Biden: The US-President Elect...

Biden: The US-President Elect...

UAE News:
UAE Central Bank disclosed that its Targeted Economic Support Scheme directly impacted more than 321k beneficiaries including 310k distressed residents, 1,500 companies and 10k SMEs.
PMI (Purchasing Managers' Index) in the UAE fell to 49.5 in October (September: 51), with the new orders sub-index falling to 49.3 (for the first time since May) while business sentiment towards the 12-month outlook was at a joint-record low.
Inflation in the UAE fell by 2.36% YoY and 0.5% MoM in September. Prices of food and restaurant costs were higher by 4.2% and 3.1% YoY respectively, but were more than offset by declines in recreation and culture (-28%) and transportation costs (-6.9%).
Bilateral trade between Dubai and China grew by 50% YoY to AED 2.42bn in January-August 2020. During this period, the total number of certificate of origins issued for China-bound shipments reached 1,936 certificates – twice the number from a year ago.
The UAE has been ranked second globally as a source of remittances, according to the World Bank, accounting for 10.7% of GDP. US topped the list at USD 71bn.
UAE announced an overhaul of the existing legal system that sees changes to existing laws including family, civil and criminal law: this includes changes to inheritance laws, judicial procedures (provision of translators) and alcohol consumption (ending the alcohol license system) among others.

MENA News:
Bahrain approved its state budget for 2021-22, based on oil price at USD 45, generating estimated total revenues of BHD 4.624bn and overall deficits of 2.421bn. Not only does the budget expect a decline in primary deficits, but also a continued drop in government administrative expenses (by 30%) during the period.
Occupancy levels in Bahrain’s hotels have started to recover in August-September: levels touched 22%, supported by domestic tourism (a trend visible in other GCC nations as well).
International tourists’ arrival into Egypt dived by 62.3% YoY leading to a 54.9% plunge in tourism receipts in H1 this year, according to the World Tourism Barometer.
Egypt and Iraq agreed to establish an oil-for-reconstruction mechanism whereby companies would undertake development projects in return for oil.
Iraq unveiled a “single window” for business registration, an entirely contactless registration, regulation and reporting portal to improve the business environment.
The Central Bank of Jordan extended support for SMEs by allowing them to defer instalments until end-2021. Furthermore, the regulations of the programme at the Jordan Loan Guarantee Corporation was amended to help those negatively affected by the outbreak.
Saudi Arabia rolled out a spate of labour reforms under its “Labour Relation Initiative”, effective March 2021, giving more rights to expat workers including permitting employees to change their employer and requesting Exit/Re-Entry Visas without the employer’s consent.

Global News:
Stock markets had a good week across the globe: In the US, all markets gained while waiting for the Presidential election results; European markets posted the best weekly gain since June, while in Japan, the Nikkei average rose to a 29-year high; MSCI (Morgan Stanley Capital International) Asia Pacific (ex-Japan) touched a near 3-year high while the MSCI all-world index posted its best weekly gain in close to 7 months. In the region, most markets were higher compared to a week ago. The euro and pound gained on dollar weakness, oil prices closed below USD 40 last week, while gold price inched closer to the USD 2k mark. With the new US President-elect announced, one of the biggest challenges for the new administration will be its strategy to contain the COVID-19 outbreak, with daily cases crossing 100k for the last 4 days. Many policy changes are likely to be revealed in the next few weeks: ranging from taxes and spending to energy and climate as well as trade, foreign policy and tech. Overall, the change is likely to reduce US and global policy uncertainty, on greater support for global growth, trade and investment. This will give a strong push for risk assets and markets. Europe meanwhile is reeling from its recent COVID-19 surge: though not going into extreme lockdowns as before, its healthcare systems are being stretched given the record high cases. 

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