The UAE President, in his first televised address, stated that the economy was “thriving and continues to grow at an impressive rate” while underscoring the need to diversify further. He also stressed the value of human capital and the pursuit of science and technology.
UAE launched an AED 3bn fund to support its space programme and a new initiative to develop radar satellites.
Dubai PMI climbed to a 3-year high of 56.1 in June (May: 55.7), thanks to the surge in travel and tourism. New business volumes grew, with growth accelerating to the highest since July 2019. While the fuel price increase added to the rise in input costs (highest recorded since January 2018), firms continued to reduce their output charges (rate of discounting quickened to the fastest since August 2020).
Dubai attracted 58 FDI projects in the financial services sector in 2021, totalling AED 926.2mn (USD 252.19mn) in value, according to a report published by Dubai FDI. The report also stated that between 2017 and 2021, Dubai attracted 184 FDI projects worth Dh5.2bn and created approximately 5,727 jobs in the financial services sector.
UAE pledged USD 2bn to support the development of “food parks” in India, which will allow it to tackle food security issues. The 4 countries India, Israel, UAE and US also agreed to work to advance renewable energy projects in India.
France and UAE will sign an accord today (as part of the UAE President’s visit to Paris) that will see the UAE guarantee diesel supplies to France.
Dubai ranked the top shipping centre in the Arab world and the fifth best globally according to the Xinhua-Baltic International Shipping Centre Development Index (in a list topped by Singapore, London and Shanghai).
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited, the world’s largest bank by assets, listed five-tranche carbon-neutrality-themed bonds on Nasdaq Dubai last week, valued at AED 9.84bn (USD 2.68bn).
Abu Dhabi citizens receive housing benefits worth AED 1.5bn: the payout announced by the UAE President covers more than 1,100 beneficiaries.
Dubai real estate residential transactions grew by 33.3% YoY in June, driven by off-plan (+46.7%) and secondary market (24.4%) sales, according to CBRE. Year-to-date, total transaction volumes reached 38,901, the highest recorded since 2009.
Female entrepreneurship in the UAE grew by 68% after the pandemic hit, versus a 46% increase in male entrepreneurship, according to LinkedIn data. Women entrepreneurship rose 54% in the educational sector, followed by wellness and fitness (50%), and healthcare (44%).
Egypt’s fuel pricing committee announced a hike in domestic fuel prices: prices were raised by EGP 0.50 for 80-octane (to EGP 8 or USD 0.4244) and 92-octane (to EGP 9.25) while raised by EGP 1 for 95-octane (EGP 10.75). Prices will apply till September 2022. Separately, the PM disclosed that Egypt was subsidizing diesel at a cost of nearly USD 3bn annually.
Egypt’s petroleum sector has adopted measures to enhance energy efficiency in 31 petroleum companies, which together is expected to save EGP 813mn annually.
Delays in pumping station upgrades would lead to delays in Iraq’s plans to boost oil export capacity at its Gulf ports. The nation could potentially miss out on exporting an additional 150k barrels per day of oil exports in Q3.
Oman Investment Authority approved the “exit plan” submitted by OQ Group with divestments totaling between OMR 1.5-2bn. No details were provided on the OQ assets lined up for either a full or partial divestment.
Biden’s visit to Saudi Arabia saw 18 agreements being signed in the fields of energy, communications, space and healthcare. While no pledge was made regarding boosting oil output, the US committed USD 1bn in new acute near- and long-term food security assistance to the MENA region. Another positive move was that Saudi Arabia would open its airspace to all air carriers including overflights to and from Israel. Separately, Saudi Foreign Minister stated that he was unaware of any discussions related to a Gulf-Israeli defence alliance, and that the Kingdom was not involved in any such talks.
Addressing a US-Arab Summit last week, the Saudi Crown Prince called for more investment in fossil fuel and clean energy technologies to meet global demand. He also announced raising production capacity to 13mn barrels per day (bpd) by 2027 from a capacity of 12mn now.
Consumer prices in Saudi Arabia grew by 2.3% YoY in June (May: 2.24%), the highest in a year, driven by food and beverages (4.41% from May’s 4.25%), housing & utilities (1.02% from 0.5%), recreation (3.45% from 2.4%) and restaurants (4.87% from 4.13%). It seems likely that inflation focus shifts to the services sector (recreation, hospitality); transport costs eased (2.47% from 4.05%). CPI averaged 1.95% in H1 2022.
Saudi Arabia will boost oil production only if there is a supply shortage in the market, and decisions will be made in coordination with OPEC+ members, stated the Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs.
The difference between Saudi bank deposits and credit turned negative for the first time at least since 2013. In May 2022, the balance of total bank credit disbursed in Saudi Arabia exceeded the balance of total bank deposits by SAR 14.5bn (and compares to a shortfall of SAR 5.4bn in April).
Saudi Arabia’s ports posted a 16.1% YoY increase in cargo throughput volumes to 27.1mn tons (through the 9 ports managed by the Saudi Ports Authority) in June, largely due to the increase in general cargo (+55.7% to 790,500 tons).
Saudi PIF will become the 2nd largest shareholder of Aston Martin, with a 16.7% stake.
Hotels in Riyadh reported an occupancy rate of 56.5% in June, according to STR Global. Average daily rates in June touched SAR 580.61 (USD 154.6), while the revenue per available room, or RevPAR, stood at SAR 328.17. All three indicators are higher than pre-pandemic.
Most global equity markets declined last week: overall, rising inflation, interest rate hikes and recessionary fears are weighing on investor sentiment, with emerging markets having to also deal with the stronger dollar; Chinese markets are grappling with fresh outbreaks and lockdowns. Regional markets showed a mixed picture, with Saudi and Qatar posting declines (the former hitting a 6-month low and wiping out this year’s gains) while UAE’s DFM gained. The safe-haven dollar rose to a 20-year high while the euro fell to parity with the dollar for the first time since 2002. Oil prices fell given expectations of a decline in consumer demand following rate hikes. Gold price settled at more than 15-month low amid strong dollar performance.
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