UAE’s Abu Dhabi Ports, which raised AED 4bn, was listed on Abu Dhabi’s stock exchange last week: the share price surged by 17% on its first day of listing. Before the listing, news broke that IHC had taken a 7.4% stake in the Group.
Dubai’s non-oil PMI slowed to 52.6 in January (December: 55.3) with slower expansions in wholesale and retail and travel and tourism sectors while construction output expanded (to the strongest since mid-2019). Supply chain challenges and rise in purchasing prices persisted in January.
UAE’s Central Bank has given in-principle approval to a new digital banking platform Wio: ADQ and investment holding company Alpha Dhabi own a combined 65% stake in the bank, while the other shareholders are Etisalat (25%) and First Abu Dhabi Bank (10%). The beta version is expected to launch soon, to serve SMEs.
Dubai plans to attract 50 MNCs within 3 years as a part of the Dubai International Chamber’s 3-year strategy; further, the Chamber will also support 100 Dubai-based companies with international expansion.
Dubai-listed Shuaa Capital filed with the US SEC to launch a USD 100-200mn SPAC listing on the Nasdaq. It is in the process of receiving the required regulatory approvals.
DP World reported a 9.4% increase in container volumes in 2021, handling 77.9mn containers. Q4 growth rates moderated due to COVID-19, inflation and supply chain issues.
Abu Dhabi’s Emirate Global Aluminum plans to construct its first and the biggest aluminum recycling plant of its kind in the UAE; it expects an accumulated production capacity of 150,000 tons annually.
Business licenses issued in the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah grew by 36% YoY to 1749 in 2021. Of these commercial sector licenses accounted for 53% of the total (921, up 30%).
UAE will lift COVID-19-related restrictions given the slowdown in number of cases, and venues can operate at maximum capacity by mid-February.
Bahrain introduced a new permanent residency visa to attract “investors, entrepreneurs and highly talented individuals” and retain residents: those who’ve lived in the country for five years, earning a salary of at least BHD 2000 per month would qualify for the visa, which will be renewed indefinitely.
Bahrain’s GFH Financial Group plans to submit the application for listing in the Saudi market this year, revealed the company’s CEO.
The UAE has allocated USD 10bn to invest in Egypt (mostly the ports), disclosed the head of Abu Dhabi Ports.
Reuters reported that Iran’s crude oil exports have risen above 1mn barrels per day for the first time in almost 3 years – mostly shipments to China. Indirect talks on reviving the nuclear deal restarted last Tuesday.
Iraq’s Electricity Minister discussed with Qatar’s Energy Minister the option of Qatar supplying gas to Iraq to address its power shortages, including logistics issues related to the transport of gas to Iraq’s ports.
Qatar’s Expo pavilion received over 800k visits since it opened on 1st October 2021.
According to the latest PwC Global CEO survey, 82% of regional business leaders expect an improvement in global growth this year, with Egypt and Saudi Arabia cited as the two top markets for revenue growth (37% and 27% respectively). Furthermore, more than half of Middle East’s CEOs are planning double-digit investments in digital transformation.
Four percent of Saudi Aramco shares (worth USD 80bn) were transferred to the PIF, revealed the government. Saudi Aramco revealed that the transaction was a private one between the government and state fund and that this move would not affect the number of issued shares nor the company’s operations or governance framework.
Saudi Arabia is targeting oil production capacity to touch 13.5mn barrels per day by 2027, reported Time magazine citing the Energy Minister.
Spending on digital transformation in Saudi Arabia is expected to reach SAR 12bn (USD 3.19bn) a year, according to a senior official at the Digital Government Authority. Investments span areas of cloud computing, new emerging technologies, and open source government software.
Saudi Arabia issued a license to Hong Kong-based global container firm Orient Overseas Container Line to operate in Saudi ports.
Markets in the US dropped after high inflation reading increased pressure on the Fed to raise rates more aggressively; St. Louis Fed President called for a full percentage point of interest rate hikes over the next 3 meetings). However, though tech stocks were affected negatively, Stoxx600 ticked up higher, posting its best performance since late-December. Both MSCI emerging market and all world shares closed slightly lower. Higher oil prices supported the uptick across the Middle East equity markets; ADX rose by 3%, supported by the listing of AD Ports while both DFM & ADX benefited from news of upcoming removal of COVID-19-related capacity restrictions in the UAE. The euro was the weakest last week, following the European Central Bank President’s dovish statement that raising rates would hurt the economy. Oil prices are up at 7-year highs thanks to fears of a Russian invasion and concerns over crude oil supplies; gold price is up 3% from last week.
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