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DOW MAY DELAY ROHM AND HAAS DEAL TO RAISE NEW CASH: FT REPORT (USA)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 8, 2009

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

by Joseph N. DiStefano

PUBLISHED BY ‘PHILLY.COM’ (USA)

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PUBLISHED BY ‘PHILLY.COM’ (USA)

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IRAN AND KUWAIT TO DEEPEN OIL SUPPLY CURBS TO ASIA

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on January 7, 2009

Wednesday January 7, 2009

Associated Press-Wire

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE STAR'(Malaysia)

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE STAR'(Malaysia)

Posted in ASIA, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENERGY INDUSTRIES, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, IRAN, KUWAIT, PETROL, RECESSION | Leave a Comment »

LOTS OF NEGATIVES IN COLLAPSE OF DOW DEAL

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 30, 2008

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Jonathan Ratner – Financial Post

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE NATIONAL POST’ (Canada)

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE NATIONAL POST’ (Canada)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEM - USA, BANKING SYSTEMS, BANKRUPTCIES - USA, CHEMICALS (crude components), CHEMICALS (processed components), COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES, INDUSTRIES - USA, INTERNATIONAL, KUWAIT, PUBLIC SECTOR AND STATE OWNED ENTERPRISES, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, STOCK MARKETS, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, USA | Leave a Comment »

POLITICAL BICKERING, INTERFERENCE IMPERILS KUWAIT’S CRITICAL PETROLEUM INDUSTRY

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 17, 2008

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Agence France Presse

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE DAILY STAR’ (Lebanon)

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE DAILY STAR’ (Lebanon)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEMS, CENTRAL BANKS, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENERGY INDUSTRIES, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, ISLAMIC BANKS, KUWAIT, OPEC, PETROL, RECESSION, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

U.S. ARMS SALES UNDERMINE HUMAN RIGHTS, GROUP SAYS

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 10, 2008

Dec. 10, 2008, 1:31PM

by Barry Schweid – Associated Press

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE HOUSTON CHRONICLE’ (USA)

WASHINGTON — The U.S. arms trade is booming — sales reached $32 billion last year — and more than half of the purchasers in the developing world are either undemocratic governments or regimes that engaged in human rights abuses, a private think tank reported today.

Timed to the 60th anniversary of the U.N.’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the report by the New America Foundation, a nonpartisan policy institute, named 13 of the top 25 arms purchasers in the developing world as either undemocratic or engaged in major human rights abuses.

The 13 listed in the report were Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Egypt, Colombia, Jordan, Bahrain, Oman, Morocco, Yemen and Tunisia.

Sales to these countries totaled more than $16.2 billion over 2006 and 2007.

The total “contrasts sharply with the Bush administration’s pro-democracy rhetoric,” the report said.

Also, the report said that 20 of the 27 nations engaged in major armed conflicts were receiving weapons and training from the United States.

“U.S. arms transfers are undermining human rights, weakening democracy and fueling conflict around the world,” the report said.

William D. Hartung, the lead author of the report, said, “The United States cannot demand respect for human rights and arm human rights abusers at the same time.”

U.S. arms sales grew to $32 billion in 2007, more than three times the level when President Bush took office in 2001, the report said.

The United States is the world’s largest arms supplier. U.S. exports range from combat aircraft to Pakistan, Morocco, Greece, Romania and Chile to small arms and light weapons to the Philippines, Egypt and Georgia.

In 2006 and 2007, the United States sold weapons to more than 174 states and territories.At the beginning of the Bush administration there were 123 arms clients, the report said.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE HOUSTON CHRONICLE’ (USA)

