UAE received USD 20bn in FDI last year, up 11% YoY, making the nation the 15th largest recipient globally. The country also invested USD 19bn abroad, becoming the 13th largest in terms of FDI outflows.
The government of Dubai repaid 10-year USD 500mn bond certificates (which reached maturity on 22nd June) last week.
The Investment Corporation of Dubai reported a 40% YoY drop in reported revenue to USD 37bn in 2020 and posted a net loss of USD 5.1bn- the first loss in years (2019 profit: USD 4.9bn).
Bloomberg reported that Dubai developer Meydan is expected to meet its creditors to discuss a USD 2.6bn debt restructuring plan this week. Total debt is estimated to be ~USD 4bn.
Mubadala is planning to offer at least 30% of Yahsat (satellite services operator) in an IPO to retail and institutional investors – this would be the first IPO on the exchange since 2017. The listing could raise more than USD 500mn, and the expected date of listing in ADX is 14th July. Furthermore, plans were also underway to IPO Emirates Global Aluminium “in the near future”, one of the biggest producers of the metal.
UAE’s retail e-commerce market reached a record USD 3.9bn in 2020, surging by 53% YoY, according to the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry. E-commerce accounted for 8% share of the retail market last year while the share of m-commerce within the e-commerce market increased to 42% in 2020 (2015: 29%).
Dubai-based Tabby (a buy-now, pay-later company) raised USD 50mn in debt financing last week – one of the largest ever such facility for a MENA-based fintech startup.
Dubai re-opened its Terminal 1 and Concourse D facilities last week after 15-months of closure: around 3,500 jobs were created additionally (new hires and those that were waiting to be re-activated) to support the overall capacity of about 18mn passengers as some 66 carriers are moved to Terminal 1 from 3.
In the week ended 24th June 2021, a total of 1982 real estate transactions were reported in Dubai worth a gross value of AED 7.7bn.
The Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company announced the set-up of a new company Tourism 365 to develop its tourism sector; the company will work with key stakeholders on “increasing leisure visitors, enhancing guest experiences and extending their stay in the UAE’s capital”.
UAE leads the region for the highest concentration of sustainable buildings, as per a report from Knight Frank: the country is home to 869-green rated buildings and is ranked 14th.
The OPEC+ is planning to gradually increase oil output from August, reported Reuters early last week. Ahead of the next OPEC+ meeting on 1st July, the Saudi Oil Minister stated that while the OPEC+ would have a “role in taming and containing” inflationary pressures, it would “have to be cautious”. Separately, Middle East crude’s share in India’s oil imports fell to a 25-month low of 52.7% in May (April: 67.9%).
More than 58k Bahrainis working in the private sector will be provided wage support at a cost of BHD 60mn for 3 months. A total of 10,880 private sector companies will benefit: wages will be paid 100% in June (at a cost of BHD 30mn), with 50% of July and August wages being provided for (at BHD 15mn each month).
The Central Bank of Egypt will extend the waiver on fees and commissions on EGP bank transfers and ATM withdrawals among others for 6 more months till the end-2021.
Egypt raised household electricity prices from 1st July, as part of its reform plan to phase out subsidies by 2024-25; this will be the 8th increase in prices for domestic consumption and is estimated to hike residential bills by between 8% to 26%.
The Suez Canal Authority announced plans to reduce the transit fees for car carriers between Northern Europe and South East Asia by 5% from 1st July. Furthermore, it also extended lower costs for tankers travelling between the Americas and Southeast Asia to average 15-75% until the end of the running year.
UAE’s Masdar signed a strategic agreement with the Republic of Iraq to develop solar projects in the country with a minimum total capacity of two gigawatts. Iraq, which is targeting 20-25% of its energy coming from renewable sources (10-12 GW), plans to sign further contracts for renewable energy with discussions ongoing with ACWA Power as well.
Iraq is planning to achieve 90% self-sufficiency in natural gas by 2025: it currently consumes 3,500mn standard cubic feet of gas per day and produces 1,300mn cubic feet importing the rest from Iran.
Oman aims to vaccinate 70% of its population by the end-December 2021. As of 20th June, about 13.04% of the population had been vaccinated with at least one dose.
Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund is avoiding investment in cryptocurrency given its extremely volatile nature, reported Bloomberg, citing the CEO. Currently, it plans to boost investments in Asia and the US while also investing more into warehouses.
The Saudi Central Bank will extend the Deferred Payment Programme, introduced in March 2020, until 30th September. The relief programme will be “subject to assessment by the financing entities”.
Equity markets continued to touch record highs in the US, with Biden’s infrastructure deal offsetting inflation concerns (given core Personal Consumption Expenditures reading) and markets seeing the best week since February; in Europe, Stoxx 600 gained 1.2%, supported by the financial and materials sector while the Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) global index closed at a record high. In the region, a mixed picture: UAE markets were dragged down by its financial sector while Egypt gained after news of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) stand-by arrangement. The US dollar weakened against major currencies on mixed messages from the Fed related to inflation: yen strengthened by 0.5% versus the greenback and euro by 0.6%. Brent crossed USD 76 per barrel for the first time since October 2018, rising for the 5th consecutive week. Gold price posted close to a 1% weekly gain.
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