CGI Gulf Insights of the Week

  • ByCGI Gulf Insights of the Week
  • Monday, 25 March 2019
  • Published inMarch 2019
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Country Risk Update
United Arab Emirates

Risk Indicator  - DB3b
Risk Level       - Slight
Ratings Trend - Stable

The UAE continues to strengthen its position as a regional safe-haven and business hub. The IMF commends the government’s policy initiatives but stresses the need for further reforms, which will boost the country’s long-term economic potential.
Market Overview
ADNOC Works With Austria's OMV And Borealis On New Projects
UAE state oil giant, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), has revealed that it will collaborate with Austrian giants OMV and Borealis to explore new opportunities in the downstream sector. Under the new MOUs, ADNOC is tying up with OMV to evaluate new opportunities in petrochemical projects along with assessing opportunities for petrochemicals marketing support. The two parties will also explore the potential of OMV’s ReOil technology in Ruwais, ADNOC’s integrated refining and petrochemicals hub in the Al Dhafra region of Abu Dhabi. OMV’s ReOil recycling process produces synthetic crude oil from used plastics.  ADNOC considers the new cooperation with OMV as a stepping stone to grow its downstream portfolio and establish Ruwais as a global refining and petrochemicals hub. Furthermore, ADNOC is partnering with Borealis to explore potential growth opportunities within the integrated polyolefin industry in key geographical markets. Since 1998, ADNOC and Borealis have collaborated as joint venture partners in Borouge, a leading petrochemicals company that provides innovative plastics solutions for several industries. With 4.5 million tons of annual capacity, Borouge is the world’s largest integrated polyolefin complex. ADNOC plans to invest $45 billion alongside partners over the next five years, to become a leading global downstream player. The plan includes creating the world’s largest integrated refining and petrochemicals complex in Ruwais, which will see the company triple production of petrochemicals to 14.4 million tons per annum by 2025.
Saudi Arabia To Build 2600 MW Solar Power Project In Makkah
The world’s largest oil exporter, Saudi Arabia, is making plans to build a 2600 MW energy project in Makkah—Al-Faisaliyah. The project will help the Kingdom to keep pace with an expected increase in the number of people and pilgrims visiting the country, alongside growing demand for electricity and clean energy. The Saudi Ministry of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources yesterday signed an MoU with Makkah Region Development Authority to start the implementation of the Al-Faisaliyah solar energy project, on the sidelines of the second session of Makkah Economic Forum. The Ministry of Energy announced that it will partner with Saudi’s sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund (PIF), to establish the project. The Ministry, through the Renewable Energy Projects Development Office, will prepare the technical studies for the project to ensure that it meets all international standards. PIF with its selected partners will develop 2GW of the project. The remaining 600MW will be tendered by the Saudi’s Renewable Energy Project Development Office this year. PIF is working with Japanese SoftBank and other parties, on a number of large-scale, multi-billion-dollar projects relating to the solar industry, which will be announced in due course, according to a statement from PIF in October 2018. In line with Vision 2030, the Kingdom is moving forward with an overall renewable energy strategy, through which Saudi Arabia aims to generate 25GW from solar and wind energy over the next five years and 60GW by 2030, including 40GW solar capacities.
New Abu Dhabi tech hub to attract 100 start-ups in the next three years
The new tech hub launched in Abu Dhabi on Sunday is expected to boost the tech startup ecosystem in the capital. Named Hub 71, and with an investment of over Dh1 billion, the hub aims to attract more than 100 start-ups in the next three years in different sectors including transportation and autonomous driving, life sciences, cybersecurity, financial services, food systems, and food supply chain, among others. Many firms from China as well as from the region are expected to come to Abu Dhabi with some start-ups getting to Hub 71 including some SoftBank companies in the next six months alone, top officials said. Mubadala Investment Company, Microsoft and SoftBank Vision Fund are the founding partners of this new initiative and Hub 71 will be based out of Abu Dhabi Global Market Square on Al Maryah Island. “It’s a Dh1-billion government initiative of which Dh500 million is an investment in funds and companies and Dh500 million will be used as incentives to support start-ups with housing, office space and with health insurance under the Ghadan 21 initiative,” said Ebrahim Ajami, head of Mubadala Ventures, speaking to reporters in Abu Dhabi.
