Issue  No.84
25 July 2016

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


        45.28  USD          1,314  USD


  Economic Outlook
  • The Central Bank of Egypt reported that the number of tourists who visited Egypt during the first 10 months of the fiscal year 2015-2016 reached 6.1 million, with 47.55 million spent-nights, out of which 205,000 are European tourists, and 118,000 are Asian tourists.
  • Oman's international trade is highly exposed to the status of the economy in China compared to other GCC countries. Oman's exports to China as a percentage of total exports in 2014 and 2015 were 42% and 39%, respectively. The average annual exports to China from 2000 to 2014 of the GCC was 7.7%, while that of Oman stood at 26% over the same period, which is more than three times the GCC average.
  • The Egyptian trade balance declined by 26%; from 32.3 BN EGP in April 2015, to 23.9 BN EGP in April 2016. Moreover, the volume of Egypt's foreign trade declined from 61.3 BN EGP in April 2015 to reach 57.1 BN EGP in April 2016. Also, exports increased by 14.1% reaching 16.6 BN EGP, while imports declined by 13.5%, reaching 40.5 BN EGP. The increase in exports was highly credited to a 524.8% increase in fertilizers exports.
  • As part of the Jordan Response Plan (JRP) to the Syrian refugee crisis, the Cabinet has approved a UN agencies and NGOs funded projects to help cope with the influx of Syrian refugees. The projects will support government-provided services such as: distribution of food parcels, improvement of water and sewage networks, building additional classrooms, improving medical services, and providing care for new-borns in refugee camps.
  • Moody's rating agency maintained its negative outlook of the Lebanese banks amid a volatile regional situation and lower GDP growth, and warned Lebanese banks of the increasing exposure to the growing public debt acting as a major source of credit risks. It is worth noting that the Lebanese banks are holding a big amount of the government's bonds, especially the commercial banks and the Central Bank of Lebanon, which makes them exposed to unfavourable economic conditions.
  • Dubai monthly inflation of the prices of goods and services increased by 0.76% in June compared to May. Food and beverages, transportation, clothing and footwear, and restaurants and hotels sectors increased by 2.15%, 2.09%, 1.57 %, and 0.45% respectively. In addition, prices of the group of housing, water, electricity, gas and fuel increased by 0.39%.
  • The share of the non-hydrocarbon sector in Qatar's GDP reached 63.8% in 2015 compared to 48.9% in 2014. Over the past four years, the non-hydrocarbon sector was the main driver of growth, while hydrocarbon production was stable. The year-on-year growth in non-hydrocarbon GDP reached 7.8% in 2015.
  • Bahrain witnessed a growth of 4.5% during Q1-2016, its highest growth since 2014. The growth was driven by 12.1% growth y-o-y in the oil sector. On the other hand, the non-oil economy continued to grow as 4 BN USD of projects have now been tendered under the GCC Development Fund, of which 3 BN USD projects are in progress.
  • In efforts to provide a favourable investment environment in Jordan, the Jordan Investment Commission (JIC) has started issuing new licences and renewing previous licences for a five-year period for economic activities launched at development and free trade zones.
  • Europeans have allowed made-in-Jordan products to include more than 70% of production inputs from non-local materials. Consequently, exports of Jordan-made products to Europe are expected to increase boosting the country's economy through promoting investments and creating more jobs for Jordanians.  Jordanian and European officials announced that the deal has been effective and will be valid until the end of 2026.
  • In efforts to reduce population flowing to the Qaraoun Lake, western Bekaa, the World Bank had approved a 55 MM USD loan to the Lebanese government. It is worth mentioning that this is part of a bigger plan estimated at 250 MM USD.
  • Oil exports of Iraq, OPEC's second-largest producer, are set to rise in July. This action is expected to put back supply growth on track after 2 months of decline. Southern Iraq oil exports throughout the first 21 days of July reached 3.28 million barrels per day (bpd), up from 3.18 million bpd in June. It is worth mentioning that in 2015, Iraq contributed to OPEC's biggest rise in supply. 
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