• ByCGI Gulf Insights of the Week
  • Sunday, 26 April 2020
  • Published inApril 2020
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Country Risk Update - Oman

Risk Indicator  - DB4d
Risk Level        - Moderate

Ratings Trend  Deteriorating

Sultan Haitham's (so far) smooth succession reduces the risk of domestic instability and increases the likelihood of needed fiscal reforms. Dun & Bradstreet downgrades Oman’s country risk rating on the back of the collapse in oil prices and the negative impact of the coronavirus on growth prospects. The government is targeting tourism and logistics as areas for non-oil diversification.

Market Overview
Dubai's DFSA fines La Tresorerie for 'serious breaches'
The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) has announced that it has fined La Tresorerie Limited about $612,790 following “multiple, serious breaches” of regulations, mainly stemming from illegal services that provided cash to clients, it was announced on Thursday. In a statement, the DFSA said that the illegal cash service was “in systematic operation” for almost two years between February 2015 and January 2017, with the full knowledge of La Tresorerie’s senior management at that time. The current senior management of La Tresorerie was not involved in the Illegal Cash Service and reported it to the DFSA upon discovering it.
World Bank warns remittance payments to plunge amid pandemic
Global remittance flows will tumble 20% this year as the coronavirus pandemic drags the economy through a recession, deepening hardship for families in poor and developing nations, according to the World Bank. Transfers to low- and middle-income countries from workers abroad probably will plunge by a fifth to $445 billion, the Washington-based development institution said in a report on Wednesday. This would mark the sharpest decline in records going back to 1980 and compares with a 5% drop during the 2009 financial crisis.
Oman tells banks to free loan repayments for three-months
Oman’s Central Bank has asked that banks and other financial institutions to freeze repayments for personal and housing loans for a three month period amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the state-run Oman News Agency has reported. The decision will come into effect in May. No additional commission fees will be required from customers, the ONA report added, noting that banks will be expected to restructure loans if necessary.
Commodity Tracker
Oil prices dived deep into the negative territory on Thursday. Weak demand coupled with very limited capacity to store oil continues to put pressure on oil prices. The global benchmark Brent crude fell by 23.33% for the week to settle at $21.33. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude plunged by 16.46% as compared to last week to settle at $16.50 on 23 April. Gold price slightly increased by 0.79% as compared to last week to reach $1,745.40 per ounce on Thursday.
Stock Market Update
UAE indices closed slightly higher as compared to last week . This might be due to the renewed optimism of investors after the Government announced new economic stimulus measures to reduce the impact of COVID-19 on businesses in the UAE . The Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange Index gained 93.48 points or 2.35% as compared to last week to close at 4,062.99 points on Thursday. The DFM’s general index increased by 1.68% to end the week at 1,891.06 points. TASI marginally dipped by 0.40% over the week to close at 6,604.9 points. Bahrain’s All Share Index declined by 0.41% to close at 1,307.59 points on Thursday. The index was primarily pulled down by the decline in the performance of services and investment sectors. MSM30 fell by 1.62% or 57.46 points to close at 3,482.08 points on 23 April. Kuwait’s All Share Market Index decreased by 1.29% over the week to close at 4,685.43 points.
CRIF D&B Business Update
As covid19 continues its spread around the world, more and more companies are asking their employees to stay away from the office. Most of our 'Field Due Diligence' - CCAM partners needed in-person meetings to establish trust in individuals and entities they do business with. They have, in most part, required real-life meetings with potential borrowers, to process their credit transactions. Luckily, modern technology enables us to conduct due diligence without needing to be in the same room.
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