Issue  No.167
19 March 2018

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


        65.97 USD         1,314 USD


Economic Outlook
  • Minister of Transport of Egypt, announced that country plans to award the tender for a high-speed railway that links between the Red Sea and the Mediterranean, during H2-2018. At least 10 international companies are currently involved in the tender procedure, the project will connect the Eastern resort of Ain Al-Sokhna to Al-Alamein. In addition, Egypt is working with China to build a railway to link Cairo to the New Capital.
  • The Housing Ministry of Saudi Arabia aims to increase property financing by 2020. The ministry is targeting a boost in the real estate sector from 290 BN SAR (77.39 BN USD) to 502 BN SAR (133.9 BN USD).The Saudi government aims to reform the sector and strengthen the economy as part of its 2030 vision.
  • Kuwait new budget will be focused on infrastructure spending. The budget remains the same at 20 BN KWD (66.7 BN USD), but more focused on the construction sector.
  • Expat remittances from the UAE have increased to 164.3 BN AED (45 BN USD) in 2017, a growth of 2.2% compared to 160.8 BN AED (43.78 BN USD) in 2016. India accounts for 34.2% of the total remittances, during Q4-2017; amounting to 4.03 USD BN.
  • The cabinet of Jordan suspended the Free Trade Agreement with Turkey due to the failure of the latter in committing to the partnership since its establishment in 2011. Even more, the agreement had an adverse effect on Jordan industrial sector's exports.
  • Crude Oil production of Saudi Arabia is expected to be under 10 mln bpd (million barrels per day),and its export under 7 mln bpd. As a top OPEC producer, Saudi wants to put an end to a global supply glut in order to boost prices.
  • Prime minister of Jordan has announced the approval of new processes to incentivize the investments of non-Jordanians, including Gazans. The procedure aims tostimulate the real estate sectors and infrastructure to attract FDIs (Foreign Direct Investments). This specifically applies to non-Jordanians with temporary passports whom are company owners with capital no less than 300,000 JOD (423,135 USD), or shareholders whose shares are no less than 300,000 JOD (423,135 USD).
  • The governor of the Central Bank of Yemen and Saudi Finance Minister Mohamed al-Jadaan signed an agreement at Riyadh, where Saudi deposits 2 BN USD in Yemen Central Bank. The agreement will help strengthen the weak Yemeni currency that was weakened by the three-year civil war.
  • Lebanon government budget for 2018 is in the process of approval after the cabinet projected a lower budget deficit for 2018; 4.8 BN USD, which is 145 MM USD lower than 2017.
Political Events
  • Palestinian Prime Minister, Rami Hamdallah survived an assassination attempt in Gaza, after a roadside bomb targeted his motorcycle, last Tuesday.
  • A United Nation delegation discussed with a main rebel group in South Syria chances for a ceasefire to ensure safety of civilians. However, "exit and evacuation" was "not on the table".
  • The communication office of Qatar government filed a U.S lawsuit against a group of people, whom it said are running an illegal internet and social media campaign to spread false information, harming the country business. The website running the campaign describes itself as "a dossier on the world's leading state sponsor of extremism".
  • Moroccan protestors clashed with security forces at a poor mining town, Al-Hoceima. Protests are demanding government help to tackle poverty. The protests had set five police cars on fire and nine persons were detained.
Major Companies Transaction
  • Kuwait Authority for Partnership Projects (KAPP)has signed a contract with German firm WTE Wassertechnik and KSCC. WTE Wassertechnik and KSCC will develop and operate the new Al Hayman wastewater treatment plant. The project is located at South of Kuwait and is worth 1.3 BN USD.
  • Saudi Arabia Haramain 450-kilometer high-speed rail will link Makkah and Madinah through Jeddah and King Abdullah Economic City in Rabigh. Prince Faisal had explained that it would likely host 30 million pilgrims as part of the 2030 vision program to increase and diversify revenues.
  • Investcorp will launch a 100 MM USD fund to Oman pension funds, supporting the development of Oman economy.
  • ABB, Dubai-based company, is bidding for an estimate of 700 MM USD worthy of power projects in the UAE, mainly consisting of solar energy. Residents of UAE can save up to 40% on energy bills through installing solar energy.
  • British Petroleum (BP) is looking for buyers for its share in a 50-year-old oil and gas business in Egypt; Gulf of Suez Oil Company. BP is currently focusing on newer deep-water gas fields off Egypt's Mediterranean coast.
Sports and Culture
  • Mohammed Salah scored 4 goals and 1 assist on Saturday, against the Watford at the Premiere League. Salah is the leading scorer in the Premier League and in the European League play.
  • Egyptian ballerina, Magda Saleh will be honored next month by the New York-based dance and theater troupe; "From the Horse's Mouth". Saleh is one of the influential figures in Egyptian arts.
  • Soccer world's governing body, FIFA, lifted the ban on hosting competitive international soccer matches at stadiums of three Iraqi cities. Prime Minister of Iraq, Haider al-Abadi welcomed the decision.
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Z epter Office Building  S5-6 ,  Area 5, District 1, 5th Settlement,  New Cairo, Egypt.  P.O. Box:  1147
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Tel:  +97142820301

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