RIYADH: There is no need for the Kingdom to create a sovereign wealth fund to manage its oil wealth, Finance Minister Ibrahim Al-Assaf said, rebuffing suggestions by prominent officials and businessmen.At present, the surplus funds of Saudi Arabia are mostly invested abroad by the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA), which had net foreign assets worth SR2.75 trillion ($733 billion) in October.Most of that money is believed to be in low-risk US dollar assets such as US Treasury bonds and bank accounts, which tend to earn low returns compared to the more aggressive, higher-risk investments favored by some other rich oil exporters.So as oil prices have plunged this year, there have been calls for Saudi Arabia to create a sovereign wealth fund that would invest its money more actively, making up for the reduction in oil revenues.The Shoura Council has discussed a proposal for a sovereign fu...
Saudis are “wasting” 8 hours a day on the Internet, a local expert said here recently.Rashad Faqiha,...
A website has named Saudi lawyer Bayan Mahmoud Zahran as the world’s most influential woman for 2014...
SEOUL, South Korea: North Korea has compared President Barack Obama to a monkey and blamed the US for shutting down its Internet amid the hacking row over the movie “The Interview.”The North has denied involvement in a crippling cyberattack on Sony Pictures, but has expressed fury over the comedy, which depicts the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Sony Pictures initially called off the release of the film...
The Ministry of Interior announced on Friday that it had deported 62,514 illegal expatriates last month, as part of its efforts to clean up the country’s labor market.It had also arrested 17,740 foreigners over the same period, who had tried to enter the Kingdom illegally through the country’s land entry points.The expatriates were kept at detention centers across the country under the supervision of Ibrahim Muhammad Al-H...

SAUDI ARABIA »

Plans are under way to hire Saudi women to work on the multibillion-riyal metro in the capital city, said Riyadh Gov. Prince Turki bin Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz.Opening the Producers Exhibition and Conference at the Riyadh International Convention Center, Prince Turki also urged the Riyadh Chamber of...
A number of literary programs organized by Makkah’s audio and media groups to spread Arabic culture were held on Saturday in Jeddah under the slogan “Arabian Cultural Days.” The programs and events were organized under the patronage of Saud Al-Sheikhi, a media director in Makkah, and the Saudi writer and poet Dr. Khider bin...
Madinah Gov. Prince Faisal bin Salman met in his office on Thursday Director General of Saudi Arabian Airlines Saleh Al-Jasser and CEO of Saudi Arabian Airlines Corporation Abdulaziz Al-Hazmi and their accompanying delegation.The governor and the airline officials reviewed the development plan of Saudia services in the Madi...
One thousand male and female applicants looking for jobs registered in the first eight hours at the First Occupations Fair 2014 held at the King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) recently. This level is comparable to the number of people who registered electronically for the fair, which had a total of more than 3,000 job opport...
An Italian engineering consultancy company has sacked 300 Saudi engineers including master’s degree holders, working in electrical, civil and mechanical engineering departments. The company is contracted to the Ministry of Interior. A spokesman for the ministry said the decision to fire the workers was not correct. The engi...
High fees at private schools in the Kingdom has forced over 300,000 expatriate students to quit because their parents cannot afford it, according to an education expert.“Most expat students are only allowed to study at private schools. Government schools do not accept expat students these days. However, these private school...
The Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA) has rejected media reports that it would soon start issuing tourist visas for overseas visitors.“The previous postponement of tourism visas is still valid. There is no intention at present to issue this kind of visa again,” the SCTA said in a statement on Thursday nigh...
The Ministry of Social Affairs has donated 22 specially designed cars for people with disabilities in the Eastern Province.The Comprehensive Rehabilitation Center in Dammam delivered the cars. There are now 210 people on the waiting list, out of 444 who applied.Ali Al-Shahrani, director of the center, said that the delivery...
The Ministry of Labor and 190 cooperative societies in the country are trying to create 5,000 jobs for Saudi youth over the next two years with monthly salaries starting from SR4,000.Nasir Al-Towaim, deputy chairman of the Saudi Cooperative Societies, said the local bodies are trying to update their systems, increase their...
A total of 35 stranded Sri Lankan housemaids will be sent home from Jeddah beginning next week, the Sri Lankan Consulate in Jeddah told Arab News on Thursday. “This is the last group of stranded housemaids handed to Tarheel for repatriation home,” Consul General Adambawa Uthuma Lebbe said.The group comprised maidservants wh...
The Ministry of Labor has revealed that none of the 280 recruitment firms and offices in the country has been given either a four or five-star rating under its new classification system. The ministry posted its ratings, which is from one to five, on its Musaned website recently. It also revealed that it has closed down some...
In a midnight operation carried out by the Riyadh police recently, 200 men, women and children who regularly beg in the streets of the capital were arrested.Police found a large number of beggars, each possessing more than SR20,000. The raids were carried out in Marqab, Salihiya and Oud districts of the city. According to t...
The Saudi Center for Organs Transplantation (SCOT) undertook 13 successful surgeries in just two weeks. SCOT first obtained the permission of the relatives of three patients who were brain-dead to take their organs and transplant them into other patients.A SCOT medical team followed up on one case of a brain-dead patient in...

