November 21, 2008

SaudiNews (Nov 15-21, 2008)

Main story
Somali pirates hijacked a Saudi supertanker loaded with crude. The Sirius Star, a brand new tanker was seized on Saturday more than 450 nautical miles southeast of Mombasa, Kenya. The area lies far south of the zone where warships have increased their patrols this year in the Gulf of Aden, one of the busiest channels in the world, leading to and from the Suez Canal, and the scene of most past attacks.
The tanker is three times the size of an aircraft carrier and can carry about 2 million barrels of oil. Sirius Star was carrying crude worth about $100 million.
Its crew includes citizens of Croatia, Britain, the Philippines, Poland and Saudi Arabia.
The Somali pirates are demanding $25m in ransom to be paid within 10 days. If we paid this time, it would be the beginning of a long journey of blackmail.

Citigroup won a vote of confidence from Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, its largest individual investor, who said on Thursday he plans to boost his stake in the US banking giant to five percent from less than four percent.
I’m all for investing overseas, but I’m also for investing at home.

Kuwait's daily Al-Seyassah reported that the United States has asked four oil-rich Gulf states for close to 300 billion dollars to help it curb the global financial meltdown. Apparently Washington has asked Saudi Arabia for 120 billion dollars, the United Arab Emirates for 70 billion dollars, Qatar for 60 billion dollars and was seeking 40 billion dollars from Kuwait.
As one of my favorite writers said: “Perhaps if the US didn't give upwards of US $5-10 BILLION to Israel EVERY year, the Gulf countries would be more inclined to help them.... or, even better, the US would be less inclined to NEED the help.”

Clear Vision will offer the “Six Sigma Orientation Course” (Nov 22-26) in Dammam. For more details: 03 858 8362

This is the link to my interview with Weekend America discussing the G-20 summit.

Life goes on….
Abdullah Al Alami

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