- The Central Bank of Egypt reported that the number of tourists who visited Egypt during the first 10 months of the fiscal year 2015-2016 reached 6.1 million, with 47.55 million spent-nights, out of which 205,000 are European tourists, and 118,000 are Asian tourists.
- Oman's international trade is highly exposed to the status of the economy in China compared to other GCC countries. Oman's exports to China as a percentage of total exports in 2014 and 2015 were 42% and 39%, respectively. The average annual exports to China from 2000 to 2014 of the GCC was 7.7%, while that of Oman stood at 26% over the same period, which is more than three times the GCC average.
- The Egyptian trade balance declined by 26%; from 32.3 BN EGP in April 2015, to 23.9 BN EGP in April 2016. Moreover, the volume of Egypt's foreign trade declined from 61.3 BN EGP in April 2015 to reach 57.1 BN EGP in April 2016. Also, exports increased by 14.1% reaching 16.6 BN EGP, while imports declined by 13.5%, reaching 40.5 BN EGP. The increase in exports was highly credited to a 524.8% increase in fertilizers exports.
- As part of the Jordan Response Plan (JRP) to the Syrian refugee crisis, the Cabinet has approved a UN agencies and NGOs funded projects to help cope with the influx of Syrian refugees. The projects will support government-provided services such as: distribution of food parcels, improvement of water and sewage networks, building additional classrooms, improving medical services, and providing care for new-borns in refugee camps.
- Moody's rating agency maintained its negative outlook of the Lebanese banks amid a volatile regional situation and lower GDP growth, and warned Lebanese banks of the increasing exposure to the growing public debt acting as a major source of credit risks. It is worth noting that the Lebanese banks are holding a big amount of the government's bonds, especially the commercial banks and the Central Bank of Lebanon, which makes them exposed to unfavourable economic conditions.
- Dubai monthly inflation of the prices of goods and services increased by 0.76% in June compared to May. Food and beverages, transportation, clothing and footwear, and restaurants and hotels sectors increased by 2.15%, 2.09%, 1.57 %, and 0.45% respectively. In addition, prices of the group of housing, water, electricity, gas and fuel increased by 0.39%.
- The share of the non-hydrocarbon sector in Qatar's GDP reached 63.8% in 2015 compared to 48.9% in 2014. Over the past four years, the non-hydrocarbon sector was the main driver of growth, while hydrocarbon production was stable. The year-on-year growth in non-hydrocarbon GDP reached 7.8% in 2015.
- Bahrain witnessed a growth of 4.5% during Q1-2016, its highest growth since 2014. The growth was driven by 12.1% growth y-o-y in the oil sector. On the other hand, the non-oil economy continued to grow as 4 BN USD of projects have now been tendered under the GCC Development Fund, of which 3 BN USD projects are in progress.
- In efforts to provide a favourable investment environment in Jordan, the Jordan Investment Commission (JIC) has started issuing new licences and renewing previous licences for a five-year period for economic activities launched at development and free trade zones.
- Europeans have allowed made-in-Jordan products to include more than 70% of production inputs from non-local materials. Consequently, exports of Jordan-made products to Europe are expected to increase boosting the country's economy through promoting investments and creating more jobs for Jordanians. Jordanian and European officials announced that the deal has been effective and will be valid until the end of 2026.
- In efforts to reduce population flowing to the Qaraoun Lake, western Bekaa, the World Bank had approved a 55 MM USD loan to the Lebanese government. It is worth mentioning that this is part of a bigger plan estimated at 250 MM USD.
- Oil exports of Iraq, OPEC's second-largest producer, are set to rise in July. This action is expected to put back supply growth on track after 2 months of decline. Southern Iraq oil exports throughout the first 21 days of July reached 3.28 million barrels per day (bpd), up from 3.18 million bpd in June. It is worth mentioning that in 2015, Iraq contributed to OPEC's biggest rise in supply.
- In efforts to win support from member states for a plan offering conditional autonomy to the disputed territory of Western Sahara, Morocco has asked to re-join the African Union (AU) which it had left in 1984. The AU is a major backer of the Polisario-declared Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), but Morocco wants the body to withdraw its support, saying at least 36 of the 54 AU member states do not acknowledge the breakaway territory.
- An 18-year-old German-Iranian, born and raised in Germany, shot dead nine people and wounded 27 opening fire near a busy shopping mall in Munich. German police announced that he was a disturbed lone gunman obsessed with mass killings who drew no inspiration from Islamist militancy. It is worth mentioning that this attack was the third act of violence against civilians in Western Europe and the second in southern Germany in eight days.
- France announced that it is preparing with the United States a coordinated attack on the Islamic State in Mosul (a city located in northern Iraq). As for the recent news about the killing of two French special forces soldiers in Libya by the Islamic State on Sunday, the government did not approve the news, but it reassured that special forces are there struggling against terrorists.
- .TASI telecommunication sector declined led by Mobily and Zain. Moreover, banking sector declined led by Rajhi Bank and National Commercial Bank (NCB).
