• ByCGI Gulf Insights of the Week
  • Monday, 30 March 2020
  • Published inMarch 2020
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Country Risk Update - United Arab Emirates

Risk Indicator  - DB3b
Risk Level        - Slight

Ratings Trend  Deteriorating

The UAE continues 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 collapse of the OPEC+ agreement has triggered a collapse in the oil price; this will curtail the UAE’s growth prospects in 2020. 

Market Overview
Bahrain's GIB hires Deutsche Bank's Jamal Al Kishi as CEO
Jamal Al Kishi, Deutsche Bank AG’s chief executive officer for the Middle East and Africa, has quit joining Bahrain-based Gulf International Bank BSC. Al Kishi, who had been with the German lender since 2007, will become CEO of GIB’s parent company and deputy group CEO, the bank said in a statement. Headquartered in Bahrain, GIB is almost fully owned by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund. It also has operations in the UK, US, and the United Arab Emirates, according to its website.
UAE extends nationwide coronavirus disinfection programme, curfews until April 5

The UAE has extended the nationwide National Sterilisation Programme until April 5, according to a report by the Dubai Media Office. According to the statement on Twitter, the program will cover public facilities, public transportation, and the Dubai Metro service. During the course of the disinfection drive, in place to combat the spread of the Covid-19 virus, people must stay home from 8 pm to 6 am each day. On Friday, the UAE Attorney General, Counselor Hamad Saif Al Shamsi, announced a new set of fines for those violating directives from the government, including fines for refusing to follow instructions regarding home quarantine, fines for those caught visiting public areas or organizing house parties and penalties for those allowing more than three persons in the vehicle.

Gulf sovereign wealth funds could shed $300bn amid Covid-19 chaos

The Gulf region’s rainy day funds are bracing for the deluge. On top of the collapse of oil prices and meltdown in global markets, Gulf sovereign wealth funds are channeling some of their billions back to counter the recession triggered by the coronavirus pandemic. The decline in assets could exceed $300 billion this year, according to the Institute of International Finance, the industry’s global association. The impact will echo all the way to Wall Street, where asset managers count on capital from the funds sponsored by Abu Dhabi, Kuwait, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia. Now that these countries need the cashback home, hedge funds and private-equity firms risk losing a substantial piece of business.

Commodity Tracker
Oil prices plunged on Thursday amid concerns over the coronavirus outbreak and the oil price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia. The global benchmark Brent crude fell by 7.48% for the week. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude declined by 10.39% as compared to last week to settle at $22.60 on 26 March. While the oil prices continue to drop, the gold price reported an increase as compared to the previous week. Gold price increased by 12.24% to reach $1660.30 per ounce on Thursday.
Stock Market Update
The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange recorded a positive performance last week as the index increased by 2.31% and closed at 3,770.73 points. Banks added 4.07%; telecom and real estate gained 6.51% and 2.44%, respectively, while the energy sector added 3.38%. The DFM’s general index fell by 0.56% to end the week at 1809.12 points. Bahrain’s All Share Index marginally declined by 1.41% to close at 1388.78 points on Thursday. The commercial banks and industries sectors fell by 2.65% and 2.56% respectively. MSM30 declined by 0.80% to close at 3538.74 points on 26 March. Kuwait’s All Share Market Index increased by 6.28% over the week to close at 4897.43 points. TASI recorded an increase of 0.96% to close at 6326.29 points in the last week. 
D&B Business Updates
This week’s Power of Data, Stephen Daffron features this week discussing the importance of non-traditional data and our new Analytics Studio.
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