SUMMARY OF DAILY UPDATES FOR 21st to 27th Feb 2016

Oil News: Gulf loses steam as optimism over oil producer deal fades. Oil prices fell on Thursday on concerns about oversupply amid a slowing global economy, although strong US gasoline demand helped limit losses. The global oil market will begin re balancing in 2017 when US output declines further under pressure from low oil prices before resuming growth again later in the decade to reach an all-time high by 2021, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said.

GCC: The International Monetary Fund is confident that Gulf Cooperation Council economies can make the large fiscal adjustments they need to cope with a period of low oil prices. IMF chief says GCC’s VAT plan could add 2% to GDP. GCC seen implementing more economic reforms in era of cheap oil. Sovereign, financial and corporate borrowers in the GCC must repay or refinance US$94 billion in bonds and loans this year and next, HSBC said, and their ability to do so is challenged by falling oil revenues, downgrades of regional creditworthiness and a squeeze on dollar liquidity in the region.

Dubai: is rated as the best city for expats in Middle East according to survey. Dubai property developers are offering increasingly generous terms to clinch sales in a softening market. The total value of projects under construction in Dubai is worth $53.6 billion, with a further $337.2 billion in the planning stage, a new report said. Dubai contractor Arabtec reported a widening fourth-quarter net loss that it blamed on tough market conditions. Dubai apartment rental growth seen as ‘sluggish’ during Q1. Dubai Investments (DI) has announced plans to expand its extruded aluminium production capacity by over 10,000 tonnes per annum as demand from downstream industries, transportation and electrical sectors surges across the UAE and GCC.

Saudi: State-controlled Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) is to be split into several firms this year to increase efficiency. Saudi inflation jumps to new high on gasoline price hike.

Sharjah has approved its government budget for 2016 which includes a two percent rise in spending to AED20.3 billion ($5.52 billion).

Bahrain is committed to the peg of its dinar currency against the US dollar, its central bank governor confirmed.  Kuwait said to spend $1.2bn on 2015-16 utility deals.

Lebanese tourism to be hit by UAE travel ban

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