Issue  No.102
05 December 2016

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


        55.16  USD         1,166  USD


  Economic Outlook
  • Gold prices have witnessed their largest decline in more than three years driven by a surge in oil prices which boosted bond yields, denting interest in non-yielding gold as an alternative investment.
  • Syria's wheat prices have surged as the Syrian government raised its price to 125 Syrian pounds (0.2427 USD at the official rate) per kg to encourage planting of the grain for the coming 2016/2017 season.
  • Lebanon's budget deficit has increased reaching 26.88% of spending in August 2016 compared to 23.14% in August 2015. The rise was mainly driven by an increase in government expenditure.
  • Dollar offerings by Egyptian banks will be allocated to a wider range of clients according to a policy by the central bank aiming to make hard currency available to foreign companies seeking to repatriate earnings.
  • Egypt's Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) have declined in Q4-2016 reaching 992.9 MM USD at the end of the financial year 2015/2016 according to Central Bank of Egypt (CBE).
  • Egyptian treasury bills have reached 500 MM USD since the country has applied floating exchange rate system on the 3rd of November according to the country's finance minister.
  • Construction costs in Saudi Arabia have declined by 11.5% in 2016 since the oil price crash that started in 2014 and are forecasted to witness a further 3.9% fall next year.
  • Saudi's Kafala program has helped to secure funds of 17 BN SAR to 8500 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The program aims to provide financial support for Saudi SMEs.
  • 100 BN SAR were allocated to Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Funds (PIF) from the kingdom's reserves. The fund was allocated by Saudi Arabia's king and will be used to support both foreign and local investments.
  • Qatar's debt repayment by Tunisia will be delayed for at least two years. It is worth mentioning that the debt totaled 500 MM USD and was due in 2016.
  • Qatar's Producer Price Index (PPI) has declined by 1.7% in September 2016 compared to September 2015 driven by a fall in the prices of hydrocarbons.
  • 2 BN USD bonds will be sold by Iraq on international markets to help bridging its budget deficit in 2017 according to the country's prime minister.
  • 8 BN USD were pledged to Tunisia in aid by regional and western partners as the country's post-revolutionary economy is struggling to attract investments and create job opportunities.
   Political Events
  • A new NGO law was endorsed by the Egyptian parliament which restricts NGO activity to developmental and social work and introduces jail terms of up to five years for non-compliance. Also, it bans NGOs from conducting fieldwork or polls without permission or "from cooperating in any way with any international body without the necessary approval".
  • A computer virus attacked vital Saudi government bodies and has affected important installations including the Kingdom's transport sector.
  • A one-day boycott initiative was established by the Egyptian Governmental Consumer Protection Agency (CPA) to pressure merchants to reduce prices of goods.
  • Citizenship grants were given by the United Arab Emirates to 97 children of Emirati women married to foreigners according to the Ministry of Interior.
Cairo Office:
Z epter Office Building  S5-6 (beside Manor House School),  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: +97143518187

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