- International Monetary Fund (IMF) delegation is visiting Cairo to review Egypt's progress on economic reforms before paying out the second installment of the 12 BN USD loan program. It is worthy to mention that IMF released 2.75 BN USD as a first disbursement in November 2016.
- Egyptian Remittances have increased by 13.8% at the end of March 2017 reaching 1.6 BN USD compared to 1.5 BN USD in the same period last year. Moreover, on a term of the first five months of 2017, remittances have increased to 8 BN USD compared to 7 BN USD in the same period last year.
- Egypt trade exchange with Germany increased by 10% reaching 5.6 BN EUR (6.1 BN USD) in 2016. It is worthy to mention that Germany is Egypt's 20th biggest investor with investments reaching 619.2 MM USD till January 2017.
- The Egyptian government has decided to impose fees on Jordanian refrigerated trucks entering the country. The truck owners will pay 300 USD (213 JOD) per truck for each trip or 1000 USD (710 JOD) for all trips starting 30th of May 2017 till end of the year. Such agreements between both countries are renewed annually.
- Oman and Tunisia have signed a number of memorandum of understanding (MoU) in education and SMEs development.
- Oman College of Tourism has signed several partnership agreements with 15 leading companies in the Sultanate's hospitality and tourism sector as part of their long-term goals to integrate industry expertise with its academic and training programs.
- Qatar National Bank (QNB) is planning to apply for an investment banking license in Saudi Arabia as the low oil prices are expected to encourage more asset sales and debt raising.
- Qatar Central Bank has sold 1.55 BN QAR (426 MM USD) of treasury bills (T-bills) on a monthly auction, with the yield curve steepening from last month.
- Qatar has achieved 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 total exports have reached 19.7 BN QAR in March 2017 showing an increase of 18.4% compared to March 2016.
- Saudi Arabia has a waiting list for 1.5 million housing units over the next five years, during which it plans to deliver 1 million units.
- The UAE Central Bank have affirmed improved operating efficiency, with public sector deposits up by 23.8 BN AED at the end of Q1-2017, while the private sector deposits stood at 17.6 BN AED over the same period, totaling 41.4 BN AED for the two sectors total deposits.
- The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) in partnership with Ibdar Bank, and Labour Fund "Tamkeen" have announced the launch of the Bahrain SME fund which is a Shariah compliant mezzanine private equity fund that will invest in Bahrain's Small and Medium enterprises (SMEs) of high growth potential.
- The Canadian government will contribute 45 MM USD to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) for education and youth projects in Lebanon.
- Centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron wins the French presidential election by 66% defeating Marine Le Pen. It is worthy to mention that Macron is the youngest president aging 39 years old.
- Egyptian Parliament has agreed in principle on the new investment law that aims to provide unprecedented guarantees and multiple incentives for investors.
- Washington is working to push through contracts for tens of billions of dollars in arms sales to Saudi Arabia ahead of U.S. President Donald Trump's trip to the kingdom this month. Both countries are keen on improving back the relations after being strained during Obama's presidency.
- Russia, Turkey and Iran signed an MoU entailing creating safe zones in Syria. The three countries act as guarantors of the Astana peace process.
- .EGX30 construction and materials sector increased led by Orascom Construction.
- .KWSE banking sector has declined led by Ahli United Bank of Kuwait (AUB) and National Bank of Kuwait (NBK). In addition, financial services sector declined led by Kuwait Projects Holding (KIPCO).
- .QSI banking sector has declined led by Ooredoo and Vodafone Qatar. In addition, industrial sector declined led by Gulf International Services and Industries Qatar.
Note: Weekly values are calculated on Thursday of each week.
- Lebanon Blom Bank has reported a 3.5% year-on-year increase in Q1-2017 net profit reaching 112.03 MM USD compared to 108.23 MM USD the same period last year.
- Kuwait Zain Group and Saudi Telcom Co. (STC) have applied to become the 3rd mobile operator in Oman. The shortlist of qualified applications will be announced on 14th of August 2017 and the winning bid will be announced on 4th of September 2017.
- Jordan Arab Bank Group net profit for Q1-2017 has slightly dropped to 218.2 MM USD compared to 218.3 MM USD the year before. Total loans have increased by 3% reaching 24.4 BN USD by the end of March 2017.
- The Chinese firm Ningxia Zhongke Jiaye New Energy and Technology Management Co. has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Oman Investment Fund to build a large solar panel project in Duqm free zone worth 94 MM USD. The plant capacity is to manufacture panels for power plants to generate 1,000 megawatt (MW) energy per annum.
- Tadawul has signed an MoU with the Middle East Investor Relations Association (MEIRA) to support developing best practices in Investor Relations (IR) and enhance transparency across the Kingdom.
- Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has signed an (MoU) with the Emirates Green Building Council (Emirates GBC) to enhance mutual cooperation on the distinguished competition Solar Decathlon Middle East (SDME) taking place in Dubai in 2018 and 2020, and to strengthen cooperation on sustainable development and green economy in UAE.
Sports and Culture
- Saudi Arabia and Japan are working to enhance cooperation in the fields of culture and sports within the framework of Vision 2030. Moreover, the two countries are planning to set up a world-class orchestra in Saudi Arabia.
- Shopping centers in Dubai will be hosting a three-day "Super Sale" from 18-20 May 2017. The discounts will apply to a wide range of brands with discounts ranging between 30% and 90%.