Global Markets update:
Trade policy and uncertainty over the fragility of large emerging markets continued to keep uncertainty elevated on global equity markets at the beginning of the week. So US indices touched new record highs and marked the longest bull run in history. Other bourses both in developed and emerging economies performed well, with the MSCI rebounding strongly from a yearly low. Regional markets were mostly closed for the Eid celebrations. In currency markets the Fed’s minutes proved to be dollar-negative, while the yen was on the back foot despite supportive macro data. The oil price rallied as the demand for oil products is perking up and crude oil inventories fell by 5.8 mn barrels against forecast of a 1.9 mn barrels draw. The gold price recovered above the USD 1200/ounce after several weeks of relentless decline.
Around 11,851 Kuwaitis are on the waiting list for employment, with women accounting for 77.3% of the total. Only 1985 applicants are highly qualified, according to the Civil Services Commission, and those holding an elementary level certificate constituted the lion’s share (25.96%). Separately, around 3000 expats working in the government sector will be laid off this year.
Saudi Arabia’s energy minister issued a statement that the government “remains committed to the IPO of Saudi Aramco at a time of its own choosing when conditions are optimum”, also revealing that internal preparations for the listing was complete and that more reforms were being prepared – reforms to the country’s tax laws, drafting of a new, long-term concession to the company – to pave the way for a listing.
Saudi Arabia is expected to generate SAR 22.2bn (USD 6bn) revenue from tourism this year, revealed the Tourism Information and Research Centre (MAS), with incoming tourism generating SAR 8.7bn (+15.9%).
UAE PMI declined to a 3-month low of 55.8 in July from June’s 57.1, with softer readings of both output and new work, though new export orders increased at the sharpest rate in three years.
Dubai Chamber announced that it would waive late membership fees to support economic growth while reducing the cost of doing business in the emirate. The Chamber also plans to coordinate with other government entities to review its services and related fees.
UAE is Hong Kong’s 18th largest trading partner: bilateral trade between the two nations fell to AED 17.3bn (USD 4.7bn) in H1 this year, largely due to the dip in jewellery and precious metals trade.
Inflation in Dubai increased to 2.2% YoY in July, up from 1.32% the month before. Price of tobacco products increased by 78.5% while transport and restaurants/hotel prices were up by 17% and 11.9% respectively.
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Global Markets update: