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Monday, 02 Dec 2019

Starting from 1st December, UAE residents will have to pay more for sugary drinks and electronic smoking devices.

Insights MENA

Economic Outlook

Economic Outlook

  • Starting from 1st December, UAE residents will have to pay more for sugary drinks and electronic smoking devices. Under the new law, sugary drinks will be hit with a 50% tax, while the cost of vaping devices and fluid will be doubled. Authorities added that this will prevent chronic diseases linked to sugar and tobacco, and to enable consumers to make healthier choices.
  • Egypt parliament approved Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) governor Tarek Amer for a second and final four-year term on Thursday. Noting that the Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly is expected to finalize the list of changes by this week and ship it to parliament for approval.
  • Egypt Ministry of Finance issued on last Thursday a decision that allows non-residents to pay taxes on yields from Egyptian treasury bonds and bills at the rate stipulated by a dual taxation agreement with their country of residence.
  • Egypt oil exports reached 2.42 BN USD in Q1-2019/2020, compared to 2.87 BN USD in Q1-2018/2019. Despite a 2.1% increase in the volume of oil exports, the decrease in global oil prices dragged down the value of exports during the July-September period.
  • The Ministry of Housing, Utilities, and Urban Communities stated that its plan for urban development is considered as one of the most important steps to support the Egyptian economy, with evidence of pumping nearly 4 TR EGP (248.2 BN USD) in infrastructure.
  • The Ministry of Labor and Social Development has signed an MoU involving five parties to raise Saudization rates and stimulate the private industrial sector to create around 35,982 jobs in the industrial sector by 2021.
  • Saudi Arabia is seeking to attract building technology suppliers at the Big 5 exhibition. It also aims to stimulate the use of Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) to build 340,000 housing units by 2023.
  • Qatar is aiming to lift production of liquefied natural gas (LNG) by 64% to 126 million tons per year by 2027. The expansion of Qatar's LNG facilities is the world's largest and one of the energy sector's most lucrative projects.
Political Events

Political Events

  • French naval base in Abu Dhabi will serve as the headquarters for a European-led mission to protect Gulf waters that will be operational soon. France is the main supporter to build a European-led maritime force to ensure safe shipping in the Canal of Hormuz.
  • Singaporean companies seek to improve investment and trade relations with Egypt. Current Singaporean investments in Egypt stand at 500 MM USD, while the trade exchange recorded 1 BN USD in 2018, noting that the main sectors of Singaporean investments in Egypt are food processing, shipping, and logistics as well as oil and gas.
Stock Market

Stock Market

  • Public Enterprise Minister Hesham Tawfik stated that 22-25% of shares in Heliopolis Company for Housing and Development (HHD) will be offered on the Egyptian Stock Exchange (EGX) in Q1-2020. Earlier in 2019, the government released a list of 23 state-owned companies that will make minority share offerings on EGX, coming as part of a plan to raise 80 BN EGP (4.6 BN USD) through minority share offerings on the Cairo bourse.
  • Saudi Aramco has received bids for its shares totaling 44.3 BN USD so far, putting its initial public offering on track to be over-subscribed. The oil giant plans to sell 1.5% of the company's shares for as much as 25.6 BN USD, a deal which would give it a market value of 1.7 TR USD.


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