- Gold prices have witnessed their largest decline in more than three years driven by a surge in oil prices which boosted bond yields, denting interest in non-yielding gold as an alternative investment.
- Syria's wheat prices have surged as the Syrian government raised its price to 125 Syrian pounds (0.2427 USD at the official rate) per kg to encourage planting of the grain for the coming 2016/2017 season.
- Lebanon's budget deficit has increased reaching 26.88% of spending in August 2016 compared to 23.14% in August 2015. The rise was mainly driven by an increase in government expenditure.
- Dollar offerings by Egyptian banks will be allocated to a wider range of clients according to a policy by the central bank aiming to make hard currency available to foreign companies seeking to repatriate earnings.
- Egypt's Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) have declined in Q4-2016 reaching 992.9 MM USD at the end of the financial year 2015/2016 according to Central Bank of Egypt (CBE).
- Egyptian treasury bills have reached 500 MM USD since the country has applied floating exchange rate system on the 3rd of November according to the country's finance minister.
- Construction costs in Saudi Arabia have declined by 11.5% in 2016 since the oil price crash that started in 2014 and are forecasted to witness a further 3.9% fall next year.
- Saudi's Kafala program has helped to secure funds of 17 BN SAR to 8500 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The program aims to provide financial support for Saudi SMEs.
- 100 BN SAR were allocated to Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Funds (PIF) from the kingdom's reserves. The fund was allocated by Saudi Arabia's king and will be used to support both foreign and local investments.
- Qatar's debt repayment by Tunisia will be delayed for at least two years. It is worth mentioning that the debt totaled 500 MM USD and was due in 2016.
- Qatar's Producer Price Index (PPI) has declined by 1.7% in September 2016 compared to September 2015 driven by a fall in the prices of hydrocarbons.
- 2 BN USD bonds will be sold by Iraq on international markets to help bridging its budget deficit in 2017 according to the country's prime minister.
- 8 BN USD were pledged to Tunisia in aid by regional and western partners as the country's post-revolutionary economy is struggling to attract investments and create job opportunities.
- A new NGO law was endorsed by the Egyptian parliament which restricts NGO activity to developmental and social work and introduces jail terms of up to five years for non-compliance. Also, it bans NGOs from conducting fieldwork or polls without permission or "from cooperating in any way with any international body without the necessary approval".
- A computer virus attacked vital Saudi government bodies and has affected important installations including the Kingdom's transport sector.
- A one-day boycott initiative was established by the Egyptian Governmental Consumer Protection Agency (CPA) to pressure merchants to reduce prices of goods.
- Citizenship grants were given by the United Arab Emirates to 97 children of Emirati women married to foreigners according to the Ministry of Interior.
- .QSI's real estate sector went up after Ezdan Holding Group rose 1.62%. Likewise, the telecom sector climbed led by Ooredoo.
- .ADI's telecommunication sector rose driven by Etisalat. On the other hand, the banking sector fell as First Gulf Bank (FGB) slid.
- .DFMGI's banking sector levelled up as Gulf Finance Group (GFH) advanced. In addition, the real estate sector ascended as Union Properties and Arabtec rose.
Index Watch list
Weekly % Change
Construction & Materials
Banks & Financial Services
Telecommunication & Information
Banking & Financial Services
UAE, Abu Dhabi
Real Estate & Construction
Investments & Financial Services
- Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) repaid 500 MM USD sukuk which matured at the end of November. It is worthy to note that the bank has repaid the sukuk from its own resources.
- A minor plane accident was witnessed by Kuwait Airway's A330 aircraft as it was scratched by wingtip of an A320 aircraft at Mumbai airport.
- Upon seizing tonnes of expired products at Heinz factory, the manager was arrested by the Egyptian forces.
- Highest passenger number was transported by the re-branded version of Oman National Transport Company "Mwasalat" reaching approximately 3.6 Million people over the last year.
- Bahri signs financial deal to pay for the building of five oil tankers. Saudi Arabia's National Shipping Company and the exclusive oil-shipper of Saudi Aramco will finance the building through a 350 MM USD, 10-year Islamic financing.
- A tourism complex will be built by Qatar's Mejada group near Tunisia. The deal will be signed by the company at a cost of 220 MM USD and will include a luxury hotel, 90 rental villas and a shopping center.
- 934 jobs were cut by the European plane maker Airbus amid the closure of a site at Suresnes outside Paris, according to a French trade union, as part of a previously announced restructuring.
- PWC acquires the industry-pioneering technology consulting company, NSI DMCC. The company is headquartered in Dubai and will complement PwC's digital transformation capabilities and enhance its ability to deliver innovative solutions across all channels, platforms and devices.
- Eni, Italian oil and gas company, is discussing with various parties to cut its stake in the giant Zohr gas field offshore Egypt to 50%. The company, which owns the whole concession area that includes its Zohr discovery, agreed last week to sell a 10%stake to British Petroleum for 375 MN USD.
Sports and Culture
- A 40% sugar reduction was a successful research attempt by Nestle as the firm has been aiming to apply this scientific breakthrough on its candy products.
- 3D-printed buildings project is to be implemented by Dubai. It is worthy to note that Dubai's ruler, Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, in May unveiled the Office of the Future, the world's first 3D-printed office