NL/27.11.2017

 

 

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NOV 2017 ISSUE

CGI. 97

Country Risk Update – Oman

The ports of Sohar and Salalah are emerging as regionally competitive infrastructure facilities, soon to be joined by Al Duqm. The government is targeting high-end tourism as an area for growth.The economy is weakening, although business performance is holding up for now. Growth will remain slow in the outlook period due to the drop in oil revenues, which has also forced the government to prioritise certain projects. In addition, the government is looking to raise alternative revenue streams through taxation, and to issue greater levels of debt in order to ease pressure on the public accounts. It has already started to reduce subsidies, although public dissent over higher prices is rising.

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Market Overview
UAE seen returning to budget surplus in 2019
The UAE’s budget balance will return to surplus by 2019, owing to the recovery in oil prices, the introduction of new taxes – most notably the value-added tax in 2018, according to a new research note.Analysts BMI said capital expenditure will drive total spending over the coming years, but will pose no threat to fiscal sustainability.The research note said the UAE’s fiscal situation will continue to improve over the next few years, with the budget to return to surplus by 2019. BMI forecast the budget deficit to shrink to 0.7 percent of GDP in 2018, down from a projected 1.6 percent in 2017, and to return to surplus in 2019. Higher oil prices will boost government revenues in the UAE, notably by supporting the hydrocarbon revenue of Abu Dhabi – where the majority of oil production is located.
Artificial intelligence halves bank operation costs – Al Ghurair
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and digitisation can cut bank and financial operating costs by half, according to Abdulaziz Al Ghurair, Chairman of the UAE Banks Federation.Speaking at the Middle East Banking Forum in Abu Dhabi, Al Ghurair said that the UAE is among the most advanced nations when it comes to the implementation of technology in the banking sector. “Artificial intelligence and digitalisation save up to 30 to 50 costs for the banking and financial system,” he said, adding that digitalisation is “a must” for UAE banking and financial-sector companies to keep pace with global developments.“The banking sector is an integral part of the UAE economy, playing a major role in the economic diversification drive,” he added.
Saudi wealth fund said to take over $10bn financial hub
Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund has finalised a deal to take ownership of Riyadh’s $10 billion unfinished financial hub as the government attempts to revive the project, according to people familiar with the matter.The Public Investment Fund is taking control of the King Abdullah Financial District from the Public Pension Agency, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. Details of the deal aren’t clear, they said.The fund will appoint Hilmi Ghosheh as the head of the hub that has been plagued by delays and cost overruns, the people said. Ghosheh is currently advising the PIF’s Managing Director Yasir Al-Rumayyan on real estate projects, according to his LinkedIn profile.Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman lists the rehabilitation of the financial district as one of his objectives in the kingdom’s Vision 2030 economic reform plan.
Financing completed for Abu Dhabi’s $1.2bn Reem Mall
Al Farwaniya Property Developments, the consortium behind Abu Dhabi’s Reem Mall, on 21 November,announced that financing for the $1.2 billion project is now complete. Reem Mall, located on Abu Dhabi’s Reem Island, will offer 2 million sq ft of leasable area comprising 450 stores, including 85 food and beverage outlets. It will also feature education-oriented anchors and family-focused entertainment, including Snow Park Abu Dhabi, when it opens in 2020.“The business climate in Abu Dhabi is one of the things that makes it so attractive to investors. The speed with which Abu Dhabi authorities completed the formalities to proceed with Reem Mall is a great example of efficiency in action,” said Tarek Sultan, CEO, Agility, one of the companies involved in the consortium.
Dubai’s Emirates REIT picks Standard Chartered for debut dollar sukuk, say sources
Emirates REIT, a Dubai-based sharia-compliant real estate investment trust, has appointed Standard Chartered to lead its planned debut US dollar-denominated sukuk, sources familiar with the matter said.The sukuk transaction, which according to a company’s presentation could range between $350m and $425m in size, will be issued before the end of the year or in the first quarter of next year at the latest.Emirates REIT’s sukuk will be the latest corporate addition to the Gulf debt capital markets, which are in their second consecutive record-breaking year in terms of volume of issuance as corporates and sovereigns borrow funds internationally to mitigate the impact of lower oil prices.Debt issuance in the Gulf totalled $63.5bn last year and it exceeded $80bn so far this year. Emirates REIT plans to issue the sukuk, or Islamic bond, to fully replace its existing debt and lengthen the debt repayment profile of the company.
New ‘waste fee’ coming to Dubai building owners
A new ‘waste fee’ could soon be levied on building owners and property management companies, according to reports, after Dubai Municipality announced plans to outsource its waste collection service to the private sector. The proposed charge was confirmed by a senior municipality officer, who said that, the civic body would stop its waste collection and transportation service to all buildings – commercial or residential – that are considered business, according to sources.To arrange for collection, building owners and management firms will have to sign a contract with private companies approved by the municipality to transport waste to landfills, said Abdul Majeed Abdul Aziz Al Saifaie, director of the Waste Management Department.A circular sent by the municipality to building managers across Dubai said that contracts with private service providers must be in place by December 1, added the news outlet. though Al Saifaie is quoted as saying that the plan has now been deferred.
ADNOC’s distribution unit could raise as much as $2bn in IPO
Abu Dhabi National Oil Co’s (ADNOC) distribution unit set an indicative price range for its initial public offering (IPO) that could raise as much as $2bn to become the biggest listing in the UAE since 2007. ADNOC Distribution set an indicative price range of between Dhs2.35 ($0.6400) and Dhs2.95 ($0.8034), it said in a statement on 26 November. ADNOC is selling a minimum of 10 per cent, or 1.25 billion shares, and a maximum of 20 per cent, or 2.5 billion shares, in the IPO of its unit. At the top of the price range, the deal could be valued at Dhs7.375bn ($2.01bn), assuming it sells a maximum 20 per cent, that would make it the biggest IPO in the UAE since 2007 when DP World raised nearly $5bn, according to sources.
Crescent Enterprises launches $150m corporate venture capital arm
UAE-based multinational, Crescent Enterprises, has announced the launched of its venture capital arm, with plans to invest $150 million across the next three years.CEO Badr Jafar said the fund would focus on strategic direct investments in early-to-later stage start-ups worldwide, according to state news agency WAM. The company said in a press statement that half of the total fund would be allocated to firms in the Middle East and North Africa.Crescent has already been “quietly active” in venture capital, according to Jafar, who expanded: “In the last six months alone, we have invested in a wide range of start-ups from a Silicon Valley-based drone company for the industrial sector and robotic surgery technologies, to an e-commerce platform for fisheries in India.“We also seeded entrepreneur graduates from the American University of Sharjah who are developing an artificial intelligence project management system” he added.
TAQA looks at loans as government did not approve bond issue, say sources

