Issue  No. 252
18 November 2019

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


       62.51 USD         1,465 USD


Economic Outlook
  • The Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) reported that the unemployment rate in Egypt increased 0.3% in Q3-2019 to reach 7.8%, compared to a 7.5% in Q2-2019 and decreased by 2.2% compared to Q3-2018.
  • Telecom Egypt (WE) is set to launch the first e-linkage project connecting government blood banks across the country in partnership with Misr El Kheir Foundation. The e-linkage project brings together 202 government blood banks and allows decision-makers to identify blood distribution locations and areas impacted by shortages nationwide.
  • UAE and Egypt have launched a 20 BN USD investment platform for economic and social projects. Both countries are eager to continue coordinating in addressing regional challenges and preserving security in the Middle East.
  • The number of Saudi men and women working for the private sector has increased by about 8.2% in Q2-2019 to reach 247,096 compared to 228,286 in Q2-2018.
  • In order to achieve Saudi Arabia 2030 goal, the country needs to attract 100 million visitors by 2030 which is more than 1 million people to enter the tourism workforce. Noting that the Red Sea Project, a luxury tourism development in the Kingdom, will create 70,000 new jobs.
  • UAE is way ahead of all other countries in the MENA region, with the strongest and most prized brand value at 730 BN USD, while 11 out of the 20 fastest-growing nation brands of 2019 worldwide come from the region.
  • UAE is Sri Lanka largest trading partner in MENA; 6th largest source of FDI. The FDI inflows from UAE to Sri Lanka during 2015-2018 reached around 641 MM USD.
  • Qatar Petroleum (QP) plans to change its oil pricing method in Q1-2010 to align with other Middle East producers. The change follows the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) plans to build a new international exchange for its flagship Murban crude which will start pricing its oil on a forward pricing basis.
Political Events
  • Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi visited Germany to attend the G20 Compact with Africa (CWA) meetings. The G20 CWA aims to boost the economic cooperation between Africa and G20 countries through joint ventures that contribute to accelerating the continent's growth.
  • The integration of women's needs in Bahrain state budget will be on the agenda of the Shura Council during its weekly session yesterday. The Financial and Economic Affairs Committee submitted a law proposal aimed at achieving gender balance and consolidating women's status.
Major Companies Transaction
  • The Arab Organization for Industrialization (AOI) announced the launch of Egypt first smart electric bus system through the AOI-led manufacturing alliance with Shanghai Wanxiang, the United Investment Company, the Mwasalat Misr company and a number of other companies specialized in providing technological solutions.
  • Ezz Steel divested its full stake in Ezz Flat Steel, selling 35.3 million shares to Ezz Dekheila Steel for 356.07 MM USD. The transaction is part of a restructuring plan adopted by the parent company that also includes buying 100% of Al Ezz Rolling Mills.
  • Chefaa, an AI-powered platform for buying pharma products, is planning a series A funding round in January 2020 to help the company begin its expansion beyond Egypt borders.
  • Egypt Kuwait Holding (EKH) announced that its net profit for Q3-2019 reached 38.2 MM USD, up 15% compared to 33.6 MM USD in Q3-2018. Revenues increased 19% in Q3-2019 to reach 141.1 MM USD. Growth came from successes across EKH's segments and subsidiaries, driven by a multitude of operational developments.
  • Palm Hills Developments' (PHD) net profit after tax and minority interest decreased 54% y-o-y in Q3-2019 to 93 MM EGP, down from 200 MM EGP in Q3-2018. Revenues also decreased during the quarter to reach 1.1 BN EGP.
  • The Misk Foundation signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Hub71, Abu Dhabi global tech ecosystem. This strategic MoU with Hub71 will allow to create a more open and dynamic environment for these startups and others in the future.
  • Aramex, a leading global provider of comprehensive logistics and transportation solutions, announced the launch of its latest last mile delivery solution, Aramex Spot, across Saudi Arabia and UAE.
  • Tawazun, UAE defense and security industry enabler, is taking 50% stake in VR Technologies, a unit of Russian Helicopters by investing 400 MM EUR.
  • The Africa Investment Summit (AIS) a two-day event that seeks to enhance dialogue between global, long-term investors and Africa-based sovereign wealth funds, financial institutions and corporates, opened this morning in Abu Dhabi.
  • Qatar Airways has placed a 4 BN USD jet engine order with CFM International to power its 50 Airbus A321neos.

Sports and Culture
  • German-Egyptian lawyer Amira Mohamed Ali proved victorious in German parliamentary (Bundestag) elections, becoming the first Arab electedto parliament in the country and assuming leadership of the left-wing party. Amira received 52.2 % of the vote, defeating her opponent Caren Lay, who secured only 42%.
  • Egyptian football superstar Mohamed Salah won't be able to make it to Egypt anticipated matches against Kenya and Comoros due to his ankle injury during the Liverpool and Manchester City match which saw Liverpool defeat the latter 3-1.
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