Issue  No. 236
22 July 2019

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


       62.47 USD         1,427 USD


Economic Outlook
  • The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) is discussing with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) offering new banking products for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and FinTech, Pilloux asserted, adding that the bank lending represents about 25% of the EBRD portfolio in Egypt.
  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is due to vote on the payment of the final tranche of the 12 BN USD loan to Egypt on July 24. The vote follows Egypt decision to implement the final round of fuel subsidy cuts, which raised domestic prices 16% and 30% to bring them into line with their real cost.
  • Egypt GDP grew by 5.6% in 2018/2019, while the country's primary surplus recorded 2%. The ongoing fiscal reforms managed to reduce the budget deficit to 8.2% in 2018/2019 compared to 9.8% in 2017/2018. Egypt targets 6% GDP growth in 2019/2020.
  • Saudi Arabia registered an impressive 13% growth in online job postings in Q2-2019 compared to Q2-2018. The increase in online hiring activity was led by the IT and Telecom/ISP industry and occupations in Hospitality, which registered growth of 29% and 22% respectively.
  • According to the IMF, Saudi Arabia inflation is expected to decrease by 1.1% in 2019 due to the decrease in rents. Saudi Arabia consumer price index (CPI), which is known as inflation, declined by 1.5% y-o-y in May 2019.
  • Over 1,000 new jobs will be generated to Emiratis seeking employment. UAE government has received 12,000 job applications from Emirati men and women in 2019, including hundreds who have completed the National Service program.
  • The Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department in Dubai (IACAD) has announced the delivery of 38 housing units to low-income Emirati families, in cooperation with Sheikh Zayed Housing Program as part of the "Mudon Al Khair" initiative.
  • Standard and Poor's (S&P) has kept Kuwait credit rating at 'AA' with a stable outlook. The Kuwaiti economy is still dependent on oil, given that oil revenue constitutes 90% of the country's exports and government revenue.
  • More than 90% of the Kuwaiti graduates prefer employment in the government which increases the government burdens by allocating salaries and wages in the first part of the state budget.
Political Events
  • Saudi king approves hosting U.S. troops to enhance regional security. The gesture comes amid rising tensions between Washington and Tehran in the Gulf that have impacted global oil markets.
  • Air France, Emirates and Etihad Airways are continuing to operate flights to Cairo after British Airways and Lufthansa suspended services to Egypt capital. International Airlines Group's British Airways suspended flights on Saturday, 21st of July for seven days "as a security precaution" as it reviews security at Cairo airport.
Major Companies Transaction
  • EFG-Hermes is preparing to manage four IPOs before the end of 2019. It is planning to manage the offering for two private companies and two government related ones on the Egyptian Exchange (EGX) before the end of the current 2019/2020.
  • National Bank of Egypt (NBE) total funding under the mortgage finance initiative surged by 2.9 BN EGP, or 71%, y-o-y in 2018/2019. NBE contributions to the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) mortgage funding initiative hiked to 7 BN EGP at the end of last June 2019, compared to 4.1 BN EGP at the end of June 2018.
  • Egypt Kuwait Holding (EKH) announced the completion of drilling operations of the first well located in the offshore North Sinai field (KS-12) at a depth of 1,698 metres and with an estimated cost of 15 MM USD.
  • B Investments is pleased to announce that Giza Arabia, Giza Systems' subsidiary in Saudi Arabia, has been awarded the Major Smart Water Meters Project in the Northern and West-Northern Regions in Saudi Arabia for a value of 30 MM USD. Noting that B Investments owns 45% of Giza Systems.
  • In Saudi Arabia, Mobily continued to grow its revenues for the 7th consecutive quarter to reach 3.3 BN SAR (879.9 MM USD) in Q2-2019, with a y-o-y growth of 15.1%. This is mainly attributed to the growth of revenues of business and wholesale units, and the continued growth of subscribers' base.
  • The Alfanar Group, one of Saudi Arabia largest industrial conglomerates, will set up a renewable energy office in UK to oversee Alfanar's investments, including a 1 BN EUR (1.24 BN USD) investment into six waste-to-energy projects that are expected to create hundreds of new jobs.
  • India top engineering and construction firm Larsen & Toubro (L&T) stated that one of its key subsidiaries, L&T Hydrocarbon Engineering Limited (LTHE), has won a contract worth nearly 70 BN INR (Indian Rupee) (1.01 BN USD) from state oil giant Saudi Aramco for its key oil field development project in Marjan.
  • Fang, the leading real estate internet platform in China, has marked its launch in UAE with a special LED show on Burj Khalifa. Fang leads the online real estate market in China in terms of number of page views and visitors to its websites that provide marketing, listing, financial and value-added services.
  • Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) and Al Baraka Banking Group, a Bahrain-headquartered Islamic multinational banking group, signed an (MoU) in order to conduct seamless cross-border fund transactions.
  • Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB) announced that its net profit attributable to the bank shareholders amounted to 1.42 BN QAR (391.48 MM USD) in H1-2019 representing a growth of 7.5% compared to H1-2018.
  • KGL Logistics announced that it will sign a 35-year contract with the Amiri Diwan of Kuwait at a value of 50 MM KWD (164 MM USD) by covering the construction, completion, as well as the maintenance and operating works for the motor sport activity in Kuwait City.

Sports and Culture
  • Algeria won 2019 Africa Cup of Nations for the second time by scoring an early goal secured a 1-0 win against Senegal in the final in Egypt. Senegal, who have never won the competition, were awarded a penalty for handball in the second half but it was overturned after a VAR review. Algeria closed out the rest of the game to win their first title since 1990.
  • Saudi Arabia launched a 2.5 BN SAR (667 MM USD) strategy for youth and sport sector in general as well as local sport clubs. The strategy aims at developing Saudi sport clubs to guarantee sustainability of their financial and administrative affairs. Noting that 170 clubs would benefit from this strategy.
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