Home > Insights > Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the leading international financial hub in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, has launched the “DIFC Media Majlis”.
Tuesday, 02 May 2017

Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the leading international financial hub in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, has launched the “DIFC Media Majlis”.

Insights MENA

Economic Outlook

Economic Outlook

  • Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the leading international financial hub in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, has launched the "DIFC Media Majlis" a dedicated workspace for accredited members of the press. On the other hand, DIFC has reached an agreement with Dubai's economic department to allow DIFC member companies to obtain onshore licenses.
  • UAE first solar-powered gas station was launched by the Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC) focusing to maintain the highest standards of sustainability and clean energy. The service station is located on Sheikh Zayed road.
  • Saudi Arabia solar project is seeking to harness renewable energy and build a local manufacturing industry that can boost the kingdom's exports, and ultimately generate 7,000 employment opportunities by 2020. It is worthy to mention that Saudi Arabia was reported to require 30-50 BN USD investment to materialize its renewable energy.
  • Saudi Arabian company Petromin, a leading lubricants and automotive services company in the Kingdom, had outlined its plans to build 240 gas stations across the Kingdom. The company's expansion plan will create at least 110 jobs, 30% of which for Saudi nationals.
  • Oman gross domestic product (GDP) has declined by 5.1% in 2016 reaching 25.5 BN OMR compared to 26.8 BN OMR in 2015, according to preliminary data released by the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI). This drop was mainly reflecting the drop in crude oil prices in the international market.
  • Qatar had succeeded in achieving a per capita reduction of 18% in electricity consumption and 20% in water usage by the end of the first phase of the five-year National Program for Conservation and energy Efficiency (Tarsheed). The second phase of the program is targeting even lower usage rate.
  • Qatar had registered a trade surplus of 9.9 BN QAR (2.69 BN USD) in March 2017 which represents a year-on-year growth of nearly 71%.The surplus was created mainly by an 18.4% increase in the country's export and 9.6% decrease in the country's imports.
  • Egypt trade deficit has declined to 6.59 BN USD in Q1-2017 which represents a 46% drop compared to the same period last year. This was mainly due to the growth in the country's exports and the decline in imports after the floatation of the currency.
  • Iran exports to Europe witnessed a 300% growth and the EU is hoping for the improvement of cooperation between the two countries especially in the fields of renewable energy.
  • Jordan Ministry of Finance announced issuing 500 MM USD worth of Eurobonds on international markets with a yield rate of 5.875%.
Political Events

Political Events

  • German authorities started an investigation on the death of a 22-year-old Egyptian student Shaden Mohamed Al-Gohari who was struck by a a hit-and-run car on the 18th of April in the German city of Cottbus. Witnesses claim that the student was racially abused by the passengers of the car that struck her, leaving her fatally injured afterwards.
  • Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi visited Saudi Arabia to share regional strategic issues with King Salman aiming to strengthen the ties between the two countries.
  • President Trump's proposal for the US tax which includes a reduction in the US corporate income tax rate from its current 35% to 15%. Such reduction is in favor of prospect foreign investors and should positively impact the Gulf region investors.
  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel has met with Saudi Arabia's King Salman to discuss issues of mutual interest with the Saudi leadership as well as issues affecting the region such as the situation in Syria and Yemen.
  • The United Arab Emirates (UAE) had donated 150 MM USD to support Yemen during 2017. The aid included 172,000 tons of food supplies to address severe food shortages, polio vaccines for 488,000 children, medicine and other medical supplies.
  • The Lebanese Army had killed a Daesh (ISIS) emir and arrested nine suspect extremists in north Lebanon over the weekend. The Army had identified the nine "dangerous terrorists" as Syrian and Lebanese nationals.
Stock Market

Stock Market

  • .TASI banking sector has slightly increased led by Al Rajhi Bank and National Commercial Bank (NCB).
  • .KWSE banking sector has declined led by Ahli United Bank of Kuwait (AUB) and telecommunication sector led by Viva.
  • .ADI banking sector has increased led by Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB).
  • .DFMGI banking sector has declined led by Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB).

Note:  Weekly values are calculated on Thursday of each week.

Companies Transactions

Companies Transactions

  • General Electric (GE) had underlined its commitment to drive a global supply chain ecosystem in Saudi Arabia, supporting Saudi Vision 2030. The company's initiatives also create high-quality jobs for young qualified Saudi nationals, and promote healthy competition between the firms.
  • Rezidor Hotel Group, one of the most dynamic international hotel companies, is planning to open 17 new hotels in 2017; including 11 in Saudi Arabia and 5 in UAE. Thus, the group portfolio would be reaching 100 hotels and 20,000 operating rooms across the region.
  • HSBC Bank, Europe's biggest bank, is formally mandated as the advisor on the Initial Public Offering (IPO) of Saudi Arabia's national oil giant Aramco. The deal is expected to raise 100 BN USD and is considered as a major determinant of the government strategy to diversify away from oil.
  • Oman Air, the national carrier of Oman added to its fleet a Boeing B787-9 Dreamliner. This is in addition to the new 737-800s and 787-9 which were added to the fleet earlier this year. The carrier is continuing with its investment to provide guests with premium quality services.
  • Vodafone Group Plc, had invested 1 BN QAR (272 MM USD) in Qatar during the past 2 years to ensure a world-class network in the country.
  • UAE's Mawarid Exchange, a leading exchange company has signed Remittance Agreement with the Land Bank of the Philippines, one of the top government financial institutions in Philippines to boost the distribution of its services among a wider range of clients in the Philippines.
Sports and Culture

Sports and Culture

  • Qatar's Ministry of Transport and Communications (MoTC) has launched its IT Talent Program, which will provide fresh graduates working in government agencies with a comprehensive foundation of the most important IT competencies, which will in turn support Qatar Digital Government 2020.
  • Saudi Arabia's shoura council had rejected a proposal to establish sports education colleges for women in the Kingdom. The proposal was calling for a joint venture between the Education Ministry and the General Authority of Sports and aiming to educate Saudi women fitness and sports-related sciences to enable them to hold positions at health and fitness clubs.
  • Kuwait's KIPCO Group had trained 500 students in 14 training programs on entrepreneurship and work readiness under the umbrella of INJAZ-Kuwait. The initiative is part of a two-year partnership between the two entities to train 1000 students by June 2018.


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