Issue  No. 213
11 February 2019

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


       61.10 USD         1,314 USD


Economic Outlook
  • Egypt Central Bank has received the 2 BN USD fifth tranche of its IMF loan after concluding its fourth review of Egypt economic reforms. 
  • Egypt Central Bank will auction 1 BN USD in one-year dollar-denominated treasury bills today adding that the auction will be settled on 12 February. Egypt sold 854 MM USD in dollar-denominated bills at an average yield of 3.797% at a similar auction on 6 January 2019.
  • Saudi Arabia allocates 3 BN USD as repayment to private sector companies hiring citizens adding that companies in the red and yellow categories of the Nitaqat Saudization program can benefit from this initiative if they hire more locals within 12 months.
  • Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority(SAMA) government reserve declined by 14.7% reaching 84.2 BN SAR (22.7 BN USD) in Q4-2018 compared to Q3-2018. December 2018 recorded the highest portion of this drop registering a fall amounted to 71.9 BN SAR (19.18 BN USD) reaching 489.5 BN SAR (130.5 BN USD) by the end of 2018.
  • UAE overall debt-to-GDP ratio has declined by 7.1 percentage points in household, non-financial corporates, government, and financial sectors. Highlighting that UAE households' debt as percentage of GDP fell from 24.3% in Q3-2017 to 21.9% in Q4-2018.
  • UAE inflation is set to decline substantially in 2019, due to falling rents, lower oil prices, strengthening dirham against floating currencies and a fading out VAT impact, making the UAE more affordable in 2019.
  • The European Union (EU) and Qatar finalized negotiations for a comprehensive air services agreement.
Political Events
  • Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi held a trilateral summit with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir yesterday, during the sidelines of the African Union summit in Addis Ababa to discuss developments in the continent, peace and security efforts.
  • The Saudi Supreme Authorities have approved a reciprocal agreement with South Korea under which citizens of the two countries will be granted a five-year multiple entry visa. The fees for the visa will be 90 USD (337.5 SAR) but visitors are not allowed stay more than 90 days at a time.
Major Companies Transaction
  • KarmSolar, Egypt fastest growing solar energy company, has signed a 90 MM USD solar distribution contract with Cairo3A Poultry, a subsidiary of Cairo3A Group, a leading company in agriculture, poultry production and grain trading.
  • Abu Dhabi headquartered retailer Lulu Group is planning to open the eight new hypermarkets in Egypt within the next four years by spending 2 BN AED (544.6 MM USD). The hypermarkets will be based in 6th of October City, Al Narges, Al Rehab City, and Al Obour City.
  • Etihad Rail, the developer and operator of the UAE national railway network, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with ZonesCorp to establish railway and logistics facilities within the Industrial City of Abu Dhabi (ICAD).
  • South Energy, the energy solution arm of Dubai South, signed an MoU with SP Group as part of its efforts to boost its district cooling capabilities by exploring key opportunities with the Singapore-based company.
  • The newly formed Saudi Arabia Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (SAVCPEA), plans to stimulate investment in Saudi by raising awareness and promoting more meaningful and significant partnerships between industry professionals.
  • In Saudi Arabia, Nahdi Medical Company launched the first smart pharmacy. The pharmacy uses a smart robot to efficiently and accurately prepare and dispense medications, monitor drug safety and expiry dates, and manage stocks.
  • Qatar Commercial Bank expects to issue around 200-250 MM Australian dollar-denominated bonds in the next few months. The bank will issue the so-called "kangaroo" bonds at the end of Q1-2019 or Q2-2019.
  • Qatar Navigation (Milaha) announced that its subsidiary, Qatar Shipping Company has entered into an agreement for acquiring the entire stake of Qatar Investment Authority in Qatar Gas Transport Company Ltd (Nakilat) representing 5.9% of Nakilat's share capital. As a result, Milaha increased its stake in Nakilat to 36.3%.
Sports and Culture
  • Saudi Arabia King Abdul Aziz Falconry Festival has been received a registration certificate from the Guinness Book of Records (GBR) as the world's largest falcon racing tournament with participation of 1,723 falcons that were competed for 10 days (from January 25 to February 3).
  • The 'FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 LLC' (joint venture) was unveiled as the body responsible for delivering the first FIFA World Cup™ in the Arab world after the nine-member management board met for the first time on February 5, 2019 in Doha.
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