- The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) will leave rates on hold when its Monetary Policy Committee holds its final meeting of the year on Thursday. The CBE’s overnight deposit rate is now at 25% and the lending rate is 9.25%. The main operation and discount rates are now at 8.75%.
- Egypt is set to close out the year with only 3 million tourist arrivals — just 23% of the record 13 million who visited the country last year. The Tourism Ministry has launched an initiative titled "Enjoy Your Winter Break in Egypt," offering discounts on flights and hotel rooms, in a bid to boost domestic tourism this winter season.
- The Finance Ministry, Mohamed Maait, doesn’t have any immediate plans to take 7 BN USD eurobond sale to market in H1-2021. Egypt planned sale of Samurai and Panda bonds, which the government is pushing to 2021-2022 because of complications caused by COVID-19.
- GCC markets tracked their global counterparts higher, helped by rising oil prices. The MSCI GCC increased 7% w/w led by Kuwait’s All-share (1.5%) after the sharp dip week earlier, while Saudi Arabia trailed declined (0.8%).
- The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) announced that Route 2020, the extension of the Dubai Metro line from Jebel Ali Station to Expo 2020 station, would start commercial operations on 1st January 2021.
- Saudi Arabia budget for 2021 targets a significant improvement in public finances where the deficit is targeted to decrease to 9% of GDP compared to 12% of GDP in 2020. At the same time, the government expects real GDP to rebound to 3.2% in 2021 from a 3.7% decline in 2020.
- In Kuwait, following the parliamentary elections, and the formation of a new government, the Emir has urged the two bodies to coordinate and formulate a new comprehensive plan to attenuate the impact of COVID-19 on the economy and to prevent further deterioration in Kuwait fiscal position.
- UAE has welcomed the implementation of the Riyadh Agreement between the legitimate Yemeni government and the Southern Transitional Council. It further welcomed the formation of a government of political competencies in Yemen and expressed its hope that this will be a step toward a political solution and an accelerated end to the Yemeni crisis.
- Saudi Arabia Ministry of Health has started registering citizens and foreign residents for vaccination against COVID-19 through "Sehaty" application. On 10 December, the Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) approved the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for use in the kingdom, noting that it will be provided free of charge to nationals and citizens alike.
- The Tadawul All Share Index (TASI) decreased by28% or 24.69 points on Sunday to settle at 8,686.89 points. Turnover reached 11.3 BN SAR (3.01 BN USD) and the trading volume amounted to 365.916 million shares.
- The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) has announced the listing of Palms Sports, a subsidiary of International Holdings Company (IHC), on its Second Market under the trading symbol PALMS. The trading on the shares of Palms Sports begins on Monday, according to a press release. The company’s nominal value of share capital amounts to 150 MM AED (40.84 MM USD), with each share having a nominal value of 1 AED.
Note: All values are calculated by last Thursday.
- Greek energy company Energean has completed the acquisition of Edison’s energy portfolio, which includes substantial oil and gas assets in Egypt. The Italian company agreed to slash its asking price by more than 60% to 284 MM USD in 2021 as the coronavirus pandemic roiled energy markets. Edison received 203 MM USD as a net consideration.
- Canadian fertilizer producer Nutrien will sell its entire 26% stake in state-owned Misr Fertilizers Production Company (Mopco) in a 540 MM USD Nutrien, which holds some 59.57 million of Mopco’s 229.12 million shares, stated that the investment had contributed between 15-20 MM USD a year to its adjusted earnings.
- Africa-focused private equity fund Nationbuilders Capital Partners was the unnamed UK party that had acquired 100% of Samih Sawiris’ New City Housing and Development along with a subsidiary of Raouf Ghabbour’s GB Capital in 365 MM EGP (23.23 MM USD) transaction last week.
- State-owned Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc), which produces most of UAE oil, is interested in partnering with the Sovereign Fund of Egypt (SFE) on full ownership of Wataniya, which operates over 200 refueling stations across the country.
- The board of Ayyan Investment Co. decided to negotiate with the shareholders of Al Ahsa Medical Services Co, a 93%-owned subsidiary, who hold non-controlling stakes. The talks come as Ayyan wants to increase its stake in Al Ahsa Medical.
- Electric passenger aircraft developer, Joby Aviation, would acquire Uber Technologies Inc’s flying taxi unit, Elevate, the second cash-burning business the ride-hailing company has sold off in two days. Uber had agreed to invest an additional 75 MM USD in the Santa Cruz, California-based company, bringing its total investment to 125 MM USD.
- Ithmaar Holding, the parent of Ithmaar Bank, has appointed KPMG Bahrain as a financial advisor and Hassan Al Radhi and associates as legal advisors as part of the plans of Bahrain and Kuwait Bank (BBK) to acquire the bank's operations in Bahrain.
- Kuwait Integrated Petroleum Industries Company (KIPIC) signed 5 MM KWD (106 MM USD) deal with Greek Hellenic Natural Gas System Operator (DESFA) to operate and maintain Al-Zour refinery.
Sports and Culture
- Ashraf Sobhi, Minister of Youth and Sports held a meeting with Hala Zayed, Minister of Health, to review the preventive plan that will be implemented during the World Men’s Handball Championship, scheduled to be held in Egypt on 13-31 January 2021. The minister indicated that all precautionary measures have been taken at all entry points, while awaiting the arrival of delegations and missions, raising the degree of readiness to the utmost in all hospitals in the governorates.
- Dubai Municipality has won the global Most Innovative Knowledge Enterprise (MIKE) award, making it one of the five best institutions in the world in the field of knowledge management and innovation. The MIKE Award is a global benchmarking study that assesses effective knowledge management and innovative practices.