- The International Monetary Fund (IMF) expects that the global economy to grow at 9% in 2020, down by 1.9% from its economic forecasts in April, according to IMF World Economic Outlook. The global economic activities have been more affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak during Q1-2020 than anticipated, with a more gradual recovery. In 2021, the growth rate of the global gross domestic product (GDP) is expected at 5.4%,0.4% lower than the IMF forecast in April 2020.
- Egypt’s revenues from Suez Canal declined by 1 MM USD to 5.72 BN USD during fiscal year 2019/2020 from 5.75 BN USD a year earlier, the Suez Canal Authority revealed. The slight drop in revenue was ascribed to the slowdown in international trade by 18.5% during Q2-2020, along with the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on the marine transportation market, according to a statement on Saturday.
- The Egyptian parliament approved a draft law for waiving late payment interest and penalties on taxes, including value-added taxes (VAT). Under the law, 90% of the fees will be waived if the taxes are paid within 60 days from the date the law comes into effect, 70% if paid within 120 days, and 50% if paid within 180 days. Moreover, 100% of interest payments and late fees will be waived if the due taxes are fully paid before the law comes into effect.
- Egypt has connected 070 million residential units to natural gas during fiscal year 2019/2020, 107% higher than planned. The total number of residential units connected to natural gas systems amounted to 11.1 million by the end of FY 2019/2020.
- Egypt is looking to implement 691 green projects in 2020/2021 at a total cost of 3 BN EGP. About 36.7 BN EGP has been allocated to these projects in the current fiscal year, representing 14% of total public investments, the country’s minister of planning Hala El-Saeed said in a statement yesterday.
- Sales of gold jewelry in UAE have plunged by up to 85% due to the pandemic. As of March 2020, gold jewelry demand dropped by 39% to a record low of 8 tons, according to the World Gold Council (WGC).
- The UAE has been placed in the 11th position on the Logistics Performance Index (LPI), an interactive benchmarking tool created by the World Bank. The UAE topped the Middle East in the LPI, followed by Oman, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Egypt.
- People violating measures designed to stop the spread of coronavirus could be sent to jail, Saudi Arabia’s interior ministry said last Tuesday. Citizens, private companies, or their employees could be fined between 1,000 SAR and 100,000 SAR and jailed for between one month and a year for violating measures.
- Activation of the new VAT in Saudi Arabia — with value-added tax on goods and services to increase from 5% to 15% from July 1. The tax will be applied to all services and goods that are economic in nature, except for activities that have been exempted — mainly international transportation services, spare parts and consumables, maintenance and repair services for transportation, health care services, medicines and medical equipment issued by the Ministry of Health and the Food and Drug General Authority.
- Qatar’s foreign minister said last Friday that there is a new initiative to end the three-year-old Gulf crisis and that Qatar is open to negotiations.
- Emirates SkyCargo will operate scheduled cargo flights to 100 destinations across six continents during July 2020. Some of the new cities added to the air cargo carrier’s network include Accra, Algiers, Athens, Fort Lauderdale, Glasgow, Larnaca, Los Angeles, Male, Moscow (SVO), Phnom Penh, Rome, Santiago, Sialkot, and Tunis.
- Dubai’s stock exchange reopened its doors to investors last Tuesday after more than three months of hiatus. The Dubai Financial Market (DFM) said on Sunday that its trading floor, as well as the customer affairs counters, will be open again to serve customers, along with the strict implementation of precautionary measures to avoid the spread of coronavirus infections.
- Saudi Arabia's stock market ended higher on the back of gains in the banking sector last Sunday, while the Egyptian bourse advanced with broad-based gains among its constituents. Saudi Arabia's benchmark index gained 1%.
Note: All values are calculated by last Thursday.
- Talaat Moustafa Group Holding (TMG Holding) approved the resignation of Amr El-Kady from his position as the deputy CEO for personal reasons. It is worth to mention Talaat Moustafa Group reported net profits of 375.33 MM EGP (23.3 MM USD) in Q1-2020, up from 361.2 MM EGP (22.4 MM USD) in Q1-2019.
- The International Finance Corporation (IFC), France’s Proparco and the Danish Investment Fund for Developing Countries are providing a 5 MM USD equity financing package to Saudi healthcare investment fund Humania to establish specialized medical facilities in Egypt and Morocco. Humania, part of the Saudi health group Bait Al Batterjee, plans to construct a “medical tower” in Cairo and a new hospital in Alexandria, as well as a hospital in the Moroccan eco-city of Zenata.
- Qalaa Holdings reported net losses of 58 BN EGP (24 BN USD) during Q1-2020, up by 824% year-on-year (YoY) compared to 171.4 MM EGP (2.7 BN USD), including minority shareholders' rights, the consolidated financial statements showed. Meanwhile, the company’s revenues surged to 10.4 BN EGP (166.9 BN USD) in the January-March period from 3.58 BN EGP in Q1-2019, while the cost of revenues hiked to 9.94 BN EGP from 3.016 BN EGP.
- Careem and Visa have inked a partnership agreement to boost cashless payments and digital financial inclusion across the Middle East and North Africa region. Under the partnership, Visa credentials will be integrated into Careem Pay Super App to offer Careem captains financial payment services, tackling liquidity challenges facing cash conversion, remittances, and real-time access to funds. Meanwhile, Visa and Careem will partner with licensed banks and regulators to expand this service across the region, including the UAE, Pakistan, Egypt, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia.
- Air travel shrank by 98% year-on-year (y-o-y) in April 2020 as countries closed their borders to contain the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. While the airline industry was gearing up to witness a surge in passengers, with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) forecasting 2 billion air travelers in 2037, airlines are projected to lose 84 BN USD in 2020, chief economist for IATA, Brian Pearce told CNBC last Thursday.
- The Commercial International Bank (CIB) signed an agreement with the UK government’s development finance arm CDC Group to obtain a Tier II capital facility worth 100 MM USD. Through the 10-year facility, CIB aims to strengthen its capital base ahead of the expected economic recovery.
Sports and Culture
- Liverpool star Mohammad Salah has donated an ambulance unit to his home village in Egypt.
- Walid Al-Attar, Executive Director of the Egyptian Football Association, announced that there are some positive cases appeared after the first set of COVID-19 tests done to Zamalek's staff.