Issue  No.156
02 January 2018

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


        66.78 USD         1,311 USD


Economic Outlook
  • The Egyptian Ministry of Petroleum is aiming to increase the average production of the country's natural gas during this fiscal year by 19.53%, to reach 5.342 billion cubic feet of natural gas daily, compared to 4.469 billion cubic feet of gas daily throughout the past fiscal year 2016/2017.
  • Jordanian-Egyptian Transport Committee has signed a cooperation agreement between Jordan and Egypt to reduce the entry fees for trucks travelling between the two countries. The agreement reduced the annual entrance fees for multiple trips from 1,000 JOD to 600 JOD, and for a single trip from 300 JOD to 100 JOD.
  • Egypt will launch a satellite with 70% to 80% Egyptian components in cooperation with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) in July 2018. The satellite's control unit was implemented by Egyptian engineers at the remote sensing agency.
  • The credit available from Omani banks will grow by an average of 5% in 2018 and 6% in the period between 2019 and 2022, on the back of an expected surge in projects co-funded by the public and private sectors.
  • Oman Finance Ministry decided to postpone the implementation of the Value Added Tax (VAT) until 2019, and transitive tax until mid-2018. Meanwhile, Kuwait has also decided to defer applying VAT until 2019, likely to give the National Assembly enough time to vote on the unified Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to enforce the tax across all member states. On the other hand, Saudi Arabia and UAE have already decided to put the tax into practice as of 1st of January 2018.
  • Oman plans to implement a number of solar and wind-based electricity projects by 2025, which will yield between 2,500 and 3,000 MW of power capacity.
  • UAE price of 98, 95 and 91 unleaded gasoline will increase reaching 2.24 AED, 2.12 AED and 2.05 AED per liter respectively.
  • The value of non-oil foreign merchandise trade through Abu Dhabi ports decreased by 5.3% from 141.3 BN AED during the first 10 months of 2016 to 133.8 BN AED in the same period of 2017.
  • Jordan trade deficit in the first 10 months of 2017 has increased by 11% compared with the same period of last year. The difference between the value of exports and imports in the same period stood at 7.55 BN JOD (10.65 BN USD).
  • Amman Chamber of Industry exports during the first 11 months of 2017 dropped by 6.37% compared to the same period of 2016. The value of exports dropped to 3.859 BN JOD (5.44 BN USD) till November 2017, compared to 4.121 BN JOD (5.81 BN USD) during the same period last year.
Political Events
  • A gunman killed at least 11 people last Friday in attacks on a Coptic Orthodox church and a Christian-owned shop near Cairo before he was wounded and arrested.
  • Ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi has been sentenced to an additional three years in jail on charges of insulting the judiciary.
  • The General Court in Riyadh amended the decision to limit the entry inside the court to veiled women. Women can now enter courts without the need to cover their faces, as long as they dress modestly and adhere to the court dress regulations.
Major Companies Transaction
  • CI Capital Holding completed its acquisition of a majority stake of Reefy - Micro Finance Enterprise Services Co. specialized in financing microprojects, which was owned by Naguib Sawiris. The total acquisition payment is about 400 MM EGP.
  • The Saudi Real Estate Refinance Company (SRC) has signed a strategic agreement with Bidaya Home Finance to purchase a portfolio and provide a refinancing facility with total 1 BN SAR. This is the second refinancing deal SRC has signed in two weeks.
  • The Power Transmission & Distribution Business of Mumbai-headquartered Larsen & Toubro (L&T) Construction has announced orders worth 250 MM USD. The business said it has secured an order from the Saudi Electricity Company for construction of an overhead transmission line between two substations. This is to be one of the longest lines in the Kingdom, with a route length of more than 400 km
  • Etisalat Digital, a business unit of UAE-based Etisalat, has partnered with Cars Taxi to implement smart surveillance solutions and analytics across its fleet of 2,180 taxis in Dubai. The move will enable Cars Taxi to manage and conduct real-time monitoring of all the taxis bringing in efficiency and improving customer experience and safety.
  • Sharjah developer Arada has secured a syndicated loan of 1 BN AED from two major UAE banks that will help finance the development of Sharjah largest mixed-use mega project. The Islamic facility was arranged with Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) and Dubai Islamic Bank as joint mandated lead arrangers and book runners.
Sports and Culture
  • Skype, the popular software that allows users to make voice and video calls between computers, mobile phones and tablet devices via internet, has been blocked in the UAE.
  • The head of the General Authority for Civil Aviation (GACA), Abdul Hakim Al-Tamimi, has announced that the initial opening and pilot operations of the new King Abdul Aziz International Airport in Jeddah will take place in May 2018.
  • Speeding caused 230 road fatalities in 2017, out of the total 525 deaths due to road accidents in the UAE.
Cairo Office:
Z epter Office Building  S5-6 ,  Area 5, District 1, 5th Settlement,  New Cairo, Egypt.  P.O. Box:  1147
Dubai Office:
Office No. N 415, North Tower, Emirates Financial Towers, DIFC, P.O Box 506726, Dubai, UAE.
Tel:  +97142820301

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