BEIRUT/ CAIRO- Syria said on Wednesday its military command was still studying a proposal for a holiday ceasefire with rebels- contradicting international mediator Lakhdar Brahimi's announcement that Damascus had agreed to a truce.
DUBAI, Oct 24- Private equity firms in the Middle East are preparing to exit a range of investments, a sign that asset markets in the region are recovering from the twin blows of Arab Spring uprisings and the global financial crisis.
GAZA- The Emir of Qatar embraced the Hamas leadership of Gaza on Tuesday with an official visit that broke the isolation of the Palestinian Islamist movement, to the dismay of Israel and rival, Western-backed Palestinian leaders.
ROMNEY on Syria: "What I'm afraid of is we've watched over the past year or so, first the president saying, `Well, we'll let the U.N. deal with it.' And Assad _ excuse me, Kofi Annan _ came in and said we're going to try to have a cease-fire.
SEOUL, South Korea-- South Korea says it has been chosen to host a new U.N. climate fund that aims to channel $100 billion a year in aid to developing nations. Seoul's Finance Ministry says the decision was made Saturday in a vote by the fund's 24- member board in Songdo, South Korea.
TOKYO, Oct 12- Chubu Electric Power Co, Japan's third-biggest power utility, has signed a second long-term contract to buy liquefied natural gas from its main supplier Qatargas for 15 years from 2013 to ensure stable supplies.
*Tokyo Gas says oil-indexation "not rational". Producers BG Group, Russia, Norway and Qatar regard them as cornerstones of the business. Tokyo Gas, Japan's single biggest importer of oil-linked, called the global gas pricing mechanism "not rational" in light of cheap U.S. gas exports expected to flood markets by 2016..
TOKYO, Oct 12- Japan's Chubu Electric Power Co. has signed a contract to buy liquefied natural gas from Qatar for 15 years from 2013 to ensure a stable electricity supply, the company said in a statement on Friday.
Just hours later, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said the cyberthreat from Iran has grown, and he declared that the Pentagon is prepared to take action if American is threatened by a computer-based assault.
WASHINGTON, Oct 11- The "Shamoon" virus that attacked Saudi Arabia's state oil company, ARAMCO, was probably the most destructive attack the business s e ctor has seen to date, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said on Thursday.
WASHINGTON, Oct 11- The U.S. military could act pre-emptively if it detects an imminent threat of cyber attack, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said on Thursday, urging stronger action to bolster America's defenses against such plots. He said a presidential executive order was being considered "while we wait for Congress to act."
*Qatari LNG supplies to UK also down sharply. *UK spot gas prices up 10 pct since beginning of Oct. LONDON, Oct 11- Britain's winter gas supply may hit a crunch in a cold snap after volatile imports from Norway due to technical problems compound variable shipments from Qatar.
KUWAIT/ RABAT, Oct 11- Morocco's King Mohammed is to make a rare official tour of Gulf Arab countries later this year as his cash-strapped government seeks alternatives to its crisis-hit European trade partners. The monarch will also travel to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and Oman, Jarallah said.
*Middle East allocated much more of sukuk than expected. DUBAI, Oct 11- Turkey's first sovereign sukuk issue was a public relations triumph but it's been a financial disappointment so far in the secondary market, showing the risks of over-allocating debt deals to a single region.
DOHA, Oct 11- Qatar's regulator has proposed extending its ban on onshore banks operating Islamic windows to include financial institutions in the Qatar Financial Centre, according to a consultation paper released this week.
ASHGABAT, Oct 11- Turkmenistan's economy expanded by 11.1 percent in the first nine months of 2012, slowing from 14.6 percent in the same period a year ago, President Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov was quoted as saying on Thursday. Turkmenistan's economic growth hinges on the development and exports of its natural gas riches.
KUWAIT, Oct 11- Morocco's King Mohammed plans to tour Gulf Arab countries in the next few weeks to discuss investment and bilateral relations, a senior Kuwaiti official said on Thursday. King Mohammed will travel to countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council, which comprises Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and Oman, Jarallah said.
KUWAIT, Oct 11- Morocco's King Mohammed plans to tour Gulf Cooperation Council countries in the next few weeks to discuss investment and bilateral relations, a senior Kuwaiti official said on Thursday. King Mohammed is expected to visit Kuwait as part of the tour in October or November, he said.
*Euro crisis has hit Morocco hard. KUWAIT/ RABAT, Oct 11- Morocco's King Mohammed will make a rare tour of Gulf Arab countries before the end of the year as his cash-strapped government tries to drum up investor interest in a sovereign bond.
R. Seetharaman, Group CEO of Doha Bank talks about the company's capital expansion plan. He says major infrastructural projects are planned in Qatar and is confident about the country's economic progress.