- The Ministry of Finance in Egypt has sold 1.092 BN in one year dollar denominated T-bills to domestic and foreign financial institutions at 3.62%.
- Egypt's urban consumer price inflation has peaked from 23.3% in December 2016 to 28.1% in January 2017, this is mainly due to the pound floatation against the dollar.
- Jordan's exports of fruit and vegetables has decreased by 35% in January 2017 compared to the same period last year. This is due to the closure of the borders with Syria and Iraq, in addition to the decrease in exports to the Gulf countries in January 2017.
- Iran's Petroleum Minister has stated that oil exports in Iran has reached the pre-sanctions level and that oil income will reach 45 to 50 BN USD in 2018 starting from March, if a barrel of crude oil will be sold for 55 USD.
- According to International Monetary Fund (IMF), Lebanon's GDP annual growth is expected to reach 2.5% in 2017 compared to 1.13% in 2016, as all the sectors in the economy are estimated to post positive growth in 2017.
- Oman's crude oil production has declined by 2.97% in January 2017 compared to December 2016 as the country has produced 29.93 million barrels of crude oil in January equivalent to 965,617 barrels per day.
- Qatar will impose selective taxes on goods that have adverse impact on environment and health, as well as the luxury goods produced domestically or imported.
- The OPEC has cut its crude output by about 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) to increase oil prices and reduce a supply surplus.
- Despite the fall in oil prices over the past few years, Dubai has maintained its investment growth across various sectors as the total investments reached 77.3 BN AED (21.05 BN USD) in 2016 and are estimated to increase to 82.5 BN AED (22.46 BN USD) and 86.5 BN AED (23.55 BN USD) in 2017 and 2018. Moreover, the foreign direct investments are estimated to reach 5% of the GDP in 2021.
- UAE is the ranked the 1st among 7 Gulf countries followed by Qatar in the top 15% of countries for productivity potential.
- UAE's Central Bank has issued draft rules urging banks to lend the small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) more, since they had cut their exposure and raised their charges. SMEs account for 60% of UAE's GDP.
- Saudi's Minister of Agriculture had stated that subsidies on flour and bread will not be cut, as bread is the second most necessity food source for Saudis and the country is considered to be the world's top consuming nation of bread.
- Hassan Rouhani Iran's president is visiting Kuwait and Oman during this week, the first time since he took power in 2013 to tighten the Islamic relationship with both countries as Iran was accused by Saudi Arabia and the other GCC of using sectarianism to interfere in Arab countries and build its own sphere of influence in the Middle East.
- The Egyptian parliament approved a list of new ministries last Tuesday. This change was crucial for the government economic and social reform plans. They include Ali Meselhy as Minister of Supply and Internal Trading, Hala El-Saeed as Minister of Planning and Administrative Reform, Abdul Monein El-Banna as Minister of Agriculture, Tarek Shawky as Minister of Education, Omar Marwan as Minister of Legal and Parliamentary affairs, Mohamed Hesham El-Sherif as Minister of Local development, Khaled Abdel Ghaffar as Minister of higher Education and Hesham Arafat as Minister of Transportation.
- Lebanon's president Michel Aoun has deepened the country's bilateral ties with Egypt and Jordan during last week's visit. He agreed to increase the security cooperation between the two countries by enrolling Lebanese military offices in training programs in Jordan and urging Egypt to launch a rescue initiative to protect regional states from the threat of militant groups, aiming to fight terrorism.
- Seven terror suspects were arrested by Saudi forces in Jeddah raids, they surrendered without any resistance.
- .EGX30 telecommunication sector has declined led by Telcom Egypt and construction sector led by Orascom Construction.
- .TASI banking sector has significantly increased led by National Commercial Bank (NCB) and Al Rajhi. In addition, telecommunication sector increased led by Zain.
- .KWSE banking sector has increased led by Warba Bank and real estate sector led by Aqar Real Estate.
- .QSI real estate sector increased led by United Development Co. and banking sector led by Qatar National Bank (QNB).
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Construction & Materials
Real Estate Mgmt & Dev't
Banking & Financial Services
UAE, Abu Dhabi
Real Estate & Construction
Investments & Financial Services
- The Italian Energy group Edison has signed 86 MM USD agreement with Egypt Natural Gas Holding (EGAS) for natural gas and oil discovery in the Mediterranean within three years, Egypt has accepted six bids for oil and gas exploration up to 200 MM USD.
- Egypt's largest dairy products and juices producer Juhayna, will reduce its investment in 2017 and increase their prices by 5-7% in 2017, due to the decline in purchasing power.
- Qatar petroleum and Oman Oil Company have discussed energy cooperation aiming to contribute to a better future by fulfilling today's economic needs.
- Kuwait Petroleum Corp (KPC) expenditures are estimated to reach 35 BN KWD (114.6 BN USD) on oil projects in the next five years.
- Kuwait is planning to build its first metro to serve only the key cities in order to reduce high maintenance cost driven by the hot weather, the absence of public transport culture and because the sandy oil is not suitable for the rail lines.
- The UAE Ministry of Finance has updated its website for companies for the value-added tax (VAT) registration which will be opened for qualified companies three months before the roll out, companies will be able to register online using eServices.
- Iflix, the world's leading internet TV service for emerging markets and Zain, a leading mobile and data services operator in the MENA Region have announced that they will launch their joint venture Iflix Arabia in Q2-2017 to bring Iflix world class service to the MENA region. It will be based in Dubai and includes Kuwait, Bahrain, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Jordan
- The Ministry of Housing in Saudi Arabia initiated an ambitious housing program called Sakani, it is to provide 120,000 housing units to the most eligible citizens all over the Kingdom in 2017.
- A partnership of real estate, financial and educational organizations was initiated for building hundred model international schools to be established in Saudi Arabia in the next few years as a part of a major educational project involving 5 BN SAR (1.33 BN USD). These schools aim to provide education for 100,000 students and create job opportunities for 10,000 teachers.
Sports and Culture
- Uber drivers in Qatar went on strikes to protest against fare cuts stating that this is unfair, however, Uber defends by stating that it is trying to win customers from local rivals in Qatar like Careem which has a bigger market share than Uber.
- Kuwait's Ministry of Education will hire new expatriate teachers from Jordan and Egypt to teach subjects that are not fully covered by nationals. Subjects include English, French, Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics, Music and Biology.
- Saudi Arabia will grant female gym licenses by the end of February to grant women more freedom.