Issue  No. 234
8 July 2019

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


       64.23 USD         1,406 USD


Economic Outlook
  • The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) announced that Egypt current account deficit increased to 7.6 BN USD (126.3 BN EGP) in the first nine months of the 2018/2019 compared to 5.47 BN USD (90.9 BN EGP) a year earlier.
  • Egypt foreign exchange reserves increased by 76 MM USD in June 2019 reaching 44.351 BN USD (737.15 BN EGP) compared to 44.275 BN USD (735.89 BN EGP) in May 2019.
  • Joblessness among Saudis declined to 12.5% in Q1-2019, but the number of citizens working in the private sector actually fell. The government has added 20,000 people to its payroll since Q3-2018. The numbers show the challenges of Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman's ambitious plan to get more Saudis to work in the private sector.
  • The number of Saudi tourists to Turkey declined by 33.2% in H1-2019 to reach 122,115 people compared to 182,689 in H1-2018. The figures indicate a decline in Saudi tourism in Turkey from the 4th position to the 10th.
  • The non-oil trade through the emirate of Abu Dhabi increased by 0.5% y-o-y in the first four months of 2019 reaching 71.44 BN AED (19.44 BN USD) compared to 71.4 BN AED (19.43 BN USD) in the same period last year.
  • UAE has become India third largest trading partner after the US and China as bilateral trade hit 60 BN USD in 2018/2019. The exports from India to UAE totaled 30.2 BN USD while exports from UAE to India reached 29.8 BN USD. The two nations have set 100 BN USD trade target by 2020.
  • Qatar Central Bank sold 600 MM QAR (165 MM USD) of treasury bills in an auction. A total of 300 MM QAR worth of three-month T-bills were sold at 2.07%, 200 MM QAR worth of six-month T-bills were sold at 2.22% and 100 MM QAR worth of nine-month T-bills were sold at 2.23%.
Political Events
  • Qatar ruling emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani will meet U.S. President Donald Trump in Washington on July 9 to exchange views on the latest regional and international developments.
  • A key agreement to strengthen co-operation between Bahrain and Egypt in the field of environmental protection has been signed. It covers technical co-operation in the field of marine pollution, climate change and environmental analysis. 
Major Companies Transaction
  • Egypt Ezz Steel (ESRS), one of the biggest steel producers in the MENA region, reported a wider y-o-y loss in Q1-2019 standalone earnings amounted to 369 MM EGP (22.24 MM USD), compared to a net loss of 187 MM EGP (11.25 MM USD) in Q1-2018.
  • Qalaa Holdings, an African leader in energy and infrastructure, participated in the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) Business Regional Workshop in Tunisia addressing business and labor mobility issues.
  • El-Ahli Investment and Development (AFDI) announced its standalone net profits of 703,714 EGP for the fiscal period starting January 1, 2019, and ending March 31, 2019, compared to net profits of 2 MM EGP recorded in the same period a year ago.
  • Berlin-based Siemens AG has renewed its offer to supply the Egyptian National Railways (ENR) with 100 locomotives. Its worthy to mention that the German industrial conglomerate is modernizing electrical signalling equipment for the 214 km Zagazig - Abu Kebir route.
  • Almarai company posted a net profit of 582.5 MM SAR (155.46 MM USD) in Q2-2019, compared to 661.41 MM SAR (176.35 MM USD) in Q2-2018.
  • Alfanar and Taqnia Energy have signed an MoU to develop alternative energy and the localization of energy products in order to reduce the dependence on non-renewable energy and to shift to developing green energy projects in line with Saudi Vision 2030.
  • Noor Bank, one of the leading Shari'ah-compliant banks in UAE, entered a successful collaboration with Azimut (DIFC) Limited to launch the largest US-dollar Islamic fixed maturity plan (FMP) in UAE.
  • Abu Dhabi National Insurance Company (ADNIC), one of the leading regional multi-line insurance provider for corporates and individuals, has announced the launch of its 'verified' WhatsApp Business service.
  • Qatar beIN Sports group has to pay 30 MM SAR (8 MM USD) to Saudi Arabia. The Dubai court found beIN SPORTS had been involved in serious legal irregularities, including breaches of its product distribution agreement and other licensing irregularities.
  • The National Bank of Kuwait (NBK), as a platinum sponsor, welcomes the participants from LOYAC's program "KON". This social entrepreneurship program is co-created with Babson College, the most prestigious entrepreneurship college in the U.S. and the number one institution in the world for entrepreneurship education.

Sports and Culture
  • Egypt coach Javier Aguirre was sacked just hours after the hosts Egypt were bundled out of the Africa Cup of Nations tournament by South Africa in the round of 16. Egypt lost 1-0 to an 85th minute goal from Thembinkosi Lorch.
  • Bisco Misr and Temmy's, two iconic brands from the Egyptian business of the global food industry leader Kellogg, are sponsoring the 2019 African Cup of Nations. Temmy's® is the breakfast provider for all AFCON teams with "Champs Breakfast" and Cocoa Lovers of Bisco Misr launched its limited-edition product "Crunchy Bites" in celebration of the tournament.
Subscribe for  "Insights Africa "

Dubai Office:
Office No. N 415, North Tower, Emirates Financial Towers, DIFC, P.O Box 506726, Dubai, UAE.
Tel:  +97142820301

Cairo Office:
Z epter Office Building  S5-6 ,  Area 5, District 1, 5th Settlement,  New Cairo, Egypt.  P.O. Box:  1147

Kenya Office:
Block C, Ground Floor, Fortis Office Park Muthangari Dr Westlands, Nairobi, Kenya
Tel: +254 20 5148174
P.O. Box: 66488-00800

     Like us on Facebook  View our profile on LinkedIn  Follow us on Twitter View our videos on YouTube