Issue  No.86
8 August 2016

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


        45.19  USD          1,335  USD


  Economic Outlook
  • According to Saudi Vision 2030, Saudi private sector will need to employ 2.5 million more Saudis by 2030 as its total labor force will reach 8 million Saudis. Saudi currently has a national labor force of around 6.4 million people, with 4.2 million in the public sector, 1.6 million in the private sector and 0.6 million unemployed.
  • The deficit in Egypt's trade balance dropped by 24.6 % in May 2016, reaching 25.2 BN EGP compared to 33.4 BN EGP in May 2015. In addition, Egypt's foreign trade dropped by 7.8% to 61.8 BN EGP in May 2016 compared to 67 BN EGP in May 2015. Positively, exports rose by 9.1% to reach 18.3 BN EGP in May 2016 compared to 16.8 BN EGP in May 2015, and the increase in exports was mainly attributed to increase in exports of fresh fruits, and fertilizers.
  • Dubai-based commercial courts witnessed a 48% increase in total claim values in H1-2016 as the total value of Court of First Instance (CFI) cases was 3.44 BN AED, compared to 2.33 BN AED in H1-2015. In addition, the average value of claims filed with the DIFC Courts in H1-2016 increased by 38 % from 16.5 MM AED to 22.7 MM AED.
  • 82% of Jordan's electricity is generated using the imported liquefied natural gas (LNG) as Jordan's imports of (LNG) have reached 66 billion cubic feet since the opening of the country's first LNG terminal in 2015. This mainly decreased the energy bill by reducing the Kingdom's reliance on diesel and heavy fuel to generate power.
  • The Egyptian Cabinet approved plans of international bond issuance of up to 5 BN USD in Eurobonds. The ministry of finance announced that it would initially target to raise 3 BN USD, but it might borrow up to 5 BN USD based on investors' demand.
  • Amid falling global oil prices, the Jordanian government reduced the prices of oil derivatives by around 4%. The price of unleaded 90-octane gasoline is set at 0.55 JOD per litre for August, down from the July price of 0.58 JOD, while unleaded 95-octane gasoline is set at 0.72 JOD per litre, down from 0.745 JOD; also diesel and kerosene were priced at 0.425 JOD per litre, down from 0.440 JOD.
  • Jordan and Britain signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) upon which Britain will provide financial aid to Jordan up to 190 MM GBP as well as humanitarian assistance to refugees through the United Nations organizations. In addition, the UK announced that exiting the EU will not affect the UK's commitments to Jordan and could create more business opportunities in the future.
  • Omani production of the regular petrol (M90) has increased by 175% in H1-2016 reaching 3.28 million barrels, compared to 1.19 million barrels in H1-2015. This was mainly due to the increase in demand for regular fuel since the deregulation of prices from February this year.
  • According to the Dubai Land Department, in H1-2016, total investments in Dubai's real-estate market reached 57 BN AED, with 26,000 choosing Dubai as their real-estate investment destination. GCC countries contributed 22 BN AED to the Dubai property market with 8,000 transactions with Emiratis, Saudis, and Kuwaitis acting as top investors with investments amounting to 14.52 BN AED, 4 BN AED, and 1.2 BN AED respectively.
  • In efforts to diversify the economy away from its dependence on oil, Kuwaiti government is maintaining capital spending on development projects, and increasing private sector participation. Kuwait's five-year development plan forecasts total spending of 34.15 BN KWD by 2020 to complete mega projects such as, a railway, a metro, expansion of the country's airport and major real estate and oil project.
  • The Iraqi government approved Petro China's plans to launch the third phase of development at the Halfaya oilfield, in efforts to double the output of the field from the current production of 200,000 barrel/day to reach 400,000 barrel/day in 2018.
  • The Omani government agreed with 28 companies based in Dhofar to increase the minimum wage of Omani nationals. The workers will realize an increase in their monthly rate from 325 OMR to 400 OMR.
  • Qatar's real estate price index for June 2016 declined by 3.8% to 295.8 points from 307.6 points in March 2016. However, when compared on year-on-year basis, the June 2016 index has surged by 4.15% compared to 284.0 points in June 2015. 
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