- The unemployment rate of university graduates in Egypt reached 1% in 2019, according to the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS). The agency added that 25.1% of this rate was males, while the females formed 53.2%. CAPMAS calculated its statistics based on the 18-29 years old age range in Egypt.
- The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) will offer Treasury bills and bonds worth 24 BN EGP (1.5 BN USD). The first tranche of the T-bills amounts to 5 BN EGP (596.24 MM USD) and will be offered through 182-day notes, while the second tranche is worth 11 BN EGP (690.39 MM USD) and will be offered through 357-day notes. In addition, 3.5 BN EGP (219.66 MM USD) worth of T-bonds will be offered through 10-year notes.
- Egypt Minister of Planning Hala Elsaid stated that the estimated investments in the manufacturing industry in 2020/2021 plan will worth 6 BN EGP (5 BN USD). The manufacturing sector is the key driver of economic development, given its high output and ability to generate high and accelerating growth rates. The industrial sector contributes around 17% of the gross domestic product (GDP) and employs around 15% of the total labour force.
- The Saudi energy ministry will provide support to NEOM which is 500 BN USD high-tech megacity that features tourism and sport facilities on the Red Sea. The cross-border city is situated in the northwestern Tabuk Province, near the Red Sea and the borders that Saudi Arabia shares with Egypt and Jordan.
- The value of assets held by Saudi public and private investment funds jumped by 85% on a y-o-y basis in Q2-2020, standing at 380.66 BN SAR (101.46 BN USD) compared to 323 BN SAR (86.12 BN USD) in Q2-2019. This increase is driven by 44% y-o-y growth in the assets of public investment funds in Q2-2020 registering 181.58 BN SAR (48.41 BN USD).
- The Saudization of wholesale and retail operations in nine economic activities by 70% started last Thursday, 20 August. The decision includes nationalizing activities related to the selling of coffee, tea, spices, water, beverages, vegetables, fruits, dates, flowers, plants, seeds, agricultural material, books, stationery, students’ services, gifts, handmade and antique crafts, toys, meat fridges, fresh and frozen fish, dairy products, vegetable oils, car accessories, detergents, plastics, and soaps.
- S&P Global Ratings revised Kuwait outlook to 'negative' from 'stable', saying it expects that the country's main liquidity buffer, the General Reserve Fund, will be insufficient to cover central government deficit.
- Greece plans to ratify an accord on maritime boundaries with Egypt next week, referring to a deal which has angered Turkey and highlighted overlapping claims over the east Mediterranean. Egypt and Greece sealed the accord defining maritime zones on Aug 6. It was ratified by Egypt parliament on Aug. 18, and Greek government spokesman Stelios Petsas said it was being submitted to the Greek parliament with a view to it being ratified on Aug. 26.
- Dubai flagship carrier Emirates will operate repatriation flights to Bengaluru, Kochi, Delhi, Mumbai and Thiruvananthapuram from August 20 until August 31. The special flights will facilitate travel for Indian citizens in UAE wishing to return home, and for residents of UAE currently in India to return to the UAE.
- The benchmark index of the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul), the Tadawul All Share Index (TASI) closed Thursday’s trading session in the red zone after losing 13% or 10.21 points to stand at the level of 7842.84 points. The market’s turnover decreased to 6.9 BN SAR (1.8 BN USD) by last Thursday compared to 8.65 BN SAR (2.3 BN USD) by Wednesday. The trading volume totaled 299.450 million shares from 388.12 million.
- The main index of the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) increased by 94% or 42.30 points to stand at 4,542.96 points by the end of Thursday's trading session, maintaining its positive performance on Wednesday, 19 August. Turnover amounted to 491.69 MM AED (133.86 MM USD) after 187.27 million shares had been traded through 3,448 transactions.
Note: All values are calculated by last Thursday.
- EGX-listed e-payments firm Fawry became the first Egyptian tech company to hit a market cap of 1 BN USD on Monday after its share price reached intraday highs of 22.69 EGP. Fawry’s share price has increased by more than 300% since it debuted on the EGX last year, a rise that has accelerated in recent months as the use of its payment services skyrocketed during the lockdown.
- Beltone Financial Holding will set up three new non-banking financial companies in September in a bid to return to profitability. Beltone will set up a financial leasing company targeting a first-year portfolio of 600 MM EGP (37,65 MM USD), a consumer finance company with a first-year portfolio of 400 MM EGP (25.10 MM USD), and a venture capital subsidiary.
- The New and Renewable Energy Authority (NREA) signed 4.3 BN EGP (269.89 MM USD) agreement with a consortium led by Denmark’s Vestas to construct a 250 MW wind farm in the Gulf of Suez. The consortium also includes unnamed Italian, French, and Chilean companies. The plant, which is expected to take 35 months to complete, will have an annual energy output of 840 GW once fully operational.
- Bahrain Kuwait Insurance Company gained 301 MM KWD (6.06 MM USD) in net profits in H1-2020, 11% higher compared to 2.073 MM KWD (5.45 MM USD) in H1-2019. The annual INCREASE in H1 profits is attributed to the significant improvement in underwriting profit, which is the company’s core business.
- National Industries Group Holding incurred 145 MM KWD (213 MM USD) net losses in H1-2020, against net profits of 43.205 MM KWD (141.32 MM USD) in H1-2019. The net losses are caused by a decline in sales amounting to 22.536 MM KWD (73.71 MM USD) due to the coronavirus pandemic.
- The Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco) has established an integrated corporate development organization to optimize the company's portfolio. The organization will support rapid and effective decision-making on the company’s portfolio and corporate development activities, in an effort to strengthen the oil giant’s resilience, agility, and ability to respond to changing market dynamics.
- The board of National Marine Dredging Company (NMDC) has approved to sell the company's stake in Arabtec Holding, according to the company's disclosure to the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) on Thursday. The board also welcomed the offer to merge with the National Petroleum Construction Company (NPCC).
- The net losses of Invest Bank decreased by 24% to 12 MM AED (37 MM USD) in H1-2020 compared to 179.65 MM AED (48.9 MM USD) in H1-2019. The bank's net interest income decreased to 62.54 MM AED (17 MM USD) in H1-2020 compared to 115.39 MM AED (31.4 MM USD) in H1-2019.
Sports and Culture
- Expo 2020 will welcome 23 new social innovators as part of its global innovation and partnership program, Expo Live. Australia's Talent Beyond Boundaries providing work opportunities for refugees, Malta-based BrainTrip tackling a dementia breakthrough, and the environmentally sustainable Indian packaging company Ecoware are among the innovators.
- The Amman International Film Festival-Awal Film (AIFF) is scheduled to kick off on Sunday with a focus on debut achievements in the movie industry across the world. The festival seeks to turn spotlight on the works that “manifest artistic boldness, strength of form and originality in the use of the medium of film”.