This report is designed to give you a snapshot about the MENA region tackling multiple issues:
50.62 USD 1,257 USD
The Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED) offered Lebanon a loan of 36.9 MM USD to provide the country with a steady supply of water for consumption and irrigation. The loan will also fund a project to build tube wells to ensure a sufficient supply of water. The loan will be repaid over a 25-year timeframe with annual installments to cover the expenses of the projects.
Saudi Arabia and Bahrain will sign 9 agreements worth 1 BN SAR (266 MM USD) to carry out projects in Bahrain covering various sectors such as housing, roads, electricity, water and infrastructure.
Egypt attracted 3.1 BN USD of foreign investments in domestic debt instruments since the floatation of the pound in November 2016 until mid-March 2017.
Egypt is aiming to raise 6 BN EGP (329 MM USD) from the sale of minority stakes of 20-30% mainly through stock exchange offerings in state-owned companies in 2017/2018 financial year. Exact names of companies and shares to be offered to investors are not revealed yet.
Iran renewable energy output is expected to hit 850 megawatts in the current fiscal year (started March 21), 90% of which will come from wind and solar power. In addition, 3 BN USD worth projects in the renewable energy sector have been proposed by foreign investors.
Jordan and Palestine signed an agricultural Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in order to boost cooperation in the areas of agricultural financing and credit and the exchange of expertise and visits.
Jordan had signed a 10 MM EUR agreement with France, in an attempt to reduce energy consumption, to carry out a project to boost resilience of the water sector to cut water loss.
Oman Central Bank has signed an MoU with the Iranian Central Bank to strengthen the financial and economic cooperation between the two countries. The agreement is expected to boost bilateral trade and include training for the Iranian central bankers.
Qatar fiscal deficit is projected to fall from 8.2% to 5% of GDP. The deficit is expected to shrink further through 2019 due to increasing hydrocarbon receipts and the ongoing consolidation of the current spending.
Saudi Arabia crude export to the United States is expected to fall by around 300,000 barrels per day from February to March; in line with the OPEC agreement to reduce the supply of crude oil.
Japan has approved a loan of 100 MM USD for Iraq to support humanitarian, counter-terrorism and infrastructure projects in Iraq as a result of the damage imposed by the terrorist attacks.
Moroccan authorities have arrested suspected Lebanese Hesbollah financier, Kassim Tajideen, and is planning to extradite him to the United States as the Interpol is accusing him of making illegal money transfer worth 27 MM USD.
The Georgian ambassador has announced that his government is eager to strengthen its relationship with Saudi Arabia. The diplomatic relations between the two countries were established since 1994; reflecting on a bilateral trade increase by 360%.
EgyptAir started banning large electronic devices carried by travelers heading the U.S.A based on instructions received from U.S transport authorities regarding placing electronic devices in the hold beneath the plane and not in the cabin. The devices include laptops, tablets, cameras, E-readers, portable DVD players, and others.
Egypt and China have signed a grant worth 71 MM USD that aims to finance the establishment of the Egyptian satellite "Egypt Sat 2" and a training center for the Suez Canal Economic Zone Authority (SCZone).
Hilton Hotels chain is expanding its resort portfolio with a new resort on the shores of Jordan that is strategically located at the lowest point on Earth on the eastern shores of the Dead Sea.
Warba Bank, one of Kuwait's leading banks, had listed a 250 MM USD worth Sukuk on Nasdaq Dubai which had succeeded in attracting investors from Kuwait and the MENA region. This listing implies the growth of Dubai as a capital for Islamic financial markets and strengthens the collaboration between the two countries.
The National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) is carrying on an international expansion policy to strengthen its position, becoming the first bank in the Gulf region to open a fully-fledged branch in China.
Oman Air, the national carrier of Oman, had announced that a new Boeing B737-800 aircraft had joined its fleet. The carrier is continuing with its expansion plans in 2017 with four new additions to the fleet this year and a new Dreamliner B787-9 to join in April.
Saudi SEDCO Holding Group had announced the acquisition of a 50% stake in the Jeddah-based Al Yusr International Schools (YIS) in a bid to support education and community development efforts.
Sports and Culture
Egypt won two medals in the Special Olympics World Winter Games held in Austria. The gold and bronze medals are won by Mohamed Abdou and Alaa Abdel-Aziz respectively, both in the snowshoeing 100-metre race that took place in the city of Schladming. It is worthy to note that this event is the largest sporting event in the world for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.
Saudi Arabia will establish a research laboratory for smart network villages which are all-digital facilities with unlimited internet capabilities connected to similar facilities and are expected to promote e-governance. The facility will be part of a joint venture program between the Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) and the Electricitie de France Company (EDF).
Egypt has held its annual camel race outside the city of Ismailia attracting attracted participants from 13 Arab countries, as well as enthusiasts from France, Germany, Italy and Australia. The winners of several races competed over a prize of 100,000 EGP.