Global Markets Update:
The lead up to the holiday season traditionally thins out trade activity. The Dow Jones failed to touch the 20,000 mark, which has been within striking distance for several days, as disappointing economic data failed to spur optimism and yields on 10-year Treasuries continued to climb to 2.55%. Other major bourses were rather stable, but emerging markets took another blow due to the rising dollar.
With the exception of Saudi Arabia, Regional markets remained robust, to some extent helped by the oil price. The Kingdom announced an tight budget that aimed at erasing the national deficit by 2020. In currency markets, the Bloomberg dollar spot index is close to levels not seen in more than a decade. The Japanese Yen had another good week, while the British Pound sunk once again to $1.2283, as the UK Government continues to struggle with the Brexit strategy. Brent oil prices reached a 2016 high at $53.18/barrel, while gold prices were almost unchanged at $1,132.34/Oz.
A BLOOVO.COM report suggested four regulatory arcs for facilitating SME growth further. First, aside from subsidised financing, funds and incubators could deliver mentoring and support to increase chances of business success, making up the shortfall presented by conventional bank financing. Second, tweaking company formation laws could offer greater flexibility by allowing greater foreign ownership, to attract FDIs and international innovators. Third, a focus on commercialising intellectual property would help companies turn ideas into revenue streams–with the public sector playing a facilitative role in helping SMEs file international patents.Finally, greater focus could be placed on making SMEs an essential part of critical supply chains, such as making them first-preference suppliers for government contracts, for instance. The UAE’s Federal Law No. 2 also mandates that federal bodies must procure at least 10 per cent of their servicing and consulting requirements from the UAE’s SME's is a good start to facilitating this.
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