Germany signs agreements with Kazaks
German Chancellor Angela Merkel capped an intensive week of deal-signing across Asia with an official visit to oil-rich Kazakhstan, sealing business agreements worth more than 2 million euros (US$2.6 billion). Germany has climbed out of a period of economic downturn into modest growth in the past few months on the back of its exports. The most notable deal agreed on Sunday was a line of credit worth 100 million euros ($129 million ) provided by Deutsche Bank to small- and medium-sized Kazakh businesses. International retailers are competing to take advantage of Kazakhstan’s burgeoning hunger for high-quality goods, which is likely to soar as an expected oil boom spurs demand.
Dusseldorf-based Metro, which last year opened its first wholesale supermarket in the Kazakh capital, Astana, plans to open 10 new outlets in other cities across Kazakhstan, investing more than 200 million euros ($258 million).
German primarily exports machinery, electrical appliances, automobiles and pharmaceuticals to Kazakhstan and imports mostly raw materials such as hydrocarbons and metals.
Saudi chemical giant’s profit surges
Saudi Basic Industries Corp., one of the world’s biggest chemical companies, says its net profits more than doubled in the second quarter of 2010 compared to the same period last, boosted by higher sales and production. SABIC said in a statement Sunday net profits climbed to 5.02 billion riyals ($1.34 billion) in the second quarter compared to 1.81 billion riyals in the corresponding period of 2009.