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.
Best Regards, CRIF Dun & Bradstreet Communications Team
CGI | Issue 51 | January 2017
Country Risk Update – Bahrain
The stability of the Bahraini dinar’s long-term peg to the US requires Bahrain to hold sufficient foreign reserves to be able to meet the demand for dollars (and other foreign currency). Two years of low oil prices are estimated to have pushed the current account into deficit and added to the political risk factors which had already been discouraging capital inflows. However, the impact on foreign reserves was unclear. Real GDP slowed to 2.5% y/y in Q2, compared with 4.5% in Q1. However, the strong result in Q1 was largely a result of a strong oil figure driven by a base effect, as maintenance reduced oil production in Q1 2015. Persistent government deficits could undermine ambitious public investment plans.
Business, Finance and Commodity News
Saudi Aramco mulls oil supply cuts of 3-7% in Feb to meet OPEC target
Saudi Aramco has started talks with customers globally to discuss possible cuts of 3 per cent to 7 per cent in February. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) agreed in late November to cut production in the first half of 2017 to reduce global oversupply and prop up prices. Under the deal, Saudi Arabia, agreed to cut output by 486,000 barrels per day (bpd), or 4.61 per cent of its October output of 10.544 million bpd.
Qatar International Islamic Bank gets approval to expand in Morocco
Qatar International Islamic Bank (QIIB), the Gulf state’s third-largest listed Islamic bank by assets, said it had received approval to open a bank in Morocco with local lender Credit Immobilier et Hotelier (CIH). QIIB was working with CIH Bank to meet requirements and obtain necessary regulatory approvals in Qatar and Morocco. Morocco’s central bank approved five requests to open Islamic banks in the country, including a CIH Bank proposal.
Abu Dhabi approves infrastructure projects worth Dhs241m
The Abu Dhabi Executive Council has approved infrastructure projects worth Dhs241m. The Council’s executive committee, chaired by Saeed Eid Al Ghafli, has approved projects related to improving power supply and developing roads. They include a Dhs55m project to increase the capacity of the electricity grid in Al Ain and its suburbs, which will include the installation of six integrated primary stations and 13km of power and optical fiber cables.
Saudi Arabia’s Q3 GDP growth slows to lowest rate for over 3 years
Saudi Arabia’s gross domestic product (GDP), adjusted for inflation, grew by just 0.9 percent from a year earlier in the third quarter of 2016. This compared to the 1.4 percent growth seen in the second quarter. The Q3 growth was the slowest recorded since 0.3 percent in the first quarter of 2013.The slowdown comes as Saudi Arabia successfully cut into its huge state budget deficit this year and it will increase government spending in 2017 to boost flagging economic growth.
Qatar’s fiscal deficit to decline in 2017, says QNB report
Qatar’s budget deficit is set to decline by 38.9 percent from $13bn (QR46.5bn) in 2016 to $7.8bn (QR28.4bn) in 2017 due to a rise in government revenues, according to an economic analysis by Qatar National Bank. However, capital spending is expected to increase in 2017 and remain as the main driver of economic growth in the coming years. The decision is aimed at supporting the state’s World Cup preparations and its intent on accelerating investment and infrastructure spending.
D&B Article of the Week
You Can’t Handle the Truth? – Assessing Truth and Meaning
There is a reason why we promise to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Each of these is a distinct thing. It’s hard to ignore the concept of Truth, especially in an election year. Accusations of lies, assertions of truth, fact checking, and apologies for “miss-speaking” seem to be everywhere. Philosophers have struggled with the concept of truth for millennia, yet it is still one of those concepts that we seem to understand intrinsically until we try to define it. So what do we really know about the truth in data, and how do we know we know it? The first thing that becomes obvious in a Big Data world is that finding the truth can be a matter of definition and perspective. Determining which data is true or accurate when there is no reference to compare is one of the fundamental problems in computer science. Read More
CRIF opens a new start-up to offer debt collection solutions in Azerbaijan CRIF has established CRIF Receivable Management in Baku, Azerbaijan, to offer a complete range of services from phone collection to legal debt collection. The new company will support Azerbaijani business and financial organizations with advanced services for the outsourced management and prevention of unpaid debt: from the initial telephone contact to home visits, to targeted actions such as checking and correcting direct debit data and legal debt collection.
CRIF in the 2016 FinTech Forward Top 100 ranking American Banker BAI ranked CRIF in its prestigious FinTech Forward Top 100 ranking of solution providers that derive more than one-third of their revenue from financial institutions.
This Top 100 ranking, which is based on 2015 revenues of hardware, software and IT services to financial institutions at worldwide level, provide validation for vendors in a highly competitive and regulated marketplace as well as highlight influencers that are shaping the industry.
Upcoming Events this Week
Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2017 Jan 14 – Dec 21
World Future Energy Summit Jan 16 – Jan 19
Gulf food 2017 Feb 26 – Mar 2
Reading Recommendation of the Week
The Entrepreneur Mind
In a praiseworthy effort to distill some of the most important lessons of entrepreneurship, Kevin D. Johnson, president of multimillion-dollar company Johnson Media Inc. and a serial entrepreneur for several years, shares the essential beliefs, characteristics, and habits of elite entrepreneurs.
Release Date: January 22, 2013
Did You Know?
You Could Protect Your Business Globally using CRIF D&B’s Business Rating Reports?