The Dubai PMI fell to 53.5 in November (October: 54.6), with output growing at the softest rate since April 2016 and a slower rise in new orders. Employment growth was at the strongest pace in nearly two years in November. Firms were also upbeat about future output (with expectations of new projects and increased tourism thanks to the Expo 2020).
Dubai Economic Growth is projected at 2.1% this year and expected to rise to 3.2% and 3% in 2020 and 2021 respectively. Tourism sector is expected to grow by 6.6% next year, while Manufacturing, Transport and Logistics and Financial services will rise by 3.1%, 3.8% and 2.7% respectively.
About 99.2% of establishments in Dubai are classified as SMEs and together they account for 51% of the workforce, contributing to around 46% of Dubai’s GDP, according to a Dubai SME report. Among SMEs, those in the Services sector are the largest contributors (47%) to the total added value in Dubai in 2017 (2008: 41%).
Investments of UAE banks in Saudi Arabia and Egypt surged by 27.5% yoy to AED 111.3bn (USD 30.3bn) in January-September – accounting for 17.6% of their total investments abroad.
There are 4,792 current active infrastructure projects in Dubai, accounting for 42% of the UAE’s total, as per a report from the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The Construction sector contributed an estimated 6.4% to Dubai’s GDP in 2018.
The contribution of Real Estate to Bahrain’s GDP is estimated to be 6% this year, according to the Deputy PM. He also stated that banks’ mortgage loans were up by 5% to BHD 1.89bn in January-October this year, from BHD 1.8 for the full year 2018.
SMEs in Egypt have received EGP 150bn in a financing initiative during the January 2016-September 2019 period, as per the Central Bank Deputy Governor.
Foreign cash inflows into Egypt recovered to USD 200bn in the last 4 years, divulged the Central Bank Governor.
Egypt outlined 5 requirements to grant nationality to foreigners by investment: this includes purchasing state-owned or public juridical person-owned property valued at USD 500k or more, to establish or partner in an investment project with USD 500k or more, depositing USD 750k or USD 1mn through direct wire transfer to a special Central Bank account, to be retrieved in EGP after 5 or 3 years respectively without interest, or a USD 250k non-refundable deposit.
Fitch downgraded Lebanon to CC from CCC, given its view of a probable government debt restructuring or default. It also downgraded Lebanon’s banks to RD (restricted default), given the recent BDL measures restricting banks’ operations in foreign currency.
Qatar’s PM attended the GCC Summit in Saudi Arabia last week – the highest level of representation at the annual meeting in 2 years.
Aramco briefly hit the USD 2trn valuation on its second day of trading on Tadawul: only a fraction of Saudi Aramco shares changed hands on the 1st day of trading, roughly 1% of the company’s free float.
According to one of the lead banks working on the Aramco IPO, non-Saudi investors were allocated 23.1% of the Institutional Tranche. Saudi corporates and local government institutions were allocated 37.5% and 13.2% respectively.
SAMA set minimum capital limits for Microfinance Companies; in addition, the Central Bank also capped the total amount of finance granted to the beneficiary of the Microfinance Consumer Company at SAR 50k. SAMA also launched draft licensing rules for financing support companies.
Banks in Saudi Arabia extended 106k mortgage loans since the beginning of the year. Mortgage lending from Saudi banks and financing companies accounted for 19% of the collective financing portfolio, expanding from 12%.
The Saudi King issued a royal decree to fight corruption in the Kingdom.
News that China and US have agreed on the text of a phase one trade deal, which will see the removal of tariffs on Chinese goods in stages alongside the US scaling back some tariffs, supported markets: US’s 3 equity indices and the MSCI world index hit record highs, while in Europe also markets ended in the green on hopes of an “Orderly Brexit”. Saudi Tadawul saw the listing of Aramco, which drove up the market on Wednesday-Thursday; markets were mixed elsewhere in the region with Abu Dhabi, Egypt, Qatar and Oman losing vis-à-vis the week before. The pound rose to a 19-month high on the Tory election win; the dollar fell to an 18-week low against the CNY before recovering later. Oil prices were at the highest level in almost 3 months and gold prices were little changed.
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