Newsletter 100 Issue December (Copy 77)

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Country Risk Update
Saudi Arabia

Risk Indicator - DB3c
Risk Level - Slight
Ratings Trend - Stable

Saudi Arabia’s short-term outlook is shrouded in uncertainty ahead of the OPEC meeting in Vienna. The meeting is set to discuss whether the production quotas introduced in January 2017 should be reduced or eliminated completely, as oil prices remain well above the USD70 per barrel (/b) mark. Saudi Arabia’s oil reserves, which have allowed it to build up huge financial buffers, will support short-term government spending.
Market Overview
Middle East Infrastructure Growth Makes Dubai Focus Of Global Stone Industry
Dubai will become a multi-billion dollar magnet for stone trade suppliers from around the globe this month as massive urban growth and infrastructure development continues to make the Middle East one of the world’s highest spending construction markets. According to market analysts BNC, a raft of new mega projects valued at $29.19 billion were launched in the Middle East and North Africa’s residential, hospitality, retail, healthcare and commercial sectors over the last 12 months. “Over the next two years, demand for natural stone materials will continue to be driven by projects surrounding Expo 2020. Following this, we see mega projects such as Saudi Arabia’s Neom as well as a slew of other social infrastructure developments in the Kingdom as major drivers,” said Avin Gidwani, CEO of BNC. Leading the way was the UAE with projects worth $11.57 billion followed by Iraq ($10 billion), Saudi Arabia ($3.66 billion), Jordan ($3 billion), Kuwait ($1.3 billion), Oman ($100 million) and Qatar ($50 million).
Robo-Advisor Startup Sarwa Raises $1.3 Million In Funding From Regional And International VC Firms
Sarwa, a Dubai-based automated investment advisory platform, has raised $1.3 million in its latest round of pre-Series A funding from popular regional and international venture capital firms, bringing its total sum to $1.5 million. The pre-Series A round saw investments pouring in from Abu Dhabi-based Shorooq Investments along with Middle East Venture Partners (MEVP), 500 Startups, Dubai-based Women’s Angel Investor Network, Saudi Arabia’s Hala Ventures, and Saned Partners from Lebanon. Through the new investments, Sarwa aims to accelerate growth by making its investment advisory services more readily available to young professionals throughout the underserved market. Founded by Mark Chahwan, Jad Sayegh, and Nadine Mezher, Sarwa launched its platform in February 2018. Sarwa provides expert-level investment advice to its clients by combining technology and human advice to create a digitized and user-friendly investing experience, the first service of its kind in the region.
ADIB Announces Dates For Its Billion Dirham Rights Issue
Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB), which had earlier announced that it would be raising $272 million via a rights issue, has set out key dates for the issue. This follows the General Meeting held on 19th August, which approved ADIB’s capital proposal to raise the bank’s Paid and Issued Share Capital through a tradable rights issue of 464 million new shares to its shareholders, worth AED 1 billion ($272 million). Under the plan for the rights issue, each shareholder will have the right to subscribe to 29 new shares for every 198 shares held on 2 pm on 10th September 2018, and subscription will start on 25th September, and end on 9th October. Each right grants its holder the eligibility to subscribe to one new share at an issue price of AED 2.16 ($0.59) per share, reflecting the nominal value of AED 1 ($0.27) per share, and a share premium of AED 1.16 ($0.32) per share. This represents a 45% discount to the market share price as of 25th July 2018.
Sarwa Capital Plans To Float 40% Of Its Shares On the Egyptian Stock Exchange
Egypt-based provider of consumer and structured finance solutions Sarwa Capital revealed that it is planning to float 40% of its shares through an initial public offering (IPO) on the Egyptian Exchange by the end of quarter three in 2018. The IPO will consist of a primary offering of newly issued shares and a secondary offering of existing shares held by the company’s current shareholders collectively constituting up to 40% of Sarwa Capital’s total shares, without disclosing the expected value of the raise.It will include an institutional offering to qualified investors internationally, and a retail offering to retail investors in Egypt. Both are expected to take place in late Q3 2018 or early Q4 2018, subject to market conditions and the receipt of regulatory approvals, Sarwa said in a statement.Through its various subsidiaries, Sarwa has financed over EGP 15 billion in assets, generating a five-year net profit at a CAGR of 52% from 2013 to 2017.
National Bank Of Oman And Bank Dhofar To Merge To Create New Entity With $20 Billion In Assets
Last month Sultanate’s National Bank of Oman (NBO) held a meeting with Bank Dhofar to explore the possibility of a merger between the two Omani lenders. Upon unification the new entity will have over $20 billion (OMR7.6 billion) in combined assets. As per NBO’s disclosure on Muscat Securities Market dated July 30, 2018, both the banks “resolved to commence discussions” on the potential merger subject to final approvals from their respective boards, shareholders and regulators.Earlier in 2016 Bank Dhofar has announced in a disclosure that it had ended merger talks with smaller rival Bank Sohar, after both the entities were unable to agree upon certain issues related to the potential merger. Bank Dhofar is the second largest bank in the Sultanate with $11 billion in assets in 2017 and records over a billion in market value.The NBO and Bank Dhofar merger announcement comes months after two other local banks Oman Arab Bank and Alizz Islamic Bank were reported to be in merger talks to create a new entity with $7.6 billion (OMR2.63 billion) in assets.
Commodity Tracker
Business Events this Week In UAE
International stone, marble and ceramic show
@ Dubai World Trade Centre
04 September 2018 To 06 September 2018
Business Updates
We are proud to be part of Forbes Italy magzine in it's July edition.
“The next level of decision-making” a page dedicated to CRIF which higlights CRIF’s vision, strategies and value proposition and how these allow the company to promptly satisfy the increasingly sophisticated needs of markets on a global level with incerpts from Carlo Gheradi and Eugenio Bonomi.
Introducing D&B’s Express BIR
D&B Express Business Information Reports helps to take day-to-day credit decisions, analyse a company's financial strength and discover commercial opportunities.

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