Abu Dhabi National Energy Co is talking to banks to obtain loan facilities of up to $1.3bn which would refinance maturing debt after the Abu Dhabi government declined to approve a planned bond sale in October, sources close to the matter said. TAQA, a state-controlled oil explorer and power supplier, had planned to issue an international bond to refinance an outstanding $500m bond that was due in October, a company official said in August. But the refinancing did not go ahead and the company instead used an existing revolving debt facility to pay down that bond. Abu Dhabi’s debt management office (DMO) did not approve TAQA’s planned new bond issue because other government-related entities “whose need for issuance is greater” intended to issue bonds this year, said one source directly involved the matter. A banker close to the situation said the DMO chose not to approve TAQA’s bond because it wanted to give priority to the Abu Dhabi government, which issued a $10bn bond in October, and it did not want to overcrowd the market with other Abu Dhabi issuers.

 

UAE’s Bank of Sharjah and Invest Bank in merger talks
Bank of Sharjah and Invest Bank are in merger talks that could create an institution with about Dhs50.6bns ($13.8bn) of assets, sources familiar with the matter told sources.In the latest latest sign of consolidation in the United Arab Emirates’ crowded banking industry, the two lenders have held on-and-off discussions over a potential merger since last year, the sources said.One of the sources added that the tie-up between two of the UAE’s smallest banks was being driven by authorities in the emirate of Sharjah, where the lenders are based. JPMorgan is advising Bank of Sharjah on the potential deal, two of the sources said. It was not immediately clear which institution is advising Invest Bank. Bank of Sharjah and Invest Bank did not respond to the request for comment. JPMorgan declined to comment. Bank of Sharjah is 22.2 per cent owned by the Sharjah government, its top shareholder, as per the sources. The biggest shareholder in Invest Bank, which is slightly smaller in terms of assets, is Sharjah-based International Private Group, which owns 15.5 per cent.
Commodity Tracker
Commodity 20 Nov 27 Nov Chg.%
Brent 62.62 63.85 1.96
WTI 56.76 58.72 3.45
Natural Gas 3.07 2.91 -5.21
Gold 1291.6 1289.5 -0.16
Business Events this week In UAE

 

 

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Dubai Shopping Festival 2018

