Global Markets Update:
The US House of Representatives last week passed its own version of the Republican tax reform bill, which could support US growth of 3%/annum. That said, the US dollar continued to be effected by any news surrounding the US Tax Reform bill. The chances of anything being confirmed before the end of the year are slipping away and each day the uncertainty continues, puts pressure on currency growth. The dollar is also under pressure surrounding a report released on Thursday by Special Consort Robert Mueller and his investigation into the possible interference in the 2016 US Presidential Elections by Russia. Going into Thanksgiving US stock market took another pause last week with the Dow Jones and the S&P500 slightly down. Other developed stock markets indices from the FT100 to the Nikkei225 were almost flat or mildly in decline with Continental Europe posting the worst performances, despite quite bullish macro data. In emerging markets jitters over China re-emerged, as the data released were on the weak side. Regional markets, on the contrary, were quite resilient and some like Kuwait posted limited gains. Shares in KSA however were quite volatile and recorded another bad week, as the corruption campaign which involved prominent business and political figures, maintains a climate of uncertainty. The global risk-averse mood was more pronounced in fixed income markets, were junk bonds plummeted after suffering the worst outflow since 2014. In currency markets, the dollar lost on major crossed and the euro vaulted again above 1.18 against the greenback.
Kuwait’s free trade zone will be moved under the Kuwait Direct Investment Promotion Authority (KDIPA), which will restructure the zone’s commercial, service and investment licenses.
Kuwait’s oil sector signed 586 contracts worth KWD 2.2bn during the fiscal year 2016-2017; of this, Kuwait Petroleum Corporation accounted for the largest share, signing 321 contracts of a total value of KWD 92mn.
With Lebanon’s first oil and gas contracts to be concluded by end of this year or beginning of 2018, the country is considering the establishment of a sovereign wealth fund, and has had meetings with Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) and Abu Dhabi Investment Council (ADIC) in this context, revealed Lebanon’s energy minister.
In a bid to boost tourism, Oman expanded the list of nationalities eligible for tourist visas: visa entry has been extended to 68 countries, including 39 European nations and 10 South American countries.
Saudi Arabia’s central bank governor stated that there were no large outflows of money from the country after the anti-corruption crackdown. In an interview with CNN, he said that “we see some increase, but it’s not that much”.
Dubai’s non-oil foreign trade increased by 13% YoY to AED 344bn in Q3 this year. China remains the largest trading partner, accounting for more than 25% of the trade (AED 128.9bn), followed by India and the US at AED 74.1 and 62.4bn respectively.
Bounced cheques in the UAE: non-fraudulent cases that involve bouncing cheques for amounts not exceeding AED 200,000 will result in a fine and no jail time. The new order comes under the purview of Law No. (1) of 2017.
Emaar Properties raised AED 4.82bn (USD 1.3bn) in the Emaar Development unit’s IPO: selling a 20% stake or 800 million shares, the IPO was priced at AED 6.03, according to a company statement. Institutional investors were allocated 93.8% of the 800 million shares on offer, with retail investors buying the remaining 6.2% subscription. Emaar Development shares will likely be listed on the Dubai Financial Market on Nov 22.
The combined value of oil and gas projects in the UAE exceeded AED 231bn, according to BNC Network; this accounts for 8% of the total estimated value of oil and gas projects in the region.
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Global Markets Update: