- According to Saudi Vision 2030, Saudi private sector will need to employ 2.5 million more Saudis by 2030 as its total labor force will reach 8 million Saudis. Saudi currently has a national labor force of around 6.4 million people, with 4.2 million in the public sector, 1.6 million in the private sector and 0.6 million unemployed.
- The deficit in Egypt's trade balance dropped by 24.6 % in May 2016, reaching 25.2 BN EGP compared to 33.4 BN EGP in May 2015. In addition, Egypt's foreign trade dropped by 7.8% to 61.8 BN EGP in May 2016 compared to 67 BN EGP in May 2015. Positively, exports rose by 9.1% to reach 18.3 BN EGP in May 2016 compared to 16.8 BN EGP in May 2015, and the increase in exports was mainly attributed to increase in exports of fresh fruits, and fertilizers.
- Dubai-based commercial courts witnessed a 48% increase in total claim values in H1-2016 as the total value of Court of First Instance (CFI) cases was 3.44 BN AED, compared to 2.33 BN AED in H1-2015. In addition, the average value of claims filed with the DIFC Courts in H1-2016 increased by 38 % from 16.5 MM AED to 22.7 MM AED.
- 82% of Jordan's electricity is generated using the imported liquefied natural gas (LNG) as Jordan's imports of (LNG) have reached 66 billion cubic feet since the opening of the country's first LNG terminal in 2015. This mainly decreased the energy bill by reducing the Kingdom's reliance on diesel and heavy fuel to generate power.
- The Egyptian Cabinet approved plans of international bond issuance of up to 5 BN USD in Eurobonds. The ministry of finance announced that it would initially target to raise 3 BN USD, but it might borrow up to 5 BN USD based on investors' demand.
- Amid falling global oil prices, the Jordanian government reduced the prices of oil derivatives by around 4%. The price of unleaded 90-octane gasoline is set at 0.55 JOD per litre for August, down from the July price of 0.58 JOD, while unleaded 95-octane gasoline is set at 0.72 JOD per litre, down from 0.745 JOD; also diesel and kerosene were priced at 0.425 JOD per litre, down from 0.440 JOD.
- Jordan and Britain signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) upon which Britain will provide financial aid to Jordan up to 190 MM GBP as well as humanitarian assistance to refugees through the United Nations organizations. In addition, the UK announced that exiting the EU will not affect the UK's commitments to Jordan and could create more business opportunities in the future.
- Omani production of the regular petrol (M90) has increased by 175% in H1-2016 reaching 3.28 million barrels, compared to 1.19 million barrels in H1-2015. This was mainly due to the increase in demand for regular fuel since the deregulation of prices from February this year.
- According to the Dubai Land Department, in H1-2016, total investments in Dubai's real-estate market reached 57 BN AED, with 26,000 choosing Dubai as their real-estate investment destination. GCC countries contributed 22 BN AED to the Dubai property market with 8,000 transactions with Emiratis, Saudis, and Kuwaitis acting as top investors with investments amounting to 14.52 BN AED, 4 BN AED, and 1.2 BN AED respectively.
- In efforts to diversify the economy away from its dependence on oil, Kuwaiti government is maintaining capital spending on development projects, and increasing private sector participation. Kuwait's five-year development plan forecasts total spending of 34.15 BN KWD by 2020 to complete mega projects such as, a railway, a metro, expansion of the country's airport and major real estate and oil project.
- The Iraqi government approved Petro China's plans to launch the third phase of development at the Halfaya oilfield, in efforts to double the output of the field from the current production of 200,000 barrel/day to reach 400,000 barrel/day in 2018.
- The Omani government agreed with 28 companies based in Dhofar to increase the minimum wage of Omani nationals. The workers will realize an increase in their monthly rate from 325 OMR to 400 OMR.
- Qatar's real estate price index for June 2016 declined by 3.8% to 295.8 points from 307.6 points in March 2016. However, when compared on year-on-year basis, the June 2016 index has surged by 4.15% compared to 284.0 points in June 2015.
- The Egyptian Nobel Prize-winning chemist Ahmed Zewail died last week. Zewail was granted the Nobel-Prize for his pioneering work in femtochemistry in 1999. Throughout his life, he wrote around 600 academic articles and 16 books. Zewail was also appointed in 2009 as a science and technology advisor to President Barack Obama.
- A shell fired from Yemen killed four and wounded three in Samtah, a town close to the border and is located on the south-western Saudi border region of Jizan, followed by a fight on the borders which killed dozens of Houthi fighters.
- Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi banned six lawmakers accused of corruption in the defence sector from traveling abroad, as defence Minister Khaled al-Obeidi accused Parliament Speaker Salim al-Jabouri and five other MPs of selling overpriced planes, vehicles and other goods to the armed forces.
