Issue  No.87
16 August 2016

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


        48.52  USD          1,351  USD


  Economic Outlook
  • Egypt has reached an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a 12 BN USD three-year funding facility to support a government reform program which is expected to cut the state funding gap and improve the Egyptian pound.
  • Total value of real estate loans provided by Saudi banks in Q2-2016 decreased by 1% to reach 191.8 BN SAR compared to Q2-2015. However, real estate loans to individuals increased by 1.8% q-o-q to reach 108.2 BN SAR, but a 4% drop in loans to companies brought down the overall sector.
  • Oman's Consumer Price Index-based inflation in July 2016 recorded a 0.3% increase compared to June 2016 and a 1.3% increase compared to July 2015 due to 7.87% increase in transport and 0.88% increase in housing, water, electricity, gas and fuel set prices.
  • Qatar was reported as the second-largest producer of fertilizers in the GCC, producing 9.8 million tonnes of fertilisers which is more than 25% of the region's total production of 37.8 million tonnes of fertilisers.
  • Egypt has repaid dues of 7 BN USD in total to Qatar which the Gulf state had deposited to support the Egyptian central bank's foreign currency reserves after the 2011 revolution. The last instalment worth 1.02 BN USD was paid in July. This is in addition to repaying 250 MM USD out of 2 BN USD due to Libya.
  • Morocco's unemployment rate decreased to 8.6% in Q2-2016 from 8.7% in Q2-2015. Employment growth was mostly in the construction and services sectors adding 149,000 additional jobs to help offset 175,000 jobs lost in the agricultural sector due to a severe drought.  
  • Adopting low-cost energy-saving measures, Jordan could reduce its power bills by 30-40%. The measures include installing LED bulbs and improving the efficiency of heating and cooling systems in public buildings.
  • The Saudi Ministry of Labor and Social Development is focusing on total nationalization of jobs in the automobile sector which will start after Haj, and will be completed by 2017. It is worth mentioning that Saudi Arabia had previously nationalized 100% of jobs in the telecom sector as part of its Saudization plan.
  • Jordanian Cabinet approved the recommendations to boost medical tourism including; improving the investment environment, allowing private hospitals to generate alternative energy, allowing hospitals to expand to more than eight floors, as well as allowing hospitals to hire guest workers in 10% of the nursing positions in certain specializations.
  • In light of the current budget deficit of 2.4 MM KWD, Kuwaiti government announced that 100-120 MM KWD will be saved by raising fuel prices. In addition, Kuwait Central Bank issued 1 BN KWD in local bonds as the oil revenues generated for two months is not sufficient to pay the employees' salaries of 800 MM KWD each month.
  • In efforts to increase its non-oil revenues and develop the national economy, Saudi Arabia made a number of decisions which are expected to increase non-oil revenues by 512% as it reached 163.5 BN SAR in 2015, such as the application of entry tariffs for first time Haj and Umrah visitors, and new regulations for violations of visa, traffic and other laws, as well as the increase in the tariffs on municipal services related to advertising.
  • Oman's conventional banks recorded a 10.8% growth in aggregate personal loans which stood at 7,512.30 MM OMR on March 2016. It is worth noting that the aggregate personal loan portfolio of Omani banks constitutes 39.4% of total bank credit. 
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