Issue  No. 231
17 June 2019

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


       62.01 USD         1,342 USD


Economic Outlook
  • In Egypt, CAPMAS reported that the deficit value of the trade balance reached 4.15 BN USD in March 2019 compared to 3.77 BN USD in March 2018, which is an increase of 10.1%. Noting that Egypt-US trade increased 26% reaching 2.2 BN USD in Q1-2019 compared to 1.7 BN USD in Q1-2018.
  • Egypt will increase the price of tickets on Cairo's third metro line to 10 EGP started on last Saturday after it extended the line with the opening of three new stations.
  • A number of 43 foreign and domestic investors offered to invest 970.6 MM USD in the USD treasury bills (T-Bills) tender issued by the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE). The tender worth 715 MM USD for one year, due on 9 June 2020.
  • The Ministry of Planning, Follow-up and Administrative reform increased the amount of the development of informal settlements reaching 12 BN EGP (720 MM USD) instead of 10.8 BN EGP (630 MM USD) in 2019/2020.
  • In Saudi Arabia, expatriates are in control of about 75.6% of jobs in Saudi labor market, noting that 66.2% are men and 9.4% are women.
  • Saudi Arabia oil production decreased by 76,000 barrels per day (bpd) month-on-month reaching 9.69 million bpd in May 2019, the lowest level in over four years. However, Saudi Arabia oil returns increased by 2.3% to 192.03 BN SAR (51.1 BN USD) in Q1-2019, compared to 187.65 BN SAR (50 BN USD) in Q1-2018.
  • Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority (Jafza) is offering long-term visas to its customers in order to attract and retain high caliber talent. These visas offer the possibility of automatic renewal depending on specific profiles and criteria. The five-year visa has been priced at 650 AED while the 10-year visa costs 1,150 AED per person.
  • The Central Bank of Qatar announced that Qatar has sold 600 MM QAR (164.81 MM USD) of treasury bills with maturities of three, six and nine months. It raised 300 MM QAR in three-month bills with a 2.24% yield, 200 MM QAR with a six-month maturity and a 2.33% yield, and 100 MM QAR in nine-month bills offering 2.34%.
  • The value of real estate transactions in Kuwait increased by a 33% month-on-month to 385 MM KWS (1.26 BN USD) in April 2019 on the back of the sales of commercial, residential, and investment properties.
Political Events
  • The Trump administration blamed Iran for attacks on two oil tankers near the entrance to the Gulf of Oman, escalating tensions between the two rivals despite denials from officials in Tehran and a lack of public evidence for the U.S. claim. Noting that Saudi Arabia joined the US in blaming Iran for attacks.
  • General Hamad Mohammed Thani Al Rumaithi, Chief of Staff of UAE Armed Forces, received General Koji Yamazaki, Chief of Staff, Joint Staff of Japan Self-Defence Forces, in order to boost both countries military cooperation.
Major Companies Transaction
  • Elsewedy Electric, a leading Integrated Energy and Infrastructure Solution Provider announced entering into a Share Purchase Agreement with R.F. Energy S.A. to acquire 100% of the share capital of 3 wind and 1 hydro-electric energy companies in operation in Greece for a total consideration of 55 MM EUR.
  • Japan-based Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS) has been awarded a contract for the upgrade of the Sidi Krir and El Atf thermal power plants in Egypt. Both power stations are operating natural gas fired gas turbine combined cycle (GTCC) generators with a rated output of 750 MW.
  • Al Manar Trading & Distribution Company (AMTD) has agreed a deal with French oil & gas giant Total to exclusively distribute the Elf lubricants range of products in Egypt.
  • In Egypt, Faisal Islamic Bank volume of business increased reaching 97.478 BN EGP (5.8 BN USD) in May 2019, compared to 85.676 BN EGP (5.1 BN USD) in May 2018, representing 13.8% growth.
  • In Saudi Arabia, Exxon Mobil and SABIC have announced that they will proceed with the construction of a chemical facility and a 1.8 million metric ton ethane steam cracker in San Patricio County, Texas.
  • Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) reported that the completion of a merger between Alawwal bank and Saudi British Bank would lead to RBS shedding 4.7 BN SAR (5.9 BN USD) of risk weighted assets and boost its core capital.
  • A high-level delegation from Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) participated in the inaugural ceremony of the 771 MM AED (210 MM USD) Petroleum Storage Facilities project in Jordan.
  • Arada, a developer of lifestyle mega projects in the UAE northern emirate Sharjah, has partnered with SABIS, the operator of International School of Choueifat schools, to launch a new international school in Sharjah at a cost of 200 MM AED (55 MM USD).
  • Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company (ADNEC) has obtained the Federal Tax Authority (FTA) License for waiver from VAT for all international companies and organizations participating in or holding shows and conferences at its venues across UAE.
  • Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute (QEERI) and the International Center for Materials Nano architectonics (MANA) at the National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS), Japan, signed an MoU to strengthen and promote scientific cooperation and research collaboration between the two institutions.

Sports and Culture
  • Serie A champions Juventus appointed Maurizio Sarri as their new coach, hoping that his ambitious possession-based game would extend their dominance of Italian football and bring them European silverware.
  • Louvre Abu Dhabi 2019/2020 season will launch in September and will include four exhibitions to explore how the arts have channeled and acted as a witness to society throughout history. It will be accompanied by live performances, world-renowned installations, music, poetry and family events.
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