CGI Gulf Insights of the Week Jul 05 2020

  • ByCGI Gulf Insights of the Week
  • Sunday, 05 July 2020
  • Published inJuly 2020
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Country Risk Update - Oman

Risk Indicator  - DB4d
Risk Level        - Moderate

Ratings Trend  Deteriorating rapidly

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. Sultan Haitham's (so far) smooth succession reduces the risk of domestic instability and increases the likelihood of needed fiscal reforms. The government is targeting tourism and logistics as areas for non-oil diversification.

Market Overview
Saudi's Amlak International reveals share pricing ahead of IPO
Saudi Arabia-based Amlak International is to offer shares at SAR16 ahead of the real estate financing company’s IPO on the Saudi stock exchange (Tadawul). NCB Capital, financial advisor, lead manager, bookrunner and underwriter for the IPO, announced the successful completion of the book-building process for institutions and investment funds subscribing to the company’s shares, with the coverage ratio reaching 500 percent. Public and private funds and DPMs amounted to 43.4 percent, while Saudi listed companies, insurance companies, private companies, endowments and QFIs, reached 56.6 percent of the coverage.
Dubai's economy declined by 3.5% in Q1 amid Covid-19 crisis
Dubai’s economy declined by 3.5 percent in the first quarter of 2020 as the emirate grappled with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. This compares to a growth rate of 2.2 percent in 2019, according to the Dubai Statistics Centre (DSC). However, real estate, finance, manufacturing, and the government sector retained their growth momentum despite the strict lockdown measures adopted across the city. Arif Al Muhairi, executive director of DSC, said: "The worldwide restrictions on movement for individuals through air, sea, and land entry points, as well as the unprecedented intensification of precautionary measures, which limited the flow of freight across borders, had significant repercussions on international trade and the global economy.
Saudi retailers report a surge in sales ahead of the VAT increase
Saudis braced Wednesday for a tripling in value-added tax, another unpopular austerity measure after the twin shocks of coronavirus, and an oil price slump triggered the kingdom's worst economic decline in decades. Retailers in the country reported a sharp uptick in sales this week of everything from gold and electronics to cars and building materials, as shoppers sought to stock up before VAT is raised to 15 percent. The hike could stir public resentment as it weighs on household incomes, pushing up inflation and depressing consumer spending as the kingdom emerges from a three-month coronavirus lockdown.
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