Opec needs higher oil prices to meet fiscal obligations
Opec is expected to continue the policy of keeping market tight as several member countries need higher oil prices to meet fiscal obligations, analysts said. Opec (Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries), as well as Russia, are currently cutting production by 1.2 million barrels per day to rebalance oil markets and support oil prices. The deal which came into effect earlier this year will continue till the end of June when Opec meets for its annual meeting in Vienna. “The Opec+ group of producers’ recent meeting in Baku, Azerbaijan, left the market with the clear impression that crude oil will continue to climb higher. Several Opec producers, not least Saudi Arabia, need oil back above $80 per barrel to meet their fiscal obligations and they are unlikely to be satisfied with Brent crude oil below $70 per barrel,” said Ole Hansen, head of the commodity strategy at Saxo Bank. “On that basis, the market now expects that supply will be kept tight beyond June to support further price appreciations. This is a strategy that would work well into a world of strong growth and demand but potentially not into one that is seeing the US yield curve continues to flatten and where recession risks have risen to the highest since 2008.”While Opec, together with Russia, can control output, it does not influence demand, and as the price of oil goes up so does the tax burden on everyone else.”He expects upside to oil prices in the second quarter but adds, “The well-being of the stock market will send an important signal as to whether demand growth concerns will re-emerge as a focus to offset the price supportive focus on (falling) supply.” International benchmark Brent was down by 1.22 percent at $67.03 per barrel when markets closed on Friday with West Texas Intermediate at $59.04 per barrel. 
EGA signs deal with Maersk for aluminum shipping
Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA), the largest industrial company in the UAE outside oil and gas on Monday signed a volume commitment extension agreement for 2019 with the global shipping company AP Moller Maersk, the company said in a statement. The deal enables EGA to transport its aluminum to customers around the world. “EGA has track-record stretching back decades as a reliable supplier of high-quality aluminum worldwide for our customers,” said Walid Al Attar, EGA’s Chief Marketing Officer.“Meeting our customers’ expectations depends on both the quality of our production and the efficiency of getting the metal to them, so I am pleased to sign this agreement today with one of our most important shipping partners, Maersk.” EGA, equally-owned by Mubadala Investment Company and the Investment Corporation of Dubai exports its metal to customers in more than 60 countries worldwide and makes more than 11,000 shipments each year using over 100,000 containers. The company works with 20 different shipping lines to ship its products, transporting metal to over 70 global ports. Maersk is one of EGA’s most significant shipping partners, working with the UAE aluminum giant since 1992. Christopher Cook, Managing Director for Maersk in UAE, Oman, and Qatar, said: “As the global integrator of container logistics, this agreement enables us to continue to partner with EGA to ensure their aluminum reaches their customers as fast and as cost-effectively as possible.” EGA posted revenue of Dh23.5 billion in 2018 compared to Dh20.5 during the previous year largely driven by higher sales volumes and higher benchmark price, the company said last week.
Commodity Tracker
Business Events this Week In UAE
​Dubai International Property Show 2019
Dubai World Trade Centre
Date: 26
 March - 28 March 2019
Business Updates

D&B Business Valuation
D&B Business Valuation Study is a neutral, third party and comprehensive assessment of the prospects of the business entity. As a part of the business assessment process, a comprehensive business valuation report is submitted that cover issues related to nuances of the business. The business valuation report helps investors, banks and financial institutions validate their own research findings and make a more informed decision. The neutral assessment and the analysis conducted on different dimensions also assist the users of the report to understand better the risks inherent and can formulate strategies to mitigate the same

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