Issue  No.114
27 February 2017

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


        56.68  USD         1,257  USD


  Economic Outlook
  • Egypt will receive the second 1 BN USD tranche of the 3 BN USD World Bank loan in March 2017, to support the government economic reform plan.
  • The Central Bank of Iran is stressing for the need of promoting trade using local currencies aiming to ease transactions through domestic currencies and welcoming Malaysian banks' enthusiasm to open accounts in Malaysian currency.
  • Iraq's oil reserves have increased from a previous estimate of 143 billion barrels to 153 billion barrels, the increase was due to the appraisals and exploration carried out at seven oil fields in central and Southern Iraq.
  • Kuwait has decreased its oil exports by 4 million barrels in January with a current oil production around 3.15 million barrel per day. Yet, the country is planning to raise its oil production capacity to 4.75 million barrels per day by 2040.
  • Lebanon's Refugee Affairs Minister calls for 10 BN USD to rehabilitate Lebanese infrastructure and create job opportunities for refugees and impacted host communities.
  • Lebanon's real GDP growth rate is expected to increase from 1.4% in 2016 to 3% in 2017. However, economic associations warn that any increase in taxes will affect the Lebanon's economy negatively due to the crisis that hit the country in the past 5 years.
  • Morocco's inflation rate has increased from 1.8% in December 2016 to 2.1% in January 2017 as a result of high food and non-food prices. The annual food inflation hiked from 2.5% in December 2016 to 2.8% in January 2017. In addition, the non-food inflation increased from 1.4% in December 2016 to 2.6% in January 2017.
  • Oman's vehicle registrations decreased from 8,612 units in 2016 to 6,935 units in 2017, due to the reluctance of people to spend on high value products as a result of the increase in fuel prices and unemployment rates.
  • The Qatar international Court and Dispute Resolution Centre (QICDRC) announced a new law on arbitration which aims to resolve international commercial disputes.
  • Saudi Arabia's tourism sector is estimated to contribute more than 81 BN USD to the country's GDP by 2026, as household expenditure on the cultural and entertainment activities inside the Kingdom is expected to increase based on the country's 2030 vision.
  • Saudi Arabia and Singapore have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to work closely in the water sector, aiming to build three desalination plants at a cost of 687 MM SAR (183 MM USD).
  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) had frozen Tunisia's second tranche of a loan worth 350 MM USD as the country is struggling to achieve economic progress including public sector wages, the public finances and state banks. Which has urged Tunisia to sell stakes in a three state owned banks and cut 10,000 public sector jobs as a part of the IMF loan agreement. It is worthy to note that Tunisia took the first tranche worth 320 MM USD in June 2016.
  • The UAE is ranked the first among the region and the eighth globally in the index of Economic Freedom 2017, which evaluates the rule of law, government size, regulatory efficiency and the openness of markets.
   Political Events
  • Protests in Lebanon against a new rent law that would increase fees on those who pay less than 700 USD per year. By applying the new law, it will potentially affect 200,000 apartments.
  • Coptic families had run away from the threats and terrorist attacks from Al-Arish to Ismailia in Egypt, fearing for their lives after threats by militants increased. Egyptian churches are willing to shelter the families until they could return home.
  • 74 migrants' bodies mostly from sub-Saharan African countries were found on West Libya shore as it is the main departure point for migrants hoping to reach Europe by sea.
  • Gaddafi's son trial will be sent to the International Criminal Court ICC as it did not meet the international standards as a result of the war crimes and violence.
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: +97143518187

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