This report is designed to give you a snapshot about the MENA region tackling multiple issues:
35.33 USD 1,229 USD
Egyptian Finance Minister announced that the government aims at entering the international bond market by the end of June; yet, the final decision will depend on the economy's conditions at that time. He also added that, he expects a budget deficit this fiscal year between 11% and 11.5% of GDP.
Jordan's Department of Statistics indicated that the country's trade deficit dropped in 2015 by 14% compared to 2014. In addition, total exports dropped by 6.6% to reach 5.558 BN JOD, while, imports dropped by 11.3% to reach 14.43 BN JOD.
The Global Investment Outlook of 2016 published by the National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) expects a deficit increase in oil exporting countries for the year 2015-2016, due to the persisting supply pressure in the oil market resulting from the extra supply expected to come from Iraq and Iran. It also added that, Iran is expected to produce additional 500 K to 700 K barrels while Saudi Arabia is expected to increase its production from 1.5 MM to 2 MM barrels.
The UAE's ministry of energy announced that the country will reduce domestic prices for gasoline where the price of a liter of octane 95 gaoline will fall to 1.36 AED (37 U.S. cents) from 1.47 AED. While diesel prices will rise to 1.40 AED from 1.37 AED.
Oman's Undersecretary of the Ministry of Oil and Gas announced that the country is ready to cut its oil production by five to ten percent on the condition that every other producer agrees to do the same.
Saudi Arabia's Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose in January to 4.3% (Y-o-Y) reaching its highest levels in 5 years. It is believed that the rise in CPI was mainly due to increased energy prices which caused an increase in transport costs for other business that somehow lead to higher prices for consumer goods. It is worth mentioning that, housing and utilities' sectors reached 8.3% (Y-o-Y) in January 2015 compared to 4% in December 2014; recording the highest level in six years.
UAE will start implementing the value added tax (VAT) with a 5% rate starting January 1, 2018. The country will exclude 100 food items, education and healthcare from the tax. The country is expected to generate 12 BN AED from tax revenue. The framework agreement for the VAT is supposed to be finalized in June 2016, after which all GCC countries will have time to implement the tax starting from January 2018 to January 2019.
Dubai and India signed a Memorandum of Understanding in order to expand trading and enhance the ties between the two countries.
Bahrain launched a 600 MM USD bond, after the cancellation of last week's bond, which is divided into a 275 MM USD five-year tranche with a yield of 5.95% and a 325 MM USD 10-year tranche with a yield of 7.65%.
Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates asked their citizens not to travel to Lebanon for safety reasons after Beirut government's failure to sign up to statements condemning attacks on Saudi diplomatic missions in Iran.
Amid the US-Russian ceasefire agreement, which was accepted by the Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad, Guns mostly fell silent in Syria. Russian air raids stopped on Saturday in what the United Nations has described as the best hope for peace in five years of civil war.
After accusing Saudi Arabia of targeting civilians in Yemen, the European Parliament called on the European Union to impose an arms embargo against the country. It is worthy to mention that the EU lawmakers voted overwhelmingly in favor of the embargo.
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) is planning to issue a U.S. dollar-denominated bond through Dubai's office. It's worthy to mention that the investment ties are expanding between China and GCC countries.
Uber private jet service received a 26.1 MM USD fund from the royal family in Saudi Arabia. It is worth mentioning that Uber private jet is a mobile application which allows users to book their private jets through it.
Bank Muscat, one of Oman's largest lending banks is opening a branch in Iran in order to enhance the ties between both countries, and thus, becoming the first financial firm to be established in Iran after the removal of the sanctions.
United Arab Emirates-based Etisalat has cancelled a 2 BN USD loan after making an agreement with local and international banks. The reason behind the cancellation was that the company has currently sufficient liquidity and will not need the loan anymore.
The formerly known as Bank of Bahrain and Kuwait (BBK), Bahrain's fourth largest bank by asset, is planning to issue convertible bond worth of 265.3 MM USD by the end of March in order to boost its capital ratios.
Amid falling oil prices, Gulf airlines were able to cut their fares to the extent that a price war has emerged between companies seeking to gain regional market share. It is worth mentioning that Gulf airlines have cut their fees with a rate ranging from 12% to 17% compared to last year.