Global Markets Update:
US equity markets started the week with two negative sessions but rebounded mildly on Wed on hopes raised by another round of hype triggered by the Trump tax plan. Most developed markets were even more upbeat on generally positive macro data. Emerging markets, on the other side, were hit by the prospects of a more hawkish Fed. The euro hit a 6-week low vs the dollar after the German elections saw the success of an anti-euro right-wing party, while the dollar was boosted on major crosses by Trump’s tax plan. Oil prices remained broadly stable on a weekly basis, as EIA data showed that US oil production in Jul was 9.238 mn barrels per day (bpd), 178,500 bpd below preliminary data and crude inventories fell by -1.8mn bpd vs analysts’ predictions of a 2.5mn bpd increase. The price of gold plunged after the risk appetite made a comeback on global markets.
In a historic move, Saudi Arabia's King Salman has given women the right to drive with the royal order set to come into force on June 24 2018.
Qatar reported a drop of 18% YoY in GCC visitors to 656,681 during Jan-Jul 2017. While visitors from other Arab nations also declined by 9% during this period, a 10% growth was reported in arrivals from Europe and the Americas given the visa waivers and launch of an online visa application service.
Saudi Aramco’s trading arm is expected to start trading non-Saudi crude oil to feed its international joint ventures and also to boost its valuation. Separately, Aramco is also expected to finish its first shale gas project “soon”.
Saudi Arabia produces 44% of the natural gas in the GCC, according to a senior official from the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center.
Kuwait has been included in the emerging market list by FTSE Saudi Arabia, meanwhile, was still placed in its Watchlist.
UAE’s excise tax was imposed on 1 October; the excise tax will be collected on a monthly basis and the taxed entities will be required to file tax returns within 15 days after the end of the month. The excise tax will be applied to the excise price of the goods. The excise price will be the higher of (a) the price published by the FTA in a standard price list or (b) the designated retail sales price of the goods without the excise tax. (The full text of Cabinet Decision No. (37) of 2017 on the Executive Regulation of the Federal Decree-Law No. (7) of 2017 on Excise Tax, and Cabinet Decision No. (38) of 2017 on Excise Goods, Excise Tax Rates and the Method of Calculating the Excise Price: https://tax.gov.ae/pdf/Cabinet-Decision-no-37-of-2017-on-Executive-Regulation-on-Excise-Tax.pdf; https://tax.gov.ae/pdf/Cabinet-Decision-No-38-of-2017-on-Excise-Goods-Rates-and-Excise-Price.pdf )
UAE’s energy minister disclosed that the country reduced up to 10% of their oil exports in the last two months, in accordance with the OPEC agreement.
UAE’s first nuclear reactor will “definitely” be operational next year, stated the energy minister. The operating company is expected to receive a licence in 2018. The Barakah plant will have a capacity of 5,600 megawatts (MW) of electricity, with four 1400 MW reactors.
Dubai Land Department issued 8500 real estate permits during Aug 2016-Aug 2017: this ranges between e-advertising permits (6393) to newspaper ads (289).
Abu Dhabi hotels witnessed a 13% increase in guests to 426,912 in Aug; this brings the year-to-date guests to more than 3.1mn (+7%), with an occupancy rate of 68%.
Passenger traffic at Dubai International Airport increased by 6.6% YoY in Aug to 8.23mn persons – the busiest month on record. The most popular destinations by passenger volume were London, Kuwait, and Mumbai.
UAE was ranked 10th in HSBC’s latest Expat Explorer as being a destination of choice for expats to live, work and settle. Singapore was ranked the overall top destination while New Zealand was the best destination for experience and Netherlands for family and Switzerland for economics.
The UAE’s first Women SME conference expected to attract female SME owners from across the region. Dubai’s first women SME conference will take place on 3-4 October 2017 at V FIVE Palm Jumeirah, Dubai. With an expected attendance of over 200 women from across the Middle East, the Women SME conference in partnership with Dubai Business Women Council will cover various topics of interest to female SME owners.
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Global Markets Update: