Issue  No.169
02 April 2018

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


        69.72 USD         1,331 USD


Economic Outlook
  • The Central Bank of Egypt has cut its overnight deposit rate to 16.75% from 17.75% as a second cut. The Lending rate was cut from 18.75% to 17.75%.
  • Egypt current account deficit has decreased to 1.8 BN USD in March 2018, compared to 4.67 BN USD in December 2017. The decrease in deficit was contributed to an increase in the tourism sector whereas its revenues have increased from 826 MN USD year-on-year basis to 2.28 BN USD this quarter. Overall, M2 money supply has increased to 25.4% year-on-year in February 2018. This counts as a 20.4% increase compared to January.
  • Morocco economy is expected to grow by more than 3.2% this year. This is in contrast to the earlier predictions, where economic growth would slow down to 2.8% compared to 4% in 2017.
  • Iraq oil exports from its southern ports represented about 3.453 million bpd (barrels per day) in February. In February exports are about 1% less compared to January exports (3.49 million bpd).
  • OPEC is seeking a long-term cooperation on oil output controls with Russia and other non-OPEC producers. The cooperation aims to curb supply after the oil prices have crashed in 2017.
  • The UAE has guaranteed 1.8 BN AED aid (500 MM USD) to revamp the United Nations 2018 Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan (YHRP). The YHRP aims to reach more than 13 million underprivileged persons in Yemen.
  • Kuwait GDP at present prices, reached 36.4 BN KWD (120.2 BN USD). This is an increase of 8.7% compared to last year.
  • The US has sent aid worthy of 1.525 BN USD to Jordan, with an additional 250 MM USD.
  • The Lebanese government aims to issues 5 BN USD in treasury bonds to swap with Lebanon Central Bank. The swap would help strengthen the central bank foreign exchange assets and save the Lebanese treasury 1.5 BN USD.
Political Events
  • Tripoli's city council stated that the mayor of Libya capital was abducted by unknown gunmen last Thursday.
  • The Syrian army has warned rebels to surrender or face a military assault to force them out. The Syrian army shows this as a deal to end the standoff in Douma City, the largest urban center in eastern suburbs of Damascus.
Major Companies Transaction
  • DP World Sokhna has welcomed the largest bulk cargo vessel to ever arrive to port and enter the Red Sea. The cargo is known as capsize vessel, it originally came from Malta, carrying steel weighing no more than 140,000 mt.
  • General Authority for Supply Commodities, Egypt state grain buyer, bought 475,000 tons of wheat in an international buying tender whereas 355,000 tons of which are Russian wheat, while the remaining quantity is 120,000 tons were Romanian.
  • Bank Dhofar showed commitment to support the SME sector in Oman by joining with Business Gateway as a partner and sponsor for JSRS RIYADA e-marketplace. The e-marketplace aims to showcase about a 100 SMEs.
  • The Saudi-US CEO forum in New York included more than 200 economic figures and business leaders. In the forum, 36 Memorandum of Understanding were signed between U.S and Saudi companies. The forum is in line with the 2030 Vision to establish new partnerships.
  • Orascom Construction announced that its joint venture in UAE-based Al Sahraa group has awarded a contract of about 180 MM USD for the expansion of Fujairah International Airport.
Sports and Culture
  • Netflix first Arabic series will be filmed in Jordan. The first Arabic series will betitled "Jin". Petra, Jordan is one of the discussed potential locations.
  • Kuwait had its first wheelchair basketball championship featuring 4 domestic teams. The championship held 6 matches.
  • Saudi Arabia's second comic con took place at Jeddah at the end March. Actors and celebrities like Ian Somerhalder, John Travolta and Nelly attended.
_____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________
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:  +97142820301

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