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Dirhams, not dollars: New debt law facilitates local currency bond issuance

The new federal government debt law announced in the United Arab Emirates on Sunday "lays the foundations for the development of a bond market in dirham denomination" in the country, according to the governor of the UAE's Central Bank.

In a press statement published on Monday afternoon, Central Bank governor Mubarak Rashed Al Mansoori said the establishment of dirham-denominated federal government bonds was "important as it will create deeper, more resilient financial markets", as well as providing a benchmark yield curve against which locally-denominated debt can be measured on global bond markets.

Tuesday 16 October 2018- ZAWYA

View from abroad: UAE dominates M&A deals closed in Q3, especially among foreign investors

The UAE continued to dominate merger and acquisition (M&A) transactions in the GCC in the third quarter of the year, especially when it came to attracting overseas investors, according to a new report issued on Sunday, while Bahrain and Saudi Arabia saw their growth rates diverge in very different directions.

The 29 deals closed is the same compared to Q3 2017, but was down 25 percent quarter-on-quarter compared to the 39 deals closed in Q2 2018.

Monday 15 October 2018- ZAWYA

Optimism and jobs: Consumer spending in Kuwait remains robust thanks to confidence in the market and employment growth, report says

Consumer spending in Kuwait is ‘healthy’ thanks to a pickup in employment levels and an improving economic backdrop helped by higher oil prices.

However, factors including a reduction in the number of expat dependents, due to higher living costs, soft wage growth and the easing of household borrowing growth were listed as ‘downside pressures’ by the NBK Economic Research Department in a report published on Saturday.

Sunday 14 October 2018- ZAWYA

Tough targets: Bahrain gov't's fiscal reforms are overly ambitious - report

Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE earlier this month agreed to give Bahrain $10 billion in financial support, in a bid to bail the island state out of its monetary troubles, but a report published by the Fitch Ratings agency this week said “achieving the government's fiscal targets will be tough”.

The $10 billion will be in the form of a long-term interest-free loan and aims to get Bahrain’s budget back in the black by 2022.

Thursday 11 October 2018- ZAWYA
financial services

More UAE bank mergers likely, but not in Dubai, says EFG Hermes exec

More bank mergers are likely to occur across many parts of the United Arab Emirates but may not be that prevalent in Dubai, according to one of the co-heads of investment banking at EFG Hermes.

In a media roundtable event discussing the investment banking landscape across the region, Mohammed Fahmi, co-head of investment banking at EFG Hermes, said that a lot of consolidation has been taking place in Abu Dhabi, through the merger last year that created First Abu Dhabi Bank, the country's biggest bank in terms of total assets, and the joining together of some of the emirate’s sovereign funds.

"It is happening with the other banks, potentially," he said.

Wednesday 10 October 2018- ZAWYA

Buy and sell: Tradeable work permits could be the answer for companies facing labour market challenges

Governments in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) should introduce tradeable work permits to address labour challenges, including those relating to nationalisation targets, according to a new report.

The report, by management consultancy Oliver Wyman, says that allowing companies to sell expatriate work permits to others would have several benefits, including assigning foreign labour to the areas of greatest market need and allowing companies to recoup the costs of training national citizens through the permit sales.


Tuesday 9 October 2018- ZAWYA

Going, going, gone: Egypt cancels bond auctions as it tries to squeeze interest rates

Egypt yesterday launched its latest funding roadshow in Seoul, as officials pin their hopes on Asian investors being more receptive to signing up to the country’s international bonds, especially after the interest rates offered in recent weeks have not been to their liking.

Authorities face some tough conversations as Egypt’s finance ministry last month cancelled four consecutive auctions of 5 and 10-year treasury bonds after it could not agree terms with investors.

Monday 8 October 2018- ZAWYA
financial services

Attracting interest: Moody's improves outlook for Qatar's banks, says UAE and Saudi lenders will benefit from rate rises

Ratings agency Moody's on Thursday improved its outlook on Qatar's banking system from negative to stable, and also said that recent rate rises by central banks in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates would led to increased profitability for the two Gulf states’ lenders.

Moody's said in a note on Qatar's banking system that its improved outlook for Qatar's banks reflected "the resilience of the country's economy and banking system to the ongoing regional dispute".

Sunday 7 October 2018- ZAWYA
oil and gas

Sticky situation: Oil prices hit four-year highs as supply from Iran falls away

Oil supplies from Iran have already declined by 250,000 barrels per day ahead of the sanctions that are due to be imposed on the country by the United States in November, according to new research.

A quarterly oil market update from Saudi Arabia's Jadwa Investment bank issued on Wednesday stated that declines in Iranian oil purchases were witnessed from India and Japan, but "South Korea led the way in cutting purchases to zero, in line with the US’s request.

Thursday 4 October 2018- ZAWYA