- .KWSE banking sector witnessed a significant increase led by Burgan bank. On the other hand, real estate sector declined led by United Real Estate Company (URC).
- .ADI real estate sector witnessed a significant increase led by Aldar Properties. On the other hand, banking sector declined led by First Gulf Bank (FGB) and National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD).
- .DFMGI real estate sector was the best performer led by Arabtec Holding and Emaar Properties. Moreover, banking sector performance increased led by Emirates NBD.
Weekly % Change
Construction & Materials
Banks & Financial Services
Telecommunication & Information
Banking & Financial Services
UAE, Abu Dhabi
Real Estate & Construction
Investments & Financial Services
- Arabian Food Industries Co. (Domty), after raising 1.13 BN EGP in private and public share offerings in March, is planning to invest 240 MM EGP in 2016-2017 to fund launching baked goods and sweetened milk, alongside its cheeses and juices as well as increasing production capacity.
- Emirates NBD Egypt suspended the use of debit and credit cards abroad to keep foreign currency inside the bank. The decision came in response to the Central Bank of Egypt's letter to bank Chiefs to ensure that debit cards and pre-paid cards are used only in the country to prevent individuals from acquiring large sums of foreign currency while abroad.
- Saudi Arabia's National Commercial Bank (NCB)'s shares fell by 1.5% after reporting second quarter revenues of 2.44 BN SAR, compared to analysts' expectations of 2.54 BN SAR. In addition, Samba Financial Group, Saudi Arabia's third-largest bank by assets, reported a 1.4 % drop in Q2 net profit, as it generated a profit of 1.31 BN SAR in the three months to June 30, compared to 1.33 BN SAR in Q2 2015.
- In efforts to expand the Kingdom's gas production as per the country's National Transformation Plan, Saudi Aramco signed a 50 BN SAR Fadhili gas project that is scheduled to be completed by 2019. The Fadhili project is expected to increase the Kingdom's natural gas production to 17 billion standard cubic feet per day by 2020.
- Saudi Binladin Group has been hit by Saudi government spending cuts and its suspension from receiving new state contracts since September 2015. Consequently, it asked for an extension on an 817 MM SAR Islamic loan that matured on July 15 used to fund construction on the kingdom's Grand Mosque site because the Saudi government had yet to reimburse the construction firm for its work.
- Drake & Scull International has been awarded a 226 MM AED contract at the Zubair oil field in southern Iraq by a subsidiary of Italian energy giant Eni for engineering, procurement and construction work for a water injection network installation project at the oil field.
- Emirates NBD generated a net profit of 1.91 BN AED in Q2-2016, compared to 1.65 BN AED in the Q2 2015, a 15.7% increase despite analysts' expectations of profits around 1.8 BN AED for Q2. On the other hand, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) reported a 12.3% drop in net profit from 1.28 BN AED in Q2-2015 to 1.13 BN AED in Q2-2016.
- Both National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) and First Gulf Bank (FGB) officially announced that they will move forward with a merger. The boards of directors for both NBAD and FGB have voted anonymously to recommend to shareholders a merger of the two Abu Dhabi-listed banks to create a bank capable of supporting the UAE's economic ambitions both locally and globally.
- National Bank of Kuwait, despite reporting a 7.2% increase in Q2 net profit, failed to meet analysts' forecasts of 79.04 MM KWD, as the bank generated a net profit of 71.68 MM KWD in Q2-2015, compared to 66.87 MM KWD in Q2-2014.
- Thomson Reuters announced that the value of mergers and acquisitions (M&As) transactions for Middle Eastern companies was 18.7 BN USD during the first half of 2016; a decline of 29% compared to the first half of 2015. As for Middle Eastern investment banking fees, they reached 416.8 MM USD during the first half of 2016, an 8% increase compared to first half of 2015.
Sports and Culture
- Riyadh Governor Prince Faisal bin Bandar inaugurated the Kingdom's first Snow City on July 13. The new snow city has been described as a huge hike in local leisure and tourism industry with a variety of family focused activities and entertainment.
- For the first time in Egypt, the Egyptian court sentenced a 19-year-old student to one year in prison and a fine of 20,000 EGP on charges of leaking high school examinations online, a case related to massive test leaks that rocked the country last month.
- The Saudi Olympic Committee has approved four female Saudi athletes, Sara Al-Attar, Lubna Al-Omair, Cariman Abu Al-Jadail and Wujud Fahmi, to compete as part of the kingdom's team at the Rio Olympics as the second group of women Olympians to represent Saudi Arabia.
- Dengue fever cases in Jeddah since the beginning of 2016 have reached 2,926 cases, due to the early seasonal beginning of heat and humidity which causes mosquitoes to venture inside homes where they can find shade.
- Saudi Ministry of Labor and Social Development announced that employers do not have the right to keep expat employees' passports unless they sign a written statement in both Arabic and their native language stating that the employers have received their passports. Penalty imposed on employers who keep passports of their employees without their consent is 2,000 SAR.