Posted in BAHRAIN, BANKING SYSTEMS, BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA -(DEC. 2008/JAN. 2009), CENTRAL BANKS, CHILE, COLOMBIA, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, DEFENCE TREATIES, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ECONOMY - USA, EGYPT, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FOREIGN POLICIES, FOREIGN POLICIES - USA, FORMOSA - TAIWAN, GEORGIA, GREECE, HUMAN RIGHTS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION - USA, INDUSTRIES, INDUSTRIES - USA, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, IRAQ, ISLAMIC BANKS, ISRAEL, JORDAN, KUWAIT, MILITARY CONTRACTS, MOROCCO, OMAN, PAKISTAN, PHILIPPINES, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, ROMANIA, SAUDI ARABIA, THE ARMS INDUSTRY, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN STRUGGLE, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, THE LEBANESE CIVIL STRUGGLE, THE OCCUPATION WAR IN IRAQ, THE UNITED NATIONS, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, USA, WAR IN AFGHANISTAN, WARS AND ARMED CONFLICTS, YEMEN | Leave a Comment »

KUWAIT TAKES SWIPE AT ISRAELI RIGHTS VIOLATIONS IN PALESTINE

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 10, 2008

Monday, December 6th, 2008

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE ARAB TIMES’ (Kuwait)

GENEVA, Dec 6, (KUNA): Kuwait condemned late Friday Israel’s human rights violations in Palestinian territories and its failure to include these violations in the reports submitted to the international community. This came during an interjection by Kuwait’s permanent mission to the UN in Geneva, made by Councellor Najib Al-Bader, during a work-team session of the Universal Periodic Review stemming from the Human Rights Council, tasked with reviewing a report submitted by Israel. Al-Bader said the report was void of any indication at the legal rights of the Palestinian people and overlooked all resolutions of the Human Rights Council and other international agencies.

He added that Israelis denied the Palestinians the right to determine their fate despite the fact that this right had been acknowledged by the UN’s Security Council and General Assembly, as well as the International Court of Justice and Israel itself. The Kuwaiti diplomat emphasized that enabling the Palestinians to determine their fate and establish an independent state on territories occupied since 1967 would provide basic guarantees for boosting human rights and consolidating global peace and security. He called for including a recommendation pertaining to this issue in the report.

Moreover, Al-Bader noted the suffering of Arab prisoners in Israeli jails, whom he said were held under harsh circumstances, while also speaking of the deteriorating health conditions of those hailing from the occupied Syrian Golan Heights held in Israeli prisons. He called for issuing a recommendation in the report over the importance of implementing all resolutions of the Human Rights Council related to the release of Syrian prisoners held in Israeli jails and ending occupation of the Golan Heights. The Universal Period Review (UPR) is a unique process which involves a review of the human rights records of all 192 UN member states once every four years. The UPR is a state-driven process, under the auspices of the Human Rights Council, which provides the opportunity for each state to declare what actions they have taken to improve the human rights situations in their countries and to fulfill their human rights obligations. As one of the main features of the council, the UPR is designed to ensure equal treatment for every country when their human rights situations are assessed.

Meanwhile, Kuwait deplored late Friday all acts of piracy and armed robberies against the ships off the Somali coast and urged the international community to join forces to eradicate the scourge. Addressing the General Assembly as it met to discuss the “Oceans and the Law of the Sea,” Kuwaiti diplomat Mohammed Al-Zo’bi emphasized the importance Kuwait attaches to the subject of oceans and the law of the sea. He said he was concerned at the increase in piracy and armed robberies against ships, specifically the recent hijacking of the Saudi tanker off the coast of Somalia, and stated that such activity threatened trade and maritime navigation, and jeopardized the lives of the crews on board.

In that regard, he commended the Security Council for its adoption of resolution 1864 earlier this month, which focused on strengthening global efforts to combat piracy off Somalia’s coast and expanding the mandate of state and regional organizations working with Somali officials towards that goal. He said that protecting the marine environment and its natural resources was also of utmost importance to Kuwait and called for a more integrative approach to expanded research and measures aimed at preserving the biodiversity of oceans and seas from the impact of manmade and natural climate change.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE ARAB TIMES’ (Kuwait)

Posted in CARGO PIRACY, ENVIRONMENT, FOREIGN POLICIES, FOREIGN POLICIES - USA, HUMAN RIGHTS, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, ISRAEL, KUWAIT, PALESTINE, THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN STRUGGLE, THE LAST DAYS OF GEORGE WALKER BUSH - 2008/Jan. 2009, USA, WATER | Leave a Comment »

ASSETS OF ARAB BANKS SET TO REACH $2 TRILLION

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 1, 2008

Sunday 30 November 2008 (02 Dhul Hijjah 1429)

by Mahmood Rafique – PUBLISHED BY ‘ARAB NEWS'(Saudi Arabia)

MANAMA: The consolidated assets of the Arab banks are set to reach $2 trillion with a projected net profit of $40 Kuwaiti traders follow the dealings of Kuwait's Stock Exchange in Kuwait Citybillion by the year-end, a senior official at the Union of Arab Banks, announced.

