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Saturday, 7 February 2009

53% of GCC companies freeze hiring

A survey of GCC companies has revealed that 53 percent had already implemented a freeze on hiring with a further 17 percent planning to do so in the coming months.

The survey on the impact of the global economic slowdown was undertaken by Dubai-based international HR consulting company ORC and around 150 companies responded to the survey from across a wide range of industry sectors with operations throughout the Gulf region.

The survey comes as thousands of employees across the region have fallen victim to the economic slowdown, especially in the real estate and construction industries.

Only 11 cars abandoned at airport in past year

Dubai: Lieutenant-General Dhahi Khalfan Tamim, Chief of Dubai Police, has strongly denied a rumour that many people are abandoning their cars at Dubai International Airport amid the global economic crisis.

The report was published in the Arabic electronic newspaper

During an urgent press conference in Dubai, Lieutant-General Dhahi denied the report published on Thursday, which based its information on The Times of London which claimed there were 3,000 abandoned cars at Dubai International Airport.

Ex-head of BHP Billiton takes over at Temasek

Temasek Holdingsnamed Charles Goodyear, the former head of mining group BHP Billiton, as its new chief executive to replace Ho Ching, the wife of Singapore's prime minister, in a surprise transition at the high-profile sovereign wealth fund yesterday.

Mr Goodyear's appointment heralds a possible change of em-phasis for the S$185bn ($124bn) fund towards natural resources rather than financial services, a sector in which Temasek has recently made massive paper losses.

The move highlights the globalisation of Temasek's senior ranks, 40 per cent of whom are nonSingaporean.

Saudis show the way for Washington policymakers

In March of 2005, a year before the Saudi Arabian stock market reached its peak, the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency summoned its charges among the banks to its elegant Riyadh headquarters.

Concerned that investors were putting money into shares without regard for fundamentals, the central bank's officials warned the banks not to finance excessive speculation.

"We were accused of micro-managing. They said that the SAMA was intrusive when we said 'slow down'," recalls Muhammad Al-Jasser, the SAMA vice-governor. "Now they want to kiss our foreheads."

RLPC-Borse Dubai loan to raise less than $2.5 bln-sources

State-run Borse Dubai's one-year syndicated loan is not expected raise the full $2.5 billion target amount because of the difficult credit conditions, bankers close to the deal said on Friday.

"The total amount is still to be determined but certainly not $2.5 billion. We had told the company from the beginning that it was a very ambitious target," one of the bankers said.

The deal, which will refinance the company's $3.78 billion loan agreed in March 2008, is gaining commitments but timing is tight with the original loan maturing on Feb. 28, the bankers said.