Issue  No.153
11 December 2017

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


        63.40 USD         1,252 USD


Economic Outlook
  • The World Bank Group said its executive board has approved a 1.15 BN USD development policy loan for Egypt to support the country's economic reform programs that aims at creating jobs, ensuring energy security, strengthening public finances and enhancing business competitiveness. The loan is the last in a series of three annual loans totaling 3.15 BN USD issued from 2015 to 2017.
  • Egypt has paid back a total of 4 BN USD of its debts to the African Export-Import Bank.
  • Egypt will lower tariffs by 10% next January 2018 on cars imported from EU countries as part of the Egyptian-EU partnership. The agreement was implemented in 2010 and, according to it, the tariffs on imported European automobiles will be cancelled by 2019.
  • Qatar 2018 state budget will focus on developing local industries and the private sector as the country works to be self-sufficient in the face of a boycott by other Arab states. 
  • Jordan and Saudi Arabia have signed an agreement to connect both countries' electric grids. The connection will help reduce the load of oscillations and will boost the two countries' reliance on renewable energy.
  • Dubai Municipality's Food Safety Department has re-evaluated the food labels of 4,700 local food products to ensure compliance with approved food specifications. The team visited 73 out of 277 food factories registered in the inspection system of Dubai Municipality.
  • Three leading Bahrain-based financial institutions have come together to create the world's first fintech consortium to develop Sharia-compliant banking solutions. Called Algo Bahrain, the consortium includes industry majors such as Al Baraka Banking Group (ABG), Kuwait Finance House-Bahrain (KFH-B) and Bahrain Development Bank (BDB) as founding members.
  • The Greater Amman Municipality (GAM) council has approved a tender of around 12 MM JOD to a private company to import 100 passenger buses that can serve people with movement disability. The decision included importing 40 big buses and 60 medium-size buses from a Turkish company.
  • The global EMEA Finance Magazine Europe, Middle East and Africa has awarded Kuwait Finance House (KFH) best Islamic Bank in the Middle East, in addition to most innovative Bank in the Middle East 2017 award. 
Political Events
  • Donald Trump has defied overwhelming global opposition by declaring Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, but insisted that the highly controversial move would not derail his own administration's bid to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said Donald Trump's plan to declare Jerusalem the capital of Israel  is a "red line" for Muslims and could see him breaking off diplomatic relations with the country.
  • Egyptian Parliament has approved the government-drafted Labor Syndicates Law, after months of heated debates about its articles, which was seen as an attempt to control syndicalist work and absorb it into the framework of the state.
  • Kuwait Deputy Premier and Defense Minister, Sheikh Mohammad Khaled Al-Sabah, said that the visit of the US Secretary of Defense, James Mattis, contribute to boosting military cooperation between Kuwait and Washington.
Major Companies Transaction
  • SODIC has signed a contract with Greater Cairo Water Company to connect 1000 houses to the fresh water network in Ezzbet Khair Allah. The project is planned to be carried out over one year and is fully funded by SODIC at an estimated cost of 1 MM EGP.
  • Siemens, the German industrial group and Gas have signed agreements with Libyan state utility GECOL on the plants to build two gas-fired power stations in Libya, in a fillip for its struggling power division which is shedding staff as developed economies shift to renewable sources of energy.
  • Dubai Emaar Properties, builder of the world's tallest tower, is in discussions with banks to obtain loan facilities worth 4 BN AED (1.01 BN USD) in partnership with Dubai Properties, another major developer. The loan should be used in projects including a shopping mall and a tower.
  • The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) has signed two cooperation agreements with Hong Kong to enhance collaboration in financial technology (FinTech) innovation. The authorities will cooperate on information sharing and referrals of innovative businesses.
Sports and Culture
  • Oman has declared a two-year moratorium on the harvest, sale, and export of abalone, a shellfish that commands top dollar in the markets of the Far East.
  • The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) has reiterated its plans to rehabilitate the historical mountains of Makkah to pilgrims from different parts of the Islamic world to visit the sites.
  • Uber paid 100,000 USD to a 20-year-old Florida man, who stole company data, to destroy the information and keep quiet about the breach.
  • The Dubai Police has warned residents in the emirate that carrying white weapons such as knives, swords and batons can cause an imprisonment of one to three months, and a fine of 5,000 to 30,000 AED, or both.
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:  +97142820301

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