- Egypt has become the largest exporter of oranges by volume in the world, buoyed by an attractive price-to-quality equation outpacing its “rivals” Spain and South Africa compared to the last year in terms of volume although not in terms of revenue. The jump in exports comes as more agricultural investors are growing the fruit on large plots of reclaimed desert land to accommodate bigger farms with the technology needed.
- Japan is supporting Egypt health sector with 9.5 MM USD (149.23 MM EGP) that is equivalent to 1 BN JPY. The new financial aid increased the mutual cooperation portfolio to 54.5 MM USD (856.10 MM EGP) in value in the fields of health and education
- Egypt National Telecom Regulatory Authority (NTRA) reported an increase in the number of user complaints in Q3-2020, with 51,300 complaints made compared to 40,000 in Q2-2020. ADSL services accounted for the largest percentage of user complaints, with a share of 47% or 24,700 complaints, followed by mobile phone service complaints with 15,700 or 31% of the total.
- Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, has launched 500 MM AED (136.15 MM USD) economic stimulus package to support various business sectors across the economy, bringing the total value of stimulus packages introduced by the emirate to 8 BN AED (1.68 BN USD) in 2020.
- S&P Global Ratings on Sunday downgraded Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah’s ratings due to an increase in government debt burden and a contraction in economy but projected a slower recovery between 2% and 5% during the 2021-2023 period.
- Saudi Arabia Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI) for September was up for the first time since February, indicating the beginning of a ‘gradual recovery’ in the economy. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) revised the country’s GDP contraction for 2020 from 8% to 5.4%.
- Saudi Arabia achieved a trade surplus of 39 BN SAR (4.9 BN USD) and a trade exchange worth 96.36 BN SAR (25.69 BN USD) in August 2020. The country’s merchandise exports decreased by 25.1% y-o-y in August 2020 registering 57.37 BN SAR (15.29 BN USD) compared to 76.64 BN SAR (20.43 BN USD) in August 2019.
- Saudi Arabia Minister of Justice Sheikh Walid Al-Samaani has issued directives to appoint 100 legally qualified women in the position of notary public. These notaries will formally start their work from next Sunday, Nov. 1, with joining a three-month specialized training program.
- Polls opened in Egypt on Saturday for parliamentary elections that will stretch over several weeks. A first round of voting ended on Sunday, with a second round on 7-8. Run-offs will take place in late November and early December.
- The Egyptian Exchange (EGX) continued its downward trend, pressured by the decrease in Egypt Commercial International Bank (CIB) stock. The main EGX30 index retreated by 5% to close at 10,602 points as CIB plunged by 6.9% to 61.83 EGP after seeing a turnover of 215.88 MM EGP (13.75 MM USD). The EGX decided to resume trading on CIB’s shares after being halted on Thursday upon a request from the Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA).
- UAE stock exchanges closed Sunday’s trading session on a varied note. The Dubai Financial Market’s (DFM) benchmark index dropped by 09 points or 0.37% to close at 2,177.46 points. A total of 91.37 million shares were traded at a turnover of 85.25 MM AED (23.21 MM USD) through around 1,750 transactions.
Note: All values are calculated by last Thursday.
- Tabby, the first ‘Buy Now Pay Later’ provider to operate in both Saudi Arabia and UAE, announced that it has been permitted to operate in SAMA’s Regulatory Sandbox Aligning with retailers’ and their customers’ needs, tabby provides shoppers with the flexibility to pay for their purchases in a single deferred payment, or in multiple interest-free installments using of any debit or credit card.
- The United Arab Emirates has taken a decision to merge the Insurance Authority with the Central Bank of Dubai. The decision also transfers all operational and executive powers of the Securities and Commodities Authority to the local stock markets, while the SCA maintains regulation and oversight of the local financial markets.
- Al Mal Capital announced that it has received the Securities and Commodities Authority of the UAE (SCA) approval to float its newly founded entity, Al Mal Capital REIT, a closed-ended real estate investment trust. Al Mal Capital REIT intends to list its units on the Dubai Financial Market (DFM) in January 2021.
- UAE energy firm Dana Gas has entered into a binding agreement with IPR Wastani Petroleum, a member of the IPR Energy Group for the sale of its onshore Egyptian producing oil and gas assets for up to 236 MM USD including contingent payments. IPR is a leading private E&P operator in Egypt, with 9 active concessions, and over three decades of expertise in enhancing the recovery of mature producing oil and gas fields.
- According to Egypt's first international telecom operator and one of the largest subsea cables operators in the region, Telecom Egypt is expected to be commissioned in early 2021 with access to all the global submarine cable systems that land in Egypt. The construction of the new facility has not been affected amidst COVID-19 pandemic and its setbacks on the economy.
- Consumer electronics giant LG is planning on exporting over 70% of its Egypt-made washing machines and TVs over the coming years. LG has invested 50 MM USD in its Egyptian production lines and plans to increase investments to manufacture OLED TVs.
- National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) posted a net profit of 168.7 MM KWD (550.9 MM USD) for the first nine months of 2020 compared to 302.2 MM KWD (986.8 MM USD) for the same period last year; dropping by 2% y-o-y.
Sports and Culture
- The Dubai Fitness Challenge (DFC) is bringing the biggest citywide fun run to residents and visitors with Dubai Run. On November 27, the entire city will become a personalized running track for all ages, abilities and fitness levels, giving everyone exciting new reasons to join the flagship fitness movement launched by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
- EXCHANGE, the first Islamic compliant crypto ecosystem in the world is set to strengthen its visionary leadership position by launching Koora Coin the world-first digital currency for football. SUSTAIN.EXCHANGE announced the issuance of 500 million Koora Coins allowing football fans and specialists to access, engage, and invest in the world’s football players and their football clubs via blockchain.