US and North Korea tensions dominate...

SME Snapshot - Weekly Round-Up Of Global, MENA And SME News In Under 60 Seconds. Published By Business Exchange Bureau.

US and North Korea tensions dominate...

Global Markets Update:
Tensions between North Korea and the US hit a new level yesterday as North Korea’s foreign minister says the US has declared war, stating they have every right to take countermeasures including shooting down US aircraft even if they are not in North Korean Airspace. Germany focus remained on the result of the General Election, which has been described as the worst possible outcome for political stability other than a Merkel defeat. US equity markets that had been quietly waiting for the Fed’s FOMC meeting reacted composedly to the announcement on the QE phasing out. Global equities were generally lifted by risk appetite (although some regional markets like KSA did not benefit much), shrugging off the geopolitical tensions and financial shares led the gains thanks to higher bond yields Oil prices were supported by the gradual decline in inventories’, while tensions in the Korean Peninsula and Trump’s aggressive speech at the UN (also aimed at Iran) failed to lift the price of gold.

MENA Update:
Saudi Arabia
’s Public Investment Fund is in the process of setting up a new company (with an initial capitalisation of SAR 10bn) that will invest in entertainment projects in the country. Initial projects planned include an entertainment complex that will be launched by 2019; by 2030, the company’s projects aim to serve more than 50 million visitors annually and create more than 22,000 jobs.
Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Labor and Social Development is expected to announce about 80,000 job opportunities for women: as part of the 3rd phase of feminizing and nationalizing, shops selling perfumes, shoes, bags, stockings, mother care materials, pharmacies in malls and shopping centers selling cosmetics will be targeted.

UAE News:
The contribution of UAE’s non-oil sector to GDP is expected to rise to 80% in four years from 70% currently, given the country’s rapid diversification efforts, according to the Minister of Economy. Speaking at the UAE-Iraq Trade and Investment Forum, he also stated that bilateral non-oil trade between the two nations stood at a relatively high USD 11bn.
UAE’s non-oil sector is forecast to grow at 3.1% this year, before rising to 3.5% next year, according to the central bank governor.
DEWA plans to install solar panels for UAE nationals’ villas in Hatta, for free. The project aims to transform Hatta residents from energy consumers to green consumers and producers of clean energy.

SME News:
AIM Startup – a major initiative by the UAE Ministry of Economy and part of the Annual Investment Meeting (AIM), an international investment conference in Dubai – has partnered with key Saudi Arabian institutions that will help spearhead entrepreneurship in the region.

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