CGI Gulf Insights of the Week Mar 12 2018

  • ByCGI Gulf Insights of the Week
  • Monday, 12 March 2018
  • Published inMarch 2018
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Country Risk Update - UAE

Risk Indicator - DB3c
Risk Level - Slight
Ratings Trend - Stable
The UAE will continue 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 latest official data for Abu Dhabi, which is the UAE’s largest emirate, shows that the non seasonally- adjusted real GDP grew by only 0.6% q/q in Q2 2017.
Market Overview
Investcorp To Launch A $100 Million Fund For Omani Pension Funds
Bahrain-based investment firm Investcorp will soon launch a $100 million fund dedicated to Oman’s Pension Funds as part of its investment plan. ‘The Opportunities Fund’ will be focused on private equity investments in the U.S. and Europe and will target mid-sized companies across a broad range of sectors. The deal was announced at an event hosted by the Ministry of Defense Pension Fund in Muscat. Government funds are increasingly investing into private funds as they aim to strengthen their bottom line profits. Last year, the Saudi Arabia’s investment fund PIF and Abu Dhabi-based Mubadala invested $100 billion in Tokyo-headquartered Softbank Vision Fund.
Italy's Eni wins two Abu Dhabi oil concessions for $875m
Eni won a contract with Abu Dhabi National Oil Co for two offshore oil blocks in the Arabian Gulf as the UAE producer awards new concessions to secure markets for its crude. Adnoc awarded Rome-based Eni a 10 percent stake in the Umm Shaif and Nasr offshore oil fields in return for a payment of $575 million and a 5 percent stake in the Lower Zakum deposit for $300 million, according to separate statements from the two companies. The 40-year contracts started March 9. In a separate deal, Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Investment agreed to pay Eni $934 million for a 10 percent stake in the Shorouk concession, which includes the Zohr natural gas field in Egypt, Eni said in another statement.
VAT has not impacted deal flow, according to experts
The implementation of 5 percent value-added tax (VAT) in the UAE and Saudi Arabia has not impacted deal flow in the GCC, even as many companies found themselves unprepared, according to experts speaking at the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) corporate finance faculty roundtable in Dubai. According to the panellists, despite the fact that the flows of deals was not impacted there remain uncertainties regarding the items subject to the tax, as well as a “sentiment of denial” across businesses that affected their ability to be ready on time. Now, however, businesses are embracing VAT.
IPOs, M&A set to drive busy year for Middle East deals
JPMorgan Chase & Co sees initial public offerings and M&A driving Middle East deals this year in what the US bank expects to be its busiest in the region.Private sector mergers and state sell-offs as part of privatisation plans will accelerate, while corporate bond sales are also likely to rise, Sjoerd Leenart, the bank’s global head of corporate banking and regional head for Central & Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, said in an interview.“There is a great need for companies to become more efficient, so we will see consolidation as one of the themes driving M&A,” Leenart said.“In equity markets we see levels of activity are picking up, particularly across the UAE and Saudi Arabia. Across our teams we are absolutely very busy at the moment with a lot of deals being worked on.” “There is a great need for companies to become more efficient, so we will see consolidation as one of the themes driving M&A,” Leenart said.
ADIB Securities launches trading on Tadawul
ADIB Securities, the brokerage subsidiary of Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB), can now provide access for GCC investors to trade on the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul).The launch of this service enables investors, who hold a trading account with ADIB Securities, to diversify their portfolio in sharia’a complaint investment opportunities. Khaled Kurdieh, general manager of ADIB Securities, said: “At ADIB Securities, our aim has always been to focus on investors looking for a universal sharia compliant trading platform through cutting edge technologies, superb client services and experienced team.”The Tadawul is the Middle East’s largest bourse, with a market capitalisation of $479bn. It comprises 48 percent of total GCC market capitalisation and 74 percent of value traded.

Commodity Tracker
Business Events this Week In UAE
Dubai Lynx 2018
Souk Madinat Jumeirah
11 March 2018 To 14 March 2018
Business Updates
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