Global Markets Update:
The Dollar dropped by over 2% last week as the market reacted to concerns on FBI investigations on possible interference by the President on the Flynn investigation. Headwinds for the new Administration are ahead both politically and economically. Wall Street suffered the worst daily plunge in 8 months as a political storm hit President Trump after the dismissal of FBI Director Comey and the innuendos that State secrets might have been passed to the Russian Foreign Minister. Even the US bond market is mulling whether that Trump’s troubled presidency could throw the Federal Reserve off its rate hikes course. Regional markets were mixed with Saudi and Kuwait benefitting from the oil price rebound and others hit by emerging markets weakness.
Iraq replaced Saudi Arabia as the top crude supplier to India in Apr: India’s oil imports from Iraq grew by 8% YoY topping 1mn barrels per day (BPD) last month versus Saudi Arabia’s 750k BPD.
Qatar’s construction market is projected to grow at 12.1% between 2017 and 2021, thanks to investments ahead of the FIFA World Cup 2022, according to BMI Research.
Ten smart cities are to set up in Saudi Arabia, as part of the NTP 2020, according to the Minister of Municipal and Rural Affairs.
Saudi Arabia is planning to introduce a new “flexible work” system of employment for Saudi citizens, reported Al Madina This would provide both employee and employer flexible work contracts, allowing them to be employed hourly and paid weekly.
One in four children in the Arab world live in poverty, according to a study released by UNICEF. About 29 mn children were living in poverty in about 11 countries in the region studied including Egypt, Iraq, Morocco and Yemen.
GDP from construction in Abu Dhabi rose by 3.3% YoY in 2016, while the real estate sector grew by 8.1%. Together (at more than AED 266bn), construction and real estate activities accounted for 25% of non-oil sector production. Additionally, the real estate sector received AED 24bn in FDI last year, out of the total AED 95bn in Abu Dhabi.
Dubai government has secured USD 3bn in long-term financing for the expansion of its airports. The deal includes a USD 1.63bn, seven-year conventional loan and a USD 1.48bn-equivalent, seven-year Ijara facility denominated in dirhams.
Total number of business licenses issued in Dubai increased by 12% YoY in Q1 this year to 5387
UAE Minister of Economy urges investors to support the entrepreneurial ecosystem. The third annual Angel Rising Investor Education Symposium organised by startAD and VentureSouq saw local and global experts come together to discuss global vs. local investing perspectives in the context of creating a robust and flourishing entrepreneurial ecosystem in the UAE.
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