Issue  No. 214
18 February 2019

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


       66.25 USD         1,322 USD


Economic Outlook
  • Egypt Central Bank made a surprise cut to its overnight interest rates lowering its deposit rate to 15.75% from 16.75% and its lending rate to 16.75% from 17.75%, which is its first-rate cuts since March 2018.
  • Egypt Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) reported that the unemployment rate fell to 8.9% in Q4-2018, down by 1.1% compared to 10% in Q3-2018 and down by 2.4% compared to Q4-2017.
  • Egypt and UAE agreed on forming a joint technical committee which aims to study the establishment of a factory for medical waste disposal as part of the Egyptian government's integrated plan of waste-recycling management.
  • Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai launched "Madrasa", e-learning platform, for 1,000 villages to support learning for Arab students living in villages, remote areas and refugee camps with no internet access.
  • Saudi Arabia announced investments in Pakistan worth between 15 and 20 BN USD during Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman official visit. Saudi Arabia and UAE in recent months have offered Pakistan more than 30 BN USD in loans and investments to tackle a soaring current-account deficit.
  • Saudi Economic Association (SEA) announced that the Red Sea Project will create 35,000 job opportunities, attracting a million visitors annually and put the country on the international tourism map whereas the Amaala project will create over 22,000 job opportunities.
  • The number of active business licenses issued to Kuwaiti entrepreneurs in Dubai has reached 2,052. These business licenses have 6,507 investors including 6,181 businessmen and 326 women entrepreneurs.
Political Events
  • Saudi Arabia has reduced visit visa fees for Pakistanis from 15th of February 2019 making the visit visa fee for single entry has been decreased from 2,000 SAR (533 USD) to 338 SAR (90 USD) while the fee for multiple entry visa reduced from 3,000 SAR (800 USD) to 675 SAR (180 USD).
  • Egypt parliament initially approved constitutional amendments allowing President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to extend his term in office until 2034. These amendments will be referred to the parliament's legislative committee to go for a review before they get the parliament's final vote.
Major Companies Transaction
  • Egypt Minister of Communications and Information Technology Amr Talaat met with MasterCard Vice Chairman and President Michael Fromanto to establish the New Administrative Capital as Egypt first cashless city.
  • Saudi Aramco and Total signed an agreement to develop a network of retail fuel service stations in Saudi Arabia. The 50:50 joint venture plans to invest around 1 BN USD over the next six years in Saudi retail fuel market.
  • Italian energy major Eni and Saudi Arabia Sabic have signed a joint development agreement to develop an innovative technology for natural gas conversion into synthesis gas that can be further transformed into high value fuels and chemicals, such as methanol.
  • Samsung is enriching the mobile payment experience across UAE by partnering with Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (Debit Cards), Dubai Islamic Bank, Finance House, MAF Najm Cards and Noor Bank and to enable their customers access to the leading digital payment and digital wallet solutions of Samsung Pay.
  • UAE Dana Gas posted a net loss of 186 MM USD in 2018 compared to 83 MM USD net profit in 2017, due to losses at its Zora gas field in UAE and other fields in Egypt which amounted to 187 MM USD and 59 MM USD respectively.
  • Qatar Petroleum has signed a five-year sales agreement to supply Japan Marubeni Corp with an annual total of 200,000 metric tons of light naphtha starting January 2019.
  • Vodafone-Qatar has posted its first-ever yearly net profit, estimated at 118 MM QAR (32.4 MM USD), and its first y-o-y growth in total revenues in four years by 5.1% to 2.1 BN QAR (577 MM USD) in 2018.
  • Kuwait Agility, one of the largest logistics companies in the Gulf, reported an 18.4% rise in its 2018 net profit y-o-y reaching 81.1 MM KWD (267.04 MM USD).
Sports and Culture
  • The Pyramids Marathon invited runners from around the world to run at the Great Pyramids of Giza to promote sports tourism. Egypt signature running event doesn't just offered the 42K, but also the 21K and 10K distances, meaning anyone could take part and run through 5000 years of history.
  • The Saudi Arabian women's bowling team will compete in the 9th Arab Men and Women Bowling Championship, which is being held in Egypt started from Thursday 14 of February 2019 until Saturday 23 of February 2019.
Subscribe for  "Insights Africa "

Dubai Office:
Office No. N 415, 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