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Travellers buy coffee at Jeddah airport. Non-oil business activity is rising in Saudi Arabia

Job creation hits five-year high in Saudi non-oil sector

Employment at non-oil companies in Saudi Arabia reached its strongest level for five years in December, as business activity and demand from overseas increased. The latest Riyad Bank Saudi Arabia Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), published on Tuesday, recorded a headline figure of 56.9 for December. Although this was down from 58.5 in November, companies said […]

Rishi Sunak, the UK's prime minister, held talks with the UAE's president, Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed, at Cop27 in Egypt

UK-GCC trade talks set to enter third phase in Riyadh

A third round of negotiations for a free trade agreement between the UK and the GCC is set to take place in the Saudi capital Riyadh early next year. The talks will follow a second round of negotiations that took place in London between December 5 and 9, the UK government has revealed in a […]

A Qatargas offshore complex. The country's oil and gas revenues rose 67% in the first half of 2022

Oil and gas lift Qatar’s budget surplus past $8bn in Q3

Qatar posted a budget surplus of QR30 billion ($8.2 billion) in the third quarter of 2022, according to its Ministry of Finance.  Revenues for the quarter stood at QR81.8 billion and 93 percent of the total – QR76.3 billion – came from oil and gas, the ministry announced on Tuesday, via the state-run Qatar News […]

Person, Human, Market

Turkey’s inflation hits 24-year high of 85.5% after rate cuts

Turkish annual inflation climbed to a new 24-year high of 85.51 percent in October, official data showed on Thursday, slightly below forecast, after the central bank cut its policy rate despite surging prices. Inflation has surged since last year, when the lira slumped after the central bank began cutting its policy rate in an easing […]

The PIF has stakes in 22 listed companies, including Saudi Aramco

Public Investment Fund reports 13% profit hike to $22.8bn

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) reported profit of SAR 85.7 billion ($22.81 billion) in 2021, a year-on-year increase of 13 percent, according to the Saudi Gazette newspaper. The PIF’s revenue rose 27 percent year-on-year to SAR 228.2 billion and profit from associate companies hit SAR 8.6 billion, a 75 percent increase. Its other operating incomes […]

Egypt has been suffering a severe shortage of foreign currency despite a 14.5 percent devaluation on October 27

Egyptian banks follow currency devaluation with high-yield CDs

Egypt’s three biggest state banks on Thursday offered three-year certificates of deposit with a 17.25 percent annual yield, a move designed to absorb liquidity and contain inflation after a devaluation of the currency. The move by National Bank of Egypt (NBE), Banque Misr (BM) and Banque du Caire followed a 200 basis points rate hike […]

Egypt to develop new currency indicator to wean off dollar peg

Egypt will develop a new currency indicator partly to wean people off the idea that the Egyptian pound should be pegged to the US dollar, the new central bank governor said on Sunday. Hassan Abdalla, appointed in August, told an economic conference that the central bank was also working to introduce currency hedging and had […]

Saudi Arabia eyes $10bn in supply chain investment

Saudi Arabia’s crown prince on Sunday launched an initiative to attract investments in supply chains to and from the kingdom, with an aim of raising an initial SAR 40 billion ($10.64 billion). The initiative by Prince Mohammed bin Salman will include allocating about SAR 10 billion in incentives for supply chain investors, state news agency […]

Turkey slashes rates more than expected, lira hits record low

Turkey’s central bank slashed its policy rate by a more-than-expected 150 basis points (bps) to 10.5 percent on Thursday, and promised to halt the easing cycle urged by President Tayyip Erdogan after another similarly-hefty cut next month. The move pushed the lira to a record low near 19 to the dollar and comes after Erdogan […]

Skyscrapers in Abu Dhabi

‘Economic diplomacy’: how ADQ is bolstering UAE goals

The ADQ fund’s investments across the Middle East and North Africa are part of an “economic diplomacy” strategy designed to build the UAE’s alliances with the likes of Turkey, Israel and Egypt, three sources have said. ADQ, the smallest of Abu Dhabi’s three main sovereign wealth funds, began in 2018 as a vehicle for holding […]

Egyptian banks tighten foreign currency withdrawals

Egyptian banks have tightened limits on foreign currency withdrawals from local currency accounts as they seek to conserve scarce dollars. Though no industry-wide rules have been announced, in recent days a number of banks have sent notifications instructing clients with Egyptian pound accounts of new monthly limits on how much foreign currency they can withdraw […]

EBRD head raises concerns over Turkey’s rate-cutting policy

The head of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) raised some concerns with Turkish authorities over their “outlier” policy of seeking to drive economic growth with low interest rates, she told Reuters on Friday. Odile Renaud-Basso, president of the EBRD, was in Istanbul after meetings that she called “frank and transparent” with Turkey’s […]

Turkey inflation hits new 24-year high of 83% after rate cuts

Turkish annual inflation climbed to a new 24-year high of 83.45 percent in September, data showed on Monday, still lower than forecast, after the central bank surprised markets by cutting rates twice in the last two months. Despite soaring prices, the central bank was expected to cut its policy rate again this month, after President […]

Egypt has been suffering a severe shortage of foreign currency despite a 14.5 percent devaluation on October 27

Egypt’s net foreign assets sink again in August

Egypt’s net foreign assets fell by 18.06 billion Egyptian pounds ($925 million) in August, resuming a near year-long decline that had paused the month before, according to central bank data. The central bank has been relying on net foreign assets (NFAs) – banking system assets owed by non-residents minus liabilities – to help support the […]

Egypt’s import squeeze hobbles economy as US dollars run short

Christeen Aiad from eastern Cairo had been hoping to buy a small automatic car this year, but rules preventing importers trading in scarce dollars put paid to that and she is having to get around on her bicycle instead. The war in Ukraine has deepened Egypt’s economic woes. It sent the import-reliant nation’s bill for […]

Tayyip Erdogan's economic programme over the last 14 months prioritised growth and exports

Turkish president says inflation not ‘insurmountable threat’

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said inflation is not an “insurmountable economic threat,” adding it will begin to fall at the end of the year after it surged to more than 80 percent in August. Under Erdogan’s economic programme, Turkey gradually cut interest rates by 500 basis points at the end of last year, sparking a […]