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Economy and markets news from the Middle East. All the important stories, exclusive interviews, plus authoritative opinion and analysis

President Sisi, a former field marshal, inspects a military academy. Egypt's armed forces are significant players in several economic sectors

Military’s role in economy muddies Egypt’s debt plan

The military’s role in the Egyptian economy makes it unlikely the country will meet International Monetary Fund targets to increase tax revenue as a proportion of GDP, which could spell trouble for the hugely indebted nation. Egypt’s public external debt – money borrowed in foreign currencies – was $165 billion in September 2023, having more […]

The impact on shipping through the Suez Canal has been less severe than feared, says the WTO

Middle East exports to rebound as Red Sea fears ease

Middle East goods export volumes, which include oil and gas, will expand 3.5 percent this year, the World Trade Organization predicts, adding that disruptions to Red Sea maritime trade are proving less severe than feared. The WTO’s Global Trade Outlook and Statistics report, published on Wednesday, says this expected increase contrasts with a 1.6 percent […]

The Omani government has plans for development in Muscat, as does the Al Fayha United Development

Oman real estate ‘in good health despite drop in deals’

Higher interest rates are hitting Oman’s real estate industry, but economists are confident that a drop in transactions in January does not signal the start of a downturn in the sector. The value of real estate deals in the sultanate fell by more than 20 percent to OR208 million ($540 million) in January, compared to […]

In 2023 the Turkish government provided $22m in financial support to companies operating in the health services export sector

Turkey’s health tourism sector worth $2bn in 2023

Turkey’s health tourism sector generated revenue of $2.3 billion in 2023, data released by the Ministry of Trade reveals. Health service exports surged from $1.9 billion in 2022 to $2.3 billion in 2023, driven by an influx of 1.4 million health tourists, placing Turkey seventh in the global health tourism rankings. The country has 40 […]

The total value of housing benefits disbursed since the Abu Dhabi Housing Authority was established in 2012 is more than AED149 billion

Housing benefit for Abu Dhabi citizens tops $500m

Abu Dhabi has handed out over AED2 billion ($500 million) worth of housing benefits to citizens across the emirate. The first benefits package of the year, to coincide with the Eid Al Fitr celebrations, includes housing loans, ready-built houses and residential land grants. Thety will help 1,400 Emiratis. Additionally, senior citizens, retirees with low incomes, […]

Egypt’s inflation eases to 33.3% in March

Egypt’s annual urban consumer price inflation rate slowed to a lower-than-expected 33.3 percent in March from 35.7 percent in February, data from the country’s statistics agency Capmas showed on Monday. Month-on-month, prices rose by one percent in March, down from 11.4 percent in February. A poll of 12 analysts had expected annual inflation to climb to a […]

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan poses with his supporters as he leaves a polling station during the local elections in Istanbul, Turkey March 31, 2024. Murat Kulu/PPO/Handout via REUTERS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES

US rate cuts to ease Turkey’s debt and benefit exports

For Turkey, long-anticipated US interest rate cuts could be more significant in terms of stimulating growth in its major export markets than easing the costs of servicing its spiralling foreign currency debt. Turks have faced a deepening cost of living crisis as veteran president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s unorthodox economic policies exacerbated a collapse in the […]

The US interest rate cuts may affect commodity prices but beyond that Lebanon citizens will not see a difference, says one observer

Lebanon needs more than US rate cuts to turn its economy around

Probable US interest rate cuts could help Jordan and Morocco attract additional foreign investments as well as easing their already manageable loan repayment commitments, experts predict, but Lebanon’s financial problems remain so acute that a reduced debt burden will make little difference. US 10-year treasury yields – the most important determinant of government borrowing conditions […]

Egypt rates Sisi

Egypt will still feel the heat despite US rate cuts

Likely US interest rate cuts will lower Egypt’s interest repayment costs on its vast public debts. But this will do little to ease pressure on the country to sell national assets in order to reduce its overall borrowings. Egypt’s public external debt – money borrowed in foreign currencies – was $110 billion in 2022, having […]

Lebanon's caretaker prime minister Najib Mikati has called for 'immediate assistance' from UN agencies

