50 initiatives are underway to attract and support Small Businesses in UAE...

Achievements include Hub71 (the technology centre) with 39 startups, the Abu Dhabi Climate Initiative, the AED 535m Ventures Fund and so on.

50 initiatives are underway to attract and support Small Businesses in UAE...

UAE News:
It has been a year since the launch of Abu Dhabi’s Ghadan 21 initiative, and more than 50 initiatives are underway to attract and support small businesses. Achievements include Hub71 (the technology centre) with 39 startups, the Abu Dhabi Climate Initiative, the AED 535m Ventures Fund and so on. Abu Dhabi’s non-oil trade declined by 6.1% YoY to AED 194.43bn in January-November 2019, as non-oil exports slide by 11.4% to AED 52.51bn alongside a 9.8% dip in imports.
S&P Ratings kept its outlook for Sharjah stable, but downgraded the long-term foreign and local currency sovereign credit ratings to “BBB” from “BBB+”. Separately, Moody’s changed its outlook from “negative” to “stable” but downgraded the long-term currency issuer ratings to Baa2 from A3, due to rising debt burden and weaker than expected financial strength.
DP World announced that it would delist from Nasdaq Dubai and return to private ownership. The company has about USD 9.9bn in debt maturing in 2022 and a further USD 1.1bn due in 2026.
Dubai Economy’s latest Q1 survey results reveal that 60% of businesses are optimistic about business conditions this year (vs 58% in Q4 2019), with 56% responding that they expect to see a rise in commercial activity from Expo 2020.
Abu Dhabi is expected to add 28k residential units between 2020 and 2023, adding to the current 258k units, according to CBRE.

MENA News:
Egypt currently operates 7 investment zones with total investments of EGP 29.5bn, spanning 800 projects and with 75k employees, according to the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones. A further 11 zones are being built and are expected to create about 208k jobs and attract EGP 78bn in investments.
Egypt hired a group of 4 banks as it prepares to become the first country in the MENA region to issue sovereign green bonds. Of these – De3utsche Bank, Citi, HSBC and Credit Agricole – the latter will also act as advisors for the issue.
Jordan announced the 5th executive package for improving business services – the focus of this package is to improve e-government tools i.e. to reduce time and effort by digitalising information and online transaction services to citizens.
Tourism revenue in Jordan accelerated by 11.4% YoY to JOD 361.8mn in January 2020, thanks to the 12.1% rise in tourists (to 487,900). Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Palestine visitors accounted for 14.4%, 6.4% and 4.7% of total tourism income.
S&P Global and Moody’s downgraded Lebanon deeper into junk territory: S&P lowered Lebanon’s ratings to CC/C from CCC/C with a negative outlook. Moody’s cut Lebanon’s government issuer rating to Ca from Caa2; downgraded senior unsecured medium-term note programme rating to (P)Ca from (P)Caa2; long-term foreign-currency bond and deposit ceilings have both been lowered to Ca from Caa1 and Caa3.
GCC witnessed 4 IPOs in Q4 2019, raising a total of USD 26bn, with the energy industry leading the pack. The quarter also saw ICBC’s two bond listings in Nasdaq Dubai – at USD 4.6bn from 9 issuances, this is the highest value of conventional bond listings on the exchange by any overseas issuer.
More than USD 23bn in hotel construction contracts are scheduled to be awarded in the region between now and 2023, according to MEED. Saudi Arabia and UAE have contracts worth USD 9bn and USD 7.6bn respectively in the pipeline, followed by Oman (USD 2bn) and Egypt (USD 1.9bn).

Global News:
Investors around the world retreated from stocks and piled into haven assets including government bonds and gold, reflecting escalating worries that the coronavirus will disrupt the global economy. 
The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped more than 1,000 points—its biggest point decline in more than two years; the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note approached a record low; and gold prices climbed for the eighth straight session to a seven-year high to $1,656/oz.
As the coronavirus spread to 26 countries outside mainland China, US and European markets posted a weekly loss, as did the MSCI index tracking global stock markets; Asian stocks largely fell (except in China). Regionally, markets mostly ended positive on higher oil prices. Qatar’s Doha Bank posted its biggest intra-day rise since May 2009, after a supplementary release mentioned a 5-year strategic plan for the bank. Safe-haven assets like government bonds and gold gained: yield on the 30-year US Treasury hit a record low while gold price increased to its highest in more than 7 years. Among currencies, dollar touched a near 3-year high versus the euro.

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