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Monday, 15 Jun 2020

Sheikh Mohammed announces bonus for staff in vital sectors

Insights MENA

Economic Outlook

Economic Outlook

  • His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai announced that UAE government has approved a new system and standards to issue bonuses to workers in emergency sectors. He added that the Cabinet has decided to establish a company for digital payments, adding that the new entity will be a national company to provide digital payment services to different government sectors across the country.
  • According to Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai is positioned as the global capital of Islamic economy, noting that the sector’s objectives would contribute to revitalizing the regional and international economy in the post-COVID-19 phase. Islamic economy sectors contributed 8 BN AED (11.38 BN USD) to Dubai GDP in 2018, registering a growth of 2.2% compared to 2017.
  • The non-oil bilateral trade between UAE and India increased 3% to 151.6 BN AED (41.4 BN USD) in 2019, firmly positioning the third Asian economy as the second largest trading partner of UAE, which recorded an overall 4,4% increase in its global non-oil trade to 1.603 TR AED (436.4 BN USD) in 2019.
  • Banque Misr (BM) and the Communications and Information Technology Ministry’s (ITIDA) have signed a protocol that will see the state-owned bank issue loans with a subsidized 5% interest rate to tech companies under the Central Bank of Egypt’s SMEs lending initiative. The bank will prioritize startups and smaller companies.
  • Egypt Ministry of Trade and Industry is considering raising tariffs on imports of steel and iron billets. The ministry postponed in April cutting import tariffs imposed on steel rebar and iron billets for a six-month period. The ministry had imposed a 25% duty on steel rebar and a 16% duty on iron billets, which were to be gradually reduced over three years, but the first round of the plan was called off earlier this month to keep larger factories afloat amid the pandemic.
  • Egypt could begin allowing international flights to and from three tourist governorates, Red Sea, South Sinai, and Matrouh, as of 1 July, depending on which governorates have the lowest numbers of covid-19 cases. The resumption is not a certainty and will only be confirmed at the end of June.
  • Egypt annual urban inflation in May 2020 slowed to its lowest level since November 2019, decreasing to 7% compared to 5.9% in April 2020. Food prices decreased 0.7% on an annual basis in May 2020 compared to 4.4% spike in April 2020 and 0.4% on a monthly basis.
  • In Saudi Arabia, the labor housing committees have reduced the overcrowding of 50,000 workers and shifted them to 2,000 new buildings. The committees are also following up with the private sector to provide isolation rooms within the housing compounds so as to reduce the chances of transmission of coronavirus infection among workers.
  • Qatar has directed ministries and all other government and public entities to reduce costs for non-Qatari employees by 30% as of June 1, either via pay cuts or lay-offs. The document also outlined other cuts affecting Qatari employees.
  • Inflation rate in Kuwait increased in April 2020 by 85% y-o-y. On a monthly basis, the inflation rate decreased by 0.09%, as the prices of food and beverages solely retreated by 1.63%, while eight price groups went up and another four remained unchanged in April.
Political Events

Political Events

  • China reported 57 new cases of the coronavirus on Sunday 14th of June, the highest daily figure since April 2020, as concerns grew about a resurgence of the disease. The domestic outbreak in China had been brought largely under control through strict lockdowns that were imposed early 2020 but a new outbreak has been linked to a meat and vegetable market in south Beijing.
  • Tripartite talks between Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) are failing to make headway as Egypt and Sudan rejected Ethiopia’s new proposal on filling and operating the dam.
Stock Market

Stock Market

  • Pioneers Holding’s non-cash mandatory tender offers to increase its share to 90% in five of its EGX-listed subsidiaries wrapped up during Thursday’s trading session, which include two real estate developers, two contracting arms, and one electric cables manufacturer.
  • The main index of the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) decreased by 84% or 36.39 points to settle at 4,294.88 points by the end of Thursday's trading session. The market cap value recorded 485.01 BN AED (132.04 BN USD) which decreased 1.77 BN AED (481.89 MM USD) compared to 486.78 BN AED (132.5 BN USD) during the previous session.

Note: All values are calculated by last Thursday.

Companies Transactions

Companies Transactions

  • Saudi Arabia oil giant Aramco bought 1 billion shares, or 70%, of Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) for 259 BN SAR (69.1 BN USD) in four special transactions. The transaction was priced at 123.39 SAR (32.86 USD) per SABIC share.
  • Beltone Financial reported a net loss of 4 MM EGP (518,374 USD) in Q1-2020 compared to 23.2 MM EGP (1.4 MM USD) loss in Q1-2019. Prime Holding also made a loss in Q1-2020 reaching 17.4 MM EGP (1 MM USD) compared to 2.4 MM EGP (148,107 USD) profit in Q1-2019. However, Al Tawfeek Leasing’s profit increased 1.6% to 19.1 MM EGP (1.17 MM USD) in Q1-2020 compared to 18.8 MM EGP (1.16 MM USD) in Q1-2019.
  • TPay Mobile, a leading digital merchant acquirer that enables payments from more than 54 mobile payment types and wallets, has acquired Turkey’s Payguru, one of the MENA region’s leading payment service providers. The acquisition is pending regulatory approvals; the statement did not provide a value for the transaction.
  • Smart Paper Co invests 1 BN EGP (61.8 MM USD) in food processing complex in Beheira, which will mark the paper manufacturing company’s foray into the food industry. The complex will include seven factories to produce pasta, egg cartons, juice, and vegetable oil, among other goods. The first phase is scheduled to complete in 2020, and the second phase will be complete by the end of 2024.
  • The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will launch an application to connect and showcase products from businesswomen in the MENA region in mid-July. The application is meant to support women business owners to grow their businesses and network.
  • Telecom Egypt (TE) reported 19% y-o-y decrease in Q1-2020 net profits to 3 BN EGP (80.2 MM USD) on the back of declining investment income. TE’s consolidated revenues increased 15% y-o-y to 7 BN EGP (431.9 MM USD) as a result of higher retail data revenues.
  • The Commercial Bank of Dubai (CBD) has allowed foreign investors to invest in around 40% of its capital as of Sunday, 14 June aiming to enhance the market's liquidity, broaden the investment base, and increase foreign capital inflows in UAE.
  • DP World has acquired 51% stake in the TIS Container Terminal in Ukraine's Yuzhny Port. The acquisition is the second partnership between DP World and the shareholders of TIS, as the world leader in global supply chain solutions previously partnered with the P&O Maritime Ukraine.
  • Arzan Financial Group for Financing and Investment revealed that one of its subsidiaries has formed a new company at a total value of 08 MM KWD (26.25 MM USD). Arzan Capital Limited, a 78.02%-owned subsidiary of Arzan Financial Group, has established Hill Top US 9 IC to purchase an office complex in California.
Sports and Culture

Sports and Culture

  • NASA has tapped Nile University’s NilePreneurs to participate in its project to construct alternative covid-19 ventilators, Ventilator Intervention Technology Accessible Locally (Vital), along with some 331 selected participants globally to manufacture the medical device to help scale its application and use in the fight against covid-19.
  • The UAE Football Association (UAEFA) announced that UAE football team will resume their 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign against Malaysia. And the UAEFA had revealed that matches will be played on October 8 and 13 with the next leg on November 12 and 17.


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