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Middle East

Kuwait’s 2020/21 Budget Reveals Record Fiscal Deficit – Marmore

Kuwait has published its budget proposal for the fiscal year 2021, which reveals that the nation’s deficit will climb for the sixth consecutive year in a row to reach a record high.

24 Jan 2020

Macro Bips & Pieces Policy & Government

Saudi Arabia Prices Triple-Trancher, Leaving a Few Bips on the Table

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia hit the market for the first time in 2020 to place USD5bn in bonds across three tranches, including a 35-year tranche – the country’s longest to date.

22 Jan 2020

Issuers Shrug Off Geopolitical Risk as Investors Pile into GCC Bonds, Sukuk

A slew of GCC borrowers have moved to sell bonds and sukuk to global investors a further sign that regional borrowers and capital holders remain unperturbed by any perceived escalation in geopolitical risk.

17 Jan 2020

Masdar to Launch UAE’s First Green REIT

Abu Dhabi-based renewable energy firm Masdar said this week that it plans to launch a sustainable real estate investment trust (REIT) and list the instrument on the Abu Dhabi Global Market.

16 Jan 2020

Does the World Still Need Banks?

Economic and business environments are conspiring to prompt some uncomfortable questions for financial institutions. One such question is – does the world still need banks? Rising competitiveness in the financial sector, persistently low interest rates, technological innovation, and a rapidly changing banking sector are just some of the key developments in the UAE of late where the financial…

15 Jan 2020

Islamic Finance to Grow at Slow Rate in 2020 – S&P Global

The Islamic finance industry is set to grow at a rate of around 5% in 2020, due to weak conditions in economic conditions in the industry’s core markets, according to S&P Global’s ‘Islamic Finance Outlook 2020’. The report also notes three drivers - the rise of FinTech, ESG sukuk, and standardisation - could fuel the industry.

15 Jan 2020

Markets See Omani Succession as “Credit Positive”

New sultan of Oman has huge shoes to fill, but progress on the reforms front is expected to continue, according to MUFG researchers.

14 Jan 2020

Saudi Arabia Launches Third Round of National Renewables Programme, Targets 1.2GW Generation

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Energy kicked off the third round of Kingdom’s National Renewable Energy Program (NREP) and is seeking bidders on new projects with a total generation capacity of 1.2GW.

10 Jan 2020

Sharia-Compliant Real Estate Lender Amlak Within Touching Distance of Debt Restructuring

Specialized Islamic real estate financier Amlak Finance PJSC has said it managed to agree credit restructuring terms with about 95% of its existing creditors, putting it within touching distance of finalising its second restructuring in five years.

9 Jan 2020

GCC Sovereigns Could Face Challenging 2020 As They Shift Further into Uncharted Geopolitical Territory

Following a year marked by numerous tanker incidents in the Straits of Hormuz and a brazen attack on Saudi Aramco’s oil infrastructure, a recent escalation in geopolitical tensions between the US, Iran and Iraq could start to reverse the strong technicals-driven performance increase seen amongst GCC sovereign credit in 2019, according to analysts at Standard Chartered.

8 Jan 2020

Dubai Eyes Expansionary 2020 Budget but Investment Spending to Drop

The Dubai government is looking to boost spending strongly in 2020 in a bid to stimulate the economy, with the sharp up-tick in spending growth set to be driven mainly by wage increases, administrative grants, and financial support. Higher fees and VAT appear likely to drive the bulk of additional revenue generation. Investment spending, meanwhile, looks set to decline.

8 Jan 2020

Oil Touches USD70 Per Barrel as Geopolitical Tensions Flare but Beyond Spot Prices, Market Reaction Remains Subdued

Brent crude prices reached within touching distance of USD70 per barrel following the US assassination of a high-ranking Iranian general in Bagdad last week, but looking beyond spot prices, the reaction of oil markets has been relatively subdued, according to Emirates NBD’s Edward Bell.

6 Jan 2020

GCC Projects Benefit as Costs Drop, Liquidity Improves – But Bond Financing Still “Long Way Off”

Three years after Abu Dhabi’s recently completed 1.17GW Sweihan photovoltaic (PV) plant attracted what were at the time record-low tariffs, GCC-focused project developers continue to break new barriers as tried and tested PPA and project funding structures begin to crystallise and the cost of funding drops.

13 Dec 2019

In Saudi Real Estate, Unrivalled Ambition Spurs Huge Opportunities and Significant Challenges

With a pipeline that includes transforming deserted islands into resort towns and near empty coastal beaches into cities the size of Washington DC, and increasing the proportion of homeownership to 70% of occupants, there are few if any examples that seem to rival the scale of ambition – or the interconnectedness and complexity of the challenges – entailed by the Saudi government’s bid to rapidly…

13 Dec 2019

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