- UAE has ranked first in the world in terms of the macroeconomic stability index, according to Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai. He referred that the UAE has led the region in attracting foreign investments and facilitating doing businesses. Meanwhile, the UAE government's sovereign credit rating is the highest in the region.
- UAE has led the world in setting an international regulatory framework governing Islamic finance, according to a report by Global Finance Magazine. In 2020, investments in the Islamic economy, including halal food and healthcare, dropped by 13%, when compared to 2019. The report referred that the countries recording the most deals in the Islamic economy this year were Indonesia, UAE, and Kuwait.
- Dubai's population increased by 6% or around 55,000 to 3.411 million by the end of Q4-2020, compared to 3.356 million in Q4-2019. It is noteworthy to mention that by the end of Q3-2020, the total number of population in Dubai registered 3.403 million.
- Egypt Minister of Health, Hala Zayed approved the emergency use of China’s Sinopharm vaccine. According to sinopharm, the vaccine is 79% effective against the virus. Vaccinations could begin sometime between the second and third weeks of January 2021.
- The number of tourists to visit Egypt fell more than 70% y-o-y in 2020 to 6 million, compared to 13 million in 2019. Tourism revenues decreased reaching 4 BN EGP (252.48 MM USD) in 2020 compared to 13 BN EGP (820.57 MM USD) in 2019, as average monthly receipts decreased 85-92% due to COVID-19.
- The European Investment Bank (EIB) is providing Banque Misr with a 425 MM EUR credit line to support Egyptian SMEs and mid-cap firms that have been impacted by the pandemic by financing investment projects and working capital needs.
- Saudi Arabia’s key economic indicators look healthy, adding that the money supply (M3) expanded 6% y-o-y in November 2020, supported by an increase in M1 and M2, increasing 13.0% and 12.4%, respectively.
- The total value of Abu Dhabi's non-oil foreign trade went up by 8% to 16 BN AED in June 2020, compared to 15.9 BN AED in June 2019. Abu Dhabi saw 74.6% increase in exports to 6.67 BN AED during June 2020, compared to 3.82 BN AED in June 2019.
- In Kuwait, the Ministry of Health has allocated about 5 MM KWD (4.93 MM USD) to import medicines for asthma patients in health centers and public hospitals. Sources confirmed the ministry is keen on providing all types of medicines for chronic, infectious and other diseases, especially during the corona crisis.
- Saudi Arabia King Salman sent an invitation to his Bahraini counterpart, King Hamad, to participate in the 41st session of the Supreme Council of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), to be held on 5 in Riyadh. King Salman also sent an invitation to Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.
- UAE strongly condemned the cowardly terrorist attack that targeted the airport of the interim Yemeni capital Aden during the arrival of members and ministers of the newly formed Yemeni Government to commence its duties in implementation of the Riyadh Agreement.
- UAE stock markets have ended Sunday's trading sessions on a green The benchmark index of the Dubai Financial Market (DFMGI) went up by 0.57% or 14.42 points to close Sunday's session at 2,491.97 points. As for the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX), the main index of levelled up by around 0.67% to settle at 5,079.10 points by the end of Sunday's session.
- The Tadawul All Share Index (TASI) extended its losses on Sunday for the second successive session after dipping by 88% or 76.71 points, settling at 8,612.82 points. Turnover amounted to 7.6 BN SAR (2.02 BN USD) and the trading volume reached 264.784 million shares.
Note: All values are calculated by last Thursday.
- CI Capital’s Corplease has closed 2.7 BN EGP (170.42 MM USD) securitized bond issuance, the largest of its kind by a private sector company. The four-tranche sale was backed by 4 BN EGP (214.61 MM USD) in receivables from leasing contracts. Corplease, one of Egypt’s largest leasing companies, had completed similar 2.2 BN EGP (138.86 MM USD) bond issuance roughly around the same time last year.
- Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) has acquired 5% stake in Alexandria Medical worth 64 MM AED (17.4 MM USD). The acquisition is part of a settlement owed to the bank by Emirati healthcare company NMC Health, which was brought to the edge of collapse last year after hedge fund Muddy Waters questioned its financial reporting that ultimately forced the company into administration.
- Beltone Financial is on track to finalize the sale of its 60% stake in New York-based brokerage Auerbach Grayson after earning approval from the US Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (Finra) last week. The proceeds from the sale, which is valued at 2.8 MM USD, will be earmarked for the expansion of Beltone’s non-banking financial services platforms and to support its other services.
- The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) has announced 50% capital cut for Gulf Cement Co. in the Clearing, Settlement, Depository, and Registry Services Department (CSD).
- Saudi Arabia’s Agricultural Development Fund (ADF) on Sunday signed two cooperation agreements with Al Rajhi Bank and Samba Financial Group as part of the financing program in partnership with commercial banks.
- Musharaka Capital Company announced distributing cash dividends of 4 MM SAR (7 MM USD) to the Musharaka REIT Fund unitholders for the period from 1 July to 31 December 2020. The distributions will be to 88 million units, at 0.30 SAR per unit, according to a stock exchange filing on Sunday.
- Raydan Food Company has submitted a request to the Capital Market Authority (CMA) on 30 December for a 5 MM SAR (3.06 MM USD) capital raise by way of a rights issue. FALCOM Financial Services has been appointed as a financial adviser to the offering.
Sports and Culture
- In the presence of Jeddah Governor Prince Mishaal Bin Majid and Minister of Sports Prince Abdulaziz Bin Turki Al-Faisal, King Abdullah Sports City here witnessed on Saturday the formal opening ceremony of the Saudi Dakar Rally 2021, before the official start of the race on Sunday. The race will last for 13 days, cover a distance of more than 7,600 km, with the participation of more than 500 contestants from around the world.
- Topgolf Entertainment Group, a global sports and entertainment company, kicked off the New Year with a bang by opening the doors to Dubai residents and visitors to its highly anticipated first venue in the Middle East and Asia. Launched in partnership with Dubai Golf, the centrally located Topgolf Dubai venue in Emirates Hills, will make the UAE the fifth country where Topgolf operates globally.