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Insights MENA
Monday, 29 Aug 2016

gypt’s Social Fund for Development (SFD) has announced that it has financed 9,295 small projects with 112 MM USD during H1-2016. It is worthy to note that these projects have provided 26,135 job opportunities. Ras AlKhaimah, UAE’s northern emirate has witnessed a 7% rise in the number of visitors in the first seven months of 2016. This was mainly driven by a 65% rise in German tourists followed by a 33.2% rise in the number of British tourists. Qatar’s economic growth rate has witnessed its lowest level since 2011 reaching 1.1% (y-o-y) in Q1-2016 mainly driven by a decline in mining and quarrying sector which shrank by 3% (y-o-y) and 2.5% (q-o-q). Kuwait has witnessed an 80% rise in the number of commercial licenses issued in H1-2016. This rise is mainly attributed to the amendment in Kuwait’s companies’ law in 2015, which lowered the minimum capital requirements to start a new business. UAE’s international development arm, The Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) has formalized a contract with Bahrain to grant the country 2.9 BN AED to finance a construction development project. The Saudi Arabian port city, Jeddah, has witnessed a 30% hike in the prices of its residential units. The reasons of the rise are mainly granted to the increase in construction and building materials’ prices as well as the increasing wages of contractors and workers. The International Monetary Fund has agreed to finance Jordan with a 723 MM USD loan in a 3-years program. The loan is aimed to support the country’s reforms to lower its public debt and accelerate growth. According to Saudi Arabia’s central department of statistics and information, the Kingdom’s imports have plunged by 24% (y-o-y) while non-oil exports have dropped by 10%. Amid its steps to bridge its budget deficit caused by low oil prices, Saudi Arabia has raised 5.3 BN USD through the sale of domestic bonds to banks. The Jordanian government has signed a 97.5 MM USD grant agreement in which donors have granted to the country to support the Jordan Compact Education Fund. Algeria’s trade deficit has increased to reach 26.5% in H1-2016 compared to the same period last year. This was mainly driven by low oil prices which resulted in declining gas and oil exports. Egypt has signed a loan agreement with the UAE where the former is to provide the latter with a 1 BN USD deposit for a duration of six years. The main aim of the loan is to support Egypt’s economic reforms’ program.

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