Thai developers revising strategies after a drop in Q2

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Thai developers revising strategies after a drop in Q2 | The Thaiger


Some of Thailand’s largest property developers have reported drops in revenue and profit in Q2 2019. The slump follows commercial banks in Thailand reining in loan approvals in response to a new loan-to-value regulation that took effect on April 1.

• AP (Thailand) reported total Q2 revenue of 4.8 billion baht, down 25.9% compared to last year’s 6.48 billion baht, and net profit of 488 million baht, down 59.3%.

• LPN Development Q2 revenue was 1.67 billion baht, a drop of 26.8%, and profit of 176.73 million baht, for a 29.3% decline.

• SC Asset Corporation’s revenue was 3.49 billion baht, down 10.5%, and profit 282 million baht, a 37.3 % drop.

• Ananda Development reported Q2 revenue at 2.03 billion baht, down 15.4%, and profit at 119 million baht, down 79.6%.

• Pruksa Holdings reported 7.8 billion baht in revenue, down 28.4%, and 932 million baht profit, down 40.3%.

• Property Perfect reported its revenue at 4.3 billion baht, down 8.5%, but its Q2 net profit was 471.46 million baht, up 208.1% from the same period last year.

Other firms reported strong first-half growth, however, thanks to solid performances in Q1, when homebuyers rushed to beat the new bank LTV deadline.

Pruksa’s deputy chief executive Supattra Paopiamsap says that the overall market in metropolitan Bangkok dropped 13% in the first half of 2019, compared to the same period last year. Property ownership transfers between April and May fell 24%, she reported, showing a clear market slowdown.

But Pruksa still plans to launch a further 26 new residential projects in 2019, lowering its target for the year from 55 projects to 40.

Other firms have also revised 2019 project launch forecasts due to the market swings. Ananda Development has suspended its 10-billion condominium project Ideo Q Phahon-Saphankhwai and will refund buyers’ down payments received since April.


Iraq foils Islamic State scheme to attack village during Eidul Adha

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Kirkuk ( – A pro-government force said on Wednesday that a plot by Islamic State militants to spoil Iraqis’ celebration of Eidul Adha (Greater Bairam) was foiled in the oil-rich province of Kirkuk.

In a press statement, a copy of which was obtained by Iraqi website Alforat News, the paramilitary Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) said that a plot by the Islamic State militant group to storm a village in Hawija district, in Kirkuk, was successfully foiled during Eidul Adha holiday.

“A PMF member was killed while repelling the IS attack on the village,” added the statement.

In October 2017, former Iraqi prime minister Haider al-Abadi declared that Iraqi troops recaptured Hawija, a main town held by Islamic State in the country.

The town had fallen to IS in June 2014, when the militant group seized control of much of northern and western Iraq and proclaimed the creation of a self-styled “caliphate”. There, Islamic State’s reign forced thousands to flee to refugee camps, while hundreds had been executed by the group for attempting to escape the area or contacting security forces.

The offensive on Hawija began in September 2017 and has involved army, police and special forces units, as well as the Shia-led paramilitary Popular Mobilization Forces. Despite the victory over IS in the city, observers say IS is believed to constitute a security threat even after the group’s defeat at its main havens across Iraqi provinces.


Source : Iraqi News

Kingdom does not meddle in affairs of Muslim countries: Emir of Makkah

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Prince Khaled Al-Faisal during the press conference. SPA

MINA – Saudi Arabia does not take advantage of the Islamic gathering in the holy sites to interfere in the affairs of Muslims countries as the concept of Haj is worship only, Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, adviser to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, was quoted as saying by Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

“During the Haj no other issue is discussed and the Kingdom does not have the right to discuss with any Muslim pilgrim — who is coming to this country for worship and to perform one of the pillars of Islam — the economic, political or social conditions in his home country. Our basic task in the Kingdom is to ensure the pilgrims’ comfort, tranquility and peace of mind so that he can devote his time to perform acts of worship, as ordained by Allah Almighty,” said Prince Khaled, who is also Emir of Makkah Region and chairman of the Central Hajj Committee, during a press conference here on Tuesday to mark the end of the Haj.

