Issue  No.148
06 November 2017

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


        62.38 USD         1,271 USD


Economic Outlook
  • Egypt is expected to finalize contracts before the end of 2017 for its first nuclear power plant with 4,800-megawatt (MW) capacity. It is worthy to mention that Egypt has signed an agreement in November 2015 with Russia to finance building and operating the plant, the loan value was 25 BN USD.
  • Egypt has paid back to Turkey the final instalment worth 200 MM USD of a 1 BN USD. It is worthy to mention that Egypt has taken the loan in 2012.
  • Egypt foreign direct investment has increased by 25% in the last fiscal year reaching 7.9 BN USD and was set to increase to 10 BN USD this financial year.
  • Qatar trade surplus has increased by 41.5% (year-on-year) to reach 12.5 BN QAR (3.27 BN USD) in September 2017.On month-on-month (m-o-m) basis, the trade surplus decreased by 1.7% reaching 0.2 BN QAR, compared to August 2017. 
  • An international education chief has predicted a drop in the number of international schools in the Saudi Kingdom and the closure of about 40% of these schools by the end of 2018, owing to the low financial returns and high operating expenses. Some international school owners had to cut periodic expenditures by 60% and decrease 20% of the teaching staff.
  • Dubai Municipality has been ranked first among the Arab and region countries, and second among the world in the "ease of issuing building permits".
  • Estimates indicate an expected rise in the proportion of the elderly among the population of the UAE from the current 6% to reach 29% by 2050.
  • Abu Dhabi trade in aluminum hit 2.8 BN AED (760 MM USD) in the first eight months of 2017, accounting for 2.6% of the emirate's non-oil economy, the total of which amounted to 107.4 BN AED (29.2 MM USD) by the end of August. In addition, Abu Dhabi aluminum exports totaled 2.3 BN AED (630 MM USD), while imports remained at 460 MM AED (125 MM USD) during the mentioned period.
  • Jordan and the UAE have signed 12 agreements, protocols, memoranda of understanding and executive programs that govern ties between the two countries. The deals include cooperation in the fields of telecommunications, ICT and electronic transformation between the Jordanian Ministry of ICT and the UAE Telecommunications Regulatory Commission, as well as in the field of green growth between the Ministry of Environment of Jordan and the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment of the UAE.
Political Events
  • Saudi authorities detained a billionaire global investor and the head of the National Guard as part of an anti-corruption purge that consolidates Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's hold on power. Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, who owns investment firm Kingdom Holding, was among 11 princes, four ministers and tens of former ministers detained. Analysts said the goal of the purge went beyond corruption and aimed to remove potential opposition to Prince Mohammed as he pushes an ambitious and controversial reform agenda.
  • A Saudi-led coalition airstrike killed 29 people at a crowded marketplace in northern Yemen last Wednesday.
  • Prince Mansour bin Muqrin; the deputy governor of Asir province and 7 other regional officials were killed in a helicopter crash in the southwestern mountains of the kingdom after returning from a regular inspection tour in the province.
  • For the first time since July 2007, the Palestinian government resumed control on of the Rafah crossing with Egypt in the south of the Gaza Strip marking a new chapter in the Palestinian reconciliation.
  • Bahrain would impose entry visas on Qatar nationals and residents in what it called a security measure. 
  • The US government has approved a 1.1 BN USD (4 BN AED) deal to service Qatar's F-15 fighter jets as the Gulf crisis enters its fifth month.
Major Companies Transaction
  • EgyptAir Holding Company has started negotiations with 25 state-owned and private banks to secure the required funding to buy and lease 45 planes with a value of 5 BN USD.
  • Leading French energy company"Engie" has been granted a contract by the Egyptian government to develop a 250 MW wind farm in Rhas Gharib area on the Gulf of Suez together with its consortium partners Toyota Tsusho Corporation/Eurus Energy Holdings Corporation (40%) and Orascom Construction Limited (20%). The total investment of the project will hit 400 MM USD and the financing will be through Japanese Bank for International Corporation (JBIC) in coordination with commercial lenders SMBC and Sociéte Générale.
  • Kuwait Petrochemical Industries Co (PIC) has signed a contract with U.S. firm Jacobs Engineering to carry out engineering and design work for a planned polypropylene plant it co-owns in Canada. 
  • Ahlibank total assets have increased by 6% to reach 2 BN OMR (5.1 BN USD) for the first time, while loans and advances and financing for the period increased by 6.2% to 1.65 BN OMR (4.29 BN USD).
  • Doha Bank has entered into an agreement with Centrum Wealth Management Limited, to offer its customers wealth management services in India.The partnership in Qatar and one of its kind in Kuwait, will enable Doha Bank's high net-worth customers to invest in various asset classes in the Indian markets under the specialist guidance of Centrum.
  • Saudi Arabia has awarded a major contract worth 985 MM SAR (262.3 MM USD) to Turkey's Mapa Construction and Trade Company for the development of the Arafat-Taif Water Transmission System project. The project will consist of a 45-km pipeline from Arafat to Taif as well as pumping stations and 12.5-km tunnels, it is set to be supervised by Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC).
  • Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) has reported a 10.7% increase in Q3-2017 net profit and is expected that Q4 will perform better than Q3.
Sports and Culture
  • Farida Othman, the first Egyptian to win a medal at the swimming World Champions, has been named as the best athlete in Africa at the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) Awards 2017 for the past year accomplishment.
  • Zamalek will host Ahly in their Egyptian Premier League derby on 8th of January 2018 at Cairo Stadium for the first time in over three years, the Egyptian Football association (EFA) stated on Monday.
  • The world's first "Hunger Games" theme park opened on 20th of October 2017 at Dubai Parks and Resorts, the region's largest integrated theme park destination. The World of the Hunger Games features rides and attractions from the blockbuster movie franchise, and is the latest addition to the Hollywood-inspired theme park. 
Cairo Office:
Z epter Office Building  S5-6 ,  Area 5, District 1, 5th Settlement,  New Cairo, Egypt.  P.O. Box:  1147
Dubai Office:
Office No. N 415, North Tower, Emirates Financial Towers, DIFC, P.O Box 506726, Dubai, UAE.
Tel:  +97142820301

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