The UAE issued its Federal Corporate Tax Law that will levy a headline 9 per cent rate on taxable income exceeding Dh375,000 ($102,000).
The UAE Federal Decree Law No. 37 of 2022 on family businesses will come into force in January 2023: included are the formation of a “Family Business Dispute Resolution Committee” in each emirate (as such disputes are the main causes for termination of family businesses), clarity on procedures and controls to follow in the event of bankruptcy/ insolvency of one of the partners, allowing more flexibility in the number of partners, and providing existing partners priority right to buy shares of other partners in case of fellow partners’ bankruptcy among others.
Passenger traffic in Abu Dhabi airports grew by 250% YoY to 4.7mn passengers in Q3 2022. The airports received 10.98mn passengers till end-September, equivalent to the total in 2020 and 2021 combined, and it is expected that it will total more than 15mn passengers in 2022.
Dubai Airports' post-pandemic recovery was supported by the rise in traffic growth between Saudi Arabia and Dubai (18% of total traffic), according to the Dubai Airports CEO. He also disclosed that point-to-point traffic numbers to the city were 119% over and above pre-pandemic levels in December 2021.
ADGM’s Financial Services Regulatory Authority launched an AI initiative to support the field of regulatory compliance. The ADGM’s OpenReg initiative provides a “training ground” where specialists, stakeholders and the data science community have access to FSRA’s AI models, data and research to create AI-enabled RegTech tools.
Petrol prices in the UAE were decreased by 2 fils (AED 0.2) in December across the various categories.
Etihad Rail has reached an agreement with petrochemical company Borouge to transport 1.3mn tonnes of polyolefins annually from its petrochemical complex in Al Ruways Industrial City via rail for export. The use of Etihad Rail will reduce the time required to transport Borouge’s products to 4 hours (vs 12 hours via other modes of transport).
The UAE’s President, in his capacity as the ruler of Abu Dhabi, ordered the disbursement of housing loans worth AED 3bn to 1900 citizens. Altogether, total value of housing packages disbursed this year stands at around AED 7bn to more than 4k beneficiaries.
The Ruler of Dubai approved the Dubai Countryside and Rural Areas Development Master Plan, spanning an area of 2,216 square kilometres: the plan will protect natural reserves and archaeological sites while creating unique tourist experiences in such destinations (like scenic routes, sky diving, hot air balloons, safari trips etc).
OPEC+ made no changes to its existing oil policy, i.e. will continue reducing oil production by 2mn barrels per day, or about 2% of world demand, from November until end-2023. This came in the backdrop of the weak global growth alongside G7 and Australia joining the EU nations’ agreed price cap of USD 60 on Russian oil (this was not discussed during the OPEC+ meeting). The price cap is expected to be reviewed every two months, starting mid-January.
The government of Egypt allocated total investments worth EGP 49.5bn to the development of the petroleum and mineral resources sector under the 2022-23 plan.
Egypt’s Agriculture Ministry announced that the nation would start exporting agricultural products to the Philippines following five years of negotiations.
Egypt’s government and UAE firm AMEA Power have agreed to build a 560MW solar park and 505MW wind farm in a USD 1.1bn deal. The deal is supported with debt and equity financing from the IFC (International Finance Corporation) as well as several development banks and commercial banks. Construction is expected to start in December 2022, with completion dates after 18 and 30 months for the solar plant and wind farm respectively.
The CEO of Egypt’s sovereign fund disclosed that deals will be awarded to build 21 water desalination plants next year, as part of the first USD 3bn phase of a programme.
Egypt’s Suez Canal revenues are likely to touch USD 7.8bn at the end of 2022, according to the Chairman of the Suez Canal Authority.
Kuwait’s Ambassador to Jordan disclosed that Kuwait is the top investor in Jordan, with KWD 5.5bn (USD 18bn) in investments. He also noted that the two nations have signed 73 joint agreements to enhance existing economic relations.
Inflation in Lebanon increased by 158.5% YoY and 14.6% MoM in October, with inflation at three-digit YoY levels for the 28th consecutive month. Prices are up across the board, with the cost of healthcare nearly up fourfold, restaurants, hotels and education costs up three times and that of clothing, footwear, as well as recreation, costs up by 2.5 times compared to a year ago.
Qatar signed and agreed two sales and purchase agreements to export 2mn tonnes LNG annually to Germany for at least 15 years from 2026. The former’s Energy Minister stated later that there is no limit to the amount of LNG that can be shipped to Germany. Germany is constrained by plans to reduce gas consumption from mid-2030s to meet its goal to become carbon-neutral by 2045.
Two million Hayya cards have been issued to attend the Qatar World Cup, revealed FIFA. Saudi Arabia topped the list of visitors followed by India, the US, the UK and Mexico.
US state department approved the potential sale of an anti-drone system to Qatar – a deal valued at USD 1bn. Negotiations have not yet been concluded nor a contract signed yet.
Saudi Arabia announced the discovery of two natural gas fields in the country, in turn adding to its overall natural gas reserves (Saudi accounted for 3.2% of total proved natural gas reserves in 2020, according to BP Statistics).
Saudi Arabia issued permits for 725 industrial projects in January-September 2022, worth an accumulated SAR 1.37trn (USD 265bn), according to data from the Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources. In Sepember alone, permits were issued for 79 industrial projects worth an estimated SAR 3.1bn with up to 1,882 licensed workers.
Plans were revealed to transform the Saudi Riyadh airport into a hub with 6 parallel runways, accommodate up to 120mn travellers by 2030, and act as the base of its new airline RIA. The new King Salman International Airport (which will include the current King Khaled airport) is expected to contribute USD 7.2bn annually to the non-oil economy, create 103k direct and indirect jobs, handle 185mn travellers and process 3.5mn tons of cargo by 2050.
The world’s first commercial shipment of blue ammonia is bound for South Korea from Saudi Arabia. The Vessel Seasurfer, carrying 25,000 metric tons of low-carbon blue ammonia, is supposed to reach its destination between December 9th and 13th.
PIF-owned Saudi Entertainment Ventures (Seven) plans to invest SAR 50bn (USD 13.3bn) to develop 21 integrated entertainment destinations in 14 cities. The firm added that construction on the first entertainment destination started in the Al Hamra district of Riyadh.
Saudi Arabia’s Defence Ministry signed the MOU with Spanish state-owned Navantia to build multi-mission combat ships for the Saudi Navy. The company will “localize up to 100% of naval shipbuilding, integration of combat systems, and ship maintenance”.
Saudi Arabia presented the country’s bid to host the World Expo 2030 in Riyadh during a general assembly of the Bureau of International Expositions last week. Other candidates in the run include South Korea (Busan), Italy (Rome), Ukraine (Odesa) and Russia (Moscow).
US equity markets posted second consecutive weekly gains following hints from the Fed about slowing the rate hikes though payrolls data will likely add some pressure. Major European equity markets ended slightly in the red. MSCI (Morgan Stanley Capital International) Emerging markets index had their best month since 2009 as Chinese and Asian markets turned around thanks to signs of easing COVID restrictions in China. Risk views however remain varied, as the global yield curve inverted for the first time in two decades. Regional markets were mixed, with Egypt the best performer amongst them. Oil markets remained a focus during the week with the decision on the Russian oil price cap (decided at USD 60 per barrel), as well as the OPEC+ meeting (oil output levels will remain steady).
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