UAE PMI increased to 46.7 in May from a record low of 44.1 the month before: output sub-index remained below-50 (45.7 in May from April’s 39.9), demand remained weak and employment declined. Outlook for the next 12 months of activity worsened still, reaching the joint-lowest since the series began. About 20% of businesses said they expected activity to expand while 8% said they expected it to decline.
50% of UAE government staff return to work from June 7th: this follows the return of federal staff by 30% last week.
Private Sector and malls in Dubai are now permitted to operate at 100% capacity from 3rd June. Working hours should fall between 6 am and 11 pm.
The total number of business licenses issued in the UAE inched up by 0.16% MoM to 648,684 in May, according to the National Economic Register.
The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority disclosed that the share of clean energy in Dubai’s energy mix increased to around 9%.
UAE’s Minister of Community Development disclosed that a total of 12,653 nationals are jobless across the country: Abu Dhabi accounted for more than 1/3rd (4461), followed by Dubai (3812) and Northern Emirates (4810).
The UAE will allow transit flights to resume: Emirates will operate transit flights to 29 destinations by Jun 15th and Etihad will fly to 20 destinations from Jun 10th. Separately, airlines continue to feel the pressure: Air Arabia has made further job cuts, without mentioning the number affected. Emirates president stated it would take up to 4 years to resume flying its entire network.
Bahrain plans to reopen schools in September: students will return to the public schools on 16th September while private schools will open from mid August to September. The education minister also stated though that the decision would be reviewed periodically. Separately, the resumption of Friday prayers was postponed given the status of the outbreak.
Exports from Bahrain declined by 9% YoY to BHD 186mn in April, with Saudi Arabia the top destination (BHD 37mn) followed by UAE (BHD 20mn) and Egypt (BHD 18mn). Value of imports dipped by 19% to BHD 362mn while re-exports plummeted by 42% to BHD 38mn.
Egypt’s PMI increased to 40.7 in May, up from April’s record-low of 29.7, with declines in output and new orders while export sales remained weak. Employment levels declined for the 7th consecutive month and at the quickest pace since January 2017.
In a bid to support local industries during the COVID-19 outbreak, Egypt cancelled EGP 5.31bn (USD 330mn) in outstanding natural gas debt owed by factories up until 31 December 2019.
Egypt’s hotels which reopened at a reduced capacity of 25% occupancy are almost full, according to a tourism ministry official. The government aims to raise capacity to 50% in June.
Egypt announced a new oil discovery in the Western Desert: The new discovery has been put on the production plan at a rate of 4,100 barrels of crude oil per day and 18mn cubic feet of natural gas per day.
Jordan’s “most-damaged” economic sectors can deduct 30% from employee’s salaries based on a mutual agreement for the months of May-June. It also stipulates that workers not performing any work can have 60% of their salaries deducted, with no consent required by the worker or the Labour Ministry.
Kuwait plans to reduce the expat population to just 30% of the total, revealed the PM. Currently, there are nearly 3.34mn foreigners in a total 4.8mn population. MPs have proposed a quota system in addition to replacing expat government employees (~100k) with Kuwaitis.
Saudi Arabia’s PMI remained below-50 for the 3rd consecutive month, but improved to 48.1 in May from April’s 44.4, supported by slower declines in output, new work and employment; business closures and constrained operating capacity were oft-cited as reasons holding back activity.
Saudi Arabia reinstated COVID-19 restrictions in Jeddah for 15 days effective Saturday (6th June) – this includes curfew from 3 pm to 6 am as well as work from home policies and gatherings limited to less than 5 persons. Domestic flights will continue operations and people are permitted to enter and exit the city.
About 8787 businesses will stay closed in Riyadh till 20th June – this includes businesses where social distancing cannot be applied effectively like barbershops, beauty salons, gyms/ health clubs, cinemas, recreational centres and shisha cafes.
New residential mortgage loans for individuals in Saudi Arabia surged by 95% YoY to 89,435 until Apr 2020, valued at nearly SAR 40bn (+85% YoY).
OPEC+ members extended its output cuts of 9.7mn barrels per day till July: producers that had not fulfilled their quotas will have to compensate for that until September. Compliance among the group averaged 86% in May: Nigeria and Iraq cut less than the allotted quotas.
Global stock markets continue to rally, holding near 3-month highs, with the US supported by the unexpected pickup in non-farm payrolls, while Asia and emerging market stocks posted the best weekly gains in 9 years. Regional markets were mostly higher as lockdowns were slowly eased and businesses reopened partially. The euro gained 1.7%, also touching the highest level since 10th March. Oil prices gained for a 6th consecutive week, on expectations of OPEC output cut amid recovering demand. Gold price declined for the 3rd consecutive week.
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