CGI Gulf Insights of the Week Sept 13 2020

  • ByCGI Gulf Insights of the Week
  • Sunday, 13 September 2020
  • Published inSeptember 2020
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Country Risk Update - Oman

Risk Indicator  - DB5a
Risk Level        - High

Ratings Trend  Deteriorating  

Mounting fiscal pressures have forced Oman to seek financial support from Gulf countries, threatening to undercut its traditional foreign policy independence. Sultan Haitham's (so far) smooth succession reduces the risk of domestic instability and increases the likelihood of needed fiscal reforms. The economy has good potential for diversification, including tourism and logistics.
Market Overview
Israeli business delegations led by banks Hapoalim, Leumi to visit UAE
The heads of Israel’s two biggest banks will travel to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) this month, the first such visits since the two countries agreed to normalise relations, Reuters reported on Sunday. One delegation led by Bank Hapoalim will leave on Sept. 8 and visit Abu Dhabi and Dubai, where it will meet with government and trade officials as well as the heads of the largest banks in the UAE. According to Reuters Hapoalim CEO Dov Kotler on Sunday called it “a unique opportunity to establish economic relations and cooperation between our countries and their financial systems, which will yield economic growth for both parties.” He added there was an “immediate bilateral desire” to establish strong economic ties.
European Central Bank finds itself stuck in Fed’s policy orbit
European Central Bank policymakers discussing this week how to set monetary policy for their disease-stricken economy will do so very much in the shadow of their US counterparts.  Officials led by President Christine Lagarde are being forced to confront not only the euro’s strengthening to a two-year high, but also whether a driving force behind that move - a shift in strategy by the Federal Reserve to periodically tolerate faster inflation - is one they need to follow too. The impact of the US central bank’s actions on the ECB’s agenda shows how the euro zone’s monetary authority finds itself momentarily on the back foot as governors reconvene by video after an emphatic summer break.
UAE cabinet restructures Emirates Development Bank board
The UAE Cabinet, chaired by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, has approved the restructuring of the Board of Directors of the Emirates Development Bank under the chairmanship of Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology.  The restructuring decision designated Dr. Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Entrepreneurship and SMEs, as a board member along with the following members: Younis Haji Al Khoury, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Finance; Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director-General of Abu Dhabi Fund for Development; Abdul Wahed Al Fahim, Chairman of Nasdaq Dubai; and Mariam Saeed Ghobash, Vice Chairperson of Abu Dhabi Investment Company. The Board, that shall serve for a three-year renewable term, shall also include Khalfan Juma Belhoul, CEO of Dubai Future Foundation; Najla Ahmed Al Midfa, Chief Executive Officer of the Sharjah Entrepreneurship Centre; and Khalfan Juma Belhoul, CEO of Dubai Future Foundation.
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