PMI in the UAE increased to 51 in September (August: 49.4), posting the highest reading in 11 months. Mildly higher exports sales were reported, cost burdens increased for the 5th consecutive month and discounting efforts – highest since December 2019 – helped to stimulate demand.
UAE Central Bank, in a bid to support digital transformation strategy for public services, will allow government entities in Dubai and their customers to access the Central Bank’s direct debit service to facilitate customers’ payments through different banks.
The UAE announced that issuance of entry and work permits for employment in government and semi-government entities will be resumed.
Dubai issued a new building code that streamlines building rules also creating a unified set of standards for construction – all aimed towards lowering construction costs.
The Etihad Credit Insurance issued over 1,400 revolving credit guarantees for a total exposure amount of AED 6bn, covering AED 4bn worth of non-oil exports in H1 2020.
Dubai house prices – for apartments and villas – stood at a decade low of AED 896 per square foot in September versus 2010 when prices averaged AED 898 per square foot.
LNG exports from UAE grew by 7.6% YoY to a total 1.4mn tonnes in Q2 2020. UAE’s LNG exports accounted for 1.6% of global LNG exports in Q2 and 5.5% of total Arab LNG exports.
About 140k Bahrainis (working in nearly 24k firms) received wage support from the government during April-September. Over the next 3 months, wages of about 23k persons from 4000 firms will be supported (receiving 50% of their wages from the government).
Bahrain set up a specialized office – the Financial Crimes and Money Laundering Prosecution Office, headed by a public advocate – to tackle financial crimes and money laundering.
Egypt’s PMI increased to 50.4 in September (August: 49.4) – the first 50+ reading since July 2019 – thanks to an expansion in both output and new orders, while employment also grew to the highest in 10 months.
No COVID-19 cases were detected in tourists visiting Egypt during the last 3 months –around 300k persons from 15 nations – disclosed a spokesperson for the government.
The Iranian rials touched a new low vis-à-vis the dollar, after US imposed fresh sanctions targeting 18 banks. The dollar was selling for as much as 304,300 rials on the unofficial market on Saturday, from 295,940 on Friday.
Volume of real estate trade in Jordan dropped by 29% YoY to JOD 2.257bn in January-September, with apartment sales down by 13% during this period.
Following the appointment of a new Emir in Kuwait, the new Crown Prince took oath of office in Parliament last week (the Parliament’s term ended on 8th October). Both the Emir and Crown Prince are brothers of the late ruler.
Consultations for forming the new government in Lebanon will begin on 15th October, disclosed the President. Former PM Saad Hariri stated that his candidacy to reclaim the position was not off the table, emerging as the only confirmed figure in the running.
Oman will re-impose night time lockdown from 11th October till 24th October; the Supreme Committee also decided to prohibit the use of beaches till further notice.
The number of SMEs in Oman increased by 12.4% YoY to 45706 as of end-August; Muscat topped the list with 33% of registered SMEs.
Qatar increased the number of areas where non-Qatari individuals/ companies could own properties to 9 from the 3 before; the government will also grant residency to owners of property worth at least QAR 730k (USD 200k) as well as their families.
PMI in Saudi Arabia increased to 50.7 in September after dropping to 48.8 in August and rising for the first time since February. Both new orders and output posted readings above 50 and employment fell at the softest pace since March.
Private sector firms in Saudi Arabia that are still affected by COVID-19 repercussions need to inform the General Organization for Social Insurance of beneficiaries of SANED financial compensation: only 50% of Saudi workers will be provided wages by the government. Separately, the COVID-19 related procedures within the Labour Law (reduction of salary with corresponding reduction in working hours, placing employee on paid annual leave, unpaid leave etc.) has been extended to 9 months from the start date (16th April).
Saudi Arabia’s schools will continue distance learning until the end of the first term of the educational year in
Gold production in Saudi Arabia increased by 158% to 12,353kg at end-2019 compared to 5 years prior.
Stock markets had a good week: US ended higher on the revival of fiscal stimulus talks (in spite of Trump’s announcements ranging from Tuesday’s shelving talks, followed by aid to certain sectors and the latest “Go Big!”) while in Europe, Stoxx 600 marked a 2.1% rise – the largest since August, in spite of glum economic data; as China’s data indicate a rebound from the COVID-19 crisis, markets were up 2%. Regional markets were mixed, with Kuwait gaining the most given clarity on the succession plan, as well as the Central Bank’s commitment to the strength of the dinar. The dollar weakened while onshore renminbi posted its biggest one-day rise (aided by foreign demand for Chinese assets and expectations of improved relations with the US under Biden) since 2005. Oil prices increased (amid concerns of supply as Hurricane Delta approaches), as did gold prices. COVID-19 cases are surging across many parts of the globe, and new restrictions are being enforced – be it from UK and Spain in Europe to Jordan and Oman in the Middle East. With economies not having fully recovered from the initial lockdown period, it is little wonder then that the latest PMI data from Europe show a dip in the services sector. Separately, with the US election date approaching fast, the Vix volatility index (sometimes referred to as the “fear gauge”) dropped to the lowest level in 3 weeks, on the declining likelihood of a contested election as Biden widened his lead (FiveThirtyEight signaled that Biden’s lead increased to 9.8 ppts from 7.1 at end-September).
About Business Exchange Bureau:
Business Exchange Bureau (BXB) is a Professional Marketplace for Business Owners to Buy and Sell Businesses, Investments or Business Assets in the UAE.
The BXB vision is clear - to connect great business minds to great investments.
Nasser Saidi & Associates