Home > Insights > Over 8,000 new companies have joined the membership of Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry making its total memberships to reach 193,000, a 4.3% growth over the last year.
Tuesday, 02 Aug 2016

Over 8,000 new companies have joined the membership of Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry making its total memberships to reach 193,000, a 4.3% growth over the last year.

Insights MENA

Economic Outlook

Economic Outlook

  • Over 8,000 new companies have joined the membership of Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry making its total memberships to reach 193,000, a 4.3% growth over the last year, enhancing the Chamber's reputation as one of the largest chambers of commerce in the world.
  • Qatar's trade surplus increased by around 800 MM QAR from May to June reaching 8.3 BN QAR. Yet, the trade surplus declined from June 2015 by 6.6 BN QAR, which is a 44.4% decline. The value of Qatar's exports reached 17.4 BN QAR in June 2016, compared to 24.19 BN QAR in June 2015, witnessing a 28.1% decline. Moreover, the value of imports reached 9.1 BN QAR on June 2016, a 1.6% decline from June 2015.
  • The Central Bank of Egypt issued two treasury bills worth 10 BN EGP to fill Egypt's fiscal budget deficit. The first treasury bill is worth 4.7 BN EGP and will mature in 91 days, while the second treasury bill is worth 5.2 BN EGP and will mature in 273 days.
  • Jordan's exports, including inorganic chemical products, fertilizers, pharmaceuticals and crude phosphate, have dropped by 8% in the first 5 months of 2016 compared to the same period last year reaching 1.7 BN JOD. As for the value of imports, it declined by 0.3% reaching 5.891 BN JOD.
  • Due to Omani banks' continuous reliance on public sector deposits, the gap between customer loans and deposits reached about 6.9 BN OMR, which signals the vulnerability of banks due to their inadequate funding structure, as customer funding gap as a percentage of loans reached about 40%. Consequently, major banks in Oman are trying to mobilise their private sector deposits through prize money schemes, which exceeded 40% of private sector deposits for some banks.
  • Oman's net oil revenues for the first five months of 2016 decreased by 44.7% to reach 1.28 MM OMR, compared to 2.32 MM OMR the same period in 2015. This was mainly due to a decline in the average price of Oman Crude by 40.9% to reach 35 USD in the first half of 2016 compared to 59.3 USD the same period in 2015. However, due to an increase in production, Oman's crude oil exports grew by 6% to reach 164.57 million barrels in the first half of 2016.
  • Monthly Producer Price Index (PPI) of Qatar's Industrial Sector in May reached 44.9 points, 2.5% higher than the PPI index of April. The increase was due to improving manufacturing and mining sectors.
  • The Central Bank of Jordan and the Ministry of Finance signed a letter of intent with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a 700 MM USD Extended Fund Facility (EFF) program. The program is pending on the approval of the final agreement by the board of the fund at its meeting in August. According to the program, Jordan is supposed to receive from 100 to 150 MM USD in 2016, and the rest to be received over the program's duration of 3 years.
  • According to Arab-Brazilian Chamber of Commerce (ABCC), Brazil's H1-2016 exports to the Arab world reached over 5.2 BN USD. Saudi Arabia accounted for 23.7% of total exports to the region at a value of 1.24 BN USD, followed by United Arab Emirates accounting for 17.36%, Egypt at 16.65%, Qatar at 2.33% and Kuwait at 2.08%. Brazilian exports to the region were mainly meat, fruits, cereals, sugar, ores, slag, ash and other miscellaneous grain seeds.
  • Jordan's unemployment rate reached 14.7% in Q2-2016, 2.8 points higher than Q2-2015. Unemployment among males reached 13%, while unemployment among women was 23%. In addition, unemployment among university graduates reached 18.6%.
  • Oman's budget deficit increased by 59% to reach 2.5 BN OMR in the first five months of 2016 compared to 1.6 BN OMR over the same period in 2015. This decline is mainly attributed to the decline in government revenues caused by the drop in global oil prices. Oman also decreased its public expenditures by 8% over the same period. Moreover, Oman forecasted a budget deficit of 3.3 BN OMR in 2016; however, the first five months of 2016 thus accounted for over 75% of the budget deficit estimate for the whole year.
Political Events

Political Events

  • Two attackers linked to the Islamic State attacked a church in Northern France, and killed a priest in his mid-80's, seriously wounded one of five hostages. Both attackers were shot dead by French police, and one of them was identified as a 19 year-old French national who was imprisoned for 10 months for trying to travel to Syria twice.
  • The leader of Shi'ite Muslims in Bahrain has been accused of collecting donations illegally and engaging in money laundry activities after investigators discovered more than 10 MM USD in an account held by the Shi'ite leader and intended to escape legal monitoring, this is in addition to other holdings in real estate.
  • Moroccan authorities have arrested 52 suspected militants inspired by Islamic State, which is considered the first group arrested in years, in addition to hindering many attacks in the Kingdom through seizing bomb making materials and weapons. 
Stock Market

