National Bank of Egypt and National Bank of Abu
Dhabi will arrange a 1.5 BN USD syndicated loan
to Egypt's state oil company in order for the
country to pay back foreign energy companies as
Egypt has delayed payments to oil and gas firms
since 25th Jan revolution. According to the pay out
of the loan will start before the end of December
2014, with each bank having a share of 500 MM
USD. So Egypt hopes the move will encourage
energy firms to boost exploration to help the
country's worst energy crisis in decades, with consumption rising as production is
dropping. Egypt plans to issue a tender to finance 2 BN USD of repayments by the
end of the year and to repay all of its 4.9 BN USD debt to foreign oil and gas
companies within six months.
Qatar's Minister of Economy and Commerce proposed the establishment of a
“Common Islamic Market” among the member countries of the Organization of
Islamic Cooperation (OIC). OIC members should cope with the situation by
creating strategic economic alliances, which requires deeper economic integration
among the member countries. Concerning the ongoing meeting of the Standing
Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation of the Organization of
Islamic Cooperation (COMCEC), the key discussions of the meeting will be;
creating an economic alliance among OIC members at a time when the world is
divided into different economic blocks, also removing of trade barriers among the
OIC member countries. Due to the efforts of OIC and COMCEC, trade among the
member countries increased from 14% in 2004 to 18.4% in 2013.
In Saudi Arabia, the Ministry of Health has called for an increase of 10% in its
annual budget to meet the needs of citizens, specifically services related to selfemployment, medicines, medical supplies and devices, as well as non-medical
operations, maintenance and cleanliness. Concerning the problem of land
availability for new medical facilities, this problem can be solved by increasing the
number of committees to oversee the purchase of land allocated for public services.
Over 125 new warehouses will be established throughout the Kingdom to serve
hospitals that do not have these kinds of structures, since they are essential for the
storage of medicines and medical supplies.
The United Arab Emirates will keep its currency peg to the U.S. dollar. The UAE
dirham, which has been fixed at a rate of 3.6725 to 1 USD since 1997, edged down
to its lowest level against the dollar in over a year in the one-year forwards market
last week as the price of oil, on which the economy depends heavily, fell to new
four-year lows. The policy of the fixed peg of the dirham against the U.S. dollar
will remain in place. Also the economic indicators of the UAE, one of the world's
top oil exporters, strongly supported the continuation of the fixed peg regime. This
exchange rate policy has contributed to maintaining economic stability and
bolstering investors' confidence over the long period it has been in effect.
Beirut ranked as the 37th most expensive city among 65 capital cities worldwide in
property consultants Cushman & Wakefield’s 2014 survey of the world’s most
expensive retail rental locations. Beirut also ranked as the third most expensive city
among eight cities surveyed in the Middle East and Africa region, and the second
most expensive out of five Arab cities included in the survey. The study evaluated
retail rental prices between September 2013 and September 2014 in 330 locations
in 65 countries around the world. The most expensive retail rental location in
Beirut is the ABC Mall in Ashrafieh, at around 2,000 USD per SQM, which is
61% higher than the Middle East and Africa average of 1,223 USD per SQM.
In Jordan, fuel prices are expected to drop by up to 5% in the domestic market.
Brent crude prices dropped in the first three weeks of November, but the largest
drop was in the last week. The drop will not be large as the prices of some readyto-use types of fuel such as diesel and liquefied petroleum gas rose globally as a
liter of diesel or kerosene is sold at 575 fils, while 90-octane gasoline, used by the
majority of motorists in the Kingdom, costs 735 fils a liter and one liter of 95-
octane is sold at 895 fils.
Egypt has paid back 2.5 BN USD that Qatar deposited with it to help support the
Egyptian central bank's hard currency reserves. The payment brings the amount
Egypt has returned to Qatar to 6 BN USD, leaving 500 MM USD outstanding, the
rest would be paid back in the second half of 2015. On the other hand Egypt had
received another 1 BN USD grant from Kuwait.