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Monday, 16 Nov 2020

UAE expands 10-year golden visa to include PhD holders, doctors, engineers and other professionals

Insights MENA

Economic Outlook

Economic Outlook

  • Egypt aims to increase the value of its annual exports to Africa to 30 BN USD within three to five years. Exports of chemical products and fertilizers are projected to reach 5 to 6 BN USD
  • The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) cut interest rates by 50 basis points on Thursday for the second consecutive time to support economic recovery from the covid-induced slump. The CBE’s overnight deposit rate now stands at 25% and the lending rate is 9.25%, while the main operation and discount rates are 8.75%.
  • Greater Cairo will be linked to the new administrative capital through 48 bus lines, 23 of which will be operational by January, while the remaining 25 will begin operations in March 2021.
  • UAE has expanded its long-term residence visa to allow more professionals to live in the UAE for a 10-year The golden visa can be availed of by all holders of doctorate degrees, doctors, engineers in the fields of computer engineering, electronics, programming, electricity and biotechnology. The golden visa will also be granted to holders of specialised degrees in artificial intelligence, big data or epidemiology and viruses, as well as outstanding high school students in the country and their families.
  • The Consumer Price Index (CPI) in Dubai decreased by 41% in October compared to the same period last year, according to the latest statistics by the Dubai Statistics Centre (DSC). Prices of housing, water, electricity, gas and fuel decreased by 6.96% in the emirate compared to the same period in 2019.
  • In Saudi Arabia, the minister of Human Resources and Social Development, Ahmed Al-Rajhi, stated that the country is focusing on reducing the unemployment rate to less than 7% by 2030. The initiative of improving the contractual relationship launched recently by the ministry boosts the competitiveness of the Saudi workers to be equal to that of expats.
  • Saudi Arabia Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased slightly in October 2020 reaching 8% compared to 5.7% rate in September 2020. Food and beverages recorded the highest annual price increase and were the main driver of the October inflation rate.
Political Events

Political Events

  • A bomb attack rocked a Remembrance Day ceremony in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, attended by foreign diplomats. A Greek and Saudi official were wounded, but there were no fatalities. The French, Greek, Italian, British and American embassies in the Kingdom issued a joint statement condemning the “cowardly attack” while Egypt Foreign Ministry also issued a condemnation and wished the “speedy recovery of the injured.”
  • Germany has approved 130 MM EUR arms agreement with Egypt which will see German shipmaker Lurssen deliver nine patrol boats and a coastal defense ship across the Mediterranean. Egypt is one of Germany’s biggest arms buyers, purchasing 290.6 MM EUR worth of equipment in Q1-2020.
Stock Market

Stock Market

  • The Tadawul All Share Index (TASI) closed Sunday’s session in the green zone after growing by 79% or 66.68 points to 8,501.58 points. Turnover reached 14.8 BN SAR (3.94 BN USD) and the trading volume totaled 456.265 million shares. Al-Omran Industrial Trading Co. and Allied Cooperative Insurance Group (ACIG) headed the rising stocks with 10% each, whereas Anaam International Holding Group led the losing stocks with 9.96%.
  • UAE stock markets recorded positive performance by the end of Sunday's trading session. The benchmark index of the Dubai Financial Market (.DFMGI) went up by 27% to end Sunday's trading session at 2,269.13 points. A total of 117.39 million shares were exchanged through 2,039 transactions valued at 115.04 MM AED (31.31 MM USD).

Note: All values are calculated by last Thursday.

Companies Transactions

Companies Transactions

  • A new law has been approved by the Madbouly Cabinet, the Unified Insurance Act, enabling the Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) to regulate the establishment, licensing and oversight of insurers and reinsurers as well as related services, professions, and activities. The law brings under its purview microinsurance institutions and private insurance funds. Moreover, the FRA would also have the authority to regulate medical insurers and monitor bank deposits.
  • Amsterdam-based e-payment platform Adyen is expanding to the Middle East, including Egypt, where it plans to integrate with Fawry and Meeza. Ayden’s expansion to the region will see the company opening a new office in Dubai to run its new operations to provide merchants from the region with access to the full strength of the Adyen platform.
  • Prime Holding’s net losses reached 4 MM EGP (217,488 USD) in Q3-2020 compared to 200,000 EGP (12,793 USD) in Q3-2019. The company also fell into the red during the first 9 months of 2020, reporting 17.3 MM EGP (1.1 MM USD) in losses after recording 4.2 MM EGP (268,662 USD) profit in 2019. Revenues grew 23% to 24.7 MM EGP (1.57 MM USD).
  • The National Bank of Egypt (NBE) finalizing talks to provide 200 MM EGP (12.79 MM USD) credit facility to El Marakby Steel. The credit facility would come as a larger 370 MM EGP (23.66 MM USD) joint facility with an unnamed private bank to provide the remaining 170 MM EGP (10.87 MM USD).
  • Egypt Kuwait Holding (EKH) more than doubled its stake in Mohandes Insurance to 4% amounted to 109.7 MM EGP (7 MM USD) transaction. EKH, which already owned 10% stake in the company, acquired the bulk of the shares from the National Bank of Egypt, which sold its 10% stake for 105 MM EGP (6.7 MM USD). Pharos Holding executed both transactions on the OTC market.
  • The Egyptian Saudi Insurance House (ESIH) acquired 5% stake in clothing manufacturer Dice for 49.8 MM EGP (3.18 MM USD). Shuaa Capital advised on the transaction.
  • Investcorp has invested in FreshToHome, one of the world’s largest fully integrated online brands in fresh fish and meat, as a part of 121 MM USD funding round alongside other prominent investors.
  • Amlak Finance has sold 528,000 of its shares, representing 0.00035% of its subscribed capital, according to the company's disclosure to the Dubai Financial Market (DFM) on Sunday. The selling price per sale deal, which is executed by ENBD Securities, recorded 2602 AED. Meanwhile, the number of shares remaining for sale reaches 11.87 million.
  • Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade and Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors of ECI, praised the efforts of Etihad Credit Insurance (ECI), the UAE Federal export credit company after it has been assigned with Insurance Financial Strength (IFS) Rating and an Issuer Default Rating (IDR) of AA- (Very Strong) with Stable Outlook from Fitch Ratings, for the second year.
Sports and Culture

Sports and Culture

  • The Sound and Light Cinema Company has extended the bidding deadline for its tender to develop the sound and light show at the Giza Pyramids to 3 December from 5 November. Companies will be required to invest at least 15 MM USD in the project, and international firms would need to create an Egyptian joint stock company with a minimum capital of 25 MM EGP (1.59 MM USD).
  • Egyptian diver Saddam al-Kilany has succeeded in breaking the world record for the longest dive, after diving for over 143 hours in the Red Sea city of Dahab. 29-year-old Kilany will enter the Guinness Book of World Records much to the joy of his colleagues, fans, and the residents of Dahab.


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