Issue  No.166
12 March 2018

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


        65.03 USD         1,320 USD


Economic Outlook
  • The Egyptian Electric Utility and Consumer Protection Regulatory Agency (Egypt ERA) has announced that there will be an upcoming tariff on electric generation from waste by the coming week. Minister of Electricity approved the suggestion that the price for energy produced from waste would be 103 piasters.
  • The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior of Kuwait issued a statement implementing a total ban on the recruitment of Bangladeshi. The ban was previously imposed in 2007 but lifted in 2014. The claim to the ban is due to incidents of recruitment malpractices and deceptions.
  • King Abdullah of Jordan met with the Brazilian Foreign Minister Aloysio Nunes, to discuss ways to strengthen economic ties. The discussion covered Jordan strength as an investment destination, and methods to benefit from Mercosur economic bloc.
  • After Prime Minister of England, Theresa May and Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman met on 7th of March 2018, there was an agreed ambition on mutual investment and trade opportunities, amounting to 90.29 BN USD.
  • Egypt's non-oil private sector activity has fell. Emirates NBD Egypt Purchasing Manager's Index (PMI) shows a decline to 49.7 in February 2018 compared to 49.9 in January 2018, for the non-oil private sector.
  • Annual Inflation at Abu Dhabi has jumped to 4.7% in January 2018 compared to 2% in December 2017, as a result of the introduced Value Added Taxes (VAT). The imposition of the tax was designed to increase state finances. The inflation however, is restrained due to the current weak real estate market, with the declining house rents.
  • Fitch Ratings Inc, has downgraded Bahrain long-term foreign currency's IDR (Issuer Default Rating) to "BB-" from "BB+".This is due to the government challenge of a high budget deficit. Although the government has implemented consolidation efforts and is expected to have a 3.1% GDP growth in 2018-19, it is still quite far from stabilizing deficit percentage of GDP. The current deficit is 81.5% of GDP in 2017, which is an increase from 73.3% in 2016.
  • According to the Institute of International Finance (IIF), UAE has become a strengthened destination for FDIs (Foreign Direct Investment). It was able to attract 11 BN USD accounting for 22% of total FDI to the Middle East and North Africa Region, as a result of its well-provided infrastructure, diversified economy, and stability in its political environment.
  • Governor of Tunisia's Central Bank, Marouane El Abassi said the bank is attempting to "keep lid on inflation" by increasing key rate from 5% to 5.75%.
  • Oman first online platform payment will be launched next week. Thawani Pay, Oman first Financial Technology company is bringing Oman closer to the milestone of a cashless economy. The platform will be implemented by March 13th, 2018.
  • The governor of Central Bank of Tunisia announced that the bank is not able to defend the dinar with foreign reserves amounting to less than 80 days of imports. This has been the case since 2011 political turmoil. The government budget deficit has not been covered and the country requires 3 BN USD, for the current year only.
Political Events
  • The Black Box of a Turkish private jet was found in an Iranian mountain range. The Jet was on its way from the UAE to Istanbul when the accident occurred. The crash killed all 11 people on board.
  • The Egyptian court has sentenced 10 people to death, on 10th of March 2018. They were convicted of forming a terrorist group and planning attacks.
  • The Saudi Led Arab Coalition forces, which is supported by the UAE Armed Forces, targeted Houthi military reinforcements that were heading to Al Jahari Directorate, at the Red Sea Coast.
  • Dr. Wissam Basendwa, president of the Arab Initiative for Education and Development, said that the three-year Yemeni crisis has led to almost 85% of Yemenis needing humanitarian assistance.
Major Companies Transaction
  • The Saudi Arabian government has announced that it is willing to sell about 5% of Aramco, hoping to raise about 100 BN USD. It is expected that it would be the world's biggest initial public offering. However, Energy Minister, Khalid Al-Falih said that he has concerns that the oil giant would run by choosing New York as its venue for the market listing, as litigation and liability are a big concern in the U.S.
  • EFG Hermes, one of the biggest investment banks in the region is considering increasing the staff by 20% as they expect a better outlook in Saudi Arabia. This is all due to the Vision 2030 and privatization plans of the Kingdom which includes a raise of 100 BN USD from the upcoming listing of 5% of Aramco.
  • Total; French energy company has acquired 16.33% in the Libyan state-owned subsidiary, National Oil Corp (NOC), for 450 MM USD. It is worthy to mention that Total will have the access to reserves and resources in excess of 500 million barrels of oil equivalent.
  • British Petroleum (BP) Oman output of natural gas has increased to 1 billion feet per day. This is considered an achieved milestone in its flagship investment in the Sultanate.
  • The construction sector in Kuwait is facing several obstacles, fewer projects, weak credit and failure in completing vital projects. This has led to 13 requests to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry for liquidation. However, the Ministry refused to sanction these liquidations to protect the rights of shareholders and the funds of investors.
Sports and Culture
  • A group of women in Jeddah have marked International Women's Day by acting upon one of their freedoms; the right to jog. Moreover, thetop Sports Authority of Saudi Arabia announced a deal with the World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc (WWE), to have wrestling events within the kingdom for the next 10 years.
  • Roberto Bautista Agut has defeated Lucas Pouille, at the final of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Competition, through 6-3 6-4.
  • U.S film director Matthew Heineman is going to film his upcoming work "A Private War" in Jordan.
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Z epter Office Building  S5-6 ,  Area 5, District 1, 5th Settlement,  New Cairo, Egypt.  P.O. Box:  1147
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Tel:  +97142820301

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