26 December 2017 to 27 January 2018

Dubai

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Tel. +971 4 406 9900
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CRIF GULF DWC LLC · 48 BURJ GATE, DOWNTOWN BURJ AREA, SHEIKH ZAYED ROAD · Dubai · United Arab Emirates

 

 

 

NL/20.11.2017

 

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NOV 2017 ISSUE

CGI. 96

Country Risk Update – Bahrain

Saudi Arabia’s strong support for Bahrain provides a backstop to the economy in the event of a crisis, such as reserves depletion. Although the domestic market is small, it has a sizeable component that is highly affluent. Bahrain was the traditional financial and business services hub for the region, making up for its limited oil by providing a welcoming business environment.It improved significantly in the category of starting a business, which had been its weakest area in the index, rising by 69 places to 73rd, after lowering its minimum capital requirements.

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Market Overview
UAE residential property to be exempt from VAT, FTA clarifies
The UAE’s Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has clarified that commercial real estate will be subject to the five percent value added tax (VAT), with residential units largely exempt.In a statement, the FTA noted that the first supply of a new residential building within the first three years following its construction will be zero-rated. Subsequently, all supplies will be exempt, even within the first three years.All commercial properties, however, are subject to the 5 percent VAT.FTA added that the owners of residential buildings do not need to register for VAT if they have no other business activities. Those who do, however, are advised to check whether they are required to register or not.Owners of non-residential buildings are required to register if the value of supplies over the course of the preceding 12 months exceeds AED 375,000, or if the value is expected to exceed that figure in the next 30 days.
Saudi Arabia to impose VAT on petrol, tax authority confirms
Saudi Arabia will impose VAT on petrol from January 1, the General Authority of Zakat and Tax (GAZT) confirmed.In response to a query on Twitter, the GAZT said the five percent tax will be applied when it’s implemented in January 2018.The body overseeing its implementation also confirmed that international transport of passengers and goods is zero-rated, in accordance with the ‘Unified VAT Agreement for the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf’ and the VAT Implementing Regulations.In contrast, GAZT said the local transport of passengers and goods within the kingdom will be subject to the standard 5% VAT rate, with businesses expected to collect the tax from the traveller when selling the travel ticket.Saudi tax authorities and the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs are set to sign off on a new agreement to help local businesses register to pay new taxes.
Vibrant private sector key to Kuwait’s future – IMF
The need for a vibrant private sector employing more Kuwaiti nationals has heightened as the Gulf country is facing “lower for longer” oil prices, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said.In a new report, the IMF said that although Kuwait is facing the oil price fall from a position of strength, the decline has weakened fiscal and external positions and generated large fiscal financing needs.Against this backdrop, the authorities have laid out a comprehensive reform strategy and have already taken steps to curtail spending and foster an environment more conducive to private investment, the IMF noted.It said the key challenge is to build on the strategy to accelerate reforms that underpin fiscal consolidation.The IMF said it supports a broad fiscal reform package that aims at tackling current spending rigidities – particularly wage bill, subsidies and transfers.
UAE invests nearly $2bn in UK’s renewable energy sector
Baroness Rona Fairhead, UK Minister of State for Trade and Export Promotion at the Department for International Trade, has revealed that the UAE has invested £1.5 billion ($1.97 billion) on renewable energy in the UK.”Brexit will help the UK pursue a more open economic policy. We are accelerating relations with more countries around the world and we are working extremely well with the UAE across multiple investment domains, particularly in areas of R&D, clean energy and new technologies,” the Minister told state news agency WAM.Speaking on the sidelines of the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference, she added: “The UAE is UK’s fourth largest partner outside Europe. You come only next to US, China and India, which means that the UAE is a very significant partner for us.
Kuwait needs $100bn of financing over five years, IMF says
Kuwait will need $100 billion of additional financing over the next five years as mandated contributions to its Future Generations Fund leave a fiscal deficit, according to the International Monetary Fund.Contributions to the fund, excluding investment income, will mean an annual deficit of about 15 percent of gross domestic product, the IMF said in a statement concluding its 2017 Article IV consultation. Excluding FGF contributions and income, the lender expects Kuwait’s overall budget to remain “nearly balanced” through 2019, assuming a baseline oil price of $49 a barrel.Kuwait has cut subsidies and plans to introduce value-added taxation to plug a budget shortfall triggered by lower crude prices and production. It tapped international debt markets for the first time – raising $8 billion in March – and is also considering raising the debt ceiling, introducing an annual spending cap and changing the law to allow the sale of 30-year bonds.
SoftBank planning up to $25bn in Saudi investments
SoftBank Group plans to invest as much as $25 billion in Saudi Arabia over the next three to four years as the Japanese company run by Masayoshi Son deepens investment ties with the kingdom, according to people familiar with the matter. SoftBank aims to deploy up to $15 billion in a new city called Neom that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman plans to build on the Red Sea coast, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private.The Japanese company’s Vision Fund also plans investments of as much as $10 billion in state-controlled Saudi Electricity Co as part of efforts to diversify the utility into renewables and solar energy, the people said. SoftBank also will have some of its portfolio companies open offices in Neom, they said.The plans by SoftBank would bolster the crown prince as he cracks down on alleged corruption via a purge that has rattled investors.The infusion of cash also would aid the country as it seeks to diversify its economy away from oil. To put the magnitude of SoftBank’s plans into context, all foreign direct investment in Saudi Arabia totalled $7.45 billion last year, according to data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
Saudi Aramco converts Jeddah refinery to distribution hub
Saudi Aramco has shut down its 80,000 barrel per day crude oil refinery in Jeddah indefinitely, converting the complex into a hub for oil products distribution, it said on Sunday.Aramco has been considering whether to shut the refinery for years because of age and environmental concerns as Jeddah’s growth had meant the refinery was in the middle of the city.Quoting its senior vice president for downstream, Abdulaziz al-Judaimi, Aramco said it could not expand the facility as demand for fuel from the refinery’s main consumers had dropped. In addition, it was not economically feasible and was close to residential areas.The plant, which started operations in 1967, served less than 20 per cent of demand from the Mecca region, western Saudi Arabia and its closure will increase demand at other Saudi facilities. A sources told earlier that the facility would be mothballed. The tanks will still be used to supply south Jeddah requirements through the Jeddah terminal, he said.
Citigroup, UBS said to be most exposed to tycoons in Saudi purge
Citigroup and UBS Group are among the international banks managing the largest share of assets for wealthy Saudis, some of whom are being investigated as part of a government probe into alleged corruption, according to people familiar with the matter. JPMorgan Chase & Co and Credit Suisse Group also manage billions of dollars for some of the kingdom’s richest individuals, the people said, asking not to be identified because of the sensitivity of the matter.Citigroup’s private bank counts Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, the world’s 58th-richest person, and Khalid al-Tuwaijri, former chief of the Royal Court, as clients, two of the people said. Both are among those who were detained in the probe, the people said.Saudi Arabia has long been the target of wealth managers such as UBS, Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank, as well as other global banks seeking to advise the country’s ultra-rich. The kingdom was the 16th most populous country for high-net-worth individuals last year with 176,000, according to Capgemini’s 2017 World Wealth Report.It’s not immediately clear what implications the investigation will have on banks and their operations in the kingdom, the people said.
Active GCC oil and gas projects worth $331m

