Issue  No.136
07 August 2017

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


        51.80  USD         1,257  USD


  Economic Outlook
  • Since the floating of the Egyptian pound last November, a net of 11 BN EGP worth of shares have been bought by foreign investors. Egypt foreign reserves jumped from 31.305 BN USD at the end of June 2017 to 36.04 BN USD at the end of July 2017. The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) main aim from floating the Egyptian pound was to attract foreign capital to Egypt especially after the political instability of the country which caused the currency to be more than halved in value.
  • According to the CBE, Egypt external debt rose 9.7% reaching 73.88 BN USD in March 2017 compared to 67.332 BN USD in December 2016.
  • According to the IMF estimates, Jordan inflation rate is expected to stabilize around 2.5% by the end of the year. Jordan Economy is expected to grow by 2.3% in 2017. The IMF also highlighted the challenges facing the Jordanian economy despite the recent progress and improvements.
  • Consequent to the gulf crisis and the cutting of diplomatic ties with Qatar by main countries, Qatar imports shrank 40% year on year. However, analysts expect that Qatar can still function well regardless of the sanctions and is still expected to be one of the Gulf best performing economies in 2017.
  • Since tourism is one of the most important economic sectors in Saudi Arabia Vision 2030, it has launched an international tourism project under the name "Red Sea Project". The project aims to promote the international tourism in Saudi Arabia and will also contribute in shifting tourism and hospitality concepts, through developing resorts on more than 50 natural islands.
  • Fuel prices in UAE increased in August 2017 after three months of decreasing in April, June and July 2017 by the Ministry of Energy. The price of Special 95 increased from 1.75 to 1.78 AED, while Super 98 increased from 1.86 to 1.89 AED and E Plus-91 increased from 1.68 to 1.71 AED. This movement in the fuel price depends on the international crude oil prices which has been fluctuating due to the supply and demand.
  • The preparations for the "Dubai investment forum" has started in Dubai. The aim of the event is to provide the investors with a view of the growth opportunities, partnerships and the future investments in the sectors that support the objectives of the UAE national agenda 2021 and the Dubai 2021 plan.
  • Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahyan has officially approved a new tax procedures law in UAE, introducing the implementation of a new value-added tax (VAT) on goods and services from January 2018. The six members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have agreed in 2016 to introduce the value-added tax to diversify the sources of revenue and reduce the dependence on the crude oil exports especially after the drop-in oil prices in mid-2014.
  • Egyptian Cabinet signed a three-year 100 MM EUR financing agreement with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to finance the purchase of 100 new locomotives. Also, Egypt signed a 575 MM USD contract with General Electric (GE) to provide 100 new multi-use locomotives and maintenance and upgrading of 81 trains bought in 2008. These two contracts are part of the plan to have 25 million tons of goods transported by trains in 2022.
  • Oman signed a 3.55 BN USD loan with Chinese financial institutions; the loan increased from the initial 2 BN USD due to the strong interest received. The loan which is one of the largest transactions for a regional borrower in the Chinese market, has maturity of five years and will help Oman fulfill its financial requirements for the expected 2017 fiscal deficit.
   Political Events
  • Saudi King Salman invites 1,000 families of Egyptian security forces to perform Hajj. Saudi ambassador says this hosting is an appreciation of the King for the families of the martyrs who sacrificed their lives to defend their homeland
  • The four Arab countries which have cut ties with Qatar said that they are willing for a dialogue with Qatar in the implementation of their demands and principles, if Qatar showed mutual willingness. The four countries have previously listed 13 demands for Qatar including cutting any support to the Muslims Brotherhood, shutting Al Jazeera channel, closing a Turkish military base and minimizing its relationship with Iran. However, Qatar accused the four Arab countries of violating the international law in boycotting it and asked the United Nations to intervene.
  • Saudi Air defense forces have stopped a missile launched by the Yemen Houthi militias towards Makkah. The missile was shot towards about 69 kilometers away from the holy city. This missile isn't the first one, another missile was also shot from Yemen to the holy city but was stopped by the Saudi air defense before causing any damage on October 27, 2016.
  • After Iran boycotted the pilgrimage last year due to the death of many Iranians in a crush in the pilgrimage in 2015, nearly 90,000 Iranians are expected to attend the Hajj this year in Medina. Iranians will never forget the catastrophic event that happened in 2015 and are expecting that Saudi Arabia insures the security of all pilgrims in the Hajj. 
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   Stock Market
  • .KWSE telecommunication sector has declined led by Telcom and banking sector led by Ahli United Bank (AUB).
  • .ADI telecommunication sector has declined led by Etisalat. On the other hand, real estate sector slightly increased led by Aldar Properties and banking sector led by Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB).
  • .DFMGI investment sector has increased led by Dubai Investments and banking sector led by Emirates NBD.
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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