Stock Market

  • As a result of the news that Egypt is negotiating an International Monetary Fund lending program of 7 BN USD annually over three years, Egypt's stock market rose significantly as the main Egyptian equities index increased by 3.3%.
  • .TASI petrochemicals declined led by National Petrochemical Co. and telecommunication sector led by Zain. Moreover, the banking sector declined led by Rajhi Bank and National Commercial Bank
  • .QSI banking sector witnessed a significant increase led by Qatar National Bank (QNB) and Ahli Bank.
  • .ADI telecommunication sector increased slightly led by Etisalat and real estate sector led by Aldar Properties.
  • .DFMGI banking sector declined led by Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB).
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Companies Transactions

Companies Transactions

  • Gulf Warehousing Company (GWC), Qatar's leading logistics provider reported a net profit in the first half of 2016 of 101.3 MM QAR, compared to 87.7 MM QAR at the same period in 2015, which is a 15% growth. Earnings per share reached 1.76 QAR as compared to 1.70 QAR during the same period of 2015. In addition, the company's assets increased by 11% from the first half of 2015 to the first half of 2016.
  • Mokhtar Ibrahim, Egypt's leading construction firm is set to complete by December four new bridges among its share in the state National Roads Project at a total cost of 500 MM EGP. It is worth mentioning that the National Roads Project will account for around 10% of the total road length in Egypt and will cost 36 BN EGP.
  • The Saudi government has decided to allow Binladin group to begin pushing for new biddings, and to restart its activities in some of the suspended projects including King Abdulaziz Airport in Jeddah. In addition, the company took a long term-loan worth 2.5 BN SAR from the Arab National Bank and Saudi British Bank, and hired around 30 finance and management experts to achieve financial recovery.
  • Zain, the Saudi telecommunications operator, reported a Q2 loss of 329 MM SAR compared to a loss of 201 MM SAR in Q2-2015. Analysts had forecasted that the company, which is 37% owned by Kuwait Zain, would make losses around 222 MM SAR; however, the performance of the company was below the forecasts.
  • Saudia Dairy and Foodstuff Company (SADAFCO) started operations using a photo-voltaic diesel hybrid system that can deliver up to 40% of the facility's daytime energy in an attempt to achieve a sustainable energy mix, and reduce its carbon footprint, which is part of the Vision 2030.
  • Saudi Aramco named Ibrahim al-Buainain as the new CEO of its trading arm. Buainain was previously the head of transaction development at the company for less than one year, and prior to that he was the president of Aramco Asia.
  • The Saudi Industrial Property Authority (MODON) has approved more than 6,000 industrial, logistic and services contracts for investments that exceed 600 BN SAR and job opportunities for more than 520,000 employees.
  • Dubai-based courier firm Aramex reported net profits of 125.7 MM AED in Q2-2016, compared to 92.5 MM AED in Q2-2015, which is a 36% increase. It is worth noting that EFG Hermes and SICO Bahrain had forecasted that the firm would make a quarterly net profit of 107 MM AED and 99 MM AED respectively.
  • HSBC announced that it is in discussions to sell its Lebanese business to Lebanon's Blom Bank. HSBC has been in Lebanon since 1946 and employs around 200 people in Lebanon. Moreover, the bank has been seeking to divest businesses, as part of a plan to boost profitability and pay higher dividends to shareholders.
  • Aluminium Bahrain (Alba), owner of one of the world's largest aluminium smelters, reported net profit in Q2-2016 of 16.28 MM BHD compared to 29.8 MM BHD in Q2-2015, a 45.4% decline. This was mainly due to the collapse in global aluminium prices from a peak of 2,000 USD/ tonne in May 2015 to 1611 USD/ tonne in July.
  • Vodafone Qatar, an affiliate of Vodafone Group, reported Q2-2016 net loss of 99.6 MM QAR, compared to a loss of 99.9 MM QAR in Q2-2015. Likewise, QNB Financial Services forecasted that the firm will make a loss of 101 MM QAR.
  • Kuwait Finance House (KFH), the country's biggest Islamic lender, reported Q2-2016 net profits of 36.77 MM KWD compared to 32.45 MM KWD in Q2-2015, which is a 13.3% increase in net profits.  The increase in profits was mainly attributed to higher finance income, which rose to 176.04 MM KWD in the Q2-2016, compared to 164.76 MM KWD in Q2-2015. 
Sports and Culture

Sports and Culture

  • Many sporting stars are not attending the Rio 2016 Olympics for many reasons. Major Athletes in basketball, golf and cycling are not attending the Olympics due to fears of the Zika virus. Moreover, several Russian sporting stars have been banned due to a major state-sponsored drugging scandal.
  • In efforts to preserve Kuwaiti traditions and to fight extremists' ideologies, the Kuwaiti government activated a new law regulating all Web-based publications including electronic news services, bulletins, websites of newspapers and televisions.
  • Khalid Al-Shaeri, a 20-year-old youth labelled as the world's heaviest teenager weighting more than 1,000 pounds, has lost more than two thirds of his weight. It is worth mentioning that in 2013, Khalid was, according to the late King Abdullah's request, transported by a special crane ordered from the United States, and moved by a medical helicopter from his home to King Fahd Medical City in Riyadh for treatment.


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