The combined value of the 361 active oil and gas projects in the GCC crossed $331.4 billion in November, according to new research.The Oil and Gas Construction Analytics report issued by BNC Network said the hydrocarbon sector represents 30 percent of the GCC economy and 60 percent of the total exports value.It added that the construction projects constitutes 2 percent of all active projects in the region while accounting for 14 percent of the total estimated value.The construction update comes at a time when the average oil price has recovered to $51.82 per barrel year-to-date in 2017, from the 13-year lowest average price per barrel of $42.55 in 2016, this is less than half of the $111.63 per barrel recorded in 2012.It added that the number of oil and gas projects in the GCC increased by 6 percent in Q3 compared to the previous quarter while the total estimated value of these projects increased by 5 percent. Avin Gidwani, CEO of BNC Network, said: “The renewed optimism in the global economy and a slight increase in demand is reflected in the latest Oil and Gas Construction Analytics issued by BNC Network.
Dubai’s DIFC launches $100m Fintech fund
Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) on Tuesday announced the launch of a $100 million FinTech-focused fund to accelerate the development of financial technology.The fund was announced during the inaugural Global Financial Forum, GFF, organised by DIFC, which was attended by over 350 influencers from the financial services industry.Essa Kazim, Governor of DIFC, said: “The fund will leverage the DIFC’s FinTech ecosystem consisting of attractive experimental licenses, market leading pricing and collaborative spaces. There is immense opportunity in this market, and this will be one more step towards shaping the future of finance in the region.The launch comes after Dubai was ranked 10th in The Banker magazine’s annual international financial centre (IFC) rankings, placing it alongside hubs such as London, New York, Hong Kong and Singapore.
Commodity Tracker
Commodity 13 Nov 20 Nov Chg.%
Brent 63.57 62.62 -1.49
WTI 56.82 56.76 -0.11
Natural Gas 3.17 3.07 -3.15
Gold 1277.1 1291.6 1.14
Business Events this week In UAE

