Iraq has qualified 41 companies to participate in its fourth energy bidding round, which is scheduled to take place in late January, Abdul Mahdy Al Ameedi, director of the oil ministry\'s contracts and licensing directorate, said yesterday. The bidding round for 12 new exploration blocs is expected to add 29 trillion cubic feet of gas and 10 billion barrels of oil to Iraqi reserves from the auction. \"We eventually qualified 41 companies,\" Al Ameedi said. Al Ameedi said the next step would be inviting the 41 companies to a roadshow on September 11 in Amman, Jordan and presenting a data package with initial tender protocol to companies on September 12. The announcement may lead to a clash with an Iraqi parliament energy panel chief who said in May he wanted the bidding delayed until lawmakers approve a long-delayed new hydrocarbons law. Opec member Iraq has already signed a series of deals with oil majors to develop its largest oil-fields and is seeking to boost its production as the country pulls back from years of war and economic sanctions. Maize Products National Co for Maize Products, an Egyptian sweetener producer, said its six-month profit declined 28 per cent. Net income for the period that ended June 30 was 30.7 million Egyptian pounds (Dh18.95 million) compared with 42.7 million pounds a year-earlier, the Cairo-based company said in a filing to the Egyptian bourse yesterday. Kingdom Holding Article continues below Kingdom Holding Co, controlled by Saudi billionaire Prince Al Waleed Bin Talal, said it will use a mix of bank financing, cash and revenue from the project to build the world\'s tallest tower in Jeddah. The Kingdom Tower will be build in three phases and there will be an equity capital of 1.5 billion riyals (Dh1.47 billion), the company said. Kingdom Holding last week hired Saudi\'s Binladin Group to construct the building that will replace Dubai\'s Burj Khalifa as the world\'s tallest tower. Maximus Air Cargo Maximus Air Cargo, the UAE\'s largest dedicated all cargo aircraft operator, reports that July saw a record operational month for the Airbus A300-600RF, operated under an Aircraft, Crew, Maintenance and Insurance agreement by Etihad Crystal Cargo. The aircraft, operated by the award-winning carrier since June 2009, reached an unprecedented level of 638 hours during July. This represented a 14 per cent increase over other months, primarily due to the airline increasing its charter requirement and the aircraft flying to new destinations such as Vienna, Damascus, Baghdad and Khartoum. Air Arabia Air Arabia, the Middle East and North Africa\'s leading low-cost carrier, has signed a strategic partnership agreement with Al Ansari Exchange, the UAE\'s largest network exchange house that provides worldwide remittance and foreign exchange services. Under the terms of the partnership, Air Arabia customers can now pay for their tickets through any of the over 100 Al Ansari Exchange branches across the UAE. Capital Management Capital Management House, the Bahrain-based investment bank, yesterday announced that it has made the second distribution of dividends to GCC investors of its aircraft leasing investment fund for the period ending June 30. Dividends for investors in the fund, which include a number of high net worth individuals, family offices and institutions from across the region, are paid on a quarterly basis and have been calculated at 10 per cent per annum. Majid Al Futtaim Majid Al Futtaim Properties, a developer and operator of shopping malls together with hotels and mixed-use community projects in the Mena region, announced that it has commenced works on the first phase of Khams Shamat, its 1.5 million square metres mixed-use project in Syria. The project, which is being developed in the Yaafour district, 17 km west of Damascus, will be developed through multiple phases with an estimated cost exceeding $1 billion (Dh3.67 billion).