Home > Insights > Saudi Ministry of Labor and Social Development is considering raising the work permits fees paid by expats in order to address labor market problems, such as unemployment among nationals and to benefit Saudis who compete for jobs with foreigners.
Monday, 18 Jul 2016

Saudi Ministry of Labor and Social Development is considering raising the work permits fees paid by expats in order to address labor market problems, such as unemployment among nationals and to benefit Saudis who compete for jobs with foreigners.

Insights MENA

Economic Outlook

Economic Outlook

  • Saudi Ministry of Labor and Social Development is considering raising the work permits fees paid by expats in order to address labor market problems, such as unemployment among nationals and to benefit Saudis who compete for jobs with foreigners.
  • Egypt is expected to experience a budget deficit of 9.8% in 2016/2017. The ministry of finance announced that the revenues are projected to reach 669.7 BN EGP, while the expenditures are projected to reach 974.8 BN EGP. It is worth mentioning that the Egyptian Parliament approved this budget on June 28th 2016.
  • The Central Bank of Egypt issued four treasury bills worth 20.25 BN EGP to finance the country's budget deficit. The four treasury bills are worth 4.75 BN EGP, 4.75 BN EGP, 5.25 BN EGP, and 5.5 BN EGP to mature in 91 days, 182 days, 273 days, and 364 days respectively.
  • In efforts to reinforce the Program in Support of Stability Reinforcement and Financial Inclusion (PARSIF) in Morocco, the African Development Bank (AfDB)'s board of directors approved a loan of 157 MM USD.This loan will increase the stability and the strengthening of the Moroccan financial sector, especially for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).
  • The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTNH) announced that domestic and inbound foreign tourism revenues reached 53.7 BN SAR this year. It is worth mentioning that the Kingdom has been working on improving domestic tourism as part of the Saudi Vision 2030.
  • The UAE's direct non-oil trade recorded 269.5 BN AED in Q1-2016, maintaining the same record of Q1-2015. Imports accounted for more than half of the non-oil foreign trade reaching a total of 166.1 BN AED.
  • The fiscal deficit of Lebanon increased by 35.7% from Q1-2015 reaching 1.44 BN USD in Q1-2016 compared to 1.1 BN USD in Q1-2015. Expenditures grew by 23.1 % reaching 3.87 BN USD from the same quarter last year, while revenues grew by 16.7% to reach 2.43 BN USD.
  • According to the 2016 Mercer's Cost of Living Survey, Kuwait ranked the 9th with a cost of living equivalent to that in most of the European nations. On the other hand, Dubai was ranked as the most expensive place to live in in the MENA region, while Jeddah was ranked as the cheapest place.
  • The central bank of Jordan recently issued government bonds for individuals at a rate of 4.25% for five years to reduce its reliance on banks for financing, an action that affected banks in Jordan as they offer a 3% interest rate on dinar deposits; consequently, they perceived the bonds as a threat to their saving tools.
  • Qatar Central Bank sold 1.2 BN QAR treasury bills, divided into a three-month bills of 800 MM QAR at a yield of 1.51%, six-month bills of 200 MM QAR at 1.67% and nine-month bills of 200 MM QAR at 1.72%.  The Central Bank has also announced that demand for the sale totaled 3.16 BN QAR.
  • The IMF announced that it will give Iraq a line of credit worth 5.34 BN USD in the form of an assistance plan for three years in order to help the country overcome the financial crisis it is facing currently as a result of the drop in oil prices and the war on terrorism. The loan will be given on installments with a first loan of 634 MM USD. Moreover, The IMF announced that Iraq has to implement many economic reforms to be granted the rest of the agreed installments.
  • Egypt has allocated 3 BN EGP for developing New Al Alamein city in the fiscal year 2016/2017 budget. The first phase of the city will be on 8,000 feddans area, and will include a tourist area, a downtown area, and a residential area. It is worth noting that the implementation of the first phase was assigned to Arab Contractors and Société Egyptienne D'entreprises.
Political Events