Lebanon PM to declare ‘agricultural disaster zone’ in south

Lebanon’s caretaker prime minister Najib Mikati is to declare the south of the country an “agricultural disaster zone” as the conflict in Gaza batters Lebanon’s beleaguered economy. Speaking at a cabinet meeting on Thursday, Mikati called for “immediate assistance” from UN agencies and Lebanon’s international partners to help the country overcome the impact of a […]

People, Person, Adult

China and US vie for FDI supremacy in Gulf’s biggest economies

China and the United States invested more than $23 billion in projects in the Gulf’s two biggest economies last year. The US more than doubled its “greenfield” foreign direct investment in the UAE to nearly $4 billion, while China’s commitment to Saudi Arabia rose 10-fold to almost $17 billion. Greenfield FDI involves a foreign entity […]

Monetary and fiscal tightening will help support disinflation, said Turkish finance minister Mehmet Şimşek

Turkey’s inflation rises to 68.5% on education costs

Turkey’s annual inflation rate increased to 68.5 percent in March, beating the 67.07 percent recorded a month earlier, official data showed. The biggest monthly rise was in education, which rose by more than 13 percent, followed by communication, up almost 6 percent, The Turkish Statistical Institute said. Food and non-alcoholic beverages, housing, and hotels, cafes […]

Egypt’s Sisi vows continued development in new term

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi was sworn in for his third term on Tuesday in the country’s new capital, the largest of the mega-projects that have come to symbolise his rule while stretching the country’s finances. Speaking at the new parliament building, Sisi highlighted the challenges Egypt withstood in recent years while promising continued development, […]

The main priority is to achieve price stability, said Turkey's new central bank governor Fatih Karahan

Turkey’s central bank aims for disinflation in H2 2024 

Turkey will see disinflation in the second half of the year, the Turkish central bank governor Fatih Karahan has reiterated. Ankara will maintain tight monetary conditions that will significantly lower the monthly inflation trend, he said at a meeting with the Turkish Banks Association management.  “Our determined stance on monetary policy will enable us to […]

Workers on an Aramco rig. For the first time, the non-oil sector accounted for 50% of Saudi real GDP in 2023

Saudi-listed companies’ total profits tumble by 17%

The total profits of Saudi-listed companies fell 17 percent year on year to SAR126.8 billion ($33.8 billion) in the fourth quarter of 2023, research has found. The drop has been attributed to the country’s economic contraction as oil production cuts continue.  But sectors such as banks, insurance, transport and pharmaceuticals showed improvement in Q4, reflecting […]

Dubai is considering golden licences to raise its game in the GCC economic competition

Dubai business licences to get the ‘golden’ touch

Dubai is exploring enhancements to its long-term business licensing scheme, offering “golden” licences to entice more investors and business owners to set up in the emirate, company formation experts have told AGBI. Long-term licences in the emirate, including decade-long options, have been primarily available in select free zones. But plans are in motion to extend […]

The UAE flag flies at the Dubai International Finance Centre. Removal from the grey list should increase investors' trust in the UAE and draw FDI

UAE economy to grow 4.2% in 2024, says central bank

The UAE’s gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to expand by 4.2 percent in 2024, further growing to 5.2 percent in 2025, the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates (CBUAE) said in its quarterly economic review. The bank maintained its estimate for 3.1 percent growth in 2023. Non-oil GDP growth is forecast to reach […]

Supporters of Ekrem İmamoğlu, Istanbul's CHP mayor, celebrate his re-election on March 31

Erdoğan election blow poses questions for Turkey’s economy

Turkey’s opposition has dealt the ruling bloc of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan a resounding blow in municipal elections – a result that could have a significant impact on the country’s economy. The Republican People’s Party (CHP) won more than 38 percent of the popular vote on March 31, compared to 36 percent for Erdoğan’s Justice […]

A dhow sailing in Musandam, Oman. S&P says its ratings could be raised over the next 18 months if Oman’s fiscal position strengthens

S&P revises Oman’s outlook to positive

Global rating agency S&P has revised its outlook on Oman to “positive” from “stable”, driven by the government’s strong fiscal position. The revision was further supported by expectations that the economic reform programme in the sultanate would lead to faster-than-expected deleveraging in many state-owned enterprises, without dampening economic growth. This will strengthen the economy’s resilience […]