The logistics sector in the UAE is expected to contribute 8% of GDP by 2021; last year, the sector’s gross output touched AED 219bn (USD 59.67bn).
The contribution of Dubai’s construction sector to GDP grew to 6.4% in 2018 versus 6.2% in the two years prior. In its Annual Report, the Dubai Land Department also disclosed that the value of real estate transactions grew by 12% yoy to AED 106bn (USD 28.8bn) in January-May 2019.
Dubai Economy’s Business Confidence Index improved in Q2, rising by 2.2 points from Q1 to 114.9 points, supported by the potential expansion to new export markets and Expo-related projects.
DIFC reported a three-fold growth in registered FinTech firms to more than 100 since the end of 2018.
Dubai moved up to 8th ranking in the Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI), rising from 12th last year.
Banks in Egypt have lent EGP 146bn (USD 8.93bn) to SMEs since the central bank directive for banks to allocate 20% of their loan portfolios to SMEs. Under the initiative, banks offer SMEs soft loans with interest rates of 5% and 7%.
Egypt plans to establish 7 new free zones in the country – bringing the total up to 16– with an estimated 1000+ projects and creating about 120,000 jobs.
Jordan’s tourism revenues increased by 9.2% yoy to USD 3.9bn in January-August 2019, according to the central bank. This was driven by a 7% uptick in the number of tourists.
About 153,000 Syrians (including 33,000 registered as refugees with the UNCHR) have left Jordan for Syria after the Jaber-Nasib border crossing was reopened on October 15, disclosed the interior ministry.
Oman reported real estate transactions worth OMR 155.22mn(USD 402mn) in August while collected fees were reported at OMR 2.367mn.
Hotel revenues in Oman crossed USD 300mn in H1 this year, welcoming 115,000 guests in June alone when occupancy rates increased to 37.6% (June 2018: 36.1%).
Saudi Aramco will resume full oil production from its attacked sites by end-September. The attacks halved the crude output, by shutting down 5.7mn barrels per day (bpd) though it was later disclosed that about 2mn bpd were brought back in Abqaiq (of 4.5mn bpd before) and 30% of Khurais’s output (1.2mn bpd before). Separately, the finance minister stated that the attacks had “zero impact” on revenue though the OPEC cuts would lower economic growth.
In a bid to support industrial investment, the Saudi government announced that it would bear the expat fees in industrial installations (holding industrial licenses) for 5 years, reported Okaz. The required criteria will be laid down by the ministry of industry and mineral resources.
Saudi Arabia’s civil aviation sector will create about 100,000 direct jobs and almost 427,000 indirect jobs in aviation and related sectors including tourism, according to a study by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
Stimulus measures across major global central banks (including Fed and PBoC after ECB’s move the week before) supported equity markets. However, shares dampened on Friday after news of the cancellation of US farm visits (as a goodwill gesture) by the Chinese trade delegation, which renewed uncertainty about trade talks. Regional markets began last week in the red on the weekend attacks on Saudi oil fields; Saudi stocks picked up on news about oil restoration by end-September as well as its inclusion in FTSE Russel and S&P Dow Jones indexes. Among currencies, the pound touched a 9-week high on comments from the European Commission president that a Brexit deal was possible. Gold price posted a weekly rise; oil prices, which spiked immediately after the attacks and have since declined, still remain almost 20% below last October’s peak of USD 86 per barrel.
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