Global Markets Update:
Regular readers will know that Market gains have been global but there are 3 key themes that are now apparent. 1-The global economy is experiencing a relatively steady, synchronized expansion amid low inflation, with low risk of recession. 2-U.S. fiscal policy is supportive of growth, and hopes for tax-cut legislation represent a potential upside for corporate earnings. 3-A shift toward tighter global monetary policy may boost market volatility, underscoring the importance of diversification. After another bullish week for most developed equities markets. The Dow-Jones set a score of records above 23,000 (despite a sell-off in tech stocks) on hopes that the Trump tax reform is on the right track in Congress. The Topix was lifted by the prospects of a landslide victory by Prime Minister Abe in today’s election. However, European bourses were hampered by the tensions in Catalonia, while emerging markets indices took a hit from Turkey, Russia, and Brazil. Regional markets were mixed, in part reflecting the worries over the US stance on the nuclear deal with Iran. Oil was supported by a large drawdown in inventories and OPEC’s announcement of high compliance with agreed cuts. Gold prices glided down as the clouds over the geopolitical horizon dissipated.
Tourism revenues in Egypt grew by 211.8% YoY to USD 5.3bn in Jan-Sep this year, with the number of tourists increasing by 55.3% to 5.9mn and tourists average spending rising to USD 88.2 per night.
In Saudi Arabia, VAT will not be applicable on housing rents or governmental services, according to the official VAT Twitter handle.
Saudi Aramco, as part of its diversification efforts, plans to set up a construction company with local and international partners to build non-oil infrastructure in Saudi Arabia. PIF is expected to be part of this newly created company.
Saudi Arabia witnessed a 27% YoY growth in online transactions to USD 8.3bn last year. Saudi Arabia was the fastest growing country in the airlines and travel sectors, showing 21% YoY growth in airline payment volume and 36% growth in travel and tourism.
More clarifications on VAT in the UAE: VAT will not be applicable on investors’ share transactions or on profit margins in the UAE stock markets; the executive regulations are still being drafted, according to the ministry of finance undersecretary.
The combined value of Expo 2020-related development projects is estimated at AED 122bn, according to BNC Projects.
The value of off-plan transactions in Dubai increased by 118% to AED 4.04bn in Q3, with Dubai South accounting for the largest number of transactions (1151), according to Chestertons Mena.
UAE spent USD 12.4bn in online transactions last year, up 21% YoY, according to Payfort (a payment gateway owned by Amazon). The highest in the region, UAE’s spending represents almost half of the USD 30.4bn total online purchases in select Middle East countries. The report also found that about five in ten people in the UAE (46.7%, or approximately 4.3mn of the population) have fallen into debt, while 12.8% are actively looking for a loan.
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Global Markets Update: