- The Egyptian Minister of Transport Kamel El Wazir inaugurated yesterday the Heliopolis metro station. The station is part of the fourth phase of Cairo Metro Line 3 witnessing more opening stations in December. Also, El Wazir is negotiating with 11 local contracting companies to implement a series of projects in the railway sector.
- Egypt foreign debt increased to 108.7 BN USD at the end of Q4-2018/2019, up 17.3% y-o-y compared to 92.6 BN USD at the end of June 2018. External debt increased 2.3% on a quarterly basis compared to 106.2 BN USD in 31 March.
- The Egyptian government is considering revising the sale price of natural gas and electricity to factories every six months.
- The European Investment Bank (EIB) has signed a 500 MM EUR financing agreement with Banque Misr to support SMEs and midcaps across Egypt.
- Egypt signed a "terms and conditions" agreement with Euroclear on the sidelines of the IMF and World Bank annual meetings in Washington. The agreement paves the way for local debt issuances to be cleared with the Belgium-based clearinghouse after Egypt has set up a central securities depository.
- Overall salaries of UAE employees are projected to increase by 4.5% across industries in 2020. The Total Remuneration Survey, based on research of more than 500 firms in the UAE, found the overall hiring outlook in the country to be positive.
- The GCC industrial gases market is likely to account for 1 BN USD by end of 2019. UAE and Qatar are expected to hold prominent market shares in terms of both volume and value after Saudi Arabia owing to various infrastructural developments and growing chemical industry in the two countries.
- Saudi Arabia consumer prices decreased in September from a year earlier for the ninth month in a row, but the consumer price index (CPI) increased slightly on a monthly basis. The CPI index fell 0.7% in September on an annual basis and rose 0.2% when compared to August.
- The International Monetary Fund (IMF) expects Saudi Arabia economy to grow 0.2% in 2019, down from an earlier estimate of 1.9%, due largely to oil output cuts.
- Kuwait consumer price index (CPI) increased by 1.68% y-o-y in September 2019. The country's inflation rate stood at 115 points in September 2019, compared to 113.1 points in September 2018.
- The financial statements of Kuwait Hotels indicated an 87% y-o-y decrease in losses in Q3-2019. The losses of the period fell to about 31,900 KWD (105,420 USD) in Q3-2019 compared to 245,900 KWD (812,640 USD) in Q3-2018.
- The largest protests in Lebanon in 14 years took place for a 5th day, as a revolt against a weak government and increasing economic collapse. Demonstrators revolt against officials preventing badly needed reforms that would cut into the pockets of the ruling class and are instead trying to recoup state revenues by taxing the poor.
- Qatar government adopted a new minimum wage law and will scrap mandatory exit visas for all workers, part of a broad labor reform program ahead of its hosting of the 2022 World Cup. The Gulf state, which relies on about 2 million migrant workers for the bulk of its labor force, is also planning to ease curbs on changing employers.
- The Egyptian Stock Exchange (EGX) and the Supply Ministry will establish a company to manage the Egyptian Commodity Exchange in November after it completed the feasibility study for the exchange. The company running the commodities exchange will be a Joint Venture (JV) between the two state entities, with the EGX holding the majority of the equity.
- Analog Devices (ADI) stock price is trading at a gap of -1.40% away from the 20-Day SMA and figured out a distance of -1.49% from the its 50-Day SMA. SMA 50 is an average stock price from the last 50 days calculated as an unweighted mean of the previous 50 stock closing prices.
- Qalaa Holdings is planning to move ahead with the IPO of several of its subsidiaries next year, with IPO of TAQA Arabia scheduled to take place in Q2-2020 and the Arab Refining Company (ARC) in Q4-2020. Noting that Qalaa has tapped EFG Hermes and HSBC to manage the TAQA Arabia IPO.
- Naguib Sawiris' Ora Developers is in "advanced talks" to acquire a 51% stake in the Qatari Diar-owned company developing the CityGate project in New Cairo for 800 MM USD. Noting that Ora tapped multinational law firm Baker McKenzie, which operates in Egypt as Helmy Hamza & Partners, to act as a legal advisor on the transaction.
- Mastercard plans to invest 2 BN EGP in Egypt over the next five to six years, including 500 MM EGP in 2020. Mastercard has been looking to work with the CIT Ministry to develop advanced digital payments infrastructure in the new administrative capital.
- The Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) has set up a 500 MM USD fund to support youth-led startups through the Investment Ministry's Egyptian Entrepreneurship Investment Company (Egypt Ventures) and ministry-supported startup accelerator Falak.
- Private equity fund Ezdehar Management has acquired 30% of transport company Family Corporation for an undisclosed sum. The transaction reportedly saw Ezdehar subscribe to a capital increase, but also included a share sale.
- Provis, the Abu Dhabi-based company established to deliver leading solutions in Estate Management, has announced its partnership with micro-mobility company Circ to provide e-scooters for residents across several communities within Abu Dhabi.
- Falcon Eye Drones, UAE born drone service provider has been ranked 12th globally and made it on the Top 40 Drone Service Providers 2019 list released by DRONEII.COM. It was also ranked 7th globally in the category of mapping, surveying, and inspections.
- Abu Dhabi state fund Mubadala is planning to invest 250 MM USD in technology firms based in the Middle East and North Africa. The investments include 150 MM USD "fund of funds" focused on supporting Abu Dhabi Hub71 startup platform, and 100 MM USD targeted directly at early-stage companies.
- InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), one of the world's leading hotel companies, has signed a management agreement with leading hospitality supplier, The Arabian Hospitality Company.
- Saudi Kayan Petrochemical Co registered a net profit, after zakat and tax, standing at 1.25 MM SAR (333,265 USD) in Q3-2019 compared to 471.9 MM SAR (125.8 MM USD) in Q3-2018, a 99.735% y-o-y decrease.
- Mobily continued to grow its revenues for the 8th consecutive quarter to reach 3.4 BN SAR (906.48 MM USD) in Q3 2019, with a y-o-y growth of 14.4%. This is mainly attributed to the growth of subscribers' base, the growth of revenues of business, and wholesale units and the growth of FTTH active base.
- Zain, the leading digital service provider in Kuwait, announced the launch of Video Surveillance as a Service (VSaaS) solutions for enterprise customers.
Sports and Culture
- The Egyptian swimmer Farida Osman has been listed on "BBC 100 women 2019". The list highlights some of the world's most inspiring and influential women from around the world. Noting that around 15% of the entire list are from Arab countries.
- The Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector in UAE has achieved significant progress in global ranking from the 6th to 2nd, according to the Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) 2019 issued by the World Economic Forum.