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 48 | December 2016
Country Risk Update – Oman
According to the UAE Banks Federation, local banks have helped restructure around AED 7bn (USD1.9bn) of debt owed by more than 1,700 SMEs in 2016. SMEs account for around 90% of non-government GDP. The banks implemented a a voluntary system which came into place in March whereby indebted businesses could agree to reschedule their debts with their lenders, reducing the pressure on the banking sector.
Low oil prices will feed through into lower growth, lower liquidity and increased business risk, however, The UAE will continue to strengthen its position as a regional safe haven and business hub.
Business, Finance and Commodity News
Qatar officially introduces labour reforms
Qatar officially announced the end of its Kafala sponsorship system for workers on Monday under reforms announced ahead of the 2022 FIFA World cup. The country’s labour minister Issa bin Saad Al-Jafali Al-Nuaimi said the rules would be abolished effective from December 13. In their place is a new contract-based system claimed to safeguard workers rights and increase job flexibility.
GCC states hike rates to avert currency pressure after Fed move
Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain raised interest rates within minutes of the US Federal Reserve’s decision to do so on Wednesday as they scrambled to avoid downward pressure on their currencies due to low oil prices. Qatar and the UAE followed the next day. The overnight lending rate in Qatar rose to 4.75 percent and the overnight deposit rate rose to 1.00 percent.
GCC projects market sees major slump in 2016 as cheap oil bites
The GCC projects market is expected to record up to $120 billion worth of contract awards in 2016, down at least a third on 2015 levels and well below what was initially forecast, as low oil prices severely impact government expenditure. The six GCC states have so far recorded just $96 billion worth of awarded contracts compared with $177 billion worth of deals in 2015.
MENA economies to record weakest growth since 2009 next year
The Middle East & North Africa (MENA) region will next year record its weakest economic growth since the global financial crisis in 2009. The latest outlook from Capital Economics warns the region will “struggle” again in 2017 as fiscal policies are tightened to plug current account and budget deficits, which have widened in the past two years as a result of persistent low oil prices.
UAE banking sector could see more mergers – Al Ghurair
Banks in United Arab Emirates are open to mergers in the near term and deals involving Dubai lenders cannot be ruled out, the head of the national banking industry association, Abdulaziz al-Ghurair, said.
His comments come after National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) and First Gulf Bank (FGB) agreed to merge to create one of the largest banks in the Middle East and Africa with assets of about $175bn.
D&B Article of the Week
How to Take the Headache Out of B2B Digital Targeting
Like Seventy-four percent of firms say they want to be data-driven. More than 90 percent of companies say they are using (or trying to use) customer data to segment audiences for better targeting. But very, very few are getting the outcomes they want. A mere two percent of senior executives responding to a recent Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) survey believe they have achieved “broad positive results” from their digital analytics investments. Whoa. There’s a pretty serious disconnect happening somewhere in there. Despite investing heavily in data analytics and striving to implement more sophisticated digital targeting models, they’re falling woefully short. Read More
The national ‘Future Day’ at CRIF AG In Switzerland, thousands of children have accompanied their parents to work. This year around 2,300 companies took part at the National Future Day which aims at providing opportunities for career choice.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 acquires the operations of Dun and Bradstreet in Egypt CRIF Gulf, based in UAE, acquired the operations of Dun & Bradstreet in Egypt. The acquisition will strengthen CRIF’s industry-leading position in the field of business and credit information, and risk management solutions in the region. The acquisition is part of CRIF’s global strategy, with increasing investments over recent years, and the commitment to provide greater added-value services and products at worldwide level.
Upcoming Events this Week
National Housing Loans Exhibition 2016 Dec 13 – Dec 17
ADNECDubai Travelers’ Festival 2016 Dec 14 – Dec 17
Reading Recommendation of the Week
Drawing on her own powerful story as the daughter of a scientist who frequently noted her lack of “genius,” Duckworth, now a celebrated researcher and professor, describes her early eye-opening stints in teaching, business consulting, and neuroscience, which led to the hypothesis that what really drives success is not “genius” but a unique combination of passion and long-term perseverance.
Release Date: May 3, 2016
Did You Know?
You Could Protect Your Business Globally using CRIF D&B’s Business Rating Reports?