 

 

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Knowledge Summit 2017

21 November – 22 November 2017

Za’abeel Hall

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Dun & Bradstreet’s Hoovers

D&B Hoovers is a sales acceleration solution that provides a faster path from prospect to profitable relationship by leveraging data and analytics. B2B sales professionals can engage faster with customers to grow their business.Backed by the world’s largest commercial database, anchored by Dun & Bradstreet’s powerful D-U-N-S® Numbering System, D&B Hoovers uses sophisticated analytics to deliver a sales acceleration solution packed with insight. Real-time business intelligence, ecosystem connectivity and an intuitive user interface helps shorten sales cycles, build pipeline and generate higher returns on marketing investments.

 

 

 

CRIF GULF DWC LLC
Level 15, ’48 Burj Gate’, Downtown Burj, Shaikh Zayed Road, Dubai, UAE
Tel. +971 4 406 9900
www,crif.ae  /  www.dnbuae.com

 

 

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CRIF GULF DWC LLC · 48 BURJ GATE, DOWNTOWN BURJ AREA, SHEIKH ZAYED ROAD · Dubai · United Arab Emirates

 

 

 

NL/13.11.2017

 

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NOV 2017 ISSUE

CGI. 95

Country Risk Update – Oman

The ports of Sohar and Salalah are emerging as regionally competitive infrastructure facilities, soon to be joined by Al Duqm. The government is targeting high-end tourism as an area for growth.The deal with Singapore is a real boost for Oman, but it pales into insignificance with the level of investment that Oman has managed to secure from China for its other port, Duqm. Much of the initial development of Duqm was funded by Kuwaiti investors, but in May of this year, a Chinese state-backed consortium, Oman Wanfang committed to invest up to USD10.7bn in the site.