Political Events

  • At least 84 people were killed including 10 children and teenagers after Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, a 31-year-old man of Franco-Tunisian origin drove a lorry at a high speed into a large crowd in Nice celebrating the Bastille Day. The driver also fired shots, before being killed by police. A total of 303 people were taken to the hospital; 121 remain in hospital, 30 of whom are children, and 26 people are still in intensive care, five of whom are children.
  • On the night of 15 July 2016, a faction of the army announced via a state broadcaster that it had confiscated power to protect democracy from Tayyip Erdogan, and announced a curfew, martial law and the preparation of a new constitution. However, the coup did not succeed, as the rest of the army, the public and the opposition parties did not support it. Later on, the government has detained around 6,000 people, including high-ranking soldiers and judges.
  • The Iraqi minister of health announced that the death toll from Baghdad's bombing increased to 28, making this attack the deadliest in the country since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.
Stock Market

Stock Market

  • .EGX30 telecommunication sector witnessed a significant increase led by Telecom Egypt and banking sector led by Commercial International Bank (CIB).
  • .KWSE real estate sector increased slightly led by National Real Estate and United Real Estate.
  • .QSI banking sector increased led by Qatar National Bank (QNB) and Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB).
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Companies Transactions

Companies Transactions

  • Qatar National Bank (QNB); the largest lender in the Gulf, announced that it has achieved 13.4% increase in net profit in Q2-2016 amounting to 3.3 BN QAR compared to 2.91 BN in Q2-2015. Also, net profit of the bank for the first half of 2016 is 6.2 BN QAR.
  • Egyptair signed a deal worth 864 MM USD to buy nine Boeing 737-800s aircraft. It is worth mentioning that eight out of the nine aircrafts are financed through an agreement with Dubai Aerospace Enterprise, a United Arab Emirates-based company.
  • A new Approved Maintenance Centre (AMC) and a manufacturing facility that will produce aero engine components are to be established in the Emirates by Rolls-Royce and Mubadala Development Company, the Abu Dhabi-based investment and development organization.
  • Egypt-based Jumeirah Real Estate Investment and Sakan Developments officially launched Jumeirah Bay - Ras Elhekma, a project on an area of 6 million square meter, and a total costs 15 BN EGP. The project is planned to be completed on three phases, with the first phase to be delivered by December 2019.
  • Oman Telecommunications, (Omantel) reported net profit of 32 MM OMR, a 19.9% increase in net profit for Q2-2016. The performance of the company was better than the forecasts of EFG Hermes and Gulf Baader, as both forecasted net profits for Q2 to be 29.4 MM OMR, and 28.5 MM OMR respectively.
  • In efforts to finance modernization, Bahrain International Airport raised 107 MM BHD. According to a statement from Mashreq which arranged the facility planned to cover bonding and working capital requirement of the joint venture implementing the project, which includes Arabtec Holding, a Dubai-listed company, and TAV Construction, a Turkish company.
  • Qatar Airways signed an agreement to purchase 49% of Italian airline Meridianas; however, this agreement is subject to fulfillment of certain conditions before a final contract to be signed in October. In addition, Qatar Airways has agreed to acquire up to 10% of LATAM Airlines; Latin America's largest airline, in a 613 MM USD deal that needs the consensus of existing shareholders.
  • Qatar Airways reported a 328% increase in net profit to reach 1.6 BN QAR for the financial year to March 31, compared to 374 MM QAR the same period last year. It worth mentioning that this is the first time for the company to release financial results after the US airlines accused the company of using state subsidies to compete unfairly.
Sports and Culture

Sports and Culture

  • Egyptian Cabinet Spokesman warned Egyptians from using the game "Pokemon Go", and said that such online games will be probed and scrutinized by national authorities to find out whether they threaten national security or not. It is worth noting that the game increased the market value of Nintendo by 9 BN USD in few days and is trending in Dubai, Lebanon and Qatar on Twitter with 2.3 MM tweets at the time of writing.
  • Britain's Andy Murray became Wimbledon champion for the second time with an outstanding performance against Canadian sixth seed Milos Raonic in the final. He is considered the first British man to win multiple Wimbledon singles titles after Fred Perry in 1935.
  • Saudi ministries are increasingly using Twitter as an official carrier for government news and action. Recently, the ministry of health announced the closure of a hospital in Riyadh, and the ministry of education has issued five warnings to five universities and colleges for failing to meet the ministry's standards.
  • According to UNICEF, more than half a million of Iraqi children are working rather than going to school as the political turbulence, violence, and bad economic conditions severely hurt incomes of millions of families.


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