This report is designed to give you a snapshot about the MENA region tackling multiple issues:
37.95 USD 1,256 USD
The Egyptian Central Bank has devalued the Egyptian Pound to 8.85 EGP/USD up from 7.73 EGP/USD at a 200 MM USD exceptional auction. Moreover, the central bank announced on its official trading page that it had sold 198.1 MM USD at that auction.
Bijan Zanganeh, Iran's oil minister announced that his country is considering joining the discussions with other producers regarding freezing the oil production after its output reached four MM barrels per day (bpd).
At the final quarter of 2015, over 51% of the GCC listed companies faced an unexpected plunge in profits which amounted to nearly 16% fall compared to the same period in the previous year. However, 31% of the companies beat their expectations.
According to NCB Construction Contracts Index, the value of Saudi Arabia's awarded contracts during the fourth quarter of 2015 descended by 25% compared to the third quarter of the same year amounting to 45.6 BN SAR.
The National bank of Egypt (NBE) announced that Egypt's three largest state owned banks will issue euro denominated debt certificates for Egyptians living abroad, with maturities of one, three and five years as the country aims to cut its foreign currency shortage.
The chairman of General Federation of Trade Unions in Oman announced that the Sultanate's government is considering setting up a redundancy fund to finance Omani private sector employees who lose their jobs.
To finance its budget deficit caused by low oil prices, Kuwait's finance minister announced that the government is planning to issue both international and domestic bonds.
Saudi Arabia is seeking a 5 years loan between 6 to 8 BN USD to shore up state coffers. It is worth mentioning that this will be considered as the first significant foreign borrowing by the kingdom's government in over a decade.
Fourth Generation (4G) services in Jordan are expected to widely expand to reach a penetration level of 70% by 2020 due to competitive prices and increased demand on data in the country. It is worth mentioning that the current 4G penetration in Jordan is around 11-14%.
To bridge its budget deficit caused by low oil prices, Iraq's central bank will sell 1.5 TR IQD two years' local government bonds. It is worthy to note that this is the country's first local bond since 2003.
Lebanon has signed a 65 MM USD loan with Bank Audi that will be used to finance work at three electrical relay stations, serving Beirut's southern suburbs and Tripoli, aiming to raise their capacity to 490 MW.
As Kuwait faces heavy pressure to cut costs and improve the efficiency of its economy, the country's government plans a legislation that will privatize the management of commercial ports as well as the country's international airport, with the government retaining its ownership of the assets.
Former Egyptian foreign minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit has been elected as secretary-general of the Arab league replacing Nabil El-Araby, who served as Egypt's foreign minister under the transitional government formed after the 2011 uprising.
Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr urged Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to resist all external pressures and proceed with his plans to form an independent cabinet of technocrats to fight graft.
Iran-allied Houthis is in talks now with Saudi Arabia to end their war in Yemen. It is worth mentioning that this might be their most serious step to close a theatre of Saudi-Iranian rivalry deepening political chaos across the Middle East.
Naguib Sawiris, the Egyptian billionaire businessman, has revealed his plans to invest 50 MM EUR to set up a bank in Luxembourg specializing in small and medium- sized businesses' services.
Abu Dhabi airports company (ADAC) has reported that it had completed 70% of the the Midfield Terminal Building (MIB) and is "on track" to start operations at the new facility from December 2017. The 10.8 BN AED worth project is expected to allow the easy handling of 45-50 MM passengers per annum.
A consortium led by Moroccan energy firm Nareva Holding has won a 1.22 BN USD contract to build five wind farms across the country, with a total capacity of 850 MW.
State-owned, Oman Oil Refineries and Petroleum Industries Co (ORPIC), has secured 3.8 BN USD to finance its Liwa Plastics Industries Complex project. It is worthy to mention that the value of the project is 6.5 BN USD.
Sonatrach, Algeria's state-owned energy firm, has signed 880 MM USD contract with four foreign firms to supply oil and gas drilling tubes aiming to increase their production in order to sustain exports and meet growing local demand despite the oil crisis that negatively affected the country.
The Dubai-listed construction company, Arabtec Holding, announced that it has signed a 300 MN USD worth contract to build a twin-towers project in central Dubai.
Saudi Arabia's retailer, Jarir, has revealed its concerns that most of its product lines might witness a drop in sales, particularly high end smart phones and computers, due to the drop in consumer spending as low oil prices hit households' disposable income and geopolitical tensions made shoppers more cautious. Moreover, the company expects a 30% fall in sales in Q1 2016.
Saudi Aramco's chief executive officer has reported that the company plans to double gas production in the next 10 years to reach 23 BN standard cubic feet per day in the next decade.