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 49 | December 2016
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 Arabia weighs 6% tax on expat remittances
Saudi Arabia’s Shura council had discussed plans to impose a 2 to 6 percent tax on expat workers’ remittances.
Former Shura council member Husam Al Angari, who submitted the proposal, suggested a 6 percent tax in the first year of living in the kingdom. He said the tax would then drop to 2 percent following five years of the expat’s residency in Saudi Arabia.
Saudi stock market rises on eve of government budget announcement
Saudi Arabia’s stock market rose on Wednesday on the eve of the government’s release of its 2017 budget, and Egypt’s extended a bull run fuelled by foreign money and last month’s float of the Egyptian pound. The Saudi stock index climbed 0.4 percent, though trading volume shrank to its lowest level in two months as many investors became cautious before the budget announcement.
Mubadala to hold Abu Dhabi’s 2% stake in oil giant BP
State investment fund, Mubadala Development Co will control a 2 percent stake in BP sold to Abu Dhabi in exchange for a holding in Abu Dhabi Company for Onshore Petroleum Operations (ADCO). The firm became the second Western oil major to renew a 40-year onshore concession in Abu Dhabi. In exchange for the 10 percent stake in ADCO, BP agreed to issue new ordinary shares to Abu Dhabi worth AED $2.20 billion
Dubai to post $680.7m deficit in 2017 as infrastructure spending ramps up
Dubai is expected to post a Dhs2.5bn ($680.7m) deficit representing 0.6 per cent of GDP next year as it ramps up infrastructure spending. It includes a 27 per cent increase in infrastructure spending, to 17 per cent of total spending as the country ramps up its efforts for the 2020 World Expo. Total spending is expected to increase by 2.6 per cent, or Dhs1.2bn compared to Dhs46.1bn in 2016
VAT to add $3.2bn to UAE coffers in 2018, minister says
The planned value added tax (VAT) in the Gulf will swell the UAE government’s coffers by $3.27 billion (AED12 billion) in 2018, with revenues expected to rise between $4.90 billion (AED18 billion) to $5.45 billion (AED20 billion) in 2019. The UAE plans to implement a five percent VAT from January 1 2018, but has reportedly ruled out plans to impose corporate and income tax. VAT revenues will be shared between the federal budget and local governments.
D&B Article of the Week
How B2B Marketers Can Connect Analytics to Action
Lots of B2B companies are investing lots of money into business intelligence tools to collect customer data. But it’s not enough to just collect a ton of data and report on it; you must make sense of the data to know who is best to target and why you should do something. A spreadsheet full of information means nothing without the analysis that connects information, tells a story, gives it meaning and makes it actionable. That’s the gap that most organizations need to close – between analytics and action. But, of course, that’s all far easier said than done. In an extremely fluid marketplace, more and more B2B firms recognize the need to step up their digital marketing efforts and create a seamless customer experience (CX). Yet, they find themselves drinking from a firehose of data in an attempt to stay ahead of ever-increasing customer expectations. Most aren’t staying ahead at all, though – they’re doing the best they can not to fall grossly behind customer expectations. 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
Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2017 Jan 14 – Dec 21
World Future Energy Summit Jan 16 – Jan 19
Reading Recommendation of the Week
The Undoing Project
Forty years ago, Israeli psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky wrote a series of breathtakingly original studies undoing our assumptions about the decision-making process. Their papers showed the ways in which the human mind erred, systematically, when forced to make judgments in uncertain situations. Their work created the field of behavioral economics, revolutionized Big Data studies, advanced evidence-based medicine, led to a new approach to government regulation, and made much of Michael Lewis’s own work possible.
Release Date: December 6, 2016
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