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Enhancing cooperation: Qatar plans to build 2nd LNG terminal in Italy

DOHA: Italy and Qatar are working to further deepening the bilateral economic ties. Both the countries are planning to build their second LNG receiving terminal in Italy to enhance capacity, in addition to discussions on many other investment proposals in the pipeline, said Guido De Sanctis, Italian Ambassador to Qatar here the other day. “Italy is one of the largest ... Read More »

Qatar’s Qafac to launch one of world’s largest CO2 capture facilities

DOHA: Qatar Fuel Additives Company Ltd (Qafac) will host an inaugural event to celebrate the official launch of one of the world’s largest commercial-scale carbon dioxide (CO2) capture facilities. A major environmental achievement in Qatar’s energy sector, the state-of-the-art plant promises to recover and reprocess an astounding 500 tonnes of carbon dioxide per day. To celebrate the launch, Qafac will ... Read More »

Qatar Customs seizes 340 consignments of drugs in 2014

DOHA: Qatar Customs officials have seized 340 consignments of drugs, including hashish, heroin and marijuana, at the old and new airports last year. A consignment of 17kg marijuana was seized at Doha International Airport from a passenger coming from an Asian country on a direct flight.  Three packets of the contraband were found hidden in the passenger’s clothing. Another consignment ... Read More »

Qatar should impose tax on unhealthy foods to increase revenue: PwC

DOHA: Qatar should consider introducing a tax on unhealthy foods to help meet its dual goals of diversifying its revenue base and creating a healthy society, global accounting firm PwC recommended here the other day. The Gulf state is facing an “immense” task to meet its goal to fully fund government expenditure with non-hydrocarbon revenues by 2020 and will need ... Read More »

Enhancing cooperation: GCC customs union becomes fully operational

DOHA: The long-awaited GCC customs union became fully operational from January. The move signifies a qualitative leap towards a full-fledged regional common market. The first phase of the customs union was launched in January 2003 and its full implementation has taken 12 years. Hurdles like how customs revenues would be shared by member-states according to their economic weight delayed the union’s ... Read More »

Qatar, Saudi Arab, Iraq losses to reach $300b due to decline in oil exports

DOHA: Losses from lower oil exports should sap up to $300 billion from economies in the Middle East and Central Asia this year, as countries in the region adjust to falling crude prices, the International Monetary Fund said here the other day. Economies that are particularly dependent on oil exports, including Qatar, Iraq, Libya and Saudi Arabia, will be hit ... Read More »

Qatar exports shrink by 10.7% in 2014

DOHA: India appeared to be the fastest export earner for Qatar, while other major Asian trading partners imported less from the Gulf country, which reported a 17.9% shrinkage year-on-year in trade surplus to QR24.93bn in November. Falling petrodollar earnings in view of weakened oil prices and higher imports led to a narrowed trade surplus of Qatar in November 2014, according ... Read More »

US exports to Qatar cross $5b in 2014

DOHA: The volume of US exports to Qatar in 2014 crossed the $5bn mark, which stood at $4.95bn (QR18.02bn) in 2013, the US Ambassador to Qatar Dana Shell Smith told at a press conference here the other day. The exact value of total US exports to Qatar for the full year of 2014 was not available, however, the value of ... Read More »

QR200,000 fine: Qatar Court sentences three year jail to Asian for drug smuggling

DOHA: Qatar Criminal Court has handed down a three year jail term and a fine of QR200,000 to an Asian expatriate found guilty of trying to smuggle drugs hidden in a pair of shoes kept in his bag while entering Qatar, here the other day. He will also be deported after the completion of the imprisonment. The court found evidence ... Read More »

Overcome food shortage:  Qatar wants to produce groceries in Turkey

DOHA: Qatar is taking action to overcome its food shortage problem by requesting the right to produce in Turkey. Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said: “Qatar wants to rent land and generate produce in cooperation with Turkish companies. They also want to develop projects in other fields, too. ” Attending the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters golf tournament, Çavuşoğlu held official talks ... Read More »

