Issue  No.58
25 January 2016

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


        32.4  USD           1,104  USD


    Economic Outlook

  • The Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC) crude oil exports have decreased by 18.8% in 2014 reaching 571 BN USD compared to 2012. 
  • German exports to United Arab Emirates have increased in 2015 by 30% to reach 13 BN EUR compared to 11.4 BN EUR in 2014. The exports to Saudi Arabia have also increased in November 2015 by 13% compared to January 2015.
  • Due to the sharp fall in capital inflows, Lebanon's balance of payment deficit has increased by 130% in the first 11 month of 2015. The deficit was 1.4 BN USD over the first 11 month in 2014; however, it increased to reach 3 BN USD over the first 11 month in 2015.
  • Standard & Poor (S&P) has dropped the rating of Saudi Arabia and Oman. Saudi Arabia was downgraded from AA- to A+ due to fiscal deficit increase in 2015 that reached 15% of GDP compared to 1.5% in 2014. Oman's rating was downgraded from A- to BBB+ due to S&P expectations that Oman's fiscal balances will be affected by the declining oil prices.
  • According to a presidency statement, Egypt is planning to list shares in state-owned banks and companies on the stock market in order to enhance investment and economic growth. The statement did not specify the names of the banks nor the companies.
  • China agreed to give Egypt a loan worth 1.7 BN USD during President Xi Jinping visit to Egypt. The loan includes 1 BN USD to Egypt's Central Bank and 700 MN USD to the National Bank of Egypt.
  • United Arab Emirates Energy Ministry said in the World Economic Forum that UAE is planning to remove the subsidies on the electricity and gas sold to generating power companies. The Minister added that this removal of subsidy is important to make the government budget independent on oil revenues.
  • Iran is currently in the efforts of rearranging the country's relations with the banking world after the sanctions on Iran have been lifted. Middle East Bank in Tehran has sent around 40 SWIFTS to different banks globally and still waiting for responses
  • According to Iraq's Finance Minister, Iraq is planning to issue 4.24 BN USD local bonds to the public for the first time since 2003. The three-year bond will have an interest rate of 10% and will be sold to citizens and employees.
  • 16,000 additional companies have joined the membership of Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry in 2015. The membership addition is expected to enhance the position of the Chamber as one of the largest membership-based Chamber of Commerce in the world.
  • According to the Economic Development Board (EDB), Bahrain's non oil sector has seen a growth of 3.3% in Q3 of 2015. It's worthy to mention that the main sectors contributing to the growth were private education, private healthcare, transportation and communication contributing to Y-o-Y rate of 8%, 6.3%, and 6% respectively.
  • Abu Dhabi's inflation increased in December 2015 by 0.4% compared to November 2015. It's worthy to mention that the rise was due to the rise in hotels prices, housing, electricity, and gas.
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