- According to a U.N.-appointed commission of independent war crimes investigators Thousands of Yazidis, a religious community of 400,000 people in northern Iraq, are being held by the Islamic State in Syria where many are forced to fight for the Islamic State and many were facing genocide.
- TASI banking sector declined led by Al Rajhi Bank and Saudi Commercial Bank (NCB). Moreover, the petrochemical sector declined led by Saudi Basic Industries Coporation (SABIC) and Saudi Fertilizer Company (Safco).
- .KWSE telecommunication sector declined led by Zain.
- .QSI banking sector witnessed a significant increase led by Commercial Bank of Qatar and Qatar Islamic Bank.
Weekly % Change
Construction & Materials
Banks & Financial Services
Telecommunication & Information
Banking & Financial Services
UAE, Abu Dhabi
Real Estate & Construction
Investments & Financial Services
- Lebanon's Blom Bank reported a 19.08% increase in H1-2016 net profit due to higher profit at its foreign subsidiaries, as net profit for H1-2016 reached 226.678 MM USD compared to 190.35 MM USD in H1-2015.
- National Bank of Egypt (NBE), Egypt's biggest public lender which portfolio of SME direct and indirect finances reached 28 BN EGP in June 2016 and plans to increase its small and medium sized financing facilities to 37 BN EGP by the end of the financial year 2016-2017.
- Global Telecom, previously known as Orascom Telecom, generated a net profit 26.5 MM USD in Q2-2016, compared to 27.4 MM USD in Q2-2015. The firm's total revenues also decreased to reach 693 MM USD compared to 736 MM USD in the same period last year.
- Construction conglomerate Saudi Oger, owned by the family of former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri, has been recently hit by the slowdown in the Saudi construction sector due to the drop in oil prices and the state spending cuts. The owners of the company are currently in talks with the Saudi government to sell the company to the government or businessmen from the ruling family. It is worth noting that 31,000 employees filed complaints against the company for not receiving salaries for seven months.
- In efforts to expand Pfizer's activities for the Saudization of the pharmaceutical industry, Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) granted the US pharmaceutical company Pfizer Inc. 100% ownership of its business in the Kingdom to allow a supply of essential medicines directly to the Saudi market
- United Arab Emirates' second telecom operator, Du reported an 11.3% fall in its Q2-2016 net profit, a continuous drop in earnings for the preceding six quarters. Du made a net profit of 445.4 MM AED in Q2-2016, down from 502.0 MM AED in Q2-2015.
- Dubai Investments, the conglomerate, in which sovereign fund Investment Corp. of Dubai owns an 11.5% stake, reported 2.3 % drop in Q2-2016 net profit, making a net profit of 218.4 MM AED, compared to 223.4 MM AED in Q2-2015.
- Alfa, the first Lebanese mobile operator managed by Orascom Telecom, in cooperation with Nokia have launched the country's first 4G LTE-Advanced network, which will enable Alfa to offer its subscribers faster download speeds of up to 262.5 Mbits/sec for accessing high-definition video and other data-intensive applications.
- HSBC Bank Oman's net profit in H1-2016 significantly increased to reach 7.9 MM OMR compared to 5.2 MM OMR in H1-2015, representing a 51.9% increase. In addition, net interest income increased by 10% to reach 26.5 MM OMR in H1-2016 compared to 24.1 MM OMR in H1-2015.
- Zain, Kuwait's number one telecom operator reported net profits of 45 MM KWD, which is a 14% increase in profits in Q2-2016 after seven quarters of falling profits due to tougher domestic competition, service interruptions and higher costs in war-torn Iraq, and foreign exchange volatility.
- In efforts to deleverage, Bahrain-based Islamic investment bank GFH Financial Group has repaid 45 MM USD worth of debt, reducing its total syndicated liabilities to 105 MM USD. GFH had held liabilities of over 1 BN USD in 2008. The bank now holds 700 MM USD in total equity.
Sports and Culture
- Rami Anis did not march behind the Syrian flag during the opening ceremony; instead he walked along with other 10 athletes behind the Olympic flag representing the Team Refugees. The team will represent more than 60 million refugees worldwide, which is the highest total since World War II, according to the U.N. Refugee Agency.
- More than 44,000 new schools are projected to be constructed in Saudi Arabia and a total of 50,000 new schools throughout the GCC region by 2020, as part of the GCC school construction project involving public and private investors who seek to capitalise on the booming education sector in the region.
- The Civil Court of the Canton of Vaud in Switzerland rejected Kuwait's case against the International Olympic Committee (IOC) concerning the ban that will cause the nation's athletes in shooting, fencing and swimming to compete under the Olympic flag at the Rio Olympics.