Abu Dhabi announced that the government plans to allocate 15% of its government procurement spending and contracts to SMEs.
Dubai hopes to welcome tourists by the beginning of July, disclosed Dubai’s DTCM Director-General in an interview with Bloomberg.
A joint statement by Emirates President and the CEO of Etihad Airways warns that passenger demand is unlikely to return to pre-crisis levels until 2023.
S&P lowered the outlook to negative from stable for Sharjah and Ras al Khaimah, citing financial risks from lower oil prices and the impact of COVID-19.
Moody’s lowered DEWA’s rating to Baa2, two levels above junk, citing “risks of sustained large transfers to the government” and also highlighting a potential decline in expat population.
UAE’s Abu Dhabi Power Corp’s plan to build the 2-gigawatt solar project, one of the world’s largest, received the world’s lowest tariff. The tariff set at USD 1.35/kWh on a Levelized Electricity Cost basis is approximately 44% lower than the tariff set on the ‘Noor Abu Dhabi’ project 3 years ago (a world record tariff-setter at the time).
MPs in Bahrain approved eight COVID-19 related motions: this ranged from setting lower rates for internet usage (as stay at home policies took effect and schools went online) to letting Tamkeen extend by two weeks its deadline for SMEs to register for financial support (while expanding the beneficiaries’ list) and also to exempting businesses from Commercial Registration fees and postponing fines for 3 months.
As people stayed at home given the COVID-19 outbreak, traffic on roads, markets, malls and residential areas in Bahrain dropped by about 90% in the morning and 85% in the evening.
Jordan’s Finance Minister disclosed that JOD 500mn had been pumped into the Economy as stimulus measures this year; the ministry also disclosed that its financial dues to the private sector amounting to JOD 150mn would be disbursed in April-May this year.
The World Bank approved a USD 20mn project to support Jordan’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak. The project will provide support to enhance case detection, testing, recording and reporting, as well as contact tracing, risk assessment and clinical care management.
Lebanon signed a request for assistance from the IMF on 1st May, with the amount depending on negotiations: the economic rescue plan approved by the Diab government rests on covering financial sector losses (to the tune of USD 70bn) partly by a bank shareholder bail-in and cash from large depositors.
Saudi Arabia’s reserves plummeted in March net foreign assets declined by more than USD 27bn or 5% MoM to USD 464bn in March, the lowest since 2011. According to SAMA, the central bank, the government’s current account shrank by 45% MoM to under SAR 40bn in March while SAMA’s bills and repurchase agreements fell by more than one-third to SAR 62bn (reflecting dollar liquidity injected into the banking system).
The Social Development Bank in Saudi Arabia announced a SAR 9bn (USD 2.4bn) package to support small businesses and entrepreneurs with financing. The bank also offers a 6-month grace period to repay instalments.
OPEC oil output jumped to a 13-month high of 30.25mn barrels per day (BPD) in April. The biggest increase in supply was from Saudi Arabia which pumped a record 11.3mn BPD.
Stock markets declined across the globe on 1st May after having a strong positive week earlier, thanks to weak economic data in addition to Trump’s latest attack on China about its role in the origin and spread of COVID-19 as well as weaker-than-expected earnings (all leading to negative sentiment). In the region, a recovery in oil prices helped markets to close in the green. Among currencies, the RMB weakened to its lowest level since early April against the dollar (on Trump threats) while the euro stabilized against the dollar and the riskier Aussie dollar reached a 7-week high. Oil markets remained volatile through the week, but stabilized on 1st May. Gold prices were down 1.6%, posting their biggest weekly loss since mid-March.
About Business Exchange Bureau:
Business Exchange Bureau (BXB) is a Professional Marketplace for Business Owners to Buy and Sell Businesses, Investments or Business Assets in the UAE.
The BXB vision is clear - to connect great business minds to great investments.
Nasser Saidi & Associates