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Market Overview
UAE’s Mubadala and French groups in $1.2bn investment plan
Abu Dhabi state fund Mubadala Investment said on Thursday 9th November 2017 it planned to invest millions of euros in businesses and other organisations in France under a deal signed with French state-backed investment vehicles CDC International Capital and Bpifrance.The agreement, signed during a visit of French President Emmanuel Macron to the emirate, aims to invest up to 1bn euros ($1.2bn) in the French economy.The first part of the plan involves raising the size and scope of an existing co-investment partnership, known as FEF, which was launched in 2014 by Mubadala and CDC International Capital, a subsidiary of French state-owned Caisse des Dépôts Group aimed at investing alongside sovereign wealth funds.The second part of the agreement, is dedicated to technology and innovation in France.The programme will focus on information and communication technologies, biotech, green technology and other technology sectors.
Kuwait’s GIC invests $100m in UAE-based logistics firm Tristar
UAE-based logistics company Tristar Group has announced on 8th November 2017 that they have sold an equity stake to Kuwait-based Gulf Investment Corporation (GIC) by issuing $100m worth of new shares to GIC. The proceeds will be used by Tristar to expand its business .Following the latest investment, Tristar will be jointly owned by Kuwait’s Agility, GIC and the founder and CEO of the Tristar Group, Eugene Mayne. It will be operated under a new company structure in DIFC with the name Tristar Holdings Limited. All Tristar activities will be held under DIFC holding. Under the terms of the agreement, Mayne will continue to serve as group CEO. A liquid logistics solutions provider, Tristar offers services to the downstream petroleum industry, both in the region and globally.
UAE to apply VAT to all food items, utility bills
The UAE will apply an upcoming value added tax to all food items and utility bills, according to officials.Upon first announcing the 5 per cent tax in 2015, the country had said that 100 food items would be zero-rated.This measure has now been scrapped by the Federal Tax Authority’s director general, Khalif Al Bustani, confirmed to Gulf News.“The law in the GCC agreement said that any food items would be under the sovereign right of the government to include it [as a zero-rated item]. The law that has been issued did not include it,” he was quoted as saying.Public transport, commercial airlines, investment-grade precious metals, the supply of crude and natural gas and education and healthcare will be zero-rated.
BP sends in big guns as majors jostle for Abu Dhabi oil riches
When BP goes to Abu Dhabi this week, where big oil companies will be jostling for access to the Emirate’s offshore riches, the British behemoth won’t be leaving anything up to chance.An all-star cast is slated to attend the annual Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition & Conference, including BP Chief Executive Officer Bob Dudley and Chief Financial Officer Brian Gilvary. The company is sending more speakers than any of the other majors – almost twice as many as its nearest rival Total SA and seven times as many as Exxon Mobil Corp., according to the conference website.BP’s attendance underscores the importance of the state, which is already the fifth-biggest contributor to the company’s global crude oil output and has been in “ advanced discussions with potential partners” for an additional offshore oil concession.
Saudi, UAE VAT tax may squeeze gold jewellery demand even more
Gold jewellery demand in Saudi Arabia and the UAE is “likely to falter” after rising briefly in the next few weeks before the countries impose a value added tax in January, the World Gold Council said.Weak oil prices and rising costs caused gold jewellery demand in Saudi Arabia to slump 9 percent in the third quarter from a year earlier while the UAE showed a 10 percent decline, the producer-funded World Gold Council said Thursday 9th November 2017 in a report. Saudi Arabia’s demand was 9.8 metric tons while the UAE consumed 7 tons, the council said. Overall Middle East gold jewellery demand dropped 4 percent to 40.9 tons, the lowest since at least 2014, the report showed.The planned 5 percent VAT in Saudi Arabia and UAE “may boost demand before the end of the year, although we believe the effect will be temporary,” the council said in the statement. “Demand is likely to falter once the new tax is in place.”
UAE’s tax authority urges businesses to pay excise tax by November 15
The Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has warned businesses to file their excise tax returns before the deadline, or face hefty fines.Last month, the UAE introduced an excise tax which saw the price of tobacco products and energy drinks rise by 100 per cent, and sugary carbonated drinks by 50 per cent.Businesses must file their returns for the previous tax period before the 15th of every month, with the first collection due to take place on Wednesday 15th November 2017.Those who fail to submit their returns on time will be subject to an automatic Dhs1,000 penalty for the first offence, and Dhs2,000 if this is repeated within 24 months.They must also pay a late payment penalty of two per cent of the unpaid tax, which increases to four per cent after seven days.
Muscat airport expansion pushed back to mid-2018
The opening of a long-delayed expansion to Muscat International Airport has been pushed to the middle of 2018, an aviation executive has said.Authorities had announced in February that the new passenger terminal would open by the end of this year.However, the CEO of Dubai-based executive aviation firm Jetex said he had been informed that Oman Airports Management Company was now aiming to open the terminal by June 2018.“I just had a chat with the CEO and chairman and he mentioned they will open before June next year. This is the plan,” Mardini said.Jetex Flight Support has been selected as the exclusive fixed-base operator for executive jet flights from Muscat and Salalah. Under an agreement announced 12 November 2017 that it will operate FBOs from both facilities’ new terminals when they are finished.
More than $331bn of oil and gas projects in GCC, says report
The combined total of active oil and gas projects in the GCC region has exceeded $331.4bn, according to a report by BNC Network.The project researcher and intelligence provider’ Oil and Gas Construction Analysis Report found that 361 such projects are currently underway as of November this year, helping the hydrocarbon sector to make up 30 per cent of the GCC’s economy, and 60 per cent of the total exports value.The study also found that construction projects in the region’s oil and gas sector made up 2 per cent of all active projects in dollar terms, but account for 14 per cent of the total estimated value; placing a high value on energy projects compared to other sectors.Oil prices have recovered this year to around $60 following a dramatic crash that sent the average price per barrel to under $28 at the start of 2016 – a far cry from the near $112 recorded in 2012.
UAE approves $13.9bn budget for 2018 with no deficit

The UAE Cabinet on 7 November 2017 approved the federal budget of AED201.1 billion ($54.7 billion) for the years 2018-2021, of which AED51.4 billion ($13.9 billion) is for next year, with no deficit forecast.Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, said: “All strategies and budget plans are invested in the service of the UAE society in the first place, and we will spare no efforts in providing all the requirements for our people’s happiness and well-being. The UAE people are our most valuable asset.”The largest portion of the 2018 budget has been earmarked for ‎social development and social benefits (AED26.3 billion or 43.5 percent of the total budget), state news agency WAM reported. Of this, ‎AED10.4 billion has been allocated for general education and higher education and AED4.5 billion allocated to the health sector. ‎
Hedge funds pile on bullish oil bets as Mideast tension heats up
The Middle East is kicking things up a notch in the oil market.Hedge fund bets on rising brent crude prices hit a fresh record as  tension in the oil-rich region reached a whole new level, sending prices to their highest in more than two years. Disruptions in exporting countries such as Libya, Nigeria and Venezuela in past months hadn’t fazed investors enough to trigger strong rallies, but Saudi Arabia and Iran? That’s another story. “Most of the political risk has been smaller-scale,” Michael Lynch, president of Strategic Energy & Economic Research in Winchester, Massachusetts, said by telephone. “But when you start talking Saudi Arabia and Iran, that gets people’s animal spirits flowing.”Saudi Arabia and Iran not only churn almost 14 million barrels a day of crude, or more than 40 percent of production from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, but they are also rival regional powers behind major Middle Eastern conflicts.
Commodity Tracker
Commodity 6 Nov 13 Nov Chg.%
Brent 62.45 63.57 1.79
WTI 55.87 56.82 1.70
Natural Gas 3.05 3.17 3.93
Gold 1270.2 1277.1 0.54
Business Events this week In UAE

