• Monday, 30 July 2018
  • Published inJuly 2018

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

Business opportunities should increase as the government targets a more diverse
economy with its national development plan. Kuwait has stepped up its role at the UN in response to clashes in Gaza, and is also engaging with Gulf peers to support regional stability. A pending resolution of the Divided Zone dispute with Saudi Arabia will boost oil production capacity.

Market Overview

Al-Futtaim And Al Zarooni Take Stakes In E-Commerce App The Entertainer
Dubai conglomerate Al-Futtaim Group and Al Zarooni Emirates Investments have acquired minority stakes in the Entertainer, a U.A.E.-based lifestyle app offering deals from well-known brands. The two investors join majority shareholder GFH Financial Group as strategic partners, with plans to double the size of the Entertainer in the next three years. The size and financial details of the investments were not disclosed, with GFH Capital, a unit of the Bahrain-based GFH Financial Group, announcing the agreements with Al Futtaim and Al Zarooni. A press release from GFH Capital reports the Entertainer is valued at $150 million.Last year, the company recorded an annual turnover exceeding $35 million.In May 2018, GFH Financial Group announced it had acquired an 85% stake in the Entertainer for an undisclosed amount. The acquisition came after Riyada Enterprise Development—a subsidiary of Abraaj Capital—bought a 50% stake in the Entertainer in 2012. According to a statement released by GFH Financial Group, the existing financial investors, including Abraaj, had all fully exited following the deal.

Oman to raise $1.2bn for Duqm Special Economic Zone
Oman is seeking to raise as much as $1.2 billion to finance infrastructure at the country’s Duqm Special Economic Zone.Standard Chartered is working as global coordinator to help Oman’s debt management office raise the funds that could be backed by the World Bank’s Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency, according to an official at the finance ministry.Oman may raise the financing through a loan or bond with a potential maturity of 15 to 20 years, said the official, asking not to be identified.The financing would help the government diversify its funding sources, extend its debt maturity profile and reduce costs, the official said. MIGA, which provides political risk insurance, is evaluating the proposal, he said.Oman has one of the weakest finances in the Gulf Cooperation Council. The country is rated one notch above non-investment grade by Moody’s Investors Service and Fitch Ratings, while Standard & Poor’s Global Rating has it at junk.

Second Indian rate hike expected as inflation risks mount
India’s central bank is on course to raise interest rates for a second consecutive policy meeting as it takes more decisive steps to rein in inflation and stem capital outflows.With inflation running well above the central bank’s medium-term target of 4 percent – and the outlook set to worsen as oil prices stay elevated and the currency slides – pressure is building on the Reserve Bank of India to act.Bond investors are already taking shelter in shorter-term debt amid concern this could be the start of a tightening cycle.“It’s a great time for the RBI to hike rates because people are worried about inflation and growth numbers are looking good,” said R. Sivakumar, head of fixed income at Axis Asset Management, which oversees about $11.5 billion in assets. “By December, if growth falls off, then hiking in December or later will get more difficult.”

Dubai Police, Emaar ink deal to develop smart stations
Dubai Police has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Emaar Properties to set up smart police stations at Emaar projects to provide all police services to tenants and owners without human intervention. Brigadier Khalid Nasser Al Razooqi, director of artificial intelligence department of Dubai Police, signed the agreement with Ahmad Thani Al Matroushi, managing director of Emaar Properties, to set up the first smart police station in Arabian Ranches, state news agency WAM reported. The walk-in station will be open 24 hours, seven days a week. The station offers 27 key services such as reporting crimes and traffic incidents as well as community services ranging from getting a good-conduct certificate to social support for victims of family violence.The services can be accessed in six different languages without human intervention and Al Razooqi said the move aims to reduce the number of people visiting police stations by 80 percent.

New Makkah mega project said to add $2.1bn to Saudi economy
A new mega project planned to accommodate more pilgrims in the Saudi holy city of Makkah is expexted to contribute more than $2 billion to the national economy, according to real estate consultants JLL. Rou’a Al Haram Al Makki, announced late last year by the Public Investment Fund, will play a significant role in boosting Makkah’s economic growth and enhancing the overall sentiment in the Makkah real estate market, said JLL’s H1 2018 Makkah marketplace report. It said the new project in Makkah is expected to contribute SR8 billion ($2.1 billion) to the national economy, adding that construction is expected to commence later this year, paving the way to increase the city’s ability to host 30 million pilgrims annually in line with the government policy of lifting the quota on Hajj pilgrims.The first Makkah Economic Forum held in May unveiled eight investment opportunities in the Hajj and Umrah sector in the office market, with a value of approximately SR600 million across the two holy cities of Madinah and Makkah.

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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