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Monday, 02 Nov 2015

Due to the reforms made to the business environment, The Sultanate of Oman has been ranked 70.

Insights MENA

Economic Outlook

Economic Outlook

  • Due to the reforms made to the business environment, The Sultanate of Oman has been ranked 70
    th in the Doing Business 2016 report conducted by the World Bank, advancing seven ranks compared to last year's reports.
  • Egypt's budget deficit declined by 11.5% of GDP in 2014/2015 compared to 12.2% last year. On the other hand, Egypt's exports to United States increased by 2.1% in 7 months from January to July 2015, while Egypt's exports are expected to increase by 9-10% annually until 2020.
  • Jordan achieved net profits before tax of 27 MM JOD in the first 9 months of 2015 with an increase of 21.4 MM JOD compared to last year.
  • Qatar's trade surplus has fallen to 12.1 BN QR in September 2015 mainly due to significantly lower exports of crude and non-crude as well as natural gas.
  • Job opportunities in Saudi tourism sector is expected to reach 1.7 MM by 2020 as number of vacancies in the tourism accommodation sector in 2015 will reach 113,048 and this number is expected to increase to 129,536 jobs by 2017.
  • The unemployment rate in Jordan reached 13.8% in Q3 2015. The jobless rate reached 11.1% among men while 25.1% among women. On the other hand, unemployment rate among university graduates reached 21.2%.
  • China is Dubai's largest trade partner, as the trade volume between them reached 90 BN AED, while India was Dubai's second largest trade partner with trade volume of 50 BN AED. On the other hand,the total value of Dubai's non-oil foreign trade during H1 2015 reached 652 BN AED with imports of 402 BN AED, exports of 65 BN AED and re-exports of 185 BN AED.
  • Kuwait real estate sector total sales declined by 29% due to the drop in the count of total deals concluded in the market to 1,180 only compared to 1,660 deals during Q2 2015.
  • The Ministry of Water and Electricity in Saudi Arabia will increase tariffs by 50% on water and sanitation services.
  • The decline in oil prices is expected to affect remittances from GCC countries as they are projected to slow accordingly to 3.25% this year and 2.75% next year.
Political Events

Political Events

  • An official of a Moscow-based aviation agency revealed that the Russian aircraft, which crashed in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula while carrying 224 passengers, broke up in mid-air. However, he confirmed that it is too early to draw conclusions from this.
  • After the Russian aircraft crash over Sinai, airlines from United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait announced they would re-route flights as a security precaution until there was more clarity. However, Abu Dhabi's Etihad Airways said it would continue to fly over Sinai but will avoid certain areas on the advice of Egyptian authorities.
  • Lebanese customs officials discovered 230 kg of Captagon amphetamine pills hidden inside tables prepared for export to Qatar from Beirut international airport; the drugs bust comes days after Lebanese authorities' detained five Saudi citizens at the airport after finding two tons of the same drug abroad a private jet bound for the Gulf kingdom.
Stock Market

Stock Market

  • .KWSE witnessed a slight increase in real estate sector led by Al Dar National Real Estate.
  • .QSI telecommunication sector decline was led by Vodafone Qatar.
  • .ADI declined in banking sector led by First Gulf Bank and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, followed by real estate sector led by Eshraq Properties Company and Aldar Properties. On the other hand, telecommunication sector increased slightly led by Etisalat.
  • .DFMGI investment and financial services sector was the biggest loser led by DFM company, followed by real estate sector led by Arabtec Holding, then banking sector led by Dubai Islamic Bank and Emirates NBD.
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Companies Transactions

Companies Transactions

  • In a move to expand its business operations in the region, Coldwell Banker opened its fourth office in the UAE at Jumeirah Village Circle (JVC), Dubai. They aim to double their sales force and open more retail offices in the future.
  • The current investments of Arabian Cement, an Egyptian-based cement company, reached around 600 MM USDin Egypt. The company's investments encompass its cement factory in addition to its affiliates Andalus Ready Mix Concrete and Andalus Reliance Mining with production capacity amounting to 4.2 MM tons of clinker and 5 MM tons of cement.
  • BLOM Bank, one of the leading Lebanese banks, reported an increase of 7.59% in net profits in the first nine months of 2015 compared to the same period last year.
  • The mobile operator Ooredoo Kuwait reported a 69% rise in Q3 2015 profit that ended a lengthy earnings fall. While the subsidiary of Qatar's Ooredoo, that competes domestically with Zain and Saudi Telecom affiliate Viva, had reported falling profits in 12 of the previous 15 quarters.
  • Qatar Airways plans to expand its cargo network by building a second cargo terminal in Dohawith more than the double of its current operations. Moreover, it will construct a second cargo terminal opening in 2018; however, it has no plans to increase its cargo fleet.
  • Two funds owned by NCB Capital bought over 50% of Saudi Research and Marketing Group (SRMG), publisher of pan-Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat and one of the Middle East's largest media companies.


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