Prince Al-Khaled thanked Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman and Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, deputy premier and minister of defense, for their supervision of the services extended by the authorities to pilgrims, making this year’s Haj a great success.

At the conclusion of the press conference, Prince Al-Khaled was asked about the Saudi-Emirati relations and he replied: “An Emirati is a Saudi and a Saudi is an Emirati.”

The Emir of Makkah said he is proud of every Saudi citizen who has contributed to serving the pilgrims and making this year’s Haj a success and every year, whether in the past or future. These include all the male and female volunteers.

He made special mention of the security staff who spared no effort to serve the pilgrims, including elderly pilgrims, women and children.

He reiterated the Kingdom’s keenness to see all the remaining Muslim countries joining the Makkah Route Initiative (MRI) so that every single Muslim is able to make the most of the initiative during his spiritual journey to the Kingdom. He said that the MRI system has become so efficient that it has reduced waiting time down to just about half an hour whether at King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah or any Saudi airport.

Asked about the reason for varying prices for Haj on the basis of nationalities and countries, Prince Al-Khaled said the prices are fixed for each category. If there are any issues with regard to implementation of the agreements between the pilgrim and the Haj establishment, then the pilgrim can write to the Emir of Makkah seeking redress of the grievance because what is of concern to the Kingdom is the pilgrims’ comfort.

Prince Khaled thanked the local and foreign media representatives for attending this great occasion and for their efforts in this year’s Haj season.

He said that the number of pilgrims this year reached 2,489,406 — 1,855,027 from outside Saudi Arabia, and 634,379 from within the Kingdom.

He added that the number of pilgrims who have regular Haj permits has reached 336,000. He noted that the number of pilgrims who violated the Haj permit and entry regulations has reached 298,379, pointing out that their number this year has decreased by 29 percent compared to last year, when they stood at 383,000.

Prince Khaled stressed that the number of personnel providing services to pilgrims from all sectors exceeded 350,000, aside from 35,000 volunteers and 120,000 security personnel, 200,000 from various sectors, and 30,000 health practitioners.

He added that charities have distributed more than 26 million meals, the electric load capacity in Makkah and the holy sites reached 4715 KW, while 41 million cubic meters of water was pumped to Makkah and the holy sites, during this year’s Haj.

The Emir of Makkah said that 2,489,406 pilgrims were transported from Arafat to Muzdalifah in six hours including 360,000 pilgrims using the holy sites train, 100,000 using pedestrian passages and other pilgrims used 20,000 buses.

Speaking on the health sector, Prince Khaled said that health services were provided to more than 500,000 pilgrims. In this regard, some 400 hospitalized pilgrims were able to perform their Haj rites via the medical health caravan. They were transported to Arafat to complete their Haj rites while lying in the ambulances.

Several cases were unconscious, but were able to complete their Haj rituals. Sometime in the near future, God willing, they would see that they have been registered as having completed their pilgrimage.

As many as 173 hospitals, health centers and mobile clinics with a capacity of 5,000 beds were available to serve pilgrims. In addition, 336 open-heart operations and cardiac catheterizations and 2700 different operations were conducted, Prince Khaled said.

In the presence of Prince Badr Bin Sultan, deputy emir of Makkah Province, Prince Khaled distributed the Makkah Emirate New Media Prize to the winners in various categories. The prize highlights the efforts of the Kingdom in serving pilgrims and documents the spiritual journey for the pilgrims.

Asked about the development plans in Mina holy site, Prince Khaled said the matters on which the King, Crown Prince and Saudi government attach great importance is providing services to the pilgrim and Umrah performer and to make their spiritual journey comfortable.

He further said that last year, the Royal Commission for Makkah and the Holy Sites was established under the chairmanship of the Crown Prince. Among its powers and responsibilities is to develop the holy sites and Makkah. He said that the Royal Commission has started studying what has been referred to it by Makkah Region Development Authority (MRDA), municipalities and the services ministries. All of these bodies have referred the studies for developing the holy sites and Makkah to the royal commission.

