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Gulf states face $94b debt crunch on oil slump: HSBC
(Times of Oman - 29/02/2016)

Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries may struggle to refinance $94 billion of debt in the next two years as the region faces slowing growth, rising rates and rating downgrades, according to HSBC Holdings. The GCC states have to refinance $52 billion

Qatar trade surplus drops 58% y-o-y in January to QR7.25bn
(Gulf Times - 29/02/2016)

Substantially lower exports, especially of petroleum gases and crude; and higher imports led Qatar to report a 58% shrinkage year-on-year in trade surplus to QR7.25bn in January 2016, according to official estimates. The shrinkage was rather due to

Banks’ realty credit jumps 27.36%
(The Peninsula - 29/02/2016)

Qatar banks’ credit to real estate sector jumped 27.36 percent to QR125bn in 2015, compared to QR95bn reported a year ago. Qatar Central Bank’s (QCB) preliminary estimates for the fourth quarter of 2015 showed the credit distribution to the sector hit at

Nigerian president meets Qatari businessmen
(The Peninsula - 29/02/2016)

Muhammadu Buhari, President of Nigeria, along with a delegation, met members of Qatar Chamber yesterday at Grand Hyatt Hotel. The president discussed trade and business opportunities present in Nigeria for businessmen and investors. Nigeria is one of the

UAE, Kazakhstan explore joint business investments
(Khaleej Times - 29/02/2016)

The value of UAE investments in Kazakhstan has crossed Dh2 billion, according to the Kazakhstan Ministry of Investment and Development. Kairat Lama Sharif, Ambassador of Kazakhstan to the UAE, emphasised the importance of strong UAE-Kazakhstan relations.

Maritime sector key to Dubai’s sustainable economic growth
(The Gulf Today - 29/02/2016)

Leading figures within the yacht manufacturing industry will outline their predictions for growth in the Middle East market, at the 10th Middle East Yachting Conference, to be held on Monday, , ahead of Dubai International Boat Show. Superyacht Builders

Dubai and Hamburg ties on sound track
(The Gulf Today - 29/02/2016)

The Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry recently released a study on the side-lines of its preparations to host the 5th Dubai Hamburg Business Forum in cooperation with the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce at the Chamber premises on March 22. Being

Bahrain targets $1 billion tourism receipts by 2020
(Saudi Gazette - 29/02/2016)

A steady increase in visitor numbers is set to significantly boost Bahrain’s GDP in the next decade, according to the Bahrain Economic Development Board. Renewed emphasis placed on tourism as key economic driver with 3,000 hotel rooms in development

Business tourists comprise one third of visitors in GCC
(Saudi Gazette - 29/02/2016)

Business tourists in the GCC comprise of one in three of all tourists in the region, a study conducted by Strategy & in 2015 revealed. This is a high number when compared with the worrying statistic that suggests only 2% of global exhibitions take place

GCC faces pressure over $94bn of outstanding debt, says HSBC
(Arab News - 29/02/2016)

The GCC is facing a $94 billion debt shortfall that it could struggle to meet amid low oil prices and regional economic insecurity, Arabian Business reported, citing HSBC. In what the bank says is the first time it has compiled all GCC medium-term debt

SAMA plans govt-backed mortgage scheme in KSA
(Arab News - 29/02/2016)

Saudi Arabia’s central bank plans to launch an “affordable mortgage” program to finance residential real estate purchases by Saudi citizens, it said in a statement on Sunday. The central bank said it had completed coordination with the ministries of

Relaxed loans to deposit ratio to increase funding volatility
(Gulf News - 28/02/2016)

The Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (Sama) raised banks’ maximum allowable loan-to-deposit (LTD) ratio to 90 per cent from 85 per cent last month, increasing the vulnerability of the country’s banking system. “The increased LTD limit will allow banks to

Slowing deposits to negatively impact credit quality of Saudi banks
(Gulf News - 28/02/2016)

