Issue  No. 235
15 July 2019

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


       66.72 USD         1,415 USD


Economic Outlook
  • Egypt Islamic funding injected by banks are expected to increase by 9 BN EGP (542.38 MM USD) reaching in total 235 BN EGP (14.16 BN USD) in Q2-2019, compared to 226 BN EGP (16.03 BN USD) in Q2-2018.
  • Egypt Ministry of Finance Mohamed Maait announced that the foreign investments are expected to contribute 2.5% of Egypt GDP in 2019/2020 increasing by 7.4 BN USD (122.79 BN EGP). In addition, the Egyptian government has increased its investments in the health and education sectors by 47% and 70%.
  • The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) reported that Egypt annual inflation decreased to 8.9% in June 2019, compared to 13.8% in June 2018.
  • SAMA is studying new laws to encourage insurers to raise capital, compared to the current 100 MM SAR (26.5 MM USD) and 200 MM SAR (53.3 MM USD) capital for insurance and reinsurance firms, respectively. Saudi insurance market is considered to be one of the lowest penetrated markets with growth potential.
  • The General Authority of Zakat and Tax (GAZT) has announced that some cigarettes will be sold at a minimum price of 14 SAR, with a 27% increase, as 8 SAR tax will be imposed on the basic price per pack, which is 5.25 SAR. Then the value added tax (VAT) will be added.
  • Saudi Aramco raised domestic gasoline prices with 91 grade reaching 1.53 SAR per liter from 1.44 and 95 grade increasing to 2.18 SAR from 2.10.
  • Sharjah records 14.69 BN AED (4 BN USD) worth of real estate transactions in H1-2019. Residential properties ranked first in terms of sales transactions, constituting 69.7% of the total transactions recorded.
  • Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has announced that its WhatsApp account has been verified, making it the first government organization in UAE to obtain a verified WhatsApp business account.
  • Qatar state purchasing agency has issued a tender to buy about 4,000 tons of rice to be sourced from Pakistan. Tender deadline is July 21.
Political Events
  • Tourists travelling to UAE during the summer won't need to pay visa fees for dependents aged 18 years or below. The fee exemption will be applicable between July 15 and September 15 every year and is expected to boost tourist numbers during the off-peak season.
  • Egyptian-American economist Mohamed El-Erian is nominated to succeed Christine Lagarde as the managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). European leaders nominated Lagarde to succeed Mario Draghi as president of the European Central Bank (ECB).
Major Companies Transaction
  • Beltone Financial Holding announced that Rimco Investments has increased its stake in Suez Cement (SUCE) to 9.113% from 8.852% by purchasing around 474,000 shares in the cement producer. Suez Cement reached a net profit of 269.84 MM EGP (16.28 MM USD) in Q1-2019, compared to 128.15 MM EGP (7.73 MM USD) in Q1-2018.
  • Egyptian digital bill payments company Fawry has begun preparing for a 45% share offering on Egypt Stock Exchange (EGX) to raise about 2.5 BN EGP (150.74 MM USD), adding that EFG Hermes will manage the IPO and Zulficar & Partners will serve as legal counsel.
  • In Dubai, Signify, the world leader in lighting, and Diamond Developers have signed an MoU as part of their mutual commitment to utilize creative and innovative technologies and solutions designed to promote sustainability.
  • DMCC has signed two new strategic partnership agreements with Chinese authorities during visits to the cities of Hangzhou and Qingdao as part of its 6th Made for Trade Live roadshow of 2019.
  • Saudi Egyptian Construction Company (Secon) has offered Bleu-Vert residential project in the New Administrative Capital, with total investments of 10 BN EGP (601.72 MM USD).
  • The Saudi-based conglomerate, Almarai Company, has been ranked the 7th place among the world's most valuable dairy brands, according to the latest report by Brand Finance.
  • Hyundai Engineering & Construction (E&C) has secured a 3.2 TR KRW (South Korean Won) (2.7 BN USD) order from state oil giant Saudi Aramco to build gas and crude oil-processing facilities in Sausi Arabia.
  • Dubai Land Department (DLD), represented by its regulatory arm Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA), signed an MoU with Arab Bank for Investment & Foreign Trade (Al Masraf) to manage and service Owners Association (OA) accounts.
  • Union Coop, reported a 20% growth in net profit in H1-2019, reaching 284.6 MM AED (77.48 MM USD) in 2019 compared to 237.7 MM AED (64.7 MM USD) in 2018, which surged 46.9 MM AED (12.7 MM USD).
  • Qatar Petroleum has signed an agreement with Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LLC to develop a new world-scale petrochemical project in the Gulf Coast region of the U.S.
  • Zain, the leading digital service provider in Kuwait, launched a dedicated 5G Zone that offers customers the opportunity to experience the true capabilities of 5G technology at its branch in the Avenues Mall, Phase 4 - Electra.

Sports and Culture
  • Egypt is set to be among the Manchester City trophy tour's several stopovers in a trip marking the club's record-breaking season. Manchester City recently became the first English club to lift six cups in a single season.
  • Neymar posted a video featuring himself in a Barcelona shirt on social media, raising more speculation that the Paris St Germain forward might return to his former club, but his public relations company said he would show up in Paris on Monday 15th of July.
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