This report is designed to give you a snapshot about the MENA region tackling multiple issues:
37.95 USD 1,070 USD
To sustain economic growth, Dubai plans to increase its spending by 12% in 2016 up from 41.2 BN AED last year to 46.1 BN AED mainly investing in infrastructure. It is worth noting that the rise in spending will be backed by the expected rise in revenues.
Oman's government has planned to cut 2016 general budget's deficit by 27% from an actual 4.5 BN OMR deficit in 2015 to 3.3 BN OMR this year. It is worth mentioning that the deficit amounts to 13% of the country's GDP
Qatar's Ministry Of Development Planning And Statistics has announced that the country's Q3 2015 real GDP growth has slowed down to reach 3.8% y-o-y compared to 4.8% growth in the previous quarter.
To bridge its budget deficit caused by low oil prices, Oman's government has planned to cut subsidy spending by almost two thirds this year, in addition, It plans to cover the gap with 1.5 BN OMR worth of reserves, 900 MN OMR in borrowing from the international market, 600 MN OMR of grants, and 300 MN OMR of borrowing from the local market, the ministry said.
Saudi Arabia's finance minister announced that the country is planning to introduce value added tax (VAT) within 2 years amid the country's plans to tackle its budget deficit caused by low oil prices. It is worth mentioning that this year's projected deficit amounts to 98 BN USD.
Due to falling tourism revenues, Egypt's central bank announced that the country's current account deficit has doubled to 4 BN USD in the first quarter of the current fiscal year, compared to 1.6 BN USD of the same period last year.
According to the National Commercial Bank report, Saudi's projected GDP growth rate will reach 2.3% as oil markets are expected to remain in a low range of around 40-80 USD/bbl during 2016-2020.
Jordan's exports have dropped by 6.1% in the first 10 months of 2015 compared to the same period of the previous year amounting to 4.65 BN JOD. On the other hand, in the same period of 2015 imports fell by 10.3% compared to the first 10 months of 2014.
Due to falling crude oil prices, Algeria's energy earnings has dropped by 42.4%, as a result, the country posted a trade deficit of 12.62 BN USD for the first 11 months of 2015 against 5.45 BN USD surplus during the same period of 2014.
Amid falling oil prices, Saudi Arabia had to cut subsidies on fuel, asthe price of lower-grade petrol (Octane 91) for a liter was increased to 0.75 SAR from the current 0.45 SAR, a 67% rise, while the price of higher-grade unleaded petrol (Octane 95) was hiked to 0.90 SAR from 0.60 SAR, a hike of 50%.
Egypt's petroleum minister announced that the country's debts to foreign oil companies rose to 3 BN USD at the end of December 2015 form 2.7 BN USD at the end of October.
Saudi Arabia's budget plan for 2016 revealed that the country is planning to spend 213 BN SAR on military and security services which amounts to 25% of the total budget, amid the country's participation in Yemen's civil war.
After 12 years of shutdown, Saudi Arabia reopens its embassy in Baghdad. This will allow the two countries to cooperate in order to fight terrorism, signaling improved relations between the two countries.
Amid Dubai's celebration for the New Year, Fire engulfed a 63-storey skyscraper on New Year's Eve. However, the block was evacuated and only minor injuries reported.
Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, Egypt's president, called for Egypt's parliament to convene on the 10th of January. It is worth mentioning that Egyptians held the second phase of parliamentary elections in November.
The limited free internet access service sponsored by Facebook and launched by Etisalat was suspended from Egypt after the permit required from the government was not renewed.
The Abu-Dhabi based carrier, Etihad Airways, is planning to file an appeal against a German court ruling that revoked its right to jointly sell tickets for some 29 routes operated by Air Berlin this winter.
Kuwait's Burgan Bank is willing to sell its 51.19% stake in Jordan Kuwait bank to another subsidiary of the parent firm Kuwait Projects Company (KIPCO).
Fair trade regulator Competition Commission of India (CCI) approved a formation of an equally owned joint venture, 50% each, between Germany-basedLanxess and Aramco overseas company.
India's energy muscle helped Petronet -India's biggest gas importer- to buy liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Qatar's Rasgas at almost half the price.
The US approved TAQA, Abu-Dhabi's National Energy Company, proposal to sell its 50% stake in the operator of a 205.5 megawatt (MW) wind farm in Minnesota to Qatar based private equity fund Nebras Power QSC.