The full year results of Saudi banks showed a sharp decline in deposit growth to 1 per cent last year compared to 12 per cent in 2014. In the context of sharp decline in oil prices lower deposit growth is credit negative for Saudi banks according to

GCC banking sector face further liquidity tightening
(Gulf News - 28/02/2016)

Fiscal deficits across the GCC are seen widening further in 2016 despite fiscal reforms and spending retrenchment following the sharp decline in oil prices. The growing fiscal gap is expected to be covered largely through domestic borrowing programme,

ICD in talks to fund new Atlantis hotel, DIFC tower
(Bloomberg - 28/02/2016)

State-owned Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD) is talking to banks to raise around $1.1 billion in loans to build two major projects in the emirate, Bloomberg has reported. The newswire, which cited three people with knowledge of the plan, said that

Moody’s cuts Oman’s credit rating ahead of possible international bond
(Reuters - 28/02/2016)

Moody's Investors Service sharply cut Oman's sovereign credit rating on Saturday, just weeks before the country may launch its first international bond issue in nearly 20 years, citing damage to state finances from low oil prices. Moody's lowered Oman by

Abu Dhabi passenger numbers up 14pc in Jan
(Trade Arabia - 28/02/2016)

Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) witnessed over 2 million passengers pass through its facility in January, reporting a 14.1 per cent jump compared to the same period last year. A total of 2,154,241 people travelled through AUH last month, surpassing

Hiring expectations run high in UAE
(Trade Arabia - 28/02/2016)

While six out of every 10 working respondents in the UAE expect their employers to be hiring in the next three months, four in 10 say that the employers will be definitely hiring, according to a new report. The majority of respondents in the UAE said

Nebras buys into Indonesian energy firm
(Reuters - 28/02/2016)

Qatar's Nebras Power has agreed to acquire a 35.5 per cent stake held by French utility giant Engie in Indonesia's largest independent power producer PT Paiton Energy, Qatar News Agency has reported. With a 2 gigawatt (GW) capacity, PT Paiton is the

Dewa seeks consultants for Dubai Green Free Zone
(Trade Arabia - 28/02/2016)

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) has issued a request for proposals (RFP) for consultants to develop the strategy and deployment plan for a Green Free Zone in Dubai, UAE. The project was announced as part of 'Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050'

$2.5bn Bahrain Bay project enters key phase
(Gulf Daily News - 28/02/2016)

The $2.5 billion Bahrain Bay development has entered a key phase with more than 86 per cent of plots sold, the infrastructure complete and projects of third-party developers nearing completion, it has emerged. Bahrain Bay chief executive Gagan Suri told

Oman plans sovereign US dollar bonds
(Oman Daily Observer - 28/02/2016)

The Sultanate of Oman is planning to issue sovereign US dollar bonds by the second quarter of this year. “The planned bond issue is the result of tightening dollar liquidity as a result of the falling oil prices”, said an official with a leading local

Private deposits at Oman's commercial banks rise 6.13 per cent
(Times of Oman - 28/02/2016)

As of the end of December 2015, private deposits at commercial banks in the Sultanate rose by 6.13 per cent to OMR11.88 billion, compared with OMR11.18 billion in the corresponding period last year, according to a monthly statistical bulletin published

Qatar Chamber hosts Portugal trade delegation
(Gulf Times - 28/02/2016)

Qatar Chamber (QC) board member Adel Abdulrahman al-Mannai has received Jorge Costa Oliveira, Portugal Secretary of State of Internationalisation and the accompanying delegation at QC headquarters. The Portuguese ambassador to Qatar Antonio Tanger

Qatar reviews investment ties with UAE
(The Peninsula - 28/02/2016)

The Qatari delegation headed by Minister of Economy and Commerce, H E Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim Al Thani, reviewed Qatar’s experience in promoting investment and economic climate in the state as well as the projects and opportunities offered in those