Adnan Ahmad Yousef, chairman of Union of Arab Banks, who attended the 2nd Arab-Greek Economic Forum last week in Athens, said that despite the economic upheaval, Arab banks would witness 15 percent annual growth in 2009.

Adnan, who is also chairman and chief executive of the Manama-headquartered AlBaraka Banking Group (ABG), said that the rapid growth of Arab banks had made them one of the most rapidly growing segments within the global banking system. “The balance sheet of Arab banks increased significantly in 2007 rising to $1.69 trillion, an increase of 30 percent over 2006. Our banking sector is made up of 470 institutions forming 267 commercial banks, 45 Islamic banks, 52 investment and national banks, 49 specialized banks and 57 foreign banks,” he said.

This sector, he said, employed more than 370,000 employees scattered across some 15,000 branches around the world. The sector plays a great role in the Arab economy, where it finances production, trade and investment. “It is also considered an essential partner in enhancing economic and social development, and laying the solid grounds of our economy that is always aimed at constant growth and the availability of credit between different Arab economies,” he said.

“As for Islamic finance the number of Islamic banks and institutions operating today in more than 75 countries in five continents is almost 300. Over 120 Islamic banks or 40 percent based in the Arab world and mainly in the GCC and their total assets reached more than $520 billion,” he added.

The Arab banking industry, he said, has shown a sustained growth and development and more Arab banks are making it to the list of the top 1,000 banks. By the end of 2007, 80 Arab banks were on the list, when nine of them made it for the first time.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘ARAB NEWS'(Saudi Arabia)

Posted in BANKING SYSTEMS, CENTRAL BANKS, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL MARKETS, FOREIGN POLICIES, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, ISLAM, ISLAMIC BANKS, ISLAMIC DEVELOPMENT BANK, KUWAIT, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, THE ARABIAN PENINSULA, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

KUWAIT READY TO CUT OUTPUT – Oil minister says his country will not hesitate to slash production if OPEC decides to cut output

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 18, 2008

First Published 2008-11-17, Last Updated 2008-11-17 08:51:48

KUWAIT CITY – Kuwait is prepared to cut its oil output if its partners in OIL CUTSthe Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries decide to slash production, the oil minister said on Sunday.

“Kuwait will not hesitate to support the world oil market and will cut production… based on an agreement between OPEC members,” Mohammad al-Olaim told the official KUNA news agency.

He called for a revision of the oil market to “restore balance between actual need for crude,” and supply, adding that inventories of many countries are full of surplus oil that could lead to a glut in the market.

Kuwait is the fourth largest OPEC producer with a daily output of 2.4 million barrels.

The OPEC cartel is scheduled to hold an extraordinary meeting on November 29 in Egypt amid speculation that member nations will agree to cut output in a bid to boost plunging oil prices.

Iran, OPEC’s second largest producer, said it will propose slashing output by between 1.0 million and 1.5 million barrels per day (bpd).

Prices of crude have collapsed by about two-thirds since striking record peaks above 147 dollars in July on concern that a prolonged global recession could slam the brakes on energy demand.

OPEC agreed on October 24 to reduce production by 1.5 million bpd from November 1, but prices have continued to slide since then.

Oil prices closed mixed on Friday amid growing signs of economic woes in the United States and Europe, despite the possibility of a new output cut.

