So doing will make it the first Jordanian bank to have a branch in Syria. Arab investors from Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Libya comprise 74 percent of the bank's capital.

* The Orphan Finance Development Corp increased profits by JD 2.825 million in 2001. These profits were earned through corporation branches around the Kingdom. The highest earning branch was in Amman with JD 1.25 million, followed by Irbid at JD 265,000.

* The Income Tax Dep't collected JD 200.7 million in 2001. This is an increase of JD 35 million from 2000. Most proceeds came from installments payments by various businesses and individuals.

* The Ministry of Finance indicated the government earned JD 570.5 million through privatization in 2001. The government used some 44% of this was in supporting development projects and through a scheme where Jordanian debt to France and Britain was reduced by the development of profitable projects for the two nations. Revenues were also used in repaying part of Royal Jordanian's debts to local banks. Privatization proceeds in 2001 came primarily from JTC with JD 432.2 million, the Jordan Cement Factories Co at 72.3 million, and Royal Jordanian at JD 63.6 million.

* Non-Jordanian investment in local businesses increased in January to JD 2 million. This was divided among 41 companies and individual enterprises. Nearly JD 1.3 million was employed in the commercial sector. Arab investments made up 75 percent of overall holdings.

* Exports from Jordan to the US are expected to increase this year. These will primarily be textiles and industrial products which were 80 percent of the Kingdom's exports last year. These exports will pass through the Qualified Industrial Zone. Sources at the Al Hassan Industrial Zone in Irbid indicate the area will receive more investments over the coming weeks. Two factories were opened in Al Hassan Zone last month and another at the Jordan University for Science and Technology. Exports by the Al Hassan Industrial Zone doubled to $273.4 million last year.

* Jordan's cement exports increased by 54.7 percent to JD 25.2 million last year, making up seven percent of Jordan's overall exports. Phosphate-related exports also made progress in 2001 moving to JD 92 million, a 1.2 percent increase over 2000. Jordan's exports from potash were the highest last year at JD 138.3 million. These combined exports made up 10 percent of the Kingdom's overall exports.

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