Prince Khaled confirmed that there was a consensus in the Royal Commission for Makkah and the Holy Sites on the preliminary studies for development projects in the holy sites. The technical and executive studies are being carried out and they have reached their final stages.

The Emir of Makkah added: “We will begin immediately after Haj, God willing, construction of the first model for developing Mina. This includes the residences and camps. This model will be ready by next year to be presented on an experimental basis to see the efficiency of this project and whether it needs some adjustments, additions and deletions. What is important is that development has started.”

Prince Khaled asserted: “The state under the leadership of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and the Crown Prince is determined to transform Makkah and the holy sites into smart cities. This will be achieved, God willing in the next few years.”

As to the latest developments during this year’s Haj compared to last year’s Haj, Prince Khaled said: “Till now we don’t know exactly what has happened and what will happen until the end of the Haj. However, it is our policy at the Central Hajj Committee to discuss during the first week after resuming work the negative aspects that occurred during the Haj, so that we can avoid them in the forthcoming Haj.”

Prince Khaled has stressed that great efforts are being exerted throughout the year, especially before Haj so as to communicate with all the establishments in charge of Haj in the countries that have pilgrims. The objective is to explain all the regulations and the requirements for performing Haj, as required of a Muslim by his religion.

Prince Khaled expressed his hope that the Muslim countries would attach greater importance to this aspect.

Asked about the possibility of increasing the number of pilgrims to 15 million in the forthcoming Haj, Prince Khaled said the total number of pilgrims this year is just three million, including those from within the Kingdom. Therefore, he said he does not think 15 million pilgrims will come next year.

As to the possibility of increasing the number of pilgrims from Indonesia in the coming years, as it is the Islamic country with the biggest population, he said that the quota for each country was decided in an Islamic conference. If the population has increased, likewise the number of pilgrims will increase in line with the decided proportion.


Source : Saudi Gazette

Powerful storm lashes parts of Japan; snarls holiday travel

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By Charly Triballeau

A powerful tropical storm lashed parts of Japan Thursday, bringing strong winds and torrential rain that prompted warnings of landslides and flooding, and sparked evacuation advisories and travel chaos at a peak holiday period.

Severe Tropical Storm Krosa — one notch below a typhoon — was churning slowly just off the southwestern coast of Japan, packing wind gusts of up to 160 kilometers per hour.

Authorities issued a voluntary evacuation advisory to around 550,000 people in the storm’s path and Japan’s Fire and Disaster Management Agency said four people had sustained minor injuries with one person more seriously hurt.

The agency also said that a party of 18 people including children got stranded during a barbecue in a valley when the river rose rapidly. They have since been evacuated to higher ground and should be rescued later Thursday.

Krosa also sparked travel chaos as people returned to major cities following the Obon holiday.

More than 600 domestic flights were cancelled to and from cities in western Japan and bullet train services were either scrapped or sharply reduced.

Ferries connecting the southern Shikoku island and other parts of Japan were also cancelled as high waves lashed the coast.

Krosa weakened significantly from earlier in the week as it stalled in the Pacific Ocean but it boasts an unusually large eye, meaning it is likely to dump rain over a wide area.

It is also moving very slowly — 20 kilometers per hour — so the rain is expected to last for an extended period.

© 2019 AFP

Source : Japan Today

Campaign to remove abandoned vehicles in Industrial Area

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14 Aug 2019 – 10:24

Campaign to remove abandoned vehicles  in Industrial Area

The campaign to remove abandoned vehicles in the Industrial Area launched yesterday, by the Committee for  Removal of Abandoned Vehicles in cooperation with the Department of Mechanical Equipment, the Municipality of Doha and the security authorities.

The campaign is part of continuous efforts of the Ministry of Municipality and Environment to end this phenomenon, which is distorting the general landscape of the country and has negative impact on environment. The campaign comes in accordance to the provision of Law No. (18) of 2017 on hygiene.