Light sweet crude for December delivery fell 1.20 dollars a barrel to close at 57.04 dollars while Brent North Sea crude for January rose 2.25 dollars a barrel to settle at 54.24 dollars.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘MIDDLE EAST ON LINE’

Posted in INTERNATIONAL, KUWAIT | Leave a Comment »

INVESTOR LAWSUIT CLOSES KUWAITI BOURSE, GULF MARKETS PUMMELED

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 15, 2008

Published: November 14, 2008

by Sana Abdallah (Middle East Times, with agency dispatches)

AMMAN – The global financial crisis continued to pummel the oil-rich Arab Gulf markets this week, Panic-stricken Kuwaiti traders have been demanding a halt to trading for weeks, demonstrating outside the stock market (Kuwait's bourse shown here) and the Kuwaiti parliament, and seeking the emir's intervention - Sipa Press via Newscomprompting an unprecedented and controversial court order that closed down the Kuwaiti bourse after an investor sued government and finance officials for compensation for his heavy losses.

The seven markets of the Gulf states closed on Thursday, the last day of the trading week in most of these countries, with a total loss in excess of $100 billion in share values in just one week, to about $650 billion, or 42 percent down from $1.116 trillion last year.

The administrative court in Kuwait on Thursday morning ordered the Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) to shut down until Nov. 17 in an attempt to curb the hemorrhaging of the market, which has seen a $100 billion loss, or 44 percent, since June 24.

The court justified its ruling, the first of its kind in the Gulf, as an intervention on behalf of investors, it said, after the market’s management failed to take measures to boost the declining bourse.

The court said it would convene again on Nov. 17 to continue looking into the case, in reference to a lawsuit filed on behalf of an investor seeking compensation for his heavy losses incurred at the Kuwait market. He filed the lawsuit against the prime minister, the commerce minister, who heads the bourse committee, and the director general of the KSE.

The bourse abided by the verdict and stopped trading as soon as it received the order, drawing cheers from investors gathered on the trading floor, but warnings from the government and lawmakers that shutting down the market was more detrimental to investors.

The unusual verdict came as a relief to panic-stricken traders who have been in recent weeks demanding a halt to trading, demonstrating outside the market and the Kuwaiti parliament, and sought the emir’s intervention.

The government has tried, but failed, to deflect the domino effect of the international financial crunch and curb the meltdown at home.

The central bank injected billions of dollars into banks last month after the near-collapse of the Gulf Bank, Kuwait’s fourth-largest lender. Parliament passed a bill to guarantee deposits at national and foreign banks. The emirate’s Investment Authority, Kuwait’s sovereign wealth fund with foreign investments of $300 billion, pumped hundreds of millions of dollars into buying stocks.

The government is still working out a rescue plan, but Kuwait became the first Gulf state to announce it would set up a fund to buy assets from investment firms.

Some Kuwaiti financial analysts said while suspending trade in the KSE was unorthodox, there was no other choice at this point when there are desperate sellers and no one wants to buy shares until they drop far enough.

But some Kuwaiti politicians saw the court order as setting a bad precedent that further weakens confidence in the stock market.

All other Gulf bourses have also taken a strong beating from the international financial fallout, and this week was no exception, owing to panic over the proliferation of the global crisis and ensuing plunge in oil prices.

Although the governments of the world’s other oil-rich nations have announced measures to prop up their respective markets and financial systems, they have not yet found the need for a bailout or to resort to the drastic measure of suspending trade, as in Kuwait.

The Dubai Financial Market dropped to its lowest point in more than four years on Thursday, down 4.9 percent in the day’s trading, and 24.7 percent over the week in its worst losses ever. Its share values fell 56 percent in the past three months, and 64.5 percent on the year.

The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange index slumped 16.8 percent over the week, and 45 percent since June.

The financial markets in Qatar, Oman and Bahrain also had their share of heavy losses during the week.

The largest Arab market, Tadawul in Saudi Arabia, closed its week on Wednesday with a 10 percent drop, with its index down 44 percent since June.

Analysts predicted the financial downward spiral in the region will continue as huge losses in the United States, Europe and Asia plunge the world’s economies into recession.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘MIDDLE EAST TIMES’ (Egypt)

Posted in CENTRAL BANKS, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, FINANCIAL CRISIS - USA - 2008/2009, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, INTERNATIONAL, KUWAIT, QATAR, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, SAUDI ARABIA, STOCK MARKETS, THE ARABIAN PENINSULA, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

SAUDI ARABIA, UAE POUR $10 BLN INTO BANKING SYSTEM

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on October 22, 2008

Tuesday October 21 2008

Reuters

(Refiles with new headline)

by Souhail Karam and Daliah Merzaban

RIYADH/DUBAI, Oct 21 (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates poured up to $10 billion SAUDI OILinto their banking systems to boost liquidity as Gulf Arab policymakers prepared on Tuesday to discuss a joint response to the global crisis.

