• Monday, 03 April 2017
  • Published inApril 2017




Dear *|FNAME|*,

CRIF – Dun & Bradstreet is pleased to bring to you the latest edition of our newsletter ‘CRIF Gulf Insights’ (CGI). CGI will keep you informed about the current trends in the GCC markets and highlight key events in the regional and global economy.

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Manjeet Singh Chhabra
Managing Director
CRIF GULF DWC LLC (Dun & Bradstreet)

CRIF Gulf Insights (CGI) | Issue 20 | May 2016
Country Risk Update: Saudi Arabia
D&B Country Risk Indicator – DB3A
Level of risk – Slight Risk
Ratings trend – Deteriorating

The largest country in the Arabian Peninsula, Saudi Arabia has control over 20% of the global oil reserve. As a result, the region was able to accrue large financial buffers that facilitate short term government spending. However, the dip in oil prices has weakened the country’s fiscal position, and now long term growth is dependent on government reforms. The Saudi Arabian government will have to make tough decisions such as introducing sales tax, increasing the price of petrol and lessening utility subsidies.
In an attempt to reduce its dependency on hydrocarbons, the country is moving towards privatizing some government entities. Moreover, for the first time in over two decades, Saudi Arabia has issued international debt to support fiscal position and sustain economic growth.
Despite these moves, recent business optimism indicators show continued weak confidence in the Saudi economy.
For more information, please visit https://ift.tt/2nBbIBM
GCC Business, Finance, Commodity News
Saudi Arabia considers uniting public-private partnerships to reduce costs: In a bid to tackle its worst-ever economic slowdown, Saudi Arabia is planning to create a unit under the Ministry of Economy and Planning, that would unite private and public partnerships to cut costs and improving efficiency. The division’s purpose would be to promote the contribution of private sector in planning, financing, and other government services. The final decision on the policy and its implementation is expected to come in the next few weeks.
Abu Dhabi’s non-oil GDP rises by 8.2% to reach Dh196b in Q4: Abu Dhabi’s non-oil Gross Domestic Product (GDP) reached Dh196.1 billion in the fourth quarter of 2015, 8.2% up from Dh182 billion recorded in Q4’ 2014. Official statement from Abu Dhabi’s Department of Economic Development (ADDED) said, the non-oil value in the Emirate reached Dh99.3 billion in Q4 2015, while the value of oil activities grew by 7.1% in the same period. According to the acting Undersecretary of Abu Dhabi’s DED, Mr Khalifa Al Mansouri, the increasing non-oil contribution marks accomplishment of the Emirate’s Vision 2030 objectives.
image Inflation rate up by 3% in Abu Dhabi: The Statistics Centre Abu Dhabi (SCAD) reported a rise in consumer prices in Abu Dhabi by 3% in the first quarter of this year compared to the same quarter in 2015. In April, the consumer price index rose by 2.4% compared to the same period last year, but recorded a drop of 0.1% from March 2016. The housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuels’ sectors contributed heavily and accounted for 82.6% of the overall inflation rate. The food and beverages segment recorded a 4.8% increase from last year. Abu Dhabi contributed 77% to the overall consumer price inflation in the Emirates, with Al Ain and the Western Region accounting for 19.6% and 3.4% respectively.
image $118.65 billion raised by GCC entities via bonds and sukuks: The aggregate issuance of bonds and sukuks by GCC entities, including Central Banks, recorded a 37.2% rise from last year and touched $118.65 billion. To regulate domestic liquidity, GCC entities issue Central Bank Local Issuances (CBLI) as fixed income securities in local currencies and with short maturities of less than one year. . During 2015, a total of $53.498 billion was raised by GCC central banks including the Central Bank of Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and Oman. A total of $65.155 billion was raised in the GCC bonds market in 2015, marking a growth of 82.4% from $35.720 billion raised the previous year.
image D&B survey reports mixed outlook for Saudi firms’ in Q2, 2016: Dun & Bradstreet South Asia Middle East Ltd (D&B) in conjunction with the National Commercial Bank has released the D&B Business Optimism Index (BOI) survey for Saudi Arabia for Q2, 2016. The report gives cautious optimism levels for Saudi companies. While the hydrocarbon sector index has edged back into the positive territory in Q1, 2016, the non-hydrocarbon sector is less confident about the business landscape for Q2, 2016 due to issues such as oil price impact, changing government rules and regulations. Q2, 2016 outlook for the trade and hospitality sector has shown sideways movement in comparison to the index for Q1, 2016 while the Construction, Finance, Real Estate & Business Services sector outlook has dropped to the lowest level in the series.
image S&P affirms Oman’s BBB-/A-3’ oil exporter rating: Standard & Poor’s has validated its BBB-/A-3’ rating on Oman saying the leading Arabian oil exporter has a stable outlook for 2016-2019 against risks from weakening economic income, fiscal, and external flows. Oman’s budget deficit stands at 16% of GDP last year. S&P estimates that the government’s moves on spending cuts and a rise in corporate taxes will help decrease the deficit to 13%. S&P noted that Oman raised its oil production to 358 million barrels last year, with exports up by 5.5% to 308 million barrels. Gulf states lost US$390 billion in export earnings last year, and the losses are predicted to touch a further $140bn this year owing to the fall in oil prices.
Stock Markets

Abu Dhabi stocks in worst run since October as Gulf markets drop
Gulf reforms to boost M&A, private equity deals
Bahrain Bourse lists BD200 million bond
Gulf IPO performance remains relatively sluggish in Q1: PwC
Saudi stock markets defy Moody’s cut
MSM to see flurry of insurance IPOs next year
GCC indices
Indices* 19-May 25-May Chg.%
ADX 4,235.38 4,288.61 +1.26
BSE 1,102.56 1,099.63 -0.27
DFM 3,229.87 3,308.77 +2.44
KSE 5,324.05 5,368.25 +0.83
MSM 5,931.00 5,930.51 -0.01
QE 9,813.96 9,705.74 -1.01
TASI 6,695.26 6,516.49 -2.67
*ADXGI (Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index), BASI (Bahrain All Share Index), DFMGI (Dubai Financial Market General Index), KSEMI (Kuwait Stock Exchange Market Index), MSM30 (Muscat Securities Market MSM30 Index), QEI (Qatar Exchange Index), TASI (Tadawul All Share Index – Saudi Stock Exchange)
Commodity Markets
Commodity Exchange Rates (in US$)
Commodity 19-May 25-May Chg.%
Brent 48.81 49.74 +1.91
WTI 48.16 49.56 +2.91
OPEC Basket 43.84 44.02 +0.41
Gold 1,254.70 1,224.00 -2.45

Iran-Saudi row threatens OPEC deal
Oil prices hardening, could rise to $60 before year-end – Shale oil
Global oil demand surprises on the upside
OPEC ‘will’ stay strong – Oil demand rising
Kuwait minister urges Iran, OPEC to freeze production
Global gold demand soars to 1,290 tonnes in 2016 Q1
Cards & Payments Middle East 2016, between 31st May to 1st June, 2016 at the Dubai World Trade Centre
Cityscape Exhibition and Conference, between September 6th to 8th, 2016 at the Dubai World Trade Centre
Tip of the Week
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CRIF GULF DWC LLC. (Dun & Bradstreet)
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Main: +971 4 406 99 00 | Fax: +971 4 406 99 01 | Website: www.crif.ae


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