 

 

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11th CFO Strategies Forum MENA

15 November 2017 To 16 November 2017

JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai

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Dun & Bradstreet’s Hoovers

D&B Hoovers is a sales acceleration solution that provides a faster path from prospect to profitable relationship by leveraging data and analytics. B2B sales professionals can engage faster with customers to grow their business.Backed by the world’s largest commercial database, anchored by Dun & Bradstreet’s powerful D-U-N-S® Numbering System, D&B Hoovers uses sophisticated analytics to deliver a sales acceleration solution packed with insight. Real-time business intelligence, ecosystem connectivity and an intuitive user interface helps shorten sales cycles, build pipeline and generate higher returns on marketing investments.

CRIF GULF DWC LLC
Level 15, ’48 Burj Gate’, Downtown Burj, Shaikh Zayed Road, Dubai, UAE
Tel. +971 4 406 9900
www,crif.ae  /  www.dnbuae.com

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CRIF GULF DWC LLC · 48 BURJ GATE, DOWNTOWN BURJ AREA, SHEIKH ZAYED ROAD · Dubai · United Arab Emirates


NL/06.11.2017

 

 

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NOV 2017 ISSUE

CGI. 94

Country Risk Update – UAE

The UAE will continue to strengthen its position as a regional safe haven and business hub. AThe UAE will continue to strengthen its position as a regional safe haven and business hub. Access to global markets from Dubai will be among the best in the world. The forward-looking Emirates NBD UAE Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) data for August highlights that the non-oil private sector continues to gain momentum.The index was at its highest level for 30 months and above the long-term average. ccess to global markets from Dubai will be among the best in the world.

