• Monday, 23 April 2018
  • Published inApril 2018

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

Business opportunities in Kuwait should increase as the government targets a more diverse economy with its national development plan.A pending resolution of the Divided Zone dispute with Saudi Arabia will boost it’s oil production capacity. Despite its oil wealth, Kuwait’s bureaucracy and combative politics make it a difficult place to do business.

Market Overview

Egypt-Based SWVL Raises $8 Million In Series A Funding
Swvl, the Egyptian app-based mass transit system, announced a $8 million Series A that was led by regional venture fund BECO Capital, Africa-based investor DiGAME and global VC fund Silicon Badia. Other VC firms Raed Ventures, Arzan VC, Oman Technology Fund, and chairman of EDventure Holdings Esther Dyson, also participated in the round. The round comes as both primary and secondary.“The $8 million round is the biggest round of funding for a tech start up in Egypt and one of the biggest rounds in the Middle East,” said Mostafa Kandil, co-founder and CEO of Swvl. “With the funding, Swvl will solidify its position in Egypt and establish the company as a global leader in the affordable smart mobility space, offering fixed routes for a fixed flat fare at prices that are up to 80% cheaper than on-demand ride-hailing services.​“We’re trying to build our own version of public transportation, that’s smarter basically,” said the 25-year old Kandil who earned a spot on Forbes Middle East’s 30 under 30 ranking earlier this year, along with Swvl co-founders Mahmoud Nouh and Ahmed Sabbah. Forbes Middle East has also ranked Swvl at the15th position in 50 startups to watch in the Arab world.

Abu Dhabi fund agrees $30m loan to support Mali housing programme
Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), the national entity for development aid, has extended a concessionary loan of AED110 million ($30 million) to the Government of Mali to support its national social housing programme.In a bid to meet the surging housing demand in Mali and improve the overall standard of living and well-being of the Malian people, the social housing programme seeks to modernise civil and housing services in the country as part of the government’s efforts to achieve sustainable development.Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, director general of ADFD, and Dr Boubou Cisse, Malian Minister of Economy and Finance, ratified the loan agreement.Mali’s national social housing programme mandates the construction of 50,000 housing units across all major cities and regions of the country, including Kayes, Koulikoro, Bamako, Sikasso, Ségou, Timbuktu, Gao, Kidal, Ménaka and Taoudenni.

China’s ICBC Becomes Lead Arranger For $1.5 Billion Loan For Dubai’s Thermos-Solar Project
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) has been mandated as lead arranger for a $1.5 billion senior loan to finance the construction of a Dubai-based thermo-solar power project, which is the largest thermo-solar power plant in the world. ICBC, Bank of China and Agricultural Bank of China will play a key role in the financing of the project, providing almost 80% of senior debt. Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) and the Saudi Company ACWA Power, in collaboration with Shanghai Electric, will build the 700 MW CSP project in Dubai. The project, which has an investment worth $3.87 billion, is in the fourth phase of the Mohamed bin Rashid Solar Park. The engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) agreement with Shanghai Electric Generation Group (SEGC) for the DEWA project in Dubai was signed on April 15 at a ceremony in China.

UAE gov’t revenues top $1bn via e-Dirham in Q1
Federal government revenue collected through the e-Dirham reached more than AED4 billion ($1.09 billion) in the first quarter of 2018, up 82 percent compared to the year-earlier period. The increase confirms e-Dirham’s growing popularity in the cashless payment industry for government services, a statement said. It added that the number of e-Dirham cards issued in Q1 exceeded 3.3 million while the number of transaction receipts reached more than 3.5 million over the same period. Saeed Rashid Al Yateem, Assistant Under-Secretary of Resources and Budget Sector at the Ministry of Finance, emphasised the ministry’s commitment to continuously upgrade the e-Dirham system.The average speed of processing any transaction through the e-Dirham system is just 1.02 seconds, while the average speed of processing a transaction through point of sale devices is 1.1 seconds.

Chinese firms plan $1bn investment in Abu Dhabi free zone
Fifteen Chinese companies have signed agreements to invest in Abu Dhabi’s Khalifa Port Free Trade Zone (KPFTZ), totalling $1 billion in value.The huge investment follows an agreement between Abu Dhabi Ports and the Jiangsu Provincial Overseas Cooperation and Investment Company Limited (JOCIC) .​Under the terms of the agreement, China-UAE Industrial Capacity Cooperation (Jiangsu) Construction Management Co Ltd, a UAE company established by JOCIC, would occupy and develop approximately 2.2 sq km of the free trade zone for companies from the Chinese province of Jiangsu.This area, now dubbed as the China-UAE Industrial Capacity Cooperation Industrial Park, is part of the KPFTZ and is expandable to reach 12.2 sq km, a statement said.

Commodity Tracker

Business Events this Week In UAE

AACE International Conference
Roda Al Murooj Rotana Downtown Dubai
01 May 2018 To 02 May 2018
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