* Saudi Arabia’s Capital Market Authority has given approval to Saudi Airlines for a public offering of 30 percent of its catering unit. I hope that this initiative will improve the quality of food on our National Airlines. I also wish the Airlines get its website updated; the most recent announcement reflects news from 2008. * This week Saudi Arabia went international. Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Maaden) has awarded a $1.5 billion contract to South Korea’s Hyundai Construction Co. to build an aluminum refinery in the Eastern Province. This is probably good news as the Koreans are known for their superior construction work. The refinery is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2014. Saudi Arabia has also signed an agreement with South Korea to exempt Korean construction firms from business. * The Saudi Health Ministry is on a recruitment spree for nurses in Kerala. Thirteen officials will be on their way to India to conduct interviews with roughly 3,000 nurses. I understand the ministry made a commitment that the prospective nurses would start work in Saudi Arabia within 35 days. Earlier this year, India made a pitch to increase its investments in the Saudi oil and gas industry. * There are also Saudi plans to go hiring in the Philippines this year. Um Al-Qura University is planning to hire more Filipino faculty members and to grant more scholarships for deserving Filipino students. These plans were revealed after the University president had met with the Philippine ambassador last month. I like the idea, Filipino workers have proven reliable in many jobs in Saudi Arabia especially in the medical field. In addition, Filipino labor is highly demanded in certain jobs such as mechanical and electrical technicians and accountants. * Since I have a passion for economic news, I regularly read the local banks’ reports. A major Saudi bank predicts that Saudi Arabia’s net foreign assets will jump by $356 billion in the next two years to an all-time high of just below $1 trillion. Why? Obviously high oil prices will play a major role. * What about our banking relations with the world? Well, I don’t anticipate that the drop in lending by foreign banks in Saudi Arabia would harm our credit. My justifications are simple; local lenders and government funds have been recently stepping in, and we have a limited exposure to European banks. So far we have not been largely affected by Europeans banks which are strained by the continuing debt crisis. We all know by now that Saudi Arabia will feel only a limited impact from the euro zone debt crisis and will not cut spending even if there is a fall in oil prices. I hope this remains to be true in the foreseeable future. Tweet: “If a job is worth doing, it’s worth doing well”.