Newsletter 100 Issue December (Copy 86)

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Country Risk Update - Oman

Risk Indicator - DB4d
Risk Level - Moderate
Ratings Trend - Stable

The government is targeting high-end tourism as an area for growth. Oman’s most ambitious highway project is now operational: the Batinah Expressway is part of a wider effort to improve the sultanate's infrastructure. Dun & Bradstreet has upgraded Oman's Supply Environment Outlook to ‘stable’ following the opening of the USD4bn, 270km, eight-lane Batinah Expressway.
Market Overview
Red Sea Collection And Prince Albert II Of Monaco Foundation Signs Framework Agreement
The Saudi Minister of Culture, His Highness Prince Badr bin Abdullah Al Saud, representing the Red Sea Collection by the Public Investment Fund and HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco have signed a Framework Agreement to seal an agreement of shared interests and objectives regarding sustainable development and conservation. The signing of the agreement took place during The Red Sea Collection’s sponsorship of the Monte-Carlo Gala for the Global Ocean, which last year raised over $14 million for the Foundation’s marine conservation initiatives. The Framework Agreement formally acknowledges the shared aims of the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation and The Red Sea Collection, in relation to sustainable development and marine conservation. The agreement will pave the way for an exchange of information and expertise to help safeguard marine biodiversity and protect coral reefs, as well as combat the growing problem of plastic pollution.
$11bn in inflows from Saudi inclusion on JPMorgan emerging markets index
Saudi Arabia’s inclusion in the JPMorgan Emerging Markets Index next year will lead to inflows of approximately $11 billion, according to the kingdom’s Ministry of Finance. Last week, a JPMorgan statement sent to investors said that Saudi Arabia, along with Kuwait and the UAE, is eligible for inclusion in the JPMorgan’s EMBI Global Diversified, EMBI Global and EURO-EMBIG indexes. The countries will be phased in over a nine-month period beginning on January 31, 2019. Both conventional bonds and Sukuks will be eligible for inclusion in the indexes. According to the Saudi Ministry of Finance, Saudi issues will account for 3.1 percent of the weight of the indices, “which will add support to the investor base as well as improve liquidity levels for the government’s issues as well as the issuances of government-owned companies.” “Continued communication with investors globally has also contributed an increase in strategic initiatives such as index inclusion,” a ministry statement said. “The Office [The Ministry of Finance’s Debt Management Office] expects an estimated inflow of approximately $11 billion as a result of this listing. The move comes after similar announcements earlier this year that S&P Dow Jones Indices, MSCI, and FTSE.
UAE Space Agency says to reveal first investment strategy
The UAE Space Agency has revealed that it is preparing a comprehensive strategy for investing in the UAE’s space sector, in cooperation with relevant authorities, which will be announced in October. 
Dr. Mohammed Nasser Al Ahbabi, director-general of the UAE Space Agency, said that the strategy will help reinforce the contributions of the space sector to the national economy, based on knowledge. In an interview with the state news agency WAM, Al Ahbabi said that increasing the contributions of the space sector to the national economy is a strategic goal of the agency. He added that the strategy will establish the required framework and guidelines for further investment in the space sector on national and international levels. He added that the total value of Emirati investments in the space sector increased from AED20 billion in 2015 to over AED22 billion during the first part of the current year. Al Ahbabi revealed that the signing of a key agreement between the UAE and NASA will be announced shortly.
Global giant HSBC signals UAE intentions with new HQ
Global banking giant HSBC has announced the opening of its new headquarters in Downtown Dubai as it looks to grow its market share in the region. The 20-floor free-hold tower, owned by HSBC, reflects the bank’s ambitions in the UAE, it said in a statement. Abdulfattah Sharaf, group general manager, CEO, UAE and head of International, HSBC Bank Middle East Limited, said: “HSBC has played a significant role in the development of the UAE, contributing economically and socially across seven decades since opening Dubai’s first bank in 1946. HSBC UAE said it aims to develop a culture of innovation in preparation for a digital future and an innovation lab will provide an environment for employees to test and develop ‘proof of concept’ by partnering with FinTechs and universities in the region.“We wanted to create a workplace fit for the future. There is increasing evidence that more adaptable working environments promote productivity and well-being. Our new head office with next-generation technology, modern collaboration tools, and flexible-working philosophy, will help us retain and attract the best people. It will also enhance our appeal among our growing Emirati talent base,” added Sharaf.
British MP joins Bahrain's Investcorp as an advisor
Bahrain-based Investcorp has announced that Sir Michael Fallon, a British Member of Parliament and former Secretary of State for Defence, has been appointed to its international advisory board. Fallon, who has served as an MP for more than three decades, has held a number of senior governmental leadership roles and had overall responsibility for the British armed forces and managed a £35 billion annual budget. He has also served as Schools Minister under both Margaret Thatcher and John Major and Business and Energy Minister under David Cameron. Mohammed Alardhi, executive chairman of Investcorp, said: “As we continue to grow as a global firm, seeking relevant counsel to bring fresh new perspectives to our business is essential. Our international advisory board consists of some of the best minds around the world providing us with guidance on emerging business and policy issues globally.
Commodity Tracker
Business Events this Week In UAE
Cityscape Global  
@ Dubai World Trade Centre
Date: 02 October 2018 To 04 October 2018
Business Updates
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