Issue  No.85
2 August 2016

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


        42.67  USD          1,358  USD


  Economic Outlook
  • Over 8,000 new companies have joined the membership of Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry making its total memberships to reach 193,000, a 4.3% growth over the last year, enhancing the Chamber's reputation as one of the largest chambers of commerce in the world.
  • Qatar's trade surplus increased by around 800 MM QAR from May to June reaching 8.3 BN QAR. Yet, the trade surplus declined from June 2015 by 6.6 BN QAR, which is a 44.4% decline. The value of Qatar's exports reached 17.4 BN QAR in June 2016, compared to 24.19 BN QAR in June 2015, witnessing a 28.1% decline. Moreover, the value of imports reached 9.1 BN QAR on June 2016, a 1.6% decline from June 2015.
  • The Central Bank of Egypt issued two treasury bills worth 10 BN EGP to fill Egypt's fiscal budget deficit. The first treasury bill is worth 4.7 BN EGP and will mature in 91 days, while the second treasury bill is worth 5.2 BN EGP and will mature in 273 days.
  • Jordan's exports, including inorganic chemical products, fertilizers, pharmaceuticals and crude phosphate, have dropped by 8% in the first 5 months of 2016 compared to the same period last year reaching 1.7 BN JOD. As for the value of imports, it declined by 0.3% reaching 5.891 BN JOD.
  • Due to Omani banks' continuous reliance on public sector deposits, the gap between customer loans and deposits reached about 6.9 BN OMR, which signals the vulnerability of banks due to their inadequate funding structure, as customer funding gap as a percentage of loans reached about 40%. Consequently, major banks in Oman are trying to mobilise their private sector deposits through prize money schemes, which exceeded 40% of private sector deposits for some banks.
  • Oman's net oil revenues for the first five months of 2016 decreased by 44.7% to reach 1.28 MM OMR, compared to 2.32 MM OMR the same period in 2015. This was mainly due to a decline in the average price of Oman Crude by 40.9% to reach 35 USD in the first half of 2016 compared to 59.3 USD the same period in 2015. However, due to an increase in production, Oman's crude oil exports grew by 6% to reach 164.57 million barrels in the first half of 2016.
  • Monthly Producer Price Index (PPI) of Qatar's Industrial Sector in May reached 44.9 points, 2.5% higher than the PPI index of April. The increase was due to improving manufacturing and mining sectors.
  • The Central Bank of Jordan and the Ministry of Finance signed a letter of intent with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a 700 MM USD Extended Fund Facility (EFF) program. The program is pending on the approval of the final agreement by the board of the fund at its meeting in August. According to the program, Jordan is supposed to receive from 100 to 150 MM USD in 2016, and the rest to be received over the program's duration of 3 years.
  • According to Arab-Brazilian Chamber of Commerce (ABCC), Brazil's H1-2016 exports to the Arab world reached over 5.2 BN USD. Saudi Arabia accounted for 23.7% of total exports to the region at a value of 1.24 BN USD, followed by United Arab Emirates accounting for 17.36%, Egypt at 16.65%, Qatar at 2.33% and Kuwait at 2.08%. Brazilian exports to the region were mainly meat, fruits, cereals, sugar, ores, slag, ash and other miscellaneous grain seeds.
  • Jordan's unemployment rate reached 14.7% in Q2-2016, 2.8 points higher than Q2-2015. Unemployment among males reached 13%, while unemployment among women was 23%. In addition, unemployment among university graduates reached 18.6%.
  • Oman's budget deficit increased by 59% to reach 2.5 BN OMR in the first five months of 2016 compared to 1.6 BN OMR over the same period in 2015. This decline is mainly attributed to the decline in government revenues caused by the drop in global oil prices. Oman also decreased its public expenditures by 8% over the same period. Moreover, Oman forecasted a budget deficit of 3.3 BN OMR in 2016; however, the first five months of 2016 thus accounted for over 75% of the budget deficit estimate for the whole year.
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