Abu Dhabi’s ADNOC plans to float 4% of its gas business, selling more than 3bn shares; the offer price, “determined based on the offer price range”, was announced on 23rd February (first day of the offer period). The company plans to raise USD 2bn or more, giving Adnoc Gas a valuation of at least USD 50bn. Adnoc has already transferred 5% of Adnoc Gas to Taqa, the main power producer in the UAE. Adnoc Gas has a capacity of about 10bn standard cubic feet of gas per day, while reporting adjusted revenue of USD 21.2bn and net income of USD 4.2bn in the January-October 2022 period.
GDP in Abu Dhabi grew by 10.5% YoY in January-September 2022, with the non-oil sector contributing 50.3% to GDP and the real estate sector expanding by 20.3%.
UAE-India trade relations jumped by 27.5% YoY to USD 57.8bn (AED 212.5bn) between April-November 2022, according to data from the Indian consulate in Dubai.
UAE accounted for 40% of VC investments in the MENA region (which totaled more than USD 3bn in 2022), revealed the CEO of the Economic Development Department at the Department of Economy and Tourism.
The president of the COP28 summit stated that “keeping 1.5 [goal] alive is a top priority” given the reality that global emissions must decline 43% by 2030, and that a major “course correction” would be needed to get to the target.
The International Finance Corporation (IFC) will sign an MoU with the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development to jointly invest USD 1.5bn in energy transition, disclosed the IFC Director at the World Government Summit.
The net earnings of 123 listed Emirati companies grew by 60% YoY to AED 191bn in 2022, reported WAM (the Emirates News Agency). Banking sector dominated the earnings, with 18 banks posting a 32% YoY rise in net earnings to AED 50.319bn. IHC was the most profitable listed company, with a 175% surge in net earnings to AED 31.86bn in 2022.
The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) forecast that Dubai and Abu Dhabi’s travel and tourism sector grew to AED 46bn and AED 11bn respectively in 2022 (only 10% and 12% below 2019 level). Employment in the sector is estimated to have risen to 262k and 43k respectively in Dubai and Abu Dhabi (up by 13% and 0.4%).
Emaar’s group property sales touched a record-high AED 35.1bn (USD 9.5bn) in 2022, according to the company; the backlog of property sales jumped to AED 53.2bn.
Revenues from tourism in Bahrain reached BHD 1.5bn (USD 3.98bn) in 2022, about 50% higher than the target figure, disclosed the Tourism Minister. Last year, the number of visitors touched 9.9mn and average duration of the stay was 3.5 days. Inbound tourism has recovered by 90% compared to pre-pandemic levels.
Turkish investments in Egypt total USD 2bn, and a visiting delegation of Turkish businesses committed to invest USD 500mn in the country.
Lebanon’s Finance Minister stated that it would be difficult to replace the Central Bank governor, this despite the ongoing three and a half year banking and financial meltdown and economic crisis, also saying “there is no consensus yet” regarding an extension of term. Separately, the governor disclosed in an interview that he would leave in July even if asked to stay longer.
Oman’s state energy company OQ plans to raise around USD 244mn from the IPO of its oil and gas drilling business Abraj Energy Services (selling 49%). The offering opened from 20th February onwards and trading will begin on or around 14th March.
OPEC+ is likely to continue with the current deal till end of the year, disclosed the Saudi Energy Minister. He stated that output cannot be increased based on just initial signals of higher oil demand. An OPEC report last week raised global oil demand by 2.32mn barrels per day (bpd) or 2.3% while expecting Russian production to fall by 900k bpd this year, down from a decline of 850k bpd expected last month. Separately, UAE Energy Minister stated that there was no need for an early OPEC+ meeting in the backdrop of Russia’s output cut.
Saudi Arabia was ranked highest in the Middle East in the electronic and mobile government services maturity index published by UN ESCWA (from being second in 2021). The country moved up 12 places to 31st in the UN’s e-government development index.
Saudi Arabia launched the New Murabba Development Company to develop an ambitious New Murabba project in downtown Riyadh by 2030 – including a museum, a technology and design university, a multi-purpose immersive theatre and more than 80 cultural and entertainment venues. It is expected to add SAR 180bn (USD 48bn) to non-oil GDP and create 334k direct and indirect jobs by 2030.
Saudi PIF bought a USD 265mn stake in Chinese esport company VSPO, becoming the company’s single largest equity holder as well as raising its stake in Nintendo (to 8.26% from 7.08%), making it the largest outside investor. Separately, the PIF also invested a total of USD 1.3bn in 4 local construction firms, as part of its capital increase initiatives.
Venture capital funding in Saudi Arabia surged by 72% YoY in 2022 with investments touching USD 987mn across 144 deals, revealed MAGNiTT. Saudi Arabia saw 10 M&A transactions last year, out the total of 17 in the MENA region.
Foreign and domestic tourists in Saudi Arabia rose to 93.5mn in 2022 (with foreign tourists at 16.5mn), with tourism spending rising by 93% YoY to SAR 185bn.
Global equity markets were mixed: hawkish comments from two Fed officials and recent signs of strength in the economy (higher retail sales, decline in claims along with a rise in PPI) indicate potential for more tightening policies to curb inflation; in Europe, Stoxx 600 had a strong week, and the FTSE 100 hit a record intra-day high. In the region, Abu Dhabi settled higher on Friday (though ending in the red for the week) after the ADNOC Gas IPO announcement while Qatar and Saudi were supported by gains in the banking and energy sectors. The dollar index touched a 6-week high before easing on Friday; the dollar touched a 6-week high of JPY 134.355 last week. Oil prices fell by around 4% on concerns about Fed hikes amid signs of sufficient supply while the price of European natural gas fell to an 18-month low of below EUR 50 per megawatt hour (vs a peak of more than EUR 300/ MWh in August 2022). Lastly, gold price was down by 0.9% for the week in the backdrop of a stronger dollar.
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