Issue  No. 228
27 May 2019

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


       68.69 USD         1,286 USD


Economic Outlook
  • Egypt Central Bank on Thursday 23rd of May kept its key interest rates unchanged. The Central Bank held its overnight deposit rate at 15.75% and its overnight lending rate at 16.75%.
  • Egyptian Sugar and Integrated Industries Company (ESIIC), Egypt state buyer bought 50,000 tons of raw Brazilian sugar. The sugar is for August 2019 arrival and was purchased at 297 USD a ton from Louis Dreyfus in a tender that was closed on Saturday 26th of May.
  • Saudi Health Minister Tawfiq Al-Rabiah stated that Saudi healthcare market is currently valued at 267 BN SAR (71.2 BN USD), the largest in the Middle East and has huge potential for further development.
  • Saudi Arabia sold 2.84 BN SAR (757 MM USD) in sukuk, or Islamic bonds in May 2019. The debt sale was split into a tranche of 655 MM SAR due in 2028 and a second tranche of 2.185 BN SAR maturing in 2031.
  • China crude oil imports from Saudi Arabia increased by 43% in April 2019, making the Middle Eastern OPEC kingpin once again the top supplier to the world's second-biggest economy, boosted by demand from new private refiners.
  • In UAE , the Department of Economic Development ( DED ) reported that there are 4,086 companies operate in Dubai gold sector . The report noted that 2,498 licenses were issued for the category of jewelry and jewels made of gold and silver, as well as 1,184 for trading in gold and precious metals.
  • UAE banks' lending of personal loans to residents declined in Q1-2019 by 0.9% on y-o-y basis and 1.2% q-o-q, due to weak consumer demand and soft household sentiment.
  • According to survey in UAE, around 54% of employees expect to receive a raise in 2019, with 17% expecting a raise of up to 10%.
Political Events
  • Egypt President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi held bilateral talks with the head of Sudan transitional military council Abdel Fattah Burhan, stressing that Egypt supports Sudan's stability and security as well as the free will of Sudanese people in a way that would preserve Sudan's state institutions.
  • Indonesian Ambassador to UAE, accompanied by Ridwan Hassan, Consul-General of the Republic of Indonesia in Dubai, rang the Nasdaq Dubai market-opening bell to celebrate the listing of two green Sukuk issued by the government of Indonesia, with a total value of 2 BN USD.
Major Companies Transaction
  • Telecom Egypt considers launching a real estate firm after the assessment of the telecom operator's land portfolio. No decision has been taken yet as the Egyptian telecom company is still considering such proposal. Telecom Egypt profits reached 1.61 BN EGP (95.7 MM USD), increasing by 108.4% y-o-y from 775.5 MM EGP (46.1 MM USD) in Q1-2019, including minority shareholders' rights.
  • Six of October Development and Investment (SODIC) revenues reached 941 MM EGP (55.9 MM USD) in Q1-2019, growing by 84% compared to 512 MM EGP in Q1-2018. Furthermore, gross profit recorded 270 MM EGP (16 MM USD) in Q1-2019, with a gross profit margin of 29%.
  • In UAE, payments and foreign exchange company Finablr plans to use half of the proceeds from its share sale in London earlier this month to expand both organically and via acquisitions.
  • du, from Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (EITC), has launched a strategic partnership with YuppTV, being one of the leading OTT platforms, to offer its South Asian subscribers unlimited access to 150+ premium TV channels.
  • The Kuwait Business Council in Dubai, KuwaitBC, has launched the Murshid Business Packages, which allow individuals and companies from different nationalities to benefit from the services, facilities, and activities offered by the council all year round.
  • The Saudi Agricultural and Livestock Investment Co (SALIC) has led a round of investments worth 7 MM SAR (8.84 MM USD) for artificial intelligence startup Hummingbird Technologies.
  • Legal Advisors, Abdulaziz Alajlan & Partners alongside Baker McKenzie, London have advised Saudi shopping mall giant Arabian Centers Company on its 748 MM USD IPO, with an implied market capitalization of 3.3 BN USD, making it Saudi Arabia largest IPO in four years.
  • Hamad International Airport (HIA) has launched the second phase of its innovative Smart Airport program which sets to initiate an exciting major digital transformation of the passenger journey.
  • Al Koot Insurance and Reinsurance Company, a subsidiary of Gulf International Services (GIS), has signed a health insurance contract to provide health care services to Qatar Airways staff and their families for a two-year period, starting June 1, 2019.

Sports and Culture
  • Dubai-based mountaineer Dolores Shelleh has become the first Arab woman to scale Mt. Everest from its toughest North Col terrain. She is also the first Jordanian and the second Serbian to accomplish the feat.
  • The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) announced that UAE has jumped from the 104th spot to first place globally in the internet and telephony level of competition. The UAE also progressed from the 61st to the 5th rank globally in the Sector Competitiveness Index for Information and Communications Technology (ICT).
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