The Saudi central bank made deposits worth up to $3 billion with banks struggling to cope with the turmoil while the UAE Ministry of Finance funnelled 25 billion dirhams ($6.8 billion) into the system as part of a 70-billion-dirham rescue facility.

States across the world’s biggest oil-exporting region are trying to cope with the worst global financial crisis since the Great Depression, which threatens to put the brakes on a regional economic boom.

“The main challenge for Gulf states is to shore up confidence in the banking system and get the credit cycle going again,” said Mushtaq Khan, regional economist at Citigroup Global Markets.

“They can’t have diverging money-market conditions. Each country is most likely going to make decisions based on demands of their separate markets.”

In the past month, Gulf central banks and governments formulated separate responses to the crisis, including guaranteeing bank deposits, easing lending restrictions, setting up emergency funds and pouring money into ailing stock markets.

The Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA) took the latest step to defrost interbank lending by pouring in between $2 billion and $3 billion in the form of riyal and dollar deposits with banks on Monday, bankers said on Tuesday.

The UAE finance ministry said it had transferred 25 billion dirhams into banks based on the size of their loan portfolios.

“The Ministry has placed the first portion of the payment to support liquidity at banks,” the ministry said. “This portion … is designed to support the capital of national banks.”

Interbank rates eased on Tuesday after the moves, with the three-month Saudi Interbank Offered Rate falling to 4.6375 percent from 4.65125 percent.

SHOCKWAVES

Saudi Arabia, the UAE and four other members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which is preparing for monetary union, will meet on Oct. 25 to discuss how they can better coordinate policy responses, Gulf sources said on Tuesday.

The global turmoil has hit the Gulf region after six years of high oil prices allowed state and private investors to funnel billions of dollars into industry and infrastructure projects.

Banks are now struggling to finance these projects, leading economists and policymakers to expect project delays and cancellations.

“It is normal that we be affected by what is happening in global markets,” UAE Minister of Economy Sultan bin Saeed al-Mansouri said.

“But there are elements of confidence and protection that are relevant to the particulars of our economy and its diverse base of income,” he said in remarks reported by the daily Emarat al-Youm.

This week’s meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors in Riyadh follows a call from Saudi Arabia’s highest economic body for Gulf states to look at how they can coordinate their policies as Western economies head for a likely recession.

It will also happen the day after producer group OPEC holds its own emergency summit on oil prices, which have tumbled since hitting record highs above $147 a barrel.

“Most Gulf central banks have already started moving in some way or the other. If they sit and discuss it they can come out with formulated ideas,” said EFG-Hermes economist Monica Malik.

RELIANCE ON OIL

Despite lower oil prices, Gulf states are poised to continue boosting their budgets to keep their economic diversification plans on track, economists said. The UAE said on Tuesday it was raising state expenditure by 21 percent next year.

Kuwait’s leader, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah, also urged parliament and the government to push through reforms to help move the economy away from a reliance on oil exports.

Disputes between parliament and government have often paralysed legislative powers in Kuwait, the only Gulf oil producer that does not peg its currency to the dollar.

Kuwait’s central bank — which cut its benchmark interest rate this month — said last week it had shifted its priority away from fighting inflation to boosting confidence in its banking sector.

“The priority for all Gulf states is going to be to look out for their domestic economies,” Khan said.

(Writing by Daliah Merzaban; additional reporting by Inal Ersan in Dubai, Ulf Laessing in Kuwait and Saleh al-Shaibany in Muscat; editing by David Stamp)

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE GUADIAN’ (UK)

Posted in CENTRAL BANKS, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENERGY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, INTERNATIONAL, KUWAIT, PETROL, SAUDI ARABIA, THE ARABIAN PENINSULA | Leave a Comment »