Market Overview
Trump pitches New York stock exchange for Saudi Aramco IPO listing
U.S. President Donald Trump publicly appealed on 4 Nov 2017,Saturday for Saudi Arabia to list national oil company Saudi Aramco’s shares in New York, intervening in a battle among the world’s top stock exchanges.“Would very much appreciate Saudi Arabia doing their IPO of Aramco with the New York Stock Exchange,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “Important to the United States!” But by describing the listing as a priority for Washington, he could help sway the Saudis’ decision.The Saudi government, is  seeking to raise money as low oil prices strain its finances, it also plans to sell about 5 per cent of Aramco next year in a sale, officials say could raise about $100bn, making it the world’s largest initial public offer ever.
Oil rally could continue into 2018 if OPEC extends output deal
Oil will likely rally into 2018 with periods of volatility as an anticipated extension of OPEC-led output restrictions offsets higher US production, a Reuters poll showed last week.Analysts raised their crude price projections, the survey showed, as expectations of an output cut extension were buoyed by comments from officials in Saudi Arabia, the de facto leader of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.“Rumours of extension, expansion or erosion (of the OPEC supply deal) could all impact prices and markets will be closely watching any statements from the upcoming meeting,” said Ashley Petersen of Stratas Advisors.
Abu Dhabi’s ADNOC expected to sign $6bn loan this week
Abu Dhabi National Oil Co (ADNOC), the United Arab Emirates oil giant, is expected to sign by the end of this week a $6bn loan which has received commitments from a group of 13 banks, sources close to the situation said on 5 November 2017,Sunday. ADNOC, which manages almost all of the proven oil reserves in the UAE, is raising the financing as part of an overhaul of its capital structure which involves, among other things, additional debt raising exercises and the initial public offering of minority stakes in some of its units.The club loan has been largely oversubscribed, having attracted commitments of $750m each from a group of 13 banks. Commitments will be scaled down to reach the targeted size of $6bn size, said the sources.
Bahrain asks Gulf allies for financial aid – report
The Gulf island kingdom of Bahrain has asked its allies for financial assistance to prevent a devaluation of its currency, according to reports.Bloomberg cited sources as saying the country had requested funds from Saudi Arabia and the UAE to replenish its foreign exchange reserves. A different source said Kuwait had also been asked.In return for the money, the countries have initially asked Bahrain to do more to bring its finances under control. The talks are at an early stage, according to the publication.Bahrain has been among the hardest hit countries in the Gulf Cooperation council by the drop in oil prices, which has raised questions over the sustainability of dollar-pegged currencies in the region.
UAE’s tax authority urges firms to register for VAT ahead of deadline
The UAE’s Federal Tax Authority (FTA) has invited all businesses in the country to register for value-added tax (VAT) before January 1, 2018, following the completion of first phase of registration.The VAT registration procedure is free of charge and can be completed online via the e-services portal on the FTA website.To register, businesses must provide the following information: Applicant details, including entity and activity details, trade licences and manager’s details. Contact information is also required, as well as the documents of the authorised signatory, including scanned copies of their Emirates ID and passport.
Emaar Development expects to raise up to $1.5bn in Dubai IPO
Emaar Development, a unit of Dubai property firm Emaar Properties, has set an indicative price range for its initial public offering, which would value the deal at Dhs5.52bn ($1.5bn) at the top end of the range.This is the first major listing in Dubai since late 2014 when Emaar Malls raised about $1.6bn. Emaar Development has set a price range of Dhs5.7 and Dhs6.9 per share, according to a company statement, which would value the newly listed company at Dhs27.6bn at the top end of the price range.This means a 14.5 per cent premium to its net asset value of Dhs24.1bn ($6.56bn), which Reuters reported on Oct. 2, as of September estimated by JLL.
Saudi minister calls for more work to end oil glut
Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Khalid Al Falih said on 4 Novemember 2017,Saturday that more work was needed to reduce global oil inventories.”There is a general satisfaction with the strategy of 24 countries that signed a declaration of cooperation,” he said after a meeting attended by his Russian, Uzbek and Kazakh counterparts.Russia and Saudi Arabia are leading a deal between Opec and non-Opec producers to cut global oil production, with the aim of propping up oil prices.”Everybody recognises that (the) job is not done yet by any means, we still have significant amount of work to do to bring inventories down. Mission is not yet complete, more needs to be done,” he added.He said members of the global pact he had spoken with have expressed the same views.
VAT to increase costs for Gulf real estate investors, says CFA survey
The cost of real estate investment in the region is likely to climb on the back of VAT introduced across the Gulf from next year, a survey of local investment professionals found.With VAT set to be applied on the first sale of properties, 87 percent of investment professionals said that some or all of the additional expenses incurred by real estate firms will be passed on to investors.The survey assessed the views of investment experts certified by the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) society members in the UAE, Bahrain and Kuwait.A further 54 percent of the 140 CFA society members surveyed online between September and October believed that retail investors will be hardest hit by the new taxes introduced in Jan. 2018.
Commodity Tracker
Commodity 30 Oct 6 Nov Chg.%
Brent 60.48 62.45 3.26
WTI 53.95 55.87 3.56
Natural Gas 2.96 3.05 3.04
Gold 1271.2 1270.2 -0.08

 

Business Events this week In UAE
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Dubai Forum for Government Best Practices 2017

07 November – 08 November 2017
Sheikh Rashid Hall, Dubai
World Trade Centre

 

Business Updates
reader.jpg

Dun & Bradstreet’s Hoovers

D&B Hoovers is a sales acceleration solution that provides a faster path from prospect to profitable relationship by leveraging data and analytics. B2B sales professionals can engage faster with customers to grow their business.Backed by the world’s largest commercial database, anchored by Dun & Bradstreet’s powerful D-U-N-S® Numbering System, D&B Hoovers uses sophisticated analytics to deliver a sales acceleration solution packed with insight. Real-time business intelligence, ecosystem connectivity and an intuitive user interface helps shorten sales cycles, build pipeline and generate higher returns on marketing investments.

 

 

 

CRIF GULF DWC LLC
Level 15, ’48 Burj Gate’, Downtown Burj, Shaikh Zayed Road, Dubai, UAE
Tel. +971 4 406 9900
www,crif.ae  /  www.dnbuae.com

 

 

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CRIF GULF DWC LLC · 48 BURJ GATE, DOWNTOWN BURJ AREA, SHEIKH ZAYED ROAD · Dubai · United Arab Emirates