Issue  No.83
18 July 2016

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


        46.85  USD          1,328  USD


  Economic Outlook
  • Saudi Ministry of Labor and Social Development is considering raising the work permits fees paid by expats in order to address labor market problems, such as unemployment among nationals and to benefit Saudis who compete for jobs with foreigners. 
  • Egypt is expected to experience a budget deficit of 9.8% in 2016/2017. The ministry of finance announced that the revenues are projected to reach 669.7 BN EGP, while the expenditures are projected to reach 974.8 BN EGP. It is worth mentioning that the Egyptian Parliament approved this budget on June 28th 2016.
  • The Central Bank of Egypt issued four treasury bills worth 20.25 BN EGP to finance the country's budget deficit. The four treasury bills are worth 4.75 BN EGP, 4.75 BN EGP, 5.25 BN EGP, and 5.5 BN EGP to mature in 91 days, 182 days, 273 days, and 364 days respectively.
  • In efforts to reinforce the Program in Support of Stability Reinforcement and Financial Inclusion (PARSIF) in Morocco, the African Development Bank (AfDB)'s board of directors approved a loan of 157 MM USD.This loan will increase the stability and the strengthening of the Moroccan financial sector, especially for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).
  • The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTNH) announced that domestic and inbound foreign tourism revenues reached 53.7 BN SAR this year. It is worth mentioning that the Kingdom has been working on improving domestic tourism as part of the Saudi Vision 2030.
  • The UAE's direct non-oil trade recorded 269.5 BN AED in Q1-2016, maintaining the same record of Q1-2015. Imports accounted for more than half of the non-oil foreign trade reaching a total of 166.1 BN AED.
  • The fiscal deficit of Lebanon increased by 35.7% from Q1-2015 reaching 1.44 BN USD in Q1-2016 compared to 1.1 BN USD in Q1-2015. Expenditures grew by 23.1 % reaching 3.87 BN USD from the same quarter last year, while revenues grew by 16.7% to reach 2.43 BN USD.
  • According to the 2016 Mercer's Cost of Living Survey, Kuwait ranked the 9th with a cost of living equivalent to that in most of the European nations. On the other hand, Dubai was ranked as the most expensive place to live in in the MENA region, while Jeddah was ranked as the cheapest place.
  • The central bank of Jordan recently issued government bonds for individuals at a rate of 4.25% for five years to reduce its reliance on banks for financing, an action that affected banks in Jordan as they offer a 3% interest rate on dinar deposits; consequently, they perceived the bonds as a threat to their saving tools.
  • Qatar Central Bank sold 1.2 BN QAR treasury bills, divided into a three-month bills of 800 MM QAR at a yield of 1.51%, six-month bills of 200 MM QAR at 1.67% and nine-month bills of 200 MM QAR at 1.72%.  The Central Bank has also announced that demand for the sale totaled 3.16 BN QAR.
  • The IMF announced that it will give Iraq a line of credit worth 5.34 BN USD in the form of an assistance plan for three years in order to help the country overcome the financial crisis it is facing currently as a result of the drop in oil prices and the war on terrorism. The loan will be given on installments with a first loan of 634 MM USD. Moreover, The IMF announced that Iraq has to implement many economic reforms to be granted the rest of the agreed installments.
  • Egypt has allocated 3 BN EGP for developing New Al Alamein city in the fiscal year 2016/2017 budget. The first phase of the city will be on 8,000 feddans area, and will include a tourist area, a downtown area, and a residential area. It is worth noting that the implementation of the first phase was assigned to Arab Contractors and Société Egyptienne D'entreprises.
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