• Monday, 02 July 2018
  • Published inJuly 2018

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Country Risk Update – Kuwait
Risk Indicator – DB4b
Risk Level – Moderate
Ratings Trend – Stable

The risk of insecurity, including sectarian tensions between Kuwaitis, remains higher than usual in light of regional tensions such as Saudi-Iranian rivalry.The disintegration of the GCC as a result of the Qatar crisis leaves Kuwait in a difficult position and could harm market opportunities. A pending resolution of the Divided Zone dispute with Saudi Arabia will boost oilproduction capacity.

Market Overview

Dubai Real Estate Deals Fall By 16% To Reach $30 Billion In The First Half Of 2018
After enjoying many years of strong growth, Dubai’s property market has been trying to come to terms with a slowing investor appetite. According to a recent report by Dubai Land Department, the value of property transactions in Dubai reached $30 billion (AED111 billion) during the first half of 2018 (H1 2018), down by 16% as compared to $35.6 billion (AED132 billion) in the same period in 2017. The report—issued by DLD’s Department of Real Estates Studies & Research—states that H1 2018 recorded a total of 27,642 transactions. Out of which 18,191 sales transactions were worth about $10.8 billion (AED40 billion), 7,668 mortgage transactions were worth over $15.6 billion (AED 57.6 billion) and remaining 1,783 transactions accounted to $3.6 billion (AED 13.4 billion). Though the DLD did not provide a comparative value for 2017, a previous report which detailed transaction that happened in H1 2017 indicated that a total of 35,571 transactions accounting to a real estate value of $35.6 billion (AED132 billion) were recorded in the first half of 2017. This value was 16.8% higher as compared to $30.5 billion (AED113 billion) in H1 2016, with an additional 7,320 transactions.Dubai’s real estate sector has been struggling off-late, owing to a stronger dollar and muted economic sentiments in many markets across the world that have dampened investor appetite slightly.

Saudi Arabia’s PIF Takes 15.2% Stake In ACWA Power
Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund Public Investment Fund has acquired a 15.2% stake in power generation firm ACWA Power, the companies said in a joint statement. PIF’s latest investment will bring its overall share in ACWA Power to 24.98%, as it adds on to a 9.78% share in ACWA Power through its wholly-owned subsidiary Sanabil Direct Investments Company. The cash from the new investment will be used to grow ACWA Power’s growth strategy and its investment plan, the statement said. Founded in 2004, Riyadh-based ACWA Power has a total of 40 power projects in operation and under construction, and an additional 7 power projects in advanced development. ACWA Power has tapped into the Middle East’s growing demand for energy and the shift to generate cleaner energy. The latest round of investment also comes as ACWA Power looks to issue an IPO to fund its plans to establish power projects across the Middle East and North Africa. As part of its expansion, the company recently opened a $170 million wind farm in Morocco in partnership with ARIF Investment Fund.

Uber In Talks With Careem To Merge In The Middle East- Reports
Ride hailing firm Uber Technologies Inc. is reportedly involved in preliminary talks to merge with its Middle Eastern rival Careem, Bloomberg quoted sources as saying. Uber, which has seen losses pile up in the last year, is reviewing its market presence across the globe to identify lucrative markets. The San Francisco-based company has exited China and recently sold its operations in South East Asia to its regional rival Grab, in return for a stake in Grab. Uber cited extreme competition as a reason for its exit from these markets. The picture in the Middle East is not too different. Both Careem and Uber face stiff competition from each other and from a constantly increasing official taxi fleet. The two have also faced issues with the regulators, following protest from the local drivers over pricing. But that has not stopped investors from pumping in funds to these firms. Careem last raised a round of funding in June 2017, at a valuation of about $1.2 billion. It currently operates in 10 countries across the MENA region and Pakistan.Saud Arabia is the biggest market and an investment source for both the companies. 

Gulf sovereign wealth funds pledge to fight climate change
Six sovereign wealth funds including four Gulf states have pledged to boost efforts to fight climate change at a Paris meeting called by Emmanuel Macron, the French presidential office announced Friday. The state funds of Kuwait, Norway, New Zealand, Qatar, Saudi Arabia,  and the United Arab Emirates — global finance heavyweights mainly fuelled by domestic oil and gas revenue — promised to encourage the companies they invest in to tackle the rising threat of a warming planet. The heads of the funds, which together are worth more than $3 trillion, signed a charter to be unveiled Friday evening at the Elysee palace. In it they agree to push firms to integrate the risk of climate change into their business plans and publish information on strategies to reduce carbon use. “The transition to a low-carbon economy creates new investment opportunities,” the six funds said in the charter, adding that long-term investments could help finance the shift to greener energy sources. They expressed hope that the agreement would help “tilt the trajectory of the world economy towards sustainable growth and avoid catastrophic risks for the planet”.

Turkish drugmaker hires Barclays for sale after Abraaj deal collapse
The owners of Turkish drugmaker Sanovel Ilac Sanayi ve Ticaret have hired Barclays to look into selling the company after a deal with Dubai’s embattled Abraaj Group collapsed, three people with knowledge of the matter said. Turkish businessmen Ahmet and Zafer Toksoz are considering divesting all or part of the Istanbul-based firm after failing to reach a deal with Abraaj, the buyout firm that’s being restructured, the people said, asking not to be identified because the matter is private. Sanovel, Barclays and Abraaj declined to comment. Abraaj had been weighing buying a minority holding in the producer of anti-inflammatory, anti-asthmatic and antibiotic medication, people familiar with the matter said in December. The buyout firm, once one of the developing world’s most influential investors, is now working with provisional liquidators to restructure, just months after investors commissioned an audit to investigate the alleged mismanagement of cash at its $1 billion health-care fund.

Commodity Tracker

Business Events this Week In UAE

HostApp Summit 2018
@ Sheikh Rashid Hall C&D,
Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre
06 August – 07 August 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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