Issue  No. 219
25 March 2019

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


       67.03 USD         1,313 USD


Economic Outlook
  • Fitch Ratings has upgraded Egypt Long-Term Foreign-Currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) to 'B+' from 'B'.The Outlook is Stable.
  • Egypt Ministry of Petroleum is looking to implement four new projects in the petrochemical sector with 1.5 BN USD in investments within the next four years.
  • Egypt is targeting a debt-to-GDP ratio of 89% in 2019/2020 and targeting 6% GDP growth. Moreover, the government targets cutting its budget deficit from 8.3% to 7.2% in 2019/2020.
  • Saudi Arabia plans to tender a contract to build a 600 MW solar power project in Mecca. The plant is part of a wider plan to build a 2,600 MW solar power project in Saudi city, which will be implemented in phases.
  • Saudi government has announced the launch of a new e-platform "Benna" that will provide major opportunities for the developers and contractors to build 10,000 residential units worth 5 BN SAR (1.3 BN USD).
  • Property Monitor, UAE leading real estate intelligence platform from Cavendish Maxwell, has released its Dubai House Price Index for February 2019 indicating that the average annual house price in Dubai decreased by 10.6% in February 2019.
  • Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) reported that UAE will invest 600 MM AED (163 BN USD) until 2050 to meet the growing energy demand and ensure the sustainable growth of economy.
Political Events
  • The suspension of Whatsapp voice call and video call services in Saudi Arabia was the result of the app's failure to meet some regulatory requirements. Once these requirements are met, the mentioned services will be available for all users
  • Egypt Naval Forces will participate in a joint French-Egyptian navy training called "Cleopatra- Gapian 2019" in France on Monday 25th of April, as part of efforts to enhance cooperation between the two nation's naval forces.
Major Companies Transaction
  • SODIC signed a partnership agreement for the 500-acre plot with the New Urban Communities Authority (NUCA). The plot is located in the Sheikh Zayed Extension area and will be comprised over 5,000 units generating an estimated total sale of 43 BN EGP over a period of eight years and is set to be SODIC's second largest development in West Cairo.
  • Egyptian state-owned carmaker El Nasr Automotive Manufacturing and Japan Nissan have reached an initial agreement to produce 100,000 cars a year in Egypt.
  • In Saudi Arabia, Tabuk Cement has signed an agreement with Golden Oil Co. to export 500,000 tons of clinker to Yemen.
  • Almosafer, the leading online travel platform in Saudi Arabia, has been recognized by the national payment network in KSA "mada" as one of the top contributors to the phenomenal success of mada electronic payments.
  • German company GEA won a 3 MM EUR (3.4 MM USD) contract from National Agricultural Development Company (Nadec) to build a giant olive oil mill in Saudi Arabia that will be the largest in Asia.
  • Citi UAE announced the launch of its next generation Citi MobileĀ® App for Citi's credit card customers in the UAE.
  • SHUAA Capital psc and Abu Dhabi Financial Group LLC (ADFG) have commenced discussions regarding the possibility of a merger of the two institutions to become a larger financial listed firm with the final structure subject to legal and regulatory consent.
  • Fitch Ratings has affirmed Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB), Long Term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at 'A' with a Stable Outlook. It also upgraded QIB Viability Rating (VR) to 'bbb' from 'bbb-'.
  • Qatar National Bank (QNB) issued U.S. dollar-denominated bonds worth 3.6 BN QAR (1 BN USD).
Sports and Culture
  • For the first time in the history of Saudi Arabia, Princess Jamila Bint Abdulmajeed bin Saud bin Abdulaziz will be the first Saudi female to participate in the official camel racing.
  • TripAdvisor named Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo, top aquarium in MENA based on millions of reviews and opinions from travelers around the world.
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