Issue  No.135
31 July 2017

This report is designed to give you a snapshot about the MENA region tackling multiple issues:


        52.17  USD         1,267  USD


  Economic Outlook
  • Egypt is negotiating with African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) to establish an African Investment Zone in Suez Canal. The two parties stressed the importance of promoting economic integration and open common markets through a stronger African intra-trade.
  • First electric train linking between Salam City, on the outskirts of Cairo; with the country, new administrative capital will cost 1.4 BN USD. Based on President Al Sisi's requests, the projected time frame was reduced to 24 months from 30 months. A Chinese firm will inject above 725 MM USD in the project, in cooperation with the government which will contribute 500 MM USD.
  • Saudi Arabia is limiting foreign labor participation by confining five sectors to nationals. As part of Saudisation, only Saudis will be allowed to work in malls, tourism and health sectors. Expatriates account for almost one-third of total population; the rate of Saudisation in the tourism and health sectors reached 60% and 50% respectively.
  • OPEC leader Saudi Arabia is addressing weak compliance with output cuts by OPEC countries. UAE and Iraq did not adhere to the limits, unlike Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. U.S. shale producers have offset the impact of oil cuts by raising their output. After the crude oil prices increased to 58 USD per barrel, they slipped back to 45-50 USD range.
  • Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. (ADNOC) bought a U.S. Eagle Ford condensate cargo in a tender for September arrival, replacing its monthly 1-1.5 million barrels it used to receive from Qatar. The UAE had halted Qatar condensate supplies after cutting diplomatic and transport ties.
  • Qatar injected 10 BN USD in local banks in June 2017 to offset foreign deposit outflow resulting from the diplomatic crisis.In June, total deposits rose to 770.7 BN QR, up from 762.2 BN QR; nevertheless, foreign customer deposits shrank to 170.6 BN QR (46.9 BN USD) from 184.6 BN QR in May; equivalent to 7.6% of foreign deposits.
  • UAE lifted agriculture imports ban of 7 types of Jordanian vegetables as a result of measures concerning pesticide residue. UAE is one of Jordan biggest importers of fruits and vegetables. 
  • Tunisia shows signs of recovery as its gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 2.1% in Q1-2017 compared to 0.9% in Q1-2016. In April 2016, the government signed a 2.83 BN USD agreement with the International Monterey Fund (IMF). In June 2017, the second tranche was disbursed after the first review.
  • Moody's, the international rating agency, praised Lebanon for its tax measures as part of its fiscal reform. Such measures are considered important steps for the parliament towards ratifying the country's first budget since 2005. 
   Political Events
  • Yemen cholera hit 400,000 cases according to the World Health Organization; figures indicate that 1 in 50 of the population caught the disease. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) predicts that 600,000 people will be hit by the end of 2017.
  • Tension remains despite Israel removal of security apparatus from Al Aqsa. Israeli police banned men under 50 to enter the site on Friday morning. Two Israeli police were shot dead, two Palestinians were killed and 136 wounded between Thursday to Friday.
  • U.S. officials are discussing cutting a portion of aid to Egypt as a reaction to the passage of a new restrictive NGO law. The new law restricted non-governmental organizations activity in social and developmental work; it further introduced jail time for non-compliance. Annually, Egypt receives 1.3 BN USD in military aid and 200 MM USD in economic assistance. Egyptian lawmakers see the law as a necessary step to protect national security.
  • An Egyptian court sentenced 43 anti-government activists to life in prison (25 years) for rioting, vandalism and attacking security forces in December 2011 whereas 17 people were killed and 2,000 wounded. The defendants were fined 17 MM EGP (948,661 USD) for public property vandalism.  
  • The four Arab nations added 18 more groups and individuals that have direct or indirect ties with Qatar to their "terrorist list". Three Libyan media outlets, three Yemeni Charities, two armed groups and one religious foundation are now on the list. The decision erupted after Qatar emir was quoted supporting Gaza Islamist Hamas movement and describing Iran as an "Islamic power", Qatar denied that their emir made those remarks.
  • The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill slapping new sanctions on Iran, Russia and North Korea. Araqchi, a top nuclear negotiator said that sanctions will be met with definitive response as they are clear hostile acts.
  • A Saudi top court sentenced 14 men to death, from the Shi'ite Muslim minority, for armed attacks. Another 15 men were convicted of spying for Iran; an appeals court upheld the death sentence.
  • The deportation of 1,400 Iraqi nationals from the U.S. was halted by a U.S. judge as the immigrants were considered ethnic and religious minorities in Iraq and could be prosecuted there.
  • U.S. will grant Lebanon an extra 140 MM USD for hosting 1.5 million Syrian refugees, making up almost 25% of the Lebanon population. The Lebanese governments requested assistance of 2.8 BN USD during its 2017-2020 Crisis Response Plan to address the Syrian influx.
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   Stock Market
  • .KWSE banking sector has increased led by Ahli United Bank (AUB) and real estate sector led by Al Massaleh.
  • .QSI real estate sector has increased led by Mazaya Qatar and Barwa. On the other hand, banking sector declined led by Qatar Islamic Bank.
  • .ADI banking sector has declined led by Union National Bank (UNB). 
  • .DFMGI real estate sector retreated led by Arabtec Holding.
Note: Weekly values are calculated on Thursday of each week.
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Cairo Office:
Z epter Office Building  S5-6,  Area 5, District 1, 5th Settlement,  New Cairo, Egypt.  P.O. Box:  1147
Dubai Office:
Office No. N 415, North Tower, Emirates Financial Towers, DIFC, P.O Box 506726, Dubai, UAE.
Tel: +97143518187

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