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Mediterranean Business News

* Developer to build casino resort in Morocco

A $230 million destination resort casino will be developed in Morocco by Kerzner International Limited, a leading international developer and operator of destination resorts, casinos and luxury hotel properties and its local partners, Societe Maroc Emirates Arab Unis de Developement (SOMED) and Caisse de Depot et de Gestion (CDG).

The project is expected to consist of a 600-room hotel, an 18-hole golf course, convention space, restaurants and a casino. As part of its agreement with the Moroccan government, the joint venture has negotiated exclusive rights to conduct gaming operations within a 160-kilometer radius from the center of Casablanca, reported an online content provider.

Construction of the project is expected to begin in 2005 and be completed by mid-2007. SOMED is an investor with interests in various industries, including the hospitality industry. It is 50 percent-owned by the Abu Dhabi Development Fund and 30 percent-owned by the government, with the remaining interests being institutionally owned.

CDG is the government-entity that invests Morocco's pension funds and is one of the country's leading institutional investors. - The Daily Star

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* Iraq plans to extend oil pipeline through Jordan

The Iraqi Oil Ministry announced it intended to extend an oil pipeline through Jordan to increase exports through neighboring countries, Xinhuanet News Agency reported.

An official at the Iraqi Oil Ministry said this project is part of a plan to consolidate the cooperation between Arab countries in the oil sector, especially within neighboring countries. The official added that the multiplicity of the Iraqi oil exporting outlets comes within the future plan of the ministry to increase the volume of its exports to reach 5.3 million barrels per day (bpd) by the end of this year.

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* Jordan expects $1 billion income from tourism

BEIRUT: Jordanian Tourism Minister Alia Boran said she expected the country's income from the tourism industry to jump to about $1 billion this year due to successful promotional plans that have been carried out over the past months.

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* 1st Tunisian civil helicopter plant to open in October

TUNIS: Tunisia's first civilian helicopters plant will start production in October, a senior member of the Italian Avionav group behind a partnership project announced on Thursday.

Juliana Giunta, one of the founders of the Avionav offshore company, said the ultra-light, twin-engined Twinpower aircraft will be made under license from an unidentified Swiss firm, with the first deliveries due in January 2005.

She said that four companies, which again she did not name, had expressed interest in the Twinpower for coastguard work, forestry protection, spraying pesticides and postal transport.

The factory in a former arsenal at Menzel Bourguiba in northeastern Tunisia will employ 30 technicians and engineers trained by Avionav and has seen an initial investment of 1.5 million euros ($1.8 million), Guinta said in a statement.

Avionav, which specializes in the aviation and maritime construction industries, plans to produce 50 Twinpower aircraft for export each year.

Beirut,08 09 2004
Redaction
The Daily Star
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