Gulf states plan strict laws to eradicate fuel smuggling

DOHA: Gulf countries including the Qatar, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia are formulating new legislation to curb fuel smuggling, the UAE energy minister said here the other day. Smuggling of fuel, including diesel, gasoline and other products, is frequent across the borders of some Gulf Arab states, where different levels of fuel subsidies create price gaps that criminals can ... Read More »

Volume of US exports to Qatar crosses $5bn in 2014

NEW YORK: The volume of US exports to Qatar in 2014 crossed the $5bn mark, which stood at $4.95bn (QR18.02bn) in 2013, the US Ambassador to Qatar Dana Shell Smith (pictured) told yesterday at a press conference. The exact value of total US exports to Qatar for the full year of 2014 was not available, however, the value of total ... Read More »

Qatar boosts Middle East M&A to $22.7 billion at highest level in 2014

DOHA:  The value of announced mergers and acquisitions (M&A) deals with any Middle Eastern involvement jumped to $22.7 billion in the fourth quarter of 2014, more than double the value in the previous quarter and the highest total since the first quarter of 2008. The calculation includes a $9.1 billion offer for Songbird Estates, owner of London’s Canary Wharf financial ... Read More »

Qatar customs seizes 43g hashish, 350 narcotic pills

DOHA: Hamad International Airport (HIA) and the Abu Samra border post have seized some quantities of hashish and narcotic pills. At least 350 narcotic pills were seized from motorists at Abu Samra check post on the Qatar-Saudi Arabia border. The pills were concealed in the dashboards and engines of the cars. At HIA, 43 grams of hashish was recovered from ... Read More »

Construction costs in Qatar remain highest in Middle East after UAE, Saudi Arabia

DOHA: The construction costs in Qatar remain the highest in the Middle East, followed by the UAE and Saudi Arabia, according to an annual report released by EC Harris, an Arcadis company and global built asset consultancy firm. The Arcadis International Construction Cost study benchmarks building costs in 43 countries across the globe and found that relative construction costs have ... Read More »

Qatar private sector pushes total credit growth up 4.2% in 2014

DOHA: Qatar’s private sector has pushed total credit growth up 4.2 percent in 2014. Moreover, deposits gained by 0.3 percent MoM taking the overall 2014 growth to 9.6 percent. Thus, the loan-to-deposit ratio (LDR) grew to 109 percent as against 105 percent at the end of 2013, QNB Financial Services (QNBFS) monthly banking sector update noted yesterday. The Qatar banks’ ... Read More »

Qatar Islamic Bank’s net profit for 2014 rises 20% year-on-year to $439.6 million

DOHA: Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB), the Gulf state’s largest sharia-compliant lender by assets, reported a 30.4 per cent jump in fourth-quarter net profit on Sunday, according to Reuters calculations, beating analyst forecasts. Net profit for 2014 gained 20 per cent year-on-year to 1.6 billion Qatari riyals. QIB made a net profit of QAR470 million ($129.1 million) during the period, Reuters calculated ... Read More »

Qatar Airways pioneer start flights with A350 Airbus to Lufthansa

DOHA:  Qatar Airways became the first airline to start regular flights with Airbus’s most advanced plane, the A350, throwing down a challenge to Germany’s Lufthansa at its home airport. Lufthansa has been a fierce critic of Middle Eastern airlines including Qatar, Emirates and Etihad, citing competition from them and low-cost carriers, along with economic headwinds, for two cuts to its ... Read More »

Twice weekly Airbus 330 flights: Qatar Airways Cargo to launch new Pharma Express freighter service in 2015

DOHA: Qatar Airways Cargo will start a new ‘Pharma Express’ service in January 2015 linking two major pharma origins – Brussels in Belgium and Basel in Switzerland, with the airline’s network through Doha, Qatar, in order to serve the global pharmaceutical industry. Basel is also the first freighter destination for the airline in 2015. It will launch twice weekly Airbus ... Read More »

Qatar to fund energy, other projects in Venezuela

DOHA: Qatar is considering funding projects in Venezuela, as the Latin American state lobbies fellow crude producers to help repair the damage done to its economy by plummeting oil revenues. Nicolas Maduro, Venezuela’s President said that his country was firming up billions of dollars of financing from Qatari banks. Qatar said the country was still studying the possibility of investing in Venezuela’s energy, ... Read More »