Saudi Arabia has lifted COVID-19 Measures...

Saudi Arabia has lifted COVID-19 Measures...

UAE News:
UAE’s President pledged an additional USD 50bn investment to scale up climate action across the globe.
Inflation in the UAE increased to 3.35% YoY in Q1, according to the FCSA. Prices rose across transportation (22%), restaurants and hotels (6.87%), food and soft drinks (5.4%) and tobacco (4.07%) among others.
The second auction of UAE’s federal treasury bonds with a target value of AED 1.5bn (USD 408mn) was held on 20th June.
This year the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange expects to exceed the number of listings in 2021 and disclosed that it has a “good pipeline” of IPOs. The exchange plans to add more single-stock futures on its derivatives market, introduce 3-5 futures and launch a tradeable version of the FTSE FADX 15 Index.
Dubai government will implement its pension plan for expatriates in Dubai government entities starting 1st July.
UAE announced a four-month suspension in exports and re-exports of wheat and wheat flour originating from India; however, exports of wheat from India for domestic consumption has been approved.
Bahrain-based Coinmena, a Shariah compliant crypto assets trading platform, received a provisional virtual assets license to operate in Dubai.
Electric vehicle company NWTN plans to set up a manufacturing base in Kizad: the first phase, to be completed in Q4 2022, will have 24000 square meters of manufacturing, testing, inventory and storage space with an annual capacity of 5000 to 10000 units.

MENA News:
King of Bahrain, in a cabinet reshuffle, changed 17 of the 22 ministers, with appointments including 4 female ministers. Appointments included the Deputy PM, ministers for oil and environment, industry and commerce as well as tourism among others.
Bloomberg reported that Aluminum Bahrain, already listed on the Bahrain stock Exchange, was considering a second listing on Saudi Tadawul, either by end of this year or early 2023. However, in a Bourse filing, the company stated that “it takes its disclosure obligations very seriously” and will make statements based “on well-established facts and not on speculation”.
Egypt’s Finance Minister revealed that higher oil and wheat prices would cost an additional USD 7.2bn and USD 3bn, putting further strain on the budget amid pressure on the EGP.
The Suez Canal extended rebates on canal tolls for LNG & liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) carriers from July until end-2022.
Iran’s currency fell to a record low of 332,000 to the dollar last Sunday (12th June) amid uncertainty about the nuclear deal and sanctions but recovered slightly following a dollar injection into the market.
In a bid to alleviate the electricity shortage during summer, Iraq has begun setting up electricity interconnection stations with Saudi Arabia. The country also has supply agreements with Turkey, Jordan and other GCC nations.
The Oman Investment Authority revealed plans to exit 6 national assets: this would include listing at the Muscat Stock Exchange two assets of the state energy company OQ and a manufacturing asset. The OIA also plans full and partial exits from a “number” of Omran (Oman Tourism Development Company) hotels and resorts as well as two projects of Asyad (an integrated logistics service provider).
Qatar expects to handle 34-36mn passengers at the Hamad International Airport this year. During the World Cup (which runs mid-November to mid-December), an estimated 3.5-4.1mn passengers will pass through in November and 3.4-4.7mn are expected in December.
Qatar, which has fewer than 30k hotel rooms, will offer 1000 “Bedouin style” tents in the desert during the World Cup, of which 200 will be luxurious. In addition, non-hotel accommodation has been boosted and two cruise ships moored in Doha will also support overnight lodging.
The tourism sector in Saudi Arabia has been given a SAR 300mn boost: a joint-financing program by the state-owned tourism fund and Arab National Bank will support SMEs with financing, with initial approval coming within 48 hours of submitting the application. The loans need to be repaid within a period of up to 5 years.
Saudi Arabia has lifted all COVID-19-related protective measures including the mask mandate; the latter however still stands in the Grand Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque.

Global News:
US stocks posted their biggest weekly decline in two years, as global equity markets tumbled on fears of recession (and lower corporate earnings) amid monetary policy tightening to rein in inflation. Chinese markets were slightly up last week, thanks to the efforts to support recovery post-lockdowns. Regional markets mirrored the global sentiment and were down as well, with Saudi posting the biggest drop; both UAE markets declined on growth concerns. Oil prices fell on concerns that slower growth could curtail demand; gold price also fell from a week ago.

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SOURCE:
Nasser Saidi & Associates

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