MIDDLE EAST »

ANKARA: Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal on Saturday praised Turkey as a “source of po...

BEIRUT: Syria said on Saturday it is willing to participate in “preliminary cons...

TRIPOLI: A car bomb exploded Saturday outside the diplomatic security building i...

CAIRO: An Egyptian appeals court reduced the jail terms on Saturday for eight me...

CAIRO: Egypt’s prosecutor has referred a female writer to trial for allegedly in...

WORLD »

LAHORE: A Pakistani man was sentenced to 26 years in jail for making two hoax ca...

PENGKALAN CHEPA, Malaysia: Rescue teams struggled Saturday to reach inundated ar...

LONDON: The pro-independence Scottish National Party is set to dominate Scotland...

MINSK: Belarussian strongman Alexander Lukashenko on Saturday sacked his prime m...

KOSTYANTYNIVKA, Ukraine: Ukraine and pro-Russian rebels were on Saturday set to...

SPORTS »

HOBART, Australia: Seven-time champion Wild Oats XI edged ahead of American supe...

HOBART, Australia: Seven-time champion Wild Oats XI edged ahead of American supe...

LONDON: While Chelsea and Manchester City slug it out at the top of the Premier...

LONDON: Alexis Sanchez helped maintain 10-man Arsenal’s Champions League push as...

KARACHI: Ace Pakistan spinner Saeed Ajmal announced he will not feature in next...

ECONOMY »

The extensive Saudization efforts have added 622,000 new jobs in the private sector during 2011-2013, a staggering 74 percent gain, and the number is bound to rise furthe...
The new budget reflects the strength and durability of the Saudi economy despite a global slowdown and falling oil prices, say leaders at the Council of Saudi Chambers (CSC).“The state budget, with estimated revenue of SR 715 billion and expenditure of SR 860 billion is reflecting the continuation of development projects an...
Oil prices remain low at around $60/barrel, compared with a peak of $115 in June. Oil prices are not expected to recover to $100 levels in the next five years. Therefore, Russia, Nigeria and Venezuela all remain at risk of crisis. This could lead to contagion, weaker currencies and slower growth in a number of developing ec...
TOKYO: Japan’s Cabinet has approved 3.5 trillion yen ($29 billion) in fresh stimulus for the ailing economy, pledging to get growth back on track and restore the country’s precarious public finances.Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is wrapping up his second year in office hard-pressed to salvage a recovery that fizzled into recess...
The 5th Winter International Trade Exhibition for Textiles and Light Industry opened on Thursday, (Dec. 25, 2014).A large number of people visited the show on the opening due to their eagerness to view products of some global companies, said Muhammad Al-Ibrahim, PR manager of Dhahran International Exhibitions Company, which...
NEW DELHI: India’s central bank chief lashed out at Uber, already under fire over the alleged rape of a passenger, saying the US taxi-hailing firm violated the country’s financial regulations by using an overseas payment system.A row over the highly valued start-up’s financial transactions erupted in India earlier this year...
SHANGHAI: China will dramatically expand the size of a free trade zone (FTZ) in Shanghai to include the city’s commercial center where major multinational companies and Chinese banks have their headquarters, state media reported.The Xinhua news agency cited the conclusion of the 12th meeting of the National People’s Congres...
NEW YORK: Wall Street was generally calmer in 2014 than in previous years, but that doesn’t mean the stock market was devoid of drama.Big selloffs in biotechnology and social media stocks had strategists predicting doom in the spring, and the plunge in oil prices has clouded the outlook for the coming year. It was a year wh...
RIYADH: The Finance Ministry will discuss with the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA) its options for financing the large state budget deficit expected next year, and may cover some of the shortfall with borrowing, Finance Minister Ibrahim Al-Assaf said.Responding to the plunge of oil prices, the ministry has announced a...
The new budget demonstrates the strength of the Saudi economy to withstand the challenges posed by the global economic crisis, including the sharp drop in the crude prices, says Muhammad Al-Jaffri, deputy chairman of the Shoura Council. “The government of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah has spectacularly suc...
Prince Saud bin Abdullah bin Thunayan, chairman of the Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu (RCJY), has signed two contracts worth SR403,500,000 to set up a residential complex for the commission staff in Ras Al-Khair Industrial City and improve Highway II in Jubail Industrial City .The first deal was signed with Manazel B...
Saudi Arabia’s safe and sound economic policies have been 100 percent successful as evidenced by the largest budget in the country’s history for 2015, which envisages SR 860 billion spending during the new year.These policies have enabled the Kingdom to tackle economic challenges at international and regional levels, say an...
ROME: Italy’s cabinet said the country’s loss-making Ilva steel plant, one of the most polluting in Europe, would be nationalized for up to three years.The site in Taranto in the Puglia region of southern Italy, which employs over 14,000 people, will be nationalized under a decree adopted by the cabinet, with the view to th...

