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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Canada to resume diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia

Canada and Saudi Arabia restore diplomatic relations

Canada and Saudi Arabia have brought an end to a five-year dispute by resuming diplomatic relations. They will now appoint new ambassadors and renew diplomatic talks. A statement from both countries said that the decision was reached “on the basis of mutual respect and common interests”. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Saudi Crown Prince […]

Saudi spending includes giga-projects such as The Line

New wave of Saudi spending is no cause for concern

A spike in spending during the first quarter of 2023 is likely to lead to a “modest” full-year fiscal deficit for the Saudi government but room remains to make further outlays, experts say. The government recorded a deficit of nearly SAR3 billion ($800 million) in the period, driven by a 29 percent surge in spending, […]

Turkey’s exports to Saudi surge 600% as ties improve

Turkey’s exports to Saudi Arabia surged to nearly $800 million during January-April 2023 amid the ongoing normalisation of diplomatic ties between the two Arab nations. Istanbul’s exports to Riyadh have grown over 600 percent in the first four months to $780.5 million, Daily Sabah newspaper reported, citing data by the Turkish Exporters Assembly (TIM). Exports to […]

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan holds an election rally in Ankara

Erdogan’s party split on economic plan

Days before Turkey’s runoff presidential election, there is disagreement and uncertainty within Tayyip Erdogan’s government over whether to stick with what some call an unsustainable economic programme or to abandon it, insiders say. According to interviews with nine sources, either government officials or others with direct knowledge of the matter, an informal group of ruling-party […]

Bahrain’s growth to slow in 2023, says IMF

Bahrain’s growth is projected to moderate to 2.7 percent in 2023, with non-oil GDP growing by 3.2 percent, reflecting fiscal consolidation and higher interest rates, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said in a new report. The economy grew by 4.9 percent in 2022, driven by a 6.2 percent growth in non-hydrocarbon GDP. However, hydrocarbon GDP […]

Clothing, Apparel, Person

IMF chief confident US will not default on debt

The managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Kristalina Georgieva said on Wednesday she was confident the United States would avoid a debt default. The US government could fall behind on its bills next month – and even default on its debt – if Congress doesn’t raise a $31.4 trillion cap on government borrowing, […]

Indonesia and Iran sign preferential trade pact

The leaders of Indonesia and Iran have signed a preferential trade agreement to expand economic relations during an official visit by Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi. Indonesian President Joko Widodo, speaking after a signing ceremony that was streamed online by his cabinet secretariat, hoped the agreement “would increase trade between Indonesia and Iran” but did not […]

Face, Head, Person

Israel set to approve 2023-24 budget amid protests

Israel’s parliament began a final vote on the state budget late on Tuesday, granting some political reprieve to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu whose hard-right coalition government has been strained by months of protests. Facing last minute funding demands by some of his religious and far-right allies as his government approached a May 29 deadline, Netanyahu […]

UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan

Abu Dhabi tops agencies’ GCC sovereign ratings

UAE capital Abu Dhabi is the highest-rated sovereign in the GCC, while Bahrain and Oman are the only sub-investment grade credit ratings, according to the three major US agencies – Fitch, Moody’s and S&P Global. All three ratings agencies use similar systems, although there are differences in the way their ratings are conveyed. In the […]

Visitors at a Dubai souq. The tourism sector's 'robust recovery' should help government-related entities to repay debt, said S&P

Dubai’s debt burden set to tumble to 51% of GDP

Dubai’s government debt is forecast to fall to 51 percent of GDP this year, according to S&P Global Ratings, after the emirate repaid some of its outstanding bonds and loans. The figure is down 27 percentage points from a 2020 peak, the ratings agency wrote in a report published on Monday. Yet broader public sector […]

Shoppers in Dubai

UAE’s non-oil sector forecast to grow by 4.8% in 2023

The UAE’s real GDP will grow by 2.8 percent in 2023, driven by a strong performance by the non-oil sector, according to a World Bank report. Thanks to strong domestic demand, particularly in tourism, real estate, construction, transportation and manufacturing, the non-oil sector is expected to grow by 4.8 percent. The current account balance will […]

Egypt’s central bank leaves key interest rates steady

Egypt’s central bank kept its overnight interest rates unchanged on Thursday, saying that growth had slowed in the fourth quarter and international commodity prices were easing. As forecast by analysts, the bank left its lending rate at 19.25 percent and deposit rate at 18.25 percent, its monetary policy committee (MPC) said in a statement. “Domestically, […]

Turkey lira

Turkish lira hits record low after post-election rout

Turkey’s lira weakened to a record low against the dollar on Thursday, after incumbent Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s lead in presidential elections surprised markets, while the nation’s sovereign dollar bonds steadied after a three-day post-election rout. The cost of insuring the country’s debt against default fell slightly, but equity markets and banking stocks endured fresh losses […]

Logo, Person, Man

IMF says Jordan must push reforms to drive growth

The International Monetary Fund said on Wednesday Jordan needed to accelerate structural economic reforms to push growth beyond the average two-to-three percent it has struck in recent years to help it generate more jobs to reduce high unemployment. “With unemployment still high, and particularly among the youth and women, structural reforms are essential for achieving […]

Qatar QIA

Qatar announces revamp of sovereign wealth fund

Qatar will reorganise its sovereign wealth fund in what will be its latest economic reform following the successful staging of last year’s Fifa World Cup. The Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) is the world’s 10th largest sovereign wealth fund with $475 billion of assets under management according to the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute. The country’s ruler […]

Bab El Bhar Tunis Tunisia

Hospitality helps Tunisian economy grow 2% in Q1

The Tunisian economy grew by 2.1 percent in the first quarter of this year, although unemployment hit 16.1 percent, according to data from the National Institute of Statistics (INS). The year-on-year growth was driven by increased revenues from the communications, transport and hotels, restaurants and coffee shops sectors, which grew 4.8 percent, 5.3 percent and […]

ECB to hike rates twice as inflation remains hot

The European Central Bank (ECB) will hike its key interest rates by 25 basis points (bps) at each of the next two meetings, according to economists polled by Reuters, many of whom also said the bigger risk was rates could go higher still in the future. Several ECB policymakers have reiterated the central bank may […]

A woman shops for groceries at a Riyadh supermarket. Saudi food price inflation was just over 1% in April

Rent and energy price rises keep Saudi inflation at 2.7%

Saudi Arabia’s annual inflation rate stood at 2.7 percent in April, driven mainly by a 9.6 percent hike in residential rents, plus rises in other housing costs and in hotel and restaurant prices. Away from restaurants, food and beverage prices were up by just over 1 percent year-on-year, according to the General Authority for Statistics. […]


Gulf is ‘ideal playground’ for surging French investment

France aims to boost its investment relationship with the GCC region by hosting an inaugural Vision Gulf event in Paris next month. The flagship conference organised by Business France, the country’s national trade agency, aims to promote increased collaboration between Middle East-based investors and French corporates. Taking place on June 13-14 at the French Ministry […]

A supporter of Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, presidential candidate of Turkey’s main opposition alliance, awaits the election results

Uncertainty as Turkey prepares for runoff election

Political uncertainty across Turkey is expected to be reflected on financial markets over the next two weeks as voters prepare for the second round of a presidential election. Neither incumbent President Tayyip Erdoğan and his ruling AK Party nor his opposition rival Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, head of a six-party alliance, achieved an outright majority in Sunday’s […]