-Egypt has signed an agreement with
Algeria to import 6 cargoes of 145,000
cubic meters of liquefied natural gas
(LNG) between April and September
2015. The agreement was signed due to
Egypt’s heavily dependence on gas that is
important to generate power for
households and industry, in addition to
the need for solving the energy storage
problem that is alarming of an energy
crisis in the country. The prices of the natural gas were not settled yet and are expected to
realize a significant drop echoing the drop in oil prices which fell by 47% since June 2014.
-A group of major Kuwaiti investors from Kuwaiti insurance firms decided to contribute to
the Egyptian insurance market by 20 MM KWD. This investment is expected to increase
the insurance sector’s contribution to Egypt’s GDP.
- Jordan has lost 35 BN USD due to the Syrian war and the spread of the Islamic state (IS)
group. This loss doesn’t include the costs of delivering services and building infrastructure
to accommodate refugees, as aggregate income increase is less than the increase of
population; consequently, the standards of living fell, and unemployment rate increased;
not only in Jordan but also in Turkey, Egypt, and Lebanon. Moreover, the average real per
capita incomes has decreased due to the war by 25% versus the expected level. The
Kingdom is planning to host 1.4 MM Syrian refugees at a cost of 2.8 BN USD as reported
in Jordan plan of projects in 2015.
-Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) and Tecom Investments signed an
agreement to invest in electric vehicle charging infrastructure in the emirate as a part of an
ambitious smart city initiative, as they will exchange knowledge, experiences, various
disciplines, conducting joint research and consultations on projects to achieve sustainable
development for Dubai. In order to transform Dubai into a world class smart city, Tecom
Investments has started to implement smart initiatives into Dubai design district (d3),
which is a pilot project.
-Qatar has witnessed a huge increase in the imports of medical and pharmaceutical
products due to the decline in the prices of medicines as a result of a GCC decision to
unify import prices in the member countries. The decision comes in response to the
medicine price fall by 70%. This decision favors the customers who suffered from the
supply and demand dynamics represented in high prices and supply shortage. Moreover,
total value of imports of medicines and pharmaceutical products has increased by 20.5% to
reach 424 MM QR in Q3 2014 compared to 352 MM QR in Q2 2014.
-New system will be implemented in the Saudi Payment Network System (SPAN) in 2015,
to be renamed Mada. The new system connects the ATMs and point-of-sale (POS)
throughout the country to a central payment switch that in turn re-routes the financial
transactions between banks of merchants and customers. It can also transfer funds to
customers outside the Kingdom who carry the same type of cards without any deduction
of transfer fees and transfer to accounts at other banks. The new system is believed to
increase efficiency, reduce costs for banks, reduce using cash, and with no usage, annual
or balance inquiry fees.
- Real state sector in Oman has improved by 55.7% during the first nine months in 2014 as
total trades reached 2.3 BN OMR compared to 1.5 BN OMR in the same period in 2013.
Moreover at the end of September 2014, the real estate sales contracts in Oman reached
936 MM OMR compared to 512 MM OMR in the last year. This results in a year-on-year
growth of 82.6%.
- Consumer prices in Lebanon have remained unchanged due to the decline in fuel costs and
consequently the decrease in international oil prices. The price of crude has decreased by
50% since last June 2014, resulting in a fall in the price of fuel oil by 30% from 36,000 LL
to 25,000 LL due to the additional costs of refining, transportation and other expenses.