- UAE has been placed in the 1st position among the Arab countries and the 4th globally in the quality of port infrastructure, according to the logistics industry report by Mordor Intelligence. UAE has maintained its first position at the Arab level in maritime connectivity with world ports in the past three years. Meanwhile, UAE ports have become a regional hub in attracting international investment.
- Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) has extended its ‘Business Support Package’ to 20 October 2020. The package is the DMCC's largest commercial support aiming to help businesses to reduce costs and ensure their continuity amid the coronavirus pandemic.
- Preparations are underway for the 13th round of the Egyptian-Russian Joint Committee for Trade, Economic, Scientific, and Technical Cooperation, according to Egypt’s Minister of Trade and Industry Nevine Gamea. The committee meeting, which aims to boost cooperation between the two countries, will be held in November in the Russian capital, Moscow.
- The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) will likely keep interest rates unchanged when its Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meets this Thursday. The CBE’s overnight deposit rate is 25% and the lending rate is 10.25%. The main operation and discount rates are both 9.75%.
- In Egypt, Mobile phone imports decreased by half as consumers postpone electronics purchases. The value of mobile phone imports dropped 4% y-o-y in H1-2020 reaching 362.37 MM USD compared to 746.18 MM USD in H1-2019.
- Saudi Arabia high inflation will remain high until the middle of 2021 and will act as a major drag on households’ real incomes, according to UK-based Capital Economics. Based on these factors, the research firm has also warned of a weak economic recovery.
- Saudi Arabia registered a trade surplus with Arab countries worth 47 BN SAR (5.99 BN USD) in H1-2020, a yearly decrease of 37.5% when compared to 35.93 BN SAR (9.58 BN USD) in H1-2019.
- Saudi merchandise exports decreased by 6% on a yearly basis in Q2-2020 reaching 117.11 BN SAR (31.22 BN USD). This decrease was largely driven by 61.8% drop in oil exports, equivalent to 121.047 BN SAR (31.61 BN USD).
- Kuwait banking sector will continue to face pressure in terms of profitability and asset quality for the rest of 2020. According to Kuwait Financial Centre’s recent report, profitability for 2020 is expected to fall, with net income reducing from 202 BN KWD (3.92 BN USD) in 2019 to 592 MM KWD (1.93 BN USD) in 2020.
- International passengers arriving at Abu Dhabi airport will now have to wear a tracking device while they complete a mandatory 14-day home quarantine due to Covid-19. Daily infections in UAE increased in September to their highest since the outbreak started, which officials have largely blamed on people not practicing social distancing.
- Authorities in Bahrain have decided to postpone the reopening of indoor dining services at restaurants and cafes for over a month until October 24, 2020, in the wake of the recent spike in coronavirus infections.
- The Tadawul All Share Index (TASI) ended Thursday’s trading session in the green territory after growing by 32% or 26.67 points to settle at 8,337.88 points. Meanwhile, the market’s liquidity stood at 14.66 BN SAR (3.91 BN USD) while the trading volume amounted to 424.387 million shares.
- The main indices of UAE markets closed Thursday's trading session on the green territory. The benchmark index of the Dubai Financial Market (DFM) increased by 85% or 19.74 points to settle at 2,320.87 points by the end of Thursday's trading session, recording its highest level since March. A total of 554.56 million shares were traded through 6,212 transactions valued at 1.45 BN AED (394.77 MM USD).
Note: All values are calculated by last Thursday.
- Vodafone Egypt and Telecom Egypt’s WE have submitted offers in the National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority’s (NTRA) tender for new cellular frequencies. Orange Egypt and Etisalat Misr did not bid in the tender. The NTRA is selling 40 MHz of bandwidth for 600 MM USD and another 20-MHz band for 300 MM USD.
- The National Bank of Egypt (NBE), Banque Misr, and Commercial International Bank (CIB) signed 5 BN EGP (317.28 MM USD) syndicated loan agreement with state-owned Egyptian Group for Multipurpose Terminals (EGMPT) to finance the construction of a multi-purpose terminal in Alexandria Port.
- Egyptian e-payment giant Fawry is considering establishing a new company to invest in emerging technology startups and firms. The company will complete feasibility studies for the venture in 2020 and decide on whether to launch in early 2021.
- Gulf International Bank (GIB) is predicted to sell 500 MM USD in five-year bonds and has received around 2 BN USD in orders for the debt sale. The lender, which is 97.2% indirectly owned by Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund (PIF), tightened price guidance to between 210 and 215 basis points (bps) over mid-swaps for the bonds.
- Saudi Agricultural and Livestock Investment Company (SALIC), owned by the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF), raised its stake in Brazil Minerva Foods to 83% from 25.5%. The investment comes within the framework of SALIC’s contribution to achieving the objectives of the country’s food security strategy.
- Saudi Telecom Co (STC) has asked banks to pitch for roles in a potential public offering of its products and services development arm. The company's valuation could be around 9 BN SAR (2.4 BN USD), if it garners 18-20 times its earnings multiples. The IPO size could be around 500 MM USD if the company sells 20%.
- ADQ, a company investing in major enterprises across key sectors of Abu Dhabi economy, has acquired around 22% of the issued share capital of Aramex. The shares were acquired through a series of on-market transactions and through an off-market special deal.
- Abu Dhabi General Services Company, Musanada, has completed around 50% of 5 MM AED (26.54 MM USD) infrastructure project in Ghanima, east of Al Ain city. The infrastructure project includes 279 residential, commercial, and utility plots, main and secondary internal roads, and the associated utility corridors.
Sports and Culture
- Saudi Al-Hilal team has officially requested to postpone its scheduled match on Sunday against its Iranian counterpart Shahr Khodro at Al-Janoub Stadium in the Qatari capital, Doha, in the fifth round of group stage of the AFC Champions League football competition.
- Millions of Indians woke up this morning to spectacular views and descriptions of sporting facilities and infrastructure in UAE, which have made it possible for Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah to host cricket’s Indian Premier League (IPL) from September 19 to November 8.