Gulf in the News – August 13, 2013

GCC inflation to stabilize to 3% in near term: Study

Source: Saudi Gazette (Read full story)

GCC inflation is forecast to stabilize at a moderate level around the three percent mark in the near term as higher increases in housing costs are offset by lower food price rises, QNB Group report said. “Overall, inflation in the GCC is likely to stabilize at around three percent,” QNB Group said. Strengthening non-oil growth and expanding populations will give prices, particularly rents, some upward impetus. “However, this is likely to be counterbalanced by falling global food prices, which will make food imports cheaper and hold back inflation. Additionally, oil prices are expected to be slightly lower in 2014, which tends to ease inflationary pressures in the GCC as it results in less oil revenue flowing into the economy, weakening demand.”

Constitutional Court receives 50 petitions

Source: Kuwait Times (Read full story)

The period for filing petitions against parliamentary election results closed yesterday with 50 challenges filed by former MPs, candidates and lawyers. Most of the petitions focused on regular election challenges like allegations of miscalculation of votes or procedural irregularities and others, while the main petitions called for scrapping the July 27 elections on constitutional and procedural flaws. Among the main challenges were petitions filed by former MP Saleh Al-Mulla who was represented by lawyer Abdullah Al-Ahmad.

Bahrain Premier warns of tough action against demonstrators

Source: The Peninsula (Read full story)

Bahrain’s prime minister said yesterday his government would “forcefully confront” protests called for later this week, and warned those involved that they would be punished, state news agency BNA reported.Protesters inspired by youth-led protests in Egypt that pushed the army to oust Islamist president Mohammed Mursi last month have called for rallies tomorrow, at a time of escalating clashes between police and pro-opposition demonstrators.

No Saudi-Sudan fallout with non-entry of Bashir’s plane

Source: Arab News (Read full story)

Sudanese Ambassador to Riyadh Abdulhafiz Ibrahim has said that the banning of President Bashir’s plane from entering Saudi airspace would not affect Saudi-Sudanese relations. Last week, the aircraft carrying President Bashir was banned from entering Saudi airspace on the ground that the plane did not have the right permit, a statement by Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Civil Aviation (GACA) said. The Sudanese envoy said his country has set up an inquiry committee to look into the details pertaining to the issue.

Rental inflation ‘on the rise’ after being negative for years

Source: Gulf Times (Read full story)

QNB expects rents in Qatar to increase on the back of rental inflation which has already reached about 7% in June this year. In its report, the bank forecasts some further increases in rents due to ramp up of several major projects over the next year or so, resulting in slightly higher inflation at 3.6% in 2013 and 3.8% in 2014. Highlighting that inflation in Qatar has accelerated this year as influx of expatriates (to work on the roll out of major infrastructure projects) has driven up prices, QNB said rental inflation reached 6.7% in the year to June 2013, having been negative almost every month from early 2009 to mid 2012.

 RTA to announce operating firm of Al Sufouh tram soon

Source: Khaleej Times (Read full story)

The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) will next week announce the company which will run and operate Al Sufouh tram. Al Sufouh tram is expected to carry around 27,000 passengers daily in its first operational phase slated to be in November 2014. The tram’s carriages shall arrive here in Dubai on December 11, and early in January next year the operating company shall perform the trial run of the tramcar to check the preparedness and make sure it is fit and functions properly in terms of the controlling systems, air conditioner, the power feeding systems, brakes etc.