- Tarek Amer, the governor of the CBE, stated that a 20-30% stake in Banque du Caire, the second largest publicly owned lender by assets, would be offered on the Egyptian Exchange (EGX) by the end of 2019.
- Egypt petroleum sector is set to attract 10 BN USD of investment in 2020/2021, adding to the 30 BN USD that has been invested over the past three years. Egypt natural gas sector has now transformed from a weak production sector towards becoming a natural gas exporter.
- Egypt unemployment rate reached 8.1% in Q1-2019 compared to 10.6% in Q1-2018. The number of unemployed reached 2.267 million out of a total workforce of 27.968 million.
- The International Monetary Fund (IMF) indicated an improvement in the transparency of Saudi Arabia spending and public finance noting that Saudi Arabia non-oil sector growth will accelerate to 2.9% in 2019.
- In Saudi Arabia, the fee for permanent special privilege iqama will be 800,000 SAR (213,333 USD) for one time while the one-year temporary iqama will cost 100,000 SAR (26,666 USD).
- The Ministry of Commerce and Investment has stopped issuing permits for installment sale in Saudi Arabia. The ministry has also asked the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) to closely monitor any violations for a period of three months.
- Jebel Ali Free Zone, Jafza, the GCC's largest special economic zone, will become the first free zone in the country to return cash and bank guarantees to its clients through its new workforce protection program initiative that is set to roll out in September 2019.
- Fitch Ratings has assigned United Arab Bank P.J.S.C. (UAB) a Long-Term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) of 'BBB+' and a Viability Rating (VR) of 'b+'. The Outlook on the Long-Term IDR is Stable.
- The number of business licenses issued in UAE amounted to 560,158 since the start of 2019, an increase of 3.7%, or 19,800 licenses, compared to 2018. Moreover, the average annual house price in Dubai decreased by 13.2% in April, with some communities registering even higher price declines.
- Qatari banks face growing pressure from high exposure to the country's slow real estate market, hit by oversupply tied to preparations for its 2022 World Cup.
- Saudi Arabia King Salman has called for the convening of two summits of Gulf and Arab states to be held on May 30 in Makkah. The meeting will be held in conjunction with the upcoming Islamic Summit.
- Egypt President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has released 560 prisoners, the majority of whom were accused of supporting Muslim Brotherhood.
- .QSI banking sector declined led by Qatar First Bank (QFB).
- .ADI telecommunication sector declined led by Etisalat. Moreover, the real estate sector declined led by Manazel real estate company and the banking sector led by First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB).
- .DFMGI real estate sector declined led by Emaar Properties and Emaar Development.
- The National Bank of Kuwait in Egypt reported 510 MM EGP (8.9 MM KWD) net profits in Q1-2019 up 2.6% y-o-y, compared to 497 MM EGP (8.5 MM KWD) in Q1-2018.
- Global real estate advisor, Savills, announced the signing of a prominent joint venture with Egyptian company Sphere, to cover the full range of real estate services in Egypt. As a result of this partnership, Savills has established a new team in Egypt which will grow from three to around 30 people in the next few months.
- ArabClicks, a performance-based marketing platform that helps e-commerce companies connect and grow in MENA markets, has expanded its services to Egypt, which is home to the highest number of internet users in the Arab World.
- Saudi Aramco will supply state-run Indian Oil Corp Ltd (IOC) an extra 2 million barrels of crude from July to December 2019. This move is in order to compensate the lost Iranian oil after the U.S. sanctions being held.
- Al Rajhi Capital has set the target prices of six Saudi cement companies including Southern Province Cement Company (SPCC), Arabian Cement, Yamama Cement, Saudi Cement Co, Yanbu Cement Company, and Qassim Cement Co. The TPs of SPCC, Arabian, and Yamama, were set at 37 SAR, 27 SAR, and 17 SAR, respectively. Meanwhile, the TPs of Saudi, Yanbu, and Qassim were set at 55 SAR, 27 SAR, and 41 SAR, respectively.
- Union Properties, the leading property developer in UAE and master developer of MotorCity, has reappointed Al Ramz Capital as its liquidity provider following approval from Dubai Financial Market (DFM).
- Abu Dhabi National Insurance Company (ADNIC), one of the leading regional multi-line insurance providers for corporates and individuals, has partnered with FAB to provide customers with a new easy payment option.
- Etihad Energy Services Company, Etihad ESCO, has announced the signing of an agreement with Sharaf Electronics for the implementation of the lighting retrofit project at three terminals of Dubai Airport.
- Qatargas, the World's Premier LNG Company, announced a historic milestone when the 'Al Safliya" became the first Q-Flex type LNG vessel, and largest LNG vessel by cargo capacity, to transit the Panama Canal.
- Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB) and Qatar Red Crescent Society (QRCS) signed a cooperation agreement to strengthen ties between the two organizations by fostering a closer cooperation through a mutual support in the execution of social and humanitarian projects.
Sports and Culture
- Qatar inaugurated the first of seven new World Cup 2022 stadiums last Thursday, just weeks before a crucial FIFA summit will decide whether to expand the tournament and potentially make it beyond Qatar borders.
- Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly and Minister of Youth and Sports Ashraf Sobhi inspected the preparations and development of the Cairo Stadium hosting the African Cup of Nations, set to be held in Egypt on June 21.