Abu Dhabi’s Non-Oil Trade declined by 8.8% yoy to AED 154.4bn (USD 42bn) in January-September 2019, as a result of a 12.7% decline in imports alongside a 14.8% dip in exports. Reexports, however, grew by 9% during the period. Saudi Arabia (AED 4.55bn), France (AED 2.28bn) and the US (AED 965.3mn) were top Non-Oil Trade Partners.
UAE’s Tax Refunds for Tourists Scheme has processed a total 2.83mn applications since it was launched in November 2018. Average daily applications of 7,730 are processed now versus 3,800 in the first month.
A new report from the World Travel and Tourism Council ranks Dubai the third biggest city in the world for international visitor spending with a total of USD 27.9bn, surpassed only by Hong Kong (USD 43.9bn) and Macau (USD 36.1bn).
Property prices in Dubai fell to AED895 per square feet on average in November, the lowest level in seven years, according to the Dynamic Price Index from Property Monitor.
The third phase of VAT roll-out in Bahrain is expected to see close to 25k businesses complete the registration process. Businesses with an annual turnover of over BHD 37.5k were expected to apply for VAT registration latest by 20 December 2019.
Kuwait’s inclusion into the MSCI Emerging Market Index – during the May 2020 semi-annual index review – could generate inflows of KWD 1bn (USD 3.3bn), revealed the Trade and Industry Minister.
Lebanon named Hassan Diab (a Former Minister) as the new PM; he plans to set up the new cabinet within 4-6 weeks and wants to choose experts to be part of the government. The Sunni Bloc, other key Christian and Druze Muslim parties did not endorse his nomination.
Oman will begin the process of banning single-use shopping bags from early next year, revealed the ministry of environment and climate affairs.
Saudi Aramco joined MSCI Emerging Markets Index on Wednesday last week: this is expected to attract over USD 1bn in capital flows as well as sustain Aramco’s USD 2trn plus valuation.
Saudi Arabia’s PIF announced SAR 4bn (USD 1.07bn) “Jada” initiative to support SMEs in the country, by investing in venture capital and private equity funds geared towards SMEs.
Saudi oil exports increased to its highest level in six months in October: crude exports increased by around 388k barrels per day (bpd) to 7.057mn bpd, according to the Joint Organisations Data Initiative.
Saudi Arabia’s SAMA directed banks that the cost of living allowance should not be affected in any way by financing requests or other financial commitments, and if mistakenly deducted should be returned within 48 hours.
Saudi Arabia is home to more than USD 1.2trn worth of planned and un-awarded projects, according to Meed, with USD 684bn projects in the Construction Sector alone.
Investments in the MENA Gas Sector is expected to witness a decline of USD 70bn in the next 5 years, forecasts Apicorp. The fall is largely due to the high global gas output, slowing regional demand and financing issues.
US Equity Markets continued to hit record highs, on trade optimism and a strong final Q3 GDP reading. The Stoxx600 index gained as did indices in Frankfurt, Paris and London, MSCI’s Asia-Pacific index was higher and MSCI’s world equity index continued to post a 4th straight week of gains. Regional Markets were mostly up compared to the week before, except for Oman; Saudi Aramco was included into the MSCI Emerging Markets Index. The British pound took a beating, posting its worst weekly fall since late 2017. Both oil prices and gold gained over the previous week. As the year inches to a close, the US and China are approaching a phase one trade deal (China announced a new list of tariff exemptions for US imports).
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