- Foreign holdings of Egyptian t-bills continued to rebound for the second consecutive month in July, rising to 8 BN USD from 7.7 BN USD in June. Net inflows increased for the first time since February in June, a period which saw holdings fall 64% from 19.5 BN USD in February as investors panicked during the coronavirus-inspired market meltdown in March.
- The Environment Ministry launched Egypt first ecotourism campaign to protect the country’s nature reserves. The campaign will run for three years and promote 13 reserves, including Ras Mohamed, in its first phase. The ministry has committed to preserving the reserves’ biodiversity while introducing them as eco-friendly tourism destinations.
- Ratings agency S&P has affirmed Saudi Arabia sovereign ratings at A-/A-2 with a stable outlook, as it expects the kingdom to begin to bounce back from the slump caused by the coronavirus pandemic and low oil prices in 2021.
- Saudi Arabia has provided around 48 BN USD in assistance to developmental projects around the world as part of financial contributions to international organizations and authorities. The country granted 12 BN USD in aids to 3,843 humanitarian and charitable developmental projects in 155 countries.
- The value of non-oil trade in goods between Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia amounted to 8 BN AED (134.5 BN USD) over the past 10 years. In 2019, the emirate's exports to Saudi Arabia grew 156.7% to 25.76 BN AED (7 BN USD) from 10.03 BN AED (2.73 BN USD) in 2010.
- The value of foreign workers' remittances from UAE decreased by 3% to 38.2 BN AED (10.4 BN USD) in Q2-2020, compared to 42.6 BN AED (11.59 BN USD) in Q2-2019, according to the Central Bank of the UAE (CBUAE).
- The international credit rating agency, Standard & Poor’s (S&P), reported that the rating risks related to the Kuwaiti economy is that Kuwait is completely dependent on oil revenue which is 90% of its exports. S&P’s expected the recovery of the Kuwaiti economy to gather momentum from 2022, in addition to real GDP growth on average to reach 7% during 2022 and 2023.
- Jordan and the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED) have signed an agreement for two loans and a grant at the fund's headquarters. Under the agreement, the fund provides Jordan with a loan of 4 MM KWD (24.4 MM USD) to finance the first phase of the development of the infrastructure of public education project, as well as another loan worth 17.6 MM KWD (59.8 MM USD) to finance the first phase of the rehabilitation of roads and bridges project.
- Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry discussed Middle East peace and the Palestine-Israel conflict in a four-way meeting with Jordan’s King Abdullah II, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and the EU’s Special Representative for the Middle East Peace Process Susanna Terstal.
- Saudi Arabia has warned the UN Security Council that an “oil spot” has been sighted in a shipping lane 50 km west of an abandoned, decaying oil tanker off the coast of Yemen. Experts fear it could spill 1 million barrels of crude into the Red Sea.
- Talaat Moustafa Group’s 2 BN EGP (126.78 MM USD) sukuk issuance listed yesterday on the EGX after the exchange’s securities registration committee gave its approval. The sukuk is listed on the exchange to be publicly traded on Sunday, 27 September. The offering was issued in April by TMG subsidiary the Arab Company for Projects and Urban Development and was 5x oversubscribed during the private placement, with Banque Misr, Banque du Caire and Suez Canal Bank snapping up 97.25% of the issuance.
- The main index of the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) went down 52% or 23.41 points to settle at 4,466.82 points by the end of Thursday's trading session. Turnover amounted to 323.84 MM AED (88.16 MM USD) after 119.85 million shares had been traded through 2,200 transactions. The market cap value retreated by 5.49 BN AED (1.49 BN USD) to 665.23 BN AED (181.11 BN USD), compared to 670.72 BN AED (182.6 BN USD).
Note: All values are calculated by last Thursday.
- The Arab Banking Corporation (ABC) has begun due diligence on Blom Bank Egypt ahead of a submitting an offer to acquire the Lebanese bank’s Egypt assets. Bank ABC had signaled its interest earlier this month after announcing it had entered early-stage talks over the acquisition. Blom has hired CI Capital to advise on the sale, while HSBC is providing financial advice to Bank ABC.
- Insurance giant MetLife has partnered with Egyptian pharma app Yodawy to launch a digital platform allowing its users to manage prescriptions, order medication and book consultations. The MetLife-Yodawy partnership will alleviate many of the complexities of medical insurance claims, as well as introduce new services to MetLife insured members in Egypt.
- Eastern Company reported net profits of 663 MM EGP (42 MM USD) in Q4-2019/2020, down 21% from 837 MM EGP (53 MM USD) in Q4-2018/2019, citing lower demand from the covid-19 pandemic and government curfew measures. Sales during the quarter were also down registering around 11% to 1 BN EGP (196.5 MM USD) from 3.47 BN EGP (219.9 MM USD) in Q4-2018/2019.
- UAE real estate developer City Creek Construction will establish an arm in Egypt and invest 600 MM EGP (38 MM USD) in three construction projects by the end of 2020. The company has purchased 6.2k sqkm of land in Tanta for a residential project and is looking into buying land in New Cairo and North Coast.
- First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB), UAE largest bank and one of the world's largest and safest financial institutions, has partnered with UAE-based fintech startup Tabby to enable acceptance of their Buy-Now-Pay-Later solution at FAB merchant partners. The very first roll-out of this solution has been at Al Futtaim-owned Toys R’ Us stores in UAE.
- Exports of Dubai Chamber members exceeded a combined value of 45 BN AED (12.25 BN USD) between June and August 2020, marking a 4% increase compared to the March-May period during the same year. The average number of exporters over the three months ending in August stood at 4,630, increasing 14% from the 4,066 exporters accounted for between March and June 2020.
- In Kuwait, Sidra Capital’s US dollar-denominated Mutajara Fund has been successfully achieving its targets and is on course to deliver returns in excess of 6% for 2020, with no payment defaults or delays despite the challenging market conditions created by the global Covid-19 pandemic.
Sports and Culture
- Abu Dhabi Yas Waterworld has launched an all-new adventure, the Underwater VR Experience. Guests can now explore a world of unlimited aquatic fun for the first time in the UAE. Those looking for a first-of-a-kind experience can head to the park’s popular Amwaj Wave Pool and choose their pick from four exhilarating underwater adventures as they travel to a different world of water experiences for five minutes.
- In the first event of its kind in Saudi Arabia, gamers participated in an in-cinema gaming tournament in Riyadh with the added excitement of a big screen. Vox Cinemas hosted Saudi Arabia first in-cinema gaming tournament at their Atyaf Mall venue in Riyadh, where 10 teams of two members each went head-to-head in the online multiplayer game Fortnite.