DP World expands into Suriname

Dubai-based DP World has expanded its portfolio to Suriname on the northeast coast of South America. DP World has acquired a controlling interest in both Integra Port Services (IPS), the company holding a concession for a container and break-bulk terminal within Nieuwe Haven Port, Paramaribo, and in Suriname Port Services (SPS), the company that owns a private break-bulk facility upstream from Paramaribo. Nieuwe Haven terminal handles origin and destination cargo for Suriname. The terminal currently has a container throughput capacity in excess of 100,000 TEU per year, with the potential to double its capacity to meet demand as growth in the local economy, together with improved road links into French Guiana and offshore oil exploration are set to increase trade volumes in the future. DP World will have a management services agreement for both terminals. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2011. The price was not disclosed. Source: TradeArabia News Service

Iran, China to sign $4bn metro deal

Iran will sign a $4 billion contract with China for development of an underground transport system in Iran. ""The $4 billion financing contract will be signed with China tonight,"" said Mohammad Royanian, head of Iran's Transport and Fuel Management Office. He gave no other details. China, the second biggest importer of Iranian oil after Japan, has long been involved in infrastructure projects in Iran where economic sanctions have hampered investment by Western companies. Iran said in February that China had signed a $13 billion contract to build a railway network in the country. Trade between the two countries is worth around $30 billion per year. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said he hopes to increase the volume of trade to $100 billion. As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, China voted in favor of a fourth round of UN sanctions against Iran last year, aimed at pressuring Tehran to curb its nuclear program. The United States and its allies say Iran is trying to build bombs under cover of its nuclear program. Iran denies the allegations, saying its nuclear activities are peaceful. China has backed Iran's right to peaceful nuclear power and has expressed displeasure at proposed sanctions that would hit Iran's energy sector, saying that it does not view such measures as the ""fundamental solution"" to the dispute. Source: Reuters

Worst is over for aviation sector, say airline CEOs

According to a business confidence survey by the International Air Transport Association's (IATA) has revealed a sense of optimism returning to airline executives about the next 12 months after lower profits during the second quarter due to events in the Mena region and Japan, The National has reported. ""There has been some recovery in the outlook for profitability,"" the report said. ""Both cargo and passenger demand continued to improve."" Profits, however, will remain depressed, with airlines expected to earn $4 billion in profits this year, down significantly from the $18 billion net profit recorded last year. Source: The National

DAE cancels $2.8bn Boeing 737 order

Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE), the leasing company that cancelled its remaining order from Airbus, has also cancelled an order for 35 Boeing single-aisle 737s valued at around $2.8 billion (Dh10.29bn) at list prices, Gulf News has reported. ""Boeing and Dubai Aerospace Enterprise have reached an agreement to cancel the remaining (35) 737s on order. The cancellation is reflected on Boeing's Orders and Deliveries website. DAE has now 21 Boeing unfilled orders [15 747-8Fs and six 777s],"" Boeing said. Source: Gulf News

Mumtalakat will back Gulf Air says CEO

Bahrain sovereign wealth fund Mumtalakat will continue to financially support Gulf Air even though the loss-making carrier will be a drag on its 2011 earnings, the fund's chief executive said. Mumtalakat, which bundles Bahrain's non-oil state-owned companies, is one of the smaller sovereign wealth funds in the world's top oil-exporting region, with $9.1 billion in assets at the end of 2009. It owns stakes in several state firms such as Gulf Air and Aluminium Bahrain. ""Gulf Air is a challenging asset for us,"" Talal Al Zain said in a telephone interview. The firm made profit of 26.15 million dinars ($69.38 million) in the first half of 2010, according to its website. Its 2009 net loss was $487.2 million, largely attributed to losses in Gulf Air and Aluminium Bahrain. ""Our results are looking good but what drags us down is Gulf Air,"" Al Zain said. Mumtalakat said last year that it would look to offload the ailing airline to the government. ""We hope there will be a turnaround in Gulf Air soon, after they launched a new strategy. We will continue financially supporting it for now,"" said Zain. Gulf Air, which competes with the likes of Dubai's Emirates and Qatar Airways, recently implemented a strategy to find a niche by building a network of regional routes to destinations it sees as under-served. Source: Reuters