• Monday, 30 October 2017
  • Published inOctober 2017


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CGI. 93

Country Risk Update – Oman

The ports of Sohar and Salalah are emerging as regionally competitive infrastructure facilities, soon to be joined by Al Duqm. The government is targeting high-end tourism as an area for growth.Because of the ongoing Gulf crisis, Oman accelerates its efforts to reduce the reliance on its GCC partners by garnering support from outside of the Gulf.The deal with Singapore is a real boost for Oman, but it pales into insignificance with the level of investment that Oman has managed to secure from China for its other port, Duqm.

Market Overview
VAT, tech to drive UAE job recruitment in 2018
The widespread implementation of Value-Added Tax (VAT) and a need to reshape businesses to cope with the latest technological advances will shape the staffing landscape in 2018, according to a new report from recruitment consultancy Robert Half.The report – the Robert Half 2018 Salary Guide – found that the demand for accounting and finance professions will remain high in the UAE in 2018, particularly in the real estate, construction, professional services and healthcare industries.
Bahrain’s Ibdar buys Boston office of Amazon subsidiary
Bahrain-based wholesale Islamic investment bank, Ibdar Bank, has announced the acquisition of a prime office building in Boston, United States. In collaboration with Lincoln Property Company and Ritz Banc Group, it has signed a deal for the building, which is currently the headquarters of Amazon Robotics, a wholly owned subsidiary of Amazon Inc. The total deal size was $48 million, Ibdar Bank said in a statement. Ibdar CEO Ayman Sejiny said: “The deal is aligned with the bank’s strategy to focus on allocating investments within international real estate markets in order to provide diversified, stable and attractive returns.”
Dubai plans Fiqh league as it aims to lead world’s Islamic economy
Dubai is planning to set up a global Fiqh league, made up of Islamic scholars, to help the emirate establish itself as the world’s Islamic economy capital.The plan was discussed at a recent board meeting of the Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre (DIEDC) as part of its refreshed strategy 2017-2021.At the meeting, chaired by Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy and chairman of DIEDC, board members approved in principle several initiatives including the Fiqh league and a global education platform dedicated to strengthening Islamic economy sectors.
Saudi fund says to invest $1bn in Virgin Galactic
Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund on 26 October 2017 announced a investment of $1 billion in British billionaire Richard Branson’s space tourism company Virgin Galactic.The announcement on the sidelines of an investment summit in Riyadh comes nearly a month after the Virgin Group founder said he would invest in the kingdom’s Red Sea project that aims to turn 50 Saudi islands into luxury tourism destinations.”This investment will enable us to develop the next generation of satellite launches and accelerate our programme for point to point supersonic space travel,” Branson said.
FTSE Russell launches Saudi inclusion indices ahead of EM upgrade
London Stock Exchange-owned index compiler FTSE Russell has launched a series of standalone indices including Saudi Arabia ahead of the kingdom’s anticipated promotion to its emerging market index next year.FTSE said the global, regional and country-level indexes are intended to be used as a transitional tool as the country remains on the company’s watch list for potential inclusion in its secondary emerging market index.The firm maintained Saudi’s position on the list during its annual classification announcement at the end of September and its status will be reviewed during an interim review in March 2018.
Bahrain’s Investcorp completes first European real estate portfolio
Bahrain-based investment firm Investcorp announced that it has completed its first European real estate portfolio following the acquisition of seven additional assets.The latest investment consists of a portfolio of seven industrial properties across the UK, for a total purchase price of approximately £40m. The properties are spread over approximately 700,000 sq ft across three single let distribution warehouses and four multi-let light industrial properties.They are located in High Wycombe, Leeds, South Elmsall, Liverpool, Warrington, Glasgow and Edinburgh, and have a very high level of occupancy rate with more than 40 tenants including many well established occupiers, a statement said.
Dubai, Abu Dhabi market futures to be traded on Nasdaq
Dubai Financial Market (DFM) and Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange have signed licensing deals allowing futures contracts linked with the DFM General Index (DFMGI) and Abu Dhabi General Index (ADI) to be traded on Nasdaq Dubai’s equity futures market.The DFMGI tracks a basket of DFM-listed companies in sectors including property, banking, telecoms, insurance and transport. The ADI tracks companies from telecommunication, financial services, real estate, energy and other sectors.Futures linked with the DFMGI will be traded on Nasdaq Dubai’s futures market from later this year, subject to regulatory approval. No timeline was given for futures linked with the ADI. 
Saudi to let foreigners take strategic stakes in firms
Saudi Arabia will let foreign investors take strategic stakes of 10 per cent or more in stock exchange-listed companies, the securities regulator said on Sunday, expanding an effort to attract foreign capital and technology to the kingdom.The Capital Market Authority said it was working with the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority, the state investment agency, to prepare rules under which foreign investors with appropriate experience and expertise could own such stakes.Current regulations forbid a single foreign investor from owning 10 per cent or more of the shares of a listed Saudi company.
Commodity Tracker
Commodity 23 Oct 30 Oct Chg.%
Brent 57.90 60.48 4.46
WTI 52.10 53.95 3.55
Natural Gas 2.95 2.96 0.34
Gold 1278.00 1271.2 -0.53


Business Events this week In UAE


Dubai Forum for Government Best Practices 2017

07 November – 08 November 2017
Sheikh Rashid Hall, Dubai
World Trade Centre


Business Updates

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