Issue  No.149
13 November 2017

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


        63.42 USD         1,278 USD


Economic Outlook
  • Egypt Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) has reported that the country's trade deficit has fallen 26.7% year-on-year in August 2017, reaching 3.31 BN USD compared to 4.52 BN USD during the same month last year.
  • The Suez Canal Economic Zone Authority has signed seven contracts for projects worth 40 BN USD investments at the World Youth Forum in Sharm El-Sheikh. The deals include a 3.5 BN USD contract between a consortium of real estate companies and the Suez Canal Economic Zone Authority for the industrial development of 5.5 million square meters of land in Ain Sokhna.
  • Price of Omani crude oil has increased by 1.65 USD cents to reach 60.63 USD per barrel (pb) which marks the first increase beyond 60 USD in two years. 
  • A joint Iranian-Qatari natural gas field extracted 94 billion cubic meters of gas in the past seven months. This was during the launch of new development operations to enhance production quality in South Pars gas field's refineries.
  • King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) signed agreements worth 2 BN SAR (533 MM USD) with various companies on the sidelines of the Time Forum (a platform where KAEC's leaders can meet with partners from ministries, government agencies, the private sector and other interested parties). KAEC new deals include an agreement with the General Customs Authority and the Economic Cities Authority (ECA) to establish a deposit and re-export zone in KAEC.
  • The implementation of electricity linkage project between Jordan and Saudi Arabia has been approved. The memo will be signed between the National Electric Power Company (NEPCO) and the Saudi National Electricity Company, aiming at enhancing the electricity networks in both countries.
  • All types of food in the UAE, including staples such as bread and rice, will be subject to the VAT from 1st of January 2018.
Political Events
  • In a television interview yesterday with Saad al-Hariri, he indicated that the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of Lebanese in the Gulf could be at risk, as well as trade, vital to the stability of the Lebanese economy because of the Shi'ite group Hezbollah's regional meddling. He also said that he would return to Lebanon within days to affirm he had resigned as the country prime minister.
  • Saudi Arabia's foreign ministry is calling on Saudi citizens and residents currently in Lebanon to leave as soon as possible and advised against traveling to the Mediterranean country. In addition, Kuwait has joined Riyadh in issuing alert against Lebanon. Kuwait citizens currently in Lebanon are urged to leave the country immediately.
  • Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is scheduled to visit Kuwait this week as Kuwait hosts an international conference on the suffering of Palestinian children, with the participation of ministers of social affairs from all Arab countries, as well as ministers from Palestine and 58 other parties, including embassies, civil society organizations and charities from Kuwait and the United Nations, in addition to several international organizations.
  • King Salman has appointed 30 and promoted 26 judges, a step coinciding with an anti-corruption crackdown in the kingdom. 
Major Companies Transaction
  • Hill International, a global leader in managing construction risk, has won a contract from the European Investment Bank, financed under the European Union's Neighborhood Investment Facility, to provide project management and technical assistance support services for the Cairo Metro - Line 3 project. The contract term is six years with an estimated value of 4.4 MM USD.
  • Al Mazaya Holding has posted an increase in net profits reaching 82.96 MM AED in Q3-2017, compared to 82.50 MM AED in the same period in 2016.
  • Kuwait Petrochemical Industries Co (PIC) has signed a contract with U.S. firm Jacobs Engineering to carry out engineering and design work for a planned polypropylene plant it co-owns in Canada. The project will cost 3.8-4.2 BN USD.
  • Radisson Blu Hotel, Muscat has announced the renewal of Safehotels certification and has also achieved the Premium Level of certification in accordance with The Global Hotel Security Standard of Safehotels Alliance AB.
  • Oman Development Bank Buraimi branch has financed 1,389 projects starting from 2009 to Q3-2017 in the agriculture, livestock, tourism, industry, education, and healthcare sectors with a total amount of 9.67 MM OMR.
  • Qatar Airways (QA) has bought a 9.6% stake (378.18 million shares) in Hong Kong airline Cathay Pacific.
  • The Emirates Group has registered a revenue increase by 6% reaching 49.4 BN AED (13.4 BN USD) in H1-2017/18 financial year compared to 46.5 BN AED (12.6 BN USD) during the same period last year.
  • Emaar Malls has achieved a year-on-year gain of 6% reaching 1.5 BN AED (408 MM USD) net profits for the first nine months, from revenues of 2.5 BN AED (608 MM USD), which increased by 5%
Sports and Culture
  • Egypt national football team stars Mohamed Salah and Ahmed Hegazi have been included in the "best 11 players" list at the 2018 World Cup qualifiers released by the Confederation of the African Football (CAF).
  • Jaddah will host the first official basketball tournament for women. Jeddah United, Dar Al Hekma University, University of Business and Technology, DFAC, Braves and Shoot for Cause will be fielding teams for the matches to be played in King Abdullah Sports City in the Red Sea resort of Jeddah.
  • Scientists have discovered a dinosaur-era shark with 300 teeth and a snake's head off the Portuguese coast. The rare species that dates back 80 million years was hauled out of the water by EU fish stock researchers found in Algarve coast. The male fish measured 1.5 meters in length and was captured at a depth of 701 meters off the resort of Portimao.
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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