- According to Central Bank of Egypt (CBE), foreign currency inflows into the Egyptian banking system have reached 19.2 BN USD since the Egyptian pound was floated in November 2016. CBE has raised the interest rate by 3% and removed the currency peg of 8.8 EGP per USD.
- The trade volume between Qatar and Turkey is expected to grow 10-15% in 2017. The trade between the two countries reached 700 MM USD.
- Saudi Arabia government estimates a new tax on tobacco and sugary drinks that will generate between 8-10 BN SAR (2.1-2.7 BN USD) annually. The aim of this increase is to close a budget deficit that totaled 297 BN SAR last year in Q2-2017.
- Tunisia expects its budget deficit in 2017 to reach 5.9% compared to the expected 5.4% due to the higher fuel costs and the fall in the local dinar value.
- The steel consumption of the UAE market in 2017 will increase by 10% compared to 2016, encouraged by several infra-development projects such as the hosting of World Expo 2020.
- Morocco plans to start the process of floating its dirham currency by June 2017, as part of an economic liberalization program planned with international lenders. The governor of the central bank declares that the process to full exchange rate flexibility might take 15 years.
- Lebanon balance of payment has recorded a surplus of 509 MM USD in the first two months of 2017 due to a 57% increase in the financial inflows that reached 3.3 BN USD over the first two months in 2017 compared to 2.1 BN USD in the same period last year.
- Gunmen attacked security forces near Egypt Saint Catherine's Monastery in South Sinai, killing at least a police officer and injuring four.
- A gas pipeline exploded near a sewage station in Cairo killing one person and injuring 17 with varying burn degrees.
- President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has appointed Mansour Ibrahim Al Mansouri as Director-General of the National Media Council, NMC.
- Abdullah Ibrahim Abdullah Al Shihhi, UAE Ambassador to the Republic of Iraq, has met with the Prime Minister of Iraq Haider al-Abadi. They discussed ways of developing bilateral relations across various fields including trade investments and economy.
- .TASI banking sector has declined led by Al Rajhi Bank and telecommunication sector led by Etisalat and Zain.
- .QSI banking sector has declined led by Commercial Bank of Qatar (CBQ) and Qatar International Islamic Bank (QIIB). On the other hand, telecommunication sector has significantly increased led by Vodafone Qatar.
- .ADI real estate sector has declined led by Aldar Properties. On the other hand, banking sector has slightly increased led by Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB).
- .DFMGI real estate sector has declined led by Arabtec Holding and banking sector led by Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB).
Note: Weekly values are calculated on Thursday of each week.
- Telecom Egypt signed an agreement with Orange Egypt to offer 2G and 3G mobile services through Orange. It is worthy to mention that Telecom Egypt was the first company that takes up the state's offer to buy 4G license in August 2016 worth 7.08 BN EGP (392 MM USD).
- Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB) has signed a financing deal with Daewoo Engineering and Construction Co. (Daewoo E&C) worth 1 BN QAR to support Daewoo's current projects in the State of Qatar including the construction and upgrading of the E-Ring Road.
- Qatar Electricity & Water Company (QEWC) has reported a net profit of 350 MM QAR (96 MM USD) (net of non-controlling interests) in Q1-2017 compared to 347 MM QAR in the same period last year.
- The Telecommunications Regularity Authority (TRA) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Dubai Police General HQ to enhance cooperation in fields of information security.
- Asteco, the Middle East largest independent full-service real estate company, signed its first master franchise in Saudi Arabia; to further grow its integrated network of 15 franchises in the GCC.
- Bahrain National Gas Expansion Company (Tawseah), has signed an eight-year syndicated loan worth 515 MM USD to partially finance the expansion of the company's gas processing facilities.
Sports and Culture
- Uber has announced the launch of "Driver Verification" in Saudi Arabia aiming to improve safety for both driver-partners and riders. It works by prompting driver-partners to share a selfie from time to time before going online, to ensure the driver using the app matches the profile Uber has on file.
- About 35,000 Saudi women are studying abroad in 60 countries on government scholarships. Vision 2030 is based on the role of women and youth. It is worthy to mention that Saudi women in 2015 have constituted 51.8% of university students in the Kingdom.