Issue  No. 212
4 February 2019

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


       61.87 USD         1,317 USD


Economic Outlook
  • Egypt communications and information technology sector witnessed a growth rate of 16.4% in Q2-2018/2019, the highest among the entire Egyptian economy sector as its contribution to GDP reached 8%.
  • Saudi Central Bank attributed the growth in deposits to a 3.8% or 37.73 BN SAR (10.05 BN USD) increase in demand deposits, reaching 1.03 TR SAR (276.75 BN USD) by the end of 2018, up from 1 TR SAR (266.6 BN USD) in 2017.
  • Saudi Ministry of Health announced that more than 900 Saudi dentists remain unemployed while about 9,000 expatriate dentists work in hospitals. Adding that there are 5,287 Saudis and 9,729 expatriates who are licensed to practice general dentistry in the Kingdom.
  • Saudi-Japan Vision Office (SJVO) and Japan External Trade Organization (Jetro) will receive a Japanese delegation from Service and Franchise Industry on February 4-6 seeking any future business opportunities and possibilities in Saudi food market.
  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) stated that non-oil growth in the UAE will expand further in 2019 and 2020 on the back of fiscal stimulus and fast-track preparations for Expo 2020 Dubai.
  • Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), the leading national entity for international development aid, has financed 129 development projects in the education sector with a total value of 2.5 BN AED (680 MM USD).
  • Kuwait trade surplus jumped 77.1% y-o-y in the first 11 months of 2018, adding that Kuwait trade balance surplus amounted to 10.23 BN KWD (33.83 BN USD) compared to 5.78 BN KWD (19.11 BN USD) in the same period in 2017.
Political Events
  • The 2018 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) revealed that Egypt has advanced to the 105th rank among 180 countries, up from the 117th rank in 2017 with a score of 35 points compared to 32 points in 2017 report, showing a slight decrease in corruption domestically.
  • The Saudi Supreme Authorities have approved a reciprocal agreement with South Korea under which citizens of the two countries will be granted a five-year multiple entry visa. The fees for the visa will be 90 USD (337.5 SAR) but visitors are not allowed stay more than 90 days at a time.


Major Companies Transaction
  • In Egypt, Raya Holding for Financial Investments will inject more than 250 MM EGP (14.1 MM USD) in BariQ, aiming to double the capacity and productivity through the launch of new production lines for the factory.
  • Tatweer Misr seeks to achieve sales of 6 BN EGP (340 MM USD) in 2019 compared to 6.7 BN EGP (379.7 MM USD) in 2018 including around 2.3 BN EGP (130.3 MM USD) from Il Monte Galala in Ain Sokhna.
  • Etihad Airways, the national airline of the UAE, announced a strategic partnership with Microsoft to launch the first ever in-house AI Academy in the region, which will revolutionize the way the airline serves its customers.
  • Almar Water Solutions, part of Abdul Latif Jameel, has been awarded a contract worth 600 MM USD to develop a desalination plant in the city of Shuqaiq, on the Red Sea coast of Saudi Arabia creating 700 jobs.
  • In Saudi Arabia, Misk Innovation has announced its partnership with 500 Startups to launch an accelerator program for entrepreneurism. The program aim is to encourage innovative ideas by creating jobs and raising the contribution of entrepreneurship to GDP.
  • Riyad Bank, Saudi Arabia fourth-largest lender by assets, reported a 39% rise in Q4-2018 net profit reaching 1.35 BN SAR (360 MM USD) compared to 974 MM SAR (259.6 MM USD) in Q4-2017.
  • International Bank of Qatar (ibq) announced its 2018 financial results recording a net profit of 747.2 MM QAR (205.2 MM USD) compared to 555.1 MM QAR (152.4 MM USD) in 2017.
  • Qatar Petroleum and Exxon Mobil Corp are expected to announce plans next week to proceed with a 10 BN USD (36.4 BN QAR) project that will expand a liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facility in Texas.
Sports and Culture
  • Barcelona will face Real Madrid three times during February and March 2019 after Copa del Rey El Clasico announced. The first match will be on 6th February and the second match will be on 27th February and the last will be on 2nd March.
  • The 2019 Longines Global Champions Tour and Global Champions League will feature exciting new venues in New York, Montreal and Stockholm in a record 20-city circuit this year.
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