Issue  No.163
19 February 2018

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


        65.20 USD         1,347 USD


Economic Outlook
  • Egypt National Authority for Tunnels (NAT) is near to finish the negotiations with the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to finance the first phase of the revamp of Cairo Metro Line 1 which will be extended from Helwan to new AL-Marg Al Jadida and  the line will be formulated in three phases at a total cost of 1 BN USD.
  • Egypt GDP Growth is expected to increase to 5.3% in Q2-2017/2018 fiscal year compared to 3.8% in the same period last year.
  • United Arab Emirates and India Central Banks have signed a currency swap agreement which will allow their businesses on both sides to replace the US Dollar or any other foreign currency with trading directly in their own currencies (UAE Dirhams and the Indian Rupee).
  • The Jordanian government has announced its decision to ease the visa restrictions for the Indian nationals, which could increase the numbers of visitors and encourage tourism.
  • The Jordanian Ministry of Water and Irrigation is planning to search for new ways to sustain the country's dam strategic reserves and, in order to protect the water storage from declining.
  • The Council of Saudi Chambers of Commerce and Industry (CSCCI)  has signed memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Italian export credit agency (SACE) on trade and investment cooperation, which is expected to support the Vision 2030 strategy. In addition, this agreement will enhance the bilateral trade relations between Saudi Arabia and Italy.
  • Saudi Arabia Central Bank launched a new form of financial technology called the pilot program in which this is the first time to sign a deal with U.S.-based Ripple to assist the banks in settling the payments by using the block chain software. This will allow them to make cheaper and faster transactions.
  • The Chairman of Kuwait Engineers Society was disappointed because of the large number of unemployed Kuwaiti engineers who have been seeking to work in the field for years without a suitable job either in the public sector or private sector.
  • Qatar central bank has announced that Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Qassim al-Abdullah al-Thani is appointed as the new deputy governor by a royal decree.
Political Events
  • King Salman has expressed his support for Egypt President El-Sisi by explaining the diligent efforts to fight terrorism through a phone call. In addition, they have discussed the various ways to improve relations between Saudi Arabia and Egypt in the all fields which can serve their common interests.
  • King Salman and the Russian Energy Minister were discussing the issue of re-balancing the oil markets which will support the bilateral relations, cooperation in the fields of energy and accomplishing the stability of the global oil markets.
  • Minister of State for Foreign Affairs has announced UAE offer to provide a total development aid worth 500 MM USD (1,836,250 MM AED) to support the international efforts in reconstructing Iraq. In which 250 MM USD (918,125 MM AED )through the Abu Dhabi Fund will be for infrastructure projects development, 100 MM USD (367,250 MM AED) to assist UAE electricity companies, 100 MM USD (367,250 MM AED) to help and promote UAE exports, as well as 50 MM USD (183,625 MM AED) to support the humanitarian efforts of the Emirates Red Crescent (ERC) and its charity projects in the areas most affected by ISIS.
  • Deputy Prime Minister of Kuwait and the Interior Minister during the Munich Security Conference confirmed that Kuwait is always working on restoring peace everywhere and always stands to resolve any existing conflicts among Arab countries.
Major Companies Transaction
  • MENA Fund Manager Performance Awards has ranked Bank Audi's "Ezdehar Fund" in Egypt with its cumulative and floating returns in EGP, to be the "Best Balanced Fund" and the "Best MENA equity fund under 75 MM USD" awards of the year 2017 during its annual festival which was held in Dubai at the end of January 2018.
  • Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company (ADNEC) has announced that the company contribution by the direct and indirect ways to Abu Dhabi economy has increased by 26.66% in 2017 to reach 3.89 BN AED (1.05 BN USD) compared to 3 BN AED in 2016 .
  • The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment in the United Arab Emirates  and Majid Al Futtaim have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) during the World Government Summit (WGS) 2018. The MoU aims to open discussions of the impacts of climate change and the transition to resilient green economy on the quality of life.
  • KPMG the leading accounting and consulting firm in the Saudi Arabia Kingdom, has identified that some businesses who applied the VAT faced errors in filing their taxes because of the lack of accuracy in their invoices and clarity of records. KPMG clarified that these types of errors can be resolved by ensuring the tax and accounting controls.
  • Qatar Petroleum (QP) has rolled out its new Corporate Strategy which will boost the Qatar leading global position by raising its LNG production from 77 million to 100 million tons per year (mtpa). This strategy supports the achievement of its vision to be one of the best national oil and Gas companies.
Sports and Culture
  • Egypt will play against Belgium in May 2018 as part of their preparation for the 2018 World Cup that will start next June in Russia.
  • Head of Kuwait Islamic Arts Center has announced that the center is focusing on spreading Arabic calligraphy and the culture of Islamic arts in Kuwait and the rest of Arab Countries. The aim is to bring people of the Muslim world together and to create a network of those who are interested in that field.
  • Ricky Martin the International superstar will be the star of the opening of Emirates Airline Dubai Jazz Festival in February 23rd in Dubai.
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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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