Issue  No. 232
24 June 2019

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


       65.20 USD         1,402 USD


Economic Outlook
  • Egypt is planning to launch international bonds in either the Chinese, Japanese, or South Korean currency. The planned bonds' currency will be determined according to a group of factors including investor demand and the cost.
  • Total foreign holdings of Egypt debt instruments recorded 17 BN USD in May 2019, noting that Foreign holdings of Egypt government treasury bills and bonds are expected to increase in value in November, registering 20 BN USD.
  • In Egypt, the Ministry of Transport announced the opening of three new metro stations; Haroun El-Rashid, El-Shams Club, and Alf Maskan, as part of the 4th phase of the 3rd line of the Cairo metro line system.
  • Saudi Arabia has achieved a 3% y-o-y growth in trade surplus during the first four months of 2019, reaching 167.2 BN SAR (44.58 BN USD). In April 2019, the kingdom's trade surplus reached 47.66 BN SAR (12.7 BN USD) compared to 42.43 BN SAR (11.3 BN USD) in April 2018.
  • Saudi Arabia consumer prices fell in May from a year earlier for the 5th month in a row, but the consumer price index (CPI) increased marginally from April, signaling that the country is having some success in boosting its non-oil sector.
  • Abu Dhabi total trade exchange with the GCC countries increased by 7.7% y-o-y reaching 18.222 BN AED (4.96 BN USD) in Q1-2019 compared to 16.918 BN AED (4.6 BN USD) in Q1-2018.
  • Employers at the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) can no longer issue job contracts with less than 50% of pay as 'basic salary' and indicating the rest as 'allowances'.
  • South Korea leading cable manufacturer LS Cable & System (LS C&S) has secured a 112.5 BN KRW (95 MM USD) worth contract to build power grid in Kuwait.
Political Events
  • UAE has become the first country in the Gulf to launch a new reporting platform developed by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to control organized crimes.
  • The former Egyptian president, Mohammed Morsi, died in Cairo on Monday at the age of 67 from a sudden heart attack while attending a court session at his trial on charges of espionage and links with the Palestinian militant group Hamas.
Major Companies Transaction
  • Swvl, the Cairo based bus-booking app has raised 42 MM USD, in a bid to expand further into other parts of Africa, which would most probably include Nigeria. The company got the money from Sweden Vostok, Dubai-based BECO Capital, China MSA and Endeavor Catalyst, based in New York.
  • Fintech Galaxy, MENA region's only fintech digital crowd sourcing platform, has announced "Dor-e", "Token Inc" and "Quantafic Business Solutions", as the winners of the latest series of innovation challenges for use cases defined by National Bank of Egypt (NBE), Emirates NBD S.A.E, and Commercial International Bank.
  • flynas, a Saudi national air carrier and leading low-cost airline in the Middle East, announced the signing of an MoU with Airbus to purchase 20 of the latest A321XLR and A321LR aircraft to be received by 2023 with a total value of 2.4 BN USD (9 BN SAR).
  • Hyatt Hotels Corporation expects the number of Hyatt hotels in Saudi Arabia to double, with five additional Hyatt branded hotels to open by 2023, adding approximately 1,300 rooms to the region.
  • Marakez, a subsidiary of Saudi Arabia Fawaz Abdulaziz Alhokair, has injected investments worth 1.2 BN EGP in Mall of Tanta, located in the Egyptian governorate of Gharbia.
  • GEMS Education and Siemens have signed an MoU to develop new and innovative initiatives designed to increase collaboration and integration between the education sector and industry.
  • Aldar properties has sold all the 557 land plots in the first phase of Alreeman 2. The leading real estate company in Abu Dhabi will continue selling 1,133 land plots of the second and third phases of the project.
  • Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB), a leading financial institution, has unveiled a savings plan called "Khuttati" to encourage medium- to long-term investments through regular contributions.
  • Qatar Airways, a leading air cargo carrier, has entered into an agreement to purchase five additional 777 Freighters valued at 1.8 BN USD (6.5 BN QAR) at list prices from Boeing.
  • Qatargas Operating Company Limited announced the safe delivery of the largest single cargo of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to the Marmara LNG Terminal in Turkey.

Sports and Culture
  • Trézéguet scored the only goal as the host, Egypt, opened Africa Cup of Nations campaign with a 1-0 victory over Zimbabwe in Cairo stadium. 
  • Cinépolis, a leading global cinema chain, has announced the locations of six new movie theatres in Saudi Arabia. The six cinemas will be rolled out across the kingdom over the next two years, with the first due to open in Lulu Mall, Dammam by the end of 2019.
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