Home > Insights > Riyadh’s governor, Prince Faisal bin Bandar, announced that 26% of the Riyadh metro project is complete.
Tuesday, 22 Dec 2015

Riyadh’s governor, Prince Faisal bin Bandar, announced that 26% of the Riyadh metro project is complete.

Insights MENA

Economic Outlook

Economic Outlook

  • Riyadh's governor, Prince Faisal bin Bandar, announced that 26% of the Riyadh metro project is complete. It is worth mentioning that the project will pass by 170 locations of the rail network around the city, in addition to tunnels and overland rail which extends to 13 km.
  • Following the US Federal Reserve's decision to raise its key interest rates for the first time in a decade, all GCC banks have decided to raise theirs. However, only the central bank of Oman announced that it has no intentions to change its monetary policy.
  • To help Iraq deal with its economic downturn -caused by its fights against ISIS and low oil prices- the world bank announced that it will lend it 1.2 BN USD in emergency support.
  • The deputy head of the Saudi-Egyptian Business Council announced that Saudi's 8 BN USD investments are to be invested in Egypt over the next three years mainly focusing on infrastructure projects.
  • The Gulf region's military spending has been cut from 86.7 BN USD in 2014 to 81.6 BN USD this year amid the region's trials to bridge its budget deficits caused by low oil prices.
  • Following the US Federal reserve's decision to raise its key interest rates, the UAE central bank announced its decision to raise the interest rates on the certificates of deposits by 25 basis points.
  • Egypt has signed a 1.5 BN USD loan with the African Development Bank, to be paid over three years. It is worth mentioning that the first 500 MM USD will be used to finance the economic development program and national projects.
  • Qatar's Ministry of Development Planning And Statistics announced that its 10 BN USD Barzan gas project is expected to start operation in 2016 with full output the following year.
  • Qatar's published 2016 budget has revealed a 46.5 BN QAR deficit which is considered to be the first in 15 years and an indication of the adverse effect low oil prices is having on the Gulf economies.
  • The late handover of about 6000 homes in Dubai has helped rents remain flat in 2015, though residential sales have dropped more than 10%.
  • In a trial to bridge its budget deficit caused by falling oil prices, Saudi's government has contacted local banks to sell them 20 BN SAR bonds in local currency.
  • Oman's National Center for Statistics and Information reported that its country's consumer prices dropped by 0.6% y-o-y to be considered as the fastest falling rate since January 2013.
Political Events

Political Events

  • At least 26 Qataris were kidnapped by 100 gunmen from a desert hunting camp in Iraq near the Saudi border.
  • The UN Security Council has approved an international road map for Syria's peace process, which involves negotiations between the Syrian government and the opposition to ceasefire.
  • The Lebanese Shi'ite Muslim group Hezbollah has raised suspicions regarding the Saudi-led anti -ISIS coalition doubting Saudi's competency to lead it.
Stock Market

Stock Market

    • .TASI witnessed a significant increase in banking sector led by Riyad Bank and Arab National Bank.
    • .KWSE banking sector declined led by National Bank of Kuwait (NBK), while telecommunication sector declined led by Zain.
    • .ADI witnessed a slight increase in banking sector led by Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, National Bank of Abu Dhabi and First Gulf Bank, followed by real estate sector led by Aldar and Eshraq Properties. On the other hand, telecommunication sector declined led by Etisalat.
    • .DFMGI witnessed a significant increase in most of the sectors. Real estate sector increased led by Arabtec Holding, followed by telecommunication sector led by du and finally banking sector led by Dubai Islamic Bank and Emirates NBD.
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    Investments & Financial Services
    Companies Transactions

    Companies Transactions

    • Abraaj plans to acquire the majority stake in Al Raya for foodstuff Co. after its exclusive talks with the two private equity firms currently owning the Saudi supermarket chain.
    • Amid STC's request to take over its Kuwaiti affiliate Viva, it announced that it will offer 1 dinar/share to buy out all other shareholders in Viva.
    • To help ease the squeeze in liquidity caused by oil prices, Burgan Bank -Kuwait's third largest lender by assets- is expected to sign a 350 MM USD loan by the end of this week.
    • Rabigh Electricity Company, partially owned by state-run Saudi Electricity Co., is seeking a 2 BN USD loan to replace the capital the consortium invested to build the Rabigh 1 power plant, for which funding was originally put in place in 2009.
    • Iraq's Zain request, to lift the freeze on the 187 MM USD that it holds cash in bank accounts, was rejected by the Iraqi court.
    • United Arab Emirates-based Etisalat is keen to take a 2 BN USD loan by the first quarter of 2016, as it is seeking fund amid the shift in gulf loan markets.
    • Saudi Aramco, the Kingdom's State oil giant, is willing to refinance capital used to build a refinery in collaboration with China's Sinopec through a 4.7 BN USD loan.


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