Global Markets Update:
US stock markets reached fresh records last week amid upbeat macro data and optimism over the potential US tax reform plan. Investors shrugged off the dismal US payroll numbers as a one-time blip caused by the hurricanes (on Friday the S&P500 closed almost flat on the day).Regional markets, on the contrary, were mixed, with Qatar again slumping and KSA only marginally up.In Q3, Brent gained 20%, the biggest quarterly jump since 2004, but posted a weekly drop, despite oil inventories that fell by 6mn barrels, smashing predictions of a 0.47mn barrel decline. Gold prices stabilized after the sharp drop in the previous 2 weeks.
Following the calamitous Conservative party conference, Theresa May’s leadership of the party is now in jeopardy amidst calls for her to step down.The conference speech was meant to reaffirm her position as party leader and provide certainty on Brexit negotiations, but a combination of coughing fits, collapsing backdrop, and an unwelcome heckler renewed jitters about her ability to lead the party and with it sent GBP tumbling.
Saudi Aramco IPO is on track, reiterated senior government officials in Moscow: “we will be looking at (evaluating) investors as we continue to make progress related to timing and location”, according to the Aramco CEO.
About 38% of startups registered in Saudi Arabia in 2016 were owned by women, disclosed the Governor of the General Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises.
The US State Department approved the possible sale of a THAAD anti-missile defense system to Saudi Arabia at an estimated cost of USD 15bn, according to a statement from the Pentagon.
Saudi Arabia’s transport ministry completed over SAR 4bn worth projects so far this year. Key projects finalised in 2017 include the construction of Salboukh Bridge that connects Northern and Western districts of Riyadh, as well as the final phase of the road that leads to the Omani borders.
Dubai Land Department (DLD) becomes world’s first government entity to conduct all transactions through Blockchain technology. This move is part of ‘Dubai Blockchain Strategy’ launched by Shaikh Hamdan bin Mohammed and led by Smart Dubai.
Sharjah GDP grew by 4% YoY to AED152bn last year, reported the Sharjah Economic Development Department, supported by the manufacturing and construction sectors, which posted growth rates of 6% and 5% respectively.
Emaar’s property development business is expected to be valued at AED 24bn (USD 6.5bn), ahead of the proposed IPO. The assets of the listed business will include 49 units in Burj Khalifa as well as several mixed-used projects under construction and joint ventures.
Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) launched a solar carports project, to increase reliance on clean energy. Solar carports will installed at the authority’s headquarters and the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment building – a total of 902 parking spaces, with generating a capacity of around 2,750 MWp (megawatt peak), equivalent to reducing about 1,500 tonnes of carbon emissions annually.
The UAE-Japan SME Platform was officially inaugurated in Abu Dhabi in the presence of HE Engr. Sultan Saeed Al Mansoori, UAE Minister of Economy, and HE Hiroshige Seko, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan. The platform will support bilateral efforts to develop the vital small- and medium-sized enterprise (SME) sector. It was formed under the framework of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by the UAE Ministry of Economy (MOE) and the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) in January 2017 concerning innovation and SMEs and the facilitation of communication and cooperation between the countries’ entrepreneurs.
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Global Markets Update: