Issue  No. 253
25 November 2019

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


       63.39 USD         1,459 USD


Economic Outlook
  • Egypt first sukuk issuance is expected to be applied before the end of Q1-2020, according to the Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) boss Mohamed Omran. Moreover, the first green bond sale is expected to hit the market next year, noting that this is the "biggest challenge" for financial markets over the coming period.
  • Egypt implemented a "green channel" system for a selected group of 75 white listed importers to enjoy expedited customs clearance. The system will allow the white listed companies to have their goods pass through Egypt ports without their shipping containers undergoing inspection.
  • In Egypt, the Education Ministry will consider raising its 20% cap on foreign ownership of schools on a case-by-case basis but will not reverse its decision under pressure from investors.
  • The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) will provide the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) with a 100 MM USD tranche of 500 MM USD loan to facilitate import and export transactions between Egypt and African countries.
  • Saudi Arabia has unveiled plans to launch an instant work-visa service next month, through its Qiwa platform, that is specially designed to help new small businesses.
  • By 2030, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) predicts that the GCC will have 40GW of utility-scale photovoltaic (PV) projects and almost 200,000 solar power jobs. UAE will account for 45% of total renewable energy jobs in the region, followed by Saudi Arabia at 33% by 2030.
  • The Central Bank of the UAE announced that in October 2019, total bank deposits increased by 17.8 BN AED (4.8 BN USD), attributable to 1.9 BN AED (517.2 BN USD) increase in resident deposits and 15.9 BN AED (4.3 BN USD) increase in non-resident deposits.
  • has published government job opportunities on their website, with many jobs offering a monthly salary up to 30,000 AED making the expats widen their search and check out the multiple work opportunities available.
Political Events
  • Egyptian Investment Minister Sahar Nasr inked six cooperation agreements worth 300 MM EUR with German Economic Cooperation and Development Minister Gerd Müller on the sidelines of the G20 Compact with Africa in Berlin. 
  • In Bahraina proposal to integrate women's needs into the state budget will be on the agenda of the Shura Council. The financial and economic affairs committee endorsed a proposed law, which aims at achieving gender balance and enhancing women's status.
Major Companies Transaction
  • Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) has announced the launch of global currency exchange and payments company WorldFirst in the Centre. UK headquartered WorldFirst was acquired by Ant Financial, the financial technology arm of Alibaba Group Holding Limited in February 2019.
  • Alef Education, the global K-12 educational technology company announced today its strategic technology partnership with Google for Education as the first content developer in the Middle East to hold 'premium level' partnership in the Google for Education Partner Program.
  • The industrial sector in UAE tops GCC M&A transactions in Q3-2019. DP World's acquisition of Topaz Energy and Marine from Renaissance Services and Standard Chartered Private Equity for a total value of 1.1 BN USD was the top reported deal in the Gulf region.
  • The Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) has rejected the mandatory tender offer (MTO) from Adeptio to acquire the Egyptian International Tourism Projects Company (Americana). Adeptio's offer price of 3.9 EGP per share was not in line with the financial evaluation.
  • Emaar Misr has awarded a 366 MM AED (99.6 MM USD) contract to Arabtec Construction to construct several residential units in the Greek Village, one of the areas in Emaar's Marassi compound on Egypt north coast. Construction is scheduled to take 36 months to complete.
  • The International Finance Corporation (IFC) is considering a 10 MM USD equity investment in local electricity meters manufacturer Global Tronics. The proceeds will raise working capital and production capacity to meet high demand from the government.
  • In Egypt, the Commercial International Bank (CIB) submitted a request to the EGX to raise its authorized capital to 50 MM EGP from 20 MM EGP, and its paid-in capital to 14.69 BN EGP from 14.56 BN EGP.
  • Aquafina, PepsiCo's brand of purified bottled water and the proud hydration partner of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia, plans to make this season opener the first edition of Formula E to be free of plastic waste.
  • Fitch Ratings has affirmed Doha Bank Q.P.S.C.'s (DB) Long-Term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at 'A' with a Stable Outlook. At the same time, the agency has affirmed DB's Viability Rating (VR) at 'bb+'.

Sports and Culture
  • The Saudi government has organized an extravagant and massive auto trade event for 6 days starting from 21 to 26 November funded by the government, Riyadh Car Show. Noting that Global Auto Salon is featuring a world-class exhibition of hot rods, classic cars, trucks, sports compacts, race cars and other specialty vehicles on display. Moreover, Riyadh has scheduled a star-studded line-up of industry celebrities.
  • Modest fashion is more visible growing to a 283 BN USD industry. Mainstream brands such as US sportswear giant Nike and Japan Uniqlo have launched modest fashion lines. Noting that global muslim spend on modest fashion has increased by 4.8% from 270 BN USD to 283 BN USD in 2018.
Subscribe for  "Insights Africa "

Dubai Office:
Office No. N 307, North Tower, Emirates Financial Towers, DIFC, P.O Box 506726, Dubai, UAE.
Tel:  +97142820301

Cairo Office:
Z epter Office Building  S5-6 ,  Area 5, District 1, 5th Settlement,  New Cairo, Egypt.  P.O. Box:  1147

Kenya Office:
Block C, Ground Floor, Fortis Office Park Muthangari Dr Westlands, Nairobi, Kenya
Tel: +254 20 5148174
P.O. Box: 66488-00800

     Like us on Facebook  View our profile on LinkedIn  Follow us on Twitter View our videos on YouTube