Saleh Hassan Al Kuwari, Director of Natural Reserves Department and Deputy Chairman of Committee for Removal of Abandoned Vehicles; Marzouq Mubarak Al Mesaifir, Assistant Director of Mechanical Equipment Department and Member of the Committee, Ghanem Nasser Al Qubaisi from the General Control Section in Doha Municipality and officials from the Internal Security Forces “Lekhwiya” were present at the occasion.

“The campaign will continue until the completion of the removal of all neglected vehicles in all areas of the Industrial Area,” said Saleh Hassan Al-Kuwari, Director of the Department of Natural Reserves and Deputy Chairman of the Committee for Removal of Abandoned Vehicles.

He expected that the number of neglected cars that will be removed during the campaign will be around 7 to 10,000. “This means that the campaign will continue for one to three months due to the large size of area and number of vehicles in the area.”

He said that this campaign targets the abandoned cars located within the borders of the Industrial Area, with the participation of a number of equipment and machinery belonging to the municipality and the relevant authorities, namely the internal security force “Lekhwiya” and the General Directorate of Traffic.

He pointed out that the abandoned cars that are lifted are transferred to the tow yard in Al Mashaf area, which so far has accommodated up to 25,000 cars. “Some 3,000 rickety cars were chopped off in two months,” he added.

As for the collection of abandoned cars in Umm Salal area, Al-Kuwari said that it was opened to serve the northern areas of the country to facilitate the process of lifting the abandoned vehicles and reduce the congestion of cars by booking Al Mashaf and Abu Hamour.

The officials during the launch of the campaign to remove abandoned vehicles in Industrial Area.

For his part; Marzouq Mubarak Al Mesifir, Assistant Director of the Department of Mechanical Equipment and member of the committee, said that the committee’s efforts started from the municipalities of Doha, Al Shahaniya and Al-Dhaen and now has come to the Industrial Area which is considered the most important. He added that the committee has intensified its efforts during the last period through continuous campaigns on these areas.

After transferring the cars to the tow yard in Al-Mashaf, Messemeir and Umm Salal areas, the legal procedures will be applied by granting six months to their owners, after which they will be disposed of by auction organized by the ministry, or at the request of local companies to get rid of them by cutting and benefiting from iron. He added that 4950 abandoned cars have been lifted since the beginning of this year, and the campaign will continue until the completion of cleaning all municipalities, expecting that the number of abandoned cars across the country will be about 17 to 18,000 cars.

Lieutenant Abdullah Ali Shuail Al Marri of the Internal Security Force, Lekhwiya, said: “Lekhwiya is involved in maintaining security and providing a number of heavy machinery for removal of abandoned cars that distort the public view.”

Lieutenant Ali Rashid Al Marri of the General Directorate of Traffic and Patrols explained that the traffic participation comes within the framework of cooperation with the concerned authorities, where patrols are organizing traffic during the removal process. In addition to help in lifting the neglected vehicles, which are hindering implementation of important development projects in the Industrial Area.

Ghanem Nasser Al Qubaisi from the General Control Section in Doha Municipality said that the campaign aims at removing the neglected cars from various streets from No 16th to 52. “Today, about 50-75 neglected cars were detected and removed during the morning and evening shifts,” he added.

Uzbekistan’s nuclear waste to be processed in Russia

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The spent fuel of the future nuclear plant in Uzbekistan, will be processed in Russia, and radioactive waste will be stored in Uzbekistan, Uzatom said.

In the course of spent fuel reprocessing in Russia, all valuable nuclear material will be recovered, and the remainder will be solidified by evaporation and pressing, and then will be returned to Uzbekistan.

According to Uzatom, this mechanism is envisaged by a number of international treaies to which Uzbekistan and Russia are parties: Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (July 1, 1968), the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (October 26, 1979), the The Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management (September 5, 1997).

In accordance with the Uzbek-Russian agreement on the construction of a nuclear power plant, signed in the fall of 2018, issues in the field of spent nuclear fuel (SNF) and radioactive waste (RW) management will be regulated by separate agreements and contracts, the agency noted. “Each country must store its radioactive waste on its territory,” the statement said.

It is expected that the SNF and RW management strategy will be prepared and approved in the near future taking into account the international experience.


Source : Tashkent Times

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