- The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) is likely to ease off its rate cuts in 2020 in a bid to maintain strong carry trade and support the EGP. Moreover, the Deutsche Bank projected that the EGP will decrease to 15.5 EGP against the USD by the end of H1-2020 and 15 EGP by the end of 2020.
- Egypt Ministry of Trade and Industry aims to expand industrial park construction and finalize the construction of 13 industrial parks totaling to 4,500 factories. These factories will increase the industrial sector’s productivity by producing products typically imported from abroad, creating more direct job opportunities and attracting further domestic and foreign investments for the industrial sector.
- As coronavirus continues to reshape the global economic outlook for the coming quarters, growth in the GCC is ready to pick up on the back of stronger non-oil activity in Saudi Arabia and UAE. Noting that it is expected that GCC's real non-oil GDP growth would accelerate to 6% in 2020 from an estimated 2.1% in 2019.
- Saudi Arabia is working closely with the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) to host the first ever global Foreign Direct Investment FDI Summit in Riyadh in October 2020. The summit will discuss the challenges on global FDI and feature Saudi Arabia as a case study.
- Emirates Foundation and Saudi Arabia Pavilion, the largest international pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai, signed an MoU to launch a high-level integrated program to provide volunteering opportunities for Saudi youth based in UAE.
- Saudi Arabia inflation rate is expected to average 7% in 2020, according to a recent report by Jadwa investments. Noting that in December 2019, consumer prices in Saudi Arabia registered its first y-o-y increase by 0.2%.
- MENA equities should provide good investment opportunities as key merger and consolidation activities have increased the potential size of the market and more consistent returns seem possible going forward, according to First Abu Dhabi Bank.
- The Abu Dhabi government accelerator program, Ghadan 21, is driving the competitiveness and productivity of Abu Dhabi economy, while making the emirate one of the most inclusive places in the world in which to visits, live, work, and do business.
- Ivanka Trump, advisor to the President of the US, stated that UAE is taking bold leadership in advancing women’s empowerment in the region and expressed the hope that other countries will join UAE in advancing the active participation of women is various spheres.
- Madbouly Cabinet approved the operating framework for a recently formed government advisory committee on international arbitration, which would study, review, and make recommendations on the cases referred to it. The committee will be headed by the deputy justice minister for arbitration and will include members from different ministries and government bodies.
- State-owned Banque du Caire (BdC) shares is expected to start trading on EGX by mid-April 2020. BdC, will sell 45% stake to investors, go ahead with a classical offering to both institutional and local retail investors. BdC will start a second roadshow for the offering in the US this month, after reporting “significant” demand during a recent roadshow in the Gulf and the UK.
- Consolidated net profits of 67 companies listed on UAE two financial markets, Dubai Financial Market (DFM) and Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX), reached 56 BN AED (20.5 BN USD) in 2019, up 16.9% compared to 2018.
Note: Weekly values are calculated on Thursday of each week.
- Orange Egypt is planning to invest 4 BN EGP (255 MM USD) in 2020 to upgrade network. The mobile network operator recently signed a 1 BN EGP (135 MM USD) contract with the New Administrative Capital Company for Urban Development (NACCUD) to establish, operate, and manage the new capital’s data center.
- Edita Industries has expanded its cake segment with the launch of Twinkies Zig Zag and coffee flavored HoHos with a retail price of 2 EGP per pack. The company’s cakes segment, which includes Twinkies, HoHos, Tiger Tail, and Todo products, continues to be the largest contributor of revenues for the leading snack foods maker.
- Dana Gas received “numerous” bids for its Egypt assets in H2-2019 and is currently finalizing the technical and commercial evaluation ahead of making a final decision by the end of March 2020.
- Chevron has begun preparations to restart production at the Wafra oilfield in the Kuwaiti-Saudi Neutral Zone. Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, both members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), agreed in 2019 to end a five-year dispute over the border area known as the Neutral Zone, allowing production to resume at two jointly run fields that can pump up to 5% of the world's oil supply.
- The National Industries Group Holding has successfully issued non-guaranteed bonds worth 30 MM KWD (98.7 MM USD) on Tuesday, 11 February. The bonds will be matured in five years in 2025, according to a bourse statement on Wednesday.
- Amanat Holdings, the GCC’s largest healthcare and education investment company, recorded a total income of 3 MM AED (30.85 MM USD) in 2018/2019, up 8% y-o-y, and a net profit of 60 MM AED (16.34 MM USD), up 39.8% y-o-y.
- DP World will acquire a majority of 51% stake in the TIS Container Terminal in the Port of Yuzhny, Ukraine. This acquisition complements the existing operations of DP World's P&O Maritime Services business through a joint venture with the TIS Group.
- Qatargas signed a new long-term sale and purchase agreement with Shell to deliver 1 million tons per annum of liquefied natural gas to Kuwait, starting in 2020.
- Qatar National Bank (QNB), the Gulf's biggest bank by assets, started marketing US dollar-denominated bonds with a seven-year maturity. QNB has hired Barclays, Credit Agricole, Mizuho, QNB Capital and Standard Chartered to arrange the potential deal, which would be of benchmark size - normally meaning upwards of 500 MM USD.
Sports and Culture
- International football star, Cristiano Ronaldo, has been awarded the UAE Golden Visa, along with another six players and athletes. According to local media reports, the players have received the visa as Dubai Sports Council initiative to connect with international players from all over the world and encourage them to live and invest in UAE.
- Several national and international institutions and bodies, including the Canadian Parliament, have nominated Egypt Magda Gobran, better known as Mama Maggie, for the 2020 Nobel Prize, according to an official announcement by the Egyptian Ministry of Emigration and Egyptian Expatriates Affairs. Mama Maggie has been nominated in recognition of her constant commitment and dedication to serving illiterate and poor women throughout Egypt.