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Friday, 9 April 2010

Kuwait Agility to pay $600 mln in fraud case

Kuwait's logistics firm Agility is to pay the U.S. government $600 million to settle fraud charges, an Arabic-language daily reported on Friday, citing unnamed sources.

Agility and the U.S. government reached a preliminary agreement and the sum would be paid over three years, Kuwait's Al-Jarida newspaper said.

The Kuwaiti firm, formerly Public Warehousing Co K.S.C., is in talks to resolve an indictment accusing it of overcharging the U.S. Army on supply contracts in Iraq, Kuwait and Jordan.

SAGIA, IIRME to hold 'Outlook Saudi Arabia' private equity summit

The Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) and the Institute of International Research–Middle East (IIRME) will jointly hold the “Outlook Saudi Arabia — Investment and Private Equity Forum 2010” at the Al-Faisaliah Hotel here April 10-12.

“The attractiveness of the Saudi market to private equity investors has grown sharply in recent years. This has been a function of new private-sector opportunities created by the broad economic diversification and liberalization beyond oil and gas,” said Amr El-Barbary, managing director at Citadel Capital, the leading private equity firm in the Middle East and Africa with investments of US$8.3 billion spanning 14 countries and 15 industries.

Private equity is money invested in companies that are not publicly traded on a stock exchange or invested as part of buyouts of publicly traded firms to make them private companies.


There’s no denying the rebound in rail freight on a year over year basis.  Rail traffic continued to climb this week as the AAR reports U.S. railroads originated 290K carloads during the week.  This was a 10.7% increase over last year, but still down 11.8% compared to 2008.  Intermodal traffic jumped 6.2%, but was down 9.4% compared to 2008.  While we’re certainly seeing a strong move over last year’s abysmal traffic trends the strength of the recovery is still somewhat in doubt as the comps to 2008 remain sharply negative.  Nonetheless, the trend higher remains firmly intact.
The AAR reports that 17 of the 19 commodity groups showed strength in this week’s data:
“Seventeen of 19 carload commodity groups showed gains from a year ago, with the largest coming from products associated with metals: metallic ores, up 104.2 percent; metals, up 84.1 percent; scrap, up 39.8 percent; and coke, up 30.3 percent. Other notable increases included motor vehicles and equipment, 21.3 percent; grain, 18 percent; primary forest products, 34.8 percent; lumber, 21.6 percent; and chemicals, 11.5 percent. Loadings of pulp, paper and allied products were off 5.1 percent.”
Source: AAR