OPINION »

The relationship between the mother country and the great Indian Diaspora has be...
The continued slide in the price of oil in international markets over the last f...
The purpose of the global financial system is to allocate the world’s savings to...
I do have a fervent wish and that is directed at my colleagues who plough the fo...

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ART & CULTURE »

Franco-Arabic, the popular language of communication for conversations and chats on social media sites, is increasingly being seen as a threat to the Arabic language, culture and identity.
While the language is commonly used in Egypt and several other Arab countries, it faces resistance from lovers of Arab identity and culture with campaign...

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY »

NEW YORK: Unless you’re making an active decision to disconnect this holiday season, you’ve probably seen a flood of Facebook “Year In Review” posts — a sort of digital card highlighting the biggest moments of 2014, algorithmically customized for each user.
The posts are slickly designed, even if their visual uniformity can make scrolling t...

FASHION »

All through our lives, we’ve watched old classical movies in which the rich are all decked up in beautiful jewelry, long silk gloves and fur on the shoulders or necks. These timeless, classic styles were adapted by actresses such as Elizabeth Taylor, Marilyn Monroe and Egyptian actresses Laila Murad, Hind Rustom, Um Kalthoom and the legendary Sa...

TRAVEL »

The Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA) has rejected media reports that it would soon start issuing tourist visas for overseas visitors.
“The previous postponement of tourism visas is still valid. There is no intention at present to issue this kind of visa again,” the SCTA said in a statement on Thursday night.
The SCTA...

FOOD & HEALTH »

The Saudi Center for Organs Transplantation (SCOT) undertook 13 successful surgeries in just two weeks. SCOT first obtained the permission of the relatives of three patients who were brain-dead to take their organs and transplant them into other patients.A SCOT medical team followed up on one case of a brain-dead patient in the Salmaniya Medical Complex in Bahrain, taking his liver and kidneys and transplanting them in a patient in the King Fahd Specialist Hospital in Dammam. In another case, the heart valves of another were transplanted in a patient in the King Faisal Specialist Hospital in Riyadh.This comes as part of a continuing program to transplant organs between hospitals in the Gulf...
The cosmetic and plastic surgery market in the Kingdom is witnessing a boom with a volume in excess of SR4 billion where men make up 40 percent of the customers, local media said. Riyadh recorded the highest rate of cosmetic surgery at 70 percent, followed by Jeddah and the Eastern Province at 25 percent and 5 percent, respectively, Consultant of Plastic Surgery at King Khalid University Hospital Khalid Al-Zahrani said.Al-Zahrani quoted a recent survey in Riyadh as saying that 25 percent of women in Riyadh have expressed a keen desire to undergo cosmetic surgery due to financial capability to have the operations done. Men in the age group of 20 to 40 made up 40 percent of the customers, he...
South Asian food has an expanding fan base in Jeddah as is evident from the many restaurants here specializing in desi food, especially Indian and Pakistani cuisines. So I was not surprised when I heard about yet another desi restaurant in Jeddah-town. Masala is a signature Indian restaurant that serves Indian fare — fast food style.It is indeed a challenge for any restaurant to cater to all its diners who come from a wide base of culinary diversity. For this purpose, Masala sought the expertise of Master chef Riyaz Yousef Muqadum from Mumbai.The restaurant has three branches in Al-Salamah district, Al-Naeem district and in Palestine Street, respectively.I recently visited their main branch...

OFFBEAT »

WASHINGTON: Sony was still struggling Saturday to fully restore its online PlayStation system, three days after the Chri...
The wedding season is in full swing in India, marking what should be the busiest time of year for the traditional brass bands that lead raucous processions announcing the arrival of the bridegroom to the neighborhood.Dressed in faded military-style uniforms or long silken tunics and turbans, brass bands playing the latest Bollywood tunes have long been a must-have at any Indian wedding.But as the tastes of young, wealthier Indians shift to more modern music, young couples increasingly choose DJs playing electronic music instead of live bands. The shift is leaving band owners and musicians...
MUMBAI: Actor Fawad Khan, the Pakistani heartthrob who acquired a formidable fan base in India after playing the role of a royal in the remake of 1980 super hit film “Khoobsurat” starring Sonam Kapoor as the female lead, may be paired opposite her once again, NDTV reports. Fawad and Sonam Kapoor may come together once again for the screen adaptation of author Anuja Chauhan’s bestseller “Battle For Bittora.”

CLASSIFIEDS »

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