Issue  No.147
30 October 2017

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


        60.23 USD         1,273 USD


Economic Outlook
  • Saudi Arabia has announced a 500 BN USD plan to create a business and industrial zone extending across its borders into Jordan and Egypt, the biggest project yet in a series of efforts to free the kingdom of its dependence on oil exports. The project is called "Neom" and will be on 26,500 square kilometers.
  • The Water Authority of Jordan and the European Investment Bank have signed an agreement to support the second phase of Wadi Al Arab water project, with a total value of 13.75 MM EUR. The project aims at equipping local communities in the north to face drought and climate change.
  • Bank Nizwa launched its new Murabaha-based Home Finance product for completed properties. The new Shari'a-compliant instrument delivers the ultimate sense of comfort to homeowners by registering properties in their names immediately, instantaneous payment of all Ministry of Housing fees, and facilitating complete ownership without delay.
  • Saudi Arabia Debt Management Office (DMO) will increase liquidity in the domestic secondary debt market for government bonds. The DMO plans to introduce an auction system for government bonds and for taps of existing issues. 
  • The Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) and Softbank Vision Fund have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to establish the "Solar Energy Plan 2030", which will be a new framework for development of the Kingdom solar energy sector. The project will be implemented through the Saudi Electricity Company (SEC).
  • Saudi crown prince forecasts that the demand for oil will increase between 2030 to 2040 due to the need from petrochemical and other industries, not just for energy production. 
  • Dubai International Airport, the world's busiest for international travel, has recorded a 1.7% increase in passenger traffic reaching 7.22 million passengers in September 2017 compared to 7.09 million passengers in the same month last year.
Political Events
  • France had concluded several major military agreements with Egypt including the sale of 24 Rafale combat aircraft, a multi-mission frigate and two Mistral warships in contracts worth 6 BN EUR. These agreements were during Al-Sisi visit to France last week.
  • President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi has appointed Lt. Gen. Mohamed Farid Hegazi as the armed forces' chief of staff, replacing Lt. General Mahmoud Ibrahim Hegazi. The head of the country's national security agency was also replaced, along with 10 others who held top spots at the Interior Ministry, according to two separate announcements late on Saturday that did not give reasons for the changes.
  • Qatar and Russia have signed a military technical cooperation agreement and memorandum of understanding (MoU) on air defense and military supplies.
  • The Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, has sent a letter to Iraqi President, Fuad MasumThe two sides discussed mutual cooperation between the two countries, including to rebalance the oil markets, stressing the need for participating countries to strictly adhere to agreed oil reduction rates.
Major Companies Transaction
  • Saudi British Bank (SABB), the kingdom sixth-largest bank by assets, reported an 8.8% rise in Q3-2017 net profit reaching 1.08 BN SAR (288 MM USD) compared to 995 MM SAR (265.3 MM USD) in the same period last year. 
  • Al Rajhi BankSaudi Arabia's second-largest lender by assets, reported a 12.7% increase in Q3-2017 net profit reaching 2.27 BN SAR (605.3 MM USD) compared to 2.01 BN SAR (533.2 MM USD) in the same period last year.
  • First Abu Dhabi Bank, the largest bank in UAE has reported an 18% drop in Q3-2017 profit as lower operating income weighed on its bottom line reaching 2.61 BN AED (711 MM USD) compared to 3.18 BN AED (816 MM USD) in the same period last year.
  • Etisalat, the United Arab Emirates-based telecom operator, reported a 29% increase in Q3-2017 net profit reaching 2.4 BN AED (653 MM USD) compared to 1.87 BN AED (510 MM USD) in the same period last year. 
  • Dubai developer Nakheel has reported a 42.4% increase in Q3-2017 net profit reaching 1.36 BN AED (370.28 MM USD). 
  • Commercial Bank of Qatar (CBQ), the country's third-largest lender by assets, turns profitable during Q3-2017 recording 79.4 MM QAR (21.8 MM USD) compared to a net loss of 1 MM QAR in the same period last year.
Sports and Culture
  • Al Ahly has played with Moroccans Wydad Casablanca scoring 1-1 in the 2017 CAF Champions League final first-leg clash at Borg El Arab Stadium.
  • Zamalek was crowned African champions in handball for the tenth time yesterday after defeating Tunisian side Esperance de Tunis 31-29 in the final after extra-time in Tunis.
  • UAE is ranked first among Arab countries in terms of quality and performance of postal services according to the Integrated Index for Postal Development.
  • Dr. Sabiha Sayasachi; A leading cancer specialist in Canadian Specialist Hospital has drawn the attention that despite not being very common among males, yet the survival rates in men are much lower compared to women due to late diagnosis and lack of awareness
  • The robot Sophia has been granted citizenship in Saudi Arabia and it appears to already have more rights than the country's women. It has been created by Hong Kong-based company Hanson Robotics and it appeared at a technology conference in Saudi's capital, Riyadh. 
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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