Issue  No. 182
09 July 2018

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


       77.34 USD         1,258 USD


Economic Outlook
  • The Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly announced that Egypt GDP grew by 5.4% in 2017/2018 fiscal year ended on June 30. The growth figures show a recovery in an economy which slowed after a 2011 uprising had driven tourists and foreign investors away, drying up foreign currency reserves.
  • Egyptian Cotton exports are expected to reach about 52,000 tons in the FY-2017/2018 season that ends in August, up nearly 37% from FY-2016/2017. Egypt is the world's second largest exporter of long-staple cotton, used mainly to make luxury linens, following the United States.
  • Qatar central bank sold 800 MM QAR (220 MM USD) of Treasury bills in its monthly auction, with yields dropping from the previous sale. It sold 400 MM QAR of three-month bills at 2.26%, 200 MM QAR of six-month at 2.56% and 200 MM QAR of nine-month at 2.79%.
  • UAE central bank withdrew 7 BN AED (1.9 BN USD) of surplus liquidity from the market during May 2018. The move came after the central bank injected 16.1 BN AED (4.37 BN USD) into the money supply in April 2018.
  • According to the JLL Global Real Estate Transparency Index (GRETI), Dubai is among the top three improvers globally in the 'Semi-Transparent' category moving up the ranking eight places to 40 out of 100 markets covered in 2018 (up from 48 in 2016). The Emirate has recorded continuous progress between other countries including China (33), Russia (38) and Mexico (39).
  • Kuwait economy is on track to recover from a difficult year in 2017, when growth decreased by 2.7%. Overall, Kuwait GDP is expected to rebound to 2.4% in 2018 and stabilize around 3% in 2020/2021. 
  • In Saudi Arabia, the governorate of Jeddah has launched a training program to localize jobs in the city with 3,611 Saudis receiving training and getting jobs at 16 retail sectors. Noting that 5,809 individuals have registered looking for jobs and 94 companies are looking for qualified young Saudis. Moreover, 5,000 jobs will be provided to young Saudis in the near future.
  • The top three sectors paid the highest average monthly compensation in the Kingdom are mining and quarrying sector, at an average of 29,200 SAR. The second highest compensation sector is the financial and insurance category reaching 16,395 SAR while the third highest paid sector is electricity, gas and air conditioning supply at an average monthly compensation package of 10,015 SAR.
  • The value of Bahrain-origin exports reached 181 MM BHD (474 MM USD) in May 2018 compared to 189 MM BHD in May 2017, marking a 4% decrease. China was ranked as the 1st country that exports to Bahrain with 65 MM BHD; UAE as the 2nd with 47 MM BHD whereas Saudi Arabia is ranked the 3rd with 42 MM BHD.
  • Bahrain Housing Ministry has distributed more than 900 housing units to beneficiaries in the Khalifa Town, including 400 finished units. The Ministry highlighted its commitment to distribute the units ordered by HRH the Crown Prince, Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, before the end of August of 2018.
  • Central bank governor of Iran, Valiollah Seif, announced the launch of a secondary market for foreign exchange. In this market, the exporter and importer would agree on exchange of foreign currency and the transaction would be registered in a system.
Political Events
  • A group of Egyptian and French vessels participate in an extensive training aiming to boost cooperation between both armed forces, master the latest systems and techniques of naval warfare as well as maximize the mutual benefits for the militaries of both countries, taking place at Red Sea naval.
  • The Urgent Matters Court in Cairo announced that they would consider the first session of a lawsuit calling for dismissing the bearded police officers from work in Interior Ministry on September 4. On the other hand, the police officers announced their disobedience to the regular orders after revealing their religious affiliations by keeping their beard during the rule of Muslim Brotherhood group.
  • Dubai Electronic Security Centre (DESC) is set to launch the first of its kind cyber security standard on autonomous vehicles (AVs) in the region. The Cyber Security Standard for AVs extensively covers aspects such as the vehicle's communication security, software security, hardware security and supply chain security. The standard will be used by the relevant Dubai Government Departments to aid them in securing AVs.
  • India has asked Facebook Inc-owned WhatsApp messenger to take steps to prevent the circulation of false texts and provocative content that have led to a series of murdering and mob beatings across the country in the past few months.
Major Companies Transaction
  • Saudi Telecom Company (STC) signed partnership agreements with three international telecom companies; Huawei, Ericsson, and Nokia. The three telecom companies will help STC in expanding and improving mobile networks, cloud computing, information technology, and computer security projects. STC last reported a 2.1% profit increase reaching 2.59 BN SAR in Q1-2018, compared to 2.54 BN SAR in Q1-2017.
  • In Qatar, Katara Holding has agreed to buy one of New York most iconic buildings, the Plaza Hotel, for around 600 MM USD, adding a development that was once owned by U.S. President Donald Trump to its luxury property portfolio.
  • The Department of Transport (DoT), in Abu Dhabi has signed an MoU with the Dubai Maritime City Authority (DMCA), aimed at boosting development and regulating the maritime sector. This comes as part of the endeavor each party dedicates towards the establishment of an efficient strategic partnership to improve the position of the UAE among the best maritime centers around the world.
  • Dubai Mercantile Exchange (DME), the premier international energy futures and commodities exchange in the Middle East, welcomes the announcement of Saudi Aramco commitment to using the DME Oman crude oil benchmark in its Asian pricing formula.
  • Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC), the world's flagship Free Zone and Government of Dubai Authority on commodities trade and enterprise, has signed an MoU with Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC), a financial hub for Central Asia, the Caucasus, EAEU, the Middle East, West China, Mongolia and Europe. The MoU commits both parties to establish platforms for cooperation and the development of financial and professional services in line with international best practice.
  • Kuwait Finance House (KFH) offers "International Toll Free Service" to its customers in 6 countries outside Kuwait (USA, UK, Canada, France, Turkey and Germany) without any additional fees. This comes as part of the bank strategy of delivering superior customer service, supporting the its continuous efforts to improve innovation and reinforce the network of its banking services.
Sports and Culture
  • FIFA independent ethics committee has banned Venold Coombs, president of the Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation, from all soccer activities for two years. Coombs broke the rules on corruption, conflicts and interest, and loyalty, following an investigation into the resale of tickets for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Coombs, whose ban is effective immediately, was also fined 40,000 USD.
  • Sharjah Airport Authority (SAA) is paying attention to the opinions and suggestions of customers and the public in order to enhance its relationship with customers and passengers and to spread the culture of innovation and creativity. It has honored Ahmed Youssef and Khamis Al Kaabi from the UAE, and Farouk Ali from Pakistan, the winners of best suggestions in the "Because We Care" program for the opinions of customers, which was launched about nine years ago.
  • Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced that it will continue playing its international 'home' games in the UAE at reduced costs after reaching an agreement with its Emirati counterpart. Pakistan has been hosting most of its international matches in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah since 2009 when a gun and grenade attack injured six Sri Lankan players in Lahore, while killing eight Pakistanis.
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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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